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.