It's taken a little over four months but I feel like I'm finally approaching that final stage of grief - acceptance. After I first found out about the infidelity, I asked the same questions 50,000 times in 50,000 different ways trying to get to one answer that would make me understand WHY he did it. And I'm now accepting that I will never understand.
If I accept the premise that this was not my fault, that it wasn't rooted in something inherently wrong with me (not pretty enough, not fit enough, not skinny enough, not smart enough, not successful enough, not sexy and mysterious enough, etc), then I have to think of it from a different angle. [And that premise is a tough one to accept some days]. But if I also accept the premise that my husband is not a bad person and that he has the capacity to learn from his mistakes and to grow from them, and we have the capacity as a couple to build a new, healthier relationship, then I also have to leave behind the "he's just an asshole" narrative. I've gone through the blame and regret filled stage, thinking about what my life would look like if we never moved to New York and never joined that gym - but that rabbit hole is deep and twisty without going anywhere productive. After all my spinning and searching for answers, I've come to the conclusion that I will never understand.
I don't understand why he was attracted to her. I don't understand why he couldn't just tell me something was wrong with us and with him. I don't understand why he lied for almost six months. I can go back and trace the steps of my life and our life together that led us to this place. But I don't understand how we jumped from one stepping stone to the next. Or how that one stepping stone turned into a landmine right as I landed on it. Not to overdo the Taylor Swift of it all - I've realized and accepted that "this pain will be for evermore". And it's in that acceptance that I find a glimmer of hope that my lack of understanding will not be my next downfall. I've wanted to figure this all out so desperately, almost believing that the success of this new relationship hinges on my understanding and forgiveness. I now think that the forgiveness piece will continue to come little by little ("Forgive, sounds good. Forget, I'm not sure I could", oh how I love The Chicks too) but I will always feel pain when I think of this year.
The end of a year naturally brings up feelings of reflectiveness along with hopes and plans for the fresh year to come. And it's hard because I feel more sadness than anything else. I want to be hopeful for 2021 and at my core I just want to move and start over as our little rebuilding family of three. It's crazy how much can change in a year (this time last year I would NEVER have said I would want to leave New York by 2021) and so I'm trying to keep my mind clear of expectations for what this new year will hold. I know it will be hard and I hope time will continue to make it a little better each day / week / month.
I hope your 2020 is ending on the brightest, most reflective note possible and here's to a more promising 2021.