Posts Tagged ‘christmas in the trenches’

I think a lot about coming here, and then I find a reason not to. I’m not really sure why. Maybe because I’m not skipping through the daisies all happily ever after. Or perhaps because I don’t like to dwell or whine. More than likely it’s a combination.

It’s been about a year since my life was blown to hell, not that it was good before…cuz it wasn’t. It all rather sucked and I was planning my escape. Nothing can prepare one to find out their spouse has been unfaithful. The manner of the betrayal isn’t nearly as painful as the betrayal itself.

My trust in my husband was complete. It sounds silly  now. How we enter into a contract with another person and give them everything in a basket, topped with an elaborate bow. In a mere mortal. A flesh and blood human with all the wonder and flaw that makes us so completely frustrating creatures. Starry-eyed and in love it never occurs how completely venerable we are.

Trust is hard won and so easily destroyed. At this point forgiveness isn’t at issue. I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t forgiven him. The trust? Now that’s fragile, a paper thin sliver of glass. Full of promise and hope as easy to fracture as spun sugar. I wish I could say, it’s over, I’m good, we’re good, but I just can’t. And the up coming anniversary has me very shaken.

The world before; he would never do anything close to cheating on me.

The world after; it happened. The unthinkable happened, and my view of the world will never be the same.

How could it? Do I think he’ll repeat the behavior? No, I don’t. The wound is still there. Healing ever so slowly it stretches the limits of my patience to places I didn’t think they could go.  It isn’t about him anymore. It’s about healing me. And you know what? I suck at it.

I’m doing the best I know how and the going is so slow. I suppose I’m holding myself to some unachievable standard by comparing my situation to  other people I know. And that’s pretty damned stupid. One can never judge one’s insides by another’s outsides. We never really know what burdens those around us carry.

So, if you’re in a similar situation and you still hurt (not a constant stab or ache) a once in awhile, oh my God, I wish this would stop kind of hurt. I’m starting to think it’s normal. At least I hope so.


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We went to counseling tonight. If it continues to be like this the outlook is grim.

When asked what I saw as problems, I did what I do, I laid it out on the table.

My husband then proceeded to toss up sorry-ass excuses for why he did these things and I need to understand.

Blank stare

Then we were asked what we were willing to do. Husband listed off something he’s doing already. I came up empty.

I’ve done everything I know to do, otherwise I wouldn’t be in counseling.

Husband went on a little tear about if he was the only one who had to change, yakakakakaka. Cough. Em sorry, fur ball.

I’ve asked him point-blank what I do to make him mad, and he has no answer. That’s easy to work with. Am I perfect? No. I can be damned difficult if reports from others are to be believed. So TELL me! How can I change what you won’t acknowledge?

All-knowing being that he is, he went so far as to say he knew how I felt about the virtual affair. My quick reply was, “No, I don’t think you do.”

I promised not to call names or bash. It was a stupid promise.

A dear friend listened to me while I sobbed and finally uncurled from the fetal position, when I got home tonight.

Gratefully I was alone. I don’t know folks.

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Today acceptance is a little easier to swallow, and so it doesn’t hurt near as much.

The lyrics to a song seem to sum up what I’m feeling today.

‘And now I’m glad I didn’t know the way it all would end, the way it all would go. Our lives are better left to chance. I could’ve miss the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance.’

And what a dance it’s been. No regrets.

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No, not Six Degrees of Separation. blank stare. That’s a game, and this has nothing to do with Kevin Bacon. Get with it people, grin.

The first separation? Political and Social views. He took a sharp right turn after 9-11. I’m not saying we always agreed on these things, but we could discuss them like adults. Post right turn? He took to telling me I was being poisoned by the media. Blink. Really? And you think Glen Beck is real news? Eh, and MSNBC isn’t skewed either. Nope. I don’t take to being told I’m gullible, so I stopped discussing any issues of the day which meant anything to me with him.

Because my Ego demands it, I collect information from a number of different news sources, on and off U.S. soil. It’s amazing how differently the BBC sees things sometimes.

The second separation – We all but stopped doing things together sans kids. I had no say in this; it just happened over the course of several years. I’m thrown a compulsory date night occasionally, once ,maybe twice, a year. Lucky me! Movie and Dinner is such an original activity.

