When I first learned of the affair, I told 2 people very close to me, both of whom were furious with anger. One was female, the other male; people who have known me all or most of my life.
When I decided to tell others, I decided that I didn’t want Laura to know because she would be very upset and I had already upset 2 people, so began to consider whom to tell, based not on closeness, but closeness and something which might seem like a lack of loyalty, but isn’t….um…people who wouldn’t get upset.
Five months down the road when I felt a need to feel some reaction, perhaps? Laura said
I hate it that you were betrayed. I hate it that you have had to deal with all this self-doubt and pain by yourself. I hate him for being such a… well… a God****ed MAN. I hate men. I hate the feeling I get in the pit of my stomach when I read about a couple, so much like my husband and me, having this big purulent boil of deceit and dishonesty pop in their faces. And let’s be frank here – it’s all about the dishonesty, isn’t it. The hiding, the sneaking around, the lying, the disrespect. I can’t stand the lying, because it is a symptom of a deeper disrespect. How do you heal a wound that goes that deep? The skin may grow back over, but the cause of the wound is still deep down in there, causing problems.
I think she took it very well, don’t you? I wasn’t in front of her to see her head pop off, but…she totally held it together. I mentioned that my husband and the OW had met twice, but her pursuit went on for 9-10 months, lots of ruses to keep her finger in his life…she was ready to leave her husband and she totally wanted our marriage to end. To which Laura responded:
I would like to point this out… He was pursued by a deranged woman, and succumbed. She actively pushed and prodded him, and he “saw” her twice. Twice in 9 or 10 months. While I don’t condone his actions at ALL – in a perfect world he should have had the strength to resist completely – I think there must be a great deal of love for you in there. I’m sure she flattered and pampered him, stroked his ego and commiserated with him. That’s tough to resist. Yet he did, mostly. He faltered only twice. How many men could resist a full-out attack? Be honest – how many women could have resisted a man who did the same?
Then he felt guilty and angry with himself. He tried to hide it from you, to keep you from suffering the pain of betrayal. What most men (from the evidence at hand in the media) don’t seem to understand is, it’s the lying that **** women off, even more than the infidelity. Ok, the infidelity part is pretty bad, but the lying just compounds the anger and feelings of betrayal. Forgiveness comes faster if you own up to your sins instead of letting someone find out by accident.
I don’t know if you can see it right now, with all the churned up feelings, but he was showing you his love, first by resisting the temptation, then by trying to spare you the pain.
I am not saying you shouldn’t be angry and feel betrayed. (Personally, I’d have tossed all his mess out into the road, broken all his cds and dvds, set it all on fire, then changed the locks and bought a big **** Doberman to eat him should he ever set foot in the house again, but I’m an inherently violent person. Eventually, I’d let him back in, but he’d be a poorer man for it.)
Yeah, it’s a teeny-tiny kernel of decency in the center of this whole mess, but try to remember it’s in there.
Hearing this from Laura was like manna from heaven. If she hadn’t mentioned destroying his belongings, I would have known she had an imposter writing her email, but that was enough authenticity and sympathy for me to lean in closer to the other things she had to say. There are times when I feel pretty badly about this cluster*beep,* but I trust Laura and what she sees, and she sees a decent man who loves me.
That’s the comfort of Laura.