The Awakening

…two days later he returned.  Over the course of the next week, I would learn that he had an affair.  I was heart-broken.  He said I didn’t love him any more…that I didn’t even like him.  This wasn’t true, but when he asked me why I loved him, I couldn’t conjure up an answer other than, “because…you’re my best friend”.  I didn’t believe him that he truly thought I didn’t love him.  It was just a convenient excuse to legitimize his affair.  I never imagined what he would force me to come to grips with over the next few weeks.  I was cruel to him.  I yelled at him.  I went into fits of rage.    I didn’t meet his needs.  I was selfish.  I was a liar.  I was a hypocrite. I was mentally ill.

He was lonely…so lonely.  He had an affair because someone was nice to him. Imagine that.  I, his wife, was such a bitch that I lost my husband because I couldn’t even be nice to him.  What a piece of shit I was. I was such a piece of shit, that at first I didn’t even get mad at him.  I felt bad..I felt horrible.  I had pushed away the man I loved…because I wasn’t nice to him.  He asked me if I wanted to hit him.  No, I didn’t.  I told him if I ever got angry again,I would walk and walk until the anger turned to sadness so I would never push him away again. Sadness was o.k Anger was not.  Eternal sadness could destroy me but anger would destroy us.

My husband is the most even-mannered, tolerant man I know.  I took advantage of that. I treated him like shit and neglected his needs because I could.  He would always put up with it.  He would never leave.  And he would take care of me and the children.  We’d trudge on and someday, when the children were grown, we’d relax and retire and live happily ever after.  Someday.  Someday.  In the meantime, ignore that voice in your head that says something isn’t right.  you’re not right. this family is fucked up..and you are to blame. Admitting that would be too hard to bear.  It would force me to acknowledge that I had become a wretch…a cold-hearted wretch of a woman who had killed the kind, warm, compassionate, funny person that once lived inside me.  I had killed her. And  had broken the spirit in my children.  I criticized and chastised.  I didn’t laugh or sing or play.  I dwelled and ruminated and stewed.

It took realizing that my husband wasnt exaggerating or lying when he said he thought I didn’t like him.  Wow.  It didn’t matter that I did.  If I showed the opposite, then that was reality. My children must think I don’t love them either.  They would leave me for another mother if they could.  They didn’t know I was ill…that I wasn’t a normal mom…that it shouldn’t be like this.  I took my children for granted.

It took my husband having an affair to force me to look at who I had become…and I hated who I had become.  I had seen the signs for a long time but I just couldn’t understand how and why I had been spiraling so quickly and consistently for the last 6 years.  I had been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and OCD for years, but something changed 6 years ago.  It wasn’t just sadness and angst.  It was unfathomable irritability and rage.  It was anger and resentment.  It was disgust and disengagement.  There was nothing that brought me happiness…and I knew I should be happy…that is the worst part.  Knowing that you are sick.  It would have been a relief to be oblivious to it.  It would have been a relief to actually not love my husband.  Then I could say fuck you…and go about my business as usual…putting no effort whatsoever into changing…reflecting…grieving.  That takes way too much energy…energy I didn’t have.

I never considered leaving my husband when he told me about the affair.  That at least convinced me that despite my actions and feelings, I could trust my instincts that I did, in fact, love him.  I wasn’t completely delusional. After my husband walked back through the door that day, and I convinced him I loved him, he never spoke to or saw the girl again.  He was devoted to repairing our relationship.  He quit drinking.  He turned back into the man I could depend on.  That was what I felt the worst about. I had turned my sweet, tolerant, doting husband into a mean drunk. I had destroyed him.  He felt unloved…unwanted…and I was to blame.  He couldn’t make me happy no matter how hard he tried…and he couldn’t make me love him.

My husband’s affair was the most devastating event of my life.  It was also my saving grace.   The affair saved my relationship with my husband, my children and my friends.  It saved my life. It was the only thing that could have woken me up…forced me to come to grips with who I had become…turned me onto the path of reflection and recovery.

This is the story of my journey toward healing…rebuilding…and redemption.

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~ by imasurvivor2013 on April 6, 2013.

3 Responses to “The Awakening”

  1. Wow! Yours is an amazing story. Thank God you had the humility to forgive and see the situation for what it was. Thank God he still stayed. I don’t know you well, but I was so afraid this was going to be the story of another wrecked marriage and – the end. Good for you!

    • Thank you! We’ve never been more intimate and communicative than we are now…God does work in mysterious ways! I went through indescribable pain and suffering but came back stronger on the other side (my marriage much stronger than ever as well).

      I have an “odd” form of Bipolar where my “manic” state is all irritable anger, no euphoria (just my luck)… so I teeter and totter between irritability, apathy and sadness. A tough place to be. I am on the right track now though and am hopeful, for the first time in a long time:)

      Hope to talk with you more about faith…it saved me.

  2. That actually sounds familiar. I too suffer from more irritable anger, although I pack it inside. My doctor calls it high energy sadness, or a “mixed episode”.

    Would love to talk to you more about faith. It saved me too, but sometimes it makes things difficult.

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