OK, I'm back. Healing myself and my marriage is too important to let my pride or defensiveness or whatever you want to call it, get in the way.
So yeah, I feel like posting today. Maybe I'll continue to feel like it. Maybe I won't. Maybe I'll take months off, Maybe I'll post daily. I love how
there's no right or wrong answer. It is, what it is. Very Zen.
3 Weeks have passed now, and they feel like forever. My life is different. I'm admitting my faults. I have reminders everywhere of what I did. Books mostly - The immediate must-reads... How to help your spouse heal... not just friends... I got this article printed out and on my wall..
I definitely notice it there and know why it's there and read it and think about what I've done lately/today to better myself and my relationship with W.
My son made me something out of clay at school. Usually kids make a cup or an ashtray. He made me a half a broken beer bottle. Seriously. He etched the word "Stout" in the front. Of course, this makes me remember just how much we would drink and how it helped lead to my A.(Disclaimer: Yep, it led to it but the only one who decided to go all the way with it was me). Lots of beer, lots of footsie under the table.
I'm going to keep this broken beer bottle ceramic as a reminder.
Oh yeah, so apparently my wife decided that it would be ok for their son to send my son a letter, and for their daughter to send my wife a birthday letter. My W had told AP's H to address both letters to her with no return address, but the one from their son was addressed directly to my son. Oops.
I, of course, knew nothing about it and handed my son the letter. I had no reason to suspect it wasn't something he shouldn't have. I've seen letters arrive from relatives with no return address before. So their son said he misses my son and hopes they can play together soon. I explained to my son why that probably wouldn't be happening and how it probably wasn't a good idea, but that if it *did* happen it would surely have nothing whatsoever to do with me. I told my W - because I talk to her daily now and tell her my feelings - that if it made their kids feel better or helped them heal in some way to send the letters than fine, but I didn't think it would really change anything or be a good idea for the kids' friendship to continue. She agreed with me.
Every day is a new day for me to not be defensive or irritable or selfish. Step 1 in a new book we're reading together is committment. Make the committment to make your spouse come before everything else and the rest falls into place. Things that should've been common sense before this. Don't make friends with the opposite sex. Don't get drunk with members of the opposite sex. It all started out when we were all together as a couple. But, obviously that's not how it ended up. We knew their marriage wasn't 100% solid from the beginning; we should've kept them at arm's length. My W did try to tell me her reservations about our friendship with them many times but I didn't listen and I didn't want to listen. I didn't know how we should distance ourselves and how to say no and mean it no matter what. I did have hesitations and reservations towards the beginning, but eventually I gave in and went whole hog. Lines were being crossed and nobody was seemlingly getting hurt, so why not cross some more lines. I would tell myself "Eh, you're already going to Hell anyway, so..."
It seems so obvious the things you should start doing once you know you have marital problems and once both people have agreed that problems exist and are willing to take concrete steps to find solutions. But when you're in the Fog of your marital problems; ignoring them, sweeping them under the rug, making minimal effort but not really changing anything; it's easy to just keep on keeping on. All the while silently resenting the other in whatever little things are bothering you.
I would never have been here reading, much less posting, in the "old days". Problems are for *other* couples, not us. Assumption. There's the problem. I assumed things were fine. I *thought* things were fine. But with zero time spent daily giving each other undivided attention, how could they have been fine? What constitutes fine? Not fighting? Sleeping in the same bed? Does throwing an arm over your spouse make everything better?
So now what? Committment to heal by both of us. Committment to Love by both of us. Committment to make our marriage GREAT. More books for starters. I'm boring in bed? "She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman" (I'd post a link but it has an obscene papaya and banana on the cover!). I don't listen? "Just listen: Discover the Secret to Getting through to Absolutely Anyone"
It seems like there's a book for everything out there. I don't know if every single book I buy is going to help, but I figure they sure couldn't hurt. Knowledge is power, right?
Side note: Thinking about being boring in bed made me remember what someone once told me in college when I was young and dumb and thought I was in love. The girl wanted nothing more to do with me after a few weeks and told me I was being too clingy. I had a hard time getting over her and I was still thinking about her when she was already long gone and screwing other guys on campus. Anyway this one guy (frat boy, baseball-cap-on-backwards type) says to me "Hey man, as long as you 'got your ride' right?" That's how it was in college. Parties and drinking and getting laid. For all my attempts I didn't get laid much (Ha), but my point was more about how bad for my future relationships that time in my life probably was. Girls just want to get laid. Guys just want to get laid. Every man for himself. You're too young to get attached to anyone. Everyone's a piece of meat. Get you some. As long as you got laid, that's all that matters right? Interestingly I think the guy that told me that is married now as well. I wonder how that's going for him? Anyway, it just popped into my head. Maybe it's relevant as far as how I was able to go "get me some" recently, regardless of the consequences...
Moments of guilt and shame aside, I'm generally excited about the future. She says restoring trust isn't the issue; she knows she'll trust me again. (I'm humbly delighted! -- We'll still read those chapters later though). She says she can see I'm trying. We're both committed. We 've got nothing but time now and I'm so grateful. She said "I'm a strong woman and it's probably more than you deserve right now." I agreed humbly.
It shouldn't have taken my infidelity to get us talking and working on our marriage. But the momentum is there now regardless. We will make our house a home. We will keep outsiders away. Cute girl at the checkout register? I pick a new line. Cheerleaders jumping around trying to get people to pull over for a car wash? I run them over..err.. I mean, I keep on driving. I want 100% of my emotional and sexual energy to be for my W.
"Successful Rebuilders relish the freedom that comes from living in the light -- openly admitting their temptations, weaknesses, and struggles to others. Some call this a "confessional" lifestyle - no more secrets, no more false pride, no more assuming one is above sexual or romantic temptation. "
It's weird that while so many people were in here healing I was running around destroying and hurting.
So that's today's musings. Am I still being self-absorbed? I don't think so, but go ahead, and do your worst, I'm ready this time :)
I did just realize I referred to my W in this whole post as W and not BW. Is that a good thing? I think it is.