Every Limbo Boy and Girl

The initial paperwork is completed and turned in to the mediator. Now we wait for our next appointment.

For the most part, our lives are continuing status quo. We’ve gone to functions together. We have dinner plans with another couple in a few weeks. My parents and his parents have been over for dinner. We are trying to keep things normal for the kids. It can be awkward at times, but I’d rather have it this way than not being able to be in the same room as him. My friend refers to her ex as “fuckface”, my sister refers to her ex as “db”, short for douchebag.

I don’t want to be in that place. I have pain that I still need to heal. I still have moments when the thoughts of what he did piss me off, but they are becoming fewer and farer (is that a word?) between. I hate what he did, but I don’t hate him. I guess I’m mostly indifferent where he is concerned. I’m disappointed that my marriage didn’t work. I feel a sense of loss, but I don’t know that its because I’m losing him. I wonder how much of my fight and determination to keep my marriage was really about him and how much was just because I didn’t want to admit to myself that my marriage isn’t working and we just can’t fix it.

I read an article recently that talked about how divorcing is a state of limbo. I can relate. I‘m trying to not get ahead of myself. I want to be prepared and plan for the future, but realize I can’t predict it or control it. I can only have the best plan I create with the information I have now and be flexible. 

There is fear. Fear of how my kids will adjust and cope. Fear that I won’t make ends meet. Fear that I will live paycheck to paycheck and never get beyond that.

There is also a feeling of relief. I’ve been living in limbo in my marriage for damn near a decade. I’ve endured threats of divorce, an affair, lack of love and just general disrespect. I’ve also not been all -in myself. I never decided to leave, but I also was never willing or able to jump in. As disappointing as divorce is, the way I was living is actually the tragedy.  My marriage ending isn’t what I wanted for my life, but at least now there is a direction.

Through all this fear, I also see opportunity. I see the opportunity to create my OWN life. I’ve never lived on my own. I’ve never made all the decisions. It can be a bit scary, but I believe it will be good for me in so many ways. I see opportunity to focus on my dreams and aspirations. I bought a franchise last year and have done nothing with it. I’ve spent so much time and energy on this marriage that I’ve let a lot of things important to me go. I look forward to getting back to the gym on days I don’t have my kids. My sister and I are also working on creating passive income for ourselves by partnering up on some investments.

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Its Getting Deep

We met with the mediator Wednesday. We had a bit of a blow up Tuesday night (probably caused by nerves & emotions) so I was a little on edge going into the appointment. It went well. We have some paperwork to complete and then go back to start making decisions. We have talked a few times about division of assets and support and I believe are pretty close to an agreement. We will start a co-parenting plan with our therapist soon. I will most likely not move out until after the new year for various reasons. Finances being a big one, followed by lack of affordable housing in the areas I want to live. Houses are selling very quickly right now and rentals are very expensive. As of now, we are cohabiting relatively nicely. There are moments its really hard, others where it feels like nothing has changed and other moments that feel easier without the weight of trying to “fix” us.

While I believe divorce is the best option for me at this point, I HATE thinking about how it is going to affect my kids. I think they are the reason I’ve held on. Them and fear. And a wacked sense of loyalty.

For a long time I had hope that things would improve between he and I. At times they did. I have some very loving, fond memories of our entire relationship, including some great times post affair. I also have some very ugly, hurtful memories. And it seems the bad outweighs the good. It seems neither of us are really able to let go of the hurt from the past and sustain vulnerability with each other. He says he has let it all go, yet his actions and words don’t support that.

I have let go of the pain pre-affair. I’m actually in a good spot with the pain of his affair. Its post-affair that I’m struggling with. It really boils down to his attitude about the affair and things he did not do to make amends. I mean, you can’t make it right. Can’t take it back. Can’t make it go away. But there are things a “cheater” can do to reflect their remorse and empathy. And that is what lacked. He had moments, chunks of time, that he was able to show it. I believe he tried to show it, but in his love language instead of mine, so the message wasn’t received. An example is buying me a car. That does not equal remorse and empathy in my book. Sitting with me, holding me and reassuring me while I fell apart is what I needed. And he did that…sometimes. I needed to let out my pain without hearing about the pain I caused him. I needed him to just listen to understand.  I needed him to come out of his comfort zone emotionally. I needed him to sit in the uncomfortable shit his affair created. I need him to stand up and tell me that he knows he was a complete piece of shit for what he did, that I didn’t deserve it and he will do what needs to be done for as long as it needs to be done. And he did that…once or twice and thought that should be enough.

