Thursday, July 15, 2010
Bidding Farewell to My Fantasy Marriage
Even as I would have been uttering those words, he would have been cheating.
He had, in fact, been cheating on me our entire relationship. When we dated, became engaged, got married, had children.
Stating this to you is bizarre. It's as though I'm talking about someone else. Because...my husband would never cheat on me.
Coming to terms with the total annihilation of my reality-turned-fantasy has been one of the hardest things I've had to deal with.
I felt safe in the world I had. I was married to someone who, though we might have our ups and downs, simply wouldn't jeopardize our marriage. Or so I thought. Believed. With every pore of my being. It was one thing that kept me moored, when life threatened to unmoor me.
So when I found out that my rock was actually nothing more than sand, it frightened me, to say the least.
But the past three years have forced me to face that my marriage was nothing like I thought.
Which, of course, completely alters my future. I can never be married to someone who's always been faithful to me...unless I divorce, marry someone else and he doesn't cheat.
I can never completely trust my husband to be telling the truth. Experience has shown me that he's capable of lying and will, if necessary, to protect himself.
So I've not only had to let go of my fantasy past...but my fantasy future too.
We can rebuild...and, in fact, are. We can create a better marriage, a stronger marriage, a more honest marriage. But I can never again have that sense of 100% certainty that my feelings are safely held with him.
It's a helluva compromise. And some days, it seems like one barely worth making.
Other days, when I watch him with our kids, when he sleeps beside me and I imagine life without him, it feels worth it.
The thing about betrayal is that nothing, afterward, is ever the same. Not me, not him...not our marriage.