I can be an angry bitch

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Lilacs in the yard. May 2018. Put here so I have something pretty to look at. 🙂

But it’s not who I want to be.

As I read through blog entry after blog entry written out there related to betrayal, and comments, I realize that getting angry can help us get things done, but I don’t like being angry. I have taken numerous breaks from reading blogs because many times I felt like it was hindering my healing. I never really took a break from my own blog. It was my lifeline. My blog helped me write out my pain and metabolize it, process it, live with it. It really really really sucks to be cheated on and lied to. Depending on the circumstances, betrayal can lead to some serious trauma. I won’t get into a debate about it, because it happened to me. I am a practical, educated, grounded, self loving individual and yet, I crumbled when my husband’s secret life was revealed. Did I check out of my life for nearly two years all because my husband had sex with other women? NO. Not just because my husband had sex with other women. My husband lied to me repeatedly over the then 30 years of our relationship. He lied about who he was and what he was capable of. I don’t think he knew, what he was capable of, when we met and even when we married. It would be years later before he actually dipped his toe in the murky waters of extramarital sex. But it is true that he never shared his dark side with me. A side that existed before he met me. Some might say that was his right. That he was embarrassed, or felt shameful, or only wanted me to see his “good” side. He was sucked in and swore he would never do it again. Well, fuck that. He made promises. He categorically did not keep them. That’s not fair to me. Look what his “dark” side ended up perpetrating on me. Maybe it wasn’t about me, but to me, it was about the promises he made to me and the person he pretended to be, day after day, for three decades. There were thousands of opportunities for him to be truthful with me. There were thousands of days on which he could have helped himself be a better man. He hated himself. He felt shame every day. This he has told me and dozens of other people since discovery and diagnosis. I know, I know, this is how addiction works, but this is not how loving, caring, nurturing relationships work. He can’t have it both ways.

I’m actually a very loving and caring human being. I don’t want people to feel bad about themselves. Being compassionate and empathetic has helped me immensely in understanding my husband and being there for him. Having a 30 year relationship at discovery helped because there were parts of my husband that I knew very very well and I love him very much. There was never a point in our marriage prior to January, 2014 where I contemplated separation or divorce. Not even close. I didn’t know what I didn’t know though. I didn’t know he was hurting me. I have been hurt enough. I won’t allow it anymore. A standard procedure during sex addiction recovery is for the partner to make a boundary list. An accounting of the things we will not tolerate from our sex addict, the things he needs to do to help us feel safe, rules if you will, for us to stay. Plus the consequences for unacceptable behavior.

Yesterday Blue Eyes and I drove out to farm country to pick up or CSA share. It was a beautiful, temperate blue skied day and we almost always eat lunch while we are out. We went back and forth on whether to get cheap, authentic Mexican street tacos, or more expensive, slightly more refined, pub fare. We opted for the pub. During a conversation at lunch regarding our schedules, Blue Eyes informed me that he will be in San Francisco next week. I knew he had a trip to San Francisco coming up, I was planning on going if it was more than a day trip. He knew this. We postponed or potentially have canceled our trip to Europe this month because Blue Eyes is swamped with local (West Coast) business meetings. I was waiting for his California schedule to materialize, so I could plan. He takes many many day trips from Portland to California, and also Portland to Seattle. Overnight trips are still part of my boundary list. Unless it’s just not possible, I go with him on overnight trips. No exceptions. We haven’t really loosened this rule. He informed me yesterday that his trip to San Francisco is not merely a day trip, but that he has already scheduled everything. My brother, now a managing partner in our business since that other jerk up and quit on us last spring, will be going with him. The last time he went for an overnight with my brother, they actually stayed in the same room. I thought that actually a bad idea, but they both wanted it that way. So silly two grown men sharing a room and a bathroom. Neither of them likes to be alone.

There were a few things that went through my mind when I realized Blue Eyes had completely left me out of the planning: 1) wait, what? 2) here we go again…. 3) why does he think he can keep breaking the rules. Then I got that horrible pit in my stomach feeling. The one that tells me I am second. I have always been second and I will always be second. When I am not with him, I do not matter. Out of sight out of mind. My mood went immediately from “wait, what?” to “fuck you.” Blue Eyes immediately realized what he had done and then he said, “oh, you told me you couldn’t go.” Then I got REALLY ANGRY. I did not tell him I couldn’t go, nor did I tell him I didn’t want to go. I told him if it was an overnight or longer, I would go to San Francisco. I wanted to go. I did not tell him anything else. I am not tired, or sick or drugged up or anything. I remember exactly what I said. He created a scenario by which what he did was perfectly okay (because I couldn’t go, remember????) and somehow he thought that would temper my mood??? His first reaction is always to lie or gaslight. To get himself out of a tight situation. What the actual fuck. Good mood destroyed. He then said he really wanted me to go. My response, “fuck you, I am not going.” I guess if that is your reverse psychology for not wanting me to go, Blue Eyes, it worked, fucker. Our older son is in town. After spending the summer in India, returning to Brooklyn, and soon heading off to Madrid, he is spending a couple weeks with us. He leaves while Blue Eyes is in San Francisco. Just like before, Blue Eyes never even asked when our son was leaving. He doesn’t really care. Business always comes first. Sad.

