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Antiversaries make me sad.

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lost_in_toronto posted 8/20/2013 10:23 AM

Four years ago, I picked my WS up from the airport after he had been away for three months doing a residency for his work. I am not kidding when I say he actually looked like a stranger to me. It was one of the weirdest moments of my life. We had been together for nine years, and in that time we had made it through a lot of time apart. He lived for a year across the country from me; I knew how strange it can be to see your loved one after so much time apart. This was different. I actually didnít even hug him; it was like I didnít know him.

While he was gone, we had become increasingly distant. No Ė HE had become increasingly distant. I have years of our email exchanges saved. The year he was living across country he emailed me every. single. day. Messages of love and hope and the future we were planning. He sent gifts and phoned as often as he could. I wrote long letters on paper and sent care packages. We were really young back then, and just starting out, and there was so much love. In the years since, we had often been apart and he would email me often, sending pictures and updates on his day. This time, though, things had been off almost from the beginning. Phone calls became fewer, and emails almost nonexistent. I was still sending him messages every day, but I wasnít getting much in return.

I had been with my WS for nine years, since we were in our early twenties, and I thought I knew him so well. I trusted him completely, and the idea of him heading off for the summer to have an affair was inconceivable to me. But as things became stranger between us, I became increasingly anxious and upset. Eventually, I said my fears out loud and told him I felt like he had betrayed me. It came out of nowhere, it wasnít even a thought I had articulated to myself, but I obviously needed to say it out loud. He became very quiet and very angry, and hung up. The next day, I woke up in a panic and felt like I had done immeasurable harm to our relationship by doubting him. I called and apologized and he told me that when he came home we would need to talk about ďmy communication skills.Ē

Of course, in reality he had been sleeping with the OW for a month. In reality, he went to her that night and told her what I had said. And she said something about how I must be really perceptive to suspect something, and maybe he should tell me the truth so that I would know about their relationship and their love. Because of course, they were going to be together in the real world and lalalalalala.

So four years ago, I picked my WS up at the airport with all of this between us and I didnít even know who he was. We were still far from home as I had been staying at my familyís for the summer. So we packed up our truck and headed across Canada and I was driving with a fucking stranger away from my family and my friends back to a place where I had no one, only this stranger and I was having panic attacks the whole way. Smoking cigarettes nonstop and drinking too much coffee and listening to my own music with my earphones on and wondering what the fuck to do. Actually thinking about throwing myself out of the truck as we sped down the highway.

On day two, he started talking about us breaking up because we just werenít compatible. We didnít have anything good between us Ė money talk sex work life love. All of it was terrible. I was terrible. I wasnít the right person for him. Our sex life sucked oh it sucked he kept coming back to that. And how bad I was at communicating. How terrible it was that I had accused him of betraying me. Oh, and our sex life, it was so bad. I sat in the passenger seat and cried and cried and cried. I cried for the end of what I had thought was going to be my future, and I cried because the man that I loved and that I thought was my softest safest spot in the world thought I was such an awful person at so many things. And I cried because he was a fucking stranger. Who was this man? Where did the gentle and loving man that I knew before he went away, go? Why didnít he come back to me?

On day three of our drive, I started asking him if he had met someone else. It just seemed like that was the only thing that could explain what had happened to us, to him. I asked him every hour, then every half hour. I asked asked and asked again and kept asking. That night we were in some Motel 6 in some American city, and we were sleeping in separate beds. I sat up, it was the middle of the night, figuring out where we were and where the bus depot was, and how I could get back home without being in the truck with him for another day. I packed up my stuff, and said goodbye to our dog, and walked out of the hotel room. It woke him up and he came after me and asked where I was going. He then offered to drive me to the bus station himself, which was so crazy! So unlike him! This is a man who drove across the country to bring his sister home himself when she broke up with her fiancť. He is such a caring man, and he looked at me destroyed, utterly destroyed, and offered to drive me to the bus station. And I asked again, who is she please tell me, I deserve to know what is really happening to us. And finally, he admitted it, finally he told me yes, there was someone else.

