chasingthereddot

like a cat chasing the laser pointer we can talk about whatever people chase


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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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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.


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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.

Island


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There’s a lot of work involved

When I went through my spouse having an affair, it broke me down, shattered pieces of me, tore me up, pain etc. etc. blah blah. It’s been a while so I can tell you that in some ways I’m glad some of those pieces of me that were shattered did so. However, I can also say it’s a lot of damn work to learn lessons in life. So. Much. Damn. Work.

If you are a person like me who really wants to dig down and figure yourself out, it can feel like the person who had the affair got off easy (yeah I’m being crass with that pun too). They think, “oh that was a mistake let me move on” or maybe they end up with the other person meanwhile us other ones over here are left with a crap load of internal work. Working on esteem issues if that came up, or whatever the hell came up for us. It could be so many things and I know I can only give you examples of things that came up for me, but I’m not sure I want to dump those all in this particular post. Yet. Ha!

The work is about feeling through the pain and working through the pain to get to the other side where you can look at things differently. When I was in the midst of the shit, I used to read about people who had “made it through” and said their marriages were better for the affair. While that gave me hope, it also makes me wonder a bit because I’m not sure I will get there or if I’m there. Which makes me question whether I was really in my marriage at all before the affair. See, it always takes two to cause an issue. I’m just learning about this for myself and it will be partially for me to keep to myself, but staying married to someone who had an affair is hard work. For me, it’s a challenge because I’m willing to tear it all open and lay the bullshit on the table, my bullshit, my spouse’s bullshit and just look at the disgusting mess to see how what can be cleaned up, what has to be sown up, and what can just be appreciated for the ugly mess that it is. My spouse though, not so willing to do this. I guess I can see why. The pain laying there was “caused” by all conventional means by my spouse, so who would want to sit there and figure out all of the things that were impacted by their really really bad choices? “Oh yes let me stare at all of the pain I caused you and then let’s talk about it more?”…maybe not so fun for them. Even though I still wish it would happen, I can see how it might not.

I’m going to keep it short because boy I could (and likely am already) rambling about this. I want to say. It’s a lot of f’ing work to heal yourself, but it’s worth it. It’s worth learning who you are, what makes you happy (please note that I said what not who), how you want to live your life, what things are important to you? Keeping your mind open to answering these things can lead to interesting discoveries and new beginnings. Perhaps you will stay, perhaps you won’t, but in the end you better make damn sure you are better for it anyway and I know you can.


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Considering an affair, having one, and being cheated on

Many people have either cheated on their partner or have been cheated on.  Let’s have a quick chat about where you are and how you might feel.

For the “Considering It”

You may feel your partner isn’t giving you what you need or deserve.  You may find yourself obsessing about all of the bad things your partner does.  All of the things that bug you about this person are at the tip of your mind.  Maybe you think it’s all their fault that you are not getting what you want.  Maybe you are trolling those sites that promise “easy hookups” or someone at work caught your eye.  You feel depressed or angry with yourself or your mate.  You want to feel important and valued.  You feel that your spouse doesn’t appreciate you.  Note to those in the Considering It category:  If you and your partner have made a commitment to one another through commitment ceremony, marriage, or verbally and you both agreed not to see other people please consider reading some of these resources before you take steps to cheat.  Then decide what to do.  You have options: Try to talk about any issues, go to counseling, or end the relationship.  You can’t undo an affair once you go down that path.

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking

5 Love Languages

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Chemistry of Love or read a short article here by this author that explains the basics: Article

After the Affair – This is good to read if you are considering an affair because you get a view from both sides and it takes you through some feelings you could be having now.

For the “cheater” 

Maybe you feel great about having a new mate if you are in the beginning/beginning middle of an affair.  You might  feel alive, strong, and happier than ever like life is the best you have experienced before.  You might also feel angry and justified because your mate isn’t meeting your needs.  You could even feel some guilt here and there because you understand that you are potentially doing a lot of damage to someone you love/loved.  Maybe you decide to end up with the person you had an affair with.  It’s still good to understand the phases of love so you realize that you an the new person may go through something similar in the future.  A note to you: Please be honest once it all comes out, because it’s probably going to all come out.  You might be afraid, but do it anyway.  Yes you probably told some very stupid lies, admit them anyway.  Good people do things they regret and the choices you have now are all in your hands.  If you regret it, live a life moving forward with different choices.  Yes you made  a bad choice, yes it could ruin a long term relationship.  You can use it to beat yourself up or you can choose to learn from it and grow to be a better person.  Don’t let this be a pattern, learn how your brain changes when “in love”.  

Article – Read about brain chemistry during the “falling in love” phase.

After the Affair

How to Help Your Spouse Heal

Getting the Love You Want

 For the “cheated”:

You might feel like you are going crazy.  Everything you thought you knew is no longer valid and it makes you question your life, what is real?  What can you believe anymore?  You might feel like it is the end of the world as if you are on a small float in the middle of the ocean and it keeps getting smaller while sharks circle.  You may feel hurt way more than you thought possible.  Anger, the desire for revenge, and the desire to punish the person might pop up for you.  You may want to die, or to hurt someone.  A special note to you: You are not alone.  If you feel anger to the point of taking action against yourself or someone else, please get help.  Talk to a counselor.  Know that there are people out there who understand the blinding pain you are experiencing and who have lived through it.  You. Are. Not. Alone. Life can get better if you let yourself experience the pain and grief and know life loves you through it.  As Wadsworth alluded to the sun remember even though your life seems to be covered in dark evil clouds right now the sun is still shining behind the clouds.  Breathe.  Know you are loved. 

After the Affair

When Good People Have an Affair

Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay

Getting the Love You Want

No matter where you are on this list, many of the books linked are good to read to fully understand the topic and/or to help yourself  work through an affair.