Monday, August 10, 2009

When the ^*%$ hits the fan

I have known for a long time that there would be a time when my wife would find out about the non-religious part of my life. As one who hates confrontation, I had always hoped that that time would be far off and that I would be able to control it under my own terms. Well, that didn't happen.

One week ago, I was in the middle of a project at a client's house when my wife sent me an SMS wanting to know when I would be home and that she would like to get a babysitter so we could go out. I asked where and she said it didn't matter, we just NEEDED to talk. I asked what was wrong and she told me that we would discuss this only in person. The rest of that work day was filled with all sorts of crazy thoughts of what it could be . . . from news of sick relatives to ones that may have passed away. From something wrong with our house or the lease to her being pregnant (not something either of us want now). In the words of Geirge Costanza "Nobody NEEDS to talk", so I knew this was something serious.

In the back of my mind, I thought it was possible that she knew I was OTD, but I just didn't think that was it. Heck, only one of my close friends knows the full extent of my irreligiosity, so it is not like it is out there for her to find out from the grapevine. I knew she hadn't found the blog, because she is not one to just read it and not say anything.

So I get home from work and we get in the car to go. I ask her where and she says to just drive to a parking lot or something in another part of the city so we can talk. When we stopped, she asked me if there was anything I was hiding from her. This cat & mouse game went on for a while (i think it was about an hour). I think I was still afraid to say anything and was just hoping that she really didn't know. At one point I said something about the blog which she said she knew nothing about [As a side note, initially I was wishing i kept that quiet, but as the night went on and in the week since, I am happy i let her read the blog].

After 4.5 hours of talking, yelling, arguing, crying, debating etc. I feel like it all came down to one central issue: While she is not happy that I am not religious, she is much more upset about the fact that I kept it all from her. She said by leading this double life, I showed that I did not trust in the strength of our marriage (which is great) to get us through this, nor did I trust in her to be understanding. I always felt that I was protecting her & the family by not letting this out. While that is true to some extent, I now realize more than ever that I was protecting myself from having to deal with this properly and just fooled myself into thinking that I could keep everything hidden until the "perfect" time arose to bring it up.

So where do we go from here? If we remain together, I will have to continue with many OJ formalities & actions for the sake of the family. My wife has said she doesn't want me to leave, but she also doesn't want me to resent this lifetyle and then decide in 10 years that it sucks and leave her as a single mother in her 40's. I kept thinking back to something that we always end up saying when we have had some financial difficulties; While money problems are tough, at least we have each other, our beautiful kids, supportive family and our health is good so we can get through this. So to here; While parts of OJ may drive me nuts, my life is good and these annoyances are a small price to pay for all the goodness I have in life.

All in all, this week has been a true mixed bag of emotions. At one point, in our initial conversation, I thought it was all over. Coming that close to the brink made me realize even more how much I want to be with my wife & kids. I know that it will be tough for my wife to be completely trusting of me going forward, but I truly feel that this is going to work in the end.