Sam’s Untitled Message to Cousinfucker

I’ve been sitting on this one because I wrote it a few months ago and a lot has changed since it’s inception. Sadly, I haven’t been doing a very good job of keeping up with my blog so enjoy!

Dear Cousinfucker,

I’m beginning to think you didn’t mean it when you said you wanted us to “come to a healthy relationship apart from all of this” (I am guessing that “this” meant your affair with Harley) or when you encouraged me to “build a future relationship that we both can be happy for each other and our children and show them that happiness and being whole are vital to a person’s future.” Then again, we both know you were lying out your ass when you told me that while I would take a hit financially I would be provided for for life because your lawyer had me “covered for the rest of [my] life.” You certainly tried to worm your way out of that one, didn’t you?

I’m beginning to believe talk is cheap. It seems to be especially cheap when one side (you) has everything going their way while the other side (me) is being served a giant shit sundae and told to smile and eat up.

You don’t seem to be very happy for me. In fact, you seem quite bitter. I have to admit, I don’t quite understand it.

Sure, you could argue that I had no interest in being “happy” for you when you first broached the subject. I will point out that when you first extended this so called olive branch that I was in the initial phase of being discarded after twenty years of marriage. Not only was I being dumped, but I was also being replaced by the whore you cheated on me with two years prior. You had played me for a fool all summer long, once again. You had also cut me off financially so I was forced to live off of savings until the temporary support hearing and I wasn’t completely sure what was going to happen to me and our two kids. I was desperately hoping to be able to stay in the house until Rock Star graduated, and perhaps beyond that if Picasso wanted to stay and graduate from that school as well.

While I wasn’t cheering you on for your weekend fuck-fests I also wasn’t harassing you. I left you alone to play happy family with the whore and her kids. I didn’t call. I didn’t text. I didn’t chase you down in my car. I didn’t stalk you. I left your skank ass cousin alone, too.

And while you were home, using our children’s home as your extended stay hotel during the week? I left you alone. You were free to text all night with your whore. I didn’t send our kids to you to try to play on your pity (you don’t have any). I didn’t pound on doors. I didn’t scream and yell at you. Oh, I suppose I did occasionally play some songs from my freedom list very loudly. Aside from that, I ignored you. Yet you continued to act like the victim, crying to our daughter that you were treated worse than a piece of furniture. I didn’t fix you a plate and bring you your dinner every night. I no longer did your laundry. Worst of all I put bells on the door so I could hear you when you came in the house. I can see how that might have traumatized you.

Even during the darkest times you had it pretty easy. When I found out you had quit your job and fled the state I cried on my own, confided in my mom, poured my feelings out on my blog. When I found out you had lost your job and weren’t planning on sending me anymore money, again I cried on my own, confided in my mom, poured my feelings out on my blog. And then I went on to price almost everything in our home to try to sell at a garage sale and listed all of our furniture so that I would have money to move and to live on once I got back to Indiana. You didn’t hear a word from me. Not one single nasty text. Not a flurry of emails. Not one car ride down to where you were, making a big scene.

So again I’m trying to figure out how you justify being so angry at me. You got everything you wanted. Don’t you remember how you cried about what a disaster Virginia was? How you were destined to fail because Randy wouldn’t support you? How Charlie wouldn’t fade into the background like he was supposed to? You wanted to leave your job in Virginia and you did. Why so sad?

You wanted to work with your best friend. Don’t you remember how you lamented not taking him up on his previous offer? If I recall correctly you surmised that that was one of your biggest mistakes. But then like a fairy godmother he appears out of nowhere and manages to get you a job at his plant. It’s a dream come true! Granted, your children weren’t part of the package, but then again, you didn’t really bother with them anyway. It’s not like you offered to take them with you. They probably would have just gotten in the way when you wanted to spend the weekends with the whore. In the end though you got exactly what you wanted, what you thought you had lost. You got the chance to work side by side with your very best friend in the world! You had lunch with him every day. That is so exciting. I would be so happy about that. Why weren’t you? According to you, he was there for you. He listened to all your sad little tales of woe.

You wanted to move back to Kentucky. I remember you telling me how you’d love to be able to call your sister up and meet her for a drink. That’s not happening anymore, seeing as how you’ve labeled yourself an alcoholic and your sister still lives a good 2-3 hours away from you.  You know she won’t go out of her way to see you, and you seem far too lodged up Harley’s ass to go out of your way to see her. Therefore, you don’t see her that often. But you’re there and that’s what’s important! Plus, you got to spend your mom’s last years with her as well.

And remember how you told everyone that Harley made you so happy while I made you miserable? Well, now you’re with her! That is news for rejoicing.

Where are we again? Oh yes, you wanted to quit your job with PCA, you wanted to work with your best friend, you wanted to move back to Kentucky, and you wanted to be with Harley. By my count you got all of those things, although not all together. You did quit your job at PCA. You went and worked with Blockhead. Even got a promotion. Finally a GM and not a PM. Congrats! Of course, you ended up losing that job. But, all was not lost because it meant you got to live with your whore cousin in Kentucky full time. Bam! Two birds, one stone. You moved back to Kentucky and you moved in with the whore that made you so happy. You got everything you wanted. What more could you possibly want?

Was it the fact that I didn’t cry and beg and plead for your return? Instead I found a lawyer and filed for divorce, and then put you on ignore. Or were you miffed by the fact that I found out what was going on before you got to ambush me? That also meant I was able to take protective measures, like moving over all of our money into an account you couldn’t touch. You are very fond of your money so that probably pissed you off a lot! Not to mention the fact that I wasn’t completely at your mercy. Maybe it’s the fact that you couldn’t destroy me. I kept on going. Even worse, I found someone else.

About that… I don’t understand why you’re so pissy about my relationship with the mobster. I would think you would be happy for me. You’ve found what you think is a much better match for yourself. I know I’ve found a much better match for me. What’s that you said? We’re not good together. I know you will be whole without me. Take a minute and reflect upon those words. I’m thinking maybe you didn’t really believe I would be whole without you. Or maybe I was supposed to be whole without you or anyone else while you frolicked with the whore and basked in your unique love.

If you could stop being so butt hurt that I somehow managed to get over you and all your fabulousness and found love with someone else maybe you would realize that could actually turn into a very good thing for you. If I remarry you’re off the hook for spousal support. I’d think you would be doing everything in your power to make sure my relationship with the mobster worked out. I’m surprised you haven’t sent us on an exotic vacation or at the very least set up a romantic date night for us.

No, instead you wander around making snide comments about my love. What happened to being happy for one another? What happened to showing our children “that happiness and being whole are vital to a person’s future”? I’m so confused. Was that yet another round of bullshit to make you look evolved?

Look everyone! Sam and I are divorcing the right way. Look how happy she is for me and Harley. She’s not bitter or crying or upset. No! She realizes that we aren’t good together and that Harley is a much better match for me. She understands the importance of me being happy, and agrees that her happiness shouldn’t even be a consideration. She is completely in agreement with everything I want. 

