adultery, affair, Betrayal, cheating, dating, divorce, infidelity, loss, Love, moving on, unfaithfulness

Dating and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

It has almost been 4 years since I discovered my husband’s affair. It would be an understatement to say that I have been very slow and cautious to re-enter the dating scene. Overly consumed by everything left for me alone to handle, the needs of the kids, the financial concerns, the legal proceedings; dating was just another item on my to-do-list that eventually would need to be checked off but it was not a priority now.

My needs were completely met by safe, adult, male friends.  During the first year of my separation, 2013, Rob would come over and sit on my back porch with a fire burning just to talk.  He would hang out with me all day when I had garage sales saying he would try to pop by but ended up showing up at 10 a.m. and staying until 5 p.m. and then would go with me to get something to eat afterwards.  We would make plans to meet for breakfast at 9:30 that turned into going to the farmer’s market and then just going for a drink on a patio overlooking the ocean and then deciding we really needed some food so we would find a different patio for a 2:00 p.m. lunch. We would meet for lunch at 11:30 and then he would order a couple of desserts that he didn’t want just so we could remain and we would leave the restaurant at 3. Even though I hadn’t seen him really at all last year, he was the last one to leave my surprise 50th birthday party in the summer.

Martin is my fantasy. He entered my life in 2014 through a mutual friend and we have had so much fun together. I would show up at his house to pick him up and he would answer the door with no shirt on.  He has the hardest body. I commented that he made 50 look good and he said, “I make 50 look damn good!” We always went to the same restaurant and after discussing what we wanted to eat he would tell the waitress, “My fiancée will have….” And then the waitress would say, “Oh, congratulations!”  We would carry on with our pretend story improvising details never sure how the other would respond.  We would close down the restaurant.  When we went to a comedy club there was a silent auction.  He bid on a ballet night with dinner.  I mentioned my surprise back at our table with several people listening and he responded, “Darling, I always told you I wanted to take you to the ballet.” He would flirt shamelessly with me and would always invite me in for a hot tub afterwards.  I always declined.  He said if I ever wanted pillow talk I knew where to find him.  He would text me with a beautiful note afterwards making sure I was home safely.

Dan was my golf partner the summer of 2015. We played almost every weekend.  We would hang out with mutual friends at BBQ’s and game nights and he would plan day trips for us like going to Saltspring for Apple Fest. He had a very dry sense of humour and was fairly quiet and reserved but he would shock me every now and then by revealing something very personal that was so out of character to what I would have expected from him.

Around this time, my girlfriend mentioned one day, “What do you think of Brian?”  I was thinking, and she continued, “He thinks you are very sweet and wondered if you would like to go on a date with him.”  I had to ask, “Who is Brian?” “We went for dinner the other night”, she said. “Your Uncle Brian?” I asked incredulously. “Yes”, she said.  “He really liked you.”  “Your dad’s brother?” I laughed. “My dad’s youngest brother”, she defended.  “He’s very successful, has lots of money and is super nice.”  “He lives in Vancouver”, I said, “so it won’t work and besides I would have to make you call me, Aunty”.   This was also the time another friend said to me, “You really need to start dating for no other reason than to learn about yourself.”

In 2016, I dated 3 men. They were all nice, two were highly successful and they were all okay looking (one was 35 years old!) but after the 3rd date, they ended it with me (although the 35 year old still texts) and one of the other guys sent an email in the summer just asking how I was doing. I always enjoyed my time with each and they planned great dates–The Floathouse; a ghostly walk; beautiful restaurants, dinner on the beach…but I never wanted to take it further. I never let them come to my place,  I only kissed them good night and I wouldn’t go back to their place. I still didn’t feel I had the time to invest in a relationship.  I would never put a relationship at this point ahead of my 14-year old daughter’s needs and all I wanted was for someone to go out with every now and then.  My female friends were really meeting my needs in this area anyways.

