My retreat

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Picture if you will a traditional log cabin, with an end to end farmer’s porch. A lovely place to sit and read in the summer. On the side is a screened in gazebo. My most favorite place to been summer evenings when I’m here.

You enter inside and feel it’s life and it’s warmth. It surrounds you. You have all the anemities you need and some lovely extras. It’s a 4 season cabin, so there’s heat, and should the summer be so oppressive, which is rarely the case, there’s AC.

These’s no cable, but I consider that a luxury. I sometimes am overwhelmed with the amount of news I observe. Even in my car I generally listen to Sirius Radio news programs.  Remember,  I’m a news junkie!  So I have to turn on the news if I fell the need, which I haven’t. The tv’s been on for distraction, but I’ve rarely paid it much attention. There’s also Roku, but cannot figure it out. I am also grossly remote control challenged. 

The furniture is cabin plush. By that I mean, not rustic!  Nothing is overstated and it’s incredibly inviting. You instantly feel welcomed here. My parents generally live here thru half the week (they are winter birds this month.. Down in FL.)

There’s a wrought-iron spiral staircase that leads to a loft bedroom. The ceiling is a vaulted, all open sealed pine logs.

The kitchen contains the basic appliances, minus the dishwasher. No loss there… Fully stocked wine rack, and most any alcohol you might want. But I’m not much of a drinker.

Follow thru to the “back room.” Windows all around, an electric fireplace. Overlooking a simple back yard surrounded by woods. Another lovely place to nap, or cuddle up with a book.

My other favorite thing here is off this back room, and on the deck. There you find  lovely 104* hot tub, built for six.

It’s peaceful and calm here. I have been able to breathe and feel alive, and now recognize, better yet, acknowledge how lacking I’ve been in taking care of me. There’s always someone else that needs me at home.

The cabin is in an association. Most residents here are “summer home-owners.” I’m not sure of the actual number that stay winter round, but it’s not many. My parents only come for half or week or so. They also have a condo much closer to the city.

There are a few neighbors nearby here, but I can only hear them. I’ve not seen a single person.

So I just texted to my lovely friend that I was off to town. And then wherever the road takes me. I’m taking my camera, putting on my hiking boots and see what I can find. I used to love photography, though amateur at best. So I’m rather excited. The sky is brilliant and the sun feels warm, though it’s struggling to get to 50.

I’ll come back and post about my adventures.

❤️Rac

 

 

Stuff for Crazy-making, part one

Unless I’m already there. Maybe that’s really what is happening, but I’ve not accepted. That I’m crazy. I do question my sanity regularly.

And because it is likely that I am at least a little-bit crazy…here goes..

I don’t even know how to start….

October 2014, (the 3rd, to be exact; also my 16th wedding anniversary.. Because I still don’t know how to separate these 2 life changing and altering events…) I found out my husband was cheating.

I knew from the moment I found out that I wanted nobody to know. The shame and humiliation..yuck.. Wanting nobody to know proved difficult. I was a mess for weeks.

My cheating husband, was in agreement of course.. Because.. Score for him. Everybody still thinks he’s a fucking rock star.

The only persons he’s confessed the affair to other than myself, are our 2 oldest. After  weeks of me trying to persuade him to tell the kids something, because it was obvious that I was a mess. I’m a work from home mom. My kids and I spend a lot of time together. We’re pretty close. So, like the intelligent and empathetic kids that they are, they figured it out and confronted me. And I confessed. I told my husband they knew and so we sat down, the 4 of us (without our youngest, who still doesn’t know.. And I still struggle with this…) and told them he had an affair. (This happened just before thanksgiving 2014)

He hasn’t told a single person since.

Mid October 2014, I told my sister-in-law C***, my husband’s sister about his affair. Ironically, her partner Al, a self-confessed and former-cheater in his first marriage, suspected for nearly a year-and-a-fucking-half, that my husband was cheating!!! Go figure…..

I adore Al. He’s a great guy and he loves C***, and treats her the way she has deserved for many years…

She’s had several disasterous relationships because of a cheating husband. Then second husband. Yes, twice.. Can you fucking imagine??? She’s carried a mother-load of hurt.

She and I are very close. I’d pick her for a sister ❤️ … I have none, only one biological brother and a step brother. Then there’s my half-brother, But that’s wayyy too complicated to explain… For now.

So C***, was a highly likely person for me to talk about the affair.. in real life face to face.. That knows us… I told my husband before I told her, that I likely would. I still wasn’t sure, you know, the shame and humiliation… But I was truly a mess and needed to talk with someone. And so, she came over, mid-October 2014, and I did tell her.  (She told me that very day that Al had mentioned his suspicions of him cheating on 2 occasions.)

