Moving On Up

When ex-beloved left us, yes “us”, almost 8 months ago, we had no idea where he went.  As far as we were concerned he had no apartment, no where to call home.  The only home he had, he had just left.  I say “us” because while he left our marriage, he also left the children.  His actions over the past 8 months speak louder than words.  His marriage is over.  He children are not a priority for him.  I see now that they never have been.  And it is ridiculous that now I would expect otherwise.

Unbeknownst to us, he moved in with his girlfriend.  They created a love nest in her parent’s empty house, for at least 2 months.  She also did not have an apartment because 10 months ago she left her 15 month old marriage.  I know, you can’t make this shit up.

Eventually they created their own love nest.  Ex-beloved told a not so believable story about an apartment that he was renting that was a good price for one reason or another.  There is always a reason.  I still can’t figure out the “apartment”.  I know the lines he fed us were not true, but it is just so weird.  In the end I think it may have been a summer rental?  Or a weekend rental?  While he told the children he was living there, on their first, and only visit,  there were no linens for the beds.  No toilet paper in the bathroom.  All the while, I knew he was living with her, but he told the children that this was his apartment.  And they believed him.

A couple of weeks ago he announced that he had to move out of his apartment as soon as possible because his supposed landlord was going to be selling it.  All lies.  Whatever.  Anyways, he decided that he was going to move in with his girlfriend.

This is the same girlfriend that the kids have not met.

He is big on messages.  Messages that I send the kids because I refuse to talk to him.  Messages that I send the kids because I refuse to see him.  Messages that I send the kids because he is the one earning the money which supports my job of taking care of the children.  Yet, he fails to see his own messages.

The kids are not important to him.  His happiness is more important.  He will do whatever he wants to ensure his happiness with no regards to his kids feelings.

Now he wants the kids to visit the apartment.  When she is not there.  In two weeks time.  To help ease the transition of accepting the new reality.

In theory I am ok with this.  I think  it will be good in some ways.  The kids need to start living with the reality of the situation.  Even though he makes his decisions with no regards or consideration of their reality.  Their thoughts.  Their emotions.  They must face this.

But it will be difficult for the kids.  He underestimates how difficult it will be.

I wonder how the kids will feel when they walk into the apartment.  How will they feel when they see that there is not one item in his new apartment that belongs to his old life?  Will they feel discarded?  Not important?  Will they notice that it is an apartment of a couple in love, with no children?  Not lived in, not cozy.  Not a place for a family?  Of course I speculate.  I have not been there.   I never will.  But at one point I knew him.  I knew what his dreams were.

This is what he always wanted.  A trendy apartment on the water.  A view of downtown.  Free of clutter.  Free of life.  Pristine.  Aside from the few token pictures of his kids (have to put on a certain show), there will be nothing there to make his kids feel like it is home.  It will always feel like her place.  It will never feel like their place.

He fails to see the messages that he is sending to the kids.  They are not the priority.  They are not wanted.

Advertisements

Accomplishments Post Ex-Beloved

Again, while reading up on divorce, I came across an article that talks about moving away from bitterness, anger and resentment.

I am hard on myself.  I feel like I should be less sad.  I feel like I should be thinking of him less.  I feel like I should be doing better.

The article references two scenarios.  In the first, the ex- wife has been divorced for 5 years, and in the second, over two years ago.  Both women are having a hard time with bitterness, anger and resentment.

I am only 7  months out.  And only separated.  Maybe I am doing ok?

The article continues to talk about strategies to move past the negative emotions.  One suggestion is to make a list of accomplishments achieved post-divorce.

While I am not officially divorced yet, I will be.

My accomplishments, post ex-beloved:

  1. Cleaned out the storage unit.
  2. Filled the storage unit with ex-beloved’s belongings and forced him to move every last box.  He did so reluctantly.
  3. Purchased new tires for my vehicle.
  4. Took a solo trip to NYC.
  5. Did not feel guilty taking my solo trip (read: no kids) to NYC.
  6. Created a budget for our “family” and have stuck to it.  (since we are not divorced we are still sharing finances).
  7. Have managed to pay down debt.  Not a lot.  But more than would have been paid had I still been “married”.
  8. Paid down said debt with the joint money.  Not out of my own pocket.  Through effective budgeting.
  9. Have started to set boundaries.
  10. Have found my voice.
  11. Registered for a couple of Continuing Education Classes at my local university.
  12. Painted my son’s bedroom.
  13. Bought new dishes.
  14. Saved my dog’s life
  15. Have lost 30 pounds.  (ok, so maybe that was just a result and not so much an accomplishment).
  16. Changed my first road bike tire/tube.
  17. Deleted my main email off my phone so that I can enjoy my days.

