Cut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just when you think things are solidly moving in the right direction, you get hit with something so big it drags you back to the feelings post Dday.  Only this time, it’s a different situation.  But for some reason, that is how it felt to me.

Let me explain.

Last summer, right after school let out, we went away for a short vacation.  The hotel had lots of pools and water areas.  And on our very first day there, I distinctly remember looking over at my husband and seeing his wedding ring missing.  My heart sank.  And I had this horrendous empty feeling inside.  But I rationalized that perhaps he didn’t want to wear it at the pool.  Or maybe he left it at home by mistake.  Either way, I decided that I had to put on a happy face because we had our kids with us.  Plus, school just let out.  The trip was meant to bind our family together, not tear us apart.  So I pushed it out of my mind and really focused on my kids, and basically tried to make the trip all about them.

For the most part, the trip was a success.  We drank by the pool, fucked in the ginormous bathroom complete with mirrors galore once the kiddos crashed.  I tried my best for the sake of everyone, but I do recall us fighting at one point.  We were in the car and I just turned back to the resort and got out.  Told him to take the kids to dinner.  I didn’t want to eat with him and certainly couldn’t stand sitting across from him at dinner.  I honestly don’t remember exactly what set me off.  But something did, that much I remember.  Maybe subconsciously it was because of his missing wedding ring, I honestly don’t know.  But we never talked about it.

All of this laid dormant till about a month ago.  It was as if my brain froze those memories and squirreled them away, hidden even from me.  How could that be?  I don’t know.  But that’s what happened.

Perhaps I had too many distractions: thinking of CEO, trying to be a better mother to my children/more engaged, volunteering regularly at the kids schools again, the house and the endless work on it…running…injuries…doctor appointments.  Take your pick.  Something is always distracting me.

Now fast forward to a month ago.  It’s our wedding anniversary.  I planned a very special evening out, to a very iconic hotel in Beverly Hills.  The dinner venue was carefully selected, another swanky kind of place.  Basically, I was trying to create a romantic evening for us.

Only it didn’t quite turn out that way…

As I stared at my menu, I innocently glanced up, only to see no wedding ring on my husbands finger-again.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  I finally called him out for it.  And we fought.  And we argued.  When our waiter finally brought our check, he gave me a pitying look as if to say, “You are such a beautiful woman.  You could do better than this guy.”  All I could do was roll my eyes in defeat.  Or was it disgust?

He then dropped a bomb on me.  “I haven’t worn it in over a year now.  I decided to take it off shortly after you confessed.”

“Oh really?  And when were you planning on discussing this with me?  I thought we were trying to build a new marriage?  I thought our agreement was 100% complete honesty?  So all this time, when I am pouring out my heart to you regarding CEO and every damn minuscule feeling, emotion, longing I have honestly felt, running into him/his wife–EVERYTHING that happens, I run to you.  To try to rebuild us, our connection, our “new marriage”.  And yet, you decided to just up and remove it?  No discussion?  Not so much as one word?”

“Yeah well you told me way back then that you weren’t sure if you wanted to be married to me anymore…”

“Yes, I did.  I told you a lot of things.  Because I was being vulnerable, honest and completely forthright in how I felt towards you, us, the life we had built thus far.  We have been a work in progress for a long time.  But every morning since saying that, I was still there.  Still trying.  Still trying to make this marriage work, right?”

As he sat there dressed in his nice Hugo Boss suit, I felt as if I was going to vomit.  I couldn’t look at his face any longer.  The tension was palatable, while the silence between us grew.   Then I reached for my purse and said, “You have to be kidding me.  A year?  You mean we went on that fantastic vacation to that fantastic island and you weren’t wearing it?  And I didn’t even notice that?  Talk about the most idyllic memories of rebuilding our marriage thus far.  And it never occurred to you to put your wedding ring back on–before we left?  Really?  I thought things were pretty awesome between us…but I guess not.  Maybe it was all just in my mind.”

He mumbled and fumbled, over his words, none of which I caught.  I grabbed my purse and opened my phone and started scrolling through all my photos.  Sure enough, each and every photo where I could see his hands, he was ringless.

Fuck. My head was spinning.  And honestly, I think the wine was going to my head at this point. A migraine was forming and I was fuming on the inside.  Anger was boiling.  I felt as if I was going to erupt, like that volcano outside The Mirage.

Friends, I’ve looked at these photos maybe a hundred times.  Dissected each and every one.  I’ve laughed and smiled equally that many times while looking at all these pictures. Showing them to friends or family.  Sharing them on Facebook. But each and every time, I was so intently focused on our kids, his smile, our beautiful family or the artistic quality of the shots.  Never once staring at the megapixels of his ring finger.

My bad.

I thought we were trying to make an amazing marriage.  I guess it was only me really trying.

Our anniversary ended with me saying, “You have no clue, just how much damage you have caused to our marriage.”

That was weeks ago.

We haven’t had sex.

Not that I want him touching me.

Quite frankly, at this point in my life, if I die without ever having sex again,  I’ll be fine with that arrangement.

…and so it goes, back to having a beta roommate, passive-aggressive kind of husband.

 

 

 

 

 

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18 thoughts on “Cut

  1. See that’s the thing, I don’t know what to say either. And I’m the one living through this. He has dealt with the fallout by evading and not talking about it, hoping it will somehow blow over.

    I will take your hug friend.

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  2. Oh dear. The ring thing. The talking-about-it thing. I’m so sorry. I hope you two can reach across the divide that has formed and figure out the best solution for US. I can feel your frustration…but maybe it will be the starting point for the next level of intimacy? Hoping…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I understand your point. But at that same time, all this time and you NEVER noticed that he wasn’t wearing it day to day? Really?? I’m sorry, but I think that says something about your state of mind, too. You’ve become oblivious to what doesn’t suit your view of the way things need to be. He obviously just carried on. certain in your “acceptance” since from his point of view, by not saying anything, you acquiesced to his “move.” You’ve got to start talking … both of you.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Nope, I never stared at his ring finger and thought anything was amiss. Or if I did see his hands, it never registered that it was missing his wedding ring. When we talk, I look at his eyes, which is why discovering this made me feel like, “Have I been living in la-la land? How could I NOT notice this? We live together. I see him every single day! ”

    When scrolling through my photos, I felt like–like an utter fool. He already cheated on me and hid that for years. Discovering this stirred similar feelings inside of me for some reason. Like, how on earth did I not know? How did I not see that? Again? I thought we were experiencing the rebuilding of our marriage, as a couple, and that was blasted in an instant.

    I don’t really get your comment, “You’ve become oblivious to what doesn’t suit your view…” I spend every waking second taking care of everything I possibly can for our marriage and children. It’s certainly no dictatorship-it’s a team effort here. The bigger issue is why he chose to do this, without so much as a discussion?

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  5. All I can say is kids, family, careers and crazy schedules take hold and they each have a prevailing wind to them. I’m fortunate to sit down with him for weekly date nights, and talk about our week, life, marriage etc. I think both of us have been trying in that department so perhaps that is where our thoughts have been all along (well mine at least, I really can’t speak for him). In all honesty, I was oblivious to his missing ring. Trust me, I would have brought it up long ago had it registered. He should have talked to me. He didn’t…

    Doesn’t exactly bode well for building back trust.

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  6. Sorry to hear that things have taken a seemingly abrupt turn. That’s no fun, no fun at all. I’m not sure what the right thing to say is, so I’ll just candidly think out loud…

    In hindsight, the highlights of the past year seem to be a bandage/veneer absent remediation of the underlying issue, with you both being culpable for the current state.

    My knee-jerk reaction was the same as Marty; how could you not notice his wedding ring was missing for the past year?! That’s a biggie. Wives notice when their husbands aren’t wearing their ring. If they don’t, then, perhaps, subconsciously they don’t care.

    And when you discovered he wasn’t wearing his ring, why didn’t you just ask him? It’s a simple, appropriate question, one that should NOT come with hesitation or reservation – if it does, then what does that say about the health of your relationship? [that’s more so a statement than a question]

    His contribution to this quagmire is obvious; as a married man he removed his ring and, importantly, left it off. The ring is symbolic of an oath, a vow, not just the one he makes to you, but of equal importance the one he makes to himself and the relationship. I can see where someone might hastily remove it in heat of the moment, only to slip it back on once emotions and clear judgment prevails, but he kept it off. That’s a biggie. What does that say about his desire, faith and commitment to the relationship? [again, that’s more so a statement than a question]

    And when you asked him about it, he pointed the finger at you. That’s deflection, not to mention immature.

    You two have been fiddling around for the past year, pretending everything was honky-dory when, I suspect, you both knew it wasn’t. As I said before, it seems the underlying issue hasn’t been dealt with. Assuming you both genuinely want to make it work (whatever that means), I believe you both have some soul-searching to do before moving forward (wherever that goes).

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    1. The infamous soul searching–Ahhh yes. I think I’ve done a tremendous amount of that since my affair ended Mr. Ordinary. Both internally, as well as with certain friends and even this blog. Has my husband? I doubt it. He doesn’t talk to anyone. I don’t think he has soul searched at all. How he handles most things is through avoidance and pretending everything is hunky dory. He puts on a mask, like he has done all his life. In fairness, he has asked a hand full of times, “So how are “things”–which is code for “Are you still thinking of Niall?”. That’s pretty much the extent of things. In contrast, I have told him everything. Probably way too much, but one of us had to keep the dialogue going. Someone had to lead…even through the darkest times of our marriage.

      You know, when discussing affairs, most people relegate the core reason as being a character defect or that they are simply unhappy. So I can only speak for myself, but when mine ended, I knew that CEO’s departure from my life left a gaping hole. And that of course, left me devastated. I HAD to first focus on ME, which is where my “therapy” came into play. If I couldn’t create my own happiness from within, there would never be an amazing marriage in my future. So a huge part of my focus has been on me. On taking time for myself, time to run and really step away from the constraints of being a wife and mother.

      It’s worked. I’m much happier, more balanced, less emotional. I enjoy my children 100% again. I’ve reached out to new and old friends and have a much better balance between “marriage vs me time vs friend time”. I’ve insisted on weekly date nights (and planned each and every one of them) for nearly two years now. It allowed our marriage to flourish whereas before, it was faltering. Looking back, I believe this was the right call to focus on fixing myself, instigate weekly date nights which conquered so much of the unhappiness that existed in our marriage prior to my affair.

      Personally speaking, I never put myself first and that caused a lot of my unhappiness. I was doing everything for everyone else, and it made me miserable. But I made huge changes over this year and that’s been an adjustment for our kids and even my husband. But they lived. They grew to accept that Mom will leave to spend time alone, to run or get lunch with a friend. Everyone will survive. I didn’t think that way for a long time though. I couldn’t let go, couldn’t put myself first…couldn’t create my true happiness because everyone needed me (rightfully so–the kids were younger back then).

      But I am no longer that same person (thankfully). I know how to let go now. To step away for sanity breaks. To reset my batteries and come back to my kids and husband with a refreshed sense of self.

      That said, I’m positive the old version of me would have noticed the missing ring. I had time to care about every single detail of everyone’s lives. But this new version of me isn’t sitting around staring at fingers and worrying so much. This new version of me says, “Sorry that happened. Maybe next time you will be more responsible.” I can’t keep “saving” everyone in my family from daily peril. That ship has sailed. I’m all about natural consequences now.

      Making time for myself has compressed all our family to-dos even more so. And that’s partly why I never tried to integrate “me time” way back then. I was already stressed out. Trying to fit more into my life seemed impossible. I’m usually juggling no less than 20 things at once and to be honest, it can be damn stressful where I sit, day by day, being the leader (someone has to be in our marriage). But I can’t go back to being everyone’s fixer/the glue that holds this family together. My husband needs to wear that crown too. I’ve pulled back, and am spending that time on myself. It’s putting natural pressure on him to step up. To be a leader, even if it’s just in one task. Step up, be a team player here husband.

      So people can judge and say it’s my fault for not noticing. That’s the extent of my responsibility in all of this: not noticing something that inherently has always been there. I get that’s an easy knee jerk reaction to have. But the core issue is this: he removed it, didn’t so much as speak to me about it, and frankly has shown that yet again, he’s not really able or willing to communicate about our relationship.

      As long as his life keeps plodding along, he’s content. Me…not so much.

      I want more than “this”.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I believe an affair is symptomatic of an unhealthy/damaged marriage. If the marriage is healthy, affairs don’t happen. That’s overly simplistic, I know. And, as I recall, you mentioned he had an affair, so you BOTH affairs. You both felt/recognized a void, something missing, and sought out the missing piece of the puzzle elsewhere.

    For you, the hole per se in your marital relationship went unfilled. It lead to unhappiness and lack of fulfillment. That issue was eventually addressed thru the affair with CEO. But when CEO was taken out of the equation, the “gaping hole” reappeared…and, understandably, you felt devastated. You were faced with the prospect of going back to the same unfulfilling environment.

    Makes sense. I get it.

    The last year has been helpful, to some extent. You two have worked on things together, perhaps you more than he. And, individually, you’ve rebuilt yourself, recouped. You’re more comfortable, independent. The exercising and sanity breaks give you clearer perspective. I’d say you’ve grown stronger, but then I’m reminded of your hesitation in asking him where his ring was – why did you procrastinate? I digress.

    Fast forward to today: it seems the preexisting void/hole in your marriage is still there.

    On his end, at least, he’s not stepping up. He’s not communicating. He’s reverting back to his same ol’ self, and your relationship seemingly with it. You’ve changed, but not the marriage.

    You need him to change, to assert himself, to lead, take charge….but can he? Maybe that’s just not him.

    You say he’s unwilling to communicate. Maybe he doesn’t want to. Also, if he’s a passive beta, he’s going to wait for you to drag it out of him…and even then you might not get it.

    Without communication, you’re just cohabitating. Hence you want more than “this”.

    I get it.

    So, what now?

