Damn if Bernie Sanders didn’t make me sad

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We have watched episodes of ‘Finding Your Roots’ before. The PBS Television Series in which they do extensive genealogical research, including DNA analysis, on prominent Americans and then share it with the person in a sort of interview format. We haven’t watched very many. I know we watched the episode with Martha Stewart (because I flippin’ love Martha) and we watched the episode with Adrian Grenier and Linda Chavez, super interesting, and also one with John Legend. I had heard about Bernie Sanders (love him) and Larry David (meh) and how they are… spoiler alert: very distant cousins. This is funny/interesting because Larry David impersonated Bernie Sanders on Saturday Night Live last season during the U.S. Presidential Election, and Bernie even appeared on an episode alongside Larry.

We decided to sit down and watch this particular installment of the show. I have never before been triggered by ‘Finding Your Roots.’ On this episode, Bernie actually gets pretty emotional when talking about a relative who died defying the Nazis during World War II. He talked about how shocking it is that people participate in such hateful and destructive acts and how hard we need to work to create a world where people love each other. It just made me sad because here I was sitting next to a person who had hurt me so badly. No, he didn’t murder me or a member of my family, but the pain he caused with his betrayal truly felt like he killed a part of my soul. To find out the person you love and trust most could so blatantly cause such irrevocable pain, for whatever reason, is heartbreaking. So no, my Uncle wasn’t assassinated by nazis, but my husband brought so much pain down upon me that I felt like I was dying, and he was holding the gun.

I know there are people who can’t understand these feelings. I know some might believe I am blowing this all out of proportion, but honestly, it is really how I feel. I know marriages end every day. People fall out of love. It wasn’t a good match. Whatever. This did not happen to me or my marriage. There honestly wasn’t anything wrong with my marriage other than (hindsight 2020) I gave too much and asked for too little and my husband took advantage of that, but there is just no way the person that you trust with your life, should so carelessly inflict so much pain, for any reason. Why can’t we all just be nice, honest, and respectful to each other? We can’t understand why countries are fighting each other over religion, or oil, or whatever, but frankly, I cannot understand this infidelity epidemic. It doesn’t make any fucking sense to me. WHY? Why do it? Even if you hate your spouse so much that you don’t want to be with them anymore, why cheat as a solution? Why not just leave, or separate? And if you don’t hate your spouse, why cheat? And if you hate yourself, why hurt your spouse?

I’ve read a story here in blog-land of a man who cheats on his wife. She has a health problem which inhibits her from participating in regular sexual activity, so he goes to prostitutes. Um, what the actual fuck. This man’s wife does not know that her husband is having sex outside their marriage. He doesn’t tell her because… it would hurt her. And he blogs about how hot the sex is. BARF!!! Is sex with another person so important that it is worth breaking the heart of your life mate? I just don’t get it. One thing my husband has learned on this journey of recovery is that sex is optional. SEX IS OPTIONAL. You don’t need sex to survive and you certainly don’t NEED extramarital sex to survive. It’s selfish and doesn’t make any sense to me.

There I go, trying to make sense of the senseless again. But why shouldn’t I try to make sense of my life and what has transpired with the people I love and who supposedly love me? And if someone was going to hurt me, do something bad to me, why did it have to be the person I loved the most? Why?

26 thoughts on “Damn if Bernie Sanders didn’t make me sad

  1. I am too lazy to re-read your entire blog so I apologize if this is repeating myself. I think you want revenge and you can’t get it. BE did not pay the price in any way for his behavior. People HATE being lied to and you were lied to for years. He did not lose financially. He did not lose his family or his home. His good name is, for the most part, unsullied and he didn’t do jail time for robbing you of your feelings of safety and stability. The hardest thing you are going to have to do is accept that he got away with it. HE has to accept that his parents got away with how they treated him. These are why I think both of you get stuck. You probably would like to beat the shit out of him and he probably would like to scream curses at his parents. Anger is good for you if it gets you galvanized into doing something. Your took a wrong turn and you hurt yourself. His wrong turn nearly ran you over a cliff. There are no easy answers to this just don’t let rage bubble under the surface too long. It takes on a life of its own.

