A huge brick of a contraption called a car phone was given to the Reverend. Only he used it, and now along with me would keep his secrets.
It wasn’t long before he was getting cryptic phone calls, but of course I had no way of checking or verifying them. I would ask questions…
…But the Grey area served its purpose for the Grey One’s benefit.
This became a very difficult time, because the Grey One’s deeds were completely invisible. All I had were suspicions regarding his secret private life. He didn’t need to write letters or buy magazines. Contact details could be all stored in his cell phone and I wouldn’t have any access to it.
I spiralled into a deep depression, but not really recognising it as such. I knew nothing about the symptoms of depression, I just soldiered on managing the home and children,
Suspicion caused the most torturous anguish. Then it turned back on me with accusations of paranoia and an overactive imagination in an attempt to down play my suspicions and cause me to question myself. This only caused more anxiety as it cast doubt and confusion on my mind.
How could I avoid the possibilities of treachery, when trust was extinct?
The Reverend did create disorder in my head, but I had no problem regaining order over the years, when so much evidence supported suspicion. Then equalled by the eventual exhibit of proof.
The Reverend loved me for sure. I never doubted his love, and I do not doubt his love for me today. He demonstrated his feelings for me remarkably. Through the many wonderful ways he expressed his affections, I became willing to protect him. He was worth it, we were forever, never to part.
Then, there came the Internet. I could not compete with this new remarkable technology. The Internet became my most dreaded antagonist. I would lose my ground to it with increased regulatory.
The Internet made it impossible for the Grey One to resist his compulsions. It also made it easier for me to find him out. He was actually quite careless and would forget to shut down websites before leaving the house. He was not very good at covering his tracks.
By now we were in home number nine and relocated to yet another town and congregation.
I began to discover more inappropriate pictures and emails, of sexual content.
The age of technology brought worse revelations of pornographic interest. It was more or less with us to stay. We would continue to argue, row and fight! I was tormented daily beyond my limits. I had no sound proof that revealed he had gone beyond a computer screen to this date in our history. There was much evidence, but no actual proof.
It would be very boring to fill in all the gaps with the mundane seasons of our life and marriage. There was a lot of ordinary every day stuff just like every other family. Our children believed we were just like most other family’s.
All the pornography and Internet addictions and contacts with others, was all undercover, never to be seen.
I became very depressed again for many months. I would at times be unable to see people, and I couldn’t answer the door or the phone. Sometimes I just couldn’t face a day.
The children would have gone to school, the Reverend and I had finished breakfast. At that point for many months I feared when he left the house for work, it was bursting the bubble of safety for me.
What websites would he view today? Who would he send messages to today? What plans would he make today? Trust was dangerously weak.
The Reverend knew I would keep his secrets. That I would not expose him. He knew I knew the stuff he got entangled in. Why would he not talk to me about it, how gluttonous was his need to cause such uncertainty and instability?
We continued the cycle of discovery, confrontation, arguing, and then silence and too soon came imminent forgiveness and reconciliation.
It was usually me that broke the silence as the Reverend had the ability to make me feel sorry for him. In my upset and anger I would harangue how his behaviour affected me. I would then find myself feeling as though I had gone too far with my hostility towards him.
He would go quiet, I interpreted his silence as him being hurt because I didn’t believe his lies. Alternatively he was struggling desperately to protect me from the truth while forcing the Grey One back into the basement. Out of sight. It was like trying to get the genie back into the bottle.
I didn’t make it easy for him. If I kept the pressure up for the truth, the Reverend’s only option was to leave, as he could not under any circumstances be honest. I would put the events behind me, so that our relationship recovered until the next time.
This subtle practice became an art we were both familiar with.
Of course my role in Reverend Greys duplicitous life was the sacrificial selfless one.
If I went off script to dominate the scene, by strongly holding my ground insisting on the truth, I would suffer the most. It would get me nowhere. For the sake of moving forward I would step back into the script I had written for myself.
If anyone reading this is recognising similarities in a loved one and you’re getting lost inside a painful and protective role for the person who should be equally loving you in return. Then find the table turns in such an eluding way that you haven’t identified it yet?
Talk to someone you trust confidentially. There may be time for you to gain your identity back and salvage an equally selfless relationship with equal expectations of each other. There is always someone to go to, someone who wants to equally protect you. I should have talked to a member of my husband’s family, who loved him as much as I did.