Do you ever get a sick feeling in your stomach when you read someone else’s affair story? I do pretty much every time. It doesn’t matter whether it’s told from the viewpoint of the cheater or the betrayed spouse.
When I read how the cheater and the AP talked to each other intimately about their affair I feel sick because I’ve been there and I know where it led. When I read about D-day and that initial big talk, I feel sick because I’ve seen the pain in my wife’s eyes and I’ve felt the crushing shame of having to tell. When I read about the recovery, all the tough and painful conversations, I feel sick because I’ve had those conversations, I’ve seen my wife struggle to make it from one day to the next, riding a never-ending roller-coaster of love, hate, pain, and sadness. I’ve been the one saying over and over how sorry I am and knowing the utter inadequacy of “I’m sorry” for what you’ve done.
I’m finally getting to a place where I’m okay with what happened, thanks in part to this blog. I don’t feel the overwhelming guilt and shame all the time like I used to. I accept that I made this catastrophic mistake but we’re making it as a couple. But then I read someone’s story and I’m just right back there in it, just for a few minutes. And I feel sick about what I’ve done, what I’ve put my wife through. I feel sick for this other couple because I know their whole world has just come crashing down.
It’s about the worst thing that can happen to someone besides rape or murder. There have been many times I thought it would have been easier if I had just died and my wife had never known. I don’t think that anymore, but that just goes to show the depth of pain I put her through.
So when I see someone else going through that, I feel sick because I know they feel sick, too. I know one or both of them wants to die than live this new, horrible reality in which they find themselves. I’m so very sorry for them both and I’m sorry for you, dear readers, because you have been through it, too.