I was chatting with an online acquaintance the other day, when he made a joke about people pretending on Facebook that their lives are great and that they have a wonderful marriage, but later you find that they were having an affair and their marriage is on the rocks.
That kind of stuff happens all the time, and it is a still-painful reminder of what happened. Affairs are common. You see them on TV, in movies, in music, in literature, and, of course, on the internet.
It seemed especially constant right after the revelation of my own affair. Every little thing seemed to remind either me or my wife of what had happened. I couldn’t drive down the street without seeing somewhere we had gone together, I couldn’t listen to music without hearing either a song that I had listened to during the affair or hearing a song like Sometime Around Midnight that made me think of what happened. Even the feel of the air would sometimes remind me of that time of year when I was ruining my marriage and our lives.
Fortunately it’s not as constant anymore, and when something does remind me of what happened it feels more like a slap in the face than a punch in the stomach. My wife is slowly getting to this place, too. Still, there is this overwhelming shame for me, and crushing sadness for her, that hangs like a cloud over our marriage and we’re never quite sure when it will blow up into a full blown storm.
There’s no two ways about it – this sucks. The feelings and memories are slow to fade, and we know this is something we’ll always have with us. If only I hadn’t been so stupid…