adultery, cheating, divorce, ex spouse, other woman, separation

Burning our Portrait

In episode 9 of ‘The Crown’ on Netflix there is a scene where artist Graham Sutherland has been commissioned to paint the portrait of Sir Winston Churchill as a gift for his 80th birthday.

Winston Churchill wants to see Graham’s work in progress so he offers, “I could give you advice.  After all, I know this face better than you do.”

Graham Sutherland refuses to show him the incomplete portrait and responds, “I find in general people have very little understanding of who they are.  One has to turn a blind eye to so much of one’s self to get through life.”

This scene came at exactly the time I had just ended texting with a friend.   I hadn’t heard from him for awhile. The introductory two words in his four-word message offended me.

I responded by asking him why he would say what he did to me and that I found it insulting. I explained why.

His response: “Be nice. I am just messing.”

I suggested that he take his own advice and be nice because what he was insinuating in his text was not nice. I then said, “If you want to be one of those people that pops up in my life when you are bored then you might try to make it a more positive experience.”

His response: “Good Bye Robyn, omg. When you finish being a bitch let me know.”

My response:  “You insulted me and I let you know that you did.  Instead of apologizing you called me a bitch.”

His response: “Pretend I never existed. Just trying to be funny and you take it the wrong way again. I am dead to you.”

My response:  “It is a very immature way to deal with someone who is only telling you that you made an insulting comment. You could have owned it, accepted responsibility, apologized and learned from it so you don’t make the same mistake to others.  A little self-awareness goes a long way.”

His response: “Good luck with your life.  When you want to be nice and realize I am just playing let me know. You are the immature one, chill out and relax. Grow up. I was just trying to be funny. Drama queen.”

Although I don’t think he was intentionally trying to hurt me with his comment, he has used similar sentiments to purposely attack me in the past so I was very sensitive to his words. I explained that. He might have made a dig but I was giving him the benefit of the doubt and just told him it was a hurtful comment that was not funny to me.

I have offended people unintentionally, in business and in my personal life.  If it is brought to my intention, I feel terrible and it is honestly my heart to do and say what I need to in order to make it right.  I don’t blame the person for feeling offended by what I have done or said. I go out of my way to apologize and to hopefully make them feel better about the situation, to know I am genuine, sincere and remorseful in hurting them and I do what I can and need to in order to mend any tear in our relationship.

In the episode of The Crown that I was watching, Sir Winston Churchill hated the portrait when it was revealed.  He met with the artist afterwards in private at his Chartwell home where the painting was sent but never hung and called the portrait a “humiliation”.  He said it looked like he was “sitting on a chair producing a stool.  A broken, sagging, pitiful creature, squeezing and squeezing.” He felt it was “treacherous, an unpatriotic, cowardly assault by the left.”

The prime minister felt it was “a betrayal of friendship”. The artist explained that he took the commission because he greatly admired the PM and came through the experience of painting his portrait admiring him even more.  The PM quipped, “Do you make monsters of everyone you admire?” The artist compassionately spoke, “It’s not vindictive. It is art. It is not personal.”

Then the PM did what my friend did after I spoke my truth.  Where the artist said it wasn’t personal, the PM made it personal and attacked, “You are a lost soul, a narcissist without direction or …”(he is cut off by Graham Sutherland.)

Mr. Sutherland advised Mr. Churchill to give it time and not to over react.  He shared that he showed Lady Churchill, his wife, the sketches during the process and she felt it was accurate. The PM responded:  “That is the whole point. It is not a reasonably truthful image of me.”  The artist said, “It is sir.” The PM angrily responded, “It is cruel.”

Then Graham Sutherland firmly and directly speaks his truth, “Age is cruel.  If you see decay there is decay.  If you see frailty it is because there is frailty. I can’t be blamed for what is and I refuse to hide and disguise what I see.  If you are engaged in a fight with something then it is not with me.  It is with your own blindness.!”

