The OTHER woman


The O.T.H.E.R woman

O – overplayed
T- toy
H- he
E – eventually
R – releases

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Resurrecting the psycho…she’s BACK!


Tell me I am misdirecting my anger. Tell me that my anger and hostility towards the OW is inappropriate. I dare you.

Wednesday morning, October 31st, my husband received the following email to his inbox. It came from his lawyers office. In his lawyer’s absence (she was in court apparently), the legal assistant forwarded to him the following email, received from the OW the day prior (names have been removed):

(It needs to be mentioned here that in the weeks following up to the receipt of this email, the psycho crazy whore discovered that legally, she was entitled to no additional money this year, over and above the amount she was given last year, after a financial review was completed on her daughter’s birthday, October 20th. Upset and likely angry at this reality, she lashed out with the email below) My clarification points are in bold italics.

Dear Lawyer,
The Corporate financial statement you have provided (which is currently under review) does not include financials for (husband’s) additional Professional Corporation and business accounts for which (husband) himself has already provided documentation of its existence. When do you anticipate forwarding that information?
(Read: I want more money, which is the only reason I had this kid I never wanted in the first place)
(There are no additional corporations in his name. He has not provided documentation of their existence. They don’t exist)

Please inform your client third parties have reported acquiring documentation of your client and his wife’s ongoing sexually deviant obsession with me. It appears the Family are so delusional in the false reality in which they have created (& force their sons) to live in, that they choose to ignore the fact that the entire downtown core has cameras to capture harassing behaviour and their digital imprint is unique. Your client has put both me and his daughter in danger by publicly providing our home address, telephone number & email address on multiple occasions. Further, the attacks by (husband) on me professionally have been well documented for years. It appears He has made it his personal mission to discredit me professionally since signing the Order in January. Third parties are understandably (given Husband’s violent history) terribly concerned for (daughter’s) safety and my own. Should they choose to provide evidence of Husband’s ongoing harassing behaviors to the appropriate authorities, governing bodies, Government agencies, Husband’s workplace, the university, and the taxation offices to protect (daughter) and I from Husband that is their choice. I have no control over others actions and I do not communicate about Husband in any way. Further, the fact that Husband a 45 year old man, regularly & voyeuristically views online photographs of his female child Nicole is widely regarded as pedophilic in nature.
Let it be known that statements of cameras capturing activities downtown are ridiculous and speak to a paranoia or mental illness. As someone with significant mental illness training, this wreaks of paranoid schizophrenia. There is no harassing behaviour being captured on any close circuit television cameras anywhere. Her desire for us to be interested in her astounds me. We aren’t interested sweetheart. Get over it. Not only has my husband not discredited her professionally, he has made no contact with her whatsoever. My husband’s violent history??? What violent history? He hasn’t spoken with you since March 21st, 2010….not an email, letter, voicemail, or otherwise. Violent tendencies? Riiiiiight. It may be of interest to readers to know that the order between them contains a non-harassment clause that they may not harass one another. What does the sending of this letter consist of? Harassment, yes. In addition, the order also stipulates that they may not speak of the relationship to third parties, and that third parties are also restricted from discussing the relationship or compromising the other. Her intentional statement of “I don’t speak about him, but I can’t control what ‘my friends’ do” is threatening to breach the order and be in contempt of court.

Please be advised I continue to abide by the Order and do not discuss Husband or this matter in any way, however I am incapable of turning my ears and eyes off when third parties provide documentation regarding Husband’s ongoing obsession with me.
And what third parties are these? Last time we checked, you don’t have any friends to speak of.

Additionally may I remind you that prior to January 2012, all information pertaining to Husband’s affair with me, our daughter, his out of control mental illness, his years of harassment, violence, misogynistic and sexually deviant behavior towards his daughter and myself, his attacks on his wife, and his own acknowledgment of his questionable reporting to the CRA and copies of said information was not confidential.
Oh the attacks feel good don’t they? Claiming my husband has a mental illness. Projection much? He hasn’t had years of harassment towards anyone, isn’t violent or misogynistic in any way. There is NO deviant sexual behaviour towards his daughter – he has never met her. He does not attack me, and has never falsified his taxes. He is an honest man with a good heart who made a mistake. Sounds like someone is feeling sad that they weren’t the ultimate winner here. The very fact that a mother places her daughter in a position within her own mind of being someone’s sexual prey, is, in and of itself, morally reprehensible. You sick fuck.

I had sincerely hoped at this point your client would move on with his life and stop dangerously imposing himself on mine. However given the overwhelming amount of evidence of his harassing actions since January 2012 (what evidence is that you speak of?), it is clear Husband is incapable of doing so. In fact his obsession with us seems to have escalated. It has been noted that Husband’s public behavior clearly supports his self reported alcoholism (really? that one is kind of funny) and unstable mental illness (here comes the projected mental illness again) which reportedly appears to cycle every 25-30 days between manic hypersexual delusional acts of grandeur and depressive, retaliatory, violent acts against me and (daughter) (I’d like to know how a man who has never seen this child, nor laid eyes on you since March 19th, 2010 has engaged in violent acts against you?) . Need I remind you reportedly your client, in December 2011 tweeted online a request for his I Phone to perform oral sex on him and in June 2012 reportedly posted a photograph online of a hotel room bed with 3 champagne glasses (which I understand third parties assumed belonged to him, me and his wife). Perhaps your client’s self acknowledged mental illness (again with the mental illness???) prevents him from realizing how disturbing and perverse this behaviour is to all everyone with Internet access who views it.
I should clarify here that the iphone oral sex reference and the champagne glasses do have a basis in reality, but have been quite skewed.
Reference 1: When my husband first got his iPhone 4S, we discovered Siri, the voice-recognition assistant that learns your needs and answers your questions. Many people had asked Siri to marry them, and received hilarious replies. We took it a step futther, and I asked my husband to ask her for a blowjob. When he did, her reply was that he’d better check with me first. I found that hysterical and tweeted it, or Facebook-posted it – I can’t recall which. Either way, the fact that she saw it proves that she is still stalking me online, and in doing so, is breaching the court order that she would no longer do that.
Reference 2: In June 2012, I traveled to San francisco with my family. Upon arrival, my friend who is local, had left us a bottle of champagne and two glasses, along with some treats for my kids. It was a great welcome gift. I tweeted or Facebook-posted (can’t recall) how fortunate I felt to have such wonderful friends who would do something so kind. In the posting, I’d included an image of the glasses, and likely the hotel room fell into the background. Correction: There were two glasses, not three, and she was never invited ;)

Your client’s ongoing obsession with me is disturbing. I now sincerely believe His terrifying January 2010 email to me whereby he stated “My dear sweet (name withheld), you are the glue that keeps my marriage together. Without your joyful free spirit in my life I would be unhappy and forced to focus on my miserable marriage to my selfish wife. I need you in my life to be happy. You can’t ever leave me. I won’t let you”.
This email was completely fabricated. He has never written that email. It doesn’t even make sense. Since when does side-pussy become the glue that holds a marriage together? This was written for one intention: so that I would read it and get worried. Just another attempt to drive a wedge.

