Two kinds of awakening

My capacity to forgive has not stood me in good stead where he’s concerned. That, mixed with love and it’s been a disaster. Today my friend researched a brilliant set of blogs filled with compelling research about why men don’t leave their wives – and it could have been written about he and I. 

I have been seduced by all the opinions I’ve had about how that marriage cannot survive and if I’m really honest, having a short affair post the event suited me fine. I was merely, as I saw it, speeding up the inevitable. 

Yet it seems I was wrong. 

Most men who have an affair, according to the research, go back to the family unit. It may turn their relationship around or turn it into something impossible to live with which does eventually break down, or something fairly miserable, but which guilt holds together.That the only way of ever moving forward is to completely cut off the affair – preferably in front of the wife.

 The blog was full of graphic descriptions of how the man feels when he finally really viscerally gets  what he has done to the wife who has trusted him.  I finally saw, reading that, what I have been responsible for. Presumably something he has only just really finally gotten too. 

I had a long conversation with my cousin the hypnotherapist and admitted that even now I am hoping that once he comes out of this breakdown, that his wife won’t take him back and he will wait a while then call me.  

Talking to her I further owned how it could never work between us. That he has shown himself to be weak and dishonest. How long would it be before I could not trust him either? That I would absolutely be second choice. I finally acknowledged that whilst he loves me, or certainly did, I love him a great deal more. That I have cried more in the last year than ever in my life before and that he has meted out that misery to me.

 That he has shown me a funny kind of love and that I’ve hung on to it because I still believe in the absolute scarcity, if not impossibility of finding reciprocated love.


Muffled views

My head feels muffled. I’m exhausted filled with self hatred and disappointment. My parents are staying and they said last night that they think this is the worst thing I’ve ever been through- worse than my marriage breakdown and they’re right. At least there I behaved with integrity.

The night before last my neighbour rang and came for a cup of tea at 2am and was with me till 4, as her mother had just died; last night my daughter and the cat kept me awake so I’m aware that I’m not particularly rational at the moment. 

On seeing in my news feed that he had been playing with his linked in profile a few days ago I was relieved he was still functioning, yet I was wrong, he had  deleted it at the same time as removing himself from twitter. Indicating to me that he hates himself. 

My head is all over the place – one moment hating him for having so effectively duped me, (wittingly or not) the second brings moments of clarity where I see how little he actually gave me , the third that in my brain I know he will never leave her, and then I am assailed with a moment of hope that she will make it so clear to him he can’t come back to her that in a few weeks he wil call me. 

And my dislike of myself is insidious. I’ve always had high standards for my own behaviour and to have effectively led someone to have a breakdown….To have been unable to say no when he asked to see me.  Yet if I lived it again I would do the same thing again.

Yet amidst it all I am resilient. As my dear colleague said the other day – I’m ok. I have a lovely house, a great job, a huge network of friends, lovely family, a daughter I get lots of joy from, possibilities in front of me. And a holiday in italy to look forward to in exactly two weeks now. I will be ok. He will too – but his life is compromised whatever he does now. I am sure those chats with me were not worth it for him in retrospect. 

Shut down

I imagine him lying in bed in terrible pain at his parents house. Hating himself, crying, begging her to reconsider. I wake up in the night thinking about that…

It’s all made up as I don’t know but knowing him as I do…

He’s shut his twitter down. He’s not been in communication for a good few days now; he’s not at work . All this points to him hating himself and trying to prove that he can shut that side of himself down  which was part of his relationship with me. 

And he is two people. The side who married his wife 10 years ago, who’d lived his whole life in one place in a fairly low level job, to the person who has become semi famous in the world we inhabit, a senior person with opportunities . That is my side of him. He will see that the only way to get his marriage back is to shut that whole side of himself down. I am convinced this is what he will try. 

Because the alternative ? If I look back there is no evidence to suggest he has the ability to embrace a relationship with me.  He would never have left her in the first place back at Christmas if she hadn’t found some texts and thrown him out. He would never have come to me if she had shown desire to take him back. Indeed as soon as she started to make noises about wanting him to return, he started to make noises to me about leaving. I allowed myself to get seduced by loving talk which is worth nothing; he has never really put his money where his mouth was. My colleague pointed out that all she has had to do is snap her fingers during this whole affair and he jumps. I on the other hand have had little influence outside of occasional visits.

