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.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ask me no questions

Like MamaMPJ says, its the lies.

I've been down lately, and I've realized that part of it is I'm still not over being lied to.

Trust is not an easy thing to build or rebuild. I believe it's possible. But rebuilding 19 years of trust is going to take time I suppose.

And it's not that I don't trust him now. It's that I'm so angry at him for lying that I don't know if I'll ever get over it.

And I know I'll have to find a way if I want to stay in my relationship. Which I do.

He's a good man, a better man now.

But I can think of few things worse you can do to someone than betray their trust.

I've also been wrestling with self esteem issues that have been exacerbated by this betrayal. My great unspoken fear is that when it comes down to it I'm not good enough. Knowing that husband had sex with prostitutes he picked out of an online catalogue who were 15 - 20 years younger than me solidifies these self-doubts in my crazy head. I know these fears are mine to overcome, but they loom larger after all of this.

And after realizing that my business partner really regards me as an employee, I'm struggling with self worth issues around that, too. We've been splitting the income from our work (with him getting 10% off the top for business expenses and 20% more than me of the remaining share.) Last week he told me that I'm making more than I should be given my contribution to the business. Not in those exact words, but very close. Another fear, the fear of accidentally overvaluing myself and then being found out, reinforced. I disagree with him, but I have all those feelings of not wanting to cause conflict, wanting to be reasonable, and there's also the fact that he's incredible at what he does (strategy and business development) and my role (account director) supports that. But it hurts to be told you're not worth what you're being paid. It probably hurts even if it's true, which in my case it isn't.

I'm done with this kind of partnership. I'm looking for a job.

So I'm an unworthy fraud this week. I skipped my 12-step meeting (bad idea) but all I wanted to do was go to bed. Sometimes I wonder if the trauma of discovering Husband's addiction has caused me to slump into depressions. I don't remember having these lows before. I wonder if medication would help, but I don't want to take medication.

Right now I feel alone and isolated and confused. I don't know why I feel disconnected and joyless, but I do. "Fake it 'til you make it" the saying goes. But I don't want to fake it. I want to find it. I want to find the good, find the joy. But it feels like there are too many motions to go through, and not enough time to just be present. Are these the problems of the over fed, over examined, and over privileged?

Could this be an opportunity to surrender to whatever it is that I am? Oh, yay!

Where did all this self loathing come from? I really wish I knew. Because then I could grab the end of that thread and untangle it from the rest of my life.

I wish you get get self esteem from eating ice cream.


MalVal said...

I'm so sorry that you're going through this. I found out that my husband was a sex addict five weeks ago. I've been a raw mess ever since. He has been going to 12 step meetings and getting support, but I feel absolutely alone. He also had been obsessively looking on the internet for women to sleep with that were half my age (and I'm only 36), but he wasn't doing it with prostitutes, he was doing it on dating sites and sex sites and craigslist, forming relationships (sick relationships) with much younger women than me. He admitted that he wanted to sleep with much younger much more attractive women than I (I am admittedly quite cute, by anyone's standard of attractiveness). This has been a downfall in my self esteem. But worse than that, he'd been neglecting me the whole time as he was acting out in his behaviors. We've been trying to get pregnant for 2 years, but have been unable to. He is largely responsible. His days of storing up sperm as he promised were lies. He has been neglecting work and thus our money situation. I feel betrayed and awful. I also feel totally alone. I can't tell my friends or family. I feel completely isolated and by myself. I tell you this to say, I totally get where you're coming from. This who thing sucks, doesn't it? At five weeks, I am a wreck. I don't know when or if it gets better.

woman.anonymous7 said...

MalVal - Thanks for your comment. I'm going through a rough patch right now and it's good to feel your support.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. One thing I've learned, though it's hard to process as you can see from my own post, is that his behavior really has nothing to do with you. His lies, his looking for women he says are younger and more attractive - that's all part of the world of addiction that he's living in right now.

Those are things I understand intellectually, and that really helps. I still need to work on my own issues that all this brings up, the self esteem stuff, but understanding that the addict is so out of touch with reality helps start to de-personalize his actions. He's not doing anything because of you, he's doing it because of his own issues.

You say you're alone and can't talk with anyone about this. I highly recommend 12 step groups for partners of sex addicts (SANON is the one I go to) and also the online support group The Junkies Wives Club, a group for partners of addicts:

Take care of yourself. It's still very, very early for you. From my own experience I'll say that life will never be the same, but it does get better. I can honestly say I'm thankful for what I've gotten out of this experience. Not to say that it comes without a lot of pain, because it doesn't. But I have made tremendous gains that I never would have otherwise by facing this disease.

Peace, and all my best to you.

MargauxMeade said...

I really can relate to what you said about overvaluing yourself. That's a big fear of mine, too, especially because whenever I have stood up for myself and set boundaries so that I can have what any human being rightfully deserves, I've been told by the addicts in my life that I'm spoiled and princessy and demanding. And then I'll sabotage the situation so that I can tell myself I really don't deserve what I'm asking for and reinforce my belief that I'm spoiled, princessy and demanding. (Not to imply that you're doing that--your response seems healthy.) This post just really provided me with some food for thought. Thanks for sharing!

MalVal said...

Thank you for your kind words. I took your advice and joined the junky wives club. I'm not happy that there are other women in my position, but it's nice to know there's support. I also started a blog to help me purge my pain around this and also because reading other peoples blogs have helped me so much. I think that writing to no one in general will be helpful because as I said before, I feel alone. And I want to complain and be sad and angry. I go to COSA, but I can't rage in COSA the way I want to. I can't tell my friends because, well, if I want to stay with my husband, friends and family cannot know. So, for now, I am slowly figuring out ways to not feel so alone. Here's me:

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

"I wish you get get self esteem from eating ice cream." I love this! We could be self-esteem queens of the world!

I also wonder if the events of recent years have caused depression or anxiety disorder, and I have the same ambivalence about meds. I am doing ok with meditation and prayer, but sometimes it still gets unmanageable. I was finally at the point of feeling ready to try earlier this year when we lost our health insurance. What kind of message is that, universe?!