Faking Healing and Healing.

Since I am through the PTSD trauma of that horrible d-day and weeks and months following in which The Player fucked up multiple times and hurt me, and lucky me, has now been seared into my beautiful brain from over 2 1/2 years ago, I’m trying to figure out how to navigate my next steps.

I’ve done my part. I allowed The Player time in our home to get his fucked up self some help that has helped. During the last year and greatly the last eight months The Player has been highly motivated to fix himself. First for me and us, which didn’t work, then finally for himself, which was and is the only way this will work with us. I did give him a lot of grace and compassion and in doing so and it has been difficult for me to hang in there. I’m sort of surprised I did, if I’m honest, because he did not make hanging on easy.

I got my own therapy and help in multiple ways. I’ve written here and privately. I’ve tried alternative therapies including hypnosis. I’ve built a community of partners who have been betrayed so we can support each other and that has helped me feel normal in my craziness. I have let go of a lot of pain and resentment, not for him or us, but for myself. I started paying more attention to me and less to him. I’ve made a conscious decision to stay with him and let go of a lot of some bullshit in order to move on to create a calm and peaceful home for my kids and myself.

Truth be told, my kids were the only thing keeping me here for a many number of these months. They are a great reason to do so and I feel a lot of pride that in the face of great personal pain, I put them first. I do love him, but I have struggled wondering if I love the idea of who he was and what we had? Or do I love him as a person, even if I didn’t know all of the parts of him for 20 years?

The Player has done a lot of work on himself and he’s doing well. I even like the person he is becoming and if I was just meeting him,  on the outside he’d look like a great catch. Because he has continued to work on himself (and let’s fucking face it, it didn’t hurt he passed a polygraph just a couple of months ago) I want to move forward for my kids and our family unit. For me too? Not quite yet. I’m hoping to get there someday and in order to get there, I am faking it.

Until I make it, I suppose. Since I am generally a happy person, I am acting like a happy spouse. A happily married spouse. I am helpful, supportive. I am charming, even. I do all of the things I did before (his acting out of 20 years was realized) and in the 2 1/2 years since d-day but I am doing those things more calmly and seemingly joyfully. I welcome home The Player with a hug and a kiss. I have let go with enough of the resentments I have towards him that I’m able to  do things for him without hatred or wishing him pain. I am surprised by how my positive behavior changes are helping me with my attitude and caring towards The Player and the marriage. Is that fake, too?

I doubt it’s THE answer to our healing woes, but maybe it’s a step in the right direction. I had the realization, as per usual, that I am the reason our family is together. If this works, I am the reason it will. It’s taking a great amount of discipline and caring of my children to make this marriage work. I am a badass to do this, I don’t mind telling you.

I think it might take me a while to let go of the resentment towards him that he put me in this position in the first place.

 

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He Passed!

That is a sarcastic exclamation point, if you must know.

I mean Jesus Christ, I still can’t believe I am married to someone I feel I must have polygraph tested. It’s such major fucking bullshit.

So The Player passed the polygraph in February. The polygrapher called me immediately when he was done and said The Player passed with “flying colors,” but he mentioned something that The Player “remembered” and came clean about.

I know you’ll be surprised to know that The Player remembered he told me a lie about meeting “Christi” at that bar and them having such a short conversation she didn’t even sit down. A lot of partners in the Afterlife of Infidelity have firsthand accounts about this phenomenon called “Parking Lot Confessions.” The Player told the polygrapher before the test started he wanted to clear the air before the test because he didn’t want testing to show his deceit. Apparently, as the story is told now, Christi did sit down at the bar, so the visit wasn’t so much so a “quick visit” as much as it was, “she sat down long enough to have a beer visit” and that my friends, is an example of The Player not wanting to deal with the discussions that would ensue because of his actions.

That is fucking not cool. That is however, being A Dick, and that is one type of person I am strongly against being married to. You know, now that I have a choice. Here’s the thing, is this how it’s going to be now, “little” white lies to navigate? I’ve asked that several times and he’s maintained that is a thing of the past, that he’s strong enough to have hard discussions with me, even when I disagree with him. He’s “solid” in recovery and even as the CSAT calls me “formidable” because I am healthy, know what I want, and am insightful and not afraid to speak my truth, The Player says he can now deal with things head on.

