One More Round Of Memes

It’s Monday! Last memes of the year from me. These are all winners. I promise.

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That’s just sound advice. 🙂

Funny story… I have a classmate who actually swam the English Channel. Of course he did. I thought it would be funny to have everyone say they climbed Mt. Everest, paddled down the Amazon, or some other feat at our class reunion.

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True story. I simply don’t trust many people that don’t like dogs.

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I love this woman! My poor mobster listens to a live version of this most mornings as I drive to work.

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That is what I tell Milo every day.

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I should have saved this one for Halloween but I couldn’t wait that long.

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Oh, such bad advice!

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Two Years Divorced

Two years ago today my kids and I were in Virginia with the mobster and his kids. I was out with him on his route when I got the call from my lawyer’s assistant letting me know I was no longer married to Jerry Lee. Hip hip hooray! The divorce papers had actually been signed the day before. December 28th, 2017 I became a divorced woman.

I was 48 years old, 2 months away from my 49th birthday, almost down to the exact day. I had been working at the bank for almost a year. I was finally up to a whooping eleven dollars and fifty cents an hour. Days prior to this I had received my first alimony check and my daughter had received her father’s poor-pitiful-me text, letting her know she should have a great Christmas because he had just paid alimony and child support and he would be paying me over $4600 a month for the rest of his life. He also took the time to tell her that I was every bit as bad as he was because the mobster wasn’t divorced and he hadn’t even filed yet! Plus, he was abusive. He knows that for a fact because he got it straight from his not-quite-the-ex- a lying, pill popping alcoholic who cheated on the mobster and left him for another man- the one with whom she promptly moved in after vacating the family home.

It’s been two years since that phone call. Not much has changed. I don’t have some fantastic career. I haven’t received an amazing promotion. I haven’t bought a cute house. I haven’t gone back to school (not that my original college degree has done much for me). I haven’t traveled to exotic locales or taken any kind of vacation with my kids in ages. The closest I’ve come to vacationing with my kids is going out to Utah for 4 days for a wedding eighteen months ago.

I still live with my mom. She does my laundry and most of the cooking. I suppose that’s a perk of living at home. It somewhat offsets the fact I have no actual room of my own, no place to put my own stuff. My polar bear collection continues to collect dust and will probably never see the light of day again. The thousands I spent on photography for my babies are tucked away under Picasso’s bed. I should just throw them away because I never see them and they’ll never grace my walls again.

I still sleep on the couch. Now that Rock Star is away at school I sleep in her bed when she’s gone and only have to sleep on the couch from May-August and on school breaks. That’s a turnaround from when I only had a bed to sleep in from January-March when my mom was in Florida.

I’m now making a huge impressive fourteen dollars and seventy-five cents an hour! That translates into an equally impressive $30,680/year. Of course, I’m also paying out over $200 a paycheck for insurance so I’m actually bringing home less than I was 2 years ago.

I was curious so I googled, “What percentage of the U.S. population makes $30k a year? Turns out I’m decidedly lower middle class now. I’m not even middle class anymore. I make less than half of the median household income. I’m in the bottom 25% of all households in the United States. I used to be in the top 8.5%. Only 19% of the population in my country makes less than me. Of course good ol’ Jerry Lee is right back up there. Between him and the whore they’re bringing home around $200k. Good to see shit floats upward.

To be fair though, that amount does not include any of the spousal or child support I receive. When you include that in I’m probably more in the $60-$70k per year range. Of course, that also changes depending on Jerry Lee’s mood. He pays what he wants, when he wants. I don’t feel comfortable basing any life decisions upon what he’s supposed to be paying me because he so rarely does what he’s supposed to do.

As far as Jerry Lee paying me almost five grand a month for the rest of his life… well, as you all know that ended six short months later and remains a legal headache to this day. He couldn’t slash child support in half fast enough, even if he wasn’t legally allowed to do so! He was so successful at doing whatever he wanted that he slashed spousal support this year.

That’s right. I got one full year (plus two months) of spousal support before Jerry Lee decided that was too much money and modified it on his own. It’s almost a year later and I’m still trying to rectify the situation. Currently he’s shorted me almost $11,000 this year.

I’m also still trying to collect the $25k in legal fees he owes me. Waiting to hear back from my lawyer. Supposedly they had a docket hearing on the 18th of December. I’m thinking my case didn’t get put on the docket because I can’t imagine I have a court date and they haven’t bothered to let me know.

I’m still with the mobster. He’s the one bright spot in all of this. For some odd reason he thinks I’m amazing. He makes me laugh. We meet up in exotic towns in Ohio. That’s a lie. There are no exotic towns in Ohio. Yet, we still manage to have fun when we’re together. He’s supportive and kind. He loves me. God only knows why. He’s still not divorced although he has definitely filed. She’s still crazy. And greedy.

To sum up, year two as a divorced woman is no different than year one. Only more hassles with the asshole I divorced. Hopefully 2020 will see him in a courtroom several times. I’m crossing my fingers that he will be ordered to pay me the 25k finally and that he will finally be garnished and won’t get away with his bullshit he’s pulled since June 2018.

