School Year

My children finish up another school year this week. It will be their 3rd school year since we moved here and the first untainted by my husband’s infidelity.

It means a lot to know that from our children’s very first day of school- when they were filled with nervous excitement about meeting their new teachers and classmates to their very last day- as they say bye to teachers and friends they adore, that my husband was fully and completely present and engaged.

We handled it all together this year like true parents and partners- homework, projects, experiments, school fairs and festivals. We delt with homework meltdowns and frustrations. Celebrated report cards and parent teacher conferences and enjoyed end of the year picnics with our babies.

All year we have marveled over these two children of ours.  They have gone through so much with us, but still excelled in every way. They are kind, gracious, curious, thoughtful, well mannered, self motivated, fun, responsible and intelligent.  I tell them over and over again that they each got the best qualities my husband and I possess.

My husband took this whole week off and I took most of it, and we have just been soaking in our family. Last Friday evening  we cleaned the grill together and my husband sprayed our kids down with the hose. They loved getting soaked and we loved hearing their laughter. Saturday we spent the morning together doing a family run and then I had a girl’s day with my daughter while my son and husband enjoyed a boy’s day together.

We had a wonderful Father’s Day with church, brunch, visiting family and then watching the last game of the NBA finals together – cheering for opposing teams. Monday was each of our children’s end of the year school picnics . We spent time together at each of them and had a blast seeing them with their friends and making plans for play dates over the summer.

Yesterday we packed a homemade picnic and  drove  to a beautiful state park and ate dinner on our picnic blanket. Then we went for a 2 mile hike around the lake. We came to this beautiful landing and watched the sunset. We took gorgeous pictures on wooden bridges and structures and of course beside the dock, lake, mountain landings and the woods. It was lovely.

Today my husband will pick them up after school and  then we will meet up to watch “Finding  Dory” and get ice cream. The rest of the week is full of trips to water parks and birthday parties.

Over and over this week, my husband has said how fullfilled he is, how content. How stupid he was to think that anything could give him greater satisfaction and joy than our family and our faith. How foolish he was to have jeopardized our family.  None of the experiences we shared this week were extravagant but they were so rich and beautiful.  What made the moments we shared together as a family so wonderful, is that we were present and fully aware of my what a gift we have received to have this love and grace between us.

Im looking forward to enjoying more simple joys with my family and friends this summer. And since all that’s left is half days,  I’m deliriously glad not to have to get up early to pack another  pair of lunch  boxes until the fall! 😃 It really is the little things that bring the greatest joys!❤️

 

 

 

 

 

This week

On Sunday, I woke up to find that my hanging basket of flowers, that had been blooming so full, had been left on our walkway overnight by my husband and eaten up by some animal. Most likely, by the fat groundhog that’s taken up residence underneath our patio. I became really upset. My husband was very apologetic. I was away for most of the day on Saturday, and when it had started raining by us, he thought it was a good idea to put them out to get watered. He just forgot to hang them back up. He said he would replace them. I said fine but as I walked away I could feel tears in my eyes and the dialogue in my head was along the lines of – he ruins everything beautiful in my life…

My kids quickly changed my mood around though- they made little notes that read, sorry for your loss and RIP flowers. It was a sweet reminder that I was being overly sensitive and the flowers were upsetting, really only, because the whole week prior had been so upsetting.

At church, my son sat between us, and he did what he usually does when he’s in that position. He took my hand, and my husband’s hand and placed the two together. It’s hard to resist my little guy’s tender heart. I kept my hand in my husband’s hand for the rest of the service. We were busy the rest of the day with errands and commitments. We tried talking that night but it led us no where. I knew he was tired and frustrated and so was I. We went to sleep in separate rooms again.

On Monday, I went to my parent’s home again to help them. On the drive there, I was listening to a playlist of music that I had made months earlier. It was a playlist of songs that reminded me of our marriage and as I drove, listening to song after song, I thought of my husband again. I thought about how much I loved him. How much I loved our family. I thought about how much he hated all that has happened and how much he wanted the chance to make it right. Just like the week before, I pulled over and sent him a text. This one, though, was kind- it was written from a place of love and not anger. We continued texting the rest of the day.

When he came home that evening, he came in through the front door and when I asked him why, he said he had something for me out there. Hanging outside were baskets full of flowers – in the two colors I love the most. We talked some more that evening. He told me how much he had missed me the week before. How he felt lost without me. How sorry he was for all the hurt and anger I was feeling, and how he just tried to be consistent in showing me that he loved and cared for me and the kids. Even though we slept separately, if he was still home after I left for the day- he would still make the bed. He left me notes. He asked me to continue to be patient with him as he is still learning how to be a better husband and father and meet our needs.

He apologized for the week before. I told him that the distance between us then was all on me. It was my anger that caused me to walk away every night, lock him out of our room, send cruel texts. He never responded in like manner. He was,instead, consistent and grateful for anything that I did that was even remotely kind.

On Tuesday, after the madness of the week before, we were intimate for the first time. It was good- the whole day leading up to it was so good, but afterwards the images started. The insecurities followed. I could actually see her face laughing at me. Telling me she was better in bed. I started crying – my husband tried to comfort and reassure but everything he said seemed to be drowned out by her voice in my head. I barely slept that night and when I did – my dreams were full of the affair and its aftermath.

