I had an appointment with my counselor that involved some understanding on my part about the past, present and future and how they are leading to an unbelievable amount of anxiety about the future.
The counselor and I were talking through the recent months and where we are as a couple. We talked about how tense things felt on The Player’s part because I was sort of doing my own thing day-to-day. I was feeling conflicted because we’re in the same home, we are going about life like we do and there was zero closeness between us. He has been going to weekly individual counseling, group therapy weekly as well and going to one SLAA meeting a week, so he is focusing on recovery and work, which is very stressful right now.
I realized I have some anxiety about a past, present and fear of future issue for me. In the past, I was the at home parent. We very intentionally set it up so I am a freelancer and able to work around the kids’ schedules. The Player has always been the breadwinner with my income adding to our bottom line when our life schedule allows. We were a team, the two of us. He would be working, traveling for work and focused on work. He was always involved in parenting both in interest in what went on at home as well being an on-hands dad to lead activities like sporting or scouts.
The benefit (and fucking nightmare) of hindsight is seeing things as they were and not how you thought them to be. Then, I pictured us as a team. We were working together for the greater good of the family, each of us carrying the part of our responsibilities that would lead us to a happy family life, an early retirement (we were detailed from this with a traumatic fanancially catastrophic event unfortunately) and a stable, contented, calm life together and as a family.
The truth is, I pictured us as a team but we weren’t one. I was home doing my part and he was out doing his own thing, for his own benefit, obviously. This involved fucking (free) whores, having emotional ties to women to make himself feel better, and flirting inappropriately with any person with a vagina he would come into contact with so they would feed his insatiable ego. Looking back, I didn’t have the closeness that I thought we had and more importantly, craved with him. While we were going through that aforementioned traumatic event, I sucked it up, did what I had to do, knowing he was out doing his part for us. I was holding shit together with a fucking song and a prayer a lot of the time.
I thought we were a unit. A team.
Presently, with the distance we were at, I feel like I was on the outside of our marriage instead of being in our marriage, together. In addition, because I don’t know exactly where he is in recovery, so I don’t have that closeness, either.
As for the future, I have fears all of this fucked up struggle and pain and hard work – that The Player brought onto his and our life together – is for naught because he will pull away, go back to his destructive behaviors and break my heart all over again.
My high anxiety comes from the past, present and future thoughts around being played for so long and my energy going into our life together and his energy going away from me. Therapy has me helping my anxiety by realizing whatever path I end up on – either by my choice or The Player’s choice – is one on which I will survive.
I know there is a huge difference between then and now or then and the future. I am different. I will never be as vulnerable as I was the moment I found about The Player was a cheater and the subsequent year when I learned the awful truth that I was married to a broken, cheating, lying man. I will always know his fucked up, acting out, cheating behavior is possible. It will always be there below the surface. If it were to happen again, even though I’d probably want to smack myself with a frying pan across my head for staying, I’d survive it. Through therapy, I’m solidified in the knowledge that whatever I’m going through for my kids to be raised the rest of their youth in an intact family is 100% worth it.
That said, our recent talks have been hard because he has a very long way to go in his recovery. I believe he is on the path, but it is not at the pace I would like. I do realize, however, it is HIS path. As I explained to him, I’ve been in this hell for very nearly two fucking years when he’s only been in it under a year because he chose to fuck around with the actual truth for the first year. My patience is wearing thin, I won’t lie.
I’m sitting back and waiting. We can’t move forward together until he moves forward himself and that seems to be going slow. Because I feel I must stay for my kids, this sitting back and waiting means I feel like I’m trapped.