Does It Matter Now If He Cheated?

Even though I haven’t communicated with the ex in a long while, I had a dream about him.  In the dream, he told the truth and answered many questions about our marriage that were apparently still haunting me enough to have me dream about them.  Of course, in my dream, he was angry and told the truth in a nasty way.  The questions that swirl in my head are if he cheated and how many times.  In my dream, he answered affirmatively with the number six.  Whether it was meant for 6 times or 6 different women, I don’t know.

But when I woke up after the dream, it stayed with me, haunting and taunting me.  I couldn’t release it and it was plaguing my day.  Is it true?  Did he cheat?  Why did I dream that?  Did I somehow subconsciously know when/if he was cheating but chose to look away because the truth hurt so much?  Was it a fantasy dream in order for me to get on with my life and put the pain to rest?  Why would I have dreamed this?  What is happening here?  I haven’t had to deal with him in awhile now so why would this pop up in my head?  And honestly, I didn’t think it mattered to me anymore because the past is in the past.

But it mattered enough for the dream to happen and to stay with me.

The dream replayed in my head over and over enough for me to question so much of the past that I felt tangled up in it.  No amount of changing the channel would remove it.  It was like I was possessed with now wanting the truthful answers from him.  It was awful.  It made me crazy with grief again and I relived the pain of dishonesty, even though I have no solid definitive answers to my questions.

But in reality, in hindsight, I remember times in our marriage when I suspected, times when he worked overtime and when I found suspicious things which when I confronted him with them, he angrily told me I was wrong and I was making a mountain out of a molehill.  When that happened, I backed down and chose to believe him even though there was a little uncertainty that remained in my head.  He had that way of shutting me down and making me believe him and not my instincts.  Toxic love, bordering if not completely, on narcissistic abuse.  And I took it.  I scrambled to make things better with him, but he was angered by my questions as I begged for his forgiveness in questioning his fidelity.  Because I wanted to believe my husband of over 20 years.  I wanted things to work between us, to have us connect and to be happily married.

I shunned my uncertainties time and again, making excuses in my head for him and his erratic behavior and the suspicions that pointed to cheating.  I was questioning myself more than him because it only caused a fight.  I only wanted peace in my life and I was determined to not rock the boat.  How foolish I was in hindsight.

I think I had the dream to put the questions to rest.  I got my answers, whether or not they are true.  I am choosing to find peace in knowing that he is not the man I believed him to be – the faithful, kind, loving husband and father.  He has showed more times than not, his lying side to all of us and even though I never wanted to think badly of him, I do now.  Too many facts have come to the surface that show his lying.

So, I’m done with making excuses, with excusing bad behavior, with accepting 1/2 truths or big fat lies in order to keep the peace.  I don’t have to do it anymore.  I am divorced.

It’s time for me to let go fully.  It doesn’t matter if he cheated.  The past can be laid to rest.  It doesn’t change anything if he cheated or if he didn’t.  We are no longer together and it’ll remain a mystery unless something happens to bring out the truth and have it revealed.

In the meantime, I’m writing this for you, who may be in my same position.  Drop the hurt.  Rewrite history now.  The past is the past and remains in the past.  Start here and now.  Today, this moment, is all we’ve got and I’m asking you as I asked myself,

Do you want to waste time on a man who isn’t a part of your life anymore?  Or do you want to get on with your life and be freed from these shackles?  It’s up to you.

And I’m choosing my own freedom.  Join me.

 

 

 

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Conversations With Myself

Do you ever stop and listen to the thoughts you have all day long?  Are you ever aware of the conversations you have with yourself or better said, yourselves?  Because yesterday was a tremendously hard day for me and my selves were chattering away a mile a minute and arguing a lot.  Now before you think I’ve gone off my rocker, please know that I haven’t.  But I’ve become acutely aware how parts of me are having a tough time with quitting smoking.

Obviously there’s the physical withdrawal from smoking and nicotine which affects the body.  Going cold turkey probably wasn’t my best choice, but I thought I was woman enough to persevere.  Three days in and I was still probably riding on the residuals of the nicotine in my body so it wasn’t so bad.  Until last night.

I fell off the wagon to the tune of 3 cigarettes.  It’s funny, but the first one, although it calmed me, tasted yucky.  However, instead of walking away with one cigarette and saying, ok, get back in line and quit again now, I had 2 more.  Because once the seal of no more smoking was broken, those parts in me began their argument.

What’s one more?  Just do it.  You can quit again tomorrow.  Who’s to know?

