The counsellor asked what was going on at which point I just glared at my husband and signalled him to speak
“Well… She found out I had been watching porn and masturbating”
I glared again waiting for the rest but he left it at that! The counsellor began to speak and I raised my hand to stop him before adding “erm AND he wants a divorce” The counsellor laughed for a split second, assuming I was joking, before realising I was serious. He separated us so he could talk to us separately…my husband went first.
The wait was excruciating but soon enough the door opened, my husband left and I was called in. Panicked about where he had gone I was informed he had stepped out for a breather but would be back. He asked me what I knew about my husband, what I knew about his past…his upbringing. I told him what I knew…anything I could think of that might be relevant…he was possibly sexually abused, his mum is sick, his aunt would beat him regularly when he was young but he has blocked a lot out…he got into drugs and into trouble because of it…I stopped, at a loss and desperate to know what was going on.
My husband came back in and the 2 of us were encouraged to talk to each other. Of course he said nothing and left it for me to go first…how?? I don’t have a clue what’s going on…YOU GO! He told me that he had been lying to me, he wasn’t the person I thought he was…the person he had made out to be…he had A LOT of secrets and had lied to me since the start. Taken back I asked if he used to be a woman…SO inappropriate but I had to break the tension. He smiled, said no and then his expression changed completely. I asked him to explain more to me, what the lies were…. But he was vague and just kept saying ‘stuff’ or ‘everything’
Frustrated I turned to the counsellor and asked where we go from here as I still don’t know anything. He agreed and said that although he cant tell me himself he does think we need to talk about it. He explained to my husband that I needed to know, I should know…I deserved to know. Here was a woman who was willing to walk to the ends of the earth for her man…but she cant do that if he doesn’t let her in. He agreed to tell me…just not there, so we headed home with me still in the dark. Once home – and after a LOT of deflecting from him and practically begging from me he told me the truth.
‘Everything I have ever said to you (about feelings) has been a lie…I don’t know if I love you, I don’t know if I ever have and I don’t know if I ever can…I am numb. I feel nothing, not just for you…not just love…for anything…for anyone. I haven’t ever felt anything. If you say a lie enough times eventually it becomes true, I thought maybe if I said I loved you enough times I would believe it and I would feel it and it would be true. I thought if I said I was happy with you, if I pretended to be upset some times…but it hasn’t worked, every tear you’ve seen me shed has been fake, every smile, every laugh…its all been fake, its all been an act and I’m so tired of acting. I cant do it anymore’
He told me that if he had been himself I would be miserable…but by acting and lying…he was miserable. He had tried to love me, he had really wanted to…but how could he love me if he had lied to such an extent? Or if he wasn’t being himself? He said he would miss me if I did leave, but didn’t think it would bother him that much whether I stayed or went and that I could take my time packing my things and arranging where I was going to go…..
You really want me to go? You really want to end this without even hearing my response? Without seeing if we could sort it out?
He was shocked…he asked how I could even think about moving past this with him, how I could ever forgive him and how I didn’t hate him at that moment -I know a few of you are probably asking the same thing right now but the answer: because I DO love him and I vowed to love him for better or worse…besides, he had lied to try and benefit both of us, yes it was still lying but he didn’t do it with the intention of breaking my heart, he had done it to try and find happiness for himself, he had acted in such a way that he knew made me happy… he hadn’t cheated, he hadn’t beaten me or been a horrible person…there was still a chance that I would love the ’real him’ just as much IF I got the chance to know him. I couldn’t have left without at least trying, without understanding what was happening to me…to US…or without taking some time to let everything sink in fully.
He packed a few bags and went to stay at a friends to give me us both some space to think about everything, to establish what we wanted, whether he felt anything and what to do next.
Left alone I was numb…ironically.
- Secrets and lies (femmesfatales.typepad.com)
- Secrets, Lies And The Allure Of The Illicit (npr.org)
- Secrets, lies and being a dick. What’s up with revenge? (iamanafterschoolspecial.wordpress.com)
- Reader Question: Treating Emotional Numbness (drkathleenyoung.wordpress.com)
- Flat Numbness vs. Depression (lookingforthemissingme.wordpress.com)
- Numb (anndefine.wordpress.com)
- Fake Smile (dancingjphoenix.wordpress.com)
- Help Me Keep My Borderline Husband From Alienating My Friends (ask.metafilter.com)