The third separation – Unreasonable woman that I am, I won’t watch TV shows I don’t like. GASP! There are shows we both like and used to watch together before the DVR. Now? In passing one of us will say, “I watched the new episodes, delete them if you want.” Because that’s so emotionally charged. Once in a great while we can be both found in front of the TV. Usually this is shortly before the pass off of the remote, and one of us leaves.

The fourth separation – He started washing his own clothes. What am I complaining about you ask? I didn’t complain one little bit. When I got told ‘Don’t wash my clothes’ in a terse tone it became more. Why doesn’t he want me to help? The last time I washed for him? “I didn’t ask you to do that!”  Em, no you didn’t. I was being nice to you. Remember being nice? No points earned or lost.

The fifth separation – our sexual interludes became further and further apart. My advances so often rejected, I stopped trying. One can only be told no so many times before one’s integrity starts to be on the line. I don’t beg–Not for anything–Not ever.  He told me he was in pain. He had a headache (so cliche’) He was tired. It was a long day. Ad nauseam. Okay, you don’t want me. I get it.  “Oh no honey, it’s not you. It’s me.” Blank stare. Could this get anymore about him? I don’t think so. Gah.

The sixth separation – He checked out on almost all household duties. Bills, cleaning, cooking, yard work, house and pet maintenance and keeping my car in good order all fall to me. If I don’t do these things or assign them to our son, they don’t get done. He told me he would fix the automatic sprinkler system. It only took four years to get it done. Finished up with it late last year. Yup, that’s efficient.

We run out of shower soap or toilet paper? It’s the end of the modern era, and it’s all my fault. Who knew I was so powerful?

The seventh separation – He checked out on me almost completely. We began to live in the same house with a passing hug and peck. This is so not normal. Our conversations, which are short, revolve around A. Kids B. His job C. His health.  Should I mention anything else it is quickly brought back to how his [fill in the blank] is far worse, less bearable. God save me from whining!

The eight separation -I ventured into the world without him. I’ve always had a life of my own which he was always welcome in. This is different. I’ve got activities, friends and functions I attend by myself, on purpose. I got tired of waiting for him to come along. Life is short you know. And he was good with it. Not good.

The ninth separation -I put my wedding ring in the drawer. He didn’t notice, if he did, he said nothing. Ouch on both accounts. The lie of wearing it became too much for me to bear. We’ve got a piece of paper; that’s not a marriage.

The tenth separation – My interest in cooking for him is completely non-existent. I’ve stopped buying him clothes or anything else beyond groceries I know he’ll want. The pain of continuing to take care of him when I’m not even on his radar is too great.

The eleventh separation – Your stuff and my stuff.  We have always had our own stuff, this goes deeper. When I was sorting pictures for the kids, I made a pile for him. His family. His activities and friends. Pictures of me were not included. I went through our memory box and put his stuff with his pictures. The wedding/honeymoon pictures are in the kids bin. Saved invitations and the like? In the trash.

Separation twelve (twelved is too weird) The marriage that was, is no more. If we’re going to work this out it has to be all different. An entire new field of engagement.  Clearly what we were doing didn’t work. Best to burn the damaged place to the ground and start over. Which takes me to the stage I’m at.

Separation thirteen (No, the irony of the number isn’t lost on me, and no, it wasn’t planned. – You left me, now you have to win me back. All husband rights have been suspended, indefinitely. I suspect if I get to fourteen[moving out] it will be a permanent state of being.

In light of my present position, I’m starting to think about what’s mine. What I want to take and what I need to be doing to get ready should #14 happen. Not a nice place to be. I’m rather sick to my stomach, if you must know.

This too shall pass. It won’t feel like this forever. For right now? pffftttt.

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Since dropping the bomb, my husband has been trying to finagle a promise not to leave out of me. Really? Em, let me think. No. I’m still here and willing to go to counseling. That’s as good as it gets.

Our kids and grandchildren came to our house yesterday. While it was good to have them all together, I was physically ill by the time they left. The effort of presenting a brave face, even for them, was too much. I’ve been acting as if for so long doing so moving forward simply isn’t an option.

