Helloooooo vast blogging universe! Here I am to make my anonymous deposit into the vast vaults of thought and shared experience that pull me back to the blogging community.
I have to admit I’ve been avoiding this blog as much as possible lately. I haven’t had the stomach for it. My primary objective here is to work through infidelity and affair recovery. Maybe because my relationship is still a ways from a healthy recovery, I’m just tired of what sometimes seems like an endless endeavor. I’ve recently chosen to focus on other things instead. For example, Pinterest 🙂 I’ve recently found that creating vision boards on Pinterest is a wonderful escape from the present state of my life, but that’s another post.
Sometimes facing how far I have to go when compared to the progress I’ve made can feel overwhelming. It’s reached the point where anything related to affairs turns my stomach and sends me into a tailspin toward anger. The unfortunate thing is that in today’s society; affairs, sex addiction, lies and betrayal are just about everywhere you look. In Movies, on TV, among coworkers, in the news, on the Internet, in books and musical lyrics, it’s something you encounter every day. It’s very hard to escape it when you’re trying to convince yourself that somewhere, somehow, with someone, it’s really possible to live an honored and betrayal free life.
Another reason I seem to be avoiding things is that we’re getting closer to the 24 month Dday marker. The BIG 24. The anniversary where MOST people are supposed to have accomplished healing and recovery and started building measurable amounts of trust. We’re at 16 months. To me the 24 month Anniversary looms like a big black hole ready to swallow me alive. I can feel it’s gravity sucking out my guts. I can hear a distant alien voice, perhaps it’s God, saying “ you are going to fail.”
I’m bracing myself for my partners shift in position. If he’s somewhat short of a compassionate healer now, what will he be when 24 months comes to pass if I’m not over this yet? It’s like an unspoken measurement of progress. I could sense it when we first began this journey and the books and seminars suggested 24 months as an average time to overcome the pain and begin building trust again. I could imagine it becoming the deadline in his mind for when this would finally be over. Hopefully it would be sooner if he had his way, but at least he had a sense of when it could end. I had hoped it was a real number as well. After all, 24 months seemed like an eternity to have to deal with this mess. Looking back on the past 16 months I now realize that unless both people are making monumental daily efforts toward healing, 24 months is but a few drops of piss in a very large bucket. Especially when it’s a repeat offense.
But for him 24 months may seem like an incredible punishment. An incarceration he hoped to reduce as quickly as possible with credit for good behavior. With any luck parole might come in 3 months and life would be almost normal again. I cant help but feel like he agreed to accept responsibility and “Put up with” my irrational feelings until that point but beyond that point… I wonder when it is likely to become my fault again. With his infamous tendency to shirk responsibility and blame everyone around him for making his life difficult it could easily become My failure to trust. My failure to give it up already. My failure to give him a real chance. I’ve been in this place with him before. It will be ME who is too emotionally demanding. ME trying to change him too much. ME being too insecure. ME wanting too much. ME being irrational. ME being too critical. ME making him pay for the rest of his life. ME not giving him enough credit. And soon it turns into ME not meeting HIS needs. ME not being sexual enough. ME not making HIM feel good about himself. ME not nurturing HIS feelings and confidence.
My fear is that there will be no HIM. As in HIM truly understanding the depth or duration of the lies he’s told and lived for most of his life. Or fully understanding the complications of the damage he’s caused and has a hard time facing now. No HIM understanding that maybe he should have talked to me a hell of a lot more through all this and been a lot less defensive. Perhaps tried holding me a little tighter instead of sulking off or turning inward to avoid it all. Tried cherishing me a little bit more, tried a lot more seducing my heart and soul and a lot less pushing for the purpose of sex and quietly resenting me for not meeting his desires enough.
I’m afraid there won’t be any admission that he may have pushed me too far, too long, too selfishly these past 8 years, causing me to close off my spirit more than 18 or 24 months can completely repair. Wanting me to repeatedly give over my intimate self to fill his sexual quota but unable to understand the simple things I kept asking for in return. No gaining any deeper understanding of a woman’s body. Or more importantly an understanding of my heart and mind. I worry there will only end up being him angry because I seem to always want too much. Women are apparently too complicated and it would seem, we are not always worth the extra effort to understand.
What if there is only HIM sadly, woefully deprived by what he will undoubtedly view as MY FAULT? No admitting that maybe he didn’t have the strength, the willpower or enough desire to fulfill all the promises he made when he begged me to stay. All that talk about spending every day of the rest of his life making sure I knew how much he loved me or how much I meant to him. Whatever I needed. Whatever it takes.
Will we reach the conclusion that he promised me a marathon when he’s only ever ran a lifetime of sprints?
Will he ever admit that he can’t expect me to feel my world is safe in his hands when he’s still careless and reckless with his own? If he can’t manage his own life details without me begging him to do so over and over, then how can he ever partner in mine? But, that could become MY fault as well. Too demanding, too nagging, too judgmental, not supportive enough. Too controlling. Too plan oriented. Too detail oriented. Too critical of who he is. The nerve of me expecting him to take care of unpaid taxes or other silly things that might impact our future security or dreams together. The audacity of me needing to see him in control of his actions, his decisions and his future in order to believe I can trust him with the life I’ve worked so hard to build on my own. Let alone trust my heart and soul to his integrity.
