Obvious Child

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It’s been three months since I’ve updated this. So much has changed and it’s pretty much all bad.
In January, he lied to me about acting out, so I made him move out of our room. It has been 8 weeks and he is still sleeping in the guest room. I told him I needed 30 days sober before I would share a bed with him. He hit 31 days and we spent two nights together. Then things blew up spectacularly and we are talking about the dissolution of our marriage. I caught him acting out twice in the house, once with the upstairs. He says he was only watching something mildly inappropriate, but in our house, it is entirely in appropriate. I disinvited him from attending a hockey game with me and a family dinner this past weekend. I do not want him in the same room as me.
And then yesterday he came up with the genius idea that he should be allowed to act out a few times a month because maybe we have agreed on an unattainable goal (sobriety). He is taking advice from a non-addict friend and he also mentioned Dan Savage, the columnist (this article in particular http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/magazine/infidelity-will-keep-us-together.html).

He sent me this email this morning,
If a person who expresses their sexuality in part with masturbation is granted X number of hours per month of alone time in a private space with no chance of disturbing anyone else (or losing their job), and no real infidelity is created, emotional physical or otherwise, then the person’s partner can choose to remain ignorant of the person’s activities in the name of healthy sexuality. this could be done with a laptop that only has permission to access the internet a total of 4 hours (for example) per month.

The masturbator’s honesty would be trusted, in that the masturbator would pledge that no assignations are set up, physical or otherwise.

This is not to say the masturbator’s compulsion is completely innocent or natural or instinctual or healthy. Some of the masturbator’s compulsion may be natural or instinctive but some of the compulsion is grown from poisoned soil from my childhood, of which you are fully aware, and which I will continue to work on.

I am committed to all the steps, and to continuing to work on myself
with S and in program and with you and the kids.”

I am stunned. I can’t and won’t agree to this. It is like letting an alcoholic drink a few times a month or a drug addict use a few times a month. It won’t take long for that to be a slippery slope back in to the rabbit hole of “craven” behaviours. His mention of no real infidelity being created is such bullshit. He agreed not that long ago that all of his acting out behavior was in fact infidelity. It seems to me that he just wants out of the work. That he is coming up with all kinds of excuses to justify his acting out; he is questioning his sexuality, porn and masturbation are “normal,” he is feeling anxious about his fourth step work… it goes on ad nauseam. I know I will have more thoughts on this, but I just can’t find them. I just find myself having a hard time breathing and my chest hurting. I am going to go to a meeting tonight for the first time in 15 months. I need to hear that I am not crazy for not agreeing to this outrageous concept. I haven’t cried during this past week. I feel so checked out of this relationship. And to be honest, I don’t know if I want to do the work to attempt to recover. I will not make any changes to our living situation until the end of the school year because I do not want to disrupt the academic lives of the kids. But he is on notice and he knows it. However if he views anything inappropriate in the house and I find out, he will be asked to leave immediately.

8 Weeks

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It has been 8 weeks and I don’t feel like anything has changed. I certainly haven’t gotten any closer to beginning to trust him. And doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere in recovery. He isn’t making the calls or doing any work that I can see.

Everything is tinged with tension. Simple, dumb things become fodder for a fight or at least gnashing of teeth. He doesn’t trust me either, but I am fairly irrational when it comes to actions and emotions lately. We are hosting a big brunch on Sunday for like 50 people and I am so unprepared. It is highly unusual for me. I have kinda thrown up my hands about a lot of things lately. It a way it feels good, but in a way, I know it is unhealthy. I am kind of checking out.

We decorated the tree last night and I kept thinking, “this is probably the last year we do this together.” It pulled me into the pain, betrayal, anger that I have managed to keep at bay for the past few days. And I snapped at everyone. How fitting that the possible last family christmas should be an ugly one. Though I feel bad for the kids.

A weird situation happened Friday night, but the one big thing (for me) that came out of it is that he was thinking about us separating. He said he would take the rental house and I could have the house we currently occupy. Which is exactly what I want. It felt like such a relief – I thought it would be a big battle when the time came, but if he has already thought about it, then it makes it easier for me to leave.

I am giving myself the next three weeks to live how I have been living, but as of Jan 1, I am going to change my life. I have to. I think it will kill me if I don’t. So no drinking for at least 6 months, working out 4-6 times per week, reading more, eating healthy, going back to support meetings – taking care of myself.

