What Was the Biggest Lie?

Chump Lady likes to do fun Friday challenges. She asks her readers a question and they respond. Friday’s question was: What was the biggest whopper of a lie you believed while married to the cheater? As of Sunday evening the comments were up to over 500; needless to say I didn’t toss my hat into that ring. Instead I will share here some of the biggest lies I believed. Also, it goes without saying that the biggest caveat to all of this was you couldn’t use the obvious: I love you! Or, that whole vowing to love you and be faithful to you thing. Yes, way too obvious of a lie.

Realistically, I have no idea how many lies he did actually tell me. Who knows what was fact and what was fiction? I suppose we could start with the basic lies that I don’t think are whoppers, but are lies that I bought without a second thought. Remember, CF was painted as a painfully shy individual who liked to read encyclopedias on the weekend instead of going out and partying. He was portrayed as an honorable man who would never cheat. My goodness, no! He was simply too honest, had too much loyalty; family was everything to him. If he only had a wife who would have dinner for him every night he would give her whatever she wanted. We all know how that played out.

First up would be the lie about the email he had sent way back in the beginning of our marriage, asking for more naked pictures of some supposed random strange woman. I do want to point out that I was pissed off about this. I didn’t wave it off by telling myself it was no big deal and something a lot of men did. I was genuinely angry and we had a fight about this. Nonetheless, I believed what he told me. Furthermore, I have no proof he lied about it, but with what I know now, I fully believe it was a lie.

I also believe he lied about seeing her when he went to Kentucky for his sister’s wedding. He is not in any of the pictures from that day. He insisted it was because his sister sent him on an alcohol run which caused him to almost miss the big day. I think he either snuck off to go see her or she came with him to the wedding and that’s why he was never photographed.

Then we have the lie about not knowing why on earth Harley blocked me on Facebook after the wedding. You may recall that he came home to a spotless house and pictures of Harley posted up in several different places, including as my computer wallpaper. He, of course, had no idea why she would do that, and that was between me and her.

I think that was the beginning of me believing lies in order to preserve my family. My sweet friend J told me the day I revealed to her that I had been blocked on her Facebook account that I needed to talk to a lawyer and I needed to protect myself. I didn’t listen. I wanted to believe him. I wanted so much to remain married and maintain my life. Accepting that my husband was texting with the ho-bag cousin would have put a dent in that fantasy.

I still remember telling him we had an appointment with a marriage counselor and him refusing to go. I remember then confronting him about Harley and all the lies that slipped between his lips when he was defending himself.

“Are you still in contact with her?”

“No!”

“She blocked me.”

“I don’t know anything about that. That’s between the two of you.”

Hmmmm…. it couldn’t be because you told her about the pictures you came home to, could it?

I remember him telling me that I knew he hadn’t been happy in years, that we were nothing more than roommates. I remember telling him I wasn’t going to give up on us and that I thought we could be better than ever. I also remember him telling me that it would be “too weird” for that to happen, and him warning me that if I didn’t go back to me doing my own thing while letting him do his own thing that he didn’t know what was going to happen.

Yes, I ate the shit sundae. I smiled as that slimy cherry slid down my throat. I ate it all so that I could hopefully repair what I now know was my useless marriage. I just needed to make him love me again. He would see that it was possible. I would wear make-up all the time. I would dress better. I would keep the house clean. I would cook more. Life with me was going to be splendid.

That’s still not the biggest lie I believed. There were all sorts of smaller lies along the way to the whopper(s). Like, when he told me the paperwork was messed up so it would be easier if he just left my name off the deed to the new house, and we could get it put on at a later date. I did stave that one off by throwing a huge fit, not that it ended up mattering. The house ended up foreclosed on thanks to him. Hell, I think the whole setup to move to Virginia was a hybrid lie.

He started talking about wanting that particular plant shortly after his first affair with Harley began. He admitted a few months later, after being busted, that the plan had been to move closer to her. Oh, he dressed it up as moving closer to family, but we all know what he meant.

I don’t know, and I do not care, if the affair was going on the entire time, but I certainly feel like he set me up to move away from our life in Utah where the kids were happy and settled, and to move to Virginia to be closer to the whore. It was all a huge con. He felt so isolated out there in Utah. He wanted to be closer to family. Oh, it got even better because the whole need to be closer to family was for our kids. It was so important that they be around family and we couldn’t offer them that out in Utah. That was a pretty big lie- it had nothing to do with our kids and everything to do with him and what he wanted- but it wasn’t the whopper.

I think the whole reconciliation bit was probably a big fat lie, too, to get me to go where he wanted to go. Perhaps he was smart enough to realize I would never agree to move if we were in a state of chaos. Still not the whopper.

There was the lie I still don’t know why he told. In the beginning he said he had texted other women, plural. After I found the Facebook message to his nephew, telling him he was going to marry Harley one day, I sorrowfully said to him, “It was never women, was it? It was always only her.” He agreed that it had only been her, and that he was trying to protect her, to make it not seem so serious. I later found Anne so I know that women, plural, was correct. Unless, of course, he hooked up with her after Harley.

There were the lies told in reconciliation- stupid little timeline things. Who said I love you first? I don’t know. Did you tell her you loved her before you went out for your sister’s wedding? I don’t think so. Busted! See above regarding the FB message to his nephew. That happened before his sister’s wedding.

There was the lie that she had never meant anything to him, that she was a substitute for me. There was the lie that he knew he loved me when I confronted him in June, wanting him to go to marriage counseling. Really? Then why did you continue carrying on? <crickets> There was the lie that it was a midlife crisis, she was the worst mistake of his life, and he should have bought a motorcycle.

All those earlier lies? I think I could believe them not only because I wanted to believe that I wasn’t headed for divorce, but because I didn’t realize how incredibly devious he was. Even after his first affair with her was exposed I never pegged him as this much of a liar. I spent the first few weeks after he told me he had been “texting” other women believing that maybe what he meant was that he had been merely talking to other women, that he was such an upstanding, loyal, honest man that he would never cheat on me. He felt overwhelming guilt because he was confiding in others and he didn’t think that was right. Maybe it wasn’t so much that he was so incredibly devious as it was that I was incredibly naive. I bought them all. I explained them all away.

I even bought the lie about Anne. I immediately confronted him about her and his explanation sounded reasonable. This was a man who loved me after all. We were better than ever. We had gotten to the root of all of our marital problems and we had worked them out. I was texting. I was sending racy photos. I was putting out. I’m sure I was keeping up with the laundry and cleaning the house as well. I put the kids in second place so I could concentrate on him. He wouldn’t lie to me!

So when he explained that he had met her on Linked In, thinking she was a vendor, that seemed reasonable enough. He realized she wasn’t a vendor but he offered her help with her professional life. How sweet of him! Isn’t he just the best? Story twist! She turned psycho! She started stalking him. Better just delete her messages and forget all about her, Sam. She’s nuts.

I believed him. It never occurred to me that he could lie as easily as he could breathe. I thought that there was no way he could come up with all of that in a split second. In reality, he hadn’t. She had already forewarned him that she was going to contact me so he already concocted a cover story. Plus, we had reconciled. Why would he do this all over again?

No, I think the biggest lie was the chain of lies that happened when he started cheating with her again, all culminating in his claim that he suffered from PTSD.

Part 1 of the whopper lie I swallowed was the one I actually helped him create. When American Sniper came out I casually asked if maybe this was his real problem. No, his real problem was he had found my alternate Facebook page, thanks to Blockhead, and he felt he was losing control. But here was the easy out for him. PTSD! Excellent! That would be his excuse.

He was probably plotting his exit right then and there, along with help from Blockhead and Jezebel. I can claim PTSD! I’ll say I can’t function. I find it almost impossible to drive the 15 minutes to work. I can’t be out in public. I’ll cry and carry on constantly and then accuse her of not caring when she doesn’t live up to my unreasonable expectations. I’ll start to drink so that if the PTSD shit doesn’t pan out I’ve got yet another excuse. In short, I’ll be an absolute mess and fall apart. Maybe she’ll leave me. If she doesn’t I’ll have plenty of evidence to convince a judge I shouldn’t have to pay child support or alimony at the rate I would have to normally.

All in all it was simply a huge mindfuck. He could play the poor pitiful victim and I got to feel horrible and overwhelmed that all of this was happening. I felt guilty because I wasn’t more sympathetic. I felt guilty because I was angry over everything that was happening. He had moved us from our happy home to this place I had not yet adjusted to because he swore up and down that this move was what was going to make him happy. And now here he was falling apart. I danced harder and faster, trying to make things better for him. I put healing from his first affair into overdrive once I realized he knew about my Facebook page, and I again, felt guilty that I had caused him any pain. While he was busy dodging responsibility for everything I was taking responsibility for everything. It was my fault he went to the psych ward. It was my fault he was so sad. Dance, Sam, dance! Make those appointments. Go sit in that bedroom with him. Take him to the ER. Stand by his side. Make everything better for him! Bastard!

He was going to visit his mom in the hospital in May. As far as I can tell, at least from his court testimony (and let’s face it- he could have perjured himself on the witness stand), their little affair began again sometime in April or May. Wow- just like last time! He was wildly adamant that he not take a child along with him. He didn’t want them seeing him break down apparently if he got stressed out about the driving. But alas, he ended up not being able to make the drive. He called me but thanks to our phone service he couldn’t get through. He then sent me pictures of his tear stained face right before he turned around and headed back home.

I went out that night and switched our phone carrier so that I would never miss another important call like that from him. I signed a two year contract, only to find out a little over three months later that he was fucking his cousin.

In hindsight what I think really happened is that he lost his nerve for whatever reason. I don’t know why and I don’t care to explore the reasons. It’s not important to me.

But that does lead me to what I consider, if not the biggest whopper of a lie, certainly the most humiliating lie. In July shortly after the kids and I got back from Indiana and Utah we were going to leave again to go to Florida for a week. He had gone with us the year before and was supposed to go with us again. Wouldn’t you know though that he had to go on a business trip that weekend? Instead of going on vacation with us as a family he instead drove to Tennessee for a “business trip”. That wasn’t the best part.

He was so anxiety ridden about this drive. What if he couldn’t make it? What if he lost his nerve? Oh never fear! Your trusty therapist and I will coach you so that you get over your fear and anxiety and can make the drive. Yep, like I said- maybe not the biggest lie but certainly one of the most humiliating. To think that I sat there in that office telling him what a wonderful man he was, how he could do anything, how he needed to believe in himself… all the while he’s laughing his ass off at pathetic ol’ me and his stupid therapist.

