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.

 

 

 

 

Standard
adultery, affair, Betrayal, children, Christianity, divorce, God, infidelity, moving on, other woman, separatiion, single parent, unfaithfulness

Waiting

I feel like my life is on hold.

I have a cancer diagnosis hanging over my head.  My stitches were removed yesterday but the pathology report remains outstanding.  My doctor is watching for the results and promised to call me directly.

Even though the stitches are out the area will take a year to heal.  The doctor explained that there is a lot of repairing still to take place inside. The outside skin is very weak and the wound can reopen so there are still limitations in what I am able to do with my arm.

I usually start my run clinic at this time of year preparing for races.  This is the first time in 6 years I haven’t joined Sole Sisters.  When Dave and I initially separated he said he would pick up our daughter on Tuesday nights so I could continue to run with my group.  That was only because it worked for his schedule.  Now that it doesn’t, I am picking up my daughter from dance on clinic night.   I was going to join a different group on a different day or try training on my own or with a friend who used to coach running but with my 2 surgeries and diagnosis it seemed like a waste of money until I know if I will have to have further testing and treatment.

My ex is still fighting me on so many issues.  We are waiting for his compliance on the court orders before returning to court on outstanding issues and new ones. He did pay me the support arrears and court cost amount but he has several other orders with actions to complete and information to provide. As usual, the information he did provide is incomplete or insufficient so my lawyer has had to write to his lawyer again making further requests.

I am only staying in Victoria at this time because of my children.  I have tried for the last 3 years, in the midst of the destruction of our family and finances, to do what I could to keep the daily lives of my children stable. I don’t want to take our younger daughter away from her dad, her friends or her dance studio but we have talked about moving.  She said she would move if we could go to Florida.  I asked why and she said it was warm and she liked all the places we have stayed there. Both of her grandparents go there for the winter months and one of my best friends lives there. I told her that it is too difficult to get into the States to reside.  She suggested we move up island but I told her that I didn’t really see the benefit.  She wants us to have a house and our own space. Housing costs are less up island but I told her that if she was going to move hours away from her dad and friends the reality is that she wouldn’t get to see them very often.  We may as well go where we would really like to go or have a reason to go. She said she would move anywhere if her best friend and her mom came with us.  I said that all of their family is here and her best friend’s mom has a career so that was very unlikely to happen.  She mentioned one other dance friend and her mom who is my friend (even though there is a dad and 3 other siblings) that she said she would like to have move with us.

My older daughter has been staying with me during her Reading Week break from university. I talked about the possibility of moving with my older daughter as well.  She agreed that it made more sense for us to move to Vancouver or back to Ontario where more options exist for all of us and where we have family.  I told her that I don’t want to move away from her and that my thinking at this point is to wait until she is finished university (3 more years anyways) and for her sister to finish high school (4 more years). We also talked about the pets. As sad as it is to think about it, the reality is that our 12 year old dog would not have to be considered in a move 4 years from now. Flying for him, seven years ago, was so stressful that I wouldn’t put him through that again.

The three of us talked about a four year plan.  We discussed making the most of the next 4 years here by visiting places that are more easily accessible living on the west coast.  We talked about going to Hawaii, Alaska and Mexico. We have already driven down the west coast to San Diego but there are some interior places that I would still like to visit in California.

At this point, there is no clear cross road in my path. If it was only about me, I would be gone.  So in the middle of waiting, I am going to try to live with a 4 year plan to help me prepare for next steps. I am going to register my younger daughter at two high school because she is currently undecided which direction she should follow. I am going to get divorced with an enforceable court ruling on payments owed by Dave and do whatever I can do to get him out of my life.  I am going to focus on my health. I am going to liquidate as much of my belongings as possible. I am going to try to rebuild my finances. I am going to plan trips.

Jeremiah 29:11 has always been one of my favourite scriptures and is impressed in my brain.  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” So within my 4 year plan, I know God has a plan. It is probably the other way around. Within God’s plan, I am going to focus on my plan for me and my girls and he will handle the rest. I honestly believe it is all for my good. So, I wait.

