Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why Let it Go?

We apologize for taking so long to bring you up to date regarding our relationship, but things kind of took on a life of their own and unforeseen complications made us put the blog on a back burner for a bit. Let me bring you up to speed.

Early in our relationship Mark's Mom had been complaining of back pain. On Dec.23rd Mark got the call from his sister that it was cancer. So despite having to deal with all the other issues at hand, he was also doing the Dr./chemo thing with his Mom. Early test results after the first round of chemo seemed promising, so we had great hope.

As so often happens with this dreadful disease, it made it's comeback with a vengeance and Mark's poor Mom began to falter. Not eating, long bouts of just sleeping, constant pain and his poor Dad who appears in the early stages of some sort of dementia, unable to remember from day to day that his poor wife was dying. This all came to a head right after our break up as she became so weak she entered the Hospice facility. Mark was with her every free moment, along with his family. We have often stated that over this last year, we have not just become lovers, but each others best friend. Mark has lost contact with most of his good friends over the years because the wife felt his time with them was “ruining the marriage”. We still needed and wanted to share our good and bad moments, especially this turn of events.. so, we stayed in touch as he kept me updated.

The days following the break up were brutal for both of us. I cried most of the weekend.. wavering between how much I missed him and how I felt I was doing the best thing for him and for me. How could this be right if it felt so bad? The big picture of giving him his family back was getting harder to see. Days went on... we kept in touch via IM or text as his Mom became less responsive, Mark began to realize that she may not survive this much longer, all of this just days after our break up.

Now...add to that .. I started having 'female' problems. At 50 I was hoping I was done with this stuff, but.. not me. . I thought these problems were just due to the stress of all that was going on but finally after chatting with Mark I gave in and made an appointment with my Gyn. I came to find some heartbreaking and disturbing news and I had no one I wanted to talk to more than my best friend. We finally decided to see each other and made a date for lunch the next day..

I wasn't sure what to expect when I saw him, but I knew my heart was pounding in my chest in anticipation. We were going through so many different emotional loops between the break up, his mother and my issues. I was outside as his car pulled up.. and the minute he walked out of the car and toward me.. I couldn't keep myself from wrapping my arms around him for one of my favorite Mark hugs. No fear, no doubts, no cares or concerns … all I knew was, this is the best place in the world to be and nothing felt more right. As we sat and talked, it wasn't long before we talked about the promises we made... the year long plan and our future to be together. My therapist said I had lost that sparkle in my eyes.. but, being with Mark for that first time in awhile made everything all right. .

Mark's Mom passed away a few days ago.. and I know he is grieving and needs his family around him.. I know that my being there for him then and now helped to make this a tiny bit easier.. but, now we get back to life. We are back to “US” for we both realized that when we are together...

All is right with the world.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Can You Stop the Rain?

Now where did we leave off? Ahhhh yes ... that Monday night when I had "the talk" with The Wife. Well, the attempted talk, that is. And still no resolution on the status of our so-called marriage.

So as Jen described in her post, I kept her abreast of what was going on through a series of texts that night. And while I could tell she truly felt my pain - as she had lived through nights like these so many times with her ex -- I still knew in my heart that this would likely be the straw that broke the camels back ... That finally pushed her over the edge and to the point where she would say "I just can't take it any more". And of course -- as is well-documented in my posts here -- with her appointment with her therapist looming only 3 days away, I just knew it would get worse long before it would have any chance to get better.

So a couple days - Tuesday and Wednesday -- were spent on pins and needles. There really was no sense in wallowing in small talk and relationship building, since Therapy Thursday would render all that meaningless anyway. So we bode our time until her appointment that mid-Thursday afternoon.

And I waited ... and waited ... the appointment came and went and I monitored my Yahoo IM account at work waiting for her to come online, not really being able to focus on anything work-related. And eventually, there she appeared. We chatted briefly online, then she called me.. And for awhile we talked about anything BUT what was said in her session, making mostly small talk about some problems she was having with her swimming pool.

