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moisyswindell

Happily married to Rich. Moved to France in 2015, after an eight year love affair with it every summer. I am now an aspiring writer, and just about to send off my first autobiographical novel, which i hope will help others in their time of need.

I love to read, embroider to relax and adore interior design. The shabbier eclectic and vintage the better; and use my eye for all things eclectic to stock my Etsy shop petitfrenchfancies, look me up.!!

I am in my element living in France surrounded by space to allow me to think and remember what is important in life. If you like to laugh, cry and reflect, then join me on my adventure.
Moisy

Labels! Cheater: Tell me the point.

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CHEATER!! I detest the word!

There I have put it out there! I really try to use any other word than this one when writing about what happened to us. Our story is meant to be a story of  hope for those who both, and I emphasise BOTH want to stay together and work, and I emphasise WORK, together to get through the shit that infidelity has brought into their  lives and come through it all stronger.

But … our story is also a story for those who find themselves broken, whether it was because they betrayed, or whether they have been betrayed; those  who are not staying together; or who have already broken up; or those where one is working so damn hard and the other isn’t; I hope (see that word again) that our story will help those people understand why they are where they are; hope that they can relate to our story, mine, and Rich’s; and understand that we both have a story to tell; and that whilst it is the same story it is coming from a different perspective – or it was for a very long time!

I hope that these people can use what we went through to see that they are not alone, some may see that they are worth more than what they have, it may give some people direction for what they want and where they want to go; and it may help those desparately trying to make amends have the courage to face their fears.

So that is what has made me write this post? Only recently someone who had an affair,  lost their partner as a result of it and  is heartbroken as a result of the mistake they made, asked why people label people ‘cheaters.’ They asked why irrespective of the  work they have done to understand their actions, irrespective of how they have changed as a result of the terrible mistake they made, they were, in the eyes of some ‘A Cheater!’ And it made me want to write this post.

Here are some definitions of cheat and cheater:

To cheat: Act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage

A cheater: A person who behaves dishonestly in order to gain an advantage.

A person who behaves in a dishonest way

Someone who does not follow the rules

These are just some of the various definitions from traditional dictionaries. However the word has now become urbanised and the common definition from the urban dictionaries is: someone who cheats on the person that they are in a relationship with. In fact if you ask the internet it will also give you a whole load of negative responses to the definition.

I would ask: Is this where you want to be if you are more than six months in and still referring to your partner as a cheat? I know I would have thought hard by now about whether I was doing the right thing! Or in my case I never called Rich a cheater.

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Now I am looking at this from an ‘eleven years on’ perspective; I have had a lot of time to think, and a lot of time for the emotion to die down; so I understand why at the beginning you may label your partner, or ex partner; I understand how you want to hurt them badly, God knows I did for a long time – not least the black eyes I gave Rich. How can you say you don’t know?!!!!

As part of what we went through we have both had to look at ourselves as well as each other, and it took a long long time. But if I had labelled Rich a ‘Cheater’ throughout that time do you think we would be where we are today? Because I know I don’t!

As part of my journey I started to read a lot of Psychology books: ‘Counselling for Toads’ , ‘The Road Less Travelled,’ ‘(and Beyond)’ and I read the Tao Te Ching. One of the first lessons that is offered to you from that is to stop labelling things.

Once the whole is divided, the parts need names.
There are already enough names;
know when to stop
So what do we do? What do you want to do? I am writing this post for all those out there who are so angry, who may have got caught up in the negativity – shit there is enough of it out there you don’t have to look for it! Got caught up in a sisterhood of all blokes are bastards, or a brotherhood of all women are bitches,  and I am aiming this post specifically at those who are trying to make it work: Do you think labelling people cheaters is going to help you, or do you think that it is negative?
If you look at any psychology it will tell you that to label people is so negative. All you see is the label and not the person. Let’s look at Rich:
  • He was sorry – He couldn’t have been more sorry if he had beat himself with a birch stick!
  • He took responsibility for what he had done
  • He was, and still is full of remorse
  • He has reflected on his past and changed – not because I asked him to but because he wanted to; and he knew that he had to if he wanted to stay with me, because I would have left him behind.
  • He listened
  • He cried
  • He came to counselling

And so much more. So is he still a cheater, eleven years on? Let us not forget the crappy, bitter, stupid fucking saying ‘Once a cheater always a cheater!’

