I am finding taking forward steps difficult this week. I realize there is only so long you can coast on the drama of the damage before you have to start taking the inevitable path to a better place. Dr H told me I am hanging on to the events in order to protect myself from hurt, and I do think she is right but it feels deeper than that, like a deep wound where the surface cut is almost invisible, but the damage below is catastrophic.
I had two triggers this week. One, my H being at our cottage. I have refused to go, up until now, and not sure when I will be able to face it. I find even though I have not gone, knowing he is up there taking care of the place, I picture him sleeping in our bedroom, where she was (only once). I do not care to trigger myself yet.
The other trigger episode surrounds his talking on the phone. It has been an issue in our marriage. H has been shitty at communication via the phone especially. Normally not a big deal, but when he would go away, there were texts to check in and quick dismissive phone chats. I have been aware for some time that long chats were not in the cards for us. During the getting to know you, enthusiastic phase of our relationship, he was great, but as in all marriages it diminished. I have felt, ignored, not important or thought of. He did spend CONSIDERABLE time on the phone with the others, I even caught him once when he did not know I was watching behind the 7/11 near our house, chatting with a woman. It was a 45 minute call with smiles and laughs.
In his last two trips up north, he has “forgotten” to call. Got busy with chores or friends. He apologizes each time but it keeps happening. He is not doing anything wrong from a cheating stand point but what he is NOT doing is nurturing our connection. I get a brief sorry and then a but…..which negates the sorry. So I was triggered~!!
Same issue around his being tired after work. Comes home, washes and gets into bed. Normally all cool with me, long day of work, understandable, until I realized almost all of his cheating was done from the hours of 8 until midnight after work when he said he was working late. Did he go to these gals houses and apartments, wash and crawl into bed and pass out?????
It makes me angry and hurt to know that they got the charming, attentive and awake H and I get the relaxed, boring H. If they had lasted, or if he had left me for them, I guess they would have eventually gotten the same guy. The other behaviour is not sustainable, it is the excitement of new sex with another that spurs us to take better care, spend more time…because we can see the prize at the end of the behaviour and it is exciting, but reality and life add a check and balance to that.
When D day happened, and for the two months following, he was on his best behaviour. The sweet, thoughtful H I thought I had married, made a strong come back (in spite of my cold demeanour). As we get further away from crisis, I am painfully observant of slips and slides back to old habits. In therapy, we have been instructed to try to renew our bond. Date nights, or simply each doing small things to bolster our connections. H took to the exercise right away planning a dinner and billiards date night. It did go well, we had fun however my wall, was there, bricks piled high and I wonder if it will ever come down. We cuddled before bed. I was thinking of his cheating perhaps 80% of the evening it just made me sad and I guess protective, these thoughts keep the space between us a constant. I find him incredibly attractive, especially when we are doing activities together from grocery shopping, to lawn work, to date night, but bridging the gap to more is staggering. I want to kiss him but I stop myself. I am angry, I am not ready to let him off the hook…none of this is behaviour that will build instead of destroy but I feel powerless to stop it.
Will I ever be able to get past this?? It is so present in my brain, it feels impossible. I think in the wake of us having a good date, it even made me more sad. This sick thing is now between us. The lies, the damage, the walls. Had this kind of devotion to change and repair happened five years ago, we would not be creeping through this mine field of horrors now. I know I have to navigate through this regardless of the outcome, for my own mental health but it hurts every day. I am tired already and have only just started.