Regardless of how you experience the intention and impact of infidelity, we all are manipulated by the stories, expectations, promises, ideals, traumas, and fears we bring to the experience. We are the fictional Everyman seeking to protect the imagined safety of the stories, even as the stories eat up our lives.
Pain is not the enemy but the light over the path to growth. Despite the chaos, I am grateful to Painter for opening the door to this life and this experience. I continue to love her from afar and want the best for her.
Nothing I do or say will create a sense of safety for people avoiding their own traumas. I cannot love someone enough to heal the wounds they are trying to avoid.
How we got here doesn't have to define where we go. Living that truth is all that is required to break the patterns.
Today I recognize my choices for what they were—an unfortunate and unskillful habit of treating how I felt like a directive. I realize how often, in intimate and vulnerable relationships, I responded with a habituated neurological urge to pursue what I considered comfortable feelings while avoiding the discomfort.