Road to Reality


Girl met Boy. Fell in love. They bared their souls, dreamed dreams.  Had the wedding, made babies. Did the good and bad of life. Thought they were on a road to grow old together.

And mixed in and out and up and down and through and through were others. Others who caressed Boy’s body and distorted his mind and twisted his thoughts. But Girl didn’t know.

One day…the truth came out and Girl looked at Boy. Who was this Boy that had shared her life but hadn’t really?

This is the short story of a long marriage…nearly 30 years now…

So when I look at our lives together, and I look at his life apart, and I consider the profound healing that has happened in a little less than two years, what I realize is I was in love. I was in love, and stayed the course of love even when the in-love part waned but it was with the potential man, not the real man, because the real man was deeply hidden. He was hidden under piles of lies and shame and hurt-turned-nasty. I never was in love with his reality, because there was no way he was going to let me, or anyone else, see that reality. It was too awful, too flawed, too unlovable. The real man was not willing to be known – even by the man himself – much less his wife, or even his whores.

The shattering of his carefully created self…and my understanding of life for 27 years…was the beginning of going to a place that I never knew existed. I couldn’t know, it had been hidden.

But the place we are now is more than anything I could have written in a fairy tale. Have you ever noticed that all the love stories in print and on screen end with the “and they lived happily ever after…” Our imaginations create beautiful lives of bliss, no-work-or-conflict-and-everything-is-amazing-and-lovely-and-perfect…He always remembers to call, and bring flowers, and write love notes, and tell us we are beautiful, and senses our every need, and treats us with kindness even when we are not-so-kind…

My marriage now? Well…it is reality. Two real, broken people who have become safe for each other in our wretchedness. Two real, broken people who used to take care to never touch in the bed at night, and now never break contact, ever, all night long. Two real, broken people who have no subjects that are off limit, no words that are not allowed, no thoughts that are shunned. Two real, broken people who have learned to dream together, and don’t have to know the end of the story to be determined to write the story. Together.

As painful as it has been, I choose reality.


32 thoughts on “Road to Reality

    1. It is not a road I ever expected…bumpy, huge pot holes, crazy detours. But the place it is taking me to is also not one I ever expected or even knew existed. And craggy as it may be, it is beautiful. HUGS, sweet girl.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It took long to get there, but at least you got there! 🙂 Best of luck to you two!!

    But I guess that happens very often, being in a relationship with the ‘potential’ rather than the ‘real’ person. I know in my case I fell in love for the ‘potential’… that now feels like a fake persona altogether. The real person, I’m only getting to know now.
    But to be honest, I think everyone hides part of the real person to someone/everyone. It’s just sad to do it to your partner, who should be your safe place, where you can be yourself without no smoke and mirrors. What’s the point if it isn’t that way?

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  2. What hope and encouragement your story provides! Praise God for giving you the grace and strength to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Praise God for this glimpse at the possibilities that exist when we choose love — it has the power to conquer all. Blessings and love to you & the Boy.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is beautifully written! There is so much genuine love expressed- fairy tale love is easy but love that is forged through a bond that has endured so much pain and brokenness- well that’s exceptional! I love that you two are wrapped in each other’s arms all night now and finding real safety and security there!

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  4. What you write is true, devastating and lovely all at the same time. Can we love the ugly as well as the beautiful? The entire package. Can we accept that the one we loved and trusted the most destroyed a part within ourselves? A part that may never really be recovered. The old marriage is dead. Can we find our way not back but forward together? It is by far the hardest and most frightening thing of all to try and do. Forgiveness is a long way off. Love, hate and shame mixed into one ugly emotion at times. Trust broken. I keep holding on to hope that this time my eyes are wide open. That I know more about him and learning more about me. This time I will be better too not just him making all the changes. I compare it to a death in which we get another chance to live. Thank you for your post. It is in my husbands arms that makes me have hope. God they feel so good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We really view our old marriage as dead, too. It honestly never had life…too many hidden spots and denied needs. We have a new marriage, and since discovery, we are making new marriage history. I…we…will never FORGET the past, but we will not relive it, either. HUGS to you on your journey!


  5. A beautiful beginning to a new chapter. Even though I may have chosen to do the opposite, but I always say this, if there is love, then love prevails no matter what the circumstances are. And from what I read in this particular post, I feel the love. I definitely felt your hurt. Your anger. Your disgust. But today, today I most definitely felt your love and I’m glad…

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  6. Lovely, just so lovely that from that wretchedness something positive and strong has emerged. Just goes to show that it takes both parties to work at it to succeed. Thank you for this post. Xxx

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  7. I never bought the fairytale. I refused to read them to my children. Have always believed life together is real. Mostly good, sometimes bad. From day one I always said, “as long as the good outweighs the bad, we’re winning.” I said it out loud. I shared that with him. Lots. He said it back. Problem is, I stayed the course, I understood the reality, I got the bad times would always happen. He lost the faith during a bad spot. And it ruined everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You were a wise woman. I hear people all the time say things like “it should be easy” or “this relationship is too hard” about their husbands or wives. It seems like, collectively (perhaps not individually…) we seem to have an attitude that relationships & marriage should just “WORK” and if it stops, or isn’t, or doesn’t, then its okay to walk out, or have an affair, or some other action. That’s precisely the time to press in… So sorry your H doesn’t get it, dear Horses…


  8. I love your post. Yes second chances are wonderful when you both wake up to reality and realize what you almost lost. Two souls that need each other more than they ever realized. It’s sad to realize the old marriage is done with, but hopeful to know there is a continued stronger marriage ahead for the two of you. I feel we are so called ” the fortunate” ones who really realize what a strong marriage can be created once again. It really is for better or for worse. I don’t want my old marriage back anymore because if it was returned, nothing would have changed.
    Thank You again for your uplifting post. We are forging ahead in an upbeat attitude. Our hearts held closer to each other more than ever these days

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those who have not been betrayed as we all have would not understand the idea that the people in marriages trying to survive infidelity could ever be considered fortunate ones. But I see your point. I would never ( and I mean NEVER) wish for this again but if I am too be honest with myself I think my old marriage was slowing dying on the vine. This experience as terrible and painful as it is has opened our eyes to what is important. Our life has begun again. Together for now. Hopefully forever.

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      1. True…halfway thru our marriage we lost a twin due to a stillbirth. At the time people would say “I was the chosen one” to have experienced this tragedy. And how stronger I would become after this. The grief, the pain was very hard on us. Then years later to experience infidelity, I read articles stating that we are the “fortunate” ones that learn what marriage is and how you can,if you decide to, battle the storm and get thru this stronger. “Fortunate” was a word that came up to say we are fortunate to learn how strong we can become after infidelity, however I don’t want to be fortunate in this way nor ever feel fortunate again. My husband was fortunate that I forgave him and we are reconciling our marriage. I’m thankful that this has worked out for both of us and has demonstrated how much love between us there really is. My husband made a mistake that he could have controlled early on. Our twin was not a controlled choice!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is something inexplicable unless you have walked this path…and your admission of the dying on the vine…thank you. I’m glad you have chosen, together, what is important and are moving that way – forever… HUGS.


  9. Your words spoke to me. I consider my husband and I two broken souls, much in need of healing, and desperately trying to build a future 32 years into our relationship. I feel your pain and understand so well where you came from.

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