Friday 10th August 2007
I am writing in my journal today because I have a good feeling about me and Rich.
This journal is meant to be about showing the journey we are taking, the bad and the good; and although I have found it to be extremely therapeutic to write in this I have noticed that I don’t tend to write in it when I feel good – which kind of defeats the object.
I cried and cried on Tuesday, I could not control it. – My hormones had a lot to do with it. But the incredible hurt and sadness that I feel is immense.
Rich knew from the Monday that I was upset and asked me about it. We talked, I really cried.
I asked Rich if he still cried and he said that he still thinks about it every day, and cried about one or two times a week. That he cried on Monday night because he knew I was upset, I explained how I felt, what I had talked to Beth about, and read him what I had written in my journal on Tuesday.
We talked about
1) me getting away from him and Rich offered to go away. But that would not be what I needed, it would have to be me who went away, away from everything. But I explained to Rich that this was just an option I may have to consider; not one I was definitely going to take.
2) About selling the house, that would give us more money, and that I don’t want to as the house is my back up, my plan B; because I would sell the house and take the money and go wherever life took me. (Although as I am writing this I know that wherever life took me I would want Rich with me; I know that now.)
3) About everything – I explained to Rich, again, that he must put his arms around me when I cry. That perhaps he needs to say sorry every day. That he has broken my heart so badly, he knows that now. That he has virtually destroyed me.
But even though I was sobbing Rich still did not put his arms around me; and when I pointed out that this was so what I needed he said he was afraid. That what I was saying sounded like a goodbye speech. I did point out to Rich at this point that whatever I say, including asking what wants for tea, sounds like a goodbye speech to him.
I went upstairs as I find it so hurtful when I cry in front of him, and he does not comfort me. He followed me up and looked so unhappy, he had the same grey colour in his face as he had when he first came back to me. (And as I am writing this I am realising that it is killing him, this is killing him; and I don’t want that.)
He said that the main thing he thinks of is of how he should not have left me; of how he has broken my heart; of how he was running away. He still swears that they never had full sex, I do believe him.
I explained to Rich that it is no good him crying in one place and me crying in another. We need to cry together, to understand and know how we are both feeling, and to not be afraid of it. This will bring us closer together.
It has been good since then, still cried yesterday but do expect that, and it was only very briefly.
I thought that I would write in all of the positives that do come into my mind now.
- How much stronger I am than I was the day I started to write this journal.
- How much more I know that it was not a long affair. In fact if I detach myself from it I can see that it was nothing at all.
- How much Rich loves me, treasures me; the look in his eyes when he looks at me.
- How far we have come together.
- How sorry Rich is. How, if he could sacrifice anything to change what he did to me he would.
Yesterday we went down and changed Rich’s bank account into joint names. He was so excited and so pleased that we had done that, it almost made me cry; it was so important to him.
Today I caught sight of Rich looking at me; the way he looks at me, the adoration in his eyes; tell me where do I find that again? I don’t!
I am really looking forward to our time off together now; seeing Alison and Peter tonight, everyone coming down tomorrow, going to France on Monday.
But before we do any of that, I am going to make love with my husband this afternoon.
I can honestly say that today, for the first time, I feel that Rich and I are going to make it, no doubts.
Today we were talking about buying a fireguard in France, of how we could look at in the winter and think of France. The look on Rich’s face when he said “and watch Strictly Come Dancing, and Match of the Day with my head on your lap.” I could see how much he wanted that, how much he has always wanted that; and so obviously did not want to let that go in the first place.
It just emphasised how much of this (what has happened) was all about manipulation, circumstances, and fear. It made my eyes fill up with tears, not of sadness but with happiness because I could see that Rich’s love for me is so total, so complete; and how it always has been.
I have read various descriptions of what ‘acceptance’ is, the Eckhart Tolle version, from ‘The Power of Now’ describes it as such:
“that acceptance is the “this is it” response to anything occurring in any moment in life…..”
I know that we have to accept where we are, accept the moment, accept the weather, accept the things we cannot change because otherwise we would drive ourselves mad. The examples I have given here are all physical things, but I think that acceptance is also about accepting our feelings; and it was only recently that I was reminded of this again:
I realised how I had been denying something to myself over the past few weeks; I thought that I was okay with something, and looking at all the logical parts of it I was okay with where I was, I had accepted a situation and I had moved forward; but my head had decided that it was not going to acknowledge was the emotional side of how I felt, and where the emotional side was concerned I realised I was not okay. Logically the position I found myself in was okay, but emotionally I was sad for the intimacy that I had lost where a friendship was concerned and I realised and admitted to myself that it was something that I was never going to get back. When I realised this I put into place the things that I had learnt during this time in my life and I just sat and acknowldeged the fact that I was sad; I said it out loud to myself and I shed a tear.