She has been my biggest supporter thru this whole disaster since. And I’m so thankful for her love and understanding thru it all. But she knows ❤️

So that night I went to her house and proceeded to drink too much wine. A highly therapeutic evening for me, the first of just letting it all out.. What an asshole my husband was.. And they agreed. But they didn’t bash him, they just listened to me do it, for hours, then drove me home… Too much wine! 

These are 2 of my most favorite people. I love them both and know they love me (it’s not thier fault her brother is a cheating asshole!)

So if your keeping track (and I am.. ) We are now in mid-October 2014. Just myself, my husband C*** and Al knows.

And oh yeah the (insert your own adjective here) other woman knows. But she is at this point, and to the best of my knowledge STILL has maintained no contact. But I don’t trust either of them.. Their “track record” sucks. They’ve been together on and off since they were in early high school.

I think if I was truly honest with myself (and I might be on to something here…) I’m waiting for either of them to break no contact. And by no contact, I mean I don’t ever want him or her to ever connect. In any way. For fucking ever.

I do not truly believe that either of them will maintain my NC expectation. It might be years, but eventually I think one of them will cave. (She’ll have nothing to loose if her 3rd husband who still doesn’t know that she had an affair with my husband) ever finds out. Her track record clearly sucks…

So I’m waiting.. For her to break no contact… It’s bound to happen… And his new job has really thrown me into a crazy place and I’m struggling for breath sometimes.. because it’s just overwhelming with his commute and new electronics and new staff and commitments to work, the longer hours.

So there’s the >25% salary increase to an already comfortable income. And it’s a job he aspired for. A double win for him. And for us really. But WOW, how crazy it’s making me. I’m trying desperately to be rational. But it’s so fucking hard. All new coworkers and names, titles, who’s who… multiple new electronics, emails, texts, phone calls, numbers and on an on.. Long commute, longer days. And he doesn’t help much.

I know I’m keeping way to much inside, and mostly because it’s all irrational.. But then I always ask myself…

Is it?

So back to mid October and those who knew about the affair…

late October or early November, I told my parents (dad and step mother.. Whom I treasure ❤️) I unintentionally told them while on the phone. I don’t even remember which one it was.. But they where praising my husband for th great guy that he is (except he’s a cheater…) and I just couldn’t take it one second longer … And I just told them what he did. That he had an affair.

So Thanksgiving 2014 roles around. My parents, my Brother and his partner, I call Sis (I adore her. And on my list of most favorites!) and my 5, share in my first post dday family holiday.. What a painful day.. 

So if your still keeping track.. I’ve told my parents. But at this point, my husband is unaware that they know.

(C*** and Al know too, but they away in MN and CO. We all have crazy big spread out families! And they are irrelevant to the point I hope to ultimately get too.)

Here’s a kick in the gut.. Unbeknownst to me, on this first post dday event, my brother also knew. My father had told him… I truly understand, they are pretty close and all. But it wasn’t my dads place to tell my brother. I asked them to tell no one.

So fast forward to fall 2015 (also when My husband submitted his resume, to his now attained position.) after multiple family occasions over the previous year…

I’ve told a few more incidental (to the point I’m trying to make)  people along the way.

And then I told Sis about the affair. Remember, she’s my brothers girlfriend and at this point. I’m still unaware that my brother knows…

It was around our 17th anniversary and one year dday. Also, about then he was offered his position with the awesome pay increase. I guess maybe I feeling a little vulnerable and needing a sympathetic ear.  I just sort of started telling sis, not a lot.. I asked her not to tell my brother. She assured me she wouldn’t, because it wasn’t hers to tell. I thought she understood. She says super sympathetic. I felt good to trust someone.

But regardless.. Cat’s out of the bag so they say..

As my grandmother always said, “a secret isn’t a secret, if you tell anyone.”

So come 12/23/15, about 4:15 in the afternoon.

Let me set the scene.. Furniture delivery arrives early (we got the kids all new mattresses and box springs .. And full sized bed for my son.. Christmas presents) But because they are early, my youngest is home!!! Foiled my well planned out surprise.. I scream for her to the go family room as the deliver guy knocks at the door.

Because I yelled, she thinks I am mad. And I am sort of, but not at her. But she’s 14 she takes it personal… She storms off to the family room.

I sort out the details of what goes where.. In 3 very messy bedrooms.. (I’d be embarrassed if I lived in the mess.. But it’s theirs and they know better.)

