tales from the surviving straight spouse

Archive for the ‘Healing Hope’ Category

Taking a moment to reflect. Oklahoma.

I look at this picture and feel nothing. I am almost healed.

People ask, how did you stay so long? Well, he had me good. He had me right where he needed me to be. He is an expert. He knows all the right things to say, at all the right moments.

This picture is in Oklahoma. We came to attend my 3rd son’s completion ceremony from Army basic training. It is the first Friday in September 2016.

I had sent this man away just a few months before. I wanted the relationship to be over. He went. He lived with his step mother for 8 weeks during the summer.

He talked himself back into my life:

  1. When we are on, we are amazing (It had been a year since we were “on”)
  2. You’re a therapist, therapists help people to change, how can you not believe I can change?
  3. Look at all the amazing changes I’ve made. Even my mom noticed.
  4. We’ve been together almost 4 years and you want to throw that away?

He returns August 15th. Our four year anniversary of the day we met is August 18th. He has absolutely nothing for me:

  • “You sent me away, it’s all I could think about, how hard that was on me”
  • “The date came up so fast I didn’t have time”
  • “There I go again, not meeting your expectations” (hangs head)
  • “I haven’t been able to do anything because the pain has been so high, you know that.”
  • “I just haven’t had the time to get you anything”

He grabs his car keys and says he has to run out.

“Where are you going?”

“Meghan is out of Cannabis. She is in a lot of pain. I’m running to the bank and then I have to run to Carl’s and then I’m going to meet Meghan.”

“I thought you were in pain and didn’t have time to do anything.”

“Really? I’m helping someone and you’re going to criticize me?”

He left.

“That isn’t nice, is it, Mommy?” my son with an iq of 55 says to me. 55. Even he knows how to treat people you love.

Back to the picture. Ten days later he is in Oklahoma in a pool on my dime. Never once does he open his wallet.

I realize now that he moved back in with me in August 2016 with no intention of staying together. His goal was to use as much as possible and then watch me break down and send him away for good. He has orchestrated his victimhood like an elegant maestro. He has moved on to his next prey.

Imagine if that brain and heart were used only for good? It is a pity that he lost so much love. It was right here the entire time, but he could not live in it and receive or give.

I still have that love. I keep it close to me, waiting for the right person who will receive and reciprocate. I don’t know what he has and fortunately I no longer have to be involved.

Deal With It

Get your fucking foot off my heart

It hurts

Your fear, he sneered, deal with it.





She took that hitop (beautiful hemp, because lovers give, yes?)
between her hands that once held hope

and twisted that shoe near right around,
pushed and scrambled away.

blood peeked through her bra, her shirt, a mural of ache

but she stood

she leaned in

and all he could do was limp away.

Turning it back

What was it?

when he said his posts weren’t about me, then admitted they were about me, then insisted he never said they were and I needed to stop thinking everything was always about me.

when he told me what I meant, what I felt and told me I should go to therapy to get healed.

when he insisted he didn’t mean that I needed to go to therapy to get healed, he just said it.

when he called my kids fat and lazy.

when he couldn’t finish the projects he started around the house, projects I never asked him to do, but he felt I needed done.

when he sat around all day doing nothing, while I worked, then asked me what I was gonna make for dinner that night.

when he told me we needed milk and I don’t drink milk.

when he asked if I was allowed to eat those cheez-its.

when he said fat girls are usually better at blow jobs, they kind of have to be.

when he said I don’t have time to get you anything, I’ll be right back I need to pick up something for this other person I know.

when he said he would never date again, but had someone lined up before he left.

when he said I needed to change my hair, my clothes, my size.

when he said weight didn’t matter to him and I was imagining it.

when he said it was okay for people to disrespect me and I needed to get over it.

when he wouldn’t take his dog, who had to be euthanized.

when he said he was heartbroken because his dog was euthanized.

when he said he knew this would happen with his dog.

when he said his job was to be naked and buff and mine was to be wet.

when he said I couldn’t be his friend because I didn’t know how, because I said we were just getting lunch and it wasn’t gonna be naked/buff/wet day.

when he said people must wonder how a person who looks like me, could get a man who looks as good as he does.

when he made my children cry.

when he ran to his room, slammed the door and told my 18-year-old to “go away, I’m not talking to you”

when he told me I did a good job, and I didn’t even need his help.

when he took me away for my birthday, but needed to play games on his kindle and phone.

When was it?  It always was, I just needed to wake up and realize me and my children really do deserve better.  As a therapist, I am the perfect target, my entire life is about believing people can change.  If someone keeps telling me how hard they work and how much they change I want to believe them.  I am guilty of wanting to believe.  Have I stopped believing?  No, I just stopped believing him.


Let This Day Pass On

I couldn’t begin to tell you the swarm of emotions that flow through me right now.

Completely joyful, (heh) and completely ready to cry.  I guess I picked the right name for this blog.

If you came to this blog to read about life after divorcing a frustrated, self loathing, outward projecting, still closeted, very much Catholic gay man, well – JACKPOT.

I can’t say that the pain goes away completely.  I can say that with really hard work there are very sunny days and hope begins to dance on your doorstep.

How?  Everyone wants to know how do you heal and how do you move on.  If your DD is like my DD, the healing can be slow and tedious…the moving on is easy.  The strange contradiction is that it’s harder to move on when someone treats you nicely, but easier to heal.  DD’s continuous attempts to play cat and mouse with me has made it very easy to move on.  I have no lingering ‘what ifs’ or ‘sigh, I could have made this work.’   So, I moved on very quickly, but healing has taken much longer.

How to heal in 8 steps (yeah, right)

  1.  Discover Yourself, completely.  You know who you are and what you’ve been through.
  2. Don’t date just to feel wanted, want yourself first.
  3. Know the warning signs, so you don’t get fooled again.  Even if your next guy isn’t gay, obviously you are susceptible to deceit and trust me, they see you from a mile a way, as if they can hear your huge heart beating.
  4. If you fall again, that is the universe telling you to wait, find happiness in your solitude.  It isn’t time to pair with another.
  5. Be picky.  If anyone in your circle of friends and family begin to bring you down, continue to harp on how much you were fooled and used, provide ridiculous platitudes such as “I knew it from the very beginning”, or “How the hell did that happen”  GET AWAY.  Find your cave and decorate it with your love for yourself.
  6. Speaking of caves, turn your bedroom into your private paradise.  Paint, decorate, think and lay on your bed and smile, this is you, yours…throw out that old mattress of lies and humiliation and prepare to break in a new one.
  7. If you have kids, don’t trash your DD.  I KNOW, I KNOW, so incredibly tempting, especially if his evil ways seep into how he treats the kids, in hopes of making you miserable.  Be present to your children, be ready to answer their questions with fact, even if it is showing them your divorce papers (when they are ready).  They do come around to reality – be there to catch them as they drop.
  8. Find a way to laugh every day.

Most importantly, know that you are amazing.  I realize how hypocritical that is of me, since I struggle with seeing what I bring to the world, yet bolster others as often as I can.  The stress of your marriage could have killed you, but it didn’t.  Your best revenge is no revenge, it is allowing yourself to be loved again and allowing yourself to love another.

Happy Could-Have-Been 20th Anniversary to me, a confusing, swirling, swishing day.  I see something sprouting though, on the horizon and I wish that for you, too.