It is almost two years since the first bomb drop. And the up and down of denying another woman and finally saying that there was. Then minimizing it because it was just an emotional affair and not sexual. This is what I have learned from this board:

1-I have learned that even though my life has been totally blown apart, I can get stronger and better. It is a long and painful journey, but, it does slowly improve.

2-I have learned that even though I blamed myself horribly the first year, it has taken me another full year to understand that while I have made some mistakes he has made decisions which are incredibly hurtful to all who loved him. He has acted so far out of his previous value system that friends and family ask where the person is they thought they knew.

3-Making decisions which hurt the ones you profess to have loved in order to boost yourself somehow will eventually amount to serious emotional consequences for him. He may not allow himself to recognize it now because his emotional armour is very thick, but, he will realize it someday.

4-If our marriage had weaknesses, he had a responsibility to share those directly with me . He had no right to seek out other women to share his emotional distress. His infidelity will never be excusable.

5-To minimize an affair is the most hurtful of all. Sneaking out at night to be with another woman is catastrophic to the woman left behind. The more time that passes, the more the hurt and anger is realized. And to model that behavior for his two sons is a second error of grand proportions.

6-I have learned that I am a good person with many skills and that many family and friends rallied mightily to me when I had my darkest moments. Strangers stopped and comforted me when they sensed my distress. I have learned that I will never look past anyone who needs such support in the future, because they were there for me.

7-I have learned that one can survive great challenges in one’s life, but that it is an incredibly slow process. There is a great danger of giving yourself away to the pain and sorrow. I need to allow myself that time to heal and not get impatient to have happiness back at its old level. I need to not give anymore of myself away.

8-I have learned humility. Always having been the strong person whom people sought ought for advice and help, I learned I needed help desperately and how to accept it graciously.

9-I have learned that medication can help lift one out of the darkest moments and challenges. I have learned that tears can eventually dry up.

10-I have learned that spirtuality becomes more real in the midst of a crisis, but, that it will always be central to my life even after the crisis has passed.

11-I have learned that even though the mid-life crisis theory may or may not explain my husband’s actions, his apologies mean nothing unless his actions change at the same time.

12-I have learned that one can lose the respect of friends and family in a second. And, that, whatever is pulling you away from those friends and family must be very powerful.

13-I have learned that this board has functioned far better for me than any support group could ever have provided. I know the pain the new folks feel as they write. I know a few things that I can write which might help. I know that there are some powerful folks on this board who share their experiences out of their care of others who hurt. I am grateful for their wisdom.

14-I have learned to be even closer to my two sons and deeply grateful for their sensitivity to my deep hurt and pain.

This is a lot to learn and I write it to remind myself that I have come a long way and to remind new folks here that our fog lifts over time as well and we do become stronger. Thanks for letting me share.

Posted on the Midlife Crisis Forum in 2002 by forum member Hunsand. All rights reserved.