You’ve built a life with someone; a life financially, with offspring, social circles, extended family, memories galore.
And then they come out, rarely willingly. It usually happens because they get caught. Maybe a Craigslist ad was carelessly left open on a computer screen. Maybe some texts or dirty pictures from an iPhone were downloaded to an iCloud account. Or maybe they were caught in some other red-handed way.
No matter how you find out, your world as you knew it, as you planned it, explodes into chaos. Nothing makes sense, and things make sense, all at the same time. The truth was right in front of your schnoz, sometimes for years, but you couldn’t, and sometimes wouldn’t, see it. This Truth is something you want to know all about, but don’t want to know, simply because of the pain it brings.
Earth shattering, gut wrenching, baby-barf in your mouth…painful Truth.
How could this have happened? I loved my spouse. What did I do wrong? How could I be so stupid? What did I do to deserve this? Was anything real? Was my entire marriage simply a sham?
Can I fix it? I need to fix this. They are saying some of the right things, like:
I love you and want to make this work. I won’t do it again. I am not really gay. Please forgive me. I will change. Don’t tell anyone. I want and love no one but you.
We cling to those words. We are afraid of what lies ahead, the unknown, without them.
I can’t make it alone. Our kids will be devastated. I have invested my best years in this marriage. Who am I without them? I love him/her enough to stand by them, help them through this…believe them.
Actions speak louder than words, and their actions don’t match. Not even a little. Sure, there may be a few times where they hold you, listen to you, send you flowers…but those are not consistent. They distance themselves emotionally and physically, sleep in a different bed, do irrational things like make a large purchase without telling you, secretly spend time on the computer doing God knows what…and the whole time you try to cling to what they say, not what they do.
Your whole focus becomes them, changing things to keep them close, and keeping your marriage intact. In fact, maybe even your dual-life spouse revels in that. They see that they’ve got some control over you and milk it for all it’s worth. They don’t want to change things either, but from an even more selfish standpoint. You, your family, the life you have built is their beard, their cover. The idea of giving that up is painful, just as it is to you.
You both have so much to lose. So, you get an acute case of the Clingons.
I mean, who wants to believe that they made such a life altering mistake? No one. Not a single one of us.
This is not about divorce, even though you may be considering it in some fashion. This is actually about finding yourself. Really knowing who you are apart from anyone else. The major portions of your identity are wrapped up in your spouse and this life you have made together, which actually is turned on its head.
It comes down to taking care of you. Sure, you need to think of your kids, your finances, your friends, your extended family. But…
If you aren’t taking care of you, apart from anyone else, those things are going to crumble anyway. Depression is common, and if you don’t seek professional help and others who have been where you are, you will be eaten alive.
The overwhelming panic is the toughest thing to deal with, it seems. If you aren’t taking care of you, standing up for yourself, facing things as head-on as you can, then this ship you are sailing on is going to sink, fast.
So, what are some things you can do? I can give you a random list, but I would LOVE to hear from others who have been where you are, in the comments below. Comment anonymously if you would like, because I know many of you will read this and have some practical advice for people who have found this blog, desperately searching for answers.
Here is a small list of my own. Again, add to it, readers, so you can help those who need it.
- Find a good counselor that isn’t there for saving your marriage only. Find a personal one just for you and your needs.
- Find time to journal.
- Go someplace quiet on the regular, by yourself, and cry.
- Read uplifting quotes.
- Find a confidante who will not try to fix the problems you face and won’t get annoyed listening to you.
- Take bubble baths.
- Watch funny movies.
- Read funny books.
- Take a daytrip somewhere that you have always wanted to do.
- Stay away from negative people or triggers, as much as you can help it.
Above all, find the things that you cling to and move toward reality, which is who you are at your core. Get to know yourself. Forgive yourself for mistakes. Allow yourself to feel. Try not to beat yourself up for not seeing the truth. And if you do beat yourself up, keep telling yourself that you are loveable, you aren’t alone, and you are worth so much more.
The more you get to know and love yourself and your core, the easier it will be to make seemingly polarizing decisions.
Cling to those things that are wonderful, praiseworthy, beautiful, and lovely. Eventually you will find yourself transforming from a Clingon to a Superhuman. One who can hold their head high and move forward in life with the confidence of a powerful, loveable and dignified individual…
Apart from anyone and anything.
Not A Clingon Anymore,