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.