I recently caught The Player in white lie.
white lie – noun – a harmless or trivial lie, especially one told to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.
I recently caught The Player in white lie.
white lie – noun – a harmless or trivial lie, especially one told to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.
“Do you have any strong glue?” he asked.
I asked him what broke so I could get him the right kind.
“My soap dish,” he said. I said, “Oh that? Just toss it, we have a million of those things.”
“But (CHILD) made it and I want to keep it.”
“Are you sure? I think I made it, look on the bottom.”
He told me he already looked on the bottom and it was CHILD. He got really quiet and when I looked up he’d started to cry. He said, “If we don’t stay together, on days I can’t be with them, I want those little things that they touched. Like this soap dish.”
“Oh,” I said, “You know I’m not going to be a dick and keep you away from your kids if split up. You know that, right? Because I would never do that. Never.”
Still crying and trying to hold it in, he said, “I know that but I know I won’t see them everyday like I do now. So I want these things.”
“Okay, we can glue it back together.” When I said that, I honestly meant only the soap dish. I have no idea about the rest of what is broken in our home.
I wanted to scream at him about how when he was fucking other women he must have known something would break. I wanted to scream that he couldn’t have been that stupid for two goddamn decades. I couldn’t have married someone that fucking stupid.
I didn’t need to scream, he was already thinking that.
From the DUH files.
The Player said, “When I’m stressed, I know what I can’t do now.”
Yeah. He’s referring to flirting and fucking and trolling.
I know I shouldn’t be snarky, but really? What. The. Actual. Fuck? What kills me about that sentence is that you ever thought that was okay to do, asshole.
First I thought, “Wonderful! Now maybe you won’t go and flirt with other women and fuck them!”
I also thought, “That’s an important thing to know. Duh.”
I also thought, “What the fuck are you going to do instead?”
I had to point out to The Player that he doesn’t have anything that he does regularly that can help with stress or become an outlet for him. One thing I’m great at is hobbies. I also have wonderful friendships that I cultivate so I have some people to do things with when I want to do something. The circle of friends is wide and I use them for fun and support.
One day last week, The Player wanted to talk outside our regular Thursday morning talks. No was my answer. I left and came back. He asked again. I said no. He said he’d like to talk for a minute if that was okay. He had something to say.
He said he’d been distant but he wanted me to know he was just a little down and he wanted to make sure I knew he was still committed, still wanted to work things out and be the husband I deserve.
He asked how I was doing. I said I was struggling because I’ve been doing some recovery work and I had a shit ton lot of realizations lately.
He agreed he wasn’t doing the 12 step work we agreed on because he isn’t sure it’s for him. Great, no problem, except he never shared that fact and gave me a substitute program we could agree on, or even a made up one by him. He’s just been coasting. I had to figure it out myself and talk to him about it and now, doing some deep recovery work myself, realized what he is (or is not, as the case may be) doing isn’t enough. The big reason it isn’t enough is because it’s not measurable.
The 12-step program is pretty tried and true. There’s a path one takes on their recovery journey and even though it can take months or years, there is a clear path. You have to have certain things in place to move forward in recovery with a 12 step program. You don’t have measurements if, you’re learning about yourself and feel sure you won’t do it again.
That is so not a safe situation to be in, or maybe it is for his next wife, but it isn’t for me. He agreed that what I was asking for is reasonable and decided he’s going to try the 12 step program by finding more groups, locating potential sponsors. He decided he’s got to get into it to either get in or get out.
We had a couple’s therapy session with his CSAT and it was good. He had a breakthrough regarding empathy. Empathy has been and continues to be an issue. He believes he does have it, but just doesn’t know how to communicate it. With very little direction he said something that seemed sincere, was thoughtful and helped me understand that he is empathetic. I told him to do more of that as I cried. He tried it again this week and stumbled a little, the CSAT got him back on track and he did better. It’s been positive, he says, like “reconciliation is possible.”
