Against the Wind

Not so dark today my friends, it’s like clouds have lifted and beams of sunlight are finding their way down to me. I know I’m tired of having ‘bad days’, they are exhausting and crippling to my spirit.

Last year a few months after D-day, I was talking to my husband about my research…I’m the google queen, which helps my ‘have to know’ personality. I had googled and researched affair recovery, trying desperately to figure out how to heal. I found blogs and articles which talked about the process. All I really wanted to know at that time was “How to make the unbearable pain stop?” and “How long before I get my life back?”

The unbearable pain? It should stop in 3-5 years…some sites said I’d be over it in 10 x however long the affair lasted. So if your spouse had a two-week affair, you had twenty weeks of shit to wade through before you got to the other side of ‘shit creek’ and could rinse off and reclaim your life. In my case? Twenty f**king years of wading through shit!! I chose to not believe that article because…

1) I refuse to try and doggy paddle in shit for twenty years.

2) The article’s 10xs theory meant if your spouse had a one night stand you should be over it in a little over a week.

3) I don’t believe everyone heals at a steady 10xs the amount the affair lasted.

4) I have common sense.

So I think the 3-5 years is probably more accurate. The first year we wrap our heads around the facts of the affair. Year two we take baby steps toward healing. Year 3-5 we figure out how to forgive, and move on, and I think this amount depends on details of the affair, and how our partner helps us with their actions. If it takes me longer than five years I will give up and drown in shit creek, no one should paddle in the turds of infidelity for longer than that.

I also found out in my ‘research’, we don’t get our lives back. Our lives from before the affair are over, gone, ashes in the wind…you need to mourn it if you haven’t already, and let it go. You will never look at anything the same, you will never feel about your spouse the way you did before, and the person you were at the fiber of your being? They are dead, another causality of the affair.

My husband when told of the stats and research, replied with ” It won’t take you that long Kelly, I know you it won’t. You are stronger than most people, and a whole lot tougher than people think.”

My husband was wrong when he had the affair, he was also wrong when he said I was stronger and tougher than most. Affairs have a way of bringing strong people to their knees, making brave people into cowards, and turning tough people into blubbering messes. He was hoping I’d be back to ‘Kelly’ in a year…16 months later and I’m still swimming sometimes with the current but most the time against.

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7 Responses to Against the Wind

  1. Nephila says:

    I know 3-5 years but I think it’s optimistic. I also read a year for every month of the affair, so that’s a bit like your 10x. The affair in absolute total was a little less than a year and it seems about right it would take us 8 or 9 years. To he honest, I wouldn’t mind if it took 20 if I knew I would feel good at the end of that.

  2. My husband said basically the same thing. He told me I was so strong and all through suspecting something was going on, I fought for our marriage and I never gave up. To him, that was the “hard part”. To him, I now know what went on, that he is completely remorseful, he is 100% committed and with me, sooooo……we just need to keep moving forward. To his credit, he is working hard to “make it up to me” (side note, I HATE that phrase), so we need to “put it in the past” and keep ourselves forward focused. Our therapist has gently reminded him that his affair involved many layers of deceit. He cheated. It lasted over a year. He lied. He made me doubt my sanity. It was in our home. He ruined places for me we used to live and vacation. His whore has spent the last two years harassing us and trying to blow my healing apart with painful details. The list could go on.

    And like you said above, we are all different. Each betrayed spouse brings their own life experiences to the table, and affairs for some can dig up painful childhood/adolescent/adult experiences. Rip open other old wounds. It’s been two years for us. We are not where we were, but we are not where we want to be. I am convinced at this point that I haven’t properly grieved. I have raged and cried and interrogated. But I have not sat quietly in mourning. I spent a LONG time asking WHEN I would “get back” to life as I had always known it. Get back to “normal”. Coming to grips with the idea that this isn’t possible is excruciating. But I have faith there will come a new normal. A new life and a new relationship. I pray it will be deeper and stronger. I pray we will be smarter and more careful. I pray that for all of us.

  3. 1myr says:

    I wondered the time frame too and saw the 3-5 years answer. I few weeks ago after I’d stopped crying and started sleeping and eating again I smugly thought, “we’ll be through this before 3-5”. A couple of weeks later I got smacked back to reality. That was just the end of round 1 of the constant crying, lack of eating and sleeping apparently as I’m currently back for the round.

    I have given some thought to the time line and while I’m willing (at the moment) to work on healing and reconciliation, I do have my own time limit . My H’s affair was 5 months, so with that 10x equation, I’m looking at just under 5 years, but I won’t last that long. I’m thinking that if after 3 years I’m still this wounded and hurt, I need to move on.

    BTW, I love your responses to #1 and #4.

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