30 Years and Counting

30thToday we have been married for 30 years.  That’s a long time. But it’s just another day.

I’m working.  Linda is off to her chiropractor appointment and then to the store.  The girls are at their summer college classes and our son is traveling back from a trip out West.  Oh, and our dog is asleep next to me on the floor having doggie dreams, in case you were wondering. 

We have no special celebrations planned for later this evening either.

Yep, just another day.

And we’re cool with that. 

In fact, we talked this morning about it and we’re more than cool with that. 

We told each other that we loved one another very much and that it’s OK that we don’t do anything super special, even if it has been thirty-freaking-years.

We spend most of our time together and we just both feel that we don’t need to have some fancy dinner or special trip to celebrate another year of marriage. 

I’m not saying that it’s not something to celebrate, or that we ignore it, or that those who get extravagant are nuts or anything.  Hell, to each their own.  It’s just that we feel we don’t need that sort of thing. 

Besides, Linda and I have not been able to truly celebrate our anniversary on its actual day for probably close to 20 years.  We’ve either been on a sports or dance related trip with our kids (either together or apart), or I’ve been away for business purposes. 

So we’ve always had to put our anniversary off for a later date.  And even then, our ‘celebrations’ have typically been at most a weekend getaway or a nice dinner. More often than not though, we really don’t go to any great lengths – usually some flowers and a card and that’s it.

We’re not boring!

I got to thinking that it sure seems as though we have a lot of friends who are celebrating ‘special’ anniversaries these days.  It’s either their 25th or 30th and we even have some parents of friends who are celebrating 50th or 60th anniversaries.  Many have indeed chosen to take extravagant trips to Europe, Hawaii or Alaska, for example.  But for us it’s just another day in paradise.

And regardless of what anyone might think, we don’t feel as though we’re some old boring married couple either.  In fact we do more shit together on a weekly basis then most of our friends do in a year. Perhaps their fancy trips and stuff are just a way to over-compensate for their weak marital/relationship efforts the other 364 days.

When you think about it…Is it not better to celebrate your marriage and connect with one another on a daily basis and do special things together regularly, as opposed to a once-a-year binge?

We were at a party the other night and during a conversation I mentioned to the host that our anniversary was coming up and she asked me what we were doing to celebrate.  When I told her that we really didn’t have anything planned, she couldn’t believe it.  After all, she and her husband are about to celebrate their 15th anniversary with a trip to Jamaica.  Well whoopty-doo!

Then she went on to tell me how she and her husband hardly see one another during the week, much less have a meaningful conversation.  Of course this was all due to work and their 5 kids’ activities.  So perhaps their anniversary trip is more an escape out of necessity than anything else.

Later this summer we are going to take a trip.  It’s going to be a family vacation to Maine.  It will be the two of us and our three kids and we’re going to camp a bit, hike a lot and do other outdoor stuff for two weeks.  This morning Linda and I both agreed that this will be our 30th anniversary gift to one another.  In our minds it doesn’t get any better.

Anyways, not to rant or ramble any further…Thirty years of marriage is indeed a huge accomplishment – for anybody.  We’re proud and grateful for what we have and what we’ve overcome throughout our entire marriage.  I guess we are each other’s destiny.

 

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61 Responses to 30 Years and Counting

  1. Strengthrequired June 19, 2015 at 5:58 am #

    Congratulations Doug and Linda – happy 30th wedding anniversary. Btw sounds perfect, very happy for the both of you. Wish you many more years of love and happiness.

  2. Tryinghard June 19, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    Well congratulations today. We are ten years ahead of you this year. Yeah big deal is right :). Anniversaries after infidelity is a two edged sword. It’s no win no matter how you choose to celebrate it because after all 30 years 40 years what was it really? We always go out for a nice dinner but we go out for nice dinners many times during the year. The anniversary is just another dinner. My H did give me a lovely thoughtful gift this year and we are going to France later on in the fall but we wanted to go anyway. We need to get away far from business contacts!!

    I guess it comes down to what your Love Language is. My H gives me nice gifts. Always has but that’s not my love language. I like words and actions. He does that too. I guess since infidelity my best anniversaries are when we went out together in May the first time after he left. It was a wonderful tender evening. I also love our anniversary when we renewed our vows in the same church in Paris where my parents were married during WWII. We did that in 2012. So I guess our traditional anniversary has lost a lot of meaning to me over the years.

    I’m glad you and Linda are on the same page on how you’ve chosen to celebrate this year. Enjoy no matter what you do.

  3. Rising Above June 19, 2015 at 10:08 am #

    Happy Anniversary Linda and Doug! Enjoy your day!
    It will be our 18th anniversary on Sunday (21st) and it is very hard for me to not cry just thinking about it. The date has lost all meaning and joy. Wish I knew how to bring it back. Hopefully, with time………….
    We plan to meet for lunch (husband has to work) and we took an overnite trip this past weekend.
    Thank you Linda and Doug…..you have helped me greatly these past 5 months. My D Day was 1/1/15.

  4. Blue June 19, 2015 at 11:28 am #

    Happy 30th Wedding Anniversary Linda & Doug!

    I agree that it is what is done on a daily basis that is important, not just the ‘anniversaries’
    But Doug, It DOES matter. Women NEED romance. I hope you’ll find something special to do/give to Linda that she would appreciate, If you reflect a little deeper the only reason why you are together is because of her persistence, hard work and forgiveness to you of the unforgivable. A part of her heart will hurt forever for what you did, even if she shoves it deep inside. In my opinion you should be stepping up to prove to her how much she means to you. You make want to say to me ‘F- you Blue’ but would it put you out to buy some of her favorite flowers, if you even know what they are, cook up her favorite dinner, even together? Sorry if I seem cross but IT DOES MATTER! I always thought I was such a great wife because I never expected romance from my romanceless dumbass husband but I was craving it so much I wilted in our marriage and he had the affair. In hindsight I wish I hadn’t had such low expectations for him and could have told him I was the one who needed more. Hindsight is a great teacher. I think you should step up- even if you have to google how to be thoughtful and romantic. It matters!!!!!

    • Blue June 19, 2015 at 11:31 am #

      PS Doug, are you pissed at me for my opinion on ‘your’ anniversary? Just wondering..

      • TryingHard June 19, 2015 at 11:44 am #

        For what it’s worth Blue, I agree with you!!! I set the bar too low too. Oh aren’t I being a “good” wife not putting undue pressures on my husband??? Wrong!! HA! No more. I expect to be romanced and treated special not only on anniversaries but everyday.

        Yep he Googled what to give on a 40th anniversary and went out and bought me a beautiful ruby and diamond necklace. I didn’t even know that’s what was for a 40th. I didn’t have to ask. He did it all by himself and I loved the thought behind it more than the gift.

        Um yeah Doug, maybe it would be in you best interest to run out an buy something. And by the way for 30th it’s Pearl. I googled it for you 🙂

        • Strengthrequired June 19, 2015 at 6:17 pm #

          Blue, th, I’m with you, I too set the bar too low for my husband. I expect more now since I have seen he can do it, it came easily for him with the ow.
          I may have my expectations higher, but whether it gets shown, is something else.

      • Doug June 19, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

        Blue, of course I’m not pissed. I don’t disagree with you at all. It’s just that we decided together that we wouldn’t make any big deal about it. The point I was trying to make is that we do things (romantic and otherwise) on a regular basis and don’t need to have an anniversary as a reason to be romantic, etc. To us, going on vacation as a family this year is more important.

        • Blue June 19, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

          So 30th is pearl? Freshwater pearl earrings and necklace would be sweet…

          • TryingHard June 19, 2015 at 12:55 pm #

            Agree Blue but it doesn’t sound like Mr. Cheapy Cheaperton is going to budge 🙂

            • Blue June 19, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

              I was thinking the same thing TH! (Cheapy Cheaperton LOL) My husbands can be cheap at the wrong times too. Once he brought me flowers and when I asked him why did he choose those ones (They weren’t colours I really cared for although i didn’t say) he lowered his head and said they were the cheapest. Sounds like your husband isn’t cheap at least.

              BTW Doug, pearls are not that expensive- just sayin’..

              • TryingHard June 19, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

                He has lots of faults, so do I, Blue but cheap is not one of them 🙂 We always make these kinds of agreements like Linda and Doug and then he will invariably go out and buy something nice for me regardless. He doesn’t like gifts so I make it up by baking something nice for him and other things too ….:)

            • Doug June 19, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

              HaHa. I may be a lot, but I’m not cheap!

              • TryingHard June 19, 2015 at 4:40 pm #

                LOL I knew you’d laugh!!! Now get out there and buy Linda something Pearly!

  5. TrustingGod June 19, 2015 at 11:49 am #

    This post reminded me that most women do expect a celebration of some kind, and would feel very hurt by the “it’s just another day” attitude. But I think for me, personally, it was because I rarely saw my husband, and definitely needed to be able to look forward to something, and receive the assurance that I mattered and was loved. And in the past few months I have had no type of celebration at all. On our anniversary this year, my husband was a jerk to me, which made me want to divorce him. On Mother’s Day, the same, he didn’t even go to church with me, and my sons talking to me and telling me Happy Mother’s Day was all that happened. So I have definitely been in the “it’s just another day” type of thinking, just not in a positive way. It’s more like not having anything to look forward to. When I was first reading this, I started getting angry, because I thought that someone who’s been forgiven infidelity should be a little more grateful that he is still married, and for all the years his wife shared with him. The reasoning about being together more than other people and comparing it to others’ experiences didn’t help much in this regard. I really hoped that Linda was really okay with that, and it wasn’t more like she was resigned to it, because of all of the reasons Doug suggests here. I guess I would’ve liked to hear a more grateful attitude, because I don’t have a repentant husband, and we have just now been forced to separate, despite my not having a job, because I can’t heal while living with someone who has now told me that he didn’t cheat or do anything wrong. I guess I just wanted to see that those that forgive and work on their marriage will at least be shown a little more appreciation on what is a big deal to most people. But then, I know I haven’t been loved or appreciated for the 20 years of being with my husband, so maybe that is just what I would need.

  6. Patsy50 June 19, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

    Congrats and Good Wishes Linda and Doug on your 30th Anniversary, no matter how you choose to spend it, you made it to this point together.

  7. TheFirstWife June 19, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

    Ok you want to hear a butt kicker?

    Two years ago was our 25th. My H would always do something thoughtful and special but not expensive.

    Two years ago in the midst of our issues and his EA we decided no big celebration as we were mending. I thought things were really good and he kept telling me things were great. True happiness

    He booked an overnight at a wonderful hotel near us. We had the honeymoon suite (which we did not do on our wedding nite) and next day fabulous breakfast in bed and a couples massage (first time for us). I was so happy he made such a huge effort.

    Fast forward 3 months later when the OW sends me all the emails and I see ones from him to her on our anniversary telling her what a great massage he had today (of course no mention of me or what the occasion is).

    So future anniversaries are tainted and yes I was so furious for ruining something I thought was so special and how important he made me/us feel.

    In any event I have moved past it. But it did hurt for a long time.

  8. Scott June 19, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

    In my heart, I believe I was taken advantage of by my ex on these types of occasions. I always did for her, and she rarely did for me. Moving forward in either the current relationship I’m in, or the next, if this one doesn’t work out, I will insist special days require special effort. So far, this nice lady I’m dating has done that. But that will be my boundary. If you’re not going to put in the effort for birthdays, Christmas, your own anniversary, then the marriage isn’t really special. That doesn’t mean Doug and Linda are wrong, just that I’m insistent that I not be taken for granted. There were years where I dropped thousands for Christmas for her (the ex), her brothers kids (because they were struggling financially), and overwhelmed my own kids – planned and delivered on birthdays, planned and delivered gifts and special dinners on our anniversary. I’d get a shirt and a gift card to the book store and on at least two instances I got nothing on my birthday. It sounds like whining I know, but it’s the reality of what happens when someone thinks so little of you they don’t even remember a day. So while I think selflessness can be a good quality, so I too believe self-appreciation should also be part of the equation. My ex didn’t even remember our anniversary date. I reminded her. That to me is unacceptable. Never again.

