The Girl on the Plane

I got on a plane today. HUSBAND and I booked the window seat and the aisle seat and hoped no one would climb into the center seat – and they didn’t. That gave us the whole row to (relatively) stretch out and relax.

I had a hard time relaxing though. See…I realized it is an anniversary of sorts. Or as betrayeds often say, an antiversary. As I looked out the window and saw the city we were in get smaller and smaller…as we pierced through a thick layer of clouds…as we settled out above the clouds…my mind began to wander, and then to remember.

clouds from plane 2

Back when HUSBAND and I had been married just a little more than two years, another girl got on a plane. On this same day, all those years ago. She didn’t get on with HUSBAND, with my husband. But she got on to fly to HUSBAND, my husband. To meet him and spend a couple days and nights and in-betweens with him.

woman on plane

I don’t think about this all the time anymore. HUSBAND and I have done such good work and we have grown and healed for the most part. But there are things – things like getting on a plane on February 13 – that shake my heart’s healing and cause me to think about the girl who didn’t get on the plane years ago – the one back at home, missing HUSBAND and seeing him for things he wasn’t and realizing the other girl – the one that did get on the plane years ago – also was seeing him for things he wasn’t.

My thoughts chewed over the lies and deception. It chewed over the two realities that were lived side-by-side that I didn’t know about. It chewed over the emotional distance that characterized so much of our marriage because the protection of lies destroyed any chance of real intimacy. It chewed over lost years and lost moments. I grieved.

And then I put it away. I chose to hold the hand of the one who’d been the cause of so much pain, and yet, so much strength and so much pleasure. I looked at his worn face and his eyes that are full of life now. This man who was my husband then, when the other girl got on the plane. And the one who is my husband now, when I got on the plane.

hands

And together, HUSBAND and I, got off the plane.

The Weight Transfer.

As you know, HUSBAND revealed a little. Then a little later, he revealed a little more. And a little later, a little more and a little more and a little more until finally all of his revealing was done. All the lies that he had carried and buried and stowed away so carefully for 25 years were out. He felt light and free like he’d never felt before.

But as they left his lips, they hit my ears and wriggled their way in. They traveled through my ears and down my throat and fanned out in my system…some entering my brain and finding nooks and crannies to live and taunt and distort…some piercing my heart and ripping it up into thousands of pieces…some stopping along the way in my esophagus emitting masses of acidity creating a burning so intense…some filtering into my stomach that tried to work hard to get rid of the invader by cramping and growling…some into my intestines where they expanded and my body screamed for release…and the rest traveling down into my lower spine and legs and all the way to my toes that ached and tingled…

He had transferred the filth, and was clean, but I was DIRTY.

When a cheater finally comes clean to his spouse, this is what happens.

Much of the betrayer’s life has been pulled inward to carry out the deception, and even if the affair stops without or before revelation, they are always on guard, fearing that a misspoken word will trip them up. This is how HUSBAND describes it. The freedom he was experiencing was literally euphoric, but I bore the heaviness for him to get to lightness.

A necessary part of the process, and one that I wish I could change for all of us betrayeds. It SUCKS, and the burden is so great, and so present. No relief in sleep as, at first, dreams swirl around and taunt with images and thoughts and alternate endings. No relief as we work and can’t concentrate and fail to meet deadlines and suffer in silence or experience out-of-bound emotions and coworkers think we have lost it (which we have). No relief as we parent our children and look at the image of our betrayer and want to scream out YOUR FATHER IS A FUCKING CHEATER when they receive the love and affection so readily from a man who betrayed not only us but them.

Oh those days – weeks – months were horrific. I nearly broke in two carrying the weight.

Womancarrying2

Nearly, but not quite. And as my body began to get heal, and to expel the poison and I started standing straighter I found I was taller. And stronger. And I began to see – even though it was the little space right in front of me, that moment – I began to see, and to step into…

Life.