I’ve been so productive lately. The warm weather has raised my spirits and I’ve been organizing and purging. There’s still a long way to go though.
My rule when cleaning is if I haven’t used it or touched it in the last year then it’s in the pile to go. There’s a few sentimental things I hang onto, but other than that it’s gone. It feels so freeing!
I even cleared out about 300 emails from work that built over the last week. I deleted, filed and organized my inbox so I can stay on top of projects.
It got me thinking about my personal email. I have so many sentimental emails from Steve that I file away and would read when I was missing him. I know it’s ridiculous. I can’t imagine him sitting at his desk going back through the years with a yearning heart. He once had our emails, but over time he’s moved on and so should I.
But when I read the last one before everything changed, I’m filled with anger and sadness. While I’ve tried to move forward and accept that chapter of my life has ended, I have always wondered what I might have done wrong or where I mistepped to make him decide he was done with me. The last email he writes how much he love being with me, how he doesn’t tell me enough how much I mean to him, and then thanks me for loving him so much. Then weeks later, it’s on the fast track to donesville.
Perhaps I’m keeping the emails as validation for my actions. I was taking his lead and giving him what I thought he wanted. I wanted to fill a void that he had. Somewhere along the line though, the value I brought to the relationship was less than the good he could get elsewhere. He traded in those words he wrote and spoke for something better than I could give.
And now it’s time to take my own advice and keep perspective. If he had wanted me in his life, he would be with me. Choices and decisions were made and no good can come from holding on to the past.
Lately I’ve felt disconnected despite the fact I’m connected through every social media channel and email possible. I go out with friends and all our conversations feel superficial.
Life has been throwing me curve balls and I’ve yet to get to first base. I’m frustrated. When I try to connect with friends, they’ve been less than supportive. I try to discuss things that are weighing on my mind and have been met with a head cocked, blurry-eyed response. They’re not comprehending the importance of what I’m saying, or I’m not able to fully communicate the worries I have.
This single parenting thing is almost impossible. The kids are challenging me in new ways and while I practice being understanding, I don’t believe I’m succeeding. I’m working on providing a safe place for them – and they’re using it! Which means now I have to process what’s going on with them. If I could talk to their dad and have one rational conversation with him, things might be different.
So that’s why I need to rely on friends, but they’re just not there. I have one childless friend who would rather I don’t bring up my children and when I do she provides me a clinical, cold answer advising me what to do. Another childless couple who know my kids and enjoy them provide expert advice – for kids who aren’t struggling with what they’re struggling with! My mom takes on the tact that everything that is going on is the ex’s fault and therefore feels I should just take it out on the ex. And then she provides me with some sage wisdom that would have worked 35 years ago when she was raising teens. My sister has perfect children and therefore has no patience for listening to me. Or at least that’s how it seems as she changes the subject back to her perfect children.
Co-workers are, well, co-workers. You can’t really get into all the dirty laundry from home. I’ve already shared too much. And these young mothers of toddlers have amazing text-book answers to solve all the issues ever faced. And a good recipe for vegan dishes too!
I unheard which leads me to do more talking and more screaming. So, I’m going to try a different approach. Silence. I believe after three years here, it’s time for me to move on to search out a more solid foundation for life.
I’ve received so much support and kindness here. You’ve been wonderful to listen and help me as I struggle through navigating my way. If I could share more of myself then I wouldn’t leave, but because of the secrecy of this part of my life, I just can’t open up. And this isn’t really who I am anymore. This unfortunately keeps me looking back instead of moving forward.
I might be back writing under a different blog so that I can give a much more rounded view of who I am. My email will always be available to anyone who would like to talk more. I’ll keep the blog up because there is some great advice for other people going through the same thing. Hopefully it will continue to help.
Thank you all!
We’ve talked about when it’s time to end an affair, things you might feel while you’re in an affair, and ways to manage yourself throughout an affair. I guess the next logical look is how to come to terms with the end and move on from an affair.
You already know the end of an affair is the same as the end of any sort of intimate relationship. For what ever time you and your lover were together, you were intimate and at times the intimacy you shared was beyond any physical touch. The transition from intimacy to not can be long. Here’s what I learned along the way.
Perspective. This I by far the hardest thing to keep at the end of a relationship. Your dreams are broken along with your heart. The future you had once hoped for is not to be. So now what? How do you look back while moving forward?
It easy to be angry. And in that anger it’s easy to throw away both the good and bad in an effort to make a break. There’s no reason it can’t have been good once, but not good now. People change. Circumstances change. It’s ok.
I believe people are brought into your life for a reason and they leave for a reason as well. I also believe the ones who are meant to stay will find a way to stay. If you’ve found yourself at the end of an affair and are alone at this juncture, then there’s a reason you just don’t see it yet. Put don’t the paintbrush and try not to paint the past with broad brush strokes.
