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.”
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.