My answer is: no.
“This life is for loving, sharing, learning, smiling, caring, forgiving, laughing, hugging, helping, dancing, wondering, healing, and even more loving. I choose to live life this way. I want to live my life in such a way that when I get out of bed in the morning, the devil says, ‘aw shit, he’s up!”
― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
Time has helped me realize my wounds are manageable, but time alone has not healed my wounds. In the time since discovery, I have spent many hours contemplating my own reality. I needed to evaluate what was real, and frankly, what wasn’t. In the nearly three years since the fateful phone call, I have done a whole lot of soul searching. I have had pity parties. I have dissociated. I have harmed myself. I have let the other woman consume way too much of my brain power. I have spent literally hundreds of hours talking with and trying to figure out what the fuck happened. In turn, I have been compassionate, kind and loving. I have learned to rely solely on myself for strength. Sure, I love having a life companion. I love doing things with him, sharing things with him, and we get along well. Generally, I like people. I like to socialize some of the time. I like isolation some of the time. I have realized, over time, that I have the power to choose how my life will turn out. People are going to do things that affect me and I have a responsibility to act in a way that stays true to who I am and to my own life goals. I love the above quote. I want to continue wreaking havoc on this world and enjoying it. No one can take that away from me. I have also given up a bit on planning every detail of my future. It is obvious I have no fucking idea what will be thrown at me, but at the same time… this last three years, I have learned how to deal with that fact. Time is not healing my wounds, I am using time to heal my own wounds.
I have realized over the past few months that I am still a bit cautious in my approach with my husband. I have embraced smiling and laughing again. I rarely cry although I do become emotional at times that I might not have otherwise without the betrayal trauma. I no longer feel like I don’t have anything to smile about. I am not afraid of the world anymore. I do not fear socializing. But, the one thing that I still do, and for a while I thought it was terribly broken, is I still bring up the other woman. I still say things like, “hmmm, if you don’t like how things are here in our house… I am sure your girlfriend would take you in a second.” Or something crazy like this, “Maybe you would be happier with your girlfriend, she seemed to be everything you were looking for.” I know this sounds really cruel to my recovering husband, but what I have realized is this is about me, not him. I think my subconscious throws this kind of shit out before I have time to stop it, because it is my way of reminding my husband, AND MYSELF, that I will never forget. No matter how “healed” I am, I have not forgotten what he did that affected me so deeply. Of course I don’t really think he wants to go back to the other woman. Of course I know she was not really his “girlfriend.” Of course I realize he hates hearing me say these things nearly three years in, but frankly, I don’t care. This is my way of reminding both of us there are consequences to our actions. We all must be held accountable for living in our own reality and for the choices we make. I am sure, one of these days, I won’t bring her up anymore. It’s not really about “her” anyway. It’s about me. It’s about me reminding him, that I have not forgotten what he did. I have learned to live with it over time, but every once in a while, I still stop and look around, for my own safety. There are still very infrequent moments in my life where I get the wind knocked out of me and my mind immediately goes to the phone call that shattered my world. It is just reality. If I didn’t acknowledge it, I would be pretending. And we know pretending about our own reality can really fuck with us, so let’s not pretend this didn’t happen. Let’s not pretend I don’t have the right to heal in my own time and in my own way. It’s not a lot to ask under the circumstances.
One of my all time favorite quotes:
“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.
And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.
And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
– Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore