Trip 6, Day 10: home

Five days late in posting. My apologies!

I’m at the Gate, waiting to board my last flight home.

The flight to Spain took just over an hour. On reflection, travel wise it has added nothing as today’s flight is still 3 hours – wait, no, it’s actually saved me the three hours train journey. I will land at my local airport and will be home within half an hour.

Just like that.

Just like that, I’m back to normal. And with that sentiment, a heavy heavy weight descends on my chest.

The Hostal was simple but sufficient. I’d spoken to him briefly in the airport but I was a little lost at that time, unable to find a cash point or taxi rank (note to self, ATMs in the airport are extortionate and most taxis offer card payments 🧐). When I arrived 20 minutes later, I called him. He was tired but checked I was OK. I searched his face for…something. If he felt anything at this time, it was hidden.

I spent the rest of the evening messaging my married friend and she consoled me, kindly. But, she also said this trip needed some analysis. I needed to get control of my own future. When the time was right, we would discuss everything. She would consult her husband surreptitiously, and gain insight from a man of Wildcard’s age and culture.

As we parted I commented: if all was good, I wouldn’t need their advice, would I?

*******

I slept relatively well. I woke in the night too hot as I had blasted the slow heating to full as the room was freezing when I had arrived. By 3am, I was roasting.

This morning, I finally woke at 8.30am – around the time Wildcard would come to me, and I felt an ache like no other. I considered that he was probably still sleeping and took the time to reflect in the calm, quiet of a morning alone in a Spanish Hotel.

Within half an hour, I was ready to message. He called within minutes.

I was still searching, of course. Still searching for signs that he felt like I do. He looked tired, yes. Asking never works, but of course, I tried. We were on the phone for some time and I asked again to ‘tell me something good’. He joked, with the melodramatic voice he gives me in these situations, that he hadn’t slept thinking about me. That he was hurting because I was not there, that he couldn’t breathe. I don’t know if any of what he said was true. I only know that was how I felt. We said goodbye and I made myself get up, wipe my tears and go out. I walked the quiet streets and eventually stopped at a popular cafe for freshly squeezed orange juice and amazing coffee. Unfortunately, there were no gluten free options but I enjoyed sipping and watching the many sparrows darting so close to me for scraps.

I walked a little more and visited a supermarket to buy Spanish sweets for my children. Eventually, I made my way back and repacked and showered. I thought some more.

As I finish this post, I have completed another one too. It contains my reflections and real heartfelt soul searching – not just about Wildcard, but more importantly about myself.

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Trip 6, Day 3 – love

I woke at 7am and internally groaned. I’d done it, yet again. Stupid, stupid.

Later in the evening, after his message to say he loved me, I’d gone out to say sorry and kiss him and he’d told me it was ok and was forgotten. He must love me just on this basis alone.

Nonetheless, my heart sunk a little as I woke and remembered. I did my customary mini-morning glow up and got back into bed to read and wait.

He came in early again, just after 8am and like the previous day, we cuddled to get warm (he’s not warm sleeping here he does and it always makes me feel guilty but he insists I take his room). Then he held me and started to watch things on his phone. And I buried my face his neck and breathed him in.

Yesterday, I’d have been annoyed he was on his phone. Today, I just relished in the warmth of his arms and legs wrapped around me and the touch of his hand stroking my skin, phone or not.

But that wasn’t all. At every opportunity, he kissed me. My cheeks, face, lips..over and over. More than usual – notably more. And my heart swelled.

After some time he asked if I’d noticed all his kisses? I smiled and said, “of course”. He was trying. He always tries, no matter how stupid my outbursts. He listens, he tries and I love him for it.

Again, he stayed with me much longer than he should. We had a lovely breakfast again, and then he finally went to work at 11.30am. And I really love him for that too.

There is a great reel knocking about on Facebook at the moment, where Jay Shetty is on a talk show and he discusses how his value of time kept causing conflict early in his marriage. He realised that, whilst his wife was always late, she was late because of the vibrancy and spontaneity that he loved about her. He had to accept the good with the bad.

