Revisiting my story

astoria

The story in my head plays out. I am a happily married 50-year old woman with two amazing and mostly grown sons. My husband and I have been best friends and partners for 30 years. We share everything. We are passionate, loving, kind, and show each other mutual respect, until I realize, one of us isn’t living the same story. I receive a heartbreaking phone call. The truth is revealed. Within days my husband is diagnosed as a sex addict and I find myself suffering from extreme PTSD as my new story includes years of lies and betrayal. Suddenly I am living a nightmare. I fear I cannot survive. Someone please wake me, soon.

We’re nearing the two year mark of discovery day. It wasn’t a nightmare guys, it was reality. There is no waking up from my husband’s betrayal, infidelity, and sex addiction. I was living a real life, but my husband was living a false one. The agonizing pain that played out after the phone call from the other woman was horrendous and lasted for months and months, but guess what? I SURVIVED! My worst fears were unfounded. I am stronger than his betrayal, and I am stronger than his addiction. I am resilient enough to handle anything anyone throws at me. I still have rough moments, but I now know I am a survivor.

As far as my marriage goes, it could still go either way. Relationships are not stagnant. They are never all good or all bad. They grow and adapt and some become stronger, some die. Before discovery, I would have said my marriage was strong and I couldn’t imagine anything destroying what we had. After all, we had been together for 30 years. I also would have said my husband cared about my welfare and that he was faithful. I would have been wrong on all counts. I honestly thought anything that could have destroyed our relationship would have already reared it’s ugly head. Like the in-laws. Oops. I was wrong. There was no way I could have known what was coming. I am not a stupid or gullible person. I was not in denial. I was being systematically lied to by a very sick human. I will say that I trusted him more than I normally would others as I had chosen him to be my life partner and I did not do that lightly. I believed he would not harm me. Coming to terms with the fact that he did harm me has been a big part of my healing.

Actually, realizing I can really only count on myself is the lesson learned here. I only have control over me and my own actions. If I cannot live with him and be happy knowing I will never really know what he is thinking, or possibly even doing, I must walk away. Blue Eyes may be able to change some, he has been “sober” for nearly two years, and I do believe that, but that doesn’t mean he has changed the underlying brokenness. Confronting the wounds and obliterating the bad habits will take years, if in fact he is able to do it. He still struggles every single day with decision making and honesty and selflessness. I am not going to deny it. I have to be honest with me and everyone else. Does he behave with kindness and compassion and buy me fancy things. Yes, a lot. Is he sweet and gentle and does he purchase me gorgeous flower arrangements just about everywhere we go. Yep. Does he write me pretty words. Yes. Does he take care of me when I’m sick and does he do the dishes and take out the garbage, and even do the laundry. Yes, yes he does. Does all that prove he is faithful and he is mastering his wounds, and making good choices. Yeah, no. No it doesn’t.

Every day I evaluate my situation. We are still in the early stages, I have been told. I am hoping by year three I can say we are no longer in the first phases of healing. In 2016, the goal would be that we both are healthier and happier on a consistent basis. For now, it is a bit like walking in a mine field. I am still in a bit of trauma. He still does things that remind me of how he used to behave. At the time, none of it bothered me too much. The scales were tipped in his favor. The pluses outweighed the minuses, by a nice margin. He appeared happy, and engaged in life. He was quirky and eccentric. He was successful and enjoyed working and traveling. He was fun to be around. He was present and active in our every day life with our family, when he was home. After d-day, after the truth was revealed, the scales were seriously tipped against him and against a long term relationship with him. He balanced all that goodness on the back of an evil addiction he had nurtured for four decades. Now that I know the truth of what he was doing and how sick he was(is), it’s all a trigger. I handle the triggers much more adeptly these days. It has been a while since I sobbed. It has been a while since I felt like I had no choice but to walk away. It has been a while since I felt like I couldn’t do life anymore. But, things are still more difficult than they need to be for me to be happy. Day by day. I give it everything I’ve got.

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I have faith in what will be because I know I have the power to choose, day by day, what is good and healthy for me, for me as a woman, as a mother, as a friend, as a partner, as a human being.

Even though I had my share of life’s challenges before d-day, I now realize I hadn’t a clue about what real sadness feels like. I had no idea what trauma can do to a person’s soul. I have to remain diligent in my quest to do what is right for me. I have to keep reminding myself. It is not selfish to put me and my needs first. It’s not. Selfish.

I hope we can all find peace, on a daily basis, in this rather unpeaceful world we live in.

28 thoughts on “Revisiting my story

  1. CK, you have come a long way from D-Day. I know sometimes it feels like everything is going to work out OK, and other days it feels like we’ve made no progress whatsoever. You have made such incredible strides. Whatever happens, know your strength got you this far and it will take you down any path you choose. SWxo

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    • Thank you so much, SW! Your words resonate and bring me further comfort. It is so important for our feelings to be validated. I don’t even think about how things will turn out at this point. Each day is still a struggle to realize I will never be that trusting person again because the man I counted on broke that part of me, forever. Living in this new reality really sucks some days, but I have learned to accept it and just be. I hope to get to the point where I am genuinely living again. For today, I just am. xoxo

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  2. I am currently in touch via e- mail with a betrayed spouse who is 14 days post d-day. Can you remember 14 days? We have come so far, travelled such a distance (on our own with a handcart of shit pulled behind us) that we forget our personal achievements. I would HATE to return to those early days post D-day. Kat, your blog is testimony to the hope we all hold – not just for our marriages (we lost the rose tinted glasses) but for our selves. We have learned about ourselves and learned to love ourselves in spite of the worst betrayal imaginable.

