So after all of the posts about the past, I have decided to write one about the present. Monday will be 2 years from Dday and I have been revisiting the affair and the past 2 years more than I care to admit. Even as early as 1 and ½ months ago I had thought it may be best for JR and I to separate. JR has struggled for these past 2 years to forgive himself for the affair. This has caused us to be in a cycle of 3 steps forward and 10 steps back. I have spent the last year or so feeling like I was ready to move forward, leave the past behind and JR would seem to be on board, then a few weeks we would be great and then I would start to notice him staring off into outer space. He would just get this blah about him. This has been ongoing since day 1. I am worn out and just want peace from everything, peace that lasts longer than a few weeks. So the time has come and I have decided that maybe we cant heal from this together, maybe we really do need time apart. I tell JR he needs to move out and he agrees. He asks a realtor he knows about finding him a place and he says that some rentals will be available on Dec. 1st. It’s so strange because we aren’t fighting, we don’t really do that anymore at this point. I guess we got all of the major fights out of the way the first 6 months or so. Many times over these past 2 years we have struggled and I have said over and over that I have forgiven JR for his affair, and over and over he has said how sorry he was. The thing I didn’t understand until fairly recently is that it is even more important for him to forgive himself in order for us to repair this marriage, something he has struggled with.
Now I will admit that I am a woman scorned, and I am human. That being said I have fallen into the trap of punishing my husband over and over for what he did to me. It has never been intentional, it just happens. We were laying in bed one morning having just made love and I noticed JR slipping away again. This sent me into a panic, no, not again…he is heading back into his hole again. Sex had become very strained, something that we had never struggled with in the past. I would often think about the two of them during our sexual encounters, JR could always tell when this happened to me, then he would have trouble with a certain part of his anatomy. I would misread that as “you don’t want to be here doing this with me”, I would fall apart, he would fall apart, sex had become awful. This then started a chain reaction of us struggling almost every time we tried to have sex, we both wanted to be with each other very badly and both loved having sex, but our minds were getting caught up in the bullshit and it was messing up everything. Now we were in a period where we would go 10 days without sex and the tension was awful whenever we attempted it. So on this particular morning things had actually gone well and I didn’t understand why he was sinking. We started talking and he said that I was always punishing him, at first I was a little angry and then I realized that what he was saying was true. I did throw the affair in his face a lot, almost every time I was hurting. Not in the constructive, non accusatory way that could be helpful but in the mean hurtful way that only caused him to stay in his hole. I remember being upset one night, I had drank a lot of wine and I was struggling. I was on our porch and when he came out to check on me a lashed out at him, “your children will never forget what you have done to their mother”, that type of thing. Not good, not good at all. That morning I vowed to do my best to stop punishing him and then hopefully he could stop punishing himself too.
So I had done my part with the punishment, but JR was still struggling to do his which is what led me to say that I felt like we needed to separate. The Saturday before Thanksgiving JR comes home from an early practice and I am still in bed, he comes over and asks can he talk to me. We haven’t been arguing, we have just put a little distance between us. I say of course we can talk, he tells me he is struggling and to please give him a chance to get this under control. He doesn’t want to leave the home or be away from me. He again asks me for my help and of course I say I will, then something happened that we had needed for so long, when we least expected it. We made love in a way that we hadn’t in over 2 years. It was the closest I had felt to him in years. We stayed in that bed for hours that morning, we talked, we laughed, we cried. When we finally got up that afternoon I had a renewed sense of hope. This came just in time for us to face some of the worst days of the year for me.
I have noticed a difference in JR these past few weeks, even yesterday when I had a mini melt down he handled it much better than he would have in the past. This enabled me to move through it quickly and without any long term damage. Today I asked him what is different now, he said he is learning to forgive himself finally. That he doesn’t feel like he needs to keep punishing himself for something that a “different” version of him did. That was not the real man that he is. We have had many discussions about this in the past. I have always known that his forgiveness of himself was vital to our happiness and recovery. I think that now he is finally beginning to understand this. He had always struggled when he started to feel good about anything, quickly jumping back to his self loathing and telling himself that he didn’t deserve to be happy. Today he feels different, he knows he deserves happiness, he feels that he has been punished enough, he says that we all have. He is right. His therapist said to him in one of his sessions that he didn’t kill anyone, that even murderers are sometimes set free. They pay their debt to society and then are set free. He had to learn to forgive himself. I never dreamed in the beginning of this that it would be harder for my husband to forgive himself than it would be for me to forgive him, but it has been. Finally we are getting there, he is getting there.