Is it real?

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?”

 

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9 thoughts on “Is it real?

  1. I wonder now too.. At 15 months post dday. And now I see my husband with much different glasses. I let the anger fester inside me about the daily annoyances.. You know, the toothpaste and underwear on the floor kind of things.. Before I just accepted those things because it’s who he who’s.. Make sense? Now, I think, what a fuxking asshole.. Leaving his dirty underwear in the floor, so I have to pick them up ( or look at them all day.. Yea, OCD) …

    I take all his things that he’s always done as personal insults.. I know I shouldn’t, because nothing has changed.. It was always ok before .. Why isn’t it ok now?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Yes, I could not have stated this any better myself. How does a person behave in such a destructive way for such a long time, and then all of a sudden change? I struggle with who is the real person, the person before or after dday, and if this person since dday is the ‘real’ person, will the other one ever return?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This post is so enlighting because I felt like I was the only one who thought this way. Is it real? In my situation, I overheard a conversation he had with the OW in which he explained that he loved me, but wasn’t in love with me. When asked why he stayed, he replied because of my son. OUCH!!!! After D day and telling him I knew this conversation, he wept, apologized and said he never meant those things. But how do I know. Now I decided to stay but I rationalized that if I need to leave, I will have no regrets.

    I realized that prior to DDAY, I was happy, now I need to be HAPPY. Happiness went from an adjective to a noun in my world.

    Just living day by day.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It is good to know others understand this dilemma, but also very sad that it is probably more common than we would expect.

      Ah, the world of happy (noun and adjective), figuring that one out is a huge struggle. I know it must come from within, improving myself, for myself. Necessary for certain, but not as easy as it sounds – nothing ever is!

      Speaking of improving myself, my work assignment for the day just came in, so I best get to it.

      TL xx

      Like

  4. TL, it’s just part of the turf. In between the lines, those that question the reality, is the heroic struggle you are in the midst of. I think part of our work as BSs is to come to terms with the inevitable losses that adultery creates.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh MR, true, I know. As I peel the layers of my own onion here, I think sometimes I hold onto this pain because I fear if MC sees me happy again, he will forget the reality of the destruction and pain he did cause and can cause by “feeding the bad wolf.” Almost as a way to ensure he stays grounded in reality.

      Then, I also realize it is not my job to keep him grounded in reality. He will either learn to do that for himself or he won’t. I wonder if on some level I am using this pain to push him away on purpose? If he fails, perhaps I would not be as hurt again if I don’t fully let him in? At some point though, I am going to have to decide, is loving worth the risk?

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  5. As I ponder “is it real?” I realize something, I now ask that about everything, not just MC and my life with him. I have lost my ability to believe in “face value” in the world around me. Living this way is draining, emotionally exhausting really. Nothing and nobody will ever fool me again, but at what cost?

    Like

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