Tired of crying alone. 

The Player talked me into going to therapy for a check-in with him after over a month of my absence.

It was a mistake.

Not at first of course. The Player is trying to get our reconciliation off of my self imposed hiatus and he had some good arguments. One was that things I wanted to discuss were building up and if we were at least in therapy and talking weekly things didn’t fester. Two was that he’d reasoned he was doing nearly all of what I asked now – excluding the fucking impact letter response – and he wanted to see if we could do more than nothing.

The Player, while bright, couldn’t understand what the rules to my detachment were. I guess the 1) no therapy and 2) no discussions about our relationship were not clear. I guess also I said 1) let’s still carry on our other life matters the same and 2) lets still have sex.

The strangest thing happened. It’s been almost three weeks and no sex. We usually have a lot of sex. Multiple times per week. I brought that up last week and he said he was sick (he was) I told him I was talking about the time before he was sick and, get this, The (sex addict) Player says he thinks he couldn’t have sex without us being “emotionally connected.” He said he thought that sometimes I was upset and he didn’t feel close to me at night. He also said some people in SLAA and SAA meetings he attends think it’s strange we have sex still. That void of reconciliation, “it’s just fucking.”

I couldn’t help it. I laughed in his stupid face. Right after I wanted to punch his stupid face. You’ve got to be fucking kidding me, right? He couldn’t get past the fact that we don’t go to therapy together even though it’s still my desire to reconcile and we are still doing all other married things together.

I found it extremely ironic that he could “compartmentalize” when it was against me and the marriage to fuck other women but he can’t compartmentalize to fuck me in support of staying together and connected physically for the marriage.

That has to be one of the most fucked up paragraphs I have ever written in my now sorry ass life.

Well today after the appointment with the CSAT we discussed a recommendation from his therapist. He wanted us to have a weekly, quick check ins with each other to dicuss the basics of our recovery. To let each other know what we’re doing in recovery. A chance to report each of our progress to each other. What he’s working on and same for me. After we discussed the ground rules and what we could expect from the check ins, I asked him when we would be starting check ins and he joked them off. While leaving to go to work I said, “So, we start this week?” To which he made an exasperated groan and sigh.

I left. He sent me a text to say he was sorry about the moan and I said okay.

Later in the day when I saw him I told him I get it, it’s tiring having to talk about his infidelities and recovery but I get it. He’s not ready and I should have known better. “I need to manage my expectations better about what you are able to give me. I knew this, it’s what I’ve been saying all along about my needs not being met. I can’t believe I thought about changing the detachment arrangement.”

Then I left and cried in my car. Alone. He doesn’t get it and I’m not settling. Those two things are in direct conflict with each other. I’m such an idiot to let hope back in against my better judgement.

I’m tired of crying alone about it, too.

Advertisements

So complicated.

We’re not easy to deal with, us humans. We’re demanding, we have expectations, we’re not perfect, we make mistakes, we try and we fail.

The Player is complicating things by being very persuasive. I know he’s a salesman by nature. He’s a charmer. It’s how he’s been able to be thought of as a “great guy” all these years while living a fairly normal life on one side and charming the way into women’s hearts and pants on the other side for the last twenty years. He is starting to convince me he is making enough progress in therapy to understand himself, to figure out how to cope differently with life’s stressors and how to live a life of monogamy. It’s hard to explain that while I don’t trust him generally, I believe him that he wants to change and is changing.

I am not stupid. I am not weak. I know what I want and I know what I deserve. I know I am not willing to take less than those things because I know I will survive without being married to The Player. Yet, here I am, trying to reconcile but so afraid of the unknown, I feel paralyzed. Yes, I want an intact family for my kids, for their security. I want for them to feel safe in these formative years.

