Treading Water

“To expend effort but make little or no progress to achievement of a goal or an end”

This is how I have felt since I last posted, I have continued with day to day life…working, eating, sleeping….but in terms of my relationship with H….nothing has changed, and it is playing on my mind. 

A lot has happened over the last few weeks, my sister got married and then two days later my Grandfather died, so it’s fair to say it’s been pretty emotional and I have been reflecting a lot on my life…feeling sad that my Grandfather didn’t live to see me happy in love again (after officiating mine and H’s marriage), and feeling such envy for my sister starting on her exciting and happy journey as a married woman, a time I remember so fondly. 

I have only seen H a couple of times since my last blog, mainly to exchange belongings or gifts from his family for my birthday, and it is always very civilised and weirdly ‘normal’. I remain polite, and he is very friendly and cracks his usual jokes. He has learnt to cook and goes to the gym…which shocked me as these were two of his least favourite things!! 

He texts me every now and again to see how I am and extended his sympathies when my Grandfather died…..it’s always general ‘normal’ chat, but neither of us every talk about ‘us’, where we are headed….and particularly the ‘D’ word. 

I confess……I am TERRIFIED of the D word. I don’t want to talk to him about it and I can’t imagine being a ‘divorcee’, I feel sick at the thought of it….it feels so ‘final’, that he will be out of my life, that he will no longer be my husband. I know it will have to happen one day. My friends are all worried that if I don’t get it sorted sooner rather than later that I will not be able to move on with my life, because they know that I have values and morals, and whilst I am still married won’t even be able to think about moving on. They keep telling me to get it sorted ASAP and can’t understand when I try to explain my reluctance.

The more I think about it the more frightened I get, and I feel over the last few weeks that I have taken huge strides backwards mentally and emotionally.  

I have been thinking a lot about our life together….memories….and I have felt great sadness and loss again, a phase I thought had passed. I get ‘cold feet’ wondering if I should just ask him if we can try again…..but I know that this is not possible, that I could not forgive and forget….but there is ALWAYS that niggling doubt in my mind.

More and more of my friends are having children, it seems to be surrounding me everywhere I go…..and this is one of the most poignant things for me….because I desperately want a family, and if I I can’t move on from this moment, I feel time will be running out (I know everyone keeps telling me Im only 31 but it could take years and years). 

I feel lost, and although my head is staying above the water and I keep living day by day….I am trreading water and not progressing towards a future….however it may look. 

I have been saving money for a house….but I don’t feel ready to leave my parents’ house and be on my own again, I don’t even know where I want to live. 

My friends are all just living their lives and I hear less from them than I did when all this mess started, which also makes me feel very lonely. 

This morning…H text me….his Grandmother died. I could not believe it, after losing my Grandfather and now he lost his Grandmother….you can imagine that my emotions took another turn. I felt sad because…I was clearly one of the first people he text at 1am to tell me, I couldnt help but feel he was turning to me for support, a shoulder to cry on…..I should have been there to hug him tight and tell him everything will be ok…but I wasn’t. I sent messages to his Mum, Dad, sister and Aunt to extend my deepest sympathies. Once again the memories came flooding back…. memories of visiting his Gradndmother and spending every other Christmas Eve in her house…..and I felt sad. 
My emotions are so torn, I am feeling that overwhelming sense of grieving again for our relationship, for the man I loved…..and although he isn’t the same man that I married, knowing that he is still out there makes it feel impossible to cut the ties. 

I haven’t spoken to many people about how I’m feeling…..on the surface, everyone is seeing a woman who is carrying on with every day life, with a promotion in work, trying to keep busy out of work….when actually under the surface my legs are working like hell to try and keep me afloat and saving me from having a meltdown! 
I don’t know how to move on from this ‘phase’, how to start swimming at greath lengths to reach the shore instead of treading water……with the risk of a great white shark coming to bite me on the ass in the meantime! 

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Drowning in my own emotions

It’s a horrible feeling, the feeling of drowning in your own emotions.

There is so much going on in my head at the moment that I can’t seem to process my thoughts in a logical way. I can’t think rationally about anything, and it’s making me feel like I’m going mad.

I think the problem is that too much is happening at once – work is very stressful, I have a final essay to write for a postgraduate course I’m doing and there’s the small matter of needing to pack up my home ready to move….oh and not forgtting the fact that my husband wrote me a letter about how much he loves me, misses me and wants me to give him another chance.

