I am more than 6 months since D day, but I thought since this is my first post I will start here. Maybe I will mosey on over to the reconciliation page after. Maybe the separation page. We’ll see.
I’ve been with my partner for 18 years (not married, never saw the need). We have a 9 yr old daughter. I stay at home, he works out side the home.
About 3 yrs ago he inadvertently shared some inappropriate texts/ pictures (naked ones) with me that a friend of mine had sent him. He thought it was fine because she was “out there” and living a different “lifestyle”. I reminded him that we were not living that “lifestyle” and he ought not to encourage this from her. I checked his phone a few days later and discovered some (a lot ) of very flirtatious text from a co worker. Big fight/screaming match (not in our nature) landed us in a couples counseling session. Nice lady, very smart, we all agreed that while what he did was naughty and inappropriate, we did in fact have a solid and loving relationship. She said that if one was to start another relationship exit the first one. Also that she thought that our relationship would be fine and OK but we might want to follow up in a few weeks. We never did.
Our relationship was very good that summer. I began to be more assertive about what my needs were. I went away to surf camp on my own. We had a romantic, child free vacation for 5 days in September. Our sex life was reignited. Not that it was dormant, but it was sleepy.
We began to renovate our home (extensively and expensively). I began to work part time and things began to get rocky at home. He was angry a lot of the time and uncharacteristically mean. I told myself when his schedule lets up, or when his back feels better, or when this renovation is over, things will get better. Well they did not. For two years, he was, what I thought was depressed. When he had weeks off from work, nothing changed. His back improved, still angry. The family vacation was a disaster. I felt like a bothersome nanny; there to look after the kid while he did what he wanted.
At the end of last summer we entered MC again. We established that he was deeply unhappy with his life. His Job. He thought his life would be bigger. Also that my happiness should not be so tethered to his state of mind. Fair enough. We did 4 or 5 sessions like this.
He left his email up one day and I poked around. I found one of those pictures you take of someone you really like. She is looking away, but smiling. I also found a picture of his d*ck. I know it was his because I recognized it from previous encounters and also because in the background were some new throw cushions I had recently purchased. Who takes a picture of something they can see any time? Who was he sending this to? Not me.
So a little private investigative work and I discovered that this was the same woman (28 yrs old) that he was flirting with 2 and a half years earlier. She has an impressive online presence, so it was not difficult to find out where she worked. I wandered by one day (I do have a spidey sense) and noticed our family mini van parked out front.
Now this is where I think, “there is no way”. Absolutely no way he could be having an affair. Denial? Yup. I waited for 20 minutes a few doors down from the restaurant. When they came out, they did not notice me at first. I was sitting on a bench. When he noticed me and said something to her, and she just turned around and walked the other direction. If it was a friendly lunch, why would she do that? Please tell me it is just a flirtation. Please tell me it only got physical once, and you were having lunch to break it off. Not my lucky day. They have been sleeping together since I was in surf camp. FML.
A lot of those early days are fuzzy. A delirium set in caused by not eating, and a combination of some friends plying me with chamomile tea which made me lethargic, and other friends (better ones) plying me with scotch. A lot, and I mean a lot of weeping and wailing.
What I do know is this. I wish I had found this site earlier. I really needed to hear stories about other people and how they felt and managed. And how it all turned out in the end. Every situation is so different and if I could cobble together a situation like mine I could make sense of the fu#*king mess that my life had become.
I still stay at home and enjoy a very close an stable relationship with DD. I walked through Christmas like a zombie adopting the credo “fake it until you make it”. It could’ve been the last christmas she fully believes in santa, and I’m not going to wreck it with “Pass the cranberry sauce, Daddy is going to live somewhere else”.
I know I need to forgive, for me. And I’m not sure how, or what that looks like. I do know that how he is behaving, that we are not in reconciliation; rug sweeping and him try to get me to own his sh*t. This I learned here.
I still cry from the loss of it all. 6 months later. I can’t hear the the word family without welling up. But these are sweeter, sadder cries than in the beginning. A release. Not like the gut wrenching cries I subjected my fiends to last winter. The grief over the loss of it all is something I am learning to live with. And it is something that I am learning to let go of. I don’t like the sad turn of my mouth when I catch a reflection in a window. I try to at least grin or smirk, and weirdly my day goes better. I do not want my despair face to be my default face. I don’t want my daughter to ask me what’s wrong.
There is more. He is moving out in 2 weeks. But perhaps I have shared enough for now.
I’ll be back.