Well this week has been a challenging one for us. Let me share our little tale of woe.

It started off on Sunday when our son (who is in college) dropped by the house after work and tells me that he feels unsafe driving his car because the brakes are going out in his car.  So I traded him vehicles and took his car into the mechanic who informs me that it’s not only the brakes, but the rotors and calipers are shot as well.  Basically it’s about $400 in repair work that we have to take care of.  Oh well, the car has about 130,000 miles on it and was probably due for brakes anyhow.  A shot to the wallet without a doubt, but what can you do.

Monday morning Linda and I had a little bit of an argument that left us both kind of emotional.  Although it was a fairly short-lived spat, it wasn’t a good way to start the week off. We both acknowledged our shortcomings, apologized to each other and then went about our day.

trials and tribulations
We’ve had many trials and tribulations over our 32+ years together, and at times I wonder if we are being tested by a higher power.

Later that day the check engine light goes off in one of our other cars, so now we have to address that once we get my son’s car back.  The way the car has been acting lately, I’m preparing for a worst case scenario as far as repair expense goes.

Monday evening I noticed that some bees were swarming around part of our house, which they do occasionally since we have some flowers around the area.  I thought no big deal.  I know honey bees are important and somewhat endangered so I just let them buzz around and didn’t pay much attention to them.  Less than 15 minutes later there were literally thousands of bees swarming an area of our house, blanketing a section around the chimney covering about a 4 square feet area several inches thick.

When sitting in our family room one can hear bees buzzing through the walls while others have managed to somehow make their way into the house.  God only knows what size honeycomb they got going between our walls and I’m just waiting for the sticky stuff to start dripping down the walls and ceilings.  Do you know how hard it is to get a beekeeper to come out to take them away? Sometimes, being a homeowner can really suck.

Despite the generally crappy day, we decided later that night that since we haven’t had any “quality time” over the last week or so for intimacy (for numerous reasons), we were going to spend time together for several hours on Tuesday night working off our pent up “frustrations.”  Our daughters had soccer practice, followed by dance practice and wouldn’t be home until 10:30 at night. Yay!  Perhaps we could even try some new stuff!

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We were both really looking forward to our night of passion.  Heck, I even stashed a few naughty toys under the bed in preparation for a little, slightly tamer “50 Shades of Grey” action.  We even texted each other during the day on Tuesday letting each other know just how excited we were that we were going to have about five or six hours totally alone that night.

However, our plans quickly started to go down the tubes later that afternoon.  One of my daughters came home from school, felt ill and proceeded to vomit all over the place.  She obviously didn’t feel up to soccer practice but she said she will attempt to make it to dance.  Oh well, our 5 to 6 hours of passion is now down to about 3. Still plenty of time though.

About an hour later a storm moves in and it starts to rain really hard.  The tornado warning sirens start to sound so we headed down to the basement just to be safe. A short while later the storm passes without incident but our daughter is still not felling well, so she decides to nix the dance class.  There went our night of intimacy.  I’m thinking at that point, “Oh well, they have dance again tomorrow night, so we will just postpone the passion until then.   What’s on TV?”

Miraculously, after a short nap our daughter suddenly feels better.  So good in fact, that she feels that her boyfriend is able to come over for a few hours.  Great. At his point I’m questioning (to myself of course) her motivation to go to dance in the first place.  Certainly she didn’t blow it off just to see her boyfriend.  After all, it had only been 3 hours since they last saw each other.  But that’s another story.  He arrived and they headed off to the basement as usual.

Let me digress a little here…Our basement is finished.  We remodeled it several years ago to be my sporty man cave.  It has a bar, my office, a nice entertainment area, foosball table, etc.  Unfortunately, for the last 6 years I’ve hardly been able to use it – except for my office.  It has been the gathering place for teenagers most every night since my son was in high school.  His sisters have been able to continue the tradition quite nicely. And I don’t even want to know what my daughters and their boyfriends are doing down there half the time.

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After a few hours locked up in our basement together, my daughter and her boyfriend emerge and inform us that the back room in the basement (unfinished storage area) is taking on water from the earlier storm.  It seems that water came rushing in from the hill behind our house, under our porch, filled up the crawl space and then came spilling over the foundation into our basement.  Wonderful.

Upon hearing this, Linda and I leaped into action.  We quickly moved boxes and all the other junk that was sitting in the muddy water, mopped up the remaining water from the concrete floor and soaked up most of the water that had made it to the carpeted area. I hooked up a hose to siphon out the remaining water that was standing in the crawlspace and everything seemed to be fine.  We had minimal damage and all that was needed was a little drying time for the carpet. Disaster under control.

All in all, it was a pain in the butt, but it only took about an hour or so to clean everything up.  We felt pretty good about things so we came back upstairs for about a half an hour and finished watching the show we had recorded.  Then another storm hits.

I decided to go downstairs to check the basement just in case and before my very eyes the crawlspace started to fill up again and water came cascading over the foundation and was splattering everywhere.  It was getting everything wet and I was standing in the middle of it along with our plugged in freezer, furnace and water heater thinking that I was about to get electrocuted.

It was coming in at such a rate that it got to the point where we could do nothing but let the water pour in until the rain stopped.  When it stopped we had about 3 inches of water in our back storage area and the carpeting throughout our basement was soaked – including my office.  So now my office is the kitchen table for the time being.  At least I’m closer to the refrigerator now.

We didn’t finish up until about 1:30 AM.  We were both muddy, sweaty, exhausted and really not feeling all that wonderful at that point in time.  But to my surprise Linda crawled into bed naked and we wound up having a very passionate and rather exhausting lovemaking session after all.  It wasn’t what we had planned in the beginning, but it was still quite nice. She must like it when I’m muddy, sweaty and stinky, I guess.  Odd.  She never felt that way before.

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To top things off… today (Wednesday) I had a talk with my insurance agent about classic car insurance UK and our little catastrophe and it would appear that our insurance will not cover us in this instance.  If the water would have come up through a drain, we would be covered.  Since it was groundwater that came in the way it did – no dice.  And by the way, I talked to a guy who cleans this kind of stuff up and he tells me it would cost about $2500.  Great.  I think we will tell him to forget it, clean things up ourselves and buy some new carpeting.

As you can tell, I’m just ranting (somewhat tongue in cheek) today, but I do want to say that Linda and I have had a lot of trials and tribulations over our 32+ years together.  They always seem to come in bunches and at times I wonder if we are being tested by a higher power.  Thank God we have been able to weather all these little storms and usually seem to emerge a little stronger.

And even though the last few days have really sucked, we still spent them together and were even able to share some wonderfully intimate time together – though I guess our reenactment of a scene from “50 Shades of Grey” will have to wait for another day.

Life sure does seem to have the knack for getting in the way at times and can cause undue stress and frustration.  I guess it’s how you manage your way around life’s challenges that matters.  Having a  money tree in the back yard would be helpful as well.

On the bright side… I have my basement back.  Albeit wet, smelly and with boxes and other crap stacked all over the place.  At least the couch is dry and the TV works.  And for a few days at least, I won’t have to worry about what my daughters and their boyfriends are doing down there. Other than that, life goes on.


    11 replies to "Our Week of Trials and Tribulations"

    • tsd

      Wow, even our Demi gods, Doug and Linda, can have a rough day….I know how you feel..im sorry your house will start a new project of cleanup…I’ve been thru that twice…I would think prices are down so it should be cheaper than $2500 it’s just a hassle to begin…as I read what the two of you went thru,It seems your underlying message is, plans change and you must go with the flow…and now, a bit of humor when you think back of your clean version of 50 shades turned a different kind of dirty…well played….

    • Carol

      Oh wow, what a week! But it’s actually very encouraging to hear about the two of you making it through these frustrations together. It gives all of us hope that a relationship can be restored to a healthy normalcy after an EA and can weather (pun intended) all sorts of challenges intact.

