A Fun Day Talking about Adultery, Infidelity, Affairs, Conflict and Redemption ;-)
Ann and I had a great day filming with American Family on their piece 'Overcoming Infidelity'. Producer Logan Hirsh (that's him with us in front of the rocks) and cameraman extraordinaire, Greg Hall (adjusting the light) arrived at 8. We began the filming with us cooking and eating breakfast with the kids. Ann made some ridiculously scrumptious biscuits and gravy for our southern guests. I made the dark coffee leaded and un. We were rolling.
Downstairs, after breakfast they interviewed our daughter about her experience during the affair and
today. She remembered hearing us yell, seeing dents in the wall for things thrown and protecting her little brother. She also recalled painting dark pictures instead of bright ones. It pierced my heart to hear her and think of our little nine year old growing up too fast. Here we are and she is a phenomenal young woman today.
We moved upstairs for Ann to share about what contributed to her choosing to have an affair. She talked about her duality in high school, high achieving good girl during the week and promiscuous party girl on the weekends. She mentioned my drinking and gambling in the early years of our marriage and the pain it caused her. She is an extrovert and I am an introvert. I worked talking to folks on the phone all day and she worked in a room by herself. She was ready to talk when she got home and I was ready to shut down. We were conflict avoiders and didn't know how to talk about her feelings of being shutout or any charged subject in a constructive manner. A man showed up who had the time to listen to her and she liked it and eventually they began to have sex.
Ann also talked about the revelation and chaos. The burden and weight of living out that dual life was a constant drag on her.
Our commitment to growing individually since the revelation of the affair has fueled our growth as a couple. She was and is beautiful.
It was my turn. I shared along the same lines of what contributed to the conditions for an affair to be chosen. I also talked about parenting the kids. I think it was a mix of moving past my feelings and being present with them at home and games. Other times I was lost in my own thoughts to the point of ignoring them.
I talked about forgiveness being a process. At first I just didn't know all of the ways I had been hurt. As we perused the calendar of the years she was in the affair new losses presented themselves. We had to deal with those as they came up. Fourteen months into the process came the greatest leap of forgiveness and my anger began to turn to sorrow. We began to be able to grieve our losses together.
The talking was over. They took shots of us being contemplative, playful, walking on trails, praying, reading The Message together and they filmed a number of still pictures to present.
Logan bought lunch in there at some point for all of us too. Can't forget that food aspect.
It was a great experience. Logan and Greg are terrific men who have fun and get the job done. I'll have a photo album up soon.