Seven Hundred And Thirty

It doesn’t sound like much.

It doesn’t even sound that long.

But long it has been.

And exhausting to be honest.

Seven hundred thirty days.

One hundred four weeks.

Or simply two years.

As it turns out.

We only really grow when we suffer.

730 days of pain behind me.

730 days of learning.

That I am who I am.

Not a marshmallow.

Not a BITCH.

Just me.

An individual identity

More than Mrs. So&So.

More than “his” wife.

Not simply talking the talk.

Report card on growth.

Got a job that I really wanted.

Established banking and credit in my name alone.

Cleaned out closets and some  clutter.

Learning to be assertive.

No one’s doormat.

I only control myself.

Others no longer dictate my feelings.

Say NO!  when that’s what I feel.

Still really don’t like to cook .

Grown-ups can fend for themselves.

No one has a broken arm.

The maid has left the building.

Lost for many of those 730.

Knowing  how Alice felt.

Never ending, slow motion descent.

Bounce like shoes made of flubber.

Assertive, not loud or overbearing.

Calm, not crying like a baby.

Changing the only thing I can.

Like my friends the turtles, slow but sure.

Remembering that I count.

Stand up and be counted.

Human and imperfect.

Perfectly human.

Accepting who I am.

Loving myself first and foremost.

Validation from within.

Not required from without.

Just a bonus.

Seven Hundred and Thirty.

Days and nights of highs and lows.

Life goes on.

Survivor here.

Destination, not so important.

As is, the ability to enjoy the journey.

New latitudes, new longitudes??

My compass has been demagnitized.

Tough to repair.

Sometimes you simply need,

a new one to journey with.


Are you color blind?? What color do you see??

Are you wearing those stupid glasses that changes the color of everything around you??

Are you??

I was for a very long time….so long I have a permanent indention from them.

Everyone who is in the position to be exposed to this filter needs to recognize that those glasses actually cause blindness.

No two pairs of glasses allow the same view, so we must absorb and watch for our own exposure.

Glasses now removed.  What color do you see??

***As my due date approached, he asked me if I had the baby pretty soon would I mind if he went on the annual houseboat trip without him.  (Not if he wants  me to be here when he gets back).

***As I realized I don’t think his jokes are funny.(Sarcastic,rude, demeaning comments are not funny-even if he’s just kidding).

***When he would ask me a question and in the middle of my answer simply walk away. (Then ignore me as I attempt to bring him back into conversation).

***When I was not allowed to use his tools to fix something minor, because that’s for men to do.  (Yet  would never fix it and put down my attempt at doing it). I have my own tools now.

***When any idea or suggestion that I had would be ignored completely as he knows  “the right way” to do everything.  (Even though my idea was the best solution to the problem).

***When not allowed to have any stuff lying around even if right in the middle of a project, must look like the cover of Good housekeeping magazine at all times.  (Yet leaves his crap everywhere but explains that’s different).

***When doing anything (cleaning, cooking, yard work, caring for kids) not doing things “the right way”. And must be instructed on the correct way to do it.   (Even though end result would be the same or even better).

***When I realized that the kids and I were not supposed to go do anything fun if he were working because he wanted to do it too.  (Never mind a bunch of Moms and kids were going in summer while schools out-but not us).

***When I realized my requests for a certain action (in the bedroom) would not be fulfilled no matter how many times I would ask.  (If it doesn’t turn him on then it’s not happening).

***When I realized he had tricked me into signing a quit claim deed when refinancing, so to hurry and get a great rate and would be changed after re-fi completed. (We never got that great rate and he has yet to put my name on the house).

***If kids and I were watching something on TV, when he wanted to watch, simply walks over changes channel and proclaims it’s his TV.  (Can’t wait til end of show so we can see the end).

***Bust my ass all day long.  But when he walks in looks around, rolls his eyes and can only see what wasn’t done.  (Never all the things that had been completed).

***For not greeting him properly when he arrives home from work.  Never mind i’ve got dinner cooking, finishing homework and dealing with 1000 things.  (I should drop everything and run to praise him for working so hard all day long when I do not).

***No matter how much thought or money I spent on gifts for him.  He would mostly never use them.  (if it was from me had to be crap, even though he as a $300. tablet just sitting there untouched).

***When he would never call me during the day just to talk to me and show he thinks of me.  (Even though I may text him little flirty things, maybe even provocative picture and would be completely ignored or answered in one word statements.  Yet I see how wordy he can be with others he interacts with).