He has been wanting to avoid these types of conversations (this would be the third lie he has come clean to me since New Year’s Eve) because we were doing well, and I had turned the corner out of the trauma. In these three cases, he omitted the truth to cover the appearance or hint of impropriety. The polygraph test revealed what he has been saying for months, he has not tried, in any form, to begin a relationship of any kind with a woman. Even with Christi.

The real kick in the face has come with the conversations surrounding the bar incident since the bar incident. He has been steadfast that the entire situation was fine, that he was never at risk of losing his sobriety. We’ve talked about that for three fucking months. I am not okay with him giving any women (outside of work) his phone number and especially women he wants to help.

This is not negotiable. It won’t ever be negotiable if The Player would like to stay married to me.* I had to state this again recently to The Player and his CSAT because something must keep being lost in translation from betrayed to asshole speak. The Player recently had an epiphany about the situation, yay him. This fucking Christi incident keeps coming up for me though, it is not buried yet. The CSAT asked me why it wasn’t dead yet, why, The Played, why!? I’ve thought a lot about that the last two weeks and I finally know why.

Stay tuned.

*The Player signed a boundaries agreement with me in December and has agreed to this stipulation so I feel safe. There have been many conversations about this general philosophy. 

 

Honesty and The Player

The truth, I guess, is oozing out of The Player now.

Everyone congratulate him on doing what seven-year-olds learn and do! He recently told me that for sure now, looking back, even as early as eight to ten months ago, he wasn’t “solid” in his recovery. He was “white knuckling” his recovery, but still not connecting all of the dots. These dots – and quite expensive dots to the tune of about $20,000 in therapy for him – didn’t start making sense until the last five months. That means for almost two years he’s been trying “work it out” with me, but with every little real tools to do it.

So, I feel like I wasted a lot of fucking time during all of that therapy and those brutal two to three-time a week talks or (fuckingfuckedup) checkins.

Not only did he prolong my suffering and add to the depth of it by lying for the first two months with broken contact with the last whore, for the next year he lied about the 18 years of affairs with the other multiple whores and he didn’t face the fact that he’s been getting  his broken ego stroked by women he didn’t even have to fuck. I believe I resent him for this prolonged suffering.

Imagine how great it felt to know that during the last couple of years for many months in our “reconciliation” he said – looking back of course –  he was very much susceptible to an affair had I kicked him out. “I’m pretty sure I would have,” he said. Honestly speaking, I think this is the most fucked up thing I’ve heard in a long time. Well, not too long, if I’m honest, because nothing surprises me about this process.

Today, I wouldn’t mind yelling, “Fuck this bullshit!” and the whores he rode in on.

 

Blind spot. 

Earlier today we were doing something and I was triggered by a memory of something I know The Player did with the last whore so I texted him while he was out for an errand and said, “I’m a little triggered so I’m going to meditate.”

His reply? “Okay.”

He asked me a little while later how I was and I said “a little better.” He said nothing else. 

Later when I had a chance without any of the kids in the room, I said, “You know that (thing) we were doing earlier? I was thinking back to two years ago when we did that and how bold you two were. After d-day I remember finding the whore’s comment on your Facebook update about me and the kids.”

He gave me a compassionate look (I think) and said nothing. About an hour later we were both in the kitchen and I said, rather calmly and non-accusatory, “You know, I’m  wondering if you don’t know what to say, or if you don’t think about how it might be a good time to offer a little kindness and empathy when a situation arises and I’m sad by something you did.”

He said something about how he knows anything he says will never make up for what he’s done…and he said something about how he was sorry he missed two more chances to comfort me. 

I explained I didn’t need much. I wasn’t expecting to get into a huge  discussion at these moments but to get nothing from him is rather fascinating to me. I mean really, what the actual fuck is this?

When we have a scheduled “checkin” (I’ve grown to hate that fucking word) with each other he does better. He’s focused I guess? He’s on task, maybe? 