In the midst of the occasional show of support, care and concern were threats of divorce. Continued flirting with other females. Other lies. Those behaviors coupled with the fact that the limited remorse and empathy were sporadic – were just not enough for me.

I have moments of anger, which is really just masked pain. I’m hurt. Hurt that he couldn’t step up the way I needed him to after he cheated on me. But if I dig deeper, I’m hurt because of how I treated myself. I didn’t stand up for myself. I didn’t value and love myself. I didn’t treat myself with respect. I didn’t treat myself how I deserve to be treated. So why am I so shocked and hurt that he treated me the same? I’m upset with myself for not demanding more of him right after his affair. For not standing up for myself early on. For not speaking my mind. For holding back what I really thought and felt at times. I wasn’t living authentically and honoring myself. And perhaps that is where the greatest source of my pain lies.

I know I have some rough times ahead.  I also know that some wonderful opportunities will show themselves when the time is right. I’m focusing on what I need to heal and be my best self. I’m educating myself on finances and ways I can invest and make passive income so I’m less reliant on him for support – and so I can live the future I dreamed of (being self employed or semi-retired making passive income so I can travel and live how I want).

My future may not be with him, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emotions

All these emotions are exhausting. It doesn’t help that my period is around the corner and I’m not sleeping well. I completely and utterly fell apart yesterday. I only had to work 2 hours as I had a long week. My stbx (soon to be ex – not sure how else to refer to him now) spent the day with our daughter. I spent the day with our son. Today we switch. We’ve done “date days” with the kids since our daughter was young.  Anyway, my song and I were on our way to mini golf and he fell asleep. He was so cranky before he passed out that I did not wake him up. He slept through the transfer out of the car. I put him on the couch and he slept for about 3 hours. While he slept, I cried so uncontrollably I could hardly breath and felt nauseous. My eyes are still swollen and sore. And I have a wicked headache. Doesn’t help that I only slept a few hours.

I’m sad. Disappointed. Afraid. Angry. Hurt. Defeated. Exhausted. With him. And myself.

I feel loss. We have a long history and I thought we’d have a future. I think he sees the negative and I tend to gloss over the negative to try and focus on the positive. When I think about our past its mainly the happy memories and good times that stand out. But when I take a deeper look (like going through photos and reliving the events) I am reminded of a shitty comment he made, how I was ignored or just treated with disregard and disrespect. Not all the time, but enough. And I’m sure he can say the same. I certainly carry responsibility for the state of our marriage as well.

Its really difficult. I feel like we’ve had some really great times and I’ve felt so cared for and loved but not on a consistent basis. He is capable of amazing romance, deep love and at the same time can be the coldest person I’ve met. I suppose the same could be said for me. The times when we’ve been vulnerable with each other were incredible. The greatest feeling. The connection. The sex. The intimacy. The love. All amazing. But when one of us pulls back and we get distance between us – its the coldest, darkest, most isolating feeling to me.

I’m mostly wondering what is wrong with me that I stayed with a man that has been bringing up divorce for at least a decade. A man that then cheated on me for at least a year and a half and continued to threaten divorce. A man that blamed his actions and behaviors on me at first. A man that has had issues with honesty and transparency our entire relationship. A man that doesn’t treat me as a priority or a partner. A man that has looked at me in such a negative light for so long he is blind to see all the ways I’ve given to him and this marriage. All of his behavior and actions and words are on him. I don’t carry that weight. What I need to explore is why I allowed it to happen. Why I kept staying. Time after time. What hurts me the most right now is that I stayed with a man that cheated on me and fought like hell. Only for him to decide he still doesn’t want me. I know he doesn’t decide my worth. But it still fucking hurts like hell. That I kept coming back to be punched in the gut again and again. Why did I never walk away?

