Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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Don’t listen!

To those damn butterflies. They lie. All that excitement and the awesomely addictive flappy feelings…it’s a trap!

I fell fast and hard for Roger. I resisted.

But poorly.

I was bowled over. Swept off my feet. I had never even had sex with anyone before, thinking I was smart. Selective. They needed to be ABSOLUTELY amazing. Trustworthy.

I needed to be madly in love, and madly loved. I needed to be 100% certain that this man would never, never, never hurt me.

Ha!

I moved in with him after knowing him just five weeks! FFS.

I don’t move in for fun. Moving in together is my marriage. I was never going to marry, I’d decided that after seeing my mother’s utter and complete heartbreak at the end of my parents’ marriage.

Drown those fluttery mothafuckas!

Drown them real good…


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Five years

My oldest friend, my former BFF, sent me this today.

Yes, it’s a truly awful photo.

But, it means it is five years minus a week since my life imploded.

I took myself off to my daughter’s city for a few days, and on my return, I told Roger I was healed, that thesis, that research, that hard slog, was my healing from his long affair with his ex GF, my supposed friend, completed.

And he told me he was leaving me.

For some widow he’d met on Match. FFS!!!

I had no idea.

He’d told me how much he loved me – forever – how proud he was, this day, five years ago.

All bullshit.

He’d been hooking up with other women, via the online dating apps for at least two years. The entire period of my Masters research. Including during our romantic trip to Argentina. A couple who’d never been able to afford travel, we’d started. It was awesome.

But all bullshit.

This makes me really emotional.

I had terrible dreams, and little sleep last night. All of Trinket in Roger’s long, lean arms. Him telling her how much he loves her, how he’ll never hurt her, how she’s the only woman for him, soothing her. I woke and vomited 🤢

Yep. Five years later, he can still make me spew.

I hope that bitch realises he has done all that soothing, given all those kisses before. That he convinced me he’d changed. This is his pattern. I’m sure he told Leanne all the same soothing, gentle bullshit.


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Crazy

I know how Roger tells the story.

To his friends.

To Trinket.

To all the other women, who ask.

I was unforgiving.

I am crazy.

He HAD to have another affair. I made him do it. (I have these superpowers. Shame I couldn’t seem to use them to stop him fucking around…)

I spent time last weekend with my “adopted” family. Some of the siblings of my former-very-best-friend- current-still-good-friend.

Her eldest sister, C, whose holiday home we all met up in, is twice divorced. Four children with her first husband, and a bad rebound marriage. Over twenty years ago, she left fourteen year long marriage a lovely farmer in a small town. She just realised she didn’t love him anymore. It was super sad. She felt huge guilt. But knew she needed to move on and do more authentic things with her life.

And in doing so, let him go. He is remarried now.

And she was painted as crazy, in that town.

I remember it all quite well.

After the weekend fun with her, BG and I had dinner with one of his best friends, M. They, coincidentally, are from the same district, and family friends with her ex’s family. His first marriage collapsed around the same era.

C was a teacher at the local high school. There were really awful rumours that she had an affair. One of the rumours said it was with the school’s head boy. She didn’t, and ewwwww! But she is a good looking, friendly sort, about a decade younger than her first husband, and that probably seemed flirty to a small, conservative farming community. She knows that town labelled her. Two of her four adult children, the parents of her four grandchildren, live there still. So she still has connections.

M, said to me, “oh, I hear you were with C yesterday. She’s all good, just a bit fucking crazy though.”

Hmmm.

The funny thing is, M is a bit nuts himself. In the very best ways. Talk the hind leg off … well, anything really … well read, eccentric, funny, interesting, arty… But, he’s a man. And there is no crazy lady/ex narrative about him. Women are emotional/crazy and men are rational/sane.

Of course.

So I know how I am painted. I know it was easy, when Rog manipulated, lied to and about me, to make me the crazy ex. I walked right into that trap.

🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️


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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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Making amends

BG has been on the back foot all week.

Messaging, worried he’s messed up.

I admit, I’ve been a bit quiet. Processing.

He rang late tonight. Checking in on me. He seems to be genuine.

I have believed that before.

With another man.

A man whose children I bore.

A man whom I dedicated my life to.

I man I (thought I) knew a whole lot better than BG.

So, yeah. I am cynical.

I get sucked in. I know this now. By these lovely words. These supposedly genuine men.

And what if he really is genuine. And I’m judging him by Roger’s standards???

He rang.

