Boundary violation, or me being an idiot????

Some time after DDay, OH sent this article to me. He said he thought it was very good in that it set out the sort of boundaries he should have had in place when it came to female work colleagues. (Surprise, surprise! His OW was a work colleague). He said he wanted to adopt those strict boundaries in the future. I was pleased as this was a positive practice he, himself, wanted to do to help with our healing.

Since then, as far as I CAN know, he has mostly stuck to this. There was one incident when he was walking back to his office from a nearby meeting and was desperate for the toilet, when he accepted a lift from a passing female colleague. He told me about it straight away and was really anxious about my reaction. I said I wasn’t exactly happy about it, but understood in this one instance, due to the toilet thing. He promised it would never happen again.

Yesterday he texted me to tell me he was off to a meeting and would be walking as it was only 10 minutes walk away. (Since DDay we have kept each other updated via text with what we are doing throughout the day. OH never did before then, mainly because often he was sneaking off from work on the pretext of a meeting when in fact he was meeting the OW).

Fifteen minutes later he texted me to say a (female) colleague was also attending the meeting. This is quite usual so I wasn’t surprised. It was my assumption that, because of his self-imposed boundaries that were in place, they would be going separately.

Later last night we were out having food and a pint in our local pub. He was telling me about his day and mentioned going to this meeting. He started to tell me what they had talked about ON THE WAY. I just froze mid-mouthful. He asked me what was wrong. I clarified that I had heard correctly. That he had walked to the meeting with this female colleague alone? He confirmed it and said he had walked to meetings with another female colleague before and I had been OK with it.  I said I had NOT been OK with it as I had never heard him tell me that before. My understanding had always been that he met colleagues at meetings but travelled separately. He said yes, by car, but not necessarily when on foot. This was not MY understanding. I thought he had said NEVER, not with qualifications.

I got really upset, started to cry and had to leave the pub. He apologised on the way home. I don’t think he realises just how big a deal this is for me. If I have misunderstood this, what else have I also mistakenly believed?

These are HIS boundaries. I have no control over them. If they start to become “fluid” or blurred where does that leave me? I have only just started letting go of my anxiety about what he gets up to when at work, (given his 8½ year affair was happening there and I had no idea), and this incident (stupid and inconsequential as it may seem) has knocked my ability to have confidence in his boundaries for six.

Am I being totally stupid and overreacting out of all proportion? I am not saying I think anything untoward is happening with this colleague, it is more the principle of it.

More public cheating

This “news” about one of my favourite feelgood shows has saddened me. I feel so sorry for the innocent partners in all this.

But good on Rachel Humphries for refusing to be a victim and speaking out about lying and controlling behaviour.

Before DDay I doubt if this would have even been on my  radar. Being betrayed certainly changes your perspective in life.

And I had so loved their fabulous dance on Saturday.




I commented on a fellow blogger’s post the other day about photographs. Specifically photos that were taken during the 8½ years OH was seeing the OW behind my back. In the early days post-DDay, and also less frequently since, I pored over those photos for hours looking to see if I could detect any signs of betrayal or any guilt in his eyes or expression. There was none. All those photos taken when we were “having fun” as a couple with family or friends. When I thought we loved each other in the same way, completely and utterly. Only he didn’t love me completely and utterly, did he? When he was with me he was often thinking about her, texting, messaging her about what HE was doing. Sending her photos too, no doubt. All with his phone on silent so if she responded I wouldn’t hear the message alert and ask questions. He also kept a blog for years about all the stuff he (in truth WE) was doing. I was hardly mentioned and never photographed. Of course now I can’t bloody well do anything or go anywhere without him wanting to take photos of me. I paste on a fake smile for the camera and suck it up, but I hate it. All it does is remind me of those years he never thought about recording, when I didn’t exist!

Yesterday, he went to visit his Mum after work and when he returned home he was holding a large manilla envelope. In it were childhood photos of him she had given him. There weren’t many. His family were political refugees and left his country of birth when he was young, with only the clothes they stood up in or could fit in a suitcase. Before DDay I would have looked at those photos with delight and love. But last night, my overwhelming emotion was sadness. How could that adorable child have become a man who convinced himself it was “OK” to sneak around with another woman and selfishly lie to and betray the one who adored him?

I still find that truth SO hard to accept.

