Cautionary Husband couldn’t understand why I need a secret, anonymous blog. And why he’s not allowed to read it.
I’d told him before that I need both motivation to make my writing better (something that doesn’t happen when I’m writing just for me) and support, and this blog provides both of those. But when he asked on Wednesday night, I looked him in the eye and told him that I’m going through some things that I don’t think he’d want to know about. I’m writing about things that I don’t think he’d want to read. He told me that honesty is the number one thing he wants in a marriage, and asked me to tell him what those things are.
So I took a deep breath and told him that I’m healing from a broken heart that he didn’t break.
I figured he’d known. Or at least had an idea. Where all of this pain was coming from. What was causing it. But he didn’t know. Because he never asked. Because I don’t think he wanted to know.
I reminded him that when I told him about the affair last May, I used the word love. So I asked him what he had made of that. I asked him if he really thought it was just about sex. He said he thought I was delusional. That it was illicit and exciting, but objectively not love. But it was. And I watched his face crumple as this realization set in for the first time.
He said maybe something more permanent than a separation was necessary. I began crying and went home.
I sobbed. I called people. They said that maybe it was for the best, since I’m clearly still not over Cautionary Lover. They said this is why you shouldn’t fall in love after you get married. I sobbed some more. I thought. Hard.
I’ve known for a long time that I cannot let this marriage go without a fight, but I’ve figured that this broken heart wasn’t something I could choose. That the pain was going to stick around no matter what. That I would have to move through it and work on my marriage at the same time. And that most of the time the all-consuming pain of the broken heart made it difficult to do both.
But it finally occurred to me that, no, those things don’t have to be true. I could let it go if I wanted to. The love will always be there, but I don’t have to hold on to the pain. I don’t have to stay there. I could put all of my effort behind working on my marriage if I wanted to.
And I wanted to. So I did. I let it go. And then I wrote Cautionary Husband the e-mail below. And spent several hours waiting for a reply.
The reply came at 6:30 last night. “I want your heart desperately.”
I called. He came over. We made love. I cried because, for the very first time, I wasn’t holding anything back from him.
And I began the long, scary process of giving him my heart, and he began the long, scary process of accepting it.