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, 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?

 

 

Standard
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”

 

Standard
adultery, affair, cheating, divorce, infidelity, unfaithfulness

Royal Theatrics from the Ex

I have been very grateful to not have any contact with my ex.  I scan and email my receipts to him and I get the same negative response back that he isn’t paying. He might throw in a snide comment or two but it doesn’t even phase me and I never respond.

Then out of the blue I get an email from him with the subject line “Royal Theatre”.  Our youngest daughter’s dance recital is in two weeks so I thought maybe he wanted to know if I purchased a ticket for our older daughter to attend. That thought in my own head didn’t make sense because even when she lived with him I bought her a ticket as he never did. This was his rant:

“I know you continue to have some weird fascination with me, however you need to get your own Royal Theatre account. I’ve changed my password several times as you well know, since you have gone in and changed it to something else several times. It would probably take you less time to just get your own account, but for some reason you seem stuck on using mine? I know this because I can see your order history, address info and credit card.  I contemplated contacting the theatre to cancel or report your tickets (row D seats 16&17) as being stolen, but it’s frankly not worth my time or energy.”

I, too, have gone to the Royal Theatre with the same concern.  This was 3 years ago after we separated.  I set up the Royal Theatre account more than 4 years before that even.  Dave and I actually shared my personal email.  He had his work email but we just had one family address. I was the one who always purchased the theatre tickets and the account is registered with my email address.  Now when I login with my email address which hasn’t changed, and put in my password, I will find he has accessed the account and changed the billing address and credit card information to his own. I change it back for ordering but when I have picked up tickets at the box office his name has been printed on them. I tried to set up a new account but because I only have one email address it tells me I already have an account and it won’t let me set up a new one.  I explained the situation to the theatre 3 years ago and they made changes while I was at the box office watching them but obviously it is still a problem.

He seems to keep thinking I am changing his password but it is my account so I access it with my own password.  I guess he registered his email to the account as well and maybe that is why he is able to keep changing the password and accessing my account but I have never changed the password and I have never not been able to get in to their website to order tickets because he has changed it.

I will go to the theatre again with a copy of his email to show them that there is an issue with the account and certainly a privacy concern as well.  I am hoping with his threat of cancelling the tickets and/or reporting them stolen that they will ensure there is a fix to the problem.

 

Standard
adultery, affair, Betrayal, Cancer, cheating, divorce, God, Healing, hot yoga, unfaithfulness

Stay Real,Live Positive,Practice Hot Yoga

Hope comes in many forms.
As I walk my journey of heart break, betrayal, and the devastating consequences of a narcissistic, cheating spouse and his self-seeking girlfriend in my life, God inserts kinder, gentler, inspiring people to remind me that my ex and the other woman are only two crumby people in a huge world that have lived on and crossed my path, temporarily blocking my way.
David Smith, photographed below in a standing bow posture, is one of the many better people that have appeared in my life, since my separation.  He arrived at the perfect time. David Smith and I take Bikram yoga classes together. In 2015, he was so kind in emailing me encouraging messages pertaining to my yoga practice, my running and my life situation. I thought it was the coach in him but I have realized that his own life experiences, which could have embittered him, and did, (he thinks it caused his cancer) have made him the amazing man that he is today.
I wanted to share one aspect of his life, as I wait for the results of my own cancer diagnosis, just as an offer of hope and encouragement. Maybe what we interpret as a death sentence is only an opportunity for a better life.
David Smith, standing bowDAVID SMITH:
 MY YOGA STORY
Being diagnosed with terminal cancer is a real shock to say the least. Cancer comes in many varieties. Unluckily, mine was diagnosed as the most aggressive you can get. It had spread to twenty locations from behind the lungs to the pelvis. It was on the move to the brain, bones or both, next.
Cancer and its treatment are extremely hard on the body. From 2011 to 2014 I received four surgical procedures, the key one failed and was aborted. A dizzying array of nasty meds, fifty two radiation treatments and forty five radioactive seed implants followed. During and after all this treatment my immune system was nonexistent as all critical blood values dipped well below normal ranges. Testosterone, a critical male hormone wasn’t just low, it went to zero as did strength and energy levels. My weight shot up from 170 to 208 lbs, almost overnight.
Did I mention that I run my own business? It was not doing great as well.
Just to add another level of stress and ‘excitement’, when you develop cancer the kooks come out of the woodwork offering a dizzying array of witchcraft and untested home remedies. All unproven and most for money of course. Surprisingly the advice I found most offensive was “stay positive.” You have got to be kidding me! The best advice is to STAY REAL!
Fortunately I had great support from long time employees, my son Tyler (now a Bikram instructor and another dramatic yoga success story), a team of very well qualified doctors in the United States and the Sidney Hot Yoga studio.
Hot Yoga, you have got to be kidding!
I have an extensive competitive cycling background as a member of the Canadian National Team in 1993, and coach to Ryder Hesjedal – arguably one of the best cyclists Canada has ever produced. A Hot Yoga studio was the last place I ever thought I would be. From my sports training background I knew the importance of good nutrition and so eating habits were modified. Not to extremes. Just sensible.
During radiation treatment in Sarasota Florida, Tyler would drag me to the Bikram studio right after treatment before the negative effects took hold.  I would crawl through classes, like it or not. When I returned to Sidney, I suffered through Thirty Day Challenges and even challenged myself to many a double class and even an all-day yoga, doing four classes in one day.
There have been many recent medical studies that are showing that yoga benefits cancer patients. Duhh….of course it does! Instead of “staying positive” you are “living positive.” Surrounding yourself with good energy, positive people and improving your fitness level. Its a no brainer.
My doctors are amazed at how healthy I look and how well I am doing. As one commented, “You are not the man in your medical charts, what is your secret?” I don’t know what the outcome will be. I do know that I am doing WAY better than what was first predicted.
For now the cancer is gone.
What I know too is that hot yoga has played a huge role in the success of the treatments. Aches and pains from of a lifetime of crashes and crazy boat rides are gone as well. There is still everyday stress but it gets handled with a new sense of calm, dignity and confidence. In the end, illness, arthritis, stress or not, I  should have been doing heated yoga all along anyway – Wake up calls come in strange ways.
Thanks to all of you! XXXOOO David
P.S. Please feel free to share this with friends and family, maybe it will help their loved ones. I wish I had a better Standing Bow but oh well!
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
adultery, affair, Betrayal, cheating, divorce, infidelity, Janice Andrews, marriage, other woman, separatiion, unfaithfulness

