A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To Recovery. . .

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A couple of weeks ago, on my way to my twice monthly appointment with Ron the Therapist, I stopped to get gas. I had been shopping on the East side of town and stopped at a place I have never been. I had plenty of time before I had to meet Will at the therapist’s office so planned on running my car through the car wash after filling up.  My car never got that wash. As I was only a couple of gallons in, I heard a voice, with a little chuckle in it, calling my name. I turned and there he was. I hadn’t seen or spoken to him in many, many, many months. Not gonna lie…I HAD thought of him. He was the first man with whom I realized sex was more than just something to be endured because the man enjoyed it. He was THAT guy. The man with whom I had had my PTSD fog-filled affair.  Then why, oh why, did seeing him there, unexpected, make my heart flip-flop and my knees turn to jelly? All of the sudden, things occurred in the ‘ole nether regions, that had long been asleep. Against all recovery advice, I did not politely extricate myself from his presence and leave. I couldn’t. I. Physically. Could. Not. We talked. We both kept smiling. He asked if we could pull over and get coffee. My brain said NO! OF COURSE NOT! But I heard my voice say, “sure.” Now, before anyone out there thinks I completely lost my mind…NO! Absolutely nothing happened. Zero. We talked. He bought me a soda. We caught up. He kept saying how great I looked. And kept asking if I was happy. I kept thanking him and assuring him I was working hard. He left for work (night shifts), I headed to my marriage counseling appointment.

So, here is my problem. I have kept this whole thing to myself. Not a word to Ron the Therapist. And worse-not a word to Will. And I have no idea why!  It isn’t that I feel guilt. For whatever reason I don’t. Nothing happened and after all is said and done, I know that I will always care for this man. Love? No. Affection? Absolutely. Why, you ask? Simply because he was kind, compassionate, sensual, thoughtful and loving when I was at my most needy and vulnerable. And, because despite everything, he gave me something I have never had before. Fulfillment. That is not easily forgotten.

I am struggling with this because I feel that I need to be honest with Will and with Ron the Therapist, but there is a perverse need in me to keep this to myself. It’s almost as if I am savoring it and holding it close.  I don’t know what to do with this. I don’t want to share it, or give it away, or make it an issue. I want to be selfish and keep it for myself. In just seeing and talking to him, I felt beautiful and sexy and desired and funny, and smart and loved. Why doesn’t Will make me feel that?  What is wrong with me?

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22 thoughts on “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To Recovery. . .

  1. Oh Kay. I think you need to be really, really honest. With yourself.

    I don’t necessarily think this mam is ‘the one’. But. Are you like me? And so many of us, really, really loyal and committed women? Do you think you HAVE to save your marriage – at all personal costs? I think I am/was that person. Dammit! I committed! Therefore I am gonna FIX this.

    I think, and most will hate me for this, you need to be you. To live for you. Without Will. Without therapy. For what, maybe a year? Or forever?

    I think this is the curse of our society. That women have been sold happily ever after. And we are going make that ours, no matter what.

    I’m not there yet. Because I really believed in ‘us’. I really loved him. And I really believed he loved me. Totally. We were ‘soul mates’. I never said it. But my God! I believed it. And I am 8+years out and am FINALLY starting – just starting! – to accept that he didn’t love me enough. That I won’t ever get that 60 year bliss. I was all in. He opted out. Because he did. Not. Love. Me. The. Way. He. Should. Have.

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    1. Oh Paula..my sweet friend. I question this and myself all the time. I am such a flake! There are times when I just don’t know. I hate indecision more than anything and ever since D-day that has seemed to rule my life. I keep working so hard, and don’t get me wrong, things have gotten so much better, but there is still just so much doubt and uncertainty. I feel so unsettled. When surprises like this happen, it throws me completely.

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    2. Oh dear. Apologies for autocorrect. Even changed your name on me!

      I know. Even now I still ‘bargain’ with myself. And I am no happier without him. But I just could never feel okay about being with him. He insists he loves me (still) every bit as much as I loved him. But that doesn’t sound/feel right to me. I have only ever been with him. And I never cheated. I got close once. I do understand that desire. And the way it helps you feel desirable. But I knew it would eat me alive. I don’t think you should feel bad for your fling. I think disclosing to your therapist is a great idea. If you trust them, hopefully they can guide you through this.

      My opinion is that unless there was unprotected sex, it may not need to be disclosed. What you did in your private life, while separated, I don’t see that as cheating. Which is why although I hate that he felt the need to touch that maggoty bitch again after all we had been through, at least in part due to her, we were separated when he fucked Leanne again at the two year mark. He felt the need for … closure (I loathe that term!) And he was single. Just wish he chose someone else. Because she was so damn awful to me. Why go back to someone so capable of such damage and

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      1. I don’t understand the SA brain at all. Sometimes I feel like the more I learn, the less I understand. Thank you sweet Paula for support without judgement. I completely get what you are saying too…about just not having that desire to be with him. I struggle with Will. I WANT to want him, but his acting out partners are still there between us. It’s such a long, difficult road. **sigh**

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      2. YES! Wanting to want him. I had a very high libido. And it helped us through hysterical bonding and beyond. Then, for some reason, I lost my mojo after the five year mark. I think I was just disappointed in myself? That I allowed myself to love and be sexual with a dirty, rotten cheater. It felt like I gave myself no value. I can’t properly explain it. But I loathe my body. Six months of sex therapy got me/us nowhere. I feel resentful. Like he murdered sexy, sensual Paula. And I kept willing myself to want him like I did the first 27 years….

