I Know this Battle…

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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!

❤️

 

Gratitude

I’m grateful and blessed that my in-laws, each late 70’s are healthy and vibrant. Well enough to travel this Thanksgiving, to D.C., staying with their eldest son and his husband, my favorite brother-in-laws. I’ve mostly adored my in laws and they mostly love me. We’ve had moments, but overall they approve of me as thier daughter-in-law. I do love them dearly. They still believe thier son, the one I married, is the golden child, As his other 7 siblings would atest to. My husband was the “favorite.” I’m truly thankful they don’t know….

I’m thankful that my parents, mid sixties, are mostly well (except for her MDS) and vibrant. They are having Thanksgiving with my brother and his wife’s family. They share a fragile relationship with my brothers wife (she is superficial and very difficult, but she adores my brother and her 2 kids, my niece and nephew) and rarely are invited for holidays, birthdays etc. they were excited for the invitation, and feared they would hurt my feelings, as they traditionally spend it with my family. I truly am delighted for them.

I’m thankful that I’m hosting for a smaller group. Eight total. I’ve scaled down a few side-dishes, but Ive added roasting a second turkey; to make turkey pies for next weekend, and all of  our “Christmas tree” decorating festivities. My brother, his girlfriend, Sis (she’s like  my sister ❤️) and thier daughter, my sweetest, almost 5 year old niece! Sis know about the affair. My brother does not. He’d hate my husband forever, and probably tell,him what an asshole he thinks he is. It’s best he not know. Sis agrees. So  it will be easy enough to enjoy the day and thier company. And probably a football game!

I’m on call Wednesday-Friday overnights, so a smaller meal will be easier to manage, with potential calls the night.

I’ve made my traditional Thanksgiving menu and my shopping is done. I’ve made 3 pumpkin rolls and have a pumpkin pie in the oven now. I’ve got a blueberry and chocolate cream pie left to make. I’ve my veggies all ready to peel and chop, fresh rosemary, sage and thyme, a freshly and fully-stocked baking pantry and 2 turkeys harbored  in my very cramped-refrigerator. In my house with my things and my too many cats and dog. I’m thankful and blessed for these things, I’m too aware of the those less fortunate.

I’m thankful that my three beautiful children, are mostly thriving thru the caous and confusion of the past  almost-14 months since Dday. They seem mostly unscathed. I wonder if their adult life will reflect some childhood  scaring. But in the moment, they are doing mostly ok. I will emphasize that they each have added to the craziness, they are by no means perfect and we’ve had our share of trials! They have kept me grounded here this past year. They make my life better ❤️.

I’m thankful for my husband. He’s a charming and charismatic man. He’s the kind of guy that never forgets a name, goes out of his way to say hi, and everybody loves. He’s  a great father and our kids adore him. He’s thier buddy. He’s a terrific provider for his  family and has a successful career. He starts a new job next week, long awaited position. It’s a nice professional package for him, for us. He’s worked hard and waited a long time for this position. I’m thankful for his friendship, companionship and partnership. I’m thankful that he puts up with me and that he’s still here. I know how difficult I am.

I’m thankful that now, nearly 14 months after Dday I am slowly gaining clarity from the confusion and chaos in the wake of his affair. I have come to understand and know myself better. I’m kinder to me. I’m figuring things out and although I certainly don’t have the answers I want. I have the answers that I need. Now, with some clarity, I know that I have to ask myself a different set of questions, but not yet.

I’m thankful I’m here now and able to enjoy the holidays with my friends and family. I’m anxiously anticipating college acceptance letters and Senoir portraits, hockey season, winter formal.

I’m thankful for my fellow bloggers and commenters that remind me that I’m not loosing my mind. That I can come here, even whenit doesn’t always makes sense,  you all understand anyways.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sabatoged

Not sure why I’m inspired to blog today, but I am… I’ve been mostly lurking around WP as of late, but made a few comments over the weekend and a few responses and likes predictably were exchanged on a comment I made on His Affair, My Pain’s blog titled Common Themes…

I responded, “Me too.. I still cannot believe my husband cheated..”

Just this morning I received a new “like” notification to that comment from a blogger I don’t recognize. She’s new, not a single post.. Not an intro or an about about page.. Just a beautiful photo and title. I believe I am the first follower.

This makes my heart hurt and my tears are overflowing.. For her, because we more “seasoned” betrayed wives remember the sheer magnitude of the hell she is feeling in these first days. For all betrayed spouses, for having to pick themselves up everyday. I personally wished to just disappear, vanish, POOF!

I remember that there was nothing really made the insanity go away in the first and weeks…. The endless and often obsessive, pervasive thoughts and questions… Those really haven’t stopped for me, but they have continually lessened I learned to have better control of what I give thought to and a broader perspective.

The months since, the time, has given me hindsight. In that sense, Time does heal... But it doesn’t erase.. I still see that first text, her name and our emails, some other insignificant details, like vivid pictures in my mind. I remember my life exploding….

The  “flame was lit,”  Dday… it burned a few days and finally detonated. That’s when the truth started trickling in…and I still only know the basics really… My personal reality is, that he may not be telling me a lie, but he’s not telling me the truth either.