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Even before that I got the story of how he was sending his mom money to help with groceries because his niece and her boyfriend came down for dinner every night. They were so broke and so young with a baby already here and one on the way. What could he do? So don’t be alarmed if you see those wire transfers. That’s just me being a dutiful son. And by the way, that $500 wire I sent was so that they could fix the van so they could trade it in for their new ride. If it didn’t run they couldn’t trade it in so again, what could I do?

I did pause a moment about that one. It must have been in early July when he told me this because I had just been to his parents’ house and ridden in the new van. She never mentioned him sending them money to fix the old van in order to trade it in. Not completely out of the realm of possibility, I suppose, but I did find it curious. I wonder what would have happened if I had mentioned that to her in a phone call. Hey, why didn’t you tell me CF had sent you $500?

On the heels of coaching my lying, cheating husband so that he could meet up with his whore cousin, he had to dig the knife just a little bit deeper. His “business trip” lasted an extra day, and then because he was so close to his mom’s house he was going to go see her that weekend. It would be a shame if he was that close and didn’t visit. Was that okay?

Naturally I was understanding. “It’s your mom! Of course it’s okay.” But looking back on it he was no closer to his mom’s house there than he was when he was in Virginia. And while he may have seen his mom, especially at the impromptu family reunion, he spent the weekend at the whore’s house, fucking her.

There was the $172 charge at Walmart in Whore Town before he was supposed to be visiting with his mom. I asked him if he was already there and he insisted he was not. He was still in Tennessee. When asked why there was a charge in Whore Town he conveniently explained it away by telling me he had given his card to his mom so she could buy a new tire. For the new van. And she had made that purchase in not-Whore Town so he didn’t know why it was showing Whore Town. I later found out he had bought the whore a lawn mower. $172 tire, my ass!

After his self-affirming trip which proved he could drive and be out in public he passed along a few other tasty tidbits- he was going to go to Blockhead’s one weekend. It was only fair because the last time Blockhead had driven all the way to Virginia so next time it was his turn. And the two of them were going to go to their West Point class reunion. No wives, of course. Just them. Lies. “Visiting Blockhead” was code for spending the weekend fucking the whore, and I have no doubt he took Harley with him to his reunion.

There was the funeral for the cousin he hadn’t laid eyes on in years but it was extremely important that he go. And no, he would not bring either of the kids, despite Rock Star wanting to go so she could see her granny. A funeral is no place for kids! Apparently, it is the place to debut your whore and let everyone know you’re cheating on your wife.

Oh, how could I forget all the lies about the damn funeral itself? I think the coaching for the drive to meet up with his mistress and the whole funeral fiasco are tied for first place when it comes to whopper lies.

First, the funeral was supposed to occur on Friday so he was going to drive down on Thursday, attend the funeral on Friday, and then drive back after it was over. On Friday I’m texting him, asking him if he’s on his way home. Story twist! In an amazing coincidence the funeral was moved to Saturday! Can you believe it? Yeah, I shouldn’t have either. He was good, though. He swore up and down that he was told it was on Friday.

Naturally, since it’s occurring on Saturday it only makes sense now to spend the rest of the weekend there, visiting with dear old Mom. How can you argue with that? What kind of a monster would be mad because a loving son is spending time with his beloved mommy? Then when called around 3 pm on Sunday, and asked if he was on his way home or about to start out, he tells me he’s going to wait until 8 because he wants to “challenge himself” and see if he can make the drive in the dark. What can I say, dear readers? I was an idiot. I kept telling myself there was no way he would possibly cheat on me again. We had reconciled! We had moved 2000 miles across the country for him! We had bought a new house, new furniture! We had put our kids into new schools! He had just bought me a new car! We had just put in a $57,000 pool! Who in their right mind plots to leave during all of this? Obvious answer now: A lying, cheating cousinfucker, that’s who.

It gets better. Around 11 pm he calls or texts (I forget which now) that he had put the keys to his mom’s van in his briefcase and only noticed it once he had been on the road for about three hours. He’s going to have to turn around and give those to her so he’ll come home tomorrow. Strangely, he didn’t make it a priority to get up early in the morning and head straight home. This was a simple six hour trip home. Had he left around 7 or 8 he would have been home around 1 or 2. He didn’t make it home until after 5 which means he didn’t leave until 11. In hindsight I suppose I should be surprised he didn’t wheel on in around 10 or 11 that night. God knows I was swallowing his lies like candy so I’m sure he could have figured something out to explain why he didn’t get in his damn car until 6 pm or so.

Do you want to hear something really sad and pathetic? On his way home, as he was on the exit ramp to our town, he rear ended a tractor trailer. He assured me he was fine (I found out after the fact) and I recall my overwhelming thought being, “Oh no! This is going to derail his progress. He’s not going to want to drive anymore.”

Yes, there I was, so worried that the poor baby was going to be traumatized after his accident. I had been feeling hopeful with all this recent “progress” and thought that maybe we would finally be able to go places- visit some wineries, check out Gettysburg, go to DC… Now we were probably starting all over at square one. Rats! I shouldn’t have worried though. He was able to make that trip every single weekend for the next six months.

