Thursday, September 20, 2012
We survived Christmas. We even managed to enjoy some of it. Mom, Dad and Grandpa were here with us. Mom still didn't know, but I'm fairly sure she knew something was up. Of course, thanks to Richard, Dad knew, but Dad didn't know I knew he knew (That part of the ride was very twisted!), and anytime with my grandpa is time well spent. It seemed like the kids were good, too. Richard and I had done an admirable job of keeping up appearances.
We still went to our marriage counselor every week and to our individual therapists, too. If you asked me today what we got out of all those hours of therapy, I'd be hard pressed to articulate it. In most of the sessions, I was too angry to hear anything the professionals had to say. I was never really honest with my emotions because I was much too afraid to face them. Anger was my emotion of choice for such a long time. If I wasn't angry, then I became vulnerable. If those were my two choices, anger was the big winner. Anger made me feel like I had power. I had control.
Here's a tip for those of you fresh into the mess...You can't control the coaster. At some point, you're gonna have to admit that to yourself. It might help if you can swallow that jagged little pill sooner rather than later. I fought that reality for over a year. I couldn't face the fact that when your spouse cheats and you decide to try and work through it so you can stay married to the bastard, you can't avoid becoming vulnerable. You can act all Toughie Pants, but right under that facade lies Vulnerable Vicki. She is scared shitless 24/7 and you shouldn't ignore her.
My Vicki wasn't a big wuss or anything, but she was no match for Toughie Pants. She was actually the smartest of all my persona's. She knew, and in turn that obviously means I knew, this marriage might already be beyond repair. We could just be spinning our wheels. Our efforts might come to nothing. Vicki knew all that, but she was willing to risk additional sorrow.
Underneath Toughie Pants, under all my angry bravado, I was so scared. I've never been so scared. How would my life look without Richard? Toughie Pants was ready to find out. At some point, during every hour of counseling, Toughie Pants announced that it was time for Richard to go. Vicki kept silent. Toughie Pants needed space. Vicki needed a Xanax, a martini and a hug.
Vicki understood the ramifications of separation. We call them "Trial" separations. In this particular type of "Trial" the judge and jury are also the accused and the accuser. That's messy. Most "Trial" separations result in a divorce soon after. That's a fact. Look it up. Vicki knew it and she kept it to herself. She deferred to Toughie Pants who wanted Richard out.
Toughie Pants thought sending Richard away would make him understand how much he had damaged me, the true depth of my wounds. He had to suffer the same egregious pain that he had wrought to be able to comprehend the consequences of his choice to love another. Toughie Pants made the demands for Richard's departure to lash out, not to help me heal. Vicki wanted me to heal, but I wasn't ready to let her yet.
I wish I had been smarter. Hell, my brain function back then didn't set the bar very high, so I can say with great confidence now, I'm a freakin' Einstein compared to back then! I'm smart enough to know this...I let Toughie Pants run the show even though I was terrified of being alone, because I was even more afraid to let myself be vulnerable.
You can't love without vulnerability, People. It just ain't possible.
So, I guess I don't mean smarter. I mean braver. If I had been braver, I would have let Vicki have her moment. Vicki should have been given her due. She could have prevented what happened next.
Vicki never would have let me ask for a divorce.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Let's face it. The change of plan was ONLY to appease me, to keep life pleasant in our humble home.
Richard didn't decide to stay away from Michelle and the draft party because he wanted to or even because he thought it was the right thing to do. He just did not want to rock the boat. At this point, I was fine with that! I didn't think it through. (That's a phrase I've over used writing this blog!) I should have cared A LOT that he was only doing it for me. When he makes his decisions based only on what I want, it's gonna lead straight to more secretive behavior. In fact, it already had. I just didn't know it yet.
Back to Lie #1. Discovery was made as follows:
Me: "What are you guys doing? Working on draft stuff?"
Lukas: "Yep. Picking our team."
Me: "I'm really glad you figured out a way to stay in the league. I know you enjoyed it a lot last year. How did you pick your team last year? I mean, you were in this league before and you never went to the draft party. How did it work then?"
