Feeling Invisible

Claire and I went to counseling again last night. Topics were mostly around the wedding. We discussed Claire’s grieving for her marriage. We discussed some of her trying to pay more attention. We discussed how I felt as well.

Going through a wedding after an affair in your own marriage is a strange experience. You hear the words, but they take on a different meaning now. There is an emptiness. A finite length of time where forever used to be. For Claire there was also an anger that this was all taken from her. The fairy tale is gone. She would alternate between anger and sadness. I feel really bad that I made this happen to her. She doesn’t deserve this.

The grieving doesn’t just happen all at once. Claire had processed it earlier, but the wedding brought it right back. I expect there will be more instances of this in the future. I’m going to skip over the grieving but we spent a lot of time on it in therapy. It was a lot of sorry’s and hurt feelings.

Another topic that we hit on was how I felt during the wedding. Relating it back to Gottman it was clearly Contempt – one of the four horsemen. I wanted to stay in the moment to try to understand how I felt in terms we had been learning while at the wedding, but this terms were too much for Claire. We tried discussing it before counseling, but it didn’t go anywhere.

During counseling we made more progress. What it keeps boiling down to is that she makes me feel invisible even when we are right next to each other. As if she can’t see me. It’s actually kind of crazy to think about. It is also a theme that has come up quite a lot during counseling. The way she makes me feel invisible and unknown.

Looking back I can see how Meredith waltzed right into that. She never made me feel invisible. It was that easy. Sydney is doing much the same, although not nearly as well. Claire is still very much struggling.

Later that night Claire asked me how she could connect in that way, what does she need to do? Frankly I don’t know exactly. It seems from my limited experience that a person has that in their personality or they don’t. I don’t know how. Claire said it sounds like I’m asking her to have an ESP connection with me which will never happen. I told her it isn’t that at all.

Then I brought up an analogy. Think of Sherlock Holmes. Everyone thought he was some sort of magician, but really he just paid attention and anticipated people’s behavior. That’s what I do with Claire, and I showed her dozens of examples. I ask her endless numbers of questions to know her. So many that it actually drives her crazy. But I do it for a reason. I’m learning about her. I know so much I can predict many things about her. I redirect her quite often too, another thing she hates, but I can do it accurately because I pay attention. I know when she has gone off track. I know her behaviors and mannerisms.

What I want is someone to know me. To understand me. To ask me questions. So that we can live in a world that is more of an ESP connection. I had that with Meredith. I loved the questions. It is totally my way of thinking. It seems so normal and natural. She was able to predict my behaviors better than I could and it made me so happy. She was always one step ahead of me. Something I’ve never experienced in an intimate relationship.

Boiling it down I do not feel known or understood in my marriage. It makes me feel invisible and unloved. Without the love I can see that I ended up in the arms of other women. Something I’m not proud of. I guess the question is if I can ever feel known and loved in my marriage. I don’t know the answer to that.

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26 thoughts on “Feeling Invisible

  1. I understand what you are saying and that sucks in a marriage but, and this is a big but,….because you cheated, this need of yours has to be on the back burner. Your betrayal (and continued betrayal that she doesn’t even know about yet) is at the front. How much that hurt her and how it changed everything. This is going to make you feel more invisible but you created this. You’ll have to be patient if you want this to work and there isn’t a time limit. It will be as long as it takes. Once she has found some healing and possible trust back in you (which is impossible to have with you are still cheating) you can start repairing the stuff that’s important to you. She’s willing to work with you. That is a huge gift. HUGE! If only you could’ve addressed this in counseling before an affair happened.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I agree you feel you invisIble I understand what you are saying. Claire seems to want to work on herself and understand you. And that will take time. BUT if you are not invested in this relationship then no matter what Claire does or doesn’t do, you will always find it not enough because you are not really looking for a solution just justifications to say “Hey I tried we cannot make it work” so now lets go our seperate ways. If this the case you should end your marriage now. But if you really want to reconcile give both of you some time to facilitate your marriage. And stay away from Sydney and any other women.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. How can Claire know you, when you spend your life deceiving her? She has no idea who you are anymore, and frankly why should she at this point. You are just as bad as her for not communicating and you’re still screwing around behind her back so how can she know you when you are constantly lying to her? It’s a joke that you go to counselling. For what, when you are still whimpering over Sydney. Try dropping that into counselling and see what happens. You can’t even tell the truth to the counsellor so I think you are done for as far as I can see.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. If she has never invested in knowing you, she never wanted to. And that kind of says it all given where you are now and how you feel. The question is, why didn’t you deal with it sooner. An affair won’t patch it up or fill the gaps as you have discovered.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t believe that. A desire to do something and having the skills or knowledge to do it cam be separate. Why didn’t I deal with it sooner? Exactly. I wish I underwtood this all earlier when the risks were smaller. I was young and dumb.

