Stop Expecting Equality, They Advise

I saw something once on a Facebook page. A woman who had been left by her husband of many years was lamenting the fact that he made approximately 4x what she did, and once support ended he would still be making 4x what she made and she’d be struggling on her own. Like many of us, she had been a stay at home mom, supporting him in his career climb behind the scenes for years, and now that she’s middle aged and he’s decided he needs a different model, she’s disposed of and left to fend for herself. She did have a job, a teaching job, but it paid far less than her ex-husband’s job. Where is the justice, she wanted to know? Where are his consequences for his behavior? Why must she suffer all of them while he suffers none?

Someone advised her to stop expecting equality. She pointed out that it was a fruitless exercise and once she stopped focusing on that, the better off she would be. Unfortunately it didn’t stop there. She went on to say that countless numbers of people undoubtedly make more money than the original complainant does and she needs to put her ex-husband in that group and focus on herself and what she can do to make more money.

I get it. I truly do. If we continued to dwell on the unfairness of it all we would go crazy. Hell, I consider myself to be at “Meh” when it comes to the end of our relationship and the fact that he married his gold digging whore of a cousin. I’m even pretty close to “Meh” when I think about my old lifestyle and everything that has been lost. But that’s because I’ve learned not to stay there in that cesspool of “What if’s?” too long. If I do, it infuriates me. Even to this day. So I walk away. I focus on other things.

But here’s the thing. This isn’t just someone else that makes more money than we do. This is the person who was supposed to be our partner. We supported them, encouraged them, picked up the home life slack for them. We thought we were building something together. We formed our plans for our life based upon them. And they decided to take their toys and give them to someone else. 

My boss makes more money than me. I’m pretty sure both of my brothers make more money than me. Most of the people I work with make more money than me. I’m perfectly aware that there are a lot of people out there that make more money than me. Am I resentful of them? No, of course not.

Those people also didn’t rise to their position on my back. They didn’t string me along until they got what they wanted and then kick me in the face and leave me and my kids to starve. They didn’t ask me to move multiple times throughout our relationship, leaving behind friends and a life I had foraged. They didn’t throw up roadblocks to me getting a job so that I was financially dependent upon them.

He did. He did all of that and he suffers no consequences. His life goes on exactly as it did before. And for the most part I don’t think about it. Because I would go crazy and the anger would consumer me. So I don’t dwell on it. I don’t expect equality. For crying out loud, he’s got a 20 year head start on me. I’d be crazy to expect equality.

But to act like he’s just some other person out there who makes more than me? To skip happily along and get a second and third job so I can get somewhere close to the amount he makes? To donate plasma twice a week on a regular basis to make up the difference? To sign up for Door Dash and Uber and tutor and babysit and string together a whole list of side jobs so I can hopefully take a vacation once in a blue moon while the ex takes two and three expensive vacations a year? To live in a crappy little dingy basement apartment while he’s living in a four bedroom/ 2 bathroom house with a fireplace and a hot tub in a quiet subdivision?

Nah. I’m not going to do any of that and act like it’s no big deal. It is a big fucking deal and that was the original woman’s point.

Thanksgiving 2021

This was going to be a much different post. Thanksgiving 2021 didn’t go exactly as planned and I was not in a very good mood because of it. By the end of the day I had Thanksgiving 2022 all planned out. I was going to the beach. I was going to stay at a hotel. Wake up and have a lovely hotel breakfast. For lunch/dinner I would go Captain George’s Seafood Buffet. Crab legs on Thanksgiving! Yes, please! I’d spend the day walking the boardwalk, playing Pokemon Go. Maybe I’d try to do a puzzle. Maybe I’d write a few posts. In the evening after the sun had set I planned to walk along the beach and look at all the Christmas lights set up on the beach.

And then I pulled my head out of my ass and reminded myself of how much I have to be grateful for. Yes, Thanksgiving 2021 didn’t go off as planned but it wasn’t horrible. It simply wasn’t what I had envisioned.

I think it’s fair to say that Christmas has a leg up on Thanksgiving. And no, that’s not a turkey joke. Christmas has music and lights. Pageants. Christmas plays. Church bizarres. Presents. Cookies. Lots of Christmas baking. Cocoa. Santa Claus. The Nutcracker. Hallmark movies. Christmas has tons of stuff. But Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving has food and family. That’s it. Oh, and a parade. But then again, so does Christmas.

I was feeling sorry for myself because my daughter and her boyfriend weren’t coming up the night before or spending the night the day of. In fact, they arrived right before dinner started around 2, and they took off 2 or 3 hours later. It was a very brief visit. And needless to say, I miss her. My mom misses her.

Then as I was getting ready to make the meatloaf that my niece loves (she’s not a fan of turkey) my mom told me Queen B had texted her to let her know she hadn’t been feeling well all week and still wasn’t feeling great. So she wouldn’t be at Thanksgiving. The appearance of her boyfriend had been up in the air until that point. Obviously, if he was only going to come for dessert even if she did attend he wasn’t going to be at our home when he had a family of his own.

Also during the conversation that morning I realized my sister-in-law opted to work the holiday so she wouldn’t be over either.

That now left myself, my mom, my son, my brother and my nephew, and my absent sister-in-law’s brother, along with a very brief visit from my daughter and her boyfriend. Hours of cooking, followed by cleaning up the mess, for 3 guests and a drive-by visit from my daughter. Awesome. How could the holiday get any better?

Oh yes! Notice how I did not mention the mobster? That’s because the Friday before the holiday he suddenly decided to return home to spend the holiday with his family. While I understood his desire to go back and spend it with his kids I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed. I thought when he moved up here that we would get to celebrate the holidays together. 

Despite the many blessings I have enjoyed because I divorced once my children were older and Jerry Lee disappeared like a puff of smoke (they got a say in visitation; I never had to co-parent with a fuckwit- basically because he abandoned them; I never had to share holidays; they were old enough that they knew the truth and weren’t having any of his nonsense; I never had to deal with my kids being around him, Harley, his family, and/or her family) I realize that one of the pitfalls of divorcing when the kids are older is that you never truly blend your families. The kids are simply too old. It’s not to say they won’t get along or they don’t like each other. But there’s no sense of family between them, which means you live essentially two lives- the life with your kids and the life with your partner.

On the plus side he had a really good visit with his kids, his parents, and his siblings. I’m glad he went. Despite my sadness at not spending Thanksgiving with him I still made a batch of Scotcheroos and sent them with him. I’m very glad he got to see his kids and that he had such a great time with them. I know he’s given up a lot to be with me and it was just me being selfish that wanted him here.

Similarly I can’t be upset with my niece for being sick, or with my sister-in-law for taking the opportunity to make 2-3 times what she normally makes. Disappointed that our table is smaller? Sure.