She knows she will take a hit financially but she is so happy for me that she doesn’t care. Not even a little bit. She will do her dutiful job as the mother of my children and explain to them that they will have to learn to make do with less so that these other children might have everything they’ve ever wanted. And she will joyfully head back into the workforce after not having worked an outside job in over fifteen years. I’m sure she will get great satisfaction out of a low paying job. She doesn’t know it yet but she is going to love having to schedule vacation days instead of having a wide open schedule, and farming her parenting tasks out to others because she can no longer do it. Oh, it won’t be me, of course. I’ll be too busy playing doting daddy to Harley’s kids. But Sam will manage.

In fact, Sam and I have done divorce so well that she will face every challenge I throw at her with a smile. When her income goes down by 90% and mine stays the same, she won’t complain. When she is facing this divorce on her own while I have my cousin by my side, she will be happy for me. When I take off and move out of the state I drug them all to she will shrug her shoulders and realize I’m doing what’s best for me and my new family, and she will be happy for me. She will let me pay her whatever I decide is fair. She will never complain. She will never make demands. 

She will tell our children how much I love them and make endless excuses for me and my bad behavior. She will constantly reassure them that even though I’ve deserted them I still love them and they should still worship me and beg me for attention.

Best of all, Sam will spend the rest of her life pining away for me. I’m so fabulous I know she will never be able to find anyone else. She will live the rest of her life working a pathetic job, maybe even two or three of them, never having what she had when she was married to me, and spending her evenings and weekends all alone.

Ah, I refused to go gentle into the good night. That’s the problem, isn’t it, Buckaroo? I didn’t continue to do image management for you. I told the truth. I did what I was required to do and nothing more. I refused to settle for table scraps while you feasted on steak and lobster. Gone were the days of you and Harley living it up and her living out her gold digging dreams at my expense and the expense of your children. Instead you had to pay way more support than you thought you were going to have to, and that, my “friend”, is when you really began to change.

Life isn’t quite as much fun when you’re not withholding money from me and you and Harley are no longer able to spend, spend, spend because you’ve got a judge, judge, judge on your ass, ass, ass! Gone are the days of blowing through five grand a month on whatever it is that whores spend money on. Gone are the days of you having thousands to spend on whatever you want while I’m left to pay all the bills- while you continue to live at home. Gone are the days of knowing that I’m working two jobs just so that your kids can eat and wipe their asses in the same month, while you move your new fake family into a nice, big home in an upper middle class suburb complete with a pool and a clubhouse. No, now you have to manage ol’ Harley’s expectations with the reality that you owe me more than half of your paycheck. I bet you didn’t think you’d get imputed, did you?

That was probably the other piece that fell into place to make you change into somebody who no longer valued “being happy and whole”. That judge really ripped you a new one, didn’t he? He didn’t buy a word you said. Named your gold digger in court documents. Said you were perfectly capable of paying me more instead of putting all your money towards your “girlfriend” and her kids. Didn’t buy your mental health issues bullshit. Didn’t buy your PTSD excuse. And then told you if you were willing to move you could easily make what you had been making. Remember when he wrote that he found your “girlfriend” to be a major factor in your refusal to move away from Kentucky? I sure do.

Regardless, I hope you can take comfort in your new relationship. After all, she makes you so happy. I’m sure she won’t cheat on you, like she cheated on her first husband. Or like she cheated on you in the beginning. With her estranged first husband. You know, it was probably just a divorce negotiation trick.

I think I understand it now. When you said we should build a new healthy relationship based upon being happy for one another what you really meant was I needed to suck it up and be happy for you. When you said I would take a hit financially but we both knew your lawyer had me covered for life what you really meant was that I was going to be struggling for the rest of my life while you and Harley lived it up at my expense. When you said we weren’t good for each other and that I would be whole without you what you really meant was you had found someone else and I should spend the rest of my life wanting you and my old life back. You didn’t really think I would ever climb back up on top. You didn’t really think I would forge a great new life without you. You certainly didn’t think you’d be paying me as much money as you ended up paying. And you didn’t think I’d find an amazing new partner. Despite what lip service you gave the whole “we need to be happy and whole and model this brand new relationship model for our children,” you didn’t give a fuck about me and my happiness, did you?

Here’s What’s New

  • Taxes
  • Just enough money to keep the courts off his ass
  • 401k still floundering
  • Still waiting on the state even though I don’t think it’s going to help
  • No new job

Ah yes, taxes. I actually ended up getting a small refund from the federal government. Sadly, that was entirely eaten up by the more than $2200 I had to pay to the glorious state of Indiana. Like, seriously! Who the fuck wants to live here? You want me to pay $2200 to live in Hawaii? Okay, I can understand that. But Indiana?

This is the same state I had to pay $500 to my first year here because of the spousal support I collected in Virginia! Yep, that’s right. I earned all of about $5000, if that, in the state of Indiana between October 31st and December 31st. Paid maximum taxes on that piddly amount. And they turned around and demanded I pay taxes for spousal support I received while living as a resident of Virginia. At that point in time I had never received a dime in spousal support while living in Indiana. I was also a proud recipient of Medicaid during this time!

Fast forward to this year’s tax season. I knew I was going to end up paying again. I will always pay. I net $624 every two weeks but I pay taxes every tax season.

Last year I was able to pay the state in one lump sum and arranged for payments with the IRS. I had until August, I think, to pay the entire amount before being penalized.

I figured I would pay in small installments until I was able to access my 401k. I was also at the point I was just going to transfer the whole thing over despite any losses before they assessed the penalties. You do what you’ve gotta do, right?

Oh, no, that’s not how Indiana works! They immediately assess a 10% penalty. Then they charge you anywhere from 5-10% on the remaining balance until it’s paid off. So, if I owe $2200 they’re going to charge me $220 right off the top. Then if my balance is $2000 after I pay $200 (because remember, I’m poor and don’t have hundreds to pay towards taxes) each month while I wait to transfer my 401k over I’m charged another $200! And $180 the next month. And $160 the next. Assuming, of course, that’s what Indiana lets me pay. I was told they set the payments so who knows? I could have been totally screwed.

Then, once I finally transfer the 401k over, losing over $10,000 in the process, I’m AGAIN given a fucking 10% penalty to pay the damn remaining balance.

I don’t know what kind of free programs I’m eligible for but I swear I’m going to hunt them all down and use every fucking one of them! I’m getting my goddamn $2200 worth from this fucking state.

Thankfully I did not have to do any of that and the issue has been resolved, although I still need to come up with $2200.

Speaking of my 401k, my financial guy got a little excited because the price had gone up $3/share. Then it fell back down again. Awesome!

How did I marry such a fucking dumbass? Why was I such a fucking dumbass? I should have looked at the portfolio. I should have realized he was an utter moron who had sunk 47% of his retirement into the goddamn company stock. I could have transferred it then and been sitting on $87-88,000, instead of $75,000. Once again, I have to do all the fucking work.

