A return to me


This process has been torturous for all involved.  Who knew that one split second decision to give a woman flirty attention, perhaps a kiss, or respond to a flirtatious gesture could turn a whole series of lives upside down?   I know my husband didn’t.  If he had, he would have walked away.  He should have walked away.

D-day was so long ago.  Looking back, I couldn’t wait for the time to pass, so I could be where I am now.   Now that I am here, I can’t believe how long ago that was.  So much has happened since then.  My kids have celebrated three Christmases, three birthdays…we’ve moved, they’ve changed schools, etc.  Not much is the same as it was then, and I am thankful that no remnants exist. I wanted to pack that life away, and never open the box again.

I mentioned this in another entry, but the day after D-day, I was scheduled to work with a family with two young children.  I had to watch him put his arm around her, snuggle her after they laughed about a mutually understood inside-joke, watch the dad scruff the hair of his son, and coddle his daughter.  I had to watch a family BE a family.  It was the hardest thing you could have asked me to do in the wake of finding out.  I wanted to die.  I tried as hard as I could to put a smile on my face, to pretend that all was ok with me.  I wondered whether my eyes showed signs of the beating I’d put them through the night before, crying, and holding back screams as I muffled my mouth with a towel.   I hoped they wouldn’t suspect.   I was likely overcompensating for their benefit and my own, forcing smiles and cracking jokes.   It was horribly fake.

In the days and weeks that passed, I continued to work, as I had pre-scheduled appointments that I had to keep.  I couldn’t take any leave.  I am self-employed and my company doesn’t run without me.  I am the life-force of the company, the manager, the worker, the advertiser, the salesman, the technician, the everything.   Desperately trying to keep my head afloat, work provided me with a distraction from my pain, but it was also a barrier to giving myself the gift of healing time.  I was so preoccupied with work, I dove into it.  I took on more of it.  Moments of quiet were dangerous.  Keeping my mind busy and my plate full was a good thing…most of the time.   The down-side was that I wasn’t giving myself time to grieve, and was allowing myself this time only in between.  Punctuated moments now and then, and only for limited time, as I had work to do, clients to please, a community to engage with, kids to raise.

When my mother died, I did the same thing.  Not having anticipated these losses, I wasn’t ready when the time came, and had no way of giving myself any time off.  I continued on, plugging away.

What I feel most sad about, when I reflect on the last few years, was the effect my emotional condition had on my children.  I became a bad parent some of the time.  I had no patience.  I was quick to anger, and yelled a lot.  I lashed out at my kids for seemingly minor infractions because inside I was at the end of my rope, and I didn’t have enough reserve.  I was hanging on by a thread, and while my kids had no idea, I am sure they noticed that mommy just wasn’t so nice anymore.   Between my inner grief, and my work schedule, I didn’t sign them up for many activities after school.  In as much as I attended school functions and contributed as much as I could to their school life, I wasn’t doing much for their extra-curricular life, and I am sure life at home wasn’t very fun.   I didn’t smile much, rarely joked, and my husband and I were probably not very affectionate in front of them.  How could I be?  I wasn’t sure I wasn’t opening myself up to further heartbreak.

One of the reasons I became a mom was to make a difference.  I wanted to raise beautiful children.  I wanted to create human beings that would go forward in their lives and make meaningful contributions.  I wanted to create generous, kind, compassionate people who would do something good with their lives.  I wanted to mother them.  I wanted to bake for them, cook for them, teach them, love them, hold them, read with them, guide them.   As much as any working mother could, I tried to make those things happen.  But the years from 2009-2012 were fraught with insecurity and pain.  I didn’t even know if we would survive as a family.  I gave the bare minimum a lot of the time, and I feel bad about that looking back.   My kids deserved more, and I wasn’t giving them what they needed.   Thankfully, kids are resilient, and we did a good job despite our situation.  They still don’t know, but I am sure they notice that mom is more fun, more prepared to give them her time and attention, and less quick to anger.  \

The OW was hell bent on taking my family from me, and while she wasn’t winning in the way she had planned, I feel as though she did cause damage, and took ME from MY family emotionally.

I made a decision this summer that will benefit my children.   I am closing my business next month, and taking the time to focus entirely on them.  I want to cook, I want to bake, I want to fold laundry, I want to drive them to school, I want to attend rehearsals, and be the lunchroom monitor on special days.  I want to be involved in their school life, and active in their personal lives.  I want to be fully available to them.  It’s not that I hate my job, it is more that I no longer want to allow my job to pull me away from what is important, and I am wanting to make up for lost time.  I am fulfilled just loving my kids, and I want to spend some time repairing the damage I feel was caused.

