Regret & Remorse
For those of you who have read all my posts then not much of this will surprise you. Some of you who have joined in in the middle may have missed a few things that may help you understand me.
Brief recap – Just a little less than a year ago I began an affair with someone. My wife and I had been on rocky shores for quite some time and while I do not blame this for my affair it was still a poor relationship. The two of us were not happy. Both of us had fallen out of love, but that is a shitty term, although I did not know it then we really just lost our passion and priority for each other. I know she had been suffering from depression for years and years. Did I understand how much depression can affect someone? Not really or maybe my approaches to save our marriage would have been different. Was I depressed? I don’t know. I was lonely and dying for attention, which is what led me to look for it else where. I did not do this looking for an affair, but just some attention that validated that I was worth something. Then I met the OW, one thing led to another (if you want details read the beginning posts) until I was in a full blown affair. It was just as someone on here described it, euphoria when were together and agony when we were apart. This is what fed the illusion that it was such a great “relationship”. The reality was, that it was just fantasy land and as I began to see her with everyday problems like us, the less and less I wanted to be with her.
I think that sums up things pretty well. So now here is what this post is really about. Regret and Remorse. I think I have mentioned it before, maybe not, but there are things I regret and some that I don’t about what has transpired. There is so much more to what I am writing here but after a number of comments of people thinking I am just looking for pity or validation that I might be somewhat justified in what I did. I am not looking for either of those two things, but comments like those (which I do like by the way because they make me think and dig more into my relationship) sometimes deserve their own posts as a response. I truly love my wife. That has never been the case for me. Mine was the thought that she no longer loved or desired me. Feel free to read earlier posts if you want more information on that topic. Well here goes:
This is hard because with regret you have to decide that what you did was wrong and your fault. Was the affair my fault? Yes, 100% and I have never said otherwise. So do I regret the affair. Yes, I do. Now here is the tricky part, do I regret the relationship I had with the OW. No, I do not completely regret having that relationship. I do regret how that relationship came about, how I handled it, lied to keep it going, and became things I despised in other people. My relationship opened my eyes to a few things and also has made me stronger in some areas. I wish that I could have learned those lessons a different way, but I didn’t. The part I regret is not ending my current relationship before starting a new one. It was cowardly not to. However, in my delusional mind I really thought I was just satisfying a need that would keep me happy in my marriage and relieve the stress between us. It wasn’t until you are in it that you figure out that it doesn’t work that way.
I regret hurting my wife and family. They did not deserve what I have done to them and I regret draggin them through this journey. They did not choose to go down this path but I drug them down it anyways.
I regret hurting the OW. I really do, although the farther and farther away I get from the affair the less and less I think she was as invested as I thought she was. But if I hurt her it was because of my lies and I do regret keeping the full truth from her as well.
I regret ever marrying my wife and putting her through the shit storm she went through with my family. She also did not ask for that but got it anyways. I love her to death, but I have caused her so much pain and suffering just by being around me that I sometimes feel she would have been better off never to have met me.
I regret not being smarter in the right areas. I am very intelligent and therefore I feel very stupid that I never could figure out how to help my wife as she went through her depression for years and years. I tried so many things but none of them were the right ones. I missed looking at it from the appropriate perspective which made my approaches at helping her, not very helpful. I can only imagine where we could be now if I had figured it out.
My last regret, I regret still being here. I really don’t know that my actual existence is worth the amount of hurt I have caused people. My main reasoning that I am still here is: 1. I think my family would believe they won, 2. It would take all my pain, problems, and issues and dump them on someone else (wife, kids) which is not fair to them. They deserve to be happy and not worry about everything else. So I will be here until the end but it will not be from my hand.
This is a little different than regret as some of this may not be a conscious decision but you will be remorseful for it one way or another. I have billions of these but I will try and keep it more relevant to my blog.
I am extremely remorseful for the bond I have destroyed between my wife and myself. It can never be reestablished. While we may build a new bond the original one that we have had for 22 years I destroyed. Every time I see a certain look in her eye or a question that she asks me it will remind me of the bond that I broke, the trust that was lost, and the hurt that she is reliving.
