HUSBAND and I attend a unique support group. He with men, sex addicts, for a time and I with women, betrayeds. Then we come together as couples. It is a powerful time, and we leave bolstered in our me-ness and our us-ness and it is good.
During our time together last week, HUSBAND shared. He shared that it is closing in on two years of complete and utter truth for him, and truth between us – two years from the time the trickle-truth DDays ended and I had a clear understanding of who the man that had shared my head and my heart and my bed and my life really was. He shared that he had worked really hard to be the same in his words that he was in his actions. That he had put fences around his behavior and checks around his actions and accountability around his emotions.
He shared that he had taken care to change even small behaviors…things like not exaggerating the amount he spent on something or what time he was leaving his office. That he has faced the emotional pain and fear and stories that were deep down in his soul and worked hard to quiet them. That he has committed to carefully speak his needs with honesty and to continue to be vulnerable in the roller coaster of my emotions and to continue to be sorry no matter what or why or who or how long.
And then he struggled to explain, but ended up sharing that it was incredible what was happening. That he realizes he has begun to believe he is this man, this new man. That he is beginning to realize that he is becoming honest and learning to live in truth – really – from a deep, core place of who he is. He shared that the freedom he has is incredible and the lure to move away from truth in his words, through his thoughts, by his actions is less tempting.
HUSBAND looked at me, then. He shared that he could not believe what he had done. That as the man he said he was and the man he is becoming synthesize together he looks back in great shame and shock and disgust and sees now…he was “that man.” And he took my hand with tender tears in his eyes and shared with me…and with the other couples in the room…that he could not believe I had stayed by his side. He shared that he didn’t think he could…now that he was beginning to really, completely comprehend the magnitude of betrayal he had woven through our lives, he just didn’t know if he could be me if the roles were reversed.
It was a stunning moment, a moment of illumination, a moment of searing pain and remarkable agony somehow moving between the two of us and we were sharing the hurt together. And sharing the healing together. The new man and the new woman and the new marriage, together in an oddly wrapped and shaped package of precious love. A package clearly and utterly covered with the battle-wounds of our lives, and the blood of the One who showed us the path through the forest of pain so we could reach this place called freedom. This place, this tender and amazing place, called love.