Whose story is it, anyway?

So we got past (mostly, I guess) the stupidity of The Player drinking all evening with a male, friend of the marriage, and sending a flippant message when I inquired about his ETA. The Player came back to me the second morning (in all fairness I didn’t speak to him almost all day on day one even though he tried) and told me he’d been thinking about it a lot and what he planned on changing about it next time he goes out with a friend. I guess we’ll just see if he can do it.

“We’re humans, we fuck up. It’s not realistic to believe The Player will never make a mistake.” Those were the words of our CSAT, who said at least we talked through it a couple of times in healthy way when I was ready because it was also healthy for me to avoid The Player until I could talk calmly. The Player came to me on his own about how to address it and why he thought he did it. That was good enough for me. While we’re humans and all, I expect a certain behavior from The Player. I get it that were humans and we fuck up, but unfortunately, there are some luxuries he doesn’t get for the foreseeable future, at least or maybe ever. I’ve told him a hundred times he has to do his life to  never even give the slightest hint of impropriety. I guess he’s still working on that, because we’re humans, we fuck up.

We’re getting back to the other matter of looking back at the deep loneliness I felt and how I dealt with it in the past. The Player insists that he was “in the marriage” and that it was real and he claims, even intimate, that he was there for me. He said there were short spaces of time where he was distracted with fear and insecurities and he looked for other ways to get through it and in his case, felt pretty good getting attention from other women. This came in the form of many “friendships” that turn sexual and in the form of a twenty year very on and off affair. The same woman who would fuck him very sporadically, hooking up with him on a few business and personal trips. In addition he would spend months at a time throughout our marriage speaking with her on the phone every two to three weeks. He said he thinks there were several years he didn’t speak with her but he isn’t sure. He is completely convinced we had a close, intimate, honest (at least in part) relationship. He’s tried many times to explain how much he loved me and cared for me and how we were “there for each other” even though he had this “other side” of himself. What. The. Actual. Fuck, People?

What he said isn’t unreasonable. From the outside looking in we were there for each other.  He absolutely was there in times of great pain in our family, throughout our shared tragedy. I felt our marriage was good, although I knew he was distant because he didn’t handle stress well, which is one of the reasons I carried a lot of pain by myself. Since d-day I have been able to tell myself that my marriage on my side was good and faithful. I even found joy on my side of the marriage. But with this recent loneliness realization I didn’t even have that any longer. Was he pretending? Like I said, he has tried to tell me that he loved me through it all and thought his acting out and his destructive behavior was separate from me. That right there is the messed up mind of someone who has compulsive or obsessive or addict behavior.

Just like I can’t comprehend what he told himself, he can’t comprehend my reality and the depth of my pain, can he? After a few heated discussions, some soul-searching, some meditating, and some journal writing, I realized it was up to me to figure out how to work with the history without letting it get in the way of building some kind of future with The Palyer. As per usual, if I want to move on in marriage that is healed, I’m going to have to figure out out to live with the past, and do that hard work alone. The Player can’t do it with me or for me. That day sucked, I have to tell you.

As I was sitting in group therapy the other night our discussion turned to our stories as betrayed spouses and the different stories of our cheating/lying/SA spouses. Someone wondered if it were ever possible for a sex and/or love addict to fully ever understand the pain they caused and the enormity of how difficult it is to move on to recovery in the marriage. Someone spoke up that she and her partner were working on their narrative and had been working together to figure out “their” story, creating one story, one with each other about their past, about what happened.

I thought about that and it didn’t feel right for me, in fact, I had a negative reaction to it and it didn’t take me long to figure it out why. I would never want The Player to tell me what my story is; what and how I experienced it. It was at that moment I thought, “How the hell could I tell The Player what his story is when I don’t want him to tell me what mine is?” I decided The Player had a right to his story. 

It was that realization that helped get me unstuck. I can move on just a little bit more.

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2 thoughts on “Whose story is it, anyway?

  1. What do you think about this: It’s not about what he thinks he was doing right, its about what you thought about what he was doing wrong.

    We have our own stories to tell. The thing is, the story can change over time despite the events that happened remained the same. It’s a matter of perception, and as we grow old, find new experiences, we can reflect back and perceive our history a lot differently. Certainly, re-writing history is something people do often to justify an action currently (eg. people having an affair). And perhaps, with the realization that his attention has been elsewhere as well, that you felt alone in your marriage because perhaps if he had direct much of the energy into your relationship, you would have felt differently. Or perhaps, you’re realizing now, how much an honest and open relationship can be so different, and in comparison to the past, you realized that you were alone.

    He may maintain that he was also “in’ the marriage fully, and that his acting out was separate. Certainly he could believe that story and I can understand why he would say that. But if his goal is help rebuild this relationship, and to make YOU feel loved (especially after what he’s done), then what’s important isn’t what he thinks he’s doing right, but to see what YOU think he’s doing right/doing wrong. Of course, that’s not to say the relationship should be unilateral by all means, but i think it’s important that he recognizes and acknowledge your story and your truth, and find a way to incorporate his present/future into your story rather and having his story run parallel to yours.

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  2. And i guess one other question for your husband is this:
    If he maintains that he was “all in” the relationship and he was there for you emotionally, physically, mentally etc.. and that his acting behaviour was completely on the side. Then does he think that it was OK what he did to lead this secret life if you never found out? I mean in essence, it sounds like he believes everything he’s done was completely separate to him loving you. And if his answer is NO, it wasn’t OK, then WHY?

    And finally, if the tables were reversed and you were the one that had physical affairs on the side, would he believe you if you said that you still loved him 100%?

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