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?
to Top