Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum



The F word. The stupid F word.

We chatted this morning. TOIL mentioned that he struggles with how he feels about me being so cold now. He understands why, but mentioned how much he misses how cuddly I was, and how I always liked the reassurance of being physically close, both before the affair, and in those first years after. For about 23 years, maybe more, we were pretty entwined. He is a very tactile person, I think I have mentioned it before. I couldn’t tell you the last time we kissed. Yes, we still kiss goodbye, or hello, but like a family member, on the cheek, or lightly, briefly on the lips. The last passionate kiss I remember (at least from my perspective) pre-dates the end of our sex life, I was struggling for a long time before we actually stopped, and I couldn’t “feel” anything kissing. It was kinda gross. We were really big on kissing, passionate, dirty, deep, hungry kissing.

I sat for a while collecting my thoughts about how to respond. (Do no harm, Paula, thanks Katie.)

I came up with this. I told him that despite knowing better, I just feel like such a fucking failure. I know not to do that to myself, to us, but I can’t seem to help it. I mean, there’s the silly, but obvious “failing” of “not good enough” (utter crap, I couldn’t have been better, HIS failing, not mine) and the “failure” to see what they were doing all over my life, in my houses, vehicles, on my farm, etc (also not stupid, just normal trusting person.) But my biggest “failing” is that I feel like I have “failed” recovery. I have the most embarrassed, remorseful, newly-educated, understanding and reformed cheater. The kind that all the literature illustrates. He gets it. He is fucked off with himself, he was even before he ended the affair, and months before I found out. He has worked his butt off to do the right things. And I feel like I have failed at “getting better.” He looked at me and just said, “no one is owed forgiveness, or healing, you just hope for it.” Which of course, I know! But I WANT to be better, I WANT to feel safe in the world and happy again. So, I feel I fail at this. There haven’t been too many personal “achievements” in my own individual life. I dropped out of uni – three times! I am not a big shot at anything (and I have never aimed to be, but, you know…..) My “success” was my love. I loved hard and true, and I picked one of the best. We made three cool people together, and together we built a pretty damn great life. I was the back seat driver a lot, but I picked up all the slack, and I pushed hard for that financial success, I wanted us to be reasonably comfortable, not rich, that didn’t interest me, but comfortable, “enough” to educate our kids, have a nice holiday home and to be able to kick back a little and live as we aged, lovingly together. TOIL had more individual plans, I now believe. I don’t think he really considered the kids’ education much, yes, he had the corner of his eye on a comfortable retirement, etc, but he lives in the now a lot. We were a great team, as each of us had the other covered! It worked. He said that this morning, he can’t imagine anyone more compatible than us, than me. But I don’t feel it anymore. I, wrongly, feel like I have “failed” at the only thing I ever put full effort into. I think it explains my success at uni this incarnation – I NEED to do well at this, as this will be my success now. So fucking warped! (But great motivation, I am scared every day at uni, but that fear seems to spur me on, against my baser instincts.)

I explained to him that I look at this through a completely different lens to him. of course there is the obvious, he cheated, I was betrayed, we are looking through different windows, but more the male/female thing, and the fact that he grew up in an intact home, and my parents split as I was leaving mine. Although I am “cool” with their divorce, it was a shock, it was slightly confusing. My Dad was a blokey, conservative dairy farmer, for God’s sake! See, my parents loved each other, TOIL’s are quite fond of each other, but I don’t think they LOVE each other, sort of more rub along as familiar flatmates, hell, they haven’t shared a bed since before TOIL was ten years old! So although the reason for splitting was obvious and it had to be done, my parents were good together (except for the fact, as Mum used to say, “she had the wrong equipment!”) Dad still mourns her loss. He loved her, even divorced, and says she was the only woman he ever loved, and the only romantic partner that ever meant anything real to him really. He was at the hospital when she died, and we went back to his house to plan the funeral, with my stepfather, we all got along bloody well. I posted a brief pic/comment on Facebook yesterday remembering Mum, Dad was one of the first to “like” it – and he doesn’t really even DO Facebook much. I ridiculously kept thinking (a dream-like state) that one day I would wake up and it would all be some kind of ridiculous dream, that he wasn’t gay, that they were still in love and married. Not that I was all fucked up about it, it was just this little unreal niggle in the back of my mind those first years of their split. Probably much like many kids of divorce. I was really cool with it, and not devastated or anything like that, it was just this little fairy cloud above my reality. TOIL doesn’t understand how IMPORTANT it was to me that I had a true love story, one that was successful and worked. One that lasted FOREVER. I know, I know, everyone wants one that lasts FOREVER, but I was/am almost obsessive about it!

Anyway, meandering way of saying that I am unhappy, in case anyone who reads this hasn’t got the message yet, lol. And it is about my inner demons, the crap I fight about with myself every day, not really about TOIL at all. My own (stupid) definition of “success” and “failure.”


8 thoughts on “Failure

  1. I think when you peel all the layers back what happened is that Roger killed your love for him and you have been trying all this time to revive it. Just ask yourself this…..willyou be better with or without him. The next thing is that your rage at him for screwing a friend has over powered any way to forgive him. I don’t think you ever will forgive him but, and this is big, I don’t think you need to do so. I think you need to wake up every day and decide to be happy regardless of Roger. Just be happy. Sounds simple minded but you lose one day every day you let their behavior “own” you. Why two people make decisions that rob a family of its security is on them. You did not fail. If you loved freely then you did not fail.

