Living With a Cheater on the Weekends… For the Children (Of Course!)

Did anyone get a chance to see the article in the Washington post about two months ago entitled, “Daddy’s Home: Why I Let My Ex Live With Us On Weekends“? If not let me catch you up. “Daddy” has an affair, gets the younger woman pregnant, and leaves his wife and two children to move five hours away in with the new family. But here’s the twist! He’s such a devoted daddy that he drives five hours each way every weekend and shacks up with the old family on the weekends. For the children, of course.

Oh where to start with this hot mess? Did I forget to mention that they’re still married? Yes, he’s living five hours away with the mistress and love child; then on the weekends he’s living with his wife and kids, helping her get ready for dates by picking out the perfect pair of shoes. I wonder how those introductions go?

Hi Mike; this is my husband, Big Fat Cheater. Big Fat Cheater, this is my beau, Mike. Isn’t he dreamy? I’ll be ready in just a minute. Maybe Big Fat Cheater can get you a glass of water while you wait.

Then later in the evening…

Mike: You look amazing tonight!

Wife: Oh, thank you! My husband helped me pick out the outfit.

This has been going on for FOUR YEARS! What kind of man would willingly get involved with a woman who is still married to her cheating husband and who lives with him on the weekends? Holy crap! I had filed for divorce, Cousinfucker had moved out of the house and out of state, and I didn’t let him come home and play happy family every weekend and yet I still wondered, “Who would get in the middle of this?” I figured no sane man would want to get involved with a woman who was still legally married to her husband. I figured no sane man would want to navigate that mine field with me. Apparently, there are men out there who will. #colormeshocked #saneisthekeyword #havehypotenusewilltravel

How did she get to this point, you may be asking? I’ll let her tell you.

One day I brought the children to the city where he lives and we arranged to meet at a museum. The four of us stood uncomfortably in the foyer for a few minutes before I started to walk away. My son begged me to stay, and when I said no, he asked why. Looking into my son’s eyes, the only truthful answer would have been because it was too painful for me, and that didn’t seem to me a good enough reason, so I stayed. 

That is when I began learning how to put my anger and hurt aside and focus on what was best for my children… 

There were meals at which I sat with a forced smile and nodded politely, while seething or feeling nauseous, but said nothing. There were days it took all of my strength to hold back tears watching my children interacting with their father, and remembering the happier days we had as a family.  But I had one overriding goal: to support my son and daughter in their relationships with their father. 

Oh my! I’m just going to interject here with my own feelings on this matter. No. No, sweetie, you do not need to have dinner with the jackass or hang out at museums or ballparks with him. Honestly, this kind of reasoning infuriates me. We do not cease to be people with real feelings and emotions simply because we became parents. Yes, there are certain things we give up and it is no longer only about what we want. We do indeed need to think of our children once we bring them into this world. But under no circumstances does that translate into: I need to pretend we still have an intact family for the sake of my kids. I need to play nice with the asshole that cheated on me, lied to me, got another woman pregnant WHILE STILL MARRIED TO ME, broke my heart, and destroyed our family for the sake of my kids. I need to smile and shove all my feelings of anger aside… for the children.

I’m not arguing that anyone should be deliberately antagonistic. However, I think we do children a real disservice when we try to act like divorce changes nothing. It changes EVERYTHING! And in cases where divorce was preceded by infidelity? You’re basically telling them that what the cheater did was no big deal. Um… no. It was a big deal.

Look, none of us would have chosen this for our kids but it happened. Continuing to prance around with your husband on the weekends all the while knowing he’s got a mistress and another child squirreled away in his real home can’t be good for anyone. Delusional much? Pretending you still have an intact family is not the same thing as actually having an intact family. I don’t believe it does the kids any good to carry on with this charade either. They may as well learn that divorce is a game changer.

Kid: But I want to camp out in the backyard with Daddy and make s’mores in the fire pit.

Mom: Yes, I know you do. But we’re divorced and Daddy has a new family. You need to go camping in his backyard. Where he lives. With another woman and another child.

Or…

Kid: Mom, why can’t you stay and visit the museum with us?

Mom: Because your dad and I are no longer family. This is your time with him.

Honestly, I’d be fine with: Because your dad got another woman pregnant and now lives with her and their child. When you cheat on your wife you no longer get to go to the museum or out to dinner or anything really with the person you betrayed.

She goes on to justify this arrangement by saying:

I had no control over what my husband did. But he left me. To his credit he never left our children. During the darkest days, when neither my children nor I wanted to speak to him, he still drove five hours, often only to be left standing on the front stoop or turned away. Though there is no excuse for what he did, his fortitude and love for our children does not go unnoticed by me…

Another phrase that infuriates me: He left me. He didn’t leave his children.