Lawyer, I respectfully ask that you please advise your client to get over our affair and move on with his life. We had sex for a year which resulted in the single greatest joy I have ever known, our beautiful daughter. His ongoing attacks, harassment and obsession with us are criminal. He is endangering the safety of his own child and me. I sincerely hope he can one day make peace with the fact that [he has a]daughter and we can move forward in a positive manner towards the best interests of (daughter).
Maybe someone, in the “best interest of her daughter should spend more time parenting her, instead of sending completely bogus, vitriolic emails, designed to cause further harm to a family who has been through enough. Perhaps she should focus her energies there.

Separately, I may be required to work extra hours over the coming months. Please advise Husband I will forward all receipts for additional daycare costs incurred or documentation from Daycare if try are able to accommodate. I will also provide documentation supporting the hours worked.
More money, more money, more money.

Given the fact that it is your client who has intentionally dragged matters on by breaching the Court Order and refusing to provide his tax information at the required times, he will provide Novembers support cheque and payment to the daycare to me by November 1. Any adjustments will be made at a later date once his 2011 returns have been reviewed. Further, the information re his corporate returns was dated October 4, your client did not forward said information to me until October 23. Further supporting what appears to be his intentions to play games, not cooperate and deliberately not allow for sufficient time to review.
My husband has never once breached the court orders. He was supposed to provide all tax documentation by May 31at, but given that corporate taxes aren’t collected until July, this was no possible. Her side was informed of this, and agreed. Taxes were not completed in a timely fashion by our accountant, admittedly, but this is no fault of ours. He has made repeated attempts to expedite the process, but to no avail. It was finally completed a few weeks ago. Late, but done nonetheless.

Please forward his accurate financial records as well as Novembers support cheque payment to my lawyer immediately. Have your client forward November’s daycare payment directly to the daycare for November 1.
Cause it’s all about the money, money, money…..

Many thanks,
Skank whore
30 months into this ordeal…over 900 days, and we are still receiving this garbage. She is stil actively seeking to cause us harm, to cause me pain, and to destroy my husband’s reputation. When does it end? When do we get peace? When do we get a chance to heal and focus on us? According to our lawyer….never. Things like this rarely ever resolve, she says, and with someone this crazy…even less likely.
So, to all those who told me that my anger is misdirected, and that I have no reason to be upset with the woman who slept with a knowingly married man, got pregnant on purpose, and lashed out at what remained of my self-esteem, and who continues to assault my family, I ask you…upon reading this, do you really feel I have no reason to be upset? If your answer is ‘yes’, you are as mental as she is.
This email left me in a state of primal scream in fetal position. I have had it. I laid in my basement, on the floor, sobbing uncontrollably, screaming with a primal anger I think would have been hard to witness (ask my dog), and curled myself up into a fetal position. I eventually got up, called my husband, and asked him if he’d seen the email. He hadn’t. I read it to him. He was pleased. He saw it as further proof that she continues to be unhinged…and that she is showing her true colours every time. He was pleased because it spoke to the fact that she must be angry she isn’t going to extort any more money from us. For that, he is pleased. I wish I could see the optimism here, because from someone who didn’t get to fuck this cow, I don’t see many unicorns and rainbows in this letter, just sludge and venom. Needless to say, I felt better after we’d talked, booked an hour long telephone-therapy appointment with my therapist to talk about it, and am now doing much better.

Snacking in the closet: a new setback


2 1/2 years into my healing, and I have come upon a new setback. Sometimes I feel as though I am my own worst enemy. I

n the early days of the affair discovery, one of the questions that I had for my husband was “what kinds of things did you say to her?”, “Did you ever say anything to her that expressed arousal, interest?”, “Did you ever compliment her, did you tell her she was good in bed, did you compliment her on her appearance?” These are things I had wanted to know, because they indicate to me a closeness, and an intimacy that wouldn’t exist if the relationship was “just for sex”. I guess I reasoned that if my husband was having sex with his mistress, “just for sex”, that their communications would be pretty benign, simply requests for hookups, no emotion, no attachment, no compliments, no emotional sustaining of the other person. I guess that finding out if there was any sort of emotional connection was important to me, as indicated a deeper affair, and I want to know how deep this had run.

Asking my husband those questions in the early days was fruitless, because he claimed he could not remember. I know that men and women are different, that women seek details, and that men rarely recall them. This is truly frustrating for the betrayed spouse who desperately wants to know details, and accuracies, you simply can’t get her answers. In an attempt to hide the relationship, my husband never maintained any of his old emails. Sure, there were a few here and there, mostly benign, mostly relating to work questions, nothing that was sultry, sexy, or a red flag. I’ve seen those, I’d read those, but that wasn’t what I was looking for. My husband, however, was unable to produce the emails that were sent that indicated something more. He had been very good at hiding those, even going so far as to create a fake email, and an alias. She, on the other hand, kept everything. Possibly because she wanted to use it as retaliation later, or simply because, as a woman, she kept things for sentimental reasons. Regardless of the reason, she had everything in her possession that I needed.

Last year, around this time, we were getting ready to meet the other woman in court. She had accused my husband of wrongful dismissal, and he had countered her claim with proof that she had been inappropriate in her work, had been warned, and had violated policies of their workplace which made her termination not only necessary, But justified. In attempts to make herself look valuable As an employee, and as a person in my husband’s life, she chose to print all of the emails where he had expressed affection for her, admiration for her work, genuine concern for her well-being, etc. In parallel, she also printed all of those emails which made my husband looks like the bad guy. The sex starved, horny, wayward husband, seeking out cheap thrills, and a good time with and “innocent” woman. She picked her emails carefully, not attaching many emails that were from her, directed to my husband, but rather mostly emails that were composed by him, directed towards her. Now, I am a smart person, and I realize that this is a biased and skewed representation of the emails that were exchanged. I am sure there are many emails where she expressed horniness, desire, flirtation, but she would not have attached those as they would have compromised the picture she was trying to paint of herself. I know that, I get that, I understand. However, when I came across this binder of emails one year ago, desperate for more information because my Husband was unable to provide it for me, I looked. I skimmed the pages, I flipped through them quickly, afraid of getting caught. It’s funny, my husband breaks his marriage vows, cheats another woman, sleeps with her in hotel rooms, goes behind my back, creates fake emails, creates fake meetings disguised as a work event, and I felt like the one sneaking around. Afraid of being caught, I spent no more than one minute flipping through the emails, looking for buzzwords, my eyes picking up random sentences here and there. I read some things I wasn’t prepared to see. I read some things that hurt me deeply. I didn’t, however, read them all.

Over the last year, I’ve had many instances where I have wondered what else was said. My husband, of course, unable to tell me, and possibly tired of the questions, let me to wonder if I should reopen the binder. Each time I wanted to, I reminded myself that it wasn’t a good idea, and decided not to go searching. Until yesterday.

In the process of filling out an application for my eldest child, I went looking for his birth certificate in order to provide proof of his age. My husband keeps all these important documents and filing cabinet in our home, which is not locked, which we share. Unintentionally, I came across the binder. At that moment, I became like those food addicts that come across a stash of no – no foods, And scroll themselves away in a closet to stuff their faces with something they know is doing them harm, but basically can’t help themselves. I became that person. I set my husband’s desk for close to an hour, and read every single page of the binders in detail. Every text message, every email. Every. Single. One. Some of them were familiar, having read them a year ago. I knew already what my eyes would see, but I couldn’t help myself. I figure that the pain that I’ve been through is so intense, that adding a few more details here and there won’t really matter. What I didn’t expect, with the resurrection of the pain, the humiliation, and the feelings of inadequacy that reading those emails brought to me. It’s one thing to know that your husband has been with another woman. It’s entirely another thing to read the transcript.

I became privy to some of my husband’s deepest darkest thoughts, that he had relayed only to this other woman. Some of the sentences which are burned, and etched into my mind include:

“I can’t wait to be inside you”

“I feel satisfied with you in so many ways, socially, and sexually. You do all the right things, knowing exactly what to do with me to make me feel good. I feel so relaxed when I’m with you”

“I told my wife that she has nothing to worry about. She had read some of our emails, and is on high alert for the possibility of infidelity. I did my best to reassure her that she has nothing to worry about.”

“I’m thinking about you as I work. I’m having a hard time walking around, if you know what I mean”

“I wish I could wake up beside you in the morning, and have a little dose of you first thing in the morning. That would be a little hard to explain”

“I would love to watch you sleep. You are so rarely still, it would be a rare treat”

“I like my women blonde, blue-eyed, and hot. Know anyone like that?”

“I am open to trying new things also. I’m willing to try anything that interests you. Just name it”

“You and I will go on another vacation, and have a lot more fun”

“I just feel so relaxed when I’m with you. You bring me a piece that I can’t put into words. I just feel so good when we’re together”

“I feel like this relationship is becoming more serious. It’s like we have both navigated away from the shore, and into treacherous waters. Personally, I welcome that, and look forward to where this may lead us. I don’t know where this relationship is going, and I understand the consequences, and I want to go there with you”.

There is a sharp knife blade wedged deep in my heart. Those words came from my husband. Those were forgive into another woman. At some point during my husband’s affair, he contemplated leaving me. At one point during my husband’s affair, he was willing to risk throwing away his life with me and his children, for this woman who made him feel so “comfortable”

My husband is a subscriber to this blog, and is going to read this post. My fears that he will become very upset with me for having read these emails. Not because I was snooping, or because I didn’t have the right to read them. But because I did something that caused me great emotional turmoil, that he will have seen is unnecessary. Why do something that causes yourself pain? Why do something that causes you harm? Well, when you’ve already experienced the depths of pain that I’ve experienced, and you live in the world that he has created for you out of this pain and harm, it really isn’t much of a stretch.

On a positive note, I no longer have the curiosity looming over my head. I can lay that to rest. It’s now simply a matter of working through the resurrected feelings come as a result of reading this content. I think what I need, is to go to the binder with my husband, and select the passages that break my heart into 1 million pieces. I need him to see what he has said, and the impact it has on me. He has avoided reading these emails, not wanting to go back to that place, possibly not wanting to face what you had said and done. I’m sure the last thing he wants to do Is resurrect those emails with me present. However, as part of our complete honesty, and his complete empathy for where I stand, I feel it is necessary for him to read those passages aloud, and see the great despair that they bring.

So, even after all this time, even after so many months of happiness, and calamity, setbacks can and do happen. It doesn’t mean we’re headed down a slippery slope. It doesn’t mean we’re going backwards. It’s just another bump in the road on the way to a hopefully brighter future. Now, if only I could stop the nausea and desire to vomit.

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Healing weekend for betrayed spouses: Taking your life back


Have you recently discovered your husband’s affair?

Did your husband or wife confess their affair to you?

Have you tried to recover, but see no other option but divorce?

Are you healing together as a couple, or does your wayward spouse not promote healing for you and you are doing it alone?

Did your spouse leave you for the other woman or man?

Whether you found out on your own, or whether it was confessed, whether you are working on your marriage, or have taken steps towards separation or divorce, one thing is true: You have been betrayed, and have experienced significant trauma. Whether you go it alone, or with the support of your spouse, you will need to find solid ground again, love yourself, move forward, and exist happily in a future relationship, if one is in your future.

Recovery is hard.  Recovering from my husband’s affair is the hardest thing I have ever done, and I am one who has seen a lot of hardship and who has risen to meet many challenges.  I would not wish this journey on anyone (except maybe his mistress), and if I have learned anything from this, it is that support and understanding from others is crucial.  I’ve lost friends and family as a result of his affair.  Some people simply can’t relate or take the strain.  Many crack and fall away when a couple reveals difficulties like this one.  Seeking support is so important, and one of the many reasons I suggest finding support groups in your area to meet with regularly, to vent, to cry and to learn.

I can’t say enough about Anne and Brian Bercht, whose “healing from affairs weekend” catapulted me so far forward in my journey, and for which I am forever grateful.  After all of that, I am pleased that there is also an option for betrayed spouses to attend a weekend, without their spouse, for a deep look at the struggles that we, as betrayed spouses, face.  I signed up for an upcoming weekend, and I could not be more excited.  I hope to come back a new person, if it is anything close to how I felt after the weekend that my husband and I spent together with them.

I am always sad to learn of men and women who are recovering alone, either because their spouse has left them, the marriage has ended, or they are working on it, but the one who is doing the work is the betrayed spouse, without the love and comfort of the one who deceived them.  This weekend is for anyone who has been betrayed and who want to heal, either alone or as part of a couple.

From their website:

During this journey of healing from affairs …

Are you stuck in your healing journey?
Do you feel devastated beyond words?
Do you feel isolated and alone?
Are you wondering if you can ever be happy again?
Are you confused about what to do?
Do you feel like no one understands you?
Do you feel embarrassed? Ashamed? Judged? Misunderstood?
Are you afraid about your future?
Are you furiously angry?
Do you struggle with obsessive thoughts?
Are you wondering how to take your life back?

