Lives are hanging in the balance of what transpires over these next few days and while in some ways I feel as though a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, I feel a different weight pressing down on me now. The weight of my wife telling me she still loves me and that while this other woman that entered my life may “want me” she and my family “need me”.
“I need you to sacrifice this relationship for us.” she told me. “I understand that you love her, or at least you think that you do, but this relationship should never have happened, you should never have let it happen. It just wasn’t the right time. You need to re-commit yourself to this marriage and this family and so do I. We are both responsible for the state of our marriage and together I believe we can both start over and find love again.”
I don’t think I need to explain how those words hit me like a ton of bricks being thrown against my chest.
There was a point in that same conversation where she was ready to pack me a bag and send me on my way. “Get your shit, go downstairs and tell your three daughters why you are about to ruin all our lives and then get out!!” she exclaimed. I don’t blame her one bit for being angry but I wasn’t about to let that be the way I walked out the door. I wasn’t going to let her choose the narrative that I give to my daughters about why I feel the need to end my marriage and disrupt our family. I was able to de-escalate the situation a bit so at least I wasn’t being forced out the door that night.
As I look back upon this though, I am left to wonder maybe I should have walked away. Would it have been ideal? Certainly not but in this situation we find ourselves in there is no such thing as ideal….and any notion that there is can only be construed as pure fantasy. The thing is the longer I stay here under this roof the more she is led to believe that I may change my mind, that I will change my mind. The more opportunities to convince me why I shouldn’t leave my family. Opportunity for doubt to set in, and in my case, doubt is paralyzing.
Doubt has caused me to try and end my affair on more than 4 separate occasions now. Not doubt about how I feel about my lover, that has never been in question, but doubt about inflicting pain and suffering on my family.
I feel like my only way out right now is to blast my way out the front door because my wife simply cannot accept the idea that I would leave. Maybe it’s denial, maybe fear, maybe she just knows the right emotional levers to pull to make me question what I am doing.
And what about my lover? Right now she is left anxious wondering what’s going on in my head. I’m sure she is concerned that I may be convinced to stay. She has every right to be concerned given all those previous times that I tried to end things. I really feel badly for her in all this. She is left holding onto faith that I can break myself free. That I can choose my own happiness. That I can choose HER.
More conversations need to happen, more anger expressed, more tears shed but this is where we needed to be. We just all need to find a way forward.
To Be Continued…
Previously published on medium
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want a deeper connection with our community, please join us as a Premium Member today.
Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS. Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo credit: iStock