Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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Worried

Had probably the worst evening in years tonight. My youngest daughter is not doing well at all. Anxiety. Tears. Numbness. Anger. Really took her shit out on me, but that’s okay.

Ish.

I can deal.

I am very, very worried about her. She’s been in therapy (I found and paid) but stopped now, and refuses to try again.

If I suggest meds, I am pushing drugs onto her. Her speech is about, ‘if I make it that far,’ there is self harm and dark thoughts going on. I don’t know what stone I haven’t turned… genuinely very scared about her, and at a loss as to how to help when she refuses help.

She said that when she was last at Roger’s, she went to Trinket’s and there was a sold notice outside her house. She very nicely asked Rog if they were moving in together and he said, no, no way, she’s buying somewhere else.

He told her last night that she has moved in.

D is furious he lied. And why??? As I said, it’s been two years and some change since the start of their big love story! Why would anyone be surprised? They co-hosted an Airbnb like a married couple. They are a couple. Why lie???

And she was talking to Trinket’s eldest, who said that her Mum is just a lovely lady who believes Roger’s story, and he’s so nice to her. Her Mum did nothing wrong.

D just bit her tongue.

So hard.

Wanted to say, “oh, okay, lying and cheating and having an affair with my Dad are acceptable to your Mum? Leaving a loyal, heartbroken partner because he’s Met Someone Else? After cheating on her before. Awesome. Glad she hasn’t had her heart broken, or had to battle a preventable cancer, like the one he gave MY mum because he fucked around without condoms on her. Glad she hasn’t got broken heart syndrome.”

But, she kept her mouth shut.

Good girl.

And what a weird thing to say, Trinket’s daughter! Defensive much???

D talked about how angry she is with him, and the daddy issues she has. And hates him for doing that to her. Proving so blatantly that he lies not just to me, but to her, too.

I tried to talk about how his shit is his, not to take it on. And she tried to tell me it is generational daddy issues. Both grandfathers. My relationship with my father. I replied that I don’t feel I have daddy issues. I’m at peace with my relationship with my Dad. I don’t love him. But I care about him, and don’t want bad things for him. She says she is still torn, thinking she has to love him, wanting to love him, but hating him as well.

Shit. And these cheaters think they aren’t doing any harm. I can deal with my pain.

But my kids. That is incredibly difficult to watch. What did they do to deserve this?

Oh, that’s right. Same as me. Just loved him, believed in him.


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“He just loves you”

Love is such a difficult word.

I mean, I can say I love my children, dogs, friends.

I said it every day to Rog.

But, romantic love, wow. It’s so damn loaded.

My boss said to me yesterday, “wow, BG. What a great guy he seems to be. Slotted right in.

And he just LOVES you!”

What???

Jesus. That is a bit far, boss lady!

Why would she say that the first time she met him?

I had nothing.

Romantic love is supposed to start with a honeymoon phase, red hot passion. The phase that lasted pretty much forever for me with Rog.

Until he cheated with Leanne. The rose tinted glasses came off, well and truly.

And he hated it. I questioned everything. He was no longer my hero, my partner in crime, my entire world.

With BG, there is a lot of affection. The sex is fantastic. But the passion is quite different. Cautious. So yeah, honestly? Less.

Because when you’ve been as wounded as we have, you hold back. BG especially has. But his walls are definitely crumbling. He shares. He treats me well. He worries that my past shit will affect this. That I am okay.

Also, probably, that his past shit won’t allow the good stuff to gel. He is very wary that he’s “not enough” for me, which I constantly reassure him is not a thing.

So, love?

Okay?

I dunno. Do you ever really love love again after betrayal? I think that is the thing you are robbed of. The naivety of full on passionate love. Without any filters. Maybe choosing a man who had been cheated on wasn’t such a great idea in Roger, Paula? Maybe Leanne’s cheating on him before he met me made him emotionally unavailable/less available to me. I thought it meant he would never cheat. I consciously chose that. I must have never had full access, as he did to me and my emotions.

I was just loved the absolute fuck out of that man.

And C added last night – his last with me before he heads back home to sort his life out – that he gets the impression, on first meeting with BG, that he’s a GC. And says he thought he was just a genuine guy, who appears to like me a whole damn lot.

