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Seeing the silver lining


Let’s face it, when your spouse confesses an affair, there is a whole boatload of crap that rains down from the sky.  When your spouse confesses to having conceived a child with the “lover”, it brings about a new, previously uncategorized form of crap.  It is easy to wallow in the crap and allow it to build around you, leaving you feeling sorry for yourself.

Don’t get me wrong, I have those moments too, but I make a concerted effort to have them less and less.  I am not going to allow her to steal any more happiness from me.

On the night that we found out that the paternity was positive, my husband was very upset.  Upset because the thought of having created life with that woman was disapleasing.  Moreso, he was upset that they were now forever genetically linked.  He wanted nothing more to do with her, and finds her repulsive having seen her true colours shine of late.  Head bowed and face sullen, he told me that the result was positive.  I held him.  It was all I knew how to do.  We don’t get a lot of practice, and there isn’t a chapter in the textbook of life that guides you on how to respond when your spouse tells you another woman has borne his child.  All I could do was hold him.

In that moment, I made a conscious decision.  I wasn’t going to allow this moment to bring us down.  We were in for a long road of downs where she and this child are concerned.  The last thing I needed was to have the beginning of this road painted grim.  I suggested we open a bottle of champagne.

“Why exactly are we celebrating?” my husband asked.  I told him that we weren’t celebrating the news, but rather celebrating our unity to face the challenge together as a team, with a new set of skills we were in the midst of acquiring through this experience.  I saw that moment as a beginning, and thought it was important, in the face of this horrible news, to celebrate our togetherness, our commitment to each other, and our commiment to seeing the process through together.   We celebrated, we smiled, we laughed.   We did spend a considerable amount of time poking fun at her – something we secretly enjoy, and it made us feel united in our front against this evil doer.

As the old saying goes, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.  In this case, life was giving us mounds of crap falling from the sky, and we decided to huddle together under an umbrella and drink champagne.  Cheers to that.

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All aboard the crazy train


OK it’s not like I don’t have enough to do. I am falling behind at work, my mother’s health is failing and we are making plans around her funeral and will, and now the mistress, who I like to call “Herpes” (because like the disease, she flares up from time to time, but never really ever goes away) is back with a new attack strategy.

My husband came home last night and told me that she has launched a complaint with the human rights commission against him.  She is claiming that he pursued her aggressively, spent years trying to arrange for them to spend time alone together, and orchestrated the means to establish a relationship with her.  She also claims that my husband and I have been a constant and ongoing threat to her daughter, stalking and harassing them continuously (I haven’t had any contact with her on the advice of my lawyer, and take out my frustrations here, so she is nuts – are we shocked?).  In her claim she states that she worries that bringing about this action will make the harassment that my husband and I have supposedly unleashed and put her daughter in danger, and yet she feels she “must do it”.  Gee, I dunno….if I thought something I was about to do might adversely effect my children, I think I might do a 180….hmmmmm.  Bad parenting, or full of shit?  I’ll take a little bit of both for $500 Alex….

In her claim, she claims she was sexually harassed in the workplace, and asks for $50,000.00 in damages.  She further states that she wishes to be reinstated in the job that she was fired from (the one where she worked for my husband).  OK, let me get this straight: you claim that you fear for your safety as a result of his continuous harassment by my husband, and claim that you were sexually harassed at work, and you want your job back?   Am I the only one who doesn’t see the missing piece that pulls the sides of this crazy-puzzle back together?

It is reminiscent to the month prior to her delivering her daughter when she sent my husband an email telling him that she is at the hospital, and in pre-term labour.  At the time, she claimed that she had the option to put herself and her child on some kind of VIP status that would protect them from him and from me, should we choose to physically appear at the hospital.  She begged him to please do the right thing and stop all of this nonsense for the baby’s sake (it bears repeating that we hadn’t done a single thing, on the advice of our lawyer which we heed very seriously), and mentioned that she would be willing to drop the VIP status on her chart if he would stop this behaviour.  What behaviour you ask?  Good question, we are simply not sure what planet she is on.  The funny part of that little side story is that we found it laughable that someone who claims to fear for her safety and that of her baby would email the person they fear and reveal their location.  Also funny that she referred to the baby with our last name.  I don’t know about you, but if I had someone who had sexually harassed me, impregnated me, and then criminally harassed me and I feared for my safety, I don’t think I’d  be giving the baby his surname.  Weird I tell you.

So here we are 8 months later, and the crazy train has pulled back into the station.

The comforting thing is that her human rights claim will not be processed because there is already an open legal case dealing with the ‘wrongful dismissal’ claim that she still has yet to prove successful.  She claims she was fired because I found out about their affair, when in reality she was fired for her crazy behaviour, and because she compromised confidential information at the office. Apparently you can only have one case open on one issue and you can’t abuse the legal system by duplicating processes relating to the same issue.  Thankfully, this one won’t be addressed, but we have the lawyers on it.  This is getting expensive.

So here I sit, shaking my head, wondering when I will find some peace, and when she will leave us alone.  We pay her a cheque every month, and have complied with every request she has made, including her most recent initiative to hire a forensic accountant to delve into the depths of our assets to determine if she is entitled to more money.   We’ve had absolutely NO contact with her since March 2010, that is fourteen months ago.  How she feels harassed I don’t know.  Perhaps it is in her imagination – the same imagination that thought my husband pursued her and loved her.  Someone needs a reality pill.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


When I first made the decision that I would stay in our marriage, I felt like a coward.  It seemed as though everyone else was leaving, and why wasn’t I?  Tiger Woods had just been accused of cheating and his wife was leaving him.  Sandra Bullock suggested that Jesse James ‘not let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya’ (she didn’t actually ever say that, for the record).  Acquaintances whom I knew had gone through something similar were all jumping ship, separating, divorcing, making schedules for who would have the kids and when. And there I sat, choosing to stay with the man who had brought me so much heartache.  What was wrong with me?  Why was I so weak of character that I didn’t want to leave despite all signs pointing to the obvious?  Was I flawed?  Marred?  Scarred?  Abusable?

Over time, I’ve come to realize a few things:

1. Good people can make mistakes and still be good people
2. It takes a lot more work to stay and work on a marriage than it does to simply abandon it  and walk away
3. We live in a society where marriage is disposable and people are often too quick to throw it out
4. My responsibility in this lies not only to myself and my well-being, but also to my children and theirs
5.  You can’t change anyone but yourself, but if you find someone willing to change with you, embrace it and travel the road together

My husband isn’t perfect, but he is pretty close -for me, anyway. I saw this today, and thought I would post it for all of those people who have been hurt, deceived, and cheated on, and yet who have chosen to stay.  Many others won’t understand it, and you may get a lot of flack for your choice.  I applaud your courage and strength to face this every day, and do what you can to create something beautiful from the mess that has been dumped upon you.

Since we live in a society where marriage is disposable, I think sometimes, just sometimes, under the right conditions, we can take the crap we’ve been dealt, and work with it to create something better.  Instead of throwing away your marriage, employ the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Reduce: Take steps to reduce the negative forces on your marriage.  In many cases, that force is other people who aren’t, as Shirley Glass calls them, “friends of the marriage”.  If friends, family, or others aren’t supporting your union, and taking steps to cause you to question it, they need to be voted off the island.  Surround yourself only by those who support and cherish your union.  If a co-worker is making inappropriate comments or flirting a little too heavily, she isn’t supporting your union.  She needs to go.  As flattering as it is, she needs to be cut out like a tumour.

Reuse:  Remember the things that brought you together, the things you enjoy and the things you value most about each other.  Focus on those things and try to reintroduce them into your lives as you rebuild it.  Visit the place you fell in love, your first date, where he proposed.  Revisit and reuse those places again, and keep the memories and the feelings of those places alive.  It is sometimes easy to forget, but it is a gift if you can bring yourself to remember and value what you had before the shit hit the fan.

Recycle: Don’t be so quick to throw your marriage out.  Although divorce is at an all-time staggering high, you don’t need to be a lemming and throw yourself off the cliffside just because your friends are doing/have done it.  Reinvent your marriage with what you envision it to be, and take the steps to help your marriage become what you see.  Invest in marital therapy, and do your best to spend quality time together working on your marriage.  Make it a priority, not a side-thought.  Instead of throwing it out, recycle it into something new.  It will look different.  It will feel different.  Nothing recycled ever resembles what it did before.  But you may end up finding out that what you’ve created is a gem.

I love you sweetheart.

Bitch


It is true – I am filled with a lot of anger.  I don’t pretend to be OK with this affair, and I don’t pretend to be at peace with the mistress’ decision to try and ruin my family.  While I have said before that I “understand” her behaviour (from the perspective that I know what it is like to love someone else to the point of doing stupid things), I certainly don’t forgive her.

On this day, as we all prepare for the “armageddon” that is being predicted to bring the “end of days”, it seems there is some magical thinking going on.  Well, if I could impart some magic of my own, where the mistress is concerned:

When a loss sits on the horizon


My mother has, what some might call, a fragile and ill-disposed constitution.  For as long as I can remember, my mother has been fragile in health.  As a child, she contracted Rheumatic Fever, an affliction which kept her in bed for the greater part of a year.  At the age of 5, as she watched her friends learn to ride bikes, she peered out of her window in awe, wishing she too could participate.  She never did learn to ride a bike.

At the age of 50, after she watched her mother pass away, she was diagnosed with a fatal genetic lung disease which has no cure.  She knew that her life would be shortened, and that she would likely succumb to some effect of the lung disease, either pneumonia or possibly heart failure from the stress on her heart from the lung compromise.  She knew it was a downhill course, she just didn’t know when the steep course would begin.  None of us did.

For the most part, her illness has had its ups and downs.  Its good days and its bad days.  From month to month, we see improvement or decline, and what is lost one month, is sometimes regained in the following months with increased vigour, stamina and interest.  Throughout 2009, it was an up and down with mostly ups.  She was regaining her stamina and was taking more of an interest in spending quality time with the grandkids as she felt she could tolerate the energy demands that three small boys require.

In April 2010, all of that started to change.

My mother received an email in March 2010 from an alias email account, informing her of my husband’s affair, and how her daughter would likely “need support” from her family.  It was also peppered with derogatory commentary about how the affair was understandable because “we all know what she is like” (that ‘she’ is me, and it should be noted that she doesn’t know me so that is an uninformed comment).  Shocked and concerned, my mother emailed me asking if something was up.  Given the circumstances, we were forced to spill the beans, and let her in on what was an intensely private set of circumstances.  The next week was replete with phone calls, suggestions, advice, sorrow and pain as she watched her little girl suffer through something that, unfortunately, she also was far too familiar with.  I had hoped to spare her the knowledge, but these things are out of your hands when the mistress takes matters into her own hands and decides to play with the lives of others for sport.

In the months that followed, her health gradually declined, and has been doing so ever since.  Hospitalizations, weeks in bed, hours of driving into the city to see the leading specialists in the field, and recommendations to not expose herself to cold viruses and other illnesses that would further compromise her lungs.  This meant limiting her exposure to her grandchildren.  We had no visit at Christmas this year, no visits since.  In the last year, my children have seen their grandparents fewer than the fingers on one hand.

Some people in this world deal with stress externally – they get focused on the problem, develop solutions and execute a plan.  Others internalize the stress, become sickly and experience physical symptoms.  My mother has always been in the latter camp, which is why one might say she has a “weak constitution”.  She does not deal well with stress.  She never has.

In the last few months, fluid has been building up in her lungs, compromising her ability to breathe.  She has had litres of fluid removed. this last tap yielding three litres.  I was informed this week, that she likely won’t survive the summer.  This is, of course, simply an estimate, and she may rebound, although it is unlikely given the gravity of her decline.  She has lost a gross amount of weight, and it is evident she is dropping fast.

I can’t help but think that it isn’t coincidence that her decline started the month following the disclosure of the affair.  A mistresses desire to inflict as much pain on me and my husband as she could, translated into playing with the emotions of frail seniors by informing them of the details – details that should never have been shared.  Playing G-d made her feel entitled once again to do as she pleased with the lives of others.