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  2. Does your therapist deal with SA? I wonder if knowing about it would trigger Will. Would he act out? I think you need professional help with this before you say anything to him.

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    1. Yes..he ONLY counsels SA’s and their spouses. I don’t think Will would act out. I think I need to contact my own therapist (who I haven’t seen in many months) in order to process all of this properly. Thanks so much!

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  3. (((Hugs))) to you and thanks for being so open and vulnerable. As I was reading, your words were going ping, ping, ping in my heart and mind. I so get this dilemna. I really don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with you! This man has validated your worth as a woman and person. At a time when you desperately need to know you are beautiful and worthy. I share this experience. I know in my head it was morally wrong. I have asked forgiveness from my husband, God and myself. And yet, a part of me still believes I wouldn’t have survived without that validation even though it was from an inappropriate place/person. It was a turning point for me in that I began to see myself as worthy and deserving of love. My affair saved me, as incomprehensible as that might sound. So, yes it was wrong, but I do have trouble sometimes seeing it as being completely wrong when it gave me such a gift. It sounds like maybe it was a special gift for you as well, and that is why you are holding it close and savouring it.
    That being said, I think it is quite possible talking to your therapist about it will give you relief and more clarity about how to deal with this struggle, and how, or if you share it with Will.
    Blessings to you today beautiful, precious woman.

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      1. I have been thinking about your post and my reply all morning. Your authenticity propelled me to publicly share my affair for the first time. I knew when I started my blog that it would be a part of my story, but I haven’t yet found the way to introduce it because of my own views on it. I didn’t want to seem like a horrible person, but I also could not portray a weepy repentance that was not there. My behaviour was in the past and will stay in the past, but it has positively contributed to my healing path in a way that most people wouldn’t understand. It was sin. And a gift. I don’t know how it could be both but it was. And I am so grateful today to read your words of understanding and acceptance and know I am not alone in trying to reconcile this. ❤️

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      2. Cynthia…I truly believe that although I know the way I reacted in my trauma was completely out of character for me and not at all what I condone (clearly), I know that it was entirely human and actually healing in some way. I have tried to reconcile why I don’t feel some great remorse for what I know intellectually was “wrong” but still feels like a gift of sorts in my heart. I have come to the conclusion that sometimes our emotions over rule our brains when we are in a place as dark as I was after D-day. And sometimes our emotions are correct. 😉
        No one can know the pain and trauma of betrayal unless they have walked in our shoes. How we manage it, whether someone else believes it’s “healthy” or “proper” or right vs. wrong is irrelevant. For me, I did what I did and I learned a lot about myself. I regret hurting him. I don’t regret knowing him. I just have to figure out what to with these pesky feelings now. 😂

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  4. Oh. My. Goodness. I am so glad that I am not the only one that acted out of character during the PTSD time. This is so interesting to me because I have thought about and wondered what I would do if I ever saw him again. I knew there would never be anything between us but he made me feel sexy and special for a time.
    I totally get why you would want to keep that for yourself. You felt special again. Hold on to that for a couple weeks but that feeling with fade. If it were me I would take what I could from the chat, figure out what feelings you had and why, and eventually tell your husband. We all know its best to be open.

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  5. I can relate to your story. Like many of us betrayed spouses, I also turned to another man for the affirmation that I was missing from my marriage. He was actually my first love from my early teens, and a mutual friend reunited us when my marriage was crumbling and I still didn’t know why. It didn’t last long, but that fling was what made me realize how much I loved my husband and wanted to fix our marriage. It was right after I ended the affair and recommitted myself that I discovered my husband’s secret life and all his addictions.

    Still I didn’t want to go back to the other man. Despite making me feel beautiful and sexy again, I didn’t love him. I confessed to my husband a few months after he made the decision to get clean and sober and go to rehab. I must admit that my confession felt more like a “back at ya” than anything like remorse. But I wanted complete honesty from him, so I felt that I should hold myself to the same standard.

    I understand wanting to keep it to yourself, but it is an opportunity to demonstrate how honesty looks in a committed relationship. Also agree that working through it with your therapist is a good idea. Big hugs and good luck to you!

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    1. Thanks Boomer. I think I will be speaking to Will and our Therapist. Just a matter of gehe nerve to do it. I think what is more frightening than the actual “telling” is how I answer the inevitable questions on how seeing him made me feel. That’s just gonna suck.

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  6. Keep it to yourself. It’s like a little gift from the universe to let you know that little fireworks can still pop and snap down there. That your girly bits aren’t scorched earth, lol. A gift that said “you’re beautiful and attractive and you’re going to be ok.” Sharing it – and you did nothing wrong – would open it up to dissection and then it would no longer be a pretty little moment. No one else can know what that moment really felt like so save it for yourself.

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  7. Leigh, at the beginning of your blogging I decided to read his. He admitted to reading yours but promised to stop. If he reads this he might already know your secret. If you want to handle this through therapy you should deleted this.

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    1. He has promised to stop. If he reads this, he has consequences. I can’t control that. That too would be a subjected to therapy. For the record, there is very little chance that he will read it, and if he does, I don’t think he would make an issue of it until we were in a session and it came up. He still keeps so many of his emotions and feelings to himself. I considered that when I posted and weighed the odds. Thanks for being concerned…I appreciated it! ❤️

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  8. I promise this third comment is the last. After what hell you went through I think this song title says it all………
    Whatever Gets You Through The Night. A tiny amount of happiness in the middle of that horror is understandable. Hugs to you

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