One More Stroll Down Memory Lane

Since I seem to be in the middle of the dog days of nostalgia I figured one more post on the topic wouldn’t hurt. 

I was going to throw this in with yesterday’s post but that one got kinda long so I’m doing a separate one. Facebook hasn’t just been busy reminding me of all the “lasts” we did on our bucket list before we moved from Utah to Virginia. The kids and I created a list of everything we wanted to do one last time before we moved 2000 miles away. It isn’t just busy showing me pictures of the the new house we bought and then furnished and decorated. It has greater tricks up its sleeve than reminding me of our expedition to Indiana to see my niece graduate. We left the day after Rock Star and Picasso got out of school and Jerry Lee took that opportunity to shift his affair into high gear. It’s not content with taunting me with happy pictures of our return visit to Utah, one year after our move to see friends. All while I’m sending him pictures of me in my new dresses, smiling and checking in on him. And, of course, it’s not going to settle for only reminding me about our family vacation in Florida, the one that happened without a care in the world while he screwed his cousin. No, those aren’t the only pictures it likes to have pop up. It also likes to show me the progress being made on my pool.

I believe as far back as April I get a reminder: I signed the contract for our pool today! Hooray! Then again in May: They are finally out here digging! Progress!

I think I’ve told the story of how the pool construction was cursed. The surveyor who was supposed to verify where the power lines were didn’t do his job; he simply signed off on it. The guy who came out and began digging the hole for our pool ending up running over and cutting a power line. I had what felt like the entire electric company out in my backyard attempting to fix the problem- the problem being, of course, exposed live electrical wires.

It didn’t stop there. It rained like crazy that summer so construction was delayed. Then someone else was building a home and putting a pool in at the same time and I agreed to let them go first since it was supposedly an easier job. We had large boulders where the pool was supposed to go and we weren’t sure they were going to be able to dig 6 feet, much less the 8 feet I was hoping for so we could have a diving board. It cost $11,000 to remove them, on top of what we were already paying. It kept raining. Then the dye machine exploded on the day they were supposed to come over and do my concrete. Three weeks turned into six weeks turned into nine weeks. I know it was at least ten weeks. Instead of enjoying our pool sometime in late June or early July it didn’t get filled until August. Our contractor had someone come out and run the basic electricity so that the kids could swim, but we never had it set up completely with the lights.

This picture pretty much sums it up. My mom had captioned it something along the lines of: Sam enjoying her pool. Not!

I remember trying to be very Zen about the whole thing. I kept telling myself that while this was taking a lot longer than it was supposed to in the long run it would all be worth it and we would have years and years of enjoyment. Next year there would be no waiting. Ha! Next year it would be so impossibly dirty we couldn’t ever get it clean and we never swam in it again.

Believe it or not, I’ve made peace with that particular pool. In fact, I would go so far as to say that pool was my saving grace. Had it been finished earlier I would have already paid for it. That money set aside for our pool was what gave me a cushion. Plus, as I’ve always said, if he’d had more stock options he would have simply spent more money on the whore. In the end that big hole in the ground actually saved me. It’s disappointing as hell to know how much we paid for that and how little we got to enjoy it, but it saved me and my kids. There’s got to be some kind of metaphor or catchy saying here. You know, like, “It wasn’t the pool I wanted but it was the pool I needed.” Something like that. Maybe it’s as simple as that pool came into my life for a reason and everything worked out exactly like it was supposed to. 

Anyway, I try not to dwell on it. I loved that pool. I made all the decisions regarding it- the liner selected, the color of the concrete, the deck jets, the solar lights built into the pool deck, the colored lights, the bench, the steps to enter the pool. All of those things were my choices. Knowing what all it took to get the finished product it tugs at my heart a little when I see these updates in my memories. One more thing he took away from me.

I’m going to be glad when September rolls around. LOL

Random Thoughts- On Closure

I saw a fantastic quote one time. The person wrote: Glaciers will melt and freeze back over into ice that will be sculpted into swans that will be the center piece at gay weddings in Saudi Arabia before my spouse will ever admit that they are the one to blame for their cheating.

Perhaps I am a cold, heartless creature but I didn’t need or seek closure. Nor did I think I would find comfort in Jerry Lee admitting everything was his fault, or at the very least, that he was sorry for what he did and he was wrong for doing it.

Then again, maybe I just knew it wasn’t going to happen. He’s the smartest man in the world (just ask him!). He’s entitled to everything. He’s always a victim. Nothing is ever his fault.

I’m often asked if I think they did truly end their affair the first time they were caught, or if they continued on the full two years. I don’t know. I don’t care. I’ve been asked if I believe he moved us to get closer to her. Well, obviously I know from previous conversations that the original plan was for him to get closer, but I don’t know and I don’t care, if they were still involved when we did move. I’m often asked if I know when it started. I don’t know. I don’t care. Was she at my house? What did he tell her about me and our relationship? Again, I don’t know. I don’t care. I know the important part of the story- the part where he lied, cheated, betrayed me, abandoned his kids, and left us in a financial pickle. That’s the part of the story I care about. All that other stuff? it’s filler.

Having him admit he was wrong does nothing for me. It doesn’t get me my old life back. It doesn’t get my kids their old lives back. It doesn’t erase what he did to us. All it does is make him feel better about himself. Such a good boy for apologizing.

I’m also not bothered by him telling people I’m the devil. I don’t care if he tries to portray me as the ex-wife from hell. I hope I am the ex-wife from hell! The people who know me and have my back know the truth. Those that believe him can have him. I have no interest in everyone believing I am the injured spouse and siding with me. I’ll take it, of course, but if you think I fucked him over or have alienated his kids from him, I don’t care. That person is obviously not a part of my tribe.

No, this is the part where you really need to trust that they suck. You don’t need them to verify events. You don’t need their apologies. You don’t need them to admit they were at fault. If you truly trust that they suck you already know all of that.

You’re a Better Person Than Me

I think we’ve all heard that before. Usually spoken when someone does something we would not be able to do, or maybe something we wouldn’t ever want to do.  As in:

You celebrate all of the holidays with your cheating ex and the AP? Oh, you’re a better person than me!

You invited your cheating ex and the AP over for dinner? You’re a better person than me!

You met up with the AP and had a heart to heart? You’re a better person than me!

You don’t hate the AP and you guys go get mani/pedis together? You’re a better person than me!

You bought baby gifts for the affair baby so your kids could give their new “sibling” something? You’re a better person than me!

Are they though? Aren’t they just better at eating shit sandwiches?

Then, of course, you get the whole, “It’s so great that you are moving on and not letting bitterness and anger rule your life.” Because obviously if you’re not best friends with your ex-husband’s ho then you must be bitter and/or angry. Who wouldn’t want to be besties with the person that fucked your husband behind your back and helped blow up your life? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Do you really have to eat shit sandwiches in order to prove you’re no longer bitter and have a fulfilling life without the fuckwit in it? I say, “No. No, I do not.” I don’t need to be friends with someone in order to prove that I don’t hate them. I don’t need to buy them gifts, have them over for dinner, or have heart to heart conversations with them either. Not being friends does not equal remaining bitter or angry. It could simply equal rock solid boundaries.

Why do we keep perpetuating this idea that the only healthy way to divorce is by cozying up to the people that hurt us? Do we want to encourage people to debase themselves in order to prove something to others? I’m not encouraging people to deliberately be antagonistic. By all means, be civil when you must interact. But this idea that you need to celebrate the holidays together for the sake of the children, or that you must welcome the interloper with open arms as another parent? No fucking way. It is not necessary.

I’m sure that in a lot of cases the divorcing couple and the AP could have an amicable relationship. How difficult is it for the cheating spouse and affair partner to be amicable? They weren’t blindsided. They’re skipping off into the sunset, living their brand new shiny lives. They haven’t lost a damn thing. You wanna act like you’re friends? That would be swell! It’s image management at its finest.

Look! Look! What we did wasn’t that bad? Would my jilted spouse hang around me and my paramour if what we did was so awful? Look at what great friends we are! All is forgiven! I’m still a wonderful person despite the fact that I lied and cheated. My affair partner is still a wonderful person despite the fact that they fuck married people.

I don’t know why this narrative gets so much play. Nor do I understand why so many betrayed people buy into it but I really wish it would stop. You don’t have to befriend the person who gutted you, whether that’s your spouse or the affair partner. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Go live your best life and let the swine roll around in the muck. You don’t owe them a minute more of your time.

It Brought Me To Where I Am

Oh cheaters… gotta love ‘em. Bless their selfish little hearts. I was reading on Facebook about “scandalous” cheating stories that rocked Hollywood. Spoiler alert: They were not that scandalous. Nor did they much rock Hollywood. They were all pretty run of the mill. What I took issue with though was Katharine McPhee and her response after being caught locking lips with her director.

He, of course, was married with children. Good ol’ Kat was simply married. Both marriages imploded. They aren’t together; I’m not sure the “relationship” lasted much beyond discovery. She was later quoting as saying, and I’m paraphrasing here, that she didn’t regret anything because it all led her to where she is today. Where she is today is divorced from her first husband and remarried to a man who is old enough to be her father, if not her grandfather. Her stepdaughters are older than her. But, he’s rich and famous and I’m sure her hope is that he will make her equally rich and famous. He tends to discard wives though so she had better be performing one hell of a pick me dance. I hope she’s able to keep that same attitude when her time as the latest Mrs. Foster comes to an end. Hey, Kat, it’s all leading you to where you are and were meant to be.

I’m pretty sure Claire Danes had the same attitude about her affair with Billy Crudup. He left his 7 months pregnant girlfriend for Claire. Shockingly, the relationship did not work out although they did manage to stay together for 3 years.

Actually, let me amend that. Claire’s position on this was that she was only 24 years old and in love; she felt she needed to “explore” those feelings, pregnant girlfriend be damned. She claims to have had no idea the repercussions that might come with dating a man who left his pregnant girlfriend in her last trimester of pregnancy. 

Really? Because I wasn’t even 24 when I had my first married guy come on to me and I was smart enough to realize that taking him up on that offer would have been the wrong thing to do. 

She said it was a very scary time in her life but she made it through. Whew! We should all give a sigh of relief at that blessing. She went on to say that everything worked out; thank God she and Billy are still friendly to this day.

A scary time in your life, Claire? I imagine it was a pretty scary time in Mary Louise Parker’s life, too. You know, what with being abandoned in her seventh month of pregnancy. After eight years with this guy. And having to see all the headlines and pictures of her longtime boyfriend and his new girlfriend together. Not to mention the amazing time she must have had handing her child over to his father, knowing that his home wrecking whore would have her hands all over her baby. Trying to co-parent with a fuckwit that puts his dick above his own child. Dealing with the public humiliation.

These people go through life acting as though they’re the only ones that matter. Broke up a family? Caused a woman to give birth by herself instead of with the father of her child by her side? Eh, it’s all good. It brought me to this awesome place in life. 

They really don’t give a moment’s pause to what they have done to anyone else. Katharine McPhee could not care less about the kids whose lives she affected. Does not care one bit about the woman she helped devastate. It brought her to where she is now. Claire Danes had no thoughts of pregnant Mary Louise Parker. Probably never considered what kind of a life their baby would have with his parents split up. No, she was in love and owed it to herself to “explore” that. Selfish, selfish people.

August and Anti-versaries

Holy moly! I can’t believe it’s August already. This year has been such a shit year. It seems like all we do is tick days, then weeks, then months off of the calendar, hoping against hope that our lives might return to something resembling normal. I’m not sure there’s anybody out there actually enjoying this year. Most are enduring. I know I am. Between checking off the weeks that I’ve been downtown and away from our regular spot, and weighing in on Fridays, hoping to see the scale go down, it’s been an entire year of getting from week to week.

Summer is always a little tricky for me. I do my best to not let Jerry Lee and his past behavior influence how I see an entire season but it can sometimes be difficult. I found out about his first affair Mother’s Day weekend in 2013. I spent the entire summer pick me dancing and holding my breath, not knowing whether or not our marriage would survive. All that culminated in me getting a message from The Saint the day of Rock Star’s birthday party.

It was August 14th, 2013. My stepfather had just died. I was in the middle of buying drinks and ice, picking up the big 6 foot sub from Walmart, grabbing cupcakes, picking up chips and cookies and candy, and getting things set up down at the reservoir for her party after gymnastics practice. It appeared out of nowhere: Did you get a good lawyer yet? That was the way I found out Jerry Lee was a bald faced liar and had been in communication with Harley the entire summer, despite swearing up and down he would end it with her.

Two years later the kids and I took off for Queen Bee’s graduation and then headed out to Utah for 2 weeks. Not long after we got back we took off to Florida. Jerry Lee couldn’t come with us because of a work obligation. While in Florida I saw a purchase made in Whore Town. That was also the summer of him wiring his “mom” money for groceries and buying “her” and his “stepdad” phones and paying their cell phone bill. Needless to say there was no work obligation and he wasn’t sending shit to his mom. It was all Harley.

August 10th, 2015 I got another message from The Saint: I thought you should know Jerry Lee has been spending his weekends in Whore Town with Harley. Just like that my entire life crumbled.

This summer has been interesting. It marks five years since my life as I knew it ended. I’m pretty okay with it this year. I forgot June 10th this year. That’s the day, four years ago, he informed me with a brief text message that he had lost his job and wouldn’t be sending me anymore money. Period. Nothing else to be said. Completely forgot the date this year.

