This will perhaps be my final entry for this blog. This space has helped me through a major life crisis, and has seen me through some of the darkest moments of my life. It has helped me critically analyze my thoughts, actions and behaviors in a time of desperate isolation. I have tried, over the past two years, to be as honest as I could here, that is, to the extent that I was aware of my own self. I realize now that there was so much more beneath the myriad levels of surfaces that I barely began to scratch in this endeavor. As I see it, this blog was created in an attempt to harbor my secrets from my husband. In a way, I wish I never created this site. I wish that I had just been more forthcoming with him on that trigger-day when I decided that I was attracted to M -- the man from work who started this whole mess so long ago.
And now that it is too late for childish wishing, now that my marriage-in-infancy comes to a close, I find it appropriate to also bring this medium of communication to a close. My life is changing drastically, and I have a tumultuous path ahead. It may be months, years, or maybe never... for me to fully grieve and mourn my loss of losing the man I believed for so long to be the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I know there are those readers out there who truly despise me for what I have done to my husband. I have broken his heart, this is true. But what is less observable is that my husband and I were of one heart, at some point, and so that broken heart is also mine to bear. It is so much easier to label me as perpetrator, as evil-doer, as cold-hearted bitch. And for those of this mindset, I offer nothing but compassion because it is apparent to me that the experience of pain runs so deep that it blinds us all to the true healing power of kindness.
Before I say my farewells however, I shall attempt to explain my current state of mind, state of living, and state of affairs. I have moved out of our home, back in with my parents. H and I have filed a separation agreement. We are sorting through the finances, and we have been living separate lives for almost two months. I suppose you could say we're taking the necessary steps toward divorce. Financially, it's going to be tough, probably for a few years, but manageable. I seem to be fortunate in that I am ably-employed, and so long as I continue to be able to work on my feet, I should be able to maintain my household without being dependent on my husband financially.
I am continuing to see YoungMan, despite all the advice of well-intentioned friends, family members and online self-help articles. I am seeing a therapist on my own to work through many of these relationship issues that I have recently discovered about myself, in light of what has happened with H. I am overcoming a dark & powerful, yet thankfully brief glimpse down that wretched alley of suicidal thoughts. I am battling the difficult judgments of disapproval, shame, and disappointment from my closest loved ones, and attempting to get through it all with some modicum of self-respect.
Throughout my relationship with H, I had been living multiple fractured lives. The "me" that I was with him was different than the "me" I was with friends, and different still from the "me" that I was with family. Sure, we all may show different faces of our selves to various people, but in this case, I don't feel I had an integrity of self that carried on strong from person to person. I merely reflected the roles that I thought others wanted me to perform. I found out too late that the "me" I was with H was someone I didn't want to be. And with all the dishonesty that I had built into all the relationships around me (from the time I was a child) I was able to live for far too long, in a skin that I, in actuality, did not want.
I've learned about certain emotional needs that I have. Needs that I was never aware existed, and so easily ignored. Needs that determined how happy I could be, and how happy I was. H fulfilled many of those needs early on in our relationship, but because I wasn't fully aware of which emotional triggers were most important to me, when a lack began to develop between us, I didn't know how to identify the problem. My lack of understanding then translated to my inability to communicate those needs to my husband. His lack of empathy for my unhappiness also led to a further drifting apart of our closeness -- our bond that should not have been so easily severed. These were seeds that had been sown two years ago, long before I ever let my heart stray into another man's open arms.
