I love really, really fiercely. I’ve had to learn to hold back. Because, well, Roger. I did everything in my power to make his life better. Easier. More. I adored him. I gave him my world. He came first. Always. I recall friends discussing their children, and how they came first. And thought, no. He, and we, come first. Kids are fabulous. But they grow up and leave. You didn’t get to choose them, for their personalities. You chose your love. They are going to be around as long as you are both alive. I focused on that. My love. My chosen one. I don’t mean that in a sick way. I was just aware that we were really important. Also doesn’t mean I was perfect at all times. But it does mean I communicated. I was honest. I prioritised his wants and needs. I tried to ensure he was happy, safe, well.
He did none of those things for me. He prioritised him. His dick. He lied. He didn’t share his true thoughts and feelings. He had secrets. I was never his focus.
It has taught me not to love so hard. To hold back. To protect my heart. And I find it hard. It’s not who I am at my core. I’m fierce. Kind. Loving.
My Mum’s best mate is a truly fabulous 70 year old queen. Mum’s been gone 20 years in July. But PJ has always been there for me. He loved Rog, too.
When it was apparent he was cheating again, PJ saved my sanity, and probably my life, too. Those horrific seven months, when the man I loved, the man whose children I bore, and raised, the man who I thought was the love of my life, whom I adored for thirty years, whose family were my world, was openly dating a supposedly former betrayed widow (🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️) and coming home and making love to me and telling me he’d never have with her what he had with me (man, it was a completely heartbreaking mindfuck, I don’t even know who I was then. I never expected I would deal with staying with a cheater. Cheaters, you leave, right?)
PJ made me dinner every Monday night. Sometimes I stayed at his house. With my little dog. He listened. He hugged me. He made me laugh, When I wanted to die.
He’s been around the traps. An overtly gay man, he was married to a woman back in the day, and has three very adult children and 7 gorgeous grandkids. His ex-wife died after their divorce, when the kids were young. I used to babysit them when he was married.
He’s seen cheating. He cheated as his poor wife was a beard. Not his finest hour. He’s seen promiscuity, been promiscuous, etc. But he has character in spades. He was heartbroken for me, and cheered me up, held me up, when I was suicidal and desperate. He is horrified by what Roger did to me. Totally disappointed in him. As he says, I’m pretty damn special. He’s an idiot to have traded me in. He vetted BG very carefully when I first introduced them. Made him do a twirl, and all 🤣🤣🤣
He approves. He also gave him the “dad” talk. Don’t you EVER hurt my girl here, she’s been through the mill, and is one VERY special person. She’ll do anything for you. So you treat her like she deserves, I’ll have your balls if you don’t!
BG loves him, and thinks he’s both the funniest and kindest man.
He helped me hold myself up during my darkest hour. He helped me remember who I am. That I am not worthless. When the man you love devalues and discards you and your decades of love, hard work and loyalty, you are rock bottom about your self worth. No one has the right to do that to you. Especially the person you love.
PJ got admitted to hospital on Tuesday with mystery, excrutiating pain. Yesterday they got to the bottom of it. A ruptured disc. He has surgery scheduled tomorrow. I took him over a race form guide, and a pen on Thursday, and just back now from an evening pre-surgical visit and delivery of a wee chocolate bar. His kids are away, and he’s been seeing a sweet guy for about as long as I’ve been with BG. Also a distance relationship. His partner and myself are listed as next of kin for his recovery. It made me feel very loved to hear that. I have an incredible crew of truly fabulous people in my life.
I’m so very grateful for them, and owe him my life.
My two younger kids are with me this weekend. A music festival in the village they grew up in! Who knew?
So I’m around for them, in case of emergencies, or if they need a sober driver, etc. It’s about 40 minutes from my current home.
But BG thought I was going to see him. Ha! He’s got a bit cosy! 😜
He asked me when I was coming, and I explained. Then he said, “Oh shit. Sorry babe. Colleen’s coming. I’ll ask her to stay somewhere else.”
I laughed, then asked my youngest if they were coming Friday night, or Saturday. I had this wee exchange with her.
