Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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Women and betrayal

I fucking love women.

We are pretty damn amazing. And reading this article certainly reflects my experience.

Of utter devastation. Suicidal feelings after both of his big affairs. But especially after he discarded me for Trinket.

But a determination that I will be better. Do better. And have learned from the enormous error of my completely trusting ways. I thought we were the lucky ones. Where love would always win. We were made for each other.

Laughable, I know. He loathes me now. I still haven’t managed to find a way to switch off the love I have for the man I believed he was.

That imaginary guy, who in reality could cut me off dead when he was done. Swapping me for an older, less feisty woman who won’t challenge him.

Women bear a huge load, and often have more to lose. We’ve all heard the evolutionary reasons why this is. We carry the invisible load. We work, take care of kids, parents, sibling in-laws and friends. We shop. Cook. Clean. Teach. Prepare budgets and complete tax returns. We try so hard to make our partner’s lives simpler.

We support. Because often – and certainly in my case – we earn less. Careers interrupted to care for other family members.

I worked my arse off and totally adored that man. I stood firmly beside him during the family wars. Even when I didn’t totally agree that he’d approached what he did in a completely truthful way. I showed solidarity when his sisters denigrated and tried to sue.

And when I was told by Rog that I never deserved it, he was damn right.

Of course, who does deserve to be cheated on???

But, I was never a spoiled princess, wearing a big rock, driving a flash car, holidaying somewhere exotic. I never told him he couldn’t do something, or go somewhere. My “girlie” spends were at the hairdressers and on a little bit of designer fashion and shoes once a year if the budget allowed it. I went to a beautician once in thirty years. I didn’t get professional waxes, manicures, pedicures, Botox, yada yada…all of which all of my very white, very privileged contemporaries and peers were doing. I owned not one piece of precious jewellery.

I was pretty content.

I know I gave him my all.

It really does suck balls, and it really will always circle back around in pain cycles. I will never understand it.

But, I truly believe that working through the pain will make me healthier and a better person in the long term than plastering over it with the next shiny new thing.

Rog even said that he saw that during the Leanne affair. When he seriously considered leaving me for her. That I would do well in the long term, and he felt he would regret “choosing her.”

Great. Thanks for that vote of confidence and insight. Apparently I am tough enough, strong enough, to deal with the heartache. When he just could not, and needed another woman to soothe him.

Guess what? He’ll never know, but he nearly fucking killed me. Not just the cancer (I have an oncology appointment on Wednesday, always a bit anxiety inducing) but the absolute devastation a working so incredibly long and hard to heal, and then – when just over the brink – being dumped flat on my heart for someone he’d talked to for three weeks. Christ, she must really be something fucking amazing.

Getting cheated on is one of the most devastating and damaging things that can happen in a person’s life. It can lead to emotional distress, anxiety, depression, an increase in risk-taking behavior and actual physical pain. A partner’s infidelity can even change our brain chemistry. In short, it hurts like hell, and the impact can be far-reaching.

But, as with so many aspects of human behavior, it turns out we are fairly adaptive creatures, especially over the long term, and even an experience as calamitous as being cheated on has a potentially large upside. In fact, new scientific research suggests that cheating may be neither as common nor as devastating as we imagine. And if you are worried that you are being cheated on, or are still recovering from the aftermath of infidelity, then science has some encouraging news for you.

Breaking up with a romantic partner can be particularly traumatic for women. Studies suggest that from an evolutionary perspective, women tend to be more selective in their mate choice and bear more of the costs of parental investment, and thus have more to lose when things go south. They have larger “recurrent fitness costs” to use the parlance of evolutionary psychology. Losing one’s partner to another woman can be especially challenging to overcome.

Still, where evolution taketh away, it can also giveth: It appears that natural selection may have also favored some psychological coping mechanisms to help those who have been bucked off the horse get back on … and get back on a better horse. Researchers at Binghamton University in New York state and University College London surveyed 5,705 people from 96 countries about the dynamics of their heterosexual breakups. They found that:

WOMEN TAKE BREAKUPS HARDER THAN MEN DO, BUT THEY EVENTUALLY GET OVER THEM IN A MUCH HEALTHIER WAY, CONFRONTING THE PAIN INSTEAD OF AVOIDING IT.

And even when it comes to relationships that end because of a partner’s infidelity, women may go through an initial period of grief and betrayal, but they also gain a better perspective for future relationships as a result. In fact, women who had been cheated on demonstrated a greater “mating intelligence.” “What this means (in their words),” says the study’s lead researcher, Binghamton’s Craig Morris, “is that they are more attuned to cues of infidelity in a future mate, more aware of how other women interact with their mate, and they also possess more self-confidence and more self-awareness and independence in general.”

So, what we loyal, betrayed “know” instinctively, that cheating causes unbearable and completely unnecessary pain, and that you don’t go around in life just replacing “love” (yeah right, Rog. I’ll always be your valentine, the love of your life. Sure) with the next willing warm body. Love is deep. It is lasting. And it endures hard times, has stamina. Love is loyal to a fault. I love. And it doesn’t just end when you are sick of the other person. Or can’t deal with how much your choices have hurt them. Love stays.

