The year has come and gone

Like most people, I am on a journey to self awareness, happiness, health, contentment, whatever you want to call it. It’s not a race, I don’t have to rush it. There is no one destination or result that will mark the completion of this journey, except death. Every day until then, I have the power within myself to improve, to do things better, to re-evaluate, to reflect, to do things right that I have been doing wrong. I accept and welcome the trials and tribulations of this pilgrimage. I have already learned numerous lessons that I will take with me on the rest of my journey.

Marriage is also a journey. The day we committed to spend the rest of our lives together, the day we agreed to love and honor and cherish each other above all others, or whatever vows we took, or agreements we made, that was just the very beginning. We did not know what we were doing. We did not know what all would be set before us. We did not know whether we would have children and if we did, how we would tackle every challenging moment of parenthood. We did not know what direction our careers would take. And, we did not know that infidelity would play a part, because we had both agreed that this was not something that was acceptable to us either as individuals, or in our marriage.

Individually, we answer to ourselves. In our marriage, we answer to ourselves, and to each other. Each person gets to decide whether the union fulfills their needs or wants, and whether that union makes them feel more whole, or less so, but the actions of one partner in a marriage will most definitely affect the feelings and actions of the other and that always has to be taken into consideration. For the past 13 months, I have contemplated how my marriage makes me feel. Prior to dday, I would not have hesitated to tell you (and I did tell people and write about it in other blogs) that marriage in general is difficult, and full of compromise, but it definitely helped make me a whole person. It was so worth it. I love my husband and my children and our family and the life we had built. I had spent three decades with Blue Eyes and worked hard for what we had, or what I thought we had. I was, unfortunately, completely unaware of my husband’s secret life, the secret life that would force me to question every single element of our union for the past 30 years. Being the victim of such pathological deception crushes the spirit. It makes trust nearly unattainable.

For over a year, I have felt like I have been held hostage to my husband’s illness. First it was the destructive disclosures that were spewed out over many months time, then it was my crippling trauma, and his continuing and challenging recovery, and my eventual self awareness, and now I am left with the lingering question: am I happy? I have learned that for happiness, I need to feel safe. To feel safe, I need to believe that the people I have chosen to surround me are trustworthy… that they have my back, that they won’t hurt me. Not just that they didn’t think they would ever hurt me, or when they were hurting me, they didn’t think I would find out, or that they just fucking blocked me out and so hurting me was not even a factor in their decision making when they hurt me. I NEED SOMEONE THAT WILL NOT HURT ME. No excuses. Not just someone who loves me, or says he loves me. On this, I am BLACK AND WHITE. It still hurts so bad to think that this person that I devoted my life to could rationalize doing things that were so destructive and so hurtful and so wrong. So, yeah, I contemplate this shit all the time.

For me to feel safe and secure and to feel like the union with my husband is meaningful, I personally need a few things to be happening. I need to feel like my husband understands me. I need my husband to want to help me feel better when I am struggling with issues in our marriage. I need my husband to behave in a manner that is trustworthy. I could say I want all these things, not need them, but I would be lying. I NEED all these things in order for my marriage to survive the chaos my husband has unleashed upon it. The trauma knocks me on my ass daily. Sure, I can get up all on my own, dust myself off, and move forward, but I can do that alone. In order for me to feel like my marriage is now something to be cherished, to be nurtured, something I am going to continue pouring my heart and soul into, I need him to stand up and fulfill my emotional needs. He is fulfilling my physical needs. He feeds me without me asking, he cares about my health and wants me to succeed at losing weight and exercising more, he encourages me to go walking with him and the dogs, and use the expensive elliptical that takes up a big portion of our family room, he does the laundry, he cleans the kitchen, he does the grocery shopping, he satisfies me sexually. All these things, although I have no doubt they are done out of love, are not difficult for him to do. The difficulty lies in him emotionally connecting with me (or anyone, for that matter). It is what we talk about at couple’s therapy. It was what we talk about at home. It is what I think about.