I can’t go back and change anything. I can only learn from all of this and become stronger. And I will. In some ways I already am. This is the first time he has said divorce that I haven’t tried to save us. Every single time before I kept us talking. I kept the fight alive. I can’t and won’t do it anymore. Its not fair to me. Apparently I found some self respect. As much as I don’t want my marriage to end, the marriage I’m in (and have been for some time) isn’t healthy for me. Its not serving me in a good way. And as much as I can focus on the good in him and the good in us – its not enough. I wish we could have sustained the good marriage we’ve had at times.

I feel more centered today. I guess I just needed to let all that pain out. I know there will be many more days like yesterday. I know it will get worse before it gets better. I’m just trying to take each day as it comes. Its too overwhelming to have this all figured out today. So I’m trying my best not to try.

The End of the Road

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My husband and I have decided to divorce. It was once again him that uttered the words. Deep down I believe its what is best. For us. For me. For my kids. I am struggling to accept it. I have fought so damn hard for so long. To have it fail sucks. And I’m forever an optimist that things can work out.

I do take comfort in knowing that there is nothing else I could have done. I’ve worked on my own shit. Worked on repairing a marriage after an affair. While I feel there is more he could have done – he probably did everything he was capable of. And really, this isn’t just about his affair. Its about a lot of ways that we just didn’t love each other. Or respect and honor each other. We didn’t do the small proactive things that keep a marriage thriving.

We met with our therapist to start a mediation and co-parenting plan. The thought of telling my kids KILLS me. I have wanted this to work. I have hoped. Prayed. But it just hasn’t quite gotten there. We’ve been so damn close. Yet we can’t get “there”. We are unable to sustain vulnerability with each other. For whatever reason. Years of ignored and thus unhealed pain most likely.

I’ve been wondering how much fear has kept me in place. I’m afraid. Afraid I’m going to ruin my kids’ lives. Afraid I’m going to live in poverty and not be able to enjoy life. Afraid he will become a “better” man for another woman. Afraid that I won’t be able to find another man with the qualities I love most in him. I know these are common and valid fears. I also know that most of these fears aren’t going to come to reality. I know its going to worse before it gets better. I know I need to grieve this loss. I need to grieve what I thought my future looked like, with him in it. I also know I have people I can count on for support and guidance. And I need to continue to heal. I need to learn why I stayed unhappy for so long. Why I continued to come back to him after so many threats of divorce and an affair. I have work to do on myself. And I’m worth it. My kids are worth it.

I know that in the end, I will be good. My kids will be good.

Divorce isn’t what I wanted for my life. Still isn’t. But it may be exactly what I need. As scary as it is.

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The Promised Land

How do the couples that stay together after an affair get to a “better relationship”? And how long does it take to get there?

I stayed with the hope and desire that we could be one of those couples. One that not only survived, but thrived – as cliché as it sounds. I hoped that we could find a way past his life altering decisions and betrayal.

Its going on five years. I don’t feel the sharp stabbing pain like I used to. Now its a dull ache. An invisible scar.

I wonder why we haven’t gotten “there” yet – that sought after land of healed. Better. A place where we’ve learned from the experience but have let it go. The promised land those other couples talk about. What have those couples got that we don’t? What made it possible for those couples? What did they do?

I know there is no easy answer. No simple formula. No path that works for every couple.

I’m just exhausted. Emotionally. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. And literally, thanks to chronic sleep deprivation. There is so much more to why than his affair, but I’m too worn out to put it into words.

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Wondering

I got back Thursday from a cruise. His cousin from Texas turned 50 so we went for her birthday. I’ve always liked her. We have travelled with her a lot over the years. We get along great. Her husband, two sons (and their significant others) and my in-laws all went. We went to Mexico, so it was hot and sunny – a much needed change from the freezing temps and snow in PA.

Overall, the trip was fantastic. I was more in the moment than I’ve been in a very long time. My husband and I were at ease. Getting along. Having good sex and sleeping naked (can only do that on trips as we get too many visits from our children in the night). We ended up in a room next door to an old friend that we didn’t know was going to be on the boat. It was unreal.

Things were going great. Until…..

