Cleansing tears

branches

Sunday morning, Blue Eyes made me breakfast and we sat at the table talking about a healthy plan for when we travel. He will have meetings most of the day, some even centering around meals. I will be on my own much of the time and although I will have some work that will need to be done, I will also have a lot of time to sightsee. I have been to all the cities to which we are traveling, however, there is always more to experience. I figure I will map out walking routes to interesting sights, maybe museums, maybe the Louis Vuitton store on Champs Elysees 🙂 and that way I can get my steps in. All the hotels have gyms, so I will be able to keep up the Elliptical and maybe even do some other machines. We’ll make good food choices.

We talked about our last trip to Paris two years ago, for my 50th birthday. We stayed in the Marais district in an apartment with our children. We were one block from the famous L’As du Fallafel on rue des Rosiers in the Marais. We fell in love with their Falafel and Shawarma. We agreed we must make our way to L’As du Fallafel. Also, the Picasso Museum has reopened. It was closed the last time we were there. As I reminisced about Paris, I got that sick in the pit of my stomach feeling. We were in Paris until mid June, 2013. We arrived back home in time to pick up our a little mini Aussie puppy for Blue Eyes for Father’s Day. Blue Eyes then made an emergency trip to the hospital. We celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary twice that summer. The first celebration was right before our anniversary, after he got out of the hospital. I had booked a beautiful oceanfront corner room at a fancy hotel, got a puppy sitter and everything, and even though he couldn’t eat much, we had a wonderful time. He had come across Orange Is The New Black on Netflix while he was holed up in the hospital for seven days and I was home trying to train his new puppy. We binge watched that show at the hotel. We also strolled the streets of the quaint little town, and sat on our deck watching the gorgeous ocean sunsets. In my mind, we had a wonderfully romantic time. We also celebrated our anniversary the following week in Los Angeles after some business meetings. Blue Eyes purchased me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and we had dinner with Aunt Amanda and her daughter. We also, unfortunately, met up with his parents, which as it turned out, may be the last time we ever see them. We went shopping at a toy store in Beverly Hills and then went out to his sister’s house to celebrate her grandbaby’s birthday. We had a great time. In between, we enjoyed Los Angeles and all it has to offer. We drove out to Malibu, we went to our favorite restaurant, we did what we have done for years, we loved each other and had a great time doing it. The part I didn’t know about was the part where in between those two trips, Blue Eyes had had sex with Camilla on her grungy little bed, in her seedy little house, while I went about my day like a normal, healthy person. After being in the hospital, I guess he was feeling so sorry for himself, and so bad about himself? that he “needed” to call her and get his drug. From the phone records I know that they called and texted obsessively during this approximate two week time period, from the moment we returned home from the coast, until well after we returned home from LA. They had a 69 minute phone call with each other while he and I were in LA together, for our anniversary. He says he was trying to get rid of her. It was the same after every encounter. She became more and more aggressive, she threatened to call me, he had to talk her down, sometimes it took hours. After the sex, he was done with his cycle. He wanted nothing to do with her. She wanted more, a lot more. He has pain in his eyes when he tells me how horrible it was. But he was the one that had called her for sex in the first place? Confused doesn’t began to describe my feelings. Some people might question how in the world I could not know my husband was having an affair with all that communication between them, actually most people question me on that. Well, my husband has been a workaholic for decades. My husband used to spend most of his time on his phone and his laptop, partly due to his workaholism, partly due to his sexaholism. I always thought it was workaholism. I never questioned his fidelity. He was always stopping while he was on the road, to take a phone call from a client. Apparently some of those phone calls were her. I am still blown away that he could have a heated 69 minute phone call with his affair partner that was full of arguing and threatening while driving home from a business meeting and then meet me back at the hotel as if nothing was wrong. That is scary.

Sitting at the table, thinking about Paris, now makes me think about that summer. The last summer he was “with” her. The last summer evil stole my husband’s time away from me. By his own description, the actual sex lasted maybe two minutes on that very last intimate encounter they shared. They both had places to be… she had a meeting, he wanted to be anywhere but with her. The sex itself now means nothing to me. The lies and the betrayal and the bringing a crazy stalker into my life, means a whole lot. I rarely cry any more, and when I do cry, it is short bouts of tears of sadness versus long, guttural sobs of intense pain. I am thankful for this, but I still feel this gaping hole in my heart when I think about everything he did to betray me and our boys. I know he feels bad, I know he is still in intensive therapy and will be for a long time, I know he religiously attends his 12 step meetings, and I appreciate all he is doing to heal himself, but it will never take away the pain and loneliness I feel from all he perpetrated. I have pretty much said everything I can say to him about how I feel, and about how our boys must feel about being lied to nearly their whole lives. They do not talk about it with him. Our oldest now lives in NYC and when we are with him, Blue Eyes does his best to connect with our son on an emotional level. The Pragmatist doesn’t really want to go there. He wants his Dad to learn to love himself and stop perpetrating shit on me. The Peacemaker lives at home and he definitely does not want to talk about it, at all. He is still angry with his Dad. Like me, he wants it all to go away. If only there was some kind of selective memory reduction machine. All the bad memories of everything that has happened in the past year could be wiped away. But better yet, a time machine, where we could go back and address his issues from the beginning. Force him to be honest with himself and be accountable. I have never been a fan of science fiction, but now I dream of these magical machines that can take the pain away, from everyone. I know if Blue Eyes tried to absorb even a fraction of our pain, he might just die right there on the spot. There is so much pain and so much hurt. On the one hand, I want him to be able to move forward, forgiving himself, loving himself. The only way he can ever beat this addiction is if he believes in himself. Constantly thinking about all the mistakes you made in your past is overwhelming and gets in the way of healing. On the other hand, I am still shocked that he was able to block us out when he was acting out. That takes a certain skill. Will he enlist that skill again? When will we be tossed aside in pursuit of what comes more naturally to him? I am hoping never. He says never.

As I looked out the kitchen window at the gorgeous blue sky and the barren trees softly blowing in the crisp breeze, those gentle, painful tears of sadness started to flow. I gave myself a good minute to soft cry it out, to cleanse the sad feelings from my soul. Then I wiped the tears away. Blue Eyes held me and said the only words he knows how to say anymore, “I’m so so sorry for what I have done to you and to our children.” This is when I have to let go of those feelings. Letting them envelop and control me does not help me heal. I have to let go of the feelings that it is just frankly not fair that I was the one making the good and right decisions while my life partner was the one making the sick and selfish decisions that were hurting us. I cannot change it. I want to stay and be with him. I want him to heal. I want us all to heal. He has the tougher journey. While I just need to be that same loving, helpful, nurturing, kind, loyal, strong, faithful partner, he has to learn to live in his new reality and he needs to change his habits, his coping behaviors, his lifestyle, his way of thinking, his spirituality. He needs to nurture his own self awareness. He definitely has the tougher journey. I continue to embrace the cleansing tears, and march on.

17 thoughts on “Cleansing tears

  1. I’ve been to Italy but not Paris yet. Some day.

    In the meantime… I don’t know that I agree about all the work being hard for Blue Eyes. Your life is going to have to change too. You’re still going through dealing with the trauma of his disclosures and the stalking. You’re still struggling with realizations about the entirety of your existence together. You have an incredible amount of healing and grieving to go through, PLUS you’re trying to support his recovery. It’s really no less difficult than the work he is doing. I don’t discount for a moment what he has ahead of him. I’m an addict, so I’m the last person to minimize someone’s recovery. But I hope you are also getting the support and resources you need to be well. Addiction is a family disease, after all 😉

    I hope your trip is most restful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have been to Rome, but not Florence, or Venice, or the Amalfi Coast, or Tuscany. Those are all on the list. I hope you get to Paris soon. I think it is as amazing as it is made out to be.

      My life has already changed, drastically. The difference to me is, I know who I am, I have always known. Blue Eyes has never acknowledged who he really is and whether he likes that guy. I am back to functioning as a healthy, mature, contributing adult. Blue Eyes has a long way to go. Sure I will continue to have trauma, and I do have support groups, and therapy, and friends that help me every day, and even though addiction is a family disease, I do not have the disease. I can stand by and be a cheerleader, and a life partner, but I cannot help him manage his addiction. Only he can do that.

      I hope my trip is restful as well, but it really is for business, so not as restful as a holiday. I’ll make the best of it… does anyone know how many calories are in a crepe, ha. 🙂

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  2. Ahhhh I was in Paris last April! First time, I LOVED it. I went to stay with my cousin, who is a photographer over there, we did 3 days of walking and talking. Falafel at L’as amazing! We took them right around the corner and sat on the free bikes to eat them 🙂 I wish I could come watch you shop in Louis!! Bon voyage ☺️

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    • Paris is such an amazing place! I wish you could come shop with me too! I bet your pictures of the trip are amazing, having a photographer as your guide and all. Any thoughts on places I should see?

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      • I only did three days so I’m sure you’ve seen much more than I have but highlights for me, sitting along the seine eating frozen yoghurt from a street cart, this was outside the national library of France on Quai Francois Mauriac, it’s out of the centre but it’s so quiet and lovely, the flower market – of course, we also did a really touristy river boat cruise, it was awesome! Probably because we’d walked 9 miles that day already so it was a lovely chance to sit down 😃 oh I’m so jealous! I hope your weather is lovely.

