It’s been over 2 and 1/2 years since my D-day. I am better, and for the most part I’m okay. I cry on occasion, but not often. Maybe once every couple of months when things overwhelm me or I’m feeling insecure about something. For the most part, we get along well, and we are still spending the majority of our free time with each other. It’s just a given that we spend our days off together. He is very respectful of my need to spend time together and understands how important it is for our marriage, and that has not wavered since D-Day. We go to movies, dinner, walks, hikes, and out with friends. Overall, we have a good time and really get along well.
Even so, I’m still not back to my old self. Accepting that I may never be the same person I was pre-affair has been an extremely hard pill to swallow. It’s something that I have mourned for a long time, and I am just now accepting it. I sometimes miss my old, confident, happy, naive self. She was really great and fun and easy-going and so confident and sure of herself. The new me is, well, the same, but turned down a notch or two. Not quite as happy, not quite as fun, not quite as confident and certainly no longer naive. I’m still me, just more cautious and guarded. Confidence has been my biggest struggle, but it is slowly coming back. I’m working full-time again, and I am starting to feel more confident in my work, critical decisions are coming easier.
November and December were really bad months for me. Those months are filled with so many triggers of dates and things that I know about now, topped with my birthday (I’m now 44 and prospects for having a child are now gone, which is another issue altogether) and our wedding anniversary in the middle of the month, which is always a struggle for me. An anniversary is a time for reflection and celebration of your love for one another, but I can’t help reflecting on the bad things, and how he broke his vows. I began thinking what my life might look like if we divorced. My resentment towards him and the pain he caused began to build through the holidays. I began to plan my exit almost daily. On my drive to work, I would look at neighborhoods and think about which one I would move to after our divorce. I mentally divided our assets. I argued in my mind why I should be the one that gets the dog. I planned out how much I would need to pay him a fair settlement (I’m the bread-winner in our house). Then, on our anniversary, without any prompting, my husband acknowledged how grateful he is for this second chance and promised to be a great husband in the future. His acknowledgement was exactly what I needed to hear at exactly the right time. I just needed to know that I’m not the only one struggling with this, that he hasn’t forgotten what he did. Since then, I’ve been a bit better.
With the new year, I am trying to look forward to the future and not back to the past. It is so much easier said than done. The habit of replaying in my mind the cruel things he did makes it difficult to let go of the anger and pain. Sometimes I wonder if I hang on to that anger because it is comforting in some demented way. Logically, I know that my mind is playing tricks on me, and that replaying those events is not really helping me at all. I realize that hanging on to the past, replaying it in my head over and over again, is only my way of protecting myself. It’s a way of reminding myself to never let my guard down again. I know I should be looking forward, but it’s so hard to stop looking back.
Overall, I’m just trying to take things one day at a time. Some days, I think we’ll never last. Other days, I can’t imagine my life without him. Some days, I think monogamy is bullshit and impossible. Other days, I want to grow old with him forever. The fact is, I just don’t know what the future holds. I can’t predict anything. I still check on him periodically – looking at his phone records and such. I believe he is respecting our marriage and trying to be a better person. I hope that he keeps it up. But, I know that he still suffers from low self-esteem, and that was a factor that led to his affair, and every other bad decision he has made for that matter. I’m disappointed that he did not work more on himself to address all of the issues that led him to do what he did, but after a year of counseling, I don’t blame him for wanting a break. I can only hope he learned and retained enough to recognize and stay away from any situations that are not good for our marriage. There is nothing more I can do. The only thing I can do is control my reaction if he ever fucks up again. Trust me, there will be no more second chances if he ever cheats again. That is the only thing I am certain of.