Do I Really Need to Know Anything about the OW?

Dave emailed me this article last week, “What You Really Need to Know About The Other Woman”.  I didn’t read it initially. Cleaning out my inbox today, I decided to see what he sent before deleting.  He made no comment, just copied the article and sent it.

My take away from this article:

  1. Dave is the only person to blame for his cheating.
  2. Our marriage was one of those marriages that experienced infidelity when it was not a “bad” marriage.
  3. We have not tried nor do I have any desire to “rebuild our marriage from the rubble”.  Dave has made no attempt to do this either and continues to see the other woman so I am not sure why he would send an article from the perspective of a wife who is staying with her cheating husband.
  4.  Cheating is awful even from the cheater’s perspective.
  5. The OW has a lot of issues to be able to be an OW in the first place and the cheater has no respect for her at all.  She needs help in her life.
  6. My ex and the OW were lonely people with something missing in their life.  Happy men and women don’t cheat however see #7.
  7. This is a big one that maybe Dave wants me to know:  Statistics support that the majority of men who cheat consider themselves happy in their marriage.  Affairs are an escape from other stressors in their life and a way to try to make them feel young and sexy.
  8.  What I disagree with is that there is no satisfaction in contacting the OW.  I did this once after finding out about the affair and it gave me great satisfaction. I have zero regrets about that one.  I don’t know one person who thinks I was crazy to do this.  Anyone who knows this story has only given me high praise and expressed admiration and awe for my boldness, courage and ability to stand firm and make the OW face what she did and who she did it against.
  9. I agree that there is no satisfaction in outing the OW.  I did this on my blog to tell the entire story.  It is what it is and she is who she is.  I do not feel any regret about doing it.  It is just fact.  I don’t feel any regret about telling her husband.  That wasn’t intentional.  Dave told our daughter and me that she wasn’t married and wasn’t living with anyone or even had a boyfriend. The universe worked that one out and it saved her spouse from the OW continuing her lies and deception to him. Too bad she didn’t have the courage and respect for her husband to do it herself but she is a cheater so I guess that is a given.
  10. Why my husband cheated makes no difference to me 3 years later.  He gave me some reasons at the time but they made no sense (I didn’t clean out the garage like he asked) so I don’t know if he has ever really been honest with himself about why he cheated.  Maybe he sent this article as a way to try and explain. Still doesn’t matter now. He has never expressed regret and remorse.
  11. I have no obsession with the OW.  I agree that she never should have been part of my life and I will do what I can to make sure that she never is part of my life.  I don’t want to see her or hear anything about her.  I hope she makes sure that doesn’t happen either. I suspect it is quite the other way around.  She will have to live with my presence in her life for as long as she stays with my ex and I suspect that her memory of me will last a life time.  Hopefully it will be a reminder to never fuck around with a married man again.  And when she learns about him cheating on her, I will be the first person she will think about.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Warrior Post: What You Really Need to Know About the Other Woman

“Anonymous” posted her story on another part of this site in response to what she noticed was a lot of talk and concern and obsession with the Other Woman. Her words are poignant and painful but it’s clear she’s taken a clear-eyed look at her marriage and the role she played in the breakdown of it. As we make very very clear on this site, nobody is to blame for their husband’s cheating. That’s on him. And not all marriages that experience infidelity are “bad”. But some are. And Anonymous took a forensic accounting of her own marriage and what had happened in it and then used that knowledge to understand her husband’s affair and how the two of them could rebuild a marriage from the rubble. ~Elle

