Is this what the middle looks like?
I feel like I’m out of crisis (thank the ever-loving hell out of that fact) but I’m not yet where I’ll be when the dust settles, in whatever way that looks like in my future. Right now, I’m settling for NOT FUCKING TRAUMATIZED and NOT FUCKING CRYING all the damn time.
I finally feel like I am swimming. A little endlessly, but swimming above water. I’m somewhere in the middle of a huge lake and I can see the shore on both sides but I am not clear on which shore I will eventually land. I’m past the two year mark – two really shitty, shitty years – of knowing The Player was a cheater, but because The Player is a cheater and a liar, he decided to withhold some other 19 years of cheating information from me, because, well, in addition to a liar he was also a dick.
It took another year for him to face the truth and tell me he cheated on me the entire marriage. The first year after “D-day” was a waste of time because he didn’t come clean and we weren’t in true reconciliation. I don’t have one thing I can tell you that was positive that I gained from that year of being hidden from the truth. Because I knew there was more – I knew intuitively – there was no progress on my part of healing and there was no progress on The Player’s part of being less of a dick. It was a complete waste of a year. It also happened to be a year I lost someone very close to me unexpectedly and the grief from learning my marriage was a lie and my husband was a dick made it impossible for me to grieve properly for my loved one. He royalty fucked up my life, then made sure that I couldn’t heal from it nor heal from the loss of someone important to me for many more months and probably still there is residual grief that is fermenting inside me.
Of course, resentment has settled in me like someone unwanted who has stayed too long and very unwelcome. I suppose not all people would hang onto the resentments like I have but I had my reasons. One, he really fucked things up for me and for us and for our children. He did it over and over. Then he did it more. He also decided when and how the information THAT I DESERVED TO KNOW was delivered to me.
I resent him. Resentment, as my sister stated many times, would only hurt me and I knew this but I also knew I couldn’t let it go until I was ready. I’ve worked hard to analyze the pain and resentment and tried to figure out how to navigate this world that no one thinks they will have to navigate when they are holding the hands of the person they love and exchanging marriage vows. Promises.
In search of peace I’ve done therapy. I’ve pulled back and distanced myself from The Player. I’ve walked. I’ve cried. I wrote and I write. I had more therapy. Guided meditation. I’ve talked until I needed to with understanding friends and other betrayed spouses, both women and men. I’ve read a slew of articles and forums and books. I’ve watched videos. All of those things helped me understand that my feelings are normal, that the trauma was real and that no matter what happened I would always be scarred by what The Player did. All of that reading and soul-searching has given me a good idea of what I needed FOR ME.
I figured out what I require of him for the privilege of him staying in our home and staying married to me. Also the privilege of being an in-home dad instead of dinner and weekend dad. These are all privileges that he enjoys and the price of admission for these privileges is working on himself and being able to share his knowledge of self awareness with me. It’s imperative The Player continue to grow, however that is, but he cannot stop growing. He cannot stop being connected to other sex addicts for friendship and fellowship and he cannot stop answering my questions. He can’t be defensive. He has to be open and willing to talk and do new things that can help me heal and our marriage heal. He has a lot to do and I have a lot to do in order to stay with him (least of which is change my entire perspective of my life, ugh), and I have found what I have to do wholly mutherfucking unfair (hence, the resentment).
My goal is to stay in the marriage for the kids and I know I don’t want to do that if I’m going to be miserable. If I have made the decision to stay – and I have – I figured I had to find a way to live better, right now. I wanted to quit putting that shit off.
The Player has done enough damage to my soul and I’m tired of the bloodletting and I wanted it to stop. It needed to stop and not because of changed behavior in him, but because I am the only person I can control. I will not stay and be unhappy. I will not stay and make his life miserable. I will not live in fear of him doing it again, because he will never ever be able to obliterate my life again no matter what he does. He does not have that power over me and in fact, he never has. I already know what I will do if it happens again (leave) and so there is power and peace in that knowledge.
I wish I could tell you I came to this knowledge alone but I had help. I’ve started seeing a hypnotist. I know, I know. But hear me out. I was looking for ways to address my inability to move on and let go of the pain that was blocking me. I’ve only had two visits with the guy (only slated for 6 total) and listening to the sessions daily and I have to say, I feel at peace. It has helped me take in the knowledge in my subconscious of a couple of things, not just intellectually know them. One, I have a plan if The Player cheats on me again and two, I don’t need answers to some of the questions I had about timing of the affairs (if he was fucking people on actual days like our anniversary and during a personal crisis at home while he was out traveling and “working for the family”) because it doesn’t matter that I know. I won’t do anything different with the knowledge.
It’s like the guy said, for someone who has a fear of flying, them worrying on the flight and having a stressful, horrible flight won’t stop the plane from crashing, so why ruin the flight.
The hypnosis isn’t even for us. It was for me. To find more peace. I’m going to fucking rock my life, with him or without him. I’m going to do MY life, my way. I’m going to make my life matter and I’m going to keep putting my kids first. I do know one thing for certain: The Player is going to have to keep up with me, not the other way around.