I could tell lots of stories here about what is prompting me to write this entry. Our days are filled with me and my grief providing Blue Eyes with opportunities to step up emotionally. Despite what Blue Eyes might think, I keep a lot inside. But then sometimes I am sad and tears might just spill out of my eyes, sometimes I am frustrated and anxious, sometimes I am angry and I also just want to walk away from the stress (like he wants to), but the emotions are a result of the turmoil inside me filling me up… it’s too much, it has to come out, and one way or another, it does. These are the times I need Blue Eyes to step up. These are the times I need him to do his 50%. I need him to own his behavior, to understand my needs, and really embrace the emotional effects of his addiction. I have always done so much more than my 50% both physically and emotionally, and it has been pointed out to me by therapists, that this is a problem. Fine. Let’s fix it then. Let’s get Mr. less than to give more, so I don’t have to step in and fill the void. I understand it is not easy. Marriage is not easy. Life is not easy.

I am a bit obsessive compulsive, so when I said I would give my husband a year, and when that year was up nearly a month ago, I knew it. I knew right down to the minute when a year from dday occurred. We were in a foreign country, so figuring out the exact hour was tedious, but I did, of course. When it happened, I didn’t jump up and yell at my husband, “your year is up, let’s evaluate.” I didn’t run out the door and say, “it’s over.” I didn’t stay and think, wow, all our problems are solved, so glad I gave him a year. None of those things happened. But I can say that since that day, I have felt more anxious than sad. I have felt like, why does everyone say “give it a year.” I now realize a year is not a magical amount of time.

Blue Eyes is making progress. I am happier than I was a year ago and I am feeling less traumatized than I was even three months ago, and although he is not acting out sexually in any way, he is also not connecting emotionally like I need him to. Am I unrealistic? I don’t know. But what I do know is, I need more to be able to stay in this marriage. That’s it. I am just calling it out here.

I’m not putting him on notice.

I’m putting myself on notice.

14 thoughts on “The year has come and gone

  1. I am ready to jump off the sinking ship and get on a life raft. If he wants to join me on the raft, I will consider it but I cannot live on the dysfunctional ship any more. Life is full of options and I am exercising my option to try to get healthy. If that means I will be without him, so be it. I just dan’t do it any more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Right there with ya, Kat. After all this, I’m at a place where I’m wondering if this will make me happy. I’m learning that I SHOULD be at a place where I’m happy, for all the work and heart I’ve put into it. But I’m not. I’m at a limbo between feeling stuck in nothingness and really questioning if going forward positively in this marriage (the only place TO go, as I feel we’ve really sludged through it ALL) will even result in happiness anyway. For either of us. Will it be worth it, in the end, to put in even MORE of myself and MORE of my time? Might we each feel more satisfied in not being married to each other? W won’t even consider that he might be happier… but that aside, might I?

    I ALREADY put in the hard work to be happy… he didn’t. He wasn’t invested in the life we had; I was. I kind of feel like he’s asking me to re-board a sinking ship he put the leaks into, on the sly. NOW he wants to fix it? But I don’t know if it’s fixable. I don’t respect his ability to FIX anything; he didn’t even acquire the ship or its contents. He just rode along and ignored the process of maintaining and repairing it.

    And that’s where it is. I love a man I don’t respect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And, without a doubt, I will not move for anyone to move out or file until our 10th anniversary in September. Even if I absolutely know I want out before then.

      WHY? Because I’ll be able collect half of his social security for my damn self; that’s why. I’m not going to put up with 12.5 years of his bullshit – almost 10 of it married – just to lose out on future stability for myself for lack of several months more of legal marriage. He fucked me over long enough… I’m not going to start doing it to myself.

      Liked by 3 people

    • That’s an awesome analogy… Reboarding a sinking ship!

      I suggested to my husband that he too needs to really evaluate his feelings and commitment. He insists hes never considered divorce. He probably hasn’t.. Though divorce brings it’s own emotional storm, it is the easier, easiest even, way out of this mess. He doesn’t want a divorce. He insists he loves me and is in love with me… Of coarse I struggle with that. But when I bring up that fact that I have not and will not decide, he’s so surprised that I’d even consider divorce. I really never had, but I also didn’t consider him cheating on me and having an affair…


      • Seriously.