I hate being angry. Anger doesn’t solve anything for me. It raises my blood pressure. It leaves me in a funk. It affects my health. I cannot stay in an angry place and be happy. So I mostly let it go. He will go to San Francisco and I will stay home. I could go to San Francisco if I want. I could go to fucking Tahiti if I want. I could fly to Paris for the weekend if I want. I can do ANYTHING I want. That’s what keeps me sane… knowing I don’t NEED anything from my husband. It’s sad that it has come to this, but it has. I enjoy most of my time with him, but he has a long way to go to tackling his demons. Sometimes he is just a plain old selfish arsehole. He would tell you it was all very innocent. These are meetings he must attend. He really thought I wasn’t able to go. I had a hair appointment, or something??? He spent some quality time with our son and it’s really a Cat’s in the Cradle situation anyway, they are very much alike. I cannot really keep track of either of them. They cross paths and say, hey. Good enough. He will be with my brother in San Francisco, working, what is my problem? It matters not what I want, just how he perceives the situation. He’s really a very nice guy. Remember?

 

44 thoughts on “I can be an angry bitch

  1. “His first reaction is always to lie or gaslight. To get himself out of a tight situation.”

    This is all too familiar, along with Falling Ash’s “I thought I told you” or, more often just “I told you.” During the heyday of the acting out it most often meant that my darling husband had told someone … it just wasn’t me. But hey, us girls are all interchangeable, right?? Other times, I think he truly buys into his own gaslighting.

    Yuck. Just yuck. The new me isn’t buying it though. I know I’m not a crazy person, so when he pulls this crap I know it’s the addict talking (just like you knew you hadn’t told BE you couldn’t go). He just has no grasp of exactly how disappointing I find these exchanges. No matter how much progress he’s making or how many good things he’s doing, this kind of stuff is just a slap back to the sad reality of being married to a sex addict.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “truly buys into his own gaslighting” – – – I think that happens sometimes to my husband too. sigh.

      I have a boundary about gaslighting, and if it happens, even for something minor, I state, “This is gaslighting. It’s not okay. It’s a boundary violation.”

      I advocate for myself and I don’t let him get a “pass” on any of it. Silence is compliance.

      Liked by 2 people

      • So true, beleeme, gas lighting is not okay. They often don’t realize when they are doing it, so yes, silence will often just reward the behavior, and thus, continue it. If there is one thing my husband knows about me (and really that everyone else knows about me) is that I am almost NEVER silent. He will get some reaction from me, that is for sure. Now that I know what gas lighting is, and that he does it, I am all over it. When I didn’t know about all his lies, I really often believed what he said. I mean there were little white lies and sometimes they were obvious and I did not understand why he would say them because it was obvious he was lying. The biggest problem with that is I always thought my husband was a horrible liar. That, apparently, was all part of his cover. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

    • It is incredibly frustrating how their first instinct, even after everything that has transpired and all the work they have done on themselves, is to cover and lie, cut and run, whatever. Those instincts run very very deep for my husband. *sigh*

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know this feeling very well from my relationships… not just with my ex husband. I have said it soooo many times, it could practically be a tattoo, “I just want to feel like I matter.” Sometimes men just suck at this. I have no real explanation, I just understand. DO do something special, cause F that, you ARE special. Treat yourself how you expect to be treated. And angry, yeah, you are human, it’s a natural emotion, but feel it, then let it pass, because it’s a poison that only hurts you in the end. You are too good for that.
    I have an idea… Miami! 😜
    ♥️♥️♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have mentioned in your blog that you have set boundaries and consequences. I’m wondering what consequences BE will have for his breach of your boundary? I wouldn’t accept his excuse that he “thought” you had said you couldn’t go. That just sounds like gaslighting and crazy making to me. Setting the boundaries was the easier part for me while deciding on consequences that I could actually follow through with was extremely difficult.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for your comment MaryBeth. I have talked about boundaries a bit, but have never posted them. I plan to do that now, in my next post, and talk about how I have dropped the ball, and why it is important to revisit the boundaries. My big issue with gas lighting is how easily they minimize it. Minimizing it is part of the crazy making they try to put back on us. It’s not right and a really bad habit. My boundaries contract was pretty simple actually and for a very long time the only rule that was consistently broken was around his communicating with his “safe” friends and 12 step guys. It bothered me for a long time, that he didn’t report in and share with me. He eventually became a lot better at sharing with me and in doing so, I think it helped him realize how some of his “secret” communications, even with “safe” people were harboring old, bad habits.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. He sounds resentful that he can’t be a big boy and be trusted to go alone.

