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, August 19, 2007

Insecurities flourishing

The way my crazy mind works never ceases to amaze me. I've been feeling a gnawing, non-specific sadness today. It perplexed me, given the good couples session we had Saturday and the dynamic between Husband and me over the past days. But there it was.

Husband left yesterday after therapy for an overnight retreat with with an arts group we founded about 10 years ago. The original plan was for all of us to go but son wanted to stay. His absence doesn't make me worry that he'll be unfaithful (no prostitutes available after all.)

Saturday night we went to a birthday party for Son's preschool classmate. Starting that night or this morning, I've been feeling this non-specific pain. Today Son and I spent the day together, first meeting a neighbor and her son at the pool and then going to a good-bye party for some teachers from Son's school. As the pain persisted, I tried to figure out why I was feeling this way. I worry that it's just self-indulgent wallowing, given that I understand intellectually what has happened.

But when I see all these women whose husbands haven't lied and been unfaithful, broken vows and explicit agreements, and hurt and betrayed them, like an automatic response I wonder what is it about me that I ended with a husband who did these things. I feel isolated and separate from the rest of the world to whom these things don't happen.

The intellectual response is that it had nothing to do with me. True in a very important sense. But in another sense it had a lot to do with me. No matter the finer distinctions, husband lied to me, betrayed to me, broke our vows and agreements, was physically intimate with dozens of other women who had exactly the characteristics I fear that I lack. My deepest insecurities are born out in the women he chose. How would he feel if for years I lied and betrayed him and had sex with men that confirmed his deepest insecurities???????

The thought that came into my head at one point was "I've always felt so loved in my life." That was when I realized that part of the source of this kind of lingering pain is that I feel unloved. He says he loves me and intellectually I understand, believe etc...but I FEEL unloved. Being lied to, betrayed, disrespected, disregarded, not considered, forced to share my intimate life with so many other women does not feel loving. Intellectually I understand, believe, and all of that. But there is a part of me that can't be put into words that will take time to heal no matter what plausible explanations are offered and how much intellectual understanding I have. There is an undefinable level at which I've been damaged or compromised or something like that, and no amount of intellectualizing will ease that pain, quell my fears or dis empower the reactivated insecurities. I think I just need time - weeks, months, years - to FEEL loved again.

1 comment:

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

Me too (again). I used to hate to look at other women. I'd always think, "Look at her -- why is she happy, that dumb bitch. I'm better looking and I'm smarter and how come I have the husband that's dating a stripper?!" Ok, maybe I was more arrogant and nasty than it sounds like you are... ;) Still! It bugged me.

But I've realized I don't know what's going on in their lives -- I didn't even know what was going on in mine. No one has a perfect life or a perfect marriage -- and the ones who look like they do probably have it even less than other people!