Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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Peace, joy

I recall very clearly recognising that I had lost the ability to feel any peace, once Leanne told me about my most beloved partner and her’s affair.

Joy also disappeared.

I think I have recently regained the ability to feel joy. Or at least happiness. Not that complete, unreserved joy.

But peace is still elusive. I haven’t felt it since.

I had, in my mind, a very beautiful, loving, passionate, reciprocal relationship with Roger, the father of my children. I felt huge peace and massive joy with him. Of course, I told him EVERYTHING. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I had zero secrets from him…it’s weird that when you live and love like that, you seem to just assume that he was the same.

Roger has this uncanny ability to talk as if he is sharing everything, every part of his heart and soul with you. He even admitted he was good at it. He’d share all this sweet, funny, tender stuff. Even stuff about Leanne to me. But he was expert at leaving out any of the clues, or signs that there was anything more than an old, uneasy friendship, with a woman he didn’t trust. He himself said, “I had no idea how good I was at lying. It came really easily.” The only sign I can now identify is that he can tend to raise his hand to his mouth and almost cover it as he speaks, which just looks like he is being thoughtful, examining his conversation before it erupts from him.

Not always, but I later realised this was a sign he was thinking on his feet, and possibly not being completely honest, or forthright. Holding something back.

One of the thoughts that manifested as swirly, unsettling dreams last night, was about how he told me durung that hell of living with my love, whilst he was fucking his whore down south, and me at the same time, that she told him that I had “trained him so well.” It was about something domestic. He told me this, while I was lying on his chest, after an epic lovemaking session (oh, hysterical bonding, you massive bitch!) Like he was my lap dog or something. Good boi, who’s a good boi, then. Treaties???

Ugh

Why didn’t she get it? He’s a cheater. Who was cheating WITH her???

I know why. Because that was normal for her. Her training set her up as his perfect target. A beaten down, plain little mouse, who puts up with bad behaviour. Bad boi! Naw, poor sausage. Now come give mama a cuddle.


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Memories

Yeah. Apparently we were fucked.

Memories of our fabulous trip to Argentina – less than 18 months before he announced he was leaving me for the trinket he’d been chatting to online – popped up today.

I posted a series of beautiful photos of the absolutely stunning boutique hotel I found in Palermo, Beunos Aires, that we stayed in for a few nights before returning home.

A photo of my Rog (the one I thought he was. My darling then of 29 years) in checked shirt and jeans – looking like his father actually, older than I remember! – his tall, lean body leaning over the balcony. I remember feeling so much love for him, and relief that we were doing so well, having such a fantastic time together, after his long affair with Leanne exploded our lives.

Fooled me twice.

Shame on me.


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The therapeutic value of obsessing about an affair

I knew I needed to know. Details. Dates. Feelings involved. What he did or did not discuss with her.

The few times I had slight suspicions that something wasn’t right in our relationship, I tried to get help. Firstly, I asked Roger directly.

Is there something wrong? Are you not happy? With me? What can we do better?

Every time I was told eveything was fine. I was imagining things. I even asked twice, over those eighteen months he was kissing me goodbye as I left for work in the morning, and then texting, driving or planning to otherwise hook up with Leanne, is there something you’re not telling me?

He told me I was imagining things/being a bit insane/working too hard/choose your deflection.

I booked couples counselling. Insisting something was wrong. He didn’t go, telling me I was losing it, we were fine.

I went alone. To three sessions! Having zero idea what to tell the counsellor, other than, something feels off. TBH, I never suspected an affair. Still plenty of good sex. Still lots of tenderness and affection.

Roger denied my feelings. My intuition. My gut.

Ellyn Bader of The Couples Institute writes about the value of obsession about an affair, by the betrayed spouse.

The commitment has been disrupted and the boundary has been violated. Now everything is open again. Inevitable questions surface such as:

  • Are we going to stay together or separate?
  • Will I ever be able to trust what you tell me again?
  • Are we a couple or aren’t we?
  • Is this the end of the relationship?
  • Does the affair partner know more than I do?
  • Who else knew about the affair?
  • Will you continue to lie and keep secrets from me?

Also all the questions that existed before the couple formed arise again. This time the challenge is intensified because there are many more interdependencies, as well as possibly having children together. Each partner must re-decide whether they want to start over and reinvest.

The disruption of an affair is the violation of dreams, goals and decisions. The interdependency, family, teamwork and partnership are all potentially lost. What once seemed secure is no longer secure.

One partner has made a unilateral choice to put an end to what was previously an equilateral decision and joint commitment. This new decision has disrupted the attachment and the question, “Will it happen again?” becomes substantial. Or, “Will there be other unilateral decisions that affect me deeply in which I will not have a say?”