We went on to briefly discuss that BG knows what I’ve been through. Hmm. Yeah. Ex girlfriend, “my friend,” comes to stay, and I’m fine with it. Because I trusted too much. BG wants to ensure I never have to go through that bullshit again. Even though we live apart, I trust him. But more cautiously this time, I’ve been severely burned before.
I rarely talk about BG to the kids. They know him, appear to like him, and are quite sweet. Include him in family plans. Sent him lovely messages recently when his Dad died, etc. But I kind of know, no kids want to hear their parent go on about their new significant other.
So, Dee’s comment was pretty cute. She must approve. That is so nice. I don’t need approval, but it’s good to know they like him.
And it’s been good catching up with Colleen. But I realised how lucky and different I am from so many women. She’s a single mum of a nearly 16 year old. Had a few long term relationships not work out. And was bemoaning her latest four month one ending and the dire-ness of the dating apps. BG and her talked about how hard it is, how you need to take breaks. I have no idea. I talked to one man. Went on two dates, ran away, and he was still here when I came back, nine months later. They think I’m insane. They’ve weeded through so many potential suitors, my experience is bizarre.
I also noticed that Colleen is quite …. focused on what she is doing wrong, why she can’t find love. Is it her? Then talked about the last guy as if she thought he was The One. Then he was gone. I listened, and realised I am very different. At four months, she was all in. I’m around twoish years in and only just starting to feel like this could be a thing. I haven’t at any stage taken this as a given.
I dreamt about my first D-day last night. That night. When we had been connecting so well all day, we’d gone shopping together. We never did that. So happy. I’d quit my job a couple of months earlier to come back on the farm again. We had been having a ball. Sex all over the show. Couldn’t stop touching and kissing each other. In retrospect, he was in hysterical bonding, and yet, I didn’t really have much idea at all. I thought we were just reconnecting after a tough year or so where I had worked my butt off, trying to pay the grocery bill.
It had been a weird day though. Leanne had been texting Rog. I knew they did, that was part of the mindfuck. I knew. Because we were all friends, right? I recall we stopped in the town I now live in, and he went to the toilet, leaving his phone in the car. Leanne texted, and I saw the message. It actually said something like, “Because we have been fucking.”
I was puzzled, but I thought it was a joke.
That is how stupid I was!
In hindsight, he came back from the loos looking quite panicked. He never left his phone. I had realised that recently. He always had his phone with him. His mate, H, and I had commented on it a few weeks earlier, when I took him for coffee, worried I was missing something.
Leanne was supposed to come to the party we were going to that night. H’s wife’s 40th.
She rang as we were pulling into their road, saying she wasn’t going to make it. I said, so she could hear me, ‘we’ll come and get you, so you don’t have to drive.” She refused, saying she didn’t feel so great and would give it a miss.
An hour or so later, I was in the bathroom and saw she had texted me.
I’ve been having an affair with Roger. Or something. I don’t even remember how she phrased it now. The shock.
My whole world quite dramatically, fell out from underneath me.
I recall going back to the party, dancing, carrying on. But I was numb.
The full numbness kicked in about half an hour into the drive home, at 1.30am. I showed Roger Leanne’s message. His head went into his hands, as I felt him push me off a cliff. I was bizarrely calm as I went into freefall as he said, “I’ll pack a bag when we get home. I’m so, so sorry. I’ve fucked everything up.”
It was very, very similar – almost identical – to how this betrayed articulated her experience:
“I feel the need to express this for some reason, and see if this is what happened to all of you. On the day I found out about my stbx’s affair, in the minutes following the beginnings of his admissions, my entire universe genuinely shifted. I remember my hands and feet going completely numb, listening to him through muffled hearing, and the events surrounding every following breath became hyper-pixilated and indelible. When I tried to describe it to my therapist, I said it was as if you were standing there on the 100th floor of a tall, beautiful building, looking out at a gloriously sunny day, and suddenly someone from behind shoved you out the window… you turn just long enough to see it was the person you loved and trusted more than anyone on the planet. Then you proceed to fall in slow motion, all hundred stories, there is nothing you can do — no contorting of mind, body or spirit — which is going to halt it. And even as you hit the ground you are conscious, you are grotesquely aware of your body exploding, every blood splatter, bones smashing, turning into a burst of pin mist. You never get to lose consciousness, though you desperately want to. You just keep existing, in slow motion, in destroyed pieces. And staring down at you from one hundred floors up, is the puzzled, vaguely guilty face of someone who can’t understand why you’ve exploded, and begins insisting you need to put yourself back together again so they don’t have to be reminded of the horror. Or and I just being dramatic?”