And that I seem to be back. The fierce, strong, passionate, humorous sister he remembered from before Roger. Before motherhood. Before feeling like I was never good enough.

We talked about similar trajectories. With us both bending over backwards to please our partners.

So that we didn’t fail.

Like our parents did.

We became easy targets for willful narcissists. Because we would try harder.

And all our not good enoughs.

I explained mine to him. That I was not pretty enough. Not skinny enough. Not clever enough. Not rich enough. Not having a good enough career. Not good enough in any way.

When my sick daughter (who came over from her sick bed to a farewell dinner for her favourite uncle) intervened and said, ‘no Mum…his problem was never not clever enough. As soon as you started finding yourself again after he cheated, by going back to uni and totally NAILING both first class Bachelors, then Masters degrees, he felt intimidated by your brain. He hated you being recognised as clever. He was unbelievably dismissive and resentful. Congratulating you through clenched teeth, hating that he was no longer your sole focus.”

Whoah!

Shit. What an arse, if that is true.

C said K also hated that he graduated with a super high GPA. Higher than hers. And constantly tried to put him down by saying, “have you done the research about xyz? I have and you need to do this, this way.”

How awful is that? When the person you absolutely adore cannot only not be happy for you, but has to bring you down a notch?

They are often referred to as Hijackals, people who you pretzel yourself for, but whom you can never please. No matter how high you jump. They think, cool. That must mean they can jump higher, next time.

But, as C noted, his wife, K, was obvious about it. Roger was covert. Smooth. Calm. Cunningly manipulative.

C can see it. Wow. Not many do.

And I just had to sit quietly and shut up. It was hard. But, nearly two years later, many people who knew us have come to me and apologised for not being able to see Rog for what he did to me. To us. To our children. The lies. The secrets. The cheating. His running away to another region, to start over without the whole town knowing how he treated the woman who did everything for him, loved him to distraction, bore and brought up his children, loved his family completely…

One of his best mate’s partners just contacted me this morning, planning a catch up soon. She keeps in touch, and through another of his mate’s wives, I know she is deeply unimpressed with his secrets and lies. Her partner always embraces me warmly, telling me I’m the top chick. That he misses seeing me. In the past, he has told me he can’t believe he did this to me, that I a fab partner, the best, and was amazing for staying.

But, he’s his mate. And I respect that. It isn’t fair to talk about it with him, and there are no sides to choose. It just feels nice that I haven’t lost them, these friends of many, many decades, due to my partner being a cheater, through nothing I did or didn’t do.

And so, “he just loves you,” is taken with a grain of salt. The number of people who said that to me after Leanne. “But Rog adores you. He just loves you. He made a terrible mistake.”

Yeah, accidentally putting his dick in and out of that diseased … for 15 months, as often as he could, mostly when I was at work, in my home, that was “a” mistake.

Secretly setting up online dating accounts when I promised to get to the end of my degree and we would talk/reassess our healing – that was “a” mistake. Twelve thousand separate text messages to other women in (just – I never counted them further back, it became a pointless mission once he was walking out on me) the eight months prior to him announcing I’ve Met Someone Else, that was “a” mistake.

Gosh, it’s hard to be honest, eh?

Poor Rog. I was so demanding. But he just loved me so much.

Right?


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Breaking the fast

We were invited back to Trev and Sal’s for tuatua fritters this morning.

A great walk, we took the dogs, and enjoyed delicious self harvested shellfish, me breaking my fast early. They were delicious! #worthit

A loooong walk along the beach, both dogs swimming in the surf, and home to meet another friend calling in, then a nana nap. The barman napped, and I planned my US/Canada trip a bit more.

I tend to reflect on the lie my life was made, when pushing forward, planning…

And think how stupid I was to believe Roger’s lies, when I questioned him about Leanne. His oh so plausible explanations 🤦‍♀️ will I be fooled again?

BG asked me if a pair of knickers in his wash were mine (they were) and I joked, yeah, those ones are mine, phew!

He looked at me and said, “are you worried about me cheating? I thought they were, but as you know, last weekend when I was at your place, Colleen was here.”

Yeah, I know. And wasn’t worried.

But you do sometimes wonder if you’re just a gigantic chump, a loser who buys their lies too easily

Anyway, reflecting as I emailed my friend about flights, I thought about the nature of lies. The purpose they serve. And those who find it easy.

