I was sick
I was sick Sunday and Monday. Intermittent fevers (it was like mini menopause hot flashes), dizziness, vertigo, bad stomach - I was just gross and laid around for two days. I slept a LOT.
Mr. TNS walked the dog, cooked AND cleaned up breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and laid around with me. He kept me up-to-date on the scores and results of the games because I couldn't stay awake for a whole game.
Usually, because I work from home, I make the bed, straighten this place up, and cook dinner on a daily basis. Because, hey, I'm here and it would be stupid for him to throw me out of bed in the morning when he leaves for work and I'm still asleep or wait for him to get home to start dinner for us. Plus, I make 95% of the mess because I'm here all day long, so it's mostly cleaning up after myself.
It's nice because it's not even his dog (don't tell the dog that, you'll break her heart) and she ate half of his dinner the other night - she stole it right off the couch when his back was turned. So he doesn't owe her a damn thing.
I've never had anyone that steps up like this guy. All of my exes were so self-centered that they either expected me to be the maid/cook/dog walker no matter how I felt, or just didn't have enough common sense to keep the place neat, us fed, and the dog empty. AND they expected me to throw them a ticker-tape parade because they helped out. Like it was a big thing for something that I did on the daily.
When I'm back to feeling 100% I'm going to thank him. A LOT.
1 comment posted: Tuesday, January 17th, 2023
Doing for Others
I just saw a quote on a post from my company on our intranet.
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'" - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This immediately got me thinking. See, I've survived three fatal diseases, the most threatening and immanent death coming from alcoholism. That disease was coming after me HARD, and I'm sure I would have been dead within six months if I didn't stop. 18 years later, I'm still here, and have an amazing life that I am very thankful for and kinda amazed that I get to live.
Since I've gained some meaningful recovery, I've had the belief that I'm being kept on this planet for some reason. So I have tried to be of service to others. I have felt that since I've been given another chance at this life, I had better not squander it, and I've been happy to earn the right to have this life that I am gifted to be able to enjoy. It's not that I feel that I have a debt with the onus on me to repay, it's that I'm thankful that I'm still here, and I know for sure that my journey on life's bus isn't a free ride.
Then, I got to wondering if that's the difference between regret and remorse. A WS that regrets they got caught will feel like they owe a debt to the marriage. They will try to repay the debt, but may do so grudgingly.
A WS with true remorse will recognize the gift that they've been given, and will have no problem whatsoever earning the right to still have that marriage. They know that their journey on the marriage bus isn't a free ride.
Whoda thought that insight into infidelity would come from Dr. Martin Luther King? I'm sure he wasn't thinking of infidelity when he said the quote above, but he's sure got a point. That man continues to impress me.
2 comments posted: Wednesday, January 11th, 2023
A dream last night shined a spotlight on my trust issues
Last night, I had a very vivid dream that involved a catastrophe scenario. In it, I was in charge of a new home that was more like a resort. I'm not sure I owned it, but there was going to be hell to pay if it wasn't in perfect shape. My latest ex-husband was there, as was my current boyfriend, and my father, who passed almost two years ago, and my dog.
In the dream, I was trying to clean a floor. My dad was helping me, and I was very thankful he was doing so, as I trusted he would do a good job and I could trust his judgment and his approach to get the floor cleaned up.
Then there was a situation where I was trying to clean up after my dog, and my XH came in and looked at the mess, and just shrugged his shoulders and wandered off. Then my current BF came in and told me he didn't think much of my ex (which I agreed with, as my ex has never been any good in a crisis situation) and started trying to help me clean up after the dog. He was helpful, but I didn't trust him like I trusted my dad.
I woke up from the dream at 2 a.m. and something was perfectly clear. I don't trust men because I always had trust issues with my dad. Despite the fact that, for the last 15 years of his life, we had a great relationship, before then, it was kind of a shit show. He was a perfectionist, and very hard on me as a child. Not to mention, we were both alcoholics. I sobered up at 38, and came to accept him as he was, and we built a pretty good friendship by the time he died. I was the only one in our immediate family that actually liked him. Since he died, my mother has donned her rose-colored glasses and claims they were one of the world's greatest love stories (they were NOT), but still says he was a bad father. My brother still vilifies my dad to this day.
When I woke up, my mind went to the fact that I knew my dad was imperfect and flawed, but still trusted him the most. I knew "the nature of the beast" and still trusted him. I knew my XH was a complete waste of time, kind of a non-entity. And I wanted to trust my BF, but feared he didn't know what I wanted enough to help me solve my problems in this scenario.