So their sex life is crap;they don’t have much in common any more; she complains about him not doing stuff around the house. It’s a six out of ten marriage like many others with children and a house and family connections at stake. Having tasted possibility with me, having been loved to distraction, treated like a king, talked to and worshipped, he had the choice to embrace it or go running back to the status quo. He went running back. He ran back but kept a toe in the waters of possibility not able to entirely shut that down, making unfavourable comparisons all the time in his head. 

Right now, I believe he thinks he will put up with anything to have his beloved status quo back. 

I’m starting to see that my colleague who described him as Icarus is spot on; that my friend who described him as spineless is not far off either. 

The safest place for me to stand is that it really is dead now between us. That he will understand in the face of his horror about what he’s done and what has come of it, that he does not desire a new life. He will try all he can to rescue the one he has and he may well succeed in cobbling something together which will keep them going for a while if not forever. I may never find out what has happened to him. 

For almost a year I have been waiting, dangled by him, presented with hope constantly. It is now more than 100 days since he went back to her and still I am waiting for, and at the mercy of a resolution from him.  To expect him to find strength to fight for me at probably his weakest ebb is asking, I suspect, for a miracle. 

I write these words and am on the cusp of accepting them. I can see it all intellectually. At what point will my heart entirely give up?  When it does. Let it be soon. 

Chickens coming home to roost 

Yesterday I had calmed down enough to email and call him. I hate being angry and really hate leaving things on a sour note. I just wanted him to get why he had behaved badly to me once again and this time to her too. That he’d lost himself somewhere along the line and I hoped he might regain himself soon. That of course I would now leave him to get on with it and might see him on the other side.  

It felt like so much trauma had passed between us that I didn’t know what there was left to say really but I just wanted to leave things on a less deranged note.

So I emailed and then called. A much older man picked up the phone and told me that He would not be working for a while now so I should call back another day. I have surmised he has been thrown out, is back at his parents and had a breakdown. 

I burst into tears desperately worried for him. My boss came into the frosted glass room and calmed me down. He pointed out that I cannot help. Me being in any way part of the mix right now would make things worse.  Not only do I know he’s right I really don’t want to talk to him. I imagine his guilt will be utterly raging and mine is too.

To have repeatedly  stated he was committed to making his marriage work, come so far and then undermine his own good intentions again and again by talking regularly to me and seeing me within 2 months…. He will be getting present to what this has cost him in terms of his life and kicking himself for ever having got re involved with me. The consequences for his house, access to his adored children, for his view of himself. And I’m sure he will be blaming me too.

 I blame myself horribly. It doesn’t matter that they were his promises and it was his marriage I have to suffer the consequences of having been complicit  in having wrecked his life. I feel utterly wracked with guilt for it all no matter how many of my friends tell me that he is responsible for his own mess, not me , I am someone who tries to bring good things to people in life, not ruin. This is the worst thing I have ever been party to by a country mile. 

From the first time more than a year ago when my feelings were totally ignited he has been a complete obsession for me . I’ve gained so much joy just talking to him and would take whatever crumbs he would offer me. It is ironic that less than two weeks ago I snapped and hung up for the first time ever,  utterly fed up of being loved then put down every five minutes,

And what happens now? Presumably he will be begging for another chance but she will be out of capacity . This is not like last time . Last time he could be forgiven for having sought solace in what appeared to be a loveless marriage. With all the effort and recommitment that they have just made she must feel utterly betrayed and he the worst man on earth. 

And can there be a future for us amid such devastation? All my friends would say no. That he has covered himself in incoherence, weakness and indecision and that I deserve more. How would I live with being second choice to his wife? With his guilt? With the venom which she will pour in my direction? How would I ever trust him when he went up there to see them? How would I deal with playing second fiddle to his guilt which as a people pleaser will ensure she has him run ragged for years to come?

So it’s down to him now. Can he reconcile himself to the underlying reasons why he couldn’t leave me alone and come out strongly? All the evidence of his recent behaviour would suggest that unfortunately he can’t.  I know the consequences of being involved with him whilst he’s conflicted – I’ve had a year of it and reached the end two weeks ago. 

