I spent much of the last two and half years wrestling with the “how.” How could he do this? How could he seek to destroy the one he claimed to love (and seemed to show love to up until the last text)? How could he kiss me, be intimate with me, knowing that he was orchestrating this symphony of destruction? Try as I might, I just couldn’t make those actions, those lies, match the man I knew.
So, I thought of him as a boy.
I thought about what would cause a child to lie. Children generally lie out of fear. They want to please, and when they now they have disappointed, they seek to hide their actions by spinning tales. Looking over the last few years of my marriage, I saw a path (relating to a failed business attempt) that could have led him down the path of telling lies to hide his shortcomings, to protect me from the truth. As with a child, if these lies are not caught, they eventually become habit.
I thought about what would cause a child to lash out against loved ones. Children often lash out when they feel trapped and threatened. When he lashed out, he had been caught. The carefully crafted facade that he wanted the world to see had been stripped away, his deceptions, his failures bared for the world to see. He saw me as threatening his core, his very self, so he lashed out in a desperate attempt to shield.
I may be wrong in these motivations. Perhaps he is simply a sociopath, immune to other’s pain. Maybe he is evil, enjoying the suffering of others. But that doesn’t fit the man I knew, and so it does not bring me peace. However, by looking at his actions as I would a child’s, I have found that I see him as scared, unsure, and lost. That helps to deflate some of the anger, releasing the pressure and allowing me to move forward.