Then – 12/24/2003
“I have had my share of obstacles in our relationship but somehow I always find a way to crawl out of my darkest feelings and try to make it work. We went to therapy because I was absolutely at rock bottom with my feelings. Did therapy help? I don’t know, but I never truly fell back ‘in love’ and I don’t think that was good enough for him. Then we stopped going and things stayed pretty much on an even keel. I tried various ways to look at the positives and to be grateful for what I have.
The subject of intimacy is a HUGE problem for us. To ‘Carl’, it is the ultimate proof of my love for him. But if I was more in love with him, then maybe I would be more interested; no matter what I have tried, I can’t change how I feel.
Once again I feel pressured to feel something that I don’t know that I’ll ever feel. I’m too angry, disappointed, mistrustful and hurt to even consider getting back any loving feelings that were already at a bare minimum before I found out that he was an alcoholic. I guess I’m just trying to work on all of those feelings so I can get to the point where I even want to pick up a ‘repairing your relationship’ book. I can’t even look at one.
He asked what I’m doing to help the relationship?!! I’m having a battle with so many emotions, trying to get to a point where I am receptive to work on anything to save our relationship.”
Now – 3/13/11
At the time I wrote that journal entry, I was so overwhelmed with the pressure to come up with an answer regarding my marriage. I felt like I needed to make sense out of feelings I knew and feelings I had only scratched the surface at. My marriage was barely surviving before the revelation that he was an alcoholic and I was being pressured to try to make sense out of insanity.
I can now see that ‘Carl’ was in panic mode because his secret was out. I had been by his side for the prior 2 years dealing with the crazy physical symptoms he had been experiencing with no medical explanation. He had been to almost every doctor imaginable, trying to find the reason why he had night sweats, heart palpitations, dizziness, blurred vision, numbness, throwing up, body twitches, etc. I felt sorry for him at the time and he was used to having my attention. Once his dark secret was revealed, my attention turned away from him and towards my kids and myself.
I later found out that the answer to all his physical issues we had been dealing with for 2 years were tied into his secret; alcohol was the cause. It took an outpatient alcohol rehab facilitator to connect all the dots for me. ‘Carl’ had been killing himself with alcohol and not one of the dozen doctors he visited put the pieces of the puzzle together.
Thankfully I found the strength to not cave to his pressure. I was going to make decisions when I was ready, not when he was. The thing that he couldn’t and wouldn’t accept at the time was that I really wasn’t sure what my decision was. I had lived unhappily married for so long that it was if I was shocked to now be given a choice.
As the pressure increased to feel my feelings, I became more aware of the vicious cycle of dysfunction that had become so normal to me.
Next week – Vicious cycle