More Monday Memes

Happy Monday, y’all! I’ve got a few more memes to brighten your day. It’s a good thing because I’m way too exhausted after the disaster that was my return trip to write. I also have way too many things to still do before Christmas Eve which is freaking tomorrow! I’ll catch you up on everything after Christmas. In the meantime have a few laughs, courtesy of me.

We’re going to start off strong and sassy. Yes, I’m probably going to Hell but I laughed and laughed at this first one.

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And because that wasn’t enough to send me  to Hell…

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A little advice…

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A little bit of stalking humor…

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A bit of disorderly conduct humor…

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Have another great Monday!

Christmas Memes

I thought you might enjoy these Christmas themed memes shortly before Christmas.

There has been a lot going on lately- finally transitioned over to my new desk, death in the family, and a trip to Virginia for said death. Nothing like going out of town a week before Christmas. Tomorrow is going to be crazy! Because of this you’re getting Christmas memes.

Maybe after the holidays things will settle down and I can write more.

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What Exactly Is Forgiveness?

There were a lot of good comments on my post about me becoming a publicist for bitterness and grudges. I decided I had way too much to say to respond individually so I decided to write a follow up post.

Maybe it’s a matter of semantics. Maybe it really is a different philosophy. What I do know is not forgiving does not equal holding onto anger.  It does not equal hating that person. It does not equal refusing to accept your new reality, or refusing to accept that this person will never be who or what you thought they were, or wanted them to be. It does not equal seeking vengeance. At least not for me. It simply means I do not forgive that person for what they did. It means that what they did was so egregious that I am writing them off because it is pointless to try to mend this fractured relationship.

I can fully embrace Tracy Schorn’s philosophy. I no longer wish you dead; consider yourself forgiven. I’m also a big fan of the idea of reaching that blissful state of “Meh” where you simply don’t care about the person who hurt you one way or the other.

What does that mean for me and Jerry Lee? It means I’m not sitting around waiting for the karma bus to run his ass over. I don’t celebrate his failures and I don’t cheer on his successes. When his mother died it was a non-event. I didn’t feel horrible for him; I wasn’t torn up inside. I didn’t retreat to my bedroom and sob for our lost relationship and the fact that there would no longer be chances to make amends. I also didn’t kick up my heels and giggle with glee that he was going through a very painful moment. I didn’t give a toast and chant, “Ding dong the witch is dead!” or, “Ha ha, suck it, Jerry Lee! Karma’s a bitch!”

It means that when The Saint told me he was still sleeping with Harley, had in fact fucked her soon after Jerry Lee left to come back “home”, I got a momentary feeling of satisfaction. But in the end I didn’t crow about it and I didn’t tell him about it. I knew it was pointless. Jerry Lee wouldn’t have believed that his beloved cousin would cheat on him with all the money he was throwing her way. They really really liked each other after all, and they were leaving their spouses to be with one another.

It means that every time I start to feel bitter and resentful about everything he’s put me through I remind myself of how blessed I am to be with the mobster and how that wouldn’t have been possible if he hadn’t cheated on me. It means I look at my kids and remind myself that I’m the lucky parent that gets to spend time with them and be a part of their lives. I remind myself that money didn’t buy happiness with him. I can adapt. I can persevere. I can overcome.

It means my life goes on every day without reading up on his, trying to figure out what he’s doing, where he’s going, what he’s bought, if he’s still with her.

My situation at present is a little more complicated because I’m still forced to deal with him. I’m still dependent upon him. When he’s living in a nice big house and claiming he can’t afford to pay what he’s supposed to for support, we have a problem. We are undoubtedly going back to court soon and there is also the matter of the garnishment. He’s going to be pissed about both of those and I’m sure there will be fallout. So, I’m not saying I’m 100% there right now as far as not knowing what goes on with him. I have to know certain things. I wish I didn’t. He’s never far from my mind because I’m always thinking about how I’m going to frame my case in court. Having to defend every move you make is exhausting. Having to second guess every decision is also exhausting. I’m exhausted a lot. 

Even with all of this that’s going on I wouldn’t say I hate him most of the time. Oh, there are definitely moments, especially when it involves my children. I will never not hate him when I see either of my children suffering because of his choices. It may be brief but it will always be there.

Most of the time, however, it is simply a fact. His stupidity is interwoven in my life. How do I resolve this problem he’s thrown my way? How do I juggle this? Oh, that was an interesting twist. He’s doing what? Jesus Christ on crutches, is he an idiot or what? Sigh and sigh again.

When I read about people forgiving others and they write about forgiving for their own peace of mind, or because they can’t carry that burden, or it becomes mentally exhausting I again wonder if we are simply talking about the same thing using different phrases.

For me forgiving someone requires action on my part. It’s not deciding to let something go, choosing not to hate that person, or being okay with what happened. It’s not passive. It requires something more than simply saying, “I forgive you,” whether it’s actually said to the person or to yourself.