As it turns out those were the last of the lies he could tell me and I would believe. A few hours after he got back home I received the message from The Saint, letting me know he had been spending his weekends with Harley.

Oh, he continued to lie: He was going to spend the weekend with Blockhead. “Oops, did I not tell you that? I thought I did,” he said when he snuck out while I was running errands.

“Send me naked pictures!” he tells me, probably with her right there by his side.

When I accidentally made his debit card inactive he was throwing a fit until I offered to drive to Blockhead’s house and give him the new card. “Oh it’s okay, baby. I’ve got my American Express and some cash. Don’t worry about.”

I should have insisted. At that point I knew where he was. I’d had his ass followed.

He lies even today. He’ll never stop. When it comes to him I follow that old adage: If his lips are moving, he’s lying.

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Holland

Welcome to Part 2!

I will never again be a full-time stay at home mom to my kids and that’s okay. In this new life my kids see me going off to work. They see me paying bills and being a role model. They see me having to juggle things and weigh whether or not it’s worth it to take time off. Both of my kids are older now, and while I think teenagers especially need parental influence and supervision, they will be fine without me standing at the ready 24/7 to take them wherever they want to go. We will always have the many memories from when I was able to stay at home with them.

My old home with its granite countertops and 4000 square feet of living space is a thing of the past. In this new life I get to focus on what truly matters- and that’s not a house. For now I am living with my mom. With Rock Star off to college I actually have a room and a bed to call my own (at least while she’s at school). Picasso gets to spend a lot of quality time with his Nana. She’s willing to do my laundry and willing to cook most nights.

When I do finally go looking for a house I don’t need 4 or 5 bedrooms. I don’t need 4000 square feet. This time, on my own, I’m looking for quirky and charming, with a low mortgage payment. Honestly, I look at the $300,000+ homes in my area and I am appalled at how little you get for so much money. Most of it is location, and since I don’t have to worry much longer about school districts I can move anywhere I choose.

I can replace all the “things” that I once owned. Hopefully, this time around I will be pickier about what I choose to purchase. I can always shop yard sales, consignment stores, and Goodwill/Salvation Army.

In my new life I am closer to family. We are able to get together for birthdays, Mother’s Day, and other special events.

In my old life I was married to CF. He spent most of his life in his bedroom, watching TV. There were frequent tantrums, freak outs, and crying episodes when things weren’t going his way. He didn’t like PDA, although strangely enough that didn’t stop him from groping me in public. Almost every picture we took together he looks like he’s in a hostage situation. He didn’t support me; hell, I don’t think he ever really knew me. His big contribution was his paycheck, and he liked to lord that over me, even when I was working as well. He didn’t usually participate in family events. He dreaded the holidays. He pretty much sucked the joy out of life.

In my new life I’m with the mobster, and that is probably the best thing in this new life. I finally have someone who is sane and normal. He doesn’t freak out over the little things. He doesn’t look like he’s being coerced into posing with me every time we take a picture together. He supports me; he tells me I’m wonderful and that I can do anything. He cares about my kids and is willing to help out with them where he can. He loves the holidays and loves being a family man. He is joyful and funny. I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

Infidelity and divorce is a game changer. It forever changes “normal”. What I’m about to say doesn’t happen overnight; it takes a while for this message to finally sink in. For me it’s taken damn near three years. In many ways this is an exciting new chapter. You can write whatever story you want. Yes, there are humps. There are fucking mountains! There are challenges. Ultimately though you are the author of your own destiny. You have a chance to do anything you want to do.

Did you want to go back to school but your spouse always discouraged it? Now you can. Did you want to take dance lessons but didn’t think you could because it would take time away from the family, or your spouse just didn’t want to? Now you can. Did you want to have cereal for dinner, or tell the kids to fend for themselves while you watch Netflix and munch on popcorn, but you always needed to make dinner for the spouse? Now you can. Did you always love Indian food but your spouse hated it so you never made it? Now you can make it as often as you’d like. Did your spouse discourage outside relationships? Now you’re free of that; rediscover those friendships. Did your spouse always insist on watching something, or mock what you wanted to watch? Now you don’t ever have to listen to that person complain about it again. I will say this much for having your life upended: You are now able to take the time to figure out what makes you tick. What do you like? What do you want to do?

Have you ever seen that story about going to Holland? It was written by Emily Perl Kingsley, a mother of a special needs child. In it, she’s trying to explain what it’s like when you give birth to and raise a child with special needs. She compares it to planning a grand vacation to Italy. She talks about how you research before you go. You read up on all the tourist sites, everything there is to do there. You plan out what you want to see when you are there. You investigate the culture and the food. You might even learn a few phrases of Italian before you go. You immerse yourself in all things Italy. And then the big day comes and the flight attendant says, “Welcome to Holland!” You are stunned! This was not the plan. You were going to Italy! But alas, the plans changed and you are now in Holland and you can’t go to Italy. Holland is where you will remain. So now you buy a different guidebook, and you learn different phrases, and you will eat different foods and encounter people you never would have met if you had gone to Italy.