Richard jumped in: "We had somebody else pick for us."
Lukas: "Yea. We had our other team member go to the draft."
Me: "Who was on your team last year?"
Lukas, glanced at dad and announced: "Michelle was on our team last year."
Me, glaring at Richard: "Guess you neglected to share that little factoid with me. Wonder why?"
In a split second I went from very grateful to Richard for compromising to appease me, to so damn angry that my head and gut hurt. Richard knew his goal of keeping a peaceful home was just torpedoed. Damage control was needed, pronto! As soon as the boys had completed their work selecting what they hoped would be a stellar team, Richard asked me to come outside and talk.
Me: "Another lie. A year old lie! You are unbelievable!"
Richard: "It wasn't a lie. I just didn't tell you. It meant nothing."
There was lots of back and forth bullshit that boiled down to a huge impasse. Me accusing him of not getting it. (another over used phrase) A PURPOSEFUL omission is a lie! He became increasingly defensive and it got ugly. He was gonna rub my face in it.
Richard: "Go ahead. Ask me what other things I haven't told you."
Of course I took him up on that!
Richard: "I hiked up the mountain with Marc when you were out of town working. I was gonna tell you, but I didn't because I knew you'd make a big deal out of it."
You see where this is going, right? I don't need to type out all the dialog. It is just too damn predictable. Lie #3 was in the lovely Dr. K's office. Richard talked about things he really wanted to do and how he was becoming resentful that I was still holding him hostage. (not his words, but definitely his meaning) He admitted to a happy hour with a new associate at his firm and Michelle.
And...Swing batter! Strike Three! You're OUT! (Threw in baseball terminology because that is my sport of choice. Football sucks.)
The days since then have been wickedly tense. Seriously, I haven't felt this crappy in months. The whole depressed, exhaustion feeling...oh, yea. I got that. Wanting to start sucking down vodka WAY before happy hour. Yep. It's only lunch time now and I'm thinking Kettle One and Tonic sounds awesome. Scared shitless that Richard doesn't have it in him to do what I need to save our marriage. Damn straight. I'd be a fool not to face that. He thinks I'm asking too much of him. He says the length of punishment doesn't fit the crime, that I don't give him enough credit for how hard he has worked to save our marriage for nearly 2 years.
After I finish this post, I'm gonna go back to blogging about months past. I gotta get on with the story. I need to let this setback settle.
Not to worry. If anymore deceitful shit hits the fan. You'll be the first to know.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Perhaps I need some kind of "Alert System" on my homepage for posts that switch from past tense to the present. I'm sure my rambling needs clarification from time to time. For today, I'll just type this: Head's up, Readers! This post is about NOW, not 2 years ago. Not two months ago. My extreme animosity for the ritual fall activity began a few weeks ago. Until then, it seemed like a harmless father & son bonding enterprise.
About a month ago, Richard mentioned that he and our son, Lukas, would be attending a "draft" party to select their team for this year's fantasy football league.
Hold on there, Cowboy!
"Isn't your partner, Michelle, in the same league? It's run by her sister, right? I have been VERY clear about you socializing with Michelle. Did you really think I wouldn't have a problem with this?"
"It's only a couple of hours. Lukas really wants to go!" And...back peddling begins....
"Not that I'm saying I'm only going because of Lukas. I mean, I wanna go, too. I'm not trying to make you feel guilty about Lukas."
I was gettin' hot. I felt my jaw tighten, my nails dug into my palms and I'd bet the fantasy football league entrance fee that my face was beet red. I've written before about my preference for "fight' over 'flight'. I'm a BIG fighter. I sooo need to work on that!
I tried to reason with myself....you might be making too big a deal out of this. It is evil antiversary month. That has you on edge. Just chill.
I got a grip on my anger and I think I handled myself with civility and repose. Well, civil for me anyway. It's all relative.
Exhale.....Deep Breath. Do not let this become a huge deal. "How did you do it last year? You didn't go to the draft last year. We can compromise here."
"We really wanna go. It is so much easier than trying to do it over the phone or having someone else pick. We want to participate in the whole process."
