i’m not a fan of medication, it’s the control freak in me but it really does suck to be allergic to anesthesia and the subsequent anti-nausea meds that only make matters worse. of course, as I’ve gotten older, my inner ear issues and motion sickness has only gotten more sensitive if you will. I can’t even get on a plane without having to take Dramamine at least an hour before boarding. overseas flights are a bugger…
I digress, as usual. Yesterday’s surgery went as expected. I think. Because I get so violently ill in the recovery process, my post surgery “conversation” with the docs is always scheduled a few days later. after the nausea and spinning stops. this time though, I finally acquiesced and filled the prescription for mild non addictive pain medication. in the hopes i can sleep as my friend, Insomnia, has been on an extended visit. the problem with any medication for me, especially those that alter my mind or leave me feeling out of control; is that I am compelled to write, communicate, reach out. basically word vomit with very little filters. I cry a lot too.
a favorite “mood” song for me is by joan armatrading “weakness in me” I remember hearing it years ago buried in the sound track of a movie. in looking for more of her music, I stumbled upon “love by you”
this is the weather out my way today and it makes me deliriously happy. truly. rain is appropriate for any mood when applied with the right perspective.
today is marriage counseling day as well as a day when we have the quarterly check-in with the aba program manager for our son as well as a myriad of his other providers. it’s during these when dh and i are completely in-synch. when it comes to parenting; whether our neuro-typical kidlet #1 or our quirky kidlet #2 we are a team. most of the time i’m the qb and he’s the point-after kicker, it’s just the way it is. that said, we are so good together when it comes to our kids, that he nor I take that lightly. it weighs heavily in our decision making as a team, as a family and whether or not we remain married.
for a variety of reasons related to having a child with special needs; ours is a family that has availed itself of counseling and therapy in that regard. dh has never pushed back or resisted when it comes to our kids. not when our oldest suffered a medical trauma that has had lasting effects and certainly not with our youngest and all of the nuances that comes with therapy, support systems etc. to answer some people’s question around staying/leaving: this is a large reason why neither of us, that’s right, it’s a choice either one of us can make, it’s a big reason neither of us has left. believe it or not, together, as parents we are a good team. we recognize what each of bring to the table in terms of strengths as well as tolerance level for particular activities and or situations.
if dh would have invested and leaned in, as he has as a parent, over the last 13 years when it came to us as a couple i’d like to think we wouldn’t be where we are right now. but we won’t know that, will we? no. he has always resisted and flat out refused to do any work when it came to us, whether together, with counselors, mediators, self-help books etc. steadfast in his determination. even all of those years ago, when his affair with a then colleague turned into a full on love affair and we hired a mediator to form a parenting plan in preparation for a divorce, even then dh refused counseling. of any sort. even as we worked to rebuild our marriage and family when he ultimately decided to stay; counseling to address what got us to his stepping outside of our marriage in the first place was never part of the plan. until D-day 6-months ago.
and then it was suddenly “let’s go to counseling” because in his mind; since counseling is what i had been asking for all of these years if we go to counseling “it” would be fixed. to dh, who is a very good and well-rewarded engineer, he sees our marriage as a project, complete with a gantt chart, deliverables and milestones. if you check off a box then it’s forward on a timeline. but real life isn’t a project plan, gantt chart. especially when you add the complexities of emotions, feelings, childhood histories (and for one of us, sex abuse as a toddler) and a shared, past history into the mix. i recognize counseling is incredibly difficult for dh and it’s selfish of me to not have more patience as he works through understanding and internalizing that emotions are very real and very important to people. to me.
when dh had his affair(s), he was safe in knowing that i didn’t want our marriage to end. but i also had to take ownership of my role in what led him to a relationship outside of our marriage with a colleague that he fell in love with. a big problem is that we never worked on repairing our relationship when he decided to stay in our marriage. instead we let life become the priority and when we had kidlet number 2 everything else but the kids, our careers and our community service took a back seat.
