So Tell Me About That Grass

You know the saying “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side”? Well, Husband got a rude awakening about three months into his extra-marital activities and realized just how true this statement was.

Apparently, SHE was starting to get a little clingy and began expecting a lot more from Husband. It’s all fun and games until your mistress starts to expect more out of you, right?

Early on in our separation, I used to always ask Husband if we could just talk. I just wanted to talk it out all the time. Dissect our problems, get everything out there and maybe, just maybe, we could figure out a way to be together and get back to the business of being a happy married couple again. Unfortunately, Husband was not down for discussing anything with me. He’d tell me that he wasn’t ready and that it just wasn’t time. I eventually stopped pushing.

It’s probably not a coincidence that around the same time that I 1) stopped pushing to talk about our problems and 2) started communicating with Brad again that Husband realized that maybe what he had at home with me wasn’t so bad after all. Mind you, he still hadn’t admitted to me that he was actually having an affair. He always stuck to his story that SHE was just a good friend. The only thing he did admit, surprisingly enough, was the fact that SHE was starting expect more out of him and that SHE seemed to be falling in love with him which for him just wasn’t cool. I found myself sympathizing with him.

Imagine that. Husband complaining to me about his mistress and me giving him advice on how to handle her. What kind of backwards world…?

Eventually, he started coming home more. This change occurred right around the Thanksgiving break. It didn’t happen all at once but I was happy with even just an extra hour of his time. On the weekends when it was my turn with the kids, he stayed at home longer. He even had dinner at home with us more often. Something that hadn’t happened in a long time. And though I would have much preferred to have him home for good, I was satisfied with anything he could give.

One Saturday afternoon a couple weeks before Christmas, he spent the afternoon at the house. I remember it clearly. We had just finished eating lunch and were hanging out in our bedroom while the kids were their bedroom doing their own thing. Husband brought up our plans for the holiday.

I have a large extended family that lives in both Northern California and Southern California. Our tradition is to take celebrating Christmas one year in NorCal, next year in SoCal, back to NorCal the following year, again in SoCal the next and so on and so on. On that particular year, it was our turn to travel south.

I had already prepared myself to make the trek to Los Angeles with just the kids and was pleasantly surprised by Husband’s willingness to go with us. “We should be together as a family for Christmas” is what he said to me. “We really should be together as a family PERIOD” is what I was thinking but I didn’t dare say it out loud.

Even though he said he would be with us on Christmas Day which technically meant that we would be physically together for at least 2 maybe 3 days because we weren’t going to road trip to LA and come back on the very next day. A small part of me thought back to our vacation from hell and wondered if it would be more of the same. But I told myself to give him the benefit of the doubt. Things seemed to be shifting my way. All I needed to do was trust him and avoid making him mad at all costs because I didn’t want him to change his mind.

You might be wondering if we had a magical Christmas that year. A wonderful gift after the hellish Fall season our marriage endured. Then we lived out the rest of our lives happily ever after.

Not quite.

Because Husband was too far into his affair with HER and it wasn’t going to be that easy for him to end things. It was going to take more than just realizing that I wasn’t such a shitty wife after all. He was in too deep and was soon going to find out the magnitude of the shit storm he created.

So unfortunately no. Things didn’t get better for us after that. In fact, things got much worse. Far worse than I ever imagined.

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Social Media Puts Our Dirty Laundry Out In The Open

Ah, social media. Or more like Facebook. It was a place of refuge during this tumultuous time in my life. But it was also my worse enemy. Like a backstabbing friend who you trusted with your innermost fears but then turned around and put all your business out in the open.

Husband and I decided not to tell many people about our separation. Only our closest friends knew. Ok, only my closest friends knew. Ok, only my closest friends knew at first but then word got around to his closest friends. But we didn’t openly share it with anyone. We didn’t even tell our parents nor our siblings. We barely even told our young children. What we told them was that mom and dad just weren’t getting along and needed space from each other so we wouldn’t be yelling all the time. That was all the kids needed to know, in our opinions.

The biggest reason we didn’t want to publicly announce our separation was because we were thinking that it might be temporary and that we may end up deciding to work on our marriage, there was no point in telling people — especially our parents — only to stress them out. We agreed that if we got to the point of divorce only then would we tell people.

If I’m being honest, I will have to admit that another reason I didn’t want people to know about our separation and especially not about HER, was because I was actually embarrassed for Husband. Embarrassed that she was someone Husband was spending a lot of time with. I mentioned in a previous post that this woman had quite the reputation of being crazy, a lost cause, someone you don’t take seriously. I was embarrassed about what Husband’s closest friends would think about him being associated with her.

Word eventually spread amongst Husband’s best friend group and they definitely were shocked, to say the least. Shocked that Husband found solace in someone like her. Curious about what it was about her that drew Husband in. But I will say though that  despite their surprise, Husband’s best friends had his back no matter what. They might not have agreed with his actions but they were going to respect any choices that he made and be there for him. As long as he wasn’t royally messing up, like being physically abusive to me or the kids, Husband’s best friends would support him in silence.

So with Husband and I keeping mum and our closest friends not saying a word, you would expect we would be able to fly under the radar with the current state of our marriage, right? Wrong.

Enter Facebook and it’s wicked ways.

If I was a smart person, I probably would have stayed away from Facebook altogether while Husband and I were separated. But I definitely was not smart about the choices that I made during that time. Going on Facebook was one of them.

I was on Facebook. Husband was on Facebook. SHE was on Facebook. Between the three of us, our mutual friend connection spanned the entire SF Bay Area and even covered parts of Southern California.

Husband barely posted anything on FB so he wasn’t the problem. I typically posted cryptic, woe-is-me status updates which left most of my FB connections raising their eyebrows in question, wondering if anything was going on with me and my marriage.

But then you add the kind of crap that SHE posted. It was stuff that made any normal person just mindlessly scrolling their feed stop dead in their tracks and go, “Wait, am I seeing what I think I’m seeing?” Over time people started putting two and two together and soon enough our gig was up.

I’d run into people I hadn’t seen in a while and after we exchanged pleasantries, they would lean over and whisper to me.

“Hey, I saw something on Facebook the other day.”

Then I’d have to take a few minutes to explain to them our situation and let them know that I know all about HER and assure them not to worry, Husband and I will be fine. Blah blah blah.

Once in a while, SHE would post a very revealing status update and without mentioning Husband’s name in so many words it wasn’t hard for anyone to figure out who she was talking about. It was the pictures that she would post that were most concerning to people close to me. Pictures of her with Husband, some where they look really cozy together, and her caption would be something along the lines of “Me and My Best Friend”.

Um, really? Your best friend is a married man? You’re going to be that bold to post something as incriminating as that and later wonder why people were talking crap about you?

To make matters worse, whenever I questioned Husband about her posts he would simply respond by saying he couldn’t control what she did and that I shouldn’t even be bothered by those things.

Thanks for nothing, Husband.

There would be many a questionable Facebook posts by her that I would have to “not be bothered with”. Many of her status updates that would result in my friends calling me to ask if I knew what she was doing. It got to a point where I just had to ask my friends to stop telling me what they saw. It was the only way I was going to stay sane. Plus I didn’t need that extra stress.

Despite the headaches that it gave me back then, Facebook did open one door for me and for that I’m truly thankful. More on that later.