I will be honest if Rich had done it again I would be gone. There would be no discussion, there would be no chance of reconciliation and I would not care what the reasons were; if he did it again I would be out. This is because I have a really strong personaility and it nearly killed me to stay this time; also I have a life and I would not be prepared to continue to live it in fear with a lack of trust. I could not see how someone would go through all the pain that we have, and then do it again, and I would not want to be with that someone. But that’s me!

But Rich, as a lot of people are, was sorry. he was human, he made a mistake and nearly lost everything. So is he still a cheater? Should he still be called that?

There was a hypothesis  carried out by Benjamin Wharf into labelling and he came to this conclusion: ‘The words we use to describe what we see determine what we see.’

So this makes me ask:

When you call your partner a Cheater, does that mean that they still are in your eyes, and is that stopping you from seeing anything else that they do, or any changes that they have undergone? Or there fear?

Do you want to move on from them, or stay? If you want to move on call them what you like, fucking arsehole may also be appropriate! But I would advise letting it go as the years go by, you know my feelings on bitterness.Beware Bitterness – It will be your enemy

But if you want to stay will calling them a cheater help?

Just putting it out there; and if you find the word cheater in any of my posts let me know, I will change it! (Apart from this one of course!)

Moisy

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Journal entry: I had started to understand acceptance and fear

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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.

Footnote:

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.

Mois

Reflections 2018

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.

Moisy

You may want to visit my other blog to see where we are now on our French adventure in rural France https://moisfrenchadventure.com

Anger and Rage

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Despite it being over eleven years since ‘The War’ in our lives it has only been over the past  years, as I have been pulling my book together, that I have started to think about the role of anger and rage in the lives of those who have been betrayed. 

When considering the person who has been betrayed it is perfectly understandable that they feel rage and anger with regard to what has happened to them. It is also understandable that due to this their actions may be erratic, out of character (perhaps because their world has been turned upside down!) and at times downright mad. I threw Rich’s underpants out in the road when he was not with me, and I never did pick them up! I threw his stuff on our neighbours drive and at the time I didn’t give a shit who stole it. I punched Rich and gave him  black eyes! That would be because I had been driven mad with grief, pain and fear. No I was not acting in my normal rational way, but that may have been because at that time I did not know what normal was anymore. 

For the people who read this blog who are the people that betrayed, those who have caused the heartache and pain, you may want to read it if you want to use it to help your relationship and rebuild.

I need to warn you all  now, in some places I am going to be  blunt! 

My reasons for this particular post are these:

  1. To help those who have been betrayed to understand that what you feel is normal, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I have read other’s stories and in it they say how the person who broke their heart has used their understandably (un)reasonable behaviour as a weapon against them; have said how they have changed, swear more, drink more, over react to small things. This is normal; if you read our story you will see my rage and anger in it from day one, when Rich left. The Rage did subside to anger over time but it still  lasted for at least another two years after our ‘War’ began. In the beginning the rage and anger did get me through what were some of the darkest times of my life; but over time I had to let them go otherwise I knew that  they would eat me up and destroy not just us but me as well. You may want to read:  Beware Bitterness – It will be your enemy

2. To help those who have betrayed understand what the other person feels -we all feel it, and if you want your relationship to survive you need to understand that you caused it; so don’t bitch about it, and own it!

When Rich came back he never once criticised me for my anger or rage, he just looked and acted ashamed and sorry; heartbroken that he had turned me into such a raging banshee at times! He never judged me, he took it because he had caused it; no matter what it was that I did (and there were many things).  If you are judging someone whose heart you have broken for the way they behave as a result of your actions, then I am not sure what you will expect from the future. We all have to accept our responsibilities. 

