A road not taken

Two country paths, which way to take?

This week’s Food for Thought poses some questions about the choices we have made in life: How many times have you found yourself at a junction in your life?; What helped you choose the road/door you decided on?; Do you ever think about what you would be doing if you had chosen the other path?; Tell us about that other you who picked the other route.

A Junction in my life

The biggest was when I discovered my husband was having an affair. The signs had been there previously, though I had chosen to ignore them. To believe in the obvious lies he told. We had been married for around 8 years and my son was a toddler.

I was ironing in my dining room one Saturday afternoon when a woman turned up at the door and told me she was engaged to my husband. She had little time to lay out her accusations before he arrived and bundled her out. She sent me a very long letter the following week detailing all of the times they had been together and with photos to prove it. Around the same time divorce papers arrived.

What should I do?

I was a mess. Crying and barely able to function. He told me that the other woman was manipulative and that she wouldn’t let him go (they were work colleagues). He told me that it was partly my fault as I hardly ever wanted sex and indeed was frigid. Therefore he had strayed.

For pretty much the first time in my life I felt unable to go to work. I didn’t want to face people, couldn’t bare having to be strong and capable. I was a district nurse at the time and needed to be able to make decisions to care and to be the boss. This was something I couldn’t do and so I saw my GP and got signed off for 2 weeks. I also told a friend who had been through something similar.

Two weeks doesn’t sound long. But actually I made my decision during that time and tried to move on. I could see no way of being a single parent. I was physically and emotionally able but I hated the idea of people thinking badly of me. But also I worried that I would be unable to cope financially.

Even more than that though I loved my husband. Hated the thought of someone else having him and so decided to fight to keep him.

What would I be doing now?

That is a difficult thing to know. In hindsight I would have saved myself one hell of a lot of heartache. Instead of dealing with the issues at the time we buried them and tried to pretend nothing was wrong. Their relationship continued though he said it didn’t. But eventually I had him to myself and in reality she should have been welcome to him.

I think if I had kicked him out I would have managed. I’m sure people would have rallied around me, but my problem was I hated showing signs of weakness.

I probably would have explored other relationships sooner, but without the need to betray his trust too. My son would have got used to the idea of his dad and I being apart and wouldn’t have felt the effects in his early 20’s.

Of course I might never have met Master because I might not have been looking online when I did. Though there is always the chance our paths might have crossed sooner.

With another man I might have had another child. There were trust issues that prevented that happening with my husband.

The other me

Well, the other me is who I am now. It’s difficult to know if I would have got to this place sooner if our marriage had ended then. I would like to think that the other me would discover her submissive self sooner and find fulfilment with her Master. That there would have been more years together than there can ever be. But to be honest I am the person I am because of the things that happened. And as I said last week: je ne regrette rein!

Photograph: David Robinson

F4Thought