Than this may be of interest to you …

At our Take Your Life Back Retreat you will get …

  • Rest and refreshment for your wounded soul
  • A chance to talk with others who understand
  • A time to cry
  • A time to laugh again
  • Clear perspective to make sense of this unfair event
  • Motivation to go back and live your life with strength again
  • Unstuck
  • Clarity about how to proceed with your future

And you will learn …

  • How to forgive
  • How to release the pain and sadness
  • How to stop the obsessive thoughts
  • How to deal effectively with anger
  • How to rebuild your self-esteem
  • How to live as victor and not a victim
  • How to make sensible decisions for the future
  • How to get on with your life in the best possible way for you

The Take Your Life Back seminar changed my life in SO many ways. On the first day of the seminar I could hardly talk and by the end I was feeling so strong and able to come back home and live life stronger and with more love and compassion in my heart. There are still many challenges that I struggle with but now I know that I am not alone. The very reason I went to the seminar was because I felt SO alone and in such turmoil. I needed to talk to someone, anyone, who was going through the same issues that I was. The seminar was packed full of opportunities for self discovery and I wouldn’t trade a moment of that weekend! It has been a year since discovery of the affair and I am so proud of myself. My children have said to me, several times, “Mom, you are the strongest person I know and when I am feeling like I can’t go on, I look at you and you inspire me to be strong too.” Those words make me cry every time I hear them from both of my girls and I couldn’t have done it without the Take Your Life Back weekend. I am so grateful for all my experience that weekend and Anne and Brian Bercht both were invaluable in helping me find the strength to move forward each and every day. I encourage everyone to go to the weekend and learn to find courage just like I did. I came away from that weekend with so many tools that I rely on almost every day. - SP, California

 

I just wanted to let anyone who is suffering know about this wonderful resource.  If you can manage it financially, I am certain you will feel it was worthwhile.  I believe in it so much, and I know Anne and Brian do too.  That’s why they always guarantee their classes.  If you haven’t checked it out, you can do so here.

 

The anatomy of an affair


Happy marriages experience affairs. It’s true. Hard to wrap one’s head around, I know. I’ve been there, and shook my head in disbelief too.

Being betrayed by your spouse, someone who is supposed to love, honour and cherish you, is the most significant betrayal of all, and cuts so deeply. Trying to understand an affair with a rational mind is not an easy task, partially because affairs aren’t usually a rational thing.

I would like to recount an experience of mine, if I can, in the aftermath of my affair, something that made me vulnerable to having an affair of my own (No, don’t worry, I didn’t, but the vulnerability was there).

A few weeks after I discovered my husband’s affair, a male friend of mine who was also working as my real estate agent, spent some time with me over coffee. I told him about the affair, and about the child. I guess, in retrospect, I wanted a man’s opinion on why it happened, not from the mouth of my husband, who, at the time, I felt would tell me anything just to clear his name. I wanted someone OBJECTIVE. My admission of something so personal, caused him to also open up to me. He told me that he always found me attractive, and that the first time we’d met, he’d felt something for me. I was flattered. When I didn’t rebuff him for that comment, he took a step further, and told me that he sometimes thinks of me in sexual ways. Again, feeling awkward, I didn’t rebuff him, but I expressed gratitude for him having shared that with me. So he took it another step further…

He ended up sending me a picture of himself naked. He also shared with me the fantasies that he had been having about me. They were pretty graphic. I will admit, it felt very awkward, but also felt so good at the same time. My husband had just cheated on me, so I assumed, as many wives do, that he must not find me attractive, and here is this man, professing his attraction for me, and going out on a limb to send me such a personal communication. I was so flattered, and wanted to spend more time with him, so that I could hear more about how he felt I was attractive. I was drawn in at a time when I needed that kind of attention.

Eventually, he asked me to send a picture of myself as well. I am pretty body-conscious, so I wasn’t prepared to provide a naked image of myself, nor did I think it was appropriate. I knew that I was married, and that my husband wouldn’t approve. But I was also angry with him, and wanted to get him back for what he has done. I ended up sending this gentleman a picture of my self in my bra and underwear. His reaction was intense. He affirmed once again that I was absolutely stunning, and I was on cloud nine. It felt so good to be appreciated by someone.

I started to feel incredibly guilty, and this had only gone on for a couple of weeks. I have not had sex with him, touched him, or kissed him. I simply basked in the glow if his loving comments. I ended up telling my husband about it, and he was incensed. He ended up calling the man, and asking him to never speak with me again. Suffice it to say, he is no longer our real estate agent :)

I say this because, in that moment, I was incredibly vulnerable. I was vulnerable to his advances, the attention, and the affection. I had just been told my husband had slept with another woman, and I desperately needed attention. I sought it in a very destructive way. Looking back, I loved my husband. I was head over heels for my husband. I would never want to do anything to hurt him. And yet, I found myself quickly involved in something that I couldn’t get myself out of, without telling him about it. I needed to tell him, so that he could help me get out.

All of this to say, it’s very easy to slip down a slippery slope, when you’re not feeling good about yourself. It doesn’t have to have anything to do with your spouse. Maybe you are passed up for promotion at work, maybe you feel like you’re in a dead-end job. Maybe you just experienced the death of a parent. Perhaps a new baby has come into your life, and the stress seems insurmountable. You’re looking for an escape, anything to get your mind off of your struggles. You need something new, something fresh, something different, or something completely destructive. This is how affairs happen. It isn’t because you worked pretty enough. It isn’t because you’re not thin enough. It isn’t because you don’t satisfy him. It’s because of something deep within him, that only he knows, that he needs to explore. Individual therapy around this is incredibly helpful.

Learning what the vulnerabilities are, and how to look out for them, is crucial. Learning how to really talk to your spouse, to communicate, to admit when you have an attraction to someone. That last one is a biggie. Most of us think that is a no-no. We’re attracted to someone on the street, and heaven forbid we actually tell our spouse!! I now understand that I was naïve in thinking before that my husband would only ever find me attractive. I have features that my husband finds attractive, and I share some of those features with other women. He’s naturally going to find them attractive as well. But it’s being able to admit that one find it attractive and someone else, and talking to your spouse about it. If that person works with you, putting up safeguards to prevent yourself from taking it a step further. Having knowledge of your vulnerabilities, allows you to protect yourself from yourself.

