Love your husband or I Will

Chatham was funny and passionate. He kissed me like he was devouring me. He looked at me  with such desire and maybe love. He frequently said he loved me He did all the right things – he was interested in my life. He helped me around my home. He sent me flowers. He met me for coffee before work to just hold my hand and talk to me before work. He brought lunch to me at work. I brought lunch to him at work. He stopped by just because he missed me. We went out for dinner. We acted like teenagers, making out in bars, on the sidewalk, in parking lots. The world disappeared when he held me.  Physically, we fit together perfectly. Unlike GI Joe, he was here, he was local. However he too was unavailable. He has a wife. He has children, four to be exact.  He already has one ex wife and another divorce would bankrupt him. If he left his wife he would not be able to see his daughters every night. That would kill him, he said. So our affair continued. One day he texted me, ‘What is kate short for’ and without much thought, I responded, “home wrecker.” I didn’t want to be a home wrecker and told him that he would have to either leave me to fix his marriage or leave his marriage for me. But I was hooked. I couldn’t let him go and he wasn’t ready to leave his life. He would disappear from his home and his wife and he would meet me, often staying with me until late in the evening. We had plans to go away for a weekend. It was all derailed, and probably for the best. The reality is that he was never going to leave her.

During a careless moment someone who knew his wife sent her an email outing her husband as a cheater. We were seen kissing on a busy street during rush hour. Oddly I was angry at Chatham for not telling her the truth about himself. About me. After we were seen, I became impatient, it was like the universe was sending a sign to him to make his choice. Me or his current life. Ironically before we were spotted, I wanted him to go to her and fix his marriage apologize. I wanted him but only once I knew he was free.

A couple of months have gone by and we have not had contact. I contemplate reaching out to her and apologizing for loving her husband. Even though I have not had contact with him or her, I want to.

As a wife who was cheated on by her second husband. As wife who cheated on her first husband. Now, as a woman who knowingly was with another woman’s husband. I have perspective. Ironically this is near his wedding anniversary so maybe my thoughts to his wife may inspire others.

  1. Your husband is funny. He is witty and sarcastic and has a beautiful smile and laugh. Enjoy him. Enjoy watching him find humor in things. Your husband is like a grown up 13 year old boy. He is raunchy and funny and adorable.
  2. Your husband is sexy. He loves with his whole body. His eyes shine and lips dance into a smile when he kisses. His embrace is comforting and makes the weight of the world disappear.
  3. Your husband needs space. He likes to be alone and have no one expecting him to do a thing.
  4. Your husband needs to feel appreciated. He works hard so you can stay home with your children. He needs to be thanked and not nagged. He loves to just be thanked and held. When he comes home, he doesn’t want to hear about your hard day. He would gladly trade places with you and have your “problems” at the community garden or the community pool.
  5. Your husband is afraid. He is afraid to leave you and afraid you will leave him. He loves you and your children. But it is weighing on him and his health is suffering. He is depressed and anxious.
  6. Your husband loves sex. he loves to have spontaneous sex in the kitchen, on counters, in the back of a jeep. outside on the deck. wherever and whenever the mood strikes. It is not so much the physical act but the act of being wanted, cherished and craved. I crave him. I want him. I anticipate each time seeing him. You treat sex like a chore. Scraping dirty dishes and cleaning toilets are chores. Have sex with him. On purpose. Be loud and joyful and let him make you scream with pleasure. Would you please do that for him? He would be a lot less depressed and probably healthier.
  7. Your husband loves being a dad. He loves his older boys. He adores his daughters. But he wants to be loved like a man too, not just a dad. The best part of his day is snuggling up with his littlest ones.
  8. Your husband is more than a co-parent. You are not tag team parenting. Parenting is a joy and should be done together with love for the lives you’ve created.
  9. Your husband resents your ‘breaks’. you have the luxury of getting to stay with your children all day. You have friends, hobbies, and opportunities that most women don’t. You do not need a break. he sees that as you escaping opportunities to be close with him.
  10. Your husband wants you to go back to work. You were interesting and had ideas and thoughts outside of the kitchen, garden and nursery. You have become boring and complain about things that just don’t matter to him. You are not the person he fell in love with and have turned into someone who he doesn’t’ like. Remember who you were and try to be her again.