Mine has stayed through abuse and discard. How terrible is love? When it comes to that point? Ugh.

This all comes from the dream I had last night, fitfully trying not to disturb BG’s sleep (I needn’t have worried, he was well sedated with a bit of bourbon 😉.) The dream came after one of my tearing rape nightmares. When Rog came to me, sat down and confessed he’d acted poorly. Apologised to me, and admitted he had completely got it wrong…

Dreams. What are they like? Bloody hell, how stupid. He’ll never apologise, because he did nothing wrong. Nothing to hurt me. Or rather, my feelings never mattered. Only his do. Right?

In happier news, from my mindfulness bank today, my boss got a new puppy – and it will be my job to toilet train him. It always falls to me, lol.

I desperately wanted his chocolate sister, here with the yellow girls…

How cute is Rua? The boss loves her yellow labs. First boy though. Or is he a baby seal?

My little dawg is not super impressed with the giant baby…

Night all. I’m gonna hit the hay. 😴😴😴


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Kiss Me

I’m a big kisser. Kissing is kinda next level intimacy in my book. Kisses, not just on the lips, but all over. I love to both give and receive them.

Rog knew that – and he is a very good, seriously passionate kisser. We just matched so, so well. He knew me…

I think it has taken BG a while to feel this deeper level of intimacy. I mean, he always kissed, but the lingering, and the neck kisses, etc, that is new. And he kisses in a completely different way. So odd – having only kissed five men in my life, I wasn’t really aware of how different they could be. I mean, I had two “bad” kissers, and the others seemed … fine, I guess? I dunno, this is all such new territory for this old girl.

He’s starting to get it, lol. It is weird being with a man who never married, or had children. It’s not like he hasn’t had a lot of practice, there have been a lot of women, and some longer term girlfriends. The level of intimacy in a marriage, or long term partnership is just completely MORE, I guess. Rog held me as I laboured long to birth his children (20, 22 and 34 hour labours) tasted and cherished my breastmilk. That kind of intimacy cannot be replicated.

There’s some fabulous things about BG’s no marriage, no kids – that said, he has close relationships with the children of one of his exes, his stepdaughter messaged him this weekend, updating us about her new job overseas – and certainly a lot of lovely about him, but I shared thirty years with a man I felt a deep connection with, and that intimacy was just a given. It’s a little odd to have to let this grow, slowly, slowly.

Kiss me out of the bearded barley
Nightly, beside the green, green grass
Swing, swing, swing the spinning step
You’ll wear those shoes and I will wear that dress
Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor
Lift your open hand
Strike up the band, and make the fireflies dance
Silvermoon’s sparkling
So kiss me
Kiss me down by the broken tree house
Swing me, upon its hanging tire
Bring, bring, bring your flowered hat
We’ll take the trail marked on your father’s map
Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor
Lift your open hand
Strike up the band, and make the fireflies dance
Silvermoon’s sparkling
So kiss me
Kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor
Lift your open hand
Strike up the band, and make the fireflies dance
Silvermoon’s sparkling
So kiss me
So kiss me
So kiss me
So kiss me

We watched some really great Rugby World Cup games this weekend. Starting with Japan, the host nation, beating Ireland. So cool!

Then, last night’s super exciting Welsh victory over our neighbours, Australia – are we sad??? NO, sorry, Aussie, it was such a good match!

I watched the Welsh captain, Alun Wyn Jones, kiss his teammate, George North, fair on the mouth after their significant victory, and giggled a little to myself.

I wasn’t drinking, and the lads at our friends’ were (our host, Andrew has a Welsh mother, so was flying the flag – literally up his flagpole at his home all day.) They were pretty well lubricated by the end of the game – a big day on the links, and then a few more with Imogen, Andrew’s wife, and myself at a brewery down the road, then back for dinner and more drinks… the lads missed it altogether, and I shared this picture of the moment with BG a moment ago. Pretty damn excited with the win, I’d say! Kinda cool.

And watching the coverage, I saw one of my old favourite bands, Manic Street Preachers, had a corporate box there, the cameras panning over them, celebrating a Welsh try, and that just seemed so right. Wales and rugby.