At the end of the episode Sir Winston Churchill is shown burning the portrait.  It is reported in history, though, that it was Lady Churchill who destroyed the portrait because of the distress it caused her husband.

sand_painting_of_sir_winston_churchill

Maybe we should all have a commissioned portrait and see if we have the courage to hang it, look at it and recognize ourselves.

 

 

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adultery, affair, Betrayal, Bible, cheating, children, Christianity, divorce, ex spouse, faith, God, infidelity, Janice Andrews, other woman, sin

Is the Honeymoon Over?

I like the idea of Dave and Janice being together for the rest of their lives and having to live with the consequences of choosing their new path. I know they will be repaid accordingly in life for the hurt, damage and selfishness they chose instead of doing right but I don’t need to know how that destiny unfolds.

I would not want to be Janice and be held accountable to God for what he brought together and she chose to tear apart. Dave carries an even higher onus of responsibility. As a Christian, baptized as an adult, choosing to live for Christ, he knows the scripture promises. He should be shivering, as even Satan trembles at the mention of God, but instead lives in arrogance and debauchery denying God, his word, his children, his faith and his responsibilities.

So I have to say I was a little disappointed when my younger daughter happily proclaimed to my eldest daughter, when she came home for Canadian Thanksgiving in October, that she hadn’t seen Janice since my older daughter left for university in the summer. My oldest daughter said that Janice was coming to dinner with their dad and them over the weekend but she didn’t show up. The kids discussed that Janice and Dave went to Vegas for her 50th birthday in September and talked about how they went to a Cirque du Soleil show (unimaginative gift since he took me for my 40th and took me to a Cirque du Soleil show, too)but they were speculating whether or not the relationship had hit the end of the road.

When my youngest daughter told me that Janice was in the vehicle when we saw them coming off the ferry in November my youngest daughter told my oldest daughter. When he wasn’t bringing her to see my daughter dance I then wondered to myself if maybe the trip to Vancouver was last minute and a way to try and rekindle something or simply Dave using her for company so he didn’t have to be alone or maybe another girl bailed. My experience with him when we dated was that he would pick fights and use that as an excuse to go out with other women and probably did that in our marriage as well now that I have hindsight. I suspect this leopard shows off his same spots and that Janice will fail to acknowledge the truth of Mr. Duplicity at least until her guaranteed destruction can’t be ignored.

It was only yesterday that my youngest daughter came home and announced her lucky streak was over. Janice came with them to lunch (actually at a new burger place right around the corner from my yoga studio where my daughter pointed out my car to them in the parking lot as they drove by and it is a place that I frequent and almost went for lunch yesterday as well).

So I smile as the two of them deservingly are still together. I would never want them to miss out on everything that is still to come.

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adultery, affairs, Betrayal, cheating, children, dance, disappointment, divorce, ex spouse, family, Father/daughter relationship, in-laws, infidelity, parenting after separation

Putting on a Show

I drove my niece, my older daughter and my dancer daughter all to Fort Langley Saturday morning.  My dancer had to be at the theatre for a lighting and technical blocking rehearsal at 12:45 p.m.  She stayed at the studio until her 7:00 p.m. performance.

My niece, other daughter and I explored Fort Langley.  I took them to the stores that I thought were interesting and we ate our way around the little town.  Fort Langley is the birthplace of British Columbia and is filled with history. Fort Langley is the set for several movies, especially Hallmark Christmas movies. The yellow Community Hall is one of the landmarks to recognize this city location on screen. We had a really fun and enjoyable day and I am a little sad that this is my last weekend to be here for dance.

