Monday, January 26, 2009


I've not written much lately about the state of the marriage. It's hard. I don't really know what to write. On the surface, day to day, we seem perfectly normal. I smile, we hang out, we're parenting together. And underneath it all I struggle.

My husband had a counseling appointment last week, and over dinner I asked him how it went, and what he discussed. Mostly his family, not surprisingly (his counselor: you know they're not normal, right?). I asked if he talked about us, and he said a little, but not much.

I said, I think you think we're on track and I'm over everything (code word for his infidelity). He replied, well, with so much else going on (code: the no-job stress) I figured it's just on your back burner. I just shook my head. It's on the front burner.

It's always on the front burner. I think about it every day, and I don't know how to "get over it."

I've been trying, objectively, to think about why infidelity is so debilitating. What is it about the situation that is so incredibly hurtful. I think if I knew, maybe I could help to heal. But I can't put my finger on it. I think it comes down to betrayal, though I can't define what that really means. I was betrayed by the one person I should be able to count on. So now, when we have any sort of disagreement (normal marital disagreements that come along with a toddler and newborn), my first thought is, remember, you can't count on him.

I don't even know how to put into words how I feel, or what I think. You know there are all these studies and pop culture anecdotes about how men and women react differently to whatever. How men just move on, and women want to rehash every little thing. I have so many unresolved feelings, and somehow my husband ended the relationship, quit his job, left behind good friends, and never looks back. Is it really possible he never looks back?

You could say we're following the time heals all wounds theory. Enough time passes, life goes on, and the pain/betrayal recedes into the background.

I think this is all I can type today about it, but there's more. I'm thinking about going to see the movie Revolutionary Road, which I know is (at least partially) struggles in marriage, and banality, and life. I want to live a meaningful life. I don't want to just go along. Have you seen the movie? Should I see it, or avoid it?


Katie said...

I haven't see it, but my sister told me about it yesterday after she'd seen it. Apparently there is nothing happy about the movie. It's a tragic story that ends with more tragedy (I don't want to give away too much in case you decide to see it).

P.S. I've been following your blog for a while now and this post today hit home. I also have things that I think about on a daily basis that my husband seems to have completely forgotten. I don't understand it, and sometimes I feel like I'm just torturing myself when I continue to think about it, but it makes me feel a little better to know I'm not the only woman who feels this way.

Thank you.

Lala said...

I totally get this. I have no one to talk to about it because no one wants to hear it anymore. I have had moments of being completely obsessed with what he's hiding still. And now I want to get ahold of HER and the things I think about scare me. I don't know how to get over it, Don't know if we can, if we should......

Which Box said...

I spent much of yesterday afternoon googling after it occurred to me his old friends/girlfriend probably have facebook pages. And indeed they do. So for the first time I got to see her picture (as tiny and blurry as it was).

AmyC623 said...

Hi Which Box, I'm a long time lurker, first time commenter (your blog rocks, by the way). I would have to say (from my experience) that the part of infidelity that is so hurtful is being made a fool. That a number of other people (whether it was just the two of them, or many other friends, it doesn't matter) knew about it and were "OK" with it. That they thought so little of me makes me feel like my reputation was damaged more than his! That's just my 2 cents.

I can say that my husband and I were finally able to get over it and that I hardly ever think about it anymore, but that did come through countless re-hashing, soul-bearing conversations, and a lot of honesty (on both sides).

AmyC623 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Am I doing okay? said...

Wow! Whichy - you're getting some great comments/insight on this post. I heard Rev Road was depressing. Maybe you should go for Slumdog Millionaire? I haven't seen either. Or maybe Benjamin Button which is basically about how men = babies?

CLC said...

I've got no advice, but I think you are on to something with the betrayal. I am not sure how you move past it, but it sound like the ladies above think it's possible. I hope you are able to resolve this with yourself.

Tash said...

Never been there so I'm no help, but wanted to say I admire you deeply for standing outside the situation and trying to put your finger on why it hurts so much as a path to getting at the crux of the problem. Just to be contrarian and turn things on their head: maybe you shouldn't pressure yourself into forgetting? Or thinking that's what the endgame is? I think it's a really lofty bar to think you'd ever forget what happened and not look at him differently. Maybe the trick is learning to live with it (if that's in fact what you want to do) in a way that's not debilitating. And there's where I come up empty because I simply don't know.

Astarte said...

Don't go to see RR - it will make you want to jump off a bridge. It's not the right movie for you AT ALL.

I think the biggest thing with your situation, the thing I wouldn't be able to let go of, is that it changes the past as well as the present and future, and makes you doubt your own judgment and ability to operate within your own world. He stole your sense of reality. How can you trust someone when you feel like you can no longer trust yourself to be a good judge of reality?

niobe said...

my first thought is, remember, you can't count on him.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

And I'm only being partly facetious. Here's the thing: really, you can't count on anyone. The people who think they can are only fooling themselves.

And, though it's extremely painful, knowing that you can't count on him -- or anyone else -- can be freeing, even occasionally exhilarating. Or at least that's been my experience.