Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The Gift of Truth
I woke up this morning and immediately sighed.
I knew I was going to have to tell K that I no longer wanted to meet with him behind his wife's back. I also knew that he would be very understanding and considerate of my feelings. He is a wonderful man. Despite the fact that people are harsh and judgmental towards those who have had affairs, he has a huge heart and doesn't wish to hurt his wife.
Except that he is.
I've had to say the exact same words to someone very close to me who is also having an affair.
You are hurting your spouse right now. It doesn't matter that he doesn't know anything. He is being hurt and will feel all of this hurt when he does find out.
That is one thing that I learned after confessing my own affair and when I learned of my ex-husband's affair. All of the times that they didn't know about, they will want to know about. Then it hurts them. Even though they didn't know it at the time, their hearts were being broken.
The morning was weird. I felt like every little thing could make me cry. It wasn't sadness so much as... sentimentality.
My kids and I had a great morning and I was very affectionate. I wanted to kiss and hug on them all day!
Grace had a Christmas pageant at her preschool that I didn't know about. I felt like a terrible mom when I found out but didn't have a camera - video or digital - to record the moment for posterity.
By the time I was driving to work, I needed to talk to Gentleman Jack. I was worried that he might be feeling upset about the possible lunch with K.
He sounded strong and supportive - so strong, in fact, that I emailed K and told him that I wasn't going to lunch with him after all. I have no other way to reach K than email. I don't even know his cell number.
He didn't get the message and showed up right on time with a big smile on his face.
I felt weird. I didn't want to hug him. I was distracted and sad. He sensed it and asked what was on my mind. I thought we should go ahead and get out so that we could talk.
In the restaurant, I excused myself to the restroom where I texted my Gentleman:
"I'm at lunch with K. I am going to talk to him about everything. I'm in the bathroom and so wish I was in your arms!!"
I sat across from K, made small talk and smiled weakly. I didn't want to upset him...
"What's on your mind?" he asked.
I began talking to him about the affair and told him that I'd blogged about it recently. I told him that it helped me to write it out and how I felt closer and more emotionally available to Gentleman Jack.
He is beside himself happy about GJ in my life. Over and over he's told me that I deserve all of the love I receive.
He told me that the whole Tiger Woods thing has initiated more conversation between he and his wife about their affairs/infidelities. She told him that she is mostly angry about the fact that she lost me as a friend. When she saw me recently and heard about my interest in cycling and triathlons, she wanted to train with me. She doesn't believe that she could, however, and for that, she is still upset with him.
"Do you think," I began, "that you could ever tell her that we meet for lunch occasionally?"
"No, I don't think I ever could."
"Then, doesn't this seem wrong? You're still keeping a secret from her. Yes, its nothing but us talking (and boy can we TALK) but if she found out, it would be HUGE! I don't want to hurt her again and I know that you don't either."
I went on to tell him that I'd sent the email asking that we not have lunch. He felt awful because he didn't see the email prior to meeting me.
"You know... you're right. You're absolutely right," he agreed with me. "And I'm not surprised that you're saying this. As I told you the last time we saw each other, I am happy about you and (GJ) and I don't want to get in the way of anything. I still feel like I did (ex-husband) wrong. I should have shown him more respect than I did."
"Hey..." I stopped him, "It took two of us to do that. And you're not getting in the way of me and my Gentleman. We're fine. He trusts me and allows me to be me. I've just been thinking about this so much lately and I don't want to chance hurting her or you..."
"I hear you. I try to convince myself that there's nothing to feel bad about when we meet for lunch but yeah... I don't like keeping secrets. I want to give (GJ) more respect than I did (ex-husband). I knew things were going to change. I had a feeling. And... you are right. I don't want anything to happen to my marriage."
We went on to talk about running, cycling, swimming, voice over IP (we're eternal geeks), my vacation to Mexico, recent athletic events that he and his wife participated in and life in general.
I have to admit, I'll miss that. Maybe we'll stay in touch with an occasional email but I'll miss the sparkle in his eyes and his enthusiasm about life.
I feel much better about things. I feel, once again, even more available to Gentleman Jack and whatever the future has in store for us.
Mostly though, I feel more available to me. I'm giving myself a gift of honesty. I'm shedding secrecy and deceit to live a true, honest life.
And that's the best Christmas gift I could give to myself... or anyone for that matter.