This week my therapy work was on understanding how to set boundaries and balancing that with vulnerability.
There can be no real intimacy without vulnerability. So how does the deceived move forward and be vulnerable but not feel like they are hanging out there naked and naïve waiting to be cheated on again? Forgiving, but not feeling that they have absolved their partner of the brutal act of deception that changed their lives forever?
Boundaries, apparently, or so my therapist says.
Or to paraphrase:
’The infidelity had nothing to do with who you are. To be intimate with anyone is to be open and vulnerable. And there must be forgiveness so that you can heal. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t wrong, and that doesn’t mean it didn’t feel personal. It means that you may have a new boundary to set. That doesn’t involve putting up walls all over the place, it means that from this day forward, a boundary that you didn’t have before, a boundary that didn’t even enter your conscious mind, is now in place.’
So, I wonder, is the word ‘boundary’ my new friend? Is it a source of strength that helps me move forward into the unknown? Deception and infidelity may happen again but with this new boundary will I understand that I am not powerless?
Infidelity seems to steal our power. But the truth is, according to my therapist, it doesn’t. So, how do I move forward in that truth and stop letting myself feel powerless? If I am honest, powerlessness gives me a way to keep persecuting my husband, to keep believing that what he did was blindside me with intent to hurt me.
Infidelity is selfish. It’s immature. And it wants to rob me of all my self-worth.
I can no longer live my life surrounded by post-it notes that grace the mirror telling me how wonderful I am. I can’t just read it, or say it, to make it true. This truth must change the core of my belief in myself.
I feel very tired.