Anyone who is still reading – thanks for hanging in! I told you this would be emotional purging!!!!
M agreed to do anything I asked, so he slept in the guest room, and we went together to see our doctor the next day. M explained the blood pressure issue, and then moved on to the emotional one, including a brief overview of the email situation. Our therapist, with whom our doctor has a close professional relationship, had already spoken to him, explaining the symptoms that she had seen and her clinical evaluation. He rejected it. He is firmly convinced that M’s behavior can be completely explained by guilt and shame, as well as the stress he is under knowing that I have not forgiven him. He prescribed blood pressure medicine and a half a dose of a very mild anti-depressant. I trust him completely because he has managed to keep C in one piece for so many years, so I was actually relieved. If I have to choose between a cheating husband who has been lying for two years and someone I love having to deal with bipolar disorder, I would choose cheating every time. A cheating husband can be kicked to the curb, and everyone can move on in a healthy direction. Bipolar disorder can be a lifetime struggle for the one who has it, as well as for those who love him (or her). I asked carefully about possible side effects, and the doctor said M shouldn’t have any because the dose was so low, but at most he might feel mildly drowsy so he should take it before bed.
So, we got the prescriptions filled, went home, he took his meds, and we went to sleep. I woke up at 3:30 AM, realized that M was not in bed, and got up to investigate. He was in the kitchen with all the lights on, wildly scrubbing a pot. He had been up since 1:30, and had scrubbed the kitchen from top to bottom. He was irritated, agitated, talking too fast, unable to sit still, and insistent that he was unable to keep a coherent thought in his head. I used every method I had ever used in teaching, parenting, or as a wife, and was finally able to calm him down enough that we could both go to work, but he refused to call the doctor because “we” had insisted that he needed to take medicine. I called the nurse as soon as the office opened (who knows me by voice – remember 8 years with the medical disaster child), who agreed that something was not right, and then called me again as soon as the doctor arrived in the office. New instructions: no medicine that night, and then a half a dose the next morning. He slept without a problem, had trouble concentrating at work after the half dose, but was not agitated…and then was up at 1:30 in the morning again. By Saturday, after four days, he was more and more agitated, felt less and less able to think coherently, I agreed that he could just stop taking the medicine and contact the doctor on Monday, which he did.
This was our Spring Break, so he agreed to spend time and try to sort out the whys and whats and chaos of the emails. I pushed hard for answers – the Socratic method has always been a part of my teaching repertoire, but I’ve always used more of the gentle nurturing version. This was much more of the Paper Chase law school version. He stuck with it, tried to answer honestly, and when we went for counseling, we both felt like we were moving closer to a final resolution, and looked forward to the rest of our vacation. There was only one problem – I had managed to forget that I loved him and was not actually the prosecuting attorney, and that I had an emotional investment in the content of his answers. So, unfortunately, while he was feeling more relaxed because he had been able to answer questions without a major meltdown, I actually had a chance to stop and think about some of the things he had said.
During a moment of connection and passion, one of the most hurtful statements came flooding back. He was looking down at me with his eyes full of enough love that I actually felt adored, when I realized that he had looked at me the same way the night he came back from spending the weekend with her. During the marathon question and answer session, one of the questions I asked was why he had sex with me and claimed a reconnection that he has insisted from the beginning had allowed him to hold on to our marriage when the emails directly contradicted it, and he said that he was trying to stay out of trouble and that I would know something was wrong if we had not. Somehow, I had managed to gloss right over that statement, but it came flooding back. I tried to let it go, but I was tied in a knot, so I just tried to explain what I was feeling and ask him to explain – was he really that good an actor? Did it mean that his expressions of love now were lies? If so, why was he still here? His response – he didn’t remember the details of that night. No, I’m not kidding – he said he didn’t remember. I went from devastated to furious in about 30 seconds, pointed out that at least I was lucky enough to have reached my late 40s before someone had sex with me and didn’t remember it, and insisted that he move out immediately…and then the phone rang.
The satellite repair man, scheduled for the next day, was arriving within the hour…and I simply couldn’t face dealing with a repairman, so I fled instead. I planned to buy a comfortable but frumpy nightie, a book or two, and rent a couple of movies, and then go home after the repairman and the soon to be ex were gone. That plan didn’t work. I didn’t want a frumpy nightie, I have several books I haven’t read, and my satellite was soon to be working again, so I didn’t need movies….
So I bought a car instead.