I come down stairs to find my brother waiting in my kitchen. Pleasant, as I was hoping for him to stop by and pick up a Christmas present I wanted my niece to have for Santa on Christmas Eve.

We talked and had a very nice intimate short visit, maybe 45 minutes. We talked about our mother, dad, memories and such. It’s always good to see and spend time with him. I do truly love my brother, much more than he realizes. I’ve always known him ❤️. We both share the same broken childhood with different memories.

After my youngest was swayed quickly out the door (the planned departure for said child.. In my pre-planning of this surprise gift… Foiled by the early arrival.) and after the delivery guys efficiently took care of things…

As my brother was leaving.. He said to me,”I’m really sorry Sis, for what you guys are going thru.. Blah blah” We talked about it for a few minutes in generalities, but weirdly like “it was old news between us.”

then he said, “I knew long before Sis (his girlfriend) knew. Then proceeded to tell me when dad told him, over a year ago…

It was getting late and I was on call.. Had to get the beds together.. With new linens and burlap bows… Before the kids got home.  Plan salvaged.

Oh yeah, husband was running late… But grabs take out on his way. Another point for greatest guy award.

 

Wait.

Say what?

My brother said, that he knew “long before” Sis knew….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I know now

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It’s been 15.5 months since I found out about my husband’s affair.

Not a single day has been easy. Not even one.

This is the single most difficult and overwhelming experience I’ve ever gone thru. Without exception.

Staying is hard. Every single day.

I’m not the same person anymore. So much of who I am is still lost in the chatic aftermath of betray.

I can’t find my way out.

I question and doubt everything.

This is not the life I wanted to live.

I can’t “forget it.”

Something has to change.

But, I’m still not ready….

 

 

 

 

A Random Act of “I am Sorry”

I received the following response in an email notification this morning. Truly, with exception of the “minor details” of this affair and this Affair partner, I could hear it coming from my husband’s AP as I read it…

It crushed me…

Here it is…. (I will protect her identity)

I am not going to begin to say I understand or know what it is like to be the wife who finds out her husband is a cheater in all of this. Nor, do I begin to say that what I went through is justification for the OW’s behavior in this.

But I am other woman. And I echo a lot of other people’s experiences, when I say I never thought I would be that person. I even directly asked the person who I had the affair with if he was single before we ever met. And each time he answered no.


Even after I put two-and-two together, I still played the part for another couple of months, and meeting him recently on a business trip. I have no justification other than I had developed feelings for him, and that I loved him. The lonely part of me wanted to be the exception, rather than the norm.


And to anyone who has been the victim in this, please know that it is not easy to live as the OW. I do not sleep, I have lost appetite, and I have tearfully pleaded, begged, and sobbed asking him to do the right thing and confess to his wife. To be a better husband and father, and to either seek counseling to fix the marriage or do the right thing and walk away.


The truth is the cheater, while not always a bad person, is selfish. He started this affair because he was bored in his married life, and wanted the adventure of a new love. I am almost 35 years old, and I have given up on love. I told him he was so blessed and lucky to have a wife and kids. That he had no right to throw that away.


But I am also no better than him, because I didn’t run away. I continued the secrets despite the pain. I did it for no other reason than I loved him, and couldn’t bear to know a life without him. But in the end, I still ended it. The sleepless nights, the guilt, the jealousy, and the hurt. See being the OW means you will always be the last choice and that you have to be content with everything being on his timeline. You can only call, text, e-mail when it works for him. You lay awake at night feeling suffocated by the loneliness, while knowing he can turn around and wrap his arms around the woman he put a ring on it.


He says is not happy. But lacks the courage to make changes to find happiness. Why stay in a marriage if you are not happy? He says it was for the kids, but what is worse: having children be raised with a lie that destroys families or know that their parents loved each other but couldn’t make it work? I cannot answer that because I don’t know.


I am single. I have no one. I am alone and unsupported. And I am dying inside. From the guilt, from the pain, and from feeling like I am always the loser. Please know that not every person who becomes the OW is okay with the title of OW. That some of us have consciences and integrity. That it destroys us as much as you. He selfishly threw his marriage away and wants to keep it hidden, but he also selfishly wanted me to suffer in silence.


I wanted to find love. To feel beautiful and wanted again. He said all the right things. He kept saying “stop over thinking things”, and to have “faith”. All the while knowing he lied to me too, he could never love me the way I deserved.


I am sorry that your husband has refused to hold himself accountable. But as the OW, you deserve better than a spouse who will not acknowledge the pain he has caused, nor work on improving the relationship. You can stop a sinking ship, if not everyone is willing to help bail.


