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Well, then thank you, and you're welcome from both of us. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Ok, from all 3 of us.


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



Neak's Story
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Wow, it's been a long time since my last visit here.

Nothing terribly earthshaking to report, just I like to visit on important days. Of course I'm not sure exactly which is the important day...I was so devastated by the news that my sweetheart was planning to divorce me that I lost as much as a week, no clue what happened to it. That was about now, 3 years ago.

D-day anni #3 is coming up February 12. I doubt it will bother me much, it is getting much farther away than I would have thought.

Life is not about the A anymore. It's not necessarily fun, either, with some pretty significant financial challenges, and 2 poor molested boys that are miserable and trying to make sure everyone else is miserable too.

But we love each other, and appreciate each other.

I can't remember the last time I cried about the A. Probably more than a year now. Used to be I thought I would never stop crying.

There is still the occasional pang, and after my 6yo became angry and shot me in the eyeball with a large rubber band, I had a brief recurrence of PTSD symptoms. It sounds so depressing as I say it, but really, that was several months back, and he is doing better and I am doing better. Except for an exaggerated startle reflex, (let's just say I still don't take it very kindly when mischievous little boys sneak up on me in the dark as I sit in the car, and yell while plastering themselves against the window about 6 inches from my face, not that I am bitter, lol!) I'm nearly back to what has always passed as normal. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Boy, I am getting sleepy - there's something about trying to skate on plastic for a couple hours that really tires a girl out, but just wanted to spend a brief moment in reflection. Especially since even on a bad day I feel light years better than I ever thought I would feel again.

AJ, if you ever read this, I love you, and thank you for all your effort in bringing us back together again.

A few things never change, though. A month or 2 ago one of AJ's friends told him that the OW had contacted him again recently trying to get info about AJ. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" /> (This would be the same friend whose WW divorced him 3 years ago and has caused trouble ever since - so you can imagine how much OW-sympathy he has, and who was hounded by AJ's OW so much after she was dumped, that he finally had his mommy tell her that he didn't even live there any more.)

Just goes to show that not EVERYONE has learned something out of this experience. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" /><img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" /><img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" />

But for the rest of us, life goes on....... <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



Neak's Story
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And for contrast, here is my very first post on MB, on 4/20/05.

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I have devoured enough of the information here to be hopeful, and am trying to get my hands on Dr. Harley's book, hopefully very soon, but feel a great need for advice and input in the meantime, and really all the time. Somewhere just after mid-January, maybe the 18th or 19th, my H turned to me in bed & said he was planning to leave. I didn't know it at the time, but he had already applied for a house for rent nearby. Over the next day or two he did reveal information to me about which needs he felt were not being met, along with a lot of other stuff I now know to be fog.

We had been so happy for almost 9 years, very affectionate, great sex life, in spite of 3 small children & elderly grandparents (now just GP). I was so shocked, but figured since he wasn't leaving for a day or two I had a chance, albeit a small one. I immediately went to work to correct everything, additionally showering him with love & affection that got 0 response. It was like hugging & kissing a rock, tho our sex life was better than ever. Feb. 12 was d-day, when he said he had been seeing someone else. Initially I was relieved to find out there was a reason for how he was suddenly treating me, and determined with the aid of much prayer to continue being loving & kind, & doing my best to make home attractive for him since he hadn't left yet. He said he was having a hard time choosing between me & the OW, & I said I would wait as long as it took for him to choose, naively expecting a week, @ the most 2 before he gave HER the boot. He said it was only an EA, but seemed powerless to end it.

At the beginning of March he admitted upon direct questioning that he intended to take her with him on an out-of-town trip that weekend, so, desperate to prevent the breakover to PA, I gently lit into him, saying that his duty to his children demanded that he break up with her immediately & begin working to restore our home so the little ones wouldn't be destroyed. The evil replicant (I love that description, thank you to whoever thought of it) was enraged & swore at me, saying that he would do it for them, not for me, and I'd better stay away from him.

It may have made a large withdrawal from the LB at the time, but it bore fruit. He ended up inviting me on the weekend instead, & became more affectionate, holding my hand again & telling me he loved me for the first time in an eternity. On the way home he admitted that within the last week it had become a PA already, but only one time. It was several days before I felt up to resuming sex, and only after appropriate inquiries as to what protection was used. When we got home he went that night to see her and B/U, but came home, hugged me, & said he just couldn't do it - she was crying, broken, had no one else but him, etc. etc., she dragged out the ILY card @ the most effective time, & besides he still owed her money he had borrowed for his business. Not sure what else to do, I continued my unwitting Plan A actions, but became increasingly emotionally distraught as it dragged on, & physically weaker as lack of sleep & food took their toll.

