Healing. For Me.

After the discovery of the porn, things began to break open in a new way. We were immediately at entirely different places…HUSBAND floating in a new reality of freedom that he had not experienced before…and me…duly and heavily burdened with even more knowledge of betrayal and inadequacy and shame and disgust.

Our therapist sensed the deep pain and inability for me to move forward, while HUSBAND was experiencing the opposite. He took us through an dastardly exercise aimed at releasing the dark emotions…ending with identifying the things I wanted to be different, and finally, the things that I could be glad about. It was excruciating…taking nearly 3 hours to get all the emotions out. I sat facing HUSBAND, holding his hands, looking into his eyes, as he asked me each of the prompting questions and anger after anger after anger after anger followed by sadness after sadness after sadness after sadness followed by fear after fear after fear after fear bubbled up out of my soul and spilled out my lips, accompanied by tears. HUSBAND’s eyes never left mine. He cried with me. He cringed with me. He received it, and heard it, and took it. And then he held me and said I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so so sorry.

I could breathe again. I could think, a little bit, again.

breatheagain

Then our therapist suggested, again, that HUSBAND may be a sex addict, and we didn’t reject it this time. He recommended a couple things: another intensive weekend soon, this time with a small group of couples and coaches, and that we consider attending support groups.

Really? Support groups for perverts and their destroyed partners? This was my life now?

I didn’t want to go, but I honestly didn’t know how NOT to go. Every piece of this story was like a daytime shock-show and so completely removed from what I believed my middle-class, mundane life had been, and I still was operating somewhere between denial and hatred and denial and anger and denial and leaving and denial and staying. So I went. The meetings were at the same facility, but in different buildings, so HUSBAND parked near my building and saw me to the door then turned to go to his building. I stood outside, not sure that I could go in, or that I wanted to go in. This really wasn’t real, it really wasn’t my life. I wasn’t a betrayed wife with a sex addict husband. And what the hell was a sex addict, anyway? Isn’t that just an excuse for a man who is a fucking CHEATER? No way. And as I stood near the door, out walked a man. A man I knew. A man I knew well…my banker…and with a big smile he greeted me and asked what I was doing there?

Um. Um. Um.

I stuttered something quickly about a meeting, gave the brief smile and turned quickly – and now I was headed inside just to get away from the awkwardness of the moment.

I pushed open the door, and there were 8 or 10 women in the room, talking. Chairs in a circle, but no one yet sitting. A couple kind of glanced my way, not rudely, but didn’t say anything. So I asked one of them if this was the, uh, the, uh, MEETING. And she nodded, and said yes, you are in the right place.

I sat down.

The other women sat and 8-10 more women joined over the next few minutes. And then, they got out a book, and each person simply said their name, and a couple words to describe their feelings at that moment. I was told I didn’t have to say anything…which was good…because I just sat in my chair and listened and before I knew it, I was weeping. I heard women describe feelings of optimism and hope, and women describe feelings of despair and disgust. The facilitator taught a lesson about grief, and I continued to weep. No one ignored me, but no one embraced me either. It felt oddly right.

I looked around the room at these women…smart women…beautiful women…determined women…and all betrayed women. I had no idea, no idea that this scourge was real and present and reaching so many all around me. All total strangers, yet sisters in the deepest sense. It felt oddly good.

As I listened during the rest of the time together, I realized I was not hearing spouse-bashing or nasty stories revealing the disgusting things their husbands had done. But what I saw and heard was women determined to get healing, to get whole…women with courage, women of strength. It felt oddly safe.

That night, I curled up in bed, and realized how incredibly wrong I had been for so long about so many things. How deceived I had been about who I was, and what my life was, and even what my life could be. I had a couple flashbacks of moments…

Years before when I was required to get a vaccine because of working around kids and a breakout of a virus in our city, I’d gone to the Health Department for the shot, rather than my private doctor. The clientele was predominantly need-based/free care, and the woman sitting next to me in the waiting room told me she was there to get “checked out” because her man had ‘stepped out.’ I wasn’t even quite sure what that phrase meant, until she said that she’d kicked him out and thrown all his clothes out on the lawn, and now she was just making sure he hadn’t given her a disease. I remembered thinking, “Well, I’m glad that isn’t MY life…”thinking that my middle-class educated life exempted me from the possibility.

But it was my life, and always had been my life since very early in my marriage.

And I remembered when I heard an ad for a daytime talk show in which a man had a double-life thinking that was either completely and utterly made up bullshit or the people involved were downright stupid and ignorant because there was no way that could happen in my little pristine world without me knowing it which it couldn’t happen in my pristine world.

But it did happen in my world, and it was my world which really wasn’t so pristine and hadn’t been since very early in my marriage.

