Watching & Waiting

As I’ve said before many times, I am not a patient person. Now that I’m two years out from Discovery, (or “D-day,”) also known as The Most Fucked Up Day That Ever Was, I would say I am more impatient. Maybe I am not as impatient as I am realizing maybe that my threshold for bullshit is very low at this point.

I’ve had to endure some messed up fucking bullshit.

Not only am I two years out from The Most Fucked Up Day That Ever Was (TMFUDTEW), I am one year out from knowing the full truth. It’s that year of lies in between the truth and TMFUDTEW that is getting in my way of reconcilation. I am still traumatized to know that The Player, as sincere and truthful as I (mostly) believe he is being right now, added to my suffering by keeping the truth from me (to save his own ass) for a year.

This does not sit well with me. The arrogance involved in doing that – all the while telling me we were in truthful reconciliation – is fucked up and hurtful. Do I think he “meant” to hurt me? No, not particularly. I think he didn’t want to hurt himself. I think he didn’t want to face the shame attached to his actions for the last 20+ years. I think he didn’t want all those who knew him to be a “great guy” and an “incredible husband” and our family’s hero to think less of him. He really believed that if I only knew of Ground Zero Whore and a one night stand, that he could shove the rest down (from himself) and he would start from a place of truth from that point on. He reasoned with himself that me knowing would only hurt me, as a lot of sick sex addicts do.

So last week (or was it the week before?) The Player told me he felt guilty to spend money on the (free) whores, that’s why he never spent a lot of time with them nor did anything extravagant. In addition, he said he needed to dive into something he realized. He said he felt guilty about the money he would/could be taking from his family to spend on his affair partners, but didn’t have an ounce of guilt for fucking them.

You might be able to surmise that the statement about his not feeling guilty is bothersome to me. What exactly stops someone from doing something wrong who doesn’t feel guilt? He said he knew how much that would bother me, but in the interest of being completely honest – this new way of life for him – he told me. I think he was hoping he would get some extra points. He didn’t.

What happens in a relationship long term with The Player? Is this even a viable long-term relationship? I don’t know. I mean, he didn’t feel guilt and needs to explore that?

It’s like I told him, “I must be a fucking idiot to be figuring out how to stay in this marriage.”

Yet, here I am.

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Emotional Response to an Unemotional Person

Over the last 25 years – before I knew he was a fucking liar and cheater – The Player wasn’t overly mushy. He’d say the regular I love yous but he wasn’t overly communicative about his feelings. Every anniversary, birthday and holiday (mostly) he would give me a card (which he saw as a lot of pressure to pick out, whatthefuckever) and he would write 1-3 sentences. Nothing lengthy but very nearly the same in tone and feeling. I can recite a few of his sentiments because he repeated himself.

“Thank you for being in my life and loving me.”

“I am lucky to have you in my life.” 

“Thank you for helping me be a better person.” (cough cough)

“I love you. I can’t imagine my life without you.” 

My personal favorite: “I know I don’t tell you enough how much you mean to me and how much I love you, but I hope my actions everyday tell you how much you mean to me.”

Like I said, not overly emotional or lovey dovey, which I was absolutely fine with because, wait for it… he showed me in his actions everyday. This morning I had to explain to The Player that since I don’t have that anymore (his actions said something but it wasn’t love for me) and I have to depend on other emotional connections from him and I’m not feeling it. I told him his regular old way of telling me and um, “showing” me isn’t working for me. It’s not complicated actually. I want him to be more emotionally communicative and more physically comforting, I want him to be in tune with me when I am struggling and provide comfort both in holding me and reassuring me with words. I had to fucking spell it out. I need more.

I explained over and over what I need. I was clear. I was very, very specific. I then followed up with how I think maybe with the revealing of his destructive behaviors against me and our marriage and the fact that I no longer view or value him as a person of character and integrity that I am looking for other ways he can tell me and show me.

He always goes back to all the work his is doing, which he does reminds me quite often, as if to think he had to tell me because I don’t notice the total of 10 hours during four days a week he’s at therapy and group and 12-step meetings and dinners with sex addict friends. As if I don’t know he’s missing dinner,or putting more household work and child care on me. I told him I was done hearing that. I told him each day I am here or each week I am here, I don’t remind him that I’m still here and still hanging on despite his best efforts early on after asshole discovery to fucking break us to smithereens. I figure he can see that because I. AM. STILL. HERE.

The thing I finally spoke to try to communicate what it is that is lacking in his emotional connection with me, was to talk about his last affair partner and his behavior with her. I read thousands of text messages of his courting, I watched him try to break up with her multiple times, only to find out he “couldn’t let her go” and that he “still wanted her, badly” and how he would find a way “to be with her somehow, someway.”(side note: I know it wasn’t about her but the fantasy). I asked him if he remembers one of the break ups (2nd? 3rd?) where he did it and sat on our bed and wept. I sat with him because I knew it wasn’t her. It wasn’t love. It wasn’t anything but the fantasy he was sad he had to let go of. It turned out there were a few more break ups he I would have to endure until it finally took place for sure, two months after their affair his the light and brightness of day. I think he might have understood better.