One of our stops was Cozumel. We went to Senior Frogs and drank. A lot. Still having fun, joking, dancing. There was a group of college girls in the bar. Our birthday girl is a very social person, especially when drinking. She went over the group to tell them that she is 50 and can party better than them (she was being fun and joking about it). So of course these girls then come over and start talking to us. They were talking to the younger “kids” in our group. One of the guys in our group asked my husband if he met these girls and his response was “no, I’m married”. To which I thought “WOW”. That’s new. Its good. I also thought, what would he have said if I wasn’t there?

Fast forward a few more drinks. More shots. I look over and my husband is now with this group of girls with his arms around two of them. Yeah. Not cool. We talked about my boundaries not that long ago. Being overly flirtatious is one of them. I watch this for a few minutes. I have to pee. He is on the way to the bathroom. As I walk by I pinched his arm and kept walking. When I got out of the bathroom, he was back over with our group and motioned for me to come over. He stated that the pinch hurt and already left a mark. That if I didn’t like what he was doing, I should have signaled him some other way.

I immediately apologized for hurting him. That was not my intention. I thought I did a quick, light pinch – meant to get his attention and let him know I wasn’t ok with him hanging on these girls. He said he knew I didn’t do it to hurt him. We let it be. Continued to have fun.

Later that evening, he brought up that he was really bruising and it hurt. Again, I apologized. Hurting him was not my intent. I didn’t realize how hard I pinched him. He said “I’m here with you. This is where I want to be. I want you. You will be happier when you realize that.” I said those words don’t mean much, because you vowed those things to me before and broke them. Words aren’t enough. I can’t recall how the conversation got to the point where he said something like I should feel lucky that he didn’t cheat sooner. What. The. Actual. Fuck. Seriously???? He didn’t say it in an angry tone. I *think* he was trying to say the relationship sucked much earlier than he cheated and he hung in a lot longer than most guys would have. Still. Not much better. Cuz I was in the same relationship and I didn’t cheat. Also, if it was that bad you should have left. At one point he also brought up that I was making him lie to his family who saw the bruise and asked about it. He told his cousin truth, though he denies it. I told him I didn’t ask him to lie, nor do I expect him to. You chose to lie, don’t put that on me.

The next day, while we were laying in the sun with others around he brought it up again. And this time he was going off on me. Saying things like I am blaming him for it, that if he did it to me I’d be running around telling everyone about it, that its domestic violence and abuse. That he won’t stand for it and if it happens again he is done. All I really said back to him was that I in no way blamed him for my actions. That from the instant it happened I owned my shit. I apologized (many times), acknowledged that even though he was violating my boundary and I was triggered it wasn’t ok to do that. I acknowledged there were other ways to get his attention and let him know I wasn’t upset. I owned my shit. I showed empathy and remorse. I felt like a piece of shit – and still do. From that point on he shut me out. Not to the point that others would notice. But he stopped speaking to me. He’d speak around me. He would respond if I spoke to him. But that was it. And I get it. He’s hurt. Upset. My issue with this is – I was vilified because I would shut him out when upset. He used this as ammunition for me being a shitty wife and why he could fuck someone else.

Our last night at dinner, he took a cloth napkin and snapped me in the leg with it. Being “playful” after acting like I don’t exist for two days? I told him it hurt right then and there. He had little reaction. The next morning I told him it left a bruise and a welt. His response was and I quote “Really? It wasn’t even wet. You bruise easily.”. Another WOW moment. So after you go off on me, you bruise me and don’t even say sorry????

We’ve hardly spoken to each other since. He texted me at work and said he made a private appt with our marital therapist. She never takes one without the other’s permission and option to do the same. So I see her next week. I texted him during work saying I’d like to talk after work. That didn’t happen, but he did say he wanted to talk tomorrow (now today).

I’m really at a loss right now. His words about being lucky he didn’t cheat sooner are a major issue for me. That is not a man who gets it. A man that takes total responsibiliy for his actions and knows what he did is wrong. And I’ve had that feeling all along. I’ve talked about it alot.

