Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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The dating app life

Oh, those on dating apps, who are in fact, NOT SINGLE!

Yep. Fun fact. Many of these people lie! Shock, horror!

When I read Roger’s profile on matchdotCON, I felt sick!

The lies he told. And the messages with all the other women…🤢🤮

What a lovely, lonely man he was.

Yeah, right!

Except he was still with me, the completely faithful, loving mother of his three adult children and I had been duped, was totally under the impression we were healing from his long affair with his cheating exGF 🤦‍♀️

And I even drove all the way to the AP’s city, to tell her in person, that HE WAS NOT SINGLE, I didn’t get that memo. I know I was in deep shock, and was probably far too “nice,” about it. As I left, we hugged, FFS!!!

It was so humiliating.

The messages I retrieved, and the ones I was sent by one of the OW. Bloody hell. I saw how I had been duped! This guy was an expert level love bomber. Far more subtle than you’d think. Sweet. Kind. Concerned. Not in your face, jewellery and flowers, more creepy. Because it sounded so genuine! My skin prickled, breaking out in a sweat when I read the words exchanged.

But I saw the patterns. He was telling them what he told me…fuck. That was painful. I wasn’t special. I wasn’t exclusively adored. I wasn’t the sexiest woman alive (well, d’uh!) I wasn’t the only love of his life! 🤣😢

I wonder how Trinket is able to live with all of this? Does she really believe him? I guess she is like me, vulnerable, and easy to lie to, soaking up all the bullshit like the unloved sponge her dead cheater husband made her. I actually feel sorry for her and the life she led. But that doesn’t excuse what she did to me.


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The Marriage Police

I never did this, but boy it made me laugh!

And also really sad.

This is what it is like, having been cheated on.

You join the Marriage Police.

You check, cross reference, check again, about what your cheater is doing, where they are, etc.

I never, NEVER expected that.

To be a “jealous wife.”

Previous to Leanne, I was the opposite of that.

I trusted Rog. Implicitly. Completely. Literally with my life! I even trusted that if he fucked up, he’d protect me. At least use a condom if there was ever a stupid, drunken one night stand, for example.

Infidelity is sexual abuse of your loyal partner.

I hated that I became untrusting, suspicious, doubted him. Well, everyone really.

After he lied and lied and lied, and I believed and believed and believed, I know I will never fully trust anyone ever again.

That is the terrible legacy of infidelity. You change a person with your deception. Betrayal. Lies. Your sweet partner is changed forever. Their innocence is forever lost. It really is soul rape.


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Sexual trauma

It has become very obvious that I am dealing with a partner who has some really deep, unresolved sexual trauma in his past.

I’ve felt there was something off, for a while.

I have spent so long unpacking my own rape, I got some inklings about this.

There are dozens of possibilities.

He was Catholic boarding school educated. He has two beloved older sisters and a long term cheating father. He was known as the sexual legend, with the huge dick, by the guys at school (something he gets very upset about. Either that. Or the fact that I’ve been told this information. I’m not sure which.)

That’s some rich territory to mine for the roots of what happened to him.

He is admitting to something, but isn’t able to talk about it. Yet. He also says he doesn’t even know if it’s true.

I gently replied, “in my experience with sexual trauma and rape, we don’t make things up.”

I repressed my rape for a few years. Wondered if it was real.

It was. The details are clear in my head. I know what happened. My brain couldn’t cope with the virginal, brutal, tearing rape by a “friend.”

So it filed it.

Until I could cope.

I think BG has something similar. I think toxic masculinity is part of the equation here, too. That he blames himself. That sexual abuse doesn’t happen to “real men.”

After a very emotional conversation on Friday night, where he panicked – badly – I left it.

We haven’t made love in a month.

Yeah.

This is not who I am. I am a very sexual person, and after my trauma from being cheated on and infected with disgusting diseases, I recovered. BG says he’s never been with anyone so sexually driven.

It could be taken as a compliment.

Or a slight.

