I know that so many women come to these blogs trying to make sense of the awful things that an affair does to you. I know that like me these women have days when they want to throw in the towel and walk away, and then other days they want to spend the rest of their life with their husband. I know that right now JR and I both are in really good places but that there will be more days ahead that one or both of us want to quit.
We had a wonderful weekend. Saturday started off with JR running to work for a brief period of time, I was still in bed when he got back around 10am. (My schedule is so off right now) He woke me up with kisses as he often does and climbed in bed with me, we made love and spent the next hour or so talking. I love those talks. We had always done that in the past, except during his affair. He pulled away from me intimately during those months, not sexually, just intimately. We tried going back to this after the affair and it was a train wreck every time. It always ended with me sobbing and lashing out and him feeling guilty and upset. He would often tell me that he hated the weekends, hated the “talk” that he knew was coming. We are finally back to a place where it just feels comforting and normal. We enjoy the glow that we both get after we make love and then the chatting and touching that comes after. We love to snuggle and kiss and I can feel the world lift away when I sigh with pure joy in the moment. Wait a minute, did I, yes I did…I just used the words “normal” and “joy” to describe my emotions from this past weekend. 2 years ago I never thought I would be able to use those words to describe my feelings ever again. The rest of the day wasn’t as productive as we had planned, we still had Christmas decorations up outside and the sunroom was piled up with all of the ones I had removed from the other parts of the house, not to mention I still have a tree up in my bedroom. JR ended up watching football and basketball, something he always loved to do but until recently had not allowed him self to really do since the affair. It’s like he has spent 2 years denying himself the things he, and he alone loves doing. He kept asking me if I was bothered that we weren’t getting anything done, and if I was mad at him. I told him no it was fine, enjoy the day, the chores would still be there tomorrow. That night we had dinner and a bonfire with our friends and just enjoyed the evening.
Sunday morning came and JR woke around 8:30am and wanted to get up and cook breakfast, I had other plans, lol. I love the morning hours where we are semi conscious and just wrap ourselves up in each other, he does too. I pull him over to me and say not yet, snuggle with me first, which he does, I love to feel him breathing on the back of my neck, it is one of the most comforting things I know. The next time he looks at the clock it’s 9:30am. He tries to get up again, this time I offer to snuggle him, so we change positions and I snuggle up close, as we drift off again. Finally he wakes at 10:30 and heads up to the kitchen, 30 minutes later he summons me to the table for breakfast.
The rest of the day we jump into chores and get all of the Christmas stuff packed and put away, minus my room which I hope to manage to get done today. My son goes to a basketball camp for a couple of hours and JR cooks us lunch. He watches some football, I rearrange the sunroom. Our daughter gets home and she and I watch a movie while JR and our son play basketball outside. We finish up the day by ordering pizza for dinner. This describes a normal weekend to me, the kind I have always enjoyed.
We end our night by heading to the hot tub, and the talk we had is what I wanted to write about.
Earlier that night I had asked JR to take a test on Love Languages. I had taken it a few days ago and wanted to compare results. I was not surprised by them, I am a Vacillator and he is a Controller. I then had him do the 2nd part of it and he answered first as himself and then 2nd as if he were me. We then sat together and compared the results. We agreed on almost every answer for ourselves and each other. We were not surprised to see that he needs to work on communication and being aware of my emotions, and I need to work on trust issues.
As we talked he acknowledged that he still has much work to do in this marriage. We discussed that we can both see the progress that has been made even when some days it doesn’t feel like it. We discussed how him leaving the home would be a bad idea for both of us. I have never wanted JR to leave, but sometimes felt like it might shock him into reality, get your shit together or lose your family. He had often thought that he needed to be alone to punish himself. He ended up taking a test for depression on the computer one day, most of which applied to him. Then he read that the best thing to do for yourself if you are suffering from depression is to find an advocate that you can trust to talk to and help you. To surround yourself with a positive support group. He instantly knew that person was me. So, thank God he gets it, and no more talk of him leaving ever. He knows the only way through this is together.
We talk about triggers, and how I don’t chose when or where…that they just happen. Blindsiding me as much as him. He admits that in the beginning he would pull away from me during the triggers and make me deal with them on my own. He sees how that just made it harder for me and it would take me longer to get through them. He realizes that I need him to get through them and that he knows they are not my choice. He understands that his actions have traumatized me in a way, and they are part of the healing process.
Then we discussed that he was an ego maniac for most of his life, ok all of it, right up to the affair. I asked him if he worries about returning to those behaviors, he says no because he knows the pain it caused. I told him that I just feel like he is truly beginning to uncover the real reasons of his affair. He spent so much time in denial, then in guilt. He was in a fog for almost 2 years. He was always a huge flirt and enjoyed the attention of women. Now he says it makes him feel dirty. He does not enjoy it, and it shows. He avoids women as much as possible now, and he used to seek that attention out.
Then the conversation turned to our future. I asked him was he confident now that we would survive this. He says that now he is, but up until about a month ago he didn’t think we could make it. He felt that he had done too much damage, that he deserved to be punished. He is now starting to realize that he has been punished. Watching the pain I have gone through has been punishment, watching how our children were affected, how our business has struggled, how his friendships have suffered, all were punishment. I believe what is happening is that he is actually starting to make peace with the past and is learning from it. Then he says, “You know it just takes time. Time really does heal everything, it just depends on what you do in that time. You have to do the things that need to be done, but you can’t rush the time. Time and hard work.”
All this time he has been holding my hand and I am crying, they are tears of relief not sadness. I know he is getting there, slowly but surely. Then I tell him of some of the blogs I read and that so many women talk about how they will never blindly trust again. I tell him how sad that makes me feel, because unlike them I want to blindly trust again, I want to blindly trust him again. I tell him that I want to place my heart in his hands again and know that he will take care of it and not hurt it again. He looks at me and says, “You can do that, you can give me your heart, I will never hurt it again.” I do believe him when he says this, I’m just not ready to take that leap of faith yet, but I know one day I will.
This was one of those talks were you can actually feel the healing taking place. The kind that when it’s done you just feel calm. Now we head off to bed, it’s gotten quite late. I expect JR to be tired, but he’s not. He grabs me and kisses me, he tells me he wants to make love to me. He pays special attention to a certain area, I offer to return the favor, and he stops me saying, “No, tonight is about you, let me take care of you.” The sex is wonderful as it often is. I feel content, another word I thought I would never use to describe my emotions again.
This is healing, this is what it feels like, sounds like, looks like. This is proof that your heart can be shattered and that you can find your way back to existence and happiness.