The Myth of the Sexless Marriage

I was reading a conversation over on DC Urban Moms and Dads. The original poster asked why on earth anyone would recommend Chump Lady’s site because she was so bitter, angry and negative. Several people patiently pointed out that anger is useful to get you through the initial phase of being discarded and accepting what you married. Others pointed out her tag line is: Leave a cheater, gain a life. She’s not into the reconciliation business. Eventually it meandered over into the fact that men NEED sex and that most people who cheat do so because of sexless marriages.

Well, of course they do! It couldn’t be the fact that the person has bad character. It couldn’t be the fact that the cheater lacks impulse control, or feels entitled to anything he or she desires. It couldn’t be the fact that they act like toddlers, throwing a tantrum anytime things don’t go their way. It can’t be that they are needy and clingy and are bottomless pits of need. No, it must be because their spouses (wives usually) have cut them off from sex, forcing them to cheat. They wouldn’t do this awful thing if the “refusing” spouse would simply hop into bed and participate. This is not their fault! It’s the cheated on spouse’s fault!

Why not divorce? Coz reasons! It’s no fair that if my wife cuts me off from sex and I believe that’s a deal breaker then I have to be a grown up and make hard choices. One person even put it like this:

I’m not comfortable defending the position of a cheater but…

A wife who unilaterally chooses to be sexless gives her husband a Hobson’s choice. Either cheat or divorce, and along with divorce comes a free raping by the divorce court. Losing their kids, their house, half their stuff and the added bonus of continuing to pay the person who caused this for the rest of their life. That’s a ridiculous choice to have to make. So in that case, cheating is not a wholly unreasonable solution.

A wife whose husband has become sexless can make a legitimate choice to divorce with limited negative consequences, so there is no excuse for them to cheat.

Oy. And vey. Dramatic much?

A wife who unilaterally chooses to be sexless gives her husband a Hobson’s choice.

First of all, who are these wives this person speaks of who entirely cut their husbands off? There is a difference between, “I want to have sex six times a week but my spouse will only give it up twice,” vs. “I haven’t had sex in five years.” Not to mention, cheaters lie. It’s what they do.

CF will tell anyone who will listen that we hadn’t had sex in ten years. That is an outright lie. He will also tell people he is an Army Ranger. That is another outright lie. He lies. It’s what he does. I feel like I’m in a fucking Geico commercial!

In addition, the only spouses I’ve ever heard of who cut their spouse off sexually were the cheaters! They did it to maintain control. Meanwhile, they were out there screwing anything that moved.

Either cheat or divorce, and along with divorce comes a free raping by the divorce court. Losing their kids, their house, half their stuff…

Secondly, if you do even the tiniest bit of research you will find that it is generally women who pay the greatest price when it comes to divorce. Hell, I know I got a great deal compared to some people but my standard of living is still far, far below what it was. I will again remind the reading audience that while CF is indeed paying out in excess of 60% of his paycheck to me, he’s doing so because he refuses to leave his sweetie behind to find a better paying job. He was imputed at his previous wages. Even with a ten month gap in employment and being basically fired for drinking on the job, he managed to get a $100,000/year job. I finally got one for $11/hour. He lives in a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom 3000 sq. foot home which looks eerily like our old home in Virginia, with a community pool and a community clubhouse. I live with my mother, have no bedroom to call my own, and sleep on the couch.

Sure, there are stories of women who take their husbands to the cleaners. The ironic part? They’re usually the ones cheating. I know far more women who have been left destitute after a divorce.

…and the added bonus of continuing to pay the person who caused this for the rest of their life.

I’m pretty sure CF must have written this. Yet another person lamenting having to pay “for the rest of their life.” No, it’s not the rest of their life. In many states they pay nothing aside from child support! Child support ends at some point. Spousal support ends at some point. In my case it will end in 16 years. That is hardly “the rest of his life”.

I loved this though: So in that case, cheating is not a wholly unreasonable solution.

A wife whose husband has become sexless can make a legitimate choice to divorce with limited negative consequences, so there is no excuse for them to cheat.

Nice! So men are forced to cheat because otherwise they may have to give up some of their stuff. Women, on the other hand, never have an excuse to cheat.

It’s too bad some of these people never grew up. If they had they would understand that sometimes doing the right thing isn’t easy. They would understand that on occasion you get to choose between two shitty things. These poor babies just assume the fact that divorcing comes with consequences they don’t want to face means they should be excused for cheating.

Could we please stop acting like women (or whoever is withholding) have all the power? It’s not like a stay at home mom who is “refusing” to have sex has nothing to lose if her husband leaves her. Many states start with 50/50 custody so she stands to lose her kids. Even if she has primary custody she still misses out on weekends and holidays with her kids. A woman who divorces may find her children being raised by another woman. After reading a Mom vs. Stepmom debate board for over ten years it seems to me that women are much more territorial when it comes to the children. Many states have no alimony, so even if she does get custody of the kids, she won’t be receiving it any longer than 18 years and it will go down as each child ages out. Her chances of finding a job where she makes as much money as her husband are fairly low unless her degree is in something that will remain current- think nursing. I’ve known women who were teachers, IT professionals, and accountants who struggled going back into the workforce after years of staying home with children. If she was already working then he’s not going to end up paying her alimony anyway, if they live in a state that awards it, unless he makes significantly more than her. And, if their salaries are very similar he might not end up paying her much in child support either- probably none at all if custody is 50/50.

It’s all a narrative to justify cheating. Those trying the hardest to justify it keep referring to the “refuser” in the relationship and how that person is the one who first broke vows. Apparently, one of the vows you make when you get married is to have sex on demand. If that vow isn’t met then the other spouse is justified in cheating, or so their theory goes.

Even when it’s pointed out that if that is indeed happening then both parties know they are not having sex. The person being refused sex is not left in the dark. When the other person decides to go outside of the marriage both parties are not aware of it. When that is pointed out, and divorce is offered up as the responsible response to such a situation (not getting all the sex you deserve) they once again chime in with, “But… consequences! Why should I suffer any consequences for any of my decisions? I have to cheat. I deserve to cheat because they won’t do what I want them, no NEED them, to do.” They are nothing but big ol’ cake eaters.

Here’s another truth. It’s not about the sex. If he’s getting it twelve times a week at home then he’ll complain that she won’t do anal, or oral, or some other thing. Or it’s that she won’t do a threesome or let him watch her have sex with another guy, or participate in a gang bang, or agree to an open marriage, or participate in S&M. Look at the swinger from last week. He and his wife are having sex upwards of five times a week and he wants to be able fuck strange on the side. His complaint about his first wife wasn’t simply that she only wanted sex a few times a month. It was also about the fact that she wasn’t willing to indulge his other fantasies.

If you read Chump Lady you will hear that narrative over and over: I had plenty of sex with my husband, but he went looking for other sources because I wouldn’t… (fill in the blank).

People don’t cheat because they’re in sexless marriages. I would be willing to bet that most of them who make that claim aren’t even in sexless marriages. They cheat because they feel entitled to cheat. They cheat because they want to eat cake, as Chump Lady would say. They cheat because nothing is ever enough for them and no amount of groveling and catering to them will ever make them happy or satisfied. They always demand more. They cheat because they don’t want to have to do the hard work of filing for divorce and going through everything that entails. It’s far easier to keep your spouse and some strange on the side, than it is to be honest and do the hard thing. They cheat because they have convinced themselves that it’s YOUR fault. You’ve made them do this; the poor lambs didn’t have a choice.

Don’t fall for the narrative, folks. People with an ounce of common sense don’t ask what the rape victim could have done to prevent the rapist from raping her/him. People with an ounce of common sense don’t tell the battered spouse, “If only you would do (fill in the blank),” or “If you wouldn’t do (fill in the blank) your spouse wouldn’t be driven to abuse you.” People with an ounce of common sense should also realize no one makes another person cheat. It’s a damn choice. Own it!


