I just had one of those A-ha moments by way of reading the comments on another blog…I was an enabler. I have never, never thought of myself as that person. I guess when I think of enablers I always associate it with some type of substance abuse or addiction. However, the fact is that I was an enabler.
JR has always been a huge flirt…always. He is (was) overly friendly with women…all women. The problem here is that some women simply can’t handle that. Women have always found JR charming and attractive. He has always given the kind of attention to women that they gravitate towards. They eat it up in big huge gulps. Mostly this behavior was innocent in nature, but on those two occasions where he flattered the wrong women in the wrong way it resulted in their pursuing him until they had him in their beds.
I was never a jealous wife. It didn’t bother me when he would flirt with women. It never bothered me that his voice was always different when he spoke to women versus when he spoke to men. It never bothered me when he would talk about how “hot” Nikki was. I never felt insecure. I guess I just always accepted that it was his personality, it came with the territory.
Things are much different now. I don’t know if it’s because of the affair, or if it’s because I am older, but I decided that his behavior with other women is bullshit! It is highly inappropriate and plain out disrespectful to me. I mean I have known and seen men whom I think are attractive but I don’t act like a walking hormone because of it.
The good news is that I have already laid down the law with JR regarding this and he completely understands how I feel. I believe he even felt a little embarrassed about his behavior when he actually took the time to think about it. Though he had been this way for his 40 years of life, he has done very well with respecting my wishes these past 2 years. He is now more aware of “those” kind of women who mistake his kindness for flirting. It’s like I had to teach him about “needy” women who are unhappy with the attention or lack of attention that they get from their own men. The ones that fall all over themselves when he’s around.
It’s too late to turn the clock back, but the “what if’s” weigh heavy on my mind. What if I would have freaked out on him the first time he ever mentioned Nikki. If I would have told him that he should never talk about another woman that way in front of or to me, then maybe he would have stayed clear of her. Maybe I would have been the voice in his head telling him how wrong what he was doing was. Maybe if I would have put an end to their so called “friendship” right from the beginning then it would never have developed into anything more. Who knows, we never will.
I truly believe that the months leading up to the affair that JR was crying out for my attention and my guidance. He needed my help, he wanted my help, otherwise I would never have even known that she existed. He never tried to keep her a secret. He talked about her the whole time they were fucking. It’s nuts. I simply didn’t recognize his attempts to get me to engage in our marriage, to engage in him. That is my one fault in all of this. I chose to ignore my husband, even though I wasn’t aware I was doing it. That’s a mistake I will never make again. Just like I know that he is always very aware of how he interacts with women now.
It’s taken me 27 months to admit some of these things to myself, but each day I grow wiser. I am getting better, one day at a time.