It doesn’t feel right when you care for someone- when their emotions matter to you- and you know that your actions are hurting them. Even if you’re only engaging in those actions to protect yourself. It still doesn’t sit well and it shouldn’t. When you care for someone it still gnaws at you, that in protecting yourself, you’re hurting someone that you care about.
I see the weariness in my husband’s face. I know he’s wondering how long this latest cold front against him is going to last and I want to reach out, but I can’t. I know everything outwardly about me shows indifference towards him but inside I feel waves of emotions- I love him. I want to comfort him, but I’m afraid to. I want to cross over this massive gulf and believe that it’s safe on the other side with him but I’m terrified to do that. I want to create and live in these new moments but it’s very rare that I can experience anything new with him without feeling the taint of his old, sordid life.
I know this pit that I’ve curled up in to so well by now. I’ve spent so much time in it. It’s on my side of the massive gulf, and behind the large, thick wall. It’s here that I go running every time the offensive trigger is too much. When the mind movies of him and her are so clear. It’s where I go to ensure that the distance between him and I is safe enough for me.
After the affair- this is where I feel the most safe now. This is the one place I know I won’t get hurt. It’s sad and lonely but it’s safe. It’s my place. He can never come here. He can never taint this place. I know I can’t stay here forever and I won’t, but in this pit I can heal once again. I can recover and build myself up. I can cycle through my grief again.
I know he’s sorry. I know he’s hurting. I’ll get back to him. His sadness weighs on me but for now – in my pit- the only person that matters is me.
It’s been 28 months since Dday. I have been struggling for the past week since the last trigger. I feel like sometimes they just pile on. My family and my siblings and their families traveled out of state for a wedding this weekend. We did some fun things but there are still things that cause me to struggle. We went to a waterpark last Friday and there was a woman in a bikini whose body reminded me so much of the ow. Her bikini accentuated the part of her body that my husband was so attracted to on the ow that he just had to iniate a relationship with her.
The woman at the water park was there with her family. Her husband and her were packing on the pda. Every time I would see them I would think about how my husband went away with the ow on a beach trip and would imagine them all over each other. And I hate it. I’m so tired of all these thoughts and weary of fighting through these triggers. I feel like every time I make some progress, something comes up and I’m pulled back to all the pain, hurt, and anger.
Then there’s my husband, who I’ve been communicating with on as a needed basis only for the past week. My son made a comment yesterday that I wasn’t really talking as much as I used to. I just told him that sometimes I don’t feel much like talking. But at the water park, my daughter wasn’t feeling well so I sat with her at the wading pool area. My husband helped my brother and sister in law with their 3 young kids. He paid for a cabana for all of us as well as dinner. At the wedding he took my sister’s daughter for a little bit and danced with her – which means a lot to me -because my brother in law isn’t really the best dad and I like when my husband steps in and shows her and my other niece a good model of what a dad is.
In so many ways he shows me how different he is than the man who cheated on me. That he is the man I believed him to be. He’s trying to be considerate of the things that matter to me. He’s trying to be consistent in showing me that he cares even as I pull away. I want to be better and do better for him too. But I find it so hard to reconcile this man with the man who purposely hurt me for 10 months. Who didn’t think about me or my children for 10 months. Who brought the ow to our home and bed. Who made an awful comment about my dad while he was in the hospital because his hospitalization meant we had to cancel our anniversary trip. Who lavishly spoiled the ow. I hate, loathe and despise that man. That awful, disgusting man makes it so hard for me to love this man. That man has filled me with pain so deep that 28 months later it still hasn’t run dry.
I want to love my husband. He deserves it. I have not gone easy on him. I have not been gracious. He has felt my full fury. He has spent nights sleeping on the floor of his tiny office at work. He has been humiliated in front of his family. I know he still has so many issues to deal with and work through but my God he has been fighting hard for me. I just need to forgive him for ever forgetting about me and our children. I just don’t know how.
I hate them! Had a pretty bad one yesterday- it was at a celebration and in a conversation with friends but it was awful. It hit me pretty hard and I had to hide in the bathroom for a bit because the tears just couldn’t be held back.
I hate that they can hit anytime and catch me completely unprepared and how deeply they still affect me. How unsafe they can make me feel!
It’s sucks- I ended up texting the friend who I was talking to when the trigger happened. She apologized but I told her there was no way she could have know – it was one of those “isn’t it such a small world? ” conversations. I asked some questions to clarify that the person mentioned wasn’t the ow and it’s not! I feel better but I hate the yucky, sick to my stomach feeling it causes!
Things are okay. I’m trying to focus on the good- even though the past and all its hurt is always still there. Sadly, it’s still present- ready to swallow me up and envelope me completely if I give it the slightest chance.
Last night I had a dream that reminded me so much of Dday. In my dream all the similarities of Dday, thankfully, lead up to nothing but before I become aware of that, what I feel is terror. There’s absolute dread inside of me as I wonder what I will find. It was so heavy that it woke me up and it’s stayed with me all day.
Wayward spouses, I wish you could understand the damage your betrayal causes. That when things seem off or certain things feel too similar to how it did in the past- it’s not a simple concern that is felt.
I will never understand how my husband could commit adultery. I will never understand how he could justify it. I will never understand his ability to deceive me and I will never understand how he could reassure me when I brought up my concerns. He manipulated my trust in him completely.
I know he’s sorry and he’s done so much good. I smile thinking about all the good he’s doing now as a husband and as a father. But the way he broke my heart- I don’t know if it will ever fit just right again. It won’t be the same. It can’t be. All those good and wonderful moments in our lives where the joy should be brimming over – it doesn’t.
That’s what terror does. It runs deep and you can’t unfeel it. It halts the joy that was once innocent, trusting and uncontainable. I think back to the times I believed so easily and could just feel without any hesitation or restraint. I envy it but I also shake my head at the foolishness of it.
I wish I knew going into marriage that It’s a foolish thing to trust the man you love. The man who asks you to spend a lifetime with him. The man who you create a family with. The man you plan a future with. The man who reassures you with loving words. Those words were lies and now when you start feeling those feelings of trust, you’ll get yanked back hard by the terror you walked through. It will protect you from ever being foolish again.