Archives for category: infidelity

Don’t let the tall weeds cast a shadow on the beautiful flowers in your garden.” 
― Steve Maraboli

REFLECTIONS

I’ve been back on Vancouver Island for 5 days, during which time I have sunk deeper and deeper into myself. In the past, I’ve always found my way back to the light by listening to my heart and watching for symbolic offerings from the Unified Field. This present journey into the dark will be no different. Fortunately, transformation is in Inverse Proportion to the depth of the descent…the deeper and darker the cave, the more profound the resulting shift in perspective. I felt the first glimmers of  ‘new life’ during the Spring Equinox of March. For the first time in my life I felt a natural flow of energy, rather than willful productivity. My behaviour was compassionate and loving without having to will myself to ‘Do the right thing’, and I felt aligned with Spirit. This lasted 3 days and then disappeared. To me, this experiential perfection was akin to a buried seedpod when it feels the earth’s first blush of warmth after months of winter snow. Awakened, the seed sends roots deeper into the dark, searching for sustenance. This growing network of roots will create a stable platform for the growing plant, allowing it to stand upright in summer bloom. I too was awakened by the warmth of the earth’s sun in my 3 days of bliss, but like the seed which has to dig deeper into the dark for sustenance and stability, I too have had darkness, struggle and emotional upheaval. Below is the most transcendent, life affirming time lapse video of an unfolding seedpod. This was created by the genius of Neil Bromhall. 

Resplendent is the result, but determination and desire are necessary in this arduous journey. When desperate, I think of the power it takes for the seed to push aside the earth so that it may bask in the glory and warmth of earth’s bounty. This inspires me to stay my course. Each bout of hopelessness and sorrow has been balanced by a counterpoint of burgeoning  new life.

Symbolic Offerings Helping Me Unearth ‘Her’ Grip

The Other Woman as Insidious Weed!

The Other Woman as Insidious Weed!

 The Other Woman as Insidious Weed

Although my garden was abloom upon my return from Alberta, it had also been infested. Surrounding each flower was a bevy of weeds, threatening to suffocate its very life. I dropped to my knees and began to cry…the first sign that I was undergoing a psychic fracturing. 5 days of weeding, 5 days of isolation and darkness. Bewildered by the depth of my sorrow, I surrendered to the omniscience of The Universe and asked, “How do these choking weeds mimic my life? What is threatening my chance to bloom this summer?” And then I was blessed with a synchronistic insight. Metaphorically, I have been watering the weeds in my life. For years I have been paying far too much attention to ‘the other woman’ in the lives of my boyfriends or husbands, rather than giving voice to the woman hidden within me. Changing this entrenched perspective was the impetus for theotherwomanblog. I needed to drag this shameful subject out into the light of day. No longer did I want to suffer in silence, acting as though I could handle the betrayal…keeping calm and carrying on. So I created a stage from which I could view the 3 main characters involved in my drama. My hope was to humanize the demons and transform myself from victim to empowered woman.

I’ve had to unearth the pain, the scars and the wounds of infidelity and betrayal, and believe that I am still a worthwhile, beautiful woman capable of creating a fulfilling life.

I want to thank Neil Bromhall for giving me hope. His creations pulled me from the dark desolation of human transformation.

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LEST WE FORGET

I want to start this week’s Blog, not talking about myself…for a change. I want to remember my parents and the scarifies they both made during the 5 long years of  WWII. In 1940, when they were 20, the war had begun. They decided to get married before Dad joined the Canadian Navy. He sailed on one of Canada’s oldest fighting Corvettes, the HMCS Sackville, now docked in Halifax, as a Naval Memorial. He sailed out of Halifax, protecting the convoys in The Battle of the Atlantic. I am so proud of him and my Mom who travelled across Canada to offer her love and support during these troubled times.

As an expression of my gratitude to you and all veterans, I will try to live by the words that I utter, taking action in support of my beliefs.

Dad, 5 years at sea, fighting for our freedom

Mom, loving her Sailor

REFLECTIONS

Eroticism is one of the basic means of self-knowledge, as indispensable as poetry

-Anais Nin

The 1990 movie, ‘Henry and June’, was nearly my undoing. The movie depicts the love triangle between Henry Miller, his wife June and the writer, Anais Nin. Although this occurred a decade before I discovered  my husband’s infidelity, I intuited then, that he had Miller’s predilection for a bohemian lifestyle, including machinations with other women. To be honest we were both intrigued by the idea of lives lived outside the strictures of marriage in middle America, but my fear of being abandoned superseded any curiosity I may have had. I then created the most hideous and wicked fight and refused any further conversation on or near this subject… for 22 years.

Henry, is he in control?

The Universe has a way of making fun of us and our fears! Of the millions of movies that have been made, guess which one was put in front of me to discuss? Here is how this tale unfolded.

