So much has been going on lately and things have been tough. I really feel like I need some fresh perspective on how to refocus my efforts and my thinking. I have a hard time getting my thoughts out here clearly and concisely like some of you guys. Please be patient with me.
My past relationships trigger him. They always have but even more since d-day. I am his one and only but he is not mine. He saved himself for marriage in keeping with our religious beliefs. I joined this church at 27, before we dated, and had already been a serial monogamist for years with one failed marriage and a 3 year old child from that when we started dating.
Now anything that makes him think of a previous relationship of mine triggers him. The states I went to HS in trigger him because I had boy friends in HS and first had sex at 17. The place where an ex-boyfriend used to live triggers him. The house I used to live in triggers him. Sports trigger him. The college football team we both love triggers him now because I had boyfriends when I attended there.
Some of these things triggered him before the A. Throughout our marriage he would make comments like, "all your old boyfriends..." Or he would react to any mention of my DD's father. Or any good HS or college memory (never about a prior relationship) I happened to talk about. This hurt. I felt judged as not being good enough because I had prior relationships. I would react angrily. He knew I had prior relationships before he married me. His reactions came from pain too but I didn't understand that at the time. I just felt judged and like I was being punished for things I had done before meeting him. I refused to discuss any prior relationships. I said at the time that those things didn't matter and I wasn't willing to let him judge me anymore than he already was. I know now that I was holding on to guilt and shame and hurt over prior relationships and it was painful to think or talk about those parts of my life.
He interpreted my refusal to discuss these things and my angry reaction to his comments or attitude about my past as me holding on to or protecting fond memories of past relationships. We didn't understand each other at all. I think he was also having some thoughts of being compared to past lovers, although I never said anything to that effect.
After d-day he demanded transparency about all my past relationships. He started asking questions like:
Have you ever had a one night stand?
Have you ever had a threesome?
Have you ever...
Close to d-day I was desperate to do anything he asked of me so I started trying to answer his questions. This caused me to think of things I had purposefully not thought of for years. Think CSA. I had an big scary anxiety attack and seriously considered a quick suicide as an escape from what I was feeling. He recognized I was not doing well and put away the knives and guns and refused to leave me alone. I found a p-doc and IC.
I'm working on it. But IC is on hold for now. He started IC for EMDR but he has also stopped IC. He doesn't think the EMDR is the answer to his triggers and mind movies. He thinks time will take care of everything. I disagree.
My dad has been visiting. He's been here for two weeks (left this morning). My dad is annoying. He likes to push buttons. He has a talent for triggering BH. He brought up my ex in convo because we were talking about training my dog and ex had trained sea lions at one time. He just said he knew a guy who had trained sea lions and they would bite you on the butt if you turned your back. H knew who it was and was triggered. We were driving and H was triggering at a location we were passing. Dad had to mention the location and ask what it was. I wonder if he sensed H's reaction to the location and his verbal diarrhea kicked in... Any way, the past two weeks have been rough. I don't think dad does it out of malice. I think he's clueless. At least I hope that's it.
BH has been so angry and so miserable lately.
He has been asking "why me, why did I have to be the one to suffer?"
I thought I understood that he was back to blaming himself somehow for my A. So I told him it wasn't him it was me. I was broken and screwed up and made these disastrous choices for all of us. But then he asked "but why did it have to be me?"
I had to think about that for a while. But I feel like it's because God loved me enough in spite of the atrocities I would commit that he allowed me to meet and marry a wonderful man who was strong enough. And God loved him enough too. He is horribly hurt and did nothing to deserve it but he is growing and learning and so am I. I have to believe that in the end it will be worth it. That we will be stronger and better and our M will be stronger and better, not because of what I have done but in spite of it. I don't mean that my A was God's will by any means. I think we could have found another way to grow and learn and improve our M. But my horrible choices brought us down this path and I was blessed with a strong, wise, loving H. I believe That with God's help I'm becoming the W my H deserves. God allows bad things to happen to good people. My H is a good person. He can survive this disaster and come out scarred but stronger. Right?
But in the meantime things a just so so hard. When I started this post I was feeling pretty hopeless. I think I've talked myself into some hope.
Here's something else I am feeling seriously yucky about and I haven't sorted it out in my brain yet.
My birthday was this week. Christmas is coming. And our anniversary is right after Christmas.
BH has been doing a lot of shopping for me lately. I told him not to worry about it. I'm truly happy to have him with me working on R. That is the biggest gift of all. But he was determined and he has been buying gifts for me. He gave my birthday and anniversary gifts to me early because he wanted me to use them. And on my b-day he gave me a very sweet card. It brought tears to my eyes. I know it was hard to find the right one and not just finding one that was appropriate but reading and dismissing all the one that are no longer appropriate because of what I've done. It must have been painful and tough. Yet he did it. That's how he is.
I'm grateful and guilty and ashamed. I'm grateful for how hard he is trying though I'm not certain it's the best thing for him. I'm guilty that I've turned all these special occasions into a painful nightmare for him. And I'm ashamed that I made the choices that have made me a wife that so many cards will never be right for again. Words like "trust, faithful, always, through the years..." They really can't go in a card to me anymore. Receiving gifts and cards from him and even my kids who don't know is uncomfortable... My MIL gave me a sweet card too. I felt ashamed. She said some nice things in church about how I had taken care of her when she was sick and how she was grateful for me and I was embarrassed because she doesn't know what I did to her son and if she did she would hate me.
Is this a pity party?