Thursday, May 27, 2010

Help me if you can I'm feeling down .... (Mark's side)

So its been awhile since I wrote about anything with substance. After a few months of HNT's, toy reviews, sexcapade recaps, etc. Jen and I thought it was a good time to document the state of our relationship, i.e., where are we relative to "The Plan" we had discussed right after the holidays. We both wrote our posts in parallel, without consulting each other as to what we planned to write. Aside from the Beatles lyrics as post titles (I did see her "Ticket to Ride" title before I posted my story), any commonalities between our stories is purely coincidental. You can read them in any order .. Click here for Jen's side of the story.

What always drives these little re-evaluations we have is Jen's visit to her therapist. They are quite a traumatic event for her because frankly, the therapist isn't exactly president of the Mark "Fooled Around and Fell In Love" fan club. Personally, I just think she needs a Cyberglass G. So the appointment came and went and as always, Jen was very emotional afterward. So we got together the next day at her house, and while we didn't intend to discuss things, we just couldn't help ourselves and end up having a good cry over things.

So here's the latest... Somehow despite the fact that I'm married and rarely miss any of my kids sports activities and events at school (which include school softball, town softball, high school baseball, town baseball (coach), travel baseball (coach), girls basketball, high school fall basketball, high school summer basketball, ski club (chaperone), travel soccer, track, cross country (coach) and high school football - Oh my, this is starting to feel like a Barefoot Dreamer post!!! ), Jen and I still manage to get together almost every single weekday. Either for lunch, a late afternoon visit, mornings, or even sometimes in the evening -- somehow we pull it off almost every Monday through Friday. Now I'm sure any of you reading this that are in a similar situation are green with envy and saying to yourself "Wow! We only WISH we could spend that much time together... And you're complaining?" Well, the fact of the matter - yes - its just not enough. Weekends apart are brutal, and now heading into the summer months here in the Northeast where every church lawn fete, outdoor concert, art festival, backyard barbecue, 5K run and golf scramble is crammed into about 8 weekends of summer -- things that Jen and I can't do together -- its going to get worse before it gets better.

So all this has been weighing on her mind. And its weighing on my mind. Even though my weekends are incredibly busy, I find myself agonizing over wondering how SHE'S getting through it without me. Her kids are pretty much on their own, and it bothers me terribly knowing that she's spending a Saturday night or a Sunday afternoon alone. I keep replaying it over and over in my head -- "She deserves better than this.. She deserves to be out to dinner on a Saturday night. She deserves to be made love to on a Sunday morning. She deserves to be at the beach on a Sunday afternoon. We could be laying in bed together right now watching the Yankees game". I get so mad at myself for putting her in this situation, that it makes me cranky, irritable and basically unpleasant to be around on weekends. While I'm surrounded by so many people at all the activities I participate in, I feel so terribly alone.

And now what I've essentially done is put myself in a position where I can't make anyone happy. Jen's not happy when we're apart and the wife certainly isn't happy since I'm detached, cantankerous and ornery when I'm not with Jen. And what bothers me the most is I've invested so much of myself with Jen and with my family and what do I have to show for it? A bunch of unhappy people, is all.

And Jen's response to all this? "Then why Mark are we doing this to ourselves. Why CAN'T we both be happy, the only way we know how, which is together?" And my answer is still the same .. The same as it was in July of 2009 when we got into this, the same as it was during the Christmas holidays, the same as it is today heading into the summer.

My kids.

While my teenage son won't give me the time of day, my young girls still adore me. They were helping me in the yard this past weekend, giving me a hand in the garage -- things we have done together every spring since they were old enough to walk. Things they plan on doing with me next year and the year after that and the year after that. And I break down when I tell Jen this, but next spring when its time to do all these things again and I'm not there ..... Well ...... I can't even finish typing the sentence ...

And Jen will tearfully say to me "I can't ever see you leaving ..."

But that's where I disagree. You see, I can see myself leaving as that's why I got into this position in the first place. That's WHY I created the profile on Ashley Madison. I knew my marriage was essentially over and I wanted to position myself with someone that I could be with forever when the hammer finally came down on it. Now of course I had envisioned that would be 3, 4, heck .. 5 years down the road when the girls were off to college. But then Jen came along. And after 3 months I knew that I wanted to be with this woman forever ... starting NOW....

