I often wonder what my life would be like today if our eyes had never met. I know in my heart that I would still be divorced. My marriage was not a good one. It was so bad for me that I had fallen into a huge depression and could not seem to get out of it. What I did not need was to go through more pain on top of dealing with my existing depression. The only bright spots in all of it were the times that I would get to see the one person that understood me and loved me. Unfortunately, he was also married and going through a divorce. We met, we fell in love, and we still pay the price today. Does anyone forgive anyone in this situation?
Is There Forgiveness from Adultery?
Is there forgiveness by anyone involved? Including the ones who committed adultery. Welcome to my story and battle to forgive.
A Little Background on How We Met
I worked as a Sales Engineer at the local Caterpillar Dealer. I spent a lot of time working with this one client that did many federal government projects with me. I had developed a good working relationship with their Regional Sales Manager. We talked to each other every day on one project or another. Our conversations went from purely business to personal. He would ask me about how I grew up and just wanted to know more about me in general. This went on for a year or more before I ever met him in person.
He was finally in town and we decided to meet for lunch one day. When I walked into the restaurant and our eyes met there were fireworks in the room. My co-worker with me asked me what was going on? It was very obvious that there was chemistry between the both of us. We had a two hour lunch and went back to work with smiles on our faces. We continued to talk every day and met for lunch two or three times per week when he was in town. He traveled a lot overseas so many times he was out of the country. We enjoyed each others company and had developed what I would consider an emotional relationship.
I knew things would progress with him. I could tell that both of us were getting closer and closer to one another. It was going to happen and I did not want to stop it. I had fallen head over heals in love with this man. What was I going to do? I had to tell my husband that I no longer wanted to be married to him. Yes.. that is what I did. I came home one day and had a sit down talk with him. I told him that I no longer wanted to be married to him because I did not love him anymore. I did NOT tell him about this other man that I had developed an emotional relationship with. I did not want to hurt him any more than I already was hurting him. Needless to say, he did not take it well at all. This was the start of my two year hell called DIVORCE. It was also when I should have pulled out the Scarlet “A” and pinned it on my chest.
My Unhealthy Marriage
I had been with my husband for 13 years. We had two children together. I had been unhappy in my marriage for the last 5 years or so. It had progressively gotten worse. He was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis about the time our first son was born. My husband already had issues with depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Those disorders had gotten worse the longer we were together and then the MS diagnosis just threw him over the edge. He blocked out everyone around him to obsess about his issues. He never seemed to care what was going on with me and what feelings I had about anything. We argued all the time and I would tell him how unhappy I was. He was say, “Just leave then!”
We had our first child and I thought that would make him happy. It didn't. Our second child was not planned and I was devastated when I found out I was pregnant. I knew it would be more burden on me while he slept all day and stayed in his little circle of issues. It was exactly as I had envisioned. I became seriously depressed and started to really resent him. He could not see it for all of his obsessions about himself. I had made up my mind that I was going to leave him and ask for a divorce. I just had to find the right time and thought that maybe I would wait to let the kids get a little older. Well, that did not work out as I had planned.
He had been married for 22 years. He was 17 years older than me so he had a lot more time in marriage than I did. He had met this woman when he was 25 and she was 35. It was the older woman attraction thing. They did not have any children together. She had two teenage children with her previous husband. He had an electrical engineering degree and she had no education. He told me that he had been unhappy in his marriage for the last 10 years or so. He felt like they had fallen out of love and fallen apart. They did not have anything in common. They never spent any time together and he said he essentially felt like all he was good for was a paycheck at the end of the week. He also wanted to leave but felt like staying in the marriage was the right thing to do. That did not work out for him either.
Being the Other Woman
You now know the background and I suppose you know what is getting ready to happen. I will go ahead and spill the beans on that too since I am letting it all out with this article.
As I said, we had grown closer to each other emotionally and there was a big physical attraction there too. I did not want to proceed with doing anything physical with him until I told my husband that I did not want to be married to him anymore. Not sure why that made it okay in my mind. It just did. I felt like when I came home and told my husband that I wanted a divorce that I was done with the marriage. I had been done for years and just the act of telling him that lifted so much off my chest. It also made me feel like it was okay for me to move on. I know better now. At the time I was caught up in my feelings for this other man.
Shortly after I told my husband that I wanted a divorce. He told his wife he wanted the same. He packed his clothes and left to stay in a hotel room. This is where his three years of hell called DIVORCE started. We spent time together off and on as we fought our ex's for divorce. We were found out along the way and private investigators were involved and all sorts of other craziness. I mean some Jerry Springer craziness. I have a little redneck in me and it doesn't take much for me to be on an episode of Jerry Springer when I get mad. It was ugly. I mean ugly. Nothing else mattered to either one of them other than the fact that they were rejected for someone else. They spent thousands of dollars proving that we were having an affair when we were not hiding it start with. We never snuck around to see each other. We were stupidly open about it. We wanted to be together and felt like it didn't matter what anyone said or did.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons, Public Domain
My husband and I worked out a schedule of times when I would have the kids and when he would have the kids. I would see “him” when I did not have the kids in the beginning. I then let the kids meet “him” for a movie one night, a day at the park another day, and a New Year's celebration. This was a month or so after their father and I had split up. At the time I felt like it was okay for them to meet my friend. We did not show any affection toward each other when the kids were around.
