Forgiveness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I woke up this morning, like every other morning, and went for my run.  It’s a poignant day because two years ago, Laura (in my story) sat me down and said, “Start exercising everyday”.  Well, I took that to heart–nearly 1700 miles later, I can say, it’s been one piece of advice that I’m grateful I followed.  In short, it’s been a blessing.

But it’s also been a curse because as someone once said off-line to me, “Don’t you find exercise to be incredibly hard?  Because it is for me–that is when my brain goes nuts and I think back to my affair.”

“Yes”, I said.  “I do too.  But thats also why I run.  To work through all my pain.”

But like Forest Gump, here’s what I discovered during the end of that milestone…I could only ever get so far in my recovery because the one person I needed to talk to–to move forward and heal in my life–I wasn’t supposed to contact.  Yeah….CEO.

For months, my brain has been screaming at me to reach out.  To make peace with him.  To seek his forgiveness for shutting down, walking away, not talking to him or replying to his messages.  For not protecting him from the fallout of my confession.

No matter how hard I tried to move forward with my life (and make no mistakes, I have), this issue remained front-and-center.  I circled around these thoughts for miles, upon miles as I ran every week.  Until I finally sat by the ocean this morning, looked out towards the sea, opened my phone and broke 16 months of no contact.

Yes, my dear friends.  That was me today.

I apologize if I have disappointed you all.  But this is my true reality.  This is my story and how I struggle to remove CEO from my thoughts.  I am trying to move forward with my marriage, at warp speed no less.  But how can one truly move on, when there is this giant bolder of pain sitting over there that needs to be forgiven?

I recognized how unhealthy it was to hold everything in.  Clearly, I’m an expert at that.  Heck, I haven’t even begun to write about our actual affair that’s how great I am at holding every card to my chest.  But I needed to say the things that I did.  My contact with him was for MY healing.  To move forward with my husband and not have this constant dialogue running through my head.

I was taught as a kid that if you did something wrong, you sought someone’s forgiveness.  And all this time, I wrestled with doing just that, in order to fully move on and heal.  Going “no contact” and pretending that you caused no damage to another persons life and marriage is naive and cowardly.  I had a part to play in all of this and I needed to face it head-on, or else I felt I would never move past where my husband and I had worked so tirelessly to get to.

So as heartfelt as I could, that is what I did.  I contacted him.  CEO’s response was terse, and awkward.  Hell he could have been in a meeting for all I know.  But once I started, there was no stopping me.  Reaching out was about my healing.  And I told him this.  His responses really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.  I needed to follow my heart, seek his forgiveness and say the things that have been on my heart for a very very long time.

Did I say everything, cover every last thing in this talk?  No.  Not even close.  You can’t sum up everything in a short message.  I explained that I wished I could explain everything but even if I had an entire day to talk, I doubt that would be enough time to convey everything.

Do I regret it?  Nope.  Because I know this isn’t to reestablish contact.  It’s to move forward.  For me.  To ultimately give every piece of myself to my husband and to not look back any longer at CEO.  For closure on every side.

With breaking no contact, I do feel a sense of relief in addressing how things ended.  I asked for his forgiveness and he granted it to me.  I shared that I wake up every day, thinking he hates me.  He said, he doesn’t.  It’s been healing to see those words, after telling myself over and over that he must.  I explained that I don’t have an enemy in this world, but because of how things ended, I believed that’s how he viewed me.  He said no, he has no enemies.  He doesn’t hate anyone.  That’s not who he is.

So, I have a heavy heart in knowing I broke NC, but my intentions were good.  When my husband came home, I told him immediately.  Read everything I wrote and everything he said in return.  Full transparency my friends.  It’s not easy but it’s the only shot we have at making this marriage work.

