Precipice

He’s there, right now, sitting at the edge of his own sanity. He’s unable to hide it, or even deny it.

It’s not coming from nowhere. It’s muscle memory. It’s those feelings of having been here before. Not in this exact place, but something, somewhere similar.

A bustling city, a lonely hotel room, life crashing down around him. So far behind, so many people needing so much from him. His drug is somewhere nearby. It’s always nearby. A short term fix to a long term affliction. The disease is palpable.

His malaise is debilitating. A worm in his brain causing destruction, and pain. His focus is gone, his output stalled. He’ll take the path he has been traveling for decades. His drug is there, willing, and able.

———

Blue Eyes is working like a demon. He has so many irons in the fire, it’s all going up in flames. We’re traveling back east this week, then LA this weekend, business meetings on a Sunday, arbitration next week. Not enough time, not enough hours in the day.

I sit back and watch. Yesterday Blue Eyes worked from 8am to midnight, straight on through. Lunch was a meeting, dinner was a very brief break, with me. Food delivered in. The rest of our office is three hours behind, that extends his work day by at least that. And even when the west coast people are long gone, home with their families, Blue Eyes works.

At one point yesterday he collapsed to his knees, hands on my legs, head in my lap, trembling. He said it was just like before. He could feel those old feelings, those old behaviors creeping back in. He could feel the destruction of all he had done, and yet he wanted his drug, he looked desperate. I cannot help him in these times. I want him to be honest, to put a voice to it all, but I can’t fix it.

I won’t fault him or punish him for expressing a desire he can no longer have. I get that there is a hole there he wants to fill. I understand traveling, working long hours, and juggling a mountain of stress sends him to that place. I feel for him.

But I also feel for me.

I think I would feel less alone if I was by myself.

Does that make sense?

28 thoughts on “Precipice

  1. It makes perfect sense. From one who is finally alone, and yet not. I think I may have commented on earlier posts, saying my SA Husband was unable to move forward. To forgive himself. To meet the needs I demanded of him. (You know, tough things like “kiss me on the couch” – a euphemism that was a literal desire to rebuild intimacy fully-clothed, in a non-threatening element, just so we could one day get back to being intimate – something he cut off completely for 5 long years).

    The rejection I have felt for the past five years has been endless. Every night lying naked next to a man who had rejected our marriage, rejected me, rejected our vows, just continued, and I mourned the marriage and the intimacy, both physical and emotional, that we had shared each and every night. He was there – but he was not. When after my latest outburst of frustration with his inability to move forward (another literal, as I wanted to create a fresh start back in my home city so that the friends and family I had there, along with the greater number of activities to partake in, that differed from our then rural home, could help to fill the void and hole he had left when he blew our lives up) – he announced that HE couldn’t live like this any longer, that he just “wasn’t strong enough” to undertake the move to my home city, and that he would proceed to move out, to try and get his head on straight. That was my breaking point. Eight hours later, by the time he had returned from work, I had decided that I would be the one to move, and had a full plan formulated to move eight hours away. Which is where I now sit. Alone (save for my dog), in a top floor of a rental house, with a stoner housemate below in the basement. (Did I mention that his addiction cost us our business and had severe financial repercussions as well? My job will allow me to work remotely until the end of the year, but then I will be unemployed and looking for work as well). BUT – my best friend lives next door. Yesterday I took my dog and met my friend for a walk with her dog. Last night I enjoyed a “family” dinner with my Mom and 16 others (very few of whom are blood relatives, but are still family), and tonight I will enjoy another.

    The evenings are tough still. I’m only two weeks in. I miss him. But I don’t miss the hole. The hole has been filled, and the future looks promising. Something I honestly couldn’t say for the last five years, so mired was he in his suffering, and his sadness, and his depression. The five years wasn’t wasted. I healed. I learned to forgive. I have compassion and love for him still. But it was time to move forward, and he wasn’t willing to, and indeed simply wasn’t capable of it. Reports from friends, say he’s working tons, views of his social media, show him on there late at night, and shows posts sharing information on depression. He’s not in a good place. But I can’t control him or make his choices for him, and he never seems to make good ones on his own. So I’ve moved forward.

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    • Radlady, you are incredibly strong to not only have withstood the treatment you did (I can only imagine how soul sucking to hope he will want to change and be better and then find out he can’t or won’t) and then to take off for a new life, alone. You are taking care of yourself. I get it that it is a heartbreaking decision you didn’t want to make. We just can’t fix them.