One of my last sessions (hypnosis isn’t really a long term thing) was focused on not being thrown for a loop or downward spiraling of emotions when The Player does something fucking stupid (like, for example, sit in bar for 9 hours, hand out phone number to woman, not siez a moment to show me empathy, etc.). The hypnotist reasoned after all, I shouldn’t be surprised he’s capable of being fucking stupid, should I? I should expect what I need and firm boundaries in place, but letting his behavior dictate my happiness and mental state is just wrong. My hypnotist was right. Since that session and listening a couple of times to that session, I was able to talk calmly, not let it mess with my head, not let it mess with my day or evening. 

Now this doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences if he’s fucking stupid. I’ve started a written boundaries list and the consequences list, should he choose to be stupid again (bar/woman/number). Immediate move out of our bedroom and a halt on reconcilation. Space for me, both physical and emotional. 

Emotional Response to an Unemotional Person

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.”

Excellent.

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.

The Thought of Five Years

I was talking to someone about the length of time The Player’s CSAT said it would take to feel more even keel, or “better,” or maybe even healed. Nearly a year ago he said it would take 3-5 years from the last lie, and probably on the longer side for myself and The Player, if we ended up going that route.

That’s three to five mutherfucking years. Longer for our healing because of the length and nature of the betrayals. That means many whores, the depth of deception in years and the year of lies from the time I found out he was a lying liar who lied, to when he decided to fucking man up and be generous enough to bestow the truth on me, which was a (wasted) year. Right after I found out, “I want to work it out!” he said, the same hour he contacted ground zero whore through a family “friend” and a dump phone. Trauma from finding out he was a lying liar who lied and then again when I learned one lie, one more whore fucked, one more trip with one, one more lie to cover up something, one more thing he said to them, one more and so on.

That re-traumatizing bullshit? That was a horrendous thing to do to me, because he hurt me more and prolonged my suffering. During this last – I don’t know what the hell to call it – break (?) of ours, I’ve been thinking a lot about what five years out looks like.

It plays out three ways:

  1. It works. He does the fucking hard work. Well, the work and a little bit more. He does the work, agrees to annual polygraphs for however fucking long I want, keeps the current boundaries and rules he put in place for himself and stays in a 12-step program. We do okay. It’ll never be the same for me, but I’ll be married to a moral guy after twenty-some years of marriage and twenty-some years of knowing him. We stay together, retire to the beach and he never fucks anyone else. Oh, and for kicks, I will continue to NOT fuck other people, you know, as I do.
  2. It works, then it doesn’t. He does the fucking hard work, but relapses. Sure, he does the work, but I am not willing to stay if he fails a polygraph or fucks anyone else. “Slips” as they are called in the program* are the behaviors (for The Player those are drinking alone in bars, alone time in bars or dinners with women, even for business, flirting with women, trolling on Facebook for visual stimulation, excessive porn) leading to the ego strokes and then dick strokes by women, so to speak. He has a slip, catches himself before any sexual contact**, tells me, I will stay. He relapses – in any stupid mutherfucking way – I’m done. Hopefully the kids will be old enough to understand.
  3. Who the fuck cares if it works. I live in whatever limbo for the next 7ish years until all of our children are stable in lives of their own and mature enough to handle the split and then I leave. I figure I can spend the next years getting myself prepared financially and simplifying our lives. Then I leave. If I go with this solution then I can either still demand polygraphs to know I’m safe or make him wear condoms and just assume he will cheat, because if there is no safety net, no uncovered dick goes into my vagina.

My choices aren’t spectacular and honestly, staying with him in any of the choices above doesn’t really thrill me, but it’s our kids. Our kids didn’t ask to be brought into the world only to have an unstable, broken home during their teenage years. The Player made the choices he made and they impact everyone in the family. Would I be sacrificing myself for my kids? Yeah, I will be, but is there any better reason? Will I live a miserable life because of any of the choices above? No. I will not live a miserable life. I will find a way to have a rewarding, fulfilling life, no matter what. I won’t live miserably because I do not want to model that kind of living.

