Monday, December 30, 2013

Goodbye, 2013. So Happy to See You Go.

In the past, I hated New Year's Eves. I found them depressing. It was the end of the holiday season, which meant dead trees on the curbside and dark streets that were just lit up with twinkle lights a few days prior. It meant finality on another year of great memories. It was a reminder of how fast time flies and how I'm older than I feel.

This year, however, I couldn't be happier to toast at midnight.

I don't want the holiday season to end, but I can't wait to close the door on the very worst and most painful year of my life. A year in which I was so mentally whacked that I packed up my family and emptied out my house to move out of the country with a man who had just betrayed me. A year in which I lived with strangers for two months while we were without a home. A year in which I lost so much weight that you could see every vertebrae in my back. A year in which I was dying on the inside but yet accomplished things that most people would consider to be great feats.

Truthfully, I'm relieved to be alive, in my home, with my kids tucked in their beds safe and happy on this eve of 2014. I'm relieved that I didn't become anorexic or alcoholic - both of which could have been a reality if I had let it. I'm relieved I got through the worst of this journey without hurting myself, my family, or another person's family. I'm relieved that I didn't let revenge get the best of me and rob me of my integrity. I'm still me, bruised and battered - but I'm whole. It's nothing short of a miracle.

I believe that 2014 will be a pivotal year for me. It will have its ugliness, I'm sure - but I'm not going to settle for anything less than fabulous for myself or my kids. 2014, I hope you kick 2013's ass!

Friday, December 20, 2013

YAY for a Positive Post!

I don't know if it's simply the magic of Christmas, but it has been a really great holiday season. I was so worried that I was going to miss yet another Christmas because I'd be checked out emotionally, but instead I feel more present than ever.

See, I'm BIG on Christmas. I start early. I put trees in every room. I have Christmas music playing constantly. I watch Home Alone and other classics all year long with my kids. I make it as magical as possible for my family. And last year I don't even remember it. Well this year, I feel like the old me. I think it's going to be a great Christmas.

I only hope that this feeling lasts after the holidays are over and the decorations are boxed up and put away. I hope that 2014 brings positive change within me. That's all I want for Christmas: a healed heart.

I couldn't help but share this awesome Christmas manifesto from the Hands Free Mama:

This year, I will view holiday experiences through the eyes of my child so my eyes can twinkle at the sight of marshmallows in cocoa and spontaneous snowball fights. This year, I’m letting go to grasp what really matters.

This year, I will... worry less about how much money I spend and focus more on investments of time and presence that will endure beyond my lifetime. This year, I’m letting go to grasp what really matters.

This year, I will savor every bite of my family’s favorite recipes instead of concerning myself with table decorations, fat grams, or how soon I can clean up the mess. This year, I’m letting go to grasp what really matters.

This year, I will listen to the memories of my relatives shared across the dinner table instead of being sidetracked by updates of those I barely know on a digital screen. This year, I’m letting go to grasp what really matters.

This year, I will swallow words of criticism before they leave my mouth and replace them with words of kindness and appreciation for those around me and myself. This year, I’m letting go to grasp what really matters.

This year, I will stop being a moving target that my family cannot hold. This year, I will not multi-task the moments away. This year, I’m letting go to grasp what really matters.

This year, I will not get upset when things don’t go as planned. This year, I will see inconveniences as a chance to acknowledge all that is good in my life. This year, I’m letting go to grasp what really matters.

This year, I will remember my loved ones are constantly growing and changing and things may be different next year. This year, I am going Hands Free so I can fully embrace every bit of my perfectly imperfect life.

© Rachel Macy Stafford 2010

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tonight's Trigger is Brought to you by...A Complete Stranger

We went out for a date night last night. It's been good - like really, really good - for almost two weeks now. So we were very excited about this date night, since we haven't had a good date night (without things going south) in a very long time.

It started out magically. He met me at a trendy restaurant, and I was already sitting at the table when he arrived. I watched him walk by the windows and even had that flutter in my stomach. He looked so good, and for once I wasn't thinking about him being taken from me - I was thinking about how he's MINE and is coming to meet ME.

We ordered a bottle of wine and some food, and the conversation was light and happy. Then the food runner came with our meal. She had "her" hair, similar eyes, and similar body type. I tried to brush it off and enjoy the food. We continued, and I was fine. Then I saw her talking to her co-worker buddy, who also had similar features. I don't know if it was just the wine, but I just lost it. I said to him, "Why do all the employees here look like her?!" He immediately said, "Don't do this. I'm here with you." I said, "It doesn't matter. I know what she looked like, so anyone who looks similar is a threat to me." He got angry. Quiet. Put up his walls. All I wanted him to do is reach and grab my hand, or come over to my side of the table and hold me. But no, he just pulled away.

Why does he do this? Why doesn't he get it by now? Every time he puts up his walls when I get sad/angry/depressed, he says that "next time" he is going to handle it better. But he doesn't.

So we continued the date and did some shopping. He continued to be quiet. I reached out to him a few times - I even apologized! - yet he never came around. Even this morning, when things had softened a bit, he didn't apologize or acknowledge how poorly he handled the night.

I understand. He was disappointed that yet ANOTHER date night went south. We have so many restaurants that are now "ruined" because we've ended an evening fighting at the table.

But give me a break, this is how it goes! He should know it by now! I'm sorry, but if I had an affair with a 6'4" blonde man, my husband would feel a little insecure - or at least be reminded of the pain - every time he saw a tall blonde man. That's the way it goes. I'm guessing for a really long time.

I don't even know how to handle dates anymore. Sometimes we say that we should give up on dating because the expectations are just too unrealistic. But then we have good days and decide to capitalize on the good, so we go for it. But EVERY time it ends in a fight.

Movies are out; all of them have affairs or new romance in them. Restaurants are out; your server could look like the other woman. Basically all places with other people are a gamble, because you never know when you're going to come across someone or something that triggers the pain. For example, I was out with my sister at an outdoor movie the other night and there was a couple in front of us making out. Where did my mind go? You guessed it.

When will the general public not be a threat to my fragile heart?

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Civil Wars Say it Better

Love/hate. Love/hate. Love/hate. How do you know which feeling to trust when they are both so real? When I feel the love, I am confident in that love for him. When I am angry over what he has done to my life and our boys' lives, I hate him with a passion. He can make me physically sick.

I don't love him, but I always will...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Am I Ready?

Something has changed in the last two weeks. I can't put my finger on why or how the change has occurred, but all I know is that I'm thinking about the affair less and less. In fact, some nights I go to bed and realize that I maybe didn't even think about it all day? Or if I did, I did not get engrossed in the thought. I let the thought pass through me organically, without studying it - without giving it emotion.

I'm looking at my husband in a more empathetic way, too. He has endured a year of complete hell from me, and has stayed here by my side, taking it. I realize that although he had a little "fun" during the affair, the torment he has experienced in the last year has more than discounted the pleasure he got from it.

Maybe I'm just getting sick of it. I'm tired of dragging it around with me. I'm tired of missing out on what's happening right before my eyes because I'm looking backward. I'm tired of the poisonous feeling of anger and bitterness. I'm tired of thinking of something that happened two years ago. I can't even remember the details of my life two years ago unless I look at why am I keeping his actions from two years ago alive?

Is this what forgiveness looks like? Is it an organic process in which you gradually just let it....go? The pain, the thoughts, the anger - you just start loosening your grip?

If I were to be completely honest with myself, I'd have to say that in my heart, I have forgiven him. I really believe I have. So why am I so afraid to say the words? Perhaps it's because I don't trust my own thoughts and emotions. Heck, if you've ready a few of my posts you can see how bipolar one becomes from this madness. So maybe I think I've forgiven but afraid I'll wake up tomorrow and feel completely different.

We are seeing a new counselor who is A-MAZ-ING. He has really helped me in this subject of forgiveness in four short weeks. We have six more sessions, and I'm pretty sure we'll be in a really good place at the end of it all. That is, if I do my homework and apply what I'm learning. That's the hard part!!

You see, this whole recovery process is just a big mind game. Like they say, it's not about your circumstance, it's about your reaction to your circumstance. We all know that the mind is a powerful thing, and it will direct your feelings. The trouble is, it's not easy. Talking yourself down from negative thoughts when you've been hurt feels completely unnatural. I believe that is why so many couples do not survive infidelity. You have to be one strong ass mama to overcome it.

But no worries, because I am one STRONG ASS MAMA. Forgiveness is close....I can feel it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Adultery SUCKS.

