When all this happened 18 years ago, the man decided that he would not go public on the events surrounding the breakdown of his marriage and the subsequent divorce, partly out of respect for his ex-wife and partly because the children had no idea what had gone on.
In the meantime, the children have grown up and have partners of their own, the ‘developing relationship’ flourished and the man re-married. The second marriage has proved to be lasting and strong; he has truly found a loving and loyal wife.
A conversation with a member of the church of the ‘if only we’d known about your circumstances’ variety, following the failure to be appointed as the church’s part-time pastor, got the man thinking, and the last 22 blog posts have been the fruit of that. They are very much told from the man’s perspective, which is probably fair enough, and he has tried to be honest and fair about the part his ex-wife played in the story.
Several postings prepared in draft have been left out, because even now there are some things better left unsaid.
It is just before Christmas. One year has passed since she first let on about her affair.
He has just finished clearing his life out of their family home, and relocating it to a small but cheerful room in a community house owned by a local Anglican church.
There is space in the house for his children, who only live a short distance away, to come for frequent stays…in fact, the house is almost equally spaced between his old home and their school.
Lying back on his bed and taking in his new space, he is surprised that amidst the sadness he is also feeling an amazing sense of release and relief. He feels safe again.
He’d better enjoy those feelings while they last…
“Stay if you want, but I’m not going to stop seeing whoever I choose!”
They have been talking, at length, about the point of impasse they have reached. She throws the line at him as he leaves for work and the safety of his lonely office.
He sits at his desk thinking through the last details of his plan to ‘do a bad thing well’. Much as he’d like to throw her out of their home, he knows that would not be the best thing for their children right now. They do not even know what’s going on.
He will have to be the one to leave.
He decides that he will not publicly talk of the circumstances of their separation…he will remain as neutral as possible over issues of cause and blame.
After months of Prozac stress and trying badly to hold things together he knows that once this break is made it will be permanent. People may imagine it’s a separation with hope of reconciliation, but he knows better. This will be the end.
What he could not imagine at the time is how powerful people’s need to apportion blame and society’s bias against the man. Once everything goes public, he will be blamed, his faithfulness will be slandered, he will lose his job, his vocation, his home, his financial stability…and the lie will continue to haunt him into his future.
But for now, all that is in the future…after months of trying to salvage things he is finally resolved to being the one to end the painful cycle of betrayal and enable them to move forward.