Rog admitted to me that even he was surprised by how easy he found lying to me.

So, does that mean I am just an easy target for liars???

Yeah, so that’s my afternoon musings. Time for a chilled glass of rose methinks.

Cin cin bitches!😜🍾🥂🍷


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The Benevolent Other Woman.

Leanne informed me of their affair after Roger ended things with her.

WTAF?

She was sure she’d win the pick me dance, the competition for him that I didn’t even know I was entered in!

It fucking sucks when the OW pretends she’s doing you a favour, letting you know your partner is a cheat.

How does she know?

Because she was fucking him!

How kind of her to let you know, right?

It was pure spite. Nothing more. Leanne wasn’t trying to help me with this information.

Trinket knew they had to be a secret when she started ‘dating’ Roger. How sweet of her to help him out with that, huh?

This wonderful post explores the benevolent other woman so precisely. The fury of the woman scorned. How dare he pick the boring old wifey, that awful person who refuses to do anything for him, including having sex with him, when I’ve been playing my very best whore cards?!!!

Trinket did win the prize of a cheating partner. Played the game to perfection, and he obviously got sick of the incumbent.

Lucky her.


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Trusting that he sucks

To all who have lived what I have lived, with a man you thought was the greatest, most lovely man, who treasured and adored you for decades, then discovered he was a cheater, trust that he sucks.

No matter how adorable he seemed, how madly in love you were. How sorry he says he is.

Anyone who can push the person who loves them to battle mightily with suicidal ideation, sucks.

Anyone who chooses to cheat, then lie and cheat some more, rather than coming clean, being honest? They suck.

BG helped me see this even more clearly this weekend. His face when he realised that Roger cheated with my ‘friend’ in my homes, while I blithely entertained and cooked for her?

Anyone who then lied and cheated again, having at least three internet dating profiles, whilst sleeping with me?

They suck.

I have never used the word narcissist with BG, or about Rog. We generally talk very little about the past, rather focus on the fun and support for each other we are experiencing now. I have told him about Leanne. Then about Trinket. He asked. No others have been discussed.

He is the one who called him a narcissist. He calls his own cheating father a narcissist. He sees him for who he is, and his lack of remorse, and ability to use and abuse, and walk away all loved up and happy, leaving a tortured woman behind, wondering what the hell she did wrong.

It was interesting talking to him.

His father started to do things like say to his mother, “oh, just have to go away for a few days to help this friend sort her Trust out.” He wonders if his mother questioned that. Says surely she did? Did she look the other way? She says not. That she didn’t know.

I believe that.

I replied that mine was fishing trips. He had to go away overnight to meet his friend, to “go fishing.” In my case I never queried it. Mostly Roger fucked Leanne while I was at work. Daytime, easy to hide. Only stayed overnight with her three times, as far as I was able to ascertain.

As I said to BG, when your beloved tells you something, like, “just off for a fish, dear,” you take it at face value. You kind of have to believe them. H, Roger’s best mate, whose first wife cheated on him, said the same to me. You have to trust what they tell you, because that is what a relationship is, what it means. I never thought Rog was cheating. I believed his fishing story. There was no marriage policing, no checking up on him.

Even later, with the internet dating, when I asked, “are you doing something wrong?”

Oh no, no way, Snooks, it’s only you. It’s always been you I want.

Ugh.

BG nodded, and said, “oh hell yeah. I get that. Chrissy did the same. Told me plausible stories about where she was, and even when I started to feel something was up, I had to believe she was doing what she told me she was doing. When all that time she was fucking around on me. Makes you feel like the world’s biggest fool.”

Oh. Hell. Yeah.


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Attachment theory revisited

Don’t Lose Hope posted a very good, very timely reminder about forgiveness, and the rush society places on betrayed spouses to “forgive,” and “move on.”

She makes some great points. Well reasoned. Well researched (as always) and informative.

I particularly latched onto the comments and information about attachment styles, as per attachment theory, mine is a secure attachment style, Roger’s anxious. As DLH writes;

I’m not saying that forgiveness should never be a goal. But we should take it off the plate initially. This is a very serious wound, and it should not be minimized. And we need to let the partner express the pain they feel – without the slightest pressure to say that they’ll forgive.

