Look Toward The Light
I chose to marry Blue Eyes in part because he is a sweet, kind, loving, passionate, generous, vulnerable human. All of those attributes are still very much a part of him. They never left him. There were just so many hidden traits working against him, tugging at his ability to be a really great partner. I can still say, however, that things were good. I had few complaints about Blue Eyes and even fewer complaints about our marriage. Things weren’t perfect. They never are. But with marriages falling apart all around us, I never, not once, worried about my marriage even though Blue Eyes was also disorganized, a horrible procrastinator, an avoider, and a workaholic. I am neurotic, obsessive compulsive, I can be obstinate, and impatient, as well as just a tad bit confrontational. We made it work, with everything between the two of us, we had a productive and passionate and civil marriage, and we enjoyed ourselves. At the end of 2013, nearly 30 years into our relationship, we were over the hump, so to speak.
On January 11, 2014, and in the months post d-day, I was like what the fuck? Even though he was still all those wonderful things, he was also a liar and a cheat and an addict. A path was carved out early on after discovery that included me staying and seeing if we could work through the shit while I healed from the trauma and he embarked on a path to recovery, recovery from being a selfish, egocentric asshole, and a sex addict. As far as those reasons I chose to marry Blue Eyes, the kindness… well, I learned he could be pretty unkind. The loving part, he remained loving to me, but as he vomited out months of disclosure, I learned he could also pretend to be quite loving to a bunch of other women too, in the same ways he had been loving to me. Ditto that for passionate. The generous part, well, he was generous with himself and his time when it suited him and when it didn’t, he was selfish. And that vulnerable bit of him, truth is the most vulnerable parts of him were hidden deep inside and covered with a mask of lies and deceit. As I have said numerous times here, and to Blue Eyes, the scales were dangerously out of kilter, post disclosure.
I knew I would be able to heal from the trauma. As my Mom says, “Kat, you are just made of stronger stuff. You can do anything.” I cringe at the thought of her saying those words to me. I am glad she has so much faith in me, but that is a lot of pressure to put on one human being… the strength to be able to handle “anything.” I cannot handle anything, but I can handle this. By handle this, I mean I can heal. But that still leaves the question of whether it is worth it to stay in a marriage with a cheater. And in this case, with a cheater who is also an addict. I know that Blue Eyes is still lying to me. He lies to protect himself. It was a bitter blow to find out he had been lying to me for 30 years, and not those little innocent white lie type lies, but real big significant lies about who he was, what he could handle, and what he did to cope. But it is an even bigger pill to swallow knowing he may never grow into the person I need him to be. I could compromise. I have been compromising for the past two years, living on the hope that he actually does have the ability to be open and vulnerable. I could compromise by acknowledging he will never dig deep enough in there to expose the truths about who he really is and I could just accept that reality and move forward with him enjoying the things about him that do work for me, and hoping he never goes back to the darkest parts of his addiction on a really bad day. I honestly don’t think I can do that. I can live with what he has done in the past, what is done is done, but I cannot live with him continuing to hide inside himself. I know who he is, but he is still dancing around his own truth. I could just live with who he is right now, and pretend I am fine with that. I could pretend that I am fine living with someone who rationalizes his own lies (not JUST rationalizes what he has done, but rationalizes continuing to lie about it because he thinks it is easier that way), and who hoards all that “bad” stuff up in a box on a very high shelf in a little room we will call the shame closet. I honestly never know when that box will tip over from the weight of it all, and come crashing down on both of us.
As I sat last night watching a television show that was riddled with violence, it struck me, hard, how damaged this world is that we live in, where people hurt each other every day and rationalize it away. The violence of the television show seeped through into what I know about real events, truth is stranger (and in this case more disgusting) than fiction after all. I want to shut out this world that is full of rationalizations and excuses for being mean, and hateful. There is a man running for president here in the United States who is hateful and racist and misogynistic and arrogant and entitled and I don’t know if people just think this is another form of entertainment and so they watch, and they laugh, and scariest of all, they rally behind this man, and we can no longer separate what is good and positive and right in our own lives from what is pure fiction and insensitive and cruel. I looked at Blue Eyes and I said to him… “it is no wonder people are at war. It is no wonder people are killing, and belittling and bullying other human beings every day. It starts right here, with individual people like you and the women you had sex with, and the ability of so many people to lie and cheat and betray their own theoretical values and morals and abuse their families [and in the case of the other woman, abuse people they don’t even know] for their own selfish and broken desires of the moment. When did people stop thinking about the greater good? Is what I am doing right here and right now hurting someone? What happened to just being kind?”