I still think about ripping apart their world in order to feel safe and secure. I still daydream a life where I’m off this fucking train of bewilderment and pain. This is a horrible, horrible way to exist. Why would I knowingly put them in the path of bewilderment and pain and rip up the family? The fact is, I won’t. I know it. He may know that as well, which is why I keep bringing up “nontraditional” separations and divorces. “We could keep the family home so they never have to move. We could go back and forth, not them,” were my recent words to The Player. “We could divorce on paper but stay in the house, work on the next few years of being good friends, unified parents, a team while things settle down and overtime decide how to separate physically.”

I am in a horrible position. Right now, I feel like I lose either way. I can stay in and work on a marriage I wouldn’t choose if my kids were grown or nonexistent or I can leave and fuck up their life as they know it. Obliterate their world, just like The Player did to me. I just can’t do it. I can’t picture it. I can’t picture being content outside of the marriage if my kids aren’t secure and happy.

Not to be too melodramatic – but I guess I’ve earned that fucking right – but I can’t sacrifice them and their well-being for myself, I know this. I think that is why I am navigating our “reconciliation” with such slowness and skepticism. I’m trying to feel safe with each step but it feels like I am still – almost two fucking years later – standing at the edge of a cliff losing my footing. The Player is across the wobbly bridge, saying “Just jump, grab my hand.” I don’t want to jump and grab his hand, because he will let me fall.

Here’s the thing I said last night, “You have enough fucking work to do on yourself, how do you think you’ll navigate helping our marriage move forward when you are barely keeping your head above water as it is?” It doesn’t make me feel secure for him to say, “I just will because I have to.” Not being the most introspective person ever born, history begs me to remember he doesn’t really have the inner strength to do what is right when the going gets tough, and let’s face it, constant reminders you’re a dick with no character who was willing to risk the well-being of your wife, her life and your family can be tough. But I will argue it’s tougher on me. I mean, he always knew he was an asshole and I didn’t, so right there he was one step ahead this fool.

Do I know him well enough even though I didn’t know this fucked up side? Can my intuition be right? Be off? Because it was so very wrong the last TWO DECADES. He’s a charmer and I am pulled to believe him when he states the odds are wrong about him. Statistics don’t apply to him because statisticians don’t know him and know what remorse his is feeling, nor do they know the lengths he will go through to put himself, then our marriage back together.

Then I read something, like this from Stop Sex Addiction:

Is He or She a Narcissist? Sex addicts are selfish – very selfish. They want what they want, when they want it. They may be more concerned about what makes them feell good or loved, or what makes them feel lonely, than they are about others. Even for sex addicts who are outwardly gentle, seemingly caring person, inwardly they place their desires ahead of those of their partner and everyone else. Rather than being concerned about being faithful to their partner, sex addicts see their own desire to fulfill their selfish cravings as paramount.

Sex addicts can be manipulative. They may be able to cry on demand in order to make themselves more believable or elicit sympathy. They may wear their feelings on their sleeve and claim that they are just sensitive. However, this behavior is very often attention-seeking and manipulative. Rather than being sensitive, for many sex addicts this is just another manifestation of narcissism.

Luckily for me (Jesus H, I can’t believe the fucking concepts that come out of my head), NPD, or narcissistic personality disorder is rare and in just 1% of the general population. In that book, it speaks clearly about the readers needing to know that although there is a very strong self-centeredness among sex addicts in “active sex addiction” (which The Player is not) mimics NPD, it is not.

It’s a relief to read that honestly, but some betrayed wives are going to wake up with a sex addict who is NPD and because my life is so fucked up and I believe any mutherfucking thing now is possible, I wonder. I don’t believe he is and more importantly, his CSAT doesn’t believe he is without true remorse and regret. When addicts stop “acting out” the self-centeredness and narcissistic tendencies decrease overtime. Something about brains resetting or something.

I say all this to say is this the Hope Bitch talking in my head and I’m trying to read something to grasp onto, or is it what I think it is and is enough believable real world reasoning to hold on to, “right now.”*

* “…right now,” are words a friend of mine has encouraged me to use after every sentence when I speak of The Player, our life right now or about what the hell I am doing.

Tweets

Someone just reported my account as a hacker and they took my account down! If you followed me on Twitter, I am no longer there. I don’t care about that anyway.

