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