***When everything concerning my disappointing behavior is to be addressed. (Yet I am not allowed to mention anything that he could improve upon).

***When he took three days off to decide what color to paint his truck.  (But would never take a day off just to spend with me).

***When after he injured himself, being stupid, I hurry to the store for bandages etc., spend my last dollars on them.  To return and stand there waiting to bandage him but he was watching TV and never would even acknowledge my presence by saying- “just a minute I want to hear this”.  (I put it all away and then he admonish me for not caring that he was hurt ).

***That the BIG presents at Christmas couldn’t be from Santa. (Because he wanted the kids to know who spent the money on them).

***That he would control all the money because I wasn’t good at it.  (Never mind that he never paid child support for his daughter then got socked with $$50,000 in back child support and when didn’t keep up on payments had his wages attached).  OKAY BIG RED FLAG!!

***Because I had no access, I ask him for money for something, because I have to ask.  (And he keeps forgetting, for days to bring any home for me for me or won’t give what’s in his wallet because that’s all he has on him- but he can get more at any ATM).

***When I realized that you didn’t have my back when it seemed the world was against me.  (Oh the picture he would paint to anyone who would listen about my problems and how crazy and awful I am).

***When he would agree on all of us going on a bike ride during weekend.  (Then make us wait until the latest possible moment on Sunday when it’s starting to get dark, no wants to go anymore yet have to do this so he looks like a great husband and father with all the things he does with us).

***When it became obvious that he cares more about what strangers/acquaintances think or feel. (Much more important than my opinion).

***When he made absolutely no effort to help me heal after the discovery of his affair.  (Just get over it, it’s over trust me).

No friends I have had those damn glasses on for the last 20 years.

While I  was wearing them I could not see the color red that was screaming at me.

Nope I could only see the color white,and you know what a white flag means??

It means  surrender.

Which is exactly what I did.

Prescription for color blindness.

Remove glasses to see reality.

Everyone’s flags are different, but the prescription is the same.

Oh and my glasses have been stomped on and thrown away.

a little

There’s always;

a little truth

behind every

“just kidding”

a little knowledge

behind every

“I don’t know”

a little emotion

behind every

“I don’t care”


a little pain

behind every

“I’m okay”

from a pin by Laura Beckman on Pinterest

E-M-B-A-R-R-A-S-S-M-E-N-T 101

I hope and pray that this is the last

last one ever have to write on the subject.

mere fact that I’m a human being,

makes it highly unlikely

that I will ever happen.

Knowing myself

I have had to open wide,

wide enough to allow,

insertion of  one of my size nines

i’ll travel this path again

mortification 101

Yes it is the awful,

awful screw up

As a blogger,

it’s extremely embarrassing

I imagine

it is one of the most grevous errors one could make .

To receive a blogging nomination,

and thank (and post) to my nominator

only to realize

after the fact

that I had thanked

the wrong person!!!

Yes dear followers

I have egg on my face


I feel covered from head to toe.

So it is with much EMBARRASSMENT

that I must own up to my mistake,

beg for forgiveness

and thank the my nominator properly.

So I offer







to my nomInator

for the Leibster Award ,


She is a young woman,

who grew up in Africa,

in a family with dysfunction

specifically a narcissistic mother,

or Mum as she would say.

her writing speaks of daily struggles

growing up in such an environment

I found her blog as I struggle

to help my own adult children

deal with the legacy handed down

generation to generation


She states she is no expert

has no formal training in

personality disorders and

their behaviors.

But I feel her writing speaks volumes

of what growing up with narcissism

in one’s family can be like.

First hand experience,

the need to understand and

years of exposure can make

anyone an unwilling expert.

I applaud her for speaking up against

family situations and domestic violence.

It doesn’t always manifest as most think.

So I ask you to assist me

in my plea for forgiveness

and go and check out

her blog and tell her chely sent you.

The story of a relationship with a narcissist: I Am Not Special by Hope

An Upturned Soul

I am not special.

When I was a child, the message from my parents was clear: Take care of yourself. We don’t want to do it. You are not special. And so I became an adult very early in life, full of determination to be self-sufficient and self-determined.