So on New Year’s Eve, I declared my New Year’s Resolution to my girlfriend as being that I wasn’t going to date at all in 2017. I was just going to get my divorce finalized, resolve my legal issues, get my place in order and work on me, inside and out, so that I could attract the right person without any negative distractions.  Wouldn’t it figure that within the next hour after my declaration this very lovely, 6’2″ man started to talk to me.  He was very complimentary and he said that he would like to take me on a horse carriage ride and that if we enjoyed each other’s company that he would like to take me to dinner afterwards.  I told him my new year’s resolution.  He laughed but wasn’t deterred.

I loved his energy, his smile and his eyes.  He was dressed nicely and smelled great.  We exchanged phone numbers and talked constantly by phone and text for 2 days.  He works shift work and was moving on January 2 into a smaller place that he had just bought but we went to dinner on the 3rd (I told him it was too cold for me to enjoy a carriage ride). We were at the restaurant for 4 hours. I loved his life experience from his search and rescue career leading a jaws of life team and rescue diving to being a dad of 3, owning a car dealership that he couldn’t wait to sell, traveling to every state in the US, being an extra in several popular movies, winning a BBQ contest and getting a cooking segment on a local TV channel, losing everything in the Calgary flood, etc. He seemed to have his values in check. I really was attracted to this man. He told me how great that he thought I was and how he didn’t want our date to be over. After dinner,  he walked me to my car and asked if he could kiss me.  I loved it.  It was hard to stop. He told me that I was a great kisser and that he didn’t want to let me go.  He said he felt so comfortable with me and had told me how happy he was that we met. He invited me back to his house and as much as I wanted to go, I did not.  He promised he would never put any pressure on me to do anything and that we would always go at my speed.

We got together as much as we could over the next 3 weeks and we talked all the time.  He cooked for me or I would bring food to his place.  We loved to just stay so we could have our privacy, talk and cuddle and really get to know each other.  We would try to watch a movie but we were very distracted by each other. We were both so tired one day that we just fell asleep and it was really nice. He made me feel beautiful, desired, sexy and it was very hard to leave his place.

On Thursday, I was heading back over to his place. He had just come off a string of late, 12-hour shifts but had 3 days off.  He had spent his first day off with his son. He wanted to finish getting his house in order from his move and his son offered to help.  He spent the day moving things he had dumped in a spare bedroom to storage and then he took his son out to dinner for his son’s birthday. I had told him that Wednesday was the best day for me to spend with him as I had no commitment to pick up my daughter that day but he made plans with his son instead and I understood his need to get his move behind him.

We had 6 hours planned to spend together on Thursday and then he said I had him all of Friday as well. He asked me at noon what I wanted him to cook for dinner and I told him instead that I wanted to take him out to eat. He said that was okay and he would just continue to work until I got to his place (I did have things I wanted to do–yoga, lunch with a girlfriend and letting the dog out before I came over and made these plans because I was sure we were going to have the day before together) He was fine with that though as he had work he wanted to finish.

Just when I was about to leave to go over he texted telling me to wait because he just received a text from his son that he was being picked up by his son and his son’s girlfriend for dinner at 5. He said he texted his son back but wasn’t getting an answer so he was very confused with the text.  He said that he still wanted me to come out until he had to go to dinner.  I instantly felt sad and texted him telling him that but said I would still come out.  During the drive to his place my mind was turning.  Why was he going out with his son again and why would he want to go to dinner with his son and his son’s girlfriend instead of spending time with me? He spent the whole day with his son yesterday.  Why didn’t he cancel with his son and say he was double booked?  Why didn’t he invite me to go (he told me he told his son about me)? It was actually his son’s birthday that day and it was his son’s girlfriend’s birthday on the same day.  Why would they want his dad there during their celebration?  Why would their dad want to be there and not just tell them to enjoy their birthday celebration together? He had already celebrated with his son.

