December 30th 2022 was my 16th wedding anniversary. My husband had booked for us to go for a meal. That afternoon, I looked through our old wedding photos and posted them on my instagram, which I have never done before, and spent some time remembering that day. It may be a cliche but it was truly magical. Simple, small, had everything we needed and full of love. I loved every minute of it. I had none of my family there at all, as we got married where my husband's family lived, but had organised a separate celebration event in the UK a few months later. It didn't matter though. I was totally relaxed and extremely happy. I loved my dress, I loved the beach, I loved every little bit of it. It makes me smile to think about it.
Then it makes me cry.
I was wobbling throughout the day on Friday. Mainly because on days like these I am faced with the reminder of how much I love my husband. I don't really allow myself to feel this very often because it inevitably brings everything up. The hurt, the sadness, the regret of getting to that point in our marriage, the whole sorry situation. I had a little cry to myself at the creeping feeling of sadness, looking at those photos, but was determined to have a nice and loving evening with my husband not clouded too much by the presence of his affair.
We had a lovely time. Great food, no kids, just enjoying each other's company. During the evening he gave me a card he had made especially. It was very thoughtful. About a month ago we had had a conversation where I told him I had accepted that my ability to trust had been broken and that I was always expecting him to realise he wanted to feel the way he did during his affair and leave to pursue this feeling elsewhere. Whenever we have these chats he never says a lot, always goes very quiet, says I have nothing to worry about and that's about it. I think this card was his way of showing me his deeper response to that conversation. On it it said:
Sixteen years down (which were amazing)
Forever to go (future amazingness)
He also wrote some very thoughtful sentiments inside. After my last blog, just a few days earlier, where I had just written I think I have accepted that he's not going anywhere, it was like he had read my mind. I'm not sure about other wives who have stayed, but for me, this step in the process is huge. Having to accept he's not going to leave and let go of the fear is an epic milestone. Every ounce of me has been screaming "Don't do it!" for the last four years. It's fear, I know that, but it's very real. I'm working on it. I am almost there however, and it's like he knew. Well, the emotions this small gesture created, and the closeness we experienced that evening, were just too much. I went to sleep crying and woke up crying.
I recorded some of the aftermath and posted it on Instagram. Thankfully, the comments I received totally showed people got it. I am so conscious of what I share as I'm so tired of wailing on about the same old thing, but the same old thing keeps making me wail! Whenever emotions are involved I'm a mess and the morning after this wonderful evening I was so sad.
Urrggh, that sadness.
It's soooo heavy as it descends. Soooo engrossingly encircling, impossible to out run. I just had to let it in and go with it. A very unfortunately familiar overwhelming, deep heartache that the affair had ever happened. So full of grief that my husband had believed the bullshit and even, for a second, succumbed to the fog and limerence and thought this woman was everything he thought he didn't have in his life. So disappointed at how embarrassingly text book it all was. He, with a heavy heart agreed with me. We both embraced each other through the sorrow. What he said to me that morning reinforced the point that affairs happen because of how the betrayer and affair partner want to feel in themselves. The version of themselves they are chasing, NOT because of the betrayed spouse. He believed the soulmate tragedy fantasy because he wanted to, because it gave him the opportunity to feel like the hero rockstar. And she wanted to be saved. Absolutely nothing to do with me at all.
It also reinforced how stupid and regretful he felt. Easy to see after the fact, right? So fucking pointless, so fucking avoidable.
Urrggh, that sadness.
I had a day of mourning that following day - new year's eve, just couldn't help it. That night I went to bed very early.
The morning after that night, I woke up, the sadness had passed and I was back to normal. My husband and I went to the gym together and I am back to focusing on my new year ahead. Feeling how I want to feel, creating my own happiness and accepting life as it comes.
The point I want to make?
I'm going to wail when I need to wail. Those that don't want to hear it can unfollow and move on! This is the reality of infidelity recovery and I am going to keep keeping it real for as long as I need to. Up and down, round and round. The same repetitive cycles you just have to rinse and repeat until they go. It's not everyday anymore, in fact it is actually quite sparingly, but when it happens I'm going to talk about it, so all of you on this journey behind me, don't think "surely I should be over it by now?!" It happens and when it does you just have to go with it.
I also want to show that you can wake up the morning after the night before and feel terrible, but you can also wake up the morning after the night before and feel better. Life keeps moving on and recovery happens, bit by tiny fucking painstaking bit. I can spend a day entrenched in sorrow, wake up again, regroup and refocus. My life is good. It gets interrupted every now and again, but in general it's good and I'm going to make more of an effort to show that.