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.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Where does the pain come from?

It feel like things are improving overall, and yet I'm still getting hit with bouts of pain. And it seems like pain I should have experienced already somehow, but it's hitting with a force that is surprising.

Drinking too much for the last couple nights in a row made me realize that there is something trying to come to the surface. While numbing it would feel better, I don't want to go down that path. So no more drinking.

What's coming up is that I'm really sad and angry because I don't see how I can ever be close to husband in the same way again after he's lied to me. And I'm sad because I used to feel so good about the model our relationship was for our son. Lots of hugs and kisses, respect, sharing responsibility, lots of laughing and enjoying each other. I don't see how our relationship can be deep and spontaneous again when I feel so guarded. And it's sad for me that our son might lose that.

How do you get past lies? How do you build trust with someone who has lied to you for years? I could leave this relationship hoping for something better, but is that just running away from the reality of being an adult? The reality that nobody is perfect, that everybody has it within them to hurt you.

Husband is sick, and his sickness makes him a self-aggrandizing asshole who could lie to his wife. He's also loving, tender, a great father, a great partner, funny, smart, generous...the list of his qualities that I appreciate is long. He is not mentally or physically abusive. He is in recovery, working his programs. But I'm afraid of him...that he's going to break my heart again. That the asshole part of him is going to build up resentments, start giving him reasons why he deserves to do this thing or that thing. Just this, to make himself feel better. Then when that doesn't explode in his face, maybe just a little more, and then maybe cross another line and on and on. I think finding out that he was thinking about looking at porn online really made me realize how this is never really going to be gone, just managed. For the rest of our lives together.

I don't know if I have the energy, and I'm afraid of who I might become if I do, and afraid that I'm missing a major growth opportunity if I don't face this now.

No clarity whatsoever in this haze of sobriety I've resigned myself to.


Anonymous said...

Do you have filtering software on your home computer? Does he have it on his computer at work? What about parental controls on your cable box? I know it seems crazy to have to parent your husband, but it can give you peace of mind, and may also prevent him from slipping. Also, someone asked a few posts back if viewing porn was in your husband's inner circle? Is it, or shouldn't it be? Just curious what you two have decided to do about this...

Anonymous said...

I'm curious how all of this has affected your son, or if you've noticed any change in his behavior? Also, this may be a stupid question, but have you researched the possibility of your son inheriting this addiction? Is it inherited or learned behavior? Can it be prevented? What will your son learn from watching you and your husband through his lenses? Just curious. Having boys myself, it scares me that sex is so unbelievably prevalent in our society with seemingly no questions or opposition whatsoever from anyone. Thanks.

Kellee said...

I have to say that anonymous' comment above is unfortunately missing the mark big time in my opinion. It's not all about your husband. It's about YOU & what YOU can take.

My friends all ask me, "How will you ever be able to trust another man?" I tell them truthfully that it has nothing to do with trusting someone else, & everything to do with trusting ME. That's what MY recovery is about...ME.

Yes it's scary as hell because it's such uncharted territory. But each day you get a little stronger than the next. Each day you know yourself a little better than the day before. And before long you're in a position to decide once & for all what's best for YOU & your child. You'll get there...your clarity will come. And no matter what it is, you'll be able to accept & even embrace YOUR truth.

Hugs & Love,

P.S. This is maybe a little on the co-dependent side, but hey, it is what it is. ;)

woman.anonymous7 said...

I don't want a life wrapped up in monitoring Husband's activity. If he wants to set up software and similar things to help his recovery, I'll support that. But it won't reassure me of anything. He once suggested that he could take pictures of himself at meetings so I'd really know he had gone. But I said the only thing a picture would prove was his location in a single instant. What about all the moments before and after? How would I know where he was, what he was doing, what he was thinking in all those moments? Since I can't know about every moment, any security derived from knowing about certain moments would feel dangerously false to me. Instead I'm trying to live and find peace in the face of not knowing, which is the true reality of my situation.

As for my son, I was in a therapist's office about 60 hours after I found out about this. Husband entered therapy soon after and we also started couples therapy. All this and twelve step groups, too. So, with a great deal of support, we have managed to keep things good for Son.

I am worried about what this means for him, and I don't really have any answers. It's something I want to talk about in therapy. But for now he is the same happy boy he has been since he was born, and we've managed to put our adult issues aside in his company and create a warm loving environment for him.

Just last night I was talking with Husband about how sad I am that Son might not ever again see the deep closeness and connection we had before. That bothers me. But maybe time and a lot of therapy will make that possible again. I also worry about how we will tell him about this one day. Because I won't participate in lies or evade the truth. Not after being at the receiving end of that. (I feel bad enough about letting him believe in Santa!)