There was a part of me that wanted to not tell my husband, because I don’t want to cause him any further pain.  But I knew I had to.  I was emotionally drained and every fiber in my muscles were aching last night.  Strangely, it felt good asking for CEO’s forgiveness but interacting with him brought those all too familiar “friends” along for the ride–fitful sleep (non-existent is more like it), a swirling mind (Did I word my contact properly?  Did I seek his forgiveness in the right way?), utter exhaustion and fatigue.  I wasn’t expecting that to happen.  Truthfully, I don’t miss feeling like that.  But while CEO was in my life, that’s exactly how I felt.

Conflicted.  Over-analyzing everything.  Trying to perfectly word everything and not just be…myself.

I long for the peace and serenity to return to me.  I expect it to.  This would have set me back tenfold had I done this a year ago.  But I wasn’t ready.  I could only reach out on my own terms, when I was strong enough to do so.  It’s taken me sixteen months to get there.  And along the way, you guys have not just been my readers but a few have become genuine friends.  I may have lost CEO’s friendship, but ironically I’ve gained more friends by opening up and sharing my pain.  Real friends that know everything–the good, the bad, the ugly side of Two Cheating Hearts.  And still love and support me regardless.

Thanks for holding my hands Woman Invisible, even during your crazy day yesterday you were there.  And thank you RecoveringWoman for your sage advice and friendship.  It’s helped keep me on this path to restoration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tonight

The universe has a funny way of working in my life, especially the last 48 hours.  I’ve been thinking quite a bit about CEO, for various reasons which I won’t get into here.  Suffice to say, I really tried to put those thoughts aside and focus on my family today.

But the universe…had other plans.

As I walked out of a bathroom this evening, I came face to face (and shoulder to shoulder) with CEO’s wife.  Yep, this is now the second time I have seen her actually.

I froze, while Vivian kept pace to exit the restrooms accordingly.  She noticed I hadn’t moved a step and said, “Mom, come on.  Let’s go.”  I just stood there, while I watched his wife wash her hands, oblivious to who was standing behind her.  A minute passed and I finally walked outside, joining the mayhem of New Orleans Square.

Only it’s not the one you’re thinking.

I quickly walked over to my husband and told him what happened.  And within a minute, she walked out of the bathrooms and right behind my husband.  I stared, frozen again, as she gingerly made her way through the outdoor dining area.

I turned to my husband again and said, “I need to know if he is here.  I will be right back.”  As I walked the perimeter of the restaurant, I felt Zane’s tiny hand clasp into mine.  And then I saw her back, sitting at a table with what appeared to be CEO.

I immediately walked away and back to my husband, only to nod ‘yes’ at his inquisitive eyes.  Three minutes later, she walked through the restaurant again only this time, CEO was trailing behind her.

He had his eyes firmly planted on the ground.  He didn’t see me, despite walking right behind my husband.  We were less than five feet from each other, but surrounded by the public at large.  To be honest, he looked miserable.  Not the CEO I knew.

The entire situation felt like an out of body experience.  My husband has asked many times, “What would you do if you ever saw him?”  And each time I’ve said, “I don’t know.  Depends which day you ask me that question.”  But in that moment, I did nothing…

Very surreal and not what you expect to happen at the Happiest Place on Earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real Time Thoughts- Part 2

There’s a lot of healing that will come after 1 year of NC.  Taking a vacation instead of thinking of your AP is a huge help.  Before embarking on this trip, I really held onto the mindset that I wanted this trip filled with reconnection to not only my spouse but my children to.  It’s been 12 blissful days filled with every conceivable adventure and paradise one could ever dream of….And you know what?  In the end, my husband has trumped any momentary happiness CEO brought into my life.  It’s a stark reminder that our spouses are capable of being what we once knew them to be: leaders, adventurers and exhilarating lovers.  Yet life and responsibilities of work and home skews your perceptions after nearly two decades of marriage.image

I feel very fortunate to be where I am.  To experience the joy and love of my family at their best.  I wish all betrayed and wandering spouses could find their way back to such nirvana.

Life…is pretty epic friends.

Get out there and live the life you dream of, instead of looking back at what you think you had or lost.

I promise…it’s worth it.