What a horrible mess. She must feel a vengeful fool. I feel like the complete home wrecking bitch she will have me down as. And he? No wonder he is not functioning.

Nanny Ellen

  For most of Saturday I was wild eyed and deranged again. Ah the frustration of hearing how rubbish the fundamentals of their relationship are, the lack of respect I now feel that he has given me the ammunition to feel pity for her, the desire, now that I have access to her, just to tell her that she should ask him for the truth.

I can now look on from the outside though and see starkly just what a weak people-pleasing man he is and know that I would have to deal with that and that,  together with his baggage (wife and children) would probably kill us off within the year anyway.  I see it all intellectually. Yet my emotional attachment to him won’t go away. So I sent him a few utterly deranged texts, worked out he had switched his phone off and then let it lie.

On Sunday I took the daughters of my old friend who are staying with me from Scotland down to Kent where their surrogate nanny Ellen lives. The isle of sheppey is a godforsaken place, run down, industrial and yet she has a glorious view of the sea and a huge garden at the back of her house. I was assailed by a memory of having been there as a child once. It’s possible. 

Nanny Ellen brought tears to my eyes. Just 80 she was so full of joy and life affirming goodness and love. Full of hugs for all of us (though she’d never met me before) and laughter with my daughter. Sharp as a tack though her legs don’t really work any more. Full of stories of our school life (she’s the parent  of girls in years above me) I was reminded of the school children we all were and tearful that we are now all the wrong side of 45. 

I don’t know why lovely nanny Ellen should have made me sad and not happy, but she did.

How can I blame anyone but myself?

Hours on the phone last night. He had had too much to drink and as he put it, there’s truth in alcohol. He told me how much he thought about me, that I was an angel to him, that he tried to emulate life in the bedroom with me, with her and that it wasn’t working, that he’d probably be knocking on my door in a few days. 

I said ah, but if she asks you to keep trying you will won’t you ? Do you think so? He says. I don’t know I think I’ve had enough.

This morning I get the usual text. I need to stay away from you and work on my marriage. I will keep away from events you are at. We are going away with the kids this weekend then I am talking to her next week. 

My response : fuck you

Why??? Says he.

I really really should know better than this by now. I have no one to blame but myself. I should be worried he can’t see the problem shouldn’t i?

I have fought with my deranged mind not to email her today. As my best friend says – stop engaging and withdraw from their drama. I had successfully done that. I so wish I had not been as generous as I was yesterday though.

I feel utterly sick

Today his wife contacted me wanting to know what has been going in between me and her husband. If I had a shred of decency I would tell her the truth. I owed her that.

I shook all over, could not eat my lunch, tried to call him. 

Finally got him later this afternoon. He wanted me to lie but the lie would not have stacked up with what she already knew. And I don’t lie.

I constructed a message. I said that whilst I loved him and that the two of us had struggled to let each other go, that we had now absolutely and irrevocably done that. That I knew he wanted nothing more than for it to work with her and his family. I asked her to forgive his inadequacies, know he is a one affair man and without me in the way she has nothing to fear from him straying. I said he had clearly chosen her over me, that his position had not changed and that all he had given me was crumbs.

So much for wanting her to find out a week ago. That desire quickly passed and I know why. All he is left with is he might not now get what he wants which is to make it work with her. I was left with having to chose to support him in what he wants or scupper his plans and be a bitch. Obviously I had to chose love but I feel sick and was sick.

 Their drama is genuinely not mine any more and yet I’m caught up in it. 

His solution is apparently to get blind drunk.

Children – the irony 

When your baby is born everyone rushes to tell you to enjoy this time because it is short and won’t come again. Yet for me it was not an enjoyable time. Rushes of love for fat arms and gooey cheeks were counterbalanced with immense frustration at our non comprehension her extremely loud cries and desire to never ever leave me alone. Extreme separation anxiety, difficulties breast feeding – all against a background of being away from my family and close friends with a husband who clearlydidn’t  want to be with me any more. 

As the years have gone by I enjoy her more and more. It helps that she’s exceptionally articulate, emotionally intelligent and hilarious. She’s also a bit odd it has to be said. No one apart from her dad is allowed to kiss her (his lips are dry apparently); she flaps with excitement and often lives in a dream world of her own,

But she’s an only child. She and I largely ignore each other in the evenings once tea is done and our conversations over the table can be painful. 

