December will make a year when the ground on which I stand was ripped out from under me. Much has not changed. But I have changed.

We went through a brief separation. He was home rather quickly. After I was able to breathe on my own again, I began to think. The children missed him terribly, he missed them and he was miserable. All of this pain wasn’t doing any one of us any good. I invited him back on my terms. We went through the awkwardness of being around each other again. I could not stand his touch. And he knew not to press me. I rationalized that I would not subject my children to months of anguish over missing their father. At some point we would want to try to make a go of things and try to get along if not for ourselves, then for ‘the sake of our children.’ It seemed pretty selfish of me and unfair to them to drag them through my conflicting emotions about their father. They didn’t need to ride my rollercoaster. I needed to be the adult and sort out my feelings – and not at their expense. But it hasn’t been easy.

From the second he stepped foot back into the door, he was a changed man. He has not made me any promises. He has not promised to change. He has not promised to change the way he treats me.

He has shown me what love means to him. He has been tender in ways that I have not seen him be before. He has been supportive and taken a huge role in caring for his family. His actions are speaking volumes.

We went through several agonizing months of therapy to talk about our situation. We spoke about how we got to the place where we were and we realized that we did not want to be there. My parents we so incredibly supportive and encouraging. They reminded me of the heartaches I saw them endure in their early relationship and how their bond helped them get through situations worse than mine.

About 8 months after he came home, I was finally able to utter the words “I forgive you” to him. It was a huge burden lifted from my soul when I said those words. He was so relieved to hear those words come from my lips. This is the start of putting this behind us as much as I can.

But, now I am much more guarded with my feelings. And with whom I consider laying my trust. He is the only man who I have ever truly loved. He is the only man who ever made me feel truly loved. I gave him my heart and he smashed it to itty bitty pieces. Because of this,I feel that I cannot wholly surrender myself to him again. And, I have my doubts. I have a small nagging feeling that there this is something else that he is not telling me. But I will be patient. All will be revealed when the time is right.

I am not saying that I am forgetting. There are times when he touches me a certain way that I recoil from his touch. But he understands that while I have forgiven him, I am hurt too deep for things to just go back to normal.

I still have not confronted my sister. I know that some day I will need to get closure. But right now, I am not ready to hear whatever she has to say.

For now, I will continue to glue the pieces of my life together. Some pieces are missing – forever lost. Some have been replaced. And some pieces are stained. However, I am sure that I will make the best of what I have to work with and redefine who I am.