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You are not a dumbass.

She makes me think of this book I read where a creepy neighbor dresses up as a woman so he can spy in people’s windows and not be caught. It’s about this vibe of mental illness mixed with probably learned narcissism and the world view of a three year old that it’s all about me. At the same time, I recognize that we have similarities, we both want to be loved, loved in a way to know that a man would love us enough to forsake all others, to focus on us, be patient, kind, thoughtful, and cherish us. The difference is how we try to go about filling that desire and/or how we interpret that desire.
The painful part is that someone can look you in the face and bold face lie to you. Over and over. The first time this happened, it was like my brain went on auto replay of the past 7 months of my life figuring out all of the inaccuracies and intricate details of the lies I was told and the lies I believed. There is nothing like trusting someone to find out what an asshole you have been for believing them. Let me be clear here, I’m not calling myself or anyone who has been lied to an asshole, the meaning is that I felt like a royal, top of the line, grade a asshole for believing some of the stupid, idiotic lies that my husband told me during the first affair.

Going through that process felt to me like an endless loop of my brain reviewing software code looking for glitches, finding a glitch replaying the code until the glitch was explained. It was a terrible feat to get myself out of that and also to allow it to happen to some extent. The second affair didn’t bring that on as much, for one because he got better at what he chose to lie about and when he chose to screw around during the day or other times he was “supposed” to be gone. Plus, after the first time around, a part of me died toward him anyway, it’s like I could check out easier.

So – if you are reading this and feeling like you identify with being a dumbass let me tell you this. You are not a dumbass. You loved someone. You trusted someone. You thought he or she had your best interest at heart. You were wrong, they didn’t. It doesn’t mean you are stupid, it means you were lied to by someone you loved.

Then there are the kids, you look at them and you see how much burning love they have for their father and you think, I can make this work. It can work, we can be one of the couples who “makes” it even though he cheated and lied. Years go by and you let yourself accept a standard that isn’t you, a standard of life that you would not have previously accepted. I fooled myself into believing we could make it better. I was wrong. We were not meant to be one of those couples who makes it work and learns from an affair. Special note to those couples – I congratulate you for doing the work and being open to perceive your partner in a new light, with fresh raw honesty. I think there are many people who learn and become more real post affair. I did. My other half did not.
I think there is a stigma sometimes that I am too open with my story. It’s almost like married people don’t really want to stay close to you when you were cheated on. Like it’s contagious. Perhaps it is, who knows, well, I’m sure we could search and find someone who does know! We are all just humans doing the damn best we can. Shit happens to us, we react in some way, good or bad, and we move on. We either hold on to what happened like a dung beetle holding fast to a fresh find or we let it go like the dandelion seed blown by the wind. Either way, hopefully we learn.


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Loving without abandon and feeling no fear in the face of that love given so freely.

Sometimes when I feel distracted, I write for a few minutes to get the creative process of life flowing through me. I feel like I better start finding ways to think of other people soon of ways to support and help other people in a way that makes a difference in life. I say that because it is easy to get caught up in “me” when in pain, whether it be physical, mental, or emotional pain.

What can I do to get accomplish my goals while still helping others? Write? Paint? Take photos? Market my photos better? What to do? What do you do when you want to make a change, but the world around you is changing so much that you aren’t even sure which direction to step? You feel as if you are on a merry-go-round and when you step forward you have no idea what you will end up stepping into if you get off of it. It’s like knowing there is a positive change within you and not being able to go there yet because you need to find a way to heal or hurt, or hurt then heal. And you can only hope you’re doing it right. That you are taking the right time to feel the crap feel, the pain that you know you must in order to move past it.

When the love you loved, loves only itself and that love lies in the face of love.
Get really still and see what happens, what do you find out when your ears cannot hear and your eyes cannot see? Get really still and let it happen, let the words come to you and flow. Can you do it? Can you let it go? I might not be able to in every moment, but I want to live in the flow. Peacefully, richly, vibrantly, knowingly, trusting in me, vividly, transparently, shining and running free. Loving without abandon and feeling no fear in the face of that love given so freely.

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Unless I Have Already Saved Myself

Today I want to remind anyone who has or is going through a painful time. You are loved, you are not alone, and healing happens.

Each of us suffers. We all have something that hurts our soul, messes with our mind, and threatens to change our core if we let it. The choice is ours. Let it or learn from it.