We are ALL vulnerable to an affair. Affairs happen in good marriages, and to good people. You don’t see them coming, the slope is slippery and gradual, and before you know it, the moral compass that has kept you on track, suddenly slides a little to one side. You don’t even know that it’s moved. You see what you are doing as OK because ________ (add your own justification here). The change is so gradual you don’t see it, like someone losing weight slowly over time. Before you know it, you are in an affair, and feeling badly about yourself, stuck, and unsure of how to make it stop without destroying your spouse.

According to Anne & Brian Bercht, there are many factors which render an individual vulnerable to an affair. They fall into several categories: Personal (work, family, self esteem, sex life), Marital (bad communication, money, childrearing, equality), Environmental (friends, the effects of others, pornography, work situations), and Opportunity factors (opportunities which make an affair more possible).

Although the list has more than 200 of them, and it is growing daily, some of the vulnerabilities include:

Personal:

  • Financial setbacks at work
  • Demotion
  • Workaholism
  • Boredom at work/feeling like this is all you will ever have
  • Feeling small, impotent, or unimportant
  • Loss of parent
  • Recent move to a new neighbourhood
  • Self-conscious about changing body (receding hairline, bulging mid-section)
  • Menopause
  • Medications
  • Boring sex life
  • Flirty personality
  • Change of career
  • Depression
  • Lack of same sex friends
  • Unresolved childhood issues
  • Naive thinking “this will never happen to me, I am not that kind of person, I would see the signs, my co-workers aren’t attractive…”
Marital
  • LAck of openness and communication
  • Feel unheard
  • Unresolved conflicts
  • Unloved
  • Lack of spousal support
  • Unrealistic domestic responsibilities
  • Feel “put down by spouse”
  • Lack of admiration/attention/affection
  • Lack of time together
  • Pornography usage interfering with marital sex
  • Lack of sex
Environmental
  • Interference from others/family into your marriage
  • In-laws or family moving in with you
  • Aging parents and the stress of caregiving
  • Are affairs condoned in the workplace?
  • Married friends who complain about their marriages/sex lives
  • Having friends who are single
  • Working shift work
Opportunity
  • Work closely with opposite sex team members
  • Out of town travel
  • 1 on 1 dinners with opposite sex
  • Work promoting non-spousal events
  • Flirting with others at social events
  • Coaching kids sports teams
  • Holding a position of authority
  • Wearing a uniform to work
  • Having outward signs of financial success
  • Being pursued by the affair partner
Although the above points are far from complete, there are simply too many to list, and I don’t want to reproduce the hard work that has gone into compiling this resource for couples who attend the retreat seminars.
What I didn’t realize was how many vulnerabilities there are to an affair. It is never as simple on the inside as it seems on the outside. Men/women don’t wake up one morning and decide that they are going to risk their marriages for a cheap fling with an easy lay. Instead, they are vulnerable for many of the reasons above, and then an opportunity exists for them. Without talking to their spouse openly about their feelings, their self-esteem, their risky behaviours, etc., they are at high risk of slipping down the slope.
Affairs aren’t always about sex. As women, we equate sex and love and assume he must love her. Not true. Men have sex for sex. Women have sex for love and connection. We can’t judge our husband’s decision to engage in sex by looking through the female lens – that will only lead to hurt when we think that we are the same. We aren’t. We need to look at it the way that THEY did, so that we can understand the intentions, because intentions matter. Affairs may have nothing to do with wanting sex or the quality of the sex they are getting from the OW. In my husband’s case, sex with her wasn’t better, in fact it was meaningless and that felt bad emotionally for him. It was mechanical. She would make strange faces which he found creepy, and his genitals burned when they were done (she is acid….are we surprised? No, there was no STD). Was her vagina tighter than mine? Yes. She’d never had children, so in that way, we were different, but the tight sensations didn’t make up for the intimacy that he was missing. Some men want to feel valued, some want to feel sexy, others want to feel young, others want to feel important to someone, others want to feel dangerous and adventurous in what they have deemed to be a boring life, and some just want reaffirmation that they still “have it”. Many times, it speaks to men lacking something emotionally, and that brings me to a whole new paragraph….
Men are not in touch with their feelings the way that women are. Men are conditioned to not talk about their feelings, and to deny them. They grow up emotionally starved and then we ask them to thrive emotionally. We wouldn’t ask a handicapped person to walk when they can’t. We wouldn’t ask a child to do something that they don’t know HOW to do, and mock them when they fail. We would understand that they are limited, and try to optimize their potential by exercising that muscle. When men aren’t in touch with their feelings, and are suddenly demoted at work, their potency, their impact, their influence are considered null and void. They are nothing. Men are also trained to be good providers, to always move forward, and to climb the ladder of success. To fail, to be fired, to be turned down for a promotion…it makes them feel shameful and embarrassed. Their self esteem is gone. Now, as women, we would say “losing your job says nothing about who you are, or how much you are loved and valued”, but men won’t come to us to gain that insight because they don’t talk about their feelings. The result is a man who feels badly about himself, and has no one to help alter this disastrous thinking for him, so it is absorbed and becomes part of his self-evaluation. All he needs now is an opportunity to meet a woman who is interested, single (or married but looking), who will shower him with compliments about his abilities (something his wife may not be doing because she doesn’t feel she needs to – we take for granted that he knows this, but rarely do we continue to reinforce this for them when life gets in the way). Now the woman who is interested is making him feel good, and he likes feeling good, so he wants to spend more time with her. She flatters him some more, strokes his fractured ego, and before he knows it, he is going out of his way to see her, and not telling you about it. He justifies it by saying that he hasn’t done anything WRONG, so you don’t need to know. He sees no need to mention something so insignificant. Slowly, his moral boundary which used to be firmly planted, with clear demarcations for proper and improper behaviour is shifted two degrees to the left. What was once close to improper is now seen as “ok” because it is justified away. Slowly, it moves further and further away, the slope becoming steeper and steeper, until he does something physically or emotionally that would devastate his wife. He is on the WRONG SIDE of his moral compass, and now can’t get back. What he needed to do was talk to his wife, when he first started feeling an attraction to spending time with her, and ask his wife to help him figure out what he is missing. If he feels supported and they can have these open conversations without her going mental, he can feel safe to tell her, and vice versa. She will help pull his moral compass back, and he won’t cross the line. It is the crucial ability to be able to COMMUNICATE that makes the difference.
My husband is a good man. He is an upstanding gentleman in a position of authority who works closely with members of the opposite sex. While his work schedule does not require travel, he does do shift work. At the time of my husband’s affair, his father had been arrested for having committed an act that he didn’t realize was wrong. As an only child of divorced parents, his same sex parent, with whom he felt most connected, was suddenly at risk of going away to jail. We had a 15 month old child at home, leaving me tired, and likely not as interested in sex. We had two other older children whose programs and schooling took up a great deal of our parental attention. At the time of his affair, he’d come to the realization that this was as good as it was going to get at work. He was bored, unstimulated and unfulfilled. Our children, who are young, prevented us from having a lot of alone time, and by the time we were alone, we were tired. It didn’t bode well for constructive conversation, patience, or understanding. In fact, we spent a lot of time competing over whose life was harder. And then he met HER. She was young, in the same line of work so they were able to have conversations about shared knowledge that I don’t possess, seemingly fun, energetic, and representational of a time in his life that was long gone (university days and all that comes with it, and she was still living that life, and he missed it). She represented fun and freedom (she is single). She praised him. She told him he was smart. She sought his advice in their field and now he was feeling important, and that he was useful (was bored before). She told him he was attractive and praised his physique. In essence, she fed his ego at a time when he needed it. He slipped, and then he justified his actions. Then he felt bad about it, and about himself, so he did it more (it’s like self soothing, I guess, but with a destructive soothing mechanism). When it got to be more than he could bear, guilt-wise, he told me, and asked for my help.
His affair happened, not because he was looking for an affair. Not because of any lack of anything on my part, not because he is a bad man. It happened because the stage was set, and we didn’t even know there was a play ;)

