Journal Entry: May 2, 2014
“God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform. He plants His footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.” ~ William Cowper
A week before dday, my husband and I decided to purchase a beach house. I have always wanted a house at the coast. You could say it has been a dream of mine. We rented a beachfront home for Christmas this past year and celebrated the holiday there with my family. My parents, and both our boys were in town (a rarity), my brother and sister-in-law flew in from Tokyo, and my sister and her partner were there. It was an amazing few days with impeccable weather. My parents brought a tree and we decorated it with travel friendly ornaments (i.e., non breakable ones). I even rented a dog friendly house, as we love our furry family members too. My husband grew up near sunny beaches. I grew up a little further from the ocean in a slightly less temperate climate and my hometown is where my husband and I have settled. As I have said before, I love where he grew up, but I would never live in that city as his family resides there.
For years we have been traveling to the coast town nearest our home. We make the trip at least four times a year. The town is less than 75 miles away. Every time we visit, I look at all the houses for sale and dream about spending summers at our own beach house, or cozying up to a fireplace during a coastal winter storm in our very own living room overlooking the ocean. Lots of fantasies played themselves out in my mind during trips to the beach for the past 20 years.
Towards the end of our holiday trip to the beach this past Christmas, I looked at my husband and said, I love this little stretch of beach, let’s buy a house here. I figured he would say what he always says… “some day, when we can afford it, some day.” But this time he said, “yes, I agree, let’s do it!” I couldn’t believe my ears. He was all in. He was being genuine, not just saying what he thought I wanted to hear. It took a while for it to sink in. The house we were renting was oceanfront and three houses away was a beautiful flat piece of property and every time we drove by it, my brother would say… “now that is the perfect piece of property, too bad its not for sale.” Indeed, it was too bad that it wasn’t for sale, because it was perfect. Someone had recently purchased it as the “for sale” sign was still lying on the ground at the front of the lot. I couldn’t find anything on the Internet about that piece of property either. The next day we looked at everything along this particular section of beach where we were renting the house that was for sale. There weren’t very many properties available, but I did find one that intrigued me. An old 1928 fixer on a double lot, oceanfront! I fell in love. We drove past the old house and a few others in the area, but it was a holiday week, most of the houses were rented, most agents were on vacation, and we needed to get home. On the way home, my husband called a realtor. The following week he set up an appointment to see a number of houses in the area. The next week, we drove back to the coast and went house hunting. I HAD SO MUCH FUN! We settled on the old ocean front fixer upper on the double lot, and we made an offer. Our city home was a fixer upper when we purchased it and I have spent the past 18 years lovingly remodeling it. If anyone is up for the challenge of an old fixer upper on the coast, it is me.
Four days later, my world fell apart. On dday, all my dreams turned into nightmares and all my memories were lies. I could no longer imagine staying married to my husband, much less purchasing a beach house with him. My husband, on the other hand, was not going to let our dreams die. He continued the pursuit of our beach house. From my husband’s perspective, the reason his ex-acting out partner called me was because he had broken off their affair months before and refused to answer her calls. He refused to answer her call that January morning. I did answer her call. It was inevitable that his secret would be revealed. He was ready for his covert and destructive life to end. I wish he had been able to come clean himself, instead of my receiving a phone call from an old, delusional, alcoholic, hoarding whore, but wishes don’t always come true, and this is no fantasy land.
Although I knew nothing of my husband’s secret life, I now know the beach house was to be part of his new reality, a dream retreat away from everything that reminds him of his acting out partners, his acting out behavior, and now, his addiction. He seeks a place where he can embrace his new life, full of mindfulness and peace. My dream for a beach house is now his dream too. A couple months after the sellers of the fixer upper accepted our offer, they pulled their offer due to an easement issue requiring legal action. I was heartbroken. We started our search over and then, as if by some miracle, that piece of flat oceanfront land that was empty and perfect and not for sale, suddenly became available. We purchased that property and it is due to close in 12 days, on my birthday.
It is there on that perfect piece of flat oceanfront land, that we will build our dream beach house retreat.