Friday, November 14, 2014

Payback from a Jealous Girl

There are certain songs that I have always listened to and liked, not really even paying attention to the lyrics and meaning. Today was one of those days where I heard a song and, for the first time, understood the lyrics. And it made me laugh. (Don't worry - guns are not my thing. But I GET it.)

Well, he ran around 

Late at night 
Holding hands 
And making light 
Of everything 
That came before 
But there she was 
Behind the door

She hit them with her ten cent pistol 
Because they ruined her name 
Well, she hit them with her ten cent pistol 
And they've never been the same

There's nothing worse 
In this world 
Than payback from a 
Jealous girl 
The laws of man 
Don't apply 
When blood gets in 
A woman's eye

Well, she hit them with her ten cent pistol 
Because they ruined her name 
Well, she hit them with her ten cent pistol 
And they've never been the same

Stars did fall 
Thunder rolled 
Bugs crawled back 
In their holes 
The couple screamed 
But far too late 
Cause a jealous heart 
Did retaliate

She hit them with her ten cent pistol 
Because they ruined her name 
Well, she hit them with her ten cent pistol 
And they've never been the same

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Leaving on a Jet Plane

So I spent this D-Day #1 anniversary in a crazy way. I jumped on a plane and flew out of state. By myself. Just nine hours of time alone, in a “bucket list” destination. Landed at 11AM, jumped into a rental car, and drove with no plans. Just me, Google Maps, and a backpack of hiking gear. And let me tell you - it was AWESOME.

If you ever need some clarity, you must do this. If you can’t jump on a plane, just drive out of town - alone. Spend the day doing things you love. I spent my day shopping through a bustling downtown district, ate a street taco on a bench while people-watching, and then went for a strenuous hike on a beautiful mountain trail. Now I’m sitting in the airport drinking a beer and writing this.

Being somewhere totally foreign to you, alone, gives you great perspective. It allows you to let your thoughts flow freely, without the influence of others. Certain moments or places make you think of so-and-so, and how you wish they were there to share it with you.

All day today, I snapped pictures. Pictures I wanted to share with my husband. Pictures of my hike that I can’t wait to show with him, because he would have loved that trail. Pictures of my stupid airport snack, because he’ll wonder what I ate for dinner. All day long, I thought of him and how much he would have loved today. I was out of town having some “me” time, yet I couldn’t separate the “me” from “us”. That, my friends, is perspective.

I also opened a letter from him that he snuck into my backpack while I stopped for water on my hike. It was an apology letter. It was almost identical to the ones he wrote me two years ago. But this time, I heard a more mature apology; one that had grown into a deep-rooted regret and adult admission of total idiocy. He took ownership of the depth of pain and damage he has caused, and acknowledged the responsibility he has in “healing” me. And I loved it. It made me want to try harder. It made me want to hold him and tell him we were going to be okay.  It made me wish he were on that trail with me, right then.

Because at the end of the day, he is who I want to share this life with.

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Two years ago this morning, I woke with an unsettling feeling. My husband had come home from work early the night before without explanation. He walked through the door like a zombie, not saying much except for that he didn’t feel well as he stared into the abyss. I felt his forehead; no temperature. I tried to feed him dinner but he wasn’t hungry. This was so strange, I thought. He didn’t text me or call me that he was coming home or that he wasn’t feeling great. He would tell me if he was coming home.

So the next morning, he still wouldn’t tell me what was going on. I went on a run before getting ready for work. As I ran, I thought to myself: Did he get a phone call from a family member and someone is dying? Does he have a terminal disease and is afraid to tell me about it? My mind created a dozen different scenarios, but not one of them had anything to do with another woman. Even my imagination was incapable of painting such a picture.

I returned from my run and got ready for work as he stood in the bathroom doorway and watched me with his eyes glazed over. “You know, if you don’t tell me what’s going on, I’m going to imagine the worst,” I told him. He was motionless.

I finished getting dressed as he sat at the end of the bed. I sat on the ground, and grabbed his knees. “What’s going on, babe?” I tenderly asked. The tears started leaking from his eyes. “Don’t be nice to me….don’t be nice to me!” he exclaimed.

