Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


Why Betrayal is so Devastating

Don’t Lose Hope writes a comforting and insightful blog, that I personally find such a help in my healing journey.

I know many people have zero idea about the pain. The devastation. And how damn long betrayal affects us for. I read all kinds of things about recovery. One popular theory is that it takes half as long as the relationship was, to “heal.”

Oh God! 15 years! That’s nearly 12 more!!!

I am of the opinion that we are probably never “healed” from this, just “healing.” I believe it will be a lifetime of this. HealING. As long as it is moving in that direction, I guess I can live with that. 🤷‍♀️

The post. Why is betrayal so devastating?

All of her points are spot on. But these are the ones that are particularly achy, for me. Firstly, how Rog didn’t love or value me, because, I totally adored him, he was my most valued person ever. Ugh.

1. It comes from people you trust. People you believed were trustworthy. People who had led you to believe that they were trustworthy.

2. It comes from people you have loved, taken a chance with, and made yourself vulnerable to. This is a great privilege. We don’t make ourselves vulnerable to everyone.

3. You were betrayed by someone you treated well. You gave them respect. You gave them your time. You cared about them. You sent the message that they were important and mattered to you. But they sent the message that you weren’t important, and didn’t matter to them.

Yeah. I gave everything. And it meant nothing to him.

Then, what it has done to me about trust. Not just other people, but I no longer trust myself. My gut. My intuition.

I did intuit that something wasn’t right. I did feel the “friendship” with Leanne was not okay. But he ABSOLUTELY convinced me that I was losing my mind, he was super trustworthy, loved me entirely, and would NEVER cheat.

All while he was cheating.

The lies carried on, after DDay, too. Lies of omission. Things he trickle truthed. His two years of online dating, when he promised me he’d never lie, never cheat, never hurt me again. His true feelings. Etc.

So now, I trust very few. No one entirely. I question my trust of BG, but not just him. Everyone. I see/imagine hidden agendas always. Nothing is ever taken at face value anymore. I overthink everything!

“6. We feel we can’t trust ourselves to judge who is trustworthy – and not trustworthy – in the future. If you can’t trust yourself, and your own intuition, then who can you trust!  

7. Betrayal undermines our ability to relax and trust other people in the future. At the back at our mind, there’s always this doubt: “Can I trust this person? Are they really who they seem? Will they mistreat, wound or reject me at some point down the line?” This stops us feeling safe, and destroys our peace of mind.

The overthinking. The constant scanning of everything and everyone, it’s fkn exhausting! I do try hard to let it go a bit. But those walls are damn hard to break down. The abuse, and mindfuck, they did a hell of a job on my psyche.

Thanks, DLH. This is a succinct explanation of why it hurts so much, and for so long.


A reminder

I was reminded today, by my sweet friend, K, that my story is real. And I’m allowed to tell it, if I want to.

This choked me up a bit.

Roger has told me in the past, to stop telling my story, it upsets poor dear wee innocent Trinket. Yeah, okay? Perhaps you two shouldn’t have done the things you did then. Huh?

Oh no, blame the messenger. Not the actors!

The outside world sees me – expects me – to be fully healed. That wee 30 year blip in the road never happened.

K gave me permission. That I don’t need, but totally appreciate, to be me. To grieve my way.

God, she’s awesome. She noted my old BFF, J’s disloyalty in “Facebook friending,” (sounds so twelve years old) Trinket. K was aghast that J did that.

Phew. It’s not just me. It was seen as an awful thing to do.

K also said, “um, I saw those photos of them on the tramp they went on. Man, what? That woman, she’s pretty plain. I had no idea. No looks at all. What is it about her? I was shocked, actually, because you’re fabulous inside, but a total package, as far better looking. It’s crazy, huh? I don’t get it.”

Of course, I was gracious and mumbled, thank you, obviously it isn’t about looks. But internally, this… Well, um, that’s nice and all, K, but makes me feel really crappy, too. Like, I was SOOOOO awful, any desperate old hag was better than me. Ugh.

