What Was It Like

I am in Atlanta on a business trip. On Monday, I boarded the crowded plane with no thoughts of anything other than the work ahead. My mind was occupied with the scheduled meetings, and I glanced at the itinerary, reviewed emails and planned the events during much of the flight.

As we began to descend and I could see the city below me, it hit me. Just over two years ago, another woman, literally, an OTHER WOMAN was on another flight into this same city, having just come from a tryst with HUSBAND. As I stared out the window, I tried to imagine what it was like. What it was like to be her. What she might be thinking and feeling and planning.

atlanta

Was she thinking about how she had lied to her live-in-lover about where she had gone, and how she would cover her tracks? Was she thinking about how she had lied to her boss and co-workers about her missed days at work? Was she gloating at the thought that she was one step closer in getting her man by taking mine? Could she still smell his scent…feel his touch…hear his voice…

What is it like to be a woman who can purchase a plane ticket…drive to the airport…park her car…walk to the gate…board the plane…buckle her seatbelt…make small talk conversation with her seat-mate…to a destination of secrets and evasion and deceit? What lies does she have to tell herself to keep the façade going – the fantasy that she is valued by her illicit lover in any real way – that she is anything more than a momentary illusory stopping point in the life of man who has created an out-of-sync fictional chapter in the true story of his life?

Then I thought about what it was like to be me. Me then, me now.

Me then was an oblivious wife, also on a plane headed back to my home which was HIS home. I was on the plane, thinking about the past two days in DC and all that had been accomplished…and all that remained to be done. I was on the plane, thinking about the laundry I would have to do when I got home, and hoping HUSBAND would be on time to pick me up. I was on the plane thinking about going to watch our son play soccer and whether we would have time to eat before his game and hoping HUSBAND had reminded him to get his uniform.

plane2

Me then was okay with a few functional messages with HUSBAND during my time away as long as he took care of the things he needed to take care of. Me then was okay with a brief hello and perfunctory peck on the cheek upon my return, with conversation focused on kids and what had gotten done while I was gone and what needed to be done now that I was home. Me then was a strong me who lived in a detached manner with a strong him in which we knew our roles and duties well, did them well with little dissension. But also with little passion, guarding our deepness and wounds and wishes lest they get trampled on.

Me now is stronger than ever, and HUSBAND is a man who has embraced his strength like never before. Me now is dedicated to my own work and that of HUSBAND and even more so, the extra work we embrace together to bolster ourselves and our marriage. Me now isn’t worried about HUSBAND picking up on time…me now knows he will be waiting and will have taken care of all that needed to be taken care of including things I had not even considered.

Me now is in constant touch with HUSBAND…receiving texts and phone calls and emoticons expressing his mood-of-the-moment. Me now is anxious to get on the plane later today, to return to HUSBAND knowing that I will be enveloped in his embrace. Me now looks forward to his hands cupping my face, his eyes locked on my eyes, his voice telling me how much he missed me, and me now knows this is true. Me now still knows my duties well, as does he, but me now sees these are secondary, they are only functions of life. Me now knows that real life happens in the intimacy of our us, that it is because we, because I, no longer guard my deepness, and have seen his wounds and showed him mine…many which bear his mark…that real passion burns between us.

The counterfeit may be close, and fool some, but requires one to deny inconsistencies, to turn away from flaws, to ignore blemishes. That’s what it was like. I’ll opt for me now.

embrace

 

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29 thoughts on “What Was It Like

  1. I like your “me now” too. I honestly find so much inspiration in your story. Even though I can’t really apply it to my own experiences for obvious reasons, I’m blown away about how forgiving you are. How adamant you are to make things work. And yes it takes two to tango. So Im also glad that your husband is willing to work on himself as well. It’s definitely not easy, but it’s amazing how the both of you are doing this…

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I commented on a previous post that “she” is capable of compartmentalizing just as he is. She likely wasn’t thinking about any of what you believe or wish she was. She was spending time in a compartment of her life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t suppose she was thinking of me…just of the parts of her life. Somehow she had to plot and deceive her boyfriend. Somehow she took 2 days off work during a work week and get approval for that time off. Her coworkers saw her empty cubicle and likely asked where she was. So compartmentalization or not, reality does bump against fantasy and you make a choice to see, hear and deal with truth-or you lie even more-to yourself and others

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Hi Savingshards,
    You and your husband are doing hard work with amazing results.
    I agree with Barb. People who were into this “web of deception” told me that they were solely thinking about the “mechanics” of the action and the aftermath. No fuzzy feelings involved. They store the chapter away…even when answering texts, it is as if “automatic pilot” takes over. The texts are empty, silly and false and all but unique.
    Loving messages to someone with whom one has a deep bond are unique.