And reminds me of this (despite Roger having green eyes, it is triggering, BG has intensely blue eyes…these lyrics 😱) that I played so much after I found out about Roger’s year and a half long affair with Leanne…

Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
Your love alone is not enough not enough not enough
When times get tough they get tough they get tough they get tough
Trade all your heroes in for ghosts in for ghosts in for ghosts
They’re always the one’s that love you most love you most love you most
Your love alone is not enough not enough not enough
It’s what you felt it’s what you said what you said what you said
You said the sky would fall on you fall on you fall on you
Through all the pain your eyes stayed blue they stayed blue baby blue
But your love alone won’t save the world
You knew the secret of the universe
Despite it all you made it worse
It left you lonely it left you cursed
You stole the Sun straight from my heart from my heart from heart
With no excuses just fell apart fell apart fell apart
No you won’t make a mess of me mess of me mess of me
For you’re as blind as a man can be man can be man can be
I could have seen for miles and miles
I could have made you feel alive
I could have placed us in exile
I could have shown you how to cry
Your love alone is not enough
Your love alone is not enough
I could have shown you how to cry
Your love alone is not enough
Your love alone

I do a lot of driving these days. So, I listen to a lot of music, and it’s such a gift. A lot of the places I drive – over mountains to the east coast – have no radio reception, so my Spotify account has a lot of music being downloaded in recent months, driving playlists. I drove to the Big Smoke dancing in my seat, and I boogie away, singing my lungs out loudly while driving all the time. Yes, I am that weird old lady singing and dancing behind the driver’s wheel.

I go to live gigs as often as possible, and saw these guys last week, such a chill vibe.

Olympic Girls
Stirring, shaken, all of us waking
Under the same cover of sky
You said my freedom feels
Like a white lie
Sweet on the backseat
Another day bolder
A love spell rushes you by
The smoke and the smoulder
We were only inches away
Still had a long, long way to go
We were only inches away
Still had a long, long way to go
Weren’t we born to break out
To feel the muddy banks swell?
I think of you on the dancefloor
In a stuccoed motel
Forecasting when and where we’d end up
Couldn’t save us anyhow
Just kid conversation
My star sign resolver
You only had your olympic girls
The frosted sheen of leotard twirls
Running revolt and winning gold
For the TV screen
Before being led back to the cells
Lay your head in the lap of a girl
You’ll never learn something
If it isn’t taught well
You’ll never find a thing
If you can’t lose yourself
Every once in a while
I looked for your figure
The cut your shape would make
In the freedom of a microphone
There’s a shadow I can’t shake
Who’s there?
Who’s there in the morning?
To see you at the station
And when you feel like giving up
There, so you can hold her
We were only inches away
Still had a long, long way to go
We’re only inches away
Still have a long, long way to go
We were only inches away
Still had a long, long way to go

We ended up staying another night at Imogen and Andrew’s place, meaning an early start for me, to get back to work on time. Daylight Saving Time kicked in on Sunday morning, so body clock is still adjusting. BG fell into bed with me, half drunkenly telling me how unbelievably sexy my body looked, and promptly started snoring…

So sexy, right? LOL.

He decided to leave at the same time as me, and my phone battery was a little low, so I didn’t sleep well (when do I ever, really???) and got up at 5am thinking it was 6am (that is so backwards, right???) and that was when I planned to leave. I got up and dressed, in about 2 minutes flat. Then, looked at my phone again. Whoops – BG was up too, woozily dressed, with his shirt on inside out, lol. He looked at me and rolled his eyes, laughing, when I said, “oh, whoops, it’s 5am, not 6. He took my bag out to my car, and kissed me hard, laughing at my blindness…followed me to his turnoff about 40 minutes down the road.

It’s a weird thing. Once he was no longer behind me, my heart sank. Just a little. Leaving him is always a bit sad. I mean, I get on with my life, but it’s nice spending time with him. He promised to come over after work on Thursday and stay with me. We have our three day road trip – when I am being introduced to his lovely sisters … and to his chagrin, his cheating father. He has zero time for him, but a 90th birthday is something you do really need to acknowledge, we think.

Every time I leave, or he leaves, I adjust my thinking to when the likely next time we see each other is. You just have to put your head down, and get on with life. This weekend was a bonus – unexpected, I was planning on the next time I saw him being next Friday.

It’s raining here, and yeah, I miss being loved already.

That said, I miss BG too – just a little – there has been no use or discussion of the L word between us, just my quiet, nervous as all hell hit-and-run a few weeks ago, as I left early in the morning, telling him that he had better watch out, as it could be easy to fall in love with him. He’s never said anything. I get that. It isn’t love. But we do “care a lot”…


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Busy, busy

Work is chaotic already.

A seasonal business, I get no extra help as things ramp up, and am still clinging onto my four day week.

The last will be next week, when I swap out my usual Thursday off for Friday. When BG and I will head off on our three day roadie.

The things I crammed into last Friday still amazes me! I got through the import paperwork for 23 stallions, in five separate imports 😱 all while doing my usual load, including client enquiries coming at me rapid fire. I was surprised and pleased when I managed to leave work around 6.30pm. No rush, as I had to go to the Big Smoke the next day to do a pre-settlement inspection on an apartment I bought off the plan.

And get back by 3pm to inseminate my heifer, Edwina.

BG is having a boys’ golfing weekend, so there were no plans to catch up.

I got on the road by about 8.30am, to get to my son’s flat.

On the way up, BG messaged me, asking me if I wanted to meet them later.

Naw. It was supposed to be a boys’ weekend. No girls allowed. I was leaving them to it. Cute.

My son was coming with me to inspect the apartment, and I promised him lunch afterwards.

We found a great little ramen bar in the village shops near his flat.

When I got home, I got my heifer in and AIed her with two different bulls’ semen. To try to increase her chances of conceiving. Semen competitiveness is a thing.

As I was getting her into the yards, trying to move quickly, but calmly, to get away to the beach, I discovered one of my hoggets had lambed twins and one appeared to be dead.

After dealing with Edwina, I went over to recover the wee lamb’s body.

Except, not dead. Rather alive, in fact. But brain damaged.

I scooped him up and took him into the house, stomach tubing him with warm colostrum.

I stayed with him until 6pm and left my daughter feeding instructions. She walked in, and posted this on her Snapchat story.

I headed off. And arrived at BG’s friends’ house just in time for dinner.

He came out of the house as I pulled in and gathered me up, kissing me deeply, with “wow, you came, after such a huge day. You look beautiful. Thanks for coming. You’re so damn good to me. You okay?”

Man, this guy is sweet.

Waking in BG’s arms to this view is always tough…

These friends live at the beach that Roger’s best mate’s family have a beachfront holiday home at. I spent a lot of time here when our kids were small.

We drank way too much red wine, and BG’s friend’s wife – who has become a friend of mine, and I suspect I was invited to balance out the testosterone in the room – and I got chatting. She had a short lived marriage prior to this much longer, apparently happy marriage, and her curiosity was peaked. “How does a thirty year marriage implode? Was it thirty years of hell? Do you have any regrets?”

Oh lord. Do I?

Yeah. I do. I mean, I thought it was a superbly happy relationship.

But, I regret not making a bigger deal of him sleeping with Leanne just a few weeks into “us.” I regret coming back from the UK to him when pregnant with our first child. He obviously was never invested in me. It was the “happy family” he wanted, not me. I tried really hard to let him know I wasn’t coming back as a package deal. It needed to be ME he wanted and loved. Not the mother-and-child deal.

Ugh. That worked out well for me, right?

I regret not leaving him after his year and a half long affair with our “friend.” Or the time I really wanted to leave him in the years after his big affair, but he begged me not to. I loved him. And worked so hard to stay.

I’m currently looking after the 10 year old son of BG’s friend, and his mate, who are swimiming in the freezing ocean 😱 while his mother bakes for school camp. And walking along the sand, I found these wee footprints. Naw. Remind me of our babies, walking along this same beach over 20 years ago.

When we were so happy. So in love. So full of hopes and dreams ❤

Triggers. Memories. They never fade.

Baby steps, Paula. Keep going.


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It never ends

Reading the stories of others, years in recovery from infidelity, we all realise that it changes things. Forever.

Triggers and memories are never going to not exist. Not without some kind of massive brain injury.

On Wednesday night, whilst sleeping curled up in BG’s arms, I had an intense Roger dream.

Yep.

Still.

Starting another relationship, with a lovely, kind, sexy man, doesn’t stop any of the feelings or memories. Or even swipe away the dashed hopes and dreams.

BG is a sleep talker – I tease him that I know all his secrets – and with my poor sleep patterns, this can wake me. I lay, wide awake, analysing this very literal dream.

I dreamt that this was all a prolonged nightmare.

That after Leanne, Roger never started with the internet dating, instead fully committed to recovery with me, remained patient and loving, honest, open, and truly remorseful. I dreamed that we lived in the South Island town we looked at buying hospitality businesses and lifestyle properties in. The region he sent me down to to inspect properties to buy, then announced on my return, that he’d Met Someone Else. And that instead of me, he was going to take Someone Else (Trinket) there.

Yep. That mind fuck happened.

That we got the fresh start I begged him for after he desecrated my homes by fucking Leanne in them. We sold the farm and the lake house, and moved to that high sunshine region, and our love story was repaired. We were “living the dream.” I dreamed I was lying in HIS arms after a passionate, sweaty, unbelievably sexy love making session (poor BG, he’ll never know his snuggles triggered my memories of the man who I truly still believe – prior to him changing completely, or taking on this persona, hating me so much – was the love of my life. I know he isn’t now. But it lingers.) Ugh. I hate that for BG. I care for him a whole lot.

But it isn’t that passionate, intense level of love I had for Rog, for over thirty years. The connection was intense, from the very start, right through to the end, even through his abuse, devaluation and discard of me. Ick. I hate that I love an abusive, selfish man. So dysfunctional of my traumatised brain. I bond hard. When I give you my heart, it’s fucking near impossible to get it back.

Anyway, the bliss of that dream meant on waking to BG’s (quite hilarious) sleep talk, I crashed hard, emotionally. Lay there, in another man’s arms, feeling those awful sinking feelings that I was cheating on Norm.

How fucking ridiculous.

This is what I deal with. Trying to break the bond I still feel with the father of my babies. The youngest of whom is snuggled up to me right now in a freshly made bed.

I worked hard, mentally, to feel better. To be okay again by the time BG woke up several hours later. To truly appreciate my life, and the sweet, dorky, funny guy who likes spending time with me now.

Infidelity. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

From The Sydney Morning Herald,

For some women, the long-term impact of infidelity is devastating. Claire* a 40-year-old from Sydney’s Inner West, tells me that her ex-husband’s affair has shattered her self esteem and triggered severe anxiety.

“I feel like I will have the anxiety for the rest of my life, which is upsetting as I was never like that before. Being cheated on totally destroyed my self-esteem and it’s taking a long time (and lots of work) to rebuild it,” she says.

It never really ends. ❤💔


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Um, what? 😱🤣

Just returned from a run along the beach, my wee doggo chasing seagulls madly and having a lovely swim in freezing conditions – so cold I got brain freeze running!

Then a quick shower then coffee date with BG.

I walked into his office, and two of his admin staff, Lyn (mid 40s) and Sue (60ish) were there. I hadn’t met Sue before. But Lyn is a totally lovely, very large woman who used to be legal secretary to one of our top QCs in the big smoke. Quite matter-of-fact, could be intimidating, and has a close relationship with BG. His right hand. They obviously have a close and happy office team.

BG is unfit and overweight. Joined the gym but actually has to go, for it to work, right? 🤣

Anyway, last weekend, we went fishing off the rocks at a nearby, secluded beach. To reach the spot, we had to walk down a steep bush track for about 20 minutes. Then shimmy arround some rocks for a few hundred metres, I have many grazes on my legs. All while carrying fishing gear, a chilly bin full of bait and salt ice.

Then, of course, back along the rocks, and up the steep track after we finished.

My calves have been tight ever since, but running and stretching and a reminder to do more hill work for my fitness, I’m okay. I’ve agreed to climb the three central North Island mountains with my friend, Sammy’s husband in one day (!!!!) after the New Year. He’s lending me his spare crampons and ice axe. So yeah, get that butt hill climbing girl!

Anyway, BG can still barely walk. His thighs. Feels like he’s been beaten up, and bruised. I had to drop him at the door when we came back, because he is struggling to walk. Poor bastard, not!

So, Lyn in the office – after making small talk with me – says, “so, Sue and I want to know. What did you do to BG? He’s been walking like that all week!” I just laughed and said, “yeah, I think I broke him. Whoops.”

And Lyn replied, “yeah, we said that was it, he’s having waaaay too much sex.”

Faaaaark. What? I obviously look like I’m a goer!

BG roared laughing, and said, “yeah Paula, and just whoah up on the strap-ons.”

Jesus. I’m the office gossip nympho…


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Death and taxes

…well, mostly death.

My aunt died last night. Quite unexpectedly. She was, however, 86. I got the news at BG’s house. I told him and he got all sad and came over for a hug, worried I’d be upset. I’m not really. She was elderly, and she went quite quickly in full control of her faculties. Ideal.

Dad rang me with the news. He was a bit shocked and sad, but pleased it happened quickly. Needed some reassurance from me, he’s quite soppy. BG was quite interested in the reverse father daughter dynamic we have.

Yep. I’ve always been the carer.

The reality is, when Mum and Dad split, Dad’s family couldn’t cope, and pretty much wrote us off for decades. It was pretty cruel, as my Mum isn’t even from this country. They left her without an NZ family just as her life imploded. I have forgiven them, but we were never close after that.

BG’s PA’s dog is very sick, probably going to die possibly in the next day or so, and she was a mess at work. He told her to go home, and, in her emotional state, she said if she did, she wouldn’t be back. He says he got very emotional about it too. He’s quite soft (empathetic as hell) about other people’s pain. I’ve seen it often. Worry about his friends with a sick child. His immediate reaction at hearing my aunt died, a friend in a difficult spot in his marriage. A total empath.

He has no pets, but I have my wee dog with me over here for the first time. He loves my dogs and they love him. He was disappointed I didn’t bring the big girl, Q, below, posing behind the first of my tulips.

M dog and I have just returned from a run along the beach, in near Antarctic conditions! Freezing wind, got the blood pumping.

She has flopped on a pile of clean washing and BG just asked me to bring her over to his work, the girls would love to see her. But I’m worried Lyn will be upset, seeing a dog at her work when hers is so very sick. It’s a hospitality business and not sure about walking (or carrying 🤣) a dog through the bar and bistro to his office…

We’re planning a “hot lunch” before I head home to vaccinate my lambs again and set my heifer up again for breeding. I think I will leave my pupper at home rather than risk triggering Lyn.

The day before yesterday, my daughter had another anxiety attack blackout. She rang me after coming ’round, hyperventilating and in floods of tears. I was super concerned, offered to come and get her, so she didn’t have to drive, but she came to my work after uni instead, to stay safe. I really hope the anxiety cools when she graduates in three weeks…and, she said, “BG can come to my 21st, would love to have him if he’s keen.”

This was a bit of a surprise as she hasn’t wanted many of my generation there at all. I was secretly quite chuffed. It seems she quite likes this boy of mine. I actually think he has something on that weekend, but I’ll let him know he’s invited. He’ll like that. He worries for her, too.

Next weekend is our road trip to the capital.

He’ll be meeting my eldest, and her partner for the first time. She’s done her usual, and booked us into absolutely beautiful restaurants for dinner. And always takes me to the coolest bars in town. BG is fizzing, he loves to bar hop. It will be a BIG weekend! So looking forward to it.

And throughout all of this niceness, all of this wonderful care, my broken heart still beats erratically. Nice, fun, productive, it is all so good, and I appreciate every bit of it.

But the heartbreak never leaves.

Just get better at ensuring no one (or very few people) know it’s still there. Time doesn’t heal. It just changes the shape of things.


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Someone Else’s Partner Is Not Your Soulmate

It’s a pretty simple equation really.

Seriously. Read the linked article…

If someone still lives with, has not mentioned to their partner of thirty years, that they are done, want to end their relationship, they are not your soulmate.

They are just a lying, cheating coward.

Who hasn’t been honest, or loving, to the woman who stood by them (even after being cheated on), worked for them, lovingly bore their children, believed in them, LOVED them.

Your “soulmate” is a selfish, manipulative person with little or no loyalty.

I spent some time last night with BG’s best mate. It was a massive night in the club, with the Rugby World Cup matches on, and BG’s bar manager was away, so he went in to provide cover. As he was working, Marty and I yarned away for hours. I’d only met him briefly for a few minutes prior to this weekend. But he’s one of those people you feel like you’ve known forever.

He asked me a LOT about my background.

Not in an uncomfortable way at all. He’s an intelligent, quirky, well read, very funny, insightful, caring, interesting dairy farmer. We found we had a lot in common. I felt he was genuinely interested in me, and just doing due diligence for his best mate. Father of five. Three with his first wife, two with second. He asked me how long I was “married” for, how many kids, what do they do, how long single, etc.

And excused himself for asking, but “why did you guys split after thirty years? Really? Thirty! Were you always really unhappy?”

Oh dear.

Um, no. I thought we had the best relationship it was possible to have. Totally adored my kids’ dad.

However, he left me for a woman he met on a dating app, and knew for just three weeks.

Marty: WTAF??? Thirty years of love, and “pouff” just like that, he’s gone? That makes no sense.

Yeah. There’s a bit more to the story.

He cheated on me for a year and a half with a supposed friend of mine a few years earlier. We had struggled hard, I worked my butt off, to get through that.

Marty just shook his head, looked me in the eye, and replied, “well, one thing I’ve observed over the decades, is that these philandering men, they never really change. It happens again almost every time. I’ve seen women try to stay with cheaters, and cheaters leave. Inevitably they cheat again, somewhere down the line. They cross a line that they never have any qualms about crossing again. Even though they think they can start afresh with a new “perfect” woman.” That eventually gets old, too. So, next.

Hmmm. From a 54 year old, twice married man. Interesting perspective. I think, sadly, there is some truth to once a cheater, always a cheater. I tried so hard to override my doubts about Roger’s ability to be truthful. To be faithful. I mean, two damn years of internet dating, talking to dozens of women, tens of thousands of texts, and I had no idea! Believed his words, his notes, his you’re the only one for mes…

This post was brought to you by reading CrazyKat’s post about her friend, Nina, who got involved/obsessed with a married man.

Nina is broken. And I empathise that far only. She knew he was married. But chose to selfishly believe his bullshit about a wife who didn’t love him, he was leaving, yada, yada, we’ve all heard this crap…

You just don’t. You are hurting someone else, even if that cheating liar tells you his relationship is over. His wife won’t make love with him/doesn’t love him/they are separated…. All while telling the wife she’s the love of their life. Don’t believe their shit. Mostly us loyal spouses have no damn idea about their double lives, their duplicity. They need to be living separately, with a divorce decree/separation agreement in place! Roger refused to even get legal advice AFTER he told me he was leaving me for a widow he’d just met online…

Don’t be as stupid as Nina. Be like my friend, Julie, who left when she discovered the “love of her life” was still married.

It was hard. But he showed her who he is by lying to his wife.

So she walked. Heartbroken. But recovering. And safe.


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Ramblings

Things happen.

I’m tired. And this morning my travelling companion messaged me to say her ex, who moved to the other side of the world with his Schmoopie, and ghosted her and their two young adult children seven years ago, had turned up.

With a ring on his wedding finger.

Turns out he married Schmoopie “years ago.”

She’s angry. Angry the kids were never informed. Angry he gets to just waltz back in.

I don’t blame her, actually. The reality is, she has struggled, but done well. She’s still heartbroken, but launched two successful young adults into good careers, and revived her own career. I told her it is my worst, and most irrational fear, the day Roger marries Trinket.

She said, “not irrational.”

But it kind of is.

They are already together. Already cheated their way into a “legitimate” relationship that has been accepted by his family, completely discarding me, so what difference does a piece of paper, a party and a ring make? It’s pretty weird to me that I care, feel horrendous about that probability. I never wanted marriage, but it kinda feels like Trinket would get yet another thing “over me,” if/when they marry… so yeah, it is irrational really.

In other news, BG heard I had been offered a share in another racehorse. And bizarrely, said, “I’d like a piece of that!” I kind of stepped backwards. He likes racing. His godfather was VP of our largest Racing Club, and bred and raced a lot of horses over the decades, including a winner of our biggest Cups race here.

So, he was serious. He wants to race a horse with me. If we don’t stay together….but that’s okay. I already have a share in a horse with one ex, lol! It’s kind of a weird kind of commitment, I guess.

Today, he’s wanted pedigree information and to know about the trainer.

Was funny last night though. I decided at 4pm to see if BG wanted company. (I’d had a shit, super busy day at work, and just needed to shake it off.) He was very enthusiastic. So, I drove over for one of my famous 12 hour visits. I arrived while he was still at the club having a beer with a friend, and he asked me to come over. I did.

Then two women who work for him came in, a few drinks in. I’ve met Rangi before, she is about 65-70 and utterly delightful. Liz probably late 40s? And separately, these two told me he was the nicest person – one of the best – and by far and away the best boss they’d ever worked for. That he is “human,” listens, cares, works hard, and is not “a robot and thinking he is always right.”

It was a bit of a mooshy moment for me. But, I turned to BG and said, “what the hell are you paying these lovelies???”🤣🤣🤣 He was rolling his eyes, a bit embarrassed, laughing it off.

Then, another patron came over and asked him if this was his partner, and he never skipped a beat, and said, “yes, this is my lovely lady, Paula.”

Normally “lovely lady” would sound sooooo ick to me 🤢. I can’t stand that awful cheater apologist Pina Colada song! But even I thought it was kinda sweet, even if I squirmed internally with embarrassment.

I’m still confused and weirded out by this man-who-isn’t-Roger.

A little later, we were chatting away and BG started raving on about me to this farmer, “yeah, Paula was a farmer, you wanna see this chick, there is nothing she can’t do. Look at her all gorgeous here (I was in a work dress, I mean, really?) And yet, cows, calves, sheep, horses. I’ve seen pictures of her on the ground, calving a heifer in office attire and gumboots. You wanna see her on a chainsaw. And then, she can cook like a bloody master chef!”

Can you imagine me sitting there, flattered, but flame red, wanting the ground to open up and swallow me?

We went home, and this morning, after showering, as I was getting dressed to head off, he lay in bed watching me (mildly triggering, Rog used to tell me how much he loved lying in bed watching me dress for work 🤦‍♀️. That I was the sexiest woman he had ever met. Fucking liar.) and he winked and said, “wow, umm, what kind of appointments are these you have to get back for that you wear THAT for?” Indicating my lingerie, which admittedly was pretty sexy.

Because I have no other light coloured underwear, and was wearing a white shirt that a black bra would not have worked with.

I just answered by leaning in and shimmying my boobs and wiggling my butt at him, winked and said nothing.

I was sent on my way with my bum smacked hard, and a “see you tomorrow, you problem child?”

It’s hard. Not really knowing properly how to talk to someone. I mean, we do. He shares a lot about his work stresses and his family. But it’s COMPLETELY, in every way, different to the bond I felt with Rog.

I know different is fantastic. But I’m so damn unsure of myself… it’s exhausting, and so, so scary.

Not made any better by me feeling really nauseous (yep, vomited…) and exhausted. So bad I actually bought and did a pregnancy test. 😱

Thankfully not.

Of course.

I am using contraception, and am 51… hardly likely, but a bit of a scary moment, thinking, what would I do?

Got home, and took a quick mental note of spring at my house

Dealt with my Dad’s anxiety about a hospital visit, with a cup of tea with him. Then ran around all day to appointments with accountants, bankers, property managers, and vets.

My daughter told me that in the almost four weeks she has lived with me, she’s more than doubled her small amount of savings in her account. That she’s taken all year to save.

Naw. So glad I can help her. She had a nasty gynae procedure yesterday, and think she was feeling a bit fragile.

Got home to this, on my doorstep, from my lovely neighbours

Life is chaotic. My head hurts…early night after a warm bath


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Night terrors and sleep paralysis

My youngest, D, suffers. Anxiety causes these terrifying sleep disorders.

Her sleep paralysis in particular, sounds horrifying. Completely immobilised, unable to help herself.

The last few nights, she’s started sleeping with me.

The woman who does my laser hair treatment – whose father did what Roger did to me, to her mother, and then some time later, when his schmoopie and him split up, and her heartbroken mother had eventually repartnered, he came back and begged her to take him back, that he’d made a massive mistake and was so, so sorry (she didn’t!) – asked me if the anxiety and sleep disorders happened because of what Rog did. She saw her parents’ situation, and has reservations around her somewhat repaired (in her 30s) relationship with her cheating father. So has some perspective, I guess.

