Things are painful enough that I decided to go back to The Source, Peggy Vaughan, to see if I could find some help. Why I didn’t do this sooner? Who knows, but as I wrote in an email to Peggy, we have relied on her enough that when we hit a rough spot, it comes down to,
“What does Peggy say?”
Things feel almost normal, but there does feel like there is a stone wall between us, especially when we get into bed. There hasn’t been any of the usual closeness in bed, or any of our normal “pillow talk.” I keep trying to figure out what is different about this time, why can’t I get past it, when in the past, when feeling the pain of the wounds, I craved his attention, like anesthetic.
I think the complications in this episode of…angst…is not so much about the affair. There has been struggle with deep abandonment and rejection from other relationships, be they imposed via birth or predators I naively stumbled into, ones who can sniff a doormat out from 200 paces. Fortunately, I have enough of something to eventually fight my way out and even better, I have developed a zero-tolerance policy regarding shabby treatment. I may not find them worth the effort of taking on, however, I have found that not dancing when they shoot their pistols at my feet pretty much stops the show. Bullies rarely change unless they see Jesus on the road to Damascus and get knocked off of their high horses, like Paul, and even then….Paul had to be led around, blind as a bat without radar and lie in a stranger’s bed until he was determined ready enough to change for good. I don’t have enough life left for breaking all of the bullies I encounter and I’m certainly not as patient as God is.
Anyway. Yes, I have a painful and dynamic past, which fortunately, through the happiness of recent years, I have managed to sort of…”forget.” I don’t “live there,” it’s not on my back all of the time and when any of it threatens to barge into my happy place, I retreat and make myself unreachable.
Well, it reached out by hitching on to the rejection I felt from my husband and uprooted a tangled mess of roots. I quickly put it back down, but the re-verb is still…annoyingly re-verbing.
Moving on, as I was lying in bed, again, thinking, what is different this time? I think about my husband’s seeming lack of response when I really needed him a week and a half ago. He says that he is depressed. My knee-jerk reaction is,
“Depressed? What does he have to be depressed about?”
As we discussed last night, the night before that and I’m sure a night before that, my response is,
“You got to have your cake and eat it too, so what the ****?”
This reaction shows that I am totally not getting what the affair has done to him. While I’m all furious that he dared not to be available when I felt shattered, when he gets quiet, I have read it as indifference. I have even thought that he is just bored with my recovery and is simply waiting for me to get over it so he can have his life back. As he explains to me what he is feeling, it just has not been computing. Now that he is explicitly spelling out the sorrow and regret that he feels, I am beginning to see that affair recovery is not just for the one betrayed.
Recovery is for both.