This is the year I turn 40. I am not quite where I though I would be when this milestone takes place. I had always welcomed 40. I knew it would mark a point in my life where I would have 2 grown daughters, a teenaged son, and celebrate 25 years of marriage to the man of my dreams. I would be in the best shape of my life. I would have great friends and be doing things that I loved. 40 was to be a triumph for me, I had earned all of the calm that should come with turning 40.
The reality is quite different. I find myself being triggered about JR’s affair because of my 40th birthday looming. I am angry with him for robbing me of the joy of turning 40. I can’t help that every time I think of turning that age, that I think about what he did when he turned 40. He started having an affair, he says he was having a midlife crisis. Stupid fucking men and their fear of getting old. I find myself being mean and saying things like, I bet you hope I don’t want what you wanted for your birthday, for my birthday. He always replies with, “No, I hope you don’t decide to have an affair for your birthday.” I always imagined he would get me some wonderful gift, a piece of jewelry perhaps that I could pass on to a granddaughter someday. The financial mess that his 3 year hiatus from work has left us with, wont allow for any expensive gifts of jewelry.
I find that I am settling into a new place of acceptance about where my life is. I have yet to decide if it’s a good or bad thing. I just recently admitted to myself that I have no emotion about what happens to this relationship anymore. The love crazed lunatic that fought and clawed at every detail to try and decipher what had happened and why it had happened, has been replaced with a person who simply is. My emotions no longer seem heightened. I think I spent so much time, and used so much energy experiencing all of the different emotions over the last 2 years that I just have no emotion left. Maybe this is what experiencing so much pain leaves you with. It’s like all of my heart just got used up and it’s left tattered and torn, a big mess of hurt, deceit and lies.
I miss the peace that once was mine. I miss sharing a closeness with a person that can be trusted. I miss trust most of all. I miss the way I used to feel when I stared into JR’s eyes. I miss the trust that used to reside there. Sometimes I even find it hard to look him in the eyes now, the eyes that told me so many lies without blinking. The eyes that lie. I miss the entire conversations that we used to have without any words being spoken, the conversations that we used to have with just our eyes.
I have spent the last 2 years trying to work out in my mind how we would end up, how all of this was/is going to play out. In the past couple of weeks I have decided that I don’t care. Not the I don’t care that is like I am done with this marriage and I will do no more to heal it, but rather the I don’t care that is like I will stop obsessing over every single thing that happens. I will stop analyzing everything that happens. If we don’t have sex…I don’t care. If we don’t do anything special together…I don’t care. If we don’t take trips off together alone…I don’t care. If we do absolutely nothing significant other than exist together in our home day after day…I don’t care. I don’t know how to fully express this. I just know that for the past 2 years I have cared so much about everything, and all it has done is make me unhappy. I have just decided to surrender to everything, for what it is. Things are the way they are, they will continue to get better or they wont. I know that I have done all that I could do these past 2 years to heal myself and my marriage. The rest is up to JR, he is the one who will have to work now to heal this marriage. I have carried us half way and the rest will have to come from him.
I still question whether or not we can be truly fully healed. I’m not so sure that is possible. I don’t know if I feel that way because my heart has been so badly broken, because I have been so damaged, or if it’s because JR has just done enough to get by these past 2 years and hasn’t done any hard work. Would I be further along in my recovery, would I believe in love again with my whole heart if he had done all that he could these past years. I don’t know, all I know is how I feel today.
I will no longer bite my tongue when I feel that something needs to be said. I have done that a lot in the past years, kept things to myself. I always worried that if I said something that JR didn’t like that it would send him back down into some deep dark hole. A hole that I had spent forever trying to get him to climb out of. Now if he finds himself down in a hole he will have to find his own way out. He needs to learn to rescue himself. I have had to rescue myself more times than I can count. I feel that at times I have put a false sense of wellbeing in this relationship because I would sweep my deepest feelings under a rug to protect him. I can no longer do that because it isn’t helpful to my wellbeing. He needs to face the ugly truths head on and heal with that knowledge, not a false one. I am removing the blinders from both of our eyes.