We met my brother-in-law for dinner at the Olive Garden at 4:30 p.m.  I gave a heads up that Dave would be at the show as they haven’t seen him since our separation.  My niece adamantly declared that he was no longer family.  My brother-in-law disagreed and they had a bit of an argument over it.  He said that his relationship and loyalty was with me as we had a long and close history. He stated that he was not close to David but pointed out that he never had any issues with him and that they had contact with each other on Facebook after our separation. (He had told me that previously and wanted to know at the time if that was hurtful to me that he reached out to him. Several of my family and friends had done the same and it was not hurtful but I learned my ex didn’t respond to the others)  My brother-in-law told my niece that he got to choose who he considered to be family.

My niece then felt a little badly that Uncle David was going to be at the show alone and wondered if he should sit with us, of course, she said, with he and I being at opposite ends from each other.  My daughter was at the table with us and we were very respectful in our discussions of the social awkwardness and hurt felt by everyone because of this tear in the family.  I know from my discussions with my sister the night before that she would not be able to mask her feelings as easily and I was glad she wasn’t able to attend.   She feels very duped by my ex.  She called him a fraud to me on Friday night citing his praying at all our family meals and then contrasting that to her remembering his come-ons towards her at our last Christmas together (he was involved with Janice at that time already). She said it was wrong on every level. She recalled that he acted all the time like he was this great family guy when it was a lie.  She said that she thought it was just the scotch he was drinking at Christmas but that the alcohol just revealed his true nature. Now that we all know, he didn’t have to pretend anymore. She said that she can see now he doesn’t even care about his children and feels the entire 23 years she knew him was just a facade.

When we got to the theatre we stepped into the long line up waiting for the doors to open.  Dave was not there and I feared for my daughter that he wasn’t going to end up showing.  I popped my head in to the studio so my daughter knew that I was there in the audience for her.  My older daughter then said that her dad texted her and he was waiting in the parking lot.  He wanted to know who from my family was there.  He asked our daughter to save him a seat and to text him to let him know when he could go in.  My niece commented that he is afraid to show himself because he knows he did something wrong.

We had extra seats in our row but after my daughter put down her coat she went to a different row to find a seat for her dad.  When he came in, my brother-in-law and my niece both waved to him to attract his attention.  He waved back and then came up to shake my brother-in-law’s hand and to hug my niece.  I was very proud of my family for the kindness they showed to my children’s father. Dave and I, on the other hand, did not acknowledge each other.

It was a proud and emotional evening.  A girl sang our national anthem beautifully and powerfully while we all stood and sang along and watched our dancers’ photos appear on the large screen on stage with their name over the maple leaf. I wondered how my ex felt listening to the MC who was a dance dad and had traveled with his daughter twice for Team Canada.  He shared about the bond that grew because of those trips together.  He shared about his understanding of the stress on the parents involved–the expense, the fundraising required and work that goes into getting kids to rehearsals, costuming, photograph sittings, press interviews, etc.  My ex was not a part of any of that.

It was a short show–8 dances in the first half and 8 in the second half with a 30 minute intermission to buy 50/50 tickets, wine raffle tickets (40 bottles of wine to win), and silent auction items with the money raised all to support the team. My daughter’s group danced first so her dad left at intermission.  He didn’t get to see her acknowledged at the end in her Team Canada jacket and he didn’t receive the team photo they handed out with all of the notes from the family wishing their dancer good luck on the back–I signed “love mom, dad and (older daughter’s name)” on my note to our daughter.

When we were at the ferry terminal heading back to Victoria we ran into friends.  The mom asked our daughter if her dad came to see her dance.  She said that he did but he left half way through.  Our friend asked “why?” My daughter said it was because she danced first. She said, “He always does that.”    I realized at that moment that she isn’t going to remember that her dad was there to see her dance.  She is going to remember that he left.

 

 

 

 

 

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adultery, affair, Betrayal, divorce, ex spouse, infidelity, Janice Andrews, narcissism, other woman, parenting, the other woman

Team Canada Showcase this Weekend

It is a huge honour that my youngest daughter was selected to dance for Team Canada.  We leave for Riesa, Germany next week where she will compete on the world stage.