Even so, it seemed at first as if the obsession had been broken: he was still responsive to my affection, tho not reaching out much, still said ILY, & no longer kept his cel ph with its incessant test msgs & calls by his side. Even now he usually just leaves it in the car when he's home. His great plan was to 'ease her away slowly', & more than 2 mo past d-day he's still 'easing'. I know from some of the few things he has said about her that she has at least several times put pressure on him to hurry up & join her, unencumbered with his inconvenient family & wife, of course, & he also doesn't like the fact that she regulary drinks heavily.

But here's the kicker, without saying anything to me until it was done, he hired her on to work for our company, since she lost her job in the time just before d-day, & after all, he had borrowed that money from her... The only satisfaction I get out of it is the knowledge that it must have galled to get her first paycheck with my signature on it. But WHAT IS HE THINKING?????? What do I do?

Another bright side is that without my having to do or say anything, gossip is now raging among the employees, & has spread from there into his circle of friends, several of whom have called me to express concern & support. WH has no idea yet that he is the subject of so much talk, & I can guarantee he won't like it when he finds out. The whole thing frustrated me to the point where I felt like we were worse off than when we started since it seemed like he was casting her up in my face so publicly, tho remaining as affectionate as before. After much more prayer I decided it was time for what I now know is Plan B, & sat down to say my piece. I got as far as 'Until you completely stop contacting her, none of us can heal, including her,' & it was like God put his hand over my mouth before I said more. There was no loss of courage or anything like that; I think maybe He just wanted me to see that I was now strong enough to walk away any time I need to, bcuz knowing that has empowered me to stay.

Later that day (4/15)I found MarriageBuilders & felt so encouraged, tho still I am going a bit crazy over employing the OW. Here is where we stand today: still hugs, kisses, ILY's, great sex every day or close to it, he comes home each night unlike at the beginning, & voluntarily spends time with the family, e.g. today he took me w/him to town to run errands then came back & got the kids for a family outing. But on the other hand, he still sees her, talks to her, EMPLOYS HER!!!!, & except for a couple days ago when he was angry & said he was leaving us both, shows no sign to me, anyway, that the affair is disintegrating. Comments please! I am committed to whatever it takes, I just need to know more of what that is. Is there more I can do? Thank you for anything you can help me with.

PS Though I have lost 20 lbs since this started, I am eating & sleeping better, & overall in much better shape than any time in the past 3 mo.

So if you are in the middle of an affair-mess, yes there is hope! You can get through this too - don't lose hope.

Keep up the good fight, and you will either have a wonderful fulfilling marriage - and you have a good chance of this, or a wonderful fulfilling life by yourself. Both are very much successes.


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



Neak's Story
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You are a very bad human being, Neak. It is 0115, and I was headed to bed hours ago, but for some reason decided to read a little bit of your story. Why, I don't know. It's not like I'm unfamiliar with it, after all. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" /> You are the only person I know of that can make infidelity humorous. Yes, I realize it wasn't at the time, and you didn't turn into Winona McScrawny, Wraith of the Alien Fog because you were laughing too much to eat, but still...

I've snorted so many times in the last 4 hours I thought I was turning into Melody Lane! <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> I am sorry I'm your mother. If I weren't I could tell you what an exceptional human being you are, and how I admire the grace and determination that you brought to a crisis you didn't ask for, didn't deserve, and never anticipated...and nobody would think I was biased or prejudiced. However, what's done is done and can't be helped. And my being your mother does not make you any less remarkable to me. Your husband is a lucky man.

Now I'm going to sleep. I can only take so much amusement in one evening! <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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Hello Neak,

Thank you for this thread. I've found it very inspiring and included a link to it on my successful Plan Bs thread. It was particularly interesting to read because you wrote a sort of after the fact analysis. I'm particularly grateful for the salutary lesson on mistakes to avoid when it comes to an end. I hope I get to put that into practice some day.

Best wishes,

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^Bump^

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Woops, guess this is one time I shoulda had the last word. You're welcome Principled, and I am always very glad if my mistakes can help someone else avoid the same problems. Sorry this is so many weeks late. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

Well I am here to contrast Valentine's Day 2005 with Valentine's Day 2008. (There are very few comparisons.)

2005:

Found card addressed to "AJ", instead of the customary "My Sweetheart".