At forty-five, a disordered person took an interest in me. Narcissistic Personality Disorder, at the least. Diagnosed, I believe. Malignant narcissist? Sociopath? Possibly. She admitted that she had no conscience, was sadistic, and had a penchant for the chase. Either way, the terms are blurry and it doesn’t really matter.

We will meet the disordered. That’s unavoidable. Estimates of those without conscience and empathy range from 1 in 100 (Checkley) to 1 in 25 (Stout). And if you get close to one, you will suffer. These are relationships of inevitable harm.

This morning, I woke up with an analogy on my mind…

View original post 1,390 more words

Liebster Award Nomination

When someone bestows upon you an award nomination for the blog you write, for me it is a both a humbling and rewarding feeling.  I was recently nominated for  Liebster Award Nomination by the author (bugsmetwo) of the blog bumpsnpothole.  She writes about her experiences growing up in a narcissistic family, how it has effected her, and her struggles to cope with life being raised in a home with dysfunction.  I find her honesty about her troubled marriage, struggles with men and relationships very interesting, since I too grew up in a home with dysfunction myself (who doesn’t have some right?).  I also look at her blog to understand how she Ideals with feelings and emotions, as in my own two sons have grown up with their (more than) fair share of dysfunction.

I want to extend a BIG THANK-YOU for the nomination.  It is comforting to know that someone can find something of value in the words I write.  Whether it is learning about something, sharing concerns, or simply a place to feel not so alone in our life’s struggles,   I am glad that through writing about my experiences, my blog can be that place.  Again, Thank-you sister blogger!

Rules of the nomination:

The 11 questions that she asked:

1.     What motivated you to start this blog?  

When I made the discovery that my husband was having an affair, I was devastated and didn’t know what to do or how to handle the situation.  At first I didn’t tell anyone, but felt so alone.  Without any answers on what to do I turned to the internet and found a world of  information and support.  I only read and then ocassionally commented for four months but was encouraged by another website to tell my story, as much of what I read about my specific situation (married to a narcissistic man/possible sex addict) was a bit different than most I read and honestly while inspiring they didn’t give me much hope.  I wanted a different outcome than what predicted so I began my blog to share my experiences and while no expert thought that maybe my writing could save another from the pain and suffering that infidelity brings to your life.

2.     Have I achieved my goal by writing this blog?

Yes and no. The yes; I have shared my experiences and read about so many other’s that I have felt support and comfort needed when I felt I had no one.  No one that would understand at least. It was/is the only place that could be found that was a life preserver when I was drowning.     Has my marriage been saved?  That answer is yes and no.  While my husband and I are still together and basically getting along fairly well.  We do enjoy spending time together and do enjoy many of the same activities.  But the no portion is that I feel that we haven’t tackled the bigger problems we have,  than the just the affair.   The dysfunction within our marriage and families are issues that must be addressed if this marriage is to survive.  I enjoy writing my blog and reading and supporting others in similiar situations.  I don’t mean finding joy in others suffering but knowing that there are those that do understand and to not feel totally alone.

3.     Do people close to me know of my blog?

No, most do not.  Only 2 or 3 of my closest friends, I never told them they couldn’t read it but I don’t think that they have.  Occasionally, I have read them part of a post as I was working on.  But it would be me asking if something sounded right or if it was understandable to others.  I suppose if family thought I was blogging and wanted to see it,  they could find it because it’s not private or hidden.

4.    What is your favorite hobby?

“Hello, my name is chely and I’m a bead-a-holic”.  That is a little joke my bff and beading partner and I have between ourselves.  I love to bead, make jewelry, adorn clothing, create mosiacs and various other things created using beads.  I joke about being a bead-a-holic because despite have acquired a large inventory of beads -I ALWAYS WANT MORE! I once purchased at a garage sale a pretty big rolling suitcase stuffed with beads, accessories for $30.00.  It was so disorganized and just shoved in there it took me two months to sort and organize everything.  When I did and assessed just what I had gotten – My guess was that it was over $1000.00 in beads etc.  I just about had a bead orgasm I swear.

5.     What would change about self or makes me who I am?

I wish I would of perserved more in my education when I was younger.  I am a smart, dynamic woman who has missed opportunities that I know I could of excelled in simply because I did not have that piece of paper, even with demonstrated success through experience.

6.     How has life treated treated you and how do I handle it?

Sometimes not so fairly I felt.  But the biggest part I learned it that life in NOT  always fair that’s just the way it is.  I have handled it well and I have handled it poorly.  Doesn’t do that much good to complain – no one cares as much about me but me.  So acceptance of what is allows me some peace in dealing with ups & downs in my life.  For better or worse it is life.

