Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum

It was just the one…




Had this totally awesome conversation this morning. We’ll get to that later…

Lawyered up, went and saw the guy I saw first the month after D-day, who advised me how to set up our ‘post-nup’ – which is a misnomer when there were never any nuptials! But he was kind then, and showed me what I needed to get in place legally regarding how our assets and businesses were set up. It empowered me then, and it set in place things that I had been querying for decades, ie, why was I excluded from most of the legal documents that were Relationship Property? I mean, I knew that after three years of cohabitation, I was ostensibly protected by law, but when there are Family Trusts in place, and you are neither a Trustee, nor a beneficiary, that can cause some chaos in splitting up, as the assets are no longer owned by ourselves, but a totally separate entity! Luckily for me, the Trust was formed after we had already been together ten years, and had two kids. This lawyer also gave sensible advice to my siblings and myself after we discovered that our stepfather had spent most of our inheritance from our mother’s estate. A real shock for me, as Executor of her Will. I trust him. I came away from yesterday’s meeting feeling a bit better about a few nasty things that have gone on here lately.

Anyway, this was a big week. The Masters thesis was submitted on Monday, and the weirdness of getting up in the morning without that cloud of doom hanging over meΒ constant work that has been a 24/7 thing for the last twelve months, and letting that baby go, was … weird.

And a relief.

Anyway, back to the morning conversation. Roger has pulled so far away the past two months, and I understand, he needs to move on, and protect his heart. Basically, he is over the whole thing. Nice, eh? He said to me about three weeks ago, “I don’t feel guilty anymore.” Hmmm. That’s nice, isn’t it? I don’t even understand that. I mean, I don’t want him to go around like a beaten dog for the rest of his life, but to exonerate yourself? I can’t even imagine how that could happen? I would think you still feel bad, but you just build and improve who you are? Anyway, I just remained quiet. What’s the damn point in challenging that? There is none. Great, good for you, you feel fine now. Excellent.

I am so infrequently posting now, I can’t recall entirely if I have shared that Roger’s mother is terminally ill, and this has created an opportunity for the three siblings to repair the damaged bonds between them. His sisters are now speaking to him again, and there have been some healing conversations. But neither of them have reached out to me, so I have kept my distance. His eldest sister used to be a really good friend of mine, or so I thought. I used to work for her, and I supported her through a nasty divorce. It turns out, she used to pump me for information, and then use it against me. I ain’t got time for that shit! She is a reasonably heavy drinker. She married a guy who started as an affair, he had a wife and child, and she was fucking him. He was her boss. Surprise, surprise, he was also fucking around on her later on. Two kids together, and she kicked him out after seven years together. The kids were barely 3 and 1. She is known to sleep with married men. After being cheated on, she happily does it to other women. Yes, this is the sister of ‘my’ (disclaimer: he’s not mine) cheater. Who knew, right? Sigh.

Anyway, the word has got out around town that we are separated. And she rang him at 11.30pm the other night, to ‘chat’. As he says, “she was pissed.” (Kiwi for drunk.) Her concern for Roger, “are you okay? Can I help? What is going to happen?” Never one question about, is Paula okay? Are your children okay? (This woman has had nothing to do with our kids, her nieces and nephew, for eleven years. After our five kids all used to hang out together pretty much every day until the farm sale …) And then this, he refused to tell me at first, but I coaxed it out of him, “it will just upset you.” She said to him, “what’s her fucking problem, it was just the one!”

Because, apparently, her ex-husband’s 20 or so mostly one-night-stands (he was probably a sex addict, in retrospect) – when they had been together just a handful of years, was FAR worse than the love of my life, Roger’s, one deep, wanted-to-leave-me-for-her sexual affair of over 15 months, longer emotionally, in-my-homes-pretending-she-was-my-friend-going-on-holiday-with-me, his-telling-me-on-the-three-times-I-asked-and-I-totally-took-the-bait-that-no-there-was-definitely-nothing-going-on, giving-me-lifelong-diseases, fucking-with-my-already-teetering-mental-health-about-rape-sex-and-relationships, was just a silly, piffling thing. What a loser Paula is, right? Another one. Get. Over. It. Bitch.

