I can't change the past, but I can choose the present This was one of the great truths I have learned through the recovery process from my affair. My choice to have an affair ripped my wife’s heart in two and almost destroyed our 25 year marriage. I used to fixate on the fact that I had ruined what I believed had been a good record. I no longer could boast as a superior husband, father, or even human being. I had cheated on my wife and I was now considered lower than pond scum. No longer could my wife or my children be able to say at my funeral, “he was a good man and faithful husband.” I had destroyed any chances of receiving a eulogy that would compel all those present to say to my grieving widow, “Jack was such a wonderful man. Knowing him has changed my life. My greatest regret is that I didn’t know him better.” Yeah, I used to think about that kind of stuff. I used to obsess over the choices I had made that had gotten me here. I would replay them in my mind along with the “if only” game. If only I had not chosen to be so self-centered. If only I had not blamed my wife for my dissatisfaction. If only I had taken responsibility. If only I had understood what loving my wife really meant. If only I had not had this affair. Now, these are all good issues to examine. Having a greater understanding of myself and my responsibility and what it means to love my wife – all great to know and critical to my recovery. But wanting a better past was futile. I had made horrible choices. I had crashed “an apparently” good marriage. There was no denying what I had done. I realized I could not change the past. And I had to learn to let it go. I had to give up hoping for a better past. Through my recovery I have learned that I can choose the present. I can create a better future with the help of others and God. I am not stuck obsessing over a terrible past, but looking forward to living every day to it’s fullest.