I love Wildcard’s integrity and sense of humour. I love his teasing and his joking and the way that he makes me laugh like no one has ever done before. I love everything about his man and don’t want to change anything. When I get upset, often it’s because he’s not doing what I am doing. But he isn’t me! We are different in many ways, and ways that work: when I allow myself to realise that he is not me, so will not act as I do. He shows his love in many ways when I allow myself to see them and stop myself from being insecure and anxious. If you allow yourself to look for beauty and love, you soon realise that it has been right in front of you all this time.

This evening we have laughed frequently, played and joked and he reached for my hand. He even stayed up later. I just kept looking at him or feeling his hand in mine or his feet in my lap, and I felt insanely happy and loved.

Manual

I’m in the bath again. This time I’m soaking in perfect lavender…the water is pastel and little lavender flowers dance on the top.

I’m trying to relax. I’ve just had a huge row with my daughter.

It’s been coming for a while. We are both frustrated with each other.

I’ve long thought – well, for the past few years since my daughter hit 15 or so – that the issue with teens isn’t just the hormones. It’s the transition- the metamorphosis from child to adult. They don’t know who they are so we don’t know how to interact or respond.

And, as I’ve just explained to my daughter, there’s no manual for us parents. There’s no chapter specifying that now is the time to back off and let them be their own person. There’s no chapter which says now is the moment to let them make their own mistakes, even though it hurts you to watch, knowing you may have helped some way.

I don’t know when to be a mother and when to back off.

I’ve been told, in no uncertain terms, when I’m interfering. In temper, yes, I’ve been told that my opinion is not wanted and that I need to keep out of it. And it’s hurt, a lot. She’s made decisions of which I’ve had no part – not even in the discussion and consideration stage. I’ve not been wanted and have been repelled.

I’ve just explained to her that I don’t know what she wants from me, one moment to the next. One moment she’s an adult living her own life. The next she acts like a child and I’m failing by not treating her like I do her younger (and admittedly needier) siblings.

There are times I’ve felt like a failure for not being more involved, more insistent. There are times I’ve failed because I’ve been too demanding and domineering.

It’s not unusual for a teenage daughter to class with her mother.

So, why is there no manual?

My daughter said to me, that we don’t have a normal relationship. I told her to define normal…. every relationship is as different as every personality and ecery circumstances around it. A manual is pointless for that reason – it will not help everyone.

I’m not sure what the answer is. Communication, I guess. We haven’t communicated well because we’ve been hurt and scared to hurt ourselves and each other more.

Another thing to add to my thinking list. 🤔

What is it…?

I’m 42.

Is this a mid life crisis? Is this what it feels like? I’ve had a successful life in Western terms: University education, promising career of promotions, married, children, mortgage, own car. Admittedly, no savings. No drugs, crime or deviance in my life.

So why, please tell me, do I feel like I’m at that godforsaken crossroads AGAIN? The one where I have absolutely no idea which path to take.

And…what’s worse…I have no one to ask.

Yes, yes…I know…it’s my decision to make. My life, my decision.

But a rather alarming thought hit me before, as I was stewing in the unfortunate circumstances surrounding me. I genuinely have no one to ask. No father. My mother is, sadly, no longer the person I would go to for advice though I love her dearly. My younger sisters are struggling in their own lives. I have no grandparents. And…well…

Wildcard. Maybe my sister was right all those months ago when we argued. Maybe he and I don’t talk about anything deep and meaningful. I don’t tell him everything. I try. I give him the headlines, hoping he will understand. I’m not sure he does. And he rarely comments. Sometimes I ask him for an opinion and he won’t give me one. He says he doesn’t really understand or he doesn’t know. Not in all situations, granted. But in enough for it now to worry me.

But, what is it?? These are my problems and I have to deal with them? Or he’s my partner so we’re in this together? Hypothetically, of course.

Does he care when I’m upset or stressed? 100%. Does he try to cheer me up? Absolutely. Does he give me answers or suggestions? Occasionally. Am I trying to talk this situation positive? Yep.

My career is a stalled car. Quite a fancy one. I’m currently trying to decide whether to strip it for parts, fix it, dump it or upcycle it. I. Just. Don’t. Know.