      • Linda

        Carol, This experience allowed me to realize how much our relationship has changed and grown over the last few years. We were partners again, something that we had lost along the way. I didn’t feel stressed or overwhelmed because of the manner in which Doug took over. He was in charge and I really liked that and found it very appealing. I also was very proud how we handled it, we used humor and compassion rather than resentment and anger. It is amazing that when you do have a good relationship, that is filled with fun, communication and passion these bumps along the road aren’t so rough. They don’t escalate into something major and turn personal. They are just bumps, that are dealt with and forgotten.

    • rollercoasterrider

      Doug, this IS quite the week. Someday I’ll write a little more about all the trials and tribulations we have had, too. But in answer to the most important question, “Does this testing come from God?” I believe the answer is a resounding yes. If you have a Bible, check out First Thessalonians 3:3. I’m very thankful the two of you are a team, because just dealing with teens/young adult children is a challenge in and of itself, not to mention all the other minor catastrophes. The good news is, that not only do we get to be tested, but we also can ask for Divine help as we go through these issues, problems, pains in the butt…etc. And what a happy ending, to be together in the middle of the night having fun, even though expectations had been dashed! (I’m wondering how Linda felt the next teaching day…??)

    • AngelWings

      Wow!! What a whirlwind of a week you two had! Almost sounds like the beginning of mine with car trouble. We started looking for a newer vehicle for our soon to graduate daughter and within a matter of days ended up buying a new car for us not because we wanted to but ended up being a “have to”. Our daughter will soon get her car. But like you two in the end it’s how you handle the situation that makes all the difference. There was a time my H would let me do all the research and figuring out of how to deal with things which was very stressful and I’m sure I ended up with some resentment because of it. But happy to say he took the lead (and has been since Dday) made the tough decisions in the end. Like LInda, I too felt somewhat stress free in this situation because my H took over. I too am an elementary teacher and I can attest that the last month of the year is one of the toughest. So for my H to take this stress away from me, realizing I’ve got plenty of it at work right now, makes me smile and happy that we are working our way through this together. In 11 mths, we’ve come quiet a ways. Peace to you all and Doug and Linda, praying you have an uneventful weekend. Thanks for “hearing” me out. Peace

    • Jackie

      Sometimes life just throws you lemons and you have to make the best of it. Attitude is everything in these cases.

    • Paula

      Doug and Linda

      I’ve been doing a lot of research about this, and wondered if you have come across anything in your travels – this comment is triggered about you discreetly sharing that you had such a wonderful lovemaking session, despite your horrendous week. What should one do when one was a VERY sexual person, and one finds oneself completely devoid of any sexual feelings at all? I don’t want to overshare on this forum, it’s not that kind of place to do this, but I have not been able to engage sexually (in ANY form, if you know what I mean) for a year, sex was still happening for much of this time, but I had to leave my body to cope, and I am terrified that I have lost this important part of my life, permanently, and have found it VERY distressing. I kind of brought it up with our last counsellor, but I don’t think I let him know how important and how serious this is for me, as we were working on other aspects of our relationship at the time. Just to illustrate, your 50 Shades of Grey comment amused me, because the book seemed pretty lame to me, a bit teen fantasy, I guess many might find it a little shocking or titilating, I didn’t bother finishing it, worked hard to half way but gave up. I’ve always been very sexually adventurous, so no real surprises in that respect for me between the covers of that book, sorry don’t mean to offend all of those who found it fun and “useful!” I say, do whatever works for you, and I’m very glad for those who have enjoyed it and who it has helped warm things up in the bedroom 🙂 My (now ex) partner was absolutely wonderful about this, he was concerned for me, and tried to help me as much as possible, very understanding, very patient, very loving and tried to help with the research, etc. He knew that I had been violently raped by a fellow student not long before I met him, he didn’t know this until a couple of years after we moved in together, though, as I didn’t want it to become a problem for him, and up until this affair, I had NO issues with sex, none at all, even in the aftermath of the rape. My ex was my first sexual partner, but I never told him that until after Dday, because of the rape, I felt I couldn’t claim that, and he is especially upset that I never shared that with him, although he knew I was “inexperienced” he never knew he was the only. Have you stumbled across anywhere for me to turn with this problem? I guess the sexual aspect of an affair has this effect on many, but it took two years for it to affect me in this very debilitating manner, we actually had the not unusual experience of sex becoming even more frequent, and “hotter” for at least the first six months post Dday, and I can’t bear to think I will go through my life without this very pleasurable aspect to life, any suggestions would be very welcomed. Sorry to ask this on this site, but I am pretty desperate!