Rock. Me. Hard Place.

FullSizeRender-1

Kids visitation.  He cancels all the time.  And if he does not cancel, he is always late.  I should not be surprised at his punctuality.  He has always been someone who is late.  Expecting him to be on time now is unrealistic.  Lower the expectations.

He always communicates that he will be late.  Sometimes a day in advance.  Sometimes an hour.  And never with an apology.  Never with any respect towards my plan.  I get it.  This is one of the only ways he knows he can get under my skin.  It is my big red button that I cannot seem to hide.

I have read a lot about communicating with a narcissist.  I even started a list in the back of my journal called “Things to Remember”.  It  includes things like:

  1.  I will not change him.
  2. Stand my ground.
  3. Do not engage on every comment.
  4. Keep answers factual (yes or no).
  5. Set firm boundaries.
  6. Stop doing favours for him.  Stick to the “plan”.
  7. If it isn’t ok, say so.
  8. He will never behave the way I want.  (Never has).
  9. Be prepared.  See him coming.
  10. Stay silent as much as possible.  Minimize contact.
  11. Most narcissists aren’t good parents.  He will not keep the children’s best interests in mind.
  12. He is a liar.
  13. He won’t accept blame for anything.  Although he will offer excuses, he will never be remorseful.  Do not allow apologies to cloud my judgement.
  14. Do not try to reason with him.
  15. Remain calm.
  16. He will project.  Do not take it personally.
  17. He hates the loss of control.
  18. Attempts to co-parent with him will be an ongoing battle.
  19. Focus only on what I have to the power to control.
  20. Accept that all this can be exhausting.

These are only the ones I thought pertinent to this posting.  There are more. It does not escape me that many of these are contradictory to each other.

The challenge is that he continues to use work as his reason for not seeing the kids or for being late.  He has always used work to distance himself from his family.  Again, I should not be surprised.  He travels a lot.  He lies a lot.  He says he is traveling for work when really it is vacation.  He says he is going to be late because of work when really he is having dinner first with his girlfriend.

My list states to not engage.  When you engage in confrontation with a narcissist, you feed their ego.  But my list also states that I should set boundaries.  So if I tell him it is not acceptable for him to be late, trying to set boundaries, I am also engaging with him.  Feeding his ego.  Letting him know that he has pushed my big red button.  If I do not communicate this, I am not engaging with him, not letting him see how upset I am.  But I am also not setting boundaries.  I also feel that the message behind not engaging is that I am letting him believe it is ok for him to act this way.  That I condone his behaviour.  What’s a girl to do?

Rock.  Me.  Hard Place.

This is my new reality.  He will never be punctual.  He will always be disrespectful to me.  While I do not condone his behaviour, there is nothing I can do about it.  I cannot change him.  I have to accept this for what it is.  Crap.

 I have to let this all go.

Dear Other Woman

Every woman going through a divorce has fantasies about the things they would like to say or do, to the other woman.  Showing up on her doorstep, or her place of employment.  Slashing her tires.  Emailing her.  Calling her.  Myself included.  And if we are smart, we do none of them.  There is no point.  In the end the satisfaction would not live up to our expectations.

For a long time, I fantasized about sending an email to ex-beloved’s girlfriend.  I discovered that I actually had her email address.  During their affair, she donated items to a raffle draw at my daughter’s school, and ex-beloved gave me her email address for the thank you.  How foolish I feel now.

My fantasy email took on many versions in my head, but finally settled on this, which I actually drafted one night.  Not to send.  Only to get it out of my head.

TOP 10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT EX-BELOVED (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