Video

Real Time Thoughts

 

(Author’s note: I will likely delete this post within a week)

 

When I started this blog, my intent was to tell my story from beginning to end.  I never wanted to clutter my site with blogging awards or chain mail thingies, nor wanted my blog to be a place where I vented about the affair aftermath on a daily basis.

But today is a difficult day, for many reasons.  And I am going to break my storytelling protocol to provide a rare glimpse of actual present day angst.

Today is a meaningful day.  I went to the hospital for yet another follow up, and was told that I do not have cancer.  This underlying medical issue developed right before my relationship with CEO ended.  So walking back into that hospital, sitting in the same waiting room and wearing the same white baffle knit robe conjured up many emotions today.

I sat in the very same changing room where I took a photo and sent it to him.  He quickly replied, “Oh my God, I just lost my breathe.  Are you ok?  Praying for you (and I’m not religious).  Let me know the outcome once you know, ok?”

The doctors ran multiple tests, only for the radiologist to finally say it’s benign.  But I had several hours until that occurred and I sat there thinking, “What if?  What if I am diagnosed with cancer.  Would I then reach out to CEO?  Would I then reach out and have one more conversation to put every last swirling question and emotion to bed?  Would it keep my head faced forward, for life, and keep my heart only thinking of my family?  Knowing just how precious every second with them would be?  Would getting a diagnosis of cancer be the magic pill to binding my heart completely to the ones I truly love?  To the ones who show what true love is?”

Those thoughts as well as many others concerning the special meaning of today is something I struggled with immensely.  I wanted to reach out to him and my brain was firing all it’s synapses to do so.  But it was hard, brutally hard friends.  For I have a years work of no contact under my belt and just as much pride and ego wrapped up in that accomplishment.  However, somewhere deep inside my heart, I yearned for him to know.   That I still cared—even after everything that happened–I still did and I still remembered.  And that I didn’t forget.

The significance of today was not lost on me.  I wished that I could have reached out.  To say a lot of things that have been on my mind for months.  To share that he was still in my thoughts, even after all this time.  Truly.

So I did what any woman trying to forge the next chapter in rebuilding her marriage would do….I ran home to my husband and cried about him yet again.  I shared my struggles and pain over how conflicted I was.  I shared aspects of our story, yet again, with my husband.  And then we went out for dinner and a glass of wine trying to reconnect/rebuild our marriage from this point onward.  Brutal honesty–it’s not an easy thing to do my friends.

Because even if every single fiber of my heart wanted to reach out to him–it wants, even more so, my family and children’s happiness above all else.  And it should be that way, rightfully so.  That was always the crux of my parting thoughts to him.

So all I can do is send love and friendship from afar, wishing him continued success in all of his endeavors.  And hope–so so sooo much hope for a transformative year in his marriage as well.

Another year stronger.

Another year of figuring this all out.

Fly on, my dear friend.

Fly on.

 

 

 

 

Cynical Reality

“It took a while, but the kids are finally asleep.  Do you want to talk now?”

With a deer in the headlights look in his eyes, my husband replied, “Sure.”

I sighed and took in a deep long breathe, steadying my nerves.  “I am not happy in our marriage and haven’t been for a long time.  If I had to guess, it goes back to your confession.  I can’t live another day in this marriage.  I feel as if I am slowly dying, taking care of everyone else’s needs.  I don’t think you even realize how unhappy I am being married to you.”

I wanted to scan his face to see his reaction, but I kept my eyes staring out the windows into the darkness of our backyard.  I pressed on nervously with the echo of my heartbeat reverberating through the open rafters of our bedroom, “I think if you were brutally honest, you would admit that you aren’t happy either.”  A deliberate pause was made, as I noticed my husband slightly nod out of the corner of my eye.  I took another huge breathe into my lungs before closing my eyes, reminiscing about Billy and just how he made me feel.

“I feel–like I am about to have an affair…” my voice quivering as I finally verbalized the extent of our disconnect.  “I am that unhappy in our marriage.”

Motionless, he did nothing.

He just sat there.

Stone faced.

And silent.