My stomach sank. Oh my God. No. Could he be cheating on me? What? No. There’s no way. We are the poster child couple. We tell each other everything. We talk/text dozens of times a day. There’s no way he could be hiding a girlfriend. Who IS this person in front of me?

He proceeded to tell me that he and Chicken Legs have been talking and texting a lot for a while. He’s so happy with me and where we’re at, and he’s so sorry.

“Did you kiss her?” I asked in disbelief. Kiss her! Man, I had no idea. My innocent little heart couldn’t get past the thought of a simple make out sesh!

“Just a couple times,” he lied.

The rest of the day was spent in total hysterics, with us both screaming, making love, crying, me questioning, him dodging the questions, and embracing. I believed his lies. I believed that it was an emotional affair and that they had only kissed a couple of times in the work parking lot. And that was enough to destroy me.

Until exactly a month later, when the whole truth would be revealed. I would start this process all over again on that day.

So that morning was two years ago today. Two years ago, I thought I’d be over this by now. I thought we’d be in the best place ever in the fall of 2014. Our marriage was going to be stronger, better, and happier. We were going to be renewing our wedding vows and sending this horrible event to its grave. Because I was Miss. Overachiever. I never failed at anything in life. I was special, and I was going to overcome this better and faster than anyone. I was going to write books about this and help others heal their marriage.

Turns out, I’m not as special as I thought I was.

Here I sit today, 730 days later, and I still can cry at the image of the two of them. I’m still shocked at what he accomplished behind my back. I’m still hurt that my husband brought a third party into our marriage bed. I’m still wondering if our marriage will survive. I’m Still. Not. Over. It.

And that’s a shitty feeling. Especially for someone who accomplishes everything they put their mind to. For someone who can mentally push through the most challenging feats. For someone who considers themself to be strong, compassionate, and forgiving. For this person, it feels like utter failure.

What is wrong with me? I ask myself this every day. I feel stupid. I feel embarrassed. I feel like a Negative Nancy. I feel alone, because I can no longer dump my sorrows onto friends and family. Everyone else is over it, except me.

Will I be over it two more years from now? Who knows. And that is what I hate: not knowing. I feel like I’m waiting for something to happen that will fix it all for me. I will be hit with some major realization that this is all stupid and in the past, and I can just let it go and move forward with my husband. Or, maybe I’m waiting around for the next shoe to drop, so I can just walk away and move on with my life.

But two years later, that lightening bolt has yet to strike. I wake up each morning like Groundhog Day, reliving the same emotions as the day before. It still happened. I’m still here, and he’s still in my bed. I’m still confused. I still don’t understand. Yet I’m still functioning, going to work, laughing with my kids, and watching them grow.

It’s like there is a mirage of me moving forward, accomplishing my daily tasks, running my kids around, and making future vacation plans - yet the real me is standing still, with my feet stuck in the mud.

I know we’ve made progress. There are countless signs that I’ve healed in many ways. Maybe it’s just a little more time that I need.

The lightening bolt won’t ever strike. Deep down I know I don’t want to be divorced. But I also don’t want to be in a cheap marriage. The only choice left is to push past the anger and put a concerted effort into fixing my marriage. So why can’t I just do that? What is holding me back? If that is what I want, why can’t I just take the plunge? What am I afraid of?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mom, Did Dad Cheat on You?

Yep. Those words came out of my 9-year-old's mouth. My empathetic, older-than-his-years, "indigo child" son. 

We were driving to grab some dinner the other night. Their dad was working, and my son asked why we no longer go to the place where it all went down. He asked why Dad doesn't even want to go near it. 

"Did something bad happen there and that's why he quit?" he asked.

"Yes, pretty much" I replied.


"Did Dad cheat on you, Mom?"

The world stopped for a second. What did he just say?

It was almost like when he looked into my eyes and demanded to know the truth about Santa Claus. Only that was a question I had been preparing for. This one, not so. 

I had decided to keep the Santa thing going until he finally asked me, flat out. If he was to ask me for the truth, I was going to give it to him. Until then, I was going to carry on with the sweet fantasy to protect his innocence and keep the magic alive.

So applying that philosophy to this loaded question, what was I supposed to say? This nine-year-old who watches Full House reruns every night has a deeper understanding of compassion and human relations than many adults I know. How could I lie to him? He was asking for the truth. He can handle the truth; he's not your typical kid. 