And my world has never righted itself again. It’s crooked AF.
“He’s so perfect, isn’t he? You think you are the luckiest woman in the world for a guy like him to have picked you. He makes you feel amazing. He compliments you all the time and tells you how beautiful and sexy you are. He goes out of his way to help you. You’ve never met someone as selfless and accommodating as he is. He isn’t just helpful, he’s almost heroic. He shows up to save the day when you have a flat tire or a broken pipe. He offers to watch your kid or take care of your housework when you’re sick. No man has ever done so much for you before.
He’s so romantic. He’s full of sweet gestures, both big and small. He brings your favorite treat to work. He leaves love notes on your desk. He shows up unexpectedly with some small gift that shows how much he’s been thinking of you. He texts you whenever you’re apart, making sure you know he’s missing you. He’s talking about the future, making travel plans with you, offering to give you every experience you’ve ever dreamed of but have never actually had. He is sweeping you off your feet.
He’s protective of you. He defends you against anyone who would threaten or harm you, your family, or your job. You’ve never felt so safe with anyone.
He seems a little bashful at times, almost a bit self-deprecating, as he verbalizes that he doesn’t understand how he got lucky enough to find you and for you to actually want to be with him. He’s told you all about how long he’s had feelings for you, how he didn’t act on them at first because he thought it was hopeless; after all, how could someone as wonderful as you want a normal guy like him? You just don’t understand how this kind, sensitive, caring, protective, amazing man could possibly not see how wonderful he is. You feel like it’s you who doesn’t deserve him.
You’re falling in love, and it feels so good. You’ve never been so genuinely happy before, not even with past boyfriends or husbands. Every day is so exciting. Even though you haven’t been together for long, you really think This Is It. He is The One.
I know how this feels. I experienced this, too. Every single thing he’s doing for you, every romantic gesture, every love note, every gift, he’s already shared all of them with me. He also did all of this with Other Women. They and I had quite a few conversations about their relationship, and it was like he was just repeating our history with them.
Wait, you didn’t think you’re the first? LOL
He has a routine, a plan he implements to lure women in. It’s called love-bombing. He makes you fall in love with him so deeply and quickly. He makes you believe he is the perfect man. He does this to ensure your loyalty to him. If you love him, then he can use you, do whatever he wants to do to you or with you, without ever having to worry that you will leave him.
Here’s what you don’t know: The man you are falling for doesn’t exist. This guy he’s pretending to be right now is just a figment of his imagination, dreamt up to make you love him. The real person underneath is nothing like the man you’re dating now. He’s selfish, cowardly, manipulating, and controlling. He lies. He cheats. He is probably a sex addict and definitely a narcissist. I know you don’t believe me right now. I mean, how could any of this be true? I’m just his crazy ex, right?
If that’s true, and I’m just vengeful and vindictive and trying to ruin both of your lives, then consider this: How did I describe your relationship, his actions, and your feelings so accurately?
Don’t worry; you will see the truth one day. You will find out that I’m not crazy. You will revisit this beginning of your relationship and wonder what the hell happened to the man you fell in love with. You will eventually figure out who he really is. For your sake, I hope it doesn’t take you years, like it did for me. I hope you don’t waste years of your life, your money, your happiness, and your peace of mind on him. I hope you don’t ignore all the red flags. I hope you are able to find your inner sense of logic and reason even with all the amorous feelings bombarding you.”
If I could go back in time, this is the advice I would give myself, so this is the advice I give to you: If it seems to good to be true, that’s definitely the case.”
Don’t know why. But THIS!!!
This is what he did. Exactly! He was on my doorstep with flowers or groceries or phoning me every night after work before I moved in with him.
At 20. Just five short weeks after we met! My first – and until 20 months ago – only, lover. FFS.
I saw him do this to Trinket, too. Constant messaging. Twice a week driving the seven hour round trip to her. His face buried in his phone when he was with me.