The stillness of the night enveloped us, as we both stared out the glass windows.  The moon cast it’s glow down upon the yard, yet neither of us stirred.

My husband always had a rebuttal when we had our “talks” which went something along the lines of, “I know I have been lazy and not trying at home or in our marriage.  I promise I will try harder.  I’ve let you down and I’m sorry.”  I had listened to that script throughout our marriage and knew they were empty words.  Nothing would ever change between us.  Although perfectly worded, his reply meant nothing more than to silence me.  To stop our conversation in it’s tracks, so he could put off our disconnected marriage talk, for another time down the road.  He was in every essence of the phrase, the King of Sweeping-things-under-the-rug.

But this time, he didn’t feed me his usual line of BS.  This time, he just sat there defeated and silent.  I knew, I just KNEW it meant–we were done.  Both likely holding on for the kids sake, but unable or unwilling to face that fact.

For once, it wasn’t his words that told me everything. But his body language and silence:

I don’t love you anymore.  I don’t care what you do and even if you say you are about to have an affair.  I don’t even flinch when you say these words to me now.  That is how far removed I am from caring about you.  And our marriage.

Trying to wind down our brutally honest conversation, I finally said, “Look I am old enough to know that I want and deserve to be happy.    And I think you do as well.  If we divorce now, we are young enough that we could both find happiness again.”  My voice trailed off, pausing, then deliberately stopping–unsure of what to say next.

He sat there silent.

Again.

Saying nothing in reply.

“I just told you I am on the verge of having an affair and you haven’t even said a word.  Do you want us to have an open marriage, where we both see other people?”

Immediately he shook his head, got up and said forcefully, “NO! That is not what I want.”  He proceeded to walk out of our bedroom, as I watched the outline of his body turn into shadow, then descend into the darkness of our hallway.

I sat on the edge of our bed, frozen, listening to a blend of crickets and distant airplanes jettisoning out of Los Angeles.  Saying nothing more, I couldn’t help but wish I was on one of those airplanes.  Leaving this empty marriage.  I wanted nothing more than to feel alive again.  I wanted nothing more than to feel passion again.  I wanted nothing more than to feel those intense butterflies that Billy created inside of me.  I wanted sex and passion and intensity and romance.  I sure as hell didn’t want a roommate for a husband.  I certainly didn’t want a wet noodle for one either.  The thought of him following me around for the rest of my life, while I made all the decisions for our family revolted me down to my core.

I wanted an alpha male.  Someone to uncover the incredibly sexy woman that I knew I was, but no longer felt within the context of our relationship.  The chains of my marriage and confines of motherhood had all but stifled out any sexual desires within me.  Monotony and responsibility replaced my adventurous spirit.  But it was still inside of me, knocking in the lower chambers of my heart.  Like a tiny ember that eventually turns into a roaring fire, I felt it re-awakening from within me.  And I yearned to be uncovered and explored by the right man.

That evening as I tossed and turned having a fitful sleep, I made the conscious decision that if he wasn’t about to change, then I would.  No more waiting.  No more doing more of the same.

I would be the one to change.

***

The next day, after finishing my run, I phoned my mother to talk.  “I told him I wanted a divorce a few weeks back.  I’ve already talked to a few friends who gave me attorney recommendations.  And…”

“You can’t divorce him.  You’ve got kids together!  Look, why don’t I start watching them once a week.  Let you guys have time to talk or go out.  It will be good for you.  The kids will survive.  They may not like it, but you owe it to them to try everything before divorcing.”

I sat there pondering her words.  I wasn’t exactly jumping up and down at her offer, as I knew her babysitting the kids would creep her existence further into our lives.  For very good reason, I kept her at arms length.  She has a lifetime history of making her problems-ours.  My entire life, I have felt like the adult, whereas she is the child.  There is a long list of short-sighted decisions which she has made, all of which impacted me in my own childhood.  And I certainly didn’t want that for our kids.  But for once, I finally said yes.