Unusual holiday songs that I love:

Double Dose

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He had his anti-depressant dosage doubled – twice – and never told me until last night. He has gone from 10mg to his current 40mg dosage. His last increase was when he “fell off the wagon” at the end of the summer. I asked him why he never told me that he had his meds change and he said, “I didn’t think we told each other those things.” Fuck you. I didn’t have it in me to tell him that these seemingly minor omissions have huge impact now. He finally admitted that all of his acting out has been, in fact, infidelity. Countered with his watching porn, masturbating, and trading blow jobs with a male friend while we were dating (but buying a house together) was only a “mistake.” I laid into him for that – and he said that if I wanted to end our marriage based on a few blow jobs when we weren’t really together, that was my decision. What a fucking joke. How is someone so incredibly stupid? It is totally grounds for whatever I decide. I have known about this indiscretion for years, but we’ve never really talked about it. Anyway, he went on to talk about how he feels much more committed to our marriage now than he did a year ago, and how I have never hurt or humiliated him when he has allowed himself to try trusting me, blah blah blah. I told him that the irony is that he has hurt me, made me feel like a failure, humiliated me by his behaviors – all the things that he is afraid of, he has done to me or I have allowed. He thought that was interested. I told him I have no compassion or empathy for him. That I am living my life one day at a time with zero hopes or expectations for our relationship. That I am no longer concerned if I upset him or trigger him or make him feel shame, hurt, humiliation, or belittled. Long December, indeed.

Forbearance

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He thanked me for my “forbearance” last night. I asked him what he meant, but whatever it was must not have meant much to me because I have forgotten it. I had to look it up this morning because I couldn’t figure out how the word applied to me/my situation. The definition that seems to most closely fit is, “to be patient or self-controlled when subject to annoyance or provocation.” I don’t think of myself as forbearing. I think of myself as surviving.

I was going to leave the post at that first paragraph, but it made me think and get angry. I don’t want to be “thanked” because it takes away the pain and hurt and anger that I feel. It makes it about him. How about acknowledging that instead? Thanking me for staying, thanking me for forbearance, bringing up the last time we fooled around, that negates me where I am right now. I don’t thank him for trying at recovery, I don’t thank him for causing me a bunch of pain even if I am a mostly better person because of it. I don’t want thanked. And he thanks me now for every fucking thing; working from home while waiting for the repairman, making plans, coordinating schedules, driving him to work, cleaning the house. I don’t want any of it. Just let me do what I need to do. I am not really doing any of it for him. It is for me, for my daughter. He just happens to reap the benefits of me still being in the house. I can’t stand his constant looking at me like a puppy waiting for a treat. Or like I am fucking unicorn. As I am typing this paragraph, I am snarling. We are supposed to chat tonight. We are supposed to do it every week, but I no longer bring it up and its been over two weeks since the last one. It will likely just be more words that he says that I can’t bring myself to remember and some passive attempt for me to validate his recovery.

Spitting Venom

I Don’t Want To…

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…feel
…hurt
…stop drinking
…hear him say that I’m pretty
…be hopeful
…be lonely
…go anywhere in the car with him
…have him look at me
…tell him anything
…lose sleep because he is sleeping soundly beside me
…clean the house
…engage in meaningful conversation with anyone
…do my job
…have him touch me
…listen to him blather about his “plan”
…expect anything
…talk about/plan for the future
…cry everyday
…worry about upsetting him
…apologize for my behavior
…forget that there was something good, once
…forget that I am good
…teach my daughter that bad behavior is acceptable
…cause conflict
…exercise
…be here, again

Today

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Today feels tough. It has been almost a month since the big disclosure. I feel mostly over the extreme anger I had been carrying for a few weeks, but today it is boiling so close to the surface. Today I feel like lashing out. Today I want to ask him what the fuck was/is he thinking. How could he do what he did? How could he lay next to me in bed for 8 weeks, sleep so fucking soundly? How can he be intimate with me (granted there was a noticeable lack of actual intercourse but he had some pretty incredible explanations for it – and I BELIEVED it)? How is porn and jacking off worth more than his family, his marriage, his house, his job, his friends, his life? How lies so easily come out of his mouth? How he thinks I am such a laughable fool to continue to believe him? How it feels to get everything while the rest of us suffer for it? How I cannot find it in me to support his most recent plan for recovery when he isn’t actually enacting anything?

I know he won’t be able to answer. I know none of these questions really matter.

Elliott Smith. *sigh

Rings and Noise

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I took my wedding ring back off after this latest betrayal. I have worn it for less than two months in the past 22 months. I put it in his pill bottle with his anti-depressants. When I first started dating him, he had his wedding ring from his first marriage hanging on a nail in the basement. When we bought our house together, I asked him not to bring that ring, but he did and hung it on a nail in the basement of our house. He has since placed my wedding ring on the same nail. I wonder how many rings he will collect…

He acted out yesterday – I asked. At home and at work yesterday. Over the past two weeks, he had been sleeping elsewhere in the house except for this past weekend when I softened a bit and let him sleep in bed with me. I didn’t really allow him to touch me. It has been a big boundary that he not act out in the house. So this morning I emailed him (not optimal, but I am beyond caring). “I will need you to sleep somewhere other than in bed with me going forward. I can see how committed to “doing the work” you are. You asked me not to leave last week because you were “doing the work” and yet nothing has changed. I am tired of doing what I am supposed to to support you. I am not supposed to withdraw and detach because it could serve as a punishment for you. Fuck that. You have no regard for me, this marriage, the kids, your work. You have nothing to give me; no trust, no respect, no compassion, no understanding. Maybe some twisted version of love as it serves you.” He responded by telling me that he had had a week clean until yesterday. That he was sorry that I was again disappointed. Just noise. Always noise. Distraction, obfuscation, distortion.

