Jeez Louise, Not This Bullshit Again

I want you to read this and soak it all in.

I present to you Exhibit H or J or whatever letter we’re up to by now. I’m going to say it louder for those in the back: Cheating is not about problems in the marriage. It is not about a partner’s shortcomings- what they did or didn’t do that made the cheater sad. It is about entitlement. It is about shitty character.

How dare this buffoon tell a woman whose life has just imploded thanks to her husband’s wandering dick to not leave her cheating husband? DO NOT leave him because of this. This? This what? This is so nebulous. Can’t quite put my finger on it. What is this “this” you speak of? Cheating? Disrespect? Dishonesty? Disloyalty? Abuse? Financial destruction? Abandonment? Endangering her life? Let’s name it. Which one of these shitty values that her husband is bringing to the relationship should she overlook? All of them? Because hey, we’re just men. We have dicks and we have to put them somewhere. Anywhere! It could be anyone. Nothing personal.

He knows it hurts (then why do it?) but he wants us women to know we HAVE to stop ending marriages over it. Who’s going to go grocery shopping for him? Who will cook his dinner? Who will do his laundry and put his clothes away? Who will take care of his kids? Who will be the handy wife appliance that buys gifts for his family and plans vacations and holidays? Who? Have you women any idea what you’re doing with your uppity plans to end a marriage over a little thing like adultery?

Let’s be rational adults. I’ll give you a list of things that you can work on so that I’m not forced to cheat. You’ll forget all about this tiny little indiscretion and if you don’t forget, at least agree to never bring it up again. We’ll go back to things being just like they were before except you’ll keep dancing pretty for me to keep me entertained so I don’t go searching for new snatch. But we both know that’s not going to happen because men are hard wired to cheat. And meanwhile, I get to keep the convenience of a wife, I don’t have to share custody of my kids, and I don’t have to give you any of my money. It’s a win/win when you think about it.

Seriously, how dare you women keep ending marriages over this which is in men’s nature? Divorcing us because we’re not faithful? Have you lost your mind, women? How dare you demand better? How dare you stick up for yourselves? How dare you desire more than crumbs that are left over? Next thing you know you’re going to want to be able to vote and have your own line of credit! Who let you have your own bank account again? And when will they finally stop hiring you? You women get jobs and earn your own money and the next thing you know you’re going to stop putting up with our shit! Ummm…..

I love how he speaks for ALL MEN. ALL MEN want to have sex with multiple women and only 10% of all straight men get to. I don’t know where he’s getting his statistics. I’m not even sure what that means. I do know if I were a man I would be pretty pissed off at this jackass assuming that because I have a penis I must want to sleep around on my wife.

He trots out the tried and true, “Men and women are NOT the same.” Yes, women only cheat when they’re madly in love or things are bad at home. Men though they’ll fuck anything. Any time. They’re just different that way. Men can have sex with ten different women and come home to you, his loving wife, because sex with Ashley, and Brittany, and Heather, and Jessica, and Allison, and Hope, and Destiny and those others didn’t mean anything. And hey, he’s home, shoving the food you lovingly prepared into his gaping piehole. Aren’t you the luckiest? Yes, he goes off and fucks all of those other women but you’re the one that gets to do his laundry, cook his meals, clean his house, and baby his pathetic ass when he gets sick.

Again he instructs DO NOT end things if the girl means nothing and it was just sex. Because again, sharing his dick with every woman out there is no big deal. STDs are things they made up in fairy tales. No woman has ever been killed by a jealous mistress. And who doesn’t want to share her man with every woman in town? It’s a dream for so many of us.

Also, men are only as faithful as their options. Hmmm… why is it that women are not only as faithful as their options? I hear a whole lot of stories of women putting up with endless amounts of bullshit and they’re not out there cheating even if they’re propositioned. I don’t think it’s a wiring issue.

This jackass does a disservice to the entire male population.

Your husband is faithful? Yeah, he’s probably just not able to fuck anybody else. As soon as he starts to work with a bunch of hot women he’s going to be cheating like everybody else. Just wait and see.

I do think it’s easier to be faithful when you don’t have temptation staring you in the face all the time. But there have been plenty of men who seek out opportunities and plenty of men that have many opportunities but don’t cheat. I don’t think anyone would have said that Jerry Lee had women falling all over him. His mom and sister both said he spent weekends reading encyclopedias. His own daughter said if I ever left him he would be alone forever. He was not what one would call a player. He didn’t have multiple opportunities. Yet he still cheated.

I think what you were trying to say, Sir, is, “Men are only as faithful as their character is good. Men who feel entitled to a pussy buffet are only as faithful as their options.”

My favorite part though was when he stated: Please, for the love of the God you got married in front of, do not ends things because he did what’s in his nature to do.

For the love of the God you got married in front of? You mean that same God that says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery?” I’m pretty sure it’s not, “Thou shalt not commit adultery unless you’re a man because let’s face it I designed him to be a man whore who can’t control himself.” I haven’t been to church in a while so maybe that’s the newer version and I just don’t know. Apologies in advance if that’s the case.

It’s amazing how taking vows in front of God is supposed to be so important to the woman that she is expected to overlook her husband cheating on her. Because all men do it; that’s their nature. And yet, taking those same vows, the ones that presumably mention forsaking all others, in front of that same God mean absolutely nothing to the man in the same relationship. Interesting.

This is the definition of cake eating. In this case it’s the man getting to fuck everything that strikes his fancy while his wife dutifully cleans and cooks for him, takes care of him and their children, acts as the liaison between him and his family, and has sex with him while never attempting to shame him or make him stop his whoring behavior. In fact, if she should do something so audacious as divorcing him he will promptly tell her why she should not do this. Because nature.

For the last time, it is not in a “man’s nature” to cheat. It is in an entitled fuckwit’s nature to cheat. Entitled fuckwits don’t make good partners.

Hey, you know what should be in a woman’s nature? Kicking entitled fuckwits’ asses to the curb! Boy bye!

Many, Many Moons Ago

How long is a moon anyway? Are we talking each individual moon that shows up each night? Are we talking only about a new moon? A full moon? I’m so confused.

August 10th came and went without any notice from me. It’s been 7 years since I found out Jerry Lee was cheating on me with that trash bag I call Harley. 7 years. I did not register the date at all.

In 2016 my whole life had imploded. I had just moved back to Indiana. I had no job. I was a mess. In 2017 I brought a cake into work. Celebrated my freedom from a fuckwit with that cake. Beyond that I don’t really recall doing anything or thinking anything about that date.

Tomorrow is the 14th. That will mark 9 years since I got the message from The Saint, letting me know Jerry Lee was still “talking” to Harley. I plan on taking my mom and Picasso to Cracker Barrel. Maybe I’ll buy some Christmas decorations. They’re probably out by now. Maybe I’ll buy a cute sweatshirt. Maybe I’ll just buy breakfast. Who knows?