Quote
I hope someday we can look back on this Valentine's Day as a turning point, when we grew closer than ever before, and fell more deeply in love with each other. You hold my heart and my love.
Always,
Neak

Translation: No WONDER you've been acting like a donkey's patootie! Well, it's been two days since you told me you were seeing someone else, and you haven't broken up with her yet, but I'm very naive and think that it's bound to be in the next day or two, especially when I remind you how wonderful I am.[/quote]

Also enclosed was a letter, which is hard to believe now that I wrote. Once you get into the anger/resentment stage, it's much easier to believe in baseball bats than loving words.

And of course I hadn't found MB yet, but wow was I in a fog of my own. It was simply ignorance, but thick nonetheless.

Quote
February 14, 2005
My Own Love,

I want to open my heart, thoughts, and feelings to you in such a way that there won't be any mystery or guessing as to what's cooking in my noggin, and perhaps to open the way for you to share more of your thoughts and feelings, as well. If you would rahter hear it straight from my lips, then hand me the letter and I'll read it to you - it's just that my thoughts end up so much more organized when they're on paper. That, and the added advantage of letters not dripping tears onto your chest or getting snot on your shirt.

After two days now of being pretty well spaced out, I am finally starting to digest your rather startling news of the other night. I'm glad to be able to say that while in some ways I feel different now than I did when you first told me, I'm not angry, I still forgive you (and her), and I still love you.

So many things are clear now that weren't before, and I understand you reactions to me much better with the situation more fully clarified. It hurts to find out that my hero is not as perfect as I thought, but you're still my hero for all that. My love for you is only deeper and stronger as a result of what we have both been through these past few weeks.

It seems like such a long time ago that I looked down the aisle to see you waiting for me at the end of it, at what was to have been only the beginning. The love we shared was something that few people ever have the chance to experience, and has been tested many times since. Our life together has been one crisis after another, but somehow we always survived, stronger and better, because we had each other.

Now we've reached another crisis, the worst one yet. Our precious love has been shaken at its foundation, through the unwise choices each of us has made. I am very willing to share in the responsibility, although it makes it that much more heartbreaking. I'm so sorry for my part in this, and would give anything to make this mess just go away.

You said you were torn, that you didn't want to lose me, but you didn't want to lose her, either. I have known you for more than a decade, probably better than any other person on earth, and I know you are not so selfish that this is your only reason - just you not wanting to lose someone. I know very well that you also don't want to hurt anyone, or cause anyone you care about the kind of pain that is going to be involved in this decision.

What you need to keep in mind is that it is not a question of which one person out of three gets hurt. All three people in this awkward triangle have been terribly hurt already. Think how she must feel night after night, knowing you're with me and picturing all the thing that could be happening right then, while she lies alone and lonely in her bed. Doubts and fears probably torment her every day and night, wondering whether you're really going to leave your wife in order to be with her, and guilt for what that choice would do to your family. Any real woman would feel tremendous pain at that, and I'm sure OW is no different.

Then there's me. I'm only human, too, and my womanly imagination is constantly trying to torture me with images of you holding someone else in your arms, and wondering things like how many clothes came off when she spend the nights with you in the motel, or if 'kissing and holding each other' means just kissing a little on the lips, heavy making out, or her kissing and holding parts of you that I always considered to be only mine. Is it any wonder I can hardly eat or sleep?

I keep trying and trying to put those thoughts out of my head, and focusing only on our love and the things we've shared. Today was more successful in that area; yesterday was pretty miserable. Even if you had done all those things, (and I am choosing to takt what you said at face value, without reading all the other sexual but not-quite-sex things into it), I still would forgive you and love you, want you and need you.

The greatest pain of all for me is the knowledge that I could have prevented this by being more attentive to you and your needs. Yes, you are the one who ultimately made this choice, but you wouldn't have been tempted if I had been the kind of wife I should. You know how hard I've been trying to change things so that if you give me the chance to love you and stay with you, this will never be an issue again. (There's definitely a lot more to be said on this subject, but would be best saved for another time.)

The single person who is and will be hurt the most by this is you, and that just breaks my heart. I start to cry every time I think of you lonely and needing someone, and I wasn't there. My dear heart, my other half, my soul mate, the one person on earth that I love and adore more than any other, needed me and I let him down. Now you're trapped in a place where you can't stay, and you can't break away without cutting off someone who is dear to you.