Perhaps I was nuts.  Or perhaps just at my wits end trying to keep our marriage from crumbling before my eyes.  So far, the kids were sparred from any adult talks.  But I knew that could change at any moment.  For sure we needed time alone to talk–to hash out a divorce and what our family going forward would look like.

“How does this Friday sound? I can be there at six.”

***

We hadn’t gone out, alone, in probably four years by then.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Four.  Long.  Years.  The last time we did, it was for a friends wedding.  And we hired a sitter so as not to involve my mother.  Viviane cried as we left our house, her face smashed up against the glass of our sash windows.  I felt horrible driving away, thinking I was somehow abandoning our only child, essentially to attend a peripheral friends wedding.  It was only for five hours, but still.  Viviane would later inform us that the babysitter spent the entire time talking on her iPhone to her boyfriend.  She spent no time with her, ignoring her entirely.  Never again would I hire a sitter.

So it was with much trepidation that I texted my husband the following message, “Do you want to go on a date this Friday?  My mom will babysit.  Maybe we can do something fun, like before we had kids?”

The only thing that I could think of was, “I want to have fun”.  Something carefree and easy.  Something we couldn’t typically do with children in tow.  And for sure, I wanted great food.  And somewhere that wasn’t kid-friendly.  Anywhere that thwarted families from entering, was fair game.

“So this may sound crazy, but I was thinking of going for a ride along the water.  We can stop at various bars, grab a drink at one, food at another.  We use to do carefree things like these before we had kids.  I thought it might be fun.”

He quickly texted back, “But we don’t have bikes.”

“Leave it with me.  I will sort it out.”

***

Three days later, we said goodbye to the kids and peddled away on what was our first attempt at being adventurous in years.  It felt awkward and strange to be on a bicycle.  Neither of us had been on one in years.  As we rounded the corner, away from our tract of homes, I started to feel like a kid again.  With the wind brushing against my face, I couldn’t help but feel giddy inside, like we were escaping our two little balls of overwhelming responsibility for a night of shenanigans.  I had visions of drunken kisses stollen in alleys.  Maybe an impromptu blowjob at the waters edge when the sun went down, if we could find a private spot.  Feeling excited and more optimistic than I had all week, I looked back to see my husband angrily huffing and puffing along.  Urgh, it was obvious, he was not sharing my same adventurous sentiments towards this date.

Trying to make light of the situation, I yelled over, “Hey, it’s only a mile to the first bar.  Great food and they have a huge selection of craft beers.  Does that make the ride easier for you?”

As he peddled harder through the patched asphalt, he said, “Yeah, fine.  I just don’t get why we couldn’t just drive there.”

“Urgh”, I thought to myself.  My sense of adventure and wanderlust had always been ten-fold to his.  But to already be complaining sent waves of frustration pulsating through my veins.  I wanted to scream, “Yes of course we could have driven there.  But that wasn’t the point. We drive everywhere.  This is fucking LA.  We live at the beach and pay a huge premium to do so.  Where is your sense of adventure?  Is one night riding a beach cruiser going to kill you?”  But did I say it? Nope, I just bit my lip–trying to make peace in this precarious dating situation.

We locked our bikes and entered the small gastro-pub, which by now was making a name for itself in the foodie scene.  It was run by a contestant from one of those cooking TV programs where people get voted off for making subpar dishes.  As we walked inside and quickly took our seats at the bar, it was obvious the waitstaff were overwhelmed.  Full of happy-hour patrons and nearby office workers, the bar was heaving with patrons.

As I scanned the bar to my left and right, I pulled up an empty bar stool and said “I’ll have the Rombauer Chardonnay please.”  I couldn’t help but notice, there was a couple to the right of us.  And another, two seats over from the left of my husband.  But sandwiched between them was a lone male, talking to no one.  He sat there drinking his amber Allagash while staring at the Lakers game playing overhead.

