It has come to my knowledge over the past week or so, that people are assuming that when I talk about someone having an ‘affair’ in my blogs or FB rants, they think it is the relationship I had with a married man. I’m sorry, but it’s not… Sometimes I might say things that refer to ‘my lover’ when really I’ve just put it in first person to make it more real, but I’m really talking about other people’s experiences, and sometimes they are an amalgamated story of possibly the 50 or more people who have divulged to me that they too have been in an affair or a victim of an affair since I started my blog. I do this to protect the people I write about…
You know when you have a baby, get married, get divorced or your parents die on you, that all of a sudden you are surrounded by people who are going through the same events as you. It’s how the universe works… you attract like minded people going through similar situations. This is no different to me being involved in an affair, and other people telling me their stories…. either as the victim, or the knowing participant, either past stories or present stories… it is what it is…
Now that we have that clear, I want you to all know that I do not condone deception in marriage. And I said that many times to my lover and others who have been deceiving their spouses… because I could see that they just weren’t being honest with themselves. My strong point of view about marriage, and in any relationship is to be truly honest. I know that’s a tautology, but many people are honest about their exterior feelings, but their inner feelings are eating them up, as they don’t know how to be truthful to themselves and their heart’s desire, therefore don’t know how to be truthful to their spouse or partner – the truth that there is no common bond with the person they married decades ago except their children, that they have different needs and wants now to what they had then, that they are confused about what their heart wants and what they have been taught to believe through their religion, and they don’t know how to express what they want or need or know how to compromise on it. There is also something seriously wrong with their marriage if they keep avoiding each other physically – by travelling separately, by staying late back at work, by having golf days with mates, by sleeping separately, by interacting with their children separately.
I am overwhelmingly strong on this point of view because my marriage was full of dishonesty due to my ex-husband’s need for materialism and elitism. He literally made my life hell because of it – like a little boy who couldn’t get what he wanted, his frustration turned to anger, his material needs became more demanding and expensive, but he didn’t know how to provide the money to make it happen. I tried over and over to create budgets for him, even giving him $50 a week for his coffee habit, but even that turned into a debacle as if he didn’t get his $50 each week, he would literally steal money from our accounts that was set aside for bills and rent. The thing is, he wasn’t just being dishonest with me, he was being dishonest with himself. He thought that this materialistic life was what he deserved, but didn’t realise that the children and our family expenses came first, and if he truly wanted his ‘things’, he needed to ‘earn’ them, not expect them on a silver platter. Neither of us had an affair while we were married, even though he incessantly flirted with many women. And it was his flirting that made me realise that it should bother me, but it didn’t, and I ‘realised that I wasn’t being honest with myself in being happy in my marriage.
If someone wants to fix their marriage after an affair, I’m happy to support them. But if there are too many red flags suggesting that the marriage is over because both parties aren’t making a concerted effort to actually be together physically, emotionally or spiritually, then you’d have to ask BOTH parties if they are actually truly happy with their spouse, and if this affair was actually a sign that this is the end…
I get upset that people use exterior forces to help rectify their marriage. God will help them, their parents are the reality of a true marriage so they look to that to help them work out what to do, that they will do this for the kids. Their children know that there is unhappiness in their marriage, they aren’t blind. They can put all the pieces together. Their children will be more proud of their parents if they have the courage to leave something that is making them unhappy, and making the ENTIRE family unhappy, than continue in a volatile environment. My oldest child saw the effects of the volatility in my marriage and was glad when it was over. My youngest didn’t see it that much because he was much younger and went to bed earlier, so he found it a little harder to cope with when Dad wasn’t living with us anymore.
NOTHING will help your marriage unless you help it, “you” collectively as a couple. Make major lifestyle changes so that you can be truly committed to your spouse and family is a start. Get away from the forces that are making you betray each other. The only way you can be honest with yourself is if you speak truthfully about both your exterior and interior feelings – the feelings that you know are right to do because they are morally, financially or sociably the right to do, but also the feelings that tell you that your exterior feelings aren’t exactly what you want.
And if you truly can tell each other that your needs have grown away from your spouse’s needs, then come up with a compromise… if you need to stay together for financial reasons or to appease the family unit, then do so, but allow each other to find comfort, adventure, love and companionship in a second partner outside your family and financial needs. Because in the end, if you can’t be truthfully honest with your spouse and be able to TRUST each other in Your nuptials, then all you are doing is hurting each other more and more, creating more and more resentment, more and more angst, and more and more heartbreak. No one deserves to live a life like that. You’ve already proven to each other that your vows don’t mean much by deceiving each other, so really, what is the point of being stuck in something that doesn’t given you eternal happiness any more? You’ve enjoyed that part of your life with your spouse, and cherish those times, but if you can’t fulfil each other anymore, then move on. Allow each other to find happiness elsewhere.
Some people hold onto the dreams of always wanting to grow old with their spouse, enjoying grand-children together and the fact that their parents were ‘happily’ married for 40, 50, 60 years, so they want to live that dream. But dreams and our lives do change, for better or for worse. Some dream to be mortgage free by the age of 40, others dream that their children will all have high powered jobs and leave college with Honours, others dream of being able to travel the world in our retirement… not many actually achieve their dreams… they don’t envisage that they would have $500,000 in debt at the age of 50 when they are 20, and certainly, no one ever dreams of having an affair when they say ‘I do!’ Again, it’s been truthful with each other that your circumstances have changed, and you’re not happy in the position that you are in, and really can’t envisage anymore achieving a true sense of happiness with your spouse anymore, because of your differing needs.
We only have one life… we don’t get a second chance of ever being 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60 again. I’m not saying to give up on your marriage once an affair has happened, but you both need to be true to yourselves and each other to see WHY the affair happened in the first place. Don’t put blame on each other, and definitely don’t be defensive about your place, just accept that what has happened has happened, and it happened for a reason. Get to the BOTTOM of the reason.
In the end, we all deserve to be happy and create wonderful memories with people who love spending time with us, not live in constant heartache.