And the reality is I did get to spend the holiday with both of my kids. I know there are a lot of people out there mourning the fact that their cheating spouse gets the kids this year. Not me. I’ve had my kids every holiday since this happened. Who knows what will happen in the coming years? My daughter and her boyfriend seem pretty set on moving out to Utah. I can say from experience that it’s not as easy as you think it will be to just buy tickets and fly home for the holidays. My daughter is going to be a nurse and it’s possible, probable even, that she’ll be working future holidays. My son likes his job at the supermarket and thinks he wants to stay there. Another job that requires working on the holidays. Hell, maybe next year I will make it to the beach!

Then I remember my best friend who just lost her mother earlier this month. Her father suffered a second stroke in July and she and her family have been enduring insurance and nursing home care nightmares for months. He was already blind from his first stroke a few years ago and this second stroke exacerbated his dementia. They’ve been so focused on him and undoubtedly preparing themselves for his death, and then after what was called a perfect day her mother slipped and fell, hitting her head as she went into her house. She never regained consciousness. And to top it all off her dad caught Covid so they couldn’t even go visit him at Thanksgiving. She’s had a hell of a year. I’m sure she would have loved to have been able to celebrate the holidays with her family, and here I am whining and feeling sorry for myself because my mom and I have been cooking for only a few extra people.

Maybe that’s the heart of it. If I’m going all out and cooking a huge feast I want a crowd. I’m not doing eighteen dishes for four people. Yet as I think back on my 52 (well, 53) previous Thanksgivings I can’t say that we’ve had a huge crowd throughout most of them.

Before my parents divorced we had Thanksgiving over at my grandma’s. Her father and my grandpa’s mother would be there. My aunt, and later, her husband, would be there. And then my parents, myself, and my brother. I think maybe sometimes they would invite a family friend as well, but I may have that mixed up with just a regular Sunday dinner. After my parents’ divorce it was often just my mom, my two brothers, and me. I remember at least once we went to Virginia and celebrated with my Mamaw.

Now, Thanksgiving at Tammy Faye’s was a completely different beast! One year I think there were 30 of us, including Pastor Fake’s ex-wife and her new, just released from prison husband. She met him at the halfway house when she got out of prison for embezzling. I’m also fairly certain I spent at least one Thanksgiving with a convicted murderer. I mean, I know he killed a man and he spent years in prison. That is not the part I’m doubting. I’m not 100% certain he was at Thanksgiving dinner, but I wouldn’t be surprised because Tammy Faye’s sister remarried him. Yeah, remarried.

Then of course we had the Utah years where it was just the four of us typically. Ordering Thanksgiving dinner after the first disastrous year where I cooked for hours and hours for what amounted to a 20-30 minute meal. Heading out to the zoo in the morning. Maybe catching a movie if they weren’t sold out.

Finally, we had our last Thanksgiving before the bomb dropped. Or as I like to call it, my last normal holiday. I hosted it at our new house which I had decorated to the hilt. I cooked all the food and it was a feast! My mother, brother, his family, and my other niece all came down. My daughter’s best friend flew out from Utah and spent almost a week with us as well. We played tons of Phase 10. They drug me out Black Friday shopping. We all wrote down 3 things that we liked best about the holiday. Maybe I’m hoping for that again, and if I can’t have it I’d rather just do something completely different.

Although, Thanksgiving of 2017 was pretty sweet. I don’t remember who came over for dinner but I do remember getting the judge’s decision the day before. $25,000 in legal fees awarded. Child support. Spousal support. He got imputed. Judge named Harley and basically said, “You’ve got the money; you just prefer to spend it on your girlfriend and her kids. That’s not acceptable. And by the way, your PTSD claims are rejected. This was a self-inflicted injury.” That was a good Thanksgiving.

This year had good parts, too. Sure, my stuffing was a disaster. Like, literally, it was a soupy goo when I checked it the first time. I kept baking it and baking it until finally it looked like stuffing- burnt stuffing. That’s my favorite part of the meal. But on the plus side, the turkey was really good, and that’s usually my least favorite part of the meal. And, I got to sing our Thanksgiving prayer. Yes, I was laughing and my brother kept trying to squeeze my hand as if to say, “Knock it off!” but I got out a good Hallelujah and a rousing chorus of Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna. There was something about pumpkin pie and it being so good I could cry. Usually when I offer to say the prayer and begin singing my brother interjects, “Nope. Stop. I’ll do it.”  My daughter told me after I finished it was the best prayer she had ever heard. “It had it all! Singing, shout outs, recognition for everyone!” It was supposed to be a duet with Picasso but he backed on me. “You’ve got this, Mom,” he told me. Rock Star is willing to do a duet for the Christmas prayer. Maybe we’ll work on it this weekend.  Oh, and Picasso has promised to do some Latin chanting at the Christmas dinner as well.

In the end I’m thankful. I spent the holiday with my family. Maybe not all of them, but enough of them. And we were able to welcome my sister-in-law’s brother over for dinner once again. He has been a frequent visitor in the past. His parents are in Florida. He’s single. And several years ago he suffered a stroke even though he was only in his 40s. He’s living in a rehabilitation center. Picasso’s friend who spent most of last Christmas with us also came over after the meal was over. And then another friend of his showed up as well. Apparently the kid brought his own pie with him. I like any kid that travels with his own pie. I think I might adopt that philosophy.

Also, Black Friday shopping was awesome. I didn’t get out there super early. My mom and I went to breakfast first and didn’t hit a store until after 12. But I bought myself a fabulous pair of 1/2 carat diamond earrings. Almost bought the 1 carat ones but I held back. Kinda wish I hadn’t. In exchange for buying myself an early Christmas present, plus a few other things, I ended up with $150 in Kohl’s cash. Went back the next day and bought myself a coat. It is amazing! So, so warm. And it’s got the little hole you put your thumb through to pull the top of the sleeve over your hand. It’s also slightly longer than my old coat so it covers my butt which is nice when the wind is blowing and you’re outside walking.

Happy belated Thanksgiving. I hope you all had a fabulous one. Maybe one day my Thanksgiving will look a little different. Until then I’ll give thanks for the blessings I have.

Everything Possible To Save the Marriage

Sometimes I shake my head. I get that everyone is on their own timetable. Honestly, I do. I also frequently hear the statistic that it takes, on average, a battered woman 7 attempts before she leaves her abusive husband. I know that there are things each individual, man or woman, has to deal with when considering whether to divorce or not: Does she (or he) have the financial means to leave? Will they be paying the cheating spouse if they divorce? Where will they live? Will they lose time with their kids? In some instances, can they protect their kids? So, I get it. 

In fact, there are times I want to scream at the pious people who chide a woman who stays, insinuating that the lifestyle she leads is why she puts up with it. Maybe it is, and if that’s the case then that’s her decision to make. But other times it’s because she doesn’t have a job. She doesn’t have a family member or friend willing to take her and her kids in. Maybe she is fearful about her children’s safety, or she doesn’t want to lose time with them and knows her husband will fight her on that if for no other reason than to hurt her. We all have our own path we’re on.