In my situation with Jerry Lee I could say, “I forgive you.” I’ve said before I think he would be offended by that. He doesn’t believe he’s done anything wrong. He believes he is the victim and I am the bad guy. Nevertheless, let’s pretend we’ve crossed that hurdle. I say I forgive him. What does that mean?

Does it mean I drop this garnishment case against him? Does it mean I stop going after the legal fees he owes me? Do I start lying to my kids and tell them how wonderful he is and how much he loves them and how they should cut him some slack because it’s difficult to merge two families? How much action on my part does this forgiveness take? Am I now supposed to be happy for him and Harley? Wish them the best? Hope for only good things for them? Do I offer to do things for them or is it enough to be willing to take on all the blame? Do we all go out together for dinner? Do we spend the holidays together? Am I just saying the words or do I need to do something?

For some when they talk of forgiveness I get the sense that it means they no longer dwell on what happened; they are choosing to let it go. “We’ll no longer talk of this. It is in the past.” Maybe, “I will no longer think about these things; I will not let any of this invade my day to day life. I won’t let it ruin my future.” Maybe for some it’s a matter of telling themselves, “This person is the way they are. I can’t change that and I accept them with all their limitations.”

Or, they verbalize this forgiveness and yet there is no subsequent relationship with that person. “I forgive you. I don’t wish to have dinner with you. I don’t want to run errands for you. I don’t want to see you ever again. But I forgive you.”

Again, for me, forgiving requires action. It requires more than saying the words: I. Forgive. You.

Back in February of 2015 during the time that Jerry Lee was in the psych ward I was on the phone with Tammy Faye. At one point she told me I needed to forgive him if we were ever going to truly move forward. I remember telling her that I had forgiven him. I reminded her I had moved across the damn country for him. I (stupidly) voluntarily moved six hours away from his mistress instead of insisting we remain a safe 25 or 26 hours away from her. I put his happiness and his wants ahead of mine and ahead of my kids.

To me, that is forgiveness. I didn’t just say the words. I took actions that showed I forgave him. I did things that weren’t in my best interest and weren’t in my kids’ best interests, all to demonstrate my forgiveness and my investment in our relationship. It cost me dearly.

If you’ll indulge me I’ll give you another example of what I consider to be the difference between forgiving and not forgiving and how that “not forgiving” looks.

Many, many years ago when I was a young, stupid 21 year old I came home for the summer and began dating a guy. We’ll call him Dick, mainly because in real life that’s what we ended up calling him.

We’d gone out for about a month when he decided he’d rather date one of my best friends. I preferred that he not dump me for one of my best friends. Truth be told I didn’t think I was madly in love with him, nor did I think we would end up married one day; nonetheless, I did not want him dating one of my best friends, especially if he was going to dump me in order to do so.

I let my feelings be known to my best friend and she swore she wouldn’t see him or get involved with him.

A few days later my other best friend and I asked her if she wanted to go out with us. She declined. I went into sleuth mode and we drove by his house to see if she was over there.

She was.

I was devastated. We went back to my house and I proceeded to stab the small stuffed cow she had bought me as I sobbed and cried in grief. I could not believe she would betray me like that. And to lie about it as well? It’s not like she could hide it from me.

Spoiler alert: He wasn’t a prince for her either. I don’t think they dated for more than a month or so, if that. He ended up telling her that his mother had died. She had not. My friend ended up running into her somehow. Shocked the crap out of her and definitely shed light on his character.

Along with the whole “dead mother” thing he had also told me he flew helicopters and he had his very own flight song, like in Top Gun. I told you I was young and dumb. He also said some horrible, horrible things about me and said some horrible things to me when discarding me for my best friend.

I stewed about their relationship and our broken friendship for most of the remaining summer. Thoughts of becoming an alcoholic crossed my mind. I’m not sure why. Thankfully I realized they wouldn’t care. The only person I would be hurting would be myself. Thoughts of planting drugs in his car and reporting him to the police crossed my mind as well. Thankfully I had no idea how to procure such drugs so that remained nothing but a fantasy. Plus, I probably would have been caught and thrown in jail myself.  I envisioned many times getting the chance to tell him off or to punch him in the face. My short story, Killing the Anti-Christ, is about him.

What does this have to do with forgiveness, you may be wondering. You sound like a whackadoodle, Sam, with all your planting drugs on people and killing them off. What can I say? I have a vivid imagination. And I’ve grown up a little bit since I was 21.

I forgave one of them. The other one I wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire.

That friend? Was Sweet J.

We were not on speaking terms for approximately two years. Maybe not quite that long. Life went on. I dated other guys. Dropped out of college for a semester. Took up running. Went back and graduated.

We had mutual friends. One of them got married and she (Sweet J) was the maid of honor at the wedding . We spoke then and were civil. We had to be. That was the beginning.

I found that I missed her; time had passed. Looking back on it it was easy to see that we were no longer friends over a guy that neither of us was with and neither one of us ever wanted to marry.  Oh, and did I mention he was evil?

I’m not exactly sure how it ever ended but when she got married 4 years after this all went down I was a reader at her wedding. She was a bridesmaid at mine six months later.

