MC does a lot, but I worry, “is it real?” Still, after 3.5 years it continues. If there is a mask, it has not yet fallen. Then, I realize too, I’ve gone from someone who always saw the good in people, to someone who now is always watching and waiting for the worst to appear in all people, not just MC. I hate that, I don’t like it at all, but I don’t want to be naive ever again either. So, I’m trying to find what is real. Not looking for the best in others, nor the worst in others, but learning to see the reality of a situation, an act, a person, etc.
So, where does that leave me with MC?
All the lovely, beautiful gestures are nice (the flowers, the trips, arranging dates, etc.). All the lovely, pretty words are nice. I know without these things I would be in an even worse place. I would not be able to “get over” that he would do for others something more than he would do for me. Not having them would be devastating, but having them does not do a whole heck of lot to improve the situation, if that makes sense? And, I don’t want such gestures out of obligation, but to be natural and instinctive. I don’t always know how to tell the difference. Is it real?
Then there are the safety measures. The full timeline backed up by a polygraph and subsequent polygraphs whenever I want to help me feel safer in my thoughts that he is, at least, not INTENTIONALLY lying or hiding anything from me. The post-nuptial agreement with infidelity clause is another of these. Again, without these I would not see a way forward to have safety while building trust, but they do not predict the future only offer a modicum of after-the-fact knowledge and protection. And, I don’t want honesty based on whether or not he thinks it will be asked on a polygraph. I just want full and complete honesty in all things, about facts and emotions, past, present and future.
When I think about the times he has told me truth, knowing it would be painful, but telling me anyway, I think yes, he is getting there. If you’ve read our blog, you know the rose story. How we went out to dinner with several couples as a young couple, and all bought their wives a rose, but MC did not for me. I was crestfallen when seeing my disappointment, he asked, “Did you want one?” and when I after replied “not if you have to ask” he didn’t. So, when I asked if he bought flowers for any OW and he told me the truth, I know that was scary and difficult for him. And, I won’t lie, it hurt/s like an SOB. Still, to know that he was telling me hard truth, answering me no matter what I needed to know, that was HUGE for me. Seeing him tell me the truth immediately about his current co-worker being overly friendly, has been helpful for me to know that he is putting honesty above all else. Still, when I think of how he hid smoking from me while he was away for that year, until the polygraph, that was a HUGE set-back for us. And, I wonder is this honesty “real?”
Realizing how many hours MC spends listening to my pain, being there with me in the pain he caused, sometimes we spend hours in a day discussing, even still. Admitting he was a selfish ass and working to root out the cause of that selfishness, his self-pity, and understanding how he was able to have two such disparate selves, disparate lives. His real life ruled by his need for methodical routine, discipline, organization, hard work, avoidance of conflict, and only the most calculated of risks allowed, if any at all. Versus his fantasy self ruled by impulsiveness, lack of fear and complete denial of the existence of any risk at all. Still, is it enough. I wonder if I will ever be able to move beyond the pain of the past, of his desire and ability to consistently make choices against our marriage, to time and again make choices against us, against me. In many ways, a sex addiction diagnosis would bring a sense of relief, a way for me to believe that such choices were out of sickness, not actively and specifically against me. But, that just was not the case for MC, it wasn’t and I so I have to live with knowing that he was a morally corrupt coward. For the last 3.5 years, I see someone working and trying to overcome what was such a long-term defect. I think the changes are real, I feel like the changes are real, but I cannot help but wonder still “is it real?”
Working to be more flexible and let go in terms of his obsessive compulsive need to organize, micro-manage and control the time-management of our family, and of our lives. I see him struggle, but I also see him trying. Reducing his beloved work-outs and career aspirations to be a part of his life, but not the main focus of his life, to no longer do such things at the expense of family. Overall, learning to not be a selfish oppressive bastard anymore! Not being afraid of conflict, not cowering and hiding, not telling people what they want to hear and then hiding his true thoughts, feelings and actions. Essentially, being authentic (assertive, not aggressive) even with his parents and bosses, instead of allowing anger to fester and grow. Seeing him calmly and matter-of-factly call out his mother on her mean-spirited behavior, not allowing her to put him in the child role was something that I had never seen from him before. He did not cower or cave in the face of her temper tantrums. He was not cruel, but just stood up for himself and for our family. Such acts show me how he is moving away from his cowardly instincts. His actions speak louder than his words and they show someone who has decided to grow the fuck up. Still, I have the push-pull of hope in the present and future and utter despair over the past. And, I cannot help but wonder, “is it real?”