My final request of you  – treat your husband well. Love him. Appreciate him. Be kind to him. Be sexy and fuck his brains out. Give him blow jobs when he least expects it. Quit complaining and treat him instead like a cherished friend. If you would make love to him and treat him like a husband, not a breadwinner, mulch spreader, kid watcher so you can go to boot camp person he would be happier as a dad and husband. He would be less likely to stray. I am not his first affair and I am certainly not going to be his last.

If you don’t want to, then please let him go peacefully without a fight so that he and you can live the best life you can. I miss him and if you won’t love him I will.

A therapist would have a field day diagnosing this. What do you think?

Ringmaster of my Circus

The laundry has piled up – not the dirty laundry – the clean laundry. Piles of washed and folded clothes. Clothes the Girl and Boy haaaddddd to have. Hundreds of dollars of A&F, Hollister, American Apparel, the list goes on. All folded and ignored. On their bodies are their gym shorts and mis-matched shirts. I think it is the equivalent of how I have aspirational sizes in my closet. I used to be a size 2. I still purchase things that used to fit hoping someday that they will fit again. Perhaps my children feel the social pressure to have certain clothes but just are not comfortable in them. I don’t want to get angry and demand that they wear what I bought, but at some point the comfy gym clothes will need to get laundered and they will be in the clean basket.  In the meantime, I am having my own special brand of feel sorry for my self melt down that is completely self absorbed and unwarranted.

All brought on by a pile of clean clothes.

I have a perfectly lovely home in an safe town. My kids go to an amazing public school. No one wants for a single necessity. I have a very good job that I happen to enjoy. I work with smart people (aside from the couple of random tools and douche bags); I have not a single legitimate complaint. So why am I so irritated over a pile of clothes that have not been put away? My annoyance manifested itself into a full blown mommy melt down.

A therapist would seek to understand some repressed moment in my childhood. Perhaps, if i had the time or the inclination, I might explore that. But that is it. I don’t have time. The bottom line is I want help from my children. We do not have another adult in this house. I am the ring master of this circus and I want it all. I want Fun in ring one, Order in ring two, and Success in ring three!

The fun I want to have for myself is a few more yoga classes a week. I thought I could train for a triathlon too. But instead I spend my time doing the laundry that no one puts away, skipped the triathlon and squeeze a couple yoga classes. I am constantly running around ensuring my home is kept up, the laundry is done, my kids are where they need to be (4 more years until the boy can drive!!) and I am tired. Yes, I know, all you overachievers and problem solvers who say I could wake up at 4:45 a.m. and go to the gym by 5, be home by 6:15 to wake my darlings. I could. But I am TIRED! “Order in the house” to me means that I am not tripping over the path of backpacks, shoes, lunch boxes, and random treasures that make their way into my home. An occasional item here and there is fine, but having to go through an archeological dig in the foyer, looking for a shoe is not my idea of order. Why can’t anyone lift their things on to the hooks provided RIGHT by the door? Success is the hardest one – I want my children to have good grades, find their passion and live life of pure joy and bliss. And why should they not? They are smart. They are funny. They are curious. They have every bit of information available to them in person and over the world wide web. They have opportunity. They are are also exceptionally lazy. I punish them by taking away their screens. They don’t care. They amuse themselves outside on bikes or making forts out of furniture. I send them to bed early and they happily read or draw or write stories. They are easy going and no amount of ‘punishment’ affects them. I reward good behavior with money, movies, toys, games, days to the beach. They are equally unaffected. It’s all good for them. they are easy going, laid back and drama free. They just live. They are present and don’t have a sense of future where they need to rush to be prepared for the future. Their present isn’t defined by picking up stuff from the past and getting ready for the next thing.

Wait a minute….. Perhaps I have solved my own issue by learning from my children and seeing how it ties to my yoga practice!

I sent them to school 5 minutes early so I could make my tea and sip it while I contemplate how to add more time in my day all while being able to maintain my home, feed my children, and remain employed. Instead of obsessing about the laundry that needs to be put away, I am just going to enjoy my tea. right here, right now. in this moment. How exceptionally yoga-y too.