I also didn’t notice the day, six years ago, that we moved into our new house in Virginia. Oh sure, I saw Facebook memories. There were pictures of us going to some of our favorite places one last time before we left. Pictures of us going out to lunch and dinner with friends. Pictures of me with people who were saying goodbye. Pictures of the moving truck the day they came to load everything up. But I forgot the day we moved in. Ironically, it was pretty much a year to the day that Jerry Lee was fucking Harley instead of going on vacation with his family. Good times, good times.

Honestly, I’m not sure I’ll even make the connection this year. I was in the shower this morning after my four mile run and I suddenly thought, “Oh shit! It’s August. Some serious bullshit went down this month in 2013 and 2015. I almost forgot about that.” That was the extent of my thoughts.

Earlier this year I was trying to remember a date. I was thinking to myself, “Was it the 10th or the 14th?” Then I suddenly realized it was neither of those two dates. Those were my D-Days! This thing I was thinking about was a good memory and it happened about a week later. Those dates were stuck in my head but I no longer associated them with trauma. Maybe this is what getting to Meh feels like. Maybe it’s a way to see that I’m healing. Whatever it is those dates don’t hold much significance anymore.

Wanna know something really funny? We’ll see if Jerry Lee is going to follow the court order this month. He gets paid on the 15th and the last day of the month. This month though the 15th falls on a Saturday. So I should be getting my first direct deposit from his company on August 14th- 7 years to the exact day since my first D-Day. That’s even better than all the times he ended up paying spousal support on our anniversary. Maybe another celebration cake will be in order.

How Do You Sleep At Night?

The Chicks, formerly known as The Dixie Chicks, are back, feisty as ever with their new album, Gaslighter. Little tip for anyone who might need it: Don’t cheat on a person who can chronicle your behavior in song and then make millions off of it.

Unlike Taylor Swift who seems to delight in superficially calling out the various men she’s dated and dumped (or been dumped by) the songs on this album detail the agony of infidelity, the craziness you feel during all of the gas lighting and lies, and the sorrow of a long term marriage ending in divorce.

The title track song, “Gaslighter” kicks things off. You find the song playing on repeat in your head despite the subject matter. Natalie is bold and brash; she’s not holding back. She calls him out and lets him know she knows exactly what he’s trying to do. “Tights On My Boat” lightens things up a bit. I hope you die peacefully in your sleep. Just kidding- I hope it hurts like you hurt me. She also gives him notice that whoever left those tights on her boat can have him now. “Something Good” is more reflective. The singer begins by listing the things she’s doing to try to keep herself distracted before asking, “Should I have known? Should I have seen a sign?” Isn’t that what we all wonder? How did I miss those red flags? She then goes on to tell him: I hope it’s really worth it. Twenty years of hanging on. Now it all adds up to nothin’. Gave up on the moon and back. Thought you’d found a better half. Ah, I hope it’s something good.” The true gem though is “Sleep At Night.”

The song itself is far too uptempo for what’s coming. When it begins you think it’s just another song that you can bob your head to. Oh, this is nice. And then you listen to the lyrics.

Not that you asked

But I’m getting past everything, everything

I’m doing okay

Just glad it’s not yesterday, huh

Yeah, they never do ask us how we’re doing, do they? They don’t really care. They matter. Their happiness matters. We’re inconsequential.

My husband’s girlfriend’s husband just called me up

How messed up is that?

It’s so insane that I have to laugh.

I know that’s what I’ve told myself for five long years. The things he’s done are so horrible you’ve only got two choices- let it take you down while you cry, or shake your head and laugh about it.

Then she hits us with a bombshell.

But then I think about our two boys trying to become men

There’s nothing funny about that.

Oh. My heart. You try to roll with the punches for your own sanity, yet how do you protect your vulnerable children? How do you explain that this isn’t acceptable behavior while not standing in the way of them having a relationship with this person if that’s what they want?

It brings the fact that there are children living through this to the forefront. They are collateral damage in all of this. Yes, you go find your happiness. Turn my life upside down and force me to live in an alternate reality where your girlfriend’s husband calling me is the norm. While you’re doing that try not to forget that we have children and they understand what’s going on. They’re seeing everything.

The chorus asks:

How do you sleep at night?

How do you tell those lies?

Lookin’ me in the eye

Livin’ a double life

Tell me, how do you sleep at night?

How do you sleep at night?

In the second verse she tells the story of how he brought his mistress to her show where the mistress gushed over her and how much she loved her and was such a huge fan.

I joked that you can love me as long as you don’t love my man.

There’s nothin’ funny about that.

The lies. The duplicity. Duper’s Delight, as Chump Lady puts it. Nothing more exciting than shoving your affair partner right under your spouse’s nose and knowing that person is so trusting and/or naive that he or she will never suspect a thing.

Again she asks:

How do you sleep at night?

How do you tell those lies?

Lookin’ me in the eye

Livin’ a double life

Tell me how do you sleep at night?

Confession time. I was singing along to this song yesterday and I was so angry. As I sang I envisioned myself demanding to know, “How do you sleep at night?” I actually got a little teary eyed wondering how Jerry Lee could sleep at night after all he did to us.

They’ve encompassed the pain and horror of betrayal so beautifully- all it’s absurdities, all the pain, all the horror, all the questions you want to scream out.

Sadly, after about the third time I sang along I shook my head because I realized the answer to that question, “How do you sleep at night?” is, “I sleep fine.”

They don’t think they’ve done anything wrong. The only person they’re worried about is themselves. Our pain doesn’t matter. Our children don’t matter. Only what they want matters.

Therein lies the catch-22. You could ask a normal person that question, and a normal person would be haunted by what he or she had done; then again, a normal person wouldn’t do those things. They wouldn’t think it was fine to bring their affair partner to meet their spouse. They wouldn’t think it was okay to cheat in the first place! A normal person would care about what this is doing to his or her children. A normal person wouldn’t inflict this kind of pain on another person. Lying wouldn’t be second nature to a normal person. They wouldn’t live a double life.

I still love the song. I think it’s powerful and emotional. Let it serve as a warning. Let it call out those who are doing wrong. But don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can shame a person like this. It can’t be done. They’re going to sleep like babies.

Patience While Riding a Roller Coaster

Whew! Do I have a story to tell you all. Sit down, buckle up, and maybe pour a stiff drink (or not so stiff) before we begin because this is a long one.

When I last left you I was playing a waiting game. Nothing was progressing. They’d seemed all gung ho to get this over and done with; Jerry Lee’s lawyer was constantly playing “Let’s Make a Deal” with no actual deal offered. Then- radio silence.

