Sunday night when we were snuggled in bed after another long and busy weekend I declared to Doug that being married isn’t very glamorous.
For the last two weekends our lives have revolved around traveling thousands of miles (none of these miles to a any romantic destinations), chores, chores and more chores.
This is our life and before the affair I never really thought much about it. I just moved from one activity to the other, accepting it as that is the way life is for most married people.
Actually I enjoyed it. I liked being busy, accomplishing tasks and not having much time to think. Now being busy worries and overwhelms me. I just don’t seem to handle the stress of it all like I did before Doug’s emotional affair.
As I was sitting knee deep in dirt and mulch, I thought about what It was like when Doug and I first met. The only responsibility we had was attending college classes and attempting to keep a certain grade point average. Other than that our lives were very selfish as we did exactly what we pleased and focused on what made us happy and what made us feel good.
After we married, we took on full time jobs and a two bedroom apartment, but the evenings and weekends were still centered around us; exploring new hobbies, restaurants – basically being pretty selfish.
Then something happened. I am not sure it was me, him or both of us, but we were getting restless and needed to take on more responsibility. So we added a mortgage, a child, and a new car.
Life was not so selfish anymore and that was okay because the rewards of being a parent and a homeowner were very fulfilling at the time. We took on these roles rather easily and felt that this was how our life was always meant to be.
I guess confidence can be deceiving, because we moved on to two more kids, a bigger mortgage and a few more cars. Saturday as I was sitting knee deep in one of my gardens, I came to the conclusion that we have accumulated a tremendous amount of responsibility and with that can be a large amount of stress.
I can understand why at times a husband and wife would want just to run away, leave it all, and start over from scratch. I can understand how the grass may look greener on the other side. I can see how the fantasy of an emotional affair and being with someone else who portrays themselves as fun, free spirited and basically selfish can be appealing.
As I was sitting there thinking about what Doug’s and Tanya’s life would have been like if they would have chosen to pursue their fantasy, I began to laugh to myself. I chuckled because of how disillusioned they really were.
Did they really think they could have left all of their responsibilities behind and start a new and exciting life? Would they have been happy leaving their families, their homes and their possessions to create this life full of travel and new experiences? Did they both have a stash of money I was unaware of?
I believe that when they were in the fantasy of the affair it was very appealing to believe that life could be better and different with someone else. However, is that the reality? They would have experienced the same kinds of responsibilities, the same stresses, without the coping skills that a couple has in a long term relationship.
I know that being married isn’t the same as it is portrayed like in the movies, but I feel that all the responsibilities can make a couple stronger if they handle it the correct way. I look around at our beautiful home and our great kids and I feel a sense of accomplishment. Would I have done things differently, definitely not!