  2. Let go. All you say is absolutely true. But I have had periods on my own. I never felt better. If I’m honest I felt MUCH worse. I don’t forget or find closure with separation. Even when we were done. I was SURE we were done. No going back. I choose happiness every day. It won’t seem to stick. I seem to know I am kidding myself. I live a completely independent life from Roger. I do my thing, there’s no “us.” We live as flatmates only. No plans or “dates.” I don’t feel better with or without him. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other for ME and the kids. I know I don’t need to forgive. I know I can’t even if I did need to. Some things actually are unforgiveable. Fucking a known skank without protection is worse than “just” having an affair. He ruined my health, my “purity,” if you will. And I know he was sick and making fucked up decisions. But that doesn’t reduce my pain any. He knows that. He hates that guy. I know I did not fail. That is the point I guess, of this post 🙂 .

  3. I think your feelings of failure are absolutely what many of us feel. Whether we think we failed at our marriages or in our recovery from infidelity, we feel that we failed, even tho we know in our heart of hearts the failure was not ours but our husbands 😥

  4. You’re not a failure Paula, how can you be, look at all you’ve achieved. You’ve failed at recovering from this horrible ordeal you’ve been put through…so far. That doesn’t mean you’ll never get over it – you still have a long life ahead of you, god willing. You’re still in mourning for what you thought you had but maybe once that mourning ends, and I believe it will, then you can possibly say to yourself “that was how it was, but it’s different now”?! Perhaps your relationship isn’t over, but can evolve into a different kind of relationship. What you had is gone and it won’t ever be the same as it was, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a new different relationship with Roger. I don’t know what that is, that’s for you and him to figure out, but it doesn’t sound like you want to end it and neither does he. I know I’m perhaps not the best person to give advice because I still struggle to “get over” all the shit too, but I’m trying to look at N as the person he is now rather than the man he was while having his affair. It’s not always easy because I still remember the liar and the cheat, but I can see he is a different person now…is Roger? If he is then maybe you still have some sort of future together.

    Stay strong hun xx

  5. I guess we have all changed due to infidelity. The men were and are different. So are we. We don’t trust. We were not first. We were disregarded. We are harder women now.

    I see what you mean, Paula. It’s a relationship failure. A cancer. A very long illness. A purgatory.

    The shit of it all is that we can’t shake it completely. We don’t want our “new normal” – we never asked for it. We didn’t choose THIS relationship. Just like a person never chooses cancer.

    But, it’s not your fault, dear Paula. It’s just your life right now. It’s Rog’s life right now.


  6. The day none of this painful for you is the day you are free. I know someone who has taken several years to untangle all the threads of her marriage but she no longer even tries to love her husband. She cares about him as the father of her children but that is all. Her voice is now lilting and full of laughter. It is so nice to see. She is now open to other relationships but is happy on her own. Her children are old enough to allow her some freedom so she is discovering things she loves. There never was an “aha” moment, just a slow death of a marriage. She loves her new happiness. Hope you get there.

  7. Thanks for all your comments, girls. Of course we are changed. I once said to my previous best friend that it is no exaggeration to say the world shifted on its axis. (She didn’t get it, of course.) Because that is what happened. I knew on the night I found out about the (already finished) affair that I would NEVER be the same again. I can recall driving home from that party, and after showing Roger the text that Leanne sent me, saying very calmly, “you have changed everything, forever, you knew that when you first fucked her, right? You know I will never be the same, and I will never look at you the way I always have, don’t you? You know you broke us in a way that I hope we can learn to live with.” I don’t think he did. He does now. I am well on my way to living my own life, Let go. I don’t ever include him in any plans. I have said it loads of times, we are friendly, we get on well, and like your friend, I don’t try to love him anymore, I know that was the death of my sexuality. I knew at the time what was happening. My love was on its death bed. The man I truly adored, absolutely loved and cherished, he died that night for me (he died seventeen months earlier when he hopped in our daughter’s bed to fuck her.) I tried desperately to love the new guy that landed in his pace, and I know I feel/felt deep guilt for not being able to love the new guy, because he tried fucking hard to delete “that guy.” He gets it, as I said, he said that it is okay, no one expects me to love him after what he did, he was just hopeful, as was I, that if we did the work, we could get to a better place. I am aware of the slow death of our relationship, too. I never thought it would happen, as those first couple of years we were on that sad, angry, in love, close, caring, sex-fuelled roller coaster. He worked so hard, and was so loving and caring, still does, still is. He will be almost as good a guy as I used to have for someone else, he won’t be single long, I know this, he likes to be in love. I know I will probably be single for a long time, I never want this again. But, we all know, no one can predict the future 🙂

    This blog is the place that the stuff that clogs my head gets spewed. I am quite functional, my life goes on. I have just never lived life like this, so steeped in utter ……. actually, there is no word for what I truly feel…….but probably sadness, grief and lack of sparkle. I used to be the life of the party. I never wanted a relationship. I never had loads of boyfriends, I knew I loved too hard so I was happiest alone. The emotional intensity I experience is too hard to cope with if you keep getting your heart broken, so I avoided relationships. He was just so lovely. Not a pants-fall-off charmer. He was warm, caring, GENUINE. He hated cheaters. He had been cheated on, so I thought he knew what he was talking about. The death of what we had took a long time. I guess I just want to find a way to not feel so grief stricken all the time. It’s been YEARS!

    I am so glad your friend is getting her happy back on, Let go, I have been hunting things I love for five years now, trying to create a new life for me. My youngest has only two and a half years left at home, she will be eligible to sit her learner’s licence in four months, so her restricted in another six after that. Licence=freedom for rural kids! Thanks for sharing your friend’s experience, Let go xx.

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