Learn, grow, and move on even in those moments when crippling doubt creeps in and fears start to knock around in your brain. You can heal, you can have a better life, and you likely already do if you notice it. It’s already yours because you are here. It’s already yours because you are in control of your actions.

One realization I had is that no one is going to save me but me. No one. No matter how talented can save me unless I have already saved myself.

May you be surrounded in light and love.

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Truth Tellin’

I realized many things about myself during these affairs. One that struck me during the second round was that I have some sort of world view that eventually everyone will tell the truth. It was an interesting experience to realize that I had that belief even in the face of evidence quite to the contrary. Here I am in the parking lot of my child’s daycare talking to someone about that one and the husband. I told her that the truth will come out and realized that I believed that one or both of them would tell the truth.

I can break this down. I do believe that the truth often comes out, I have learned that it doesn’t always come out, but often it does. At least the parts we need to know to grow and move on with our lives.

However, I also learned that no, not everyone is compelled to tell the truth. Some people lie because that is what they learned to do. Some people lie because they are mentally ill, and some people lie because they are assholes and only out for themselves. Some people will look you in the face and lie right to it.

It’s not what someone says to you, it’s how he or she treats you. How does he treat you? How does he behave? Write it down. Then determine what you think his motives are. I wish I had done that a bit more during my marriage, but of course, another world view of mine, things happen as they should.

How are you treated?


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You Can’t Prove It

It might seem strange that I tried to call them before knowing who was having an affair with him. I wanted to figure it out. You see, the “first” affair which I put in quotes here to let you know that I understand that this occurrence could just be the “first” I knew of in our 14 year marriage. That first affair started about one month after I found out I was pregnant again. We lost our first baby and I had some issues health wise do to the loss. I sensed that he changed and started asking him if he was having an affair probably about one month into it. He acted very differently, worked out, whitened his teeth (which he had never done before), bought new clothes, etc.  During this time, there were stupid silly lies that I never should have believed, but I did. My whole point of going there in this post is this, I had to find out and call because during the entire ordeal with the first one, he would say this, “You can’t prove it. Prove it Amanda”. I heard that over and over and over. I heard it when I was six months pregnant crying on the ground while he walked out on NYE to go out “by himself” to a club. This man who never once before went to a club. I was a sick mess. A person who believed he would be honest with me and that the first woman would too. She wasn’t and neither was he.

So, those messages I left before I found out who it the affair was with were my attempt at cutting it all short because I figured he wouldn’t tell me like the last time. I had to find out by calling the other woman’s husband to check and see.

This time, wow that I knew who it was he admitted her name. I sent her an email kindly asking that she stay away from our kids until she and the husband had been together for at least six months after we were divorced. I also asked her if she knew who the anonymous emailing man was. She said she had a “vast network” of friends and colleges who knew both her and her husband and it could be any of them.She also said “perhaps six months isn’t long enough” to stay away from the kids.I was trying to prepare for the two of them being together with that first email and trying to remain civil.

I’m telling you beyond the pain of affair round two, what killed me was not knowing who that damn e mailing man was. Not knowing who contacted me (if it wasn’t her) was driving me crazy. In particular because this e mailer had also looped in the previous affair. Yes, yes, I will give you a moment to take that in and a moment for me to explain what I mean.

When the man e mailed me, I responded with a comment about the previous affair similar to “hey xxx, quit messing with me”. The e mailer responded by saying he was not xxx. Well, I told my husband about this and then the e mailer forwarded me an email he received from the same email address as the previous affair that threatened him to stop talking to me. At first I definitely thought it was the previous affair when I saw that then realized with the “help” of the anonymous man that no, in fact, it was a made up email address. The first part was the same xxxyyy@ was the same, but the site was different. Yes, my husband had created a fake email address to mimic his previous affair and threatened the e mailer to not email me. He also addressed it to a specific name which I thought was weird at the time.

So, guess what I got to deal with at that point? Talking to the anonymous man AND the previous affair at the same time in email strings. Yes. Both.

I was open to the previous affair and apologized that her name had gotten pulled int this. she of course responded that my husband, “would never do something like that to her. He knows how much she went through during the first affair and he wouldn’t put her in harms way ever. He would not do something like that.” I actually laughed at a couple of our email exchanges and it was a great example of how self centered people (especially people who cheat) can be. I didn’t take any bait here and thanked her wished her well and asked that she keep me posted on the e mailer. Oh, but she did also say that this e mailer didn’t sound like a man. That this e mailer sounded like a scorned woman. She could be on to something eh?