I asked him how long he needed to explore this 12 step thing and he asked for two months, I gave him one. He has about three weeks to go and hasn’t been to one other meeting, although he did just print out the meeting schedule. It’s sort of lackluster, isn’t it? He’s so far not showing much gumption.
Too bad mediocrity isn’t speaking to me or we’d be golden.
It was a simple text, innocent enough. A very good friend was checking in with me to see how I was. Nearly all of my good circles of friends know what has happened to me. I felt it was important for their support. Especially after I found out the cheating was for the entirety of our marriage. I think before then I was able to keep it more contained, but given that the risk was going up for the end of my marriage, I really needed to make sure I was surrounded by people who love me.
I am so glad I did. There was one friend that couldn’t get past the first round of revelations and so she doesn’t know anymore, which is fine. I needed people who would support me staying or going. I have that and because my circle includes a lot of friends, I really to get support in some form daily. I’m extremely lucky. I love that they love me enough to keep tabs on me.
Anyway, back to the text. I received this text at just the right time, right place. I was in bed, The Player was asleep and I was reading a new sex addict book (rather good, actually) and really taking in a few things from the book that are really scary and really sad. The Player, while working on himself, isn’t even close to being where I need him to be for me and our marriage. There’s a phase the writer talks about that includes denial and resistance and all of the signs point to The Player. He’s got some serious denial about what true recovery is going to take and he has resistance to the process of successful recovery as outlined nearly everywhere for sex addicts.
I think in the last two days as I was reading it just hit me. It hit me I’m going to have to accept the fact that we are not working on us, we are existing and “we” are waiting for recovery to really kick in. I believe he has been faithful in all the ways we agreed upon beginning post no contact with last AP and pre full disclosure. I agree he is doing everything at his capacity. I just don’t think it matches up with what I need and before I couldn’t answer why. Now I can.
The writer says there are four phases:
These phases laid out in the book are the shortest, best explanation of what one needs to do or as a partner expect to see in recovery for (presumed) sex addiction. Short, concise and relevant. In the phases there is a little wiggle room on timing, but if one is using a 12-step, CSAT (certified sex addict therapist), individual counseling, and marriage counseling, this is a good guide. I love that I finally have something that makes sense to me. I’ve been floundering around asking, begging, seeking information about where we are in the process of this and if it makes sense.
I’ve been asking because something has been “off” for me and I couldn’t place my finger on it. Over the recent weeks I’ve said that he isn’t “doing enough,” and not “doing what I need,” but I couldn’t articulate why that was and this book, Stop Sex Addition: Real Hope, True Freedom, gives me concrete points I can make now. It’s such a profound relief, I cried when I read it last night. The Player was sleeping right next to me.
It is also extremely sad because it shows me we are really so very far away from truly reconciling. I had somehow pictured the 2-5 years our CSAT talks about as being one giant process and I hadn’t considered there were little, measurable steps to judge his and our recovery. Now that I have that, I actually have less hope it can happen in totality. I say that because The Player is working very hard, but I don’t know if that will be enough, based on the book’s phases and requirements.
For example, the book outlines each thing that should transpire in each of the phases (roughly) by listing the “Hallmarks of Quality Recovery.” Just to name a few, The Player should have a “circle of 5” friends in recovery and reaching out to at least two per week and daily if needed, weekly contact with his sponsor, actively working the steps of recovery, attending two 12-step meetings a week and he will have fully disclosed (he hasn’t totally although I know and feel comfortable I know the body count of vaginas and behaviors through polygraph). These things are not happening.
The Player is essentially making up his own recovery plan and because of that I do not feel safe in this marriage as it stands. The more I read, the more I learn that detaching from him is the best thing to do. I’ve been detaching but not in all areas and I think I may start going towards that direction.
I am not ready to say this marriage is over because of our children and importantly, he has stopped acting out. I am hoping that as long as he isn’t acting out and he is doing something toward recovery (albeit slow) he can remain in the home. I am not willing to blow up my kids’ world on the situation as it stands. I am however, willing to pull back more than I already am and even though there isn’t much to pull back, what I do have to detach from is pretty significant.
