I am experiencing anger and resentment. I’m also feeling confusion. I am not certain how I feel. I don’t know how much more effort I’m willing to put in. This feels like so much work and I question if it should be. I question if we’re right for each other. I question if there’s just too much damage to overcome.
We don’t tell each other “I love you”. We don’t kiss. Hug. Snuggle. Hold hands. At least not with any consistency. I wonder if the lack of intimacy coupled with the anger and resentment is contributing to my emotions at the moment (at the beginning of the month when we were on our trip and had tons of intimacy I wasn’t feeling like this). I’m also on my period, which I will admit gets me in a bad mood every month (there are times I don’t know what has come over me and then I get my period and my thoughts, behavior, etc makes sense).
The last few times we’ve had sex, I’ve initiated. He talks about how we’re going to have sex and then he falls asleep. Which I’m ok with. But I am resentful because in the past when it was in reverse (me not following through) he took it as rejection and used it against me to justify his affair.
I’m tired. Tired of him being so fucking defensive, even when I ask questions in a calm, non-combative manner. Instead of asking for clarification of the question, he jumps to defense mode and attacks. I don’t have the fight in me anymore to keep doing that.
I know I have this anger and resentment and it could be feeding my doubts. But I still doubt that I’ve been told the full truth about his affair. I’m not sure that feeling will ever change. I know that he could be telling me the truth, but there is enough doubt due to the way he handled himself and the number of coincidences still out there. There are still gaps in his story. Shit that doesn’t add up. I don’t know if him consistently being open and honest will erode this feeling or not.
I’m resentful for the years he’s been threatening to leave. The countless times he told me during a fight that he wants a divorce. But then never followed through. And then one of the times he decides we’re done he has an affair. Of course he didn’t tell me we were done. Yes, he said once more he wants a divorce but he made no action to divorce me. He didn’t tell me of his new “friend”. He still asked me to go to Cedar Point the weekend of our anniversary, just days after his trip with her. He told me he stayed because I asked him to see if we could fix our marriage. Which was a load of shit because he was cheating on me while supposedly working on our marriage. He was continuing to lie to me while supposedly working on our marriage.
His continued defensiveness and threats to leave make me feel unsafe in this marriage. This is not something new. I feel that I can’t be honest about my feelings. I can’t let my pain and anger out, without fear that he is going to leave. It’s no way to live. I’ve done it for too long and am no longer interested in this type of dysfunction.
He made a comment once that he thought that Lindsay may have thought he was a good guy because he was trying so hard to figure out why I didn’t love him. I don’t think he realizes how insane this thought process is. So, he’s a nice guy because he turned to another woman and had both an emotional and physical affair? He’s a nice guy because he tried to fix what was wrong inside his home by going outside of his home? He said he wasn’t looking for an affair, which I do believe. He said he talked to her because she was the only one that would talk to him. However, he also told me he never would have talked to her to begin with if she was heavier. I guess I didn’t know that friends had a weight limit.
I have an issue with the fact that as recent as early December he once again made a comment about me deserving to be cheated on or at the very least seen it coming. This makes me so angry. This is not him taking full responsibility for his actions. He doesn’t show much remorse to begin with (at least not the way I want to see it), so couple that with these comments and I really don’t believe he is truly remorseful. He said he said those things out of frustration. People generally don’t say things that they don’t believe. At least to a slight degree. Also, does that mean I can go off and attack him and then chalk it up to being angry and frustrated? He said he wasn’t explaining what he meant right and needed our therapists help. I agreed to table the discussion until we go again. Which this being unresolved is eating at me. He can blame me 100% if that’s how he truly feels. I just am not going to stay in a marriage like that. If he blames me AT ALL for his affair – I’m out. I do not want to be with a man that can cheat on me – and then blame me for it. Not the character and integrity of someone I can build a future with. It pisses me off that he not only allowed me to carry the burden of his affair, but he placed the weight on my shoulders. I refuse to accept any responsibility for his actions. I will and do accept responsibility for my actions and behavior. I know that I wasn’t honest with him about my abortion. I know I kept him at arm’s length. I know that I caused damage to him and our marriage. The difference is I OWN it. I could blame him for my trust issues because he’s been consistently lying to me for twenty years about when he spends time with other females. But I know that I didn’t always make telling the truth easy because of the trust issues I brought into the relationship. He brought rejection issues into the relationship and I truly believe that no matter what I would have done he would have felt rejected in some way. He feels rejection from our daughter. He feels it from his parents. His peers. His siblings. There is no way I could measure up and never make him feel rejected. And he used this against me. He used it as justification for his affair.
We both took our insecurities and turned it into the other’s flaws. I always thought he wasn’t trustworthy and would abandon me (my issues that I brought into the relationship. He was guilty until proven innocent). This was compounded by his lies throughout our relationship and his threats to leave. I eventually shut down completely. This is when our marital problems really took a turn for the worst. He always felt rejected, so me rejecting him sexually and emotionally over the course of our marriage compounded his fears. He chose to cheat to cope.