Today we are back in Fort Langley, British Columbia for the Team Canada performers to put on a show for friends and family.  This is their first and only dress rehearsal performance before the competition.

Our daughter was allowed 6 tickets maximum.  She wasn’t going to ask her dad to come to see her dance.  He has had zero involvement in encouraging her and supporting her Team Canada dancing.  He refused to pay any portion of the expense–$3600 was just the starting point and he refused to take her to any of her rehearsals which involves a 1 1/2 hour ferry ride every Sunday ($88.20 one way for me and my daughter) and then a 45 minute drive to get to the studio. Then we do it all again coming back. He did end up giving her $250 this week for her trip and he bought a raffle ticket from her for a draw at the show.

I, however, cared more about my daughter having audience members who were there specifically to watch her.  I thought it would mean something to her if her dad was one of those people so I invited him to attend. He didn’t respond right away but he eventually said he would go.  I asked how many tickets he wanted and he said “just me”.

I invited him 3 weeks before the performance. When he replied he would come I asked him if he would be getting a hotel in Fort Langley because it would be too late after the show to make the last ferry.  He asked what time the show started and after I told him I didn’t hear from him for two weeks.  A week before the performance I asked him again about his hotel stay and got to my point about asking him directly if our daughter could stay over night with him in Fort Langley as she had her final rehearsal the next day from 12 to 2.  I asked him if he could take her to that rehearsal and then bring her home on the ferry afterwards. I told him how cute the downtown was and how it was filled with interesting history, amazing eateries and shops to help pass the 2 hours.  His response was that he had other plans and she couldn’t stay with him.

I don’t know why I was surprised or why I even felt annoyed by his response as it is completely on par with everything else he has done or hasn’t done for his children since our separation. I also tried not to speculate on what he was doing that he couldn’t have our daughter stay over night with him. I figured he was bringing Janice Andrews, the other woman, with him but then was wondering why he would leave her at the hotel and not bring her to support our daughter.  She went to her recital in June.  Also, our daughter has had to stay in a hotel with them before so could they really not sacrifice having sex one evening (they could have it before the show) in order to support her?  I wondered if he was planning on bringing a different woman with him instead.

Now I was going to have to drive back to Vancouver after the show only to return back to Fort Langley the next day.  It is close to an hour drive. At least I am staying for free with my older daughter. I couldn’t justify getting a hotel room myself in Fort Langley  as I can’t afford it and I have to drop my niece off at her place in Vancouver after the show. Even if I didn’t have my niece and just had my older daughter with us I would still have to drive into Vancouver the next day to bring my daughter home which would  then add another hour and 45 minutes on to our commute after the Sunday rehearsal.

Both the girls and I had hoped that Dave would have allowed our daughter to stay over night with him because I would have been able to spend Sunday with my older daughter as her 19th birthday will occur while we are in Germany.  We had talked about going shopping for some things she really needed and that she hoped I might get her for her gift.  We can’t do that today as we have to be in Fort Langley for 12:45 p.m. for my daughter’s lighting and technical blocking rehearsal before the show. Now instead I will have to take my younger daughter back to Fort Langley again on Sunday. My younger daughter made a disgusted type gesture blowing air out of her mouth and  rolling her eyes when I told her that she wasn’t able to stay with her dad after the show.

Friday, November 11 was the Canadian statutory holiday in British Columbia for Remembrance Day.  As both my daughters had no school, we decided to head over to Vancouver a day early.   My ex texted our daughter while we were waiting to board the ferry.  He asked which ferry we would be on.  She told him and he said he was going to be on the same ferry.  He told her that he was going to Vancouver to meet friends for dinner that night. How lovely for him.  He was going to be getting a hotel in Vancouver not just Friday night but going back there Saturday night, too, after the show.

We never saw him during the trip across.  While we were driving off the ferry my daughter noticed him in the lane beside us.  I wouldn’t have recognized him because he bought a new vehicle. She waved to him and announced to me that Janice Andrews was with him.

