3. Taking Power Back | Affair Survival and Marriage Break Up – My Personal Story

One of the things that was really, really
important for me was to not be in a position where he saw me as trapped and
having no choice, and at that stage my biggest motivating factor or emotion was
anger. I remember thinking that he probably thinks that he’s able to get
away with this because he has the ability to, you know, get out of the house go to
meetings, go overseas, go to conferences, you know, he’s out and about and meeting
people whereas I’m at home with my kids. I don’t go anywhere outside of that,
other than, you know, going to the park and the supermarket and… so I”m not likely to
meet anybody. And I felt that that gave him power that, you know, he in his mind
he had all the power because he could go out meeting people. He had opportunity. He
had just exposure to things. And also, you know, he hadn’t had three kids. They were
his three kids but he didn’t give birth to them. His body didn’t go through all the
changes that my body went through, and that he knew this. And so I felt that he
must know that he’s in quite a position of power over me for that reason. And
that he can go out and just get somebody. Have an affair, whereas I can’t. And I didn’t want him to have that power over me. And my biggest
thing at that point was to to show him that I could do the same if I wanted to.
Now I’m not saying that this is the right thing to do. And under the
circumstances, you know, a) I was younger, b) I was not thinking clearly, I was
motivated by very strong emotions, you know, hurt, anger. And yes, I’m not saying I
did the right thing. But I’m just going to tell you what I did.
And that is I decided to first and foremost, before any decisions were made,
I wanted to get him back and I wanted to show him that I could do the same. That
was the first thing. I wanted to… I think in my mind it was like taking the power
away from him. Equalizing us. And only once we were on
an equal footing, would I then address, you know, do we stay together or not. But
first and foremost I wanted to regain a bit of power. and I remember starting a
facebook conversation with a member of the community in which we were at. And this was a person who was divorced
himself. We spoke on Facebook and we met. And I remember being very open with my
husband about it and telling him every step of the way that I’m meeting this
person. I’m going to go and have coffee with him. So basically I wanted him to
know that I could get somebody and that I’m doing it out in the open. In his face.
And there’s nothing he can say or do about it because he’s just revealed that
he’s had a whole lot of affairs. So really there’s nothing he can say about
it. And I did that. I met him I think altogether maybe, maybe three or four
times, you know, for a walk, for coffee. I was very open about it each time.
Deliberately, you know. It was my way of getting my husband back, and just showing
him that, you know, I’ve also got the power to do this. I’m not just some
stay-at-home mom who’s never, you know, gonna meet anybody and you can… don’t
think that you can just go and meet people and do what you want to do and
I’ll just always be at home keeping the home fires burning.
Umm, like I say, today I would not have done that. That’s not the right way to go
about things. But yeah, taking back that power was really important for me then.
And, and he was he was very hurt that I did it, but he at the same time admitted,
sort of said that he understands there’s nothing he can do about it because he
did the same and that ultimately I would have to make a decision about whether I
was staying in the marriage or not. Now there was never a question of me leaving
my marriage for this other guy. This other guy was honestly just somebody
that I saw a few times. Really, it like nothing ever happened on
that front. It was… I had… I didn’t have feelings for this person. It was really
just me sort of, being in my husband’s face about “I can do this too so if you
want to play that game we can both play that game”. It was really just me
attempting to take some power back and so, you know, my husband at that stage, after those three or four meetings that I’d had with this other
person, eventually said” look, you’re gonna have to make a decision, you know, if you
want to stay in the marriage and work on it” which is what he wanted to do, or “if
you want to end things.” And I agreed that obviously we’re not going to have a
situation where we each start seeing people. That’s never going to work for us.
So there was a bit of tit-for-tat that happened, when I discovered all his
affairs. I felt I must equalize his tit with my tat, and it did at that stage, it
definitely made me feel better. At least on the surface. I thought it did at
least. But obviously it didn’t address the underlying issues. The deeper issues,
which was the betrayal, the sense of embarrassment that it, you know, brought
out in me. And, you know, there were much deeper issues there.
And realize that I’d need to now, you know, spend a bit of time like really
thinking about what I wanted to do in the future.
So I stopped seeing this person and it was time to now get back to what was
going on just between me and my husband, and make decisions about the future.

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