Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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Since when was the loyal spouse the bad guy?

I have had to chuckle a little. I am the person who was loyal, a very good partner, a very good mother, a very loving and hard working person, who always loved, and cared for our extended family.

Then, he cheated badly. Long term. With a friend of ours. Their liaisons took place mostly in our home, and holiday home. In our children’s beds, on my couches, in our bed at our holiday home.

I was totally devastated at the treachery of this happening right under my nose, in my safe spaces of home.

I was always open with my communication about the healing, the stalling of the healing, the ups and downs. I told him how I was feeling, I asked him how he was doing, what he was thinking, did he love her, did he love me? Did he want to leave me?

At one point, I wanted to leave.

He begged me to try again, to stay, he was sorry.

So, I did. I stayed, and I worked REALLY REALLY fucking hard at trying to trust him again. I got all the counselling, I read all the books, I did all the research. He just got pissy at me for “not being okay yet.” I felt the pressure of his disdain for the lack of speed of my “just get over it.”

I find it utterly insane that as the loyal spouse, I have been vilified by a couple of people. His best mate, and Trinket alike. To be fair, everyone else seems pretty okay now, any who were wavering have been in touch and left me supportive messages. His other best mate’s partner is great, has become very supportive. Sounds silly, but her encouraging comments on my Instagram feed are always welcomed. I mean, wow. I was loyal and loving. Other than in the very early stages of this nightmare, within the first month of knowing, I have not contacted Trinket. She made her bed (actually, my bed, the one our kids were conceived in, lol.) And I have noticed her blocking and unblocking me on social media from time to time. I don’t give a fuck, but have been vaguely bemused by it. I know most don’t get it, but I feel for her. She has been cruel to me in carrying on with him, knowing we were together thirty years, and he lied to me, was never single – as a betrayed wife, she should have known how cheaters work, even when they swear they will be faithful, they aren’t; but cruel to herself, undervaluing who she is, by taking up with a man who pretended he was single on an online dating app. Even if she is now madly in love with him, he set her up. To be the other woman. My kids, and most people I know are disgusted. I would hate to be in a relationship with a man whose friends and family don’t like me, think I am stupid. (My kids have all separately said that – how stupid to you have to be to be “dating” a man who still lives with his partner, who has told you she didn’t know they had supposedly split up?!)

So, the pain does not reduce at all, I have to keep pushing forward, through the agony, making sure I keep doing positive, mindful things for me. I bought some timber to make myself a raised garden bed after work. Purchased some boiled linseed oil this morning to help preserve the untreated timber.

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Then tottled off to what is hopefully a much less regular blood test, before heading into work. I feel like a damn pin cushion, and this morning’s really hurt! I am off to a specialist this week, to investigate my knee injury, it appears I have done my meniscus cruciate in my knee, and my GP says almost certain surgery required. Awesome. But, the good news is, my cancer and heart indicators are finally moving in the right direction.

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And, along the lines of my thesis, I found this great article about grief and loss after infidelity. It is so great to see academia treating this grief with the reverence and respect we require. This shit hurts. It has hurt far more than the death of anyone close to me. It has hurt far more than my being raped so brutally. It has hurt far more than the loss of any friendship.

Somehow, being the loyal person makes you the bad guy in the other woman’s eyes. I really thought she would understand how I have been fucked over here, but no, I am the bad guy, so bad. I guess she has never experienced loss quite like this, did not love her husband, and cannot possibly know how devastated I am, these thoughts that I put down here to purge the toxic shit from my body – the suicidal thoughts and feelings that are never seen by the outside world. No way could I do this to another person, be involved in wrecking their world. But even more, to take on a man who has just gone from relationship to relationship – so unhealthy. Jack, the guy I met, was very cool about that. He asked me how long I had been single for. I told him I wasn’t in the market for anything, and he said to me, it is way too soon. He said he took three years to put himself back out there when his love left him. Quite ridiculous really when I was the incumbent partner who was discarded by my love when he was begging me to stay all along. It is all quite mind blowing, and terribly unjust. I mean, if I was her daughter, her friend, her sister, why would she blame me when my partner kept cheating on her? A little consistency, please. We support each other, don’t shit on each other. Solidarity, in the face of men who cheat and lie. At least, that was how I was brought up. The sisterhood and all that jazz.


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Swings and roundabouts

I have a delicious friend. She is a younger sister of my oldest friend, and we have become very close these past four or five years. She lives in Sydney. And she sends me inspirational quotes and encouraging messages every single day. She has lived this nightmare. Says it took her three years to feel she would be okay after her partner left her for his ho-worker.

I love her. It helps to be understood. And uplifted.

My boss came in this morning and hugged me. She said she is really worried about me. I weigh 52kgs. My new doctor weighed me today. And noted I was – gulp – 79kgs two years ago. Oh, my specialist’s appointment went very well, and I also saw my new GP. Looks like I am having knee surgery now, too! Quite funny as I just purchased health insurance last week. Roger would never allow it. But I think it is a good idea at my age.

God, I was a fat cow!

Anyway, I was honest with my boss and said I am also worried about me. She asked what they can do to help me. That I am doing an incredible job, including my new importer role, but I have got too thin. And she noticed I was not right yesterday.

Bloody hell.

I am camp mother at work. Everyone comes to me to solve their problems. It is hard being the needy one. I said I was grateful for the job, their care, their support, that I am incredibly disappointed in myself.

She asked why.

And I answered, because I didn’t think I would still be so fucked up this far out after a cheater left me. If I was my daughter, my friend, etc, I would think, phew, he’s gone, now she can really live. It frustrates me that my biggest emotion is still intense grief.

We are in the busiest part of our season. I’m doing long, stressful days. And she offered me time off. I really appreciate it. But am kinda mortified.

So, trying not to be ashamed of who I am. How I love. What makes me tick.

Waiting for the world to catch up with my fire.


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Hey ladies

Today was surreal.

Trinket messaged me.

WTAF?

It was an attempt at a take down. A passive aggressive manoeuvre I have, unsurprisingly, encountered before. Yes, of course she is a delicious morsel, everyman’s dream, so vulnerable and needy, such a damsel in distress, so GRATEFUL.

Hey, ex-of-my-sweetheart’s – you total delight – can you please pull your LAYDEES into line? Pretty pleeeeeeeese?

“Our” situation. How chummy.

This situation – ‘ours’ – is that I was with the man I loved very, very deeply for thirty years. He cheated on me several times, I didn’t fully know about the others until after the worst one was exposed, with an old friend, in our homes, around our kids, and then, when I did a fuck ton of work to recover, he lied to me about commitment, and cheated on me again, having three (that I have found) online dating profiles for the last two years we were together. I have transcripts of some of the conversations with the women he met online. I have a conversation that one of them sent me in June this year that he was still in touch with.

He promised me he would be honest, and that he would wait for me to finish a postgraduate qualification, but he started fucking another one, who he left me for, just as that thesis was about to be submitted. ‘The situation’ happened because he lied and cheated, and she did not care about that at all, despite being cheated on herself, and admitting to me that she hated the other women in her marriage. At first I felt huge empathy for her. Having been in a marriage with a cheater, I thought she would understand. I thought we might even get to the point where maybe we would laugh about it one day, and even be kinda friends. She had been lied to about his single status. But, when she continued on with him, after I told her he was not single, I started to see that she is as selfish as he is. That was so disappointing. She is content to always be labelled the other woman that he left his family for. Like others here, I will never understand a woman who does this. But, especially one who has been in these shoes. The kids think she is being a bit of a gold digger, to be honest, but would never say it to him. Trinket is now way too invested to back away, having all his internet banking logins, and running his wee accommodation business. Entangled. She couldn’t leave the first cheater. She won’t leave this one. I knew this when I met her, and I knew this when I was lying in Roger’s arms, post-coitally, and he was saying things like, we might get back together further down the line, maybe you and I will come back together one day, I just don’t know right now. This is exactly why you don’t use another person when you leave someone. You go out, and be alone, and think about things. You don’t BandAid over the pain with a sweet widow. I said to him, why would you ever leave her? I knew she was exactly what he was after, one who won’t move to protect herself. The target he had been seeking all along.

It is still completely devastating.

I don’t think anyone here, bar two, know her real name. So no, not “my blogging ladies.”

Ugh.

I would like to say, hey, it didn’t affect me that I got the message from her. But, I was really shaken. It upset me. Just leave me the fuck alone you husband poaching cunt. Go suck his dick. Hope you choke on it. See, the anger is still there, at her doing this to me. I know he did it to me, but why participate when you know he is a cheater??? When you know there is a loyal, and devastated woman in his life? So weird.

I had the most frantic day ever. I started early, and did not look up for 12 hours at work. I cried a lot. When no one was around. All of the ‘stuff’ was feeling too much. If it had been night, I know I would have been in serious trouble. I saw my body swinging from the barn rafters. The ideation was running almost unchecked.

I fucking hate this so much, I fought, and fought, and fought for my sanity. I won again.

This time.

Helped by this giggle tonight…

I ‘stole’ a bottle of duty free gin he bought her. I finished it when I got home. I felt guilty when I swiped it, but it cracks me up now. All that money of mine he spent dating her, all that gas driving up and down to her those seven months, dinners out, etc. Her Christmas present – a couple of sets of the worst nana bras and undies I ever saw (when I saw what he bought her I just about peed my pants at how ugly they were 🤣🤣🤣.) All those joint funds that I never contested. That made my blood boil. But I was thankful he didn’t buy me grey lingerie! So, my bottle of gin wasn’t so bad really, huh? 😉

My daughter has strep throat, again. Exam time. Stressed. She requested custard as had not been able to swallow. I fought to stay for her. Made the custard and drove it over to her. I lay on her bed with her, pretending I was the adult, not letting her see my agony, when all I wanted was to be held. I couldn’t get close because of my compromised immune system.

I can’t even get a damn hug and kiss when I need it.

But, it held me here. Being ‘needed’ held that bastard at bay tonight.


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Both sides of the story?

I have tried so hard to remain balanced. To see things from as many angles as possible.

But I have never cheated with, or on anyone.

Ever.

Unlike the author of this article, who experienced both sides, and describes both as devastating, but obviously the trauma of being the loyal spouse is exponentially greater.

So, trying to understand why you would choose to cause another person such huge, devastating agony is difficult. To be Trinket, knowing how much it hurts to be cheated on – and she admits there wasn’t a lot of love – I have always adored Roger (because I am obviously fucking stupid!) then to do it to another loyal partner? To be Roger, to know how he was hurt by Leanne’s cheating on him, to know how completely and entirely I have always loved him, trusted him, and to deliberately do this, to the only person who truly ever loved him (as a romantic partner, at least) as completely as me? That just blows my mind.

He admitted that his feelings of having been betrayed by Leanne in his early 20s were truly awful. He couldn’t sleep, he obsessed, he drove to her house at all hours, trying to catch her. But he could see that they were no match for my utter devastation after several decades, children, loyalty, deeply passionate love and total investment, complete trust and dedication that I felt when Leanne exposed his long affair with him to me.

And yet, he did it again?

Jesus. What kind of concrete does his heart contain?

And how, as the other woman, having witnessed his actions, knowing his serial cheating history and seeing his children’s disdain, could you ever think you could build a meaningful, peaceful future with such a man? I wouldn’t be able to sleep with the doubt, the churning feelings about how much pain I had caused a really decent, loving partner.

I guess these people justify their actions by portraying the ex as deserving of such treatment. To believe a cheater’s version of how we betrayeds are just not good enough.

It takes a huge amount of effort to negate those feelings about ourselves. I ‘know’ I am pretty okay as a person. But I ‘feel’ not good enough in any way. Knowing that is about him, not me, does not make the failure feelings disappear.

And that fucking sucks. To have to fight someone disloyal’s version of yourself, when you did nothing but have their best interests at heart, always.


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Post match analysis

I’m home.

From my girls’ weekend. It was so nice. But my anxiety was really pinging for some reason. Sarah, my friend, took me shopping today, instead of our planned vineyard bike crawl. And around lunchtime my fight or flight mechanism was screaming at me, I wanna go home!!!

I gutsed it out. And bought a dress and some candles. Gyoza for lunch. When I finally made it home, the anxiety was almost completely out of control!

I had the new lighting to unload, unpacking and making up a fresh bed. I had a bath, trying to stay grounded…

I don’t know why I am so bad today. Tired, I think. Sarah was fabulous, and said I am doing really well considering the mind fucking I have endured. She gets it. And is so supportive and positive. We even had a brief conversation about suicide (she has no idea about my struggle with suicidal ideation) as a friend’s father took his own life fairly recently. It was a bit surreal. Hearing about selfishness, etc. I just gently replied that generally it is that the person just cannot deal with another day of intense emotional pain. Suicide is never done to punish anyone living! People are pushed to the edge of their pain threshold.

People don’t get it, until you have felt that desperation to do anything to make it stop!

I don’t feel like I am doing as well as she said. Better actor than I think I am, obviously.

I think the stupid triggers from driving past Leanne’s suburb were hard to overcome today. And, to try to help myself, as I was starting to feel quite scared about my feelings, I started researching how many relationships that started as affairs last.

The answer is, not many.

Of course.

When trust is compromised from the start, what hope is there for peace and happiness? People who have cheated are 3.5 times more likely to cheat again than the non-cheater population.

Those are not odds I want to ever take on. They were what concerned me after Leanne. Once a cheater, always a cheater is obviously not always a thing, but as I said to Rog, what will ever stop you next time? The line has already been obliterated. He cheated again. Then cheated on Trinket with me. No line exists anymore.

So, to try to stop the current panic, part of my grounding is to remind myself that I don’t have to wonder who he is talking to, meeting, flirting with or fucking. I am free from that. The obsessive thoughts still exist, but I know some of the truth. That he is doing those things with Trinket, and who really knows who else? These things are no longer something I should be concerned with. I just need to concentrate on me, my kids, my dogs, my gorgeous friends. His actions are no longer my concern.

Hear me?

No. Longer. My. Concern!

Trinket can worry about that now.

Fuck, I am so glad I never worried about any of that the first 22 years with him. I just never worried, ever, about him cheating.

It was bliss.

I wish I could turn the clock back.

But hey, don’t we all?


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City escape

I’m here.

In the city, with one of my dearest friends.

Well, on the outskirts, actually. Sarah lives in a semi-rural spot, and as the sun rises here, the birdsong is stunning right now.

We had the most beautiful degustation dinner last night.

There were five of us, all old high school friends. This stunning beetroot course was part of our vegan friend’s serving.

She is an anxiety sufferer, and rarely goes out, due to her extreme symptoms. She is such a fun person, and although my anxiety manifests a bit differently to hers, we understand each other. We were so pleased she managed to come out with us last night. Kara was the most beautiful girl in our year, and her sister, Coral, lives near my town, and was also part of our group last night. She and I walk our dogs together at the local off leash dog park on Friday evenings quite regularly. She was Roger’s year, a friend, and has been totally blown away by his behaviour.

I haven’t been too badly triggered in quite a while by driving up here. But yesterday, I was. As I drove towards the motorway exit ramp Roger would have used on his workday excursions to Leanne’s house, the dread I felt was familiar.

Trauma has a wicked memory.

I had a mind movie, of him furiously driving to her after I left for work, a three hour trip from our farm. I always pictured him driving with a raging, purple erection. Cool imagery, huh? I had that picture in mind as I passed the exit. My imported lighting had arrived, and I was picking it up, so then had to switch my attention to the next exit, to find the warehouse where it has been stored. But, that picture would not leave, of him furiously driving our family SUV with his rock hard boner, ready to ravage Leanne on arrival, her opening the door, and him taking her on the entrance floor, relieving that huge and uncomfortable erection.

Something he said never happened, that he often wished she’d been ‘happier’ to see him, but it would always start with coffee or wine, and some boring chit chat, usually about her arsey little boy, her moaning to him about how HARD it was to be a single mum – despite her conceiving him very deliberately by stealing semen from a used condom from the client she was fucking. Then Rog would have to spend some ‘quality time’ with her briefly before furiously driving home again, to carefully park the car in the same place it was, with the same fuel level as before I left for work, before I arrived home again. He admitted after DDay that he was paranoid I would check, or take mileage on the car!

Um, no. Because I was never suspicious, and would never think about such a bizarre thing!

So, Leanne was front of mind all morning, damn it. I really don’t think of her often anymore. I wrote her off as a sociopath a long time ago. The effects of her very deliberate affair with Roger, in my homes, around my children, have however long reverberated with me, and ultimately ended what I considered to be my lifetime love story.

But she doesn’t matter herself.

At dinner, Kara asked Sarah, the friend I am staying with – who was Leanne’s flatmate, who blew the whistle to Roger on Leanne’s cheating on him over 30 years ago – if she keeps in touch with Leanne. I knew she doesn’t, has almost run into her once in recent years, and turned tail very quickly to avoid her, but my body involuntarily stiffened as I heard her ask. Sarah said, as I knew she would, “no. I have no desire to ever see her again.” My shoulders started to relax a little, but my heart continued to race for some time.

I am still very traumatised by all of this. All four women are total gems. All have been supportive and horrified at what has happened to me. Kara asked me how I am, and as we are not close, I said fairly well, and she rubbed my arm. She recently broke up with her fiance. And could see my mask. She said, it must be so hard, did you see this latest affair coming? My lip wobbled a bit as I fought for my composure, and I said no. I know it sounds weird, but no. I thought we were coming through what had happened. I thought the plan was to enjoy our empty nest, travel, chill, appreciate that we had survived, and move forward with our lives.

Not this. Not for him to swap me out for a replacement wife appliance, doing all we planned with her instead of me, who earned all of that. All the movies, concerts, winery tours, nature appreciation, arts, overseas travel, food, time out from a 24/7 farming life, time together with our family, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah.

Trinket reaps everything I sowed. She gets to wake up to his constant morning glory, be ravaged by him, spend lazy Sundays in bed, making love, cycling around their beautiful region, holding his hand, being kissed by him, etc.

Kara’s sister Coral – my dog park mate, seated across from me last night – well, her husband cheated on her not long after knowledge of Roger’s affair with Leanne was forced into the public arena. She has been so understanding, and not surprisingly, quite shocked at Rog doing it again. She thought (probably hoped, as they are still together, healing) we had beaten the affair beast. And, like many people – myself included – believed Roger had stopped that behaviour, and was no longer sneaking around with other women. Discovering he had the online dating profiles for well over a year prior to meeting Trinket, has her shaking her head. As she vocalised, you just never know what people are capable of.

I quickly changed the subject.

See, I have a great life, fabulous friends. But the trauma is always there. I had a wonderful night, but still came to bed wanting my life to be over last night. Little sleep, lots of work to calm and settle, lots of affirmations, enacting the steps in my safety plan, and grounding steps to quell the raging anxiety.

Quite interestingly, Roger’s sister, whom I really like a lot, the one who lives near him, posted this on her Facebook wall yesterday. It’s reposted often. But timely for my anxiety yesterday.

I lay in the dark, heart racing, cold sweat starting to bead over my face and body, thinking, what can I see, in the dark.

And breathed. In. Out. And repeat.

Fucking anxiety.

Today, the ferry to the island my mother lived on. Cycling and wine. What could possibly go wrong??? 😂🥂🚴‍♀️


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Be gentle

When I first met Rog, I thought I had met the kindest person ever. His eyes are the softest, sweetest. We raged between the sheets. For the first couple of years together, the hottest sex I can imagine, multiple times a day.

But, out of bed, he was so gentle. His rough, farmer hands wrapped around my wee body. Gently tickling me with his chin stubble. I was constantly turned on. How did I ever go to work??? It was hard! We hated being apart.

When I went to the UK, I pined for him. I got on with living, but missed him, I ached for his touch, his softness, his strength.

When I came back, heavily pregnant with his baby, he carried my swollen body to bed, and the fire had definitely not dimmed! He adored my fecundity. He loved me pregnant, he loved thinking of impregnating me. We were always pretty hot and heavy.

Until some years after Leanne.

I lost my mojo.

I was grief stricken, and saw it as a sign that maybe I was wrong. Maybe I should not be with this man who broke my heart? I got my hormone levels tested, and went to sex therapy.

I was just dealing with delayed, and complicated grief. It took two degrees to rebuild my self esteem.

Then, my gentle guy turned on me. And I started to see how that stubborn streak I had always had to work around, cajoling and convincing if something was important to me, was actually this kind of black hardness in him. Those soft, kind eyes started blackening. Like when he was close to orgasm, and wanted to bite chunks out of my flesh. His eyes always changed then. It frightened him. But I trusted him.

My gut wrenching loss includes the loss of the opportunity to show him how deeply he was treasured. That despite everything dark he had chosen, I still loved him, but importantly, loved myself enough to ensure I healed before recommitting fully, not some broken bird he had to be wary of, just a rebuilt, confident, wise and forgiving me. I did this incredibly painful work for me, but, the driver was him.

I wanted him to be proud of me. To admire my inner strength, my ability to feel deeply, and repair what had been torn usunder.

He robbed me of that moment. Of what I saw as a very fulfilling future together, having been through the fire.

I asked him after Leanne if I had unknowingly stepped into a great love affair? Were they ‘destined’ to be together? Had I blocked that for over twenty years? Was I the ‘other woman???’

He vehemently denied it, saying it was just easy to get back in her pants. No great love story.

When he left me, he said, ‘I don’t know what the future holds. Maybe we are destined for each other.’

Fucker. Cake eating fucker.

Now, I just have to ensure that damn hard slog was worth it anyway.


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Shitty, shitty, panicky day

I am having one of the scary days. When I feel like I might not make it.

It’s the shitty, shitty, he-loves-her-more-than-he-ever-loved-me shit that circles back around all the time. I keep trying to either squash it down, dismiss it as not important to my life now, or keep telling myself that HIS feelings about ME are not mine to own. I am important, I have good friends, good family, a good life. His shit is about him, not about how lovable I may or may not be.

It’s so hard to deal with the fucking heartbreak of being so rejected.

I put everything I had into both loving him, and then healing from his massive betrayal. Only to be told, fuck you, I’ve met someone I consider to be better.

This far out, it is hard to reach out to friends to say, hey, today I’m not okay. I “should” be doing a lot better now, but the beta-blockers are not enough. I am on fire, my heart ACHES, and I hurt so much with the “fizz” all over my body. I hate these so much, because, if I don’t get it under control, the suicidal ideation starts in force, I can feel its creepy fingers on my shoulders right now.

Deep, calming breathing, as I sit at my desk, juggling a million things, including a tax return that is now urgent.

Trying so hard to stop being such a hot mess.

rum

Better get the fuck on with it then…


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Abuse and anxiety. Great bedfellows

A friend sent me this today.

It’s fantastic. It tells my story. And helps me understand what happened to me.

See, I was kickass. Interesting, independent, strong, but deeply empathetic and loving. A bit of a sucker really underneath it all. I just let him run free. Was never my job to be marriage police. So, how did I get sucked into this? Believing him? Being painted into a very gendered corner?

Love. Total, unconditional, adoring love. I loved him with everything.

Dumbass!

These things stood out for me, as I struggled with panic attacks today at work. He put my achievements, or feel-good moments down after his big affair. Because it was all about him up until that point.

And, I remember withdrawing from our friend group, to try to protect myself as I struggled with healing from him fucking my friend as we all holidayed together, while my children were in the house, while I was at work, so we could buy groceries that week….He got angry, saying I never wanted to do things with our friends anymore.

I was a laughing stock.

I was super anxious. His best mate’s cheater wife told everyone I must be a slack fuck, because everyone knows affair sex is better than married sex. Right?

I wanted to die!

No wonder I withdrew.

I had been the more sexually adventurous of the two of us! He SAID Leanne was vanilla, at best. Just lay there.

He was right. I was wrong. Always. Whatever I did was the wrong damn thing. And even when I knew I was right … I was never right. Most. Stubborn. Man. Ever.

I always knew that.

Now he has Trinket. Who was married to a serial cheat. Who no doubt knows all the sexual acrobatics, and pushes all his sexual buttons, with her tight little Caesarean pussy.

I couldn’t have been more sexually into him.

My only lover.

But hey, she must be worth it, right???


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Chronically coupled

For those who can’t cope on their own…

Jokingly called serial monogamy – because rarely are these people long term monogamous. They may be not cheating for periods at a time. But never truly monogamous. Always looking to fill the next void in their lives with the next dumbass that believes “they’ve changed.”

Good luck with that.