      • roller coaster rider

        Paula, you know me and I’m no expert! But I do care very much about you and about all the others who visit this site, which is why I’m going to give you my opinion on your very thought-provoking and personal question. My intuition tells me that the reason your sexual relationship with your ex-partner was so wonderful was because he was the only and you loved him with all your heart and were totally committed to him. When he betrayed your trust in such a horrible way, in your own home with someone else you had no reason to suspect (and then did it again after D-Day 1, right?), it brought back all those horrible post-rape reactions and left you feeling so conflicted about sex that the act itself seemed unsafe and you had to give up all power in the relationship in order to participate. I also personally believe you could be healed of that pain.

    • Paula

      RCR, you have said, exactly what I have thought, but I thought it would make things better for both of us if I left him, and the normal sexual feelings would return, as I wouldn’t be continually traumatised by his (perfectly reasonable and normal) sexual desires. He has approached my issues with tenderness, great care and kindness, and actively avoided anything that would set me off, toning down everything to the point where I felt undesirable, and THAT would spiral me down into self loathing, and loathing of my body, despite my best efforts not to continue to do this! I have always been a bit careful about unexpected touch, and he knows it, to come up behind me and caress or embrace me, without warning would make me jump, even before this period in our lives, I’m extra careful about touch or hugs from people I don’t know well, and it REALLY annoyed me, so I thought releasing him from my terror would help both of us. If I’m honest, the deteriorated sex life was THE main reason I left him, as he was doing all the right things, had explored (and is continuing to) his issues, and I was going backwards, regressing, not progressing. I had hoped that separation would help me stop going over and over the same old crap, but it hasn’t. This delayed reaction is bloody frustrating, and I believe it is the main reason I have struggled with FULLY forgiving the OW. She doesn’t know (and doesn’t want to) the chain reaction she helped to cause, and when he explained a tiny, little tad of it, she just told him I was pathetic, and I needed to just get over myself, as all marriages seem to have infidelity involved!?!! That is one of HER issues, and one of the reasons why I wanted to talk to her, to try to explain that this is not necessarily so, and the effect of doing this is forever, even with recovery, and to try to encourage her not to do it to someone else, as I’m sure she’s been involved in this kind of behaviour before. That is one of the reasons I have always been very cautious about myself or any friends of mine wading into someone else’s marriage, because no one knows what it will trigger in the BS, as much as anything else.

      Despite all of this, I am actually doing okay, but would desperately love to put this issue “to bed” pardon the pun, lol! I am really sick of this, and I did prick my ears up at Doug and Linda’s post in the HHL section about Dr Huizenga’s suggestion about stopping all of the self analysis, etc. My ex has also suggested this to me, that I am trying too hard to heal, that I need to take a break from it, but I don’t know how? I’m exhausted, and when I look in the mirror, the youthful 44 year old I used to be (many people were surprised when they saw me with my 19 year old daughter, commenting I must have been a teen mother – I was never sure whether to be flattered, or a little disgusted, lol!) and see this drawn being staring gauntly back at me, with circles under the eyes I never had before, skin tone gone grey, and the sparkle gone from my eyes. I want my mojo back!!!