Secret grieving

Yesterday, I was driving home from a shopping trip and had BBC Radio 4 on the car stereo. I was listening to Ramblings which is a programme where the presenter, Claire Balding, goes on walks in the British countryside that are significant to whoever is doing the walk with her. As well as describing the walk, they talk about why it is significant for them. Believe me when I say it is far more interesting than it may sound. Some of the people’s stories are fascinating.

Yesterday it was about a woman who is a hospice doctor. Her story unfolded to be about how her husband, an ICU doctor, suddenly took his own life 9 months ago, during the 30 minutes whilst she was out dog-walking with her daughter. It then went on to talk about how she has coped mentally with the grieving since then. The support she has had from family and friends has been key in helping her with her  recovery from this immense loss. The walk they were doing for the programme was one they had done as a memorial to her husband as it was a favourite of his. Loads of family and friends came with her on this special journey and are still supporting her now.

This got me thinking about how infidelity is very like a shocking death of a loved one. It is a death of the relationship we thought we had with our cheater. The shock and the grief is equally as deep and intense as if it was a death, BUT in most cases, it is not a grief we can publicly express. We are so shamed by societal norms and the judgement of other people, we hide infidelity from the world and everyone close to us. Apart from a couple of therapists (and eventually my daughter after 18months of trickle truth and more lies), nobody knows about what my OH did. None of his family or the rest of mine or any of our friends know a thing.

It is my belief that this is why the grief from infidelity takes so long to work through. We haven’t got a “body” to grieve, a ceremony where everybody rallies round, is supportive and tells you how wonderful our partner was. We haven’t got that lifetime of wonderful warm memories, only the shock of knowing the lives we thought we led were a lie. Very often the only person to help us through that grieving process is the one person who caused it in the first place.

This is why, for me,  it is such a struggle. I am grieving in secret.


“Carve your name in my tender skin…”

“…with your beautiful words. With your beautiful words.”

Life is Golden

Cracking new song from the forthcoming Suede album. The video is just spectacular.

The line I quoted jumped out for me. That’s exactly how I felt about OH. He reeled me in with his “beautiful words” and promises of commitment. Branded me as his. Then those words no longer mattered when it suited him for them not to. When he was impressing someone else with his beautiful words.

Oh fuck! Brett is singing my life again!



Don’t you just hate it when…

…a trigger hits you out of nowhere?

Last night OH and I were at our local pub having some food and a pint. We were “talking about our day” as we have done almost every evening since DDay, as a deliberate and mindful way to strengthen our connection.

When we had done that, as an offshoot, we wandered into talking about the fuzzy line between what is considered Health care and Social care, as in if someone needs help with personal care directly because they have a health issue, which is it?

The conversation got onto the topic of charities being expected to pick up the slack when health and social care budgets were stretched and then OH came out with a comment about how charity “contracts” to deliver services are constantly changing as individual charities simply cannot sustain what they promise in order to get the contract in the first place.

And WHAM! There it was. A massive trigger out of nowhere slaps me in the face!!!

THIS was the first text message to the OW I ever saw when I looked at his phone on DDay.


I visibly froze and my mind went into that PTSD panic mode. I needed to escape.

OH could tell something was wrong and paid the bill and we left. In the car, he asked me if I was OK. I explained exactly why I wasn’t OK. His response was to say he didn’t do it on purpose, which of course was true, but it didn’t make me feel any better that he went into defence mode about it. I thought we were past him being defensive, but obviously not. And of course, that made me think that triggering me may not have been on purpose, but texting the OW over 4 years ago certainly was on purpose. Stupid betrayed brain!

It certainly ruined my evening! And now I am ruminating again. Oh joy!

The Ashes of Us

Although I post so infrequently on this blog now, I do still binge-read many other blogs and comment on them. Some of the bloggers that I follow find music a great source of comfort and a means of expression, as do I. One in particular touched me today, and has inspired me to post this.

The music of Suede, and Brett Anderson’s solo work speaks to me on so many levels. It is a source of comfort and solace to me during my low times (of which there are still many).

OH and I are going through a difficult time at present, the circumstances of which I don’t feel able to narrate  here. Not yet, at least.

So have a bit of Brett instead.


