An Innocent Question

It began as an innocent question, “Who is Wendy?” I asked. Then became a long conversation last night:

“I wish you hadn’t asked.” Devin answered.

He explained he had a minor car accident a few days earlier.  He wasn’t going to tell me because he wasn’t at fault, no police were involved and it was in his brand new car.  He was embarrassed and didn’t want to hear me “go on about it.”  I just happened to see the name Wendy jotted down on a piece of paper.

“Devin, you’re supposed to be open and honest with me.  Not telling me about an accident, no matter how small, is not being open.”  I said.

“You can’t use that as an example of me being open and honest.  That’s just one small example.”  He responded.

“I’ve been telling you for weeks that you’ve been ‘off’, that something just isn’t feeling right with you.”  I informed him.

“I know and I’ve been telling you, I’m fine.  I’m sober.  I don’t know what you’re feeling but I’m fine.  You’re going to have to give me more to go on.”  He said.

“I have, Devin, numerous times.”  I said.  I could feel myself getting impatient and reminded myself to detach with love.  I took a deep calming breath before I continued, “I cherished the times when you told me what you learned from SAA meetings and your group.  Now when you come home, you tell me if it’s crowded or the chairs were uncomfortable.  You stopped sharing substance about your recovery.  We haven’t done FANOS in weeks.  I miss our date nights and spending time together.  We're just not connecting.  I’ve detached with love from you.”

Devin sat and said nothing for a long time.  Eventually he said, “You’re right.  I need to reconnect with you.  I don’t know why I stopped.  You have to remember it’s been over forty years of me not communicating properly and I don’t know how to do this right but I’m willing to learn.  I’m still confused about you detaching with love from me.”

I wish I could say when I explained to him it again it went smoothly.  It didn’t.  He felt rejection although I had been detaching from him for weeks and he didn’t know it.  I explained I was detached from his addiction and his behavior, not from him as a person but he still felt rejected because sex was off the table. 

Once I explained when we connected emotionally again, sex would be back on the table, the bed, the floor….he was much happier.