I was exhausted Wednesday morning. He had an early day and was gone by the time I got up. He had kissed me and told me again he was sorry. My beautiful children, were once again my shining light. Just seeing their smiles as I woke them up, and got in those first hugs and kisses of the day, made me feel better. As I wrote little notes for their lunch boxes, I was reminded of all that really mattered – and it is definitely not her or the affair.

As the rest of the day and the week continued I’m reminded to keep my focus on all the good that is happening. My husband loves me and our family. We have wonderful things planned for our family. We’ve learned to care about the things that the other cares about and encourage each other to be better people. I help him be more relational. He helps me be more adventurous. We get each other out of our natural comfort zones and in doing so we help each other grow as individuals and as a couple.

Overall this was a good week. I did lose quite a bit from my husband’s affair but in light of all the blessings and goodness still in my life – I have so much to be thankful over. Always first, will be the people in my life that God has blessed me with! No matter how dark it’s gotten or felt,’their light always helps get me out!

One month

For weeks now, I was looking forward to this day. I had been doing really well managing my emotions. I still would have moments, or even a day or two, where I felt really sad but it would soon pass. Having more frequent, longer stretches of feeling normal, even happy, were more common. After so many dark days, it felt like I would be reaching an incredible milestone in my healing to go a month straight without any prolonged sadness, rage or insanity.

I was so close but unfortunately, this week my hopes crashed and burned. I wrote a little about the sadness in my last post. The sadness is one thing – but the absolute rage and insanity I feel, are quite another. I hate the person I become. I hate that I allow my emotions to control me, instead of controlling them. I hate becoming a person I don’t recognize and frankly despise.

One day, before my husband was even at work for a full hour, I had already called him incessantly and berated him. When he apologized for everything he had done and then explained he really needed to get back to work I only managed to get further enraged. I screamed at him that he wasn’t busy when he was able to screw n.e. repeatedly in the stairwell at work. It only got worse from there- I sent him texts implying that I finally told his front office staff about his relationship with n.e.

I had pulled over, while i was driving to my parent’s home to help them, when I made the calls and texts. When I got to my parent’s home the first thing I did was say hi to both of them. The second thing I did was text my husband a picture of my dad, laying on his hospital bed, with a comment attached that read- glad me having a stroke gave you an opportunity to f your whore in the bedroom you share with my daughter! I mean geez, fuck! what is wrong with me?

I could possibly justify sending such a cruel text if my husband was still being an absolute and complete asshole, but he’s not! Imagine being my husband, hating everything that he did. Hating the person he was. Hating that he has hurt me so much. Working as hard as he can, every single day, for 16 months now and receiving a text like that.

Imagine that same man – who I have locked out of our bedroom every night for the past week, opening it only so he can get ready in the morning, coming to my bedside the next morning, saying he’s sorry. Asking what he can do to help me, telling me he wants me to talk to him, he wants us to stay connected to each other as i deal with this pain and my response is to only lash out even more. I have this image in my head now, from that morning, of my husband with his head down, shoulders slumped- looking utterly hopeless and defeated and I think- I did that! My words, my bitterness, my cruelty.

I’m so tired and weary of it all. I found myself, looking at my reflection in the mirror one night, wondering who the heck I even was. Am I really this woman, who has this capacity for such anger and loathing towards another person? A person I actually love. In my heart, I want him to be the absolute best version of himself but my words tear him up.

He had an affair and I’m sick over it but I’m more sick over how much it has cost us and that I keep making us both pay for it still.

He f-ed her in our home- yes, but I don’t love the home more than I love him. But I keep putting more significance on the house than I do him. I told him this week, that for me, it’s like living in a haunted house but instead of ghosts, it’s thoughts and mind images of the two of them that terrorize me.

After I said that to him. I went out for a run to clear my head. I ended up mostly walking and praying. I felt like God took that image of me being terrorized and reminded me that in that house my husband did something awful but since then he has pursued me endlessly in this home.

He has had it painted, he has worked hours rearranging furniture and moving things, hanging up pictures and picking out new pieces for our home with me. He has created new memories for us. It is still a beautiful home, filled with love and beauty. I need to let myself see it for what it is and not just for what happened in it. Just like I need to keep seeing him, for who he is and what he’s doing now, and not just at what he did.

It’s going to take time to really heal from his betrayal of our home but the bigger issue I have to face is -how much can he do till I decide it’s enough? The real answer is that unless I truly in my heart say it’s enough- I’ll never let him be free from paying for it, and as long as I make him pay, I pay and so do our kids.

I have posted similar things before. I need to start living what I know is truth instead of living insecurity and fear. I can only start again today and maybe this time I’ll get enough days to really make it to a whole month.

Some  days are  still more difficult than others. Today was one of those days.  I struggled as I washed the dishes, thinking about her in my home. Later on, as I wiped down everything after dinner, I found myself wishing I had left the house a mess and the beds unmade the days she came over.  I wish my house had looked awful and unwelcoming.  I just hate knowing I had left my house looking nice because I didn’t want my husband to come home to a messy home while I was gone – of course I knew nothing about her, never knew he’d bring a whore here. It hurts me so badly.

