The Player and I are in reconciliation. I just had to resist the urge to put quotes around the word reconciliation because typing out “reconciliation” feels more comfortable for me right now.
The Player had a rough start to the week. He was a little down, depressed and had to leave town on Monday afternoon, so his “check-in” with me didn’t happen. He didn’t do it. He didn’t mention it and he needs to take responsibility for it so I didn’t mention it either.
The Player left town for an overnight business trip on that same afternoon. His traveling is always suspect now. Literally, he would go out-of-town on business and hook up with colleagues, women he called his “friends,” several of whom I knew personally. So anyway, he started to check-in more frequently. Just a simple text when he lands, maybe when he was heading from a meeting to the hotel and then at dinner or event or on the way back to the hotel. So he left town on Monday and no text. Not when he landed, not around dinner time. Not around my bedtime. I relented, checked GPS on his phone and he was at the hotel. I texted him.
I texted him, he called me and we talked about the anxiety I had because of his lack of communication. He said he understood and would do better. The next day around two in the afternoon he texted and sent a “Good morning” text saying he typed it out but didn’t hit send.
It had been a few weeks, for various reasons, he’s missed group therapy and he hadn’t attended a 12-step meeting in at least 2-3 weeks. He hadn’t mentioned he spoke with his sponsor. I saw no visible proof of him “working” on sobriety.
This morning, he overslept and missed a SLAA meeting. He intended to go, he said, because he was dropping an SA meeting during the week that wasn’t working for him. He liked this meeting and has said that several times to me.
I couldn’t help it, but I could physically feel my anxiety rising. Over coffee I told him I knew I was supposed to stay out of his recovery business and I could only decide what to do about myself and myself felt super stupid. Like a fool. “Why?” he asked. I had to tell him it was because it felt like as soon as I said, “reconciliation” he quit working on his recovery the way he led me to believe he would.
The Player seemed stunned. I had to point out, “There’s been a lack of communication this week when you traveled, you completely forgot and ignored our “check-in” and now, no meeting. I have no idea if you are even talking with your sponsor or working on anything, so yes, I feel like a fool. Just like the first 20 years of our marriage.”
In one week that is what happened. ONE FUCKING WEEK of changed behavior on his part – in not a good direction – and I was in a spiral of feelings like he was disregarding the new rules for reconciliation he set up and agreed to. I told him as much, probably with a few more vulgar words. He just never put the things together and added them up like I did. Why? Because he’s The Player and the emotional equivalent of a teenager.
Because that is what I fucking do now. I add up things he does or does not now and I try to figure out what the hell he is thinking or even if he is fucking thinking. I wish I didn’t. I wish he didn’t create this in me, I wish he didn’t create me having to look at things differently forever.
I saw the moment he realized what it looked like from my end. He stood up, sat close to me, put his hand on my leg and spoke from a place of truth that he understood how it must have felt for me and explained each point I brought up on why it happened and accepted full responsibility for his actions for my feelings of uncertainty. Both because of what he did the last 20 years and what he did the last week.
I believe at that moment he had his very first empathic revelation without it being pointed out to him by myself or our CSAT.
Pigs may have just flown.
Hell might have just frozen over.
Money may be growing on trees.
A betrayed wife’s heart may have opened up a little bit.