You have no right to muddle in my life.
Dear Ms. Homewrecker,
I know it may seem unfair of me to blame just you for my husband’s affair. After all, I realize it takes two and that both of you are at fault.
But after an angry separation, much soul searching, and a bittersweet reunion with my pre-pregnancy jeans, I decided to work on forgiving my husband.
When it comes to you, though, I’m unashamed to admit I find relief in hurling my anger like a giant fireball of hate (metaphorically speaking, of course) directly at your face.
It’s easier to work on forgiving him when I can still be mad at you, the other woman, the b*tch who slept with my husband. Here I was, doing my best to make it through life, balancing marriage, motherhood, and a career, and you swoop in, cozy up to my husband in the name of "friendship" and sleep with him.
You think it was magical. What you don’t realize is, what you two had together was not real life.
Real life is being woken up by a teething baby five times a night, going to work the next morning and pumping breast milk at your desk while eating your salad (which was packed at 5 a.m.), all the while making sure you meet your deadlines so you don’t lose your job. Real is clinging to each other for support when the doctor mentions the possibility of cancer or moving cross-country to support your husband’s dreams.
Married life isn’t glamorous. Don’t get me wrong, it can be fabulous, but it can also be pooping on the table during childbirth after 48-plus hours of labor without drugs, or peeling my partied-too-hard husband out of a puddle of his own vomit. It’s all fun and games until someone gets pooped or puked on. But I bet you didn’t get a whiff of that during your brief fling.
Marriage is also about the adventures only the two of us shared, like bringing new life into the world, being serenaded by coyotes while camping in the desert, or kissing by the Bridge of Sighs in Venice. And in ten-plus years of shared moments, two full-time careers, and raising a child together, it’s normal for some of those lovin’ feelings and passion to fade a little. It’s OK: That’s real, the ups and downs of a life shared that deepen your love for each other. You may believe he turned to you because I couldn’t provide the level of intimacy he needed. But you’re wrong. He turned to you because you’re easy. He told me as much in our last marriage counseling session.
I know you think he can’t be happy with me now or ever, but you’re wrong.
You were nothing but an illusion, a way for him to escape for a bit. But in the end he chose me. He asked for forgiveness and the opportunity to repair our marriage and be the man I exchanged vows with all those years ago. If he can be the man I married again, if he continues to show me love each day, and if he keeps working to regain my trust, I know we can do this.
You should know that I view my decision to give my husband a second chance as an opportunity. I am not a desperate woman trying to keep a man who strayed. I don’t need him. I want him. I am strong and smart and beautiful. I have always been a good wife to him and an amazing mother to our child. What you did could never diminish that. I don’t rely on my husband for my self-worth; I have passions outside my work that fulfill me. I don’t need him to put a roof over my head; I work hard and could make it on my own if I felt that was the right road to go down. I have never needed to use threats or my body (ahem, like you did) to convince him to be with me. And I’m blessed to have an army of caring people who love and support me and who have my back, our back.
As angry and hurt as I have been by my husband’s poor choices and actions, as much as his lies and deceitfulness shattered my heart into a million pieces, I know that I still have the capacity to love him. If he stays and helps me pick up the pieces, we can do this and if we can do this, we can do anything. This is our battle, not yours, and we’re going to fight it because I want our child to know that no matter what, we tried so hard to fix this broken house, instead of giving up like I know you wished for.
If you’re unhappy with your life or relationship, put your big girl panties on and do something about it. You have no right to muddle in my life. Worry about your own. Fess up to your partner and tell him you cheated on him and your life together. Then work on it, or leave.
Maybe one day you will convince someone you are worthy of being trusted with the sacrament of marriage.
Maybe a few years into it, your husband will stray as well. You never know what turns your life will take; I certainly did not expect this. Know that real life is not 50 Shades of Grey mind-blowing sex every night. You have no idea how hard it is. There are ebbs and flows in every long-term relationship. It’s not about whether life knocks you down. It’s choosing to stand back up, hand-in-hand, supporting each other.
Maybe one day you will figure it out, if karma doesn’t come back around at you like that giant fireball I unleashed into the universe.
For now, hating you makes it easier to love my husband, so I’m going to keep doing it until I’m ready to let go.