So….is it really surprising I feel like I’m going a little bit crazy? My counsellor says not…it’s perfectly understandable apparently. Apparently I need to stop putting so much pressure on myself and not to expect so much of myself and allow myself to go through these emotions.

My priority is to get my essay done. I’m so close to finishing, I don’t quite know how I’ve managed to study for it this last year but I have, and I’ve passed all my essays so far so don’t want to fall at the last hurdle.

I will then need to focus on vacating my home – ‘allow yourself to grieve’ said the counsellor….I am dreading it, packing my stuff will uncover so many memories along the way, happy memories that I really don’t want to have to face right now (I know my wedding dress is waiting for me in the loft!)

As for husband…I think he’s in denial about the whole thing. He hasn’t even thought about packing or collecting his stuff, and I have no idea where he’s going to put it all as he’s staying in his friend’s spare room. I really think he thinks everything is gonna work its way out and that we will live happily ever after…..right now, I have absolutely no idea what’s gonna happen which brings me neatly to my final point…

My counsellor told me that I have absolutely no pressure to make a decision right now, or ever. If it works out it works out if it doesnt it doesnt…..so why do I feel such a heavy weight on my heart a tightening knot in my stomach, to decide right now whether I think I can give him a chance or not. Why do I think I have to make this decision overnight so we can all just get on with our lives. So I can wake up in the morning and feel ‘normal’ again!

Why do I feel sick imagining having to live without him but also feel sick at the thought of letting him anywhere near me??

I can barely breathe, drowning in a sea of worry, nerves, sadness, heartache, stress….where’s the lifeguard when you need them?

The Resurrection

I desperately need some advice! And I’m hopeful that you wonderful people reading my blog won’t let me down.

This last week has been a week of emotional turmoil for me.

As you know from previous posts, I have had very limited contact from my husband over the past 9 months since he left, but this last week started off with a very brief e-mail from my husband asking if I had taken any steps towards selling the house. It was probably the push I needed (read my last blog for more detail) so I took the plunge and contacted the estate agents and arranged an appointment for this week. I was devastated at doing this, I am still really struggling with the thought of leaving my home, and after cleaning and sorting it this weekend, it looks pretty damn good! 😦

I updated my husband about the estate agents, and we had some e-mails back and forth, but I did NOT expect one e-mail…it was an outpouring of apology, guilt, remorse, saying he wished he could go back in time and change everything. He wished he had made a different choice when I gave him the chance. It’s taken him 9 months….I knew it would happen one day, maybe a year or even 10 years down the line, but I didn’t expect it this week! He also asked if I would consider meeting up with him, to which I responded I think it would be sensible as we have things to discuss, like the house.

Then, two nights later, the texts started pouring in….again, telling me how sorry he was, how much he regrets everything, how he will never forgive himself for the pain he has caused me, how we should have been looking to start a family right now, not separating. I replied to each and every comment, trying to remain calm and strong at all times. But I struggled, especially when he tried to have ‘banter’ with me and remind me of old memories, it was really hard not to revert to old ways and be completely normal with him.

But one thing I was surprised about…I didn’t feel angry, I didn’t feel like I wanted to text a string of abuse back at him, as I say I remained calm. But this has made me feel uneasy and I feel like my head is a confused mess!!

I don’t know whether he is doing this so he can feel better about what he’s done, looking for me to forgive him so that he can feel less guilt, or whether he is genuinely regretful and wants some reconciliation, or expecting me to give him another chance.

I have no idea if he is still with the OW, but the fact that he is reminiscing about our honeymoon and saying he cried listening to ‘our music’ makes me think they aren’t together anymore.

It really does seem as if he has had a wake up call and I have asked him why it has taken him until now to have this change of heart about his actions and he said he is re-finding the person he used to be, he says he had become an arrogant prick that was obsessed with his own self importance instead of being true to who he was. He knows that how he behaved was awful and completely unacceptable and that he upset a hell of a lot of people in the process.

He has text again tonight, he is just asking me general stuff and I just don’t know how best to respond. I have remained calm and texted back trying not to be over friendly, but I feel very very strange about it all.

We are meeting later this week and I have asked for two things only – truth and honesty! And he has promised that he will adhere to this. (Although I know I won’t know for sure).

