Day two into this and I am still not sure what to make of it. I am telling people about myself when I won’t even give out my home phone number to people I know. I did say I am an extremely private person. I makes me both want to throw up but oddly it also feels like I am letting some of this go.
I saw my therapist again yesterday. Why is it every time I go see him he asks me if I am having suicidal thoughts. I know it is his job and if I was I would probably love that he asked me, but for some reason that question drives me nuts. I have told him a few times to stop asking me that. I am not that type of person. I only think suicide would push my problems onto other people and that is not fair to them. But I know it is his job so I let it go.
Anyways, I had homework on positive affirmations and guilt. Quite the combination. I was supposed to fill out a sheet about guilt and shame and how I can forgive myself. How does one forgive themselves for doing what I did? I couldn’t answer the questions, still can’t. I cannot foresee a day where I can forgive myself for blowing up my marriage. I left the office frustrated and angry because we didn’t get anywhere. Then again we normally don’t because I am the one who has to figure this shit out and I must be a slow learner. I sat in my car and thought back to how I got to where I am.
I mentioned that we had our first child 5 years after being married. After our first child we had a second 12 months later. This is when I believe the problems began. We lived thousands of miles from her family, her support system and she had two infants to care for without them. I tried to get her to see her family as much as I could. We would go for a visit once a year or they would visit us but each time I could see it wear on her. At one point when her parents were visiting for a week around Christmas, she said she was leaving me. She didn’t think I needed her and I was such a good dad, a much better parent than she was so she was just going to go home with her parents.
I just stood there and looked at her. I felt like I must have misunderstood, but the tears in her eyes told me that I did not. I could not fathom why she thought I was a better parent. I didn’t blow up or get angry, but I do think a little piece of me died that day. We talked and talked and I told her how good of a mother she was, how our children would be social misfits if it wasn’t for her. I don’t do play dates or play groups or whatever else she did. She used to make her own baby food because she wanted the kids not to have all the preservatives and sugars and other things she thought were added to baby food. I told her how much I loved her and I did. I worked a lot and then I also volunteered as a youth coach at night. She would bring the kids to practices and the boys would play with them. I loved seeing her there on the side, just being by me. As I look back I did a horrible job telling her how much those little things meant to me.
She ended up not leaving but I believe that was the beginning of the end. We would get better for a while and then it would get bad again. I tried really hard to show her how much I loved her and that I just wanted her to be happy. She slowly over the next 12 years went deeper and deeper into a depressive state. We caught it too late, but eventually she got on some medication to help. It would take the edge off but I could tell she was not happy. She stopped doing things she liked. She would take naps that would be 3 or 4 hours long. I tried to help by taking on most of the household responsibilities. Bills, cleaning, dinners I did it all. She still helped with the kids but the kids knew to come home after school and be quiet because she would be sleeping. We would get her out for dinners and bedtime routine and then she would go back to bed. I think this led to other issues in our relationship. I felt she was avoiding me and did not want me any longer. I did not see any other answer to why she was like this. She may disagree but I still think I should have done things differently and we would not be where we are now.
So as she slid into her own hole that I could not get her out of, I slowly died inside with her. I don’t know if you know how painful it is to watch someone slowly fade away while you are helpless to do anything. I pushed all my feelings away. I built a great big wall and no longer felt anything. It was the only way I could do it. I was still the fun lovable guy on the outside but inside I was dead.
I know you are probably now thinking what a dick I must be for cheating on my wife in such a depressive state. She was helpless and I left her to fall away while I snuck away with another woman. In a way you are right but I did not abandon her yet. I still worked to help her. I did everything I could think of. I googled for answers. “How to make your wife love you again.” “How to break a depressive cycle?” Anything I could think of I would google and read and try. I may have found the end of the internet at one point I read so many things. But in the end I did not believe I was her answer, and in a sad way I never was.
I just sat in my car yesterday replaying these events. Thinking of all the things I should have, could have done differently. Eventually I got my car moving and went home and every mile I got close a tightness and sense of panic would grow. By the time I got home I was trembling and trying to keep myself together. It sounds bad but this is how I have been for the last 4 months so I am getting used to it. I just took a Xanax and made myself a stiff drink and made it through the night. After we got the kids in bed we laid in bed and talked. I was 3 Xanax and 3 drinks in for the day because this is the only way I can sleep at night. She had got back from taking my son on a trip with his soccer team a few days before and I was still angry. She knew it and I thought she didn’t know why. I didn’t feel I had a right to be angry and I still don’t so I didn’t want to talk about it. The night before she left she had taken some pills to sleep and was pretty out of it. We were talking and she said some things that hurt me. Did I deserve them? Yes. I cheated so she can say what ever she wants. This is why I did not feel I had a right to be angry. Was I hurt as well? You bet, but I hurt her well before this. So I just tried to deal with it as best I could. As she was falling asleep last night I asked her if she knew what she had said that night. Now I had asked her this the day she left and she said she did not remember. I think she only said this because she knew I was upset, but last night she said she knew what she said.
That just made me more angry because she said it on purpose to hurt me. Still I don’t feel I had a right to be angry so I just tried to sleep. Normally 3 drinks and 3 Xanax will get me about 8 hours of sleep, not last night. I got 3 and a half. Wide awake and still angry. I laid there for a while until I heard my youngest get up. Then I got up and made him breakfast. He had a soccer game so I got him ready and we left, just the two of us. I remember there was a time when she would never have missed one of his games. That time seems like decades ago.
As I sit here typing it makes me sad to think of the things she is missing because of what I have done and that is not fair to either of them.
Well, I am headed to watch my daughters band festival, at least she gets to come with us for this. We talked this afternoon and are doing better. I am not near as angry but the panic is still there. Off I go to hear her play so I will continue tomorrow.
Everything Stinks ‘Till Its Finished – Dr. Seuss
Thank you for writing about this and sharing it. I am waiting to hear if my marriage is continuing or not so I appreciate the inside look at what might be going on in the other one’s head. Please keep sharing – it is helpful.
You are welcome. I was very unsure about this but it has really helped me start to sort through everything and move on with my life. Let me know if you have any questions I can help you with as I would be glad to answer them if I can. Hopefully I can really get to the “why” soon.
It takes a lot to be honest and I hope that you and your wife find peace within it all.
This is amazing similar to my story, except for the suicidal thing.
It is hard and I don’t envy anyone in our position.