Me: BW, age 68
Last Wednesday marked one year since D-Day. I had booked a massage for that day (aromatherapy) because I anticipated feeling awful.
I woke up, though, feeling strong and positive. My frame of mind was that we'd made it through a year, and we're still together, and things are going reasonably well--hopeful would sum up my feelings that day.
So I bought flowers to celebrate having made it this far. I told FWH what they were for. This led to a conversation about the A, during which he said something that surprised me:
"When I look at you, I just feel that you see yourself as a loser for having chosen to stay with me."
The thing is, I do sometimes feel that way, and I told him so. But, I added, other times I feel that I am very strong to have chosen R--also that the feelings of strength happen more frequently these days than the feelings of being a loser.
"Do you see me as a loser?" I asked. "Do you disrespect me for having chosen to stay with you?" He answered no, not at all.
The conversation ultimately ended well, but I just thought that what he said was (a) insightful, and (b) sad. Sad because I am clearly giving off "I'm a loser to stay with you" vibes, and/or sad because his shame is so deep that he feels unworthy of love and loyalty.
But the massage I'd booked was great. I'm so glad I did that!
Him: WH, age 66
Married 20 years
D-Day: August 14, 2012
9 year LTA with former co-worker and family "friend"/7 years EA+PA, 2 more years EA