7.     Are you a people person?

Absolutely.  I don’t shy away, love meeting new people and open to lots of opinions and ideas.  I’ve done sales frequently and have been told I could “sell ice to eskimos”.  But not all people are created equal in that some are givers, others only take and after awhile I become unable to be around people like that regularly.  Because I’m compassionate, caring and yes giving of myself, I have to keep my awareness up so to not get drawn into their drama and situations. And not end taken advantage of or manipulated.

8.      What do you do for fun?   

I love to walk.  I love to dance. I love to bead.  I love to bead.  I love the ocean and the rivers and lakes here throughout Northern California.  So may great places to be outdoors.  I also love to do DIY projects, building, repairing with tools, power tools.  I’m the female version of “tool time Tim” -anybody remember that show?  I hate to cook.

9.     Can I laugh at myself? or take a light approach to serious situations.  

Sort of, I can, but it is more like a scolding inside that chides me for making stupid mistakes.    Being married to a narcissistic husband for 20 years has taught me that everyone has their own opinion and just because mine maybe different doesn’t mean that I always have to change my view to match theirs.  I’ve learned to take what hesays with a grain of salt and let it roll off my back.  If I don’t let it effect me then that behavior looses it’s power. Doesn’t mean right or wrong simply that my life’s experience has lead me to a different one than yours, and I have a right to my own as you do yours.   I don’t like it when people try to take the light approach when using sarcastic humor towards others (which is bullying/abuse) and then tries to laugh it of and imply that the target doesn’t have a sense of humor.

10.    Do I have toddlers? and if so how do I deal with tantrums?  

No toddlers.  Mine are all grown (at least physically), they grew up in this family so without doubt have areas and issues that they will need to deal with a some point in their lives. I hate that they grew up exposed to the toxic ways my husband and I related to one another.  It’s really not funny, but I used to joke that we were the poster family for dysfunction.  I can’t recall any tantrum tricks that I used (that worked anyway).  Seems like along time ago.

11.    Are you a specific person when it comes to timing and order?

Not exactly sure what you mean but ….  Friends used to tell me I was one of the most organized people they knew.  Everything has a place it belongs at.  A spouse who is a pack rat (not quite as bad as “hoarders” show) and attempting to keep up with all the “stuff” of 4 people (boys very much like him) –  But after some time, I couldn’t handle it spend too muc time looking for misplaced things.  But it’s tough to get back to organized well when you let it go.

The award says eleven more random facts about myself.  Really I’m not that interesting.  But I’ll try:

1.  I prefer outdoors to indoors anytime (even winter) Have a great patio and backyard.

2.  Love my sons but I always wanted a daughter.

3.  Talk too much and often a bit loud, but I swear I’m not yelling.

4.   I’ve had sex with a woman before and while it was okay, the thought of it was more exciting than actual for me.

5.   I wish I had a good singing voice, alas I don’t but it doesn’t stop me from singing in the car loudly.

6.   I have wide taste in music, and have attended over 100+ concerts in my years. FOR REAL!!!

7.   I have struggled being the chunky girl most of my life, so the affair weight loss was the only good from that discovery.

8.   I was so glad when J. LO made having a big booty cool.

9.   Chocolate cheesecake is my weakness.

10.  I’ve realized I don’t have to fit into everyone’s “cookie cutter” ideals to love myself.

11.  You already know this, but if you are my friend and you needed my help, I would be there for you.  You could count on me.  Some think of this as a weakness,  I do not.  But it does open me up to be taken advantage of on occasion. But I understand that and would rather be who I am than pretend to be someone I’m not.  You can call it whatever you want to.

The award calls for me to nominate 5 others for this award. (with less than 200 followers).  This part was difficult as there are so many good blogs out there. In my opinion anyone who is willing to write about their story and share their writing on a blog is deserving, but I’ve chosen the following 5 for the unique style or topic.  I hope you find them as interesting as I have, do check them out .

1.     Pot-Pourri

2.     Healing After His Affair

3.     Wrath of a Woman Scorned

4.     The Paper Heart

5.     Taking the Mask Off

eleven questions for nominees:

1. how long have you been blogging? much time do you spend blogging-in a day? in a week?

