“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”
For two weeks, I have been stuck. I haven’t known what to say or do. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share what was going on, but I’ve needed support and didn’t know how to ask for it. My trust had been broken. I’m not talking about an affair or abuse. I’m talking about how someone else’s choice of a coping mechanism turned into an addiction, into poor decisions, into taking risks that were never worth the possibility of losing everything.
I am and have been broken, terrified, sad, lost, angry, upset, hurt…and yet still a glimmer of hope exists. Belief that trust can be rebuilt exists. Love beyond measure still exists.
On March 24th, I had the rug pulled out from under my feet. I knew something wasn’t right and hadn’t been right for a while. Things between us had been going downhill fast since his dad passed away back in September. I couldn’t figure out why. We started arguing more. He was spending less time with the kids that we were taking care of, so I had to step up with the cleaning, homework, food, etc. He was spending less time with me and more time with his brothers when they were here. He would be up all night with them. When they weren’t here, he started working more and stay up late by himself. We started arguing more…about the kids, the money, and his brothers.
I never could place my finger on it. I just knew it got worse when other people were here. I tried to talk about it and explain to him what I saw or what I thought was happening, but it was easy to make excuses. He hadn’t talked to his brothers in thirteen years. Their dad had just died. We had kids who weren’t ours to raise. They are family.
…but in the mean time, we didn’t invite my family down from 150-200 feet away. Why? Because my parents are nosy and I didn’t want them to notice that anything was wrong. I didn’t want them to judge Tom and his family too harshly. But, they were starting to notice things from afar. They could look down from their home and see that lights were on all through the night. They could see that the brothers were up a lot and sleeping at odd hours. Despite what I said, they could tell Tom was pulling away from me just from the amount he worked or the amount of time it looked like they were all awake at night.
On the 24th, he got his rude awakening – his wake up call. Right now, I hope beyond hope that we can overcome the legal issues that have arisen, in whatever way they turn out. Against all odds, I see a silver lining through my tears. I finally see the man I fell in love with again – the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. All this time, I was lost, but so was he.
We both know this cannot be fixed overnight. It took the course of six months to get to where we are. Six months of being kept in the dark, of secrets, and of lies. It is going to take a lot to earn back trust. I was hurt because I thought he was getting tired of me. I felt guilty because I thought I was being selfish. I was angry because I thought he wasn’t listening. I felt like he was just pushing me away and I couldn’t figure out why I was losing him.
Now, I worry that this might happen again. I feel guilty because I feel I could have done more to notice the signs earlier or prevent it from occurring. I’m angry because I feel like he let this happen. I feel like he took a risk and could have lost everything. Was it worth it? Was it worth the pain that I know he could see in my eyes? Was it worth allowing me to believe it was me?
Among my turmoil of emotions, I also feel an odd sense of strength. I feel vindicated that I knew something was wrong but wasn’t sure what and that I had been right in knowing his judgement had been altered. I knew that it couldn’t all be me. I know that I am not a selfish person.
For some reason, I feel it is worth to note what I was thinking the moment I got the phone call that yanked the rug out from under me. Stupid things crossed my mind…like “but my birthday is next week and yours is two weeks later, but we just bought the wedding ring, but we’re supposed to get married in December, but I just paid the bill, but we haven’t even had a vacation alone together, but we are finally alone again in our house, but what if I want to have a baby,” and it goes on…right down to the question of, “was it worth it?”
I do believe addiction is a disease, but I also believe that you have an initial choice that you are in control of and what you choose is entirely up to you. What are you willing to risk, and ultimately, is it worth it?
Despite all that has happened, I have also experienced periods of being wonderfully happy again in the last two weeks. We’ve worked together putting flooring down in a house. We went on a picnic. We’ve watched movies together. I’ve even been spanked a few times for fun.
I do not want you to judge Tom because I have not shared everything with you. You do not know about his past or all of the circumstances. I do know about his past and I can sympathize with the situation because hindsight is 20/20. That does not mean I agree with everything that has happened, and I am certainly feeling all kinds of emotions that I need to deal with. He absolutely needed the rude awakening. He is ashamed and has regret for what he has put us through…what he has put me through. He is human and he made a mistake that snowballed out of control. He realizes he should have been honest from the beginning and has agreed to certain rules that we must live by in order for me to begin trusting again. We have to help each other through this because neither of us is ready to throw in the towel and walk away.
We have a long and difficult road ahead of us and unfortunately it will probably be peppered with events where we cannot be sure of the outcome nor how it will affect our future, but…we will try to do everything we can to make the best of it.