We were supposed to go to our daughter’s house this morning. I sent my husband and son without me. I won’t be going to my brother-in-law’s tomorrow either. I don’t have the energy or the wear-with-all to watch my husband pretend everything’s fine when nothing could be farther from the truth.

Now, after years of me nagging, he wants to be the man he should have been all along. Desperate promises and a long string of empty apologies have flowed. I’m not interested in words. Show me. What have I been doing, thinking, to let it get this far?

He tells me there’s more I don’t know. Effin’ wonderful. More? More what? More excuses? I’m sorry, there is nothing to excuse what’s been going on. Nothing. My understanding is well beyond it’s intended capacity. I don’t want anymore ‘reasons’ for being treated the way I have.

Here’s the deal– I can’t, nor do I have any interest in, competing with twenty something fake-n-bake images. I’m a middle-aged woman, who has given birth to two children. Without extensive plastic surgery, I will never look like them. At this age I have things to offer so much deeper than looks, it shouldn’t matter. His outward appearance means very little to me, beyond care for his health.

There is nothing so bad that it makes it okay to abandon, emotionally, physically and spiritually the person you promised to love, honor and cherish. Especially when that person has been loyal and diligent to a fault. Did he honestly think I’d carry on no matter what? Apparently so, cause he’s scrambling now.

He tells me that he depends upon me. He was also gracious enough to admit this morning that I had always been a good wife. Thank you for those stunning reports Captain Obvious. The one-sided state of affairs comes into stark relief.  I’ve been so stupid to believe if I did what I was supposed to he’d come around.

Out of one side of his mouth he says he knows how badly he’s treated me. The other side continues to tell me that when the circumstances are revealed I’ll better understand. WTF?  I don’t want to understand. How will understanding help me at all? There could be no revelation sufficient to justify where we stand.

These things should have been revealed and dealt with before now. Long before now. Another betrayal added on to the heap.

He said he was sure there were things I didn’t want him to know about me. Em, No. I harbor no secrets, I didn’t tell him about the bank account, and he knows about that now.  Holding that secret did more damage to me, than to him. Secrets keep people sick, I see very little reason to hold secrets. I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for someone I’m not.

Yet, he tells me he knows me. He couldn’t possibly know anything about me and continue to operate the way he has. I’m sure he thinks he knows me. I don’t want to be the one to tell him he’s married to a stranger. A stranger, he only knows in theory. In practice? The next door neighbor [the drunken one] knows me better.

I sorted pictures for the kids today. We were happy once. At least I thought we were. Recent events make me question everything I thought I knew.

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The other night we went out to a friend’s house. I forgot myself and started some playful banter with my husband. While playing may sound harmless, it’s not when I remember it will come to nothing. I felt like an idiot, doing the same thing and expecting different results. Letting go of the dream is extremely difficult, even after years of problems and slights.

I went to talk to him. And when the tears stopped enough for me to form a coherent sentence I told him we couldn’t do things as a couple. It’s too painful for me to see a glimpse of what could be and be smacked in the face with what is.

An emotionally charged discussion ensued and he dropped a bomb. These are not the words he used, they are what I concluded they are to me. He’s been having a ‘virtual affair’ with anonymous images. Yeah. Okay so lots of things make sense now. The only thing which could make it worse if it had broached real life in any manner, as in one on one contact via email, web cam, so on and so forth. (which still may be the case)

I told him we were at day one. We’d just met. No physical contact beyond what acquaintances would demonstrate. I took my dazed, shell shocked self to bed. It was at the forefront of my thoughts the instant I woke up in the morning.

As one can imagine it was shattering. All this time I’ve been trying to get his attention to find out I wasn’t in his line of sight. He would like to dismiss it as a ‘guy’ thing. Blank stare.  Looking is a ‘Guy’ thing. Beyond that it is more–much more.  I’m not a prude. Far from it, so to be told it’s a ‘guy’ thing put me in a homicidal mood. The thought of living in a small space for years doesn’t appeal to me, so I called a friend.