Why Do I Stay

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My therapist asked me this last week. I had all kinds of reasons; but then she stopped me and said, “I haven’t heard you say because you love him.” Maybe I don’t know if I love him. Maybe I never did – maybe I needed him and needed him to need me. Or maybe it is just so clouded that I can’t see it. Certainly what I am going through isn’t love. I want to slam his head off of the nearest surface most of the time. I can’t imagine being happy with him again, not like I was this past summer. I feel like I am waiting until next summer when our rental house becomes available and asking him to move there.

I can’t stomach the thought of him seeing me naked or touching my skin, except for my hands. The other morning he was in “our” room getting clothes when I got out of the shower. I wrapped a towel around me so that he couldn’t see most of my body. I am pretty sure he noticed because he had a very hurt look on his face. Stupid things he says – last night while watching Jeopardy, he says that the one contestant has nice lips. I started to feel sick and chilled and shaky again. Maybe I have some minor PTSD or trauma response. I guess I am supposed to tell him he can’t say things like that around me anymore. I hate being social places with him, even in the car, because I feel like he is checking out every woman.

And yet I want validation from him. How fucked up is this? He crushes me and yet I want him to validate me and my feelings. He texted me about how destroyed he will be if “we” don’t heal our relationship. About how he can’t imagine there being a better person than me. But part of me doesn’t care and part of me wants to hear that stuff all day.

It is so tiring. I started driving for Uber this weekend and it was so great. I didn’t think about him and this situation. I got to drive people around, talk to them, many visiting for the first time. And I made some money! Also to possibly help get me out of the house long-term.

I don’t know if I have the fight left in me to see where this relationship can go. It seems insurmountable and exhausting.

And the bottom dropped out…

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It is bad, really bad. Maybe the worst I have yet had to deal with. The shock and disbelief of his revelation on Thursday night is still coursing through my body and mind. He has been in full blown relapse for 2 months – this time it includes groping a woman while we were on vacation and shortly thereafter getting caught acting out at work (some form of porn) and receiving a warning. So many lies, soo many. At a time when I thought we were really working on being open and honest and vulnerable.

I can’t believe I didn’t see it. I can’t believe that I was a fool again, taken advantage of again. I have such incredible anger, at myself for being played, at him for thinking that he could treat me this way. Sometimes I want to hurl things at his head. I almost carried through with it the other night but what stopped me was it was one of my favorite glasses and if I missed him, I would shatter a huge window that would cost several thousands of dollars to replace. Right now I would like to slam him up against a wall by his throat. The urge for physical violence is so strong that my ears are humming and my hands are numb.

I will be doing normal things and be in the present and I will get hit with the gravity and depth of what he has done and forget everything – what I am doing, where I am, who I am. I can’t seem to figure out how I am going through this again. What weak, fucked up, scared part of me stays despite the devastation and knowing it will come again? How pathetic I must be, I must seem to him. He has the audacity to talk to me about taking a trip to NY between Christmas and New Years because there is an art show he wants to see. I don’t know if I can spend time with him in any social situation without worrying that he will touch some woman or flirt with someone or oogle them. I don’t fucking need that.

I feel like so much has been taken from me. Innocuous things: the library – he acted out on the computers there many many times, bookstores – really anywhere that sells magazines, television – I can’t watch women’s tennis or volleyball or softball; those are acting out fodder for him, these are just some of them. And what do I get in return? Love? It doesn’t seem like enough. My therapist asked me why I stay. Is it money, or fear, or what is it. I don’t think I have a solid answer, but money, fear of being alone, wanting to “save” him are all components.

Travel was always a refuge for us because we could get away from the day-to-day and the addiction and the chaos and be with each other. Even in some of the hardest times, we travelled so well together. It helped us reset, even if only for a few days. It gave me a chance to see what I loved and why I wanted to be with him. It is gone now. A situation happened when we were in New Orleans (one of my very favorite places, now bittersweet) and he jeopardized not only his safety but mine and a friends’. The woman he grabbed had a very angry boyfriend and came after him. Our friend and I put ourselves in the way to talk this guy down because I could not fathom that my husband had done this. It was so completely out of character that it was impossible. Many drinks had been consumed but I have seen him incredibly fucked up and this had never happened. He denied and denied that anything had happened. He said he had no idea what was going on. And I believed it even though I had a niggling suspicion, especially after his friend texted him that karma is a bitch and that we have young daughters. So in his revelation on Thursday about getting caught acting out at work, I asked if he had groped the woman in New Orleans, and he said yes, he forgot to tell me that. This is currently the hardest thing I am trying to process. That he would so blatantly disregard me, my safety, our friends safety.

Anyway, I am feeling pretty lost and checked out. I am trying to make plans that will keep me out of the house as much as possible. He is not sleeping in bed with me, nor can I foresee that coming. It is time for boundaries and I can’t even process that yet. I am going to try some recovery literature and reread what I had in place before.

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