Over the days since that therapy appointment I dipped into some big pain and did a lot of journaling to help me process it. I think this didn’t come up until now because my head was full of processing other Big Shit and I didn’t have room for the pain, you know? Like I put it off until I could deal with it. I guess that time is now.
Through writing about it, I realize I have a deep sadness about it now looking back. Up until now I’ve had a few ways I looked back on our life together and the one way I came to terms with the entire almost 25 years together was that I had a good marriage on my side. I was honorable, supportive, sexual (I never turned him down), and I did keep my vow of monogamy. He would even tell you I cherished him. During this recovery I have been looking back and been okay with the narrative I created, the one that said, there were good times and bad times and there was love, I mean, unless there wasn’t love, when he was fucking other people. It was one I could live with.
I feel without true intimacy – which we didn’t have, obviously – you can’t really be there with and for someone in the way someone in a marriage needs (or at least I did). All those years of trauma with the kids when I was here doing my part (thinking he was doing his part for the family) – I had a stressful life at home, hospitalizations, life and death stuff, tragic stuff, he was mostly on the road and/or checked out. Then when he wasn’t here “sharing in my burden,” I argue he had an escape, which I didn’t get. Nope. I was here 24/7, building a support system – surrogate spouses – around me so I could cope. He disagrees saying he compartmentalized and THAT (you know SLAA stuff) was just a different side, you know, but we were still close, he was here for me, etc.
To his credit (I can’t believe I have to say this as a great thing he does when empathy is given) he listened, wasn’t defensive, didn’t cave to my thoughts on intimacy (he used to be an avoidant on issues we disagreed on), asked how he could help, apologized about the past and that I felt alone…
Then that same night he went out with a (friend of the marriage) friend, told me he would be home around 10:00pm or let me know when he would. Well, he didn’t. So I texted him at 10:30 and said, “I guess it’ll be after 10. Sigh.” He texted back a picture his friend took with a drink in his hand, laughing, eyes closed, “I guess this doesn’t help my position.” Then nothing. He was home after midnight and the next morning hungover and home from work.
Honestly, all I kept saying over in my head, “Are you fucking kidding me?”
The stupidity and insensitivity is astounding. The dance is always two steps back, isn’t it?