In the beginning (D-Day) I still believed. Believed the words that he spoke to me, the things that he told me. When he said he didn’t want to get a divorce. He had made a mistake. Me, being a person who has empathy, I felt his pain, how he could have felt alone those years as we were together, but not “really” together. So I decided I would forgive him. Leave it behind us, move forward to a new and improved relationship. Yes, take him at his word and offer the olive branch of forgiveness.
Through those first days and weeks as we talked, we spoke primarily about the needs each of us weren’t getting fulfilled within our marriage. I was thankful he hadn’t walked out on me, leaving me to figure this all out on my own. I believed he was thankful that I didn’t leave him.
It was awkward at first, communication was never one of our strong points and d-day made it even harder. So we simply started by being nicer to one another. Baby steps, tread lightly, reconciliation after d-day is a delicate process to say the least. It was difficult not knowing exactly what to do, what to talk about, how to act. Everything was different now, this marriage has a huge scar to bear-forever. A scar that needed to heal.
Trying to follow some of the advice I had been reading (I became obsessed with finding information to save my marriage) I would initiate a conversation on ideas to make sure “this” wouldn’t happen again, some new boundaries, a new “game plan” so to speak. They say when infidelity enters into a relationship/marriage that some of the “innocence” is lost. Basically the marriage you knew was over and that you must build a new one with your new history. Gently I would suggest various ideas for us to “work” on our relationship, knowing I shouldn’t push too hard.
As it had been in the past, my ideas were shot down for one reason or another (No counseling, no marriage workshops, no reading of anything of books or websites on healing after infidelity, barely any talk of the affair, events, or details). No forging of new ideas to make a better marriage. We were getting along decently and he didn’t want to jinx it with all that other nonsense I’d been reading. As usual, I back down and agree to just keep moving forward, not focused on past events.
While our interactions did slowly move to a comfortable place where we were sharing time together, being loving and doing activities and outings together. This is good I thought, but it didn’t feel like a “healthy” way to reconcile and definitely not recommended by any professional in this industry. Not the way I thought we should address our new life after infidelity. So many issues that we needed to discuss, for real healing to take place. But as usual we went with his plan.
As long as I “held up” my end of the bargain, things were actually improving on the surface. Anyone on the outside would think we have a good marriage. So despite making major improvements it still felt “hollow”. Not like what I thought a husband and wife who were trying to save their marriage would be like. No conversations about healing, definitely no details about the affair, basically superficial chit chat. Okay no conversations about the past, so let’s talk about our future, address some of the issues weighing us down.
But conversations were never about the important stuff. I felt as if I was simply spinning my wheels realizing that in all honesty he has no intention of ever tackling the hard stuff. It was back to the way it was, I walk around on eggshells never knowing if he would drop another bomb on me. He acts like nothing ever happened (never really apologized, feels no remorse that I can see), let’s just forget the past and ignore the need to create an improved future. I know now that this is not going to happen. My needs, once again, take a back seat to the “blueprint” he chooses to follow.
His words are believable, he talks a good game. His follow through totally sucks however. His actions do not match the words he speaks. Nothing but lip service. Yes the narcissist, also known as character disorder, is the master of lip service. Loves to spin his web of deception to snare the unsuspecting prey once again. At the moment I allow him this delusion. Playing the game the way he does. Let him believe all is fine. But my agenda will throw a wrench into his sick and twisted ways.
I know I cannot change him. All I can do is find my inner power. Each of us has really only one power within us, the power of choice. To choose how we will respond to any situation in life. I can decide where my path of life takes me. I have given him every opportunity to bring new meaning into our marriage. SHOW ME -don’t tell me. That has not happened, well truthfully he HAS shown me, that this will never be a partnership, working together toward our goals. My needs will rarely be addressed unless there is some benefit for him in it as well. Whether he continues to cheat at this point is irrelevant. Even if he has stopped (but I don’t think so) the way we are living our life is NOT what I want anymore. My needs will never be on his priority list. It’s just same ‘ol same ‘ol bullshit. Cordial and friendly but still bullshit.
So here’s the bottom line: If you never talk about the tough stuff, if your interactions are cordial but superficial, if you continue to wonder if he really loves you. Take a step back and see THE BIG RED FLAG staring you in the face. What you see is what you get, NOTHING IS EVER REALLY GOING TO CHANGE. I am interviewing two attorneys on Monday. I HAVE THE POWER TO CHOOSE.
“If you wonder if he loves you, you will continually look for things to tell you it is true. But if he truly loves you, you will never wonder because he will show you everyday”.