I’m not sure how to approach this, I think I will be able to stay strong as I don’t see any point in getting angry and shout abuse at him anymore, but neither do I want to be too friendly – I want him to know exactly how much he has hurt me, how much my heart aches every single day!

One thing that has really got me thinking – he mentioned he may move back to his home town which is quite a distance from where I live and said that he really hoped we could still talk. Obviously in time I don’t know what will happen, but is it really possible to be friends with a husband who cheated on you? How can I be friends with him, and see him flaunting new relationships in front of me, especially when my feelings never changed towards him!

My head really does feel in a mess, I’ve no idea how I should react to this, and I have so many questions that need answers.

Whilst we have not been in contact at all over the past 9 months I have had to grieve the loss of my husband, who disappeared from my life. I’ve had to start adapting to life without him, not knowing where he is or what he’s doing…..and now all of a sudden he’s back! I can only describe it as discovering someone you thought had died has been resurrected! (But obviously not in a happy or celebratory way….he’s still a lying cheat!)

Over the past 9 months I have had to start to imagine a future without him, and I have proven to myself that although I wanted him in my life I actually don’t ‘need’ him to get through the day. I used to think that I couldn’t live without him whereas actually I have survived 9 months without him! But…and this is a big BUT….if he turned up on the doorstep tomorrow (like he threatened to do on Friday night) and begged me to take him back…I have absolutely no idea what I would say or do or how I would feel.

There are many people who would not be able to accept him back into their lives after all the hurt he has caused, and of course I don’t know if I could ever forgive him for what he has done, but would I be willing to give him another chance? I have absolutely no idea! I must add that some of my friends who I’ve told have asked me to be mindful and not get sucked into his lies, and of course it’s not like I’ve forgotten what he has done to me – I still cry most days about how much he has hurt me, and I’ve been telling him that in my texts.

Any advice would be very much appreciated!

HELP!

Home is where the heart is

It is looking likely that I will have to sell my home. I refuse to call it ‘our’ home because ever since the day we bought it he called it ‘the house’, he never referred to it as our home (I know…alarm bells should have been ringing at that point). Plus…he made the decision to leave ‘his home’ 9 months ago (can’t believe it’s been that long…it doesn’t feel like it!).

I hadn’t heard from him in months and he texts me wanting to sort arrangements for the house, so I was forced to tell him that I think it would be best if we sold it. Of course, he is more than happy with this decision and says he understands how hard it will be for me (really???), as he knows how much the house means to me….oh and he says he is very very sorry (!!).

I am in complete turmoil at the thought of this. Deep down I think…no….I KNOW, it is the right thing to do but then why is it so painful?

Why is it the right thing to do?

1. I am completely isolated here, My family and friends all live over 30minutes drive away, the only benefit is that it’s closer to where I work.

2. At the moment I am at my happiest when I spend weekends staying with my family and friends.

3. There are too many memories here, especially as most of his belongings are still here – I still can’t sit on his part of the sofa, or move the pair of shoes he left by the back door!

4. I can’t afford to buy him out which kinda means I have no choice but to sell.

Why don’t I want it to happen?

1. I have built this home just as I want it, my Dad and I have worked so hard on the painting and decorating and gardening (he never got involved and left it to me!) I will feel extremely sad to leave it all behind!

2. Apart from the fact we are still married, the house is the only thing that connects us and it makes everything feel so final in terms of our separation.

3. The thought of packing up my belongings, and having to discuss with him what’s ‘his’ and what’s ‘mine’ absolutely breaks my heart.

4. I’m scared that I will not be able to find or afford a house as good as the one I have all on my own, and that I have to start from scratch.

5. I’m unsure where I want to move to.

My family and friends all think that selling and moving is the right thing for me to do, even though it’s taken me a while to realise it myself. But I am so very scared. I know I want to move closer to the people who support me through every day, but I have a fear of letting go and I suppose a fear of the unknown – not knowing whether I will be able to buy a new house or where it might be!

At the moment my home is the only constant in my otherwise upturned life, and I fear that going through the turmoil of moving will set me back in my journey of recovery and healing….I’m scared of going back to those really dark days of despair! It feels like I will be dealing with two bereavements – the loss of both my husband and home!

