Journal Entry: October 30, 2014
This is the note I wrote to my husband after this morning’s disclosure:
Some day I hope you can understand that every time, every fucking time you disclose information that you have been keeping from me, in other words lying about, it is like you are stabbing me with a knife. Let me repeat that. Every time you divulge another detail, every time you expose another woman you have had sexual relations with, every time you bring up another trip, or another sex act, or another covert relationship, the pain is so intense, that it feels as if you are stabbing me with a knife. Every time. The problem with this kind of pain is that it is not merely physical, and it IS physical, but it is also emotional. Sometimes a part of my brain kicks in to protect me and I leave the conscious part of my mind and travel away to a place where nothing and no one can hurt me. Sometimes my brain leaves me there, and present, but not sane, square in my excruciating pain and I must release it. I must. I must make myself bleed. As crazy as it sounds, it does help. Either way, it is devastating down to my very core. I have said many times that if you are holding back, it will be the end. Our marriage cannot survive more of your infidelity or even your lies about past infidelity. Every time you lie by omission, you are killing a part of me, and a part of our marriage. A person cannot survive that much physical damage and a marriage cannot survive that loss of integrity. It will crumble. In fact, it is not a real marriage. It is a relationship built on lies and nothing more.
Here is how the morning played out, the morning that precipitated the above note.
Today is Thursday. Thursday mornings we have couple’s therapy for two hours. I woke up happy. I am having a lot more happy days lately, especially since returning from my Take Your Life Back Retreat. I was tired as we had gone to bed too late, but I was ready to face our couple’s therapist this morning with a fresh, new perspective on my life. I had bonded with a room full of wonderful women who have walked in my shoes. I finally told my sister about what has been going on in my life so that she knows I am not mad at her. I was happy.
We arrived at the therapist’s office and proceeded to do our start of the meeting “shares.” I felt like my share reflected the happiness and contentment I had been feeling. Sometimes I go into the therapist’s office, whether it is to meet one of my husband’s therapists (as previously discussed, there have been four such meetings) or merely my own personal therapy session, or now couple’s therapy, with trepidation… an anxiety I cannot really explain. I think it comes from the difficulty I encounter constantly talking about my husband’s addiction and his infidelity. This morning I did not feel any of that trepidation, until my husband started in on his share. He made sort of a blanket statement that he wanted to take some time at this appointment, to share some “things,” to share a mindfulness passage and also, share some writings from his journal. He reiterated that he feels like this couple’s therapist’s office is a safe haven for him to speak openly and honestly. I had no idea what he was going on about, but it started making me feel uncomfortable, it kind of felt like he was grandstanding. Trying to redirect focus to him. I thought he was trying to ruin my mood. He seemed to be making a point that, in my mind, did not need to be made. It was assumed that couple’s therapy would be a safe place to share with each other. Actually, our house is supposed to be the safe place we share with each other, or any place we are together. I thought maybe this is how things go at his 12 step meetings and maybe he was just adapting to this new way of sharing. Whatever, it made me feel uneasy and a little queasy. He asked if he could do his sharing then and there, but the therapist asked him to hold off, until the end of the meeting and she would give him some time then. I was feeling confused, but my husband can be quite strange and cryptic, so I let it ago.
The therapist clearly had an agenda and it was to discuss her method for couple’s communication. Weirdly enough, but not totally unexpected for this therapist, she talked a lot about her husband and how they had struggled in their marriage and had struggled with communication. She talked about one particular incident where they were arguing over whether to have a gun in their house. She told us how they had used this communication model she had learned at a seminar and how it helped them, I guess. It seems they never truly resolved their gun in the house issue. It was always expected that she would talk about herself, but when I tried to bring it back around to me and my husband, she deflected and said we needed to stay on track so Blue Eyes had time at the end for his “sharing.” I was becoming bored and exasperated with the way this session was proceeding. I mean, I appreciated her model and could see how it would help keep things civil if a couple has a propensity to argue, but my husband and I don’t really argue. I express my feelings, and he runs away either emotionally, or sometimes even literally, physically. He leaves. He never seems altogether present in our conversations and I am sure we are both frustrated. Me, frustrated that he doesn’t participate in our “conversations,” and him because I won’t just shut up and leave him alone. This behavior is mostly in the past. Now, he has to stay and listen or he will lose his marriage and he knows it, but he still doesn’t really communicate.
So, by the time Chatty Kathy has clamored on about her communication model for over an hour, we are left with less than 20 minutes for my husband to “share.” As she turns the floor over to Blue Eyes, he looks visibly nervous. WTF? He then awkwardly fumbles around with his mindfulness book and reads a passage that I am sure hits home for him as it sounds like he could have written it. Okay. Yes, we know you are a sex addict and regret past actions, and all the pain and sadness you have dumped on me, and your children. Then he moves on and reads a couple of poems from his journal that he has written about me. I have heard these poems numerous times before. He has written them over the months and read them to me either when he is feeling proud of himself, or I am having an exceptionally bad day. The poems are about how great I am, or how much he loves me. Unfortunately, they are not about any remorse or apologies for everything he has done. They frustrate me more than anything else because they are not what I need. I really don’t think they are what he needs either. Now I am becoming highly anxious. Where is this going? There is still about 10 minutes left of our session and I am hoping and praying he is just going to stop, but he doesn’t.
He then proceeds to turn and face me and say that during his therapy this summer when he and his therapist were going over his sexual acting out timeline, he remembered something that he had not told me. I am starting to panic. I feel hot, and like I need to vomit. I can feel my heart seizing up. I can feel the pain distributing throughout my body. I can feel myself going away. I stare, diligently, at a plaque on the wall. I probably stared at it for 15 minutes straight, but I have no idea what it says. I can hear my husband, distantly, asking me to come back to him. I can hear him saying he remembered a fourth acting out partner, and that he didn’t want to tell me about it. He didn’t think it was worth the pain it was going to cause me. I can hear Chatty Kathy say my name, over and over, but I cannot bring myself to look at her. SHE KNEW. She knew about this disclosure and she allowed it to be discussed covertly between her, The Shrink, and Blue Eyes. I am, once again, the outsider in one of my husband’s sick and twisted games. I am the outsider in my own life. Somehow, I am eventually able to bring myself around enough to say I want to leave. In my mind, I know I will never return to this office. As we are walking away, I can hear Chatty Kathy say how much she is sorry for my pain. I believe her NOT ONE LITTLE BIT. I know the fourth acting out partner is not her fault, I know that disclosing in her office is not her “fault,” but I totally blame her for the way this fiasco was handled and I will never return. I have been humiliated and she knows this, and she allowed it to happen. She will never get the chance to do that again.