Based on some of the comments I’m getting, I have no been sufficiently clear on what happened when, especially as it pertains to the writing of this blog. The easiest way for me to clarify this is to post the timeline of the last three and a half years. Dates for some things are approximate because after this amount of time I just don’t remember some specifics.
September 2012 – I met the other woman for the first time
October 2012 – The other woman and I began talking online. Initially this was work-related, but the talk became more personal over time as the acquaintanceship developed into a friendship.
February 2013 – A line was crossed where the talk became too personal. There was flirting too, but it was the deep sharing that started to kindle feelings for the other woman. By Mid-March it had developed into an emotional affair
Late-March 2013 – The physical affair began. I’ll spare both the writer and the reader any account of the details.
May 15, 2013 – The other woman and I were caught making out in a car and cited for Lewdness by an over-zealous police officer.
May 17, 2013 – The first no-contact period began by mutual agreement between myself and the other woman.
May 19, 2013 – D-day. Enough said.
May 20, 2013 – I confessed to my pastor and elders. I also setup joint counseling for my wife and I and she began seeing an individual counselor.
May 21, 2013 – The other woman initiated contact via phone. I told her not to call again and then told my wife that I had talked to her (which I had promised I wouldn’t do).
June through mid-July, 2013 – As best as I can recall, there was no contact during this time. In July, I began seeing my first therapist.
Late July, 2013 – A brief period of contact began and ended after 2-3 days.
August or September, 2013 – The court case was taken care of and I believe there were a few IMs in September.
October, 2013 through January, 2014 – I don’t believe there was any contact during this time, and my wife and I continued both individual and couples counseling.
February, 2014 – A few IMS were exchanged.
March, 2014 – My last appointment with my first counselor.
April, 2014 – A few IMS were exchanged after which I told her that I would not talk to her anymore. I had said this before and meant it, but this time I stuck with it. This was the last time I said anything to her in any form.
May, 2014 – The one-year anniversary of D-day.
July, 2014 – I wrote my first blog post from my hotel room in Canada.
August, 2014 – I began blogging regularly
October, 2014 – I told my wife about the blog and took a break from blogging until she was okay with my resuming
November, 2014 – This was the last time the other woman tried to contact me.
She had also tried in May and August, but I did not respond to any of her attempts
December, 2014 – I began blogging again
January, 2015 – I voluntarily stopped blogging for my wife’s sake.
April, 2015 – My wife was hospitalized for severe panic attacks and depression, and was subsequently released on antidepressants
May, 2015 – I confessed to my wife that I had intermittent contact with the other woman until April of 2014. I went on Zoloft and began seeing my current therapist.
March, 2016 – I wrote the three posts I finally published late last week.
Which brings us to now, June of 2016.
I understand some of you feel I’ve been dishonest. There’s some validity in that. I walked a fine line between being open and honest about my feelings, experiences, and opinions while also keeping a few things to myself that I considered too private, too personal, or simply too damning.
I told the truth when I said I was strict NC with the other woman and have been since before I started blogging two years ago. I very earnestly told the truth when I counseled people not to give in and have contact because it would hurt everyone involved. I never explicitly said I had broken NC in the months after D-day, but I also never explicitly said I hadn’t. I can see where many of you consider this lying by omission, and I don’t really have an answer to that charge.
All I can say in my defense is that I was really messed up. I had done something horrible and I was sure that if I ever told a single living soul that it would be the end of my marriage, the end of my wife, and the end of me. I wanted to believe I could walk the straight and narrow and be worthy of my wife’s love, that being good to her now would make up for what I had done, and that the price of her love was to keep the secret of my past sins to myself as my personal burden and penance.
But that’s not how it works. The lies and the secrets were killing me emotionally, and that disease had managed to infect her and our marriage, too. She didn’t know what was wrong, but it was killing her, filling her with doubts and fears. So when she finally asked me what I hadn’t told her, I couldn’t pretend that my secret past didn’t affect her. I couldn’t bear to tell her one more lie after all I had already done to her.
So I told her, and now I’ve told you. Judge me now how you like.