Turbulence on re-entry

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At this point, I feel like readers are pretty aware that with all the fun of travel and beach houses, and all that jazz going on in my life, inevitably struggles will sneak their way in because, you know, living with a sex addict ain’t easy. Frankly, after 33 years, I’m not sure living with anyone is all that easy, but I do enjoy my life with Blue Eyes.

I had a really great time in Paris. Blue Eyes and I talked a few times, texted every day. He wanted to know how my trip was going, living vicariously and all that, and I of course wanted to know how things were back home. When Blue Eyes traveled all those years, all the time, at points in our marriage he traveled far more days than he was home, there was little to no contact while he was gone. At the beginning, we didn’t have the fancy gadgets like Skype and FaceTime and at the very beginning, not even regular reliable email. When he lived 3/4 time away from us in California, of course there was the phone, but in those days mostly you still had to pay by the minute for long distance and we were on a tight budget. We did talk, however, it was always on Blue Eyes’ terms and most often it was something about the boys.

But then he moved back home and his International travel picked up, and eventually we did have all those fancy gadgets and yet, we didn’t hear from Blue Eyes. I have said a few times before… he trained me well. When he went off on business trips, he was wrapped up in his addictive world. Business fed off his addiction and vice versa. Before the other woman, there was fantasy obsession, porn, and obsessive masturbation while he was away. He was free to do what he liked and medicate however he pleased. From 2008-2013 there was the other woman at his beck and call. I didn’t know, I gave him his space.

Now, without having his drug at his fingertips, he struggles. He struggles with daily life sometimes and with all transitions. He has anxiety and he lives in fear on many days. He obsesses over things he cannot control or change. He recently called it quits with his therapist and will soon be participating in EMDR therapy to work on childhood wounds and other trauma triggers. (Yes, Moi, he’s finally doing it!!!) Right now he is planning on seeing Ms. Honey for the EMDR therapy and I am all for it. Ms. Honey is the next best thing to my SAIT (Sex Addiction Induced Trauma) therapist in LA. Ms. Honey works with patients who suffer from anxiety and phobias, abuse and trauma issues, self-esteem issues, shame reduction, addiction (she is a certified CSAT) and she is a certified EMDR provider. And, I know she is good. We are works in progress, all of us, but Blue Eyes has a whole lot of deep work still to do. He knows he needs to keep working.

Back to the turbulence. I arrived from Paris around dinnertime on a Friday. Both Blue Eyes and The Peacemaker picked me up at the airport. Having The Peacemaker there was a lovely gesture as it is difficult to drag him away from the house unless it is to hang with his friends, or for a sporting event. I guess he missed me. 🙂 We stopped for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and the boys ordered their Ham & Hot Rolls, Oysters on the Half Shell, and decadent Pimento Double-Cheeseburger.

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This Pimento double cheeseburger from Trifecta Tavern in Portland, Oregon is one of the richest burgers I have ever tasted. And a taste is all I have ever eaten. It is over the top!

Lack of sleep and all the rich food I had consumed over the past week was starting to hit me. I, therefore, ordered one of their lovely salads, and even shared it with The Peacemaker.

I am surprised I was able to stay awake until 11:00pm. That night, I slept for a glorious 10 hours and really thought that would help me with jet lag. No such luck, unfortunately. Blue Eyes was very happy to see me and he didn’t leave my side for the first, oh, 12 hours or so. But then at about 6:00am he was up and out of bed. I really thought he would want to sleep in with me. Instead, he told me he couldn’t sleep (now that I was actually home and in bed with him–HE COULDN’T SLEEP?) and he was off to an early Saturday morning 12-step meeting. WTF? The entire time I was gone he did not attend one SA meeting or his Buddhist Sangha. Now that I am home, he is off at 6:30 in the morning? It was triggering, guys. The look on my sleepy face must have registered sadness and dismay as he finished tying his shoes and was off, not even a kiss on the cheek. I tossed and turned and finally fell back asleep.

For a couple days, things were very off. I couldn’t understand why Blue Eyes seemed so distant and distracted. From the moment he heard that I would be going to Paris without him, until I was safely back home, he was stressed and clingy. Now that I was back home, he was fairly well ignoring me. Over the next few days Blue Eyes was rude to both our boys and non-communicative with me. No communication is where I draw the line. Jet lag was torture and I was weepy and lethargic for the first few days I was home. I knew it wasn’t just jet lag or menopause, or whatever excuses I come up with to distract myself from the obvious… Blue Eyes is a pain in the ass to deal with.

