It’s been two months since my foundation collapsed. Since I found out our wedding vows were broken. Two months since – For better or for worse, Till death do us part – went out the window. I don’t live in that secure universe anymore.
The most important thing I have learned so far from reading, therapy, and from others is:
What I need is pretty important too.
Tonight my husband and I go over our needs. Things that we have written down as a roadmap to the future. Needs that NEED to be fulfilled.
I feel hopeful.
I also know that reverting into old patterns and following the path of survival in which we get our needs met in unhealthy ways is just a step away.
An example of this became apparent the other day. It went like this:
My husband came to me in the morning, showed me a post he wanted to put on facebook, and said that since he has been out of touch with friends and they are wondering what happened, he was going to write about rehab and how he has ‘never felt better.’
I told him that the ‘never felt better’ piece hurts me because he cheated on me and I’m still grieving. If he never felt better than he is not feeling the pain his wife is going through.
His initial reaction was anger and he said, ‘I can’t even post what I want!’ Then he stormed off and went for a walk.
While he was walking I was formulating what I needed to say to him, which was:
I appreciate that rehab benefited you. When you said, ‘I can’t post what I want’, it translated into, ‘I blame you for feeling hurt because it keeps me from expressing my joy.’ And I will not be blamed for the pain that I feel. You are an individual and you can post what you want. I don’t control you. But I am allowed to share my feelings.
A while later he came running in the house and before I could say anything, he said, ‘I’m sorry. I don’t even want to post that.’
It’s a work in progress. My therapist calls it survival. Getting our needs met in any manner we can even if it is unhealthy. By him getting angry, it could have forced me to give in and say, ‘Well, just post it!’ Then his need to connect with others and share his joy would have been met. But because I didn’t move into passive aggressive mode, it gave us the opportunity to communicate more effectively.
So I asked him later, ‘How did you get your need met if you didn’t post the message?’
I never would have expected his response.
He said that when he went for a walk, he was listening to his Ipod. On it was ‘go to’ music. Stuff he listened to every time he felt upset or down. And he decided right then and there that he didn’t want to ‘go to’ that music anymore and rehab was in the past. He wanted to live in the present. So he took the waterproof case off his phone and put his Ipod in it. Then he threw it into the Tucannon River and he visualized it floating all the way to the Columbia. He said the feeling of being in the present met his need.
You know, I never would have chosen this path for my marriage, but I’m willing to see where this new road leads.