Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum

Choices. A meandering rant.


As I sit here, taking a break from yet another “This is the Worst Essay I Have Had to Write!” I read a couple of blogs and reflect on my choices.

I have always been a bit of a ditherer. Not very decisive. It drives me nuts. I think I might have suffered from FOMO before it was even a “thing.” I guess I always framed it as worrying I was making the WRONG choice, rather than that I would miss out on anything if I chose differently.

That said, once I do make a choice, there’s no backing out. Which is also quite frustrating at times! God, I make life so much harder than it needs to be!

I guess my point here is that I always wish I could choose happiness. You know, the kind that everyone always spouts on about, “Happiness is a choice, choose it everyday,” blah-dee, blah-dee, blah. I would desperately like to choose to continue on with Roger. He’s a hell of a guy. Yeah, he fucked up and in a gigantically fucked up way. He came to me this morning and we chatted for a while over cups of tea, me in bed, him lying beside me on the duvet. We have these little tete-a-tetes when we don’t have to be anywhere, and there are no kids about. It’s nice. We are on the same page about so much in life. And he gets it. As he articulated this morning when we strayed onto this topic just slightly (we don’t actually always talk about how fucked up we are!) “you were betrayed in the worst possible way, by people who you trusted, who you laughed with, who you helped, who you supported, and we did it in your houses, in your living spaces and on your time.We made you sick. You have continuing gynae treatment because of my choices, I don’t have any ill health effects. It’s not fair. You should stop feeling so bad about not being able to be with me. I know I haven’t helped, as in my selfishness, I wanted to stay in your bed to touch you, to get comfort from you, and I desperately didn’t want us to end, I love you so damn much, and I fucked the whole world up for you. You have tried so hard, and worked so long to find your feet after we took them out from underneath you.” We back and forthed a little. I am angry that I haven’t healed like so many I read have. We had twenty-one damn fantastic years, and I don’t know why I can’t see that the twenty-seven years I have lived with him are still “mostly good?” Well, obviously I can SEE that, but it doesn’t seem to hold any water…. Bah. I mentioned to him that I don’t really like to talk about any of this anymore, because the waterworks seem to be inevitable. I fucking hate the leaky taps! Then I mentioned to him that I have never seen him cry. Not full on. Never. He had wet cheeks when our eldest daughter was born, and I think one other time, about what his affair has done to me, but really only swimmy eyes, not any weeping or sobbing. Hell, I am not one to try to drag an emotional response out of someone who doesn’t FEEL it, but I asked. His answer was that he has fought the tears desperately, as he is terrified that if he lets the ones fall that he is holding back, that he’ll never be able to stop, the dam is holding back such a great deal of deep pain. I get that, but I told him my dam broke, and I can’t seem to patch it up, the damage is bloody well done. He then said, “you know what, you have healed. This is healed. For you.” And I angrily agreed. I told him I had accepted that about a year ago.

This is as good as it gets.

That sucks arse.

Then I read blogs and see that some people are living the reality that I was afraid of. The life where you love each other, but there is fear, and you can never throw yourself fully back into it. You have to hold a piece back, some insurance, a last vestige of self. I have never held anything back. Maybe that’s a bad thing? But I just live and breathe everything I attempt. Farming. I bred up a top pedigree herd. Parenting. I served on every bloody committee and board for my kids’ kindy, schools, sports, activities. Studying. I NEED A+s, any less seems a little….less. Travel. Go as far away as you can, and throw yourself into a new life. Work. Chuck everything you have at it. Time, emotion, skill. Where has this got me? Heartbroken. But I don’t seem to be able to do anything any other way. So, I feel like the proverbial idiot, doing the same old thing, expecting a different result.

I want to be able to come back to Roger, and do it three quarters. But that feels revolting! It’s not how I love. I love with every atom of my being. I love to the point of fucking self destruction. We fucked like newlyweds our entire twenty-five years we fucked. I don’t seem to own a dimmer switch. On. Or off. No bloody in-between. And it is a sure recipe for making yourself utterly miserable.

This is the stuff I asked of all of the therapists I saw. How do I develop a dimmer switch? How do I learn to do things half-arsed? How do I learn to protect myself, to keep something back for me, and not feel like a fraud?

No one seemed to have the answer. Damn it.


14 thoughts on “Choices. A meandering rant.

