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Fear is the anticipation of pain.

Fear of failure. Fear of being hurt – physically and emotionally. Fear of being vulnerable. Fear of giving someone a chance to hurt you a second time.

Do I stay or do I go? Why can’t I decide for sure? Is it fear? I think some of my inability to decide stems from the fact that I just don’t know where I stand right now. I’m heeding advice of not making a life changing decision any time soon. I need to get my emotions balanced out and my head on straight before doing that. I also need to see what changes occur in myself, my husband and our marriage. We are both currently behaving in ways that don’t do further damage. But are we behaving in ways to reconcile? To heal? To make amends to each other? I think in order to decide to stay I will need to see proof of new found fidelity, trust, love, compassion and commitment. I will need to see continued transparency, open communication and understanding. I need to feel special. I need to know that what he does for me he wouldn’t do for just anyone. I need to know he isn’t going to run at the first sign of danger. That he is in it for the long haul. That we can work through problems together, supporting each other. I will need to see a willingness to let go of the past. Let go of resentment. Let go of anger, hurt, pain. Let go of judging me now based on my past. Let go of assumptions. Let it all go and start over. Reinvent ourselves. Reinvent our marriage.

I need him to talk to me about his emotions. He said he got so used to compartmentalizing that he didn’t think about stuff. But he really didn’t do that. He just got used to not talking with me. Some of that is my fault. I made it very difficult for him to come to me. I can admit and accept that. However, he isn’t unable to talk to me. He’s afraid to. He wasn’t afraid to talk to her. He was quite good at talking to her, actually. Their whole relationship was based on talking. So he isn’t someone that doesn’t want to talk. He just needs to realize that he can talk to me.

He’s also told me that he feels emotionless most of the time from his ability to compartmentalize so well. He isn’t emotionless. He’s afraid of his emotions. Afraid of letting them out. I’ve seen him cry many times in the past few months, sometimes even in public. Hell, he cried in front of her the night they had sex. That’s not someone who is emotionless. That’s someone in intense pain. Pain that they stuffed down for too long. I know this pain. I’ve lived it. It doesn’t mean you don’t have emotions. You just learn to ignore them. You put up a wall so you don’t feel as much. Since the start of his affair in May 2013 he started drinking more. He got drunk alot. His behavior became more reckless. That’s not someone who is emotionless. Its someone running from his emotions. Avoiding them. Hiding, hoping they don’t find him in the dark. Its easier to run than deal with your pain. But eventually, the monster catches you and you have to deal with it. Except now its harder to destroy the monster and came out unscathed.

We have both told each other that we just can’t let go for some reason. Is it just history? Our daughter? Our assets? Or is it something bigger? Am I naive if I think its something bigger, like we’re meant to be together? That his affair was the kick in the ass we both needed to get over our past and build a better future? A future we both deserve.

In my quest to move on and be positive, to use this experience as a catalyst for change, I do alot of reflection and soul searching. In some ways I feel like we hurt each other so bad but yet held on. Doesn’t that count for something? Have some meaning? Or am I just looking for something that isn’t there? He felt our marriage was over and became vulnerable to an affair. But something in him decided to end that “friendship”. He told her that he wanted to work on us.  So he’s hanging on. With me but not really with me. He’s there and I can see that he’s trying. But he’s also holding back. Afraid. Afraid to love me. Afraid he’ll get hurt again.

I can’t say I blame him. I have the same fears.

We cannot start over, but we can begin now and make a new ending.