Hello again, Long Suffering Readers. I didn’t think my break from writing had been so long and then I look and see that it has been 4 months since my last update. My apologies to anyone who is a regular reader looking for updates (there’s only one… she knows who she is.)
So last month I had a bit an anniversary that I’d wanted to write about: it was the 1-year anniversary of me discovering her affair. (It’s been interesting, one of the things I’ve been oddly sensitive to have been these “milestones” and “anniversaries”–first holiday alone, anniversary of her telling me she wants a divorce, etc.). To be honest, it didn’t affect me as much as I thought it would. This is not to say that I’m “over it” in terms of the divorce, but I’ve just discovered that there are certain things that trigger anger about the divorce now and the milestones aren’t one of them.
As an example I will tell you a story:
“Aren’t you happy you’re now with someone who cares for you?”
Well, as I mentioned in the last post, in Jan I started dating someone whom I met online. She is a lovely girl whom I will call Johanna. Smart, sassy, funny, independent, professional, and good looking. Aside from some minor physical traits–she’s blonde, I almost always find myself smitten with auburn, red, or dark hair–I couldn’t have asked for a more compatible “dating resume” for a woman if I wrote it myself. Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, she likes me, respects, me and is into me. My “dry spell” ended in mid Jan, and without getting too graphic, her sexual appetite is like that of a teenager. It’s been so long since I’ve been with someone into me its hard to know what to do with it. In fact, I will probably save the awkward and ridiculous experience of “getting back in the saddle” for another post because it was, well, awkward and ridiculous.
And so there we were, Johanna and I, and I was feeling sad about some part of the divorce (probably related to something going on with one of my kids) when she asked me, “Aren’t you happy now that you’re with someone who cares for you? That you’re getting laid again?”
It’s a great question but has a complex answer that smells like: Not Exactly.
So, do I like that someone is into me again? Of course. Do I like getting laid again? Who wouldn’t. Am I happy I’m no longer feeling taken advantage of? Certainly. And yet, and this is probably hard to get if you haven’t gone through this, I wanted all this, but I wanted all this with my family. I would probably give all of those great positives up if it meant that I could spend each night with my daughters. I miss my girls. I see them as much as I can, but that is still only a fraction of the amount of time I used to be able to spend with them. And now Catherine is moving about 30 miles away so I don’t think this will get any easier with timing.
And again, to be clear, this doesn’t mean that I miss Catherine: I don’t. I miss my daughters, my house, my lifestyle; by lifestyle I mean: daily routine, my financial freedom, knowing that I was saving for my daughter’s college future, being able to host parties at my lovely home, all these things that I feel I’ve lost, or at the very lest, have taken a multi-year hiatus while I rebuild it again.
And it’s at those moments–the moments when I remember what I’ve lost–that I get angry. It’s not the anniversary of the affair discovery or those other milestones.
So, Henry, does this mean you’re still unhappy? Not necessarily so.
I would say 90% of my day I’m content. I get up, go to work, come home. Depending on the evening I either see my girls, see Joanna, or do one of my geeky hobbies. I’m actually happiest when I get to see the girls: firstly, because they’re my girls and I love them and genuinely enjoy their company and secondly due to the overwhelming (and unwarranted) guilt/sadness I feel on all the other days when I don’t get to see them. Not my fault or design, I know, but you can’t change how you’re wired. I’m their Dad and I feel like I’m missing out on a big part of their upbringing.
Anyway, apologies for the long time in between posts. I will try to do better over the summer.