This is the anniversary that none of us want: The anniversary of the time that we found out our partners were having an affair. The anniversary of when you got caught!
Whatever the scenario for all of us, it is the anniversary of the time our lives were turned upside down never to be the same again.
So here is what happened to me. To us:
My last journal entry was in March 2008. The War broke out on the 9th of April 2007, but leading up to that Danny had been meeting ‘her’ nearly every day for at least the month of March (who knows how much before I let that one go a long time ago!); and the affair had escalated.
So in the month of March 2008 I ran through my head every day what shift Danny had been on the year before and looked for the times that he could have met ‘her’. I went back to the phone logs (yep a year later), and I thought back to the things that we had done together in March: all of them triggers!
When my beloved mum died someone once gave me some good advice: ‘Get through the first year and then they will get easier, because you have done it once already!’ It was true. In that case they meant birthdays, Easter, Christmas, anniversaries, Halloween, in England a celebration called Bonfire night, or Firework night (a big thing in my family.) When you have lost someone to death all of those things are triggers, because they tended to be happy times, and now they were always going to be different, but you get through the first one without that person and the next one does get easier because your most recent memory of the occasion is a memory without that person in it, but it will still include happy moments that you can focus on.
When an affair blows your world apart you do grieve, that’s it, you suffer grief; and whilst the same advice applies this time the difference is that all through that year you will look back on happy times and wonder: ‘Were they seeing her/him then?’ The happy memories are tainted: they are no longer happy memories because you were being lied to. You feel like it was all crap! Every memory from the year before will be about what your partner was doing and whether they were lying to you; and you have to get through the first year of doing that, like it or not.
But the problem is that you can’t make new happy memories because of what you have been thinking about; so then the following year (the second year) holds the memory of the year before, when you were looking back at a time you were being lied to, and you haven’t managed to make the memory a happy memory because you weren’t happy you were still insane with grief, and the madness of the memory of the year before that, and so it goes on! The joy of infidelity!
I won’t say it gets easier because we are all different and for it to get easier it will depend on your attitude and whether you want to keep picking that scab. I did pick that scab for a number of years when this time of year came round (but that is further on in my story). What I will say is that it only starts to get easier when you decide (YOU) to take control of the situation and move forward.
So back to the first year anniversary, and the lead up to it. I began to resent Danny in a big way. Despite all the work we had done that old friend anger and rage came back during the month of March, and I thought, every day, about what Danny may (or may not) have been doing the year before. What I did know was this:
I had been really really ill in March 2007. I had a chest infection that I could not shift and in the end Danny came to the Doctors with me because I had been told by my employer to go there as an emergency because pneumonia was rife.. When I told the Doctor (very slowly because I could not speak without coughing) she had run round the desk in a panic and I had been sent home with a certificate to say I could not work for three weeks and a ton of antibiotics.
In March 2008 all I could think about was how Danny had come to the Doctors with me, because he had (appeared to be) been so worried. He sat in that Doctors office looking worried and took me home and made sure that I was okay; and then left me and went and meet ‘her’. WTF!
So in March 2008 the new Rosie, the Rosie who was now her own person again, sat and thought about that, about what a load of bullshit it had been, about how this man had basically been living a double life and she seriously wanted to fucking punch him again!
Despite being ill I had started a small sideline business of make up parties for teenage girls. Because I was so ill ‘she’ had come over and offered to come with me to the one that was booked and I agreed! I had felt so fat, and so ugly because I was so ill; but ‘she’ came over all dressed up, I would say looking good but ‘she’ was too ugly for that!. In March 2008 I thought back to how I had found ‘her’ and Danny talking (almost arguing) in the kitchen. Over the year since ‘The War’ broke out Danny had told me of how he had been trying to get away from ‘her’ and about that incident: of how he was furious with ‘her’ for offering to come with me; that he had started to see how she was almost ridiculing me. Sadly this did not help him when the month of March came round because I just thought back to that time and of how he had still continued to meet her, of how by doing that he, himself, had ridiculed me, and had allowed ‘her’ to as well. Whether he was scared or not the new me felt that he should have had the courage of his fucking convictions!
I thought of the night the year before when ‘she’ sent the text to our house (you can read it on the link below) of how when I contacted Danny he had been so soothing and denied everything. When in fact, as I had learned over the year since ‘The War’, he had been ringing her in between ringing me to try and placate me. He had told me he had to take a call for work when in fact he was shitting himself and calling ‘her’ to ask her what the fuck ‘she’ was doing. I thought of how he had sat at our breakfast bar (that had now been taken down because of that memory) and lied to my face: had said ‘do you really think that I would leave you for her?’ Well by the time March 2008 came round I knew the answer to that didn’t I?!
I thought back to the meal we had gone for to celebrate being together nine years, and how aloof Danny was: he didn’t like the meal, he didn’t like the restaurant, he didn’t want to be there when I looked back. Of course in March 2008 I knew the truth – ‘she’ had been texting him all the time asking him why he was celebrating with me when he really wanted to be with ‘her’.
And of course the piece de resistance was the night we had gone over to ‘her’ house and ‘she’ had constantly filled my glass up and I got pissed. The night that I knew, the night that I had lied to myself, the night that they had made me look like a cunt, the night that I have written about: March 2007 – The Build up to Hostilites begin
I thought of all the times his phone was on silent.
Needless to say by the end of March 2008 I was raging…….
Making This Better the book is now available including the journal entries for the first 5 years of our recovery & the whole 21 days of ‘The War’. Available internationally in paperback and ebook at Amazon and Barnes & Noble also available at Xlibris and Apple Books for iPad and Waterstones Bookstores for click & collect
I would love to hear your feedback.
Getting through the first year and making new memories is important to me. I’ve gone through a few holidays in my new marriage that have provided better memories. I want keep overwriting the old, painful memories with new ones.
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And that is exactly what you have to do Jack. The past is the past, just take really small things that happen and make a new picture with them. For example weird as it sounds when Carol cries: it means she’s truly sorry, and wants to be with you. When you cuddle on the sofa, she left her job. All small small things that start to make a new picture, like a jigsaw. I hope that makes sense. You will see that for a good three years I took everything life showed me, and I listened. You see the ball is in your court more than you know Jack, don’t throw it out! Your doing well. Moisy
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