Fate

Tonight, I texted my husband, “Want anything else from Whole Foods?”  And he replied asking for a specific craft beer that I had never heard of before.  I finally found it on the shelf and as I placed it into my basket, two little girls came running past me.  I lost my breathe, not from their beauty, but because they are CEO’s kids.  And they look just like him (especially in the eyes).

Yep, I had another run-in friends.

I froze, then stealth glanced the perimeter and saw his wife, now standing in front of the seafood counter with two little girls tugging at her shirt.

Great.  Just great.

This has got to be the 10th time I have run into her.  It’s like fate keeps bringing us together.  I don’t even run into my own friends this much.  Statistically, what are the odds?  Like nil?

I quickly grabbed my phone and took a pic, because this has become a running joke between my best friend and I.  I sent her the photo (it was only the back of her body) and yet her reply was priceless, “OMG!  I know who that is!  Fuck how on earth do you keep running into her?  You don’t even live in that small of a town.”

Before I could reply, it suddenly dawned on me, “Niall could be behind them, perusing the produce section and shopping as a family.  Oh geez…please say he is not here.  I’m in my workout clothes and sweaty from a 6 mile run…then again, my ass has never looked better.”

I took a deep breathe, turned the corner and there was no Niall to be found.  Just all the friendly workers who know me by name, waving to me saying, “Heyyyyy Kate.  What’s up?”

I couldn’t help but think…she’s in my territory.  There is a huge Whole Foods less than 1 mile from her house and yet, she came to this little neighborhood location.

As I checked out, I half expected for her to end up in my lane.  Thankfully, that didn’t happen.  I pondered back to the time I ran into her over the holidays, both of our kids staring into the same decorated windows during the annual Christmas stroll.  And sadly, for the second year running- Niall is never by her side.  It’s always just her…and the girls…alone.

He’s a brilliant entrepreneur, but an absentee father and husband.  Had we left our spouses and ended up together, I would be just like her.

Alone.

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Empathy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My good friend Madeline over at https://madelineharper09.com  blogged about the ending of her affair. For those of you who follow my blog, I haven’t even begun to write much about mine but suffice to say, our stories have overlapped since the beginning. She has since moved on but it was difficult for me to read along, as I’ve been there. I empathized with her pain, as well as knew first hand the pain of being a betrayed spouse. I also understood her affair partners reluctance to engage in the relationship any further. Juggling two relationships takes more work than anyone realizes (take my word). It taxes the mental file boxes so to speak.

Grief. Confusion. Pain. Sorrow. Love. Fear.

So many emotions pulse through your veins when facing the end of an affair. I haven’t divulged about my affair, but I wanted to share an actual email which I sent to CEO at the end. It mirrors so much of Madeline’s pain. Our lovers may be different, but I get where Madeline was at. I understand how it feels breathing through a vice-grip day in and day out, all while trying to function for your children. As humans we strive for knowledge, to make sense of our world and the relationships within and around it. At least we should.

Esther Perel once said, “Depending on the circumstances, anyone is capable of anything. This is a crucial piece of knowledge to hold, if there is true intention, to engage empathically with our fellow human beings. It is easy to cast off those that perpetrate or endure horrific things, as being unlike us or different in some way. And my worry is if we operate from that standpoint, we will always be operating from a place of disconnection and isolation. Empathy entails putting yourself in the shoes of another. It is important that we all challenge ourselves to cultivate this ability, because given the right circumstances or right conditions, we are all capable of anything.

The importance of struggle and pain is crucial to the development of character. The process of recovery is transformational. There is a great cost to the character of human beings if things are achieved too easily.”

As I followed Madeline’s journey, I couldn’t help but sincerely wish that her pain transformed her, just as the pain I caused transformed me. You should realize, I am in a different place than when I wrote this letter. But make no mistake, I sat in the crosshairs of gut-wrenching pain and my consequences for a long, long time. I struggled immensely, yet grew out of those ashes into a better person–a better wife–a better friend and better mother to those around me.

***

I came to the beach and ran all the way to the end. I wanted to feel close to you. To see your face amongst the crowds. Maybe even bump into you going for a run (we never did race!!)

My mind pondered so many things, thinking how just 1 week ago you said “I want you.” And how on a dime, that suddenly changed. I still don’t get it.

I ask myself constantly “Did he ever truly care for me?” You said you weren’t the man I thought you were. What does that mean???