Monday afternoon, around 3:30 or 4:00 I got an email from my attorney’s legal assistant. She was asking for my pay information going back to July of 2018, which would have been the month after Rock Star graduated. What’s that you say? I lost it! It was one of those moments where I wish I had been wearing a mask at work because I was muttering under my breath left and right. Motherfucker!

Here my lawyer had not balked one bit at calculating arrears at the full amount of the court order. Now all of a sudden I’m being asked to submit every single one of my pay raises, you know the big fifty cent ones, back to July 2018. Now it seemed that perhaps they were only going to go after the difference between what he should have been paying and what he actually paid. Really?

Of course my phone was almost dead so I couldn’t return the phone call. I had to wait until after work and until I walked to my car so I could plug my phone back in and begin to charge it. To say I was on edge for the next 60 minutes was an understatement.

Once I talked to her legal assistant (let’s call her Sally) she quickly put my fears to rest- mostly. She said according to the law Jerry Lee should have to pay the $902.90 difference but the judge did have discretion in this case. She wanted to be prepared with all of the numbers in case he decided to do it that way. She didn’t want him to have to continue the case and have me have to drive back. She did say that more than likely that’s the way he would rule (for the entire amount, not the difference) but better safe than sorry.

I also got an email from my attorney (let’s call her Jane) letting me know that Jerry Lee was claiming poverty- only $2000 to his name. Funny, because according to his bank records he (they) just rented a vacation home for $1800… His best offer was to continue paying child support after Picasso graduated from high school. She also told me he was going to claim inability to pay seeing as how I take over 50% of his take home pay. He has no way to pay towards the arrears or towards the lawyer’s fees. I’m going to refer you to the sentence above.

He’s got money to pay for an expensive vacation rental. He’s got money to rent another amazing house. Oh yeah, we found that, too. At one point I thought he might have actually cashed in his 401k to put a down payment on it but I believe he’s still renting. They’ve got $900 to blow at Better Homes & Gardens. They got a stimulus check; yeah, he wasn’t making nearly as much as I thought he was at the second job. If you deduct the spousal support he paid he’s under the threshold needed to get a check. He gets a tax refund each year. In other words, he has money he could pay towards his arrears and legal fees, but he chooses not to. It’s more important for Harley the Hillbilly Whore to live in a better home than she’s ever lived in in her life and for them to go on vacation than it is for him to fulfill his obligations.

Essentially, we went from me getting a lump sum, plus an additional $500 and him continuing to pay that amount until all arrears and fees are paid, to him being willing to continue to pay child support after Picasso graduated- which the courts would make him do anyway. I let her know I was not feeling charitable and listed all the different means from which he should be able to pay, or could have been paying more towards all of this- his stimulus check, bonus checks, tax refund, 401k. I also reiterated that it seemed to me staying out of court benefitted him more than it did me.

I went to work on Tuesday a little dejected. Even though not going to court was more his benefit, I do get nervous about it. You never know what will happen. I was hoping we could reach a deal that I could control and stay out of court. Plus, I would be able to drive directly to the mobster instead of making a layover in Harrisonburg.

I left at noon on Tuesday. I got a phone message from Jane about 20 minutes before I was due to leave. I was pretty much finished with everything I needed to do so I returned the call immediately. She conferenced in Sally. Basically, Jerry Lee’s attorney was doing his best to reach a deal. The offer was now a lump sum of $2000 (all the money he has to his name), an additional $1000 a month towards arrears, and he would continue paying support after Picasso graduated (a given).

That’s nice but it’s not enough. I decided to go for it. I asked Jane if I could get it ordered for him to pay me through direct deposit from his company. I am done playing these games with him. I’m tired of never knowing when I’m going to get paid, how much he’s going to pay, if he’s going to pay… This way I would know exactly when to expect the money. I also wanted it put in there that the spousal support arrears are tax free for me. If he gets to pay me over a long period of time instead of coming up with a lump sum then he doesn’t get to deduct that from his taxes. Even better I don’t have to pay taxes on them. She balked a little on that one but I assured her it was definitely possible if he agreed. She said she’d put it in there.

Then she added in talk of interest on the arrears. I had completely forgotten about that.

Finally I mentioned when Picasso graduates next June. I told her I knew it was small potatoes compared to everything else but I wanted to know if we could put something in there about how to calculate that last month’s child support instead of going through him prorating the amount down to the half hour once again.

“Oh, we’re going to have him pay the entire amount for June.”

How you like that, Jerry Lee? Fuck me over and prorate support down to 8:30 the night your daughter graduates? Now you get to pay for the entire month of June when Picasso will actually graduate sometime between the 7th and the 11th.

She said she was going to email Jerry Lee’s attorney and try to get this done. I let her know that I had about 2 hours once I got on the road to make a decision as to which city I would be going to.

Problems ensued. The log I was supposed to send didn’t get delivered for some reason so I had to resend it while on the road. We still hadn’t heard back by the time I was supposed to exit to go to Fieldale so I continued on to Harrisonburg.

We stopped in Ohio to eat lunch. While we were eating I got a call from my attorney. He had agreed to everything! She was literally hanging up with the other attorney to take my call. His lawyer point blank told him he needed to sign or he was going to go to jail. My own attorney couldn’t believe it. As she said, “What an idiot!” I’m not sure if she was referring to Jerry Lee or to his lawyer. She said she would have never agreed to what we asked for.

I was breathing a sigh of relief. Thank God it was over! I couldn’t believe it either. I was almost giddy as the tension left my body. Onward to Fieldale- even though I was now about an hour, maybe an hour and a half, off track. We exited the toll road and headed towards the mobster. Sadly my victory celebration was short-lived.

Around 4:30 I happened to see another email from her. She was forwarding a message she had sent to his attorney. Apparently they were just now figuring out that the child support arrears were not being calculated at the difference between what he should have been paying and what he was paying, but the difference between the original amount ordered and what he had been paying. I thought it had been too good to be true. I was shocked that Jerry Lee wasn’t fighting me on that. His attorney was trying to argue that it wasn’t fair for him to have to pay support for Rock Star because she had aged out of support. Jane went on to point out to him that she had told him there was no Motion to Modify; that was why we were now modifying the child support. More importantly, I was agreeing to modify it now at the same time we were getting this crap done instead of making him file his own damn motion. She was much nicer about it, of course, but that was the gist of it.

I had just finished dictating a response to my mom when my attorney called me. She told me the lightbulb had finally gone off for them (maybe just Jerry Lee?) and he was balking at signing now. He claimed we had an agreement. I told her we had never had an agreement. She was able to pull up all of our correspondence and see that that was true. He refused to accept the numbers she threw out in early December. By January I had decided to go with the state because it was free.

