Trigger season

I am now approaching 4 years into recovery from my partner’s infidelity. An 8½ year relationship with a coworker, who was half my age, which consisted of secret little tête-a-têtes, emails, texts, private messages on social media and pages of yearning poetry.

This unenviable anniversary means I am well and truly into “Trigger season”, where everything is a reminder of what went on 4 years ago (and, so it would appear, the preceding 8+ years). I have already survived the anniversary of when they last met in person. I am sure OH is oblivious to all these dates, that are seared onto my brain. If only I could forget as easily!

Yesterday was the anniversary of the texts I saw I saw on DDay1. Texts about how good it was to meet and the “hidden delights” of venues near her place of work. *gag*

Yesterday I had arranged to visit my daughter and grandson, to distract me from this date. She said she had a clinic appointment for my grandson and would I mind going along with her for moral support. Of course I didn’t mind. What I didn’t realise, until too late, was that the route to the appointment took us directly past the OW’s house! I have to admit there were places I would rather have been, yesterday especially, but I not only survived it, I felt able to look at it squarely and metaphorically spit at it. Go me!

Since shortly after DDay, OH and I have vowed to talk about our respective days each evening in the spirit of openness and honesty. Only, almost exactly to the day, one year after DDay, OH hid from me the fact that he had a business meeting on the street where she lived. I found out a week later and it completely devastated me. It was like another DDay and set me back months of recovery. So, last night, I admit I did (just for a moment) consider not telling OH where I had been yesterday. But that would have broken my promise to him and to myself, so I told him. He didn’t say a word. Never even responded. It was as if the words never left my mouth. He certainly didn’t comment on how hard that must have been for me or attempt to comfort me in any way.

I am not sure what to make of that.

Deleterious Deceitful Doggerel

I have, for some time, felt the need to publish some of the “poetry” OH wrote about the OW in a post on my blog. Why?

These pieces of doggerel were discovered a few weeks after DDay and were so destructive at the time that they became DDay 3. Up until that point, OH had been trying to convince me that his relationship with her was purely a friendship he had kept hidden because he didn’t think I would “understand” him having a female friend, (due to MY irrational jealousy, I expect)!

Finding these writings, on pieces of paper torn from notebooks, proved to me that (as I had suspected and he denied) he had romantic/sexual feelings for her and the “friendship” was a front for that.

The other hurtful thing was that, during the whole (then 14 years) of our relationship, he had only ever written 2 poems about me, still in existance, and here were many about her. He even had the gall to claim that one of the poems I found WAS about me, “You’re the Light that Guides.” I so wanted it to be about me, but in my heart I knew it wasn’t. It took another 13 months of questions from me for him to admit that yes, it was about her after all. More lying to cover his arse! Here is that poem…

001 (13)

The other poem on that page is about when they first met and their developing relationship. It makes my skin crawl.

This third poem is, I feel, about wanting the relationship to be more. Apologies for the partial illegibility.

001 (12)

This is another handwritten poem which, to me, shows his yearning for more and touches on their “stolen” moments at work and their secret lunches.

001 (4)

So again, why post them on my blog?  These words, on scraps of paper, carefully filed away by him to cherish as works of writing to be proud of (his words), and found by me in the depths of my devastation,  have been my constant mental companions for almost 4 years. It is my hope that, by putting them out there in the aether, it will help my mind to purge them. Fingers crossed it works.

I may, or may not, delete this post at some point.

In response to E’s post 88

I went a very long time post DDay believing our relationship was all a big fat lie. That I had somehow steamrollered him into being with me against his real feelings.

I now realise that for sometime in the early years, he did want to be with me, but for his own, selfish reasons. I fed his ego and flattered him. Helped him become the man I could see the potential in. But when life got in the way and personal tragedy occurred, he stopped getting that same high from me. In his mind, I was associated with that tragedy ie his real life, and he sought mentally to escape.

Along came the OW. A new work colleague. Much younger, wide eyed and inexperienced. Someone he could mold into believing him to be the witty, charming, creative artist he aspired to be. So the fantasy began. Unbeknownst to me, this relationship of mutual ego-stroking continued in secret for years. Every meeting and conversation with her hidden from me, whilst I plugged away in the real world, believing he loved me still. But something started gnawing at my gut and gradually I began realising that he was withdrawing from me and our life together. I went into detective mode.

When DDay came and reality exploded his fantasy bubble, he claims it was like an epiphany. He says he immediately realised that I was who he wanted and needed after all, and she was expunged from his life! For me it was a total mindfuck. I still struggle to believe that someone can turn around so completely. But I guess, for now, I will go with the flow, but still keep watching and waiting. One day I may even start to believe it…but not yet. One thing I have learned in all this, is never to live with unconditional trust. Trust must be earned. Every little drop of it is now conditional on him being loving, honest and true. All the time!

And, of course, I can still choose a life without him if I want. It is not a decision I have yet ruled out.

A New Year, a new blog update

Here is a toast to all you wonderful people in this world of infidelity blogs…

As Happy a New Year as is possible in whatever stage of recovery or set of circumstances you are!

