Adulting is hard

Columbia River Gorge

I’ve been a little down lately. Not sure if it is the change of seasons, change of clocks, change of scenery, or what. Pretty sure it’s not change of seasons as Autumn is my favorite and our weather here in the Pacific Northwest has been glorious. Probably not change of clocks. I’m already over the red-eye jet lag from last week, and the one hour time change this past weekend, which just makes everything darker, but that’s okay. It goes with the season. And, I certainly cannot complain about the change of scenery. Although we don’t live in Hawaii, we do live in a beautiful place.

On Sunday afternoon I was feeling pretty blah, so Blue Eyes and I took a leisurely scenic drive (with ice cream!) and of course ran up against dusk earlier than expected. The view from the spot above on the old highway was so tranquil and gorgeous. I need these little moments of peace in my day.

Blue Eyes also now has a completed space of his own in our back garden. Lucky guy!

Blue Eye’s new Tea House/Meditation Space.

I think it’s time for me to run off to my beach house. I’m longing for some alone time and a space to get physically and mentally healthier. Long walks, healthy meals for one, and plenty of time to write are on the agenda.

Today at lunch Blue Eyes and I had yet another heart to heart. Oddly enough, his therapist was sitting in the booth next to us, but we didn’t know that at the time. Anyway, his phone usage has been triggering for me. It seems most of the day, when he’s not at work, his head is buried in his mobile phone and it is keeping me off balance. It’s just one of those lingering visuals that screams… “I cheated, I lied, I talked with other women on my phone, I texted, and sexted, and emailed and betrayed you… using my phone.” So now when I see him late at night staring at his phone, or frantically typing on his phone, or taking his phone into the bathroom (ick), it gives me that awful pit in my stomach feeling. I actually don’t really care what he is doing on the phone, even if he is ordering me flowers, or texting our son, or looking at tomorrow’s weather, it doesn’t matter. It all feels the same. Some days I have even sat there and watched him and wondered what I would do if he is acting out again. Unfortunately the phone sends me to that place. Not to my closet, or to self harm, or even to tears, anymore. It sends me to an empty place. He’s not keeping his own boundaries, and I’m tired of policing him. I actually haven’t ever policed him. I used to let him know what bothered me, when it seemed to matter to him. His boundaries were set up by him, for him. For him to be a healthier person. For me, though, it’s how I gauge whether I think he is healthy, or not. Right now, he’s not.

I have been reading a book on my phone for a couple months, The Goldfinch, which I think is about 750 pages long, so on my phone it’s about 4500 pages long, lol. It was easier to load the book on my phone while we are traveling so much, than to lug it around with me. I think Blue Eyes uses my phone reading as an excuse for him to abuse his phone usage. The thing is, I never betrayed him using my phone, or anything for that matter. I never betrayed him at all. I’m reading a book. His distracted and unresponsive behavior while on his mobile gives me this edgy feeling. It makes me want to leave so I don’t have to watch it.

While at lunch today Blue Eyes talked about how he was been texting our neighbor who is dying of cancer. He doesn’t have long now. The neighbor is going to visit his mother, to say good-bye. It’s very sad. Blue Eyes’ personal assistant broke up with his girlfriend. She was making life miserable for him. He said the two-year relationship had run its course. This morning he cried in Blue Eyes’ arms. He found out the girlfriend had been cheating on him with her old boyfriend, for a while. She didn’t have the guts to break up with the PA, so she just behaved badly until he couldn’t take it anymore. He blames himself. He’s depressed. There is something wrong with him that she chose the other guy over him. Boy do I know that feeling. I feel for the kid, I really do. It sucks to be cheated on. I also hear a lot about Blue Eyes’ SA guys, and his Buddhist buddies, both men and women. I hear about clients. I’m so glad he is there for these people, but I know it is easier for him to be there for them, than to be there for me. I look at it all as a deflection from the mess he created in his own home. The funny thing is, I’m not traumatized anymore. I mean not in a totally disruptive way. I’m mostly totally functional, which I’m not sure I thought could ever happen. But I’ve done a good job of taking care of myself. Unfortunately as far as our marriage, or partnership goes, I am a reflection of him and his behavior. This is a lesson he can’t or doesn’t want to learn. He still thinks I am the enemy, to be avoided. I, apparently, carry around this tally sheet of all his bad behavior, and he should avoid it, and me. But what I really am, is a vulnerable human being who has been abused by her life partner and who wants to be treated with kindness, and respect, and love.

