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.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Today is better

I think getting all my feelings out to Husband Sunday night and talking with my therapist yesterday have both served to relieve some of the anxiety, grief and anger I was feeling over the weekend.

My therapist introduced the idea that, while 100% trust may never be restored, there are lesser percentages that I might be able to live with. What about 99.9% or 95% or 90%, she asked. I'd never considered this. I think I could go as low as 95%. That other 5% may have to be the risk I take to be in a relationship in which I'm not always distant from my partner. And what is trust but taking a risk.

Of course the problem is that I gave Husband that power before. Today I realized that it was not so much the responsibility for my happiness that I gave him, but rather the priviledge of holding my happiness. I don't know that I've ever given that to anyone else. If I think of it in terms of a priviledge that I can grant, rather than a state that can be breached only once before it is destroyed, then I can begin to get my head around some kind of trust that feels acceptable to me.

Today power is the issue on my mind. When I keep a part of myself distant from a man, that's power. I'm in control. When I don't retain that, when I open up completely and grant the priviledge of allowing someone to hold my happiness in their hands (NOT the responsibiity to make me happy) then I give up power and control over whether or not I will be happy. Husband said he thinks this is a First Step conversation, but I think it's slightly different from that. I'm under no illusion that I can control anything outside myself anymore. But I can control my decision to let someone else have that special position of holding my happiness in their care. If they hurt me, I can take that priviledge away and take actions necessary to restore my happiness, or at least to dispense with the source of unhappiness so that happiness can be recreated. But it's making that choice to grant that priviledge that gives me pause. That's what's on my mind at the moment. I don't even know if it makes sense. But so much of this doesn't make sense anyway, so that's nothing new.


Crystal said...

I left some comments for you under "Triggered". Did you see them? Also, you may find this book helpful to add to your list: How Can I Forgive You?: The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To, by Janis A. Spring, the author of After the Affair.

woman.anonymous7 said...

Thank you.