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 12, 2007

Your needs? I don't really care

This morning I was feeling the way I've been feeling for a while. Out of sorts in a grumpy, distant way. I don't remember what we were talking about, but Husband said, "I love you." I replied that I need to hear that. "I need as much love and attention as I can get right now."

He thought about it for a moment, and then said, "I do too." I looked over at him, and he was sitting there looking kid of mad (my interpretation.) So I went over and gave him a kiss and a hug. He immediately brightened up. I don't know if he was brooding waiting for that response from me (unlikely, I think, given how he's been lately) or if he was just having some painful gas. Either way, after I applied the fix he responded with a happy smile and hugs.

As the morning progressed I was feeling more dissatisfied and distant. In the car on my way to work I realized why. When I told him what I needed, I didn't want to hear his needs in response. I wanted to hear him say, "I know that I'm the person who taught you that you can never again have the level of trust you had in me with anyone. I know I'm the one who had sex with prostitutes and lied to you about it for years. I know I'm the one who has given you every reason in the world to doubt me. And for the rest of my life, because of what I've done, I'm not just going to give you 100%. I'm going to give you 200%. Every day for the rest of my life my first thought upon waking is going to be "how can I make my wife feel safe, special and loved?" I will do everything in my power to make you feel extra loved and extra secure because I am the one who helped you realized how alone you truly are in this world, how you must, as an adult, be responsible for protecting yourself and never make the mistake of passing any part of that responsibility to anybody else. Those lessons are valuable, but I know that because they came from me, you will always have a kernel of fear. You will always be guarded with me in some small way, like one would be guarded with a beloved animal that bit her. You will know that with the love comes the potential for being bitten and that you can never again have the one without the other if you choose me. I know all of this, and because of this I'm committed to making you feel extra special and extra loved every day for the rest of my life."

That's what I wanted to hear.

I know there's freaky codependency mixed in there. But that's what I want. Because I got less than 100% of what I was promised and lead to believe I was getting for so many years, now I want more. More than 100%. That's how I feel right now.


Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

Yep, that's exactly how I feel sometimes too!

Anonymous said...

Just came across your post. Thank you for sharing. You have made me feel less alone. I have only been married 4 years (together 6), and while my husband has not cheated, we did have a talk recently where he told me he isn't sure he wants a child or that he was meant to be in a relationship. He says his love for me is not in question at all but he is scared and doesn't know what to do. In that moment, the one thing I was sure of in life (him) was taken away and I don't know if I will be able to get it back with him or anyone. It is awful. A few days after this conversation, I found out I was pregnant (we only tried once!), and this should be a happy time and instead it is horrifying. I think "trying" to have a baby made my Husband realize he doesn't want one. He has had years to figure this out! I have no idea what I/we will do. How can I possibly have this baby? Anyway, I could really relate to your post and how you feel, and how you wish your H would realize what he has done to you and what you need to get through things.

Kellee said...

That's what we all want, my friend. Some are luckier than others & get glimpses. Others of us...not so much.

The goal for me at this point is to be able to give that kind of "apology" of sorts to myself (can you tell I'm on Steps 8 & 9?!). I know for me that's where my focus needs to be. That's the work I want to do & the place I want to get to. Now if I can only read this dang map & figure out which road to take...


exaddict said...

Great post. I am a sex addict in recovery. I was with in love with a great girl. Her story is similar to yours. She discovered evidence about me on the internet, she started searching and learnt all about my visits to prostitutes. We have separated but we are still very close. And she asks me the exact same things: "Why cant you give me that 200% of love and affection?"
My answer? Us sex addicts are celf-centred creatures. We cared about our satisfaction. We never realised how much other people needed us.
There are also times when I feel disgraced with myself and i consider I am not worthy of showing my unconditional love for her. I feel she deserves a better life, and in no way do I want to interfere with her future. And yet I still love her madly. Last week I let myself in her house, with the spare key I had, and I prepared a little surprise for her. Just because I wanted to make her happy.

Christina said...

Your story is also my story.
I'm an ex partner of a recovering sex addict and even though I decided to be an "ex", I haven't managed to get it over.
I read this post again and again. You speak to my heart.
Thanks for being so honest. It takes a lot of courage.

SexAddictJohn said...

Your post has me in tears. I want to be able to give 200% to my wife for the rest of my days. How did I become this selfish monster?