One of the issues I’ve struggled with and still struggle with is opening up to family and friends about the whole affair/other child situation. Although I have a very public blog, very few of my friends or family know about it as of yet. And although both our immediate and some of our not so immediate friends and family know about the whole situation, there are still a lot of people that don’t. And let’s face it, if your not searching the internet for this specific issue, chances are you will never stumble upon my blog.
My husband and I did a personality assessment a couple years ago with Passionate Life Seminars. Based on my personality style I learned that some of the difficulties I have is that I can be too critical or finicky, that I can be overly sensitive to feedback, and that in times of stress I tend to withdraw. These are all so very true, and probably a large part of the reasons why I haven’t opened up to my entire world about what’s gone on. As I said, our close friends and family already know, but it’s the people we don’t see as often that are still clueless.
According to the assessment I am ‘driven to achieve goals.’ And like many other women out there, career aside, one of my goals was to fall in love, get married, have kids, and grow old with my spouse. Obviously the affair/other child were not on my list of goals, and so telling people almost feels like admitting failure. I know the failure is completely my husbands, and that I am the innocent party here, however, because it happened in my life, I have a really hard time separating it from me. So that’s why telling friends and family that don’t already know feels like a very scary thing. That’s also why I feel a strong need to stand up for my husband in those rare times when someone else has judged or criticised what he’s done. Oddly enough, in those rare cases, those people were not standing up for me (they barely knew me); they simply felt the need to stick their nose in our business and point a finger at my husband. A good friend once said to me that one of the fears we have when it comes to sharing our problems with our spouses to an outsider, is that the outsider will judge our spouse and their opinion of our spouse will forever be tainted by what we have told them.
Pre-affair, I’ll admit, I probably was one to judge. Post-affair, I’ve learned so much more about people and relationships that I told myself a long time ago that I would never judge anyone’s relationship again. I made a promise to myself that if a friend came to me with a relationship issue, I would not judge and only lend an ear to listen.
Part of the reason I started this blog was because I saw it as a ‘baby step’ towards being 100% open to everyone in my life about what’s happened in the last 4 years. My husband has said that when I decide to do something, and it could be completely out of the blue, I’ll just do it (kinda like the way I decided to start a blog). As a goal oriented person, I know that when the time is right, I will eventually make the decision to take that last step; I’m just not quite there yet…