Seven Weeks

I’m writing this Monday night because if I have to write it on Tuesday it won’t get posted until sometime late. I’m a day early but I think the update still stands.

I have now had TWO cry free days in a single week! Two days in a row, in fact. Look at me go! Technically, I am not through Day Two yet but it’s after 9 pm and I’m feeling pretty good about my chances.

My daughter came up Sunday and we went to the Gold & Glitter Expo. I actually had a lot of fun. It was not your typical bridal expo. This was an invitation only event and the only way we were able to attend was because my niece works at the university as part of the event staff. It was marvelous! I ate way too much and the cocktails were fantastic. Don’t even get me started on the wedding cake samples! So, so good!

I would feel guilty about all the food but I stepped on the scale and I am down over 27 pounds since the beginning of the year. Like I said, I was weighed at the doctor’s back in August but I know I put on more weight between that time and when I started doing low carb. I would guess I’ve probably lost between 30 and 35 pounds, if not more. I’m only 20 pounds from my lowest weight the last time I did this.

I signed up for the writer’s conference in July and I paid my friend my share of the hotel room so I am all set!

I’m talking to two of my co-workers about going to New Orleans in April. Even if they don’t go I think I’m going to.

I need to text my friend in Texas and see when a good time to visit her might be. I would like to schedule something each month. I’m not saving up to move to Virginia so I may as well have some fun. See something besides Chillicothe, right?

I don’t want to go all doom and gloom but I did want to share that Saturday was not a good day. I did a lot of crying for some reason. The tears would just come from out of nowhere. I don’t know what was going on. I think part of it might have been because Saturday was a really big Pokemon Go event day.

As some of you may recall Matt insisted I download the app. He kept telling me how much fun I would have and how great it was. I finally downloaded it to get him to shut up; however, he was right. I did have a lot of fun and I have been playing ever since. I’ve slowed down quite a bit but I still play.

We would schedule our weekends around the big events. We’d meet up in Chillicothe, grab some bismarks from our favorite bakery, and head to Yoctangee Park to play. This was the first one I did alone. I played mainly from my house but I did go out for about 2 hours and just played directly around my house instead of heading downtown like I would normally do.

Sometimes I think Pokemon Go was kinda like my TiVo moment with Jerry Lee. I don’t want to say we never did anything but play because that wouldn’t be accurate, but we did play an awful lot. Maybe that’s where he came up with the whole “I feel like we’re just friends” bullshit. Kind of ironic when he was the one who wanted me to download the app and play, isn’t it?

I think Saturday was difficult, too, because my birthday was getting closer and closer. This was the first one spent without him since 2017. I turned 54 today (Monday) and this person I loved more than anyone is no longer in my life to help me celebrate. He didn’t send me flowers. He didn’t send me a card. There was no acknowledgement. Not that I expected it, of course. He’s blocked everywhere so how could he possibly acknowledge me?

Saturday was just my day for some reason. Fortunately, I feel like I may have turned a corner. I’m hoping so. I’m really fucking tired of being sad about him.

As always, thank you so much to those of you who have commented. The comments are really helping. It certainly is eye opening to hear what other people think, especially when I’ve revealed some of the grittier details of our relationship.

More and more I’m realizing that we worked very well as a long distance couple but it is doubtful we would have made it very long as a couple living in the same town regardless of how quickly we had moved to the same city.

I think I’m gradually getting to the point, too, where I can see it as not a complete waste. Before it was always, “I loved him! I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with him! Of course I can’t look at it as having had a great time. It was so much more to me.” Now I’m slowly letting go and am almost able to say it wasn’t a total waste of time. We had some really great times together. We had a lot of fun and we laughed a lot. I did consider him to be the love of my life. Sadly, I was wrong. It was a fun time and some great sex, but the love of my life couldn’t do the things to me he did. The love of my life couldn’t turn his back on me without ever trying to talk things out, without doing everything possible to keep me in his life. The love of my life wouldn’t morph into a completely different person, one I can’t recognize. So no. He’s not the love of my life as I had once thought. He was a guy with whom I had some fun, with whom I shared some memorable experiences, with whom I had some awesome sex. But that’s as far as it goes. I wish I hadn’t invested as much time into this relationship as I did. I wish I had recognized it was going nowhere sooner. C’est la vie. You live and you learn, right? If there’s ever another hopefully I can put these lessons to use.

Just A Few More, Part 3

Here’s a final cold hard truth. I don’t think we would have lasted much longer. He is way too caught up in hanging out with the co-workers and spending his down time drinking. 

Matt is not a happy drunk. I am. I drink a little too much and I get very loving. Matt gets very morose. He’s caught back in time. It all goes back to his wife ruining his life and how things shouldn’t have ended up this way. They should still be a family. If only she hadn’t started drinking… If only she hadn’t thrown everything away… Blah, blah, blah. 

How is it that I lost every fucking thing in my life and yet I’m not whining and crying about how we should still be a family? Still being a family means I’m still married to Jerry Lee. I might have more money but I would also still be married to Jerry Lee. I’d have to have sex with him. It gives me the willies to even think about Jerry Lee touching me. Divorcing him, as hard as it was, was the best damn thing I ever did!

Matt has lost nothing except a lying, cheating wife who continues to drink and is slowly burning every bridge she has ever built with her extended family. His kids weren’t moved out of their home. They didn’t change schools. He didn’t lose his house, his furniture, the majority of his possessions. His life got better after she left!

I’m going to be really honest and a little bit mean-spirited and confide something to you here on the internet. I hope, given his penchant to start reminiscing and crying about the past, he starts crying and whining about me and what a huge mistake he made. I hope every time he drinks too much he realizes he let go of the best thing that ever happened to him. I hope he cries and tells everyone who will listen that he was so stupid and he fucked up; he never should have let me go. I doubt it will happen but it would bring me such satisfaction.

He called me one night after he had gone into town to a local bar and grill. He’d had a few drinks with dinner and was walking around trying to sober up. He said something about me breaking up with him because he was always out at bars. That wasn’t true. He was certainly going out more now than he had before he moved up to Indiana but it wasn’t a constant thing and honestly, I had no problem with him having a drink or two with dinner. Maybe he was already trying to push me away and I was just too stupid to realize it.

When I went to delete him from Facebook he had a temporary profile picture. His co-worker and his wife had taken a selfie and posted it to his Facebook page. Matt had commented something like, “I can see I need a password on this.” If I had to guess I would say that happened on yet another weekend get together.

I’m only speculating because I’m not there and I’m no contact but I believe he’s spending more and more time out drinking with these people that he “does not give a fuck about” and who mean “absolutely nothing to him.” While I certainly would not want to be the girlfriend who tells him he can’t go out with friends there is no way I would have been okay with him out partying with these people, particularly Jamie, every fucking weekend. And that seems to be what he’s doing. He is now a pool playing, karaoke singing, wine drinking idiot every weekend, hanging out until 4:30 in the morning.

I’m sure his kids love it! They already have an alcoholic for a mom and now dear old dependable dad is falling down that same hole. If he is fucking his white trash pothead co-worker I’m sure it will only be a matter of time before he realizes that just as he couldn’t change his wife and stop her from smoking and drinking he can’t stop this one from getting high all the time. And just like with his wife I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that he decides if he can’t beat her he’ll join her and start smoking pot all the time. Again, I’m sure his kids will love that.

He’s not the man I once loved. He is a completely different person. He’s caught up in partying with these newfound friends. I’ve gotta be honest. I kinda hope it bites him in the ass. How’s that for a hard truth?