3.That leads me on to the last reason for this post. I have come to realise that a lot of the rage and anger that I felt was actually about myself. I was  so angry with myself for not listening to my gut feelings in the months, or even years (who knows!) leading up to the outbreak of ‘The War’. I was angry with myself for losing myself in our relationship; losing the person that I had always been because I just focused on what we had and nothing else; I was angry with myself for letting myself go; angry with myself for not challenging the behaviours I had been faced with; and more than anything I was angry with myself for being so arrogant: believing that  what we had nobody could take away from me; so I didn’t always treat our relationship with respect or take the time to understand Rich’s insecurities throughout our relationship that lead up to ‘The War’. 

I know for some people this will cause outrage, especially if they are at the start of their journey. It was only as I researched and wrote my book, and read my old journal that I understood that a lot of the anger that I used to feel was actually directed at me. Sure I had deflected it onto Rich, let’s not forget that everything is their fault right?! But in reality the one person who had really let me down was me. 

That is why I always say to people when they ask me how they can survive the pain: Always have yourself first, without yourself you have nothing. I did that, and I still have myself first;  but over time as the pain subsided my journal gave me the abiility to reflect; through this I was able to  see not only the other person’s failings and frailties but my own as well. 

I know some people think it is a cliche: but this is a journey you are on; like it or not, you are adrift on that ocean of despair and at the beginning only you will get yourself across it. So use that rage and anger, accept it’s part of the process, but don’t hang on to it forever and at some point I would suggest that you have a conversation with yourself about who you’re really angry with. 

Controversial I know!

Moisy 

 

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Coping Mechanisms: Little boxes, Little boxes, Little boxes made of ticky tacky

The title to this post belongs to Malvina Reynolds who composed this song about social housing, but it is so apt for my post! 

broken open box

I thought that given that I have now shared with you how three months on from starting my Mad Journal journal I had decided view to it as tool I could use for ‘A New Beginning’, that I would tell you about the discussion I had with my then teenage son; and how from it I learnt about one of the main things  that I would need to use to get us to where we are today: Acceptance. 

One day when Rich was at work Tom found me crying; he was still so worried about me, and in exaspiration he asked me why I just couldn’t let it go and be happy that Rich was back.

I told him that I just could not just move on from what Rich had done; how all my life I had always had the coping mechanism of visualising a box and putting whatever was bothering me into that box, putting the lid on it and filing it away.  But this time it was not working; I had even tried to put the fucking thing in a lead lined box and weld the lid on and still it came back out and bit me on the arse every day! I just could not stand the thought of having this thing in my mind  for the rest of my life. The things in that box broke my heart every time I thought of them: Rich laughing at me with her; Rich kissing her at Tankerton; Rich setting up house with her; the dressing gowns hung his and her style on the back of the door; how long it had been going on and on and on and on… https://makingthisbetter.com/2018/10/20/may-the-detritus-of-betrayal-fighting-for-my-dignity-in-so-many-ways/

Tom looked at me incredulously and said ‘well that’s not going to work mum, you have to face it and deal with it! How stupid that you thought you could put it in a box; that is not dealing with it!’ He was right! But I was lost! I didn’t know what else I could do to help myself because this had always been my coping mechanism and I couldn’t think of another one. I could not bear the thoughts and images in my head; and more than that I could not bear the thought of what Rich had done to me. 

So I went to my ‘thinking’ place, the Downs, and sat looking out at the expanse of sea and sky and I just let all  of the contents of that box wash over me. Rich had laughed at me, Rich had set up with someone else, Rich had sex with someone else, Rich had lied to me, everything… I cried and cried, but eventually I said to myself ‘This is where you are Moisy, like it or not! You have to get up and get on with it. Stay or go, just make sure you are sure before you make that decision. Don’t be afraid of which one you make.”

