I packed and left Sunday at 9am. When he and I said goodbye, I cried. Sadly, it wasn’t for missing him, it was in the fear he would go to her. But I left anyway. I can’t live like that any longer.
I think it’s just fear on my part too. I am like 99.9% positive he wants nothing to do with her.
I put in my GPS the address and hit Go.
There are several ways to get to the interstate that I spend the majority of the trip on. One takes me through some serious curvy mountain roads that keeps my speed down. It chose that route. I picked another one. I was somewhat familiar with that one, it’s the one we usually take. For the past 28 years of going to Kentucky together, this is the route we have gone, not matter where we lived. Unless I’m going alone, he drives, and I dont pay much attention. He has been the one to drive us on this route. The last times I’ve gone alone, I’ve followed the crazy mountain route, which I sort of hate.
So off I go. Turn, it says. I turn. Turn here, it says. I turn. Turn right onto the whores road, it says. What the fuck, I say.
Did we pass her house every time we went? Did he know when I left it would take me that way? Fuck.
I turn right. I know it’s coming, and I take a deep breath. I see it, it sits way back off the road on hill. Easily seen from the road. I wait for the rush.
Nothing. Hhmm. Interesting. Absolutely nothing. Not even a rush of hatred.
Ok then… I continue on. I shrug, look at it as some success of healing, and continue on.
When I arrive at my dads, he’s excited to see me. We fall into talking and laughing. I feel good. At one point in the visit, I tell him he should come visit me here. It would be easier to see each other. The kids all have school and jobs, it’s not easy to pick up and go. We also have animals. Cats, dog, bird.. also not easy. My husbands job also makes it difficult to pick up and go.
My Dad says, “I will not visit with you, I’m very angry at your husband.”
Ok. I take a deep breath. He’s being protective. I get it. So I answer, “Me too. I get it.”
We fall into the first conversation about it.
He’s 72. There’s a certain way about him that has always rubbed me a little wrong. His hypocrisy through my ordeal has me angry, but I hold that in.
“You need to leave him.” He says.
“I would if the affair was not over. But I’m building a new marriage. I’m trying, so is he. I can’t walk away from a 28 year relationship, 3 kids, a family.”
“There will never be trust again.” He says.
I think, “That’s easy for you to say. You walked from 2 marriages that had no good foundation ever. One lasted 7 years, the other lasted two.”
“You should move here.” He says.
“I have thought about it. But I could not leave my kids, and I would not move them here, they are established at home. One is in college, here, one is a senior, one just started high school. There’s no way I would just come here with just my daughter.”
His eyes go wide at the last last statement. “Why not!?”
I’m so shocked at his reaction, I forget all that I need to say there and just mumble, “She just started high school. I will never take her out of that comfort of knowing her school and friends. I went to 16 different schools before 8th grade. I swore I’d never do that to my kids.” He looks at me like I’m ridiculous.
He was never the new kid, not once. He doesn’t get it. Also, I would never take her from her brothers. He’s an only child, he doesn’t get that. But most important? I would never move her 10 hours from her father. Another thing he doesn’t get. My mother moved my sister and I 26 hours away, and we never saw him again until I was much much older, and he and my sister have no relationship at all. He doesn’t get it. I’m not engaging him.
He’s looking at me like I’m weak. So I do my best…
“He didn’t do this to hurt me….” I start out with.
He cuts me off.
“That’s where you’re wrong. He did.”
“No, Dad. He didn’t. He did not go to her with the thought, “I’m going to hurt and destroy Chris, this will be fun!” No. He went because something in him was broken. Something was missing. Our marriage was not good. We did not know how to connect. He did not know how to tell me something was wrong. I did not know how to listen.”
He shakes his head.
“Did I get hurt? Yes. Did he hurt our family? Yes. Look at you! He even affected you! His choices sucked, his lies sucked. Everything he did, sucked. But here we are. Marriage counseling, learning how to communicate, seeing where the marriage crumbled and learning how to rebuild. When I say we have a different marriage now, it’s the truth. Is the affair still affecting us? Yes. But it’s slowly getting there.
I have 22 years of marriage. 3 kids. I can not go forward without trying. I do not want to be sitting on different pews in a church watching our kids getting married. I don’t want to be sitting alone in some house waiting for grandkids to finish their visit at grandpas house before coming to see me. I can’t be 80 years old, and look back on my life and regret not trying. I want to see that I gave it my all. If my all doesn’t work? Than at least I know I tried.”
I tell him of the good. The good my husband is doing, how we communicate now, how we make time for each other. I can’t tell him of the incredible turn around in the bedroom, which I think is very important in a marriage…because it’s my dad… but I go on and on about the positives. I wonder at one point who I am trying to convince, him or me?
I can see he’s not buying it.
But here he is. 72. Alone. Not one of his relationships have worked. Not one of his marriages have made it. He has no relationship with one daughter. He pretty much abandoned me. If it weren’t for my close relationship with my grandparents, his parents, he and I would not be sitting here together now. He let me go into foster care, he never came for me. Both of my parents abandoned me, he will never understand why I am doing all I can to hold my family together.
I know he is coming from a place of concern. But Lord, I wish he would just support my choices, instead of this. He spends the rest of the evening talking of ruined trust, no respect, lies, cheating.
I get it. There is no changing his mind. So I slowly steer the conversation to politics. Much easier to talk about than infidelity. We don’t go back to it again. He is delusional, and not willing to see outside of his box. Maybe I am too.
But other than that? A very good trip. It was cut short due to hurricane Florence. Virginia was supposed to also get hit, so I left a day ahead of the track. I spend almost the entire trip driving the length of Virginia, so I didn’t risk it.
But now looks like I could’ve enjoyed another day or two there, as Florence has landed and shifted south instead of north.
My GPS wanted me to go past the whores house again. But now knew how to detour that myself and get home without going through whoreville.
All in all, running away for a few days was good. The long drive left me with lots of time to think. A bit of distance created some clarity. I could breathe a bit.
We have good moments, for sure. No matter what I tried to convince my dad about, and what I didn’t say, was that I’m truly at a crossroads.
Do I want it to work? Yes. Am I trying? Yes.
But he isn’t. He wants to sweep it under the rug and never look back. He still blames me. I still don’t feel much remorse from him.
I read other blogs, where there is true healing happening. They all have things in common. Transparency. Complete openness. Remorse. Humility.
He’s not there. Has never been. Can I truly move forward without that? I don’t know. In every other way, we are doing alright. There is love. There is the history, there is the future. I love him. It’s hard.
My dad may be right. But for now, I’m not on his path. I’m on mine.