I do finally have an account set up so if it ever goes back up I can just call and have it transferred. Hell, who am I kidding? At some point I’m sure I’m going to have to bite the bullet, take a huge loss, and transfer it so that I can live.

As for the state garnishing him… I haven’t heard anything from them. I’m supposed to receive an affidavit once Virginia responds to them, detailing all the money he has sent me. In an ironic twist I do have a log of that very thing. Dates, check numbers, transfer dates for Zelle and Venmo. I’ll be ready.

I’m also told that once everything is in place with the state, which should be no later than the end of July (!) once (if) he gets a job they can automatically attach the garnishment; I don’t have to do this all over again.

Of course, if he chooses to never work again it does me no good. That $25,000 he owes me? Good-bye! Arrears? See ya later! Finally getting child support modified at a higher amount for Picasso? Don’t make me laugh!

I had a friend tell me the other day that I could always let it go and just not pursue the $25,000. Sure, I could. But why? That’s not just $25,000 for me. It’s money for my kids. It’s a way to pay off my car and my credit cards. It’s a way to pay for Rock Star’s college when he’s not paying what he should be. It’s a way for me to potentially buy a fucking house of my own! That’s something I don’t have and I will never have living on what I live on now. Nobody in their right mind is going to give me a mortgage when I have less than $200/month left after paying my bills; and even if they would, how in the hell would I ever pay that, much less the utilities, food, gas for my car, and so forth?

Additionally, it’s not like I’m rolling in money. See above. My 401k has taken a serious hit. I’m living on approximately $900 a month after bills. Oh wait! I adjusted my exemptions so I’m living on about $1100 a month. The fact that I’m able to actually feed my son during this time because I’m no longer paying maximum taxes means I’m going to get fucked up the ass at tax time next year. It’s a vicious cycle.

As for CF, I have no idea if he’s working or not. He doesn’t tell me anything. Why would he? He doesn’t feel like I deserve any answers. I get what I get and I don’t throw a fit.

He has sent his self modified child support twice now- March and April. In a surprise twist he sent $500, labeled as ex-spousal support, this month.

Like I said in the beginning, he’s sending just enough to keep his ass out of jail and to look good to a judge.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful. I told him he needed to send something and he has been. It’s fine for the present but I’m already thinking ahead to next semester’s bill. And Christmas. And birthdays.

It kills me that I can’t help them. I suppose August is when I’ll move my money over, take the hit, and then pull from it to pay for her education.

I realize the solution would seem to be finding a new job. Easier said than done, however. It seems I’m suited to be hired for extremely low paying jobs. $11 an hour or less? Oh, they are lining up to hire me! Anything that might actually pay a living wage? Yeah, I’m not really qualified. The high school dropout is qualified; but I’m not. The college student who is still in school is qualified; but I’m not. Pretty much everyone else is qualified but I’m not.

I finally interviewed for the job at the bank. It’s a job I’d heard about about eight-nine months into my tenure at the bank. It’s one of the few jobs that actually requires a Bachelor’s degree. Obviously, I didn’t get it. They have decided to “move ahead with other candidates.”

The other company I applied at hasn’t called. Either they’re not hiring or they decided I wasn’t qualified for an office job.

I was listening to someone a few weeks ago as he talked to someone at our table. He mentioned that he had his Master’s degree but no one would hire him because, as he put it, “My hair’s too white.”

I’m terrified that’s what will happen to me. It’s already happening. I know someone who got the exact same job I interviewed for at the bank. We were both tellers. Both had Bachelor’s. I had asked her once if it needed to be in Finance or Accounting. She said hers was in sports medicine. She started the new job one year to the day that she began at the bank as a teller. I interviewed for the job two years after I had been at the bank- one year as a teller and one year in Deposit Services. The biggest difference? Age. She’s in her twenties. I just turned 50.

Another person I knew at the bank had been working as a teller while she got her college degree. Upon graduating she somehow moved into Human Resources. Now, I have no idea how long she had been at the bank, or what her degree was in, but I do know she was offered a spot in that department once she got her degree, and it was because she got her degree. She was in her 30s.

I fear that’s what is going to happen regardless of what I try. I’ll go back and get a different degree (because apparently mine is useless and out dated), or I’ll get a Master’s, and no one will hire me. They’ll choose the bright eyed, bushy tailed 20 something because they’re new and fresh. I’m all old and used up.

I try really hard to count my blessings. It gets harder the longer CF is out of work. What I envision happening is that I will eventually have to take him back to court because he’s not paying what he should and I will have the privilege of paying those legal fees. He’ll choose that moment to ask for a modification, dating back to when he first lost his job. The judge will grant it because he granted him his modification the first time around when the jackass didn’t even bother to show up in court. So now not only am I getting less money- permanently- but also it’s retroactive. Then, because he’s already there and I’m already footing the bill, he’ll ask for a child support modification dating back to when Rock Star first graduated, seeing as how the state of Indiana is coming after him for the full amount. And he’ll get that, too.

Maybe not. Maybe the judge will not take pity upon him because he knows exactly the games he’s playing. Maybe he’ll be thinking, “I cut you a break the first time and I have come to regret that deeply.”  Who knows? You’re always rolling the dice whenever you go into court.

I wonder, too, if he’s ruined his reputation within the industry and that’s why he’s not able to find a job. I may dislike him intensely but he is good at what he does. He really is. At one point he was the Golden Boy where he worked. Maybe he really pissed them off by quitting eighteen months after he was given the plum assignment he asked for. Maybe they blacklisted him. Perhaps the corrugated industry is a lot more ruthless than I ever knew.

He has always had headhunters after him, as well, and I’m pretty sure he mentioned he had turned down other offers outside of the state while we were in court. I don’t understand why he’s not able to find a similar job. The one time he was without a job in the 20 years we were married he was working again within six weeks.

I was under the impression he was looking outside of Kentucky, but maybe not. If he isn’t that might be a good thing to know and bring to the court’s attention. It would be lovely to hear the judge remind him if he could drag his old family all around the country for twenty years then he can damn sure drag the new one around. Remaining in Kentucky is a luxury to which he is no longer entitled.

Let them suffer some consequences for the horrors they’ve visited upon others. Let Harley be in the position of having to choose between keeping her kids or living with her one true love. Let CF have to maintain a long distance relationship; I’m sure Harley will be faithful. He can fly or drive home every weekend so his whore can keep her kids. If they have to move out of their nice, new, big house and downsize so that they can also afford a cheap apartment for him during the week, oh well. God knows I’ve had to do plenty of shit I haven’t wanted to do.

