Friday, August 04, 2006

Recovery

I found a blog i really like. Check it out.

One of her recent entrys made me think about pictures from times and relationships past. For years after my husband and i separated and then got back together, i couldn't look at my wedding pictures, or any pictures of us "before" without feeling bitter and sad.

To me, the truth of a story depends on the ending. So i couldn't look at those pictures of those happy, smiling kids without feeling that it was all a sham of a mockery of a travesty of a facade. I can't really say i've gotten over it either, and it has been 12 years. I do look at them sometimes with my daughter, but not without a pang.

I give my trust and loyalty slowly, but completely. If that is ever betrayed, then damn if i know how to get it back.

I was conversing with my ever helpful mother last year, and i said something like, "Yeah, we've been married for 24 years now, with one year off for bad behavior." She told me that i really needed to forget about it. (Translation: it makes her uncomfortable to be reminded.)

Not going to happen.

I know it's a cliche when a man has an affair, but he doesn't have to go about destroying his spouse in the process. If he had just said something like, "I'm terribly terribly sorry, but i've fallen in love with someone else, and i don't want to be with you anymore," i would have been devastated, but not destroyed. But he spent 6 months telling me that i was horrible and controlling and ruining his life etc, etc, etc. And the part that makes me the angriest, is that i believed it. What does that say about me? (No longer in that space, thank you therapy.)

Recovery is a slow process, and there have been issues, which take the process backwards. No more affairs, because for me that would be a clear end.

I would not have been willing to even try had it not been for Em. But slowly, slowly things are better.

But i can still get myself in a state with memories. I wonder if that will ever go away.

8 comments:

Onetallmomma said...

Wow, that is powerful stuff to share.

No, it will probably never be the same because you are not the same woman. You are wiser. And forgiveness takes time and time and more time.

At least you have a second chance. Even if mine came crawling back on his knees with roses in his mouth I would not take him back. Unless he spent many, many years in therapy himself.

And God Bless therapists!

marshamlow said...

I have found myself wondering about something similar myself. Is how we feel a choice? We hear that if we push down our emotions it will cause us to go crazy. We hear forgiveness and happiness are choices we have to make. So which is it? Do we push down what we really feel, fake it till we make it, and be happy? Or do we feel what we feel?

I believe that what we feel is deeper than the part of the brain we control. Loving someone is the bravest thing we can ever do, trusting our soul to someone, even knowing that it could end in missery, that takes guts. You are very brave. Big risks, big payoffs.

amusing said...

Oh, marshamlow, I think they go hand in hand, though it doesn't seem obvious. You have to feel it and work through it, but choose not to dwell in it.

I think many women get so attached to the feeling of victimhood (often related to how the man made them feel about themselves) that they soak in it until bitterness is all they know.

Getting past it requires that you burn up, like a phoenix, and come through it a new person. You look at all the pain and watch it heal into a scar. It still hurts some rainy days, but you know you can bear it. You hope the sun will come out and tomorrow will be a better day.

Thanks for the ether high five, menoblog! Nice to know you. And I'm impressed you put the pieces back together -- or are still working on doing so.

Mine never quite understood what he did. We do co-counseling attempting to create in divorce what we could not achieve in marriage for the sake of the kids. The therapist asks him if he can think why I might be angry and he shrugs. He just doesn't get it. He doesn't want to look at it because of what it would reveal about himself. That's his choice -- to not grow and embrace change.

I get a new life. Though it's terrifying at times!

Here's to all of us figuring out where we are and where we are going!

urban-urchin said...

Wow. It's amazing to me that you are putting the pieces back together. That's pretty impressive.

I've been cheated on- not by my husband thank goodness. The feeling of betrayal and how stupid I felt were what I left the relationship with.

meno said...

Thanks for all your comments. I knew you would understand.

onetallmomma, He has spent years in therapy, and continues to do so. Also, i would not even have considered being with him except that he was truly, genuinely sorry and was willing to work really hard.

marsha, we had a therapist tell us once, when things were really hard, to just try acting like a happy couple for a while, just to see what it would feel like.

amusing, AMEN!

urban-urchin, it's a pretty bad feeling alright. I mean, how dumb was i too miss all the signs. But you know what, that's what trust IS. And that's why it's easy to betray.

h said...

My parents divorced when I was six and mama was pregnant with my brother, because the other woman made an ultimatum. 4 years later, I had a new brother. Soon after that, they divorced as well (although daddy realized his mistake right away, he wouldn't admit it to anyone). When I was 12, mama took daddy back; but only "for the kids". They've been remarried now for 27 years. They have a decent relationship, but every time my youngest brother comes around, it's like a slap in the face for mama. I don't reckon she'll ever get over it.

Naturally, the first time around, I married a man just like daddy, Kris was born 9 months after our wedding, he was 9 months old when his father left, and 15 months old when the girlfriend's baby was born. If circumstances had been different, I don't know if I would have taken him back. The heart is an amazingly strong muscle, but too weak where love is concerned.

holly said...

sorry about that, brain dead

liv said...

Thanks for that. I know that I can't go back, and after all, he's about to have his 3rd anniversary with his girlfriend and we're still married. I know that his problems are his. I know that I am not unloving and unfeeling and mean.

This will all be really over soon, and a new batch of feelings will be strutting out on the town. I know that none of this will ever be easy to reconcile, but thankfully, I'm not the 19 year old who started dating a 28 year old anymore. I'm a big girl with 2 kids, a business to run, and a future.

btw, my first instinct is still to love and give with a full, open heart. just not to him.