Second verse, same as the first.

A couple of days ago I had a much-needed, great, very long session with my counselor. I was able to really break it down with her why I’m all over the place since detaching. I finally was able to break it down so it was understandable to The Player what I’m willing to do and what I’m not willing to do, and why. I got into a conversation with The Player. I don’t understand which part I am not clearly speaking but because I had just been to therapy, I think I was articulate. Again.

I don’t feel safe in a marriage with him because while he has answered the WHY he is the way he is, he hasn’t addressed the issues inside himself. He’s still the same person who “couldn’t say no” when whore number 1 invited herself on several trips of his on and off over the years (sidebar: what kind of woman does that? Allows herself to be used like that?). I’m not comfortable in a marriage with him until he can answer the HOW NOT TO, which, according to him, is about his need to be admired and adored. What stops him from needing that from scores of women? Hence his switch to Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. It’s probably a better fit, because we know it could have been any vagina and there wasn’t even that much sex, even when the opportunity arose.

I told him his lack of empathy – which he says he has but has a hard time communicating – isn’t getting better. I’ve been actively talking about it since January. He says things like, “It must be hard to…” add any ending to that like, “…help me with this because of what I’ve done to you.” I said it was a damn good start but it sounds canned to me. Branch out, mutherfucker.

Regarding the empathy piece, any number of the last seven months it would have been easy to do one tangible thing and that was to write a response to my impact letter. He hasn’t done it, even though I’ve asked for it and our MC/his CSAT has said it would help me. A couple of months ago he made some remark in counseling about how I hold everything he says, “against him” by bringing it up over and over. What the fuckity fuck!? You say something and I don’t get to refer back to it in order to voice a concern or make a point? That’s just whack. I know part of it is referring to something he said about the affairs being like baseball – something to get him away from his life, an escape. I absolutely have referred back to it, because it’s so fucked up, even I can’t believe it. Something that obliterated my life was like “going to a baseball game.”?  Well, sorry Player, you did say it. He now says I  misconstrued it. I’m sorry, I must be missing something. Like half of my brain, because that literally makes NO sense.

I said I would gladly jump feet into reconciliation if he could address those things plus tell me what program he is working. It can be 12 step, but doesn’t have to be as long as his CSAT agrees it would be good for him and I have a way to measure how he is doing. He said after the last couple of weeks and doing some more digging, he now believes his is a sex addict and wants to do 12-step.

This is not complicated, is it? He will either do it or he won’t. If he does, great, I think with annual polygraphs (the polygrapher mentioned if he has to come back, it’s a sign the marriage hasn’t healed, to that I say fuck you polygrapher) I would feel safe enough to continue to be married to him in what the kids would consider what they had, which was loving parents in a loving marriage.

He mentioned it bothered him I wasn’t in therapy to work on issues as they arise. I said there isn’t a point unless he answers the above or it’s a waste of time and money. I added that I feel like he’s been taking for 20 years and I’m going to get what I want moving forward. No compromise. If he doesn’t do the work, that is his choice and I can live with it but I won’t live without what I need. I have given him two years to get on track and since fall he’s been working on the WHY? That’s a helluva long time to learn you have daddy/women/self-esteem and confidence issues. I could have told him that after one week with his counselor.

Wait a second. I did tell him that almost two years ago.

But seriously Player, take your time.

Asshole.

Weary but solid. 

Is it possible to be weary and solid at the same time? I think yes, it is.

I am doing better than earlier this week when I told The Player he was too fucked up. This was too hard. Waiting for him to fix himself sucked. I told him, “You’re too broken.”

I’m growing resentful I didn’t create any of this bullshit, yet the fallout is mine to deal with. After all, he had some warning he was a lying, cheating asshole and I did not. He didn’t have to adjust and recover from the shock. Then the pain.

He explained – which is really just another word for defensive – that he was doing a lot! He is in at least six hours of therapy/sex addict meetings at week!