Again, I am sorry to you and any spouse who sits in this position. Please know that affairs hurt the OP as much as the spouse. We are not proud of ourselves, and many of us do not want to hurt you. We are hurting and confused ourselves. We are trying to find a glimmer of love ourselves, and yes we had no right to take it from someone who doesn’t belong to us. That is something I will live with everyday for the rest of my life. Knowing that I caused someone else pain, because I was so desperate to feel love…even if it was brief and temporary.


I am sorry.


Creating new Memories

The holiday season, from Halloween thru mid Janruary, has always been a favorite time of year. It’s so magical and people are more kind and gentle. More patient and generous. The world around always seems more hopeful and merry, even in light of recent world events.

When the kids were little, we spent much time picking and creating the perfect costume, filling treat bags for all the trick-or-treaters, decorating the house and yard.

Thanksgiving roles around and I host a typically large guest list of family, typically upwards of 20. I go all out and spend days preparing our Thanksgiving feast, and delight at spending the time with our families..

Then Christmas… We’ve always put our tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving, and it typically stays up thru the first week of Janruary. Our tradition, with a few exceptions, has been to go chop our own tree with my Dad and step-mother. We tromp thru the tree fields until we all agree on the perfect tree, cut it down and then we sit and have cocoa and donuts before hauling it home. In past years we polish off  any Thanksgiving leftovers once we get home, and then it’s full blown decorating mode! I’ve fondly referred to day as our Christmas  Tree Day. 

December always seems to rush by with all the Christmas festivities; family gatherings, open houses, decorating, baking, shopping and wrapping…toss in a few Dance competitions and hockey tournaments and it makes for a crazy busy month… all leading up to the actual holiday, Christmas, and the vacation that follows.

Last year, at this time I was still reeling from the chaos and destruction from finding out about my husband’s affair. I was a complete and utter mess. I wasn’t prepared for the holiday season, and mostly faked, fumbled and cried my way thru.

Halloween, less than 4 weeks post-dday. I’m sure I gave out candy. I don’t remember what my kids did. I’m sure I can look back at pictures and posts and figure it out, but mostly it’s a big blank.

Thanksgiving, just 7 weeks post-dday, I had my parents and brothers’ family. Very small and mostly bearable. My parents knew and I was able to pull thru the day.

I was feeling a bit more ease, safer; I’d just finished a series of emails with the other woman, and for the time felt less threatened by her. I was, and sometimes still am, overwhelmed to realize that she had always been in our life, MY life. But I was and still am confidant that she’s not a threat currently. I do have my doubts as our kids get older. The last email she sent my husband, and one of the very few that I actually read, said something to the effect of just that.. Putting old flames on the “back-burner” until the kids are grown... husband has tried to assure me that he has no idea why she sent that email, that she was never a threat and it was just sex, that she meant nothing, and he has never had any intention of leaving me. Sometimes I believe him, but that email haunts me. And then there’s the fact that he betrayed me, had a affair that spans his life since Junior high, spans our entire marriage, with large gaps of time, years even, without any contact, they both insist… but I have my doubts. 

Since those emails, I do believe there’s been no contact between them. There are days when I have my doubts, but I’ve long since given up on checking (it’s just too fucking exhausting; if he’s going to cheat again, he’ll find a way… No amount of me searching and spying can prevent him from cheating.) Again.

I’ve been in a totally new trigger field the past few weeks, and doing mostly okay navigating them. But I’ll leave that for another post. This post is NOT about her.

Christmas. December 2014. Mostly went by in a blur. I cried my way thru the month and wanted nothing to do with it. Honestly, I wanted to crawl into a hole and lick my wounds, disappear from the surreal and hellish life that had taken over the content life I had been living. However, with 3 busy kids and big extended families, this mom continued to fake my way thru…

But the daily emotional turmoil was exhausting. It was December 2013 that the intensity of thier affair became sexual (again); it was from then until dday, 10/3/14,  that I could see the thousands of texts and dozens of emails. And I was hauling myself thru hell looking the number of texts they exchanged on a particular day and looking back to see I was doing that same time and date (besides being made fucking fool.) generally I was contentedly going about my days.

… as he was having his affair…

So we skipped Christmas tree day last year. We bought our tree a a local greenhouse, but had I had to be reminded. Again, last year was such a blur with a lot of blanks. The tree got decorated. And the house got decorated some. But not my typical fair. Most of my shopping was online. For the most part I stuck with the lists to Santa, that I still request of my kids!  It was safe, easy (I didn’t have to leave my house) and they were delighted on Christmas morning, but there were few surprises last year.

