Journal Entry: April 16, 2014
I have already journaled about some of the most disturbing and prevalent triggers in my life including planes, airports, hotel rooms, and cities they traveled to together. My husband’s mobile phone and laptop are also huge triggers as he spent a great deal of time texting, sexting, calling and emailing her. Looking through our family photos is a trigger. Even looking at our work and personal calendars sends me into the abyss as they hold all the dates he was with her and all the dates of events in our life that are now tarnished by thoughts and images of them together. My happy memories are not so happy anymore since I knew they weren’t enough to keep him home and away from his drug. Now I realize the benign act of watching television, is a trigger. You might think it would be the barrage of sexually exploitative images parading across the screen, or the pervasive story lines that include cheating and betrayal that would set me off. Well, those don’t help, but I actually just do not get any enjoyment from watching TV anymore.
During the first days of disclosure it was obvious that my husband harbors a great deal of anger and resentment stemming from his childhood. As I found out early on in this process of unearthing the details of his addiction, he would get mad at regular things in his life (like taking out the garbage, or cleaning dishes after I had made a big meal) and then anger and resentment would rear their ugly heads. He would rationalize that he needed to have more control over his life and he would turn to his addiction either with obsessive masturbation and porn, or if he was in the cycle, calling, texting, or emailing his acting out partner. Apparently, as I found out the first week of disclosure, my watching television made him resentful. He would be in his office and actually be mad at me for watching television. I am still not sure what he wanted me to be doing while he was holed up in his office? Should I have been doing his laundry, cleaning his car, massaging his feet?!?
I really did used to enjoy watching TV. As previously mentioned, I would watch my shows while my husband was “working” downstairs in his office, or while he was away on long business trips. I have always watched television as a form of relaxation. Sure, I could be out running 10 miles, or writing a book, or cleaning out the garage, but I enjoyed television. I would catch up on my TV after working and chauffeuring the boys around all day or while my husband was on a short business trip I might spend the evening watching a couple shows, then read a book to fall asleep, which often took hours. I have never been able to sleep well while my husband was away. He knew this. He knew how lonely I was. Now, I know many of those times he was feeding his sex addiction. He would separate himself from me at home and obsess over porn. He would text or email her, arrange a hook up, or let her know about an upcoming trip or think/obsess about those things all the while resenting me for watching mindless TV. I was resenting him for wanting to “work” all the time and not wanting to spend time with me, whether it was watching television and or just sitting next to each other reading books. He would not do this. If he did sit with me, he was ALWAYS on his phone or his laptop, often with the screen turned away from me. While he was away, I was lonely and could not sleep, but he was not alone. He was with her. Or he was calling her and having phone sex… with her. Now when I try to watch TV, I get a sick feeling in my stomach and I feel scared and alone. I feel like my life is an empty pit and I am worthless. I feel like I have changed because of him. He chose to separate himself from me all the time. Basically he has made me feel bad and worthless for doing something I enjoy. Much of the day I feel worthless. I used to be creative and talented. I volunteered, painted, wrote. I got pleasure from being a good wife and Mom. I wanted to do things. I was happy. I balanced my life in a way that was comfortable for me, but he resented me. So many things he hated to do, and it showed. I’m sure he never thought about how many of the things I just do that I probably don’t like to do. He is selfish. I’m sure he rationalized his behavior. I’m sure he thought he deserved his sexual exploits because they made him feel good, needed, wanted, in control. He is now changing his ways, realizing the power the addiction had over him and trying to be a better man and husband, but he has changed me too, and not for the better.