I once vowed to buy myself something very expensive every year on August 14th. That was while I was still with Jerry Lee. I like the idea, even today; however, if the date is ever going to become a non-entity I can’t make a point of buying myself something on that date, can I?

I think for this year I’m set. I bought my Hokas and computer in May. I got a grill and some new patio furniture this summer. I think I’m good.

Best part? I’m free of him. Happy Freedom Day even if you don’t remember what day it is!

What If They Stay Together?

You see that question a lot on various internet sites. What if they stay together? What if they get married? Doesn’t that prove he/she is happier with the other person? Maybe this was true love and I was an obstacle to their happiness.

Maybe it’s the passage of time but I’m always amazed at the question. They got married. So what? They married you, didn’t they? How did that turn out? Oh yeah, they cheated. What makes you think it will be so different for the next one?

Or they seem to believe that if the relationship doesn’t implode within the first few weeks or months after discovery that this means their relationship will stand the test of time.

How long were you married? How much of it was good? How much of it were you contemplating leaving or at least wondering why on earth you put up with all the crap you put up with?

I guess what astonishes me the most is this idea some people have that if the cheating duo get married (or simply remain together) and remain married for any length of time it must mean the relationship is a success; it’s proof that their own marriage to Cheater Pants was a mistake and Cheater Pants was absolutely in the right to cheat and walk off with the affair accomplice.

Nope.

I firmly believe that most of the time it comes down to image management. The majority of these cheaters would rather crawl over broken glass than admit they were wrong. She’s bat shit crazy? Doesn’t matter. She’s the love of his life. She’s miserable with him now that she lives with him? Doesn’t matter. She’ll never admit it. His kids won’t talk to him? Their mother poisoned them against him! They worry all the time about where the other one is? Look at all of our happy vacation photos! He’s my savior! She’s my rock!

The cheater thinks marrying the affair accomplice gives their relationship legitimacy. See? It was all worth it. I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I’ve found my soul mate, the love of my life. This person has saved me. It wasn’t some tawdry, run of the mill affair. No, it’s the love affair of the century. They didn’t abandon their children for some ordinary affair partner. This person is the love of their life!

Stories abound about relationships that started out as affairs and even though they’re still together they are not happy. Facebook and Instagram are not the arbiters of truth some might think. Again, it’s their life’s highlight reel. None of the behind the scenes crap- like where she found out he’s sexting some random woman or he found out she was sending naked pictures to a neighbor. You don’t get to see the defeat in his eyes when he realizes she’s no longer putting out all the time or when she realizes he doesn’t have as much money as she thought.

They get married and it doesn’t end immediately so people tell themselves that this must truly have been a love of the ages. The affair was all worth it and obviously their ex didn’t love them the way they love the affair accomplice.

No. They can’t leave because if they do they’ll have to admit it was all for nothing. They can’t leave because they don’t want to admit they were wrong about this other person.

Sometimes, they don’t leave because they saw the devastation that occurred the first time so they vow not to do it again to the new set of kids.

And sometimes they don’t leave because the affair accomplice turned spouse knows all of their tricks and all of their secrets; they can’t ambush them the way they did you because that other person watched the whole thing unfold. They know what to expect.

Other times it’s because they don’t really have a choice. They’ve firebombed everything from their old life so this new life with the affair accomplice is the only thing they’ve got left. Plus, they either can’t afford it because they lost a lot in the divorce or they’re not willing to lose half their shit once again.

We already know cheaters are cowards. They don’t do hard things so the chance they’ll leave this relationship when they don’t have another relationship lined up, they have nowhere to go, and they’ve burned every bridge with their children is pretty slim.

The funny thing is I frequently forget that I’m a part of that demographic- the one where the ex is still with the garden tool. The one where he actually married her.

I suppose it’s easier for me because we haven’t lived in the same state since six months after I found out. I don’t co-parent with him. I was pretty much no contact with him from Day One and I’m pretty sure I haven’t texted with him since he asked when Picasso was graduating and I told him he had no plans to walk.

Honestly I don’t think much about the two of them remaining together. Maybe it’s a match made in hell. Maybe she’s every bit as boring as he is (I say as I sit in my jammies at almost 5 pm). Maybe she loves to watch television all night long and is mesmerized by all the shows on A & E and History Channel that he loved to watch. Maybe she hates going places and doesn’t like to socialize. Who cares?

I know she cheated on him in the first six months of their relationship. I know from The Saint what kind of a person she is. I know she’s shed children throughout this entire ordeal. I know he’s a liar and a cheater himself so it’s not like she won a prize. They’re a great fit in that respect.

I don’t attach any significance to that when I do finally realize it. He’s a prime example of a person who is employing image management and a prime example of a person who is without a doubt stuck. What’s he going to do?

He’s already lost everything. His two children have absolutely nothing to do with him. They have no respect for him. They refuse to meet Harley, not that he’s actually ever tried to get them to meet her.

He walked away from his job where he was the golden boy and probably headed towards a vice president position in the not-so-distant future. For years he made over $60,000 less per year just in base pay. Now he’s only lagging behind by about $30,000.00. I doubt his bonuses are anywhere close to what they were at his former company.

He whined over and over again to anyone who would listen that he didn’t have anything to show for all the money he made because I recklessly spent it. Damn me for dressing my kids and paying for their extracurriculars! I’ve seen his bank account and I can tell you he’s doing much worse now with even more money. Not to mention that instead of owning a home he has to rent now because he screwed himself out of his VA loan.

Finally, how would he ever be able to live independently if he left her? Six months after moving he lost his job. She supported him. He couldn’t have left then. When he finally got another job it paid over $100,000 less than what he had been making- base salary, bonuses, stocks. $100,000. She makes good money but she doesn’t make that much. He definitely needed her then. It wasn’t until two years ago he finally got a job making anywhere close to what he was making before- at least base salary wise. Even now though, he depends upon her and her paycheck to bring him up to the life he was used to. Granted he pays me approximately one entire paycheck per month right now because of his choice to play stupid games for so long. In another year and a half or so he won’t be paying nearly that much. But still… he’s not bringing in anywhere close to the same amount of money as he’s used to, especially after he has to pay me. He wouldn’t be living in a big fancy house if he left. He could probably still afford a new car. But ultimately he wouldn’t get to play big shot anymore. He definitely would not be living up to what his income was.

In the end it truly doesn’t matter. I don’t care why he’s still with her. I don’t care about him at all. I’m writing this in the hopes that those who have fuckwits still with their fuckwit fucking ho might realize still being together doesn’t mean anything.

It Must Be True Love

Gather round, folks, because I’ve got something I want to say to you. I’m seeing an awful lot of people on various sites and pages falling for this nonsense that their cheating ex is a reformed person. That the relationship they have with the affair accomplice is true love and they’re going to live happily ever after. That now he or she is going to change and be the person you wanted them to be… for this other person. Karma will never come and they’ve got it all while I’ve got nothing!

Ahem… that is what I like to call… bullshit.

