When It Doesn’t Feel Genuine

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN ABOUT A MONTH AGO BUT NEVER POSTED- MY BAD!

 

When you suffer the pain of infidelity, the heartache of an emotional  or physical affair, deception in your marriage, a disconnect from the one you thought was that “soulmate”, when it looks like your marriage is coming to and end, you begin to think “is this it?”,  “Is this really the end of our relationship?” It most definitely feels like it.

Yet for some untold reason you stay together, sort of. Both remain in the relationship and continue day to day, but are they really there? I mean their hearts. You see their bodies but do you feel their heart?  If your answer is NO! Then why stay? I just couldn’t think of the right words to describe this until I read a post written by Douglas LaBier PhD.;  Caught Between “Longing” vs. “Settling” in your marriage.  In which he describes this dilemma so perfectly:

                     

                       “caught between feelings of longing for a relationship ideal that they think, might be real but unfulfilled

                              and a pull towards settling for what they have, with all it’s imperfections and disappointments”.

That was it, the word I couldn’t put my finger on. The word is  SETTLED.    It didn’t feel like he was choosing me, it felt like…

He was settling on me.

Settling because He felt comfortable with me.  That certainly makes me feel so special.   Even with all my imperfections and disappointments I’m still comfortable, I guess that’s how I see it.  I’m good enough to be the slave laborer but not enough to be the desired one.

As Julia Roberts says in the movie My Best Friends Wedding “You order creme brulee but what you really want is jello, jello is comfortable.” I guess I am jello.  Not good enough to make you only want jello, but brulee is something you only want sometimes.  Which is the lesser insult?

He simply cant make up his mind.   I imagine it is fear, fear of the unknown.  I’ll take a guess, that this is happening for both of us.  I try to wrap my mind around  what being single again, after 20 years of marriage , would actually be be like.  Especially in this technological, youth oriented, narcissistic world we live in today.  How does someone who still has empathy survive in this world of wolves, without being eaten alive again?

I’m not really looking forward to it in all honesty.

I HATE infidelity!!!

 

 

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It’s more about what you don’t talk about

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”.
Sampra

LINK: marriage.about.com/b/2014/03/12/you-need-more

How bad news can actually be a good thing!

Over the last weekend husband and I (along with another couple) spent the weekend in San Francisco.  We live about an hour and a half away from the city and both love being by the ocean, doing “city” things, the variety of food available and of course going to the Giants game (which we did on Sat. and they won! ).  The weather while sunny was pretty windy and cold.  We had a wonderful time.  He really has been more considerate, warm and loving to me recently.  I do hope that this means he is moving more “into” our relationship.  While it feels good, I was still somewhat apprehensive about his motivations (keep her happy so she don’t ask no hard questions)??

If you have read previous posts, you would know that I was introduced to my husband by my sister and her (then) husband.  The guys worked together and my sister thought he was wonderful.  I remember her saying to me about knowing we would fall in love and get married.  At the time I didn’t think much of it but she was right, and we did.  Throughout the years we have enjoyed lots of family get-togethers and outings with them, and my other sister and all of their children.  A few years ago sister and her husband celebrated their 25th anniversary and he bought her a beautiful “new” wedding ring.  While my sister can be a bit of a bitch, he is the nicest, hardworking, most easy-going guy I knew.  While no marriage is perfect I thought theirs was pretty close.  About 4 years ago they moved to Wyoming and while they liked it there, I know my sister hated the long cold winters. 

About three years ago my middle sister had some serious health problems, which ended up with her having cancer removed from between her lungs and her heart, she was in the hospital for 6 months and while she almost didn’t make it she is alive and well (albeit disabled).  My little sister would come from Wyoming and stay for 6-8 weeks at a time to help out and simply be there for her.  When middle sister was finally allowed to come home (to my moms house)  she had to be bed ridden and convalesce for another 8 months.   After almost two years she was able to return to her own home.  Little sister could now stay in Wyoming more as she had just got her nursing degree and could find work.  She flew home and then called us the next day to let us know she was returning to Calif. for good and her and husband were splitting up.  What? No way!  At the time she didn’t share any additional information but the truth finally came out:  on her many trips she had connected with an old boyfriend who had been coming around because of illness of middle sister, and you know the end of this sentence….began having an affair!!  While prior to the actual divorce she had had second thoughts about getting a divorce, but for her husband it was too late- the hurt too much and he refused to take her back.  We were all devastated for them -and I was mad as hell at my sister.  Didn’t really speak to her for several months.  While the guy she was seeing wanted a more permanent relationship, sister decided he wasn’t the one.  And thus began her internet dating escapade. 