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adultery, affair, blogging, children, Cyberbullying, divorce, ex spouse, infidelity, parenting, Stalking, unfaithfulness

He’s Still Following Me

I think my ex is still reading my blog.  He sent me an email not too long ago commenting that he wasn’t following me anymore.  He said that is was fun for awhile but now it is boring–the same old, same old.

I am pretty sure it was him who commented recently about my potential homeless situation post and then having gone to Hawaii in the summer.  It sounded like him, saying the same things he said to me in separate emails and texts and the same writing style.  It was the same email address as all the chaos created a year ago under several different user names and this was yet another user name, something like “just another single mom”.  He might have been the only one involved in all of that after all.  Crazy!

What makes we certain he continues to follow me is that I finished reading The Girl on the Train very quickly.  I told my daughter she could read it and I gave her the book.  She hasn’t started yet because she said there is a book for her English class that she has to read first.  Then she told me that her dad invited her to go see the movie with him.  I think that is an odd choice of movies to ask your 14 to go and watch when there are lot of family movies released but all I asked was if she was going to go.  She said, “Nooooo!”  She apparently told her dad that she had the book but she hadn’t started to read it yet.  He said, “Your mom decided you could read it?”  Even my daughter said it was “random” how the topic of me screening the book first came up.  She told him that she saw the trailer and that wasn’t a movie she was going to watch with him.  I haven’t seen the trailer and now am curious as I wonder if it is obvious from the trailer infidelity is involved.  His commented to her that he was that he was surprised I was going to let her read it.  Yet he thought it was okay to take her to see the movie?

 

 

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affair, anger, Betrayal, cheating, deceit, ego, ex spouse, infidelity, lies, marriage breakdown, other woman, separation

The Girl on the Train

My 14-year old announced this week that she wanted to read The Girl on the Train.

I was excited for her to declare that she wanted to read anything.  She doesn’t enjoy reading. I have bought many books on many subjects and ones she has chose that she thinks she might be interested to read but the cover is never cracked or she can’t make it past the first chapter.

She went on to tell me that her teacher has the book in their Grade 9 classroom but that she needs parental consent before being able to sign it out as the teacher described the content as “edgy”.

I loved reading the same books as my older daughter. That started when she was 10.  She is a voracious reader and it gave us a bond we share today recommending and discussing literature with each other.  So I suggested to my 14-year old that we go to Costco and buy the book so that I can read it first. Then if I think the subject matter appropriate she can read it next.

When she found the book at Costco the first thing she did was exactly what her dad does–flip to the back to see how many pages. My ex wasn’t a reader before meeting me. When he finally joined me reading in bed before we turned out the lights, if a book had more than 180 pages, regardless of how great the story was supposed to be, he refused to read it.

My daughter moaned about it’s thickness and small print. I admonished her to put the book in the cart before she saw the 395 pages.

As I start to read the book tonight, one theme is clear: infidelity.

When the main character finds out that the wife of a couple she admires is having an affair she reacts:  “I can’t believe it.  I snatch air into my lungs and realize that I’ve been holding my breath.  Why would she do that?…I can’t believe she would do that to him, he doesn’t deserve that.  I feel a real sense of disappointment.  I feel as though I have been cheated on.  A familiar ache fills my chest.  I have felt this way before.  On a larger scale, to a more intense degree, of course, but I remember the quality of the pain.  You don’t forget it.”

“I found out the same way everyone seems to find out these days: an electronic slip. Sometimes its a text or a voice mail message: in my case it was an email, the modern-day lipstick on the collar….Once, I answered his phone when he was in the shower and he got quite upset and accused me of not trusting him. I felt awful because he seemed so hurt…There was a message at the top….I clicked. XXXXX.  That was it, just a line of X’s. I thought it was spam at first, until I realized that they were kisses…It was a reply to a message he’d sent a few hours before, just after seven, when I was still slumbering in our bed.”

