Sunday 10th February 2008
It now seems to be about a month’s duration before I write in my journal. Even now I deliberated whether to write in it, and feel that I do need to update it; I notice it is the same sort of time of the month and I do notice now that my hormones seem to be affecting me but I can honestly say that this is the best I have felt.
A month has gone by and I feel very different to how I did when I wrote my last entry. Journal entry – 6 months in – I want to stay, but I seem to be planning a way out..
I spoke to Aunty Edie that day and she said that I was brooding, thinking too much. That I should just let things take their course and see where life took me. She was worried about me and rang Beth who then rang me. Beth said the same old same old “it is too soon to make a decision; it is still too raw”; and that I was/am expecting to be over it when I cannot be. On that day I became irrational – signed up to get Rich’s phone details and check his phone – he has never contacted ‘Her’.
Since then my darling friend Jacqui has become terminally ill; an ally that was there for me from the beginning of ‘The War’; who has always been there for me. I am losing another person who I could always rely on.
Rich has been fantastic, he would have been there before in situations such as these, but would have stayed in the background. This time he hasn’t, he has been there for me ‘full on.’ But he is afraid that this will make me re-evaluate my life an decide not to include him in it.
On Tuesday I was hormonal and had a cry on my way home from work; but when I got home Rich had bought me roses and a Valentines present which is all wrapped up on the mantelpiece as we speak. (We had stopped buying each other stuff for Valentine’s day years ago.) All the candles were lit and my dinner was ready; it totally undid how I had been feeling in the car.
After going to see Jacqui on Wednesday we had a drink on the Thursday evening and were quite drunk. I told Rich that I had been thinking all day and that I realised how much Rich now lives his life walking on egg shells. That I could not guarantee I would ever get over it, and how I felt that we cannot go on living our lives forever like we are now. That I cannot see how Rich can continue to live his life like he is; and if I walked away we would both be able to get over it, eventually. But Rich grabbed me like he was never going to let go and said that he would take whatever was available, anything he could get, to carry on living his life with me; that anything is better than not having me at all. That said so much.
Over the last month I have come to realise that Rich could become my soulmate again; a different one, a better one; that I could love him so deeply, in a different way, in a better way.
I asked Rich on Thursday (when he said that I didn’t understand how much he loved me; had always loved me) why did he do it? He said that if he understood and could answer that question he would be a millionaire; that he asked himself that question every day.
If I ever do send this to print, then understand this: For a moment of selfishness, or excitement if you like, from the normalities of life, you will let off a nuclear bomb into your life. I cannot explain how much devastation you will unintentionally cause that will last forever.
My first thing about this entry is what Rich said when I asked him why he had done it: he said that if he had the answer to that question he would be a milionaire,and don’t we all know it!
I do believe that people cannot tell you for a host of reasons, including denial and fear. Even today I know that question ruminates around Rich’s brain; if he could undo it he would, if I could undo it I wouldn’t (but that is for another discussion another day!)
I had realised that Rich could be my soul mate, a better stronger one. This was only ten months on from Rich coming back, but I could see it. Now don’t get me wrong there was still a long, long, way to go on our journey – we hadn’t even hit the anniversary of D-day yet; and despite what I wrote in my journal I would still consider leaving Rich every day: every single day. That is the joy of a broken heart caused by adultery to coin a phrase: ‘you don’t know your arse from your head!’
In this entry I have considered leaving Rich for his own sake. I was making him walk on eggshells; at times and I enjoyed doing it; enjoyed punishing him for what he had done to me. But ultimately the fact that I loved him was why I didn’t want him to suffer every day, and despite not wanting Rich to feel the way that he was I honestly did not know if I could get past what had happened or stop punishing him. Even though the anger and rage did not burn as intensely as they had, the fire was still there inside me: a small flame that could ignite at any moment. Trust me ten months is no time at all.
Rich did the best thing that he could do in response: He grabbed me by my arms (I can picture it today) with tears in his eyes as he said that he would take anything that I offered just to stay with me. Even today I think that is the sad side of infidelity; that some of the people who have commited the adultery will often berate themselves every day when they are truly sorry; but there will never be anything that they can do, or we can say, to take that pain away.
As part of the process of writing my book, and serialising it here on this blog, I have become part of a community. It was something that I never envisaged, although I had always intended that my book would help other people one day (In fact I had even written in this journal entry all those years ago that my journal may go to print one day!) The community that I now find myself in is supportive of others, and gives them strength at times when they need it; and it is evidence that out of something so shitty good can still come.
Only recently Dolly Allen from the great blog ‘the queen is in’ has been ruminating on things and questioning her own thoughts . So it is interesting that in my last journal entry and this one I consider whether I was ‘thinking too much’. Now normally I would question how you could possibly think too much, but perhaps it was more that the little old demon had tapped into my ego and was telling me stories again; that is why I looked at Rich’s phone logs. But what did it achieve? Fuck all!!
Some of the blogs that I follow are showing signs of moving forward. I really believe that to move forward those who have been betrayed are the ones that hold all the cards (if they stopped and thought about it). Because it is the person who has been lied to and manipulated, shamed and destroyed in the process of infidelity that has to let things go to enable recovery: you are the one who holds that ‘power’ and I use that word carefully. The ‘power’ to make things right for yourself; and the ‘power’ to take whoever you want to along with you. Even if your partner is still being a twat you hold the power, you can find yourself and you can decide what you want and you can decide to stay or walk away.
My beautiful friend being terminally ill did make me consider life and how we should make the most of every moment. It did make me question whether I was doing by staying (including destroying Rich in the process) but it also made me see what I had at that moment in time, and could have in the future: The past had gone and I could not get it back; and it made me realise that looking back over phone records was not going to change anything; and that I had to move forward and live my life for now.
I loved that I was finally starting to see that it was not all about me. I was clearly falling in love with this Rich because I cared that he was walking on eggshells all the time. But my husband never, ever gave up. He took all that was dished out and still kept trying, he still does today; I just don’t feel the need to make him work at it anymore. In fact I don’t want him to feel that way because I love him so much. But that is his karma and I understand that, it is something that I cannot change no matter what I say or do.
More than anything I love that I have addressed you all, that even then I knew that there was a possibility that I would get this journal published to help all of those people out there who have been through, or are going through what Rich and I went through. I did have a friend whose marriage had not survived, she had walked away in her anger at that time and when I caught up with her years after Rich and got back together she said how I had made her think that perhaps she had walked away too quickly.
That is the aim of this book, and this journal: to help people have hope and strength at the times that they need them.
For Rich and I even then there was always hope, even then I knew that it was possible, and it is.