Accepting the Truth

8 Aug

It is hard to feel safe when another person’s actions can rock your world, and it is out of your control.  I am struggling to find a way to detach myself, my happiness, and my feeling of safety from the actions of my husband.  It is much easier said than done, but I have realized this week that it is necessary.  I just can’t keep living the way I have been, with my emotions so tied to what he does (or doesn’t) do.  I think that means I have to accept a few things that I’ve been trying very hard not to.

For one thing, I have to accept that my husband is unreliable right now.  I have to accept that he has a lot to do before he will be.  And I need to stop treating him like he is a reliable, trustworthy person that I can depend on.  Sound harsh?  Probably because it is.  But I need to accept that harsh reality and find a way to be okay with it if I’m going to move forward, stay in this marriage, and keep my sanity.

Another thing I need to do is make my own happiness.  I have been trying.  I even thought I was making good progress.  The truth is, I still measured my happiness, at least in part, on him.  That is wrong.  I am independent of that, of him.  His progress (or lack thereof) does NOT reflect on me.  I have to keep telling myself that.  One mantra I repeat over and over is: “I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it.”  When I think I have accepted that, reality comes back and slaps some sense into me.  If I am unhappy because of something he has done, it is my fault for trusting my happiness to someone who has done his damnedest to let me know, time and again, that he isn’t healthy enough to take on that responsibility.

How do you separate your happiness as an independent person from the actions of the man you have tied yourself to “until death do us part?”  I haven’t quite figured that out.  I am trying.  Boy, am I trying.  The way I have been doing it is to think of my feelings of disappointment, betrayal and hurt from what he did as separate from the joy I can create for myself.  That means I deal with those feelings for a particular amount of time, then set them aside and carry on with the business of living and enjoying my life.  Right now is my time to think about those things, feel the anger and fear, and get them out.  Once I’m done I am going to get my hair cut and maybe do some shopping.  I will do all of that with a genuine smile on my face and allow myself to feel how wonderful the world is and how much it has to offer.

First, the hard emotions, though.  I have been posting on After the Betrayal for the past few days to process my feelings.  One of our boundary agreements was “No angry blogging,” like after a fight, so I didn’t post at all the day this happened.  Now that I have some distance and perspective, though, I will elaborate a bit on what I told you all yesterday.  The particulars don’t really matter – the he said, then I said, then this happened, tears, yelling, tears… – so I’m going to skip over all of that.  The basics are in my post from yesterday.  The thing I am still reeling from is the discovery that he hasn’t been taking his prescription for 2 and a half months.

Mr. Mess is supposed to be on anti-depressant/ anti-anxiety medication to regulate his moods.  He promised ages ago to keep up with it and take it daily.  I stopped monitoring or asking several months ago as part of my step away from codependent behavior.  I decided to trust him to take care of that aspect of his health and recover.  Of course, he didn’t.

Additionally, he was supposed to have an ADHD and bipolar screening done at our marriage counselor’s office with a specialist.  It was brought up by our MC weeks (maybe more) ago.  After he took an initial screening (by answering some questions on a pre-diagnosis sheet that put him well within the range) he said he was going to do it.  Of course he never did.  That would entail being responsible, calling the office, talking to our therapist, and setting up an appointment with the specialist.  He would have you believe he is too stupid or helpless to do that.  I know better than that.  It is just laziness or maybe fear of finding out what is really wrong with him.  I honestly think he has a deeper mental balance issue (seriously), but I’m not a doctor, I can’t diagnose, and he has been avoiding the ones who can.

He knows about how you can’t just stop taking those types of drugs “cold turkey.”  We had an issue with him doing that early on.  This is not a new conversation.  We even read the warning together, and he said he understood how important it was.  In fact, in the one session I went to with his individual counselor he told both of us that recovery was a three-legged stool that requires individual therapy, SA meetings, and medication to stabilize his moods.  I just realized he has basically NEVER done all 3.  He started by taking the medication and IC, no SA.  Then he dropped IC.  Then he started back IC and SA the same time he dropped his meds.  What is wrong with him?!