Expectations of no expectations

In yoga our instructor told us to give up expectations. Okay. I normally don’t have any, so that was easy. I don’t expect to fail or succeed. I hope that my strength, flexibility and concentration is enough to keep me from falling on my face or ass, depending on the pose. But if I do fall, I don’t really care. No one is going to die because my Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana causes me to stumble. I am not somehow more spiritually connected because I hold Natarajasana.  But now that I am challenged to not have have any expectations, I wonder if I should have. Am I doing it wrong? My journey of having no expectations or no goals has been painful. It is a paradox to have no expectations – that is still an expectation. so the chatter in my monkey brain starts. If I wasn’t expecting to fall, isn’t that an expectation?  “QUIET!” I yell to myself. Ah…. my breath. I feel balanced. My breath is filling my lungs. My exhale is smooth. No expectations. Nothing. “I did it!,” I rejoice to myself. I am breathing and thinking of nothing. Oh crap…. I am now thinking of the nothing. so now it’s something. My breath is something.  “Don’t think'” I order my brain! Now here I am  I am thinking of nothing. isn’t nothing something? is this the right nothing. I hear my hear beat. I listen to my breath. I expect to hear my hear beating. wait, that’s a thought. Empty my mind. Is it empty now. Is this nothing? The nothing  is something. Not expecting is still expecting.

My mind wanders. I think how this nonsense is in my life.  I have no expectations of my gay ex husband. I don’t expect him to be kind and generous with our children. I reflect that the lack of that expectation is really an expectation. I expect that he will be a disappointment to them. I am correct more often than not. History informs my opinion. He is a moron. Yes, I am judging. Yes I am aware that I shouldn’t. This journey is a painful one where I struggle with letting go, forgiving, moving on and being present.

The Shamrock Incident

He left in January. Every day since he’s been gone I think of him. I dream of him. But not in the way that I expected. I thought it would be longing and loving; I wanted to be hopeful for being reunited. When he said goodbye, I felt that it was for good. I sensed he would not be back with me. He kissed me and said, ‘you don’t want to be in a relationship with me.’ At the time, I argued and told him that we were in a relationship, albeit not a traditional one. Because for a couple years we popped into each others lives.

He left my home that cold night and for the next few days we texted quite a bit. He told me he would be back in September. I wanted to see him one last time. But he refused. He granted me a few hours of his time while he was back in the States and that was it. I felt lucky. Privileged. I was in his ‘club’ where only the elite few were granted access. I wanted more of him physically and emotionally but I had given up expecting a thing. When he showed up I was grateful; When he disappeared previously I was sad but I knew he’d return.

This time was different. he seemed far. I felt his pain. I wanted him to be safe and free. As he said good bye in his text messages, I felt as if he was captive and honoring a commitment that he no longer believed in. He wanted a ‘normal’ life. We are both so damaged, but I thought I could be normal for him.  I made promises I was willing to keep regardless of time or distance, I love him without condition.

Still though, I  am detached and my hope for him is peace. I want him to be happy, free of obligation and free of the military.  His presence in my life has been profound. He gave me hope, made me feel confident. He inspired me and when I was high and held the razor to my wrist; he was the thought I had that kept me from slicing. I heard his voice remind me that I was a good mom and that my children did need me and that the cult of Southern Illinois would be behind me someday. Even in my most intoxicated moments where I was certain I would not be missed and that my children had what they needed, I saw him. I heard him. I felt him. I never had the courage to tell him that I understood his son. I didn’t want him to think less of me. I did not want him to know of my scars. The ways I had hurt myself my emotional cutting and physical cutting would make me seem weak. He valued strength. I would be strong for him. I would show him that I was not broken, not damaged. I would overcome and no longer be a victim. I was a mom. I had children who I did not want to disappoint.  I could hear his words, see his angry face. Quitting my life because it was uncomfortable for me was not an option. He would never forgive me for quitting my kids, even though I didn’t think they needed me, he made me see they did.

Being a mom, I thought of his mom. What had she felt? What was it like to not know where your child was, what kind of harm he was in. The choices he made had alienated everyone from him. He is in control of who is in his life and in what capacity. His mom he kept at a distance. If that were my son, I would be devastated.  I wondered to myself what kind of sacrifices had she made? How many times had she felt like quitting? Her marital life was not a walk in the park. I was sure she was, at times, afraid and alone.