Just A Few More, Part 2

He also never stopped to think about my feelings when he exercised his piss poor boundaries. It was never what he did that was the problem. It was my reaction to it. To be fair to him (and I’m always fair, or at least try to be) he didn’t seem to have a problem with it when I would tell him I was uncomfortable with something. But it certainly never made him think the next time he was faced with a situation I wasn’t comfortable with. And apparently he held on to a hell of a lot more resentment about it then I realized, what with his accusations that I’m so crazy jealous and think I own him.

As I wrote earlier had I been at his son’s wedding and was forced to watch him hold his wife’s hand as they walked down the aisle I would have been beyond pissed. Now, maybe had I been there he wouldn’t have done it. Maybe his brain would have registered that doing so would not be in his best interest. Maybe not. But if he had gone ahead and done it because “it was for his kid,” I would not have been happy. I do not see any way that I would have been able to continue on and act like everything was great and I had absolutely no problem with the fact that he had just been walking hand in hand with his estranged wife. I would have left right after the wedding was over, and as I said earlier I would have then been blamed for ruining the wedding for him (Matt). The problem wouldn’t have been his behavior. The problem wouldn’t have been the fact that he was holding her fucking hand. The problem would have been that I was upset about it and I removed myself from the situation. He would have been furious. The irony that he expected me to watch him walk hand in hand with his estranged wife and not have a problem with it would have escaped him completely. In his mind, as long as it was done for the sake of his kid then I should be fine with it.

I’m seated twenty rows back with people I don’t know while he’s sitting beside her? Great!

He’s eating dinner with her, his daughter, his parents, and her parents while I’m eating dinner with people I don’t know? Awesome! No problem.

Everybody’s looking at me like I’m some whore? That’s fine. It’s what Matt wants. It’s his kid’s wedding. He should have whatever he wants.

I would have been expected to lap up every bit of shit I was served and then once I had licked the floor clean I should get ready to dance and party it up with Matt and act like everything was fucking fantastic. Assuming, of course, I was even allowed to dance with him. Maybe his son would want him to only dance with his mom.

Going out to dinner with Jamie and her daughter isn’t the problem. Me not liking him going out to dinner with only Jamie and her daughter is the problem.

Spending eight hours over at another woman’s house isn’t the problem. Me being uncomfortable with him over there for eight hours, alone, is the problem.

Him withdrawing the divorce papers isn’t the problem. The problem is my unhappiness with him withdrawing the divorce papers. He didn’t give a shit about my feelings in that instance. He knew I didn’t want to date a married man forever. I accepted it when we first met mainly because he had already filed. Sure, it was online and do it yourself but he had filed. He used to tease me that he was going to be divorced before me and his was only going to cost $500 whereas I was spending over twenty grand. 

I had also gotten a divorce in the same state. I knew there was a one year waiting period once his wife refused to sign the original papers. My stance on the whole dating before divorce is finalized is pretty clear. I think there’s the emotional tie and the legal tie. Unfortunately the emotional tie is usually severed long before the legal tie. But as long as you both are clear that there’s no going back then move on with your life if that’s what you want.  He and his wife were not together. They didn’t live together; they weren’t working on their marriage. She wasn’t happily oblivious, planning their golden years together while he slunk around behind her back. She left him for another man. She was living with her boyfriend before I ever knew he existed. In fact, she’s still with him.

With that said I didn’t want to be dating a man who was legally married to someone else forever. I was the one that pointed out to him that if he was in the hospital, unconscious, she was the one who would be making his medical decisions. If he died she was the one who would be in charge of his funeral. I reminded him that in both of those situations she could ban me from being around him. I told him that if he died she would inherit as she was his next of kin. It didn’t persuade him to continue on with the divorce but it did propel him to write a will. A legal will. The same lawyer who was working on his divorce wrote the will for him.

He knew how I felt about it. I wrote an entire blog post about it back around the time of the wedding. There was a lot of cognitive dissonance for me.  I wasn’t sneaking around behind some unsuspecting woman’s back but I was also dating a man who was still married. I never wanted that. I always thought that a) if he was correct he’d be divorced before me with his non-contested divorce or b) when that didn’t pan out he would file for divorce the traditional way and get divorced after the one year waiting period. And it was working for a while. But then his wife started making all kinds of demands and he got scared. I think he finally withdrew the divorce papers in late 2019 or sometime in 2020. So the first 2 or 3 years I fully believed he would be divorced. It was only after she began threatening to go after half of his business that he pulled back.

He then turned it around on me when I wasn’t happy about him not going forward with the divorce. I wanted to see him lose everything because I had lost everything and wanted everyone to be as miserable as me. Well that’s not true! So I backed off. I rationalized it. What kind of monster wants to see the person they love lose everything? We weren’t going to get married anytime soon so what did it matter?

I’ll tell you why it matters. Because that was never my intention! Monica wasn’t wrong. He did keep me as the other woman, if only on a technicality. That pisses me off! He refused to get a divorce because he didn’t want to lose anything. Who the fuck wants to lose anything to a cheater? I sure as hell didn’t. Did he mistakenly think that I enjoyed losing my home? I can tell you I sure as hell didn’t enjoy waiting over 10 weeks to finally get the pool I had longed for for years only to find out 6 days later he was having an affair. I didn’t enjoy selling off or leaving behind the majority of my possessions. I didn’t want to move myself and my kids 600 miles away. I didn’t want to disrupt them again. I did all of that because I didn’t really have a choice and that’s the price of freedom. Welcome to the real world of divorce. It sucks. 

But no! He didn’t give a shit about my feelings. It was all about him and what it might cost him. Who cares if I feel like a hypocrite because I speak out against the other woman while I meet up with my married boyfriend on the weekends? Who cares if Jerry Lee can slander me and point out to my kids that I’m doing the exact same thing I accused him of? Hell, at least he and Harley divorced their spouses in order to move on with each other. Who cares how embarrassing it is to have to admit that this person you’ve been with for more than five years is still married to his wife? It’s just a piece of paper! Only I’m a rule follower and this didn’t always sit well with me. I grew to accept it but it wasn’t what I wanted. And. He. Didn’t. Care.

A part of me wonders if maybe that wasn’t his way of punishing me for not wanting to remarry or move in together. If you won’t give up spousal support for me then I’m not getting divorced for you!

You don’t get divorced so you can remarry, though. You get divorced because the relationship is over. It’s unacceptable. You don’t wish to be tied to that person anymore. You don’t want to share a life with them. You want them out of your life.

Here’s a bit of irony for you. His middle son told him he needed to finish up the divorce. Since his son told him to do it he might very well do it now. Of course, he did tell his son that he thought the longer he waited the better it would be for him. How that works exactly I don’t know. Maybe he’s thinking that if she goes five or six years living with her boyfriend and getting nothing from him it will set a precedent? I don’t think that really matters.

Another interesting tidbit from that conversation was when he asked his son if he was saying he wanted them to get back together. I have to admit that threw me for a moment. It was not what his son was saying at all, but the very fact that Matt would ask him that was off-putting to me. Who the fuck cares if your son wants you to get back together with his mother? He’s 28 years old. He’s married with a baby on the way. Why would you even ask your kid that question? Is that yet another thing you’re willing to do “for your kid’? Hell, I don’t think she even wants him back! She likes keeping him on the hook but she has no real desire to return to their marriage.

I’m sitting here shaking my head in disbelief. The cold hard truth is I was an idiot. I can make all the excuses in the world but that doesn’t stop that from being the truth.

Just A Few More, Part 1

I told you I was on a roll. Once the rose colored glasses come off the cold hard truths keep rolling in.