I think that’s a wonderful analogy. We didn’t plan this. We had something completely different in mind for our lives. We got married, had babies, maybe accumulated a few pets, bought a house, maybe moved around the country, and planned on spending the rest of our lives with this person we married. We thought we knew our destination. Italy! But instead our plans detoured. Our spouse cheated. The house had to be sold. Maybe we had to move out of town or out of the state. Friends were lost. Family was lost. The spouse is gone- off with the affair partner. And now we are in Holland.

Here is the important part. As the author says in her essay, “The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It’s just a different place.”

I suppose in those early days we could argue about how horrible and disgusting this whole process is. But she goes on to say, “But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around… and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills… and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.”

I will never be back to my old normal again. I don’t have a large home with granite countertops and a pool and brand new furniture. I don’t have my air hockey table or foosball table anymore. I can no longer spend whatever I want. I don’t volunteer for PTA, or play Bunko. My friends are scattered all over. I’m no longer a stay at home mom with plenty of down time. Instead I am trying to develop a new normal; I will try to appreciate all the things that Holland brings into my life. Being in control of my own life. Not having to worry about what CF wants. Having a wonderful new man in my life who appreciates me. A whole new life and adventure. Focusing on different things. Trying to advance at my job and take any new opportunities that come my way. Maybe I’ll even go back to school to get my Masters or to develop a career in the medical field. Just because I don’t earn much now doesn’t mean I can’t earn more in the future. I won’t volunteer in PTA but that doesn’t mean volunteering is off the table forever; it will just look different.

Yes, you will mourn, she cautions. She writes of how everyone is busy coming and going from Italy, bragging about the wonderful time and all the fantastic things they’re doing. “And for the rest of your life, you will say, ‘Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.’ And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.”

That is so true. Even once you make your peace with it you are still reminded of what you’ve lost. Every time I hear “The Best Day of My Life” I want to cry. It reminds me of the lip dub Rock Star’s school did. There she was, a brand new freshman, on the gymnastics team, and she was doing back handsprings and a full in the video. She was amazing, and so happy. When I hear “Steal My Girl” it reminds me of the days she and I would sing along in the car on our way home from practice. When I see pictures of those long ago days- Picasso surrounded by his friends, Picasso dressed in full hockey gear, or Rock Star posing with her teammates or best friend, it reminds me of all that was lost. I still have the real estate app on my phone from when we were house hunting in Virginia. I can’t take it off and yet it pains me to even look.

The trick is to stop focusing on the pain and to focus on the new, to focus on what is waiting. As the author reminds us, “…if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

I won’t ever be one of those people who says that divorce is a good thing. It’s painful, even when cheating is not the reason for the split. It destroys families. It does a number on the cheated on person. That’s not to say, however, that good can’t come out of it. I believe it can. I believe that there is a life worth living out there. You just have to take the initiative and go for it. Sometimes we love the lives we had and we think we’ll never have anything close to that again. After it’s all been smashed to smithereens we find out that the old life was an illusion; it was never what we thought we had. And this new life- it’s real. It’s ours. We discover that this new, authentic life is the one we were supposed to be living. This new life in Holland can be awesome if you only let go of the dream of Italy.

What Is Normal?

This is a two part post. Part 2 has a completely different name though. Watch for Holland tomorrow.

I was reading the comments over on Chump Lady the other day. Someone said she had been asked by a good friend, “When will you be normal again?”

That’s an interesting question, isn’t it? When will I be normal again? I don’t know. If by, “being normal” the person means “going back to how you used to be” I don’t think I will ever be normal.

My normal was being a wife and a mom. I was the one that was there for my kids 100% of the time. I drove them to practice, attended their games and meets, and chauffeured them and their friends around. When school was out I planned amazing adventures- water parks, hikes, amusement parks, vacations, museums. If school was out it meant I got to sleep in later, just like they did. I was able to spend the day with them. Oh sure, there were the times I carpooled with other moms, or asked a friend if she could grab my kid, but that wasn’t the norm. Now I’m the mom whose son has to sit in the office for an hour or more when the bus is running late because I can’t go pick him up. I rely on others because I can’t be there. I rely on my mom or my brother or my sister-in-law or my niece to pick my kids up from work and school, and to take them to doctor’s appointments and dentist appointments because I can’t do it anymore. I can’t be there because I work every day.

Add that to my list of things that is no longer normal. I didn’t have to work before. My time was my own. I had plenty of downtime to do things I wanted, to get together with friends, while my kids were in school. Then in the afternoons when they were back home I could devote my time to them. Now, I’m at work all day. When I get home if I spend time doing things I want to do I’m neglecting them. If I’m spending time with them I have no me time.

My normal was being able to shop for clothes for my kids without worrying about whether or not this was going to break the bank. I could buy them toys and gadgets and not think twice. I could buy expensive make-up at Christmas for my daughter. I could buy iPods and iPads and MacBook Pros. I could spend amazing amounts of money at Christmas, and I could afford to be generous with my mom and my nieces and nephews. Now those nieces and nephews will be outearning me shortly.

My normal was living in my own house, preferably a fairly large house. It didn’t matter how many pairs of shoes I left in the living room, or if I didn’t do the dishes right away, or how much shit I let pile up, because I was the one cleaning it all up anyway. All the furniture in my own house was furniture that I had picked out. All the decorations were decorations I had selected. I had a room of my own. I had space. I had all my stuff.

