The fight for control

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That happy place. Our beach.

Obviously Blue Eyes and I still have our moments. There are details that I don’t know. I would be living in fantasyland if I thought I would ever know everything. At this point, I don’t want to know any more. I do not specifically seek out details from the secret life of my sex addict husband. Sometimes, however, in the course of going about my life, I have feelings. Feelings that I know something isn’t quite right and I want to get to the bottom of it. The fallout of betrayal is just like that sometimes.

So, I had that AHA moment on Monday. The good thing is that our conversation was all of 30 minutes and I actively let the whole thing go, after writing my blog post, of course. I filled in a missing piece, and my instincts had been validated. I didn’t think on it at all after yesterday morning.

But yesterday was therapy day for Blue Eyes, and of course he has a very tough time letting things go. Crazy old me sat down to tackle a project in the afternoon and turned on the TV for company. A couple years ago television was a trigger. Not any more. About Last Night was just starting on whatever strange channel had been last viewed. What luck. As I sat there drooling over Rob Lowe (and it wasn’t creepy at all because even though he was maybe 22 in that role, we are of similar age, so when he was acting in that role, I was also a mere 20-something… rationalize much?), the movie brought back all those 80’s feelings. Again, memory like a steel trap over here. I kept thinking thank goodness I never moved into an apartment that belonged to Blue Eyes as I would have been cleaning day and night. Anyway, there is just something about Rob Lowe’s face that I cannot get enough of. He is SO PRETTY! Of course the movie itself is mediocre, but I don’t really care, because, you know, all that Rob Lowe.

Blue Eyes returned home in the middle of the movie, so I begrudgingly gladly paused the thing so we could chat. I could tell he wanted to talk, so we did. We talked about his therapy appointment that morning. The withheld information about the sleaze was most likely the first topic of conversation because Blue Eyes is horrible at shaking off the guilt and shame of his actions. Since last month (month 4 of the year, so step 4 in the 12 step meetings) Blue Eyes has been reworking his 4th step. The steps are always a work in progress, forever, for the addict. He will now be sharing his withheld information with his 12 step buddies, and adding it to his 4th step. Great. Good for him.

Just because it is rough for him to come to grips with what he did, doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have to. His job now, as I see it (and remember, this is the blog of me), is to learn how to deal with emotions that still swirl around in him. He does not have a calm center. He still feels shame and guilt and he still does deflect. In my mind, he needs to get to that place that is causing all the turmoil. He and The Shrink have been once again working on his inner child. The most interesting part of the conversation between me and Blue Eyes, however, was when we started talking about the “why.” Why is he afraid to share those acts of the past. They are all part of the story. They were done, by him, for him. He knows I’m not going to leave him for telling the truth. He accepts the fact that he did those things. He started talking about all the negative feelings crashing against each other and how he gave in to his addiction out of weakness, etc… But as he was talking, I tried to picture how it felt to do the things he did. I’m pretty good now at separating my own symptoms of betrayal from his addiction issues. I still think this whole thing is about power and control. He had none as a child, but he figured out a way to get it as an adolescent and he escalated as an adult. I said, I know you thought about your addiction a lot before recovery. I am trying to imagine what it felt like to get up, shower, shave, leave the house, head to the office, all while obsessing about feeding your addiction. I can only imagine that you had a singular purpose for your day, for your week or month even. As you left the office to head to the Other Woman’s house, if you actually had any feelings of guilt, or shame, or thought of how can I do this to the people I love, you probably would not have been able to do it. I do believe Blue Eyes is a good person inside. I know he certainly wants to be. I know he didn’t do these hurtful things on purpose. I know he wasn’t trying to destroy anyone’s life. So what drove him to do what he did… we can say addiction, but what drives it?

I say power and control. I think that’s what drives Blue Eyes’ negative behavior. He still hasn’t completely acknowledged that he actually does have control over his life. He controls everything. He has power. But somehow it is never good enough. To me, that is what I see. There’s a power hungry monster inside Blue Eyes and although he is not the raging beast he once was, he’s still in there, clawing and fighting to control that other guy. The guy I married.

10 thoughts on “The fight for control

      • So what keeps you confident that you made the right choice when those thoughts come into your head?
        This is the part I struggle with.

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        • At this point, our life has evened out a lot, so the questioning days are fewer and fewer and the days where I believe totally in my decision are far more frequent. The believing in myself and enjoying my life days help me get through the rougher days. I guess I also realize I always have choices. If things don’t feel right, I have the tools to change my path/life. xx

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  1. I try so hard to put myself in my husband’s place at the time of his acting out. It is so hard. How could he not think of me while cheating? He thought of me when thinking up and telling me his lies, but not before or during the acts? I think her is a good person inside, at least I think, I see it with other people he interacts with. It’s just me he was shitty to. How? Why? I know I will never know…. It’s just so hard to comprehend. But I am starting to kind of get the addiction part of it and how overpowering it was for him. His crappy treatment of me was his way of covering up his shame. Doesn’t make it hurt any less.

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    • Indeed, understanding does not heal the wounds. We gave them so much power. That’s normal I think in a trusting loving relationship. But when they mess it up, for whatever reason, we have to step back and evaluate our situation and realize we must do what makes us feel safe. They have the most to lose in their relationships with us, so I think naturally their fear of losing us causes them to close down. Their secret life, and their reality with us need to be protected at all costs. Eventually it becomes obvious they can’t have both, but they try. They try really hard to keep it all going. Tearing down all the walls is difficult, painful, and takes a lot of time and effort. Just realizing, really understanding that we did nothing wrong and we have the ability to carve our own path to happiness releases us from their recovery so we can focus on our own healing. xx

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  2. So interesting. I wonder the same thing about my husband as well. What drove him to become an addict and stay an addict for so many years? I suppose it is a perfect storm situation but I hope eventually I will figure out a couple key factors.

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    • For those of us who aren’t addicts, it is so hard to understand all the behaviors and how everything transpired. And even for the addict, I think it is very difficult to understand the brain chemistry of the whole process. xx

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      • Interesting post, Kat. I think you are on to something about power and control. I have said all along that
        secrecy feeds this addiction. Certainly there’s power in having a secret, knowing something the other person doesn’t. I’ll have to think about this.

        Liked by 1 person

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