What is it at the moment? Please reach out and let me know what you think of this….everyone around me seems to be struggling. My ex is off sick with stress. My youngest sister is at rock bottom. My other sister is struggling financially and feels something is missing in her life. My mum and partner are about to be made homeless. My eldest son was suicidal and has just been excluded from school. My daughter is as lost as me…barely finished studying, failed to get into Uni whilst also claiming she didn’t want to, walked out of an apprenticeship over poor conditions and pay, has no direction and is currently constantly ill and unemployed.

Is this a midlife crisis? Or is this just a really unfortunate set of circumstances? Is this Covid? The UK recession? The cost of living?

If this had happened 4 years ago, would I have had the strength and confidence to help them, like I used to? Should I be thinking about this…or again, are these their problems to solve? Do I carry their weight on my shoulders unhelpfully for all involved?

What is it? I’ve no one else to ask.

Balance reminders

I’ve taken a shower today. That’s a positive. Don’t take showers for granted: at your lowest, even taking a shower is too much.

Other than that, not a great day.

I didn’t sleep well. Minor issues with Wildcard played – and continue to play – with my head.

I woke to an email from work with a date to see Occupational Health next week. Considering I only sent in my sick note yesterday, I felt this was very quick. I sunk lower in to that dark pit and have struggled to get out of it since.

Why would anyone think I want to talk about how I feel about my work, my life, to a medical professional who is being paid by my employer? Maybe that is paranoia or narrow thinking. Either way, the thought of doing so fills me with complete and shuddering anxiety.

*****

I’m writing a few hours after the above.

I’ve spoken to my union who have given me some reassurance about the OH appointment. I feel a little better.

I have unfortunately, had another issue with Wildcard. I don’t know what to think. My catastrophising brain thinks that maybe, these recent problems are heading for the end.

We’ve had a few challenging weeks. My negative and anxious mindset about my job have caused issues between me and him. He’s forgiven me each time but no one can be naive enough to think that is the end of it. It tips the balance just a little the wrong way.

What with that, and the more recent issues, worried he’s beginning to think I am too much. Not worth it.

I’ve got another major issue going on with my son which I haven’t mentioned yet here. It started at the weekend.

In both cases – my situation at work and with my son – cultural and language barriers are preventing me from explaining to Wildcard well, and him from understanding well.

I’ve tried.

I know what some of you are thinking – if he can’t stand by you now, then he’s not the right person etc etc.

Truth is, how long should a person have to stand by you? Why should they suffer because you are?

If he walks away, any semblance of happiness I have will go. I will implode. But, I can’t blame him. I can’t. He’s under no obligation. We are not married. Maybe, I have just become too much. I love him so much that I should not be a source of unhappiness for him. Even if it destroys what’s left of me in the process.

I’m sat in my wilderness, cold and shivering.

I’ve made myself get out of my bed.

My daughter has pointed out that I’ve done all I can in each and every situation of my life that’s causing my stress. Despite the hours in bed and my overall anxiety, I have actively tried to find solutions and help for all of them. It was a positive reminder.

I will hold on to that.

Dare to dream

I wake early, just as the morning light is starting to glow outside the window. I stretch and feel the warm strength of the body next to me. I turn carefully to see the night black hair and beard and caramel skin. I inflate with love as I breath him in.

Cautious not to wake him, I gently remove him hand from my waist and he turns over in the movement so I can see his toned back. I smile. I’m so happy.

I get up and dressed then quietly leave the house, dog bounding in front of me. The morning is warm but there is a cool bite to the breeze.

I return 30 minutes later, relishing in the fresh air and the warmth to my muscles. I feed and water the dog and jump in the shower.

I’m still amazed that I’ve managed to keep the weight off. I’m definitely not perfect, but I’m fitter and slimmer fitter than I’ve ever been. I dry off and wrap the towel around me and go back tonight room.

He’s still asleep. As I towel dry and brush my hair, I watch him knowing that I must wake him soon. I moisturise my body and just as I reach down for my underwear, I hear his voice deep and sleepy, calling my back to bed.