D walked into my life, while I was hunting for a new kitchen with my friend, Lori. He designs and builds… a carpenter…just like the man in the lives of my 2 Marys. D was one of the saving graces from last Saturday. He had come by my cottage that day, to discuss design options for the kitchen. We talked animatedly, and with ease, for at least an hour before he stood up abruptly and pulled out his tape measure. I thought he might be interested in me the woman, as much as me the customer, when he said, “I’ll take your measurements and then be on my way.” Women and men, in Freudian slips…my favourite source of humour.

Freud, hoisted by his own petard!

So, this past Friday, D returned to my cottage, after his day of work, ostensibly to discuss the design he had created. (Is my writing filled with double entendres today?) Friday evening, over wine and food, symbolically… life and understanding, I conversed with D. A few days before, he had asked to read my blog, which has been off limits to the men I may be interested in. After reflecting, I agreed to send him the link. His open-hearted sensibility established my trust. I warned him that he was and may continue to be a source of discussion on The Other Woman Blog, but he remained unfazed.

At the 2 hour point of the evening, D asked if I had seen the movie, Henry and June. My colour heightened, my blood pressure rose…my body shut down my ears, as I thought to myself. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Not again. The most interesting man I have met in ages and he’s no different…intrigued by other women, while he sits with me…as I sank into reverie, no longer listening, I planned a way to end the evening.

And then a word D said broke through my barrier…something about me and Anais Nin…I looked up, taken aback. He was saying something completely unexpected. He was noting the parallelism of my journey, recorded in this Blogmoir, to Anais Nin’s exploration of her femininity, depicted in the movie.(based on her diary) I was taken aback for several reasons. First of all, a man referencing an indie movie about relationships? Incredulous! Secondly, he did not talk about Henry, or the male perspective…but most importantly, he understood my journey and was actually interested in me and my foray to the wild side. Through this discussion with D, I was embarrassed to realize that back in 1990, I had entirely missed the point of the movie. The story was Anais’s, never Henry’s. She was a woman defining her life, making choices that interested her, outside the conventions and restrictions of traditional life. 

Anais, contemplating her position with her husband and Henry Miller

Aspirations for Week 19 OF 52

CHANGING INTO THE UNBUTTONED VIRGO

Comments and Advice to a Virgo, from any and all of the Astrological signs.

Virgo, you are a pain in the ass. Stop regulating your breathing and stop color-coordinating the  items in your shopping cart. Please let me hear you fart, just once. Obsessive-compulsive disorder? A nice euphemism for the word “Virgo”. Virgo, you use pointers, markers and elaborate charts to describe the metaphysical. You have a special toothbrush, just for tile grout. Virgo, surrender your brush collection, your brooms and sponges and your coveted squeegee collection, and lower the buttons on your blouse so I can see your neck. I appreciate that you love to do anyone’s laundry, but when you separate everything by colour and fabric and end up with 14 loads of 3 things apiece, it really makes me want to sic a naked Aquarius on you.

At Suzanne’s suggestion and the countless friends and family members who have given me similar ‘tips’, I am going to become The Unbuttoned Virgo!

Just to prove it, I am going to break a few rules today…(inner judgmental voice…bad bad virgo)… I’m posting on the WRONG day and I am UNDER the word count  and I’m going to Victoria without a to-do list.

So for Week 19 of 52, I will be THE UNBUTTONED VIRGO

The Unbuttoned Virgo

REFLECTIONS

A month of productivity and joy and then yesterday, Saturday, was a day on the couch watching yet another British Mystery Series. At 7:30pm I drank 2 glasses of Malbec, ‘fell asleep’ and missed the 7.7 earthquake off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Sunday morning is now upon me, and I pause to ask ‘Why?’ and not to the reason for earthquakes, but the reason for my melancholic state. I know I will not evolve into The Other Woman, if I say to myself, “One day of laying around, eating poorly, having a couple drinks, is nothing, you deserve a break, some down time.” I am aware that I have a super charged work ethic when it comes to ‘Personal Growth’ and relaxation and fun are therefore, valuable experiences for me. But what I did yesterday was not fun or relaxing. The feeling I had throughout the day was one of disquiet and self loathing. This is the feeling I have whenever I try to burrow my consciousness into the bowels of the earth. The season of blooming is finished and I am descending into the dark. What lies beneath the surface? What faulty belief have I internalized, that begs to be revealed and subsequently released, allowing me to live closer to my heart?

I was then startled from this reverie by the ‘ping’ of my iPhone, alerting me to a new message…and here is the miracle of the Universe’s guiding hand! Below is the poem delivered via GoodReads….

The day misspent,

the love misplaced,

has inside it

the seed of redemption,

Nothing is exempt

from resurrection.

