Two things made it all come together. First, hearing that mutual friends were under the impression that I was fully aware of my ex-husband's actions and condoned them. That was the big one. But then I remembered a miscommunication a good three years back over luggage and wordless assumptions. And now it has fallen into place. Even comments that made no sense to me at the time I now understand.
The *entire* length of our relationship, I had been in a wordless agreement that I had silently assented to. The assumption was that I ever knew either of these two facts. Had the agreement been presented to me in words defining its exact nature and how it would manifest in reality, I never would have assented, silent or otherwise.
Oh, there are other things, some smaller, some larger. But that, I now realize, was the thing that made working out the rest of it an impossibility.
It comes back to the worst advice I ever took. When I found out about the underlying nature of what would eventually become the impetus for that silent pact, I took immediate offense and dislike to it. And when talking to a friend, I had said, I like all this about him, but I don't know if I can live with this one part. And the friend replied to me: "Look, if there is a hole in the wall you don't tear down the entire house. You put a nice picture over the hole and enjoy the house."
Well. Ten years later, we can all see what covering up problems gets you.