It’s the Best Decision I Ever Made!!!

Oh boy! Another former co-worker had a baby and opted to be a stay-at-home mom. This makes three in the last 2+ years. She announced it on Facebook and so many people chimed in to tell her how happy they were for her.

“You’re going to love it!”

“So happy for you!”

“Being a stay at home mom is the best!”

“So glad you’re going to stay home!”

“You’ll never regret it!”

“It’s the best decision I’ve ever made!”

I didn’t comment. I didn’t feel it would be appropriate.

The reality is no one wants to be told they’re doing something that could prove to be financially devastating to them. They don’t want to hear about everything that could wrong. We’re not taught to plan for the worse; we’re always told to look on the bright side and think positive! The person who attempts to interject reality into this fabulous fantasy is labeled bitter, jealous, and jaded. Plus, I realize it might all work out exactly as they’ve planned. I hear that sometimes happens for other people. I guess in that case you’ve made a mountain out of a mole hill. Jellybean’d on their dreams for no reason. Not to mention looking like a bitter, jealous, crazy woman who wants everyone to be miserable. So I don’t comment. With that said (or left unsaid)…

It’s the best decision you’ve ever made? Really? Because I look back on my time as a stay at home mom and while, yes, I did enjoy my time with my kids, I think it was the absolute worst decision I could have made. When the discard came 15 years later I lost everything. Primarily because I didn’t have a job or any way to support my kids.

Had I not gotten a divorce I might be singing a different tune. I might be one of those people telling her how amazing it is. Then again, if I didn’t get a divorce I wouldn’t be living in Indiana. If I didn’t live in Indiana (and I didn’t get a divorce) I wouldn’t have taken a job at the bank. If I didn’t take the job at the bank I wouldn’t have met her, and therefore would not be Facebook friends with her. It’s a real If-You-Give-A-Mouse-A-Cookie situation.

You’ll never regret it? Hmmm…. I suppose that depends upon how your marriage works out. Again, if you remain married I would imagine you wouldn’t regret your decision much at all. He tosses you aside for a new model after 15, 20, 25 years and you’ve got to go out and hustle to get a job after all that time at home, you might be regretting it.

I find it a little sad that I view life that way now. This woman is so overjoyed with her new baby and being able to stay at home with her and all I can think about is how this has the potential to go horribly wrong years down the road.

Honestly, I’m happy that they can go all in. I’m happy that they feel like they can trust their husbands. I’m happy they seem to truly work as a team. Good for them. That’s over for me but hooray to whoever can still have that. I mean that sincerely.

I think that when marriage works as it’s intended to it can be a very, very good thing. Two people working towards a common goal. Two people supporting each other and each other’s dreams. Two people raising their family and having the best interests of their children at the forefront.

The problem comes, of course, when it no longer works as intended. When the woman who worked a full-time job so that she could put her husband through law school gets discarded once her husband graduates from law school and begins to finally make good money. When the woman who has moved around the world in support of her husband’s career, and at the expense of her own, is tossed aside for a younger model, When the woman who chose to stay at home with her kids and take care of everything related to the home so that her husband could concentrate on his career and his climb up the corporate ladder is replaced by a woman who makes good money herself. That’s when we say to ourselves, “I never should have done that. That was NOT the best decision I’ve ever made and I DO really regret it!”

Unfortunately, it’s one of those things where you don’t know what you don’t know. Until your world comes crumbling down and you find out that those decisions that felt so right back when you made them 10, 15, 20 years ago, turned out to be so, so wrong.

The truth is most people don’t live their lives thinking of worst case scenarios. They don’t make their decisions based upon, “What if I get divorced?” or, “Could I do this completely on my own if I had to?” I certainly didn’t back when I was married. I naively thought that I would never get divorced, and if I did… Well, I saw my mom do very well for herself after her divorce and had heard of other women who began careers after their kids were grown and out of the house. I didn’t think I would have any difficulty.

I’ve said before I enjoyed being home with my two kids. I enjoyed taking them to school and running them around to all of their practices and games. I loved being able to take them places and do things with them in the summer and when they were on break. I’m thankful for all the memories we were able to make. I did love it. And had I remained married I would still think it was a wise and wonderful choice. But I didn’t remain married. Instead I was forced out of everything I ever knew and had to find a job after being out of the job market for 15 years. No one wanted to hire me. I suffered. My kids suffered. We lost almost everything. We had to move 600 miles away. I worked 2 jobs for almost a year. I didn’t have much time for my kids. I went from being a 100% dedicated stay at home mom who did everything for my kids, to being someone who was constantly exhausted, worked ridiculous hours trying to pay my bills and support my kids, and never had time for my kids. I think that abrupt shift from Mother Extraordinaire to Pretty Shitty Mom hurt my kids more than anything. In the end staying at home was the worst decision I could have ever made and I definitely regretted my decision.