3.what is the best thing for you about blogging?

4.does your spouse/partner read your blog?

5.what’s your favorite movie?

6.what’s your favorite way to relax?

7.if you could change one thing about yourself -what would that be? one thing on your bucket list? you believe in extra-terrestrials?

10.what’s your favorite food? would you describe yourself in 15 words or less?


Whew!  Finished with that.


*** My actual post begins in the paragraph below.  But I needed to make a quick comment about the subject of “co-dependency”.  I have drawn a line in the sand on this one and stand my ground firmly.  I do not like the insinuation from many articles about this that imply that ALL the problems in my marriage are caused by me.  I hadn’t been so giving, so kind, doing for others before myself then I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in.  Well I disagree with my entire being.  Being a compassionate and caring person does not give my husband the right to be abusive to me.  I have always owned that I’m not perfect, I’ve made mistakes, but that shouldn’t give him the right to receive a “get out of jail free card” simply because I am compassionate, sometimes to a fault.  Just because people don’t witness the abuse (or receive physical injuries ) does not mean it did not occur. Would you tell a woman (or man) who came to you with battered and beaten and blame her for the abuse?  I think not.  I entered this marriage with good attitude, positive thoughts and expecting a partner who had the same goals, prepared to tackle whatever life throws at us.  Not to be belittled, invalidated, gaslighted , or cheated upon to the point of feeling like I had lost my mind.   So yes I take a hard line on this one folks. You may think I’m crazy, I’m co-dependent or a whole laundry list of other monikers.  BUT I AM NOT AND I GET TIRED OF BEING TOLD THIS.  I’m not here to win a popularity contest,  I am simply finding my way through this nightmare by standing up and no longer accepting that this is ALL my fault.  I didn’t make him a cheater and abuser.  I also respect the right for you to have a different opinion than mine .  But please don’t fault me for standing up and crying FOUL, abuse is horrid.  Covert emotional abuse is underhanded, sneaky and hurts just as much as if he had broken my body.  I know it is difficult to grasp, but please continue reading and take a look at the links at the bottom.  They certainly explain better than I ever could.  Thank-you.***

If asked to describe what covert emotional abuse looks like I am sometimes at a loss for words. Precisely because words, they are the weapons utilized by the abuser.  And they are very good at using these veiled weapons.

Words are sticks and stones.  And sometimes they CAN and DO hurt as much as a sharp blade or a clenched fist.

Yet I stumble in my attempts to help others see what I live with.  I realize that this is important, if ever covert emotional abuse is to be understood by someone who can’t see it.   I must be able to accurately describe this. The right words will give my response credibility.  So as I explore the various ways to say this,  I look to some of these websites and blogs I follow to assist me with terminology that best fits.  It is not easy explaining  emotional abuse to someone who has never experienced it.

Taken individually occurrences don’t necessarily seem so bad. However  it is the cumulative effect they have on your mind (and body) that is so devastating. Then what happens is; one of these interactions between the two of you occurs.  To onlookers, this appears (by itself it)  fairly benign.  But it is the straw that breaks the camel’s back, triggered, you react.  You are not reacting to this isolated incidence, you are reacting to the cumulative effect of years of just such experiences (you experience the hurt from all these events combined not just the one).  And those who don’t understand think you’re going crazy over something not that big of a deal alone   It is draining and it can destroy you after time.  And you do feel crazy because it’s the stupid little things that push you over the edge.

To better describe how the cumulative effect takes it toll on you I will use the analogy of the shoreline, where water meets rock.   Each day as the tides come and go, water splashes against rock.  A single drop of water on a rock certainly cannot change in the rock. The rock is strong and the water tends to splash differently each time it approaches.

However in some places,  the water approaches each time to exactly the same spot on the rock. Time after time, year after year, the water continues, relentless. As tides come to shore everyday without fail. And despite the stone being very strong, the years of that water endlessly pounding against the same spot on the rock wears it down. It takes time but without fail the rock will change. Sometimes a little or a lot.  I have seen entire rock formations change in shape through the years from the waters continuous pounding.  The rock is no match for the water.  In that specific spot the water will win out every time.

It seeps into your soul.  Changes the landscape of the rock that you are.  But the water, the water seems  not effected at all.  And because the water can look so seemingly beautiful and innocent as it wears the rock down, others have a difficult time grasping your reality.