    Do you accept that status quo?…or try to fix it (again)?…call it quits and co-parent?…or seek to fill the void again?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with many parts of your thoughtful reply, especially about how affairs are symptomatic of an unhealthy relationship. Looking back, I can say with certainty that my affair was born out of the pain of his confession, but also the core dynamic issues we face still to this day. Namely, his passive aggressive behavior and thriving beta attributes.

      I would like to clarify that I never failed to address his missing ring. I spoke to him immediately. When he said he hadn’t worn it in close to a year, it was at that point that I racked my brain. That is when the previous summer pool incident jumped back to the forefront of my mind. I think I explained this accurately in my post, perhaps you misread it. But I did confront him immediately.

      As to what road I take? Well let me be clear on something I know wholeheartedly: I would never engage in another affair for a multitude of reasons. I have always lived my life full of integrity, honesty and truth. My affair represented none of my core beliefs, nor how I have ever behaved throughout my entire life. It was not a reflection of who I truly am, yet I understand that during that, that’s how I behaved. It does not define me, but it certainly has altered me in the most toxic of ways.

      Those that know me and also know the whole story, see how I have worked tirelessly to regain the trust of my husband. And my present day actions show this.

      In addition, I know without a shadow of a doubt, just how destructive and toxic affairs can be. I understand that road leads to nothing but lies, pain, hurts and destruction–for soooo many people, families, spouses etc. This is not lost on me and I will never take that road in my life again.

      So you can take that thought off the table.

      As for pretending that life has been grand between us all these months, well I chose to kick start our marriage by bringing back happiness and fun between us. Other spouses have chosen the road to bitterness and anger. To me, that seemed counter-productive. If I could find a way to reconnect us back to what we “use” to feel, then hopefully that would bear the fruit to a better connection, a better marriage etc.

      I would say for the most part, that was working. I thought we were building a new marriage and part of that meant getting rid of the complacency. Ditching the monotony. Showing my husband the fearless and adventurous Kate was still here, albeit covered in the cloth of motherhood.

      Where I see we lacked is this: getting to the root problem which has always been his lack of drive, purpose, passion, decision making, lack of leadership etc. I desire that in my husband and yet, it evades me. Why won’t he give that to me? To us? To our children and family? Leaders are not born, they are made. Everyday he makes a conscious decision to stick his head in the sand and flagrantly dismiss the desires I wish for our marriage. It shows a total lack of respect IMO.

      So you know what Mr. Ordinary? I’ve pondered your reply for several days and this morning I confronted him again, over these core dynamics, out of which everything flows. It was a no holds barred kind of conversation which was very honest, raw and deep. He acknowledges his failures as a husband, once you break things down for him–he gets it. But hearing, “all I can say is, I will try harder” isn’t going to fly anymore. I’ve heard that line for over a decade. He needs a therapist, a life coach and maybe some medication to get him past what possibly is mild depression. He said he doesn’t want to lose me, which is sincere. Why would he? I make his life run smoothly. He doesn’t have to think in our family, he only has to exist.

      Time will tell…but the clock is ticking–that much I know.

      In the meantime, I continue to work on myself. I am surrounded by an amazing group of women, who are caring and genuine friends. I gain strength through them. I also continue to fulfill myself by taking time for myself. And…..I’m about to destroy my house and turn it into a masterpiece, so that will fulfill me creatively. There is always a huge sense of accomplishment when I conquer these projects. Plus it keeps my mind focused on something fruitful 🙂 And of course, my running.

      Overall, I am grateful for the blessings which I have, it’s just my marriage sucks right now.

      I am tired and weary. The ringless incident has set us back tremendously. But I am still here trying to communicate, hopeful that he matures into the leader and man he was born to be.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The more you describe your husband the more I picture my best friend from high school. He was a very easy guy to get along with. Many people loved him. He was easy to be around and always found peace in the middle. No one could possibly have anger toward him. He was just too nice. But all that came with a cost. He couldn’t lead a damn thing!

    It used to drive me crazy. He would always just follow someone else’s lead. Sure it was great growing up that we nearly always got to do what I wanted, but sometimes there were situations where, as his best friend, I really wanted to see him step up and take charge of something. Especially in areas where he excelled. He was a natural computer whiz. Best in our entire high school. There were times he could’ve really made a difference with that, but still to this day, more than 20 years later he never did.

    He spent years going to college unsure of what to do. Never wanting to make a decision on a major. Finally settled for actuary after I had graduated and been working for two years. But never took the tests to be an actuary. Works as a networking manager now. So sad.

    It was all evident long ago. From little things like how he greeted people. Always bashful. His handshake was like a limp rag. I would even try to help. “Hey you really gotta get a grip there. It makes an impression.” He would just shrug. Didn’t want to hurt someone. Never had a problem with it before. Ugh.

    Wow, you took me right down memory lane. Hopefully I’m way off here! My friend is married with kids but still the exact same core person he was before. His wife runs the show.

    Liked by 1 person

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