Had a long conversation with L yesterday, in person, and told him I needed to come clean with R. He was scared, but not angry, supportive even. Although, the first thing he said was that there was a 95% chance him and his partner would break up as a result. I did, however, almost get him to a point of understanding that my husband would likely not say anything, so his choice to speak up to his partner would still be his.
Then I got a panicked email this morning, and we had another long conversation. I so wanted to stay firm in my position, but I also don't want him to lose everything, and ... he would. I know coming clean is still the right thing to do, it's still what I want to do for me personally - but as they say, there's the right thing to do, and then there's what I'm going to do.
I'm going to protect L. And our community of friends, everything we've built here.
I know it will likely all come out at one point, and it will be worse. I tried to convince L of that, but he feels like he needs to risk that right now. By the end of the conversation he was looking to going to see a counsellor to figure out how he can get him and his relationship to a stronger point. I strongly encouraged that.
I know I'm selling myself short, and I know this isn't what I want to do. I know I'm protecting him because I still have feelings for him, and it protects a lot for me too. He knows he's asking me to compromise my very sense of self, but my whole family isn't on the line. When I think of his daughter, and what this would do to her, it just doesn't seem right or fair.
Can I live with this? Right now, yes, I feel like I can. Will I feel this way tomorrow? Probably not. But is coming clean about my own sense of integrity, or is about still wanting L and wanting to force the issue? Is it about being truthful, or seeing how my husband reacts to the reality of me being with someone else, knowledge he said he didn't want to know. Is it worth repairing this crack in the foundation of my otherwise strong relationship, when it would demolish L's whole house and take half the community with it?
I can't justify not coming clean. I know it's wrong, I know that. And one day I will come clean, and hope that my husband understands that I didn't sooner only because it would have destroyed L's family. My only solace is L's promise that he's going to work to make his relationship better and begin to work on himself too. I hope he comes to a point where he can see that there is no other way to restore honesty and trust in a relationship than to be honest and prove yourself trustworthy. Then we can both face the music, without me feeling like the asshole that forced the issue for him when he wasn't able to cope and when he was pretty much guaranteed to lose it all.
I know ....