In my therapy session last week, I said “If it wasn’t for the past, JP would be the perfect husband (now)”. My therapist said maybe this is what it took to get him there. Hmmm. I think she tries to get me to see the silver lining to this whole ordeal. I’m still not to the point of thinking this all “happened for a reason”. She is right, though, in that the last D-Day was the final straw and the catalyst to my husband’s change.
I’m in the place of betrayal trauma recovery that isn’t written about very often, when the betraying partner is actually working recovery, isn’t relapsing, and is a totally new, better person. It’s a place of in between where recovery work isn’t all-consuming but the behaviors and lies aren’t far enough in the past to not be a part of our lives. We read about getting to the other side, but there’s no workbook for transitioning to the happily ever after. Maybe that’s because there aren’t many happily-ever-afters or because those people move on and don’t share their stories.
Back to the perfect husband comment. JP and I are still learning to practice our new emotional and communication skills, and of course no one is perfect. JP is however what my coworkers call a “Hallmark husband”. We’ve always shared chores. He’s much more attentive now. He sends text during the workday just to say hi. He tells me how proud of me he is and all the things he loves about me. He planned the perfect weekend getaway for our anniversary last month. He’s always considering my needs and he’s tuned into my emotions. We enjoy doing even the mundane parts of life together.
I still read blogs and look at Facebook pages for betrayal trauma, but so many of the things they talk about don’t apply to me anymore. I’m finding that some of them, like inequality and gender roles, never did. I wonder if the time will come when I don’t need trauma support and when can say I have the perfect husband with no disclaimer.