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    • Well, Moi, I’ve sat with this comment for a day now, really thinking about it. You have not mentioned revenge previously. I don’t think I’ve ever talked about revenge on my blog. It’s not really my thing. Mostly I have an empty hole inside where safety and security used to reside. I used to take for granted that I had a partner who would never knowingly hurt me. When the truth was revealed there was some anger and a whole lot of sadness. I don’t think BE wants revenge on his parents. I think he wants them to be different. He wants to have a relationship with them, but he can’t, at least not without further abuse. I know that leaves him with an emptiness. He works at accepting that emptiness resides somewhere in all of us and he can still be content without his parents’ approval. I definitely don’t want any of those things you talk about, financial loss, reputation loss, etc… to happen to my life partner. He didn’t get away with it. I used to think he did, but that was also during a time when I thought his addictive behaviors were about pleasure, when indeed they were about pain. He struggles with shame every day of his life. I have the distinct feeling that letting sadness continue to creep it’s way in and lead to depression is a much more distinct reality than rage and anger. Betrayal trauma holds on with a vicious grip and that’s why I share these moments. They’re real and part of my life now.

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  2. “i gave too much and asked for too little…” — sounds familiar. Thinking about it more, though, I did ask for more, and asked, and asked some more, and my requests weren’t honored. Apparently, in our case, my husband has Intimacy Anorexia. It’s a really complicated issue, and very few therapists know about it. My husband’s SA is secondary to the IA. At least now we know what we are dealing with. I will write a blog about IA soon.

    I was trying to make sense of something last night and all it accomplished was triggering me, a sleepless night, and more triggers this morning. I wish I could have an operation to remove triggers. Lobotomy? 😉

    Love wasn’t/isn’t the problem for us. We both love each other deeply. He had a really messed up childhood. His patterns slowly evolved over 2 decades, so it wasn’t obvious to me. Love can be blind.

    Here’s to Bernie. Yes – let’s give peace a chance.

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    • BE doesn’t have intimacy anorexia, but I am definitely familiar with the diagnosis. I have read about it and some of the women I have met have had husbands who are/were intimacy and sexual anorexics in their relationships with their wives. I believe some of the men BE has met through 12 step also struggle with intimacy in their primary relationships. I have heard that porn addicts often struggle mightily with intimacy and sexual anorexia. I have read a few excerpts from wives whose husbands are sexual anorexics, and in one case the husband’s brain was so warped from all the porn, that his wife just simply could not live up to his fantasies. In the other case, the husband put the wife up on a pedestal. To him sex was dirty and his wife was pure. There are so many different heartbreaking stories and often childhood abuse plays a huge roll.

      In BE’s case, he is clingy and needy and acts attention starved. Not to be flippant, but so does our Golden Retriever!!! He never overtly blamed me for anything in our relationship, but we also didn’t struggle. I never felt unloved and he constantly complimented me and we had an active sex life throughout his entire sexual addiction phases. He held my hand and often told and still tells me that he loves me numerous times per day. He was often all over me. He was gone a lot for business, and he did take that opportunity to act out and feed his addiction and he was much more well-rounded, if you will, when he was an active addict. He fell apart after dday. He didn’t work much at all for nearly a year. Unbelievable!!! But as far as intimacy goes, the more the better for him. He was neglected during childhood and made to feel bad about himself and I think that shaped him into a needier adult. Someone who frankly could not get enough attention. Attention from grooming other women. Attention from his business relationships and corporate success. Attention from the actual acting out partners. Attention from me and my family and our children. He was never angry and rarely ever mean. I can count on one hand the number of times that he was actually mean or aggressive towards me and they all centered around his need to act out. He filled that need on his own, secretly, but it actually didn’t affect our intimate relationship. The whole thing blows my mind.

      I have tried to define Love for myself and my partnership. It’s a tough one for me. For me it is a feeling that is difficult to nail down, but in my world, I would never knowingly harm the ones I love and I certainly wouldn’t betray them, repeatedly lie to them and put their lives in danger. All things that BE did, but he claims to love me? Due to his upbringing, I’m not sure he really knows what love is.

