As I talked about in my last post (Bad Memory), I was triggered big time today (or I should say yesterday at this point). Those memories brought up a lot of feelings and emotions that were pushed aside in the aftermath of the affair that I found out about in 2009, which had been going on for several months. Back then I wasn’t as strong and determined as I am now. I was too quick to take Mr. Mess’s word on things and believe him when he said he had stopped behaving that way. We had several tense weeks/ months after my discovery, and I laid out a few actions that I wanted him to take. But overall I didn’t really know what I was doing, I didn’t seek support or assistance, and I didn’t hold him accountable like I should have.
Back to today. When I got home he asked me how my day went. I told him that it had been pretty crappy. He asked why, and I gave him the surface stuff (like issues at work, not feeling motivated, etc). Then I added that some old emotions had also come up. He asked what, and I told him the general chain of events that I outlined in my last post.
At first he said that he was sorry I was feeling upset about it. I told him that I didn’t feel like we ever really dealt with everything. He agreed, and he said he was willing to do anything we needed to now in order to move past it. I asked him something about how everything started and about other women he had sex chats with. He completely denied there were any other women even though I had logged into his messenger account several times and seen some of those interactions.
He still denied that he had been in any sex chat rooms. Again, he maintained that lie even when I told him that I had checked the internet history several times, and found activity from more than one sex chat room. He claimed that he met the other woman in a “Virginia” chat room. I asked how things could progress to something sexual if he was in a non-sexual chat room. He said that he “tested the waters” and threw out sexual stuff to see how she would respond. I asked if that meant he had initiated things. He said yes – that he started everything, and that it was all entirely on him.
That was like a sucker punch to the gut. And not at all the story he told me back then. He spun this whole thing about how they were friends before, how they had met up once at a bar long before he knew me, that she wanted things to go farther back then but he didn’t let them. He said that they were just reconnecting at first, that he was telling her about me and his life, and that things just got out of control. Back then he painted her as a “crazy bitch” (one of his favorite terms about pretty much any woman in his past that now makes me want to barf).
With all that in mind, I think I still reacted pretty reasonably. I told him that it was incredibly hurtful. I said that hearing that now after everything we have gone through is hard to wrap my brain around. The fact that he met her in a “Virginia” chat room was almost worse to me than what I imagined. Because in my mind that means he was looking for someone close – someone in this state that he could have the option of moving things into real life with. He swore up and down that wasn’t his initial intention. He did eventually go to her area several times, and spend the night due to work. Using his company to facilitate his cheating made me feel even more nauseous.
I asked why he never told me the truth – why I had to specifically ask before he would be honest about it. He said that he was really hoping that we could just forget about it. He echoed my previous statement that we didn’t really deal with things completely back then. He also told me that he doesn’t like thinking about it. I reminded him about what the marriage counselor said about the difference between forgetting and forgiving. And how forgetting is actually really hurtful for the marriage because it doesn’t deal with anything and leaves the door open to the same thing happening again. He said he knows that now.
We had previous dinner reservations for restaurant week tonight, so we packed up the emotional baggage and went to dinner. He was still on his best behavior. It was extremely cold in the restaurant, so he went back to the car and got his jacket for me. It was sweet. Here and there throughout the dinner we even had a nice moment.
He mentioned something about giving me a massage once we got home to make it all go away. I told him honestly that thinking about him touching me like that right now was making me disgusted. I told him that I am sorry that I feel that way right now, and that I really don’t want to hurt his feelings. He said that he has no right to get upset, and that I am entitled to my feelings. He said that he can’t argue because it is true – what he did was disgusting. I said just because something is true doesn’t mean he can’t be hurt by it, and that he could also have some feelings. He said that he was sad that he did something like that to me.
As dinner finished I told him that I still have a lot of doubts about that time period. I said that I feel like he lied to me a lot and I still don’t know what the truth is. He admitted a few small lies about doing drugs when he told me he hadn’t. He said he would tell me anything I wanted to know. I said that I do need more details – that I need to know everything.
He then gave me a really, really abbreviated version that went something like this: “I initiated things, we talked about everything you can imagine, and we had very inappropriate sexual contact.” The end. I said that I really would like to know more – what does that mean, how did it happen, when, for how long (I had thought only about a month, but everything he told me was a lie back then), what types of things… And what were lies and what was the truth in the story he told me? He admitted that he lied when he said he knew her, that the whole story was completely made-up. However, anytime I pressed for more details about the REAL story all he would say is that he doesn’t remember.
He also made a big deal that he couldn’t get any more specific than those vague statements because he can’t recall things “verbatim.” I tried to explain the difference between verbatim and the bare minimum. He still didn’t get it. I gave him several examples. I said if you asked me what Transformers was about I could tell you it was a movie about cars that turned into robots. That is the quick, 5 second recap. But there are plenty of other things I could tell you about the plot, how the story progressed, what happened, the sequence of events, etc. without repeating the script of the movie word for word. He still claimed that he had no idea what I meant. He said that my example made no sense, and that the short summary he told me was “everything.” I disagreed whole-heartedly.