I swore that after being betrayed and lied to by the person I trusted the most, I was going to make it my life quest to be 100% honest and truthful to myself and my loved ones. And now my child was asking for an answer to a question that could possibly change his opinion about his father forever. 

I could lie and break yet another vow - the vow I made to myself about being truthful. Or I could tell him the truth. I've been wanting to tell him since day one for selfish reasons. In the beginning, I wanted him to know so I could have another ally. I wanted my husband to feel the loss of his son's trust and respect, because my husband deserved that. My husband put my innocent child's future on the line for a stupid, useless fuck. He choose the whore, not my kids. He spent his mornings at her house, fucking her in her marriage bed when he should have been at home making pancakes for his adoring sons. But when they woke up each Saturday morning, they knew Dad was "on a bike ride."

So yeah, I wanted my son to know. I wanted his support. I knew he'd be on my team. I knew he'd protect his momma. 

Yet when he outright asked me....I dodged the question.

"What makes you ask that?" I replied after several moments of silence.

"I don't know...cuz you guys were fighting so much," he said.

"Would you be mad at Dad if he did?" I asked. (I just had to know!)


And then I changed the subject. I think we were pulling into the restaurant at that time so I was able to segway into something about dinner. But I couldn't stop thinking about it.

He knows. I know he knows. Which is why I do want to tell him. I don't want him to make this mistake with his future wife. The pattern MUST end with this generation. And he won't learn unless he knows and understands. 

Would it be more helpful to grow up knowing the truth and understanding that when your parents are fighting, there is a root cause? They say the danger in divorce is that kids think it's their fault. Would him knowing help him understand that it's not at all about him? That his family is dysfunctional because his dad fucked up royally? And then he could leave this house with nine years of knowledge, which he could then take with him and apply to his own life?

Or do we wait until he's 18 and risk it falling on deaf ears? Would it be impactful to say, "You know when you were nine and Mom was throwing patio furniture at Dad? Yeah, that's what that was all about." At that point, will he even care?

I know it's my job to protect his innocence. But sheltered kids grow up to be naive. I don't think I'd be doing him any favors if he already knows the truth and he is witnessing me being untruthful with him.

But trust me, if I choose to tell him, he will hear it from my husband. This is a man thing, and my husband is responsible for teaching my sons how to be men of honor. And if he wants me to think of  him as honorable again, he needs to man up. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Voices Inside the Head of a Betrayed Wife

It goes a little something like this.

Waking Up in the Morning
" it 6:30 already? Thank God for no nightmares last night." (Turn over) "There he is. He's still here. Why is he still in my bed? I wonder if he screwed her in this bed and he lied to me about it. Why wouldn't he have? He had no problem screwing her in HER husband's bed. (yawn) I can't wait for coffee. I wish I could train the cats to turn the coffee pot on in the morning. I guess I'll get up. The kids are still sleeping so maybe I'll have a few minutes of 'me' time. But he will be disappointed when he wakes up and I'm not in bed. Wait a sec, why do I care? Whatever. Coffee."

While Running
"Man, I'm slow. What should I make for dinner tonight? We can't go out; we went out last night. I think we have tofu. Stir fry should be OK. Do I have any wine, though? Maybe tonight I should try and not drink. Yeah, I'll try to have a night without booze. Good thinking. Geez, why am I so slow today? I feel heavy. I wonder if the whore is still running, like she started doing while fucking my husband. I'd kick her ass in a fitness contest. Man, that would be awesome. Her stupid skinny legs...I wish she could have seen me in that dress I wore to work yesterday. I looked smokin'. I wonder what she looks like now? What should I wear to work today? I have that new pencil skirt I haven't worn yet. What top would I wear? I'm thirsty. Should have brought water after all. Oh well, I will survive 45 minutes without water. I survived a year of eating practically nothing, after all. A year...wait, what month am I in now? I'm not even counting anymore! That's good, I guess. Ugh. I hate my husband. I hate him. I'm thirsty. Maybe I can hit up the drinking fountain at the trail head."

