I don’t have the luxury of deciding whether or not to engage in PDAs. (Public Displays of Affection, for the uninitiated) Unless of course you consider showering the dudes with hugs and kisses spontaneously, often, and, as of yet, not against their will. I have, as you well know, participated in PSTs – Public Shedding of Tears, as have many people experiencing the emotional upheaval of infidelity and divorce. There’s no luxury of choice there either. The tears burst forth, you try to minimize the impact on those around you and hide behind oversized and very dark sunglasses.
This time last year, as I walked the little dude to kindergarten, I recall bawling because I saw a Mom with her infant. For no reason other than being shredded up and raw inside, I wept. I don’t miss those infant years, while I enjoyed them immensely. I’m quite content exactly where I am. But the site of a Mom and her baby had my crying like one.
A woman taking a man’s suit to the dry cleaner might have caused the same reaction had I been in the right state of mind, which at that time was a state of emotional fragility.
These days the tears are back, after a long hiatus.
The last big sob fest was at Limantour Beach, when I sat on a rock at the southern end and let her rip. As I reflect on that hike, I believe that was Day One of getting really honest with myself. Recently, that effort has reached a zenith with the acknowledgment of how my Ego was (and continues to try to be) in charge and quite accomplished at making life a real slog.
What I used to call quieting the mind is now a conscious choice to banish my Ego. I am excited and proud to say that the benefits of being anti-Ego, mostly, have been significant. I’ll craft a post on this, but I have to figure out a way to not come across as preachy. Benching the Ego has been an ultra-game-changing move. Literally the best thing I’ve ever done. Changed me forever. A more important event than the Pocket Call itself. Next to birthing human beings, the single coolest gift I’ve given myself.
You can so see how my enthusiasm could cause eye-rolls the world over.
So, why the tears?
I wish I had a new word for these drops of moisture. They look different, as I imagine them, they feel different, as they burst forth, and they leave me feeling different – not drained or emptied, but alive. They’re the kind of tears you shed when you run to someone you love who you thought you may never see again. The kind that come when you arrive at a finish line you weren’t certain you would cross. The kind that come after a birth, after a summit, after an achievement that defines you. You. Not your Ego.
They don’t come from fear, or because your insides are blown apart from pain, or because you feel lost and scared. They come from the heart. They’re more than tears of joy.
These are tears made of love. Pure love.
Which is why, when I imagine what they look like, they are iridescent. They don’t cling to the cheeks, sliding off the face and down the chest, hitting the floor. They spring forth like the tears of early cartoon characters and evaporate, making the air shimmer.
These tears have been surprising me quite often lately. Immediately upon waking in the morning, while underwater working on my breathing so thin air doesn’t gain the upper hand, or while sitting in a public place writing about the death of my Dad as I state for HGMers the world over that I’m going to freeze my tuchus off on Mt. Rainier this winter.
That was the post where I chalked up my
mad desire to climb Mt. Everest to having a near death experience when I answered the Pocket Call which brought me face-to-face with The Genius’ double life.
It was after writing that post that I came to see how discovering The Genius was cheating on me, and hoped to carry on the affair for my entire life, was about as near death as high fructose corn syrup is all natural.
As in not at all near death.
Because it was fantasy. It never happened. They never pulled it off. They were busted. They didn’t get to have it all. No near death. Not even a near hospitalization. With timing that I can seriously call perfect, their affair was discovered. Sooner and the dudes and I would have been forever east coasters. Later and they would have been closer to their goal.
Calling the discovery of their desire to keep this affair going until they or I croaked a near death experience was a total Ego statement.
How do I know for sure? Because the Universe made sure I knew what near death really meant, really felt like. And that even near death can be a gift.
The day I wrote that post I sat at one small table while a man sat next to me at another. His laptop was open, his eyeglasses perched upon his nose. We were alone in a public space that is one of my go-to’s to write now that I am a full time, daytime writer. We spent about a half hour typing away before we shared a hello as he walked by me and our eyes met. When the tears rolled as I thought of my Dad’s death and wrote about how my being was filled with awe as I witnessed his passing, I (my Ego!) wondered if the man to my left noticed. I wondered if he would put me in the box with all the other hormonal-ish women my age.
After an hour or so, we both took a break and began a typical stranger chat –
Nice day out, huh?
Cool spot to get some work done. It’s quiet. Pretty view.
And then he asked if I lived nearby. I told him I lived in Bolinas. He said he had just moved to the area from southern Marin.
Oh. What brought you up here?
And then within a few breaths he began to tell me about his daughter and how she didn’t look very well one day when he picked her up. And how he held her in his arms while she had a seizure. How he performed CPR. The ambulance came. They took over as he stood watching an unfathomable scene unfold before him. He followed the ambulance to the hospital. He called his wife. They waited to learn of what he already felt inside.
The doctor came to tell them their daughter died.
As with many couples who experience the death of a child, they eventually divorced.
Then he told me of a woman who lived in the same house as her husband and two children, but their hearts long ago parted ways. They tried to live together to provide to their children the benefits of living in a two parent household. After some time the experiment failed and it no longer made sense to live that way. She moved out. He remained. The children went to and fro.
And then she moved back in. So she could care for him as he died from a terminal illness.
My tears started rolling at the word seizure. (The kind that roll down the face and hit the floor.) His came not long after. I cried right through the end when he finally answered my original question. He moved to northern Marin to live with a widow and her family, a woman he loves and her two young children who already feel comfortable enough to treat him as a father figure.
Full-fledged sobbing by this point. And my mouth was hanging open. So the tears never made it to my chest. Instead, they slipped inside my mouth after hitting my bottom lip.
I knew this story was shared by design, but it took me some time to unravel why. At first blush it could be the old, Be grateful for what you have, it could always be worse! But I find the lessons aren’t always that easy-breezy. After several days of reflecting on that intimate exchange between two strangers, his wisdom pushed my Ego out of the spotlight and took center stage.