    • TryingHard June 19, 2015 at 2:46 pm #

      Scott
      You’ve really given me something to think about. Even though I do remember and make a big deal out of birthdays, anniversaries etc I’m not a very good gift giver to my husband. Not that I don’t want to be I’ve tried. He just doesn’t want anything or ask for anything so it’s a big guessing game for me where gifts to him are concerned. Good for you that you now are seeing someone who treats you well in this department. I think we do sometimes set the bar too low or believe it’s just not worth the fight. And even though when my husband and I agree no gifts and he goes out anyway and puts forth the effort I appreciate it. It makes me feel special even if it’s something I don’t particularly care for I make myself like it!!! I never criticize it, well I did one time when he bought me all these awful clothes, truly they were awful and NOT my style at all and there were so many of them!!! They all got returned and we actually got a big laugh out of it.

      So because of this post I’m going to try even harder in the gift giving department. Can I have your email for suggestions 🙂

  9. Strengthrequired June 19, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

    doug, I guess your outnumbered. I do have to agree with the ladies, we like to feel special ( every chance you get, lol). It is a special day, I believe a nice romantic dinner for two and maybe a room with a view, where you both benefit ( eat, sleep and everything in between )
    Either way, enjoy.

    Scott, at times I wish my husband would make more of an effort.

  10. Rachel June 19, 2015 at 6:47 pm #

    Happy Anniversary Doug and Linda! I feel it is a big deal. You both have overcome a very difficult bump in the road. With work from both of you.
    Doug where in Maine are you goin?
    My friend and her husband have invited me to go with them to Maine in August.
    I really shouldn’t spend the money, but I’m going!!!!

    • Doug June 20, 2015 at 11:09 am #

      Hey Rachel, We are going to Acadia for a week and then up to the White mountains in New Hampshire and then down to Cape Cod

      • Rachel June 20, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

        Doug,
        So you are going way up in Maine. We go to ogunquit.
        What town in the Cape?

        • Doug June 21, 2015 at 9:44 am #

          Provincetown. All the way at the end. We’re camping there. Looking forward to unplugging for a bit!

          • Rachel June 21, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

            P-town is beautiful. The dunes, amazing. Was there for. Brief stop, the ex didn’t like it there.
            Hope you have a relaxing time!

            • Doug June 22, 2015 at 10:10 am #

              I’m glad to hear it’s a beautiful place. I’m in the middle of a two week work related project where I’m working about 15 hour days so a few days after that is over we will take off (July 6) and be gone for two weeks. I can’t wait. We’re camping, kayaking, hiking and I’m sure my son will take his mountain bike, so we’ll be packed to the gills with gear on top of our SUV – looking like the Griswalds on Vacation.

            • Doug June 23, 2015 at 9:51 am #

              We just discovered that it’s “Bear Week” during the time we will be there. Should be interesting to say the least.

  11. Tabs June 19, 2015 at 8:35 pm #

    My H has always gotten me something special for every occassion. But at the same time, he would always get a gift that included him. I got an iphone, so did he. We went on a trip together. I got a new PC, he got a matching laptop. I love the gifts and thoughts, but would trade it all in for pre-affair state of marriage.

    About the only time I’ve ever received a gift just for me was on an anniversary. However that anniversay was during his affair with the OW.

    I have now restarted the counter on our anniversaries. I was married 24 years when the affairs started. We are now in year 4. My H feels this is a bit harsh, but that’s his doing. Am I wrong?

  12. TrustingGod June 19, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

    Tabs,

    I don’t think you’re wrong at all. But I do think that when someone always gets himself the same gift they got you, or they always have to benefit from it, they’re using you as an excuse to get themselves something. They’re not really thinking about you all that much. Maybe I’m wrong, but I guess I’m just remembering the baby shower my STBX had thrown for me…his relatives and friends, just an excuse to throw a party, which we hadn’t done in a long time because of my long-term illness and finances. A time for him to have fun with friends while I am out of his hair and can’t complain about how little attention he paid to me (since he only spoke to me about logistics during the whole time–where are they? I need a pan for the steaks… Can you bring out more sodas?) So I guess your new marriage of four years includes thoughtful gifts that don’t require him to get himself a matching one? I have heard some therapists use the concept of the old marriage being dead and the this bring a new, different marriage, in order to keep from dwelling on past incidents and accompanying pain. If he looks at it in that light, he should be grateful. It was your first husband who cheated on you. He is the new husband who has never done anything but love you, and help you to heal from what your ex did. It should be freeing, and allow him to love you right and live without so much guilt. Why complain about a fresh start?

  13. Patsy50 June 19, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

    Tabs,

    Absolutely not harsh Tabs. I have done the same thing. I was married 38 years at the time of husbands EA. I do not recognize my legal marriage date which is Oct.31. Instead We renewed our wedding vows a year later and I now recognize Oct 22 as my new wedding vows and that has been 4 years five years this Oct 31. I have asked my husband not to send anniversary flowers as he always has for 39 years as this was a trigger for me. It was our 39th anniversary he sent flowers then told me of his EA at work. I threw them in the garbage and told him he could never send me flowers for our anniversary ever again. He feels very bad about it but he ruined the joy of receiving them.

  14. Tabs June 19, 2015 at 9:38 pm #

    Trusting & Patsy,
    Thank you for your insights! I think I left my therapist before I got the really hard questions answered. My H also wanted to get our vows renewed. But he asked me when while I was still very much in pain. It was about a year after Dday and 6 months after my mom passed. I didn’t want to renew something that meant so little to him. My H reminds me how much that hurt. But deep down, I think I want it to hurt.

  15. Patsy50 June 19, 2015 at 10:05 pm #

    Tabs,

    My husband did not ask to renew his vows, I was the one who suggested it. I had took him on a trip down memory lane took out pics from every moment of our lives and asked him if he was willing to make this marriage work, or was he willing to throw everything away. He agreed to renew his vows I did this for him I did not need to renew MY vows, I never lost them, he ‘s the one who did. It was very painful for me as it was just 1 year from DDay but I think it was the right thing to do and it has worked so far.

  16. Rachel June 19, 2015 at 10:19 pm #

    My ex h never got me anything for our anniversary. Not flowers because he said they will just die.
    Not even a card because he had to pick out cards for his parents and that was enough work.
    One time I mentioned that I wanted the three diamond ring , past, present, future for our 25th anniversary. He didn’t comment. Then he left me. Hahahahaha!
    I have received more flowers from the new man that I’m seeing than I did from the ex of 30 years! Not that receiving is important but it is nice because it is genuine.

