The Beginning of Something Else

On June 1, 2007 I found out my husband and partner of almost two decades had been unfaithful to me since before our marriage, and had been having intercourse with prostitutes for 3 1/2 years. This is what happened next.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

At Seattle Tacoma Int’l Airport

I’m sitting here on the floor of the airport waiting for my flight back to LA. My heart is racing, my stomach is churning, and I’m feeling a lot of fear and anxiety about going home. I felt so safe up here. I could talk freely about my feelings and the situation, there was nothing to hide, I had complete support, no judgment, and the sometimes issue felt far away – or at least the danger did.

I arrived Friday night and sat up talking with Nora and Joe until about midnight. Joe made me Yip Yaps, and old frat party drink from college, and they listened to me talk about everything. I felt really distanced from everything, almost peaceful.

Saturday morning Marcie came over, and Nora, Marcie and I sat around the dining room table all morning and into the afternoon talking. I talked a lot about my thoughts of having casual sex. There are a number of reasons for doing this that seem perfectly logical to me: To rid myself of the significance of monogamy, which I know is not the important issue for me here; to experience something I’ve been interested in doing but refrained from due to the commitment I thought we shared; to open myself to everything and explore options freely so I can freely choose my relationship again. And of course I know there’s some element of getting back some control in my own life. We talk about sex addiction. We talk about betrayal. One thing is very clear to all of us...I’m completely confused.

Marcie has an appointment to meet 2 girlfriends from Vashon for a spa day downtown at 3pm, so we hop on the bus and head to Pacific Center leaving Joe behind with the kids. Nora and I used to muse about how we’d found the best men in the whole world, and how lucky we were.

Apparently there is a lot of sexual drama going on in the small community of Vashon, Washington. The two women Marcie was meeting are best friends, and one is having an affair with the other’s husband. Marcie had been witness to several different events, and had tried to gently break the news to her friend. The friend, however, was not interested in hearing about the infidelity. She remains “best friends” with the woman who is seeing her husband. Both couples seem headed for divorce. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

So while Marcie was getting a facial and bikini wax with this pair, Nora and I went to the bookstore so I could get some books on sexual addiction. Then we walked around downtown and went shopping for clothes for Nora. The question on my mind at the moment was how to work toward the outcome I want (husband and I recreating a relationship of love, trust, integrity and respect) while avoiding letting husband feel as though he’d gotten away with something again. How are there consequences without me imposing punishment, which I’m loathe to do? We talked a lot about what consequences could be. Nora looked for natural consequences (like when you don’t wear a coat you get cold.) Sex withheld was one suggestion, but that would be a punishment to me as well, and felt like a manufactured consequence that would thwart my intended outcome. By the time we met up with Marcie again around 5:30pm we still hadn’t come up with anything.

The three of us went off to find a dinner spot and some answers to my difficult question. Three single malt scotches (McCallen 12 and Albelor) and half a beef tenderloin later, still nothing workable. We also talked a lot more about my thought about casual sex, and I think I’m pretty convinced that it’s not the right thing for me. But I feel so lonely and scared sometimes and I just want to be held. The only person I can turn to for that is husband. And that is just surreal, considering he’s the thing that scares me most. I feel very fucked up.

We get home and drink 3 more Yip Yaps while sitting around talking with Joe. I’m anxious to get the male perspective. Joe seems to understand how it would be easy to slip into this kind of addiction of one had tendencies because women and sex are so readily served up in our culture. He suggests that I bring my son up to Seattle for a few weeks and work from there. This separation could be a consequence. That idea appeals to me because I feel so much safer in Seattle. I’m so worried about how everything will affect my son, though. But I think a “vacation” would leave him unsuspecting. I’d have to figure out a way to explain it to mom, but I could probably swing that. Especially considering the sweet relief I seem to feel up here.

We head to bed around 2:30pm, and I spend the next couple hours reading the sex addiction books and getting more and more scared by what they say. It’s hard to get over this. Relapse. Deception. I feel sick.

I woke this morning with the dread of leaving coursing through my body. Just like with the Sacramento trip, I don’t want to go home. I miss my son terribly, but I also feel in no shape to be near him. I feel fragile and distracted...shaky, nervous, anxious. I really need to talk to my therapist about an additional visit. And I need to find a Co-SAA support group.

I don’t think my husband has any idea about how this affects my moment to moment existence, and hate him for that. Why did he bring this upon me? I was so happy. I am glad it’s out in the open, but it’s not what I was expecting to be dealing with at this time in my life. God damn him.

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