With that said I read a very sad tale from a woman who took her cheater back. It lasted about a year. And then he cleaned out the bank accounts and left with no notice. Right now she has no idea if she’s going to be able to keep the place she’s been living in. After she tells this story someone says to her: You need to know you did everything possible to save your marriage. Don’t feel bad. Only you know when you’ve had enough.

I read that and I thought, “Really?”  This woman has lost everything. Her husband is once again with his affair accomplice. The affair accomplice is encouraging him to fight for the land, despite him telling her she could have that. She’s encouraging him to fight dirty and to basically take it all and leave the wife with nothing. He cleaned out their bank account. Meanwhile, the wife has supported this man throughout their entire marriage as he’s a “brilliant” but struggling artist. Yet someone who has read her story and sees that “doing everything she could to save her marriage” has cost her her life savings once again applauds her for that and reinforces the message that everyone should do everything possible to save a marriage.

No. Just no. This is why so many of us implore those who have discovered cheating to get the hell out of Dodge. Don’t do everything possible to save your marriage. Don’t “stand for your marriage.” Don’t give them second chances (or third or fourth or fifth chances). Stop hoping that they will change and revert back to that wonderful person you once knew and loved. Trying to save a marriage and doing all that you can to save it is noble and wise when the issue isn’t cheating but when you attempt that with a cheater you are giving them entry into your life so that they can take advantage of you once again. They use that time to line up their ducks, to spend or hide all of the money, to put themselves into whatever position they want to be in. If you continue to do everything possible to save your marriage to a cheater you just may wake up one day and find out he’s cleaned out your bank account and you’re left with nothing. Don’t be that person. Please. For the love of God, don’t be that person.

Hello Again

Back in August I was ready to write a blog post asking what the hell had happened to the summer and how could it possibly be August already. Then I was going to ask how in the hell it could already be September. Next came my astonishment at the calendar turning to October. Now we’re into November.

I don’t know why I find it so shocking. I learned the months of the year way back in elementary school. I learned them in french in 7th grade. It’s not a hidden mystery. It’s not as though we started in January and then skipped to November. No, it follows a pattern. January followed by February followed by March and so on. But man, the time is flying by!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I’ve still got a Halloween care package I need to send to my daughter before I eat all the Reese’s peanut butter cups and the mobster eats all the Kit Kats. Christmas is in less than 6 weeks. The new year will be upon us. Life has been happening at warp speed since the mobster moved up here.

It’s nice to get to see him on a regular basis, although our diets are going to hell. Way too many yummy restaurants to try. And don’t even get me started on his Culver’s habit. “Hey! Let’s go get some custard!”

We’ve been biking once and just started back doing the Couch to 5K program. It’s taken us over a week to get our three days in. We’re pitiful. But we keep plugging along. Our gift to each other this Christmas is supposed to be cross country skis. We plan on going this winter.

He is so cute. He loves the flat spaces. I won’t go so far as to say I hate it but I do think it’s kind of boring. I’ve always loved the mountains in Virginia and I did love my beautiful mountain views in Utah. Now that is something to be in awe of! But the flat land is a novelty to him. He’s always lived near mountains and is enjoying the unobstructed views.

He’s also fascinated by the corn and all the farms. He watches farming videos. He asked me not that long ago if I knew what a combine was. He proceeded to watch videos about them and thinks they’re amazing.

We saw Shinedown in concert back in September. We were familiar with some of their music, so we decided, “Why not?” It was a week night concert but we went and we had a great time. It was an outdoor concert at the baseball stadium and the lines for concessions were ridiculously long but we had a lot of fun nonetheless. They put on one helluva show and we are now both obsessed! The opening act for the opening act was Ayron Jones; the opening act for the main event was The Struts. We did general admission seating so we were packed into a space pretty close to the stage. We were the middle general admission, so up closer than the 3rd tier, but not as close as the 1st tier. It did mean standing all night, which was fine. I knew most of the songs they played and the ones I didn’t I quickly downloaded over the next few days. And I got a cool concert t-shirt.

Rock Star and her boyfriend came up over her fall break in October. We ate way too much food! I took her to her favorite Mexican restaurant one day and another day we discovered this delightful small batch distillery. She and I ended up doing a flight of shots which were all disgusting. I am not much for straight alcohol and I’m even less inclined when the primary flavoring is jalapeño. I did have 2 lovely mixed drinks. The Sweet Jesus was a mixture of vodka, cranberry juice, ginger beer, and lime. I’m a huge vodka cranberry fan but the flavor of the ginger beer was overwhelming. The next one I tried was called Winter Bayou and it was fantastic. I don’t even remember what all it had in it but I believe there was vodka, butterscotch, and pineapple, at a minimum.

Their food was incredible as well. She had a burger and the gentlemen both had the BBQ pork mac and cheese. I opted for a few appetizers. I chose the Brussels sprouts and the “truffalo wings” which was cauliflower coated in some sort of sirracha sauce and then deep fried. It was amazing!

All of us went to a nearby orchard on her last day with us and picked apples, blackberries, and raspberries. They had a small store on site as well so we ended up buying fudge, hard cider, cherry wine, and apple cider.

We’ve also spent time wandering around downtown, drinking coffee, exploring the parks (yet another thing he loves about this area), and watching Christmas movies.

In other news, my remaining dog, Milo Tim, is a neurotic mess. I realized he has never been the only dog in the house. On one hand I think he’s enjoying it because he gets all the attention now. On the other hand, getting him to go outside to potty is a Herculean task. The dog won’t leave the deck most mornings unless I go outside with him. He’s used to following one of the big dogs out, or if not following, at least waiting until they’re ready to head down the stairs before darting in front of them and finally heading down.

And finally, I apologize for the long spaces in between blog posts. Work is crazy and I’ve been working a lot of long hours, but more importantly, my computer is not cooperating with me.

I have a MacBook Pro. It’s the last Christmas gift I ever received from Jerry Lee, so obviously it’s old. Purchased in 2014. Right now it’s telling me I can’t post anything using Chrome. Or any other browser. So I type the post, email it to myself, and then copy and paste from my phone. It’s a fun little adventure.

I’ll do better. I promise. I have a ton to say, just not a lot of time to write it down and get it posted.

And So It Happened… Again

I remember the day I brought her home. We had driven over three hours to meet this new member of our family. Probably through a monster rainstorm because that year we had had so much rain people were complaining their gardens were being flooded.  We had just lost Taz, our 14 year old Shih Tzu. My sweet Beau-ba-licious was three. He was on the trip with us because, of course, he had to approve this new one. No use bringing her home and finding out they didn’t get along.