If it weren't so tragic, it would be funny how frustrating it must have been for you when you kept trying to tempt me with thoughts of [a male friend of ours], or any other man you thought would be better suited to me than you. I didn't understand at the time that you had a choice to make, and were hoping that I would help to make it for you by thinking of someone else just like you were. Sorry, but I can't do that. There is only one man on this entire planet that I want, and I'm already married to him. You will have to make this choie yourself. You are the only one in a position to decide what is the right choice to make. If I could help you, I would just pick me for you and be done with it.

Once you have decided, there will be a lot of things about the future to decide and discuss, no matter what choice it might be. Let's leave those for another night, saying only that if you decide to stay with me I'm sure that both of us will be committed to caring for each other in a way that will ensure that this never happens again.

I will love you the rest of my life, and I mean 100% what I said, that even if you left me and married someone else, I will still wait for you as long as it takes. Whether it's right away or many years from now, I believe with all my heart that we will be together again. We were meant for each other, and no amount of distance or time can ever change that. You complete me, and I you, in a way that no one else ever can. I will be yous...

Forever,
Your adoring wife
(Apologies for any misspellings I missed - I was typing very fast and not looking at the keys. And am too lazy to proofread that 4-page single-spaced War and Peace epic.)

Well, I didn't say I was ENTIRELY stupid, but no matter what I said about him being responsible for his own choices, inside I really thought all this was my own fault. His choices, my pain, her despair...all my fault.

I can tell you I've learned to sort blame lots better since then. I had an equal share in the Marriage Blame Pie, and not even the tiniest sliver of a crumb of a slice of the Affair Blame Pie. They made it, they baked it, and they had to eat it themselves.

Fast forward to 2008, past the tears, past the anger and resentment, past the months of awful mental movies, to a happy couple all wrapped up in each other, even if they are roughly 1,496.5 miles apart.

Card from February 14, 2008, not addressed to "AJ":
Quote
Hello Sweetheart,

I miss you very much, and wish you were here. We had a pretty quiet night, made and ate the special pizza you got us (he bought us a make-your-own pizza kit before he left), and now it's all quiet here.

Don't forget tomorrow is the Dervish's birthday - 7 years ago at this time I was well on my way to having him. Then there was Grandma, lol, asking Neaksis if she minded me hanging all over "her husband". Can't believe it was so long ago.

[redacted] Don't want you to forget some of the very good reasons you are so lucky to have me for a wife. Well, I'm fortunate to have you for my husband, too.

We just go so well together. I love you very much, miss you terribly, but like I said, I'm glad you get to see your family. Hopefully you have the best visit possible under the circumstances.

[redacted]

Love you love you love you,

Mrs. AJ


2005 couldn't have been more tense. 2008 couldn't be more relaxed, till I fall asleep, when I will be the most relaxed of all. Sleep is no longer a distant memory, ditto eating. Life is good. (Except for the boys, still, but that's a whole separate thing.)

It is hard to call from where he is, but AJ still got ahold of me to tell me how much he loves and misses me. (And only has about 7 weeks left before he sees me again. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" /> )He values me. He appreciates the emotional support I have given him through our recent trials. He even said being around me helps him to feel less stressed, even when everything is going wrong.

I could write half the night, being in a musing sort of mood, but I have a small writing assignment to work on before bedtime. Not gripping like my usual preference, more of a bread and butter sort of thing.

So Happy Valentine's Day to all my dear friends.
<img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



Neak's Story
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Neak,

I've never posted to you before, but I've followed your thread and I've been touched by your writing - you are a very good writer.

I have to say that I've been inspired by the very real efforts you describe your husband making to repair the damage he inflicted with his affair and to restore your love and trust. It has been helpful to me as I've been, over the past 3 years, making similar efforts to make up to my wife for my past bad behavior. I was not unfaithful - she almost was, but didn't cross that line - but I was dishonest and extremely neglectful, and I've been working very hard to show her how much I really do cherish her.

I also wanted to comment on something you said in your Valentine's card:

Quote
Don't want you to forget some of the very good reasons you are so lucky to have me for a wife.

I had to laugh, because I often tell my wife how I am the luckiest man in the world - and her response is always "yes, you are!" There is something very attractive about a wife who knows how lucky her husband is to have her in his life...


Me: 41, INFP
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I will be yous...