My reaction to hurting him also reminded me of what true remorse looks like. I saw the bruise earlier today as he was getting out of the shower. My instinct was to go over and kiss it. Then him and apologize again. I stopped myself. I thought, no. He hasn’t even acknowledged that he left a mark on me, let alone apologized. NOT ONCE did he ever randomly come up to me and just hug me and say he was sorry for hurting me by cheating and lying. I hate how his affair has hardened me.

I am approaching 5 years later this year. I really thought a lot of this would be behind me (and us) by now. I’m wondering if this is all worth it. I’m wondering if we can really get through this shit to a better relationship. I’m wondering how much more I can -and want – to give to this marriage.

The Good with the Bad

It seems I blog to rant. Get out my pain and frustrations. I do have some positive thoughts here and there but I’ve used this space as a place to get out the negative. And it isn’t all negative. There is plenty of good in my life. And my husband’s affair isn’t the only bad.

Things with my husband have been in a more positive place lately. IF I could take his affair, its lasting scars and the questions I still have out of our marriage – I’d say its a pretty good marriage at this point. We’ve been able to safely and calmly communicate, which makes everything else so much easier to navigate. We are human, so it isn’t without misunderstanding, miscommunications, hurt feelings, falling back into old behaviors, etc.

He gets a lot of compliments on his technology skills. He runs a tech company and is by far the most talented in our region. He values his worth on his work. He needs to be the best and will stop at nothing to get there. His drive and success affords us a comfortable lifestyle. It also causes conflict and issues in our marriage. Its not as much of a problem these days, but it was for a long time. I’ve been hearing him tell people that compliment him on his business savvy and tech brain that he is good in that arena but isn’t a great husband. That our marriage suffered because of his need to be the best. That he put so much focus on his career and “being somebody” that he neglected me, my needs and our marriage. Its vindicating to hear that. He has told me that before, but hearing him tell others is powerful.

He stayed home with our kids for a few days last week when school was cancelled due to the polar vortex. I said I’d take a vacation day to stay home if he had work he couldn’t shuffle around. He said I did my time of working from home and carrying the “burden” of kids. That while he was building his business and our daughter was small he never had to worry about stuff like sick days and snow days because I handled it. I made it work (I had a very flexible job at the time). He said now its his turn. That this is the pay off from all his time and hard work. He now has employees that are in the office and he can work from anywhere.

He is setting better boundaries for himself and our marriage. He grew up in a codependent relationship with his parents. He began parenting them from a young age. He is navigating a healthier relationship with them. He has made changes at work to set boundaries with his employees. He has better boundaries with friends. He finally sees where boundaries are to protect himself. And where boundaries protect our marriage. He is no longer flirtatious. There was a time where he’d get phone numbers and birthdays of females he didn’t know that well. He never intended to call them so he didn’t see the harm (codependent – needs people to like him, got ego boost). He asked me to put something on his calendar a few weeks ago. I saw an entry for “Courtney’s Birthday”. He does have many of his clients b-days tracked for business relationships. So I asked him who Courtney is. He is pretty sure it was a waitress at a restaurant he was going to weekly with a group of guys several years ago, before discovery. He quickly deleted it and said that’s not something he does anymore. A friend of mine recently said that she noticed he doesn’t hug or kiss her on the cheek anymore. And that he only did that around the time of his affair. I hadn’t noticed, but she is right. He was huggy/kissy with a lot of females during his affair time.

When he was in the practice of getting phone numbers and birthdays, I expressed my displeasure with it. Because he didn’t understand or have any boundaries, he thought I was jealous and insecure. He made it all about me. He didn’t see where this was a problem. I said I don’t like my husband getting other female’s numbers. Our therapist said, nobody is comfortable with their husband doing that and told him how wrong it was. I don’t think it fully clicked with him that it wasn’t about me being jealous or controlling, but about healthy boundaries to insulate our marriage at that point but, to my knowledge, he hasn’t gotten any numbers since. He has been out and met people that could be a potential babysitter or business connection. When they are female, he connects them with me instead of keeping their contact info. I did not ask him to do that.

I wasn’t feeling well Friday and yesterday. He took our son out of the house so I could get some rest. He knew I wouldn’t be able to rest with the little one around as he is up my rear end constantly. My son takes mama’s boy to a whole new level.  So my husband ran several errands for me and got my oil changed in my car. I didn’t ask him to do any of it. We went to dinner and our local philharmonic with some friends last night. They played the music to Wizard of Oz live with the movie. It was fantastic.

