I survived infidelity…eventually…but on October 18, 2014, my world fell apart. I found out my husband of 30 years was having an affair that started ten months earlier. This was probably the worst day of my life. My head was spinning and all I could think of was getting the hell out of there!! Luckily we have a second home at the beach so after I threw insults at him, I threw some things together and left. I hardly remember the two-hour drive, the weight of what I just learned was so crushing. Little did I know I would survive and thrive three years later, on a path to self-discovery, strength, reconciliation and Zen. AND…now I have a marriage that is stronger and more satisfying today than when we married 33 years ago. It took both of us to get here, probably more personal change for him than me, but equally difficult to find our way back to each other and our marriage.
ALWAYS listen to your intuition!
Three years ago, my antenna was already up that something was going on. When I found the email chain they sent each other, it was confirmed. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t confront him right away. We were getting ready to go to an important charity concert and I didn’t want to disappoint someone who was counting on us to be there. The next morning I told him he better tell me what was going on with her, because I knew more than he thought I did. He put his face in his hands and his head between his legs and admitted the affair. He said “I’ve really fucked things up this time”. The look on his face was horror when he realized he could lose his family over what he had done. He immediately wanted to dump her to do whatever it would take to win me back and try to repair our broken relationship. At the time, I was so blinded by hurt and anger (to put it mildly!), all I thought of was his betrayal! Once I arrived at the beach he started texting and emailing me to try to connect with me. He knew better than to call me right away, but we did talk a few days later. This was the start of the long, long journey out of the blackest hole I, and we as a couple, have ever been in.
REGARDING COUNSELORS, DON’T GIVE UP UNTIL YOU FIND THE PERFECT FIT FOR YOU!
Three years ago I needed to find a way to deal with the intense emotional and even physical pain I felt. Lucky for me I had a very supportive boss and workplace because I was unable to go to work. When I did go back a week later it was a good distraction and I was focused on my clients. But on the way to work I cried and after work I fell apart. After some research, I found a divorce attorney and made an appointment to see her. This was a good move I would highly recommend…the attorney gave me good, practical advice if I needed it, which luckily I didn’t. My friends and family were also very supportive and great listeners, which I needed, but I didn’t want to burden them constantly. (Some people choose not to share infidelity in their marriage with more than one or two people, if that. No one way is best, it’s what’s best for you!) I knew I needed professional counseling. After a couple misses with other therapists, I finally found Dr. Parker, a Psychologist. My husband also found a good therapist who helped him untangle why he would cheat on “the love of his life”. His therapist referred us to a wonderful couple’s counselor, Dale. Insurance helped pay for some of the sessions, and we paid out-of-pocket for some…money well spent. We completed individual counseling over a year ago, but still check in with Dale from time to time for a tune-up. In another chapter I’ll talk more about how Dale helped us find our way back together.
Zen Buddhism would have been beneficial in my life three years ago. Even so, it would not have eased the pain, or solved my problems for me, only I could do that with hard work and learning new skills. But I would have had the tools to put things in perspective and been able to see and think through what was happening more clearly. Though I didn’t know it then, but this WAS the beginning of my journey to finding Zen.
EVERYTHING IN YOUR LIFE WILL IMPROVE AS SOON AS YOUR DETERMINATION TO MOVE FORWARD IS STRONGER THAN YOUR RELUCTANCE TO LET GO OF THE PAST.
~ Timber Hawkeye
Till next time….
Peace & Love ~