Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Ring Thing

Do you wear your rings since you found out about the affair?

I took them off for the period of time right after I found out until he committed to staying, and then I put them back on with enormous relief. When the anger phase hit about a month later I took them off for a long time. When I found out I was pregnant and got over the shock I put them back on for about a week, but then I couldn't do it emotionally and I took them back off half-heartedly blaming it on swelling hands (which is true at this point, but not when I first took them off) and I've been ringless ever since.

Matt wants to buy me a simple band that fits for right now until the swelling and stuff does go away-- something to wear for while I'm in this last stage of pregnancy (aka whale status) and in the few weeks after before my hands get back to normal. It's only the second comment he's ever made about me not wearing my rings. (The original comment was back when I first took them off. I think he noticed right away, but he didn't say anything for about a week. Then he asked why I didn't wear them, and I simply told him I couldn't and left it at that. He was very sad about it, but hasn't bothered me about it since.)

I told him I really had to think about it. It felt at first like the few times he's asked if I would be willing to renew our vows, and every time he's asked I've felt physically ill, and worse the more I thought about. This time with the ring thing, I've been thinking about it for a few days, and it makes me feel a little hopeful. He's been really open about how important this is to him, and in a way it's the most vulnerable he's been in a little while. And I don't feel sick thinking about letting him put on another ring. So this is what I think I'm going to tell him:

I'll do the simple band, but I don't want anything expensive. And I'll use this as a first step toward the possibility of renewing our vows (with no promises). I know he would like to renew next year on our aniversary (7 years) and I want to let him know that I'm honestly thinking about it, but not making guarantees. I don't want to completely shut him down, when I haven't shut the idea completely out of my mind yet. There's still a tiny piece of me that wants that romantic sweep-me-off-my-feet-again moment, but it's just a sliver.

I wrote this post a few days ago and let it sit to see if there was anything I wanted to add. Since then Matt and I have talked about this and my fears connected with the rings. We both have a new plain inexpensive band with the intention of buying really nice good bands if/when we renew vows. I hope to get to that point one day, but I've made him no guarantees that it will be at next year's anniversary like he hopes. But I haven't ruled it out.

We're exchanging our bands tomorrow night.

Feeling Love

Do any of you in the reconciliation process really feel that you love your spouse? Not the deep love that keeps you there in the first place... that *feeling* of loving them? I'm still numb a lot of the time. Numb isn't exactly the word I mean, but it's the closest I can think of. I don't feel anything strongly towards him. Not anger or hate or love or happiness... there's no real emotion there anymore. That's one thing that still makes me wonder if maybe he and I should split even with all the hard work we've both put into making this work. It's just a tiny nagging thought. Now there is just... comraderie maybe. Friend-ness. He's the guy I hang out with and laugh with and raise children with. Not the guy I'm passionately in love with.

For a long while I went through an anger phase where just about everything pissed me off, even things that weren't specific to the affair. But I took that as a sign that there was still some kind of spark there between us, because I just don't get to that kind of rage without there being an intense level of connection there. I don't get that angry with just anyone, you know? So I thought that that level of hurt and frustration and anger was an indicator of the love I had for him-- the betrayal factor was higher because I loved him so much.

Now, not so much. Maybe it's because before this happened I couldn't imagine my life without him. Now I can. I've had to do that, and I'm still partially prepared to make that leap if I have to.
Maybe I've just incorrectly defined love all this time. Some girls think love=sex or love=money or whatever... I saw love=lifetime and commitment, and I don't mean that in the cheesy cliched way that so many women think of those ideas. My idea of commitment was truely lifetime through all that is ugly and hard to deal with. I've handled a lot of things with this man when I really wanted to run away, but I didn't because of that commitment. His infidelity has just been the sharpest blow. I don't see love that way anymore. Even though things are going well right now, I always think there might be a coming day when there could be a split-- and probably not over an affair. Before d-day I *never once* imagined it.

Is this just my pessimism at its finest? I really struggle with that part of my personality. I'm constantly fighting against it in my work life and now it's in my personal life. I feel like I'm pulling the "I love you but I'm not in love with you" scam that he tried to pull on me on d-day. Maybe the deeper love I feel I have for him isn't really there. The "in love" thing definitely isn't there, and I doubt it ever will be. Maybe I've fooled myself into believing the deeper love exists between us to justify the fact that I'm staying with him even after this betrayal.

