I thought I would share something very personal today. The last couple of weeks I’ve found myself in several threads about how long do you go on in an unhappy marriage. When is enough, enough. Not long ago was the first anniversary since I found out about my wife’s emotional affair. A couple of weeks later I received the “I’m not in love with you anymore” speech. At the time I was crushed, hurt, angry, frightened, confused, astonished and in general pretty screwed up. For weeks I couldn’t get full control of my emotions, couldn’t sleep, felt angry with her, blamed myself, lost my confidence, lost weight and couldn’t concentrate at work. I also realized how far I had let my love for her go over time. While in this period, neither my wife nor I raised our voices because we knew that at any given moment we were just one step away from one of us walking out the door for the last time. For those of you out there finding yourselves in this situation please take heart that things can get better but it takes time. I initially doted on my wife and tried to fix things as quickly as possible. Flowers, dates, cards, deep discussions… It was too much for her to process and it probably pushed her further away from me. We both came to the conclusion that we needed to give things time and let things build for us at a slower pace. We sought counseling for our marital woes and faith for our spiritual health. It took my wife seven months just to realize she was actually in love with him and it was not just a friendship. Something I had suspected for a long time. Contact ended in January and it has been difficult for her. With confidence, love, patience and faith I hope that I can help her rediscover her love for me and the marriage will be stronger than ever. While we have both endured much pain and anxiety over the past 12 months we have also enjoyed a lot of happiness. We have become great friends again and spend more time together than we have in years. We have seen our children reach milestones together and supported each other in times of personal and professional losses. We took our first vacation alone together in 18 years. We learned ball room dancing. We have both developed a more profound understanding of what each of us is all about and what we need in the marriage. We communicate at a level that was impossible for us a year ago. We learned that no matter what was going on between us that we had to protect our children and take our issues off line when they were in need of our help. While there is still no sexual intimacy between us, we laugh, hug and kiss daily. One day I pray she will wake up feeling the deep love she felt for me for so many years and our marriage will take the another step forward. While not easy, this year has also been a rewarding and insightful time for us both. She now understands that I am a man of great patience and love. I see the woman I fell in love with 20+ years ago and all of her wonderful qualities that make me love her so much. People do fall back in love, I did. Now I patiently wait for her to do the same. Is it a happy marriage? No, but it is happier than it’s been in years. While our life is not whole yet, and may not be for a long time, our relationship is relaxed, caring and open and our children see that. No matter how this ends we can both look back with pride knowing that we did everything possible to save the marriage and both emerged better people for it. Most importantly we have given our children another year to mature and grow and if it ends badly they will have that much more maturity to deal with it. Have faith all, there is hope when a marriage falters. People can change and relationships can recover but you must work together and accept there may be no quick fixes. As long as there is no abuse or lack of respect, give your marriage time to heal one step at a time. Bless.