Coming at the end of that sappy piece of self-abasement, your final line brought a welcome laugh. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> What nonsense you were spouting back then, after you'd spent a decade turning yourself into a human pretzel to meet his needs, both perceived and stated. And stated. And stated.<img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" /> It's wonderful that your marriage recovered, but even if it hadn't, I would be proud of your personal progress no matter what. I started out married life as a human doormat, too, and look what happened to me! <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/eek.gif" alt="" />

Neak, your son just asked me about the "chicken kook" out in the back yard. I guess he gets his excellent verber (family joke) from his mama.


Quote
[redacted] [redacted]


<img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> Thank you. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

t&l

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Mom, <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/pfft.gif" alt="" /> about my typing error. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/pfft.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/pfft.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/pfft.gif" alt="" /> I was typing very very fast, you know. I don't even care if you laugh at me. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/pfft.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/pfft.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/pfft.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/pfft.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/pfft.gif" alt="" />

And nothing was [redacted] about bathroom appliances. I've got to have at least one or two tiny secrets for myself... <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

Cuthbert, it is a relief to hear that such confidence is attractive, lol. Sometimes I fear that, deep inside, I may have crossed the line to maybe just a touch of arrogance. Or is it only arrogance if it's unwarranted? <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

And AJ, now that he's thinking properly, will take me as a saucy little snip any day of the week, instead of the fawning doormat of a few years ago.

Not that I now think God wasn't leading me at every step of the way - He was. But He was leading me on a path that would take me not only to marital restoration, but lots of personal growth, too. I'm not done yet, but I've come quite a way.

Congratulations on making changes in your own personal way of life, as well - I know dishonesty is a hard habit to break. But I think it is fantastic that you were both able to find restoral before crossing the line to infidelity. That is one place no one should ever have to go, and I'm so glad you avoided it, while still getting to the happy sailing on the other side.


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



Neak's Story
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Quote
Or is it only arrogance if it's unwarranted? <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

No, I think for it to be arrogance, it has to be warranted. If it's unwarranted, it's probably more accurately described as being delusional. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

Last edited by CuthbertCalculus; 02/18/08 09:19 AM.

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Her: 46, ESFJ
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<img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Very well, arrogance it is. Blithe arrogance. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



Neak's Story
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Today marks 3 years of blessed recovery. Curious how I spent this momentous day?

~Got my teeth cleaned pearly white.
~Went grocery shopping.
~Went to the Dollar Tree.
~Sent AJ a package.
~Got lots of ILY's from my sweetie, even though he didn't know about the package, lol.
~Gave the Dervish an early bedtime right after 6 because he was being so awful. He is still bouncing off the walls after 10pm our time, but hey, you can't win them all. BRB after I put him back in bed for the 2,346,678,342nd time tonight.

Let's see....

~Had my toenails painted by DD9, no particular reason, just for fun.
~Got a lovely lotion foot massage from the Dervish, for a particular reason. He owed me restitution.
~Broke up any number of childish squabbles.
~Cooked veggie dogs for supper.
~Washed a couple loads of clothes.
~Ran the dishwasher.


I could go on at length. Point is, I had a very normal day (or what passes as normal for me). No hot little red dress, no dramatic confrontations, no weeping WH's. No secret cell phones being voluntarily turned over. No sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. No ongoing attempts at contact from OW for many many months.

Once in a while something reminds me, and pinches a spot that might be a bit tender still, but basically it's all in the past. Life has gone on.

Thank you all.


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



Neak's Story
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Hard to believe we're 4 years out from D-day today. Rather than a day of triggers, it's more a time of proud accomplishment. Woo-hoo, 4 years!

There are no A-related issues to worry about in our M, nor have there been for quite some time.

It's been over a year now since the last (indirect) C attempt.

The kids are doing much better from their ordeal. (Not A-related, in case you're new.)

Then there's the recent very good news about my magazine articles, though still no word on a publication date. I promise I haven't forgotten to let y'all know. When I get the check, I suppose "Jennifer" will expect me to share it with her. In fact, whenever the book comes out with "Joe" and "Jennifer's" full story, she'll probably expect part of that, too. rotflmao

We are so blessed!!!!!!!!!!!!



A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



Neak's Story
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Real love is what he had,
Until he gave himself away,
To a secret, sordid lover,
Total wickedness held sway.
In despair, his wife, she begged him,
Not to tear their home apart,
Going to another woman,
Leaving her a broken heart.
In the dark of night she wept,
Kept her watch throughout the day,
Every waking moment needed,
Pleading God to let him stay.
In the hour when all was darkest,
Good seemed lost, and evil won,
Suddenly the wayward crumbled,
Saw the light, embraced the sun.


