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Rootless

July 29, 2016

Lately I’ve been feeling superficial, even more than usual. I don’t feel I have deep roots in any part of my life. Longevity, sure. Purpose and/or value no.

Shifts in life always makes one evaluate where they stand and what they mean in the bigger picture. And having my oldest move into adulthood had triggered this feeling somewhat. It seems more widespread than an empty nest syndrome. I’m giving myself in various areas – work, family, friends,community, but I’m not feeling fulfilled or meaningful.

Recently, I spent several days with folks who seemed to have deeper roots in the world. They were in committed relationships and involved with bigger projects that impacted more than themselves. Of course, it’s all just what I can observe from the conversations we had. Who knows, maybe they feel as directionless as I do.

I am stuck feeling envious of others. I want to take a sabbatical, I just don’t know where or to do what. I’m so far out of touch I can’t even figure out what my soul is yearning for. This is a new place for me to be so far from center that I’m scared of being swolled up by the loss. I need a sense of purpose. To be important to someone. To be valued – not for what I give, but for who I am. Perhaps I’m feeling too much like dust in the wind.

It’s only the rain

March 2, 2015

It’s only the rain. The drops of water on the sidewalk which evaporate with the sun. The droplets which wet your jacket and drip upon your shoes. There could be a deluge of water, wind, thunder and lightening, but still it’s only the rain. No matter how hard it blusters. No matter if an umbrella is needed to protect against the increasing splash. It’s still only the rain.

You may want to scream at the sky, “stop your howling air!” Or yell at the clouds to move past your house. But it’s only the rain. The force with which you fight this rage upon you only takes your energy. The rain washes over you leaving you feelin cold and violated, but there’s nothing more than wetness upon your face. Temporary. 

This accumulated water will not tear apart the sidewalk. It won’t destroy the earth you walk upon. It cannot take down buildings and take down structure because it’s only the rain. Once the sky tantrum has yielded, the view is washed clean. Better than before. No haze. No gloominess. It’s brighter and easier to navigate because it’s only the rain that’s briefly moved through. A spec on the timeline of life. 

I’ve spent a lot of time here complaining of my situation. Wrapped up thinking I’d be in this place forever. Not truly understanding that thing move and change. Life is dynamic. 

I was told today that I would be lonely all of my life because there’s no one who would put up with my horridness. And I laughed. I laughed at how ridiculous it was that someone else could determine my fate and my happiness. A slap in my face by my friend reality. 

I laughed because the mere words, coming from someone else, forced me to see things for what they really are. Temporary. These moments of insecurity are like the raindrops clearing the way for me to see a better tomorrow. Life is good. I’m buying an umbrella and sitting in the rainsoaked garden.

Anatomy of an affair Pt. 9

March 25, 2014

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.

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Anatomy of an affair Pt. 8 – If the Lyrics Fit

January 12, 2014

As most of you know, my life could be a musical made up of love songs. While listening to the radio this morning, I came to realize there’s quite a few that can tell the story of the passion and strain of an affair.

You start off with passion. Sexual arousal fills the air and all you want is to rip each other’s clothes off. You can’t keep your hand’s off each other and hardly stay dressed if left in the same room for more than five minutes.

Once in a long-term affair, you find yourself connecting on so many levels. You know you’re unbalanced, but being with him/her makes you feel safe and secure. Walking the delicate line between immersing yourself in his soul and knowing he’ll never be all yours.

You find yourself with uncontrollable desire for your lover. You’re checking your email and phone constantly wondering if he’s trying to reach you. You’ll take whatever risks to see him. The thought of him drives you wild. You wish you could shout it to the mountain tops the thrill and excitement you feel.

Passion fills your days. You can’t get enough of each other and you begin to believe you own the world.

That time in the relationship you know you’re only a mistress and lover, but you don’t want the affair to end. You bargain with yourself. With him. Hoping you can fool yourself into believing there’s so much more than this physical touch

Then there comes a time when you realize no matter how fantastic the sex, you want something more. Something deeper. More permanent. You understand the love you have for your lover, it can’t fill you the way you want.

Alas, you find yourself at the end of the rollercoaster love you shared.

What’s on your affair playlist? I’m sure I’ve missed a stage along the way. It’s funny how I’ll hear a song and think of what was, then hear another and think what could have been. All I know is they are good memories. Ones I wouldn’t give up.

Anatomy of an affair Pt. 7

December 19, 2013

Insecurities run rampant in a long-term affair. While they paly in the same sandbox as jealousy, they are indeed an issue unto themselves. I contend jealousy has to do with outside forces such as wives, children, work, vacations while insecurities feed off self-doubt. At times jealousy and insecurity are tangent, other times they’re distinctly different.