My Condolences, Asshole

No contact is so hard sometimes! There are times I would really like to let loose on CF but I don’t. It’s especially hard when I have people telling me I shouldn’t let him get away with saying the crap he says. I tell myself instead that the fact I won’t engage him makes him furious. I am frequently reminded over on Chump Lady that ignoring him and going on with my life without acknowledging him is the greatest insult I could lob at him.

What has brought this on, pray tell? I’m so glad you asked! It’s April 29th and CF still has half of my spousal support to pay. As of the 20th of this month he had paid one half of the child support. That was it. Two thirds of the way through the month and he had paid less than a quarter of what he owed. Call me crazy for worrying about whether or not it would get paid but the man doesn’t have a great track record. I don’t think I’m completely out of bounds for thinking this might be the month he decides not to pay.

On top of that April has been a bitch as far as finances go. I had to pay taxes this year. Quite a bit, too. Cheerleading fees for this month were out of this world high because of U.S. Finals and Summit coaching fees, plus required practice wear for Summit, in addition to the regular fee. I then had to pay an additional fee for her actually going to Summit which included her park pass and probably the entry fee for her. Picasso somehow managed to break his bed so that had to be replaced. I was supposed to buy plane tickets to Orlando for our Summit trip; at this point we are now driving the 17 hours. Thanks, Asshole. I needed to book a hotel for the same trip. Plus, as an additional bonus I found out that the final date to buy passes for the parks and the competition was April 23rd; he didn’t pay me again until the 24th. I will now have to pay more money to get into the parks and to the competition. Again, thank you, Asshole. I have to pay my CPA. I got yet another lawyer bill for over $400, seeing as how she’s finally getting me my share of the 401k and pension. Of course, she sends me the same damn shit three or four times and I pay for each and every copy, along with postage. My daughter has prom next month and still hadn’t bought a dress. Next month I’m sure I will be bombarded with prom expenses (shoes, hair, nails, etc.) and the following month is her graduation. I still need to buy graduation announcements because she decided she wanted to do picture announcements instead of the traditional ones. Plus, I am still planning on heading to Utah for a wedding in June, which will involve me buying three plane tickets. But who the hell knows when he’ll finally get May’s support to me?

Because he doesn’t have the greatest track record, and because I don’t want him to harbor any illusions that I’ll silently suffer through another ten months of little to no support, I texted him. I was polite and professional. I told him the month was almost over and he had only paid half of his child support so far; I then asked him if he had a plan for catching up.

See? Polite and professional.

He mulled that over for the weekend and decided to grace me with a response on Monday, later in the day.

Don’t stress yourself. The money will be paid.

What a condescending twat waffle! Don’t stress myself? Gosh, I can’t imagine why I would stress. It’s not like he’s ever not paid…. Oh… Wait…. My bad.

He follows that up with:

If you absolutely must know, I am catching up from funeral expenses for my mother. Thank you for your condolences and those of the children as well.

There is so much material here! Where do I even begin?

If I absolutely must know? Motherfucker, you owe me money! Damn right I must know. Don’t neglect your legal obligation and then act like you’re doing me some kind of a favor. If you want a break for paying your mom’s funeral expenses then perhaps you should contact me and arrange something with me. Would it be so difficult to say,”Sam, I’m helping to pay my mom’s funeral expenses. I’m a little short on cash this month. I’m going to pay you X amount this month and I’ll catch up next month,”? Or even, “I’m going to be paying later this month than I normally do.”

Of course it would! Who am I to request civility from this majestic god? He is so far above me. He owes me nothing and I should be grateful for whatever scraps he throws my way.

He would never do such a thing because it’s much more fun to leave me hanging in the wind, wondering when, or if, he’s going to pay.

I think he loves the game playing. He thinks he’s got all the power when he controls the money. He was ordered to pay on the first. Ooh, let’s see if I can get a toe over the line. He asked if he could pay every other week. Let’s see if I can get the whole foot across the line. Once I okayed that request he promptly shit all over it and decided to pay the full monthly amount but to switch it up and pay four times a month instead. Then he bounced a check, promptly paid what was due and began sending me money electronically. The catch? He now has to send the spousal support in two separate payments, so his total support payment is paid in six installments. Ah, more power.

If you must absolutely know I was catching up on funeral expenses for my mother.

I don’t care if I sound like a total bitch. You pay me and then you worry about your mom’s funeral expenses. When Jezebel and Pastor Fake ask you to contribute to the cause you tell them what you can contribute after you’ve paid your support. You have a legal obligation to pay me support; you have no such legal obligation to pay for your mother’s funeral. Ask your whore to forego tanning or a trip to the nail salon or some fantastic event for her kid so that she can pay a little extra towards the household expenses.

I’m curious as well. #1- If Pastor Fake had all this money to loan you while you were milking a PTSD diagnosis, and you drained your 401k and used it to pay him back instead of helping to support your kids, where did all that money go? Why couldn’t Pastor Fake foot the bill on his own? #2- If you hid the bulk of what I was supposedly looking for then why can’t you pay for your mom’s funeral and pay your support obligation? I would think with all that money you claimed to have stashed away you wouldn’t have a problem with paying all your obligations.

Thank you for your condolences and those of the children as well.

My condolences? You didn’t even bother to inform me that she had died, you asshole! I wasn’t worthy of being notified. I was nothing. So take your request for condolences and shove them up your ass!

You made a good show of playing the victim for Rock Star with your, “I know you hate me but your grandmother loves you like crazy and she’s done nothing to you. You don’t even have to talk to me. I’ll just put the phone up to her ear and you can say something,”. Quite honestly though once time of death had been called I don’t think you ever bothered to tell her, and you certainly didn’t tell your son seeing as how you don’t have his number and can’t think of any way to get it. You also never bothered to inform them of the funeral arrangements. Was that to save yourself the hassle of trying to figure out which kids to bring- your real kids or your fake kids? It might have been awkward, huh? Playing the fucked up version of the Brady Bunch at their grandmother’s funeral. Although to be fair, you do seem to think that a funeral is the place for public unveiling of salacious relationships. It might have been the perfect time to introduce your kids to their replacements!

That’s my long roundabout way of telling you to fuck off with your victim morphing and trying to lay a guilt trip on my kids.

Another question: Why in the hell are you referring to them as “the children”? That sounds more like Harley writing your texts for you. Is she upset she doesn’t have all of your money to play with? Must be a letdown for her. She thought she was getting an additional $5000 per month and it’s more like $2000. Still, not bad for lying on your back.

Furthermore, let’s not pretend that my condolences would have been graciously accepted if they had been extended. You just wanted me to tell you how sorry I was so that you could ignore me and show me how insignificant I am in your life. Or so that you could have told me my condolences were neither needed or wanted.

You’re pissed that I ignored you and didn’t cater to your image of victim.

Do you still not understand that we are not friends? I don’t like you. I don’t like anything about you.

Your mother refused to cut Harley off after your first affair, continued to interact with her knowing the damage she had done to our marriage, and then encouraged her to call you which resulted in you two dipshits reigniting your affair and you planning to leave me. Can’t say I’m much of a fan of hers either.

I know; it’s very upsetting when someone dies and certain people refuse to put them up on a pedestal and canonize them as a saint. Whatever misdeeds occurred before death are supposed to be forgiven. How dare I not humble myself before you and your family, all of whom have treated me horribly and haven’t treated my kids much better?

Finally, let’s not pretend that if it had been my mom you would have been there front and center, offering up condolences and sending flowers. You couldn’t be bothered to accompany me to either of my grandmothers’ funerals, and that was when we were married. I don’t see you spending one single minute trying to comfort me now. Again, we’re not friends. I could easily argue that me not offering up condolences, and you keeping your mouth shut had it happened to me, was actually the kinder thing to do.