When I got there I had a pit in my stomach and it was hard to swallow.  I got to the door and he wasn’t there waiting for me with it open like he usually does so eager to hug and kiss me.  I knocked (which I have never had to do) and I was shaking.  He yelled at me to come in.  I opened the door and he was hurried,  coming from down the hall into the kitchen and then doing something on the counter maybe with his change and wallet but I just stood there.  He barely looked at me and said, “What a crazy day. I thought the plans with my son were on Friday for dinner…” and then I just burst into tears.  He came over to hug me and hold me and I just sobbed into his chest. I don’t remember him saying anything except maybe sorry but I wondered why he wasn’t saying anything. I didn’t put my arms around him but had my hands in partial fists at the side of my face.  It was when I heard him mention about plans with his son on Friday when he told me that he was spending all of Friday with me that did it. I was shaking and I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  I am not a crier so I had no idea what was happening.  If it is fight or flight, I fight.  I have never been one to retreat or run away but I had to get out of there. The energy was weird. I could barely speak but I said I had to leave and I did.

8 hours later I was the one who texted first to see if he was home.  He texted back saying he walked in the door 20 minutes earlier and asked if I was okay. I hadn’t seen the earlier text he must have sent during my drive to his place, until after I left in tears, saying that he asked his son if he could come at 6 instead of 5 so he could have more time with me and telling me that he had Friday free now but I was thinking that would mean he had at least a 4 hour dinner with his son.  Was that normal?

He texted, “I’m feeling not so good.  I didn’t like how I felt when you left.  I never like hurting anyone.” I responded, “Well I was hurt.  I also wonder if you were lying to me.”  He said, “I was not lying to you. That’s not me.” And I said, “but I don’t know you.”  He responded, “I’m sorry for upsetting you. It was a mistake in dates is all.  But that being said I’m not good with hurting anyone and especially someone I care about.  Having that same person call me a liar cuts deep. I’m sorry for everything.”

I told him that I wasn’t calling him a liar.  I was very vulnerable and I shared where my mind went with everything and what I was thinking to try and make sense of why he bailed on me.

I didn’t hear back from him for 2 days and when I did he sent the following text: “Robyn I have had time to think about the other day.  After reading the text messages over and over I have decided that I am not going to continue with our relationship. I have decided to focus on my work and just stay on my own. I’m truly sorry that I upset you. I did go back through my son’s messages and in fact he did ask me to dinner on the wrong day so it was not my mistake. However, seeing you so upset really made me feel horrible about myself. I never wanted to hurt anyone at anytime. I wish you the best. You truly are a special person.  I am just the wrong guy.  Take care, Gord.”

I sent him at text asking if we could talk telling him that his cancellation of our time together and then finding out he had made plans on Friday  without considering me made me feel unwanted and unimportant.  (I had told him that I had to pick my daughter up from dance on Friday at 5 so I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt that maybe he made plans Friday for dinner because of that) but I just wanted to talk it through. I told him that I was more surprised probably than him about my reaction.  I said in one sense it made me feel human again to have feelings. I never heard back from him though.  I sent a final brief text on Monday, so I could have closure, basically telling him that he is on his journey, I am on mine and that he was a nice stop along the way.  I wished him happiness, peace, health and love.

When I shared with a psychologist friend about my experience she said it was post-traumatic stress. She said that is what happens when after a traumatic event (being betrayed) you have unexpected and unforeseen triggers from a seemingly random misunderstanding. She said that situation took me right back to the experience of finding out about my husband’s affair. The flashback made me doubt Gord’s feelings for me, wonder if it was all a lie, suspect other motives, assume cover ups and question whether he was really working or with his son or doing what he said he was doing. Every lie I uncovered about my spouse and then the aftermath of everything I went through as a result of the deceit was relived again in that quick moment.

