Early on after the discovery of the first affair (and alleged one night stand) I started writing. I wrote everyday in those first weeks. The writing was all over the damn place, but several pages were dedicated to the things I knew at the time because I needed one fucking thing to feel like it was true and I was desperately searching. Since my cheating husband made just about everything that was important to me seem like a lie or tainted, I needed to remember what was fucking real. It was a quick way to take my own relationship “temperature” too and I’m grateful for being able to refer back to the lists over the years and months and even today.
I titled each page with The Things I Know. Then I would quickly list what I knew either good or bad. Here’s an example of an early one:
I know my husband loves me
I know he cheated on me
I know my friends and family will support me and never leave me
I know he’s confused
I know I will survive
I know I’m not sure if I want to stay
I know he is showing her too much consideration
I know I’m married to a liar
I know he’s still in contact with her
I know my life will never be the same
And the list continued. Several were like that, sometimes restating the same obvious things and sometimes I didn’t pick up on something until it kept popping up, day after day. I have dozens of The Things I Know lists.
The great thing about having these lists during those first few horrific months is that I can look back and compare The Things I Know lists from THEN and NOW. It is both good and bad to compare. Sometimes I realize how much progress is being made and sometimes I realize my situation is changing, but in a disheartening way. Which, I guess is good in its own way.
For example, because my cheating husband decided to withhold information for over a year (multiple years of multiple affairs) and because he also decided to stay in contact with one of the whores when he said he wasn’t, my lists go from hopeful to despair in just a day. They go from calm and controlled to angry and bitter. They move from numb to feeling and sometimes all of these feelings in the same week.