It’s probably really unhealthy to wallow in what’s gone, but having read a great blog by Emma, a woman who has been both the other woman and been betrayed herself, I set about looking for blogs about affairs.
There are lots and lots and lots of them. Mostly by women who’ve been betrayed spilling out their hurt. Emma’s blog was about the blame the other woman gets and she’s right – even the most articulate beautiful writing is interspersed by the words “that whore” or “slut”.
It’s interesting because in all my wonder about the fact that most men go back to their wives after an affair I had not considered that that means most wives let them back. Most of the blogs I read the hurt was still incredibly raw and you wonder where they will be in 3 or 5 years time. There is glee about how even if you as the other woman got him you would be inheriting a liar who cheats. But that’s what you have taken back.
It’s very clear to me why he behaved as he did and it’s borne out by the blogs I’ve been reading about why men cheat. Sex which had never been good became non existent. Intimacy disappeared as more and more they did their own thing. His career took off and hers did not – she focused entirely on the children. So when a woman comes along who wants to talk to him, validates him at every turn who is so flattered by his attention she will do anything to talk to him…
Yes he was the most handsome man I’ve ever known. Yes he made me laugh all the time. Yes at first he pursued me, but do I think if I had a completely healthy relationship with myself and with men in general that this would have happened? No of course not.
So I understand me and I understand him, but her? Did it take someone else to be interested in her husband for her to become alive to how much she really loved him? It can’t be for the sake of appearances – those are trashed by the fact that her friends and family know he left her for a few months. It can’t be that she needs his help – he’s not that useful! I do know she believes herself to be unattractive, that she would never meet anyone else; I also know she’s the child of bitter divorce herself . But it’s interesting. It took her a while to wake up but once she did she fought me tooth and nail – and she really didn’t need to raise more than her little finger for him to go back.
But she now has someone who I doubt ever needed to lie before but who has become a creature of subterfuge. It is the last few months since he went back to her that if she know about she would find difficult to forgive, and regardless he knows.
I described him in my note to her in which I asked her to forgive him, as a one affair man. He loved that line and said – you know I am don’t you, you know why it happened. Yet I am not so sure now. For the fact is that having asked him to come home and sever all contact with me he could not let our contact go. As weeks became months and he was not allowed back more than a few nights a week, he became slightly disenchanted – all this work and no reward. At that point he gave himself permission to pick things up with me again. All this suggests to me that the lack of self knowledge and preparation to tackle things head on which led him to have an affair in the first place were still there in spades. During those months the subterfuge verged on the sordid. He used an alter ego we both created to tweet me, he called his wife one side of the door when I was the other. He talked to me about their crap sex life – how they were trying but it was no good. The fact is also that this is his second time round. It was a kiss with his now wife which led him to understand that there was a problem in his first marriage – he didn’t pursue it but left her nine months later and got together with his now wife.
My mum came up with another corker. She said if he had been able to look his wife in the eye after the event we both attended in June and say “nothing happened” what a triumph that would have been. That the only way forward for him is to go home with a completely clean conscience every night. Is he capable of this? Or will his ego and weakness overtake him after a few drinks again some time? Perhaps he knows he can’t be trusted so will have to keep himself in a prison of his own making?
What it comes down to I suppose is where in our lives we are able to transform.
Our fundamental nature is always the same. Will I ever become a self disciplined introvert who likes numbers? Not on your nelly. But can I clear the last remaining crap out of my head which put me in a sexless marriage and then in an affair with a married man? Well I hope so. These are what Landmark would call my authenticities. When I look at him I struggle to see what part of his underlying nature would mean if he could clear out all his rubbish – his people pleasing, his selfish ego, his tendency to act without thinking – that he could not be a good husband from hereon in. The signs are good because there are no signs. Not being in communication with me shows he has finally learnt something. But he really has to go to work on himself now. She does too – and focusing on the bitch who is the other woman helps no one. We’ve all cried buckets. Time to learn and move on.