Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Lucky? Why My Father is Wrong...
Every now and then, however, we talk about matters of more consequence. Like today, for instance. He mentioned that our family was "lucky" not to have been affected by divorce. My parents remained married, despite my father's emotional betrayal of my mom. My brother and his wife remain married, though I know of no problems. And my husband and I remain married.
I felt my temper flare. My father knows only of the first OW – and nothing of my husband's sex addiction. A few days past D-Day #1, he chastised my husband with words to the effect of, "We're all allowed one mistake. Do it again and I'll break your legs..." Though Don Corleone, my father is not.
Now, however, that's all behind us, or so he'd like to think.
It's not the first time my father has minimized the impact of my husband's betrayal. Perhaps it allows him to assuage his own guilt or validate his own response to lying to my mother. He never did quite understand how devastated she was. Or why she didn't just "get over it". After all, he figured, he didn't really cheat.
And though I think I've forgiven my dad and am able to love him for his many good qualities, one thoughtless comment and I'm fuming again. On behalf of myself, my mom and all betrayed women.
"Lucky?" You've got to be kidding me.
Lucky to discover that my husband had been lying to me about where he was? Lucky to be home with children and a cold dinner because I believed my husband was working hard on his family's behalf? Lucky that he "picked" me over her? Lucky that he confessed to a sex addiction and years more betrayals?
Lucky that I didn't have the strength at first to leave? Lucky that I can no longer look at him as absolutely trustworthy? Lucky that my children will never know what hell I rode through so that they could wake up in a home with both their parents?
Lucky? Luck has absolutely nothing to do with it.
And I refuse to believe that those women who ultimately chose to end their marriage or were forced into divorce are UN-lucky.
In fact, I don't know a single betrayed woman, whether she remained married or not, who hasn't shown incredible courage. And conviction. And strength of character. Who hasn't wept with despair over what staying or leaving would do to their children. Who hasn't dealt with humiliation and pain and rage with dignity and determination.
Luck is for leprechauns and lottery winners. Not for betrayed wives.