In the wake of the affair, as I anticipate one of the largest losses I can imagine, I can’t help but think of the mistress and hate her intensely for trying so hard to steal my husband from me, and now quite possibly taking my mother as well.

Leeches and other pesky parasites


I once had a leech on my leg as a child.  I was canoeing up in Algonquin Park, and looked down to see this ugly black creature stuck to my ankle.  I flicked at it, and it refused to come off.  I eventually managed to get it off, but it didn’t come without a fight.  That little sucker wanted to suck everything it could, the opportunistic little prick.  Good riddance.

There are leeches everywhere. Some of them are even disguised as people.  They will find any opportunity to get what they want, and jump on it, attach their little suckers and go to town taking whatever they can until they are removed by force.  My husband’s mistress is a great example but she isn’t the topic of today’s post.  Instead, I would like to express my discontent to all of the women out there who choose to turn a blind eye to a wedding ring, and who have no moral standards by which to inform them that seeking out a married man is doing a horrible thing, possibly breaking up a family, ripping a father from his children, and causing irreparable damage.  But, to some leeches, it doesn’t really matter what the damage is, as long as they benefit.  Leeches don’t care about the red, inflamed hickey-like lesion they leave behind, as long as they got what they came for.

My husband came home this week and told me that he had been hit on.  A woman who he had been affiliated with on a project sent him an email following their meeting to tell him how intelligent she finds him, how much she enjoyed their meeting and then proceeded to invite him out to lunch so that they could talk more about the ways he has managed his career, and yes…she did tell him how impressive that was.  Men, please tell me why all it takes in some instance is for a woman to:

1. Pay attention to you
2. Pay you a compliment on your financial or career success
3. Invite you out into a social venue outside of work

for things to get messy?

My husband was, as he described it, quite taken aback by this, and we both shook our heads at how a woman, knowing that a man is married with children, would make an overture like that, as if expecting that something more might develop?   Where does this fucking sense of entitlement come from?   If I met a man who I considered a great prize, and discovered he was married, I would simply kick myself for being so damn unlucky that I didn’t “land him” first.  I’d feel regret, and quite possibly jealousy towards the person who had caught his eye earlier.  But, I would never find myself feeling entitled to try to get in between them, break up a family, and take what I feel is justly mine, because it WOULDN’T BE JUSTLY MINE.  He ‘belongs’ to someone else.  He is someone’s father, someone’s husband, someone’s intimate best friend.  He doesn’t belong to you, and nor should he.  Walk away.

Nothing bothers me more, on this journey of healing from this horrible revelation, than the fact that someone felt entitled to what is mine.  Someone had no qualms about hurting me, and did so willingly.  Someone had no qualms about disrupting my family, my children, my life.  Why?  That hurts me almost more than the affair itself.  It goes, as I’ve said before, against what should be the “woman code”.  I wasn’t supposed to talk about her.

So this woman at the office….as innocent as her email could have been (we all know now that we’ve shed our naive goggles that it wasn’t innocent), she obviously feels she can do as she pleases.  Upon hearing the story, I felt immediate panic and sadness.  I felt like someone else was pawing at the gate for my husband, and threatening what was ours.  I did respect and appreciate that he came and told me, and shared his response to her (which was polite and did not acknowledge her invitation).  Doing so makes me feel like we are working together to guard the doors of our marriage, and not allow inside those who will threaten us from within.  You have to reinforce the doors and windows, come up with a battle strategy and constantly evaluate the interactions you have with members of the opposite sex to determine whether you are working for your marriage, or against it.  Personally, all you leeches can go fuck yourselves.  Go grab yourself a cup of self esteem and find yourself something of your own to snag.

Bipolar


Some days, I feel bipolar.  I wake up feeling great, and within minutes, I feel like crap.  I have good days, and I have bad days.  I think all of us who go through this do, so I don’t feel abnormal about it, but I do notice the oscillations.  I wish I lived on a more even keel.  I am a big lover of predictability, and I hate that I can’t even predict myself some days.