I am a person who gets extremely attached to things (not a good characteristic considering what I’m going through), and so I am really struggling with the thought of parting company with my beloved home…the wallpapers I chose, my nicely decorated bathroom and my lovely garden…but everyone keeps telling me that these are just material things that I can replicate in another house and that these things are not what makes a home. Some days I can feel excited at the thought of building a new home, that’s mine, but other days, I just cry and get so very angry that I am having to give up my home, all because of HIM!!

The fact that I haven’t spent one whole weekend at home since D-day (I stay at my parents’ house) for fear of being in the house on my own shows that I am not entirely happy here (and who could blame me), and therefore by now, I suppose it has become more of a ‘house’ rather than a home for me to feel truly happy and relaxed in.

It’s going to be a very rocky road ahead and I would really welcome advice from anyone who has been through a similar experience of giving up their home and how you dealt with it, because I am really struggling.

His Birthday

Today was my husband’s 30th birthday.

I didn’t send him a card.
I didn’t text him.

As hard as this was, I thought it was the right thing to do. It didn’t feel right wishing him a ‘happy birthday’…how could I ‘wish’ that he was having a lovely day, celebrating with his OW?

I wonder if he felt any emotion about the fact that I didn’t get in touch?

I wondered what he got up to.
I wondered what she had bought him.
I reminisced about past birthdays when I would surprise him with breakfasts, cakes and presents.

Yes, I felt extremely sad, but quite unexpectedly….I didn’t cry!

Last week was my birthday and he had the cheek to send me a card, the message in it said he didn’t know if it was the right thing to do or not but that he wanted me to know that he was thinking of me and hoped I had an amazing day.

If only he was thinking of me each time he slept with his OW!!

What’s in a number?

Next week is my 30th birthday, it didn’t bother me before, but since my life got flipped upside down on that dreadful d-day, I am now dreading it.

This will be my first birthday without my husband in 10 years. Every year we would spend our birthdays together, taking leave from work and doing something nice and special together, whether it be a trip to the beach, a day at a theme park or a day at the zoo and always a romantic meal out in a restaurant. We always used to hide our birthday cards from each other once they arrived in the mail, we would surprise each other with a special breakfast and exciting gifts. He would always buy me a birthday cake and I would bake him a special cake. The thought that he won’t be there to celebrate with me fills me with great sadness and dread. The usual birthday routine will be completely lost, I have collected my own cards in a pile ready to open, I don’t have a special day out planned or a nice meal in a restaurant. There will be a huge gap where he should be and I know I will be thinking of him constantly. I wonder whether he will think of me, whether he will text me (which I’m not sure is something I want or not).

This also means that I am entering into a new decade and leaving behind the last decade of my life that I will ever spend with my husband which hurts so bad. For most of my twenties I was happy with the man I loved more than anything in the world, in my twenties I celebrated the best day of my life getting married to the man of my dreams, in my twenties we bought our first house together, spent some amazing times together. Now…I start my thirties as the heartbroken woman who has to try to re-start and rebuild a life without the man I love. I am scared of leaving behind the best days of my life, my life with him, my twenties!

Another trigger that will stay with me forever, no doubt, and quite unbelievably is the fact that one week EXACTLY after my birthday……is my husband’s 30th birthday. For the whole of those 7 days we always had a running joke year on year that I was his ‘older woman’, he would joke that my birthday was the warm up to the main event, we had joint family celebrations, which I always thought was special but now I will always be aware that his birthday looms in the shadow of my birthday! The thought that he will spend his birthday with the OW doing things we used to do makes me feel sick. Will she save all his cards from the mail to present to him in bed? will she make him a special breakfast? Will she buy him better presents than I ever did? will she have a special day out planned? Which restaurant will they go to? Or will they have a party or a holiday to celebrate? The thought of not wishing him a happy birthday kills me, but I am determined that I will not give him the satisfaction of wishing him a wonderful birthday in the company of the slut!!

A lot of people have said to me that ‘life begins at 30’ or ‘this is your chance for a fresh start’ well…. I’m scared, no not scared….terrified. I had imagined my 30s would be a happy time, a time to start a family, not a time for rebuilding my life. I’m not prepared for what’s ahead, I’m not prepared for the risk of losing my home, the possibility of going through a divorce, never seeing, touching or speaking to my husband ever again. I don’t WANT a fresh start.

