Remember when I wrote that The Player was having a hard time meeting all my needs? I finally figured out why. Although The Player wants to meet my needs, it turns out he is just unable. I know it’s not for lack of trying on his part. I just finally realized when I added up all of the things he was not doing great on (for me and my liking), most revolved around his lack of empathy for me.
This is a recurring theme. We’ve talked so much about empathy together and with his (our) therapist, I finally asked The Player if he even knew what it was. He said he did and that he has it, he just has a hard time communicating it and can’t find the words.
I believe he has a communication problem other than he is so fucking self-absorbed right now that he cannot see me. He. Cannot. See. Me. He can’t see me, my pain, my struggles and really take in where I am. That isn’t to say that he doesn’t feel horrible for what he has put me through. The Player has shown real remorse. His actions point to remorse and accountability. However, he is so goddamn broken, he can’t see past his own shit.
In therapy with him I finally was able to communicate my issue with his lack of empathy and how it’s impacting me. I was able to make the therapist understand it’s not that The Player isn’t trying, I do think he is. It’s that he has nothing to give me. He doesn’t have empathy for himself, how can he have any for me? He is so fucking closed off to any emotion that the emotion and caring and comfort I need from him aren’t there for me. He’s using it all to stay afloat himself. There is no way he will be able to give me anything for a good while.
So I am bowing out. I’m tired of trying to explain what I need and him listening and wanting to give it to me, but unable to at this time. I was crying when I said the words, “I need more from him that he isn’t and can’t give me. I hope he can some day but right now, I need some peace and I think he needs space and time, not necessarily me. He isn’t able to help me heal or help our marriage heal. He’s going to have to heal himself, by himself, if we even have a shot at getting to a point of working on the marriage. The Player is very uncomfortable with this new arrangement. Rightfully so.
He’s uncomfortable because I told him I’m letting go. I’m letting go of him. Our marriage. The outcome. He’s uncomfortable because I am very impatient and hate living in limbo because of my childhood. Limbo is one of the worst things for me. I had to remind The Player and the CSAT that I actually HAVE been fucking patient. In a few months, it’ll be two shitty, fucking years of patience.
I am enormously sad about this development but I’m at peace in a way, too. It’s the obvious next right thing for me. I felt unsafe in the “marriage” as it was, without the empathy piece, the 12-step program being worked so I had measures and the time and energy of his to devote to me and us, I just couldn’t do it anymore. It seemed pointless.
So, where does that leave us?
I am still figuring that out, but for now, no more counseling together. No more discussions and talks about the affairs or us. I haven’t decided about sex (which I find hard to give up, which is ironic since I am not the “sex addict”), dating or general affection towards each other. I think we can be great co-parents for sure, so I hope that the rest becomes clear to me in the next couple of weeks.
When we were leaving therapy, the counselor said something about the gift I am giving The Player and how he doesn’t really see this, a betrayed spouse with the level and length of the betrayals that The Player did against me, giving a chance like this to the betrayer. He talked about the compassion and grace I’m showing. It’s unusual. I’m unusual. I said, “The truth is, I care about him. He’s doing a lot of hard, honest work. Even if we can’t be together, I believe in him and I need him healthy for our children. Luckily, I am healthy and a fan of taking care of myself. The problem with that for The Player is that I am healthy and I know what I want and don’t want.”