Wanting to know and needing to know are two very different definitions to me.
From the moment I became aware of my husband’s affair I struggled with what I wanted to know and what I needed to know when it came to the details. I was torn apart emotionally. Knowing specifics began as almost a desperate attempt to even comprehend what was happening. An endeavor in despair and having little hope to understand what was going on and how this could all be true. As I asked questions and got answers I could feel the angst and utter discomfort rise within me. Now I had images, I had dots that connected, and hind-sight. Which let me tell you I still don’t know if I am glad I know all I do.
I’ll be honest, the aftermath of this tornado temporarily destroyed my definition of who my husband was and what our marriage was. And details of what happened took weeks, even months, to stop invading my daily life. The images and mental pictures that would flood over my thoughts and heart would take my breath away. They could almost make me throw up on the spot at times. There are times still, where they make me want to curl up into a ball and just cry, scream, or throw up. But they aren’t as often anymore and I am gaining control over their control over me.
But during those first few weeks I made the choice and refused to be a victim that allowed my husband’s affair take more from my life and rob me of happiness and the gift of moving on.
I didn’t get the choice to be thrown into this nightmare. I didn’t get the choice to stop it from happening. I didn’t get the choice how I found out about it. I didn’t get the choice that I knew the other woman and called her a friend. I didn’t get the choice to avoid the pain and anguish. I didn’t get the choice to have to figure out how to face a “normal” life while trying to get past all this. I didn’t have the choice to keep this from being part of my history, my story, my testimony now.
BUT I did have the choice to not hear all the details. The reality was, it was our reality, and I had the option to hear the details I wanted to hear. I mean let’s be honest there are some details that needed to be shared. Some of them I didn’t want to hear but knew I needed to. Others I knew I needed to hear in order to set new boundaries with my husband and his choices. Some details were things I never wanted to know but he needed to share in order for his healing to begin and his ability to face some things. NONE of this was easy at all, but it allowed us to face this head on and rebuild from a foundation of truth.
How did I decided what to ask??
I prayed a LOT before I asked a single question. I begged for God to show me what I did and didn’t need to know. During one of my prayer times I was struck by this thought:
Am I asking my husband for these details because I need to know in order to heal? OR Am I asking him to make him uncomfortable, to make him suffer and squirm?
I found when I filtered my questions through this thought process I didn’t ask for as many details and logistics about the affair.
It changed my perspective of what, why, and how I asked him anything about the affair. It lead me to focus on what his heart and his mindset had been that lead him to these choices. It lead me to focus on healing and not punishing. (Mind you consequences are completely different than punishments if you ask me -but I’ll blog about that some other time) The bigger issue here was not what happened but why it did and what needed to change so it didn’t again? The inside stuff, the heart and mind and soul stuff of my husband and our marriage.
If I allowed myself to wallow and get bogged down in the gritty details I knew it would eat away at me like a cancer. It would destroy me even more than the overall situation already was.
I stand behind my choice to not know all the details. It allowed me to begin to move forward. It stopped the things I didn’t have a choice in take anymore from me. It gave me some control back. When I focused on rebuilding rather than berating I could see past the debris we had to work through and grab hold of hope.
For me, it was the right choice.