Sunday June 2007
I had a nightmare last night. That Danny left me again and went off with ‘her’. It was one of those awful dreams that just kept coming back every time you go to sleep.
I don’t know, although probably, if that was why I felt sad today. Not the wave of despair that I used to feel (I [pulled the plug on that bath a long time ago) but still sad.
As I am writing this I realise that one of the reasons for it is that Danny seems so happy because I am happy (happier); and that just emphasises how much he loves me. So it brought it home to me tonight what he was so frightened of when he first came back – which is all he kept saying. “I am so frightened.” He was frightened that he would never get me back, that he had lost me forever.
But that makes me sad. Because although I understand the manipulation, the mistakes that he and I made, the circumstances that led us to it all, I still cannot understand why he let me down.
I loved him so much, implicitly, without doubt or question. That has gone; and I am sad because I want to get that back – but I can’t. And yes to a degree Danny has lost me. I can never one hundred per cent rely on him again. That man has gone for me; and I know that he desperately wants to come back, and I want him back, but I can’t. It is something that neither of us have any control over.
And for what? Something so stupid, so trivial, is that how much we meant to him? Why wasn’t it enough? Why did he have to nearly lose me to realise what he had? And now he doesn’t have that anymore.
I don’t know. Will it get better with time? Will the sadness go away?
Reflections Here & Now
Obviously not all of my journal entries are in my blog because it is a serialisation of my book; but in earlier entries I had started to write in my journal every day. It helped to take the thoughts out of my head and stop them from tormenting me.
Just before this entry there had been periods of up to three days where I had not written in it, just because things had started to calm down (or so I thought!). But now in this entry I was back to writing in my journal again – every day.
The torment of feeling that one minute you are back to being ‘a little bit normal’ and then WHAM! It is all back stronger than before, was one of the main things that nearly made me walk away – many, many times.
Believe me, if you are going through this hell right now I have come to understand that this is the ‘new normal’ (for a time) you will go up and down, up and down, it is not called an ‘Ocean of Emotion’ for nothing!
But I can tell you, with the benefit of hindsight, that it can get better; but you do need to get some sort of coping mechanism in place for the early days – because there was no way that I was anywhere near acceptance at this stage (even though I thought I was!)
I find this entry so sad; because the me of then, who wrote this entry, was right: once something is lost you will never get it back. I remember that immense sadness and pain so implicitly; the fear that it would never go away, and I would feel like that forever. This is one of the reasons I wrote this book, to help the person reading this understand that it can go away, and whilst you will not get back what you had you can get something better, something real.
But only if you let it, and that takes time.
The saddest part of this entry is when I say ‘I loved him so much, implicitly, without doubt or question, that has gone.’ I love my husband to peices but not implicitly any more – I wouldn’t love anyone implicitly now.
I asked myself if what I had said in this entry was true – would I ever one hundred per cent rely on Danny again? The answer is clear because I live in rural France with him, on a very small monthly budget, and we have to trust each other to make it work. So yes I do one hundred per cent rely on Danny, in the same way that he relies on me. Do I trust him? Yes I do, but I believe it is a different trust, because I will always have myself first, I don’t look to Danny to define me.
I have often been asked “Aren’t you frightened that he will do it again?” I have always said no because I watched Danny pull himself through hell to keep me, and I know that there is no way that he is ever going to risk losing me again.
I would ask anyone who is trying to make it work, how hard is your partner working to keep you, and do you see what they do?
Some of you will hate this question because that little monster in your head will immediately tell you it is irrelevant because they have betrayed you so it doesn’t matter how hard they are working now.
Here is the crucial question: if you were in their shoes could you keep going? Be honest, if you felt like a cheat, was with someone who cried every day, sometimes all day, because of what you had done. Someone who screamed at you, hated you, loved you, blamed you for everything including rainy days would you stay?
I asked myself that question, often.
When Danny came back he did say nearly every day, from the first day he returned, that he was ‘so frightened’. I had forgotten that until now, he would whisper it often ‘I am so frightened’. Over the years I have watched Danny face every fear he had, watched him never give up, cry rivers- even now – and I can assure you he will never do it again.
I have communicated with a number of people whose partners are not showing remorse, refuse to go to counselling, ascknowledge their failings but continue to act in the same way. To those people I will say what I always say – for me this is the first, primary, golden rule:
Always have yourself, without yourself you have nothing. From there you can decide what you want for you, and then you can decide if that is what you are getting now, and then you can decide what you want to do, based on your circumstances now, and then you can take action, for you!
There is a risk that you may walk away, your partner may never give you what you really want; and there lies the crux with regard to your decision: whether you want to stay.
The second is: Do not be afraid of what might happen because the worst has already happened! So what is there to be afraid of?
Only by facing up to these things – becoming stronger – not bitter, will the sadness start to go away.
Despite how much I love Danny I know how strong I am, and I know to quote ‘Chantay Savage’ or ‘Gloria Gaynor’ ‘I will survive!’ I learnt that lesson well.
Great advice here, Moisy. If my husband wasn’t putting effort in (intensives, weekly individual therapy, SA, couples therapy, journaling, etc.) I’m not sure that I could hang in there, but I see him doing work. Hard work. He still has a long way to go, but I do find his efforts reassuring. Eleven months after DDay #1, I don’t think I’m scared of the future… whatever it holds. I would be just fine on my own. I’d rather be with him, of course, but only if it’s healthy for me. It took a lot of these months to get to that point though.
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I loved this reply, thank you. This journal entry was only 6/7 weeks in for Rich and I, but when I could see what he was doing every day, I had to stay, I couldn’t walk away. Am so pleased you’ve got to where you’re going, and I will give you any support you need. Keep going, you got this ❤️
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My wife is quite remorseful. She doesn’t see the day to day effects the affair has on me though because I keep too much to myself. Maybe it’s time I speak about my triggers in marriage counselling?
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I think it’s really important to tell her your triggers, in a safe environment where the emotion you feel doesn’t trigger a defence mechanism in her. If she doesn’t understand how this has impacted on you how can you ever fix it together? In one of my journal entries I say how the counsellor told Rich that he was going to hear things he didn’t want to hear, and that if he wanted to keep me he had to accept that and listen. He did, but it wasn’t easy, because a lot of people who strayed ( I am going to use a gentler word here) are terrified of what they can lose, what they have lost, the damage they have done, and of themselves because I think a lot of them genuinely don’t understand why they did it.
Trust me I remember that anger I felt at the early stages, and for me the early stages lasted for months, if not the first year. But I know now about the fear for all of us. You are in the early stages and you have to be open about what you feel, I was, I had nothing to lose.
Sending a hug Jack, I know you will need it.
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