I think you did care for me but I am so confused. I reached for my tablet this morning, wanting to turn it on to see if you had written. But I had to stop myself as this habit is so ingrained in me, to include you in my day to day life.

Last night, I took Vivianne to the outdoor concert. I left my phone at home by accident. Normally, I would have sent you a message talking about date night or our plans for the weekend. And in that moment, I realised just how much your presence truly was in my life.

We may have started off as adventure seeking lovers but you became one of my closest friends over the past six months. And I adored that CEO.  Simply put, losing you and your friendship hurts me the most. I have felt your support and laughter through so many months now, seeking advice, sharing my thoughts, concerns, fantasies and more.

I grew….as a person…..by knowing you CEO. That is one compliment which I’ve never said to anyone. Read that sentence again, slower now. Because very few people have ever come into my life and impacted me in so many ways. You are one of them–having made such an impression on my heart.

I look for the number 1 to appear in my inbox all the time. Seeing a message from “CEO” pop up gave me companionship during the chaos and monotony of my days. I noticed your name says ceo (lowercase) now in my inbox. And I wonder what you changed in your settings. I wonder if this is another step forward to disconnecting what had been our connected lives. It makes me well up in tears and I fan my face trying to breathe through the pain.

I hear footsteps behind me as I sit here watching the waves. And I wish they were yours so that I could tell you just how much I will miss you in my life. Waves of grief wash over me as if I have lost an arm or something. It hurts that much.

As I ran here today, I saw a vision of me working late at night putting together a business plan. The next picture was me at a table negotiating with a bunch of executives. Then finally another picture of me reading a news article talking about my company. I was giving an interview and they were asking “How did a mom get involved in the industry–how did you do it?” And I answered, “I met someone who inspired me to dream again. A CEO who showed me how to juggle a house of cards….I dedicate this to him.”

With that picture in my mind, I burst into tears thinking that in time, you and I will be referred to in the past tense. I never want to lose your friendship and tried to ask you how our interactions would be going forward. Likely this may happen over time. But right now, I can’t let go of someone whose friendship meant the most to me of all.

I care about you…always will. And CEO–you may not feel that you are a great person. But I felt it with you. And I know you are. I still believe in you. Everything with you was magical and that is how I will remember us.

***

I remember being in so much pain when I wrote those words. Thinking of not hearing from CEO every day ripped my heart out of my chest. Our lives had become so intertwined, both of us were a source of encouragement to the other. Whether he was having a bad day because an investor pulled out, or if I was struggling with the work I was handling–we always reached out. Losing his friendship was the death kneel, but I knew No Contact would be for life. It killed me to think I would never see his smile again. Never hear his laugh. Never share our fantasy world again.

But…over a year later, I can say that the pain diminished enough to function.  It waxed and waned over those first few months but the overall trajectory was there.  Two years after Dday, you are solidly looking forward and living your life, without the constant feeling of missing their presence.  It may not feel that way in the beginning (the first three months of No Contact are brutal) but you do get through it.   Make no mistakes, you carry the memories of them wherever you go, but they’ve been relegated to a filing cabinet that rarely gets unlocked.  The mental pictures you had swirling around in your head for so long, become fuzzy.  You don’t see their face with clarity and definition any longer.  It’s like they become a photo or snippet of a movie, when memories pop up.  And you are seeing it from afar.

I believe in order to move forward in your life, at some point you stop looking back so much.  You just do-instinctually.  You begin to live more in the present and little by little, you dust yourself off and rebuild your life.  One day at a time.

In the beginning, it’s an accomplishment to not burst into tears every time you drive or hear a song on the radio.  Or maybe just being present long enough to say, “I’m good, thanks” when a grocery clerk asks how you are.  A few moments suddenly becomes a few hours, and then it grows to a whole morning that you didn’t think about “them”.  As time moves forward, eventually days fly by.  And one day, maybe a whole year later, you get an entire week or two as a reprieve for your hard work.  That’s pretty much the first year after Dday in a nutshell, my friends.

Truthfully though, you won’t ever forget your affair partner. The good memories or bad ones–they are in that memory bank for life I’m afraid.  But you do heal.  You do.  In time.

I’m proof of it Madeline.

 

 

 

 

 

Paradise

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Well we finally arrived after two flights and a long layover in between.  The kids took it in stride and even walked themselves through immigration.  I feared they would be asleep and we would be carrying them ourselves, since that is when they are normally sleeping.  But it worked out perfectly.