And he never defended me. He doesn’t want to look any worse. If people knew the extent of the mindfuckery …

You know, when you look up the word ‘cunt’ in the dictionary, there is a picture of her, right?

And that, my friends, is why I will NEVER reconnect with his family. They are fucked in the head, and judgemental as FUCK!!!




45 thoughts on “It was just the one…

  1. Toxic people are best left behind you dear Paula. Take care of you.
    P.S. Congrats on your thesis!!!

  2. Paula, I think you need to “divorce” them all. If they haven’t developed a deep moral center by 30 they are not going to. Once he is completely out of your life I hope you can truly heal. The further away you get from him, and his family, the more fucked up they will look. These are signs of toxic families….not speaking for years, cheating, and excusing it, fighting over property, not “feeling guilty” for giving you an incurable STD, and on and on. Up close he probably looks like a winner. Not from way out here he doesn’t.
    Good luck with your thesis.

    • Too right, Moi! I am divorcing them all. I agree with you entirely, the mess they are becomes clearer and clearer. He even admits that now he can see that they are a toxic mess. As the youngest, he didn’t get it until it was too late. He just thought (as did I!) that they were a “nice, normal family” – whatever that is. When I met them all I thought they were kind, and a little bit old fashioned. But there have been eleventy cajillion lies and lies-by-omission amongst them all. The eldest sister, the one I speak of here, was always a hot mess. Drugs, disrespect, etc, I thought she just grew up. But I now see it just changed shape.

      Me recognising all of this, and moving to protect myself – that makes me bitter. Bahahaha! I’ll take bitter over that mess any day. 😎

      • It makes you bitter as it hurts…

        Congrats on submitting the thesis! You can be proud of that and so much more.

        I just read a post by a Blogger who “cleaned house” and got rid off a lot of FB “friends”, I see that cleansing on social media as metaphorical.

        I too gave myself permission to avoid some “friends” and family members, who will never get it [me and my life] as they are too busy with themselves. I will safe the energy I used to put into them as I need it to continue to place one foot in front of the other.

        No more mess…


        “the light in me sees the light in you”


      • Too right, Elisabeth. I have also done this these past few years. It’s still quite hard for me to cut people out of my life. But I know it is the healthiest way forward for me x.

  3. You will find, once proceedings are in motion, sides are taken and relationships are broken. This can be really heartbreaking… it was for me, the good news is that these don’t sound like the type of people you would want in your future anyway.
    I’m proud of you for making this giant step. This can feel so intimidating, scary, and isolating. I love you, and if it’s any comfort, know that you have a friend (even though she is far away) who totally has your back. Adopted family 😊 and I know KC feels totally the same.
    You can do this!

    • Very true. I know this from my own family’s experience. My mother was ostracised by my father’s family. Something I never understood. She was a loyal and faithful daughter and sister in law. Who catered their functions. Loved their children. Yada yada. I expected the discard. And preempted most of it by ‘leaving them first.’

      This has been on the cards for a very long time. I’m okay. Only one wobbly moment with the lawyer and his fantastic legal executive. I feel like all I have been saying and pushing for is validated. To be honest, they were telling me I could push for a lot more. I only want 50/50, and to ensure the lawyers don’t get richer off us! But if he decides to play ugly, I have a team I trust to have my back. And thank you. I know you guys are here for me to vent to, also 😚

  4. Sounds like she thrives on the idea of “my pain is bigger than your pain”. Hello rationalization. Whatever. People suck. I hope you find peace and happiness without the dumb soon.

    • She’s always been about one upmanship. Had to be the loudest, most sarcastic, wealthiest, all that stupid shit. It took me years to work her out. She would sweetly ask me things and then use my candour to tear me down. I loved her, so didn’t get it. Why would you do that? Because she is a narcissistic, manipulative cow. I finally worked it out (so did Roger, she was his big sister, he thought she was interesting and cosmopolitan!) He realised that everything was fine, as long as we were ‘beneath’ her. When we started being financially (and honestly? Romantically. She was jealous of our bond) successful, she worked hard to undermine us. I know she feels such glee that I left him. That we ‘failed.’