If I do, I’ll have to quit going to therapy with The Player. I’ll have to quit our weekly talks in lieu of weekly 10 minute sex addict check-ins (where is he in his recovery and if there have been slips/relapses). The biggest and hardest thing for me to let go will be expectations. I’ll have to let go completely that he’ll ever progress to a point to have true empathy for me and take in truly what he has done to me and us and heal our marriage.
My big fear is that I am going to detach myself right out of this marriage being of quality and to becoming super friendly co-parents and roommates for the kids.
I can’t write about this anymore today.
A comment came through to me on the previous post about things I said to some of The Player’s whores.
You started a blog about your husband cheating on you? Along with lashing out at his “whores”? Wow. Where’s your self respect? Get a grip and pull your head out. Either stay and cope or leave but keep your dignity without putting your shit on blast. For the record do you have any idea how pathetic you look to the women you lashed out at? They’re not stuck with him, you are. Focus on your kids and your privacy. Dear God.
Hey Tara, let’s look at your comment together and break it down, shall we?
For starters, Tara, is your first question a question or a statement? It’s pretty clear in the title of the blog and the about page what the blog is about. Many blogs, by nature, are about real life. Let’s explore my life facts: A) My husband cheated on me in many ways for 20 years. This is proven beyond all doubt. B) The women freely spread their legs, without pay, might I add, a number of times. C) The cheating is on him and the whores, not me. The secrecy is on him, not me. The shame? That’s his, too. Their behavior is indicative of their character and issues, not mine.
Let’s do talk about the women I “lashed out at,” shall we? Some of those women know me and my kids. You want to talk about pathetic? Let’s talk about women who fuck married men, some married men of women they know. Let’s talk about the one woman who came back a few times over 15 years to get fucked by a broken man who used her as a receptacle for semen. Let’s talk about the pathetic women who let my husband fuck them without condoms and remained flirty friends with him for years after fucking, them feeding each other’s damaged, fucked up egos. Let’s do talk about pathetic but let’s not talk about it when discussing me. I know where that shit lies and it lies at the feet of The Player and the women whose legs are open with willing vaginas.
Let’s talk about “blasting.” Blogs, again, if you haven’t noticed, are usually public. Many people, including yours truly, have found reading and writing blog posts helpful. There are a lot of affairs out there and a lot of betrayed wives and husbands. There are also blogs from cheaters, chefs, fashionistas and singles in big cities. The point I’m trying to make is that there are lots of real lives out there. There’s a weird thing about reading blogs, if you don’t actually bring up the URL or click on certain blogs, you aren’t forced to read them. It’s so strange.
Oh honey, my dignity is fine. You know why? Because I know his fucking other women isn’t about me at all. I know because I’m putting all my kids’ needs above my own by not making rash discussions since The Player’s destructive behaviors have stopped. I know because I’m offering compassion and time to someone I love to fix themselves because they are willing. I know I have my dignity, because all of those things mean I am actually the opposite of pathetic. It’s harder to stay and give him time to get better than it would be to kick his cheating ass out. My kids need him well and because I love my kids, this is easy to do for them.
Thanks for your concern about my kids though. My kids are doing great. You know why? They are none the wiser and because they are kids and because his problem isn’t and shouldn’t be theirs. It’s not theirs because of me. My protectiveness for their sense of safety of their home is my first priority. That makes me feel pretty fucking good.
Privacy isn’t an issue because well, this blog is anonymous in case you didn’t notice. This is funny, but my husband’s name isn’t really The Player and last I checked I’m not really a trumpet as represented in my bio picture. Hell, because I am a stand up, compassionate, dignified woman I’m not even going to post the thousands of texts, emails and (even nude) pictures of the whores.
So, I hope I addressed your concerns, thanks for stopping by. Feel free to never stop by again.
It was truly cathartic to say these little gems to those whores either through calling or writing. Yes I dialed and yes I clicked send. If it’s safe, I highly recommend all betrayed spouses contact the whores and dicks their spouses fucked. Highly.
