Posts Tagged ‘therapy’

Without trust, there is no Intimacy

February 16, 2011

It’s been about a month or so since last I wrote.  Funny how time flies or stands still depending on where you are.  I remember when I was in the thick of my affair, the time I spent with MM would fly by, yet days would drag until we saw each other next.  Time seemed to stand completely still after d-day.  Every minute that I didn’t hear from him seemed a lifetime, ever day an eternity, until a week had gone by, a month.

My ex-MM/BF took his 10 year old daughter to her school’s father-daughter dance 2 weeks ago.  He was talking to one of the other fathers while the girls “group danced” with each other.  The other father said to him that it was probably the biggest collection of people in one room who couldn’t stand their spouses but were too lazy to do anything about it.  MM told me that he responded, rather superciliously, that he found that sad and that he replied that he was determined to not be one of them.  My, how well he can re-write history!  My oh my, how willing he was to be one of them!  How sad and depressed he was when he realized that he wasn’t going to be one of them!  He then pondered aloud to this father, how sad it would be to live such an unfulfilling life and what do these people do when they are empty-nesters.  I speculated that they’ve already lived such separate lives to that point, that nothing much changes. 

We talked about a man that we know who has been married to the same woman for more than 20 years, who refers to his wife as a room-mate.  Yup, that’s what happens.  That guy goes out to dinner with “colleagues” and friends all the time and leaves the “Mrs.” at home.  And when he is home, he’s having a bottle of wine, a cigar, a glass of cognac and TV.  I have no doubt that he’s had a number of affairs and may have even been in love with a few of them, but always returned home, to his empty, hollow, life.  Why?  I recently read another blogger’s posting and he hit the nail on the head when he said “comfortably numb” is the existence you have.  I think that’s sad.  I’ve always thought that was sad.  It goes hand in hand with the notion that “inaction is as much a choice as action.”

Of course my marriage was not anywhere close to “comfortably numb.”  It was excruciating  and coming to the decision that I would rather be alone and poor, than spend 1 more second with him was  a difficult but necessary one.  My AFFAIRS made my marriage “bearable” or “comfortably numb.”  Maybe that’s what they do – make a mediocre or bad situation tolerable.  Without those affairs, what does everyone have?  A spouse that they don’t much care for?  That they are no longer, if ever, connected to?  Someone they married at a time in their lives because that was the “right thing” to do and what everyone else expected?  What lessons do we teach our children?  I, for one, would never take the moral high ground.  The one thing I can say for sure is that when I cheated on my ex-H, it made me feel alive, loved, wanted, beautiful, desirable.  It was an escape from the rotten marriage.  It “enabled” me to continue in it because all of my needs were being met elsewhere and my ex-h made a good living. 

As the OW, my affair helped me get over a bad period in my life – ending my marriage.  What happened was I hadn’t expected to fall in love with my MM, just use him for sex, use him for the way he made me feel and then move on.

My ex-MM/BF and I were driving from his home to my home on Saturday.  I was so tired, I had to close my eyes.  We were talking about his unfailing need to “always do right” by everyone, that he’s a pleaser and I was so sick and tired of this conversation that I told him:  Yeah, you wanted to do right by everyone but me.  And he replied:  By everyone but ME.  I was surprised to hear him say that.  He then said, that today, he is a completely different person than he was a year + ago.  He then said, through therapy, counseling, reading and me, he has changed.  But then he said something to the effect that if his ex-W hadn’t found his blackberry with all of our texts, it is possible that we wouldn’t be together now as he had been incapable of “hurting” anyone, but that he couldn’t fathom that everyone could in fact survive and thrive if he ended his marriage.  Funny, I reminded him that at our last in person conversation before d-day, I told him that I was done with our relationship, yes, I would let it peter out, but having signed my divorce papers I was going to focus on meeting someone who was available to me – that essentially MM had served his purposes and I was done.  He then asked if we could be friends, to which I laughed and said no.  He then told me that he loves me, wants to be with me but his kids are young, his house is “under water,” he’s unemployed (we all know the drill and litany of excuses).  I told him that I didn’t care what his excuses were and that if I were around when he sorted everything out, then I would be there and if not, too bad for him.  He asked me what he should do.  He asked me whether I was asking him to leave his wife.  I said – I’m not going to tell you what to do; I’m telling you what I’m GOING to do.  Then, 4 days later, we’re chatting on Skype, he’s wearing headphones so he can’t hear anything around him, and loudly proclaims that he loves me, misses me and can’t wait to see me.  “Unbeknownst to him” his mother in law is in the hall eavesdropping, tells her daughter that she suspects MM is having an affair and then . . . we’re off to the races.  I told MM as we were driving in the car, that he exploded his life.  He couldn’t be honest with his W then, or the year before, or the year before that and tell her that he wanted to leave, that he was in love with someone else, BUT he didn’t want to lose me and knew that I was preparing to leave him.  So, he swallowed a grenade.  ****Kaboom****  Shit flew everywhere and decisions were made that didn’t involve him.  In his fear at what he had done, he retreated.  And yet, he was never remorseful.  Yes, he wrote that letter.  Yes, he told me we couldn’t speak.  Yes, he “unfriended” me.  Yes, he took my call.  Yes, he called me and called me and emailed me and told me he loves.  Until . . .