I crawl in next to him and I feel so happy, excited and content as his arms circle me, our legs entwine and I feel his soft, soft kisses. Before long, we are making love.

Too soon, we are getting up. Whilst he showers, I go down and make breakfast and put something in the slow cooker for later.

He comes down and I inhale when I see his black hair, wet and brushed back. He teases me and we laugh. I hurriedly drink tea whilst he eats before I leave the house for work.

I arrive home before him. I check our dinner, before changing and doing some chores. He arrives home and kisses me sweetly before changing and lying on the couch.

Just before dinner is ready, he gets up and sets the table and we sit and eat together, talking about our day. After clearing up together, we both sit on the couch, his legs in my lap. I catch-up on a few emails whilst he plays on his phone but after half an hour, he calls his parents. I speak to them briefly, missing them, and telling them that we will be over to visit soon. I leave him to talk to them and go upstairs to put away some washing and freshen up.

Before long, he has followed me upstairs and he grabs me, kissing me and slapping my bottom in jest. He changes and we lock the house before getting in the car.

He loves his car. It’s one of the first things he saved up for and it is his pride and joy. We drive for around half an hour, music playing with words I think I will never understand, and arrive at the seaside town.

After checking and double checking he’s locked the car, we start to walk hand in hand. We stroll towards the beach and walk along the promenade in the fading light. I know people look at him – I love to look at him! – but the squeeze of his hand and his jokes and laughter make me know I am the only one for him.

We make our way to a bar and sit outside drinking soft drinks and talking and laughing. Soon we are heading home.

As I put a load of washing om, he takes the dog out. When he returns, we lock up and head to our bedroom. He turns on the TV as he lies on bed and I sit and take my makeup off. I then get in alongside him, and read a little, my head resting on his chest. My eyes begin to droop and so I put my book down and kiss him softly. He turns off the TV and we kiss a little before I turn and go to sleep: he puts his headphone in and plays on his phone whilst I sleep.

I wake in the morning to his body holding me tight and his hands caressing my skin. We make love again, slowly and luxuriously, and then I reluctantly get up to shower.

I make coffee and take the dog in the garden whilst I drink it. Before long, he joins me outside and drinks his tea whilst we plan the day ahead.

He takes the dog out for a run whilst I prepare breakfast and call my children to check when they will arrive.

Once again, we eat together and then he goes to clean his car whilst I prepare a picnic. My son arrives during that time and I sit and listen to him whilst I finish preparing.

We have a wonderful day out. I love watching him with my son and the relationship they are building. They are friends and I am so happy to see how relaxed they are – that is until their competitive side comes out!

We arrive home late in the afternoon and the pair of them go on to the xbox whilst I start preparing dinner. During this time, my other children arrive with their other half. The house is filled with laughter and talking.

He helps me prepare the rest of the food and we cook together, listening and laughing at the sibling taunting. Finally, we go outside and eat around the table, nightlights glowing in the garden and the smell of honeysuckle in the air.

As the night turns to chill, we return to the house. My daughter and her partner leave but the rest of us play games for a while before we all return to our rooms.

When I wake in the morning I am alone but see the coffee waiting for me on the bedside table. I can hear him talking to his brother on the phone downstairs amongst the shouts of my son reacting to the game he’s playing. I lazily walk downstairs and am greeted with breakfast and a kiss. We eat and then I get ready for the day.

My family soon arrive and its all hands on deck as we prepare a huge dinner for us all.

As I prepare, I watch as he teases my niece and nephew or talks to my sisters. I feel so much love for everyone here right now. And happy – I’m so, so happy. Life isn’t easy and we have our ups and downs but I knew this moment was worth waiting for.

Days 7 and 8: little

It’s the little things.

Grabbing my hand to cross a busy road and then moving me so I’m not on the side where the cars are.

It’s shouting me to come see a funny video he’s just watched.

It’s asking me if I’m tired/ok/good when we are out.

It’s checking I can swim – by making me demonstrate – before allowing me to properly swim alone in the sea.

It’s checking with the restaurant that the food won’t contain gluten.