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



Neak's Story
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The magazine articles are coming out in the October/November issue of Women of Spirit. Yay!

It's been an interesting week. Several weeks ago, my Princess found a letter I wrote to AJ on 2/14/09, 2 days after D-day. A longer story to follow in the next coupla days after I copy my blog over here, but long and short is now they all know about the A.

Both of the older ones were pretty well equipped for the surge of conflicting emotions, and are mostly talking out their anger and hurt. Young Dervish? He doesn't have any big feelings, lalalalala, he's acting bad because he's so HAPPY! *rolling my eyes wildly*

So on this, four years out from recovery #1, the consequences continue. And I'll bet that when AJ took that first step toward another woman's bed, he had no idea the high price he was going to have to pay, not only on a marital level and personal level, but now by having his beautiful children question him about his sordid actions during that time. And knowing how badly he has hurt them with his past selfishness.

So much easier to prevent A's than to live with the aftermath.


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



Neak's Story
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Since the last 6 months of posts got lost in the MB crash, I'm reposting the story of the kids learning of the A about 4 years into R. If you already read this back in May, no need to read it again.



So...AJ would have gotten around te telling the kids eventually. Perhaps when they started to date, or maybe when they began thinking about marriage. He probably didn't expect it to all come out before any of them reached their teens.

It was all that nosy Princess, excuse me, it all happened in God's perfect timing. She happened across a letter that has rested for 4 years in her daddy's bedside stand. I might never have known she read it, or why she had suddenly become so extra-snappy, if she wasn't such a SLOB! It was in her room under a ton of laundry, with the pages in the wrong order. Neaksis and I found it while doing a little cleaning.

Later that day I asked her about it, and said she could ask me anything she wanted. Her face lit up. Or ask her dad. Her face fell. So her first question was, "What happened???" "Hmmm - that sounds like a daddy question."

I gave her a brief rundown, answering things like, "Where did Dad meet her?" "Why didn't she care that he had a family?" "Why would he do that? I never thought my daddy could do something like that." And much much more.

When we got home, she felt much better after a long talk with her daddy. I'm sure when he first made those devastating choices, he never expected to have to face his beautiful daughter years down the road and answer questions like, "Did you get her pregnant?" (No, he didn't.)

At bedtime, Mr. C was bugging the Princess to tell him what she had been upset about - why she had been out in the kitchen fixing a bagel and burst into tears as soon as he walked into the room. "Is it money? Is it school? Is it this? Is it that?" Well, at bedtime he was bugging right in front of the Dervish, so then both boys were totally spazzing out. For their own good I had to tell them then, even though I would rather have waited until the next day when they could talk to AJ as soon as they found out.

Their reactions varied greatly.

The Dervish: What's adultery?

The Dervish: (Upon being asked about his 'big feelings' about his daddy and what happened)
It's past. It's done. I'm happy. (Translation: I'm in denial.)

Today he drew a picture to express the big feelings that he doesn't have. In one box were Mommy and Daddy. Mommy is crying, and Daddy is holding divorce papers. In another box is the Dervish. The Dervish-in-a-box is very sad. It may not be factually accurate, but it does express his feelings well.

The Princess has turned into the Witch Queen. Having a Hormonal Val hasn't helped, but mostly it is from this. It hit her pretty hard to learn it, even more so since at first she didn't see the date of the letter as being 2005 - she thought it was recent.

She wanted to know pretty much everything. Where did the OW work? What was her name? How old was she? Did Dad just kiss her, or did they have ...sex...? Why did she want to break up their family? What was her social security number? (Just kidding about that last one. Mostly.)

Mr. C jumped right into the questions, too. Almost the first thing he wanted to know, was did Dad leave the house to commit adultery, and where had it occurred? I was able to set his mind at ease that no, Dad had not been in our house.

And almost immediately he began to put his new knowledge together with his memories of that time, which are actually pretty extensive considering he was only 7 when it started.


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



Neak's Story
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Part 2

Not sure how far I'll get with this, sincve [sic] I'm still totally wasted from surgery #2. But I'll get as far as I can.

Yesterday, and especially last night, Dervish-with-no-feelings was HORRIBLE! He did so many bad things I can't remember them all, but the coup de grace was when he took the ~folded~ clothes out of my laundry basket and began to hurl them at the Princess and me. The few that were left, he very dramatically dumped out. "OH YEAH? WELL I ACTUALLY DON'T CARE!!!"