"Let's see, music or NPR? I should listen to the news; I'm so out of touch. I used to love the news. I'm so different now. Why did he do this to me? I miss the old me. Let's try music. Oh yes, Justin Timberlake. 'What goes around goes around goes around comes all the way back around....." Heck yeah! I hope she's dealing with major karma. Little bitch. Oh JT, you're so hot. I wonder if you will cheat? Stupid question. Of course you will. All men are inclined to, and you have supermodels clawing at your door. Oh man, the song is almost done. I should call my mom. Oh wait, I need to call Tracy, too. Oh, hello stupid Kia SUV! I hate you! Will I ever see a Kia and NOT think of the whore? I hate those cars. I can't believe she pulled out her kids' Wet Wipes out of the glove compartment to clean up his little mess. They both disgust me. He doesn't deserve me! He's such an ass hole. I hate him! Oh hey, the Sam Smith song! Turn it up! I'll call Mom on the way home."

Taking a Walk on My Lunch Hour
"Well that meeting was a waste of time! This project is taking forever. It's hot out. I love this heat, though. I'm so glad I live here. Haha - the whore moved away in her shame and I got to stay here. She is sweating her butt off in the deep south. I hope she hates it. I hope she misses this town every day and feels like crap about being the one that moved her family out of her hometown because she was a little homewrecker. Did I bring a lunch today? Just some carrots and hummus, but that's enough. Gazpacho sounds good, but I had it on Monday. Oh, look at that building! So pretty. I need to give my boss my vacation request when I get back. Where should we go on vacation? Back to San Diego? The kids love it there. He (husband) wanted to go camping, so maybe we should try something new like that. I don't even feel like being with him right now, though. I can't believe he had an affair. WTF. WTF! Oh my God, my husband fucked another woman for a YEAR and got CAUGHT. He didn't even have the decency to come completely clean when he was caught, so he had to get caught AGAIN. Why am I still married to him? I always said I'd leave him if he did this. Am I weak because I stayed? Or am I strong because I stayed? I can't believe my husband had an affair. Crap, it's hot. I wonder if I look stupid walking in these sneakers with my cute dress on. What were those vacation days again?"

You get the idea. This is how it goes, all day long. Thoughts of the affair pop in and out of my head all day, no matter what I'm doing. I can be with him having a great time, and my mind will still play out these little monologues. It's the new norm. It's embedded into my everyday life. There is NO erasing it. 

I hate it. Sometimes I feel like this is all a bad dream because it just couldn't be real. I especially feel this way when I've been completely fine for a while and something reminds me that he had an affair. I feel like I don't even know who I am at those times. It all feels fake. I know it's suppose to eventually go-away-but-not-really-go-away, but to me that feels like we are living a fake life. Not that everyone has to know the drama of my marriage, but I feel like he has gotten away with the worst crime EVER. I feel like a fool.

And then I withdraw. It's too tiring to think about, so I just move on to something else. Eventually the thoughts will creep back in, but they will organically go away for a while, too. 

And then I wake up tomorrow and it starts all over again.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

Tomorrow is Father's Day. I took the kids to Hallmark a few days ago to find some cards for their dad. While they were giggling over all the bathroom humor that is ubiquitous in Father's Day cards, I perused through the "husband" section to find him one from me:

"To the Man I Love...."  Hmm. Not ready for that one.

"I'm So Glad You Are My Husband..." I scratch my head at that headline.

"I Love Our Life Together..."  Now that's overreaching!

Come on Hallmark, this is Father's Day. It's not a day for romance. Why can't you make cards that say, "Thanks for being a good dad to my kids?" That's all I ask for!

So then I move over to the generic "for anyone" cards:

"Take Time Out for Yourself Today"
"You Deserve the Best"
"For a Great Dad on Father's Day"

Ugh. So painfully generic.

I walked out without one. I thought it would be better to not say anything than say the wrong thing.

Father's Day is a bit of a trigger for me, anyway. Two years ago (towards the latter part of the affair), I surprised him with a trip to a local olive farm that makes olive oil and has a great little cafe with locally grown products. It was a fun little family morning. Well, I thought so, anyway. I am a planner and I'm always making sure we are making memories as a family.