I loved having a Boxer and wanted a second one. I saw an ad or maybe I googled Boxer rescue. I’m not sure. But I found this rescue site. They said to call and get placed on their waiting list because it could take months before you would finally get a placement. So I called.

The lady said she was supposed to be getting a white male from the Humane Society that Saturday. I told her I didn’t think that would work because I already had a male. She asked me what I was looking for and I remember telling her, “Ideally, I would like a brindle female.” A few days later she calls me back and tells me that somehow the Humane Society had given her the wrong information. She did not get a white male; she was receiving a young, female brindle. She went on to say that it was extremely rare that she ever got young dogs; she estimated this dog’s age to be somewhere between 10 months to a year.

I broke the news to Jerry Lee who questioned why I wanted a second dog. The answer? I just did. Eventually he relented and agreed to it. I loaded the kids and Beau up and we went down the next day to meet this mysterious female brindle.

She was a sweetheart. So pretty. She and Beau got along fine. We stopped at a gas station and somehow she escaped. I remember thinking, “Oh my God! We’ve had this dog for less than an hour and we’re going to lose her. She’s going to run away and we’re never going to see her again.” But we got her back. Into the minivan she went.

For years I had said I wanted a female brindle and I was going to name her Dixie. Well, I got my female brindle. I ended up naming her Laila, after Laila Ali. I had heard all of these cute boxing names other Boxers were given, like TK and Jab, and I decided to go with something like that.

You know what my biggest memory of that day is though? I remember watching from our little deck as both dogs chased each other around the yard. I finally had my two Boxers. They were joyfully playing with each other and I stood there in the moment, drinking it in. I remember thinking, “Enjoy this moment because it won’t last; one day they will be gone.” I don’t know why I thought such a morbid thing at such a joyous time, but I did. Enjoy this very moment in your life because one day it will all be gone. I guess I didn’t think at the time that my life as I knew it would also be over, but I knew that dogs leave us way too soon, and this would be a memory one day. And so it became.

Once again, cancer claims my dog. She was fourteen. For a Boxer, fourteen is old. I mean, for any dog that’s getting up there but Boxers, on average, tend to live around 10 years. A vet once told me that anytime he had a Boxer over 10 for a client he took a special interest in them because it was rare to see. So I knew each day was a gift. I knew it was a matter of time. Maybe she’d get lucky and she’d beat the world’s record, which is 16 years and 9 months, I believe. Maybe we’d have another Christmas, or another summer with her. In March she was given a clean bill of health. The vet said she was in remarkably good shape for her age. He noted a bit of arthritis and some tartar buildup, but that was it. Six months later she was dead.

We came home from the Apple Festival and saw that she had thrown up a couple of times. It looked like she was throwing up grass and pebbles. Not the usual thing you see. I thought maybe she had eaten something and had an upset stomach and was trying to throw it up. The next day her back legs were shaking. She was wobbly and not herself. We took her to the emergency vet where they did x-rays. The vet there said they saw large quantities of sand or dirt in her intestines, but more troubling were the masses in her chest; she believed she had metastatic cancer. She couldn’t tell me how advanced it was. She wasn’t able to tell me if there was a blockage in her intestines. She advised I take her to the regular vet’s to get x-rays done once again.

On Monday the mobster took her in and I met him there. Honestly, that morning I thought when I took her in I was going to be putting her to sleep. She was sleeping on her bed when I left for work, although she did raise her head when I came into the room. The ER vet had given her a terminal cancer diagnosis. She didn’t seem to want to eat or drink. But then hope was restored. When I met the mobster there she was walking around on the leash. She seemed alert. And then the vet there said he wasn’t convinced it was cancer. There was definitely something there that shouldn’t be but it could be a problem with her lungs and not cancer. He advised we try to get whatever was in her stomach to pass and we could do follow up x-rays in 2-4 weeks.

I took her home feeling positive. If we could get whatever this was in her stomach out then she would be okay. We might have another year or two with her. I ran to the store to try to get baby food, as suggested by the vet. When I found the shelves to be bare I bought chicken, hamburger, and plain yogurt, also suggested by the vet. The mobster took her out into the yard to see if she would use the bathroom. She had been digging holes. Eventually she had solid stools (sorry- TMI). She was drinking even if she still had no interest in food. This was good. This was hopeful.

Then Tuesday came and her breathing was labored. It sounded like she had a cold and couldn’t breathe through her nose properly. We were back at the vet’s on Wednesday. It was considered a partial hospitalization. This time they did blood work, x-rays, and an ultrasound. Found that while the junk had passed through her stomach it was stuck in her cecum. The new x-rays showed even more masses, which indicated it was indeed cancer and it was spreading fast. He didn’t think she would be a good candidate for blockage removal surgery because of her lungs. And while we could be aggressive and get answers in regards to where the original tumor was, it wouldn’t prolong her life. The growth of new tumors was causing her difficulty in breathing. 

She was fourteen. Even if we did everything as aggressively as possible what kind of quality of life would she have? How much longer would we get with her? My sweet Luscious Laila Lou was struggling to breathe, was having problems navigating any stairs (I was carrying her up the stairs from Sunday onward), wasn’t eating, and did nothing aside from lay around. I made the difficult decision to put her to sleep September 23rd. Rest in peace, my lovely Lou.

I still think about that day in June back in Utah. 2008. Watching those majestic beasts play. Being so damn happy. I like to think of it as a deposit into my memory bank. A really, really good memory.

The mobster says dogs don’t live long enough. He thinks after Ripley dies he probably won’t get another dog. He’s thinking maybe he’ll invest in a tortoise. Not me though.

It hurts like hell when you lose them, especially when you’re the one having to make that decision. But I can’t imagine living my life without them. I think maybe it hurts so much because they give you so much. They love unconditionally. They don’t lie. They don’t cheat. And they only break your heart when they die.

I lost my sweet Beau Beau in 2017. Laila Lou just days ago. In my mind she crossed the Rainbow Bridge and is once again happily running and playing with Beau. Just like they did that day in June thirteen years ago when they first met.

Miss Laila Lou
Saying goodbye
The day we met
Cuddling with her brother
In hindsight they were quite lazy.
Luscious Laila Lou and Beau, my hunky monkey.

Checking In, Part 3

What else have we been up to? Let’s start with the trip back! I probably should have led with that but what fun is that? I’ll take you up to the present and then take you all the way back two weeks.

I got there Friday night. He picked me up. We stopped to grab something to eat along the way home. It was Dairy Queen. It was on the way and it was fast, plus since my plane didn’t get in until after 9:30 it wasn’t like we had a huge selection of choices. He had promised his parents we would stop by on our way home. We didn’t get to their house until after 11. We didn’t get back to his house until around 1 and then of course, he wanted to show off his Air BnB and all the hard work he has done.

