You know what I'm having the most trouble with? Coming up with an appropriate title for this little marital tale of woe. Any input is welcome and appreciated.
Okay, here's where things get weird. There we were in our living room having the most painful discussion of our whole relationship, dare I say our whole lives. He'd just admitted to me he had feelings for another woman. Although I was shocked, hurt and reeling, I had to pause for a minute and remember: I know what he's feeling. I too had feelings for someone else and while I'd never planned on letting it go any further than where it was, currently on hold, I realized Brian was being more honest with me than I was with him.
Not that I was ready to admit anything yet. Because although NOW he knows the whens and hows of everything, I felt like I was in a much more vulnerable position at that moment and wasn't exactly in a sharing mood. I wasn't in love with the other guy. Unfortunately Brian's feelings for the other girl had already gone well beyond the point of physical attraction. And that was bad news bears, right there. How much easier for all parties concered if he'd done the normal damn thing and just had a one night stand like everybody else? No harm, no foul; what I don't know can't hurt me. But noooo...in his head he was in limbo hell, kind of waiting to get caught. Based on my temperment and personality, he expected to be immediately tossed out on his ass, thus having the decision made for him. He was not expecting the reaction he got, not at all.
See, in some small part of my effed up head, I actually understood and sympathized with him. Our relationship had been left unattended and had almost imperceptibly gone into a rut. We're human; we notice other people of the opposite sex. But instead following that all-important rule where you keep anyone else at a safe and appropriate distance, we obviously let ourselves get close to them. Although I try very hard not to give relationship advice, I can say with complete authority I would not recommend this. Unless of course you're a masochist who loves prolonged periods of heartache and chaos. Then by all means.
I asked the cliche'd question every wife in my position from the beginning of time has always asked. Do you love her? He looked at the floor. Uh oh. He answered:I think so. Then the inevitable,Do you still love me? This time he looked me in the eye. Yes. (The first flutter of hope entered my heart, though alas it would be very short-lived.) But. And here's where he started saying a bunch of stuff I'd pay large amounts of money to be like that Jim Carrey movie where you could have parts of your memory erased forever. Things like, I haven't felt close to you in a long time. When I'm with her I feel loved. We always hold hands and sit together - when was the last time you and I sat on the same couch or hugged while we're sleeping?
Excuse me while I go throw up dinner. Okay, much better.
The sucky part was, he'd made all good points. I couldn't argue. That didn't stop me from arguing; trust me - it had become obvious very quickly I stood a good chance of losing him, becoming one more of those thousands of divorce statistics, where we'd lived together happily twice as long as we'd been married. I always thought those stories were so ridiculous. (There's that pride again.) That was not what I wanted; not even close. I quickly realized how stupid and lazy I'd been. Taking for granted that I could coast along on the history of our closeness - marital cruise control - have my little fling and no one would be the wiser. Ever hear of karma? While I don't practice any forms of Eastern religion, I'm a true believer in that crazy shit. My Name is Earl? Yeah; my name is Kim, motherfucker, and I'm here to tell you that crazy shit is real. Real sucky.
And so it was we were at our first stalemate. As much as I wanted answers and a resolution, nothing was going to be solved that night. After hashing and rehashing, yelling, crying, pacing, and hand-wringing, he settled in on the couch to try and catch an hour or two of sleep before having to get up and go to work. And that's the difference between men and women right there. Sleep? I don't sleep that well on a good night, let alone that night. I've seen him fall asleep during a hurricane that was threatening to blow our house down...although I'm pretty sure in this case he wanted to be done talking more than anything else.
If I was smart, I would've tried to sleep as well. I didn't know it then, but I was about to need as much energy as I could muster in order to simply function every day. I was still naive enough that night to think things couldn't get any worse than they already were. Ha.