He didn't settle down until 10, then wouldn't get up in the morning. Despite my best efforts (feeble though they were, since I felt horrible), he went off to school in dirty clothes, not in school uniform, no lunch, no socks, hair sticking out every which way, and eyes like...burning black coals. Or something.

And still claiming that this whole thing with his dad doesn't bother him AT ALL, and OF COURSE he trusts his dad, because it was all so long ago, and nope nope nope, doesn't feel A THING! Then goes on another rampage. And of course he feels NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING about the sex stuff at school, he isn't worried a bit that anyone will find out that he told, no, he is just an overflowing bundle of happiness and joy.

And last night the Princess wanted to know even more from me, all the shallow kinds of things you would expect a Diva to ask. "Was she pretty?" (Well, not terribly, but she wasn't ugly, either.) "Was she fat or skinny?" (Heh heh, leaning toward fat.) "Was she prettier than you?" (NO!) "Do you think you're pretty?" (Yes, of course.flirt ) "Well, was she ugly, average, or pretty?" (AAAAAAAAARGH!!!!!) Eventually I began to detect a theme. MrRollieEyes She did have one really good question though. "Is that why Dad would always come home so late from work, and not spend time with us?" (YES!!!)

Meanwhile, Mr. C has been putting all sorts of little pieces into place, and all on his own. But in case I get too sleepy to cover all that tonight, let me tell about the peanuts.

See, somewhere in an old Reader's Digest, thank you Reader's Digest, he had read a humorous quote, something about getting married for sex was like booking a ride in a 747 for the peanuts.

Last night he brought that up - all on his own - and was wanting to talk interminerminerbably about all the stuff he was remembering. (This, even after he had already talked to his dad about it for oh, 1/2 hour or 45 minutes. Great job, Dear! Your talks with him have really been helping, and of all the kids he's the one doing the best processing and the least acting out. )

"So, Mom," he said thoughtfully, "It's like Dad was trying to get peanuts from two different planes."

faint

"Why yes, Son, it was." I grinned. "And one of the planes was a 747, and the other was a Cessna. Maybe even a paper airplane."

That really resonated with him, so now he's been talking a whole bunch about peanuts and paper airplanes.

We did a group session tonight, and the Princess and Mr. C were both ready to give the OW a piece of their minds. Mr. C said, "If I ran into her, I would give her so much of a piece of my mind...no, wait...probably even my whole mind...that when I finished with her, she would be smoking."

A few minutes later...

"If I ran into her, I would leave her smoking so hard that if she ever got married, her grandchildren would be smoking!"

I don't think talking about the OW is just a lightning rod for all their feelings, either. They seem to understand very clearly that, even though Dad and the OW were both responsible for what happened, and for almost destroying their family, Dad is sorry and she is not. Dad would never do that again, and she would do it in a heartbeat.

They don't understand how she could have met them, seen how cute they were, and still tried to get their dad to get a divorce. Well, I don't understand it either, so that makes 4 of us.

A few little snippets of the huge amount of what Mr. C remembers:

*Almost instantly, and all on his own, he connected that time with a cluster of trips to John's Incredible Pizza Co. At first he felt like Dad was just using that to butter him up - a real trigger, now that he realizes that the boy who molested him was only pretendint [sic] to be his friend to butter him up. I explained to him that, although his dad still loved him during that time, all that love was covered up by the wrong and selfish things his dad was feeling and doing. And because his dad didn't have it in himself to show that love in good ways during that time, he tried to buy them things and do super-fun things with them as a replacement for what they really needed - a dad who was there for them and part of their family.

* On his birthday in 2005, his dad had promised him (yet another) trip to the John's Incredible Pizza Co. in Roseville, since it had laser tag. Getting close to time to go, Mr. C asked his dad when we were leaving, and got his head bitten off. "What are you talking about? We're not going anywhere! Here," handing him an adult sort of violent shooting game, "go play this." And when I got home from getting Damon's birthday stuff, AJ tried acting to me as if Mr. C had insisted on playing the game himself, completely blaming him. And allegedly, during that night, AJ had come out at 2am, found him still playing the violent shooting game, and instead of giving him a consequence, gave him pointers on how to win the level. (I remember none of this.)

* Mr. C also said that the first he knew his real dad was back, was when he was caught playing games in the middle of the night again, and his dad said, "You are so busted! Get back to bed, and you are grounded from games for 2 weeks!"

* He remembers so many times of being pushed away, with Daddy too busy "making phone calls" to listen to him.

* He remembers how angry his daddy was, sometimes yelling at him, sometimes yelling at people on the phone, and never being happy with anyone or anything.