Now, if I were to move out I have to start all over. I have no plates or bowls. No silverware. No towels. I have pans and some baking sheets and cake pans. I have some glasses and some mugs and some kitchen utensils. I have a blender, a popcorn popper, an immersion blender, a waffle maker, a few crockpots, a Keurig, and a George Foreman grill. I’m pretty sure that’s the extent of my kitchen. I also have no furniture save for 4 bar stools, although I do have my magnolia painting and all the pictures of my kids.

I suppose I could see this as a grand adventure. “How exciting! I get to completely start all over! All new things. Hooray!” Instead I feel like I did when I moved into my first apartment- starting out for the very first time and dirt poor.

My normal was volunteering in PTA, knowing all of the teachers, and getting together with friends. Now my life is spent working. It’s not like I’m going to end up with some wonderful new career. I will always be poor. My daughter will graduate in four years and make triple what I make. I don’t see a path to riches where I am.

That’s another “normal” thing that I will never get back. I used to live an upper middle class lifestyle. Now, I don’t. I never will again unless I start playing the lottery and end up winning.

I think it’s very similar to someone who has lost a child. You never get over it. You never stop feeling like a piece of yourself is missing; you never stop feeling that loss. Your old, “normal” life is over forever; you now must go on living this new life, the one that no longer includes your beloved child. Normal doesn’t exist anymore.

There are a few positives to this new life. I don’t have to put up with an asshole any longer. I met the mobster. I’m closer to family, which can be a blessing and a curse. Remember, my normal is doing everything on my own. I lived most of the last twenty years away from my family.

Meanwhile, CF goes blissfully on his way. My life has been turned upside down and then hammered into the ground. He has everything he has ever wanted. This divorce was a goldmine for him. He has yet another high paying job. Between him and Harley his life style hasn’t decreased at all. Not one penny. In fact, together they make more than he did by himself when we were married. He lives in a house that looks like our old house. He’s got a new wife and new kids. He lives where he wants to live- back in his home state, close to his mommy, when she was alive, and his sister. He goes to not-his-kids’ sporting events. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he also attends parent-teacher conferences for them and coaches their damn sports teams. He goes on family vacations with them and out to celebrate birthdays. He doesn’t hole up in his bedroom all the time. He’s got dogs and cats. He’s blooming, like a rose. Divorce has been wonderful. A little expensive but wonderful nonetheless.

When will I be back to normal? Never. I wasted twenty years of my life on someone who never deserved me. I’ve been betrayed, lied to, humiliated, played for a fool, dumped for a whore cousin, financially raped, and drug through the mud. I’ve had someone try to destroy me and I have ended up losing everything. CF and Harley happily play house and embrace their new life together; they have everything they set out to get when they embarked on their affair. I, on the other hand, am left to continue trying to build this new life of mine out of the ashes of my old life. My normal is gone. My old life was destroyed and it will never be back to “normal”. I’m expected to forge ahead with a new life and call that my new normal. That is my only choice.

It sounds like a rather daunting task, doesn’t it? It has been, but all hope is not lost. You see, I believe the key is simply realizing that the old normal is gone, and to embrace all the newness.

 

That Time Sam Struck Back

What can I say? I’m bad at following my own advice. I broke no contact. Slightly. I mean, there is a chance he’ll never see what I wrote in response so….

What has happened, you ask? Let me tell you.

Cousinfucker is at it again. Back with more shitty commentary. I decided I was going to look at my Venmo history to try to chart CF’s payments. The month is more than halfway over and I hadn’t received any spousal support. He had paid one child support payment- paid without incident or comment. He paid his own personalized modified amount, but he paid child support.

I will note that this is a departure from his regular pattern. When he paid alimony and child support on both kids he would pay child support-spousal support-child support-spousal support. I don’t know why, but that was generally his pattern. Once he took it upon himself to modify child support by half he paid spousal support-child support-spousal support. This month he began with the child support.

On with the story… I was perusing Venmo to chart his payments when I saw another payment from him for half of my alimony. Once again I got no notice- no email, no notification on my home screen, nothing.

He once again decided he had to comment. I will commend him for being smart enough to realize he needs to keep this shit private. Or maybe he doesn’t want anyone seeing that he has to pay out alimony and child support. Maybe he’s convinced all the newbies that he and Harley have been married for years and her kids are his kids. Maybe he realizes he’s a shitty human being and that the crap he spews at me is unnecessary and douche-y. Whatever the reason he has the comments set to private. This was this month’s comment:

What’s it for? That doesn’t even deserve an answer. Everyone knows why this money is changing hands. Because the party of the first part needs to supplement the inability of the party of the second part to live on her own merits.

I guess he thinks that’s going to make me feel bad. Sorry, Button, I don’t feel guilty at all about taking your money. If not for me you would be a first shift superintendent at best. You got to where you did because you had a wife who was willing to move over and over again, discarding one life and rebuilding another repeatedly to satisfy your whims and petulant desires when you were not being appreciated enough!

I give you Exhibit A- Harley the Whore. You’ve had offers for more money but you don’t want to leave the state. You want to be near your sister supposedly, and your whore can’t move out of state. That’s what happens when you can’t relocate for advancement. All those guys throughout your career that were supervisors for years and years? They remained supervisors because they didn’t want to move. That would have been you if I hadn’t been willing to move.

