The memories that seem to have scarred most of all are the ones from the unearthing of information and the disclosure period itself. It’s everything surrounding that time frame. It’s the music heard, the chill in the air that began to envelope us. So many seemingly minuscule details that were never anticipated to have a deep or lingering impact, yet they stir a sadness. A sadness at the loss of our facade of fidelity to one another.
Then comes regrets. The regret of time passed. Almost a decade of living in denial had to go by before I faced the truth of what not only my relationship was, but how it affected who I had become.
Accountability is something I refuse to lack in this situation. I knew there were signs. The reason I stayed encompassed in the usual sidebars- work, children, drugs, alcohol, and then emotional affairs of my own, were all a result of me refusing to look at things with the lights on, so to speak.
Prior to getting married there was a night that my husband, (then fiancé), refused to take me to a company party. I made excuses at the time for his decision. One reason I made up for the non-invite was my presumption of his coyness with women. His history was limited to only one real serious relationship prior to ours, so it seemed reasonable somewhere in this noggin of mine that he might not understand the pleasantries that come along when being hitched to someone else’s wagon.
Nonetheless, I now find it quite comical that I allowed myself to not just make up such excuses of apathetic tendencies, but it’s even more comical that I swallowed the lies I had fabricated about why I couldn’t tag along.
I was both confused and disheartened at his choice of going to this event stag. Playing it off as insignificant at the time, those seemingly superficial wounds began running deeper and deeper as time moved onward.
I imagine these emotional wounds akin to something like ignoring you have a tapeworm or a parasite of some sort within your body. You can live with it for a while, but eventually it’s going to make its presence known and cause havoc, threatening the entire system.
Fast forward a decade and half from the infamous company picnic, and I discover that the “solo” company picnic evening was just as suspected. He was with another woman that night.
The saddest part about that (for me) is not just the betrayal, but my chosen ignorance. The tactics I used with distracting, slowly snowballed over a decade, eventually contributing to my (literal) physically and spiritually broken heart.
So, a year after disclosure, I reflect on something new, but yet it’s always been my best gift – my intuition.
I lived as the queen of denial for over a decade. While it’s a relief to know the truth, it has come with a lot of anger towards both him, and myself.
Facing my own insecurities, but remembering my strengths has been a lifeline that was much needed to gain back control of this ship – and my sanity. I’ve not rode this ride in vain. I intend to put every parcel of this experience to some use.
Moving forward will be the true test to the character of both of us. He is human, as am I. I have to succumb to the fact that an authentic attempt at becoming a better person has to count for something. If I don’t believe this, I myself will be doomed.
I think back to the day I confessed my affairs to my husband, and although I feel almost an entirely different person than I was then, with the wounds freshly busted open, bleeding, and unbearably raw, I still know that it was God’s hand in that situation.
Had I not softened my own heart and faced my own transgressions, he never would have softened enough to confess his own. That is the truth of the matter.
Whatever your belief, if you ever feel called by a higher power to take a leap of faith in the name of making wrongs right, you may very well be surprised where the fall lands you. Not to overuse the cliche, but that blind jump -when it’s a humble step towards righteousness- I don’t believe will ever fail you on your path.
You may not initially like the landing. It may be unsteady. It might be horrifyingly painful at first. It may also bring you to the necessary position of being down on your knees.
I knew in my heart of hearts that something was off, and my refusal to face it like a woman made it worse. I didn’t get any easement of my inner turmoil until I faced my own failures. Humbled.
I thought I was just appeasing God by telling the truth of my infidelity, but that blind step of speaking the truth with a humble heart transformed everything.
Funny how humility works; it remains completely underrated.