Staring at the TV behind the bar, I finally broke the silence with my husband.  “So how do you envision we split things up?  The reality is, you work such long hours.  You would need to hire a nanny to handle the children if we split custody 50/50.  After alimony, child support, and now a nanny, is there anything left to live on?  You won’t be able to afford living at the beach.  Commute time will increase.  And you would likely end up living in a less than desirable area, purely because of economics.  I don’t want that for the kids, nor you.”

“No I completely agree.  There is only so much money to support our family now.  Divide it up, and we both suffer.  The kids being shuffled back and forth sounds bad for all of us.  Time.  Energy.  Schedules.  It’s already a juggle now.”

Mulling over what he said, I finally replied, “I completely agree.  Well, I could continue watching the kids during the week.  And have you take them on the weekends.  Therefore, you wouldn’t have to hire a nanny and deal with daycare.  But if I am completely being honest, I’m longing for an even split.  Having the kids 5 out of the 7 days, supports your career but not mine….I don’t know how we find a middle road here.”

As my husband nursed his Indian pale ale, I looked over to the lone man sitting next to him.  No ring on his finger.  Likely in his early forties.  Whatever good looks he had years ago were fading.  I could see tiny wrinkles formed along the outer creases of his eyes, from years of smiling.  A pinky hue to his skin matched with pale blue eyes, Irish for sure–well at least somewhere in his ancestry.

Whispering into my husbands ear I said, “Look around. If you and me divorce, this is the dating pool.  See anyone you fancy?  Anyone?  This is the reality of what divorced dating looks like.  This.  Right here.”

His head bobbed back and forth, covertly stretching to look around at women in various states of undress.  Some in office attire, others clearly dressed to impress.  No tens in the bunch.  Feeling utterly cynical I added, “The reality is if we get divorced–we will likely date three kinds of people.  The rejects, climbers or the divorcees.”

“The rejects?”

“Yeah, the rejects.  These are the people that weren’t ever snapped up.  And for good reason.  Scratch the surface and you find something terribly off with them.  Then you have the climbers who threw themselves into their careers and one day, suddenly looked around and realized everyone was married–but them.  They rarely dated because they were too invested in themselves.  Their sole purpose in life was to get ahead, focus on their careers and occasionally get laid.  They are completely inept when it comes to relationships because they never put any time into them.  So it’s like dating a fifteen year old–but with money.  Then you have the divorcees, enuff said.”

Cracking a smile he volleys back, “Aren’t we a bit pessimistic?  By the way, where did you come up with this theory of yours?”

“Trust me. This is what’s in store for both of us, should we divorce.  What do you think the divorced women talk about during girls nights?   Think about it.  It’s the reality of our age and stage of life we are in.”

“You really think it’s that bad out there?”

“Uhhhh, yup.  Marriage is hard, but so is being single.  I’m under no illusions it’s a bed of roses out there.  If you don’t believe me, ask him.  I guarantee the guy sitting next to you is single.”

“You wouldn’t…”

Leaning across my husband, I tilted my bare shoulders forward and reached for the strangers arm.  With a light tap, he turned his body facing me, smiling immediately.  “Hello there!  Excuse me for interrupting your game and I know this is going to sound incredibly weird and yet brutally honest.  But my husband and I are married and have been for a long time.  Things aren’t exactly great in our marriage anymore and we are talking about getting a divorce.  I’m just curious, are you single?  And if so, how would you describe the dating scene for people our age?  Is it hard to meet people?  Do you find that most are divorced?  Or lost a spouse/had a tragedy which is why they are single?”

Smirking and completely dumbfounded he immediately replied with visceral honesty, “Yeah I am single.  But no, it’s not hard to meet people, now with online dating.  You are correct though- a large percentage of people I meet are divorced.  But so far, no tragedies or widows…at least that I know of!”  He reached for his beer to take another swig as I pressed further with another round of questions.

“So for the people who aren’t divorced, have you found a common theme amongst that group?  Like are these people workaholics or commitment phobe’s?  I’m sincerely curious to learn your experience here.”

