Having your heart broken makes you a different person.
I am concurrently a sadderbutmoremindfullyjoyful person than I was before my “one true love” cheated on, then later cheated again and abandoned me. I make sure I appreciate, absorb, enjoy and reflect.
I arrived home late from work last night. My brother had the house warm, and he and his two kids were making sushi bowls for dinner. One was coating chicken with panko, the other was setting the table. They don’t usually hang out at night with me, mostly cooking and playing in the barn, where they all sleep.
I went and jumped in the shower, and arrived back to bowls of fresh veggies and delicious sauces, and C on the phone to the kids’ mum. They were coordinating flights for the kids home to her next week. It’s chaos here. Cancelled flights, etc. You can’t put unaccompanied minors’ flight details on the airline’s app. They don’t know what flight they are booked on, the booking reference has disappeared!
And I was proud of him. He has struggled mightily with being dumped by her. It made him a bit crazy. He got a bit stalkerish, struggling to accept she wasn’t taking him back. Oh boy, do I know that utter agony. That truly unbearable heartbreak.
So, he moved up here. More friends and family for support. Has a better job than ever, but the terrible compromise was losing daily or even weekly physical contact with his 12 and 9 year old kids. He’s an amazing, involved Dad.
It was ugly for a long time. They struggled to communicate well. He still loved her. She moved on fast. Tindering up a storm, new partner within a couple of months of kicking him to the curb. Painful for him. And she is a strong personality, knows how to push his buttons. Manipulative during that period, especially. It was breaking him.
Anyway. Their divorce was final last month. You have to be separated two years here before you can divorce. He seems to have made good progress lately, more even, less emotional outbursts. But still has a few (healthy) tears occasionally.
Last night, they talked on speaker as we ate. It was good for the kids to hear, because the eldest especially had started to fear his parents speaking, thinking it always escalated.
It did for a while.
But. Much as I was really proud of him, admiring his progess, my heart was silently squeezed.
You see, I can’t talk to my love. The man I gave myself to. No way could I do what they were doing.
A. He doesn’t want to know me. I never really existed. Those thirty years meant absolutely nothing.
B. I can’t handle it. It makes me really tense and upset. I am not, nor will I ever be, “over it.” Yeah. I still love him.
Don’t worry. I know my “him” is a mirage. He doesn’t really exist. This person that fucks Trinket is not my love.
It sucks. I feel less than. Hopeless. Lame. Weak.
I wish I was a different person. Someone who didn’t feel so deeply. Someone without a broken heart 💔
Bro, C, just popped over to collect some laundry. I said not to pay the small amount of board (just enough to help me with my power bill) he had been paying me recently, when the kids are here for the holidays. Keep that money to do fun things with them. Put gas in your car. Do some roadies. Go to the movies. Eat out. Go to a theme park. Etc. His expenses don’t change while they are with him. Child support has nearly crippled him. But he is finally in a good space, got his budget sorted. He and I both have given up drinking for a bit. My reason was health. To help drop a few kilos, and to try to shake the cold I have had for about seven weeks. His was health, budget, and mental health. I’ve been sober 20 days, him about two weeks. He’s talking about making it permanent. We’ll see how he goes. He was putting a LOT of beer bottles in my recycling. We’ll see.
Anyway, when I said, let’s not have you pay me when the kids are here, he sat down, head is his hands and had a few tears. Came and hugged me. “Oh sis! You are too fucking much! Thank you. Thank you so much. Shit. You’ve been a bloody life saver.”
Nah. It’s what friends and family do. We support each other. He’s good to me too.
And I sit here, reflecting. On this terrible heartache. On this post apocalyptic world we both have found ourselves in.
Nothing is ever quite comfortable again. We keep running.
As my wonderful friend, Crazy Kat writes, her life is also changed post infidelity. There is less “settled.” Because when you’ve had your world shattered by infidelity, whether your relationship survives, or not, the betrayed spouse is never comfortable ever again. I related to her post about running. Running away. I feel that. I still have periods of wanting to run away, too. Some of that manifests as running to the beach. I travel around this country more. I plan overseas holidays (now that we can) more. Much of this is a restless dis-ease. I love my home, but I am never “settled” anymore. My heart and mind are constantly racing. I meditate to try to mitigate some of that stress. I practice grounding and mindfulness techniques daily.
Infidelity is far more traumatic than I ever imagined! Who knew???
I knew I was changed, even while I worked my arse off to heal us. I talked about this with Rog, at the time. He didn’t seem to understand. He was quietly furious with ME. Because it was my reaction that was the problem. Not his actions that caused it. He never understood my trauma. He thought I was deliberately dwelling on it. Nothing could be further from the truth! I desperately sought ways to escape the thoughts. The pain. His words, his apologies, just didn’t FEEL genuine. His actions were not quite matching his charm…
So, I ran and ran and ran.
Quite literally, that first year.
I would rise early, and run on the treadmill, for about an hour, every morning. Pair that with the infidelity diet, and you can see why I was so skinny. So drawn. So beaten down.
You can’t outrun the pain.
I knew that.
But the alternatives sucked. Flight, fright, or freeze. I was determined not to freeze. Not to be stuck. Not to stay if it was not better. And the fright part, that was going to turn into bitterness to me. That was not going to happen on my watch!
All that is a lot of words to say, infidelity is far more painful and permanent than anyone who has never been cheated on by someone they truly love can ever imagine.