Anna: I miss you too.
That’s what I read on my husband’s WhatsApp pop out notification.
“Anna” I had heard too much of in the past. I was enticed to read the conversation.
Until it was too much to handle.
Yes, my husband has been cheating on me.
I could not comprehend the fact that my husband had started sharing his fears, joys, lows, and ambitions with her and had shut me down from his life..
A third person took a space which was mine.
I broke down that day till I felt I couldn’t breathe anymore. Til my chest constricted. The pain I felt was unbearable.
My life partner, my best friend..I didn’t even know what to think.
I never thought this would happen to me..How could it?..We shared a beautiful, loving bond for the past 8 years
I confronted him after reading his texts on Whatsapp. They had been talking daily since the past 4 months..My heart sank..I felt shattered. I cannot explain the dread I felt twisting in the pit of my stomach.
My married life hit rock bottom. Aryan was REALLY cheating on me.
How can someone so beloved hurt you so deeply..I felt the pain physically…I shouted and ranted..I saw guilt on his face..He saw shock, betrayal, and grief on mine
Usually, when people talk about cheating they think that it is only a physical relationship that ruins marriage..I learned the hard way that there’s so much more that can threaten the sacred bond of marriage.
He admitted it was his fault but he also said that I wasn’t available for him..We didn’t get time to spend with each other..Work, taking care of Myra and Jiya, domestic chores left me drained that we didn’t get quality time as a couple
At first, I only felt rage..How dare he put the blame on me..How could he let another woman ruin the life we had built with love, effort, time and vows to be there for each other, to choose each other every single day
How dare he even think of coming up with excuses
For the next week we were living under one roof without sharing a life, a bed..I could not stand looking at him. He tried so many times to convey his regret..I shut him down each time
At the end of the 2nd week, I saw our wedding album on top of my shelf. Aryan had written an apology along with the vows we exchanged on our wedding day, the promises he had made to me and a plea for a second chance.
“I’m sorry, for not putting efforts when we were drifting apart. I’m sorry to have chosen a convenient comfort over someone I chose to spend my life with. I still do, I really do. Please choose US over my selfish mistake.”
I thought over it for days. I thought about the life we had built, our daughter’s incessant questions “What’s wrong Mommy”…”Why aren’t you and daddy sitting together for dinner nowadays”…It was so hard to stop my tears looking at their innocent faces
Yes, I wanted to choose US.
That’s when we decided to approach a Professional Marital Counselor. I hadn’t tried anything like this before but it was my marriage and we were willing to try anything that would help us
What Professional Help Taught Us.
Our counselor was an expert in dealing with marital conflicts. She made us understand a few core principles to remember and work on in the coming few weeks
1. She made us express to each other what we TRULY felt.
In my case, the anger, hurt, betrayal and most of all the doubt I was having difficulty to shake off. In Aryan’s case the regret, betrayal, and willingness to work on this marriage
If I am unable to forgive then I need to think about the relationship in the manner that the previous one where there was a breach of trust has ended.
Am I willing to build a new marriage with him? Well, Yes.
2. She made me realize that it is natural to experience what I was undergoing in case of betrayal by a loved one and that there’s a tendency to keep second guessing our decision but at the end of the day,
it would be our choice whether this one incident holds more value when compared to the whole relationship we built together.
3. Trust takes time and efforts from both the partners to rebuild. It became a priority to take at least half an hour each day in the weekdays and more in the weekends to spend quality time as a couple. We started following this rule religiously
It can be easy to take each other for granted and neglect one another in our efforts to strike a balance between work and our roles as parents.
When we have stayed with each other for a long time, we tend to stop ourselves in getting to know them more.
Through my counseling sessions, I understood Aryan was just not the Aryan I knew. He was much more.
People evolve. So did him. I stopped trying to know him better a long time back.
I started to put efforts. The kind of efforts I had put initially. We now go out on dates. Explore how time has changed us in certain ways.
I found out his new interest in writing. WRITING, really? I thought to myself how I could never imagine him writing.
And that he doesn’t like to sit infront of television anymore!
I have to consciously remind myself to NOT bring up his mistake in any of our fights. It is tough not to. We tend to express our past hurt till it gets resolved. But I realized the less I mention the more I give space to build new things which would connect and not distance us.
Our goal is to integrate our lives all over again.
Most importantly, to be understood you got to understand.
Honestly, I am still in a process to let go, but I see his efforts to have me feel that our marriage is worth it. I’m worth it.
And it is because he wants to choose me over all other things.