This is my story, my life, my view of it all. I am only sharing this for myself in hopes that this story will help someone not make the same mistakes that happened to me. But to change what can be avoided and not destroy or damage a person in this way.
Over a year ago, Valentine's Day to be exact, I discovered the worst life turning event in my life. And that wasn't even the end. What I found out and experienced in the months following was so life crushing one could truly never understand the pain, hurt, and loss of life a person feels unless you have actually been through it. And even then you can only partially relate because each persons experience varies on every level imaginable. All you do is live in the past and revisit your memories as if a death has crossed your path except it's worse than a death because you watch the lives of others continue. It's a reality like no other.
You see...affairs are the worst ending to any life and it affects all like a death or a plague leaving a person in a state of uncontrollable hurt, anger, and depression. No matter how many articles you read, they all describe the levels of grief you go through and none of them really help because you will experience these levels at points you never imagined. The most these articles do is give you perspective and validation for why you feel the way you're feeling or what these next steps will be.
You will find a ton of support in your life for the ones who fell victim to a partner that committed an affair. But even that's not enough because you will doubt yourself to the worst levels of doubt possible leaving the strongest person you may have ever known feeling paralyzed by it all. So lost in their own world because they can't understand what is happening, let alone what did happen. This is where fears come to light. You seek validation and find yourself speechless with it all because you are now consumed by fears. You will feel abandoned and thrown away like a piece of trash, as if you never meant anything to this person whom you built a life and family with.
The level of searching a person will do for answers is ridiculous because there are no real answers. You will never understand. Instead you re-evaluate yourself, what you could've done or should've done better to hold on to the life you knew so well, your life, your family life but then you realize that this was never enough for the other person. You finally realize you can't do it alone. So you let go. Some by choice and some because there is no choice but to save yourself from this twisted mind game being played on you.
What the articles don't talk about is that affairs are mental and emotional abuse to the victims. A victim will be attacked, blamed for it all, disrespected in ways you never were before, and humiliated in ways once again completely unimaginable. If kids are involved they too will doubt themselves and their own self worth just as you do being left with the same grief to go through, especially older children. There is nothing worse than seeing children go through this process because you want to protect them from it all but you can't.
Almost a year later nothing has gotten better. In some ways it's gotten worse because what you once were in control of (meaning your own life) you no longer are. You have to rebuild a foundation for you and your children. Find your safety and security again. You now have to share your children and only see them half their life now. You have to re-invent who you are. You have to heal, be strong, fight for yourself, fight for respect, fight for what your path in life is now. And it's not an easy fight by all means. It will become your hardest fight of your life. And this doesn't even touch on the grueling divorce process that takes place. That's a whole other level of destruction you have to go through that drains you dry.
Emotionally you are beat down, mentally you're exhausted, and physically you are destroyed. For me this is my truth.
This wasn't written for sympathy or to bash or to gain support. I have found through this process that I have the best friends and family I could ever ask for. I constantly thank all who have helped listen to me over and over again through this process. To help me understand the why's, to learn to be strong, to learn that no matter what...you are loved by many. For this, I love each and every one of you for the ear, the shoulder, the hug, the texts, and the long late night calls. I probably wouldn't be writing this if it wasn't for all of you in my life right now.
I am writing this for those who are in a relationship, married or not. If you're finding yourself struggling in your relationship make a real choice to stay or leave. Leaving is never easy but you walk away with dignity and respect. You can walk away knowing you tired and this was the only option left. Don't bring someone else into your relationship. It never helps anyone. If you find yourself getting emotionally attached or having a physical attraction to someone else, walk away and handle your relationship first. Don't drag your family through hell and back because you can't make a choice. Don't tear a part a person or family in this way. It helps no one...trust me. Walk away from your family for a bit, separate yourself if you have to to get your head straight. Be true to yourself. There are many options but you have a choice. I'm gonna say this again... YOU HAVE A CHOICE!
No matter what...the other person deserves respect, honesty, and the truth of what's going on. A chance to change it, correct their mistakes. A chance to prove what they need to fix. At the very least they deserve to know. After all, you built a relationship with this person and the foundation started with honesty and trust. Why not end the relationship this way if this is the only choice.
It took me a long time to realize this and still to face or admit because no one wants to admit this...my marriage was broken but not unrepairable. Our issues were simple fixes to remove ourselves from the day to day routines of life that every family or relationship falls into but this doesn't matter. It doesn't matter because of what happened. There were fixes but the chance to fix is stripped from the person when an affair takes place. To this day I struggle to sleep, don't feel much stronger but have realized I have become stronger for my kids and at least I have learned to look at my path now and finally face it.
We all have faults. I had mine too. I tried like hell to hold on, fight for what I thought was stronger than this and gave many chances to stop all this from happening. I dealt with this for two years before I realized how far it had really gone. But I at least walk away with knowing that I gave it my all and tried to change what I could. I will never understand the why because I see through different eyes of how my marriage really was. But NO relationship is perfect. Depression is not an excuse because there is still right and wrong. However, this doesn't need to be the way a relationship ends. I always thought I had a perfect marriage, a perfect partnership, a great family, a great life that I cherished and was so proud of, until now. Almost all the articles I've ever read the other person felt the same way because they were blind sided by the affair and because they were happy with themselves and their relationship and didn't see the signs if there were any. This was me too. It truly tears me up to this day that it ended a 20+ year relationship, marriage, and friendship. My family is now three strong. It's a 50/50 chance as all statistics state these days about marriage rates but it doesn't have to be. One more time...you have a choice!
If what I've said and my story helps one person, one relationship or reaches at least someone to rethink their life and what they are about to do or even did, then it was worth sharing. Go home, look at your partner, spend some quality time with them, step out of the box and look through the other persons view for a moment, and decide if it's worth the fight or not. Think about your future with this person, if you see one still, there is hope. Find what it is you really need or want from this person and be willing to allow time to change what it is you are seeking from this person. Understand if what you're even asking is truly validated or if it's something you're not happy with in yourself. If that's the case, realize that YOU are the only one who can make yourself happy and in turn happiness is given back to you in ways you never thought. Talk to other people. Understand your own feelings. Be open and honest with yourself.
The minute you go down this road of an affair it will forever change your relationship and in most times it does not end well. Recovering from an affair takes so much time and effort to rebuild what you broke if it's even possible. Some actually do get past this but they had dedication and are willing to look at themselves honestly for what they have done and are willing to change themselves. Realize it will take more time to repair than if you tried to address the original issues. And the level of hurt and pain you both will go through is never worth it. Not to mention the levels of guilt you will feel for it all. I cannot say this enough... you have a choice.
Life is hard, no relationship is perfect, and nothing is worth all of this. I've said this many times relating to others pain of loss...you can lose your life in an instant and this loss will forever change you. It is a death like no other. This is the truth for both parties involved.
Author: Stephanie Lascola - Gimple