Thanks, you guys. From the bottom of my heart. Your kudos and validation help me keep my head held high.
My solo weekend is nearly over. I managed to fit in an impromptu visit with my grandma amongst all the other appointments and activities, which was lovely. Stepdad and I hung wallpaper and shelving that I immediately filled with artwork and plants. We had a great chat about infidelity, forgiveness, revenge, and other juicy concepts. His first wife left him for one of their friends, so he has been through all this stuff too, and has good perspective now ten years out. Iíve also prepared a draft review of my consent orders ready to scan at work tomorrow and send back to my lawyer.
Iím going to record another memory while I wait for S to return. Part of my memoirs, if you will. This one is the incident that happened a week before BD involving the iron.
I had gone to the doctor to get medication for anxiety. H knew I was going to the doctor and didnít ask me what my appointment was for, so I didn't tell him. I started the meds on a Thursday and had a horrible reaction to the side effects. I had to call my mother to pick me up from a random train station I had collapsed at after getting off the train to work vomiting everywhere.
When H came home from work and found me sick in bed, he was angry and said I'd betrayed his trust by not involving him in this decision. I said he had been so irritable and uninterested in my mental health struggles that I didnít want to involve him. He shrugged that off and insisted I continue taking the meds otherwise Iíd have withdrawal symptoms and be even sicker. This was not out of concern for my health, though - we had his best friend's wedding to go to that weekend and he said I would ruin the wedding for him.
H was in the wedding party and was busy with pre-wedding events and parties in the lead up while I took care of our child and tried to deal with my illness. He had spent $800 on a custom suit (when the groom had given them the option to buy a $200 suit off the rack). I was unhappy with this. I had been waiting four years to purchase a new dining setting for the family home but it was never a priority, and it was to come out of my personal spending account, not the shared family account. So I took issue with this purchase; I felt it was extreme. He countered with the fact I had recently spent the same amount on our babyís first birthday photos and family photos, ie. that was Ďmy thingí and the suit was Ďhis thingí.
The wedding was outdoors in the sun. I was uncomfortable in my heels and squinting into the sun, so I guess I gave off some kind of bad vibe. I met up with him after the ceremony and the first thing he said to me was "you looked so snooty that whole time". I was shocked and hurt. He disappeared for the bridal party photoshoot and sat at the bridal table during the reception, so we didn't spend any time together. I didnít know anyone except one of Hís friends, and heís not a big talker. H was busy getting drunk and dancing with the bridal party and I was feeling sick, lethargic and lonely at my table. I ended up getting a ride home early with the friend, so I went up to H and told him I didn't feel well and didn't want to be a burden on him when he was having a good time. He just said ďokayĒ and I left.
I didnít hear from H until 2pm the next day. He didnít say where heíd stayed, just that he had gotten blackout drunk and couldnít remember much. He came home that afternoon with one of the bridesmaids bouquets as a gift for me.
The next day, Monday, I had a job interview and needed to iron my dress. H had taken the iron to his friend's place for the wedding and hadn't brought it home. I was annoyed about this, and he got defensive saying that I never even use the iron. He asked "what would make you happy?" and I replied "if the iron was here". He got really angry, saying that everything was always his fault, and that he was DONE. He stormed out and lay face down on the lounge. I went to him crying and asked why he was always so hostile towards me. He gave me the silent treatment while I went to hug my baby goodbye so I could get to work on time for my interview. I couldnít find my keys and was about to miss my train, and that was the final straw that caused me to have a panic attack. Finally, H got up to hug me and tell me it was okay, we'd work this out together.
His behaviour towards me completely changed from then on. He was reserved, withdrawn, polite, and unreadable. It sounds silly, but he started using full stops in text messages. It was weird and cold. I thought he just needed space, so I was lighthearted and cheerful around him, but didnít pry. I didnít question when he went out with friends after work, and when he didnít come home one night. We had more sex whenever he was around. He went to pick up the iron from his newly married friend, and I asked him to apologise for me being so out of sorts at the wedding. He told me not to worry about it.
A week later, BD.
Later, the topic of the wedding came up. He told me he felt so much disdain looking at me sitting at the table all by myself like a sad sack. He said I wasnít the wife I was supposed to be, the wife he deserved. He told me he was so upset by my behaviour that he had to get blackout drunk just to feel better. I said I had a different memory of that evening, and reminded him that he never called to check I had got home safely, or asked whether I felt alright the next day. He got angry and said so itís just another thing thatís my fault. I said no, itís just my perspective.
I asked him to keep my mental illness in context, and he said he didnít want to deal with a wife with mental illness anymore. He said I didnít listen to him about the medication withdrawal effects and I should have started them after the wedding so it wasnít ruined. I said that I had the right to manage my own mental health and that a wedding wasnít too important to me when I was dealing with suicidal thoughts, struggling with work, and trying to parent a baby. Again, I reassured him that this was just my thoughts, and that he was entitled to his own thoughts. He calmed down after that.
Glad to hear your weekend was great with lots of activities. Hope youíre feeling ok after being away from your munchkin.
Can I say quite frankly I felt like vomiting when I read your preceding week to bd memoir. That mustíve been hard and emotional to recount that let alone live through it. Jeez I got emotional just reading it, particularly how he abandoned you at the wedding and scorned your mental health situation. Iím not going to write here what I think of your h because it would be very offensive.