When I started this blog a year ago, I intended for it to be uber-positive. I thought it would be one of the resources out there that would encourage betrayed spouses to press on and work to heal their marriage. I thought I'd be using the affair "for good" and providing a message out of my mess. Well, here I sit, reading my own blog, getting depressed.

I realized I mostly post when I am angry. I rarely posts when things are good. This paints a distorted picture that our road to reconciliation has been all hell. That's simply not true; I just don't feel compelled to write when it's good for some reason. :) I guess that just proves the writing-is-therapy theory.

SO anyways, here I am, 13 months post D-day. And I'm happy, but I'm still sad. And angry. Depressed. Confused. Jealous. Shocked. Seriously, I have a moment at least once a week where I say to myself, "What the HELL?! How is this my life? How did my husband have an affair for a YEAR and I was oblivious? Who is this person I call my husband?" I am STILL shocked when I really think about it. (This usually occurs to me when I am alone in my thoughts.)

You know what sucks? Having to be the one that carries the burden of splitting up our family or pressing on. You know why? Because I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG yet I'm the one who has to choose between hurting my children and turning our lives upside-down or waking up to a lying cheater for the rest of my life. Those are the options. AWESOME. Sometimes I really wish he had left me. It would have been easier to just move on without having the decision.

Don't get me wrong; we have lots of happy times. We have a wonderful time with our kids. We have amazing sex. We laugh and communicate all day long. Yet deep down, there is something there that is not allowing to give myself fully. I am holding back. I am scared to put myself out there with him. I am scared to be vulnerable because I don't trust him. I also don't think he deserves me, so I hold back. This is not a good thing, but why should I feel otherwise? Wouldn't I be a fool to let myself go completely again in the arms of this man who lied to me and manipulated me?

This guarding of my heart or whatever it is does not let allow me to be fully happy. Is that what I want for myself? I have a choice. Do I choose to move forward with a man who hurt me like no other, but is working hard to "fix it"? Or do I choose to do away with it all and have the freedom of a fresh start? Freedom from waking up to the pain every day?

I think about the past year, and the moments of joy I have had. Most of those moments were with my kids, by myself. I find so much joy in them, and most of the time my favorite moments are when he's not around. This has been our life always. He has worked nights, so I've always had my evenings with the boys. This is what I know, so it wouldn't be too hard to adjust to a life without my husband. My boys and I would continue to have so much fun. They are my life.

Oh, this just sucks. I don't want to live with regrets later in life about the choices I make right now. So what's a betrayed girl to do?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Slaying the Affair Dragon for GOOD

I know his affair had nothing to do with me. I know he's remorseful. I know he's a better man now as a result of hitting rock bottom. I know he'd do anything to make me the happiest woman in the world. If I know all of these things, then why am I still so stuck?

Is it pride? Year one is over and I've put together the pieces of my shattered self-esteem again. I feel like myself again, but stronger. So am I just too proud? Am I dwelling in the land of  I'm-too-good-for-a-cheater? Now that my head is clear again, am I looking at the situation too rationally?

I don't know what else it could be. I would graduate with honors from the school of infidelity. I get it. I understand how people become involved in affairs unintentionally. But despite my knowledge and understanding of all of this, it's like I don't accept it for myself. I can know something to be true but yet not have the ability to apply it to my own life.

I was thinking this morning of an analogy that best represented how I feel right now. One of the things I thought of is "slaying the invincible affair dragon." I feel like every morning I wake to fight the battle. I battle the affair dragon, who is fierce and huge and spewing fire from his mouth. I swing my sword over and over to exhaustion, until I finally slay the dragon to its death. I feel a temporary sense of relief. I catch my breath. I have a chance to look at the world around me and find a bit of peace. But then, the very next morning, the dragon rises again and starts spewing his fire at me. I cannot kill the damn thing. So I start again, fighting and fighting until he's on the ground, appearing to be dead. Next day, he arises yet again.

This is my life. I feel like I wake up every morning to the horrible reality that is a post-affair marriage. I fight explicit images all day. I battle the idea of my husband sharing our sacred marriage bond with another woman. I fight and I battle all day to the point of exhaustion. Sometimes I feel like I won the battle and slayed the dragon. Those days are amazing. The clarity, the peace, the joy I feel on those days! And then, behind my smiling back, that evil dragon is pulling himself up off the ground and is heading towards me again.

I wish you would just die, you mother fucking affair dragon. I'm tired of fighting you.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Year One. Done.

