Thursday, July 21, 2011

Real life: We're not 17 anymore

That reality has smacked me in the face a few times as of late.

Sometimes it has taken my breath away momentarily. Other times it has left it's ugly sting for several days or even weeks to remind me how fragile life and relationships really are.

Last night I had dinner with a good friend who after much alluding and only with the realization that I could be understanding, did she share that her husband has a porn addiction. Which he's been hiding for their entire relationship that spans a couple years shy of a decade.

In fact he didn't even know it was an addiction until she pointed out that if you can't stop while you're at work you have a problem.

It was difficult to hear her finally pour out the anger, hurt, devastation and betrayal she'd been hiding since she found out six months ago. It is clearly still raw for her and the anger and hurt on the surface.

I sat there letting her vent and trying to only listen and give a few words of my own.

The kicker for me was that at this point her greatest hardship was dealing with her bitterness with her church. Over the fact that one would daren't share their problem. That people better not find out (not so much her caring but more the people that were there that couldn't handle their perceptions being thwarted).

This evenings open conversation of truth comes 6-9 months after another of my friends revealed to another mutual friend and myself that she was having an affair on her husband.

She told us everything. Her faults, her lies, her truth, at least what we knew of.

I remember leaving the coffee shop that night and immediately texting Wally saying 'We need to talk as soon as I get home'. The talk wasn't regarding my friend, it was about us.

A similar conversation took place this evening when I got home.

It was the 'honestly I won't get mad', 'I just want you to tell me', 'if there's a problem can we talk about it' talk.

This hasn't actually been the first time we shared this particular conversation. Another good friend of mine found this out about her husband several years ago and was enraged so really last night was a 'has anything changed from last time' talk.

Some women that may have been deceived already in their lives about their partners actions may think it naive to believe my husband when we tells me his truth. But I'll be honest, his truth isn't always what I want to hear.

When I came home last night Wally was not in much of a mood to chat openly about is deepest thoughts and feelings on such things. Instead I could tell something was wrong, that I couldn't know and that he was upset and frustrated with my questions.

Can I just say that's not exactly what I girl whats to be faced with after a 2 hour conversation with a good friend on the secrets of her mate.

I quickly recognized his behaviour as last fall I had seen the exact same thing and had the exact same pit in my stomach grower deeper every moment of his avoidance.

It was the night after our car accident and we had been on our way home from picking out a new car. We'd put an offer in on a house and were nervously thinking about home ownership again. We were chatting about the finances and how the 'emergency' fund we wanted to have in place this time before buying a house wasn't quite up to snuff. We'd been down the road of owning and fixing up a home and knew the importance of having some savings.

Wally started out by saying: 'There's something I need to talk to you about.'

Eva has butterflies develop from unknown caterpillars. Some thing's wrong with his tone. He's been keeping a secret ... for a while.

Wally: 'I didn't' want to mention anything. Since we're thinking about buying this house I think I have to tell you.'

Eva getting hyper and panicked (what's new?!) 'What's wrong?! Are you losing your job?! Are you sick?!'


'Is there another woman?'

Wally tortures me with explanation (as he always does before getting to the answer): 'A few months ago I got approached to do a contract that would bring in a couple thousand dollars. I took it. During your work weekends and weeknight working I've been working on the contract.'

He continued ... 'I wanted to buy the anniversary band that you've wanted since we got married. I wanted to finally surprise you and have it wrapped up in the Christmas tree on Christmas moring.'


Wally: 'I just think that maybe the money should go in our emergency fund instead if we're buying the house sooner than we planned. I thought you should know about the money.'

Eva: stunned.

Wally: 'I even went to a jewelry store and picked one out. I thought it would be a great surprise .... and there'd be a little extra for me too.' *smiled all coy like*

Eva: 'Wow. That would have been amazing. That is amazing. I can't believe you'd do that for me. Thank you.' (still in shock).

In the end the money went into the emergency fund and there's still no ring but the better gift was hearing the story of how hard Wally had worked to try and give me something rather frivolous that I'd wanted since we picked out our $59 wedding bands.

I'll never forget it.

Last night as I gave give a quick mini interrogation while on hyper sensitive 'my friend just got stabbed in the heart by her husband you better be on the clear pal' alert. I knew we needed to just take the opportunity to chat as we always do when devastating and not so devastating news hits one or both of us.

I had a feeling and a hope that my fears would be averted. So in my first 3 questions I asked:

'Is it your job? Is it your family? Is it a surprise for me that isn't working out?'

He just looked me in the eye and said 'It's fine, don't worry about it.'

Of course after I share with him my evening and time went by he spilled the beans...

He had bought an ipod touch for me on line that got delivered and didn't work. He was going to have to return it. He used his own money to pay for half of it (we give ourselves an allowance each month and he does wheeling and dealing with his gaming stuff and contract work).

I actually hadn't asked for one. In fact when he said he thought I would get a lot out of having one I sort of brushed the idea off. He continued to point out all of the reasons I would love it: our budgeting, my running, my weight training and of course beginning an addiction he had with Bitizens.

Since I was so luke warm on it (because I'm no good with technology at the best of times) he made the decision himself and ordered one to surprise me.

Another one of his tries at a surprise foiled again.

The heart behind the matter wasn't lost on me though.

While I was out prepping myself for a lengthy, honest discussion that could sting a little with truth. Wondering all the while if our marriage was indeed ok, growing and even good, my husband was at home conspiring to finally pull off his first huge surprise of our 10 year marriage.

I told him this morning it didn't matter. Nothing about the ring last year or the ipod thingy yesterday mattered.

When he left for work I was sitting in my writing chair where he usually kneels down to kiss me good bye. This time I stood and met him at the door, skipped the kiss and gave him a two armed tightly squeezed hug and whispered 'Let's be married to each other forever. Promise we'll always talk and we'll always try'.

He whispered back 'I love hearing those words. Absolutely'.

We hugged. He left.

I said 'Thank you'.

This is real life.