But I had quit smoking and I just had one!  I can’t believe I did it.  I’m so disappointed in my myself.  What will the kids think?  What will my friends think?  I’m a failure!

Well, you wanted it.  And you did it.  Now start over.

But I like smoking!  Why do I have to quit cold turkey?  Why not wean myself off of them because this is too hard to do all at once!

You want to be healthy so just be like Nike and do it!

Cold turkey isn’t right for me.  I feel sick.  I’m a failure.  This is hard.

But we want to be healthy, right?  Ok, so let’s backtrack and start over tomorrow.

One more then, please?  It’s such a beautiful night out here and I’m feeling calmer.

Fine.  One more.  Then we go in.  But no more after that.

Ok, no more after this one.

Oh what the hell, what’s one more?  Three’s a good number.  I’ll stop now.  I already smell so that third one won’t make it worse because I already smell!

So I smoked a total of 3 and felt like a failure when I got back in the house.  What was worse was that the kids knew.  Dejectedly I came in and tidied up the kitchen.  They came downstairs, took a whiff and said, three days good and you’ll start again tomorrow.

I began to cry like a little girl, seeing the disappointment in their eyes and the kindness in their hearts.  They hugged me.

Mom, we’re proud that you did 3 days cold turkey.  So you fell off and had a few.  Now get back into the no smoking thinking and start again.

I’m so sorry I failed.  I failed you guys and I’m a bad role model.  Tears were pouring from my eyes for so many reasons.

Nope, we just know how hard it is now because you’re a strong woman.  You can do this.  Look on the bright side.  You did it for 3 days.  Now start again.

Their compassion and kindness made me so grateful that they’re mine.  Words can’t express how I felt after what they said to me.

So here I am again, starting over.  I am not sure that cold turkey is right for me though.  Maybe I’m not as strong as I once was because now my thoughts are so argumentative.  Perhaps I need a little help whether it’s weaning off of them slowly or the patch or a vape (their friend’s mom quit and used a vape to do it).  I’m not a gum chewer so that won’t work for me.

I’m open to suggestions.  I’m sorry to disappoint after 3 days, but I guess life is full of ups and downs.  At least I’m heading in the right direction.

 

Posted in 50 years old, addiction, finding happiness at 50, inspiration, love, women 50 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Don’t Tell Me It’s A Challenge

challenge

Oh gosh, a good friend just reached out and said, how’s the challenge going?  I bit my tongue, before I took a deep breath and answered:

Not a challenge.  Just a way of life LOL.

Because that’s how I have to think of this whole thing.  It’s just a way of life sounds so much easier to deal with than a challenge.  Don’t you think?  Challenge feels like it’s insurmountable.  Way of life sounds like a walk in the park.  Easy peasy.

But if anyone else has quit smoking, you know, this ain’t no walk in the park.  It’s hilly with hard times and then a few minutes of smooth sailing for a bit.  My initial reaction to my sweet friend was ugly, because I wanted to say – you’re making it harder by calling it a challenge!!! and in that precious moment, my reaction was fast and furiously cranky and she was simply being a kind, caring, supportive friend.  To be honest, that’s so not like me to have such a knee-jerk reaction, so I know there’s pressure building here with the detoxing of the years of smoking coming out of me without the fresh input of nicotine.  And I’m ever grateful that I took a moment to breathe before responding.  At least I still have some patience.  Heck, I even told the kids that I quit and asked them to please give me the benefit of the doubt because I may be more cranky.

I’m doing this cold turkey by myself.  I’m writing blog posts about it, but I may not bore you with publishing them as I go through this process.  But on the other hand, addiction is addiction, with varying degrees of seriousness and difficulty, so I think anything you’ve tried to ‘give up’ be it something or someone at any point, cookies, sugar, candy, cigarettes, alcohol, pills, playing games, porn, toxic friends/family, gambling, etc. – it all hinges on how you handle the withdrawal and not going back to whatever it is you’re trying to change.

Does this make sense?  Because the bottom line is you don’t want to do it again so you have to find other ways to fill that time, that void, that need, and preferably with something that is a healthier alternative.

I’m finding that by changing the channel when I feel the need, helps me.  Also I am changing my mindset to this is a way of life that many people live quite comfortably (being non-smokers) so if they can do it, so can I.

Many thanks to all of you who are so supportive of me!  I need you and I appreciate you!  Thanks for being you!  Much love to all of you!

