I rarely have of those nights any more. You know the ones I mean… where no matter what you do, sleep refuses to come and your mind tumbles wildly through the night hours. Not like in the early days after my husband left me, where night after night, week after week, sleep was elusive and, when it came, filled with painful dreams. But I experienced one tonight. And now, here I am, at 5am, sitting at my desk with a cup of tea, staring out onto a dark bleak snowy landscape waiting for the dawn to break and banish the night.
It makes sense why it all came to a head tonight. It was Valentine’s Day on Friday and all that online gushing about how wonderful other people’s spouses or partners are can kind of get to you after a while. And then on Saturday I hosted an annual winter party that for fifteen years my ex and I hosted together, so perhaps it was only natural that he’s been on my mind a lot.
When I couldn’t sleep tonight, I picked up my iPad and started scrolling through my Facebook page. I came across a quote that made me immediately think about her.
Did you notice the curtains across the picture of the woman on the left? When I saw them – in real life – I assumed they had been placed there to protect a valuable picture from the sun.
But I was wrong.
The woman in the picture was the first wife of the man in the picture on the right. After she died, and he remarried, he insisted his first wife’s painting remain on the wall. Turns out his second wife wasn’t at all happy about that, and had a curtain rail placed above the first wife’s painting so she could draw the curtains across her predecessor’s image when her husband was out.
Which got me thinking…
I imagine being the second wife of a man whose wife died is quite different to being the second wife of a man who left his first wife for you. It must be very heady stuff to have a man abandon his marriage and family because he is so in love with you.
But, if a man has done it once, does the second wife ever – in a secret, vulnerable moment – experience a feeling of insecurity that if he’s done it once, he might do it again?
When my husband left me, he insisted there was no-one else… but hoped there might be someone in the future. And he promised, out of respect for me and our kids, that he wouldn’t even attempt to date for six months.
In my gut I knew there was someone else but I was accused of being paranoid. Hadn’t he promised me there was no one?? But then the truth came out. Yes, there had been another woman all along. Continue reading →
One sad fall-out from my husband’s affair – and subsequent remarriage – was having my eyes opened to the truth about women. As a nurse, my working life was spent mostly in the company of other women.Nurses are amazing. They are compassionate and there to assist both patients and fellow staff members in good times and bad. Of course you find the occasional unpleasant one here and there, but on the whole they are brilliant.
I could never understand when female friends talked about the bitchiness they experienced working in offices, or not trusting other women. And I felt very fortunate in comparison to the back-biting my husband described in his mostly male work environment. Continue reading →