Or maybe my gut was right.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Standard
adultery, affair, Betrayal, Bible, Christianity, Christmas, divorce, faith, God, infidelity, Janice Andrews, Love, lying, marriage, promises, Spirituality

The Ghosts of Christmas

The Ghost of Christmas Past:

Spent my 4th Christmas post-affair. I honestly don’t look back and long for the Christmas’ with my ex. We always had great celebrations whether it was commuting to the three sets of parents’ homes all in different cities and sometimes my birth father’s side of the family as well or whether it was just the 4 of us after our move to British Columbia. All good memories (except our last Christmas together when my ex was already involved with Janice and ignored me at his company Xmas party and over-drank and was obnoxious at my sister’s place during our family celebration and then was rude and impatient with me the next morning).

The Ghost of Christmas Present:

This was the first year my ex purchased a gift for the girls to give to Janice. He gave it to my younger daughter to bring home and wrap. I have no idea what it was–something from The Body Shop I think based on one of the bags she left at our front entrance. When she told me she had to wrap a gift for Janice I asked if her dad bought her paper. No, she was expected to use my wrapping paper. No idea what paper she chose or what it looked it–bows, ribbons, tag, etc. I wonder if Janice really opened it up and thought how nice that the girls shopped for her and chose something for her. Something as special as soap. Guess it is Dave’s way to pretend it is a family Xmas where everyone exchanges gifts and niceties out of love for each other.

The girls and I had a very fun Christmas Eve. I gave them their traditional Xmas pajamas gift to open and they immediately put them on. We took selfies on my bed with all the pets and stayed up very late.

Christmas morning was relaxed and fun. I went on a walk with the dog in the afternoon and we went to our friends’ farm for dinner.  Our friends said that it made their Christmas table much more lively having us there. We played a game afterwards with presents and came home with a new disco snowman and a disco tree decoration.

The Ghost of Christmas Future:

As I celebrated the birth of Christ, I was visited by the Ghost of Christmas Future. It came in the form of scripture.

I was reminded that for me to know Jesus requires that I share in his sufferings (Romans 8:17). Betrayal was the biggest part of his suffering and now I know what it feels like to be betrayed by the one who knew me the best and who I loved the most and who should have loved me back the most in this world.

NIV Galatians 6:17 “Let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.” That is a warning for Janice and Dave. For me Jesus says in NIV John 16:33: “In this world you will have trouble.” Jesus tells me though to take heart because he overcame the world and I will, too!  In this same scripture Jesus says to have peace despite the trouble because I am not alone; God is always with me.

I may have suffered the loss of my marriage due to an affair because of evil, greedy, lustful and selfish people but Isaiah 61:1 -7 lists all the promises I can claim because God “love(s) justice; (and he) hate(s) robbery and iniquity.” Janice robbed me of my husband. She took what wasn’t hers to take. Like a thief, she will always know she obtained what she has dishonestly at great cost to others and at a loss to her reputation, trust and integrity.  It is a lie and will be a constant reminder for herself and others of who she is at the core of her being. She shouldn’t be sad when the next thief steals it from her especially because she puts it on display; it never belonged to her in the first place. The same holds true for Dave. What a waste of time and effort and money trying to hold on to something that is just a lie and false security.

Regardless of my husband’s broken promises, God promises to me in this scripture that he will always be faithful and will reward me with his everlasting covenant that no one can steal from me.   Jesus is in me and will lead me where he wants me to go. I trust that! My husband left me, Jesus did not.

I know there will be battles in my future but I will get up and get in the ring and fight to knock Satan out so I can claim my victory! God works everything out for the good of those who love him (NIV Romans 8:28).

 

Standard
cheating, children, divorce, infidelity, Love, separation, the other woman

Homecoming

I was very excited to pick up my daughter last Friday night for her first weekend home after leaving for university.  She took the ferry from Vancouver back to Victoria for the Thanksgiving long weekend.  Her roommate was supposed to come with her.  We had a lot of plans to show her roommate around Victoria for the first time but she had the stomach flu and wasn’t able to travel.

