You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2009.

I haven’t posted much, mainly because I haven’t had much to say.

It’s been about three weeks since I sat down with my wife and read her my letter.  The week or so afterward was very hard.  My wife was super-depressed and I fought to not give in to my co-dependent impulses.  Slowly, things have gotten better and things are OK.  We are able to enjoy talking, going out to eat and not feeling a lot of stress between us.

I’m not feeling the old paranoia and stress nearly as much.  I never thought those painful memories woudl lessen, but over time I find myself able to think about what happened and not feel that terrible sinking feeling.  It gives me hope that someday I won’t think about it all the time, every hour.

Keeping a distance from her depression is important to avoid falling into a cycle of love addict/avoidant behavior again, but it does leave me lonely.  I wish for a little more intimacy.  It’s a big deal for her to reach out first and want to hold hands or hug.  When she does reach out, I am thrilled but need to avoid doing something to get her to do it again.

Last week I woke up and wanted to hold her as I had been feeling disconnected.  I could feel that she was tense and that made it worse.  I told her how I was feeling and it snowballed into us both sitting in bed crying.   She was feeling terrible about herself and her inability to be close to me.  I was feeling even more lonely and tired of everything.  The good thing was that we were talking about the real feelings we were having, honestly.   Nothing got solved.  It didn’t end on a happy note, we just got up and got ready for the day.

In talking with my therapist, he said that we need to “count this as a victory” because it was intimacy that we were experiencing.  All intimacy isn’t Happy happy joy joy.  Sometimes telling the truth is enough.  To be honest, he’s right.  I will take honesty, even if it’s not what I want to hear.  No more lies.

We are going on vacation soon and I’m looking forward to that.  We’ve made some good plans to do things together and I’m hopefully that we can both stay on the path forward.

I hope you readers are making progress on your own paths.

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Today I feel good.

That is all. ;)

My wife is still really depressed.  I feel a huge amount of tension.

We spoke about it briefly this morning.  She says she’s feeling horrible.  Going over the letter last week is really weighing on her.

Every codependant alarm bell is going off in my head telling to “FIX IT” and do something, anything to make the situation better.  The urge to follow along is almost overwhelming.  I am sick to my stomach.

But I can’t give in to the old way of coping with this.  I can’t make myself responsible for her happiness.  She has to address her issues and deal with them, I can’t do that for her.

I can’t overstate how upset and conflicted I feel.  I just want it all to go away.

As I might have expected, my wife was depressed most of the weekend.  She had met with her therapist on Friday to go over the letter I read to her on Thursday.

We grabbed some dinner Friday night and talked a little.  We even did a little shopping and had some fun.  For a moment all the drama was gone and it felt wonderful to be a happy couple shopping for new clothes because we’ve both lost weight.  ;)

But by Saturday morning, she was in a total funk.  She doesn’t want to talk about it and I’m not pushing.  My best guess is that she’s dealing with her shame and feeling very bad about herself.

Overall, I feel a bit of serenity.  I said what I had needed to say for almost half a year.  I still think about things and go over stuff in my head, but I don’t feel that ache of pain.

I am resisting the urge to do something, anything, to make her feel better.   The codependent scenarios run through my head, but I have not given in.  I’m here if she asks for my help, but she hasn’t asked.  It’s hard to see her in pain and not try to fix it.

She asked me to do a few things around the house and I busied myself doing those.  She went out with the kids and bought me a few things, even some candy.  I know she’s thinking about me and I appreciate it.

She’s seeing her therapist again today.  I hope she gets some relief.

This is the hard part.  I love her dearly, but I have to wait for her to reach toward me, before I can help her. This is staying on my path and not giving in to old ways of behavior on my part.

I hope you all had a good weekend and can stay on your path this week, no matter how hard the winds blow.

Yesterday was the day I read my wife the letter about what I knew and the impact on me.   To be honest, I was terrified to do this.  Scared of her reaction and scared to feel and touch the pain again.  I was worried for the last two weeks and couldn’t sleep the night before.  The morning of, I was sick to my stomach and unable to even eat.

I read the letter to her in the therapist’s office.  It was agonizing, but I got through it.  I felt horrible the entire time.  When I was done, she was asked about how she felt or her comments.  She simply said, “It’s all true, he’s not wrong.”  Part of me was relieved that I wouldn’t face denial or rationalization, but part of me was hit by the reality, that this all really happened.

Facing this was the hardest part of my recovery to date.  Accepting the reality of what happened, saying it to my wife, and saying how it impacted me, honestly was incredibly hard.  But I needed to do it.

Later in the day, I felt a little peace and realized that now I can tell her how I truly feel and ask what I need to ask.  After reading the letter and having the world not end, as I feared, I have a bit of that elusive serenity.

That night I went to my local S-Anon meeting.  I haven’t been in a while and joked with the ladies about that.  It was good to share about what happened.  The thing that stuck with me was that there was a Newcomer at the meeting.  It was her first meeting and her pain and fear was palpable.   When she shared her situation and pain, I could not help as tears came to my own eyes, remembering my first meeting.  The hopelessness, the feeling of loss and absolute despair.