I woke up and immediately came to the realization that a person doesn't have to be perfect to be trusted. They can even be deeply flawed and still worthy of a degree of trust.
It bears mention that when I woke up at 2 a.m., my BF was not in bed, but I could hear him snoring out on the couch. As I was falling back asleep, he came back into bed. He left for work this morning as I was just waking up, gave me a kiss, and told me that he loved me. My mind went right back to this dream and trying to untangle it.
I realize that I have a very weak foundation for trusting men in general. I also realize that a man doesn't have to be perfect to be worthy of my trust. As a matter of fact, to trust somebody implicitly is probably a bad idea, as I am not perfect, and should not expect anyone else to be. To demand that anyone else be perfect is a LOT to put on them, not to mention unrealistic. Trust comes in degrees over time and has limits.
Right now, as my BF and I are getting used to living together, we are learning a LOT about each other. For example, he doesn't like tomatoes (good - neither do I) or my favorite brand of TP. Big stuff! But it's the kind of little things that you know about each other that enable you to be a well-oiled machine and take good care of each other.
It's just going to take some time.
After all, he's trustworthy, never too far away, even if he's not exactly where I expect him to be, and he's consistent. He's doing everything right to earn my trust, and he's not even actively trying to earn it.
Thank you dad for showing me this. I miss you terribly. Thank you for the gift. It was just what I needed and I didn't even know I needed it.
3 comments posted: Tuesday, December 20th, 2022
Something just occurred to me.
Mr. TNS and I both automatically assumed that we'd be spending Thanksgiving together.
In all previous relationships, it's been a delicate dance around what each of us is doing for the holiday, and if we'll spend it together.
There is absolutely no question that we'd spend our holiday together. There's no question in either of our minds that the other is our #1. All of our boys (There are six of them. Six!) are grown and have lives/families of their own.
Also, of course I will be with my mom on Thanksgiving, just like of course I will be with Mr. TNS. He's family. New family, but definitely family.
They say when you know, you'll know. I never got that before. Because I never knew before. I wondered exactly HOW you knew when you knew. Ohhhhh, now I get it! Before, I was always like, "Well, I guess I know. I mean, I'm pretty sure..."
I've never had a relationship like this one.
1 comment posted: Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022
Cargiver help and support
I am moving my mother into an assisted living facility soon. I should have done this a month ago. Mom is really digging in her heels, just giving up on life, and making this transition as difficult as possible for me. I'm struggling, at the breaking point, and every day, she gets worse.
Does anyone know of a site for caregivers that is as awesome as this one that I could join to get support as I go through this?
To top things off, my mom is a consummate liar, passive-aggressive, stonewaller, etc. She has all of the tools of a WS, and it's triggering me all over the place some days to see this behavior again, because I know at the heart of it all that she JUST DOESN'T CARE WHAT SHE IS DOING TO ME.
I don't sleep, am stressed all of the time, and am struggling to stay focused at work and employed because of all of this. Sound familiar?
Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated! TIA!
15 comments posted: Friday, October 28th, 2022
I gave up, and it's awesome
So recently, my life has been kind of a crap sandwich. My mom isn't doing well, and needs to get into an assisted living facility. I struggle daily to take care of her.
My brother, upon learning that mom is now too much for me to care for, tried to act like I had failed, and told me he'd take her. Which, to his surprise, was fine with me! Then he backed down to taking her for two weeks. Yesterday, he told me he couldn't come down and get her because his car is in the shop. I am really really glad that I didn't let his lies change my reality, and I toured eight places over the weekend and am down to deciding between two great facilities.
Then add in that she had minor outpatient surgery yesterday.
Did I mention that she's having incontinence issues that require me changing her bed every morning? She's had three dry days in the last two weeks. This morning, she literally wet the bed right in front of me. Are you kidding me???? And I have the added bonus of steam cleaning her rug every few days so it doesn't smell like a nursery without a diaper genie in her room.
I'd say that this is crushing, but having been crushed by infidelity, this is about a six out of ten on the crush scale. I'm exhausted, and physically sore from the work, and stressed, and worried so much about my mom's well-being and safety. I can't sleep at night because I'm afraid she'll fall out of bed or get out of bed on her own and fall. Both have happened in the last two weeks.
But at least my heart isn't broken. Which brings me to why I gave up.
Mr. TNS has been there for me 100% through this. Even with his job situation being crap, he's made me a priority in his life, and has been so supportive. He's my rock.
This weekend, I was thinking about all of this, and how he's been doing so much, from picking mom up off the floor when she has fallen (twice now) to taking me to a hockey game (which he knows I love) after the first day of tours to going on tours with me on Sunday.