It looks gorgeous! He’s done a great job. But the tour meant we didn’t get to bed until around 2 am, which wouldn’t have been a horrible thing but we were meeting his son and his wife, plus his parents he’d invited the night before, for breakfast at 8:30 the next morning (or more appropriately- later that morning). I would like it to be known that I was ready the following morning. He was still in bed at 8:15. We rushed over to the restaurant and had a leisurely breakfast and visit. His son and I are united in our unhappiness over our lack of coverage in the mobster’s father’s Christmas newsletter. T’s new boyfriend got a full mention and a picture in it last year! I’ve been around for four years and my name was not mentioned once! C apparently wasn’t happy with his coverage either. I think he might have been given a single line and he’s been in the family since birth! So it’s nice we can bond over that.

We met up with one of our Pokemon friends so I could do a lucky trade (not that means much to anyone who doesn’t play Pokemon Go) and then headed back to the house so that the mobster could pack. Yes, in all of his zeal to finish up the Air BnB he neglected to pack anything. Thankfully he was only planning on taking clothes until he finds a place and can move everything up. No sense in paying storage fees when he’s got a perfectly good house. Long story short by the time he was finally packed and everything was put into the car and truck (oh yes, he bought his truck back so he drove that while I drove his car) and we had gassed up and were ready to be on the road it was around 4 pm. 

Let me tell you how the original plan was going to work. First, we were both going to be in the same car. We were going to leave sometime in the morning- not super early but probably no later than 11 or 12. We were going to stop along the way at various places and spin new PokeStops and play some- Lover’s Leap, Charleston. I even had hope that if the restaurant at Chateau Morrissette was open again we could have brunch there. It was going to be a leisurely trip. We might stop and actually eat at a sit down restaurant instead of grabbing fast food. And we would spend the night in Chillicothe, having one last night in our home away from home. We would wake up and have brunch at The Pour House. I would have a mimosa. We would go to the park and play Pokemon Go for a little bit. And then we leave again around noon or so and make various stops along the way so that we could play Pokemon Go, because we’re Pokemon Go geeks and that’s what we do. We would stop in Dayton, Van Wert, and Fort Wayne, and finally get into town sometime between 6 and 8 probably.

As you can tell from the previous paragraph this plan did not go well. We drove separate vehicles. We left way later than we intended. We didn’t go by way of Lover’s Leap, which meant we weren’t going to be near the winery. We took the way that was about 30 minutes longer but didn’t include going over a mountain. We stopped at a McDonald’s to get food but the line was so damn long and slow that we ended up going across the street to the Wendy’s which only had one car in front of it. That was a lie though because they were just as slow! We finally got to Charleston right as it was turning dark and we quickly realized it was not a great part of town. Plus, it was very busy! There was a huge, bustling hospital not too far from where we were. We had planned on parking and then walking around to play Pokemon. That was not going to happen. One of us drove, while the other person spun, and all total we spent maybe 20 minutes there before heading back to the truck. I was tired. He was tired. Plus, in the dark with all the bouncing he couldn’t see out of his mirrors real well so we opted to stop for the night as soon as we could. We didn’t make it to Chillicothe. Instead we diverted to Ripley which was another city we had spent time in. The best part was it was only 30 minutes away.

We got to the hotel. They only had king suites available. I didn’t care at that point. We ordered pizza and breadsticks from Dominoes, watched some TV, and went to bed. We were both exhausted.

The following morning we ate breakfast at the hotel and went out to play some Pokemon Go in a new town (while we had been to Ripley before we hadn’t been there since the mobster introduced me to the game). I had already checked to see if Chillicothe was too far out of the way for us and as it turned out it only added about 20 minutes to the trip. So, we drove to Chillicothe, played in our favorite park for a while, met a very nice couple who had just three Great Dane puppies (they were super cute!), and hung out at High Five Cakes bakery for a bit while enjoying the treats there. We were on schedule to be taking off at the targeted time when the mobster got a message about a booking for the Air BnB. That resulted in us not leaving for about another hour. We did not stop in Dayton. We did not stop in Van Wert. We did not stop in Fort Wayne. I’m positive we did stop to eat somewhere but I couldn’t tell you where.

Oh yeah, and on our drive from Chillicothe I had to abruptly pull off the road and find someplace to go to the bathroom because I got intense stomach cramps about 20 minutes into the trip. One too many fiddlesticks, I think. It was almost the bike trail all over again and I wasn’t having it!

We finally pulled into my driveway around 10:30 that night.

It was not the trip we envisioned but it got the job done.

My mom left the next morning to go visit my niece in Kentucky and our cousin in Virginia. That meant we did a lot of eating out or bringing food home. I’m not much of a cooker. I know I did make one casserole that they both wanted.

His first weekend up here I took him to the Farmer’s Market. He was as delighted as I knew he would be. He loved it! We bought a ton of fresh produce, amongst other things. I introduced him to the diner there as well.

Later that day we visited a few wineries. I took him to Lemon Creek first, which is one that my mom and I had been to before. After that we went to The Round Barn and that’s where we stayed for the next several hours. It’s a beautiful venue. We ended up doing lawn seating. For some reason they only offer one pre-designated flight and it includes a beer sample. We each tried a flight and a glass of the cranberry wine. The flight samples were huge although we both dumped out the beer after tasting it. I also ordered chili cheese nachos and a lobster roll for us to share. Later on he went back and got me a frozen vodka lemonade and he had the frozen wine slushie. We hung out in the sweltering heat and watched all the bridal parties come and go. Wineries seem to be the new place to go for your bachelorette party. And everyone is dressed up. I keep forgetting to put a dress on before going.

I don’t remember what we did on Sunday. Saturday took a lot out of me. Wait! I know we went down to Plymouth so he could face off his products in two stores. I also know that during the week between my mom leaving and coming back he spent a lot of time cleaning out the closet room to make room for a dresser and to get my home office up and running, and cleaning out the shed to make more room for all the things I now have placed in bins out there. I have winter clothes I will probably never wear again because they’re out in a shed and I’m not going outside in negative degree weather to dig through a bin to get clothes to wear.

My mom got back on Wednesday and the following night we went to a baseball game. I had some fantastic Philly cheesesteak nachos while I was there. Friday they both came downtown to meet me for lunch. Our city has Playtime on the Plaza or something like that where a band comes and plays from 11:45 until 1:15, and food trucks are on site. Unfortunately the only truck selling food was only selling fries so we ended up going to one of my favorite Mexican places instead. We sat out on the patio though so we could still hear the music.