I didn’t have the equivalent of a near death experience. I discovered that my husband made a very bad choice. His very bad choice has transformed my existence. On many levels his choice has set me free. I’ve had to make a million choices along the way, some great, some questionable, but I’m not ashamed of a single one. The discovery of his affair was emotionally brutal, but when I honestly assess what it has done for my journey on this planet I can only be thankful.
To jump ahead to a future that doesn’t exist and claim as mine a feeling that I was spared is…bogus, pointless and only serves to keep me tethered to my past. It’s doing something that I despise – creating drama where drama does not exist. It’s an Ego move. (Mine must have eaten its Wheaties and chia seeds because it’s hanging around like a horny drunk at last call, but I am going to persist in sending it on home. Alone.)
And it’s inaccurate.
Unless a rebirth is near death. Which it quite possibly could be, but you know physics and time warps and black holes and stuff aren’t my strength.
There are a million ways to grow this experience of infidelity and divorce. To feed it and let it live on so I can have something to point at and say, Look what I survived, what I’m still surviving to this day! I can lament the loss of my marriage or be honest and call it what it was: two people who were better off as friends rather than lovers because of an inability to grow together. I can talk about something awful that never happened, finding out about the affair at his or my funeral, and make it feel inside as if it did.
I’d rather not do something that irrelevant and unproductive.
And I’m certainly not going to credit The Genius with creating in me the desire to climb mountains. That desire was always there. I was built to do it.
The only thing I can exclusively credit The Genius with doing, other than creating with me our beautiful children, is having destroyed any chance at rebuilding our friendship because of his betrayal.
But when he asked this week if I would go to counseling with him I said yes. It would have been easy to say no, to stand behind a shield, unwilling to grant to him the opportunity to communicate with me about our tattered relationship. To keep the fight alive.
But I wouldn’t let my Ego say no. I don’t fear tears of pain. I’m sure these new kind of tears are here to stay.
Cleo: It has been a while since I posted. This one spoke strongly to me for it is at its heart a post on Love. All forms of love, and from where you are today, not where you were 18 months ago when the Pocket Call arrived. Yes, that and other discoveries were wrenching at the time. But they also later turned out to be a gift of growth for you( and for me in my lessons as well). But this post addresses the most important moment, NOW. Not back then, not 6 months ago. Not tomorrow. Those moments are truly gone. Today you wrote of Love.
Your Ego wants to resist this request, to feed your fear. I hope your Higher Self rules on this one and you continue to feel the true essence of Love to soften to the gift your ex is extending. You have been given a big gift, maybe the first in 18 months. You have years to interact with this man and your dudes. You can choose wisely.
The lack of good communication put me where I am today, even as I understand it now and embrace wholeheartedly the life I live . The ex’s pain was there but I was not allowed in to really see or feel it. Today I can see where we failed individually and together as we co-created that life. Like you I know if you cannot grow together you are better off apart.
I hope you consider that today a different kind of friendship might be possible with some new understanding that might come out of this request. Good or bad, you will grow. This will be for the dudes and for you. I consider you lucky in this gift of possible understanding, to grow even more in your life’s journey. Bring more of those happy, contented tears on. They are my favorite kind.
So good to ‘see’ you! Thank you for taking the time to comment. Your words hold much for me to ponder. I feel such resistance when a friendship with The Genius on some level is suggested. I continue to bristle at the thought of being friends of any kind with someone who would betray me so. I can forgive, and I have. I can co-parent, and I do. But to befriend. That is something I can’t imagine. I will attend counseling with him and hope that it is productive. My goal being to create for the dudes the very best family environment we can for they deserve to have their parents be mature and responsible.
Yes, this post was about love, although I didn’t realize that until reading your comment. Resistance and love do not co-mingle well. I will remain present with unconditional love and surrender instead of resist. I have big goals as a soul so I am hugely motivated to rise above the 3D white noise of betrayal and see like the hawk – take in the larger view.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. They are rich with wisdom and so well put. With love, M.
Yes, I imagine this will be a cautious and new ‘getting to know one another’ for you and the TG. You can set your intention on openness with caution, slow and smooth and then just let it flow.
You are both different people today. This experience must have changed him as well. He now lives with his choices and the changes those choices wrought. How you have embraced your new life must be a surprise to him . His request for counseling is an acknowledgement he would like better communication and as S commented, the strides you have made. Keep your beautiful heart open and trust the process.
There are many kinds of ‘friendships’. This one will get a re-definition too since there is no one else who shares the past, its hurts and its joys as he does with you.Wishing you even more peace in your heart as you forge this path with him..
Your reply gave me butterflies of the not good variety. Thank you. I must pay attention to this resistance! I don’t want to get to know him. I don’t want to know anything about him. That’s the main issue. A few times lately he has tried to discuss his work or what he’s doing and I shut it down. Not with anger or in a hissy fit, just – Oh, I have to run. Gots to go. Bye! Because I don’t want to know anything about him. We are co-parents. If it has to do with the dudes I am ALL IN. If it is not directly related to them…well, that’s what he has the Happy Dance Chick for.
I don’t know that he has changed, M. The butterflies, or the unsettled feeling in my core, relates to my sense that he hasn’t. I am highly sensitive to his attempts to manipulate me. Of course, that could result in building walls or preparing for battle. Perhaps these conditions are a perfect creation for working on my abilities to be vulnerable under all circumstances and with anyone.
I don’t believe the dudes would fault me for not wanting to be friends with The Genius. But I also know that they will thank me if I can remove any energetic stress or angst from out interactions. I am fully committed to doing that.
And I am so grateful to have the support of you and all the kittens as I strive to remain open, vulnerable and trust that I am doing exactly what I need to do. Thank you.