This decision to re-commit is only possible after deep soul searching, intense dialogue and the confrontation of issues such as narcissism, neediness, lie-inviting dynamics, or trauma.

So why do I say it can be valuable to obsess about the details of a partner’s affair?

Obsessing about an affair and asking questions about the details of the affair potentially enables a new boundary to be constructed. When even small truths are revealed, the obsessing provides a pathway to work through and understand the story of the affair. It is through this process that each partner decides whether or not to recommit to the partnership.

When the partner who had an affair answers questions truthfully without evasiveness, it helps the other put an end to feeling suspicious or crazy. When the evasiveness continues, it signals that the feelings leading to the affair still exist and that the primacy of the committed partnership does not.

Honest dialogue also helps put an end to distortion and blown up fantasies. Often when a spouse has “cheated,” it is common to assume that the other was younger, better looking, sexier or more caring. Examining some of the details of the affair may bring to light that the other was human and indeed they were not perfect!

Asking questions also brings to light what is lost and what in reality there is to grieve. It helps to discuss the affair including such issues as:

  • How long did it last?
  • How did it start?
  • How many lies were told, and were they repetitive overt lies or lies of omission?
  • What created the conditions for secrecy to be necessary in the primary partnership?

By reviewing the details, the primary couple has an opportunity to re-create shared meaning. For most partners who feel betrayed by secrecy and deception, developing shared meaning is an essential building block for recommitting.

So, to sum up the value of obsessing about an affair:

  • Partners learn what is lost and what to grieve.
  • Partners create shared meaning and re-establish a boundary around themselves.
  • The betrayed spouse comes to understand that it is “not personal.”
  • The obsessing provides a way of working through the trauma and creates a way to put an end to the deception and feeling of craziness.
  • It stops projection and blown up distortions/ fantasies.

Roger denied me the chance to heal fully. I was putting together pieces of a puzzle, and he kept hiding more and more pieces.

The fact that he actively was looking for a new partner, via the dating apps he paid for and was engaged with, was withholding more vital information. Like holding the box, with the finished picture on it. I kept striving for more. For better. I educated myself, I kept reaching for healing.

And every time I got close, he stepped back, almost imperceptibly. No, you can’t have this healing, Paula. Keep dancing pretty! I like this game.

I hope Trinket knows what she did. What she took on. Well, she does. She knows he is a serial cheater. But hey, special pussy. Magical, he’ll never cheat on ME, putang.

I wouldn’t ever be able to trust him. I know that. He is so good at the pretense. I genuinely thought he really, deeply loved me. I know how tender and sweet he will be with her. It breaks me. That he might actually love her more.

There is no agony like it 💔


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…and on a positive note

Yeah, readers here no doubt think I’m sad and bitter.

Not at all. I put the sad stuff down here. But I have a really good life. It’s different to the one I planned.

But it’s mine.

All mine.

No doing what a man wants me to do. Just my life. Doing what I want to do.

This weekend was a case in point. BG’s huge week (they turnover in four days what they do in a good summer month!) But I had other plans. With friends. It went against my people pleasing training. Yeah, there was some guilt. But BG told me to stop being silly, he would be fine, to go and enjoy my friends.

I would have never done this with Roger. I always prioritised his needs, his wants. I’m such a dumbarse.

Anyway. He got rid of everyone and tidied up the books on Sunday.

He showed up at mine last night after his horrifically long week. Think he needed a cuddle. Cute. I was cooking dinner for L. We had a great night. He did not go to work this morning. Working from mine. Cuter. Think he likes me 😜

Even told me he loved me. Like, a whole lot. That was spontaneous, and unprompted. He rarely uses the L word.

I’ve arrived home from work to a very studious workspace. A sexy man poring over spreadsheets, looking up and flashing those dimples with a coy grin, scooping me up, kissing me hard.

And he’s been making dinner. He cooks! And quite well. I love that. The only times Rog ever cooked were when he first started seeing me, impression management.

And after his affair with Leanne was disclosed by her. He took me down to the maimai, cooked me dinner, to try to woo me. Stop me from leaving him. I remember a lot of tears that night. How could this man have cheated on me? For so long? I adored him.

So far, BG hasn’t cheated. Lol.

Let’s see. He did say he thought it might be nice if one day this was normal for us. To be together every night. That I am a bundle of love. Like no one he’s been with.

He appears to quite like having me around ❤


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Avoidance

I avoided posting about this yesterday.

My eldest turned 28. 28 on the 28th. My friend, L says the year your age matches your birthdate is your best year, lol.

