For my own good

It’s been a few days since I posted. Not because I have nothing to write about, or even that I haven’t had time to be on WP as I have continued reading blogs and thinking about my blog. I have been working on another post for about a week, but I have put that aside for this moment.

I am honestly having some worries over my impending out of town travel. I will be traveling alone for the first five days of my upcoming 20 day trip. Me going out of town is a good thing. Me and Blue Eyes being apart for a few days is actually really, really important for us, both individually, and as a couple. I will be with family, with the baby brother who knows the whole story. Blue Eyes will be home with our son and our pets and in his regular routine. The only difference is I will not be home with him. Some of the symptoms Blue Eyes suffers from as he goes through his recovery and detoxification are separation anxiety, general anxiety, and fear.

For the past year, we have hardly been separated for more than a few hours. It was really starting to wear on me. Last summer, Blue Eyes was in his nine day intensive program for sex addicts, but I was also in intense trauma therapy sessions pretty near where he was. We were separated for a time, and it was difficult for both of us. In October, I went to the betrayed spouse seminar and we were apart for three days. Also difficult. It really is a situation of the double edged sword. I want to be with him, but it can be a burden. I used to have so much time to myself, to pursue my own hobbies, to be me. Since October, we have not been apart for more than 12 hours. We have not spent any nights apart since October. To some this may not seem like a big deal as some married couples (like my parents) have rarely ever spent a night apart, but for me and Blue Eyes, for the bulk of our relationship, functioning in a long distance relationship has been the norm. By functioning, I nurtured my independent side, my creative side (writing, painting) and also eventually my single parenting skills. Blue Eyes nurtured his addiction. When we were first engaged, he moved to Japan and I was back in the states. We lived apart during his Japan time for a total of 10 months. Then there was law school. He left for California while I was still finishing my undergraduate degree. We were apart for four months. After we were married and our children were very young, Blue Eyes started traveling for business. At one point early on he was gone for 14 days. Right after he left, I contracted a nasty case of pneumonia, but I wasn’t diagnosed (because I didn’t go to the doctor) for about a week. My entire family worked and I didn’t want to bother any of my friends who also had their own small children, and I didn’t want to potentially infect anyone. Taking care of my own children was extremely difficult, it felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest and the pain and coughing fits were nearly unbearable, but I soldiered on, because that is what I do. I still suffer from bouts of pneumonia. At one point, Blue Eyes lived in another city during the week and returned home on the weekends. He was gone an average of 21 days per month. Later he traveled extensively, especially internationally. Me and the boys were regularly home by ourselves for days and even up to two weeks at a time. This was all part of building a successful business. Now that the business is built, so to speak, there is still lots of domestic and international travel. Up until a couple years ago, when our second boy went off to college, my husband traveled with sales guys, or from what I knew, alone. As it turns out, from 2008-2012, he was not alone on 10 of those business trips. This “not being alone,” was a manifestation of the sex addiction he suffers from, and that he kept secret. Post high school graduation of The Peacemaker, I traveled with my husband and he rarely ever saw his acting out partner. Breaking it off with her in 2013 had somehow become a viable option for Blue Eyes. At that point, he only traveled with me and/or the sales guys.

So now, as I prepare to leave town, and leave Blue Eyes here alone, I want to believe he is far enough along in his healing to not want to “act out” sexually, but there is that little nagging voice in my head warning me to not get my hopes up. Addiction recovery is a long and stressful process. He is not perfect. I know he says he will be fine and that he IS strong enough and he has lots of resources, but I have my doubts. This little nagging fear won’t stop me from going, but the seeds are planted. One way or the other, going away for a few days without him will be good for me. If I didn’t have some worries, I don’t think I would be facing the reality of the situation. Blind trust is not appropriate at this point in my relationship with my husband. I gave him that, and he failed me. I am an incredibly trusting person, probably because I am trustworthy. I am not jealous and nosy, probably because I have nothing to hide. There seems to be an overwhelming feeling amongst friends, family, support groups, and even bloggers, that my husband is lucky to have me by his side. I tend to agree, but at the same time, it is glaringly obvious to me that I do not have the same quality of partner that he has in me, at least not yet. I am here for him, but who is really here for me?

I know, I know, I am here for me. I’m not talking about me. I will always be here for me. In my partnership, I don’t want it to be one-sided. The expectations are there that my partner will be loyal, faithful, loving, kind, and present. Otherwise, why stay? My impression of the current situation is that Blue Eyes is still not the partner I seek. It is too early. He has a lot more work to do. I still possess the faith in me that he will, one day, be that partner.

Me going away is another little challenging step on this long journey. For Blue Eyes, it is a chance to prove to himself that he is becoming the man he always wanted to be. For me, it is the chance to get that little break I need, for my own good, and it is one little chance for Blue Eyes to prove to me that he is the partner I seek.

16 thoughts on “For my own good

  1. I’m glad your able to get away and visit family. I’m going back to read more of your story as it seems to be similar to mine. Have a wonderful time. I am beginning to realize that trust may never be the same.

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  2. There were many years that I could not be a full partner to my husband when I was in the midst of my darkest hours. I really took 10 years to figure out how to be present to him again.The gift of it all is that we both grew tremendously through the experience and we have a wonderful and trusting relationship now. it is built on the strengths and challenges of both of us.
    I am glad you are getting some time away. Enjoy! Love the nagging voice, it could be your fear that you need to love and be compassionate with.

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    • Thank you janetcate. I intend to have a really great time visiting with my brother, sister-in-law, and niece, and getting to know my new little nephew. I am so glad your marriage is stronger now. Trust is something Blue Eyes is still working to resurrect. It will take some time.