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      3. *facepalm*

        I’m going to do some armchair psychology.

        Somehow your decision to continue the con at couseling and the farce of wanting to work it out with Claire is her fault for not asking you questions? You quote Gottman but you’re not applying any of it.

        You offer her no real vulnerable. Wanting her to be a sub is not vulnerability. It is the exact opposite of vulnerability. It is the exact opposite of being a Dom. IMO a woman submits because she either trusts you to care for her while she subs and/or because she is getting a need met. Regardless her submission is her power over the Dom. A Dom has no power…and to take her power without her permission and submission is rape.

        You hide your needs and wants and then blame Claire for not asking the right questions the right way at the right time. You want her to carry so much weight and responsibility for your choices.

        I read your posts over and over trying to see things from your perspective. The reality is you are not a Dom. You are a sub. Over and over again you give your power away hoping someone makes you feel better about your choices and your life…and then pout when you don’t get your way.

        You want to be known but you’ve lied over and over to Claire, Merideth, and Sydney about the truth of who you are…

        Ugh. Now I want to throat punch you.

        FFS…your posts make ME want to drink. I keep reading you and thinking, please please please please PLEASE don’t let me be this unaware about my crap.

        In some respects you are the reason I’ve thrown myself onto my doctor’s couch. I don’t want to be you…

        *goes outside and pisses into the wind*

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Counseling is not a con. We are both learning a lot. We are working through Gottman via a video series. Each week we are applying more of it.

        The rest of this is rather rude and not worth my time to correct. I think the threat of violence is uncalled for.

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      5. Gottman is truly a relationship genius. If you genuinely want your marriage to work you have the right ingredients except one (which I have already mentioned in a previous comment and it does not need to be restated here). Knowing that you had an affair before you got married explains so much!

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  4. Do you see this is justification? You are putting yourself first. You are making this all about you. You’re disappointed that she’s not making you first, when the reality is, she’s traumatized. You did that to her, and now you’re wanting her to ask you questions about yourself.

    All while still cheating on her with another woman.

    You’re justifying, making Claire the bad one, so you can leave with a clear conscience.

    Face it, you don’t want to reconcile. If you did, you would be putting her first. You want to leave. Why are you dragging this out? Kids?

    Truth is the key. You are stuck in your web of lies and justification and blame.

    I’m curious. How are you physically? Sleeping well? Or no? In the midst the affair, my husbands had chest pains, stomach pains. Did not sleep well. The split of his dual life was affecting him physically. Just wondering.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My ex also couldn’t sleep, looked like he’d aged 1,000 years, and was a complete asshole with a short fuse most of the time, even with the kids. That was a great question! I’d assume Claire might be in the loose 20lbs in 3 weeks affair fast….unintentional but real!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh geez. I can see that happening. I am not those things. Just to clarify not every man or every person in an affair is the same. We are all different people with different personalities and ways of dealing with things. I do not have a short fuse with nearly anyone. It’s not my style. Hence patient man.

        Claire initially did that for about a week then went the other way. Now she’s more stabilized and going to her workout class regularly which I’m supporting her in doing. Exercise helps a lot.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Good to know and I agree, every situation and person isn’t the same. I need to say that having the first affair with Meredith and then moving on to Sydney is something that my ex did too and his second was happening while pretending to work on our marriage. Those things are similar and I’m telling you finding out about the second one didn’t feel like the first. The first one destroyed me, lived in me, and I had to fight it off every step of the way. The second one brought an anger out that I didn’t know existed in me. I HATED him. I didn’t shed a single tear. I didn’t want to ever see his face, hear his voice…nothing. I wanted to be hypnotized to forget his existence. Over time, and because I love our children more than hated him, I forgave him for them and for me but I can see where people could live in that hate forever. This is how children have to live with parents who are never in the same room, never speak, and never celebrate them together. You’re risking everything with this Sydney person who is essentially nobody. She could walk out of your life tomorrow and be easily forgotten but your children and your wife never will. THIS is why I scream at you, call you an idiot, tell you to get your head examined, and many other awful things! I just can’t get through to you what you’re risking! You can think your wife could never be that person. I promise you, I’m not either. I’d never hated anyone in my entire life. I don’t believe in it but I loathed the man I vowed to love forever. It scared me and yet I held on to it because I felt nothing else.

        Our son’s birthday was one week after I discovered the second affair and I had to see him. He tried to touch me and I jumped back from him like a reflex. His hands that once meant love were gross, were evil and I wanted him gone. He cried and I felt nothing. Nothing. I’m not that person. I’m full of love but I had nothing left for him.