Amnesia


I sometimes wish I could induce amnesia and completely forget my husband’s affair. I’ve been plagued with thoughts recently about the affair, the details, and my mind has been swarming with visions of the details he’s given me. I’m not sure why they are surfacing now, 15 months after discovery. All I know is that I am tired. I am tired of these thoughts consuming my every day. It is like torture. It is something I can’t clear from my mind and the pain, while no longer an acute sting, has become a dull pain that lingers and is ever present. It’s like a headache that mulls just under the surface. If you distract yourself, you can almost forget that it’s there, but then you turn your head, step into a lit room, hear a noise….something always brings you back. There are triggers everywhere.

I’ve been wondering lately about amnesia and whether it would be physiologically possible to induce amnesia. I know you can’t forget specifics – you’d have to wipe
it ALL. Start over. Begin again. I am willing.

The pain of living with this event in my life is so overwhelming that I almost wish i could forget. Wiping my memory would mean forgetting my childhood (not a bad thing), forgetting how I met my husband, forgetting my schooling knowledge, forgetting my children…and sadly I would trade all of that to never remember the affair. I’d give it all away for reprieve from this pain. It’s just too much.

I love my family and adore my husband. Rebuilding our relationship no matter how painful has been intensely rewarding as well. Unfortunately, all the love in the world doesn’t erase the fact that he is a trigger for the affair and every day that we are together it is a reminder of the pain and the agony that I suffer. If he wakes me up with affection, no matter how wonderful, I am reminded that it is a tainted love that we share, no longer a pure one. When things are going well, no matter how happy I am, on the backburner is he sadness that there was a betrayal and that what we have has been broken.

Imagine for a moment your favorite childhood toy. For some it’s a doll
or figurine. For others it is a game. When that prized possession breaks, we desperately try to fix it. We glue it, we tape it, we try painstakingly to put it back the way it was. No matter how good of a job we do on the surface, each day that we see it, we see the crack, the glued on bits, the tape – the knowledge that it is no longer whole. It now feels second rate, hand-me-down, bargain basement. Can we ever reclaim the pleasure we had from it when it was whole, or are we destined to see “broken” everytime we look at it?

This plague is why I wish there was a way to forget…to make it all go away…even if I’d lose everything else in the process. Most days, I’d make that trade.

Reprieve


I haven’t blogged in a couple of weeks.  Usually I blog when I feel the need to express something because I am angry, sad or happy.  Right now, I am just….BEING.

Things have been good lately, and I am pleased to say that I am spending considerably less of my day thinking about the affair or the mistress, and the reprieve feels wonderful.

It’s interesting, I don’t mind so much having the affair pop into my mind, but I do mind the mistress invading my thoughts.  I think that is because where the affair is concerned, I have reasons, explanations and repair work that has been done. so when I think of the affair, I also think of the work that is being done, the commitment my husband and I have to working through this, and I try to refocus my thoughts on the positive.  Where the mistress is concerned, that wound is still very much open, raw, and inflamed.

The other day, while looking through my tax folders for income tax submission, I came across a file folder called “Legal” and peeked inside.  Low and behold it is all of the communications between lawyers and my husband about the details of the affair and the fallout as a result of same.  We have had three lawyers working this case, at different times, across three different firms. An employment lawyer handling the paternity and child support claims, an employment lawyer dealing with the wrongful dismissal suit she has launched because she was fired, and a criminal attorney we retained to assist us when we were considering criminal charges against her for the ongoing harassment.  Wow.  Three lawyers, two consenting adults, and a partridge in a pear tree.  Where do I fit into all of this?

So, there I sat on the floor of the home office looking through this file folder at the volumes of letters, lawyer fee statements and official documents.  One document in particular stood out for me, and I read it.  I really wish I hadn’t because the content disturbed me.  It was a dictated account of an exchange between the mistress and our family lawyer when she came to his office insisting to speak with him about why my husband and I were “bullying” her.  Is she serious?  We are bullying her?  Because we stand united, and refuse to allow her to break up our family, we are bullies?  Because he fired her after the shit hit the fan, and she no longer had any power over him, that makes him a bully?  Because we won’t stand idly by and allow her to douse us in her poison, and request legal protection, we are bullies?   She really is fucked up.  Pardon my language…

The lawyer, upon meeting with her, had asked his law clerk to sit in on the meeting and take notes.  Those notes informed the document I was reading.  In the document it stated that the relationship was romantic in nature, and that it was consensual.  She stated that she loved him, and he loved her.  It also stated that the only reason that they aren’t together is because of me.  Somehow *I* messed things up for him.  Did she really expect me to step aside?  Was I supposed to bend over and take it up the ass from her?  I don’t think so.  Where does this sense of entitlement to what is mine come from that she thinks that it is wrong of me to interfere?   So it’s wrong of me to interfere in their relationship, but it is OK for her to interfere in a 10 year marriage?

I can’t express how beyond angry and sickened I am by her, and when I read these things, or hear of her latest actions, I am livid in a way I can’t explain….and that is a big deal since I like to use words, and when I can’t…you know its BIG.

I continued reading the account of that meeting.  Towards the end it stated “She maintains that their relations were quite frequent. i.e. 5-6 times per week . Was I reading that right?  She claims to have been sleeping with my husband 5-6 times a week?  That is like everyday except Sunday – what the hell?

