I’m going to say it one more time: Maintain no contact! If you’ve chosen to remain married, maintain no contact with the affair partner. Pain shopping never ends well.
Remember all those things I’d love to say? It would only result in me looking crazy. Hell, I probably look crazy right now as I write this.
It is patently unfair. They get to preen around like peacocks and we’re expected to sit quietly, say nothing, and be happy for the new couple lest we be deemed “bitter”.
Do they “deserve” to have someone chime in on their page and remind them about the kids he abandoned, or the fact that their happiness came at The Saint’s and my expense? Sure. Would it be fun to say something like, “Hey, it’s great that you can be a dad to her kids; too bad you haven’t seen your own in over 2 years,” or “Does everyone know that you could drive 12 hours round trip to see your whore every weekend for 6 months but you haven’t been able to make that drive to see your children one time in more than 2 years?”? Well, of course it would be fun!
But it will also make me look like a bitter, crazy person. Oh, look; she just can’t let go. It’s so sad that Sam can’t focus on her own life and try to find some happiness. Looks like she’s going to let this divorce destroy her. Her poor children. Obviously, Sam prefers to be bitter and hateful instead of appreciating the fact that her husband of twenty years released her from the burden of being his wife.
Even though I’m telling the truth no one wants to hear it. They want tidy. They want shiny. They want everything to fit comfortably inside a little box. As Jack Nicholson would tell you, “They can’t handle the truth!” They don’t want to hear about all the ill effects of adultery. Affairs are between two people and we just never know what goes on in another person’s marriage. Sam probably had it coming. She was probably a terrible wife and that’s why he cheated. Besides, everyone is happier now so it was all for the best. Get over it!
In playing your role as the crazy ex you give voice to their untruthful narrative. See? I told you she was unreasonable! I told you she was hateful and mean and tried to make me eat a turnip!
You’re just a big bowl of cray cray so what else could they do? They found comfort in one another. They bonded over the craziness that was their exes and all of the abuse and neglect that was heaped upon them. Thank God we found each other and can now revel in real happiness with someone who truly loves me and takes care of me.
When you go after the affair partner instead of the cheating spouse it gets even worse! She’s now the victim in all of this. You are unreasonable! You are blaming the wrong person! She’s crying to anyone who will listen to it and everyone pats her back sympathetically and nods their head in agreement. “Why is she doing this? You slept with her husband and now she’s acting crazy! What’s the big deal? Why won’t she leave you alone? You’re innocent! My God it was just a little bump and grind!”
So you stay away. You maintain no contact because there is nothing to be gained. It is a setup from the very beginning. You are destined to lose. If you point out all the destruction and pain you’re labeled bitter, vengeful, jealous. They tell you to get over it. To think of the children. Your truth is unwanted by these people. Similarly, the cheaters’ truth is lapped up like a luscious bowl of cream.
The ex would like nothing better than to convince everyone that I’m not his victim; I’m exactly the same as him so no one should pay attention to anything I say or anything he’s done. He’s done no worse than me so I can’t talk about him.
It’s not true. I’m not sneaking around behind a clueless wife’s back. I’m not having clandestine meetings in work spaces or parking lots or minivans. I certainly never siphoned off money for a boyfriend and his kids, or took money meant for someone else’s kids. The minute I start to defend myself against him, though, I lose. Facts do not matter to them. The truth does not matter to them. The truth is malleable. You can twist it and turn it to suit your purposes.
Just like he wants everyone to believe he’s a devoted father who loves his children. The only reason he hadn’t seen them in over two years was because of me and the fact that I poisoned them against him.
You end up dropping the rope because you realize the only way to win is to not play. Kind of like War Games. The only move I can make is to keep my mouth shut and let the happy couple look like a couple of idiots with a bunch of delusional supporters. I can snark away at them over here on the safety of my blog. I have to be secure in the knowledge that the only people who really matter know the truth. I realize that if he ever were to get in my face and start slinging shit my way the best thing I could do would be to say, “Dude, I know it’s really important to you to believe that story, so I’m gonna let you have it. It seems to be much more important for you to believe that you’re right than it is to me to prove that you’re wrong.”
