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, August 31, 2008

Trust is scary...even if you're merely considering it

For the second night in a row last night, I felt like Husband wasn't interested in sex with me.

Now I have plenty of nights where I'm not interested in sex. I'm tired. I'm stressed out about work. Things that have nothing to do with Husband.

But as I said to him last night, it's been so many years since I've been the only sex partner in his life. It's easy to start thinking that maybe I'm not enough. And that's especially painful because our relationship was one of the few places in my life where I really did feel like I was enough.

We talked about it. About my anger, how it's still hard for me to accept sometimes that he could lie to me. I feel like I could never lie to him, even now. We talked about my sadness about him lying.

I talked about how sometimes I still feel like I just want to level the playing field. Sometimes I feel like going out and doing to him what he did to me. Cheating, lying. But for one thing I couldn't face my son after that, because it would feel like a betrayal of his trust as well. And I've never been interested in casual sex, so I doubt it would satisfy anything for me. I know in my gut that it would be nothing more than an attempt to protect myself, and would do nothing but harden me and put distance between us. I would never be the same person, and that would be my loss. And I've already lost enough because of this.

But I feel so powerless. And that's the root of the fear. So I tried to think about the tools I have to face this. The first one that came to mind was prayer. Allowing myself to turn to a higher power for strength. Praying for the strength to surrender to my inability to control, to protect myself, if I really want deep intimacy.

I feel like if I take the chance of trusting him, I run the risk of being lied to again. What if he loses interest in a single partner? What if his apathy becomes a justification for thinking about others, fantasizing about others, turing to the internet for stimulation, and then who knows what else?

I hate this feeling of powerlessness. But I think surrendering to powerlessness comes hand in hand with trust. That is what is so when you really trust someone. You open yourself up to being hurt by them. I'm not powerless to put an end to a relationship. But as I've learned, I'm powerless to prevent someone I love, and someone who says he loves me, from hurting me.

So I'm glad to be on this uneasy path. Glad to be feeling that trust is a possibility. Considering trust now brings up fears. And as I think about it, that's not surprising. And on the other side of this part of my journey, hopefully I'll have grown.


Fi0nai0na said...

One thing I've learned is that cheating and lying go hand in hand. If you cheat, you have to lie. All the same it is SO DISRESPECTFUL to lie to someone, take them for a fool.. it is almost worse than the cheating itself. I will never fully trust again either. The net effect has been a lowering of expectations, and yes, in all this my SA partner has delivered me one thing (directly or in directly, through weakness, through negigence, through my own deliberate fault)- I have lost myself, which is what you are afraid of. I have lost the high moral standing I once had.

thejunkyswife said...

I hate these places where I feel trapped between two impossible extremes...Trusting my untrustworthy husband vs. Not trusting the man I sleep next to every night...neither one is ok.

GentlePath said...

Everyone lies; addicts, co-addicts, and even normal people but once trust has been so deeply broken, it's hard to knit things back together because sexual betrayal is just so core.

There's a really good book for spouses of sex addicts just out: Shattered Hearts

davka said...

you know I was thinking this the other day and I wanted to share it, although I am not sure it will mean anything to you-

I was the "other woman" once or twice (unmarried couples, but still serious) and my lover's wife and i became friends (sort of) and she was so jealous of me, but i was so jealous of her.

she was the one he went back to. she was the one he lied to. i was even jealous of the lies! meaning- i wanted to be important enough for him to try to keep me.

you are the one he married, comes home to, had a child with, feels pain about hurting- no one else. do stupid moments of sex really match that?

i think from my perspective it is a no, but probably from your perspective it doesn't matter- the pain is just so raw and real.

sKILLz said...

Wow Girl I'm blown away by your whole situation.
I honestly dont know what I would do if I was faced with that. I always told my partner that once you cheat on me thats IT. No 2nd chances no coming back.
I feel once the trust is broken it will never come back but again thats HOW I FEEL!
I will continue to read your blog and try to keep your spirits up!
Feel free to visit my blog as well!

Stay Up!

sKILLz said...

I responded to your post on my blog but wanted to post it here as well!
Please understand that I totally respect your decision. I think it takes alot for someone to try to make it work despite something like that happening. Trust me girl I give you mad props!
Feel free to holla at me anytime here or email me if you would like!
Stay Up!

Misery Marketing said...

I feel a lot of that. I saw on Oprah last night they were talking about a book called the Truth about Cheating and the author listed a bunch of ways your husband will act if he is cheating or about to cheat. I act these ways. I must be about to cheat. I wonder if its a good or bad thing that if I did it I doubt i would ever let myself get caught or confess it.