The craziest thing is that he said he stopped taking the medication because he was feeling so good.  That’s the point of the meds, dummy!  Then he said he wants to be better without taking medication.  Too bad that’s not possible if you need them!  He also said he didn’t think the boundary we agreed on about taking prescription medication in the way in which it was prescribed meant he had to actually take his medication (what?!?!).  He just thought it meant not to abuse them, like take too many to get high.  Really?!

He also didn’t think it was lying to promise he would take his medication, then stop.  I bet he would think differently if I had promised to take birth control, then just stopped without telling him, talking to a doctor, or doing anything else medically to prevent pregnancy.  This is no different.  His wild mood swings and inability to regulate his emotions affect me.  The hugest thing is that I see a large upswing in his lying – no joke!  I can’t live like that – constantly on edge because of his shifting emotions and pathological lying.

I know that this is getting long, and I do apologize for that.  This is for me, though.  Feel free to stop reading at any point where you are bored or tired of hearing me rant.  I just need to get it out.  That is the biggest thing, but there are so many other little threads woven through this messed-up tapestry.

One is the anger he exhibited.  This, again, can be tied back to him not taking his medication.  He went from zero to sixty on the emotional scale.  He blew up, said “fuck you,” walked away, yelled, cursed, and carried on like asking for transparency was akin to assassinating his character, not something we had discussed and agreed upon – for both of us.  I wasn’t even asking anything unreasonable.  What I was asking for is basic information that any married couple would share…  As his wife I am entitled to know who is calling my husband at 2:30 in the morning and deserve to be spoken to respectfully.  Simple as that.

Someone from the forum did help me to understand it a bit more.  She is a wayward who is bipolar and acted out during a manic phase before she was ever diagnosed.  She said,

“I can say that when [my husband] questions me even the slightest, I get defensive (and hurt, and angry especially) – INTERNALLY.  I know that I made mistakes. I know that he has the right to question me whenever he feels the need to do so, and that is how we will move forward.  So I don’t let that side of me show.  It would be counterproductive.

I know that I’m not doing anything I shouldn’t do, but he doesn’t, and I have to respect that.  Even so, it’s one of the biggest, hottest angers I’ve ever felt. Probably because I have worked so hard to become stable.”

That helps me rationalize his anger, even if I can’t accept being treated that way.  I can see where that flash of hot anger could be the gut reaction.  She controls it, though.  She doesn’t let that be her ultimate reaction.  My husband doesn’t.  Maybe he even can’t.  Again, we’re back to the medication.  He needs to get diagnosed and on the proper medication to help him control himself.  I can’t control it.  I can’t cure it.  I certainly didn’t cause it.  It’s up to him to get help.

Another poster asked me a few more questions that really got me thinking.  Here are her questions and my answers (Again, please stop reading it you really wish I would just shut up already).

“He agreed to transparency right? Is his ducking around the issue normal or is it a new thing.”

Yes, he agreed to transparency.  I’m not sure how to answer your question because it depends, and I am on edge right now.  He has been getting better.  I will say that transparency is a major condition because historically he has not shared things with me.  He is also a huge secret-keeper.  Many times I have find out things the same time as casual acquaintances when he mentions them in conversations or by discovering them on my own.  He is very closed off, and he doesn’t seem to feel the need to share much with me at all.

The #1 reason transparency and truth is such a big deal, though, is because he has a habit of lying.  All the time.  Sometimes for absolutely no reason about things that don’t matter in the least.  It is by far the most difficult thing for me to deal with and the biggest obstacle to keeping this marriage working.  His medication helped with that because it balanced him out and kept him from going with his gut instinct, which is to hide and lie.

“What is your gut telling you about all of this?  Is it really work related or is he being sneaky about something else?”

That’s the hardest part.  My gut is throwing a temper tantrum because I can’t believe he keeps doing this to me.  I just want to scream.  I do think it probably was work-related (NOTE: I have since found out that he was, in fact, having an affair with a woman from work because after I kicked him out, he was suddenly in a “relationship” with her).  That’s not the point, though.  The point is that he was so secretive, that he blew up at me over something we agreed to, and that I discovered through this process that he has been lying by proxy for 3 months now about taking his medication.  It makes me feel so unsafe that I can’t trust him with such a simple thing as taking his medication like he promised.  I can’t keep living like this, and I can’t be his caretaker.  He is an adult and he needs to act like one.

So, there we are, 1,935 words later.  Back where we began.  He needs to take responsibility for himself.  I need to stop being a caretaker.  My huge fear is that when I stop caretaking he stops doing what he needs to do.  This is a perfect case in point. It’s his life, but it’s mine, too.  I have to live in a home with a man who can’t regulate his emotions or control his lying.  Actually, I don’t have to.  I’m just not ready to leave yet.  That is my choice.  I have to own it.  I’m not a victim here.  I have just been putting too much of my happiness onto him.  I am going to try not to be affected by him.  I know I won’t succeed all of the time, but that’s okay.  I’m going to enjoy life!  Here’s some inspiration:

22 Responses to “Accepting the Truth”

  1. beautifulmess7 at 9:54 pm #

    Reblogged this on Being a Beautiful Mess and commented:

    I made this a featured post yesterday, but I wanted to reblog it tonight because 2 months later this is still where I am in the process – acceptance. I read my post and the comments again, and they are still very true for where I am now. The main difference is that I’m not feeling the anger that I was before. I think that’s progress, however small.

  2. lolalately at 2:19 pm #

    Are/were we all married to the same man? Or are all men the same? I hate to tar them all with the same brush, but I’ve yet to meet a man who didn’t have some – if not most – of these issues with lying, keeping secrets, blowing up when confronted with reality and facts, etc, etc, etc. When my husband blew up at me this week because I told him how his behavior made me feel (using “when you X, I feel Y) statements, I felt the same feelings of anger, doubt, fear and lack of safety that you’ve expressed so well in your post. It still amazes me that the simple statement that we need transparancy in our relationships can render them so aggitated and/or unprepared to comply. I haven’t got any words of wisdom, but I can tell you from personal experience and buckets of shed tears that you’re absolutely spot on when you say YOU didn’t cause this and YOU can’t cure it. It’s about him. Pure and simple, A to Z, this is HIS doing and it must be HIM to undoes it. By all means begin or contunue making a life for yourself, whatever that entails for you. Waiting around for these men to “get it” and get with the program, not to mention staying with the program is like waiting for hell to freeze over. We are courageous and capable women. We deserve better and it’s up to each of us to make our lives better … for ourselves.

    • beautifulmess7 at 10:01 am #

      I know the feeling… It does seem like all of these men do the same things, have the same excuses, have the same problems being honest. Some days it does seem impossible that he will “get it,” much less actually keep getting it and following through. Those are the days that I have to remind myself I am enough.

      You are right. We are strong. We are courageous. We are capable. Our lives can be fantastic no matter what shit our men decide to wallow in. From now on, I’m just going to point him to the hose in the backyard to clean himself up. 🙂

  3. twistedlola at 11:23 pm #

    Promise YOURSELF that you will have a good time and enjoy yourself!

    The sad thing is, just like with any recovering addict, it never goes away. This will always be a battle. Only the actively recovering, every hour, addicts truly make a change. The rest are filled with bullshit excuses about anything.

    You are inspiring to me, because you realize your self worth in this. I never did. I took it all personally and let him emotionally abuse me, blame me and I blamed myself.


    • beautifulmess7 at 11:34 pm #

      I have to tell myself every day that I didn’t cause it, I can’t cure it, and I can’t change it. Over and over. Sometimes I think I have it and then realize that I have to focus on one or more parts of that statement. The truth is that he was like this long before me. On the days I feel down on myself or like I’m not enough I tell myself that, followed directly by “I’m the best thing that ever happened to him.” Both are true.

      And you are so right about recovery being a lifelong thing. I worry if he is strong enough to keep going forever with his recovery. Then I remind myself to stay in today. Right now is where I’m living, and I can’t control the future any more than I can control his problem. I will always have options. Staying today doesn’t mean I have to tomorrow or in a week or a year or a decade from now. It’s all about what I can accept in this moment.

      Tomorrow and Sunday I WILL enjoy myself. No doubt. He is off to an SA meeting in the morning while I quickly pack and head down the road. I’m proud that he decided to still go even though my schedule conflicts with me going to S-Anon. Mostly, though, I’m proud of myself for my decision to keep my cell phone off while I’m gone. 🙂

  4. twistedlola at 10:32 pm #

    Man. O. Man. I can relate on so many levels. My self worth AND self esteem were gone, and I get triggered in certain situations. Just reading your words of how you feel right now resonate with me. I am no longer with my SA/porn addicted ex, (has been 9 weeks) but he consumes my thoughts every day. This will never leave me.

    The bi-polar/depression stuff is what happened with him as well, and he did not take meds at all for any of it. As a matter of fact, I was emotionally abused and compared to other women every day.

    I find it amazing the “deals” we make to make the SA feel OK and safe. Their issues become our issues and WE try to “fix” everything to make it better. We get screwed.

    I am sending strength and lots of extra love your way right now. It is NOT easy to live with or deal with emotionally.

    Glad we connected!!


    • beautifulmess7 at 10:41 pm #

      Thank you for the support. I’m glad we found each other, too. I am hanging by a few tethers here. He makes so much progress, then pulls something like this. Our MC is out on sick leave until the end of September. I’ve agreed to go back and see if in that time he can do the three things vital to his recovery consistently. If not, then I am moving on.

      It’s not too much to ask. In fact, it’s the bare minimum for SA recovery, which I just realized he hasn’t done. He has been sexually sober since April 2011, but he has definitely been “white-knuckling” it. I want to see what he is like in full, active recovery. That’s as far ahead as I’m promising right now.

      It’s great to hear from someone “on the other side,” one way or another. They do take up so much of our time and emotional energy. I hope you can focus on yourself some and regain some serenity.

      • twistedlola at 11:03 pm #

        It is NOT easy being on the recovery side of all of someone else’s “stuff”, but I don’t hear the words any longer, the crazy behaviour of loving me one minute and depising me the next, or participating in the acts of addictive sex either.

        It’s amazing how much strength women like you that are still battling with this have to find just to deal with daily life. It’s not easy, and soooo life changing, at times, for the worse before it ever gets better.

        Hang in there and keep reaching out! You can do this and it WILL make you a stronger person, no matter what happens. I can’t wait until you gain your self worth back.

        • beautifulmess7 at 11:13 pm #

          Those are very wonderful words to hear right now. In my head I know all of that. It’s just a struggle to remember it in the midst of all the shit. The truth is, I’m awesome and he doesn’t deserve me. Not right now. Maybe not ever. I don’t know. That is up to him.

          Tomorrow I’m heading out for the weekend with my Mom, sister and Grandma. We’re going to do lots of shopping, then go deep sea fishing! I can’t wait. It will be so nice to have an entire weekend that isn’t focused on him in the least.

  5. Hope at 8:11 pm #

    I was taking self defense courses (in an effort to take care of myself) besides dressing nice every day. Hope you had a fabulous day!

    • beautifulmess7 at 8:23 pm #

      I actually think that sounds like fun. I might be taking karate classes very soon.

      • Hope at 11:19 pm #

        Yay! I see it as self-defense. And it was so much fun that one must concentrate and be in the NOW!

  6. Ariella at 6:27 pm #

    You said it perfectly when you said you have to accept that he just Mr. Mess is just not reliable right now. . . I never accept anything when it comes to John, I always tended to make excuses for him. Either his childhood, or I was controlling, etc. I know these are not reasons to cheat, but if I make the excuses, it tends to make things better in my head.