Post d-day Blue Eyes had a saying… he stopped saying it a while ago, but it was WWKD… ‘what would Kat do?’ Obviously a play on what would Jesus do? He wasn’t actually being sarcastic or facetious (he actually isn’t like that at all), he was being a bit playful, but there was some truth in what he was playing at. And, obviously I am not Jesus, or God, or anyone’s higher power, but honestly, if Blue Eyes had gone through his days since meeting me asking himself that question, what would Kat do, or better yet, how would Kat feel about this?, he couldn’t possibly have done the things he did. But the truth is, as a very broken and fallible human being, he completely blocked me and my feelings out. I am still struggling with understanding how it is possible to do this, block out the person you claim to love the most. And, if a person has the ability to do this, how do they also have the ability to turn it around and miraculously start thinking about how their actions affect their loved ones? How does that happen? I question the reality of whether it actually can.
As we are healing our minds, our bodies, our souls, from the wrongs perpetrated on us by those who claim to love us (Blue Eyes and his parents, me and Blue Eyes, etc… ) we still need to remember to be kind and loving and generous and open and honest and trusting of the people in our life. I am incredibly understanding of Blue Eyes’ situation. I am compassionate about his recovery from addiction. I am forgiving (NOT forgetting) of his bad acts of the past. I am learning to trust again. I actually do think what I have been able to do by staying and believing in him is a pretty stellar feat. I believe it is okay to pat myself on the back on this one. For fuck’s sake, Blue Eyes treated me like an employee, a doormat, an insignificant acquaintance instead of his loving loyal life partner. He ignored every single one of my needs in order to garner sick secret sex from a broken down alcoholic hoarding whore (wow, I haven’t said that in a while… I must be in a real snit here because I really don’t… honestly and truly… give a flying fuck about that awful woman). We have chosen no contact with Blue Eyes’ parents because they were hurting Blue Eyes, and me, and it was counterproductive to healing. On that same line of thinking, why do I still have contact with Blue Eyes? I can answer that question, thankfully, otherwise I would think I would need to be checked into a mental institution. I stay because I believe that Blue Eyes can and does want to change, but my patience is running thin. I have become much stronger as a result of everything that Blue Eyes is and everything he has done. I believe he does not want to be an addict. I believe he does want to be kind and thoughtful and loving and open and vulnerable and most of all honest. I believe he WANTS those things, but I am just not convinced he is willing to work hard enough to achieve them.
I am squarely at the point now where not only do I want all those things from Blue Eyes (you know… the kindness, the love, the passion, the honesty, the integrity, the vulnerability, all that), but I want him to fucking stand up like a man and grow a pair. I want him to shout from the rooftops how much he does not want to lose me. Blue Eyes doesn’t scream. He doesn’t argue. He doesn’t fight. Well, fuck him. I want him to start fighting for me. I want him to scream how much he cares about me and my happiness, and I want him to prove to me that my life matters. I am overtly passionate about a lot of things, especially my husband. In this respect, I DO want him to be like me. I want him to embrace the ideal that my life, my needs, my cares, my wants… that they matter at least as much as his own. Instead of crawling inside himself and rationalizing this big fucking pity party, I want him to get mad, to get mean. I want him to fight with the demons inside himself and show them that he doesn’t want to end up alone and lonely, like so many sex addicts do, and are, and that I am fucking worth the battle.
Obviously anyone regularly reading my blog can clearly see that me not being thrilled with how Blue Eyes is behaving as a husband/life partner has been a running theme. I have dealt with the agony of finding out my marriage just was not at all what I thought it was. I have dealt with the burden of realizing the person I trusted most failed me miserably. I have dealt with coming to terms with sex addiction being so fucking real that it stares me in the face daily. I have dealt with sharing my husband’s humiliating secrets with friends and family. I have dealt with feeling not good enough just because my husband chose to have sex with broken down women–now how fucked up is that?!?! And Blue Eyes has acknowledged that everything he did in the name of his addiction was totally of his doing. That he is responsible for every decision he has ever made. He actively participates in a well established recovery process. I do believe he wants to be a better man.
So why this post, today, you might ask? I won’t go into great detail as this is already long enough, but suffice it to say, Blue Eyes still thinks it is okay to gloss over the truth with old long worn out lies in order to protect himself. He also seems to think that thirty years of lying, and 15 years of cheating, and everything he did to destroy a relationship between two human beings who swore to love and cherish each other, is somehow going to be miraculously fixed by his theoretical recovery. Um, nope. His recovery is for him. So he can be the man he wants to be. As far as repairing our marriage, that will always be about what he does, himself (without the help of therapists and 12 step buddies) in the privacy of our relationship as a couple to allow me to feel safe, loved, respected, and cherished. I don’t care what else he is doing to fix himself. To fix Blue Eyes, the husband, will always be about how he makes me feel. If I don’t feel right, he will still be Blue Eyes the man seeking recovery from addiction, Blue Eyes the man trying to be a better human, but he will not be Blue Eyes the successful husband of Kat.
So seriously guys, WWKD. What would Kat do if she wasn’t feeling it? If she just didn’t feel like she was getting enough. If she didn’t feel loved enough, cherished enough, adored enough, appreciated enough… what would she do?