Journey Through Adultery - 7-12-11

Our situation continues to improve as far as dealing with the after affects of the adultery. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my wife came to the point of seeing what she'd done from my point of view, felt the hurt she'd caused, and she's been crying over it everyday. She says she feels she deserves to get beat up over it for what she's done. I've tried telling her that of course she deserves to be beat up for it. But if she didn't deserve it, it wouldn't be an issue of forgiveness.
I forgave her on dday. I know many wouldn't be able to do that, but I felt I had to do it for me. And it is part of my nature that I'm a forgiving guy. So no real kudos for me in doing that, I simply have a hard time holding a grudge. It just makes no logical sense to me to do so. What's done is done. I have to deal with the consequences and affects of what has happened, but to really do that I felt I had to forgive her. In part to help her, but primarily to help myself. I can't let the desire to punish her for what she did roam free in my heart. But others will take longer to come to that point. In part because some might thank that forgiveness means saying, "I'll give you a pass this time, what you did isn't that bad." But that's not it at all. Forgiveness to me simply means I'm letting go of what happened, and I'm not going to let it prevent me from healing and moving forward.
But even though I'd done all that, she was having trouble accepting and feeling my forgiveness. She felt surely I couldn't really love someone who had done that to me. The issue for me has never been about love. Even if we had to divorce over this, I would love her deeply. That's why such an outcome would hurt greatly.
But the previous night I wrote her a letter, a love letter of sorts, that for her changed that. She now feels my love and my forgiveness, and has accepted it. We related to our MC about that tonight, and she really felt it was good progress. So I thought I would post my letter here for any to read. Maybe for some, it would offer some hope in what is often a hopeless situation for many. It is a little long, but here's the letter:
Dear Sweetie, Though we've expressed it in words many times in the last few weeks, I wanted to write it out so you'd have it to reflect on when needed. Consider it a love letter, via email. These last few weeks have been hard on us, and is still hard on you as you continue your healing both spiritually from the sin, guilt, and renewing your relationship with God, and working through your feelings for the other man that you have to get past until it becomes a distant memory. I know it may seem like right now he will always have a pull on you, but someday you'll be looking back at these events and think of him. And then you'll realize you hadn't thought of him for days, months, or maybe even years when we get that far down the road. And when you do think of him, you won't miss him, only offer a brief prayer that wherever he is, that he is doing what God wants him to. Someday you'll not think much about all this. Until then, just know while naturally I don't like it that he crops up in your mind on occasion, probably daily, and you do experience feelings of missing him, I know this is one of the consequences you have to deal with for what you did. As I said, you sort of signed up for this pain. You probably didn't realize just how painful it was all going to be, but you knew it wouldn't be good once it all came out in the open. So you simply have to work through this, and allow God to grow the distance between him and your feelings for him, and replace them with feelings for me. I think that is happening, but it takes time. You don't fall in love with someone and cut if off easily, even if it was an illicit relationship. Feelings don't tend to listen to reason much. ;) But here are some positive things that have come from this: 1. I not only feel how much you love me through sex and your constant attention and care for me, and respect for me, but I can see your love for me. How much you are willing to go through the pain of cutting off contact with the other man, even though it was rough going there, you did. How you've done everything you can do to make this marriage work after the hard hit of adultery, even how honest you've been with me once you confessed and committed yourself to the marriage. What you've said you would do, and following through on it has shown me the extent of your love for me, and helped to counter the lack of love the affair would seem to have said you had. 2. We now know where our marriage was weak before all this started. On my side, the lack of appreciation of your efforts to make yourself look better and be healthier, and my lack of spending time with you chatting and doing things together. On your side, your lack of respect for me and the lack of sexual bonding we did. Neither of us were meeting each others primary romantic needs prior to the adultery starting with the first man . Consequently, while we loved each other, neither of us were showing to the other very effectively which caused each of us not to *feel* that in love with each other. We knew it in our heads, but didn't feel it that much. We'd lived with it for so long we'd accepted it as part of being married for so long, but we shouldn't have. Each of us in our own way was being selfish. Now we know better, and we both know how to make the other not just know we love each other, but feel it in their hearts, know it in our guts. And since the A, we've had a stronger romantic bond than we've had since dating and newlyweds. Except now it is strengthen with over 29 years of living experiences with each other to make it that much more richer and deeper. I feel closer and more intimate with you today than I have through most any part of our marriage previously. While the ideal of not having sex with anyone else is valuable, it can't substitute for sharing our love with each other in the way each of us needs to experience it. Now we do, and we are both closer for it. 3. We've beat the odds! While the therapist said that when women cheat, and rebuild the marriage, they rarely cheat again, compared to men, the statistic in "Not Just Friends" made me realize we are in a unique class. While a rebuilt marriage when the woman cheats may be less likely to cheat again, apparently very few marriages survive when a woman cheats by forming a strong bond with their OM. You fell in love with the other man. You both spent a lot of time together at the gym, going to stores, working together. And you formed physical bonds with him, kissing, and participating in sexual play all the way to intercourse. You pretty much formed a full husband-bond with him. According to the statistics, we should be separated, even divorced. But thanks to the effort you've put into this listed in #1, and I suppose my help as well, we've beat that statistic and are in full rebuild mode, and quite successful so far, I would say. Have no idea what the future holds in this regard, or what other rocky roads we may encounter in this journey, but that we have come this far, this fast, given the extent of the bonds you had formed, says volumes about both of us, but especially your persistence and desire to give me 100% of your husband-love, and no one else ever again. 4. While I wouldn't say my trust level is where it should be yet, and probably won't be for two or three more years (who knows how long?), I feel more comfortable trusting you now by a long shot than I did right at the beginning of this rebuilding journey. Your honesty and transparency has had a lot to do with that, along with your humility and love. So another positive is my trust in you has greatly improved. It is fragile, no doubt, and I fear small worries could set me off to fearing the worse about things whereas before I wouldn't have given them a second thought. But let's just say you are ahead in making payments on that trust loan I gave you the night of dday. 5. And the best thing? I have a solid hope that we will both grow to old age, or whenever God allows something to take us from this world, together, completely head over heals in love with each other. I'm looking forward to facing whatever else life has to offer us. This has made us stronger, and I feel secure knowing you are by my side, backing me up. There are probably others I could list if I wanted to get into the finer details, but this covers the main things I see which are positives. Hope I've not forgotten any important ones. I am so fully in love with you, and I will stand by you as long as you stand with me, because I can't force you to stand by me. But I can see, know, and feel the love you have for me, and know we will stand with each other from here on out. Right now, I'm the happiest I've ever been about our relationship. I have the most hope that I've ever had for our future. I only wish it hadn't taken us 29 years to get to this point. But we are here now, and that's all that matters. As I said, I don't regret marrying you. I'd go through the last eight and a half weeks all over again as long as it means I get to keep you, and have this kind of deep relationship with you. As our relationship has endured the storm, we've discovered how strong our bonds are. And woman, they are very, very strong! Before we believed it was that strong of a love we had for each other. Now we know beyond the shadow of a doubt. It seems so little, but all I can say is thank you so much for loving me as much as you do. I don't deserve it, but you give it so freely to me. You are a joy to be with and around. I love you so much, and don't ever want to lose you to anything other than death when that inevitably comes. From here on out, I pledge to be the best husband I can be. And help you to be the best wife you can be. And together, have the best relationship to God that either of us could ever have without each other. Love you so very much. Thank you, with all the inner groaning of passion I can muster, for your sweet and precious love.