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        • Ooh, I hope the weather is good too. Anything on the seine is wonderful. Maybe sipping on something warm while walking along the seine, at this time of year. No one would do the boat cruise with me last time. Maybe I will take it by myself this time. I took a canal cruise by myself in Amsterdam a couple years ago and I met some lovely people. Our longest walking day in and around Paris was the day we went to Versailles. We walked to and from the train stations too… we had on wrist bands that tracked our steps, 16.3 miles that day. I didn’t think I had it in me back then as I had just suffered an infected coral wound to my right shin. This time it would be a breeze. 🙂

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  3. Its amazing how those few words can melt even the hardest of hearts… “I’m sorry”, is all I need to hear, after all, there’s nothing he can do to change what happened, but telling me over and over again how sorry he is helps… if only he could bring himself to say them more often 😦

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    • Hopefully without the words, are the actions? It seems we are told actions speak louder than words, but I think the way in which the words are said means a lot too. Now instead of my husband saying them because he knew he was supposed to and just kind of standing there afraid to touch me, he embraces me, envelops me, and says it with the understanding that I am hurting and he does not know what else to say or do. What they don’t realize is that we are never going to completely stop hurting. Sometimes I think my husband is trying to hug the pain out of me. I’m sure you have talked about this on your blog, but I read the bulk of your blog so many months ago, have you reminded your husband that you need him to say it. I know it seems silly, but I think they actually get to the point where they think it doesn’t mean anything to us any more. Or enough time has passed that they don’t need to anymore. Communication is the key. In a perfect world, they would instinctively know exactly what we want or need, but sometimes we do have to ask for what we want most. Men (I say out loud with a completely exasperated tone). ❤

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      • Had this conversation this morning…..like, how is it that you can carry on, fairly healed, fairly okay with what you visited on our lives? And I still suffer every minute of every day? I don’t want either of us to suffer, but my sense of justice is so damn offended by the healing by the cheater and my lack of…. The frustration at myself for never healing is immeasurable. His answer was good – I can’t recall it all, but it was about the lack of control, he was “in control” of the narrative, and I had this foisted on me, no choice. You can deal with the shit you put on yourself so much more elegantly than the shit others throw at you!

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        • Sometimes I wonder if they are really healed or if they have just pushed it aside because it doesn’t seem relevant any more. I used to think that about my husband. It seemed he could just let go of what he had done, but then we found it was still there, inside, eating away at him.

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          • After more than five and a half years, Kat, he is as healed as it is possible to be. He isn’t happy, he isn’t proud of himself, but he accepts it all with such…dignity and resilience. There is never full healing. A friend and I (blogger friend from early in my journey) identified that after much angst. The pain never leaves. Yes, it can reduce, but never leaves. I thought it would be like the grief over death of a loved one…or recovery from rape…. but no, it’s not. It never reduces in that way. Much more staying power than that grief. I still mourn my Mum – 14 years later – but not anywhere near this scale. I go long periods without thinking about her much, let alone those gut wrenching moments I miss her wisdom like crazy, but never close to this grief. Nowhere near.

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            • I know you have so many more years in than I do and our husbands are completely different, mine being a crazy sex addict for starters! I know the pain never goes away, we just learn to manage it. Death is a natural progression of life, even if they have to leave us too soon. Some people still never heal from the tragic death of a loved one. But this, yes, perpetrated by the one who was supposed to nurture our safety and security and instead stomped on it and disrespected us, nothing compares. Our reality has been forever altered. You might walk by a picture of your Mum that would prompt a memory that might hold some pain because you miss her so much, but we have to deal with our husbands on a daily basis and the fact that it appears as if they were just able to move on… As always, hugs your way.

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  4. My first stop in Paris is always the Grande Épicerie at the Bon Marché. LOVE THAT PLACE. I also love L’As and I am sure they will appreciate your patronage. LV, not so much. That boutique overwhelms me and I felt very out of place last time I stopped in, it was full of Asian tourists bargain hunting. The prices are better here. (At least the exchange rate has improved, it was $1.32: 1€ my last visit ) But if you are over that way you must of course go to Ladurée for a chocolat chaud. Do you love the Monoprix, France’s Target? Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at Grand Palais starting 1 April. I saw an absolutely fabulous Cartier retrospective there last winter (it is now in its final weeks in Denver).

    Paris, je t’aime. Bon voyage!!!

