It’s been a while since I’ve posted, mostly because I’ve needed to sort out in my own mind how I am feeling. In the last six months, I have come to realize that while my husband has worked very hard to do and change the things I’ve asked him to, there are some things that are so ingrained in him and a part of him, that he simply cannot change them, or I now realize that his needs to continue these things are stronger than his desire to accommodate my needs. He still needs to look cool in front of his friends, even if it’s at my expense. He still lies or lies by omission about inconsequential things – not to me, but I’ve seen him lie to friends so that he looks better or to avoid a conflict. These traits give me pause, and I realize that they will never change.
I also realize that I will always have the memory of what he did and how he treated me when he was having his affair. It will never go away. Our marriage will never be “better” and it will certainly never be what it once was. I will never trust him the way I once did. He will never be my best friend like he once was.
So, I started to ask myself, are these things that I can accept in my marriage? Is this how I want to live out the rest of my life? I’m not so sure. I started to think that life without him might not be all bad. In fact, it might be better. While I might be lonely, and I will still have the pain of his betrayal, I will not be on this constant hamster-wheel of trying to forgive and forget and move on with the person who betrayed me. I could start a different course. A different direction for healing. Might a different direction for healing – one that involves just letting him go altogether – be the direction that will eventually make me happy again?
Last month, I saw our marriage counselor by myself. It’s been a year and a half since we last saw her. Since she knows the whole story and my husband’s traits so well, I wanted to talk through with her what I was feeling and the fact that I have been considering divorce. While she didn’t tell me what to do, she validated my feelings of lingering resentment, distrust, hurt and sadness. At the end of the session, she asked me where I was in terms of wanting a divorce and wanting stay, percentage-wise. I told her 75% leaning towards divorce. She asked me what the other 25% against divorce was. I can say very honestly (though it’s embarrassing to admit it, because it sounds so insecure, vain, and even trivial) the 25% is primarily fear. Fear of making a mistake, fear of being alone, fear of losing friends, fear of losing our lifestyle, fear of what people will think, fear of disappointing our families, fear that maybe I’m just being too picky, fear of falling into a bad relationship in the future, fear that every man out there is a selfish pig. I also feel sadness that we will not grow old together, that my fairytale love story is over (correction, it was over the day he decided to be unfaithful), and guilty for hurting him (yes, after all he did to me, I don’t want to cause him pain). She told me that I need to be at 100% before I ask for a divorce, and that this might take some time. I agree, and it’s been over a month now, and I’m still not sure.
He has no idea that I have been feeling this way, or that I am even considering divorce. I’ve been the perfect wife, and we really get along very well. For the most part, we enjoy a lot of the same things, and have a great time together no matter what we’re doing. Of course, I never bring up the affair. That’s a choice I made. Really, how much can you talk about it and beat him over the head with it? At some point, you’re just repeating yourself and guilting him into submission. I think, and at least in my situation, continuing to talk about the affair only makes him feel like a total loser and me a bitter nag.
Some days, I think I will just blurt it out and tell him that I want a divorce. Other days, he is so sweet, and I think maybe it would be a mistake to get a divorce. At times, I’m so angry at what he did, I could strangle him. Other times, I just want his affection. God, this is hard.