Month Nine and Ten ... Surviving Marital Betrayal

First off
I really dread writing these posts.

Not because we aren't doing better.
We are.

But because they are a continual reminder
of one of the most painful events in my life.

Which means
they remind me of my own vulnerability.

But they are also a reminder of how far Jeff and I have come
over the last ten months.
It obviously takes a team effort
to not only survive marital betrayal
but come out stronger for it.

Writing although painful reminds me  how hard
Jeff and I  have
continue to work
to restore strength and vitality
to our marriage.

We will celebrate our 31st anniversary this week
 I can't believe how far we have come since last year.
It was only last year celebrating our 30th
that I was wondering if 30 years might be indeed long enough to be married.
And that was before I knew about the betrayal.

awful, ugly things have to happen
before you both realize
just how much you really do love each other.

Marriage is hard.
Being married for a long time can lead as it did in our case
to becoming complacent.
To taking each other for granted.

As horrible as being broken open to the core actually is
it can give you an opportunity to put the pieces back togehter
in a way that is so much better than before.

Our road doing that has been long and hard
on both of us.
And in case anyone was wondering
I never publish any of our story
without letting Jeff read it first.
Writing and sharing our story
in the hopes of helping others
definitely comes second to repairing
our own marriage.

I think writing almost seems harder these days
the betrayal is no longer front and center 
in my life.
More often than not
it only comes up briefly each day
some days not at all.

Which means to have to stop and check in on 
'the situation'
can sometimes feel like a harsh sting.

But I promised myself
I would journal this process for one year
in the hopes that our journey can help others.
I remember when I first found out about the betrayal
I was so scared and hurt my only question was
'How does anyone survive'
I wasn't talking about marriage.

So in hopes of helping someone else
in their time of need
 here goes.

Our last therapy sessions was one of 
my favorites.

After being told by our therapist 6 weeks ago
that he thought we had made such tremendous progress
(as in he had never had a couple as committed to change
and that in
his opinion  we were good not to continue therapy).

I wasn't comfortable not to return
so we scheduled our last therapy session
for a month out.
And I am so grateful we did.

During the month that we didn't go
Jeff and I began to have disagreements
once a week.

They all started off the same way
were circular and nonproductive in nature.
Just an ugly repetitive dance of words and emotions.

I started to realize
I was stuck in anger and resentment 
of the betrayal.
Life had gotten so complicated with other family issues
like my mother dying and it's vast impact
to my oldest son choosing once again to estrange himself
even the joyous marriage of my youngest son 
their move to San Diego.
It all just left me feeling overwhelmed.

So I think I began to vent at what was an easy target.
I began to loose sight of what I wanted our marriage to be
began to settle into true resentment and anger.

The silver linings began to be something I couldn't feel.
I knew I need to make a change.

I once again pulled out my books about
healing after betrayal.
I saw that I wasn't doing my part as well
as I had in the beginning.

I could also recognize
Jeff was still showing up
even though my angry words 
could have easily sent a weaker man packing for sure.
Who knows
maybe on some level a part of me was testing him.
If I no longer came to our marriage invested every day
in loving intent
showed up angry and ugly
would it all be over.

It wasn't.

And I was ever so grateful we still had a standing therapy appointment.
Because we both definitely needed the help.

Jeff was getting frusterated
I felt like I was in the process of unraveling so much of the 
loving progress we were making.

In that session
I was able to truly verbalize how angry and resentful I was
talk about my trust issues

Our therapist suggested Jeff 
'check in with me once a day
on how I was feeling about our 'situation'

And Bingo
I felt like a light went off in my head.
My anger and resentment
wasn't as much about the 
betrayal itself anymore
it was more about how I still had to deal with
the ramifications everyday.
The fear that would arise
with the smallest of triggers.

I had falsely believed we had gotten through it ...
but I still had to deal with my life
still feeling so broken.

I realized the person who was putting the most pressure on me
to 'put this all behind us'
was me.

I had thought I needed to stop talking about it
which just made the small triggers 
build up until they exploded messily
in anger and rage.

Since our session  several  weeks ago
Jeff checks in daily
in earnest effort
I share with him how I'm feeling that day.

That simple change
makes me realize we are definitely in 'this' together
it's not all on my shoulders to get behind me.

We both are able to talk about how regaining trust
will be a process
but we are both committed for the long haul.

Another important take away from our last session
it is my responsibility to know
I will be alright with or without Jeff.

It might sound harsh at first 
but it's so true.

I need to do all the work
that makes me feel whole

I need that  not only for my own piece of mind
but as much for our marriage.

