What’s Been Going On? December

Feeling even worse, I wrote an entry about the darkness inside but again, I left it in my drafts, then I published an entry about how I almost opened up to my wife. At some point after the dark clouds started to clear, seemingly on their own, but I made sure to book another appointment with HT for right before Christmas just in case I started to have issues triggered by the holidays.

In the meantime, there was a big party that I was invited to and many of the people who’d be there, I hadn’t seen since during my separation. Carol wanted to come along, stating, “I know these people too!” but I didn’t want to bring her. HT told me that I should stand my ground and tell her I want to go alone, if that’s what I wanted to do. After all, I have to be independent and have my own time and Carol needs to understand that there are consequences to her actions.

I did and I didn’t want to go alone. I didn’t want to go alone because I would’ve liked to have a night out with Carol. She’s supposed to be my partner and there would be a whole bunch of other couples there too. On the other hand, I did want to go alone because I wanted to blow off some steam and because, well, some of the people knew what happened to varying degrees and I had no idea what they thought or knew about my current situation.

I was pissed off that I was even in this situation in the first place. Infidelity is the gift that keeps on giving. I used to be proud to bring Carol along and call her my wife and now I’m just embarrassed by her and what she did. And the last time I saw a bunch of these people, I was single and hurting and sharing the pain. I was open about what happened and was joking about my little excursion (see ‘my incident’) the night before with all the booze and antics and a woman whose name I didn’t even know at the time. I had plenty to say about what I thought of Carol and her loser affair partner. Now, I’d be seeing these people again and Carol wanted to come along? Clearly, she was clueless. Clearly she thought everything could just be swept under the rug.

So when I told her that I would be going to the party by myself and she asked, “Are you ashamed of me?”, I replied, “Yes”. I tried to take it back a little by hugging her and making jokes but I’m sure I had done damage with that remark. HT later shared her opinion about what I said but tried not to admonish me, understanding that it all still comes from a place of deep hurt.

My mother got wind of the party and tried to make it possible for Carol to go with me. I said ‘no’ enough times without explanation that eventually she gave up and dropped the subject.

At the party, no one made any mention or inquired about my relationship status. Everyone seemed friendly and were either unaware of my situation or very skilled at hiding their awareness (or maybe they just didn’t care). That was until Alex was drunk enough to start letting things slip. First, he provided details of our wild night out to another party goer, omitting some important specifics (thankfully), stating he’ll, “leave it to Jack to explain further if he wants.” I chose not to add to the conversation, and the subject changed shortly after. I wasn’t too bothered by that moment but as the night came to a close, Alex, as usual, had a lot of booze in him.

My brother and his wife were my last chance of hitching a ride home and they were leaving soon. I decided I wanted to stay at the party for longer as I was having a great time, but as they were at the door getting their coats on, I suddenly changed my mind and decided to leave. Alex asked me why I wanted to leave all of the sudden.

“It’s getting late and I want to be able to get up in the morning and hang out with my kids,” I told him.

“Your wife can take care of the kids. You can stay and party and if she thinks she’s got something to say about it, then-”

“Alex, I want to go home. I want to spend time with my kids. She’s not making me do anything.”

“She better not be, because you should be allowed to do whatever you want and if she’s got a problem with that, she’ll have to answer to me!” Alex was very drunk.

“Look, I’m fine. Everything’s under control. I want to go home. I don’t want to be out so late that I’ll be too tired and hungover to spend time with my family. This is my choice. No one is forcing me to do it,” I replied.

My brother and I continued to say our goodbyes to the multitude of drunk and high party goers as we stood at the door. I heard a commotion nearby and saw Alex crying as he spoke loudly to my sister-in-law who had found herself in the kitchen area of the house while saying her goodbyes. I walked up to him and asked what the problem is.

“You know what the problem is!” Alex cried.

“For the last time, I know what I’m doing and I’ve got everything under control. What are you saying to (sister-in-law)?”

“I’m not saying anything specific, but I’m sure she knows what I’m really talking about.”

“Chill out. We don’t need to bring this up right now,” I spoke quietly but anger was creeping in to my words.

“I just don’t want to see you get hurt,” Alex replied.

“I appreciate your concern but I am fine,” I said with an expression that hopefully conveyed the message to ‘shut up’.

Alex only got worse as the conversation continued so I walked away and soon after, I was out the door and on my way home. He was obviously still up and drinking when I got the text messages of apologies at around 4:00am. I didn’t reply and haven’t spoken to him since.

I saw HT and told her about Alex’s bizarre (but typical, for him) behaviour. She offered some advice, but honestly, I don’t know what to do about him. We are from different worlds. I’m straight and have a wife and kids, he’s gay and living out the crazy partying single days that he missed out on when he was younger and in the closet. He is loud and dramatic, I’m quiet and reserved.