 

Standard
affairs, Betrayal, cheating, confrontation, control, deceitfulness, divorce, follow your gut, moving on

I May Run Slow but I Don’t Run Back

My ex ran with me once. We ran a 10K route around a couple of lakes near our home. It was very hot I remember. I also remember his description of my pace: “turtlish”.

We separated March 1, 2013 and on Mother’s Day that year we had a phone discussion about the possibility of reuniting. He told me, “I will have to be gone a long time.” Thinking he meant we couldn’t just go back to co-habitating after his affair I confirmed that I didn’t want him back living with me. I made it clear it would be really difficult for me to have him back at all let alone be with him intimately. He agreed that would be difficult for me but seemed far more concerned that I confirm to him that we did have a really good sex life. I found that odd since he was the one that had the affair, not me. He thanked me for talking to him and acknowledged how hard it must be for me to listen when he was acknowledging some of the lies he told me and where he was instead. We followed up our call with an email just confirming it was good to be talking.

The next evening, Monday, I was trying to get in touch with him about picking up our children on Tuesday to spend time with them. His cell phone kept going straight to voice mail and I had never experienced that before. It made me think that maybe he was talking to someone else. Would he really be talking to the other woman after our conversation the night before? Maybe he was breaking things off with her.

On a hunch, I opened the phone book and called the “Andrews” listed in the book that had an address in the area of the Starbucks where they would habitually meet. Remember I had copies of the text messages between them and one confirmed they were meeting at Starbucks and reconfirmed by my ex, “the one by your house”.

I called the first number I thought was in the area thinking I might get a busy signal. It rang, so if this was the right number my ex wasn’t on the phone with her. A man answered the phone. “Hi, Is Janice there?” I asked politely. “No she isn’t”, he said. I was shocked. “Janice Andrews lives there?” I asked. “Yes”, he replied. “The one who works for the M of S,” I asked. “Yes”, he said. “Who are you?” I asked. “I am her husband,” he replied. “Who are you?” he asked. “I am the wife of the man who is fooling around with your wife”, I said.

At around 11:00 p.m. my ex contacted me seeing that I had called his cell phone. He didn’t answer my calls because he was at a movie with Janice. Wow, I guess he felt he “needed to be gone a long time” because he thought he would spend his days and nights away from me, his home, and his kids continuing his affair. I knew then and there I would never look back again. I felt that resolve on March 1, 2013 when his response to me finding out about the affair was to walk out the door and not say a word to me and to continue on his trip to Vancouver with his friends. My gut, my decision on Day 1, my knowing in my heart and head as well, that this man was a complete fraud that I wanted nothing to do with ever again, was reaffirmed.

Since then I have made it clear to him that we will never get back together. He has sent numerous emails and texts over the last 2 years giving reasons why he thinks that I must still want him back. He did this as recently as last week, March 3, 2105. The day before that I tried to turn up the volume on expressing my feelings for him to help him get the message.

I texted on March 2, 2015: “The way you continue to live is repulsive to me. You are repulsive to me. There is nothing about you–your character, your lifestyle, your parenting, your choices, your personality, your looks, your employment, money, nothing that makes me desire you physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. Say what you want; think what you want. I am not interested in you on any level. It is your narcissistic personality, your ego, your id that makes you believe I am angry and haven’t moved on emotionally. You are correct in saying you couldn’t be a good husband to me and I deserve better. I think you said that out of false humility or maybe your super ego is coming through. I don’t know if you recognize what a creep you are or what but I am so done caring.”

He is a little “turtlish” in his understanding that I do not want him back.

The divorce process for me has also been turtlish. My ex tries to manipulate and control everything even when, financially, things are so in his favour. This is my marathon. I am tired, have a lot of chafing and blisters, but all I can do is to keep putting one foot in front of the other, moving forward, until I cross the finish line.

Standard