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    • Are you sure you don’t want to meet me there and show me your favorite places! 🙂 . Blue Eyes will be in meetings all day. We did not even get to the Grande Epicerie at the Bon Marche. My list of “must sees” last time was about 50 long. We were only there for two weeks and since it was end of May, we had tickets for Roland Garros… I planned the trip around the French Open. This time will be completely different as it is work related, much shorter, most of the time by myself. I plan to take advantage of my three full days. Also have not been to Monoprix! We did a full lunch with dessert out on the sidewalk with the boys at Laduree and it was delicious. That was right after I purchased my one and only LV purse right down the street. I have never desired a LV purse before, but I figured when in Paris… I love my bag. It is aubergine and very durable. I have been using it a lot this winter. It was less expensive than US prices (with the exchange rate at the time) and the leather is stamped Louis Vuitton Paris and Made in France. I absolutely LOVE it. When we first walked into the store, I was overwhelmed and wanted to leave. But after a little bit of looking around, I expressed to them that I had been eyeing a purse online that I wanted to purchase at their store. They took me upstairs, third floor, maybe? They gave us treats and drinks (normally champagne, but sparkling water for us) and we had a designated sales person who took out about 10 purses for me. It was actually a great experience. I am not a big shopper and actually prefer shopping on line. In the end, the experience was very fun. I didn’t like having to wait in line at the airport to get the tax refund stuff stamped and then we waited about four weeks for the refund. But it was all accurate and saved us dollars. When all was said and done, I saved a couple hundred dollars by purchasing the purse there, but for me it was more about buying it in France anyway.

      I am not going to go to any of the sights I was at last time (but I may go into LV for another purse). I fell in love with Musee d’Orsay. Our favorite day was the trip out to Versailles with the whole group. We also visited the Luxembourg gardens, and the Louvre of course. We walked everywhere. We visited Notre Dame, Saint Chapelle, and walked the Ile Saint-Louis, eiffel tower, we strolled the sorbonne and the latin quarter, did the arc de triomphe and champs elysees the same day, of course. The kids went to the Pompidou, we did not make it there. We did musee carnavalet on a day when it was raining and our feet were tired as it was only a block from our apartment. We saw a lot of the Marais district, saw Place des Vosges, and went to breakfast two or three times at the Rose Bakery. We even did a walk one day were we ended up at the Shakespeare bookstore. We had dinner at a wonderful Japanese restaurant in Montmartre and visited Sacre Couer, Moulin Rouge, all that.

      We did not get to Marche aux Puces Saint-Ouen (more my type of shopping) and I won’t get there this time either as I am there Tues-Thurs. We did not get to the Palais Garnier. I definitely want to see the Opera house this time. I also wanted to see Musee de l’Orangerie last time, but didn’t get to it. I like to mix things up a little and not do all museums, so we’ll see. Any other suggestions?

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      • This place, on Île St Louis http://www.yelp.com/biz/crêperie-le-sarrasin-et-le-froment-paris-2 . You can stroll over there from Notre Dame (where I love to shop for Provençal gifts like tablecloths and lavender sachets). The crêperie has seating inside and a take-out window. There are probably hundreds of places to get crêpes but I love this one. I also like shopping in the home decor departments at BHV and Le Printemps. Great LV story…that is why I travel, and I love buying stuff that I see or use all the time, to remind me of the trips. I always send myself postcards so I receive them when I return home.
        Musée d’Orsay has been renovated and there is a gorgeous restaurant on the top floor (I think). Say hello to one of my favorite paintings, La Pie (Monet). Also Musée de l’Orangerie is an absolute must if you have never been, for the massive waterlilies. I could go on and on…

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  5. Kat, you continue to amaze and inspire me. You are a beautiful, gentle soul. You have so much compassion and patience. I’m glad that Blue Eyes takes the time to verbally express his apology to you. For me, that tends to be the most helpful thing to hear when the pain becomes overwhelming.

    As always, wishing you luck and peace as you continue to be a support to your husband and marriage.

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    • Thank you for the kind words. I am constantly amazed at the beauty and grace of the betrayed spouse bloggers. Sure, we all have our days and this is one of the only places we can vent about those horrifying other women in our life, but for the most part, I feel such kindness, generosity, and love coming from these men and women. I hope all of the wayward spouses can find the help they need to heal from the wounds that caused them to stray in the first place, and if they can’t or won’t, I hope the betrayed spouses can move on knowing they did the best they could. I am not sure if I have properly expressed on my blog how kind and gentle my husband really is, but he is by no means “healed.” They do these things for a reason whether addicts or not. It is always difficult living in the reality that we are all broken and if we don’t take the time and put in the effort to really acknowledge this and work on it, we’re probably not going to get the results we seek. It’s a journey. ❤

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