How long can I keep doing this to her? How many more lonely weekends can I make her endure? How many more sessions where the therapist asks her "So .... any update on THE PLAN? What has he done to change his situation?" And the answer is "nothing"? I know and understand I can't drag her along forever.

But then again -- I can't give her up. I can't even comprehend the thought of her not being in my life. It frightens me.. No ... it TERRIFIES me. Not only would I lose a lover .. the woman I have waited for all of my life .. I would lose my best friend. We have become such an integral part of each others lives .. to throw that all away and not have that to me is unthinkable.

And that's what drives me. I know in my heart-of-hearts that this fairy tale is all going to play out. Our dreams WILL come true. I've never been more confident of anything in my life.. But when prompted for some tangible evidence that I'm ready to move in that direction? Well, so far I haven't been able to produce anything. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

But I'm not giving it up. Ever.


  1. I'm a believer that things will fall into place at the right time. I don't think there should be a time limit on THE PLAN... because it's likely to cause stress more than anything else. But I understand how you don't want Jen to be alone... it's just so incredible, this love you have for each other. And to be able to see each other every day? I am green with envy!! :)

    I hope you guys can hang in there!

  2. Answers may be on other posts but no time to read back thru anything today so....
    Mark, does your wife have any idea you met someone? How would she describe your marriage if asked? Maybe she is as unhappy as you are. She might be the one to end things, or atleast want a separation, if you continue to be detached from her.
    If she doesn't know anything, and you told her about Jen, how do you think she'd react? If you thought she'd use the children against you in any way, of course that wouldn't be good. But people do separate and eventually divorce for many reasons. It's how both parties handle the issues with the children that is key.
    Regarding your girls... it's wonderful that you are so close with them, and I am very sure you are a great father. But eventually, if they find out about your relationship with Jen and come to know it was going on secretly for all this time, would they still adore you?
    I'm not judging in any way at all. I hope it doesn't sound that way. I think the relationship you and Jen have found is interesting and exciting and only the two of you know how deeply you feel about each other.
    I guess I would give it a bit more time and just try to think about how you and your wife would handle things with the children if it comes to that. If it were done in the right way you could still be an active and important part of their lives and still spend a good bit of time with them but it just wouldn't be every weekend.
    Best wishes to you all in hopes things work out for everyones highest good.

  3. Spring: As much as I'd love for there to be no time frame on the plan, it just isn't fair to Jen to drag this on too long. She's in her early 50s, recently divorced, kids grown and pretty much on her own -- this should be the prime of her life. Going places and doing things with someone that can give her all that. Problem is, I want to be THAT someone. And so does she. And yes, while we see each other almost every day, when you add up the hours its only about 10 hours per week. She deserves someone to wake up to .. someone to hold her at night during thunderstorms ... someone to walk in that door and hug her every night after work. But on the other hand, those 10 hours or so I do give her, its just her and I -- she's got my undivided attention. No distractions from kids, work, etc. So those are 10 high-quality hours, if I do say so myself :) ... So you see the quandary I am in???

    Genevieve: Thanks so much for your inputs. In no way did I read interpret that as you judging me. No, The Wife has no idea any of this is going on. And I'm certain she's as unhappy as I am. And she's said as much, but her stance is to get through for the kids sake while they are still young. I know neither of us envisions a life together after the kids are gone. In fact, I find that almost incomprehensible. And I think she does too.

    And honestly? If there's such a thing as a smooth divorce or separation, I think ours would be. Yeah, I know -- they all say that. But I really feel that would be the case. So no, I don't think she'd try to use the kids as a bargaining chip or a wedge to drive between us. So what's the problem, you might ask? The girls would be devastated -- that much I'm sure of. Even when its mentioned jokingly in our house, you can see the look of terror in their eyes as they beg their mother not to say the "D" word (I never bring it up in front of them even in kidding because I know what their reaction would be).

    So like you say, I am indeed looking for more time. But how much patience will Jen have before she says "Screw this .. I need a life"? And while I could kick myself for ever getting myself into this position, it has been worth each and every heartache .. each and every tear .. and each and every hair that I've pulled out. Jen means THAT much to me, and my life is more complete having found true happiness in her love for me.