There’s lots of evidence to back this viewpoint up. Here’s what the research findings seem to indicate:

  • Relationship betrayal is one of the worst forms of betrayal out there. When we enter into a committed long-term intimate relationship, we generally form an attachment bond with that person (the kind of bond that a child forms with their parent.) This is one of the strongest, closest, most primitive and most trusting forms of human bond there is.

Thus, when we form an attachment bond to someone, we are making ourselves vulnerable to that person. Essentially, we are saying “I am going to trust myself and my physical, mental and emotional well-being to you – because I think you’re a safe person who loves me, who cares about me, and who would never deliberately hurt or harm me.

So you can see why damaging this trust is devastating.

  • The deeper [and longer] the damage the longer the time it will take to recover from these very deep wounds.

The brain and body are closely intertwined. They’re wired to protect us from being harmed again so they hold the painful memories when we’ve been traumatised. Hence, we’re not going to recover in a few weeks or months. In fact, your body and your brain will resist moving on. This is seen in the way that we become sensitized to triggers that remind us of the painful event(s). This is an automatic process which occurs subconsciously.

I can’t stress this enough. That, as sensible-but-traumatised betrayeds, we move to protect ourselves.

Roger keeping in contact with Leanne, refusing to change his phone number, and then fucking her again, two years after he ‘finished(???)’ with her…well, that understandably made me extremely sad, nervous and anxious. His actions were not following his words. He did not seek help nor information at any stage, about what he chose for us.

That was all on me.

The person who was loyal and faithful.

When I eventually did drag him to a couples therapist (hmm, he was so excited to help us heal from what he did, lol) it astounded me how unaware he was of his own shit!

This man, who faked emotional intelligence so well to me for around 25 years at that stage…

Yeah. So, I’m the bad guy. The one who was lied to for thirty years. The one who bonded securely to the man I loved. Just like I was taught to by the way I was loved as a child. The one I am still struggling to ‘unbond’ from!

He fucked up.

Then kept fucking up.

Then had zero qualms about leaving me for a woman he’d been talking to – the latest in a long, secret queue of online women – for THREE WEEKS!

I was driving to work today, considering that.

I’ve known BG for over 16 months now. And there is NO WAY I feel that intimate with him yet.

I know the intimacy is growing nicely. He’s kind, attentive, and let’s me into his emotional and professional turmoil, like no other is. I don’t think he has ever really let anyone see his self doubt to this extent before. I’m kind of amazed at his outer bravado when close friends ask how things are going.

Apparently, in front of them, all is tickety-boo.

Not what he confides in me!

And I understand that. He has to remain professional, and project business confidence, not just for him, but for the business itself. He expresses his gratitude that I am here, and will listen, often. Says he has never had that. Whereas, I tell him that is a big part of any intimate partnership. A safe place to vent. A safe place to land, if you will.

He also worries he is burdening me, or being negative. I don’t see it that way. I see it as part of his problem solving process. He usually bounces back with a strategy once he has talked it through with me.

Anyway, I digress. The unfairness of Rog just cutting and running never gets old.

And, with his anxious attachment style, I shouldn’t be surprised. He ejected himself, and clung, barnacle-like, to the first passing ship full of Trinkets, that slowed down enough for him to latch on.

All of the other online women had enough good sense and self preservation to keep sailing past. And that without necessarily knowing he had a partner and kids, as Trinket so obviously did when she visited my fucking home before I knew about her!!!

Not the needy widow. She’d take him.

I’ll never forget her telling me that my anguish was my own fault. Because I decided to stay with him. More victim blaming.

When SHE herself stayed with a serial cheat who just kept doing it. Jesus.

Hey bitch, this was my damn partner of thirty years, the father of my children, the man who promised me he’d love and protect me forever. The man who promised he’d wait for me. That he would be honest with me after lying and cheating. That there would be no more cheating. That we would sit down and have the conversation if either of us couldn’t carry on with the healing journey.

After HIS biggest affair.

That there would be no overlaps. That being single was healthier than seeking approval ego stroking and sex from randoms.

The reason I still lived with him was because I was operating on all of those promises! To be the other woman, and have the gall to tell the wife to move on, when you have decided it’s okay to fuck and plan a fucking future with an obviously taken man, whose partner made the effort to tell you he’s a liar, and DEFINITELY NOT single. FFS. 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

You’ve gotta be kidding me, right?

Anyway, anger. It still comes in waves. Yes, I get on with my life. But yeah, it still rises at times.

Attachment theory is big. I see the loving and respectful way BG talks about, spends time with, and treats his Mum. I see his disgust and disdain for his cheating father. I saw Roger denigrate and disrespect his parents. Ignore his dying mother. The way he still pretty much dismisses his elderly Dad. He’s an annoyance now. I know his Dad is far from perfect, and did annoy the hell out of Rog as we farmed with them next door. But he has tried to be a good father. Patience. Tolerance. Respect.

Please.

The injustice of him galloping off, his heart intact, in fact, more in love with someone else than he ever loved me? While I wrestle and writhe with a broken heart?

That’s the emotional pain that never lessens.

That’s the pull of the scalpel blade at night. I fought it hard last night. My 21 year old slept with me, her anxiety peaking a little. And I quietly paced at 2am, finally taking a drowsy type of antihistamine to quell my intensely itchy skin and get me some sleep, to stop my self harm thoughts from escalating further. I just wanted the emotional pain to lessen. And the cutting does that (since the radiotherapy, I suffer badly, especially at night, from phantom skin itchiness.)

And I try so hard not to do that anymore. I saw BG lazily, absent mindedly, tracing the scars with his fingers at the weekend, and hope he never asks.

Because then, my brokenness will be fully exposed. He knows I’m broken. But thinks I’m strong-but-soft. Forgiving. Resilient.

Ha! Yeah. Right.


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Another one bites the dust

Another friend, with a previously cheating husband (seven years ago) has just messaged me to let me know he is back at it. Her 20+ year marriage is over.

The familiar story. Same record as Roger’s. He told the AP that the marriage was over.

Again, the wife did not get that memo.

Just like me.

I believed – like my friend, who is in counselling from the last infidelity rodeo – that we were working on us.

Nope. These guys are just using us as placeholders.

Her story is similar in some ways. Her husband has also never been single. Roger same. Just overlap them all.

This woman has sass to burn, and even she is scared. Knows it is over, but bargaining. She asked me if I defended Rog.

Hell yeah! I can remember a few months after DDay, a friend (originally of Roger’s) asking me why I stayed with a man who cheated long term.

My answer was, “well, it was a stressful time (because he sold my home from under me) and I started drinking a bit much, he started fucking other people.” Like they were the same thing.

#whoevenwasi?

She asked me for tips about how to get through. How to stop the shaking. What should she do. She is in shock.

I don’t know. I focused on my children. I tried to be proactive (talked to a lawyer, tried to reason with the OW, started planning what the hell I was going to do for a living, where in the world I was going to live.)

This is seriously underestimated in the world. We talked about how you think once you’ve survived the first affair (that we know of) that if it happens again, you will just walk away.

It isn’t like that. I was so embarrassed that I still desperately loved him. And stayed, being used and abused. Sex, the intimacy of cuddles and foot rubs, cooking and doing his laundry. This is not who I thought I was. But I did all of that.

While he commuted to fuck a widow. It broke my already shattered heart.

My friend talked about that. That she is devastated. But never felt the kind of epic love I did. They were in love, but not the kind of deep bond and emotional connection I felt for Roger. Still do. But not for this man who still walks this earth, with his widow, today. My love is for a man who may have never existed. Because there is no way I could have knowingly caused him this kind of life threatening pain.


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I’m that girl, too

My dear friend, CrazyKat, posted this about her current battle with trauma. A very unpleasant event in her life has rekindled a lot of traumatic stuff in her brain, and she is seeking help to deal with what she is experiencing.

I think trauma, outside of military applications, is seriously underestimated in society.

I know mine has been extremely debilitating, and is no doubt affecting me again right now as I negotiate some very difficult dynamics with BG. I’m terrified. I am so very affected by my past, and using all the tools I have to try to avoid the trauma from causing more harm. My chest is tight and sore as I type this.

My reply to Kat was a shared feeling, many of the commenters on her post empathise mightily.