I remember how often I was jealous of Steve’s time with his other obligations in life. How often I wished I didn’t have to fall off his priority list. How I wished I wasn’t so easily forgotten while he tended to his real life. The green monster lived just below the surface of my skin.

Reflecting back on the affair recently, I came to understand how my self-doubts also played into my loneliness. Steve had had previous affairs before me and I found myself wondering what those women were like. Maybe some of you can relate. At times I wondered if he missed things about those other women – were they younger, were they prettier, were they more adventurous, were they thinner? When I look in the mirror and see all the flaws which keep me from having the elusive love I desire, I can point to all the things he could get from another woman.

Time apart made those insecurities grow. Illogical thinking takes over and conclusions jumped to faster than Irish dancers clogging there way to Carnige Hall. Of course he doesn’t want to spend time with you, have you seen those wrinkles? Why would he want to be in bed with you, those breasts sure aren’t perky. On and on my mind would validate my self-hatred – finding such nit picky flaws I’d be exhausted.

Between the loneliness, the insecurity, and the self-doubt, I’d convince myself that Steve was indeed seeking out the new, better version of an affair. In my gut, I knew that wasn’t who he was, but those moments of weakness I would believe the voices inside my head.

In order to make a long-term affair work, you will need to be conscious of where your mind wonders. Validate the thoughts that creep up. Question the motivations for the doubt. You will have to fight to keep the perspective in place or you’ll quickly drive yourself crazy.

An affair is a combination of lies you tell yourself, you tell each other, and you tell the world. It’s a thin veil that can easily break when the acidic brain patterns get thumping too loud. Be cautious. Not only of the misconceptions you create in a mental playground, but of the lies which perpetuate the affair. The balance is delicate!

Anatomy of an Affair Pt 6

November 13, 2013

Many people are coming to the blog under the search “how to end an affair”. I thought I should write to the topic, but I am by no means an expert. In fact, if Steve hadn’t ended it, I’d still be in an affair. I know the critics will have a field day with the truth and all the implications of the statement.

I guess what I can write about is the end of a relationship with the added benefit of a knowing the uncomfortable feelings of a mistress. And maybe give some perspective to those who might be considering ending an affair.

When you’re in a relationship you know better than anyone else what you’re intimately feeling towards the other person. Are you hiding feelings, holding back doubt, avoiding confrontation? Do you feel fulfilled? Partnerships are a living, breathing animal. There’s highs and lows; giving and taking. I’ve found in my limited experience there are times when things feel extremely disconnected and times where soul mate doesn’t describe the depth of connectivity. Sometimes you can be passive while others you need to dig in and work.

Spend some time deep in thought with yourself and you’ll know if it’s time to end an affair. Most mistresses who have the strength to cut the tie, I believe, come to an understanding they want more – and more importantly that they deserve more. For myself, I kept waiting for the right guy to come along so I felt justified in leaving Steve. To be honest, I think he held on longer than he intended hoping I’d find someone else too. It would ease any feelings of guilt for the affair going on so long and be an easier transition for everyone. But, as fate would have it, no one came a knocking on my door and so he had to rip the bandaid off.

To end a long-term affair, you have to accept the premises you put in place – the blinders you put so as to continue this type of relationship are flawed. It takes thick skin to address the disconnect between the intense feelings you have vs. the reality of the relationship. For example, the reason you two are together may be because something is missing at home for one or both of you. While the affair is strong you can provide the missing link for each other. Over time it’s hard to maintain that middle ground. Some people are perfectly capable of distinguishing between life and non-life and are able to cease before the lines get blurred. Others, like myself, keep those blinders on and justify why things aren’t perfect and even go so far as to offer excuses.

I can tell you, from looking back, the number of excuses I used. Everything from “well when we’re together it’s so right” to “no available man is interested anyway”. How many times I wanted more. How many times I wanted to be that special person to someone. So in those moments of attention, my desires were fulfilled. And in the moments of distance my insecurities ate away at me.

Had I listened to myself, I would have seen how things were not as right as I portrayed. It hurts. I’m embarrassed by how often I allowed myself to wonder into dreams of us together. I didn’t hear – I didn’t want to hear the ways Steve told me I was not a priority. There was no way I could be and there’s no other way to look at the situation. Again, hindsight gives me insight. Time and time again, in multiple ways he tried to tell me it had to end and I wouldn’t accept it. So any hurt I have is on me.

I loved the time I had with Steve and have great memories to reflect upon. I felt the rush of passion and love. I laughed. He bolstered my confidence and had more faith in me than my own family. I still love him and probably always will. I am fortunate because I don’t feel manipulated or “played”. We found ourselves at the wrong points of our lives.

