It was more than 22 years ago, but I still remember the day like it was yesterday.
I remember standing on the altar as her dad walked her down the aisle.
I remember how beautiful she looked in her dress and how very much in love we had been, as our 8 years of courtship was formalized in marriage.
I remember standing in front of family and friends, looking into her beautiful eyes and making her a promise…
“to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, forsaking all others, ’til death us do part…”
As I stood there on that day, uttering those words, I had every intention of honoring them.
While not a religious man, I did consider myself an honorable one and truly did believe that she was my happily ever after, my fairy tale come true.
This marriage, this partnership, built on friendship, love and trust has been at the cornerstone of my life for these past two decades (longer really as we’ve been a couple for over thirty years now).
While I can’t say this has been a storybook romance for all of these years, it’s been a partnership that has worked, one that I have cherished.
We have been there for one another in sickness and health, through the good times (of which there were many) and the bad times (of which we also had our fair share).
We have both held true to those promises that we made to one another all those years ago.
But things have now changed and that is no longer the case.
I made the choice (yes it was a choice, nobody forced my hand) to break that promise that I made to her on that cold December night so many years ago, and spend a day in the arms and the bed of another woman.
This was not just a one time fling, or as my therapist alluded to some “itch I needed to scratch”. It’s so much more than that. This is a woman that I have fallen for and fallen hard.
There is simply no denying my feelings at this point…I love her.
I have been trying so desperately to understand why I kept finding myself going down this path and why I didn’t simply stop and turn around when I had the opportunity.
What was it that I was seeking out there that wasn’t available to me in my marriage? Was it simply all about sex, desire and passion, or was there more too it? Was this also about love and wanting to feel loved, not simply hearing the words?
Have I already emotionally divorced myself from my wife and moved on by giving my heart and my body to another woman?
Maybe I am simply choosing to kick that can down the road because any discussion of separation or divorce just seems so foreign to me as it’s not something that I would have even considered 6 months ago.
To say that I have reached a crossroads is probably the understatement of the year.
I’m in a place that I never in my wildest dreams expected to find myself and I’ll admit I am pretty much just making it up as I go along because to my knowledge there is no playbook, no instruction manual that tells you how to navigate this.
Previously Published on medium