A very simple equation:
He chooses lies = I will leave
I cannot take the lying. As long as he lies, I will never believe he is sober. Well, as long as he lies, he ISN”T sober. He is a ‘dry drunk’. Maybe. He is still thinking and acting like an addict. He is still unwilling to face the consequences of his actions and justifies lies, deceit, and twisting the truth to control other people, namely, me.
I do not accept living with someone under those conditions. He says it is because of the way I react. I cannot fix the issues he grew up with in his family. I can only try to fix the way I respond now. I wasn’t responding that way before he sabotaged his good fortune. He made it a self fulfilling prophesy. Now, I DO react strongly to his lies due to the trauma I am trying to cope with.
I read a book on trauma, looking to find ways to work on my own issues. They keep acting as if the trauma is in the past. As long as he lies, my trauma continues in the present. It isn’t about perceived lack of safety. His lies make it clear that I am NOT safe with him. He behaves in addictive fashion and there can be no trust, no safety, no relationship with an active addict.
The book put me back in the mode of understanding, not blaming, just seeing the twisted life inside him. The pain of his growing up that still haunts him, still runs his internal world. Yet, I grieve that somehow I chose this twisted person for someone to love. I still don’t understand what is wrong with me that I would do that. I found so many things in that book that spoke to me but I don’t know how to address what I cannot find. Why in the hell would I want a lazy, lying, manipulative, controlling, resentful, abusive, passive/aggressive, cheating, self loathing, hurtful addict????? As I am now merely a mirror for his damage, is my damage that bad, that someone so selfish and cruel would be a mirror for my damage?
Will I never be free? Of my mother? Of my childhood pain? Of those things I don’t even see which must run me from behind the scenes?
I am willing to try. I hope it is not part of a passive/aggressive ‘holier than thou.’ The book made me wonder if that is what I have been doing, holier than my mother, looking down on my mother by trying to be more virtuous. I couldn’t trust her to be a real mother. I had to become that for myself. She couldn’t be trusted. She couldn’t love. Is that all I am, then? Reacting to her lack of love? Never really loving? How would I know the difference? What would that difference, being a good person not as a passive/aggressive ‘so there,’ feel like? I want my efforts to be real, to be about love, not about virtue as a form of spite. How will I know?
By how scared I feel, rather than how angry? To let go my anger? Won’t I feel even more afraid of his lies and his abuse if I really truly do that? How will I protect myself from mean people?
We made a list. At least I can do my best to keep my side of that street clean, keep to my part of the list. I hope that is not part of my passive/aggressive ‘I will do it better, will you?’ I guess I will see if he keeps his part of those agreements. If not, then I know what I will have to do.
I love him. Maybe that is just conditioned love from being treated cruelly as a child, more cruelly than even I ever realized. Still, I will hurt terribly, if I am forced by his actions to follow through on the only choice I have left. Oh, I could choose to stay, and become physically and mentally ill trying to live with a controlling, manipulative, lying, blaming addict.
Sometimes I see a real person beneath all that twisted, protective, selfish actions. But that person is not in control. That person is still just a facade. Behind the scenes, nothing substantial has changed.
I want this marriage to work. I didn’t invest all these years, all these tears, all this emotion and money and life on a whim. I will do my best over the next few weeks to offer my best, to know that I really tried. I do not expect miracles. I do expect difference. Lying is the basis for maintaining all addictions. He lies about smoking to look good, to cover his tracks, to not face the consequences of his actions. He lies about his eating habits, same thing. So why wouldn’t he lie about his other, most serious addiction? That is a fantasy I will not buy into.
I cannot save him. I can only provide a safe place, as safe as I can, given that I have no safety when dealing with a compulsive liar. I can only save myself, and my sanity, and my family. I will not stay in a relationship where the addiction is calling all the shots.
I will love with real love. I will let go my anger and my passive/aggressive ‘I’m better than’. I will figure out how to really love and not just expect love because I am better and I deserve it.
I want to.
I have to.
I have to give it my best, my real best. Even if it doesn’t work, even if he cannot stop lying and destroys what is left of this relationship, I have to know I gave it my real best. I hope I can figure out what that is, but keeping a ‘so there, see how good I am compared to you’ attitude in the back of my mind cannot be good for anything. I hope he reads that book, but I need to read it myself again, and find out how to fix where I am broken. I have to practice real loving behavior so I know what it feels like.
So I can learn the difference.
I am really scared.
Lies hurt so badly. Lies are the one thing I cannot stand. Lies are the one thing he really brought to this relationship. As long as the discussion/topic/reality is about our relationship, he lies. Anything about his addictions, he will lie. And because as long as his primary relationship is with his addictions, I will never get to be the one he loves, the one he doesn’t want to live without, the one who deserves his respect and honesty. He trusts his addictions, loves his addictions more, much more, than he loves me. If I made him choose, he would choose them.
For my sanity, for my healing, for my sake, I will have to make him choose. Not out of spite. Not out of ‘holier than thou’. Not out of anger.
Out of love for myself, and my future.
I must forgive myself for choosing someone who would hurt me so much. I must forgive myself for recreating a life filled with lies. I must accept my pain.
Even the bitter is sweet?
Ow. Ow. Ow.