My husband likes to think that the rather painful episode of infidelity in our lives, also known as "Are you f&^#$%g kidding me?" is "over". As in, "aren't you over that?" And "besides what happened, what have I ever done wrong?"
And while I would love nothing more than for it to be "over", I'm increasingly recognizing that I'm not sure it ever will be.
The thing with infidelity – ie. a "trust violation" – is that it completely alters your world view. Irrevocably. So though you might be "over" the event – for example, you know longer cry in grocery stores or at the site of a certain late model Jeep Liberty – you're nonetheless never really over it.
Case in point:
My husband and I are currently suffering through the longest renovation project in history. I've been a pretty good sport about it, in light of the fact that I thought our house, except for the leaking roof, was just fine. But he wanted his dream house, blah blah blah. And so, here we all are, ousted from our bedrooms, sleeping on couches, breathing in drywall dust and basically living in what feels like a falling-down frat house.
I finally cracked, just like our plaster ceilings and pretty much everything else in our home, on Saturday. I had asked my husband to print off something I needed for a work project. He forgot. He remembered to do the reno stuff that day...but not the thing I had asked.
Roughly eight months of reno-resentment, together with the slowly receding resentment of his decade-long sex addiction, combined to create a nuclear-level explosion of anger.
He, as usual, was surprised when I pointed that it never, EVER seems as if my needs matter.
Though I didn't actually see his eyes roll, I could sense them.
And then, "when are you going to get over that?"
And I knew exactly what he meant.
When are we going to be able to live in a world in which those horrible years of emotional abandonment and physical disinterest no longer color everything that happens now? When am I going to be, quite simply, "over" it.
The short answer?
Not because I hang on to the pain. God knows, I've done everything I can possibly think of to move myself out that horrible dark place.
I've forgiven him in that I've come to a place of understanding how he was able to commit such marriage-killing acts and not actually think of them as such. I'm worked hard to try and understand that he used sex as self-medication.
But that doesn't mean that I can erase it from my memory. And whether or not he intended to hurt me doesn't mean a thing when the end result is pain. If you step on my toe accidentally, my toe doesn't hurt any less.
I'm trying. As he is.
But infidelity does indeed seem to the be the rift that keeps on giving...
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