My 27-year marriage ended after my ex had an affair. Actually, it didn’t end immediately. I was intrigued by the heavily peddled idea that one can rebuild a marriage after infidelity. Stronger than it was before even, kind of like the 6 million dollar man. I dated myself a little there with the obscure 70’s TV reference that no one under the age of 40 will understand, but hey, that’s how I roll.
So about that rebuilding thing? Yeah, not so much; so here I am.
About 5 months after our divorce was granted in court, a little birdie, let’s call it Facebook, told me the ex was cohabiting with the “other woman!” The same woman that he supposedly had no contact with during our three-year attempt at reconciliation. The same woman ex was mad at for “going back to her husband” even though ex summarily dumped her to attempt reconciliation with his wife. And yes, he seriously told me he was mad at her. You honestly can’t make this stuff up!
Back to Facebook. I thought I did my due diligence in the Facebook department. I blocked my ex in-laws when we split and as soon as I found out about the affair, I blocked the other woman. Luckily my ex was never interested in Facebook so I had no worries there. It should have been all good. Except it wasn’t. I forgot to block the people in my ex-neighborhood!
So I wake up one fine Sunday morning and logged onto Facebook to check my news feed, only to find pictures of a party that one of my ex-neighbors attended the day before. You can probably see where this is headed. Yes, the party was held at my ex-house. Talk about surreal! The multitude of pictures posted that morning, depicted my old back yard, my old deck, with my old dogs, my ex-husband and the other woman who moved into my ex-life. Good times!
Anyway, that was the day I realized there was a high probability my ex would re-marry and an even higher probability that it would be to her. Wow, was that ever a craptacular thought! I know I’m not alone with that emotion. I think it’s a perfectly normal reaction to be a little hurt when an ex-spouse remarries. That hurt multiplies exponentially however when that new union is with an affair partner. Ouch right?
Then I remembered something that I had read a while back that really resonated. The author suggested that when something such as the aforementioned situation arises and you’re really bothered by it, ask yourself this question: How does that change my life today? So I asked myself that question and I was pleasantly surprised at the answer. It wouldn’t change my life even one scintilla. It was literally not my circus or my monkeys.
Of course, I didn’t get there right away but these were the four things I considered.
1. Would their marriage change our relationship status?
Hell to the no way! He was my ex for a very good reason and I didn’t want him back so why should I care if someone else had him? With regards to friendship; marriages that end with infidelity as the final act are generally not friendly. I went into the divorce knowing I wouldn’t retain any sort of friendship with him and their marriage certainly wouldn’t change that.
2. If they get married, doesn’t it mean that she won?
I guess that depends on what your definition of winning is. Her prize was someone who lied and cheated to the one person he vowed not to do those things to. If losing that changed my life, it could only be for the better!
3. Would anything about my financial, health, or employment status change?
Sure, all of those things are subject to change without notice for me and everyone else. But if they do, it will have nothing to do with their marital status.
4. Would it change my relationship with my kids and my family?
If our divorce didn’t change those relationships, then it was a safe bet that their nuptials wouldn’t change them either.
So there you have it. Ask yourself those questions; throw in a few of your own, and try to remove emotions from the equation. I’ll bet you’ll come to realize that when it comes to what’s important, those things are not changed by someone else’s marital status even your ex’s.
I am happy to say I got a chance to test that theory. Just a few months later, I was up late one night because I couldn’t sleep. I did what any sane person would do in this scenario and I decided to add a few people to my “blocked list” on Facebook. Hey, there was nothing on TV an I was all out of lives on Candy Crush so don’t judge!
Anyway, as I was scrolling through the list, a new name caught my eye. It was the other woman’s first name but her last name was different than I remembered. Actually her new last name happened to be the same as the one I had recently dropped like it was hot.– Thank God because that would’ve been a huge ewwwww moment for me if we shared the same last name. Yuck!
My first thought was: Facebook strikes again even when you block people! But soon following that first thought was a sense of relief. I’m not sure why. It could’ve been due to my elation that I resumed my maiden name before I learned of their blessed union, but I honestly believe there was more to it than that. I think it was because I realized that I truly didn’t care. I fell asleep shortly thereafter and woke up rested and serene.
I am happy to report that their marriage did not change my life that day or any day since.