As always when I acknowledged this fact I woke up the following morning feeling better. I had owned the fact that I was sad and as soon as I did this it no longer played on my mind: it is what it is and it aint what it aint, (a saying that Rich and I learnt to use all those years ago) and whilst I miss that companionship and intimacy I also know that I am in the right place and that in time the sadness will pass.
I have used this example because this is what I am starting to realise in this entry in my journal; It shows that I am starting to accept what has happened. Because it has happened, I couldn’t change it we were where we were.
I knew that I had to accept it, knew that I would cry some days, feel good some days, and then cry the next, knew that the demon would be waiting for me in my car, that I had to face what Rich had done. In fact at the end of the entry I say how I had come to expect that I was still going to cry, and perhaps it is telling the I only cried for a brief space of time.
But I found as time went on that the more I accepted it, the less it happened. In fact this episode in my life has led me on a path of discovery and enlightenment and enriched my life much more than I ever knew it would at this time; and as I have explained it has helped me deal with something that has happened only recently.
For me this journal entry also deals with the issue of the fear that the some people who have betrayed feel when they are trying to rebuild a relationship that they broke on the first place(something I have touched on in previous posts). It was important that I understood that Rich was afraid, to enable us to get to where we are today. Yes there were still times that I thought he had no entitlement to feel afraid, that he was not entitled to any help or empathy; but if I had continued on that vein and not considered Rich’s feelings at times we would not be where we are today, stronger and happier on a new adventure in France.
Although I was heartbroken, and although it hurt like hell when Rich did not put his arms around me, I knew, even when I wrote this that he was afraid; and even today he still is sometimes. I know that, and when he is I either cuddle him or remind him to face his fears and perhaps ask himself why he still has them.
This just highlights the damage that something like this can do, because for Rich even now, it can still break his heart when he thinks about what he has done; and he still can’t understand why he did it.
I can honestly say that my heart is no longer broken.
When I first started to write this book I read Rich the part of the story of when I was first told that he had been having an affair, the part where he does not come back after the revelation The first shot is fired…. As I read it to him, ten years later, I did not expect his response: He just loooked at me with immense pain etched on his face, burst into tears and said “I am so sorry.” That told me how much pain Rich is still in at times and it breaks my heart that he feels that way.
As the person who has been betrayed do we get so caught up in our own pain that we fail to see the other person’s pain? Do we become so self-righteous that we stop listening? At the beginning I understand (of course I do) why we behave in this way, but over time I believe that we have to find the ability to come down from our high place and listen. I really do.
I find this entry so important because I hope that it helps you to start to understand just how destroyed Rich was. I know from other people’s stories that so many people who commit adultery are destroyed; they have destroyed themselves as well as others that they love. I read how one man struggled with his emotions for what he had done but felt he could not talk to his wife because he deserved it; and did not want to cause her any more pain by talking about it. I know that this is so common, so many women struggle with their husband’s lack of communication and I would urge them to look at Rich’s side of this story and understand that they may well feel afraid and unworthy.
In a previous journal entry (not serialised here, but in the book) I had acknowledged that I only wrote in my journal when I was struggling and not when I was happy. I had even questioned whether surely that was the point of the journal – to show the happy and sad. So in this entry I have said how I am writing in my journal ‘because I have good feelings about me and Rich.’ I had recognised that to survive we had to look at all of the emotions that we felt including the good things that happened and I it was equally important that I had started to include Rich in these conversations, started to share with him the things that I was realising from writing my journal.
In a previous post I had said that when we first got back together Rich did not want us to have a joint bank account again; and he had made it clear that he thought that part of me only wanted him for his income and to keep the house; it had broken my heart because we had always shared everything and it reinforced to me at that time just how destroyed our relationship was. Counselling – It is he who should be sorry not me!
Rich’s attitude about having joint bank accounts had just underlined the crappy situation we were in, that he had believed the lies he had been told, that he thought that I only wanted him for his income and what he could bring into the house. But of course I had increased my hours at work, and had my own money. I had needed to show Rich that I didn’t need his money. So when Rich when could see this he wanted us to have a shared account again, because he realised that it was ‘us’ we shared everything and it took him three months for him to realise this.
Rich was so happy when I agreed to add him to my account, and I understand why, because it was another small step to us becoming us again; it was also a way of Rich knowing that I was committed because I did not need him or his money, but I still wanted our joint account back.
Before ‘The War’ Rich would always sit with his head on my lap whilst we watched programmes, and this entry shows how he just wanted that normality back. We never did buy that fireguard, but he did lay with his head on my lap to watch programmes again.
I love my optimism in this entry I am starting to believe that Rich and I were going to make it. I know that we were still only halfway up that mountain, but that it was hope that kept us going all the way to the top and down the other side.
I hope this helps you, or someone you may know.
You may want to visit my other blog to see where we are now on our French adventure in rural France https://moisfrenchadventure.com