Don’t romanticize the past and live only in those high moments. Don’t doom the past and see only the places it went wrong. Somewhere in between is the truth. Take the time to get perspective and live in the truth. Learn from what you’ve experienced and grow into a better person for those experiences.
Whatever you do, DON’T expose the affair. I only bring it up because it seems like a very common reaction when affairs end. I could never hurt another person by telling about my affair. In the end it doesn’t make you feel any better and it hurts innocent people. It will never change the heart of your former lover either. No good can come from acting out of hate.
Yes you’ll want to feel the other person knows what they have lost. Yes you’ll want the satisfaction of knowing they hurt too. These are all normal feelings. But, like a good bottle of wine is full of empty calories, these feelings do nothing to help you keep perspective. They hold you down. Your ego is begging for validation and wanting to soothe the rawness of your heart. It’s your ego which begs for your anger to be justified. Fight your ego.
Love yourself, respect the other person, and take a deep breath. Eventually the tears will stop. Eventually you’ll understand the whys. No I take that back. You may never understand the whys, but eventually you’ll stop asking because it’s just worth asking anymore.
You’ll survive and overcome to find acceptance of your loss. Until then, keep perspecive.
This is probably one of my favorite Neil Simon plays. I had a chance to watch it this weekend. I was so excited to see Netflix had it available for streaming, so I snuggled down to indulge in some me time.
I haven’t seen the movie in probably 25 years or so and was caught of guard by how different my perspective was now that I’d experienced being a mistress.
For those who haven’t seen it, the plot is about a married man and a married woman find themselves alone at a resort. Happenstance puts them together and thy find they an open up and talk for hours to each other. They wind up sleeping together and decide to come back the following year. One year turns into 26.
What I appreciate is how well the affair is written about. There a constant tug if guilt vs. love. A desire for more and he practicality of there never being more. At one point, Alan Alda’s character has a chance to tell his mistress’ husband all about the affair, but instead tells him how much she loves him (the husband) which ends up saving her marriage.
The movie shows them fighting, evolving, comforting, sharing. Their support of each other is just as passionate as their love making. About 15 or 20 years in they comment how incredible it is that their lovemaking is still so satisfying and he says “well if you add up all the times we’ve been together we’re still on our honeymoon”. Anyone who’s had a long term affair can probably identify with that.
Finally towards the end of the movie we asks him to marry her. He panicked and she lets him off the hook. The affair continues. Later we find out his wife passes away and it’s him asking her to marry. She can’t brig herself to leave her husband though even at the risk of losing the only man she’s cared about so deeply other than her husband.
I guess my biggest problem I have is with the ending. If it were true to life it would have ended with the affair stopping after nearly 30 years. But it had a happy ending where he came back to her and accepted that he could only have her once a year. It was a good happy ending, but not realistic.
Like I said, I watched with new eyes. I remember the times I felt so deeply in love and so deeply loved with Steve. I remember how easy it was to find a connection with him. But I resented the movie for portraying the ease they had overcoming the guilt and how simply they were able to find each other again. And how unrealistic the plot was, yet how possible it could be if only the right people were involved. People who could segment their lives and accept the limitations.
I wonder what you think. Here’s your homework, watch the movie and tell me your thoughts. Would you be happy if that were you? Would you be able to continue? Did you experience (or are you experiencing) any of that?
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
If I ever get a chance to meet One Direction, I will serve them with copy write infringement papers! I was saying story of my life long before those youngins’ were even born! Geez!
Yesterday was my big I’m-getting-out-there date with Mr. PoF (plentyoffish.com). We’d chatted a bit through the site. I was impressed with his ability to write full sentences and NOT ask what sexual acts liked, so we made plans for dinner.
Last week had been long days with work and other commitments. I’d been getting into work extra early, so I was up entirely too soon from the short nights ahead. He wanted to meet on Friday night, but he wanted to meet for a late dinner. After a bit of negotiation we decided on a time that wouldn’t get me home after 11pm.
Now, as you know, I’m feeling my middle age as of late. The grey hair, frumpy clothes, and less than radiant skin. So, as I was getting ready for work knowing that I’d need to look somewhat attractive later that night, I stood and starred at the closet wishing for some sort of sexy, appropriate outfit would appear out of nowhere. It didn’t.
I put more effort into the makeup and hair routine hoping it would last the day. Then I packed the makeup bag for touch-up later. Do you think men work this hard? Overall it was a put together outfit. Not too revealing, not too old.
Throughout the day I’d have mini panic attacks thinking about meeting a stranger for the first time with the hope of us having some sort of chemistry. You know – the reason people go on dates. There were so many bars on the way to the restaurant and I had some time between work and dinner. I was so tempted to go in to get some liquid courage, but decided not to. I mean, if I was worried about making a good first impression I didn’t need to be blitzed when I met him.
I pulled into a Starbucks instead. After a decaf Americano, I went into the bathroom to fix my makeup and give myself a good pep talk. Then I checked my email for any last minute instructions (I never give out my cellphone to strangers. I don’t need them intruding on my life if things don’t go well.) And there it was. An email from Mr. PoF telling me he was cancelling with no interest in rescheduling. At least it didn’t indicate he wanted to reschedule.
All dressed up and no where to go. Story of my life. Cue game show loser sound effect. While I was disappointed with the amount of energy I put into the day and the worry, I wasn’t all that disappointed in him cancelling. I figure there’s a reason. Maybe he’s the next Ted Bundy or maybe he was a Rush Limbaugh want-to-be.
I stopped at the liquor store on the way home. My favorite wine was on sale so I picked up a couple bottles (taking advantage of the sale after all). Then there’s a little Chinese restaurant by the house I’ve been wanting to try, so I got some take out. I came home to meet Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith for a night of action and adventure. Really, it turned out to be a nice evening.
Today has been highly productive too! I was able to clean up some clutter, get all my laundry done, shop, and replace burned out light bulbs. I love spring! For whatever reason, I was motivated today and in great spirits.
So there you go. For whatever reason the universe tells me that I’m not to be going out on dates. And there’s no reason to fight it.
The last couple days have been long, long days. Yesterday I left the house before 7am and didn’t get home until 11pm. Tonight was a 12 hour day. It’s in these times that I crave a partner more than ever.
There have been some really neat stuff happening that I want to share with that person. Victories and accomplishments that would be really nice to talk about. Yes, I have wonderful friends who support me. But it can be exhausting to have to be the cheerleader and therapist all the time when all you are are friends. I either sound like I’m bragging or my world is falling apart. Friends distance themselves from me, not because they don’t care, but because they can only listen so much.
A partner, I believe, is invested in each others daily roller-coaster so as the day-to-day things are not burdens but a piece of you equally as much as it is in them. While it might seem an extrovert is constantly looking for a crowd, often times its close, intimate relationships that give the most satisfaction just as introverts might seem to seek solitude at all costs, when in fact, they simply need space and time to re-center.
When I was dating my ex husband, he had planned an extraordinary public marriage request. It wasn’t until we started discussing what I would want that he realized it didn’t have to be big. I wanted to share that moment with him alone because he was the one who gave me the joy, not strangers looking on.
Though it might seem odd that I blog and seek a public discourse on many of my random and very private thoughts, in the end what I really want more than anything is that one person who will sit across from me at the table and listen to my ramblings; cheer my ups and console my downs. What I want is to come home to someone at the end of the day who cares if I return and is upset if I spend 16 hours away from home. Someone who will lay with me and help me refuel for the next battle.
Extroverts can learn from introverts how to be calm; to focus their energy and embrace meditation. Introverts can learn to open up and share their thoughts and feelings. They can be a balance to each other if both sides are willing to accept the differences. Or they battle each other because each side wants their own way. Compromise can lead to a deeper connection within a relationship when the work is put in.
Listen to your partner and hear how he/she needs to be shown love. And then hold each other, breath deeply and come up with a plan of action. In the meantime, I’ll start working on changing my expectations and asking for what I need. Like maybe a puppy – they love unconditionally right?
Which makes me think about how people get their energy renewed. Extroverts are able to refuel through processing things verbally. A conversation with one or a few people helps them move through decisions, problems, hopes, goals, etc. An introvert on the other hand is drained by having to translate what’s inside the head to another person. It’s easier to work though their every day by themselves and not have to filter or explain what they need or think. Neither way is perfect and neither way is absolute right. It has to do with your own personalities and processes.
I’m going on a date tomorrow. A legitimate-he’s not married-he asked me out date.
It’s nothing fancy, just dinner. He seems nice enough. I met him on a dating site and we seem to have a few things in common. It will be causal with no expectations. It will be a nice change from the normal Friday activities of sitting at home berating myself for not cleaning.
I thought it was time to open myself up to possibilities. I’m sure you long-time readers could read between the lines that I was holding out hope Steve would come back. There’s no reason to have the hope, just foolishness. He told me he’d call if his circumstances ever changed. The classic ” don’t call me, I’ll call you.” He didn’t ask me to wait or want me to pine. It’s fine time I look at the harsh truth and accept once was is indeed was.
I’m going on a date tomorrow. I’m not planing a wedding or investing for a lifetime of togetherness. I’m simply being open. Spring brings us greener landscapes, returning birds and a fresh perspective.