My one issue with him right now is a stupid white lie he told the other night. He came home late. I woke up and asked him what time it was. He said 11. It was 11:52. That rubs me the wrong way. Its a stupid lie. But its a lie. Its him taking the easy way out. I was irritated that he came home so late (he told me he wouldn’t be late), but I’ll get over it. This has been and will most likely always be an issue for us. He goes out, has fun, loses track of time or can’t say hey I’ve gotta leave to the guys. I don’t know. Reality is, my kids and I were in bed. Its not like I was waiting on him for plans. What I want is for him to be able to come home and say, I was out later than I said I’d be and I’m sorry. That is taking ownership. That is being accountable. That is being honest – even when you honesty may cause a rift. THAT is the kind of honesty I need. I’m trying to not let this feed my fears about what else I don’t know. Its difficult. If I can’t count on him to be honest about what time he got home, what can I count on him for? Why would I believe that he’s telling the truth anywhere else? I know he doesn’t really get how damaging these white lies are but they have to stop. I haven’t discussed this with him yet but its coming soon. 

Life doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Its a mixture of good and bad.  The good someone does doesn’t negate the bad they do and vice versa. You have to learn to take the bad with the good, for it exists in all of us.

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The Cost of Hanging On

I’ve been in a mind suck lately. Deep down I just don’t believe he’s been honest with me about some details of his affair. This is not a new revelation. I’m really struggling with whether or not I can just accept things for how they are and move on.

I have a hamster on a wheel in my brain. She is just running and running and getting absolutely nowhere. Well, nowhere but exhausted. She does all this running and is in the same exact same place as when she started.

I’ve had many great talks with my sister recently. She’s going through a divorce and is close to it being final. Her and her husband had many issues. Her final breaking point was catching him texting a girl from church. She asked him – and then the girl – to stop. They didn’t. So she is done. The hardest part for her is that he still won’t admit that he did something wrong. He’s a blame shifter, gaslighter and never wrong kind of guy. He is extremely dishonest. He lacks self awareness and the ability to self reflect. You can’t really work through that and get to a better place.

We’ve grown closer over the past year, since her divorce was announced. I shared with her my marital issues as well. We grew up in a family that didn’t talk about stuff, especially emotions. We swept things under the rug and walked on them until they flattened out. Its sad that its taken her divorce and my near divorce about 6 times for us to create a deeper relationship. Before we truly needed each other, we were too busy hiding the chaos in our lives to really have a deeper connection. A silver lining in all this shit storm.

So, our conversations have been wonderful as of late. She supports me staying, even though she is leaving. She doesn’t judge. She actually says she admires my strength and my ability to look at a bigger picture. Whew. I need to hear that a lot! Most times I feel weak and stupid for staying (not feeling like I have the whole truth probably feeds those feelings, huh?).

We spoke the other day. She was upset about something with her soon to be ex. I reminded her that she has no control of him, nor does she want the responsibility of it. I reminded her to not sacrifice her peace to show others what a douche he is. I reminded her to focus on herself and what’s best for her, even if he gets some benefit from it.

This conversation reminded me that I need to do the same. Part of my problem (in addition to truth issue) is that I feel that if I truly move on, get past his affair and stop bringing it up – he won’t have any consequences. It will be like me approving of it, or saying it was ok. There is some “comfort” in hanging onto it. As painful as it is, its familiar. The alternative – staying and letting it all go – is scary. But, hanging on to this is costing me. Other than keeping me in fight/flight mode – this isn’t serving me anymore. I need to focus on what’s best for me. What I want. Even if it means he gets some benefit. I stayed with the hopes of having a better marriage. Hanging on to his affair isn’t helping me have that better marriage. If I can’t let go of his affair, then I need to let go of the relationship.