This upset me for two reasons:

1. He has never had sex that frequently with me
2. He told me it was infrequent so this sent up red flags that he was lying

I told him immediately about what I had read.  Therapy has taught me not to keep these things inside.  He reassured me that her statement was false.   They were not together that often, and he chalked it up to her making more of this than it really was.  He mentioned that the lawyer had joked to him that as a result of that statement, he was considered among his office staff, to be quite the stud.  My husband later quipped that for a 42 year old man that would be quite the feat – 5-6 times per week.

The whole thing left me with a sour taste in my mouth, but since that day almost 2 weeks ago, I haven’t really given the affair much thought.   My husband and I are communicating better than ever, and I no longer feel as apprehensive about raising my fears and feelings about it to him.  I know he is there for me, and wants to help.  I trust that.

I look forward to the day when I can go a whole day without it invading my thoughts.  I can’t wait to feel free again.  This burden is so heavy.

Stolen


Therapy can be a wonderful thing.  It helps you to identify themes and patterns in your life, your childhood, which have caused you significant emotional distress and how those threads and themes weave their way through the rest of your life.  It also helps you understand why the things in your present affect you in the way that they do, and the coping strategies you’ve built to help deal with these issues.

My mother is a kind and caring person, for the most part.  She is a nurse by training, and although that means nothing since I’ve met my share of maniacal and morally depraved nurses, it allows her to classify herself as sensitive to others, giving and warm.  She is also a thief.

I sat in therapy this morning dissecting the common threads that run through my life, and one that was most prevalent was the feeling that what is mine is not mine.  What is mine can be appropriated by whomever desires it, and there won’t be any consequences, and as much as I would like to defend my rights to my belongings, my cries will fall on deaf ears.  I am powerless to claim, defend, or hold onto what belongs to me.

My two grandmothers passed away when I was 20 years old.  My paternal grandmother died leaving a lot of items bequeathed to family members in her last will and testament.  To me she left all of her furnishings.  It was her dying wish that I be left these possessions, along with some jewelry.  At the age of 21, I moved out of the house.  My grandmother’s furniture, which was mostly in the style of Bombay Company Mahogany, was being housed in my parent’s basement, awaiting, I thought, the time when I would need it, and request it.  When I moved with my then boyfriend (now husband) to the big city, the need for furniture was there.  We had some things, which he’d acquired from having lived on his own, but I also wanted to contribute, and have something of mine to contribute – it only felt fair.  While the Bombay Style wouldn’t have meshed well with the furniture he had, it didn’t matter.  We just needed a place to sit, some occasional tables and a coffee table.  I asked for the furniture and was denied.  I was told that I was too young to take on such a big responsibility, and that we would likely have some careless friend who would put down a wet glass without a coaster, leaving a white ring on the pristine surface of the tables.  Since I’ve never been one to throw wild parties, or to have irresponsible beer-guzzling friends, it left me wondering if she had the right daughter in mind when she made those statements.  Had she confused me with some other daughter she had never had?  So the furniture sat, unused, in my parent’s basement.

Two years later, my parents sold our family home, and moved an hour east to a smaller town.  They sold many of the furnishings because they were downsizing to a smaller place.  With my brother and I both moving out, it was time to pare down the “Stuff” and de-clutter.  My mother sold sofas, chairs, tables, beds, mattresses, headboards, dressers, etc.  The money, I suppose, would go towards purchasing some new furniture for their new place.  Or maybe, as it turned out, they would simply use the furniture that was willed to me to furnish their new place.  And that, they did.  When questioned about it, my mother states “I am holding onto it for you”.  My version of the story is that she has appropriated what is mine, and is using it, not storing it, or keeping it.  Oh, and there is a white ring from where one of her irresponsible friends put down a wet glass.  Interesting indeed.

Within thirty days, my other grandmother passed.  She was older and more frail than the one who’d passed earlier, so she was less of a surprise, but it was nonetheless very painful to lose her, as I was closest to her.  When I’d been a young teenager, my school boyfriend had given me a puppy.  His mother bred puppies informally, and they had a litter of pups.  I brought her home and raised her for a year before my mother suggested that it might be a nice idea to let her live with my grandmother.  She would keep her company, give her a reason to get outside and talking to other neighbours.  I agreed, and aided with the transition.  When my grandmother died, the dog returned to living with me for the year, and my mother, perhaps in the loss of her mother, bonded with the dog, perhaps seeing it as a living reminder to her, in her loss.   When I made plans to move out, I had intended to take my dog with me and made that known.  I was denied.  The dog, as it was, would remain with my mother.  I can’t recall what her reasoning was, but as usual, it would be something that fit with her agenda.

My brother is two years older than me.  Being two years older, and a guy, he had a size and weight advantage, not to mention he intimidated me.   I used to babysit on the weekends, and had a part time job that paid me.  I used the money to buy clothes, or to finance trips to the movies with friends.  He would enter my room at will, take the money from my cash-drawer, and use it.  I often questioned him about it, and he feigned ignorance about anything being stolen – told me I couldn’t prove it.  My parents didn’t do much to stop the theft, and were fully supportive when I went down, on my own accord, to the hardware store to install a new door handle for my room with a lock. To make a long story short, he stole the key and made a copy for himself.  We went through three door handles.  What was mine was his, and I was powerless to do anything.

What was mine was his.  What was mine was also my mother’s.  What belonged to me?  Only my feelings belonged to me – and nobody wanted anything to do with those.

All of the above has the purpose of illustrating why this affair stings me so deeply.  It is, once again, a reopening of old wounds. What belongs to me is taken, appropriated as one’s own, and I am powerless to take back what is mine.  My husband was stolen, taken behind my back, and appropriated as someone else’s.  If not for the obvious reasons that betrayals like this hurt, it certainly strikes a deeper and a more painful chord when it touches on those very themes that impacted you emotionally as a child.  Now, not only are you struggling in the present, but the little girl inside of you is struggling to understand why she can’t have things without others claiming them as their own.  Why do people feel entitled to what is mine?  Why am I so unimportant that my possessions are negotiable?  The little girl inside of me wants her stuff back.  It was stolen.

Living in silence


In the wake of the affair discovery, we retained a lawyer to help us draft a cease and desist order against the mistress who continued to contact our family, set on causing as much collateral damage as possible.  One of the things our lawyer advised us of was to not engage in the same behaviour in retaliation.  We needed to be the better people, walk on higher ground.  In the event that we were ever to pursue anything criminal, we needed to be able to show that we hadn’t responded to, or initiated any vindictive behaviour towards her.  We were to moderate our behaviour thinking of the bigger picture – that this may one day end up in court, and we needed to remain innocent.