I was very happy to be home. A week away was plenty for me to get my “alone” fix. Blue Eyes and I headed over to the beach house on Monday morning in preparation for the 4th on Tuesday. Blue Eyes insisted that he had work to do after we arrived to the beach house, and he wanted to make sure I knew that. Of course. But then once we were settled in at the beach, he wasn’t making work a priority, and yet he seemed pissed at me. When I was being playful, he seemed even more angry. I had had enough so I confronted him. His excuse is often that he has trouble with transitions. I am not really sure what this means. For decades he would flit off to this or that country, for this or that meeting, whatever and I was expected to run the house, the company, my life, the kids’ lives and just let him be and definitely don’t expect anything from him. Now, I go away for one week with a friend and he has trouble “transitioning.” I can’t win.

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Fourth of July at the Beach House.

Monday afternoon he did take some business calls with our sales guys. He was a completely different person than the one I was seeing. He was engaged and lively on his first conference call. He was jovial, boisterous, loud and demonstrative on the phone with one of our employees. It was such an unusual persona for him that even Bernie the Aussie barked at him. Kind of like “hey Dad, what’s up with you?” What’s up with him is that everyone else gets the energetic Blue Eyes and I get the moody Blue Eyes. It’s been this way forever. When we were young, I got the fun and energetic Blue Eyes all the time… when he wasn’t sick that is. Life wasn’t so complicated back then. Now, I feel like I am a burden sometimes. I remind him of who he really is. It hurts. There is nothing much I can do at this point. I am who I am. I never let Blue Eyes’ moods bother me before. They were just part of him. But now I know. Now I know he is willing to throw me under the bus when the going gets rough. He says he will never do that again, but as I watch him ignore me and harbor anger and resentment, I’m not so sure.

I was glad to hear he had ended it with The Shrink a couple weeks ago (although this may be causing him some of the anxiety), but I definitely do want him to continue his therapy journey. I know people aren’t perfect and Blue Eyes won’t ever be the carefree, loving-life person I thought he was for years. I know Blue Eyes’ emotional struggles are not about me and that I need to learn to have a thicker skin, but geez if I don’t just want things to be easier some days. I know communicating openly about his inner most feelings is difficult for Blue Eyes, but difficult or not, it will be necessary for the health of our relationship. I’m in this thing with everything I’ve got, and that is all I can do.

Yesterday we visited an Asian Antiques store and found a lovely copper fire pit for the beach house (something I had been looking for) and Blue Eyes also found an amazing Buddha (something he had been looking for) for his meditation corner. He never would have purchased the Buddha had I not been there. I want him to have things that have special meaning to him and that bring him peace, because at this point, I know I cannot do that for him.

Tomorrow I am off to the beach house to relax and enjoy our new treasures.

14 thoughts on “Turbulence on re-entry

  1. I remember reading somewhere that the brain registers the feeling of being ignored in the exact same place where it registers physical pain. It hurts very deeply. Have you sat down with him and told him how you are feeling?

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    • Yes, we’ve talked. He opened up as best he could and is working on it. I don’t leave much unsaid, as you know, so he knew right away he was hurting me. He certainly doesn’t do it on purpose, but that’s a big part of the problem. This was over a week ago. It took me that long to get up the energy to put it on the blog. xo

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    • Hmm, I have a narcissistic mother in law and a sister with borderline personality disorder, so I do have quite a bit of experience with both and I can assure you, BE is a whole different kind of beast. Their conditions are constant and chronic affecting absolutely every thing they do and every day of their life. BE has some tendencies of both perhaps, but not enough to be labeled, and he has been extensively tested and observed. He is most definitely an addict who keeps a lot of his pain, anxiety, fear and shame inside and it spills over now (without his drug) onto the people around him. He is a broken person who is seeking help, but I get that it is not my job to stay and be abused. I do get it.

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      • I could have worded those differently.
        “You abandoned him” meant “in his mind” (and probably not consciously).

        Re: narcissism and borderline–there are narcissistic and borderline behaviors and many people display them without being a clinical Narcissist or Borderline. Big difference in my mind between “little” n and “big” N.

        Sorry I was not clearer.

        Your post resonated deeply with me regarding my “friend”. He used to tell me a lot that his wife would not recognize the man he was with me. Including the nickname we had for him, he NEVER called himself or signed any email with his real name. It was like he wanted to be someone else.

