The other day I posted this meme:
Cheaters are very good at spreading this narrative. I’m sure Cousinfucker has a ton of reasons that he began fucking his cousin, and I’m equally sure that all of them revolve around things I either did or didn’t do.
I recall how in the days following my first discovery I sent a message to Harley’s husband and told him not to worry because CF had deleted all the naked pictures of her off of his phone. Oh, that brought such distress to poor CF! He begged me to leave them alone, to let them work on their own issues while we did the same.
Seriously? Yes, see the problem wasn’t so much that The Saint’s whore of a wife had been sending another man naked pictures. No, the problem was me letting him know his whore of a wife had been sending another man naked pictures.
Likewise, the real problem wasn’t so much that Cousinfucker had had an affair with Harley. The real problem was that I couldn’t forgive and forget (forget being the key word). I wrote about it. Sometimes I still felt hurt and angry about what had transpired. I wasn’t able to dismiss her completely from my mind. CF making plans to marry another woman wasn’t the problem. The problem was me continuing to collect her FB profile pictures. The problem wasn’t CF planning on taking her with him to get a tattoo and her getting a tattoo of her own to symbolize their great enduring love; no, again, the problem was how I responded to that news. I didn’t focus on the future. The problem wasn’t that his family wouldn’t cut Harley out of their lives; the problem was that I wasn’t willing to overlook that slight. It hurt me and I refused to pretend that it didn’t. Bad me! Here’s my virtual hand slap. The problem wasn’t that he moved us across the country and systematically dismantled our lives; the problem was that I was unhappy about having my life systematically dismantled. The problem wasn’t his drinking or that he once again secluded himself in the bedroom; oh gosh no! The problem was that I wasn’t upstairs sitting next to him, checking on him frequently, ignoring our kids, and making him the center of my universe.
And the second time around? Oh, the problem wasn’t that CF was lying to me while he funneled money to Harley all summer. And it wasn’t that he was fucking her, or had cashed in the rest of his stock, or was interviewing for a job in her state. No! Silly people, the real problem was that I stole his money! I dared to take the money that was in our savings, most of which was earmarked to pay off the pool, and put it into an account where he couldn’t hand it over to Harley. The problem wasn’t that he was fucking Harley; the real problem was that I had the audacity to tell the kids he was having an affair. According to him, this could still be civil and I wasn’t playing along. Now that was a problem! The problem wasn’t that he was having an affair and taking off every weekend to be with the whore; the problem was that I no longer cooked for him! The problem wasn’t that Harley posted on FB about how much she was missing my husband in her bed; the problem was that Rock Star saw it and went ballistic. The problem had nothing to do with his affair; the problem was that I wouldn’t play ball anymore. I didn’t cook for him, or do his laundry, and I had no interest whatsoever in speaking to him.
Similarly, the reformed cheater that I once blogged about was appalled at the thought of his mistress letting his wife know about their affair. He also maintained that if she had been married and it had been her husband that had told his wife he would have made his life miserable, possibly even suing him. I’m wondering on what grounds? Is douchebag a protected class?
Your Honor, I wish to sue this man for slander.
Okay. Briefly described what happened.
He told my wife that I was having an affair with his wife!
And that was a lie?
Oh no! It was the truth. But I didn’t want her to know! Now she’s divorcing me and I wasn’t ready for that. He must pay! Telling the truth has had disastrous consequences for me.
Again, it’s not so much actively participating in adultery that is the bad thing. No! Telling the betrayed partner the truth is the bad thing. He didn’t think that the mistress was such a bad person when she was helping him betray his wife and fucking him. She was only bad when she told his wife the truth.
Here’s another one from a poster over on Chump Lady:
When I told my STBX that I would tell the OW’s husband he said that I would be ruining their family and that they are good people.
Yep! Thankfully, that woman let her husband know that she wasn’t ruining a damn thing. He and his whore ruined their families when they began screwing around. But that’s how they think. It’s not what I’m doing. It’s how you’re reacting to it.