If he is a true narcissist, as my G is, then having you come to counselling is to put the blame on you, the grandiose idea that he will help you get past his decisions and choices and you will see the role you played in the destruction of the marriage -deflecting everything away from the infidelity. In his mind, he and the HDC are good people who are just finding happiness together ( crazy meets crazy) regardless of the pain and turmoil and deep scarring he has caused. I tried this. My G has rewritten our future, rewritten our past and remakes the present. He is delusional and it will take a great deal of individual therapy for him to be whole and healthy. I have told my G I am not his friend and I do not want to be his friend. He is not a person I would befriend – his values and morals and thoughts are far from mine. I will be civil because he is the father of my children ( who are adults) but they will forge their own relationship ( as much as it is for them that my heart breaks and I shed tears) with him. I help them to see their father’s distortions and illness and to set boundaries with him because enabling him only makes things worse for him. They must educate themselves to dealing with a narcissistic parent because it will not be easy for them but they are fine and they will learn. I am getting better every day I am away from him (6 months now). I have found some peace and quiet in myself that I did not have for a very long time. I hated the person he was making me into, suspicious, questioning, hostile because his infidelity had gone on for a long time ( and with many). So I wake up each day and thank God that he left me because I would have soldiered on in that war zone but now I am free to remake me as hard and challenging as that is after 35 years with one person. I only want to shed tears of love now, maybe melancholy some times but I want my children to see real love in me – love for myself, for them , for each other, for family. Our family picture has changed… I wrap my arms around them and we 4 are the family now. The G is incapable of being a parent, loving them unconditionally. They know this. We spent a week this summer at the cottage – my kids, their friends, girlfriends, my mother and sister, my friends. It was heaven and my happy place and it did not matter that he was not there. It was my happiness not his! My hope is to continue to live my life with grace and gratitude and to be here for my children ( and that they know that). It only takes 1 consistent parent and I have been blessed with 3 amazing children. My G will continue to struggle and I hope he seeks some help – that was always my hope for him. But I am no longer part of it. I could not be his therapist or counsellor during our marriage – it was too hard.
You have a very open heart and your decision to try and help him and attend counselling is inspiring but be careful.
with grace and gratitude,
Such beautiful words of guidance for all of us to read. Thank you for sharing and for being here.
Clearly, I am not capable of diagnosing a condition such as narcissism. I can express how it feels to have been in a relationship with someone who deceived me, accepted no responsibility for his actions and placed the blame for his affair at my feet. While in that relationship I did not feel. I was confused and worn down, day by day. I recall wondering, Does he have any interest in me at all? He never asks me a question about how I feel, or what I think…
As you have so smartly pointed out, TG, like many others I’m sure, wants to fly right over the four years of betrayal – four years where our marriage was brutalized daily by his adultery without my knowledge – and talk about how irretrievably broken it was from the get-go. Could have fooled me, what with all the ‘You are my Angel, I’m so blessed to have you in my life’ cards. I mention this not to vent, but to help those who think they might be going mad as they try to unravel the double life their spouse was leading. There is no beginning, end or sane middle ground when dealing with someone who can lie so wantonly.
In my opinion, those who cheat think only of themselves. They numb themselves to the feelings of others (or they are numbed by narcissism) so that they can do what they do. Some are diagnosable narcissists. Some are just jackasses. Tehre are so many flavors. Leaving behind a relationship with these types of people is like being reborn, to include the pain of moving through the birth canal, something we do not carry with us as we grow from infant to adult.
It hurts. But what lives on the other side is magic. I love myself now. That love is like water to seeds in the Spring.
I remain open-hearted and safe. And never more naive. I’m grateful you’re here, C.
Oh Cleo and Cin:
Both beautifully written. Cleo, remember the December letter? Irretreviably broken, his words. Could have fooled me too, and did. Shame on me for being so worn down I could not recognize my absolutely beautiful heart. Now I do, and so do others in my life. I am so grateful for my life today. Cin, 6 more months from now you will look back and feel peace once more, and love yourself even more. Keep writing Cleo. Happy un-anniversary . #2. Those days are long gone. The Ego has died and left your heart wide open..
Thank you for brimming with optimism, for loving yourself, for being so vulnerable and open and beautiful. You, M, rock. There is no shame. You did what we all do naturally – create contrast to learn. I see it as, You recognized your beautiful heart because you were ‘worn down’.
One of the greatest challenges we experience while divorcing or dealing with a marriage in crisis is the perception of the other. Perception is their reality. In the case of infidelity, living a double life, perception and fantasy are their realities. Only today I was told that the amount of anger and resentment I deal with must be crushing and that ‘I’ (The Genius) don’t feel any anger.
From a place of centeredness that statement is interpreted without my Ego trying desperately to get me to engage in a You are…I’m not…conversation.
I remain grateful. And open. And full of love. Thank you for helping me to get there.
Another beautiful post. So many lessons – so much wisdom. That man offered you perspective, and not in the “things can always be worse” way. I see his story as confirmation that things aren’t mapped out for us, that if we do A, B and C, then D, E and F will happen. I think it’s what we are here to learn. Life is a crapshoot and if we approach it the way you are learning to, without ego, then what happens going forward can’t even touch our true self. I think we are in this world alone – but not in a lonely way. I’m trying to live that way with my son. I remind myself he is through me, but not *of* me. He is a separate, whole being and I’ve been given the delightful job of ushering through the first part of his life. I try never to lose sight of the fact that he is not me and I am not him. It breeds respect. I’ve been listening to you very closely, Cleo, especially this part of your journey. What I’ve noticed since I’ve been trying to banish the ego in my life, is that I’m not as judgemental as I once was. I realize it’s not my job to be judge and jury regarding the world. It was exhausting to be that way and I definitely like myself better! Also, I’m amazed that you are going to therapy with TG. If that isn’t confirmation of the huge strides you’ve made in banishing your ego, I don’t know what is!