  17. TheFirstWife June 19, 2015 at 11:33 pm #

    Good for you Rachel. Glad to hear you are getting everything you deserve.

  18. TrustingGod June 19, 2015 at 11:51 pm #

    Rachel,

    I wonder if you could do me a favor, and tell me at what point you stopped hurting over what your husband did. I have tried forgiving someone who just isn’t repentant, and rather than help me heal, he just made it worse, even though he stayed. Now I had to have him leave for my own sanity, and am just wondering if it was prior to the divorce, after the divorce, not until someone else came along and treated you right, that you stopped feeling that horrible sense of betrayal and shame that a person just can’t help but feel when someone shows you just how much they don’t love or care about you? I kind of need some hope right now. The anger kept it out at first, but now that he’s gone and stepped right back into Facebook flirtations after only four days, I feel like crap. It hurts so much to know that I was willing to change and work on our marriage and on forgiving what I always said I never would, but that he expected me to just treat it like it was nothing, and is now happy to throw me away like garbage. Intellectually I know that I am better off without someone who is a selfish cheater who now claims he did NOTHING wrong, and who refused to do anything to meet my needs, but my heart still hurts. My first husband abandoned me too, but since he was so abusive I figured out pretty soon that I was actually better off. This time I am full of doubts, and just don’t understand how someone can toss aside someone they’ve spent half their life with. I don’t want him back–he will just continue to treat me like crap unless I treat him like a king and let him do whatever he wants. I just want to know when some of this pain will go away. It’s stupid. Why do I even care that he prefers random people on Facebook to me?

    • Rachel June 20, 2015 at 7:22 am #

      Trusting God,
      In all honesty I haven’t stopped hurting. I still feel the abandonment, betrayal. We were a family. I guess I still hurt for my kids. I never cry in front of them when I’m having a tough day. Money is tight, I get nervous. Taxes are going up yet again on my gigantic house that he had to build.
      When I have bad moments I have trained myself to remember he just didn’t want me.
      He belittled me. Told me all my faults. Critized my clothing, my hair. I couldn’t please him, no matter how hard I tried.
      Now, the new man I’m with always tells me how nice I look, how good I smell or just winks at me. So simple but he likes me and wants me. Doesn’t want to throw me away for freedom and other women like the ex.
      I tried for years to change my ex. Begged him to stop flirting, begged him to want me and not want to share me with another man. How can you truly love someone and want to share them? You just can’t change a person. I get that now. He always made it out to be my fault. Now I understand, it’s him and his sick mind. I am better off as well.
      My self esteem is better. Not great, but better.
      People often remark how great I look. I asked my friend and she said I always looked stress and sad. I guess it showed.
      I will never forgive or forget, but I will move on. Life is short, I’ll be 54 in August and I won’t let that slime bring me down for the rest of my life.
      Good luck, trusting God. You have so much inner strength, you have no idea what’s there.

      • Tryinghard June 20, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

        Rachel
        You deserve to be treated well by your new man. I know it’s not the same for you as you’re still broken hearted with regards to your family being practically destroyed but I wish for you for all that to go away. You did everything you could possibly do to save your marriage to make things right. Despite what the experts say you can’t do it alone and your ex had a different agenda. You know you’re better off without him, I don’t have to tell you that. There’s a lot of people who think just get divorced and you will be happy. Unfortunately it’s not the case you still have to grieve the loss of your dream, al the crap needs to be processed in order to let go of the pain. At least you are with someone who gets your hurt and treats you the way you deserve to be treated.

        Are you trying to sell the big ass house? Gosh I know so many women who divorced and got the house almost as a prize and it turns into a nightmare with the taxes, expenses and repairs. Most ended up selling the homes at a huge loss. I hope since the real estate market is on the upswing this won’t be the case for you. I hope you sell it soon and get into something more manageable for you and your sons. Also the older a home becomes the more in need of costly updates. I hope you get out before that’s necessary.

        Glad to hear you are going on a vacation. I believe in travel. Get out of the four walls, experience something new. I would eat beans for a month in order to afford it. I can’t wait for our trip in September. I’ve rented a car at the Paris airport and we are going to drive south and look at chateaux, wineries, churches and hike. It’s going to be a real adventure and if we get lost well we will be in France how awful could that be??? I hope you have a great time in Maine. Always wanted to do a big road trip out east. Next year we are already planning a 12 day RV trip out west to the state parks. LOL if we don’t kill each other after that we never will. He got scared when I told him I wanted to buy a gun for our safety. We aren’t gun owners so you should have seen his face when I suggested that!!

        Peace little Rachel. Go out there and be happy. Forget about what could have been and enjoy what is. Sounds like you’re on the right track.

        • Rachel June 20, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

          Trying hard,
          In three years I hope to sell the house. I had to pay the ex for it so hopefully ill make a killing on it which will kill him!
          It is too big, but I needed some type of normal for my kids especially my youngest. Everything was said in front of him and to this day he doesn’t have good words about his birth father.
          I can’t wait to hear about your trip in September. please let us know all about your adventure!

          • Tryinghard June 20, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

            Rachel
            Well good. I hope you do make a killing. Meantime 3 years is a lot of work and upkeep. I admire your efforts in trying to keep some sort of normalcy for your youngest. I hate he had to be witness to the bad stuff. Maybe he’s on the right track not having good feelings about his father!! You’re raising smart boys.

            I will. I’ll tell you all about it. It’s really a bucket list trip for me. So is next years trip out west and I’m getting to an age where I need to start ticking that bucket list off.

            You know it’s funny. I wanted to take this trip six years ago whe he was in the middle of his affair. He was very uncomfortable about going. Even suggested I take my good girlfriend with me instead. He even suggested and offered to rent a place in France for a month for me so I could go!! Lol that should have been a huge red flag and it somewhat was. I couldn’t imagine who wouldn’t want to go on this trip? He loves French food and France although not as much as I so I was really surprised at his offer. At the time I said no there was no way I wanted to go away without him for a month. Well I think my refusal of his offer put a big fly in the ointment of his and the OWs plans for when I would have been gone. I bet she was licking her chops at her good fortune of me taking him up on his offer.. Heck him too at the time. Ugh everything comes back to the deception but I am going to make the most of this trip. Who hoo lots of castles!!!