But as the conversation waned, I knew there was no point in delaying the inevitable. I asked "So I understand if you don't want to talk about this now or on the phone, but we're going to have to eventually. How did your appointment go?"

And then I could her her sniffling, the tears, and the pain in her crackling voice when she finally said "I think I'm going to have to take a break from all this .. I just can't take this anymore..."

And from there the conversation continued for awhile, but we knew as we spoke that this would probably be the last time we talked ... So we hung on -- for quite awhile .. But finally, our goodbye's were said ...

And the phone clicked.... And the IM account went dark. And the cell phone didn't vibrate anymore ..

I made my way through the rest of that Thursday late-afternoon better than I expected, having a million other things to distract me that early evening, but finally I found myself alone in my car driving home from a youth baseball meeting. And to keep my mind off everything, I was listening to the NBA Draft on my SiriusXM satellite radio. But then - like a fool - I pushed the preset for the Love Channel .. And when Peabo Bryson's "Can You Stop the Rain" started to play, it finally hit me all at once ...

Baby, can you stop the rain from falling?
Won't you chase my clouds away?
I'd give anything to see the sun again,
Only you can stop these tears from falling

Only then did I realize ... she's gone .... And I sobbed uncontrollably the rest of the drive home.

Thursday turned to Friday .. which turned to Saturday ... and then?

Funny thing, those clouds started breaking up....

Monday, July 19, 2010

One year ago today...

Yes, July 19th, 2009 .... I threw caution to the wind, opened my wallet, and spent 5 credits on this AM message to a certain Wide Eyed Wonder .... The rest of course, is history.

Subject: The only words that you can hear, is when I whisper in your ear...

I was just reading your profile, and those words popped into my head from Herman's Hermit's "Kind of Hush".. But it's probably a little early in our relationship to finish the lyric to that line, don't you think? HAH!!!!

So anyway, how is your search going here on Ashley? I've had limited success, and by success I mean a handful of email exchanges. Nothing more than that... Hopefully, I have better luck this time.

Anyway, I'm married of course and looking to stay that way, but there is a heck of a lot missing at home, both physically and emotionally. But you've probably heard that story before, haven't you? But no matter what, every situation is unique, so I'd love to tell you my story someday. And more than that, I'd like to hear yours. Hopefully you'll respond to my message and we can be on our merry way. I'm very responsive to emails as I'm near a computer almost 24 hours a day, so I'd enjoy hearing more from you. And I'd be more than happy to provide you a pic after an email or two, just till I can convince myself you're not a) my neighbor, b) my wife -- UGH!!! or c) the woman that works in the office next to me. Yeah, maybe I'm a little paranoid, but you never know with these things!!!

Hope you're having a good day, and I hope to hear more from you.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Just don't give up, I'm working it out...Please don't give in, I won't let you down"

These words really hit home... especially now...

Hey, slow it down whataya want from me
Whataya want from me
Yeah I'm afraid whataya want from me
Whataya want from me

There might have been a time
When I would give myself away
Oooh once upon a time I didn't give a damn
But now, here we are so whataya want from me
Whataya want from me

Just don't give up I'm workin it out
Please don't give in, I won't let you down
It messed me up, need a second to breathe
Just keep coming around
Hey, whataya want from me
Whataya want from me
Whataya want from me

Yeah, it's plain to see (plain to see)
that baby you're beautiful
And there's nothing wrong with you
(nothing wrong with you)
It's me, I'm a freak (yeah)
but thanks for lovin' me
Cause you're doing it perfectly
(it perfectly)

There might have been a time
When I would let you slip away
I wouldn't even try
But I think you could save my life

Just don't give up I'm workin' it out
Please don't give in, I won't let you down
It messed me up, need a second to breathe
Just keep comin around
Hey, whataya want from me (Whataya want from me)
Whataya want from me (Whataya want from me)

Just don't give up on me
(uuuuuuh) I won't let you down
No, I won't let you down

(So hey) just don't give up
I'm workin it out
Please don't give in,
I won't let you down
It messed me up (It messed me up)
Need a second to breathe
Just keep coming around
Hey, whataya want from me

Just don't give up I'm workin' it out
Please don't give in, i won't let you down
It messed me up, need a second to breathe
Just keep coming around
Hey, whataya want from me (whataya want from me)
whataya want from me (whataya want from me)
whataya want from me

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Monday mornin' couldn't guarantee.....