Oh no, Sam! It’s true love. She’s the love he’s always loved. He’s changed for her. Takes her all the places I wanted to go. Does all the things for her that I wanted him to do for me. I’ve seen the vacation pictures. The big new house. The cars. The new babies.

Yeah? Well, it’s still bullshit. As Chump Lady always reminds us they don’t get personality transplants. And social media doesn’t show the whole picture. Hell, I’m Exhibit A!

One year before he left for Harley I was posting pictures of my new house and my new furniture. In April of 2015 I was happily sharing that I had signed the contract for my pool. Throughout the months of May, June, and July I posted updates. In June and July I shared pictures of the kids and I on vacation in Indiana with family and in Utah with friends. I posted pictures of us in Florida, having a great time on the beach again in July. On August 4th I posted pictures of my completed pool. On August 10th I found out my husband was fucking his cousin. Not one time during that year did I post about him going into a psych ward. I never posted about his drinking. I didn’t post about his bizarre behavior where he was constantly crying and kept himself mostly confined to the bedroom. Or the times I found him in the bathtub (sans water) because “that’s where he felt comfortable and safe.” Anyone looking at my social media would think I had it all. Easter of 2015 I was crying in the shower and recording messages for my friends and loved ones for after they found my body.

But this isn’t social media, Sam! This is from friends, acquaintances, relatives, my powers of perception. They will never split up. They will be together forever! It’s true love.

Relationships are a funny thing. They’re a success until they’re not. How long did it take for your own relationship with the fuckwit to break down? People think that just because they’re still together 2 or 3 years later that it means it’s going to last forever. 

Jezebel and Husband #2 were together 14 years! Fourteen! I’m sure his ex-wife thought they would be together forever. And she probably thought Jezebel stole her life and was now enjoying everything that she used to have when she was his wife.

The reality is Jezebel and Husband #2 were struggling financially. Neither one of them wanted to work a full time job. It interfered with all of their vacation plans. But him being a former pastor of a large church (and trying to establish a new church) meant that for some bizarre reason people wanted to get close to them so they could say they were friends. Those people were the ones paying for their vacations. I remember her saying to me once, “We don’t look like it but we’re poor.” It was a mirage. I gave her money that year so she could buy her son clothes instead of having to go shop at Goodwill. They were able to pay off all of their credit card bills because they hadn’t paid them in over a year when he was out of work; their creditors were willing to take just about anything when he finally got a good paying job. He was paying his ex-wife an enormous amount of money in spousal support every month because he was willing to do anything to get his divorce and marry his mistress. I remember Jezebel being furious because he needed her paycheck in order to pay his ex’s spousal support so he didn’t go to jail. In fact, his ex-wife took him back to court after he hadn’t paid her in a while due to the “no job” thing and the judge gave him something like one month to get the $16,000 or so he owed her or he was going to jail. And how did he pull that off? He begged and borrowed from everyone he knew. They eventually ended up losing their house because they had one of those interest only loans and when interest rates went up their mortgage skyrocketed.

Then after Husband #2 finally landed a good job and they were back on their feet again she had an affair with a colleague nine years younger than her. She dumped her 20 years older husband for the new guy. According to Husband #2 she told him he was too old for her. I do know she told me she felt like she had daddy issues and that was what made him so appealing in the beginning but now she thought he needed to find a woman his own age, one that could travel with him. So very kind of her.

Oh, I believe I’ve also talked about how he saw the writing on the wall so he lined up another wife. He was married like a month after their divorce was final.

It took fourteen years but they didn’t live happily ever after. They weren’t always happily ever after when they were together either.

Another woman I’ve seen post has talked about her cheating ex marrying the affair accomplice. They had two children. The children both have a rare degenerative disease. Neither of the parents knew they were a carrier. And after 15 years or so, again the younger affair accomplice ditched the cheater for a person her own age.

Headlines were made back in 2018 when Ric Ocasek and Paulina Porizkova announced their separation after TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS together. By all accounts their relationship began as an affair. Then again, if you look at the timeline, I think Mrs. Ocasek #2 was the other woman as well. My guess is Paulina must have been the one to end it because he got rather salty in the press. He then cut her out of his will despite the fact that they were not yet divorced at the time of his death in 2019, and were still living together.

Yes, sometimes they do stay together. It’s image management. The cheater can’t stand to admit they were wrong. If they leave the affair accomplice then that’s admitting they made a bad choice. You want examples of that? Fine. I’ll give them to you.

Example #1: One of the moderators on a Facebook page I belong to shared a story her former mother-in-law told her. Her ex is married to a mentally ill woman who has driven away all of his family members for the most part. I believe that in the beginning she was welcomed with open arms, which of course, hurt the poster. But now, seven years later, they see who she is. They can see what a mistake he’s made and even his own adoring mother says, “He’s miserable but he’ll never leave her.” Huh. 

I have to admit I smiled a little bit when she told that story. This guy is so arrogant he cannot bear to admit he made a mistake in cheating on his wife with this particular woman. So instead he will sever relationships with everyone in his family who doesn’t think she’s the most amazing person on the planet. He’s so arrogant that instead of leaving this woman who makes life unbearable he’s going to stay in hell forever to prove a point. If that’s not karma I don’t know what is.

Oh, and his mom also said she thinks he’ll cheat on her even though he won’t ever leave. And my guess is his daughter who is only 9 now is going to get tired of the bullshit and refuse to see her dad before she turns 18. It may not happen in the next few years but I would put money on her refusing visitation within the next 5 years or so.

Example #2: Tempest was a very popular, vocal commenter over on Chump Lady’s website. I don’t know how she knew but somehow she was alerted to the fact that her ex’s new girlfriend was now on anti-depressants after being with him for only a short period of time. 

Yes, sure she was living in a million dollar home. By all outward appearances her life was great and Tempest was really missing out. But the reality was the relationship with that man was so stressful and toxic she was taking medication to deal with it. Some fairytale, huh?

Example #3: I wish I could remember more details but what stuck with me is this woman talking about her husband cheating and leaving for the other woman. He had children with her. He admitted he was miserable and he’d made a huge mistake but he had seen what had happened with his first set of kids and he wasn’t going to do that to his second set of kids. So he stayed.

And finally, my very favorite story. I wish I could find this comment again because it’s stuck with me all these years. I will have to share from memory. Cheating husband leaves his wife and three kids for his pregnant mistress and marries her. By all accounts the mistress had struck gold. She had multiple houses, multiple cars, grand vacations. The wife got cheated out of all of that. They were still together after almost 35 years of marriage. But, the poster went on to explain, the cheater and his mistress turned wife didn’t talk to each other. One was an alcoholic and the other popped pills to help them sleep. The father was depressed and angry that his older three children, the ones he abandoned for Sparkle Twat, had nothing to do with him. Their whole life was a carefully crafted facade built on debt and charity.

When their 35th wedding anniversary came around though, the poster went on to say, she knew they would throw a huge party and everyone would be there. It would be a huge to-do and he would be toasting her as the love of his life. Because they couldn’t let people see the truth, which was that they were miserable together and living in a house of cards.

