Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn
Tuning in for the post-coffee post
Ha, okay, I wasn't sure if I was going to write one because it was SO weird, but how can I not after that smiley-face. (Sorry about the triggering, BlackUnicorn!)
For anyone who wants to know the weird next step in this drama-saga, after work yesterday I went to a nearby coffee shop to meet with the Cowgirl. She and I both admitted nervousness-- she was shaking like a leaf and looked really scared. I was calm on the outside, but feeling like my skin was about to crawl off. But then we started talking... and it was so easy. The conversation lasted 3 and a half hours. I made it clear that I had a lot of hurt and fear about how things went, and no matter how she SAID that she had gone through a lot of change in the past month, I couldn't believe it without data and that would take time. I also acknowledged that things between the hubs and I are, for lack of a better word, a bit broken right now. There's some instability there that terrifies me and we still have a lot of healing to do. So, even if she feels that the current situation is 'unfair' to her (which I acknowledged that I'd feel the same way), that didn't change my feelings and that the amount of contact she was currently having with him made me very uncomfortable. (And seemed irreconcilable with the fact that she felt she didn't have *enough* time with him...)
As she explained her perspective and her connection with him and how she was feeling, and I felt myself soften. I wasn't mad or nervous. I was reminded that she was a beautiful person and potentially full of light and why did I want to stand in the way of their relationship again? I mean, he and I had stuff to work out, but when that was over I could at least be more open and less crazy. I started to feel like the anger I had toward her was really misplaced fear and that it ALL stemmed from trust issues with my spouse. After all, why would I be nervous about her if I fully trusted him? He proved he couldn't be trusted with her with the whole cheating thing and the amount of time/how he spent time with her. Yep, his fault. Totally his fault.
So, after it came close to 4 hours, I went home. I told hubs that we needed a serious talk, that it went wonderfully and horribly. That I saw her as a whole, wonderful human being again, but that it brought up issues between the two of us based on trust. I started to explain, and he listened carefully and calmly. When I brought up my fear and trust issues, he asked me a few questions about what had changed. The more questions he asked--not hard questions, but basic clarification ones--I started thinking, "Wait a minute... this isn't how I feel at all. What the hell?"
When I started getting a look of real confusion on my face and started to explain my confusion, he sighed and half-smiled sadly. "Yeah," he said. "That's kind of what she does. Kind of understand my problem now?" (Just last week, when I was semi-angrily laying down why the relationship was so toxic, he had sobbed into my shoulder, "Why don't I see it when I'm with her?") Oh. Damn. Yeah.
Remember my original post where I said she was manipulative and the relationship with my husband was semi-abusive? Well, the good ol' boy pulls up this document on abusive relationships and starts pointing out to me what he's been going through. I realize that, while I don't think she did it consciously, she sucked me in using the EXACT same tactics she uses to manipulate him. He showed me some texts from JUST that day (about 16 from her within the space of a couple hours, I think?) and I saw the patterns again, not to mention how NOT healed she was and saw signs of the original pattern continuing.
So, wow, then I was PISSED. I'm not sure with who or what. Just with the situation and how I had somehow ended up emotionally compromising on my 'no way, Jose' position. Not completely verbally, but certainly (at the time of coffee) emotionally. So, I confronted hubs and asked WHY, dear God why, if he fully--with eyes wide open--sees that this is an abusive relationship and that it's hurting us, why he wants to save ANY of his relationship with her.
What he described was classic 'wishful thinking' abusive relationship pattern. (Two months ago, a friend of mine--actually the one who convinced me to put my foot down--described this for me, as one who had been in a 6 year abusive relationship). He explained his pattern with her, how and when he felt coerced, when it was "good" and gave him hope.
We ended the night in a state of uncertainty. I feel a kinship with BlackUnicorn's stance: End. Now. Under no uncertain terms.
He... is confused. He knows he should end it, he knows what's wrong. But things COULD be "so good" (I sent him the link AnnabelMore posted and highlighted the Wishful Thinking section and how "Hoping that someone will treat you better in the future won’t make it happen. Nor will hoping that the other person will change. Realistic people assume that people are most likely to do in the future what they do now").
So, one more crazy "date"... he's talking with her today, armed with a written out and prepared list of behaviors and concerns. Then I'm joining and ALL of us are going to talk (unless, he says, there's no need because he's already ended it totally). I think he NEEDS to end it, but I also don't know how to 'force' him to do that. All I
can do is say what I'm okay with (a distant friendship with her while we heal, though even that I'm concerned with) and what I'm not (a romantic relationship with her, or a "too close" friendship that may as well be a romantic relationship).
*headdesk headdesk headdesk* Okay, I'm at a wall. Short version: coffee sucked in a way I didn't expect/plan for. Any more advice for this crazy situation? Besides just 'get the hell out of this drama'? (you know, the logical answer, ha...)
Did I mention you all rock? Because you do. Peace.