Thank you for your kind words. I’m grateful this post resonated with you.
Your words about how you see your son – that he is not of you, that you are walking him through these early years – is so perfect for where I am at with the dudes. They are bursting with personality and purpose, not always aligned with mine. You remind me to step back and let them be. Giving them freedom to live will serve to create independent beings, which I consider to be the greatest gift I can give them besides my unconditional love.
Going to therapy with TG is one thing. Going without Ego means that I am not there to win or be seen as the victor or rub his nose in the muck he has created. As M said, it’s about the NOW. I have to remind myself of that. There is no score to settle or to tally. Right now it’s about the dudes and, for me, it’s about experiencing life. I’m game. I can’t be hurt anymore. I’m safe. And content.
Thank you for being here, S. I’m grateful for your support.
Make that ego put on the beer goggles and distract it with something bright and shiny in the corner. Then you drop another bombshell on your kittens! I think most of us would agree TG could use a good therapist but I hope this is for the sake of creating a better co-parenting relationship with the mother of his children or if this is his way of trying to pinpoint his problems on someone else. A therapist once told me they are there to hold up a mirror to get you to see, acknowledge and hopefully work on your problems but considering this is the TG, I would take a sit back and watch approach. You can call me cynical instead of Blueberry but I wonder at his underlying motivations.
The bright and shiny would be the endless supply of surfers and bicycle boys that populate West Marin. It’s a cornucopia out here! I spend half my time mouthing thank you as I pass a cyclist or when a surfer comes to shore. Of course I do this out of their line of sight. That’s the extent of my opposite sex entertainment these days, which is just fine.
I spoke about a possible underlying motive with J, the kitten who played Julie the Cruise Director on our camping trip. He dialed me back to, What does it matter? Just go with it. Which is another way of saying, Don’t resist. He may have one and he may not. But for me it doesn’t matter. We will each continue on our individual paths and experience our individual outcomes. My boundaries (which protect my seriously empathic self) and needs will be taken care of because that is my focus. I am no longer focused on his needs, what he can do to me, how he impacts me – none of it. We are as separate as can be. In the healthiest way. Of course, I am speaking only for myself. And that is all that matters in this case.
Thank you, B. For being here. And for being on my oatmeal every morning.
Wow, Cleo. this one is a ripper. My first question when I finished reading your post was “What does the Genius hope to gain from counselling?”. I’m genuinely curious, not cynically thinking that there’s something he wants from you and a safe environment in which to ask…
I’m curious because I’m reaching similar understandings about what a great gift (mostly) being alone is, because you finally KNOW the score, and I’m hopefully reaching a state where letting go of the ego is possible. It’s just that my husband never went to counselling with me, and shows no sign of ever wanting to. His not wanting to even try counselling (there was no adultery, just the explanation that his happiness after 15 years no longer lies with me) I took as a huge and finite rejection. So in my mind, counselling equals hope, because it shows a desire to make the relationship better. Hence, my question. Why does he want to go? Does he want to make your relationship better? Why not let sleeping dogs lie, if he’s with HDC and you’re truly separate?
Thank you for taking the time to comment. You and I have the same questions and curiosity. But my reason for attending is not out of curiosity. I will attend counseling with him because he asked me to. I’ll go once to see if it is productive. If it appears that his intention is to make himself feel better then he doesn’t need me there to accomplish that goal.
If he has changed (I have seen no evidence of this) then his intentions are purely to improve our communication so that we set a good example for the dudes. But part of me feels that his goal is to have me be friendly with him so that the dudes don’t get furious when the inevitable occurs – when they find out what their Dad and the Happy Dance Chick did to their Mom, which is how they will see it. (I have no intention of being the one who discusses the affair with them.)
Here’s the challenge – I have ZERO interest in discussing anything that is not specific to the raising of our children. I don’t even want to laugh with him about something they did or beam about the Tall Dude’s academic achievements with him. Right now it’s purely the ‘business’ (poor word choice) of co-parenting. I don’t want to talk about the weather, share a cup of coffee – nothing. And I don’t feel obligated to do so. Our communication is fine given the circumstances. If he can go a few months without calling me names or dictating to me how I should feel or what I should do then perhaps things will get less frosty.
Thank you for letting me work through that in this reply. I feel settled about my decision.
Being alone, without the Ego, will become less about feeling safe (knowing the score) and more about the luxury of time with only your soul. Time to manifest, to give thanks, to revel in the stillness, to celebrate your perfect timing, for there has not been a better time to be alive. It was not all that long ago that I wished to have someone by my side. Now I am grateful for the time to be with only me. Soon I will write about who I believe is waiting for me, but for now she’s right here.
Was his decision to not seek counseling a finite rejection or a fulfillment of the agreement your souls made – that at this time you will part? Were there signs present that you didn’t pay attention to? Not signs that you weren’t ‘enough’ as a spouse, but signs that it was time to embark on a separate journey. I pose these questions because I’ve been seeing this a lot lately. Relationships coming to their natural end but those in them not realizing it.
K, grateful to have you here. Stay close –
This post has to sit up there among your best – thank you for continuing to share your story – and along with it, the stories of others.
I think it’s gracious – and brave – of you to agree to go to counselling with The Genius. I still want to punch him in the face.
I will confess that I haven’t yet really understood what you’re trying to say with regards to your “Ego with a capital E”. No doubt it has something to do with the fact that it’s holding up a mirror to me that I’m not comfortable looking into, but ‘m trying to work through it.
Keep doing what you’re doing!
Thank you for your kind words, A. And for being here.
You thank me for sharing and I think, I couldn’t do this without you! Which is an Ego statement! The Ego, my Ego, wants to make everything into an issue, something to wrestle with, a No, a Can’t, a Shouldn’t, a competition, continuously on the defense, on call, on edge.
Of course I could do this without you. But I don’t have to, and it’s beautiful that we can come together and share our journeys.