It’s driving for hours just to show me all the beaches and beautiful places he knows I will love.

It’s sandwiching my hand close to his body when I grab his arm in a crowd.

It’s going to find a chair to sit with me outside when he was probably more comfortable on the bed.

*****

It’s late on Day 8 and I’m pretty tired.

I’ve had a wonderful couple of days. Yesterday we woke at 5.30am, ate, packed the car and set off on a road trip. Wildcard drove for hours and hours to show me some famous and stunningly beautiful cities in his country.

Today, we went to the beach and then he continued his tour, showing me a gorgeous marina and then taking us out for a dinner of fresh sardines and salad.

Tomorrow, I think we are moving on and he’s told me that we may go the long way back, taking in a few more places on the way home.

I’m so glad we have another week.

Positive v negative

“Well son, I’m afraid life doesn’t work like that. You will have problems every day and you have to learn to deal with them.”

Oh yes.

My parent-wisdom words, no doubt regurgitated from hearing them myself as a child.

Is it wisdom though? Am I teaching resilience there or perpetuating negative thinking? As in, they’re not problems but a natural part of day to day life?

April has been a ‘problematic’ month for me.

I came home from seeing Wildcard, exhausted after travel and heart ache, and threw myself into work. Then a moroseness swept over me. And flu. So my solution was to stay in bed for four days. Yes I was ill, but equally I was down.

I got better, but within a week I was ill again. The annual, ‘Is it hay-fever, is it a summer cold’ debate resulted in a fever induced covid test which of course, turned out positive.

I’m grateful I didn’t have it as bad as some. But it was bad enough, despite my three vaccines. Head cold, fever, tight chest, aching limbs and neck, cough and absolute fatigue. As the days went on, a temporary well feeling would be quickly met with a need to go back to bed. My re-test only became negative after 8 days, and whilst I could have followed ‘Government’ guidelines after 5 days to return to work, as I am sure they are banking on, I couldn’t face going and infecting someone else.

Unfortunately, morals don’t always pay and I will be missing a week’s wage in what will already be a tight month. I will survive. And that is positive thinking for you. Or possibly sheer dumb avoidance. I can’t change the situation either way and it could be worse. Maybe karma will send me some better luck.

Of course, positive thinking doesn’t immediately help my daughter when she has been ‘dumped’ by another 18 years old who has decided after months of sweet talk and pursuit that he doesn’t want a relationship. It doesn’t help my son who is still waiting for his ASD diagnosis or not as the case may be. In these situations, a dose a negative actually does the world of good – in life, it seems that things always be a lot worse more often than a lot better.

This is my current and forced train of thought over the booked but no longer required trip to see Wildcard in the May Half term. As both sisters and my daughter are away themselves, there is no one to house and pet sit. I haven’t really got the money to pay for train tickets and a hotel and Wildcard didn’t even know I’d booked and nor has he asked if I am going. So, I’m not.

No, I haven’t yet tried to move the tickets and yes, I have longingly looked at my flights and train ticket prices. But it’s impossible at the moment so I need to just get over it.

On the plus side, one of his brothers is finally going over after three years (covid) and as this was one of the stipulations for Wildcard deciding that he is ready to let his parents fend for themselves so he can marry me, I guess this is another occasion for trying to see the positive side.

Trip 4: days 5-6, hands

Well, once again I am writing from an aeroplane seat, waiting for take off. I’ve struck lucky – only me on my row! It’s 7.40pm in the evening and I have a 3 hour flight before a hotel stay and early get-up for the train home.

I’m calm, I’m happy. That’s good isn’t it? Unfortunately, life has also taught me to be guarded and anxious, so let’s see how long this lasts.

I left off writing after a passionate post-argument making up session. Perhaps less said about that the better. Wow, will suffice.

Saturday morning, day 5, Wildcard came into my room and all was well. As it always is. I commented that his parents had got up early, and he replied that we would go out for the afternoon once he came home from work. I was surprised and happy and wracked with guilt about the argument the night before.

We had a wonderful day as we always do. He drove for hours and hours, taking me to much loved places. We took selfies with each other, photos with his parents and ate slices of sugar sweet apples as we travelled.

