The last day or two I have been hanging on by a thread. Since discovering Allie’s affair in March 2018, I have been on an emotional roller coaster. Anger, depression, heartbreak, isolation, embarrassment, rejection and insecurity are just a few of the emotions I have experienced in the past 6-7 weeks.
Now that my emotions are beginning to normalize a bit, I have a lot of questions in my head about Allie. Questions about whether I want to stay with her or not. I am reading a book right now called “After the Affair“. Here is just one of the profound quotes from the book when a person discovers their partner is having an affair.
“Your view of your life and the world you liven in may be ripped apart” & “the greatest threat to recovery is the loss of hope itself.”
The book is heavy, but eye-opening. It identifies feelings that people experience and describes how to recover. I am only in the first section which is written for those who have just discovered their partner’s affair. I very much identify with the people and examples the author cites.
Part of the trauma that you get to enjoy when your spouse has an affair is that several illusions are shattered. The illusion that you are special above all others is a big one. You know, the idea that because she married you, she would be faithful to you and not go out sleeping around.
Another illusion you might have had is that your marriage was extraordinary. No matter what you’ve made it through your wife sleeping with another man will end that idea pretty quickly.
Now, you’re dealing with the loss of those two ideas that you had. You’re not special and your marriage wasn’t valuable. Those two corpses will leave you reeling for a while.
Another illusion that is there is that the kids will somehow play a role in giving your wife a conscious when she strays. Nope. Even our youngest child who has Allie completely wrapped couldn’t stop her from the affair. She even had sex with Mark on our youngest’s third birthday just before having him dedicated at church. I venture to say, she’d have moved his car seat out of the way to lay down in the back seat with Mark.
As your illusions get shattered, your confidence in those illusions and beliefs get destroyed. All that you fought for in the past changed in an instant. None of it really matters any longer.
Here are some things that I believed:
- 18 years of history meant something.
- Our three kids and their future emotions are vitally important
- I am special among all men
- We have an extraordinary marriage
- She loves me and would fight tooth and nail for us
- She loves herself and wouldn’t not cheapen herself
- She wouldn’t risk getting an STD (we get to enjoy one of those now too. More on that later)
- She is an upstanding Christian woman. She doesn’t have the capacity to go from texting to sex in just a few weeks.
- She respects me
- She honors me
- She honors our marriage
- She has the maturity to come to me FIRST before having an affair.
- She is an honest person
- She knows how bad it hurt me the first time she cheated. She wouldn’t go that far again.
You see, all those things that I believed are shit.