Loved everything you wrote here, but I do protest! You DO DESERVE IT!!!!

Just out of curiousity, has she written any love letter(s) to you?

That was very sweet, and definitely romantic! I see that you are fully appreciative, of having that 2nd chance. The only thing is: it sounds like this should be coming from the betrayer!

Is she still working out at the same gym as the other guy???
What\'s the status on that?

What was that your wrote, about \"the adultery started with the FIRST MAN?

Sorry, but I do not think I read back far enough in your journals. Does this mean she was adultrous with more than one man????

Okay, I went back and read each one! Got my answer!

She felt you were right. She should have written a love letter. She\'s not sure why she hasn\'t yet. Maybe its just \"natural\"\' for the guy to write those? Don\'t know. But it does say how I feel. She\'ll have her own take on it, I\'m sure.

She goes to the gym, but ever since dday, I go with her, and we go later in the evening when we know he won\'t be there. Today, for the first time since dday, she went to the gym (my son went with her, and he knows all about the affair and the man) without me.

I came home from my writer\'s club meeting, and they weren\'t back yet. Even though I knew my son was with me and the chance of the OM showing up at that time was nill, and if he did, my son would run him off, I still felt uncomfortable knowing she was there without me. And when she returned, just minutes after I came home, she related that she felt uncomfortable there by herself as well the whole time.

But, no, the OM hasn\'t even come to the gym that much since dday, maybe about five times according to his workout card. And when he does, he comes late afternoon. So we\'re pretty safe in not running into him.