I answered truthfully, no. I don’t think we can say that. From my perspective, I can now see there was mild anxiety, always. But, it definitely has become a massive problem for her since she saw me shaken and bleeding after he knocked me over, causing me to become unconscious, on the bathroom floor. And she moved out of our family home the next day, pleading with me to come with her.

I think it may mostly be slightly coincidental. This was possibly going to happen to some degree anyway for her. But it probably hasn’t helped that she doesn’t have the united front of her two previously loving, bonded parents to support her through this difficult time. She has lost faith in humanity to a fair degree, and has a ruptured (but cautiously repairing, thankfully) relationship with her father. Last night, she commented that love is a crock of shit. Citing what she witnessed. Two apparently very in love parents, and one just having affairs and leaving for a better offer. I also found my 2017 Valentine’s note from Rog. Professing “you’ll always be my valentine.”

Words.

Empty words.

Unlike many young women who (apparently, I wouldn’t know) feel the strength and support of a reliable, loving, honest, dependable dad, she is jaded. At 20.

Snuggles with my girl seem to help keep the night monsters at bay for now.

I’m hoping it will pass, as the pressures of this last month of her undergrad degree pass. She has a big test today, and has been flat out grading second year essays. A part time job, and busy applying for graduate positions.

A little time to be comforted by sleeping in my bed isn’t a lot to ask.

I’m so proud of this kid.


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Betrayal trauma

You get better at dealing with the trauma and the pain. But it is an under reported form of PTSD, betrayal trauma.

I struggled to understand why I wasn’t “just getting over it,” to start with. Society’s dominant discourses suggest that when someone betrays you, you get angry and feel relieved that person has chosen to take their cheating arse several hours away, not to disturb your new peaceful life without any longer having to monitor their behaviour.

So why was I so heartbroken?

The reason a very long term spouse is so permanently rocked, shaken to the core is about bonding, core values, and living a completely different version of the partnership than the cheater.

George S. Everly Jnr outlines in Psychology Today, the effects of betrayal by your most trusted, most beloved, as some of the worst, most misunderstood PERMANENT trauma. This was supposed to be your best friend. Lover. Most trusted partner in life. No way they would – or even could – hurt you so unbelievably callously.

No way!

BETRAYAL AS A TRAUMATIC STRESSOR

It’s easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend. —William Blake

So what is betrayal? Well you certainly know it when you experience it. It is a gut-wrenching experience, a searing knife into your heart. You feel it before you even think about it. Then when you start thinking about it it plagues you day and night. Betrayal is treachery, deception, and violated trust. It can appear in as a broken promise, duplicity, lies, sexual affairs, and even affairs of the heart. The injury is so great some people seem to never recover.

It’s real.

It has permanent effects on the betrayed.

Ask BG’s mum. 15 years later, and she is still reeling. Quietly. Her very adult children (mid 60s down to mid 50s) feel it. They can see – and themselves feel – the effects. You don’t – can’t – just pull your socks up and move on if the love felt real.

Betrayal by an intimate partner violates these core human desires and needs! It destroys the core assumptions upon which all enduring relationships must rest. Dr. Jeff Lating and I have written extensively about the important role that violated assumptions concerning yourself and others plays in the development of PTSD (Everly & Lating, 2013). Betrayal represents the traumatic death, not of a person, but of a relationship. So as you might expect individuals who have been betrayed by a partner in a trusting psychologically intimate relationship experience many of the symptoms of PTSD. They will often report guilt, depression, psychological numbing, suspiciousness, hyper-vigilance, withdrawal from others, nightmares, and continually (almost addictively) reliving both the positive moments (longingly) and the negative moments (painfully) of the relationship, especially the moment of the revelation of the betrayal. And again as you might expect the betrayal engenders a terrible loss of self-esteem, the rise of self-doubt, the inability to trust again, and the desire to avoid relationships in the future.

I see my exhausting hypervigilance, constant scanning of EVERYONE as a symptom of my permanent trauma. I am seriously controlling myself, and talking myself down internally with BG ALL THE TIME! That I am beginning – just beginning – to deal with ever-so-slightly better is thanks to tens of thousands of dollars worth of therapy…

And a fuck ton of self awareness.

Dr Kevin Skinner, who is a registered CSAT amongst his qualifications (Roger’s love addiction certainly sits under this umbrella…) explains the trauma, to especially women, well in his book, How Betrayal Trauma Manifests Itself.

So, for all those unknowing innocents. For those who have never loved deeply, with every part of you, someone who betrayed you, not just once, but again (and again…) please know that the trauma is intense. Real.

And permanent.

We learn to manage it better if we are mindful, and seek professional help, knowledge and guidance.

But it will affect us forever and always.

I can feel my (broken heart syndrome) pulse racing chaotically as I type this.

I have lived with this trauma, trying to deal with it, being told I need to get over it, without any understanding of how it FEELS to doubt yourself, feel in your gut that the perpetrator of such pain has not made the changes to their thinking, or actions, for far too long.

I am getting there…but it takes an enormous toll. And life will never be so innocent, I don’t know if I will ever love, or believe in another person, or even myself, ever again.