When I speak with betrayed spouses, who have recently learnt that their partners have been having an affair or affairs for a long time, the sense of betrayal can be overwhelming.
They will often recall events or occasions from their marriage and life together and say something like “… and all the time, he was seeing her! Our marriage has been a complete lie.”
In April 1912, the British passenger liner, RMS Titanic, sank after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean, resulting in the death of over 1500 passengers. The investigations and public enquiries after this disaster led to several significant changes in regulations and procedures governing maritime safety.
The design and building of the Titanic used some of the most advanced shipbuilding technology of its day. The hull was built in compartments, so that if a leak should occur in one compartment, the adjacent compartments could be sealed and be completely watertight. It was designed so that even if four of these compartments became damaged, it would still stay afloat. As the Titanic hit the iceberg on at 11.20pm on April 15th, it scraped along the side of the hull creating a leak in 5 of the compartments. The ship sank nearly four hours later.
Despite the fact that this ship failed on its maiden voyage, its sister ship the Olympic went on the to have a long a successful career. So, just because the Titanic sank, it doesn’t mean that all the work and effort that went into creating one of the most advanced an luxurious passenger lines of its time, was all a lie.
Long term relationships are a collection of countless individual experiences. Each day is different and many memorable events can occur – weddings, anniversaries, holidays, new jobs, the birth of children, family celebrations. For each member of the family, there are their own individual growth journeys, new things experienced, new things learnt. Just because one person was making some bad choices along the way, it doesn’t negate the existence of all the other things.
It is easy to focus on the pain of the disaster, and minimise or negate any positive things that also occurred. Just because the Titanic sunk, it doesn’t mean that all the other features of its overall design was flawed. Just because your marriage appears to be sinking, it doesn’t mean that all the other features over the years are flawed.
Oh, and by the way. Many more people could have been saved from drowning, if they had had better facilities to be able to radio for help. If you need help trying to save your marriage, radio for help at www.getoveranaffair.com.