      I’m sorry your husband isn’t strong enough to keep his promises to you, then, and now. A marriage just can’t survive if only one person is working on it, and really most can’t survive without intimacy. I know that’s why my husband never wanted to leave, or wanted me to leave. He knew once I was gone, I was out. There was no working on ourselves individually (still living together) if we weren’t also working on the marriage. If I left, that was it. He didn’t want that. BE doesn’t have depression though. He also craves intimacy. I remember the non-sexual touching never worked for us… that was never part of his problem. Each story is unique, but being emotionally and physically rejected… it’s not right. I’m glad you have taken back your life. Speaking of taking your life back, I did attend that seminar in October, 2014 that was very good for me, and my self esteem. They have a seminar later this month in Bellingham WA… it isn’t about marriage, it’s about getting stronger after betrayal. There were women who were married, separated, divorced, all suffering. It was an amazing weekend. https://beyondaffairs.com/seminars/take-your-life-back/

      How wonderful that you now have friends and family to enjoy and spend time with. I can only imagine the huge adjustment, but it sounds like you are handling it. Thanks for hanging out here with us. I/we understand! xoxo

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  2. It makes sense, absolutely. A part of me thinks it’s courageous of him to share this with you. I pictured the moment, him trembling, his head on your lap, putting the weight back on your shoulders: admitting, even more so admitting to you, that he’s on the brink must have been a hard thing to do. And I kind of think you need to know, good (?) for you to have confirmed what you already gathered from his running himself at 150%. However, it’s just not healthy, not healthy for you to be the dumping site of his struggles. You’re not his therapist, not his mother, and he has caused so much pain already. He should know better – or not? It’s a situation when there’s no good scenario, no right way, sharing or not sharing are equally painful (for you), it’s just another junction on the road. I’m sorry you’re going through this. And I’m also sorry that he’s self destructing at such jet speed. Why is it so hard to get priorities right, FFS. Big hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey MWS, miss you! I’ve come a long way. I know what I signed up for and the best part… I know I can’t fix him and I feel no obligation to try. I stayed there with him. I’m not bothered by “the other woman” anymore. She’s as insignificant as a cheap bottle of booze. My issue with him now is yes that he puts himself in a position where he self destructs so quickly. We were at a vrbo rental in Boston. A beautiful place with 2300 square feet of space, a beautiful full kitchen/great-room, guest bath and huge master bath. Lots of space for him to hold meetings there. The weather was crappy in Boston so I stayed in the master bedroom and worked while he coordinated something like 6 face to face meetings and 3 conference calls in one day. Insane! He did that to himself. He’s a showman, but it takes a lot out of him. I think he kind of did a flashback thing where he would work obsessively and then use her for sex. She would be locked away in a hotel room… kind of like I was in the bedroom? Who knows but his muscle memory went back to that destructive scenario. Because of sheer exhaustion, I think he was having trouble managing the intrusive thoughts. I’m glad he shared. He was far away from some of his other resources, but again, he put himself in that situation. He has MAJOR issues with priorities. So exhausting. Thank you for the hugs. I hope things are well with you! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      • I miss you, too! I’m coming back to the space, should have done it long ago. Yeah, triggers are a bitch – the same way we can get triggered back into hell in a split second by at times the most random and unexpected things – actions / smells / noises / sights / light -, I can see how he, too, gets pulled into an old memory in an instant. Good for you for hearing him and understanding that this, too, isn’t about you (although the parallel of you in the bedroom vs skunk in the hotel room – ugh vomit in my mouth). You two are as good of a story as it gets, and yet, it boggles my mind why he’s not able to appreciate the second lease on (a semi-healthy) life he got. I see it first hand in my own not-so-great story: for a year or two I see an exemplary practitioner of recovery, and then by his own acts: putting himself back into a wild travel schedule and a mountain of expectations, he’s back in the thick of it. And, by now for various reasons it is not about whether your sex addict fucks one or multiple strangers or not, it’s about the trueness and depth and sustainability of recovery. If he (and by ‘he’ I refer to BE, my husband, and any other SAs in the cycle) doesn’t recognise fully that complacency is DANGER and that he MUST avoid these triggering situations (and as step 0 identify these triggering situations – travel, overworking, going to a beach, getting a massage, watching a movie with a triggering scene, etc, take your pick) by his own conscious and continuous efforts, and keep revisiting priorities, then is this anything other than a work intensive repetitive cycle of tolerance (on our end)? As always, my questions are more rhetorical than anything… in the sense that I’m not suggesting anything or trying in any way to explain the shit you or me or anyone is going through – you know me well by now that I wouldn’t dare imply anything (and especially not to you who have mastered this path better than anyone I’ve ever come across). I just see the slide first hand, pretty much the same pattern as BE – albeit from a very different angle than you do – and ask myself these questions while I’m shaking my head in disbelief. It’s like, after everything you put your spouse through, you’re given love and forgiveness and patience and kindness, what the heck more is needed to fill that fucking gaping hole?! I know I will never understand or have an answer to this, just helps to vent the frustration sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Vent away! So glad you will be back. Are you still in Chicago? I know all the feelings. Addiction doesn’t end and it doesn’t go away. It’s a mental illness, a brain disease. They have to want recovery and work at it every day. I mean I’m pretty sure he hasn’t acted out sexually to cope or medicate, for nearly 6 years, so he’s got his sobriety, but addiction is so much more than that! But yeah, it seems so simple. Don’t do hurtful shit. But it’s not simple for them. xoxo