I had to accept that it was what it was; that to stay was going to be really painful and that we may not survive in the end. Accept that I was on my own. Accept that although Rich was with me I could not look to him to give me emotional support, not after all he had done. What we had was gone, what I was left with now I didn’t know if I wanted it; and for my own sanity I had to look after me and make decisions based solely on how I felt. 

I had to accept the fact that these fucking things in my head were in my head, they controlled it right now; and by accepting that I actually took some of their power away; because part of their power was the element of surprise – just when you thought you were okay there they were again! 

So I learned over time to say out loud ‘Oh! There you are!’ or ‘ I wondered when you were going to rear your ugly head!’ Another saying was ‘I knew that was coming!’ Or ‘Tell me something I don’t know!’ It worked, accepting it worked; it took a long time but it got easier every day. 

In addition to this, were the small things that Rich did during this time, Lots of small things: showed me affection, cried, showed gratitude, reflected; and over time, as you will see, this started to make new pictures in my mind. More importantly when I thought about giving up, when the thoughts overwhelmed me the small things made me realise that the man I would be leaving would be the man stood in front of me;  not the man who left me he was just a memory. I still see that today: The man Rich is today, he is not the man who left me. 

It is small things, like pieces of a jigsaw they all fit together to make a bigger thing to make something new; but the timeframe is a long one, and you have to be in it for the long haul if you want to stay; and you you have to accept that ultimately you may walk away. 

So the things in your mind: accept them, embrace them, tell them that  your not afraid of them, take their power away. 

Moisy 

 

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The new beginning – Finding me again

 

Tuesday 31st July 2007

It’s not easy but I think I can do it – in getting the unwanted pictures out of my head.

I am now lying on the downs at Tankerton. The sun is shining and the wind is blowing everything out of my mind.

I have had a difficult day today. Not in having those things on my mind, but the sadness.

There are two issues:

  1. Getting the thoughts in my head under control.
  2. The sadness for what I have lost. The grief for the bereavement, for the waste of that love that I had, that I had never had for anyone else.

Time will heal that, I know it. How and what form that healing will take I don’t know.

But as I am writing this, and although I have cried with sadness today (a short cry, letting it all out like Sherri said. It is true it doesn’t last long anymore; no more heaving sobs – not if I don’t give way to it. There’s just grief.) I also know that despite what I have lost I would not want to go back to it:

  • A big fat lump that had really let myself go.
  • Someone who I am starting to see now was very frustrated, angry almost inside. Because what did she have? Everything centred on Rich; and although I was jolted out of that (kicking and screaming at the time.) I never want to be that person again. I don’t like her.
  • A couple who became so insular, so immersed in just themselves. You see Rich would want to go back that (because of his own insecurities, because of his own fear.) I don’t.

Rich has changed since he has been with me – Beth was right, I dragged him up with me. Although he is quite capable himself he does not believe that without me by his side.

In fact, perhaps sub-consciously he always knew I would come to my senses and that is why he thought he could not keep me.

So why am I with him now? I do find that thought popping into my head. Because I know how much he loves me; and when someone loves you that much and you do love them, then why walk away? There is something to work on.

The life we have created together keeps me here as well. I enjoy his company, and he makes me laugh. Sometimes he also gets on my tits.

I had to get on my bike today and come here on my own. Regain my independence and do things on my own. I do notice that when I am with Rich we do both slot into that ‘doing everything together’ mode. I did, however, only realise today how many arrangements I make to do things with other people. This has been a totally sub-conscious thing.

At the moment part of me still wants Rich to ring me, text me, reassure me. But the more I do things on my own the less that will get; and I need to do that. Rich will totally freak, just look hurt and say “Whatever you want.” But not really mean it. That is no-longer my problem.

I am enjoying myself, being myself, confident, self-sufficient, and not constantly thinking of someone else.