Truly, despite my bitching and pouting I am trying to be grateful. I have a job, even if it’s a low paying job. At least I’m not going further into debt. I can at the very least pay my monthly bills. I have a place to sleep. I’m aware that not everyone has a parent who is willing or able to put them up. My mom even took in my kids and my dogs. OK, maybe the kids thing isn’t so incredible (Yeah, I’ll take you but those kids, my grandkids, have got to go!) but the dogs certainly are. My kids are relatively healthy (Rock Star might really have a hernia and I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to get her wisdom teeth removed at some point in the near future). My mom is healthy and alive. I have an amazing partner. He is a huge blessing even with all of the shit that has been heaped upon me by CF. And CF is actually paying something, as opposed to paying nothing, like he did the last time. How long that will last, I don’t know. But he’s paying right now which gives me a tiny amount of breathing room. I’ll feel a lot more grateful once he’s got a job and he’s paying what he should.

The Delusional Side Chick, Part 4

We are not together, but we are. I provide him support and honest advice as he determines the steps he needs to take to really get what he wants. He wants a family, and has done an incredible amount of things to work towards that goal.

I’m a vegetarian, but I eat meat. I can swim, but I can’t. We’re not together but we are. We fuck but we don’t fuck. I don’t really know what words mean…

He provides proof of action and transparency, and has now been living life through compromise, rather then control.

I’ve followed the heartbreaking story of him and his long term chick, and I can say, that to me, his break up with her, is also a break up for me and her. She was my secret too. She very much so, was a part of my life, but may never really know it. He kept her a secret, but I kept my suspicions of her a secret too.

Lucy, you and the long-term girlfriend did not “break up”. You’ve been fucking her boyfriend for years now and he’s finally left her, or so he says. Now you get to be the long-term girlfriend and he’ll find some other side chick. Stop trying to fool yourself. You always knew about her. You just didn’t care.

I hope my story as the “side chick” can help other women like her find their self worth.

Again I say, you are one delusional bitch, Lucy. How on earth do you think you banging her boyfriend has helped her find her self-worth?

Though she currently struggles to find ways to get him back, he has set his boundaries. He has stated his intentions with me to everyone but her, but I hope that he finds enough courage and respect for her, to come clean with her too.

<chuckle> He’s set his boundaries, all right. Don’t you find it a little strange that he’s stated his intentions towards you to everyone but her? I can believe I’m just an old, bitter, untrusting woman but what that tells me is he’s not ready to cut the cord with her. She is still useful to him.

I think that it’s important in this situation, to push past fears and really fight for what we want. I wanted the truth, and I got it. I wanted a best friend, and I got it, and in the end, when I want a relationship, whether it’s with him or someone else, I’ll have that too.

You wanted the truth but you probably never really got that. What little truth you did gain you only learned when he was caught. If he is your idea of a best friend you have no standards. As far as having a relationship with him if you want it, well, I’m sure he’ll fuck you, but you don’t control whether or not he decides to be in a relationship with you. You most certainly don’t control whether he’s faithful to you. With his track record I’d be wary. Then again you have the sparks so you’ll probably be okay. <eye roll>

I was willing to let him go, though it was painful for me, to seek what I really wanted, and when he wasn’t giving me what I deserved, I left. I wanted to help him, just as long as he was willing to accept my help.

Lucy, you were cleaning up beer bottles, washing dirty dishes and throwing away used condoms and sex toys. You knew he had a long-term girlfriend. You knew there were others. You pick me danced for years. You are not a shining example of what to do or how to stand up for yourself.

Just because some relationships are not a good match, does not mean that the people in those relationships, are inherently bad. In his relationship to her, she was an enabler, and he was the toxin. For him and I, I provided boundaries, and set the example that he realized that he wanted. He became honest, open, and though he felt fear, he was willing to learn how to ignore that fear to fight for what he wanted, using a voice that he didn’t realize was so powerful.

Or maybe his long-term girlfriend didn’t clean his apartment as well as you.

Not all disasters have a happy ending, but if this is the recipe to having one, then I’m willing to share it.

Please don’t. This is a dreadful recipe. There is nothing appealing about this.

…For all of the people who are willing to read through my not so well thought out story, I hope that this story can show that sometimes sacrifice can bring rewards, but sometimes those rewards aren’t something that the ones who sacrificed can really see. Here’s to hoping that in situations like mine, those of us who have sacrificed, at least get brownie points from karma.

Wait one damn second! You actually think you are going to get karma brownie points for your role in all of this? Only if those brownie points have Ex-Lax baked into them!

The Delusional Side Chick, Part 3

In the end, the feel good was always temporary, and a little less each time. I cleaned up the thousands of half empty two year old beer bottles, I happily put on gloves and picked up and threw out his spent condoms from his hundreds of past partners, I tossed a few hundred sex toys hidden in the coffee table, under his couch, in his beer cartons, and under his bed. I was not happy about the situation, but I was determined to make a positive impact on him during the short bursts of time that I had with him.

Who’s the enabler now, Lucy?

I wanted him to know what it was like to come home to his house, where there wasn’t a stench of dried cum, moldy beer, and dirty dishes soaking into the walls. I have my own house, and I know depression well. If I’m going to make an impact on anyone, I want above all, for it to be a good one. I know what struggle is like, and I did a lot of it to myself, but in my situations, when I was truly alone, I got myself out of it. I was the perfect antidote.

As much as you deride the long term girlfriend for being an enabler, from all that you’ve written you enabled him much more than she did. When you find yourself throwing out used condoms and tossing away sex toys… I don’t even have words for this. Everything you’ve accused the long-term girlfriend of you are guilty of yourself, multiplied by infinity.

You were not a positive example, or a “perfect antidote”. You were being used. You were the perfect appliance. You were the perfect whipping girl. You were just too delusional to see it. Because sparks.

As I helped him, his skin brightened up, he seemed happier, he told me he loved me, but the lying and cheating continued.

Imagine that!

I began to get fed up. Four months in, on our most recent decision to get back together, I got hard proof of the other women. I addressed the problem to him, showed him evidence that I knew everything, and provided him a safe space to come clean in.

Hard proof of other women? Girl, where have you been? You knew there were other women because he had a long-term girlfriend. Who the hell did you think he was using the sex toys on? Himself? Did he use a condom to masturbate?

Thankfully, you provided him a safe space in which to come clean. That’s the number one reason most liars don’t ‘fess up. Lack of a safe space. Maybe we should round them up and drop them off at fire stations. Then the truth could come pouring out like manna from Heaven.

The number two reason they don’t ‘fess up? They’re liars.

Though he became transparent and willing to compromise with me on most things, he still stood by his longest secret… the main girl.

Wow- he was transparent and willing to compromise on most things. Like, he was willing to tell you how much he could bench press or how he really felt about Grey’s Anatomy’s newest storyline, or if he really liked your pot roast, but he wasn’t quite willing to stop fucking other women? Gotta draw the line somewhere. He is positively opaque when it comes to the other women!

Lucy, she is not a secret. She never was. You admitted you knew about her but ignored her existence from the very beginning. She was his whipping girl, remember? You tried so hard to give her clues and get her to recognize her self-worth.

