I feel like a slacker not having updated since I wrote “A Dilemma.” That dilemma was such a major part of my life throughout much of the past 6 months, a giant wall between myself and other people. You’d think that when it was resolved, I’d make note of it, however, I did not. There have been some significant changes since The Dilemma, which became a major turning point.
After posting A Dilemma, a conversation took place and I told my husband my feelings. I didn’t think this would go well, since when we’d been in conflict over his reluctance to follow through in telling someone, he’d resignedly said, “You want me to tell my family, don’t you?”
In a mean way, I did, but in actuality, I did not. Everyone had been through so much, recently and it wouldn’t go over well in this highly conservative family. That said, I think I wanted a couple of people in the family to judge and thereby punish him, since I felt ineffectual and maybe even just didn’t have the guts to exact any revenge.
So, no, I didn’t want to rock the boat full of wounded people, but I wanted something. In addition to slapping him, that is, which I never did do. Maybe I was fed up with behaving myself and taking it “well” which did nothing more, really, than to extend the period of suspended animation from the shock of it all. Being stoic didn’t help anything, it only postponed the crash, and when I crashed, I crashed hard.
March and April were very painful. That would have been a year after things were getting hot and heavy with the two of them, ironically. It’s kind of a blur, now, but the mood swings were more frequent, I began to cry, routinely and I felt angrier and angrier. Finally, I was blocked by The Dilemma. Was I ever going to get a break? Please? God? Are you listening? Do you even care? I’m overwhelmed, here.
I needed something. I wanted something. We spoke briefly about The Dilemma, and to my disbelief, my husband said, “If it is going to help you to get through this, then I will tell my family.”
The storm abruptly drew to a close. This was something very big. I was positively certain that never, ever would he tell his family, either under duress or voluntarily, so this was more than huge. Apparently, I thought him shallow or selfish or arrogant, a lover of himself, first and me? Well. After all I’d been through, I wasn’t always sure where I stood, being such a wreck.
He assured me that he loved me and most of all wanted me, us to recover fully from what he’d done and if he confessing to his family was going to do something for us, he would do it. Immediately.
I sat in our room for a few minutes and imagined how things would be. I wasn’t satisfied. Sure, I’d like to see his **** kicked, but most of all, I didn’t want my father-in-law to suffer the disappointment I knew he would, a hard blow. I didn’t want any of the other in-laws I was close to seeing him and treating him any differently, the very same reason my brothers would never know, because I wanted there to be life after the affair, life without broken bits of trust and respect in our wake. I wanted life to go on without any shackles.
I told him that the fact that he was willing to do it for me meant that he didn’t have to. I had learned something important, for one, how far he had come, my husband, in taking ownership of….my suffering? I’m not sure if that is it, but it sort of feels like it. In addition, the fact that he was willing to tell them proved how important I was to him. I didn’t need someone else to be upset with him to make me feel worthy of defense: he was doing it
It’s been about six weeks or so since this happened and since then, life has been very different. I hardly think about the affair. As I moved into this new place, of not living with the affair on my mind or heart every waking moment, I realized that he was thinking about the affair more than I was. Eventually, I began to feel that I didn’t want him to suffer anymore. That said, I don’t have control over what he is taking himself to task for.
There are still moments, but they are fewer and have less punch. It seems we have indeed, inched into a sort of “normal.”