Oh it can’t be that bad they may say, or but you have such a good life and he is such a nice guy.  And I don’t doubt that they believe that.  He IS a nice guy, as long as you’re not his rock (or baby rocks) you WILL see the beauty in him.   It is not surprising that onlookers only see the beauty of the ocean.    Not thinking how the daily, endless tide does wear the rock away over time.

So I ask of you PLEASE, PLEASE if anyone ever comes to you and asking for your help because their partner is emotionally (& covertly) abusing them.  Don’t discount what they are saying simply because you can’t see it with your eyes.  They a reaching out for help because they feel unable to escape.  If you are their true friend, give them the benefit of the doubt and believe them -no matter what!

I still love the ocean in all it’s wonder and glory.

But I will no longer allow the water to crash down on me, changing me.

And I do think they need to get rid of that child’s rhyme.

Because sticks and stones do hurt AND the words hurt just as much.

invisible abuse – how they get away with it

Are “nice” guys really covert narcissists?

how a narcissist treats their spouse

The exhausted woman-eight mental abuse tactics narcissists use on their spouses

You’ve May Have Been Set Up!

                                If you’ve been labeled as a “co-dependent”, you may have been set up.

What???  Set-up???  You’ve got to be kidding, right chely???

But I’m not.  I’ve basically been groomed my entire life for this role.  The role of giving too much and losing myself in the process.  I didn’t know it or understand it.  However it is now glaringly apparent to me.  It was a set-up of sorts.

I am in my early 50’s, considered the tail end of the baby boomers generation.  Growing up in the 60’s was during a time of a lot of change in society.  Music, free love, hippies and drugs, demonstrating against war,and women gaining independence for themselves.  We thought we were going to change the world and the people in it with our openness and freedom of expression.  But there were few role models to look to for guidance.  TV was still filled with programs about “traditional” marriages and families.  Mom’s took care of the house and Dad went to work.

Only my life wasn’t like that. My parents divorced when I was five (after the second time my Mother became pregnant from an affair- I didn’t know that at the time).  So it was just me, Mom, and my two little sisters in our home.  Saw Dad every other weekend until mid-teens.  When I looked around at others, most of them still lived in traditional family settings.  There were not a lot of others (that I could see) in a single parent household.

I realized my life was different but not in a bad way.  And my Mom had a decent job and took pretty good care of us.  I was proud of her, looked up to her. Wanted to be her.  She was making it work for us.  But being the oldest, I was looked to,  “to help”  with my siblings and a lot of the other responsibilities because my Mom was working.  She never was able to attend anything that had to do with school or after school activities. So my Gramma did a lot.  But I cooked, I cleaned, did laundry and took care of my sisters.  Sometimes too much-  I was required to give up doing some of the things I would have liked to participate in because I had to help out.  It didn’t seem wrong to put so much responsibility on a young person, and I was proud of myself for doing it and thought I did a pretty good job.

As a single woman, my Mom loved to go dancing.  Just about every Fri or Sat night she would head out to dance.  I would sit in the bathroom with her as she dressed, put her make-up on and chat .  Sometimes I wished she would just stay home with us.  She always was at work and tired when she came home.  Sometimes didn’t have enough patience with us.  I in many ways wished I had a traditional family, like most of the other kids.  But my parents were divorced.

I had always wished I could  go with her dancing, couldn’t wait to be old enough to do that.  I was happy that she was happy.  I missed her but it was okay because she was happy and still spent quality time with us girls.  (Gramma lived with us and was there for us when Mom was gone).

Then she would meet some guy at the bar, and if she liked him, bring him home.  I never knew if Mom’s bedroom door would be closed when I got up on weekends.  They weren’t like one night stands. Generally they would begin to live with us. Our home life would change.  Now everything seemed to revolve around these guys.  We had to watch what they wanted on TV.  Had to change what we had for dinner because he wanted something different. We did different stuff on the weekends because he liked to do that.

Most of my Mom’s attention now went to him.  She didn’t really neglect us,  just focused on his needs as her main priority. And I was old enough to know what was going on behind the closed-door.  Maybe all of this wouldn’t have been so bad if they were nice guys, or good-looking or good to my Mom. (Mom was very attractive). But they weren’t.  They were users for the most part.  And Mom was different when ever one of them was around.  But then they would eventually break-up and life would go back to normal for us.

