Eye contact, I just see deception and darkness. I tried, I really did. One eye contact exercise with my husband was enough for me. Although eye contact is something that I long for and believe it’s very healthy to have in an intimate relationship, all I could see was deception and darkness. Was I supposed to try to look past that? I’ve felt disgust and uncomfortable in my own skin while doing it, knowing that he’s used those same eyes to look at other women unfaithfully. And here I was trying to wish him loving kindness. He’s lied to me with those eyes. I didn’t feel as if I was speaking truth behind the words spoken in the audio program recording from me towards him. Not sure if I ever will, or will I? When he asked me if he can hug me and that I’d let him, I feel life is being sucked out of me to fulfill his lustful purposes, rather than life being given to me through real love and meaningful connection behind a hug. When he’s written different letters in the past, I used to enjoy them. But now it just feels like everything is a lie. What do I do now?
I want to just say a couple things. I’m glad you did the exercise. I know it confronted some of your feelings of betrayal. I wonder what your husband was feeling. I wonder how uncomfortable it was for him. I wonder if he’s wanting to move on. Is he still lusting for other people, or is he working to reclaim his life and keep his eyes and his mind faithful to you? Who is he really? Who is your husband? Is he still acting out or is he trying to be a better man?
Those are the questions that I would ask you to consider, I would ask him to consider. Because your question really is about who is this man? When you asked me in the concluding question, what do I do now? You’re repulsed by him. You’re sickened by him. He makes you ill. It’s almost as if he’s been your attacker, and you’ve been attacked, and now you don’t trust him. But, is that who he is? Is that who he’s going to be, or can he rise up and be a better man? Those are the questions I can’t answer because I don’t know your husband, I don’t know his heart. But he did the exercise with you. Ask him the question, what was that like for you? And who knows what he will say. But it would be appropriate for you to say, it was really hard for me. I didn’t know if I could trust you. I didn’t know. Those eyes, you’ve lied to me. So I look into your eyes and then like, is he’s being honest? Those are some of the thoughts that I had.
And then we’ll see how he responds. Has he been honest with you since discovery? Is he trying to work his recovery? Is he being open? Is he being honest? If so, then we have something to build on. It takes time, I don’t know how much time. But sometimes as we pull back and step back, we ask those questions, then we get to know what is he thinking? What is he experiencing? What is he feeling? Those are the things that I would want to look for.
Now, there’s much more to say here. This eye contact exercise is usually one where if it can’t be a spouse, it can be a child, it can be a parent, some other close person to you for connection. Cause right now, we’re just looking at building a foundation of support. The fact that you did it with your husband confronted your demons head on and you bumped into what I would say are the demons of, Ahh, too much. But that too is educational. Recognizing what that magnifying glass of what it was like.
Nevertheless keep trying, and it may not be with him, but keep trying for those healthy connections. And again, these harder conversations with him, it’s okay to share.