The difference between the two amounts was approximately $20,000. She wanted to know what I wanted to do. Did I want to secure the deal by taking $20,000 less? When I balked at that she offered potentially splitting the difference as well.

I had pulled into a gas station so I could take the phone off of speaker. A million different thoughts were running through my head. I could take the deal. Screw myself and my kids out of $20,000. You all know I’ve been back and forth about whether or not I was truly entitled to that money. It should have been modified. At the same time, he dug his heels in and refused to do so, putting it instead on me. The pro to the deal is I would have the money directly deposited into my account. The $11,000 in spousal support arrears would be tax free. That would be huge. I could also give a little and split the difference. Same pros, same cons. I took a deep breath and told her I wanted to go to court.

Fuck that! I’ve already made enough concessions. I was supposed to have $25,000 by the end of 2018. He never paid and he made it very clear he had no intentions of doing so. His email response to my request was a blunt, “I don’t have it.” Period. No offer to work with me. Not to mention he didn’t even bother to sign his damn name. If I went to court the judge would more than likely order at least 25% of the arrears. Even though my attorney pointed out that they would only calculate the actual arrears and not the legal fees, he would still be ordered to pay a minimum of more than $4000. He was offering up $2000. I had been as gracious as I was going to be. I knew that if I went to court I would lose the tax free spousal support. I knew there was a possibility he wouldn’t bother with ordering Jerry Lee to pay me via direct deposit because, as Jane always pointed out, a Georgia company doesn’t need to follow a Virginia judge’s orders. I had given as much as I was going to give. I might lose some things I wanted by going to court, but I wasn’t going to face an ass chewing either- or potential jail time.

She told me she was going to call his attorney and tell him we would see him in court. I wasn’t going to budge. She would call me back after she had talked to opposing counsel; in the meantime, I should set my GPS to Harrisonburg. I love a change of plans; don’t you?

I had the directions to Harrisonburg on my phone while my mom had the directions to Fieldale on hers. I was still hoping his attorney could talk some sense into him. At the moment the course we were on could take us to either Harrisonburg or Fieldale, but at some point that path would diverge and I would be forced to take one path or the other. Onward we drove.

6:00 I get another call from Jane. She had been talking to his attorney. She had forwarded him all the documentation proving that we never had an agreement about child support modification. She point blank told him she was going to show he had money to pay towards arrears. She was going to ask for jail time. She wouldn’t be offering to modify child support at this hearing; he would have to make a separate motion. The legal fees she had computed would also be going up. After her phone call to him she said he had told her he would be telling Jerry Lee to sign the papers or risk going to jail. Apparently his attorney knew this was not looking good for Jerry Lee. She told me she would call back and let me know if he followed his attorney’s advice but she was confident he would agree.

At 6:45 I get another phone call from her. He was refusing to sign; he was going to fight it. His attorney told him if he wasn’t going to sign then he needed to get in his car and get up to Virginia. He had to be at the hearing. No excuses this time. Damn! Even my lawyer sounded dejected.

I have to say I was pretty calm considering I had gone from an incredible high of getting pretty much what I wanted, down to a low of thinking there was no deal, back up when it looked like he was being advised to sign, and now once again being told I was going to have to appear in court.

As I told Jane I still remember going to court and having the judge modify spousal support back to June when Jerry Lee didn’t make an effort to modify it until November. I knew it wasn’t a sure thing. I knew there was a possibility that child support modifications could be scaled back by $20,000. I wasn’t going to get tax free spousal support arrears. I probably wouldn’t get my money via direct deposit.

As I drove on I practiced what I was going to say if his attorney asked me about my efforts to get child support modified. I was terrified the judge would say I knew it needed to be modified and I had somehow agreed to take on that task by starting the process. I was dreading being interrogated on the stand once again, although Jane had told me all I would be doing is going over my support log and answering the question, “Did you want legal fees from today’s proceedings?” Sounds simple enough but it was terrifying nonetheless. I told myself to buck up. I’m a goddamn warrior. If I was going down I was going down fighting. I would drag that sonofabitch through the mud. I hoped that at least I would get to witness the judge throwing the book at him. I wanted jail time!

Meanwhile, because of all the twists and turns during our trip the drive to Harrisonburg took an additional hour, at least. Plus I was driving state highways instead of toll roads and interstates. Why is that important? It’s important because instead of driving to the hotel from a nicely lit, straight interstate I was driving around a dark mountain from approximately 11 pm until 12:30 am. I am going to lobby to have mountains and countryside roads well lit! We counted at least 6 deer grazing along the side of the road, with one of them deciding to run across the road in front of me. Delightful! We finally checked into the hotel at 1 am. I made notes for court until 1:30 and then set my alarm for 6 am so I could get up and run 3 miles.

I didn’t run after a mere four and a half hours of sleep because I’m an exercise fanatic. I ran because I needed to alleviate my stress. Get it all out! I sweated for a good 50 minutes before heading back to the room to shower and get ready.

My mom and I arrived at the courthouse about 8:40. Court was at nine. We were sitting on the bench waiting for Jane. I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths. I dreaded seeing Jerry Lee. I didn’t think he’d bring Harley along. He’d waited long enough that I didn’t think she could reasonably accompany him if she had a job. Plus, even if she could have got the day off she probably didn’t have childcare for her youngest. He’s probably around 12 now but I still wouldn’t leave him home alone while I traveled 8 hours away. Then again…

We finally saw Jane coming towards us. She said she saw Jerry Lee’s lawyer enter the courthouse but she hadn’t seen Jerry Lee. We went on in and headed to our courtroom.

Inside the courtroom sat Jerry Lee’s lawyer. No Jerry Lee in sight. Maybe he was meeting him there.

He looks at Jane and says something about the signed Consent Order. She looks at him and says, “What?”

“I told you last night we had a deal.”

Uh, no. No you didn’t. She told him she must have misunderstood because she had been working on exhibits for court from 8-10 last night because he had told her Jerry Lee wouldn’t sign.

I’m a bit fuzzy on the details but I do know he mentioned something about Jerry Lee turning around and heading back to Georgia. It sounds like Jerry Lee was planning on fighting it but then decided it wasn’t worth it, or the pain that the judge was going to bring down on him wasn’t going to be worth the $20,000 he was going to save.

My lawyer apologized profusely and told me she didn’t charge me for the time she spent working on the exhibits. Hopefully that would offset the amount of money I had to pay for the hotel room.

By 9:45 we were out of there. The judge went over all the details of the Consent Order and made sure Jerry Lee was not claiming inability to pay. He did remember him from our trial almost 3 years ago. The case remains on the docket to follow up and make sure Jerry Lee is complying with the order.