I was one of the first people she called when she found out she was pregnant. I went and visited her after she had her son. I checked up on her after she had her mental collapse. I was a shoulder to cry on when she was going through her divorce and all the difficulties leading up to it.

She called and checked on me repeatedly while I was going through my divorce. This last time when I thought he was no longer paying once again her reply was an immediate, “That sonofabitch!” Followed by telling me she wanted to find him, punch him in the balls and yell at him, “You know why!”

We go out dancing and we go out to dinner on a regular basis.

She has apologized for what she did, although it wasn’t necessary.

I have forgiven her. I haven’t just moved on from what happened. I forgave her and we rekindled our friendship.

Dick, on the other hand? I have not forgotten the cruel things he said and did. I have no use for him.

Sometime between finding out my husband was cheating on me in August of 2015 and moving in with my mom in July of 2016 I got a friend request on Facebook from him. I had to ask Sweet J if she remembered what his last name was because I thought it was him but I couldn’t remember his last name. That’s how little I think about him. I didn’t know for certain if that was him or not because I couldn’t remember his last name.

She confirmed it was him. I thanked her, declined the friend request and blocked him. End of story.

When people say they forgive because they can’t hang on to all that anger and rage I don’t understand what they’re talking about. I haven’t forgiven him for those things he said and did, but I’m certainly not expending any energy hating him either. Those days of plotting his demise are long over. I declined a friend request and blocked him so he wouldn’t taint my life ever again.

It’s been 29 years, 30 this summer, since everything happened. I forgave Sweet J after a period of time. We have a great friendship. I’m happy that we are still a part of each other’s lives because it would have been a shame to end a great friendship over a guy neither of us ended up with. I will never forgive Dick. I don’t feel one bit guilty about it. There’s not an ounce of hatred in my heart; there’s not even a flicker of anger. Aside from the 20-30 minutes I spent perusing his Facebook page, checking to see if there were any friends or pictures I recognized to suss out whether or not this was the person I thought it was I haven’t thought about him at all since that summer of 1990.

Truth be told there are a very limited number of people on my “enemies” list, as Jerry Lee would call it. My enemies list is not as nefarious as it sounds. The vast majority of the people on this list (and we’re talking maybe 8-10 people in a 50 year lifespan) don’t even register with me anymore. I probably still wouldn’t piss on them if they were on fire, but I don’t fantasize about setting them on fire either. I don’t think about them period. I don’t hate them. I don’t wish them dead. Even the three that do still register with me I don’t hate. I don’t wish them dead. I’m not fantasizing about some amazing revenge scheme.

Okay, I will confess that sometimes I fantasize about winning the lottery and buying Jerry Lee and Harley’s rental house and just imaging the look on their faces when I inform them that I’m their new landlord and they’re living in my house. As far as revenge fantasies go I think that’s pretty benign. I don’t even envision kicking them out.

So maybe it is a matter of semantics. Maybe when others say they forgive a person what they mean is they are no longer angry at that person. They no longer hate that person. They’re no longer plotting against him or her, regardless of whether the plots are based in reality or fantasy. Maybe they mean they no longer care what that person is doing. I don’t know.

What I do know is that when I say I don’t forgive a person it doesn’t mean I’m spending any amount of time on that person. It doesn’t mean I hate that person or that I’m angry with him or her still. It doesn’t mean I’m plotting against them or wish ill on them. It means, in the simplest terms, I don’t forgive them. Period. What they did is not okay with me. I don’t want to have a relationship with them. I don’t want to spend time with them. I might even go so far as to say I don’t think they are a good person.

I would like for them to go live their life and for them to leave me alone and let me go live my life. Don’t send me a Facebook friend request. Don’t tell me things can be civil. Don’t spread lies about me and expect me to act like that’s okay. Just go away.

I also know that when I do forgive a person I forgive them whole heartedly. I’m open to having a relationship with that person who has been forgiven. I am willing to do my best to get back to that point where we were before. I invest in the relationship. I am willing to demonstrate my forgiveness.

That’s the difference for me. Forgiveness is rekindling my friendship with Sweet J. Going out dancing on Friday or Saturday nights. Going to dinner. Exchanging Christmas gifts. Being a part of one another’s lives. Taking that 6 a.m. phone call when she thinks someone is following her and she wants someone on the phone with her as she walks out to her car. Looking at apartments with her when she got out of a bad relationship. Not forgiving is declining a friend request from Dick and then blocking him because I still don’t wish to have him in my life.

Monday Memes

Here’s a little something to make you laugh on Monday.

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Amazingly enough I can still do a cartwheel. Now a back walkover or the splits? No way.

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A little advice for men…

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Best. Parents. Ever.

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I hope at least one or two of these made you chuckle. Have a great day.

It’s a Partner Problem

I have to be careful about how I phrase this because I don’t want anyone coming away with the wrong idea. I’ve come to the conclusion, however painful, that ultimately when your partner cheats you don’t have an OW or OM problem. You’ve got a partner problem.