And now we’re back to the beginning with him dragging me to a park in my jammies after promising me coffee. It’s been a whirlwind. I’m not sick of him and I don’t think he’s sick of me. He’s quite excited about everything that’s going on in my town. Like I said earlier, golf lessons and cross country skiing seem to be in my future. We’ve both sloughed off on our eating and exercising but the trails at that park, along with all the different paths we can explore, have us both excited to strap on our shoes

Checking In, Part 2

Life with the mobster so far has been bliss, aside from the fact that I think he’s going to kill me. Seriously. Just the other morning we were out to grab a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. That’s his most favorite place in the world. We had not gone since he arrived in town so we were woefully overdue for a visit. I jump in the car in my jammie pants and a long sleeve shirt I had just bought because it was a little chilly out in the morning, especially compared to the 150% humidity we had just experienced earlier in the week. I only slightly exaggerate on that statistic. Anyway… we hop in the car, go through the drive-thru and then he says to me, “Where’s the nearest park?” I’m thinking, “Oh that will be nice. We’ll drink our coffee and have our donuts in the park.” That is not what happened.

We drove to a beautiful park that I don’t recall ever going to. It was huge! Trails all over the place. We got out of the car and began walking the trails. Folks, I will remind you. I was in my jammie pants. They were obviously jammie pants. A long sleeve shirt. No bra. I was a walking advertisement for one of those People of Wal-Mart memes. I think we walked a mile. And we encountered numerous people, most of whom we spoke to! By the end of the hike I needed to arrange for golf lessons and buy cross country skis. ‘Cause we’re going to start doing all of that.

We then went to the Farmer’s Market (for the second time), bought way too much stuff, had breakfast, took our wares home and put them away, drove to Ironhand Winery and bought a bottle of East Race Red for the three of us to share (it was cheaper than all three of us buying a single glass) plus an appetizer, picked Picasso up from work, dropped him off, then drove up into Michigan to go to Gravity, another winery. We had samples there and ordered food from the food truck. We stayed until closing time, and then drove back to Indiana and went to McKinley Tap where we had another drink, ate some more food, and then played two rounds of darts. That was Saturday!

Sunday we took the dogs for a walk and then as we finished up he asked me if I wanted to take a bike ride. No! We were planning on going down to the Blueberry Festival and would be walking around for the next four hours or so! I had to stop the insanity.

Again, I bought way too much. Of course, every year I buy my dogs gourmet dog treats from one of the booths. I also bought some other little things. I also ate way too much. We had the most delicious steak tips with mashed potatoes and mushrooms, and then we each had a grilled pork chop. They wrap it in aluminum foil and give you a napkin. It’s amazing! I ended up having a pineapple whip after the fireworks and didn’t eat a single blueberry donut so that’s something to be proud of.

The fireworks were outstanding! They always have an amazing show. Honestly, this is a small town. It’s a mostly rural county. But they have the best fireworks I have ever seen. Mid show they have what would normally be most town’s grand finale. And they do it several times with all sorts of fireworks going off at once. At this year’s grand finale the fireworks created a canopy of color in the sky and the show ended with a loud boom and the hillside on fire. And I do mean on fire. Flames were shooting up from the hillside. I have watched this display every year since 2017 (minus last year when Covid canceled the festival) and every year I know I’m watching it with an expression of awe. The mobster filmed some of it but I’m not sure how well it looks on the small screen. In person though it’s wondrous. Absolutely marvelous. If you’re ever around Plymouth, IN on Labor Day weekend I highly recommend the fireworks at the Blueberry Festival.

Last part of my check in rolls out tomorrow!

Checking In

I meant to publish this at the beginning of the month when I was actually in D.C. but I had some problems with the internet. I wouldn’t mention this except I do mention timelines a little bit so it may be a little confusing. Just imagine you’re reading this at the beginning of September, instead of the end.

My, my, my…. time flies when you’re having fun! It’s been two weeks now since the mobster has made his big move. So far, so good. He doesn’t seem to be sick of me yet. He starts running his new business this Thursday which is why he’s back there and I’m sitting in an Air BnB in Washington D.C., waiting for my son and his friend to wake the hell up so we can get on with our day!

This was my graduation gift to him. We didn’t do anything else. No party. No graduation announcements. He chose not to walk. Hell, he almost didn’t graduate! He had an English final to take by 11 am on a certain date and that day came and went without Mr. Chill Guy bothering to take the final. Must have slipped his mind.

Yes, yes, yes. There was something I was supposed to do today. Can’t, for the life of me, think of what it was. Water the grass? Nah. Feed the dogs? No, that’s not it. Oh yes! I needed to take an English final so I could graduate. Hmmm…. bummer. Oh well! Maybe next year!

I swear to God, when I pressed him about it, all shocked and outraged as a mother with PTSD from arguing with her kid about school since freakin’ 2nd grade might be, he looked at me, not a worry in his eyes and said, “Whatever will be, will be.”

Are you fucking kidding me? You don’t get it, son. This is not about you not graduating. This is about me not being able to take another year of fighting you on the importance of graduating from high school.

I’m dead serious. I have been fighting this kid on the school issue since he was in 2nd grade, rolling around on the floor having a meltdown because “school is boring!” Of course, when I talked to the teacher, who in turn talked to the gifted and talented specialist, he then complained that he didn’t know why he was being punished for being smart by having to do more work. He had seen the other kids, the ones that struggled with school, be rewarded with getting to play video games when they completed their work. Why couldn’t he get that deal? Second. Grade.

He did well in school through eighth grade and then came high school which was a nightmare. He went from being an A/B student to being an A/B/C/D/F student, depending upon the class and the teacher. Sometimes he was pretty much a one A and the rest Ds and Fs student. Except for that one grading period where he got straight As, of course.

I went from, “I’ll support your decision to not go on to college but don’t shut any doors; you might change your mind later,” and “Do your best whether you’re going to continue on with school or not. I know you’re capable of this,” to “Just get a fucking D and pass the class!” And again, he had problems with that stance. I apparently had given up on him. Jesus Christ! I had to explain to him that I hadn’t given up on him but I had certainly given up fighting him. As you can probably tell it has been a blissful four years. Not!

Thankfully, the counselor called me the next morning, also freaking out about this (See? She didn’t want to have to deal with him for another year either!). She let me know that another student also hadn’t taken the final and the teacher was willing to unlock the test so that both of these lovely students who obviously didn’t understand the importance of taking the final in order to receive credit for the class so that they could graduate could, in fact, graduate.

The funny part of this is the final in his English class consisted of two questions- both essay questions. Question 1- Describe your high school experience. Question 2- What advice would you give incoming freshmen? I think the teacher asked for a couple of paragraphs and the boy wrote a book. It basically boiled down to: High school was the worst experience of my life and depressed me beyond belief, and high school is an absolute waste of time and no one should bother with it unless they’re planning on going on to college. He pretty much advocated for homeschooling. Thankfully, he passed.

So here we are. We’re in a lovely basement apartment in the middle of D.C. I passed out around 11 our first night here and all I can tell you is that both boys were asleep when I woke up to take out my contacts at 3 am.

