Marriage is three parts love and seven parts forgiveness of sins. ~ Lao Tzu
If you found out your spouse had a love affair, it would knock the living daylight out of you, a blow so massive to your mortal being it would numb every part of your nervous and emotional systems. Unsolicited opinions from backseat drivers and your very own kitchen cabinet would spiral into the stratosphere as you get bombarded to a saturation point that makes you wish last year’s Harold Camping’s Judgment Day prophecy on the world ending had actually occurred.
Your nights would get tortured by visual thoughts of the act(s), and you would wake up hoping it was all but a dream. But then a double dosage of reality would hit you, everything wouldn’t look the same. You would feel so lost, the luxury ship you had boarded performing a Titanic. It wouldn’t be easy living with the pain and trauma, it would be painful facing the truth that your marriage partner had gone AWOL, making you retreat into a cocoon with no alternative plan.
They say forgiveness heals, but would it find home in your capillaries, at that particular moment? True, forgiveness heals, but some things are easier said than done, till one crosses that unforgiving bridge, whose vicious waters of ire crush upon the pillars of trust. No logical advice can ever easily restore you to the pre-affair era, unless your emotions had long taken a hiatus.
What do you do? Yes, affairs can never bring your world to an end, but the aftermath is devastating. Your view of love and life changes completely, it’s no longer balloons and roses. Your trust gets a totally different meaning. Stunned is your blanket for the coming nights. Where do you go from here?
How do you react? How do you even contemplate smiling or having a conversation with the spouse seated next to you now playing victim? What do you do in the face of the vows you made as your clock struck marriage? Will any explanation counter the reality? The reality of lust overwhelming love, the reality of trust butchered and left for dead?
It’s not easy exploring new happiness, it’s difficult creating new memories, for betrayal does damage to your idea of a perfect relationship, especially the ‘till-death-do-us-part’ one. So what do you do when it’s harder remaining a best friend to that lover, when all you are thinking of is serving a cold buffet of revenge?
To the spouses who have gone through this torment and still press on in your relationships, I take my hat off. For you to forgive your partner, for you to concentrate on re-building that excitement, trust, passion and bond that you had patiently cultivated, for you to cease tormenting your partner’s soul by reminding them of their mistakes or putting them on a leash, for you to accept what transpired and move on, and make the affair a learning experience that takes you back to the cruise ship MV Marital Bliss, takes courage, takes belief, takes true love.
It’s hard to fathom how you did it because forgiveness may have pissed you off, but guess Gandhi was right; if we all lived ‘an eye for an eye’, the whole world would be blind. Maybe, and I say this with the naivety of a bachelor, just maybe, that’s why it’s said…’for better or for worse…’
The hard and down-trodden path of forgiveness, the unwanted responsibility that comes with a ring.