It has been a few months since your affair with my husband ended. Your affair has destroyed an entire family. My daughter has completely disowned her father because of what he did with you, and will no longer talk with either of us. My son has lost all respect for his father as a result of your affair. My health has been permanently tainted from the viral STDs that you so freely shared with my husband during your moments of stolen passion, and which he, in turn, shared with me. My husband - your former affair partner – has been falling apart physically, mentally, and emotionally, as he strives to salvage the remnants of his family and his reputation. These things are irreplaceable.
You, on the other hand, hide behind your lies and silence, while your former lover – the man with whom you are still hoping to spend the rest of your life - has effectively lost his, because he chose to tell the truth.
Your choice to remain silent when his world is falling apart speaks volumes of your character.
Even now, your silence ensures that you are able to remain securely ensconced in your marriage. The marriage that you claimed was a farce. Keeping your family intact, while mine falls apart. Do I blame you for what happened, and not blame my husband for his choice to be unfaithful? No; a million times, no. There are no words for the exquisite agony felt by the betrayed lover. No description that can accurately portray the soul-wrenching grief that crashes into you, dragging you under and scraping you raw, only to mercilessly allow you to surface for a brief, excruciating moment to catch your breath, and in that breath, again start to feel the keen torment of betrayal.
My husband knows that he is the cause, the instigator, and the perpetrator of my anguish.
Although his knowledge has come all-too-late, he has chosen to be courageous enough to be the focus of the ongoing outpouring of my pain while I continue to fight to heal. This is going on while you, coward that you are, continue to hide from any culpability. That fact, more than anything, marks the difference between us. I could go on about how I would never knowingly do what you have done, especially now that I know what it is like to be on the unwittingly receptive end of the destruction and devastation wrought by adultery. I could emphatically declare that I never, ever, in a million years, would do to another human being what you have done. Those statements are true.
The biggest difference between you, the other woman, and me is strength.
For I have realized through all of this anguish and heartbreak that I am so much stronger than I had ever realized. While you have stolen something that was not yours to take, I have stayed true when I did not have to. While you have cowardly hidden from any responsibility, I have faced the stark and cutting truths of my relationship with my husband that led to his choice to have an affair with you. While you have attempted to garner sympathy by strategically allowing people to see the post-affair-breakup tears rolling down your cheeks, I have put on my war face, knowing that heartbreak is best only witnessed by a trusted few.
While you have remained silent so that you will not lose what matters to you, I have chosen to remain silent so that he will not continue to lose what matters to him. While you have run away on a vacation in order to lick your wounds with your girlfriends, I have continued to work, attend my children’s public sporting events, take care of the house, pay the bills, attend my therapy sessions, go to the doctor – fight through life – with as much dignity as I can muster. I have been brought to the very bowels of Hell, and have fought my way back up. I AM STRONG. When bones break, the broken sections that heal are so much stronger than the original, unbroken, surrounding material. That is what I am. I have been broken, but I am healing, and I am strong. I am stronger than you ever could be, because I face my brokenness, and do not run from it.
So, even though I will not ever have the chance to say it to your face, I pity you.
For you truly are weak, and rather than using the strength of your womanhood to further your sisters, you have chosen the cowardly route of tearing other women down to further your own ends. You are weak. I am not. I will continue to heal and live a full and fulfilled life; one where I can actually look at myself in the mirror, and be damn proud of the strong woman looking back. I will continue to fight for myself and my children, modeling strong womanhood to them, and illustrating dignity and grace in the face of hardship. I will continue to support my fellow sisters, and work to build them up, rather than tear them down. I will continue to love, knowing that there is more strength in vulnerability than in self-protection.
So, know that you were right in the fact that I will never “get over” what happened, but also know that some of us are strong enough to allow adversity to make us better than we had ever been before. I love the strong woman that I have become through all of this, and can’t wait to see what she will do in the future. She knows that nothing can keep her down. Not even you.