 

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This Happened Yesterday

I just got off the phone with a friend whom I trust completely.  We were discussing the bad habit I picked up when the ex left years ago.  Her angels told her to talk with me about it today, although we have talked many times beforehand about it.  My initial response when she asked if I had given any more thought to quitting was to groan as I didn’t want to think about it again.  I knew she was right in her thinking and bringing the subject up, but I didn’t want to deal with it.  Haven’t I been through enough pain?  And surely quitting smoking would be painful.

There, I’ve outed myself.  My dirty little secret for which I am ashamed.  I didn’t smoke for over 20 years until the ex left me and as a convoluted fuck you, I picked up that first cigarette and inhaled and that was all she wrote.  I was back smoking again even after not having had one in over 2 decades.  It was a stupid response to my overwhelming grief and pain.

The cigarette numbed the pain and was a substitution for my voicing how I was feeling to the ex.  It was, in all honesty, like drinking poison and hoping he felt the pain.  But it doesn’t work that way.  In a twisted way, I was showing him how hurt I was by his betrayal, but it wasn’t hurting him at all.  It was only hurting me.  It gave me an addiction which embedded itself in my psyche and grew stronger with each inhalation.

Hindsight is 20/20 they say.  I know you’ve heard that before now.  I read this quote:  Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards by Soren Kierkegaard.  How appropriate for me today as I step into my next healthy chapter and let go of the addiction which has held me spellbound for longer than I’d like to admit here out in the open and for reasons which to the healthy mind are ridiculous because it is inviting cancer into a body which has already dealt with enough pain.

I feel empowered after talking with my friend.  I feel emotional and a little frightened to declare that as of today, I am no longer a smoker.  It’s been my crutch, my strength (I know that sounds silly but my warped mind declared it).  It’s been my fuck you, my friend, my time out, my help when I needed to gear up for something scary and my gift to me as a prize after I did something that was hard.  It has been my disgraceful secret, my shameful flogging of my already beat up self-esteem and broken inner child.  It’s been my carelessness about my own self health.  It’s been a twisted way in which I didn’t care what happened to me because the ex left and my self-esteem was so wrapped up in my role of being his wife and mom to our kids.  It was the product of my failure and the blame I felt for the failure of my marriage and subsequent divorce.  I couldn’t be enough of who the ex wanted me to be for him to stay – which wasn’t true at all in hindsight, but with a battered self-esteem childhood issue, it made sense to me at the time.  I didn’t blame him.  I blamed myself for not being enough and in that unhealthy state, I would have done almost anything to keep our marriage afloat even though I had already lost sight of myself.

I’ve cried quite a bit in the last hour as I wrote this down.  A release of grief streams out of my head, heart, mind and body.  Wracked with tears, I’ve been rocking on the couch while writing this post.  I’m not really good at self-discipline so this may be trying at times.  While I wish there were a magic wand to simply wave away the deprivation which will come as I navigate the pangs for nicotine which may come my way, I will cold turkey the addiction.

As my trusted friend suggested, here are the three new rules in my life:  1. Don’t light another cigarette.  2. Change the channel when the urge hits.  3. Refer back to rule 1 and don’t ever have another one.

Sounds simple, right?  I didn’t expect to be quitting today.  It wasn’t even on my radar, but it’s been in the back of my head for awhile now.  I quit a few months ago for a week, only to hear bad news and picked up another cigarette in response to it.  I thought it would help me deal the pain.  All it did was put me back to square one after having gone through a week’s worth of withdrawal.

My blog is embracing life’s changes and I write from an honest place.  I’m tired of being tied to an unhealthy, expensive, disgraceful habit.  I’m embarrassed to admit it, but it’s true.  I need to break the habit.  I began it initially to numb the pain and I figured it was better than drinking alcohol because I would be able to manage myself easier.  Drinking only hinders driving (in case the kids needed me) and also my inhibitions to say what I was thinking to the kids about the divorce situation would only hurt them and me.  I thought I was choosing the lesser evil.  I’m a lightweight so if I were to drink then I might not keep control over what I said, nor remember what I revealed in an inebriated state.  Stupid girl that I was.  But no more.  I am tired of feeling like a bad example to my kids and yes, they found out that I was smoking because the smell gave me away.

I have been through hell and back and I have inner strength that has nothing to do with smoking.  I’ve gotten this far in spite of the smoking and not because of the numbing out feeling it gave me.  Perhaps I would have healed more quickly if I hadn’t turned to cigarettes, but what is done is done.  I need to let go and move on with my life.

Maybe my story, my honesty will help someone else who reads this post.  Maybe my mistakes and the learning I’ve experienced will inspire someone else who is in a similar position.  At least that’s my hope since I’m coming out to declare it.