My sage advice to mistresses is don’t play the blame game to end the relationship. Look at it like any other break-up, it isn’t working and won’t be a long-term fit. It’s ok to say you’re ready for more. When you try to speak words or explain your lover’s actions instead of accepting the time has come for a change, then I think you’re only making the wounds deeper.

Of course it’s easy fore to wax poetic. I’ve gone through the grief. I hope each person is able to fun their own path and their own way towards resolution.

When it was over

October 13, 2013

There’s a scene in Oz the Great and Powerful in which Glenda comes to the traveling circus to tell Oz she has been proposed to. You can tell she wants him to say no, and for a brief moment, he is saddened by the news. In the end though, he tells her she should accept and be happy. Her heart is broken.

When Steve and I ended, I was hurt. His love for me meant to let me go to be with an available man. I recognize what a wonderful gift he was giving me, but all I wanted was for him to tell me to stay.

Hope had asked me to write about the end of my affair. I was going to do an Anatomy of an Affair piece, but realized that every break up is different and I didn’t think it would fit the format. The end of any relationship is different for every person no matter what type of relationship ends. I talk with other divorced women and their path is so different from mine, yet still some similarities. While I share my ending, I hope that it doesn’t make anyone feel this is typical. Feel free to share your journeys as well.

I began to blog as a cautionary tale to women who might get involved with married men and to wives who might be unaware of what was happening with their husbands. That was quite awhile ago. Steve had just told me he couldn’t keep up the affair and I needed a place to get out the demons. It was nice to have a community of people who listened (read) and gave me encouragement and feedback. Shortly after I began, I sent a stray email to Steve thinking it was going to someone else. That started us seeing each other again.

We stayed together for a long while. Stars aligned and we were able to vacation together for a quick overnight trip. Two nights and two wonderful days together exploring each others interests. Laying with him the entire night. Waking up with him. It was a perfect time. A magical moment which I treasure. We weren’t back more than a week when Steve told me he had to end the affair. I threw a temper tantrum. I cried. Angry. Angry that I allowed myself to get carried away. I felt foolish because I fell into the classic trap of a mistress to believe she had more in his life than she did. Sad that his companionship was gone.

Time went by and he reached out to me. One thing lead to another and we were once again in each other’s arms. We took it slow. Respectful of our limitations. We held back the flowery emtoions and didn’t whisper the three words we both held in our heart as if that would somehow protect us from the ultimate pain we knew was patiently waiting for us. Our affair became a stronger friendship. He stood by me through so much heartache and uncertainty in my life. He was my cheerleader and my champion. He was generous and kind; loving and passionate. Before we knew it, we were back in the thick of an affair.

The last time he told me he couldn’t carry on the affair, I told him I wouldn’t chase after him this time. If he needed to be done, I’d respect him. I left the door open, letting him know that if he wanted to be in my life I wouldn’t say no. I was once again angry, embarassed by my foolishness, sad for the loss of a great friendship. It hurt me that I couldn’t be the one who gave him the love he deserved. It hurt to know that I wasn’t enough for him. Before you say anything, yes, I do know that it isn’t about me being enough but what Steve needs to find in his life for himself. I don’t regret having the time with him. My life is richer and a bit wiser. I have never been angry with Steve. He was always very honest with me about his limitations and the reasons he wouldn’t leave his marriage. The stress of lying and creating time to be with me was just too much. I hate that I couldn’t be a priority to him, but never faulted him for having his priorities right.

It’s  hard for me to mourn his loss because I cannot be honest with anyone around. I share my thoughts here because I have no where else to get it all out. I knew what I was getting myself into and I tried not to believe I’d end up with him. But, we all know that I did believe it. Somehow that wish I carried helped me feel less guilty about the immoral behavior. Still today I think we could have had a really amazing future together – even if it wouldn’t have been an easy future.

If I’m not careful I allow my mind to wander. What is he doing now, do I cross his mind, has he found love within his marriage, has he found love elsewhere? It’s so important that I stay on his mind because then it makes everything more legitimate. Why? I don’t know. I guess because if he feels me in his soul, then it wasn’t some dirty little secret.

As far as my even-handed approach to writing about affair, I must say it’s mostly because I have no idea what sacrifices or pain Steve endured to be with me for as long as he did. We both entered the affair as an erotic escape with no intentions of anything more. We were accidently in love. And so I look at his part with compassion. He tried what he could to balance the two worlds. I know I wouldn’t have experienced all I did if he wasn’t willing to bend as far as he could. He had a breaking point. He had so many other things to juggle than I did. What a toll it took on him. While I thrived in his love, he withered in mine. And that’s the hardest thing for me to accept.

 

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