Christmas Eve, I was on call. It allowed an easy excuse to not go to my Sister-in-law L***’s open house. It was all my husband’s family (he’s one of 8) and only his sister C*** and her long term boyfriend know. Inknewni wouldn’t be able to get thru an afternoon of hearing how wonderful my husband is and how lucky I am. He is still their golden child.

Christmas morning, again  a blur.. I kept tissues close at hand and didn’t take many pictures.My parents were with us, for presents and followed by a festive brunch. Then they move on to my 2 brothers families and more Christmas festivities.

Traditionally, I  host a Christmas open house and buffet with my husband’s family. It’s also open for our friends and neighbors. I make dozens of cookies, in 10-12 varieties and pounds candies, fudges and confections to gift and share.

I don’t remember most of what I did last year. I baked some, and made fudge. After my parents left we got ready to go to C***’s house for Christmas dinner with my husband’s family. I had told her about the affair. I asked her to host, as I just couldn’t get it together enough to do it.

The holiday season of 2014 will mostly remain a blur. I dont feel the need to remember it.

This holiday season, I’ve made it a point to be mindful. Honestly, I’d be happy if it were spring already, but I don’t want to rush time. I just haven’t found much holiday spirit yet. I am finding moments of joy. I’m even purposely creating them…

I’ve found my thoughts and mindset are very much focused on the fact that my son is a senior. That this time next year he will be away at college and how my role as a mother is rapidly changing. How our family dynamics are going to change. I want to be present with my son and daughters and remember this Christmas season warmly and fondl. When I reflect next year.

So, in the best holiday spirit I could muster,  my husband and I along with all 3 kids and my parents went to find our Christmas tree yesterday. It was a feat to just get all of us together, but I made it happen, just a week later than our normal Christmas tree day. We found our tree, cut it down, shared cocoa and donuts. And now it’s well on its way to being beautifully decorated. I have all my holiday decorations waiting to deck the halls and I’m determined to find some joy.

The hardest part is over, the tree ornaments. Each of mine tell a story. There’s a weary and fragile glass ornament that was on my grandmothers’ tree when she was a young girl.. It’s over 70 years old. All the baby’s first, second, third etc. ornaments, the mom and dad, son and daughter dated yearly ornaments. The Disney and vacation ornaments. Ornaments from my travels when in the Air Force. My most cherished ones, those sweet little cinnamon-glue and glitter gingerbread and popsicle stick ornaments, with their picture glued on,  hand-made with the tender loving hearts of my children. They still adorn my tree and they are my favorites. The mile-stone ornaments , character ornaments, the initial and personalized ornaments. Each and every one of them has a memory attached. I didn’t mention the all ornaments that represent my love for my husband thru the our 18 years, the Ten-year “old tin bell” ornament,  nor will I mention the memory each one evokes. Like all my ornaments. This year, just like last I’ve left them in their boxes. Maybe next year…

I’ve organized my sons’ senior portraits and my daughters’ school pictures for traditional grandparent and aunt/uncle gifts, and have some of the frames purchased. I’m not even sure I gave pictures out last year. I also arranged a professional photographer to have pictures done of my 3 kids together. Last year I will have all 3 in my nest… I’m still very anxiously waiting to see how they come out! And bonus for me, my husband doesn’t know. So I have a loving, heartfelt gift for him. Last year I filled his stocking last minute, and mostly from a well-known drug store and local chocolatier. Nothing personal. Otherwise,  I don’t think I got him anything. There were no ornaments purchased. Not even for my kids, as I discovered and my youngest reminded me, as we decorated the tree last evening. I’ve already purchase a few for this year…

I’m trying to be mindful and enjoying the little moments of real joy, or something that feels like joy used to feel. I’m feeling longer periods of “mostly comfortable with intermittent, mild to moderate triggers, and rarely one more serious. Occasional sadness but not depression, frequent mild anxiety and still often, just emotionally numb”

But when I stay mindful…

So now,  I’m off to search for holiday spirit. I’m hosting our traditional family gatherings for Christmas Day. Mostly for my son, and my girls. I will cherish all the time with him and them as I’m so aware my days are too few. I’ve got decorating to do (several day project) and a cookie-candy-fudge list to make.

I hope you are all able to find some peace, comfort and joy or something like it, this Christmas holiday season.

This my son cutting down our tree. It was nearly 50 degrees and still no snow. Very unusual for this time of year in these here parts!

❤️