As the hurt partner
I don't ever want to feel 
like it's Jeff's entire responsibility to 
'make me whole again'.

It is definitely my job as well.

It took two of us to get 'there'
It definitely takes the both of us
to get where we want to go.

And one thing I do know for sure
we are both doing our very best to
get there!

Of course there are great days
some days that are not so great.

But like so many times in life
it's continual steps in the right direction
that can get you there.

I know it is still a long road
but I know long journies
are all about one step at a time.

I have also learned never to take relationships for granted.
the very important ones.

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life

Hello Monday ... Hello Gratitude

Happy New Week my friends!

I'm back with a list of
from my week.

I think these posts are so important.
They force me to slow down enough to reflect on my week
sometimes with surprising results.

Like today
I woke up in kind of a funk.
The feeling that no matter what I do
I don't feel accomplished
because there are so many things still undone.

I realized once again
how powerful our internal narrative is to our
own happiness.

It's actually time to take a deep breath
regroup and refocus
on all the good and beautiful in my life.

To focus intently on

To continue to write a fresh new narrative.
Believe it.

A highlight of my week
was definitely
kayacking with dear friends
having the good fortune to be out on the ocean
at the same time as a procession of tall ships
that were in town for the festival!

Adding a bit of bubbly
makes it a sublime memory to be sure!
A moment of bliss I press deep into my heart
never to be forgotten!

I have been putting a lot of my time into
getting my house in order

From the outside gardens
to all my closets
fluffing my sweet vignettes!

My backyard chives are blooming
made for the sweetest floral centerpiece addition.

Our backyard has been getting plenty of love and care also!

Jeff and I have been spending our weekends doing some
major projects in the gardens
as well as freshening up our planters.

It feels very calming to get things in order
I suppose because for so long everything has felt so chaotic.
It feels good to have some areas in life controlled.

Another highlight was celebrating the birthday of a dear friend
with a backyard barbeque!

We even redid my photo backdrop for the occasion!

And of course there were plenty of Crowns to go around 
for some fun pictures!

Thank you for visiting and reading here.
I so appreciate it!

Here's to
for a beautiful
New Week!

What were you most 
Grateful for last week?

I'd love to know!

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life

Date Night In Lido Marina Village

We were back last week 
to one of my favorite Orange County Spots
Lido Marina Village.

Spending a Friday night 
shopping and dining on the harbor is wonderful
it seems to be getting better every week 
with new store and restaurant openings!

We were invited to the one year anniversary of
Bixby and Ball.

A lovely home and gift boutique
with a coastal flair.

Following the vibe  of the store
how cute was this party invite!

The pearl diving was such a novel idea!
You simply picked an unopened oyster
and took it to the shucker
to see if your oyster had a pearl!

Shopping with champagne always makes for a lovely time!

Afterwards we strolled around
and discovered a most lovely florist
with an outdoor pop up shop!

These Earl Grey roses had to come home with me!

Weekends in Lido Marina Village 
usually come with a whole variety of  traveling
Pop Up Shops.

This visit we also discovered that 
once a month they have a vintage market
with the coolest vendors like
Johanna of @StylingbyJo

I found my new favorite hat there as well!

Jeff and I were particularly tickled 
to find that 
Circle Hook Fish Co
is open!

Featuring Local Sustainable Line Caught  fish
as well as cocktails and an upscale wine selection.

It's a lovely casual place
with stool seating inside and chairs outside.
Just the perfect place for a quick bite or drinks.

Because as great as the food and drinks are
it's the view seating right on the boardwalk
that has it on the top of my Newport list this week!

Lido Marina Village
is expecting the opening soon of the long anticipated
Malibu Farms!
It's my Malibu favorite 
so I am anxiously awaiting our own Lido version!
You'll find me in Lido Village once again this weekend for sure!

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life

Eye Brow Micro Blading

I finally got my eyebrows
Micro Bladed
I couldn't be happier with the results!

I had them done at my 
favorite trusted spot

I thought I would do another 
Good Girlfriend Share
show you not only a before and after
but the steps involved as well.

And being that it is a real share
none of these photos have been edited
definitely the following pictures are truly
bare faced.

Here is the no makeup before.
You can see how the ends of my eyebrows 
were barely visible
looked sparse because of many of the brow hairs
that have turned grey.

I tried every eyebrow product out there
to try to get my brows  to where I liked them
because I am well aware of the 
impact of eyebrows!

Trying to get my eyebrows to where I was happy with them
made doing my makeup ever so aggravating!

So I decided to bite the bullet 
take a chance on micro blading.

It's a lengthy process taking about three hours plus for the first visit.