On the weekends she would go dancing again.  Until the next one.  I don’t want to make my Mom sound like a slut at all.  There were probably only four maybe five “boyfriends” growing up and it was the time of sexual freedom for women so how could that be wrong-right?

But one morning, after L had moved in, Mom came down stairs and she had a black eye.  I heard them arguing the previous night.  But a black eye, that was not cool.  But I was young what was I supposed to say?  A few weeks went by and then one evening they were arguing right in front of us.  It was escalating, and then I watched in horror as her punched her in the face.  I freaked out, went screaming at him and jumped on his back attacking him.  No way was I gonna stand there and watch him do that.  It was quite the scene.

He was there about a week more after that. Then one afternoon, tells us girls that he is moving out and did we want to help him?  You never saw three girls move so fast, finding boxes throwing his stuff in and dumping it into his car.  We wanted him out of our life.

I knew I would NEVER accept any physical abuse in a relationship, ever.  But no one ever told me that you could be abused with words too.  That never occurred to me really, until way after I married my husband.

So my role model of how to have a relationship was shaped by what I saw.  When you’re in love with someone you focus on their needs and give of yourself to make them happy.  That’s how it worked. Whether a lover or family member, you give up,  you and do for the greater good.  I didn’t realize at the time how much I had given up so my Mom could be happy.   She seemed happiest when she had a boyfriend. The message I was learning was if you loved them,  you change things to suit them, move in together (usually after only one date or two) put aside your needs for them and had lots of sex.

I never realized how this would impact me and my relationships for the rest of my life.   My brain told me, that to have romantic love is to give yourself away to another completely.  Sacrifice for them, show them how much you love them. Do the things they like to do, cook the food that they like.  Have sex with them, often.

I was being taught to be co-dependent.  I didn’t know it was wrong. Mom didn’t either.   So I followed in her foot steps when I began to go out with guys.  If they liked me and showed me attention I would give them my all (including sex, not old enough to live together yet ) make my focus them.  I would stop seeing my friends or doing other things I liked very much.  It was all about them.  They would eventually break up with me and move on.  I would be devastated (like my Mom) then keep my eyes open for the next one.

I had no idea that this would someday be labeled as dysfunctional.  It is called co-dependency.  It is considered not a positive trait and actually seen as somewhat of a mental illness.  Isn’t that special?  To find out, now that I’m in my 50’s, everything I learned growing up about relationships is wrong.  This is what has led me to where I am now. Ugh!   This could have been one of the catalysts that contributed to my husband having an affair.  I gave too much!!  Never considered my  own needs.

I give my all to him (career, friendships, literally my whole personality was sucked away), He has an affair,  but it’s my fault because I’m co-dependent?  According to psychology experts,  I’m the one who has the problem, never mind that my spouse encouraged this all along.   Never mind that my husband has definite narcissistic tendencies, and has no empathy.  That’s okay with society.  Because I’m the one with who is screwed up.

That is so fucked up!!

All I ever wanted to be was a good girl, loved by all.   I always tried to please others.  I was taught to be helpful,giving,  kind and a hard worker and you will be loved. In my opinion, the world has forgotten about the golden rule of do unto others….

So if through this journey out of infidelity you’ve been called co-dependent and treated like there’s something wrong with you.  I say BULLSHIT!!  It is not our fault that we’ve been groomed growing up.  Basically set-up because they NOW have changed how this game of life is done. A lot people today don’t give a shit about others.  It’s all about them and their needs. And what they can gain from you, without reciprocating.

I should have been selfish and self-centered growing up I would have been fine.

Thanks MOM!!!

Grow A Pair- the final chapter!

After my conversation with my husband’s affair partner, besides not asking some questions that I would of liked to ask  her,  I also didn’t follow through on a few things that I had wanted to say.  Some things I NEEDED to say to her.  And for her to understand me, loud and clear.  Not in a negative way, (because as long as she didn’t want to go there again), chances improved that no contact continued.  So along with the little book “Wisdom especially for Woman” by . I would include a letter saying the things I hadn’t said on the phone.  The following is that letter:

Hello AP (I put her name),

     Well finally, here it is, the little “something” I wanted to give to you.  This little book is filled with little bits of wisdom especially for women, to help with living a full and sane life.

     When we are young life looks so wonderful, filled with hopes and dreams for the future.  We marry and have a family. The demands on us increase, sometimes it can become so overwhelming.  Even more so if one feels disconnected from their spouse.  It feels like you are alone to struggle with the daily battle of living, let alone be happy.  This I understand.

