Four Years Later

by jo
(illinois)

we still struggle with what he was feeling for the other woman. he gave up everything for her, and was honest enough to say how he felt. you encourage me Noel when you always say,"this too shall pass" I see many questions,"how long" and I read once, "only God or eternity will heal it" I will never live long enough to be at peace with knowing how very much he wanted something else in his life --no matter what. HIs job didn't matter, I certainly wasn't on the list of considerations and his family was somewhere there, but God only knows where. I have clung, pleaded, prayed, and tried in every way I have known and in ways unknown to even me until I found myself right there in the moment. I've tried space, understanding , counseling , priests ministers, rabbis were very helpful,(though I'm not Jewish) they had a lot of insite I thought maybe in my desperation to hang on to 40 years of marriage that somewhere along the line I would find the right way to love. ? self help books, websites, therapist, prayer, I wonder where would I be without it all. but really , I only want the man back who married me, the man who raised my kids, who loved me so well for so long. He is smart, funny, creative, sexy, --he was my best friend. I have been told that midlife crisis is a bad excuse for bad behavior. I've been told he is bitterly growing old, and lost his faith, or honor. what I lost was my soulmate, and I just can't accept that, I am and have been in denial of his affair,and the extreme efforts he gave that whole time in his life, and the honest (courage-really) to admit what he was feeling, what he wanted,and why. Life isn't fair that's what he told me. I wonder did it have to be where we moved, did it have to be that person, and they rejected him and he is an accepting person, but I don't feel he can total accept that. years, miles, nothing changes any of it. and I just keep asking myself "what about us?" we were there, plain and real, and then we weren't. He can say the things he feels his family needs to hear but periodically you just know it's not him. He did get lost, and he hasn't ever figured anything out. If he cared enough , at some moment I would think he would talk with someone who might be able to sort out his thoughts, get his heart right. see things the way they really were. but often he doesn't remember the way it really was, he doesn't seem to be able to listen , I am talking a different language. if only we were younger, only to live long enough to believe we could actually be us again.


Noel's response

The Buddha said "Life is suffering", and I have not met anyone middle aged or older (and often much younger) who has not suffered in some way. I don't know whether that means life is not fair, or simply that life is what it is.

Even if your husband managed to 'sort his thoughts out', he would not be the man he was before, nor you the woman you used to be. You might be able to establish a new relationship with him, based on who you both are currently, but it will never be the same as it was.

You might find the book Loving What Is: Four questions that can change your life by Byron Katie useful. She gives talks and workshops all over the world, helping people deal with the unfairness of life.

Her website is The Work

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