Last night when we were getting ready for bed we had a small spat, it was because I spoke my mind and he’s not used to me doing that. Through out the day JR had touched me suggestively here and there. We have battled sickness for the past 2 weeks so needless to say it has been a while. Right before we headed downstairs to bed he told me his head was hurting. I said it’s ok, what’s the big deal. He was obviously agitated and I couldn’t figure out why. He says, well I wanted to have sex and now my head is hurting. I quickly looked at him and said that I didn’t want to have sex. He seemed hurt by this and snapped at me with something to the affect of, no you just don’t want to have sex with me. I can’t describe how instantly angry I became, all those thoughts of his affair come crashing into my mind. He was the one who fucked someone else and now had the nerve to say that to me. How dare him. I almost lost it, but quickly regained myself control and quietly responded with, no I don’t want to have sex with anybody, I just don’t want sex period. I have become sexually numb. I have always been very sexual, I was the one who complained we didn’t do it enough. 3 or 4 times a week wasn’t enough, I could do it every day. Now I don’t seem to want it at all anymore. I told him that even when he touches me like that throughout the day that I don’t allow myself to feel aroused. I reminded him of the last time he touched me like that, which was 3 weeks ago that nothing happened between us. We had been out Christmas shopping and had enjoyed just being together. He had stroked my breast a few times here and there, kissed me passionately many times through out the day, and in the line at Starbucks he grabbed my hand and placed it on his erect penis and kissed me, then said, do you see what you do to me. A few hours later we were heading off to bed and I thought for sure we would have sex. I had allowed myself to become aroused through out the day. The night quickly turned bad because for whatever reason, JR was no longer feeling sexual and didn’t have any desire to be with me. This has been the scenario more times than I can remember these past 2 years, so the way I deal with it now is by simply not allowing myself to become aroused.
We laid there after him pouting for a few minutes post spat. He was staring at me, with his head laying on his pillow, I laid down beside him and asked why was he staring at me? He says, can’t I just stare at my wife. At that moment I told him a truth that I had known for quite some time but had never said out loud. I said no, you can’t I don’t like it, it makes me uncomfortable when you stare at me. Nikki was very beautiful and post affair I don’t like JR to stare at me, I always worry that he is comparing us in his mind. I know it’s just my insecurities rearing their ugly head, but it is truly how I feel. He swears that he has never compared us, but if I’m being honest, I don’t believe that is entirely true. He pulled my head to his and kissed me on the lips, then I bent my head down and he kissed my forehead, it was then that I began to cry. I told him that I hated how weird things were between us sometimes, that I missed how comfortable we had always been with each other. Will I ever know that comfort again with JR, is it possible? Is loving a person enough to regain all that we have lost? Will I ever feel totally comfortable with him again? I so miss the intimacy that we used to share.
I have said things to him recently that are hard for him to hear. It is no secret to anyone who knows us to know that we have suffered financially because of JR’s affair. When I came into the business to help it was supposed to be so that JR could focus his attention elsewhere building up a different part of our business. That isn’t what happened at all, instead he basically quit working, comfortable to live off of the money I was earning for us. It was enough and we had a good life, but it could have been so much more. This allowed him the time to have an affair, it also soured me on working, period. I hated my job after his affair, I wanted no part of it, 6 months ago we gave up the part of the business that I handled. This meant that we gave up $250,000 worth of income. JR has just in these 6 months begun to work again. He hasn’t even come close to matching the money we gave up. I have not minded, I am happier than I was before and I have adjusted to the loss of income. This became our topic of conversation on New Year’s Eve as we were driving to dinner. He asked me why I thought he continues to make the same mistakes in our business that he does. I told him he wouldn’t like my answer. I told him because he has adopted a pattern of only doing what he has to do to get by. He does “just enough” in his life to survive. I told him this is how he has treated this affair recovery and me these whole past 2 years. Then I told him that earlier that day I realized that I don’t truly trust anyone in my life. The people I am closest to have all betrayed me, all of them. I found myself reflecting on my life with the thought of the new year looming. These were both hard truths for JR to hear, but truths he needed to hear. The next morning, he woke before me and went to the store for the things I would need to cook our traditional New Year’s Day dinner. He woke me up with flowers and thanked me for the talk we had. He says it helped him, and he is seeing himself in a new way. He asked me do I think he’s doing better and I told him that yes I did. The past 3 weeks he has seemed different, but I also explained that I don’t trust that because we have been here before and that he has relapsed into his deep dark hole.
So this is not at all how I imagined turning 40 would be, but I will do my best this year to make the most of it that I can. I will start by planning for our annual birthday trip to the mountains. JR and I started taking this trip 3 years ago for my birthday. This will be our 4th year, we even managed to make it the year that it came just 5 weeks post Dday. We almost didn’t go that year, and have talked about changing it and going some place new, but it truly is a wonderful trip and we both look forward to it and enjoy the time alone. My hope is that this year it will be about rest, and reconnecting with each other with no expectations…just calm and peace.