As we came out of the airport, someone was there to greet us with the car we had rented.  No waiting in lines- wow, I could get use to this.  As my husband placed our suitcases into the back of the car, he jammed his suitcase against him.  His right hand caught a piece of metal which was at one time, part of a side carry handle.  I looked at his face, then saw the blood, and he said, “I think I cut my finger down to the bone.”

The woman took him to a nurse who works in the airport.  We sat next to our rental car saying prayers for Daddy to be ok.  And for this to please, not inhibit the fun he has looked so forward to.  My heart sunk knowing all the water activities we had dreamed of doing while here.  Fifteen long minutes passed when Daddy suddenly appeared saying, “It’s not to the bone-just a deep cut.”  Phew…a huge sigh of relief came flooding out.

We drove about an hour through villages and such, till we finally reached a stone sign.  As we drove down a twisting road (think Lombard Street in San Francisco meets the jungle), we suddenly broke out in the giddiest of grins.

You park your vehicle and then the resort ferries you further down the ravine in little tuk-tuks reminiscent of the ones in Thailand, only much nicer.  As the driver turned the last corner, there stood our own private butler- local drinks in hand literally welcoming us to paradise.

He brought us into our room- and it was stunning.  Views of these majestic mountains coupled with white plantation shutters…four poster bed covered in a white mosquito net.

I’m a visual person so this place is a feast for your eyes and for anyone who loves architecture.  I still can’t believe we are here…in such paradise enjoying our marriage and family after so much destruction.  I feel grateful beyond words that my husband didn’t give up on us, that we have finally rebuilt a solid marriage where honesty reigns (despite how difficult that has been) and that we haven’t allowed our past to destroy our family.

I never thought being 2 years past Dday could feel so great…but it does.  We are making new memories and CEO feels so far behind us now.  This is proof that all those articles you read after Dday are true: some couples rebuild their marriages into stronger, more resilient ones.  I am very grateful to say, we are one of them ❤️🌴☀️

 

 

 

 

 

 

Progress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I remember two years ago living and breathing through every single painful moment and wondering when the pain of not seeing Niall ever again would diminish.  I read plenty of stories of others before me and I remember commenting on someone’s blog, “When does it get better?”  A fellow blogger, Anonyman, gave me some sage advice which I’ve reflected upon, many times, over these years.  It’s never quite left me.  He said, “How I felt after D-Day is vastly different to how I felt one year later.  Now two years later, I still think of Scarlett but not in the same way that I did back then.”  That was the gist of his advice.

I remember thinking at the time, “Can I please fast forward to where you are at?  Is there a magic pill I can take to erase all of the memories of him?”

So how does this relate to me now?  Well, I have a few clues in my data which makes me think CEO may have found my blog.  I really don’t care, if he has.  I’m surprised it took him this long, although I know he is a busy man.  Or rather, he always liked to portray himself as such.  Maybe he wants to read my thoughts.  Maybe he still thinks of me.  I’ll never truly know.  And really, it doesn’t really matter.  Nor bother me.

For those of you wondering how to get through the devastation- for those of you googling, “How to get over an affair?” – I can tell you this: Anonyman was right.  I’m approaching two years from our Dday yet it feels vastly unimportant to my current life.  Yes, it stands out as a day that once signified so much pain, for a lot of people.  But I have reclaimed my marriage, as best I could, after so much time has passed.  I never thought I would see the day when this month would feel so ordinary.  But it does.  I am cognizant on a low level that this day is approaching, but also-  it’s not holding me captive like it once was.

My life is very full.  Very exciting.  Very adventurous.  Very free.  I have an amazing bucket list kind of trip coming up and the irony is that, I will be landing in paradise on what was our Dday.  I had no idea when I found these flights that this date synced up, to what was once, such a pivotal date.  It took a few weeks before I even realized it.  That’s how different things are two years past the pain.  I call that progress, my friends.  Progress that you don’t necessarily feel or see, when you are within the first year of Dday.  Something to look forward to eh?