Oh yes he did! Does he live with his children? No? Is he giving up time with his children? Yes? Is he living with the love child as opposed to his two older children? Yes? Did he move five hours away to be with the other woman and their shared child? Yes? Well then, guess what? He left them as well. #demsdafacts

Did you ever consider the fact that if he hadn’t had an affair and moved five hours away he wouldn’t have to be making the drive every weekend? To read the comments (650 of them if you’re curious) you’d think this man was a saint simply for making the long drive every weekend. Hell, that’s nothing. Cousinfucker managed to drive six hours each way every weekend to go fuck his cousin. Where there’s a will there’s a way, I suppose. Granted, he didn’t have to keep it up for four years but let’s not quibble over small details. It must have been really exhausting though because he hasn’t been able to make the drive even once to see his children.

Finally, I’m going to quote someone from over on Chump Lady. Good parents don’t napalm families! #enoughsaid

Speaking of the comments… they were divided into those who thought the woman was a saint for “putting her children and their well being first” and those who thought she was a controlling nut job. Because, you know, there’s no in between. Nope, it’s either she lets him live with them on the weekends or she’s denying the children time with their father. No possible way to spend time with Cheater Daddy unless he’s pitching a tent right in their backyard. He couldn’t possibly take them to a hotel for the weekend or get a hotel for himself and spend the entire day with them- out of the house. Nope. No way. Similarly you’re either badmouthing him, hating him, keeping his children from him, and/or putting the children in the middle OR you let him sleep over at your house. You wouldn’t believe the number of people who thought the idea of him not being allowed in while he waited for his children was a punishment on par of, oh, let’s say cheating on your spouse. No, I take that back. Most of them thought it was worse.

In sub categories we had those who worried about the poor little three year old that didn’t get to see her daddy on weekends, those who worried about the mistress not spending time with the kids, and those who praised him for being such an active participant in his children’s lives despite the distance (see above paragraph on why that’s a bunch of bullshit).

So many people congratulated her on taking the high road and doing what was best for her kids despite the pain it caused her.

Knowing that I am doing the right thing for my children doesn’t make it easy. Every time my husband leaves to “make a call” I feel another cut to my heart. A few weekends ago we were cleaning out the garage and found my daughter’s unused scooter still in its box. I unthinkingly asked if we knew anyone with a toddler we could give it to, and in the next second the thought of his new daughter flashed across my mind, and I burst into tears. There are days when I want him out of my house and out of my life for good. It’s difficult to move forward emotionally when the cause of my pain is in my kitchen every weekend. 

It’s like the more shit sundaes we consume the better person we are. I’m at the point where I’m willing to say, “Fuck that!” Mind fucking myself does not make me a better person. Or parent. Eating copious amounts of shit does not make me a better person. Or parent. Who wants to wallow in that kind of pain over and over again every weekend for four years? Is that really the best we have to give our children? The more we suffer, the better the parent we are? No. I don’t think so.

I was equally surprised by the number of people who thought she was a controlling nut job, so insecure that she refused to let her husband take the kids and visit with him at his house with his new family. They accused her of wanting to control the situation, of wanting to keep the kids away from the other woman, of denying her kids a relationship with their sibling.

Balderdash! They’re still married for crying out loud! There are no court orders prohibiting dear ol’ dad from taking the kids wherever he wants to. And even if there are temporary court orders in place I can’t believe there is any judge that would order a man to spend all his visitation time with his kids at their residence. These kids were 12 and 10 at the time Daddy left. Toddlers regularly are bounced between homes; these kids are now teens. Don’t forget, what started this weekend arrangement was Mom bringing the kids to Dad’s town and the son begging her to tour the museum with them. My guess is dad doesn’t really care. This is convenient. He doesn’t have to try to blend his two worlds and he gets major kudos from people who think it’s admirable that after abandoning his wife and kids for the mistress and new baby that he regularly drives to see his kids.