I’m not saying to stake your happiness on your cheater’s misery. I am saying though to pull your head out of your ass and stop insisting they have it all and it’s true love and they’re blissfully happy while you’re miserable. They’re the same damn person they’ve always been. There is no such thing as a personality transplant. 

The guy who didn’t want kids isn’t thrilled now that his 20 year younger whore just popped two of them out in a row. He wasn’t looking for a new wife. He was looking for a fantasy woman. One that fawned over him. One that made him her priority. Now they’ve got two little babies who demand lots of time. That’s time she can’t devote to him. And if he did want those kids, chances are good it’s because he thought it would keep her stuck with him. It’s always harder to leave once children are involved. 

There is a woman who was married to an idiot that was lamenting the fact that he had married the mistress and they are trying for a baby. This is the same guy who told her how much fun he was having riding motorcycles and living a life of freedom. I didn’t realize you could strap a car seat onto the back of a Harley. Must be a new feature. Mr. Live Free or Die is getting himself right back into the same situation he fled. Traded the old wife for the new wife. Trying to have a baby with that one. The shit that held him down before and made him oh so sad is going to hold him down again.

The guy who was a serial cheater hasn’t magically transformed into a loyal, committed partner. He’s still out there cheating. He may not do it right away, but he’s going to do it. They don’t treat you poorly because they’re not in love with you. They treat you poorly because they’re assholes.

Is he (or she) doing all the things with the new person that you wished they had done for you? That’s just more proof that they’re really in love with this new person and they’ve changed, right? Wrong! You gave them a fucking blueprint. These things will make me happy. And if they will make me happy they will probably make somebody else happy as well.  They haven’t changed. They’re not madly in love. This is not their soul mate and this is why they’re treating them so much better. No, they’ve just stolen your ideas.

I know it’s not a whole lot of comfort when people keep throwing out the statistics on how rare it is when your partner leaves for the affair partner if they’ve already actually left. And it’s not any comfort when they tell you that statistically speaking they only have a 5 to 7% chance of making it to the alter, and then they get married. But let those examples above serve as a guiding light. Once married they’ve got a 75% chance that the marriage won’t last. If they manage to be in that 25% that’s no guarantee that they’re happy. They don’t change. That new relationship high is going to wear off eventually. Old habits will be resumed. The person who devalued you is going to devalue the next one. They’ll be the ones dealing with their temper tantrums, the silent treatment, the scorn, their inability to admit they’re wrong, the bad habits, the nasty attitude, the yelling, the abuse, the constant demands, the feelings of never being good enough. Sooner or later the new supply is going to be wondering where the person they fell in love with went. The person who cheats on you is going to cheat on the next one, unless the next one has them on a very short leash. And that’s karma in itself.

Entitlement, Thy Name is Cheater

I saw this meme and I thought to myself, “I have no words.” Then I thought about it and decided I did have words. Unfortunately, I have been so bad about writing that I never got around to it. Before I could point out the absurdity of such an asinine statement I was slapped in the face with this drivel:

Folks, this gets to the very heart of what Chump Lady always says about cheating. She maintains it’s about entitlement and crappy character. What better example of that entitlement is there than these two memes?

Don’t lose a loyal man because he’s occasionally unfaithful? As they would say in “The Princess Bride”: I do not think that word means what you think it means. A loyal man is not unfaithful. Feel free to interchange the pronouns as necessary. That’s like saying, “Don’t give up on your law abiding husband because he occasionally murders someone.” “Don’t give up on your honest investment banker because he occasionally embezzles.” “Don’t fire your favorite teacher just because she occasionally sleeps with her students.” I guess if you only do something occasionally it’s okay.

You say he hits you? Does he do it regularly? No? Only occasionally? Oh yeah, then you don’t want to lose a good man like him because he occasionally hits you.

He occasionally molests your kids? Well, it’s not like he does it all the time. You don’t want to lose a good man over something that only happens occasionally.

I could do this all day. She only tried to poison you once! What’s your problem? She occasionally shoots up in front of your kids. It’s not like she’s a junkie. He occasionally lies to you. Where’s the red flag in that?

As you might be able to conclude I think the idea that you would want to hang onto this gem because he’s only occasionally unfaithful is a load of crap. Being occasionally unfaithful is a lot like being a little bit pregnant. You either are or you aren’t.

It’s also an entitled attitude. He’s so fucking phenomenal that it doesn’t matter what kind of shitty behavior he engages in. You don’t want to lose him, do you? Just look past him sticking his dick in other people. It’s no biggie. You don’t want to lose a loyal man like him because of the occasional cheating. Where on earth would you find someone better?

Then we move onto this brilliant advice, otherwise known as, “How to eat shit sandwiches and keep a smile on your face.”

Cheating is apart (sic) of ups & downs of a relationship tho. Every man is gonna hurt u, u just gotta find that one worth hurting for. Millions of happy wives have been cheated on & absurd but they fought for their marriage to work. If you not willing to fight for love then stay single.

Oh Professor Douche, there is so much wrong with this. We’ll begin with the obvious. No, cheating is not a part of the ups and downs of a relationship. Cheating is, or should be, a deal breaker. It should not be normalized. If cheating is a normal part of the ups and downs in a relationship then you are in a very toxic relationship. My advice is to get the hell out!

Secondly, pain and sorrow is not a normal part of a relationship. You should not expect to be hurt. You should expect to be loved and treasured. Supported, cherished. Not writhing around in agony because the person you’re with is an asshole and you think this is just the normal course of an average relationship. I don’t find any man worth hurting for. Whether you’re a man or a woman I would hope you wouldn’t find any man or woman worth hurting for. That’s not love. That’s abuse. Let’s stop selling these tortured relationships as love affairs of the century.

I find it astounding that he actually believes “millions of happy wives have been cheated on & abused but they fought for their marriage to work.” Those women are not happy. They’re desperate. And where are all the men fighting for their marriages to work despite wives that are out there sleeping with everyone? I guess being hurt and being cheated on and being abused isn’t part of a man’s normal relationship. At least not as a recipient.

I do have to give him props thought. He dared to take the conversation where others normally don’t. He’s actually suggesting that if a man only hits you occasionally you should continue to fight for your marriage. Sounds amazing. Yeah, he gets drunk and beats me but it only happens a few times a month. He cheats on me, slept with my sister, gave me an STD, but that’s just part of the ups and downs of a relationship, you know. I stuck it out. I fought for my marriage and my lying, cheating sack of shit abuser. I am so lucky! I know how to stick with it unlike you losers out there. You give up too easily and that’s why you don’t have a lasting relationship. Unlike me.

This is the crap the RIC peddles. Fight for your man. Fight for your marriage. Who cares about your dignity? Keep him at all costs. It’s far better to have a man, even if he’s a shitty excuse for a human being, than to be alone.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. The idea that love means never having to say you’re sorry is bullshit and so is this idea that you need to fight for love. Love is freely given. It is reciprocated. Relationships may not be all sunshine and roses all the time but you shouldn’t have to be fighting for your relationship either. Nor should you have to navigate through hell for a relationship. That’s not a relationship worth nurturing.