We rode home literally in silence. Then near the end of the ride he said he would try to think about it and “tell me what I want to hear.” Once we got home, the conversation continued, although at that point it was no longer a “conversation.” It was him yelling at me. When I didn’t yell back or engage he only yelled louder and threw in sarcasm and contempt to bait me (sarcasm is my ultimate pet peeve when I’m having a serious conversation with someone). He kept saying there was nothing to tell, and that he can’t “remember.” I expressed my disbelief that he wouldn’t remember anything at all, especially since he was the one doing it, and he admitted he initiated everything. I proposed that maybe it was just too hard for him to admit all of the things he had done because it would expose a part of himself that he didn’t want to face.
He said that I don’t know what I’m talking about, and that someone on the computer or in one of the books must have filled my mind with crap that’s not true. When I didn’t rise to his level of petty anger he became furious and starting literally yelling sex acts at me. He screamed “that good enough for you?” I stayed calm, didn’t raise my voice, and told him that I needed him to stop yelling and being sarcastic. He said that I am trying to “fix” things again. I told him, no – I was only expressing my needs and asking him to respond with respect and not defensiveness. He said something like “yeah, right.”
Then he got more defensive and self-righteous. He said it wasn’t even an affair since we weren’t married yet. I told him that seeking her out online, initiating sexual contact, hiding, lying, and carrying on behind my back IS an affair, married or not. He said something like, “How can you say that if you say I’m not telling you the details of what we did” or something similar and snarky. Again, I didn’t engage the way he wanted me to. I said that we both know what he did was wrong and was an affair and a betrayal. He countered with “whatever” or something just as intelligent.
At one point I started to cry a little bit (I tried to hold that back but just couldn’t after his last comment). Mr. Mess started mocking me and saying that I am “playing that card again.” He said it won’t work, and I couldn’t try to make him feel bad. At that point I did slip and argue back. I told him that sometimes I can’t hold back my emotions, and that he was making me feel very upset. Instead of listening he interrupted (par for the course at this stage), and said something like “What, so I don’t ever show my emotions?” I gathered my thoughts, pulled myself back together, and tried to stop the pointless arguing.
Then he started in again with the yelling. I told him I would not deal with it. I walked away and went into the bathroom to take a breath, then got changed out of my dinner clothes. A few other inconsequential things happened where he raged like a little kid throwing a tantrum once I came back in the room. He asked for his coat back, but I told him that I was wearing it now, and that was that (he’s like a jealous kid trying to take back a toy he let another kid borrow once he sees they actually like it). He went in and got on the computer. After a few minutes of thinking I went in and told him that I don’t feel comfortable with him being on the computer right now. I didn’t explain any further, but the computer and his inability to deal with his emotions in a healthy way were the catalysts to this whole mess. He said something like, “Wow. I can’t believe you,” and pushed past me.
I went into the kitchen and calmly stood there watching him. I picked up one of the books I had gotten from Amazon – How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful. It reinforced several things I was thinking – that he should not become defensive and yell, that he needs to think about my needs, that he should be sensitive to the fact that I want details, and that it can take years to overcome one (especially if it was never been dealt with). He was doing his best to make me feel crazy and like I was being unreasonable, but he couldn’t shake my quiet confidence that I had a right to ask these questions. And it was obviously driving him crazy that he couldn’t drive me crazy. Mr. Mess then made some comment that he doesn’t know what “this” (gesturing towards me) is all about. A few minutes later he grabbed a few things, said “Now you’re getting what you want,” and left the house without giving me a chance to respond.
I don’t know what I’m feeling. Sad for sure. Disappointed that he went right back to anger and defensiveness and sarcasm. Resigned to the fact that he can talk a good game, but anytime I ask him to do something that is actually hard for him he will give up. Naïve for thinking that he had actually changed his blaming and intimidating patterns. A little numb and detached from the whole thing.
I am also proud of myself because I haven’t called him or texted him. I don’t care where he went (okay, I do care a little bit). But I’m not going to stress about it. Him leaving hurt, but it should have expected it because that’s always how he reacts when the truth is too hard to handle. I guess him leaving is better than having him stay and continue yelling at me. And at least it’s a Saturday so I can stay up writing, processing, and dealing with my emotions on my own. Because with or without him I will get past this.
So I’m not sure where that leaves me. I was feeling positive about reconciling, but now I’m not sure he has the emotional capacity to do the work that it takes. He just wants to “forget and move past.” That’s not going to work for me. We shall see.
- Fatal Attraction (theothersideofinfidelity.wordpress.com)
- 11 Boyfriend Statements That Send Up A Red Flag (listhamper.com)