    • Carol

      Hi, Paula — well, that OW is a real piece of work. She obviously has no heart whatsoever. I’d suggest writing her off utterly. Of course you know it’s not your job to make her change (though I’d certainly be tempted to expose her far and wide!). You can’t make sense out of nonsense, and she sure is spouting a bunch of nonsense. Have you ever considered a mini-break by yourself — a retreat-type thing? Just to give yourself a chance to relax and think about something else for a while? Remember that your self-perception is always colored by your experiences; it is not objective. What you are seeing in the mirror is probably a reflection of your view of yourself at the moment. You can change that view. Just from what you post here, you seem very vibrant, full of life, straightforward, fun — the sort of person most people would love to have in their lives as a joyful and fun and straight-talking friend. So I still see plenty of ‘sparkle’ in the sense of vibrant personality, anyway, in your writing!

      • Paula

        Thanks, Carol. I have written off the OW, she has been outted, not by me, but all of the people I know in our small town know what happened (she doesn’t live here, but he did grown up here, and she still has deep family ties) and the behaviour of her, and my ex-partner. Not the full extent, no one knows she tried to keep in touch with him until just before last Xmas, when he (FINALLY!) realised she was never going to give up, and changed his number – yes, it took him that long. And I have never told anyone that he returned to her bed two years after our Dday (whilst we were separated – I didn’t want to paint him as THAT badass to our friends.) That was never a need of mine, to out her, it doesn’t help, possibly hinders, as I have had to deal with the very public “shame” – yes, I know it’s nothing for me to feel ashamed about, but you do anyway. I am on my own now, just my two younger kids at home, we’re okay, I have a lovely life, in many ways, we have a holiday home, and I use it whenever I can, so don’t feel too sorry for me! I hear what everyone says about not thinking about it, but that, in a nutshell, is my whole problem, I have NEVER been able to turn any of this off, I still have the vivid dreams – nightmares – and holidays, or mini-breaks are the worst times for this, I think about it all CONSTANTLY, even though we are now separated, my work and relationships with friends and family have been affected (I hide it well, but I feel I don’t fully engage with anyone anymore, becase of the white noise of the images of them together, and overthinking everything constantly – I have even tried hypnotherapy and meditation to quieten my mind, I have tried to walk away from this site, to try not to engage with the thoughts, with no luck) and I was hoping that without his physical presence, I would be able to get some time out from it, but that hasn’t happened, I actually think it has ramped up – not that that is all that surprising, “divorce” is a tough time for anyone who goes through it. Thanks for your lovely comments, that was who I was, I was the bright, fun, but still deeply caring girl, who listened to and felt everyone’s pain (maybe too much?) and I have spent the last three years trying to find her again, the first two years I was mostly travelling in the right direction, the last year has been a living hell of not being able to escape this feeling of utter despair, pain and ultimately failure, and I KNOW better than to think that way, but have really struggled with controlling my mind. The saddest thing is, I had one of the good guys, yes, he did something deeply hurtful, but he did the work to try to understand himself, put everything on the table to try to rescue us from his actions, he went to therapists with me, even though it is not within his comfort zone, and did the exercises, and the introspection required, he had pretty much gone through his fog before I found out about them, so had made his decision, and was ready to face the future, with me, the “option” he’d consciously chosen after working through all of the scenarios, and all of the confused feelings, and he STILL, to this day, despite my feelings about myself, wants to be with me, but understands the reasons why I have chosen separation, and wants what is best for me and our children, but I can’t be with him, and at times, it feels like I can’t be without him. Being without this darling boy in my life feels like someone has removed all my limbs, and shredded my heart, and I’m lying here bleeding to death, gasping for air. So, I just keep pushing through the hell I’m living, to try to reach a better place, it can’t be like this forever 🙂 However, three years of this level of pain is quite a long time for me. I want to feel some emotion that is different to this dragging pain, and the failure feeling is that despite much research, much counselling, etc, I stil haven’t got control of my thoughts or emotions properly.

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