And I put all of this into the context of how insecure I can be in relationships, with my trust issues, and my need for autonomy, and my instinct to cut and run at the first red flag. And then I realized that he has no investment in my mom at all. He just has an investment in me.
So I'm giving up my priority on self-preservation, and I'm just going to let this relationship go it's natural course. I may actually grow deep trust for this man. I have watched his behavior, and although the time hasn't been long, the behavior has been consistent and he hasn't shown me any reason not to trust him. As I typed that, I felt uneasy, probably because I have told myself for close to 20 years to never trust anyone completely ever again. This is a big change of pace for me.
For those of you working under the "pick a new partner" structure, I've picked. I'm not saying I'm going to marry him, but I am going to build a life with this man, as long as he will grant me the pleasure of having him.
Oh, and for clarity's sake, I had in-home care come in for mom this weekend and stay overnight to I had the time to do all of the stuff I needed to do for her and take a very-much needed break to relax for a while on Saturday night.
(Did you notice I didn't use a single curse word in this whole post? That's Mr. TNS's effect on me.)
3 comments posted: Wednesday, October 26th, 2022
So what's on your agenda for the weekend?
Tell me peeps, what are you doing this long holiday weekend? I can tell y'all that I was so eager for this week to be over all. day. long!
I'll get the ball rolling....
I could go to the beach or the pool, gym, out to eat. Go get a henna tattoo between my shoulder blades. Go to Forrest Gump Square in Savannah and kick around the shops on River Street. All sorts of fun things. Around here, summer weather doesn't end for another two months.
In actuality, I will probably end up getting a manicure, re-arranging the kitchen cabinets, and will hide in the AC all weekend.
4 comments posted: Friday, September 2nd, 2022
I don't want to jinx it but....
Three weeks into seeing Mr. Tall N. Sexy, and we are really getting along. We were talking tonight, and he commented that it feels like so much longer than three weeks. (It definitely does for me too.) He also said I'm his new best friend. I told him that I'm enjoying the hell out of this phase. He said that he hopes it's not just a phase, and I told him not to rain on my oxytocin and dopamine parade.
I don't know, but I'm just going to keep enjoying the hell out of him and try not to look too far into the future. Every day with him feels like a gift.
15 comments posted: Thursday, August 25th, 2022
Dating a former betrayed spouse
Do you feel safer dating a FBS?
One thing I've found in dating non-FBSs is that they don't necessarily see cheating as any big thing. And those that do, see it as a morality issue without an understanding of how devastating it is to both people in the relationship when one betrays their partner with infidelity. They don't get how it changes the FBS in a permanent and significant manner. They don't see how it can also drive a FWS into a dark place where they either do significant work to identify their issues and go through some pretty significant changes or skip over it all and go into a pattern of deep long-term denial.
I've seen that FBSs come in 2 varieties.
Those that were hurt, to be sure, but ended it swiftly, explained it away as one bad person they were unlucky to have fallen in love with, and rebuilt their circumstances and moved on. I worry about those now, because my experience has been that they still have significant trust issues that have ended up landing on me. Combined with my own trust issues that I still struggle with, it seems to doom things as soon as real feelings begin to develop.
The second variety is those that have been though betrayal, and did work on themselves to get through it as in-tact as possible. These are the ones that seem to "get it" to me, and I find that these are the ones I feel I can eventually trust and build something real with. It seems we're both aware of the unwillingness for either to just trust blindly, and both work to build trust in the relationship.
Am I just making this all up in my head, or are these universal truths?
I ask because I've found a similar thing in recovery where it's easier to date a former alcoholic/addict because, as we say in AA, "we're both the same brand of crazy." Of course, I dont think that survivors of infidelity have an identified mental health issue (although we have every right to! 😄), but does my recovery experience skew my thinking about succeeding in a new relationship and infidelity history?
9 comments posted: Saturday, August 20th, 2022
Not so subtle messages
So, I had the great first date with Mr. Tall N. Sexy last Wednesday.
Thursday, he flew out to meet/see an entire branch of his family that he didn't know. He was nervous about it, and we talked a lot about it. Thanks to the modern wonder of text messaging, we were able to keep in touch and he shared his worries and concerns and I helped him through them. At moments when he was stressed, he'd text me, and I'd talk him through it. It was good, and we grew closer and learned a lot about each others' characters through the process. At night, when everyone else had gone to bed, he'd call me. Good conversations with a lot of depth. Last night, we played with the idea of me coming up to see him as soon as he's back, but decided that we both needed to be patient and wait until his birthday later this week. We had time, right?
