It was only two months into my marriage when I found out that my husband cheated on me. I was mortified because I had made such a spectacle of our wedding.
I had been married before. A quiet, personal, intimate marriage that ended for very immature reasons had left me jaded.
I was sure that this second marriage was “forever”. After all, we had been friends since we were kids, meeting at church camp at only 13. Writing letters, talking on the phone at all hours of the night, going to prom together….. keeping in touch for 20 years of life experiences, adventures and heart aches. It seemed surreal to fall in love…..and much like a twisted fairy tale.
After my first divorce, I was sure that I was destined to be alone. The person that knew me best, the person that loved me through my life struggles, the person that supported me through everything….. wasn’t “the one”. I felt crushed that I ran from him.
But then I was reunited with the one that I felt was “the one that got away”, I thought, this is the reason for all of my struggles. Waiting for this man was the resolution to my problems. This man will love me beyond my afflictions. I put all of my eggs in his basket and walked down the aisle, hand in hand with “the idea” of him.
But beyond my “keeping up with Jones’s” excitement, lurked my instincts. The fear and suspicions that I wasn’t his one and only. But I ignored them. We were happy until we weren’t.
My first instinct when I found out about his infidelity was to burn his things. Erase everything in my home that reminded me of him. Banish his chapter of history in an effort to erase his validity.
For 2 years I let that chapter close without closure. Wrote it off as an error in judgement on my part with the consideration that I wasn’t to blame.
But today I asked the question why? Without hate or cross words I have asked for clarity. 2 and a half years later I asked him why. Without judgement. Without anger. Without the bullshit of sparing my feelings…. I ask what happened.
And his answer…. unrelenting. Still vague. Still unfounded and still without substance.
And so, today I vow to let it go. Let go of the anger, the resentment, the confusion and the guilt. Today I vow to never hold against another man what this man did to me. Because his reasons are invalid and obscure.
I can’t continue to fear that what once was, will ever be again. I can’t believe that someone’s thoughtless mistakes will convert to another’s actions.
When you ask for someone to be honest, you have to take their answers at face value. And no matter how inexcusable their answers seem, at some point you have to accept that they are their truth. Not yours.
You just have to let it go.
His indiscretions aren’t yours. You did all you could do, even if you didn’t. A man who is so insecure in his relationship that he will cheat, is a man who isn’t in love in the first place.
I’ve learned that I have to forgive myself for things I wasn’t even guilty of.
Sometimes the man you love isn’t mature enough to tell you what he’s afraid of. Furthermore, he isn’t open to talking about how you can remedy his fears with your commitment.
Sometimes the man you love isn’t ready to sleep next to only one woman for the rest of his life. He also doesn’t know how to tell you this, so instead of being honest, he hides his fears with rosy glasses and fake smiles.
Sometimes the person that you think loves you, is only doing it for show.
I’m not saying there aren’t men out there that aren’t madly in love with their wives… I’m saying that sometimes, they’re not. And when they aren’t, you have to find a way to accept it and move on.
More times than not, you already know, but you’re afraid to admit it. So how do you let it go?
1 Ask for, and accept the truth.
Ask him what happened and if his answer isn’t unacceptable to you, accept it anyway. Don’t blame yourself or interpret his answers as things you did wrong. Cheating is a choice. And if a MAN isn’t happy, a MAN will tell you. A BOY will cheat. And a BOY will make excuses.
Every woman who ends a relationship wants final clarity. What happened? What went wrong? Why did this happen? You’re not defined by an ending, but you do have the right to know what caused an ending. Ask for clarity. Ask for rationale. Ask for the truth. And stand in it. Own it.
2. Fight the urge to isolate
Just because someone you loved betrayed you, doesn’t mean that everyone else will. Don’t let someone that scarred you, make you so tough that you can’t let anyone else in
3. Forgive for yourself, not for them.
When you’re ready to accept their indiscretions, forgive them. Hearing the truth is often hard, but sometimes the best remedy for a heartache is the truth. Let them feel guilty. Let them feel remorse and sadness, and never apologize for how they come to terms with what they have done. Only forgive them when you’re ready. Not when they ask you to.
4. Don’t feel bad for moving on without them
No matter how much you’re heart begs you to forget what they did, the reality is that people don’t change. It’s rare that a cheater reforms. So don’t feel bad if you move on. Feel proud that you’re strong enough to do so. Because of you weren’t enough in the first place, they aren’t worth the wasted time. The ending is the same… only prolonged if you cave.
Though the end of a relationship can feel like the end of the world, sometimes it can be just the beginning.
Let it go. And take each day as a new opportunity to learn from your past. Good or bad, it’s yours.