The Pilot Light I’m Protecting

I explained in my last post that The Player passed his second polygraph (I write second because who in the hell knows if there will be another or another five?) last month – yay us.

The Player had what is known in these parts (Infidelity World) as a “Parking Lot Confession” even though it was a small lie compared to him fucking other women and taking a whore to our vacation home, but okay. It brought up us talking about Christi again, a woman he knew from his hometown, to whom he offered help and his phone number. As you might imagine, I was livid and thought that was an absolute dick move (something I’m staunchly against and you should be, too) and so we have talked about it since it happened in November.

Talk we did. Too damn much. I had to go on about how it wasn’t right for him to be handing out his number (and hanging in a bar for 9 hours) and he went on about how his sobriety wasn’t in  jeopardy. He also reasoned it didn’t matter now anyway, because he agreed not to have any personal contact, exchange of numbers, building friendships, helping women, etc. in order for me to feel safe in our marriage. I was not happy about him making me feel like he was acquiescing to my boundary requirements (however, it didn’t stop me from making him sign it). He said many, many times it didn’t matter because I and our marriage were his priority and he created the shitty environment so he was fine with paying the consequences.

So a couple of weeks ago when the CSAT asked me why this Christi/Bar situation kept coming up, “Why Played, why isn’t it over for you?” he asked. It was nighttime when I was staring up into the dark, with The Player sleeping next to me, very soundly. I started crying, quietly of course, because I just wanted to be alone in my hurt, to live with it for a bit to make sure what I had figured out about myself and the situation.

The event kept coming up because in November I was feeling fairly good about us. His new drugs had kicked in and he was making big leaps into realizations about why he was the way he was. He was communicating all of that information back to me. He was connecting dots, and I felt hopeful. He was working on communicating empathy in a way that didn’t sound rehearsed or pushed because his CSAT said, “Look dumbass! Wouldn’t it be good to think about how Played might be looking at this? How she might feel?” No lie, less the dumbass comment.

By November I had made some good strides with hypnosis and was figuring out there was a way to let go of the trauma and finally, holy fuck, move on. By then, I knew I would leave if he acted out/cheated/fucked people/tried to create adoration relationships, etc. I knew I couldn’t control him, which meant the more imporant he couldn’t control me. Only I can do that. There was a heap of power in that. In November I had the smallest inkling that we might actually heal from all of this bullshit, or at least I realized I could be happy in this marriage again, even if it wasn’t my ideal marriage or situation. I could be happy because that is how I will live my life, regardless.

That incident with him in the bar and handing out his number and then steadfastly holding on to the idea of his that there was nothing wrong with it really impacted me because it made me pull back and I had three very clear thoughts about it,

  1. I had just so slightly opened that vulnerable place inside that I talk about a lot with him and his CSAT. That event taught me to pull back, be afraid, don’t get too close. Because, as I explained in therapy, if I didn’t know all of those years and he did it, that if he does it again, I REALLY would be stupid and foolish. I know intellectually it’s about him, has nothing to do with me and I believe this in my gut, but you know, I would feel stupid, and played all over again.
  2. I fear HIS stupidity might add to my loss of respect for him. Because this was so stupid. I’m not kidding, I said, “I don’t know if I can be married to someone who is such an idiot, because who the fuck couldn’t see that was a problem? An idiot, that’s who.” Yes, I used those words in therapy right after I said, this is going to sound bad.
  3. If he didn’t see this as a problem at the time (and it took him three months to realize this wasn’t behavior becoming of ANYONE wishing to be sexually sober) what the hell is going to happen on truly questionable events and his critical thinking skills?

In therapy I explained all of this. I explained he has really made it difficult – if not impossible – to open up the way I want to in my marriage and be vulnerable and the truth is, I don’t know if I can. I know I can be happy in the marriage if he continues on this path, we can have a fulfilling one even. But there is a small pilot light of vulnerability inside of me that I am keeping protected. He may never get close enough to it blow out. I felt he had to know.

The Player said, “I know we can be happy again. I know we can have a good life, because we do already have a good life. I know we can grow old together and I will spend the rest of my life learning to be better. I’m falling in love with you as a different man. I hope you will let me show you I am a different man with my actions.”

Me, “What if we have all of that, a happy, fulfilling, good life but you never reach that vulnerable spot in me again that I know I’m hiding from you?  What if I’m never able to be fully open up to you? Is that going to be okay? Is that going to be enough?”

Him, “It is. That is enough for me.”

I feel more free than I have in a long time.


5 thoughts on “The Pilot Light I’m Protecting

  1. I think the thing about being vulnerable, and I can only speak for myself here, but. . .I think allowing anyone to reach that vulnerable spot in me again is difficult. I still have a wall. On the one hand letting down that wall means fully experiencing the joys of life again, but it also means fully experiencing the pains. Perhaps the reality is that at some point we have to make a choice between a mooted, less colorful, less vulnerable, but lonelier existence OR a vibrant, colorful, connected, but more vulnerable existence.

    I know I am just not yet ready to let that wall go. I want to be at some point. I still don’t know how to get there. Often as I am laying down to sleep for the night, I wonder if I could wake up the next morning and say to myself “OK TL, just for today, you are going to love fully and freely; just for today you are going to let down that wall; just for today you are going to accept MC’s love at face value. And, then, see what happens. Then the morning comes and I think about doing it and I realize, today is not that day, I’m just not yet ready.


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