I hear a lot on other blogs about cheaters coming out of the affair fog quickly, sometimes even all of a sudden when they are confronted by people finding out about their immoral and disgraceful behavior, or sometimes when they see how cowardly their affair partner is when faced with their own spouse’s discovery of the illicit affair. This did not happen with my husband. Maybe it’s because I protected him and did not reveal his affair to anyone except our children, who are all adults. Maybe it’s partly because his affair was so long. Six years is a long time. The brainwashing of the affair fog was nearly complete and sometimes it’s hard for him to remember what we were before that and what we thought before that. It’s even hard for me sometimes.
Whatever the case, it took months for him to start seeing that his relationship with his OW was not the perfect love between soul mates who were destined to be together. He had thought that rediscovering love with his first love was something special and unique. It was over a year before he stopped moping around. And now, 17 months after D-day, I find that we are still dealing with the twisted facts and reconstructed story of our lives that comes with a deep affair fog. It blew me away.
We were listening to NPR the other day and they were talking politics. After the segment finished, I asked my husband what his stance on the subject was. It was a loaded question. When we first married, we had the same views on politics and life. We didn’t go in opposite directions after that, but there were a few things that came up where we didn’t agree. We agreed to disagree. To me, my relationship with my husband was more important than any political debate and I let it go. His affair partner was very, very far on the opposite side from me. He talked to her for hours every day and quickly became very political, like she was, and took on all her views. She was good at reminding him how different I was from them, and that he belonged with her. I became the enemy.
He didn’t answer. I said, “No answer tells me your answer.”
He blew up. “I can’t give you a short, simple answer. It’s not simple! You’re just like all the politicians. You won’t see what’s right in front of you!”
And he stormed out.
It was a loaded question, but I didn’t say anything about my feelings on the subject. He was quoting from things she had said and written in those emails I found. He was still being influenced by her and the things she got him to believe during their affair.
We went through our day and he let go of his anger and that night we were cuddling up and I said, “We need to talk about this issue like two adults.”
He agreed. As we talked, he came to realize that he didn’t really believe in what he was saying. He could finally see it himself.
It wasn’t the political issue that was really the issue. It was how he viewed me. I had been the enemy for so long that although he had chosen to be with me, he was holding these things against me. And they weren’t even true. They were a bunch of lies that they concocted to justify his having an affair. That’s affair fog talking.
It was a huge HUGE huge big deal for him to realize this. He sees now that he was so far removed from reality during his affair that he had come to believe things that were entirely false. He is looking at me with new eyes now. He is realizing that he needs to get to know me again. He has asked me all kinds of questions in the past few days, and he likes what he is hearing.
It was also a huge deal that we were able to discuss it calmly and openly. It was like we opened the door and a breath of fresh air blew in.
It is not the end of the affair fog. He still has many misconceptions about life and about us as a result of it. This post is a very simplified version of what is taking place. But we have taken an important step towards clearing up the fog and bringing in some sunshine. At last.