Do you know as I came to write this post I found the above quote, and unexpectedly my eyes filled with tears. Not for me, but for Danny.
I need to say that I did get Danny’s agreement before sharing this with you all; because it is from the here and now, it is us, here and now. I knew how sharing this will resonate with so many people.I also know that it will help some people to understand, perhaps it will help some people to let go of their anger, and for some their bitterness.
This week in the late afternoon we found that we had some time left from our busy days and we decided to have some ‘afternoon delight.’ There are no hang ups for us where that is concerned, but after as we lay with each other Danny said ‘I love you so much.’ As I responded ‘I love you too’ I saw it… the pain in his eyes, and like tickertape I saw in his eyes his thoughts: ‘Why did I do what I did? How can you love me, when I don’t deserve it?’ I just said ‘I saw that then’ and he laughed it off and closed his eyes; as he so often does because he does not feel that he is entitled to any understanding, because he cannot understand himself from all those years ago.
I felt so sad for him. I no-longer feel pain with regard to what happened, I remember the pain, but mainly when I interact with others in the hope of helping them. Yes it is a pain that you never forget because what happened, happened. To quote ‘The Cad’ ‘What is done cannot be undone.’ But for me I have used it as something to learn from, to evolve. I have said often it is part of my ‘cloth of life’ it does not define my life.
I was talking to someone about this post today, and she said that I have such a strong personality, that I am able to do that; but others do not, and Danny is one of them.
But I think it is more than that: Danny, as I believe many betrayers do, feels such immense guilt; and at times confusion at what he did. Yes he is judging his actions back then based on the here and now that we have. When in fact if he looked back at all the things that we have discussed he would see that we were vastly different then, and so was he. So to judge his actions in the past based on the person that he is today is not fair; because he would not be the person that he is today if he had not taken those actions in the past.
That afternoon I looked at him with such sadness and said ‘Danny I am not in pain, I am fine, I am happy. I use what happened to us to help other people and I understand their pain, but it does not trigger me, I don’t sit and think about what happened back then; I moved on from it a long time ago. I just wish that you could do the same.But I know that you cannot and I understand why: because you let yourself down and now you don’t feel worthy of my love. Try and focus on all the things you have done since then: how you fought tooth and nail to keep me, did everything you could to keep me. Faced your fears every day (that I was too good for him and would leave him one day), evolved, now read philosophies and different things, understand and believe that life is doing the driving and so much more beside. See all those things, and if you can’t do it for yourself then do it for me.’
I know he will think about what I said because he loves me, and I know he will remind himself of what he has achieved, but that he will always dislike himself for what he did to me all those years ago. This time I just wish I could help take his pain away.
This conversation made me realise how, in the wake of infidelity, there is so much pain, and so much damage done. How some of those that betrayed will never forgive themselves. We all talk about forgiveness of how can we forgive them? When does it happen? I know that I find the saddest thing to come from all of this for us is that Danny will never forgive himself. People who betray often say afterwards that they do not know why they did it, how they did it, when they loved there spouse so much. It must be frightening to suddenly realise that all you have worked for you nearly threw away because you were afraid to face the things that were on your mind; or unable to ask for help for fear of upsetting the other person. So you swallowed it and eventually pressed the self-destruct button. It must be so hard to have that on your mind all the time; and carry it like a pennance.
I know that whenever I see that look in Danny’s eyes it breaks my heart, because I can look into his heart and soul and say I am staying, but it won’t take his pain away.
I am sharing this with you all for those whose partners are trying, are doing the work, find it so difficult to articulate how they feel because they don’t feel that they are entitled to any feelings, because they screwed up. Those whose partners are lying to themselves because they are frightened of the truth. Share this with them, help them know that they are not alone; because I don’t agree that every affair is only a choice, I believe that some are also a mistake.
As always I hope this helps.
I would welcome comments on this because I think that for reconciliation we have to understand both sides of the story… eventually.
Making This Better the book is now available including the journal entries for the first 5 years of our recovery & the whole 21 days of ‘The War’. Available internationally in paperback and ebook at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble also available at Xlibris and Apple Books for iPad and Waterstones Bookstores for click & collect and Amazon.co.uk and so many more.