He told the story of seeing 15 or 16 year old me at a party I was working as catering staff at, years before we met, and thinking how beautiful I was. Totally this – “He’s told you all about how long he’s had feelings for you, how he didn’t act on them at first because he thought it was hopeless; after all, how could someone as wonderful as you want a normal guy like him?” He built this story about how he’d wanted me for longer than I knew him. Ugh.
This is who he is. I know this, but am still stunned to read it from someone else who has also lived it.
He caused so, so much pain and misery, and yet that love bombing did what it was intended to do. Bonded me to him. I still hear him telling me that I was the only one who got him. The sexiest woman he ever met. That one day we’d find our way back to each other.
He is doing it to her now, too. I know it. It’s how he gets women to adore him. It makes him appear soft, kind, attentive, loving. But he’s just using you for kibbles. Until you work him out, or he hurts you very badly.
I got a Snapchat at work, last thing, whilst I was stressfully trying to work out a major software update issue.
It was from my oldest friend. The one who has been less than 100% loyal. But who has apologised for that. And is coming up to a terrible anniversary. That of the accidental death of her only son. He was just 13.
She sent me a snap of the maimai being built on one of her farms. One that Norm and his mates are building.
Why the fuck???
I gently tried to explain my grief to her one time. I’d been listening to her talk about her boy for about two hours, I love that her grief is talked about, shared, supported. Once she finished, I cautiously explained that my grief is the loss of my person. My love. The man I chose forever, grew up with, spent my entire adult life with. I loved him so much. And to see him loving someone else is AGONISING. I tried to explain it’s like her boy went to live with another family, and didn’t talk to her anymore. She can’t touch him, can’t cuddle him, but can see him, just over there…
I nearly sobbed out loud. I helped build three of these previous hunting lodges. It should be mine. I should be involved.
Why would she do that? Stab me like that??? I just don’t get her. She has ZERO idea of how much this heartbreak hurts. She thinks you just turn the page, and nothing changes, just your location.
I lost my person.
My. Fucking. Person!
Anyway. That happened. Of course, I just grey rock that shit.
I’ve had a rough day or so. It was my deceased mother in law’s birthday yesterday, and I miss the hell outta that woman. I sat yesterday and recalled a conversation we had, near her end. She just said, “What is wrong with these women who sleep with partnered men?” I knew she meant well, about Leanne and Trinket. But really? What about her son??? The common denominator in the whole puzzle. It was him that kept betraying me. Hell yeah, they should have been better people. But it was him who never loved me, and was too weak to be an honest man. It was him that broke my heart.
Him that I loved.
I did appreciate her sentiment though. She was really disappointed in him. I’m so glad she never met Trinket.
People are clueless. Completely clueless. I saw this, posted in a support group today:
“This time of year is a trigger carnival for me. Even though three years later I’m really happy and know at my very core that I’m better off alone forever than with him, every so often I’ll be sitting working or driving and I just think to myself, “What the hell just happened? Where did he go? We were just dancing in the kitchen.” I feel a shock out of nowhere–that I can’t believe that it all happened, that I never go a true apology. I never even got a drunken text or phone call. It was like I was a piece of trash to be gotten rid of. And the grief is palpable. The moment passes, and then I resume my life, but I do think it speaks to the damage he caused to me. Thanks for listening. Like so many of us I don’t feel comfortable burdening a friend with these thoughts. I’m happy we have this space for each other.”
This is what my real life friends have no idea about. The grief. It really is palpable. That I still have moments that completely wipe me out. Because, like this poster, I was just snuggled on the couch with him. Like, just a few minutes ago.
We were waltzing around the Christmas tree, gazing at each other lovingly, thinking how damn blessed we were.
We were camping under the stars, the wee boat anchored nearby, and utterly lost in each other.
The whole fucking thing was a sham. He played me, and doesn’t give a flying fuck. Just cruised on.
Yeah. People post triggers all the time. I handle them much better than I once did.
But my old BFF often talks about how she saw Norm and I. As special. Bonded. Madly in love. She often mentioned the way he would seek me out in a roomful of people, with his eyes, and she says (and I felt) there was electricity. That we were special. Deeply bonded. His looking for me, at me made her green with envy for what we had.
