my husband’s girlfriend’s husband

i could spend an afternoon recalling the phone call with my husband’s girlfriend’s husband. (a sentence i never in a million years thought i would write) but i’ll save that for my mom and my girlfriends and cocktails. many many cocktails.

this poor dumb husband. he was me just a couple of months ago. clueless. shocked. horrified. sick. angry. hurt. devastated. his world is imploding.

i know what you’re thinking. i should have told him.

i should have told him months ago.

i wanted to. i knew his name. all my shady investigative skills uncovered his phone number and address and work place. i could’ve called. or texted or emailed or messaged him on facebook. i didn’t.

i thought about him. every time she posted a pic on instagram with him, my heart broke. poor dumb clueless husband. but i stayed quiet.

i told myself many things to justify not reaching out. the first thing is something i ask myself before making any moves in this divorce…”is this good for my kids?” telling this man would incite rage in my husband. and when he’s mad…we all suffer.

i was also just trying to survive. trying to remember to breathe. i couldn’t take my focus off my home and my kids and myself for this stranger. i didn’t have enough bandwidth for him. i had to think about my people. my people only. it’s all i had room for.

the last reason i had is…almost too difficult to admit. but this is a safe place, right? i didn’t tell him because i thought that it’s possible that this woman will be in our lives for some time. telling her husband could make her hate me. and if she hates me…then maybe she’d take it out on my kids. please god. please oh please oh please god…

…don’t let this woman ever get near my kids.

i didn’t tell him then. but i told him everything i knew yesterday. and i’ve been a heaping pile of depression ever since. so…i know i did the right thing by waiting. i was too fragile then. but i’m still sorry. i’m sorry for him.

poor stupid husband.

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low, meet lower

i do some event planning. mostly party decorations for large events at my church. imagine a giant room, 200 guests, 20+ tables…and a $500 decorating budget. for real, i’m not kidding. $500. i kill myself for these parties. obviously, i don’t have the budget for flowers or to hire anyone to make anything…so i craft my ass off. oh and did i mention i don’t get paid a dime? this is all volunteer, baby. my weird, introverted, slightly antisocial way to give back, i guess.

the next event is 3 weeks away. i’m making driftwood sailboats. never not once have i NOT completely underestimated the time and sweat and labor these brilliant themes i come up with will take for me to produce. never not once.

can you picture me? arms full of hot glue stick refills, eyelet snaps, fabric, twine, and spray paint at the craft store. and my phone chimes. it’s my husband. checking in from italy. he wanted to tell me how hard this trip has been. how emotional.

i couldn’t believe it. he was finally going to admit that this split is killing him too. that italy was full of reminders of us and telling his family there that we’re over has been so hard and he misses me. us.

no.

this trip has been so hard and emotional because his company is selling. oh and he wanted to know how the kids are.

i’m writing this shaking my head. stupid girl. stupid stupid girl. i cried. cried in line with my arms full. cried the whole way home. couldn’t stop so i cried in my car parked in the garage.

i was low. very low. i don’t know about you, but after i have an emotional dump like that, i get…almost like a hangover. an emotional hangover. all i want to do is stare at the ceiling. low. real real low. like a hangover, it takes a good 24 hours to shake it off. so when i woke up the next morning i was still foggy and groggy. i needed my glasses to be able to see the notification on my phone. the one from my husband’s girlfriend’s husband. the one asking if i knew what the hell was going on.

low, meet lower.

feeeeeeeeeeeeelings

my hubby went to italy this week on business. or to hide our money. hard to say. his family owned company is based there and we have an apartment there. also a bank account that i have no access to in the same city. the company sold in june but there are still odds and ends and 90 days blah blah until the money is his. HIS.

italy is where his powerful family lives with their powerful lawyers.

he hasn’t seen the kids in 2 weeks. my youngest wanted to text him last night. of course with the time change, hubby’s response comes hours later while my son is sleeping. i’m caught in the middle of a game of texting tag. they’re talking about pokemon cards and gelato and i’m biting my nails terrified our money is mysteriously evaporating.

they say uncertainty leads to fear. and fear leads to the crazy emotional shit show. i may have reworded that one a tad but the meaning is the same. the shit show is where divorces get ugly. it’s the place where no one wins. it’s the place i desperately don’t want to go.

i have painstakingly taken every calculated step up to this point by surgically removing the emotion filled tumors attached. use your thinking brain, rach. NOT your feeling brain. be smart. this is business. you can feel when you’re home alone. poker face. business. think. smart. wait. just wait a little longer.

wait.

the uncertainty has nose dived deep deep into the fear. i’m scared shitless of being alone with no money. this fear is compromising all that good, solid thinking brain business. feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelings are growing.

here’s the most powerful weapon i have to fight the rising emotions. it’s just a little thing i repeat to myself. i’m free. i’m free. i’m free. i’m free. whatever happens will be okay because…

i’m free.

pretty smart, huh? take that, stupid feelings.

melt

my anxiety is high today. i’ve meditated, foam rolled, put on something pretty. i don’t even have much to do today. it’s not my schedule that’s triggering me. every sound. every ding from my phone is threatening a panic attack.