I wouldn’t want a birthday card or a Christmas newsletter or condolences from my rapist. I don’t want anything from you either. Much like how you told me you were doing me a favor by setting me free from the burden of being your wife, I did you a favor by not intruding on your grief with my unwanted and insincere condolences.

You’re welcome.

My Life As a Hypocrite

For years I read a debate board for moms and step moms. Rock Star would ask me why I was reading it and I would tell her I was taking notes for when she got her own stepmom. Little did I know…

I was always solidly on the side of the moms. I had very strict lines drawn in my own imaginary life as a divorced mom with a step mom for my own children and a potential stepfather for my own kids.

I remember being amazed at the women who would admit that their step kids didn’t like them. I could never understand why they would put themselves through that. I told myself I would walk away because I didn’t need that kind of drama.

Or they didn’t like the kids. I found those women to be horrible, like they were putting up with the kid in order to get what they really wanted- the man.

I was disgusted by the men who would put the new wife or girlfriend ahead of the existing kids and I felt bad for the kids of the first marriage when they were replaced by the new family.

I always said I would never date a man if his kids didn’t like me. I refused to be the reason a father walked away from his kids, and I would never want to put someone in the position of having to choose between me and his kids.

I always said I would never date until I was legally divorced, and I promised myself I wouldn’t get involved with a guy who had only recently divorced, much less one who hadn’t even finished the process.

I still rail against cheaters who believe their happiness is the be all and end all, not caring at all about the damage left in their wake.

Yet, here I am. I began dating before I was legally divorced. Who the hell knew it was going to take over two years and three court dates before I would be free? The guy I ended up falling head over heels for wasn’t divorced yet; his own wife had left him and moved in with her boyfriend only two months before I met him.

Let me give you some friendly advice. Do as I say and not as I do! The beginning of our relationship was filled with insecurities for me. Chief amongst my worries? Was I a replacement? Was he comparing me to his wife, and if he was, did I come out ahead? Did he miss her? Did he wish I looked more like her? She may be a lying, cheating alcoholic who is batshit crazy but apparently she’s thin and petite.

I remember one particular afternoon he was having a meltdown over a picture that was posted on Facebook. She was floating down the river in a bikini (so I was told; I never saw the picture) and he was seriously losing his shit. I think it was because she was out enjoying herself while he was left with all the responsibilities but it’s been almost a year now so who knows? I cried myself to sleep that afternoon, thinking he wanted some alcoholic chic thin woman who could parade around in a bikini. That’s not me. It will never again be me. Who wants a faithful fatty when you can have hot, thin, and batshit crazy? They always say the crazy ones are the best, you know!

He got through their anniversary like a champ. That didn’t trigger him at all. Her birthday, on the other hand? I was once again wondering what the hell I was doing.

As I told him later, I knew what I was getting into when I started dating him. Although I wasn’t divorced I did have almost two years between D-Day and the time I started dating. I had already worked through many of the things he was now dealing with; I had to remind myself of that quite often.

Here’s a funny little story for you to add to the above. He recently learned that his STBX came over to the house on their anniversary and left him a note telling him that she loved him, along with a disc of old pictures. His son found it and took it because he figured his dad didn’t need to deal with the craziness.

Even now I wonder- why would he take it? Did he think his dad would run back to her? Did he think he would be heartbroken by the message? At that point we had been seeing each other for three months. Did he not see the changes in his dad? Did he not truly believe he was over her? Was there something there that told the kid if his mom opened the door his dad would rush right through in order to get back together?

This is why my advice to those of you freshly divorced or separated is to not date someone who is in the beginning stages of this shit show. Even as fantastic as the mobster is I was still flooded with insecurities and feeling like a replacement. It’s one thing to be told you are not a replacement; it’s another thing entirely to believe it. There were times, especially in the beginning, when I felt like I had absolutely nothing to offer and that everything I did offer she already did and did it better. When those triggers hit him it was hard to remain strong and have faith in what we had. It’s hard to “compete” with 25 years of memories, especially when a lot of that was spent as a happy couple and doing things as a family. Even now I sometimes think it would have been better if we had met this May instead of last May. It would have given him time to process this enormous loss and I wouldn’t have ever felt like a replacement. It would have given his kids more time to adjust to the idea of their father dating someone new. It would have “looked” better. I would have been completely divorced by the time I met him; he would hopefully have been in the process of it.

Really the kids have been the biggest issue. Specifically his kids. Maybe mine are just wired differently. At first I thought it was because they had had almost two years to get used to the idea that their parents were apart and dating, but honestly, within days of me making the announcement regarding the divorce my kids were asking me if I was going to start dating and if I was planning on getting remarried. They were also fine with me dating and not fine with their dad and Harley because they knew he had cheated and I had not.

His on the other hand? His oldest is fine with it. Of course, his oldest has also been through a cheating wife and being left, so he understands. His middle son originally was okay with it, or so we thought, and then decided he wasn’t ready to see his parents with other people. He also apparently was very concerned with whether or not I was fat.

Yes, his mother might have been a liar and an alcoholic who was passed out drunk most of the time. She may have cheated on his dad at least twice, brought her lovers around and passed them off as “friends”, and disappeared for days at a time this last affair. She may have thrown him under the bus during the intervention they held and texted suicide threats to him and his siblings. She may have told him numerous times that she was no longer his mom or that she was “done” with him. But by God she’s thin so that makes her a much better person than me, or at least a much better partner.

He’s getting married in October and after informing the mobster that he and his fiancee were still mulling over whether or not they were going to give both of his parents a plus one, or neither of them would be allowed to bring someone, I took myself out of the three ring circus and let the mobster know I wouldn’t be attending even if I were invited. There was more to it than just that. He had also let his dad know that they had people ready to escort anyone who was not behaving out and away from the reception. Yeah kid, I think you might have to worry more about your thin, alcoholic, crazy mom than your dad and his fat girlfriend. I know how to behave. She does not.

Ultimately it boils down to this: He doesn’t really want me there; they would both be merely tolerating me. And truthfully I do worry about Batshit Crazy causing a scene simply because I’m there. This will be one less thing they have to worry about on their big day. Thankfully they have bouncers in place in case anyone does act up.

Things aren’t much better with the youngest son which is a pity because he reminds me so much of Picasso. He has told his dad that he will be cordial to me (and he has been) but he wants no relationship with me.

Well that’s hurtful! I’m a divine person.

We were all together over New Year’s and I thought things were going well. I guess he told his uncle that it was “awkward”. I think the only thing I could have done to make it less awkward would have been to have not been there. Seriously! I am a low pressure kind of gal. It’s not like I was falling all over myself trying to make conversation and be relevant to his life. I didn’t urge him to sit on my lap and call me Mommy! I hung back. Made conversation when it was relevant. But that was awkward.

I do have one success story. His youngest, a daughter, started off not wanting to know my name. A few months ago she sent me a picture of her in her prom dress the day she bought it. A month ago she sent me a sweet message thanking me for everything I had done for her since I entered her life. I guess I’m not all bad.

This is where the cognitive dissonance comes in. I don’t want to be one of those women who causes a rift between a great dad and his kids. I don’t want his kids seeing me as the woman who took their dad away. I don’t want to be one of those women who only thinks of her own happiness and everyone else be damned.

I guess we could argue that the fact I even have these thoughts running through my mind means I’m not one of those women.

The reality is I no longer care what his kids think. Don’t get me wrong. There is still a part of me that wants everyone to be happy and get along. Note I’m not saying we would be one big blended family; I really think our kids were far too old for that to happen. I would like to think we could take a vacation together or spend a holiday together though. But the biggest part of me says: I’m over it. They can get on board or they can get left behind. I’m too old for this shit. I went through hell in my first marriage and for the last 2 1/2 years of my life. I’m not dealing with crap from anyone anymore.