A week later I gave him one last chance to come clean, and he didn’t take it, so during that one night he spent with her, I walked in on him and her. I was respectful, got my things that I had purposely left at his house, calmly sat down next to her and told her about the other women, waved goodbye, and left.

Well aren’t you just a sweetheart! That’s so thoughtful of you to let her know about all the other women. I’m sure there was no hidden agenda.

He tried to make it work with the main girl, but she enabled him, so he began to cheat again. I went no contact again.

She enabled him so he cheated. You didn’t enable him (in your mind) and he still cheated. Maybe the problem isn’t her so much as it is him. And you, because you keep making excuses for him.

Then, to my surprise, he broke things off with her, he decided to work on himself, and realized that he no longer wanted to lead a life of risky promiscuity, and coping through vices.

I love a happy ending. <eye roll>

The Delusional Side Chick, Part 2

Our story, for the most part was a very beautiful one, when we met there were sparks that made everyone jealous. I think the best way to describe it was that it was more of a spiritual journey than anything. We both would enter into each other’s lives to trigger growth in each other, and we provided each other just enough support to help overcome. When the lesson was time to be tested, I’d leave.

Everyone was jealous of their sparks. <barf> It wasn’t infidelity. It was a spiritual journey. She’d enter his life, trigger a little growth (in his dick) and then leave when he wouldn’t commit.

There were issues that each of us needed to work through.

By issues you needed to work through, do you mean the fact that he was a lying cheater and you were the delusional side chick?

The main woman, or I guess the better word was the long term woman, was his enabler.

This is new information! You seem to be implying that the only thing that differentiates her from any of the other women, is the fact that she has put up with his shit the longest. She has been demoted from the “main woman” to simply the “long term woman”. And, she is an enabler as well! How dare she enable him to fuck her and you and a bevy of other women? That bitch! She should toss his ass out and make him settle down with you right now! You wouldn’t enable him, would you, Lucy? You’d stand up straight, look him straight in the eye and say, “It’s me or all those other bimbos. If you’re going to be fucking anything that moves I’m outta here!” Oh. Wait a minute…

He couldn’t make up his mind and follow through with it. I sacrificed everything that I could have, to be with someone who would give me most of his time and energy, but not everything I deserved. He would spend six days out of seven with me, and one with her.

Oh Lucy, it’s not that he couldn’t make up his mind and follow through. It’s that he really likes having a pussy smorgasbord. Long term girlfriend puts up with his shit. You put up with his shit. By the sounds of it a lot of other women put up with his shit, too. This works for him, Lucy.

Not to be picky but if he’s spending six out of seven days with you, wouldn’t that make you the main chick that he’s cheating on with her? It sounds like maybe you’re enabling him…

It broke my heart what he was doing to her, because I was used and abused before. I was married before, and had been lied to and cheated on.

Then why in the hell would you do that to another person? If it truly broke your heart you would stop what you were doing. You would refuse to participate. You would remove yourself from this equation.

I would throw her hints and clues, but she’d reject me every single time.

What do I have to do to let this pathetic woman know I’m fucking her boyfriend? Why will she not take a hint?

He’d brush me off as his stalker, but I was going to do my best. I was determined to both help her find her self worth, and help him find his true voice. I sacrificed my own like a martyr and only focused on what I had to give me the strength to pull through.

As the mobster would say, “Oh my head!” Lucy, when the man you are fighting for tells people you are a stalker that is a huge red flag that he is not a good person; he is not relationship material. Run, you dumb bitch!

Would Lucy ever really take my advice? Anyone’s advice? No. She’s going to play couples therapist. She’s going to help the woman he’s cheating on with her to find her self-worth. Something tells me her self-worth is tied up in leaving the man Lucy is fighting for so that Lucy can have him all to herself. I don’t know what she thinks she’s going to do for him, unless by “finding his true voice” she means, “help him realize he loves me, me, only me!”

You are not a martyr, Lucy. You are a shameless side chick, doing your best to break this dysfunctional couple up so that you can live happily ever after with the cheater. Whatever you’ve sacrificed, you’ve chosen to sacrifice.

When we were together, he’d talk to other women besides us. He’d give them an hour conversation here, a meet up there, and some pretty pictures to look at. He’d kiss them, and in the very beginning, or the first year and a half, he’d have sex with them. He liked the attention and couldn’t say no.

Just to be clear, this charming Romeo that you are fighting for is not only cheating on his girlfriend with you, but also “cheats” on you with other women? He kisses them and flirts with them and sends them pictures? And this is the guy you think you’re destined to be with? He sounds amazing!

I was just happy to have someone who was so similar to me, to share little bits of my life with. Though he’d make promises to me in the long term, I’d brush everything off, and wonder when I’d truly get fed up with the games. I had suspicions that there was truth to my intuitions, but I always struggled every time I left because I always wanted hard proof.

You’re a lying cheater who fucks everything that moves, too? You two seem to be a perfect match.

Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps his girlfriend had all those same suspicions and all those same hopes as you did?

I believe in monogamy, I believe in dedication, and a love that people are willing to fight for, so that’s what I showed him.

How can you say you believe in monogamy with a straight face when this entire time you’ve been fucking around with someone else’s partner?

He struggled with depression, and addiction to vices. Instead of taking care of himself he would turn to his vices in order to feel better.

Bravo, Lucy. I can understand why you are pick me dancing so damn hard.

Yes, yes! He’s a liar and a cheater, but wait- that’s not all! He’s an addict, too! For the low, low price of your dignity and self-worth this amazing man can be yours. Not all yours, but yours. Must be willing to dance real pretty and as long as it takes to prove your loyalty (and stupidity).

You’ve got the sacred trifecta, Lucy- liar, cheater, addict. Nothing can derail this blessed union.

The Delusional Side Chick, Part 1

I came across a blog post entitled, “I Was the ‘Side Chick’”. The short version is this: I was the side chick. He had a long-term girlfriend that he cheated on all the time. I can’t believe she let him get away with that. She knew and she did nothing! Have some respect, woman! But me- I knew what I was getting into. I was the side chick and I was special. Even when he was fucking other women besides the long-term girlfriend. Eventually I won him. Yea me!

Let’s dig in, shall we?

My phrase was, “It doesn’t matter what he does with the other women; all that matters is what he does with me.”

How is that any different from the long-term girlfriend’s thinking?

I knew about her, but I didn’t. He was really bad at hiding her, and I could see all the signs. He’d lie about her, and he’d lie about him, and he lied about them, and he kept us a secret to most.

He did not like them on a train. He did not like them in the rain. He did not like them in a house. He did not like them with a mouse. He did not like green eggs and ham. He did not like them, Sam I Am!

So which is it, Delusional? Can I call you Lucy for short? You knew about her but you didn’t know about her. If you know about her then you know about her and there’s no not knowing about her. I think the phrase you were looking for is, “I knew about her but I didn’t care.”