People used to comment a lot on this blog that I needed to focus more on myself and they were right. They felt like I spent my entire time obsessed with my husband, his behavior, his sickness. But on that, they were wrong. The thing is, and I’ve said this before, when I am by myself, I’m good. I love myself. I love being by myself. I have tested this theory many times by going away for months. Last year I even thought about buying a house in North Carolina! If I were to have zero expectations of my husband, of his behavior, of him as a partner, things would be fine. But who wants to be in a marriage with someone who isn’t doing his share of the marital load… and I’m not talking about paying the bills, or taking out the garbage, or walking the dogs. I’m talking about the actual caring, the emotional load. The hard stuff.

I know sex addicts have a long and arduous path to a place where they not only understand who and what they are and how they got that way, but also how their behavior has changed the lives of the people they supposedly “love.” Shame is a bitch and a half. I get it. But we (the partners, the family, the kids, whomever) aren’t theoretical, we’re real. We can’t be mistreated and expected to stay. That’s abuse. Simply, there are consequences for actions.

So, I’m thinking I need a break. What do you think?

26 thoughts on “Adulting is hard

  1. Kat, are you thinking “week or two at the beach house” or “therapeutic separation”? (I suppose they could both end up in the same place, but they kind of originate from different trains of thought.) The latter would selfishly make me sad, but I also understand why it might be both appropriate and necessary.

    I can completely relate to the phone issue. Handsome used a burner, but his use of his own phone is still triggering for me. I know now that he was on that burner pretty much every moment that he possibly could be on it when he was out of my sight. Instead of being home he’d find errands to run or take overtime shifts to spend more time texting/ sexting/ etc. He still uses his own phone a lot. An awful lot. And yes, I get that empty inside feeling too. So when he walks into a room now and sees me on my phone – usually, like you, reading a book on the Kindle app – and I get a big sigh and an eye roll, I’d like to scream. The lack of self-awareness is maddening sometimes.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hey blackacre. I need a little “time-out,” that’s it. Kind of like when the kids were little and I just needed a little break to clear my head, I think. Also, it helps when I am away to remind BE just exactly what is missing from his life when I’m not there. I think at first it is a relief to him, then he realizes how much he likes having me around and how much he misses me. At that point he starts to reflect on what he needs to do to be a better partner. When I am there, next to him, he feels no loss, just the same old same old and blah blah blah, I drone on. When I’m gone, there is deafening silence and it’s not that comfortable for him. Does that make sense?

      It is so true. Their lack of self-awareness is astonishingly annoying. They immediately go to that judgmental stance when we have actually not done anything to elicit it. I would suggest BE carry a mirror around with him to look at the cause of all his own grief, but he really likes to look at himself in the mirror, so I know it wouldn’t work the way I want it to. I am very much looking forward to leaving for the beach house tomorrow morning. xoxo

      Liked by 3 people

      • I’m glad it is a little break (as opposed to a big “B” Break)… I hope it is restorative for you. I do, however, find it somewhat sad that to cope with living with our SA spouses we occasionally need to get away from them. I know there’s the old “absence makes the heart grow fonder” thing, but I don’t quite believe that’s why we do it. It’s more like “you’ve sucked as much spirit out of me as I can take right now so I must get away from you.” That’s more than a bit depressing.

        Liked by 3 people

          • A few thoughts and comments… My husband used to act out when I’d go away for a weekend trip to see family or friends. I need to work on reconciling that b/c I *need* alone time too. I took one short trip away last fall. That’s it. It’s something we really should (and could) discuss.

            The phone issue. My husband used a burner too, but his was for “appointments” if you get my drift. Still, what can trigger me a bit is the INTENSITY he seems to have at times with total engrossment and scrolling on his phone. He’s not even on social media. It’s like a trance or something (at least that’s how I perceive it). That concerns me. He’s not acting out when this is happening. It’s bizarre though. Like he is on a drug.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yes, BE’s phone is a drug to him, an obsession. It doesn’t really matter at this point what he is doing on it, but that it is all encompassing and a distraction from what is right in front of him. Away time was very important to me, but it took quite a while before I was able to do it successfully. You’ll get there! ❤

              Liked by 1 person

              • I WILL get there, Kat. I will. Small steps have become bigger and bigger steps, resulting in solid growth for me.

                I just looked at the date I posted my reply (2 days ago – I thought it must’ve been longer) b/c I have since talked to my husband about “going away” and time by myself – – – he was reassuring of my needs, understanding of my concerns, and humble. I suppose it’s good that I bring up “stuff” with him ASAP.

                Good for me. And good for him — listening and responding. His brain is becoming more clear.

                Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been off kilter all week – I blame the time change. The whole family is off. Self care and less navel gazing is my plan. I’m so affected by daylight, I don’t want to go down a rabbit hole of “what is wrong with me, why am I so sad?” So I blame the time change.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know I would love to “pop” on over… 😉 There wouldn’t be any need to entertain me, I’m a great helper. Wish I could do it right now. Soon! I know you have your hands full right now. I will head to the beach tomorrow and stay as long as I can. xoxo

      Liked by 3 people

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