Since my last post I've been thinking (dangerous precedent, I know) about all I've been through to reconcile with Richard. Many of my readers are quite adamant that I wear blinders where Richard is concerned. They argue that I paint the speed bumps on my Road to Happy with a thick sugar coating and on the rare occasion when I do manage to take off the blinders, I view the journey ahead with rose colored glasses once worn by Polly Anna.
They question how much will I endure to continue living with the man that they see as nothing more than a serial cheater waiting, perhaps not so patiently, for his next conquest opportunity. Those that comment in a less than supportive fashion see me as weak and ignorant, too scared to leave and be on my own, willing to live half a life.
Do I give their accusations any credit? Do I pause and consider their opinions? Do their anonymous words on a very public blog hold any weight at all?
Like I said...I've been thinking.
Here's what I came up with, so listen up Haters and Judgmental Trolls out there in the Blog-o-sphere! Since DDay, I have gained so much more than I lost.
Hard to fathom? Need convincing? I'll try to spell it out for you.
I've been thinking that the only thing I lost that still hurts 3 years later is trust. I liked the me that was so completely sure of my husband keeping himself only for me as long as we live. That was an easy, breezy married state of mind. I miss it. I mourn the loss of it.
That's one for the LOSS column, but other than trust, what did I really LOSE?
I'm sure there are a few trolls that can't wait to start typing an extensive list of what they think I lost.
As I continued thinking, I moved on from the LOSS of trust and began pondering how much I've GAINED, starting with an attitude of gratitude. Richard and I came so close to LOSING each other. I dare to say it was like a near death experience. Once you come that close to ending life as you have known it, you learn to appreciate what was so nearly LOST. You appreciate it. You are thankful for it. You cherish it. You care for it more deeply.
Chalk a big one up in the GAINED column.
I've been thinking about our sex life. That Hysterical Bonding stuff sure helped us out in the bedroom! After over 30 years together, we act like teenagers! We've GAINED a whole lot of passion since DDay. We've GAINED increased intimacy in so many ways. We hold hands. We cuddle in the morning. We send texts just to say hope you're having a good day. Simple, sappy shit that I thought I didn't really care about. I cared. We both cared. We just forgot.
I've even been thinking about thinking.
Since DDay, if Richard and I think about it, we talk about it. Richard is still a work in progress, but thanks to the lovely Dr. K, he's getting back on the right track. We have GAINED a wide open line of communication. Nothing is off limits. If something bothers me, I tell Richard. He is so much better at listening to what I need than telling me what he needs. I am grateful he wants to please me so much. I am hopeful he will allow me to give him what he needs as well.
Let's see...that's 3 Gains to 1 Loss. Have I sufficiently made my point? I'm sure other GAINS and LOSSES will be discussed in the comments. That's a good thing. Another GAIN, if you will.
My new found compassion for others in pain is a true blessing in my life. I get so much more than I give writing this blog. I received such over whelming support when I found the Healing Heart and only hope I can give back some of the same. I was such a hard ass before DDay. Suck it up. Shake it off. Don't be a freaking whiner!! I've GAINED empathy, patience and a much more open mind.
This post seems to be getting a tad too long, but I'll add this:
I've been thinking about the LOSS of trust and then I thought about it some more. Even though I will never trust Richard again in the same open hearted way, is that a reason to leave him?? I'm too smart (or jaded, if you prefer) to trust anyone so completely ever again. If I had chosen to leave my marriage and move on with another, I'd still have LOST the trust. I'm not gonna get it back just by throwing 30 years with Richard to the curb. I LOST trust, but I've GAINED instinct, a very intuitive gut that will serve me well for the rest of my days, not just in my marriage, but with my kids, my friends, my co-workers and strangers.
Don't think I don't know what some of the Haters are thinking!!
WOW! Goodie for Shawn! She GAINED so much because her wayward, serial cheater husband can't keep it in his pants!
Do I think and wish with all my heart Richard and I would've GAINED all of the above without him cheating? Do I really need to answer that??
Think about it....