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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6 Responses to 25 Years Ago Today

  1. Still Loving Him says:

    Happy First Date Anniversary!

    The pain from betrayal like this does feel like you’re dying. There were times I prayed for death over the pain I was feeling. It’s like living in a slow hell.

    I feel like I got most of my anger out in our last round of drama. Sadness is also where I’m at. We are happy most of the time but when we get to happy my fear that it could all go away again starts to creep in. Then the sadness comes. I live in fear and sadness and I don’t know how to let it go.

    I love “Under The Tuscan Sun” one of the best movies ever. Have you seen “Eat, Pray, Love” it’s equally as good. I read the book first. The scene in the beginning of her in the bathroom, I can completely identify with that.

    • kayboo24 says:

      I was actually reading “Eat, Pray, Love” when JR started having his affair. We had gone away for our 22 anniversary, which was about a month into his affair, to the very beach that he had brought her to for their first date, a beach that we escaped to often. I sat on that beach reading that book, crying because I understood how she felt. JR excused himself to go get us another drink from the bar, translation…he needed to call his whore. Later we would have dinner at our favorite restaurant and sit in the same spot they shared their first meal together. A year later I bought the movie. I still have no clue how he was able to relive his first date with her, with me celebrating our 22nd anniversary. It’s like he had absolutely no emotion about any of it. He spoke to her several times that weekend, while I was showering, etc. I had no clue…he was loving, caring, attentive, the whole nine. The sex was amazing. We had a great time, but for some reason (now I know why) I just felt empty. Later that November we would again have a meal at that same favorite restaurant with our family after the Holiday Flotilla. I remember on that occasion JR seeming very sad and distant. At one point I caught him staring out the window with tears in his eyes, I asked what was wrong…where are you? He said he was fine, I’m right here, again…now I know why. That time he actually felt something, he felt bad. He was thinking about the date he had with Nikki there and it was all eating him alive. 3 days later I would learn of part of his betrayal, and a couple of weeks later the affair would come out. Still makes me sick to this very day when I think about it.

      • Still Loving Him says:

        Yeah that would be hard to deal with. I hate knowing that I’ve been in the same city where my husband was with his whore, and even worse in some of the same hotels. He fucked her twice in a hotel in Clearwater that I’d been to with him for work events. I cringe to think of the even remote possibility that we could have been in the same room. He can’t recall if we’ve stayed in any other hotels he was in with her but I imagine that we have.

        Sometimes the pain of living with all of this is almost unbearable. I have often wondered what would be worse staying with him (the source of my pain) and living with it all, or leaving him and still having to live with it.

        We had 5 wedding anniversaries while he was cheating. Some were great others we just let pass by without much recognition. We went to USVI on #6 and had an amazing time. On #9 we went to a ritzy beach resort and had an incredible time, he also asked me to renew our vows on #10. It’s crazy to think that only 5 months later I would find out he was living a lie and had been cheating for 7 years. It’s all very devastating.

  2. I love this post…. Because I feel very much the same way as you. I fell in love with my husband at 19 years old and so much of me is entwined with him. My husband is the only man I’ve ever loved, my only serious relationship and there is a unique love that grows from a teenage girl when it’s right. I love your mother-in-law’s comment that you and JR have a good marriage and a good life together. She’s right… The pain and sadness from infidelity is the worst I’ve ever suffered. But that is because I love my husband so much. He is a part of me. I can’t imagine my life without him. I told him a few months ago that I know that I could live without him if I had to, but neither of us want that outcome. I told our therapist that I will never find what we share again with anyone, ever. The choice to stay together comes from a love that is stronger than me alone. Maybe it sounds unhealthy to those who don’t understand. This love that we share is the best thing that ever happened to me.

    I am learning to breathe again too.

    • kayboo24 says:

      Right now it depends on the day whether or not I can say that JR is the best thing that ever happened to me and I am angry about that. I am angry that he took that away from me. I am angry that he took away the belief that I had in love…true love. I am angry that he took away my laughter and my joy. I am angry that I am no longer the person that I was because of his affair. I am angry that he took away things from me that he can NEVER give back. Sometimes the whole thing is just too much to deal with and I wish I could disappear from my life.

  3. Mara says:

    I can relate to almost everything you all are saying. Different circumstances, different affairs, but the feeling of dying inside and still being alive, and wanting to die to make the pain go away are the same.

    I’m absolutely sure that we will all be fine (in our marriage) when both spouses want to work hard. It will take (a lot of) time though. I can’t imagine myself living without my H.

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