An Affair Makes A Marriage Better…I Think NOT!

I have commented before and written about the fact that I DO NOT in any way believe that an affair can improve a marriage, EVER. Recently though what I have realized is that an affair may have the power to make a person better. I will always know that because so many vows have been broken and every bit of trust has been destroyed that I will never view my marriage as better. Think of it like a car or a boat. The minute they are involved in an accident they will never be as good as they once were. Of course repairs can be made and you could spend the next 20 years driving that vehicle, but it will always have on it somewhere, the evidence that it was once damaged.

Now that I have made myself clear on where I stand on that issue, lol, let’s move on to the person. I realized that JR’s affair has given him the ability to become a better man. This is the first time in his life that he has ever really taken a good hard look at himself. It’s the first time that he is uncomfortable with who he is and has been. He is seeing himself clearly for the first time in his life and he doesn’t like what he sees. He knows the changes he wants and needs to make. The problem has occurred with his guilt. He is so consumed with guilt that he is stuck there. He makes efforts to change and starts feeling good but then backslides into a depression. I wonder if he is scared, I wonder if he thinks he needs to keep the guilt close to him in order to avoid slipping back to the destructive personality traits that he had?

I have seen him be wonderful and caring, the man I always wanted him to be. He no longer flirts with women and it makes him extremely uncomfortable if women flirt with him. He spends more time with me in the kitchen cooking. He will even cook for me now. He takes more time doing things I enjoy. He pays more attention to my needs than he ever has. We have been stressed a little this week and I struggled last night. This morning he woke me with a text that read, Good morning. You have a lunch date with your husband today. He picked me up at noon and we had lunch on the beach. He is noticing more often when I need him to step it up, but he is still holding back too.

I have asked for a trip away with him, a trip that he plans on his own. My birthday trip does not count, as it is a trip we take every year and is already planned. I have told him that I need him to do this for me because the last trip he planned was a trip for him and Nikki. I hate that 2 years later he has still not managed to take me anywhere. It makes me feel like he is clinging to that memory with her and doesn’t want it replaced with one of him and I. I asked him about it and he swears that is not the case at all. He says that he struggles with planning a trip because every time he starts to try and do it he starts thinking about why he is doing it. He is planning a trip with me because I asked him to because he took trips with her. Then he says he just shuts down completely and can’t get any further than that. I don’t understand this struggle, why can’t he just do this one thing and move on? We have always taken weekend trips away, always…just not in the past 2 years. His affair has robbed us of some of the very things that used to bring us closer together. I hate that. What I hate more, is that I have no clue how to move him through this.

I too have wanted to do things for/with JR that I have shyed away from. I think about certain things I would love to do to try and recapture some of the silly romance that we used to share. I thought about building a tent in our room with lights and a big soft blanket and asking him to curl up and read with me in it. I always talk myself out if. What if he thinks it’s ridiculous and corny. I have wanted to put a blow up mattress in the back of his truck and drive on the beach one night to stare at the stars, again I talk myself out of it.

I guess we are both stuck. We over think everything, both of us. Getting off track here…the point I wanted to make is that a man that has cheated and takes the time to completely examine who he is, has a great opportunity to become a better man. There are so many things that JR does that I love about him now, but there are soooo many more things he could do. I have made him lists even. He says he even really wants to do these things. My wish for our future is that he/we will become unstuck and we will learn how to fully enjoy one another in a way that we have not enjoyed in the past. My fear is that he will not be able to move forward and after years of trying to repair all of this, my marriage will end up failing. That would be the worst tragedy of all, because we truly do love one another deeply, but love simply is not enough. I can’t, nor do I want to spend the rest of my life in an unfulfilling marriage, and I don’t want JR to spend the rest of his days beating himself up about the mistakes he made.

It’s an impossible mess that we find ourselves in.

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10 Responses to An Affair Makes A Marriage Better…I Think NOT!

  1. Still Loving Him says:

    I agree It does give the betrayer a chance to be a better person. But if the betrayer is a better person does that not also allow the marriage to be better? It does not take the damage away. I liked the car analogy but let me expand on that view, say your house is damaged by a hurricane, it requires extensive work to repair but what you get is something new added on to the existing structure, something stronger and up to code, something that can resist the winds during the next storm. It’s all about what view you choose.

    I love the idea of the stars at the beach. The night before Hubby asked me to be exclusive we were walking on the beach and saw a shooting star, natural romance! Nothing better!

    Your ideas to introduce romance into your marriage are not silly at all. They demonstrate love and interest in pleasing your mate. Show me a man who does not want to participate in an activity he knows he’ll get lucky at the end of!!! I bet they are few and far between!

    I say go for it! Get your romance on!