That makes me feel guilty. Because I don’t want to think like that. I don’t want to be like a cheater who does everything according to what feels good and who thinks only of his or her happiness, never weighing the toll it takes on those around them. Yet at the same time what are my other options?

I could leave him. What would that accomplish though? I could be a martyr, sacrificing my happiness for his kids. He has already said he would be miserable. And his kids? The sad truth is it’s not like they would even care. The fact that I walked away because they weren’t comfortable would not even register with them. They certainly wouldn’t be shamed into feeling bad about the fact their behavior has led to their dad being miserable. Not to mention, they’re not around that often. Me leaving him wouldn’t suddenly result in either of his boys dropping by more often.

The other reality is his kids are not small children. They won’t be living with us. The middle son who finds it so difficult to not have his parents together and to see them with other people is engaged and getting married! He just bought a house. He rarely sees his dad- by his own choice. Because he’s always so busy. This is not some 13 year old who would be trapped with an evil stepmother.

I also know that he has practically begged his daughter to move up with him, and would take his youngest son with him in a heartbeat as well. His door is always open. They are the ones who don’t want to move. His son, in fact, is thinking about moving back to their home state where the oldest resides.

The other angle to this is that I didn’t do anything. I didn’t break their family up. Their dad wasn’t sneaking around behind their mom’s back to meet up with me. He wasn’t spending afternoons or weekends away with me and then going home to his clueless wife, telling her he loved her and wanted to grow old with her. She was living with her boyfriend at the time we met. She had already left.

Sure, some could argue that he wasn’t divorced yet and if I wasn’t in the picture then maybe he would have taken her back every time she attempted to keep him hooked on her line. What kind of life is that though? What kind of message is that? I think so little of myself that I allow my spouse to go off and fuck whomever whenever and when my spouse decides to come back home I’m always ready and willing to forgive and forget and take that lying cheater back. Until they go off and do it again. Of course, I’ll be here waiting because that’s my role in life. To wait patiently for my cheater to get bored of fucking strange people.

Then I look at CF, going to cheer competitions and show and tell. Her kids have accepted him and he broke up their family! A key difference could be he was buying them off…. nonetheless, he’s the cheater and her kids are fine with him.

I’m not the cheater. I’m a good person. I’m kind and funny. I’ve been told I have the patience of Job. His siblings see the difference in him. Why can’t his kids? He’s gone from being a heartbroken, sobbing mess into what he is today. My own daughter says, “What’s their problem? Why don’t they want their dad to be happy? I know when you are sad or stressed out it makes me sad and anxious. I prefer it when you are happy.” I’ve told him maybe he wasn’t miserable long enough. Or maybe he did such a bang up job of putting on a happy face and shielding them from the fallout of their mother’s behavior they didn’t realize how unhappy the union was.

I hate feeling like I’m coming between a man and his kids. I worry about how they might feel with him moving up here and hanging out with my kids. Will they think they’ve been replaced? Will they resent me for taking their dad away? That cognitive dissonance is a bitch.

At the heart of it all I just would like to be accepted. I’d like for them to get to the point where they realize I’m a good person and I make him happy. I’d like for them to wrap their minds around the fact that their dad is a more pleasant person to be around now that he isn’t trying to police his wife and keep her from drinking. He doesn’t wake up with a pit in his stomach because he has no idea how the day is going to unfold. Will she be drunk? Will she be sober? He doesn’t have to search the house for bottles of alcohol. He laughs. He’s in a good mood. He’s more patient. I’d like for them to think, “Wow, she’s a really funny, happy, awesome person. She’s always warm and welcoming. She never pushes too hard to be in our lives. She doesn’t try to be my mom. She doesn’t try to influence my relationship with my dad. She lets us solve our own problems between ourselves. She always buys great gifts at Christmas and has the cupboards filled with our favorite foods when we come to visit.”

Is that too much to ask?

This Is What They Look Like, Part 2

Are you ready for more insight from our friendly swingers? God bless ‘em. I have one more post to share with you. I think it sheds a bright old light on the entitlement that goes along with most of those who want us to be more “enlightened” when it comes to affairs and having sex with other people when you are supposedly committed.

In this final post they talk about the new wife’s custody arrangement. She has 50-50 custody with each of her ex-husbands. Naturally, both children are with their fathers on the same week. They talk about how fantastic this schedule is because it allows them to be these involved, motivated, energetic parents one week and then have loud orgasms and fuck parties the next. Sounds perfect! Hey, whatever floats your boat, right? They’re both on board so who am I to judge?

I’m Spaghetti Sam and I judge. You want to fuck other people while married to each other? Fine. You want to write about the virtues of being non-monogamous? Great. You want to promote this idea that we aren’t “wired” to be faithful, or jealous, for that matter? Knock yourself out. But when you promote having less time with your kids as one of the upsides of divorce that’s where I draw the line. It also gives you a lovely inside look at how cheaters think. I’m talking about the husband who cheated, not the two of them as a couple, although I think they’re both entitled infants.

This was her take:

…the most unexpected bonus, in our experience, is that we get more “kid free” time than most married couples ever dream of…. we get every other week to spend quality time with our kids, and then quality time with each other on the alternate weeks.

His take:

It makes a big difference in our life together. I love the fact that you’re a mom, but I never would have thought to look for a woman who gets to be a mom for just a week at a time. It seems unfair that couples who make a first marriage last have to constantly struggle to carve out some time for themselves during the 20 or more childrearing years.

Holy entitlement, Batman! Her kids are in middle and high school! It’s not like she’s got toddlers throwing up on her while she’s changing poopy diapers and dealing with meltdowns. Grow the fuck up, people! Did you seriously not understand when you had kids that they were a huge time commitment?

I’m so sorry you can’t walk around the house naked, have sex parties in your backyard, and scream at the top of your lungs while you’re having sex when those pesky kids are around. It’s a wonder anyone manages to remain married if you think that’s the only thing that keeps couples together. God forbid we have shared experiences like going to church, having a meal together, watching a television show or movie together, going biking or hiking or kayaking, or any other activity that doesn’t involve taking off your clothes and having sex. Maybe being a non-custodial parent would suit your needs better. Perhaps being an aunt or uncle would be more to your liking. You can take them when you want and give them back when you want. That leaves you plenty of time for those sex parties.

P.S. She’s always a mom even when she’s not actually doing the job. She does not cease being a mom whenever her kids are not around.

This kind of thinking irks me beyond reason. I love my weekends with the mobster so it may seem like I’m the last person to be flinging stones; however, I fully believe that once he moves to where I am we won’t be running off on weekend getaways all the time. I certainly won’t be trying to offload my son every other week so that we can have sex parties in the backyard (Do you hear that, Mobster? No sex parties!).

Furthermore, part of the reason we even do weekends away is because we live over ten hours apart! It’s a hell of a lot easier to drive 4-6 hours after getting off work at 5, and then meeting in the middle, than it is to drive 10.5 hours after a full day of work. Not to mention meeting in the middle gives us more time together without either of us having to juggle schedules or take vacation time. We don’t do this so we can have a kid-free weekend; we do it so we can actually see each other occasionally!

As a parent who has my kids 100% of the time I can’t fathom just handing them over to the other parent and then actually thinking that this is a perk of being divorced. Disclaimer: I may have joked with my mom about CF telling me that if I ever left him he would take the kids and me replying, “Hell, that’s what I was counting on!” but I never would have actually done it. I certainly can’t imagine it now that they’re teens. No, this couple is all about the sex they can’t have when her kids are around. Poor entitled babies!