Then I went to see a close friend. I was crying so hard she thought something had happened to one of the kids. Crying that hard with kitties in the house isn’t a good plan. I sucked cat, dog or both hair into my nose which resulted in a day long sneeze, running nose attack. Blech

Unable to be in the same house, I went shopping. No, shopping therapy wasn’t the plan or thought. Browsing stores helps me to focus, relax and see things more clearly. Alias, all it did was make it worse. Everything reminded me of him. It’s a rude shock to come face to face with just how much I depend on him, how thoroughly homogenized my life is with his.

Then I was devastated and angry. I wanted to leave.  Vegas for New Years. I wanted him to leave. I wanted to and did curl into a ball and sob. I wanted to know ‘why’? How could he do this? It is a betrayal of every vow we took when we got married. But it’s a ‘guy’ thing? Em, I don’t think so.  When push came to shove I needed him to hold me while I cried it out.

Sounds rather counter intuitive doesn’t it?  The bastard clearly isn’t worth my notice at this point. Tell that to my heart–the one I gave him unreservedly all those years ago.

Deflated and still crying I went home. He was sleeping and I woke him up. I curled into the fetal position and he held me. When the tears stemmed I moved away from him. We were friends for a couple of years before we became involved and I cried on his shoulder more than once as did he on mine. To let it go farther would have been extremely unwise.

Cried out, I went to my own bed and slept like a rock. If nothing else came of it, I can be in the same house with him.

He’s trying to get close, and that just isn’t going to happen for a good long while.  There’s just too much to consider, too much to correct for there to be any form of ‘us’ beyond living in the same house.

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This whole Debbie Downer thing I’ve got going grates. If it annoys me, well, then anyone reading this is a Saint.

In the midst of all the hubbub this year, I’ve been repeatedly told to take care of myself. If everyone is telling me that, it must be important. Grin

A  job I had earlier this year prompted a dietary change. I gave no thought to anything other than keeping my sugars level. (Hypoglycemic) The result? I’ve lost 25lbs. Fist pump! Better news? It’s still slipping off little by little. Booty dance! I like life at a smaller size. I can move better, feel better and best of all? My sugar isn’t so hard to manage with my weight down. W00T!

Losing weight is most certainly something to celebrate as are the new clothes.

Being able to move more freely means I can stretch in ways I couldn’t before. My body likes stretching.

This week I’ve been focusing on relaxing. Being quiet. (something which has been sorely lacking as of late) A combination of methods including metered breathing seems to be doing the trick. In the tub tonight it sounded like a bowl of rice crispies for all of the cracking and popping. It’s always nice when tension releases. If they were the kind of cracks and pops which aren’t good, I’ll know in the morning. For right now, it’s all good.

To the end means of taking care of myself, I changed up my hair and updated my brows. Small things, but I’m really happy with both. My feet have been getting more attention too. What I wouldn’t do for the skin I had at 35, dry feet? what’s that?

Going for pedicures isn’t something I enjoy. My toes don’t like other people messing with them. Shivers. So I got a big bowl, a box of calgon and a foot emery board. This I enjoy very much, and my eye doesn’t twitch. smile

I’ve been taking care of my own nails as well. If I had nails like my mother life would be so much easier. I don’t so it’s acrylic. When I get overly tired of doing it myself, then I go to the shop. They always ask who does my nails and they always roll their eyes when I tell them I do. Too bad, I’m too thrifty to pay for a ridge fill every couple of weeks. Other than being smelly, it’s a relaxing thing for me. If I’m not relaxed, we shouldn’t be doing nails. No, that’s just not good.

This year has also afforded me the opportunity to nurture some relationships. I’ve been acquainted with most of these people for a lot of years. The support I’ve gotten has been tremendously helpful. I don’t know what I would have done without them. Viva la friendships!

There’s nothing like having a friend crack a joke at precisely the right time. Nothing.

Life isn’t lived alone. Not for me.

My aging brood of animals continue to exhibit good health. At 15, 14, 12 & 10, the two oldest are cats and the younger large dogs, I’m extremely pleased to have them all so healthy. Are they a pain in the arse? Em, yes. Do I mind? How could I be when they are always so happy to see me? Pets are an ever present gift.

The current state of affairs will not last forever. Staying positive and taking care of myself makes it so much easier to walk through.

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