The utter gall of this man! I spend my life moving all over the country and propping him up, being his biggest cheerleader as I take care of the home and the kids, and he’s going to try to throw shade at me? Oh hell no! Not today, asshole.

So I broke no contact and I replied to his shitty message:

You know the definition of alimony? The screwing you get for the screwing you got. Chin up, Buckaroo- only 15.5 more years.

I’ve had enough of his damn comments. I’m tired of taking the high road while he flings poo at me over and over again. I hope the response is suitably mocking. I didn’t want him to think that he was hurting my feelings or making me feel shamed, but I also wanted to let him know he wasn’t going to continue to get away with running his mouth. I did especially like the, “Chin up, Buckaroo,” touch. I have a feeling he’s going to hate that. I think he might think I’m not taking him seriously. Oh my!

To be fair I did poke the bear somewhat after his Potato Chip Squire jab. I changed my profile picture from a headshot of me to a picture of me and the mobster. Maybe he didn’t realize it when he paid child support earlier. Or maybe he did notice it and that’s why he decided to pay child support first instead of spousal support.

It could also be the fact that the mobster very graciously offered to help me pay for Rock Star’s books. He had wanted to do something extra for her and was going to send her money for whatever, but when I was telling him about how I was going to end up paying for her books he offered to go half on it with me. She needed the money right away so I transferred my share from my account into hers, and the mobster sent her money through Venmo. He even used the cute book emoji.

This would have been shortly after CF texted Rock Star to ask when move in day was and to ask her if she needed anything. She told him she needed help paying for her books and named something else. He responded by giving her tips on college life and then finished it up with, “Just let me know if you need anything.” As she said to me while relaying this story, “I literally just told him what I needed and he ignored it.”

Instead, the mobster came to her rescue because her dad couldn’t be bothered. Since all that shit is public CF undoubtedly saw it.

Whatever the reason he is once again lashing out at me. Only this time I hit back. Chin up, Buckaroo!

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Anniversaries and Milestones

It’s been a big week. Eh, actually a little more than a week. By the time this is published it will probably be a big 9 days.

August 10th marked the 3 year “anniversary” of finding out my life was collapsing around my feet. I’ve already written about that.

August 14th marked the 5 year “anniversary” of finding out my darling husband was still fucking around with his cunt face cum dumpster of a cousin. I know this because Facebook was so kind as to remind me of the big surprise I had for my daughter that day.

If you recall the story I found the message from The Saint the day of Rock Star’s birthday party. The only thing that I had managed to keep a secret from her was how we were getting to the reservoir that day. Up pulls a 14 passenger white Hummer limousine. I have her reaction on video.

August 15th I took my daughter to college. I helped her set up her room. I bought yet more crap for the dorm room. I ate lunch with her in the dining hall. And then I drove away, leaving a little piece of my heart on campus.

I didn’t cry. I had a few tears in my eyes as I was pulling out of the parking garage, but I quickly wiped them away. This is what is supposed to happen. I told myself that this is ultimately my job as a parent.

August 16th Picasso began his sophomore year. It was quite the adventure because there were a “few wrinkles” to iron out, as the transportation department likes to say. Basically, that translated into, “We’re sorry the bus didn’t come for your kid anywhere close to on time.”

I’m not sure when it did arrive because by 8 am he had texted my nephew to see if he could get a ride. The bus was supposed to arrive at 7:39 so I think he gave the driver ample opportunity to get to him.

The next day it was only about 10 minutes late picking him up, but at least it arrived and he wasn’t late for school.

Bonus- on the ride back he encountered one of his friends from middle school. I think I may have told you that he washed his phone in June so he’s lost all of his contacts. He was very happy to run into this person. It turns out she is part of an after school club at a different school but they allow students from all the area high schools to participate. They get together and play various board games, according to Picasso; he’s slightly interested in participating so that makes me happy.

Finally today, August 19th, is an anniversary of sorts for me and the mobster. Yet another one. We like anniversaries. He sent me beautiful flowers at work on Friday. He is always so sweet and thoughtful.

We were supposed to get together this weekend but he’s at a family wedding. He was going to look into flying me out there so I could attend with him, but it didn’t pan out. Plus, it has already been a crazy week, what with taking Rock Star down to college, Picasso starting school, and my mom taking off for Hawaii. I didn’t want to take off and leave him all by himself with all these changes happening.

That has been my crazy week plus a few days. How has yours been?

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Another Beauty Treatment Story

While I was on vacation Rock Star and I got lash extensions. At least I think that’s the correct terminology.

She really wanted them and it was her stay-cation so I agreed. For $22 she got new, luxurious eyelashes. They looked so good I decided I would go ahead and get them done as well. For $22 how could I pass it up?

They looked amazing! I absolutely loved the look of the lashes. However, it was very difficult for me to get used to having them. I felt like I had spiders on my eyes sometimes.

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She cautioned us against rubbing them because apparently that can pull them out. However, I must have missed the part about not getting them wet because the very next morning I took a shower and when I got out of the shower I had a corner of my new eyelashes hanging off.

We were headed to Chicago that day so I didn’t have any time to head back over to get them re-glued. Fortunately, Rock Star had eyelash adhesive from her cheerleading days and we used that.

