Dichotomy (as defined by Merriam-Websters Online dictionary) :a division into two especially mutually exclusive or contradictory groups or entities.

I love my husband.

I love the time we spend together. I wait anxiously for him to get home from work. He is more present than he has ever been. We have been going on family walks, playing board games and binge watching our favorite new show together after the kids are in bed. I feel like we are poised to be in a place unlike we have ever been. There is renewed connection, a shared vision for the future and soon we should be in the best position financially we have ever known.

I am hopeful

So close to being over-the-moon in love.

If I only trusted him.

If only I could let go of the past.

If only…

I see her face in my mind and the anger fills me. I remember the way the he treated me. More than the affair, he treated me so poorly for so long. He was distant. Passive aggressive. Resisted my attempts to bring us together.

And nothing I can do can make it go away. There is nothing he can do or say that will undo whats been done. There is nothing I can do to make it better. I thought I had forgiven him but I can’t seem to get past this. And just when I think I have made headway, I am broadsided with the realization that I have zero guarantee that this wont happen again. That it is not going on right now.

And when he has an off day — when he does not want to talk or is distant or is carrying his own anger around on his sleeves — those days almost undo me.

But what is so strange is that I can be dealing with these intense feelings and I can smile and treat my husband kindly. It’s like I’m living two lives. Simultaneously. Like the man beside of me is not the same man who hurt me so badly. And that’s just it. He does not act or even look like the same man.

He. is. so. very. different.

But I don’t know what is keeping him from cheating on me again. Is he living a dual life as well? Is he kind to me when he is around, but harboring feelings for some flirtatious acquaintance?

I just don’t know how long I can keep this up. He might decide to cheat on me tomorrow, next year or he may never stray again. But I don’t want to invest in us for the next weeks, months and years…only to have him repeat past actions.

If I want this marriage to work, I am pretty sure that it’s going to come down to me choosing to not focus on the past. On choosing to forgive….over and over and over. On choosing to trust him, while knowing that he could turn my world upside down at any given moment.

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