One step forward, two steps back. I’ve heard that saying all my life and always considered it a colloquialism or a joke of some sort….. like saying “another day another dollar”. Not accurate, but sometimes feels that way and is sort of funny. But in my newly reclaimed life, it really does feel like I’m moving forward a little, then being pushed back. It’s like what being caught in a rip current at the beach must feel like. I swim harder, grasping at as much water as my cupped hands can gather, kicking furiously, yet I just keep getting pulled further away from the shore.
My recovery: It is positive in that I have not acted out in 97 days as of today, or actually several more than that but I started counting when I hit bottom. I feel that my program of prayer, reading, journaling, seeing my therapist and corresponding with him each day and calling or being called from another fellow in the program, are all what keeps me firmly in recovery. And I do mean firmly. I feel strong in being ahead of the darkness that once consumed so much time and energy and mindfulness. That part is really going well even though my sponsor doesn’t answer when I call and rarely calls me back. I’m going to have to just keep working it because it’s worth it, but without the benefit of having someone in that role. That sucks, but I’ll keep doing all the other components because I will never be that person I was again.
So recovery is going well. Relationship is ok, but not where we should be at all. My lovely wife told me a couple of weeks ago that her priorities were first, our relationship; second getting our house projects completed; third working in real estate flipping houses. in reality though, we can say all sorts of things. It is what we do, though, that is the honest part. We may endeavor to do somethings, set out in a direction really intending to make that the most important thing. But what we do can so often be something else. When asked what my priorities were I answered that first, my recovery program. Second is our relationship; third providing so that she need not work at the job she loathes. Yesterday like the day before and the one before that, the topic on which she spoke most of the time was her need to get a part time job with full insurance coverage. That is not possible. And it’s not aligned with what we set as our goals. She gets to follow her own dreams and needs. I get that. But that is not putting our relationship in first place. So she wants that to be first but simply cannot. Her needs and / or what is on her mind will always come before me and us.
Yesterday I answered her text from my office and asked her in a loving way something like, “I loved connecting with you again last night and each day before. Can we talk without TV for awhile this evening? Better every day. I love you.”. She texted something back about whether the guy who installed our carpet in the play room does wood floors. She’s not doing wood floors in our home at all so this was for someone else. I repeated my request awhile later and got a reply that someone from her employer’s office called her. Again, she saw my request but had no intention of acknowledging it or feeling in any way similarly.
The problem now is I can’t stop the runaway resentment I’m feeling. I really am working at our relationship first, but she just cannot. I adamantly believe she wants to and intends to, but she cannot stop thinking of what she needs or wants. Her shoulder is sore, pinched nerve maybe. So I massaged it all the way home while driving. I massaged it again in the spa. She knows I have the same problem, yet no reciprocation. She doesn’t mean to neglect me, she just cannot think of anything other than what she needs or wants at any given time. I have never been and will probably never be, anywhere near the top of the list for her. Ironically, her best friend still exists far above me on the list. Angie moved into my home a day or two after my wife kicked me out. I was during those two months, supporting both of them and Angie’s teenage son part of the time, plus my rent elsewhere. Angie finally moved out, which is exactly when my lovely wife invited me to move home again. Angie is married but going through an ugly divorce. My lovely wife touches me and I mean it is tender and yeah, arousing. Yet there is no physical intimacy beyond those loving touches. I love those and feel so good, but there is more that I need. I am expected to see that all of her needs are met, all of them, but I cannot expect my needs to be met in return. I know that I betrayed her trust, I know this and remind myself over and over. But I can’t get past her gladly accepting that I put her first way above anything and anyone, but cannot ask for the same in return. My wife has a problem with my addiction and believes it is tied to our life somehow. It is not and never was. It was a secret double life, which ended. I’ve explained that in detail but she still can’t get past it.
Oddly, Angie is seeing a man who is not only in my wife’s words “obnoxious”, but is deep in the same addiction I have. Angie has no problem having sex with him. They in fact were having sex in my home in the next room to where my wife slept, while I was living elsewhere. She continues to see and have sex with him despite the fact that she is still very married. Yet my wife cannot have that kind of closeness and real shared intimacy with me.
Tuesday evening rather than playing our group sport with friends, my lovely wife asked if we could go to dinner with Angie and her guy friend. This would naturally have to be in another town because she can’t be caught with him. It further developed during the day in asking if we could drive. That meant me driving, to which I gladly agreed. Yesterday, money was a huge issue and how we would afford health insurance. Yet money was never an issue when we were to spend the evening with Angie and her illicit lover, me driving our car, paying for dinner and gas etc. So the standard is slipping.
Finally last night, my wife decided to apply for a part time job online. I knew what this involved. To apply for a job today, you have to have a profile, your resume at the ready, then apply to the employer’s site and that takes a long time. When I was briefly unemployed a few years ago, I made it my full time job to apply for jobs. So this took an hour and a half. We got home at 9pm, and finally got in the spa at 10:30pm. After showers, I climbed into bed, hoping upon all hope that we might get that time together without interruption. There my lovely wife sat with her phone, on FB. I waited and waited. I finally rolled over. She asked what was wrong so we talked. The conversation continued to go back to her, her job search, her her her. She acknowledged finally that I had requested that time, so she did not turn on the TV. I failed to request that we have no electronics. I thought that was implied. I was wrong.
At nearly midnight, we held each other and she tried really hard to not talk about herself. I finally kisser her good night and tried to sleep because my alarm would be going off in under 6 hours, so I could go to work and provide. Sleep was not easily mine for the first time in a long time. I’m so tired and so disappointed and I feel more lonely than I’ve felt in a long time. I just don’t know what to do. I don’t see my lovely wife ever being capable of putting me anywhere on the list except to pay for everything and to fix things and work on house projects in all my spare time.
Finally this morning as with each morning, I took a steaming cup of coffee upstairs to my wife. As with each morning, I climbed into bed and held her and stroked her hair. Yeah, secretly I’d hoped she would respond but she’s tired too from not getting to sleep until after midnight. I quietly got out of bed, got dressed and went to work.
Epilogue: I know where resentments come from. They are the spawn of our expectations of others. Unhealthy things. So the best thing I can do is accept that I must expect nothing. That’s the only way not to be disappointed in this life and those with whom we share it.
Sad; sad and so tired.