My experience with being the good girl has been a disaster. I was a good daughter, a good student, a good partner, an okay mother…and my world was blown apart by selfish, entitled people taking advantage of my good girl trust. I assumed I was being told the truth, because that is what I would do. I expected to be treated the way I treat other people. I was respectful of Trinket when I met her, “knowing” (yeah, right!) that she would respect my relationship when I told her he wasn’t single.

Because, as good girls, that is what you would do. Back off. Give the partner of thirty years what she asked for. What she earned by being a good partner. Sheesh. How hard is it???

And same with Rog. To just lie and cheat again when you are constantly telling me I’m the love of your life? That one day we will find our way back to each other, because we were “meant to be????” Jesus. Really? No wonder my brain got so messed up. I took both of them at their word. Trinket when she promised me to back off while we sorted it out, hey lady, you’re a fucking liar, too. And Rog, to not do anything, to communicate, to be honest and open, until we got to the end of my thesis. All while internet dating for two years!

Yeah, good girls get fucked over.


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With friends like this

Helpful advice.

From those who have never walked this path.

With L going through the early stages of the shock of another affair, you get reflective.

I was out the other night, and an old friend asked me how it went, seeing Rog – he even used the words, “your old love, you two were so good together, such a shock” – again for the first time in ages at our daughter’s birthday party.

I just shrugged and said, he looked well, I guess. The friend said he saw photos and thought he looked old.

And uncomfortable.

To be honest, I thought he looked the same, much more grey in the beard, but hey, I went white overnight with the shock and the cancer. And I was busy and barely thought about or saw him much all night. The photos do depict him looking quite detached. Uncomfortable, I guess?

I dunno.

I had other shit to deal with.

And then the friend asked how it went, Roger and BG meeting.

I honestly haven’t asked BG. He just said they had a wine together, all good.

Yeah, it’s called adulting.

We can do hard things.

Thanks Glennon Doyle.

It’s been my mantra. One I have shared with sweet, scared, L.

Then the friend said, “oh well, you have to be friends, for the kids’ sake.”

You know what?

No.

No, we don’t.

I don’t have to be friends with the man I love, who cheated, lied, made me sick, gave me STIs, knocked me unconscious when I challenged him, broke my heart.

I am civil.

We get on as such.

But that man was my everything. I did everything for him. He was my very best friend in the world. He was my future, my past, he held my heart.

And he just dumped me when he’d broken me. Traded me in for a used model. New to him. That is not a friendly thing to do.

So, I said to my friend, “no, actually, I don’t have to be friends with someone who treated me like he did. I love him. But he’s not my friend.”

He nodded and apologised, agreeing. Saying, “you’re right. Friends is totally the wrong word. We can be polite. Civil. But we shouldn’t ask people to be friends with those who abuse our trust, treat us poorly, disrespect us. We don’t ask victims of crimes to be friends with the perpetrators. Sorry, poor choice of words.”

I just laughed and said, “I know. We all want the world to be prettier than it really is. And no one understands this unless they’ve dealt we with it themselves. I appreciate your thoughtfulness here.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished for the opportunity to talk to the old Rog. The one I thought loved and treasured me. To tell him about how the one who hates me broke my heart, and refused to listen to me.

So frustrating as so pointless.


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Renewed love and gorgeous kids

Rog kinda covered his bases nicely as he left me, promising that “one day we would find our way back to each other,” something I had been trying to do since his eighteen month long affair with my friend, under my nose.

Sometimes I thought we were doing well, others, I wanted to leave him.

Such is the journey after massive betrayal.

And then I would realise how much I loved him, and feel energised to keep going ❤

I loved this post the other day by Don’t Lose Hope, which discussed the novel “The Buried Giant”, by Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro, a favourite author of my eldest daughter’s.

I especially related to these parts of her post, outlining the development of a long term intimate relationship that has withstood betrayal

Indeed, as the story progresses, we learn of the betrayal that is part of the narrative of Beatrice and Axl, the two main characters in the book. Nevertheless, they have managed to renew and rebuild their love; and on the journey that the novel mainly focuses upon, they display a tenderness that is somewhat enviable.

At the end of their journey, and the end of the book, when they’ve reached the river, and the final crossing point, each is questioned individually about their love. The questions they are asked leave the other wondering, “Has our live been sufficient; have we loved enough?”

I would venture to say that there’s no couple on this earth who’ve loved perfectly and who don’t carry buried wounds. We have all known betrayals – and some of these are serious. But maybe this enables us to build a stronger love. A love that is informed. A love that’s deep and genuine. A love that can forgive, and can accept forgiveness, too.

That was what I sought, after Leanne. A way to somehow get to that point. That was through some sometimes loooong moments of doubt, watching Roger’s lack of remorse, his ‘nice,’ not kind, and the reason I went back to uni, to complete two degrees, to help me find understanding and knowledge about how this momentous event in our lives had changed space, place and my identity forever.

Rog just didn’t get it. Ever. He still doesn’t. That the pain he chose for me is infinite. And leaving me for another affair partner didn’t end that pain, rather, it just doubled down on it, and all my not good enoughs.

I hope she is worth it, is superb, worth sacrificing the woman who loved him more than it felt humanly possible to love. I hope she is comfortable with what she did. Imagine if he doesn’t love her more than he did – or appeared to – love me? He said to me, that he could never have with her what he had with me. (But he’s a proven liar…) What a fucking waste those thirty years of my life were. It’s so easy to not cheat, to have a lifetime of love with a genuine person, who’d do anything for you.

In other news, I had my first ever hair fail! So funny. I’ve moved away this last year from the intense copper I’ve worn for a few years, to a glorious intense mustard, strawberry blonde, to lessen the amount of hair appointments I needed to maintain as I went grey almost overnight with the shock of another betrayal and cancer treatment.

And last night, just two days before I have to see Roger and Trinket all loved up, my hilarious hairdresser was touching up my roots, and decided to use a colour enhancing conditioner in the final rinse.

Now, Emma Jane works for my long term hairdresser, and probably doesn’t know this about me, but my hair LOVES copper.

Like, it’s a copper magnet.

I didn’t know she was using it. And when she dried it off, instead of this glorious almost graphic novel mustard, to set off my yellow dress, my hair has intensely copper highlights!

She was horrified. And I just laughed loudly.

Won’t go as well with the dress I plan to wear on Saturday to face the cheaters, but hey, it’s hair, and will wash/fade out. My hairdresser daughter suggested vitamin c rinses. But I don’t hate it. Just not what I planned!

And on that note, my kids and I have two different group chats. One is for all three, and the other is a girls only one where we discuss girl stuff.

Last night, S, the hairdresser, renamed the group with my surname.

Theirs is their father’s.

So, the chat group is now called The (insert Mum’s surname) Bitches.

I love it. When she was being gestated, I seriously considered giving her my surname, but did the societally accepted thing, and we gave her her father’s. And followed suit with the other two.

My reasoning was this. Mostly, I saw a lot of relationships fail. This was why I never wanted to marry. I told Roger that I felt it was hard to promise forever, even though that was what I wanted, we could not predict the future. We could however promise honesty, openness, clear communication, to work together to address any problems. If it ever came to the point that we no longer felt it worked, we would talk about it. And make mutually informed choices for us and our children.

Yes, I discussed infidelity. Often. Openly. “We” agreed it was shitty and to never do it, to talk first, before fucking someone else. To ensure if there was ever a stupid fuck up – and please just don’t – to use a condom.

Great communication, right?

Did he do ANY of that?

Nope. None. Did not talk. Did have affairs. Did not ever once use a condom.

I know! I lived in Lala land, right? Where people are honest, don’t cheat or lie, lol. What an idiot I was.

And kids still tend to end up spending more time with their mothers. I had the lesser economic power, so did most of the parenting. So why not give them my surname? They would probably live with me. In fact, they all have my surname as their middle name. And, when he considered leaving me for Leanne, he talked about meeting me (looking all happy and glamorous – his description) for coffee over kid swaps, meaning for his Disney Dad every-second-weekend dad life. Even he didn’t think he’d get custody.

And now, my daughters have self identified as (insert Paula’s surname)s

My friend, who has watched all of this unfold, and observed the way my youngest rolls her eyes at the mention of her father’s name, quietly said to me the other day that it speaks of his lack of character that his own kids don’t respect him. Sad eh?

My eldest doing that small thing (and she probably has only a little idea what it symbolises to me) well my heart just about exploded.

Just very, very quietly.

And only in my head.