Her husband’s message to the other woman was in a folder marked ‘Admin.’ and it read:  “I fell asleep last night thinking of you.  I was dreaming about kissing your mouth, your breasts, the inside of your thighs.  I woke this morning with my head full of you, desperate to touch you.  Don’t expect me to be sane. I can’t be, not with you.”

The main character discovered “that my husband was in love with her.  He told her so, often.  He told her that he’d never felt like this before, that he couldn’t wait to be with her, that it wouldn’t be long until they could be together.”

Witnessing the wife she admires with another man evoked these feelings in her: ” I don’t have words to describe what I felt that day (the discovery of her own husband’s betrayal), but now, sitting on the train I am furious, nails digging into my palms, tears stinging my eyes.  I feel a flash of intense anger. I feel as though something has been taken away from me.  How could she? How could Jess do this?  What is wrong with her ?  Look at the life they have, look at how beautiful it is!  I have never understood how people can blithely disregard the damage they do by following their hearts.  Who was it who said that following your heart is a good thing?  It is pure egotism, a selfishness to conquer all.  Hatred floods me.  If I saw that woman now, if I saw Jess, I would spit in her face.  I would scratch her eyes out.”

Her response when the Other Woman contacts her complaining that it is an inconvenience when she calls her ex is this: “Fucking bitch.  She is a cuckoo laying her egg in my nest. She has taken everything from me. She has taken everything and now she calls me to tell me that my distress is inconvenient for her?…I am going to tell her that I don’t care about her…I’m going to tell her that the line he used with her–don’t expect me to be sane–he used it with me, too, when we were first together; he wrote it in a letter to me, declaring his undying passion.  It’s not even his line: he stole it from Henry Miller. Everything she has is second hand.”

My daughter was just 11 when I found out about her dad’s affair.  She has her own strong opinions about her dad and the other woman which I tend to learn about indirectly. It is usually when she talks to her sister about them in my presence or when she talks to me about her best friend’s cheating dad and that other woman.

This is just the first 43 pages and I’ve read 60.  The plot is thickening and the characters are developing.  I promise not to reveal any spoilers.

 

 

 

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abuse, affair, Betrayal, bullying, cheating, children, cruelty, difficult personality, divorce, domestic abuse, ex spouse, infidelity, other woman, parenting, single parent, unfaithfulness, verbal abuse

Ask and You shall Receive…an Insult

I asked my ex tonight if he was able to pick our daughter up from the ferry on Sunday, October 2 at 5:30 p.m.  He responded, “Sure”.  I was surprised not only that he responded to my request but that he responded so positively and so quickly.

Just when I started to text a thank you back I immediately received another response from him that is much more typical, “Oh no wait I’m away I cant”. Then he sent another saying, “That’s your weekend I believe”.  He knew all along he wouldn’t do it but thought he would play with me by saying ‘yes’ to start.

I responded, “Okay. Thank you for considering.”

His response: “Well thnka s for offering”.  (yes that is how it was received, same with the last text spelling.)

I mentioned however how the month of September has been going for seeing his children:  “I didn’t know we had weekends.  You didn’t see (daughter’s name) when it was “your” weekend and then you didn’t see her the next weekend to make up for it.  We just figure it is always my weekend unless you make plans to see her.”  It has actually been 3 weekends in a row he hasn’t seen our daughter.

His response:  “Whatevs tubs. Go eat some cheese cake and chocolate cookies.”

I didn’t respond and had no interest in communicating further.

His next text: I have plans…as usual you’re last minute Larry…if you asked sooner might have been able to do something for you.”

I had to point out: “Last minute?  It isn’t this Sunday it is next Sunday.  That is 10 days from now. Does that mean you will be having (daughter) this weekend?

His response:  “I’m not wasting my time conversing with you…good night and eat another piece of cake darling”

 

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