We had a pretty good therapy session the other day. We are continuing our boundaries discussion. Overall, it was good progress after feeling stagnant for quite some time.
There were a few negative feelings that cropped up for me though that I’m really having some trouble with.
A few years ago, right before and during his affair, he was having major problems with his business partner (which he is no longer partners with). He would come home every night and unload all of his stress and anger and irritation on me. It was ALL we would talk about. He would say how much he disliked this man and how he couldn’t work with him anymore, but then travel with him ALOT. That part was really confusing to me. But the bigger part of this is that I told my husband I couldn’t talk about this all the time anymore. That this was consuming our marriage. I did not say I wouldn’t talk about it with him at all, just that I needed a break as it was exhausting me. He took that and decided I was unsupportive, not there for him, I suck, blah, blah, blah. It was one of many factors he used to justify his affair. I brought this up to him. That this hurt. I was setting a boundary and he vilified me and used it to cheat. He said he understood. That at the time he didn’t recognize it as a boundary, but gets it now.
The other issue that arose for me is this lingering feeling that cheating has always been a boundary for me. And when it happened, I stayed. I did not leave as I said I would. I know its easy to say how you would act in a certain situation and then when it happens realize its not so black and white. But I think that’s been eating at me. I think that combined with unhealthy boundaries all around, its a bit much. Adding to that is a comment he made in therapy. When we were stating our boundaries, one of mine was cheating (dishonesty in general). I told him I will not give another chance in this arena. I told him that if he’s doing anything that he feels he needs to hide, he shouldn’t be doing it. If he is deleting texts so I won’t see them, he shouldn’t be doing it. If he does something that he knows/thinks I’d be hurt/pissed about, he shouldn’t be doing it. I told him I want to hear things from him, not other people. I don’t want to learn what is happening in our marriage because of my detective work. I want active and rigorous honesty. So the comment came when I said cheating again is a deal breaker for me. He said that he wouldn’t have given me a second chance at all. Ouch.
That hurts. I’m wondering why I am giving a second chance to someone who wouldn’t give the same to me. It feels shitty and I’m seriously questioning why I’m staying and if its the right choice. I brought this up to him later. He said I’m a stronger person than he is. Yeah, no shit.
We were talking last night and he was saying some things he admires in his siblings. I asked what he admires about me. He struggled to find something. Then said he admires the love and relationship I have with our kids. That they are who they are because of me. He sees that I handle pretty much everything that concerns them. All nice. But that’s all he could come up with. He did say that because of where we’ve been for so long, he was struggling to see through that, and be able to see me and what I bring. I kind of get that, but you don’t see anything else in me that you admire?
All of that wrapped together is weighing on me. I’m not feeling good about being in this marriage right now. I’m not feeling respected, valued and loved. Hell, how can he treat me that way if he can’t get through his own shit to see it? That type of thinking was present for him to have his affair. And apparently hasn’t improved.