Oh, and while I was reading the order I asked Jane if we were beginning the new amount next month or this month because the order said July 2020. She realized that was a typo and should be July of 2021. At that point she whispered, “I wish you lived closer. I would hire you in a heartbeat and I would pay you a lot better than what the bank is paying you.”

That’s my story. I WON! AGAIN! I didn’t cave. I’m so happy I didn’t take the reduced offer. Hell, I’m glad I didn’t take the “split the difference” offer. I don’t know and I don’t care what his thinking was. Maybe he figured he could bluff me and I would eventually back down and go the easy, surefire route. That might have worked if I had just as much to lose as he did. But I didn’t. I was willing to go to court and let the judge decide, even if it meant I didn’t get everything I wanted. I kept reminding myself that not going to court benefited him, not me. I was already being more than flexible. I was willing to let him pay me back $60,000+ over a period of years instead of having the judge order to him to pay me immediately, or at least a much greater chunk immediately. If he couldn’t see the allowances I was willing to make, well, he could try his luck with the judge. No. More. Concessions.

Now I get the entire $23,000+ in back child support plus interest. I get tax free spousal support arrears. I get an additional $1000 per month for the next 3+ years. True, it’s all going into savings, but I get it. Best of all he can no longer mess with me. I get that money directly deposited into my account every time he gets paid. No more nasty messages. No more obscene emojis. No more not knowing when or how much he’ll pay.

Oh, and I forgot. There is a suspended jail sentence in the order which means if he fucks up and decides to play games again he goes to jail. Jane told me to text him my account information and if he gave me any attitude to let her know. She also said that all the arrears were calculated through this month so I won’t receive any spousal support but I will receive the $2000 lump sum he’s supposed to pay. That’s okay. I have money set aside and it will only end up being an $800 difference. She told me to let her know if he doesn’t get it set up because she will haul him back to court.

I’m also very glad I advocated for myself and asked for the things I wanted, like the direct deposit and the tax free spousal support. I stood strong. I refused to take less than my kids and I deserved. I put my big girl panties on and I marched forward even when my heart was pounding out of my chest. It wasn’t fast.  It took a lot of patience and a lot of determination. God knows I have dealt with roadblock after roadblock.

This saga began back in June of 2018. He refused to modify support and refused to pay any more towards Picasso. Then he refused the numbers my attorney gave him, being an ass about it all the way. I’ve been trying to garnish him since January of 2019. What was supposed to take four-six months took over a year and then just dead-ended when he moved out of Mississippi to Georgia. I never heard from my caseworker after I last emailed her in March. Jane took over a year to get through all of her pending divorce cases and finally work on my contempt case. But dammit, I just kept pushing on; I saw it through. I didn’t quit. I never gave up. The asshole tax is real and Jerry Lee will be paying it for at least three years.

I didn’t get the life insurance clause added in there like I wanted. I didn’t get as big of a lump sum as I wanted. We also didn’t bring up him needing to pay me bonuses and tax refunds to reduce his arrears and fees sooner. I’m sure he has the ability to pay; he just doesn’t want to. According to their bank records they bring home over $14,000 a month. That’s more than when we were together and he was the only one working. Even with the $4000+ he’ll be paying out for the next 3 years he’s got as much income coming into the house as he did when we were together. I’d say they’re doing quite well for themselves. I don’t feel a bit sorry for him. I’m sure he’ll spin it to whoever will listen that I’m a greedy, gold digging, vindictive bitch that has poisoned his kids against him and tries to take every dime from him. I’m sure it’s all my fault that he owes this because I lied and told him I’d take care of it for him. Guess what? I don’t give a fuck. Go be happy with your whore. Leave me alone and make sure that direct deposit is set up.

This saga is over finally! Thank God! I’m going to say it again: I WON!

A Petty Confession

I have a petty confession to make. Rock Star and I were talking last week. I told her I had finally told her brother that his dad got married. It happened the same time we set up his Venmo account. He saw the picture of his dad kissing Harley and he says to me, “I suppose this is his pictures. The one of him kissing a ho.” It’s been two years and Daddy Dearest still hasn’t managed to tell either of his kids that he’s remarried.

She said their anniversary was a few weeks ago. I know that. I remember because my mother shared the news with me as I was on my way down to Virginia to throw the mobster his surprise party. I think their actual anniversary is the day before his birthday, so it’s kind of hard to forget. I don’t know the exact date but I do know it’s around the mobster’s birthday.  Anyway….

She goes on to tell me he announced it on Facebook. That was a whole other conversation because I knew she had told me before she wasn’t friends with him. Seems Jerry Lee has two accounts, not that I give a shit either way. Nonetheless, I was being snarky and asked, “So did he gush about how she’s the love of his life and he’s never been happier?” To which she nodded and said, “Pretty much.”

Why do I even care? I don’t want him back. I’ve spent almost five years coming to terms with the fact that I have mourned the loss of the life I had more than I have ever mourned losing him. I’m finally getting to the point where I’m focusing on what is right now, instead of what I had and what I lost. Yet, it still chaps my ass that he goes out of his way to do this shit for her. He never did anything like that for me. Sure, he was only on Facebook for three years out of the twenty that we were married. Technically I suppose we were married 23 years so he was on it for five years. But a review of the timeline shows I signed him up in 2012; by 2013 he was involved with Harley. After discovering I could see all of his activity if I had his Facebook archives I asked for his password. It didn’t work and shortly thereafter he supposedly deleted Facebook because it made him “so unhappy, comparing his life to others and all they have.” He stayed off until I found out about his second affair with Harley in 2015. In other words, he spent most of his time cheating on me when he had a Facebook page. In hindsight I can see why he wasn’t lovey dovey on it; it was his dating app.

December 2013 would have been an excellent time to toss out the “I love you’s” and “You’re the love of my life!”. Maybe even a, “I will spend the rest of my life making things up to you,” or “Thank you for putting up with me and all my bullshit.” Anything really. But nah, he never did. Not one time did he announce our anniversary or make a big deal of it on social media. But he’ll do it for the whore, the woman who actually was still fucking her husband behind his back while he handed her the remainder of his paycheck.

Just like despite knowing how much it bothered me that neither he nor his family ever commented on my pictures and complimented me, he still never bothered. Yet for Harley the Hillbilly Whore he can always find a spare minute to blow smoke up her ass.

On a scale of 1-10 I find this a solid 2. It irks me. It bothers me for some reason; I’m not sure why. It causes me to question how much is image management and how much is real, and if it is real why couldn’t he do that for me? Maybe that’s why it bothers me. Why couldn’t he do it for me? I was married to him for twenty years. I moved all over the damn country for him. I gave him two children. I fixed his fucking plate for him every night. So why not do something like that for me? It’s a big “Fuck you!” from him to me. For the most part though it makes me shake my head and say to myself, “It wasn’t you. It was him.”

