Because of my own blog I have visited blogs of other women who have been cheated on. Some of their stories read like a made for TV true life movie and my own story pales in comparison. While reading about the signs that they should have known there was an affair, I began to wonder what signs were there for me that I may have forgotten or missed.
I went to my journal and read several months worth of posts. I couldn’t get to the end because I could see it was starting to mess with my head.
I read a lot of it and then went to the pool. I’m thinking I may have to skip the pool on Saturdays. It’s too crowded with swimming lessons and I don’t get a proper workout. Today I had a strange neck ache and my earplugs were leaking and I just gave up after about 30-35 minutes. Better than nothing.
When I was dressed and back in the car I felt so confused. I had planned to go to the huge used bookstore downtown, but knew I should not spend the money, and also because I get paranoid when I’m downtown that I’ll run into my husband and his woman.
I drove senselessly for several minutes as I tried to decide what to do and then headed in the direction of the bookstore. For the first time in many weeks I felt like going to spy on him and I thought, hmmm, this is because I read my journal and am feeling all those feelings again. Not a good idea.
But I stuck with the plan to go to the bookstore and after an hour I was on my way home again.
I continued reading the journal and just now I closed it knowing I didn’t need any more.
There wasn’t definitive proof that he cheated, but his treatment of me was horrific. For two full months before the fateful night where he said, “If you don’t go, I will” he was gone seven nights a week.
He lied constantly. He took money from me that we didn’t have. He told me that I was making the situation unbearable. He was considering suicide.
And me. My god. Constant severe headaches. Abusing alcohol. Popping xanax a lot. Eating Twinkies and tons of other shit. Staying in bed most days due to stress, headaches, pain. Lots of pain all over my body from my fasciitis, my back, hip, right leg. I could hardly walk and hardly function. Remember by then I was nearly 270 pounds.
I wrote about taking antidepressants which harmed my libido and made it impossible to orgasm only because he insisted I take them.
I don’t need proof that he cheated on me before we split up. It doesn’t really matter either way. But near the end, if he was awake, he was gone. He could not bear to be near me. The light was out. He was unreachable.
And he’d say he’d call and wouldn’t. And then say he forgot. And I’d say, “Forgot what? That you have a wife?”
It’s pretty clear to me he had a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. And he had new insults for me that felt like he had talked our situation over with someone else and now was repeating it to me. I had grown “old but not wise.” And another one where he used the word “geriatric.” Really below the belt stuff. He insisted that my crying was my way of “manipulating the conversation.” All new from him.
Our marriage wasn’t ruined just because of another woman. It was ruined because we ruined it in countless ways. To walk around and say, “Well, he cheated” is only a small part of the demise of my marriage.
I don’t want to read more about the end of my marriage. I don’t need to re-live it. But I am still sad that it did not work out.
That said, I spoke to my therapist yesterday about how to strengthen my resolve in case he does begin to pursue me. She used some interesting terms. She said I need to “inoculate” myself against him. She also said that I am now “outgrowing him.” And I thought to myself that she’s right.
But there’s something wrong with me still. I think, how can I grow, change myself, and leave him behind? I hate that I feel that way. But feeling compassion or even pity for someone isn’t necessarily love. She would probably tell me that having thees feelings proves I am capable of loving and caring.
Yesterday I came home from that appointment filled with courage and conviction and within an hour my husband called me. “What’s up, woman?” He asked. I said, “Nothing.” He asked again about my external hard drive. I again said I hadn’t even unboxed it. He asked me why I’m so busy. Before I could answer he said, “You’re seeing someone, aren’t you?”
Then he said, “You wouldn’t tell me if you were.”
I thought about being mysterious and lying. But that takes too much energy. I said no, I just had a ton of little things to do. I swim, I volunteer, I work on my website.
Later I thought to myself that I definitely will NOT tell him when I do start to see people. He would like that far too much.
Is it because I never saw the other woman or heard anything about her that I can still feel feelings for him? Even now, after six months, I wish I could be held in his arms, but my god, re-reading all that stuff, all the insults, how incompatible we are. Funny enough, when I speak to him on the phone, I think he has a fondness for me too. Doesn’t that make all of this even sadder?
In some ways it means he isn’t the clear cut monster that so many bloggers write about. It’s not black and white. There are some grays. At the same time, I think something is off with me that I am not feeling more hate or anger over how things have worked out. What’s up with that?
The bottom line is this: our financial situation was unbearable which caused the stress to be unbearable. We had no way to pay the next month’s rent, let alone the utilities and car insurance and cell phone bills. The idea that that is where I ended up at 56 years old was so humiliating for me. And he kept asking me for $10 for this and $10 for that to keep him in cigarettes and enough to buy a beer or cup of coffee, oblivious about how $10 a day adds up when you are trying to live on about $1,000 a month.
I began to feel like his mother. He began to steal money from me, like a kid. His own humiliation must have been terrible. But he still could not find one way to help support us and he watched as I sold precious possessions on ebay just so we could eat.
He was horribly resentful that I’d ask him to borrow money from his rich friend, but not ask my parents for $200 to help us get by. He had no concept that at this time in my life I should be giving them $200, not the other way around. I was not going to start asking to borrow money for many reasons, not the least being that I knew we might not be able to pay it back.
He is a man who thinks he has a “reputation” to uphold in this town and says everyone knows him so he can’t take a shit job. How’s that for reasoning?
I told my therapist yesterday that I was in utter shock that I’ll be 57 in June. I mean, it’s truly inconceivable. She said I didn’t look it and that I’m out of touch with how I look. We talked bout my inability to take a compliment or to even consider that it could be true.
I’ve made so much progress and yet today I am melancholy again. I am wondering if I shouldn’t read about other women’s experiences after all. I was cheated on, but it’s only part of a complex puzzle. Now that I think about it, I’m sure most women would agree that the demise of their own marriage wasn’t “simply an affair” either.
I do think in my own way I might be outgrowing him and now I feel guilt over that too. It’s ridiculous.
My eating has been hit and miss this week and that makes me sad. Last night I was actually waiting for my dad to go to bed so I could go to the cupboard and devour a whole container of marshmallow cream. Thank god I finally went to bed without it. I didn’t weigh last Sunday so of course I must weigh tomorrow. I’m very, very nervous of what I’ll find. I cannot stop my health and weight loss journey now. I have so much more to accomplish.
Sorry to be all over the place, but that’s my mind: all over the place.