I don’t say this to excuse the person sleeping with your partner. It is absolutely wrong to be sleeping with another person’s spouse/partner. I do not feel as though they don’t owe us anything therefore they’ve done nothing wrong. I am not forgiving them for what they’ve done. I think it is horrendous. I think people like that are awful people who think of no one except themselves. With all of those disclaimers aside, you still have a partner problem.

All too often I read blogs where the OP is blamed for the affair: She knew he was married. He knew she was vulnerable. She went after him and wouldn’t stop until she got him. He took advantage of her. She wouldn’t stay away even after I begged her to. He refused to stop contacting her even though I told him how much it hurt my kids.

Yes, they suck. You still have a partner problem.

I hated Harley the first time I learned about her and Jerry Lee. My rage and anger was like a white hot laser focused on her. She was a whore. She enticed my husband. She was trying to take over my life.

Hell, there are marriage counselors who actually advise you save your anger for the OW/OM. Don’t rage at your spouse. It’s the other person’s fault, they will tell you. I don’t agree.

The reality is Jerry Lee bore all the responsibility. He could have ignored her and blocked her. He didn’t. She didn’t entice him. He was ready and willing; he was ripe for the picking. If it hadn’t been her, it could have easily been someone else. In fact, at one point it was. He did the same thing with Anne.

My husband is the one who let things go too far. My husband is the one who began an emotional affair with her back in 2013. He knew it was wrong. No one put a gun to his head. Yes, she absolutely played the victim and offered him something he was looking for. He was the one with the responsibility to stay the hell away. He was the one who never should have started things to begin with.

What I didn’t understand back then is that he was looking. She didn’t find him and lure him into her web. He went looking for her. For anyone really.

The second time around I didn’t give her a second thought. Oh sure, I still think she’s a whore and a horrible mother and a terrible human being. I think she’s selfish and mean, entitled, too. She’s a liar and a gold digger and a cheater herself. Truth of the matter is if I saw her trapped in a burning car I’d pull up a chair with a bag of marshmallows and make myself some S’mores. But she’s not my problem. He is, and ever since August 10th, 2015 I’ve held him responsible for everything that has happened.

You can chase off every admirer/predator. You can stick it out and wait for him (or her) to come to his (or her) senses and choose you. You can refuse to leave. You can maintain divorce is not an option. You are still with a person who has no problem cheating on you. If you want to blame it on toxic shame or poor coping skills or damage done from childhood trauma you are still with a person who’s coping mechanism is to have sex with other people.

It’s so very easy to say that if everyone would reject a married man/woman there would be no more cheating. You can maintain that it’s the other person’s fault because they should be moral enough to not sleep with your beloved. The fact remains, if your beloved is propositioning someone, it doesn’t matter if the other person accepts or rejects them. You’ve already got a problem. Just because Single Mom/Dad #1, or Lonely Gal/Guy #4 rejects your partner and refuses to have sex with them because they’re married doesn’t mean you’re now home free.

Whew! Thank God for people with morals!

No! You’re still partnered with a person who is looking to bed anything that moves. That is your problem. Not the nitwit that believes the lies. Not the whore that’s willing to spread her legs for anyone. Not the predator who takes advantage of every naive woman. Not the tramp that is out to steal your man. Or the Lothario that is out to steal your woman.

Your partner is the problem. As cliche as it may sound your partner is the one that made promises to you. Your partner is the one that is supposed to love you. Your partner is the one that is supposed to have your back. They’re not supposed to lie to you, or gaslight you, or betray you.

You can chase off every competitor and you are still with a person who has absolutely no intentions of being faithful. You are with a person who has no shame in blaming you for what happened. You are with a person who continues to lie to you, to be evasive, and to refuse to give you what you need.

Look, I hate it, too. And I’m not saying to not hate the other woman or man. Hate away!

I get it. It’s extremely hard to walk away from a long term relationship. I also know it’s so much easier to be angry at and hate the other woman or other man because so many times you don’t know them. You know your spouse/partner. You love that person. You want to forgive them. You want everything to go back to the way it was. So let’s just blame the other person and convince ourselves that if only they had done the honorable thing and stayed away your life would never have fallen apart.

What about when I do know the other person, Sam? What about when it’s a family member or a close friend? Well, I’ll be the first to say it’s a double betrayal and that person did owe you something. I’ll also say you still have a partner problem. Yes, your best friend or your sister should keep her fucking hands off of your husband. I don’t even understand being attracted to your friend’s partner; they’re like kryptonite to me. The other person in this case absolutely owed you loyalty; they were supposed to have your back. Your partner still betrayed you. They still took that step, knowing it was wrong and that it would hurt you. Yes, your best friend or relative should never have made moves on your partner, but your partner should have refused those advances. You’ve still got a partner problem. You’re with a person who has no problem cheating on you.

I will be the first to admit that I am much more jealous when it comes to the mobster and other women, than I ever was with Jerry Lee. Part of that may have to do with the fact that I’ve been cheated on. Part of that may have to do with the fact that the feelings I have for the mobster are so much more intense than what I felt for Jerry Lee and that I consider him to be the love of my life.