On the way back we went to his local city and walked through the market. He bought a jacket with some money his brother had sent him and I smiled as he tried it on, heart-warm from how handsome he looked and how much he wanted my opinion.

As we walked through the busy market, crammed with colour and noise, sellers and buyers, I clung on to his hand frightened of getting lost and heeding his warning.

He is never comfortable when I hold his hand and I have never understood why. I thought it must be his culture or perhaps he just doesn’t like it. He always holds my hand when he needs to keep me safe though. Later, tired after a long day and hugging each other as we waited for dinner, I again attempted to hold his hand and snuggled as close as I could get. He sleepily asked, ‘What are you doing?’ And I replied I was getting close to him. Turns out all the times I’ve said that and haven’t always got the response I wanted, was down to that he didn’t know what it meant. Equally, when he went to pull his hand away from me, I asked him why. His response surprised me and made me realise that we all have our hang-ups. He hates his hands, thinks they’re small and like a woman’s, and I recall a conversation long ago when he said that a girl had made an unpleasant comment to him about them. I told him he and his hands were perfect to me, which they are, and not feminine at all. They’re slender, yes, but definitely male. From that point on he did not pull away when I held his hand.

Bolstered by this honesty and acknowledging his sleepiness – a natural antidote to his tendency to greet meaningful conversations with humour and teasing – I went for it. Be proud of me WordPress. I told him that next time I come, I want to get engaged. He was shocked, surprised and jokingly pushed me away (antidote not working as planned). I tried not to get upset – he was joking after all and I figured an out-right no would have been said with more seriousness. We’d had a great day and I wasn’t going to spoil it by pushing further. We were called to dinner, ate, and I happily, and uneventfully, said goodnight without a murmur of sulking. I had learnt my lesson.

I woke early the next morning, having dreamt unpleasant dreams of my old school, forgetting and failing and then a fire that spread through my town as I raced through in a car I owned 18 years ago.

I messaged him and soon he was there.

I don’t pretend to be particularly experienced in the bedroom. I have had a conservative amount of partners but more than the four serious/semi serious relationships I’ve had. I’ve had good sex and bad sex, and a spectrum of in between. What I have never experienced, is what I have with him. He has had less partners than me, is younger, and yet somehow makes me feel something so uniquely wonderful it makes me question why anyone would have one night stands. And, yes, I have had them.

We had a good breakfast and I counted the hours left before my departure. I didn’t pack, nor did I go for my shower and eventually he asked why. I didn’t want to leave, pure and simple. Whilst my children are my blood, he is my heart.

We sat on the previously ill-fated sofa and he jokingly asked whether he was able to play his game and I laughed and agreed, as long as he told me he loved me. His brother then called and Wildcard spoke to him for a little while. Once finished, he told me about the problems his brother was having with his wife: her jealousy, control and sometimes violent behaviour. She’s Irish and according to Wildcard, has a mental health issue ‘with papers’ to prove it.

I listened in horror to what he told me. His brother is almost a prisoner – not allowed to leave the house without his paranoid wife, unable to call his family more than once a week, and all his wages going in to her account as she does not work. After three years, his brother still does not know the area or how to get out of the situation he is in.

One the one hand, we only have his version and I only have Wildcard’s but I have no reason to disbelieve him. I can understand the jealousy to a point (I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t) but what she is doing can not be making either of them happy and she is definitely hurting his brother and his parents – and why anyone would want to hurt them I don’t know.

Somehow, Wildcard being afraid of marriage and wary about the move to the UK started to make more and more sense.

To be continued.

Over…

Annoyingly, this post would be much better in context. I started and finished a post two days ago but never published it. I explained my last post and my negativity. I expressed my absolute love of Wildcard.

Yesterday however my relationship was over. Almost.

Before I get into why, I have realised something. I am, as a person;

Often overwhelmed

Always Overthinking

Frustratingly Over weight

Frequently Over planning

Resulting in being Over tired

I really wish I wasn’t.

