5 things I miss about being in a Relationship

1. Having someone to kiss good morning. Really kiss him – celebrate the fact that I have one more day with him in my life. Knowing that no matter what the day holds for me, that person, the one who kissed me back wants me to be happy, comfortable and whole. To carry that feeling as I start my day and face any insecurities or conflict is what lifts me up. Being confident that that regardless of what happens, the person who kissed me good morning wants nothing more than to see me at the end of the day.

4. Being surprised by his simple gestures and thoughtful actions. He made me coffee adn as I am getting ready to leave the house I see that the snow has been brushed off my car, the windshield scraped of ice and the car on, warm and ready for me to get in. He silently does these things without pointing out how thoughtful or nice he is. He does the because he cares for me and wants me safe, warm and comfortable and on time for work.

3. Packing a sweet surprise in my beloved’s bag. That secret smile that crosses my heart when I know my beloved will soon discover my thoughtful gesture. Knowing that sometime soon, he will be digging in his bag looking for a pen or a piece of gum and will come across a bag with his favorite snack. In it will be a post it note to let him know that I want to make sure he has a snack so he’s on his A game for his big meeting with the boss. That feeling of wanting to take care of him and that I am confident that he will rock the presentation. I know he is brilliant, charming and captivating. I see what he sometimes misses in himself. He loves that I love him and pump him up when I see he’s nervous. He doesn’t have to ask and he doesn’t have to admit he is feeling a little weak. We don’t talk about that; he just loves that I make him feel on top of the world.

4. Getting that suggestive text that lets me know I am his. A simple one liner or a quick back and forth that reminds me that I am his and he shares only that part of himself with me.

5. That feeling of anticipation. of not being able to wait to be naked and feel his warmth next to me. I  want to feel his kiss at the end of the day as we crawl into bed. He wraps himself around me and we become one. We breathe each other in and the noises in my head and the stress of the day all disappear and we consume each other’s body and soul. Falling asleep entwined knowing that if the world crashed down and ended I have had the best day ever.

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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.

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.

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.

You mean it is NOT everyone else’s fault?

For me, putting myself first was unimaginable. My inner voice, in the shrill sounds of catholic school nuns, encouraged me to sacrifice. “True sacrifice equals love.” And if I loved my family as much as I say, I would sacrifice. I didn’t dare think my wants, needs or desires should come ahead or compete with those of my children or my spouse. My mother-in-law, the reigning queen of self sacrifice and martyrdom set an example that I was expected to follow. My needs became my husband’s needs and my children’s needs. If I happened to derive pleasure from their activities and need, that was a bonus, and many times I did. But to do something just for me, something for which no other person other than me would derive benefit – well that was heresy. Dare I even consider going to a Yoga class when dinner is scheduled? Pass on the invite to the niece’s birthday because I was tired from a grueling work and travel schedule?  No way! What kind of selfish bitch would I be? What would people think? My identity was shaped on how good of a mom I was: Did I get everyone’s homework corrected so that we got A’s? Did I get each kid to each activity in time? Did I encourage them enough? Do I dare skip out on watching my kids’ ball practice because that is when the Vinyassa class is scheduled?  Also, my spouse was a priority: Are we doing the activity he wants to do this weekend? Are his favorite foods on the menu this week? I push aside that I hate his mom’s meatloaf that I now obliging cook with a a smile on my face. To acknowledge that I don’t like what my spouse likes or not feel up to sitting at a ball practice makes me feel inferior. Not good enough. Like I will not get my “Mom of the Millennium” or “Spouse of the Century” merit badge. And, I am pretty sure these things exist. If you believe in heaven, I think all the moms are lined up in the order of best performer to worst performer and I wanted to be up near the front of the line. I didn’t just want a certificate of completion, I wanted an award.

I thought I was doing it all right. The sacrifice. The constant acquiescing to my husband’s desires. The endless accommodating of my mother in law’s whims. But there was a little voice, a whisper that was starting to whimper. It was me. It was me saying, “I am tired.” If i listened, the voice told me more of what I didn’t want to hear: my marriage was in trouble and no matter how many meat loafs I made or how many times I gave of myself to my husband, children or family, I still wouldn’t have the life I wanted. I wanted to fix it but didn’t know how.

It is ironic that the fix came from the destruction of the marriage, home, business, and family. My husband’s infidelity, years of random anonymous affairs with gay men from the internet is what broke my life and ironically fixed it.