On DDay when I said OW’s husband deserved to be told, X said in a raging and threatening tone, “You would ruin a dying man’s last year by telling him?
Turns out this poor man was suffering from terminal cancer. This betrayed wife found her backbone and replied, “I am not the one screwing his wife.” But according to this disordered wing nut the affair is not the source of pain; it’s the fact that someone might actually tell him about the affair.
Hmmm… I suppose technically he would be correct. Currently, the duped terminally ill man has no idea his wife is such a treacherous whore. The argument must be that what we don’t know won’t hurt us.
Unfortunately I know from personal experience that not knowing does in fact hurt us. We end up feeling even more stupid when we realize that we’ve been cheated on and we bought all of the cheater’s lies. It still stings when I realize I so easily bought all of his bullshit.
You know who else ends up getting hurt even though they don’t know about the affair? The woman who ends up losing her baby thanks to an STD her husband gave her due to an affair, the man who has to paternity test his kids, the woman who winds up with cervical cancer because her husband passed along the HPV virus he contracted from his AP, any of the people who find out they now have an STD when they’ve remained faithful, the man who pays alimony to his cheating wife and loses time with his kids, the woman who finds out her husband has drained their kids’ college funds and refinanced the house to pay for his affairs.
Or this one:
One of the things my husband said to me when I was shell shocked and trying to figure out who this person I trusted with my life really was, “I don’t want the girls to think I am a liar and a cheater.”
From her husband’s mistress:
I don’t want people to think I am a home wrecker.
It was the second affair with a married man that the wife knew about.
Oh, it’s an image problem! No, jackass, you really are a liar and a cheater. And whore, you are a home wrecker. You sleep with married men for sport.
You might be amazed at the number of cheating spouses who tell their partners that they are willing to forgive them for being so angry and for any actions that they might have taken upon finding out about the cheating. That is the pinnacle of, “It’s not what I’ve done; it’s how you reacted to it.” These delusional assholes actually think they are in a position to forgive someone.
And of course you always see the fallout with the kids. How dare you tell the children the truth about what I’ve done? You’ll turn them against me! It will be all. your. fault. that I don’t have a relationship with my kids. Some even go so far as to threaten parental alienation if a parent dares to speak the truth.
CF had a unique twist on this one. The first time around when I told him I wanted him to tell the kids what he had done he cried and begged me not to make him tell. He was at least honest when he said they would never look at him the same way ever again. Hey, he was looking out for his own best interests and he wasn’t shy about admitting it.
The second time around he admitted it but it was full of caveats. Your mom and I weren’t happy; we hadn’t been happy ever since we had kids. We grew apart. Your mom never loved me. Your mom took all of my money. Your mom has a lawyer and I don’t. Your mom never took care of me.
Sure… he cheated but he had very valid reasons for being a lying, cheating sonofabitch! Strangely, all of those reasons were my fault. Funny how that works, huh?
I don’t think this is necessarily limited to cheaters, though. I’m sure abusers don’t want the truth out there. Addicts, selfish and/or entitled people, narcissists… They all expect to have their secrets kept. Just sit there and keep your mouth shut. They’ll write the narrative and let everyone know what they think they should know. There’s no need for you to get involved and start telling “your version” of the truth.
I’m sure that Cousinfucker and most everyone in his family are united in their belief that I shouldn’t have told the kids he was having an affair. One of the last conversations I had with Tammy Faye occurred when they came to our house. She made mention of the fact that I had told the kids about his EA with Harley. I quickly set her straight and let her know that while I thought he should tell the kids he begged me to not make him do so. I acquiesced.
Jezebel’s kids were much younger than mine were when she had her affair with Husband #2. I’m not sure her oldest son knows even today that the reason his parents divorced was because his mom left his dad for their pastor. Their attitude seems to be that there is no reason for the kids to know the truth.
Of course not! We wouldn’t want to ruin that illusion any of them have going on.
Tell your story. Don’t let these fuckups control the narrative. The problem IS what they’ve done; it is NOT your reaction to it. As Anne Lamott says…