Just when I start to show signs of "getting it" I crack under the pressure. Yesterday I made this apology, seemingly out of the blue:
"I love you very much. I'm sorry that I chose to engage in such hurtful behavior for such a long time. It is completely understandable why you feel rejected, as though you can never make me happy, and like I have not been invested in our relationship. While I carried on my affairs I was not fully invested in us, no matter what I might have told myself, and I cannot deny that in some respects they were a rejection. I am very sorry that I made such selfish and unkind choices. Faced with losing you, I know that is something I can never do again. You might not yet feel it, or believe it, but you are the most important person in my life. I am grateful to you for giving me a chance today to show you that. I know that you are still undecided as to what you want now. No matter what you ultimately decide, I love you. I hope you can someday find your way to forgiving me. I want to have my life with you. I want you to continue being my future."
BS asked me if this was something I had read or if it was from me. I have, and declared it at the time, resorted to apologies suggested by others when my efforts to come up with a genuine one of my own fail. I got the pleasure of owning this one.
I also followed through on a couple more requests. One that has been very important to him is that I write the wives (shuddering at the plural as I write) of my APs. One of them responded immediately to my e-mail and I answered her questions as fully and honestly as I can. By that, I mean, I'm still very fuzzy on some of the specifics of dates etc. Of my affairs the wife of the most recent (and the most enmeshing/fog inducing) A was informed by my BH before we had truly begun to try and tackle this mess I've created. Apparently she recently responded to him, and I got an earful of his (APs) discretions from her perspective as passed on by my husband. I have FB messaged another, and do not expect a response. The fourth has moved on from the relationship from the AP. She kicked him out about 6 mos ago, and I have trouble seeing why telling her matters now. I'm still going to write the letter, but I believe sending it will only reopen old wounds from a relationship she already ended. The final BS was trickier. I knew less about her than the others, first name only. Until today. I figured it out, and promptly shared. I found her address (it's the house where sex happened) that I previously could not remember for the life of me... And I said I would write to her this evening.
Today is also the first day we both returned to work in two weeks. I haven't been to my office in three. I worked with my door closed the entire day in an effort to control my environment as much as possible. I was in regular contact, and even called him when I took a short break to get some coffee mid morning.
Cut to this evening. I have a writing process. I start multiple drafts, beginning fresh every time. This allows me room to fill in the information with baby steps. It's the way I've found to make the confessions bearable. I still feel like throwing up (completely physically I'll) when confessing to the horrible things I've done. Might be pride, but I think it's the guilt shame and remorse. BH passed behind me while I was in the first stage on my first draft and instantly began criticizing it/me. I asked what was more important, timeliness or specificity. Of course the answer is both. Not sure why I asked, should have set out my process and asked him to give me time to finish before he read it and offered critique.
All interactions after that were filtered through my resentment. He's in the anger phase. I know that he will be for a long time. All interactions after that were filtered through his anger. It was a bad night. I screamed at him. He again told me that he is afraid of me. Always has been. Consequence? I'm awake at 2:30 in the morning on the couch (moved back in). That decision was made and communicated in a way that made it clear this is not just a consequence, it's meant as punishment.
So I'm lying here awake thinking a number of things:
1. how can I get it, and not get it so completely? ( the empathy part)
2. there is nothing I can or should do to prevent this "separation" if it's what BH needs... And I hate everything about it. What if getting away from me is what he needs? I'm terrified of this. But I'll do it if he asks.
3. We had broken communication before, it's much worse now.
4. Boundaries. I don't often have them and establishing appropriate boundaries with a spouse who is lashing out verbally because he is suffering from the deepest pain a person can feel (and it's your fault) is nearly impossible for a passive, immature, selfish, and terrified person.
5. That in the fallout of my confessing our dysfunction and his pain have me turning out of the relationship for encouragement and support. (Big red flags everywhere!) that's a big part of how I got us into this whole mess in the first place. But now more than ever my marriage does not feel safe for my feelings, thoughts, and self.
6. A whole bunch of other self serving and defensive junk no one needs to hear or read. Mostly because I recognize that it is junk.
7. And finally, I'm trying to decide how late/early is too late/early for me to shower and get dressed for the day.
What is that saying? One step forward and five steps backward?
Sorry for the looooong rant. Just needed to get it off my chest. I'm sad, uncomfortable, and sleepless. There's got to be hope out there somewhere.