Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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Why won’t s/he just get over it?!

Chump Lady addresses the narrative from the cheater. Why won’t my betrayed spouse just get over it?

Until the person you trust with your life shatters your heart and your world, you haven’t a clue.

About the PTSD. The dealing with the health fallout. About losing yourself. About the traumatic, nightly nightmares. About the loss of your world as you know it. About the battle with self harm and suicidal ideation. Home. Job. Friends. Peace. Joy. Security. Safety.

Your ability to trust anyone ever again.

Gone.

The reality is, the cheater thinks they made a booboo.

And now everything is okay again.

Right?

“I had no idea my wife cared so much about our lousy marriage! It means nothing to me and I thought I could just fuck strange and brag to her about it and she’d go back to cooking for me, raising our kids, and washing my shit stained underwear. But she isn’t functioning correctly now! I don’t want to have to get another wife appliance, how do I fix this one?”

That’s not how it works, dude.

Your spouse is now affected by your choices, your actions, your sharing of STIs, forever.

Forever.

Yes. Forever.

We do so much work on ourselves. We heal a bit.

But the effects are permanent.

I was told last week by one of our mutual friends – who nonetheless does see Roger for who he is. Does understand that he is a cheater and a liar – that she is so impressed by what I am building. How far I have come. Her: you have a better life now, Paula. You’ve shaped your own destiny. You have surrounded yourself with empowering, supportive, interesting, fun, educated friends. The (name of small hometown) detritus. You’ve shed that. All those small town entitled bores, you don’t have to deal with them anymore! Yay! Roger’s friends are still in the same mindset. He still operates the same way he always did. You, on the other hand, have completely reinvented yourself, keeping the parts of you that are unique and admirable, and shedding all the crap that came with being “someone’s wife. Someone’s small town mother.”

Yeah. I think I mostly have.

But it doesn’t mean I am healed.

Or am “over it.”

Because you never really recover fully. You just learn to live around the pain and reconfigure your life to cope.


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Therapy fails

Oh, where do I start here?!!!

I had been to therapy – briefly – as a young woman. But generally, felt pretty emotionally and mentally healthy. Had not felt the need for paid navel gazing again.

But I literally can’t count how many different therapists I have seen since my life partner, Roger, was exposed as a cheater!

Actually, Chump Lady asks us to raise a hand if we went to therapy with a cheater, 🙋‍♀️ two hands if we went not knowing they were cheating 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️🤦‍♀️

My story kind of fits. Yeah. Cool.

While Roger spent 18 months fucking my childhood friend – and I never knew that he was having an affair – I did feel some kind of a shift.

We’d been together more than twenty years, three kids, built a life, worked so damn hard, and something had changed.

I couldn’t put my finger on it. So, I asked him.

Many times.

What is wrong?

“Nothing, Snooks. You’re imagining things.”

But the feeling never went away.

I asked him to come to couples counselling with me.

Please.

He refused.

I begged. Please! Please come and help me understand why things feel so off. Surely you feel it too?

“Nope. Everything is fine. Give me a hug.” You’re crazy, woman…

Gaslighting much?

But, I knew everything wasn’t fine.

Still not suspecting an affair.

So, I booked the first couples’ counselling session. Feeling sure he would come, once he realised I was serious. That I needed some support.

No.

Not at all.

I ended up going to three sessions!

Alone.

Still no clue he was cheating. Just feeling that something was awry with us.

He admitted after Leanne exposed their affair to me, that he was scared that if he went, the counsellor would see he was cheating.

And the part that stood out to me here was that obviously he didn’t want to stop. He didn’t want to save us.

He never understood that part. He thought he was being honest by telling me that, after the affair was supposedly over. (Umm, yeah, he fucked her again a couple of years later, so, over is a movable concept, right?)

I can’t begin to tell you how weird it was, going to couples’ counselling alone. I have no idea what the therapist thought really! He did ask me why I wanted to save the relationship. The unspoken part being, “when he doesn’t even value you, or the relationship enough to even ‘humour’ you by coming to see me.”

And now, I over-analyse EVERYTHING. Including really small shit that BG does…or doesn’t do.

Not even coming to counselling that I begged for? That was another red flag I sailed on by.

I saw so many therapists once the affair was exposed.

