The "mass" hanging over my head has shrunk to the point where it fits into a bucket next to me. It's full of all of the negative emotions that are primarily associated with my feelings about the past and the "affair" that I feel William had. Every so often, I learn of something new that he did (or get enough detail about something that it changes my mental picture of what happened and makes it new). When that happens, the "new information" gets dumped into the bucket and is stirred up...along with all the bad feelings that I have about the lying and scheming that went on for so long. Fortunately, most days, the bucket settles quickly enough, it usually only takes a hug and "I love you" from William to make the pain goes away. And those times occur less and less.
Last Thursday was a wonderful day - my best to date. Then Friday also went well, then Saturday, - three whole wonderful days! But then Sunday hit. And my brother came to visit. My brother who is on the verge of divorcing his wife. He feels alone in his marriage; his wife doesn't love him. He told me of his efforts to try to communicate with her about his feelings...and her lack of response...and told me of his pain over that. It really stirred the "bucket". Unfortunately, I didn't get much of a chance to talk to William that evening and the pain got a chance to take hold...and started to cause problems.
So Monday started off not great...and got worse. A little devil sat on my shoulder and whispered into my ear all day "he lied to you for all those years, habits are hard to break. How would you know? He's very practiced at deceiving you. Are you sure you know everything?" And I told him, "William loves me. He had convinced himself that he was harming no one - he didn't do it on purpose. He loves me." Then the little devil whispered "Like an alcoholic, he could convince himself again that this would be a one time thing. And it could happen again. Are you sure that you know everything?" Until that damn devil got the best of me and I decided that I needed to look through William's email. My hope was to find NOTHING to shut that little devil up, but instead, I found...well, something. I found evidence of a secret email address. William had covered his tracks well, but I happened upon a copy of a year-old email that he had forwarded to his secret address and had forgotten to delete. So I found it. And, oh boy, that bucket completely spilled over.
William was out for the evening, but I couldn't wait and called him. To his credit, he gave me his password and told me what he thought I would find there. He was right - except he forgot about the email regarding a profile that he had started on a ts-dating website. Ouch! It was rather ugly when he got home. He tried to walk away once, but I didn't let him. He did have an explanation. He said that that he was looking at photos of men in lingerie, not trying to meet them. I already knew about the photos of shemales that he had downloaded, so his view is that this was not new information. He felt that he didn't lie. But he did admit that he had chosen not to tell me about the email account because he thought it would cause me more pain. I'm not sure what I think about that.
So...where am I today? Well, partly, I'm relieved. I actually do believe William when he said that he had not used the site to meet others (it helped that he never completed his profile and the last log in date was the date that he registered.) And I'm very glad that I didn't find anything else - it reassured me that he is telling me the "big truths" - and that what he is not telling me is not as big as my mind sometimes makes it out to be. So in some ways, my looking was not a bad thing.
But really, it was. A bad thing to do. And I'm mostly very sorry that I ever did it to begin with. I violated William with that action. It was a big mistake on my part and I've been thinking about it all day long. The realization I came to today is, that in order for us to succeed, I must trust William. While I may be rightfully angry over his keeping the secret for all those years, the truth is that he did not choose to tell me his secret, I found it out. And now that I know, I must prove to him that I am trustworthy to keep it. And to do that, I do demand that he reveal himself fully to me, but I must also allow him to do it in his way and his time. I must trust him when he says that he loves me and that he is now actively working to put us first. I must show him the trust that I am asking him to show me. Because the reality is, if I fail to do this, he is fully capable of continuing to live the lie again without me ever knowing. And that is unacceptable to me.
I have a new dream. A dream where William and I create a world where we can both live happily, able to express our needs to one another, knowing that our partner is there to meet those needs, no matter what they are. And I must do my part to create that world. So tonight, I apologized to William for my actions yesterday. I gave him permission to change the password on his email account so that I cannot access it. He deserves to be able to have some privacy - and as difficult as it is for me, I will choose to trust that he will not abuse it. You should have seen William's face...
I am writing this story down so that you all know that there ARE and WILL be bad days. And sadly, sometimes one partner will do something to hurt the other partner. But if you love each other, you must ask forgiveness and then allow yourself to be forgiven. Know that just because we have a bad day now and then, and just because this is not easy for either of us, it doesn't mean that we are going to fail. In fact, quite the opposite. The more we weather, the stronger our foundation becomes. We are both committed to one another. We both love one another. And tonight, we are both more than okay, we are awesome.