Well, here we are today.  I’ve read lots of my cyber friends’ blogs talking about deleting emails, texts, etc., from their x-MM/MW/AP and while I have even given that advice, CAN’T DO IT.  And I read them, re-read them and re-re-read them.  Will someone come to my home and press “delete”?  The worst part is how horrible I feel when I read them.  How stupid I feel.  How used.  And the list goes on.  The worst part is how they conjure up the hurt all over again.  The unanswered questions, the pleading, fighting, suppressed anger.  I’m right there all over again.  Like deja vu.  🙂

So – flash forward to Valentine’s Day.  And yes, I’ve read everyone else’s accounting.  Man, I burn for you all.  My anger is raw, unrestrained for you all.  When will I stop seeing myself as the “OW” but as the girlfriend?  The significant other?  The partner?  And maybe, if I can tolerate it, the wife?

We went to an “intimacy workshop” for couples.  And it wasn’t about sex, but about connecting, becoming and staying more connected.  The class was given by someone ex-MM/BF knows as a Dojo but who is schooled in other far east schoolings and his partner happens to be a tantra goddess.  What he said was without trust you can’t have intimacy.  I froze.  The “exercise” was to look into your partner’s eyes and radiate the feelings of love you have. I leaned over and asked my ex-MM/BF: “Does Sensei know about us? How we met?  How we came to be?  Where you were?  Where you’ve come from?”  And he said:  Yes.  Trust.  So elusive.  A word we all throw around without thinking.  TRUST.  Do I trust him?  That’s HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!  As I re-re-read my old emails between me and MM, the word “trust” comes up all the time.  After d-day, the texts and emails talk about “trust” – specifically – do I trust him to do the right thing by me?  Do I trust that we are ‘meant to be?’; do I trust that our love is strong enough to get over the obstacles that might confront us? 

Funny, that word.  Trust.

I had affairs during my marriage.  Trust.  I needed those affairs because I had a shitty marriage.  I needed those affairs to help me get over the humps of my life.  Some were emotional.  Some were physical.  And some were both.  I had this last affair with MM because I needed HIM.  Trust.  He had an affair.  Trust.  He sent me a no contact letter.  Trust?  And we talked about trusting each other, trusting our feelings, etc.  Trust.  It’s something we always talk about but something that’s so elusive/

MM and I fell in love during the tenure of his marriage.  Trust

He followed the wishes of his “now ex-W” and there was no contact.  Trust

He hurt me.  Trust

I wonder if I can get past it.

We spoke last night.  I’ve been writing this post for days – starting and stopping; reading and re-reading it and my old emails, chats, texts, etc.  It puts me in a horrible mood.  I’m afraid to hit the “delete” button and don’t know why.  And I told him that last night.  What angered me, and what has been bubbling in my brain is that he’s going to Florida to see his parents instead of spending the extra time with me.  What angered me was that he doesn’t defend me to them, that he acts as if I don’t exist when he’s there, that they act as if I don’t exist.  His response was that he’s had this relationship with them his whole life, and pre-dated me, and he can’t change it.  I was furious – I told him that of course he can change it, he just choose not to.  You’re an adult, I told him, act like one.  If your parents can’t be respectful of you, what is it you hope to get from them?  And if you can’t defend me to them, then I don’t want a relationship with you.  I refuse to be a secret.  And make no mistake, I told him, I wont stick around.