            • Blue June 22, 2015 at 8:01 am #

              Rachel, thank goodness one parent (you) is thinking about the effects of your marriage breakup is affecting your kids. I hope you make a fortune on your house when it’s time and I’m sure when you downsize your new home will be home to them because you are there.

              Tryinghard- I love that term ‘licking her chops’ I too can picture the OW in my case ‘licking her chops’ every time she finds a reason to contact my H in the workplace. (they’re still in the same building) She was a real predator and I’m pretty sure she stalked us to a certain degree, but that’s another story.

              I hope everyone has a great day, off to work for me..

  19. Carol June 20, 2015 at 1:07 am #

    Reading all the comments makes me want to hug all of you. The pain is palpable, and so real. After my H’s numerous infidelities, including a 10 year affair I didn’t even know about b/c I trusted him so completely, I also know the agony of the “symbols and ceremonies” bitterness after such deep betrayal. Our 40th is this summer. Our daughter wanted to throw us a huge party. We said no – partly b/c we are private people who wouldn’t want such an extravagant affair (no pun intended) no matter how great our marriage was. But I did always enjoy our special anniversary trips together – just the two of us. Now that I know it was the “three of us” – he called her when we were on our 30th anniversary trip in Canada – celebrations of this kind just no longer hold the romantic feelings they once did. Our marriage is better than before on many levels, but this particular issue still remains a tough one for me. Luckily, on our actual anniversary date, we will be busy babysitting our 7 month old grandson while our kids are in Europe on vacation. He is the light of our lives, so although the traditional romantic celebration will not happen, I know I will feel love – just a different kind, i.e. I am so grateful we are still together and get to know the joys of grandparenting together – I fall in love w/ my husband every time I see my grandson watch in awe when my H plays the guitar for him. Then in September, our 2 children and their spouses/S.O.’s and grandson will take a short trip up to the lake. I will focus on what a beautiful family we’ve made together. Infidelity changes you, but it need not take the love out of your life if you’re willing to keep your heart open to all kinds of love. But, to answer TrustingGod’s question (although it wasn’t directed at me personally) – yes, the love of another person certainly does take the pain away. I’ve seen it happen many, many times. The other option is to make yourself matter in the world – in other words – find a cause that’s bigger than yourself and your own ego and throw your heart and soul into it. You will then be romancing the whole world – lessening suffering, and know that God is there, cheering you on! Those who are involved in bettering the world are some of the sexiest people on the planet, and who knows? You just may find that soul-mate who is devoted to the same cause, and together you may change the world (and have all the romance you could ever need and want as well!) Think positive, and know that you DO matter, and deserve the best. The ones who can’t give you that brought their issues into your relationship – it’s not your fault, and it’s not a reflection on your worthiness. Pity them, pray for them, and move on.

    • Tryinghard June 20, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

      Carol
      We must be close to the same age. Ten years huh? Wow. I thought 4 years for my h and his skank was long enough to not have any clue what was going on right under my own nose. Oh my gosh if my children had wanted to give us a party it would have been a resounding no as well. There wouldn’t be enough Xanax in the world to pull that off. Congrats on the grandchildren. They are wonderful. My husband and I adore our two as well. But man are they exhausting!!

      Carol how did the 10 year affair end? Did he end it? Did you catch him? I mean ten years is a long time. Did you know the OW? Did you ever have any clues during that time something wasn’t quite right? How and why men do this still baffles me. If they care for someone so much to see them for so long why don’t they just leave at the six month, one year mark? How do the live parrellel lives? It’s still so weird to me. I guess I will go to my grave asking this question. Maybe infidelity is the greatest mystery of life and NOT why am I here.

      • Carol June 21, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

        To TryingHard:
        Yes, 10 years is almost unfathomable. I could really make myself sick (and I have) kicking myself and blaming myself for not seeing the signs that were right in front of me for so long – I was so naive and had no concept for this level of deceit b/c I had never before experienced it. He didn’t want sex anymore? That was due to all the meds he was taking for his heart condition (or so he told me). All the golf? He’s always played golf and I had always been a “golf widow” (but didn’t realize for 10 years half of those times were with the OW). He timed their other meetings on the days I had to work late. By the time I got home, he was home. The 3 hour trips to Home Depot to buy a hammer? Well, I would tell him I was going to Kohl’s for a blouse – and spend three hours there. So I never suspected he wasn’t where he said he would be, b/c I never lied to him. The only way the whole thing unraveled was that I found a gift bag in his car and asked him about it – and he went ballistic. He said he was at that point wanting to get caught subconsciously b/c the double life was killing him. She became a habit he couldn’t break. But she was just that – a habit. He has always said I have always been the love of his life – he just needed extra ego stroking – that little hit of dopamine several times a week – and it lasted so long b/c she was from another country and had no family, no friends, and counted entirely on him (except financially). Since we’ve had so many conversations, I kind of understand why he did it, but I will never understand the OW – she could have had someone to love only her but she told him she would “take what I can get” even though he told her he would never leave me. How pathetic. It’s been 5 years of healing – our marriage is stronger in many ways. It is certainly more authentic and I am no longer naive. My husband has had issues he came into the marriage with that I couldn’t possibly understand until we had the appropriate therapy. He’s working on his moral compass and has come a long way, but I am still working on accepting him as he is – ie. a little self absorbed, forgetful, prone to be “in the moment” not reflective. What I will not accept (and he knows it) are any more infidelities of any kind. It’s been 5 years with one slip (a lap dance on a golf trip with his buddies for which I saw a lawyer and brought home paperwork – that seemed to have shocked him back to reality). We’re doing well, but like you, I still have no answers re: how to get the romance/nostalgic feelings back when those darn anniversaries crop up. Maybe Doug and Linda have the right idea – but then again, I am no different from most women who would be touched by some kind of special acknowledgment initiated by the H.

        • TryingHard June 22, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

          OMG you and I are living parallel lives!!! This is my story.