I don’t remember the exact words but I do remember a woman on the Chump Nation Facebook page saying something about her boundaries. She had stated them, the person she was talking to ignored them, and she dropped the hammer. I do remember her saying something to the effect of, “Once I state my boundaries I don’t feel the need to repeat them.” Basically she told him once she stated her boundaries she expected him to respect them; if she had to repeat herself then he obviously did not respect what it was she had told him. That resonated with me because Matt didn’t respect my boundaries. Just like he ultimately didn’t care about my feelings.

I’m not going to go into exactly what it was he pushed on. Let’s just say I had a line in the sand I was very clear about. He was always trying to get me to cross that line. We’re going to keep with the beach theme since I talked about a line in the sand. I think that makes sense.

Kicking the sand about to cover the line. “Look at the beach over here. Isn’t it pretty? Don’t you want to try this beach out instead of staying over there on your beach?”

“Nope! I like this beach. I have no desire to go to that beach.”

“But I think you’d really like this beach.”

“No, I told you when we first started going to the beach that this was the only beach I wanted to go to. I have no desire to try out that beach.”

“You would look so good over on this beach. I think if you gave it a try you would really enjoy it over here.” 

“If you really want to go to that beach then you are free to do so. I’m just not going with you. I made that clear from the very beginning. I like this beach; I have no interest in going to that beach. If you really feel the need to go to that beach then you should probably find someone else and take them to that beach.”

About three years into our relationship I recall him asking me something along the lines of, “What if I keep asking about this other beach?” I don’t remember exactly how it was phrased but I do remember telling him that if that was the case then I would have to reevaluate our relationship.

I’m pretty sure he lied when he told me he really respected that about me. He admired the fact that I had certain principles and I wouldn’t go against them due to peer pressure.

It didn’t stop him from trying, though. He pushed, pushed, and pushed about me moving down to Virginia- both before he moved up to Indiana and after he moved back. He wanted to push the boundaries of what all I could do and still keep my spousal support. Easy enough for him because he wouldn’t be the person losing that money.

He always said he thought we could have a good life together based on what we made, even without spousal support. That may have been true for him. I don’t think it would have been true for me. Or more to the point, if (when) things ended he could still afford to live in his house. I wouldn’t have that luxury.

He would have someone to help pay the bills, and unlike his wife I wasn’t prone to getting fired because of my drinking. He wouldn’t be wondering when I would lose my job and he would be left with supporting everyone on his own.

I, on the other hand, would have lost a great chunk of my income. I would no longer have the ability to help my kids out. Spousal support is what allowed me to pay Shelby’s rent and tuition. It allowed me to send her spending money. It allowed me to buy my son a van. It has allowed me to give him money here and there. It paid for our vacations. Once that spousal support ended I would have been reliant upon Matt. I would have had to ask for permission to do these things for my kids because I wouldn’t have it after I got paid and paid my portion of the bills. He would be the one with the huge influx of money.

Say what you will about Jerry Lee he let me spend our money however I saw fit. Even if I didn’t need to ask “permission” from Matt I still think it’s complicated when two people try to combine finances with 2 sets of kids. When my kid needs something and his kid needs something which one wins out when he’s the one making the majority of the money? What happens when he doesn’t agree with what I’m willing to give? I never wanted to be in that position. He got to do whatever he wanted for his own kids. I wanted that privilege as well. It wouldn’t have happened if I gave up spousal support.

I was not being selfish when I refused to give it up. I was not putting money ahead of love, like his youngest son once implied to him years ago. I was looking out for myself. I was looking out for my kids. I wasn’t willing to be at the mercy of another man. That money was my fucking freedom. It still is.

I’m in a much better position financially now than when I first divorced but there are still times I dig into that spousal support. There are other times I don’t touch it but by the time payday comes around my account balance is around $300 or lower. That’s not how I want to live on a day to day basis, especially considering the fact that when it’s down that low I’m not paying a mortgage or buying 100% of the food. I’m paying utilities and half the food bill.

More Hard Truths

Hey- I said I was taking off the rose-colored glasses. I thought of these after the other post had already been written. Lucky you- you get a little more of my navel gazing.

Another hard truth that’s hard to look at is maybe he only seemed so amazing because Jerry Lee was so awful. Lulu made a comment much like that and I had to admit I thought about it even before she said anything.

Matt came in and he was all charming and funny and sweet. He built me up. He told me I was wonderful. He wanted to spend time with me. In short, he was absolutely everything that my ex-husband wasn’t. 

My ex-husband said, “Why would we want to do that?” when I suggested a date night. Matt was full of ideas of things we could do.

Matt held my hand while we ran, championed me each and every time. My ex-husband told me I couldn’t run a marathon. It was too hard. They’d had to run a marathon at West Point so he knew what he was talking about. Matt not only held my hand when we ran but he was all like, “Let’s sign up for one!” when I told him it was on my bucket list.

He did so many things with me and we created so many memories that it was easy to overlook the things that might have made day to day living difficult.

No boundaries? No problem! When I’m there I’m sure it won’t be a problem.

No impulse control? That’s okay. It’s one of his little quirks.

Can’t put me first to save his life? I understand. I don’t want his kids to feel like I’m pushing them out of the way.

Won’t divorce your wife? I’ll buy a house with you anyway! Well, we know that one wasn’t going to happen.

When he was washing out my shitty jeans for me all I could think of was how my ex would have been having a meltdown, convinced we were going to have to buy the bikes if not the entire bike shop. To have someone who seemed so unflappable and patient was a dream come true. 

He used my name. He laughed at my jokes. He made me breakfast and buttered my biscuit. He ran out and grabbed shampoo and conditioner for me. He listened to me talk.

But aren’t those pretty bottom of the barrel behaviors? Shouldn’t any decent partner do those things?

Something a good partner wouldn’t do is try to get you to abandon your kid. My mother sums it up like this: He didn’t want Picasso around. He wanted me to put him first. My kid needed to be kicked out of the nest while his could live off of him forever.

Oh, he’d never look at it like that. They were living “independently” in the apartment above the garage. Or splitting the bills with him. But they weren’t on their own, and in the case of the apartment dwellers they don’t even pay rent.

Being with someone who resented my son or didn’t even like him would have never worked in the long run. He has no one to blame except himself.

As my mom said, “Maybe if he hadn’t stayed here as long as he did he wouldn’t have gotten sick of him.”

Plus, it’s not as though Picasso being around changed any of my plans. I never told Matt I couldn’t do something because of my kids. That was his line. He was the one always canceling and putting his kids ahead of me. Not their needs, but their fucking wants. All I did was get food for Picasso; for whatever reason that drove Matt crazy.

“He’s old enough to go get his own food! He’s got a car and a job!”

Yeah, well, that wasn’t his call to make. It was mine. I raised my fucking kids pretty much single handedly their entire lives. I didn’t need him butting in now. It wasn’t hurting him in the slightest.

Another hard truth, one that’s truly awful to think about is that maybe those of you saying he was threatened by my success are correct. I was finally making good money. I was advancing. I doubled my salary in a little more than a year. And with that came a lot of hours. As one of my co-workers reminded me I had just started my new analyst job shortly before he moved up to Indiana. There were weeks I worked 50-60 hours. He worked three days. I’m sure he did feel like I was never around. 

Even with that said he never made me feel like I was broken back in those early days. He always made me feel wonderful. He always cheered me on. He was always proud of me. Called me his sugar mama. Perhaps that’s part of the charm. And perhaps he really does prefer someone he can control, manipulate, feel superior to. 

He was raised Baptist. He and his wife joined what he would tell you was a cult. It was an independent Baptist church. Very conservative. His wife homeschooled their kids until her alcoholism got out of control. She wore dresses and skirts to church. I remember him telling me one time that she liked to watch soap operas and while he didn’t forbid it he told her he didn’t think she should be doing that. I also remember thinking it would be a cold day in hell before he told me what I could and could not watch on TV.

