Last winter, in the midst of the hurt and pain and worry about the fact that my husband had just had an affair I had to figure out what to give him for a tenth anniversary present. It wasn't an easy task, just 6 weeks after getting the news. I was proud of the package I put together for him. It included an antique tin box from the Chicago World's Fair, since he is in to kitschy stuff and from Chicago and tin is the traditional tenth anniversary gift. In the little box were a bunch of sexy love coupons I made. He never redeemed any of them. There were chocolates, a sweet heartfelt note full of faith and courage and love, and some lingerie. Our physical intimacy having always been pretty great, we haven't bothered too much with such things, but he had hinted recently that I could purchase some for myself and give it to him as a mutual appreciated present. So I did. It was kind of exciting to pick some out. Not something that I'm accustomed to doing, and given my proportions, not something that is easy. But I went to this chichi boutique downtown and was able to find not just one, but two things that fit beautifully and made me feel just that. I don't remember how much they cost, but it was certainly well out of my comfort range, I think I spent close to $100! But I figured it was worth it. I wore them each once :(
So, after he left in March, in one of my cleaning fits I threw the lingerie in an envelope and put it on his desk in the office where I knew he would eventually find it. I wrote on the envelope, "This was actually a present for you. It's a shame you didn't get more pleasure out of it." It sat there and sat there. I know that he saw it a few different times between March and now when he got stuff from the office to take. And then this weekend he cleared everything out of his desk. It's all gone. Nice that I don't have to deal with any of that. But he left the envelope there. Jerk. He could have at least taken it and dumped it in the Goodwill. I understand that it could equally be seen that I was the one being rude and he just wasn't taking the bait, that he wasn't responsible for dealing with it. I understand all that, but I'm too angry to be logical. It felt like a slap in the face. It was insult upon injury. I was lashing out in pain and he wouldn't even acknowledge the lashing out. I started to text him and tell him that it was rude not to take it, that it was adding insult to injury, but I am getting smarter. I sat there and looked at it on the screen for a moment and then cut it and pasted it and sent it to my sister with an explanation instead, as she has reminded me to do. I'm learning. It certainly wouldn't have done any good to lash out with that hurt.
And there's so much of it. I know that it comes out in our mediation sessions as I'm either stoney-faced towards him, or being less than polite or cordial. I want the mediator to know that this isn't how I treated him for ten years of marriage. I know it doesn't matter what the mediator thinks, and that he is not to take sides, but I have this deep desire for him to know that he's not witnessing what it's been like all along. I guess it's the part of me that always yearns to be understood and that wants fairness.