It’s easy to fool myself into thinking that they’re just a better couple, more compatible. Good for them! The reality though is that if he had put one fourth of the effort into our relationship that he makes for her we probably wouldn’t be divorced. As much as he likes to lay all the blame at my feet (I wasn’t a good housekeeper. We never had sex. We grew apart. I focused too much on the kids. I treated him like a wallet and a handyman.) he was not a good husband. He made good money and that’s all I can say for him. Oh, he was handy around the house. But as far as putting any effort into me or our relationship? No. He fell short of the mark. Not only did he fall short of the mark, he didn’t care that he fell short of the mark! He was a shitty partner. He was rarely there for me. I was a wife appliance and he treated me as such. I went through most of our marriage alone. Reminding myself of all of that makes me shake my head and say to myself, “It wasn’t you. It was him.” So why does it gnaw at me, even the tiny little bit that it does? Hmmm….

It’s easy to say maybe he knows he’s married to a low down, trifling ho so he figures he better make the big gestures to keep her around. It’s also easy to say it’s like Chump Lady reminds us:  He’s got to make it seem like the love affair of the century to justify what he did to his wife and kids.

Then I look back on the Facebook messages I’ve posted about the mobster. They’re gushy. They’re loving. This past year on his birthday I told him he was the greatest thing that had ever happened to me. The past two years I mentioned how even though it was his birthday I was the one that was receiving the gift. We wear matching t-shirts and post them on Facebook. Granted, I don’t post often on Facebook but what I do post is genuine. The mobster and I really are an adorable couple. We are over the moon thrilled to have found one another. No, we are thrilled to have found someone who appreciates the efforts we make and is willing to make an equal effort.

Maybe that’s how Jerry Lee feels as well. Perhaps he believes I just held him back and stomped all over him. I mean, I was emotionally abusive according to him. Plus, she’s probably a better housekeeper which… well, means zilch. Maybe what he really wanted was a wife who made money as well. A wife that wouldn’t put up with his bullshit. A wife who would ooh and ahh over every little thing he did and treat him like he was a king. Maybe she’s a better actress than I am, or was just hungrier for his paycheck than I was. Maybe he really is happier than he’s ever been. Maybe she is the great love of his life. It stings a bit, I suppose, knowing that I was nothing to him. Just a broodmare, a cook, a laundress, a chauffeur, and a bad housekeeper.

Like I said, it’s a solid 2 on a scale of 1-10. In the end it doesn’t matter. They’re two shitty human beings and if being with shit makes him happier then good for him. My guess is it’s a lot of image management. They’re two cheaters and one of them is going to cheat on the other in the end. I know he’s no prize. I know I don’t miss him or want him back. I also know I’ve got the best relationship I’ve ever had with the mobster.

Perhaps it all comes down to realizing that a twenty year marriage didn’t mean a damn thing. He cheated and left after all. Abandoned his kids. So I suppose it makes sense that this new life makes him happier than he’s ever been. If I am happier than I’ve ever been it stands to reason that perhaps he is happier than he’s ever been. Then again, he’s a lying asshole and I’m not.

I don’t think I’m going to get a resolution on this. The best I can hope for is to roll my eyes and let it walk on by. Not my circus, not my monkeys. Fear not, though. I’m not wanting him back. I’m not mourning his loss. I’m simply dealing with yet another slap in the face.

What Is It With This Post?

Jesus Christ on crutches! What is it with this post? I have had three people now have a bone to pick with me over this.

If you haven’t read this post I’ll give you a real quick Cliff Notes version. If you choose to stay with your spouse but you’re still pining after your affair partner get the fuck out! Go to that person and stop wasting your spouse’s life.

How does this get so many contentious responses? I am begging the cheater to go be with the other person. You would think they would be happy about this. But no! They react as though I’ve suggested branding them with a scarlet A or placing them in the stockades and letting people throw rotten eggs at them. 

One person suggested I sounded like a very bitter person who surrounded herself with a lot of cats. First of all, I don’t have any cats. My daughter does. I love my grand cats very much. They are delightful. Do not diss Poppy or Maverick. Second of all, I’m more of a dog person. Between the mobster and myself we’ve got four. Third of all, what kind of an insult is that anyway? Yeah, you must like cats! Oh burn!

The next two want to get all philosophical with me. Kate let me know she found this very “therapeutic” and that she, too, used to feel that way about “the other woman.” I’m guessing that stopped when she began an affair of her own. Funny how you’re okay with it when you’re the one doing it. She wanted me to know that I didn’t really know the other woman was a whore and that even though I “knew” I had squeezed every last bit of information about the affair from my cheater he was probably still unlikely to be honest about whether or not he missed the affair or affair partner. She then goes on to tell me she realizes I believe he’s one in a million and different from most men.

Did she read my blog before commenting? I do not think Jerry Lee is one in a million or that he’s different. I think he’s an entitled ass. I told her as much, too.

Finally, she chastises me for calling the other woman a whore, letting me know it sounds silly and people will get nothing out of my posts. I told her if she had no problem with some woman riding my husband’s dick then she could get off my ass for calling that woman a whore.

Oh, I forgot this gem: Trust me, one day you’ll be a lot less critical of people and happiness will follow.

Yes, I’m sure embracing whores will make me giddy. I suppose not having a moral compass can be freeing for some.

Then, just a day or so ago I get another comment taking me to task. This one, calling herself sorrynotsorry, let me know how wrong I was about the other women and this idea that the affair is not real life.

“It is real life!” she insists. I have no idea how many women are out there, doing their cheating lover’s laundry, making his meals, taking whatever leftover scraps of his time he’s willing to offer. Of course, in her situation it was the wife who was the secret; everyone knew them as a couple. So there! I’m wrong, wrong, wrong!

It happens. It’s rare, but it happens. Sure, some people get played. If it came as such a shock that her beloved was married after spending all of these nights, holidays and weekends with her, then I’d say he’s one hell of a liar. Probably a sociopath as well. Great catch there! She’s so busy patting herself on the back because this man uses his wife’s home as a boarding house and treats her with disrespect, that she doesn’t realize he’s no prize.

Once again, my favorite parts are where she’s calling me pathetic. I’m pathetic because I’m trying to fool myself into thinking the affair is meaningless. And pointing the finger at the other woman is also pathetic and desperate. Can’t forget desperate. Oh yes, I will probably never measure up to the so called whore and that’s why he’s stayed with her for so many years. He only stays with me because of the children and finances. Also, I’m bitter and hurt because the man I love has chosen to love someone else.