I was willing to make a lot of sacrifices for him but I was not willing to be controlled. Get me to bend over backwards to accommodate you? Yeah, I fell for that one. But I wasn’t going to be told what to wear, what to watch, what to eat. 

Being raised Baptist and believing for years that the man is the provider maybe the fact that I made more money than him threatened him, made him feel like less of a man. It shouldn’t have because I was never about the money.

Or maybe those of you saying he just likes broken women so he has a project, someone to fix, are correct and now that I no longer need fixing he doesn’t want me. If that’s true then fuck him!. He had the most amazing woman in the world. The most amazing partner. I made his fucking life better. Then he just threw it all away. 

I’m on a roll now. You wanna know what else is a hard truth that I overlooked? The man is obsessed with money. I don’t think I have ever met a person who is more cognizant of how much money a person has or doesn’t have. He would tell me stories about people that he knew- people back at his cult/church in New Hampshire and people around his new area. He always knew which ones had money. “This guy is loaded,” or “She’s extremely wealthy,” or, “This couple owns a lot of property in the area.” Maybe it’s the way it is in a small town but he always knew who had money and who didn’t. He always wanted to be that person with all the money.

He also tended to blame his wife for his lack of success. His theory is that if she had been a true partner and helped him build something instead of being an alcoholic that he was always trying to fix and who kept bringing him down, he might have been able to build something.

Unfortunately, he’s so busy pointing his finger at her he doesn’t see how his own choices affected this. For starters, he quit his good paying job at the supermarket where he was gradually moving up and probably would have been a general store manager in a few years. He left though to go to Fidelity Investments because one of the GMs told him one day that it was great money but he had only seen one of his son’s Little League games. Matt decided he would rather watch his kids play ball than work a job that could easily pay him six figures. 

It’s not that he didn’t make good money but the subsequent jobs that he took didn’t offer insurance, didn’t allow for vacation time, didn’t offer a 401k or a profit sharing plan like his last job had. I’m not completely sure what happened with Fidelity, or why he quit. I’m pretty sure he left that job to join a landscaping company, which didn’t last long at all because he flat out told the owner he wanted to start his own business and was hoping to get experience through this job. I think that maybe after that job ended he bought his bread route, which was pretty lucrative but again, no insurance, no time off. But he got to watch his kids play ball.

If you asked him he would tell you those were the greatest days of his life. I think that’s kind of sad. I loved watching Shelby do gymnastics. I loved watching my son play hockey. But I’d like to think that as each stage of their life has gone on I’ve evolved and enjoyed those experiences as well. 

I was pretty fucking happy with him. I thought that those years that I spent with him were some of the happiest of my life. I still cherished the memories of my many gymnastics travel meets and having fun with my daughter and my gym mom friends, but I was also having a ball with him. I didn’t hold those years up as the pinnacle of my happiness. I had hopes that the best was yet to come. He, on the other hand, tended to live in the past.

I think he romanticized that part of his life. Everything was perfect back then. Except it wasn’t. But if you asked him about it he would tell you that he missed life on Haig Street where he raised his kids and spent summers in the pool. He would tell you once again that the best years of his life were the years he spent watching his boys play ball.

In hindsight I looked at Matt like I had won the lottery. I told him all the time he was the best thing that had ever happened to me.

“Your kids are the best thing that ever happened to you.”

“My kids didn’t happen to me. I made them. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.”

We had that conversation dozens of times.

While I thought I was the luckiest woman alive and he was so amazing, to Matt I was simply a consolation prize. I deserved more than that. I sure as hell gave him a lot more than that.

I don’t think he’s ever going to be able to look forward because he’s so busy reminiscing about the good ol’ days in New Hampshire. He just tends to forget the part about finding vodka bottles hidden in his daughter’s room, or the fights they had, or the cheating, or any of the bad stuff. Life back then was perfection and nothing will ever live up to that.

I hope those days of watching his boys play ball are worth it when he’s 75 and still working full time because he can’t retire.

He also doesn’t acknowledge the fact that he stuck with a sinking ship. When his wife was admitted to the hospital he was urged by whoever was assessing her to run, get the hell out of there. He was told she was a lost cause; it was not going to get better. She would drag him down with her. He didn’t listen. He kept going back for more. Years and years of more shit.

I don’t know if it was the Baptist upbringing and the overriding belief that he had grown up with that said divorce was something you didn’t do, or what it might have been. Whatever it was he stuck in there until the day she walked out. I used to admire how much he loved her despite the hell she put him through. Now I’m left wondering if he didn’t know how to react to a person who wasn’t constantly criticizing him and causing chaos.

Could It Be?

Maybe one of the hard truths was we worked well long distance but couldn’t make it on a day to day basis. That’s a depressing thought. I poured my life into this relationship. I loved him. God how I loved him. More than I’ve ever loved anyone before. So it’s really fucking depressing to think we never stood a chance. It’s depressing to think of all the time I wasted on something that could never survive. All the money I spent on food, hotels, airfare, and Air BnBs. All the miles I put on my car driving to Ohio or Virginia.

To be honest I didn’t mind long distance. Don’t get me wrong. I loved having him up here. I loved spending time with him. I loved having him around every day. But when we were long distance I didn’t hate it the first time around. 

It didn’t feel like just a fantasy relationship. We talked every day. He said one time we probably talked more than most people who lived together. We talked on our way to work in the morning. We spoke again at lunch. And then in the evening he would call and we would usually talk for an hour or more. On the weekends we might talk 4 or more times. Sometimes we would even have coffee together in the morning.

We talked about the future and we were planning on making one for ourselves.

Our time together was always fun. It was one big adventure. We were almost always on the go. I do recall a time or two where we just huddled up and chilled but usually we were off exploring, playing, laughing- having a great time.

What’s so great about traditional marriage anyway? Aside from getting to see your person every day I don’t think there’s an advantage. Sometimes seeing them every day isn’t an advantage.

The funny part is I always knew he wanted to get married again someday. Sure, he’d have to divorce his first wife but that notwithstanding he wanted to remarry. I remember him telling me he didn’t want her to be his final chapter. Of course he always knew I didn’t care to remarry. But I was willing to change my stance over the years. We had talked about it. It wasn’t ever anything in the immediate future, but I did consider it. If I’d won the lottery I would have paid for his divorce and married him in a heartbeat. We even had a commitment ceremony. It was my offer to him since I couldn’t formally marry him. I wanted to show him I was committed even without a wedding. 

We dressed up. We recited vows we wrote. We bought a cake. It was from Kroger and it ended up not being nearly as good as it looked, but we bought a cake. I took it seriously. I meant what I said. I guess he figured those vows were disposable. Just like me. 

Maybe what everyone is saying is true and our relationship was nothing but a fantasy. It couldn’t hold up under the cold light of day. I’ve been thinking I failed but maybe it was Matt who failed. Once it got real he didn’t want any part of it. He would probably tell you it was me who didn’t want any part of it. He would be wrong. I’m not the one who quit. He is. He quit and he never gave me a chance.

Hard Truths, Part 2

Hard truth #6- Did I lead him on? Did I lead him to think that we would share finances and move in together? I guess that’s not so much a hard truth as it is a question that should be explored.

Hard truth #7- I don’t think he ever really wanted to follow through with his declaration to move to where I was.

We’re going to start with the last one.

Looking back I don’t think he ever really wanted to move up here. I think he got caught up in the moment as always and he didn’t really think about what the move would mean. Why he didn’t take one of the many outs that I gave him is beyond my comprehension. 

