Being in a relationship has its ups and downs. Among the latter, infidelity is one of the worst obstacles you'll face. Here, GIRLTalker Ayka shares how she survived when her husband cheated and how love, not necessarily for her man, but for herself, won.
We have hundreds of topics regarding cheating and infidelity here in GT (GIRLTalk), often about women venting and seeking for advice. I, myself, am no stranger to infidelity and even vented here before. It's been almost two years since my husband's affair, and I must say our married life has been a hell of a ride. What's truly amazing is that I managed to rise above all of the madness. My husband and I are still together and going really strong.
When I first found out about the affair, I was devastated. My husband wanted to leave so many times (not to join the other woman, but to go back to his mom). My world crumbled in front of me. During the first year, I kept on begging my husband not to leave and work things out. I secretly snooped on his phone and accounts online. I even found out they (the same "other" woman) rekindled their affair a few months after I found out about their first and begged him to stay. My husband stayed although we've had several arguments, which led him to want to leave every time and tell me that he didn't love me anymore. We actually had no life together, even though we lived in the same house. Everything I did was for our welfare, and I always prioritized him/put him first, while he was minding his own self and his own needs. We were still "together" and I was waiting for him to love me back without the certainty that it would happen. It was a risk I was willing to take. A choice I made to wait until I get tired and finally give up.
So how did I bounce back and regain my self-worth? I woke up to reality. I started to let go–not only of him, but of control. The last time we had an argument and my husband emphasized that he didn't love me anymore, I told him I was letting him go if that's what he wants. Before this stage, I was already attending counseling and therapy. I've learned that I cannot control my husband's actions and way of thinking and all I can do is control is myself. I needed to love myself and pump up my self-worth. I needed to let go of control and let things be. And so I did. I surrendered everything to God.
My husband was quite surprised when I agreed with his decision. I told him that he could leave immediately. I got tired of begging. I wanted to be alone. I wanted to actually LIVE. The following day he hugged me tight and told me he wanted to start over. I wasn't that convinced. I was hesitant–after all the times he told me he didn't love me. Although I still loved him, I wanted to love myself more. I let him stay but let go of control. I focused on building up my self-worth. I learned to drive, I went out, and I planned vacations for myself. I did not expect anything from him even if I was still being a "wife" to him (sans the sex). Things fell into place. He started falling in love with me again. I started feeling gestures of love from him. He communicated and opened up to me more. We are better persons and more mature this time. Although I'm still mindful and guarded, after everything we've been through. I did what I could do. I left the rest to God.
Recently, he had an accident. He cannot walk as of the moment and is still waiting for surgery. He's stuck at home. I am taking care of him and working at the same time. After surgery, he will still need several months to a year of rehab to be able to walk properly again. Every day he tells me how much he loves me and is sorry for everything that he's done. He's sorry for hurting me and for ruining our marriage. He often cries to me and begs me for forgiveness. That if only he could turn back time, he would not have cheated and did things differently when we had problems. I would wake up in the middle of the night with him crying and hugging me. He once told me that he realized God has awakened his lost soul/self. The accident made him realize a lot of things, including "how stupid and how much of a fool he was." It shook him to the core.