That’s what healthy people do. They assess the situation and make the best choice for themselves. For me, my kids’ happiness is best for me. That will absolutely work for me.  Will it suck sometimes, yes. Will I be pissed I have been back into a corner to choose between myself and my kids? Absofuckinglutely, guaranteed. Will I play the “What if…” game? I am certain I will. Will I survive it and can I create a peaceful and calm home for the kids?

Yes. That’s the choice I make.

* For The Player, that is SLAA – Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous and trust me, months later and I still have a hard time believing an entire 12-step program is needed for “sex addiction” and not for just being Asshole or having a Character Problem but whatthefuckever.

**Sexual contact as described as ANY touching someone in other than a benign way, kissing, caressing any part of the body, sexual intercourse, anal/oral sex. In other words, The Player cannot pull a Bill Clinton. If he wouldn’t do it in front of me or his mother, then it is considered sexual contact.

Oblivious. 

God bless him but he is completely oblivious. As we went to bed he asked what time we are talking tomorrow morning for check-in.

What did he ask? Oh yeah. He asked what time we are doing the thing that seven days ago very nearly sent him to the looney bin. I asked him what the point was since we aren’t going to be addressing my needs for the time being and that’s what I felt those were for so I assumed they were gone. He was shocked.

We went round and round about can he meet my needs, can he not meet my needs and I still think he’s unable. I made him say the words because he has a habit of making it look like it’s not his choice when I ask if he has enough to meet my needs, by saying, “I guess not.”

I told him I’m just tired. I feel like he’s giving me emotional whiplash with his ups and downs. I told him I’ve been nothing but supportive, compassionate, and kind throughout this mess he fucking caused and I’m exhausted. I don’t know what he wants from me.

I picked up my pillow, moved to the spare room where I am now not going to sleep.

The Moment He Knew

The Player and I are in reconciliation. I just had to resist the urge to put quotes around the word reconciliation because typing out “reconciliation” feels more comfortable for me right now.

The Player had a rough start to the week. He was a little down, depressed and had to leave town on Monday afternoon, so his “check-in” with me didn’t happen. He didn’t do it. He didn’t mention it and he needs to take responsibility for it so I didn’t mention it either.

The Player left town for an overnight business trip on that same afternoon. His traveling is always suspect now. Literally, he would go out-of-town on business and hook up with colleagues, women he called his “friends,” several of whom I knew personally. So anyway, he started to check-in more frequently. Just a simple text when he lands, maybe when he was heading from a meeting to the hotel and then at dinner or event or on the way back to the hotel. So he left town on Monday and no text. Not when he landed, not around dinner time. Not around my bedtime. I relented, checked GPS on his phone and he was at the hotel. I texted him.

I texted him, he called me and we talked about the anxiety I had because of his lack of communication. He said he understood and would do better. The next day around two in the afternoon he texted and sent a “Good morning” text saying he typed it out but didn’t hit send.

It had been a few weeks, for various reasons, he’s missed group therapy and he hadn’t attended a 12-step meeting in at least 2-3 weeks. He hadn’t mentioned he spoke with his sponsor. I saw no visible proof of him “working” on sobriety.

This morning, he overslept and missed a SLAA meeting. He intended to go, he said, because he was dropping an SA meeting during the week that wasn’t working for him. He liked this meeting and has said that several times to me.

I couldn’t help it, but I could physically feel my anxiety rising. Over coffee I told him I knew I was supposed to stay out of his recovery business and I could only decide what to do about myself and myself felt super stupid. Like a fool. “Why?” he asked. I had to tell him it was because it felt like as soon as I said, “reconciliation” he quit working on his recovery the way he led me to believe he would.

The Player seemed stunned. I had to point out, “There’s been a lack of communication this week when you traveled, you completely forgot and ignored our “check-in” and now, no meeting. I have no idea if you are even talking with your sponsor or working on anything, so yes, I feel like a fool. Just like the first 20 years of our marriage.”