          LOL yep my H would go to play golf which I know is only about 4 to 4 1/2 hours and after being gone 6 hours and saying he went to the office after, which we own our own business and was completely plausible, going to the office for a few hours turned into 8 hours….. yeah I get it, ALL of it. But the big clues weren’t there except keeping that damn phone attached to himself 24/7, still wasn’t enough to worry about. UGH

          I’m sorry you too made your own self sick. I still do sometimes 🙁 I’ve somewhat come to terms that my H was a very good liar and that I am not to blame because I wasn’t being some kind of pseudo CIA person during that time. Truly didn’t believe I needed to either.

          We should stay in touch. We have many similarities in our life.

          • Carol June 22, 2015 at 11:09 pm #

            TryingHard:
            Yes, we should keep in touch! Four years, ten years – whatever – in that amount of time a whole era of memories can be made by two people. When I first found out, he told me it had been “about 2 years”. 6 months later I found out it had been 10 (I was in his office and found a paper they had presented together and it all clicked for me – I confronted him and he couldn’t deny it). The past decade flashed before my eyes – our children’s graduations, vacations, illnesses (he kept fondly saying I saved his life after he had quintuple bypass surgery as I nursed him lovingly back to health for months – years afterward I found out she had visited him at the hospital – he would call the few times I would go home to shower, etc. and she would rush in – then he emailed her until he was able to drive again and go to her place). What does a wife do with such information? My whole life was a trigger for a long time – I still have no fondness for golf as they played often together and I will never be a golfer – nor do I want to be. That’s just not me. Talk about anniversaries – they actually celebrated nine – the first time he committed adultery with her in San Antonio on a business trip was Nov. 7th, 2000. They shared wine, dinner, flowers, cards (are there cards that say “Happy Anniversary to my OW?” I still am confused about that! So yes, the anniversary stuff still hurts. It’s amazing we’ve come as far as we have. I am in a much better place now, as is he, but it’s like any death – you never really get over it. If there are no more traumas, like repeated infidelities, you will get to a place where it doesn’t take center stage in your thoughts anymore. But it’s still there. Takes a lot of energy out of you. But life goes on. Live and learn. I wish you well – I am open to any tips on further healing – we’ve been to all the workshops and lots of therapy and researching. It’s helped. But you never stop learning, right? Take care-

            Carol

            • TryingHard June 23, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

              Carol
              After the affair was discovered did he go through withdrawal/denial or was he just relieved it was over? I am assuming now he is totally in love and grateful to you and you can do no wrong and no is never uttered from his lips 🙂

              That whole lap dance incident, really???, he thought that was ok or a good idea??? UGH how stupid are they?? Good on you for making him get how un-ok it was for you. Yeah sometimes you do have to go to big extremes to drive the point home to some people.

              • Carol June 23, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

                TryingHard:
                Yes, he pretty much worships the ground I walk on now, when he’s not absorbed in his other pursuits (mostly innocuous now – e.g. music, golf, fishing). He went through a relatively short period of withdrawal considering the length of the affair. He ran to her house, wrote her some notes in the first week, she answered back “Where are you? I’m all alone.” and it was at that point he realized what a travesty it all was. I’ve heard some wives don’t want to be touched, while others go into “hysterical bonding” mode. I was the “hysterical bonding” type so that helped – lol! She definitely was not the love of his life. It was like he was duped by a false religion and finally got out and realized he had been brain washed. I’ll give him that. Some men leave, marry the OW, and then find out, and end up sitting on a bar stool wondering what the hell happened to their lives. At least he didn’t do that. We are both retired now so that also helps. We were involved in a group in which the facilitators said we could be absolutely 100% healed, and our therapists said it (the healing) would take one to two years. I think, though, it depends on the length and depth of the deception, and how it’s handled afterwards. We did a lot of things right, but I have to live with 40 years of deception, not just “an affair”. (He revealed to me along with this last affair, other affairs and one night stands beginning before we even got married). So – probably I shouldn’t be with him. But he’s improved about 90% – and I don’t want to throw all that down the drain. It’s a process, he’s had a lifetime of faulty moral wiring, and I am proud of him that he had the courage to finally look at his shadow side and bring it to light. I absolutely agree with you though- there will always be a certain sadness – and yes, I go past triggers alot, but it’s down to a brief wince usually. I hope you and your H continue to have good times – at least our H’s OW’s have “scurried off like cockroaches”. That made me laugh. It could have been much worse!

                • TryingHard June 24, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

                  Carol
                  You are my infidelity doppelganger!!! With the exception of the “it could have been worse” comment. No it couldn’t have been much worse for me. He also spent a lot of marital assets on her in the name of a “loan” that was never repaid. So I got a double triple sucker punch in the infidelity game.

                  My H is an avid golfer has been for years. I always encouraged him to play and get away from work. He doesn’t have that many hobbies and works like a dog, so I never put pressure on him not to play golf like other women I knew. He does like to fish and hike. I hate golf. I’ve played for years only in hopes that I improve but I don’t. I played with really good girl golfers and well they play with me because I am fun. I played a handful of times last year with him, and btw the only reason I ever picked up a club or took a lesson was to play with him. He will patronize me and play with me and encourage me, but I’m certain he’d much rather play with the guys and I would too 🙂 I hate playing. I like fishing and hiking though. I’m good at hiking even with a rather bum knee and am mostly ahead of him on the trail. Anyway back to golf. I’ve pretty much given it up. I’m hopeless I wish I did have some talent but I don’t. I did Jr golf with my kids, I love watching golf tournaments, I love golf courses they are so pretty, I know the rules, you name it, I just suck big time actually playing the sport!!! We even live on a golf course! I can’t get away from it.

                  I’m sorry to hear your h was deceitful for most your marriage. This last affair my h had wasn’t his first either. The first few years of our marriage were very difficult. I knew about an affair but he lied about who it was and the truth about who she was came out with this one. I forgave way too quickly. I had small children to raise, I was uneducated, and scared. I assumed he’d learned his lesson. I raised my children and got an education and our marriage was good, satisfactory until I found out it wasn’t. In my case as well it seemed very easy for him to dump the OW. I never saw any kind of regret or sadness where that relationship was concerned. I think he too was glad it was over. I was just getting on that damn train after discovery so it’s taken me a little longer to forget about her!!! It’s 4 years now and it’s getting easier and much better. He is more thoughtful, loving, kind, communicative than ever. He wants me with him all the time, well except on the course 🙂 Sometimes though I need my alone time so it’s like “yeah go play golf!” Anyway I have had to do a lot of learning and reading and searching for my answers and proper healing. Thank God for books and blogs like this that bring us together which helps in not feeling alone and unique in this painful journey.