Do you see the difference? I couldn’t do this without you has an element of fear running under it. The Ego can be subtle or in your face. In your face is, Why does this always happen to me? I better be careful! Even though it would be better to admit it, I’m not going to because then you win! I’m not pretty enough. I don’t feel well. All of these are Ego statements. The list goes on.
Without Ego, it gets pretty quiet. Not so many thoughts and statements running around upending you so you have more time and space to breathe in the magic of life. To just be in awe.
Remember, I’m still in the early stages of understanding this – we’ll come to understand it together. So very grateful you are here.
JJ aka JoJo says
I AM SOOO PROUD OF YOU…LOVE BEING ABLE TO BE WITNESS TO YOUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY….LOVE..JJ
Thank you. I’m grateful you’re along for the ride and that you don’t get sick from all my ups and downs! Or are they simply back and forths. Or bobs and weaves. Or ins and outs.
Here I go chiming in again!! I think you are well within your rights to choose not to be friends with TG. If a friend did what he did to you, you’d only see that person in your rearview mirror. Having a non-antagonistic “relationship” with him due to the dudes is all that’s required, and because of your efforts, you’ve gotten to that place. I get the suspicion regarding his motives and it is suspicion rightly placed. The thing with narcissists (not saying he is one, but the preponderance of the evidence points to it) is that they need to be the center of everyone’s universe, both good attention and bad attention. Do you think it’s a coincidence that he wants to go to counseling with you now that you’ve stopped reacting to him with anger? As long as you showed you were angry with him, he knew he still pulled your strings. The opposite of love isn’t hate. It’s indifference. And with this turn of events, I would say the indifference is killing him. I wonder how HDC feels about his request? Hmmmm . . .
S! Now I know why I feel uncomfortable! It’s because I sense he still wants some sort of connection between us beyond co-parenting. If he was completely fulfilled by a straight-forward co-parenting relationship we would be calmly going about life. When he tries to inject more I get weirded out. That’s the best way for me to describe it. I’m not suggesting he wants any sort of romantic relationship. That’s not it at all. But it feels to me as if he wants me to fulfill something for him beyond parenting.
And that is SO NOT happening. I don’t say that with my heels dug in and my hands on my hips. It simply is not my role anymore. Intuitively I know that I have nothing to do with TG anymore beyond co-parenting.
Indifference – also known as In the stillness where the Ego doesn’t roam. Thank you, S. You’ve shed light with your words. I love it when you cause me to ponder.
Cock robin says
So here I am reading along to a most beautiful post and…..BAM!! Cock Robin got blind sided & got knocked right out of the boat !!
I SO agree with Stephanie she is right on point – something is up & you need to go in to that session armed with the info on what he has said & done & when You better be prepared to have facts with your answers just in case he starts turning things around or wants to use any of these sessions against you with his lawyer!! His EGO is still there and it’s his biggest fan so go in armed to put it in its place if needed
And remember you have your army backing you & sending you strength
Love you girl & always missing you!!
My guardian…I love you! Never get tossed from the boat! Who wants to be chum?
I’m somewhere in between. I believe his Ego is saying that a desire to improve our communication is all about the dudes. And to a degree I believe that. But I also feel that his Ego wants to feel better about all he did. Wants me to still care. About him.
I’m going to arm myself with the present. And be sure to open my heart and not allow my Ego in to the room. My hope is that he will come to understand that his actions have changed our relationship for good. He does not know me any longer. And he won’t know me again. Except as the mother to the dudes. In the past he had two women to take care of his needs. Now he has only one.
Perhaps a second helping of Wheaties is in order…
One last thing – when you make your Everest climb, I would love to donate to the cause. I’m so behind you doing this and I’d love to know that you were carrying an ice axe or two from me!!
You rock! And you will be with me on that climb. It means that we are going to be together a long time, m’lady. First Rainier. Then Denali. Then a peak in South America.
Then…HER. I cannot wait. I’m going to kiss my way to the top.
Thank you, S. I truly appreciate your support.
Sick to my stomach says
I am sorry to be devil’s advocate here. I almost fainted when I read this most recent post. precisely because I was going to ask my husband if he cared to go to counseling with me after our 6 month separation. (I uncovered his affair and threw him out immediately in anger). In the past 6 or 7 weeks, my anger has turned to sadness as I see the financial struggles we will endure if we continue the divorce process. I have been doubting myself because I realize I still have feeling for him. And because I am filled with anxiety about raising my 12 y.o . daughter in a single family household, and let’s not forget my fear of being alone for the rest of my life because I feel like divorce makes me damaged goods that no man would want.
So, I only ask you this: If he has realized he made a mistake, and wants to consider a reconcile, would you entertain the idea? Please answer this for me. I just can’t believe he only seeks better co-parenting thru the divorce.
And, I respect his ability to consider a counselor, when many men think it is worthless. I asked my husband to go many years before the split up and he said no. wonder if it would have created a different result?
Your anger turns to sadness and then, as we’ve all seen here, can turn to anger again and then to fear and then to sadness again. The emotions will roll. But in all that bouncing around is YOU. The you who isn’t fearful or angry or sad. The you that is separate from your emotions. That you will be able to know exactly how you ought to proceed for the benefit of your daughter and you.
I, too, experienced a lot of anxiety. The Ego was behind all that. And your Ego is behind this: “…my fear of being alone for the rest of my life because I feel like divorce makes me damaged goods that no man would want.” I imagine that once you banish your Ego you may flip that statement and say, I really enjoy being alone. I’m not sure that I want to share this time with another person.
If The Genius wanted to reconcile I would decline the offer. I took a detour when I met him and I am beyond thrilled to be back on track! As for his intentions with counseling. I feel that he truly believes he is only seeking counseling to improve our co-parenting. But what I ‘see’ is also a desire to improve our relationship because I helped to ground him in the past. As I said to Cock Robin, he had two women to take care of him and now he only has one.
