by JJ Carson
Posted on April 5, 2012
“Don’t you sometimes wish you had slept with more people?”
“Don’t you think we’d be a good divorced couple?”
These were just some of the questions posed to me by my ex-husband during our marriage. Especially during the time he was having his 2+ year affair. (See My Story for details.)
Now, they seem so obvious. Like a big flare going off. Yet, I said, ‘Hey, look at the pretty fireworks,” and went about my business of trusting and loving him. I can’t help but feel like a complete fool.
I’ve always thought of myself as a smart woman. Always thought I was a good judge of character. This affair, this divorce, has shaken me to my core. Even two years later, with a great deal of the ‘tough stuff’ behind me, the doubts sometimes creep in. And haunt me.
I find some solace in what a good friend told me shortly after discovering the affair. I was lamenting… ‘How could he do this to me? How could I be so stupid? How did I not see?”
My friend’s response made a lot of sense. “When someone sets out to deliberately deceive you, someone who knows you as well as he did… he will succeed. Plain and simple.”
He’s right. While I wish I would have/could have seen those flares … my ex did a great job of disguising them. But still, it haunts me. And I don’t want it to haunt me. I’m happy again. Happy to be moving on with my life. Taking lots of positive steps forward. I’ve taken back control. I have let go of most (not all) of the anger and disappointment in my ex and taken away his ability to hurt me. Yes, he can still annoy me (I anticipate that will be lifelong), but I’m past the big hurdles I once found insurmountable.
One of the last hurdles may be… how to forgive myself? For picking my ex. For spending 14 years with him. For having children with him. For believing and trusting in him when he didn’t deserve it.
When I’m honest with myself, he showed his colors early on. There were plenty of flares shot off, plenty of people drew my attention to them. But I was in love and I knew better.
I forgot to listen to my astute gut. It warned me, it sure did… but I plowed forward anyway.
This is a lesson hard learned. One, I only want to learn it once. I wish there was some type of guarantee that the next flare won’t look like a shooting star.
I guess it’s that gut thing. This time, I will listen.