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.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Choosing to get off the fence I didn't know I was on

As I listened to my unhappily married friend talk about flirting with other men, I found myself wondering why she stays on the fence, frozen, with one foot out the door. "Why don't you just choose and then dive in? Be MARRIED, or be SINGLE, but don't waste your life in an impotent version of both by not making a choice. This is your life! Time is moving even if you're not!"

This is an example of higher power doing for me what I haven't been able to do for myself.

Those thoughts were immediately followed by a realization: She is me.

By keeping distance in my relationship with Husband, I've been in stasis just like my friend. By holding myself back, by not being willing to be vulnerable, yet not willing either to leave, I've been caught in suspended animation between being in a relationship and not being in one, depriving myself of the fullest experience of what my life can be.

My friend also said some very wise things to me as we talked about the anger and resentment that continue to surface from time to time, and my nagging suspicion that if Husband truly valued me he would never have done the things he did.

"Stop punishing yourself over bad choices someone else made!" she said.

And that's exactly what I've been doing.

As Husband has been actively growing and changing, in addition to doing my own growing and changing I've been lingering with pain, anger and resentment over his past lapses in judgment (and perhaps sanity) and nobody is paying a bigger price for this than me.

The folly of this was crystal clear as soon as she spoke those words.

I realized that making the decision to finish suffering over these things isn't letting him off the hook, it's letting me off the hook!

A street is just a street. A building is just a building. A hotel is just a hotel. Without the energy I give them, these things are just objects. They can't hurt me. My own constructs are the source of my pain.

So all of this is leading me to the edge of a cliff I'm scared but now also compelled by reason to jump off.

I want to take a deep breath, and then get off the fence and be fully in my relationship.

I want to stop clinging to my pain, no matter how justifiable.

I want to dive 100% into creating a deep, loving, fully connected relationship with Husband, not knowing how it will turn out, not knowing for sure that I won't be hurt all over again, not sure of anything except that I believe Husband is in my life for a reason, and I'm willing to take this risk to have a life that is lived to the fullest.

I want to be in my life, not observing it from a safe distance.

This feels like a huge, huge risk.

But one of the best things I've learned from this part of my journey is that courage in the face of fear is a gift I can give myself, and I deserve nothing less.

1 comment:

L said...

It is a huge risk and one I decided to take too. Once I put my boundaries back into place (how did I ever let them fall?) I knew I was doing the right thing. I love my husband and I am willing to work through each of our recoveries separately and our marriage together. I just had to see him make the effort.

Moving past the anger and letting go - now that may be something I'll be working on for a long time too.