I wonder of the Happy Dance Chick is open to sharing?
Stay in the moment, S. Fear nothing. You are absolutely capable of doing what you have needed to do for some time.
I really wonder why he wants you to go to counseling with him. I’m sure it’s something to feed HIS ego. Best of luck on that. I hope you’ll write about it? You’ve matured and grown so much since the Pocket Call, you’re practically a new person now. It will be interesting to see if he’s done any growing or not. (I’m betting not)
One of your best posts ever!
Thank you for your kind words, C. I feel like a different person. But it’s really the me I was all along, buried beneath layers of personas created by the Ego or assumed by me to please another. Which is the Ego wanting to be loved.
It will be a test of my intuition as to what TG’s agenda is with counseling. I believe him when he says he wants to improve our relationship to benefit the dudes. But can it be a purely altruistic desire? That doesn’t seem probable. If I buy into that it feels like the me of old wanting it to be that way but knowing it’s not. As of now I feel he wants to feel better about himself. I can’t help him achieve that goal.
I will write about it, C. It’s part of my journey. One that I am grateful you have taken the time to experience with me. You rock.
C, I love the honesty in this post. [And that’s not a way of saying you’ve been less than honest in other posts!] I wonder though, as you look back to a post a long, long time ago [I tried searching for it, with no luck], the one where you found LOVE, LOVE, LOVE for everything, everyone — including TG and HDC… how you reconcile what you felt then with what you’re feeling now.
I recall reading it, and thinking how noble your words were, but not understanding how it was possible to feel love for two people who had done something so damaging to your life.
Or why it was even necessary.
There is a difference between wishing someone ill and loving them. I think there’s a happy medium. So, now that you’re here (I don’t want or need to be TG’s friend), is the other (I love TG and HDC) gone? I don’t mean to drag you back, but I’m wondering what you’re learning about what you *thought* you had learned along this journey. The learning is the magic, right?
p.s. Kilimanjaro is on my bucket list now.
Thank you for taking the time to pose this question to me. Of course, it comes at the perfect time.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the reasons why I have a right to detest TG and HDC. But when I go there it doesn’t feel good. It also doesn’t feel good to imagine being friends with TG.
One of the concepts/ideas/philosophies this journey has taught me is that of dimensions. The human dimension (3D) and the unseen dimensions that I feel. It is when I step out of the 3D that I see the beauty in all the souls that come to this planet. It’s almost a sense of camaraderie. We’re all here to learn. Some have shiny, fun journeys (Jennifer Aniston) that still contain pain, and some have painful journeys in which they are able to find the shiny and fun – the many children who courageously will their bodies to recover from brutal disease. Like Talia Joy Castellano, who delighted in creating youtube videos on how to apply makeup until she died.
notice her middle name…
I feel unconditional love for all those who incarnate. I love the gift of life that we all share. I wish TG and HDC had made better choices. I’m grateful that I don’t have any obligation to be in their lives. I am in the lives of the dudes. And so is TG. But we don’t have to rebuild our relationship, we only need to create a productive co-parenting relationship.
What I’m feeling now is that it is essential that I continue to pursue a genuine love of all, regardless of their humanness. It’s a key part of my journey here. A journey that will one day take me to the top of Everest! Lance had yellow for Live Strong, there’s pink for breast cancer. I’m going to climb for unconditional love (which of course means that one can’t harm another human being so POOF – there goes infidelity!). Now I just need a color…
I’m thinking periwinkle blue. Or cherry red. Oh – I rock emerald green…
We’ll decide together on Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Maybe the color should be PINK for the heart chakra…
In response to Nancy and others with the same thoughts, this is a journey where enlightenment comes in waves, distance and time heals, you take a step forward, and sometimes a small step back when a particularly painful memory passes through. Living in the NOW helps heal that gap and grow to unconditional love for all, not the romantic or attached love to a particular moment or person of the past.
I can care for the health and happiness of my ex now in a more detached and general way without being attached to his outcome or emotions or have it affect me negatively.
I’m repeating this because it deserves to be repeated – sheer perfection:
“this is a journey where enlightenment comes in waves, distance and time heals, you take a step forward, and sometimes a small step back when a particularly painful memory passes through. Living in the NOW helps heal that gap and grow to unconditional love for all, not the romantic or attached love to a particular moment or person of the past.
I can care for the health and happiness of my ex now in a more detached and general way without being attached to his outcome or emotions or have it affect me negatively.”
Beautifully worded. Thank you, M. You are an inspiration.
Lurker Kitten says
I have distanced myself from HGM for awhile. I lurked but didn’t comment. I am here, but my distance is personal. I few posts ago someone may have suggested you may feel better about yourself if you oh I don’t know did volunteer work? She made you sound like you are being self absorbed which I responded (in my conversational mind and I think you did on paper) its her/my blog!
Day-to-day life is distracting. Just me sitting down to write this to you for me is dealing with my own feelings as who I am. I have spent so many years in all of those other roles I have shoved myself so far away from me . . . I don’t know who me is anymore. Reading your blog helps me remember me. And posting to your site means I am remembering me. And honestly, I would rather clean out the fridge, mop the floors and spend an hour online looking for ways to get my speech-delayed 4 year old to speak. We all have our priorities but when the mind stills . . . its difficult. And you have typed out your still mind online for the world to see.
Now back to this post, when I read the end I couldn’t stop singing Miranda Lambert’s Baggage Claim.http://www.metrolyrics.com/baggage-claim-lyrics-miranda-lambert.html
Just try NOT to sing it during the session.
So good to ‘see’ you, m’lady.
I spent a few hours with someone who I feel is experiencing the something similar. She doesn’t want to be alone with herself. But I feel it’s that she has not had the luxury in so long that she has forgotten how to be alone with herself. And, perhaps, she hasn’t rediscovered all that there is to love about herself. Once she does she will create times to be alone because it feels so good.
