Trying for Thankful

It’s Thanksgiving. One thing I am absolutely thankful for is this community of insight, support and mutual journeys. You all are a beautiful group of people…I am unabashedly grateful and thankful for you. But on other fronts, on the relationship with my husband front, there are so many things running through my head…so many thoughts.

Thanksgiving, 2013, was magical for me. I actually posted on social media…”everyone I love is right here in this room!” with a picture attached of the hustle and bustle in the kitchen. HUSBAND was prominent in the photo…having just taken the huge bird out of the oven…and all four of our children were in various stages of food prep assistance, along with some of the grandparents and a visiting friend from France. It was a year I went all out with decorating, with food, with goodwill. My heart was FULL…so full…it felt like it just might burst with love and thankfulness. It would end up being my father’s last Thanksgiving…the last year he would sit at the seat he’d occupied on special occasions for 27 years. He had mustered up strength that day, and joined in the conversation and laughter. We ended the day with a series of pictures outside…all of our children…HUSBAND and me…I was happy, content and thankful.

How different, Thanksgiving, 2014. That day, I recalled the images of the year prior, going back on FB and IG and trying to remember the love, the trust, the naive belief that I had a husband who, despite his emotional distance, loved me and loved our family and loved us. It was a shattering experience trying to figure out how he could have smiled for the camera, and prayed for our meal, and acted like a part of a system of commitment and love when between moments he was texting SW and negotiating when and how he could make a call to her.

I wrote, last year in 2014, in my journal about the difficulty trying to integrate the two realities…the reality that I lived and believed and the reality that was happening despite my lack of knowing. The words are piercing, painful. But here they are, from my journal:

Oh, my aching soul. It has dulled some, but it is aching so badly. I can’t believe that the last Thanksgiving I will ever have on this earth with my dad, and all my babies here, is now tainted with the reality that HUSBAND was in love with another woman. He was here, but not HERE. He was sitting in his chair, cutting the turkey, helping serve, saying the prayer. But he was not present. He was thinking of HER. Of SW, the woman who had niggled her way into our lives again and again and again. The woman that I did not even know about.

How is that? How is it that he could be so involved with her, spending hours every day in communication or pursuit of communication with her and I did not know? How could he have sent hundreds of pictures and videos to someone and I was absolutely CLUELESS? Am I just so stupid? And he never mentioned her? Accidentally, whether he wanted to or not? So as he had these regular, constant intense conversations with her and they discussed things…vacations…marinas…next steps in life…personal faith…weather in respective cities…work…old high school friends…health…suicide…ancestry…  HOW DID HE NOT SLIP UP AND MENTION HER? Or things related to her? That is one of the things that puzzles me most, and worries me most. He was so incredibly good at deception and hiding.

So what the hell makes me think he can’t do it again? Or isn’t right now?

I sat around my dining room table last Thanksgiving looking at my family and thinking that my problems were few, and only financial pressure. That otherwise, we had love. We had unity. We had peace. Mom. Dad (no longer with us). Sister. Brother. Niece. Nephew. HUSBAND. Me. Son1. Daughter. Son2. Son3. Friends. And yet, SW was sitting right there at the table with us and I DID NOT KNOW. How can that be? How can it be that HUSBAND was anxious to speak with her, to connect with her and I did not know?

I see the pictures of myself from Thanksgiving 2013 – from the whole time period of his affair with SW, and know I was completely and utterly unaware that my husband was figuring out times and ways to meet with that slut-whore and get his penis hard and stick it in her. I picture the act between them – her grasping at him, him kissing her breasts, the entry and the motion. The aftermath. Did they cuddle? Did he say comforting and nice things to her? Was it all sexual…and what is that like? Do you say things like you do me like no one else? Your body is so hot and makes me hotter than anything? How do you edify the filth? How do you come home, or inside the house, or from a tryst and talk normally? Ask about my day? Meet me at a soccer game? Cook dinner, or sit at the table?

HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW

I just don’t know if I can keep on keeping on.

HUSBAND is so tender, and so kind now. But this all still exists, and is still present. And I don’t know how to make it go away.

Trying to figure out how to have a Happy Thanksgiving, but am not there yet.

I made sure that HUSBAND and I are making new and very distinct memories now. This year, we are 800 miles away from home, traveling in the mountains with two of our four kids…and I am trying hard to pretend that those nasty thoughts are far away. But truth is, there are triggers everywhere. Triggers in the names of places that now have double-meanings. Triggers in a book displayed at a bookstore. Triggers in a type of cup. So, 800 miles and a year and seven months later, I’m still trying to figure out how to have a Happy Thanksgiving. But I am not there. Yet.

 

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11 thoughts on “Trying for Thankful

  1. I had these same feelings about what is real and what is an act during our anniversary trip in 2013, which was just one week prior to Dday.

    I have found that time has helped to dull the doubt and pain. The more he was repentant and present, the less doubtful I felt.

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  2. Tempted hit the nail. The more they are repentant, show remorse, real remorse in actions and behaviour the easier it is to build a new relationship. Build new memories and all of this will take time.
    How could they do what they did? We all have the same questions because we just are not capable of thinking like they did. Every single betrayer is showing us a side of them that we believed would never exist and such a shock to,find that it did. I asked H so many times how could he spend time communicating with his loves whilst we were having a wonderful holiday or Christmas Day, my birthday, any special event and he never has an answer. I am sure it was just the erotic fantasy. When my H had his hip surgery it was hard work for me looking after him. I had to put on these compression pants every morning and when he went to the toilet and it was hard work as well as looking after his physiology and feeding him and driving him and there he was during that time sending pics of his penis to his girlfriends? Do we ever get over this? I think we have to. He was an idiot and he can see that now. If he could not see it then I would be worried.
    (((Hugs))))

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        1. Isn’t it unbelievable that they are capable of such deception? I still reel from the reality that I didn’t know. I spent so many days and nights confronting myself…did I know…did I..DID I. I didn’t.

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  3. I had to go back to your first posts. I wanted to read what happened. My story, in comparison, seems rather tame. My husband never had an affair (that I know of) and claims it is porn only. So then I feel a little invalidated because my husband never held another woman or thought of a specific person — maybe images of porn pop in his head, but he’s not longing for another woman. He has only touched me, kissed me, ect. So I wonder if I’m not being too hard on him. I wonder if I don’t have a reason to feel he is unfaithful just because of porn. But, I still sort of do. I wonder if that makes me a jerk because I think it is awful.

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    1. No…NO! You are not a jerk. Porn is awful. Did you see that site I sent to you? It is infidelity, and your feelings of betrayal are valid. My story is really really rough…but that does not diminish your hurt. Listen to your gut… I’m thinking of you, sweet girl.

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