  1. The OW debate seems to be showing up more and more on here, so I wanted to share a few things from my story.
    In therapy, my H and I had some brutally frank conversations. It took a while to get him to open up but when he did, it all came out. One of the “reasons” behind his A was our crumpling marriage. I couldn’t deny that. We were two people who co-existed in the same house with little connection at all. Days would go by without him having much to say and I just nagged and nagged like usual. It doesn’t excuse his actions but it’s the honest truth of what we were. I learned that my nagging was actually an attempt to get him to pay attention to me. Even bad attention was attention and I was yearning for that. I would constantly yell at him to give me an opinion on something but then I would just override anything he said and make the decision on my own anyways. He felt that I didn’t value him, his opinion or his input on anything so why would he bother to give it any more. One day in therapy, I was raging about the OW, how she seduced him and my husband cracked. He actually said to me “I did this to you! I DID! You think I’m so weak and feeble minded that I’m just nothing, that I could be so blindly tricked into doing this awful thing, that I wasn’t even capable of making this f&@king decision either?!” It really was a breakthrough for me when I realized how little I have made this man feel he was that he was grasping to even be acknowledged for doing something this awful. This was a decision that he made that I couldn’t override him on. I guess the whole bad attention is still attention thing was at play on his part as well.
    The other thing that stuck with me was him laughing about the OW seducing him. He told me how the OW had so many insecurities that she’d probably take it as a compliment if someone thought so much of her to have this hypnotic power over men. And that’s when I stopped giving her that power in my mind. She has nothing on me.
    I do believe many affairs start with two lonely people looking for something that is missing in their life. It’s not right, it’s so wrong and hurtful but I do think it boils down to that in many cases. The majority of happy men do not cheat. The majority of happy women do not cheat.  [ELLE’S NOTE: WHILE I AGREE WITH THIS IN SOME CASES, STATISTICS SHOW THAT THE MAJORITY OF MEN WHO CHEAT CONSIDER THEMSELVES “HAPPY” IN THEIR MARRIAGE. AFFAIRS ARE OFTEN AN ESCAPE FROM OTHER STRESSES, OR A CHANCE TO FEEL YOUNG AND SEXY AGAIN.] As much as it still hurts me, he found something in her even if it was just temporarily. And I blame him for that, just like he asked me to. He was right, he did this to me. I have forgiven him and we are moving towards being better together but I blame solely him. I can’t vilify this OW any more than I vilify him because he was the one who was supposed to cherish me and forsake others. He was the one I had built a life with. He had promised to be my partner in life. To forgive him and understand his flaws did make me think how she probably has her own demons that she’s struggling with. I do still have mean and nasty thoughts towards her but it’s fading every day and sometimes I hope she gets the help she needs so that she can have a second chance at life, too, just like I have given him. (And, then some days, I still wish she loses all her hair overnight, gains 100 pounds, gets horrible adult acne…!!!)

As others have posted, there is NO satisfaction in contacting her. There’s even less satisfaction in outing her to others. I say this from experience. You may think you’ll get some satisfaction but there’s none. Just none. It only makes you feel sadder. I exposed some before we started therapy. It only led to even more self-doubt and self-loathing on my part and a lot of gossip around town about how I was the crazy one. People may agree that you were wronged but they are very uncomfortable with a woman ranting and raving and pointing the finger! I heard more than a few “no wonder he cheated” comments which only fuelled my hysteria! One of my lowest moments in life was yelling at her 80-year-old parents about how their daughter was a whore and I hoped they were proud of her. If I could take that one action back, I would in a second. After I was hung up on by them, I just crumpled and wondered what I had come to. I felt I couldn’t hold my head up any higher than she could, I had handed her that power that I could be just as hurtful as her. And the shame I feel that my children know I did these things is another burden I bear. I teach them all the time that two wrongs don’t make a right, always keep your dignity… and it’s hard for me to not be embarrassed of my actions. I understand them, I have forgiven myself, I understand any one in our position lashing out but looking back, I just am not proud.

For all these reasons, I say let it go with obsession with the OW. I’ve read some stories on here of BS who admitted they were an OW long ago and we still support them because of their pain! And we do that because we are good and compassionate people on here. Take your energy and focus on him. Focus on learning why he did what he did. You have to understand why HE did this in order to move forward. It doesn’t matter why she did, it only matters why he participated. Focus on what you have done to hurt him. And then solely focus on you getting stronger as a couple. Don’t let thoughts of her continue to ruin any progress you are making as a couple. It’s easier said than done but don’t let her continue to be a part of your marriage, she didn’t belong in it before and she doesn’t belong in it now either.

 

Standard