I’d be doing you all a disservice if I just sat behind this keyboard and gave you my perspective only.
There is another side to this story. My ex-husband’s side.
As we navigated through those first three days of uncovering the truth, he kept saying that he felt distant from me at the time of his indiscretions. I don’t think there was a time in our marriage, for me, that I felt an extreme distance. Every relationship ebbs and flows and experiences highs and lows, but I didn’t think our lows were really that low. None-the-less, that is how AJ felt. I have no authority to decide if what someone feels is wrong, so I respected his reason. I respected his feelings.
After those three days, after I was past the point of no-return, AJ stopped saying there was a distance between us and started to point the finger at me. His claim was that I was difficult to communicate with. I didn’t allow him to share his feelings with me. I was a “hard person”.
We’d fight often in those few weeks we lived together, separated as husband and wife. Fights because both of us where falling into the unknown. Fights because we were scared. Fights because I was devastated. Fights because I couldn’t comprehend how my happy ending with him was ending.
He would end our fights by saying, “This is why I never speak up… this is how it goes”.
I still don’t know what that means. I wish I did. Because I could have fixed it. But he never could tell me what I was doing to prevent him from speaking up.
But if he had told me, and if I fixed it, would that have stopped him from seeking other women? His answer would be ‘yes’, I think. However, I can’t see that as the truth. The truth that is hard to say. He would have cheated on me regardless. The outcome would be exactly the same.
I had no control over his actions. My actions and his are mutually exclusive.
As I looked back on my marriage in these last several months, AJ’s accusations swirled around in my head. Was I so difficult to talk with that he was pushed into the arms of other women? Was communication something I failed in?
AJ, I assume, would tell you ‘yes’ to both questions. I, however, believe that is incorrect.
If all it took was some challenging arguments for my husband to go astray, we were destined for divorce. Even if I was the worst communicator in all the land… that wouldn’t be reason enough to cheat. To cheat without trying to save his marriage a single time. To not try anything at all.
I look back on the kind of wife I was to him and I am filled with pride. I am proud of the woman I was, the wife I was.
I put my husband’s needs in front of mine. He was my priority, but I never lost myself. I was also my priority. Our marriage was my priority. Caring for that marriage, cultivating that marriage and keeping the marriage exciting and new were my favorite things to do. There was always an “us”, but there was still a “me” and there was still a “him”. We had balance.
I would have done everything to keep my marriage going strong, but my partner abandoned ship. Because of “my communication”.
I am confident in my communication. I often suggested counseling as a proactive tool before and during our marriage. I see counseling as a benefit to a great relationship, but people often view it as a last resort. When I would suggest it, AJ would proudly say, “We don’t need counseling. Our problems aren’t big and our communication is excellent“.
Interesting words for someone to speak so often during our marriage and then use the opposite as a way to excuse bad behavior.
He has given me no other reasons for his affairs.
So, that is his side. When we were divorcing he’d get mad if he felt our friends were distant. He’d say that I didn’t share his side. I did. I always will. His side is important because his side is blame.
He blames me for his active interest in other relationships.
Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon “reason”. People like placing the blame on someone else. Just remember you cannot force other people to treat you unfairly, disrespect you or cheat.