Why am I the Chump?

So, last week, I posted a blog that sparked a reader to suggest that I read Surviving Infidelity and Chump Lady. I wanted to follow up on that. If I am to understand, the suggestion to read Chump Lady, which I did, means that I am considered a Chump.

Urban Dictionary has several meanings for the word Chump.

Chump-1. Someone who doesn’t understand the basics of life on earth. Confused easily.

I feel like I do understand the basics of life, it is my husband who doesn’t. I don’t find I’m confused easily, I was repeatedly told lies by my husband and because I wanted to have faith in him, I believed what he said.

Chump-2.

A stupid or gullible person.

Okay…at times I feel a little stupid and gullible for the lies I believed. Honestly, I didn’t believe a lot that he said, my gut instinct was on high alert. I could read his body language but I didn’t trust myself enough to call him out on his bullshit without concrete evidence.

Chump-3.

A sucka that tries to act cool, but really is a fool and tries to act tough, but really isn’t.

I don’t try to act cool, but I might be a fool. I don’t try to act tough but I’ve been told that I’m not always easily approachable by new people. A lot of that has to do with me not trusting anyone. Many of my family and friends have become very judgemental about my decision to work on saving our marriage. I believe that they don’t have the knowledge to make that decision unless they themselves have been lied to and cheated on. I was super judgy myself until it happened to me, I took a step back and time to evaluate, and came to the conclusion that for now, I’m content to remain committed to trying to salvage our marriage and twenty-five years of a life we’ve built. Yes, I feel bitter and angry, sometimes. Other times, I’m happy with my decision and so is he. He said he didn’t think that I loved him, but now he sees that I truly did. Not that he was using the lack of feeling as a reason to cheat, he just saw that I wasn’t going to just give up on him and walk away. I’ve had to develop a tough outer skin, especially when people who used to be my friends called my husband a douche or a dick and a lot worse. I didn’t think a true friend would try to berate him whilst knowing I was staying in the marriage and trying to not think that he was a douche or a dick because of his cheating.

Chump-4.

Someone who is really thick. They are easily duped, tricked, and taken in by others. A gullible person. Also, someone who relies on weather.com

I can’t even…really? ”Someone who relies on weather.com” Insert…*eye roll*

Collins Informal definition of Chump

A foolish, stupid or gullible person; dupe or fool.

Over the course of the last four years, at one time or another, I have felt ALL of those things. I haven’t let them resonate with me, I chose to change the way I looked at the situation. I know that I wasn’t feeling these ways because of anything I had done, that none of his actions should have spilled over onto me or make me believe that any of it was my fault. I think he was the Chump, he had a great life. He had a wife who cared for and supported him, children who wanted to spend time with him but it was his foolish, stupidity that almost ended it all.

I don’t think the Chump Lady has it right by any means, I feel like, maybe, she hasn’t been able to forgive the fool who cheated on her. The only advice she seemed to have was don’t be a Chump, get a divorce. I didn’t read a lot of her blog but felt that I read enough to know if I continued to read it would send me into second guessing my decisions. I want to believe people can change and that once a cheater doesn’t mean always a cheater. If your husband or wife have chosen to cheat they are the ”Chump”, not you. You are a smart, kind and forgiving person if you’ve decided that your marriage deserves a second, third or however many chances YOU decide to give them. If you have decided on working through the tough times, good for you, don’t let judgemental people make you feel that you are stupid for staying. You really have to do what works for you, staying worked for me so I’m going to act tough and continue to roll with that.

ps. If you google chump the images that coincide with it are a tonne of Trump memes. Go figure…insert *eye roll*

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Mind-field

I’ve talked about the triggers that set me off into analyzing and overthinking everything that happens between my husband and me. A trigger being something that takes me back to a time when I felt like he was lying to me but I couldn’t be sure. One of the triggers is his flight school classes. He told me that he wanted to learn to fly a plane. At that point in our lives, our children are still fairly young and I feel like this is just more time for himself instead of using that time to interact with his kids. It could be an evening for him to run someone to hockey, and watch the game or practice. It could be an evening where he baths our youngest, reads him a story and gets him ready for bed or it could be an evening where he shows up to the pool to watch our daughter swim, which he never did. Most of all it could be an evening for me to not have to juggle to do all three things myself. He doesn’t see it that way. He felt he did nothing but work all the time and this would have been time for him to do something just for him. He never let me have that luxury, and according to him, running kids here and there wasn’t part of HIS program. So let me get this straight…because I am the stay at home parent it is my sole responsibility to parent our children? He went to flight school and I went to the pool, a hockey game and did bedtime for the baby.