To chat. To ask what he can do for me. Not directly about our tough week. But letting me know he admits he didn’t do what he should have. And volunteered to sober drive me tomorrow when I catch up with friends.

That’s a lovely gesture.

Right?


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Limerance

We all know about infatuation.

Then the honeymoon phase.

We may also know about NRE, or New Relationship Energy, as often discussed and a thing to be aware of and manage, in polyamorous relationships.

Limerance is a part of the early, infatuation stage of a new relationship.

It is especially interesting in the context of an affair

Roger knew Trinket for three weeks. And was prepared to give up thirty years of what had been a really good partnership with me (until I knew he was a cheater, at least!)

Because he was infatuated with the shiny new bauble that was Trinket, flashing her availability and non-judgment at him, beguilingly.

He told me he would be driving to her twice a month.

It was twice a week.

He was infatuated and love bombing like the pro he is!

“In a limerent relationship, the guilty partner wants to be with their lover. They will view their spouse as this person they were never happy with. Remember your mind is clouded when you’re in limerence. Chemicals in your brain are firing, so you exaggerate your spouse’s flaws to justify leaving to be with the affair partner, also known as vilifying. They will say things in their mind that may not be true like, their spouse was controlling, manipulative, and a lousy partner overall. They will rewrite the history of their marriage with false claims and thoughts about their former partner.

Yup.

I was the evil, bad incumbent partner. She was perfection.

Except she wasn’t. He kept telling me she was boring. Beige. A bit dull. All the perfect fuel to keep me pick me dancing, frantically. I provided even greater sex, loads of attention, yadda, yadda, yadda…

But, he HAD to BE with her, as well, physically. Because of the brain chemicals that were driving his affair.

Again.

“If you find yourself in an affair or your spouse is in an affair, they may experience intense feelings of love unlike ever before. This feeling is a burning, fierce passion that takes over their mind and actions. What they are experiencing might feel like love, but it’s not love. It’s limerence. In the social sciences, limerence is the feeling of being in love, and there are various stages of limerence. It is the dewy-eyed magical sensation when you are near the person. You feel alive in their presence and desire to be with them.”

I knew that at the time. I actually thought I could “wait it out,” again.

I thought a woman who had been cheated on would get it, know about limerance, and back the fuck off!

Anyway, no. They are still together, because they are special.

My weekend has been lovely. Ingrid and I are chilling, relaxing, reading, discussing life. I’ve shared some “BG and me” stuff, she shares her and Andy stuff. They have challenges. He can be certain he is right/dominant, and reluctant to apologise/accept if and when he is wrong. I think he’s awesome, but I know he would be challenging.

I’ve learned a bit more about BG’s past relationships. I have connected some dots about why he apologises constantly! He was dating a woman, Jo, who punished him for every tiny slight or omission. He was told he had to buy flowers every day for a week, for the smallest thing. She was controlling and manipulative. When he first introduced her to them, he asked their opinions, and they both told him to Run, Forrest, Run! BG has hardly mentioned her, but Ingrid has several times now. They were quite worried for him when he was with her. Apparently a cruel woman, all about status and money, so she loved being with them, but they were less enarmoured.

Ingrid says he’s had fake. He’s had controlling. He’s had insecure. He’s had every flavour of fucked up, often bundled together. But they loved me immediately, and still do. Naw.

I said, “I’m just as fucked up as any, but I’m very self aware, and constantly educating myself, trying to learn and grow. I own my damage, and I work ceaselessly to heal from it.”

She told me about his reputation. They all see him as this famous stick man. Bedding women on every boys’ trip going. The single-dude-with-the-massive-dick. Legend. Etc.

I informed her that they may have seen him “on tour.” When he had time, resources, and opportunity. That the real story is quite different. Yes, he has slept with a shit ton of women. But there have been long droughts, that they never witnessed. And that lifestyle of no strings sex, leaves a scar.

She’s trustworthy, so we talked sex.

Hers.

Mine.

Ours.

Etc.

I talked about the ways that unattached, porn informed men can have problems with true intimacy, and women’s pleasure. She’s a smart woman, and understood, and agreed, straight away.

“Yes. If you’ve avoided commitment, intimacy would never have been learned. Is there also some big dick energy here? I get that. People think you are so lucky, a never married, no kids sweetheart of a guy. But I certainly see the downside about not learning how to be in a relationship. Not learning about women as thinking, independent human beings.

You know he absolutely adores you, and he genuinely is the sweetest, kindest man. He’s my favourite person in the world, aside from my husband! I hope it can be resolved, because you two are amazing together. We’re so happy he brought you into our lives. We love you both.”

I assured her it isn’t a deal breaker.

Yet, at least.

And that I am just learning properly, what is going on with him. Starting to connect some dots. Starting to dig into his psychosexual make up. We’re starting to have the hard conversations.

It was good to be mostly open with someone who cares very deeply, and for a very long time, for BG.

This is one hell of an interesting journey!


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Do you still love me?

The question that proven adulterer James Whitehouse asks his wife, in Anatomy of a Scandal.

She looks at him. “If you’re still you. Then yes.”

Oh God.

How many times did I say that to Rog. My darling bear.

💔💔💔


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The Marriage Police

After Leanne exposed Roger’s cheating, and he trickle truthed the hell outta the whole thing – I don’t remember, lies by omission, downplaying – I joined the Marriage Police for a while.

Was it really over? How long? Where and when did it start? Where and when did they hook up? Did he tell her he loved her? Was he planning on leaving us? She bought a wedding dress???!!! She told him she’d lost a diamond ring, but that was okay, because she’d be getting a new one soon 😉😱! How did he find the time???

Interrogation.

Investigation.

Going through phone records. Matching historical events on the calendar.

It was horrific.

A terrible job, with really shitty/zero benefits.

When I found out about Trinket, all those skills I learned from my previous career in the Marriage Police resurfaced. Going through credit card and bank statements, line by line. Finding some of the online dating profiles and downloading the tens of thousands of messages to dozens and dozens of women 🤢

It’s bizarre! I thought I’d be, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

Apparently not.

Apparently I’m a fuckwit.

It’s humiliating how hard I danced the pick me polka! I LOVED hom, how could he not see how truly wonderful I am??? How many decades of wonderful were invested? Had he forgotten we were now the much coveted empty nesters? The world was our oyster!

You can’t make a cheater not cheat. It’s who they are. They never stop. They just get better at hiding it.  Sometimes, with new supply, they seem madly in love for quite some time.

But they always have cheating as the fallback option. It’s an invisible threat. Toe the line, or else. I have super powers of cheating that will make you pull your head in if you displease me.

I’m so glad to have my head out of that blender. It makes you a bit bat shit. You question everything about what you know. You feel completely WORTHLESS. You do things that are completely out of character. It’s so damn desperate.

And completely miserable.

Trinket can listen to that noise now. Apparently it’s her favourite tune.

After all, she swapped one serial cheater for another. The difference being, this one is full of charm and loving words and physical affirmations of that “love.”

And she – like me – believes she’s special. That he loves her. Forever.

What a prize she prised out of my arms.

FML.


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I lied to you

So. I had a bit of an off moment on Sunday.

During an otherwise truly lovely – quite romantic, in fact – weekend that my barman quite spontaneously suggested, midweek.

I didn’t sleep so went for a three hour walk on the beach.

On my return, BG asked me if he’d done something wrong. But, my unsettled, insomnia wasn’t about him. More a freak out at the overwhelming business stuff, as I had a bit of a scary meeting on Friday.

But.

It was the four year anniversary of moving into the first safe home, my own home, MY first I bought all by myself.

And yeah, BG still hadn’t tried to fuck me for a month…

Then, I showered – we showered 😜 – and his ex’s brother and sister-in-law showed up! While I was all scraggly hair, fresh-faced and starting to pack.

We sat having coffee with them on our deck for over an hour.

They’re really nice people. BG introduced them to each other, over a decade ago.

I’d met them before. And, to our surprise and delight, they’d just got married the previous weekend. I could see their happiness.

Hearing them talk about the wedding (held in my town!) we realised that BG’s cheating ex, the groom’s sister, had come over from Australia with their other sister, for the wedding. No drama at all. Just serendipitous as the border had only just opened again. Luckily for the families.

I was aware we were over check out time, and I ducked back inside, and down the other end of the apartment complex to try to return the key. Back, I was quickly towelling my hair dry, and therefore I missed some of the chat. I deliberately did that, to be honest, giving the old friends some moments of privacy, to catch up, without the “new girl,” breathing down their necks. BG met Chrissy when she was visiting her brother and SIL, over from Australia, about eight years ago, in that town.

Anyway, we drove home after visiting with more friends, stopping for late lunch in a nearby small city on the way back to my place. There, as we walked into the restaurant, I realised an old hometown mate, GJ, was sitting in the window with his partner.

I didn’t recognise him at first. But this is a guy who I used to have a funny sexual banter thing with, for decades. All very chaste, safe and silly. I was “happily partnered” right?

Anyway, he’s a very good looking, terminally single, older guy. The town lothario. Broken a lot of hearts over the years. He used to tell me that Rog had the Most Fuckable Woman in Insert Name of Town.

Wouldn’t get too excited, it’s a small town. 😜

But that’s the kind of bullshitty thing he and I had.

Of course, I went over to say hi. And it felt REALLY weird, running into him with BG…

That night, in bed, BG said he had something he’d been keeping from me, and he needed to tell me, felt really bad. He said, “I’ve lied to you. And it’s not okay. I’m sorry.”

Obviously, my heart froze.

Turns out, while I was packing, and in the bathroom, he found out Chrissy was staying just down the road, and the SIL had asked him earlier, when she first spotted him, before she knew I was there, if he wanted to go and say hi, to her and the other sis, as they were just taking them to the airport later.

He, of course, said, no thanks. Shaking his head, “no. No thanks. Oh, and Paula’s here.”

They would have no real reason to realise we were still a thing. I met them well over a year ago, and there was no indication that we were long-term.

But obviously Belle, the ex-SIL must have told Chrissy later, and she sent him a text, saying, “hey, you snob, why didn’t you come see us?”

He felt he’d hidden that from me. He never replied. He wanted to say to her, “fuck off. That’s inappropriate, and why would I want to see you.” And can’t work out why she doesn’t get that he is not her friend after what she put him through. “I’m sorry babe. It was a shock. She hasn’t contacted me since that last time she wished me happy birthday. I haven’t replied to any of her texts in years. Look at my phone. I should have told you then. I didn’t. I lied to you. I feel really awful.”

I didn’t see it that way. I had a difficult morning. He tried to find out why I’d got up and slept on the couch and walked the beach for three hours. He thought he’d messed up somehow. He’d been drinking with one of his best mates, and wondered if I was quietly pissed off.

I wasn’t. Not in the slightest.

I was ruminating and panicking about finance. Reflecting on this day, four years earlier. Admittedly, I was deeply disappointed and sexually frustrated that he hadn’t made a single move on me in weeks. To the point where I back off, stop trying.

But the major thing was I was in my own head. Worrying. But not about him.

As he teased my worries out a little bit, my lip wobbled, there were tears stinging, behind my sunglasses. He’s never seen me cry, and I was fighting it. I won. But it got close. He held me, asking how he could help.

When he told me about the text from Chrissy, I told him that I wasn’t upset. I’m not threatened by her. He knows I get it. That yes, she’s a stunning, petite, blonde, and yeah. I’m not. That’s somewhat intimidating. But I know she treated him very poorly, and he doesn’t want her.

He assures me her looks are Instagrammable, but she’s not that pretty IRL. Heavily filtered and well lit. And I get why he didn’t tell me about contact straight away. I was a bit off, we had just had a difficult talk. I wouldn’t have thrown that information in there in the same situation. A tired and emotional partner, “hey, my sexy ex is staying down the road and wants to see me.”

The important thing is, he told me later. He didn’t have to. We left town. I could have never been told. And I would have never known. I appreciate his candour, and honesty.

He said that he was upset because I asked him twice during the day if everything was okay, and he thought that I knew him so well, and knew he was a bit off.

I did know he was a bit pensive. I knew my moment had rattled him. I know he’s having a lot of stress at work, and getting him away, trying to switch off, is challenging. He’s arrived back to more Covid in the staff, leaving just himself and his bar manager, just returned from a week’s leave, as the only staff members with bar duty manager’s licences. He’s gonna have to pull some bar shifts this week, and possibly longer. It’s stressful. Losing money hand over fist, and he works seven days a week if he doesn’t get outta Dodge. That’s in normal times. Without night shifts added behind the bar, after a day behind the computer, and calculator!

I was surprised – but impressed at his emotional intelligence – that he framed the delay in telling me about Chrissy’s message, as lying.

Roger never did. If I didn’t know, it wasn’t a lie. Right? BG at least obviously understands about lying by omission.

That is actually very comforting.

Oh, we got two fantastic sessions in before he left. One, prolonged shower sex one, and one of me waking him gently but urgently at 4.30am before he left on Monday morning. It’s there. He just doesn’t need me physically as much as I’m used to, as much as I need him.

As much as Rog needed me, daily.

It is a hard thing to reconcile. We are talking about it. It’s not being ignored.


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I never meant to hurt you

Actual picture of Roger and me after his AP told me about their affair.

He wasn’t sorry when I didn’t know.

Just another garden variety cheating man.