That Monday evening, you would still be here with me...

- Mama's and the Papa's (showing my age)

First off.. many thanks to our "friends" who have offered advice and words of support either via email or comment. It really does mean a whole lot to both of us. We have come to see how lucky we are to have so many folks who truly care about what becomes of us. We will continue to keep you updated but we still have that week to tell you about...

That Monday...( from my end.)

We both already told you about Mark's terrible Father's Day. I received texts from him all day saying how miserable he was, how upset his youngest was, and how it was still only midafternoon by that point. I of course felt so bad for him.. and yet, so helpless. I just reminded him how much I loved him and if he needed me.. I was a phone call away.

Our Monday lunch was in our favorite park, in our favorite spot.. on our blanket. We have spent many an hour there this past year... getting to know each other, kissing, talking, laughing and yes, even eating. The feel of this day was so very different. He wasn't his usual happy self. The day before had def sent some wheels in motion and I didn't know what to think. I certainly didn't sit down on that blanket that day thinking, this may be the last time I see him.

But, as the conversation began.. and he told me of the sobbing of his daughter as the wife and he fought.. and how he realized what a different person he had become. At that point, my heart sank. He used to tell me he was a different person with me than at home.. but, that I saw the good side of Mark.. At home, he was quiet and careful not to say or do anything to set things off. He and 'the wife' seldom talked about anything he said.. but, he and I talked about everything. Suddenly, I felt the hammer drop. He wasn't happy. He hurt seeing his child in pain.. and he didn't like fighting back and making that happen. Mark is much like I was in my marriage.. the peacekeeper. Don't make waves.. just make sure everyone thinks everything is ok, and maybe it will be.

What do I say? From the tone of the conversation, this was going to end poorly for me. I could feel the “I can't leave my kids” coming from his mouth.. although he couldn't form the words to say it. I kept saying, 'you won't lose your kids.. they will always be your kids'.. but, when he said.. “Allison (middle child) still comes to kiss me goodnight every night” with tears in his eyes... I knew, I was foolish to keep fighting. I cried as I told him that, I needed to stop this then. I couldn't continue to hurt him, his kids and even his wife or myself. I felt like it was what he wanted to hear. No more feeling guilty about me or them. I was freeing him... for what I felt was a life of misery.. or a pretend life of happiness... BUT, I was sure it was what he wanted.

Then again, maybe I was wrong. He begged me to give him time to talk to her. He promised that he was finally ready to ask her what she wanted of him .. of them. He was hoping I am sure that she would say.. “I want you to move out”.. but, we all knew that wasn't coming. She stands to lose too much. So, yes... she deflected the whole conversation to what HE was doing to make them miserable.

The sad thing is... he bought in to it. Blamed himself for their terrible marriage because he has emotionally checked out after years of unhappiness. His last text came to me at about 1am... my heart broke for him as I read it.. it was so apparent how drained he was. I heard the beep of my phone and opened my eyes to see:

“I wish I were dead”

I cried myself back to sleep.

Friday, July 9, 2010

It's so funny, how we don't talk anymore...

Cliff Richard.... Wow .. that's really reaching back .. Into the 70s, I think.

As you may recall from my last post, Jen suggested it was time for me to sit down with The Wife and have "the talk" -- the "what do you want from me and where is this marriage going?" talk. Now Jen has been urging me to do this for a while now -- not just for her own peace of mind, but for mine as well. So the Monday after the Father's Day Debacle, I decided that time had come and I would talk to her that evening after the kids went to bed.