I know that the "right" answer to all of this is that the deeper love is more important and that the "in love" feeling fades. But I want to feel *something* again. It doesn't have to be grand and romantic and storybook... but it needs to be real.

Is it one of those "fake it til you make it" things? Like if we keep putting in the time and energy and work that it will come back for me? That I'll be able to look at him and think how much I love him? I have very specific memories of looking over at him while he was watching t.v. or reading or something totally boring and thinking, "god, I love this man."

I want something like that back.

And when I am honest with myself, I want it with Matt.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hearing the Words

Despite a much better pregnancy this time, I'm starting to have some problems. I don't want to go into any details, but it looks like I'll be on bedrest for at least a few weeks to help this little one mature enough to have a good chance. If things progress I may be going into the hospital early. If that happens, things will go silent here for awhile. Don't worry-- we're probably fine. I had much worse complications with Little Guy and he and I came through just fine. I'm not terribly worried, just trying to be reasonably cautious.

Thank god for my laptop and an awesome care provider for our son. I'm so worried about how Little Guy is going to deal with things already, and to add on top that I'm sick and he's not old enough to really understand why I can't get down on the floor to play trucks, or even to get him a cup. I'm not to get up except for bathroom, food and shower. How do you explain that to a toddler? It makes it a little harder that I'm home and available to him more hours a day now that my big contract is up. My work week is drastically cut back (thank goodness!), but that means that my son thinks that means I should be able to play the whole time. I'd love to, but it just can't be. I'm allowed to work from bed, but that means no client meetings. Clients have been wonderful about the sudden change, and I just have to keep my updates going to keep them happy. I can do all of that from the computer, no need to be up.

Matt and I are doing okay. I wish he would show his concern more, but I know he keeps from telling me when he's worried about me because he doesn't want to worry me more. When I was in labor with Little Guy and they told me I had to go in right away for surgery, he told me I'd be great and so would the baby, and then he went out in the hall with his mom and cried like crazy. He told me later he thought he'd lose both of us. Of course, he didn't tell me that until almost a year later, and only because we had a session concerning the trauma of our son's birth...

I will never really understand this part of it-- the fact that I have told him over and over that he needs to tell me these things means nothing. He still holds back. Because of that I felt like he didn't really care that I and the baby were having problems back then, and I'm feeling pretty much the same thing right now. This time I know better, but the feeling is still there. It makes me wonder a little if he really doesn't care as much this time since he knows I've come through much worse. He's been trying to come home earlier and leave a little later in the morning to spend time with little guy, and he's taken over all the household stuff that I usually do. To him that says "I care, I'm concerned, I love you." And I know that now. But a girl still likes to hear it in real words.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

That Belated D-day Post

D-day was just bad. I was on the verge of tears all day long and when we got to counseling I just cried and cried. There was no real reason behind it, no particular trigger, but I couldn't help it. Maybe it's because I haven't cried about anything in so long. Matt sat there looking bewildered the whole time. He really didn't know what to do, and that's the bad part for him. There really is nothing for him to do for me when this hits me except to make me feel that it's okay that I feel this way. There's nothing he can do to fix this. It just has to be how it is when emotions like this come up. He hates that part because he wants to fix absolutely everything.

There was no real progress and not a ton of talking; I just cried. It was like mourning the loss of our relationship again. The good thing is I felt much better the day after-- like I had to get rid of some of that stress or something.

The worst day was actually on Sunday. Last year that was the day that he went to see Jessica one last time before he really committed to being here with our family. He was barely gone at all to see her (a little under 45 minutes) but it felt like a week. I had actually been doing okay on Sunday until we went shopping and ran into Jessica. She saw us right after I saw her and I thought for a second she was going to come over. Matt grabbed my arm and steered me the other way. After that I couldn't stop thinking about all the possibilities-- what if she started calling or texting or emailing again? What if he started it? What if this was the beginning of the end? What if, what if, what if... And that went on for ages. I still don't know if I'm completely done dealing with that little 5 second ordeal. I feel so psychotic sometimes, and this is one of them.

Bad thing is that that little encounter triggered an episode for Matt and he's been in a major down spiral ever since. He's taking his meds regularly and sleeping a lot, but this episode is far different than anything I've ever experienced with him. Usually he is very irritable and snaps at everything for a week or two, but this time he's sunk so low that it's hard to watch. In his own way he's reliving last year, this time with the tremendous weights of remorse and regret. It's getting better day by day but we probably still have another week or two to ride out. At least these episodes are getting further apart-- the medication has helped so much now that we've got all the dosage stuff sorted out.

