First, let me preface this post by saying that I do love Bill, otherwise I wouldn't still be here after all of this crap (and after actually calling and speaking to divorce attorneys). I still believe that we are soul mates, which makes all of this that much more painful. We've been through a lot in our 10 years together and have always stuck it out, but it's come time that I get this off my chest because it's been eating at me for years. YEARS. I feel like I'm at the end of my rope already and not sure how much more of this I can take.
I decided to go ahead and write about this because it will help me - both in the short term and long term. I hope to overcome this with him and be able to look back at this post, proud of what we were able to achieve together. My intention is not to complain or bash. My intention is to be real. To acknowledge what I feel. Even though we are soul mates, that doesn't mean we are problem-free. I also took into consideration what Logan and Carter might get out of this if they read it in the future. I want them to know that marriage is very hard work and their parents are not perfect, but we try. I don't want them to think poorly of their Dad - quite the opposite. I want them to see the realities of marriage and relationships, of mistakes and hurt, to learn conflict resolution, to teach them the skills we never learned growing up, and that they can make changes before it's too late.
So here it goes...
I don't like being lied to. Who does, really? But me? I. Can. Not. Handle. Being lied to. I'm sure my past has a lot to do with how strongly I feel about this, but that's who I am. I need the truth more than most people. Truth equals security for me. Dishonesty and mistrust make my head spin. I often feel like I have a hard enough time trusting people to begin with, then when the person I love the most lies to me - it hurts more than anything. I don't even have the words to describe how it feels. For me, it's earth shattering.
There is a long history of dishonesty here that (unknowingly for me) started at the beginning. When Bill & I first met, he was a smoker. I told him that I wasn't going to date a smoker (for reasons listed in the linked post) and he quit. Or so I thought. Throughout the years he's lied to me about it, over and over again. Bill’s sacrifice of giving up smoking is so significant to me because it demonstrated that I was special enough to someone to give up something difficult for. Since living a life where I was often threatened to “give away”, not valued or respected, this sacrifice was monumental. After discovering that Bill picked up smoking time and time again, it devalues that significance for me. It feels like the ultimate betrayal by making me feel like that sacrifice was never real to begin with or that it wasn’t that big of a deal, so it’s easy to go back on his word. I understand the addiction and that it's difficult and that there are going to be slip-ups. But add dishonesty to the mix, where I ask him and I am lied to straight to my face, all of this becomes more than "just smoking".
The lies extended beyond smoking. There have been lies about our finances, lies about how involved his parents were in our business (more than I even knew about what was going on in our lives), lies upon lies. It's now to the point where I don't know what's real and what's not. For years, I developed the skills of a private investigator. I've seriously wondered if I should go into this field after the kids are in school, because I live it everyday. My gut tells me when something is not right and even though I might not find the truth right away, I always find it sooner or later. Always. I'm tired of being the suspicious wife.
I hate being lied to because it makes me feel like a sucker. It makes me feel weak and like I should have known better than to trust. With the years of lies about so many things, it makes me wonder why I'm not worthy of the truth. This should be a foundation of not only a marriage, but a friendship. Everyone deserves the truth. It's a common respect. The fact that I don't get this from our marriage cuts me to my core.
In the past few years, I've learned that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I've learned that the art of deception has been taught and lived for years before me. That this learned behavior is now a habit, just like smoking. The fear of dealing with the reality is extreme, so deception is the go-to coping skill. What boggles my mind is how hard it is to change this habit. When it's obvious how hurtful the dishonesty is, to me it seems like it would be easy to stop. Who would want to hurt their family so much? I know he doesn't want to, but I can't wrap my mind around it. I know it, but I can't understand it. Because every lie makes the reality worse. Every time there is more to deal with than just the issue at hand. It makes every situation more complicated, more stressful, more intense than it needed to be to begin with because I can't handle it. "The truth will set you free" rings so true for our family.
But, maybe I do understand more than I think I do. Maybe I tough it out not just out of love, but knowing how much our childhood carries over to our adulthood. He probably does the same because even though we both work on our "stuff", my history still haunts me regularly, even if it's not as much as years ago. Maybe knowing how hard it is for me to change helps to understand how hard it is for him. Maybe that's why we both keep on keepin' on.