I’m still here, and I’m better…

So here I find myself four years later. Today was my D-day. December 10, 2010, a day that I will never forget, the day my life changed forever. Since I have left the blogging world well over a year ago I have often thought about whether or not I would write on this day about my feelings and mine and JR’s journey. I have obviously decided that I will write. I think it’s important for the other couples going through this to find as much hope as they can, and I hope that’s what they will find here…HOPE.

Our journey hasn’t been easy, it has been absolute hell. In the beginning I thought I would die, I actually wanted to, for a very long time. I honestly can’t believe that the kind of pain I felt didn’t kill me, because it should. I believe at times even JR felt this way. Now that I can look back I know that the burden he bore through all of this was not easy for him. In many ways he lost even more than I did. He has faced many struggles over the past four years and still struggles to this day, we both do. Everyday we make a conscience decision to be better, to feel better, to do better. Some days we forget this gentle reminder, but thankfully those days are fewer and farther between.

I have just begun to reach a place where I am finding myself again. I was lost for a very long time, I was buried in grief and anger and sadness. I stopped living, stopped doing anything. I didn’t want anything or anyone in my life. I felt numb to everything. I knew I was in trouble when I didn’t even miss my daughter who lives so far away. I feared that my emotions would remain dead like this. I had stopped being a mother to my son who is now 15. I stopped being a friend, a sister, I wasn’t alive. Only in the last six months have I noticed a change happening in me. Only in even more recent months have I begun to really believe in a future with JR. I have just started to say again, that I’m in this for the long haul. I’m beginning to see our future in a positive light. Over the past four years I’ve often thought of leaving, of starting over. Every time I had these thoughts I always came back to my life with JR. I know him better than anyone and he knows me just as well. We have all of the comforts that come with a 26 year marriage. The thought of starting over with someone new just seemed pointless to me. I guess I just sat down one day and made a decision that I would stay here, in this, with him, until we get it all right. He is worth it, and I owe it to myself to be with the man my heart chose.

There was a time when I swore that nothing positive would ever come of this. Today I feel differently about that. The one thing that has been brought to my attention is that my marriage was not as perfect or wonderful as I thought it was. There were many flaws, ones I just chose to ignore. Today we are working towards a new relationship, a better one. I feel that our communication has greatly improved. We tell each other how we are feeling, what we need. We share more of our thoughts. We have reached a place where we can say anything to one another without being hurt or angry. We are both better listeners than we were before. We have both realized that we are still guarded in our relationship, we both still hold back sometimes. I hold back out of fear and he holds back out of guilt. The good thing is that we are actually talking about this now. Things are still far from being the way we want them to be between us but I know that we will get there in time.

I’m finally feeling like myself again because I’m finally feeling again. I have felt excitement, longing, joy, happiness, love, so many of the emotions I was missing. I miss my daughter and my niece and nephew again. I get excited now when I know they are coming to visit and I experience longing when they leave until our next visit. Just this past weekend I actually felt love in a way I can’t find words to explain. At times in our marriage JR and I have felt so close to one another, so connected, that has been missing for a long time. This past weekend we were at a formal dinner with friends and for the first time since the affair we connected in a way we haven’t. We had moments where we sat with our arms and hands wrapped in the others, we looked at each other and we talked, we laughed, we kissed, we whispered, we touched. We forgot about where we were and who was around. In those moments we were alone, we were connected. This has been the hardest thing to recover. It has also been the thing I have missed the most, it’s where true intimacy comes from. Sometimes I worried that it may not be possible to regain after all of the pain we had suffered. I’m so happy to know that it is still there, we just have to look harder to find it. I know that in time this will also get easier.

Today its been four years and I’m still here. I’m not sitting here crying, my day wasn’t wrecked. I haven’t obsessed about the past. Other than this post I haven’t thought much about it at all. I’m well, I’m happy, I’m at peace. I made the decision to be happy. I make that decision every single day. It is a choice, the same choice that we all have. For more than three years I was deciding to be sad, unhappy, broken, then one day I just decided I had felt that way long enough, and that I was done. Make the decision, decide to be happy every day and then do it!

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Putting The Shoe On The Other Foot…

This has been an interesting day. It actually began yesterday. We had to spend the day in hometown with our youngest daughter, trading in her car. While we were at lunch I get a text from my oldest daughter that says she broke up with her boyfriend…he was cheating on her. We were at lunch with JR’s mom, step-dad, sister and our youngest daughter. We were just talking about our oldest when I got the text. It took me by surprise and I quickly mentioned it to JR and then changed the subject. No more was said about it after that. We ended up getting home really late and just the emotion from the day in hometown made me feel exhausted. JR and I didn’t talk much on the way home. I actually handled hometown better than I have in the past and I felt pretty good, tired, but good. The minute we pulled into our driveway this funk just over came me that I can’t describe. I had been “in the mood” all day, and the minute we got home that feeling vanished. We did end up having sex but my heart wasn’t in it and it was just so so for me, though JR did seem quite pleased. I guess that’s one positive.

Later I was talking with JR and I was explaining to him how I felt when we got home. I’m not sure if he really understands my feelings, but I know he tries. I explained that I have done the most grieving in this home. I have shed the most tears in this home. Some of our worst fights have happened in this home. JR left me for 4 days and stayed in a hotel while we are in this home. It was the only time that leaving was his idea instead of mine. He thought I needed some space, he was right at the time…I remember it was during my period of extreme anger. I hated him, I couldn’t stand to be near him at that time. I know that the immediate after shocks of the affair were the worst, but I was on that “gotta win my man back” high that some of us experience immediately after the affair comes out. It doesn’t allow you to feel things with your true feelings. This house has never felt like a home to me…it was just a place to be for a time. I am so grateful to be leaving all of this negative energy here and moving someplace new in a little over a week. I plan on making very good memories there and creating a home.