He was always talking about me moving down there. He would say, “I have an apartment above my garage. Separate addresses. Your ex couldn’t say anything about it.”

He tried buttering me up once by telling me Picasso could move into the apartment and we could have the house. I think he even made mention of this when Picasso was still in high school. He wasn’t willing to move his own daughter but I should be okay with moving my son. Sounds about right.

I was watching a video not that long ago from 2020. This was when he was actively trying to sell his route in order to move up to Indiana. We were cooking caramel for Christmas crack and I said something to the effect of, “Just think when we’re living in the same state, same town even, we can cook like this all the time.”

He in turn says, “Hmm… let’s think about this. I don’t have a house up there. I do have a house down here. I know- I’ll kick my daughter out and you can move in!”

He was trying to sell his route at this time! And he’s still trying to convince me to move down to his town.

“Hey, we’ve got a Starbucks now and a Jersey Mike’s Subs!”

“We have other places to shop besides Walmart and Marshall’s.”

“We’ve got banks here, too, you know.”

I’m not surprised it ended because thinking about all of these the only thing he would be satisfied with was me moving to his 900 person town. 

He didn’t want me moving an hour away. Realistically we wouldn’t have been able to spend most nights together. We wouldn’t have been eating dinner together. We would have met up on the weekends. He didn’t want that. He wanted every day, which I wanted, too, but he didn’t want to compromise.

He didn’t want to sell his house and move some place an hour away even though I was willing to move 600 miles for him. Honestly, if I had known that me not living in his town was a deal breaker I might have caved. I might have said to myself, “It doesn’t matter where you live so long as you’re with him.” I might have been wrong but I think I would have told myself that.

I do still wonder if I somehow led him on regarding finances and living together. I thought I was clear. I couldn’t remarry until age 65. I couldn’t live with him full time until age 64. I told him from Day 1 I was never going to get married again. I actually softened up on that one and would have been willing to marry him eventually. But I also thought things through. Things like, how do I get the most out of Social Security? Will I get more if I collect half of Jerry Lee’s, or if I take my own? Marriage affects that.

I always explained these things to him in terms of us and how it would benefit us. If I had an extra $33,600 a year that could only help us as a couple. That could pay for a couple of really nice vacations, or it could pay a mortgage, or buy Christmas presents (not all of it, of course!), or allow us to get new furniture. It could do so many things for us.

I thought I was very clear with him. I know I did say I would push the boundaries. I was willing to do that. Five, maybe six nights a week with him. Hell, I’d be willing to stay seven occasionally so long as he realized I would have to go back to my house again. For some reason that was no longer enough.

I think when he moved up to Indiana and I didn’t want to put half the money down for a down payment on a house he felt I wasn’t really all in with him. Or when I told him that the apartment or house he rented was ultimately going to be his. I was willing to stay over. I wanted to stay over. I was even willing to contribute to the utilities. That wasn’t good enough. 

Maybe I should have been clearer about the fact that I didn’t want to combine finances as long as he was still legally married. I didn’t want to buy a house or go in on some investment when she could swoop in and take it. You wouldn’t think that’s something you would need to point out, would you?

It would help if I knew what his vision looked like but since he didn’t bother to share it with me, just told me we didn’t have the same one, I’ll never know what I could have done differently.

Again, I’m the one compromising. I’m the one saying, “What is it you want? What is it you need? I’ll do anything to make this work. I love you that much!” And he’s keeping score, letting me know how I’ve failed.

Hey! Here’s Hard Truth #8- He wasted 5 1/2 years of my life. Sad to think I’ve wasted more than 25 years on men that were not worth it.

Six Weeks

Guess where I’m going on Sunday? I’ll go ahead and tell you because you’ll never guess. 

I’m going to a wedding expo.

Who is getting married, you may be asking?

No one! Well, millions of people are getting married, I’m sure, but no one I know.

My niece and I both have February birthdays. I texted her to wish her a happy birthday earlier this month (she’s the 4th and I’m the 27th) and she suggested we get together to celebrate our birthdays. 

My niece works at Notre Dame as part of the event planning staff. She and my daughter put their heads together and decided to attend this Gold and Glitter Expo that the university is hosting. The plan is to eat the food, drink the cocktails, and look around, and once we’re done there we’re either going to a local winery in town, or heading up into Michigan to a distillery. It should be a fun day even though I’m attending a fucking wedding expo, which I will never need, after I was just dumped by the so called love of my life and I’m probably going to be alone for the rest of my life. I’m going to be surrounded by stupid women who are doing the stupidest thing they can possibly do- marry a stupid man. Nonetheless, I hope they’re very happy. I’m sure they will be. I am the only one who is denied happiness. Everyone else gets their fucking fairy tale.

Here’s something fun. One of my oldest and dearest friends invited me to go along with her to a writing symposium in July. We became friends in fifth grade. She taught me how to play jacks. We would write stories and read them to each other over the phone. She is now a published author. She is hot shit! But she hasn’t written since her husband died in 2015. He died the same year Jerry Lee began his affair with Harley. Anyway, I’ve decided I’m going to go. I don’t know how it’s going to work out. I don’t write stories or novels anymore. I just blog. But I’ll go along and maybe learn something and get out of my comfort zone.

I am excited to announce I had ONE cry free day last week. I teared up a couple times, if I’m honest, but I did not cry.

To clarify I want to make sure everyone realizes when I say I cry every day I’m not crying for hours and hours on end. Some days I may have 1 or 2, perhaps even 3 small cries that last 60 seconds, 2 minutes tops. Other times I may cry for fifteen minutes once. I’m not a weeping basket of misery every moment.

Here’s something not so fun. If you may recall I was attempting to take my mom to the airport last Sunday after my Dad’s Celebration of Life. My car broke down. I ended up paying $180 to get it towed from the town it was in to the nearest Hyundai dealership. Then I get a call from them letting me know that it will be 2-4 weeks before they can even LOOK at it. In the meantime, because I was pretty sure the car was going to be a total loss, I started looking for a newer vehicle.

I have an 816 credit score, right? I figure getting a loan will be no problem. I was wrong. Turns out despite the giant leap my credit score took the charged off credit card my ex-husband was supposed to pay off is still on my credit record and it has not been paid off. I was denied the loan. Of course, if I make arrangements with them to make payments, or I’m willing to offer them money to pay it off my bank will proceed with the loan; however, I took less in my 401k payout because he was taking on so much more of the debt so I’m not willing to turn around and pay this off for him.

Also on the bad news front my brother, son, nephew, and I all piled in his truck after renting a car dolly and went to pick up my car which was settled an hour away. As we were exiting the freeway there was a stop light at the end of the ramp. We stopped. The light changes. My brother accelerates. My car slides off the dolly and is sitting in the intersection. It was a beautiful moment. Thank God it didn’t slide off while we were doing 55 or 60 down the freeway!

My car is dead as a doornail and it’s sitting at the new dealership service area, waiting for it’s appointment next week.

My sleep is getting better, or maybe it’s simply because I’m staying up later. Sadly, my appetite is beginning to return. I wish it would stay away. I’m doing my best to stick to low carb but I had a cheat day over the weekend. I had some almond M&M’s and a few pretzel bits, plus 2 frozen burritos. Not my proudest moment. Then I turned around and had Chick-Fil-A with my brother last night.

I’m six weeks out. Some days I still can’t believe it. I can’t believe my beloved did this to me. Then, of course, I have to remind myself he isn’t my beloved. I guess this is becoming my new normal. Sam, single woman. Alone. All by herself. Yet again. Can’t say I really like it. I envision him having the time of his life, partying it up with “the crew” and probably fucking his white trash ho-worker. Meanwhile, I’m watching TikTok and TV, playing Candy Crush, crying, and counting down the hours until I can go to bed and forget my life while I’m unconscious. Inevitably I wake up again. My brain switches on and I remember this is my new reality. And then I get to turn around and do it all over again.