The next day we walked all over the nation’s capital. My phone registered over 26,000 steps. We’re still recovering today. I got up around 9:30 this morning and both boys slept until after 2 pm.

This was supposed to be about the mobster and his big move, though. Sorry. Seem to have gotten off on a tangent.

This seems to be as good a place as any to stop. This check in got way too long so I’m going to break it up a bit.

The Day Has Come

This is the last Thursday night I spend being separated from my love by 600 miles. Tomorrow I hop on a plane after work and I fly to him. The next morning we are meeting his son for breakfast and then making the drive back to Indiana. It’s hard to believe that this day has finally come.

When I first “met” this guy I didn’t think it would turn into this. We lived 600 miles apart. I had traumatized children. He had traumatized children. We weren’t going to uproot their lives for our own. Eventually he made the decision that he wanted to move to where I was once his daughter graduated. She graduated two years ago.

Yes, our plans have shifted quite often. So often, in fact, that there were times I didn’t think he’d ever make the move. First the plan was to move up here shortly after T graduated and went off to college. Unfortunately, despite stellar grades the college she wanted to attend didn’t give her much in the way of financial aid and there was no way she was going to be able to afford to go away. So instead she planned to go to a local extension there in town. The countdown was going to begin anew. Two more years, he told me. Then August arrived and she went to college for less than a week before deciding she didn’t want to do that. She didn’t know what she wanted to do. Now all of the plans were up in the air. I couldn’t very well ask him to leave his daughter behind while she struggled to find a job and her place in this world. I would never have done so anyway. I love this kid and I want what’s best for her, even if it’s to my own detriment. I always told him I was willing to do long distance forever if that’s what it took.

August of 2019 she decides college is no longer in her future. It took her a while to get a job and then Covid-19 hit and closed everything down. Finally I went to see him after three months of being apart. Shortly after that visit he threw all planning into high gear. His newly revised plan was to be up in Indiana shortly after the holidays.

Of course, that didn’t go as planned either. He started advertising his business for sale. Made contact with the people who said they were definitely interested. One backed out and the other just ghosted him. He thought he had a buyer but that didn’t work out. Finally, in April he came to an agreement with someone. They closed on the deal in June and he’s been busy renovating the apartment above his garage for an Air BnB for most of the summer, with the exception of the three weeks he spent with me. And tomorrow I fly down so that we can drive back up here together.

I am both exhilarated and terrified. The three weeks we spent together this summer was the longest period of time we’ve ever had. And it was awesome! It flew by. Yes, we were on vacation for 10 days of it but we were not on vacation for 10 days of it, too! It was nice meeting him for lunch, having him take me to work, seeing him here when I got home.

So I suppose I’m mostly exhilarated. I have no reason to believe there will be any major problems. I love being around him and spending time with him. It will be amazing to be able to spend our weekends together. I can take him to the Farmer’s Market that I know he’s going to love. We can check out wineries up in Michigan. We can go up to the lake and walk around. We can go running and kayaking and biking together.

I’m also a little terrified. I worry that I’m too much of a slob for him. I worry that he’ll regret moving away from his kids and his family. I worry he’ll come to believe that I wasn’t worth it and he wishes he could take it all back.

This man has given up *everything* for me. He sold his business. He moved away from his two kids that still live in town. All of his siblings live in the area so he’s leaving all of them behind. I hope like hell that he is happy with me and that I am enough.

Mostly exhilarated though. This has been our goal for almost four years. Tonight is our last night 600 miles apart.

It Must Be True Love

Gather round, folks, because I’ve got something I want to say to you. I’m seeing an awful lot of people on various sites and pages falling for this nonsense that their cheating ex is a reformed person. That the relationship they have with the affair accomplice is true love and they’re going to live happily ever after. That now he or she is going to change and be the person you wanted them to be… for this other person. Karma will never come and they’ve got it all while I’ve got nothing!

Ahem… that is what I like to call… bullshit.

Oh no, Sam! It’s true love. She’s the love he’s always loved. He’s changed for her. Takes her all the places I wanted to go. Does all the things for her that I wanted him to do for me. I’ve seen the vacation pictures. The big new house. The cars. The new babies.

Yeah? Well, it’s still bullshit. As Chump Lady always reminds us they don’t get personality transplants. And social media doesn’t show the whole picture. Hell, I’m Exhibit A!

One year before he left for Harley I was posting pictures of my new house and my new furniture. In April of 2015 I was happily sharing that I had signed the contract for my pool. Throughout the months of May, June, and July I posted updates. In June and July I shared pictures of the kids and I on vacation in Indiana with family and in Utah with friends. I posted pictures of us in Florida, having a great time on the beach again in July. On August 4th I posted pictures of my completed pool. On August 10th I found out my husband was fucking his cousin. Not one time during that year did I post about him going into a psych ward. I never posted about his drinking. I didn’t post about his bizarre behavior where he was constantly crying and kept himself mostly confined to the bedroom. Or the times I found him in the bathtub (sans water) because “that’s where he felt comfortable and safe.” Anyone looking at my social media would think I had it all. Easter of 2015 I was crying in the shower and recording messages for my friends and loved ones for after they found my body.

But this isn’t social media, Sam! This is from friends, acquaintances, relatives, my powers of perception. They will never split up. They will be together forever! It’s true love.

Relationships are a funny thing. They’re a success until they’re not. How long did it take for your own relationship with the fuckwit to break down? People think that just because they’re still together 2 or 3 years later that it means it’s going to last forever. 

Jezebel and Husband #2 were together 14 years! Fourteen! I’m sure his ex-wife thought they would be together forever. And she probably thought Jezebel stole her life and was now enjoying everything that she used to have when she was his wife.

The reality is Jezebel and Husband #2 were struggling financially. Neither one of them wanted to work a full time job. It interfered with all of their vacation plans. But him being a former pastor of a large church (and trying to establish a new church) meant that for some bizarre reason people wanted to get close to them so they could say they were friends. Those people were the ones paying for their vacations. I remember her saying to me once, “We don’t look like it but we’re poor.” It was a mirage. I gave her money that year so she could buy her son clothes instead of having to go shop at Goodwill. They were able to pay off all of their credit card bills because they hadn’t paid them in over a year when he was out of work; their creditors were willing to take just about anything when he finally got a good paying job. He was paying his ex-wife an enormous amount of money in spousal support every month because he was willing to do anything to get his divorce and marry his mistress. I remember Jezebel being furious because he needed her paycheck in order to pay his ex’s spousal support so he didn’t go to jail. In fact, his ex-wife took him back to court after he hadn’t paid her in a while due to the “no job” thing and the judge gave him something like one month to get the $16,000 or so he owed her or he was going to jail. And how did he pull that off? He begged and borrowed from everyone he knew. They eventually ended up losing their house because they had one of those interest only loans and when interest rates went up their mortgage skyrocketed.

