Repeatedly friends bring up that, despite ninety-six days of silent treatment, the normal acts of jealousy and revenge, and the behavior of armchair psychologists, I’m still protective of C. Although, I write about my pain I do not blame her for my pain.
When friends accurately point out I’m occasionally blaming myself for her choices and decisions I default back to the qualifier of my infidelity. That is probably not honest or healthy but at the moment it is where I am. Like many other moments in our relationship, I am still carrying her water on something that is clearly hers…and I’m aware she sometimes carried mine.
This is how relationships work – I think.
I defend her through my shame, confusion, hurt, and loneliness. I’m still protective of C and when the rumors of the things she has said and done get back to me, and they often do, I roll my eyes, feel a tinge of anger, revert to my qualifier, reason it out with someone else, breathe deeply, and then sigh. Three months, over 15,000 miles, sixteen states, and a whole lot of hotel rooms, tears, and reflections later I can stand far away enough to recognize the pain behind her choices too.
My friends are right of course, regardless of the reasons, I’m still protective of C and our history.
Here is an actual reason: I’ve asked her to accept and love me despite my ugly. I am committed to providing her the same acceptance and compassion. I can do this whether she loves me or not. Acting lovingly does not require anyone’s consent or approval.
The reality is at this point in my grieving process, I recognize there is no such thing as a moral high ground.