  5. Paula, thinking of you as you travel this bumpy road. You have thought this through and know what you want. I’m guessing Roger is trying to protect himself with a skewed truth. For your children, try to keep as positive relationship with him as you can. As for the rest of them? Open a bottle of champagne and celebrate your freedom. Hang in there, Jules

    • Thanks, jules. For myself I am trying to keep as positive a relationship as possible. I still love this man, despite everything. He and I had well over twenty truly fabulous years (and a few bloody hard ones) together. I have never slandered him to the kids. They know the truth of what he did. And that I am still completely heartbroken. But no other editorialising.

      There will be no champagne. This is the saddest and most demoralising thing. It breaks my already completely shattered heart to be doing this. But thank you for the sentiment x

  6. Yes! FUCK them!! They are not worth thinking about ever again. Scrape them off the soles of your shoes like excrement and keep on walking baby!

  7. Paula, your children are almost grown. If they are like mine they will pack up and move somewhere else. Mine are scattered all over the place but still come home when they can. They will see their father their own way. You do not need to be involved at all. If you want to just keep him in your rearview mirror as you move forward then do it. I know you love him and I wish so much that he had not done this awful thing to you and your family but he did. You have so much life ahead of you. You are doing what I have done, you have found a new focus in your middle years. You will not believe how much validation you will get. It makes such a difference when people other than your family tell you you are doing a great job. Just keep going, Just keep going. There is so much out there. Believe it or not there is happiness out there. I am still married but my husband and I have had to make a new life in our middle years because they were so much shit to get past. It wasn’t infidelity but it was still a bunch of shit.
    I have figured out that there is no such thing as perfection. There is no perfect life, there is no perfect marriage, there is no such thing as perfection. What there is for those of us who live in reasonably safe countries is the chance to change things when they are bad for us. I am thankful that I had that chance.

    • There was……autocorrect has not gotten it right yet and I need to proofread!

    • Absolutely, Moi. All three kids are scattered about the country. They are good. We did a good job of getting them to the launching pad. I am not concerned about the kids. They maintain good relationships with their grandparents and Roger. This is a good thing. Fully informed and able to make their own choices.

      I thought we could do as you have, and make the relationship different. But Roger missed our deep connection and intimacy. We had worked side-by-side for two decades, and loved it. He is the living embodiment of an anxiously attached person. He recognises it now. I am securely attached and no don’t ‘need’ that constant validation of physical closeness anymore. I loved it when we had it. But he couldn’t live with me without touching me constantly. And I feel sexually messed up with the constant mind movies. We had to call it.

      And I agree. Agency is a gift. Just wish I could embrace it more fully. I will. I have to.

  8. Paula, we had a job change. A major, major job change. A move way across the country. A new business, talk of divorce from both of us. Then I finished school, got a job and disappeared into it. It took over five years before I felt like I could breathe. During that time there were days, weeks when I hated him. He doesn’t handle stress well and guess who got the brunt of it. I have no idea what happens to men but I wish they would stop it, damn it! I have read so much about how we set ourselves up here in the First World. We promise ourselves we will do everything right and get rewarded for it. Weeeeelllll, that never happens. Investments go bad, housing falls, jobs fail and so alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex are such easy choices. My husband chose quiet rage. It was so much fun. And I put up with it until my job was secure but after that I sure didn’t. He is a nice man now because I demand it because I am a nice person.
    Sorry, but every now and then I wonder why women don’t live together and let men in the building when we feel like. Otherwise they can live outside and pee on trees.

    • I hear ya, Moi. I STILL find it hard to reconcile my beloved partner and best mate ever, with the guy who snuck around doing what he did. And that the first guy is ‘back.’ I don’t deal with duplicity well.

      I am glad you found a way through xxx.

  9. By the way, I am, in no way, comparing my life to yours. I cannot imagine the double pain of being cheated on by my husband and friend. I hope you know that.