Oh, and third? This idea that if you’re not willing to fight for love then you should stay single is another way of getting you to continue with the pick me dance.

If you not willing to fight for love then stay single.

No, bro, how ‘bout if you want me to continue to be in your life you get your shit together from the very beginning? He’s making a declaration, folks. If you can’t fight for your man then you should stay single. If you’re not willing to overlook his cheating and his lying and the abuse he foists upon you then don’t even bother trying to find someone. It’s much better that you remain single. Any of you people out there that believe you deserve to be treated with decency and respect need to readjust your expectations. You should willingly accept the crumbs someone tosses your way. Who do you think you are anyway? You don’t get to make demands. You don’t get to make a choice.

All snark aside these two memes are shining examples of what I talk about and what Chump Lady talks about when we keep shouting from the rooftops that cheating is not a marriage problem; it is an entitlement problem. That’s what all of this is about. It’s what the RIC is built on. They truly believe they are entitled to forgiveness. It’s a given. Any real woman would do the right thing and fight for her man, her relationship. Of course she would forgive him, take him back, and never speak of it again.They believe they get to call all of the shots. They get to decide to cheat on you. Then they get to decide if they want to stay with to you or if they’re going to leave. They are entitled to do whatever they feel like and you need to sit there and take it like a good little woman. Sadly, many of us have been indoctrinated to believe this bullshit. To believe that cheating is just a mistake. To believe you owe it to them to give them another chance. To believe that you don’t throw away years for one bad moment in your relationship. We’re taught to forgive and told that relationships take two people. We’re told to look at ourselves and ask ourselves what we did wrong, how we made them cheat, what we did to drive them into someone else’s arms.

That. Is. Bullshit. Cheating is not a relationship problem. It is an entitlement problem. They feel entitled to cheat and they feel entitled to your forgiveness.

Am I going to find that one man that is worth hurting for? No, Professor Douche, I’m going to find the man who doesn’t believe that cheating and abuse are normal parts of a relationship. 

Am I willing to fight for love? I don’t know. What’s the prize money like? Come on! I’m way too old to fight for love. It’s either there or it’s not. All of this “fight for your relationship” bullshit is just pick me bait.  I’m not fighting to keep a relationship with a lying, cheating, entitled asshole. That’s a solid “No.”

Am I going to lose a loyal man just because he’s occasionally unfaithful? Oh honey, I’m not losing anything. I’m kicking that sonofabitch to the curb! He’s the one that lost something.

#riseup

Good Times Ahead… And Behind

I’ve been taking a long stroll down Memory Lane these past few posts. Some of you may be wondering, “Why don’t you shut off those memory notifications, Sam?”

Simple. I don’t want to.

Why? Do you love being tortured?

No. No, I do not like being tortured. Honestly, I’m not tortured by any of these memories. It’s more that they pop up and I shake my head at how naïve I was. Or maybe it’s more that I shake my head in disgrace at how far I buried my head in the sand when it came to that jackass. I see those pictures, those happy pictures of us (us being me and my kids) and my overwhelming thought is, “Oh, you poor thing. You had no idea what was heading your way.” Truth.

That’s the root of it, and this walk down memory lane. I look back on those pictures and my first thought is, “What a fucking waste!” when I see my kids and I doing all of our favorite things one last time, going to our favorite places, eating our favorite foods. “What a fucking waste!” I say as I see the pictures of our house up for sale, the moving truck loading up our things, all of my goodbye gifts from my friends, last minute gatherings, saying goodbye to everyone. We moved for what? Absolutely nothing. For the promise of a new life, a chance to start over.

I see those pictures of me and the kids on our three week trip out to Indiana and Utah and while the overwhelming memory is how much fun we had and how great it was to see everyone, I am reminded that the entire time we were away Jerry Lee was doing God only knows what with Harley. As I was reading the news of my friend’s impending divorce and lending her comfort my own husband was busy betraying me. I still remember writing to her that I was one of the “lucky ones” because we worked through it. Huh. Not even two months later I would be calling her and telling her I was joining the Women Who Moved Across the Country For Their Husbands and Then Got Dumped club. It’s a mouthful.

I see the pictures of us again down in Florida on what was supposed to be our family vacation and again, while the overwhelming memory is of what a great time we had, I am always aware of how dramatically our lives were about to change.

Those are all pictures of my old life, the one I had before the last DDay. Regardless of how it ended those pictures represent what was once my life. It was a mere chapter and not the entire book, but it was mine nonetheless.

My children are in those pictures, too. My nieces. My nephew. My brother and mother and sister-in-law. My family. Videos of Rock Star at her gymnastics meets and during practice. Videos of birthday parties. So no, I won’t get rid of the Facebook memories.

And you know what? Those memories that make me cringe come up sometimes alongside new memories. New, good memories. Sometimes I see things like my trip to Hocking Hills with the mobster where we walked around this beautiful, almost magical, park all day and then had an amazing time sampling wine at Hocking Hills Winery. Other times I’m treated to pictures of our weekend in Germantown, in parks, at wineries, in Athens, at the Blueberry Festival. Or pictures of us at the Paula Poundstone concert or the Kane Brown concert will pop up. So many memories between the two of us. Other times I come across a picture of me and Sweet J hanging out at a baseball game. Or there’s a post reminding me that my long time friend took me to The Damned concert up in Detroit. There’s the picture of me and my high school friends reunited for dinner. Sometimes I get to see pictures of me and my niece and my mom on one of our town’s wine walks. And there are always the holiday and birthday pictures. They’re not all tug-at-the-heartstrings memories. Some of them, most of them, are happy memories with no foreshadowing, unless you count my entire life as foreshadowing.

I’m almost six years from DDay. The things that happened changed me forever. The life I live now is nowhere close to the life I lived before. The trick is to keep on going. Roll with the punches. Dodge ‘em if you can. 

Oh What the Hell… Let’s Keep Going

Yesterday it was the picture my mom put up back in 2016 when I picked up the U-Haul that would transport what few belongings we were taking with us back to Indiana. Sam the truck driver, read the caption.

Today it was the little timeline notice showing that I had moved to South Bend on this day five years ago.

Wow- let that one wash over you for a moment. Five years since Jerry Lee lost his job and decided financially supporting his children wasn’t a priority. Five years since I walked through my house putting price tags on everything I owned to attempt to sell it. Five years since I sold off my furniture piece by piece. Five years since I packed up and moved here. Five years since I cried as I drove out of my neighborhood. Five years since I’ve lived in a house that is truly my own.

My view driving into my subdivision.
My house
My pool
My enclosed porch

A lot has changed in those five years, as you might imagine. I finally got a better job. My daughter is beginning her final year of nursing school in a month. My son has finally graduated high school. Shockingly, I found love again. I lost my beloved Beau. My mom lost her dog. I beat Jerry Lee in court over and over and over again. Fingers crossed he’s finally learned. And in about 3 weeks my love, my mobster, will be moving to my area. Hooray! No more weekends only. No more 2, 3, 4 weeks between visits. I’ll write about that more later.

