I was just commenting on a post from Still Loving Him(Broken Heart Recovery). She finds her self in a situation that most betrayed spouses find themselves in at some point. She is having trouble sorting through her emotions about her husband risking her health during his affair. Below is the comment that I left for her and it got me thinking about true love and infidelity.
“So, now I’m thinking that gastrointestinal issues,bacterial vaginosis,yeast infections, and UTI’s should all be listed as symptoms to your husband cheating! I too have lived on prilosec, had my gallbladder removed, yeast infections…etc. I remember one time sitting on the toilet, JR was in the shower which was directly in front of me, I knew that something was going on with me…down there. I didn’t know if it was a yeast infection coming on or a bacterial infection, I just knew something was wrong. I looked at him and said, “Something is going on with me down there…are you fucking that girl?” I just blurted it out. He of course denied it. I had only had an issue with this one other time in my life, I remember the doctor telling me I had a bacterial infection. I asked how did I get it. He acted like it was no big deal, and said it wasn’t that uncommon. Bullshit, I don’t know if he was trying to save my husband’s ass or what because he never told me that it could come from having multiple sex partners, later I realized that this was during the time of JR’s first affair. Needless to say I found a new doctor.
I know how difficult it can be to make peace with how reckless our husbands were with our health, the hard truth is that they didn’t think about us or our health at all. The thing that helps me through this is realizing that JR also didn’t care about his own health. That wasn’t normal behavior for him. JR is a pretty health conscious person. He got yearly physicals, takes vitamins, stays very active…etc. He also has only one kidney and has a condition with his liver that causes his bilirubin to be higher than normal. These are all conditions that could be aggravated by a STD. If his kidney ever got damaged or diseased he could literally die. He knew all of this during his affair and chose to have unprotected sex with someone he knew was an ex-drug addict. Their behavior truly is reckless. They don’t have the ability to see things for how they truly are. If they can’t even rationalize that what they are doing could cause them to lose the person they love most in the world, that it could ruin so many people’s lives, including their own, how can we expect them to think of our health during an affair. I have come to terms with this part of the affair, it wasn’t easy. The one thing that helps is knowing that I didn’t contract anything that was incurable. I will learn to listen to my body more in the future however. Knowing that it is not normal for me to have any of those issues will certainly tip me off if they start occurring again out of nowhere.
I also want to let you know that it does get easier. I feel like I can testify to this because it has been 27 months since my DDay. I can remember being at the 18 month mark and I had so many of the same emotions that you did. I was still not fully committed to remaining in my marriage, my heart wasn’t fully committed. I didn’t know if I could make it, I didn’t even know if I really wanted to. The thing is that with the passing time I am more and more certain that my place is with JR. I can look back now and see the changes in both of us. We have both grown as a result of this. We do seem to love deeper than we did before, we are more aware of that love. We are more conscious of it, when we feel our selves drifting we are very quick to correct that or make time for us to reconnect. In the past the drifting just went unnoticed. As you know I am not one of those people who will ever say that an affair made my marriage better, but what it did do was make me open my eyes, it made me look at myself with a more keen eye. I see the faults that I had in my marriage, I was not perfect. Neither of us were. We are human, we make mistakes, and we forgive.
I read your husband’s post and he seems to be extremely sincere. You seem to share a very deep love for one another.”
One of the things that I struggled with the most about JR’s affair was if he really truly loved me. I mean how could he, right? Thing is he did. He really truly did and I know it in my heart.
I look around at all of the couples that we know and I am quietly analyzing their marriages, at least the parts that I get to see. I have yet to find a couple that seems to be in love the way that JR and I are. We can’t go more than a few hours without speaking to each other. We are always touching and kissing. We hug all the time. We both would rather do things together than apart. In fact we have to encourage each other to do things with other people. We just enjoy each others company. This has always been true, these aren’t things that have happened since the affair. So, how did an affair happen? There are many reasons, which is why JR struggles to give me an exact answer. For so long I have felt that if he didn’t look at me and say A, B, C, is exactly why I had this affair then we would be helpless to ensure that it didn’t happen again. What I now know is that there isn’t a direct answer to why he cheated. It was such a combination of things that just all lined up at the right time to make him vulnerable.
1.I reentered the work force with both feet. I hit the ground running.
2. He was turning 40 and this caused him to evaluate his life (not in a good way).
3. Our two older children were both doing very well and needed less of their Dad.
4. I had lost an extreme amount of weight and was very self centered at the time.
5. I began hanging out with friends and doing less with my husband.
6. I was staying up very late and ignoring JR.
7. JR became very depressed and I didn’t pick up on it.
8. Jr started telling me about this young girl who was so into him..etc. He was seeking attention from me and I ignored it.
9. We stopped talking to each other about our hopes and dreams, we pretty much stopped talking unless it was about the business or the kids.
These are just a few of the things that I know led my husband away from me. It is unfortunate that he didn’t simply come to me and tell me how he was feeling, but if I’m honest with myself…he did. He told me that he felt lost, he didn’t want to be a father, or a husband, he didn’t want to be anything. He told me all of this before he cheated…before he crossed a line that he couldn’t come back from, and I did nothing but get angry. That was his cry for help and I didn’t see it.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is that the faults that we have had absolutely nothing to do with how deeply we love one another. My love for him didn’t help me recognize that my husband was in deep, deep turmoil and needed my help, and his love for me didn’t stop him from having an affair to meet his own needs. If you would have asked me how my marriage was just prior to JR’s affair I would have told you it was great…rock solid. Looking back at it now I can see all of the problems that existed. I guess in a way I was in my own fog.
Today we are in a good place, a normal place. I am better, he is better. We still have road bumps here and there but we get through them much easier than we used to. We are both acutely aware of how we are feeling and how that relates to one another. We make time for each other. We do not take one another for granted. We love, we truly and deeply love.
I decided at the beginning of March to give myself a 30 day challenge. I want to see if I can get myself to the end of this recovery process. I know that I am close to being done with the bad stuff. I recently felt a shift in my emotions, I can’t explain it. I just know that something is different. I think of Nikki and the affair less and less. I have days where I don’t think of it at all really. I find the need to read these blogs and write them less than I did before. I feel more energized and I want to pick up things that I had put down for so long. I want to think about the future. I want to see how much I can move forward in the next 30 days if I force myself to think positively. I refuse to dwell on the bad stuff any longer. It’s had enough of my attention. I am going to be spending less time here on WordPress and more time doing the things that I love. Positive Actions = Positive Mind.
Sometimes we just have to learn to accept what has happened to us and learn from it. I believe God has a plan for my life. I trust in that, I believe in it. Some very good things are developing for JR and I right now, things for our future, things I can’t share just yet, but we have our fingers crossed. Last night as we were in the hot tub talking about it, I looked up into his eyes and said, ” You know I believe that everything happens for a reason. Everything that has happened in our life has brought us to this exact moment. If you changed any one thing, we may not be where we are, and knowing that I guess I wouldn’t change anything.”