I remember a year ago like it was hours ago. I remember the drop in my stomach. I remember the feeling of suddenly living in an alternate universe. I remember looking into my husband's eyes and seeing my enemy, after believing he was my one true source of protection and love. I remember not knowing what was real and what was fake. Was everyone in my life scheming behind my back? Were my kids even real? Such an insane reality to be thrown into. I'm glad it's all behind me. I'm glad the first year of hell is over.

I remember being in our first counseling session and our therapist saying it could take a year if not more to heal from this. My reaction was, "Are you KIDDING? A YEAR???" I couldn't imagine feeling that anger another week, let alone a year. Then as I continued to read and talk to other couples who had been through this, it turns out the more common timeline is 2-5 years. The "year" only applied to a select few couples who do the hard work from day one and do everything perfectly to heal the marriage. Well, I've yet to hear an example of anyone getting over this in a year.

And here I sit, a year later. I thought for sure we'd be one of those couples to be done with this bullshit in a year. No, I don't think that's us. I don't want to take a guess, because I don't want to put down an expectation for myself. I'm sick of expectations. I'm tired of having to live up to some standard that society or I expect of my "progress." Because NOBODY knows what my experience is like. I don't care if you've been cheated on before; no one's experience is exactly the same. The depths and details of the betrayal and what they mean to the hurt partner are different for everyone, and they affect the timeline of the healing.

Yesterday was the 1-year anniversary of D-Day. I planned a road trip weekend with my little sister on purpose, so I wouldn't have to wake up at home yesterday morning. My plan worked brilliantly. I woke up yesterday morning in a cozy hotel bed, after having the longest, most solid sleep I have had in a year. I awoke without even realizing what day it was. It wasn't until several hours later that it even dawned on me that is was September 22. I am so glad we went away, because now next year I can say that on this day a year ago I was having fun with my sister in California, instead of, "oh, today is September 22 again."

Things are good right now. I want to forgive. I want to so badly. But I just know that I'm not done and not ready to say the words. I have grieving yet to do. I can actually feel myself coming down from the high again right now. I hope to not go down as low as the last time, but the highs are just to exhausting for me lately. I can't stay up there long.

I can't believe I'm here. I can honestly look back at the last year and wonder how I made it. I guess I'm stronger than I thought after all. Well, no looking back now. I replaced my wedding ring with a ring with an arrow pointing forward. It is a reminder to keep moving forward, and not look back. I'll try my darndest.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Reality Bites

Maybe it's because I'm no longer in survival mode. I'm now living my life with the reality of the betrayal. I'm numb. I'm dead inside. I want to be attracted to him, but I'm not. I can't get through sex with him without crying, or we have sex and it's just for him because I really don't even want it. It's so ruined. Everything is ruined.

I miss freedom. I miss the freedom of being secure in my marriage and happy with my life. I miss the freedom of watching my children play without the distraction in the back of my mind of her in this house. I miss running on the mountain with my mind going wherever it wanted; now it only goes "there."

I just miss my old life. I can't have it back, and I know that I have to accept it.

Infidelity SUCKS ASS.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Maybe This Isn't Going to Work After All

What does it mean when your cheating spouse can no longer console you when you're grieving the loss of your perfect marriage? What does it say when you sit at the dining room table sobbing, and he puts up a wall and gets angry because HE just wants to have a good day after 2 weeks of bad? "Why can't we just have a good evening?", he says. Seriously?! Why??

We're only 11 months in and he no longer has compassion, he no longer wants to talk about the affair (because he doesn't want to feel guilty anymore), and he can't even pretend to care when I'm sad. This is a very different person than the remorseful version of him six months ago.  I think I'm done. I really don't see this working if he can't help me through the healing this early on. I really think the narcissist who committed the affair is the same narcissist who doesn't want to feel guilty anymore and "just wants to be happy" and not talk about how bad of a boy he was. Can people really change?  He refuses to do the work. He refuses to read the books and online forums to see how I'm not crazy, and NO, I'm not just TRYING to make things worse by having a bad couple of weeks. He thinks I'm doing this on PURPOSE?! He thinks I WANT to feel like a freak every day? I'm at such a loss. With two precious little boys to consider, too...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Symbol of His (Broken) Promise

I took my wedding ring off tonight. I don't know why; I haven't even really considered taking it off up to now. Even in my darkest of days, I've never given it much thought. Tonight, however, I looked at it and thought, "Why am I wearing this? What does it represent?"

