“If only” and “what if?”

I was thinking about MC’s post about “if only.” You know I, like many BS I think, have gone through the process of “if only” ing ourselves into a deep dark rabbit hole. “If only” I had not trusted so blindly, “if only” I had surprised him on his Chicago trip, “if only” I had questioned him more harshly regarding the funny feeling I got from our housekeeper when our child and I returned from months away, “if only” I had called his bluff on our child’s missed birthday call and insisted he sign-on to Skype, “if only, if only, if only. . .”

It does me no good, as the past cannot be different. There is no going back, there is only today and going forward into tomorrow.

I realized something, maybe it hits home for others, I can sense there is some truth in it for me. Another form of “if only” is “what if?”

“What if ” I had left MC when I found out about what I thought was his first and only affair? “What if” I had gone through with kicking him out, while visiting back home upon this d-day? “What if” I had packed our bags and returned to the US with the kids and dog upon finding out all of the horrible truths? What if? What if? What if?

I realized something with these “what if” thoughts. I think that those who decided to divorce may also do this in the opposite form. Perhaps when we encounter someone who did it differently, the question of “what if” is a natural one.  But, it is also a scary one. And, so we look to find that we made the right choice for ourselves.

Each of us, perhaps, is scared of the “what if.” There are no crystal balls. And, we each have to find the best choice for ourselves. It is not easy to know if it is the right choice. The only thing I do know is that “if only” and  “what if” seem a path to self-pity, holding onto the pain of the past and allowing that pity and pain to control my mind and my life. Perhaps this is a common struggle for the betrayed, whether divorcing or reconciling. Perhaps we share some struggles in common. No matter the choice to reconcile or divorce, it is hard to let go of wishing the past had been better, different. No matter the choice to reconcile or divorce, letting go of wishing the past had been better, different, must be done to learn to live again as a healthy person, to learn to live again.

I want to learn to live again, but I am tired. After struggling through and “picking myself up from the bootstraps” so many times in my past, I’m just tired. I don’t know if I have it in me anymore.


2 thoughts on ““If only” and “what if?”

  1. It’s so timely that you wrote this… H took me to see the new Idina Menzel musical “If/Then” over the holiday (that act in itself is a HUGE change on his behalf btw). The story is very similar to Sliding Doors in that it traces to parallel timelines in the main characters’ life. IF this choice was made THEN that happens. Without going into too much detail, I took away a great message from the story….. sometimes there is no “IF” that would have resulted in our desired “THEN.” No matter what, we all end up exactly where we are supposed to be and there isn’t a damn thing we could have done about it. We will never know if there was something in our control that could have changed our circumstances or if fate would have just ensured that we ended up in the same exact spot, just through a series of different events. I think as betrayed spouses, we not only obsess over the ‘what ifs’ of the past but also those in the future… “what if he does this again?” When those thoughts enter my mind, I force myself to also ponder “and what if he doesn’t?” Thank you for posting and sharing. I hope you have a wonderful new year. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh WoundedRaven, that musical sounds like a very lovely activity together to check out. I’m so happy for you that your husband took the initiative! And, you’re so right, it is a good message and one I needed to hear! Yes, sometimes there is no “if” that could result in our desired “then.” I think I need to remind myself of that more. And, your other thought of “what if he doesn’t” fuck it up again? You know what, that is a good question to remind myself of in all of this. “What if he doesn’t?” I think I needed to hear that just now. Thank you! I hope you have a wonderful new year as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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