            • TryingHard June 23, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

              Carol
              I/We haven’t done any seminars. We did about a year and a half of MC. It was good. He’s answered as many questions as I need answered but I have found the questions never end. So I just dismiss them. I know realize I know everything there is to know. I’ve read a lot about narcissists, co-dependency and socio/psychopathy. Mostly what I have found that works for me is to stop trying to get in his head. I work on me, my boundaries, my expectations and total respect in all areas of our lives and marriage–both giving and receiving respect.

              We too are in a much better place but you are right it never goes away. It becomes softened but never gone. Kind of like a scar. Sometimes I have triggers but not nearly like before. There’s so many places we pass and I know he was there with her and that still hurts. I hate the part of him that was capable of doing what he did but I love him dearly. We truly act as a team now in all areas of our lives. I work with him daily and that is different than before. I needed to come to the business to protect my interests. Although I do NOT love what I do it is what has clothed, fed and sheltered me most of my life. He stupidly abused the business for his own benefit. Now I am here watching everything from finances to work to emails and phone calls. No I’m not playing spy but I understand him a lot better. Should have insisted on doing it sooner. He didn’t want me in his business and I really didn’t want to be. I am here because this business is mine as well as his. I found that out when I started divorce proceedings so I’m here and he seems to like it. I’m pretty much a force not to be reckoned with and he needs that. He’s the boss at work and I support him in that effort but at home I have his ear. Everyone at work knows that and it is a different ballgame now. OW knows I’m here and I’ve been told she’s pretty afraid of me so she stays away. She knew I had grounds to sue her and take what little she had so off she scurried like a good little cockroach! Anyway life is different and in some respects pretty good but there’s always that damn 800 lb gorilla that peeks around the corner. Screw that gorilla!!!

  20. Antiskank June 20, 2015 at 1:13 am #

    Happy Anniversary Doug and Linda! I’m disappointed to hear that you won’t be celebrating in a special way.
    Maybe I’m still in fairy tale mode but think that it is a perfect day to remember why you took the very special vows in the first place, how special your relationship is, and remember that unique bond that you have together.
    My CH and I had been married almost 38 years when I found out about his betrayal. We used to celebrate anniversaries and it made me feel loved, like I was part of something that nobody else had. Pretty cheesy, right? We have not celebrated since DDay. What would we celebrate? The sanctity of our vows? How many years? Our 40th passed with only sadness and we are approaching 41 years. We have been together since I was 17, more than 2/3 of our lives!
    All special days and holidays have been very difficult since DDay. I asked him not to give me any gifts unless he really meant them, that they were being given with love and not obligation. He did ask me if it was okay to give me a promise ring to show his intent to make things better but he never followed through. After that I found out he was still “in love” with his skank and had no feelings for me. He says that has changed now but I have had no gifts since DDay three years ago. That says a lot to me. I will not ask him for anything because obviously I don’t want a pity or obligation gift!!
    As for renewal of vows, I am worried that it would only be for show and have no meaning for him. I am definitely not prepared to do it right now. We did go to Vegas last year and many of our friends suggested we should renew our vows while we were there. I told him I would leave it up to him. I never heard another word about it!
    I’m glad to hear that some of you are feeling loved and appreciated on special days and all days:) I’m still working on that. Having a difficult week – the anniversary of DDay as well as his birthday this week…..

  21. exercisegrace June 21, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

    Happy Anniversary Doug and Linda! We recently had our 28th. I think every couple must decide how to celebrate for themselves. And while I think it is unnecessary to spend a lot of money or splash out for an extravagant meal, I also think it is dangerous to treat it as any other day. For the first twenty plus years of our marriage, we didn’t make a big deal out of our anniversary. We smugly told ourselves that we had such a wonderful marriage we didn’t need to do so. We treated each other well every day of the year. We did thoughtful little things for each other quite often. We didn’t take as many nights out together as we could or should have, but we made it a point to do the little things like rent a movie to watch snuggled in bed after the kids were asleep.

    Looking back, I wish we had made a bigger deal of our anniversary. Even just setting aside a couple of hours alone to focus on us, our marriage and what it meant past, present and future. I wish we had looked at our pictures each year. I wish we had talked about our vows, what they meant in that season of our lives, how we were still living them out. I wish we had done something quiet, sacred and meaningful. Would it have changed anything? Probably not. But I know that treating it as another day didn’t work. Resting on our laurels of “but we are so good to each other all the time we don’t need a special day” didn’t work either. Our anniversary has become for me, a painful day. It lessens as the years go by, but there is always a little sting. He broke those vows in a spectacular way. Currently, I am trying to figure out how to bring some of the special back into things.

  22. Shifting Impressions June 25, 2015 at 12:15 am #

    Happy Anniversary Doug and Linda.
    Thanks again for the work you do on this site….you are a lifeline for so many of us.

    Anniversaries can be so painful after infidelity. Our 40th wedding anniversary….about two weeks after D-day was extremely painful…..as I sat through the family dinner “celebrating” my heart was in pieces. One of my children knew what had happened but the other three had no idea. The only thing that got me through that evening was celebrating the beauty of my amazing children.

    We got through our forty first anniversary and are still making progress (slowly) but I hope there will come a time where I will enjoy an anniversary again……right now I just feel overwhelming sadness when I think of our anniversary.