He's coming home tonight.
This morning, I get a call from my baby boy (who is 26, 6' tall, and not so much of a baby any more). He and I had discussed him coming down this upcoming week, but then he dropped it, and I figured he couldn't get the time off. Last night, I FINALLY got a text from him with the info I needed to book his flight. Turns out, due to the no-so-wonder of text messaging, the message was delayed for a bunch of days, and I just received it last night. So I quick quick book him flights to and from here so he can come see me this week. He arrives tomorrow afternoon and is staying till Saturday evening.
Mr. T.N. Sexy and I had a pretty extensive conversation last night about how God sends us messages throughout our lives. And what we do with those messages. We talked about how sometimes, the messages are pretty subtle and it's important for us to pay attention. We also agreed that sometimes, they're a sledge hammer that we would have to be just plain stupid or in deep denial to miss. We also agreed that God has a wicked sense of humor and has no problem challenging us on a regular basis.
As soon as I got the call from my son this morning, it was a like a huge neon flashing sign of a message from God telling us to keep it in our pants for another week. Good one, God! I'm not appreciating the humor.
So my choice is to make what is essentially a booty run tonight or wait another week to get my hands on this man. I'm thinking. And yeah, I saw the sign! (grumble) Don't bother me while I'm thinking!
1 comment posted: Sunday, August 7th, 2022
A different kind of new beginning
I got a new job! It's less work than I have to do at my current position, and more than double the pay. I AM SO EXCITED!!! Is it August 8th yet?
What I do is pretty specialized. I'm a solar designer. I've been doing it for over 10 years now, on and off, and it really is my passion in life. So finding a new job at my level has been pretty challenging. Most positions when you search "solar designer" online pay about $35k, and are entry-level positions. When you first get into it, it's a weeder job (think all of those breadth courses you had to live through your freshman year of college). I managed to work my way up, but was still earning way less than I know I'm worth.
I will soon no longer have a wreck of a boss to boot!
I didn't sleep much last night - like 4 hours, I was so nervous about this call today. But they offered me the job and I was soooooo happy to accept. Now I need to go take a nap.
13 comments posted: Monday, July 18th, 2022
Well, that didn't turn out as planned!
Ok, so I had certain things in mind for my Friday night. Well, mine and Mr. Nicest Guy Ever's (aka "Saturday Date"). Let's just refer to him as the NGE.
So I decided at 5:30 a.m. that today is going to be the morning that I remember to text him first, so I did. Before 8:30. Nothing back by 10. 11, I text him and ask him if he's OK. At noon, I call and get his voice mail. I text him at 2:30, asking him to please let me know if he's OK. I call two more times, and no answer.
I flip back and forth between terrified that there was something really really wrong and angry that the guy that told me he'd never ghost me did exactly that. My anxiety disorder goes through the roof, but I have these damn contracts I have to get done for work, so I cram and get them done by 5.
At 5, I hop into the shower, bound and determined to head over to his house to find out what the hell is up. When I get out of the shower 10 minutes later, there's a text from him telling me that he is NOT OK and really sick. Then he calls me as I'm reading the text, and says "please come." He sounds like hell and I head right over.
Already long story short, I take him to the ER and they do a bunch of medical things and admit him to the hospital. So I stop at the Wally World and pick him up some essentials, and walk into his room at the hospital about 15 minutes after he gets there.
There on the wall is all of his info on a white board. There in the emergency contact section is my name and phone number and "(spouse)" after my name.
I stayed until 2 a.m., went back to his house, walked his dog, then came home to grab a few hours' sleep, and I'll be back at the hospital in the morning after I walk my dog and his.
I was planning on taking things to the next level tonight, but I never would have guessed I would end up being his assumptive spouse!
When I asked NGE about it after the medical staff cleared out, he told me they asked him for an emergency contact, and he gave them my name and number. They made the assumption that I was his spouse.
30 comments posted: Sunday, June 12th, 2022
How do you play the field?
I'll admit it straight off. I'm a serial monogamist.
I've tried playing the field before, but don't like it. Strike that - I hate it. It's confusing and I don't know the ground rules. So I have questions.
First and foremost, how do you explain when you're not available at times? I'm bad at lying AND being vague.
Second, how do you not feel like you're cheating on all of them?
Third, whom do you sleep with? Any of them? None of them? (If that's so, why bother?) Do you keep one sure one in the rotation to sleep with and not sleep with the rest? As a rule, I don't sleep with more than one man at a time (as opposed to the CB, who slept with ALL of the women at the same time).