I’ve been quietly supportive ever since Friday. It’s a crazy, busy weekend. Today is Easter Monday. And he confronted me this morning. I didn’t want to talk about this while he is under pressure.

But he eventually made me.

He knows he has to address this, to be with me. We talked kindly about how our intimacy is wonderful. He told me he’s never ever got this deep with anyone. And yeah, understandably he’s scared. It’s pushing him to go to places he’s avoided his whole life.

This is the stuff I knew, when I got involved with a never-married-no-kids-50-something. That whilst, most people say to me, Yay, no baggage, I knew there would be much baggage! Lol. You don’t get to these ages without baggage. Not having a long term partner means, not dealing with some stuff. No one to push you to examine your feelings. Your actions. Etc.

Watching Anatomy of a Scandal is amazing. Watching Sienna Miller play a betrayed wife, when you know her history as a betrayed fiancée, ugh. It hits hard.

So, so hard.

I see her processing those emotions I’ve processed. The looking at your man, not knowing who he is. The heartache. The unpacking of a whole life. The lies. The omissions.

There are no words to explain the experience. The utter agony. The battle to locate where you filed your core values, and stand up to the man you totally believed in and loved with every part of your being.

Whom you compromised for.

To say, no more. No more lies. No more surprises. No more pushing me into places I don’t want to be in. I need the whole truth. The omissions, the “protecting you” by omission bullshit. Stop that.

You are only sorry you got caught. You weren’t sorry when I didn’t know. You weren’t protecting me. You were protecting your relatively cushy life. Not wanting to lose a loving, loyal partner who cared enough about you to always have your back. To run the admin in your life. To feed, love, care.

Those things are apparently easily replaceable. You cut one loving, loyal partner out, whom you have shared decades of life with, and paste a cunt who doesn’t care about a loyal partner in her place. She gets to play wifey now.


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Getting Over It

Copied … from a recovery group.

It is hard to get over a cheater because when you leave the relationship, there are two people you must mourn. One is the arsehole who cheated on you, in all their flawed, unfaithful glory.

This is the person it is easy to get mad at, the person it is easy to cut off contact with, the person it is easy to talk shit about while you’re out for cocktails with your girlfriends at night. It’s the person you are glad to be leaving because you know that you don’t deserve their bullshit in your life.

The other person you must get over is the person you thought they were. The relationship you thought you had. The trust you so carefully built, not knowing that the foundation was made up of quicksand. It’s not the cheater you are mourning at 4am when you come home from the bar alone and want to call them up to tell them they’re forgiven; it is their intangibly perfect alter-ego. The one you built a life with. The one you poured your trust into. The one you thought was always going to be there, until they weren’t.

You hate the person they turned into, but love the person they were. Love the way things were. Love the memory of each blissfully ignorant day with them, so fiercely that it tears you to pieces.

It is hard to get over a cheater because you never get the closure you need. You cannot reason your way to the cause of the cheating — and I strongly encourage you not to try. The back of your mind will only make up reasons that scathe you: you weren’t funny enough or sexy enough or enticing enough. You didn’t pay enough attention. You didn’t make enough time. With every magazine title screaming “Ways to please your lover!” and “How to not scare the good ones away,” you begin to suspect that it was your fault they cheated, not theirs. You know logically this is not true, but it feels true. The harder you search for a reason, the more the truth evades you. A simple lapse in judgment doesn’t seem like an adequate explanation for the hell that you’ve been put through. So you search for a bigger, better reason that is not there.

It’s hard to get over a cheater because the only person you hate more than them is yourself. You hate yourself for falling for them. For investing in them. For turning a blind eye to every red flag that was a clue along the way. You scorn yourself for believing every lie they told, and letting it all come to fruition. You hate yourself for not putting together the puzzle pieces that you were never actually holding.

It is hard to get over a cheater because we are seldom given the chance to properly mourn them. We are encouraged to feel every scathing emotion we can muster toward our unfaithful lovers, but we’re told that we cannot still love them.