With the last one, I am extremely remorseful for what I have done to my wife in this process. I have destroyed everything that she thought she had and the future she thought she was going to get. Everyday she is a little down, I am reminded of this and I am extremely sorry for what I am putting her through.
I am remorseful for the tension I have made my kids feel throughout this process. They do not know anything other than we are having a few issues and are working towards them, but even them knowing that is so difficult for them. I have taken small parts of their happiness from them whether they know it or not.
I am remorseful that I drug the OW on as I did. I misled her in some instances when I know I should not have. Did she know I was married before we got involved, yes, but I have never given her the full truth and she might not have been so willing of a partner if I had been. I doubt it, but I will never know because I never gave her the opportunity.
I am remorseful that I led my wife through counseling while continuing the affair. This gave her a false hope even though I told both her and the counselors that I was 95% done with the marriage. She clung to that 5% thinking that things were not as bad as they really were. I did not lie in the sessions but I also was not forthcoming on a lot of topics.
I am regretful and remorseful for the first time she confronted me on having the affair because I lied my way through it. I justified it as me not wanting to hurt her any more, when in reality I was guilty and ashamed of what I had done and it was a selfish move on my part. Had I come clean right then I think we would be in a different place right now.
I am remorseful for having to go through the rest of my life never knowing if what we could have had would have been better. I may have sacrificed her “happily ever after” for my “happily right now”.
I am remorseful that no matter how hard I try I cannot just tell her how I feel all the time. She needs that, wants that, expects that, and for some reason I cannot do it. I freeze like a deer in headlights. I want to, I really do but nothing will come out when I try. So I am so sorry that I cannot live up to the simplest expectation she has of me.
I am remorseful that she believes she is stuck with me. That while she chose me and has continued to choose me throughout all of this, I feel like she doesn’t feel like it is an actual choice. She constantly tell me that she is choosing me, but I feel sorry that I put her in a position that she has to reassure me.
I am remorseful that I could not be happy with myself enough to be strong enough to be the man my wife wanted and deserved. I am not like her father, who she idolizes, not her brothers, who she thinks are great people. I am who I am which is very different from them. I know she wanted a 9 to 5 husband and the suburban life, but that is not what we have and I feel that is part of her unhappiness.
I am remorseful that someday’s am not 100% happy and joyful for her. That she sees a broken man that she never saw in 22 years. This last year she has seen someone who is not her husband and every time she looks at me, I feel that she is reminded of that fact. Every time I do something that I used to in a happy go lucky kind of way, it is just a reminder to her of what she lost.
I am remorseful that not only am I not the person I have been for the last 22 years, but I have also killed that young farm girl that I married right out of high school. I ripped all innocence she had right out of her and it will never be back. Her eyes have been open to the world and the scariness of this place.
I could keep going and going but what is the point. Am I remorseful and regretful for what I have done. Do I remind everyone in my posts that I am? Nope, because that is part of the healing process I am not ready to tackle yet. But that does not me I am not sorry for the things I have done. It does not mean that there isn’t a day or minute that goes by that I don’t wish I could take all the hurt I have caused and make it vanish. Does she know I am remorseful? I believe so. Every night as we are going to sleep I always tell her that I love her and that I am truly sorry for all that I have done.
Now this is all affair related. There are a host of relationship issues that are mixed within all of this. Issues that were there long before I began the affair or even did anything other than for my wife. Lately these are some of the things I have been posting about. These are things that have to be handled differently but if they are not dealt with then we are no better off than where we were before the affair. In fact we would just be worse off.
So now what? I don’t know. I am having a shitty day if you cannot tell. My last day is on Sunday and I am saying good bye to a lot of people that I will miss. They are planning a party and a gift and I do not want either, but this is for them so I will go. This is for them to get some closure to know that they knew I knew that they cared and appreciated all I did for them. After all that, who knows…
Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite. Or waiting around for Friday night or waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil or a better break or a string of pearls or a pair of pants or a wig with curls or another chance. Everyone is just waiting. – Dr. Suess