"Then, you need to find a different league. You know there is no way I'm gonna be OK with you spending Labor Day with Michelle."
I left him with that. I heard no more about it until the week before the draft. Richard announced that I shouldn't forget he and Lukas would be gone part of Labor Day for the draft party.
And...that's when my contempt for Fantasy Football became resolute.
What do you do to your spouse when you're supremely pissed? I barely look look at him. I only speak to him if I must and he sure won't be getting ANY in the near future. Richard does not handle the cold shoulder routine well at all. So, by the Friday before the draft, he had conceded. They wouldn't go. They figured out an alternative plan. I saw it it as a win/win! They would still be in the league, but not attend the social gathering where I would not have been welcome. Michelle and I will never be able to be in the same room again. Let's just say I burned that freakin' bridge.
I wanted to believe he changed his mind because it was the right thing to do, but why would I kid myself? I knew it was because of his aversion to confrontation. He is the most conflict avoid-ent person I know. Weird for a lawyer, right? Maybe because his job is ridiculously conflict laden, he can not tolerate further combat after hours. Whatever the reason, as you are all very well aware, problem avoidance can lead to betrayal. (attention! sarcasm ahead)
Got problems at home, but you just can't bring yourself to face up to them and talk to your spouse? Better not stir the pot. Dealing with issues head on could make it very uncomfortable around the homestead. Maybe you should just talk to the cute girl at work. She'll make you feel better about everything and your wifey will be none the wiser! Safe and satisfying!
I knew why he caved. I wasn't happy about it. As we talked about this, in the lovely Dr. K's office, day before yesterday (this required MC in a big way! 2 hours!) I benevolently referred to Richard's aversion to conflict as, "A huge lack of balls!" I also referred to him as a moron.
In my defense, the name calling was not about fantasy football. It wasn't about Michelle, either. It was about the rage building inside me, yet again. It was about the intense fear in my gut that Richard was not capable of the whole truth. During one of our many heated discussions over this he yelled, "I'll never be able to be honest enough for you!" What the fuck does that mean? Truthful enough for me? My God. He really doesn't get it. He may never get it.
The fantasy football debate exposed not one, not two, but three lies made by Richard in the past year. For him, they were not lies, but merely omissions.
Has he not learned a damn thing in two years?
Why is complete honesty such a foreign concept to him?
I stand firmly by my use of the term MORON.
To be continued.....
Friday, September 7, 2012
I hoped I wouldn't dwell on it, but that didn't work out. I've been reading through all the emails they exchanged for the past hour. I hoped after 2 years I wouldn't feel like crying. Once I started in on the damn emails, the box of tissue was required.
Hope didn't win out this time. Still, I continue to hope for a little less pain everyday. That's seems to be an attainable goal.
This topic was just discussed in the comments from my last post, Un-Happy Holidays. Many betrayed spouses struggle over the holidays. One reader called the days "Tainted". That is exactly what Antiversary days are....tainted. We have been wounded. Wounds heal, but they leave scars. Scars are reminders, but as time passes, not painful like the wound itself. Even though I feel very sad today, I'm not out of mind with grief. I'm not even grossly depressed. My eyes are damp with tears, but I'm certainly not sobbing or gasping for breath. I'm just sad. Maybe on the 3 year Antiversary I'll merely be peeved or irritated.
I'm not looking to have a pity party. My plan is to let my mind go to the dark side for a few hours, then go to work and get on with my day. Get on with my life.
However...throwing Richard under the bus and allowing some of YOU to chastise him might be fun!!
So...here's some ammo! One of his emails to her that, even 2 years later, makes me wanna hurl!
