I am sitting here coming up on the one-year anniversary of D-Day, three feet from where I learned that the world I thought I was living in was an illusion, then crumbled, and then reimagined.
And life is so much different than I thought it would be.
Life is better.
As awful as that somehow feels to say – in admitting this it can feel as if the affair was a good thing and we all know an affair is NOT a good thing – it's true. It's something I thought I could never say, something I thought I would never admit to, even if, as I had read, it could happen.
But I'm saying it: Life is actually better.
I knew the moment of D-Day, with something so terrible, so disgusting, so sordid, so deceitful happening, something good had to come out of it. Whether I stayed with my husband or if I didn't.
Something had to blossom out of this pain.
It had to.
It had to turn into something else.
And it did.
But not into the something that I thought it would a year ago.
I thought that I would sell our vacation home when I discovered his ugly truth.
Nothing went on there but it is where we had our biggest, ugliest fight.
It is where I had my D-Day.
It was that fight we most all have on D-Day. The one that's a metaphoric vomiting of everything you are feeling and have felt for years, even if you didn't admit it or even knew you felt it.
The spewing of anger, hurt, disgust, disbelief, anger, more anger and more hurt and more pain than anyone could ever imagine unless you are reading this.
If you are reading this, you know that pain.
How could we ever have another happy day here?
And yet, we didn't sell the house.
We have many happy days here, punctuated thoughout the year with small bouts of sadness and smallish triggers. But that can happen anywhere.
I thought that every time I would look at him, forever, I would see "her" somewhere in him.
I do see a different, better man though. I think that D-Day was the first day he had been honest with me in years. He was forced to be.
Now I see a man much more open, much more honest, much more loving, and yes even sexual towards me (oooh la la).
A man who actually talks to me now.
Takes my hand when we walk. Asks what's wrong (or right). And listens when I tell him.
More importantly, I thought I would forever be branded somehow, with a mark that no-one could see or a visible scar that I could not explain to anyone.
I thought my husband's betrayal would define me.
And it doesn't.