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Thanksgiving Eve

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TimeToManUp posted 11/26/2013 22:28 PM

So today is one of those milestone days for us. Though I supposed milestone isn’t really the right word. Milestones are generally positive things that demarcate progress or achievement. I guess a better word would be “black-hole-that-threatens-to-swallow-our-entire-world.” Yeah, that sums it up a lot better.

The day before Thanksgiving. A night of drunken debauchery for many. Probably the second-busiest night for pizza places and Chinese take-out, behind only Super Bowl Sunday. Crowded, congested roads filled with people desperately fighting to get home and see their loved ones, family or friends or both. Airports jam-packed with poor college students waiting for stand-by tickets to come through, parents wrangling toddlers who are tired of waiting on the hours-long TSA line…

For us, though, it will always be something different… Something much darker and sinister. No, it was not quite D-Day. That was still just under a month away at this point.

Two years ago today, I was eating lunch with COW at a diner near work. Historically, my job lets everybody out early the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. It’s not official. It’s not in writing. We usually get the “official” announcement around 11:00 and we go home between 12:00 and 1:00. This particular day, I decided to stop for lunch with COW after they let us out. I had to get home to help TCD with the kids and picking up some things from the bakery. It was raining out, a cold November rain (no, I did not intentionally quote Guns ‘n’ Roses, these things just happen). I could have been home in time to help her if I didn’t stop for lunch. But I just needed to spend that time with COW. There was nothing special about what happened at that meal. Nothing was really said. COW spent much of the time texting about the evening’s plans with its degenerate tramp sister. That was it. We finished lunch, said “Have a nice Thanksgiving,” and went our separate ways.

For this trivial moment, I forced my poor BW to drag our two-month old infant and two-year-old toddler out into the rain to go into the crowded, busy bakery to get a pie to bring to her brother’s house. Fortunately our friend’s sister is a co-owner of the bakery and was kind enough to help TCD carry the baked goods to her car.

But seriously… I exposed our infant daughter to the late-fall elements for that shitty meal, with that shitty COW? I am repulsed by my actions on that day, as I am by my actions on just about every day during the roughly two month A. This one, though, seems to have a particular resonance. Perhaps because of the active disregard for my BW and family? Maybe because of the proximity to such a huge holiday that will be forever tainted? Whatever the reason, Thanksgiving will never be the same for us. And this firmly established me as a cheater. I was willing to risk the health of my children to spend time with a two-timing tramp who has cheated on every boyfriend it has ever had. Just to have my ego fed. Just to have someone else “like me.” I was scum that day. There is no doubting that. I am embarrassed and ashamed of the person I allowed myself to become that day. It was most certainly a turning point.

TCD is struggling mightily through this one. TMI, perhaps, but she of course got her period just before this day, which is a mighty trigger in and of itself. I hope that she makes it through somehow. I am sitting in bed alone typing this. TCD went to the gym, but brought her pillow downstairs before she left. Clearly she does not want to be near me right now. I don’t blame her. Our future is still very much in doubt, as I still just can’t seem to provide the consistency that she needs and deserves. But I am determined to do all I can to help her through this, and hopefully build some momentum because D-Day Antiversary 2 is less than a month away.

Thankfully we have changed buildings in the last year, so the actual physical "scene of the crime" is no longer there. Our new location is nowhere near the old one, so that diner will likely never even be seen by me again, let alone visited.

Thank you all for reading.

P.S. I know that it is not Weds, yet, but I have the time and opportunity to write this now, so I wanted to make sure I got these thoughts out.

Jrazz posted 11/26/2013 23:21 PM

I think that this admission/acknowledgement is a big deal. Some WS's are coasting through the holiday without a backward glance. I've been asked twice this evening "what's wrong" as if we've just met.

I know that dredging all this up for TCD might now be what she wants to hear in this moment, but letting her know that you look back on this particular moment with great remorse might lift some pain off her shoulders right now.

Thank you for sharing this with us. It takes a lot to get to the perspective point you have.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 11:21 PM, November 26th (Tuesday)]

authenticnow posted 11/27/2013 05:41 AM

We waywards all have those moments of doing something particularly disgusting (as if the A wasn't disgusting enough in itself).

Our DD had just had some surgery and a very painful recovery and was in bed recovering when I left her for a few hours to meet OM.

There is nothing I can ever say or do to reconcile that in my mind, no matter how far along in R my H and I are.

I agree with Jrazz that acknowledging it is a good step and trying to move forward with the work you are doing now is huge.

TimeToManUp posted 11/27/2013 08:30 AM

letting her know that you look back on this particular moment with great remorse might lift some pain off her shoulders right now.

I have never looked back on any moment with COW and felt anything remotely like "reminiscing." I have always recognized that the things I did were wrong. My only true "fog" would have certainly been denial of just HOW wrong, HOW damaging my actions were. I never had a moment where I considered leaving for COW. From the moment I was confronted I knew I wanted to stay right where I was. Facing the reality of the depths of my horrible behaviors was a different story. I'm a good guy, a nice guy... If I did it, it couldn't have POSSIBLY been that bad. If it were that bad, I never could have done it!

The problem is that those actions WERE that bad, and it WAS me that perpetrated them upon my BW. I never tried to really BLAME TCD for what I did, but I certainly did minimize the impact and severity of the things that I did. Admitting that they were that awful is admitting that I wasn't as good a guy as I always thought I was, that I had always been TOLD that I was. To admit would completely destroy the self-image I had held of myself for my entire life. We I admit it. It was that bad. It was that hurtful and damaging. I was capable of it.

I will never do this again to anyone. Hopefully we work things out and I can demonstrate just how far I have come to TCD. But if she chooses to leave, if the damage I have inflicted both through the A and my abusive post-A behavior is just too much for her to bear any longer, then I will be a stronger, more aware partner with proper boundaries and a better sense of who I really am.

In the end, though, I still have no desire to share my life with anyone other than TCD. I need to be what she needs and deserves. It is hard at times. Not because it is "hard to love her" as she believes, but because it is hard to change these long-held beliefs and behaviors that have been a part of my personality, my persona for over 30 years. I'm not using it as an excuse, because I don't expect my frustration with our situation to be excused, there IS no excuse. It is just a simple truth. I am working, I am getting better. I just may not be improving fast enough for TCD.

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