That’s love, right there. You don’t do what’s right, you do what makes the other person happy. You be each other’s cheerleaders. Yeah. And the first step to that, is lying.
Jerry Seinfeld and Sarah Silverman. Welcome to my life.
That’s love, right there. You don’t do what’s right, you do what makes the other person happy. You be each other’s cheerleaders. Yeah. And the first step to that, is lying.
Jerry Seinfeld and Sarah Silverman. Welcome to my life.
So. Your life was fractured. By a cheating arsehole. And now you are so happy. You finally won the prize 😂.
To stay in my beds.
To stay in the holiday home I designed, dug footings for, painted, chose fixtures and fittings for. Made exhausting, sweaty, all in, love in? Go for your life, you cunt. Shame you don’t read. Or understand how excrutiating it is to be cheated on by someone you actually love very, very deeply.
Be back soon 😉
I returned to work today. After a good-but-exceptionally-tough weekend, I came back to work, fully intending on telling my boss about my mental health.
She told me she had found my incognito browser open on Friday.
Fuck. Fuckity fuck fuck.
I am so embarrassed.
And she cried.
And so did I.
I apologised thirteen cajillion times.
Oh. My. Fucking. God.
She saw I am suicidal.
Tears. Everywhere. In my workplace. Where I have tried to hold it together this past year. Fuck. Again.
She asked what I needed. Time off? Help with medical expenses? More breaks? I was just so embarrassed. Fuck.
She told me she loved me. Fuck.
That I am amazing. Fuck.
So I confessed that one of our favourite clients has blocked me on Facebook.
I am beyond shattered. I am very professional in my work role. Trinket has a friend who is a delightful client of ours. My first ever social media block. I have never messaged her, or done anything inappropriate. She blocked me, because, I imagine, Trinket told her I am insane. Fuck.
I was with a man I loved forever. I was faithful. Kind. Trusting. He cheated and lied a lot. When he met a chick online, I tried to wait it out. Then, I am painted as crazy. I have done NOTHING wrong. Never contacted anyone. Tried to love and wait out the midlife crises. Stayed patient and silent. And my favourite client brands me as insane. Wow. I am mortified. And now, my boss knows. And I am both grateful, but completely mortified.
No more words. Just will leave you with my all time fave. Bowie. My first. And only, schoolgirl crush. Been listening to a selection tonight. To try to quell the heat and shame.
I’m back. And have had a lot of time to think. And struggle with myself. Again, I am disappointed in why I am so desperately traumatised and the suicidal ideation keeps ramping up even higher every time I stomp it down. I am questioning whether I am having an adverse emotional reaction to the beta-blockers. You would think they would calm things. But I am waking from every sleep in a full blown panic attack. I will address this with my doctor this week, because it is truly terrifying, and hindering my healing.
One of the things I didn’t discuss with anyone was that I consulted with an immunologist whilst I was down south. She is doing new research, and I may be a participant in this. I met with her to assess whether I am a good candidate for her project. Could have just Skyped, but hey, I was there. It is about cancer recovery under emotional duress (divorce, etc.) She was horrified to learn of my recent broken heart syndrome diagnosis, and the reasearcher in her was also very excited by this development. Will be interesting to be on this side of a research project!
Today was hard. I woke again with the same sexual problems as the day before (and most days now!) I am seriously struggling without intimacy now. Yes, of course I am aching for some seriously good, energetic sex, but mostly the intimacy. I have slept my entire adult life cocooned by Roger, or wrapped around him. I want to be held, kissed, stroked, gently pleasured. Toys and self pleasure – no matter how well I know my own body – only go so far. The lack of skin on skin contact, his breath, lips and tongue all over my body, is doing my head in.
The light, chicklit novel I am reading (The Woman Who Stole My Life) has an interesting couple of paragraphs that leapt out at me today, the protagonist explaining,
“I’d always thought that you grew out of heartbreak, that the older you got, the less it hurt, until it entirely stopped having any impact. But I’ve discovered the hard way that heartbreak is just as bad when you’re old. The pain is still awful. Worse, if anything, because of … the accumulator-effect: the loss stacks up on the previous one and you feel the full weight of them all.
But wailing and streeling around being heartbroken is a lot less dignified at my age. Once you pass forty, you’re expected to be wise, to be philosophical, to calmly settle yourself in your Eileen Fisher coordinating separates and say, ‘Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Camomile tea, anyone?'” (Marian Keyes 2014).
The accumulator-effect. Seems pretty logical. In other words, the straw that broke the camel’s back. Roger deceived and lied and took me for granted forever, and I put up with a certain amount of it, as the compromise you make to make a relationship work. But my reaction now is due to the teetering pile of deception and lies finally falling on top of my head.
Of course! It isn’t the affair with Trinket. Or him leaving me. It is what I have endured for nine years. Lies, bring taken for granted and omissions. It finally toppled my delicate house of cards, built on unresolved trust issues caused by my father’s affairs, my violent rape at the hands of a trusted friend, Roger selling our farm without fully consulting me, then having a long term affair with our ‘friend,’ in our homes, giving me diseases including now, cervical cancer….hmmm. Slightly cumulative, perhaps?
I talked again with a close friend, who is one of the few I have been fully open with. A fellow betrayed, who has healed/is healing so well on her personal journey, but did suffer terribly with trauma for the first couple of years post DDay. I sent her this message about my fury at myself. And my utter heartbreak and confusion about his feelings for me, that as he swapped me so easily for another model, he can not have had any really true, deep love for me:
Her reply, once again, so caring and understanding:
Yep. That. It took ages. I doubted at times. He pushed me to heal faster than I could, and I felt like a failure because of that. But I ALWAYS ensured I told him I loved him.
It’s been five months. At the five month mark after the Leanne DDay, I tried to hang myself. So, there’s that.
Anyhoo, how did I stay alive today?
Well, I practised mindfulness. I ‘phoned’ a friend. I made myself talk to friendly strangers. On the shuttle back to my car at the airport, a cute younger man started chatting to me animatedly about his 5 week long motorcycle tour of Cambodia. And he was really engaging. I thought, in the past few years, I shrunk away from chat like this. In fact, talking to strange men has always concerned me (hangover from brutal rape.) I have tended to let Roger lead the way on this front, he’s engaging and approachable, and we met some interesting people along the way. This time, I stepped up. So, don’t freak out, but I downloaded Bumble on the way home. I have not wanted to do this, I know I am not ready for, nor necessarily wanting a relationship. But, would it hurt to chat? Maybe go on a date? Hell, I’ve never had sex with anyone else, and I am a 50 year old, pretty damn sexy woman! Hmmm. Getting waaaaay ahead of myself here, but reality.
It was a bizarre feeling. And OMG men! Sort your shit out! So unattractive! Men who are 45 but look 60! I am fine with middle age, and less than perfect looking, but, take a little care. Funnily enough, I saw four men I know on there! Man! Thankfully, Bumble is a woman makes first contact app!
I doubt it will come to anything at all, let alone meeting anyone. But it did somewhat boost my shattered ego. I have high standards, without being a dick, and honestly? There were not many worth swiping right for. My daughter asked me what I was doing, and I told her about the unattractive older men! 😀😂🤣 (I am gonna be super bitchy here. She did say, yep, well, look at Dad 😜. What??? Naughty daughter….) To be fair, his online photos he used that I have found were not well thought out – not that our daughter would have any idea about those!
Hope I sleep tonight. But more, I hope I don’t wake dripping wet, in panic.
Night, my lovelies x
I am hanging in here, but man, the road is not smooth. I have had my suicidal moments, even down here. It is horrendous. I have realised I wake most times in a panic attack!
This morning, I woke from a very real dream, where he was kissing me oh-so-deeply, biting my lip passionately, and I realised I was soaking wet…then, on waking, shit. All a dream, and the shaking hit. My body went into shock.
No one talks about this. Bear with me, this is seriously awkward to even put into anonymous cyberspace, but, how can you be suicidal and orgasmic at the same time? Waking so distraught, with such wetness, I had to stop the shaking. So, yep, I went there. Three times, all very wet multiples, to try to wear my body out, to stop the shaking.
Luckily – almost serendipitously – I then got some messages from a sweet friend that were just wonderful. Messages to remind myself of how broken he is, that this is a woman who has no care for my trauma and agony, only her own pleasure (how you can’t empathise with a really fabulous, amazing-but-dented thirty year love story when you yourself have been a betrayed spouse, I will never understand. I even bowed myself and swallowed any pride in going to beg her for the time and space to talk to Roger about timing and forgiveness, that I still love him, and was shocked. She said she would give it to me, then reneged when he said, oh, I’m done, without fulfilling his promise to me to wait and discuss my journey AFTER I submitted that thesis. Who does that??? Give a betrayed spouse a break, lady! No freaking way could I cause someone to want to end their life so I can ‘be happy,’ especially with a known cheater, knowing full well he had lied about being single, breaking his loyal and faithful long term partner’s heart, it astounds me. I would hate to be known as the other woman by friends and family. But I know she just shut down any empathy for me. Believes Roger’s story, it is so much easier to do that than admit any immorality or wrongdoing. Just bask in his attention, love and lap up that amazing sex) and that I must keep pushing.
Bleating on about it got old ages ago, I know 😄. This is just where I set the emotional pain down! Life MUST be lived 💪💪💪. I giggle when I feel the anger at her. It. Is. Not. Her. Fault! I don’t understand her choices fully, well, I kinda do, Roger convinced me with his soft words, gentleness and attention. I wonder. Had he broken up with Leanne when WE started seeing each other? He said it had been over for months. Did SHE know that? He fucked her just weeks into him being with me? Patterns of a lifetime? Ugh. Lord. No wonder she found it so easy to fuck me over? Did she think I ‘stole’ him from her? Even though she had been cheating on him? It’s a mindfuck, that is for sure!
My friend’s words. I have mantras I call on when the I-can’t-bear-this-pain-anymore panic hits. They include some of these things. I know he doesn’t want me anymore, and there is not a thing on earth any person can do when you adore a person who has cast you aside.
Another friend, the one who is married to Roger’s best mate’s brother, sent me this today, saying, “remember no 1. Fuck the rest ❤”
Took the kids and my daughter’s friend out to see the blue penguins come ashore.
Mixed feelings as we bantered, and we talked, and it did include some stuff about Dad, etc. Which was all good. Nothing silly, mean, personal or weird. My heart just lurches with missing and loving him despite knowing he does not love me, and has not done the deeply introspective work. I tried to summons my friend’s words. Stay strong, Paula. Stay here, Paula. Breathe. The pain is unbearable now. But will cycle away and back again. Don’t let these periods beat you x
I’ve had the kind of day I enjoy. Stayed in bed later than usual, got myself a cuppa and read a little. My light, bullshit holiday novel. Deep, it is not! Don’t laugh at the title, it isn’t what you think!
Then, I showered and headed off the few blocks away to my massage appointment. My Airbnb is in the city centre, near churches and funky cafes, etc. 😍
The masseuse was a gorgeous young Yorkshirewoman.
And she asked me why a massage. I explained I have started getting these quite regularly, ever since I started feeling very embodied pain from an emotional event that is ongoing.
She gently asked a bit more.
And, I verbally spewed out the brief version of this bizarre soap opera story! WTF? I have never done that. Not to my hairdresser, not to the girl who does my Brazilian or bikini wax (I change it up as I feel) not to my regular masseuse! I was so embarrassed! And the tears started and I ended up laugh-crying, apologising profusely! She was so damn kind! And incredibly empathetic. Says she gets it a lot. And was just so understanding. Said I look amazingly strong, and am far above the cheaters, and although they may look all loved up and happy now, they will one day realise their happiness is built on a sandcastle of deeply painful lies. The personal cost to someone else cannot possibly be worth it, or genuine.
Nice words. But I really don’t see that happening. These two people have no guilt, or remorse for their deeply selfish and unfeeling choices. To be with a man who has made the choice to cheat on the woman who loved him for so long, gave him everything she had, including her faith, youth and even self esteem in working to forgive him for such deep and multiple betrayals….hmmm. She is a broken person, who thinks she won a shiny trophy. They will be together from now on. She thinks she is more special than me. And he will not do to her what he has done to me. Sadly, I earned the loyalty she MAY (hmmm, we know he was still having super hot sex with me, and messaging other women in the first seven months of this new, better ‘love’ story…just sayin’) receive. So unjust.
So, I had a very weird massage, my left hip and side is agonising. Think my two injuries to my left knee have meant compensatory pain in my gluteal region. And she was perplexed by the immense left hand shoulder and neck tightness, saying it almost always goes to the side you write with. I am right handed. It was quite a painful massage. But I do carry a lot of pain in my body right now. I know this.
After that, I got out in the glorious winter sunshine, and headed off to the local art galleries and museums. Sought out some street art. Bliss!
I had a few heart palpitations, so, as directed by my cardiologist, I did not ignore them, rather I found a cosy cafe, had a salad and a pot of tea. Then headed back to rest. When I woke after a short nap, I was puzzled and alarmed to realise I was in the middle of a panic attack! Beta-blockers be damned. Good lord!
My dear, darling friend, CrazyKat, talked to me throughout. She is amazing. So understanding. So patient. She is the one person I can admit all my dysfunction to – I mean, outside of this blog! Her words are so bloody comforting, and they acted as a salve, cooling the anxiety. Thank you again, Kat xxx.
I reblog her latest here, below. Sooooo much I relate to. Especially the lack of understanding by the cheater (in her case, a sex addict) of what the cheating does to the betrayed. The trauma runs so much deeper than you ever imagine it could. I am gutted by my reaction now. And question who I even am. To be so, so hurt still. I honestly thought, someone cheats on you, you probably leave and live happily ever after, after a brief period of sadness. Or maybe you find a way to forgive and stay together. But you rarely think much about it again.
Until my world was exploded by the terrifying reality that I was living with a man who made me feel special, unique and totally loved by him – he earnestly pleaded with me that I was the only woman for him, the love of his life, he had screwed up and was SO sorry – all the while he was having a passionate affair in my homes, with a woman I considered an old friend.
The duplicity, and my sense of shock and utter stupidity!
Then, we were working on healing, and I convinced myself he had now learned the essential value of openness and complete honesty. Decent, brutally honest communication. Only to discover he was secretly talking to and meeting other women – for at least eighteen months! Before he found one who took the bait, and he thought worth leaving me for. The shock! Utter disbelief that he could fool me twice (shame on me…..)
Tonight’s plan is dinner with my kiddos and their friends and a movie. Tomorrow I have a cycle tour and have booked to go out and see the blue penguins come ashore at dusk. Yay! Loving this ❤🐧🐧🐧
So, here is Kat’s fabulous, raw post.
Last week, my daughter asked me if I wanted to go down with her to the student city where her brother is at uni? Um, let me think about that for a seco…YESSSSSS!
So, we booked. There and then. I got in touch with son, and he said, cool, all good, but have two huge assignments due and flatmate is living on couch since big sports injury surgery.
No problem. D was going to stay with her childhood bestie, and I grabbed an Airbnb.
Except, I picked D up this morning to drive to the airport, and her face was like thunder. She was shitty and pissy and I was trying to leave her to it, but respond to her brightly and cheerfully.
Even though I did not feel it. I haven’t slept more than two hours in the past three days.
Eventually, I said, hey, have I done something wrong? You seem annoyed at me.
Oh. Kay. Then.
She then said, “I don’t know who to trust, you or Dad!”
This is the kid who has copped the worst of it, as the youngest. She saw her father leave me battered, bleeding, scared and bruised. She saw him openly dating another woman, who wasn’t her loving mother, him texting, giggling and behaving like a teenage boy on heat while I sat beside him on the couch, gutted, after having prepared him a gourmet meal, washed his clothes, bought him designer clothes and delicious scent, kept his home clean. Worked to buy his groceries.
She spends one night with him, and all of a sudden is questioning MY trustworthiness.
You fucker, Roger. I have not dissed you to our children. But I bet I know the narrative. The lies he has told his friends, family and Trinket. He has obviously tried to tell D. That he is the victim here. You bastard.
I don’t know how he has got away with this? Cheating and lying. Then he is the hurt party? Really? Fuck. Riiiiiight. He is the master of charm and manipulation.
And now I have a pissy daughter. Who had been so staunchly supportive. I think she was mostly just tired, nervous and hormonal. But my resilience is low, my skin much thinner than the Mum-rhino of yesteryear. She hurt me. And I bit my tongue. Hard. And replied, “I am very sorry you feel that way right now. I am always here for you, and I always will be.”
Cool. You arsehole, Roger.
Now. To other matters. We are here. My beloved, quirky little first student city. I adore you xxx.
I know he feels happier than he has in a long time.
It was a hard time.
Now it is easy for you.
He worked hard.
We both did.
I kept telling him there was no respite. We were tired. Stressed. Worried about money and our kiddos. We desperately needed change. And a break.
He has that now.
Now was the time we were going to fly. To enjoy having no kids left at home.
And I will.
I love you, Roger. As much as I ever did. I wish I could tell you. I can’t. I know you don’t love me. And I understand.
If you had left to be alone, we could talk. But we can’t, because you swapped me out for someone else. And you want to try to be faithful to her. If she wasn’t there…well, this time apart might be a different thing. I think it would have taught us both how much we love each other. You have not given that any space. I would love to do all the things I have booked, and planned, with you. New vege garden, chook house ordered, animals happy. Race meetings, tramping trips, weekend getaways, cycle tours, overseas travel, visits with our kids, art openings, gigs. Things I – and we – can finally afford, finally make time to enjoy! We worked so hard for those things. I wish I could write this in a letter, and send it to you. But I can’t. I just leave it hanging here, in cyberspace, to help reduce my load. You messaged me about how sad you were when one of our favourite journalists topped himself just recently. I DESPERATELY wanted to share that I am in that same space. I am Mewks. Hanging on hard. I am under the umbrella of the suicide crisis team, who have been alerted about me.
But I can’t tell you that. It would look pathetic. No one in the real world knows. I want to say it. But I can’t. I just keep the desperation for this anonymous space. I have to look strong!
Love does not make another person sad. I will not make you sad. Because I actually really love you.
I will do these things we planned to do together anyway. I know you are probably doing them as well. With a woman who loves you.
It doesn’t mean I have no self respect. It just means I am different to you. I love forever. With everything. I know you love what works right now.
Don’t worry folks. I have not backslid. Just leaving some of the aches here. To try to get some sleep. This is part of my acceptance of what is. And what I cannot change.
I went to a movie last night. One of the worst things I have ever seen. Truly turgid, and my skin was crawling with both how vapid it was, but also the triggers within what might loosely be described as the “plot.”
It was Book Club. And I arrived to see a group of older women I know from my hometown going also. They got chatting to me, and when the movie had my body on FIRE with the pain of watching more old people online trawling for dates (I often wonder, when people ask how Rog and Trinket met, “oh, on Match,” about the left out bits. “It’s such a cute story really. I was a lonely widow, looking for love, he was in a relationship of thirty years with an awesome woman who he kept cheating on, she’s completely devastated, suicidal, in fact, but she kept forgiving him, and anyway, we just clicked. Romantic, eh?”) I could not leave the cinema – something I have never once done, but would have last night – because they would have seen me leave. The whole audience would not have had a member under 50 there, and the lame sex jokes were deemed to be totally HILARIOUS by the WASPY crowd. Ugh, it was horrendous.
I came home, wanting to end my life. Again. I mean really, I was in the absolute pit, and thinking, why the FUCK did I go and see that??? I thought of our friend, who topped himself after his wife left him, and thought, once again, fuck, I am going to end up like him.
When I pulled into my driveway, my daughter’s car was there, and I thought she must have met a friend and left her car there, as she had messaged me earlier about going to the lakehouse with friends. But, she was sitting in my lounge room, with the heat pump on, cuddling the dogs and warming up my house – it has turned cold again.
Man, I have never been so pleased to see her! She was waiting for her friend to finish a dinner with her family, as her brother had just returned from a long period overseas. They were driving down later. We got chatting, and I knew her presence had saved my life last night. We talked about our upcoming trip together, and the plans she has made with her friend’s flatmates, as we are flying down to her city, to surprise her for her birthday. I have booked myself into an Airbnb, a massage and a cycle tour of the city so far. We talked about her rainy day at the beach, and nattered away about her work. She mentioned that she had seen her aunt while she was visiting her dad the day before, and I said, “he has a cool house, eh?” She agreed, and said it was a nice time, and we didn’t say much else about that. Later, she said that she was surprised by Dad never once saying, my house, or I go here and do this, EVERY time, it was, we did this, Trinket and I go here often. D thought, wow, no me, or I. I was stunned, and silent. I had not said a word to her about this when I noted it too, on my visit with him. We had a brief chat about self worth, a sense of being an individual, and being strong within our own sense of identity, of who we are as independent human beings. I got a tad wobbly, she started talking about how she thought she would never be fully over her last boyfriend (it’s been a year) and we had a discussion about love, and whether it was ever okay to take someone back who has treated you poorly. She is worried that if Lenny asked, she would take him back. She has asked me before if I would take Dad back, and I have said, I really don’t think so, not without him doing a fuckload of work on himself, to understand his neediness and lack of being able to stand without a woman to prop up his ego. I admitted to her last night that I am also worried that I might, but without any reason to, as I know he no longer loves me, and is madly in love with Trinket, so there is no danger there. Her answer to that was, I don’t think that is the case, Mum. I think he still loves you, but he got scared you were never going to be able to forgive him. I did not see him looking like he was madly in love with her, I think it is just like an comfortable old couple thing, he just wanted peace. I then asked if she had met Trinket, that I hoped she had, as it was inevitable. She answered that she does not see a time where she would want to meet her, that she thinks she is cruel and lacking in any self respect. That she had messaged her father before she went down there, telling him she did not want Trinket there if she came. He was preparing dinner, and said, Trinket is on her way, she’ll be here soon, when D looked at him and said, no way – I am not meeting her. He frantically grabbed his phone, messaging her to turn her around.
I have accepted that this woman – who chose to be involved with a man who still lived with and made love with his partner of three decades (even after I told her when I was in deep shock, gently but clearly, that she was the side fuck) the woman who bore his children, gave up a career, worked hard alongside him, you know the rest – will be in my children’s lives. It sucks. But is the reality. I can’t imagine what it felt like to be driving to, or about to drive to, the house of the man I have fallen totally in love with, and told, no, you can’t come because my kid does not want to know you (because you are a cheating whore…) I would die inside.
Anyway, the point of this post is to try to articulate what happened next. The shift, I speak of in the title of this post. D left, and I was feeling pretty shit. And then, I thought, you know what? You have been so anguished, so suicidal, so panicked at why you are reacting this way to a cheating man, a man who has cheated on you many times, who first cheated on you just weeks into being totally head over heels in love with him, who you have been trying to learn to hate, and you don’t hate him in the slightest. You still love him! So, let’s break this down a little bit. You have given him so much rope over the years, and instead of him hanging, you are nearly hanging yourself, quite literally! Why? Why is this still hurting you so very deeply? And I realised that I have been using this blogging space to try to get the anger out, to try to summons up some hate for them both for being such selfish cunts.
And I don’t hate either of them. I think he is unaware of his own shit, and just ran. He ran away from what was feeling too much, but he made sure he didn’t run until he had a safety net to catch him. And she is just a needy soul, who has been easily roped by his lassoo. A soft target, a kind person who just hasn’t turned the microscope light on yet – if she ever does. I don’t think she understands she has one.
I remembered then what we discussed when I asked him why he did not leave me for Leanne. He wanted to. He said he just realised she was a bitch. So, Trinket is not a bitch, she is a suburban housewife, with small needs, and no real desire to see the world. When we had that discussion, I remember him saying, “I could picture me leaving you, and it had been a year or two into living with Leanne (see, he never thought to leave and be alone, always visualising what it was like to be with another woman…) and I would meet you for coffee one day, to talk about the kids, and you would walk in, looking stunning, slim, stylish, perfectly made up, with glossy hair, and beautiful clothes, in heels, looking radiant and confident, happy. And I would go, “oh fuck, I gave that up, for this. To be hen pecked by an ungrateful woman who doesn’t even like to fuck that much.” And the funniest thing was, I thought the exact thing! I KNEW I would flourish if he left me! It isn’t arrogance, I don’t think, I just knew that I had become his damn mother, I did EVERYTHING for him, and fuck all for me! I thought, how freeing? I could go back to uni, and get a good career, lose weight! Ha! And one bonus would be that he would see me for all he held me back from.
So, this reaction, this time, when he really did leave me, has been so disappointing to me! I thought I would be flying by now.
And I thought, why? Why has this happened? I realised I found the courage and strength to do some of the things I wanted to do, while we were still together. I said, hey, I want to go to university, and achieve something for me. I gave myself permission to do that, do something for me. And I did it, taking it further than I planned, in gaining a Masters degree with First Class Honours as well. I worked my arse off to achieve that. I hoped he would admire my determination, my intellect, my resilience and perseverance. He didn’t. He just resented the time away from home it took. Petulant wee boy.
But, as I said, I had a shift. I thought, you know what? I think you have needed this time to scream, punch, be totally full of fury at the injustice of all of this, how hard you worked, how you identified that your pain was very place based, and were excited by the prospect of him thinking about new ventures, in new regions, new challenges, and leaving the place of all that pain. And that time might be nearing its end. You still feel completely devastated – maybe you always will. But remember who you are. You are an independent woman, who survived this once. It took you eight long years to rebuild a sense of being “good enough,” after he tore you down, but you did it. You can do it again. Actually, not only CAN you, but you HAVE to. He took the easy route. He found a soft landing, where he doesn’t have to deal with the pain, he can just revel in all that lovely new lovey dovey shit. You have to FEEL it all. Every bit of the pain. Again. And yes, this time it is even worse than what you endured last time. When you curled into a ball regularly, howling your eyes out, when you tried to take your own life – twice – to try to stop the damn agony. But, you made it out the other side. Only to have him shove you down the stairs again, right to the bottom, like sliding down the longest snake on a game of snakes and ladders, just when you were just a couple of squares from the finish.
But, you are strong enough. Loving him was not a mistake.
I don’t know this guy, had a quick look at his Facebook page, but this is simple, and makes a bit of sense, even if it is a bit cliche. I loved. I trusted. I gave him a second (third, fourth…) chance. He chose not to be the man he could have been, had he just LISTENED to me, and BELIEVED in me.
As I was working through some of this stuff today, I was getting such good messages from a friend who has seen this journey, and my unravelling, when he announced he did not want to be with me anymore. She said, amongst other things, to me today that, “she really is nothing but a distraction from reality for Rog. He wants what you guys HAD, but she’s not you. He says ‘we,’ not because Trinket is important, even if he thinks she is right now, but because he has been a we for decades. I truly believe that they have nothing like you two have. I use present tense on purpose, because you can’t just erase all those years. Rog knows this, but is just an opportunist. He has created a strange fantasy version of how to get out from under the burden and be happy.”
I know these things. And I know he is feeling the most peace he has for some time, because, as my friend pointed out here, he was living under a burden. What Roger conveniently forgets is that he created that burden, by cheating on me for a long time, and that I carried the greater part of the burden that I never invited into my, or our, life. And yet, he has now ducked out, leaving me to keep going with that burden. It helps me mentally cut and paste Trinket out of the picture. She is a tool he used to pole vault out of a situation he felt uncomfortable in. That is all. She is a pawn.
Hey, I actually get it. He couldn’t do it anymore. He ran. He ran away from the label of being that cheating arsehole who lived down the road. He ran away from having to face my friends, who know I am a kind, loving person, who never deserved the treatment I received. He ran away from the fact that he knocked me unconscious, telling Trinket that he was provoked (!!!) He looked for peace, and he found it in the beige mouse. I get it. It’s safe. It’s soft. It’s comfortable. It’s a destination.
But, will there be the deep connection, the passion, the love for the arts, the memories, the laughter, the satisfaction of beating the odds?
No, he gave all of those possibilities up.
My friend, Bella, messaged me to let me know our race filly was having a jumpout at the track in the morning. So, as I try to do more and more – like I have to two invitations today – to a concert, and an art exhibition opening – I said, okay, I will meet you there. I got up early, and drove to the town where the track is, and watched her do her thing, before driving straight to work.
It was a funny morning being there. When I first met Roger, I was a trackwork rider, at this very same track. The people there are “my people” – but not anymore, it’s been too many decades. And we had horses in work with local trainers for decades, so used to go together to watch them gallop. This was my first visit to watch trackwork in the morning without Roger.
It is freezing here again, and despite many layers, a warm coat, a beanie, and warm socks, I was shivering. Bella walked alongside me and said, “you need to put on some weight, you look way too thin.” Something that has NEVER been said to me ever in my lifetime! And I froze at work today, every time someone opened the office door, despite the heat pump cranking.
My hairdresser’s apprentice asked me tonight if I had been on any dates yet. I just laughed and said, no, I don’t feel either ready, or the need! Why would I take on another manchild? I have freedom and agency, and don’t have to accommodate another person’s needs, or the judgement of their children, etc. No. Not a requirement in my life right now.
So, that is why I don’t hate Rog. He was just too weak to see it through. Like I want to die, he wanted to run. Both of us were just trying to leave the pain behind us. His way was to hurt me further, but he was just trying to self preserve.
Only time will tell whether it was the right move for him. I know he is content right now, and he wasn’t for a while there, he lost faith in me, and now he has stopped loving me, and decided to choose to love someone who felt safer to him. The bonus is, he is getting attention, sex, and told that he is so wonderful. The softness. Whereas I am having to do it the hard way. On my own, without anyone to tell me I am beautiful, sexy, wanton, lustful, clever, funny, resourceful, wistfully wonderful ……
So, my health took another nosedive the weekend before last. I ended up in the Emergency Department of my closest city’s hospital, with serious chest pains, and difficulty breathing.
It was 2am.
I was put on the ECG machine, and an angiogram was performed. I was eventually diagnosed as suffering from stress-induced cardiomyopathy – broken heart syndrome. I have blogged about this scary experience. I have been monitored closely for the past week or so, and my regular cancer blood draws have now had heart tests added to them. Interestingly, it affects women waaaay more often (we obviously FEEL pain more deeply) and, even more tellingly, it does not heal with re-partnering, as it does for men. Hmm, Roger, in a nutshell. He feels no pain, because he has plastered over the hideousness of divorce with a new woman, dropping his pain levels instantly.
As this article from the NZ Herald states:
While separation, divorce or breaking up with a partner are not the same as watching your soulmate die, they still put your heart through the mill. For women who are divorced, the risk of a heart attack is between 1.29 and 1.39 times higher than for women who remain married.
For men, the figures are similar, with the risk of heart attack for those who are divorced being 1.38 times greater than for their married counterparts.
What is different, though, is that, when men remarry, the risk drops back down — but this doesn’t happen to women when they find a new partner.
To put the figures into perspective, the risk posed by divorce to a woman’s heart health is on a similar level to that of high blood pressure or smoking.
Not surprisingly, of course, the more divorces you have, then the worse it is for your heart.”
It is a real, and quite terrifying thing. I feel like I have watched my soulmate die – but then someone else still walks around in his body, and worse, another women gets to use that body! – it is fucking UNBEARABLE!!! My heart is under a fuckload of stress at the moment. I am on beta blockers, trying to keep me calm (and non-suicidal.) I have a woman who decided to ignore my warnings that she was dating a man who was NOT single – who had a loving, exceptionally hurt partner and three children, and yet, her happiness, her high, of his attention, was more important than any of the heartbreak (now, quite damn literally) that her participation in such a relationship – NO MATTER WHAT HE TOLD HER, I TOLD HER THE TRUTH OF HIS DECEPTION AND LIES – has caused a family to fall apart.
I have blogged before about her lack of care, about how she chose to believe his bullshit stories, has taken no heed of his past. My past will most likely be her future. So everyone keeps telling me, but I somehow doubt it. Because, whilst they live apart, and are all loved up, going to movies, art galleries, dinners at nice restaurants, climbing mountains, bike excursions into the countryside with picnics, etc, they can play at happy families, he can charm the pants quite literally off her. This man was telling me he loved me forever and would never stop trying to make up to me for the pain he caused, whilst chatting to other women all over the country. I know, and have saved evidence that he was still chatting to one of them months into a new ‘commitment’ to this current one.
She has never approached me to hear my side of the story, or to apologise for luring a man who was clearly not leaving me – he had stayed with me through the pain and anguish and apparently recommitted to me after his huge affair – without having a back up woman ready and waiting. He was never going to leave and be alone. He has never been alone in his entire life. She even heard some of the disrespectful things he told me about her, just weeks into this, and it did not raise any red flags for her. Her self esteem must be in the gutter. No way would I be with a man who spoke about me the way he did about her! Instead of realising the damage she created, by participating in his stupid bullshit lies, because hey, she feels good – if it feels good, do it, right???
I have read a few things lately, about remorseful OW. The ones who got carried away by the charm, the lies, and excitement of “new love” and fuck the wife and kids, I DESERVE TO BE HAPPY! Who, later down the track learn that the lies were real, he really did fuck over a good, loving woman to pursue the new target of his affection, way too late.
By the time these women finally work out who these guys are, it is too late. Their self esteem is ruined, the woman who was loyal to a lying, unloving, cheating prick, who she absolutely loved, and wanted to make it work with, is broken, and the whole damn house of cards is falling. The man never gets the chance to actually do the hard work of becoming a better man really down deep, he just gets to polish his image to the new woman, playing at wanting to be better for her, that she has somehow earned the right for him to be faithful, even after all the betrayed partner did to learn to forgive, to teach him how to be a better person, to love fully and with everything. The new woman gets the improved model, because I worked hard at trying to get him into counselling (he was extremely reluctant, and never did any research into cheating, or why he behaved the way he did – that was all on me) even if it is currently just image management, and putting on a good front…
Because Rog, so cleverly ran, and moved his whole life, his means of earning a living, away from the town where the past is known, his cheating is not a factor for them. He does not have to go to the pub, and see my friends, who know what he did. He doesn’t have to sit in the school hall, knowing that the locals know who he is. I have had to sit quietly, after an initial shock reaction, when I tried to tell his two best mates what he had done, who he really is, what I had been living with. And the locals are coming ’round. There have been several approach me lately, saying, hell, I’m so sorry, Paula, I can see what he did, and what you had to put up with. He seemed so sorry, but we did not know what you were experiencing. He seems so damn ‘nice.’ The truth is now seeping out into the world, he just managed to outrun the toxic backlash of that truth by relocating and reconnecting with family members who did not know us through the most painful thing he ever did to me.
Whereas she can introduce him to her friends and family as her loving new partner, they don’t go, oh, shit, Trinket has taken on another fucking cheater, we need to look out for her. He rarely has to deal with his own children, instead, she has co-opted him to be a surrogate father to hers. He can pretend he is a loving, upstanding partner, like he did with me, until he was rumbled by a scorned affair partner. If Leanne had never told me, I would never have found out about the double life he lead for at least eighteen months. We would still be together, he would be breathing a huge sigh of relief that he did not lose the woman his mother described as his best asset – but hey, he would have missed out on his Trinket, so there is that… After all, she is obviously more beloved by him than I ever was, and THAT is the root of all my pain. That I gave it everything, and there is nothing left in the tank. He never gave me any agency in any of it. I didn’t get to choose whether he broke my heart by cheating on me, despoiling my homes, I didn’t get time to heal, because he kept pushing me to do it faster than I was capable of, and I found a way to make me feel okay about me again, to rebuild my self worth, and he went, ah, fuck, can’t have her feeling good about herself, I think I will replace her, she gets no say in this.
Because of this, the fact that he never has ever admitted to any other affairs, without me physically confronting him, with evidence, he just has never confessed, come clean, he only knows how to bury his secretive, deceptive behaviour very, very well, very, very deeply. And Trinket, who has lived this life before, with a secretive, deceptive cheater, who will never let her know, has jumped back in the shark tank, thinking this time, I have a pretty shark. He won’t eat me, he’s too pretty.
And sadly, she might be right. The fear of every rejected and discarded faithful spouse is that they will be better for the next one. It shouldn’t matter, they were not capable of being faithful to us, but it is the total injustice of the idea that I fixed him for a woman to ‘steal’ him away that feels so, so terrible, and totally shreds my heart.