Did I need this?

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.

18 thoughts on “Did I need this?

  1. I’m totally with you on this one and experience the same wretched feeling every time I acknowledge that something good has come out of this horrible situation: That the something good didn’t NEED my husband leaving to happen. It could equally have happened in its own time, triggered by other events, possibly positive ones…
    I don’t believe this was the only route (yet?) and it leaves me plagued with regret…
    Have a good start of the week!

  2. That women sounds like a plonker to me. I agree you have found a new ” You” through the experience but I also agree that you could have found her anyway without this traumatic event so, in short, the women is talking rubbish. The are many roads to Rome. Circumstances forced you to travel a very difficult one. On the bright side you are within sight of arrival, and that is something wonderful in its own right.

  3. My I.C. calls them gifts, and most people believe that hardship brings accelerated growth. Like most people who do not know how to respond, they say things that they think are helpful. I’m sure it wasn’t intended the way it sounded.

    I also battle to try and view the lessons as gifts. I’d rather not have had my life derailed.
    My other favourite helpful statement, is, “he’ll be back, he’ll realise what he’s lost”. Grrrr. I got that from an LBS!

  4. What a four-letter word that woman is! How dare she feel she has such high moral ground to say this. None of us ever needs a bad experience to make our lives better, because it doesn’t work that way. Yes, we learn things that we might otherwise have not, but I’m sure we would gladly forgo them so we could remain as we were.

    On another topic you mentioned, since I’ve known you, I’ve always thought of you as totally femine.That’s the way you come across. I would term you as being very capable rather than hinting towards the masculine, and I wish I had a helping of this ability.

    • Thank you Mary! I’m truly and honestly glad I’ve learnt what I have these last 12 months. I have gained massively in confidence – something you’ll be pleased about when you hear me sing (in key) in a few weeks time!!! So there is that as a benefit!

      And I know I wouldn’t have done all this if Alex hadn’t rocked my boat (actually he capsized it!). But I also believe I could have had both! Yes maybe we needed the shipwreck – but we didn’t need to end up on different beaches!!

  5. My parents went through a divorce when my mom walked out on us. I never really knew how my dad took it, but he spends his nights alone on the balcony, deep in thought. For me it was tough the first few months. But I saw that coming, so I was prepared. and I’m okay now. Divorce is a hard hard thing.

  6. I’ve been watching this show recently called “Being Erica”. In short Erica has many regrets and in each episode she goes back to try ot change them, in hope of changing the future or rather her present. However seems that no matter what she does or doesnt do…the end result is always the same. So its more about how she deals with the situation, or what she learns from it, or if she can make peace with it.
    So if all roads lead to Rome… Seems like you would have gotten divorced in any case. Or maybe Alex would have had an affair, if not with this OW then maybe another one at another point of time. And yes you would have learned about yourself no matter what.
    But does it mean you deserve any of what happened to you? Did any of us?
    Do we really need the pain in order to learn?
    Do we really need to truly feel what it is like to be so unhappy, do we need the BAD, in order to recognize the GOOD and be grateful for it?
    I simply dont know. But I’m sure those cliche’s that people keep throwing at you, at us, are there because people don’t know what else to say and they prefer to say something cheerful and hopeful. You cant take it personally. And she can’t really know how it feels, or if you should or shouldnt appreciate what you’ve gone through until she stands in your shoes.

    You know when I ask myself that same question: Did i need this. My answer is always NO. Which means that i would have preffered to be blissfully happy in my ignorance. But is that really better?

    Big hugs to you Caroline.

    • Difficult isn’t it. As I said in a recent post maybe all this was inevitable. Maybe he’d been planning and ‘building’ his bombshell for years. And like you I lived in blissful ignorance.

      Big hugs to you too

  7. My Dad had a few regular sayings:

    Will SOMEONE please shut that door! (when there was only him and I in the house)
    Were you born in a barn (he should have known the answer to that one)
    A problem shared is a problem halved (sometimes)

    And my favourite:
    If you cannot say something constructive and pleasant then keep your mouth firmly shut.

    I can’t say I always follow the advice, but perhaps you could pass those words of wisdom onto the dingbat, clueless woman who obviously doesn’t know them.


  8. NEEDED is a relative term. How does she define need? I think I would question her first. I havent had time to blog stalk you, to read the background story behind your entry. But I will.

    Nonetheless, few days ago you had stopped by my blog and commented. I wanted to read a bit about you as well. I promise to be back for more.

    • Hi, Miss Emm ! Thank you for your comment. I didn’t ask her what she meant as I realised there was no point! She hadn’t a clue!! I sometimes wish people would keep their mouths shut if they don’t know what they’re talking about!!!

      Thank you for visiting!

  9. You’re doing so well despite the stupid comments people make, including yours truly at times. We all have to go about finding our authentic selves in our own way.

    What you said about “shipwreck” and “beaches” really resonates with me. Why can’t we explode and then put ourselves back together again together?

    • I don’t think you’ve ever made a stupid comment!! I value what you say. As to the shipwreck – It was unavoidable I think BUT we would have put ourselves back together, together and that’s what is hard to come to terms with. Have a lovely day


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