    Thanks again for taking the time to comment, both Spring and yourself .. It means a lot -- to both of us.

  4. I have recently discovered your beautiful blog. Today I've read yours and Jen's story with tear-filled eyes. You sound like such a beautiful man - you've written such beautiful sentiments - not usual for a man. Jen is indeed lucky to have you in her life - but alas she wants more. I fully understand this - I myself had an affair with a married man with five children. I fell hopelessly in love with him. It was clear his family came first and our relationship did not stand the test of time - though we shared a very happy 9 years together!

    The one point I would like to make is that my parents had a very rocky marriage through my childhood. They eventually separated when I turned 17 - a target they had set themselves! Some might say this was the right thing to do - I don't. When I look back at my childhood, the only clear memories I have are bad ones ... being awoken in the night during one camping holiday by my parents screaming at each other (I don't recall the location or anything else about the holiday)... hearing a pain of glass on the front door smashing because my mother had slammed it so hard after my father .... hearing my slightly younger brother's muffled tears in the night whilst my parents had another 'discussion' .... being despatched to my grandparents for a weekend because my father had stormed off.. etc. etc. I know you are not behaving in this way, but kids know when something is not right. Honestly, I wish my parents had separated and I'd had quality times with both of them - who knows I might have good memories at the forefront now. Additionally, I found out some years later that my father had been having an affair for years. This really upset me - even though he went on the marry the woman in question and has now been married for 20 years and has just turned 70! (All this was a long time ago and it still hurts me).

    I really hope you both work things out and end up happy together - you deserve each other - you sound like such beautiful caring people.


  5. After reading both your posts, I can see how this would be an incredibly tough situation. For a while, we can be living this fantasy of "What if I was really with her," but then, we see that it's just fantasy as we're only getting time when we can find it.

    I'm not even going to begin to offer advice. I do hope things somehow work out, though.

  6. you guys are killing me. we're worried about you two. hope we'll chat soon.

  7. I just read this post and Jen's side as well. What a horrible situation to be in. :( Its so easy for other's to say "why doesn't he just leave" etc etc. (Thinking of the therapist here), but unless someone has been in the situation of having young children...I mean really, no ones knows what you are going through unless they've been through the same. Ugh, I have no advice or experience with this but god, I hate this for both of you. I really really hope you can both hang on until the time comes when you can both be together. Right where you belong. ((((HUGS))))

  8. Well guys, you know we (myself and Jack) both understand where you are. Time together is never enough for us, either. Once a week hardly cuts it anymore, and that has a lot to do with why I chose to go PT recently. That maneuver may cost me my job, but honestly, he is worth it. I think what helps us is that we are both in the same situation right now, though I see one crumbling before the other perhaps....and it's anyone's guess which one of us it will be. We are both supremely frustrated staying in our marriages. Just know you have us as friends, and we are rooting for you weather the storm. I believe you will! XO,



  10. Hey you two.

    In all the confused thoughts of what to do please do not lose track of the fact that you two have found something that many others go their whole life NEVER finding.

    How lucky and special is that~!

    Al & Loverboy

  11. I was in a similar situation and I had several young kids under the age of 10 but I could not live a lie and I made the tough decision to leave and get a divorce. By playing both sides of the fence without a plan you come off as someone who is getting their cake and eating it too. What happens when the facade is exposed (and it will happen no matter how careful you are)and your kids find out what has been going on. Maybe not now but in the future they will find out the truth if you continue this double that the kind of role model you want to be to them? All questions I had to ask myself and my answer was "no", that will not be my legacy to my children. Divorce is not fun but at least I could look myself and my kids in the eyes without the shadow of somebody I didn't want them to see lurking in the background. I am not saying you are not a man but you can't take a stand with either woman in your life. I feel sorry for Jen because from what I've read she deserves a strong man in her life, not one who uses her as the "other woman" and then goes home to his kids and wife no matter how "unloving" she might be.

    It is time to "man up" and decide how you want to live your life before you lose this wonderful woman.


Thanks for your thoughts... we always welcome them, negative or positive... so, fire away !