 

She finally met a pretty nice guy and they started relationship (both had been recently divorced).  She wanted to get married (why I have no idea) it seemed rushed but they both decided to get married.  While happy for them I couldn’t help but feel it was too soon (my mother gave them less than a year).  And last July they were married.  I’m not sure the exact things that led up to this but about 3 months ago she told me that they were going to take some time away from each other figure things out.  But I hadn’t talked to her in a while and wasn’t sure their status.  While at the game on Saturday, middle sister called with a question about something and my husband wanted me to ask if little sis and husband had got back together yet?  Middle sis said NO and I guess they were not going to.  He had told her that she was “sucking the life out of him” and no longer could see a future for them.  It broke my heart for her.  I could imagine that she was dealing with a lot of emotions.  From leaving a decent marriage and man to pursue her “happiness”, marrying someone she barely knew and then everything falling apart.  My husband was extremely affected by this news.  It was obvious that it struck a chord within him.  He was observing, first hand,  how moving past a long term relationship in search of “happiness” doesn’t always work out.  As the saying goes, grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.

 

And something changed in his behavior that day.  When he would take my hand in his, he really held it like it was important to him.  When he would kiss me, it wasn’t just the little peck I had become accustom to,  it was a real kiss with feelings and tenderness.  He took my arm as we walked, he opened car doors for me, brought back my favorite chocolate on a trip to the store.  Things that he hadn’t done in a very long time.  We laughed at dinner about a personal little joke known only to us. And it was a good to feel like he was here with me because he wants to be.  Not out of obligation.  I think there maybe light coming from the end of this tunnel!  But I will take it for what it is and not try to read too much into it. 

 

The weather has been beautiful  last couple of days.  The only thing we didn’t do our weekend in SF was go on the cruise around the Bay (we had free tickets that expired on 4/30) because the weather was crappy and who wants to do a boat ride in lousy weather- not me. 
The evening of 4/29 husband told me he wanted to take a half day off the next day, the weather was fantastic and he wanted to take me on the boat ride and then head to the beach to relax and watch the sun set.  Really, I was pleasantly surprised.  He has taken days off for lots of reasons but NEVER to just spend with me. And now he wanted to!, and do one of my favorite things -GO TO BEACH.    Wow this is a first, and so spontaneous as well. (He prefers well planned adventures.)

 

So we met between his work and our house, left my car and went to the city.  If you ever been to SF (usually much cooler and can be foggy a lot) you’ll understand how perfect the weather was, when at 7 pm it was still 79 degrees outside.  He had packed all the things we needed, an ice chest with snacks and wine, blanket, chairs etc. and then after the boat ride we went straight to the beach and spent the afternoon/ til sunset enjoying each other, talking, laughing and feeling the love for each other.  Somebody pinch me is this really happening?  If I had listened to all the expert advice about the what and why of, and how to try handle the discovery of an affair, and what things you should see if a spouse really wants to work things out,  I would of left and probably been divorced by now.  While I took the things i’d been learning about affairs seriously, so many things while they made sense,  just didn’t fit in my situation.  I knew this required that I do what felt right for me.  If I hadn’t chosen this path,  (the one that is a little less traveled)  I think I might of missed the opportunity to begin reconnecting with him.  I might of missed out on what may be the turning point for our marriage.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have the feeling of safety yet.  Feeling safe enough, in the other person and signs that show potential for an improved relationship is where I feel trust can begin to grow.  This was a big step in the right direction for us.  I’m sorry that it took hearing the news about my little sisters’ marriage ending to be that step.  I’m NOT sorry that he (my husband) had to see first hand the tragedy of what can happen when they think that  “the grass is always greener on the otherside of the hill”.                                                                                                      IT’S NOT PEOPLE !

                                          THE GRASS IS NOT GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE!!

I mean I guess there are some instances where that MAY BE the case but most often NO!

To get to a point to restore trust, you must first feel safe with the other person and relationship.  Safe enough that with a little faith we are willing to risk losing it all for the chance of a new improved relationship.  It  will take more than a single action to restore safety , and then trust.  Both instantly relinquished upon D-day.   I know there are many trees in this forest we walk but there’s no blindfold over my eyes as I must be wiling to risk losing it all for there to be a chance for change.   I’m taking that chance- sometimes I feel like I owe doing this to all the other betrayeds who never were given the option. Not many have this opportunity