I said, “What? Do you want a goddamned medal?”  I think The Player is not ammused that I am not ecstatic about the work he’s doing. Because, my friends, why can’t I see how hard he is working?

What? Oh yes he the fuck did. I missed it completely in the months and months since I learned the truth. I didn’t realize along with his pretend life getting adoration from worthless, whoring “friends,” for the last 20 years, he was also smoking crack.

Edited: he doesn’t smoke crack…it’s a saying like he must be crazy to think I should recognize him for all the hard work he’s doing. He must be smoking crack to think that. 

Waiting 

it’s no surprise if you’ve read for any length of time that I am impatient.

In my current fucked up life I’m really having trouble waiting. Waiting must be done if we proceed being married (because the marriage I am in fucking sucks hairy ass and he has a lot of work to do) to The Player or if I can’t live with the situation and we divorce. Either way, I’m screwed.

If I didn’t have the kids, it would be a different story alltogether. It’s hard to say with 100% certainty, but I don’t believe I would give him this chance if we didn’t have kids. I’m only giving this chance because he is in a lot of therapy and he passed a polygraph.

Still, what kind of bullshit it is to base your (never really) marriage on those shitty things. Whoohoo! Good for me, he’s in therapy and promises he won’t cheat on me again!

I don’t want this and I don’t want him.

He keeps saying it won’t be the same and he’s changing, doing the “hard work” for him and our marriage.

The problem is, he’s a confirmed, certifiable liar. Actions, baby, actions.

The Shame the Betrayed Carry

The first thing I did besides throw up when I learned The Player was having an affair was call my best friend. I walked outside because it was early and a school day and I didn’t want the kids to wake up, fearing I already had from my vomiting and wailing.

“What’s wrong?” she asked as soon as she picked up the, knowing I would only call that early if there was an emergency. “The Player is having an affair,” I said. She could only keep saying, “No. No. Oh no…” I was doubled over because I was still sick to my stomach. She recommended I call another friend who also had a husband who cheated and even though it was so obvious, I couldn’t see it.

Beyond the soul-crushing hurt in those first few weeks and even months, there’s a soul-crushing shame attached to everything we feel as a betrayed spouse. What could I have done differently? Was it my fault? Betrayed people have the notion that we must have done something or not done something in order for this to happen. We think that about our situation because we’ve thought that about others who’ve been cheated on. Maybe not in the direct sense, but you know we’ve thought, “I wonder what was wrong with that marriage for there to be cheating.”

The thing is, within a couple of days, The Player told me it was basically my fault. He said he wasn’t happy because of my weight, because I talked about my kids too much and because we didn’t do anything – like a hobby – together. It wasn’t hard to make the leap from, “What the unbelievable fuck just happened?” to “It must be me.”

It’s worthy of mentioning here we did not have a horrible marriage. In fact, it was a great one. He and everyone around us would tell you it was a great marriage and I was a great wife. Supportive (supported his career changes and job changes), sexual (in 20+ years of marriage I never turned him down and in fact pursued more sex heavily in the last several years), joyful, traditional and faithful. I will also tell you I was even a happy person, creating a place of happiness and warmth in our home. We had all of that even in the face of some tragic circumstances in our marriage. Of course, as is the case with most cheaters, their behavior is about them, not the person they cheat on. It wasn’t what was lacking in me (thinness, mothering skills, not wanting new adventures), it was what lacking in him. Which I often say, is morals, character and self-worth. Even when I knew it was his issue, I still carried the shame.

As the story of his grew and I learned more, the shame grew.

Ground Zero Whore Affair. (“Didn’t mean anything. It’s over.”)

One Night Stand Seven Years Prior. (“I was drunk, it just happened.”)

Ground Zero Whore Affair. (“No, it’s really over now, I just needed to do it my way.”)

Ground Zero Whore Affair. (“It’s REALLY. REALLY over now, because I want to work it out with you.”)

Different Whore Evidence. (“We’re just friends. You’ll see when you meet her, she’s that way with everyone.”)