  1.  He was sleeping with me, having sex with me, the whole time he was seeing you.  We’ve read the books, seen the movies.  We all know that the married man tells his girlfriend that he is in an unhappy, sexless marriage.  Nope.  Not us.  Sex, or some form of sexual gratification, all the time.  EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT.  And imagine, he still left me.  No amount of sexual attention will keep him.  You think it will.  But trust me.  It won’t.  And honey, I have seen your skinny assed body.  Good luck.Trust me, after 20 years, I know what kind of body get’s that man going.
  2. While he was seeing you, and still fucking me, it was great.  Ya, bet he didn’t tell you that part either.  At one point he told me he missed MY blow jobs.  I thought it funny but continued on.  Now I realize why he said it.  And while he was fucking both of us, he continued to tell me how beautiful my pussy was.  Did he tell you that too?  No?  Yes?  Either way, rather interesting don’t you think?
  3. Not only were we still having sex, but when you finally meet me, you will see that I am not the chubby housewife he has portrayed me to be.  I may have been.    The funny thing about your husband walking out unexpectedly and lying for months, a woman tends to lose her appetite.  Thirty pounds later, I am unrecognizable.  I guess it is the universe’s way of getting me prepared for the dating world again.  Where once I was horrified at the thought of having to get naked in front of another man, now I am actually looking forward to it.
  4. He is a dreamer.  Not a do-er.  His dreams are amazing.  They are exciting.  But he will not get around to bringing them to fruition.  That would require work.  Hard work.  And he does not have it in him.  He is always looking for the easy way out.  Speaking of which…
  5. I hear you have money.  That will work in his favour.  That will help him achieve his dreams.  Where I will be the one who held him back, you will be the one to help him blossom into the skunk cabbage he truly is.  He will use your money to fulfill his dreams.  After two failed business, no money management skills and too much debt, he will use as much of your money as you let him.  I have one word for you… “prenup”.
  6. He is always waiting for the next big thing.  Mostly this relates to money.  The next cheque, the next bonus, the next tax refund will fix all of the debt problems.  But it is never quite enough.  The cheques or bonuses are never as much as he thinks they will be.  Now?  His next big pay out?  The thing that will solve all his debt problems?  His inheritance.  Pretty sad when you think about it.  His next big pay out will be because his parents have died.  Be prepared, because in his head, that money is already spent.
  7. He expected to retire at 45.  He was going to be such a successful business man that he would be able to quit working 20 years earlier than most.  Has he told you his age?  He has approximately 2 years and 3 months to hit it big.  Oh, wait.  He already has.  He has you.  Re-read #5.
  8. He has had a vasectomy.  I hear you are in your early 30’s.  No one seems to know if you want kids.  You are still young.  That clock will start ticking.
  9. If you figure out a way to have kids with him, be careful.  On the outside it looks like he is a great family man.  Reality?  Nope.  I am not sure what he tells you about his kids but I can tell you that any dad that loves their kids would spend more than 4 days with them in a month.  A dad that loves his kids would want to see them as much as possible.  A dad who loves his kids would have fought for shared custody and not given me full custody.  What kind of man does that?  One who thinks with his dick more than his brain.  You are the chosen one.  My kids will always resent you because he chose you over them.
  10. Despite what he has told you, I do not believe you are the first.  I think there have been women before you.  And as the saying goes, if he’ll cheat with you, he’ll cheat on you.

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

White ones and red ones
And some you can’t disguise
Twisted truth and half the news
Can’t hide it in your eyes

~Thompson Twins (Lies)

One of my biggest struggles these days is all the lying.  Still.  Lying.

To have an affair means that one must possess a great ability to lie.  To deceive.  To put aside emotions.  To not care.  Let me tell you, my ex-beloved has it all, in spades.  What I fail to understand is that after 7 months, he still lies.  How much longer can this continue?

At the beginning were the typical excuses.  I have to work late.  There is a work dinner I must attend.  I have an early conference call with China (that one is convenient given the time change).  I have to work.  I have to work.  I have to work.  This was especially convenient given that he works with her.

And then there were the more calculated and deceitful lies.  “I have to stay in [insert any given city here] for an extra day because we did not finish our business meetings.”  I find myself stuck on that one.  How many times did I hear that over the course of my marriage?  To be honest I am not sure.  But I can tell you that the one time I remember, the warning bells had already sounded.

While his lie sounded plausible, it was completely a lie.  In my head I thought that “they” had stayed in [the above inserted city] for an extra day, together.  Nope.  He actually returned home, and stayed the night and the next day with her.  I can understand why.  He was about to spend two weeks with his family.  It was Christmas.

Lying is tricky in this age of digital everything.  And ex-beloved?  Not so smart.  While it took me 5 months to discover his Christmas travel deceit, I had proof all along.  On my phone.  When you take pictures with your phone, the time, date and location are “stamped” on the picture.  A picture he had sent me of the line up at customs on the “day he arrived home” had been taken the previous day.  And this was not the only photo.  Even after I called him out on a photo he sent to my son, lying about his whereabouts, he continues to send photos.  Proof of his lies.

