I don’t even know how to start this post. I wasn’t going to blog about it, because I am still processing, and the pain is very fresh again.
Firstly, Roger’s affair notwithstanding, I have made some terrible mistakes on this journey since D-day. I know I am not the only one, and I mostly understand and forgive myself for being human, traumatised and trying to get help to negotiate the stormy waters of intensely emotional times. It has been over eight years. It has been very tough. Way tougher than even I imagined when I read those words on my phone that shifted my whole world on its axis.
As I said, I am not sure about the order that this will spill out of me. But, I will try to get it out here.
As I was finishing up, pushing for the finish line for my Masters thesis, it was hard. Harder than I expected. The intensity of the emotions that I was researching, the place-based emotionality of my participants, I started to notice a change in me. I wasn’t sure about it, I was feeling very stressed as I rubbed up against the submission date, and was not quite happy with what I had written – I had to go a week over – which is allowed, with no penalty, as long as you apply in time. But, the Type A personality I am, I was disappointed. But, I got it in two weeks before the extension deadline. Phew!!! And, I slowly started to understand the feeling. It wasn’t euphoria, it wasn’t relief, I started to come to the realisation that is was healing. The process of researching home as a place of heartbreak and rebirth had been cathartic! Still, I didn’t trust myself fully. So, I took myself off to Wellington, to spend a few days with my eldest daughter. International Film Festival time. We spoiled ourselves, ate out, and saw several beautiful films. Then, I came home, knowing that the talk I have talked for the past two or three years – that I was strong, and was never going to stay with a cheater – was largely bravado. I loved this man. I had written these words in my thesis acknowledgements, in the last week before I submitted it, knowing that I still loved him as deeply as I ever had, that we had been through the fire, and with hope (HOPE!!!! FINALLY!!!) that we could go forward together, and that I was finally ready to put the past where it was healthiest, to the side, not front and centre every day:
“To Roger, my love of 29 years, for the decades of intense love before and despite huge challenge, and a very difficult recent journey, you are the love of my life, and I totally adore you.”
I arrived back from Wellington a fortnight ago. It was early afternoon, and Rog was home. I made us a cup of tea, and asked him if he had a minute to talk. He said, yes, of course. We sat at the dining table, and I looked directly at him, nervous as all hell. I said, “I have made a HUGE mistake. I totally adore you, love you truly, madly, deeply, always have, and now know I have the desire and enough information to fully re-commit to us. I don’t want us to split up.”
After years and years of him pursuing me relentlessly, I guess I had assumed that this would be the moment. The music would swell, and we would be carried off on a cloud of passion and forgiveness! (DJ scratches the record….) He looked sadly at me, and said, “I’ve met someone else.”
My heart broke again folks. Loudly and completely. I thought I could never feel the pain I felt after D-day. I was wrong. The thing is, I do not blame myself here, I needed eight years, an undergraduate degree and to spend 18 months of my life learning and researching, in a totally navel-gazing manner, to heal my wounds. And I missed the timing. By three weeks. I did not fit Roger’s timeline – and I know that is crappy of him.
You see, the thing is, I did push him away. For the greater part of three years I have been holding him at arm’s length, determined to protect myself, maybe to teach him a lesson? But mostly to try to release him from the pain that was ruining MY life, and by osmosis, not doing him a huge favour, either. I thought it was best to let him go. I always knew I still loved him though, and I did tell him this. The other thing is this – we had agreed not to involve a third party until we physically separated, and this would be hard on the person who was not involved – the non-loved up one. (Oh shit, I can feel the pain seeping from my feet upwards right now, as I type this out.) I even said to him, on several occasions, please let me know if you think this is not gonna work for you – literally grab me by the shoulders and say it to my face – as I am pretty distracted and encompassed by this research. He says he did. He did not. I found two charges this year on his credit card for dating sites since February this year. I immediately asked him if he wasn’t coping, and did we need to find alternative living arrangements. He said that he got lonely, but that the sites were awful, and he had cancelled his subscription quickly both times. He lied. Not that he had cancelled, but he has been chatting to women for most of this year. I asked to be informed about this, and he did not tell me. I was naive, and I took him at his word – he was lonely. I could see that. But he never said, “I am talking to other women, and I think we are over.” Instead, I asked him to PLEASE wait until my Masters was done, and we could reassess where we were at, and start to make some permanent decisions, kindly and mutually.