I gotta tell you, the idea of dating somebody that I KNOW is out there dating other people is very uncomfortable to me. It's bad enough that I assume that everyone I date is seeing somebody else when we meet. OMG, I just realized something. I assume that every man I meet is cheating on somebody else when he meets me. Oh God, that's a huge red flag and a topic for another thread that I don't have time to start right now, but wait, it's coming while I pick that apart in front of y'all.
Jeeze, I cannot believe that I am 55 years old and have absolutely no idea how to play the field. I'm pathetic.
Also, here's a problem. I'm not what most people consider pretty. I do the best with what I've got, but to be brutally honest about me, I'm probably what most men would call a butterface. You know, as in, she's got a hot body, but her face....
My BFF tells me (and he's male, so I believe him), that I'm "smashable." What he means is that men will think I'm hot and want to sleep with me right off the bat, regardless of what's going on above the neck. Yeah, I'm still skinny at 55 and try to get to the gym at least once a week to keep my ass from sliding down the back of my thighs, and evidently, at this age, that's a rarity in these here parts.
I think that playing the field might be a good idea for me right now, but I want to do so without lying, feeling guilty, turning into a slut, or ending up sexually frustrated.
Please, oh wise ones, guide me...
24 comments posted: Wednesday, May 18th, 2022
No more ability to trust
It has been a looooong time since D-Day, the divorce, rebound flings, 5 years alone, then dating. I'm now amicably getting out of a 12 year marriage. Everything is done except the certificate and the check for my half of the equity in the house.
But I find that one thing still remains: lack of trust. And that has me so very angry right now. Why? Lemme 'splain.
The Cheating Bastard (the CB from here on out) took away my trust in people generally and men specifically. I've tried to get over it. Hell, I even remarried! You're over it, right? But I will NEVER be able to open myself up again like I did before. And trust me, I've tried. Throughout my remarriage and now that I'm out there dating again, I've tried.
So I'm going to be pissed at the CB until I die (or a miracle occurs and I somehow get over it) because he broke me. Irrevocably and permanently, he broke me. And I've done a lot of work to make me into a decent human being. And he came along, earned my trust, lied to me, and broke me.
Maybe it was because I was an active alcoholic when he met me. Then I got sober, and he didn't have anyone to rescue anymore. So he worked really really hard to send me into a tailspin. He did for a while, but I kept at surviving that damn disease, and I have. So far. I'm careful never to assume tomorrow is a given. That's just my disease trying to suck me back in.
But no, wait, the CB was cheating on me BEFORE HE MARRIED ME. Why did he even marry me?!?!?!
I want my f*ing trust back. And he took it from me. That f*ing bastard.
I want to be ecstatically in love and just be able to fall into my partner. To know he'll be there for me. To feel safe. That he has my six. I want to go back to being optimistic and naïve and trusting.
But I find myself always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I just can't do it.
I'm ending a 5-month relationship with a guy that looks great on paper. Good job and just got a big promotion and raise. Owns 2 boats, 2 vehicles, his own house, great dog, very intelligent, and funny as hell. And I am not even close to being able to fall in love with him. I don't trust him and he has never given me any reason not to. If anything, I should trust him more than most because his first marriage ended when his wife left him for another man. But he tells me that he doesn't cheat, and I am like, "Yeah, RIGHT." He uses the words "trust me" and I scoff at him. That's not fair to do to him. So I'm ending it, because as soon as feelings start to develop, I freeze up, panic, and play cool like I don't care what he does. I'm not myself with him. I'm a façade that he thinks is great and chill and it's not in any way a reflection of what I'm really feeling. I'm terrified and running away.
I never used to dump guys. I was a serial monogamist (still am) and would try and try at relationships until they were irrevocably broken. But I always trusted that things could work out. Now, I dump men on the regular. I average less than 2 months. I've dumped 3 men hard in less than a year. One after 2 months, one after 5 weeks, one after 2 weeks. And they were all way into me. And I'm like nope, nope, nope. My best friend says I have high standards and applauds me for ending things as soon as I see red flags. Little does he know, I'm dumping them as soon as I start to have feelings for them. I'm terrified of falling in love.
It's been 18 years, and I'm not over it. To this day, the CB and I meet on a dark road? Bump bump as I run his ass over. Bump bump as I back up over him to make sure he's gone. Bump bump one more time as I drive away laughing like a crazy woman. It's a VERY good thing that I moved over 500 miles away so that won't happen.
And the reason I can't get over it after 18 years is because I can't trust anymore. Love terrifies me. And damn, that pisses me off.
How do I ever trust again?
13 comments posted: Wednesday, April 13th, 2022