Well, it represents a promise he made almost 14 years ago in front of God, my friends and my family. I remember him sliding it onto my finger and speaking the words of our vows while gazing into my eyes. That day now really seems like a complete joke to me. I can honestly say that I think of that day - or even look at our wedding pictures - and feel ashamed. How naïve I was. How young and foolish I was. I was 21 years old! He had taken over 30 women to bed at that point in his life, and here he had swept this BABY (me) off her feet! Makes me think he was a dirty sicko wanting to brag about his 21-year-old wifey that was madly in love with him. UGH! I regret it! I really can say that I regret marrying least at such a young age. I know I was madly in love, but DAMN HIM for interrupting my college years and my time to even figure out who I was as a person! I'm just finally NOW discovering who I am, independent from my spouse - because my entire adult life has been identified with my life as a his wife.

So yes, I took off my ring that represents a promise broken. What is the point, anyway? He wore his ring the whole time he was having an affair, so it obviously meant nothing to him! In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if that ring WENT INSIDE HER while he fingered her! Seriously.

I can't believe how good it feels not wearing it, and it's only been 10 minutes! I like how it looks. Maybe I'll go out and buy a bunch of cheap rings at Forever 21 tomorrow and replace it with something funky every day that coordinates with my outfit. YES! That's what I'll do. HA!

Maybe he can get me another ring someday if we renew our vows. I really don't feel like wearing that one anymore. Ohhhh...maybe I can sell it and use the money to go on an exotic vacation by myself! That's an idea...

I'm feeling a little sassy tonight. I like it.

Monday, July 8, 2013


TODAY. I just hammered about 56 nails into my bedroom wall and strung yarn around each one to spell out the word. Yes, the word "TODAY" is now plastered over my head when I wake up each morning and close my eyes each night. It's my new mantra. It's the only way to get through this, people. You can't let yourself miss out on the beauty of today because the fog of your pain from yesterday clouds your vision. Don't let anyone take it from you. If you have kids, don't block out their sweet voice because you are listening to the porno in your head of your spouse's encounters with his/her lover. Seriously, I did this for nine months and I'm so mad at myself for it. I pretty much missed 9 months of my kids' lives. I was there with them, but I was not present. My God, I don't even remember this last Christmas morning. Did Christmas even happen? I have pictures to prove that I was there, opening presents with the kids, but I was so absent. I don't remember the magic.

DO NOT let your spouse and the "other" one take another minute from your life. Today is YOURS. OWN it. Maximize it. Blow the day with things that make you happy. Who gives a rip that your house isn't perfectly tidy? Does it matter anymore? Do any of those petty things matter anymore? No, because now you're going to put yourself first. That's right, you are more important than that stupid pile of paperwork that needs to be filed or the dirty floor that needs mopping. Do what you need to do to get through today.

Go to the gym. Go out with your girlfriend and don't feel guilty about it. Pour a cocktail and watch an old movie in your pajamas at 6PM. Who the hell cares? Right now you need to take care of YOU. You deserve it.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Out With the Old, In With the New

So here I am, beginning of July, and I can honestly say that something has changed. Since the 9-month mark, I have only had 3 spells of anger, and they only lasted a few hours at the most. The affair no longer sits in the foreground of my thoughts. It's an afterthought, most of the time. (Well, except when I come across a trigger that sends my mind reeling...)

You know what has helped tremendously? Change. I know it sounds cliché, but seriously - it's the one thing that helps me move forward. We are turning our routines upside down. If there is an opportunity to change anything about my life - whether it's routines, new hobbies, new clothes, new haircuts - I'm all over it. I feel like it gives me a sense of newness to my life, like the moment to do whatever-it-is-I've-been-putting-off is NOW.

I don't know about you, but I don't want anything about my daily life to remind me of the past. I don't need any more triggers to remind me of the affair! I also don't want to slip into our old patterns that got him in the mess in the first place, so the way to avoid that is to change EVERYTHING about your daily routines.