Now, back to the topic of this post. I feel like a really shitty mother. I have yet to talk to my daughter about her break-up and the cheating dirtbag boyfriend. I am avoiding her. It’s such a touchy topic for me. I don’t know how to give her advice without sounding like a complete hypocrite. I want to tell her to never speak to that asshole again. She is way to good for him. Run while you have the chance. If he did it now, he will do it again. He never loved you. It’s only been 6 months and he’s already cheating. Fucking bastard. I want to tell her all of the awful things that I have worked so hard not to believe about JR, her father. The things that I told myself in the beginning and have worked so hard to replace with hope, love and trust. So I have managed to avoid her for two days, and now I feel like a piece of shit myself.

JR came home from work and asked had I talked to oldest daughter. I said no. I have been very busy with moving stuff, so no time for phone calls. I went about my business and some time later I realized that JR was on the phone. I was in our chair printing something on the laptop and JR was in the sunroom and I could just overhear his conversation. He was talking to oldest daughter about her boyfriend cheating. I hear him tell her not to call him and ask him why he did it…that she would never get the answers she needed and wanted. He told her to just be done with him. I was shocked and started to feel angry, even though I agreed with her being done with the guy. I walked in there and told him that it’s a good thing that I never got that same advice or he and I would have been divorced a long time ago. I heard him tell her that I would call her later, which made me feel worse. I know she wants and needs to talk to me. Tomorrow, I’m going to work myself up for this conversation and give her a call.

After the phone call ends JR comes in the living room and sits down on the couch and looks at me. He says. “that was hard, I didn’t expect it to be so tough.” He is crying at this point. “That guys a piece of shit. She wants answers, I told her don’t call him. He’ll just lie or make you feel crazy. Make you feel like it isn’t that big of a deal. He’ll say it was just sex…it meant nothing.” “He’ll tell her all of the things that you told me…all of the same shit,” I replied. More tears, “Yes.”

We discussed how he found it so difficult to give the advice that he needed to give as a dad because he was also a cheater. It was hard for me to see the pain on his face while we discussed this. He told me how he hates knowing that she has been hurt, he can’t imagine her hurting the way he watched me hurt all of this time. He knows that a 6 month relationship is nothing close to a 22 year marriage, but it still hurts. He said that when they talked about it, it was hard because it made him feel like he cheated on her. I told him that in a way he did, I said you cheated on all of us. He ignored all of us while he was with Nikki. 

It was a hard conversation to have with him. I felt myself start out being angry and saying mean things to him. I was taking pokes at him and he was hurting. After a few minutes of watching him in tears and seeing how distressed he was I softened to him and walked over to the couch sat down and held him. This is how I know that I am healing and truly forgiving him. It hurt me to see the pain he was in. He did find the positive in it by realizing that she wanted to talk to him about it, she brought it up. I told him of course she does, she still respects and wants his opinions. He is her dad and would never steer her in the wrong direction, he loves her, and she knows this. He looked at me when I grabbed him and told me he truly is sorry and I know that he is…he really is. 

I know this was a difficult night for JR, and I know that my daughter is hurting, however I can’t help but be grateful that JR had to deal with this. The last thing that any parent wants is for their child to hurt. JR has now had to look at infidelity in a whole new light. He had to “put the shoe on the other foot” so to speak. Though the circumstances that got him to this place were not ideal, it was a good thing for him to have to do. Tomorrow I will do what any other mother would do in my position. I will tell my daughter to walk away and never look back. I will tell her to be grateful that she found out what a slime bag he is before she got in even deeper. She is young, beautiful and extremely smart…she will be just fine. We will all be just fine.

 

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My Fifty Shades of Something…

So I just finished reading the third book in the 50 Shades of Grey series. This is not normally the type of book I would read…I’m more of a Stephen King kind of girl, but I thought, what the hay. I had been feeling kinda blah about my labido, it’s just not up to par lately, so I thought maybe if these books were all they are said to be it could jolt my sex drive back into hyper gear. I really miss my “gotta have it all the time” attitude. What I gained from these books is not at all what I expected…it was way more than that.

So I read the first book and expect to have all kinds of things coming alive “down there” and I didn’t…nothing. No urges, no excitement. I did enjoy the story however, so I decided to go on to the second book. Still not much happening there. I liked where the second book left off and quickly headed on to the third book. I finished it last night. What I gained from reading these books are two insights into life and love. First, I realized that my own husband, my JR is in his own way 50 kinds of fucked up, also from his childhood. Ok, well maybe not quite 50, let’s say 15. Second, there must be a lot of women out there who are not in touch with their own sexuality, have a boring sex life, or are just doing it all wrong, if they got all hot and bothered by these books.