As I reflected on my decision to stop working the other day, I realized that a part of my happiness over taking this step is also another clean break from something that carries remnants from the affair days.  I want to purge all things that were a part of my world then, and start anew.  Like I said, I have a new home, we drive different cars now, our kids attend a different school, and my husband has relocated his office since the affair.  Almost nothing remains that once was during the affair.  It is all new, different, and clean.   My business is one of the last constants that has been there through it all, and while this isn’t the reason I am giving it up, it does feel good to let go of something that also felt tarnished from the affair.  She knew where I worked, she’d offered to have a rendez-vous in my office space once.   Taking this out of my life, leaves me room to fill it with something new that wasn’t there during the affair.

I don’t know what the next years have in store for me.   I know that I will miss my job a little, but I will cherish the memories made with my kids more.  I may go back to school.  I may not.  For now, I will just wait and see, and am grateful that I have the option to not work while I figure it out.  I feel like I am finally taking the time for me that I denied myself before.

 

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Comments

  1. brokenjoan says:

    Dear Rescuing, Good luck, I wish the best for you. Hugs from brokenjoan

  2. For different reasons, I have made a similar decision recently. I am looking forward to a new life, with choices completely made by me.

  3. Love reading your blog I have been through HFA Tylband my husband MOH. I Am 16 months outand still struggling . If you would ever have time to talk with me I would appreciate it

  4. I plan to quit my job as soon as we get a house so that I can put 100% focus into bettering myself and being emotionally and physically available to my son.

    We, too, moved since the affair – 630 miles to paradise!! It really helps to wipe the slate clean. It’s refreshing and somewhat liberating to move far away from triggers.

  5. Thank you for writing this, reading this let me know that I am not alone . Your experience mirrors mine in so many ways.

  6. Love reading your blog! Your words have given me comfort at times when nothing else can. I am 16 months post D-Day. I never thought I would be in this position. Your post struck me this morning as I was just thinking today that there is nothing I’d like more than to wipe the slate clean and start over somewhere else. I just want to put hundreds of miles between us and the OW and everything associated with my previous life. I feel like we will never have peace (as she creeps up every now and then just to torment me!). Just when some time has passed and we have heard nothing from her she rears her ugly head! She realizes that the only way to hurt my husband is through me. She doesn’t dare try and reach him (she will call his friends and threaten to call his family and torment me instead). She knows where I work and she will call me there or show up in the parking lot (we changed our personal numbers because of the constant harassment). I just want to run away!

    Like many other readers of your blog, only a handful of people have knowledge of the affair. I don’t ever want our son to know nor our families. Many people wouldn’t understand why I chose to stay. I remember emphatically stating that if my husband every had an affair that we would be done. Surprise … never say never!

    Good luck with everything. Hope you will continue to blog.

  7. After everything I’ve read that the OW has done to you, I can’t believe that anything shocks me anymore, but reading that she offered to do your husband in your office space has me totally appalled. Almost as bad as trying to worm herself into your home. Nasty, remorseless skank.

    Good luck with your new path. Enjoy every moment with your kids. My daughter just got married last week, and I’m still reeling from the fact that she’s old enough to even be married. I swear, just yesterday she was still my baby girl. Sometimes the days feel long to me, but the years goes by SO FAST.

  8. betrayalsurvivor1981 says:

    “After everything I’ve read that the OW has done to you, I can’t believe that anything shocks me anymore, but reading that she offered to do your husband in your office space has me totally appalled. Almost as bad as trying to worm herself into your home. Nasty, remorseless skank.”–by TLM (above)

    My sentiments exactly, TLM!

    GOOD FOR YOU, RescuingMyMarriage! I’m elated that you’re focusing on yourself. I do want to share with you, however, my position pertaining to your statement in your above post: “What I feel most sad about, when I reflect on the last few years, was the effect my emotional condition had on my children. I became a bad parent some of the time. I had no patience. I was quick to anger, and yelled a lot. I lashed out at my kids for seemingly minor infractions because inside I was at the end of my rope, and I didn’t have enough reserve. I was hanging on by a thread, and while my kids had no idea, I am sure they noticed that mommy just wasn’t so nice anymore. Between my inner grief, and my work schedule, I didn’t sign them up for many activities after school. In as much as I attended school functions and contributed as much as I could to their school life, I wasn’t doing much for their extra-curricular life, and I am sure life at home wasn’t very fun. I didn’t smile much, rarely joked, and my husband and I were probably not very affectionate in front of them. How could I be? I wasn’t sure I wasn’t opening myself up to further heartbreak.”–by RMM

    I believe that your children will eventually—in some way over the years—learn about the affair, or figure it out for themselves when they are much older. Kids are brilliantly smart, and they often deduce things we parents think we’ve shielded them from. They will remember how their mother persevered and SURVIVED in spite of absolutely crushing circumstances that would have utterly defeated many other people! They will recognize that, although you may have made some mistakes during your recovery journey, you chose to remain in your marriage and BATTLE for its survival and healing, along with your profoundly contrite wayward husband. I myself was given no choice by my ex-husband as to whether I wanted to fight for our marriage or not, as he chose to abandon me and our children. Although he was the cheating spouse and not I, he took the easy way out, in my opinion, as I believe it’s easier to walk away from a challenge than it is to fight to the death for what belongs you—your marriage!!!