The rest of the night is a blur in which I act like a crazed person in the parking lot of a Motel 6 in some American city. In which I run across a highway to a gas station and call my sister and wake her up and stand in a gas station in bare feet and cry on a pay phone for two hours. In which my WS stands outside the gas station watching me because he doesnít want anything to happen to me Ė which is ironic, because the worst thing already had and he had done it to me. A blur of a night in which my WS continues to lie to me about what really happened, only telling me a few details that he thinks I can ďhandleĒ which in retrospect was probably a good thing. I probably couldnít have handled it all.

At some point, exhaustion hit me and I fell asleep in the hotel room and woke up the next morning to a horrible, burned out world and we drove the last leg of our journey home while I cried and asked questions and smoked a thousand cigarettes and threw up and smoked and cried some more. We made it home, to our little lovely house in the middle of the big city and I fell down on the ground and thought about leaving it all behind, leaving him behind. I almost did.

Instead, I stayed. And things slowly got better with MC and IC and we ended up pregnant a year after dday and our daughter just turned two. And it has been four years and they have mostly been good.

But this is it, the real truth Ė I donít know if I will ever stop feeling the sting of the things he said to me on that drive. I donít know if I will ever stop feeling like Iím not good enough for him to love. I try, I do. I just think he killed something inside of me that day, something that he had been responsible for creating in the first place. His love, it was such a generous and whole hearted thing. And that he offered it to me, it made me feel beautiful in a way nothing had before. That is gone, forever, and I grieve it still, almost every day. I know, I do Ė self worth comes from the self. That isnít what Iím talking about. Iím smart, I look good for my age, I am a great mom, a good friend, a good partner, a wonderful sister and friend. This is something else I am talking about, something that was emotional and existed solely because of the love we shared. It has to do with how I thought he felt about me, and how that made me feel - safe, loved, cherished.

This time of year is crazy hard for me. I feel it in my bones, his betrayal. Not just with her, but of me in his heart when he said those things about me, when he tried to make me not good enough. Even after four years, this time of year I am still laying on the ground and thinking about leaving it all behind.

million tears posted 8/20/2013 10:37 AM

We have about the same D-day. I know what you are going through. My WH said some horrible things to me. I carry them with me to this day.

I'm so sorry you are going through this.

I don't celebrate my anniversary anymore, not since the year I found out about the A. I actually forgot it this year, although facebook had to go and remind me. If it's too painful, you don't need to acknowledge it.

Twentyplus posted 8/20/2013 10:40 AM

The words said to me in the time of first disclosure endure as if etched on a tombstone, despite all the words and all the changes since. They are : "you left me long ago."

million tears posted 8/20/2013 10:41 AM

I'm sorry. I read anniversaries.

I forgot D-day this year for the fist time. Go do something for yourself when you start feeling this way. Visit with friends. Try to take your mind off of it. I know, easier said than done but it is possible for the feelings of not being worthy to fade.

cantaccept posted 8/20/2013 10:53 AM

I am so very sorry that this still hurts you.

To be truthful I am sorry for me too. I am afraid. I have been in pain every day since dday and just keep going with the hope that someday it won't hurt.

Our wedding anniversary is tomorrow. I keep thinking about this time last year when I thought we were getting better.

On Friday Aug. 23, it will be the 1year anniversary of the day h started his a.

I was so clueless and he was started being so cruel to me.

He said horrible things to me on dday and left me the same day. He continued to attack me after he had moved out. He chose her over me.

I too hear the words of cruelty from those days. They still ring in my head. I still have nightmares about them.

We are attempting R. It is such a struggle.

I am terrified of the days ahead.

I wish you peace.

I have just recently begun to accept the fact that this is a trauma in the truest sense. Have you had any help with this? I am just beginning to look into the options for trauma recovery in addition to MC and traditional IC. This just feels so big, so painful, I don't want to spend the rest of my life in this place.

I wish I could offer you help or hope, but I am not in a place yet to do that.

I just wish for everyone,for you and for me, for everyone struggling through this, some relief, some happiness, some peace in our hearts.

redrock posted 8/20/2013 13:44 PM


Your story is heartbreaking.
I am so very sorry that you had to go through that.

