First Things First

This is the post excerpt.


My wife, Vera, cheated the first time when we had been dating exclusively for maybe a month.  This first time was with a high school friend of mine.  The second and third infidelity partners occurred the first summer we were apart after freshman year of college.  I was suspicious, but she made out like I was a jealous controlling boyfriend and I bought the lies.

Two years after we started dating, she confessed these infidelities to a common friend.  The friend threatened to expose her if she didn’t confess.  Vera confessed to three partners of infidelity on Valentine’s Day 1994.  We were engaged to be married in June.  Out of a misguided concept of love, I tried to forgive too quickly and forget the unforgettable.

Even as she confessed, she was planning a week long getaway with a new infidelity partner.  She spent the week with him and tried to decide whether she was going to marry me or not.  She didn’t love me.  Never had.  But she had an affection for me and loved my family and decided to marry me and keep her last affair a secret forever.

A few years after we married, we experimented with an open marriage.  I agreed mainly to de-value my perceived loss.  All of our dalliances were supposed to be open and new partners added only with permission.  She became involved sexually with my cousin and only told me after the fact.  It was yet another betrayal.

Over the years, I grew cold and bitter.  We had never really done the work to heal this trauma.  I had never grieved.  She grew ever dissatisfied with me and our marriage.  But every time I tried to bring up how hurt I still was, she refused to address the infidelity.  Later she told me that she had never felt any regret or any remorse.  But her heart softened over the years.  She decided to try to work with me to heal the trauma on March 6th, 2016.

We spent the next 6 months in counseling and talking through everything.  Everything but the one affair she kept hidden.  She fell in love for the first time as I began to become open and less bitter.  She confessed her secret on September 1st, 2016.  I felt betrayed all over again.  But I also stopped trying to save a dead marriage and I stopped trying to help her do work on herself that only she can do.

We started an in depth counseling program for infidelity.  The program helped us both.  She began to feel remorse and worked hard on becoming the person she wanted to be.  I worked through my anger and grief and saw glimpses of the healed and strengthened man I want to be.  We are both healing.  Maybe after we heal ourselves, we can heal our marriage or even start again.

As I write this, there is one last hurdle.  Vera is taking a polygraph test June 9th.  She lied to me for years.  She claims I know everything, but she took months and months to tell me the truth about my own marriage.  I hope she passes.

I begin this blog as a journal of sorts.  I want to work out how all of this came to pass.  I want to vent my feelings and thoughts out of my head and heart and into this journal.  I want to explore who I am, who I want to be, and learn to dream and hope of a future where I don’t hurt anymore, at least not from this.  I want to dream a new dream of a marriage worth having.

I write for me.  I have no illusions of being noticed by anyone.  I have no desire for the fame of sharing pain before the face of the internet.  But I desire to see myself whole, healed and living as a victor against the worst thing that has ever happened to me.