Even so, if another woman were to come on to him I fully expect him to handle it. I could threaten her. I could become unhinged. I could check his phone and spy on him. What does any of that accomplish? Absolutely nothing.

What would accomplish something? Him telling her he’s not interested. I expect nothing less than for him to tell her straight up: I’m not interested. Sam is the love of my life. I would never do anything that might mess that up. Leave me alone. And then him blocking all means of contact.

And I do mean all means of contact. None of this, “But we’re co-workers,” bullshit. None of this, “I can’t change my number because…”. No excuses. No keeping any kind of line of communication open. No testing the waters. No remaining friends because otherwise it would be awkward. No refusal to nip that shit in the bud because you don’t want to be seen as “mean”.

I firmly believe that in most of the cases of an affair partner doggedly pursuing someone else’s beloved, that the beloved wished to be pursued. Or at the very least enjoyed being pursued. Focusing on the fact that the affair partner pursued your partner allows you to ignore the fact that you have a partner problem. You have a partner that enjoys being pursued, flattered, etc. by others.

That’s why me chasing off any of the mobster’s admirers does nothing. Him letting it be known that he’s not interested and shutting that shit down? That speaks volumes. If he doesn’t tell her that he’s not interested and that her pursuit is not flattering, it’s offensive? If he continues to flirt or let her flirt with him? If he refuses to disengage or continues to go places he knows he’ll run into her? If he continues to take her calls or go to lunch with her or continues texting with her? Then as much as I may hate her, I have a partner problem.

A Toast

Today would have been my 25th wedding anniversary. I’m not bemoaning the fact that I’m no longer married to Jerry Lee, but it does seem that 25 years would have been quite the accomplishment.

I always used to like to tell the story of how I was almost late for my own wedding. The hair stylists were in absolutely no rush to get me, Jezebel, or my maid of honor done. They keep assuring me, “Don’t worry, honey. You’re the bride; they’re not going to start without you.”

Once we were finally finished my maid of honor and I were speeding down one of our main streets at about 75 miles per hour, trying to get to the church on time. We ran past guests arriving at the church.

On the plus side I didn’t have a lot of time to get nervous or emotional. It was pretty much get there, get dressed, walk down the aisle.

Despite how it all turned out December 10, 1994 was a pretty good day. I was young and thin. My entire life was ahead of me and it was filled with endless possibilities. Everything was good that day. Everything was untouched, unvarnished, unsullied. It was a joyous occasion.

Jennifer Ball of The Happy Hausfrau has a Facebook page as well. What would have been her 26th wedding anniversary was about 2 weeks ago. She wrote a brilliant post that day.

Today would have been my 26th wedding anniversary. And for a couple of seconds I thought about writing something. Something about could have beens and what ifs.

And then I said F THAT. I poured myself a glass of wine… and decided to make a toast.

Today I’m going to follow in her footsteps (minus the wine because it’s late and it will put me to sleep) and give a toast of my own.

This year, almost two years after being officially divorced and four years after having been discarded I’m raising my glass high.

I’m raising a glass to the fact that I have survived. I spent a lot of time crying and a lot of time wishing for death but I’m still here, stronger than ever. I have hated most of what I have gone through and the things I’ve had to do, the changes I’ve had to make, but I did it and I am stronger than he will ever be. He didn’t defeat me. Stupid little me who had been out of the workforce for 15 years and was dependent upon him filed for divorce and left his ass.

I’ve survived living under the same roof as him for six months after discovering what a lying, cheating asshole he was. I survived a divorce that went on for two years. I survived him not paying any kind of support at all for 10 months. I survived him slashing child support in half. I’ve survived him cutting spousal support down on his own as well. I’ve survived his slurs against me, him hacking into my Facebook account, him trying to turn my kids against me, and him harassing the mobster.

I’m raising a glass in my honor because I have continued to do the hard work of raising two children by myself.

There are a lot of people out there who will argue that if your ex pays support you’re not a single parent and you’re not doing it on your own. I’ll be the first to tell you that the money definitely helps. I’ll also be the first to tell you to shut your fucking mouth when you bring that shit around.

He sends money, when he wants and how much he wants. But he’s never the one leaving work and running down to the ER to be with a sick kid. He’s never available to leave work to take a kid that has missed his bus to school. He’s never there to talk to his kids. He’s never there to take them to a friend’s house or run them to the mall or to take them out to eat. He doesn’t pick his son up after his various clubs get out every night of the week. He’s not running to the store and picking up lunch supplies. He’s not the one they come to with their problems, their joys, their achievements.

Rock Star is almost through her first year and a half of college. She’s driven and smart and she’s going to be an incredible nurse one day in the very near future. Picasso is once again getting a D in math and somehow does not have an A in orchestra. Nevertheless, he’s a good kid. He’s funny and kind and despite his grades he is a very smart kid. One day I have high hopes he will get his driver’s license. When that day comes I will be here to celebrate with him; his father will not.

I’m raising a glass to myself because I have finally realized how toxic Jerry Lee was and how hollow our relationship was. I realize now how small I made my needs over the years of being married to him, and have resolved to never do that again. I have the absolute best partner a woman could ask for. I’m so lucky in that regard. I think that definitely deserves a toast.