Rog came to one session early on, maybe 9 or 10 months after D-day, when I was suicidal. It wasn’t for him, he thought counselling was for me.

Because I was crazy.

But we knew nothing about therapy. And unknowingly picked a Christian based counsellor. He was haphazard, and not a good fit. Actually did not turn up for TWO sessions! Not a great strategy for a suicidal client. I just felt that once again, my worth was negligible. Not even worth trying to help.

I finally got Roger to couples’ counselling years after his affair.

And it was eye opening!

This soft, kind man I had loved for 25 years, whom I chose because of his kindness, his emotional intelligence, didn’t have a CLUE!

Seriously, it was almost embarrassing watching him not understand the questions. Go off on weird tangents, to be brought back by the counsellor. Then have to have the simple question broken down for him.

Spoon fed, but still not knowing how to swallow.

That was when I finally got it.

Roger did not understand.

Had zero empathy for me, and what he had done. And he had no real desire to look at it all, work out who he is.

Well, not for me, at least

This was the counsellor who told me he suspected Roger is a love addict. His self worth is tied to someone “special” thinking the sun shines out of his arse. Some childhood damage, for sure.

Still gets me. That you can love someone for decades, and not get that they don’t care about you. That you are just the current vessel that is providing them with “love.”

Or the kibbles they are addicted to.


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Forgive. Forget

Wow! Yes!

Roger painted me as unforgiving.

The reality was, he wouldn’t do what I needed, to make me feel safe.

I asked him to please change his phone number. He argued it was best to keep it, as then he could “manage” Leanne’s apparent crazy.

This left me in a constant panic. That they were still playing me.

And yeah, well, after all his assurances that he was done, he went and fucked her again, two years after “he was done.”

He never tried to work out why he did it. Who he is and why. He never bought a single book, read a single article, or booked a single counselling appointment.

Oh, not true. He booked a psychologist. For ME!

Because I was the problem. My reaction to his actions. That was a problem for him.

Secrets are his stock in trade.

When I finally discovered Trinket, I started digging again.

Marriage fucking policing AGAIN!

And I got as far as online dating profiles on three different platforms (technophobe, riiiiight) going back at least two years. I gave up digging after that. No doubt it went on much further back. I honestly had no clue about this behaviour. Why would I, when he kept telling me he wanted only me, kept touching me, holding me, “loving” me, and “only” me. I was the only woman who got him, the only woman FOR him. He’d never have with anyone else what he had with me….

Sigh.

Played.

By a fucking maestro.

But, my gut knew. I knew not to let my guard down. I knew deep down what he was capable of. I wasn’t fully conscious of my own intuition, but I struggled with forgetting. I could and did, forgive … enough. Not complete “forgiveness.” Deliberately breaking the person who adores you’s heart is actually quite literally the definition of unforgivable.

Deceit. That was always him. While stroking you softly, he would plunge the knife in.

So, I was made to feel not good enough.

Not a good enough forgiver.

Despite staying (and he knew my stance on cheating) and busting my arse to heal us, from what he did. Despite all the time taken and paid for, in therapy. Despite four years of cramming in two degrees (to help me understand human behaviour, and to try to rebuild some absolutely shattered self esteem) whilst working, raising kids and running the accounts for our farm.

He did it again.

Sadly, proving all my intuition to be spot on.

He didn’t change.

He just got even better at hiding his duplicity. Better at the soul rape. Better at fooling me that he was only having sex with me. Better at getting non-consensual sex, because I never consented to share my body with others, to expose myself to the diseases I now carry in my body, because he shared his with others.

But, I still feel “not good enough.” Even with all of this knowledge.

That’s the terrible scar left by a cheater, on a loyal, loving partner. It never fades. You just learn to dress to hide it better.


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Active relaxer

My kids told me recently that I’m an “active relaxer.”

Meaning I am always “doing” something. As we chat. As we play games. As we watch a movie.

Et cetera.

I am home from work with a nasty cold. But loving being alone.

Have all this storm chaos to clean up, so got out there and piled up sticks and branches, to burn later. Mowed some lawns. Re-baited rat bait stations. Did laundry. Washed floors. I have come inside, out of breath. Absolutely wiped out.

I have noted this about myself, too.

Before I knew Roger was a cheater, I thought it was SAHM guilt. I was a farmer, and a mother. But didn’t have a 9-5 paid job, so always wanted to be seen to be contributing.

