Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Giving up?

I really have to get back to work, but my mind won't stop swirling around this topic. I'm hoping that writing and posting will help me focus again.


The whole thing is a long story, so here's the short version. This is one of the busiest weeks of the year for me at work. Every year I am majorly stressed out about this week starting at the beginning of the month. Yesterday I got a call from the daycare that my son had a fever and I needed to come get him. He has seisures sometimes with fevers, so this was yet another big serious thing on my plate. I picked him up and spent a long time taking care of him before he went down for a much needed nap, and then I had to try to mentally place myself back into work to get done the zillions of things that have to be done this week.

I called WS, told him that our son was sick again and could he please run a few errands for me between clients or after work? I could tell in his voice that he really didn't want to, but he agreed. I started to hang up, but then he said something about always taking care of everything around here and I so wanted to throttle him. I told him exactly what I had to get done today *around* caring for a sick child, and he said, "I'm just tired of you picking on me to get things done and never thanking me for it." I asked him when exactly I'd been "picking" on him-- I'd asked if he could please help me out by doing a few things (regular errands that are somehow always my responsibility to take care of). How was that picking on him? He said that it implied that he doesn't do enough around here and that he's tired of me being ungrateful for all the things he does. "It's not all about you!" he said before hanging up.

He came home from work after our son was already in bed for the night and I kept working on all the stuff I hadn't gotten done while he watched sports. He didn't say hi when he came in, but then he talked about some statistical sports thing for 20 minutes like I was his best pal. I told him around 10 that I was heading to bed, and he followed shortly. He asked if it was okay to leave the light on and read while I went to sleep. Sure. Whatever.

I hated laying next to him. I didn't want him to touch me. It's like going back to last May and the weeks after finding out about everything. I can hardly talk to him even today because I'm so angry. Staying civil demands all my energy. I'm afraid I'll snap at any moment. As long as he's not in the house I'm fine, but as soon as he's home I can practically feel my blood pressure rising.

What's the big deal? "It's not all about you" was his sweet little catch phrase in the few months before I found out about the affair. Anytime I brought up anything to him-- could he please help more with dishes or could he do an extra day of daycare drop off just this week? He would come back with how keeping his schedule is important to him and "it's not all about you and what you want."

I don't know that the use of that phrase yesterday necessarily means anything. I know I'm in a bad spot right now and I know I'm giving meaning to things that have none. It's just another thing eating on me. And in one of our first sessions post d-day I brought up that phrase and how he always made me feel like I was the most selfish person on earth. And he told me that day in counseling that he thought I was amazing at taking care of the others in my life before myself. He said selfishness never registers for him when he thinks of me.

And yet here it is again.

I think I give up. Not in a get a divorce way, but I just can't wrestle with this anymore. I haven't slept in ages- partly because of pregnancy, but mostly because my brain is so busy trying to sort things out. At my last OB appointment I told her I was having a hard time sleeping and she offered a prescription. I can't even sleep when I take that little pill, and those suckers always knock me out. I just can't keep trying to fix this. I feel like it's all on me right now- the stress and the triggers and everything is just sitting on me. And every little thing that comes out of his mouth is making me so angry I'm bubbling over.

I know you all said I need to have a conversation with him about all this, but I don't think I can. I think if I do I'll just find out more crap that I don't want to know about this situation, and I just can't handle it right now.

Friday, April 20, 2007

What do I want?

god I should never ever say that I think we're doing well. Because as soon as those words leave my mouth I'm due for a crap day and things keep surfacing in my brain that drive me nuts.

Today it's that all I can think of and worry about is whether or not he said "I love you" to her. And I can't call because this is the one day each week that he's unavailable. He won't be done for another few hours.

And nothing has changed-- he hasn't screwed up or said something dumb or *anything*... it's just me being crazy and obsessing about these little details. I'm beating myself to death mentally for not asking him that question before now. Why is it coming up almost a year later??? Because the 22nd that's Sunday and that's that date they had that haunts me. If I had done what I planned that night I would have found out about the mess earlier than I did-- before she spent an entire fucking weekend with him in my house.