For the first time ever I’m with someone who is happy. I’m with someone who makes me happy.  I’m with someone who thinks I’m amazing and can do all things. I’m with someone who is romantic and who enjoys pleasing me and making me happy. I’m with someone who appreciates the things I do for him as well. I’m with someone who laughs at my jokes and listens to me ramble on about everything- Candy Crush, bad traffic, stupid fast food restaurants that mess up my order, that guy on the bicycle who insists upon riding into traffic on a busy road with no bike lane. I’m with someone who let’s me vent and doesn’t expect me to be happy all the time or to never get upset or disappointed. He treats me like an actual person and not just an extension of himself or as a wife appliance. I’m real and I matter.

I’m raising a glass to myself because I’m back in the workforce for the first time in 15 years. My mom retired at age 52. I will have been working again for 5 years at that point. I’m starting over when others are at the pinnacle of their careers and/or looking forward to retirement. It’s not glamorous or fulfilling. It certainly doesn’t pay well. But I’m here. I’m doing it. Who knows? Maybe one day I will actually work a job that pays me enough to live on.

I’m raising a glass to myself because I don’t ever have to keep pick me dancing anymore. Those goal posts aren’t going to continue to move. I don’t have to feel like I’m never good enough or that I’m always a disappointment.

I’m raising a glass and giving a toast because I’m getting there. I’m getting to a place of acceptance. I’m letting go of my old life. I’m no longer mourning as intensely as I once did. I’m trying to see the positives. Like how I get to regularly see my oldest friends now that I’m no longer living hundreds of miles away. Like how both of my kids will graduate from my alma mater. Like how living with my mom isn’t a death sentence. There is definitely an upside to living with her and having three generations under one roof.

I’m raising a glass because I can finally look back on the many experiences I have had throughout my life and be grateful for them, even if they did end. I loved my life and friends in Olive Branch. I loved my life and friends in Utah. I even enjoyed my life in Michigan and Virginia. But those were just chapters, not the whole story. There will be more chapters. More adventures. Hopefully more friends.

I’m raising a glass to my dogs- Beau, Laila, and Milo. All three of them helped me get through those first few months when I found out my life was tumbling down. They slept with me in that big king size bed, making it seem a little cozier. They were all by side. Many a nights I would fall asleep in the recliner of our sectional with Milo on my lap, Beau right beside me, and Laila on the couch. I didn’t sleep a lot in those first few months- a few hours here, a nap there.

They watched me as I stomped on my cake topper and my wine glasses, as I smashed things to smithereens.They comforted me while I cried and calmed me down when I thought I was losing my mind. My sweet Beau Beau is no longer with us but I’m toasting him anyway.

I’m raising a glass to all my friends who supported me throughout this ordeal. So many people called and texted to check on me. I returned the favor and called and checked on those who were also going through the same hell. I’m forever grateful to those who cared and who to this day continue to check on me. I’m grateful for their anger on my behalf. I’m grateful to them for lifting me up and telling me how wonderful I am and how awful he is. I’m grateful to my favorite backyard neighbor who has faithfully done my taxes every year since I’ve been divorced (or at least trying to get divorced). I’m grateful for the two friends who sent me birthday flowers on my birthday from hell the year after I was forced to leave my house and move back to Indiana. I’m grateful for the friend who sent me a huge wine basket filled with wine and various snacks on my first single Valentine’s Day in 20 years. Those are the people in my tribe. Cheers to you!

I’m raising a glass to this blog as well. I love that I get to tell my story. I have a forum to say whatever I want. I can cut through all the bullshit that accompanies cheating and divorce and reconciliation. I actually have people who read this thing. Hell, this blog is how I met the mobster. Let’s do a double shot for that! Thank you to all of you who are reading.

Finally, I’m raising a glass to myself because I got rid of a lying cheater. I don’t have to wonder anymore if he’s still in contact with her. I don’t have to worry about triggers related to them. I don’t feel bad anymore about our relationship because it’s over. I don’t ever feel like I’m settling anymore. I don’t cry about our relationship. I am never hurt over his treatment of me. I never have to sit there and think, “How can he say he loves me and then turn around and do that?” I never have to feel like I’m wasting my life or wonder if it ever gets better. I’m free. I know it gets better. I know there is more out there. I have it now.

Cheers!

He Paid

I do a great job of ignoring his shit. but I’m human. I’m not proud of this but I lost it a little bit on Wednesday.

Rock Star texted me and asked if I could send her some money so she could buy groceries. This was four days after the end of the month when I was fairly certain he had found out I was taking him back to court and he was refusing to pay. I had just paid her rent on the 1st and given her about $35 extra, which I found out she used to buy gas to get back to school. The girl has taken out approximately $16,000 in student loans; she’s paying her entire tuition, all of her books, and has paid all of her rent up until this point. She works on her weekends home and on her breaks. I don’t want to put anything else on her; she’s already doing enough. Nevertheless, I was losing it.

