I asked The Husband to meet me at Starbucks on Tuesday night. Eventually, no matter how much we both love our Starbucks, we'll never be able to go there again for fear that one of us is about to ask for a divorce.
Starbucks is our neutral territory. For me, it’s about getting out of the house so that whatever it is we need to talk about doesn’t hang around and linger in our home. It’s along the same vein as not going to bed mad, which, I admit, The Husband and I have been guilty of in the past. (If you’ve been married for a significant amount of time and have never gone to bed angry, I’d like to know your secret.) (Oh, right. Communication. How could I forget?)
The whole point of asking him to meet me was because I was finally ready to propose the Big Fat Ultimatum. Me or her. No one responds well to ultimatums, so I tried, in my completely inept manner, to phrase it in the best way possible. And when I was through stumbling over my words, he looked at me and said, “So, what you’re saying is I have to choose.”
Well, yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying. But it’s my choice, too. And I’m choosing to not be with a man who is having this type of relationship with another woman. That means deleting her from your Facebook, MySpace, e-mail, cell phone, etc. That means no Christmas cards, no Happy Birthday’s, no catch-up phone calls once a year or ever, for that matter. The relationship ends now. And, if you can’t do that, then I choose to be alone.
There’s a certain amount of relief that comes from hearing him say he chooses me. However, as much as I try (and I know it’s only been a few days), it’s incredibly hard to stop thinking and, yes, obsessing about it. There’s a heavy cloud of depression hovering nearby. I’ve been able to fight it off to this point, but since seeing The Therapist (she is supposed to help, right?), it’s been even harder to ignore and keep at bay.
No matter how hard I try to ignore them, phrases like “runner-up” and “second best” keep flashing through my mind. There’s an evil, little bitch inside my head that’s determined to prevent me from being happy. Then the questions come. The ones that have been circling around inside my mind without rest; the ones that no amount of reassurance can ease.
Did he need that week away to rule her out as an option, once and for all? Is he only staying with me until the next “Mrs. Right” comes along?
And, even more frightening, I’ve finally had to acknowledge that my husband has a pattern. One that involves lying and turning to other women to fulfill something emotionally that he doesn’t get from me. So, am I a total sucker for staying? A glutton for punishment?
Really, really dumb?
Has my pattern been to make excuses for his behavior?
And is it normal to feel such anger, hurt, and disappointment in him and yet still want to go out of my way to make him happy? Before I realized that there was, to a degree, a sexual relationship between him and this “friend,” I understood why I wanted to make him happy. And that was because I had been, in a sense, neglecting him. I hadn’t been participating in the things that he enjoyed. Yes, he made this easy for me (so easy I never realized there was a problem), but I should have been more involved.
Now that I’ve seen their relationship for what it really is, why am I still so eager to make him happy?
And the cherry on my sundae is the fact that this part of their relationship has been going on for ten fucking months. Ten months. TEN. In ten months, he never once stopped to think that maybe this is wrong? That maybe his wife meant more to him that that? Does he think so little of me that he believes this behavior to be okay?
And by setting myself up to be hurt like this again, do I think so little of myself?
I know what you’re thinking. Thank God I’m not in her head.
I’ve closed comments because I know you guys are crazy supportive and I love you, but I just needed to write and get this off my chest. Tomorrow I’ll write a long list of all the things that make me happy. Promise.