Many people praised this “dad” for his valiant efforts in staying in contact with his first children. “Look how far he drives! What a great daddy!” Really? Again, I remind everyone he chose to move away! Putting that aside he drives five hours each way once a week (of course, I’m not sure she actually says he does this every week so maybe it’s less). That’s his big sacrifice, his claim to fame as a parent. Meanwhile, Mom does the day to day raising of the children. She takes care of the homework and getting the kids to and from school and activities. She signs the permission slips and fills out the forms. She cooks for them every day and does their laundry. She’s there 24/7. To be fair, she doesn’t have to drive to do any of that so she doesn’t get any kudos for her part. #sarcasm

Furthermore, in exchange for that ten hour round trip (which he brought upon himself) he doesn’t have to split his 401k, be ordered to pay spousal and/or child support, sell the house and split the proceeds, or split any of the marital assets. He also has a handy excuse as to why he can’t marry the new wife model. And he gets all the fun parts of parenting while getting out of any of the more difficult parts. It’s all camping in the backyard, making s’mores, buying goldfish, cleaning out the hamster cage, and a whole host of other fun times with his kids. #allplaynowork

I would probably also guess that his kids have made it clear they have no desire to spend any time with his mistress. Affairs get complicated when the kids aren’t young. You can’t lie to them and pull the wool over their eyes as easily. I’m not saying it can’t be done or that the kids always reject the cheating parent. It’s just a lot more difficult to sell the sanitized version of the story. Once again, Dad takes the easy route and he’s a prince for doing so while Mom is a controlling sociopath.

Sorry, folks; I think Dad is doing exactly what he wants. If Mom couldn’t stop him from fucking his 30 year old plaything, impregnating her, and then moving five hours away to live with the plaything and love child I don’t think she can stop him from taking the kids back to his new house in his new hometown if that’s what he really wanted to do. For whatever reason he likes this arrangement and it works for him.

As for all the hand wringing over the poor precious little three year old not having Daddy all to herself on the weekends and the kids not knowing her… “That poor little girl is being deprived of her daddy every weekend!” wailed many of the commenters. I know I’m going to sound like a bitch but that’s what happens sometimes when your parents are big fat lying cheaters. Perhaps if her mother had gotten knocked up by a guy who wasn’t married she could spend every weekend with her daddy; unfortunately for her her mother chose a man who was already married and already had children. This child is with her father five days a week, or let’s say from Sunday night through Friday morning. Her older siblings get to see their father from Friday night through Sunday afternoon, assuming he doesn’t leave early on Sunday. I’d say she gets the better end of the deal. Additionally, I’m fairly confident that as soon as Mistress Mommy enrolls her child in soccer or dance or gymnastics, she’s going to be expecting Cheater Daddy to stick around for that. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to find that Daddy can’t make those 5 hour drives every weekend once the love child gets a little older and starts participating in extracurriculars.

I will also go on record as saying it’s not in any way, shape or form Mom’s responsibility to make sure her kids have a relationship with their dad’s new child. Again, I’m pretty sure if that was important to Daddy he would make sure it happened. If I’m going to be charged with making sure my kids have a relationship with their sibling then it damn well better be a child that has come out of me!

Even better is all this hand wringing over the kids not getting to be a part of the whore’s life. Yes, I’m sure his kids wish every weekend that Daddy would take them to his new house so the woman who helped tear apart their lives and took their dad away from them can play mommy to them.

I wouldn’t be surprised if that wasn’t yet another reason Daddy hasn’t pushed for the divorce. Think about it. He’s got two women on the hook, dancing all the time. He’s got the lovelorn wife who continues to play house with him each weekend, and the devoted mistress who lives with him the rest of the time. The mistress is probably not real happy about him spending every weekend with the wife. People pointed that out, too. Oh, poor little mistress having to share the cheater with his wife! But what can she do? If she wants to keep him she had better dance and make her needs very very small. Afterall, she’s the mistress, not the wife. He’s on the hook for child support if he leaves her (or she leaves him). That’s it. If she leaves the relationship now she leaves with nothing aside from child support and a child who now gets to see her dad only on weekends. Quite possibly, if the mistress were to leave and file for child support, Cheater Daddy would file for visitation rights, which would mean he would have every legal right to take his child with him when he went to spend the weekend with his wife and kids. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the teeth? The wife getting to spend entire weekends with the love child. That’s a switch.

Of course, if she’s cheating on him then she might not care about sharing him on the weekends. I know Harley liked to be able to seek out others while Cousinfucker was back home and several people have mentioned that they wouldn’t be surprised to find out the mistress has someone on the side since he’s gone every weekend.

He also never has to take on any child rearing responsibilities on his own. The wife is around all weekend, probably making dinner and doing any of the hard stuff. Daddy just plays. And let’s not forget these kids are now teenagers. There isn’t a whole lot of down and dirty work to do with the teens. Meanwhile, he’s never around on the weekends when the mistress has the toddler all day long. She gets to do all the heavy lifting while he’s off playing with the first set of kids. He’s got quite the setup going!

