Journal Entry: April 21, 2014
What to do with myself? I never thought much about it four months ago. My husband traveled a lot over the past 20 years. I was alone a lot. For years I had the boys. They were the best company. I love them with everything that I am and have chosen to be there for them, and I knew I would from the moment I laid eyes on them. I instinctively knew what my job was as a parent and I loved doing it. I will never knowingly let them down.
I made it too easy for B. I let him off the hook. I did 80% of the work so he didn’t have to step in and be a responsible adult. He could have chosen to step up and do the right thing. He chose not to co-parent with me most of the time, especially the early years. He treated me like a hired parent, a caregiver, not a partner. I’m sure he figured I had my family to keep me company and to help me out. I don’t care what anyone says, building a career or having a demanding job is never a “get out of parenting free” card. I remember all the times I begged him not to travel–please stay home for just one Halloween. Please don’t travel before or on the boys birthdays. Please don’t travel on Valentine’s Day, or over weekends. He never granted my wishes. It was as if he defied them. Actually, he did defy them. Even before the mistresses, I resented my husband for choosing to be away from us so much. With the mistresses, I hate him. He made it seem like there really wasn’t a choice, but I think a lot of it was him, running away from his family. His father was never home for them, so it was natural for him. As much as I thought he wouldn’t want to be like his parents, or that he wouldn’t want to hurt anyone because of the traumatic and emotionally painful childhood he endured, I was wrong. Dead wrong. I think it came more naturally to him. Subconsciously he learned to hide feelings away, to care more about his own gratification than the feelings of others. To constantly self medicate and in the process, he allowed himself to ignore the needs of those around him. So many times he made me sick with worry. So many times he just blocked us out of his life completely.
One particular night comes to mind. It was about three years ago. He had taken a one-night trip to a nearby large city for business. He had texted me at about 4pm on the day he was returning home, that he was leaving the city. On the best of days, it is a three-hour drive home. On the worst of days, it can take 4-5 hours. On this particular day, it took 8 1/2 hours for him to return home. I was sick with worry. He had texted me that there was a lot of traffic. I had the expectation that he would be home no later than 10pm, and in order to maintain my sanity, that was accounting for the most insane traffic ever and also his potentially stopping to get something to eat to wait out the traffic, and any number of other scenarios. When he had not contacted me, and did not return home by 11:00pm, I became hysterical. I had texted him dozens of times. I had called his phone repeatedly. His usual excuse is that his phone ran out of power. But in this case, I knew he was in the car, with a handy charger for this purpose. His phone had power. It was ringing four times before the messaging system picked up. His phone HAD POWER. My messages were becoming more and more frantic. I was just about to phone the hospitals, the police, anyone that could help me, when he finally texted me at 12:20am and asked if I wanted any fast food as he was hungry and going to stop before coming home. WTF? No explanations, no I’m so sorry for not contacting you sooner, no nothing? I was relieved that he was alive, but really really pissed by the time he walked in the door. I thought I would explode… worry had turned into a kind of frenzied anger. But he was so calm. He merely said, there was a shitload of traffic, and then a client had phoned from China and he had to pull over and take the call and it went on forever. That he hadn’t even checked his messages because he was so focused on just getting home. I sat there trying to make sense of his timeline. Unless it was a FIVE-HOUR LONG PHONE CALL, there was no way it was believable. But he was so convincing. He was home and safe, and I just eventually let it go.
As part of my husband’s disclosure, I asked him specifically about that night. He said what really happened, was there WAS a lot of traffic, and he DID receive a phone call from the Chinese client that he DID have to pull over for and it took a couple hours, but that the approximate 2 ½ to 3 hour missing time, was spent arguing and fighting with the crazy whore and trying to talk her down. They had to pull the car over a couple times and they also argued at her house when he dropped her off. Same old argument about how she always comes last, how he just uses her for sex, how he is a liar… She threatened him that if he answered any of my texts or phone calls, that she would immediately call me herself and fill me in on what he was REALLY doing. Wow, so keeping his secret was just that much more important than me, my feelings, my sanity, and of even bigger concern is his pathological lying. By the time he returned home that night, he had collected himself. He was calm and rational as he explained to me the lies and half-truths that he was confident would make things right for me, the trusting, loving wife. After hours of arguing with a crazy bitch, he was able to be calm and calm me down in about five minutes. It blows my mind and scares the hell out of me.
And now he is off again, with “clients.” And I am alone. He promised to text me throughout the evening, but his texts stopped hours ago. He was supposed to be home two hours ago. I just do not have the energy to worry or think about this anymore. I am numb.
Meanwhile, my son is such a sweetheart. He invited me to go to the movies with him and his friend just now. On another day I might take him up on it, but today I am sick. I’m so happy my boys are both kind and generous. I hope they never make the choices their father made. But I have to let them go. They see my pain. If they do have the disease they should already know. I know they will do the right thing. I can’t imagine it any other way.
My husband says he has always had the addiction. Boy do I feel like a fool, a useless fool. I guess he chronically masturbated before he started up with his mistress. What a cruel mixed message for a sex addict. Masturbation is okay, it’s not bad, it helps relieve stress. It’s not bad to pleasure yourself, except when you obsess about it. Except when you do it repeatedly and feel no relief or satisfaction. Except when you think about it all the time and hide it. Except when you feel guilt and shame about it. If he had been honest with himself he could have avoided years of shame, guilt and the pain he has caused himself, and the trauma he has caused me.
It is also astonishing to me how much time and effort not only went into the porn and masturbation, but that went into procuring these mistresses, he spent years on the first, and as he escalated, months for the others. Not to mention the time that went into maintaining the affairs. So much time to self reflect. So many opportunities to convince himself to do the right thing: get help, not betray his wife, not put the needs of his family behind his own perceived sick and perverted needs. And apparently, all along he just needed to be caught? Now that it’s out in the open, it’s manageable? Before being outed, there was no self-management with sex addiction, then boom, he’s controlling it? He’s not acting out? I know it’s not that easy for other addictions. Supposedly, according to the books, sex addiction is the hardest of all? I don’t see it. I don’t see him “white knuckling” it. Perhaps he is too distracted with my pain to really focus on his own illness. Perhaps the worst is yet to come. If he does it again, it will be worse, because I won’t be able to go through this again. I won’t.