I’m afraid when the time comes it might not be about HIM admitting he couldn’t follow it all the way through and do the hard work. It will be about ME making HIM not feel good enough. Ironic isn’t it? Me not making him feel good enough. Seriously? Not HIM selfishly with a sick and warped sense of self- delusionsal justification ripping the living hell out of my spirit and my confidence while using it all as an excuse to f&ck other women?
I’ve come to believe there are only a few phrases that some men really hear a woman say. What can I do for you? I have a gift for you. What do you want for dinner? You’re amazing, smart, sexy, ( any other compliment) and at the top of the list… Let’s have sex. Anything else a woman communicates or expresses seems to go straight to the “there she goes, being bitchy again” portion of the brain. We all know the eye twitch, the face grimaces, the eye roll, the stare, the head giving us that “whatever” shake, the sulk, the jaw clench and worst of all that infuriating 12 year old voice that both whines and attacks all at once. In that tone all unspoken intentions are communicated….. “Oh my god. WTF? What is your problem now? Get off my back already. Stop asking things of me. Stop expecting me to be interested. Stop asking me to understand your needs. Stop talking about you instead of me. Stop making me feel bad about myself and all the shitty things I do. Sigh…I suppose this means we aren’t having sex now. Again. You…are….such….a…bitch”
My point is that for some (though possibly not all) men, women are beautiful desirable creatures so long as we are there to fill their needs. At all other times we’re needlessly complicated things to ignore, avoid,minimize, mimic or ridicule or lash out at. Bitchy things to complain about with other men during their one-upsmanship competitions of how lousy their lives are and how they each deserve to screw a much better woman than they got stuck with. Women… Bitchy inconveniences to dismiss. Necessary if they want sex or someone to take care of them, but definitely not precious beings to learn, love and nourish in return. This is my new awakening. A lifetime of male friends and male confidants and it took me 4 decades to understand how insignificant we can really be to men. I know they don’t want to admit that. I know there are amazing men out there somewhere offended by my remarks. I’m sorry. But the truth lies with the majority and the majority rule is that men feel entitled to women and everything we provide. End of story. Nothing required in return. Subconscious? Cultural conditioning? Genetic programming? I don’t know. I simply know that it is.
Will he remember the night I questioned whether he was strong enough to handle my hurt or my anger? The night I asked if he was strong enough to handle me and my willpower and my strength when I stopped being everything he wanted me to be and I started being everything I really am? When I stopped putting myself on hold to make him center stage? Will he quietly confess that he has ran and hid from the damage and left it to me to heal myself? Will he admit that he continued to lean on me and depend on me and want me to always make his life full, yet couldn’t understand what I need or to try hard enough when I asked for it?
What I really want to know is when the time comes, when we reach that 24 month anniversary will he look me in the eyes and say “you gave it your all, you gave me the chance, in fact countless chances in the past 8 years and you tried so hard to heal from it all, from all the lies and all the games and all the selfish things I did and said to you. You tried so hard to trust. You’ve tried so hard to trust yourself and believe in yourself again even after I slowly tore at you all these years, manipulating you for my own purposes. You tried to talk to me over and over again, getting no where. I didn’t want to deal with the hard stuff. You tried to tell me what you needed. Over and over again, but I always tried to manipulate you into feeling like you were at fault. Like you were the one with the problems. I always played the pity card so you would reassure me and nurture me and maybe stop wanting me to nurture you. Because I don’t know how and it’s a lot of effort to learn. Because it was easier than having to figure it out, figure you out, and love you the way you needed. You tried, and I’m sorry and it’s ok if you need more time, we have more time…. Because I get it and I’m not going to be weak any longer. “
In so many ways, real or perceived, the 24 month anniversary feels like a sentence waiting to be served. Like I have only 8 months to figure this out. For the most part I have to do it by myself, without his help. If I don’t we are going to disintegrate. Because it’s not likely he’s going to change and suddenly understand all things compassionate and tender or become strong and protective. He’s not likely going to wake up one morning and suddenly ask himself whether he gives more or takes more emotionally or ask himself what he might need if the roles were reversed.
But, there’s no doubt in my mind that the very first time he tells me that time is up and I’m supposed to be over it by now…. that all of the work I’ve done and all of the tears I’ve cried in secret will come rising up out of me with the force of a furious violent volcano and assuming I don’t go completely insane with rage and demolish anything standing in my path at that moment, I’ll probably just quietly admit defeat, pack up my heart and finally leave.
So where does that leave me for 8 months? I continue to push on with the belief that I can fix this before the deadline arrives. The alternative means I might as well give up today. I won’t give up that easily and I do still love him. I’ve learned a few things about this and myself and what I want and I will post those next time. But regardless of where I am today or what I hope for in life, I’ve made a commitment to give this my all for no less than 24 months before making a decision. I have 8 months to find my way far enough out of this emotional mess that I can see a safe and happy future with him and he has 8 months to get it or not get it. He’s made changes, he tries on many levels but he’s still a ways off from getting it. Every month I become more clear on what I want, who I am, and who I’m going to be. I warned him it would required strength and fortitude. I warned him we might not want the same things in life. It’s up to him to find it, live it, use it and figure out if he wants the same things I do. To figure out if he loves me for who and what I am or only loves what he wanted me to be for HIM.