Spring is in the air and JR and I find ourselves in turmoil again and again. I just can’t seem to get my broken hurt under control and the guilt has sent him into an even deeper depression. Now I believe that part of that depression came from his break up with Nikki. It would have been different if the affair would have ended when he was ready for it to end, on his terms. That’s not the way it happened. She was removed from his life forcefully and quickly…poof, one day he’s with her, the next day he’s not. I never will understand why this happened, or maybe I do. I always felt like we had a great marriage. We didn’t argue that often, we never had major fights…in fact the only thing we had conflict about for those past 6 months was his interest in Nikki. My husband always told me everything, which is why I knew about her in the first place. We did things we enjoyed together. We did things as a family. We were having sex 3 to 4 times a week. We would take baths together 2 to 3 times a week just to catch up with each other.
So I am living in a messed up, upside down world and I start to examine my life with JR. I can remember that October looking at him and saying that I was the happiest I had ever been. What I didn’t see at the time is that I was the happiest “I” had ever been. Let me explain. Earlier that year I began to diet and exercise. My body wasn’t what it once was after giving birth 3 times and being pregnant 4 times(1 miscarriage). I had lost a very large amount of weight and was in the best shape I had been in since the birth of our son, it was very obvious. The kind where you see someone you haven’t seen in a while and they look at you and gasp. I was working full time in our office and the business was booming, money was not a worry at all. I was doing more things with my friends, going out and having fun. Not clubbing, or partying, just girl things…shopping, movies, jazz night at a winery, lunch dates with friends, etc.. I was enjoying my life. Life was good…for me.
What I didn’t realize until later was the distance that had grown between JR and I. We had always been very close to each other, holding hands, kissing, touching. We had always touched each other at night, we couldn’t sleep unless we were touching, now it was the opposite, I couldn’t sleep if we were touching. We always had a lunch date on Fridays, no matter what. We had stopped doing that completely. We had stopped talking about anything except work or our children. We had always sat on the couch together when watching TV or movies, that had been replaced by 2 separate recliners. He would always hold my hand in the car, that had stopped too. The sex was still there, in quantity, not quality. It had become a get mine, get yours situation. I was the one who started this I think. I stopped needing the foreplay or cuddling after. I just wanted to have my orgasm and move on. I liked watching TV late at night alone and needed/wanted him to go to bed…alone. Something else we hadn’t really ever done, we always went to bed together. The flirting that would happen during the day between us had stopped, it had begun to annoy me. I used to call him several times during the day, and vice versa, and now I was so busy with work and on the phone so much I never called JR just to see what he was up to. We still took baths together but I would often take my ipod and headphones with me, so no more talking then. I never once realized how far apart we had drifted until the affair came out. He has said many times that he just felt like I didn’t need him anymore, and that she made him feel needed. He was right, at the time I didn’t “need” him, but I should have remembered to tell him that I “wanted” him. JR is a very sensitive man, he craves attention and affection. I became so fulfilled by myself that I forgot about my husband, and no this is not an excuse for his affair. There is NO excuse for that, after 22 years of marriage he should have been able to come to me and say that he needed more, and he didn’t. I have asked him many times…didn’t you know how much I loved you, and he has said no, I didn’t…but now he does.
Things we changed immediately after the affair. The recliners are gone and have been replaced by an oversized chair for 2. We sleep touching one another. We hold hands all the time. We never go more than a couple of hours without a phone call, a text or something. We regularly go out together. We no longer have a big tub since our move, but we do have a hot tub and we spend hours in there together, no headphones allowed! We still have quickies, but we also have very intimate times where we spend hours in bed together. I join him for work some days, and he joins me some days. We cook meals together. We do many outdoor activities that we both enjoy together. We just generally spend more time enjoying each other, and the biggest thing of all is that I never let a day go by without telling him how much I love him and that I do need him in my life always.
The one thing I can take from this affair is that you have to work on love and a marriage everyday. I had gotten comfortable in my 22 year marriage, I mean I had earned that comfort, right? I had put in the time, done the hard work, raised a few kids, taken care of the house, cooked the meals, I bought the t-shirt. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Love has to be fed and nurtured the same way a small child must be cared for. There is no comfortable that should happen, no matter how long you have been married. I have learned to grab a hold of our love and squeeze as much as I can out of it everyday, I know that it is precious and fragile and that it can be ripped away in an instant. My marriage is important to me and now I try to treat it so.
With all that being said, I am a wife in recovery from her husbands affair. I still have my moments where I want to walk away, be done with this for good. I feel like an alcoholic or something, this is a part of me forever and I will forever be in recovery. I just try to focus on the present, not the past. my husband has made great strides to help me heal and to heal himself, blogs about that to come later!