And curled up in the bed that night, I was humbled and knew that somehow, someway, I wanted to become whole. And to heal. And to be strong. And to be courageous. However the story ended, I wanted it. For me.

healingtakescourage

 

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31 thoughts on “Healing. For Me.

  1. This is a heartbreaking read. I really can relate to what you’re saying but from the position of dodging a bullet with someone I was seeing. I noticed his vocabulary veered towards an unhealthy obsession: “Nasty, choking, gagging, pulling, pushing” and the sadistic, “Here eat this [thing to which you’re deathly allergic] so I can see”. I told him he was a psycho and he was to never try to touch me. He told me I was a pain in the ass. After two big fights where he insisted all of the above was actually funny, he ran off for a week to woo another woman, to get back at me. A grown man with children did that. It’s like a part of them resets to a primordial state. But still, he proposed five times! Wow. I am lucky I caught that before marrying him. Oh, and he had two master’s degrees and a law degree. It has nothing to do with social class.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. It should indeed but it isn’t. I know beyond doubt, that I will never trust anybody again. I may enjoy a conversation….but trusting somebody? NEVER. Can you imagine being married to a man, who gives you an incurable sexually transmitted disease (knows he did) and lets you think you are dirty? Yeah, trust…..not going to happen again.

          Liked by 4 people

        2. The strapline for the X Files is Trust No one. It was “I want to believe” but not anymore. No woman should blame themselves for what these types do. I agree with your stance. They are not part of a tiny minority, sadly. They will never be “wrong”. A man once told me that the woman he was cheating on his wife with “violated” him because she hadn’t used contraceptives and did so to get pregnant. I wish he had said that on Twitter. That is the kind of nonsense these types think up to escape responsibility. That dude has a PhD in math and runs a hedge fund so I am glad he confided in me because I now know to make very sure to not conflate a person’s sense making skills and their academic achievements.

          Liked by 3 people

        3. I’m familiar with the transition from “I want to believe” to “trust no one.”
          A lot of us do blame ourselves. I blame myself for giving my complete and total trust to somebody who didn’t deserve it….and you’re right. He made his proclivities MY fault..as did his drunken mama. Ah, how wonderful it must be to always be right….even if you are a scumbag.

          Liked by 3 people

        1. It is so painful, but now I see betrayal so differently. And it is so present in our lives in many ways. NOT excusing it at all…and NOT settling for it. I just have eyes to see, and to care. That’s something!

          Liked by 4 people

  2. Smart women, determined women, beautiful women — yet all betrayed women! So hard to read, I can’t imagine how overwhelming it must have to been to encounter in person. It just goes to say, yet again, that cheating has NOTHING to do with the faithful partner and absolutely everything to do with the wayward spouse.

    Liked by 5 people

        1. Laurel…I will never have blind-trust again. Ever. But I am learning to trust and verify :). I just hate that there is a pool, and I never knew it existed. Better yet, that I was part of it. Big HUGS to you, dear Laurel.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. It’s horrible…what we have “allowed” these men to do to us. I would stick forks in my eyes before I betrayed somebody. I just don’t understand how people can be like that and still look at themselves in a mirror.
          Big hugs to you as well!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. It goes without saying that men are the weaker sex……they couldn’t handle all the cheating shit women have to suck up and live with. You go SS, you are mighty.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My husband was and I’m sure still is a sex addict as well. I’ve often wondered if this is where all his critical anger toward me came from…the disgust he felt within himself. I’m so sorry your husband betrayed you. I’m so sorry he forever change you because that is exactly what has happened. It is not fair. It has changed everything forever for you. I am thankful that he says he is sorry and is willing to work to fix it. I know what you feel and I’m so sorry for your pain. This world we live in throws around sex, porn, strip clubs, hookers, and sex stores like they’re nothing and it is ruining so many families out there. It creeps into our normal homes and infects the brains of our loved ones. I’ll admit before I thought a lot of it was funny and innocent (not the hookers, of course) but now, the images, the over-sexualized EVERYTHING really angers me. Even TV commercials for fast food restaurants are raunchy and racy and this is what temps our husbands and teaches our children these things are as casual as shaking hands. All that is left is us. The strong determined, GOOD, kind, honest, women we still are. We have to pick up the pieces while trying to heal our own hearts. We can. You can. Hugs to you. Know what you need, what your limits are, and know what you deserve. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your support and encouragement, and know it is returned ten-fold from me, and this amazing community of people who share our story. The culture of filth is one that I, too, didn’t see the way I do now. My eyes, my heart see it all completely differently than before I knew my life WAS that joke I used to giggle at, or that movie I used to watch. Thank you again, and please come back. HUGS.

      Liked by 1 person

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