I had a really long post written on Friday and I closed my computer and then thanks to me not saving the draft and windows update I have lost everything I wrote. Oh well, I wanted to change it anyways. I have been so busy I have just wanted to come home and crash, but I am making what little time I have available to spend with my wife and family. I was lucky enough to go watch a one of the soccer games for each of my kids and I was so happy to see them play. I also got to watch them with my wife so that was good was well.
Now I am not sure where I want to go with this post today so I might ramble. I want to look back at what I wrote as see if I can start framing the “why” of my affair. Now this is only the beginning of “why” as it is complex. I also had our first joint counseling appointment with my wife which went somewhat okay. Let me start there.
Friday afternoon we met with the marriage/sex/infidelity counselor for the first time together. I did not get a lot out of it other than a lot of praise on how well we are doing without professional help. She also mentioned it makes the whole process easier and quicker if the betrayer is sincerely remorseful (which I am) and is open and honest about everything (which I have tried to be). I have tried to give my wife as much information as I possibly can to help her. And I have told her that I will let her know what ever she wants if she just asks. But I can never untell her something once she asks. Right now she does not want a ton of details but if she does then I will provide them. She knows all the generals(times, dates, places…) but not the little details.
I am also trying to be open about myself, well as open as I can seem to be. I try and tell her how I am feeling even if I struggle to make sense of it myself. She is also doing the same thing because that is one thing we both noticed about our relationship. We worry so much about not hurting each other that we cannot express our true feelings. But then we harbor negative feelings toward each other without the other person even knowing there is an issue. So we have tried to be more and more open even if it hurts.
Our therapist asked both of us about our connection level with each other. It was funny because I did not want to answer so I naturally deflected the question. I got the topic so far away from the actual question that we never came back to it. It wasn’t until later that night when we were talking that I realized that I did that. My wife did not even catch on, but she did notice that she did not get a chance to answer the question. This joint therapy will be difficult because I will do this continually. I even pre-warned our therapist that I will do it. But I am really good at moving things where I want them to be. Ughh…
Enough about that. Let me see if I can speculate the beginning of “why…” We did talk about it in therapy and we both took responsibility for our relational issues, but I still take the responsibility for the decision to have an affair. Without simplifying things too much there was just a lack of communication in what we needed from our spouse. I think this went both ways, hers manifested in depression, mine into an affair. We both contributed to the underlying problem, but we each coped in a different way.
Next we placed everything above our relationship and each other. We put everything into work and our kids. I think this was made worse because of the lack of communication. I would spend more and more time working because I did not feel valued by my wife and she would either take more volunteer opportunities with the kids or she would sleep more because I was always working. The more she would sleep or volunteer the more I would work. It was a vicious cycle the after years and years degraded our relationship to roommate status.
I felt like I needed more physical attention and she probably wanted more emotional attention. She probably felt more like a sperm receptacle than a loving partner so why would she want to do that if our emotional connection was gone. I felt like she never wanted any physical attention and when she did she did not enjoy it. Even after all the things I tried and read, I never got that maybe we needed more help than I could come up with, professional help. So we both coped in different ways, neither productive or helpful for our relationship.
We also needed close personal relationships other than each other. While she has one or two, I have none and hers is not geographically close. So we do not have an outlet to vent frustrations and speak to candidly about our relationship. I think this is a big piece because you need someone who is truly a friend. Someone who will listen without judgement. Give you advice but respect you enough to know that it is your decision on whether or not to use the advice. Someone who can read your good days and bad and share with you in both.
Family! While I personally don’t think it is important in my life, other than my kids and wife, I know having the support of her family is necessary. She loves them and wants our kids to have the same connections that she has with her family. She understands my situation about as much as I understand hers, but we both accept it. However, if she did not have the family that she did, I think this problem could have been much worse by either side.
Last we have never developed ourselves as individuals. We got married so young and our relationship is tied so much to who we are that we became “we” not us as individuals. I think this was a major piece for both of us. I cannot tell you who I am. I can’t. I have been asked by both therapists and I don’t really have an answer. And I know my wife has the same feeling. We are a we, which we need to be, but we also need to be individuals with our own thoughts, tastes, interests that may not line up with our spouses.
So that is my thoughts. I am sure there is so much more to it, but I think these things are the underlying issues. Now I am going to figure out why I did not stop myself when I had the chance. I wrote earlier about the first time the OW and I met. Well, I need to figure out why I did not stop after that first time. What made me go back? Why did I not talk myself out of it during the hour drive? Why did I go back after the first time? Or the second? Oh there is still so much more to explore here. I haven’t even explained DDay – 1 or DDay – 2. So much to write in so little time. At least I am starting to figure out what is actual reality and what is fantasy and what is just a plain nightmare because sometimes the fantasy can quickly turn into a nightmare…
You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams