Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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Pretending

Sick. Tired. Overwhelmed. Burnt out.

I am usually okay at pretending everything is going well.

It’s the lack of resilience that has got to me since my long term partner’s affair with a supposed friend.

I don’t bounce back the way I used to. And that is partially because i’m emotionally exhausted. It’s tiring pretending. Tiring smiling when you feel like crap. Tiring taking care of other people’s feelings.

Resting. Coughing my lungs out.

But still grateful.

For paid sick leave.

For beautiful surroundings.

For a warm fire.

For snuggly doggos.


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Coaxing that girl back

Don’t Lose Hope posted this the other day, and I was immediately hit in the heart.

Yes!

This is the thing.

This God awful experience.

But one of the almost silver linings is this.

I am rediscovering me.

Not someone’s partner.

Not someone’s mother.

Not someone’s daughter.

An adult woman.

With a heart.

A body that mostly still works. (Ouchy calves and glutes after that big hill hike…)😜

A brain that has been given a series of great workouts these past few years.

Opportunities.

Wonderful, interesting, intelligent, funny, naughty new friends.

Travel.

Experiences.

New directions.

Self driven. With free choice to do whatever I want.

There is enormous loss, grief and yeah, guilt. Guilt that somehow, no matter how hard I tried, he rejected me. I was not enough.

No matter how many times I say it, read it know it, there is guilt at the failure of my most precious human relationship I have ever had.

Despite knowing that the failure is not mine to bear, bear it I do. The grief of that loss is continuous.

But today, this post, is about the growth. Patting myself on the back.

For surviving.

When I wanted to die.

For bravely getting back up. For doing Churchill’s bidding, and keeping going, through this hell.

For taking risks. For still caring deeply. For revelling in new love, both romantic and that of new friends.

I met some more new people of BG’s last night. Thrown in the deep end with them, as he worked. They were delightful, warm, interesting, and we clicked easily. My social anxiety has changed. I’m no longer as defensive. I realise that in our friendship circle, everyone knew I was that woman who was cheated on, for a long time, and with her so-called friend. I always felt so judged. Stupid, for not knowing, for still having Leanne in my homes, etc. Obviously sexless, ugly, fat, boring, because why else would that nice guy cheat on her.

That baggage is at the door now. New people don’t come at me carrying it.

More travel plans. A new business sprouting. A beautiful, peaceful home, that I welcome friends, family, guests to stay at regularly.

I am coaxing that wee girl back out into the light.

The glow up is happening!

And boy, is that wee girl starting to sparkle again! ✨️


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All these dreams in my head

Been battling power problems since I got home from work. Patchy. Heat pump. TV. Water pump. The realised my WiFi was out. Router gone. Think maybe a phase gone on the street pole as a whole wall, my underfloor heating, and no fuses flicked.

Just tumbled into bed. Big day tomorrow…

And I’ve been having weird dreams lately. Stupid dreams.

That Rog and Trinket split up.

I think it’s because I have really got to the point where I am as healed as I am ever going to be, really. I miss my old Rog, I know I always will. My love who died the night he decided to climb into our daughter’s bed with someone I should never have trusted. But I trusted him with, despite my misgivings about her. I’m a dumbass. And, don’t worry. I am fully aware that he died, and was never coming back. I am pushing forward. Getting my life back. Doing really well, actually! Phew! So yeah, the stupid dreams, I think they’re a test. To see how meh I really am. If he hoovered, would I be okay?

In reality, he wouldn’t hoover, even if they weren’t together. Too proud! It would mean he made a mistake throwing me out with the rubbish. And Rog doesn’t make mistakes.

I would be. I really would be okay if he hoovered. Thank the lord. I mean, I still get shaky and panicky around him. But the reasons are different now. It took a very long time.

BG has a theory about the last two times we have seen Roger. He says he is totally scoping me out. To see if I am still available to him.

I have strongly disagreed. I think Rog just believes if we look chummy, and chatty, then it proves to the world that he did nothing wrong.

I dunno. I don’t know who this man is. I thought I knew my Rog inside and out. I never dreamed he’d hurt me. He was always so protective of me. I’m a rugged girl, not a princess, and he’d worry, gently berating me when he thought I was taking risks, or reaching “too high.”

It’s a strange thing to dream about, all these years later. But in the dream, Trinket came and found me. Asked to meet. And apologised profusely, and humbly. Said she really genuinely thought we were over when she started fucking my partner. Doesn’t know why she believed him. But she did. I suggested it was the hetero female version of cunt struck. Completely taken in by the expert level love bombing.

She was deeply ashamed of the part she played in the destruction of our family. Of my peace.

We became friends! Lol. Yeah, right.

Dreams are my brain’s way of processing what I often have struggled with while awake.

Thankful for my life. For the hard work I did to recover, both from the affair with Leanne, and the discard when he found another willing AP. Thankful that I’ve made good decisions since. Despite ill health, despite the fear and the agony.

This blog has been a lifeline. I’m so lucky.


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Another anniversary. This is getting confusing! 😜

It’s BG’s and my anniversary.

Um, which is weird. Because we went on two very chaste dates nine months earlier 🤣

He left his phone charger at work last night, so I sent him an email, to his work, this morning…

His reply was super cute. And x-rated (after the cute part!)

Basically saying how much he appreciates me, and that he can’t believe he finally found someone to share his life with, who he yearns to be with every day.

We are idiots. And it’s so nice to be appreciated by another similar idiot!

Happy anniversary us. We are so very, very lucky 💕👍


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Days like these

I put less weight on this date than I once did.

This anniversary of my life imploding, my heart smashing entirely.

But, it’s still big.

Just home from work, 6.52pm and I know I buried myself in that today, to distract the memories of the utter devastation of this date. The falling, falling, falling, like there was no bottom, but you know there must be, and it’s gonna smash you to pieces.

I know he didn’t love me.

A friend is going through this, right now. Kicked her cheating husband out, and he left this note, today,

I’m so sorry. This is not what I wanted. I love you, forever.

Sure.

Okay.

Yeah.

She’s strong. But that shit hurts!

I got so much of that hoovering bullshit!

I sat here, warring with myself for two years. Fighting cancer. Enduring broken heart syndrome, fighting suicidal ideation. I crawled over broken glass to live.

But he skipped off to new Twu wuv, licking pussy like a pro. Getting his knob polished by a woman who danced the pick me polka for decades with her cheater. Will have perfected her BJ technique, no doubt 🤢

Nice.

And had the audacity to tell our daughter that he was “grieving the loss of your mother.”

FFS dude.

That shit is horrific. Thinking he was hurting.

Because he chose all of this.

Actions have consequences.

And most of them fell on me. Playing the sad sausage.

Always.


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Sadly, I was right

I recall at the very beginning of my infidelity journey, saying to Norm, “I really need you to help me heal, but realistically, how can you help me heal when you were the one who broke me?”

https://www.facebook.com/reel/389676696370435?fs=e&s=cl

He promised to help me, to do whatever it took to undo what he did.

Hmmm.

I was right.

He was never capable. He runs when it gets hard. He broke me, then kept chipping bits off as I spackled and spackled, trying to mend the holes he smashed in us.

Would have been good if he didn’t waste another decade of my life, lying to me and dating other women.


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Disenfranchised grief

Have recently been talking to a couple of women, whose long, seemingly happy marriages, ended when their husbands cheated.

And then their ex-husbands died.

Their second time around, disenfranchised grief. Both say they are feeling it again, but that this grief hits differently. The cheating/leaving grief was never “final,” and this time is very confusing.

I can imagine. I have thought about this. A lot. I know I would struggle if Rog died. Whilst I know “closure” is a load of bollocks, there has been no “closure.” I always imagined we’d talk. Be close. Know each other. And take some comfort in that.

But I’m still completely heartbroken, wrenched from my love and life, through the actions and choices of others.

I lost my soulmate. My confidante. I don’t have another person in my life that I have no filter with.

Despite all the crap, he was my person. And I miss having a person.

I accept that.

But death? I just don’t know.

I do know that I am still waaaay too affected by him. I do know that him moving so far away was amazing for my mental health and healing. I do know that contact drives me off the rails of this healing journey.

I do know that being in the same room as him has pierced my healing aura. Disrupted the force!

I do know that I have, stashed away in storage, a mountain of love letters and cards from him. Love bombing words. From the very beginning of us, in the mid-80s. Raving about how wonderful, sexy, beautiful I am. Lol. Yeah, right. I imagine he saw a frumpy, old woman in me the other night.

I also know that I either couldn’t look at him, or I looked right through him. I don’t even know which it was. It was like an out of body experience. Except the experience has left more scars on and in my body.

I hoped he saw steel. Strength.

Because, I am different. Different from the soft, loving girl he knew.

I am a new woman. Forged from that trauma. The trauma he kept inflicting.

But maybe he just saw my brokenness.

It matters not. I’m trying to just get normal transmission to resume

Whatever that is.


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Move on

If you have never been cheated on, or even if you have, and never really loved the cheater, you have no idea how traumatising and painful recovery is.

I have had multiple people suggest that I must have done something wrong for my beloved partner of over thirty years, the father of my three adult children, to cheat on me.

After all, he’s such a great guy! I must be the problem.

I got:

Well, maybe if you’d been any good in bed? Or fucked him more (both of these from the woman married to his best mate. Second wife. Cheated on her first husband. Apparently they have very little sex, as compared to us who were about 5-6 times a week, for over thirty years!)

and

Oh, you just weren’t the right person for him.

and

he cheated with his ex (cheating) girlfriend? Oh then, they were meant to be, and you just got in the way.

Yeah. Cool stories all around about how I just wasn’t good enough.

Yeah, people and their deep loving feelings are disposable. If you were in love, but they just got sick of you, that makes cheating to leave okay. If you are honest and working to deal with a previous round of cheating, and it was taking time (shock! Horror!) to process it all, learn, grow, rebuild trust, well … yeah, it is just fine that they chose someone else to cheat with. It was fine that he had at least two years, secretly on the online dating apps.
FML.

Recovery is long. It is hard. And the trauma is forever.

Much like a brain injury, it never goes away.

A long term infidelity recoveree sent a lovely letter to Chump Lady about the whole get over it/move on trope.


The thing it, if this has never happened to you, it COULD NEVER happen to you, right?

“That thinking used to drive me nuts and wound my soul until I figured out the subtext of the discussion is really this:
You: This bad thing happened.
Them: That could never happen to me.
You: Uh, well, yeah it could.
Them: Meep (brain explodes).”

As one commenter put it, it doesn’t matter “how long” it has been. That trauma is embodied in us. We carry it everywhere, and mostly – after some time has passed – it behaves.

But, when it is triggered, it is terrifying. Just receiving a message from Roger made me sweat, my hair stood on end, goosebumps, my heart raced, etc. It took me twelve hours or so to calm down enough to even open it. His presence near me (thankfully, that hasn’t happened for years now) fucks me up. He can’t understand what the effects of his cheating, his lies, his giving me diseases that I am still dealing with, are. Why can’t I just “get over it?” After all, I have a new partner, a new life, everything is rosy!

It doesn’t work like that.

“What I can’t get behind is the “it’s been 20 years; why can’t she move on like me?” perspective. 20 years, 2 years… doesn’t matter. No one is required to “move on.”

I admit, however, that this is likely a particular trigger for me. My cheater is a big fan of using “I’ve moved on” as a shield to deflect all criticism. Two months after he left me and the kids for the last time and moved into AP’s house, he was quite early on preaching the gospel about how much more enlightened he was than me because I’d still burst into tears whenever I saw him and he would gently roll his eyes and ask me why we all just didn’t “move on like he can.” Two years later and he was much the same: “Everybody should be like me and move on. The past is the past. (Stop thinking about my many affairs.)”

My last D Day is now over ten years behind me and I’m still working on me. I was in survival mode for a long time raising kids on my own and racking up that single mom debt and going on and off antidepressants. Anytime I see him my stomach twists and I feel nauseous. Theres a lot of PTSD going on. Thankfully my interactions with him are minimal. Getting to where I am now took a lot of work.

But I can almost hear him or other well-meaning bystanders intone “It’s been ten years. You should be over it by now. Move on.” To them I say, “Listen, if this man had stabbed me or physically assaulted me I would be uncomfortable around him ten years later or even forever. This is not all that different.”

Sometimes we just don’t want to be around someone who caused us great pain and the amount of time between that event and now (ten years, twenty years) is an illusion. I’m not a big fan of the “Argh, it’s been [period of time], get over it already just like me” defense because my XH was using that line straight out of the post-affair discovery gate. I side-eye anyone these days who says that moving on means being okay with your abuser being physically around you just because a certain number of years have passed.”

THIS!!! This is my experience. I get very upset and emotional about him.

Still.

It still hurts so much. I still feel “not good enough.” And he can still make me feel like I am not coping. Or being as cool as him, because “he’s over it.”

So, I prefer no contact. This was the man I LOVED SO VERY, VERY MUCH!

And he just loves someone else. It’s the most enormous shit sandwich, and you just have to find a way to cope. To live. To carry on.

Those who have never experienced this kind of loss just have no way of getting it, and telling US to get OVER it, is like throwing fuel on the fire. MORE not good enoughs.

I even thought my friend, who so tragically lost her young son, would start to understand the kind of loss I have been dealing with, but she hasn’t. Death is truly terrible, a permanent and exceptionally painful loss. However, losing someone you love very deeply, TO SOMEONE ELSE is next level. If her son had written her off, never speaking with her, loving another family instead, I can’t imagine she would react any differently to how I have. It is still a deep scar.

Different, but every bit as painful.

I always said, I chose Rog. As my life partner. I worked really, really hard at being a good partner, putting everything into our life together. We had such a good life. Such a lovely connection. We were such a great match. We were gonna get back to “just us” much sooner than many of our friends, because we met young. Had children before 30, etc.

I love my kids to bits, but they were the people who arrived. I didn’t “choose” them as such. And they were always expected to leave home, flourish elsewhere.

Roger wasn’t supposed to ever leave. He certainly wasn’t supposed to love someone else!

So yeah. You move on.

But it isn’t wrapped up in pretty packaging, with feathers, rhinestones and ribbons. It’s a painfully reconstructed new life.

That can still be very easily dented by the cheater who broke your heart.


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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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And they say romance is dead

BG has planned a spontaneous, romantic weekend away at one of our most gorgeous coastal locations.

I’m meeting him there, rather than us driving to one another’s. Which kinda makes it more mysterious.

I like this!

I know the location, but not what he has booked. I just know it’s going to be quite lovely.

And I’m so glad.

My daughters were planning on a weekend at their cheating father’s, and this was a much needed distraction for me. BG has no idea.

Unfortunately, the youngest’s flatmate tested positive for Covid today, and the whole flat has to isolate, ruining weekend plans for them. I told BG, and he said, “oh no babe, you better stay then. She’ll need you as the flat support person.”

But my daughter laughed and said, “no way, Mum. We have friends who can do grocery deliveries, etc. Go!”

I’m sad for her, because she was dying to see her older sister. But admitted to me that “Rog trannied me petrol money.” Which, just quietly, I found a bit amusing.

He moved so far away, he has to bribe her with her sister, and petrol money, to visit?

Not entirely, I’m sure. She is the dutiful one. But it does mildly amuse me, nevertheless.

Some progress today on the neverending marathon of adding an ensuite and powder room to my wee house.

Might even have it finished this year, lol.

Anyway, one more sleep, and I am going on an exciting adventure with my darling.

How lucky am I?

Leave a cheater, gain a life 😜💋💜