My husband told me over the phone 13 weeks ago in August that he could not continue in our marriage.
We have 2 children and have been together for 21 years.
Fine, I pushed the method of delivery, but I had been embroiled in his behaviour of ‘kicking the can down the road’ since he had told me he needed to move out and ‘figure out’ what he wanted the previous October.
At that time we cohabited for 3 weeks.
I, in my grief, hitting proactive mode and putting a hold on the new home we had developed and were due to move in to, and finding a rental that ticked all of the boxes for the children and I. I was clearly in shock.
He came home one day sobbing, telling me how sorry he was, and despite me articulating my worry that he would do this again, promising that he would not. I now understand his plea of forgiveness.
Long story short, he has been having an affair with my best friend. Someone I met at antenatal 16 years ago, our first born children 4 days apart, sharing family holidays twice a year and all of the important occasions and festivities that exist in between. Someone that my children love and call ‘Aunt’. Someone that I loved.
He has only admitted to continuing this relationship since I used the services of a PI to prove it. That is if you class admittance as “I am having a nice time, and I can do what I want. Great! Good for him! She has denied it too. No surprise there. He has gone to exasperating lengths to hide his infidelity – I’m sure to protect himself, and to protect her. I am certain that this has been going on for years.
They became complacent, continuing their dalliances right under our noses. Turns out our daughter had witnessed this on one of those aforementioned family holidays. Unforgivable. Disgraceful.
Needless to say that our marital relationship began to suffer significantly after her ex moved out of the family home. (He had been having a 10 year affair with someone much younger).
In the midst of the clinical severance, the gaslighting, the need for him to retain control and the absolute lack of accountability, honesty and remorse, I have finally realised that I will never be afforded the grace of the truth. I am heartbroken. I am angry.
Yes, clearly something was broken, and at the time he decided to step out of our marriage, I was obviously blissfully unaware. I have to take responsibility for my role in this. I will have one. What I cannot come to terms with is the fact that it is her. It feels abhorrent.
We are already in the throes of divorcing. Luckily, I had the foresight to ask him to leave the day after he dropped the ‘bomb’. I am under no illusion that this is a done deal, dead in the water so to speak, and I’d also be lying if I hadn’t thought about ‘pulling a Whitney’ (whilst we’re on the subject of water.)
I have just finished reading your book. Alongside psychological therapy, it has been a therapy in itself. Your willingness to be vulnerable and searingly honest in the articulation of your journey is a gift.
What I am struggling with in this moment is forgiveness. I do not know how I extend that to him. Especially to her. Especially if this is what it seems to be and they are committed to continuing their relationship. Why should they reap the reward of a family unit whilst mine has been unfathomably ripped apart. I do not know how to come to terms with the unknown quantity of that, or what our future will look like if that becomes the reality.
I always try to remember that I ‘cannot keep drinking poison and expect the other person to die’. Currently, I am poisoning myself with resentment and grief. I do not want to – but in all honesty, I do not know how to stop. It is exhausting.
I have to trust that, as you say, time is a healer. I know this will be the case, I just wish there was a fast forward button to get me to that place sooner. It is a process. A painful and protracted one. Yet I do take each day in the knowledge that I move closer.
And yes, the subject line of this email actually happened!
Again, Thank you! From the bottom of my heart,