Today I find myself feeling more tired than usual.  I am supposed to be getting work done, and I can’t bring myself to focus and concentrate on anything.  I would prefer to sit here and type out my feelings.  Yes, it means I will be behind tomorrow, but then maybe that work will help me to not dwell on the sadness that I still feel.

I am sad, I suspect, because I am feeling disconnected from my husband.  We haven’t been able to spend much quality time together lately, and we’ve had some disagreements that we haven’t properly repaired and swept away.  We’ve had some tense and frustrated moments, and although they were few, I find those little things add up for me, and I need to feel that I’ve closed the door on even those little things.  I feel like we’ve drifted a little from the close place we are in after therapy.  We missed therapy for 2 weeks and it makes such a difference for me.  Our therapist is able to find ways to navigate our discussions in such a way that we slow down.  I find we are always so quick to prove a point, or to defend our position.  I find myself defensive and then feeling attacked and unloved, and then I withdraw.  It is my pattern, and now I know it.  I feel it coming on, and I still don’t quite know how to stop it.  It is comfortable and familiar…it’s what I do.  Anything else feels awkward.

Strangely, what also feels awkward is the acknowledgement to my husband that I feel disconnected.  It is a catch 22.  I feel disconnected, and therefore I don’t feel connected enough to feel comfortable mentioning the fact that I feel disconnected, which leads to more….disconnection.  The good thing is that he reads these posts the moment they are posted, so I at least I know of one way to tell him how I feel when I feel awkward….blog it!  What did couples do before they could communicate using technology?  Maybe they actually spoke to each other?  LOL!  Let’s see how long it takes him to come up from the basement and mention this post…

We sooooo need a babysitter.  We need date nights.  We need alone time.  We need time to focus on ourselves and our marriage and our friendship.  We don’t have that, and it sucks.

If our parents were at all reliable. we would do what I see so many other friends doing – calling their moms to take the kids for the weekend and taking off.  I will never take a vacation without my kids.  I will never have parents willing to help us in that way.   Why are we so lucky to have been blessed with such uninvolved and unsupportive parents in light of this tragedy in our lives?  Why does everyone else seem so much more connected to their families than I am?   I often blame my parents but maybe it is me.

I oscillate between wishing the mistress could stumble across this blog and read for herself what a trash whore I think she is, and enjoying the fact that I can write without doing so FOR HER.

All of this back and forth makes me feel bipolar.  It makes me feel unstable.  It makes me feel dizzy.  I need a good cry.  I am off to my steam-shower to sit in my cloud.  It is what I do when I feel sad and alone.

Feeling sorry for myself


There are some days that I just feel sorry for myself.  I am sure it’s normal, but I just wish I could make the memories go away.  I sometimes wish I had the ability to induce amnesia so that I could make the memories go away.

I sit here with my laptop across from my husband and I look at him.  He is so handsome.  He is so kind.  He is so everything I love and adore.  I watch him across the room and I am so proud of him in so many ways.  I am filled with happiness and contentedness, and then it hits me like an 18-wheeler: He cheated on me.  The glossy finish fades, and I am dragged my hair back to the shithole I am trying to hard to climb out of.  It is so unfair.

Why does everything need to be tarnished?  Why can’t I just enjoy a nice day together and not have invading thoughts or memories?

We sit here watching Saturday Night Live, and the animated skit “Ace & Gary, the ambiguously gay duo” just came on.  I used to find that skit funny, and it used to make us laugh.  We would double over laughing until it hurt.  I watch it tonight, not having seen it in YEARS, and I can’t even bring myself to watch because my husband had an ongoing joke with his mistress that referenced this skit, and now I associate it with her.  I can’t help but wonder if he is thinking of her as we watch it.  Here she is again, invading my private life and time.

I’m just feeling sorry for myself, and can’t help wondering how much longer I will have this affliction.  I want my life back.

“Would the white elephant please stand up”


If I’ve learned one thing from this journey, it is that I am not  great communicator.  I like to talk, that is true, but I do not communicate well.  I am intensely sensitive, and I think I often recoil from saying what I really feel, or expressing what I need if I think it is going to upset another person, make them think less of me, or question their affiliation with me.  I guess I just have a lot of open wounds about having relationships be conditional upon me being perfect, doing and saying the right things.  Thanks mom for that crutch.

