Not sure fed up truly sums up how I feel at the moment, but it’s a starting point. To be honest, I’m finding it difficult to articulate to myself where exactly I am at the moment with regards to the healing of my marriage. It’s a bit strange and unexpected but I’m struggling to navigate this part of my marital recovery journey.
I feel that I have crossed the most treacherous and turbulent seas (although I still get the occasional squall and I am fully aware that a storm could brew if my husband showed any signs of going off course) but I have a disturbing and developing sense that land is not visible and may not be for a while yet. Sure, I’m a long way from when my journey started (2years, 8 months) but I have not reached home, of that I’m sure.
It’s like I have entered the doldrums. This kind of sums up how I feel. It’s an interesting metaphor. It suggests that I have reached a state or period of stagnation. Equally it is an equatorial region of the Atlantic Ocean with calms, sudden storms, and light unpredictable winds. It is also noted for calm periods when the winds disappear altogether, trapping sail-powered boats for periods of days or weeks. It is a region that provides the backdrop for Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. “Day after day, day after day, / We stuck, no breath no motion, / As idle as a painted ship / Upon a painted ocean”.
The intensity of our recovery has subsided. I guess this is only to be expected. Life goes on after trauma. Our lives are going on, very differently from before the adultery, but on a much more even keel than the first couple of years post D-day. I couldn’t realistically ask for more – I’m aware of this. Pig Shit was dumped and from what I can see, totally forgotten by my husband. His relief when I found out was palpable so he must have been keen to lose her. I am still able to stop us in our tracks and say I want to talk more about the adultery and he always obliges. These remain unpleasant encounters but rightly or wrongly I don’t feel obliged to keep my thoughts to myself.
We have lovely date nights (but then we always did, even through the adultery). We spend most of our days together and all of our nights. We get on really well, like two friends (but again, we always did). We seldom argue except for the minor things that living together engenders. My home is calm and peaceful. He watches me like a hawk for my moods and can usually tell in an instant if it’s ‘Pig Shit’. We have regular sex (but again, we always did even through the adultery). So what is causing my feelings? Is this just part of the journey. The rollercoaster taking a break? Coming to it’s end?
Actually, it’s our sex that sometimes troubles me. Not that I don’t enjoy it but sex was a major motivator for his adultery. Just before the betrayal started he had starting watching porn. I have asked him since, why he didn’t share that information with me. I am broad minded and we have in the past looked at porn together. His reply was that the porn he was watching would not have been acceptable to me. I don’t want to know anymore but that was the beginning of the secrets that started to chip away at our marriage. I asked if he watched porn with Pig Shit but he didn’t. Well I don’t think the cheap motels have it on offer do they? Another answer he gave to me when I asked why he went with Pig Shit was because she was ‘different’. No other reason. Certainly not because he considered her better than me in any way – just different. This different was obviously in her enthusiasm for sex whenever he called for it (like a porn star) and her bag of sex toys she was happy to have stuck in her (like a porn star). Not to mention the adoration she must have given him. Well you see, I can’t and won’t compete with this.
I know our sex has lost its newness. He is not the only one who experiences this. I know that to recapture those early exciting, tingling in my stomach feelings would demand someone new. The difference is, my commitment to him has always included an understanding that long term sex is not the same as short term, new sex. I believe that we make a deal and in place of the raunchy early stuff that we experienced before we knew each other so well we develop a more mature, more intimate and always respectful sexual relationship.
He now says that what we enjoy is all that he wants. However, in the back of my mind is this awful nagging sense that he finds our sex boring. You see, I didn’t have a clue when the adultery was going on so why would I have a clue now? We still have regular sex and we also have times when we do things differently for each other but I have to be sure that sexual trickery (of the kind that is offered by dirt-bag women) is not something that will lure him again. This realisation is helpful to me. In writing this blog I now realise that I need to have a conversation with him specifically about this. I have discussed it amongst other things but have not explicitly made it a point of our growth as a married couple. Maybe this will get the trade winds moving.
Like the ancient mariner I am stuck, in the doldrums and my albatross hanging around my neck is my husband’s adultery. It is one of these contradictory aspects of adultery. I carry it on my chest, even though the adultery had absolutely nothing to do with me. Maybe one day the albatross will fall off my neck like it did for the ancient mariner. I will look into the waters of adultery and all that I have learned from the horrid experience and maybe even find something beautiful, who knows! Then, finally, it will drop and I will be freed of the burden.
Worried Man Sitting On White” by Master isolated images; Yacht” by hinnamsaisuy