I am resentful of how he re-wrote our history to justify his affair. He saw everything through a negative lens. He forgot A LOT of the good stuff I’ve done. Focused only on what he perceived me to be lacking. And I will own that some of the negative was true. But that’s all he saw. I’m sure when he was cataloging my faults to his girlfriend and saying how I rejected him he left out the time we had sex in the woods at a wedding, or when I made him dinner wearing only an apron, the countless times we’d had sex in the car or when I’d buy sexy lingerie for him, or body paints and flavored body dust and many other things. Or how I’d take care of him when he was sick. He focused on the last time he was sick and I treated him the way he treated me when I was sick – nonexistent (another thing that was held against me and used as justification for his affair). The time I went to the pharmacy and picked up his prescription for warts on his hand because he was too embarrassed since the medicine was also used for genital warts. I did that while he was having his affair, I just didn’t know it. I also ran out and got him medicine for a rash he had, also while having his affair. I found out later he contacted her about it since she’s a nurse (a cardiac nurse but he checked with her on a rash – oh and we have a fucking doctor and ask a nurse but whatever, I know it was an excuse to contact her. He must have been feeling rejected and needed an ego boost). I’m sure he left out the times I sat with him when he had to work late. The times I’d bring him dinner when he had to work late or on weekends. The times on my own birthday I’d bring pizza to him and his employees. The amount of time I spent alone. Then alone with our daughter while he was working or going out or just plain old too busy. Add in the time I spent working full time and being a single parent while he gallivanted with her. I bet he didn’t mention the years I spent not being a priority in his life. But, I’ll even own that. I allowed him to treat me that way. I didn’t have the skills to have an affective conversation about it and resorted to passive aggressive behavior, which only made the situation worse. Did he mention when I had my gallbladder out that he saw me in the hospital for 10 minutes and brought friends with him and went out after? Did he mention when I had our daughter that she and I sat around for hours waiting for him to come pick us up? I sat there REJECTED on the verge of tears with every nurse asking me if I had a ride. Waiting. Embarrassed. Then when we got home I begged for several hours for him to pick up my pain pills. I’m guessing those details were left out.
I know she saw good in him that I was no longer seeing. And I will own that. I let my resentment of many events spanning a 20 year history affect me. I allowed his treatment of me to affect me and thus my treatment of him. He did the same in reverse. And the dance carried on that way for years. I also know that if she wasn’t damaged, she would have never have gotten involved with him.
I’m resentful that for YEARS I got the husband that was focused more on his career than his wife. That put everything before his wife. I got the vacations where I couldn’t get my own fucking t-shirt as a souvenir (we had to share). She got the party cabana, unlimited drinks and party time and vacation guy. Fun guy. Spend all the money in the world on a good time guy. What girl with massive issues wouldn’t want that? Of course she thought he was amazing and couldn’t understand why the mean old wife wasn’t just over the moon in love with her husband.
He once stated he knew what he was doing was wrong, he just didn’t care (which I get because its how I acted in Nashville, I just didn’t have an affair and fuck someone else). I think that’s the hardest part to “get over”. He had such lack of respect for me. Such lack of basic human compassion. He was off cheating on me and treated me like I was the scum of the earth the entire time. He treated me like I was the entire problem in our marriage. He was quick to point out my faults and how I was failing him. But, he left out the details of him having his slice on the side. That makes me very angry.
I think most of this resentment is coming from him not accepting full responsibility for his affair (or at least my perception of that). After completing EMDR I now know without a shadow of a doubt that I didn’t cause him to cheat. Our marriage didn’t cause him to cheat. He caused himself to cheat. His insecurities. His weakness.
I’m not finding other men attractive but I am wanting the feelings he got during his affair. I want to feel special. I want the excitement of something new. Someone telling me how great I am. Someone younger complimenting me. Seeing all the good in me that he hasn’t and doesn’t see. Hell, sex with someone I haven’t been having sex with for the last 22 years. I want the lack of responsibility. The being able to just do whatever the hell I want with no consequences. To not care how my actions may hurt another person. To go off and party in a poolside cabana. To be free.
In an attempt to be fair and balanced, I will say that he has many good qualities.
He is making more time for family. He still struggles with balance. There does always seem to be some drama going on that takes precedence (especially right now as he is dissolving his business partnership). But he’s getting better trying to find balance. He’s at least recognizing it now.
He paid for my EMDR therapy. I do think in part for selfish reasons on his part (if I’m “cured” we can move on), but I think his main motive was just to see me get better. He was very proud of me when I completed the therapy so quickly.
He is being encouraging and supportive regarding me being out of work and trying to figure out a new career path.
He is encouraging and supportive of me having more time to myself.
He is picking up some slack with the kids and around the house, sometimes without me even asking.
I had some family drama crop up over the holidays to which he was very supportive of.
He is committed to his own therapy and our couples therapy.
He has committed to stop threatening me with divorce.
I asked him what changes he’s making to not repeat an affair when he feels rejected again. He said he will use the communication skills he’s learned to talk to me about how he’s feeling. He said if he truly doesn’t want to be in this relationship, he will exit. And he’ll exit before going down that path.
I do believe that his affair was out of character for him. I do believe it was a one time event. I do believe he acted out. He acted out from his pain, both what he brought into our relationship and what he picked up along the way. I do believe that he has grown since his affair. He is able to communicate better and more effectively. He needs to work on getting defensive and active listening, but he’s making progress.
The only things I know for sure are this:
*I will not be with a man that blames me for his affair in ANY way
*I will no longer tolerate not being a priority
*I will no longer tolerate disrespect
*I will no longer tolerate lies of any sort
*I am responsible for my happiness
*I will speak up and speak my mind in a respectful way
*I will continue self-care
*I will do my best to remain in the moment and not live in the past ( I see the irony of this statement based on this entire rant, but I also know that if I don’t address these emotions and move them along they will fester and I will stay stuck in the past)
*I will do my best to continue to communicate effectively
*I will hold myself to the same standards of respect and honesty as I expect from others
*I will allow myself to be who I am with no apologies
*I will continue to work on being vulnerable
*We are all a work in progress
I have an appointment with my therapist tomorrow. She may need to charge me double!