So, we have reached the fork in the road in this rebuilding. I can choose to either stop bringing the affair up and move on without further discussion, or head down the divorce path. This is his ultimatum.
Part of our recovery and healing process for me is talking about what happened, why and what to do to stop this happening again in our relationship. I need his support, but he has declared he can no longer do this. He is not prepared to listen and answer similar questions while I get upset again. I cannot see how to move on by putting a lid on the box, but I will lose the man I love, the man I dreamed and wished for, if I push.
Through counselling, a communication hour one night per week (Wednesday at 7:30pm) was made part of our routine. The counsellor advised every relationship should have this. The time and day of the week agreed on is not negotiable. It should not be missed but can only on occasions be shifted if something important interferes with our “appointment”. If there is nothing to discuss, then just sitting with each other, talking, perhaps listening to music, reading etc, but committing that hour to each other and the relationship is still mandatory. I love this hour. It’s mine with him. I look forward to it. He doesn’t.
Usually in my discussions, the not so good usually reflect my inner pain and confusion of him having sex with someone else outside our marriage. Of course, I still have many moments of sadness, insecurity, anxiety, bitterness and pain and I want to discuss this, get it out, deal with it and hopefully him backing that up with promise of never repeating what he did and repeat to me that he loves and cares about me.
I’ve found with each week, more is dealt with and put away. I feel I am chipping away at the mountain of pain, confusion, and betrayal. Increasingly too, he is showing more affection which he knows I need, like kisses, hugs, holding my hand while we watch TV or drive somewhere, foot rubs sending me text messages when he is at work, bringing me a coffee to work if he is working in the area and thoughtful things like this. These things all help with my anxiety and I feel reassured he loves me, since he rarely ever speaks those words.
He stated in this Wednesday’s meeting, that the past week had been good and he was feeling better as he gets everything out including the secrets and his feelings. I found this wonderful for him. We then discuss moments during the past week in our relationship which for both of us has been good and our road trip we took during this time. Somehow, the conversation swung around to the OW and her as a person, her behaviour, their affair and he said something that flew up a red flag for me. A statement that contradicted the timing of this affair and I questioned him on this. He had no clue really but what he said did prove it was happening much earlier. He demanded he could not remember dates, or the month or even year it started and tries to dismiss it all as irrelevant. The information he revealed proved it started much earlier than first thought by me and is shattering. I felt like I was dealing with it all over again, almost like another affair had happened. For a moment, it makes sense to include that extra 6-10 months given I remembered his mood at the time around home.
My emotions took over. I began crying uncontrollably and the pain in my chest intensified. He became angry and said he cannot remember exactly when it started, “so let’s just say it was 10 years to cover all bases and get over it” was his reply. I was shocked at this statement and asked “was it 10 yrs” ? “No” he yelled, but I just said that so you will stop asking. “I don’t remember, and you can’t let it go”. “It means nothing to me, she means nothing to me and I want to put it behind me and never think of it again”, he continued angrily. I continued to cry and he sat their starring at the wall listening to the clock tick.
The conversation hour ended and I sat there stunned while the TV was turned on and he watched it, appearing to not notice me anymore. I starred at TV for a short while and decided to head to bed, emotionally exhausted. It was more than an hour before he came up to bed, got in and rolled over.
I must have drifted off to sleep soon after only to wake about midnight. There I lay till dawn, going over the words he spoke, imagining their meetings and working out things that happened in our life another year before. Dates, moments flew into my mind. I cried now and then. Another chunk of my marriage is fake to me. Another dagger driven into my heart. I wondered how I will ever get to a point that I will feel happy again in my marriage.
Thoughts of kicking him out again returned, but then I realised, he has done no more damaged in reality, and has been trying to be supportive, truthful and committed to this process till now. The dark time of our marriage that has has shifted and lengthened to what I thought it was and I wonder if I can accept this extension of his infidelity as I have tried to accept the infidelity itself.
Thursday is a dull numbing day for me and I spend much of it crying, thinking, wondering and contemplating my future. He comes home to work around Noon and I am feeling low. I decided to ask him for some time for a chat and said I was feeling terrible and wanted to clear things up between us. He reluctantly agrees, telling me to sit and say what I have to while he continues to work. I start by saying it was a shock that it was longer but he interrupts, repeats that we should call it 10 years so that I don’t ask dates anymore. He states there will be no more communication nights and says I either stop all this and move on or we will just get a divorce and be done with it! I refuse to call it 10 years when it wasnt. That is just too hard but in my mind I have lengthened the time frame again. He continues to work, ignoring me so I leave the room. He leaves around 3pm, and gives me a quick kiss and says “See you later Pet”, like nothing has happened! I start to tear up but this annoys him so I try to hide it and clear my throat so I sound normal when I say goodbye to him also.
The evening is quiet but i feel exhausted and depressed so lay on the lounge watching TV while he sits nearby. I head to bed early as I am exhausted taking something to ensure I sleep OK and hope that the next day will be better with sleep.
He is up early this morning, Friday for a 4 meeting interstate and gives me a quick kiss as I lay in bed on his way out at 5:30am.
The morning is difficult for me and I still feel depressed and upset. I call the counsellor to share the developments but again become upset, so insists I come straight over to see him. He is disappointed my H has called off our communication hour and explains why what I am going through is normal, but then explains my husband’s mood and what it might have been during the affair and what it would be now the secret is out. It all makes sense.
The key though to moving on with our marriage though does hinge on my H supporting me through this recovery, committing to our relationship and since he is now refusing those important steps, the counsellor is concerned too. He agrees I cannot just bottle it up and the support must continue. Perhaps if my H attends our scheduled counselling session mid July, things can be put back on track, but I wonder if he will go now.
Upset still, I head to the gym for a 2 hr workout. It’s good and arriving home I feel a little less emotional and decide tidy and clean the house, and make myself look fresher since my eyes look dark and hair flat, before my husband arrives home. This might help keep me in a brighter mood where I can talk about normal things and hopefully get back to where we were before our communication hour.
OMG, he just sent a text. His meeting should have finished. The message reads ‘Still in meeting. Miss you xxx’.
I’m in tears again and reply, I miss you too xxx