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The Liberation of Adultery
At the End of His Affair
The Storm has passed.
He has left the Other Woman,
and returned to you.
Standing on the wreckage
of your marriage, feeling a
survivor of the Titanic,
you begin to pick up the pieces.
And if you are wise,you drop them.
No. You don't want that kind of marriage again.
During the days/weeks/months of his affair, when you were alone, you met
someone; yourself. Your strong, resourceful survivor, self.
You learned what you liked to eat, watch, wear, think, go, do and be.
After all, there wasn't any spouse to please....
You might have created new protocols, taking the kids to various venues,
inventing particular 'rituals' so they don't ask about Daddy
The kidswere having sleep-overs at friends and with family, going to events,
involved in issues.
You might have moved into another room, so when the Cheater dragged in, he
didn't wake you. You might have stopped cooking meals, doing laundry,
being there for him.
That woman forged in the fire of his adultery is too valuable to lose.
Suddenly, you realise that for all the years of the marriage, you were
postponed, you came second, if you came at all.
Pre-Adultery Wife used to buy the food he liked, cook the meals
he liked, watch the programs he liked, go where he liked, associate
with his people.
The Betrayed Wife, through anger, neglect, aloneness, bought the food she wanted
to eat, watched the television programs she wanted, went where she felt she belonged
and associated with her friends.
A Post Adultery Wife has no reason whatsoever to return to the old days of being
second. In fact, there are lot of reasons why she must never grant him the authority
to hurt her again.
The life you lived during the time he was rolling on soiled sheets will not be discarded
just because he came home.
You realise your faults.
And have corrected them.
Your job is not a 'make-work', it is important and sustains your sense of self-worth.
During the time he was 'away', you took on more work to fill empty hours and avoid going to the mausoleum which used to be the matrimonial home.
You will not stop taking on more work, will not rush home, leaping out of staff meetings, or tossing a file in the pending tray because you have to make dinner.
You feel no guilt telling the kids to go to friend's house after school, you'll bring a pizza, that's how you got through the days/weeks/months of his adultery.
Now that he is back, he can find his own food, or starve.
You have no qualms about talking for hours to your friends. They were with you when he was not, and there is no guarantee he is home to stay.
All the little things you put away on marriage, because he didn't like them, all the activities abandoned because they took time from the marriage, you grasped as a life preserver when he was not there.
You got through days because you knew you would see a best friend, attend a meeting, perform a task, and little things became important, because the big thing, your husband, was gone.
All those little things which became important, remain important.
Just because he's home now can not be used as an excuse why you let other people down, people who have come to rely on you, people who make you feel you are worthy to live.
You look back on your life; Your Life Before his Adultery, and cringe.
Was I that stupid? Self-sacrificing?
The money you had used to buy him filet mignon is a new hair style. The time you used to spend doing his laundry, you use to write articles for the PTA, the beer which used to fill the refrigerator for his friends is no longer there, but there are quite a few new pieces in your wardrobe.
He can survey what used to be the matrimonial home and appreciate, he's not needed.
He can watch television all day Sunday, alone, because his family attends a particular venue. He's not invited, it's just mothers and kids.
He can learn to like Quiche or figure out how to make himself a meal from soy grain, yoghurt, salmon and cheese, because in this house, the diet has changed.
He looks at you, the woman he betrayed; who looks better today than ever before.
You are confident, you don't need him, and see through him as if he's glass, unconcerned about his ego.
He strives to regain your interest, maybe getting a few percentages, but it's pretty clear, that in your pie chart, he's gone from 90% to 20% and although he might get another 5%, if he works at it, he will never have the power to bring your life to a crashing halt.
That he realises this, infuses you with power. And you reflect on that drudge, that
sycophant you used to be, and realise how liberating Adultery can be.