  1. Paula it’s to your credit that you can’t settle. I am like you normally about love, that’s why I’ve found it so hard to get to this point. I doubt I would have if I hadn’t had a few things staying my hand in the early days. There is NO shame in not being able to compromise for “mostly good”. None at all. I don’t think that’s a choice, it’s who you are. Maybe it was a choice for me and when push came to shove I could compromise. But I admire you for not being like that. I really do. I don’t think I hold a piece back so much for protection as for justice. As Roger says, it’s not fair that he’s ok, or that she’s ok. And while I think loyalty is a very big thing to both of us, justice is up there for me too. I feel it would make it “not matter anymore” and condone HER view that “it’s really not that bad, what we did” if I am ever all in and all happy again. It really is that bad. Once you amputate the limb it’s never growing back. You are incredibly strong. You’ll find a role you can live with. Like me, it won’t ever be what we wanted or what we deserved. Hugs.

    • Yeah, I think your young children meant more personal compromise Neph, and I admire that, too. I am also a justice geek! At the end of the day, we will be okay. I just hoped for so much more than okay, have to learn to release that version of the future.

  2. Paula, I think why you don’t get past it is because he shit in his own nest, and in yours, and in the children’s, and he did it for 15 months. Some things are just unforgivable. You are still smelling the shit they left in your nests. When you move on, and you will, you will smell clean air.
    I do have one suggestion though. Please go online and find The Atlantic Monthly, an American magazine, and look for a 2014 article about midlife crises. There is no excuse for what your husband did but it might help you as you decide your future.

    • Very interesting piece, Let go. I have definitely felt this discontent, but probably had a gendered perspective in mind when discourses around MLC is brought up. I sure hope this is correct and my malcontent is going to subside in the next five years ;-)!!!

  3. Gosh I hear you, I really do! I was an “all in” or nothing kind of girl until I got sick and I couldn’t do anything even halfway anymore. As for loving, I still could do that fully and it got me the same place as you! I do t know how to compromise either because I have been holding back. I hold back my true feelings, my anger, my rage, my own happiness for what? I don’t know yet.

    As for the words your husband said, my goodness he sure knows how to say the right words. I would give so much to hear my own husband be even close to that insightful and remorseful!

    I do agree with Nephilia in that we will have to find a role that we (you) can live with even though it is not what we ever wanted or deserved. You have to ask yourself if that is okay to have that role for the rest of your life. Hugs to you in case you needed one or two!

    • Bugs, we have been walking this path a very long time. And he was always such an emotionally intelligent man – until he wasn’t for a bit! He is very self aware and a pretty damn articulate man.

      I always take the hugs, thanks sweets xxx.

  4. I know this is going to sound simplistic. Sometimes our biggest problems can be simply solved.
    Could you look back on the relationship you have had with Roger, the good and the bad and just compartmentalise it? Put it in a box labelled the first 27 years. Then, take a big fucking deep breath and start a whole new relationship with him. Think of him as the new man in your life.
    Start from the beginning again and give yourself to this person 100%. Wipe away those horrid things he did to you. Try to understand that he was just being a stupid selfish man who thought he was entitled to having a bit of fluff on the side. His mid life lust took over any common sense he had. His emotional immaturity came to overwhelm him. Everyone makes mistakes in life.Is not the happiness and wonderful life you shared with him worth more than the stupid fuck frolic he thought would make him feel better? Re ignite! re build ! Re energise! Evolve! Start the ball rolling in getting what you really want.
    If you really want something and if you really want it bad enough you can have it. Its your mind and your perceptions that are stopping you. Take control of what you really want in life.
    JUST DO IT! Change your thinking.
    Re design that amazing brain of yours and channel it along the path that you want to go down or where you would like to honestly see yourself.
    Saying it wont work or you cant get over it is no longer an option. You can make anything happen because you are awesome and you need to get your groove back.

    • Lol. Have been there, done that. I knew the night of Dday that our old relationship was over and to build something new. I have struggled with compartmentalising. They keep unpacking themselves from their compartments! And it never stuck. I know it’s over, still I cling…..Morrissey knew a thing or two 😉

  5. I wanted to say I’m genuinely flattered you got the reference with “mostly good” and even more so that you used it. I just wish it was better than that.

  6. 😦 it just makes me sad…you loving him and yet not able to let yourself be with him. I think it’s why five years later you still are with him, if not “with” him. Ain’t love a bitch…

  7. MayBe this sounds a little lame, but invest in yourself. Make yourself so fabulous that your husband is just a cherry on the cake, not the cake itself. That’s way easier said than done, I know. Immerse yourself in the things you love. I made my husband the center of my universe, which was why I fell so hard, and why it still hurts.

    • Done. I am fabulous, caroline! Lol. I am almost finished an undergrad degree. I look pretty good. I work out and eat well. I have a useful job. I parent well. But I can’t find any JOY in anything ant more. It’s like someone wiped out the top end of my emotions. I am independent and actually always have been! But I did love him to bits within all of that.

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