Sometime in the first few weeks After Knowing, I called my closest friend. I asked her if she thought my husband was capable of change. She knew we had struggles, but I don't think she was expecting that phone call. It was a question that was in the back of my mind for a long time After Knowing.
I previously mentioned that he had written me a note soon after that detailed how he would begin to start over. Here are some of the ways that he began to change, and are still different to this day:
1. He did pretty extensive research on Sex Addiction, and within the first few days had deleted all pornography from the computer, and set about ceasing masturbation.
2. He began coming to Mass with his family. Raising our child Catholic was important to me, and if I had to do it alone, I was determined to do so. He came to the realization that he was not acting as though he was fully a part of our family if he was not attending Mass with us. It was the answer to a very long held prayer for me.
3. He began to let me know when he would be late coming home from work, and would send me short emails from time to time.
4. He let me be angry.
5. He accepted responsibility when he was in the wrong or if he helped contribute to a problem: it was no longer a battle of wills when we had an argument because there was some honesty again in our marriage.
6. He asked if I could arrange for us to renew our vows on our anniversary. We needed a restart button, and this was better. We renewed our vows with the priest that was at our wedding, with our child and our close friends present.
Though I still reserve the right to change my mind, we have not ever participated in or sought out marriage counseling. We agreed that if it ever became more than we could handle, if I felt we were no longer speaking honestly with each other, or if I felt as though there was any back sliding, that we would find a counselor. To date, there has not been a need.
The night of our sixth wedding anniversary was when we renewed our vows. We ate dinner with our closest friends, and had a rare evening to ourselves after attending Mass and the renewal. About a month and a half later, it was time for the appointment my doctor had requested, and he asked that my husband come with me. It was there that God answered another prayer. It was confirmed that we had conceived our second child the night we had renewed our vows.
Life After Knowing is not always easy, but as the two year mark draws near, I can honestly say I do not think about it every waking moment. Most days it does not enter my thoughts. For me, staying was the easy part: the difficult thing was allowing him to change and take the lead. I stayed for many reasons, but none of them would have mattered if he had not been able to make changes and accept responsibility for his actions. It may seem as though staying was a push-over move, but I assure you that nothing about it is weak. I fought for my marriage and so did my husband. We fought together for the marriage that we wanted, and the life we live now is nothing like the life we lived Before. We are in a loving and committed relationship. Our children have parents that love them dearly and that love each other.
The reason I wanted to tell my story, is because affairs are things that no one wants to talk about. They are humiliating and demeaning, and no one wants to feel as though they are a fool. I assure you that you are not alone. Sexual dishonesty such as affairs, masturbation or sex addictions is unfortunately more common than most of us want to let on. Dishonesty in marriage happens. If you have experienced marital dishonesty and would like to tell your story anonymously, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.