One of the things I learned in therapy is that I need to take care of my needs myself. I do not need to depend on anyone to take care of my needs for me. For years, I had put that burden on my husband and expected him to meet all of my emotional needs, much of the time not even telling him. While it hurt like hell to learn that lesson the way I did, I began to realize that the therapist was doing me a huge favor.
This weekend, I took care of an emotional need. I spent a few hours with someone who not only met my emotional needs, but held me close for a long time, giving me a sense of peace. I know he needed it too. We went our separate ways afterward, both of us refreshed and happy, looking forward to another weekend where we can meet and again take care of our basic emotional need.
Ever since it was hammered home that my feelings and needs don’t matter, I have begun filling them on my own when I feel the need to do so. It isn’t often for many of them, and in other cases once a week is just fine. Either way, it is up to me to have my needs fulfilled and I take care of it myself, depending on no one else but myself.
If you want to call this an affair, fine. Call it such. But it is not a simple affair. It is me meeting a basic need that I don’t trust my husband to fulfill and will likely not ever trust him to fulfill again. I understand now why some people have emotional affairs. And I don’t blame them. I used to be one of those who vilified people who had affairs and cheated on their spouses. Then I found myself in a position where I realized that it didn’t matter anymore, and that I began taking care of myself all by myself without depending on anyone else to help me or do it for me.
Now, when I hear of someone having an affair, I honestly don’t react by calling the offending party names and making them public enemy number one. Now, I start to think about how the “injured party” alienated their spouse and why they had to meet their needs elsewhere. And I feel for them because I realize that they learned the same lesson I did: your feelings and thoughts don’t matter.
Guess what? You DO matter. I matter. We all matter. And I don’t judge you for decisions you make because I have been forced to make decisions myself that I never dreamed of making. Do what works for you. Take care of you. I know I’m taking great care of me!