My husband hasn't been to a meeting in over a week now, and his mental state is showing it. He has been obsessing about how he's pretty sure I'm being unfaithful to him, and he has all kinds of "evidence" that he keeps dragging out in front of me. His evidence includes such tell-tale signs as that I sometimes wear lipstick when I go to work and that people call me on my cell phone amongst various other, more embarrassing assertions.
I have participated in his madness by defending myself. One sure-fire way to get my crazy all riled up is to suggest that I might be a whore. All my favorite ways to hurt come up around sex and sexuality, and I find myself drowning in the quicksand of my past. It's easy to assume that I am an irretrievable whore, sexualized from the beginning. I don't even have to cheat on my husband to be cheating on my husband. Sex is seared into my flesh as sure as a brand.
I know that by defending myself, I begin to make it real...and while I don't want to make it real, I also want to comfort my husband, who is genuinely hurting because he believes that I've not been loyal. It's a sticky place to find myself.
Last night, as he was pawing over move "evidence," I said to him:
I am sorry if anything I have done has made you feel like I might have been unfaithful, but I have been loyal to you. I'm sorry that you're hurting, and it's never my intention to hurt you, but it's not good for me to continue to participate in this with you.
I hope the subject is closed.
I am sad for this man. He is very, very sick, and he's hurting, and so he's hurting me. I want it to stop now, and I am not sure how to stop it. I want out, but I want to leave with some clarity and some grace, and I'm not in a place to be able to leave that way yet.