Meanwhile, when I found out about the affair and had my husband leave the house, I could barely do anything to take care of the house- it was a disaster. My kids and I came home to a mess every day because i couldn’t do anything more once I got home than cry and take care of all our most basic needs.  My home was perfect for her, when she came crawling in like a cockroach, knowing my children and I were away and an absolute disaster for us – the ones that were meant to feel most comfortable and safe here.

i struggle with taking my children to the library because  it’s the same way he drove to bring her here. I struggle with scheduling to have my brakes taken car of,  because the last time I had to take my car in to be serviced it took hours.  I don’t want my husband to come and pick me up because that would mean driving back in his car.  I don’t want to be in it, because she was in there. I want to be as far removed from her and their affair as I can be.

i hate how how much I still hate her. I hate how heartbroken I am. I hate that on days when it is still hard- it’s really hard! That when I’m all alone and I can finally think about how I feel, it leaves me sobbing.

i m just grateful to have a place to cry it all out. To write about what a muck my life still feels like at times.

Sometimes, when I’m showering and I think about everything that has happened, I’ll start to cry and then I’ll hug myself because it is such a deep, deep violation – that’s what it still feels like at times, like I’ve been violated by my husband and this woman- I have been, and I still struggle with it.

These two people who have hurt me the most deeply in my life, one is my husband, and the other person- I don’t even know her.  I never even  knew she existed. How could the person I thought I knew most in the world and a person I never even met be okay with hurting me so much?

 

Knowing him

My husband and I have both been really busy, so recently we both took a weekday off. The night before we discussed what we should do. We decided to start our day by going for a run and then having  brunch together. My husband started looking at places to eat but then my son needed him and he didn’t have a chance to look further. Later in the night, after we put the kids to bed, we started talking about it again- I took my phone to search places and the first place that came up was a place he went to frequently with N.E.  I let out a sigh and put my phone down. I told my husband that the restaurant was the first thing that popped up. My husband said he was sorry and asked if there was anything he could do? I said no and just laid on the couch and eventually fell asleep.

When I got up to go to bed with him, he asked me if I was okay. I told him that I just hated how I could feel so excited about spending the day with him and planning it and then seeing something that reminded me of his affair could just take all the air out of that excitement.

I told him this particular restaurant was especially difficult because I knew he went there often with her because it was close to their job, but more than that- it was also the restaurant we took friends to when they were visiting. A week after their visit my dad would be in the hospital, and he would use me being away with my family as an opportunity to bring her to our home and our bed.

Obviously being reminded of all that breaks my heart still, possibly forever. I let my tears fall and I cried for a long time. I still have long cries like this now and then but usually now it’s when I’m alone- driving in my car or alone in our bedroom. It’s rarely in front of my husband and seeing how deeply the hurt still goes was hard for him.

We talked a little more and then he told me that while I was sleeping he had looked into a  little town near us that we had heard great things about but haven’t had a chance to visit yet. He said he found a restaurant there where we could have our meal and that there was vineyard near by we could go to as well.

It was such a lovely town- it reminded me of the little town we used to live in, a town that I still love and miss so much!  We walked by the beautiful storefronts and restaurants and then had a delicious meal. There were no triggers, this was a place untainted by the affair. It was a place I could feel completely safe in! We then drove to the vineyard- which was breathtaking! We did a vine tasting, brought a few bottles, some crackers and chocolates.

We took one of the bottles and the snacks we purchased up to a main outdoor deck and just enjoyed the beauty around us. It was so wonderful to have the whole thing just to ourselves. As we sat there talking my husband took my hand and said that something I said to him recently really affected him and meant a lot to him. I asked him what I had said?  He took a few moments to compose himself and then said that he couldn’t remember what we were talking about exactly but he had told me that he was so grateful for my love and grace and my response to him had been that I do love him! That I love him and that I knew him! I knew who my ( his name) is, who my husband is and what kind of man he is and wants to be, and that I see him working hard every day to be that man. He told me that he just loved that I knew him and that when i say I know him, I’m not referring to the mess he had been but the man I know to be his true self. A man that I think is incredible, loving, a good man. A man that I love being the wife of!

I never knew those words could mean so much to him but then I remembered that one of my very first posts on this blog is one entitled Him and in it I question whether I even know my husband.

Sixteen months after Dday, I can sincerely say that i do know him and he is still the man i fell so hopelessly in love with so many years ago.  In my eyes there isn’t a better man in the world. Did he lose his way and break my heart and our children’s hearts in the process? Without question, but he never wanted to stay lost and God made sure he didn’t. He found his way back to his faith and to us and I can tell you that my children and I adore him! I don’t know if it’s possible to love him anymore than we do right now but we will never stop trying just like I know he will never stop trying to love us more as well.

In those early days and months when I felt like an absolute shell of myself. When I would come home and sit on the same couch and cry endlessly or I would overflow with unchecked anger and spew absolute hatred at my husband I never thought we would be here but there is still so much beauty in our marriage. Beauty out of ashes.