I haven’t heard the song but the lyrics – gotta love the country! SO great.
I’m learning not to instinctively turn to pick up his baggage. It’s not my role and never was, but I took it on anyway.
I hope you take yourself on a date. Push away all the roles and the should be’s and judgments and just enjoy the sights and sounds right in that very moment. When all the layers of the Ego are pulled away only perfection remains. Pretty awesome to hang out with perfection.
Stay close, L. I’ll have a special message for you in a few weeks.
Dear Lurker Kitten,
Just wanted to let you know that my son didn’t speak a word until he was 4 1/2 – almost 5. I, like you, trolled the Internet looking for answers. The great thing for me was I had an old-school pediatrician and she told me not to worry, he’d talk when he was ready. Trouble was, he had all these sounds and I knew what they meant so we had our own private language. He didn’t really need to say the words! Once I started to respond less to his sounds, he was off to the races. Now? He never shuts up! Music to my ears. Hope this helps you to not worry too much.
Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. Since she is making so many sounds now I am hoping the speech therapist has something to work with this year.
School starts Monday so fingers crossed!
I just spent the entire summer, since May, reading the blog from start to present. It took me a while, I read every comment as well.
I think you are amazing and deserve all the wonderful things the universe might bring to your door.
I’ve had some experience with infedelity but it seems to have dissipated (paled?) as I read your blog, the impact on me, a single person felt so death defying but now I realize how it all was a lesson well learned. Luckily the collateral damage was small for me, my heart broke, fiercely, but I had only myself to look out for.
You have done an amazing job keeping it together under similar circumstances that brought me right to my knees in horror. (anguish?)
Anyway, to today’s post. I have been expecting this kind of gesture from TG after reading everything in condensed form. Here’s my thoughts for what they are worth, having no children to protect:
Anger: He is very angry, one, because you aren’t following his script. The rules were laid out, why can’t you see that? Two, he is living with a soul-less amoral woman now, what’s not to be angry about that? Does she have no substance, all sparkle and no reality? That is my guess. Three, you moved on, fast, and with disgust, wait a minute that was no where written in this scene. You are your own person? you had expectations? how dare you? how enraging.
Friendship: I have to echo Stephanie here. You have higher standards for friends. Friends who are honest, have integrity, watch your back, someone you can trust. I’m sure he does not for one minute understand . Why now? since for 4 years he didn’t? was he ever interested in you, your thoughts, dreams? he took your esteem for him for granted and now he’s trying to force it back in it’s place now that he has proved unworthy.
I’m sure he’s grasping now how to reel you back in to support him in his endeavors, he doesn’t understand now, that he fired you from that job. And you took him up on it! you: “Fired? thanks I needed that”. ( and good for you too)
TG is selfish. This does not make a good friend. Sure you can be ‘friendly’. But friends, who share, trust and grow together? it will be difficult.
Lastly, I know you think of him as a good father. I have a hard time seeing that since he destroyed the very foundation on which his children would have thrived, but I’ll trust that he is, looking out for them and the therapist and you may be able to come to some type of livable arrangemetn for their sakes.
I’m sure destorying that foundation was a mistake, he was following the rules, somehow and it ‘just happened’. forget that he was careless and thoughtless, and selfish.
I think your attempts to incorporate him in all your lives, have been admirable. And he should feel grateful, but I’m not thinking he does… I just read how he reacted to Father’s day celebartion in 2012 and the birthday celebration in June of this year…not to mention the Easter manipulation he tried to pull this year, he’s still unaware of how destructive his behavior is, or is he willfully mean?
I hope you learn and grow and have good relations and, and all the best of luck to you and your ‘dudes’.
I’ve been saying to myself all summer “love yourself’ and “your are worthy’. I really do feel that you contributed to my current state of mind regarding all that rejection. Peace.
Thank you!! Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for taking the time to comment and for spending your summer with me! Your words read like those coming from a best friend. I’m going to keep them close to me as I evaluate the encounters that are on the horizon.
For now, I am going to remain in the present. I have no desire to return with TG to the past. We are who we are today. He doesn’t know me anymore, that’s for certain. And I never knew him. So it’ll be two strangers with a past, one of which is trying to create a present that makes him feel better. That’s going to make for a fascinating therapy session!
My choices remain based upon what is best for the dudes. Thank you for being here.
What an amazing group of Kittens have joined your invitation to comment. I was going to single out Stephanie – and I do think she has a mind that works like a fine Swiss watch -and the more I read the more I discovered how gifted they all are. I feel like a soul looking from the outside in because I have never experienced such hurt. I sincerely believe my generation was a kinder more gentle group. We thought before we spoke. Most of us had a very active conscience because we listened to it always.
Anyway, you are an amazing support for each other, keeping the focus on helping each other cope and heal. Nothing can top that.
Cleo, be a good listener, think positive thoughts and go to that therapy session knowing you have given your best and whatever comes of it, find some good. Stick to your boundaries. Your boys happiness is a priority. Their father couldn’t see anything but himself and his ego back when he was leading that double life – before discovery. Now whether he has matured or not, it is still the boys who deserve to be happy, healthy and joyful. The father can fend for himself.
Keep up your beautiful work. Cherish every day and thank God for His gifts every night.
Such gorgeous words of guidance and wisdom. The kittens – most fabulous furballs ever. Thoughtful, caring, smart, intuitive, witty, and wise. I am so blessed to have them along for the ride.
Thank you for your kind words and for being here. You all help to keep me grounded, centered and conscious. Like a personal trainer for my soul. Making good choices has proved to create magic. Your support insures I make good choices. Hence, magic. You, I, are pure magic. I adore you.
I love your blog! I can relate to your situation in many ways.
