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.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Undefinable emptiness

Had a very nice 4th of July holiday. A girlfriend took me to the spa for my birthday. We spent hours there getting scrubbed and rubbed, and sitting in various hot and cold pools and rooms. By the end of it all I was nice and relaxed and looking forward to the small group of friends coming over to hang out in our back yard. No anxiety this time.

At the spa though, I began to notice what felt like melancholy at first. The feeling grew and persisted throughout the day and the evening. By the end of the party, around 10pm, I was feeling sad and emotionally detached. I was thinking about 2003, and trying to figure out what was so bad about that year that husband decided to cross those lines that had been so solid and sure. And was thinking about how he's touched so many physically perfect women, and that he must notice the difference between their slim, hard bodies and my rounder, softer body. I felt sadness wondering if he wished for those other bodies and what they could provide that I have never been able to. I've always been in various stages of overweight. I remember once when I was pretty slim, he commented that I felt like someone else and I wonder if he was thinking about the other women, and if I felt more like them at the time. That was around 2003 I think - about the time he started having sex with others.

Today I feel the same as I did yesterday, except I think now that it's not sadness or melancholy, but more of an emptiness. I don't feel like crying. I just feel a void. I feel that, with the loss of my belief in my relationship with Husband, my relationship to the whole world has changed. Everything is just about the same in many ways, but everything is different. I experience things differently. I...I don't know. Freedom and joy are a smaller part of the context of my life. I don't know what has gotten a larger share, but it's something heavier.

I believe that I can create my own context. So along with learning to trust myself, recreating a context of joy and freedom to be are a part of this journey. And maybe also creating some separateness between me and Husband. I have a sense that I don't know myself as a valuable person in a context that doesn't include him. I don't have the same sense of value and place. And I don't think that should be missing. I don't think I should derive value and sense of place from a relationsihp with another person, but should create that myself in the way I live my life, and then add the other person to that experience. It's been so long, and I have other separation issues with my mom, so it's no wonder that there's some loss of a clear identity in this relationship with Husband. So I think that's another part of this journey - to restore my wholeness and independence separate from him. I still keep thinking that part of that is to have experiences with other men. But maybe that's still me trying to hurt Husband. On that, I'm still not clear and will need to do much more thinking and talking with trusted people before I take that action. But there are other actions to take.

For now, I look forward to the end of this empty spell. It doesn't feel good.

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