     Generally in times such as these the support of friends can help us through tough times.  However when experiencing marital problems, turning to a friend, who is of the opposite sex, puts that friendship into a sticky situation.  Simply because sharing intimate details in a M/F friendship is NEVER advised.  It is a line that should never be crossed.  Stepping over that line is the beginning of an affair.  Whether physical or emotional only, it has become an affair.  Due to smartphones and VPN, etc., it is possible to be intimate without ever having physical contact.

     I do not know exactly what went on between the two of you.  You both claim to have never met in person,ever.  Possibly that may be true.  However, you must know THAT HE HAS BEEN WITH SOMEONE. There is simply too much evidence, both tangible and behavioral to indicate anything else.  If not you, then who?  How many others?  Whether you did or did not, it is in the past and I cannot change that.  But I want you to know that I don’t blame you.  He is a manipulator with an entitled attitude.  I have to ask you, HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED THAT HE MAY HAVE BEEN LYING AND MANIPULATING YOU AS WELL AS ME??  i realize now how it’s all a game to him.  I can only imagine the things he has said about me that are not true.  The story I’m sure he told about how bad our marriage was and blamed me, never indicating how HE contributed to our problems.  Of course not, a narcissist could never admit that.

     The discovery I made that morning ripped a hole through my heart.  We were working on improving things, for sometime and it had gotten better, only to discover the affair.  I wonder what would of happened if I had not made that discovery.  Would you still be involved today??  Despite all of our problems throughout the years, I always trusted him, never doubted his word. ALL THOSE TIMES he had to work late.  I will never be that nieve  again.

     This experience has been a big wake-up call for me.  I think for HIM as well.  I have learned a lot.  I will never give up myself  for another again.  We are doing well but still have a long way to go.  His unwillingness to be open with me and accept responsibility for his actions has made it difficult for me to move past this.  Talking to you and offering forgivness has given me the ability to put this behind me.  Now if our marriage survives or not, it is no longer about the affair.

     I have no hard feelings towards you, though I will admit I wanted to scratch your eyeballs out a time or two. What kind of women would I be if I didn’t?  Despite all, I LOVE MY HUSBAND.

     I hope you realize that once your friendship crossed over the line, as we talked about, that you cannot rewind and go back to just friends.  The friendship MUST be over.  I expect no further contact between the two of you-EVER. It is unfortunate but a fact.  I ask you to continue to respect that, woman to woman.

 Since our conversation, of course other questions have popped into my mind.  Naturally I would want answers to them.  I’ve accepted i’ll never have all the answers.  Maybe it’s better that way.  I am letting it all go.  I have to otherwise it will destroy me.

     I hope you find happiness and peace in your life and possibly your marriage or wherever life’s journey takes you.  He has told me he has let it go, it was a stupid mistake and that he will no longer seek attention outside of our marriage.  I have to have faith he is telling me the truth.  It is difficult knowing how often he lied and played mind games with me.  But THAT has nothing to do with you.

 I appreciate the time you took to speak with me.  It helped me a great deal.  If we ever do get together to have that drink obviously it would have to be girls only.  I hope you enjoy the little book.

                                                               Best Wishes Chely

p.s.  Remember….the answers to our problems never lie in the arms of another.

Well there it is.  My letter written to the other woman.  I imagine there are many of you readers who are shaking your heads screaming at me, calling me crazy, stupid and a few others I won’t mention.  That’s okay.  I realize that the route that I have taken, to help in healing after my husband’s affair, is not the route many would choose.  I understand that.  What I know is that every situation is different, staying angry at her was not helping me at all.  In my situation while she made some bad choices she was not responsible for the behavior of my husband the covert narcissist.  Understanding that, has been extremely helpful to me in being able to put “his affair” behind me.  As I said in the letter, now if my marriage doesn’t survive it’s not about the affair.  It will be about the two people in this marriage and how they manage (or don’t)  the ups and downs in life.

The scary thing is that because he was able to let go so easily of what was a fairly long affair (I don’t know exactly when they crossed over that line) it confirms to me that he truly does have a level of NPD.  And what you read about the behaviors of someone with NPD (of which they ones I see hit the nail on the head) I may be in denial about the true nature of my husband.  How much more don’t I know about??

Scary, it really is if you understand narcissism at all.