A good part of that time
is meticulous measuring to ensure a balanced end result.
Dennis at My Skin
 is definitely a perfectionist!

The color here was put in after the measuring
to get a feeling of the size and shape of the brow
had nothing to do with the color.

I wanted to simply get back to my natural brow shape.

I also got to choose what color of brow dye I wanted,
Dennis applied three different colors to my forhead
so I could choose the color I was looking for.
It was a genius idea
because you can see the color on your actual skin
and next to your hair.

After all the measurements are done
the color chosen
the numbing cream  applied
and allowed to set up for about 20-30 minutes.

Next the actual blading takes place.
 This consists of basically small cuts into the skin
within the brow lines.
There are three passes on each brow.

I wouldn't say it hurts too bad
but the sound of the skin being cut was a little uncomfortable to hear.
I definitely was intentional about 
putting my mind somewhere else,

When the blading is complete
the dye is applied.

Then they are cleaned up
New Brows!

In four to six weeks there is a return visit 
to perfect any areas that might not have taken perfectly
in the process.

I am ever so happy with the results.

The healing process was a breeze.
I just had to apply grape seed oil
morning and night for a week 
 keep my brows dry while they healed.

I am so happy with the results!
It was definitely worth the $500 and time!

For the first time ever 
I actually am enjoying 
putting on my makeup in my new makeup station!

With my brows already done it's such a more
enjoyable process!

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life

Hello Gratitude - Hello Tuesday

Things feel like they are calming down here of late.
And I have been through enough lately 
to realize the importance of 


And the need to put focus on the good.

So today's post is a simple one 
of simply focusing on the good in my past week.

Jeff and I had a lovely

Sunset Wine Tasting Cruise 
last Friday
in Dana Point Harbor.

If you find yourself in the area
the cruise is a lovely way to spend
an hour an a half
even when it's marine layer cover.
Seeing all the boats
and waving to the friendly boat owners
makes for a lovely start to the weekend!

Waterman's in Dana Point Harbor
is a great vantage to take in the 
magnificent harbor view.

I had my eyebrows 
micro bladed
two weeks ago 
(I will share more about the procedure tomorrow)
I am so happy with the results
that I am finally
interested in doing my makeup well.

So I set up a fabulous makeup station
in one of our extra rooms I use for a 
closet / guest room.

The best part is the natural indirect light that streams from the window
repurposing a slide out shelf that years ago 
held my son's keyboard.
I had kept it
just incase I ever found a perfect new use.
And I finally have.

I have also been organizing my
'Accessory Wardrobes'
I like to keep them together by color for easy
outfit styling.

Since we have had a truly empty nest for over two years
I have turned two of the extra rooms into
closets / guestrooms
so I now have the luxury of  having 
my clothes in organized concepts.

These are from my colored brights room.
When I am in need of some cheery happy colors
ths is the closet  room I pick from.

I was very grateful last week 
that Jeff and I got to have dinner with
the newlyweds
who have recently moved to San Diego!

Family time is always a highlight for me!

And speaking of family
Jeff and I took my Dad and brother 
to the iconic
Oaks Steakhouse
that still has the tradition of cutting off ties 
if you wear one in.
The whole dining area is encrusted with 
ties wide and narrow from the past 40 years!

How sweet is this little macrame planter 
with an air plant
that I found for my darling daughter
who is coming up on the the train Thursday!

I am ever so grateful that the 
Holy Fire
that we could see
way to closely is now almost out.

Even though the fire was burning away from us
there were a few very uneasy days to witness.

This was the view from our bedroom window for
several nights.

Huge gratitude to all of 
the fire professionals
that handled what turned into a fire over 25,000 acres.

In my routine for
Self Care 
I have been making sure I have daily workouts
five days a week.

I do pilates at a studio
add in 
nature hikes, kayaking and mountain biking.
Yesterday I rode with a dear friend
who had discovered a new to us 
trail to the beach!
Monday morning made!!
Nothing like working out in nature
to sooth the body and soul!

Jeff and I have been spending the last month's weekends
working on our gardens.
With a major new project
along with taking back some areas.

We added a new dwarf olive to our courtyard
which makes me happy to see while I have my morning coffee!

Our major project has been
taking out our front yard grass
using the area more efficiently.

Jeff constructed a huge raised planter
for an organic vegetable and herb garden!

Our hot up coming SoCal months
with have my collection of basils thriving!

I added in some pops of pink color to the courtyard
that makes my heart happy to see!

I just love doing my 
Gratitude Posts

They are such a lovely reminder
to really take in all of the simple parts
of a day.

Because sometimes it's taking  the time
for the little things
and moments
that truly make life meaningful.

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
 as you style your life