A month gone. Six weeks of therapy. I've learned more about the person I'm married to in these few weeks than I did in 34 years. It's like someone turned the lights on for me. There have been days I was upbeat. That maybe we could mend this thing, or at least find ways through it back to each other.
But running in the background was an undercurrent. And it grew stronger with things he said. Elisabeth went to England. We were alone. He barely spoke to me. Only ate with me twice in 10 days. I tried to brush it off with the fact that he was sick with a bad cold. But there were comments made off the cuff, under his breath about him needing to be on his own. His obsession with his cell phone grew worse. Texting. Texting. Ignoring me. Talking to the phone. Smiles crossed his face.
I realized he was no longer letting it leave his possession. No longer charging on the bathroom counter. He was sleeping with it.
One evening I walked over to his chair to retrieve the remote control and he jerked back grasping his phone to his chest. What did he not want me to see?
Now I am a woman obsessed but the phone never leaves his possession. At last. He must charge it and he leaves momentarily to do something outside. A text comes in. It's a woman. I try to open it but the phone is pass coded. My God. We have never not trusted each other. In all our years. With all the problems I have never hidden anything and I've never stooped this low. It's the same name I saw on the phone one night as I was preparing for bed. The night I actually looked at his phone and he startled me. He must have suspected I was looking at it but it was chiming like crazy right there in front of me...
I watch his face as he comes back to his phone. The smile as he reads the text from Rena... "My
tootsies are tired..." The texts continue. He glances up and sees me watching him. The guilt falls across his face like a curtain. He drops the phone into his pocket and says he has to go to the bathroom. He sits in there texting Rena.
He has betrayed my trust.. Broken faith with me. It doesn't matter if this is physical or not. It is a relationship. It doesn't matter if our marriage is struggling. I thought we were working on things. At least I was. I hadn't given up hope completely.
I'm angry. I want to tell him to get out.
Go to Rena. Maybe she has a bed for you.
|She have you my angry self says. But he is mine. He belongs to me still and the betrayal hurts so bad.|
I want to see her. I want to confront her. I hate her. I want to punch her in the face.
How can he share with her that part of himself he can no longer give to me?
The dream I held so dear is well and truly dead. The pain is so deep. Like a knife. Plunged through my heart. There is no chance now of him ever having anything with his daughters.
24 hours pass and the phone buzzes while he is in the bathroom. I grab it. It's her. I have a last name. I scroll through recent texts and get sick to my stomach. Who is the man speaking here? I don't know him. He has never talked like this. I have never spoken to him like this. As if he were a knight in shining armor. Should I have? But wasn't that for me, not for years and years. I feel like a failure as a wife. As a human being.
Now I stoop even lower, and when he takes my car I search his. And there in the back I have a Love Actually moment. A jewelry box, empty. Evidence of a gift. Pink tissue. Dated June 2014. I try and tell myself it's a birthday present for me purchased early and squirreled away, but I don't really believe that.
Later in the evening talk of his plans for the week come up and it becomes abundantly clear he has forgotten my birthday. He is caught stammering. The gift was very clearly not for me. I find her on The internet. Her picture. She is lovely but with a vacant expression. Empty behind the eyes.
And I hate her more. And I want to punch her black and blue.
The evil part of me snickers in delight. I know what sex is like with this man. I know he can't get or maintain an erection. I know how childlike his fumbled his lovemaking is. And then I think perhaps for her he would actually seek help? For her he would take meds? But his inability to be tender, to speak love in any form would not change.
I see his father. Living his days in a chair in a room with a television. The second wife having stuck him there after she emptied his bank accounts. All the possessions he has left in a shoe box. Doesn't Mike see that horrible picture when he looks at himself? I suspect his statements about being done with therapy, that there is no fixing him, are Rena talking. You don't need it. You are fine. It's your wife. Your daughters. They are the problem. They don't respect you. Giving the stunted little boy just the attention he wants. Enabling the behavior.
You will grow tired of mothering Rena. You will grow weary of being a parent. At some point you will want depth of love. Affection. Endearments.
But then again maybe not. Perhaps she is a woman above me. Better than me. Capable of endlessly clasping the boy to her chest and soothing him. Wanting nothing more for herself. Unlike me she has a job. A career. A flight attendant. She is not dependent on him like me.
Does she see him as an opportunity? Good job. Good pension. I won't let you have that Rena. It's mine. I was the abused one. I raised his kids. I stayed home where he wanted me. No divorce. Not ever.
What am I now? A tether? A duty? I feel so small. Alone on a battlefield.