    Tough shit. He fucked that up for himself. He doesn’t get to give you the Bitch Cookie of “I haven’t had sex with anyone but you”… that’s supposed to be a given. No pat on the back for him. No being grateful from you. It’s a simple thing. He gets no props for being decent.

    Occasionally, I’ll start to see W get resentful of something and I blow up his secret spot… that little piece, deep inside, where everything nasty balls up and starts to shake and burn hot: Resentment. Let’s stretch out that emotional elastic that you’re coveting, you coward, and see how dried out and brittle and useless it actually is. I have a good blow up and turn him inside out but I’m never sure if it’s gone; it’s better but because of the past, I can’t ever be sure it’s gone. It happens less and less as time goes on… a hammam for the soul, really. 😉

    They think they can earn back trust. They really don’t understand what they’ve done… it’s GONE. Trust isn’t a real thing anymore; it’s a sweet idea, like pretending that lightning bugs are fairies.

    Stop being a resentful fucker, Blue Eyes. You killed the entire idea of trust and don’t get to stand over its body and claim sorrow and pity.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hey girl, thanks for the great and well though out comment. Love your analogies. I think, to be honest, he just falls back into old habits super easy. Not sure there is a lot of thought going on here, but that’s the big problem. He doesn’t think. My anger almost always turns to sadness, because sadness is what I feel deep down. Yesterday another issue came up and we were both frustrated, not necessarily with each other. I am still post surgery and walking our dogs is a chore. I asked him to please walk them because it’s really not fair to have dogs and not walk them regularly. In his frustration about the other issue he yelled, “Someone else can walk the dogs, I’m not going to do it.” Seriously, he loves those dogs. They just got caught in the crossfire. I just sat there knowing no one else was there to walk them and if I did it, I would be in pain. I started to cry. He felt awful. I know we all make mistakes, but I sometimes feel so beaten down.

      I remember once when I was a child and we were in Texas. The family we were staying with caught some lightening bugs in a jar. I had never seen them before. They looked so beautiful at night. Over night they died in the jar and in the morning, well, ew.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I didn’t realize what a bitch I could be until my H affair! The reason for my name! I turned into an angry bitch, a vengeful bitch, a whine bitch, a little bitch, a big bitch just an all around bitch! But yea all that passed I’m not there anymore the anger is gone and I guess I’m glad because I didn’t like it but I got a hell of a lot more done when I was angry lol…

    The gaslighting tho…omg that makes me crazy! Mine hasn’t done that in a long time. I’m glad you got angry! 🤪😘🤩

    Liked by 2 people

    • I totally understand CR. I have been with my husband for 35 years and we have two houses, two kids, and a successful business together. At least 80% of the time, probably more, I’m good. Prior to discovery, I took a lot of things in stride. I expect more now. If you can’t be happy most of the time, changes must be made. I get it. Don’t know what I would have done if I was childless and your age, so I deal with what’s in front of me. But I do totally get you. Run towards what makes you whole! ❤️

      Liked by 3 people

      • Yeh. I think that’s the best part of all the blogs I follow. No ones situation is the same and everyone is able to make their own decision. You have more in the bank. And blue eyes is doing the work. He fumbles but … there’s some actual work happening

        Liked by 3 people

        • I like that we can support each other regardless of what decisions we make. BE is doing the work. He was trained at such an early age to think inside a box. To protect himself and although he was really fucking things up, he was able to keep everything going, for a while. Changing that thought process is hard. I react because I have to. I have to be honest with him that it hurts. He tries. Sometimes he fucks up. Marriage is hard even when you’re not married to a sex addict. Probably not as hard though. You’re doing great!

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I was listening to a podcast today and Tara Brach said, “Anger is natural, healthy, and intelligent… Anger and aggression is a way to express unmet needs…but when used to try and meet our needs” it fails.

    You said to me yesterday I seem angry. I am.

    There are reasons for that. Some related to my betrayal of my own life, of my Love of loves, and of course betrayal of my own future with her.