Re-adjusting on his barstool, he coyly smiled, “Well I guess I would fall into that group because I definitely didn’t focus on finding someone in my twenties.  Just too busy getting ahead at work and traveling in my spare time.  I really didn’t want to settle down and have kids.  Got an established career now, the house, a full passport and loads of friends.  But I’m still out there dating.”

“I completely understand and that totally makes sense.  Please don’t laugh but I have one more question for you.  You’ve been a saint sharing your experience with us.  It’s one thing to be so focused on making partner, building a business or becoming a doctor etc, but do you find the dating scene to be filled with–dare I say, rejects?”

Snickering he replied, “What?  What do you mean exactly?”

“You know.  They weren’t the catch of the day in their twenties.  And here they are almost two decades later still looking to find someone.”

Nearly snorting his drink he chuckled, “Yeah I guess, there are some rejects in there.  Can’t lie.  But for the most part, this area attracts successful people so I would say less rejects and more divorcees you two would find.”

I turned my attention back to my husband, raising my eyebrows and giving him that “see I told you look” when I suddenly heard, “Bartender–this should cover my check.  You two have a good night.”  And with that, the lone, single man briskly walked out the door.

Shaking his head in disbelief, my husband squealed, “You just ran that guy out of here.  He couldn’t wait to get away from you.  I can’t believe you asked him all that stuff.”

“Well look, I’m sorry but this is what it’s like out there.  Everyone thinks the grass is greener till you look over the fence.  I just think we both need a healthy dose of reality should we actually pull the trigger and file.”

My husband paused, looking back up to the Laker game.  Then took a long sip of his beer, while I flagged down our bartender and asked for the check.  Our conversation ceased, just as quickly as it started, and we pulled on our jackets before throwing open the exit doors.  This date wasn’t exactly going to plan.

As comical as our first stop was, the next few bars were lackluster.  We pedaled away to a jet setter bar, only to stay for a quick drink.  The sun had long set and the crisp night air was filling our lungs like knives, as we peddled next to the sea.  Complaining and gasping for air with each push, my husband continued to yell, “Hey, slow down!  Why do you have to ride so fast?!?”

Urgh, I didn’t want to ride slow.  And I certainly didn’t want to listen to him complain.  All I wanted to feel was the wind against my cheeks.  Feel a sense of adventure, like when we were younger.  Besides, it’s easier to cycle faster, don’t you know?  As I approached the pier, I could see the streets filling with college students out on the prowl.  Funny how life works sometimes.  We use be just like them–but now, here we were saddled with the responsibilities of life.  Of kids.  Of a mortgage–the whole shebang.  It was a moment of self realization that we weren’t that young couple anymore.  We had somehow firmly crossed the threshold into middle age, unbeknownst to us at the time.

As I continued to pedal faster and faster home, the buzz from all the alcohol wore off.  I kept hearing purposeful grunts from my pissed off husband that meant, “I hate that you are making me do this” as my frustration mounted each mile.  Continuing to listen to his diatribe, the cynic in me grew more and more.  Although I was trying to see if dating my husband could somehow restart the connection we once had, so far this date was nothing short of an epic failure.

 

Sorbet anyone?

 

 

 

 

Amuse-bouche

After coming home from my run, showering and getting dressed, I snuggled up under my duvet pulling out my iPad.  There I sat with my eyes closed, listening to the silence of our home.  All I could hear was the beating of my heart and the occasional dog barking in the distance.  I knew I didn’t have long to formulate my thoughts.  The kids would be arriving back soon, so I started pecking away at the glass screen.

When I was done writing, I opened Facebook and saw Billy logged in.  My heart raced even faster as I contemplated sending it immediately or waiting till after he logged off.  In the end, I chose to send it then, while he was active.  Talk about nerve wracking.  Billy read it in real time, as I switched between the two applications.  A solid lump formed in my throat as the “Seen at” time stamp updated, adding to the theatricalness of it all.

 

I have so much to say Billy.  I wrote you a letter but I’m just going to cut and paste it into Facebook.  I wish we could have spoken face to face, just to get some closure.  As you can probably guess, I talked to Laura today.  I am grateful that you were honest and candid with her.  I wish you could have had the courage to do that with me.  I definitely feel like I have more clarity now.

