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.