Earlier during the party when we were scattered across multiple locations, Alex texted me: “I liked you better when you were single.” Yeah, I get that. Because that was the only similarity that got us to connect as friends once. When I was single, his lifestyle of bar hoping and wild and crazy antics were just what I needed to work through some of the suffering I was experiencing at the time. Our lives kind of overlapped in one small way just that one time. It’s sad, in a way. Hurting as I was, I felt alive during that wild time. I felt free.

The cost of that freedom, though. That really sucked.

Christmas was pretty good. I have no complaints. I love having family around, even if I don’t always engage with them. My son is fast approaching his teen years and he’s getting moody so it was nice to see him so happy at Christmas. He’s growing up, but still does some kid things and that makes me happy to see. At his age, I was shamed at Christmas for being into a few kid things still. My son does not have to feel like I did, you don’t have to drop the playing and immature fun around me. Enjoy your life and youth. My boy still gives hugs and I don’t want that to ever stop like it did with my parents and I. I might have to give him shit a lot for sitting on his butt all day or not listening or doing his chores, but I’m so happy he’s mine and I’m so proud of him. He’s creative, cool, fun, and silly.

For all the things in my life that I struggle with, at least there are the two wonderful blessings that are my children.

3 thoughts on “What’s Been Going On? December

  1. JTB,
    Sounds really hard. You are not alone. Everything you are going through is normal. Though it feels yuck. I totally see your POV. I think Alex, his heart is in the right place but probably the booze didn’t do anything to help matters. Sounds like he truly just doesn’t want to see you get cheated on again. Who would. Although he is a loyal friend, he would be best to let you deal with your own personal life and also keep things out of the public domain.

    For me, the first time I got cheated on was by my son’s father JE. His affair partner was a woman in the next small town over from ours. I was always afraid of crossing paths with her at the grocery store. I wanted to stay with him as I now realize, not out of love but rather some weird primal territorial thing. Like the cat that sprays to marks it’s turf. I was hormonal I was still post-partum. Our son was only 6 months old. Damned if some woman was going to pluck my newborns father away was my best thinking then.

    Now, I realize you can’t steal what isn’t yours. I saw her as the culprit. The villain. The seductress. It was too painful to realize that he left of his own accord. That maybe I wasn’t enough for him. That maybe there he had intimacy issues. Maybe he did. Maybe I did. Maybe we did. I had a BA in psychology at the time. How could I miss something? I didn’t want to see what I wasn’t ready to see. Especially, the stuff in me.

    We went to two couples counselors. However, by the time our son was 2 I was never able to trust JE again. I could never get rid of the “what if’s.” What if he cheats again? What if he never stopped seeing that woman?

    I found out he had started seeing someone new. My BFF worked in IT and told me to check the cookies on his pc. At the time I never knew what that was. Sure enough there was an email account I never knew about. I guessed the password, the security question was: “what is your cats name“. There were all the emails. I moved out and ended our relationship.

    I wonder how does anyone get past the what if’s? Why did I remain suspicious? There are people that are able to heal and recover their relationship after infidelity. What is it about me that prevented this? I wish I could have been one of those lucky ones.

    JE had bought me a dozen red roses. He even purchased me a $10,000 ring. There was no way I could have known what he was up to prior to me snooping around. It was just my gut feeling. Something just didn’t feel right.

    I dunno. Sorry I wrote too much.

    Great post! I always learn something from your posts. I so appreciate when you share and thank you for being vulnerable!


    Liked by 2 people

    1. I loved this ‘ Now, I realize you can’t steal what isn’t yours. I saw her as the culprit. The villain. The seductress. It was too painful to realize that he left of his own accord. That maybe I wasn’t enough for him. That maybe there he had intimacy issues. Maybe he did. Maybe I did. Maybe we did. I had a BA in psychology at the time. How could I miss something? I didn’t want to see what I wasn’t ready to see. Especially, the stuff in me‘
      So many people struggle with this, so many people struggle to reflect on it all, including themselves, and personally I believe that really is the key. R ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jack, I have been off grid for some time this year, lots of changes in my/ our lives so must catching up. Perhaps Alex saw in you a compadre new to singledom (it can be a frightening place, even if you have finally come out of the closet). Safety in numbers. You reconciled but that is, not available to Alex because he cannot reconcile with a person he was not. I have experienced this type of behaviour from people, where they are struggling and they don’t want to believe that you are okay, they want to believe that the right place for you is where they are. Back to safety in numbers. I think you did the right thing going to the party alone, although you love Carol, having your own space is so important. R ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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