And here we are today.  Trust?


To be or not to Be. That is the Question.

January 27, 2010

I’m not an inspiration today although I feel surprisingly better than I have in a long while.

I spoke to my MM yesterday and it was amazing – I needed to tell him some things and it felt liberating. Surprisingly, I didn’t expect to make the call, wasn’t going to call (except maybe to stalk him – you know, dial, hear his voice on the answering machine and then hang up.  Sophomoric, I know, but no different than hunting him down on line to see what he’s doing.)   I told him that I wished he were in pain and was glad that he was unhappy now. I told him that he was embarrassing me personally and professionally by “unfriending” “disconnecting” me from on-line networking sites and by interrogating work/business people and my friends about me. That what I felt more than anything is that if he were standing in front of me, I would slap him and it would feel good. I don’t think that I’ve ever slapped anyone in my life, but it seemed so fitting. I could feel my hand do it – reach out from the side of my body and strike him across the face and the image was cathartic.

He told me plenty — of how shitty his life has been, and not in a whiney, pleading way (shockingly) – he too remembers every word of the last email, text, conversation that we had. I told him that it made me happy to hear that things were shitty for him. Maybe I’m a bitch, but I had to say it. I wanted to say it and more than anything, I needed to say it. 

Then he tells me that he and his W are in counseling together and where he really wants to be is individual therapy because he can’t say anything meaningful in couples counseling.  Because what he needs to say and what he knows are that once the words are out, you can’t get them back again.  I don’t think that he wants to hurt her unnecessarily, but the therapy is not about a couple, but about him. 

He told me that he’s been sending me messages, discreetly, through other people, but I’ve gotten nothing. Hmmm, I wonder if the messengers he selected dislike him, don’t trust him or if it’s me. He told me that the email I sent him hurt him horribly.  That I know him and to say that what he said to me over the years was lies, wasn’t anything that I could have really believed.  That it hurt him that I thought he could discard me like garbage.  That when he spoke to me on the phone in front of his wife and told me that it was over and he could never see me again, he died inside.  Yet he did say that, didn’t he?  He didn’t tell his wife that it was over and he couldn’t be with her anymore.  He said it to me.  He asked me whether or not I thought the email that he sent me was written for me or for someone else, by someone else.  I told him it was hurtful – HOWEVER COMMA!!!!!  Fuck you comma for telling me I hurt your feelings period  Fuck you comma for sending me that email and not calling me and telling me what was going on period  Fuck you period

He asked me if I thought that he really said those words.  And I said yes.  He asked me if I remembered our last conversation and what he said to me.  I asked: about you reconciling with your wife?  No, he said.  About whether I would vouch for the fact we didn’t make love last time you were in my town?  No, he said.  About the fact that I sign all fo my emails, will ALL of my friends “I love you”?  No, he said, that I said I would call you, that I love you and to be patient with me as I figure everything out.  Did you remember that?  And I lied and said no.  YES!  I held onto that conversation on 12/14 like a drowning person holding on to a life-preserver.  And I said, oh yeah, you said you were going to call, and you didn’t.  (Because you’re a LIAR!!!!)  And he said, because I couldn’t but I will.  (Do I have a kick me sign on my forehead?)

He told me that the emails I send to him are directed to a “trash” folder and forwarded to his wife’s computer.  So she reads the emails I sent. And read the last one.   And he commented on the “bullet points.”  He asked me if I thought that someone else might read it and I said no.  I didn’t.  Did I?  I’m glad that she read it though.  Why didn’t you call me or email me?  You could have, it wasn’t impossible.  Are you wearing an ankle bracelet?  Yes, he said, practically speaking I am.

