After yesterday’s discussion topic I started to think more about why I stayed to save our marriage and just didn’t give up and leave after the affair. Initially I stayed because of fear. I didn’t know what I was going to do, where I was to go and what would happen to our children.
This situation was something that I never thought about or prepared for and I was afraid to make a decision based on how I was feeling at the time. I knew I wanted to save our marriage but was unsure of what to do.
After the fear somewhat subsided and I realized that I am a very strong woman, I discovered that I would have been able to survive the affair with or without Doug. I stayed because I knew that our marriage and love could be stronger and better than ever. I was sure of this because I thought deeply about what really happened. I thought about what had become of the woman that I used to be.
I learned that over the years I stopped loving and caring about myself. Therefore, how could I possibly show love and admiration to Doug? I had to explore what brought me to this terrible place and why was I so unhappy. I learned very much about myself and then set out to make the changes that would make me happy. This would allow me to better explore the problems in our relationship and allow us to have a better chance to save our marriage.
I also thought long and hard about our relationship and the contribution I made to its deterioration. I stopped putting all the blame on Doug and took total responsibility for the ways I contributed to its downfall. This realization allowed me to stop the anger and resentment and see things from Doug’s perspective.
I realized that Doug was hurting just as much as I was. I stayed to save our marriage in hopes that Doug would learn just as much as I had from this experience. I hoped that he would look deep inside of himself and figure out why he too was unhappy with our relationship and with his life. I prayed that he would look objectively at our relationship and take ownership for the ways he contributed to the problems. I knew that this would be a monumental process, and would take a huge amount of patience and support on my part.
For me the self-exploration was easy, as I didn’t have a choice because it was a matter of survival. Doug on the other hand, had experienced all the illusions of an affair. He was coming from a place where he felt understood, admired, and almost perfect. For him self-exploration would appear unnecessary as he was content with who he was and the decisions he had made in his life.
I stayed because I hoped that eventually we would both come to the same place and have the same goals for our lives, and that goal was to stay together, become friends and lovers again and appreciate each other for who we really are. Finally I stayed because I am in love with Doug. I have a connection with him that no one will ever compare to. He is a part of my heart, my soul and my being and I stayed to save our marriage because I was unwilling to give that part of me up.