QUESTION: About six months ago my husband left. We had battled it out for almost a year before he finally left; the stress of building a house, running a business, working away from each other in the winter & trying to get pregnant was too much. I had threatened to “quit us” a couple of times in the months preceding him finally moving out & calling it done. Since then, he has been inconsistent with contact, negligent in bill paying, and has left me with a dog, cat, brand new house (massive debt) & a co-owned business to take care of. To add insult to injury, somewhere within the first two months of our breakup I also found out that he had started relationship with a female client during our marriage.
I was devastated. And I struggled to keep everything afloat for months. During this time, I made all sorts of crazy changes: I took couples counselling (for one), I dismantled my business that I had run for 11 yrs, I went to Mexico to do ayahuasca with a shaman, I ran/walked the Camino de Santiago… the list goes on. I searched high and low to reconnect with my spirit & in doing so, my love for my absent husband deepened tenfold.
Until last week, when he spontaneously appeared at our doorstep. Now it seems, that we are giving it another try.
Here is the problem:
In the last 6 months or so of my marriage (pre-break up) I had developed a connection with one of my good friends. He was my rock through the hard times with my hubby, through all the stress and pressure of what our marriage had turned into, my shoulder to cry on and my complex and dark “depression-soul-mate”. Our relationship became undeniably inappropriate, spending every waking minute together & texting goodnights before bed. And although we didn’t ever do the deed my heart belonged to him (briefly) at that point in time. Although my husband & I have never really discussed it and, although it felt justified at the time; after the fact, I realized the impact this probably had on my marriage.
So, with a troubled heart, I am stuck. I so badly want to just take my husband back into my arms & tell him we will be ok. I have learned so much about love (& my inability to accept love) in the last 6 months. And I know we can be ok again… I know this with every fibre of my being! I just don’t know when/if to discuss my friend situation with him.
- Should I wait until we officially decide to give it another go?
- Should I wait until we are wrapped in the safe venue of a couple’s therapy office?
- Should I just spill it now, with all the imperfections & messy corners of truth at such a fragile stage?
- Or, should I do what (I think) my husband hopes for. Never. Ever. Bring it up again.
I can’t see beyond my own need to “unburden” myself. To be totally frank, I never, ever want to hear about the other lady (his client) either. It was a messy time. Period. Shit happened. There is so much hurt swirling around, that I just want to hold on to the shreds of good & light that exist, instead of dwelling on all the past injuries.
So, I guess my question is… When is the right time to talk?
ANSWER: This one made me cry. I thought about if this happened to me and my husband. He would not want to know. I think if there was sex involved he’d want to know but if it was “just” emotional cheating he’d want the memory drowned and stabbed in the back to float down the river to fester and be eaten by rats.
I, on the other hand, would want to know every dirty detail about her fake dye job and embroidered jeans, and electric blue eye makeup she puts on badly and feather earrings how she laughs and I’d stalk her and imagine her falling from great heights. But that’s me.
So, you know him; do what he wants. If he has any more questions later you can tell him what he wants to know. You should continue going to your therapist to work out your shame around it privately. I’d also break all ties with “depression-soul-mate.” Thank Goddess he was there for you when your husband wasn’t. He was a gift to you, to help you through, and you can be thankful for him. There’s nothing really to be ashamed for. Really, it was a horrible, messy, perfect storm (like you said) and now you are trying to (with the greatest of softness and care) put your life back together.
I’m sure trust and jealousy will be an issue that comes up, but don’t focus on that right now. Focus on “I know we can be ok again… I know this with every fibre of my being!”
Couples therapy rules. So do vacations.
Sounds like you guys were doing so much work and everything broke down. So now, it’s a slow and steady build. I believe in both of you. You both have generous and deep and patient hearts. I know this.
So, no. Don’t tell him. You are not withholding any information from him that he wants. Think of this other man as a profound gift you recieved so you didn’t lose your shit and die. It has nothing to do with your husband and it still doesn’t. Your work is to move on and let go.
You deserve to be loved.
It’s time to practice receiving your husbands heart rather than finding reasons to not be worthy of it.
Tender, tender, tender to the touch.