I don’t know why this has taken me so long to put this here…..
It’s been a very long time since I have written about myself and our story. So long that there are only a small handful of members here that may even remember our story and our struggles. There are so many here that only know me as a moderator, but when I joined here I couldn’t imagine the position that I’m in now because I was such a pathetic mess.
DDay was 12 years ago today. It happened very publicly at a high school reunion and I am embarrassed and horrified by my actions during that time of my life.
I am lucky to be here today. I am lucky that through all of my husband’s pain, anger, shame, and sadness that he was still able to see something good in me and make the effort to fight for us. He is one of the best, nope the best man I have ever known. He puts his heart into everything he does and sees things through. He gives 100% in every aspect of his life and our marriage and reconciliation have not been an exception to that.
It’s funny (strange not haha) that waywards create a self fulfilling prophecy. We have a lack of self respect, don’t feel deserving of love, poor self awareness, lack of empathy, humility, vulnerability, and remorse. Yet here we are, needing to learn every bit of each and more to heal and to reconcile not just with our partner, but ourselves. I found the process of reconciliation to be a battle with all of those things.
I think the hardest part is getting started and figuring out a direction to take. I was fortunate that my husband had the wherewithal to to a search online. I had ordered a book but had no idea that something like this even existed at that time. I am also fortunate that he shared it with me as a resource. I began to read and read and finally gained the courage to post.
I spent a lot of my life being able to say and show what I always thought people wanted to hear or see in me. Reconciliation seemed no different at first. I desperately wanted that "A+" in R. Both my husband and the good people of this community were able to see through that and help me dive deeper.
I had no idea what it meant to peel back the layers or what I would find. I also had no idea how difficult of a task that actually was. I would hear people say dig deeper, be vulnerable, keep going, but I couldn’t grasp that initially. It took a good portion of two years before things began to click. Two years to develop the empathy I think every BS hopes for. It didn’t come all at once, but in small bits along the way. Each fight, each conversation building on the last until finally it grew into something more tangible. I have no idea how many hours we have spent talking about my affair. Much too many to count. Each hour, each minute has somehow brought us to this place we are today.
We had a lot of support from different places. SI, of course, which I credit most of our success to. Also, an amazing MC. When we had our last session with him, he divulged that he thought we were not going to make it when we first arrived. I was happy that we could change his mind. We also had support from AA and Al-Anon in addition to our IC sessions. Recovering from my affair had become a full time job.
We both wanted to be on the fast track of healing but that was not in the cards. There was so much to sort through. We (he) refused to sweep this under the rug. We were going to examine each piece, each hurt. We were going to look at our dynamic and work through those unhealthy behaviors (him wanting to be a KISA and me breaking down into tears to avoid conflict). We had decided that if in the end we were no longer compatible, we had done all we could and this is what I think of when we say you need to be willing to risk the M in order to save it.
I know our method isn’t cut out for everyone, but taking the deepest dive into who we were and are and our M is what has made our reconciliation a successful one. We took our time with it and revisited what needed to be. I have never tried to forget or erase what I have done. It is part of who I am and part of my marital history. I like the people we are today. We listen to each other, we prop each other up when needed and call each other out, as well. We are trying to figure out a way to semi retire and travel and just lives our best lives together.
I have also worked pretty damn hard for it.