      And yes, I ❤ Bernie. Peace would be wonderful. Treating others with respect and kindness… priceless. xo

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  3. Kat, I’m so sorry this triggered you – BIG HUGS.

    I got triggered last night by something that, before I knew my H was a sex addict, would have meant nothing.

    My wonderful therapist explained that these women were to him, like mouthwash to an alcoholic. WE are the champagne. We are not addicts and will never be able to make sense of what or why they did what they did; I will never understand why someone drinks mouthwash or paint thinner, or why my H cheated with ANYONE because of how close we were, but especially with obvious downgrades (the mouthwash).

    They were not thinking about us; their lives and brains were split in two each time closing one box before opening the other. To them, these 2 boxes were not related. This will never make sense to us.

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    • Absolutely. It will never make sense to us. I can’t understand why anyone would drink mouthwash, but to find out my husband was almost daily drinking bottles of mouthwash… WHAT??? It is so wrong on so many levels. I do understand the compartmentalization, I mean literally how it happens, I just don’t understand how I never saw it, or never understood it, or how he could so convincingly hide the one box.

      In theory, someone says–this child was mistreated and this happened and this happened and this happened and that is how he grew into this adult. So yeah, that makes sense. But to then say that child is my husband, someone I have known for 34 years… it’s like a crater opened up out of the middle of nowhere and sucked me into it and I am in some horrible demented nightmare. Like a much uglier Alice in Wonderland. It’s like Kat in Misery-land. *sigh* xo

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    • Sometimes? Seems like far too often! It’s a funny thing, eh, Caroline, I always knew his actions had the greatest power to hurt me. Just underestimated his lack of intent so very badly x.

      I felt thid post so very deeply. And do sometimes worry about the permanence. Of course we can learn, grow, heal somewhat. But the impact of such betrayal is so deep. So painful. So altering.

      Sending love, and always working on the light x.

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      • Yeah it is. We will never be the same. Something does happen when you are betrayed by the person you love the most. Something that can never be undone. You loose part of your innocence.

        I hope we can all heal, but no, we will never be the same.
        ♥️

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        • So true. So many days I would jump up out of bed and be so looking forward to the day and all it would hold, and then, bam, like I was hit on the head I remembered that my husband had lied to me and cheated on me and with that knowledge, it was like my carefree and inquisitive nature vanished. I started looking over my shoulder and living in fear. How could I possibly be happy when someone had stolen my story? And not just someone…. a person I adored. This shit is real, too real. Thank goodness for the sisterhood! ❤

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          • So I’m going to be totally honest. I’ve just been sitting in the car parked in front of my house for no reason. I feel this huge chasm of emptiness. Something happened to me 4 years ago that left this deep emptiness that never seems to get filled. I’m okay but I have moments that come upon me of profound sadness. I know this is why. It never leaves.
            Yes, I don’t know what I would do without the support of my “sisters” ♥️♥️♥️

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      • On most days, I can say that I am glad I know the truth, but the other truth is, this kind of betrayal changes us forever. We can heal and grow stronger in some ways, of course we can, but there is permanence in the wounds. Death has a clarity to it. Everyone dies. Betrayal on the other hand, is fuzzy and ugly and never quite makes sense. And I hate fuzzy, ugly shit that doesn’t make sense. Much love to you both, C & P. xoxo

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        • Since my first D-Day almost 16 years ago, I have always told people that this betrayal is far worse than dealing with the death of anyone I loved. With my faith I know I’ll see them again, the dead aren’t in your life on a daily basis and the world understands it is a permanent state. The first affair killed my love and trust and since she was still there I had to deal with the trauma every day. I never did recover fully, especially since I had several mini D-days over the years which reinforced that I couldn’t trust again (suspected affairs that were always denied, but I’m sure of it now because…). Then there was the second big D-day at the end of this summer when I found she spent her summer acting out with many, many guys, some of it publicly. And when I finally realized she had an addiction. I’ve had an interesting few months being indoctrinated into the world of addiction which I’ve never dealt with before. And into the world of divorce.

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