Like a bucket of cold water

Last night my friend C and I went to our fitness club and ordered sandwiches while relaxing at the outdoor pool. Then we chilled in the hot tub for a while. Just what I needed on a Friday evening after a very long work week.

But what I wasn't expecting was C's confession of a near indiscretion that happened in her marriage a few weeks back. I say near because she nipped it in the bud before anything physical happened and cut off contact with the old flame who had recently re-entered her life via Facebook. She came clean to her husband, and they talked about recent weaknesses in their relationship that had led her to look for support and affirmation elsewhere.

But holy crap did it rock my world! C and I have a very similar past when it comes to how we used to view men and relationships: as dispensable and always replaceable with the next guy who was willing to come along and pay us some quality attention. So two thoughts rocketed around in my head last night: if it could happen to C, could it happen to me? And... if it could happen to me, could it happen to Hubs?

How does this stuff happen? How is marriage so hard, even when it's so easy? How can you go from domestic bliss to a near slip-up in a matter of weeks?

C and I ended up having great conversations last night about how things happen, how to protect a marriage, and the importance of honest and open communication. We talked about safeguarding your relationship, and talking about cheating with your partner before it's ever even a thought in anyone's mind - having it be a topic of conversation like you how you want to spend your money or what your travel dreams are. We talked about our pasts and how you need to be aware of your own vulnerabilities.

But talking about cheating and affairs is really scary stuff. I don't think of it often at all - I'm very secure in my relationship with Hubs. But I guess it's when you're secure that you have to start the difficult conversations of 'what if' and 'how can we prevent...?'.

On the one hand, I think it could never happen with Hubs and I because we have such a strong and nurturing relationship. On the other hand, as a child of divorce, I know that how you start out isn't always how you finish off. I keep reminding myself that it's all about choices. Love is a choice, not just an emotion. You have to make the choice every single day, and if you do, maybe that's how you get to your 50th wedding anniversary.



~The South Dakota Cowgirl~ said...

As someone who has been the spouse who was cheated on, I can say, that it's not always something that can be prevented. At least not when you've married a narcissistic sociopath.

However, I will say this- a husband is solely responsible for meeting the emotional needs of his wife (those needs that should be met by a man). He should listen, be available to talk, never make her feel bad for feeling certain ways, make her feel needed/wanted, etc. And more often than not, if he can't/won't/refuses to meet those needs, women will look to have those needs met.

As to a man- I think they want respect. And I think they want to know that we are happy. At least my S.O. wants me to be happy above all else. He never puts himself first. And I try to do the same.

8:07 AM
Laura said...

Its good to take a look at our relationships, even when they are doing well, and make sure that we are taking care of them and nurturing them as much as we can. I have learned recently how important it is to make sure that your spouse knows how much you love them and how much you care. It's easy to take that for granted, but the job will never be done. It is always a work in progress.

8:35 AM
Bina said...

I've read many, many books on this, because honestly, I don't know a SINGLE marriage that someone in it hasn't cheated. Most of them the spouse knows, some of them, the spouse doesn't. I trust my husband, BUT, I don't trust ANY man 100%. I read a book by a religous marriage counselor that said neither wife nor husband should EVER trust their spouse 100%. That leads to trouble. Don't trust your spouse to be alone with a beautiful woman. Don't trust your wife to spend time alone with a good lookin' man. Married people are human, too. And we have to look out not only for ourselves, but for our spouses as well.

8:55 AM
Crys :D said...

i think these are great things to bring up now! communication is key, right?

12:34 PM
Swishy said...

This is such an interesting post! I don't think anyone really ever thinks that will happen to them, just like no one really thinks when they get married they will get divorced, so it is so good to be aware of what can happen and nip things in the bud!

2:16 AM
Badass Geek said...

Relationships are tricky, but so long as we keep each others interests in mind, my wife and I will keep growing together strong.

2:45 PM
Anonymous said...

That is my greatest fear...being cheated on by my husband.
I've been cheated on before by boyfriends, but I don't think I could recover from my husband doing that.
We are pretty open with each other and let each other know when something is wrong.
Being married for only 8 months though, I hope we can continue with the communication so something like that doesn't happen.

3:35 AM
Bob said...

You are so right L... love is an emotion, but it's one we choose to live with or without. Everyday you wake up, you choose or choose not to love. It's hard work. Marriage is even harder. It involves two people choosing to love and hopefully the people they choose to love are each other.

11:39 PM