And then he tells me that up until this point he’s had a good marriage and that this has been seismic on all accounts.  We talk for a few more minutes and I let that “good marriage” statement go until 10 minutes later when I said – you have a shitty marriage, you’ve always had a shitty marriage. Stop saying that to me already. It’s a mantra that’s meaningless.  And he says: I know; that’s why I need to be in individual therapy; I need to be able to speak freely and I can’t do that in couples therapy. 

Then the BIG QUESTION:  he asks me what he should do. I told him that I would never tell him what to do – that’s everyone else’s job.  He’s spent his entire life following everyone else’s orders and that at some point he needs to make his own decision and pick his own path. He has done what people have told him to do, what they expected him to do and whether he thought it was right or wrong, whether he agreed with it or not, he did it anyway.  When we worked together, he and I would fight over what I thought he should do.  And in the end, I would say to him, you never do what YOU want or think is right.  I told him that he would have made a great Nazi.  Never questioning, and always following orders.  I would never presume to tell him what to do.  It is not my call, it is not my decision, it is not my life.  I don’t want that responsibility.

I’m glad that he’s suffering. . But it’s an interesting turn of events. You know what he told me? That his wife told him that he is to never have any contact with me ever again, for the rest of his life. I get what she’s thinking and feeling. But when will she learn that you can’t tell someone what to do, what to feel. Not for nothing, but that is why this happened to her in the first instance. You can’t control someone – you should never try. What a fucked up mess he’s got going on. I don’t envy him at all. But, damn if it doesn’t feel good to be able to walk away from that. 

But then, just when I thought I could walk away, whoosh!  I felt the lasso around  my neck, choking off my oxygen supply and he said:  Will you call me tomorrow?  I asked if he wanted me to and he said yes.  I said that I would think about it.  I was going to see my shrink and he told me to talk to her about what he was going through.  Again, about you?  No, I thought.  This time is about me.

And then I saw my therapist.  We spoke about him, the call, my feelings.  My feelings of control, closure, catharsis. 

And what did I do?  The next day I called him.  It was a super interesting conversation.  I never heard him so resolute and strong.  He asked me what 3 things in my life were non-negotiable.  I told him that was in important question and I wouldn’t shoot from the hip as he had been thinking about it and asked him what his 3 things were.  He told me his kids (and he went on about being there for his kids, blah blah), happiness and a life partner.  I told him that was interesting.  He told me that he was surprised I didn’t say my kids.  I told him my kids are NEVER on the table.  Whether I’m physically with them or not, they are always my priority.  They aren’t non-negotiable, they just aren’t something to even discuss.  And eventually, when they grow up (oh so soon), even though they wont be with me physically, they will always be with me and I with them.  It was interesting to think about.  He told me that was on the table since it was important to me.

He asked me what I wanted as regards him and again, I told him I wouldn’t answer.  It is not about me.  It is about him.  I also told him that I am so angry and so hurt that I can’t answer that question.  That there have been days when I was so hurt and so pained that I couldn’t even breath.  He said he knew that feeling because he felt the same.

The last thing that he said was that he wants and needs and will only live his life honestly.  Whatever it is he choses to do, it will be the honest decision for him.  I was awed by what he said.  And I replied – that was all I ever asked of you.  I told you that I wanted to hold your hand in public; to say that I had a companion/boyfriend/partner, but you said no.  It was never me who picked the lie.  And he said, that what we had, was over, the lies, the hiding.  And I said: baby, it’s so over.

As we were getting ready to hang up, he said to me:  I was told to tell you that, if you ever called me, to never call me again.  And I asked:  Are you telling me to not call you again?  He said:  I’m just telling you what I was told to say to you if you called.  So I asked him:  Do you want me not to call you?  He chuckled and said: You’re always the lawyer.  Just think about what I said.  OK, I said.  I’ll call you again.

Yeah, I’ve been thinking a lot about what he said.  I knew what he was saying.  I’m so sad, again.  Because I’m feeling the closure and it’s like a little death.  I believe in fate – if it is meant to be, it will be.  My xMM and I have crossed paths during most of our adult lives and didn’t meet until 5/2006.  We had an affair, we fell in love and then we parted.  Will our paths cross again?  I don’t know.  It’s nice to fantasize about.  Would I like that?  Or not?  Would it make me happy? or not? 

To be, or not to be.  That is the question.