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    • Oh my gosh, 14 days. I remember it. I was in a fog of never ending tears and disbelief. I spent so much time scouring the internet for answers. I felt like my life was over. Actually, some days I wished my life was over. I couldn’t get the OW out of my head. I couldn’t leave the house. Paranoia and agoraphobia set in. I wasn’t eating, or sleeping. I am so grateful that I will never be back in that place. The naiveté is gone. I can never be hurt in the same way again. You are so right, MR, we have learned to love ourselves in spite of everything. Please give her a virtual hug from me. ♥️

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  3. Amazing wisdom. I’m happy for where you are today and the strength you learned you have. That you are healing and surviving. You didn’t deserve any of this but you handle it with grace and dignity. And it serves you well. I agree about it always being part of your story. I guess the beauty is that the ending hasn’t been written yet, and you can decide what your next chapter looks like.

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    • I am so humbled by the kind words written in comments here. Thank you. There is beauty in feeling empowered to make the next chapter a happy one. We cannot control others, but we can always be kind, and loving, and compassionate. The most important thing I have learned, I think, at this point, is that I will always have power over how I let others make me feel, especially about myself. I will never believe my husband did what he did to hurt me. At this point I hope, certainly for his own sake, that he now realizes the power he has to heal himself. We all have that power. ❤

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  4. Sad that what we have to do is so similar to a 12 step program. “One day at a time.”
    I’m glad you have gotten as far as you have. And know that you must take care of yourself. I’m hoping that at my two year mark I’m closer to healing. Unfortunately I know that it will always be there. Part of our story, our marriage. That’s what sucks. I believe it’s harder work to stay and that my husband is worth giving a second chance to.
    (((Hugs to you)))

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    • I agree, it is incredibly difficult to stay and likewise, I feel like my husband is worth the second chance. The issue being, this is such a hard fought journey and I feel like I am giving him chances every day. I know it takes time to recover, but the little missteps, added to the bigger picture of everything that has transpired, oh, it is tough. It will always be part of our story, and as we move forward, I have accepted that. It took time, but I no longer mourn for my fantasy life. The part that is difficult is always believing they are capable of the kind of change necessary to be good partners going forward. It is a bit of a leap of faith. But again, day by day… Thanks so much for the hugs, and back to you. ❤

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  5. I needed to see this today. For no reason whatsoever I woke up in a terrible frame of mind and spent much of my morning sobbing. I spent the rest of the day doubting myself. On days like this it is difficult to imagine there’s any light at the end of the tunnel, never mind seeing it. Meanwhile H is bewildered, having no idea how to help me, and the trouble is, I don’t know either. Hoping for a better day tomorrow.

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    • Oh no, I am so sorry you have been sobbing. I know that feeling well, and sure wish I didn’t. That part does get better, but the rest of it, it takes more time, in my experience. He probably cannot really help you at this point, because he cannot change what he did. You are not alone. Tomorrow will be better. Hang in there knowing you and how you feel about yourself are more important than anyone else’s shortcomings and especially more important than their sleazy sexual mistakes. Hugs to you! ❤

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  6. I hope so too.
    Despite our stories having a different ending, I like how we both came to the same conclusion: we are so much more, so much stronger, and so much braver than we ever realized. We are so capable. We have been through so much, that we can now handle whatever comes our way. There is a lot of power in that. ❤️

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  7. Ugh, great post. So could have written this 😦 I still find it hard to believe my husband did what he did. The pain is still there, but I function well. I’m beginning to think it will always be there and now I have to decide whether I can actually live like that. Can I live with my husband knowing what he did to me, to our family and to us? I don’t know. I really don’t. Some days I think it would just be easier to separate, to start again, other days? It doesn’t seem like such a good idea so I plod on. I wish with all my heart he hadn’t cheated on me but he did. Now I just have to figure out whether staying is worth it for me. Good luck in figuring out what’s best for you Kat. Hope we can all begin to find some peace… its been far too long 😦

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    • It is sad how similar the stories we all share. We invested so much time and energy and love and life into our relationships with them and they seemingly threw it away, as if it didn’t mean a thing. Most days I feel like staying is what I really, deep in my heart, want. Other days I cannot believe I stay, under the circumstances. Not only do we have to deal with the betrayal and lies, but we also have to deal with constant indecision. That is why I keep reminding myself, day by day. If I can stay focused on the present and my happiness in it, maybe it will eventually make sense, or feel right? Big hugs, PW. ❤

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    • Deciding whether you can live like that. Agreed, PW. You just decide every day. And if you can’t one day, you get up the next and decide again. The thing is, even on the days (or forevers) you decide you can’t, you have to. Maybe you can take the odd day off and lick your wounds, but there’s no going back. Even alone, it doesn’t change the pain. But we now know we can function and give ourselves a bit of compassion. We fkn rock! Here’s to us and the strength we never knew we had – and certainly never thought we’d need!

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