    This week, my week of reflection, I have decided that he is not the man I want him to be and that there is nothing that I can do about it! That is a little hard for me to accept, because I am so used to “fixing” everything, but it is the truth and I have to accept it.

    You were not harsh in your post to me, you said all the things that I think every second of every day, but. . .I expect the worst hope for the best I guess. All that is important to me right now are my children, and whatever happens with John will happen. I am not focused on it. I am going to go with how you put it, he is just not reliable for me right now. . .

    It’s all about me right now, that is my focus. It’s good to focus on us for a change. I am so tired to the bs with John, I have to make it all about me. . .

    Thanks for your input before, you basically told me everything I say to myself in my head every single day. . . Too bad I don’t listen to my thoughts at times. . .

    • beautifulmess7 at 7:07 pm #

      That is actually so true. I am such a “fixer” too. It’s hard to stop being that way. Someone at S-Anon last night said she has a hard time accepting that her marriage may be over because she has never NOT gotten what she wanted. She didn’t say it in a spoiled way, it’s just that she has worked hard to get everything she needs. She isn’t someone NOT to get things done. I think you are very much like that – strong, capable, attacking even the hardest problems with the confidence that you will find a way through to the result you want. People just aren’t like that. They can’t be fixed. They have to fix themselves.

      Another thing we talked about was hope. It’s a doubled-edged sword, and I’m guilty of thinking my hope is the same thing as my reality. It just isn’t. If hope is based on solid action it can be a positive thing. If, instead, it is based on fantasy or not backed by tangible evidence it can be cruel, leading us to hold onto things we shouldn’t. I really hope you can focus on yourself. That hope is based on all I have read about your strength of character. You have given him everything you can, now try giving that to yourself.

  7. emotionaltornado at 9:40 pm #

    Yup, it was long 🙂 I did read it. Sounds like the arguments I have with myself in my head on days the anxiety is really bad. The content is slightly different but the same theme of chasing my tail, hoping he will do what is necessary for him and for us. Constantly frustrated that I feel like his mother. Asking myself a thousand questions, analyzing it to death. When I’ve driven myself nuts, still no answers.

    I hope this gets clearer for you soon.

    • beautifulmess7 at 9:59 pm #

      Thanks for sticking with me. 🙂 I have just come to the realization that I want to be in a relationship with an adult, so he needs to behave like one. It’s something only he can do. I can’t nag him into growing up or being responsible or doing the right thing or telling me the truth. All of that is up to him. I’m just going to sit back, enjoy my life, and take care of me.

  8. Not Over It at 3:38 pm #

    Hi Beautiful,

    It is so good to read your words today. I am in much the same place. I also had a major fight with my husband and I am reeling from its implications. It’s a similar situation and I appreciate hearing your take on it.

    We will make it.

    Love & prayers,

    • beautifulmess7 at 4:59 pm #

      I hope you are doing okay and taking care of yourself. It’s so important.

      I just finished up my haircut, and I’m off to look for a cute, floppy hat for fishing.

  9. I so get that being on edge feeling with the lying. I lived like that for 26 years. Never knowing what I was going to find out next. Most of it was financial but there was always what new woman he was trying to “save”. I remember a couple of weeks before full disclosure him grabbing a loaf cake off a table and taking it back to his office. I was thinking in my head that’s strange he’s supposed to be fasting sweets but then just let it go. Well the next day I go into his office and part of it was eaten so I asked him about it. He says oh that’s from last week. I said that’s not true. I saw you take it yesterday and I walked away. I was so pissed that he would lie over a stupid piece of bread. And that’s how I lived every day of our marriage. I am trying to learning how to not live taking his issues upon myself and to be free to be who I am out of his shadow. I hope and pray Mr. Mess will do the right thing.

    • beautifulmess7 at 5:02 pm #

      That cake example is so true to form! My husband would so lie about something that minor and stupid. That leaves the question in my mind of how he will ever tell the truth if it is ever something big. So exasperating!


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