And one thing leads to another that afternoon and evening, one distraction after another, and the next thing you know I'm snoring away on my bed by 9pm. The talk still hasn't happened. But around 11:30 I awake to find her yelling at me over some non-nonsensical minutiae, and despite being exhausted beyond words, I knew I had to initiate "The Talk".

It's at this point I'd like to harken back on a comment that our good friend nitebyrd made to my previous post: "I hope that your wife will not just hear your words to her but will also listen to you". Well, THAT turned out to be a complete fantasy. I started the conversation with a "We've got to talk .. We have some REAL problems here..." and was hoping that she'd have one ounce of sympathy in her to say "Yeah, you're right -- what's the end game here?" or something to that effect, but no .. she immediately adopted a confrontational position. Ain't no "listening" going on here. I tried to be calm .. I tried to be rationale .. I tried to discuss things like an adult ... but she would have none of THAT. Everything was thrown back in my face -- how miserable I've been lately, how emotionally removed I had been from the family for quite some time -- all the things I KNOW I had admittedly become were just being rehashed and regurgitated back at me without one concern whatsoever as to WHY I had been acting that way. And when I tried to explain .. when I made remarks like "You know, you are the one and only person in this whole world that I simply can not talk to .. not even have a conversation with .. its been that way for years", she would have none of that. She could have cared less about the root cause of the problem -- all she knew was that I was the one that was going to have to change. And this confrontation went on for well over an hour. By 1am I was exhausted, both physically and emotionally, and had to get to sleep.

And STILL .. no resolution. Nothing had changed... And now my focus was how was I going to explain this to Jen? I didn't have the answer I was looking for .. Jen certainly wasn't going to have the answer SHE was looking for .... AND ....

...the appointment with her therapist was looming just two days away. I was wound tighter than a drum. I was beaten down physically and emotionally over a 48 hour period and I knew .. I just KNEW .. that the week was going to get worse.

And my instincts were spot on.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

So many tears I've cried, so much pain inside

...but baby it ain't over 'till it's over. Lenny Kravitz.

Well, by now you've all heard what's transpired over the past couple of weeks between Jen and I. And I want to take the time to thank everyone for their heartfelt thoughts, kind words and yes -- even the "I told you so's" Some of the emails Jen received have been incredible, not only in their length but in how much thought and emotion was put into them . .. Jen passed many of them along to me, as so many of the comments were about my family situation and how many of you have gone through similar trials and tribulations at home with the spouse and kids.

But here's an attempt to tell my side of the story over what happened a couple of weeks ago ... As Jen explained, it all started when The Wife made my Father's Day absolutely miserable when she started a fight over an incredibly minor event in the car on the way home from my daughter's soccer game. She was screaming at me, I returned the favor, and my daughter got terribly upset over the whole thing. I never saw her react like this .. she was just sobbing uncontrollably over seeing her parents carry on like that and her crying continued on long after we arrived home.

That shook me ... I slumped in a chair in the garage and texted Jen, telling her World War III had just erupted. Jen was upset that my Father's Day was ruined and I was livid that the wife had let such a minor transgression (answering the cell phone while driving) ruin the entire day. And then it got me thinking. Yes, the wife is brutally overbearing, controlling and downright intolerable. And screaming at me or the kids at the top of her lungs is status quo -- just another day at the office.. But the difference this time was how I reacted, screaming right back at her. Despite the fact it was well deserved and a long time coming, still and all it was out of character for me .. And it started me thinking about how outside of my time spent with Jen, how irritable and downright miserable I've become over the past month or so.