Sure. 😂

Anyway. The main reason I avoided it was that the birth of your first child is a hugely evocative moment. Our birth story was epic.

Our pregnancy story NOW raises enormous red flags to me. Roger was never a good choice of partner for me. He never wanted me. I tried so hard to talk to him about this. Is it me you truly love, or does a baby seem like it seals the deal? I didn’t want him to only want me because of the children I could give him.

Guess what? He lied. I was the love of his life. It was me, and only me.

What utter bullshit.

He thought he wanted a meek little workhorse who would bear his children, work for him, and who liked it when he fucked her.

As a young person who had never had sex with anyone, I was eager to fill all those positions for him. He fucked me. Both figuratively and literally. His choice of a meek AP proves that to me.

One who had been trained by a serial cheat.

I was always too fiesty, too opinionated, “too much.” I’m gutted. He got what he wanted. I was a bloody great partner. He oh so very nearly broke me. Now he has found his little timid mouse to brainwash and love bomb into being his handmaiden. She win’t bite back like I ssometimes did when he’d pushed me too far.

The sad thing is, I tried really, really hard to be everything he wanted. No one can say I wasn’t a damn amazing partner. I really was. As Sam said, “he really fucked up losing you. You were the best thing that ever happened to him, the driving force, the upgrade, and he threw it all away.” His Mum said the same. She was so very disappointed in him.

The thing is, Roger doesn’t for a moment grieve. Think that he lost anything. That’s the problem when you are selfish and entitled. You have the next supply sorted. Who cares about that old bag you used. Break her heart, throw her on the scrap heap. NEXT! I have a shiny new trinket (he actually described her this way to me!) to manipulate.

So yeah, the sadness of my daughter’s birth story hit me hard yesterday. The lie it all was. He never loved me. Just took advantage of me to procreate with.

It breaks my heart that I loved him so hard. That I believed his utter bullshit.


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Special. So much more special. Than me.

Love. So much more loved.

Than me.

I can’t even imagine how he could love her more. I have never loved anyone with such intensity, so my experience of our love story is completely different to his.

He never loved me. I was just damn useful.

Until he found the magical Trinket. After interviewing dozens of women.

Even all these years later, I fall back.

This week has been bad. I’m not sure why. I still don’t understand all this hormonal stuff. I woke up drenched in blood this morning. Yeah. Period. I knew I was off, a bit crampy. They are irregular, but kinda regular. I’ve never had this before, and I can see I get nostalgic and emotional around these times. Fuck cancer fucking with my zen!

I see (mind movies of) him being gentle, affectionate, protective, with that whore. (Forsaking all others, yeah, right…) It kills me. And the fact that it hurts so much pisses me right off. How can he love her more??? It makes zero sense.

But he does. All he told me, promised me, was manipulation, to keep me here as his admin person. I’m so heartbrokenbutpissed about it all.

I’m sure it’s stupid hormones.

My darling Sam said to me this morning, “I see J ‘friended’ that woman. How is she so clueless? And fickle? Are you okay?”

I replied that I am, but I am very hurt that that seems to excuse what they did to me.

I mean, being friends with them says it was perfectly okay that they had an affair, that he knocked me unconscious, that my whole life became a giant lie. That I have trust issues, ruined self esteem, hate my body as not sexy enough, and a lack of belief that love as I thought I knew it, exists at all. But I worked really hard to be okay. J showed me who she is. Again. I believe her.

Sam hugged me hard, smiling, saying, “I’m so proud of you. This has been such an epic, heartbreaking journey. You have done it with heart, with grace, with dignity, with enormous strength. You’ve been so admirable. I can only imagine how awful it all is. I don’t get why some people are disloyal, fickle, cruel. You are such a gem, and never deserved any of this.”

Meh. I know. She’s bloody fabulous. ❤

My kids often remind me how pleased they are for me that he can no longer abuse my trust. That I deserve better. They are happy he stopped playing with me, moved onto a beige mouse…

Speaking of better, my favourite barman has just shown up! He didn’t finish work until 2.45am. I’ve tucked him up on the couch, and am making a fancy dinner for him.

Always remembering how lucky I am 💔


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Idolise. Devalue. Discard.

Just leaving this here.

As a reminder.

I need them, regularly.

He promised me everything.

Idolised.

Made out that I was the love of his life. That we were destined…

Then fucked it all up for a nasty piece of work.

Promised me that it was an error. That it was me. Only me he could love.

Then chose another-fucking-whore-who-disrespects-loving-loyal-partners.

Made me so mentally and physically unwell. Made me feel worthless.

Devalued.

Then left me. Threw our love, our three decades, our family, everything we worked so hard for, away.

Discarded.


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Fear

BG asked me last weekend what I thought about opening a joint bank account.

Whoah.

I didn’t see that coming.

He thought, if I am in agreement, maybe it would be a good idea to pop a bit of money each into it to start it off, then regular equal contributions.

He said he thought we could use those funds for all the lovely adventures we go on together.

The idea has merit. But I’ve gotta admit, it threw me a bit. I had a wee panic attack. I’ve coupled before, and I nearly didn’t survive that thirty year clusterfuck. It broke me. That man totally fucked with my head, made me very sick, and shattered my heart.

I’m scared. I hold back. I’m pretty good, I push myself hard to let go of my fears, but I don’t live without a filter like I did with Rog. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t suffered betrayal and abuse. Haven’t had your entire life, your future scuttled.

At the end of the day, BG was offering a sensible solution to our regular, I’m-paying-let’s-go-halves tango we do at dinner. For accommodation. For experiences. Flights. Fuel. Etc.

And it still made me nervous. I see myself as single in many ways. Identifying that way helps my mental health. My sense of safety, which was so severely disrupted by Roger’s serial cheating, and ultimate discard, relies on me being independent. My identity as Roger’s beloved partner (yeah, right) was a lie.

I know I have to try to be vulnerable. I read enough Brene Brown during the period following D-Day!

I’m up at my friend, Sam’s. I picked up her daughter’s new horse float, from my town – which she had just purchased – after work yesterday, and have driven it up to surprise her. She turned 21 last September. And we are having the hoolie tonight. BG is gutted he can’t come, with his town’s huge annual retro festival on, he is flat out. Incredibly busy.

I feel a bit bad. Because I usually jump behind a bar, to help out. He said not to, to come and celebrate with one of my dearest and most loyal friends.

On the drive up, I had really intense vivid mind movies of Rog and Trinket doing “couple” things. Like their relationship is long, and legitimate. They can, and do, pretend it is, and it turns my stomach. Trinket stole my life. My place. Yes. I know. Roger let her! I have ZERO idea how you go from being a betrayed wife to stealing another woman’s love, especially when she saw he was lying to me. That I loved him very deeply. I mean, who messages the OW when the husband is late back from his dirty weekend with her, terrified he had run off the road? A person who lives with, loves and has cared for that man, the father of her children, for thirty years. Not a single woman, who was separated from him, FFS! She knew she was breaking us up, and carried on. It does my head in.

And the Switzerland friends, who accept her, they have just legitimized their cheating, their breaking my heart, as okay. I’m so hurt.

They started by sneaking around on me. They both bloody know that. I am appalled. And completely gutted.

Anyway, driving, I broke out in a cold sweat, and started to feel faint. I quickly tried to ground myself. What can I see. Hear. Taste. Feel. Smell? Think about something else. Not them. Not how their stolen life looks. IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER. They cheated. They built a lovely, fake, stolen life together. Her kids think they are legitimate, that it’s okay that their mother is with a man who was committed to someone else. That she’s a good person. Hmm. It has nothing to do with your future, you dumbass. Keep going!

I get anxious about it all. Relationships are scary AF.


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There are no real excuses for not understanding

This made me think today.

About loyalty. How those who can’t be arsed making a stand, turning up for friends when they’ve been severely betrayed, are apparently just clueless.

Nope.

They are actually just lazy. And curious.

Rubber neckers. Oooo. What did he trade her in for?

They don’t ever go, oh shit, that must be terrible. Imagine if my husband did that? Long term affair with a friend, in my children’s and my bed! Then pretended he loved me, while internet dating, and eventually throwing me away because he broke me. That must feel shitty. I can’t even imagine the utter heartbreak and unending disappointment. The feeling of failure.

I know! I’ll just make friends with the homewrecker! Woohoo! What a fun time all of this is!

Except for Paula. It’s not much fun for her.

I never thought of that.

Oh well. Never mind. My name’s not Paula.

Oooo. A shiny new trinket. Yay.


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Sharing the love

Today marks the one year anniversary of Aotearoa going into Level 4 lockdown.

Everything except supermarkets, medical centres and emergency services, etc, shutdown entirely. For initially four weeks. Extended to six. We had to choose a place, and not leave it. No car use. No fishing. No cycling out of our immediate area. We had to form a hard and fast “bubble” and not pop it.

I got kicked out of home by my sweet flatmate, who promised to look after my animals and property, and sent for lockdown over to BG’s.

I arrived, with groceries, booze, and a big dog in tow.

He was on the phone to his sister when I walked in. I’ll never forget his face. He grinned widely (those damn dimples, swoon) winked at me, saying to Robyn, “she’s just arrived. Well, this will either fix it or fuck it!”

It was a risk. We’d really only ever spent a couple of days in a row together. A month! What if we decided we didn’t really like each other halfway through?!

Thankfully, it was a truly wonderful time. We both still worked. Me from his place, him next door at his fully quarantined office. It was really a golden honeymoon period. I would get up and run the dog on the beach, and meal plan as I got on with my day. Yes, bread was baked! Chutneys and jams were made. Cocktails were trialled. Three course, gourmet meals were far too common. I had someone to cook for! I’m such a foodie. It was bliss. We had glorious autumn weather, and would walk the dog together for at least a hour every night.

Locked down in paradise. One of our most beautiful beaches. Poor me.

And today, I posted a pic of my new ensuite, powder room and main bathroom planned project on social media.

One of Roger’s oldest friends immediately responded.

“Can’t wait to see end result, u have such great style. Hope you are loving this autumnal weather Paula, ain’t it the best! X

It started a lovely conversation. About family, kindness, gratitude. She’s a true gem of a woman.

And I’ll take genuine flattery where I can find it these days. It was such a lovely conversation. We did not “mention the war,” lol. But she said she had huge admiration for me, and what I have lived through, that I appear to be living my best life, but she can only imagine how hard I have fought for it.

There are people who disappoint, break your heart with distasteful disloyalty.

But equally, often silently, there are those who get it. Cheering you on from the sidelines. It was an important moment for me, for reflection. To remember that many, many people truly do know and understand what Trinket and Roger did to me. To our children.

I was watching a couple of episodes of Doctor Foster last night. When Gemma is being portrayed as a bit insane by the cheater and his OWife.

Things start to turn when his lies start unravelling. His lack of character starts being exposed. And Gemma, the betrayed wife, years after divorce, and his remarriage to his AP, says to the newly suspicious AP, “I’m really a nice, good woman.”

Yes.

Yes she is. So am I. I loved. I work really hard. I’ve never cheated. I always tell the truth. I believed in Rog. I believed his lies. I tried to warn Trinket who he really is. What he really did.

It fell on deaf, love bombed ears. She may never really know, because he is EXPERT at manipulation, and making you believe he is genuine.

That he loves you, and only you. That you’re the best lover, the best mother, the best partner, the best. I know he will tell her lies about me.

That I am insane.

Bitter.

Unloving.

Sexless.

Lazy. 

And love bomb the hell out of her. It feels amazing, being “loved” by him. You can understand why she would never want to give that adrenaline up.

Meanwhile, hard worked for lives were completely shattered. I have a daughter, riddled with anxiety and depression, not able to believe any man she gets close to. A son who refuses to let any woman get emotionally close. “In case I am like Dad.”

I know the cheaters and APs live in fairyland, telling themselves their love is bigger, and worth it, that no one really got hurt. Everyone moves on. Sorry ’bout it!

The dreams were tough last night. Him snuggling into her, calling her by the myriad of pet names he had for me.

Of course, she either doesn’t know, or doesn’t care, that those names were mine. She doesn’t remember the time we took a picnic and made love outdoors on his first farm.

Or the time we got soaked through on the last farm, and he pulled me into the stables when we got home, and took my dripping wet, sweaty body, hard up against the wall. So.damn.hot.

Or the times we gently made love with a sleeping baby cradled next to us.

Or the shared humour as we went through Jujuy in Argentina on a Spanish speaking tour bus.

All our little in jokes. How entwined we were in each other. Lord. I. Loved. That. Man.

None of that meant anything.

I know cheaters just repeat patterns. They do what we did. They go where we went. Hell, the tramp they just completed was the one I did solo just a couple of weeks after my Trinket Dday. I cried so very many tears as I lugged my 30kg pack over that terrain. Trying to push the utter agony away with physical pain, and beautiful scenery.

I know he will be trying to take her to arthouse cinema, theatre, galleries. These were the things I taught him.

This is what cheaters do. They throw away and taint every memory.

I am having to start again. My memories have to start now. Those thirty years were a lie, and are far too painful. He love bombed me throughout. And I believed him. It has been a MAMMOTH effort to try to debond from it all. I’m not there. I don’t think I ever really will be. Seeing happy couples celebrating family milestones together, still absolutely kill me. So very painful. He stole all of that from me.

I keep going. And hear and thoroughly appreciate beautiful comments from people who have silently observed my dignity, my pain, and expressed disappointment in him. That stuff needs to be noted. The disloyal stuff is in your face, can’t NOT be noticed. It really is important to be incredibly mindful and deliberate in your healing.

Therein endeth the lesson for today!

Namaste bitches!!✌