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  3. None of us will have blind trust anymore.
    You are right Horses, we cannot control what they are going to do but they will know what the rules and the boundaries are now and it is up to them to have the emotional strength and intelligence to think it through.
    H is going overseas next week for work and like you Kat I have spent many years with him being absent. Whilst he was unemployed and over the last year he has been at home so we are both feeling really weird about him having to be away and it is going to be really strange. I try not to think negatively.
    Have a good trip Kat and I hope you have an enjoyable time catching up with your brother.

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    • I am looking forward to seeing my brother. They just had a baby boy and my brother has to have foot surgery so I am going to help out. I am a really unobtrusive guest who likes to clean other people’s houses (just not particularly my own). Oh, I also love babies! 🙂

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  4. Well illustrated, Kat. It is a lifetime process, and there are many challenges. I guess the only thing to do is trust yourself, no matter what, you are an strong, insightful, independent and capable woman. Whatever happens with Blue Eyes is out of your hands, other than a frank discussion with him about how he copes, what mechanisms he has in place to avoid falling off the wagon. If that happens, you will still be Kat, and you have many personal resources to call on to get you through whatever life throws your way.

    Much love and enjoy that trip!

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    • We spent a good part of couple’s therapy yesterday with Blue Eyes discussing with the therapist how he will go about organizing his week in order to feel less anxious and alone, feelings that prompt his addiction. He is under the impression that he will never fall off the wagon. I am not so sure as I have been around addicts. It is not that easy. The therapist gave him some good pointers. I thought I would be remiss, however, if I did not share my honest anxiety here on the blog about the time apart. It’s a bit of a big deal for both of us right now. I assume there will be a time in the future where it won’t have the same significance. I really think there is zero chance he would call ‘you know who’, but there are lots of other things he could do that would start his pattern and negative spiral downward. Some days I feel really strong, some days not so much. Once I am away, I have no doubt I will be fine as I get to go visit a new little baby boy!

      Thanks for your kind words of support. Hugs!

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      • Kat, this so resonates with me. One of the things that I lost because of his addiction was the love for my job which involved travel every week. During his addiction my traveling gave him the opportunities to act out. After two years I am now just beginning to travel more again and it is very hard. He says that he will not act out again but my fear is still there. His therapist had him develop a “travel plan” or rather a “stay at home plan” that would help reassure me. However, I struggle each time and wonder if he will be strong enough. You wrote “In my partnership, I don’t want it to be one-sided. The expectations are there that my partner will be loyal, faithful, loving, kind, and present. Otherwise, why stay? My impression of the current situation is that Blue Eyes is still not the partner I seek. It is too early. He has a lot more work to do. I still possess the faith in me that he will, one day, be that partner.” Well, I am so on this journey with you. I have hope for my husband while still wondering who this man is that could have done this to me and our marriage. Like you, we have been married over 30 years, raised amazing kids together and built a life that I thought we both loved. Like you my d-day came completely out of left field and like you I am struggling to make sense of it and am now trying to rebuild the marriage that I was once so proud of. I can identify with so much of what you have written this past year: your fears, your hurts, your anxieties, and even your hopes and dreams. Thank you for giving a voice to the turmoil in my heart. I have learned that I am not alone and reading your words helps me believe that there is the chance that we both can make it.
        Hugs, Kit

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        • Honestly, writing this blog has been really good for me. I find a lot of comfort in the words of other bloggers, and commenters. Feeling alone in this process has been one my greatest challenges. Do you have a blog? How long ago was your dday? Does your husband attend 12 step? Sometimes our therapy appointments can be so difficult because the therapist truly understands sex addiction, which is great, but I feel like a lot of the time I am just expected to “understand and accept” him and his issues, which I do, but there are so many moments when I sit there lost thinking who is watching out for me, who understands and validates my loneliness and fear and trauma. I don’t want to be stuck in these emotions, but I am. Thankfully I have gone from about 75% of the time (last year) living in a sad fog of pain, to about 20% of the time now spent contemplating my new life, my new marriage, my new reality. The rest of the time I am pretty okay. It does hurt so badly knowing they were able to betray us so deeply and cause us such great pain. Hugs to you too, Kit. ❤

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          • To answer your questions, no I do not have a blog. I have come to WP to help understand this process and to not feel so alone. This is truly a trauma of isolation. When you have been in what everyone else sees as a wonderful, happy marriage there is no where to go when you discover his other “secret life.” My d-day was almost two years ago (and it was a “discovery day” as opposed to a “disclosure day”) . His behaviors were somewhat different than your husbands in that he never really had an AP. Instead he started with AMP’s with happy endings and then moved on to escorts, (about 15 years worth although there were some ONS’s early in our marriage). I had no clue about any of it. I had been living in ignorant bliss believing I had the best marriage in the world and a husband who always made me feel loved and cherished. After d-day my husband did all the classic addict behaviors: staggered disclosures, minimizing, but also had the willingness to do everything he could to not loose our marriage. The first year he went weekly to IC, group counseling, as well as a 12-step group. As he has done better, that has dwindled off. I am thankful that he has done so well. Unfortunately, he has left carnage in the aftermath. I still wrestle with what he has done, who he actually is and what is in store for our future. I am hopeful but daily I still wonder about my new reality. You are right, it does hurt so badly that they were able to cause us such devastating pain. Keep writing. I look forward to each post, knowing there is someone else who understands. Gosh, could we have coffee sometime?? 🙂

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            • I would love to have coffee with you… it does help to not feel so alone and it sounds like our stories are somewhat similar. I am constantly using the word dumbfounded regarding my complete and utter shock in finding out about my husband’s secret life. It still blows my mind and is incredibly painful. He is trying really hard, but the trust is gone. I will keep writing. Do you live in the states? We travel a lot… coffee might actually be an option some day. Hugs, Kit.

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