OK. I know. I need to do a load of work on making it more snappy, but there it is.😉

In other news…

I am a grandmother again! My second grandson was born about a week before Christmas and I adore him immediately! He has already set up home in my heart, alongside his older brother. I look forward to many happy years of getting to know him.

On a personal level, Christmas was OK. Not fabulous, like in the years before OH’s betrayal, but alright overall. Christmas Eve was rather a low point for reasons I am not going to disclose here. But, otherwise, it was a pretty good one, being the first in our new home. Of course I missed my daughter, SIL and grandsons, it being the in-laws turn for Christmas, but we had our celebration later, just before New Year. Though I did choke up when opening gifts from my elder brother. He bought me a bottle of wine with the same name as my beautiful niece who died tragically young last year. I feel his pain.

New Year’s Eve was spent with OH’s parents and family. Then home in time to toast in the New Year in our own bed with a little glass of something.

I had a weird dream that night. I dreamt that OH had secretly taken up a sport he used to do when younger. It is a sport I loathe because of its potential for harmful injury. (Incidentally OH went to watch it with the OW at least once and used to discuss matches with her on occasion. I sometimes wonder if she really did like it or if it was one of those things OWs pretend to like just to keep them interested?) Anyway, in my dream he was doing it competitively, and part of the training involved him eating lots of meat. This upset me, in the dream, as we are both vegetarian. It left me with a feeling of unease all next day. In trying to analyse this, I am thinking that I dreamt this as my biggest fear is still that he would once again start to keep secrets from me again and betray his own moral code. I feel it all comes back to the affair. Or am I over thinking things again…as usual?

Grandparenthood mk II

My daughter is pregnant and is due to give birth to my second grandchild in the next few weeks so I should be excited and happy, right? Well of course I am very much looking forward to their arrival, but as with everything these days, it is tempered with the underlying  sadness that I cannot shake, ever since DDay. It permeates every aspect of my life and sucks out the joy I should be feeling at this time. OH knows this and expresses his sorrow, but cannot do anything about it, of course.

The saddest thing in all this, is that my first grandchild, who I adore with every atom in my body, was conceived less than two months after DDay. I cannot express just how much I resent the fact that, at what should have been one of the happiest times in my life, expecting my first grandchild, I was wallowing in the pit of post-discovery despair. I can never have that moment again. Also, after the first shock of discovery, I so wanted to talk to my daughter about the affair, but felt I couldn’t spoil her happiness. It was a very tough time for me. I felt very alone in my struggles as the only other person I felt close enough to to talk things through with was my OH. The Betrayer. Sadly, it is often the way.

Of course, the silver lining in all this pain, was the birth of my wonderful grandson. He is my therapy, if he but knew it. I cannot stay sad around him, so I wanted to put on record how grateful I am to him for coming into my life at a time when I was most in need of comfort and solace. He is a kind and caring little boy and I am sure he will make a fabulous older brother. Thank you my sweetheart. You mean the world to me.

New phone

I haven’t been too bad with the triggers lately. Moving house has been a whirlwind of activity and distraction. However something cropped up the other day that hit me hard.

Since DDay, OH and I have deliberately started talking each evening about our day’s events, however exciting or boring our day has been. This is us showing an interest in the minutiae of each other’s “lives” when we are apart during the working day. Sharing of his day was something OH started deliberately hiding from me all those years of his EA.

The other night, OH was telling me about his day and mentioned his frustration that the earphone port on his phone was not working properly. He suggested he might have to get a new phone. My mind was immediately catapulted back to post-DDay which was the last time he had to get a new phone (and number for obvious reasons).

My heart started thumping wildly at the trigger and I had to try and breathe through the moment. OH noticed what I was doing and asked me to explain. When I did, he was very supportive and this led to a long-overdue conversation about how we were both feeling these days. He told me how sorry he still feels, every day, for his behaviour back then. How much he loves me and how much soul-searching and personal growth he has worked on. He also said he desperately hopes it is possible for me to learn to love him again, but he knows he must continue to be patient. I acknowledged the truth in all this and thanked him for continuing to work hard.

Nothing is certain, but I am more confident that moving away from a lot of the triggering situations was a good decision. However, I am realistic enough to know that many of the triggers are ingrained in my head and it is up to me to to work on controlling them myself.

So busy. Too busy to sleep!

The 2 months since I last posted anything here have been mega-busy.

We have completed on the purchase of our new house. I deliberately chose that we do so on the anniversary of the date 3 years ago that OH was arranging to meet the OW in the texts I discovered on DDay. On that same date 2 years ago that he went to a work appointment on the street where she lived but, despite a vow of honesty, failed to tell me that fact. I needed that date to have something positive attached to it. So I guess now it does.

As for me, I am currently living in a state that is a mixture of excitement and of high anxiety. I am having such trouble sleeping as there is so much to do, preparing the new house and garden ready for the move, sorting out all the stuff for moving and the even bigger load of stuff that needs to be got rid of (either by selling, recycling or dumping), and then will come all the work preparing this current house for rental. I really need my rest, yet the anxiety I feel about all there is to do won’t let me.