Please please promise yourself and your precious son that if h wants comes back you make it a non negotiable condition precedent that he obtains top notch lengthy treatment from a psychiatrist before you entertain letting him back into your life.
Anyway hope sís return completes a great weekend for you.
Me: early 40's XW: nearly 50 T: 15 M: 5 BD: Jan 19 S:10 SS: 22 SD: 24
Wow DS, strong reaction. But I thank you for saying so. I promise he wasn't always hateful and dismissive or I wouldn't have married him. He did always seem to value his friends more than me, but he was never nasty about it like that. Of course, now that I know OW was already in the picture, I can see that the devaluing stage was well underway in preparation for the discard.
At this point, H would have to have a personality transplant for me to consider any kind of relationship with him.
My little guy was not really himself when H dropped him off. He was quiet, tired, and subdued. He must have had a big weekend. We went down to the daycare Christmas party, but he didn't want to play with his teachers or jump on the bouncy castle. So we went back home and had lots of cuddles and chats until he was smiling again. Back into the normal evening routine of dinner, bath, books and bed. I missed him a lot.
I opened the door to S and H when they arrived. S is starting to understand that he has to say goodbye to dad at the door, so he said "bye dad" and gave H a kiss. H handed me the bags and thanked me for packing them so well for the weekend. I just smiled. H said "bye S", I said "see ya", then tried to close the door with my elbow since my hands were holding the bags, and accidentally slammed it in H's face! Whoops. A genuine mistake.
This evening, my SIL sent me photos of the kids from the weekend. That was really special. I had packed a present for the kids (S and his cousin are the same age, 11 days apart) of matching Christmas pyjamas and they looked so d@mn cute. I was really grateful for the photos. I didn't even feel a pang of sadness for missing out. I was just glad that S had such a good time.
Last edited by job; 12/08/1902:53 PM. Reason: edited language
I'm flooded with anger at the moment. Writing down these memories is cathartic, but it's stirring up a lot of emotion. That, coupled with everything happening in the present day, is making me feel some kind of way. I've been reading CL articles and other material that takes a hard line stance on cheating, and it's making an impression on me.
H doesn't know that I know about OW. I want him to know that I know.
Breathe! You don't want to have a go at him when you are angry, hurt or disappointed. The best thing to do is settle down a bit and wait 24-48 hours before you say or do anything. You need to prepare yourself for how he will react if you were to tell him about the ow.
Don't worry about the language, i.e., we understand that there are times when it slips out.
Breathe! Find a pillow and beat the stuffing's out of it. Take that anger and put it to good use on a project that you've put off doing.
Sit quietly, the answers will reveal themselves when you least expect them to. The past is gone, the present is a gift and you need to focus on today, allow the future to reveal itself when it is ready.
Yeah, it was, sorry about that. I'm quite 'traditional', in a sense, in the way I believe a man should act to a woman and a husband to his wife. Your H's behaviour disgusted me.
Seriously, from a strategic perspective, don't say anything to the H about OW. Keep everything calm and level til your Orders have been signed and made by the Court. Don't give H any excuse to not cooperate with that process.
Remember your "Calm" mantra when you get angry or heightened, and do the breathing like the vets have suggested.
Me: early 40's XW: nearly 50 T: 15 M: 5 BD: Jan 19 S:10 SS: 22 SD: 24
Truthfully, I did not (and do not) intend to do anything or say anything. The problem is that my sense of cosmic justice is offended. I know the truth will out eventually, H will have to explain himself, and people will put two and two together about the affair. I'm just impatient for some consequences.
(In talking this over with a friend, he actually pointed out that there already have been plenty of consequences - H is barely part of his son's life, has alienated our mutual friends, trashed his reputation, endangered his career, surrendered the assets and wealth we shared, and has to live with his bad self. Touche!)
Once I allowed myself to come to that conclusion, I realised my desire to tell was fed by an underlying desire to regain control. And that recognising this emotion, and choosing not to act on it, is actually an act of positive control. It restores my sense of agency just a little.
So I dealt with that, but the anger wasn't going away. What else was bothering me?
It's the suspicion that H is taking S back to his house for morning visitation without my knowledge.
I was upset about that for a number of reasons - that H is breaking the rules, going behind my back, giving the middle finger to my custodial rights, demonstrating gross entitlement at the expense of S, and generally taking the opportunity to stick it to me by acting out some form of juvenile rebellion.
I stewed on this for a while. What it boiled down to (lots of cooking metaphors here) AGAIN is my loss of control.
Realistically: - It's only a few hours - S is not in danger - I can't enforce it even if I did raise the issue
Therefore I'm circling back around to my original conclusion which is to do nothing and say nothing. And again, by choosing this action of inaction, I AM in control of the only thing I can control, which is myself.
Scout, I like to see some anger and frustration coming out. You are almost doing too well and I hope you aren't pushing these things down. I do believe Freud on the return of the repressed. Let them flow through and out of you.
I always had to blab about everything. All I did was teach him how to lie better and how to hurt me. Now I don't tell him squat. Now I like having the power of knowing things he doesn't know I know.
Focus on your beautiful boy. I like the way you handled and explained how he was on pick up and didn't blame your H for that. You focused on your child and his needs. I also love that you were confident enough to appreciate the pictures and that he had fun without making it about you. This says a lot about who you are as a person and a mom.