I’m glad I wrote that last post. That “life’s tough, but getting better” post. It’ll be something I continue to come back to to grasp at that feeling of normalcy. Like the letter I got from my mom near the end of high school. The one she slipped in my Calc book where she told me she loved me and was proud of me and just wanted me to find a way to relax and be calm and enjoy life. I cherish that note. That note came before cancer and college and dying and death and orphanhood and executrixing.
My husband has been cheating on me.
That doesn’t even feel like a remotely adequate way to phrase it.
My husband has been lying. And cheating. And premeditating. And emotionally abusing. He’s risked my health. My reputation. He’s destroyed my trust, my faith, my security. He’s stolen 13 years of my life. He’s stolen the childhood I wanted for my child and the motherhood I wanted for myself.
There are so many more painful details. I never believed in “sex addiction.” I thought it was an easy way to excuse a bad moral character or justify poor choices. Something about hearing about the dozens of sexual partners your husband has had in the past 10 years, however, makes you start to believe. Hearing his tales of binges and recoveries. Seeing the ways he knowingly hurt his family and career and friends to get his next fix. I get it now.
I guess we do marry our parents. I thought I was too smart to end up with an emotionally abusive alcoholic like my dad. I wound up with an emotionally abusive sex addict instead. I feel trapped and alone and ashamed and scared. I feel how I felt with my dad. But the man who has always picked me up is the one that has done this. The man who knew I craved stability and trust has been lying to me for 8 years.
And, now, I try to pick up the pieces. STD screen clean by some minor miracle. Lawyer hired. New cell phone plan. Google custody calendar. Therapy appointments. Laundry and bills.
When my dad died last year I celebrated the fact that I’d survived my last death. Both parents were gone. Barring an unexpected crash or unlikely illness, I’d be spared from that particular form of pain for a good long while. But now, my husband has died. Yet, its so much harder. His ghost still lingers, his smile still causes a blush, his tears can still moisten my skin. But, they’re just a memory of a life that used to be, and a life that has expired. He’s dead, but not. I’m grieving, but not. I’m alone, but not.