Do I miss her? Now there’s a good question. It sounds simple enough, right? I mean, either you do or you don’t. There doesn’t seem to be any ambiguity in the question.
“Well, it’s complicated,” is my honest reply.
In general, no, I don’t miss either Scarlet or the affair. I am committed to my wife and I regret all the aspects of the affair, all the bad decisions that caused it to happen, and all the times I should have put a stop to it but didn’t.
However, there is a difference between regretting what I did and feeling nothing for Scarlet. I know there’s a particular reader (who’s unread comments go straight into the trash) who would disagree with that, but it is true. I’ve seen it too many times in too many people, besides feeling it myself.
I can honestly say I wish I had never met her. I regret not running the first time I had an inkling that something was wrong. But I can’t change the past. I did make those stupid decisions which led to my falling in love with another woman.
Now part of my punishment is I have feelings for her that linger. Not every cheater has lingering feelings for their AP, or even the same feelings, but I do. I can’t just choose not to have those feelings, or believe me I would have. What I can and have done is repent, cut off all contact, stop wallowing in the memories, and turn to my wife in loving devotion.
I don’t love Scarlet anymore, I can say that honestly and without reservation. But we were close friends as well as lovers, and I do miss her sometimes (thankfully less with each passing day). I occasionally wonder what she’s doing, or how she’s doing in her marriage or her work. Hell, part of the reason I regret the affair is because I care about her and I hate that I hurt her and involved her in my sin.
I don’t indulge in those thoughts about Scarlet, they come on their own and I do my best to let them go quickly. Memories are the same way. They come unbidden and unwanted, yet I can’t forget how happy I was with her before everything came crashing down. I remember how it felt to be loved, cared for, and wanted by her. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel good at the time, but I can’t afford to linger with the memories of the affair.
Those memories are bitter now. I can’t think about the good times without remembering the bad times that resulted. I can’t think about the affair – the emotions, feelings, and events – without knowing that it was wrong. The whole thing was wrong in so many ways – how I betrayed my wife, how I used Scarlet, how I hurt myself with this sin. I regret all of it. I know it was the source of almost unimaginable pain and guilt and shame.
It’s not just that I was caught, it’s that I did it. If my wife had never known and other circumstances had ended the affair, I would still hate that I did it. It would still be wrong even if Scarlet and I were the only two who knew.
So do I miss her? I suppose I do occasionally have those moments, but the better questions are “Do I regret doing it? Am I sorry? Am I committed to healing my marriage?” The answer to all of these questions is an emphatic YES!