In the more than 4 years since my wife’s confession I have had some difficult times as I know most you understand well. Everything I read said it takes 2-5 years to heal from your spouse’s affair, IF they are doing their part to help you heal. Some said that there are some people that can’t heal from this level of damage and stay together. I believe that to be true. I felt like I may be one of those that can’t heal and stay together. That remains to be seen. I did know without a doubt that if I could heal it would be on the longer end of the scale. It’s not that I’m not a forgiving person, it’s more that I’m a “if you screw me over, I will remove you from my life” type of person. I won’t hate you forever, but I won’t be around you.
The first year was pure misery. The second was mostly deep depression and sadness. The third year was learning to accept my new reality. The forth year I feel most of my healing occurred. So here I am into the 5th year, and I’m not healed. I have come a very long way, but I'm not healed. My new marriage is as good as it can be with the history. We get along very well. My wife is very caring, loving, and happy. I function well. I wouldn’t say I’m happy, but I’m not unhappy. My ability to experience happiness is very limited. My ability to feel anything is pretty limited.
We rarely ever talk about her affair anymore. It certainly still bothers me. I still feel pain, sadness, and have bad times, and sometimes bad days. She is quick to pick up on it, and always checks on me. I always say “I’m having a hard time”, or “its been one of those days”. She always asks “What can I do?”. The answer is always “nothing.”
About a month ago the bad times stretched into bad days. I couldn’t sleep much, and the bad days stretched into some mostly bad weeks. It was getting worse not better. I didn’t talk to my wife about it, although she knew I was “having a bad time”. I just didn’t see the point in talking to her about it. Say the same things I’ve said thousands of times and her saying the same things she said thousands of times. I mean what’s the point right? So I kept getting darker, and darker. My wife got me alone and instead of asking the normal “are you ok?” What can I do?” She said tell me what going through your head right now. I said you don’t want to know. She said “I do, please tell me. You have this wall up that I can’t get through. I want to get through it, but I don’t know how.” She is right I have this emotional wall up, that keeps me safe. But it also keeps me stuck, well I think it does. So we had a very long and painful talk. Me letting out my pain, her taking it. There was no yelling, no raging, just letting out the pain in a calm voice through tears. She took it all, and apologized over and over through tears. It all sucked, it sucked for me because it makes me feel weak. It sucked for her because she got to see for the millionth time the damage she has caused me, and deal with all the shame that brings up. Not a fun time.
BUT, after it was all over, we went to bed and held each other. I slept well. The next morning I felt better. We both felt closer to each other. I thought for many days on how to describe what we did. What we needed to do. What we hadn’t done for too long. The best I could come up with was “Cleaning out the wound”. If you can imagine a very deep wound that has a bunch of missing tissue. Those wounds have to heal from the inside out. There are daily bandage changes, and “cleaning of the wound”. As time goes on, the bandage changes and cleaning of the wound gets less and less frequent. These wounds take a very, very long time to heal, and when they do, they leave one heII of a scar. I think this analogy makes so much sense. What I had done was stopped changing my bandage. Stopped cleaning out my wound. It had began to get infected and hurting more and more.
So, don’t wait too long to change YOUR bandages, and clean out YOUR wounds. If you do, it won’t heal.