So, it turns out that my take on the whole "fear" aspect has been wrong. Or, at least, misdirected.
Among the hurt and anger, I understood the fear. Fear of the unknown. If I leave, where do I go? What do I do?
Rational Stephanie would say relax. Breathe. You have family that will take you in and, even though it's not the most desirable arrangement, things could be a lot worse. You'll save money, you'll get your own place eventually. Or maybe you won't. Maybe you'll just wrap yourself in the security that only a parent's unconditional love can provide.
This made me feel better until the vision took a horribly wrong turn and suddenly I'd see myself as a 45-year-old woman still living with my mom. Which wouldn't be so bad, except you don't know my mother.
This past weekend, after my emotional meltdown on the Newport Beach pier, I realized that I was reacting to the fear, but it wasn't quite like I thought.
The real fear is what if it happens again. What if he leaves me. Because, the truth is, he almost did and he could again. I can't help but think he will (there's a pattern and blah blah blah) and I see that affecting everything I do.
It's a strange feeling of not wanting to make yourself vulnerable to YOUR HUSBAND.
What triggered this downward spiral back in February was realizing that he had lied about going to work one day. He got up, showered, shaved, got dressed, left for work... without every intending to go. The kicker? I had made cake bites the day before and was cheerfully, nauseatingly domestic about wrapping them up for his office and making sure he took them with him when he left.
Rational or not, it's looking back on moments like this that make me feel painfully foolish.
I don't ever want to be that unsuspecting wife, cooking, cleaning, happy... all while he contemplates leaving for another woman.
I want to be with my husband. I want to work through this "rough patch" in our marriage. I know we can, but I can't figure out how to let go of the fear in order to make any progress. Living in fear is not living, I know. But, for God's sake, how?
My favorite knock-knock joke:
Rude, interrupting cow.
Makes me laugh just typing it.