It’s never the same again after an affair.
Before the comments of “just leave him, he will cheat again, you are spineless” comes in, allow me to share my story. Such answers are very one dimensional and mostly shows how that person’s experience had shaped them to view infidelity as a whole.
My husband cheated on me and I stayed. We were at our lowest point at that time. I was depressed. I was going through the day routine but I’m a zombie. I cannot see him. We were like 2 strangers doing our jobs and responsibilities. He was depressed but did not let me know. He did tell me he was lonely but I couldn’t function and ignored him. When I needed him the most, he fled. Not only he fled, he got into a messy situation with another woman. The woman was soothing his ego and flirting with him for months. Playing with him. I realised you don’t need to be physically attracted to someone to cheat. He was emotionally starving and that was enough to attract him to her. She made him feel good about himself. Their private conversations was extremely inappropriate. And he was obsessed in texting her day and night to the point that I felt something was amiss.
He tried to convince me that it’s a friendship. More like he was trying to convince himself. But the other woman’s reaction made him realise it was not platonic to her. So he ended it and went for counselling with me. We took a while to start the healing process as the woman didn’t give up and tried to contact him for a few more months. All the more it affirmed to us and him that it was an emotional affair. I realise many men and some women do not recognize emotional infidelity. It was also a new term to me. Only when you experience it, then you will understand even when there is no touching or body organs involved, you can still cheat on your spouse.
We put in effort to work with the counsellor. He did 110% of the work. I also allowed myself to go through the process of healing together with him. It’s been 8 years. I believe he is not cheating again. I do believe he is careful with women from then on. I believe he will not do it again. But it’s not the same since. Whatever endearing words he texted to her, I never use the same words that they exchanged again. The words felt cheap to me since. I am more at peace with myself now as I know exactly what to do if he were to betray me again. A part of me also have little faith in him not to stray if I were to be disabled or seriously ill. He couldn’t handle my depression so I wonder if he can handle medically worse situations in the future.
I don’t have outbursts or triggers anymore. But some days I am reminded of what happened. I used to be slightly annoyed when he doesn’t communicate his thought properly. Remembering the amount of miscommunication and misunderstandings that he had with that woman, causing her to think that he is falling for her, would cause me to be triggered internally when he miscommunicate with me. I try to work through it myself as we have been through this so often and I also don’t want to ruin both our moods. Other than asking more questions to clarify and telling him I need more info to understand what he is saying, I have to accept this is him.
I am more highly educated than him and I earn more than him. He is not a MCP so this was not never an issue between us. 20 years of knowing him, he had been almost perfect. This affair made me realise even the best can fail. Because he’s human. I have my faults too. Do I fault him and throw him to the dogs because of this affair? No. Even though he did wrong, I am also responsible for the breakdown of this marriage. I did not tell him I needed help earlier and I allowed him to ignore me until I reached my breaking point. I came from a divorced, violent, emotionally absent family so I do not have a clear understanding of what a healthy marriage should be like until it’s too late.
I do not take ownership for his infidelity, let me be clear.
The affair was a wake up call that I need to work on my marriage. I won’t die if I don’t have him as I’m financially independent. In an ironic way, our marriage did improve after the affair. We start to spend more quality time together. We start to date again. He even buys me flowers. He would purposely make time for me even when he’s tired. Whenever he makes a choice to make me feel loved or choose me over himself, I feel loved and cherished.
If this scar is necessary to make me experience the full spectrum of what a marriage can be so I can be a better spouse, I guess this is fated. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. As it changes your view of everything in life.
My marriage is not perfect, if I could turn back the time, I would still choose to marry him. He’s not perfect but I always feel he is perfect for me. I’ve long decided he will be my forever person in this lifetime. I don’t wish or hope or worry anymore. I am at peace.
Read on website: