Bizarre chemicals flow in my brain and in such a way as to take partial blame. I’ve contributed to his infidelity by being absent. Living my dream has left my man malnourished for love and attention, and his cheating is my punishment. Had I stayed, had I been with him and given him what he needed, he would not have been forced to look elsewhere. I’ve failed in my role as wife. I think about breaking up, but we don’t run in my family. We prefer to stay (and ideally, tear each other’s hair out). And he shows such sincere remorse. He likens his behavior to an addict forced to act against his will. He pleads repeatedly, this person, the one who cheats is not who he is or who he wants to be. The Rock Star wants to be a person of character, someone people can look up to. And that is who I want him to be. I need him to be a great man. I can’t accept that he is anything less. If I do, I might have to dismantle my world.
Our relationship has never been based on sex alone. Perhaps if our partnership started as most do, on the basis of sexual chemistry, this sacred bond that has been shattered would be enough for me to call it quits. It’s not like that for us. Sex entered the relationship so late that the physical is just another aspect of our deeper connection. A complex history with the shared nuances of our sabbaticals, the almost fate-inspired way in which we came together, and the work we’re currently doing creates a partnership that is about camaraderie first and foremost. With extreme poetic license, we are Bill and Hillary Clinton. I love my scoundrel. I imagine she does too. My Rock Star's affliction is his karmic burden in this lifetime. Every person is faced with a unique set of challenges to overcome in their life, and this is his. He could be an alcoholic or obese or suffer from cancer, all afflictions of the mind and body. As his spiritual well wisher and life partner, my role is to support him traverse and transcend a condition, which he sincerely appears to want to overcome. Of course cancer and obesity are not defects of character, but my naïve faith in the power of personal growth contributes to an unreal expectation for the possibility of change.
If he was showing no remorse, if he had snuck around and was only caught and had not candidly confessed, like ah… Bill, things might be different. His congenital Catholic guilt, and my codependent delusion that he can change are like a hand that has met its glove. I don’t think it’s diabolical, but somewhere in his life he has learned that confession leads to absolution. Clearly with me it does. But confession alone, without change, is like a dog barking at passing traffic. It has no impact.
The intimacy of disclosure is followed by great sex. Everyone knows makeup or breakup sex is better than mid-week doldrums sex, and we enjoy the same sick, heightened pleasure after his latest confession. It’s the only time I feel him emotionally present during our lovemaking, the only time when I feel our connection and his sincerity. Or is it the only time I feel mine?
Thinking of a million ways to help remedy the situation, and freshly inspired by my time out west, I introduce the concept of moving to California. Perhaps new surroundings and a healthier lifestyle can help us beat this demon. After six years in New York, the biting cold winters are becoming less quixotic. For an Aussie girl raised with surf and yearlong sunshine, the chilly winds find their way through my dozen layers of clothing and pierce me to my core. While I love the seasons, I’m almost certain winter hogs half the year. My retinas need more sunlight.