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Forwarded the email

Some of you will recognize the error of some of my actions and choices way before I finish the story, but what did I do after I saw the strange email in my work inbox that morning? I called my husband and told him about it. I also responded.

The man emailed me back very quickly. For the next eight to ten days this person emailed me details of my life and of my husband’s affair, but not enough details for me to do much about it except figure out on my end how I could get him to admit this. He did tell me a first name and a city where the woman lived though.

I was in anguish, stressed at work, disgusted with my husband, with myself for this happening again. Hoping against hope that he would admit it this time or that there was some other explanation, though I knew there was not.

I mean I’m getting emails at my job talking about my husband being out of town, that I have two kids. My youngest wasn’t even one year old at this time and my other was three. The thought that someone knew about them and where we lived hung over my head like Pigpen’s ball of dust swirling and swarming in my brain. The guy is telling me he intercepted text messages from them and where they went together. That my husband took her on his business trips. I thought it was the previous affair or the previous affair’s husband messing with me and suggested as much to this guy. He denied it, but wouldn’t tell me who he was. He just said he cared about the woman.

I had to figure it out because the emails at work and denials at home were terrorizing me. I hired a PI to try to investigate who the heck was emailing me and to try to figure out which woman it was etc.

During this time people tried to say things to me like, “maybe someone has a vendetta against him” or “you know it could be that he isn’t having an affair”. My response: “Usually it’s the simplest answer. The simplest answer here is that he is having an affair, not that someone has a thing against him and is emailing me at my job, talking about details of the affair and my life.”

The husband didn’t own up until I found a giant bottle of Cialis in our safe. I assumed that the Cialis was for him in general because he had issues in the past in this arena. I confronted him with it by hinting about it, that I might have access to see what prescriptions we filled in our insurance, etc. Then finally told him I looked in the safe. It took him about 35 minutes of us laying in our bed in bouts of silence broken by me telling him that he owed the truth to me and our kids while he worked up the courage to tell me the truth. He only talked to say things like, “I’ll tell you in the morning” hoping it would go away. A grown man willing to cheat, lie, and who knows what the heck else who couldn’t just say yes, I’m cheating and this is with whom. When he finally gathered enough strength to tell me he made me promise I wouldn’t contact her in any way. I agreed. I lied and said yes. To me, telling a lie was like turning into him. To be willing to lie to get what I wanted. I wanted the information so I acted like him.

Little did he know, I had already called her. The unknown man who was emailing me gave me enough information to narrow it down to two women. When I saw their photos online, I thought, please let it be this one and not that one because that one looks like she would hurt my kids. That one looks like a selfish human being, she looks like a B.

I attempted to call and leave messages for each of the two, this one and that one, asking them to call to talk. When dialing this one I was totally calm while leaving the message and the other one I shook like an addict when I phoned. That one’s place of work pretended they didn’t know who she was.

I bet you can guess which one it was and if you guessed that one, you’re right.


Sight of the Island

When I wrote in March 2015, I couldn’t look forward and know with certainty where I would be today. Here goes.

I never really did birthday parties for myself. Being sung to with cake all ablaze often brought feelings of anxiety for me, so if it could be avoided, I would. I mean all hanging out at a bar in younger days, sure! Happy Birthday. However, as I approached my 40th birthday in 2015, my thoughts on the subject changed. For my 40th, we would have a party. I picked the spot, menu items, wine, food, etc. Then turned over the rest of the planning to my mom and husband. The party was fun, place was great, overall a nice time. It happened to fall on the “bar night” of November, aka: right before Thanksgiving. So, extra time off to boot!

After birthday party recovery, my husband was set for a work trip to Brazil that Monday and I was all set to go back to work, kids back to daycare. Upon arrival at work I opened my email to find a message. The message was from a man’s email address and the subject read, “Your husband is a cheater”.  I thought perhaps someone found my husband’s name on the listing of Ashley Madison users. I opened it. And so the discovery began that yes, he was cheating again.

I was transported back in time. Back to feeling like I was lost at sea floating in the ocean with no life boat. Yearning for sight of land while my feet dangled in shark infested waters. Looking for sight of an island somewhere I could swim to and climb to warm my bruised soul in the sun. The island I had to rely on was me. My own ability to save myself. So, I did what I had to do.