After I found out, it ramped up.

I can’t sit still.

I’ve been struggling with some home repairs, and there are power tools everywhere.

But today, I’m tired. And I am trying to give myself permission to rest.

Fucking trauma. It’s such a nightmare.


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Authenticity

My blood boiled this morning reading Chump Lady.

I mean, holy hell!

One of the things that you have to learn after being chumped is, that you don’t have to take that crap from anyone anymore.

You don’t have to pretend to be friends with someone who has serious character flaws.

You don’t have to spackle over people who cheat, as “having made a mistake.”

In this case, the woman’s actions made her previously beloved husband so miserable that he felt his only out was to shoot himself.

If you disagree with her cheating – and you absolutely should – then you are not a “bad friend” for not forgiving her. You are a person with morals, integrity, character, and any loyalty you are being made to feel to her is seriously misguided.

I no longer tolerate people like this in my life.

I have unfriended cheaters. I don’t accept any excuses that, “oh, but other than that, she’s a lovely person.”

Bollocks.

Lovely people don’t cheat.

Either on, or with partnered people.

It’s that simple.

I have culled people. And I’m good with that. I never had before. I thought you had to accept all the bad. Just ignore it, and play nice.

I worked so damn hard to survive the discard after a serial cheater made me feel unworthy of living. It was a special kind of hell. Trying to stay in the world, when it was too painful to do so.

Buggered if I am going to allow any cheater apologists wriggle room in my life.

I make very deliberate choices now. For my mental health. For my own survival.

The comments got me. Those asking not to talk about suicide.

Fuck that shit.

We need to talk about it. Infidelity, gaslighting, lying, they make loyal partners fucking crazy. Miserable.

Some of us want to die.

Sadly, some of us do.

It needs to be talked about. It isn’t a mistake.

It is abuse.

Unbearable abuse that sucks all of the joy in the world from our beings.


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No contact

I’ve had people ask me about Roger. And talk to me about his new life. Like I know – or want to know – anything about it.

Or care.

And they seem upset that I don’t engage.

But why? You loved each other. For over thirty years. Surely you can be friends?

They just don’t get it.

He broke me. He’s a terrible person. An abuser. He put my health, wellbeing and life at risk.

And yeah. People don’t get that. If I said that, they would think I am being extreme. Bitter.

But it is my truth. And I hate that I loved him so much. What does that say about me? Co-dependent much???

I used to have this wonderful life. This fabulous love story. I was convinced, without a doubt, that we would be one of those sweet old couples, loving each other forever. Hand in hand. Snuggled up close. Tender. Loving. Even a bit inspirational.

But, that was taken from me. As Chump Lady explains.

As painful as it is, that your children or your extended family, want a happy family narrative, that everyone still loves one another and wishes each other the best — that’s not possible. NOT because you’re Uncivil, but because he is an abuser.

Period. Full stop.

Because he’s a person who defrauded you, risked your health, betrayed you and terrorized you. Your reaction to that abuse, is to avoid him, because that’s a natural, normal, healthy reaction.

This explains why I hate just running into him like I did a few times recently after two years of the relief of no contact. Why my body buckles when I have to see him. Why I have panic attacks worrying that his whore will show up to something I am attending, with him.

And I know our old friends, who knew us as ‘so in love,’ don’t get it. Judge me as uncivil, unforgiving, bitter.

It’s none of those things. He abused me, and my trust. I feel the same way when I see my rapist on TV. It makes me buckle. These men abused me.


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Mondayitis

It blew a gale last night.

I was going to come home, but stayed. The weather got worse. Rain drove in under the seal on BG’s bathroom door.

I didn’t sleep past 2am. He slept soundly.

At 4, I decided I would get up, shower, and drive home through the storm. There might be road closures, and I had to shift stock and get to work. Arrived home really early, in the dark, so climbed into my bed, and napped for half an hour, before heading out to shift my heifers, and feed them hay, in the rain.

It wasn’t so bad over here.

But I’m feeling really blue. Weird. I haven’t had the Monday blues for a while.

I think I was so spoiled, so loved this weekend, I miss him already, and wonder how we are going to make this work.

I am still independently working on my future. And it’s a bit frustrating. Scary, too, as the banks are getting very nervous.

Tired. I’m unfit, and feel really crappy. I need to take myself off to bed, so I can get up an exercise in the morning. I haven’t been looking after this body properly.

Keep going. Just keep going, Paula.


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Unhealed trauma

Wow!

I mean, yeah, of course, but, wow!

I don’t think I had “childhood” trauma, but definitely was more deeply affected than I admitted/knew by my parents’ shock divorce, obviously by the vicious, tearing rape by my friend’s friend, and yeah, also about my first attempts at making love with the first boy I loved. Where it 🍆 just didn’t fit! 🤦‍♀️. We tried, off and on, for a very long time.

I thought I was broken. Not capable of being penetrated. This is where my deep and very real fear of large penises kicked in.

I know it sounds like a joke.

But I was TERRIFIED of meeting someone with a big dick.

And guess what?

Yup.

The day BG took his pants off, aroused already, holy, holy fuck! 😱

I froze. I actually nearly ran from the room.

I did tell him, when we started making love, to be slow and gentle, as his is a LOT bigger than the only penis I had ever had inside me.

To be honest, I’m sure that is what every man probably wants to hear, but he looked a bit coy, and was amazingly careful.

To start with 😜

I also thought maybe I was overstating it in my mind. Maybe he was “normal” sized. But he has length AND girth. It was quite shocking.

Months later, probably a year, I discovered he had a reputation about his size, amongst his friends. A couple of the wives siddled up to me, to ask.

If the legend was true!

Jesus. What???

Not even sure how you answer that!

Of course, this was not asked sober. I just winked and smiled, knowingly. Then Ingrid, who asked first, told me that it was legendary amongst this crew.

When I later relayed the story to BG, he shook his head, and was really embarrassed. Told me about the incident, in his teens, with a girl in his Catholic boarding school dorm. And getting caught by one of his mates. Who is still a close mate to this day. Good lord.

Literally!

As he intimated, it made it seem more. Like, “The Legend,” is larger than the reality. (Pardon the pun.) And yeah, I can see it is dehumanising. Objectifying. It embarrases him.

But, it was genuinely a terrifying night. In a good, consenting way. Still a really difficult thing for me. In my 50s, one lover ever, whom I was totally, madly in love with. Then this very real fear of mine, materialising!

Back to the other points, though. I definitely tick all of those items on that unhealed trauma list. I would like to add that it wasn’t really a difficulty setting boundaries – although, my uber chill chick vibe might be (correctly?) read this way – I think it became more about difficulty policing them.

When I insisted after Leanne that he change his phone number (it was before I even knew you could block) to starve her of oxygen, when she kept covertly (by connection) threatening us, and our children, and overtly saying she was bringing her mother to meet with my inlaws, to let them know they were destined to be together, that scared the SHIT out of me.

Cut her off! Cut her access to us off!

Rog insisted that he needed to keep his number, to “manage” the bunny boiler.

Hmmm.

Also helped his need for ego kibbles, right? Not only was he continuing to get her attention, he fashioned himself as my great hero and protector by “cutting her off at the pass.”

Also made it REALLY easy to fuck her again, two years after he had “ended it.”

Riiiiiight. Good job on the boundary enforcement, Paula.

My problem is, I have no desire to be the Marriage Police. What a shit job that was.

So I “believed” him, let it slide.

I also hate that I was unable to see that his refusal to read about affair recovery, or get counselling was another violation of my boundaries.

I have lived in a state of high anxiety for 12 years now. I wasn’t that person before Leanne. Before I knew I am a chump. I used to be a far different person than I am today. I felt safe, connected, confident. I didn’t feel the need for much external validation.

I feel none of those things anymore. And yeah, am more socially “needy.” I’m aware of it, and work hard at dismantling the narrative of “not good enough” that now feeds my social anxiety.

That said, I am anxious about today. Anxious about re-entering my home town. The possibility of facing him yet again. Knowing he also has another horse racing in this region tomorrow. It’s likely he’ll be there. And surely the cunt will be, too. I preferred when I didn’t know much about these horses, and his current life.

No contact is the biggest tool for healing from relationship trauma.

I’ve been no contact with my former friend, of at the time, over thirty years, Leanne, for 12 years. It’s good.

It still blows my mind. This darling man, whom I loved and trusted completely, for decades (at least until he broke that unwavering trust, the love was still there) whose body I craved, and snuggled up with, at every chance, whose babies I conceived in deep love, gestated, and birthed with him, is someone I must avoid now. It’s super fucking crazy.

It still messes with me. I know it’s because I still love the “old” Rog. The illusion. So I don’t want to see the new one. Especially not with his whore. My mental health is too precious. Too hard fought for.

I know he doesn’t get it. He never had to fight for life, like I did. He never had to suffer, being rejected and discarded. He had several women clambering for his attention. He. Just. Doesn’t. Understand

Or really?

He just just care.

Better go shift my heifers, give Sunny, number 7, a big hug and scratch. Always helps ground me when I need it.

Thank God for animals, huh?

Sunny. She’ll be hungry…


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Memories

Generally, Facebook memories are fine.

I never posted much about Rog. He wasn’t on social media during his pre-online dating years. A technophobe who hated computers and phones back then. Him later embracing them, was a red flag I missed. They enabled his cheating with both Leanne, and the online dating whores.

So, I respected that rule about not posting about people without their permission. That also went for our kids.

I saw a lot of Fakebook stuff, too. People posting about their wonderful husbands, nek minnit, divorced…

But this week, a photo that a friend took of Rog and I together at a younger friend’s 40th, 5 months after DDay #1 (Leanne) and just weeks after my first suicidal ideation, and thankfully only, attempt came up in my memories.

Lord. Typing that sentence out was hard.

I wanted to die. I was agonised. Roger found me, saved me, and bundled me, wrapped tightly in a blanket into his ute, always touching my skin, and holding my hand, I was zombie like, but aware of his physicality, his constant touch, as he drove, and as he climbed back into the ute between shifting stock. He had several essential farm jobs to complete before taking me home, holding me so tightly, and phoning a psychologist.

The problem was always me.

My reaction.

Never him.

The action that caused the reaction.

I had years and years of therapy after that. Off and on. I never had before in my life.

He never went to therapy for himself.

Not once.

He did come to couples counselling for a short while, two years after DDay, when the hysterical bonding started waning, and I started questioning why I was allowing him to touch me. He went because the daily hot sex was reducing. He went long enough for our counsellor to let me know he suspected love addiction.

I’m ashamed.

Ashamed I did that. Attempted to unalive myself.

But I didn’t know how to make the pain stop. My beautiful life, with my beautiful man, was all a terrible lie.

I couldn’t reverse time. He had lied to me for a year and a half, made me sick, and it was with my friend, in my homes.

I couldn’t escape any of it. Every room in the house had her stench. Every part of our farm. Every surface of our car, and holiday home, our whole social circle knew, the whole town.

I withdrew. Leanne had fucked these for me, by fucking him there.

I looked at that picture. I look strained, smiling fakely in my super high heels. Roger looks bored. Disinterested. Leaning in for the picture. It’s an AWFUL photo. Cannot imagine why I posted it? Desperation? Look at us, still together. Take that, Leanne! FFS. Infidelity literally makes you a crazy person.

Anyway, another night of little sleep, have been scrolling for too many hours. 5.15am now. The dogs are both gently snoring.

Got up, hot milk drink. Better try to get a little bit more sleep now…


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Oh is for ocean

This burnout is affecting me.

I slept little the last two nights.

This morning, around 3am, I lay listening. The ocean was roaring. I got up and walked the dogs down to the surf club. And sat as they explored the beach, listening to the roar, hearing the waves crashing.

Every time I closed my eyes, I saw Rog coming at me. Blackened eyes. Hands around my throat, as I lay underneath him. Definitely a semi flashback to the night I confronted him about Trinket being in my home, against the legal order, and him lying through his teeth when I had evidence she stayed the night in my home.

I still feel sick at the intrusion.

Who does that???

Who sleeps with a partnered man, in the mother of his children’s home. In her bed???

Gross woman.

And the stuff of my nightmares.

Between Trinket and Leanne, the trauma still rises.

I used to think it would disappear, eventually.

It never will. Trauma sits in your body.

I’ve got stomach issues at the moment. To go with the ulcers and coldsores. Which have now migrated to my cheek. My face is a scabby mess.

Today, I’m going to have to address my burnout AGAIN with my boss. She obviously didn’t hear me the first time.

I hate this stuff. Makes me feel incapable.

Ugh.