About the Blog
After twenty years of marriage, my wife had an affair. This wasn’t a one night stand or a casual work relationship that briefly crossed the line of appropriateness. It was a serious love affair that lasted two years. Since I discovered it, we’ve gone through all of the trauma that married couples typically encounter from infidelity, but what would almost certainly destroy most marriages has resulted in ours becoming better than ever.
Just because our marriage is doing well now though doesn’t mean that our recovery has been trivial. As anyone who has experienced infidelity can confirm, you never completely recover from the shock and damage of an affair. Instead you incorporate it into the history of your marriage and learn to live with the emotions as opposed to completely absolving yourself of them. My intention with this blog is not to vent about the past as much as it is to analyze how that past has shaped our present.
I read several books looking for help with our recovery, and I was never able to find one that I could really identify with. That’s not to say that I didn’t get value out of them, but they were typically written by therapists who had never been through an affair themselves. Instead of relating to the intensity of emotions that I was feeling, they attempted to provide tactical instructions to the broadest range of people possible. It was personal blogs where I found people who I could relate to, who were attempting to make sense of the same personal and catastrophic events that I was. It’s to that community that I hope to lend my voice.
In addition to my fellow victims of affairs, I’m hoping to relate to unfaithful spouses, a role largely ignored in conversations about recovery. While I wasn’t responsible for the affair, I share the blame for the problems in our marriage that led to my wife seeking it out. So in addition to the damage inflicted by the affair itself, we needed to work on those issues that preceded it. When I made the decision to continue our marriage, I made a commitment to forgive my wife and to accept my role in our marital issues. I want an equal partner for a spouse, not someone who is perpetually being made to atone for her past mistakes. Just because she was wrong in her actions that led to that other relationship doesn’t mean that she could easily absolve herself of the feelings for that other person, and part of our recovery was helping her to deal with that loss. I don’t think we’ll go so far as to have her do a guest post here, but her perspective will definitely make its way into my writing.
I don’t profess to have any special knowledge other than that of someone who has experienced an affair and lived to tell about it. I spent countless hours attempting to interpret my own thoughts and emotions while doing my best to navigate the recovery of our marriage, and it’s those lessons and experiences that I’m hoping to share here. While my actions were apparently successful, since our marriage is intact and healthier than when we began, there’s no telling the results of those same actions with a different couple in a different situation. Perhaps someone may relate to some of what I have to say, or maybe our situation is so unique that you may want to go seek out some other blogs. I leave it to the reader whether there is anything of value here.