It is well established that I am not a patient person. I do not like limbo because I think, “What’s the point?”
I am doing my best to hang in there for my kids’ home while he slowly works to “fix” himself. I know this is a big thing to navigate, the thing where you took the person who trusted you most and you completely disregarded her and fucked her over, I get it. I get that it’s going to take a while to figure out the whys of his shitty choices or the hows he could do this shit to me. I get that it’s “only” been five months since full disclosure but it was over a year before that when I learned who he really was. He’s had over a year to get to the point to come clean. That means he had plenty of time to start figuring things out, right?
The only thing is that he didn’t take that year to figure things out in his head. He spent all those months hiding the Big Dark Secrets. He spent a long time doing nothing. Standing still, while over a year was wasted. Fucking wasted time.
Another fucking year was taken from me in addition to the two decades. Over 20 years of him making decisions for me. Insult to fucking injury, I tell you.
What say you?
He took away my chance to be with someone who would have treated me with respect.
He took away the chance for me leave him before we had kids. My life could have been completely different.
He took away my security after two decades of devotion to him.
He took my love, devotion, care taking, sex and companionship – which was a privilege to have by the way – and treated it all like it was insignificant to him, like I am insignificant.
I feel like a fool. I feel like he fucking played me. I don’t think The Player is playing me anymore but I sure feel like this healing of the marriage and my healing specifically is on his fucking schedule. It’s a schedule that is too slow for me.
How do I reconcile that? The Player can’t answer it. The CSAT can only say I need to work on being where I am now. Accepting where I am. Which is no closer to reconciliation than it was on full disclosure day.
I know my husband loves me to the best he is able.
I know my husband is remorseful.
I know my husband doesn’t have empathy for me.
I know my husband’s pace for “recovery” is too slow for me.
I know I don’t want my kids in a broken home.
I know I love my husband to the best I am able to love someone I don’t truly know.
I know my husband has some fucked up ideas about some fucked up things.
I know my husband doesn’t understand himself or me.
I know I am sacrificing myself for my kids
I know I have to find peace about sacrificing myself for my kids.
I know I will survive.
I know my life will have meaning, even in this marriage.
“If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.” – Anne Lamott
In therapy yesterday with my husband’s CSAT/our joint counselor the therapist asked why I call my husband The Player on the blog. He said “The Player” is derogatory and that he wished I would change it. When I contorted my face a little bit, he said something like, “just a suggestion because it’s negative.”
When he asked about the moniker I immediately felt defensive. I was all (in my head and some of my words), “DUDE, I get to call him whatever the fuck I want to. If he didn’t want to be called The Player he should’ve treated me better. He did play me, after all. When he does something better with himself then maybe I won’t call him that anymore.”
I had to follow-up with something electronically and he gently asked me to come up with some alternate labels for The Player. I sent the following:
“The Player could be…
Now: The Participant
Hopefully one day:
Mr. True Blue
When I sent him that note he said he’d be interested in the range of labels that I could make for myself now and into the future.
“You mean besides The Awesome?” I answered. I meant that, honestly. What else could we call me? <<< Not tongue in cheek.
Then I proceed to come up with a few more:
The Played (sigh)
The Participant (I am too)
I told him I wanted to add Mrs. Stamina but I lack the patience gene.
I also said, thanks for challenging me, but I’m fine with calling him The Player right now. He did play me and a lot of other people. He led us all to believe he was a caring, devoted, steadfast, loyal person and husband and we all know that wasn’t true. He does admit he misled us and I very much felt played, thankyoueverymuch.
So why does it bother me that the therapist has an opinion about this very thing? Probably because I trust him and respect his opinion. I do think, however, since we get to make our choices that make us feel best, it’s okay to take their suggestions under advisement. I’ve done that and his current moniker remains.
If you think about it, I was sort of nicer than I wanted to be with the Moniker. The blog could have very easily been called MarriedtoaMutherfucker.Wordpress.com because the moniker Muterfucker certainly sits well with me today.
Next post up? Our Thursday Talk.
Related: same shit, different fucking day.