So, I have a school reunion coming up. A fortnight after I move. I don’t wanna go. Is a bizarre thing, I am SO not a reunion type. But worse, I feel like a GIGANTIC failure. And am being pressured to by lots of people. Mostly, I wouldn’t listen. But some of the arguments have merit.
One girl said, “fuck that shit, you kick arse. You worked and raised kids pretty much single handedly, and did both a Bachelors degree AND then a Masters degree with a shattered heart. No one is stronger than you!” Another said, ” what? Why is his cheating YOUR failure?” Yet another said, “so, my other friend, whose husband was a P (meth) addict shouldn’t come? Because we have control over that, right? You two failed, huh? Because you believed and trusted, right?”
And then I found out Leanne has registered.
And I felt nothing.
I don’t care that the object of so much pain will be in the same room as me. (If I register.) She was a tool he used to fuck up a good life.
And. His mother died tonight. I am in a world of pain about that. My MIL was a complex, but admirable woman. Strong. Independent. With an incredible sense of humour.
I loved her.
I made it a priority to visit with her every week these past few months. And Saturday’s visit was super special.
I entered their house, dressed for the races. Sequined cocktail dress, gold heels, and funky felt hat. My FIL said she was sleeping. He always said that. Every time I visited. But she was never asleep when I peered into her bedroom. I went in, kissed her cheek and said, “hi, I’m off to the races, but need to say hi before I head in. Wish me luck!” I kneeled down beside her bed. And she grabbed my hands and started stroking my arms, and touching my sequinned dress, telling me I looked beautiful. We talked for an hour. She was non-verbal. But finger spelled and indicated by nodding when we were understanding each other. She told me she couldn’t understand what Roger was doing. Was so sad about it. That I was the best thing that ever happened to him (the tears started then) and that she was really worried for him. I hugged her and said I am also worried, and love him to bits. But couldn’t change a thing. He didn’t love me. No matter how hard I tried. She wept a little. And she praised my kids, saying I made them what they are. I was very, very touched. We hugged for ages. And I told her I loved her. Went to the races in a somber mood.
Tonight, I sat here, somehow knowing she had died. Before I was told. The very same feeling I had the day my mother died. Intuition? Another piece of my heart has peeled away. But I am so glad I knew her. And super glad we actually told each other we loved each other.
My heart is broken open yet again. But full of deep love and admiration for my kids’ fantastic grandma ❤❤❤💔
One of the things that completely undoes me is how women treat each other. I guess my feminist is showing when in my naivety I think I kind of assumed that most decent, kind, loving, strong, independent women would ensure their choices and actions would not tear another woman down. I knew Leanne was none of those things. But hoped as a friend, she would act with some decency. Obviously I overestimated her.
Mostly, I overestimated him.
This time around, I thought he had met a kind and sweet woman. Someone who had had her heart broken. Her dreams shattered by a selfish, lying, cheating husband. And that she would recognise a fellow betrayed spouse and ensure that my wellbeing was protected. Or at least, that she would play no part in his hurting me more deeply than he already had. I thought she would empathise with the agony of discovering your love was lying and cheating. Again. And move to protect herself.
Alas, no. She seems completely hoodwinked by his version. A complete lie, and twisting of the facts. His charm and apparent sincerity regarding his intentions (and I believe he believes he will be faithful to her, even though he hasn’t been) is endearing. He comes across as earnest, funny, kind. He is easy to love. Until you realise that he (and I think this is just his lack of self awareness) is only in this love thing, for how it makes him feel. Yes, he likes making you happy. But not because, as I always thought, he is a sweet and kind man. But because he gets his hit from your reciprocation. Your adoration and desire to please.
After months of him denying any wrongdoing and blame shifting like a boss – you will laugh at this – he finally admitted two nights ago that what he did in having online dating profiles, texting dozens of women, meeting three, all while planning a new business venture with me and agreeing to wait until my Masters was completed to reassess our relationship, to give me the time and space I needed to heal myself before I could decide fully about our love story, was against what we agreed on. Didn’t go QUITE so far as to say out loud that he’d cheated again. But he conceded that I am correct, we HAD totally agreed to 100% honesty, openness, truth, no secrets, no dating other people, and to have a very obvious and truthful conversation if either of us thought we were done. He admitted FINALLY, that he did not do any of that, he kept secrets, all the while continuing to woo me, coax me into staying. Up until now, he has denied, denied, denied. And told several people that it is my fault he cheated. Because I doubted for about two years that whether what we had been through was survivable. I didn’t trust that he had learned not to be the secretive guy who didn’t tell the truth. I blogged about my doubts. My intense heartbreak. I told my (then) best mate this. And she, sadly, repeated it to many in our local town. These people now think I was not still trying to be all in in our love story. I needed to work my arse off and research my way to healing. It was a very difficult period. For both of us. But he lied. He kept pursuing me. I started to glimpse hope in leaving this place of pain, this farm that contributed to the ruination of a truly beautiful and fulfilling, intense and loving, passionate and exciting, relationship. And I kept trying to come back to him fully. I didn’t leave, because I absolutely love that man. Too much. It worked. I healed. I got to the place I was striving for, putting myself through hell to get there.
