Friday, September 26, 2008

picnic at hanging rock

I just got back from a lovely picnic on the beach with a good friend of mine. We shared a nice romantic lunch of taramosalata (greek caviar) and crusty bread with lil nibblies like ripe firm greek olives, salad and feta. We even opened a bottle of wine and shared that between us. It was gawges. The setting was right, the weather even better. It felt like we were feasting on a beach somewhere in the greek isles, with the sun over us, bathing us in glory and sublimity. He held my hand as we both were laying side by side laughing and chatting about nothing in particular. When all of a sudden, the conversation changed to what do we expect in a relationship. This made me very uneasy. I know its strange for me to say that, but all I could think of was his past and what I deal with on a constant basis online. Let me explain. You see, my friend is freshly single again. Hurt by his previous gf whom he caught out on a lie(s) and found out she was fucking his best mate. OOOOPSS. He told me it has done his nut in. Of all people, she fell for his best mate, now they arent even together anymore. She wants him back badly, but he wont hear of it. It has shattered his manly ego and he cant deal with it.

He has told me bits and pieces of it leading up to today thru chats we have on the phone, other friendly dates we've been on and online, but today he was more candid and open, revealing stuff I hear about only on my dating column. Its silly for me to see it that way, but its true! I mean, ive been away from the problems of relationships for 7 years now, and BAM! I get to hear of things again. I have to say I have been prepared a lil by the agony aunt column im involved in, but its a different matter when its right in your face. I dont take it personally, I mean, Im not his ex, so I dont think he sees all women as bitches. I care about him alot, and i tried to be as gentle as i could. I knew I can be honest with him and truthful, as we are not seeing each other as lovers yet, we are very good friends only at this stage, so I advised him as a friend would.

Ok so I took the chance and just blurted it: I told him the affair was just a CONSEQUENCE of deeper seated problems his relationship was enduring. Not the reason why. Not laying the blame at all, I told him that whatever issues she was having was because SHE was having them and it wasnt his problem. Some people are quick to lay blame and say things like "Oh you were never there for me or you dont understand me" and most people think these excuses are feasible to lay blame, but in all honesty, they arent! I asked him Was everything going ok in your relationship? I dont say this to lay blame, rather to make you aware of what could be the cause. Maybe she was feeling bored, unhappy about some recent event, or just plain devious. and all this is NOT meant to be directed at you, its her actions. We must remember we are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions, and not those of others, we cant start laying blame with ourselves. Its what the individual is feeling, not their partner, whatever the excuse. Do not be too hard on yourself I told him. Do not blame yourself and be thinking its you. We all do things in life because we want to do them, not because others tell us to. So, think of it this way. Your gf had issues. It was her decision to do what she did. Ok its a low act, I must admit, esp since she ended up cheating on you with one of your supposedly best (dead beat) mates, but dont beat yourself up over it.

I went onto further explain, we are all responsible for our happiness, noone else can make us happy or create happiness but us. Ok they can perhaps do things for us that will make us look at them lovingly and think they care for us, but true happiness lies with us. So its nothing that you did or didnt do that would have influenced her decision to start the affair. Truly, look at this deeper. I will give you an example of my ex and I. He meant the world to me at that time, forever showing affection and love, being there for him, praising him, forgiving him, I eventually seen his true colours. He ended up betraying me and my confidence, embaressing me publically and in front of my family, using violence and cheating on me. And I use to ask myself the big question WHY? wasnt my love enough? Wasnt I always there for him? Wasnt our sex life just fabulous? Didnt I respect him enough? Didnt I make enough effort? Didnt I make him happy? Didnt I? didnt I? didnt I? I drove myself mental on some days trying to figure things out. Then came the getting caught out cheating part when he said he wont ever do that again. That was the last straw. I couldnt cope with the yoyo direction my life was taking. It took me a while, but i eventually stopped laying the blame on myself. He had his own issues and it had nothing to do with me. Whatever the reasons he did what he did was his own responsiblities. I went thru hell, and was emerging a better person, so I didnt need his shit on top of me too, so we split, and then he started to go thru hell knowing I wasnt there anymore, and begged me to come back, but I stayed strong. He had to figure out his problems himself. I wasnt going to be his doormat any longer.

He stared back at me, and for a moment I was thinking he was going to get all defensive and stuff, but he was looking at me in a different way. More a thinking way, full of thought provoking facial expressions, and eventually after a few minutes spoke up.

He revealed that he still loves her even though his ego wont allow him to see it. He knows this is true coz he drives past her house often just to see who's there, rings up and hangs up, and frequents places they use to as a couple. He even has remained friends with a few of her friends and asks of her constant. He feels he is out to punish her. Thats why he wont take her back or sit and talk with her, even though he is dying to. OMG. WOOT?

People do make mistakes, even MAJOR mistakes. I told him for his peace of mind he SHOULD have that talk with her. She made 1 major slip, not 10. Even if he is sooo hurt still, he should listen to what she has to say. Just to hear of what her issues were. I told him to be prepared for tears and for things to be revealed that maybe he had no clue over. But its nessassary. Perhaps then you can commence on your journey forward or even remain friends with her instead of being so bitter. Communication breakdown accounts for alot of the time when things go wrong in relationships. Forget the day to day happenings. Its what we say or fail to say to each other that matters. The little things that mean alot. Thanks, appreciation, respect, love, little cheesy gestures, yes they all have meaning, and not only with words either. Communication is a whole range of factors. The spoken word being a large part of it, but you also have to consider actions too.

He began to grow silent. My words were obviously sinking into the depths of his consciousness. I told him to not be afraid to show the love. Love is NOT weakness. Stop torturing her. She needs to know you are there. But, do not be overly eager about it either. Shes vulnerable at this time, and on the rebound from a shattered human error she is probably realising the magnitude over right now. You both need the strength love can provide. So give it time, but make it known you are there. The phone is a good place to start. Just call her up and say hi. Dont use it to argue or lay blame. Just keep it neutral and talk about your day and whats been hapening in a non threatening way. Do this at least weekly. Then just follow the natural progression from there. Believe me the power of forgiveness will lighten your emo mental load. Resentment, hatred, unforgiveness just serves to eat you away, so let it go. Even like I said if this is just to be used to resolve your issues, do it! You will be surprized to discover a few truths (and untruths) as you open and be honest. Can relationships survive an affair? Yes it can, keeping in mind what I said earlier, if you both love each other and if you are willing to work on the issues that caused the affair in the first place, then you will both find it is possible.

Nevertheless, the drive home from the beach was also thought provoking!!
For further reading about surviving an affair I recommend: