Me: WH/BH, 27 (addict in recovery)
I look over the table of contents of his life story that he is still writing. There are many good chapters that he would never rewrite. His most notable chapter is about meeting his wife and how much they have grown together.
His second favorite chapter is about his career path. He details how he has always proven the naysayers wrong and how he always overcame the odds against him. He is proud to support himself and his wife by helping others and serving the public.
When I delve deeper into his book, I cannot help but notice the number of dark chapters. And how dark they really are.
As he grew up, he was surrounded by turmoil. His mother has narcissistic personality disorder and demanded constant attention and control. At 14, he discovered an affair his mother had been having. He tells his father about his discovery. His father was so passive, and his mother so manipulative, that he ended up feeling guilty about her affair. His mother took her rage out on him because it was he who revealed the affair. He felt like he destroyed their marriage because of his discovery. His parents never processed the affair and never fixed their marriage.
A few years later in his life, his father reveals to him that he gets back at his wife by sleeping with prostitutes. He learns that his dad even let them stay in their home when the rest of the family was on vacations. He never understood why hid dad told him these things.
Because of his parents' marriage he never knows what real love is. He never sees what a real marriage entails.
Because of his mother's control and his dad's passivity, he feels comfortable letting women have control in his relationships. He lets others walk all over his weak boundaries. He feels like he needs a woman to make him who he is, and to validate him.
Another dark chapter I read really makes me feel for him. He writes about sexual abuse. He was molested by a family member as a young boy. He felt powerless and emasculated. This happened to him for years. His view and ideas about sex are skewed and scary. And then he blocked it out from his memory. He actually forgot about it for years. Although the abuse never lost its "grip" on him, he never thought about it.
As an adult, he despised being aggressive sexually...even in a healthy way. He tells how he always "asked" his wife for sex because of how hurtful it was when he didn't have a choice. He always was hesitant to "take" his wife because of how he was taken. The way he made love to her was so careful as to not "hurt" her. Sometimes he even felt guilty for wanting sex.
His sex life was so unhealthy. Yet he never even knew; let alone understood why. His wife's eventual rejection of him sexually hurt him incredibly. He always tried to show her he loved her by making soft, sweet love to her. When she didn't want it, he felt like his love wasn't wanted. He felt unwanted and a failure as a man. Yet he still loved his wife and desperately sought her affection.
Towards the end of the book, he started to see things differently. He had to go away for a couple months for work and had a lot of time to reflect. He had been seeing a therapist. He finally realized how his family of origin issues affected him. He noticed the imbalance of power and control in his marriage. How it was so easy to let a woman control him. How he tried to appease his wife with complete disregard for his own healthiness. He let everyone cross his boundaries, including his wife. He finally started to see the light. And he wanted it to shine. He wanted to claim his life. He started to feel that he was important and deserved to be happy. He was working so hard on fixing himself.
This sounds like it would be the end of his book. But the most hurtful, darkest chapter was still lurking.
While he was still away for work and working hard on fixing himself, he heard the worst words he had ever heard in his life. His wife admitted to him that she was having an affair. He was shocked...blown away. All the work he had done convincing himself that he was a good man, that he was worthy, and that he could be happy were blown away. He almost gave up. Completely.
But he never did give up. He communicated with his wife. They both joined SI. Her shame, remorse, and the work she was doing to fix herself has allowed him to give her another chance. He is confident that she loves him. He makes love with her like they always should have. He believes in himself. He is dealing with the sexual abuse. He has completely changed his relationship with his parents and no longer lets anyone control him. He knows that his mother's affair was not his fault. He knows the abuse was not his fault. He knows his wife's affair was not his fault. He realized bad things do happen to good people. He has accepted who he is and works everyday to make himself better. He consoles his wife when she is filled with shame and guilt. He has not quit on her. He has not quit on himself. He works harder everyday to be stronger.
And he is the strongest man I know.
Her: Lost333, BW/FWW, My DDay: 2/19/12, Hers: 9/29/12
Working on myself through IC, NA meetings, intensive outpatient program, and lots of digging. Praying for R.