Yesterday I wrote a blog post that included a journal entry from this past August. I talked about how that day, August 14, was the one-year anniversary of the day my husband broke up with his eight-year affair partner on a drive home from a one-day business trip to a nearby city. Coincidentally, last night we drove that same route, to the same city, three hours from our house. My husband has meetings all day today and I am sitting at a Starbucks nearby, working and blogging.
Last night’s drive turned out to be a real doozy. Whether it was due to the fact that I had just posted about their fateful drive last year, or whether I am still so easily triggered by walking in their footsteps, and living similar moments to ones he spent with her over the years, who knows. Maybe both. The silly thing is, I have also made this trip before, with him, numerous times, and even one other time since dday. I blogged about it a while back, it didn’t go all that well for me. I have been on this trip many more times than she has actually, and yet those three times with her overshadow my own history with my husband.
Since I had written my post, I wondered if the story was even true. Had he, in fact, decided to break things off for good and asked her to drive with him for the purpose of telling her? Or, as my trauma mind might have me believe, did he invite her to go on the drive with him intending to have sex with her at her house before they left, but as usual, he was running late. Perhaps, he decided to have sex with her before returning home early that evening, but she had once again become pissed off about their relationship, or lack thereof, started an argument that then thwarted his plans for a “quickie.” And was it in fact she who turned the conversation so dire, that he took the opportunity to speak a little of the truth, which in turn, sent the conversation into a downward spiral that precipitated the final breakup? I don’t know why this is even important to me, since they did actually break up, other than the fact that I am tired of being lied to and tired of the fact that he still seems to mostly not want to face his own lying demons.
So, once again, I entered the danger zone. A place where there is the chance, because of anger, sadness, and trauma that I will lose it and go off to a safer place. Instead of that happening this time, Blue Eyes actually started talking and really communicating. He started going back through that day, and their conversations. For once, he sounded genuine and honest. He dug inside to a place of anger and pain within himself. Instead of me raising my voice and painfully reiterating once again how horrible it is for me that he is unwilling to just “go there,” he DID go there. He was kind of moaning and getting frustrated with himself. He started shouting (he NEVER shouts) that he was so disgusted with himself. That he wished he had never had the affair, of course, but more than that, he wished it hadn’t gone on for so long and that he hadn’t continued to play the games with her. He screamed in agony as he yelled out how much he wished he had told her the truth about me and our marriage, and then maybe she would have realized there was no hope for her, or no reason to try and torture me. My guess is she still would have tortured me because I had something she wanted, and she sounds like a cold, hard bitch, but I do appreciate the sentiment. And I do wish he had had the courage to tell her the truth in the same passionate way he lied to her and told her he loved her and she was providing him something no one else could or would. If he had told her the truth, maybe I wouldn’t feel so compelled to contact her, to set the fucking record straight. He started to cry, sob really. It was a major breakthrough, in my mind. It is so much easier for him to console me in my grief, than to go deep inside himself and live the grief. In my opinion, he needs to live the grief and agony if he hopes to never make the same mistakes again.
Even though he was at the wheel, I let him get it all out. I wanted to take over driving, but I didn’t want to interrupt him. The last hour of the drive was quiet and peaceful and loving. As it turns out, I now believe that my blog post yesterday was accurate. He truly had taken her that day in order to break it off. He admits he did a shitty job and he brought more wrath and pain upon himself and me, much more than necessary, but what he did, was what he could do at the time.
As we walked into the hotel room, I still had creepy feelings about how he could bring that awful woman with him to such an intimate setting and share a bathroom, a shower, a sink, a closet and a bed with her, all night. Have sex with her, and then go to his business meetings as if his life was normal, manageable, or decent. I shared those thoughts with my husband. He hung his head in shame. And then I let them go. I managed to purge my brain of all that negative energy and then we had a very passionate evening. We reminded each other, two times, that we are compatible, and we love each other and we can block out the pain and let in the passion. We stayed up way too late and got very little sleep, but it was good. I have always loved my husband, and he has always loved me, and we both know we have that.
Today, Blue Eyes did not seem well grounded. Even though we had bonded and had great sex, sex does not solve anyone’s problems. That is why the experts remind us sex addiction is not really about sex, and affairs are generally not about sex either. You may get some hot sex out of the deal, but that is not the driving force. Filling that much deeper need inside us, is what drives the affair. Whether we have unresolved childhood trauma, or we have neglected our marriage and we no longer talk openly, honestly, and with raw sincerity about our wants, needs, and desires to the one we have vowed to hold dear, affairs are driven by a need to be heard and a need to feel loved in the moment. I think my husband’s generally hyper and dysfunctional demeanor today was driven by his deep realization last night of just exactly what he has done, or at least a little piece of it. Coming to terms with betrayal, that you have irrevocably hurt the one person you love most, to fulfill your own selfish need, has got to be incredibly difficult and draining. He finally let out a little bit of his anger last night. For a guy who doesn’t outwardly show anger, but keeps it inside and uses it to rationalize compulsive and self-indulgent behavior, this was a big step in the right direction. So, when he exited the building from his first meeting and got into the car and couldn’t breathe and he seemed hyper and agitated, I was not surprised. When he got lost and went to the wrong Starbucks to pick me up after his second meeting and had to reschedule his third meeting, I was not surprised. Frankly, I was surprised it took him this long to get to this point. When they say it takes two to five years for a recovering sex addict to feel sane again, I believe it. And I kinda believe Blue Eyes will be on the five-year end of that spectrum, but it will be worth it. So worth it! To live a truthful life where he is not betraying the ones he loves… what a novel and exciting idea that must be for him.