As the woman dating a man who currently has 100% custody of his teenage daughter I don’t understand this mindset. I think it would kill him to have to send his daughter off 50% of the time. And as much as we would love to be together right now we are putting the kids first. This means he continues to live in the armpit of Virginia, enduring sightings of his STBX who is living with her boyfriend and spreading malicious lies about him, all so that his daughter doesn’t have to move and switch schools her junior year (something my own daughter’s father didn’t offer her). I remain over ten hours away from him because I won’t make my own kids move after all they’ve been through. I have a daughter who is going to college in-state now, and a son who will be a sophomore next year and is signed up with our state’s low-income scholarship program so long as he attends an in-state public college.

These two jackasses whine because they can’t have loud sex every week.

More on his take:

I have lived in a home where we were devoted to raising the children without a break. I remember years ago looking at my best friend, who had gotten divorced when his daughter was quite young. At first I saw him as a victim, but then I began to notice how easily he could pursue different interests when opportunities presented themselves. He had regular evenings and weekends free from parental responsibility. Suddenly, I felt like a victim. I thought, “Is this my reward for making my marriage work, that I get no free time for myself?”

I am shaking my head over here. I am astounded at his sheer selfishness. No, you dipshit, being married with children doesn’t mean you never get any time to yourself. It means you don’t get as much time to go off and do whatever you want whenever you want to do it. It means you put other people and their needs, primarily your children, ahead of your own. It means that you recognize that in the beginning when your children are small and completely dependent upon you that your time won’t be your own often, but that as they grow and become independent, you get more time to yourself. If it was such a horrible thing then why did you ever worry about being a part-time dad? It seems to me that would have worked perfectly well for you.

Folks, the next time you’re tempted to ask, “How can he or she just walk away from the kids?” re-read the above quote. It all boils down to more free time! They get to do whatever they want, whenever they want, because they’re not weighed down by kids and their unending needs.

He goes on to posit this wonderful gem:

…is it crazy to suggest that young people might have more children if they NEVER considered living with the parent of their child? What if the decision to embark on life as a father or mother meant only a 50% commitment rather than a 100% commitment?

I guess that makes sense, coming from him. If he can’t commit 100% to his marriage to a single woman without fucking other people on a regular basis, what on earth would make anyone think he could commit 100% to parenting the children he brings into this world?

YES! Yes, it is crazy to suggest that parenting is only a 50% commitment! What happens if you enter this 50/50 situation and the other person decides, in the awesome words of Austin Powers, that this “isn’t his/her bag, baby”? What if the other person dies? What if they become sick or disabled? You do not go into parenting thinking you are going to get huge breaks, or that it can somehow be a 50% venture.

Not to go all “child development” on you but there is also that small issue of attachment and how they are finding it is not in the best interests of an infant to be away overnight from its primary caregiver. How are you going to do 50/50 in that situation? Hell, who cares if the baby’s needs are met? Parenting is haaaarrrrrd. We can’t expect people to do it!

Her response is equally stupid:

Of course, I know how spoiled we are. Not all parents have this luxury. Not all parents would want it. But it reinforces for us how important it is to take time away from responsibilities to focus on each other and the relationship, especially if you want to keep your sex life fresh. After all, if you have to stifle your orgasm because you don’t want to wake up the kids, you’re soon going to stifle some of the fun as well.

As the mobster would say, “Oh my head!” Can you not focus on your relationship if your kids are around? Have you never heard of an evening out without kids? I know lots of people who have a regular date night, or who find time once or twice, or a few times a year to go away for the weekend. Why do you need that much time to “focus on your relationship”? Are you only focusing on your relationship when it’s only the two of you? Is there nothing that goes on that helps to build your relationship that is done with your clothes on?

A quick follow up question since I’m nosy… what will happen to your relationship if one of you can no longer perform? What happens if one of you gets deathly ill? Or disabled?

It looks like we’re back to the same old blame shifting excuses. We all know that if you can’t have loud, raucous sex with screaming orgasms (a great drink, btw) then your relationship is doomed and one of you will probably cheat.

This is what they look like, people. They are entitled. They are spoiled. They are all about themselves and whatever makes them happy.

This Is What They Look Like, Part 1

I’ve had a bit of writer’s block lately. Nothing to report. No infidelity articles to snark about. Until today.

I came across someone writing a glowing report about an article that was posted in the New York Times Modern Love. Written by Karin Jones it is all about what she learned about infidelity  by sleeping with married men.

I’ll save you the hassle of reading the article itself. It pretty much boils down to: Ladies, you suck! Or, don’t suck enough, as the case may be. It’s always about the sex. They’re just not getting enough and if only you puritanical types could let your husbands go off and fuck any random woman to get that “intimacy” met then everyone would be happy. You could keep your marriage and your upper middle class lifestyle, and he would never leave because he was getting all the sex he could ever want. From everyone. Sometimes maybe even you! Aren’t you lucky?

We all know they only stray because of the lack of sex, don’t we? And they are all poster children for the perfect husband aside from their proclivity to fuck random strange. It’s never because they’re unable to be satisfied, or entitled, or just have piss poor judgment and life skills. It’s never because they enjoy secretly getting one over on their partner. There is no thrill in knowing something she doesn’t know. Oh no! It always comes down to the wife not putting out enough.

Men, I apologize for being so general. I try to keep it gender neutral. My own love was cheated on more than once by his wife, so I know it’s not a men only thing. However, this article was written by a woman about unfaithful men with whom she was sleeping. I’m speaking only in terms of her article.

Back to the blog on WordPress. That writer praised Karin for being so brave. Yes, it’s so brave to admit you sleep with married men. Something tells me Karin is not one bit ashamed of that. I would bet money Karin feels rather hip and liberated, no longer chained to those old fashioned ideas that say adultery is wrong.

The writer admits he had two long term affairs (18 months) in his own marriage that ended in divorce, and he thinks Karin pretty much nails it! Surprise, surprise! It was all about the sex. If his wife had only put out more he wouldn’t have needed to cheat on her!

According to him he was an amazing husband. He helped out around the house, he was an active, involved father, he made good money, he never yelled at her, he complimented her, and most importantly, he worked out like a fiend so he could be in great shape for her. Plus, he’s pretty sure that he’s awesome in bed so it wasn’t that he just didn’t do it for her.

I’m being unkind. His second wife seems to be very happy with his performance sexually. Coincidentally, she loves having sex and they have tons of it, so it really must have been the ex-wife’s fault that he cheated.

He’s also created charts that show exactly how much sex he was having with his ex-wife and now, his new wife, so he knows he was only having sex with his ex about twice a month and now has sex 4-5 times a week. He’s even older now than he was when he was with his ex but just look at him go! It’s probably all that working out he did.

Hey, I wonder if his wife got fat and that was another reason he had to cheat.

Karin does ask the question: Why not just ask your wife for permission to have the occasional fling or casual affair?

My answer is: Silly Karin. They don’t ask permission because that would spoil the fun of knowing something your partner doesn’t know. They don’t ask permission because that might put a crimp in their lifestyle. They might find themselves splitting their 401k and paying child support. Even worse, if they’re allowed to go off and have the occasional fling then maybe their partner can go off and have the occasional fling as well, and that’s just not acceptable! Cheater gets all the cake! And the ice cream, too.

His response was predictable. He didn’t want to “hurt” people. Ending the marriage would be a “disaster” and would end up hurting everyone- his kids, his wife, his in-laws. He also recognized he would become a part-time dad. More on that in a minute.

In the end he decided that having an affair was the honorable thing to do. It was the only solution. He could keep his family together and get his sexual needs taken care of. What a swell guy! I’m sure his wife appreciated him cheating on her instead of manning up and divorcing her. Throw in an STD for an added bonus!

It is obvious that he and his wife were not sexually compatible. We could argue about whether or not that is a reason to divorce your spouse. Some people have a high sex drive; others have a much lower one. The two of them, of course, lament the fact that the lower libido spouse is always the one that controls how much sex is being had. Naturally they think that either the high libido spouse should rule, or that they should come up with a compromise. I don’t know what the correct answer is. I know what it isn’t. You don’t go off and have affairs and think that will solve things. You don’t go off and have affairs and then try to dress that up as you doing something honorable or helpful. You don’t blame the fact that you chose to have an affair on your spouse and their unwillingness to have sex.