Anyway, another part of his Father's Day gift that year was a "boys trip" the following day/night with the kids. (This was when he was a stay-at-home dad, so I stayed home because I had to be in the office both days.) So he took the kids up north the next day. That night, I called to say goodnight to the boys. After I said goodnight, my husband took the phone and said that he forgot his phone charger and his phone was dying, so he needed to go so he could turn it off and have a little juice for the next day. I believed him.

Well, months later, as I was going through phone bills trying to match up his phone calls and text messages with every event that occurred in our life the prior year, I saw that he had talked to her that night - the night away with the boys - for over an hour immediately AFTER hanging up with me. Immediately after he told me his phone was dying. Immediately after lying to me. Ok, it wasn't immediately - maybe 10 minutes or so - because after all, he had to get the kids to bed before calling her. 

What did they talk about for over an hour in the same hotel that we have visited countless times as a family? Did they have phone sex in our sacred home-away-from-home? Surely they did. What else does one do on the phone at that hour of the day - for that long - after having a secret affair with them for a year? 

And here I was at home working full-time, happily. It didn't bother me that I was here and they were on a mini-vacation without me. I was proud that my husband was a stay-at-home father. I was happy they were having "boy time" together in the mountains. I was madly in love with the father of my children, and thought my kids and I were the luckiest of all the land. It would have NEVER crossed my mind that he would spend that time with the kids texting and calling a whore.

So that's what I think of at Father's Day. I think of how I've been so happy to make it a special day for my husband over the years, but the reality is that he risked LOSING HIS KIDS for a little escapism with a stupid little whore. He had an entire year to end it and to re-claim his family. But instead, he kept throwing the dice with every drive to her house, every call, every text. Though a psychologist will tell me that he really wasn't consciously choosing her over us, his actions were very clear in that he was choosing HIMSELF over us. 

Father's Day is a tough one for me. That's why this year there was no card (from me), and no plans made. I think he realizes now that he could have lost us all, and he's just happy to have us all here under the same roof on Father's Day.

Maybe someday I will feel differently about Father's Day, but for now it's just another holiday that has lost its purity. It's another reminder of how changed our lives are now. But the fact does remain that he's a good father. And my kids are lucky. And the thought of another man coming near their bedside makes me sick to my stomach. I guess that's something to celebrate, after all.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Awesome Consequences of Cheating on Your Spouse #286

I used to be a pretty tough chic. I've run marathons. Given birth naturally. "No gain without pain" was something I lived by.

Now? Not so much. Ever since I was betrayed by my husband and experienced the worst emotional pain known to the human race, I have become a royal wimp. You would think it would be the opposite. I thought I was going to be a badass after this experience and that pain wouldn't even effect me. Rather, I react like a helpless victim when I get physically hurt now.

It happened yesterday while I was running on the trails while my husband was biking alongside me. I was running along, and sure enough my mind started veering off to the affair. Nothing graphic or horrible, but more of a realization of the scars our marriage now carries. My running became sloppy because I lost focus, and I tripped on a rock.

I fell face first, shredding up my hands, elbows, knees and hips. I hit my ribs pretty hard, too. I gasped for a breath and just started bawling like a child. I was angry. I wanted to blame someone. I felt like a victim and that someone else had done this to me. I sat there all dusty and bloody in silence after I calmed down for a bit. I just sat there. What has happened to my life? What has happened to ME? I just tripped and it was no one else's fault but my own, yet I want to get mad at someone else for it. I sat there in a dust pile having my own little pity party. 

This anger thing is common now when I get hurt, whether it's when I slam my fingers in the door or hit my head on a kitchen cabinet. The instant it happens, a bolt of anger shoots through me and I am angry at "whoever" did this to me. In most cases, it's my own carelessness that causes these silly incidences but I still want to blame my husband. Or the whore. Or someone.

Anything bad that happens to me is all their fault. (Or so it seems to me in those moments.)

Why do I do this? Do I associate all pain with the pain he inflicted on me? Am I just overly sensitive now? I flinch all the time, as if I'm anticipating someone or something hurting me - whether it's when someone gets too physically close or a ball is being thrown near my face. I throw up this wall of defensiveness.

And I flippin' cry all the time when crap happens to me. It's so loser-ish. I was never a loser before.

Great. Add it to the list of awesome consequences of cheating on your spouse.


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