    Your children will recognize the determination and indomitable spirit their mother has, and it will encourage and teach them that it’s best to fight for what is theirs and to fight for their beliefs and values, instead of giving up and surrendering prematurely. That’s a lesson that will benefit them for the rest of their lives!

    Again I say GOOD FOR YOU, RMM!!!

  9. dazmeister9 says:

    I deeply regret the lies I told my gfriend. the pain I have caused her, the humiliation I have caused her and knowing that I have hurt her so deeply that she may never get over the pain and anger inside her. the woman that I allowed into my life is a sick twisted nasty vindictive, manipulative, lying sad fat ugly mofo… she sleeps with everybody, has affairs with everybody as her entertainment including her nephew’s father. this woman is so so calculating she pulls men that are stupid (incl me) into her games and uses them to do her dirty work. when I threatened to call the police she left a tearful fake message, which sounded as if she was reading from a script, telling me that I am not the first person to call the police on her. Alarm bells had rung earlier regarding this woman and her mental health. I sincerely hope this nasty individual who has threatened suicide gets some serious mental health help. there is so many times her constant calling would drive me to contemplate killing myself. why why why did I ever get fooled into having sex with this woman? its not as if she was interesting in bed. she was very automated, had bad breath on some occasions and is overweight as well as having a very fat ass.
    I woke up this morning to my wife (yes I am very lucky that a year later she married me) and we had spent a very intimate weekend together. I was watching her sleep like an angel. she woke up and laughed and smiled at me. and I thought how could I hurt this woman. a woman who has so much passion to be spiritual in her life and to forgive others. to think I slept with a disgusting ugly to boot woman, who lies even about her real name, lives in a smelly house that she claims is hers and claims to be religious. But feels no remorse in colluding to hurt others. the only comfort I have is that Karma always finds it way.. but I know it could also find its way to me.
    As a man women should be loving each other and not causing any pain to each other. but also as a man we need to grow up and recognise that relationships are sacred.

  10. Congratulations on being able to take the time for you and for your children. I felt cheated out of so much time with my children when he was having/covering up the affairs. I was also a lacking mother because I was trying to just survive the day.
    I hope this next part of your journey is fulfilling

  11. Thank you for this blog. I have only just found it but I plan to read a lot more than just your recent posts! I am 3 weeks since D day. My husband, our two young boys and I were living overseas when my eldest (then 4) was diagnosed with an illness which meant we had to relocate to our country of origin to seek treatment. It was never expected to take as long as it did for his therapy. But nearly two and a half years later we are still living on opposite ends of the planet. With skype video calls, emails and phone calls we have been in touch with my husband almost daily. Apart from when he was too ‘busy’ to call! In other words busy with his mistress! We did not separate. The children and I merely relocated to seek treatment. On thinking we could finally head back and live as a family unit again my husband confessed he had been having an affair for over two years of that two and a half years. Our bed had barely had time to cool before he cheated. And the kicker is, she is pregnant. Due just before Christmas!!! I blamed myself. He was extremely remorseful. Initially. I said I would work on forgiving him and move myself and the children back. We spoke about this via skype and email for 3 weeks. Now he has chilled some what again. I am devastated. Not only did the man I pledge my life, love and heart to forever cheat on me. But now he doesn’t know if he wants to be with me and his two children! I don’t feel strong enough to go on with my children by myself. I never thought it would be forever. I am at the lowest point in my life!

  12. I am so sorry this happened. While the future seems so bleak right now, you need to be strong for your children. If you want to fight for your marriage, you need to go to your husband sooner than later and reclaim the life that belongs to you. The more you wait, more he will become unsure. The other woman is beside him and you are not so it’s easier for him to feel comfortable/secure in his current relationship. Hopefully, once you and your boys are there physically, that will put some sense into him. I really hope your husband does the right thing for his family and returns to you and the boys. Good luck!

    • I think you misunderstood my post ;)

      My husband never left. We have healed our marriage. I simply realized how fragile life can be, and having worked to the grind throughout the healing, I am giving myself a well deserved break and focusing on our family.

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