He didn’t complete his flying hours to obtain his license because his affairs got in the way. Well, that’s how I see it because it definitely wasn’t because of the kids or I getting in his way.

Over the last couple of weeks, work for him has been slow so he has decided to get back into flying, finish his lessons and get in his hours of training so he can get his licence. This sets me off. I know in the past that he wasn’t always flying when he was supposed to be. He constantly tells me there isn’t anyone else but I somehow cannot train my brain to think otherwise. I’ve heard that too many times only to be disappointed when I find out otherwise. So because alarms have been triggered I start looking. I look at his Facebook, I check pockets, I pay attention to the late night text messages and genuinely feel like a crazy person. In his Facebook, I see newly added women friends who I do not know, so I ask him who they are. His defences go up and he’s giving me grief over giving him grief over these women he has become friends with. One of the women had asked him at one point if he would be interested in having an affair with her because she heard that he was having trouble in his marriage. Boom!!She shouldn’t have even received a friend acceptance. Another one is a girl who his company does business with, and she flirts with him over a counter. Why do you feel the need to be friends with her? She is, like most people on Facebook, hardly an acquaintance. No need to request her friendship. The third woman I throw at him, he smirks a little and says he met her when he spent so much time in the Chicago airport on his way to breaking up with Marjorie. Hmmm…let’s just pick up another one on the way to breaking up with the other one. He says to me ”Why would I be friends with them on Facebook, where you can see everything and they can see I am married?” Hiding things in plain sight is the best place for them to be missed, I say and just because your status is set to ”married” doesn’t mean anything to some women. Especially the one who knows that you have ”marriage troubles” anyway. He says to me he has too much on his brain right now to deal with this, meaning my anxiety and begins to list off everything he has got going on. So what he has going on automatically voids whatever I have going on in my brain right now. That response is just as good as throwing fuel on a fire. I stop talking, take out my contacts, brush my teeth, get ready for bed, crawl in, curl up on my side and close my eyes. Shut down mode has commenced. He doesn’t realize or try to recognize that I need help to get over the ocean of lies that he created. I need answers, I need a schedule, and I need to know that this isn’t the beginning of another woman coming into our lives again. I can’t tell him enough about what I need because I don’t want to feel this way. I want it to stop. I want to feel safe and secure in my decision to keep going in this relationship. It’s hard because before when everything was still going on with Linda and Marjorie he would tell me it was all over, over for good and then I’d get slammed with the hard facts that no it wasn’t. So that is also, always circling in the overthinking compartment of my brain.

I hate that I overthink everything, I notice little things moved in a large space, I feel every vibe that comes from everyone. My kids don’t even try to lie to me because they know they can’t get away with it.

I had a very close sister-like friendship end because she couldn’t tell me the truth. I asked her if we were okay because she seemed to be avoiding me, although she says she wasn’t, she was. It was a lie, there was something bothering her but she wouldn’t admit it and sadly for me, the friendship pretty much ended. She was my person when everything started going south, she was who listened and offered advice.

I wish I could find a way to quit making my husband feel like a criminal and me the police. It would be nice if I could give him a manual to read so he would know the do’s and don’ts with me. Sometimes it feels like he’s stomping through a field of landmines around me and it’s all I can do to not curl into a tight ball with my head and ears covered, just so I don’t have to see or feel anything. It would be nice if I could explain to him how to be more careful and communicate better so we have fewer of these times when I start going off on him, in his mind, without reason.

Words are just Words

My daughter said to me “Mom, you never tell us that you love us.” Does she know every day my heart hurts because I love them so much? The constant worry that as young adults off on their own, and hoping they make good life choices, that’s love. I say to her that words don’t mean much to me, that they are just words. I tell her that I prefer to show her that I love her. I spend time in her bedroom cleaning it, putting fresh sheets on her bed, or flowers in her room when she comes home for a visit. I do her laundry while she is with us, and make a point of cooking her favourite things to eat. I tag her in funny memes to make her laugh on days when she might be missing home, to let her know I’m thinking of her and miss her too. I tell her that there are so many other ways that I tell her I love her.

She doesn’t understand how hurt by her dad I have been and although he says he loves me, I don’t feel it, they are just words he says because he doesn’t know how to show me all the time. I don’t feel it because he had two other relationships with other women one that was just sex and the other I know he loved. He didn’t show me, love. He told me lies and continued to live his life without any regard for our marriage, me or our family. That is not loving. He tries a little harder to make me feel his love. He senses the anxiety days, even though I try to not let them show. He holds me tighter at night because he knows it helps to shut my brain down and stop the overthinking it tends to do in the quiet hours. He has tried harder in the last year because he knows I was slipping away from him and I wasn’t going to be there, or love him any longer. He feels my love, he wasn’t completely sure he wanted it to be something he had to live without so he’s decided to make changes in his life.