There’s a little voice that keeps screaming, “Don’t let him destroy you! Don’t let him be the final chapter. He’s not worth it.” Then there’s a larger, louder voice that screams back, “Who the fuck cares? It’s all pointless anyway. You’re going to die alone. Accept it because there’s nothing you can do about it.” It’s a really mean voice but it’s also really loud so I tend to listen to it.

I’m still trying to figure out what it is that I want to do, what will bring me joy. I’ve got jigsaw puzzles and that’s about it right now. Sadly, doing jigsaw puzzles is not going to result in me meeting any new people. 

I am taking time for self care. I got my nails done on Saturday and I’m getting a haircut on Wednesday. I decided I wanted to cut it and I didn’t want to wait until my next coloring appointment.

I guess that’s it for me and my six week update. Still here. Still mostly sad but accepting it. I’m at that stage where I really miss what I thought we had but I’m also realizing I was an idiot and what I thought we had didn’t really exist. It really sucks because what I thought we had was amazing and it felt so right.

Hard Truths, Part 1

Hard truth #1- He never should have moved to Indiana.

Hard truth #2- I thought about ending things myself, multiple times.

Hard truth #3- He never made me a priority.

Hard truth #4- I was always the one more invested, more in love, more willing to compromise.

Hard truth #5- He quit. He gave up. He couldn’t even have an honest conversation with me. He’s a coward.

Hard truth #6- Did I lead him on? Did I lead him to think that we would share finances and move in together? I guess that’s not so much a hard truth as it is a question that should be explored.

Hard truth #7- I don’t think he ever really wanted to follow through with his declaration to move to where I was.

Let’s begin with Hard Truth #1- He never should have moved to Indiana.

I think this could have potentially worked between us had he not decided, spur of the moment, that he was going to sell his route and his house and move up to Indiana when his daughter graduated. I spent four years thinking that was the plan. Maybe if we’d had a conversation about the best thing for us to do I would have made the decision to move down there. If we’d had a conversation and really talked about it as a couple instead of him making grand declarations maybe I would have been able to come to the conclusion that it made much more sense for me to move down there than for him to move up here and I wouldn’t have felt so blindsided when he announced he was moving back and I felt the enormous pressure to move to him.

Honestly, it did make more sense for me to go down there. At the time I was a bank teller. I could do that anywhere. Of course, I put myself on an upward trajectory and working behind the scenes requires a little more than simply a branch. You generally have to be able to work at the bank’s headquarters. Or remotely, which I could do if I stayed with the same branch. But that was much further in the future than when he began his nonsense bullshit of moving up to where I was.

I didn’t have a house to sell. I didn’t have a route to sell. The weather is much better down in Virginia than it is up here. I’m used to living far away from my family. It might have been different with it being my kids but I didn’t have the mindset that I couldn’t go back to visit. It would be a priority. And since my kids have been raised to go see family they would have made it a priority to come see me as well.

With him making his declaration and sticking to it for four years despite all the outs I gave him I never had to think about what I would do if it was me moving down there.

And honestly? It did change when he moved up here. I’ve discussed this before. I felt a tremendous amount of pressure to not let him down.

Besides, him never moving up here would have been so much better than what he did. He moved, gave it all of three months and then turned around and went back to his kids a few months later. I say he gave it three months because once the holidays hit and he started moping around I knew he was going to go back.

If he had just stayed there I think we could have continued happily meeting up on the weekends. I don’t know if things would have gone south once I moved down there or not. I’d like to think they wouldn’t have but who knows? Maybe the only thing that would placate him was me living in the same damn house.

After he made his announcement things were never the same. Every year for his birthday I would gush about him and how even though it was his birthday I was the one getting the real gift because he was so wonderful and I was so thankful he was in my life. I couldn’t do it last year.

Perhaps he’s right and I was pissed he moved back. If I was I deserved to be. He led me on for four years. But I don’t think he’s right. I was hurt and heart broken and sad and a whole host of other things but I did understand. I always doubted he’d be able to leave his kids behind. So I didn’t blame him despite the heartbreak and disappointment. I think telling himself that I was pissed off about it somehow justified him doing what he did. She’ll never forgive me; she’ll never get over this. So I may as well end it. 

This is how much I wanted to be okay with what he did. I told myself that I was better suited to be a long distance girlfriend than an in person girlfriend. Hell, maybe he would agree. Fuck him! Just like everything else I twisted myself into knots to be okay with the decisions he was making. I struggled to make it okay. I would move down there. We could do another 2-3 years of long distance. Nothing would change. But everything had changed. I simply refused to accept it.

Hard truth #2- I thought about ending things myself, multiple times. I thought about making a clean break after our weekend in Chillicothe when we went our separate ways back in June. Partly because I always knew this is how it would end. Why not end it once he goes back?

I still wouldn’t have wanted to be his friend. It would have still been way too painful. At least if I had ended it when we went back I wouldn’t feel so blindsided. I wouldn’t feel like I wasted 5 1/2 years with this person. I would be able to look back on our relationship and think of all the great times we had together, and sure, I might still get a little sentimental and weepy on occasion but I wouldn’t feel so betrayed. It would have felt like it was a much more mutual decision.

I thought about ending it the first time we met up again in Chillicothe. I cried almost the entire way there, thinking I should just end it. It was the first time I was ever not totally excited to see him.

But by the end of the weekend I was fine. Hell, even before the end of it. I even drove all the way to Virginia the following weekend and we went on vacation together. It’s the first time it was ever just the two of us. Every other time we’d gone out to Utah and my kids were with us. We were already talking about where we would go this year.

I thought about ending it multiple times, even right after Christmas when he canceled getting together with me for New Year’s Eve in order to clean his house.

You know why I didn’t? Mostly because I rationalized it. It’s not as though I had men beating down my door. It’s not as though I had a ton of different options. It’s not like I had anything better to do. I know that probably sounds horrible but it was a way for me to justify not ending things. 

Don’t get me wrong. We did have a lot of fun when we were together. Unfortunately, we only got together 4 times. Maybe if we’d been meeting up like we used to we wouldn’t be here now. I’ll never know.

I also didn’t end it because I had made vows. I took those seriously even if they weren’t legally binding. I’ll talk about that more in my next post.

I didn’t end it because by this time I had already invested 4 1/2 years with this person.  Maybe it’s my history of never dating a guy for more than a little over a year but I tend to think that if you’re not planning a life with this person you need to let go after year 1, possibly year 2. I’m not going to spend 4 1/2 years with someone for shits and grins. If I’m with him for that long it’s probably because I think this relationship is going to go the distance. 

I will tell you this though. I dreaded doing the long distance thing again. I dreaded the phone calls where the connection would break up and we would have to repeat things over and over again. I dreaded having a relationship through a fucking phone once again. I dreaded the 5 hour drive even though we’d have a perfectly delightful time together. I dreaded having to use vacation time to drive.

For four years most of my vacation time was used in half days so that I could drive to wherever we were meeting and not get there at 11:00 at night.

Really, I just dreaded the thought of him not being with me every day once again.

And, of course, I felt a tremendous amount of pressure to move down to where he was. I have spent my life moving around for a man. I didn’t want to continue that. I wasn’t going to do it. And then… I bent for him. I was willing to make the move, move for another man one more time. I loved him. I wanted to be with him. At the time my choices were pretty shitty- end the relationship (in hindsight the best option), continue to do long distance forever, or move to be with the man I loved. 