When someone walks into your life, your marriage, your family, and attempts to steal from you all that you consider sacred, your first reaction is that of anger and retaliation.  I wanted to choke her with my bare hands.  I wanted to see her suffer.  I wanted to send her emails to defend my family, my marriage, my self.  She’d painted me as a shallow, self-obsessed and pitiful person whose husband was no longer interested.  I needed her to know that she was wrong. I needed her to know that he didn’t love her, that he loved me.  I needed her to see that her beliefs were crazy, and that he was never going to want her – he never had wanted her.  I wanted her to see the picture for what it really was – a sad set of circumstances that led to a man succumbing to her advances in a moment of weakness and then becoming trapped in her manipulative games and blackmail.   I needed her to know that he hadn’t been there willingly, that she’d trapped him, and I hoped that she’d realize how sad and pitiful it was that the only way that she felt she could get a man was through game-playing and, and the only way that she could keep a man was through manipulation.  I needed her to see how sorry and sad she looked to us, and how much my husband regretted ever having met her.  I needed her to know that he didn’t find her pretty, that he thought her fake breasts were unappealing, that he hadn’t SELECTED her, and that it was only sex…nothing more, nothing deeper, nothing forever.  I needed her to know all of these things, and I had no way to do so.  Legally bound from making any contact with her, I had to sit silently and stew about it, desperately wishing there was a way she could be told how he feels, how we feel….but my hands were tied.  I was silenced.

In the coming weeks when we were receiving ultrasound images, nasty emails, requests for money, and paying exorbitant legal fees to protect ourselves, I felt like I’d been placed in the middle of a boxing ring with her, blindfolded with my hands bound.  She could hit me, pummel me, abuse me – and I wasn’t allowed to fight back.  I was silenced.

I know that we were being protected legally, and that in the long run it would pay off.  I also know that it forced my husband and I to take the focus off of HER and put it back onto US.  For that I am grateful.  But. in the immediate aftermath, when I was reeling with emotion, it was one of the hardest things to do.  It was stifling, and all I wanted to do was to choke her with my bare hands. It was torture.

The rational side of me knew that dwelling on her, and thinking about her was going to do me more harm than good. I wish I could say she doesn’t come to mind…she does several times a day as emotional triggers take hold. I spend more time thinking of her than I do thinking about myself, and it is unhealthy. I just don’t know how to stop.  I am sure it pleases her to know that she has a stronghold on my mind, but at least she no longer does on my husband, and that is one step in the right direction.

Over the hump and happy once more


I was going to call this post “A state of affairs” to talk about the state of my marriage today, but then realized it was a play on the word ‘affair’ and while funny, perhaps not appropriate.  So I erased it, and tried to come up with a post title that would illuminate feeling like we are over the worst part and on the other side – over the hump.  Then I realized that was also a play on words, being over the hump.  Whose hump?  His hump with the mistress?  No.  I will never be over that.  I will never be OVER the fact that he willingly made a choice to sleep with another woman for the greater part of a year, but what I will do is change the way I look at it, and how I look at myself because of it.

I realize that up until now, the blog has been pretty dramatic.  Posts about how I found out, the red flags leading up to it, how she seduced my husband, how she is a stalking psychopath, etc.  I realize that a lot of anger comes out, and can appear as though I am stuck in a very angry place. I want to correct that.  I wanted to write this blog in an orderly fashion, starting at the beginning and making my way through that first year.  But, that is because I am a type A personality, and everything has to make sense, be perfect, laid out in order, etc…. I don’t want this to be that way.  I want this to be a place where I can let that go, and just express myself in whatever order makes me feel better.

I am happy.  I am the happiest I have been for an entire year.  I have been through some very turbulent ups and downs, and it has been pretty rocky at times.  This past winter was probably the hardest point for both of us.  Last spring, when this whole affair came to light, I was in a great state of denial.   It was really hard to believe that the affair happened, considering I am married to a good man. We went through the hysterical bonding that caused us to connect sexually very frequently for a long period of time.  We were connecting sexually which had the side effect of making me feel more connected to my husband, and that I was claiming him back.  Soon, it was summer, and I had family fun to look forward to with vacations, kids out of school, day trips, weekend getaways, etc.  We decided to sell our house and buy a new home in August.  Part of the reason we wanted to move was because we were outgrowing our previous home.  We’d bought it when we had only one child, and now had three, so it was getting tight.  The other reason we wanted to move is because the mistress knew where we lived.  We’d seen a car like hers circling the neighbourhood, and we wouldn’t put it past her to drive by and see what we are up to.  We saw a new house as a fresh start.  The sadness started in late August, right after we moved in.  I had nothing else to “look forward to”.   Summer was coming to a close, the kids were gearing up to go back to school, and the novelty of moving was now behind us.   Deep sadness set in, and it was the start of a very bleak 4 month period that I hope I never revisit.

With ongoing counselling, we are learning a lot about ourselves as individuals, and as a couple, how we throw each other off, how our interrelation and  how we manage our own feelings sets the other person into their own tailspin.  We are learning how to ask for what we need, and how to lovingly provide it to our partner.  It has been a very beneficial undertaking, and one we both look forward to every week.  When we have weeks where someone misunderstands the other, or we find ourselves angry to the point where we simply don’t know how to fix it, we use our appointment as an open forum to pick apart what happened, and learn how to do that for ourselves.

What we’ve come to realize is that we weren’t the “perfect couple” that we thought we were.  Perhaps every couple believes they are the perfect couple, or impermeable to this kind of thing.  We did.  We would go out with other couples, and later remark at how disconnected they appeared to be from one another.  No physical contact, no playful compliments passed back and forth, no flirting, no thoughtful gestures – just co-existence.  We used to talk about how lucky we were to be together, to have found the one true person who made US perfect.  We were disillusioned.  Although we very much love one another, and genuinely LIKE one another, we really didn’t communicate well, and we are learning now how to do that.  It is a hard habit to break, and we fall in often, but we are learning how to get out, and grab onto the other person when things get rocky – something we both are not accustomed to doing.

I think most of my happiness of late comes from the fact that the mistress hasn’t been causing any trouble for us lately.  Yes, she did strike around Valentine’s day, and yes it did cause me to gain back the 8 pounds I had just lost, but since then, nothing remarkable to report.  Perhaps she has settled into mommy-hood and we are no longer her focus, perhaps she has come to realize that all of this fighting, and pushing, and debate saps the energy right out of you.  Maybe she has realized that she has no legal footing to demand more child support, and needs to simply accept that things are the way they are.  It is what it is.  Maybe she has gotten over my husband, or the very idea of being with him.  Although I am sure she still thinks we are unhappy, and that he strayed  because we are not solid, I no longer care as much what she thinks.  I am no longer desperate for her to know.  It is enough for US to know.  I don’t need her approval.  I don’t need her blessing.  I no longer want her head.  I just want US, and I have that.

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