I am not really sure what to write today. I am kind of nervous to say things are going well as that may jinx what we have going for us right now. Plus it is only day 2, but yesterday was better than the day before so we got a gold star.
Now I know that a lot of you that read this post are on the other side of where I am at and I think that is great because your perspective helps me as much as mine may help you. I have noticed that each affair is so different, as well as the response to it. My wife has been, at least on the outside, more forgiving that a lot of you sound. That is not a knock on any of you. I do not think I deserve it yet at this point, but she is willing to give it anyway. So it is more of a kudos to her.
We don’t talk much about the affair anymore so much as our relational issues and how to improve us. This has helped as the OW is not in my head nearly as much any more. In fact she often seems as a distant memory. My wife wants to keep the affair in the past and to stay out of our current life, but she also does not want it to creep back in and that is why we are working on us. For lack of a better term, we are trying to make our marriage “affair proof”. As we talk and I read the comments all of you put on here it has become very apparent to me that I have a lot of growing to do.
One area that I must do better at is I am not as open with her as I should be. I try and hide myself for fear of rejection and pain. This is my problem. It is a trust issue that I have to work on. I know it won’t happen overnight, but I want to work on it. A lot of you say you have no secrets from your partner, but I know I have lots. Most not even associated to the affair or other issues related to her. That isn’t to say that any of them are damaging to us directly, but I now realize they are indirectly. It may seem insignificant to me, but it might not to her. Plus it will help her better understand me.
I also cannot filter my emotions. This will be the hardest part for me and the scariest. I do not like to get angry, yet some of the things will make me angry. I want to cool off and discuss it later, but I know she wants to see that side. She wants to see me upset so that she knows I care. If I always have an unemotional, systematic approach to all our conversations she feels more like a patient than a partner in our marriage. I am not even sure how to do it because I block so many of my emotions as it is. I will have to learn to recognize them and then let them through this fortress I have built around me. Really? How the hell do I do this? I also believe this one item will improve the point before it. I will be more likely to share everything if I show her my emotions.
I also need to be more affectionate in a non-sexual way, more of an endearing way. I used to do this all the time. We took the 5 languages of love quiz as she read the book. I was surprised by her answers as she was surprised by mine. The biggest surprise was that we scored the same. The types of love that we valued the most were identical. This helped us both. It has allowed me to focus on things that she likes and makes her feel loved. I would push acts of service, as did she, yet neither of us found this way of showing love very important. It was last on both our lists but it was the most prevalent type of love in our lives. I am happy that she made me sit down and do it and then we got to talk and compare. I usually think those things are psychological babble but this has really helped me.
For me these are three big areas that I have to change. There are many others but I think these three matter the most, right now at this point in our marriage. So how do I tackle these items. They are all self-awareness issues that I have to deal within myself. It is going to be hard, right now it seems impossible, but as I said earlier I will take it one at a time. I will just try and be a little better tomorrow than I am today. So today, can I either show an emotion that I normally would bury or can I share something that I normally would not share? I will try. Then tomorrow can I do it again, maybe twice? I am just going to have to try and try. When I fail, I know she will be there to help me up and push me, or more likely kick me in the butt and tell me to get back on. I will do the same for her.
Right now we lack passion in our marriage. Even with these two good days the passion is not there. I think that passion is related to emotional vulnerability. The more vulnerable I am the more passionate things will seem because of the risk I will feel I am taking. I want that for us. I want to feel that way again about her. I want to feel like she feels that way about me. I used to look into her eyes and just melt. I have to remove the hurt and sadness I have put there and replace it with the burning fire again.
Boy, do I have a lot of work to do. But without risk there is no real reward.
You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. – Dr. Seuss
Nothing happens over night. We have to fight and work hard-strive in order to achieve. Just keep trudging forward. One item at a time. One day at a time. Gradually things will start building up. You must learn to walk first before you can run.
Your wife has a good outlook. Leave the affair behind, and focus on the marriage and the issues that you both were/are having. Again, communication is a key element. Keep communicating, as hard as it is at times to share you thoughts and feelings.
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You are working through this so well. Rome wasn’t built in a day. I really admire you and especially your wife for putting in this hard work. Show her love. Always. Even when you don’t want to or she acts like she doesn’t want you to. Be loving. You sound like a very strong couple. If you beat this…. You will be able to withstand anything I bet.
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You are on the right track!
The affair is not the source of your marital problems but a symptom of a broken relationship. I’m glad that your day to day focus is becoming getting to the bottom of the real problems.
I agree that with great passion comes great vulnerability. I think you guys are moving in the right direction!
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This comment has stuck with me since yesterday. I know that we come from different sides of this experience, but the affair is not a sympton of a broken relationship. An affair is not the fault of the betrayed spouse. The affair comes from something broken in the cheater. The cheater owns that by themselves, and they must find out how to fix themselves, so they never decide to escape in that way again. If the couple wants to reconcile, then of course, they must work toward repairing their relationship together, both finding how they have failed each other. I know it seems a small distinction, but it actually is a really big distinction. I hope that this doesn’t come across as an attack, because it isn’t meant that way.
However, I couldn’t agree more with the second part of your comment: with great passion comes great vulnerability…
I don’t see it as an attack. We all look at a situation from our own lenses of experiences in life.
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I do think there is a distinction between the affair and the marital problems. I own the affair because it was solely my decision. Unfortunately it affects both of us, but the healing has to be a lot individual and then a lot of effort on my part to heal the wounds I have caused. The marital issues we both own and need to work on together and while they may have contributed to my unhappiness which led to the affair, they by no means caused it. I made the decision individually, our marital problems are as a couple.
I hope this makes sense.
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I admire your bravery in sharing what you did and how you’re trying to make things right. It’s refreshing to see how open a person can be in admitting their faults and how they’re trying to fix it….I enjoyed reading your blog and wish you all the best in your marriage.
Thank you. Hopefully it continues to keep getting better.
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This might be wordy so sorry ahead of time. You say your marriage lacks passion. Every relationship eventually lacks passion. Human beings are not designed to live on the edge all the time. Mundane things like getting to work on time, visiting grandma, mowing the lawn eventually intrude into the romance of it all. I do not know if you read about the two base jumpers who died just a few days ago. (Those are the people who jumped off the side of mountains and spread out their arms and the material looks like bat wings.) Neither man’s parachute opened. We will never know if they were both faulty or both committed suicide. If either was married I am willing to wager that neither was committed to the marriage. They were probably planning the next job or reminiscing about the last one. You have to make decisions as an adult. You can either live in the now with your family or you can give yourself over too dangerous things such as bungee jumping or infidelity. Both are going to damage someone at some point. Your affair, and the fact that you still think about her, shows that for a time you were thrilled to be living moment to moment. You must know that is not real life. If you and your affair partner had married the passion would have subsided. It is not sustainable. Think about this. The first time she rolls over in her sleep and breathe her garlicky breath on you, the time she has diarrhea and doesn’t make it to the toilet, the time she forgets over and over to do an errand you have ask her to do happen. Perhaps we have put ourselves in such little boxes that we yearn for some sort of excitement and the way we usually find it is at work, or at the gym, or some other place and all of a sudden there is someone fascinating who is not in our box with us. What you and your wife need to do is find a hobby or an outlet that both of you enjoy that will give you some of the same passion you felt with your affair partner. My husband has had a pretty serious illness and without me there I do not think he would have had the same quality medicine that he has had. That is what marriage is. It is sexual, it is still emotional, but it is also practical. You need someone who is 100% on your side regardless of whether you are sometimes I jackass.