We’ve Come so Far but Here We Are

Only five years in and one baby. Almost exactly half of my first failed marriage. My Ex left me. He broke my heart. It was a pain so deep and raw, I would negotiate whether to step in front of passing traffic, every day for months. The convincing reason not to was a therapist’s warning, “children do not get over a parent’s suicide.” This time it’s different. We sit in the counselor’s office. I feel spent. Done. I want it to stop. The excuses. Lies. I never signed up to marry a sex addict. He promised to get help and he did: a counselor and the Sex Addicts Anonymous program. I was forgiving. Understanding. Patient, even. For years. I believed the unbelievable: Undershirts from overnight business trips that have lipstick marks and makeup residue on them; social media sites with contact lists like AIM and WhatsApp on his computer and iPhone; his need to have his phone in his pocket or at bedside or in the bathroom with him; and, among other things, he finds a reason to spend a large chunk of time away from home every day. The expectations are clearly different for me. If I run an errand or want to see a movie that doesn’t interest him, he questions me relentlessly about who I am going with, where I’m going, when I’ll be back, and every meticulous detail. He’ll even call and text while I’m out! I’m not the sex addict. I’ve never betrayed his trust. Trust seems to be the foundation for a loving relationship. Without trust, I’m finding it difficult to like him or spend time with him. Can marriage counseling help what seems insurmountable?

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