That he made those choices. That he showed you his ability to be totally self centered in the face of your agony.

That he COULD be that person.

I know the sting of Affair era words. I can still have complete focus on a few moments, even the smells in the room are still there when I remember.

What I know for me--- is that neither version of my husband is accurate. He is not the man I was so sure that I knew. The one that I trusted so deeply. And he isn't the vain superficial self involved A guy either.

If you took a picture in time he fits both molds at some point. But he is neither. He falls along the bell curve. Mostly good or great but not without serious personal flaws. And I am neither his worst and best experiences he has had with me.

I don't discount the depths he was willing to go and the fact that he took such risks with the precious cargo that is our family for basically nothing. I know that about him. I can't un-know it, ever.

What helps me through the not so great days is changing the focus. What has been accomplished in the time since that terrible night? If you took a snapshot of him today, what is the measure of his character? How has he used this time to heal, change and recommit to the things he almost threw away?

After the loss of what you thought you would have-- Have there been rewards in the new normal you have faced?

That said---

I don't think there is anything wrong with the fact that those things can still sting. What is wrong with acknowledging that? There are days that I still feel a little wrung out from having been through this experience.

Thank you for sharing. I wish you a better day tmrw...

[This message edited by redrock at 1:45 PM, August 20th (Tuesday)]

ladies_first posted 8/20/2013 15:47 PM


lost_in_toronto posted 8/20/2013 19:48 PM

Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to read such a long post and leave me such heartfelt messages.

million tears, I don't celebrate our anniversary any more either. And I am keeping busy, and having a two year old makes it practically impossible to dwell too much - but this time of year just slams me. Thank you for the thoughtful ideas on how to get through it.

(((twentyplus))) I know how hard it can be to let go of one sentence or statement. I will never forget him telling me that she was more fun and spontaneous than me. Ouch.

(((cantaccept))) I know that this post was a long, sad story but honestly this isn't how I feel everyday. When I do think about it, it is usually without too much pain, just a pang of regret. The antiversary is really hard for me - everything about this season, the smells and the heat and the humidity and the tomatoes ripening and the basil in the creates this really visceral recall for me. But most of the time, I do not feel this way. I wrote this in an effort to purge some of it from my mind and get on with things already! Don't let it discourage you - things do get better. I'm sorry you are still in pain every day. And yes - this is a trauma, and yes I saw an IC for a long time. It helped a lot, and I hope it helps you too.

redrock, you post resonates so strongly for me. I do feel that at times like this, when we are solidly in R but the affair is coming back to haunt us, we can feel reluctant to admit how painful it can still be. I don't want to discourage anyone from trying to R, because on a general level we are really doing well. We are happy together, we have a beautiful daughter, we parent together well and have such a great life. But the truth is, the affair is a part of that fabric and sometimes it is more vibrant than others.

Every day and every year, things are better. Last year, the antiversary was harder than it is this year. It does get better. But there is a sorrow that I feel, in the fact that it happened and that I know that he is capable of that. Just...sorrow. I know that he isn't the same person he was in that moment; but that moment, it is engraved on my soul and I still have to work at not living in at this time of year.

Thanks for the hug, ladies_first.

[This message edited by lost_in_toronto at 7:48 PM, August 20th (Tuesday)]

brkn_heartd posted 8/20/2013 20:09 PM

Our antiversary dates are the same time frame. I can very much relate to your story. We have also been working towards R, and probably should be considered R. But like you, during certain times the visceral hurt of it all does eek out. I agree, there was something inside me that died when he betrayed me. While I did not have days in a car, I had months at home begging to know, watching it happen under my nose. Begging him to stop and he would not. That part of me is permanently dead....I had hoped it would return, but it has not.

HOWEVER, I have found new strength in myself. While I am not the same person I was, I am a good person, I am respected, I have accomplished a goal of my own through this all. Our relationship is not as it was, but it is good. There is hope. I am dreading the deep part of antiversary season this year. The last two years I was in school and that kept me busy. I am not this no crutch to keep me busy. I pray it goes well.

Don't lie down and give are a strong woman. You have overcome much. Enjoy your toddler!

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