My deadline was the 23rd of July. I handed in in on the 31st. I have now gone through his phone records – remember “my” technophobe partner, the one who never had a social media presence, and didn’t use his phone for much except business? Well, I knew he had opened a Facebook account relatively recently – we are friends there – it made sense, he has three young adult children, he communicates with them via Messenger. Well, he finally got a 51 year old widowed mother of three to give him her phone number. He sent her 1256 text messages between 8th July and 10th August. And I know they mostly communicate via Messenger now. The thing that gets me is, I have talked to this woman, she seems very nice. A suburban mum, whose husband was an unrepentant serial cheater, and died 5 years ago of prostate cancer. So, WTF is she doing with a man who admitted that he had cheated, and was still living with his partner??? I had some communication with her, she lives about four hours drive from here. She seems lovely. A kind and sweet woman. But WTF lady??? I know what is happening here. He is doing his usual – love bombing her, rescuing a woman who has never really known love and kindness, and she has NEVER had someone give her their full attention – this is flattery at its finest. He has met with her five times since the 8th of July, and Thursdays are now their designated “date nights.” He was to drive down there last week, but she got cold feet at the last minute. They apparently have not yet had sex – as she has been (rightly!) cautious. But, tomorrow is the night, folks! Hold onto your horses, lol. She has admitted to him that she has only had one sexual experience since her husband died – and that it was a disaster, she got all nervous and dry mouthed. Again, WTF? Roger is a highly sexual man. So, let’s just see how this pans out. Probably really well, he doesn’t have to beat much, and he is seriously good in bed! She won’t know what hit her 😉
My point is this. I am still living here, on the advice of my lawyer (and I did look at rental properties, and felt incredibly depressed about the worn and sad nature of what I could afford – actually I couldn’t even afford those!) I like my home. I am warm, safe, and myself here. And I have let him go. Or am certainly in the process of doing so. I can see that he never really fully did the work required on himself, to heal the needy little boy. We had agreed to have some single time if we were done – to not try to Band-Aid over the hurts with another body. He could not do it. He is getting all the highs of a long-distance relationship, all the ego stroking, all the warm fuzzies. I can see him messaging her via Messenger – it is all day long, and half into the night. We get on well, and I am strong. I got some anti-anxiety meds from my doc, and they have helped me deal with this. I have a few weeks to gather myself before I start back at work fulltime. I am out running and walking every day – doing a lot in the bush, and feeling better about my body. I have planned to do a four day walk in the South Island next month, and that is good motivation to get fit again. I haven’t eaten more than about five bites in a fortnight, but feel strong, and I think my appetite is slowly returning. Tonight, I have my first mindfulness and guided meditation meeting, the group meets fortnightly (thank you BE and CK!) I KNOW that I need to move on, away from this man. But fuck, my mind is a LONG way ahead of my heart here. I am ashamed (but not really, I knew what I was doing) to admit that we have had sex five times – after promising each other that we ABSOLUTELY wouldn’t! I even promised K – the OW – that I wouldn’t. I fucking lied, but I meant it at the time – an insight into the mind of a cheater? The sex was unbelievably amazing, I came and came and came – wetly and profusely. Probably hysterical bonding, but I am BACKKKKK baby! OMG am I back? My libido is through the roof – yep, definitely hysterical bonding, but I am so glad that my sexuality is not dead, no way, I have ordered new toys, and am going to enjoy myself – by myself.
I guess my fucked up point here is that I know that I have made mistakes – I tried to push him away for him, and should have concentrated on my own healing, I have had sex with a man who is not good for me, and I had sex with him again, And again. And again, And it won’t happen again! I tried to point out, gently, without begging (gah, I am NOT that fucking desperate) that I had healed, finally, had my moment of clarity, and he was now willing to throw away what has been a truly wonderful partnership – we are so compatible in so many ways. We both love music, travel, adventure, the arts, the outdoors, SEX, oh my God, GREAT FUCKING LOUD IN YOUR FACE SEX, we are both a bit quirky, have an ‘off’ sense of humour. We have a lifetime of love and yes, truly terrible heartache. We had three children and four miscarriages together, wonderful home births, with beautiful babymoons, worked side-by-side, in love, enjoying each other. We LOVE the smell of each other. He says he hasn’t noticed her fragrance, or her natural scent – that is off for me, this man loves to deeply inhale me. So, he prefers the high of a new fling, with a lovely-but-boring suburban mum, whose scintillating online dating profile – yeah, I looked her up – used her star sign as her username (groan), and outlines that she likes the simple things; to go for coffee and maybe a movie (in her mum jeans – she has not yet dressed up for any of their dates, including a dinner out at a nice restaurant, where I ironed his shirt, cut his hair, bought him my favourite fragrance and tucked condoms into his pocket – I didn’t have to, but this is who I am, and who “we” have been.) ‘We’ have since found out that she is scared of flying, has admitted she is worried about sex, told him she will need a few wines on board before she can contemplate it, and is honestly fairly plain looking (not that that matters a jot.) He has “known” her for six weeks now. So, if it is that easy to be cast aside, I am not going to (nor am I able to!) compete – I don’t play that game. But, all my knowledge and self-esteem aside, this hurts like a MOTHERFUCKER! Why, oh why, did I do all that work on myself, to FINALLY decide that I could recommit to him? FAAAAARRRRRRKKKKKK!
The thing is now, I have had my solicitor draw up a separation agreement. I got the first draft yesterday, and although I have been mostly positive and accepting, I did plunge a little low when I got it. I am painting my bedroom, and ensuite, and keeping as chipper as possible. But, as I pointed out kindly to Rog last night, we are separating, and it is incredibly, incredibly painful. But, he has the support and loved-upness of his new “thing” making him feel amazing, and I am alone. No family, and very little in the way of support. I do have two friends who I can verbally vomit on, and they are wonderful, but one lives in Sydney, the other is closer, and I went to hers the other night for cups of herbal tea. My previous lifetime BFF, J, whom I have mentioned before on this blog, knows – including that I had got to the place of acceptance and felt good about moving forward together with a previous cheater – and has not said one, single comforting word to me. Instead, she sent Roger a supportive message, basically high-fiving him for finding new love. He was truly disgusted at her disloyalty, and has not replied. I know I have to keep walking – away – from this. But, it will take my emotions a while to catch up fully again.
Oh – and this – apparently I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about K – I asked why? Why are you ashamed? He said he didn’t want to look like he was cheating again. Oh, um, then don’t cheat. I told our kids, kindly, and my eldest daughter is pretty flabbergasted. Can’t believe his lack of introspection. If you are in a relationship you are ashamed of, you shouldn’t be in it. My mother’s first rule of dating.
I know this tale is pathetic. I know my telling doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense – why did I buy back in – too late? But, this is my Greek tragedy of a life, playing out in HD somewhere near me – at least I think I am me? Who fucking knows anymore?