We live in a highly connected technological world where many of us are always on our phones. We always have them. I know I'm guilty of closing Instagram only to open it back up BEFORE I PUT MY PHONE BACK DOWN - so, within a matter of seconds. I have friends who I haven't seen in person or even spoken to on the phone for ages but I keep up with them via my phone. And these people who live in our phones can have an effect on our lives just as much as the people we are physically in contact with every day.
Some context for the following: my husband has never (to my knowledge) cheated on me physically. He has never slept with or kissed another woman since we've been together. All three of the infidelities that I know about were committed via his phone. He would delete texts only to gaslight me later saying that they never existed. I found things on his Apple Watch that he had deleted on his phone, having had the foresight to think / know that I would secretly go through his phone or request to see it. And his most recent was an entirely texting relationship with a woman he claims that he never would have visited in real life.
I live in a world where I both need to know everything and feel a constant fear of knowing. Our current relationship mission statement says that we keep no secrets from each other and we regularly check in to ask how our internal worlds are doing. I believe in the work that my husband is doing and so desperately want to believe him when he says that his internal world is quiet and content. But I feel a magnetic pull towards his phone when he sets it down. In one moment, I want to look through it to quiet my own internal world and yet I have an immense fear about what I could find.
There is a trauma of discovery surrounding infidelity and secrets. I have never experienced anything worse than the feeling of discovery. My heart starts hammering just thinking about it and remembering. I know some people would say, "well then why would you look?? That's your own fault for snooping". And I guess there are some people who would rather live not knowing but I doubt those people have ever discovered something so traumatic. My husband has never come clean to me on his own so I'm not sure I will ever be able to fully let go of that need to know - the need to see it with my own eyes in order to truly believe.
This feeling has come up today because he's traveling again. He's been home for less than a week and is back out on the road. It's hard because he's so dedicated to his job and never whines about it, even when a little complaining would be warranted. I would never want to complain to him about it but the pain is real and the trauma is still so recent that I've spent all morning grappling with how to cope. I'm repeating my mantra of "steady as she goes" - I'm going to work out, get outside in the sunshine, and do a few things to feel productive. I'll also probably watch some feel-good TV and have another piece of pineapple upside down cake because balance.
I hope that this is relatable, even if not in the exact same sort of scenario. Be well and take care today 💕