The Beginning of Something Else

On June 1, 2007 I found out my husband and partner of almost two decades had been unfaithful to me since before our marriage, and had been having intercourse with prostitutes for 3 1/2 years. This is what happened next.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Seeping and shedding

After having so much peace and resolution about Husband's lies and infidelity, and a lot of growth and learning under my belt, I'm always surprised when I backslide. Grief still seeps in some days, even though there's no logical reason for that to happen.

I think despite progress I still grieve the loss of what I thought I had, the life I thought I was leading, the man I thought I married. And that feels like a deep thing, a heart thing. So I guess not something that my mind can resolve for me. Maybe it's just like grieving a death. Over time you come to terms with it, but there is still a loss that may always be felt as a loss.

And I still have days when I wonder if I love my husband - the new man I'm with now that the truth is out in the open. I think he's definitely a better partner than he was before, but he's still different from the man I thought he was. He's done things to me the man I though he was never would have done. He's stronger in ways, but he's weaker in other ways. I guess he's just human, and before in my mind his honesty and integrity were infallible, and his belief in himself consistently strong. Those qualities felt real to me and I miss them a lot.

I wish I could snap my fingers and give myself 20 years with this new man so I would know if the distance I'm sometimes aware of is just a defensive layer that will wear away with time and the continued growth of trust; or if it really is that I don't love this new person as much as I loved the man I though he was.

The truth of it is that I'd stay either way because of my son. I'm not unhappy - not unhappy at all. (If I were I wouldn't stay because I don't think that would benefit anybody.) I'm just missing that deep, passionate level of intimacy and connectedness that I used to feel. And sometimes I get sad about it. But as I write this, I realize that Husband is one of my very best friends and that intimacy and connectedness have a very strong chance of deepening over time.

Sex is an issue. Right now I don't feel sexually attracted to Husband the way I was before and sometimes I think about how my 40s are probably my last chance for another hot, sexy romance. If I don't do it now, I'll never have the chance. But since I'm staying in my marriage for now and I don't really want to have an affair if I think about it for any length of time, I suppose a fantastic sex life not in the cards. At least for now.

So I will focus on creating a deep, connected, loving partnership with this new man, my great friend with whom I share so much history. Maybe I leave behind the simple, passionate, unfettered kind of love I felt in my 20s and 30s for something more complicated in this part of my life. And maybe it will turn out to be even more satisfying. I have yet to see.

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