I’m writing these words in hopes they commit to my memory a little more in anticipation of the coming conversation with my husband. He’s been out of town for a few days and will not return until Friday, only to leave again for 3 more days on Sunday. Surely I will forget my thoughts by than!
I’m reading a book that is supposed to help me decide if I’m better off leaving my marriage or staying in it. This is one of the topics in the book and it stirred something in me.
Power – I feel like he exerts power over me. I know he will deny this but this is why I think he has used his power over me: He’s made me think that I am important. So important that his very job depends on my success staying at home & raising our kids. Holding down the fort. Keeping things under control on the home front. Without my being able to do this he can not do his job well. He doesn’t have time to worry about these things that he needs me to do. So he needs me to do them. And I do. And I do a very good job at it. It’s as if he’s saying, “You are so important to me that I am not successful without you doing this for me.” Yay me!!! Right?!!? In turn this is supposed to make me feel as though he really loves me because he’s given me a job and I’m good at it. He’s fulfilling my need of being needed. Check.
I believed this. I lived this. In fact I took this to the extreme and filled my days & nights with so much stuff for my kids to show him that I am fully capable of being a one woman show. I got this. I don’t need him. In fact, I don’t need anybody. Offers to help from people have come by and “I’m not struggling in my ability to do this job. I don’t need any help. But thank you for offering.” I am in control. I control the people who help me. I control what goes on in my kids lives. I am doing this because my husband needs me to and damn it I’m going to do it above and beyond what he is expecting. I took security in knowing that without me, he would not be able to do what he does.
But this is what really happened. I think. I’m up for a discussion on my thought process 🙂
He told me of the affair. In everything I felt, some of the emotions were complete and utter loneliness. I literally had no one else beside me and the kids. I didn’t have a husband. I didn’t have my parents. I didn’t have any friends. I mean I have all of those people but none of whom were able to help me now. I was left with myself. Shit. After a week or so we decided it would be best if the husband stayed at a hotel. He would visit the kids at night & at their events but the tension was too high for us and he needed some space to think and breathe. Two hours after he left I experienced my second huge panic attack of the weekend. I was completely overwhelmed by how much responsibility I had and that I was completely alone. I wanted to call my friends and ask them for help but they didn’t even know there was a problem. All 3 kids were crying & melting down at once and I just sobbed on the couch while clutching them. Talk about a wreak. Being alone was nothing new to me. I’ve been doing this for years but him leaving that night was the worst feeling of abandonment. It made me take for granted the security he provided me. After he was done with work and settled he called me to make sure I was OK. I was crying and feeling so guilty that I never knew how secure I was with him in my life. All week I muttered through trying to figure out why I was barely surviving on my own. How is this possible???? I’m doing the same exact things I’ve been doing for years!!??
I realized recently that the security I felt from him was fake. I realized I am not in control of anything. I realized that I allowed him to have power over me. I allowed him to make me believe that by doing what I was doing I was helping his job. But it wasn’t. I was helping him feel like a “better person” when he was doing wrong. He was fulfilling my need of “being needed”. While it’s partially true, he does need someone to take care of things at home and do all of these things, the reason for it is false.
I also believe that in pushing people away and doing everything on my own I made him feel that he was not needed. Emotionally. Like I fulfilled myself or something. But he needed it. So he found it. I did do but not to the extent he did.
I am now in a place where I feel at complete peace with knowing who has the power over me, who has control over me and where my sense of security comes from. I am in control of that. And I thank God multiple times each day for it.