An Answer

So, remember the question I asked my husband last Saturday night?

The one where I asked what does he want out of this marriage?

I got an answer.

The other night he came up to me, hugged and kissed me and said he was ready to answer my question. My heart started pounding. I wasn’t expecting him to bring it up at all. I wasn’t sulking for an answer either (shocker!).

He said, “‘This‘ is what I want out of our marriage. Just being happy and loving toward one another. Whether it’s sitting on the couch watching TV, going out, traveling, whatever. I just want us to be happy.”

That melted my heart but it’s still guarded. I didn’t want to throw “What about looking for and getting a new job?” I was just happy he came forward and answered the question to some degree.

I look at it as a small step he’s made. We shall see if there is another step after this one…

Wedding Anniversary…check! Dday Antiversary…gulp!

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So, I am back from a fun filled trip to Bermuda with my groom of 25 years. It was awesome! Just what we needed!

Only a few hiccups and triggered thoughts, but otherwise, I refused to let his affair ruin our trip – so it didn’t!

I’m writing this as I’m drinking my freshly squeezed veggie cocktail. I’m on the detox train to healthy living. Needed it after last week’s pinot noir, rum and ice vodka haze! Damn, it was fun!

We rented scooters and popped around the island like professionals (in other words, we didn’t crash or die – haha). We jet skied, snorkeled and drank our way around the island.

Yeah, just what the doctor ordered! Wish we were still there!

So, Monday was our actual anniversary. Our first day home, spent  unpacking. It was nice, but I was a little timid to be honest.

I gave him a card in the morning and waited…waited…waited for something (just wanted a card) from him! He left his card on my pillow so I saw it when we went to bed. I was rather hurt by that. Why make me wonder and wait? I didn’t get a card for Valentine’s Day (yeah, I know…I know!). But, I was hoping I would get one for our big anniversary. His card was lovely and what he said was wonderful. But…I felt a bit hurt. What was I expecting? Diamond stud earrings? No, but something more than a sneak card…

So, in bed I expressed my disappointment. I thanked him for the card, but wasn’t sure I was going to get one. He apologized and then in the morning, apologized again. We both made a truce and said that we didn’t want that issue to tarnish such a great week. Brave face in the morning, feeling better and went back to work (boooooo).

Here’s a list of positives and negatives from the week:

Positives:

We had a lot of great sex. Yeah, I’m still smiling from it!

He hugged me, kissed me and then said that he was so happy to be in love like this. It was heartfelt and I felt it in my heart 🙂

We spent all of our time together (98%) and wanted more!

We laughed, drank and had silly moments, too.

Negatives:

Just one or two triggers for me. I really can’t think of them but they were there.

I made a comment after he mentioned he thought the cruise director was a bit stuck up. My comment was, “Yeah, she reminds me of your girlfriend.” I meant his girlfriend BEFORE me, not Evil Bitch. Well, this is the one comment that hurt him and he didn’t tell me until Monday night. He thought I meant EB, but I assured him I didn’t. So, what did he say? “Well, Julie (the cruise director’s name, I kid you not….) looks more like ‘the other one’ than does D*****.” Yeah — it was an odd moment. I went to sleep not feeling the best on our anniversary. Rather mad and had a nice visual thanks to his admission!

But, but, but…I knew it wasn’t really a big deal. It wasn’t. We spent a great week together. I didn’t want to give his failure that much weight.

So, this week’s post wedding anniversary is a strange one for me. This weekend will be his one year ago weekend of lying to my face. And next Tuesday will be Dday. I’m filled with trepidation but it’s manageable. Honestly, I’m better than I thought I would be. But, I do feel anxious. Waiting for that other shoe…

I’m not over it, yet. But, I am better. I do feel more like myself for the first time in a long time.

It’s still just one day at a time. I just wish I was sipping a Dark and Stormy on Horseshoe Bay Beach!

Knocking on 25’s Door

For those celebrating anniversaries and anti-versaries in the past month (many of us), I salute each and everyone of you. Congratulations, you’ve made it this far and haven’t been arrested! 😉

I leave for an anniversary trip to Bermuda this Sunday. We will ring in 25 years married (technically), yet it’s more like 22 based on our past.

My husband had to remove his wedding ring the other week due to a hand injury. It was sitting in my jewelry box and one day I decided to drop it off at the jeweler’s and have it buffed and shined.

I was going to give it to him on our trip…very symbolic, right? Well, donchyaknow…the stinker wanted to put the ring back on today! He ruined my surprise, but was really touched by my thoughtfulness 🙂 And even more so, I was really happy that he remembered it and wanted to put it on today.

The past few weeks have been good. He was away for five days last week and I missed him, but I was actually OKAY. I wasn’t paranoid or needy. I was busy. Went to see son #2 up at college for parents’ weekend. My husband’s trip wasn’t a work thing, so that definitely had something to do with it. But, I felt fine.

Frankly, I’m rather surprised at my sense of “well-being”. Is it real? Or am I waiting for the shoe to drop? Who knows…only time knows.

