it is hard isn't it...
"enough for today" is my motto and if need be, break it down to "moment by moment." if a red flag goes up (and honestly, i'm still early in dealing with codependency so my red flags are really more yellow), i say to myself "in this moment, is that behavior of my h's helping or hurting? should we talk about it?"
and i keep coming to the conclusion that it's ALWAYS better to talk about it with him. uncomfortable for both of us: sure.
but i went to our marriage counselor and said:
"i'm in a place where i can accept that things may never be different, even though i'm hoping they'll change. i'm proud of H for putting in a lot of hard work towards healing himself and our relationship. i think he's doing great. however, if we have rules about our sex life, if we have rules and walls up that prevent constant triggers, if i need to be this accomodating, i NEED to be able to talk to him about anything anytime if i feel like it and i want him to trust me enough to know that i might push his limits, but i won't break them."
and that's the new goal. and it's amazing how much pressure has been released from our relationship. we're finally building more attachment, after months and months of straining the attachment we initially built at the beginning of our relationship and hoping it doesn't break...like stretched out taffy.
you are thinking about things, you're taking it all in, and it's a lot. i'm sure it's overwhelming and it's particularly hard to sort out the tangled messes of loyalty and protection and patience and resolve. and you are venting! which is so good. this is the perfect place to vent. and of course, you are thinking about your kids, which is a wonderful guide...a guide you can trust.
part of this, i think, is grief. there are those classic 8 stages of grief and for me, i have to remind myself that i am going through a process, for which each stage is temporary...and maybe cyclical.
it's taken me and my H a long time to wake up to the reality of our relationship. we had to re-evaluate and i think it's fair that we both re-evaluated the other. and we reaffirmed that so far, we have been good for each other. but it's hard to let go of "what i thought was coming/what i thought was going to be our future." which in some ways is silly because i never knew the future in the first place, and in other ways, is genuine because i feel blindsighted...unimaginative in terms of how complicated and pained someone can be...had never considered how hurt my H could be.
and so for me, i have to vent, to go through my grief process, for the life i thought we would have. it really is letting that future die, so i can have right now, and be open to something different.
and then, with therapy, time alone, time with my people, time with my H when we build on our strengths, i begin to believe that it's possible that there are good things waiting for us if we want them.
thank you for continuing to come back here.