My husband and I are very sensitive people.  We listen, we care, we want to help.  We genuinely enjoy talking about our feelings.  We just don’t do it well with each other in a marital context.  We have great intentions, but we need tools.

What we have come to learn from marital therapy is that there is a way to communicate, and while it is so simple, it eluded us for the longest time, and is something that doesn’t come easily.  Even though I know the formula now, I still revert back to those old patterns that get me and us stuck.

My a-ha moment in therapy happened many months ago.  We were discussing how I hadn’t mentioned my feelings of sadness that week to my husband, and had chosen instead to keep them to myself.   They festered, they grew, and I found myself feeling excessively sad.  As the days went by, my sadness grew, turned into despair and on some days, turned into a desire to end my life.  When our therapist asked me why I chose not to talk about the pain of my week, I mentioned that I felt as though all I was ever talking about lately was how depressed I am, how sad I feel, how lonely I am, how fragile I feel….”what a downer I am”, I thought.

When you are wounded from your spouse having turned to another, your self esteem plummets.  Suddenly, you want to show him that you are the best thing in the world, and hope that he realizes his error in judgment.  Determined to show myself in the best light possible, I didn’t want to constantly be a mess of despair and tears.  I didn’t want him to associate me with pathos.  I felt pathetic, but I didn’t want him to think I was pathetic, so I chose to keep my pathetic feelings to myself.

Our therapist has taught us that seeking and offering clarification is key to communicating.  Getting your point across and knowing that you have been heard, and your message interpreted as intended are important.  To this end, he often has us turn our chairs toward each other and ask one another for clarification, or seek information to help us better understand the other.  If we find ourselves taking action or building a case based on assumptions, we are to ask the other person to clarify so that we don’t have a misunderstanding.

Being in therapy is like having a marital referee for an hour; someone who analyzes and evaluates what you say, how you say it, and the subtle undertones that underlie communication, in order to help you navigate a conversation at a deeper level.

So, back to the therapy a-ha moment…as the therapist asks me why I haven’t been sharing my feelings.  “I don’t want to be pathetic.  I feel like a loser and it is ALL I ever talk about anymore”.  Some more probing questions revealed that I had been withholding because I didn’t want him to see me in a pathetic light.  To see me as anything less than perfect makes me vulnerable to him leaving me (remember that relationships are conditional in my upbringing), so I didn’t want to always be projecting negative feelings and being a downer.  He had us turn our chairs together, and the conversation went something like this:

Me: “He is going to think I am pathetic”
Therapist: “You think he will see you as pathetic if you share your feelings of sadness?
Me: “Yes”
Therapist: “Have you asked him whether this is the case?
Me: “No”
(We turn our chairs to face each other)
Therapist: “Perhaps you can share with him why you haven’t been sharing”
Me: “I am afraid that if I continuously share sad thoughts, look sad, act sad, talk about the affair, ask questions, cry, etc., that you are going to think I am needy and pathetic and I worry that you won’t find me attractive”
Spouse: “I would never think you are needy for expressing your sadness.  It is understandable that you are sad.  I’ve done a horrible thing to you, and I expect you to be sad and to talk about it.  I don’t want you to hold things back from me”
Me: “But it is all I ever talk about, and I am afraid it comes across as needy and pathetic”
Spouse: “Of course you think about it all the time.  So do I. This is a hard time for both of us, but I would rather you share your feelings, good and bad, rather than keep them to yourself. I want to hear your feelings, and I want to help.  I don’t find you needy, nor would I.  I am prepared to listen to whatever you have to say for as long as you need to talk about it. I did this to us, and this is my cross to bear too.  I will do whatever it takes to make this better”
Me: “So  you don’t find it pathetic and unattractive?”
Spouse: “No, I don’t.  I find it understandable”

That conversation was an a-ha moment for me because I realized that a lot of what *I* do is make assumptions about what I think others will think or feel.  I then change my behaviour to suit my paradigm, and much to my surprise, I guess I am not often right.  Shocker!  At key moments when I feel myself pull away, recoil, distance myself emotionally, it is because I have a fear.  A fear of what the other will think, do, feel about me.  So the trick, as I have learned it, is to call out the white elephant in the room, and label it for all to see.