It was St. Patrick’s day. GI Joe left 3 months ago and I thought of him and thought of his mom. When the weather started to clear and with GI Joe overseas and no reliable family around I thought of her. She lived a few miles away. I wanted to connect to her, to let he know she was not alone. The winter had been hard and many of us were snowed in for days.

On the surface it seemed like a genuine and natural gesture. I would bring a plant to her home, sit and visit. I was lonely after all. I was feeling lost and disconnected. While I was exactly where I wanted to be and doing exactly what I had set out to do, I was still strangely lonely. I felt drawn to GI Joe’s mom and thought that having a conversation and connecting with her would fill a void in my life.

At lunch time, I stopped over at the grocery store and bought a shamrock plant. I drove it to her home I felt for the first time that GI Joe would no the happy with this. But I was on my way and I reconsidered my visit.  I would write a note and leave the plant on her door step. As I stood there at the door, writing my note, she answered the door an invited me in. I had been there several months earlier with GI Joe and some of our mutual friends. Plus I had gone to High School with GI Joe, so she had known me 20 years ago and as recently as a few months ago. Nonetheless, she is older and struggled with her memory. She invited me in and we talked for 20 minutes or so.

I felt happy, connected. I related to her as a person. GI Joe had nothing to do with this visit aside from the fact that he was her son. So, Okay – he had everything to do with it. Subconsciously perhaps I was doing this to get closer to him. But logically, I knew it would drive him away. He values his privacy and and I knew that if he knew I went to see his mom he would have a fit. Perhaps I was driving to that end? maybe I wanted to expedite the end of our friendship. Everyone leaves me. I drive them away or they tire of me. He would leave, so this, perhaps was my way of ensuring he disappeared from my life. At least it was in my control. I love him and I like his mom. Like an anorexic controls food intake, GI Joe is a control freak. He controls who is in and who is out of his life.

This was not a physical razor but this action expertly cut me out of his life and fulfilled my need to inflict pain. I cut GI Joe out. I preemptively struck and ensured he was gone; he would have left me anyway I just made sure that it was me in control of how and when.

As I left her home I knew that would be the last time I saw her. I also knew that when I told GI Joe what I had done he would disappear forever.

My confessional email to him, unlike the several before, was immediately answered.  He was not happy. Regardless of how busy he was in the desert, he found time to tell me he was uncomfortable with my visiting his mom. My blood pressure rose and heart skipped beats. I realized the truth was there all along. He never loved me; He never really knew me. I was his go-to-girl when he was home. He, in his own protective, narcissistic way thought my visiting his mom was about him.

And with one Shamrock plant. One misguided good intention to reach out to another mom, my friendship with GI Joe was over. I violated his trust and I realized he never knew me at all.

My ticket out!

I am absolutely terrified. the kind of scared that is paralyzing. I am done. It is over. All of it:  My fight to leave. My dealing with the Guardian ad Litem. My dealings with the gay husband in a matter of moments has ended. I will be leaving rural Illinois now and starting over.

Just like that in a moment my life changed. The  latest is that the gay husband said that he would give up the fight and let me move with the kids. The report from the Guardian recommended that I have physical custody and that the kids and I would be better in New Jersey, near my family where I could be employed. I could go home to New Jersey and raise my kids by my family in a place where no one knows our secrets. I could start over. My kids could start over. I could have a “real” job. I have my ticket out of Illinois! The gay husband has no chance of winning a fight, the judge indicated he would side with the Guardian.

It has been nearly two years from the day when I discovered my idyllic life was a lie and that my husband had been having secret affairs with men. Not just one affair or a couple here and there but many. I discovered he was a pathological liar and a serial cheater who had hundreds of affairs, right in front of me.

Now, I can walk away. well, drive actually. It only took tens of thousands of dollars paid to no fewer than 4 lawyers, 2 mediators, 2 therapists, and 1 Guardian ad Litem.  There were hundreds of (mostly billable) hours in discussions with professionals and just as many spent with a few friends, loved ones. Then there are still the reams of paper – physical evidence that no one can unsee.  I am holding on to this but it’s under lock and key. No one should have to see as many penises and assholes outside of choreagraphed  porn, which would hopefully have a decent sound track.

