I’ve been away for a while. No real reason other than I have been busy and also dealing with some health issues. Sometimes no matter what we do, our aging bodies fail us. I started insulin last night for my diabetes, but that is a story for a different day.
Today I’m talking about the spouses of cheaters. I totally get why some must walk away. It’s freakin’ difficult to stay with someone who has betrayed us. So.freakin.difficult. I know it’s incredibly heartbreaking to walk away as well. We devoted a portion of our lives to one person. All partnerships are unique, but we committed for a reason. We loved that person at one point in time. For a lot of us, we still do love that person. I know a lot of divorced people. Things didn’t work out, cheating or not. Sometimes the feelings are mutual. It just wasn’t a good fit.
A lot of times, however, the choice to walk away is made by one partner and that leaves the other person shaking their head, at the very least. Totally emotionally devastated is where it leaves a lot of us. What did I do? Why doesn’t he love me anymore? I would never hurt him in such a way. I don’t understand why we couldn’t work it out…
Well, once one person checks out, there is no fixing things. A couple weeks ago I was chatting with a contractor working on our beach house. I like to talk, apparently so does he. He’s about the same age as I am, but has two young children. He also lives on a working ranch, does extensive volunteering, and he and his wife both work. I asked him how he did it. I would be exhausted before noon. He gave credit to his extensive martial arts training, but I believe some people are just plain born with more energy. He said he also has a 30 year old daughter, but they don’t have a close relationship. He confided in me that he totally messed up his first marriage. He looked me straight in the eye and said living with and being exclusive to one person for life isn’t natural… it’s a choice. He admitted he had been a dick when he was in his 20’s. He took his wife and daughter for granted. He married too young and was selfish. Once he was divorced, he swore he would never marry again… then he met his second wife. She is 15 years younger than he is and it was love at first sight. Like soul mate kind of love. But he admitted to me that marriage isn’t about that. Even with the love at first sight/soul mate bond he felt with his second wife, he waxed poetic about how being a good partner is a choice every.single.day. That he is actively choosing to be a good and loyal partner versus being a dick. Oh, and he is totally being an active and involved parent, this time.
He acted like this was some kind of an epiphany when for a lot of us, especially women I know, being loving and loyal and making good choices every day is LIFE. Making good choices every day is how I was taught. Why commit to marriage or a long term partnership if you aren’t willing to keep your promises? That’s rhetorical.
When speaking about my sex addict husband, it’s potentially even more complicated. He’s still an addict. Lying about his secret life was actually easier than living in sobriety. The stress in his life leads him to cravings and when those cravings aren’t fulfilled, it leads to craziness. He has a lot of resources, but old habits die hard and sometimes he just plain refuses to use them. The stressors in my life, apparently, lead directly to high blood pressure and high blood sugars. Take yesterday for example. This is an incredibly busy week for us. We leave early tomorrow morning for three weeks away. I had an appointment with an insulin nurse yesterday afternoon and then we needed to leave directly from the appointment to head out to the beach house to meet a contractor. I thought it a good idea if Blue Eyes was at my appointment since this will be my first foray into insulin injections. He agreed. He was late picking me up for my appointment, very late. He had promised, committed, to not being late. I told him exactly when we would need to leave by in order to make it on time. We were late. I HATE being late, especially to appointments where there is a limited amount of allotted time and I needed that time. I could feel my whole body tensing up. I couldn’t let it go. I wanted to scream. The message he sends to me when he is late, is that I am less important than whatever he was doing. Instead of being on time for me, he is giving someone else his attention. In this case it was someone at work and he admitted that what kept him from being on time was not important. So I was EVEN LESS important. He seems to have lost track of the fact that he is responsible for his own actions. This is a lesson he seems to have missed in this whole secret sex life/discovery/recovery process. He is the man of the moment. Whoever he has put in front of him at any given time, is what’s important and his priorities are pretty messed up. So, again, back to the point of this post, I totally get why people walk away from their cheating, disrespectful partners.
My choice to stay must include ways to calm myself and be kind to myself so that I don’t continue to suffer emotionally and physically. I can always pin my dreams on the possibility that my husband will change this aspect of his behavior, but I think that would be very unwise.