Let’s talk about the first thing, my own 15 shades of grey. What I gathered from this story is a man, a good man, who is deeply troubled, he is flawed. His flaws are part of what make Ana love him. She falls head over heals in love before she even realizes it. That love is deep and strong almost from the very beginning. This is the type of love I share with JR. I know about his flaws, I know his insecurities, as he does me. We challenge each other daily. I know that I could never leave him. I know that I would do anything for him. I know that he also shares all of these same feelings for me. His affair is just one of the 15 shades. It wasn’t done out of malice or hate, or spite. It was done because he was lost and I was not aware. He was scared to talk to me, and this comes from his childhood. He doesn’t communicate well with his parents or siblings. They have spent a lot of time over the years fighting and arguing with one another. They all think they should be the center of the universe or something. This came from his mother, she is very self-centered. They didn’t receive praise growing up, and now they just receive pity. They all seem to crave drama. JR is not quite as bad as his siblings with this one, I think that I have helped him with this one.

I know that I have a fucked up man, but he’s my fucked up man. To this day, when I don’t let my own emotions get in the way of rational thoughts, I have never felt unloved by him. He would give me anything I wanted that was in his power to give. He loves me just as unconditionally as I love him. We are a perfect match and I know that I will spend the rest of my life with him. We are meant to be together. I can honestly say that I do not fear JR having another affair. The thought actually sickens him now. He has changed all of his behaviors with women. He talks to me more now, even about the hard stuff. We have both learned a great deal about ourselves and each other because of his affair. I will not make those mistakes again in my marriage, and I know neither will he. I hope that one day soon he can forgive himself and this weight will lift from his heart. I will continue to love and support him until he gets there.

Now let’s talk about the second thing. I must say that I feel sorry for all of the women who just went nuts over these books because of the sex. I want to get excited about my own sex life and I do. So JR and I haven’t done all of the dirty deeds in 50 shades of grey, but we have done many of them and some that aren’t in the book. I am proud to say that after 25 years we still drive each other nuts and come up with new and exciting things to try in bed…and out! JR has always been an exceptional lover, he is very eager to please and attentive to my needs. We have toys, oils, videos, blind folds…etc. We don’t use them all the time sometimes we prefer vanilla sex too, but other times I want rockyroad with whipped cream, nuts and a cherry on top. It’s like this past week, Sunday night I got an itch for toys. That night I pulled out the toy box and we “played” for a bit. Then on Tuesday we came home from working all day and ended up in his office on the floor. We both laughed about how exhausted we were after. It was quick but super heated. It was good. Later that night while in the shower JR shampooed my hair and washed me. I thought, “hhmm…he doesn’t need to read a book to know how to treat me.”Then I remembered while we were in Florida what he did the night we got there. As we climbed in bed,  I laid down and he moved to the end and grabbed my foot and started kissing it, then sucking on my toes, which I love. I asked him…”did you read part of my book”, he looked at me puzzled and said,”no, why?” So there you have it, my 15 shades and all of his glory. The man knows how to please me and I him. We don’t mind telling the other what we like, what we want to try. We are perfectly comfortable with each other in the bedroom (minus all of the affair crap, but that is subsiding).

It’s funny because I talk with my grown daughters about their sexuality and love life. I never wanted either of them to wait until marriage, or marry the first boy they slept with. That would be like only trying one flavor of icecream your whole life. Forgive me for saying but, I also didn’t want them stuck with a man with a small penis, and how would they know what to compare that to if they only had one. I want them to have great sex, safe of course, but great! I want them to have their needs, wants, and desires met in the bedroom. I honestly believe that most of the miserable women I know are miserable because they are sexually unsatisfied. Our joke around the house is…Don’t snoop through my pictures or dig in my dresser drawers unless you want to be ruined for life, because your Mom and Dad like to fly their freak flag on occasion!

What I would wish for women everywhere is this…Be with a man that will want to please you, don’t be afraid to “play” in the bedroom, ask for what you want, show him if you can’t find the words to tell him, get some toys…they can be tons of fun, and last don’t be embarrassed. Sex should be fun and exciting and afterwards you should feel totally relaxed, calm, serene, and satisfied.

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JR’s Rock Bottom….

This weekend, well this whole past week actually,was a rough one. I have felt a real disconnect from my life and my husband. I found myself asking JR what would be his rock bottom and what his biggest fear was. He didn’t think at that time that he had hit a real rock bottom, and I didn’t think so either. His biggest fear was that I would stop loving him and that I would leave him. 

I guess rock bottom would only come if that did happen. I have spent countless hours trying to tell him, in a way that makes sense, what I need from him. He says he understands and that I have made myself very clear. So after a horrible Friday, a so so Saturday and a nightmarish Sunday morning I decided I was done. I could no longer remain here with him. He saw it on my face as we laid in our bed together. What happened next was not what I expected. JR practically lost it. He was a wreck. He has been all over the place and it’s so unnatural for him. It’s very unsettling for me. I was extremely upset and he had gotten in the shower. I laid in bed thinking and I realized that I just can’t walk away from this man…it would be like chopping off my own arm. 

I decided to join him in the shower and we talked about his fears and I asked what is the hardest for him. He told me that being with me, sometimes, is the hardest thing for him. This is not what I expected to hear and it rocked me to my core. He said I was what made him so unhappy. Now I lost it and I am a wreck and he looks terrified. He quickly tries to explain what had come out wrong with that statement. He explained that he sees me struggle, he sees my pain and how lost I become and he hurts for me. My unhappiness makes him unhappy. He has struggled with ED and that drives me insane, I asked him to tell me why he thinks this happens. He admitted that he feels like he doesn’t deserve to be with me. He sees how badly I want him and it makes him hate himself. He doesn’t understand how I can still want him the way I do after all that he has done to me. He has some extreme self loathing going on. I have known this for some time now. He doesn’t dress the way he used to, he barely grooms himself anymore. He has always been a very proud man and taken very good care of himself. He admitted that he can barley stand to look at himself in the mirror most days. He is struggling as badly as I am to let go of the past. He sometimes, as do I, will forget about the bad…and in those moments I see my husband, my JR and it is the best thing in the world. It’s what I crave. 