My “Must Be More” Stance.  (“I just want to tell you everything. Come clean. Once and for all.”)

You Did This When? Where? (“I wasn’t thinking of you at all. I blocked you out of my mind.”)

Wait? You love me? (“I do love you. I never wanted to leave the marriage. I just did some bad things.”)

“You are what you do.” (Silence. No comeback from The Player.)

Are You Fucking Kidding Me, You Asshole? (“I hope by telling you everything I can slowly start to repair our relationship and if I can’t, I hope we can co-parent well together.”)

It went something like that and with each piece of knowledge of how he betrayed me the shame piled on. One whore? Five whores? More? Someone I know and consider a friend? In our vacation home? Okay, then.

Embarrassment? Check!

Played a fool? Check!

Shame? Check!

I’m not sure when it happened, actually. Months later as I told my mother and father? Or my sister? Or a friend who is a counselor? Somewhere along the way, the more people who knew and knew me, knew it wasn’t my shame to hold. They stood with me in the belief that it was his problem and his problem to solve and the shame started to subside.

It’s been hard to let it go completely and creeps back in every once in a while when I focus on a detail of any of the affairs. The latest detail that is consuming me is that The Player never took off his wedding ring. His hand that I held over two decades ago and placed a ring on is the same one that touched the whores’ breasts and faces and vaginas and hips. The same hand with the ring that I held and talked about my undying and abiding love. How the circle of the ring was a symbol of those feelings and commitment. They were only of my commitment and undying love, apparently, and a promise I kept. Hence the reason I don’t wear the ring he gave me. Locked away. To help keep people to shut the fuck up, I wear a ring that symbolizes someone special’s love for me that passes for a wedding band.

The shame wrapped around the belief that I had anything to do with his behavior over the two decades is ridiculous and I refuse to carry that for him.

His brokenness. His choices. His shame.

My pain.

More of a good thing? 

I’m feeling really good about the distance from The Player and I’m wondering if more distance would make me feel even better.

For a couple weeks we’ve not been going to therapy together or having our weekly talks. It’s been easier to do than I expected. In fact, I wished I’d done it sooner.

He is doing hard work but it is going incredibly slow. What is incredibly slow? For starters, his new sponsor relationship isn’t moving at all. He’s supposed to be reading a book but for two weeks now they have not been able to get together. The Player is attending an additional addict meeting each week (so one SAA and one SLAA) but big deal. He still hasn’t progressed to step one yet.

I admit I am a terribly impatient person but honestly, with the rate at which he moves I could be at a year or more into this bullshit and still nowhere near feeling safer with him.

I feel I am out of immediate crisis. I feel like he is sincerely working on himself. But I do not feel his can hold at this level of sobriety without a plan. History says he can’t do it without a belief in a higher power and peerless – a group of people to reach out to in crisis, a plan if he gets into a bind or slip to prevent a relapse, or a longterm plan for remaining connected to what helps him stay sober. For those reasons, I do not feel safe to work on reconcilation.

Let’s not forget he’s been living as a philanderer for 20 years. The work he’s going to have to do to get better is abundant. I don’t think he has it in himself.

So, will I do better to move to next phase? Which is probably an in house separation.

Knowing Oneself

The Player is going to counseling alone now in the place of marriage counseling. In marriage counseling he was working on a lot of his issues anyway, even though I was in the room. I guess it showed me that he was indeed working on himself. I was proud of him, because it was hard work.

I have known for a long time he had confidence issues but never to the degree he actually does. I have known for a long time he needed therapy but could never entice him into going and because he was playing the perfect husband while the was the perfect screwed up, cheating, mutherfucker, he was hiding a lot of the pain and suffering he was experiencing. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get him to do more things for him. Like a hobby or a sport or even calling a friend. His hanging out with friends were few and far between. He didn’t really put himself out there. Years ago I realized I couldn’t be in charge of his happiness and I let that go.