This is where it gets interesting. In an earlier post he talks about how he was afraid that he would never be satisfied by just one woman and he brought that up to his new, future wife fairly early on in their relationship. He concludes, four years later, that he is entirely satisfied by this new wife. Yet, he and his new wife are swingers, or monogam-ish. He is so satisfied with his new wife with whom he has amazing sex 4-5 times a week that they both have sex with other people several times a month. I do not think that word means what he thinks it means.

Furthermore, in yet another post, they (they write this blog together) talk about a swinging event they had where she was very hurt by the fact that he got a blow job from a woman without her (the wife’s) consent or knowledge. So I guess being allowed to fuck anything that moves didn’t stop him from going behind her back. Which again brings us back to the oft recited: It’s the thrill of knowing something your partner doesn’t.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

One Lovely Blog Nomination

A huge shout out to blackacre02631 over on betrayed for nominating me. I’m so excited; I’ve never been nominated before.

The usual rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  2. Share seven things about yourself.
  3. Nominate 7 other bloggers and inform them

Rule #1 has been fulfilled. Onto Rule #2- 7 things about myself. Hmmmm…. I think I’ve already shared a lot through my List of 100 Things and Getting To Know You posts but I’ll give this a try.

  1. I’ve been writing this blog for over two years now. I’ve slowed down quite a lot- partially due to working and partially due to spending most of my free time with the mobster.
  2. I am almost finished raising one human being. Yes, I know being a mother never stops (hi, Mom!) but my delightful daughter, my beautiful baby girl, turns 18 in less than 2 months. Yes, I had a mini breakdown this weekend realizing that things will never be the same again once she leaves for college at the end of this summer.
  3. I love sushi. Currently my favorite sushi roll can only be found in Virginia at my favorite restaurant in my former town. It’s called the Angel Roll and it is heavenly. Pun completely intended.
  4. New Orleans, Hawaii and Alaska are a few places on my bucket list that I have not yet visited.
  5. I am madly in love with the Mobster, aka Divine Doorknobs. He is amazing. I never thought I would find love again and I was truly okay with that. I am even more okay with the fact that he came into my life, swept me off my feet and made me believe in love and relationships again after 20 disastrous years with CF.
  6. I am thinking of going back to church. Picasso is pretty much an atheist while Rock Star goes back and forth between believing, agnostic, and atheism. Right now she’s in a believing stage and I would like to foster that. I enjoy going to church. I don’t enjoy going by myself and my mother and I have wildly different likes when it comes to a church.
  7. I really really like my new job. I am busy pretty much all the time and I still have a ton to learn but I’m enjoying it. If I were to make a lot more money doing what I’m doing I could see myself remaining in my position for quite some time.

Rule #3- Nominate 7 other bloggers

I nominate Divine Doorknobs, If Only Mommy, The Unflown Kite, Walking the Journey, Crazybutttricia, Honey and the Homewrecker, and Autie Zombie Girl


Do We Ever Learn?

On the heels of my uplifting previous post… Drew over on thezombieshuffle wrote about the divorce rates in North America. According to his research the rate of divorce for 1st marriages is 50%, 67% for second marriages and 73% for third marriages.

While doing a little research of my own I came across some statistics from Dr. Phil. His statistics aren’t quite as bad. According to him your chance of divorce in your first marriage is 35-40%. Hey, you’ve been given a 10-15% bump up in success rates! Hooray! Your chance of divorce in a second marriage is 60-65%, giving you a slightly better chance by a 2-5% margin. If you choose to marry a third time (hello, Jezebel!) the chance of divorce climbs to 70%+, which is a slight 3% bump from Drew’s figures.

Regardless of whose figures you use it seems apparent that your best chance for happily ever after is your first marriage. Statistically speaking, of course.

The bigger question he asks though is this: With the identical trend of the rising rate of divorce the more times you walk down the aisle, do people actually learn anything from their failed marriages? Follow up questions: Are relationships a waste of time? Are they all fleeting?

I think more than likely he hit the nail on the head with his first question. I think people don’t learn. Look at cheaters. CF constantly plays the victim. Nothing is his fault. His relationship with his kids is in the toilet, but it’s not his fault. Oh no! It’s mine! I’ve poisoned the kids against him.

I’m taking all of his money. But that’s not his fault. I’m just a greedy, money hungry bitch. His behavior didn’t play even a tiny bit into what has happened to him.

He was forced out of his home. He had to quit his job. He has a drinking problem. It’s all my fault. I didn’t love him. I didn’t take care of him.

He’s not unique. Most cheaters blame the spouse they’re cheating on. They blame us for all of their ailments and failures and unhappiness. And then they turn around and blame us for their affair(s).

You didn’t grow a garden. You didn’t fetch me my slippers. You didn’t wear sexy underwear. You got bald. You wouldn’t help with the kids. We didn’t have sex (often enough or ever). You didn’t support my new pumpkin patch business! You didn’t support my passion for crab racing! You didn’t understand me!

Nothing about where they went wrong. Nope. Just pick a different partner and everything will be tickety boo.

This can apply to almost anyone though, not just cheaters. Many people think the partner is the problem and so long as that changes everything will be fine. Others love that “in love” feeling and bail when things get difficult. Still others can’t bear to be alone so they quickly get involved without ever looking at themselves and the choices they are making. Others are just flat out crazy! No seriously, they have mental health issues that don’t make them suitable partners for anyone.

When you start looking at second and third marriages you have additional complications. There could be an ex or two in the picture, children that aren’t yours, schedules that have to be coordinated because of custody. Then you have money issues: child support being paid, how to fairly distribute funds, what to do when one of you dies. There are family rules to settle and how much authority does the new spouse have? Are your families going to blend? There could be differences in how you raise your children versus how your new spouse has raised his/hers. All of those things complicate the relationship far beyond that first marriage where neither of you had children from a previous relationship or an ex-spouse. Considering all of that I’m not surprised subsequent marriages face an uphill battle.

My favorite Dr. Phil statistic though was the chance of a divorce for a relationship that begins as an affair. He puts it at right around 95%. I guess Chump Lady wasn’t too far off the mark when she described marriage between cheating partners as a farce registered at Macy’s. Or as another reader’s lawyer described it: Repeat business.

Love & Marriage

What is it about marriage that makes people think it’s the highest form of commitment? Legally, I suppose it is, but why do so many people think of it as the pinnacle of a relationship? I understand that marriage comes with a whole host of conveniences and legalities, but does marriage really make your relationship any more legitimate?

I remember reading a comment from Goldie Hawn. She said that she and Kurt Russell had purposefully not gotten married. To them it meant that every day they spent together was a day they had chosen to spend together.

Is she correct? Do married people (some of them anyway) stay together simply because they’re married and not because they want to be with that other person any longer? Could you say the same thing about a couple who didn’t get married but have been together for years and years, probably live together, possibly have children together, and have entwined their lives?

I get it. I don’t think everyone who gets married stays together simply because they’re married; I think many married people “choose” to spend each and every day with their spouse. I also believe a lot of people, including myself, stay in marriages that aren’t all that great because… we’re married. It’s supposed to mean something. It’s a commitment. You don’t quit simply because you no longer feel butterflies, or things get difficult.

However, with that said, I think we’ve all seen marriages go bad, so for many people marriage means absolutely nothing in the long run. It’s a spouse to take care of them and when that spouse outlives their usefulness they are replaced by a new spouse. Obviously not everyone stays together because of the vows they took; they are more than willing to fool around, find a replacement, take off for parts unknown, and/or abandon their children.

