There’s not much more than disappointing than finding out that Allie, my wife of 18 years, had an affair. Allie’s first affair happened just after our 12 year anniversary. Then in March of this year I found out about another affair just after our 18th anniversary. Since that day, it has been a true roller coaster ride of emotions, doubts, fears, questions and hurt.
After her 2nd affair with a guy named Mark, we decided to hire some top counselors. Why did I hire them? Why didn’t I just divorce her and save the money?
I hired them because I wanted to make sure. I wanted to live with no regrets whatsoever. Basically I needed to know that I did everything in my power to consider the marriage before divorce.
During counseling, we made some gains. Allie’s position has been that she wants to work on our marriage. Seems completely unreasonable doesn’t it? Yeah, it does to me too. So, she sees herself in the last 6-7 months as working really hard to become a different person, a better wife, etc. However, she was skipping exercises that the counselors would assign and she wasn’t doing the homework that they say would be required to get better.
I also knew something was missing. Call it intuition, call it suspicion. But trust your gut right?
When people cheat, they are very, very manipulative. They tell you what a horrible person you are to justify what a horrible person they’re being. It’s projection, manipulation and totally not authentic.
So, we had a great meeting with counselors the Friday before Labor Day. At that meeting, I wrote her a three or four page letter forgiving her of the affair with Mark. I let go of everything I could think of that I was holding onto.
So that weekend, I had a real moment (day or two) of beginning to trust her again. It’s been six months post affair at this point. On Labor Day I was going to my work out. I asked Allie about her boss just before leaving. I have had a suspicion about something happening between them. She denied it. Then on the four minute drive to my gym, she called me and admitted that the two of them had in fact kissed. (see the whole story here) Of course it was much more than a kiss and that day, I sank…again.
I sank with disappointment. It stomped out any hope I had for salvaging our marriage. It wasn’t much hope, but I had some. Like a tiny ember that “might” start a fire if tended to. Crushed me. Again.
I am making the only decision I can make
After reading about the disappointment, I want to bring up the other part of the title of this post. Affirmation.
When you’re making the biggest decision of your life, you can hear all of the advice you want from friends and family. But largely, a decision to divorce doesn’t really affect them. Especially my closest friend of 30 years. So the advice they give has to be taken with a grain of salt. No, this choice is yours and yours alone. (unless of course, she’s already left you)
But with Allie asking, practically begging, me to stay with her, this choice had been weighing very heavily on me and my thought life. I was completely consumed by this decision as it would have profound impact on me and my three sons.
That day, however, the decision was made. I am fairly certain I had made the decision back in March of 2018, but today it was iron clad. The information about the 3rd affair was the straw that was piled onto the already broken camel’s back. It affirmed my decision, strengthened my resolve and solidified the choice that I was so damned afraid to make. Basically, when you question if you’re making the right choice, something can come along and say to you, “you’re damned right you are!!”
So if you’re out there reading this know this one thing. You are worth way more than a cheating spouse has treated you. It is going to be lonely and hard, but you have to value yourself more than valuing your insecurities.