My daughter and I stayed up past 3:00 a.m. talking.  She was very emotional coming home. She cried when she saw her pets. She knows that my dog died when I was at university living away from home and her roommate just received the same sad news. It is one of my daughter’s biggest fears.  She asked me to please make sure I call her to come home and say goodbye if any of our pets needed to be put down.

She also cried about her past mistakes.  She says she has no regrets but I know her wounds run very deep and she has scars that will remain constant reminders.  She says she doesn’t feel the need to experiment with anything now and she thinks she will choose boyfriends more wisely.  I told her that I didn’t understand her choices to remain with people who were harming her on many levels or to make decisions with so little care for the well-being of her own body.

She said, “Mom, I clearly had daddy issues.”

I told her that I understood how terribly hurt she was by her dad’s behaviour but she only ended up hurting herself more.  Why did she choose to punish herself? I feel so remorseful over things she went through and don’t know if there was anything that I could have said or done differently to prevent it all.  I certainly tried.  I tried to get her in counseling, tried to involve her dad for help and support, was at her school regularly and on the phone with her home room advisor, counselors and even arranged a meeting with all of her teachers and dad to try to get her back focused on school. Living with her dad only allowed her to get into more trouble.  She liked being there because there was no parental involvement.  She said it was like having her own place; she could do whatever she wanted whenever she wanted.

She thinks she came out of it all okay. She thinks she has a better relationship with her dad and with me.  I don’t think she is okay. I think it is a child’s justification. I still see some concerning behaviour. I don’t see her relationship with either parent as “better”. The relationships are just more “real”. The parent/child lines blurred and disappeared. We all displayed and exposed human nature at it’s most real, flawed, frightening, vulnerable, ugly, wounded, hurt, sad, selfish, scared and out of control.  I wasn’t able to protect my daughter from anything. I couldn’t even protect myself from the decisions of my husband. She lost every bit of security she knew when her parents were no longer a solid, unified front and her family foundation crumbled.

Then she started to cry for her sister. She said that she is so afraid her sister is going to do what she did. She said she loves her sister so much and tells everyone how much she respects her.  She doesn’t want anything negative to happen to her. She mourned for her sister’s relationship with her dad.  She sobbed, “Mom, you did not deserve to have happen what dad did to you. Dad is such an asshole and you are so much better off without him.” Then she hugged her dog and said, “You hate Janice, don’t you, Bingo. You hate her, too.” Then she went on to cry, “But I am not sad for you, mom, and I am not sad for me.  I am sad for (sister’s name).” And she just cried.

She said that her sister hates her dad. I told her that wasn’t true.  She said that her sister is Team Robyn and lets Janice and her dad know it to their face.  I told her that her sister protects her dad to me, too.  However, I told my daughter that her dad has also let her sister down time and time again (which she nodded and said she knew) and that it is not her responsibility to fight for her dad and sister’s relationship.  I let her know that I had done that repeatedly to no avail and had to just let it go. It hurts me equally to see her dad ignore her and choose other people and things over our child but all I can do now is let her dad know he can see her whenever he wants and I am there when he choses not to see her.

Thanksgiving weekend was “his” weekend.  And yet, he played hockey Friday night instead of picking our youngest daughter up from dance and having dinner with her or getting our older daughter from the ferry. He had his own plans all day on Saturday.  He saw the girls for 4 hours on Sunday and then didn’t see them at all on the Monday holiday.  And that was “his” weekend.

I told my daughter that she could only be responsible for her relationship with her dad and her relationship with her sister. As an example I shared with her that I knew how she helped her sister when her dad did not. I told her how much her sister appreciated her staying with her during their kayaking excursion when their dad took them back to Ontario in the summer.  My younger daughter had never been kayaking before and yet her dad put her in a single kayak on a very choppy day on Lake Huron.  Dave and Janice went in a double kayak together.  My younger daughter told me she was crying, kept getting pushed back into shore, was last and very far behind everyone else.  She told me it was her sister that stayed with her the most and that her dad kept yelling at her what she was supposed to be doing instead of actually doing anything to help her or be with her.  Her cousin, who also went out with them, told her afterwards that she sucked. It was the worst experience. Her dad had no consideration at all for her needs or her safety and he was not in the least bit loving, patient, concerned or helpful. I told my older daughter that she can’t be there to protect her sister all the time but I was so grateful that she was there that day to help her.