He just does that shit with whoever he decides he loves this week.
We were never special. He’s just really good at this game.
I came home after a very, very stressful day at work, and did loads of chores. They needed doing, but it was also to distract me.
I was good on my own. But it’s got harder now there is someone I would like to be physically closer to.
We had a good chat at the weekend. BG is considering another year at least on his contract, as there has been some renegotiation and some bigger carrots waved about. But he asked me how I felt about that. Because it’s not just him he has to think about now. I thought that was sweet. I’ve never had that before. Roger just always pushed on with what he decided was best for “us.” (Best for him…)
I said I think I can do another year of distance. There are some good parts to it. But to be honest, it’s getting harder the longer we have been a couple.
That has surprised me a bit. I didn’t expect to feel like this. Because the dynamic between us is so very different to what I thought I had with Rog. We really hated being apart. We longed to be back together if we had even one night apart.
Or so he said. I think he believed it. That is part of the love addiction. Latch onto whatever will give you the adoration you require.
BG and I have some gaps. There is a lot of love and respect. Huge fun. But there is not intense passion like I once knew it. It’s warm, and lovely.
But, that … extra spark … isn’t there. I know that this is better, safer, kinder, sensible even. But when you lived with enormous passion, you miss it.
Don’t worry. I know the flipside to that burning, fiery passion. It wasn’t worth it. But once upon a time, I thought we were so damn lucky to have it. If course, it was a danger sign. If you love that fiercely, you are way too vulnerable. Never again.
I’m making it sound like BG and I are boring, and there is nothing wonderful. The reality is, we are pretty damn good together. We had an absolute ball the other night, totally in tune with one another as we wound up his friends. We are great like that. There is depth and a real connection. A shared sense of mischief…
It’s just so very, very different.
And my answer to BG’s question about distance for a bit longer was that he knows that I am also looking for something new, and maybe that might take me nearer to him. I am putting out some feelers…looking at businesses, not just jobs.
I’m a bit off tonight because my reluctantly divorcing little brother was pretty bad yesterday. Very down on himself, and hating that she’s all loved up and happy, while he has no one. Sound familiar? It fucking sucks that those who betray and fuck us over get to be all lovey dovey, wif their new Schmoopies while we emotiinally bleed out.
And I have said I may be able to help him build a house. Take a small equity share in it. And he came to me with a plan that is more than I planned for. I hope I haven’t made him feel I have over-promised.
The reality is, the more I ponder this, the less likely I am feeling I can commit to the amount he may require. That money is for my renovation, and possibly to buy a business/means of making a better future for myself.
Ick. It feels selfish, but I know why. Because I’m a problem solver. A giver. I won’t be earning anything off that capital, and I need it to be working for me…
Anyway. That is my Monday. Need to sleep and think about it some more…
We went to the twilight race meeting in our biggest city that Rog and I always went to to catch up with friends. The second time I’ve been with BG.
I only decided to go on Friday, so got a last minute, heavily discounted booking at a really beautiful boutique hotel in the hottest inner city suburb.
BG loves me finding these treasures, he compared it favourably with the gorgeous boutique hotel I picked in Brisbane when I’d only been seeing him about six weeks.
We drove up, booked in, and got some drinks and tapas before heading back to dress up.
Off we went. BG has gold membership to the racing club, which acts as an ‘access all areas’ pass.
And access all areas, we did! We found the exclusive tiny premium members bar, which had good champagne at the same price as the average local methode champenoise in the usual bars. So we ended up drinking three! In that tiny space, one of his best mate’s brother was there, and a bit surprised to see his little bro’s mischievous mate in his “exclusive” space. We played on that gentle snobbery a bit, having fun with it.
I spent some time with my old friends who come up every year from the South Island, en masse. They were hilarious and all commented that they love BG, who is the ultimate host, funny and always ensures everyone has a drink and enough to eat. He also got chatting to a couple who own the pub on Great Barrier Island, and we now have an open invitation to go stay with them. Captain Charm Them All was on form!
And I ran into my old neighbour’s son. Who is in between my two eldest kids, in age. He was chatty and pleased to see me, and meet BG, hugging him warmly.
I was later Snapchatting with my oldest friend, and during the course of that said that she has heard Norm say how much he loved me, that he’ll never love like that again. That I was something very special, and that we had a very unique and close bond.
I just quietly replied, “J. I know. I used to think that, too. But think about this. Would you treat someone you truly loved like he has treated me??? That isn’t love, hun. That is using someone you know adores you, for your own gain, until you break them. Then you find a replacement, and discard what you broke. Please don’t think it was something special. I am special. In that I was and am worth so much more than who he is. He walked away, and never looked back. Never apologised. Never checked to see how I was during the cancer treatment I had to have because of his infected dick that he kept putting anywhere that would let him park it.”
She replied, “I don’t get you really, Paula. You’re amazing. You loved that man hard, and I know you still hurt. But I know you’re right. I know you see him for who he really is. But I also know you loved who he appeared to be to us all. And here you are today. Broken, but beautiful despite it.”
Naw. How cool was that? She has not always been so … supportive. I’m cautious about her.
BG and I danced to the seriously good DJ act at the after party for a while. Then he took me to a place in town to eat, late with music and a great bar, after we were refuelled, to a hipster bar he knows, to drink single malts and cocktails for a bit. It was 2ish when we got back to the hotel.
We had a complementary breakfast arrive at 9.30am. Yum!
This morning, we went to visit his Mum. She looks fantastic! Best I’ve seen her. 87 soon, diabetic, stroke and cardiac surgical survivor. And sharp as a tack, looks beautiful and always has a smile and a hug for me.
I mentioned to BG how good she looked, and asked, “do you think there is smidgen of relief? That your Dad is now dead? No more triangulation and weekly phone calls? No more feeling second best because he kept fucking around on her, and eventually abandoned her in their 70s?”
He nodded. “Yeah, I’m sure there is some relief. She can finally say, my husband died. Instead of the shame of, my husband left me for a younger woman. I think she’s relieved, too.”
Home now. Time to reflect on these OW. How they ever live with what they did. The lies they swallowed along with the married dick they sucked.
And this came to mind. A story I read a few months ago about an OW living with her now husband, and how she is sorry to the ex-wife of the man she knew was married when she started fucking him, for the lies she believed about the first wife. Other than her pious part stating that the cheater and the betrayed “both” broke the marriage – hint, I didn’t break my relationship with Roger, he chose affairs and lies. Not me, I was faithful and tried hard to understand him and heal, after Leanne – it’s pretty poignant.
“I am sorry I believed the things he said about you.”
Yeah. I’m sorry you believed him, too. That was pretty selfish. To think a cheater would tell the truth to the woman he is fucking, about the faithful woman raising his children.
This is the bit that got to me. After J told me that Norm says how great I was.
“I am sorry I believed the things he said about you.
I am sorry if you ever still miss him. I hope you don’t find it patronising for me to assure you that you are too good for him, that you were always too good for him, and that you are better off without him.
I am sorry for myself, for what I’ve let him do to my life. I know I have no right to be, but I am. I don’t know how I’m going to weather him, and in some ways I know I deserve all this.”
Because this is what people who are trying to convince affair partners that the marriage was already over, do.
And it’s what desperate APs are so very eager to hear, to believe. They want to be the Chosen One.
Yesterday, I bought my first ever piece of precious jewellery. I’m pretty sure I’ve never owned a gemstone. I tend to wear fashion/costume jewellery. BG’s friend Ingrid is a jewellery maker and I have sterling silver earrings and a bangle she has made me. I tend to prefer silver.
But I bought a simple square cut amethyst set in a rose gold band.
This is very much a different thing for me. I told my kids and my eldest said it suited me, and then expressed a bit of horror that after thirty years, all my hard work and input, that her father never bought me a gemstone.
Until I knew about Leanne, I didn’t feel the need … and then I discovered that she had a conversation with Roger about a “diamond ring” she was expecting him to buy her 🤮🤮🤮
Insecurity about my lack of value.
All the not good enoughs.
Anyway, I bought myself a pretty wee bauble, and it feels nice.
And BG even takes selfies. Which I am a little uncomfortable about, but try to deal. I’m incredibly unphotogenic. Like, seriously, I don’t look like any photographs I ever see of myself!