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?