I don’t know what made me think of this early this morning as yet again I went through the ritual of coming to terms with my reality.
A few months ago someone at work – and this ‘someone’ is a woman safely secure in her marriage and who has never been through this experience – saying – rather bracingly:
“Don’t you think Caroline that you needed this? You’ll find that everything happens for a reason and a purpose and one day you’ll look back and be glad it did.” I don’t think she had a clue what she meant or what she expected me to gain from this experience! She just said it!
Actually there are a large number of things I need in life. Food, water, sleep, a roof over my head ……. BUT I never remember thinking when I was married – ever – that what I really needed was for my husband, the man I loved, to walk out of our marriage, make no real solid attempt at re-igniting what we had for so many years, have an affair and divorce me. I don’t think any of us going through this type of trauma felt we needed this horror!
Don’t get me wrong I’ve found out things about myself which I’d buried which I’ve been glad to address and understand. I’ve discovered a more confident, feminine side of me – which is fantastic and that I wouldn’t have missed for the world. BUT, up to now, I’ve always thought I could have got these things for me without the route I had inflicted on me, and at the same time had a happy marriage. Yes we needed help – individually and as a couple. Yes our marriage lacked growth. But a part of me shall always wonder what life might have been like had Alex taken the other route – the one that involved us both. That is inescapable. But something I’m slowly coming to accept as something I have to live with.
As one of my favourite bloggers reminded us the other day – a butterfly flaps its wings and a whole chain of events unleashes itself on the unsuspecting. So it was when Alex went on a week’s photography course three years ago and by meeting the OW our life together started to crumble and events finally took on the speed of a tsunami in January 2009 when his mother died. Our defence strategy wasn’t strong enough to withstand the force unleashed . Actually I don’t think we had one. And we certainly didn’t have the tools to help each other.
So did I need this to happen to me? No – not in the way it did! After all I nearly, so nearly didn’t get to here! I now know I needed to become more confident, less ‘masculine’, more feminine. Alex ‘needs’ to find the true man within him and maybe has to experience more pain to finally dig deep enough and work to becoming the person he claims he wants to be.
So it’s a conundrum as Yes, though we didn’t know it at the time, we needed to find our true selves – and I don’t think Alex realises that yet. And No – I didn’t deserve the level of pain I experienced (no one does).
But maybe this was, in the end, the only route. And perhaps that’s what I should focus on each morning as I mentally push myself into my new reality.