Living Well is the Best Revenge

I got to the pool yesterday and began my laps. All was going okay until this 65 year old woman with bouffant hair, glasses on (yes glasses on in the lap pool), started using the lane next to mine with her floaty belt and floaty ankle thingys on and for some reason (the calls from my husband), I just wanted to fucking splash her.

Every time I passed her to see her bike riding feet in slow motion with the black ankle floats on I felt my blood pressure go up. I gave her the finger under the water. She can’t see me because she doesn’t get her fucking head wet.

After about the six lap by her I screamed under water and I knew I was losing it. About to cause a scene due to this oblivious and innocent woman. I feared that my scream might have been heard above water by the lifeguard. If I’m not careful they’ll be asking me to leave!

I stopped at the end and pulled up my goggles and silently cried into my hands. I thought for sure I’d have to get out. I sort of hoped the swimmer on my other side would appear and ask if I was alright and I wouldn’t give her details, but I’d appreciate the human concern. She didn’t, which is fine. She’s working out and didn’t see me.

I thought I’d try one more lap and see if I could stay in a bit longer. I tried to use my imagination. I’m not in a pool in Oregon. I’m in an endless blue pool in Hawaii and it’s gorgeous, pristine, and all mine for miles.

I began to close my eyes every time I passed the bouffant glasses woman. I really could not bear to see her bike riding slow motion black-clad ankles one more time.

I slowed my swimming up to the point where it was almost effortless; a bit like I  swam when I first started and didn’t have a lot of stamina. I stopped counting laps, I just wanted to stay in and somehow clear my head.

I closed my eyes more and more, only opening briefly to make sure I was still swimming down the middle of the lane.

It felt divine.

I had totally forgotten that I could swim in a way that didn’t tax me so much. It was a huge relief. It was still a workout, just not as intense, and I stayed in over an hour.

Of course I think a person who wears their glasses in the pool and doesn’t get their hair damp does not belong in the lap pool. There are two other pools there that would serve her better. But it’s not like it was crowded and someone was demanding to double up in my lane because of her. And more power to her for being active, such as it is. I’m trying to be nice now, but I’m not succeeding. I don’t feel nice at all. Get the hell out of the lap pool you oblivious woman!

Before I set out for the pool yesterday I sent my husband a very brief email asking him (AGAIN) not to call me unless it’s regarding the case or something urgent regarding his daughters. Shortly after I got home there was a text from him, “What’s going on?” His usual greeting.

I don’t know if he saw the email or not. I have not responded to him.

I’ve got to quit taking out my anger and frustration on other people (the pool lady, my mom). I’d really like to see, when I have my hands on this money, if I can tell him to fucking fuck off and die. Asshole. Fucking cheating ego maniacal bastard.

That stupid “innocent” conversation has again caused me to think about how this whole thing went down. To be honest, unlike many chumps, I just don’t know how it happened and I never will.

Things were awful, to say the least. I had no idea how we’d pay rent the next month. I could barely afford groceries and could not pay utilities. I had never been that poor in my entire life. Not even when I married at 18 years old.

He would sleep late (1 p.m.) and then spend hours on the phone with his mother and daughters. Truly, hours. He’d sometimes have dinner with me and then he’d get up and shower like it was an idea he just had and announce that he was going downtown to see what was up.

Half the time he asked me if I had any “dosh” and I always gave him what I had on me, from $5 to $10, sometimes I had nothing. He smokes, so a large part of it goes towards a pack of cigs. The rest to a beer, I guess. A really cheap one. I’m sure having to ask me for every penny was wearing thin for him.

He used to ask me if I wanted to come, but as I’ve said on here many times, there was no point. A couple can’t do that mooching thing and still look like decent people. Plus the smoke, ick. And his friends were boring to me. Bars are for twenty and thirty somethings, not forty and fifty something married people, unless you’ve got a problem, or an ulterior motive.

I’d settle in to eating too much and watching BBC on my computer. By about 11:30 p.m. I was exhausted because I get up early, unlike him. By midnight I was usually asleep. No word from him at all, generally.  This was seven nights a week.