It didn't matter what I did. I immediately became a bad mother as soon as it was found out that I was having an affair. I went from being a wonderful person to scum of the earth. I was accused of not reading to my children, not playing with them, not feeding them, not making them brush their teeth. All kinds of idiotic things that came from the other side of the court. I was great as long as I was married to him. That stopped the day I put on my Scarlet “A”.
My Day in Court
I was taken to court and threatened that I would lose my children because I had an affair. He had proof and he was going to take me down. I showed up with my Scarlet “A” shining bright on that day almost 8 months after we had split up. “The wife” showed up in court too. She came to my court hearing about custody of my children. I guess she was going to celebrate when I got sentenced to be stoned in the court yard. I took the Child Care Director and our family counselor to court with me. He brought “the wife” and the private investigator. I went first and did not deny one thing on the stand. My witnesses told of how my marriage was horrible and how he was as a father and husband. He got on the stand and did everything he could to prove that I had an affair. The judge cut him short, did not want to see any of his witnesses and ruled for joint custody as I had asked. He had spent thousands of dollars to prove something that I was not denying to start with. You could hear this big suction sound as the judge issued his verdict. It was my ex husband's money going right into his slimy lawyer's pocket. It was finally over and now all I had to do was wait for the divorce to be final.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons, Public Domain
His Day in Court
He did not fair as well as I did. He had to pay a large amount of alimony due to the fact that she was not working. It later got reduced significantly but still a requirement for a total of seven years. I think he would have had to do this regardless of the affair. Due to her age, lack of education, and length of time not working.
Photo Credit: Pixabay, Public Domain
As Time Went On
We continued to see each other and our relationship grew. We were madly in love. It was tough because his ex was still fighting to get him back. That is for another article on “Dating a Man Who is Going Through a Divorce”. My divorce was final within 2 years of me leaving and his divorce was final within 3 years of him leaving. We ended up getting married and having two children together. Seven years later we are together and still madly in love.
Photo Credit: Pixabay, Public Domain
Is There Forgiveness in Adultery?
Does anyone forgive when all this happens? I don't think it is easy and really think it doesn't happen much. It is not easy giving what you feel is everything to someone and then getting rejected. Rejected for someone else. That is what happened to both of them. She felt like I stole her husband from her and he felt like I was taken from him by another man. Neither realizes that no one was really happy being married to them. If I was truly happy in my marriage it would not have mattered that this man came along. The same with him. He would not have looked at me twice. I still get told by my ex husband how horrible I am for doing this to him. Seven years later I am reminded of it every time I see him in one way, shape, or form. He will never move on and forgive me. I have to see him because of the kids. My husband's ex is not in the picture because they did not have children. But I am sure she has still not forgiven what he did to her.
How to Forgive Yourself for Adultery
I don't know how to do this. There are a lot of things that I wish I would have done differently. I don't regret leaving my husband or being with my new husband. I do regret that it all happened the way that it did. I wish we would have waited until we were divorced to start a relationship. There was way too much drama and heart break in the middle of it. I feel like I walk around every day with a Scarlet “A” on my chest. I really feel horrible for doing what I did. I just don't know how to forgive myself for it. I feel like I would be a much happier person, better mother, and better wife if I could forgive myself for having an affair.
I write this article as some form of therapy. I feel the need to tell my story in hopes that I will feel better about some of it. Maybe there are others out there that have been through this and can offer some guidance on forgiveness. Maybe there are just others out there who will take a minute to give me their advice on how to feel better about this and myself in general. I am not a bad person at all. I am very loving and caring. I hate the way this makes me feel inside at times. I live with it every day. Counseling has not done much good. It always turns into something about my childhood! So here I am telling it all and welcoming any suggestions you may have on forgiveness after adultery. I am ready to remove the Scarlet “A” from my chest.
Photo Credit: Pixabay, Public Domain
Books I Have Read In My Journey to Forgive
|The Scarlet Letter|
Set in the Puritanical society of 17th-century Boston, this novel tells the story of Hester Prynne, a married woman who has an affair and gives birth to a daughter. Hester ...
|Forgiveness Is a Choice: A Step-By-Step Process for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope (Apa ...|
Forgiveness Is a Choice is a self-help book for people who have been deeply hurt by another and caught in a vortex of anger, depression, and resentment. As a creator of the ...
|Choosing Forgiveness: Your Journey to Freedom|
Scripture says that offenses will happen. People will let us down and we will let others down, too. Forgiveness is left up to us to pray about and then practice. Far from ...
|When Good People Have Affairs: Inside the Hearts & Minds of People in Two Relationships|
A world-renowned therapist, Mira Kirshenbaum has treated thousands of people caught in the powerful drama over what to do when an affair rocks their emotional lives. Now, in ...
|His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage|
In the classic bestseller His Needs, Her Needs, Willard F. Harley, Jr., identifies the ten most vital needs of men and women and shows husbands and wives how to satisfy those ...
|Dating a Married Man: Memoirs from the "other Women"|
However the two of you come across one another, it is almost going to feel like an instant attraction and a mutual recognition of "understanding each other". This typically ...Only $9.99