It would look something like this:

“I have some feelings that I would like to be able to talk to you about, but I am scared to share them with you because I fear that you will find me needy and unattractive for continuously harping on my sadness, so I am finding myself pulling away”

As you can see, the above follows the pattern:

a) what I need
b) what I am scared of / what is holding me back
c) what that fear is doing

Putting your fear right out in the open, allows the other person access to it, and an opportunity to address it and alleviate it.  Telling him that I was fearful of his evaluation of me and what it was causing me to do (withdraw), allowed him an opportunity to educate me on how HE feels and how my actions are TRULY interpreted by him.  Only when you call out that white elephant, and ask it to stand up, can you truly find out how someone else is interpreting you.

We make a lot of assumptions.  I know that I do.  My assumptions are probably wrong most of the time, and yet I allow them to navigate my decisions.  I am trying not to do this, but it is so hard.

This, of course, works in all relationships, and is something that I want to practice more with my friends also, to avoid those disagreements that come from silly misunderstandings.

Therapy has truly been a gift in so many ways.  I find myself excited for Fridays when my husband and I have a chance to reset our batteries, recharge our emotional connection and spend an hour focussing solely on us.  Oh, and leaving that office feeling extra connected, emotionally cared for and heard does something for my libido.  Good thing therapy is on Friday and I have the entire weekend to express my appreciation 🙂

Pain begets pain


I am trying very hard to heal myself.  It is a struggle every day to move past what I know, what I feel, and to see a bright future ahead of me full of promise and healing.  To my surprise, my days have been filled with less and less reminders of the affair.  She crosses my mind only transiently now, instead of all the time.  Reminders of the affair come and go and stay with me only a short while and are shuffled along with more ease than before.  But, I’ve come to notice an interesting phenomenon.  Physical hardship brings about mental hardship.  Pain begets pain.

I endeavoured upon a 7km training run today.  We were running hills, and the hill we were training on was like the ones you see in those motivational posters that say “Determination”, or “Perserverance” and show a lone runner making his way up a long hard hill.  I was that runner today, but was being supported by a runner trainer and friend whose running clinic I recently joined.  Since all of this affair stress has packed the pounds on me, I am determined to not allow it to make me fat…I will not let it ruin ME.

We ran the hill, and halfway up the hill, as the searing pain hit my lungs that could no longer expand to gather the necessary oxygen, and I struggled to breathe and simultaneously move my feet, the pain and struggle was almost unbearable.  Suddenly, thoughts of the affair came to mind, and I felt angry, and sad.  As I struggled physically, my emotional struggle also came into play.  How horribly unfair, I thought, as I needed every amount of physical and emotional stamina to focus on getting me to the crest of the hill.  How unfair that at a time when I am doing something for ME that belongs only to ME, that she enters my mind.  I am so tired of it, in so many ways.

To make matters worse, the woman who trains me found out 2 years after her split from her husband that he had been having an affair at the time that he walked out on her and her then 3 year old son.  That topic does come up during our runs from time to time, and I lend a sympathetic ear, but she has no idea what reality feeds my sympathy and that when I say “that must be so hard for you”, that I really want to say “I know exactly how you feel”.  She has no idea, and we aren’t close enough for me to share the story.  Besides, I have been told that keeping the information limited to a very small number of people is best, and I know my husband wouldn’t want me talking about it with MORE people.  It is just that she is someone who has actually BEEN THROUGH IT, unlike my other friends who simply nod and cock their heads sympathetically to one side while making puppy eyes at me.  How I wish there was a support group I could meet up with.  Maybe I will start one.

I pray for a day when I can wake up unriddled by thoughts of her, days when I can see my husband standing in the shower and not have to leave the room and cry because I am imagining her touching him all over, days when I can just have my life back to something close to what it was before.  I have a new reality now…and I am struggling to get used to it.  It’s like learning to live with a disease, I imagine.  The loss, the sorrow, the feelings of “why me”.

OK now I just need a good long cry.  And a stiff drink.

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