So he's doing everything right-- he's working hard in counseling, he's being open, he's being truthful even when it's hard, he's doing all the things I ask of him, he's being a great dad, he's working for our family instead of just for himself... and I can't get over this. I can't stop obsessing. I can't stop thinking about how he wished to be out of here and came so close to leaving. And even though I'm not worried that the situation will repeat, that once was enough. I should have taken the out he gave me. And instead I did the good girl thing and stayed to work things out and begged him back, and I HATE myself for it. I feel like I gave up myself when I did that, and the regret I feel for that moment is killing me.

I wish I'd let him go. No-- I wish I'd kicked him out. I wish I'd stood up for myself and told him exactly what I thought about what he'd done in that moment of rage and grief. I wish that he was the one that had to beg for me to take him back. I wish I hadn't basically laid down in front of him and invited him to walk all over me. I wish I'd been stronger.

And now I've lost that chance. I mean, hasn't he proven that he's in this for real? Hasn't he proved that he's committed not just to staying but to being a real husband and father? Would it be fair of me to change my mind now? Is it fair to our kids? When I really think about it, I don't really want him gone. I don't pine away for a life without him. I have imagined life without him though-- how hard it would be to be a single parent, to try to survive on just my income, to try to get along as a single woman. I don't know if I can.

So what do I really want? It's been hard to think about this, but the topic has been on my mind for a month or so, and I think I've finally got an answer: A man who treats me like the most valued person in his life. A man who looks at me with overwhelming love in his eyes, a man with intense passion meant only for me. Someone who honestly believes that I'm the best thing to ever come into his life. I want connection. I want to be valued.

The next question is, can WS be that man?

And to follow that, can I love him again?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Love/In Love

I keep having affair dreams.

Until now they've been mostly reliving the actual events, and on occasion it has been my brain imagining WS having a second affair with the same woman.

Last night was different though. I dreamed that it was me that cheated-- that I had a lover that was passionate about me in every way, that thought I was everything, that begged me to leave my husband and be with him forever. And I dreamed about a d-day... about coming home to WS and laying next to him in our bed and talking to him, laughing with him, but feeling nothing for him. And then I told him about all the things in my head-- about not loving him, about finding someone else, about feeling attractive and alive again-- and that it was because of that someone else. I crushed him into the ground. I made sure he knew how little he meant to me and I felt soulless.

The one thing I can't wrap my brain around is the fact that WS says over and over how he never stopped loving me. He says he always loved me even if he did stop being "in love" with me for a time. Now he will say that he both loves me and is "in love" with me. How on earth do you fall in love with another woman when you still love your wife?

I guess to me love is this thing where you would never even consider the possibility of being involved with another person. The very fact that that thought goes through your head would make me question your true love for that person. Love to me is that commitment to sticking by each other even if times are hard or the other person isn't carrying their weight for awhile. That's the stuff that you argue about and work out and then go back to a normal relationship. Love is doing what is best for the other person, even when it sucks or your own needs aren't being met right now-- you do it because you love them, and you talk later about balance in the relationship and about the things that you need.

How can you love me and think it's okay to screw around with someone else? And it's not even about any of the physical stuff-- it's that he says he felt he couldn't depend on me to talk to or be close to-- that I couldn't meet his emotional needs. That's the part that just about kills me when I think about the affair. All he had to do was choose to connect with me rather than someone outside the relationship, and he couldn't even give me a chance to do that. He couldn't even tell me that he felt neglected and give me a chance to fix things. Isn't that what love is to some extent? It's about benefit of the doubt? Giving each other a chance?

And what is with this "I love you but I'm not in love with you" crap that every freaking cheater says? Every time WS uses that "I still loved you" spiel during a discussion or argument I want to strangle him and shout "Cliche! Cliche!" I want to show him somehow that cheater after cheater says the same thing. I cringe everytime he says it.

In case you haven't noticed, this is a bad day. A very bad day in recovery. There is no significance to today as far as being a certain date pertaining the affair. It's just a date where I wonder if it's all really worth it-- all the pain and bad dreams and crying for no real reason...

I guess the good thing is that when I woke up from the dream, I was crying and upset and the reason I woke up was because WS was the one to wake me. He held me and asked what happened, and I told him it was just a bad dream. He asked if I wanted to talk about it, even though it was 4 in the morning, and when I said no he let it go. For me that meant a lot, because he usually tries to bully me into talking about things I'm not ready to talk about. And this morning he asked again if I wanted to talk and my "no" was good enough for him.

