the affair

I never imagined that the word “affair” would be a part of my marital journey. But here it is.

An affair has totally ripped my family apart. Torn my husband and I to pieces. Shreds of me are left.

It’s been almost a year since I first discovered my husband’s affair. The text messages that came in from her. Then the lies started. I was putting together their story like a puzzle. The visits, the trips. The deception. The arrogance.

I’ve learned over this year that all of my husband’s behavior has been so typical of a person wrapped up in infidelity. New terms have been added to my vocab like affair fog and wayward spouse and betrayed spouse. I hate that this is US.

My husband could have been the poster child for the term “affair fog.” Once he finally admitted to the affair (and this took months, even with all of the proof I presented) the justification came rolling in. He actually started with his justification way before coming out about the affair. He used every terrible little thing that happened in our marriage to explain away why our marriage would no longer work. That awful thing that I said five years ago that he seemingly never got over and all of the sex we never had. I wasn’t enough of this and too much of that and that is why we can never work.

Aside from his justification there was his loss of empathy and just plain ol’ anger towards me. Suddenly all of the things that had ever gone wrong in our marriage was brought to the forefront and amplified by 10,000. His anger towards me was palatable. He spat words at me for even being there at all. During the thick of his affair, or at least I imagine what was the thick of it, he was cold and distant. His words were short a lot of the time and he had an attitude even in responding to my kindness. You would’ve thought me telling him to have a great day at work was more like me cursing him out. Sometimes he would ignore me, others he would huff out a response that was barely audible.

I stayed.

I stayed because one thing he accused me of that I knew for a fact wasn’t true was that I was no longer in love with him. I was.

I am.

So I stayed for months and dealt with his coldness and slowly but surely I saw him break out of his shell. He would smile and laugh and he was around more so even though I’m sure she wasn’t far from his life, he wasn’t seeing her. At least not as often. For a while things between the two of us seemed to have been improving but then he went to her again. Enough was enough and it was time for me to go.

Betrayed. There needs to be another word. Something stronger. Something harsher that describes how a woman feels knowing that her husband is going to someone else. The person you made vows with, gave new life with, spent years and years with has decided that you and what you represent in his life is no longer good enough for him. He wants new. He wants different. He wants someone else.

And there ain’t a damn thing you can do to change his mind.