We ended up taken our son and dog to the beach and going for a very long, relaxing walk. When we got home he asked me to walk with him out on the dock. We sat there and talked about our future and he told me that he realizes he has to make changes now or he knows I will leave him…he understands this. He explained that it’s the guilt that is ruining him. When he starts to feel good and he sees me doing better something inside of him triggers and says…you don’t deserve this, you don’t deserve her, how can you be happy after what you did. This is when he shuts down and then I get frustrated. I asked him how can I help him with this. He gets choked up and tells me that he needs me to tell him when I am proud of him. He feels like I am ashamed of him. I had taken pictures of him coaching this season and I had not yet put them on my computer or FB. He said he felt like I didn’t do it because I was ashamed of him. I was in shock. Why hadn’t he ever said this to me before? I had no idea that it bothered him that I had procrastinated with putting up pictures. There was no reason behind it for me, I still had pictures to post from my daughter’s going away and coming home parties. That’s how far behind I had gotten with my pictures. 

Light bulbs went on during this conversation. JR is as wounded as I am. I know that some of this is coming from issues he had as a child. His parents never told him they were proud of him growing up. They didn’t do the whole lovey, mushy stuff. JR as a result is very lovey and mushy. He always tells me and our children how proud he is of us. I think some of his motivation for an affair were fueled by his need for attention from me, and like a child would, he acted out to get me to pay attention to him…he did this as a child. The problem is that it was always negative behavior and that got negative responses. This is true for him now. He hated what he was doing with Nikki and when I think back he wasn’t a man trying to be real secretive and sly, he was throwing hints in my direction constantly. He wanted me…my attention, not hers. That’s why it was so easy for him to drop everything with her the moment I found out. He never saw her again after he told me about it. 

I feel like I am rambling at this point. It’s just that I have discovered things about JR this weekend that I was not fully aware of before. It was very eye opening. 

Finally I have decided to give up blogging at the end of this month. I found this outlet when I was in great need, it’s been almost 6 months now. I needed to know that I was not alone, I needed to know that others are struggling with all of the same things I am. I needed the advice that I have received from so many wise women…and men. It filled a need. Now my needs are changing. Now what I need is to not focus on the pain so much and the past. When I read the blogs that I follow sometimes I feel stuck in this infidelity land. It’s like I bought a one day ticket and then never left the park. I need to leave the park…it’s time for a new theme park, a new ride. 

We are moving at the end of this month and I really want to leave all of the bad here, in this place. I want to move with a new outlook and a new motivation to heal my family. JR is still a very broken man and he needs all of my attention and love…and I need his too. We have both agreed to leave certain things here and one of those things for me is this blog. I will continue to write and share my story through April and then I will move on to something else. I’m going to move on with my life.

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What My Drunk Self Says…

You know how they say that we speak the truth when we are drunk. Well as I sit here I find myself a little bit drunk so here goes with the truth and things I really want to say but never have the balls to say when I’m sober.

First to the other women…You are all STUPID. You live in a fantasy world that does not exist. These men DO NOT, and NEVER will love you. They love what you let them do to you…fuck you when and where they want. They love what you do for them…fuck them when and where they want, suck their dicks…etc. Many of these men lie to you about their wives. Their wives are NOT heartless, cold bitches who deny them sex. In fact we are usually just the opposite of that. These men leave your beds and go home and wash your nasty pussy off of their dicks and then proceed to stick said dicks into their wives. They love their wives…they do not love you. Your relationship is based on lies and deceit. Just as you are willing to do ANYTHING for these men, don’t you think that if they really LOVED you that they would do the same…including leave their wives. It is that simple…black and white. They don’t stay because “it’s complicated”. They stay because they want nothing more from you than sex!!! It’s only about how you make them feel…there is no love to be found. Stop being so fucking pathetic. Go out and find an AVAILABLE man for God’s sake. 

 

To the cheating men…You are all fucking COWARDS. You are selfish pricks. Despite what you think…you are NOT God’s gift to women. You are the lowest form of shit on the planet. If you want to cheat then leave your wife, at least give her the chance to find another love. Your wives have not remained faithful because she can only imagine being with you. She has remained faithful because she is strong…many of us can, and have imagined being with many other men. Many of us would probably actually enjoy another man in our bed. Unlike you we took our vows seriously. Grow some balls, tell the truth. Stop thinking you are entitled to have your cake and eat it too. You are not. Be accountable for your actions. If your wife is willing to forgive your lying, cheating ass, then thank her daily, for this was not an easy choice for her. 

To all of the betrayed Women…WTF is wrong with us. Why do we stay through all of the bullshit. Why do we choose to remain in relationships that now cause us to view ourselves as damaged. Why do we think that we could ever trust a man that was that willing to damage us to EVER have our best interest at heart? Why do we believe that faced with these same temptations again, our men will chose the right thing…because they did in the past? We are STUPID. We live in as much of a fantasy world as the OW do. We must be gluttons for punishment. How many times will we allow our men to hurt us, to break us into tiny little pieces? It’s a fucking insane roller coaster that we keep choosing to ride even though it makes us sick.

 

There is so much more…I could go on and on, but I think I made my point. That is all. Hope you enjoyed my drunken rant this evening.