My marriage was not the problem. My ability to manage and prioritize me and my needs in consideration others was my problem. I gave them the power to make me feel inferior and believed that the answer was to give more of me than I had.  Sadly the lessons I have learned on how to be a good spouse, good mom, and business partner will never be skills I can use to repair my broken marriage. But now I feel more prepared to start the next chapter where I am responsible.

Gazing into my crystal ball

I have a condo. It faces south and has trees shading the front and the back faces a wooded area. From the inside it feels very private and is quiet. I have just finished painting the interior to colors that I like. My bedroom is a bluish grey with a brighter blue accent wall. The bathroom is a lime green and it all feels very fresh and feminine. I have photos hanging on my wall that Amy took: My favorite photos of Will and emma an a collage of our snapshots and phone photos from races and trips to Vero.

Will wanted his room black, red and grey, so I painted his walls Grey with Black and Red stripes along the ceiling. Emma wanted a room that was very colorful and it looks like a jewlel box. One wall is purple, one is red, one is turquoise and the other is a yellowish green. It is bold and full of personality. I hung paper lanterns on her ceiling and her bed has a canopy from the ceiling. the veil is  lavender color and the bedspread is a combination of all the colors of her wall. She’s got her desk and school supplies and white board hung up. I painted a purple heart on the ceiling and it has little mirror squares and jewels in it.

The main living room and halls are a butter yellow. I paired them a neutral color until I decide on the furniture that I want. For now though I have furniture that Sue used: an old ethan allen sofa and coffee table. and a kitchen set from dad’s attic.  My kitchen is also a neutral color. The deck opens out form the kitchen/dining area. And I brought with me the wrought iron table and chairs with an umbrella. It is decorated with the wine bottle tea lights and other party lights and tiki torches. It is very festive and I love sitting out side, having a glass of wine and watching the fire flies in the trees.  I have a few bird feeders hung up where I can watch the birds come eat and fly around. When I look out, there are so many trees it is easy to forget that  I am in a very populated neighborhood.

There is a basement that has a storage area as well as a finished area for the kids to play with their friends. I have space enough to partition off an area to make a bedroom/ guest area for when company comes. there is a sliding glass door to the outside years and some windows that let natural light in. The walk out patio has another wrought iron table set and more party lights strung up along the ceiling. I have moved our large sofa from Illinos and our large tV is on the wall so that the kids have lots of space to play xbox and hang out with friends.

Originally I wanted a garage, but for the price, I opted for a parking space. I don’t mind because I saved that money to take a yoga certification class. The garage would have been used to store our bikes and other items, but the condo has a storage closet off the back patio and additional storage in the basement, so the garage was not really necessary for storage.

Living where I want to live now, I am working at a corporate job again. I love going into the office everyday. my commute is not bad at all, in fact, I enjoy it because I can listen to the radio and catch up on news. When I get to the office, I am so happy to be greeted by my co workers who are grateful that I am on their team. I am well respected and am able to contribute to the team’s goals. I feel so secure to have benefits again and to have a 401k savings plan that I can contribute to again. I am saving a lot of money as well as paying down the mortgage on my condo.

It is so freeing to know that i am able to make the salary I do and to have the financial freedom to take the kids on vacations and to save and to pay off the condo. I feel so at ease, like I had been holding my breath for so long and can finally exhale.

The kids are really happy and adjusted to our new life. they have made several friends at school and they can take the bus home or walk or when the weather is nice, they can ride their bikes. I jus love t the freedom that I have with them and I no longer have to interrupt my day to pick them up from school. On days when I am at the office late, I don’t worry because they are old enough that they can come home and wait the hour or so for me to get home. There are days though that they both have after school activities and I can pick them up or they can walk home.

We all love the variety that our new location offers us. There are plenty of grocery stores and restaurant and recreational activities all around us. Every thing is so close and we are all very happy. I am so relieve that I don’t have to spend hours each week in my car to simply do the tasks that are required to live life!

My family is near by and they join us on occasions for dinner or we all go to see them. The kids and I are at peace. I feel like they are getting a great education, I am making enough money to not have to worry about anything. My family is close and are able to help me when I need it and the kids are very secure.

My neighborhood has many other single parent families and the kids have made friends. I have gotten to know some of the parents and have a few ladies who I run with and a couple who go to yoga with. It is so nice to have a social life again and feel connected to human beings. I remember how isolated I was in Illinos. There were so few people who had common interests as me and the ones I found were quite a distance a way an it was a feel effot to stay in touch with people and to be active. I am so much more inspired here and feel so much more alive. It is hard for me to believe that I lived in Illinois as long as I did.

I know that this will not be a permanent place, but for now, I am so content and do not want to be anywhere else.