    • Carol June 25, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

      We never made a big deal out of our anniversary either – a dinner, perhaps an overnight, maybe a card. Sometimes I was with my gfs in Hilton Head during our summer get together. But there was one gf who always insisted I get home for my actual anniversary date no matter what. She would annoy me by lecturing me about how important it was to be with your husband and celebrate each and every anniversary. She and her H always celebrated with trip, gifts, the whole nine yards – every year. And I just realized – they’re the most happily married couple in our group of 6 High School girlfriends. They recently celebrated their 40th – party bus, revisiting old places and special memories with family and friends (we were on that party bus!) – going to the church where they were married…I was both proud of them and envious. I don’t know if the big whoopdidoo about anniversaries would have made my H think twice about having affairs – probably not. Still, it’s something to ponder…and re: golf, TryingHard – I assume your H did not play golf with his AP – right after I found out they played golf together for ten years I immediately went into battered wife mode and promised my H I would become as good a little golf partner as she was – (pick me! pick me!) So – took lessons, he bought me my own set of clubs, went to the driving range, etc. Talk about being a fish out of water. For someone who had been a pretty damn good hoofer in adult advanced tap dance class, you’d think I’d be a little more coordinated! But no…I looked and felt totally ridiculous. I had to admit the little bitch had me beat in that department. Golf then became such a huge trigger for me that my H didn’t even play with his buddies or watch it on TV for over a year b/c he couldn’t stand to see the look on my face. Boy, these affairs wring the soul right outta you! Back to anniversary – still don’t know what’s going to happen. I’ve been told “Your husband can’t read your mind – you need to tell him exactly what you need” – but that’s just the thing. What I need is for him to be mindful and initiate the thinking process, i.e. “Hmm. Who is my wife? What might make her happy on our anniversary?” – it’s not the gift but the thought behind it that counts. And that goes for every day, not just the big ones. Maybe Doug has gotten to the point where he makes Linda so happy by doing that – thinking of her on a daily basis that their anniversary is truly just another day in paradise. May we all get to that point…

      • TryingHard June 25, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

        No Carol the AP did not play golf. Have you ever seen a cockroach on a golf course??? She was trailer park trash. HaHa I would have loved to hear about her escapades on a golf course. My H is too big a snob to be seen in public with a person like her let alone a golf course!!!

        I read one place about when you are going thru the traumas and reconciliation it is good to bring out pics and memories about your dating life, early marriage life, the good experiences. I know when my H and I would do this I would see a sparkle in his eyes. We’d talk about dating and how crazy we were in high school and him at college and I would drive up to see him for the weekends. I think it is good to positively reminisce and re-visit your wedding day and anniversary. It keeps you from forgetting what you really are together. When’s the last time you looked at your wedding pictures? I think it’s good to look at those former selves so full of hope and love and dreams. Makes you realize maybe some or even most of them came true.

        Maybe you’re right about Doug and Linda. I did notice that most the women here recommended to Doug to go out and buy something for Linda for their anniversary. I think most women do like to be surprised with a gift/remembrance/ special treatment on an anniversary and are loathe to ask for it. Yeah we all pretty much want them to be thoughtful and come up with the idea. The size and cost is really never the point. I find it curious that Linda didn’t comment. I know from reading older blog entries she addressed a lot of comments but not so much anymore so I really don’t have a feel for what her feelings are on the subject. Oh well maybe she is the rare woman who really doesn’t expect or even want anything. Good for her if that works for her. It doesn’t seem to affect their marriage negatively if Doug agrees to let it pass without notice. Whatever works for you I say 🙂

        • Carol June 26, 2015 at 5:10 pm #

          Well, at least one “cockroach” played on a golf course – but they always went to a little run down out of the way one so my H wouldn’t run into anyone he knew. Re: revisiting memories – yes, we actually revisited the college where we met, and my H cried on the steps of the little restaurant we always went to. It’s all helped. Except when the memories are associated with her – like our 30th anniversary trip to Canada, where he called her while we were there. Taints the memory. So we have to be careful and pick the ones that don’t trigger the sadness. I was just reading the guest blog on avoidant personality disorder, which closely describes my H and was a very good, insightful article. My comment, very positive and appreciative was blocked. Have I done something wrong? If so, please let me know and I will stop immediately! If I’ve committed some kind of blog etiquette breach, I certainly want to know about it!

          • TryingHard June 26, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

            That’s weird. I’ve never been blocked although God knows maybe I should have been 🙂 Probably just a glitch. Doug and Linda seem pretty liberal with commenters.

            I hear you about the trigger places. I believe we should go and make new memories. Canada could be a trigger but maybe going there on a new vacation will make new positive memories. Actually I need to do just this with a certain restaurant.

            • Carol June 28, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

              Yes, we actually went to Canada a couple of years ago. Not the same city, but close enough. Wonderful memories this time that nothing should erase. I have plastered our bedroom with all the photos from the last five years while we worked very hard to make new, untainted memories – so now I look around and see photos of all the beautiful new memories we’ve made. Very therapeutic.

          • Doug June 28, 2015 at 12:02 am #

            Carol, We very rarely block comments. And I don’t see any comments waiting for approval. If you happened to include more than two links to other things then the spam filter will automatically block it and mark it as spam. Other than that I have no idea what could have happened to it.

            • Carol June 28, 2015 at 7:50 pm #

              OK, good. I never include links, so just glad it wasn’t me making inadvertently inappropriate comments :-).

  23. antiskank June 26, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

    Lord knows that many places, songs, and situations cause painful triggers. One thing I have been doing to force myself to get beyond them is to intentionally go with my H to the places that bring up sadness or anger in me. That even includes the little “love nest” where they work and met for coffee and ego stroking (and a a little hand holding) I am going to take them back from the skank and form new memories in my CH’s mind that wipe out his fantasy!!!
    i wish we could do the reminiscing with the photo albums, etc but after he rewrote our history as all bad, it brings me much sadness to look at them. I don’t know if he is ready still to see the good in any of it. Ok, now I’m ticked off again!! Still having those darn mood swings!

  24. Carol June 28, 2015 at 7:57 pm #

    Yes, those “darn mood swings” are so common. My H would say “What the h– happened?” You were fine this afternoon! And often, I didn’t even know myself. But our minds are always thinking, responding, reacting to cues in the environment and in our head – mostly from our amygdala, which is on constant lookout for life threatening danger, like it thought you were going to die when your H “rejected” you. Deliberately exposing yourself to those triggers is actually a form of desensitization therapy, used for people with PTSD ( like many of us). My husband’s AP was from Taiwan, and I couldn’t eat Chinese food for four years. We finally went to a Chinese restaurant last year, on THEIR “anniversary” no less. Big risk! However, I enjoyed a delicious meal of my favorite Chinese dish – cashew chicken. Whew. Baby steps, baby steps…:-)

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