When the sky is clay, and the clouds are torn
And the strange ones play, and the insects swarm

Falling like feathers, drifting like petals, pieces of paper
The ashes of us
Break like bone china, faces in mirrors, piece us together
The ashes of us

And the orchid grows, in a sunny place
Where I sip my tea, with a scarecrow’s grace

Falling like feathers, drifting like petals, pieces of paper
The ashes of us
Break like bone china, faces in mirrors, piece us together
The ashes of us

Whoa whoa whoa.


Four years ago today

Yup! DDayII (when he knew I knew) happened four long, painful years ago. I wrote this today as a cathartic outpouring. I have edited out some verses and other things that would breach my anonymity. Please don’t judge!

Do You Remember?

Do you remember the first day we met?
I laughed at your attempts at dry detachment
The date was one that two years later
Nobody would ever forget
Do you remember THAT?

Do you remember our first kiss
In that dingy car park elevator that smelt of piss?
It was the most wonderful thing in the world
My heart began to sing again
Do you remember THAT?

Do you remember when you sent me a text
That simply said “I love you. :-)”
I replied that I loved you too
I had known that for some time but wanted you to say it first
Do you remember THAT?

Do you remember how angry I was
That day your dad phoned wanting to know where you were?
You answered “With a friend”
I got out of your car, into mine, and drove off
Do you remember THAT?

Do you remember how utterly sad I was
That you virtually ignored me at our first **** together?
You got paralytically drunk and passed out on the floor
Because you couldn’t handle the pressure
Do you remember THAT?

Do you remember that time you told me you had an idea
Of buying a photo frame saying “Home Sweet Home”?
And putting a picture of our **** in it
But you didn’t actually do it
Do you remember THAT?

Do you remember all the times you told me
You had to go out with work colleagues?
And I sent you supportive texts
Because I felt sorry for you
Do you remember THAT?

Do you remember at my daughter’s wedding
Your suit cost more than twice my “Mother of the Bride” outfit?
You didn’t make love to me in our fabulous hotel room
And the next morning you said I looked like ****(insert mass murderer’s name)
Do you remember THAT?

Do you remember all those times I asked you
To please put your phone away and talk to me?
But you just kept on scrolling and texting
Strangers sat on separate sofas
Do you remember THAT?

Do you remember DDay I, when I told you I had a dream
That you and her were having an affair?
You sighed and insisted that you weren’t
But I knew you were because I had seen the texts
Do you remember THAT?

Do you remember laying in bed next to me
Texting another woman?
Arranging to meet on ****
As conveniently I was away for the day
Do you remember THAT?

Do you remember DDay II?
Four years ago today on ****?
When you came downstairs and saw my devastated face
Because I had just read your texts to her
Do you remember THAT?

Do you remember the poems and lyrics I found?
I recorded myself reciting them and emailed them to you
You tried to convince me that some were about me
But that was just another lie
Do you remember THAT?

Do you remember your first letter of confession?
In it you continued to defend her
Insisting she was innocent of any wrongdoing
It killed me to see just how in the affair fog you still were
Do you remember THAT?

Do you remember a year later, on my birthday holiday
I was reading the A-Z and realised it was bookmarked on her street?
You had been there for a work meeting and not told me about it
So much for openness, honesty and transparency
Do you remember THAT?

Do you remember on bonfire night that year
I discovered the week-long lie of you hugging a particular work colleague?
The one I had asked you to have nothing to do with
Because of more boundaries you crossed
Do you remember THAT?

Do you remember how much I loved our house?
How it was exactly all I had dreamed of for our lives together?
How I lovingly restored and redecorated it?
But now that house is completely tainted and I cannot be there without crying
Do you remember THAT?

Do you remember me before I was broken and haunted?
Before I became someone who cries almost every day since discovering your betrayal
8½ years of lies and deceit have taken their toll on my health and my mind
I cannot see a time when I will ever be healed from this
Please remember THAT!

What’s in a name?

“But still I can’t forget her and still I can’t explain, the terror that I feel at the…the mention of her name.” ~ Brett Anderson “Possession”

These lyrics are by one of my favourite artists, Suede frontman Brett Anderson.

They oh-so-accurately describe the way I feel when a certain name is mentioned, whether it be on TV, social media, or just in general conversation. It happens a lot because it seems to be such a common name for women aged around the mid-thirties.

It is still, 4 years on, such a massive trigger for me. Some triggers you can avoid by not going to certain places, or by not talking about certain things. But how do you avoid hearing a name? I really wish I had the answer to that one.

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.