adultery, affair, cheating, divorce, family, friends, God, support, vacation

Family Vacation

A week after discovering my husband’s affair, I still went on our booked March break family vacation.

It was supposed to be my husband, me and our 2 girls visiting his parents in Englewood, Florida for 2 weeks and then heading up to Orlando to Disney World and Universal Studios for week number three. I was traveling with our youngest daughter for the first week and my husband and our older daughter were joining us for the last 2 weeks.  My younger daughter and I were going to visit my birth mom, step father, sister, brother-in-law and 3 nieces in Naples during our first week.

As soon as my husband learned we discovered his affair he sent me an email that read, “Cancel my flight.” My older daughter’s best friend ending up taking my ex’s place.

It turned out to be one the best vacations we ever experienced.  We had so much fun.  We did some crazy girl things we would never have done with my ex present. After the devastation my ex had just caused us we were more caring of each other, more open, honest, kinder and closer.

I felt like God was there all the way sending me little reminders of his love through friends, family, random incidents, my girls and their friend as well as my older daughter’s friend’s dad who came down and surprised us (he’s a pilot) treating us to an amazing dinner in Downtown Disney.

We also met an amazing man in the hot tub who was so kind and wonderful to all of us.  He invited us to attend events with him that we wouldn’t have known about otherwise. He took my camera and snapped random shots of me and my girls. My younger daughter was always asking to go to the pool at 9:00 p.m. for our regular rendezvous with him and watched the gate eagerly for him to arrive.  The pool caretakers allowed him to stay in the pool area after hours and to close up when he was done so it was midnight sometimes when we returned home (with our time change it was only 9:00 p.m.).  He bought lanterns for all of us one night that we lit and wished on and released to the sky.  He introduced us to his friends and we had great little parties. He made me feel desirable (although I did not attend his private invites I certainly considered it and my older daughter encouraged me to go!) We would talk for at least 2 hours every night and he gave a lot of attention to my kids. He kissed me (my daughter’s friend saw that one) and told me he thought I was the most amazing women and mother.

I also had so much support from my best friends from Ontario and it was a blessing to be able to get the support of my family and even in-laws in person at this life-changing point. It turned out that one of my best friends who just moved to Sarasota was only a 15 minute drive from my in-laws place.  We talked on the phone daily and we visited often over the 2 weeks. My other girlfriend from Ontario flew down to support me and brought her daughter to be there for my daughter.  My other best friend, who I have known literally all my life, changed her family vacation plans and drove completely out of their way with her husband and 3 kids just to give me a hug. My mother-in-law shared with me about my father-in-law’s infidelity and she told me how much she felt my pain.  She assured me she knew exactly what I was experiencing.

If this vacation had not been planned before discovering the affair I wouldn’t have gone.  It involved a lot of driving and one parent with 3 children had it’s challenges but I would not go back and change a thing.

I have since taken my children on several other mini trips and experiences.  My ex was never really interested in travelling or doing anything new.  It was always me that planned our trips and they were very detailed in nature. I made sure there were great experiences for everyone.

Now my younger daughter is enjoying what is becoming our annual camping trip.  It is simple–a tiny cabin with bunk beds.  She and her friend sleep on top and I am on the bottom.  There is a table and 2 chairs, a mini fridge and microwave and a portable electric double burner that I can cook on. The girls are happy to help out cooking, doing the dishes, sweeping out the cabin and setting and clearing the picnic table where we eat. We do a mix of nothing and lots of things including visiting friends who are vacationing in the same camp park or close by, going to a lake for the day, the ocean for a day, mini golf, driving range, outdoor movie in a close by city, local events like sand sculpture competitions, movies in a friend’s trailer, movies outside our cabin, swimming in the watering hole, water slide, playground, shopping in a nearby town, and going for ice cream. My older daughter stays home now and gets paid to look after the pets and housesit plus she has 2 other jobs this summer.

Our expensive, flying vacations may be finished due to my financial situation but I like what we are doing equally as much.  Time together building memories with some new experiences is what our family vacation has always been about. It is a core value to me and I will ensure our adventures together continue.

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Florida, loss, separation, single parent, vacation

Life of Pi

Before my husband and I separated, we had a family vacation planned to go to Florida. We were staying with my husband’s parents for 2 weeks in Englewood and then 1 week in Orlando at Disneyworld.

When I discovered my husband’s affair he sent me an email that read, “Cancel my flight.” The trip was planned for 7 days later. The girls and I still went. My older daughter’s friend ended up coming too. It was certainly not a vacation I would have purposely planned being a single parent taking along my two children and one of their friends. I had to get a rental vehicle on my own and we drove from Fort Meyers to Englewood; to Naples to visit some of my family; to Sarasota to visit my girlfriend and then to Orlando. I bought a GPS but it was an exhausting and stressful undertaking and I spent a lot of time lost.

I still hadn’t had any time to grieve the end of my marriage. There was so much to do to get ready for the trip and I had things to do in relation to my separation. I was very grateful for the time away with my kids and we did create some great memories. Two of my closest friends from Ontario even came down to see me while I was there to offer their support and I got to spend time with one of my best friends who lives in Sarasota.

On the plane ride home I watched the movie ‘Life of Pi’. I remember the words and the scene that left me sobbing uncontrollably. Yann Martel writes, “I’ve never forgotten him. Dare I say I miss him? I do. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart. I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. The pain is like an axe that chops my heart.”

Nothing sums out how I feel any better than this. This was my exact experience.

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