Richard to Jaymie
Can you be too much in love?So much so that when you see her, you dash across the street in front of fast moving cars to take her in your arms and hoist her into the air;That when you look at her, you are so in awe of her beauty that you can’t speak; she reduces you to an awkward seventh grader again;That when you listen to her, her voice melts you into jelly and you notice you have no muscle, no bone;That when she sings to you, you secretly know you will give her anything she wants;That when you try to focus on the daily chores of your life, you can’t because pictures of her flood your mind and disable your ability to function;That when you make love to her, you forget about yourself and want only to drink in every inch of her body and pleasure her with joy that she has never before experienced;That when she touches you, you are paralyzed; she finds parts that no one has touched before;That when you leave her, you are in a haze left by her love, a spell she casts, and you forget where you are;That you have lost control of your life because she has consumed you altogether.Can you be too much in love. No because when you kiss her you feel something you have never felt before, never knew you could feel and nothing else matters.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
It was almost Christmas. Only a little over 2 months past DDay. Nearly every minute was spent wondering how could my life change so drastically in such a short amount of time? 29 years of next to perfect, at the very least wonderful, then disaster. How could my life have been turned upside down, backwards and sideways so fast?
HOW wasn't the right question. I knew HOW. What I needed to know was WHY? Everything I'd done since discovering my husband's appalling, marriage killing behavior had been to analyze WHY. So far, answers eluded me. I was no Sherlock Holmes, no Sigmund Freud, but it wasn't due to lack of effort.
The effort was getting up everyday, taking care of my kids, going to work and trying to do my job. Immense effort was required so as not to collapse into a whimpering, useless heap.
It was almost Christmas! Life should be cheerful and festive! Thanks to my mood altering drugs and a steady stream of vodka, (I also enjoyed a nice Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay from time to time when I thought I should cut back on the hard stuff.) my temperament hovered between jumping off a bridge and breaking into a boisterous chorus of "Deck the Halls" while making holiday cookies for friends and family. I was just floating by, zombie like, doing what had to be done with very little hope for a happy new year.
I used up what little control I imagined I had. Gave away my access to Jaymie, the naive, dimwit that I perceived as a font of knowledge. This time, the control I relinquished was of my own doing. I snort and snicker as I type that because now we all know, I was dimwitted as well.
Discovery of an affair will leave anyone, even the toughest, Type-A folks, feeling powerless. By running the show after DDay, I was taking back my power, asserting my control. I was driving the bus again, unfortunately my destination was no where near Happily Ever After. I was on the fast-track to Crazy Town.
Nearly everyday I told Richard he was going to have to leave. I didn't want him gone before the holidays, but after Christmas, I would require space. With him in the house, I couldn't think straight. I could barely breathe. I had given away my punching bag, my venting surrogate, Jaymie. If I lost it, Richard would be the recipient of my vengeance full force. The thought of that terrified me.
I held it together through Christmas. Put up all the decorations and the tree, not with my usual holiday zeal, but I got the job done. Made my lists, purchased wrapped and shipped all necessary gifts but the thought put into selecting the token items was lack luster and the wrap was no where near my normal standards. I think I even sent out Christmas cards. I'll have to dig one of those out of storage. I'd love to see the image I chose for that year. What could I have ever found that felt appropriate??
I gave Richard an insulated coffee mug with pictures of our family smiling brightly before October. The mug said "Happy memories from 2010".
Enjoy your daily java in that, you prick.
I was very clear I wanted NO gifts from him. I basically dared him to try and appease me with a charity present. I told him anything he wrapped would be considered a consolation prize. I had no interest. The compromise was he could fill my stocking with a few tiny treats so the kids would not find it empty on Christmas morning. He thought he'd skirt my controlling Christmas gift giving rule by getting me a Hanukkah present instead. We celebrate both holidays in our home. He bought me perfume, from Nordstrom. The same place he bought Jaymie her fragrance of choice. For a such smart man, I think we can all agree, my husband can be a gigantic moron. Need more proof...here ya go: The name of the putrid smelling perfume he selected for me....Gucci Guilty. Unbelievable, right?
You can't make shit like that up.
In place of sugar plums, scenes that might allow me access to Jaymie again danced in my head. Manipulations that might offer me some relief to my ever escalating compulsion for answers, revenge and control of my life became my charge. This was not going to be a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah or a Joyous New Year. 2011 was not looking like a fresh start. It had all the characteristics of a bitter end.