If you haven’t noticed already, it is Valentine’s day tomorrow…surely that will be a rough day for many people who follow my blog.
If you have stayed in a relationship with someone who betrayed you, the day can bring to surface unanswered questions about past Valentine’s days. Did he send her flowers, buy her lingerie…or even spend the day with her? It’s easy to get caught up in details about the past that actually don’t matter. The only thing that matters is today. Is he with you – in person, and in spirit – today?
If you are the “other woman/man” and it’s not possible to be with the married person you are in a ‘relationship’ with then Valentine’s day will likely be depressing, lonely, confusing and angering. It will be made worse by the fact it is a weekend. This will make it even harder for cheating couples to find a way to steal a moment together. It will lead to thoughts like ‘How dare he be with his family over me?’ ‘What is wrong with me that I am with this person who can’t and won’t commit to me?’. After the angry thoughts and questions pass – they will likely be followed up with justifications for him/her. Justifications they don’t actually deserve. They don’t deserve them because they are a liar and a cheater.
I have been in both situations – I’ve been both the cheater and the cheated on – I see both sides. Having seen, lived and witnessed both realities I have come away believing that the only relationship worth having is the one that is entirely transparent. The one the world can see and support. For relationships, it’s the only path to being able to respect both yourself and your partner.
It’s only a “Hallmark” holiday – so I suppose it shouldn’t really matter at all – but for thousands of us, it does.
The other day, my husband was included on a group email from one of the userous girls that he used to cheat on me with. He fucked her 3 or 4 times – they didn’t have an ‘intimate’ relationship, didn’t develop a friendship or hang out or anything – just used her because she was easy and had loose boundaries. Now that he is sober, the memory of his actions with her (and all those like her) is embarrassing and painful to him. He doesn’t have ‘erotic recall’ of these old events in a titillating way…the only thoughts he has surrounding the memory is of how damaged he was/is and how much he hurt me. When she has reached out to him in the past to ask ‘why he has disappeared’ or to ask him to see her again he has told her in no uncertain terms that he wants NOTHING to do with her and has asked her to never contact him again. I’ve seen the emails, I know they are real, I am not deluding myself in any way. So what the fuck is wrong with this woman? She knows he is married, she knows he regrets his actions with her, she knows he hasn’t responded to a single email from her in almost 2 years. Yet she includes him on a mass email announcing some benign event in her life. I just don’t get it. She seems normal, young & attractive enough, relatively sound – so it doesn’t made sense to me that she should be so desperate to rekindle a back alley affair with a disinterested man 20 years her senior. It is a last ditch attempt for some validation? Is she just that insecure?
On the flip side (note: I love how these events always align) I got a text from my ex-boyfriend who I cheated on my husband with. I haven’t responded to any of his attempts at communicating in about a year. He writes benign notes every now and again to see if I respond, and when I don’t, he goes away for another bit of time. His text the other day said that he had come to Los Angeles and wanted to see me. I got this text while I was in the hospital having my mastectomy. The irony that he wrote to me – and was in town – on such a big day in my life was pretty unreal. Sadly, I was on some narcotics which clouded my judgement so I wrote back. I wasn’t nice..I basically told him he was an asshole. Regardless of what I typed, the bottom line is that I did give in to my urge to respond and I shouldn’t have done that. I told my husband immediately – shows him the texts – and as much as he hates the ‘ex’ he has let it go. Again, I don’t get my ex’s need to hold on to me at this point. He must know I am not coming back to him. Yet he persists. Fascinating.
So here we have two completely different relationships: 1) a meaningless series of a few fucks between my husband and a nameless girl over a 6 month period. 2) a relationship with a 20 year history with someone I used to love and then had an affair with during my marriage. How interesting that they are both exhibiting identical and simplistic behaviors. Could it just be that human nature is to hate hearing the word “no”? If my husband and I decided to respond to these ‘burdens’ and say “ok…let’s get together” would they even bite? I suspect they wouldn’t. I think they both have big prideful ego’s and can’t wrap their heads around being ‘unwanted’ so they occasionally reach out in hopes of getting a reply. It’s got nothing at all to do with them wanted my husband and I so badly at all…it’s just them fishing for an ego stroke. I’m really just starting to wish they would look for their validation someplace else.
I expected to have had some depression by this point…or at least a touch of sadness or loss. My bilateral mastectomy was 2 weeks ago. Leading up to the operation, I had heard that the weeks afterward would be a physical and emotional roller coaster. It’s not. I am so filled with gratitude and relief I couldn’t imagine fitting in any negative emotions. I understand that everyone’s road is unique – and I certainly understand why so many women experience depression after this type if surgery – I’m just saying that it’s not a rule, as I am an exception.
During the time I was in the hospital and recovery center, I had no time for self pity as 3 of my friends had worse things happen to them. One friend’s wife was diagnosed with an invasive breast cancer, another was assaulted at gunpoint, and a third dear friend was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. It’s hard to feel sorry for myself while others who I love are experiencing equal or worse pain than I. In fact, every floral arrangement that arrived or prayer that was said on my behalf made me feel a bit guilty.
My recovery so far has been comfortable. I didn’t need my pain meds (other than tylenol), early to tell but it seems that the implants look acceptable and I’m already able to drive and get around. I get tired easily as my body works to put itself back together so I give myself lots of naps and leisure.
Since the subject of my blog is about life with a sex addict I will address that aspect in relation to this experience. My breasts are taped up and bruised and need soiled bandages changed daily, my bowel movements are an actual topic of conversation and I haven’t shaved in about 2 weeks. Those temporary unpleasantries aside these past weeks have been incredibly stressful for my husband. He is swamped at work, having to take days and hours away from the office to be with me, worried about me when he isn’t with me, sleeping on the sofa since my mom is here to help, etc ,etc. I know that stress is his trigger and in the past it’s this overwhelming stress that led him to the beds of other women. I sat him down a couple days before surgery and asked him to make me a promise. I made the request that if he has a ‘slip’ while I am undergoing or recovering from surgery that he please not tell me until I am fully recovered. I asked him that under those circumstances that he please tell his sponsor or therapist but to keep it from me until I am healed. My body needs every ounce of energy to recover from surgery. What it doesn’t need is a detailed confession of an addicts slip or relapse. It’s just another example of how I can care for myself at times when I am not 100% confident that my husband will have the power to do so for me.