I’ll let you in on a little secret. As hard as it may be to stay away and keep silent, it really is the best course of action. Cheaters hate not being central. They hate not being in control. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over these last few years it’s that those of us who have been cheated on have also been slowly and systematically trained to cave and give into the demands of the cheater. It’s not always an overt type of thing; I’d go so far as to say most of the time it’s not. The cheater just always thinks he or she knows best and we follow along. We try so hard not to rock the boat, to give them what they want, to make them happy, that we often end up losing our agency.
Would it have been wonderful to have put a HUGE sign on his car that said, “I tricked my wife and kids into moving 2000 miles away so that I could resume my affair with my cousin!” along with all of his clothes in his work parking lot? Oh my God yes! Would it have felt great to post signs all along the route to our house that said, “Cheater lives here,”? Uh-huh. Or maybe renting a big billboard in their new city with their pictures on it, letting everyone know to congratulate the happy cheaters. Again, yes. Expensive, but yes, it would have been satisfying. There are definitely days I wish I had called her up and told her about my crying kids or that I had ripped him a new one, or that I had even just dumped everything of his out on the lawn.
But you know what? It wouldn’t have mattered. I would have played right into their narrative that I was a crazy, jealous, overbearing pyscho and he had to get away! On the other hand, despite doing none of that I know he lies. He tells people I filed for divorce and he has no idea why. I know he tells people I rounded up all of his stuff into black garbage bags and threw it on the curb. He continues to tell people he moved away from his kids and in with his mistress/cousin six hours away because I forced him to move out of the family home (and wouldn’t let him take one single thing with him!). Ultimately though he knows none of that happened. I cared so little for him and his antics that I simply pretended he no longer existed.
I have no scientific proof of this, but I sincerely believe that ignoring him (or any of them) is much more effective than going balls to the wall with them- spouse or affair partner. Like we can’t fight against the injustice of their stupid image management, they can’t fight against silence. How do you fight against something that isn’t there?
I would like to believe that me ignoring him drives him crazy. I was supposed to beg and plead and instead I merely wiped out the bank account and gave him the deep freeze. There was no pretending to put on a united front. I didn’t protect him. I told our kids the truth. I told my family the truth. Hell, I told the lady at the vet’s office the truth. I sang loud and proud. No fucking way I was going to own his shit show. If he didn’t want everyone in our small town to know he was a liar who moved his entire family across the country to get closer to his cousin then he shouldn’t have done it.
Every time he has tried to antagonize me I have refused to take the bait. Well, except for that one time in May of 2016. Even then I kept it pretty funny and brief.
Hacking my Facebook page? Changed my password. Contacted my lawyer. Proved it was him. Sending text messages to the mobster from a burner phone? Ignored. Playing with child support? Show cause hearing which has resulted in him having to pay large lump sums to me each and every time. Sending the checks in obnoxious envelopes? Ignored. Checks cashed. Telling me to check my damn mailbox and calling me greedy because I dared to ask about support? Let him know that if it was too much for the poor dear to hear from me I’d be more than happy to garnish his paycheck. Fucking around with paying support and doing it on his own schedule. Again, reminded him of the court order and let him know I would be filing a garnishment with the state if he did it again. Doing his own child support modification? Hey, I gave him fair warning and then I contacted my lawyer. All of his lies? Confronted with the truth in court.
As far as I’m concerned I’ve been an ideal ex. I stay away. I don’t contact him unless it’s absolutely necessary. I do not and have not ever harassed him or the whore by phone, text, email, or in person. I’ve never asked him for a dime above what he’s been ordered to pay, and quite honestly, those times when he wasn’t paying and should have been I didn’t say a word. I figure out what needs to be done and then I do it. Usually it’s through some sort of court order and then he gets really pissy but that’s neither here nor there.
I’ll say it one last time. Stay away. Stay off social media. When you feed the beast it continues to grow. It feels good in the moment but it’s giving them power. They still matter! Or, in other cases, you continue to be the big, bad hinderance to true love. What’s that they say? Never argue with a fool. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience. Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it. Continuing to beat yourself up by looking at the part of their lives they’re willing to put on Facebook is like wrestling with a pig and arguing with an idiot. It does no good. It will never help you. It’s all designed, in fact, to hurt you. You can’t confront them or you look like the crazy person and they come off looking like the poor, stalked victims. Focus on your own life. Take it from someone who did something really stupid and paid the price in self-doubt. Keep being the best badass you can be and, as Chump Lady would say, trust that they suck!