Things are in transition. Well, for a Lokean, that’s practically a state of being. But right now, there’s a tangible transition afoot. I’m not pleased about this, and I’m not even sure I want to post this entry. There’s a lot of shame, hurt, anger, and frustration behind these seemingly calm looking words on a page. I’m a writer, though, and I deal best with situations when I can put words to them, quantify them in a way, communicate them to someone else. It is like a cathartic purge of all the buildup of emotions that otherwise are hard to release.
If you came here looking for juicy details or personal attacks, you’re in the wrong place.
The hard truth here is that I am divorcing my husband. We have been married for almost seven years, and together for almost ten. This was my choice, my action (or more properly, reaction), this is me owning my life, my heart, my right to a relationship on the terms I ask for.
He cheated on me. Not once, but several times. Yes, it is absolutely possible to cheat when you’re poly. I mean, part of what I don’t understand about what happened is that I’m a fairly permissive poly partner, as far as they go. I have one real rule: tell me. If you meet a hot guy in a bar and you got his digits, tell me, even if you’re not sure you’re ever going to call. If you get an email from a friend who confides that they might be interested in a little more, tell me, even if your answer is going to be no. If you get propositioned for a little hanky panky, give me a call and let me know. That’s all. I have never said “no”. I have said, “Do you think this is a good idea?” or “I don’t care for this person, but as long as I don’t have to be their friend, okay” or “I think they have ulterior motives, so watch out for that”, but unless memory fails me completely, I have never once denied him something that he wanted, even when I really wanted to.
It started early on. I remember we had only been together a short while, and a mutual friend felt compelled to inform me that they had been having intimate conversations via the phone, and that it had progressed to the “I love you” stage. I didn’t even know they were talking outside of group social situations. But then, I chalked it up to poly inexperience, because he had never been in a poly relationship before. We processed it at length, and came up with a better script for the next time it should happen.
But the script never manifested. Over and over again, I’d find out from other people that he had been doing things we’d agreed were off limits, or just a bad idea. He engaged in activities and neglected to tell me, once while I was lying sick in bed only a few hundred yards away.
I loved him. It’s the stupid thing you hear from people all the time, but it was the truth. I really wanted the relationship to work, because other than this fault I really liked him and wanted to be a part of his life. I loved him through the mistakes and the betrayal. Hell, I even let myself fall in love with him knowing that his first marriage ended for the exact same reason (he cheated on her, too). I let myself believe in redemption, in his seemingly genuine desire to live life with honor and integrity. I mean, he’s a Tyr’s man, a self-defined “guardian”. Of course I wanted to believe him.
I loved him so much that as my life began to deteriorate, I still compromised for him. When I was no longer able to climb the stairs in our home on a regular basis, I moved into the 10’x10′ room downstairs and made due; my pleas to move to a more accessible location were met with agreement at first, but then apathy/procrastination took over and he did the minimum he could so he could point to it and say, “But I did that one thing!”
I’ve done a lot of covering for him. Things he’s said and done, or more often, said and not done, I danced for the proverbial cameras so no one would notice. When friends voiced their concerns to me, I smiled wide and told them everything was okay. Meanwhile, I begged him for counseling, either for himself or for us together, or both. I begged him to take his health more seriously, so he could get his seizures under control. I begged him. A lot.
I will beg no more.
I don’t know how things will play out. The wounds are fresh, the situation raw. I’m investigating options, talking to legal folks, and figuring out how to walk out of here with my dignity intact. My biggest fear is that I look the fool. People have been telling me for years that I am too forgiving, that I compromised too much, that I went to incredible lengths to keep things together. And yet, his unfaithfulness was public. It happened where people could see. Almost every time, it was a witness who came to me and informed me of what happened.
So things are in transition. I don’t have any answers, and I’m not really feeling like I want to process this with anyone I’m not already talking to. I just needed to get this out in the open, air the dirty laundry a bit so it can stop stinking up my brain.