  10. Paula man, you are the fuckinist (yeah I pimped a swear word) best…..you deserve so much better than these folks, and I’m so glad you know it! πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸ‘ŠπŸ»

  11. I know you will never be fully rid of them (the toxic ones) but soon you can move forward with your new life, your new story. The scars will be a forever reminder, but you can fill your days with more fulfilling people, places, and activities. It won’t happen over night, and perhaps it will never be quite as good as the happily ever after that was assumed at one point in time, but your life will now be back in your control. Sounds good to me…. I have a horrible cold, and then BE came home today from a four day mindfulness retreat (theme: childhood wounds) and told me he thinks he is about ready to make contact with his toxic family again. Fuck that shit. I’m not ready. Once we let the evil back in, there’s no turning back again. I can feel the weight on my shoulders already. Glad the lawyer meeting went well. 😘

    • Oh Kat! Wow! I didn’t know that was something he was aiming for? Wow. Shit! Bugger.

      Lots of talking is going to be happening at your house. Why? What did the retreat achieve? Personality transplants for his family?????

      This is honestly the most painful and miserable time yet. After the shock of D-day, I guess I thought we would heal and still have each other. And although I have been working towards this for years now, it is like surgery with no anesthetic. I can’t explain it. I feel gouged out and left to rot….

      • Sometimes reality just really sucks! Hang in there! Maybe it’s partly thesis paper withdrawal. 😐 I knew BE was probably going to want to see them again, but I was hoping it would be on their death beds. I know that is harsh, but I feel like we have all paid a huge price for knowing them. Much love coming your way from across the ocean during this painful period! ❀️

      • Yeah. I didn’t think he would want to go there. Shoes how strong the pull is. Roger is the same. Can see the dysfunction. But feels the need to be involved anyway. I am not like that. My severing the relationship with my brother was never seen as temporary.

      • BE has never wanted to be involved with his family or their dysfunction, but always felt he needed to be, to be a good son. Now I think he just wants to know he can be in the same room with them while behaving like an adult and not falling apart. Regardless it will take a huge toll on both of us. He has never willingly taken part in any of the drama and was thus very often the odd man out. My issue is these people are vultures. There is no good way to have any relationship with them, in my opinion. The pull is not from them or anything they represent. I think BE wants to prove he has risen above. I just don’t believe he is anywhere near that point yet. I guess we shall see.

      • Ditto. Roger wasn’t involved in any of the stupid games either. He just feels bad because his mother (who is not in any way a bad person, or toxic, like BE’s mother) is dying, and needs some nursing care very shortly, that he needed to be involved. A good son. I understand that. But the toxic eldest sister. No fucking way am I letting her near me again! Even the kids relate stories I didn’t know about at the time. About her treatment of them. Especially our middle child. She was pretty cutting and cruel. If I had known …

      • There really are evil people around us. Sometimes we make excuses for them, but people who behave in such horrid ways, especially with innocent children, need to be cut off. I believe that BE wants to do this for himself, because I think he thinks that if he can rise above, he has made great strides. I just don’t see it that way. I can understand Rog wanting to help out with his mother at this juncture, but the sisters… it is a slippery slope. BE has always listened and said nothing to fan the flames, but I think not saying anything about the horrible behavior is equally destructive. I didn’t express my concern to BE regarding his epiphany that he thinks he is ready, but I did ask what he hopes to accomplish. He had trouble putting it into words. Hopefully he will talk with Ms. Honey (the EMDR therapist he is now seeing). He has to be able to live his own life, but I will have no part of them. If he gets in too deep with them, this could be a deal breaker, but I don’t want to be the one to tell him he can’t see his family. It’s a dilemma. 😦

      • Hmm. Yes. He does need to be clear about what he is hoping to accomplish. I agree. Otherwise he us just falling back into wanting to ‘be a good son.’

        Roger has this thing whereby he thinks ending relationships with people is … I dunno … petty? He thinks me ending my relationship with my brother is stubborn. But interestingly, since I did, my brother has spiralled further and further down. His life is in disarray, and he is dragging my father with him. Roger now agrees that he needed to be cut free. It was really hard to do that. There are so many deeply felt ties and duties to family. Rig also judges me for not being ‘forgiving enough’ of those who have been unkind to me throughout this awful journey. I know it is an analogy for me not being ‘forgiving enough’ of him.

