It’s been over a year since I posted on this blog. The main reason for this was that Danny and I decided to leave France and to move to my Father’s native land: Ireland. It was a bit like coming home when we arrived on a cold snowy New Year’s Eve day 2020, with two cats and two dogs in tow.
Sharing that with you I hope (because this blog is all about hope) that it will give you hope that people can move forward in their lives. That some relationships can repair and evolve to such a degree that there is enough trust to make big life decisions based on the knowledge that they are working together. Or give you hope that you can recover from calling time on the relationship. Sometimes people evolve and realise that the affair that happened has changed them to such a degree that what they thought they wanted was not what they wanted at all and they decide to move on with their lives in a different way, sometimes they don’t, sometimes they continue to struggle. But there is still hope: for the future, using what you have learned to be stronger. (But that will depend on you.)
As always where the betrayed are concerned I believe that if you can find yourself you can undertake big life changes safe in the knowledge that you always have yourself; because ultimately that is all you ever have, and in all honesty what else do you need? I don’t stay with Danny because I need him emotionally, I stay with him because I want to be here, because I love him, but I don’t have expectations – that’s for another post.
I think it is different for the person who had the affair. I know where Danny is concerned if we had gone down the path of separation he would have always looked back with regret to the actions that he took all those years ago. He may have learned from them, but the pain and regret would always be there. In fact it sometimes it still is for him.
So that takes me to my other reason for my lack of posting: I felt that I had gone as far as I could go in helping people understand where they were, and at times when interacting on social media I didn’t want to perpetuate people’s feelings that this was all a ‘sisterhood’ and that we are all in the ‘same place.’ The whole point of me sharing our story is that I am not in the same place. I got up out of my boat on the Ocean of Despair a long while ago, and I hoped that I could encourage others to do the same.
However there were times when I saw a frenzy generated whenever someone broke out from that ‘sisterhood’ and dared to say something like ‘What could I have done different?’ Or I when I saw people who were moving forward pulled back when, on one of those days when you just want to punch your spouse, partner whatever, or run screaming never to return, they join in a bitch fest on social media, getting angrier and angrier, more and more triggered, and so end up back about six or more months from where they had got to. It was clear that there were times when people posted to ‘push others buttons’ because they are hurting, it’s so much easier to know that you are not alone in your pain. It all made me wonder ‘Am I really making any difference?’
I have always compared the journey through infidelity as a journey on an ocean, not a sea, because that is smaller. The impact of infidelity can at times feel as if it will go on forever, making the ocean the right metaphor for me. So, it was interesting when I recently read a written piece about love, and how we all need to be kinder and love more, the ‘kind-set’. In this piece they commented on how the world ‘seemed to be drowning in a sea of despair from the ‘abundance of negativity, confusion and uncertainty foisted on us by the media’, and it made me reconsider this blog. Then my most recent update on my book came in, and despite my not promoting it or shouting about it, it has been consistently selling, so I revisited the blog I read the comments from people who had bought the book. They told me how much the book and blog had helped them, and I realised that I needed to come back. I needed to help others learn not to be dragged into that sea of negativity that social media can cause, why would you want to, you’re already afloat on the Ocean of Despair.
But more than that I need to share with you all what I have learned over the last nine years, or since my last journal entry that I closed on in ‘Making This Better’ the book.
I have learned so much, and I wouldn’t have been led on that path if what had happened hadn’t happened.
Here’s the thing: apart from friends who helped me, social media in its current form was only just getting off the ground. I had no ‘sisterhood’, I just had to keep going. I have written in my book of how I would look for anyone that would tell me the pain would go away, that it would get better, but there weren’t many people out there at the time who were putting that out there. So I turned to myself, because I was all I had, and at times I thank whatever power that be for that.
I am also an incredibly stubborn person, and I could see, as I wrote many times in my journal in those first five years, how I could let the affair define me, or make me. I had a choice, I wasn’t going to be beaten. I feel different now, but at the time I needed that fighting talk, now I don’t need to fight, I am just me, and I need to share how I got to this place with others.
As Jack from the wonderful blog ‘I am Jack’s Broken Heart’ said many years ago, ‘nobody knows every little nuance.’ That is true, and over this journey I have interacted with people whose stories are very very different to mine. My blog is not to tell anyone what they should or should not do, but this part, this new part may resonate with some and help them make change, in whatever form.
I may write some things that people don’t want to hear or agree with in this next stage of my blog. If you want to come along I hope that you will find it helpful, if you don’t agree then you don’t agree. It depends on what you want – whether to let the affair affect all your life, or not.
Like I said many moons ago ‘The Power Lies With You.’
As someone else said shall we ‘Light that tiny candle or shall we sit and curse the darkness?’
Let’s light that tiny candle.