Then after Husband #2 finally landed a good job and they were back on their feet again she had an affair with a colleague nine years younger than her. She dumped her 20 years older husband for the new guy. According to Husband #2 she told him he was too old for her. I do know she told me she felt like she had daddy issues and that was what made him so appealing in the beginning but now she thought he needed to find a woman his own age, one that could travel with him. So very kind of her.

Oh, I believe I’ve also talked about how he saw the writing on the wall so he lined up another wife. He was married like a month after their divorce was final.

It took fourteen years but they didn’t live happily ever after. They weren’t always happily ever after when they were together either.

Another woman I’ve seen post has talked about her cheating ex marrying the affair accomplice. They had two children. The children both have a rare degenerative disease. Neither of the parents knew they were a carrier. And after 15 years or so, again the younger affair accomplice ditched the cheater for a person her own age.

Headlines were made back in 2018 when Ric Ocasek and Paulina Porizkova announced their separation after TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS together. By all accounts their relationship began as an affair. Then again, if you look at the timeline, I think Mrs. Ocasek #2 was the other woman as well. My guess is Paulina must have been the one to end it because he got rather salty in the press. He then cut her out of his will despite the fact that they were not yet divorced at the time of his death in 2019, and were still living together.

Yes, sometimes they do stay together. It’s image management. The cheater can’t stand to admit they were wrong. If they leave the affair accomplice then that’s admitting they made a bad choice. You want examples of that? Fine. I’ll give them to you.

Example #1: One of the moderators on a Facebook page I belong to shared a story her former mother-in-law told her. Her ex is married to a mentally ill woman who has driven away all of his family members for the most part. I believe that in the beginning she was welcomed with open arms, which of course, hurt the poster. But now, seven years later, they see who she is. They can see what a mistake he’s made and even his own adoring mother says, “He’s miserable but he’ll never leave her.” Huh. 

I have to admit I smiled a little bit when she told that story. This guy is so arrogant he cannot bear to admit he made a mistake in cheating on his wife with this particular woman. So instead he will sever relationships with everyone in his family who doesn’t think she’s the most amazing person on the planet. He’s so arrogant that instead of leaving this woman who makes life unbearable he’s going to stay in hell forever to prove a point. If that’s not karma I don’t know what is.

Oh, and his mom also said she thinks he’ll cheat on her even though he won’t ever leave. And my guess is his daughter who is only 9 now is going to get tired of the bullshit and refuse to see her dad before she turns 18. It may not happen in the next few years but I would put money on her refusing visitation within the next 5 years or so.

Example #2: Tempest was a very popular, vocal commenter over on Chump Lady’s website. I don’t know how she knew but somehow she was alerted to the fact that her ex’s new girlfriend was now on anti-depressants after being with him for only a short period of time. 

Yes, sure she was living in a million dollar home. By all outward appearances her life was great and Tempest was really missing out. But the reality was the relationship with that man was so stressful and toxic she was taking medication to deal with it. Some fairytale, huh?

Example #3: I wish I could remember more details but what stuck with me is this woman talking about her husband cheating and leaving for the the other woman. He had children with her. He admitted he was miserable and he’d made a huge mistake but he had seen what had happened with his first set of kids and he wasn’t going to do that to his second set of kids. So he stayed.

And finally, my very favorite story. I wish I could find this comment again because it’s stuck with me all these years. I will have to share from memory. Cheating husband leaves his wife and three kids for his pregnant mistress and marries her. By all accounts the mistress had struck gold. She had multiple houses, multiple cars, grand vacations. The wife got cheated out of all of that. They were still together after almost 35 years of marriage. But, the poster went on to explain, the cheater and his mistress turned wife didn’t talk to each other. One was an alcoholic and the other popped pills to help them sleep. The father was depressed and angry that his older three children, the ones he abandoned for Sparkle Twat, had nothing to do with him. Their whole life was a carefully crafted facade built on debt and charity.

When their 35th wedding anniversary came around though, the poster went on to say, she knew they would throw a huge party and everyone would be there. It would be a huge to-do and he would be toasting her as the love of his life. Because they couldn’t let people see the truth, which was that they were miserable together and living in a house of cards.

I’m not saying to stake your happiness on your cheater’s misery. I am saying though to pull your head out of your ass and stop insisting they have it all and it’s true love and they’re blissfully happy while you’re miserable. They’re the same damn person they’ve always been. There is no such thing as a personality transplant. 

The guy who didn’t want kids isn’t thrilled now that his 20 year younger whore just popped two of them out in a row. He wasn’t looking for a new wife. He was looking for a fantasy woman. One that fawned over him. One that made him her priority. Now they’ve got two little babies who demand lots of time. That’s time she can’t devote to him. And if he did want those kids, chances are good it’s because he thought it would keep her stuck with him. It’s always harder to leave once children are involved. 

There is a woman who was married to an idiot that was lamenting the fact that he had married the mistress and they are trying for a baby. This is the same guy who told her how much fun he was having riding motorcycles and living a life of freedom. I didn’t realize you could strap a car seat onto the back of a Harley. Must be a new feature. Mr. Live Free or Die is getting himself right back into the same situation he fled. Traded the old wife for the new wife. Trying to have a baby with that one. The shit that held him down before and made him oh so sad is going to hold him down again.

The guy who was a serial cheater hasn’t magically transformed into a loyal, committed partner. He’s still out there cheating. He may not do it right away, but he’s going to do it. They don’t treat you poorly because they’re not in love with you. They treat you poorly because they’re assholes.

Is he (or she) doing all the things with the new person that you wished they had done for you? That’s just more proof that they’re really in love with this new person and they’ve changed, right? Wrong! You gave them a fucking blueprint. These things will make me happy. And if they will make me happy they will probably make somebody else happy as well.  They haven’t changed. They’re not madly in love. This is not their soul mate and this is why they’re treating them so much better. No, they’ve just stolen your ideas.

I know it’s not a whole lot of comfort when people keep throwing out the statistics on how rare it is when your partner leaves for the affair partner if they’ve already actually left. And it’s not any comfort when they tell you that statistically speaking they only have a 5 to 7% chance of making it to the alter, and then they get married. But let those examples above serve as a guiding light. Once married they’ve got a 75% chance that the marriage won’t last. If they manage to be in that 25% that’s no guarantee that they’re happy. They don’t change. That new relationship high is going to wear off eventually. Old habits will be resumed. The person who devalued you is going to devalue the next one. They’ll be the ones dealing with their temper tantrums, the silent treatment, the scorn, their inability to admit they’re wrong, the bad habits, the nasty attitude, the yelling, the abuse, the constant demands, the feelings of never being good enough. Sooner or later the new supply is going to be wondering where the person they fell in love with went. The person who cheats on you is going to cheat on the next one, unless the next one has them on a very short leash. And that’s karma in itself.