just popped a pill. it dissolved on my tongue. please oh please let this anxiety melt away too.

some somethings

my kids have been gone for the past 9 days. 9. days. it’s the longest i’ve ever been apart from them. they flew all the way to phoenix by themselves to spend some time with my family. i, you see, am in no condition for (mostly) anything. so i stayed behind.

on the way to pick them up from the airport today, i thought back to the past week. if you had asked me how i spent the time i would’ve told you i did nothing. nothing at all for 9 whole days. but as i dissected the time in my mind i realized it wasn’t nothing. (okay, it was mostly nothing.) but there were some somethings sprinkled in too.

i went to the gym a handful of times. i dog sat for a neighbor. i had drinks with some friends. i had a sleepover with some other friends. i wrote a couple blog posts. i did laundry and ironed. i went shopping. went to a funeral. got a massage. started the keto diet. (holy hell it’s hard.) and i watched a massive massive amount of tv.

oh, and i thought about my future.

it’s the thing i grieve about the most. our future is gone. he killed it. i cried about next christmas and the boys’ weddings. i grieved for the trips we won’t take and the memories we won’t make. i ached for my dreams for this family. the ones that died with his affair.

i guess i didn’t do nothing for 9 days. there were some somethings sprinkled in too.

they don’t know mine

it’s out. the people have been told. family. kids. friends. pastor.

we are getting a divorce.

i obviously thought a LOT about the kids. how to tell them. how to make this easier. how to protect them. i read and i listened to tons of advice. it was hard. it was awful. but then they got up and they’ve pretty much been fine ever since. their therapist says they’re doing amazing. no trauma. no fears. we talk openly all the time and we’re killing ourselves to make the transition as normal as possible. basically, their lives haven’t really changed. mom and dad are still friends and we have zero conflict anywhere near them.

so…the kids are great. it’s the rest of the people that are going crazy.

i was completely unprepared for the shitshow that would follow. everyone has an opinion. everyone. whether i ask for it or not…they give it. and they give it hard.

it’s like the divorce is happening to them. it’s all about THEM. how this hurts THEM and affects THEM and confuses THEM. i can’t even count the conversations i’ve endured where my friends, my family, my people selfishly guilt and shame me for ending my marriage. it’s…so fucked up.

i’ve been called a LIAR.

i was told “you can’t get off the ride you bought a ticket for.”

counseling. counseling. counseling. counseling. counseling.

the worst part is that i am a liar. so so few of them know the truth. it doesn’t matter anyway. they don’t really WANT to know. they want to judge. i’m finding that they are only capable of seeing it through the lens of their own situations and experiences. they know their marriage.

they don’t know shit about mine.

laugh/cry/scream

for a whole month, i told no one. (that’s not true at all.) i told my mom. she told my dad. i told my best friend. i obviously told my hair stylist, lawyers of course, and my doctor. because OMG the stress rash.

my mom and i were the world’s worst PI’s. i was not built for snooping. we put on our hoodies and fired up findmyiphone and we tailed him. ever laugh/cried? ever laugh/cried/screamed? slumped down in the seats of my mom’s mini cooper, hidden behind a very low hedge that barely covered our license plate, we held up our phones with shaking hands to video him having dinner with her. kissing her. then we laughed and watched and cried and screamed.

he stayed out with her that particular night until 3am. he crawled into bed with me in the dark. and silently in my head…i laughed. and cried. and screamed.

his image

it seems like i’ve stepped into someone else’s life since the last time i wrote here.

he moved out. living with his parents. he pops in daily to see the kids. grab some stuff. bring me the mail. we speak like we’re reading off a check list. i’ll do this. you do that. meet here then. don’t forget blah blah.

i think they call this “amicable” in the biz. i promised to play nice and protect his image if he promised to be fair financially. you see, he holds all the money. it’s complicated, but my lawyers say the only way i’ll see a dime from the recent sale of his company, is if he feels like being generous. i can promise you this narcissist cares about one thing and one thing only. his image.

so i protect it with all the might i can muster.

i can’t do it

i have photos and screenshots of his texts with her. a video of them having dinner at a restaurant. another one of them kissing. i have pics from findmyiphone. proof that he was at her house for hours. i keep them in a password protected app. when i save them in there they get out of order. the texts don’t make sense when they’re jumbled up. i need to go in the app and reorder them so they make sense for my lawyers tomorrow. but…i can’t get myself to open it. i can’t reread those messages. can’t watch him lean in to kiss her. see her arms around him. i can’t do it.

i can’t do it.

lawyers

i meet with lawyers tomorrow. yes. lawyers. plural. going to take a team to tackle this mess. mo money mo problems.

i was sent a list of things to gather and bring to our meeting: any information i have about assets (bank accounts, property, investments, company sale). evidence of infidelity. abusive communications. children’s information.

i went to the bank last week to get access to our accounts. he controls everything. i made the banker promise me that he wouldn’t be alerted if i logged on. he was alerted. and he was pissed. i had to apologize to him.

i. had. to. apologize. to. him.

i must keep the peace until the lawyers tell me i can make a move. i’m dying in this peace.

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