 

 

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He Did It Again…

He’s gone and done it again. He always does this to me. Just when I get to a point of total frustration and anguish he reminds me of all of the reasons why I am so in love with him. We just got back from our trip to Florida and I have been reflecting on the time there and our interactions with my family.

The drive down was awful, traffic was horrendous and it rained the whole way. We passed 6 car accidents within 10 minutes of driving. It took 12 hours to do a 9 ½ hour drive. I was a wreck the whole way. JR did the entire drive by himself. I read a book to distract myself. He was very patient with me and did his best to help me relax. He knows that I don’t do bad traffic mixed with terrible rain, while driving very well.

We finally arrive at 9pm and my niece (2) and nephew (4) are so excited to see us. They are immediately all over JR. Even though he was exhausted from the drive he jumped right in like a trooper entertaining the kids. My mom, sister and I were cooking dinner and the rest of the bunch decided to get in the pool. JR was busy entertaining the kids, like he always does. We finally sit down to eat and since we had fed the children first they finished up before the rest of us. The boys all got in the pool but my niece has to wait for an adult to go in. She starts whining and complaining to get back in, I look at her and say ask Uncle JR to take you back in. So she does in her sweetest little voice…Uncle JR will you please get in the pool with me. So my sweet husband who hasn’t quite finished his seafood dinner (he had not yet had any of the crawdads that my parents had brought from MS, JR’s absolute favorite.) quickly finished up his last few bites and headed off to the pool with my niece. After dinner we all decided to get in and spent the next hour just enjoying the time together. JR decided to retire around midnight and the girls stayed up for another couple of hours.

While at Disney the next day we had to juggle doing the rides with two toddlers and that can be tricky. My sister’s husband was unable to go so she needed extra help with everything. JR always jumps right in and it’s funny because people always assume that the children belong to he and I. He will handle feeding them and taking them to the bathroom without even being asked. While we were waiting for the fireworks there was music playing and JR had my niece in his arms, he was dancing around and swinging her and she was giggling her little butt off. Those moments absolutely melt my heart.

We invited my cousin who is 15, and lives near my parents, to come along since he had never been to Disney. He and our son get along very well and we knew our son would appreciate having someone his own age to hang with. My cousins family could only afford to pay for his tickets and I had volunteered for us to pay the rest of the cost for him. I forgot to mention this detail to JR and told him in the line to get food at Disney. Since we gave up our biggest contract last summer money has been much tighter for us than we are used to. I worried that he would be ill and he just smiled at me and said it was worth it to keep our son occupied and happy.

The other days went just as well as the first and JR never complains about anything. He always just goes with the flow and never questions what I decide. He rides whatever I suggest and whenever I suggest it. Since we had the little kids this time we did more little kid rides, no complaints from anyone except our son of course, that’s just a teenager for you. We did split up at one point because I felt bad for the older ones. My mom, sister and I stayed with the little ones for a couple of hours and did the kiddie rides.

The last day there we didn’t get to bed until around 1am and JR got up the next morning at 7:30 and drove our oldest daughter to catch her rise to Ft. Lauderdale to visit with friends. With traffic that took him about 2 ½ hours. Again no complaints. He gets back and we load up to head home. My sister is following us so all the stops take a little longer than normal for us. JR was always right there getting the kids out of their carseats, putting them back in, etc. At one stop he decides to buy my nephew some skittles, about 30 minutes later I get a frantic phone call from my sister, “We have to pull over, ______ put a skittle up his nose and it’s stuck.” As we pull over I ask JR to go help her deal with this and he does without question. When he gets to her car, she has started to panic because she can’t see the skittle it’s so far up there. (She has had to take him to the ER for this once before) Now my nephew starts to cry and then she does too. JR tells her to calm down it’s going to be fine. He looks at my nephew and tells him to blow as hard as he can while he plugs up the other nostril. One hard blow and out pops the skittle. He comes back, gets in our car and looks at me and laughs…all in a day’s work as an Uncle. I tell him thank you, and that I love that he knows how to handle these types of situations. He looks at me and says, “I love those babies, I would do anything for them,” and I know that he means that.

Then there are all of the little things he does like, he always puts me away from traffic when we walk down the street or in a parking lot, he always allows me to walk in front of him in a line or into a room…he guides me with his hand on the small of my back, when we went to get on Space Mountain he puts me in the seat ahead of his and says he wants to be able to see me, just incase anything goes wrong…he feels safer with me there. He puts a towel out for me when I get in the bath. He unpacked my toothbrush and charger and plugged it back in for me when we got home. He always puts my cell phone on the charger at night because he knows I always forget to, he brings me water to bed every night because I forget. Some of these things may seem trivial, but what they all mean is that he “takes care” of me. I know that I would miss that terribly if it were gone.

So I guess what I realized this past week is that JR is a truly good, kind, loving, and generous man, and he’s my husband. Spending this time with him, watching him interact with my family and our children was such a reminder of the man that I know and love. Sometimes all of the pain tends to cloud the image I have of my husband. It distorts the image I hold of him. I think I needed this time to see him interact with the people I love the most in the world. He seemed more like himself than I have seen him be in over 3 years. This is what I have prayed for, and those prayers are being answered.

