In law, unring the bell is an analogy used to suggest the difficulty of forgetting information once it is known.
There is no excuse. There is no justification. There is no defense.
It is no one else’s fault. It wasn’t a mistake. It was not an accident. I didn’t trip to suddenly discover my dick wedged into the vagina of my ex-wife.
My betrayal also isn’t a crime story. There was never any violence, verbal or sexual abuse, hoarding, or neglect. There was betrayal and the typical supporting deceptions and cognitive dissonance.
This isn’t a season of Shameless. It isn’t Dexter or Breaking Bad. It certainly isn’t about monsters or ghosts or predators.
My infidelity, secret-keeping, and escalating cycle of lies are certainly not C’s or K’s fault. The entire story is tied to my prideful belief, “I can fix this” for people I care about and avoiding emotionally and mentally humiliating and hurtful consequences for the people I love and that love me.
I can’t fix any of it.
However, there are consequences. There is meaning. There is an opportunity.
There is not, however, a way back after the first act. I cannot unring the bell no matter how many lies I tell or secrets I keep.
And I had many of both.
Without clear boundaries, I made choices leading down a path resulting in me choosing to sleep with my ex-wife, K, six to eight times over two years. Those choices are mine.
In order to cover, I used the manipulative tools of lying and secret-keeping as they felt like the only way to save the Partnership I worked my entire life to find.
Or at least I convinced myself secret-keeping and lying were the only way and this was the Partnership I wanted my entire life.
In hindsight, neither may be true.
You cannot solve the problem with the same level of knowledge that created the problem. Shame forced me to utilize the same level of knowledge that created the problem. A level of knowledge consistently making a bad situation worse. A Pride that would not let me ask for help.
In the end, almost all of my lies and secrets were about keeping these two human beings apart so I could keep my relationship with C.
C’s policy on infidelity is absolute. There is no room for conversation. There is no forgiveness. It was a consequence I desperately tried to avoid. As such, I did and said some horrible things to K to try and drive her off.
I used everything but the honesty and truthfulness.
And as with all deceptions, discovery is inevitable.