Not only were the lies stupid, but very unoriginal.  Have you ever seen Love Actually?  You know the part where Emma Thompson opens her Christmas present and it is not the gold jewelry that she had previously found in her husband’s jacket pocket?  Yup.  That happened to me.  My variation was a bank transaction (he wasn’t even smart enough to use his credit card) in a brand named store, on our joint account.  And none of my gifts had that label on them.  He “claimed” to have returned it right after buying it because he realized that a silk scarf in our climate was extremely unsuitable.

So why am I so bothered by all the lying?  Especially now, that I know he is a liar.  After all these months, I do not understand the lying.  He knows that I know everything.  In fact, I probably know more than he realizes.  I look back and I can see that the lying is worse now than before he left.  He lies about where he is living.  He lies about his business trips which are in fact vacation.  He lies about his reasons for not being able to see his children.  He lies about his financial situation.

He lies. He lies. He lies.

How much longer can this continue?  I suspect until she figures out that he is also lying to her.

In the meantime, I record the important lies.  The ones that affect the children.  The rest?  I just roll my eyes and say “whatever”.

Throwing it All Away

Throwing it all away
Throwing it all away
Is there nothing that I can say
To make you change your mind
I watch the world go round and round
And see mine turning upside down
You’re throwing it all away.

~ Genesis

There was a time when I tried to find the words to change his mind.  When I thought that my actions or lack there of, would or could or might effect the outcome of my separation and ultimately my marriage.  When everything I did was hopefully going to bring him back; everything I did was with the intention getting him to come home.  To me.  To our family.

I couldn’t have been more disillusioned.

I think he left with a duffle bag of clothes.  I can hardly remember through the thick fog of shock.  Now. when I look in the closet, there are no bags or luggage missing.  What on earth did he put his clothes in?  He left so quickly that the door hardly had a chance to hit him on the ass before he walked away.

When he left all I could see was what he was throwing away. Seventeen years of love, support, marriage, family, friendship, trust and sex.

17 years of me.

When he left, I did try to find the words to change his mind.  But very quickly I realized there was no chance of him coming home.  There was no going back.

Five weeks after he left, in an attempt to connect and move forward, we met at a coffee shop in our neighbourhood, at his request.  He wanted to see me.  He felt like we were disconnected.  He missed seeing me.  He wanted us to be friends.

A late February afternoon.  Our moods matched the weather.  Grey, cloudy, and bitterly cold.  I knew from the minute we walked into the coffee shop that we were done.  The vibe emanating from his body couldn’t have been louder than the siren on the fire truck passing by the window.  We could hardly speak.  I could hardly speak.  Let alone look him in the eye.

I remember it as clear as if it had happened yesterday.  He said, “for the first time in my life I feel like I am putting myself first.  I am doing exactly what it is that I want to do.”

That was probably the most honest thing he has said to me in years.  And it hit me hard.  It was pointless to continue our conversation.  Like the hanging icicles, my hope shattered to the ground.

I took off my wedding rings that night.

Four days later, my worst nightmare was confirmed.  There was another woman.  He most certainly was putting himself first.

He threw us all away.

Begin Again

FullSizeRender

I’ve been stuck lately.  And by lately, I mean for the past week, 10 days, two weeks at most.  Thoughts going around and around.  Unsure of my emotions.  Sure that they exist.  Unsure if they are based on anger, fear or sadness.  Sure that it is a bit of all three.

It has been 7 months since my ex-beloved uttered the words “I have fallen out of love with you.  And I don’t want to try.”

I am a talker.  A verbal processor.  I ponder out loud.  I speculate out loud.  I worry out loud. I rejoice out loud.

But what’s a girl to do when she feels like she has worn the ears off of her closest friends?  Hell, even the friends who are not so close?

Write.

I already have a blog.  I’ve had it for a couple of years now.  It was going well, for me.  It is not well known.  It does not have a lot of followers or visitors.  It was a place where I shared stories about my family, my life, and threw in a recipe or two along the way.  It is not the place to share the nitty, gritty details about my separation divorce.

So I stopped writing.

I tried though.  I tried to write about the change in my life in a way that did not bash or make me sound bitter.  I had 2 quite good, cathartic posts. But I struggle.  There is too much I want to write.  Too much I want to put out there.  Too much that needs to be said.

So here it is.  My new blog.  My outlet.  My place of healing.  My place of sharing.  My place of learning.  My place to move on.

My healthy voice.