I am going to go to the pub on my own and have a glass of wine before I go home; and I haven’t brought my mobile with me; this is me time.

This has really helped.

 

Mois

 

Reflections 2018

I remember this day clearly. It was a beautiful sunny day, not hot, the wind had a slight chill in it, but there were bright blue skies with small puffs of cloud moving along quickly in the wind; and the sun was warm.

Tankerton is a pretty place with rolling downs that lead down to the beach and sea, dotted with beach huts on stilts. On this day there were lots of people there and I can remember watching them all and thinking how happy they all were, and here was I with my world in pieces, never knowing if I would really be happy again.

But I have learnt over the years that you see what you want to see, and I believed at that time that everyone was happier than me. Obviously that was not true, but when you are in a place where nothing seems to make sense you believe that everyone else has their shit together. Trust me they don’t; it’s the good old demon in your head spinning you a line!

This was such an important entry for me, because as I said in my previous journal entry I believed that we needed to start again, a new beginning and to do that I had to find me; I was right, I had to find myself again.

I had become ‘lost’ in Rich before ‘the War’, everything revolved around him; I worked part time so that I could support him in his career, whilst I renovated and managed the house and finances. I had lived my life for Rich and I knew that I could no longer do that; Rich could be part of my life but he could no longer be the centre of it – I had to be that.

So the start of that was to go somewhere on my own, and the choice is pertinent because I chose to go to the one place where Rich used to meet up with ‘her’ on his way to work. I chose this place because I knew that I had to face my fears to be able to move forward into my new life and to not let my fears and memories beat me anymore!

For me there are three main things in this entry that resonate with me today:

  • That I recognised that I did not want to be the person that I was before, in fact did not even like the person that I was before. When I read this entry it did stop me in my tracks, because I had recognised that even then.

Today Rich and I have looked back at the people that we were before ‘The War’ and we do not like them. How much we drank, the places that we drank, even today we have been talking about how we accepted people’s bad behaviours without question. We both agree that we really were a pair of arseholes.

  • The fact that I have said that I was an angry and frustrated person; because I can see now that I was. The Moira who wrote this entry was absolutely right I had been angry and frustrated; I had not been using my skills to their full potential and because of that I had would get angry and lose my temper at things; or make small things more important than they really were.

After ‘The War’ when I had begun to find myself again someone had said to me that I had ‘dumbed down’ and I knew that they were right: I did not want promotion at work, did not want to work full time, did not want to use my brain because that was the easy way out, and ‘The War’ made me see sense, as I have said in this entry; albeit ‘kicking and screaming at the time.’

I believe today that everything does happen for a reason, and that at times messages are sent to us and when we don’t listen then a lesson is sent to us; and more often than not that lesson is a hard one.  Even today I believe that my sister was right, I was being sent a message, a kick up the arse if you like, to find myself again.

  • The third and most important thing from this entry is that I can see that I wanted to stay with Rich because he made me laugh, because I enjoyed his company, that we get on well together, and that these were the things that made me love him. Real things, not romantic things; sometimes we forget that relationships are many things not just love and sex.

But I also love that fact that I can also see that he “gets on my tits.” Looking back now I probably get on his “tits” as well! That’s life!

I did go to the pub; I sat in the garden on my own and showed myself that I did not need to fear being on my own. That I needed to embrace being my own person, an individual who did not start and end with Rich; and this was the start of doing this. So I had two glasses of wine whilst I read my book.

Moira had started to find herself again and it was crucial to our survival.

Moisy

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She’s Always a Woman     Billy Joel

She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
She hides like a child, but she’s always a woman to me

She can lead you to love, she can take you or leave you
She can ask for the truth, but she’ll never believe
And she’ll take what you give her, as long it’s free
Yeah, She steals like a thief, but she’s always a woman to me

Ohhh…she takes care of herself
She can wait if she wants, she’s ahead of her time
Ohhh…and she never gives out
And she never gives in, she just changes her mind…..