In one week that is what happened. ONE FUCKING WEEK of changed behavior on his part – in not a good direction – and I was in a spiral of feelings like he was disregarding the new rules for reconciliation he set up and agreed to. I told him as much, probably with a few more vulgar words. He just never put the things together and added them up like I did. Why? Because he’s The Player and the emotional equivalent of a teenager.

Because that is what I fucking do now. I add up things he does or does not now and I try to figure out what the hell he is thinking or even if he is fucking thinking. I wish I didn’t. I wish he didn’t create this in me, I wish he didn’t create me having to look at things differently forever.

I saw the moment he realized what it looked like from my end. He stood up, sat close to me, put his hand on my leg and spoke from a place of truth that he understood how it must have felt for me and explained each point I brought up on why it happened and accepted full responsibility for his actions for my feelings of uncertainty. Both because of what he did the last 20 years and what he did the last week.

I believe at that moment he had his very first empathic revelation without it being pointed out to him by myself or our CSAT.

Pigs may have just flown.

Hell might have just frozen over.

Money may be growing on trees.

A betrayed wife’s heart may have opened up a little bit.

The Blindness of Assholes

A couple of months ago we took a family trip to our favorite spot. The place where all of the important things in our life together happened. We have recuperated there from tragedy, conceived one of our children there, and even named all of our children there. It’s where we have talked about retiring to someday. That’s how special this place is…

Until.

Almost a year ago at “full disclosure” I sat in silence as he said, “I didn’t and don’t want to tell you this. In fact, I called CSAT yesterday and asked if I had to reveal this or if I could reveal part of it because it’s bad, it’s really bad. I have so much shame around what I did. The last person I’m going to tell you about is Whore.”

The Player continued, “I know this is going to be painful because of who it is and what I’ve done. I’ve seen Whore very sporadically for 13 years on and off since a few years into our marriage and until a few years ago when I lost interest.” He took deep breaths. He started crying and said, “I took her to [vacation spot] when you thought I was there alone. I am so, so sorry.”

I shook my head, laughed/sighed in disbelief. “You what? You are an unbelievable asshole.” The CSAT told The Player to stop. No more for a few minutes while he checked in with me. I was in shock. My throat closed, I felt dizzy. Tears streamed from my face but I couldn’t put together a sentence. CSAT said, “Do you want to take a moment and take a break?” I shook my head yes. I stood up, grabbed my purse. He asked if I was returning and I said I didn’t know. I stepped outside to the parking lot and threw up a few seconds after the brisk air hit my face. Since I was already holding wads of tissue, I used them to clean my mouth. I got some gum and took a minute to decide if I was entering again. I decided I wanted to ask some questions I’d prepared. So I walked back in the room and sat back in my spot. I was calm. I was the kind of calm one should be afraid of and he was afraid.

He reached to hold my hand to comfort me. I looked at him like, “You did not just blow up my life AGAIN and want to comfort me, did you?” He pulled his hand back. “You can’t touch me. You don’t get the right to comfort me.”

“Let me get this straight. You took her to OUR place, our house. You fucked her on a trip I planned for you? A trip I encouraged you to take because of your stress? A trip I packed you for? Bought your groceries for? Are you fucking kidding me?”

He wasn’t kidding.

I find it hard to believe I will ever get over this particular betrayal. I’ve been back to our place but first with a friend and a short trip with him a couple of months later. I will not let those two assholes take my special place away from me. I refuse. I can’t lie though, it was hard to face it.

Those two fucking, fuckwad assholes.

Oh, and to add insult to injury he said didn’t invite her, she invited herself. He just didn’t say no. He knows (well, he says) it’s really bad and he isn’t trying to minimize how bad it is, but he wanted me to know that he didn’t want her there. He didn’t invite her. He wanted her to leave the whole time she was there because he really did want to be there alone and decompress.

What a shitty, weak, wuss of a man.

He better up his game in 12-step and figure that shit out. My “sponsor” (a woman who has been through a very similar story as mine) said he is too new in recovery for him to have even analyzed fully the relationships with these women that there isn’t even a way for him to address it with me yet. He better figure something else out because “I just couldn’t say no!” isn’t going to cut it for long. He is so blind to his behavior.