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah, that’s the thing. Addiction doesn’t go away. Ugh. Anyhow – I am indeed still in Chicago and planning on staying for at least a couple more years. I came to love it here and want to buy a place, maybe next year, we’ll see. I keep playing with the possibility of visiting you up NW, I just have this strong drive to meet you in person. Not to be overly sappy here, but you’ve been a sort of a beacon of light for me on this road, I’m following with admiration how you’ve tackled the shitstorm. Do you realise we “know” each other for almost four years? I appeared here in January 2016, maybe we should throw a little anniversary party then 🙂 . It only hit me when you said 6 years of sobriety- heck it’s been a long time on the path!!!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Well, whether you come out here, or I’m out there, we’ll meet up! I love meeting blogger friends. Went all the way to NZ to meet Paula! 😉 Yeah, the six year thing. Apparently BE woke up in December 2013 and realized he really needed to change. January 2014 the phone call happened. He knew what he was doing just didn’t have the courage to come clean on his own! 😢 That will always be sad to me. Let’s plan something! 🤗

              Liked by 1 person

  3. “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?”
    -Hillel

    Yes it is “easier” to be alone, to focus your energy exclusively on your own well-being. But it sucks sometimes, too.

    xo
    B

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It makes sense. All of it. You can’t be there. In that stressful place with him. It’s all his, all self absorbed, all painful and desperate for an escape…which he can no longer do because…sobriety. Recovery.
    This is why you can’t jump into that pool…it’s the cesspool of betrayal and you don’t have the skills to jump in. You are clean and dry on the outside waiting for him to decontaminate find his strength to recalibrate and realize you are there for him.
    ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree, Leighkay, I can’t really go to that place with him, even if I think I understand it, because I’m not an addict. But for me this was less about betrayal (even though he did bring up the scenario with the acting out partner, hotel rooms, and then obsessive working) and more about still going to that dark place. His pattern was so clear and defined. All the stress built up and he always used sex (whether with self or someone else) to medicate. He knows what he must do in recovery, but by his voicing all this, getting it out, it was on one hand good, on the other a bit disappointing that he orchestrates the situation where he is THAT stressed out that he lets the contamination of his mind back in. UGH!!! xo

      Liked by 5 people

  5. I get it. It’s “I love you and you know I love you because Im still here. You have all the support in the world. Why isn’t it enough to keep you happy/satisfied?” Its a desolate, gut wrenching feeling for us partners.

    I’m glad BE shared with you, but I understand what a lonely-feeling share that must have been.
    ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    • I want to always be compassionate and understanding, but some days, when I am also stressed and struggling, and his crazy schedule is driving us both mad, I am slightly less compassionate. I also know when he is at the bottom and yet… I feel like he always expects me to have something left for him. At this point in time that something is not going to be sex. I’m glad he’s open about his feelings, just a bit sad and lonely that he still struggles in that way. xo

      Liked by 3 people

      • I remember bearing the burden (too) of the crazy schedule. Everything else would fall on me. I’d gracefully handle it all and my own career. We both did way too much. I didn’t know at the time, my husband was betraying our marriage and also using porn to cope with the stress and anxiety. Sigh.

        We need to feel for ourselves. Self-compassion.

        Hope you both get a break soon.

        Liked by 5 people

        • We’re both doing way too much. That first year we were at about 20%, then 40% year 2, 80-90% years 3-5. Unfortunately now he’s trying to run at 150% capacity and it’s taking a huge toll! We can’t live together in this way. It’s too crazy. Some boundaries are going back up. It’s a constant battle. He can’t seem to understand that what he is doing will kill us both. He doesn’t have his drug, so he exhibits all manner of other bad habits. After the arbitration we’re heading to Hawaii with our younger son for their birthdays. He stressed out about that too. 🤦🏻‍♀️ ❤️

          Liked by 2 people

          • One addiction flips to another – workaholism.

            I don’t know if it would help at all, but you can share my husband’s story – worked way too much, major lack of sleep, never a regular sleep cycle, life/death crisis decisions every day at work, secret life, planned out-of-state move = all added up to a MAJOR psych breakdown and he almost killed himself after he was released from the psych unit (there 2 weeks).