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He and I had a date night and a really good conversation over the weekend. He said things he’s said before – but this time I really heard him. I was able to receive it. He has said a few more things this week that are insightful, especially of the past. For so long he saw me in such a negative way that he didn’t see my value. He’s seeing it again – and has expressed where he saw it in the past. He’s been calling me and texting me during the day to just say he’s thinking of me and I’m sexy. He used to do things like this. It feels good to see him being more and more like the man I married. If I can get off the hamster wheel, I feel pretty good with the present. The “right now” has good communication, honesty, intimacy, fun, friendship, respect, support. This is the type of marriage I want. What I hoped for when I stayed. I’m cautiously optimistic. It wasn’t long ago we were talking of divorce. I’m aware this could be a honeymoon stage. But it could also be the foundation for a better marriage.

Hanging on to the past is costing me. My peace. My energy. My present. Possibly my future. It doesn’t serve me. It just keeps hurting me. I need to find a way to put this to rest. So I can focus on the blessings in my life now.

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Choices

In all my readings and therapy, one theme is clear. At some point, you have to make the choice. You have to make the choice that you are going to heal. You must make the choice that you are going to move on. I made a choice early on that I refused to let his affair break me. I refused to let his affair change my morals. I chose to fight to not become bitter and resentful. I chose to not be a victim. I chose to show grace and forgiveness, while not allowing him “off the hook”. I chose to see more than my own point of view. I chose to learn what he was going through that lead him to make such damaging choices, while not excusing his affair.

I struggle with the choice of just letting this all be. I struggle with letting it go and moving on. I stayed with the hopes of a better relationship than we had “before”.

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Does it really boil down to two choices? Choose to leave and find peace in that. Or, choose to stay and find peace in that. If choosing to stay, is it not a waste of energy to live in the past? Is it not a waste of the reason I am staying? If I want a better relationship and I want it with him, how am I creating that by living in the past? If I don’t want that, then why am I staying?

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So Many Questions

I’ve been living in this vague territory. This half in/half out, on the fence existence. I’ve been trying to dig deep and determine what it is I truly want. Well, besides the obvious. I want for my husband to have never cheated. To have never given his energy, time, emotions and body to another. To have never made the choice to deceive me, lie to me, treat me with utter disrespect and betray me. But, that is what happened. And it cannot be changed. I’ve accepted that. I’m still learning to live with it though.

I’ve made great progress and then it just kind of stalled out. I swing from wondering if its because I don’t really want to be in this marriage, if its just beyond repair, or if its me not being able to let go of the past. Or something else entirely. Is it multiple reasons?

I think what it boils down to is that I don’t believe I have the full story of his affair. I don’t want nitty gritty details. I just want to know that the questions I’ve asked (when did it end, how many times did you see each other and where are the main ones) have been answered truthfully. I don’t believe they have been. Is my hesitation to believe a consequence of being lied to? Is it my fear? Is it a way for my subconscious to protect me? Or is it intuition? This has been a problem for me since discovery.

I don’t believe I’ve been told the truth and so I don’t want to be fully vulnerable. I don’t want to fully commit. Because I don’t like how I feel about myself and what I think about myself for being with a man I don’t believe has been honest with me about his affair. How’s that for a mindfuck?

He and I spoke the other night.  I told him this thinking. Its nothing new. He’s heard this many times before. I talked about trauma and how my brain has filled in the gaps in his story. That I have a full version in my head of what happened. During the conversation, he said his affair was traumatic for him as well (he wasn’t comparing – just stating). That he doesn’t recognize who he became, doesn’t like who he became and doesn’t want to be that guy ever again.

I had a therapy appointment this week too. We talked about how I talk to myself for staying.  It appears I need to take my own advice and cut myself some slack. On the surface I do, but deep down I have some negative feelings. I have felt stupid and weak for staying. I mean, I always said I would leave. But life isn’t that black and white, is it?

I’ve thought if I don’t know the details, I’m still an outsider in my own marriage. They still share something if I am kept in the dark while they know the details. I have concern that we are building a new relationship built on a foundation of lies if I don’t have the truth. Would knowing other details change my decision? Would I leave? Am I looking for there to be more to the story so I have a reason to leave? Is it so I can simply re-piece my life together?

The one thing I know for sure is I have control of my healing. I have control of my peace. I have control of my decisions. Can I decide that I want to stay in this marriage and create the relationship I want despite wondering if I have the whole truth?