I’m beginning to understand that when I struggle the hardest it really doesn’t have very much to do with JR and how he is now, it’s about me getting caught up in my mind about the past and the affair stuff. When I’m not feeling sad or angry and I examine my life now and how JR interacts with me, he really does give me everything that I want and I need. It’s just that when I sink into a low, nothing seems like enough. In those moments I am inconsolable, probably nothing he did would be enough. That’s when he feels defeated and he tends to shut down some. This is the cycle we have to work on. I think realizing where the problem lies and trying to identify certain triggers is the first step. I guess as long as we both stay committed and know that all we want is a life with each other, then we can’t lose.

So once again, he has reminded me and showed me through his actions, which I prefer over words any day, the man that he truly is. The man that I love with all of my heart.

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How Do You Piece Together A Broken Heart?

I am sitting here feeling completely unsatisfied. I am on my 5th glass of wine so this may be all over the place. I am sexually unsatisfied. I am not enjoying it like I used to and I don’t know why. I am slowly shutting down. I told JR that I thought our sex was mediocre. He was not happy about that. I was just trying to be honest. I used to be all about sex, these days not so much. It’s Friday and we have not had sex since Tuesday…that troubles me. He says we will tomorrow, I doubt that. We are leaving in the morning for Florida…Disney world here we come. My parents, my sister and her children are meeting us there. Our oldest daughter will be joining us Sunday night. His answer was that we always have a lot of sex on vacation…while that may normally be true, it wont be for this trip. First of all I will want to spend time with my Mom and my sister after everyone goes to bed, a chance for some girl time. Secondly, we are always exhausted after spending all day in the parks. Translation…no sex. Admittedly, when we have it I’m not enjoying it like I used to, but I would still like to have it as often as I can. I keep hoping that something will spark in me, but so far that hasn’t happened. Could it be from exhaustion? I know that I frequently just feel this immense sadness that takes over all of my mind, it consumes my thoughts and actions. I am extremely tired…all of the time. The kind of tired where you’re not just physically tired, but your mind is tired. I wish I could just shut off my brain, I don’t want to think about anything, especially not about the affair. I miss the “good life” that I had before all of this. Ignorance truly is bliss. I miss feeling like I had it all, as far as I knew I did. I was happy.

JR obviously was not happy, but fuck..I was. Bastard stole my happiness, wrapped it up, put a fucking bow on it and then handed it to some fucking whore. I bet, no I know, she loved that. She loved the idea of living my life. She wanted my life with my husband. Stupid whore didn’t realize that I was the one who created my life, not JR. Without me that life wouldn’t even exist. She would have just been left with a man that needed to be pushed to be better, that got bored with his life and cheated to feel alive again. He would have cheated on her too. He would have been miserable with her. Everything he loves about his life is a direct result of me. It all ties to me. She wouldn’t have even been capable of coming close to creating the life I have…he’s told me that. She pretty much sucks at everything I excel at. The life she saw and that she wanted to steal, was all me…dumb whore. That life goes with me, it stays with me. That saying that behind every great man is a better woman = truth! Sometimes I wish they would have ended up together so he could see her fall flat on her fucking face and vice versa. 

The biggest injustice I can see so far through this, is the fact that it makes me feel incompetent. I feel very badly about …me and I hate that. I felt great about myself before all of this came out. Now I question everything about me. I’m not happy with how I look, how I cook, how I keep house, how I do anything. Why do I feel this way? I know why…because when I felt the absolute best that I ever felt about myself…it wasn’t enough for my husband. He still chose someone else to spend his time with , to fuck, to enjoy. I wonder if they laughed, did they have fun? He wasn’t laughing with me those days, he wasn’t having fun. The question is…if I wasn’t enough, if I wasn’t satisfying to JR when I was at my absolute best…then how could I possibly be enough now that I am at my worst. This affair has left me in the  worst possible state that I could ever be in. How can I be pleasing to him. How can he enjoy me when I can’t even stand myself. The sick thing is…I’m only like this because he fucking cheated…bastard. Sometimes I really just want to walk away…leave it all behind me. Sometimes I fantasize about a life on my own, a life without a husband who broke my heart. Sometimes I want to just run away. I worry that I am falling out of love with JR. If I had to describe myself in one word, it would be…BROKEN. I am a soul that has been broken. How does one heal their soul? I pray all the time for God to heal me, make me whole again. I want to feel love more in my heart, instead of having to constantly say it in my mind. I used to love JR like that…it just “was”. I didn’t have to think about it or question it. It was absolute and pure…it was all I knew. 

Tonight I went through an old purse. I went through a phase where I was buying purses like mad. Since we are leaving tomorrow and it is officially Spring, I wanted to switch to a lighter purse. I chose one that I hadn’t used in quite some time. As I was cleaning it out I started going through the receipts that were left in it. They were all from July through December of 2010. JR began his affair in August of 2010. It was sickening to see a time line of his affair and our interactions during that time. He fucked her for the first time on a Saturday and then we hosted my sister’s baby shower at our home on Sunday and apparently went to lunch together on Monday. Just 48 hours after he fucked his whore he sat with me at a table and shared lunch. I hate him for that. How did he manage to do that. It’s just sick. Can a person who does that to you at one point ever really have your best interest at heart again? Did they ever have your best interest at heart really? Are they just here for what they can get out of it? JR has been doing better and as a result he seems to have very little patience for me when I am struggling. What does that say about him? He wants to just forget that whole thing. He still has no clue why he did what he did..that scares me. How can he truly heal and know that this will never happen again if he doesn’t figure out why it happened in the first place? I think this is crucial, he doesn’t seem to think it’s so important. 

