I was watching a movie the other day in which a marriage of 20 years was broken because a man had started an affair with another woman. At lunch one day he told his wife that they had been living a lie and confessed to the affair. Why? Because he wanted to be with the other woman.
The wife was dumbfounded, as well she might be. This came at her from out of the blue. But the words he spoke next hit me:
"I won't give her up. It's non-negotiable."
Now I went through 18 years of marriage the first go round. I tried and tried to do everything from emoting to meditating to trying to bring back the passion and nothing worked. The main reason was because I didn't have cooperation. It took two of us to make a marriage and it would take two of us to succeed.
Unlike this woman I didn't have a worry about him having an affair with anyone...it was more like him having an affair with his hobbies. I came in third in his life and for me that wasn't acceptable. I couldn't live that way no matter how hard I tried. I finally gave up, which wasn't easy. I don't take vows and promises lightly.
In the movie the man realizes that the wife is the only woman he really loves. Life isn't as good without her. My ex said something along those lines too, that he realized what he had only after it was gone. She forgave him and took him back; I didn't.
I would think that if my current husband had an affair that I could forgive him. I would think that if we were able to discuss it and work through it the love would overcome the feeling of betrayal and that maybe I could understand. The difference is that we share in what happened together.
The first time around I wasn't given a choice. I was cut out completely and spent hours at night roaming the house crying. When I tried to talk to him about things he was too tired to talk or he turned things around to where I was at fault. That, my friends, is not communication.
This time around I know that I have love in my life. I feel loved and I feel appreciated. That, I believe, is what makes the difference.