Marriage Counseling – First Session

So, we did it. We went together and attend our fist counseling session. The therapist is female and kind of a hippy, which is fine. We were both hopeful yet nervous.

I decided I was going to be more demure and let him answer the questions first. After all, he said he was there for me.

The therapist asked why were there. I said that we were experiencing marital problems and needed to get some help with communication. My husband then had his answer and he said, “Well, I’ll just say it, I had an affair about six months ago. And I’m here to do whatever it takes to save my marriage because I love my wife and I want us to spend the rest of our lives together.”

YES! Thank you! I think my heart swelled with hope at that moment.

I then quickly spoke up because I didn’t want him to be painted in the only negative light and said that I had committed adultery 16 years ago and had a two-year affair, which ended in 2000.

The first session was mostly a question/answer process. She was asking the mental health questions and then family history, etc.

One question that really identified the differences in our views of our marriage was: How have you been getting along? Before the affair? I answered that we were distant sexually, but loving and getting along for the most part. His answer was very different. He said that we were not getting along and he thought I didn’t want anything to do with him (sexually) and that he felt I was disappointed in him.

WOW – so, his take on our marriage was the kindling to seek friendship, flirtation and sex with another woman? That’s what I internalized, and it’s the not the first time I thought of it. He expressed this opinion when he wrote me the Why letter months ago.

I then expressed that I felt humbled by his infidelity and that I don’t think I will ever forgive myself because of my infidelity, yet I want to forgive him and that is why I am in counseling. I want to forgive. I may even forgive myself over time…

We did really well and I was really proud of both of us. I was reserved, allowing him to speak. I was proud he spoke up and expressed himself!

Next session is in two weeks. We are supposed to mentally note when things (little or big) get better between us and what was the occasion or reason for feeling better. I hope my list is long 🙂

Perhaps there is hope?

Continuing with my story…

My earlier post was about this past Saturday.

I came home and took a nap. I was emotionally exhausted. I woke up later that afternoon feeling a bit better. Sleep is so good for you!

I watched a movie with my sons, “Jobs” the biopic about Steve Jobs. That was pretty good and nice to mellow out with them. My abs were so sore from my workout the day before that I could barely move (haha) and my sons were really very attentive. It was nice to blame my blue mood on my body aches.

I was waiting for a text or a call from my husband. Really not expecting one until the morning…but was hoping sooner.

I was pleasantly surprised when he sent me a text at 7:30pm that evening stating that he will do whatever it takes to make our marriage work. Wow – I was stunned, and still numb. I just stared at it and took a deep breath. OK, there may be hope for this boy…

I’ve read (and maybe you have, too) that the betrayed spouse has all the power in determining if the marriage will survive or not. I think that’s bullshit. I think it’s both of us. He has as much power to say, “Fuck it, I’m not going to deal with this anymore! Goodbye.” I have the same option. We all do, technically, right?

He has the power right now because I’m in this for the long haul. He has the option to leave the marriage should he wish. I just want to move toward forgiveness, to really help our marriage heal. I have THAT power. I know that. If I don’t make progress toward forgiveness, he’ll want out. I know it, and I’m threatened by that, to be honest. I guess I have to get the answer to my question I’ve never verbalized until now…did he commit infidelity as a way out of our marriage? Was that his modus operandi all along? I don’t know that answer, yet. But, you can be damn well sure I’ll get it.

So, what is on the horizon for us? Counseling / therapy. It’s time. We need the help to lay out a healing path. We need mediation and learn skills on how to communicate in the best way. The tricky part is finding the RIGHT therapist. I think it will be a female because our past experiences in therapy (family therapy for our son), was with a male therapist and frankly, the husband and therapist really had a pissing contest…it wasn’t pretty.

I’m scared, everyone. I really am, but I have been since October 11th when I suspected his affair. I’m scared of losing him, of losing our marriage and our family. I’m already feeling lost. I lost a part of myself that day. I lost my sense of safety, security and trust. At least, the way I defined those in my past life – because, that’s what it was…my past life. I need to create a new definition for each of those in my new life. I hope it’s with my husband, I really do. I love him so deeply that it makes me tear up just feeling the depth of my emotions for him.

So, I’ve just got to make progress, even if they are small steps, but I have to show him my love and compassion and I hope I get the same back from him. In many ways, women are teachers – we are the nurturers. I just have to remember to keep showing him, each and every day how much I love him.

I’m praying for happiness through hope and help. It’s all I’ve got right now…

PS: I’m writing this while listening to my boss on a conference call…shhhh, don’t tell anyone that I can multitask like this!I

Book Recommendation: How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It

I’m currently reading “How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It” by Patricia Love, Ed.D and Steven Stosny, Ph.D

The title attracted me and the more I’ve been reading, the more intrigued I am getting.

I’ve learned a few interesting points about Fear vs. Shame and how the different genders are wired and raised to react a specific way to situations.

I recommend the book to those in a committed relationship.

I also welcome your thoughts, opinions and dialog here regarding the salient points from this book.