Better

Since Dday, I have searched, read, reread and read more about affairs and infidelity. I have learned more than I ever thought I’d need to know. Like most betrayed spouses, I believed my husband would never cheat on me. I had no concern that he would. Turns out that was the first of many lies… But I digress.

A few days ago, a kind man commented on a post and recommended a book. It was a new title to me. Off I went on a search to learn more about it. I’ve added it to my reading list. Maybe someday I’ll get to it. But it, like many infidelity resources claims to make your relationship better than ever.

That claim always leaves a bitter taste. I mean, really… My husband had a fucking affair. By default, doesn’t that mean it has to get better, in order for us to stay married. Because it sure sucks right now.

And I’m not a pessimist. Really I’m not. I thought my marriage was safe. It was comfortable and predictable. I thought my husband was beside me. I knew there were things we could improve… We have been drowning in responsibilities for a few years. At the end of the day, we were together and in love. Living the beautiful life we created, messy sometimes, but no less beautiful.

So why does the prospect of “better than ever marriage” make me cringe?

I want the marriage I had. The one before my husband cheated on me. Before all the lies. Sure it could have been better, clearly.. He was having an affair!!!

Any new and improved marriage we forge now may be a better marriage .. Better communication, honesty, sex, blah blah… But it will always be scarred. I can never “unknow” about the affair. It’s always going to be part of our past.

My husband can’t tell me he won’t cheat again. I mean, he can say the words, and has. But I don’t hear them the same. Sure, I hope he’s being truthful. But those words will never leave me feeling safe assured, confident in his fidelity.

So I call bullshit on a better marriage. It can be different. Have new and improved attributes, but better? That just feels like it excuses the damage done by the cheater.

There are better ways to improve a marriage than having an affair. If he came to me, instead of her, we could have done the work to make it better. Now, we have to repair it.

I was shoved into this after affair hell. I didn’t choose this path. I wouldn’t have chosen this path. And regardless of how we come out at the end of this, I will never say, “My marriage is better because of his affair.” What I can say, is my life will never be the same.

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8 thoughts on “Better

  1. I struggle with this as well — the idea of our marriage being better post affair when the affair is officially the worst thing that’s ever happened in my entire life. The affair wasn’t necessary for making our marriage better…we could have done that anyway. If he had been honest and come to me rather than seeking comfort in an extramarital relationship, he could have saved both of us a world of pain and our marriage could have been better YEARS ago. So I will never be “grateful” for the affair. I am grateful that our marriage is improving today, but I would give anything for the catalyst of change to not be an affair.

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  2. I agree, I don’t believe our marriage can ever be better than it was, how can it, it’s broken, and now, thanks to the affair, it’s covered in the scars of infidelity. Fifteen months on those scars are starting to fade, but they will always be there, a reminder that my husband didn’t love me as much as he should have.

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  3. You are 100% spot on, it’s so frustrating that they choose the selfish option of having an affair instead of dealing with the relationship head on and resolving the issues as a couple. Grr.

    I too want my old marriage back and it saddens me that I’ll never feel the same again xx

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  4. It is a delusion they rely on, and that makes me sad but if it makes them happy then I guess we cannot begrudge them. We have been there. Yes it is crazy to think it will be better than ever. And it does not have to be. To justify staying it only has to be better than leaving. I made that calculation, but I am not delusional enough to believe it will wver be better than before the affair.

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  5. The grief over losing the lovely relationships we had never goes away. When people I loved died, I grieved and eventually I accepted and feel “okay” they are gone from this world. I still have this person I grieve for walking around, parenting our children, being sorry, feeling terrible he broke us. The grief is constant, it hasn’t faded. So, yeah, there’s no “better” here – acceptance, yes, but definitely not better.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my! How many times I have said these same words. How can it be better? Too much pain. I also feel that my husband died, that I’m grieving him. Now I live with someone I no longer know. Who is this guy? I really thought he would never do this. I tought we were a team. I thought he had my back, ya know? But he was having an affair with my friend. So we were all together. A lot. I’m such a fool. No. I don’t see how this is better

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  7. Oh my – you said it!! I can’t say I would want my old marriage back – it was very dysfunctional. What I would like is the trust back that I had as a newlywed that he would always remain true and faithful! We are working on our marriage and I am very confident that it will end up being a good, long-lasting marriage (already 35 years) but it won’t be the best it could have been. That scar will always be there Sure, he says that it will never happen again and I am the only one for him…but he said that before and it wasn’t true!

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