So, what was wrong with my marriage?

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Flowers make me smile. I need smiles. Icelandic Poppies

I have spent a great deal of time over the past three years defending my marriage in my own mind. Mainly because I needed to come to terms with whether it was worth it to me to keep nurturing it. What it all really comes down to, for me, has nothing to do with a marriage certificate. That certificate is a legal document and affords me certain rights per our government, and possible tax benefits. Since I have never been religious, I can say with all honesty that the Ketubah I signed on July 29, 1989, which was theoretically designed by Jewish Law to protect me (theoretically being an important clarifier), meant very little to me intellectually or emotionally, and apparently it meant nothing to my husband either. I had recently converted to Judaism for the sake of having a united religious partnership and identity with my husband if and when we had children. As I have mentioned, I was baptized Episcopalian when I was seven, but also attended the LDS church from ages 7-17.

Blue Eyes and I did have children, two boys, and we raised them in the Jewish faith (so to speak) and by Jewish Law (reformed), since I was Jewish (having converted) my boys are considered Jewish regardless. But again, I have never been a religious person myself so in the long run the way I look at it, people can define what they are for themselves, however they want. Although religion is no longer a regular part of our daily lives (me and Blue Eyes), we both have a unique spirituality. Spirituality to me is my connection to myself and to the world around me. A conscious knowing that I want to be good, and kind, and helpful, and loving and giving and then doing my best to act genuinely, always. I lost that spirituality on d-day. I didn’t lose my love for others, or my desire to be kind, but I did lose touch with myself, and for a while there, I lost touch with my sanity. Blue Eyes, well… let’s just say it had been a very long time (if ever) since Blue Eyes had actually been in touch with himself or thought about what was right or what made him a good human being. As discussed quite a bit here on this blog, Blue Eyes was broken (is broken). He didn’t feel worthy of love. He didn’t feel successful or good about himself. At any moment, he felt his world would come crashing down in a hailstorm of the bad he had perpetrated on the world around him, especially on those he claimed to love most. This is addiction. We know that. We just never knew Blue Eyes was an addict.

Back to the whole marriage thing. What was wrong with my marriage? I will never again fall into the trap of believing somehow me or our marriage was to blame for my husband’s cheating. It wasn’t. And on so many days both before and since discovery, I have been thankful for my husband because despite the faults he does have, he has some unique and wonderful qualities that I wouldn’t trade. I married him for many reasons and although he broke numerous promises made on our wedding day, I still love him for who he is, deep down in there, despite his broken promises. Even if he couldn’t see the good in there, I could. We are all the sum of all of our acts, good and bad. What was wrong with my marriage, however, because there was something wrong with it, was that I gave too much. I gave too much and Blue Eyes took too much. It wasn’t balanced. I compromised, a lot. This is not really about what town we live in, or where we grocery shop, or what style house we build at the coast. This is about what our heart needs, deep down inside. My heart needed my husband to put me ahead of his own broken and selfish desires. My heart needed my husband to be home, to help raise our children, to hold me when I needed holding. Instead, he was off, pursuing his career, and his addiction, assuming the whole time that I was strong enough to handle anything. Those days are over. My heart still hurts as I type this here. My heart hurts because I placed it in the hands of someone who was not ready for the responsibility. It wasn’t that he wasn’t capable, it was that he wasn’t ready. I believe this now, but it has taken me a while to get to this place. I need to know that I am valued and not taken for granted. I need him to acknowledge through his behavior that it is no longer okay to lie about me or to me, especially lies of omission. I need to know that Blue Eyes is willing to expose the most vulnerable parts of himself to me. I have always done that for him. I need to know that Blue Eyes is pursuing life based on the promises he made to himself, since discovering he is an addict. He spent over a year coming to terms with his childhood, his addiction, his life’s desires, his self-imposed boundaries. Those were extremely important months and without that hard work on his part, we wouldn’t be together. I need him to know that he was given a second chance… a second chance to be my partner. No matter what I do, he will go on. Of course I know that. I will too. This isn’t about the past or about his recovery. This is about our partnership. I have acknowledged that I let myself be taken advantage of. I won’t do that again.

16 thoughts on “So, what was wrong with my marriage?

  1. I totally get it. I know if I stayed married I’d feel the same. What was done can not be undone, but I admire the way that you both put so much effort into moving on. Too often we treat people like they are disposable, if something isn’t working they just throw it away. I hate that. I love that you are both working to fix things ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • It does make a huge difference that one of us admits his mistakes and is working on himself and that we both want him to be healthy and that we want to be together, eyes wide open. Marriage is hard work no matter what, but infidelity really tests our limits. 💖

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  2. Nasty women power unite!! Hahah. Laughed out loud at this comment. Truth b told
    We r probably farthest thing from nasty, but I got a good long giggle at us women in a canoe up shit creek laughing and being happy and trusting strong women again!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember reading that addicts often have stunted emotional growth from the time they started acting out. It is scary to realize they don’t know how to be adults in relationships. I can really relate. My SA never had a normal healthy relationship. I so hope he can learn. I’m not sure how I h I have to contribute to help him. I have been searching to find answers to how can I support him through this while I am writhing in pain some days. It feels awful bc I get guilt after I question him and see his pain and shame. This is so hard and sad. I know you guys understand and it is hard for others who have no idea the struggle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Wow, I heard that early on in terms of mental illness too. That my sister was emotionally stunted back to her original trauma episode and that she was basically acting like a small child having a temper tantrum, over and over and over. I have been with BE for so long, I’m not sure he had the time to have any real relationship before he met me, but he sure put on a good show in our marriage for 30 years. A very good show. The only time he fell apart was when he was around his parents. I was so clueless that those childhood wounds were controlling a very basic part of him that he was hiding from everyone.

      It is so very difficult for us because the trauma plays with our mind at the same time we are trying to be compassionate, understanding and forgiving partners. The healing journey is so difficult, but necessary. ❤

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  4. I like the title of this. Because that is EXACTLY what those who have no idea about how relationships can be about sex addiction. Or cheating in general. “Oh well, something must have been wrong with their marriage.” Which is code for something was wrong with the betrayed! Any relationship is only as strong as its weakest link. That was not us – in this case, at least!

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    • I don’t even know where this post came from, maybe something I read, but I just kept thinking that nothing in me or my marriage/partnership warranted being cheating on, betrayed, laid out in pain and agony, but there WAS something wrong with my marriage and it was something I had control over. It wouldn’t have stopped the addiction, but it is a lesson learned for me. I gave and gave and gave based on a certain premise and when that premise was obliterated, I was sort of up shit creek without a paddle. Well, I have my paddle now and that creek is a distant memory, and I am smart. I will not make the same mistake again. Nasty woman power!!! 😉 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Well, Jess, that is a very difficult question and I think there have been days that I would say resoundingly, NO. But that is the knee-jerk me. The me that feels like it is all too much. The other me says yeah I would. I wrote early on about how I would do it again because I could not imagine life without my two boys. They are as much their father as they are me in terms of genetics, but honestly, they are just really great people and I love knowing them. BE and I made them together and they add something to our partnership and to my life that cannot be replaced by anything else. I also love my husband dearly and at this point I would say that I cherish the things I love about him more than I hate the fact that he is an addict and that he betrayed me. I have been with him since I was 20 and I know it sounds cliche, but I cannot imagine my life without him. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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