Journal Entry: November 5, 2014
You know how they say a marriage can be better after an affair…
Yeah, I thought it sounded like a bunch of bullshit to me too. Ten months ago I cried and screamed that there was no way my marriage could be saved, much less be better. Some days I still believe that. The betrayal trauma healing journey is a very bumpy one, and most of the time, I have no idea where I am going to end up.
But today, as I was making dinner, I realized perhaps, I am wrong. Maybe our marriage can be better. For so many years I have let my husband use his career and our business as an excuse for not so much being a bad husband and father because I never thought he was “bad” at those things, but I did let him use it as an excuse for why he wasn’t home, a lot. Or even when he was home, for not being present with us, always more focused on his computer or his phone than he was on us.
So many times he would tell us he would be home from work by 7 or 8, and I would prepare dinner for the family based on my husband’s schedule, his “needs.” Blue Eyes rarely showed up on time, or anywhere near on time. We would wait a bit, then we would just eat without him. He would come in whenever it suited him and eat by himself, but he never liked eating alone even though he orchestrated the situation. We did not ask him to push us away or avoid family meals, family time, he chose to do this. I’m pretty sure he rationalized that I had the kids covered (this is how he grew up, with his Dad working all the time), and that because I was caught up with the kids and my own activities, that I didn’t “need” him. He neglected to consider that I “wanted” him, but always the understanding and giving wife, I thought his work made him happy, and I was generally happy with everything I had going on in my life. He had trained me well.
With the dozens of trips my husband took a year for work, and then all the late nights, and the dinner meetings and sporting events with clients, we did not see a lot of him. A good part of that time he was actually working. Some of that time was spent with other women, but if you add up all the time with the other women, it was not a lot. Work got most of his time, wife and family came in second, other women/porn came in a very distant third. Now that he has been diagnosed as a sex addict, he has cut back on work by about 75%, and on covert sexual activities 100%, and we get the rest of his time. Mainly I get the rest of his time. Now is all that time spent in wedded bliss? No. He’s a fucking addict trying to recover, which is damn hard work. Some days are a royal pain in the ass pity party for him, and collapse on the floor sobbing fits for me. But at least he is finally starting to be honest about who he really is, take stock in his life, and realize where he wants to be and who he really wants to be with.
Some days his recovery feels like his new addiction what with meetings, texts and phone calls with sponsors and 12 step members, therapy appointments, plus the other work he does individually on his recovery. Sometimes I have to ask him if he plans to be surrounded by 12 step guys and therapists on his death bed, because that is all that will be left with the way he is behaving (i.e., putting my needs last), but at least now we both get it. We both know the truth and therefore, we can deal with it. He still needs to work on balance in his life, and now, unfortunately so do I.
I believe we will get there. In the meantime, we are both being honest about where we stand, what our individual needs are, what our fears are, and what we need to do for our marriage to grow stronger.