Another side of Her hurt, I can only imagine. When my husband found Our emails, I stopped contact with Her altogether. As I mentioned earlier, We were on one of Our more serious hiatuses, and it was a more definite, permanent hiatus than ever before. She never knew he found them, and We have not spoken since. Big hurt. I still wonder what She must be thinking, feeling, about it.
And then there is my husband’s hurt. He was willing to let me go, bless him. He wanted me to be happy. You see, She didn’t know this, but all the while We were together (so to speak), I was growing distant from my husband. I wasn’t nice to him. I felt guilty, and I took it out on him. He didn’t know what was going on, he just saw that I grew more and more unhappy and angry. I felt guilty for cheating, and angry that when I kissed him, he wasn’t Her. His lips are very different from Hers. Very nice, but not Hers.
There was a time when I felt that I didn’t even want to be with him sexually at all. I thought maybe I was discovering that I was lesbian rather than bisexual (fifth time–the fourth was in a reply to a comment left by a reader). But, on the rarer and rarer occasions that we did have sex, I enjoyed it just fine, and would wonder, if I was with Her, would I miss this, just as I am missing Her now?
He would have been relieved to see me go. I couldn’t stay in that stuck, depressed place.
It’s not that I didn’t think about how he would feel if he knew, when We were in the middle of what We were doing. I thought about it a lot. I just didn’t want to do anything about it. Honestly. My mentor, who knew what had gone on, said to me, “You are an alcoholic, and She is your alcohol.” Wow. That was true. And, I hadn’t hit rock bottom yet, so “drinking” Her up was still worth every sweet moment of it.
Until I came to the hangover and the guilt started seeping in. And the shame. Ugh. I have never been ashamed of being bisexual (six! And twice in one post–a record!). Not ever, not once. I may never come out to anyone else other than who currently know, but not because I’m ashamed. Only because it wouldn’t help anyone to know right now. Maybe someday, but not now.
No, my shame was because of the cheating. I would ask Her, after a while, when the “Go Aways” got harder to take, “What kind of person would I be, if I could easily walk away from a family? Not the kind You would want or deserve to be with!”
Other times I would admit, hung over and worn out by my guilty love, “I don’t really have the constitution to keep an affair going. How do men do it?” (Faulty stereotype acknowledged.) I was exhausted most of the time: Up late with Her, working, having a family. There was no time for myself, and even if I didn’t mind because I loved every minute of Her, I was exhausted.
And depressed. My husband was a champion during this time, really, and carried all the love for our marriage. I had nothing left. I couldn’t leave, and I couldn’t stay. To stay would have been to carry guilt of the deception, and have to accept that he isn’t She. To go would have carried the guilt of abandonment. I was trapped, but wasn’t dealing with it. I didn’t want to process all of it and find that I had to let Her go. My heart still burns at the thought, even though I am doing it, releasing Her. I am stubborn that way.
Anyway, back to my husband’s hurt, which deserves to be honored here. It wasn’t just hurt. He was devastated. His illusion of me as a wife, his wife, was shattered. He is wonderful enough that his devastation wasn’t that I was bisexual (SEVEN!), but that I had cheated on him. It didn’t matter to him that She was a woman. It mattered that I am his wife. He was angry and bitter for a week.
Can you believe that? One week? I would have been out the door, if I were him. How have I been blessed with people who are more tolerant of my bad behavior than I am?
I often wondered, if I were in his shoes, and he had cheated on me, would I have been less upset if his lover were a man rather than a woman? I think it would make a difference to me. I could take him having a male lover over a female. Maybe that’s why he has worked so hard to forgive me. I wonder if it would have been harder if I had fallen for another man. I don’t think I ever would. Eck. It doesn’t sound appealing at all. One is plenty.
I do worry, however, just a bit, that I might run into a situation with another woman someday where there is a strong attraction. I can’t imagine it, since this was about the love even more than the sex (although…….), and I can’t imagine loving another woman like I have loved Her. Will I restrain myself better? Will I have learned my lesson thoroughly enough? Will I want to avoid the pain–mine and others’–enough to resist? It frightens me a bit that I don’t know the answer to that.
I hate to admit it, but there were times when it didn’t feel like cheating as much, since She is a woman.
So odd, all these strange ideas that surface when something out of the ordinary (at least for me) happens.
For that week, my husband let me have it with everything he had. And I was a very good listener. He doesn’t have it in him to be abusive. That’s also how wonderful he is. So, his anger seemed perfectly appropriate for the situation. Besides, after months of shaming myself in my own head, it was nice to hear it from someone else for a change.
After that week, and since, it has been tears, trust issues, and lots of reassuring on my part. He never wanted to know anything more than when and where We first consummated Our relationship.
I really haven’t been in contact with Her since he found Our emails…I just didn’t mention the online professional forum that We frequent together, that I will “like” one of Her comments, just to let Her know I still love Her. It was like brushing my hand across Hers. She returned it, too, on my comments. That was all. Twice, She wrote a comment and included my name. I knew She wanted me to engage, but I couldn’t. In fact, I didn’t let myself go back there for a week.
When you’re an alcoholic trying to recover, you don’t drive down the street where your favorite bar is located. That’s how I had to look at it. Although, you can go online and look at the outside of the bar in a Google search. Far enough from the beverage, but close enough to not fully let it go.
So that’s all for today. Two hurts. The knowledge of both keep me sober.
My divided heart? Still working on it.