    I’m angry about The Outsiders that injected themselves into the story with lies, rumors, and the half-truths fueling a drama triangle, splitting, and a bunch of very unhealthy behaviors outside of my own.

    I’m angry about a lot of things related to this situation I find myself in today. More specifically the situation I created for myself and for my family that I love. So of course I’m angry.

    However listening to this podcast today, was really helpful. I thought you might find it interesting. If you are interested here is the link to Terra’s podcast –> https://castbox.fm/vb/91322544

    Here’s the summary –> Part 1: Awakening through Anger – The U-Turn to Freedom – Anger is naturally triggered when we feel an obstacle to meeting our needs. How do we honor the intelligence within anger, but not get hijacked into emotional reactivity that creates suffering in our individual and collective lives? This talk explores the U-turn that enables us to offer a healing attention to the feelings and unmet needs under anger. Once present with our inner life, we are able to respond to those around us with wisdom, empathy and true strength. (a favorite from the archives – contains the Prickly Porcupine story)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Probably a good one for my husband to listen to as well. I like to write out my feelings here. My anger is directed at my feelings of not being given the respect I deserve from my husband. Anger is usually a secondary emotion, covering up for something else. Usually for me it’s covering my hurt feelings. My feelings of being disrespected. Of course my husband doesn’t try to hurt my feelings or make me angry. Unfortunately his selfish nature and the way he isolates himself and blocks most everything out of certain facets of his life is what he has nurtured all these years. As I said previously, bad habits are hard to break. When I said you sounded angry, I was really speaking to how angry you were in the context of commenting on a betrayed spouse’s blog. Of course we go to our blogs to write out what we perhaps are unable to say to our spouses. Anger by a betrayer in that context, as I’m sure you realize, will not go over well. Your message will be muddled because we sense you are more concerned with your own hurt feelings than ours. Everyone is hurting here. I know. I have had many a heated conversation on this blog just trying to be heard and understood. I get it.

      Liked by 3 people

        • You’re also, at least in the context of the betrayed spouse blogs, poking a bear. We’re sensitive. We’ve been hurt, badly. We’re trying to do the best we can. It takes time to get to a place of objectivity. Many of us do love our husbands and want to trust them. Forgiving is not forgetting. We are all works in progress. I actually have a post here somewhere where I posted a link to an Esther Perel ted talk, and I got skewered. Live and learn.

          Liked by 3 people

              • No you can’t, and quite frankly trying to please everyone is exactly how I ended up living out of my trunk of my car for 8 months this year. Going along to get along, not wanting to rock the boat, not wanting to ask for help, and try and walk it off. I can still hear my grandfather’s voice, “you broke it you fix it.” That works great, if you break the bicycle. It doesn’t apply really well the interpersonal relationships.

                Liked by 1 person

              • Again, she wasn’t upset with what perel said she was upset with what she thinks perel said.

                And Perel does say open relationships are fine as long as both parties are in agreement and understanding. I love her quote about her mother’s influence on her perspective. I’m going to paraphrase, but she said essentially her mother was a dressmaker, and she learned from her mother that one size is not right for everyone.

                I love the concept.

                Liked by 1 person

          • I wouldn’t take me back. Not the way it was. That relationship is dead.

            However, there are it a lot of aspects from that relationship that could spring into a beautiful bounty, but we both have to be willing to do the work to tend the garden. There are things worth transplanting.

            C is understandably not willing right now. Maybe never.

            But I have time, and intention, and I have to do the work anyway without her. She truly did do the loving thing for herself, for me, and for Us by ending the relationship.

            And truthfully the benefit of being separated for 9 months is it has allowed me to take a step back and truly examine my relationship with C. What worked and what didn’t, and what I will do differently next time. I’d like to break the communication pattern with her, but it only breaks if she’s willing to address her patterns too.

            And yes I betrayed to her, but there are great things that I discovered about myself and that I brought to the relationship with her, that I will carry forward.

            One more thing, and then I’m calling it a night, I don’t think it should be for not forgotten. It is why I don’t ask her for forgiveness because that is selfish. Asking her to forgive me is asking her to deny her own anger and experience. To forgive me is her choice not something I can earn or I am entitled to…

            Whenever I hear a man or woman that portrays there partner begging or asking for forgiveness, I just want to hit them with a dead fish… And a dictionary.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Forgiving others is a gift we give ourselves. But ignoring what was done to us or acting like it didn’t happen or didn’t change us invites repeating similar destructive behaviors, in my opinion. I forgive because I don’t want to harbor the bitterness that not forgiving breeds in me. Realizing we all have different definitions for different words or feelings.

              Liked by 2 people

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