dh never expected me to stray. hell, i never expected it of myself. and now that i know what mutual desire, emotional connection and emotional intimacy is, the question isn’t whether or not i can go back. i can’t. the question is do i move forward with him and we do the heavy lifting together knowing that nothing is guaranteed and it’s a crap shoot. or, do i move forward, alone, and forge ahead.
someone asked if our counselor or my dh knows about this blog. all three therapists (our mutual marriage counselor which dh chose, his therapist and my own therapist) know of this blog and one of them has commented here and there. they all know that i also have a nsfw tumblr and dh knows i have a couple of blogs but only has access, that i know of, to my professional blog, the one i get paid for.
i’m happy because it’s been brutally hot for the greater pacific nw over the last month. unheard of. cold, heavy rain is refreshing to me and while today is going to be a tough day all around. it’s also a good day because it’s a new day of fighting the good fight for our son, together.
I swear I did *not* go searching for this article, it was served up to my feed on the homepage I use at work. the article in of itself isn’t earth shattering per se, but rather the perspective one doesn’t hear often unless you are a dedicated reader of dan savage and other columnists with a more diverse, and open foundation.
Additionally, Kat, a blogger I’ve been following for a while over on BlogSpot recently posted her thoughts on sexual fidelity (here) from the perspective of being in a long-term (25+ years) marriage and both articles came up in our most recent counseling session. (that post forthcoming).
It sounds crazy that an affair could actually strengthen a marriage. And yet, for those of us who work in therapy, what we see is that couples who do the work after an affair is disclosed often describe having a relationship that is even better than before. Impossible? Not really.
In American culture, affairs are the most taboo choices that a spouse can make while married. It is quite common to hear the unmarried and married alike say, “If my husband cheated on me? I’d leave him! Period!” or “I’d never tolerate an affair. Our relationship would be over!”
Until it happens to you. Can your marriage survive an affair? When an affair comes to light and your entire life, your family, your children, your standard of living, and the person you have loved all stand in the balance — it often does not seem as cut and dry.
If you have a quality therapist, that person probably will not just focus on the affair itself. She will help you and your partner untangle the, often, years of emotional distance, unresolved hurt, sexual tepidness, and complacency that almost always accompany an affair. During this process the “whose to blame?” question gets thrown around a lot but the truth is that in marriages it is not a 50/50 agreement. In a healthy marriage, each partner is 100% accountable for their actions, behaviors, tone, and emotional engagement in a relationship. If the marriage is not satisfying what you want, where are YOU accountable? Tough questions, especially if your partner is the one who cheated on you.
And yet, like most tough questions, it is the question that gets to the underbelly of the issue. I am not saying that a spouse can cause an affair, but I am saying that both parties contribute to creating an environment that sprouts and can sustain an affair.
Often, the person that acts out and has the affair is communicating something loud and clear that their partner has not been able to hear prior:
I am very unhappy in this relationship.
I am tired of being ignored.
I cannot go on living like this.
I am incredibly hurt and want someone to see and love me.
I am willing to take a major risk in order to get my needs met.
Almost always, prior to an affair happening, some of these statements have been made aloud. There have been discussions (or arguments) about how one or both people have been dissatisfied in the marriage. Almost always, if each partner were to get quiet and feel back to before the affair, they can see signs of where and how the relationship was breaking down— but you didn’t think your partner would ever cheat.
