Greetings members of the club no one wants to join. Today, it is CHOICE DAY for me aka the anniversary of DDay, the day I regained the information necessary for me to have full autonomy again. I used to call it "Freedom Day" but it isn’t really about freedom (though I was set free from unknowingly living a lie that day), for me the ability to have informed consent about the bodily risks I am taking on is the most crucial thing.
As always this is a day of reflection and in keeping with my own self appointed tradition, I come back to this little corner of the internet to provide a retrospective of my year.
It has been six years today since the affair came to light. In the past year a lot has happened:
My kids lost their first grandparent and my spouse lost his father. It was at the very beginning of the year and very hard.
Our house has been hit by not one but two layoffs (blessedly they were several months apart so not the crisis it may have been)
We all got covid (first timers!) and it sucked. The only person who was not hit hard with it was our youngest who clearly has the immune system of an ox.
The above shot down our planned family vacation for the year.
The good stuff:
I landed a new job that is a much better fit than the company I was laid off from. I am learning a ton and doing work I really believe in! It’s fun and challenging and it feels like leveling up.
We celebrated our 20th anniversary in style by having a weekend away in a town neither of us have stayed in before and it was a blast. We had truly the best time together.
No triggers have come my way in a very long while. The closest I got was a dear friend sharing that she had been recently cheated on and our stories are VERY similar in creepy ways. And even then it was a very mild dull ache - like an empathy pain. No tears, no intrusive thoughts, just a small oof. When recounting certain parts of my tale.
The important bit - the bit that I think is the most crucial to healing from this particular flavor of trauma is this: you can’t make anyone do something they are unwilling to do - good or bad. You can (and should) have expectations/requirements and boundaries but it is up to you to deal with what happens if your partner falls short.
The best thing I did for both of us in the beginning was to let my husband know that I could not and would not live in unending limbo but I was willing to give him a chance to win me back. So at first I gave him six months to get on the right path or fuck off. I didn’t give him a book list or check his homework. I just watched and waited. Our first few years were basically "Goodnight, Westley. Good work today, I’ll most likely kill you in the morning."
Thankfully, I haven’t had to pull that trigger. My life is better with him than without him in it. He makes me laugh and smile every single day. From the outside no one would suspect that the house had been torched to ashes based on what we have rebuilt on the site.
Healing and growing is an ongoing process and one that may never be complete. But I can say that today I am happily married I love him and I believe that he loves me as evidenced by his consistent actions these past 6 years.
Wishing you all strength and fortitude as you walk this path. No matter which direction you go, it’s a hard road to healing.
My past updates if you are in for a read :)
1st antiversary update: https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=612040
2nd antiversary update:https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=628644
3rd antiversary update: https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=641187&HL=55656
4th antiversary: https://survivinginfidelity.com/forums/?tid=648864&HL=55656
5th antiversary: https://survivinginfidelity.com/topics/654776/5-years-/