Updated: Jul 10, 2020
Was there an affair? He wanted there to be. My best friend had warned me it would happen that way. My ex wanted to believe there was a reason…ANY REASON at all, as long as it wasn’t HIM. I was never enough and even though there were legit reasons for me to feel that way – the porn addiction, the lying…OMG the lying! He's a cop for god's sake but lying had become second nature to him. The sad truth is he had managed to pull me into his own spun web of lies so many times, that I still believed him on multiple occasions, long after he'd been repeatedly "caught in the act". In all reality, it wasn’t just that I didn’t feel like I wasn't enough…I "wasn’t enough" for him, period! And I never would have been. He wanted me to feel that way. He wanted me to believe that. It was his way of keeping me under his thumb. The only thing he worked at in our relationship was to convince me that I was completely and utterly worthless without him. Nothing I did was right. EVER! And it wasn’t until I started therapy that I discovered the narcissism. My ex is absolutely, 100% narcissistic and it ONLY took me 3 sessions (yes, just in case you missed it, this is lathered in sarcasm) before I was able to verbally admit that he was abusive.
After the words finally left my lips…I want a divorce. It was such a huge moment. It's these frozen shards of time that stick with you. And when you're in that place...that place where time stands still, you remember everything. The smells, the silence (or not)...the first words that are spoken are permanently etched in memory. Why? Because they break the silence, the frozen space of time. His first words, “I told you that you could get therapy to work on your issues.” He was serious. It wasn’t a joke and even though his response shouldn’t have surprised me, I still choked over his words. It was incredulous to me…the amount of self-indulged delusion he allowed for himself. There was no room for anything or anyone else and there never will be. You see the truth was he never really loved me and well, I loved the hope for what we could be. And I lived in that numb state of fakeness, waiting for the “dreamt up version of us” to arrive but it never did. He put me down constantly and I discovered months before I finally ended what was already over, that he had been putting me down to our kids as well. A burden they were carrying until my oldest “just couldn’t” anymore.
There was an emotional affair for sure and I’ve struggled with this so much! Is an emotional affair cheating? I absolutely fell in love and I own that. It happened and when I realized that it was happening…I said to myself, this has to end. Not the falling part – I had no control over that. It was the fake marriage part that needed to be dissolved. Because I knew that if I was capable of falling in love with someone else, I couldn’t continue on pretending. And it was more than just that. This love I was feeling had woke me up. I was feeling in a way I never had before. This love was what made me realize I had been pretending all along. For 17 years I had lived in complete denial. "Staying together for the kids" is such a joke. Life was miserable at home and the kids and I lived in this constant state of “walking on eggshells”. Staying together wasn’t working for them or us…it wasn’t working for anyone.