Like I've said before -- I've put myself in a position where I'm not making anyone happy. I try to move heaven and earth to see Jen each and every day, and while successful 90% of the time it still isn't enough. Not for her and not for me as well. You see, I WANT to spend more time with her and each and every time I'm with the family doing this and that I find my mind wandering, thinking about how much I want to be with her. And because I want to be elsewhere, in the here-and-now I've become incredibly irritable, snapping back at the wife (never the kids) whether she deserves it or not. (Editors Note: she usually does). So the wife's sure not happy with me, and neither is Jen.. The wife certainly notices my mood changes, as I've become quite a different person at home since I met Jen. So now on this Father's Day, it's all coming to a head ... I have no idea the person I've become, and it's all crashing down around me..

So I meet Jen for lunch the next day, and sure enough she can tell I'm not myself. My mind is still on the Father's Day Debacle, and she can sense I'm troubled by everything -- not only with my home life, but my relationship with her. So we both agree -- I've got to sit down and talk with the wife that night and find out where this marriage is going. What does she want from me? What do I want from her? All the questions that have burning inside me .. .burning inside Jen .. it was time to bring that all out on the table....

And what happened that night set off a whole series of events that ultimately culminated in that fateful, post-therapy phone call from Jen when she tearfully told me "I think I need to take a break from all this..."

And thus, the "breakup". Quotes intentional.

More to come ...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Within you, without you....

"and life flows on within you and without you" George Harrison

It's been rather quiet you may have noticed.

Things took a rather sharp right turn in the "saga of Mark and Jen"... notably.. a break down and break up.

I have been on this tumultuous ride.. emotionally. As Mark always says.. 'our high are high but, our lows are low.' It's been stated before how lonely I get and despite Marks efforts to make some time for me everyday.. the alone time, especially when the weather starts to get nice, gets harder.

You want to be out in the park with your guy, at the outdoor concerts, strolling along the river, hanging out with your friends in the backyard around a fire with a beer. This time of year is very exhausting for Mark.. he is involved in so many of his kids activities (and his children are very active) meaning, he is running morning til night. Add to that the fact that his job is stressful and his Mom is very ill and the man is carrying a heavy load. Now, also in the plus column.. put a girlfriend who wants more of your time and this whole equation gets almost impossible to solve... way too many variables.

The decision for us to take a break came after he had a rough Father's Day. I won't get into specifics but "the wife" made the day miserable for him... He texted me several times saying what a terrible day it was. My heart sank.. but, helpless all I could do was offer kind words and an ear. I thought he had reached a breaking point.

We spent the next day on our blanket having lunch and chatting about the past week and the events of the previous day. My emotional state has been on a sense of high alert for awhile... and an upcoming therapy appointment always adds to my anxiety. She knows of my affair and after having seen me through my terrible marriage and helping me be strong enough to get out of that.. she certainly feels I am sabotaging my life and setting myself up for major heartbreak. Therefore, I get very wound up for days before I know I am seeing her.

Let's fast forward and save you ALL the torrid details...
Monday.. the blanket session ended with tears and me accusing Mark of never being able to leave if after that Fathers Day fiasco.. he could still walk back into the house everyday like nothing happened. He asked for a day to talk to her.. and see if she wanted out as much as he did. I agreed to that. The "talk" turned into a battle and she just ran him over.. but, pretty much summed it up as.. let's just get along for the kids.
Tuesday ... nothing.. Mark is still reeling and trying to sort this all out.
Wednesday... I take the day off to work on some house stuff.. which also turns out to be impossible and expensive. In frustration and tears... I leave the house for hours to sit in a park and watch people, couples and families... enjoy life.
Thursday... we have an incredible morning together.. making love for hours before we have to head off to work. My afternoon appointment looming.

It ends badly. My therapist makes so many points I can't counter or defend. Am I crazy? Affairs are so much easier when they are about the sex.. but.. when the heart takes over.. they don't work. Marks LIFE is at home.. with his "wife" and 3 kids.. and I don't fit in anywhere there. I look terrible.. I feel terrible. Emotionally and physically.. I am drained and so is he. I need to give him back to them.. and move on.

SO, Thursday.. that was the decision I made.
Never did I imagine how hard that would be.