I’m at peace with how I handled that, even while I look back and wish it had been different. I wish he had listened and been encouraged during any number of the two decades to help himself. His issues are so deeply rooted that even he forced them down until recently and even then, it’s because he’s been forced to if we have a chance at staying married. He wouldn’t be in our home if he wasn’t in therapy and group and attending a 12-step program (can’t say he’s officially starting working with his new sponsor, either, but whatthefuckever.).

The truth is, I know him best of anyone, even out of the whores. They just saw the lying part of him and didn’t know the sweet person that is buried in there that has shown himself over the years. I can’t believe it was all lies; the supporting one another, the good times and survival of the bad times. Or was it all a goddamn farce to cover up the really ugly, selfish person he is? I wonder as I get to know The Player who is broken and trying to rebuild himself if I will even want to be with him when he’s better, if he even can get better.

Can I stay with him knowing what he is capable of? Truth is, if he was capable before, he still is and will be capable again. I have to say, right now, I don’t know if he is worth the risk. It’s not because I can’t picture being married to someone who is remorseful, apologetic and heals himself and the marriage, it’s because he doesn’t know himself very well at all and it’s taking a very long time for him to get to know himself. It’s that I can’t picture The Player ever allowing himself to be split open to see the ugly parts and embrace them, heal them and move on.

If he can’t do that – or won’t do that – there is no way we’ll ever heal the marriage. I honestly don’t know if he has it in him because, let’s face it, he’s a pretty superficial person. I question if he has the depth to do what it takes. I’m not willing to do “this” without someone who is fully committed to the hard, sad work ahead. He says he is, but is he really and at what pace?

Life is too fucking short.

I read somewhere that “Everyone thinks they’re the exception.” They say about 90% of people like him, relapse and go on to fuck other people again and I think to myself, “Is he the exception?” I don’t know. I wouldn’t necessarily step in front of a train with only a 10% chance at stopping before it ran me over.

What. The. Actual. Fuck. Am I doing?

Standards, people.

The Player said something that made me think he didn’t know really why I am pulling back from working on us, so this morning I said, “So you know why I’m doing that, right?” He said, “I think so, it’s because you don’t want to work on us.” That is true, but I had to ask him again, “But why am I doing that, do you know?” He said, he guessed he didn’t. I proceeded to tell him it’s because he isn’t giving me what I need and want.

It’s not complicated. Really, I don’t think it is. I told him – again – it’s because he is lacking the empathy piece. I have to say it again? I should say it’s because he can’t remember what the fuck I have been saying for a few months now – I need empathy from him. I told him I believe he is remorseful. I believe he is sorry he hurt me. I just don’t believe he has really taken in what he has done and it’s impact. If he was ready to deal with that, don’t you think he would have responded to the impact letter the CSAT told me to write in December?

He said, he thinks he has it, but he must not be communicating it very well. He told me he is afraid he won’t be able to communicate it to my standards. He’s afraid it won’t live up to my expectations. Empathy is different from shame and remorse. I honestly think he’s confused. Or maybe that’s his “communication problem.” That could explain a lot.

Was he fucking kidding me with that response? Was he? Because that response is from someone who hasn’t recognized the effort I have put into staying together in the face of 20 years of mutherfucking lies and betrayals. It’s not like I haven’t given him months and months to get with it, months to come up with some empathy that isn’t given because the CSAT or I am pulling it out of him. He is just so fucked up it’s going to take a while. I don’t want to sit around and be hurt, time and time again because I am not getting what I need to promote healing in our marriage. It’s like I was begging for it. I started thinking I was pathetic, explaining many times I needed it, showing examples when he could have provided it to me. It’s gross. Pathetic.

You know what the hell I am NOT going to do? I am not going to feel pathetic anymore because of the shitty mess he made of our life, all because he felt bad about himself and decided fucking other people while he was fucking me over was the answer to his happiness. I mean I want to scream at The Player, “Get your head out of your ass, grow the fuck up, get some balls and dig deep, quit being the person that thinks it’s all about you. Be better. Do better. You know how you quit thinking you’re a loser? You quit being one. That’s when you’ll feel better about yourself.”