             -Kay Ryan

Kay Ryan, the American Poet Laurteate, reminds me that there is nothing more exquisite than the feeling of having the burden of oneself borne off by a poem…not the self, just the burden…just for a moment. She writes in her PJs too!

Creating in PJs

What am I to redeem from that misspent day? that misplaced love?

First I will reflect on my week’s virtual chats with men. A mere 7 days ago, I had not spoken to any man other than my husband and male friends, for 20 years. Thanks to Plenty of Fish, that has changed. Boldly, honestly and clearly, I have spoken from my heart. Amazingly, only one man out of the 11, has stopped writing to me. I have promised nothing, use only my pen name Between2Marys, and decline requests for my name, email address, phone number or coffee dates. I am creating a new me vis a vis men. I have liked the positive, ‘low-key’ attention from men. So why then did I collapse into a tiny ball of angst? Heavy sigh, deep breath….preparing to be honest…my life long lament…I’m not attractive enough for a man to love me for who I am, so I must transmogrify, from the Loathly Lady, into the lovely princess. Only then will I be loved. What this means for me, is, that I must subjugate my desires and attend to ‘his’, as a compensation for my physical lack. Sadly, I have believed this behaviour necessary, even when I was young.

Naturally this perception of the price I must pay for love was born out of my relationship with my father. I loved yet felt intimidated by him. He was unpredictable. I believed I had the power to lessen the parental tension in our home, by being desirable in my father’s eye. I believed that my father’s behaviour towards my mother and my brothers might improve, if he felt pride over his creation of me. I tried to be any and everything I thought he might value. My father was a man’s man, a good looking ‘bad boy’. My mother married him against the advice of her more refined family. He was not a philandering husband, except for his Irish lass, during the Second World War. But, he made no effort to stifle his ‘appreciation’ of a women’s exterior. His entire life, he whistled  with reverential glee at women who epitomized the 1940’s ideal; a thin hipped, well endowed, blond haired bombshell…as I remember him saying…again and again…oblivious to me standing before him with dark hair, average cleavage and above average hips.

Bad Boy Stan, My Dad

I could never have achieved his idea of physical perfection. My physical appearance, demoralized me from age 12, when he counselled me with the following bit of unsolicited, soul crushing, fatherly ‘advice’. “My dear, no man likes a woman with hips as big as 2 battleships.” Being a Navy Officer, he liked to use nautical terms, to drive a point home!

Me around 12 with my Brother

I never again looked at my strong, muscled thighs with any feeling but betrayal or derision. So began my efforts to compensate for my looks. I became attentive to the whims and desires of men, at the expense of my own.

This painful, yet liberating insight, is what I have redeemed from my misspent day, my misplaced love.

 I went into a funk, because I faced a dilemma. Can I continue to speak of my desires as boldly and freely as I have written them?  Or will I continue to compensate for my hips, by cloaking my desires in niceties and placations? Or more likely, will I avoid the issue entirely by burying myself in another British Mystery Series?

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 17 OF 52

CHANGING FROM THE LOATHLY LADY 

 In the Fairy Tale, ‘Sir Gawain and The Lady Ragnell, the loathsome Lady Ragnell, bargained with King Arthur. She agreed to tell him the answer to the riddle, “What do women desire above all else?” in order to lift the spell over his life. In exchange, she desired to be married to his nephew, Sir Gawain. He was known as the most handsome, skilled and compassionate knight at the Round Table. Sir Gawain willingly chose to marry the Hag Ragnell, so that his King’s life would be spared. The spell cast over Ragnell, had turned her into a loathsome Hag for half of each day, but left her as a lovely princess for the other half. When Ragnell asked her husband, Sir Gawain, if he would rather she be beautiful by day or by night, when she is alone with him in bed, he wisely gave her the right to choose, having learned that above all else, women desire the right to have sovereignty over their choices. Sir Gawain understood the greatest dilemma of any woman’s life. In giving the Hag Ragnell the right to decide when she would be beautiful, the spell was lifted, and she was beautiful all day long.

So now, in Week 17 of 52, I must have the courage of Lady Ragnell. She was transformed, not by the kiss of a handsome Prince, but by the pursuit of her own needs and desires. Ragnell symbolizes the journey all women must make to achieve a self-determined and therefore, fulfilling life. To this end, I will talk(on the phone) with a man, as myself, hips and all, maintaining the confidence I feel in a virtual conversation.

I want to acknowledge the wisdom of the Analyst, Polly Young-Eisendrath. For a more comprehensive elucidation of this topic, read, ‘Women and Desire, Beyond Wanting to be Wanted.

REFLECTIONS

This morning my plan had been to write as soon as I woke up. But first, like most writers, I cleaned a fairly clean room and then I sorted some drawers and files…then I procrastinated some more by reading quotes about procrastination.