I know that there is a pattern I have now set -- a pattern of abandonment, where I leave the ones who love me. In every major relationship that I've had, it always ended because I strayed and chose to leave. In fact, in retrospect, I always subconsciously chose to leave first, and then I cheated, in order to leave the relationship for good. It was as if unless I cheated, there would be no good reason to up and leave the amazing person I was with. As if, I had to force myself to do something extreme and Unworthy, to make that other person not be able to stand to remain with me any longer. And if, for some miracle, that person decided that they wanted to stick around, then I still pushed the envelope and said goodbye. I think I'm starting to understand the reasoning behind all of this twisted behavior. I think in the past I've always chosen lovers who I knew would set me on a pedestal. I knew they would cherish me and hold me as if to never let me go. Given my independent nature, this is a surefire way to race down a path that feels constricting and eventually terrifyingly trapped. A coworker once said to me "damn, you're dangerous." Upon asking for clarification, he replied "well, it's like this: men fall in love with you too fucking fast. Right away they're head over heels for you, aren't they?" And as I thought about it, it's true. Or at least, it's true that they think they're falling for me. H -- 2 1/2 weeks and he tells me he's in love with me. FunBuddy -- 3 times of having sex together and he admits to thinking he's falling for me. CoworkerFriend -- slept with him once and he told me he completely understands why someone would want to marry me, in order to wake up next to me everyday. 5 Past Lovers going back 10 years -- all within a few weeks of spending time with me, they're in love, visions of happily ever after, and in fact a relationship always follows. Is it that I am so flattered by this love-at-first-sight mentality that I allow myself to be swept away by the romance of it all? That, despite any reservations I may have, I pursue a relationship because it simply feels so good to be loved? Perhaps it is true. I suppose now I seem to be questioning whether or not that's a stance to accept as a relatively healthy one to have, or to reject it as an unhealthy approach to relationships altogether. I really don't know, but I'm working on it.
The website, Marriage Builders was so helpful to me in understanding why my marriage got to where it is now. Ironically, a website that's supposed to help me fix the broken marriage that I'm in is actually more helpful as a tool for establishing guidelines for a future significant relationship. One of the things I've alluded to in this post that I've taken from this doctor's theories is the idea of "Important Emotional Needs". I urge anyone who even questions the stability of their relationship to read these theories. The writer clearly and succinctly outlines what he perceives as the things we search for in our relationships, that ultimately determine our happiness, feelings of love & loving others, and solutions to typical problems that arise from not having these needs met. The thing that surprised me the most was that throughout the progression of my relationship with H, I became less and less self-aware, as though H's love for me numbed my sense of self-growth and personal progress. When I read the list of emotional needs, I identified mine rather easily, and yet was surprised at what they were. Even more surprising was how accurate they were in the elements that were slipping away in my marriage with H. I can't help but question if I had known these things earlier... if I was more in touch with my innermost feelings, if maybe I would have had a better time communicating with H, and maybe it never would have come to this. However, hindsight is always 20-20, and the reality of the situation is that it has come to this. We are in fact here at this juncture, and I am in reality, a survivor. I hope that at some point my H and I can become friends and sort through what we've been through. I don't know how possible that is, given the intensity of our relationship, but I would like that eventually.
Right now I am focused on regaining my sense of self-control and self-awareness. I'm taking the necessary steps to move forward in my life financially, healthfully, emotionally, and relationally. My new relationship with YM is amazingly fulfilling, and I find great joy in spending time with him. I'm experiencing brand new levels of vulnerability that are challenging for me, and frightening. But I'm aware of it and able to head it off at the start from turning into indifference and emotional distancing. He's able to read me so easily and can sense my every reaction, in ways I've never experienced, or felt so welcomed with another person. I have the feeling that our future is bright, but I'm not going to fall into my typical trap of envisioning perfection at every step. I've learned to accept my need for "imperfect space" -- the ability to say that I've failed, that it's okay, and to learn from those mistakes, rather than aspiring blindly and working hard for ultimate perfection consistently, such that even the tiniest of errors leads to an unbearable pain of disappointment in myself. I'm learning to quiet those disenfranchising voices that are persistently degrading my spirit and my strength. I think that YM has a great deal to do with how far I have come, in feeling accepted, despite my flaws, in feeling loved, because of them. There is something between us that allows us to be incredibly forgiving and open with one other. But I think ultimately it's the level of awareness that permeates our relationship that draws strength into our bond.
All in all, I'm feeling strong, calm, and in-touch. I feel as though my tender sapling is able once more to grow roots in fertile soil, and I am filled with hope that one day I can grow to have the grace, strength and beauty of a firmly planted and generously fruiting gift-tree. Until then, I shall find fulfillment in whatever bounty I can muster.
Thank you once again, to my readers who have been so kind as to drop by with notes and emails. I may end this blog temporarily, or permanently; I have yet to decide. Until I decide, this will probably remain online as is. I'm sure some day I will either change it or end it for good. I hope peace may come to all those in need of it. And I wish you all the best in life. Namaste.