Turning 42 to was actually harder than turning 41. And it’s not because of the age. I don’t feel that old, but that doesn’t matter. It’s more about my marriage ending than I’d like to admit.

I think last year, I had hope. I thought maybe things would work out differently. I thought he still had the ability to make things right.

Foolish, I know. I had hope then. I don’t now.

I’ve been seeing my counselor. Probably not as regularly as I should be, but I am seeing her. She has done a lot to help me see the reality of what is going on.

The last time I had seen her was earlier in the week. I asked her why he did the things he did? Why wasn’t he happy now he has the freedom to do what he had to do behind my back before?

She said I needed to stop asking why, and turn those questions into statements. She said I was not going to get the answers to those questions, nor would I be happy with whatever answers he gave.

She’s right.

I talked more about the previous cheating with her. She seemed surprised, but she helped me realize why I stayed at that time. I had small kids. I didn’t want to break up the family. I was not well to begin with. I shouldn’t have stayed with him when I found out the magnitude of his betrayal. When I had caught him the first time, I was under the impression it was one person. It was a few years later, I found out he had been talking to people the entirety of our relationship.

I don’t know that I believe that this one I know about this time was the only one. We talked about when his behavior changed. The times he would cheat on me was when he was supposedly going to the computer markets. He would go every Sunday. He’d be gone for hours at a time. There were many times where I didn’t get a response from him during that time. It’s possible, and I would even say probable, that she was not the only one.

There is also the matter of the STD. He says she said she was clean. He defended her to me saying she didn’t have it. Well, that doesn’t help you very much there, slick. If you didn’t get it from her, then where did you get it? It certainly wasn’t from me. I was tested every time I had a kid, and you were the only one I was sleeping with. What about you?

Intellectually, I know all of this is pointless. It doesn’t matter anymore. The truth. The lies. It doesn’t matter.

My issue and why I was having such a hard time is the anger. I am angry because I didn’t expect to be starting over at 42. I didn’t expect to be supporting 3 kids all on my own. I didn’t expect to lose my best friend and partner. I know it doesn’t change anything, but it is all so unfair. I was loyal and faithful. I was supportive and loving. I made him my whole world. If he didn’t like something, I didn’t do it. If he didn’t want me to go out, I didn’t go. I did everything he wanted me to. Still, this is how I’m repaid.

The more time that goes on, the more I realize it didn’t matter what I did or didn’t do, he would have done it anyway. The issue is with him, not with me. I can own my parts in the issues in the marriage, but those issues don’t give him permission to betray, lie, cheat, gaslight, tickle truth, or abuse me.

He can use those as a shield all he wants, but he wasn’t perfect. I managed to stay faithful in the marriage even with my issues against him. So that doesn’t even make sense.

I do miss my husband. I miss the man I thought he was. I know that the man I loved doesn’t exist and he may never have existed.

So here I am, 42, a mother of 3. All three have special needs of some kind or another. I fully support them on my own. I don’t feel like I need a man, because I really don’t. I want to have a companion though. I want someone I can share my life with. I want someone I can travel with. I don’t know if I will find that in Hong Kong. I’m not in a huge rush, but I would like to not feel guilty about it. It’s not fair that he can be so cruel, but I ended things and still feel like I’m cheating.

One day, this will be a distant memory. Hopefully, soon…

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