The statistics are somewhere between 30% and 70% of married people have affairs (texting, chatting, or sleeping with someone who is not their spouse) in America. We can pass judgment or we can see this as an indicator of an epidemic of marital breakdown that is sweeping the country. It is a call for help to find effective ways to revitalize and heal our marriages.
it’s true. as cliché as it is, i ache for him. it’s palpable. we aren’t connecting much this week. work for me is beyond nuts and with our time difference, if i’m not online by lunch my time, we can only keep one another company virtually for an hour or so before he leaves to start his evenings. one thing that i’ve come to look forward to most of all is those few minutes each night, except the weekends of course, the 10 maybe 15 minutes we have (virtually) around 11:0pm edt. it’s just a check in and a good night interaction via gchat. it’s a little thing but something that i’ve come to cherish, especially over the last 8 months or so.
however, they are officially empty nester’s now. all three kids are off at college, all in state and close enough to pop home, but for the most part the kids don’t live at home whilst school is in session. which means that his bride is by his side constantly, WHICH IS HER RIGHTFUL PLACE (i know this!-for those anon’s out there that think i believe i’m entitled to him or his time). which means that we don’t get our good night chat as often as we did before the start of the winter semester. normally, it’s been ok but as i was explaining to another blogger earlier, this last round of chemo seems to be impacting my emotional balance more than it ever has in the past and today, well today i just miss him that much more.
while he doesn’t how to find this blog, he does lurk anonymously on my nsfw secret identity tumblr. i’m never sure if he follows everyday or some days but he definitely mentions specific tumbles. being in a long distance relationship is difficult to be sure, though when it is not a “secret” one can call, text or generally reach out to one another whenever they want. not so when it is an affair. ever. but especially during non-work hours or events. weekends, evenings after 5:30, holidays etc. ironically, as much as i long to see him, enjoy a meal with him and be able to reach out and touch his beard-the cadence of long distance works for our mutually, over-scheduled lives. I’ve posted before about his ability to compartmentalize and hyper focus with no communication for days and even weeks at a time was problematic for me. And how my ability to blend and my need for connection on a daily basis made him nervous and our first six months was a lesson in pushing through communication and giving one another space to find a way to meet in the proverbial middle. and what a long way we’ve come…
as i was restricted to limited mobility due to my surgery, i spent a good part of new years eve whiling away on line and napping. i reblogged this picture on tumblr:
i knew he was out with his bride and some friends at their local watering hole and with our time difference, the conversation i had with him earlier in the morning would be the last until we returned to work on 1/2. instead, at 10:12pm (pdt) new year’s eve i received this email…
the local news out here is full of headlines about the weather out on his side of the country, with images of his town and surrounding areas. i love winter and snow, almost as much as i love rain. today in my quiet moments i thought of how much i’d love a snow day (or two). with him.
a follower asked me why i’m still with my husband besides the kids. you know, truthfully, if you asked me the question prior to meeting “him” it would have been easier for me to answer. dh is a good man, a sexy, smart and decent man. yes, even with the two affairs. the first about 4 years into our relationship with a mutual co-worker that I loathe to this day, and the second, the one that almost ended us, the one that i wonder if he should have followed his heart, was 12-years ago. i digress.
dh and i are good companions, partners and we are very good at the you and me against the world thing. but now, now i don’t know that i could give the same answer. i still love him. he is a good man, a sexy man, a smart man and a good dad. we haven’t been good companions as of late. the stresses of work, the division of our duties with the kids requiring us to divide and conquer, his career stresses and demands take so much out of him that even the simplest of pleasures we shared, which aren’t even physical ones at that, are almost non existent. sometimes talking to “him” is hard because he and his bride (he has a habit of calling his wife his “lovely bride” in public, on facebook etc. ) have a good relationship. mind you, i don’t ask specifics, but he doesn’t talk bad about her at all and expresses concern when she’s been ill or has stresses in her life. so when i hear about his plans for the weekend or know that the drive in the sports car was with her it hurts. not because it isn’t me but because i wish i had that at home too. sometimes but not much and not often and not in a very long time. *sigh*
additionally, now, knowing him, loving him, being wanted by him i have realized how much is missing in my life. how much my therapist has been so accurate over the years about accepting what is as what i deserve instead of seeing that what is doesn’t have to be. or does it? i do wonder if weekends, when we don’t typically see one another, would be easier if i felt like dh and i were partners, went out on dates, something?!