Journal entry: A new beginning

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29th July 2007 

The Future

 

After what I have written on the previous page, I feel that I need to close that chapter. Start a new chapter, for a new beginning.

 

“The future – a New Beginning!

 

Reflections 2018

After my journal entry on the 29th of July 2007  I went back later in the day and decided to mark ‘the end’ of talking about what had happened. I hoped that i would be able to concentrate on the future. So on a new page I wrote the above. Marked it as a new section of my journal.

It was another coping mechanism! I thought that if I did it then it would happen! I was wrong! Three months is no time at all when you are dealing with grief, and you will see from future entries that I still struggled for a long time because I still had so much that I had to accept.

At the three month stage I had accepted that what we had was dead and gone and was not coming back. What I hadn’t realised was that although I knew and understood that I still needed to grieve for it; and I hadn’t realised that there was still going to be so much more to accept. But what I had realised was we were going to have to make something new and so I symbolically made a new section in my journal to show a commitment to it.

As William Blake said “Hindsight is a wonderful thing but foresight is better, especially when it comes to saving life, or some pain!”. So although i can look back and know that I still had a lot of pain to go through at the time my brain did what it had to because it gave me hope to save me some pain!

I lived in hope, and at this stage that is one of the main things that you need to hold onto if you want to survive. Hope.

Moisy

 

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I don’t think I can do this

Journal Entry – 3 months of recovery: Own It!

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Sunday 29th July 2007

It’s over. I have to let it go.

I have to let go of what happened and look at what we can create new, better even. I do actually believe that.

I have come to a lot of conclusions this week, and all in all, since about Wednesday it has been a very difficult week.

I could not get out of my head what Rich had done; why Rich had done it; the deceit.

I know how much I have changed over the last three months…… so much.

When Rich first came back I had written in this journal that he wanted back what we had, and that he wanted the same. But now I know that we can never have that back; ever!

It has gone, died; Rich killed it by what he did.

I am different, stronger, me again. I know that I don’t need Rich for materialistic things, because I could sell up and buy a really nice flat on my own. – But, also that is why I stay. I love him, and ironically, despite what happened, I know that Rich loves me.

But I have also realised that I needed to talk to Rich about the ‘Why?’  Why did he do it? All of it? Tell him how it made and makes me feel. For the first time in my life take the monkey off my back and put it onto someone else’s – Rich’s, because he put it there in the first place.

So on Friday I did that; I told him that we can never have back what we had (I don’t actually want that back anymore. But Rich does because he is distraught at what he has lost.)

I know that really hurt him, but tough!! I never asked to be where I am, and I do feel, at times, that I have been pussy footing around Rich and working so hard to make him feel alright that I have forgotten about me.

Now the time has come to sort me out, no matter how hard Rich finds it.

It helped putting the monkey on his back, a lot!

It upset him but there you go I am upset! And there was a time, not so long ago, when no-body worried about me.

I made Rich talk to me about Grays and why he went to meet her there in the October; I asked why he started seeing ‘Her’ again in February; told him when I thought he was lying, asked him when he thought of me! I know it really upset him, and perhaps part of me was happy he was so upset.

Toni came up from Cornwall this weekend and we went to see Mary. I went out to show Mary Rich’s new car and we were talking. Rich’s face when we came back into the garden – he looked so worried, so alone. I don’t want him to look like that, so I went over and kissed him. But later I started to think about the answers he gave about Grays; and there have been three different versions so far! The one thing I need Rich to be now is honest, as he has lied to me too often and too long. And then that fact gets to me!

When he got home we ended up arguing over it. I ended up really upset about it all – it all came out, if you like. I told him how he wanted to run away from this part of our recovery, wanted to pretend and ignore it; but it is my head all the time, and I can’t ignore it, and he put it there!

Rich got defensive, the worst thing he can do. So I told him it was over, that I can’t do it. Rich needs to make amends for what he has done and not keep being afraid. I gave him back my wedding ring.

