During the last few weeks I have struggled with balancing the honesty that has become the trademark of this blog with issues of family privacy. Ultimately I need to give the greater weight to honesty: without context the nuances of my life are lost. In the past I have posted on my wife’s bouts with depression. I married her knowing of this and have not wavered in my decision.
Depression is of course borne of reality in many cases – as the old expression goes you’re not paranoid if someone is out to get you. My wife’s depression may have a chemical component but its true roots are much easier to define. When we first met the comfort we found in each other allowed secret parts of us to emerge. Mine – that is a post in itself and will be written before too long. Her’s: a childhood, if one could use that term, from Hell.
With the benefit of hindsight it is clear that we both have had issues racing just under the surface for the last number of years. My coming out with all it has entailed has caused my wife to look inward and to see more of her past. And the things that are emerging are unspeakable. It has caused a downward spiral that is sobering. This has created a strangely uneven playing field. I have no desire to leave but it is also true that at this point my presence is a requirement for the health of my wife and family. That is no problem: we are both where we want to be.
But there is also no denying that as I continue to be with other men (or more accurately, an other man) she feels no choice but to accept it. The thing is it should be a cause of guilt, of taking undue advantage, but it is not. I justify it to myself – and to her – that if I see my friend it is easy – a stolen hour from my work day; if I do not see him, the fixation returns, cruising CL, the constant thoughts.
We continue to evolve. The wild sex of vacation– borne of fear and desperation – is gone: we are home now. She can conceive of us living as friends – together for the comfort and the children. Friends: but other than the occasional romp (when she desires), no longer lovers. We talk of my personal journey – retreats or the like. That is shelved until the spring as she has a chance to heal and various events of our lives pass.
Last night in passing I mentioned that a good friend at work was celebrating his twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Carrie looked up and quietly asked if we would make it there. No answer was required: a year ago not even a question. Now as much as we both have our hopes, we are both too scarred and scared to even attempt an answer.