She was the long-term girlfriend that he couldn’t break up with. She enabled his bad habits and never asked questions. She didn’t want to know. She had been with him almost two years.

Are you sure she knew, Lucy? Maybe, like you, she knew but she didn’t know. Maybe he lied about you and lied about him and then lied about the two of you and kept you a secret from her.

She was the long-term girlfriend he couldn’t break up with? Maybe the correct terminology would be he didn’t want to break up with her. Because all that enabling his bad habits and never asking questions worked for him. I’m sure it drove you nuts, Lucy. What is wrong with that woman? Can’t she tell I’m fucking her boyfriend? When is she ever going to get fed up and leave him so I can take that handsome, lying, cheating dreamboat off her hands? I’m equally sure he loved it. So many kibbles!

kibbles-234x300

I met his friends and family, and was a major part of his life. I welcomed him into my family, and eagerly showed him all that I was willing to show, about who I really am.

Wait a minute! I thought he kept you a secret to most. Now you’re telling us he introduced you to friends and family and that you were a major part of his life. Hmmm…. I’m intrigued.

It also seems that the long-term girlfriend was not the only one burying her head in the sand.

He had been cheating on her from the start, and that’s what helped him convince me that he was single. She made herself into his whipping girl and I wasn’t okay with that. She was beautiful, and she had potential, but she didn’t fight for herself.

Hold up, Lucy. Are you saying that because he had been cheating on her from the very beginning that you felt it was okay for you to try to claim him as your very own? Or are you saying that because he had never been faithful a day in his life he was awesome at lying and making you believe things that weren’t the truth? Wow- you have a major winner there!

You have no idea what this girl made herself into you. You have the word of a liar. It’s also presumptuous of you to talk about how you weren’t okay with that while you continue to cheat with him. I’m sure she values your critique of her; she must be positively giddy that her boyfriend’s side chick thinks she has potential. You are a delusional cunt, Lucy.

Him and I, we had an off again, on again type of relationship, as I struggled to teach him how to leave. I would go no contact and give him space. Once, we broke up for almost a year.

Sounds to me like Lucy was doing the ol’ pick me dance. She “struggled to teach him how to leave” so that he could be hers and hers alone. For the love of God, why are you still with that beautiful woman filled with pacifist potential? Don’t you see what a prize I am? Don’t you want to be with me all of the time? Forever? Please pick me! Oh fine! If you’re going to continue to use her as your whipping girl, instead of me, then we’re over! I’ve blocked you on social media! I’ve blocked your number on my phone. No texts. No calls. You’ll be sorry!

Co-Parenting: Another Approach

I learned my lesson, people. The last time I saw someone give what I thought could be potentially harmful co-parenting advice I titled it, More Bad Advice. This time I shall label it, “Another Approach”. Perhaps people will not call for my head this time around. I’m also not going to link to the article this time so that should help as well.

Tip #1

The relationship is over. It is not your job to “ruin” the life of your ex. Please refrain from gossip that may harm the image of your child’s other parent. Remember that is still their parent and you chose them. Taking the high road, especially when you’ve been handed the short end of the stick, will go a long way in establishing a dynamic that is good for all parties.

First of all, who has said anything about ruining another person’s life? If by “ruining” you mean “imposing consequences” then I’m all for it! Sometimes the grass isn’t always greener. Sometimes when you act like a jackass people aren’t willing to help you out.

As far as gossiping goes I do my best to follow Chump Lady’s lead. I report the facts. I do not editorialize. If the facts lead others to believe you’re a shitty person… what can I say? If you wanted people to speak more kindly about it perhaps you should have acted better.

I always find it remarkable that the person who is shit on is the one being given the advice. Hey, even if your partner has completely fucked you over, take the high road. That’s what good people do. You want people to think you’re a good person, don’t you? Do you want people to think you’re bitter and angry? Then you’d better smile and be willing to work with fuckwits. Otherwise everyone is going to know you’re a horrible person who deserved whatever injustice you’ve been dealt.

Tip #2

When you start dating, vet your dates. If a person shows major signs of distrust or envy when it comes to your ex, they may not be mature enough to handle a healthy dynamic. For example, if they cringe at the thought of the two of you going to an event to support your in common child, sincerely take that as a red flag.

Vet your dates? Are there a lot of people out there who don’t do this naturally? Oh him? He was my prison pen pal. I’m sure he’ll be great around my kids. Sure, I had a little bit of a setback with that hitchhiker I picked up last summer… Like I knew he had a head in the duffel bag! But this guy is different. He wasn’t even in on murder. And he’s innocent! It was all a big conspiracy! He was framed! 

All snark aside, I think this can actually be very good advice. If your new partner becomes a green eyed monster whenever you and the ex need to have a conversation about your shared child, or throws a fit if you say hello when you bump into one another at a kid’s event, you probably need to examine that. This is probably not a good pick for a future partner, especially if you have young children and will need to co-parent for a while.

Similarly, I would be leery of the exes that do everything together. If you, new partner, think it’s weird for them to go to brunch every Sunday to discuss little Sydney, or think it’s unnecessary for them to co-chair the big spring carnival, or wonder why they still go to the movies together, this might not be a good relationship for you. They seem a little too entwined to me.

With that said, if you decide you want to act like one big happy, polygamous family, good for you! I won’t fault you for that. I, however, do not wish to hang out with the ex at every event. I prefer cordial when necessary. Not buddies. Not spending vacations together. No hanging out. Then again, that’s my line. You are certainly free to draw a different one.

Tip #3

When separating from the ex you share children with, you should consider it your job to assist when possible the betterment of that ex. What’s that mean? If you learn about an opportunity they could benefit from like a job, let them know about it. Or maybe you were their transportation before the break and they still need you to maintain employment, just do it. For as long as you can. And give a warning before you cease. Be the bigger person. Your kids are watching.

Give me a break! It is not your job to assist them. That stopped being your job when the relationship ended. How crazy would it be if we quit an actual job and people continued to tell us it would behoove us to continue to do that job? Listen, Gloria, I know you quit your job at the bank but don’t you think you owe it to us to come in and assist our customers? If you don’t do it, who will? Here. Just sit down right here at this desk. Turn on that computer. Maybe throw a loan or two together. Open up an account. You owe us that much. It’s your job to do your job that you quit. What kind of a person are you? Are you a quitter, Gloria? Are you?  A little warning that you weren’t going to continue to do this after you left the bank would have been nice.

You want a warning that I’m no longer going to continue to do things for you? Here’s your warning- I’m divorcing you!

Jesus Christ on crutches! It reminds me of Jackass and him asking me if we were still going to have spaghetti for dinner after I told him I knew he was fucking Harley. Gee whiz! I can’t think of a single reason I wouldn’t want to. Oh yes, except for that whole, “You’re fucking a whore!” thing. That makes me not want to cook for you anymore. FYI: Spoiler alert! I won’t be doing your laundry anymore either.