I sincerely hope that all of these former co-workers who are so happy to quit their jobs and stay home with their babies don’t find themselves wearing my shoes 15-20 years from now.

Look At This!

That was what my daughter texted to me, along with a screenshot from her father, about a month ago.

She was indignant because he had the audacity to text her and tell her he had seen on Facebook that she was going into her last semester of college, he wondered if that meant she was graduating in December, and he told her he hoped he would get an invite. Also, her boyfriend seems like a really nice young man and he’d love to meet him one day.

She was pissed that he was fishing for an invite to her graduation and more importantly, that he thought he got to be a part of her accomplishments when he was the one that put up stumbling block after stumbling block for her.

I’m not proud of this but I’ve always been honest with those of you who care enough to read my blog. Wait. That didn’t sound right. The thing I’m not proud of is my feelings when I read the text, not the fact that I’ve always been honest with those who read my blog. Let’s try this again.

I’m not proud of this but my heart leaped into my throat when I saw the text message, especially because I could see earlier texts between them. Then I realized she was wishing him a happy Veteran’s Day. This was May. That happened back in November. And then I realized those messages were from 2020. Now maybe they communicate in other ways but Jesus Christ on crutches!

You have no contact with your daughter for a year and a half and you want an invitation to her goddamn graduation? Fuck you! Who do you think you are?

Obviously, I am going to go along with whatever she wants to do. Right now she says she isn’t inviting him but she also said she’ll decide when it gets closer. I think she will end up inviting him and I’ve already told her I will support whatever decision she makes. But I can vent with you in my safe space.

For the most part I don’t think about him and I try not to dwell on what happened and everything he cost us. I’m not perfect. I slip up every now and then. I think it was realizing he hasn’t communicated with her except for the possible Venmo transfer since November of 2020 and then just casually slipping in, “Oh, I’d love to be invited to your graduation. I want to celebrate with you.”

Fuck you, motherfucker! Where in the hell was he when she needed rent money? Where was he when she needed money for groceries? Money for gas? Money for anything? To this day I still send regular Chewy shipments to her house for her cats. I buy them treats, kitty litter, and food. I paid what was left after financial aid towards her tuition her first year. Paid for her books. Her sorority fees. Then he lost his job mid-way through her second semester. My mom came to the rescue and paid the final $1000 until he started paying me again. Dickhead actually had the audacity to ask me why her tuition was not paid already because it obviously was all due at the beginning of the semester AND insinuated that I had filled out the FAFSA incorrectly because she shouldn’t owe a dime for tuition with my salary. Rock Star took out additional loans for her sophomore year because I didn’t know if I was going to be able to help her out. I ended up paying her rent once her first semester and from April on her second semester. I also paid all of her sorority fees. Junior year I paid her rent, utilities, and food bill, along with the sorority fees. Senior year I once again paid her tuition. And her sorority fees. And gave her money when needed. And paid all the bills for her cats. Where was he for any of that?

I remember him asking her one time to let him know if she needed anything. I think it was freshman year. She replied that she still needed to buy books. He went on to tell her some story, probably about himself, and finished up with (again), “If you need anything, let me know.”

“I literally told him exactly what I needed and he ignored it,” Rock Star told me.

I don’t believe he’s ever sent her money randomly. Maybe he has but I doubt it. And if he has I know it wasn’t a frequent occurrence.

He’s washed his hands of both of his kids but when it comes time to celebrate he thinks he should be there.

And it’s not just the money. Where was he when she called, convinced she was never going to make it into nursing school? Where was he was she was overwhelmed and wanting to drop out and come home? He was part of the reason she was overwhelmed. She felt the weight of the world on her shoulders because she knew how I struggled. She felt like she had to get straight As. She felt guilty telling me she didn’t have enough money for rent. She felt guilty anytime she had to ask for something. All of that was caused by him.

Everything she has experienced since she was 15 years old has been because of him. She lost her amazing high school experience because of him. She lost gymnastics because of him. She had to move out of her home with her roomy bedroom and her own bathroom because of him. She had to switch schools because of him. She had to worry about how to pay for college because of him. She ended up at Ball State instead of some school in Utah or Virginia because of him. Hell, she’s on anti-anxiety meds and anti depressants because of him. Just this past December she admitted she always feels like she’s not good enough. Why wasn’t she worth it? Why did her dad abandon her? How could he walk right by her and not say goodbye or tell her that he loved her? She feels like she always has to prove herself to him.

He took this young, bubbly, beautiful, confident young woman and turned her into an anxiety ridden mess. He did a number on her and her future, but by all means, let’s have him show up and take a bow. He took everything he could away from her, made things so much more difficult than they had to be. But by all means, preen about like a peacock. So proud! Daddy of the Year, right there. You were so instrumental in her upbringing.