Here are the changes we have made that have made a positive impact:
  • Evening routines: I used to put the kids to bed while he did the dishes, and we've reversed it.
  • Jobs: I went part-time, and now he's working in an entirely new industry. It's huge.
  • Personal appearance: I went blonde and have upped the sassiness in my wardrobe and accessories. I get more compliments than ever - even from men!
  • Changes to the house: I've moved our family photo collage to a different part of the house, moved furniture around, redecorated my son's room (where "it" happened), and painted. We've even moved things around in the kitchen cupboards and I love it.
  • Sunday mornings: We now attend church as a family. Before, I might attend with the kids on my own occasionally, but J was never interested. Now he's passionate about going and considers it a priority for our family.
  • Meal blessings: We started praying before meals as a family. It's the sweetest thing to hear J pray out loud with our kids. (This is nothing short of a miracle!)
  • Fitness: I joined a gym with a childcare facility. I'm enjoying the change of workout routines in addition to my running schedule. I drop the kids off and go to yoga for an hour and don't even feel an ounce guilty about it!
I look at our life now compared with a year ago and we are a different family! It's good. It's really good.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Nine Months Since D-Day

I can't believe it. Nine months? I remember reading about people still crying daily and getting angry after nine months and I thought they must be crazy, or that they just really don't know how to move on. Eight months ago, I never would have imagined I'd be capable of having an anger fit with a baseball bat and the couch on the back patio. I didn't think I'd still be screaming profanities out loud while running on top of the mountain. I didn't think I'd still be asking my husband questions about what her body looked like naked (even though he's answered that multiple times and I still have the need to keep asking). I didn't think the thought of her in my son's room would still shock me and bring me to tears after nine months of having this knowledge.

Time is a weird thing. Back then, nine months sounded like forever. Nine months later, it seems like D-Day was yesterday. I can honestly say that I can't believe I survived this thus far. I can't believe we are in the place we are today, which is actually looking pretty good. My thoughts of the future aren't, "Can I live with this person anymore?". They are now more like, "I hope this passion lasts forever" and "I hope we can help others with our story".

The "one year to forgiveness" timeline you hear so often in the post-affair recovery world is starting to make sense to me now. Maybe I'll be there in three short months. I really hope so. I'm ready for the next chapter.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

I Love Me Some P!nk

Oh my gosh, I am loving me some P!nk these days. Not only do I now have her hair, but I have her attitude. I connect with all of her older, F-You songs (like this one), but I'm also connecting with her new stuff about reconciliation. I connect with the P!nk that is in harmony with my mood of the day (or hour, or minute...).

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

He's Putting His Foot Down

Wow, it's been six months and he's putting his foot down on my anger. He's not going to take it anymore. There is no reason why everyone else's lives should be shitty because of my anger. UNbelievable. He should be happy he is living in our house! Why don't I get any fricking credit for trying to make it work after he FUCKED another woman for a year????? And he can't take 6 months of anger? (Which, by the way, has been filled with amazing sex and blow jobs for him.) He's lucky I can even look at him! He's lucky I've been able to have sex with him COUNTLESS times! What a selfish MoFO. I can't even believe he is "putting his foot down".

He says he has been through so much pain, too. Oh yeah? Pain? Let me tell you about pain. Pain is when everything in your life you know to be true turns out to be a complete FRAUD. Pain is when the one person with whom you trusted YOUR LIFE turns out to have been lying and cheating behind your back for a year. Pain is when your marriage vows have been completely smashed onto the floor after 13 years and two children. That is pain. Pain and GUILT are very different. You feel guilt. I feel PAIN.

I seriously don't know how much more of this I can endure. I can't imagine living the rest of my life with this person who can't handle 6 months of my anger after he ruined my life FOREVER.

Do I picture the two of us, all old and wrinkled at the end of our lives, together and HAPPY? That image seems impossible to me right now. I see myself old and bitter, and half in love. Half-heartbroken. Half-wondering what else may have been out there for me. Half-hating myself for putting up with such bullshit when I deserved so much better. That's what I see.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ummm, Wow. My Story in a Kelly Clarson Song.

Everything Is Changed

I got little sleep last night. I was thinking about my feelings for him, and how different they are now. I love him - I always will - but it's a different kind of love. It's not a fairytale, he's-my-knight-in-shining-armor kind of love anymore. Even after 13 years of marriage, I did see him in that light until this happened. But now that is so far gone.