I know myself well enough to know that there will be major adjustments. I will not be able to love or trust for a long time. I am unsure of the damage I have suffered but I hope that this move will protect my children.

The next chapter begins.

The IRS and Forgiveness

I don’t mean to offend any government workers – but my last encounter with a government official yielded the following gem: ME: “This is the worst customer service ever! You were wrong and have wasted so much of my time where I have to prove to you that you were wrong. I don’t owe you anything.” IRS Dude: “We are not a service organization. We are a compliance bureau and it is our job to make sure you are compliant with the tax law. Send us the proof of your claim and we will evaluate and adjust your account if needed.”  

Parallel situation to dealing with the Gay Husband! He is wrong and he owes me but my yelling at him will not make it hurt less or get to the end game faster. 

It has taken a while but I have finally forgiven the Gay Husband. Not for being gay but for not knowing how to live an authentic life and being so weak and insecure that he couldn’t face the truth of who he was. I have forgiven him for loving his mother more than his wife and children.  

Sadly, his children and I were collateral damage in attempt to protect his mother’s feelings.Yes – he was protecting his mother. Not his wife. Not his children. His choice of allegiance and loyalties not his gayness was the main source of my anger. I couldn’t fathom why would this man get married.  His mother had strong religious convictions whereby the Gay Husband believed she would not love or accept him as gay. To date, his worst fears of being alienated by his mom have not come to pass. In fact, she’s embraced him and still loves him. I don’t know how difficult her path to forgiveness was, maybe she is not there yet. but on the outside all of the justification that the Gay Husband had for hiding his identity were not real. 

Secondly and mostly, I was mad that I gave up my career and comfortable life for the promise of new life with him where we would own a business in his home town, geographically and emotionally isolating me from all that was familiar.  

My life as I knew it is over and forgiving him at least lets me lighten my load in that I put him out of my mind. I don’t snoop, don’t ask the kids questions and have reached a point that I just don’t care. On my part, our communications now have no emotional filter and are mostly transactional in nature. 

 

 

Don’t Pray. Do.

I temporarily stepped in front of a backdrop that made my life seem so enviable. For outsiders looking in and from my perspective, I had it all. There was nothing in the world that I wanted. I really felt like I had it all. The Gay Husband nuked that life and that part of my life is in the past. It is now gone. But I still have my health, my kids are healthy and our needs for safety, food, and shelter have been met. I live better than 99% of the other humans on this earth. I have no real, legitimate complaints.

Now my life is finally stabilizing and I’ve run into a few acquaintances who seem to feel like they can take credit for my new found happiness. They say, “We’ve prayed for you! God answered our prayers.” I should be grateful, but I am not. I am irritated and depending on who the person is who prayed for me – I am outraged!  It also irks me when people I know say they want to pray for me. I know that they mean well.

Why can’t I simply smile, nod and graciously say “thank you” or just exchange pleasantries. The Gay Husband has made me so sensitive to the most minor infraction and lies of any scope set me into a frenetic tailspin where I want to address the lie. Confront it and force honesty to the surface. He denied me truth for so long and I refuse to have any part of my life touched by lies. I want to protect my kids from the lie of a god that will answer prayers for a new baseball glove, nicer clothes or a good grade on a test. I don’t believe in a God who would listen to and answers prayers – If there was, he should focus on fixing things like Darfur, meth-head moms, sex slaves, and the gazillion other social injustices and inhumane things that his children are doing to one another. In any community, there are homeless people, hungry people, children who are not safe from predators in their own homes.

So don’t pray for me or anyone for that matter. Sing a song, tell an inspiring story or a joke, spend time with the person who you want to pray for. Send money if you can, volunteer and improve the conditions of the world we all live in.  The soul crushing debilitating shame, disgust and pain that so many people suffer can’t be erased with someone’s prayers. If you can’t actually bring your self to physically or financially help someone in need,  you are not helping.

And for the record in my case, it was not YOUR prayers that were answered, it was the manifestation of other people’s efforts and my own personal conviction and focusing on the future is what helped.