“Realize that the way the offender reacts/acts is huge in whether or not anything can be saved.” Sarah
The night I learned of my husband’s affair was such a bizarre, surreal, wacky trip. He’d been outed by his lover’s husband, who had been trying to connect with me for months, but was always intercepted by my husband. Her husband finally employed a new tactic by way of sending me a Christmas card containing their love letters.
Shocked and stunned by what I was hearing, I repeated everything my husband said. I remember finally, hearing myself put a sentence together.
“So you are telling me that you went to a hotel room with another woman and took your clothes off and “made love” to her?”
I sat in silence with my face in my hands. Time stood still. I couldn’t look at him. I moved to the living room and he asked if he could sit next to me. He said some things I don’t recall, but I snapped out of my trance when I heard,
“I confessed because I decided you deserved the dignity of knowing the truth.”
The dignity of…truth?
“Confess? You didn’t confess. YOU WERE CAUGHT!” The words came out with such violence, I felt my face vibrate.
Not only could I not wrap my mind around all that he’d been telling me…but I couldn’t yet think about what this meant, now. He asked me to forgive him. He said that he loved me, but it didn’t feel like it meant anything.
“Apparently,” I heard myself say, “You didn’t love me enough to keep it from happening.”
As my anger blossomed, day by day; anger with him, anger with her, anger that his betrayal dumped a mess in my lap that I didn’t need or deserve or that I shouldn’t even have to deal with, I was operating under the delusion that all I had to do was make a decision that life could be the way I wanted it to be, specifically? As though the affair had not happened.
What I learned:
#1. Things are not going to be okay, overnight, in a week or even a month.
#2. The real work is getting through the *amned day for an indeterminate amount of time.
#3. You are not going to die.
I felt like I wanted to die and I often felt like I could die, at any moment, the pain was that intense. Sometimes, I was angry that I didn’t just die and just get it all over with.
#4. The healing goes as well as your husband wants it to.
There were false starts. For a brief moment, my husband put on the spin that I was at fault. He is lucky I didn’t tear his face off.
“Oh, don’t even, don’t even! Let’s get something straight right now. You are entirely responsible for what you did. Be a man or don’t talk to me.”
Many women write me to ask me about the complexities at this juncture, communication with/from the husband. Husbands may go into a panic and say stupid things to try to make it look like it wasn’t really their fault.
Reality check: chances are pretty good that your husband didn’t trip and fall into bed with this woman only to find that his erect penis was magically inside of her. No.
It doesn’t take a genius to do the math. The fact that they are imagining for a moment that we are stupid or lame enough to believe this fractured fairy tale? They are out of their minds with panic. It’s a defensive maneuver.
Forgive (eventually) any such insults and give him a chance to come to his senses. The fact that he is panicked means he is fearful. Your husband is fearful about what is going to become of him = he cares.
The way your husband decides to respond to your pain and suffering is a major factor in the future of your marriage. Just how much does he care about his wife and children and his blessed life? He will show you. You are about begin a journey of discovery of the man your husband really is, good or bad.