So, I know this is not Trinket’s fault. She was genuinely online, looking for love. But I really struggle with the agony she must know he is causing me, by rejecting me after everything I endured at his hands, and watching him tearing down all we built together. He engaged in the classic midlife crisis affair with Leanne, and the classic exit affair with Trinket. Deeply immature and narcissistic behaviour, exactly as described here: https://thestagesandlessonsofmidlife.org/the-difference-between-an-exit-affair-and-the-midlife-crisis-affair/
A seemingly loving partner, derailed. I have a whole box of love notes ready for my move. He has always written me these, beautiful words. He is moving his whole life to a region he never considered living in until he met her and realised she would not move to/with him. In fact, he openly jeered at his new home region for decades (he is quite the fan now, though.) All this whilst his mother, who lives nearby, is dying. It is heartbreaking. Truly devastating. To put so much trust in such a man, with his proven record of cheating, lying and abandoning? Despite his love bombing apparent sweetness? I am just stunned. And yet, for some bizarre reason, I still totally LOVE this guy. WTF?
Oh, and get this, kids. I got severely chastised for being too nice by him the other night! “Stop doing that, you’re making me feel like an arsehole.” Um, what??? This was after he berated me for not reminding him it was Valentine’s Day. Yep. You read that right. I was supposed to remind him to buy another woman flowers perhaps? Silly me. He waited six months to sign a Separation Agreement. Finalising it on Valentine’s Day. I had pointedly asked him NOT to leave it until the last minute (for my property deal to go unconditional) as it was the 14th of February. The date did not register.
Welcome to your future, Trinket. Of forgotten birthdays, anniversaries, special dates.
He even asked our daughter a couple of months ago when she turned 21.
She is about to be 25.
FML. He sure is a treasure 😂.
Still no final deal on my new place. His lawyer lost the original paperwork we needed! WTAF?
In other news. I started seeing a shrink again a month ago. To get help in dealing with the grief and loss. She is great. And uses EMDR. She told me after the second session that it was completely up to me whether I felt I needed to come back. I did. And I left last night with her telling me I am doing exceptionally well under a particularly difficult set of circumstances. That my intense grief and still very deep love for him are not as insane as I feel they are. Instead are perfectly normal, and that I am working through this agony in a very admirable manner. We don’t think I need her anymore. But I know she is there if I need further guidance and reassurance.
Nearly there. ‘We’ are nearly there.
Thanks for bearing with me, my lovelies. Watch this space. I am stretching my wings, about to fly. Because that is my only choice.
We are on the final countdown, just over a month. If he actually signs the Separation Agreement – the one he asked me to put on ice in October, which I (wrongly?) interpreted as him having doubts, he was admitting to conflicting emotions, and I was a sucker for the man I love actually loving me the way he had said he did for nearly thirty years – I will actually be able to BUY my place, ugh! So frustrating, he has secured his, and seems unconcerned that I am in limbo. That’s a surprise, right?
Very frustrating time. He has become a very grumpy and mean man in the past few months. Very, very unkind to me and the kids, I guess it is us holding him back from being with his new love full time??? I dunno, he was never like this before. He treats me like a child, and tells me pretty much every day that our demise is all my fault. Because, hey, he never cheated on my with my ‘friend’ in my homes, totally blowing my faith in him, and tainting my home spaces, right? He never kept in touch with her for another two years, and fucked her again two years later, totally vindicating my doubts about his intentions with me, right? He never told me lies about prostitutes he fucked, nor inappropriate ‘friendships’ he had with women, right? We are over, because I didn’t trust him again. Not because he was untrustworthy. Ugh, the mindfuck is epic. And you CANNOT win an argument with him. Ever. I try not to engage in any to start with!
It is a difficult place to have stayed, both because there is this very weird thing where I struggle to understand how he could say/believe/represent that he loved me so, so much. But also because all of our pain is place-based. This all started to go pear-shaped when he moved us, without consulting me sufficiently, to this farm. And I was so excited about my healing journey once he suggested we sell and start afresh somewhere new. A new place, a new business, a new start without the taint of Leanne and all that we lost in the fire of her at this farm. Then just dropped me when Ms PiscesGirl showed up. “No more love for you!” I understand him letting me go, I am the damaged goods, she has not been hurt by him, so is fresh and sparkly new. A clean slate. He can be sweet, kind, impress her with his rapier wit, lol. But him to have just stopped loving me? And instead loving someone else? Transference? It’s mind blowing, and INCREDIBLY painful. We used to be so damn great! I still feel the love for him. Even though I know it is (and ABSOLUTELY HAS TO BE) over. And that is why I am talking to another therapist, why have I become one of those losers who loves her abuser?
Why the hell did he hold onto me so hard? Why did he refuse to give up when I thought we needed to be done? When he was still in our bed, never letting my body go, holding, stroking, making love to me, when I thought we should have separate ones. When I was struggling with his need for my body to comfort him, when I was also hurting, and needing some space? Why did I feel I owed him reconciliation? Even he admits that not letting me go when I thought we were done was cruel. It’s like he got to play all the cards, every damn time. Cheat. Check. Lie. Check. Don’t disclose you are dating when I made it abundantly clear that that was an absolute bottom line. (Be fucking honest!) Cheat some more. Paula, just forgive this will you, you NEED to forgive me. I made a mistake. Okay, I tried really hard, and every time, he let me down again. Fucked someone else. Told more lies. Joined online dating sites. He has carefully curated the people that he has introduced to K. Making sure he is seen in the best possible light. His best mate, H, who is married to a cheater, who will be loyal to him, and believes his lies. His two sisters, who were estranged from us for eleven years, due to his choice to sell the family farm (breaking my heart, but I stayed loyal to him, even though I missed them badly) and who have no idea about the extent of his cheating. His overseas based mate, who is dying, who also has no idea about the cheating, and how hard we worked to try to heal from that. He did not look hard at who he is, and why he does the things he does, instead of talking to the woman who has loved him and believed in him, truly, madly, deeply for thirty years, and working out a better way. “I have met someone else. Sorry, you don’t get a choice in ANY of this, it is all my way. I get to choose where we live. I get to choose what we invest our money in. I get to cheat. I get to leave you when you are healed. You just have to take what I decide. You have no say, sorry ’bout that. But, you’re a strong woman, you’ll be okay. Just go online and meet another guy.”
He does not understand that my past means I am both completely sexually frustrated, and yet TERRIFIED of another man touching me. He tells me to just go out and get laid. But in the same breath, says he HATED seeing me dancing with another man at a function we both attended the other night, I mean, COME ON!!! I have watched him messaging another woman for six months, drive down hours to spend days on end in her bed, known, visualised their naked, sweaty bodies, as he bedded her in MY HOME! No hypocrisy whatsoever. I have NEVER been attracted to another man since I met him. And we are pretty old now, lol. They are all dented and bruised. (As am I!) I don’t feel like I should have to deal with another woman’s hand-me-down. Sorry, that sounds bad, but I just don’t need that kind of complication in my life right now, if ever. I don’t feel the need to have a partner, just to avoid being lonely, and not adored by someone. Unlike him, I feel it is healthiest to have some alone time, to get to be me again, not his partner, not someone’s mother, not his sober driver/cook/maid/bill payer/secretary/nurse/etc. He just can’t be alone. He has to be constantly in touch with her. He is still that needy little boy whose mummy was not always available to him for love, due to her depression. As we learned early on in therapy, I had a secure attachment style, and he has an anxious attachment style, clinging on wherever he can. It is sad, and I feel for him, not easy being clingy and needy when the person you are looking to is hurting and unsure. The thing is, it is nice to feel needed most of the time. His attention is flattering, feels loving. But it is ultimately a manipulation to make HIM feel good, never about reciprocation really. He tells himself he is kind and loving, but that is only so long as he is getting the hit he needs, of his partner’s attention and adoration. These things I have learned along the way.
You came out of the world to me
My life parted like the red sea
We flowed easy between the rocks and stones
never seemed to stop us
The years ended in confusion
Don’t ask me I don’t know what happened
but I am a man with a mission
Must be the devil I don’t know
Finally, marching to a different tune
It’s hard to let go
Of all that we know
As I walk away from you
The sun always sets
No room for regret
As I walk away from you
Reveal whatever you desire
To you it may be death defying
Your life, slave to ambition
Tension your permanent condition
So much you’ve always wanted
Too much giving you a sore head
Finally marching to a different tune (That’s right)
As I walk away from you
As I walk away from you