Emotional Affair Journey did a post the other day about the reasons a cheater stays after an affair. Dave Carder, a renowned therapist, said that men always stay for finances and children. They love their spouse, but that love is buried by all the hurt and the infatuation for the other woman. Time is needed to dig up that love again. He says it can be rekindled and love can thrive again. Over time, the marriage can be wonderful again.
The thing that I am stuck on is that feelings of infatuation do not go away. They are just put in storage. That surely must apply to both the love for the spouse and the love for the other woman. So if this is true, then for the rest of our lives, I will have to live with knowledge that he will always have that love for her. And if his love for me can be rekindled, then his love for her can be rekindled, too.
If he is here for the finances or the children or the security, that is not enough. If I am not the apple of his eye, then that is not enough. I want it all, or nothing at all. Am I making sense? Is this the way of things?
Maybe that is not the right thing to say immediately after D-day. Maybe it takes some time for the fog to lift. Maybe Dave Carder is right and men always stay because of kids and finances. I think I sort of knew this on some level, and have given it time and care and my best efforts. It hurt like heck to think that I was not the reason he stayed. Through my pain, I stuck it out.
But it’s been over a year now, and if he is not past all that and if he cannot tell me that he truly doesn’t want to live a life without me, then we are done. We are in counseling because the kids begged us to try again. We’ll see how it goes. I am not optimistic. I have made plans for separation and will follow through on them if I cannot be convinced that he loves me above all others and wants to be with me.
It scares me to think about going out on my own after 29 years of marriage to my first love, but I will not settle for being second fiddle. I will not be the one he is stuck with because he made the wrong choice when he was young and stupid.
That’s how it feels right now anyway. I have changed course a couple of times in this journey.