Friday, February 5, 2010

That which does not kill us

If I’m going to do this blog thing right, if I’m going to be the kind of blogger I admire, I have to write this story that I have been telling myself I cannot write. I have to write it as well as I can without some particulars in order to protect the innocent, and the not so innocent, namely me.

From sometime around 2005 to sometime in 2007, I had this friend. We’ll call the friend M. Dan and I were going through some stuff with work and money and that crap that can make life hard sometimes. M and I had chemistry. Our friendship was a good one and I looked forward to seeing M, maybe too much.

In December of 2006, Austin quit nursing. The hormonal high I had been on through my pregnancy and breastfeeding came to an abrupt end. I started spiraling, emotionally. I became fixated on M in ways I shouldn’t have. One day in early 2007, standing at the kitchen sink, I told Dan I had feelings for M and that I didn’t know if we should be married anymore.

His world crumbled right in front of my eyes. In a matter of seconds. From just the few words I had said while our baby cried in the next room.

I was incredibly confused about what to do. Dan and I fought. He was so hurt. I was somewhat numb. I told M what I had said to Dan, about the feelings I had for M. M was incredibly delicate with me. M said that our friendship was enough. M didn’t want anything else. M is not a relationship person. I am. M told me that I was obviously going through a hard time implied that maybe my feelings were misdirected. Maybe I was going through some postpartum depression.

Nothing physical ever happened between M and I.

My friend Lori was the one I talked to every day about what was happening. When Dan refused to leave. When Dan and I talked and fought and cried everyday for two weeks. When I called in sick to work because I couldn’t drive away from Dan without finishing what had to be said. Lori got me through that time, and that was part of why I felt indebted to her after her arrest.

What I did to Dan kills me to this day. The way I pulled the rug out from under him. Shook his world so that he couldn’t trust it anymore. It took a long time for us to even begin to get past what had happened. And even now, if he senses I am being distant, he begins to worry.

There are so many complications that I can’t get into here, because of my job and how that fits in. Because I still have to take care with Dan.

M and I no longer talk or see each other. The universe took care of that for me by way of a change in circumstances. Thank god, too. Our friendship became incredibly awkward after I came forward with the feelings and struggles I was having.

Another good friend told me that our marriage was probably stronger for what had happened. I don’t know if that’s true. It doesn’t seem true. To me it just seems like I did something terrible to someone I love and that I came dangerously close to ripping my children’s world apart.

I learned a lot about myself, my weaknesses and faults. I learned a lot about my husband and the power and responsibility that comes with being someone’s partner in life. So maybe in that way our marriage is stronger.


Petit fleur said...

Wow, that is intense.

It's amazing all the things that we are not told, like just because you love someone doesn't mean you'll never have feelings for anyone else ever. I think it's sort of normal what you were feeling, you just didn't know it.

I think that nothing is cut and dry, or not much anyway... We're all connected and we're all fallible.

michelle said...

life is hard. marriage is hard. we stumble through and hopefully learn a thing or two along the way

Bethany said...

Thanks for sharing this Steph.
I can't even imagine how confusing and heartwrenching this was, for both of you and I can see how it would still haunt the relationship. Good for you for being honest back then, for trying to figure out what was going on.

Ms. Moon said...

I thought I had commented on this one, dearheart. Dang. But what I wanted to say is that yes- we all write what we think will present our own selves in the best light, even if we don't admit that, even TO ourselves.
And all of us go through times that come THIS close to cracking the sweet, fragile egg of our loves. I think we all do.
You were brave to share this and I think that yes, your marriage will be the stronger for what happened, eventually, even if it's hard to see now.

May said...

Oh Steph, that was really brave of you to write about. I'm sorry you had to go through that whole hard confusing thing. I love you.

Ashley Hawkes said...

I stumbled upon your blog from Flux Capacitor. I love that you blogged about this. That has to take guts. Take comfort in knowing that I too, have dealt with the same thing in my marriage. Creepy, really, I felt like I was reading about myself! Yet, my husband and I have found the good in what happened and pressed forward. We wade through the hurt and we hold to each other and do all that we can to keep going, not only for us but for our children, who deserve to see us happy. Our marriage is not perfect, but we have made it fun, and we are happy. No matter what. xo

Mwa said...

Honesty and marriage... you can't know what would have happened or not had you not said anything. Maybe you needed to say that to shake your marriage alive. Or to stop yourself doing something you didn't want. Thank you for writing this. It makes us all think. xxx

Maggie May said...

What a damn honest post. Our emotions are so fragile, so fucking confusing, and love and lust and add godforbid hormones in there, or spirituality or though! life, really, and it all can upend. I commend you on walking through it. Maybe a great therapist would be good to help you guys mend the cracks. I am looking for one :)