PART ONE: STIFLING
I can be stifling sometimes.
I mean there have been times in my life when I’ve chased people away because I’m so intense. I don’t mean to be; I’m just programmed that way.
No matter how many “times out” I take for myself, or self-analysis afternoons I carve out of my schedule; no matter what I actually change in my actions and relationships, when it’s all over, I might behave differently, but I am still pretty much the same person on the inside. I’m intense.
It’s a good thing because so is my husband. He’s almost as intense as I am.
We match each other word for word, hurt for hurt, and love for love equally. We raise our voices together, we debate issues with intelligence, we both ask difficult questions of the other and expect smart answers in return. He’s never shied away from me and I’ve never backed down from my intensity for him either.
We are a good match.
And that is one of the reasons I got into the biggest trouble of my life about nine years ago.
It is no excuse, but I have a hard time doing anything half-way. In fact, there are no excuses good enough for what I did. I really screwed everything up.
Every good thing in my life had been handed to me carefully, beautifully wrapped with thick gift paper so that just the act of opening it was half the happiness. I had a husband who adored me, a good education, a solid job, a group of friends who were kind to me and loved me. I was 25 years old, the owner of a home, and full of a lot of narcissism and pride. I thought everything I had I deserved.
And I was ungrateful. I was beginning to become unhappy. I was stifling. I had no self-monitor for the passion in my life and my marriage was beginning to fall apart. I was a controlling wife and needed to be in charge to feel normal.
In reaction, my husband turned inward (like any normal husband would with a stifling and overbearing wife) and away from me. We had already developed diseased habits in our young marriage for communication, problem solving and intimacy. Four years in to our marriage, even though I knew with my whole soul that we were meant for each other, I was tired of it. I added to an already sick relationship some initially small, but very poor choices.
Without searching it out, I began an emotional affair with someone we both knew. And even though it began slowly and took many months to gain any ground, soon it ballooned into something I had difficulty controlling.
I’d prided myself on “control” and “passion” but with this, this affair, I felt unable to control my own feelings. It was its own monster that I had allowed to grab hold of my heart, my God-given marriage, and my soul. I’d created it and now it was controlling me.
I hadn’t lost any intensity, but instead I’d transferred it to something, someone, else. Someone who wasn’t mine but I’d stolen anyway.
Fraud. Thief. Liar. Soon-to-be-Adulteress. These were my new names.
I didn’t know it then, but it would soon lead to much more than just an emotional attachment.
It would become a full-fledged affair.
[PART TWO: CLICHES will be posted tomorrow.]