Thanksgiving weekend made me so thankful for both of my children. On Saturday, we went out for breakfast and the waitress commented that we were having way too much fun for one table. We did a bit of shopping, watched a movie, ate together, played a board game together and all 3 of us stayed up until 1:30 a.m. We made breakfast on Sunday and lounged around all in the same room just hanging out talking and watching t.v. We made cookies, looked at old photographs and laughed so much. Sunday night they went out with their dad but got dropped off at my girlfriend’s house, where I went for dinner.  On Monday, again we spent the entire day together. We wanted to go to a new corn maze that a local farm just had designed this year but it was raining and windy. I took my younger daughter to her tap solo practice and then we made brunch, relaxed all day and spent the evening with another family for Thanksgiving dinner. I drove my daughter to the ferry Tuesday morning and she thanked me repeatedly for the weekend we shared.

My daughter is doing very well at university.  She has met many new friends, loves her roommate, loves her classes, has gone out with my nieces who live in Vancouver a couple of times, is trying new activities, loves her campus and school but most of all I think she loved coming home.

Standard
cheating, infidelity, Love, separation, Valentine's Day

Abstinence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today represents one year exactly since I last had sex with my husband.   Last year, he brought me home a dozen long-stem, red roses.  He gave each of our daughters a rose as well.  I made a nice dinner of horseradish encrusted salmon–a dish I had never made before but one that my husband loved and ordered every time we went to the Blues Bayou Café for dinner. I bought him some fancy flavoured massage oil/lubricants. We exchanged cards, drank wine and enjoyed a chocolaty, rich, decadent dessert.

I had no idea that night would be the last night we would be intimate together.  I remember it though.  I said to him afterwards, “Who were you having sex with because it wasn’t me?”  He faltered slightly, paused, but not enough that it meant anything obvious to me.  He said, “No…, I was having sex with you.”  He didn’t ask me why I asked that question but for me our sex that night was raunchier than usual.  He was more aggressive, verbal, dominant; it was noticeably different.

Since then, I haven’t held hands with anyone; kissed anyone or even had anyone in my mind to fantasize about.  I am still married; not legally separated; and although I am taking the legal steps to move forward with my life I am not ready mentally, emotionally, physically, financially or morally to engage in another relationship on any level.

Today marks a passage of time that has gone by very quickly.  It really does seem like yesterday when we were last together.  I wonder how many times he has had sex in the last year; what it is like for him; has he learned any new tricks; discovered new pleasures; participated in kinkier things than he ever did with me.  Has he had more adventure, experienced better orgasms, explored different positions?  Has he had more than 1 partner, multiple partners at the same time and does he ever feel like he is still cheating on me?  I wonder if he ever misses having sex with me. I wonder if he feels empty when he lies in bed after the act is completed or did he feel empty after being with me and now someone else makes him feel more alive.  All futile thoughts and wasted energy because I will never know the answers to any of those questions.

Abstinence does not make my heart grow fonder for my husband. On the contrary, it makes me firm in my position that I cannot imagine being with him intimately again.  When I see him, I can’t even look at his face.  I cannot stand to be in his presence.  It is more than uncomfortable;  it is unbearable.  And yet, I would have loved him to have sent roses for Valentine’s Day.  I would have loved him to have sent a sincere, heart-felt, “I’m sorry” letter outlining how remorseful, regrettable and miserable his life has been since cheating on me and being separated from me.  Instead I am wondering how he is showing his girlfriend his love for her on Valentine’s Day.

 

Standard