I love my kids with my whole being and have made them the centre of my life. I miss them when they are not with me, and feel happy when all of them are home. I ask my daughter ”Do you love your brothers?” She rolls her eyes and with that, I know the answer, that yes she does. I ask her ”Do you tell them? Do you say to them that you love them? Do they tell you that they love you?” She’s waiting for me to make my point. I tell her that without realizing it, the time they spend together when they are all home shows their affection for each other, it shows in the Facetime calls they make time for in their busy lives when they are apart, and the group texts between them. My heart swells, and tears cloud my vision because I did my job, I raised them to be caring people and that even long after I’m gone that they will still find time for each other.

At the airport, as she leaves me to go back to school, I hug her long and tight, I try to hide my tears because I’m going to miss her but she catches them, raises her finger to my cheek, brushes a tear away and says ”I love you, too”

Trust

Just so you know when trust is broken…it’s gone. Gone for good? That I don’t know. So many things don’t add up for me. I feel like I’m constantly running numbers in my head, trying to make 2+2=4, but it keeps coming up 10. If honesty is something that was practiced, then trust would eventually start to re-appear, I think, but lies are still being told. Secrets still being held and it just doesn’t help. I am told that he’s being good but should I believe that when he’s still telling me lies?

To see if he would tell me the truth, I asked “How long did things carry on with Linda after I found out? Did it end right then or what?” I had found a picture date stamped for almost a year after it was supposed to have ended, with his hand on her breast. His response was I talked to her but that was it, nothing else. Well okay, then whose tits are your hand on almost a year later? If it ended when you say it did, then there must have been another woman, who was she? His response…there was no other woman it was Linda. I just shake my head because I feel like he’ll never be honest, and wonder has he ever been honest? What else has he lied to me about that would leave me feeling small and crushed and stupid? He feels angry and pissed off, I can tell, when I find things out that he doesn’t want me to know. I don’t know why he hasn’t figured out yet, that for me, if he was to just have come clean and said it lasted until whatever it was that finally severed the tie, then that would been better. That would have been one step toward trust but…he chose the step back. He also chose to hide his old phone, so there must be more secrets in it that he doesn’t want me to know, another step back.

I feel closed off. He’s not the only one I don’t trust anymore, there are a lot of people who I used to talk to that I just don’t because they lost my trust. The people who were the closest are now the furthest away and I don’t let them in, and I have no desire to know how they are or what they’ve been doing. It baffles me though that he’s the one who cheated and lied, and still lies but I still allow him to be near me. It makes me so mad to think about all he’s done to damage our relationship but yet it still survives. The anger comes and goes, it’s part of the grieving process. Sometimes he’s around for it, and sometimes I get to just rage alone until I feel better. He says he just wants to forget and move on, it’s not that easy for me because I feel like a second choice that he didn’t really choose. I told him that unless he changed that he would have to be removed from my life for awhile so I could move on. He said he changed, he moved back home but things hadn’t really changed. He moved home but still continued his affair with Marjorie, still continued the process for her to move forward and stay here. If it wasn’t for the communication between her and I then this mess would still be going on. I put my foot down and said it ends now. She saw him lying to me in front of her and she was stunned that he could do that. I made her leave, he didn’t. I packed up her remaining possessions and sent them to her, he didn’t. I cleaned and cleared out the house where he lived with her, he didn’t. I didn’t see any grief from him that she was finally gone but he said he was relieved it was finally over.

She feels the need to stay in contact with me, and I’m not sure why. I worry about her because of what he told me so I respond to her. When I don’t hear from her, I check in with her to make sure things are okay for her. She seems to be doing well and she’s said she doesn’t dwell on what’s happened and it does not have a place in her day to day thought. I’d like to say good for her, but I don’t believe it to be true, especially when she knows who I am connected to and that I was the one who sent her away. That should be enough of a daily reminder in itself. We don’t talk about what’s happened, we don’t talk about him or bash him. I think it’s just a mutual checking in of each of us making sure the other is okay because the hurt is the same for both of us. We both trusted and loved him and he hurt us both.

The trust isn’t there anymore. I’m not sure it ever will be again. I’ve put walls up to feel safe so I can’t be hurt anymore, not by him or anyone else. It’s a pretty shitty feeling when you know the only person you can rely on, is yourself and that your guard has to be up 24/7. I keep trying to figure out when 2+2 stopped equaling 4 but as far back as I can see it’s equaled 10 because I don’t know when the lies started.