One of the things that gets to me is when I am upset Rich just stands there. I used what had happened in Mary’s garden today as a comparison. It should not, cannot be me who does all the consoling and reassuring. Rich fucked it up! Rich has to fix it, not me!

So I told him that was his last chance to have the courage of his convictions and face his fears. I walked away from him, and he came after me. He had my wedding ring on his little finger, and asked me to put it back on.

But I have said it all now; got all of my demons out. Rich has been honest, must still deal with his guilt, and I will help him, if he wants me to. But ultimately it is his problem.

This is a new beginning, a new relationship. I need to let go of what happened because it was in the past and I don’t want it to affect my life anymore.

I always pride myself on being able to get a grip, and I need to now. I need to stand up to the line, have the courage of my convictions and look at what I have now.

I need to practice what I preach.

Mois

Reflections 2018

I don’t know if you have ever heard of ‘the monkey on your back’: This is where other people give you their problems which then, in their minds become your problem and not theirs; it is a good analogy in fact I still use that analogy in my life now. I know now that in psychology terms this is actually recognised as ‘transference’ when someone else’s problem suddenly becomes your problem and not theirs. Does anybody recognise this? You try to give someone a solution to a problem they have told you about and they keep putting obstacles in the way?

This entry marks a major turning point  in our recovery: I was right I had to think about me, and ensure that I was alright first, and part of that was giving Rich his monkey back – making him own what he had done, and making him accept that it was his responsibility that we were where we were.

In this journal entry I have started to see how much effort I was putting in: facing up to everything, trying to put solutions into place, whilst Rich just cowered in the corner frightened of what he had done.

There I was carrying the responsibility, working to try and heal us, not saying how bereft and distraught I felt; not challenging the lies he was telling me just so we could survive. So I was right: Rich did have to take responsibility for what he had done, and face his fears, one of which was that he did not like himself, because he had let himself down.

By this time I’d had enough driving myself insane and I had started to feel as if I was clinging onto something that was only making me miserable. I had got to the place where I had nothing to lose; so I gave Rich his monkey back and told him to own it by telling him how I felt, what I needed, challenged his lies, and refused to cower to his defensiveness and anger by giving him my ring back and walking away. I took a chance because I could not stay with it the way it was.

Rich and I got to where we are eleven years later by learning from our mistakes and owning them.

At the time I wrote this entry I had still not fully realised that pride was my deadly sin; and that pride was the thing that was making me keep asking Rich about what had happened; I had to know, I must know! I could not bear the thought that he was still lying to me because I had believed his lies before; and this made me feel as if  I was the one who had let myself down because I had turned a blind eye to the things that were screaming at me that something was wrong; and now to think that Rich was still lying to me directly impacted on my pride.

So I kept asking about the episode in Grays that he told me about when we met in the car park before he came back (The Surrender Part 2….. ) because in my mind this is when it had all started; when they had started to play me for the fool. As I have said things were not adding up, I had heard three different versions already and as we all know when that happens it just makes you ask more and more. You will see later in my story that was still not the truth, and I still don’t know the truth now! The only difference is that I know that I never will so I have made up my own mind about the truth (as always it is a recurring theme in this book) and  I’ve moved on.

This entry does show that after this discussion Rich did face up to his fears, of course or I wouldn’t be writing this now! He started that night by coming after me with my ring on his finger and asking me to put it back on. That told me that Rich had listened to what I had said.

I faced up to my fears: Which was namely that Rich may leave again, and I challenged him in the future whenever I thought he was lying to me and whenever he got defensive. I overcame the fear that he may leave because I realised that that worst had happened he already had once and that I had survived once I could do it again! I had started to find myself again so I started to practice what I preached, I stepped up to the plate and looked after me first.

To understand how we now live happily together in France keep reading there are more stories to come, and more entries to share.

If you think this blog will help someone who is currently going through the madness of infidelity then please share; that is why I am sharing our story.

Moisy

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