      • He told his parents last night. And his mother expressed a lot of worry for me. I am away from home at present, so her words don’t rest make sense to me because of her actions. But I think she was just at a loss and had no coping mechanisms to help me. I don’t think she is a bad person. Just doesn’t have the tools.

      • Sorry about the multiple typos, everybody. Will fix when I get back to a larger screen! πŸ˜†. The app won’t let me edit comments…

  12. Hi Paula, wondered how you are doing.
    ‘We can choose our friends, but our family is thrust upon us’. Shame that the family of the betrayed close ranks rather than reaching out a friendly caring hand and a warming word. Costs nothing and can mean a lot.

    Even when the decision is made to separate some may feel blessed relief but it is all about loss now. Loss of what you thought you had, loss of security – financial and emotional, a home, a partner, feeling that the two of you were united. Loss of some friends, family and horribly loss of a shared future and growing old together. Feeling adrift, not knowing what the future holds. It’s lots of bereavements in one. It’s scary, it’s finding yourself again with a lead pendulum swinging in your core. Putting on a facade. It’s vital to be able to find contentment singly and to stand alone and who knows……………
    I think that Elizabeth mentioned that those who have high value systems may find it more difficult to come to terms with infideltiy and therefore are less able to have a positive outcome. That makes lots of sense to me.
    Finally a little quote from Frieda Hughes – artist and poet daughter of the late Ted Hughes (Yorkshireman), she was thrice married and now lives alone with a menagerie of little beasties in a rambling house in mid Wales:

    β€œWe only have one life. If we live an awful lot of it not doing something that would make us very happy, hurts no one and might actually be worth something in the general scheme of things, it’s pretty sad if we don’t do it, just because we might get our heads kicked in.”

    I’m thinking of you as our house sale churns on and we head to separate and unknown futures. Eek! as my 25yr old daughter would say. x

    • Good luck, Nuthatch. The process of finding your feet again is very hard. But many have walked it.

      Everything you write here is dead on point. I don’t think I am scared of the single future. Just experiencing deep grief and loss for every part of myself that has been swallowed alive in this despair.

      Interesting about Frieda Hughes. I last heard of her in Perth, WA. She became an Aussie citizen. I didn’t realise she had ended up back in Wales. I read both her parents’ work voraciously. And a few lines from Ted’s The Minotaur made it into my thesis.

      • Ahha! interconnectedness. Yes, you’re right about the Perth. Frieda moved back to the UK many years ago and has been living up in the border county of Powys for about 14 years – and settled by all accounts. Ted lived for 30 years in the small Devon town in which I (but not for much longer) live. His widow still remains here. I’m not a great afficianado of his poetry – we have Yorkshire in common but that’s it! Tragic family life. Think he was a good and loving father but with regard to women should have carried a Government. Health warning.
        Like you, solitary living holds no fear – I relish it, it’s the need to make social contacts and prune possessions and I’m a hoarder and comfort blanket woman but it will come.

      • I think there are plenty where Ted Hughes came from! I think I have always been good at spotting serial cheats. It’s the ones that are lovely, wonderful and dedicated for decades that lose the plot and cheat that scare the shit out of me!

        Good luck with the move. I am also somewhat of a hoarder. Not really bad. But I have my mother’s ‘stuff’ because none of my siblings would take it! And I just struggle with whether it is the ‘right’ thing to let it go. And if so, which pieces?

  13. PS – I may sound reasonable but I’m also bloody screechy angry at having been put in a position I did not want through his ridiculously selfish decision and his wanting me to suppress my feelings to protect himself. It will pass.

  14. I am still with my cheating OH. Sometimes I think we will make it through. Other times, not so much. We have moved from a large 3 bedroom house to a small cottage in the country. “New start”. Massive downsize. The cottage is filled with mostly “my stuff”. Very little of his stuff has survived the move. Wondering if that is unconsciously deliberate on my part? His stuff held so many memories of his years of an EA with a work colleague, so, probably. Still not at all sure this will work out, but giving it a go. Well into year 4 post-DDay and still grieving the loss of what I thought was a deeply loving relationship. For me, yes. Him, not so much!

    Good vibes for your thesis and new life away from all the shit, Paula. X

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