A More Centered World

As I attempt to work my way back to a more joy centered world – one that makes sense to me again and that I can trust –  I have been lucky enough to find bloggers who have openly and movingly shared their experiences, pain, and growth. Their stories have helped me evaluate, given me goals to work towards, served as cautionary tales, and provided fodder for some very relevant conversations with my husband. The most priceless gift I have received from their accounts, however, is comfort – knowing that I am not alone in the way I feel, that I have not gone completely insane, that I can find my way through this and come out whole.

Earlier this week, a blogger who I follow posted The Surreal Nature of Life. I too still struggle to come to terms with the reality of the turn my life took in October 2009. Just when I think I have it figured out, written into my history, internalized, the actuality hits me. I absolutely refuse to believe in its truth for a moment or two, and then the pain and disorientation is as great as the first time it happened. About a year ago, I spent a lovely day back-to-school shopping with my daughter, and I felt like life was finally returning to normal. J and I seemed to be on the road to recovery, I had really enjoyed spending time with my daughter, and I was feeling pretty great. One of our last stops was the local mall, and while I was waiting for her on a bench outside of Bath and Body Works, I suddenly started sobbing. Why? The answer seems obvious, right? Yes, I was crying like an idiot in the middle of the mall because my husband had an affair.  But it was more than that.

Until that very minute, I had dealt with the situation intellectually – asking questions, arranging counseling, reading, asking more questions, being upset, working to fix us, helping comfort him. Sitting in the mall that day,  I had a moment of blinding clarity, and I fell apart. Even though I had gone through the motions of acceptance and understanding and forgiveness, my heart had not believed until that moment that he had sex with another woman or that he had real feelings for her. I’ve never figured out what triggered the change, but the weight of that knowledge settling into my heart was almost more than I could bear.

Now, after a year of what has felt like monthly revelations, our relationship finally seems to have turned around. He finally seems to remember who I am – and who I have always been. I am finally feeling a connection again between the man I have loved for so long and the man to whom I am currently married.  We are loving, communicative, and more connected than we have been in a long time. We have made a conscious effort to set aside time for conversation and laughter every day. We are working on household projects and parenting together. He is more open, more responsive to my feelings and my needs. I truly believe that we have finally reached a place where I can say we are healing.

And I am still struggling with that same sense of unreality. I still have those moments of horrified disbelief, moments when I refuse to believe that infidelity has actually been at the core of my life for almost two years. I loved the life, relationship, and future that I had before the affair, and I love the life, relationship, and future that I have now….so what do I do with the mess in the middle? What do I do about the Pod Man who pretended to be my husband during 2009 and 2010 – that man who believed he loved someone else, who rewrote the history of our marriage and left out the lovely parts, the man who broke our wedding vows, the man who lied and lied and lied, the man who didn’t seem to know or value me at all?

I have spent a lot of time in the last year and a half evaluating and re-evaluating every aspect of my marriage – every decision, every feeling, every belief. In fact, the suckiest part of this entire experience is that nothing feels stable or real. Even today, with all the work we have done, blessed with the happiness I feel in our current relationship, I am still afraid – afraid to relax, afraid to trust, afraid to let go, afraid to believe that we will be OK. I think the fear comes from not knowing how to process the affair reality and my feelings about it.

Is there for life?

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This entry was posted in Musings.

7 comments on “A More Centered World

  1. Caroline says:

    I know you’re a long way from UK. All I can suggest is you sign up to my life coach’s blog posts (it’s free) he has masses of helpful tips.

    He is the most incredible intuitive person and has done me so much good.

    Good luck.

    • Devon says:

      Thank You – I signed up when I first started reading your blog :). Counseling has helped, and reading and exchanging ideas with others has really helped too.I think I may just need time to see that the changes are real and lasting.

  2. DJ says:

    Just discovered your blog yesterday through your subscription to mine, and have been reading yours from the beginning. You write very well – I have also been an English teacher – and your story has captured my interest. Our stories are different but our feelings are so much the same! Thank you for sharing. It helps me and I’m sure others, too, to come to terms with our grief and loss. My therapist has been telling me that I’m still in shock and still in denial, but I didn’t see it. When your read your post today I realized that he was right. I am still struggling to accept the fact that my husband took his heart away from me and gave it, along with his soul and his body, to another woman. I can say it but it hasn’t sunk into my being.
    I will be subscribing to your blog to keep in touch with your story. Thank you again.

    DJ

    • Devon says:

      It was so odd for me to realize that I thought I was processing – I had even spoken with the OW on the phone – but really, I still didn’t believe it…and some days I still don’t!

  3. […] by fellow bloggers. http://icansurvive.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/the-surreal-nature-of-life/     https://nowimastatistic.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/a-more-centered-world/   and  […]

  4. I’m still not certain if my wife left me with our 3 girls because of another man or not. But I have spent the last 6 months or so running around and being very busy. There have been ups an downs, but I have coped. Or so I thought.

    After coming back from a vacation in England in early August, I realized I couldn’t go back to work. Not quite like you in the mall, but I realized that I was falling and needed to get off the road of ‘life’ for a little while. Tomorrow I go back to work and am not looking forward to it. I’m not sure I’m quite ready, but there are harsh realities about jobs and so I will be there bright and early and we’ll see how I get on.

    As you’ve commented, processing these things is not simple, doesn’t happen in the timetable we want it to, and the intellectual acceptance of separation is not the same as the heartfelt emotional recognition.

    For me, my 3 angels make the difference. I love them, they love me. They’re teenagers, they’re not perfect, but so what, they make it all worthwhile…

  5. Lady E says:

    I’m not sure you will ever fully “recover” from having your heart broken in so many pieces, but my guess is that time will help you live with it, and yo unever know, in the process of healing, you may find reasons to enjoy life more in the moment. Because everything may fall apart, the present may be all the more precious?
    I don’t know, totally out of my depth here, as I struggle with accepting the destruction of my own life…
    Hang on in there anyway, x

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