OK, first, does anyone actually read my blog before they comment or do they see the word “whore” and lose their shit? He’s not staying with me for the kids and financial reasons. I’m not with him; I left his cheating ass. He has abandoned his children for his gold digging, jailbird cousin. Yes, she is a whore. No, I don’t worry about measuring up to her; there is no comparison. No, I don’t want him back. I’m not bitter or hurt; my new guy is so much more amazing than Jerry Lee could ever hope to be.

Can you imagine the vitriol I would get if I was actually slamming them? I’m encouraging them to leave their spouses in order to be with the affair partner and they lose their freaking minds! Don’t call me a whore! How dare you say our affair isn’t real life? Who cares if it’s real or not? I’m doing you a freaking favor. I’m on your side, if you will.

I mean, sure, I don’t think it’s going to be all sunshine and roses for the happy couple. One of them is a person who cheats on their spouse, and the other is a person who has no problem with fucking someone else’s spouse. They’re both liars and people with no moral compass. Nonetheless, give it a go. Grab the bull by the horns. You only live once. Stop wasting a good person’s life while you fuck around on the side.

Sorry, haters, the advice remains the same. Shit or get off the pot. If you miss your affair partner so much then leave your spouse and go be with that person. Stop being a cake eating pussy. If this advice hurts your feelings? Well then, bless your heart.

Sunk Costs

We’ve all heard that term before, right? People will tell their sad tale of love gone wrong with a cheating man (or woman) and how they can’t leave because they love him (or her). Someone will come along and say, “Kick him to the curb! You can do better than him. You deserve so much better.” Typically shortly after that another person comes along and pats the grieving person on the back. “There, there. They don’t understand. It’s not so easy. You’ve got sunk costs- children, a mortgage, ten, twenty, thirty years with this person. You don’t have to leave if you don’t want to. We understand. You’ve got sunk costs.”

Those sunk costs are a killer, folks. They keep us tethered to toxic people who abuse us and take us for granted.

I sometimes wonder, too, is it really that we’ve invested so much time and effort into this person, or is that we’re scared of the unfamiliar? Kicking your cheating spouse out might feel liberating in the moment, but then you’ve got to live with that. Where are you going to live? Will you be able to keep your home? How are you going to pay for everything? What if you have to share custody of the kids? What if you never go on a date again and never find love again? What if, what if, what if?

I get it. Believe me, I do. You’re reading the words of a woman who lost pretty much everything in her divorce. Sunk costs? I had them in spades- twenty years of marriage, a stay at home mom for fifteen years, no idea how I would support myself much less my two teenagers, a brand new house we hadn’t paid the mortgage on for even a year, brand new furniture throughout the entire house, a $57,000 inground pool, a brand new car that had been purchased less than a year prior to my discovery. On top of that we had just moved 2000 miles across the country for his dream job, completely uprooting my life and the lives of my children. Plus, we had three dogs and had just taken in 3 cats. How’s that for sunk costs?

I ended up losing our home when Jerry Lee was forced to resign and then refused to get a new job, figuring he could play the system and get out of paying adequate support. I had to move back to Indiana with my tail between my legs- defeated and deadass broke. For ten long months he paid nothing in support and then the next ten months he paid a fraction of what he was supposed to. I worked two jobs to make ends meet, even living with my mother. I applied for Medicaid for me and my kids, and for free lunches and textbooks, as well. There were many days I cried and cried and didn’t want to ever wake up again.

I didn’t believe I would ever date again. I had absolutely no plans to date again. I didn’t want to put myself out there again. Just between you and me I don’t really consider what happened in my situation to be dating. The mobster fell out of a tree onto my head. End of story.

Pretty much every horrible thing I thought was going to happen to me, happened to me. I spent an awful long time in that dark place.

I completely get sunk costs. And I sympathize with those who don’t want to lose everything. I didn’t want to lose everything either.

Tracy Schorn has an excellent post on her blog entitled, “You Don’t Need It That Bad.” It’s an ode to putting on your ass kicking boots and telling yourself that nothing is worth suffering through a cheating spouse. Your spouse is lying, gaslighting, and cheating on you but you really really love your vacation home? Get to the point where you tell yourself, “I don’t need it that bad.” You love being a stay at home mom and know that the only way you can continue to do that is if you look the other way while your husband beds every available female in the area? You don’t need it that bad.  You’ve spent twenty-five years with a liar and a cheater and you think you can’t leave because of your “sunk costs”? Do you want to spend another twenty-five with a liar and a cheater? Do you want to get sick and find out that your twenty-five years don’t mean anything to this liar and cheater? They’re out of here as soon as you cease to be useful.

Here’s another part of that equation that most people don’t think about when figuring in their sunk costs. Sometimes you may decide it’s not worth it to leave. You’ve got history. You’ve got a great home that you couldn’t afford on your own. You love this person. You don’t want the other person to “win”. You don’t want to share custody of your kids. Sometimes that shit happens anyway. Sometimes they leave despite all the crap you’re willing to take and all the shit sandwiches you’re willing to eat. They take it further and further underground and they get better and better at cheating and getting away with it. They hide money and make their plans, or they wait until the kids are all out of high school so they don’t have to pay child support, and when they’re ready they walk out the door. Nothing about you. All about them.

You better make damn sure those sunk costs are worth it. You might still end up losing everything you clung to so tightly and you will definitely lose your dignity when you realize you tolerated so much for someone who cared so little and still ended up with nothing.

I bought into all of that crap the first time Jerry Lee was exposed. I could tell myself that it was only an emotional affair, that they never hooked up, never met in person. I did the ol’, “I’m not going to let one moment in our 18 years together define our entire marriage.” I did the marriage police for a period of time. I looked at my home and my kids and my comfortable lifestyle. I didn’t want to be divorced and I didn’t want Harley to win. I measured my sunk costs against everything I would be giving up and I took a chance on a liar and a cheater. I lost. The next time he did it I didn’t get the chance to measure those sunk costs. He was going to leave. Twenty years of marriage didn’t matter to him. Me moving all over the country for his job didn’t matter to him. Our two children didn’t matter to him. The fact that we had just moved, just bought a new house, new furniture, new car, and just put an inground pool in our backyard didn’t matter to him either. All that mattered was this new life that was calling out to him, promising him happiness.

When you break it down you’ve got two options really. The first one is to decide your sunk costs are all that matter. You’re willing to hitch your wagon to a liar and cheater because that’s what you know and look at everything you might have to give up. But you’re stuck with a liar and a cheater, a person you probably can never trust again. Your second option is to throw caution to the wind. To tell yourself, “I don’t need it that bad.” Yes, you might lose a whole lot. You might even lose everything. But in exchange for those losses you no longer have to be tethered to a person who treats you with no respect, who will cheat and lie as easily as they breathe. You may even end up with a pretty damn good cheater free life.

In hindsight I wish I had focused a whole lot less on my sunk costs and decided a whole lot sooner that I didn’t need any of it that bad.