Even though this is a crap day, I felt heard by him, and that's a tremendous step forward.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

After All of This

We talked in counseling last night about all of my concerns and how this certain period of time has been really hard on me and will be hard until we get through some of these anniversary dates. And the counselor looked at WS and said, "there is absolutely nothing wrong with her feeling this way. I would expect her to continue to fear these things for a long time." And while there is nothing earth shattering about that statement, it made me feel a lot better just to hear those words from someone in real life. It's okay to feel how I'm feeling.

In the course of the session though, a question came up from WS, and I'm still thinking about it. He asked if in all this time, with all the work we've both put in and all the progress we've made, "Is there still no trust between us? Even after all of this?"

It's such a difficult question, and I wasn't at all prepared to answer it. Because there is trust between us, but not what there should be and not what I think trust really is. I mean, I don't feel the need to check up on him all the time. I trust that when he says he's going to the store/gym/client meeting that he's actually going there. I trust that he is here for me right now.

The issue is, any of that can change in an instant. Almost a year ago I knew we'd hit a rough patch in our relationship, but I had absolutely no clue that an enormous part of WS's withdrawal was because his attention was going to another woman. So who's to say that when the next rough patch hits he won't do the same? I hope he won't, I try to believe that he's bettered himself beyond that, but I don't know it to be true. I don't trust his response to a tough situation.

I believe he is working to be a better man, but I don't take it for 100% fact yet.
I believe that he wants to be committed to me, but I can only trust that for right now-- who knows what 5 years will change?

I know, I know. It takes both of us to keep that committment and keep the relationship from sliding into that dark place, but the thing is, looking to someone else NEVER crossed my mind. And obviously it did his, so I wonder when or if it will cross again.

So yes. some trust, but we're not there yet.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Numbers and Anniversaries

I'm a numbers gal. I remember numbers and dates without trying, even though a vast amount of other more important things slip through my brain. It's not that I'm a stickler about anniversaries of things-- I'm not one of those women that wants to celebrate the anniversary of the first time we met, first date, first kiss, first sex, etc.-- but I do remember all those dates, and when they come around on the calendar I do think of them. It's not even just relationship dates that I remember. I remember the date of my son's first real steps on his own, the first day he ate solid food, I remember the date that I met my sister-in-law for the first time. Heck. I still remember the date that I "graduated" from 8th grade.

It's just a weird thing about me.

What sucks is that I'm in the midst of affair anniversaries. We just passed the anniversary of the night that WS's girlfriend called because her car had broken down on the side of the road and needed help. We're coming up on the anniversary of a date that they had-- a night that I had a sitter set up to watch our son and WS and I were supposed to go out together, but he canceled on me because he was "called in to work". He was actually taking her and another couple out to one of my favorite places.

We're also coming up on May 7. Why is that day important? Well, the first thing that happened that day was that my son really crawled for the first time. It was so exciting to watch because it had taken him almost 2 months of dragging his legs around for him to finally find his knees and really crawl. WS was really withdrawn while we were watching him-- totally the opposite of how he usually is with our son. Once the little guy went down for his nap that afternoon, I asked if everything was okay and got the obligatory "I'm fine." I knew he was down, but he obviously didn't want to talk, so I jokingly asked, "Well, you still love me right?"

God, I was stupid.

I've been reliving the whole thing in my dreams for the last week. I'm already not sleeping because I'm too pregnant to be comfortable, and dreaming like this has kept me up for hours in the middle of the night most nights. WS has noticed how I've been and asks me all the time if there's anything he can do to help, or if I need to talk about things, and I've been pushing him away. I couldn't really put things into words for him that I haven't already used before. I'm afraid you're going to destroy me again. I'm afraid you're going to take advantage of my graciousness in trying to work through this rather than just writing you off. I'm afraid you're going to turn back into the man you were before and I'll hate myself for ever giving you another chance.

I finally brought it up to WS last night. I told him how everything has been stirred up for me with all the anniversaries, and just general stress going on in my life. I told him that I don't think he can do anything to help me through this except to continue to do his own work on himself and to continue to care for me like he has been the last several weeks. I told him that I don't know that this will ever go away for me-- that when it comes to the anniversaries, this might always be a time of year that is difficult for me. We're going to talk about it again in counseling this week.

Will it always be like this this time of the year? Just by nature of my personality? I keep a calendar constantly in my head, and nothing gets erased. Or will that mean I'm finally "healed" if there ever comes a day where I can clear it off my calendar?