But hey! Let’s reconcile! Gross.

Hell no, mutherfucker.

So, I found myself pulled back into therapy with The Player. I take responsibility for letting it happen. I don’t even know how he did it, but he got me there for three visits/weeks in a row. The second and third times it was a waste of time, in my view. The second visit I stood up abruptly while they were ending talking about money and the next appointment to a stunned CSAT’s face. He said, “Are you leaving?!” I said I was and The Player asked me to wait in the parking lot because we’d driven separate cars.

As mentioned in the pervious post, we’ve had an ongoing disagreement with his saying the relationships with the whores weren’t “relationships” and that over the many years he knew them as friends he didn’t consider them dangerous friendships until they turned erotic or sexual until very much later. I voiced my strong opinion that even if he wasn’t getting fucked or using fantasy with/about them as an “escape,” then the relationships were fine. He argued they were “safe” even. He could do that now, just be friends with women because 1) He knows what he can’t do and 2) He’s “solid” in his recovery. He believes he could have friendships with women in the future and be “safe” from sexually acting out.

Besides him fucking other women or planning to fuck or talking about fucking other women (because DUH), I’ve found I have a deal breaker, or as I like to say, a “Hell No, Mutherfucker Requirement.” No way am I okay with him having women as friends. Ever. Not up for negotiation. Period. We had a lengthy discussion in therapy about this and the CSAT talked about it being impossible to avoid business contact with women. I guess he thought I was stupid because of course, I said, there isn’t a way to avoid women in business but I do see a difference in The Player doing business with women and The Player being the spontaneous, flirty, complimentary, “friend” that makes all the (homely especially) women swoon over him. I argued well, I think, that the reason he could insert his “dick in the vaginas” of several women, several times is because he laid the groundwork for it during the friendship years with the giggling and back and forth ego kibbles.

He wasn’t addressing the future personal friendship with women thing, not really. I felt like the CSAT and he were kind of ganging up on me about it, as the CSAT was saying The Player was “doing really hard, great work.” That’s all well and good and yahoo for him, I said, “I feel like you two want me to recognize how great The Player is by the work he’s doing but let’s not forget he got us into this mess.” It pissed me off The Player kept saying, “That’s not what I’m focused on right now in my recovery. I’m focused on fixing the why so I never get to that point again.” I was pissed off because he wasn’t doing something I needed from him in order to move forward. I said in therapy and directly, “I will NEVER be comfortable with you having female friends outside of our marriage! Never. If that is something you feel you need and deserve, then you’ll have to do it without me. You may very well be able to “handle” it because you’re “solid” but it doesn’t make me feel safe to reconcile with you. I feel like you are being selfish and it’s all about you – like it has been for some months now – and that MY needs aren’t as important. I’m telling you this is something I need and I’m hurt and pissed you don’t want to give it to me.”

So, the last blog post early July we had decided on weekly check-ins as was recommended by our CSAT. They’ve been going fine, he just shares where he is in recovery and if there’ve been any threats, slips or relapses since the last check-in. He’s been (he says) 100% honest about his recovery since November 2014 and I still know all the details. No more remembered instances of his dick landing in any vaginas since he was found out. I guess it’s good to have them somewhat structured instead of a free for all.

So, during our check in last week we talked about the pretend future friendships with women issue and he said he rethought it and it was a boundary he was okay with if it made me feel better and safe. He said he was wrong. If he felt he was getting friendly with a woman, we would address it right then.

In the few days after that I decided to tell him we’re reconciling. I feel I’m settling, but I was all along because I did want to stay because of our children. He’s done a lot of hard work and he has more to do. Limbo was killing me and hurting the way I was mothering, hell, it was hurting the way I was human-ing.

So, it’s complicated but he needed me to say “reconcile” and I needed to be out of limbo. So we both win in this shitty, fuckedupness of infidelity. Yay for me! I won back a cheater! I know, it’s sarcastic because that’s the way I am coping right now. In all seriousness, I am somewhat at peace with it all. I had to make some peace in order to stay.

On to the trials and tribulations of true (as much as I can believe he is in) reconciliation.