Cannot miss them.

Cannot mourn the loss of that love because we should be too angry to feel sadness.

We are not given the chance to go through the regular process of grieving somebody who was once a major part of our lives. And because we try to deny ourselves this process, we exemplify the pain. We feel ashamed for still loving them. Ashamed for still needing to grieve. Ashamed of not being ready to start over right away, even though we know we deserve so much better. Ashamed because it must make us weak to feel anything other than hatred.

It is hard to get over a cheater because the real person we have to forgive at the end of the day is ourselves. We have to forgive ourselves for missing the signs that we couldn’t possibly have seen.

For losing a game we never signed up to play.

For having a perfectly natural connection with a person who turned out to not be who they said they were.

We don’t want to accept that bad things can happen to us without precedence.

That we can be fooled and treated unfairly and still end up the loser in the end.

We want to believe in the eternal balance of the Universe, which suggests that when we are in pain we have done something wrong.

It is hard to get over a cheater because it means accepting the bizarre notion that life can be unfair in the harshest sense of the word.

It is hard to get over a cheater because a betrayal of trust turns your world upside down. And the only way to flip it right-side up again is to give ourselves permission to work through it.

To accept what happened.

To mourn someone we hate.

To grieve a relationship we walked away from.

To work through every paradoxical situation we encounter, until we come through on the other side. The side with a clean slate. The side where we don’t just suspect that we deserve better — we know. And the side where we are proud of ourselves for never accepting any less.

100% this.

I’m still angry at myself for giving him more chances. For doing years of very, very painful, hard emotional work, to heal from his selfishness and treachery.

When he did nothing but wait, and berate me for not being “over it,” yet. No counselling. No reading. No real self reflection. I had to work because he cheated. Fair? No, it never was, and I knew it. But still, I loved him. I believed his fake remorse.

I should have left him when I found out he was a cheater.

Shown my backbone. Not my wishbone. Instead, he got to play me again. It hurt so much more the second time! I would never have believed that was possible.

All so he could just do it again.

The last time was the hardest. The most painful. Because I blamed myself for letting him hurt me again.


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Safe

BG was working last night. But when he got home, he messaged, sensing I was a bit off.

Struggling. It’s been five weeks without being with him.

He let me know that he is also finding it hard. In many ways. He’s not a verbally demonstrative man. And he’s covering everyone’s ass at work right now. Tired.

I always feel a bit lame, a bit needy. After all, he had a relationship where they lived in different countries for the first two years. So he can do long distance, and get on with his life. I thought it was just me, so have tried not to complain or indicate when I’m really struggling.

Last night, I hit the wall. Sick of this. Being alone in lockdown, when he’s only an hour and a half away.

Then he said that he is constantly amazed at me. At my openness. My softness (triggered! Rog said I have the softest skin he’s ever touched, so “soft” kinda stings?) My kindness. My care. My trust. My strength. How he is amazed at how vulnerable I allow myself to be with him. Letting him know I’m struggling isn’t complaining, or lame. It’s sweet, but yeah, hard for him because he can’t fix that. Knowing he doesn’t need to be the fixer, but wanting to do that instinctively. That he appreciates that I miss him, he misses me.

But, it’s different for him. Level 2 is hard at work, small gathering rules and a vastly changed service model to fit with those rules are hurting his business.

However, mostly life is otherwise “normal-ish.” I can’t even go to a shop. Everything has to be contactless. I spent two hours online on Friday, ordering feed, water supplies, an order from the hardware store, a grocery order all for click and collect. (Supermarkets are open, but the queues mean about a half hour to hour long wait before entry to the store is granted.) No spaces for pick up for 24 hours. Saturday, I spent three hours driving to pick up points, waiting for my time slot, between stores, etc. Of course, you always forget something you need.

I live alone. So no one to banter with. So yeah, Level 2 is testing, BG.

Sure.

But Level 3, where I am, is so restrictive when you’ve been in it for a while.

I mean yeah, I get that he is finding it hard. But he talks to people every day. I can go days without another human. Generally, without it being mandated, I have traditionally been good with alone time.

He has asked me before if I cope with the distance. That he worries at times that I might find someone else. Someone closer. Someone “more suitable.” Someone “better.” And that it must be hard for me, after a serial cheater fucked me over, to trust. The unspoken part of that being that he is being faithful.

The thing is, I’m a trusting person, by nature. Which is interesting, because I can be cynical too. But I do trust him. And that worries me sometimes. Because I 100% trusted Roger. And he used my trust to bring other women into my homes. Around my kids.

I recall so clearly looking Rog in the eye, and saying, at one stage – when I felt a bit weird about his “friendship” with Leanne seeming a bit “too close,” – “you aren’t doing anything stupid here, right? I hope you’re not making me the stupidest woman in the world, trusting you with her?” And him looking me dead in the eye and saying, “oh Snooks. No. Not ever. Of course I would never. You are right to trust me. She’s a terrible person, and I’m not even slightly attracted to her. If I was, we couldn’t be friends,” and he kissed me and held me, stroking my skin.

FML.

So, to keep busy last night, I started cooking a goat dish for tomorrow

And late, I thought I should eat, so threw this Thai inspired noodle bowl together with some cooked chicken I had in the fridge.

Then, despite it’s deliciousness, decided I wasn’t hungry.

Lockdown is messing with my mental health, and my ability to stick to any kind of wellness plan. I’m a quiet mess really.

What’s new?


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Sweetness and light

So, C sent me a message in the middle of the night. Her wee baby is like my second. Insomniac, hungry hippo! I was wide awake 3am to 6am anyway.

I love her care.

So much.

I haven’t said a lot to her. She knows that Roger serial cheated on me. And sold our farm, our means of earning a living, our home, and ran to the last AP. C was taken aback when she first heard this, about two and a half years ago. But she has not joined the flying monkey troop. She has shown a lot of care and loyalty to me. She didn’t have to. But gets it. Is a very loyal, caring woman. She knows enough, to know I didn’t deserve to be cheated on and abandoned. That I was an exceptional partner, mother, lover.

I do find it a bit sticky when people use the phrase, “moving on.” We are all moving on. Can’t stop time. But it suggests that it no longer hurts, etc. I take no offense here. I understand the loving way she has considered it. But just internally, I know it isn’t quite what people imagine.

It feels good when old friends are empathetic, but not pitying. She sees how I am rebuilding. Expressed admiration for what I have achieved with a broken heart. Two degrees. Five properties, a new business on the horizon. And finally, I told her that I was seeing someone. Her eyes. She melted.

“Oh, Paula! That’s so cool. Is he a nice guy?”

I grinned widely, “well, it’s been a while, and no red flags yet, so I hope so! He’s really good to me. Kind, considerate, treats me as an equal, never dictates how life should be. And we have a lot of fun. It’s different. Completely different in almost every way. And instead of being love bombed and rushing into anything, it’s a slow burn.”

She hugged me hard, tearing up.

Hormones, lol.

Anyway, she is sweetness and light. Which is how BG refers to me most of the time. And I love the synchronicity.


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Liars

Wow! This one hit me right in the feels.

All the promises about honesty, safety, love. All lies.

All the same things he has promised Trinket. He’s so darling, right???

When he owed me all of that – promised me all of that, and that he’d spend the rest of his life proving to me that he was trustworthy, and loved only me, so, so much – after he was caught cheating with his ex. After more than twenty years with me totally believing he loved me so, so much it hurt.

Yeah, right.


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Happy now?

A friend, Lily, who has had some contact with Rog and his shiny Trinket, said to me yesterday, “they are not happy, Paula. They act happy in public, and there is probably some good stuff. But she doesn’t trust him, and he knows he fucked up the best thing in his life – you. I think at best, there are moments of ‘contentment’ with them. Not what you guys had.”

I don’t really buy it, to be honest. I do know what she means, and I am sure there is some angst by Trinket about how they started, as a dirty, illicit affair, while I was busy finishing my Masters thesis. Rog? He doesn’t give a fuck about me.

But they are now around four years in. You would think they would have split by now if it was not happy. I also know how Roger love bombs. He will be tender, sexy, feign caring and love.

She will lap it all up. But, Lily said, “I reckon she knows what she did to you, and I think she is the kind of woman where that MUST wear at her conscience. After all, he cheated before her, and those that cheat once are far more likely to cheat again, that is proven science.”

Back in the day (newly discarded) I read a lot about how likely a relationship that starts as an affair lasts.

Turns out, not that common. But I know a few in real life.

I read this information on Bustle:

A “study found that relationships formed by cheating don’t last.

Three separate studies that looked into mate poaching, or stealing someone else’s partner, found that couples made this way have more challenging relationships than couples formed without cheating. John Foster, lead researcher from University of South Alabama, published these findings in the Journal of Research in Personality . Foster conducted three separate studies, interviewing men and women who were in relationships for varying amounts of time that had formed in various ways. Across all three studies, Foster found that 10-30 percent of those surveyed said that they had been poached from a previous partner.

Foster also found that throughout all three studies, the poached partners reported more dysfunction. Overall, these partners reported more dissatisfaction with the relationship, less commitment, and less investment in their partner. Furthermore, those who were in a “poached” relationship reported more interest in romantic alternatives, thought higher of their potential romantic alternatives, and engaged in higher rates of infidelity than other study participants. After all, previous studies have found that if someone cheats once, they are 3.5 times more likely to cheat again.

And these studies seem to make sense. If you have cheated on your partner once before, what’s to stop you from cheating on your next partner? Hello, The Other Woman. The moral of the story is that if you are looking for a functional, healthy and happy relationship, its not going to be be born out of infidelity. If you are just looking for a good time, then poach at your own risk.”

Yeah, okay.

I also see a lot of chumps wishing the AP and the cheater break up. I know I desperately wanted that, it seemed so UNFAIR that they got to be all loved up and happy while I was fighting to actually stay alive because they fucked me over so badly. I was so, so very broken. It was an enormous battle, every day, to stay in this world.

But, I also deep down knew that they deserve each other. If you cheat, if you participate in cheating, hurting a loving, loyal, deeply committed partner, you get the prize, the cheater, yay!

#winning.

I don’t want them to break up. I want them to stay together. That keeps a cheater and an AP off the streets to protect other loyal, honest people. It’s like a form of affair vaccination for the rest of us.


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Signs your “new partner” is still married

There are a few checklists.

I give you these points.

All things Roger did while I had zero idea we were apparently divorced/divorcing.

They are mysteriously missing from social media.

He never had any real social media presence, all the better to hide a partner from any of the women he met online, and lied to about being single, right? No pictures of me to ruin the story.

You’ve never met their friends and family.

He always met her out of town, in the beginning.

He got her convinced of his lies so quickly, so she possibly didn’t notice this while I didn’t know about her. But he wasn’t introducing her to anyone until he dumped me. He never introduced her to his parents. His mother died having never met her, as far as I can tell. She did not come to his mother’s funeral.

Meanwhile, he meets her family. Her kids. Her sisters. Her parents. A cozy family Christmas with her while I was still living and sleeping with him.

He only started showing her off to family after he told me he had Met Someone Else.

Our youngest daughter refused to meet her for at least a year and a half. The other two were deeply uncomfortable that she even existed. Of course, now, three plus years out, they play nice, to see their father. The horror of what he and Trinket did to me has faded for them. But, they know who they are. What Roger and Trinket started as. A dirty secret from their mother, the woman who did everything for him, who loved him so much, she even stayed after he fucked her friend for 18 months, in their family’s homes.

They’re always paying in cash.

When I was not allowed to know that he was seeing other people, all their dates were paid for in cash. God forbid I saw the dinners for two. Coffees, maybe any gifts he purchased. He did this with Leanne too. Purchasing some art for her in cash…recycled all his cheating tactics with Trinket…

You only hang out together at your place.

Why not at his? Because I lived there! And once he knew he’d hooked her with his lies??? Why the fuck did I need a legal order banning her from my properties??? FFS.

On my second date with BG, after a first, where I met him in a neutral space, he immediately invited me to his home. I was surprised. Straight away. And it wasn’t creepy. A day time thing. We met at his, he showed me his wee home, and we went for a long walk for coffee and along the beach. He wasn’t ashamed to have me in his home. There was no wife or family hiding away.

Rog told me he took Trinket to our lake house (like he did the others) and that she knew she shouldn’t be there. That that was our/my space. It made her uncomfortable.

But not so uncomfortable that she stopped cheating with him.🤷‍♀️🤦‍♂️🤷‍♀️🤦‍♂️


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The heart wants what the heart wants. And other bullshit justifications

When I first found out about Trinket, I tried to play nice.

Convinced once she realised that Rog was lying to her, that we were NOT separated, that we still shared a bed, and a life, that I had no idea about his supposed ‘singledom,’ she would back off, realising she’d been played.

Used as a tool by him to ‘escape’ the awfulness of me.

Nope.

She even sent me a message one day, saying, ‘well, if you had not decided to stay living together…’ like it was my fault he had played me! Like I should leave my own damn house!

The one he brought her to. My own home! Riiiiiight. Take my life. My love. And turf me into the street. What a trinket she is.

I thought we were a committed couple! Trying to heal from HIS infidelities.

FFS.

Amongst other bullshit that betrayed wives get told by the man who shredded their life, like, “you’d really like her if you got to know her,” you just internally shudder, thinking, “no dude. I really don’t like cheating whores…”

Recently, he told me (once again, sigh) that I was doing healing all wrong.

That he wishes our post separation relationship was better.

You know what, it’s the best it can be.

If I never have to see him again, that would be magic! I loved him so damn much, it still rips me apart to see him. And as for the POS that thought it was okay to date a thirty year partnered man – because HE told her he was single (although I drove to meet her and tell her face to face he definitely was NOT) well, yeah, I will never play nice with her. She knew how devastated I was, but carried on anyway.

I guess they were fated to be together, could not resist the whole supersonic soulmate thingame pull.

Terrible thing to not fuck over a devoted partner and mother because a known cheater SAID he was single.

I still can’t believe she did that. I never want to have to breathe the same oxygen as her.

She’s as much a cheating cunt as he is.

I always thought Rog and I would be the very best of friends. That no matter what terrible things life threw at us, we’d have each other’s backs. I bonded with him.

I NEVER imagined he would give me STIs that resulted in cancer, surgery and radiotherapy.

And I certainly never in a gazillion years thought he’d walk away to fuck strange rather than be there to support me through that. I still can’t grasp that timeline.

I moved my whole life because he left me for another woman, had surgery two weeks later, then seven weeks of daily radiation, all while I was trying to remain employed and stand upright after the biggest emotional shock of my life. I went to work every day after radiotherapy! I was EXHAUSTED and way too thin. I think adrenaline got me there.

The day of my last radiation, I got on a plane, flew to the capital and met up with my two best, oldest friends. They were amazed at my stamina. I was just running and running and running.

So no. I am happy that I have a very healthy post separation relationship with him. And none with the complete cunt who he left me for.

I wonder if he ever took even one minute to think how devastated he would be if I did even a tenth of the things to him that he did to me? That is where the empathy chip is missing. Because he never loved me. It was all about what he could get from me.

Free labour. Housework. Fed. A broodmare. A nanny to his progeny. A groupie to always back him up.

Et cetera.

You just don’t see it when he love bombs you with all the affection, attention and you’re the absolute love of my lifes.

It’s intoxicating, and you don’t even realise it!

My boundaries about them both seem pretty damn healthy to me.