            I never – in a million years – would have thought Mr. Calm, Intelligent, Professional ER Doctor would have spun out like that. Everyone has a breaking point.

            Good job on boundaries and wishing you both more luck with arbitration.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yes, but workaholism has always been his co-addiction, not just since he was diagnosed. His family put a very high value on career success, which was in turn tied to money. We have never had the kind of money BE’s parents have, but we are also not driven by money the way BE’s mother is. BE was also never calm, but he did medicate a lot of the sharper edges with his sex addiction. My issue with BE’s secret life was not so much shocking because of his calm, mature nature (because he wasn’t calm or mature necessarily), but that he could do something so hurtful to me. I knew he could lie and keep secrets, just never thought he was capable of an 8 year affair with someone who would stalk me. It’s still mind blowing.

              Your husband sounds very much like a couple guys in BE’s 12 step group, and even his own brother. A build up, an explosion. With us it happened over time and he stopped playing the games with her. Even his porn habits didn’t escalate. He started to realize that his behavior was most likely tied to bad coping skills. BE is an interesting dichotomy of personality traits. He’s a true extrovert. Thrives on attention. All the therapists agreed that they didn’t believe he was suicidal. I agree with them, but we never really know, do we? He certainly wouldn’t do anything that might cause himself physical pain even for a few seconds. He’s like a little boy that never grew up. Wants people to like him, but still has this bizarre innocence, probably a survival instinct from childhood.

              I agree everyone has a breaking point. BE even cried a bit in our arbitration prep meeting yesterday. He blames himself for this mess. The attorneys were very good at reminding him he was basically being blackmailed at the end… if you don’t pay this large sum of money, you won’t have a finished house… no one will take over the project. The bank will end up with the house, that kind of thing.

              He’s still learning how to cope without his drug. I’m basically blocking the arbitration out of my mind for now. My mantra is… by this time next week it will be over and we won’t be dealing with the unknowns anymore.

              Thanks for the good luck wishes! xo

              Liked by 1 person

              • That makes sense about co-addiction ongoing with work. I wasn’t thinking when I said that.

                Re: How much their behavior can hurt us – – – I truly believe that they don’t think of that while doing what they do. They think if their “stuff” is in a box over here and a box over there – that we don’t know – and then what we don’t know won’t hurt us.

                But one day when they see our hurt and pain. OY.

                I know that this doesn’t make it better – but if they knew how much they were hurting us, then they’d be sociopaths for causing pain on purpose (or something like that). It’s their denial. Compartments. I don’t believe my husband wanted to hurt me. Yes – humans are complicated and I think most of us have protective mechanisms from childhood.

                I feel for both of you – this is so much.

                Your mantra is wise! In a week – no more unknowns. It sort of reminded me of how I surrendered to the process of surgery – I let the professionals do their jobs and I could face whatever “it” was, when “it” was revealed to me. (Turned out, “it” wasn’t what the doc thought – I hope good news comes your way, too.)

                You’ve got this. Strength and wisdom. xoxo

                Liked by 1 person

                • I’m so glad the doctor guessed wrong and hope you are well on your healing journey. The betrayal trauma is so strong, building ourselves back up is not easy. I’m sure your husband, like mine, is mortified by what he’s done, and they are just frankly ill-equipped to manage the destruction once it’s revealed. It’s a very emotionally demanding journey for two deeply wounded people to heal together. Wishing you continued strength!

                  So arbitration begins tomorrow morning and I have reviewed all the docs. I’m prepared and I know everyone else is too. By Sunday, we’ll be in Hawaii! 💜

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Yes. Ill-equipped. Probably part of that stems back to their childhood too – those immature parts. As you know, that part isn’t their fault – – – they survived childhood the best they could. I survived too. I was smart enough and insightful enough to get my butt into therapy when I went off on my own, so I could continue to grow. I left home a month after I turned 18.

                    It sure is emotionally (and physically!) exhausting to be on this journey. But it’s my journey. And you have yours. And that’s the way it is. I’m okay with it. I really don’t have regrets. I know my husband has regrets, and that’s his stuff to figure out and forgive himself.

                    Good luck with arbitration; I hope it’s settled as quickly as possible. I’m jealous of your Hawaii trip!!! It’s going to be a while before I am strong enough to travel. I’ll have to travel through your blog. LOL

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Right now I’m in beautiful Santa Monica, California on the beach while BE is on a conference call. 75 and sunny! Back home tonight. We travel too much. Our son has been taking care of the house and the pets, so we’re treating him to a birthday trip to Kauai & The Big Island. Timing is not great, but it is what it is. You can follow along on Instagram if you like 😁 send me an email to crazy0907cat@yahoo.com ❤️

                      Liked by 1 person

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