Hard truth #3- He never made me a priority. He really didn’t but he was so wonderful in so many other ways that it was hard to notice. Plus, I’m not typically a needy person so it wasn’t like he repeatedly let me down.

I’ve already said that if he was supposed to go to dinner with his kids, go to a ballgame, get ice cream, have a farting contest, look at the sky and name the clouds, and I needed him for something he would choose his kids. I’ll be honest and say I’ve never actually had a heart attack or been in a car accident or had one of my kids or my mom injured or dead, but I’m pretty sure, based on his previous behavior, that he would continue on with whatever it was they had planned and he’d come see me after.

I’m not blaming his kids. I honestly think that if he told them what was going on they would be appalled. They would absolutely understand. 

I also think it’s kind of ironic because I know that each one of his kids would choose their spouse, live in partner, or boyfriend over him each and every time. Sorry, Dad. I’m going to have to cancel. Something came up with my wife/girlfriend/boyfriend. And yet for whatever reason he couldn’t do the same for me.

In fact, not only couldn’t he do the same for me and put me first, he couldn’t handle it when my kids came first and I wasn’t concentrating 100% on him. I find this to be extremely funny because the only thing I did was get my kid food. I didn’t let them dictate what weekends I could go out. I didn’t let them dictate whether or not we could go out. For whatever reason his kids were always his priority over me yet he expected to be first in my life. He couldn’t handle the fact that Picasso wasn’t ready to launch and that he still needed me. And again I say, so fucking what? It’s not like I ever told him I couldn’t do something with him because of my adult child.

There are only two times that I can think of that I really needed him. The first time was when I found out my STBX had canceled over $1500 worth of checks on me. As you probably all remember that’s when he chose to watch a movie with the same child he had spent the entire day with.

I could count our first anniversary where he opted to attend not-his-child’s graduation at his daughter’s insistence but I won’t. That was more of a want than a need. It is an example though of him not prioritizing me.

The final time I really needed him was when I was attacked by Shelby’s boyfriend’s dog. I haven’t ever talked about this because it was very traumatic. I am a dog lover by nature and to have this dog bite me without provocation was extremely jarring.

The dog was sitting on the couch and I was standing in an open area between the kitchen and the living room. The dog calmly got up off the couch, came over to me, and jumped up on me. I put my hands up to push him off and that’s when he began biting my hands. Repeatedly. I still have scars on my left hand which bore the brunt of it. I ended up needing stitches.

My daughter bandaged me up the best she could and we actually went out to lunch as planned despite my throbbing hand.

As I was driving back home realizing that I needed to go to the urgent care and have my hand looked at I called Matt. I knew he was over at his parent’s house and his family was over there for a big game day. It was their last hurrah with him before he moved up here.

So again I’m understanding. This is the last time with his family before he moves. They’re going to miss him. I’m taking him away from them. I shouldn’t bother him with this.

Finally I decide to lift my bandaged hand and I tell him that I was attacked by this 100+ pound German Shepherd mix. I tell him I’m driving back home and I’m going directly to urgent care, that I’ll probably need stitches.

As always he sympathized with me and then apologized after about 5, maybe 10 minutes, because he needed to get back to his family so that they could continue on with their family time, playing games.

Yep. Sorry you were attacked but I’m playing board and card games with my family. Talk to you tonight. Keep me updated.

I justified it by telling myself this was the last time he was going to spend with his family. Don’t be selfish, I told myself.

You know what else I find funny? He couldn’t ever put me first but he would get upset with me for not defending him against comments other people made on my blog.

I know he was undoubtedly upset with most of the comments made on my Opinions Wanted post. He was the one who told me I should write a post about it! I didn’t do it on my own.

And after I posted Take Me Home, Country Roads he was furious with me that I hadn’t defended him. I didn’t think any of the comments were that horrible. Sure, someone told me I deserved so much more and asked how long we were going to continue to kick the can down the road (about 7 months apparently) but no one was attacking him.

I told him the truth. I didn’t reply because some of the comments made me cry. It wasn’t that they were mean. It was because they were undoubtedly pointing out some truths I didn’t want to face. I was trying so hard to put a positive spin on all of this and then someone points out, “Hey, this is not the same. He moved and he’s moving back. He’s chosen a life with his kids over a life with you, the woman he supposedly loves. That’s a huge deal!”

You know what else? He had this very annoying habit of interrupting our phone conversation any time someone new entered his line of sight.

If his daughter came home from work or anywhere else he would immediately say hi to her, regardless of whether or not I was in the middle or a sentence or not. I accepted it because I rationalized it away. If we were sitting in the living room talking and she had come home we would probably stop talking to say hello, right? We wouldn’t think anything of it.

But he didn’t just say hello. He would have a freaking conversation! How was work? What time do you work tomorrow? He’d talk about the dogs and whether or not they’d been fed. It could go on for 5 minutes or more.

Same thing if he happened to see his son outside. I no longer existed.

And it wasn’t just his kids. If he was out and about and happened to be FaceTiming me and someone he knew crossed his path he’d say hi and strike up a conversation.

Finally, when I pointed out that his newfound friends weren’t exactly friendly to me after he accused me of being rude to them he defended them over me. They were under pressure to get the float finished; they didn’t have time to chat with me and ask me questions. Basically, his friends, again the ones that he couldn’t care less about, had every right to be rude and exclusionary towards me but I should have tried harder to kiss their asses.

I guess that brings us to Hard Truths #4 and #5- I was always the one more invested, more in love, more willing to compromise and he was the one who quit. He gave up. He couldn’t even have an honest conversation with me. He’s a coward. He’s real good at the grand romantic gestures and the huge declarations of love but he sucks at the day to day living.

I don’t think there’s really anything else to be said about that. Except for the obvious that his follow through sucks. And that perhaps it’s true once things started to get real and more difficult he ran like a scared kid. It’s fun when it’s easy. But when you need to work at it? He bails.

Boundaries and Suspicions, Part 4

Did he cheat?

I don’t know. I have no proof. Does it really matter at this point? It’s over, regardless of whether he cheated or not. Granted, finding out he cheated on me after knowing what we had both been through would be an extra sharp kick to the throat.

I spiral down hard whenever I think about him being with her, cheating on me. It’s like I can deal with this breakup if he’s alone, or if he didn’t cheat and he went out and found someone else afterwards. But when I tell myself, “You know he’s with her,” I am in death spiral mode. And I know I can’t do anything about it. I have to focus on myself. Let me tell you that is the biggest load of unfair shit I’ve ever had to deal with.

My best friend was looking at some photos of her. “This is her? Oh, she’s young!” I asked her if she thought she was pretty. “Yeah, if you like men.” She is very masculine looking. I would describe her as white trash. She is a pothead according to Matt. She’s willing to give her child up to her mom. Probably makes it easier to smoke pot all the time. She’s young enough to be his daughter. I think she may actually be younger than his oldest child. Her child is only a year older than Matt’s grandson.

I would like to think Matt is a better person than that, that the thought of fucking someone young enough to be his daughter would be repulsive to him, but I thought he’d never leave me so what do I know?

Oh I know this! Despite wanting to remain “friends” he made his friends list private. Hmmm…. wonder why he might do that?

I know he accused me of stalking him by “digging through pictures.” As if! His brother was my friend on Facebook. He posted shit. I did what most people do when they’re scrolling through their feed on Facebook. I looked. Hell, it was usually one picture so it wasn’t like you could miss it!

I know he accused me of being insanely jealous, though to be fair that may have been when we were talking about the wedding. Does it really matter though?

