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.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Triggered

After all this time, after all the recovery, all the therapy, all the growth...there are still triggers.

It started last weekend when I stayed in a Sheraton Hotel. Hotels like that call to mind images of what I think went on with Husband and prostitutes in similar rooms. With the images come questions I thought I'd put behind me: What was he thinking? How could he do that? How could he lie to me? What was it like, being with all those other women? Did I mean so little to him that his promises to me were that easy to break, that my trust and vulnerability were so meaningless to him, that he had so little respect for me that he could - over and over again - do things that he knew were wrong, things that he knew were not okay with me in the context of our relationship?

With those questions comes anger. I'm angry at him for lying. I'm angry at him for destroying the trust I'd built up over two decades. I'm angry at him for the loss I've had - the loss of the deepest bond I had in my adult life. I wish I could subject him to the feelings that accompany such a profound betrayal, and the feelings that go along with trying to rebuild trust with somebody who has hurt and betrayed you so deeply. I hate that I have this in my life. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be able to completely forgive him, if I'll ever love or trust him the way I did before. I'd probably be foolish to ever trust anybody the way I trusted him. And I hate that I feel that way. I hate that this might be the reality of the world - that you can't really trust anybody. I'm afraid, too. Afraid that he'll detect how distant I can feel, and that it will scare him and that he'll leave me - maybe just when I've really started to believe he's who he says he is. I'm afraid of spending the rest of my life in a relationship where I don't really love fully, where I'm holding my trust back. But I feel like no matter what relationship I'm in, I'll never fully trust again. Like sleeping with one eye open.

Full of fear, full of anger. Some other part of me knows better. But these things are still inside me and I want them OUT and not pushed down. I don't want to wake up angry in 20 years, and I don't want to have unexpressed anger inside me for the rest of my life.

In a way it feels too late for me to express these feelings. But that's too bad, because I refuse to keep it in and suffer the consequences of that. So what if my timing's bad? It's my timing. It's all I've got.

I want so much to believe in the person he seems to be, to believe he loves me as much as he says he does. But after being deceived the way Husband deceived me...I don't know how I can ever completely believe in his love for me again.

Today I had a business meeting in our old neighborhood, and once again ended up parking in front of the "oriental massage" place where Husband got his first hand job that opened the door to paying for sex. An unpleasant ending to a difficult week.

I don't doubt that these feelings are a part of the process. I realized in my 12-step meeting that I'm trying to "figure out" my way past this, and that part of my journey is to accept that not everything can be figured out. I can pray to my higher power for help with these things my logical mind can't resolve.

But for the moment I'm sad and afraid. Sad about what I've lost, and afraid that I won't feel so deeply connected with a partner ever again. If that's the case, I know I can manage. I've got a beautiful son, and fantastic friends. But it's not what I want for my life. I don't want my heart to be walled off, to feel distant, mistrustful, unable to love deeply. But I don't want to be a fool either.

Or maybe that doesn't matter. Maybe just as there is no good or bad, there is no foolish or wise. Maybe it's just all about my experience in the moment and how I respond to it.

Right now I'm all questions and no answers.

2 comments:

Willow said...

It comes back to haunt us at inconvenient times and yet what can we do? Sometimes I just let myself feel all that is there in the moment...even if it lasts a few days and when I feel done, answers or not I just release it to the universe. Acknowledging our thoughts and feelings can be more powerful than ever having an answer or a place to "file it or make sense of it". It just is what it is.

zion said...

so much comfort in reading what you have written, knowing that so much of it mirrors my very thoughts. the fear that i can never really have that relationship i always thought i had...