I think the genius may want to meet at MC to discuss the blog. I’m sure he is terrified that friends, family, and especially your sons will read it and think poorly of him. He sounds like an NPD type and wants to control his image. I’m a big believer in telling the truth. Even to children. Mine are older than yours and they all know their father cheated and lied to us. They still love him, but they don’t trust him and that is a good thing in our situation.
I’m grateful you took the time to comment. Your words touch on feelings that I’ve had for some time. My attorney asked me at one point, How do you feel the dudes (although she didn’t use that term) will react to your writing?
I will weave this into a post, but let’s start the process here –
They will know how I felt and how I feel. There’s no sugar-coating how I felt discovering The Genius’ affair. I’m proud of the steps I’ve taken on this journey. Especially proud of the choice to write it out, in public. We have created an inspiring path, here at HGM, for those who experience infidelity. THIS is what happens when a spouse cheats. So be it. But we have choices as to how we respond. I chose to respond honestly and bravely. I expect the dudes will think poorly of The Genius’ choice to have an affair, as they should. They will continue to love him. Perhaps knowing that they will some day read my words, if they choose to do so, will encourage him to look at his choice and not point fingers at others but accept that he alone made the choice to cheat and lie. He could have simply asked for a divorce is he was unhappy. As I tell the dudes daily, We make our choices and then live with the consequences. But no one makes us make the choice. That’s on us.
The truth will always out. And we always have the choice of speaking the truth.
Grateful you are here, M.
If you haven’t already read Isabel Gillies two memoirs, you should. She wrote of her husband’s betrayal in the first book, and building a new life in the second one.
Also, I think it is very important for kids to know about the affair before HDC becomes a permanent fixture or their stepmother. I have a friend who kept the affair from her young kids. They bonded with her and developed a good relationship. When the oldest daughter turned 14, she learned of the affair and was angry not just at her father and stepmother, but at her mom for keeping the secret. She felt her life was a lie and that she couldn’t trust any of the adults in her life to be truthful. She went through several years of running away, skipping school, and doing lots of drugs. She refers to her father as her sperm donor and her stepmother as the whore. She is pulling herself together now, but is still not as close to her mom as she was before. She told her mother if she had known from the beginning, that she would have had years to get used to it and it wouldn’t have had a gigantic impact. Being a hormonal teen and finding out a deep dark family secret were a terrible combination.
Maybe tell the boys something like, “Dad met HDC and decided he wanted to date her. Married people promise to only be with each other, so we had to get a divorce.” It is a easy way of letting them know that she factored into the divorce decision.
You have inspired me to do a 5k. I hike a lot and do yoga, but haven’t pushed myself hard physically in years. Reading your descriptions of swimming in the bay and the big, long climbs and hikes really inspired and motivated me. Thanks for that!
Thank you for taking the time to comment and for the book suggestions. They are on the list!
You bring up a serious point for consideration. At what point does keeping the affair a secret from the children shift from protection to deception?
For me, I will not lie to the dudes ever. I’m even extra careful about how I discuss Santa Claus. We have an open and honest relationship which has resulted in a great deal of trust between the three of us. I sense that when they are ready to learn the truth they will ask a question, drop a hint, seek some knowledge. I will not proactively discuss their father’s infidelity. And when the time is right, I will only speak to discovering the affair and how I chose to live life post Pocket Call. My opinion of The Genius and the Happy Dance Chick will remain as this: two people who betrayed their spouses and lied to cover it up for years. I hope that the dudes will see firsthand how destructive infidelity is, how inexcusable it is and choose to never betray those they love.
When they are old enough to understand my words, I will let them know about the blog. They can choose to read it when they are ready. I’m not ashamed of anything I’ve written or any choice I’ve made during this journey. I believe they will be proud.
I’m psyched you are going to do a race! Pushing beyond what our Ego believes is our limit is one great way to leave the Ego in the dust! Stay tuned as I train for my winter climb of Rainier. It’s going to be hairy!! And keep us posted on your race.
I just read through more of the comments. I hope I’m not monopolizing, but I want to tell you that I do not think you ever need to be friends with TG.
I did a thorough examination of my conscious and decided to act only in completely authentic and self-loving/preserving ways. For years I put everyone ahead of myself. I won’t do it ever again. I can’t be friends with someone who treated me with utter disregard and disdain. To allow a friendship would be a massive self-betrayal.
I am polite. I wish him no harm. I hope he wakes up and becomes an empathetic and ethical man. I especially wish these things for my children. They deserve a good example.
I’m grateful you took the time to chime in here! These words I most needed to hear today.
You’ve crystalized in two sentences exactly how I feel: “I can’t be friends with someone who treated me with utter disregard and disdain. To allow a friendship would be a massive self-betrayal.”
I’ve read and reread them. Spot on. That’s how I feel. I don’t hate him. I’m not angry anymore. But I sure don’t feel the need to ‘pick up the pieces of our relationship for the sake of the children’. Which translates to: develop a friendship so the dudes don’t hate me when they find out I screwed you over.
I will be polite. I wish him no harm. Really, what more should I do?
Thank you, M. You’ve helped to streamline my thoughts. I’m grateful you are here.
“But I sure don’t feel the need to ‘pick up the pieces of our relationship for the sake of the children’. Which translates to: develop a friendship so the dudes don’t hate me when they find out I screwed you over.”
Exactly! Realize that most likely every kind gesture or movement towards restoring a friendship by TG is ALL ABOUT HIM. He has proven that he doesn’t care about you. I believe that anyone capable of a secret 4 year affair is a narcissist.
As much as you are striving for authenticity, he is striving to create an image.
Authenticity. There was a time not long ago that I didn’t understand what that meant. Then I benched my Ego.
Better than dropping 2 dress sizes. Better than calorie-free peanut butter, ice cream, cheese and chocolate. Oh, and lamb shanks.
I love them.
And I adore you.