On the Road to Recovery – Again?

I’ve been all over the page emotionally this month, including 2 counseling appointments.

I feel so much like I did a year ago – when is this going to end?? We work through problems, get closer and closer, I am deliriously happy, and then crash. This year’s roller coaster, however,  had nothing to do with J blowing hot and cold. Instead, it involves my own feelings. I eventually realized that I was feeling anger – deeply buried anger – which was manifesting itself as emotional flooding. I would be fine, and then just feel like I couldn’t do it anymore – that maybe I didn’t want to try anymore – a little bit like trying to go home in the middle of hard labor…if I just stop trying, then the pain would go away. My counselor suggested that I write about it – just let the anger pour out so that maybe I could release it and recover. I tried to just emotionally throw up, but I’m really not good at it!!

I was able to sit down and run back through the events of the last 18 months, however, and really look at what I felt and what I believed at the time, and how I felt about it now. I realized that I am most angry about the wasted time….the time I wasted working on a marriage that was not actually in trouble, working on understanding J, not pushing, not pushing, reading and reading, writing and writing, trying not to cry, connecting and then trying not to be devastated when he pulled the rug out from under me and withdrew AGAIN, getting up and going to work every day, even when I just wanted to pull the covers over my head and curl up in a ball – or throw a few things in a bag and run far far away! I was exhausted meeting love with love, even when I was drowning in confusion and unspoken questions…trying not to be hurt or too emotional or too anything… trying to find my way in the face of his continual pressure to heal and feel better, so he didn’t have to feel bad, and then to have to swallow, deal with another revelation,and try, as a friend at work says, to put my big girl panties on, and still take care of my life.

I’m grateful he is still in my life, I’m happy that we have developed better communication, that he seems more in tune to what I want and what I am feeling. I’m ecstatic about our improved sex life, and the shared vision we have for our house, our life, and our future. I just wish we could have achieved this without leaving me with this anger – I have recovered a lot from the desolation I felt when I learned that he had sex with another woman, because I understand the emotional confusion and resulting weakness that he experienced. I am still having trouble, however, getting past him consistently – for 15 months – putting his feelings ahead of mine. I was loving and supportive and as clear as I could be about what I needed to try and heal. I worked and worked – and he stood by and let me suffer and suffer and suffer – struggling constantly to make sense of things that would never make sense because they were lies, disjointed, poorly told lies that always left me more confused and more upset – until I would push enough that the next shoe would drop. This willingness to see someone he says he loves suffer when he could have fixed it is much harder for me to forgive and get over.

I recognize how hard he is working to make me happy, and to make changes that will also make him happy – less angst, less anger, more relaxation. Unfortunately, when he gets focused on a project that interests him, all thought of anything else goes out the window, and he starts to develop that impatient, “why are you interrupting me” attitude that pushes every “I’m not important” button I have developed since E was born. I spent much of last weekend feeling sidelined because he practically insisted that I take off the Wednesday before Easter so that “we” would have 5 days to work on the house, and then by Friday evening I had still not done anything on the bathroom or spare room, even though I asked regularly, and had to listen to him repeatedly complain about how much faster the work would go if he had help. When I finally blew up, it turned out that he was so focused on what he wanted and needed to do next that he wasn’t willing to stop and weave me into the project.

And then we come to April 26 – the anniversary of D-day Version # 2 – which he did not acknowledge until he woke up in the middle of the night and I was still awake and obviously not OK. While he was comforting, he still doesn’t seem to understand that I need some of those things that I have never demanded before – I need my feelings acknowledged, I need to see change, I need to be able to trust that he will put my feelings first.

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