It's my disappointment in him that has ruined it all. I don't know if I will ever love him the same way again after being lied to for so long, and with such skill. After the half-truth came out (that he was only having an emotional affair), I begged him to tell me if he had had sex with her, or even other things that now seem so innocent. I remember him grabbing my face with his eyes wide open staring directly into mine, saying, "I DID NOT HAVE SEX WITH HER! I NEVER WANTED THAT!" Then there were all the other cover-ups, like "we didn't ever have the opportunity to go that far". HA! What a crock. And to think he would get up before the sun rose to drive 20 minutes out of his way before a bike ride to go bang her. Never had the opportunity, my ass - they did a great job of CREATING the opportunity!

How does one get over that dishonesty? That look-me-square-in-the-eye lying? I know he feels horrible now and is so broken. But wow, how crazy is it that he had the chance to come clean and continued to build lies upon lies upon lies. God, I wish he had come clean himself. It would have changed everything. The mere fact that he was busted and then continued to lie to me until he was busted AGAIN is the most painful aspect of all - more so than the sex. (Well, ok - the sex part kills me.)

When will I feel attracted to him again the way I did before? I just don't see him in the same light. I enjoy sex with him, but I feel like I'm having sex with some other man. It's not my husband, or at least who I thought my husband was. It's the strangest thing. When will I feel that connection again? When will I forget the third party that was once in our bedroom?

And I am SOOOO scared that when all of these distractions die down - getting the house ready for rental, redecorating the new house, settling the kids into a new school, etc. - my head will be less cluttered and then what? Will I feel everything even more?

I HATE HATE HATE him for putting me through this. I am telling you, no marriage is immune! I thought ours was the one that would stand the test of time without infidelity. Wow, what a shock it was, and how it has changed my perspective on life. You just can't count on anybody. You can't depend on others for your happiness. I feel so numb! So cynical, so mad at the world.

Alright, gotta get exercising or something because you KNOW that if I have learned anything in all of this, it's that I need to feel in control of something. And I am learning that I can control how my body looks, that's for damn sure.

Peace out, fellow survivors.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Numbing of the Heart

We've been visiting on the island for a week now. For the most part, it's been good. I haven't had many anger episodes (except for a HUGE one the first night), and I've been feeling generally like my old self. However, being here does make the affair feel so far away. It feels like it happened ages ago, not just a few months ago. I guess that's what being on a deserted island does to your circumstances.

We go home on Saturday, and I'm feeling mixed about it. On one hand, I can't wait to get home and see my friends again. I can't wait to drive my car and go to a big grocery store and not pay $8.50 for cereal! I look forward to the routine of the kids back in school and me back to work.

On the other hand, I am scared shitless. The last time we were separated, I went into superhuman mode and completely hardened my heart to not feel the pain. I don't know if it was because I needed to be on my A-game for the kids and for work, but I went completely numb. I felt NOTHING for my husband. I was pissed off at him, and felt like I didn't need him. And here I am, feeling myself go numb again. I feel like I'm shutting down or something. It's totally involuntary, and I don't understand it.

Of course, I'm also worried about going back to Ground Zero. Anywhere I turn in my own house is a reminder of the two of them. I can't be at the office without thinking of driving just 2 miles west to her work and freaking her out with my presence. I can't drive the kids to school without thinking of showing up to her husband's store to talk to him and see what's going on between them, and see how he's dealing with things (and of course, whether he's learned any new details). I can't go to the mall without the temptation of driving past her house.

It's been 3 1/2 months since I've known. My therapist keeps saying "it's SOOOO early still!", which totally freaks me out. Seriously, how much longer can I feel like a crazy person without literally going crazy? When will I stop obsessing over the thought of them together? When will I stop HATING her so much that I fantasize about doing the most horrible things to her? I am so done.

I know that it's silly to wish this never happened. I DO wish it never happened, but it's out of my control. My God, how little control I really do have. I've learned so much from this already. I hate to say it, but it's really given me a pessimistic perspective that I've never had before. Maybe that's a good thing, though. Maybe I was too naive, too trustworthy before. I feel this barrier around me now, like my protective bubble that keeps me safe. I know I can only control myself, and so I feel more confident knowing that I'm not going to let others let me down anymore. It feels kinda good. I feel like a badass. I like it. I wonder if my husband will, though, because this woman is definitely not the one he married. Oh well, it's his Frankenstein.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What Am I Doing?

