After the Affair

The moment I saw him that day, I knew something was wrong. He started crying like a baby. He was afraid I am going to leave him. At the moment that he confessed; my world came crashing down right in front of my eyes.


  We had been living abroad for many years. I went to India every year for a couple of months to visit family. Many times, my husband couldn’t join me due to his work commitments. Once, when I was back from India after my holidays, neighbors warned me about my husband not coming home some nights. I hardly ever took those comments seriously. Our relationship was based on trust, and I was convinced he must have stayed over at some friend’s house.


 But he confessed to me about this affair he was having with a married woman. He had been feeling guilty about it for some time and wanted to opt out of it, and the woman he was involved with refused to back out. She had started blackmailing him and he was afraid to lose his wife and child.


My first reaction; I was mentally frozen! I couldn’t believe my husband could do this to me. However, some strength inside me wanted to resolve the issue at hand rather than wallow in self-pity. I asked my husband to arrange a meeting for me with this woman. I talked to her openly about how my husband felt about this affair right now and that he wanted to end it. I even met with her children. After long conversations for many days, she agreed to back out. I felt good that my love was finally free again. But the reality of my shaken marriage was now slowly hitting me.


I was heartbroken. I trusted my husband to be loyal. Now I felt like a fool for being cheated upon. I knew I was overthinking, but I found it difficult to stop the negative thoughts. Every time I saw him, I only saw his mistake. I wished all this was just a nightmare and I could wake up from it and continue living my life peacefully. My anxiety increased, and soon I was taking therapy and medication to calm myself down. All this, without letting my only child know about anything. Even the medication started having its side effects on me, and my health deteriorated. That’s when I realized this is not what I wanted my life to be. I still loved my husband, and I wanted my marriage to work.


Firstly, I knew I had to learn to let go of the past, forgive him and start afresh. As a wife, I found it very difficult to trust him again after what he had done. But I opened my mind to a different perspective. I thought about how we forgive our children for the mistakes they do, in life. We even try to understand our friends or listen to their reasons if they tell us they are cheating on their partners.  We may lend some advice against doing so, but we hardly stop giving them our shoulders or being a friend. So, I decided to approach my husband as his friend. After all, for years now, I had considered him my best friend.


Secondly, I had to unlearn many notions and work on myself too. In our culture, women are constantly sold negative ideas about sex. My growing up days were no different, and I felt disgusted to openly and actively participate in my marital sexual life. I preferred the lights off, and to lie on the bed like a log and for him to do whatever he wanted. He had coaxed me to change my mind on it several times but I had even felt annoyed at discussing sex.


I knew he regretted cheating upon me. He wanted a new beginning. It was now my turn to start anew. So, I started reading positive books and watching videos that made my mind stronger. I focused more on the good times we had in our past than on the mistake. I prayed for strength. I practiced a new attitude to help myself and live with the fact that as human beings, we all do make mistakes. I also started exploring my sexual needs and interests with a new curiosity and to my own surprise, even enjoyed it.


It was in my hands if I want to be stuck on the mistake and leave him for good or work towards my relationship and learn to forgive, love, and build again. I know, many of you may believe, he should not have been given another chance, but life is not always black and white. We all have our shades between. I hadn’t promised to love him only for the good times. I wanted to love despite the bad times. This is the first time I truly wanted to be an equal partner in the marriage. To work on my marriage was my choice, and I am so glad I made it.


It’s ten years since this incident. My mind is very clear today. We are much closer to each other and happier too. I won’t say the journey was easy, but it wasn’t impossible. We rebuilt our bond one day at a time. Today, we go for walks, play sports, drink and laugh, and also enjoy a better sexual life together.


Sometimes, we even find ourselves joking about the extramarital affair that shook our lives out of our comfort zones. This incident taught me a lot about myself. There is always a new way of thinking waiting to be explored, a new way to write your story of life. It is all about what you really want.

– Anonymous