I think that might have been the source of all my problems. I always felt like the left side was ready to fall off. Plus, I already have dry eyes which, ironically, seem to always water and seep while I’m sleeping, resulting in crusty eyelashes in the morning. Sorry if this is TMI. I figured though I’ve already shared my chronic farting with you, plus the fact I have to shave my beard every few days, so I think you can deal with my eyelash gunk. Anyway, it was a little difficult to get my eyes cleaned in the morning. Not that I want to leave you all with an image of tons of crust built up on my lashes. That’s not it at all. But with the extensions you weren’t supposed to get them wet which makes washing your face a little difficult and left me feeling a bit not-so-fresh.

Rock Star ended up taking her eyelashes off by Day 3. I lasted until Day 5. They’re supposed to last 2-3 weeks. I took another shower though, and despite NOT getting them wet I still had the corner part of the eyelash coming off again. I couldn’t get it back on. Rock Star insisted I looked fine even though I was missing a corner and taking them all off would have taken a while so I put some mascara on my skimpy lashes and went to the movies. I took them off later that night.

I know the real question you’re asking: Would I do it again? I think I would. I really loved how they made my eyes look. I didn’t mind the extensions on my right side, which didn’t have any problems. It was mainly my left side. I think if I got them again and then didn’t get them wet so that they started to fall off, I might like them better the second time around.

I’ll let you know what happens.

Here are some close up shots of my luscious eyelashes!

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Very close up!

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Yet Another Thing Stolen

I was perusing Facebook the other day when I came across a picture from a longtime friend. It was a picture of her son and his friends playing football. She said something to the effect of, “To some it’s just a picture of four boys playing football. To me it’s an end of an era.” She had watched for years as her son and those boys had played football in her front yard. Now they would all be leaving for college. She cried as she said goodbye to her son’s friends, having known them pretty much their entire lives. She wasn’t just sending her own child off on a new adventure. She was sending off all of these kids that had been a part of her life through her kids.

I smiled wistfully because I knew exactly what she meant. My house was once the neighborhood gathering spot. I had kids in and out all the time. I was usually the designated chauffeur. I can’t say that I had known my kids’ friends their entire lives because we moved when the kids were 4 and 6, but their friends had been around for a long time before we left for Virginia. Even in Virginia Rock Star had a close group of friends that were around quite a bit.

Then we moved here. She graduated. The silence was deafening. I didn’t get to cheer for other kids. I didn’t know any of the others. All the kids I had watched grow up were 1500 and 600 miles away. I missed graduation parties and college send offs. I missed the final year of gymnastics for so many of the girls that my daughter grew up with. I missed a Senior Night that meant anything. She had only been there a year when the first Senior Night happened. She felt no school spirit. She didn’t care about those people. It was going through the motions; she couldn’t even mention all her accomplishments because what happened at her previous school didn’t count.

She did not want a graduation party. Other people insisted she needed one. We caved. It sucked. It’s a little difficult to have a huge celebration when you’ve been someplace for only two years.

The last three graduation parties I’ve been to the graduates have had a joint party with one or two other friends. The guest list was extensive. The food was catered. The decorations were beautiful. At least two of them had games and music.

My niece organized Rock Star’s party. She did a beautiful job with the decorations. Alas, it rained so most of her work was undone and then re-done inside. That pretty much eliminated the games from Rock Star’s party. I couldn’t afford a DJ. Or a photo booth which I really wanted. I spent hundreds on food; the sub and potato salad was store bought, as were the cookies and cake. But I made several dips and salads, and my brother provided grilled chicken and macaroni and cheese. Most disappointing though was the guest list.

We had a total of 32 people that attended, including myself. She had eight friends plus her boyfriend show up, and her friends all showed up the last hour- 6 of them showing up in the last 20-30 minutes. I didn’t really have any friends to invite. Almost all of them live in Utah. I invited two of my friends from high school; one showed up. The mobster came up as promised. Her boyfriend’s family came as well. The rest was family. I didn’t really need a graduation party for that. It wasn’t a horrendous day, and nothing horrible happened, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking, “I can’t believe I spent all this money on such a disappointing party.” It was absolutely a waste of money and time.

These are the little things people don’t mention when they are extolling the virtues of the “exuberant defiance” of affairs. It’s kinda messy and fairly sad, so they prefer to focus on the the ol’ standby of happiness. Who can argue with that?

Yes, he shat all over his daughter’s life… but look how HAPPY he is!

High school graduation is but a blip in the course of a person’s life. Childhood will be a fading memory. Focus on the future! The important thing is HAPPINESS!

Just as you’ve gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette, you’ve gotta shatter a few lives to make yourself happy.

I do try to remember that, you know? I repeatedly tell myself that while it wasn’t what I was expecting high school is a mere four years and it’s over before you know it. It isn’t necessarily a foreshadowing of your life to come. Stop being dramatic, Sam, and just get with the program. So what if you didn’t get to see the kids your kids grew up with graduate? Big deal! There are worse things in life. Yep, life got screwed up by the cheating asshole ex you married but stop dwelling on it and focus on the positives.

Your kid is alive. She graduated. She will hopefully have an amazing time at college. God knows she is so excited about it. Her graduation party was a disappointment but you were expecting that. It’s all over and done so stop whining and get on with life.

It doesn’t work for the most part. I still hate his fucking guts at times like this. I’m okay with that for now.