I could be sad. I could wallow in sorrow over all that was lost. My word of the year is attitude and the word the year before was change. I’m going to look at it like five years ago my life began all over again. One chapter ended. Another chapter began.

Damn You, Facebook!

I hope everyone reading my blog by now knows that I am completely over Jerry Lee. That ship sailed the moment The Saint told me he had been spending his weekends with Harley while he lied to me and made up story after story. And I am probably somewhere in the 95-99% range of being over all the shit he put me through and the havoc he created. With that said Facebook can be a real meddlin’ bitch who stirs shit up!

If I let triggers rule my life I would have to be put into a coma somewhere around the beginning of May and be kept unconscious until the end of August. That’s pretty much when Jerry Lee pulled all his shit- both times! Much like my children have June and July birthdays which means I can pretty much always say, “They’re two years apart,” Jerry Lee was “kind enough” to make sure that both of my D-Days were in August. Four days apart! Except for the original D-Day which was not much of a D-Day because I was so stupid. That one happened in May- hence the medically induced coma beginning in May.

I looked on my Facebook memories and was treated to pictures of my kids and I on a “family” vacation in Destin with my mom, brother, sister-in-law, 2 nieces, and a nephew. I’m not triggered by the pictures of us on vacation so much as I am by what was going on behind the scenes.

See, poor Jerry Lee couldn’t come with us because he had to go on a “business trip” to Tennessee. That was the trip where his counselor and I both coached him on the arduous drive that he was unsure he was going to be able to make. We cheered him on and gave him all the atta-boys his little heart could handle. And then while the kids and I were in Destin Jerry Lee drove to Tennessee and met up with Harley. We’d been in Virginia one year exactly.

I look at those pictures and I see me and my kids enjoying our vacation, having a great time, with absolutely no idea what was ahead of us. We were carefree and happy. Approximately two weeks later I would find out my husband was a lying, cheating shit eating chimp, and about two weeks after that his kids would find out that the family they grew up with was no longer. In a 10 minute come-to-Jesus confessional they both found out not only had their father been spending his weekends hanging out with his new girlfriend in Kentucky but also his entire family knew about it and condoned it. His mother organized it and went on a date with them. It was to a funeral but still…

While the kids and I were on vacation, thinking that life was going on as normal, my husband was busy stabbing me in the back. I look at those pictures now and I think, “Oh my God! You were completely clueless.” And it makes me kind of sad.

Of course, this was also the trip where I spotted the Walmart purchase in Whoreville, otherwise known as Winchester, Kentucky. Looking back on it it’s quite insulting how stupid he thought I was. “D’oh, I gave my debit card to my mom so she could get a new tire for her minivan. That’s why that’s on there. I don’t know why it says Whoreville. She bought it in Lexington.”

Actually looking back it’s kind of insulting how stupid I allowed myself to be. In my defense I thought he was a whole lot smarter than that. Who in their right mind moves their family across the country, buys a brand new house, fills it with brand new furniture, buys their wife a brand new car, and agrees to install a brand new in-ground pool in the backyard which takes almost all of your stock options and requires a loan, and then turns around and cheats with the same damn whore you cheated with 2 years prior? Even more stupid than that, who in the hell buys the whore something from Walmart and uses their damn debit card when they know damn well that the other spouse can see the bank transactions and is checking on a regular basis because they’re on vacation with your kids? I do remember saying to myself, “He can’t be that stupid. He’s a smart man.” Not smart enough apparently.

God, he was such a shit. I remember being in Florida and him telling me the trip lasted longer than he expected. Then he told me that since he was already in Tennessee he was going to “try” to drive and see his mom. Would I be okay with that?

Would I be okay with him seeing his mom? Absolutely. I said as much. Something along the lines of, “She’s your mom. Of course I don’t have a problem with it. How could I say no to that?” Would I be okay with him fucking his cousin? No. I had no idea that to him they were one and the same. Okay with him continuing to slough off on our family vacation? Well then I must be okay with him fucking his cousin. And going to a goddamn family reunion that was set up knowing his wife and kids weren’t going to be there. It was probably their fucking engagement party knowing those inbred motherfuckers.

I don’t remember what set me off. All I remember is thinking that if he could spend money freely on his “mother” then I was no longer going to be keeping the purse strings closed for my kids. I took Rock Star on a very nice shopping spree. All the clothes she wanted. A Coach purse. Another Coach purse for me… after I had already bought a Kate Spade purse and wallet because the Coach purse I liked was a little too expensive. Oh you better believe I went back there a day or two later and bought the one I wanted. It was an outlet mall; it wasn’t that expensive. I bought for Picasso as well, but he had no interest in coming along.

I guess that seeing these memories pop up so close to my return trip to Utah has hit me in some way. I don’t want him back and while I freely admit I miss the lifestyle I used to have I can’t envision still being with him. The thought of being married to him and living life with him makes my skin crawl. I am 100% happier in this new life. Yet I look at those pictures and I can’t help but know that I thought I was happy and I was definitely a lot more innocent. I had no idea the hell that was about to be unleashed. I had no idea the changes and the hardships that were about to befall me. I was a sheltered, pampered stay at home mom with no financial worries and plenty of (maybe too much) time on my hands. Those pictures represent me before life kicked me in the throat. They’re a reminder of my old life, a life where I didn’t struggle and where I thought things were okay, maybe even mostly good. Those pictures are me and my kids before our lives were imploded and we were forced to change everything.

It’s not a bad life anymore. I’m not even sure I’m sad about it. It’s more like seeing a picture of a loved one shortly before they die. You look at that picture and you think to yourself, “I had no idea at the time that this would be the last time I saw them.” That’s what those pictures do to me. I look at the happy faces, the smiles, and I think, “That’s the last time my life was normal.” Approximately two weeks later I would join the ranks of women whose husbands had cheated on them and were planning on leaving for the other woman. I went from being a stay at home mom to being a working mom. I went from being a great mom to just being a mom. I went from living in my own home to living in my mom’s house. I went from no financial worries to worrying about money constantly. I went from being married for 20 years to being single. I went from living in Virginia to moving back to Indiana. I went from having furniture and dishes and towels to getting rid of probably 95% of everything I’d ever owned. Absolutely everything changed. Those pictures are the last pictures taken of me before I died, along with my old life.

Oh, don’t worry. Like the Phoenix I rose from the ashes. Maybe I’m even better than I was before. All that forged in fire shit. Not waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain. I did that. I’m still standing. But that woman in those pictures? She’s gone forever.

Stupid People’s Comments Regarding Affairs

A brave soul from another site replied to an article written by the mistress on Scary Mommy. I don’t know exactly what the person said, probably something controversial and sensible like, “There is no excuse for cheating. You have options. Communication. Therapy. Leaving before you find a mistress.” She later reported that she was getting eaten alive on the Scary Mommy site. I guess they have a disproportionate number of cheaters and cheater apologists on that site. Good to know.