I told him it pained me to admit that he was more emotional, more desiring, more forward, more sure, more whatever with her. I told him I realized it was all based in fantasyland and I realize that we aren’t going to have that new, just-met-you, getting to know you relationship but he really worked hard to show her his interest. I asked him about that, he said, “I did that to keep her interested, that was all. I did it because I wanted to have sex with her, nothing else.”

Excellent.

I said, “What about doing some of that so you can keep me and keep our marriage and our family together. Would that be so hard? You are in your recovery doing your thing and there’s a sacred circle around you. I am not in it. I feel like you are taking advantage of my presence. I don’t expect you to bow when I enter the room or peel my grapes, but I do expect some reaching out to me with more than a, “I know it must be hard.” Here’s the thing: I know he’s sincere. I know he is trying. I know he wants to heal the marriage. But. But…

Maybe we’re just not a match for each other anymore. Maybe he can’t be the emotional person I need after such a betrayal. Maybe I can’t be the fake, plastic, reassuring whore he needs to fill the hole in him (which he says with the awareness of why he did what he did, the hole is closing up because truth and authenticity is taking it’s place.)

I told him I don’t know if this is going to work, even if that is my heart’s head’s desire. We just might not be a good fit anymore, not matter how hard we try or how hard we want. We can’t just magically be different people.

So that was that.

Remind me to tell you about a part in the conversation when he said he felt guilty about the money he might spend on the (free) whores, that’s why he never spent a lot of time with them. He said he needed to dive into something he realized, he felt guilty about the money he would/could be taking from his family to spend on his affair partners, but didn’t have an ounce of guilt for fucking them.

That wasn’t received well by me.

Can I create a new past narrative?

I ran across a love letter from me to The Player I wrote for our 18th wedding anniversary on a short trip we took. I went on and on about my gratefulness and undying love.

The two page letter, sarcastically paraphrased and shortened by 2/3 here, went something like this:

My Loving, Ever Faithful Hero Husband,

You are an amazing husband and father. You are an incredible person. Thank you for your love and devotion. Thank you for putting me and our children first in every decision and thought. Thank you for being our family’s hero and my friend and lover. You are a wonderful provider and I’m so lucky to be married to you.

I love you,

Your loving, devoted wife

You cringed a little bit, didn’t you? I know I did after I read it and got over the nausea that caused me to nearly vomit where I stood. I thought some insanely wonderful things about my incredible husband way back then. 

The incredible husband, aka The Player. The same husband who betrayed me for two decades. Fuck I was a fool. He totally played me.

I spoke to him about this love letter the day after I found it. Over lunch, I asked him how he looked back on that trip because I know for me, the amazing trip we took where I wrote that letter, is now completely tainted with fucking lies. He said, “It was a great trip and anniversary. I love you and I wanted to celebrate our anniversary with you because our marriage is an accomplishment. We’ve survived some horrible things together. I was happy in our marriage and with you. I never wanted to leave you. I didn’t do what I did because of what was lacking in us, or you. I did what I did because of what was lacking in me.”

Here’s the thing: I fucking know that. What I want to know is how I look back on it and not think everything was a lie. On that trip it was just a couple of weeks earlier he was with one of his “friends,” fucking her on a business trip, the last time for them because she felt guilty. Finally, you whore. He also worked with this “friend” on several joint clients so they also spoke almost daily, even after their affair. For their relationship and many others. I’m not fucking kidding when I tell you there are hundreds of women he flirted with, probably on a daily basis. It wasn’t even the Fucking that got the best of me, it was that they adored him and he played me to get what he needed from them. Of course – now – he agrees these “friendships” were inappropriate for a married man. Thanks a fucking lot, asswad. 

The Player’s deception in our life together didn’t end at fucking other women during these on and off trysts on business trips. He spent two decades flirting for attention, laughter, shock, praise, admiration and “love” because he didn’t have it in himself, for himself. He never thought he was good enough. For reasons he now knows are related to several experiences in his family and outside his family, he was broken and sought these “friendships” to make himself feel better. He needed the constant reassurance, the constant input and he found that through work relationships and on the road. 

Looking back now, that’s what I see. I see him talking to me on the phone to check in all the while, many times, there was a woman in his hotel room. I see him at our vacation spot and favorite restruant-with her. I see him calling me on the phone from a bar saying he was entertaining clients and didn’t want to call me too late and now admits it’s because he was out getting wasted with them to follow them back to their rooms or to invite them to his. That’s what I see now. Those imagine surround me like a fucking heavy coat of armor I cannot remove but also isn’t needed in my life to survive. 

Looking back, I don’t see that same devoted husband and father. I see a man I was married too who was so unhappy with himself that the path he chose to go was into the vaginas and hearts of women. Sure, he provided. Sure, he was there for me (as much as someone like him could be). I guess we could even say he loved me (as much as someone like him can) but he was not the man he professed to be. He was not the man he made me believe. He sold me worthless promises and unfortunately I found out much too late. 

How can I change the narrative now? How do I look back on my life and feel warm feelings of love and affection. How can I change what I see looking back? How can I see love and respect knowing what I know now? I know the truth about him and us. I want get rid of the of the pain. I can slowly see myself letting go of those old “good” times. In fact, I wonder if letting go of all is necessary to move on at all.