For most of us, whether we are betrayed or unfaithful, thinking back to D-day conjures vivid images of shock and horror, feelings of shame and disbelief, and a period of suspended animation. We recall falling off the edge of the world as we knew it and into a pit of numbness and despair. I remember too. It took the breath right out of me.
As painful as that experience was, looking back I have a different perspective on D-day. I see it as the day my husband finally let me in. Despite shattering my world, he finally gave us a chance to truly know each other and the potential to experience unconditional love. Prior to D-day that was not possible. He had been hiding from me, wearing a mask, keeping his secret and shutting me out. I was married to someone I did not really know. That was not fair to either of us, and would never have allowed us to be real in our marriage and realize our true potential.
My D-day was probably like yours in many ways. In the morning life was normal and safe, and then we had the conversation that changed everything. Nothing was safe after that, and “normal” was a distant memory. It was just the beginning of a long and painful journey that I would never want to relive and wouldn’t wish on anyone.
The first anniversary of D-day was hard. All the experts agree it can be triggering and temporarily intensify feelings that make it feel like you are going backwards and are starting all over again. That is common. My goal was just to survive the day and I did, just barely, watching the clock and feeling relieved when it was over.
On our 2 year D-day anniversary I wanted to feel differently. I mentally could rationalize how I wanted it to be different, and how getting the truth on D-day really was a breakthrough, but emotionally, I did not feel it at all. I forced myself to act differently in the hopes my feelings would follow, so I took a different approach and made dinner reservations. It was a genuine gesture on my part and I wanted to feel peace, but I didn’t. I was proud of myself for making the effort, and my husband was appreciative. But I really felt awful and was so disappointed that it didn’t magically change anything.