Oh the other comments I loved were about the mistress and how she is now his partner. Or when they would write in to remind the writer that he was her ex-husband. She needed to respect his relationship with this new partner of his. #haveyoualllostyourfuckingminds #i’llrespectyourrelationshipwithhimjustlikeyourespectedmine No, she is not his partner. She is still the mistress. He is still married to his actual legal wife. She continues to be the dirty little side piece regardless of where he hangs his hat during the week. He still takes off to go play family with the originals. He hasn’t taken steps to divorce the wife and unfortunately for him (and the mistress, too, I suppose) should a time come where someone will choose whether or not to take him off life support it’s going to be his wife and not the mistress who will make that call. And that my dear friends means he is definitely NOT her ex-husband. He is her husband- mistress, love child, and residence five hours away notwithstanding.

Many people were very worried that the mistress and love child were being excluded from these fun weekends. “They need to be included!” so many people chimed in. They are so very worried that somehow the mistress and love child were getting the short end of the stick. They deserve everything! I refer to the previous paragraphs where I point out that if this were a point of contention for dear ol’ dad I’m sure he would make it happen. If Mom couldn’t prevent him from cheating and impregnating another woman I’m confident she can’t prevent him from bringing said mistress and love child with him and then taking off with the kids for the weekend. Then again, he couldn’t pitch a tent in her backyard or help clean out the hamster cage or make dinner in her kitchen with their daughter. Nope, he’d have to pony up for a hotel room and take all of his visitation outside of her house. Of course, someone who wasn’t bitter and angry and who would put her children first would undoubtedly offer to put up the mistress and love child. Nay, she would offer up her own damn bed to the two cheating lovebirds!

Also vomit worthy were the pleas for her to stop calling the home wrecker his mistress because… wait for it… that adds even more anger to the situation. WTF? No, I’m pretty sure her husband fucking, then impregnating the mistress, then moving 5 hours away has contributed to the anger. Why this inability to not see cheating for what it is? Why this desire to whitewash everything? We mustn’t get angry when our partner cheats on us! We must not refer to the person who helped blow up our lives as anything other than a ray of sunshine. She’s his life partner, his soul mate, the peanut butter to his jelly, and we must respect that. Hell, maybe we should throw them a #$%#&^ wedding reception. Oops, gotta get that divorce first! I assure you mistress is the kindest term I use for Harley, and I would be willing to bet it’s the kindest term this writer uses for her own husband’s live-in mistress.

I think this situation is one hot mess all the way around. I do find all the comments very interesting though. It’s amazing how many people fault her. They fault her for not divorcing him, for screwing up her kids, for not respecting the relationship between her husband and his mistress, for not encouraging a relationship between her children and the love child, for being stuck in the past, for being controlling. Very few people though were able to see how Dad played any part in this. Most wanted to concentrate on what a great dad he was for continuing to see his children. Wow- is that all it takes? Or they pointed out it takes two to make or break a relationship and we only had her side of the situation. HE HAD A BABY WITH ANOTHER WOMAN! For crying out loud, what part of that was her fault? Oh, it was probably because their marriage was sexless or he got tired of her playing martyr all the time or he got tired of her controlling ways or they had a miserable marriage and he deserved to be happy. He undoubtedly had great reasons for cheating on her; it’s not like he could, you know, divorce her or anything crazy like that. It was all about her and what she had done or hadn’t done. She was a vicious shrew who used her children as pawns. Dad was an innocent victim, driven to cheat. I would say that good ol’ dad is a cake eater extraordinaire but ultimately I think that both of them are getting something out of this. I suppose time will tell which one of them got the better end of the deal.

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3 thoughts on “Living With a Cheater on the Weekends… For the Children (Of Course!)

    1. I read the article and listened to the podcast. Interesting indeed.

      I’m very curious. If they are so far in debt how is he able to afford to make that trip every weekend? How does he afford the hotel rooms? I think a lot of people believed there must be some great financial angle for her to remain married. If that’s so then how is he affording the house and the apartment he’s maintaining in the city (and probably the place he’s providing for the mistress and child)?

      I still think she’s eating shit sandwiches. Talk about your black and white thinking. Either she’s hating their father or she’s spending weekends with him. No in between. Not that she’s doing that. That’s how she presents it. And every time she recounts how her son wanted to know why she couldn’t spend the day with them I am astounded when she always comes back to, “It’s only because of my own hurt and pain so I should put that aside.” That’s great if you can do it and if you want to do it, but I don’t think it’s required. “I can’t stay because your dad and I are no longer married and we are no longer a family,” is a perfectly good answer as well. But hey, not my circus, not my monkeys.

      Like

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