    • kayboo24 says:

      Very true about the house thing…like that better than a car. I think I used the car because JR’s therapist used a car once in explaining something. I love that the feedback I get forces me to look at my situation in different ways. I guess the reason I shy away from the romance initiation is because that’s the role I “always” played in our marriage. I don’t want things to just fall back to the way they were…obviously that wasn’t working for us. I want him to take an active role with the romance as well…maybe I just need to take the plunge first and hope that he’ll follow. I did tell him that I want him to plan that trip I keep asking for, I gave him a deadline. I am going to visit my mother for 3 weeks after my birthday and will return on Feb.13. I told him I want an overnight trip that weekend for Valentine’s Day. He agreed and I think it will be a perfect time to plan it since I will be gone for so long…we shall see.

  2. hiddinsight says:

    I hope it’s okay if I comment. I fully respect your thoughts and feelings, and only wish to add my own thoughts, not as a way to change yours at all, but just as a way of opening up to possibility.

    I have not thought of recovering from an affair as though it is a “repair” of a broken marriage. I have looked at it as though it is totally starting over from scratch. Get a new car, so to speak. I like how “Still Loving Him” asked the question: “If the betrayer is a better person, does that not allow the marriage to be better?” I wonder if every marriage is different and no one statement can apply to everybody with 100% accuracy. It seems to deny us the freedom to be unique.

    Having just said that, you two sound like you are making wonderful progress! You have SO much to be proud of, and I am confident that you will inspire other relationships to weather the storms of infidelity. If I can just encourage you to go ahead and be vulnerable with your hubby, I think your progress will take leaps and bounds. Your romantic ideas are truly inspirational. I understand the hesitation, but hope that one day you will have a moment where you can’t resist, and you are just TOTALLY uninhibited to just ask.

    Fear is such a nasty bug. It’s what keeps us stuck. So how do you fight it? You look at it in the face and not let it tell you what’s going to happen. Last time I looked, fear simply doesn’t know the future. You actually have the power over what happens in your future because of your love for each other. Love is the opposite of fear.

    It’s okay to be afraid and “do it anyway.” Isn’t it? I hope for the best unstuck-ness for both of you! Let love provide the safety you need to be vulnerable enough to say and do what you need to in order to thrive.

    P.S. I can book your vacation for you 😉

  3. hiddinsight says:

    And just so you know how much of my heart I threw into those words, I want you to know that I am crying right now. Said a prayer for you two 🙂 Hug.

    • kayboo24 says:

      I welcome all input into my situation. Trust me if I had it all figured out I would never have started blogging. I need help, I’m not afraid to ask. I also greatly appreciate all types of input, which is why I follow so many different bloggers…betrayed spouses (men and women) and betrayers, including the other women. It helps me get a better take on why and how affairs happen. I am a firm believer that really good people can do bad things. My husband is proof of that. Despite his affair he is the best person I know. So bring on the comments!

  4. I like hiddinsight’s take on the issue of “better” and especially the new car analogy. I say you should go for it, do and say the things that you are feeling. What’s the worst thing that can happen? At this point, hasn’t the worst already happened?

  5. Samantha Baker says:

    I’ve been thinking on the marriage analogy a lot lately. I am with the whole new marraige side. Our old marriage? It died. Completely. I don’t WANT that marriage anymore. It’s done, over. We have a new marriage now that can be made into anything we want. Of course there are some major differences. Trust is the biggest. I’ll never blindly trust again.

    But what we are making in this new marriage is so much better than the marriage we used to have.

    I wrote a post the other day about Mr. Baker being fired was the best thing that ever happened to us. It has obvisouly been the most traumatic by far given all the disclosure that came from it. But…it also forced him to face everything. And from that we’ve been able to start over.

    Being vulnerable is hard. Oh so very. But by taking those baby steps every once in awhile…you may just beable to move from that place of being stuck.

    ANd if you want to take a trip, what if, the first time, you plan it? Then he might be able to get that confidence to do it himself after that?

    • kayboo24 says:

      I agree our old marriage died, we are still struggling to define a new one, but we are getting there, slowly. I just miss certain parts of the old marriage, mainly trust. The problem is, I want to blindly trust again…even if it takes me 20 more years to get there. I want the comfort and security that I had built in my 22 year marriage. I believe that JR can earn that kind of trust with me again…if he does the work. There is still a lot of work to be done here…a lot. As long as he continues to show an effort I am here, he will say to me sometimes, “Don’t give up on me.” I’m here for the long haul…I always have been.

  6. GoddessWife says:

    Sounds like both of you are moving forward. I’m sure it’s frustrating to see him not doing many of the other things on your list. I think both of your romantic ideas sound great! Romance isn’t about how expensive the idea is and I’m sure he will love both. I wish my husband was doing the work I see so many others doing. I bet if the two of you keep working like you are your marriage will get better and better. And remember you can’t work through anything for him, but you can be there to help him when he’s ready.

  7. Pingback: I Resent Him | Til Death Us Do Part

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