The mobster and I have talked about this quite a bit. One of the very first things I ever said to him was that I was never going to get married again. It wasn’t because I was bitter or didn’t believe in love. No, I would never marry again because I never wanted to be in a position where my whole life was uprooted and destroyed because my partner decided he didn’t want me anymore. I lived through having everything taken away from me once; I honestly don’t think I could stand to have that happen to me again.

He, on the other hand, was determined that his STBX would not be his final chapter. He was vowing the day after she left that he would get married again. He also confided in me that for him, the most romantic thing I could do would be to publicly declare my love for him and get married. The fact that so many people don’t take it seriously makes him think it’s all that more romantic when two people who do take it seriously take that step.

I think I’m a lot easier to please. I just wanted a puppy.

I like commitment. I just wonder if marriage is necessary for commitment. I have commented before that I bombed the whole marriage thing. Then the mobster will point out that I didn’t bomb it; I would still be married if it were up to me. I married a guy who cheated on me. One who was actively looking to move away from me and his kids to go be with his cousin/mistress.

Regardless, my marriage failed. Now I’m thinking about marriage and commitment in a totally different light.

If I were to marry again it would be very small. Immediate family only. The last time I had the big church wedding with seven bridesmaids, the beautiful white dress (which CF and Harley destroyed), and the big dinner with dancing reception. Honestly, I would be fine with eloping this time around. Just the two of us. To me, that’s when you know you are marrying for the right reasons. You don’t care about who’s there; you don’t care about all the details. You just want to marry that one person and begin your life together.

What does that mean though? I see those memes all the time. I can hardly wait to begin my life with you. When you find that special someone you want your life together to begin as soon as possible because you don’t want to waste another minute. What do they mean? Are they talking about marriage when they say they want their life together to begin ASAP? Are you really beginning your life together the moment you marry? What about all the things you did together before the wedding? Do they not count?

Personally, I think the mobster and I have a fantastic relationship. I don’t see how getting married could make it any better, or any more real. We’ve had some amazing weekends and adventures together. Those all count. Whether we are together for the rest of our lives or things end tomorrow, the time we have invested in us has been real. Our lives together are happening now, not when we marry. Our lives aren’t suspended until we take vows. We are creating memories and having a great time already; marriage isn’t going to make it more so.

I’ve often wondered what has happened to all of those couples competing for the honeymoon on Four Weddings. I think it would make a great show. They are so worried about every little detail and trying to vie for the best wedding ever! I’ve got a mashed potato bar! I have a signature drink! We had fireworks! I’ve spent nine months creating personalized table toppers! Truthfully, I feel like a lot of those people are much more interested in their wedding day than in their marriage. Don’t get me wrong; I love the show. I love weddings, too. Furthermore, I am still on board with the show making me a permanent guest at all these fantastic weddings.

I also understand that once you’ve been through the big wedding you can see the absurdity of a big wedding, especially if your marriage fizzles. I don’t blame the first time bride who wants to ask her friends to be bridesmaids and wants to say “Yes!” to the dress and pick a venue and do taste testings for a fantastic cocktail hour/dinner (not that I ever got to do that!) and pick out a yummy, beautiful wedding cake. However, the wedding is one day. The marriage will hopefully last forever.

Why do we place so much emphasis on the actual wedding? If the mobster and I stay together for the next twenty-five years will our relationship be any less simply because we don’t make it legal? And what do they really mean by that? It sounds very official and like it’s very important. Our relationship is now legal. We’re legally married. We’re legally husband and wife.

Who cares? My legally wedded husband fucked his cousin. Marriage didn’t protect me. I think probably the only thing it did for me was entitle me to alimony.

Sure, he couldn’t legally sign over his 401k to Harley as long as he was married. I was supposed to be the one to make medical decisions for him if he had slipped into a coma or been on life support, but let’s be honest. There’s no way any of them would have let me know the situation was dire enough for a third party, and Harley the whore would have ended up making the decisions. And as the mobster pointed out, any benefits automatically given to the wife can be given to the not-the-wife by having something drawn up. Power to make medical decisions? Considered next of kin? Provided for after death? Yep, it’s given automatically when you get married, but you can give those benefits to anyone. You simply have to take the time and make the effort.

The mobster’s wife cheated on him repeatedly. Marriage didn’t protect him either. In fact, it has pretty much bitten him in the ass. Despite the fact that she walked out on him and left him carrying everything, and despite the fact that due to her alcoholism she was never on the deed to the house (he was afraid if she got into an accident the victim could take their house if she was on the deed) she’s entitled to half of it. Even better? She can walk into the house anytime she wants because they are still legally married. He’s been told by several members of law enforcement that he can’t keep her out even though she lives with her boyfriend. She’s entitled to walk right back in whenever. Hell, she can cozy up to him in bed in the middle of the night, or bring her married boyfriend over and have a party, according to the laws in Virginia. If he changes the locks she is allowed to break the windows to get back in. So hey, I guess marriage does afford you some protections. If you’re an asshole.

I have a friend who was with her husband for over fifteen years before they finally got married. I’m not positive but I think they finally took the plunge when they decided to have kids. For a very long time I would always mentally separate their time together into two different time spans. They’ve been together for almost twenty-five years but only married for six, or whatever the number was. Now I ask myself what difference does it make?

Sometimes I think I would very much enjoy bucking tradition and never remarrying while enjoying a very long term relationship with my mobster. He says that he knew what he was getting into when he got involved with me and if we never marry he’s okay with that.

Obviously, for me the decision is not as easy as simply saying yes or no. I lose alimony if I remarry or move in with someone. I’ve got two kids to think about; it’s not all about me.

Even putting all that aside I still go back to that overriding thought: I do not want to lose everything if the mobster suddenly decides he wants someone else. I cannot lose my home again. I cannot lose all of my possessions again.

I have no reason to believe the mobster would do that to me after everything he has gone through. I never thought CF would do that to me either, but he did.

I’m not saying I will never marry again. The mobster sure makes it tempting. But this time I’m not looking to be saved. I don’t need a knight in shining armor on a white horse; I want a full fledged partner. I want someone who wants to listen to me as I prattle on about my everyday life, someone who will let me vent when I’m having a bad day, someone who will make me laugh and laugh with me. I want someone who will go places and do things with me. I want to make my own way, my own money. I want to know that I can support myself with no help. Honestly, I would prefer to be the main breadwinner. I don’t need to be rescued; I don’t need to be with anyone. I do, however, want to be loved. I’m just not sure marriage is necessary for any of that.

Going Home

Our plane landed in Vegas at 9:15, Pacific time. By the time we got the rental car and were on the road to Utah it was 10:30. Rock Star slept most of the 3 hour drive and I couldn’t figure out how the radio worked so I drove in dark silence. As I drove I thought about our upcoming trip in June. The one the mobster is coming on with us.

I thought about all the different restaurants and hangouts I want to share with him, all the places I want to take him to. I began thinking about the beautiful scenery in Logan where my son would play hockey once a season. I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t do that because it’s a 2 hour drive one way, and we’ll only be in town for a long weekend. Then I thought about how Picasso no longer gets to play hockey, thanks to CF and his selfishness. And then another thought hit me. One that almost knocked the breath out of me for a moment.

This is the first time I’ve been back since he imploded our lives. It’s been almost three years now. Granted, I’m not back in our city; we’re actually about 3 1/2 hours south of the town we called home for eight years. Still, it’s the first time I’ve been back to Utah since the bomb dropped on us. First time I’ve been back since my husband cheated on me and left me for his cousin. First time I’ve been back since losing everything and watching our standard of living circle the drain. First time I’ve been back as a divorced woman. First time I’ve been back living this new, foreign life.

It shook me. In all honesty what led to this was me thinking about how sad I was for Picasso because he couldn’t play hockey anymore; then I imagined myself dissolving into hysterical sobs as I thought of all the discarded parts of my life that I had loved and had left behind. For him. How it was all gone now.