There are only a few more affair-related anniversaries for me to get through and then I'm done for this year. I can focus on life in the present and hope that next year's affair anniversaries will be a little easier to go through. I know it will still be rough, but hopefully it will lesson a little bit each year.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Be Back Soon

I know I said I'd post again earlier this week with a real post, but Little Guy and I are both down with a virus. I'm finally starting to get over it, but Little Guy is really struggling and miserable. I'll be back once we get back on our feet. I'm working in little bits on that post I promised about our D-Day anniversary, so when I get it done I'll post.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Naming Things

You'll notice that names have been assigned to the major players in my story. The list is on the right, just so that everyone knows what's going on. Names will be easier to use than the initials I've been using all along, and now that I really know I'm sticking with this blogging thing it's just better and easier for all of us.

Yesterday was *the day* and we marked the occasion by sitting in counseling for quite a long time. I did not do so well yesterday, and today is not looking any better. I'll write a proper post about it later tonight.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My Apologies

Please forgive yesterday's post. It is possibly one of the least coherent things I've ever written. I'd blame it on drinking, but y'all know I'm pregnant and responsibly so.... therefore not drinking.

After talking a very long time about this news with my therapist and then with my best friend, I feel much better. And not so resigned to give up.

My therapist has suggested to me that WS finally feels safe enough in our relationship to tell me this, and for WS it is another step on the road to a completely honest relationship. He did tell me very strictly though to lay it on the line with WS and tell him that if there was anything else I should know about that it should be said now. Letting truth trickle out will be a deal breaker. End of story. It was nice to get a sort of "permission" to put that into words.

My best friend basically expressed the same thing-- tell it all now-- if he won't then I won't waste anymore time on him. This one step can prove a lot to me. We'll see how it plays out. We have a little appointment with each other for tomorrow night to talk more about affair related things. We both needed today to kind of be apart from each other and think things through. Tomorrow we'll be able to have a real conversation about this rather than the jumbled mess you witnessed from me yesterday. I'm not a looney, I swear. Just upset and rambling some yesterday.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Happy D-Day to Me!

We talked.

He told her several times that he loved her. They talked about getting married and having a future together. They talked about seeing my son. They talked about how they were so in love with each other that they could hardly stand it... and they never talked about me. I was the elephant in the room, never acknowledged, but always there. Like if either of them mentioned me that would make what they were doing wrong, but if they pretended I didn't exist things would be just fine in fanatasy land.

The anniversary is less than a week away. The day I found out, the day he told me to move out (and I packed everything), the 3 weeks I didn't eat because just putting food in my mouth made me gag. I don't think I slept more than 2 or 3 hours a night for those few weeks either. I aged about 10 years last May.

He asked again if I wanted to renew our vows. I told him no and to stop asking-- I'll let you know if I change my mind. I wanted to say, "no, you idiot-- I have nothing to renew, and it certainly wouldn't be with you since you couldn't get it right the first fucking time!" Good on me for keeping things civil.

And saving the best news for last... when we were newly engaged (as in 2 or 3 days), WS had to meet his ex-wife to sign some papers. They'd been divorced for about a year and there was some minor legal thing about who had what car and which car was in which name, etc. Anyway, they had to sign something about it, and he went to her house. It was a nasty divorce, no kids, and she'd had multiple affairs during their 9 months of wedded bliss. (I know this from outside sourves, not just from WS. I trust that it's true that she was the one cheating and not him.) Not only did they sign papers, but he told her that he was getting married again and she said she was happy that he was happy, blah blah, blah, and she made some comment they laughed about and wouldn't you know that that led to them having accidental sex? And then he came home to see me and tell me that she threw herself at him and he had to tell her he was getting married to get her to back off.

But between the ex-wife and OW there was no one else supposedly.

Why didn't I trust my instincts back then and save myself the fucking trouble? Oh yeah-- I was soooooo in love and *my* loving wonderful man would n-e-v-e-r do that to me!

I just don't have it in me to deal anymore. I can't stand the thought that 5 years from now I'll be looking at another OW being part of my life. I've been waiting for that other shoe to drop, and instead I got an anvil to the head. I can't take the grand piano that is probably waiting for me a few years down the road.