Triggered

I often have days when I’m triggered. Triggered by words, pictures, days of the month, dreams, memories of those times when I thought our life was good but really it wasn’t, they were just the times in between. They were the days that the lies continued, that promises were made that things were changing and that our relationship was the only one he really wanted. I wish I could stop these triggers that make me sad, sometimes angry or even make me stop second guessing my decision to stay in this marriage. Sometimes the what if thoughts that grab the pit of my stomach and sit on my back like a hundred pound weight feel like too much and I want to run as far away as I can, like the night when I first found out.  

It has been three years since I found out and sometimes it feels like it just happened. I hope eventually I will escape this feeling, I’ve chosen to stay and keep trying to overcome everything that has happened. I try not to let the what if days run away with my will to try and stay. I hope that I can trust him now to be the guy he says he wants to be. I hope that all I have repeatedly sacrificed of myself wasn’t for nothing and that he’s realized my life is just as important as his and that he won’t selfishly take advantage of me anymore. 

I don’t know why these days keep creeping in. I just want to be happy and strong again. I’ve been told I am so strong to have endured everything but I feel weak. I always thought the strength would be in leaving, that staying and accepting the affairs would be weak.  It’s all in perspective I guess. 

I guess it’s only really been a few months since Marjorie left, and that could be why I still have the days where I think maybe I should have made him end things on his own with her. The outcome would be completely different, I know this. He would rather have continued to lie to both of us, and I just couldn’t live like that anymore. After so many years of being his wife, I deserve better than to be a second choice. He tells me he never stopped loving me, and I don’t believe him. If he really loves me like he says he does why does he still want to know if I’ve heard from Marjorie and how is she doing. I feel like I’m never going to be enough, that he’s only here because he couldn’t let me go and watch me start a new life with someone who really loves me.

Some days I have regrets. Some days I overthink my choices and try to analyze why I didn’t chose to go the other way. I’m really trying to focus and stay looking ahead but sometimes the hurt and brokenness sneaks in and leaves me crushed. I wish I knew why he cheated, why he made me stay in a relationship that he so selfishly abused, why he wouldn’t let me have the freedom to just be if that’s what he wanted. I know that this is all on him, that nothing I could have done would have changed his path. What about my path? It’s changed, and I don’t know which way to go anymore. 

Going Back

I think of all the what ifs that I’ve had in my life. What if I had of gone home with the guy from the bar one night when I was still a teenager? What if I had of let him take me to his place and spend the night doing lord knows what to me? My life would be very different today, I think. I’m starting to feel like I should have done more before I settled down in a relationship with my husband. I want things that I didn’t want before. Sometimes I think I want freedom and then others I can’t bear to imagine my life without him. I’ve loved him for so long that I don’t know how to say goodbye and walk away from that part of my life. What if I did walk away? I’m afraid he’ll forget that he’s a father and he’ll lose his kids. They love him I know, but they know what I’ve done for him and our family and they are appalled at the way he’s treated me. I believe I was a good wife and mother. I did everything I could to keep us together. My love was not enough. I feel like I failed, and I hate failing. I know I can’t look back on our life or go back to before I knew about his affairs. Sometimes I wish I had of ignored his phone the night it lit up late at night. That turns into a whole string of what ifs. My head is constantly reeling even two years later. I don’t understand, can’t comprehend and there are no answers that I can find to help me. Do we spend time apart and see if that’s what works for us? I don’t know. He’s left me with all the hard questions to answer. The kids look to me for guidance and I’m not sure I’m the best person to help them. I have been very careful with my words and showing my feelings around my kids but my heart aches for them. He’s screwing it up and blaming his stupid mistakes on me. That they must be reacting to him the way that they are because of something I have said or done. I told him he needed to talk to them before he moved out, and tell him his plans but he didn’t, he just left. Packed his stuff and left. Then he expected that they would contact him, and is upset that they don’t. They feel he moved out without telling them so it’s all on him if he wants a relationship with them. I think I led them down the path towards forgiveness when I stayed with him and he’s fucking it up when he pulls stupid shit like moving out without a conversation with them. They don’t think he respects them or their feelings. They love me, I feel their love. My pain is their pain, and I know it shouldn’t be but their whole lives I’ve been their whole world. He worked and worked, missing out on so much of our lives to make more money. I don’t know why he figured making more money would make him happier. He was always chasing a bigger yearly income. He often asked me what did I gross last year, and honestly I had no idea. He was happy when we were first together, he enjoyed his job and the people he worked with. Most of them are still friends today. I wonder how he’s going to feel when he has to tell them we aren’t together anymore. We’ve been so good at faking it for the last two years our friends and family will scratch their heads. Many of them will cut him from their lives, because him hurting me will hurt them deeply. They welcomed him 25 years ago into their lives and now he’s left.