What I realized in that moment is how far I have come.  How much more aware of my feelings I am now.  And especially how far my wife and I have come to be have discussions over the weekend and sitting together in a therapist’s office.  For all of today’s worries, they pale to what it felt like six months ago.

It was good to talk with the ladies and hear how they are dealing with their struggles.  Everyone in a different place, but heading toward meeting their own needs, rather than falling into old codependent patterns.  Seeing everyone make progress makes me hopefully that my own situation will continue forward.

This morning, my wife was dejected and quiet.  I understand she is facing an enormous amount of shame over what she has done and yesterday just refreshed that.  I’m trying to remember that it’s not my fault she feels bad about what she did, it is her shame and rightly so.  But I do want her to feel better.  Seeing her in pain does me no good.  She’s taking my letter to her therapist today.  Hopefully it will help her to processt it.

Befoer going to work, I told her I wanted to talk.  She agreed but I could see that she didn’t want to, but agreed anyways.   I told her two things.  First, that yesterday was hard, but that now that I’m through it, I feel that I can talk to her about my feelings without fear, and that my fear often kept me from telling her my truth.   I also mentioned the lady at the meeting for the first time and how it was for her.  I told my wife that seeing that made me realize just how much progress we have made so far.  She didn’t say much but to just say “That’s good.”  I said, “That’s it, nothing big, just to say that I think we are moving forward.”

I know she feels terrible and that the moment I walked out the door that she was going to cry.  She said she didn’t want to talk and that she was ‘fine’.  This is where I had to do the right thing and walk out the door.  I can’t make her feel better.  I can’t fix her.

I told her I loved her and that I care about her.  And then I walked out the door.

Last week was our anniversary.  We had agreed to save our real celebration for the weekend, rather than than the actual day in the middle of the week.  We had planned a get out of town weekend that we were both looking forward to having.  

Of course, in my over active codependent brain, I couldn’t simply let the actual anniversary go by that easily.  That morning I had a card and flowers for her.  She was happy but said, “I thought we agreed to wait until the weekend.”  I said I knew, but that I didn’t want to go without recognizing the actual day.  She hadn’t done anything special for that morning.

In my mind I kept trying to keep in check about not expecting too much that day.  We had agreed to wait, but some part of me wanted her to make a big deal of this.   That even went like any normal evening and I started to feel worse and worse.  By the time we put the kids to bed and I was saying good night to my wife, I was feeling miserable.  She asked me “What’s wrong?” and I said, “Let’s talk about it this weekend.” and left. 

I was feeling very sorry for myself when about 15 minutes later she walked into the room.  She NEVER gets out of bed once she goes to sleep.  I was shocked when she said, “What’s wrong?”.   This is huge for my wife.  She can lock down these uncomfortable feelings easily and ignore them.  It amazed me that she wanted to resolve the issue with me.

We talked and it became clear that while I had agreed to wait until the weekend, I was having a hard time with doing that.  I talked about how I felt and the sadness I was feeling, not just from that day, but from everything.  She kept talking about how she felt terrible for not doing something.

We talked and I cried with all kinds of emotions running through me.  To me honest, my feeling was that she didn’t care about me and that our anniversary didn’t mean much to her.   Near the end of the talk, she got up and walked to a drawer and pulled out a gift.   She said, “I wanted to wait until this weekend, but you need to know that I think about you.”  She handed me a gift and I completely lost it.  The rush of emotion and relief that she had thought about me and that she had gone the extra mile to get me a gift was almost too much to bear.

Worn out, we went to sleep.

A few days later, we were out of town and it was late in the evening after a long day together.  We had had a great time during the day.  We were outside that evening having a drink in front of a fire, when she said she wanted to talk.  She started asking about the upcoming meeting with my therapist.  It lead to another long conversation about how we really felt.  I talked about how I struggled to accept the reality of what had happened and to accept the reality of my feelings.  She talked about her shame and she felt she had “wrecked everything”.   The talk was intense and honest.  I got a view into just how deep her pain goes and how she struggles with finding a way forward.  She got a view on how hard it is for me to deal with my love of her and my anger at her for what she had done.

Filled with tears and champagne, we talked until we were simply too tired to talk anymore.   It felt good to be past the small talk and engage in some candid discussion of reality.

The next day, as we drove home, we spoke again about things.  We talked about hard things like sex.  While sex makes me feel closer to her, it makes her feel disconnected.  That she has a hard time associating sex with love at this point and how she feels horrible about that.   I said I understood and wouldn’t push her, but that I wasn’t going to deny reality and pretend it’s not an issue we have to deal with.  We agreed that going back to holding in our feelings was bad for us.  Better to state the harsh reality than to pretend things are fine.  We talked about all kinds of things.  Her fears, her urge to run away, her concerns over going back on the anti-depressant drugs.

Reality.  It’s fucking tough to drop the denial and face reality, but it’s what we need.

This week, I’m going to read her my letter on what happened and how it is has made me feel.   We discussed this and I said that I need to do it to move forward.  That I have denied saying these things, pretending I didn’t need too for so long, that it has hurt me by holding them in.  She understands this.  We agreed it will be hard on both of us, but that it needs to be done to move forward.

Moving forward into reality…   I sound like a damn self-help book.  If it wasn’t happening to me, I’d say it’s some new age crap.  But the truth is, I can’t live a lie anymore.