Add in the fact that this last weekend has been full of triggers and you have a recipe for sleep deprivation and emotional exhaustion.

For example, on Saturday we went to an event taking place in the venue OH and I had our first proper date. What should have been a lovely trip down memory lane only served to remind me what a total sham he was during his affair years. The commitment HE failed to demonstrate, making a mockery of my hope for our future. This weekend he wanted to take smiling selfies of us sitting in the same spot we sat in over 17 years ago. I did it, but it was fake smiling. The only emotion I truly felt was extreme sadness for what could have been had he not chosen selfishness over loyalty. It was hard not to break down, but I kept my resolve, externally at least.

Later that same day we were watching a show we both enjoy. In it, one of the characters comes to realise that she had been oblivious to the knowledge that her mother had been having an affair for over 8 years, just as I was oblivious to OH’s 8 plus years of his EA. Bam! Another mega-trigger!

So for the last 3 nights, I have slept very little. OH knows it, but does he try to talk to me about what is bothering me? Of course not. He is adopting his usual “if I ignore it, it will go away” attitude. I get so fed up of always being the one who needs to talk about “it” again. I fear he is slipping back towards rug-sweeping and other old coping strategies.

This saddens me immensely and only adds to my stress.

Thoughts on DDay anniversary

3 years ago this very date was DDay. I should really say MY DDay, as OH didn’t know I knew for certain until nearly 3 weeks later.

On this day I looked at his phone for the first time ever, without his knowledge. He always kept it on him, glued to his side, but on this day he had gone to work and left it behind accidentally.

Amongst loads of nothing, I finally found a message exchange between him and a former work colleague, that he hadn’t deleted. It was dated 5th March and mentioned some work stuff, but then went on to say “Would be great to meet for lunch again (AGAIN???). It could be an irregular regular thing. x” She had replied saying that it was indeed good to catch up and she would look into options. To which he responded, “We could do a good food guide to ******. It is certainly a great place to find hidden delights. x” Hidden delights??? My mind boggled. What sort of hidden delights? There was just one more text dated 2 weeks later, from him to her. “Hello gorgeous. Just a little text to ask how life, the universe and everything is. x” Gorgeous??? More alarm bells.  No response from her…at least not one that hadn’t been deleted, if so.

My blood froze and a lightbulb in my head went off. This may begin to explain why he had been so off with me lately. He was meeting with another woman, in secret, behind my back. But for how long had this been happening? From the texts, it sounded relatively recent. Maybe I could nip it in the bud.

That night, I decided not to confront him, but to do a little digging. I told him I had a dream that he was having an affair. He froze for a moment then denied it strongly. “I am NOT having an affair!” He didn’t convince me. I decided I needed to think very hard about what to do next….

Today, March 31st 2017, he wrote me a letter. A letter filled with love and hope for the future. A letter from a completely different person to that man. I much prefer the man he has become over the last 3 years. The one of honesty and integrity, who cherishes me every day, to that one who had been cheating on me. Not for a short while as I had assumed back then, but for 8½ years of stolen moments and clandestine meetings, all the while lying through his teeth.  I definitely don’t want THAT man in my life!


A time of change?

I am feeling guilty that yesterday I was feeling tired and emotional and was a bit snippy with OH over something or nothing. To give him his due, though he walked away at the time, he came back shortly and I apologised. He said it was forgotten. I want to believe that. The old him would have locked it away to fester in a vat of seething resentment.

Maybe he is genuinely changing and I need to recognise that. But I struggle with trusting him to be honest in what he says. He hid the truth about himself, his lack of self-worth, his fear of commitment and his inability to not be flattered by and seek out the attentions of other people for so long.  I don’t trust my own judgement anymore where he is concerned.

He claims to be fully committed to building a new life together. That he loves me heart, mind, body and soul. That everything he does now is for US.

I only wish I could believe that. Trust him again. Having a bad week as it is DDay antiversary on Friday. Maybe after that is over, I will start to believe it might be true. Fingers crossed.

Three years and counting

Today marks the start of “antiversary” season. Three years ago today was the last time OH met up in person with the OW. A lunch date that he was fondly referring to in the texts I saw on DDay. Three years ago today, he snuck away from work, drove to her place of work a few miles away, and took her to lunch in a local pub. To all intents and purposes, two ex-colleagues “catching up”. Sounds so innocent, doesn’t it? Only it wasn’t innocent at all, and three years later my stomach still churns at the thought of it. Thinking about how the man I loved could lie, by omission and to my face, about what he was doing and who with for several years, makes my skin crawl.

Does he remember the significance of this date? I doubt it very much. He is notoriously crap at dates at the best of times. Will I remind him? I am not sure if I will do so this year. I have asked him to take ME to lunch on this date for the last two antiversaries, but maybe I can be strong and show how far I have come by not even mentioning it this time. But by a piece of serendipity, we are going to the theatre tonight. He booked it for today. but rather by accident than design, I think. Nevertheless, just maybe I can have a little internal thought tonight, and celebrate the fact that he is out on a “date” with me on this date this year, by his choice, and she is long gone!