Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Affair

"The Affair"
By; Nicole Kuehn

In a typical marriage when someone has an affair, most of the time it does not come as a surprise or out of the blue. Years of hurt creates an unstable foundation for the marriage which causes the bond between the two people to be weak. When a woman cheats she is not looking just for sexual gratification. Men being as visual as they are, it's easier for them to be led astray by an beautiful sex goddess. Physical attraction is going to do nothing for a woman. When a woman cheats she is looking for attention. Adult male attention. Someone to listen to her. To find her interesting. To make her feel beautiful. 

Let's say a woman has been married for 10 years and the husband has been through the ups and downs, seen all of her, and has simply moved on. He is no longer interested in this woman he once loved. He goes about his day and she goes about hers as if they were roommates. In the man's mind he figures since they are married the woman has to stay around no matter what. Which she does. It's a trap. The man has a woman to cook and to clean and to raise the children. The man has a maid to attend to his every need while he goes about his own world, completely ignoring the woman that is doing everything in her power to get him to smile at her again. Or even to want to hug her. He hasn't touched her in a long time. 
What is this woman to do? She relies on this man for everything. She makes no money and any money that comes in belongs strictly to him. She gets no allowance. Any extra is spent on his new toys and games that he plays while she goes to the thrift shops to find clothes for the kids. She has no family to take her and the kids in to live with. She has no money to move out. She is stuck with this man, who does not acknowledge her anymore. Who once loved her and swore how happy their family would be. This man who ignores his own children when they talk to him. "Pick up DaDa!" and Dada walks past as if he didn't hear a thing. 
Where is the family in that? What is the wife getting out of this? Who is looking after her while she is helping everyone else. Isn't that suppose to be the husbands job? 

Or does she just settle? Settle for a mediocre life. Settle for unhappiness, loneliness. Sometimes she just sits there and stares at him. Stares at his face while he plays his xbox, tears streaming down her face while he laughs with his friends over the microphone. He use to laugh and play with me. He use to care about me. "Husband..." She says, trying to get his attention. He doesn't hear her. He never does. Even if she stands in front of the tv and begs him to talk to her, he simply adjusts his seat so he can see the tv again and puts his headphones in, not saying a word to her. 
Does this justify her to go out one night, the first time since before the kids were born. Does this answer why she was so easily charmed by another man even though the big diamond was shining on her hand. Was it okay for her to give in to this temptation, this attention, that she had been deprived of for so long? 
Or is she now the bad one? For being an honest woman and telling her husband about it, she is forever branded as the one who ruined the marriage. She cheated on him! How could she do that to him? And the kids? She didn't care about her marriage enough. She didn't try hard enough. She did something wrong. 
And this poor husband. Having his whole world ripped apart. You mean to tell me the woman who cooks and does my laundry had sex with another man?! She is a whore. A slut. She destroyed our perfect marriage. She ruined the family life for the kids. 

I'm sorry to tell you, it was already destroyed. And so was she. She loved her husband with all of her heart. She was still madly in love with him even after the way he treated her. Only now she allowed herself to be ignored and mistreated everyday for years. It broke her down to the point that she believed that she MUST be no fun. She must not be interesting or important or pretty. She's nothing. Because in the eyes of the one person that mattered the most to her, that's what she was; nothing. 
She should have realized when one of her birthdays was coming up and all she asked of him was to write her a love letter. He used to write beautiful letters to her telling her how much he loved her and what their future would be like. But that was many years ago. On her birthday she was so excited to get her letter and instead he got her a diamond necklace. At the time she couldn't see that he did not write the letter because he was unable to. He did not love her anymore. 

So now she is excluded from the family. She is kicked out of her own home with nothing but her clothing. His whole family is there to watch, disgusted, as her friend comes to pick her up and take her away. Away from her home and her children. She was never allowed back into the home, or their hearts, again. 

What did she do? She built herself up. Within 6 months she had a job and enough money to get her first apartment. It was a bitter-sweet moment for her. She was still in love with him and when he filed for divorce asking for full custody of their children, she could hardly believe her eyes. It was written in his mother's handwriting.  
But still, he didn't even ACKNOWLEDGE the kids, why would he ever want or ask for ANY custody? He was hurt. His family was hurt. And they wanted to get the one who ruined it back. What is the one thing she loves and had wanted her whole life? Her family. Her husband was already out of the picture so it came down to the kids. 
Her children is what gives her life. Her children are her motivation to live. Having major depression, her only cure seems to be her kids. Taking care of them, watching them grow, listening to their stories. There is nothing else in the world that she wants.
She has already been through so much, the only way to possibly hurt her is to take her children away. Which he did many times when they would fight. He would pick them up before she could and then would hide out, not answering her calls or letting her know where they are. Only saying that he's not going to let her see the kids because he is upset with her. His family helped him. 
Only hurt people hurt people. 

She took the blame, and carried it on her shoulders, and still wanted to keep everything between them fair. Asking for 50/50, nothing more and nothing less. 
She holds her head up high, knowing that she is doing the best she can with the cards that have been handed to her. 
Learning from each situation as she goes through life as she never expected; alone. 
Looking back she realizes that she never would have ended her marriage, no matter what. She made a huge mistake. She was extremely regretful. But she still wanted things to work. In a way, having the affair and having her husband be the one to ask for divorce, had saved her. It had saved her from a life of loneliness. A life of holding back her wants and her needs all because of someone else's unhappiness. 
She would have been a worse mother. Though she hurts every minute her children are away from her and with their father, she knows that at least he is hopefully spending time with them. Giving them the attention that they so crave from him and always have. 
Staying in the marriage would have left her as a drone. Simply moving through the motions, not really feeling anything. Constantly being unhappy because of being mistreated, she probably would have not been able to enjoy the world through the eyes of her children. 

As she does now, on the days that they are with her. 
She drops everything.
She gets on the floor.
And she plays with them. And listens to them. 
Whatever is done, is done together as a team. As a family.
And yes, she must accept that a family can be a real true family, even if it's just mom and the kids and not the fairy tale American Dream she had so locked in her heart. 

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