It is true that the husband was back for weeks before I told anyone. My inner sanctum was out of the loop. Even my Holy Trinity was in the dark. The one on Earth. The one I pray to was all up in my business. It was intentional. We wanted to be able to take the chance ourselves. Without the love and care of others swaying us. We wanted to be sure we were willing to do the work. That the ability to learn how to love and trust and be together again was there. I mean, he kept his apartment for another five weeks. Exit strategy. Contingency plan. Whatever.
In a way it was weird to be so silent about it. Certainly I had never shied away from speaking (writing) about it. I had nothing to hide. I was intent on shining a light. Not for others, no. Though that did turn out to be a fringe benefit. But for me. I didn't want to hide in the shadows and secrecy. That gave my situation the power. And, oh hell no.
We went out for ice cream. As a family. As families do. Even separated ones. We went out for ice cream in our small town. We knew that it might start some tongues wagging. We accepted the risk. And, listen, if I cared about tongues wagging I never would have pressed publish. Like, ever. So they wagged and in some ways I was thankful. Let the news spread that way. One less thing for me to do. In other ways, ummm, just ask me. I have been writing about my journey for a year. Clearly I am an open book.
But it comes from a place of curiosity. I get that. Society is funny. Separated parents aren't supposed to be seen together. There is supposed to be friction and boundaries and separate lives. But we have kids, so that wasn't really ever going to work. And then society is funny because, I have learned, it is more acceptable to divorce someone who cheated than reconcile.
What if he does it again? What about my kids? What if we get hurt? How can you trust again? What if he is late from work? How will you ever have sex again? What if reconciling is a mistake? I understand these questions and concerns. I lived them. For months. I played through scenarios like Dr. Strange in Infinity War.
For me it was worth the risk of not being sure. I reconciled. For me, THIS choice has been the brave one. The risky one. The one where I have taken all I have learned and all that I am and am LIVING the life where it is about my yellow house. And not the noise outside of it. This is the choice where I decided to live my life. Not caring what anyone else thought. I thought I had been living that way already. I hadn't. This reconciliation has taught me as much about myself as the separation.
So, for those of you that saw his car and wondered. Thank you for the space you gave me. The love you sent. The time that allowed me to tell you when I was ready.
For those of you that saw us together and asked. Thank you for your forthrightness. The care and respect with which you asked. The love you sent. The support when you knew I had taken an abrupt left and changed my path. Again. Who saw the love and bravery before I saw it myself. (Still don't see the bravery but I'll take it!)
For those of you that saw us together and chatted amongst yourselves. Thank you. That has been my biggest lesson. I am truly so, so thankful. (Am I crying right now? Maybe.) At first I was hurt and annoyed. That's me. Holy hell do I feel things. Deeeeeply. But then, THEN I saw the gift that it was. I had to decide how to live my life. My life. Shadows or sun?
And I chose. Let the sun shine. I live it openly. With honesty. At this point, really, what is there to hide? Plus, hot damn, that takes so much energy and I just don't want to waste it there. So I have become more efficient. I live with the attention and energy on my family. My innermost circle of friends and loved ones. And then I mete that energy out like the ripples of a stone tossed into a pond. That stone weighted and steadfast in the center.
I was there already, actually. Apparently, I just needed the reminder. I am glad I got it. But maybe, I don't know, the Universe could send me an email next time. I know. The Universe is busy. I get that. I respect that. So maybe just a text?