I thought I’d share with you some of their wisdom.

Stop with the woe is me. Nobody owes you anything. You don’t own someone because you married him or her.

Nobody owes me anything? Oh, they most certainly do! We’re not talking about any random person out there. We’re talking about a person who has asked me to marry them. Not only did they ask me to marry them, they went through with it and exchanged vows with me. They’ve made promises to me. We’ve made plans together. I’ve given up my own dreams to help support theirs. We’ve made agreements and decisions based upon us being partners. Oh hell yes they owe me something. They owe me honesty. They owe me loyalty. They owe me fidelity. If they didn’t want to “owe” me any of those things then they shouldn’t have married me. This isn’t some casual coffee date; this was supposed to be a lifetime commitment.

I moved all over the country for Jerry Lee. I gave up my established life time after time so that he could advance at work. I left friends behind. I left family behind. I held down the fort while he was living and working hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away from us. I agreed to uproot my life and the lives of my children from Utah where we were perfectly happy to Virginia based solely upon what he wanted. I cooked for that man. I made him a plate every night. I did his laundry. I took care of his children. I cleaned his house. I bought his groceries. I took care of everything. You bet your ass he owes me. I was not some random woman he passed on the street. I was his wife of 20 years and the mother of his children.

This attitude is why I have the issues I do with truly merging my life with another person. It’s why I am so reluctant to share everything with someone else, to go all in knowing I could lose everything once again. You have all these idiots out there who act like getting married is no different than going to the movies with someone. You get fucked over? Oh well! They don’t owe you anything. You don’t own them just because you got married.

Honestly, if marriage means so little then why on earth would anyone ever get married? Why not just casually date for the rest of your life? That’s about how much importance some of these people put on marriage and the vows you take. Why do anything for the other person? Move across the country or even out of the country for your spouse’s dream job? Give up your job to stay at home and raise the children? Put your career second to your spouse’s? Give up time with your own family in order to spend it with your spouse’s family? Compromise at all on anything? Why? Why would you when they don’t owe you anything at all and all of those things you are willing to do for your partner don’t mean anything?

I see it every day on Chump Lady’s blog and the Chump Nation Facebook page. Women who have been stay at home moms for 5, 10, 20 years. Discarded for the new shiny. Left without a home. Left without any income. In many cases there is no alimony. They’re left trying to rebuild their lives while the ex-husband rides off blissfully into the sunset with the new supply. And society’s answer to that is: They don’t owe you anything. You don’t own them.

Fuck that. They absolutely do owe us something. And needless to say, but I’m going to say it  anyway, expecting fidelity does not equal thinking you own someone. It means you expect them to be faithful.

I would go so far as to say I think all of us realize we don’t own our spouses. We do, however, have expectations. If you’re unhappy and you want out, then do it ethically. Get out before you start fucking around. Don’t lie. Don’t cheat. Don’t waste our lives while you begin a new one without ever cluing us in until you’re ready to discard us.

Therapy? No. If you’re unhappy therapy won’t fix anything.

Really? The only thing that will fix being unhappy is having an affair? You sure about that? 

I don’t think the person who suggested therapy believes that it will automatically cure any ills within a relationship, but it does seem to be a much more mature approach to repairing a marriage than having an affair. The person who is unhappy may find that therapy won’t save the marriage after all but it’s certainly better than screwing around behind your spouse’s back, devastating them and blowing up your children’s lives. You may still end up divorced but you’re not a cheater.

Some people don’t seek out the help they need and then wonder why their spouses chose to cheat or leave. Nobody should live a life of misery simply because he/she exchanged vows with you. Cheating is a symptom of a bad marriage/long term relationship.

Wait. So now it’s my fault that my spouse cheated? If only I had been a better little wife he might not have needed to go fuck his cousin?

No, we do not cause people to cheat on us, just like we don’t cause people to rape us, or beat us or kidnap us, or mug us. In all of those instances, people have chosen to do those things to another person. They are responsible for their choice. No one made them do it.

I always find it interesting that those who believe you caused your own abuse never think people abusing them is justified. Your husband (or wife) cheats on you? Pfft… you deserved it; if you hadn’t done A, B, or C or had done X, Y, or Z, they wouldn’t have cheated on you. You run that cheating sonofabitch down with your car? Well that is just wrong! There is no excuse for that.

I also love how there are only two choices- you live a life of misery or you cheat/leave. God forbid you actually work on your relationship. Nope, that would be too hard. It might actually take some effort. Much easier to just cheat, or call it quits. Your kids might end up suicidal or needing therapy or end up dropping out of college, but hey, if you’re happy that’s all that matters.

Cheating is a symptom of a bad marriage/long term relationship. No, it’s not. It’s a sign of shitty character and a poor moral compass. It is a choice. People are in bad relationships all the time and they don’t all cheat. Hell, most of the people who end up cheated on have horror stories about the things they endured because of the cheater. Yet they remained faithful. They continued to fight for their relationships and their families.

Too many people out here acting like they’re helpless. You have a choice. Your spouse doesn’t want you. Leave! You don’t think he or she has thought about the consequences.? It’s a message. Stop being in denial and go find someone who wants to be with you. If postpartum depression is making you intolerable to be around, then yes, your spouse may choose to not stay committed to you. You can’t be a miserable jackass and expect others to tolerate that life.

Oh, there’s so much to this I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s begin at the end: You can’t be a miserable jackass and expect others to tolerate that life. This person specifically references postpartum depression. Basically what they’re saying is if a person has an illness and they’re no longer fun they should expect their spouse to cheat and/or leave. Wow! I hope that if they are ever diagnosed with cancer or some other life threatening illness or disability that they are equally as understanding when their own spouse deserts them because they’re no longer fun.

Again it’s that whole, “For better or for worse, in sickness and in health” thing. You made vows to this person. You made a commitment. But for these people, that means nothing. Remember, being married doesn’t mean they owe you anything. You don’t own them.

Too many people out here acting like they’re helpless. You have a choice. See, that’s where you’re wrong. The choice is taken from us. We’re lied to and deceived so that we don’t have all of the information. It’ s not a level playing field. It’s rigged. That’s what cheating is all about. People are told, “Oh no! I’m not having an affair! How could you even think that?” when the reality is their spouse is in fact having an affair. They’re told they’re crazy and paranoid. The cheater is playing their part beautifully so that we don’t catch on, and if we suspect something, we’re always told we’re imagining things. “Everything’s fine. Nothing’s wrong. It’s work stress. I’m tired.” No, we are not given a choice. We’re given lies.

I also find it interesting how everything falls on the betrayed spouse. Your spouse doesn’t want you. Leave! Why am I the one that has to do anything? If my spouse is so miserable they must cheat on me then shouldn’t they be the one that leaves? It appears to me that I am the one getting shit on and yet the naysayers are looking at me and asking, “Why aren’t you doing anything about this? You need to take care of this.”

