I am not certain which hurts more: no contact with my kids or my ex-husband’s disinterest in helping me. My own new realities are coming to light about the man I was married to. He, I’m sure, must feel the same. His trust, the entire core of who he is, destroyed by my actions. I continue surrendering this, though have come to a place where I can only take responsibility for my contribution to my marriage, the positive, the negative. There is a new kind of pain I feel, one which is separate from the estrangement with my children. It is more deep than I realized.
What has come to my attention most of all is his lack of compassion. Or perhaps, the kind of compassion I need. Then again, I find myself still justifying his character, diminishing my own feelings. Kids, do not try this at home. I’m still learning…
Having compassion does not require one to forget hurt, pain that is caused. It is putting oneself in the other’s shoes. I have done this many times. Still not enough. The more compassion I feel for him, especially my girls, I am better able to forgive myself. I had hoped he could do the same. He loved me as best as he could. He is hurt and angry. I am hurt by his lack of care or concern, his dismissal of me. And this is my truth. He has argued this point before and I’ve allowed myself to feel as if it is my problem, all in my head, though it is not. It is my heart that is filled with sorrow, as I did not realize this until recently.
Why am I continually stunned by this? It is not to say he was unloving our entire relationship. Nor was he always distant. All of what happens in a long-term marriage is gradual, an extension of previous behaviors and patterns. I see now that the last three or four years of my marriage were the beginning of what would then become our downfall.
This is not about us, this is about our them, our children.
Time moves forward. My love for my kids grows ever so deeply despite the distance between us. I strive to work together, a new-found partnership with the father of my kids. They are our children. We have raised them as the beautiful people they have become. If I felt I could not approach him for help when married, how am I to approach him now? We are not able to work together for the benefit of them, working to heal a fragmented family left with deep emotional wounds. I can not force his help. He must want to work with me. If not, nothing I can do. I am, however, viewing my life from new perspectives, willing to continually look at myself, eyes, heart and mind wide open. Below is an excerpt of something I came upon that speaks directly to what I feel….an incredibly profound lesson. Grateful to find this:
“Some marriages do not recover from affairs. There are scores of couples who realize that the reasons that led to the affair, or the affair itself is too much for the marriage to tolerate. Divorce happens. It is a harsh reality. This by no means serves as an excuse to neglect the emotional well-being of the child(ren) involved. Regardless if a marriage ends or not, the adult relationship should still be strengthened when children are involved. Parenting is a partnership. Even when parents divorce, they are not divorcing the children. They both still have a commitment to their children that should be fulfilled regardless of the marital status.
The third and probably most important thing that parents can do after an affair is work together for the benefit of the child(ren). Whether or not parents stay married they still have a relationship; a parenting relationship. In these cases when divorce is imminent, the cheated on spouse may have difficulty getting beyond their own hurt and sometimes the spouse who cheated does not make this any easier. If there was ever a time to becomes less self-absorbed it is when children are hurting. That is not the time to focus on one’s ego. This is possibly the hardest lesson that any couple healing from an affair has to face. Their pain plays second to the pain of their children.” Kirsten Person-Ramey