40: Reflections at 100 Days

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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I’ve been counting up from discovery day. 100 days today.

Today I start counting down to April 22. Forty-eight days and counting down. So much unforeseeable change in the last 100 days, much of it positive. I’m excited to see the change in the next 48.

I said I’d stand-by for five to seven months. I haven’t done it perfectly but I’m not rushing out to change jobs, places where I live, relationships, interests, or friends. I’m focusing on the good and not letting the shame of my ugly set fire to my entire life.

On Hindsight

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Twitter: If you could do it over again would you still have the relationship with K?

Me (edited for clarity): Knowing what I know now? No. But I probably wouldn’t have had a relationship with C either.

At exactly 100 days, I realized I need and want someone willing to sit at the table and talk with me…even when it’s ugly. Especially when it’s ugly. Whether my ugly or theirs.

I need and want someone that isn’t going to panic and run, or if they do, can come back and reason it out. Someone willing to communicate and make time to be thoughtful. I’ll add, just because we talk doesn’t mean we stay together but after 7 years a cooling off period would have been mature.

The irony of my wanting maturity isn’t lost on me. However, for this immaturity, I was adulting in a hundred other ways. One-hundred days has given me a perspective not just on the ugly, but also the good and bad.

This is the difference between the good and great partnerships. Great partnerships don’t fear or ignore the ugly because they recognize everyone has ugly. That is why it is called ugly.

Unfortunately, my ugly brought our her ugly.

Perhaps that is why I worked so hard to keep the secret. My fears of vulnerability and loss made me hide my ugly.

Twitter: What would you say to C today if she were talking to her?

Me (edited for clarity): Love me and stay. Love me and end it. There is no wrong or right answer. The decision is 100% yours. I’ll respect you and the decision. Regardless of your decision, these are the things I’m doing.

If you let me stay what would you need and want?

Let’s try this for 90 days and identify the benchmarks based on what you need and want.

Secrets

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I’m glad the secret is out.

Lies and secrets are debilitating, warping perceptions of self. The reveal freed me from my ugly. K got closure. C got what I think was justification for ending the relationship.

Only C knows the truth but I only have hindsight.

The issue, of course, is secrets are like a disease.

No one touched by my lies and betrayal will be the same. We will weave out of it what we make of it. For me, that isn’t really a bad thing. I needed help and K unwittingly provided it. But now C is warped by the weight of the secret. A secret is a disease of perception.

My secret warped my perception of myself. It warped K.

Now it warps C and our history together.

The Good, Bad, and Ugly

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It’s easy to love someone when it is good. You have dance nights, travel together, share adventures, and have great sex. It is easy to love someone when you feel like the cutest couple at summer camp.

It’s hard to love someone when it is bad. Tight finances, work problems, household chores, the stress of parenting, and living with the long shadows cast by other relationships make it hard. Essentially the trudging of life can make things hard and seem bad.

How does the good and bad weigh against each other?

However, when it is ugly?

Alcoholism, bankruptcies, infidelities, and sickness often bring out the ugly in people and relationships. However, properly leveraged it can bring out the beautiful too. I’ve seen repeatedly in my life that couples and individuals that strive to own the ugly blossom into the kind of people I admire.

When it is ugly it is important to love each other. Even if you have to leave them.

Choices

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I’ve learned a lot about how people respond to betrayal and secret keeping.

Here is the bottom line: Love and stay. Love and leave. There is no wrong answer.

Regardless, love yourself.

3 thoughts on “40: Reflections at 100 Days

  1. Beautifully written. However (I always have a however LOL) – When you get to the ugly, it takes time. As I am approaching the 18 month mark of D-Day, I read this and agree with most of what you wrote. It is very logical. BUT, had I read this post in the first few months, I would not have agreed with the ‘ugly’ paragraph. There are two words I question now too, ‘properly leveraged’ – perhaps I am not getting it in the context you mean? Leverage to me is to use something to gain something on someone or something. I don’t believe any of the examples of ‘ugly’ you cite can be properly leveraged. I would say overcome. I believe those issues are extreme stresses ‘ugly’ that can and do bring out our worse sides. They can challenge the best of relationships. While most of what you list is stressful, infidelity in addition to bringing out our worse sides, can also eat at the core of our self-worth, our life. They are not worked out logically. They are dealt with emotionally, many times, over and over with a lot of hurtful accusations flung back and forth.

    My initial reactions post D-day were all about the pain, then extreme anger. I wanted him to pay. I wanted him to feel the pain he inflicted on me. I was unwilling to listen to anything logical. Even after we decided to try to reconcile, I could not give you any logical explanation. I read some of my early blog entries and see how fucked up my own perspective was. I started my blog in April, 2017, 7 months after D-Day, and I don’t think I became anything close to logical until a few months ago. (and I would still never characterize myself as a logical person).

    My husband however is a logical person and tried to hit me with logic early on. I didn’t want to hear it. Emotions must be felt, expressed and acknowledged before they can be let go enough to possibly hear some of the logic.

    Betrayal eats at our core. It makes us question our relationship, was it real, was it all a lie? It makes us question ourselves and eats away at our self-esteem. Why weren’t we good enough? Why weren’t we worth the truth? How could the one person we trusted with our life betray us so easily? Maybe we are not worth being loved. We aren’t good enough.

    So when you lay out the choices, they are spot on. But it takes us a long time to be able to love ourselves again…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes.

      As always, thanks Dolly.

      And I have a tide of emotional ups and downs. As we’ve discussed, I imagine C does too but I’m guessing.

      Thank you for helping me understand what C may be going through.

      Liked by 1 person

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