You don’t think he or she has thought about the consequences.? It’s a message.

No, I don’t think he or she has thought about the consequences. They either think they’re so damn brilliant they’ll never get caught, or they don’t believe their good chump will ever grow a backbone and start looking out for their own best interests instead of serving them. When consequences do occur they immediately try to turn it around and play the victim. Most cheaters don’t have any intentions of leaving their marriage. They enjoy eating cake. Those that do? They do not enjoy having any consequences levied. Again, they think they’re the victim when that happens.

Stop being in denial and go find someone who wants to be with you. 

Yes, because when you’ve been lied to and deceived, and your whole world implodes around you the first thing you think is, “I need to go out and find a new partner.” You’re not traumatized. You don’t have trust issues. It’s all, “Wow! I’m so lucky I get to find somebody new!” The fact that your whole life has been turned upside down and in many cases you don’t know where you’re going to live or how you’re going to pay your bills is not an issue. No, Jackass, all we’re thinking is, “I’m going to pull on my big girl (or boy) panties and find someone new. Someone who wants me.”

These people are idiots. End of story.

I’d Love To Be That Naive Again

I’m jealous, folks. I don’t spend much time on Facebook anymore. I get on to check in on the Chump Nation page and take maybe 5-10 minutes to scroll through my feed. I send out a few birthday wishes/happy anniversary wishes, etc. Even with the limited amount of time I’m on there I still see the feeds of seemingly happy couples.

The co-worker I mentioned a few months ago is pregnant and quit her job; she’s going to be a stay at home mom. She’s living the life she’s always wanted to live- living on a farm surrounded by animals with the love of her life and a new baby. My cousin is still at home, baking bread, knitting, and being all domestic. She is honestly rocking this stay-at-home thing. The meals she cooks, the desserts she makes, the fucking artisan bread she bakes, the projects she takes on… it’s amazing. Truly.

I’m not jealous because they’re able to do those things. I’m happy for them. No, I’m envious because they, for whatever reason, have the luxury of believing that this new life they’re crafting with their partner won’t go belly up; the thought that things might not work out and they could lose everything doesn’t even cross their minds. I don’t blame them. I didn’t spend any part of my marriage thinking, “Oh my God! What if he leaves me?” I didn’t prepare for a future without him. I certainly didn’t live my entire life with him in preparation for a divorce. That’s the root of the envy.

I learned the hard way that you can’t ever rely on the other person doing what they’re supposed to do. I learned you need to be prepared to do it all on your own because when you don’t, you’re completely blindsided. I’m envious because they don’t seem to know that; they can throw caution to the wind and depend upon another person. They are quitting their jobs. They are without an income. And they’re fine with it because their husbands will support them. They’re able to take this new life they’re creating for themselves and not think beyond now. It’s all excitement- new houses, new lifestyles, babies, new pets, photo shoots, artisan bread, home projects, and vacations. They’re building a fantastic new life with someone, and they are able to throw themselves whole heartedly into this new chapter of their lives. There is no, “What happens if I quit my job and this person leaves me?” It’s simply a brand new life where they can depend 100% on another person and trust that that person isn’t going to betray them. I really wish I could be that naive again. That is what makes me envious. All that I am I give to you and all that I have I share with you. I wish I still believed that without reservation. I wish I could put my life in another person’s hands and have faith that he will always have my back. I wish I still believed that you work as a team, you build a life together, and you reap the rewards together. You don’t have to keep a tally sheet of who does what and how much your contribution is worth.

Now I see people working as a team, building lives together, making the decision to stay at home, and I think, “You better hope he doesn’t leave. If he does your life is going to spiral out of control. Everything you know to be true today will be over in the blink of an eye. Better yet- you’d better have a backup plan so you can take care of yourself if he does leave.” 

Even worse, I can’t allow myself the luxury of thinking of myself as part of a team. I am horribly aware of how no couple is really a team. You say the words, but the reality is, when that new person catches your eye, you don’t give a fuck about your former “teammate” and you’re certainly not trying to give them a fair share of everything “the team” has accumulated through the years. The team member that was making a six figure salary gets to walk away and move in with the new teammate while still making six figures; their life goes on as normal. Meanwhile, the teammate that wasn’t making the money but was raising the kids, cooking meals, doing all the grocery shopping, doing the laundry, cleaning the house, running the pets to vet appointments, running the kids all around, and generally supporting the money earner from behind the scenes is left alone with no income. Their life changes dramatically.

I know this probably sounds odd coming from me. Or maybe it doesn’t, which is even scarier. I’m very happy with the mobster. Far happier than I ever was with Jerry Lee. I love him and want to spend the rest of my life with him. I still can’t get comfortable with the idea of giving up spousal support in order to marry him or even live with him. Every time I think about it and start to believe that this time would be different because he’s the right person that little voice in my head says, “Listen up! Don’t be an idiot! You’ve already learned the hard way what happens when you can’t stand on your own two feet. You would have to be amazingly stupid to voluntarily give that up and depend on him. You don’t make enough money to be able to afford anything on your own without spousal support.”

That little voice is right. I do know what happens when you depend upon another person. I know what happens when you can’t support yourself. You wind up moving in with your mother and getting rid of almost everything you’ve ever owned and sleeping on the couch. I wish I didn’t know that.

Things have changed a bit since I first began writing this way back in October. The biggest change, of course, is my new job. I actually could support myself now if I gave up spousal support and moved in with or married the mobster. It’s still a good chunk of change though so I’m not eager to give it up. It would also be rather tight because as I said I’ve almost closed the gap. I haven’t done it completely. And when you look at actual take home pay… well, let’s just say I’m not where I want to be without that extra boost.

I like to think I’m mostly unscathed from my divorce; however, I can’t shake that idea that if I can’t afford it on my own then it’s not really mine. It was a hard lesson to learn and I’m not sure if it will ever be unlearned. The funny thing is I think that the mobster and I really would make a great team and could build a fantastic life together. That little voice in the back of my head continues to question though: What if he leaves you? Can you still afford that? Will you be able to take that (whatever “that” happens to be) with you? Will you be able to stand on your own two feet or will you have to return to your mom’s house? Funnier still is the fact that I have no reason to believe he would do that to me. He’s been through all of this himself. I don’t spend time worrying that he’s got one foot out the door or that he’s checking out other women. Hell, we live 600 miles apart and I have never worried about him cheating on me. Maybe that’s stupidity on my part, or maybe it’s a testament to the strong foundation of our relationship. Either way, it’s not something I worry about. And yet… I’m not able to fully commit to joining finances and letting Jerry Lee off the hook.

Fortunately for me the mobster understands. He recently said to me, “You’re terrified to give up spousal support, aren’t you?” Oh yeah. That’s my safety net. I lost everything. I’m not prepared to do that again.

I really wish I could be as naive as some of the people I know when it comes to relationships. I wish I didn’t feel like I always needed an exit plan in case I get discarded. On the other hand, I’m really glad I’m in a position finally where I can stand on my own. I don’t see myself ever giving that up.