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, June 15, 2008

A relationship between hatred and fear

Sometimes I hate my husband. But if I explore that feeling at all I can readily identify that feeling as a form of fear.

I'm afraid of how vulnerable I feel. I'm afraid of feeling his resentment and contempt. I'm afraid of the power it feels like they have to negate me.

If I felt his resentment and contempt all the time I'd leave. I feel like I could close the door on him if I had to, to protect myself. I don't want to be with someone who doesn't love and cherish and respect me. So I'm not afraid in the sense that I'll have to endure something so painful to be with somebody. If it was like that, I'd choose to be alone.

So what am I afraid of?

I think I'm afraid of the pain of being written off, relegated to some lesser status, cast aside as unworthy of even an argument by someone I love. I'm afraid of those moments before I can get to the door to slam it shut.

I'm also afraid that he won't be honest. That he'll build up all this resentment and disappointment again without letting me know, without acknowledging it when I ask, and then one day I'll find myself living with a stranger and that will be that for me. My life will be completely changed, missing something so important to me, without me ever having had the chance to have my say.

I'm afraid because I feel powerless. Not in my whole life. But powerless like something that I don't have have control over is going to happen and break my heart, leave me alone, fool me, ruin me. I guess it's no surprise that I have that fear.

Given that is going to happen again, because things I don't have control over are going to happen, I suppose the most relevant question is what do I have control over?

I have control over how I respond when I am broken, alone, fooled and ruined.

I know that. So what am I afraid of?

I'm afraid of the pain of being resented, disappointing, being regarded with contempt by someone I hold dear. Invalidated by someone I value so much. I know I can survive it, but I'm afraid of feeling that pain...that burning, searing, ripping pain...the pain of those moments before I can shut the door. That's all I can seem to figure out at the moment.


Rae said...

Beautiful, heartfelt share, filled with a great process for working through those really difficult feelings. Thanks for the inspiration. I love it.

A friend of mine was once going through some anxiety in her heart and mind, and one morning she closed her eyes in prayer and the small, still voice inside said "Do you trust me?"

It's been a great mantra for me to help me remember that I am not alone, when I am not having faith, and that this whole recovery process is a spiritual process in which I learn that no matter what ... I am never alone, I am OK, I simply have to close my eyes and say ... "I trust you. I need you."

God bless you on this journey. No matter what side of it you are on, it is incredibly painful. I can imagine that the inability to trust him is as much about the inability to trust you. That is the horrible after effect of deception.

Thanks so much for your visit to my blog yesterday and your kind comments. I pray for your journey and a quietness of spirit for you.

MargauxMeade said...

This was an amazing post--it really spoke to me and articulated some of my own fears. In my relationship, I think what causes the most anxiety is not the acting out itself, but the idea that my husband is bottling up negative emotions and not sharing them with me. I feel like if he would simply come to me and tell me what's bothering him, then I'd be able to fix it so he wouldn't feel the need to express his feelings in unhealthy, passive agressive ways.

But I don't think sex addicts are always acting out against their partners, even though it seems that way since the infidelity hurts the partner more than anyone else. This is how they've been dealing with negative feelings for most of their lives--way before they were married to us.

Catherine said...

Honest and powerful. It almost sounds like shell shock, from past expierences. Your writing is lovely even though the subject matter is so painful.

davka said...

ugh- sometimes it seems that this whole sex addict spiel is a way to make the wives feel guilty and responsible. acting out on negativity toward the spouse? women don't act out in this way. what a way to pass the buck.

i think i represent your regular reader who doesn't know a lot about sex addiction, so maybe i am voicing naive things- but really. it makes me mad that a man can do this and then be told by therapists that he is just acting out his negativity toward the spouse when maybe he was just raised in a culture that has no respect for women and finds nothing wrong with fucking around, nothing wrong until they get caught. like a cognitive dissidence.

woman.anonymous7 said...

Davka - I heartily agree with your thoughts on our culture. Since I've become more sensitive to sexually suggestive material, I've noticed how much I'm surrounded by it. Not just actual pornography, but billboards, magazine ads in all kinds of advertising, how women are portrayed on TV.

Rising above the indirect messaging we receive requires a thoughtful mind, which is not everyone's blessing.

RE: sex addiction, it's not limited to men, which makes it a bit easier for me to process. There are several interesting blogs I've found by women who have compulsive sex. Here are a couple if you're interested in exploring:

Also, blogs by prostitutes offer insight into the female sex addict perspective, as some of these women are also sex addicts.

If it wasn't an issue faced by both men and women, personally I wouldn't be able to accept it as a valid illness.

Susie Q said...

I feel that your honest writings really help me through my difficult issues with my own husband. Within the last month I have found out that my husband also has a sex addiction, one that is different than your husbands. He has prayed on children. If there is anyone out there who would like to help me work through my feelings and offer me help, please visit my blog at Thank you.