* He remembers one day visiting his dad at Animal Control, bringing him a favorite kind of candy he had bought with his own money. When he handed it over his daddy said, "Oh, ok," and just set it down on the desk without another glance. When we left, Mr. C could still see it sitting there on the desk, untouched.

So many wounds my faithful little buddy has suffered that I didn't even know about. But with his forgiving nature and generous spirit, he keeps looking for all the ways his daddy has changed, and reassures himself by talking freely with both of us. What a good boy!

Those other stinky little kids, well I will just keep working with them. The Princess is progressing, and Dervish-with-no-feelings, he'll get there.


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



Neak's Story
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Part 3


AJ has been doing an amazing job of being patient with the kids as they hold his feet to the fire...over and over and over again. The other night he sat on the phone with me while the Princess had a meltdown. She was so angry, distrustful, and feeling like she couldn't forgive him. My favorite moment was when she muttered grumpily (loudly enough so AJ could hear her through the phone), "I just can't believe my dad could be so STOOPID!!!" The wry chuckle in my ear made it much harder to keep a straight face as I agreed with her.

So then at therapy, Mr. C and the Princess both really spent time exploring their feelings, and what to do about them. The Princess went first and totally spilled her guts. What Alicia suggested is that, because of the special bond between dads and their daughters, that in many ways the Princess would feel this more acutely, and probably heal more slowly, than either one of the boys.

Alicia totally sypathized [sic - man, this is bad even for post-surgery!] with AJ, too, and how hard it must be to have this come up again and again after he and I have already healed from it and moved on. But at the same time, the Princess will do much better for being able to process this in her own way, which will probably mean talking about it quite a bit yet. I mean, this is the PRINCESS we're talking about here. When did a Princess ever not talk something to death, even if it wasn't important?

So what it boils down to is, she will probably continue to have ups and downs for a while, possibly even a period of several months. Alicia does expect that things will likely return to normal pretty quickly after we move, and all settle in together. It's hard processing Big Feelings about Dad when Dad is 1500 miles away.

Mr. C had many of the same feelings, but would hardly admit to them. He was back to focusing all his anger on the X-OW, but nope nope nope, now he wasn't mad at Dad at all. So we had a very long talk about division of responsibility. Adultery, Dad 50%, X-OW 50%, deliberately trying to get Dad to leave his wifey and chilluns, X-OW 100%, listening to X-OW trying to get Dad to leave his wifey and chilluns, Dad 100%.

He finally admitted that yes, he was (just a little) mad at Dad, but oh not much, and yes he was having (just a little) trouble trusting him, but oh not much.

All on his own, not even a hint or a thought from either of us, he said that one reason he probably had such a hard time with Dad leaving to Montana was it brought back up the feelings he had from during the affair, and worrying that Dad would leave. (Boy can I identify with that myself! Not that I feared another affair, but just that feeling of being totally abandoned.)

I didn't tell Damon this, since he hasn't mentioned remembering on his own, but AJ was not exactly discreet with his yelling, cursing, and threatening to leave and/or divorce during that time. All the kids would have heard enough to be worried and stressed at the time, even if they don't remember now, and even if I was too stressed to realize it then. Mr. C most of all, since he was older and much more dedicated as an eavesdropper.

Even so, hiss intelligence in making the connection all on his own was a bit scary. Wow, he can actually be self-aware when he wants to be.

Alicia's closing thoughts about Mr. C were just about the same as for the Princess: it may take a period of several months to reach a good place in their healing, where they feel like this is in the past and where they have forgiven their dad. But she also reassured them that it would happen, when they were ready. So not to rush, just relax, talk to parents about Big Feelings, and go through their grieving process in whatever time and way is easiest for them.

The Dervish still has no Big Feelings. Except that I am a Mom so I know better.

Five days after therapy, it seems like they've turned a corner. Not so angry, the Princess hasn't been crying, and the boys have hardly clobbered each other at all.

What stresses they've had, I am pretty sure stemmed ("stemmed", get it? ) from the play about The Three Trees.

Ah yes, The Play....................


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



Neak's Story
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The Dervish and Scooter = the same kid. I am now convinced.

My kids have known since forever, and the black moods/no big feelings still happen here...as well as the absolute pig-headed stubborness NOT to talk about it dagnabbit! (wonder where he gets that?)

These boys. (heavy sigh)


I never had to take the Kobayashi Maru test until now. What do you think of my solution?

O'hana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.

My Story

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