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.
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:
- Dave is the only person to blame for his cheating.
- Our marriage was one of those marriages that experienced infidelity when it was not a “bad” marriage.
- 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.
- Cheating is awful even from the cheater’s perspective.
- 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.
- My ex and the OW were lonely people with something missing in their life. Happy men and women don’t cheat however see #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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
“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
- 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.
The police union demanded the resignation of Victoria Police Chief, Frank Elsner, two weeks ago as a result of his admission that he was exchanging inappropriate Twitter messages with the wife of a subordinate police officer.
Now, as reported by CHEK news tonight, Frank Elsner has voluntarily stepped aside, with pay, now that the Office of Police Complaints Commissioner has ordered two different public trust investigations into the police chief.
He is being investigated by RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and two retired judges. Not only is there an issue with his exchange of flirtatious social media messages but he also allegedly misled investigators, lied to the officer in question about the messages he sent to his wife so that the officer would not file a complaint against him, talked to witnesses after being told not to talk to witnesses, and four employees have made workplace harassment complaints against him since 2014.
The investigation is expected to take six months.
Based on my conversation with people who work for Victoria Police, all of their emails and the Police Department social media accounts are internally monitored. How could the police chief be so stupid to not only do what every cheater does and risk his marriage, reputation, relationship with his children and family, ruin his finances, ruin his dreams but also do something that could destroy his career? Did he just think he wouldn’t be caught? Is it spiritual blindness because of his sinful thinking? Maybe when Romans 6:23 talks about the wages of sin being death it is talking about everything good in your life is now dead and gone.
I think of people like Bill Cosby who spent a lifetime building an image that is respected and admired only to have it crumble apart and turn to ash because of his apparent repeated abuse of women for his own sexual pleasure and whatever other gain he received from that behaviour. Now that will be his legacy. I think of scripture like “your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23) and “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world just to forfeit his own soul?”(Matthew 16:26) It makes me feel like I felt with my own husband that he was a fraud, liar and that everything he pretended that he stood for was false.
I suspect that there will be a new Victoria Police Chief in 2016.
I apologize for a bunch of nasty comments left by my ex, the other woman and their friends.
I deleted some horrific ones but I will just let them reveal themselves for who they are and then I think you will see that my experience as reported is on mark.
I think it is very low of them to be communicating with a 15-year old who’s parents are causing her a lot of emotional distress and who reached out to me for support. The lies they told her about my daughter being kicked out are very far from reality. I cannot control their actions but I will not let their bullying stop me from sharing my experience or trying to help someone else manoeuvre through their experience.
This is my journey, my experience and my truth. I am only reporting what is going on in my life as it relates to my experience with a cheating spouse and the legal system. This was never a blog about bashing my ex or the other woman. This was never a blog about trying to make me look good. I know I look very ugly with my responses and actions. This is the reality of a nasty divorce and being on a path I never expected to be on.
This was a forum where I could share my experience. I had never blogged before and had no idea how to do it or how many people I would meet going through similar experiences. Everyone has been so kind and generous with support, compassion and advice. These were private, vulnerable posts. These were never meant to be seen by my ex.
It was pointed out to me by several professionals and friends throughout the last 2 1/2 years that I was in an abusive relationship. I have never posted the emails that would likely confirm this. It might be very difficult for me to go back and read those. I am told I may still be protecting my ex and that I may even be in denial about the abuse as I defend him sometimes for the cruel things he said to me. I had a friend share that she was horrified when we went out to dinner as couples one night. She shared that the mean things he would criticize me about were not funny and yet I would laugh as though it was a joke. I would never want his children to see the things he wrote to me and I did share with a handful of my friends about my blog so I might be embarrassed for them to see that as well. Now that my ex has discovered the blog and started posting things one friend contacted me telling me that she is afraid for me as she always considered my ex to be “dangerous”. She feels like I should contact the police because these are clearly messages meant to harass me. She texted me this morning saying, “You have had years of systematic emotional abuse by Dave…I’m really sorry.” She went on to say, “I’m worried about you and the girls.” It is clear he is continuing to try and abuse me emotionally and trying to use my blog against me.
Her advise is for me to take the blog off line. I think this is again part of my journey with my ex and it is being documented as such. I hope that anyone who happens upon my blog will learn from it. Maybe both people going through the break up can read this and say, “We do not want to be these people.” “We want to make better decisions and hurt as few people as possible through this process as well as protect our children and our finances.”
Clearly by my ex and his friends posting my name, they do not care about my children being identified. As one blogger pointed out, they have now seen my Facebook page and photos of my children. I have no problem sharing my name and identity as I stand by what I write. I never exposed my ex’s identity as I never wanted my children to read these posts. Thank you Dave, Janice and friends for being so concerned about protecting children.