For months I haven't touched this blog. My last entry about the Tardis Blue interview dress should be enshrined since that outfit won me a job that has saved our skins. But that job has brought on a slew of problems in my world and I just have to accept it now.
I believe in honesty. I believe that as horrible, painful, bitter, and hard to swallow as it can be... honesty is the trail of breadcrumbs that lead us to the other side of the forest. Unfortunately, they also lead us into the forest and today I am there.
Last night I made the mistake of being honest. Actually, I've been more open and honest in recent months with one person than I ever believed I could be. It has been terrifying because it made me explore the darker parts of my marriage, my relationship with my parents, my feelings about my children, and my immediate and long term fears for the future in a way I still have to struggle to understand.
In simple terms, I have had what might equate to an emotional affair with myself through getting to know and speaking very candidly with a person who was and acquaintance of my husband. This came about through joining my husband in what was a favorite activity early in our relationship and marriage, but had dropped off over the prior few months of my pregnancy. While I was pregnant and often on orders to rest, he first began playing a particular online game and then joined a Team Speak server populated and run by fellow players from a group that formed in game. Not a guild, but a band of similar minded players looking to make a community and share the success of working as a group to bring interest and fun to the game.
After the baby was born and I had recovered somewhat, I joined them on Team Speak. I started first just listening in and joining discussion from time-to-time while working on my photography business or between watching the kids. In early September I first joined the group in another game and because of my work schedule and penchant for late nights, was most often online when the majority of our Eastern European crew had decided to get some rest or were at their own jobs. It was at this time when I began to talk with two particular members of the group, then one of them by virtue of our shared hours on the same game.
Discussion mostly started as casual conversations about life, often about my children and how trying it could be to parent two little boys. He has no children of his own, but is not unaware of what it can take out of a person to be a caregiver. At some point our conversations became more personal, shared struggles in relationships, discussion about ex's and choices of partner, how I met and married my husband. I eventually let some more unpleasant details go unfiltered and he saw through the cracks in the ice. We would sometimes discuss how I felt less sure in my marriage and that I had at some point even failed to read another friend's behavior correctly, leading to tensions in my marriage around the time my youngest child would have been conceived.
I was always honest when we spoke, letting the fact of distance allow me to feel safe and telling him the truth because he deserved and gave nothing less. Sometimes I hated that I didn't sugar coat things, but it allowed me to look at things through his eyes too, finding a passion and drive I could not have imagined when it came to some things. It was through these conversations that what I took for granted as normal parts of my marriage were pointed out as unhealthy. He reminded me to put my own interests in view and treat myself as more than a supporting cast member in the story. And somewhere along the way it became friendly flirting.
When I caught on and asked he did not hide or deny it. He instead told me the truth, that he'd flirted because it was in his nature, but also because he'd felt I needed to be reminded of my value. He was so wonderfully willing to build up the self esteem of a person he'd never met face-to-face but had come to like and respect for who they are, even if I was a lousy shot or an inadvertently poor pilot in game. We began to text when offline, chatting about life and later about the book I'd decided to start writing. The writing lead to deeper discussions about my marriage and eventually the admission that I was no longer sure my husband felt any love for me. Instead of judging me, this friend once again offered kindness and understanding. He reminded me not to look at it as my failure as a wife, but through being the person strong enough to make decisions that were unpleasant but required.
As the topic of divorce eventually entered my life, my friend and his brother both offered their support. They found my teetering and fear rather frustrating, but admitted that I am alone in needing to make those choices which are best for myself and my children. I respect them both, even if they have their own faults or have let my bitterness taint their feelings about my husband. I feel guilty that my candid talk has hurt a friendship because my husband failed to act for so long, and I spoke too much. I hope that nothing is so damaged that it cannot be fixed in time, but I have learned to admit that I cannot fix everything.
Last night I was told that some of my personal secrets had been shared and was upset. I jumped to conclusions because of what I was told and made an accusation. I was wrong and still need to fully apologize and make amends if able. I accept that my actions caused this. It sucks. Actually, it hurts like hell. I also know that my apology to this point has not satisfied the angry party and that means my best ally in this journey to find myself may well have been lost. I loath that the truth is not so fair... but it is still 1000x better than a lie. I am hopeful that I can have honesty from all involved and let it make my choices clear, but I fear I may need to decide between husband and friends and that hurts greatly.
I spent much of my morning thus-far researching the legalities of divorce, separation, and custody of my children were I to go with that route. My husband has tried to make an effort of late, but last night made me question the validity of those words and actions. I refuse to be toyed with and need to be clear when I make my choices. Financially and emotionally I am vulnerable and that means going through all of this scares me. But my kids need the best family they can have, even if it is one without their father and mother married.