Then K started talking about BG. How fabulous he is. That she and J are a bit in love with him. “Just so kind, Paula. We are impressed. Trust you to land such a great guy. We are a bit jealous, really. Sexy and adores you, so kind to everyone, but they way he looks at you, swoon! J says it’s how Norm looked at you all those years. She was always quite jealous of your relationship. I wonder if there is a bit of schadenfraude with her. That you failed. Sad eh? She wouldn’t do it consciously. There is something about you, these guys fall head over heels for you. What’s your secret?”

I blushed, laughing. “Well, if it ends like what Norm did to me….fuck being adored. It’s not worth it. Can’t have adored me that much if he kept choosing other women over me. I’m careful. Cautious. Not letting the passions free. That is WAAAAY too scary. I wouldn’t survive this again. Best to keep some of the walls up, some of me back, for me. But hell, it’s hard. I don’t do restrained. I love with every part of me. I give everything. But I know I can’t again.”

I talked about the challenges. The wanting to be with him more, but loving my independence. I can’t be any man’s enabling accessory again.

She nodded. “I get that. Marrying later, I have kept my own business, my own bank accounts, etc. We have some joint things, for the kids, etc. But my clothes, my entertainment budget, that’s paid out of my earnings. Then there’s no guilt. No need to justify any spending, etc.”

This is one challenge I face. The together, but separateness of later life relationships. We need to keep ourselves frombeing swallowed alive by our partners.

It was so nice to be able to have a real talk with someone. So much of my life is hidden. My feelings.

I’m lucky to have K, and L, especially. They let me be honest and real.

But I never lead with a share. I only talk about it if invited to. And I see them both in person, very rarely.

It’s my FIL’s 91st birthday, and I’ve been warned off, by Roger. Not allowed to contact his father. So weird. 30 years. He was kind of my father figure, as mine was not really around much, and hardly someone to respect. I’m thinking of him anyway, silently raising a glass of red to him. Happy birthday, B. Hope you enjoy your day 🍷🍷🍷



BG and I have shares in two racehorses together.


I find this “joint” stuff quite challenging and confronting.

The first one, a 3 year old filly, had her second start yesterday. My town has the only all weather track in New Zealand, and we were racing there. He messaged me at around 11am, saying he was ducking out of work, and driving over to watch her.

What a lovely midweek surprise!

I work 20 minutes out of town, but made plans to dash in for the race.

The filly went very poorly, and we have decided to sack her. On examination, looks like she might have a heart issue.

Never mind.

BG met up with some people he knows, and spent the rest of the afternoon there, drinking and relaxing while I went back to work.

When I got home, he called me and said he was getting a ride to my place. I offered to go pick him up. He was amazed I’d do that for him.

I mean, what?

Of course I would. It’s a seven minute drive from my place! Crazy man.

He has never had a partner who would do that!

My whole life was about picking Rog up from some lads’ event or another, lol.

Mum lyf!

He was quite funny. I don’t see him drunk often.

He’s the boss.

At a drinking establishment.

Not a good look at work.

He got out of town, and let his hair down. So funny. So affectionate. Introducing me to everyone, arm around my shoulders, pulling me in tightly to him, stroking my hair, beaming at me, dimples flashing, as I chatted away to his friends, and new acquaintances.

And he kept apologising. For being happily intoxicated. Totally sweet and funny. Not horrid, loud, or boring. Just relaxed.

I got us home, the dogs were beside themselves to see their favourite person, and he, as always, made a huge fuss of them both.

I cooked us a lovely piece of venison, thinly sliced, I dressed it in a crispy salad with a balsamic and berry vinagrette. He ate ravenously, saying, “man, you’re the best…this is amazing. You’re amazing. I keep thinking I’m gonna wake up and you aren’t real.”

He also brought my birthday gift over, the one he forgot last weekend. It’s glorious! Huge! We held it up where I think I’ll put it, and he thought he was very clever!

A nice night in, a delicious glass of syrah, a very good meal, some Olympics on TV, a snuggly, grateful man, and delicious morning sex before shifting stock and going to work.

How did this happen?

I am living life on my terms, and often a nice boy I have fallen for accompanies me on this journey. He never expects anything of me. Is excited when I do the bare basics as a supportive partner.

And I am very grateful, don’t get me wrong.


Yep, always a damn but.

I never fully FEEL what I once did. That true peace. That deep joy.

Acceptance of the fact that Roger and Trinket stole my peace is hard to grasp. But I have accepted that this is what I am left with. This enormous scar, this cavernous hole that never fills.

How lovely is my darling barman, though?



Walking the Journey writes a beautiful, sad, strong, insightful blog about the effects of infidelity on her. On her marriage.

Her journey reflects much of mine.

I just wanted to share her latest post. And underscore the damage done, but mostly the lack of motivation by cheaters to accept the damage they have inflicted on people who have probably loved them more than anyone ever has in their lives. That lack of acceptance, understanding, and zero motivation to fix what they broke, makes cheating so very damaging. So incredibly painful. So very long term. Such a deep scar inflicted on a person who just loved them, and – not unrealistically – expected reciprocity. Love, honesty, trust, loyalty, care…


I have often thought of the shattered crockery illustration. Try putting us back together after you smashed us.

But this, also spoke to me, my heart pounding with the pain

All these years I have struggled with him, his silence, his anger, his lack of empathy, his trickle truth, his lies, but yes… his lack of empathy and understanding of what his actions caused. It’s like he truly does not comprehend the damage he has caused. To me, to the kids and to himself. Maybe he does know? I don’t know. But I don’t think so. Because I feel that if he did, even just a little, there would be a kindness from him, maybe a gentleness to show he knows the pain he’s caused. But there’s not. Never has been. Only anger, justifications and projection.

Thank you, WTJ. You are a beacon, and you draw a vivid picture with your words ❤💔


The Mindfuck Channel.

The stories that we are told.

Us dummies who are so easily betrayed (typed with an enormous side of snark.)

He had no time to cheat, how could he fit that into his frantically busy schedule?! How awful was I to even think something so low of him?

The time that I begged him to come on a much needed family fishing holiday. Nope, too busy, can’t get away.

Funny how he managed a nearly six hour round “day trip” to go “help an ex girlfriend” break up concrete in her garden. When he couldn’t spend any time with us. I went on that holiday, with the kids, without him, feeling so sad for him, being so busy, working so hard for us all, and bought his story, when the secret trip to her city was discovered by me some time later. His explanation? “Oh, I see it probably looks bad, but it really isn’t, not at all what it looks like. You know how much I love you. I’d never go there! Ewww. And you versus her? No contest, Snooks. Come and give me a cuddle, you lumox. I’m sorry, I didn’t even think of it like that.” As I said, if you had just come clean then, when I asked…

They are so unoriginal, but goddamn, SO GOOD at the mindfuck. Of course he had to help the poor woman, how could he not? Silly me. Gosh, how could I deny that poor thing the help she so deserved, right?

From Chump Lady:

Yeah, she was “just a friend,” who needed (only ever his, never mine, hmmm) help from time to time. The kids and I actually joked that Dad was off seeing his girlfriend. He used to laugh along with us. Look how HILAHRIOUS we were, oh, my sides are fair splitting with that joke!

The first book I bought after Dday was “Not Just Friends” by Shirley Glass. And I soon realised how unoriginal Roger really was. That “just friends” is the most ridiculous and deceitful title ever.

And EVERY DAMN CHEATER IN THE WORLD says it if questioned about a suspected AP.


Unilateral decision making

Was reading about cheaters who make big decisions without consulting their supposed “partners.”

Oh. Hell. Yeah!