        He wants me to re-board the sinking ship, knowing he never cared to maintain or fix a damn thing – much less actually purchase the ship and everything aboard, and didn’t want the crew in the first place… I’m supposed to get on this thing, knowing that:

        1) It still has leaks- some I told him about but he didn’t care and more he MADE on the sly
        2) He has no skill or experience in fixing leaks (but he’s LEARNING QUICKLY, dontchaknow?!)
        3) His fixes will only HOPEFULLY fix the leaks
        4) He WANTS the leaks to be fixed! He is sure they will be fixed and the ship will sail into the sunset!

        But I don’t trust any of that shit. I’m pretty effing sure, going from experience, that the ship will sink in the harbor. I don’t WANT the ship to sink – I threw my entire life and all of my heart and soul into building that ship! No one has more to lose here than me! – but I don’t see how it can stay above water. It’s floating and he’s reaching out his hand for me – WANTING to be on the ship is shiny and new, for him! But oh – he KNOWS stuff now. He KNOWS how valuable this ship is… he KNOWS how amazing I was to do it all… he KNOWS how messed up it was for him to do Not A Damn Thing and then actively sabotage OUR ship. I think he means it – I do! I just don’t trust that he DOES know how to do this. I trust only that he THINKS he does… which is worth nothing, in reality. Ships aren’t seaworthy because the passengers WANT them to be.

        I’m looking down and thinking, “I don’t know about this… I’m pretty sure this ship is sinking and the plan to sail off? Yeah – we should cancel this trip. We’re going to be fucked in the ocean instead of fucked on this dock. Maybe we should just build a new ship… but I’m not so sure I trust you to build and maintain another one. I think it would be awfully stupid to build another ship with you.”

        And then he looks so sad. I’ve never seen such despair. He even brought tools. And people to help fix it. And a winch to hoist it out. He’s never done any of that before….

        Liked by 2 people

        • “Hey, W – maybe just consider that you might be happier with a cute little cape near the beach? Your own cape… maybe even living in someone else’s would make the thought easier for you, in your mind, than getting your own? You don’t need to be fixing this ship, really! You’ve done enough to it already – I don’t know if I want you ‘fixing’ things anymore. I don’t completely trust that you’re going to fix it and will break it more in the process. Or maybe you’ll go back to secret hole-drilling. Worrying about that all.the.damn.time is super, SUPER stressful.

          “Maybe consider that you never wanted to be on a ship AT ALL. That’s okay! I just need to know. I need YOU to know what you want, for REAL And I’m almost ready to make your choice for you, right or wrong… because I don’t even trust you to know, in your heart of hearts, what YOU want for yourself. I only know that THIS turmoil is not what I want for myself and I certainly don’t deserve to stay in it.”

          Liked by 1 person

  3. His betrayal lasted 25 – ish years! You take as long as you need. Like PW said, even 10 years..

    In break-ups and divorce it takes roughly half the duration of the relationship to mourn the loss. I wonder if healing from infidelity takes as long?

    For me personally I can’t see that this will ever be behind us. Right now, as in today, I think we will be able to move past his affair. Last week, I wanted out. As much as I would love nothing more than to erase this from our history, the idea of moving past it frightens me. I don’t think I will ever feel the trust, comfort and security that it did before Dday. At least not at the same level. Eventually I will figure out if it’s enough, and worth staying. For now, it is… But time may change that… And right now that’s what I’m banking on.. As they say…time heals….xo

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You could and would find peace and wholeness if you left. Don’t wait forever to make an affirmative decision. It is much too easy to look around and see people whose opportunity to choose the life they want to live is gone, due to illness or other forces. I know you already know that.


    Liked by 2 people

  5. You’re doing great Kat. Your husbands deception lasted far longer than a year, give yourself as much time as you need. Hell, if in 10 years time you wake up and decide that he hurt you too much for you to stay, then that’s your perrogative!!

    Liked by 3 people

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