I imagined myself showing the mobster all of these wonderful places and introducing him to my fantastic friends, and in doing so, realizing how much that selfish sonofabitch took from us.

I let myself feel it all for a moment. It is a big loss. We left it all behind for this supposed “better life” only to find out we had been mercilessly conned.

After allowing myself to feel the sadness, the anger, the heartbreak, the fury, I gave myself a pep talk.

Yes, Sam, you had a great life out here. It’s a shame he didn’t leave before he moved you and the kids 2000 miles away. Unfortunately, that life is over. Here’s the good news, though. He didn’t take it away completely. You and your kids had eight fantastic years worth of memories. You can come back whenever you want and hang out at all your favorite spots. Your friends still love you. You continue to have relationships with them, even 1500-2000 miles away. You and the kids are loved and missed, and welcomed back with open arms. He couldn’t destroy that. He couldn’t destroy you.

Just like that the sorrow left. I smiled in the darkness; as I passed the sign welcoming me to Utah I shouted out, “I’m back!”

At Fault Vs. No Fault

I see a lot of discussion about this over on Chump Lady. Somebody will comment about how they live in a no fault state so they’re screwed. Or a comment will be made about how they wish they lived in an at fault state.

Before I go any further I want to make this very clear: I AM NOT A LAWYER. THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. This is merely what I have learned while divorcing in an at fault state. Your mileage may vary. Just because this happened in this particular way doesn’t mean it will work this way for you.

It doesn’t matter. At fault divorce simply means you can divorce your spouse based upon a specific reason. It does not mean the judge rules that you get everything because you can prove your spouse did something that would qualify as grounds for a fault divorce.  All those people who end up with sweetheart settlement deals? Generally speaking, it’s because the cheating spouse agreed to it. More than likely, they didn’t want their dirty laundry aired or they didn’t want the mistress/lover deposed. They were more concerned with their reputation and doing image management. It was not because the judge said, “Your spouse is a lying cheater! You get everything!”

When I first spoke to a lawyer I was told that divorcing based upon adultery in Virginia really only benefitted the person who would be paying alimony if they were the injured party. In that case, they wouldn’t have to pay the cheating spouse. But it didn’t mean the cheater would be left with nothing. Property would still be split pretty much 50/50 unless there were some extreme circumstances.

Additionally, at least in Virginia, at fault divorces are very hard to prove. CF was living with Harley and they shared a joint checking account and my attorney still wasn’t sure she would have enough to go ahead with a divorce based upon adultery.


Here’s the good news though. Even though I didn’t ask for a divorce based upon adultery my attorney assured me we could still bring up his bad behavior and the judge could still use that in determining his opinion.

Guess what? He definitely did. CF’s affair with Harley was a major reason his income was imputed instead of using what he actually made. He made repeated reference to CF’s affair with Harley in his opinion.

  • CF continued to talk about needing to be closer to his mother, brother, and sister; the judge noted he never once mentioned the girlfriend with whom he immediately moved in.
  • The judge noted CF had been driving 6 hours each way to see Harley each weekend with the exception of three.
  • My expenses seemed reasonable and in line with what we had spent before when we were married while his were deemed to be focused on his girlfriend and her kids. In fact, he quite bluntly said it was apparent he could have been paying me more in support instead of expending his efforts and monies on the girlfriend and her kids. In other words, despite CF crying poor and talking about how he could barely pay his bills and pay me, the judge didn’t buy it and pointed out that if he wasn’t so busy giving his girlfriend every dime he made he might be able to pay me what he had been ordered to pay.
  • This was probably the second best thing the judge wrote: This Court determines that the Husband’s mental health issues were something that he and the family were able to cope with, and that he was able to perform well at work. His exit interview documents are noteworthy in this regard. However, what changed, and what suddenly seemed to necessitate quitting his great job and heading to Kentucky, was his affair with Harley Buttface. When Husband left Whoreville for Kentucky, he immediately moved in with his girlfriend and her children. Adding the stressor of an affair to his personal situation, effectively causing the breakup of his marriage, was a self-inflicted wound that has to be factored in here. Until his involvement with another woman, he was able to find a way to be successful with his employment, working around any mental health issues he had.
  • The best example that this kind of stuff can matter even when you’re not suing for divorce on the grounds of adultery was this: This is how Husband moved up in the industry, being transferred from place to place, with each stop an opportunity to run a bigger and better plant, and make more money. This is exactly what he did. Now, Husband insists on staying in Kentucky, where he can only produce half of the $200,000 annual salary he was able to earn elsewhere for himself and his family. Accordingly, his insistence on staying in Kentucky keeps him from making approximately $200,000 per year, which he is perfectly capable of doing. He has had other employers call and put out feelers but he refuses to discuss employment outside of Kentucky. He agrees that his salary is all he can earn in Kentucky at this small plant, and he would have to relocate to earn more money.

He admits he was in a relationship with Harley when he resigned his job to go to Kentucky. He admits he went there and moved in with her. He admits that for months he had been driving to Kentucky to spend weekends with her. He admits he rents a nice home with a pool, club house, and four bedrooms, with Harley and her two children.

Husband clearly can earn more salary if he is willing to relocate, which is a norm in his industry, and under the facts of this case, finding the girlfriend to be a major reason for staying in Kentucky, the court will impute income to him of $170,000.00 per year.

Bam! Again- I did not file for divorce based upon adultery. I was told I did not have enough proof and it is extremely difficult to get a divorce based on those grounds. He got his ass handed to him despite a no fault divorce. Because I could bring up his bad behavior despite the fact I hadn’t filed for divorce based on adultery.

Here’s another key fact: We did negotiate a property settlement, which was basically his 401k and pension, plus our marital debt. He took on approximately 80% of the debt (on paper) and in exchange I only took 40% of the 401k. I did not walk away with his entire 401k while he was left with every single bill. Furthermore, I agreed to this because my attorney told me that the judge probably wouldn’t rule much differently (and if we hadn’t settled the trial would have gone on for a second day- at $250/hour it wasn’t worth fighting for.).

One more time: I AM NOT A LAWYER AND THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE! Your state/city/county may be totally different. Hell, when the mobster consulted a lawyer she told him that in their county the judges rarely grant alimony. In my city, 3 hours away, alimony was regularly granted. However, it grates on my nerves every time I hear someone talk about how they wish they were in an at-fault state as though they would get everything. Similarly, I hate when people think that just because they’re in a no fault state that none of the shitty behavior can be brought up. I brought it up and the judge listened.

While I’m on a roll I’ll go ahead and leave you with this last piece of advice. Not legal advice. Just advice.

It never hurts to ask. I read one time that when men seek 50/50 custody they receive it 75% of the time. The problem is most men are told they’ll never get it and they’re discouraged from asking for it… because they’ll never get it. Yet, when they do ask for it the statistics show they do, in fact, get it.

Both lawyers I talked to in the beginning told me that judges were very leery of granting sole legal custody to one parent. They hated taking it away and almost always granted joint legal. Granted, CF agreed to my terms and at the point we were going to trial my new lawyer didn’t even question me having sole physical and legal custody. But even back then I continued to push forward. I wasn’t going to be at the mercy of a fuckwit, especially one who couldn’t bother to parent and who had moved 6 hours away from his kids. In the end I got full legal and physical custody, and I believe if I had had to take the matter to court the judge would have granted it to me.

Finally, my lawyer told me I could ask for legal fees to be paid for by CF, and that I would probably be given something but I wouldn’t get all of it. Granted, the approximately $26,000 she submitted in court as legal fees grew another $10-$11,000, but when the judgement was rendered CF was ordered to pay me $25,000 in reimbursement. After we got the opinion back my lawyer was incredulous. She told me it was unheard of to be awarded that much in legal fees.

Unheard of, folks, and I would be $25,000 poorer if I hadn’t insisted on asking.