When I had this happen, I instinctively knew there was trouble in Paradise…this commenter nails it…

“A history of unilateral decision making is HUGE evidence of non-connection, control, manipulation & lack of regard for well being of partner or interest in forming a healthy coupleship.”

That is what I felt, the first time I noticed how I got no say in our life. I had worried about it, to be fair, before. I thought it was disrespectful that I was never invited to family legal meetings (property) for example. I knew I was being manipulated, misinformed, and kept in the dark. On purpose.

When he moved us, changing our life trajectory, without any discussion or real consultation, I was totally shocked and completely blindsided.

I knew then that I meant nothing to him. I wasn’t a sentient being, with my own hopes and dreams. I certainly wasn’t valued.

I was just a wife appliance. To be moved from one property to another. Like the refrigerator.

It scared me.

Seven months later, I hot my first off farm job since the kids were born. Four months later, he was fucking Leanne in my house. My home. My cars. My holiday home. On my property. For the next year and a half.

When I requested/suggested he starve her of oxygen by changing his number and never replying/contacting her ever again, he decided my opinion was worth shit, and kept number, kept in touch.

Which was really useful for fucking her again…right? I know he did two years later. Probably other times, he never volunteered any information ever, only eventually admitted to things he was caught in, and could not deny.

Because he never saw any of the property as mine/ours. It was his.

This was the first realisation to me of how he didn’t care, didn’t value me. Long before I knew he was bareback riding whores.


Birthday bliss

I had a lovely weekend.

Friends. Lover. Good food. Fine wine. Farming chores. Kid messages and a house filled with flowers. My kinda chillaxing.

One weird thing.

HE – yes, HIM – messaged me. Later in the evening. Wishing me a happy birthday.

It upset me. Didn’t wipe me out. But, it was hard. I still love who I once thought he was, and worked so, SO hard to accept my Normie is no longer.

If he ever was, to begin with. He was my best friend. I utterly adored him. This guy, the lying cheating, leaving one, I am not friends with. An alien body snatcher.

Why? Why now? After decades of rarely remembering or celebrating. Three previous birthdays since he cut and ran to his sparkly trinket, why now?

He thinks we are friends?

It made me realise he has never understood how nearly fatally he wounded me. He never once has asked if I am okay. Knowing I had cancer surgery two weeks after he left, and I had to move my whole life. Knowing I did seven weeks of daily radiotherapy.

No care.

But now?


Anyway, my barman left this morning after we had such a great weekend (he retained the golf title, successfully defending against his uber competitive friend.) I went to a girls’ night with two gorgeous friends on Friday. BG and I had some great chats over the course of the weekend. About us. About what happens going forward. About life. Philosophy. Aims. Feelings. He was a bit of a PDA dick when my friend, L, came over. Not sure what that was about. A bit weird. Not totally my thing. It’s nice to be affectionate, but draping himself all over me? 😱

We touched on our differing sexual needs. He tends to panic a bit when I bring it up. “It’s not you. This has happened with everyone…maybe I need medical intervention?” I repeated that it is not a deal breaker for me. That we have so many great parts to us. That he has no problem with ED, more a lack of initial desire.

Later this morning, we messaged thus

This is a man who doesn’t throw around the L word. It’s rare. But when he does, it feels genuine. He hasn’t had a lot of deep love in his life. He says I’m a walking bundle of love. He’s never come across anyone who oozes love like I do. (Shit! So much for holding some back, for me!!!)

His reply totally got me in the feels. His saying I need love. Ouch!



I asked BG about Lou.

A quick recap.

As he was scrolling the other weekend, a pretty blonde, “Lou,” flashed up on his phone. I didn’t see or recognise the platform. Thought it might be a dating app?

He explained it was Viber. Lou was a woman he met on Tinder, and had one hookup with. His words, “we met once. Her number must be saved in my phone, and she must have just joined Viber. You know how you get notifications about those in your phone if they join?”

Yeah. That is true.

So, this morning, I asked more. Where did Lou fit into his timeline? My query, “‘We met once,’ as in, you hooked up for sex?” He answered, “yes, sorry, you don’t want to hear that. I think she was maybe about six months before you and I started seeing each other?” I replied that I am not upset or offended he met a woman off a dating app and they fucked. He’s 56 next month! I’ve known him almost three years. That’s 53 years of other women, he’s a human being. Consenting, sexually active adult, etc.

He then got his phone and found the messages between them. Ugh. That felt so odd, as in, he needed to show me! It was a week or so of messages from the January before we re-connected.

And interestingly, a “Hi,” from her mid June. We started in mid May. He had left her hanging, there was no reply. He then made a gesture of deleting her contact details. Ick. I squirmed uncomfortably. “You don’t have to do that! I’m not a jealous person. But I needed to ask, because previously my trusting nature meant I got played. You don’t have to explain/prove. I believe you. And the fact you picked up your phone, screen facing me, meant nothing bad was gonna show up.”

He replied that he wanted me to feel safe, never worry he’d message any exes. He’d been with someone who made him go through his phone and explain/delete every single woman’s number.

I quietly said, “I’m not Chrissy.”

He snapped back, “and I’m not Roger!”

Wow! Okay, “what does that mean? I’m just doing the due diligence I never did with Roger, fact checking, trying not to make the same mistakes again.” He hugged me hard and apologised. I know he felt a bit cornered by my gentle comment.

WTF, Chrissy? He’s a mature man! Of course there are women!

I don’t feel that way. Just needed to ensure I wasn’t playing Chumpy Paula again. As I said, it has been five weeks since we have made love! FIVE!!

He was shocked. “No way. It hasn’t.”

It has. My libido is high.

Super high. I want to jump on him every time I see him.

But his is not as high as mine, and when you have been rejected, thrown out with the rubbish for other women, left for an online hookup, you are very sensitive, very aware about sexual desire. I know this is just who he is. But it does feel personal. Like it’s me. All the Not Good Enoughs run amok. Roger used to constantly say that I was sex on legs, the sexiest woman he’d ever met. I felt coveted, desired, constantly. It made me FEEL sexier than I really am. Not having that effect on BG is quite foreign. I feel unattractive. The reverse of sexualised. But I do understand. I know my worth. I know it should not be dictated by another person. I hold back. Try not to place any pressure on him…We had a very open conversation (I struggle with this now, used to be so easy…) and I could tell he felt bad. Said things like, “you’re not the first with this problem, it’s me, not you. They usually just leave me.” I said, “I’m not going anywhere. This is a good relationship. I’m happy, safe, secure. You are the kindest, funniest, sweetest man I have met. The intimacy we have is super great. I’m not talking sex here. I’m talking trust, affection, care, kindness, the way we share, talk to each other, support of each other. We have that. You are incredibly affectionate, and concerned with my security and happiness. There are no secrets. Your phone is always on display, face up. There is nothing you hide. It gets better, stronger. A slow burn, where we have built this steadily. With caution, but always building, becoming more.”

He said, “this is the happiest I have EVER been.”

Naw. That’s so darling of him. But there was a bit of guilt, hearing that.

Because I can’t truthfully reply in kind. I’m happy. We are good.

Really good. Great.

But it isn’t the happiest I have ever been. I know I’m highly unlikely to ever feel that again.

Why is life so difficult?

Anyway, it’s actually my birthday today. Sunday. My kids sent me a lovely bunch of flowers, delivered on a Sunday! What???

BG bought me a sculpture. One I had admired in passing one day. He remembered. And went back and bought it. And is kicking himself as he left it in his office. 🤣🤣🤣 What a sweetheart he is.

My darling friend, Sammy, shared a memory, from my birthday three years ago. My first without Rog. Just a few months after he dumped and ran to his Trinket. Just a few weeks after I completed radiotherapy. A picture of me, with my youngest daughter, a gorgeous cake. Baby girl threw me a surprise birthday dinner, with my nearest and dearest. I looked at it today and saw a drawn, haggard looking me. I thought I was doing so well, but my God, half of my hair fell out with the stress and heartbreak. I looked at least ten years older than I do today. Crazy what heartbreak and stress does to your appearance.

We’ve had friends of BG’s staying with us, at my place. Such a lovely time. I love sharing my beautiful space with darling friends. He makes me laugh, insisting on coming out and playing farmer with me on my wee block of land.

And despite my unending heartbreak, I know I have a good life. I have worked so hard, this past 12 years, to weave my broken heart into a part of my beautiful life, that I know I can never expunge. The fight is not over. But I know my worth.


No rest

I have never been so exhausted as since I discovered my beloved was a cheater. My mind NEVER shuts down. Sleep is fitful. I still have weird dreams and often (sexually) violent nightmares.

Less than in the first years. But they still happen. They still steal my sleep.

I think the peace that is stolen from us by a partner cheating on us is one of the most sinister, disrupting and intrusive effects of the selfishness that a disloyal partner’s cheating inflicts on a loving, loyal partner’s future.

I’ve had a tough week.

This is the new me. I saw a pretty blonde woman’s picture come up briefly on BG’s phone at the weekend. “Lou.”

It was after a big party, we were rushing to get back to his work. I kinda shelved it, in an icy, I can’t process this right now way.

I don’t have a clue what it was, and having only ever seen one dating app’s display, for a whole day of my life, I think it might have been something like that? I need to discuss. But that needs to happen in person. Who is Lou? Why is her photo on your phone? Etc.

With Rog, I would have never thought to ask. Just a friend. I was so trusting. It kinda never occurred to me he might be a cheater.

Until irrefutable proof told me otherwise. He had apparently ended it with Leanne when she told me. I literally had no idea that for the past year and a half, when I drove to work, he was texting, phoning, fucking her. He admits he was never gonna tell me. I know that is the truth, because I “caught” him a couple of times, and he could have easily told me the truth, and we could have moved forward, then. Instead, he lied.

And I believed him. Because I never would lie. Especially if I am asked a direct question.

So, now I have major trust issues.

Exacerbated by BG going quiet this week. No good morning beautifuls.

I kinda hoped it was work stress.

And my glorious friend, CR, said it was probably the honeymoon period ending. He feels safe with me now, so doesn’t need to check in as often, etc.

I asked him last night, about this. He said he was sorry, but he felt like a drag. Always complaining about work. And he has been. Hospitality is damn hard at the best of times. Managing a team of up to 40 people, clients needs and demands, in a pandemic has been a nightmare. Staff reliability, recruitment, retention, fragile mental health. These are big issues for him. With no foreign travellers, his casual staff roster has been a nightmare. Then a couple of weeks of trying to design a role and find the budget for an increased salary for his 2IC (who had handed in her resignation) to entice her to stay, without upsetting incumbent staff, or creating employment law problems with another staff member….horrific.

So, he went quiet. To think.

And I went, “he’s withdrawing. Lost interest. Damn. I’m not good enough. Again.”

These are issues I never felt before. I look back at my life, when I loved and worked hard, and never thought to question the love or withdrawal of love, or whether my love was loving someone else, and see how peaceful and joyful it was.

I lost my peace. I lost pure (unadulterated, yeah, pun totally intended) joy. I worry. I overthink. I stress. I grieve.

I am tired.

Tired of the fight.


Closure. Yeah right

These points are bang on the money.

Even for my covert narcissist.

With covert (nice) narcissists, you think they maybe aren’t “as bad” as the overt (nasty, openly abusive) ones. It’s a perfect mindfuck. Who him??? No way.

He doesn’t care, and never has. I was just a vessel to him. A way of getting the admiration, the children, the free labour that he wanted.