I can’t tell you how rewarding it felt to realize that.  CEO feels so far back, that he isn’t there in the forefront of my thoughts anymore.  But…and there is always a but, right?  I do think of him, which I believe is normal.  I only ever fell in love twice in my life: to my husband and to him.  So despite where I am at with my husband, I acknowledge that I will likely always have a fondness for CEO when I look back upon our time.  We had what I felt was a magical affair–gorgeous suites overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  Amazing sex listening to the sound of waves crashing on the sand.  Sex on the balcony–yes–bucket list. Check

But he doesn’t belong to me.  He belongs to his wife.  He belongs to his family.  He is right where he needs to be.  I always wanted the best for him-and the best is his wife, not me.  And honestly, I am right where I need to be: with my husband.

Speaking of my husband, I would like to share that he has transformed into a super husband.  Cape and all.  He has achieved a huge recognition at work.  They flew him to New York as he was nominated for an award by his Fortune 100 company.  I can’t tell you how proud I was of him.  Just being nominated was an honor.  But the best part is- he won.  And I couldn’t be happier for his success, which really transcends into our home as well.  He really is living up to his potential  and I think the therapy has been a huge blessing in this regard.

I will add, this is the first time he has traveled since confessing of his affairs.  Previously, he was supposed to go away but then meetings took precedence and the trips were canceled.  Or he found ways to mitigate him flying out, by suggesting more conference calls etc.  Pretty much, we’ve skirted around this issue for a long time.  He made a promise to me that we would travel along with him, if he had to do do any business trips.  And that worked for a while (plus we got to enjoy the hotels while he worked!).  But it’s been a long time since his confession and this time, I simply couldn’t go.  The kids were getting out of school that week and it just wouldn’t work.

It was a bit nerve wracking thinking, “What if?  What if he cheats on me at the event?”  But I dismissed those thoughts.  And honestly, we kept in constant contact.  He missed all the important end of school activities, which of course brought a few tears to my eyes.  All the fathers were there-except him.  But thank God for FaceTime.  The technology of today brought our family together, despite the miles.

So where are we at today?  Well school is out.  Summer is here.  And I am five hours away from boarding a flight to an amazing destination with the people who love me the most.  I can’t wait to land in paradise.  I have spent countless hours planning this trip and I can honestly say, it’s going to be an amazing adventure.  Not only will I be drooling over the resorts architecture, but I will be lounging on one of the most stunning beaches in the world.  Taking in the beauty, soaking in gratitude and love and reflecting upon our progress thus far.

Two years post Dday…and life is pretty epic my friends!

But it took a helluva lot of work to get here.

Boy, was it worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope is a beautiful thing.  But it needs to be nurtured and backed up with devotion, commitment and a heck of a lot of grit and determination.  I am very happy to say that, every one of those elements are in place right now.  I think my husband had his Come to Jesus moment as one blogger calls it.  Perhaps that was his rock bottom.  I’ll never know because I am not in his head.  But he’s been seeing his therapist weekly now.  And wow, what a difference that has made.

For starters, I’m no longer viewed as the bad guy for wanting him to step up, act responsibly and with foresight to ultimately lead our family.  He now gets that message from his therapist!  She’s making him accountable each and every week, with things he knows he should “do” but always found excuses not to.

Our normal routine is that he will brain dump after every session.  I did have some concerns that she was focused on creating new habits rather than digging into the core reasons behind his shitty behaviors.  I’ve been married to him for nearly 2 decades, so I can say with certainty that I know the man.  Trust me, he is a people pleaser at his core.  And it stems from being adopted and not wanting to be abandoned by anyone (since essentially, that is how he views what happened to him).

I brought up my concerns and he thought it would be a good idea if I met her.  So I did that a few weeks ago.  I gave her the cliff note version of his affair, mine with CEO and how things recently came to a head and I thought our marriage was 100% over.  I gave credit, where credit was due – explaining all the positive changes I have seen in him since starting therapy.  But also mentioned, “I love this new attentive husband of mine.  Trust me, he is great at kicking into high gear after one of our marriage talks.  The issue has always been that it’s short-lived and fizzles out.  I don’t want to lose this new dynamic and I am afraid of that.”

But I’m not sitting here dwelling on that to happen.  I do believe that he is transforming.  We both are.  Together.  In the right direction.

That’s when she asked, “So how was your birthday?”

“Oh my gosh.  I was so blown away.  You don’t understand.  He never does stuff like that.  It literally made me cry.  I was THAT shocked.  Seeing everyone there, friends from near and far….it just, well- it meant the world to know that he even tried.”

