The past few years have been, by far, the worst of my entire life. But my husband's infidelity wasn't the most painful part. Nor was the eighteen months of lies, or hearing him say he was leaving me for good.
The most agonizing part of it all is something I have difficulty explaining.
The four months from when his affair was exposed until he voiced his decision for divorce were unequivocally the most painful I've ever lived through.
He planned to leave me months before he made it official. And as I hung on, wanting to see our marriage restored, he deliberately and willfully messed with my heart.
He kept me on a string like a yo-yo, bouncing between two extremes. He'd push me away and then pull me back again. He'd tell me one day that he was willing to do the hard work of repairing trust and rebuilding our marriage, and the next that he'd never loved me to begin with.
Those months were a living hell for me.
I've blocked out many of the details of that time, but I recently read back through some emails I'd sent friends during those months.
And I was horrified by what I read.
Being reminded of how cruelly I was treated made me sick to my stomach.
There aren't words that can do justice to the pain my heart endured at the hands of my husband. The English language simply doesn't run deep enough for that.
I wouldn't wish those things on anyone.
Not even the other woman.
Because no one should ever have to experience what I lived through in those months.
This week my heart is tender. I'm remembering. Hurting. Grappling.
But my heart is also grateful. Because I'm stronger.
And I'm free.