Yesterday I had made tentative plans to meet my London friend for lunch. Due to some unforseen circumstances, it didn’t happen. So we chatted as normal. That’s when she told me that Wildcard had sent her a friend request, that morning, on Facebook.

Some context here. Wildcard wasn’t happy when I went to visit her in London. He wasn’t happy when he discovered – accidently – that she and I discuss a lot about our relationships. He doesn’t understand our friendship. He spoke to her briefly when I was in London and I have sent a screenshot of her profile during a conversation. He knows what she looks like.

Some more context. It was agreed between us (after some naive, innocent but silly actions where I really annoyed him) that if friends or family contacted us through social media we should discuss with each other before accepting. This is what he did when my mother made a friend request.

So, you can imagine how I felt. Why had he done this? Did he know who she was when he sent the request? Is he doing this to other women? Is he spying on me through her? Does he not trust her? Or me? Is it a coincidence that he does this on a day we were supposed to meet up (and looked unhappy about it)?

She offered to proceed how I wished – add him and test him to see what he would do. I refused. To set a honeytrap is showing distrust. I didn’t do it when I first met him and I’m not going to do it now.

In the end, due to my overwhelming emotions and anxiety, I contacted him and had it out with him.

He claims it was an accident and he didn’t intend to do it.

We argued over his whole social media profile, and not for the first time. Being 9 years younger than me, he uses social media in a completely different way than I do. It’s not a way to connect with friends and family but a means to an end – he wants to build his profile and make money from it. He has never hidden this. He has never hidden his profiles or pages. I know there are thousands of women on his sites and he has told me about them. He is a handsome man. And he isn’t the only one who has pages like that. Doesn’t mean I like it though. I hate it.

We’ve also discussed the fact that I am a hidden relationship. His culture doesn’t believe in dating. What we are doing is against the laws, culture and religion of his country. I know this. I know this is why I am absent from his social media – just another name amongst thousands.

But being told by someone else that his pages look like ‘a dating site’ and that I am noticeably absent was heart wrenching. So I brought it up- even though I knew why – and listened to his reasons again. I told him I was nothing. No one knew about me – we are not ‘serious’ as in not engaged so I am nothing.

I could go on and on, just as the conversation went on and on. There were two further conversations about the situation. The upshot is, he maintains he accidently sent her the friend request, that he has never hidden his plans for his social media accounts or the number of women on them. He repeatedly told me he loved me and wants to be with me. He is certain about me. I’m his only one. But he admitted, again, that he is uncertain about his future and is reluctant to have to start again at zero.

Unwillingly at first, I discussed this with my close family. They believe his reaction to my planned trip and the timing of the friend request are no accident. They feel it is likely that he was checking her out either because he doesn’t trust her (which he doesn’t) or to find a vantage point to check I was doing what I said I was. My sister even thought in checking out her page he may have accidently sent the request. My daughter agreed having done this herself. This sounds like him, to be honest. Controlling, yes. Paranoid and wary, absolutely. But then, so am I.

During the day there were two moments where I thought we were over. I didn’t think I could ever trust him again. I don’t know if I believe his story even now. My London friend certainly doesn’t. She thinks he is a player and a liar. I haven’t heard from her all day.

The other was when we were both angry. Neither of us wanted it though.

But I’m not over it. Not by a long shot. There is a heaviness in my soul now that hasn’t shifted all day. I’m tired and miserable. By the end of day yesterday, I’d had all the confirmations of his feelings I have longed for. My London friend would say that he knows how to talk me round.

He may have contacted her because he was interested in her.

He may have contacted her by accident as he prowled her account.

He may have contacted her to check up on me, in the hope she wouldn’t recognise him, as she posted pictures of our day together (something I don’t do.)

He may have contacted her to add further numbers to his social media.

At this moment it’s hard to know the truth.

My heart was ripped out yesterday. It’s easy to believe the worst when you are anxious. It’s even easier to believe the best when you’re in love with someone.

I don’t know if I will get over this. My London friend thinks he has wormed his way back and I will forgive and forget. Maybe she is right. Maybe my family are right. Either easy, what I know for certain is I won’t forget about it. This isn’t over.