All I know is that I want to feel good again. I want a normal life again. I tell myself I want this life with JR, because I’m supposed to want it…right. He changed the game though and now I’m not sure of anything. It’s been over 2 years and sometimes I still feel as conflicted as I did the day this all started. It’s almost worse now than it was in the beginning. In the beginning I was trying to re-establish my territory, I was reclaiming my man, so to speak. I had to reassert myself into Jr’s life and heart. In the beginning my want for him was insatiable, I couldn’t get enough of him, the sex was amazing…thank you hyper bonding.  Our emotions were so raw and intense, everything was heightened. Now that all of those emotions have subsided all I am left with is doubt, confusion and hurt. I am having to actually hear what my heart and mind are saying and that is scary. What if I can’t move pass what he did to us, how he broke us. What if his affair does end up costing us our marriage? What if I can’t heal from this. What if the only way to move on is to leave all of this in the past, leave it all behind and start over new with a new love? This isn’t what I wanted or ever thought I would have. JR was supposed to be my forever and ever…he changed that. He broke me and I don’t know how to put the pieces back together.

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25 Years Ago Today

Today is the day that marks 25 years for JR and I. It was 25 years ago today that we went on our very first date. I was 15 and he was 17. I remember what we both were wearing. I remember everything, the conversation, the music we listened to, the pack of watermelon gum he bought me. He was a perfect gentleman that night. I remember the spark that I felt when he touched my knee asking me if I was cold. We wouldn’t share our first kiss until 2 nights later. It was a night that I will never forget.

Thinking about how we started has me evaluating where we have ended up. We have gone through almost everything imaginable in our 25 years. There has been life, death, medical scares, heartache, happiness. There have been triumphs and failures. We have had a life together. Something that comes to mind is something that JR’s mother said to us this past fall as we were sitting on the back porch staring at the ocean, talking. She was recovering from her radiation and chemo treatments for the lung cancer she was diagnosed with that April. We were discussing all that had happened over the years and JR made the reference to the affair and things he would change. His mom looked up at him and said, “I know you would change some things, but you (meaning the two of us) have had a good life, you’ve had a good marriage.” She is right, we have had a good life together, a good marriage. JR and I basically grew up together. We married so young it’s almost like we raised each other. We developed our morals and values together. I have always felt that we were a great match.

This makes me wonder how we ended up here. I imagine for most people considering a relationship with someone, they have a past that they can go by. The person they are looking at has a history, something to judge them by, past behaviors. For JR and I that didn’t exist. We were both so young, there wasn’t much of a past to look at. It’s true that even then JR was a huge flirt only proved my the fact that I was dating his best friend prior to him. It wasn’t serious (for a 15 year old) and I quickly decided that he wasn’t the guy for me. JR swooped in almost immediately and asked me out. He even facilitated the break up from his friend. I wanted to do that in person. JR picked me up, brought me to his house to break up with his best friend and then asked me out on the way home. He knew what he wanted (me) and he went after it. All of my friends warned me…he’ll break your heart, don’t do it…etc. That was his normal, he had not had one serious girlfriend. I was his first. If only I had been his last. If only I had known that 22 years later he would enter into a relationship with a married woman and break my heart…would I have thought twice about that date? Probably not.

What we have is a past. We are is intricately wound into one another’s lives as two people can be. When I say that he is a part of me I honestly mean that. I know that he feels the same for me. He is like air to me. I need him to survive. Sometimes I worry that this is an unhealthy way to feel about another human being. Am I co-dependant? I don’t think so. I admit that we are up each other’s butts all the time now, but it hasn’t always been that way. Pre-affair we both had plenty of friends that we did things with. We spent quality time together and quality time alone as well. I’m not obsessed with JR, but I do love him more than any other thing or person in my life. My love for him is very deep and strong and thus the pain from his betrayal is equally as strong and deep.

I look at where we are today and how far we have come in these past 2 years. I am also faintly aware of how far we have to go. The anger is gone now, for the most part, and all that remains is sadness. I thought the anger was tough to deal with…it wasn’t. I have always been a fighter. I can fight for the things I feel passionately about. The sadness is so much worse. I am not a sad person by nature, I have always seen the brighter side of things. So it seems that I truly do not have the tools to handle the sadness and sometimes it gets the best of me.

Last night I watched one of my favorite movies “Under the Tuscan Sun”. There are some great lessons in that movie. It is about divorce but it can also be applied to betrayal. There are so many of the same emotions tied to these two things. In one part she is explaining how divorce feels and I feel that way about the betrayal of an affair. She says to some degree, “ The surprising thing is that it doesn’t kill you. It should, but it doesn’t. When the person that you promised to spend your life with tells you that they never loved you, it should kill you. I never even saw it coming. How did I not know, I mean I guess I knew on some level but I was scared to admit the truth.” The man she is speaking to replies with, “Love is blind.” So I guess that’s it. When your brain tells you that the person you love the most is betraying you, your heart simply loves and so it chooses to ignore it. You don’t see it…love is blind. I agree that pain like this should kill you…it honestly at times, feels like you are dying. Death has to feel that intense, that painful. Those moments when your despair is at it’s peaks, spilling over, those moments when you can’t catch your breathe…you really believe you must be dying.

In another part, her friend who has also been betrayed asks her, “How do you do it, how do you breathe again?” This too is something I am familiar with. I have had to relearn something that we are born doing…breathing. Some days it’s still hard to just breathe. I have held and lost my breathe more in the last 27 months than I have my entire life. Breathing, such a simple thing that has now become so hard.