January 2, 2013

Hello 2013. I welcome you with open arms. Bring it on. There is nothing you can throw at me that I can't handle. I can take it, whatever it is, and will face it dead on like a rockstar. No more sweet, naive me. No more gullible, pushover me. Nope. Not anymore. I won't trust you until you give me a reason to. I won't expect the best in people; I'll expect the worst first and let them surprise me. This is my new perspective after what I've been through. After the one person who I trusted with my LIFE turned out to be a fraud, I'm not trusting anyone but myself and God. Why should I? If my husband was capable of such deceit - the one man I thought was the exception to all men - then anyone is.

I am on a plane with my boys right now to a private island, where we will visit our new home. What am I doing? I can't say that I know. All I know is that I'm taking the chance, because the new me takes risks. What do I have to lose? This move will prove to be either just what we need, or the other way around. Worst case scenario, I get out of Phoenix (where the memories of the two of them are all around me) and find a place on the closest island with my kids. J is working 12-15 hour days anyway, so the boys probably wouldn't even catch on in the beginning.

J is so excited for us to get down there. He sees this beautiful, romantic place as the answer to our problems. How can I be angry with him when I'm surrounded by such beauty? Problem is, that's his perspective because he wants to run as far away as possible from his nightmare. I'd love to have that mechanism, but I'm just bringing the images and anger down with me. He's probably so far removed (in his mind) from the past that it probably never even crosses his mind down there! Not to mention he is working ALL DAY and night that how could he think about it even if he wanted to? He has to be consumed by work, because that's the nature of his job. I, on the other hand, am left with all the cleanup. No more therapy together, no more time for him to reflect and feel the remorse, no more time just sitting together, talking about what happened and why - no matter how many times and in how many different ways I ask.

I just don't know. I'm still all over the place with my emotions. I feel positive and excited for our future together one minute, and the next all I can think about is him going down on her. UGHH!!! Oh My God!!! I can't believe he smelled and tasted another woman!!!!!!!  Who is this man???? And now I'm going to give up my life and home to move down to a deserted island with him??? What the fuck am I doing.

My biggest fear is that the changes in him are not permanent. Sure, right now he seems like a different man. But how will that change now that he's in such an executive role? He went from low self-esteem to the biggest ego boost a man can receive. What will that do to the "new" him? What about 2, 3, 5 years down the road? Will he even remember what he's done to me? Will the sting have worn off to the point where he becomes numb again?

I wonder so many things, like did he have an endearing nickname for her? Even if he just called her "babe" (which I'm sure he did, because he calls his male friends that), that hurts like hell. Did he tell her about his childhood? About his past? About how he and I met? How much did he tell her about me? In what ways did he speak of me? Did he tell her all the things that annoy him about me? Did he complain about me? Did he tell her she was better than me at anything sexual? What fucking porn site did he take a picture from and text to her?

I want to go back to her work and make her feel like shit again. I want to go regularly to remind her of the person she tried to destroy but failed. I want to go wearing my funkiest clothes to show her how confident I am. I want to hold my head high with a smile on my face, showing my integrity and pride, which she no longer has. Who the hell did she think she was coming on to a married man that could be her father??! When she has two young kids of her own at home?? Such selfishness and lack of morality. SO much for that mormon upbringing! Did her a lot of good.

When will this anger dissipate? When will it not sting so much? When will I think of my husband and not go "OH MY GOD! I can't believe he could do this to me!!" Why does he deserve me? He doesn't. God, I wish we didn't have the kids. I love my kids more than anything. But God, I'd rather he had done this to me 8 years ago so my decision could be so much easier. Swear to God, I wouldn't have stayed. His ass would have been on the streets. If we don't make it, I can't even imagine being with another man. If my husband was capable, than there is no man out there who is immune. After all, apparently it doesn't matter how hard you try to be a good, loving wife. It doesn't matter if you stay thin and pretty. It doesn't matter if you blow your husband several times a week for the sheer enjoyment of giving it to him. Nope, I did all those things and was still betrayed. No woman is safe. No woman is immune. I will never feel 100% safe and secure again. I see my marriage so differently now. I no longer hold on to the security I have in my husband, in his arms. Nope, marriage is a just a joint effort of raising a family and partnering through life. I will live for myself before I live for my husband. He doesn't come first anymore - I do. If this ever happened again, I'd be ready for it. I wouldn't be as destroyed as I was this time, because I wouldn't be so dependent on him for my happiness. I'm looking out for myself and my kids from now on.
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