        I know if we had a more traditional relationship I would have ended up in the same place as his wife, and you. Getting a whole different person than the outside world sees.

        Liked by 1 person

        • The big issue lies with these guys not sharing their whole selves with anyone. Their being closed off to their own detriment. His wife sees a part of him, you see a part of him, but no one sees the whole him. Perhaps they don’t ever see themselves clearly either. I never like to compare our situations because although your friend and BE may have some distinct commonalities, I don’t associate you with BE’s other woman. No doubt she did see a very distinct part of him, but she used it to fill her own void and she was vindictive and wanted to cause me pain. The thing is, I am not the person BE made me out to be. He created that “wife” in order to keep the drug flowing. BUT, I do realize there was some truth in his mind to things he told her because he lives in that broken down little boy place and he did project some of that abandonment onto me. Not fair and it still hurts. BE still needs help, and I still take the blame (from him, not me) for things he cannot confront within himself. It’s not a fun situation on some days, but many days are quite nice. I didn’t sign up for this, but sometimes life just happens this way and we do the best we can.

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  2. You abandoned him. In his child-mind he was afraid you’d never come back. Either you’d realize yourself while you were out of the bubble that you’d be better off not returning, or C would influence you to make that decision.

    Now you are being punished for that threat.

    This is textbook narcissism.

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    • Well, living in this mess, I see it a little differently. I wasn’t running away from my life, I was treating myself kindly by going on a little vacation. I actually suggested to BE that he join me at the beginning or end and I even waited to book my air to see what he chose. He chose to stay home, so potentially he resented himself. I never feel like I would be better off not returning. I enjoy my time away and I enjoy coming home and I do enjoy my life with BE. I write here mostly my struggles because it is difficult living with a recovering addict. Not sure C would ever influence me to leave BE. We merely enjoy spending time together traveling. I understand narcissism pretty well and although BE may have some tendencies, he is not a narcissist. He is a neglected and abused person who never got any help and addiction was his outlet. It is not easy to change 40 years of behavior overnight (especially since his behavior was all very well hidden), but yes, he does need to change in order to have a fulfilling partnership with anyone, especially me.

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  3. Sorry. I hit send to soon.
    When my husband traveled it took several hours for me to let go of being the only ruler in the house. I mean that. I resented him but it did not last past dinner time. BE seems to be hanging on by his fingernails. Losing a therapist is very traumatic and then you had to go and leave him, and have fun, you big old meany. His anxiety must be eating him alive. He needs to sit with it, meditate, and stop trying to make you his mother.
    I read this and almost did not send it. I don’t like sarcasm because it is mean. I truly do think you and he need to get him focused on your needs as well as his. His first allegiance should be to you. Your happiness should be uppermost in his mind. He needs to be giving instead of receiving. To you, dear Kat, to you.

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    • I agree. Addicts are innately selfish because they have been self indulging with a drug to combat their wounds instead of facing and mastering them. His childhood is a big fucked up mess and then he medicated for decades. I don’t hear sarcasm in your words, just reality. He does need to quickly get to the point where he is able to understand how his moodiness affects me, and affects our partnership. Also, my personality plays in as I have always been the empathic compassionate person who took care of everyone else. I trained him and he trained me. I realize now to be truly happy, I need him to start loving and nurturing me the way I love him and nurture him, or it won’t work. I deserve that.

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  4. There it is. There it is. He wants you to be his mommy. Mommies do not go off and leave their children. You went off and had fun and left him behind and he is pouting. You are his wife and his partner and you are not his mommy. He needs to start adulting.(I love that word) I hate to say this because I do not know him but he has got to grow up. He can’t have his way all the time. He can’t hold things against you for things done to him as a child. He needs to slap himself up ‘side ahead and just grow up. This is so not fair to you. You should be able to share all of your good memories from your trip. Instead you are having to watch him like a hawk to see what the hell he is up to. That is not fair.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Moi, I have always known BE has “mommy issues.” It is not fair, but, he is an addict with a 40-year-long secret life that he used to cope. He is just learning how to live out in the real world with the rest of us. I wish it were easier, I really do. People cannot change overnight, but yeah, at a certain point, no more excuses. I don’t watch him like a Hawk, I merely react to his behavior towards me. See, this is the thing, addicts don’t necessarily use their drug to act out while they are in recovery, but all their demons come to the surface without their drug. It’s a long process. And it’s tiring.

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