“As a writer, I need an enormous amount of time alone. Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials. It’s a matter of doing everything you can to avoid writing, until it is about four in the morning and you reach the point where you have to write.” ― Paul Rudnick

After reading this, I gave into the mood 100% and descended into time waster’s hell…British Mystery Series. In my attempt to download Blue Murder from a ‘legal’ site, my computer froze on a pornography pop-up. This has never happened in the countless times I have used ____.com to watch British Mysteries(a fabulous life sucking, soul shrivelling site that will not be named).

Incredulous Me

In the 45 minutes it took me to wrestle my computer out of the hands of this Porn Industry computer hacker, I had a transformative experience with the naked young girl posing on my screen. Here she was, the other woman, entering my life, uninvited yet again!  My first reaction was anger and judgement after a furtive glance at her body. I mentally chastised her for luring men away from decent women. And I think I am enlightened and compassionate. I took a deep cleansing breath, and worked my way off my self righteous pedestal. I looked at her again, searching her eyes, to see her for the person she is…to stop my objectification of her. I then experienced a transformative shift. I felt a surge of compassion well up in my heart for this sad-eyed, young girl who believed that this job was her only option. That her only talent was her willingness to let others use her for their gratification.

Once again, fate intervened and my post was jettisoned in a surprising direction. The most uncomfortable of subjects…sex… Argh. Too personal, too confusing… I think I’ll get me to a Nunnery…But before I go, I will try to unravel some of the complexity around women and sexuality…the whore/madonna complex.

If I intend to be embody The Other Woman, I must attempt to end my androgynous persona. I am comfortable now, having men only as friends. I cannot imagine flirting, kissing and God forbid, anyone but me and my doctor, seeing me naked.

When I was single, immersed in the dance of finding boyfriends and husbands, emphasizing my sexuality was expected and condoned. I felt comfortable in this role and like most women, I was never more attractive (or thinner) than on my wedding day(s). I enjoyed being pursued and desired. But the feeling of desirability is long gone, a distant memory. Mothering and sensuality seemed antithetical. Mothers are meant to be available – perpetually opened armed with a ready lap: soothing, encouraging, nurturing…the antithesis of alluring. 

How am I ever going to find the other woman inside of me? I’m not a mother of young children any longer but neither am I The Other Woman! I’m definitely Between 2 Marys, in some androgynous zone of ambiguity. Perhaps the extreme duality of the whore/madonna can be tempered, even though centuries of history seem to indicate otherwise. In 16th Century Venice for example, this Italian city was founded in the myth of Venus rising from the sea. Two iconic yet disparate images of the goddess Venus reflected the mores of Venice; one goddess image is the pure and inviolate virgin, the other, its antithesis, the licentious goddess…seeker of pleasure and love. In viewing paintings of the disparate goddesses, the virgin is in white, alone or with angelic children, while the libidinous goddess is with a man, half-clothed,  the colour red prevalent!

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 Venetian women with a sizeable dowery, could marry a rich man. As his wife, the woman was a cloistered creature, without education or financial independence, her life being devoted entirely to home and family. Women without fortune chose to enter the convent  or to become a courtesan. But Venetian courtesans, unlike the wives, could mingle freely with the rich and famous and acquire an education and wealth of their own. They could  participate in literary, political and intellectual circles, publish any works, and importantly, all the sensual pleasures were available at her beckoning. Although the 16th Century Venetian courtesan lived a somewhat enviable lifestyle, this did not last. Religious zealots blamed the plague and war on the courtesans’ debauchery, and ended the delicate balance that allowed both sets of women to coexist.

 The polarity between the virtuous and the licentious became intensified. 500 years later and this tension still exists. Can a woman be compassionate and nurturing in ‘kick-ass’ high heels? Can a woman who enjoys a sensual life, have the respect of her society?

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 15 OF 52

CHANGING FROM MOTHER MARY TO MARY MAGDALENE

Where to start on this? How to move out of my comfort zone of intellectualizing The Other Woman, and become her? As this Blog is an open forum, ideas are welcome!

I will share one step I have made…I purchased  a beautiful, deep pink lipstick…and I am wearing it! This colour is more bold than any I have worn in years… if I wore lipstick at all. I feel good applying it to my lips. It certainly makes me more visible.

But most importantly, I must once again, see men as more than friends…I can barely type I am so nervous. I’m afraid of what I might commit to in my zeal to finish this post. I am driving back to BC and am scrambling to pack and schlep my stuff down the 3 flights of stairs.(not complaining too loudly dear daughter who has taken her Mother in).

See how quickly I can avoid the subject at hand!

Here goes…for Week 15 of 52 in my desire to move from the Mother Mary to Mary Magdalene, I will create a profile of myself and post it on a singles dating website. ARGHHH…

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