I am scared of sitting here 10 years down the line ahead of my 40th birthday still sad and heartbroken, scarred by what he has done to me because right now, the thought of finding happiness and love with someone else seems impossible.

I have decided to take the week off next week so that I can let my emotions run free without having to worry about having a breakdown at work. I have told friends and family that I want to keep my celebrations very low key and relaxed. All my other friends have had parties and holidays arranged by their loved ones (mostly husbands or boyfriends), but as I have refrained from integrating myself fully back into social life as yet (for fear of getting too emotional) I will have a small gathering with a select group of ‘safe’ and supportive family and friends to help me mark the occasion.

Even though it’s just a number, another day….it feels like a huge leap into the unknown which is a very lonely place right now!

When all else failed…he took a vacation!

I’ve had a hard week after bumping into my husband unexpectedly last Monday, feeling like I have taken 100 steps backwards, but I wanted to follow on from my blog Losing Control

He left with the bare essentials. I was so angry and upset, a friend came to pick me up and take me to my Mums, I was in no fit state to drive. I couldn’t believe it, up until that point I thought there was a chance to work things out, but now reality was really starting to set in…..my marriage could be over, no, my marriage is most probably over.

Another few days were spent crying, being physically sick, not able to eat. He asked if he could return to the house to pick up a few more of his belongings, I met him there, it made me feel sick…to watch him filling up a case full of clothes, I asked him how it felt – ‘awful’ ‘I’ll be staying in the basement at work’ – of course he wasn’t….the reality was he went to stay with a work mate in his loft conversion, he couldn’t even stay with the OW as she was a student living in a house with about 8 other people, but no doubt there were plenty of sleepovers!

It wasn’t enough that he lied to me about not seeing her, that he kept their relationship going while I tried to see if I could forgive him…he continued to lie, even after he left.

Less than a week after leaving our home, he tells me he is going to stay with his parents for a while, but then I find out he isn’t with them (did he not realise that they would keep me informed of his every movement?)…he has gone abroad for a holiday! He told his parents he was going to stay in a friend’s villa for a few days, to get some space.

So first I’m thinking….you ruined a holiday of a lifetime, no scrap that…YOU RUINED MY LIFE by dropping the biggest bombshell on me in the middle of the airport (see my blog Destination: World’s End), here I am not even able to imagine setting foot inside an airport again, my life is over, and yet you go jetting off to a villa on holiday.

But that’s not the end, not only did he lie to me…he lied to his parents too! He wasn’t in a friend’s villa, oh no, he was in fact on a 5* all-inclusive break WITH HER, the OW!!! So….only a month after D-day at the airport, only a week after leaving a trail of devastation behind him he decides to f*ck off on holiday….WITH HER!!!! And not only that, they went to a destination that I had wanted to go to for years, but he kept saying it was too expensive…of course it was, he was saving up to go there with HER!! The only way his parents found out was because the travel agent letter was delivered to their family home (he didn’t think that one through..why would he need a letter if he was using a friend’s villa?!), and they confronted him when he went home a week later.

When I found this out I went crazy….I couldn’t BELIEVE how insensitive and selfish he was being without a second thought for my mental state, but I suppose that was the last thing on his mind throughout this sordid affair. Imagining my husband sunning himself on holiday, sipping cocktails, their hands all over each other, having a great time, laughing and joking, doing things only I should be doing with my husband…..MADE ME PHYSICALLY SICK!! Whilst I was at home trying to comprehend what was happening, searching for answers, crying, screaming, shouting, not eating….how could he do this?

Everyone told me that the reason he felt able to do this was because he was already a year ahead of me mentally, but I just can’t get my head around this, as much as I try….his behaviour to me was and still is completely irrational, he should have known that this was not the right thing to do, that it was far too soon and that it would only hurt me even more. He had lost all sense of the correct way to behave, which I couldn’t understand because I spent 10 (or 9) years of my life with a decent, honest man!

After his parents cofronted him, I had multiple texts apologising, telling me how sorry he was and that he couldn’t imagine the hurt he had caused and that the reason he lied was because he didn’t want to hurt me anymore!! His words meant nothing – I couldn’t believe a word he said and the hurt was too much. It hurt knowing that he was creating new memories with her. Everything I do, every day I live – I know that a part of me is missing, I don’t feel complete anymore and I can’t imagine anyone else being there in his place.

It hurts knowing that I have been erased and replaced.