25 years, my entire youth, now a part of my past. It seems like a lifetime, hell it is a lifetime for some, all spent loving the same person. I imagine that I will spend the next 25 years doing exactly the same thing, but maybe not in the same way. I hope that we have learned from the mistakes. I hope our love grows with each passing year. I hope we continue to have faith and patience. I’m sure that we will be tested again in our future, but I hope that the lessons we have learned along the way will see us through whatever life throws at us.

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I think many BS start their lives up in Safe Mode after Dday. I know I did. In fact after reading this I know that it is a state that I continue to live my life in. It’s hard to figure out how to operate your life in a different mode from the one that you had grown comfortable with over 22 years of marriage. I haven’t let my guard down yet and I know it. I don’t even remember how to do that anymore…function without constantly waiting for the next bomb to drop. I don’t yet trust JR fully. I don’t yet trust that he will protect my heart from pain. I don’t yet trust that he will think of me before thinking of himself. I don’t yet trust that he will never again act in such a selfish way. I don’t yet trust that he will never hurt me again to the point of me wanting to end my own life. I simply don’t yet trust anything therefore I live my life in Safe Mode. It’s all I know anymore. JR does all he can, I see this daily in our life together, but will it ever be enough for me to make the switch to being fully operational in my life. When and how so you know that your heart is ready to jump in with both feet and abandon caution? I sometimes envy those who decided to end the marriage and have found another to build a life with. I realize that they too probably have a hard time with trusting someone with their heart again, but I also know that sometimes it seems impossible for the rest of us who stayed with our cheating spouse. How do you hand back your heart to the very person who stomped it into the ground, smashing it into little pieces, leaving it unrecognizable? The very ones who sent you into life in Safe Mode. It would be nice if somewhere there were the exact answers, an instruction manual. Something that said if you do A, B, and C, you can put your happy self back together again and feel whole. Unfortunately there is not and the instruction manual for how to pull our lives out of Safe Mode must be written by each and every one of us individually in our own time. I cling to hope that one day soon my heart and mind will agree that it’s time to return to a normal operating system.

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

Rebooting in safe mode.

Divorce is a major reboot of your life.  Control-Alt-Del of all that is familiar.  The process can vary, some may have time to save and safely exit their open files.  For others, applications are subdued with repeated clicks of the “force quit” button.  Divorce causes damage to the system, errors and gaps.  For most of us, we have to start our lives over again in safe mode.

According to Microsoft,

Safe mode is a troubleshooting option for Windows that starts your computer in a limited state. Only the basic files and drivers necessary to run Windows are started. The words “Safe Mode” appear in the corners of the display to identify which Windows mode you are using. If an existing problem does not reappear when you start in safe mode, you can eliminate the default settings and basic device drivers as possible causes.

After a…

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I Was An Enabler

I just had one of those A-ha moments by way of reading the comments on another blog…I was an enabler. I have never, never thought of myself as that person. I guess when I think of enablers I always associate it with some type of substance abuse or addiction. However, the fact is that I was an enabler.

JR has always been a huge flirt…always. He is (was) overly friendly with women…all women. The problem here is that some women simply can’t handle that. Women have always found JR charming and attractive. He has always given the kind of attention to women that they gravitate towards. They eat it up in big huge gulps. Mostly this behavior was innocent in nature, but on those two occasions where he flattered the wrong women in the wrong way it resulted in their pursuing him until they had him in their beds.

I was never a jealous wife. It didn’t bother me when he would flirt with women. It never bothered me that his voice was always different when he spoke to women versus when he spoke to men. It never bothered me when he would talk about how “hot” Nikki was. I never felt insecure. I guess I just always accepted that it was his personality, it came with the territory.

Things are much different now. I don’t know if it’s because of the affair, or if it’s because I am older, but I decided that his behavior with other women is bullshit! It is highly inappropriate and plain out disrespectful to me. I mean I have known and seen men whom I think are attractive but I don’t act like a walking hormone because of it.

The good news is that I have already laid down the law with JR regarding this and he completely understands how I feel. I believe he even felt a little embarrassed about his behavior when he actually took the time to think about it. Though he had been this way for his 40 years of life, he has done very well with respecting my wishes these past 2 years. He is now more aware of “those” kind of women who mistake his kindness for flirting. It’s like I had to teach him about “needy” women who are unhappy with the attention or lack of attention that they get from their own men. The ones that fall all over themselves when he’s around.

It’s too late to turn the clock back, but the “what if’s” weigh heavy on my mind. What if I would have freaked out on him the first time he ever mentioned Nikki. If I would have told him that he should never talk about another woman that way in front of or to me, then maybe he would have stayed clear of her. Maybe I would have been the voice in his head telling him how wrong what he was doing was. Maybe if I would have put an end to their so called “friendship” right from the beginning then it would never have developed into anything more. Who knows, we never will.

I truly believe that the months leading up to the affair that JR was crying out for my attention and my guidance. He needed my help, he wanted my help, otherwise I would never have even known that she existed. He never tried to keep her a secret. He talked about her the whole time they were fucking. It’s nuts. I simply didn’t recognize his attempts to get me to engage in our marriage, to engage in him. That is my one fault in all of this. I chose to ignore my husband, even though I wasn’t aware I was doing it. That’s a mistake I will never make again. Just like I know that he is always very aware of how he interacts with women now.

It’s taken me 27 months to admit some of these things to myself, but each day I grow wiser. I am getting better, one day at a time.

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