My nest egg keeps getting smaller and smaller. Cello lesson here. Grocery money there. Dog grooming. Oil change. It never ends.

I sent her the money. It was only $25 but that’s what she asked for. I Venmo’d it to her and in the section that asks what’s it for I wrote: Food, because even when your ex refuses to pay his support your kids still need shit.

It was set to public because I don’t care if people read it and see what a shit he is. I want them to know when he’s being a deadbeat. Frankly, I hoped he would see it.

Oh, he saw it. I happened to notice a text message which said I had a comment on a Venmo story. Naturally, I thought it was added under my comment on Rock Star’s account. He had written back: Because sometimes the pay cycles are off and you happen to be 6 days off on paying. Grow up.

Then I realized his comment wasn’t attached to mine. He had actually sent a support payment. Holy shit! It’s a Christmas miracle!

Seriously? I’m expected to believe somehow his pay cycle is off by 6 days? I’ve got bad news for him. The court order states he’s supposed to pay in full on the 1st of the month, or he’s supposed to pay every other week. He does neither of those things. In fact, despite asking for the every other week payment schedule based upon his pay schedule, he has never paid every other week. He typically waits until the second half of the month and then he pays the entire balance over three payments.

I love how he conveniently ignores the part where he is currently not paying what he is ordered to pay. I guess going to court to plead your case is for pussies. Real men like him just do some calculations, come up with what they’re comfortable paying, and then do it. No judge needed.

I also love how he justifies his behavior by saying his pay cycle was off so I should be understanding of that, yet he never once communicated that. That would have been helpful. He didn’t even need to explain what happened. “Hey Sam, I’ll be sending the remaining support for November a little late. You should have it before the end of the first week of December.” Yes, that would have been a huge help. Oh silly me! I forgot- I don’t count. I’m not worth communicating with. He owes me nothing.

Let’s not forget his track record. It’s not good. Between this upcoming court hearing and the reality that he has no problem not paying what he owes, I don’t think I jumped the gun. I gave him until the very last day of the month. Then I panicked.

I feel no guilt and no shame in calling him out. What I do feel bad about is blindsiding Rock Star. I honestly thought she knew he wasn’t paying. Her last day at home before returning to school we were going to go out for dinner. She asked if we even had enough money to go out. So I thought she knew.

When she saw my comment she asked me if he wasn’t paying again. At that point I told her he was not. She told me she thought he was paying which meant we were more financially stable. I told her I did, too. She also told me that if she had known he wasn’t paying she would never have asked me for money, which made me feel like a complete failure as a parent. I told her I thought she already knew and that if she didn’t know I didn’t want to tell her because it stresses her out. That’s when she let me know she wanted to be kept informed because it affected her life as well. Then she said she was going to be working a ton over her Christmas break so she could make some decent money. Again, I felt like a total failure as a parent.

Without his money I can’t do anything for my kids. It pisses me off. I’m so disgusted with my life choices sometimes. Instead of focusing on a career I stayed at home with my kids, moved all around the country, and helped to support his career. Now I’m 50 and barely above the poverty level. If only I had been smarter.

The story doesn’t end there. Jerry Lee texted her. Of course he did.

Just so that you are aware of the truth, I pay your mother over 50% of my salary every month. She gets $XXXX from me each month. I just wanted to make sure you knew the truth and not whatever she tells you. I don’t expect you to respond, just wanted you to know.

You know the funny thing? I give him credit all. the. time. They are both completely aware of the fact that his support payments are what give us any kind of financial security. They both know that my job pays the bills and that’s pretty much it. They know that him paying support is what allows me to do extra for them. Hell, they watched it play out during the ten months he wasn’t paying a dime. They’re teenagers, not toddlers. They knew I was working two jobs to make ends meet. They knew I was exhausted all the time. They saw me fall asleep sitting up in a chair. They knew when he began paying and I could do more for them. They knew that I was finally able to quit my second job because he was paying support.

He doesn’t pay? Picasso stops taking his cello lessons. I can’t pay Rock Star’s rent. There’s no money to go out. I worry about how I’ll buy groceries. I again start looking for a second job. Lots of fun things happen when he doesn’t pay support. Stress. Tears. Angry outbursts. So believe me he gets all the credit for paying.

That’s the problem though, isn’t it? He wants credit for paying (and I have no problem with giving that to him) but he doesn’t want to have to face the consequences when he doesn’t pay. It’s easier to portray me as a liar who tells the kids all sorts of falsehoods about him. It’s easier to believe that I never give him credit for the support he pays and that I take all the credit for everything they get. He can’t accept that if he’s going to get the credit for paying then he’s also going to have to take the blame when he doesn’t.

Memes, Anyone?

I sometimes have a very dark sense of humor and I can be very sarcastic. With that in mind I present to you the following:

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I’m so going to have someone do this at my funeral.

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I am fully confident that this joke would go nowhere fast. Forensic science is amazing these days!

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Life lesson there for ya.

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Yes, I’m talking to you, Jerry Lee! Oh who am I kidding? I need him alive for the spousal support he’s not paying.

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It’s all in how you say it…

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This should be the title of my blog!

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