It takes two. It’s give and take. It is all about commitment. Those are a number of of the slogans I’ve heard people use with regard to relationships and marriage.
While I agree that every one of those things may be important and true, sometimes we fall short in keeping up with those standards.
I never considered myself to be the kind of one who would fall short at anything that actually mattered to me. I had integrity, I was loyal, and I was determined. Then — life happened.
By my late twenties I used to be already divorced. The relationship had been an abusive one and it took me years to extract myself from it. After the divorce was over with and that i had moved away from my ex-husband, things felt as in the event that they were finally getting back on track. I had a great job, I didn’t have children. I was an independent woman.
And then I slipped.
I did something I had judged others for doing previously and something that I had always said I would never do.
I had an affair with someone who was married.
The person I did this with was a repeat offender in the cheating department. They’d no visible qualms about it. I used to be in way over my head. My judgement on the time was obviously questionable but, nevertheless, I did it.
While recovering from one destructive relationship, I ended up jumping straight into another. Much of my hope in regards to the validity of a healthy, long-lasting relationship had disintegrated and — fittingly — I discovered someone who didn’t even respect their own marriage. By entering into this affair, I effectively participated in the erosion of another marriage.
Though my behavior was inexcusable, I did learn some things. I learned how easy it can be for people to betray those who love them. I learned how a lie can become a convoluted web of unmanageable anxiety. I learned what it feels wish to not love yourself.
The experience of an affair really makes you wonder about all relationships and marriages. It makes you wonder concerning the secrets people potentially keep, the lies they tell, and the capacity of individuals in general to remain loyal to each other.
You realize how much effort it really takes to be in a successful, faithful marriage or long-term relationship. It takes guts and constant communication. It takes dealing with your issues and confronting your fears. It takes quite a lot of love and respect after the initial passion is gone. And I don’t mean love as in lust – but love as in I will care for you, support you, and remain faithful to you even when you’re being unlovable, annoying, or sick kind of love.
Long story short — I eventually got myself out of the affair. It was a torrential mess that left known and unknown emotional carnage in it’s wake. I made an ugly decision that gave me momentary pleasure and offered up a way to escape feelings I wasn’t finished coping with yet. I got wrapped up within the secrecy, the fervour, and the taboo nature of the beast.
I spent several years alone after the affair. There was no dating and my sense of self was slaughtered. It is an experience that may drain you and leave you dry. Make no mistake – the beginning phase of an illicit affair could also be very thrilling but this feeling will rapidly be replaced by stress, desperation, pain, and guilt.
Over time, I started loving myself and my body. I ate well. I worked out. I started to make my own happiness. I admitted what I had done and — even though the darkness of it still disturbed me – I used to be able to turn it right into a lesson for self-improvement.
There could also be no way to inform if your partner is lying to you or cheating on you. There may be no solution to know for sure that you will never commit an act that hurts your partner or anyone else — even while you believe you never would.
Relationships are a complicated dance of empathy, understanding, compatibility, and effort. Ultimatums do not work. Jealousy would not work. Lying doesn’t work. Know yourself before you expect someone else to know you. Love yourself. Be prepared to forgive things that you’ll want your partner to forgive you for. Know what you cannot forgive and don’t expect it in return.
Marriage may be a ravishing partnership and journey. One in every of the biggest lessons I learned by turning my back on the concept of marriage all those years ago, is that marriage remains to be sacred and it remains to be an enormous deal.
Sometimes we forget how long a lifetime can actually be after we enter into a partnership like marriage. Perhaps we also falter because many of us haven’t learned the worth of a relationship that bears the fruit of effort, care, patience, and respect. Sometimes we become so jaded and resentful that we do not fully connect in a healthy way.
But there’s always a chance to come back, to learn, and to make use of our mistakes as stepping stones to greater things. Sometimes the darkest lessons lead us to the very best peaks of our potential. I went there — and that i came back.
More from Michelle – 5 Signs Your Romantic Relationship May be Abusive
Originally a Vancouver Island native, Michelle now resides in California where she is an ex-corporate slave, writer, artist, mother, stepmother, & wife.
Join Michelle as she explores & stumbles through society, parenting, step-parenting, health, beauty, relationships & much more. Visit The Pondering Nook’s website and Facebook Page for more.