Over the first crazy weeks of knowing and living in the aftermath of the bomb dropping on my marriage, my life blew up, such magnitude as Hiroshima…. A giant mushroom cloud and everything instantly covered in ash.. Somehow we survived those first intense days ..

I think I’ve had my eyes closed… Because, if you grew up in the 70’s, or maybe watch enough war  movies, you know you don’t look at the blast…

Now, over a year later, I can see the massive cloud that still exists, I can see the carnage and fallout. I see that life is still moving on around me, and I’ve even participated to some degree. But I’m ready for better and beautiful again

I just still don’t know what direction to go. I’m afraid to jump.

My husband has tried to assure me that only time would heal me. I didn’t believe him then, and I still don’t. Time has dulled just the harshest edges, and eased the constant heartache, but honestly, they are still there. What the time has given me is perspective.. Again, hindsight..

I look back on what has truly been my beautiful mess of a life…

And it all looks so different now. I can still see most of the beauty.. But the mess? The mess that I was cleaning myself, while my husband was cheating and carrying on..unknowingly heaping to the mess..

My beautiful mess of a life was sabotaged.. This isn’t the life I was living, nor wanted to live.

Not sure where it will lead but you can follow my footprints as I walk out of the ashes.

Maybe tomorrow ❤️

One Event Does Not Define You

Great analogy she uses in this post! She uses it for her student..

I could relate to it as a betrayed wife too. I’m not healing or recovering nearly as well as I’m told I should be… But I’m doing it my way and I’ll get “there”.. Someday.
❤️

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

It was parent conference week at my school this past week. It’s a week I always look forward to (even while I dread the long hours required). I love getting a chance to talk with the parents after I have been able to see their child’s strengths, weaknesses, celebrations and struggles. Most of the conversations and strategies are pretty run-of-the-mill. Helping middle schoolers learn to prioritize, time-manage and organize is an on-going and ever-present task.

But every year since my first in the classroom, I have had a handful of conferences that are anything but run-of-the-mill. Some of the kids that come through my classroom have been through tragedy. Loss. Trauma. And as the teachers sit around the table and learn the information, the missing assignments suddenly become less important than the missing childhood. The focus shifts from succeeding in school to creating a support system to help the child…

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The Best Relationship Advice I Know: Give More Than You Take

Great advice! This guy has a great blog!

Must Be This Tall To Ride

I feel certain that if one of them dropped their pretzel, the other would give them theirs. (Image/Huffington Post) I feel certain that if one of them dropped their pretzel, the other would give them theirs. (Image/Huffington Post)

There are three common reactions to my ‘An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands’ series, and I hate two of them.

Reaction 1:“Atta boy! Good for you for owning up to your part in the divorce and trying to help others.”

I agree because it’s true. I accept praise for my efforts to accept responsibility for the mistakes I’ve made. Mistakes without consequence rarely teach us anything useful.

Reaction 2:“You take on too much, Matt! It takes two to tango! It’s not all your fault! Stop being so hard on yourself!”

I disagree with that one because I’m not being hard on myself. I’m telling you the truth: If I had behaved daily—in good times and in bad—as a husband must to love his wife and thoughtfully tend to…

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Revive me

Speakers unspoken volumes ❤️

try not to cry on my rainbow

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I would say I am a spiritual person, but not a religious one. Today, however, I saw this prayer and it spoke to me. I believe in me, and I know being a happy, healthy functioning member of a much bigger world than the one that revolves inside me alone is a gift I can give. I don’t want to be broken anymore.

I want there to be light in me

I want to be strong

I want to be whole

I want to be healthy

I want to feel enveloped in peace and love.

I wish these things for everyone.

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Music

After by post yesterday… I had some time driving to get here or there, most of it alone. Anyways it was an interesting list I created in my shazam app. (If you love music you should get this app and it’s free!)

sometimes I listen to music just for the beat. Sometimes the lyrics or melody. Yesterday all 3 seemed to appeal to me.

These songs are now on my play list…

Andy Grammar “Honey, I’m Good”

Rixton “Me and My Broken Heart

James Bay “Hold Back the River”

Alanis Morissette “Precious Illusions

Neon Trees “Everybody Talks”

Rob Thomas “This is How a Heart Breaks

NEEDTOBREATHE Featuring Gavin DeGraw “Brother”

The Script “No Good in Goodbye

Oh Honey “Be Okay

This song… I want to feel this all the time!

Shinedown “Unity

Alternate Routes “Nothing More

So now I realize how much time I spent running around yesterday,listening to music. And I’ve done it again posting it here… And there’s more, but I have to do something productive!

These songs brought many tears and I abandoned the makeup I had reapplied. I was late getting to my sons’ LAX game, but I made the second half (with sunglasses on!) They played a great game and won! My son narrowly missed getting seriously checked and didn’t even know until a teammate told him. It was scary from the bleachers! Pretty sure they are second in their class and division! Not to bad.. On to playoffs!

If you take the time to go thru listen to the songs and hear the lyrics I’d love to know what it makes you feel!