I sit here today writing about the potential “gift” within the suffering caused by infidelity and the hope of true love and deep fulfillment because of the love of a woman. Ironically, many of us are wounded in relationship to people tasked to nurture and care for us, yet for a variety of reasons, do not. Paradoxically, while wounded in relationship, we can only find real healing through relationship to another when wholeness and true love exist.
It has taken me 45 years to learn this most valuable lesson, and it is only because of the warrior-like intensity of a love I had never encountered before.
I thought I knew some things about love – after all, I was the “professional.” The truth is I was love ignorant and interpersonally illiterate. I could not engage another human being in an intimate, authentic and fully present human encounter where it required “me” to be transparent – known, available and open to be touched by another. This is the stuff intimacy and true love are made of. Sadly, so many of us are incompetent, even those of us trained to dispense solutions to find it.
It took the ferocity of Julie’s unstoppable, defiant, and unconditional stance toward loving me.
It took seeing the grace, understanding and forgiveness she gave to my many personal failures toward her. It took the generosity she demonstrated through what could have been a disastrous divorce process yet took relatively little time and money to execute. It took her friendship with me, which I didn’t deserve, on behalf of our children and my involvement in their life. It took the penetrating sobriety of her classiness, sophistication and immense integrity to see who she really was, not who I constructed her to be. It took all of it to finally “get it”.
Julie truly loved me, versus using me for a lifestyle and children or whatever else I made up, and that I was indeed the most fortunate man on the planet to be blessed with a woman this evolved with such enormous humanity.
The truth is I’m lucky.
Most people who commit infidelity are not so fortunate to get a second chance to love again. More importantly, they do not learn the deep lessons contained within its experience. It helped me evolve to love again, instead of repeating the mistakes in the future. It is, in part, because of this undeserved gift that I am able to tell our story in hopes of contributing insight to other couples coping with the same tragedy.
I hope through my failures others may learn that true love and personal transformation is available to anyone willing to work for it. It is my passion in telling our story that others will be empowered to consider taking the journey of hope, to discover possibility within tragedy and to experience true love by allowing instruction through pain. Then, they can inherit the ‘gift’ that such suffering holds for those courageous enough to enter its depths.