” what was your favourite thing at school today”

“Can’t remember”

“What did you have for lunch?”

“None of your business”

Yet I’ve  noticed that as soon as there is more than the two of us, she becomes chatty, articulate and hugely loving to me! It’s a very strange dynamic.

Right now with my honorary nieces staying, she’s an absolute delight. I asked her if she was happier with more people in the house and she said that she was. What to do about that?!

Queen .. Or drama queen?!

I shared a few of my old blogs with Him (oops there he is again) , particularly the one in which I was processing the death of my sexless marriage, the impact it had on me, and the tools I used to find the courage to date (I can’t say again as I never really dated before!). As I write these words, by the way, I am still wonder struck at the transformation in my life in this area – from the person who felt so deeply unattractive that no one would want to sit opposite her in a pub, to someone considerably more sure of their appeal and a clear understanding that one man’s meat is another man’s   poison.

I digress. He said he was mortified by the sadness in my writing. How could someone externally so full of joy, write such sad material? He, said he, would ensure that I wrote a happy blog. I’m not sure he got my attempt to explain that I’ve only ever really blogged to process sadness and make some kind of sense of it all; that periods of sadness are usually followed by periods where the new information from processing suffering, is taken on board and enjoyed. But of course I was secretly delighted. To have him care in that way is what I wanted more than anything and to have had that promise so spectacularly undelivered….

So I can find things to write about all the time but am not compelled in the way I am when I’m sad or struggling. 

I was reading a wonderful blog this morning, so truthful (and man can he write), about a man who has had an affair and is now working on his marriage and he described his life as being like a soap opera. At many times  mine could be seen as the same over the last 10 years. From the affair which highlighted  the state of my marriage, to going to Australia on the world’s most dramatic marriage rescue attempt, to accidental pregnancy, final marriage breakdown, dealing with my pathological fear of dating all the while resurrecting my career and bringing up my daughter, culminating in the last year of desperate love for someone who was only partly available.

People have said that I have done late in life what most do as teenagers. That the time for experimentation and mistakes takes place in your late teens and early twenties where I was busy being studious and square and perfectly behaved. The height of my rebellion was to go to a university in London rather than one on my doorstep, and to get my ears pierced at 19 without permission. 

My latest drama really does feel over. I hardly think of him with sadness any more. I don’t feel any desire to jump on the dating bandwagon for a while. Work is hard right now. Grinding through budgets which don’t stack up, pushing  water uphill to get some plans to inspire us all post event. Things have reached a lower level of equilibrium. 

My idea of hell is my mother’s idea of happiness. To have a life where nothing much happens.  

And If I’m honest part of me misses it. I miss the drama. 

Life can be a right pig!

Almost everyone I talked to about my situation said I would definitely meet someone more worthy of me. That it was impossible to imagine someone as fun and loved as me, being alone.

But life doesn’t always work out. In fact it can be a right pig.

When I was 4 years old I met a girl on my first day of school. She and I have always been in touch in spite of the fact we are very different.

She’s the mumsy slightly old fashioned friend who you are always afraid will disapprove of you but just loves you anyway….I fell in love with her daughters as soon as they were born and in spite of the fact they live in Scotland, so I don’t see them lots, they say I am their favourite Aunty. 

My friend’s marriage, unlike mine, has emulated her parents. He’s lovely, they are extremely well suited and as a family they are a pleasure to be around. My friend’s life is positively quiet in comparison to mine and wants nothing more than her close friends and family around her – yet her dad died shortly after her wedding and her mum shortly after the birth of her first daughter. His adoptive parents are both deceased too.

Last night she and her girls arrived with me for a week or so to sightsee and “babysit”. She almost didn’t make it because her husband’s been really unwelll to the extent that he has just been retired very early from his work. No sooner did she arrive than we were booking her a flight home as he was taken very ill again. She couldn’t eat with worry. This morning on dropping her at the airport she was very tearful.  

Her demands in life are very few – a big family to love – and I’m so sad for her. I was struck when we parted though that some friends are as good as family and if that’s the case she is certainly family to me.