Maybe I’m not insanely jealous. Maybe he’s just an idiot. Maybe if he would stop putting himself in situations that can quickly turn into something not so innocent then I wouldn’t end up being jealous.

I know he asked me if I thought that being with a person meant you owned them. Not sure where that came from. To answer that, no, I don’t think it means you own a person. But I would also think that person would take your feelings into consideration before doing something that might hurt you. Things like holding hands with your wife “for your son”, or spending eight hours alone with another woman at her big, empty house, or going on dates with your co-worker.

I’m a big enough person to admit I was jealous. This was entirely new territory. As I may have mentioned before when we met he ran a route. He was on his own. He wasn’t going out with co-workers or stopping at bars to have dinner. Now here he is working for his brother who apparently thinks co-workers should hang around each other non-stop. It’s a small, incestuous group of people who seem to do everything together. 

His brother had a murder mystery dinner. Jamie was invited. As was Matt. Matt’s nephew is a struggling board game blogger. He has been trying to get a game night off the ground at the local coffee shop. One night Matt told me he was going to go. After it was over I asked how it went. He told me it was mostly family- his parents, him, his nephew’s parents and maybe sister, his brother and sister-in-law, and Jamie and her daughter. Now, were they sitting together? No, at least not at the Murder Mystery dinner, according to pictures posted. Did they go together and leave together? As far as I know, no. Hell, I don’t even know if they interacted when they were at the same event. But she was always fucking there! Maybe she was fucking his brother. 

Then his brother mentioned that he was thinking of taking all of his employees on a cruise. He and his wife love cruises. They’ve already been on four this year already. I was told that I was invited as well which was a good thing because I’m thinking, “How in the hell do I tell him I don’t want him to go without looking crazy?” Because seriously, I was not happy with the thought that he would be going off on a cruise ship, boozing it up in a situation where he and Jamie were the only two there without a significant other. In other words, I’d be taking my damn vacation time in order to go on this cruise because I knew I would never be comfortable with that. He has no damn boundaries so he wouldn’t see a damn thing wrong with it.

“What? I’m just going on a work cruise!”

“Yes, with another woman, jackass!”

And is it just me or this is weird? How many employers take their employees on a cruise? Furthermore, am I really a green eyed monster? Would any of you be okay with your significant other going on vacation with a single woman? Where your significant other and this woman are the only two people not paired up? For that matter, would you be ok with your significant other going out to dinner with a co-worker of the opposite sex after work? Just the two of them. And maybe a kid. And it’s not a work related dinner. They’re just both hungry so they stop to grab something to eat.

So yes, I was jealous of the fact that she got to be with him every day. She got to go his brother’s stupid murder mystery dinner and she was at his nephew’s game night at the coffee house and she’s probably going to get to go on a fucking cruise with him. She was the one that got to go to dinner with him after work and she was the one he spent the weekends with, partying it up, drinking, playing pool, singing karaoke. And it was so much fun that he couldn’t bear to tear himself away when I called. 

Furthermore, he wasn’t entirely off the mark when he accused me of “not liking those people” and not wanting him to hang around them. He was partially right. I didn’t like her and I detested the fact that she was around all the time. I did not want him hanging out with her but I also knew that hanging out after work with “the crew” meant she would be there. She was always there.

I know he told me that last night we talked that he didn’t give a fuck about any of those people. His brother was his family and none of them meant anything to him. If the job disappeared tomorrow he wouldn’t miss them.

But I also know he doesn’t like being alone. I don’t think that’s changed.

I find it difficult to believe that he walked away from a 5 1/2 year relationship and didn’t have a backup plan.

I also find it amazing that he put up with 12 plus years of his wife’s shit- drinking, hiding her drinking, cheating, getting into car accidents with their kid in the car, accusing him of abuse, telling people he was controlling, and every other shitty thing she had done- but me not decorating a fucking Christmas float and being upset he ignored my phone call was plenty of reason to end our relationship. I mean, I realize I didn’t marry him and give birth to his four children but still! You’d think there would be some sort of grace.

My best friend tells me she doesn’t think he’s fucking her. Her reasoning is that she’s a pothead who probably isn’t all that interested in sex anyway. I’m not a pothead so I wouldn’t know their views on sex. She tells me that no 30 year old wants to have sex with a 55 year old unless he’s got money and can provide for her. That ain’t happenin’! She probably makes more than him. She also says that if he was willing to go to Al-Anon when his wife was drinking then he probably doesn’t want to get involved with another addict.

Then again, maybe that’s what’s comfortable for him. Jamie does remind me a hell of a lot of his wife. The masculine look, the addiction issues, the white trash factor, both of them willing to abandon their kids. Maybe he went back to what he knows. Hey! Maybe he has a new project.

Unfortunately, most of the time I can’t shake the feeling that he did cheat with her. To be very clear, I never had any suspicions until the day after the party. Call me stupid but even after the second dinner with her and her daughter it wasn’t like I thought he was really interested in her. It was more like, “Dude! You’ve gotta stop going on dates while you’re with me.” I didn’t think he was looking to fuck her; I thought he simply had no boundaries as always. But as I said I don’t believe it’s a good idea to put yourself in a situation that can lead to something you’re going to regret. I know it’s been said I have trust issues and without trust there is no relationship, but until January 6th I never had a reason to distrust him. Sure, he may have made some poor choices but I never thought they were malicious. I believed he just didn’t think and that he had really poor boundaries. If someone had put a gun to my head and asked me if he’d cheat on me or ever leave, I would have said no with absolutely no hesitation.

His explanation for why he didn’t call me back felt so incredibly sheepish and dishonest, though to be fair he did admit he spent the night there. I didn’t realize he didn’t go to sleep until 4:30. I thought he fell asleep and spent the night. So who knows? Maybe when everyone else left and the hosts went to bed he and Jamie fooled around or outright fucked. Then again, maybe she wasn’t even there all night. I don’t know and I will never find out.

And he never hid the fact he went out to dinner. I think he honestly believed it wasn’t just the two of them because her daughter was there. Since her kid was there it was fine for the two of them to go out and grab something to eat after work.

What I do know is that I was right about everything else. I was right about not being enough when he moved up here. Right about him deciding I wasn’t worth it. And I was right again when I told myself it was simply a matter of time before he decided I was replaceable and ended things once he returned home. A matter of time until he realized he didn’t want me and I was nothing special. So when I think a lot of this has something to do with her… Well, I have my suspicions about this whole thing and I don’t know why I would suddenly stop trusting my intuition this time around. Aside from the very obvious that it hurts like hell to think he’d actually do something like this to me.

In the end, as I said, it doesn’t matter. Fuck the white trash piece of shit, or don’t fuck her. It’s still over because his behavior towards me is unacceptable.

That’s not entirely true. It does matter. If he did cheat I will never understand how he could do that to me, especially knowing what I went through with Jerry Lee. Knowing how he felt when his own wife cheated repeatedly! I trusted him when I didn’t think I would ever trust another person again. For him to abuse that trust, to spit in my face so to speak, is the biggest insult I can think of. It’s worse than what Jerry Lee did to me because this person knew what it did to me. He brought me out of those dark times. He held me up and he always told me what an absolute idiot Jerry Lee was for letting me go.

I wrestle with this. A part of me believes he did cheat. Another part wants to believe my best friend who says, “Even if he was interested I don’t think she was. He has nothing to offer her.” I have no proof so that could just be my insane jealousy. I also have a very active imagination. What I do know for a fact though is I will never have to put up with his shitty boundaries ever again, nor will I ever be made to feel as though the boundaries I expected him to observe are too extreme. It’s sad to realize that what I felt was so incredibly disrespectful seemed like no big deal to him. Obviously our values did not align.