        Your confusion and spinning and justifying are all things he did too. So while I agree everyone who commits adultery is different, the pain it brings is all very similar. It was the worst feelings I’d ever have. This was a person I loved and trusted with everything and I was deceived. Duped. Tricked. I question every event before this as being real. Can you imagine looking back and thinking every emotion, every important moment was all fake. The love you trusted and counted on wasn’t real. Can you imagine what that does? This is what your wife is experiencing. The wedding you attended, she now sees the words and moments from your own wedding as lies. That big moment full of happy moments doesn’t exist anymore because it wasn’t real. It was all lies on your part. Do you get why so many of us have tried any tactic to wake you up?! I’m sure if you look back you can see how our tones have changed over time. It’s because you don’t get what you’re risking. Claire may not be your wife forever but she will be in your life forever. What if she hated you for the rest of it? What if she wanted you erased? What if she couldn’t let go of hating you forever? Is Sydney worth never, ever being in the same room with your wife ever again. What if the only communication was through parenting application suggested by and admissible to the court where you only email each other regarding kid exchange, school information and doctor appointments. Nothing else ever. Never any joy. These are the gigantic risks your taking over some unavailable woman because you’re lost and not because you love this woman.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. That isn’t what’s going on. I am actually trying to understand how this came to be. I never saw my life going this direction. I know I made mistakes but I made mistakes because I was in an unhappy marriage. I’m learning a lot about myself and my relationship and trying to understand the why. I’m tired of how we just brushed everything under the rug and could never talk about things for years and years. No more. I’m analyzing, discussing our relationship and what works and what doesn’t. I’m looking inside myself to try to understand what it is that I need out of a relationship so that I will know if this one is salvageable. Neither me nor Claire want to spend two years working on fixing something that will never work. We both want to get to the underlying drivers if at all possible. So yes I am looking at myself but no they is not just to blame someone.

      I’m in some of the greatest shape of my life actually. I don’t have trouble sleeping, just getting to bed. There is a lot to do around the house with two kids. Hard to get to bed on time when they are up so early. No chest pains. No stomach aches. Sydney does cause a lot of emotional stress, but it can’t go on like this much longer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very interesting person, PM.

        My husband said to me in counseling, when I asked him “Why?” He was very humble, almost sad when he answered. “Because I wanted to be liked.” I didn’t know he thought I didn’t. We were busy with kids and life.

        He wanted to be liked. He wanted to be seen.

        I think we all do.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Several people have repeatedly made the same valid point. You can’t even begin to salvage anything until you set some boundaries for yourself and stop screwing around on your wife. In my family if you cheat they find you in a shallow grave in Sicily and your spouse wears a red dress to your funeral- but seriously- you’re an adult. Put the swoony fantasy teenaged feelings around the affair excitement away and do the right thing. At the end of your life do you want to be a decent guy? Or the one who got away with deceiving the ones you supposedly loved?

        Liked by 3 people

  5. So, your invisibility is making you go to other women who make you feel visible?
    They make you feel alive and young again. The other women are interested in you…. They are interested in what you have to say and they want to get to know you. You laugh and you can be yourself around them. The old you…….before you married Claire. This gives you exhilaration and a sense of excitement. Something you no longer experience with Claire. These women make you feel wanted and make you feel appreciated.
    I am sorry for saying this but, you will continually cheat on Claire. You are never going to find happiness in your marriage. Do the right thing and stop giving her false hope…

    Liked by 5 people

  6. I am going to assume that you are who you say you are. I get on Instagram once or twice a day and today I stumbled across Jennifer Garner‘s pictures that she made with cancer patients. I started thinking about the doctors and nurses who were not in the pictures but who are there every day saving lives. I don’t know what kind of doctor your wife is but if she’s practicing medicine she is doing an admirable job. Also I check in to see if a cop has been killed in the last 24 hours, or a soldier has died, or if a celebrity is being given accolades that they don’t deserve. I’ve gotten pretty cynical about the world and people like you don’t help. When you started this blog it was about the fact that you had found a woman who liked the kinky world you want. Obviously you two had talked, and flirted and then had an affair based on what you wanted sexually. All that time you and your wife, and she and her husband were couple friends. There isn’t another word to describe that except appalling. It’s deceit. It’s lying. It shows you in a horrible light. Where do you get off treating another human being this way? Now the blog has morphed into a giant whine about your emotional needs.
    Get the hell out of your marriage. You are such a cliché. There are now millions of men and women blogging who have been cheated on and they refer to a mythical cheaters handbook. You are on page 1 and page 2 etc. etc. You are not unique. You have hit middle-age and all of a sudden you are Mr. Wonderful who deserves Nirvana. Ask those kids in that hospital how much the yearn for a normal, quiet life. Grow up.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Right? He doesn’t see it yet! The blame shift to the spouse is classic.

      I hate that mythical book they all reading from. I think chapter one is: “How to blame your spouse for your affair”. Subtitle: Even though they’ve been the same person you married 20 years ago, it no longer suits you so you can blame them now for your bad choices.

      Liked by 3 people

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