The worst thing that could happen ....
I signed up on SI seven years ago this March, about 3 months after DDay.
My opening line was something like 'here I was planning for retiremement and.....' the bomb hit when my spouse told me about her past A's.
I was lost.
The worst thing that could happen, had happened and here I was finding out all about it.
In the days following, if I managed to do anything at all it was on autopilot.
Mostly I just stared into space, trying to put jigsaw pieces together.
Seven years later & I am WAY over the whole A thing.
I have managed to do most of what I had planned for, except for the financial plans - blame COVID.
During COVID with lockdown & the extended lockdown periods, we were pretty much stuck in each others faces.
We had a lot of heated debate going on then, but we are all over that now.
We still have not opened up to the big wide world, prefering to keep family close.
I have not needed to bring up any aspects of the A. I have moved on.
My spouse has taken to randomly appologising for her behaviour & the pain I went through.
She is the only one to ever bring it up.
Just out of the blue. There are obviously things that she thinks about, that worry her.
After 45 years, 3 children, moved home a few times, countless dogs, it still worries her, still embarrasses her.
When it happens, it is so weird for me.
The A's took a lot away from me without my knowing it, those days. Good-times, excitement, happiness.
It also stole five years of my time after DDAy.
As a result of COVID, the two big negatives for me was that I lost my best friend and financial markets had eroded any gains my retirement plans had made in the last 25 years.
The big positive I take from COVID is that it gave me the opportunity to pause & look at my life:
to look back and see what could have been
to appreciate where I am today
to figure out what is important to me and what are the things I want in life
and to realise that WE are so blessed & lucky to still be here, to be healthy, to be in a good place with each other.
Best of all I have my smile back. I missed me.
4 comments posted: Monday, March 14th, 2022
Too good not to share
We take the mother-in-law out of the old age home every second Sunday.
Been doing that for the last ten years.
Perhaps a picnic in the car or a light lunch at a small restaurant - fish still her favourite.
Not much is stimulating at the old age home, but at 101 years old she is still going strong.
Holds my arm, gives me hell if I walk too fast.
MIL may be forgetful of recent events but has many memories of times gone past.
Last Sunday, out of nowhere, she tells me that my spouse 'was a naughty little girl' when she was younger and that Father "had to have a good talking to her' and that he apparently had also told her that I am is a good guy!!!
I really don't know where that all came from - needless to say my spouse was a little bit embarrassed & upset the rest of the day.
What MIL had related obviously must have taken place.
This was the first sign I had that any of the family ever knew that something was up.
I wish somebody had told me way back then, when I was in my twenties.
Now in my sixties, I can just laugh at the irony of getting told-on by a 101 year old.
4 comments posted: Tuesday, March 1st, 2022
My 40th Anniversary
Yesterday was our 40th wedding anniversary.
Take away all the negatives associated with the A's and we have had a very blessed/lucky life together.
I am grateful that my spouse unstuck her head 34 years ago, and GOT ON WITH HER LIFE with me. Turning herself around and became the best wife/lover/partner to me & mother to our children. I have no regrets there.
'It should have been different, it could have been so much better' .... those were her words to me yesterday.
I haven't brought up the A's for such a long time now. I am not bothered to. I have a life to get on with.
But it still, and probably always will, bother her.
Here's to the next 40......
8 comments posted: Monday, August 2nd, 2021
DDay 6 years ago - We will survive.
Here I am – 6 years ago I came to SI and I asked for help. There were many answers. Some gentle, others not . Most were understanding and able to guide me. I needed that help & guidance to get me through the days, weeks & months following Dday.
I read a lot here on SI. I have learnt a lot!
I quickly found out that Rule #1 was ‘take what works for you and leave the rest’.
Many hurting souls fired off hurtful & destructive advice.
Thankfully there were a great many more understanding souls that were already a long way into recovery.
I was lucky in that the A’s happened a long time ago – a lifetime away. It wasn’t NOW. It wasn't all around me, although there were few ‘in-your-face’ daily reminders.
The wedding photos hanging in our bedroom were the first things to go – those eyes had seen too much .
The 2nd thing was that we changed the wedding & engagement rings - you just know where they had been..
The 3rd was get a new spouse……just kidding
My spouse tried to move on years ago. She put it all in a box and closed the lid. She would have taken her secrets to the grave.
Now that the lid is open, it is a big disappointment to her.
I am a constant daily reminder of what she was.
My pain is a reminder of what she did.
She opened up briefly after Dday. And then shut up tightly when she realized what she (now a devoted wife & mother of 3)had done.
A lot of questions have gone unanswered.
And that is OK with me.
I know most of it, and what I don’t know SI has filled in the blanks. Sadly, as my Dad used to say ‘there’s nothing new under the sun’.
Two years ago I made a decision. I chose to move on past her A’s
Mostly I feel that I have succeeded. Overall we are in a very good space.
Why has/is it taking so long? – There are a few reasons:
This recovery is a two person journey. Often I am the only one travelling it!
Sometimes I feel she thinks ‘I wish he would just move on already’!
She is in that space of ‘I was a bad girl & shit will always happen to me’!
She has her own issues.
She is not the most supportive.
Sometimes I need encouragement form her, empathy, a hug, a rub on the arm even, a smile, and its NOT there.
Sadly, I am a bit short tempered these days, towards her. Happens when I feel ‘put down’ in some way. Most times the blow up is over as fast as it starts!
Most important is that I have been so incredibly busy. I have accomplished more in the last 6 years than I have ever done before.
We refreshed the old family home, sold it, bought another, put the retirement plans into motion etc etc.
WE have spent a lot of time together, doing things together.
So much has changed the last 6 years, the stock markets have crashed, Covid-19 is still taking it’s toll, my best friend passed away suddenly, many of the people on SI have not made it this far.
I asked if I could retire with this person.
My answer is Yes, I can & I will, and we will be in a good space together.
My best wishes to all of you with your journey.
5 comments posted: Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021