    This, I know you already know, but it still might help you nevertheless as you hear it from others.
    Take care,
    E

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so intrigued by how people lie to themselves even when the truth is so obvious. With that is mind I started following a woman having an affair with a married man. He told her upfront he was/is a cheater and has been his entire marriage. She fell for him and he slowly backed out. Because she is a very good writer you could follow the daily manipulation he was doing. She could not see it. I think now she can. This must be his very successful modus operandi because I don’t think these women ever tell the wife.
    I was a young married woman when my mother left my father for another man They both remarried, moved out of town and I was left with no “family” home to visit. I was too old to connect with my stepparents so I had nowhere to go for holiday visits. It was the weirdest experience. All of it happened in less than a year. Cheating has long term effects.
    Other women and other men must be able to delude themselves during affairs. Unless they have no guilt they have some mechanism that allows total compartmentalizations. How does your husband explain how he managed? It must be awfully tiring.
    I read this on a bs blog. “You didn’t love me enough to tell me the truth”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You have touched on many subjects, so I’ll try to share a little. From our experience, HUSBAND was in denial of who he really is, what he really wants and the truth of our life together when he moved into the affair with SW. He certainly did compartmentalize to some degree, yet there were many many moments during the ten months that he sat with me and texted her, or attended a sport event sitting next to me, watching our son, and snapped a picture, sending it to her so she could be part of the event. For him, he had convinced himself that he ‘loved’ me, but wasn’t in love with me and that he deserved happiness and so did I…of course, he forgot to talk to me about his alternate plans/path! Cheating is insidious, painful, ripping and tears not only the betrayed spouse up, but the foundation of older children’s entire past apart (if there were multiple or long-term affairs). Sadly, the divorce rate is even higher for second and then third marriages…likely because the issues that precipitated the cheating were NOT really between the couple – rather issues within the cheater him/herself and if those are not dealt with, they follow them right into their next relationship. I regularly read, correspond with and support other women…most of them are so incredibly broken, seeking love, just completely confused about what love is and how they may find it. Your last quote: You didn’t love me enough to tell me the truth…that is how I felt. But I learned HUSBAND didn’t love himself enough to tell anyone the truth…not me, not SW. Thank you for writing…I hope you find some peace in your situation with your parents. HUGS to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sorry the plane ride ended up becoming a trigger, but you are so powerful: you grabbed it by the ears and spun it into something so healthy, so self-healing. This recognising the old and new you is so brilliant. I know it is a painful journey, but you are doing so amazingly well – both for your relationship (which I so admire in you, actually in both your husband and you) and for yourself. I hope the rest of the trip goes with less triggers and you’ll reunite in joy come weekend. Hugs to you SS!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, MWS. For me, it is always about letting myself examine the feelings…not living or wallowing there, but honestly feeling it. And again…HUSBAND has been such a big part…he cares for me how I need to be cared for in those moments (sometimes I need space, sometimes his strong arm…) Hugs to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Love is so much more passionate when it’s gritty and raw, full of truth, pain, and messy emotion. I’m glad you both are enjoying being more intimately connected. Too bad it was a result of such deception and hurt, but at least good is coming from it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Powerful message!! So many become complacent in their relationships, never expecting them to fall apart. The brokenness of you and your spouse have now meshed you both together with a new oneness that is stronger than ever and will never be broken again. God bless you both!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Amen!! That is so true. Your comment brings to mind a statement that God gave me one day… “The depth of your brokenness is inversely proportional to the height of your blessings.” God has great blessings in store for those who overcome the tragedies in their lives. May He bless you and your husband.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. You sum it up beautifully. This curse became a blessing for your marriage and both are stronger in your commitment to each other. This gives me more strength in my marriage when you write your post as I see myself as you wrote. What I thought would never happen and how I thought before how I would react if ever faced with cheating didn’t happen. Love prevails and strength comes through in the oddest ways. It is wierd however we have seen the real power of true love.
    It’s funny though because my husband’s affair partner tried to convince him that I would leave the marriage once I found out and little did she even have a clue what true love is because my husband’s so called love for her was short lived which proved she didn’t have it ever.
    Thank you for your strength. It reassures me I’m back on track.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for engaging…it gives me encouragement too! APs just don’t get it – true love doesn’t exist in the dark, in deleted messages and hidden pictures. It lives and breathes and thrives in the light. HUGS.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Good men are a rare breed, these days. I try my best everyday to be there without question for her. It’s a challenge for us, as men to constantly remember that we are the rock of comfort and strength. But at the same time, we sometimes don’t remember to show those we love the most. I guess that is an endless trial in life; the balance of always being there and allowing ourselves to vulnerable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a balance – needing to be there-the strength, etc yet be vulnerable. I guess what HUSBAND has learned is that in his vulnerability is real strength? Thank you, p2d2, for sharing. Please come back.

      Liked by 1 person

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