(Seen at 5:04 pm)

I said before that I wished I could undo meeting you.  But that couldn’t be further from the truth.  You showed me that I am just as capable of cheating on my husband, as my husband was able to cheat on me.  Although nothing happened between us, it’s given me a new understanding of how easy it is to get sucked away from your spouse.  And for that I thank you.  I think this whole experience has given me a deeper understanding and a deeper sense of forgiveness for what my husband did to our marriage.  And that I’m not perfect either.  It’s a good life lesson for me–something I needed to learn/see for myself.  Obviously, two years hasn’t been long enough to heal.

(Seen at 5:05 pm)

I still think you’re a good guy Billy, always have.  But I do think you have a lot of issues which explains why you are not close to people, and frankly why you are still single.  For the record, there is no elusive “perfect” woman.  There will only be a perfect moment when you stop playing musical chairs and finally commit to someone.  Don’t be afraid to love or commit Billy.  I promise you.  It’s amazing to do things for the people you love and not live a solitary life.

You know I’m a risk taker at heart.  I laid it all on the table when I felt something between us after all these years.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.  But if you don’t throw the dice, you lose every time.  Do I regret it?  Not at all.  I felt something the second I saw you staring at me from across the bar.  Chemistry like that doesn’t just come along everyday.

(Seen at 5:05 pm)

Yes you made it clear you wanted nothing to do with breaking apart a marriage.  But your messages said you were “overly” attracted to me.  But I was married.  However, once I was single, we would be a possibility down the road.

I told you I wanted you in my life.  And you replied, “maybe”.  Reading your messages one last time, I really felt like you were keeping the door wide open.  Keeping your options open.  I get it, you’re single.  That is what single people do.  But at each junction of me stating how I wanted you in my life, you never once stepped up to say you didn’t want me in yours.  I just want you to be honest with me Billy.  Good or bad.  I can take it.

(Seen at 5:06 pm)

Laura explained that you didn’t want to hurt me.  I respect the fact that you shared that with her.  It only reconfirms that there was something between us, whatever that was.  If you didn’t care for me in some capacity, I don’t think you would have considered my feelings at all.  But that is water under the bridge now.

Seeing so many old friends reawakened something in me.  I miss everyone.  We use to all be so close.  And we certainly shared a lot of laughs along the way.  At the very least, I will come out of this staying in contact with several people who I drifted away from.  I just wanted to clear the air with you so that if by chance we ever bump into each other, it’s not awkward.  Or at the very least, won’t be as awkward.  There might be another party one day, or someone has a kid or something….and well, it just might happen.  Who knows what the future holds.  We might just laugh about this at the next reunion when your bald and ugly and certainly no longer hot (Can you please be ugly at the next one?  It will make things so much easier).  And by the way, I am going to look stunning at the next one just to rub it in–hahaha 😊

(Seen at 5:07 pm)

Anyways, I have thought long and hard about whether or not to tell my husband.  But it would only hurt him.  Right now we are discussing a trial separation, but everyone is saying I am making a mistake.  That he loves me so much.  That he is a good guy who screwed up etc.  I don’t need any drama in the future and nothing physical ever happened between us.  So I am just going to put this behind me.  And hope that I am making the right decision on that.

I wish you the best.  I will always think of you when I see vintage cars.  You have certainly cursed me in that way.  Maybe over time, this will all feel like a big mistake.  But I am still wrestling with, “I can’t explain it.  It’s what I am attracted to….it wants what it wants.”

I am not expecting a reply, but rather wanted the chance to say my peace.  Get everything off my chest and finally say…goodbye.

(Seen at 5:08 pm)

 

It took two more days for our friendship to be severed.  But only twenty-four hours for my racing heartbeat to suddenly stop.  Yes, it stopped.  Finally.

I wish I could say that was the end of my story.  But the truth is, it’s only the beginning of my sordid tale.

An amuse-bouche if you will.