“The first duty of love is to listen.” ~ Paul Tillich
Husband is back in the Land of Denial, and we aren’t talking much, except when our children are around and then it is as it has been, he chatters and I answer and then I am quiet. And because he isn’t really listening to hear my response he keeps asking what I said until I repeat it loud enough that he thinks I am yelling and he gets his feelings hurt. And then I go into another room to “coexist” and do whatever until it’s time to go to bed while he and our children watch TV and chat and live like I’m not here, or yell at me in front of them for ridiculous things like watching a movie with our daughter in a darkened bedroom which prevented him from getting clothes out of the hamper because he didn’t want to turn on a damn light and disturb us. Not sure why that is my problem when he chose not to turn on the light, but I am always treated like a child. That’s certainly a good way to model loving relationships! Give me a break!
When they aren’t around he insists on asking me, how did this happen, how did I develop feelings for someone on Facebook???? And I know I should be patient, but I have already told him I didn’t really know how it happened, it just did, and that I didn’t meet My Girl on Facebook, we met through my writing website and we started emailing. It is so frustrating that he is insisting that social media is the cause of my “mid-life, fixable, forgiveable problem and this person is just telling me what I want to hear, and that I never told him we were having problems.” Ugggggghhhhh again, yes I did, he just never wanted to listen.
He didn’t used to be this way. But then gradually things began to change and the things I needed and wanted to talk about were not things he wanted to listen to. I had already told him, he was tired of hearing about it again, I didn’t respond the right way, I should have done this. He didn’t agree so I was wrong. He never heard of it so it must not be true. It didn’t matter really what I talked about, he found a way to make me feel like I was a burden, that I talked too much, that I needed to just keep it all to myself until I felt like I would have a mental breakdown. I cried and told him I can’t keep it in anymore, that I was upset with my job and couldn’t handle the passive aggressive management and being berated anymore, and he said, “Well you can’t quit, we have bills and nice things and can’t do it on one income.” And that was how “this” happened, the day that things became more important than me. I thought it was just me overreacting, that it was just the way he is and it didn’t mean he didn’t care. He just wasn’t as emotional. But why should I be forced to be quiet when he didn’t want to listen? Why did I always have to listen to him when he refused to listen to me? It wasn’t fair and made me even unhappier.
Of course no one intends to have an affair, emotional or physical. And when I started emailing My Girl it was nice to have a new friend to talk to who was interested in what I had to say and could understand a lot of what I was talking about because she had experienced it herself! We quickly became close, and I did try to keep her as just my friend. I did not want to have an emotional affair, especially not with a woman, I am straight! But we wrote so effortlessly to each other, and I enjoyed our conversations so much, that I didn’t want to stop having them. I really struggled with admitting to myself that I felt something more for her than friendship. This wasn’t how I was supposed to feel. I was supposed to feel like this about my husband, I was supposed to be able to talk to him about anything and everything. But, I didn’t, and couldn’t, though I still kept trying to.
So, “this” happened. I broke my vows and had an affair. I am choosing to leave my Husband for a woman that I somehow fell in love with through email. I am not choosing to leave because she told me what I wanted to hear, it’s because she listens to what I want and need to say. I am tired of not being heard.