And always with the ominous warning: Your kids are watching!  Oh no! You mean my kids might actually see me standing up for myself? They might actually see me refuse to take any more shit? How awful! My God, they may not grow up to be co-dependent people; they might actually develop a backbone.

Generally I try to be open minded. I try very hard not to tell people what to do. But I’m begging you. Please, please don’t take this awful advice and continue to prop up someone who shits all over you. It is NOT YOUR JOB! Why? Because this person FIRED YOU FROM YOUR JOB! That’s why!

With that said if you were the asshole then I suppose it’s fine to continue to help out. Perhaps it will ease your guilty conscience.

The author goes on to say that she knows some of these examples are far fetched but implores the reader to hear her out. Too often when we split we want to make sure life is not better for our ex’s without us. It’s true. We all like to think we are the best thing that has ever happened to anybody we’ve come in contact with.

Eh. I don’t think CF deserves to have a wonderful life after what he’s done to me and our kids. I think the life he’s living is far better than the life he deserves. I definitely don’t think it’s my job to make sure his life hums along and that he has everything he wants. I owe him nothing. And quite honestly, I don’t have to do anything to make his life miserable. He’s done a fine job all on his own.

Instead, she wants us to get to what’s important. The children. Apparently, if you speak negatively about the other parent that is going to trickle down onto the child and damage their fragile psyche. If Mommy’s a bitch that must mean I’m a bitch. If Daddy’s an asshole, then I must be an asshole. Or so goes the conventional wisdom. The author points out that even if what you are saying are all facts you shouldn’t speak them because you could traumatize your children with that information.

I say, once again, if learning the facts about what you are doing would traumatize your children then YOUR BEHAVIOR is what is wrong. You can’t argue that cheating is okay or beating your partner is okay or gambling away your paycheck is okay or whatever behavior is okay, but actually telling your kids the truth about that behavior is traumatizing and never right. No, no. If it’s okay to do it then it’s okay to talk about it.

She goes on to tell a fun little story about her ex never paying child support. The man was $22k behind. Hmmm…. sounds familiar. Due to circumstances beyond her control he still wound up in front of a judge who was only too willing to throw him in jail for failure to pay. But Your Honor, this is a man who, despite being a deadbeat, sees his children every chance he had and his children appreciate that. His presence is so much more important than the money it takes to raise them. She decided to withdraw her petition for support and forfeited the past due amount. She didn’t want to be left having to explain why dear ol’ daddy had to “go away” for a year.

You know what? Good for her if she can forgive that debt and be completely fine without his financial help. Not everybody can, though. I sure as hell can’t say, “Hey, Cousinfucker, don’t worry about support. I’ll forgive it all. We’ll make it work on my hefty $28,000/year. I love the fact that I don’t make enough to have a home of my own. I enjoy sleeping on the couch. You and the whore take your combined $180,000 and go have yourselves a real fun time. You deserve it!”

Something tells me, though, that this woman always worked. She wasn’t a stay at home mom who followed her husband across the country. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out she had been the primary breadwinner. I would also be willing to bet that if she wasn’t the primary breadwinner, that she at least made close to, if not equal to, what the father of her kids made. God bless those who are able to support their kids on their own. Sadly, not all of us can. And if you’re one of those who can’t you shouldn’t be made to feel as though you’re doing something wrong by insisting upon child support being paid.

I would LOVE to find a job paying me $60-$80,000 a year. I would LOVE to be able to tell Cousinfucker to fuck off, that I don’t need his goddamn money and he will NEVER be able to influence my life again. Alas, I doubt that will ever happen so I do the only other thing I can. I hold his feet to the fire. If necessary, I’ll throw his ass in jail.

What would I tell my kids if their dad went away for a year? Well, for starters it wouldn’t be a big change. But even if it were they are old enough that I would simply tell them the truth. Your dad owes thousands in back child support. The state takes his obligation to support his children seriously. He’s going to jail for a year as a consequence for not paying his child support, just like he could go to jail if he had been caught driving drunk or if he robbed a store. Honestly, I think that explanation is simple enough even for a young child. But if you think that’s too complicated try this: You know how when you do something you’re not supposed to, or I tell you to do something and you don’t do it so then you have to go to time out? When adults do things they’re not supposed to, or don’t do things they are supposed to they have consequences, too. Daddy’s going to an adult time out. We call it jail.

She goes on to say that the look on the judge’s and sheriff’s faces made it all worth it because they thought of him as cheap labor. That wasn’t going to happen on HER watch. He was her kid’s hero. I need them to see him as SUPERMAN. Really? A deadbeat is their hero? A man who leaves their mother to not only physically take care of them but also financially bear the entire burden? That is one awesome example.

She ends it by saying she needs her kids to know that both of their parents love them, emphasis on both. She wants them to have another person to run to if she’s not available. I need them to receive all the love God has made for them, even if it comes from their dad’s new love. She is in my place when I’m not there so she is important and is to be respected. She is important because she is there to enhance his happiness so we need her on board with the co-parenting dynamic so she doesn’t disrupt the flow of things.

Oh. Hell. No. For the record, I have no objection to them running to the other parent; however, the “new love” is not my replacement. She is not “the momma of the house”. She is not their momma. Period. She can be pleasant. She can be nice. She can take them to the movies. Hell, my wallet would appreciate it if she would take my daughter shopping. But she does not take over as momma. Even when I’m not there. Even when I’m dead she will not be momma.

Plus, I thought it was important to vet your dating partners. Why is her participation necessary for their co-parenting dynamic? How can she disrupt the flow of things? It is my belief that the other parent might be a little less than stellar if she has that much influence. Then again the man didn’t believe in paying child support so…

Also, she advises that you never be envious of the new love because “he/she is your ex for a reason.”

Sometimes that reason is because your ex is a lying cheater who tries to skirt child support. Sometimes that “new love” is the whore that knowingly fucked your then partner with absolutely no regard for you or your children.

She does wisely advise those who are dealing with a physically abusive person not to try to follow along with this. I think it should go even further.

You are not a failure as a person or a parent if you do not have the blended, happy model that is portrayed on television comedies. You are not a horrible person if you don’t want to pose for “divorce selfies” (dear sweet baby Jesus, yes, that’s a thing) on the courthouse steps. You do NOT need to get together with your ex and the new love to discuss “your” children. You no longer need to behave as your ex’s secretary; it is not a failing to say, “No more.” Your kids will be fine if Mommy and Daddy don’t vacation together or spend the holidays together. You don’t need to fool the world into believing you’re still a happily married couple even after you’ve divorced. You can have your own schedule, parent your own way, have your own set of cleats or tennis rackets or school uniforms and learn to rely on a new support system. That’s all fine if that’s what you want. Hell, I would encourage it.