Suddenly, only two or three weeks before our blow up, he became tremendously cold to me. I’ve shared that here as well. He was done with me. He must have decided he had a future with her. I remember what it was like when he was obsessed with me, nothing else existed for him.

Now I’m kicking myself for “letting” him go out every night and that’s so fucking ironic because in my younger days I was very jealous and insecure, but he really did make me feel he’d never cheat. With all our problems I didn’t think it’d be that, until those last few weeks anyway.

Could I have changed his mind if I could have found a way to keep him home? Doesn’t matter because I could not convince him to stay home. Not once. Even when I cooked a meal I knew he’d love. Even when I bought the sherry he liked. Even when I set up the backgammon board or asked him to have his friends around. Nope. He could not wait to leave. He already had someone.

It’s not my fault. He likes to share the blame with me, but it is not my fault he chose to cheat.

You can’t imagine how alone I was during that time. I didn’t want anyone (mom, dad, daughter) to know that I was home alone every single night — I was still protecting him. At the very end I started coming to my folks house at night and I finally told them I was home alone every night. I left to come home one night and they called me and tried to talk me into coming back and spending the night. I said no thanks. I was used to it. They hated him so much.

So I can just assume he met her at one of the bars. I can assume she’s educated, a smoker, and can hold her booze. I can assume she’s 30ish and can play a musical instrument. I can assume she’s outspoken and argumentative since he would like that. Of course I can assume she may have met me at one of the rare early times I went with him. Of course she knew he was married. I wonder what it is that she offered him that made him take that step.

I can only imagine it’s textbook stuff: finding him charming (he is in an odd way) and feeding his ego. Some men and women just go crazy when someone puffs them up and desires them sexually. That’s all I imagined happened. Nothing very complicated, certainly not sophisticated.

But I’ll never know.

I don’t know where they went, but without a doubt his affections, all of them, were now with her, and not with me. After all we’d been through together.

And lucky him. He gets to brush it all off on how I’m “mentally ill” and how he did all he could but couldn’t take any more. What a hero. Poor guy.

But he never told them I cashed in every penny I had and supported us for eight years. Flying us back and forth from London to Oregon. Shipping boxes back and forth across the world. Do you know how much that costs?

Once when we got to the UK I bought a car. Then we’d come back here and I’d buy a car. These are large purchases, obviously and I bought four cars altogether.

Does he ever think about these things? No, because that would cause him not to sleep at night and we can’t have that.

So that asshole can try to call me in the daytime to flirt with me and chat with me because he’s feeling bored and talkative? I’m supposed to be kind and gracious and forthcoming and understanding to a man who did all that to me? And offers no remorse?

What the fuck is wrong with me?

I should absolutely be at NO CONTACT.

I didn’t answer his text yesterday and I’m glad. It’s the first time I have ignored him in nine months. He’ll get the picture soon enough. But he won’t really even care.  In fact he’ll roll his eyes and say, “Well I tried to be friends with her. She’s nuts.”

And the despair back then before he told me to leave or he would. Especially the last two months. I could not see this ending well. I had no idea how we’d live through it but I was utterly numb. It should not surprise me that we didn’t live through it. I was a zombie, walking numbly through life. Ashamed, mortified, hurt, alone.

I will always believe that underneath it all he knew he had to end it because he was ashamed. He’d never admit it, but I think so. How could he ever face my family again? Forcing me to live in utter poverty all due to his huge ego. There was too much shame.

I fucking hate him and at the same time I still have that mindset, ‘But we’re married. So we’ll get through it.” But no. We won’t get through anything. And I pray that I do live well when he’s gone and out of my life and that will be my revenge.







2 responses to “Living Well is the Best Revenge

  1. I am so impressed with how you got through the pool time. You did great and used some really nice strategies! You are so resourceful. And also, I’m impressed that you ignored your husband’s text! That’s a small victory! You have a lot of anger and I like that too. You should be angry. I know it can be hard to control and you are doing a great job at that.

  2. Oh, Cynthia, I hardly feel I deserve your praise, but it means a great deal to me. Coming to terms with the anger and figuring out how to live with it is new to me. Something to chat w/ my therapist about! I hope you’re well. Last few times I checked you weren’t writing much. Does that mean you are busy?

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