As I paused I noticed the therapist breaking into an enormous smile.  I couldn’t help but think – she’s been behind this all along.

Friends, I celebrated another year getting younger.  Yep- I’m stuck at 21.  I don’t make a fuss over my birthday and to be honest, CEO blew mine off.  He did of course, congratulate me on turning another year younger (when we were in the midst of having our affair).  Big woop.  My husband on the other hand, pulled off a major surprise.

We had gone out for a birthday dinner (just the two of us) but stopped off for a glass of wine at a trendy Italian restaurant with a fantastic bar.  As our reservation time got closer, I started to get antsy.  I wanted to know where we were going, which was part of the surprise.  I finagled three guesses out of my husband, as we sat there finishing our drinks.

Is it in X city? (Yes)

Have we been there before? (Yes)

Hmmmmmm I thought.  Ok so it can’t be Blah restaurant.  And it can’t be Blah Blah either.  We’ve never been to those yet.  So I am guessing it’s XX restaurant.  Am I right?  Huh, huh?

He just grinned and said, “I have a feeling you are going to enjoy tonight” as he took another sip of his Allagash.

A few minutes later, it was finally time to leave.  As we drove along the corridor, I stared out the window looking at the beautiful board and batten homes.  Each one, lovely in their own right.  That’s when he pulled up to park, at the rear of a boutique hotel.  There’s restaurants adjacent to the hotel, so I didn’t think much of it.  I started throwing out more guesses then.

Are we going to ABC Restaurant or XX Bistro?  But he wouldn’t say a word.

We walked towards the restaurants, hand in hand, when he suddenly pulled mine sharply to the left, so that I faced the hotel entrance.

That’s when my eye caught a table of 14 women, all standing up–saying, “Surprise!”

I literally walked up the stairs and my dearest mommie friends, from near and far were all there.  I stood there speechless.  Literally.  Speechless.  Then the tears started, which I brushed away quickly.  Laura (from my story–the one who gave advice to me when I thought I had feelings for Billy–aka reunion boy) was there.  My guy best friends wife (who is like family) was there.  My newest neighbor, who just had a baby and whose husband was out of town for a month (all very valid reasons as to why you couldn’t make such a event) was there too.  And then I had my posse of moms that I see every week– the friends that make me laugh till I cry.  The ones who I can communicate with solely by funny GIFS and memes, bitching about life, marriage and if it’s appropriate to drink wine at noon.  Alone.

I had friends that had driven hours to get there.  And friends who live just a few streets away.  All my favorite women were sitting at one table.  And it was beautiful.  So, so beautiful.

Once the tears of shock wore off, my brain was trying to decipher everybody I saw.  As I looked around the table, I realized there were no husbands at all.  Thats strange–where are all the men?  That’s when one of my dearest friends said, “Kate–your husband has been planning this for weeks.  I even asked him why?  My husband would NEVER do this.”

Stunned I said, “Really?  Weeks?”

“Yeah.  He told me he noticed you always light up whenever you talk about hanging out with your girls friends.  So he planned a Girls Night Out, as he wanted you to shine on your birthday.  He wanted that as his gift to you.”

Well, that just started the tears all over again.  I leaned over whispering into my husband ear, “Thank you” as he said, “I gotta go now.  Have fun with your ladies.  I’ll pick up the kids.  Just make sure Kate gets home safely ok ladies?”

The whole table erupted into a giant, “Yes” as the wine continued to pour and laughter ensued.

It was a beautiful night.  Spent with beautiful friends.  And it made me realize, just how much my husband truly gets me.  And that he does notice who I still am, under this cloak of motherhood and responsibility I proudly wear.

When dinner was over, we headed to a nearby bar.  It overlooks the Pacific Ocean and they have a DJ spinning on the weekends.  One of my girlfriends explained, “Your husband arranged this next.”  I stood there- blown away while she gave the doorman some name and viola, we were all taken inside.  I couldn’t help but smile (and send my husband a text to say thank you, yet again!).  He wasn’t there, yet I felt very taken care of.  I felt special and loved and adored.  Everything any woman would desire to feel.

It was a beautiful evening friends.

Walking down the stairs, to the thumping house music, my only concern was whether or not my 5″ heels could handle being danced in all night.  That and keeping my alcohol consumption in check.

The shoes held up fine.  I wish I could say the same for myself.  But that’s what Sundays are for right?

Recovering.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.