And yes, it is a big deal to me.  I’m sure to some people this may sound like a whiny post, but the reality is that it’s very real to me.  It’s a huge step in clearing the clutter from my life so that I can move on.  I saw that eHarmony was offering 50% off membership until today but I have shied away from putting myself out there on online dating sites because I smoke and you can’t hide it.  No matter how many showers, breath mints or mouthwashes, it’s there insidiously, smelly and dirty.  I don’t want a smoker in my life and I don’t want to be known as a smoker, especially when it comes to potential dates.

I am not a smoker.  I am a woman who has dealt with painful experiences and losses enough for a lifetime.  Smoking no longer defines me.  Health defines me.  I can’t change the effects that are here from previous smoking, but I can choose to heal my body starting now.

And that’s my choice and I’m sticking with it.

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Something’s Gotta Give

I relaxed and watched one of my favorite movies last night – Something’s Gotta Give.  Have you ever seen it?  It’s a good one for the divorced over 50 crowd.  Oh my gosh, I giggled and smiled while I enjoyed my glass of wine!  It gave me hope.  It gave me courage.  It gave me that tingly feeling that you never know what the year may bring and that love comes in all different ways.  Below is a preview from an oldie but a goodie.

It made me want to write a book.

Because that’s the way I’m rolling this year.  Open to possibilities because something’s gotta give – LOL – lame pun.  Sorry!  I’ve been alone for a few years now and although I’m not rushing into anything, I find myself fantasizing about companionship, about writing a book. about traveling and about my new chapter in my life.  Oh Paris, I remember you well…

Do you feel this way too?

Maybe it’s the new moon? Maybe it’s the new year?  Maybe it’s all the healing I’ve been doing?  Maybe, just maybe, the stars are coming back into my eyes again after being so broken for so long.  Whatever the magic is, I’m contented.  So I’m off to find another movie to inspire me!

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Removing Christmas Clutter

removingchristmasclutter

Now you know how much I love decorating for Christmas, but this morning I was inspired to begin the removal of decorations to put my house back to rights.  I think I’ve vacuumed up at least 1K pine needles just from the mantle as the sprigs that I had used have all fallen to pieces.  And let’s not mention the needles from the tree as well!  I am taking a well-deserved break before finishing the tree.

But as I finished removing the Christmas decorations from the mantle, I couldn’t let go.  I mean, it’s silly to start decorating for Valentine’s Day (isn’t it?), but to leave it pretty bare didn’t feel good either.  So I did the next best thing.  I decorated for winter and used a few of the winterish decorations and kept a few of the twinkly lights for a sparkly feel because I like that!  A few red cardinals for good measure and I’m ready for the winter season without giving up that child-like delight I have of white sparkling lights!

I have to say it made taking down Christmas a little easier to handle when I kept a few treasures out.  Lucky for me, they still go with the winter theme until Valentine’s Day!  Win Win for me!

I was going to try to keep it all up until Little Christmas (January 6th), but it’s looking pretty dry and I haven’t had the lights on in a few days because of it.  I wouldn’t want a fire hazard, so down it comes.

When do you take down your Christmas/holiday decorations?  What do you do with the empty spaces afterwards?  Do you put it all back to rights without decorating for the next holiday?

 

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Are You Relieved The Holidays Are Over?

areyourelievedtheholidaysareover.PNG

I used to feel a let down in January after the hustle and bustle of the holidays were over.  But at the same time, I also felt a tremendous relief because they were over and life would be quieter for a bit without dealing with relatives overload!  It’s hard to deal with family issues when we are forced into situations because of traditions set long ago.  Because it’s expected that you are going to be with your family, no matter how all get along together.  We just had to suck it up for the holiday season.  Grin and bear it!

I’ve decided that I will probably be changing it up next Christmas, so I don’t foresee having no choice but to be obliged to be with my family next year.  Although we survived it this year, I’m ready for a change up next year and I am anxiously awaiting a change in my life for the better.  Because I’m taking control!  Already a friend has invited the kids and me to Florida for next Christmas and I’m seriously thinking of taking her up on it.  It’s fun to think about at least – whether we do it or not.  I’m not telling the kids right now because there’s no need to put any more pressure on them.  As it is, they are still angry about Christmas and ex and his family so I’m just going to let things die down to a quiet roar before I change up any holidays.  And really, who knows what our lives will be like in a year.  That’s a long time for things to change and develop and for once in my life, I’m anticipating change as good!

I hope your holidays were good, that the relatives behaved and that your life is returning to quiet normality.  Enjoy the calm because Valentine’s Day is coming!  Three cheers for love!

 

 

 

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