Infidelity is lonely, really lonely. I’m not sure if I’ve ever felt that alone before. Even though I spoke to people about it and had very loving support from my nearest and dearest, the in between times felt like I was stuck in a private, personal hell. Because it’s all consuming. It saturates my every cell, my every thought and my entire existence. This is now who I am whether I like it or not. My husband had a full on relationship with someone else, while we were most definitely married.
*Deep, slow inhale and sigh*
No one, unless they have experienced it, can understand what that is like. I’m walking around feeling how I feel, tearing my hair out from the inside, grappling with persistent internal battles, knowing what I know, shuddering and wincing at the nauseating thought, dealing with what I’m dealing with, adjusting my entire sense of reality and everything else around me is carrying on as normal. No one really cares, which is not a criticism, as why should they? Every one has their own life to be getting on with. After a while, they don’t want to hear about it anymore. People don’t want to be caught in the middle, don’t want to get involved, have their own opinions based on their own beliefs and really don’t understand the internal pain, trauma and constant turmoil. Again, not a criticism, as again, they are all completely entitled to that and I totally understand. It just makes this journey very, very lonely. What I would give for people to fight my corner. To put their neck on the line for me and speak up for how despicable I have been treated. To make a stand on my behalf and help me feel less lonely.
*Another deep sigh*
But it is what it is. I am walking this path alone and I totally get that’s the way it has to be. Throughout all of this my responsibility has been to myself. Get myself well. Heal myself and take care of feeling whole again. Concentrate on being happy from the inside out, reconnect with my worth and my values and make firm decisions for myself. Make sure I am in charge of my own life and my own destiny, no matter what. Do not give my power away to anyone else. Do whatever is necessary to be able to decide in myself what I can forgive and what I can forget, not for anyone else but me. Work through the pain, face it, feel it and learn from it. Be honest, be humble and keep hold of my dignity and integrity as best I can throughout the monumental ups and downs of healing the overwhelm, uncontrollable emotions and trauma. Keep walking, one foot in front of the other, towards the destination that I am choosing for myself. Right now, that is to stay married and save my family. Who knows, that may change as time goes on and I continue to explore this unknown territory along the way, but that is the destination I am committed to right now, and so is my husband.
He, however, is on a totally different path towards that destination. Yes, I know we should be on a path together, which we are, but the majority of the work is actually done alone, on our own private pathways which are totally different. My husband is walking his own. He is in his own private hell, which is far more lonely than mine. He’s the bad guy here. He’s the shitty one. He’s the arsehole. Who’s going to have any sympathy for him? If he speaks to anyone about it he has to admit what he did to his own wife and family. He’s silently grappling with intense guilt, deep shame and embarrassment, tremendous stupidity and his own sense of who he is, after an immense comedown from the dizzy heights of limerence, infatuation and his heart believing it was able to sing again. The huge crash back to reality from buying into the resentful justifications, his right to happiness and questioning whether he had just given up the opportunity (albeit illusionary) to be wondrously happy with someone else. He’s had his fair share of anxiety, depression and pain to work through, although it’s completely different to mine.
Two bleeding people trying to end up in the same place with no idea how far it is or how long it will take to get there, after an explosion so huge it has left behind a crater of complete chaos and carnage in their life, with continuous and relentless aftershocks and wounds so huge it’s a wonder they’re still breathing.
It’s a test I can tell you. A really fucking hard one. A long, fucking never ending test of endurance, strength and patience. I have had to be so understanding and so compassionate. I have had to let go of any expectations I have about what I feel my husband should be doing for his or, even my own pathway. I’ve had to get my ego out of my own way and break negative patterns of behaviour in my life.Well, I guess I should say, I haven’t had to be that way or do those things. I have chosen to be that way. In order to take charge of my own journey, I have learnt (through wonderful coaching) that I cannot rely on my husband for my healing. Yes, there are things he needs to do to show remorse and ensure I feel safe enough to allow myself to be vulnerable again, but they are actually quite separate from my healing. They help, yes and are absolutely necessary, however, the vast majority comes from myself and I should not let his action or non-action determine how I feel about my own healing or happiness. I am not in control of whether he does them or not, that is all part of his path, not mine. Of course it would not be satisfactory and incredibly upsetting if he doesn’t do those things, but I always have a choice as to how I respond to that, if it happens. That is my path. My path is paved with discovering what I am willing to accept or not accept, what I am willing to face and feel head on and how I am willing to learn and grow in myself and my own life. Sounds corny, but it’s better than staying bitter and angry, blaming everyone and everything else for the situation I’ve found myself in. I have to become whole, I have to be in charge of my own happiness, I have to focus on myself and keep walking towards the destination I have chosen. It’s certainly not easy. It's like trudging waist deep in treacle. No, I think treacle sounds too nice and mud is too tame. It's like trudging through the thickest, stinkiest, stickiest shit, with no promise it's ever going to end. I just got an image of The Sureshank Redemption, where Tim Robinson's character is dragging himself through the sewage pipe covered in shit, on his way to freedom, gagging and wretching at the stench. This has by far been the stickiest, stinkiest and hardest test of my life so far, along with being incredibly lonely and hopeless at times. However it's that drag to freedom that keeps me going and it incorporates everything I have written about over the last 6 months; letting go, owning my shit, humanising not demonising, getting help, informing myself, working out what’s important to me, embracing the pain and trauma and riding the pendulum as it swings.
This has been my path and mine alone.
My husband has been following his own and luckily our two paths have crossed at regular intervals and have both been heading towards the same destination. We are getting there, slowly.