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, April 3, 2008

If not trust, then what?

I am really struggling today. Struggling with the value and meaning of trust. Struggling to put aside the desire for a different past. Struggling with feeling like Husband can never love me enough to make me feel safe from being lied to and betrayed again.

Life is so short, I want to live in this moment with the man in front of me who loves me and is committed to recovery and to sharing his feelings and creating a happy family with me. But I thought I had that kind of committment before - he already promised not to betray me, not to lie, to respect me, to listen to and communicate with me, to be honest and trustworthy, to look for the greatness within me. Those were all part of the wedding vows we wrote together 11 years ago(about the time he was starting to secretly visit strippers for lap dances)after 9 years of being together. So if he makes promises now, of what value are they? And if asking for these things is futile because we can never know who someone really is or what someone will actually do, if all we can really know is that nothing is permanent, then what can I ask for? Do I be in a relationship and ask for nothing? That doesn't seem like a relationship to me. But I don't want to delude myself by asking for things that someone can't truly give, even if they intend to.


Stefanie said...

I saw a popular morning show this morning that had a guest on who used to own a "high priced" escort service (otherwise called a Pimp, but denied that he was) - he said that over 85% of his "customers" were married men and believes that more than 85%-90% of married cheat on their wives! I'm beginning to believe it and that makes me really, really sad. Like you, I would have bet my life on my husband NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER (I can't say it enough) cheating on me.

VelVerb said...

WA7 -

I'm trying to think of the most eloquent way to say this. I know what you are struggling with. You are involved in 12-steps (I think) where you are being told to let go of expectations. You are reading Buddhist texts where you are being told to let go of expectations. You can "get it" intellectually, but experientially it just feels groundless in a way that seems some like some sort of "trick" to get you to let go of expectations so that the people around you can go on being who they are, even if it causes harm.

There is another way to look at this. From the spiritual angle, there is Ultimate truth and Relative truth. The "letting go" is at the ultimate truth level. Nothing is permanent. Nothing. But to go too far down this path in relative truth is nihilism. That is what you are struggling with (I think).

In relative truth, there is something. There are a lot of things. Of course your car and that tree exist, and if the two meet there will be a collision. You are struggling to let go in that kind of way, and that's why it doesn't feel right.

The relative truth of your situation is that you have been betrayed. Not by one affair that might be forgiven and strengthen your relationship. But by a series of lies, and deceits. In the world of relative truth, there are a lot of things wrong with this. Not "wrong" in the moral sense, but in a logical sense. Lies erode trust in the same way a car meeting a tree causes a collision.

woman.anonymous7 said...

Yes, that's exactly right! That's what I'm having difficulty with.

So perhaps the opportunity is to be able to distinguish between those two and accept that nothing is permanent at the ultimate truth level, while still being present to and dealing honestly with the impact of things at the relative truth level. In other words, giving expression to the anger and pain, acknowledging wants and needs, having expectations, all in the context that nothing is permanent, and with the compassion for myself and others that acceptance of impermanence makes possible.

Thank you, VelVerb. Your thoughts have brought me some clarity.

VelVerb said...

Oh good, because I wrote that at 3:00 a.m. and I was literally falling asleep. I was worried that when I read it in the morning it would be nothing but gibberish.

Yes, the key is to walk the line between ultimate and relative truth.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

I was going to come in here and say something totally brilliant, but VV did my work for me. ;)