Grief has it’s place in society and is accepted to be ok when it makes sense… death, illness, divorce. But when it’s something like an affair and the grief that follows why do I feel like I have to explain it? Even justify it…sometimes even having to explain it to myself to make it ok. No one asks someone who has lost a loved one to death “what’s taking you so long to move on?” No one dealing with the loss of their health is told they, “don’t have the right to have a sad day”. When someone is going through a divorce you don’t ask them, “why does it still hurt?”
I have spent the last few weeks fighting back grief over my husbands inappropriate relationships. The triggers are obvious to me, it was during this time last year he was making all the choices with the affair and other inappropriate relationships. Who wouldn’t have a moment or two hundred of triggers and flashbacks and sorrow. But I have fought guilt and almost this unreasonable need to explain it and justify it. WHY? Its my reality? It’s what I am feeling. I don’t want to be here, I don’t want the grief to become a focus. Honestly it is just where I am and to be healthy I can’t ignore it, deny it or push it back into a corner. So I have made the choice to face it. To be honest with the grief.
That in itself has been hard, but the loneliness has been almost crippling at times. It’s a precarious balancing act between healing and wanting to keeping this a private matter. My husband and I decided at the very beginning, when everything was brought to my attention, all this was going to remain a private matter. Only a few very close friends know what happened, not even our parents know, we wanted to protect our children especially. But trying to face this all privately is hard. When someone dies, those around you know, and when a bad day hits there is an understood gift of grace.
How do you keep the strong face constantly and go about normal life when there are just days where the rain is falling to hard for you to see the edge of the storm? Even more so, this isn’t a grief that many people truly see as a grief. There are times when I have tried to explain to my husband that feeling the grief and power of the pain doesn’t mean we aren’t getting through this or that we aren’t doing well. But my reality and my heart screams it is grieving, even almost a year later. I lost a lot when the tornado of his choices hit our marriage. My safest, most precious relationship on this earth was hit hard. All I thought was true came in to question. And there are moments when the grief for what I thought we had is just too much.
So while not liking where I am, and KNOWING I won’t stay there I am honest with myself and my husband about the grief. My heart still has days of sadness and tears. With time there are larger gaps between those days and the time I stay in the sadness is less and less. I account that to all the work we have done as a couple to move past all that happened. To actively make the affair and inappropriate relationships part of our history and testimony, even if that testimony is for us alone. It hasn’t been work for the faint of heart.
When stuck in moments of grief I have to stay vigilant not to fall down the rabbit hole of despair. Things are not bad. In fact they have been good between my husband and I. Far better than I EVER would have expected had you told me to give you a text book answer to the aftermath of an affair before faced with one. And it’s not easy telling your husband you are having a bad day or fighting back a pitt in your stomach. I fight not wanting to take away from all we have accomplished. It frustrates him, he’s told me so. Neither he nor I like having to revisit any of the pain but I can’t be anything less than me and who I am. It’s the hard honest moments that I hate facing now I know I will be forever grateful that I did face. For in those moments are when we dig deep into the hurt and pain of this all and begin healing.
So I stand behind my choice to be honest with the grief. Even when it’s uncomfortable to do so. This journey to healing and history didn’t promise to be easy. I didn’t chose to stay believing it was the easier path. Grief is the price you pay for opening up your heart. Love, true love, one that I want my marriage to be built on, opens you up to vulnerability. In turn that comes with the chance of hurt. Hurt causes grief and the grieving process. SO whether or not the rest of the world even knows what I am facing I will be honest with myself and my husband and do just that…be honest with the grief and face it.
Romans 8:18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”