Little Reminders of What Could Have Been

We had a very nice Christmas and we hope that all of you did as well.  Santa was very good to me and our family and it truly is a blessing that we have each other and can spend the holidays together as a family.

Things seemed to go well with Linda this year.  Better than last year for sure, though I’m sure she had some “affair trigger” moments.  She didn’t outwardly show or mention them, so they must have been somewhat minor.  That, or she was able to manage them better this year.

I don’t experience triggers, and really don’t think about Tanya anymore, or anything like that, but I did have a few moments where I thought to myself that I’m a very lucky man and that I could have very easily screwed up so many good things. I’m so lucky that Linda was patient and wanted to save our marriage.

Linda’s brother and his family came into town, and as many of you know, he and his wife are also trying to save their marriage after he had an affair.  Linda and I both thought that things would be awkward, but surprisingly they were not.

What was evident though, was that my sister-in-law is still struggling.  She has lost 20+ pounds.  She seemed to be trying too hard to be on her best behavior, when in the past she has been known to be rude at times.  She had a few teary moments while talking to Linda.  You can’t help but feel sorry for her.

Linda’s brother, on the other hand, seemed somewhat distant – as if his mind was somewhere else.  He didn’t seem to be very happy most of the time.  He rarely interacted with his wife during the several hours we all were together.  I’m not sure that he is happy right now.

I question whether or not they will make it.

Another moment that made me realize how lucky I am, was when a friend of my son’s called him early in the afternoon on Christmas, and said that he was out driving around with nothing to do.  You see, his parents are divorced and he apparently had already “visited” with both sides and had had enough.  So we invited him over to our house for Christmas dinner.

That seemed so sad to me because Christmas is a time for families to be together.  Since his parents were not able to stay together, he has no chance to experience that anymore. I hope that one day when he has a wife and family, that he will be able to appreciate that once again.

One additional moment occurred Christmas Eve.  One of the many traditions we have always had since the kids were very young, is that they all sit on the couch with Linda and she reads them “T’was the Night Before Christmas.”

Now, our kids are in high school and college, so you would think that they would consider the tradition to be “stupid” or “gay” or whatever – but they did not.  The three of them sat on the couch with Linda, and to me it was if they were 3 years old again.  That for me was a priceless moment.  One that I would not have been able to ever realize again if my affair continued and our marriage ended.

I don’t think these brief moments can be categorized as triggers, but they certainly serve as reminders of how close I came 2 years ago to losing Linda, my family and all the wonderful things that are associated with each.  Not only did these moments remind me of what I could have lost, but also of the long lasting effect it could have had on all of us.

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3 Responses to Little Reminders of What Could Have Been

  1. stupidandtrusting December 27, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    I wasn’t prepared for Christmas to be so trigger-filled. I had a really rough time of it. Putting on a happy face for everyone is excruciating at times and therefore my H pays the price for my pain in private. I am encouraged that your second Christmas was much better and I hope the same for us as this year was incredibly hard and the tears are constantly on the brink of spilling. Maybe I just had to get through this?

  2. Jenny December 30, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    Doug, I’m glad you posted this. I have often wondered if my husband plays through some of the “what ifs” in his mind. We have been truly blessed with a wonderful family. We are one of the few families I know that still eat dinner together around the kitchen table on a regular basis. Sometimes I wonder as we are sitting around discussing our days if he thinks about what it would have been like if he had lost this because of a passing fancy. I hope he does and that it serves as a reminder should ever become tempted again.

  3. BreeAnn December 31, 2010 at 12:17 am #

    “what ifs” are the cornerstone of my thoughts…. But the other way- we didn’t make it through his EA. My Christmas was alone and my New Years will be too. No more family dinners; or anything for that matter. “What if” he never strayed? “What if” he didn’t think the moon rose and fell in her eyes…. What if?

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