I am heading off to a painting workshop in Southern California. I am a little anxious as I will be painting outside (plein air) and I will be working with acrylics. I have never painted in acrylics before, only oils and watercolors. I am reaching outside my comfort zone and I am also very excited. I was going to attend this workshop last April, but due to my trauma, I cancelled. I could not imagine standing around trying to focus, trying to paint, while a dozen other people stood around enjoying themselves, immersed in the beautiful landscape, and in their art. I have not picked up a paint brush since dday.
In preparation of leaving tomorrow morning, I am packing up all my supplies for the road trip/painting workshop. I have my paints, my brushes, my canvases, and my outdoor portable easel among many many other things. I went searching for my sketch pad and pencils. I found my sketch pad in the bottom of a bag I had taken on one of our trips last year. I often take a sketchbook in hopes I will feel a burst of artistic energy. Last year I barely opened the pad. Apparently once last year, in my trauma, I had opened my sketch pad and instead had used it to jot down my feelings after reading a few mistress blogs and “articles” on the internet. I kind of go on and on in my ramblings about these particular articles and what the mistresses say to rationalize their behavior. One British woman had the nerve to write that when our husbands are with her, we are the other woman. Oh yeah, okay, sure we are… the other woman who holds every single aspect of our marital relationship in tact except the few minutes he spent fucking you, bitch. It still blows my mind, even today, how many women think sex alone makes for a meaningful relationship. I’ve written about this, so I won’t go on and on about it again, but it still frustrates me, and I am guessing it always will. Sex is sex ladies. They can do it for themselves, but if you are going to offer up your body to them, like a whore, many of them will take it, many more than I ever would have thought before dday. There are a lot of messed up people out there. And of course it goes the other way too, but you just hardly ever read similar self congratulatory articles by men glorifying themselves for helping a wife betray her husband. At least I haven’t seen many. So reading a couple of those articles including one entitled “I am the mistress” prompted me to jot this down in my sketchbook:
To: The Mistress
You are the woman who mistook meaningless sex for love. You are the woman who took something that didn’t belong to you. You are the woman who rationalized that you could steal a man from his family. You are the woman who tried to destroy multiple lives. I was NEVER the other woman. YOU, on the other hand, are the woman who meant nothing to my husband.
I am the wife
I am the woman who loves my husband. I am the woman who gladly lies down in bed next to my husband every night whether it is to listen to his woes, have passionate sex, laugh with him about something our kids said or did that day, or to just fall asleep in his arms. I am the woman who said “I do” over 25 years ago, and really, really meant it. I am the woman who respects my husband so much I would never cheat on him. I am the woman who has solid boundaries and does not have emotional relationships with other men, especially not married men, because I would never disrespect my husband (or any human being) in such a hurtful manner. I am the woman who spent hours in hospitals with the man of my dreams while he received test after test, and I worried. I am the woman who waited patiently during surgery after surgery, and again, I worried. I worried myself sick. I am the woman who never stopped believing in my husband, and I am the woman who cherishes his drive, his intelligence, his charisma, his charm, his brilliance. I am the woman who gave birth to his babies. I am the woman who ran his business, his house, and parented his children while he was away. I am the woman who held him and kissed him good-bye and welcomed him home with loving arms, every single time he was away. I am the woman who missed him every day he was gone from us. I am the woman who adores sex with my husband and never felt like it was my duty, because I wanted it too. I am the woman who worried over my husband’s inability to cope when in the presence of his parents. I am the woman who encouraged my husband to seek out therapy after his brother’s suicide. I am the woman who ran interference with “the in-laws” for more than 30 years. I am the woman who also has a life of her own and was happy and I am the woman who never took her marriage for granted. I am the woman who trusted my husband to never lie about me and to never betray me. I am the woman who was blindsided by your phone call. I am the woman who now fears for her own safety. I am the woman who is standing by my husband, and I am the woman who will never stop loving him. I am the woman who has forgiven her husband and who continues to walk with him on his road to recovery. I was NEVER the other woman.
I am the woman who now gets to pick up the pieces of her marriage because women like you were willing to trade their bodies for a few hours of attention from a man who doesn’t belong to them. It is true that my husband is culpable, but if not for women like you, there wouldn’t be such a thing as extramarital sex.
I was NEVER the other woman. I am the wife.