I’ve also said many times that if being cooperative works in your situation then excellent. I’m happy for you and would never try to talk you into being uncooperative just for the sake of screwing with your ex. HOWEVER, what the author preaches is not the gold standard for co-parenting. Sometimes it’s just not going to work. Sometimes you are co-parenting with a person who does not have your best interest at heart and certainly doesn’t have the kids’ best interests at heart. Sometimes you are dealing with a person who hates you more than they love their kids. And sometimes you’re dealing with a person who just doesn’t care and doesn’t place a priority on their kids. Figure out if you’re in one of those situations and take it from there.

You do not need to act like a doormat in order to co-parent. I would argue that modeling such behavior is actually harmful to your children. You teach them to let people walk all over them. You teach them their needs are not important. You teach them that pleasing others is so much more important than anything else- like standing up for yourself or your principles, or demanding what is rightfully yours.

Remember, cooperation and civility are nice bonuses, but they aren’t necessary in order to raise some damn fine children. If you are willing and able to do that with your ex, good for you. But if you’re dealing with a toxic person there is no shame in walking away and letting them pick up their own mess.

Oops, He Fucked Me Again

Can this man never stop fucking with me? Seriously.

I left off with me talking to my mom’s financial advisor. What he suggested was moving the 401k over to an IRA and then taking small monthly amounts of cash from that. Like an allowance. Yes, it would add to my income and I would have to pay taxes, but it wouldn’t hurt me the way taking a big lump sum would, especially if CF gets a new job soon. Additionally, he assured me that even if I was taking some money from it I should be safe from touching the principle and should still be able to grow the money that was already there.

Next step is to actually do that. I’m trying very hard to locate letters that might give me a password or something so that I can get online and start this process. In doing so I open a few of the statements that I’ve received since being awarded my portion of the 401k. I never bothered to look at them because I wasn’t planning on touching the money for another 20 years. Or at least another 15-18 years.

My 401k has lost $13,000 in the last quarter. $13,000! How in the hell did this happen, I wonder?

I’ll tell you. Upon closely examining the statements I discover that Boy Genius had 47% of his 401k tied up into his company’s stock. 47%! Who the fuck does that?

If you’re getting paid mostly in stock shares I suppose it wouldn’t much matter. Oh, my bonus is only $20 million instead of $35 million. Whatever shall I do?

Everyone else needs to diversify!

Now I wait. The stock was at a high of approximately $125 and toppled to $83. It’s already risen back up to approximately $100. Analysts seem to believe it should reach $107 within a year. Hell, I’ve got plenty of time. It’s not like I’m short on cash or anything.

I wait until it climbs to a number I’m comfortable with and am willing to sell, knowing I will lose money. The hope is that whatever the remaining money is invested in will recoup that loss.

I wait to see if he sends me another $900 this month, or if he’s stretched too thin paying for something for the new family. If he doesn’t I’m back to needing a second job, or living on approximately $200 a month.

I wait knowing I have taxes to pay, that Rock Star’s car needs brake pads (or something like that), that the fee to break her contract will be due in a few months, that Picasso will once again have to stop cello lessons, and that I’m dead broke.

Labels and Real Life

I was reading the other day and saw it posited that labels were unhealthy and harmful. We shouldn’t label people, so the theory goes, because it limits them. They are essentially reduced to that label. People especially don’t like the label, “cheater.” Some feel it diminishes that person, as though that’s all they are. More importantly, how can you effectively reconcile if you label your spouse that way?

Yes, because that’s the overall goal. We all want to get back together with that dreamboat.

Aren’t they a cheater, though? It seems to me that if they cheat on you, then they’re a cheater. You can call this acts of exuberant defiance if it makes you happy, but it’s just playing with words. Would it be easier if they were called adulterers? They committed adultery, therefore, they are adulterers. Is that too harsh as well? Do we pussy foot around with other labels?

If someone asked you to describe Michael Phelps you would probably say something along the lines of, “He’s a swimmer,” or, “He’s an Olympic athlete.” Is he more than that? I’m sure he is. But that’s what he’s predominantly known for.

If you saw your co-worker, Larry, beat the crap out of his wife would you call him a wife beater or an abuser, or would you focus instead on his other qualities? Sure, ol’ Larry beats his wife but I wouldn’t call him a wife beater. He is one hell of a dart thrower and he really knows his way around a grill. Let’s not focus on the negative.

Is “cheater” the only label that is detested? Is it okay to label a person who likes to have sex with little kids a pedophile? If someone breaks into your home and robs you can we label that person a thief? How about murderer? Rapist? Drunk driver? Child abuser? Embezzler?

Are all of those labels bad? Should we be looking beyond the rudimentary surface? Or do labels sometimes tell us exactly what we need to know?

I’ve told this story before. Shortly before I got married, way back in 1994, my future mother-in-law was not loving her job. She decided that she was going to pull out her retirement and hand it over to her brother-in-law and they were going to go into business together.

People begged her to reconsider. They pointed out that her brother-in-law had been convicted for embezzlement. They didn’t trust him. They didn’t feel this was a wise move.

Now, maybe others would say, “Hey, give the guy a chance.” It’s not like once an embezzler, always an embezzler, right?

In this situation you would be wrong. She handed him her retirement money. He spent it while talking up their business and telling her how much progress was being made. Once the money was gone he informed her that they didn’t have any clients and he was getting a job; she should do the same. My former in-laws never recovered financially and they lost pretty much everything.

I’m sure some people would say that he wasn’t only an embezzler. I’d agree with that. I’d say he was a damn fine con artist as well. Certainly we are given the message that the cheater is more than just a cheater. How often are we admonished to not judge a relationship on one little, tiny mistake such as infidelity? That person you are harshly labeling a cheater is an onion. There are layers and layers to this person’s personality. He or she is so much more than just a cheater and you are being unduly harsh and unfair to only concentrate on that.

Funny follow up to the in-law story… Onion Boy ended up in jail. Again! If memory serves me correctly it had something to do with cars he was selling. I don’t remember if he was the actual salesman, or if he was a middle man, selling cars to dealerships. He may have been messing with the VIN numbers or something like that. Regardless, what he was doing was illegal and he was shady as fuck. Go right ahead and tell yourself he was much more than a guy who enjoyed fleecing people out of their money. He probably would have taken you to the cleaners with your Pollyanna attitude.

If you want to argue that a person is more than a label, especially if that label is “cheater”, that’s fine. I’m sure if you’re giving a person who betrayed you another chance there has to be something good about that person. I’m not saying they don’t have other delightful qualities. I would also never dream of telling someone that the “cheater” label is the most important thing about their spouse, or that that’s the only thing they should focus on. You can dress it up any way you want. You can ignore the behavior. You can convince yourself it was out of character or born out of toxic shame. You can believe with all your heart and soul that this “one” act is not the sum of who they are. That’s all fine. Not that you need my permission. That doesn’t mean the label isn’t accurate. It may not tell the whole story the way you’d like it told, or the way they’d like it told, but it tells a story. The reality is it did happen. The cheater may not be just a cheater, only a cheater, but they are indeed a cheater. Just like regardless of whatever good qualities he may have had Onion Boy was an embezzler, a thief, and a con artist.