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.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Assignment from my therapist today

I talked with my therapist about some of the stuff I discovered in couples therapy. She gave me two assignments:

1. Write about the feeling I have that my mother sacrificed a lot to be a parent to me and I can never make it up to her

2. Express my anger through writing and sharing with trusted friends and my S-Anon group

I've been feeling angry at Husband for breaking me. I feel irreparably broken. I used to believe that you could count on people. Not everybody, but certainly a few carefully selected, trusted people in your life.

But my experience has taught me that no matter how well I think I've chosen, no matter how much evidence I have that someone is trustworthy, the fact is I can never count on anybody 100% of the time. In that regard, I am alone. I have only myself to count on. (And maybe there are those who feel they can't even count on themselves. That would be really scary - to have absolutely nobody at all.)

The reason I can't count on anyone 100% of the time is because I cannot control what someone else will do, how they will think, feel and respond, 100% of the time. If I could control everything 100% of the time, I could predict with certainty. Any less control than that introduces some amount of uncertainty. I can never know. I can eventually trust, believe, think, hope, have faith. But I can never, ever know. So how do you live with a know liar in a context of never knowing? Don't know yet. One day at a time I guess.

I used to believe that I could know. That time, love, shared experiences and personal integrity could forge an unbreakable bond of trust. While I see now that was a form of naivete, it felt good to believe that it was possible. Now I feel sad and wary, and while the fact that it's not possible to count on others has nothing to do with Husband, I'm now intensely present to this fact because of his betrayal and I'm angry at him for that.

What goes through my head: Why did he have to do that? I didn't do that! When I had problems I talked about it. When I didn't feel heard, I did something about it. What is wrong with him? (I could go on.)

Intellectually, I know the answers or at least the explanations, so in an instant I invalidate this anger because it feels irrational.

But it's there. And I want it out now, so I don't carry it around for years, so it doesn't come out when I least expect it, so it doesn't rot me from the inside all the way out to my happy, sweet, she's-so-nice veneer.

1 comment:

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

When I found out about my husband's addiction, I told him that I was going to be very angry for an undetermined length of time -- maybe forever. And anger was the primary emotion for -- I forget, but probably a year. I just tried to let myself feel it and hope/trust it was going to pass one day.