No, you asshole, you were instrumental in attempting to orchestrate her downfall. But you didn’t succeed. I stepped in wherever you lacked. My mom stepped in wherever I lacked. I’m the one that told her she was exceptional. I’m the one that told her I was proud of her. I’m the one that was always there, always supporting her, always nurturing her, always encouraging her, always assuring her that she could do it. I’m the one that told her she was worth it and to never let her worth be measured by her father. I’m the one that told her she was going to be an amazing nurse. I’m the one that has paid for therapy, and I’m the one that has kept her going.

Here’s the funny thing. I don’t take credit for her accomplishments. I’m proud of her. I’ve supported her, both financially and emotionally. But I didn’t do it. I’m not why she succeeded. She succeeded because she’s incredibly driven. Disciplined. She knew what she wanted and she went after it. I didn’t take those classes. I didn’t do the labs or the clinicals or the homework. She did all of that. She has had an intense schedule for years. The achievement is all her.

It still chaps my ass that Jerry Lee thinks he should be able to show up and celebrate. Sit the fuck down! I’m the one that raised this kid. You were too busy off fucking your cousin and trying to impress kids that already had an involved father.

A Belated Mother’s Day Message (Or An Early Father’s Day Message)

Mother’s Day has come and gone. Mine was splendid but I’ll write about that later. It’s a little late to save the moms this year but if I have any male readers dealing with cheating wives maybe I can save you some heartache this coming Father’s Day.

I saw so many people this year hurt and bewildered by their ex or soon-to-be-ex not wishing them a happy Mother’s Day.

I’m the mother of his child(ren) and he didn’t even wish me a happy Mother’s Day! You’d think the least he could do is acknowledge that. We were together for X number of years. I’m the one raising his kids, the ones he left behind. Is it that difficult for him to do this one small thing and recognize me on Mother’s Day?

Yes! Yes, it is asking for too much to expect him to acknowledge you on Mother’s Day. He couldn’t keep his dick in his pants while you were married/living together/in a relationship. Showing you any sign of respect is not his strong suit. What makes you think he’s going to treat you better now than when you were actually together? Before you at least served a purpose. You cooked his meals, kept his house, did his laundry, made sure the bills were paid, kept his life in order, had sex with him. You made him look like a stable, normal human being. Now you’re just a nuisance to him.

I know that sounds harsh and I’m sorry. There’s simply no way to sugar coat it. As Chump Lady says over and over, “You cannot look to the person who hurt you to help you heal.” That’s like asking your kidnapper to help you escape.

Maybe I am blessed with the ability to shut things off when I see them going south. I was all in with Jerry Lee and our wreckconciliation until I got the news from The Saint about Jerry Lee lying about where he had been. When I found out Jerry Lee was messing around with Harley again I was done. I wasn’t looking forward to what needed to happen but I knew it was over. I had warned him two years prior.

I remember my first anniversary post separation. Rock Star bought me candy and flowers. I took my kids to Olive Garden (ironically, an hour’s drive away from where we were living). I focused on making the day about them. Never in a million years was I expecting Jerry Lee to even mention the day in passing, much less send me a message acknowledging our anniversary or send me flowers.

I didn’t expect him to recognize my birthday and I wasn’t sitting on pins and needles wondering if he would do anything for me for Mother’s Day. Most of the time he half assed it while we were married. Why on earth would I expect him to pull out all the stops now that he was fucking his cousin?

Is it because we’ve been fed this constant stream of conscious uncoupling bullshit? Are we really buying into this narrative that “divorce doesn’t mean you’re no longer a family; it just means your family has been rearranged slightly,”?

I’ll say it again. You cannot expect the person who broke you to help put you back together. They are not capable of it. They have no vested interest in doing so. There’s nothing in it for them.

Protect your heart. Don’t expect anything out of them. Don’t expect humanity. This is your ex for a reason. When you no longer expect, or better yet, don’t even want acknowledgement from them on your birthday or Mother’s Day or Christmas you take away their power to hurt you.

Gentlemen, if you were wishing your cheating ex’s a Happy Mother’s Day- STOP! They don’t appreciate it and they don’t deserve it. It ends up making you feel bad because your acknowledgement falls on deaf ears and frequently is met with dead silence. It’s no longer your job to celebrate your children’s mother. Someone else can do that, and if she’s got no one else, well, she’s got no one else to blame but herself for her circumstances.

Ladies, I failed you on Mother’s Day but keep in mind, the above message goes for you as well on Father’s Day. You aren’t taking the high road by celebrating him when he ignores you. You are eating a giant shit sandwich and telling yourself it tastes wonderful. Please stop.

If your kids are old enough to buy a gift for him on their own, let them. If your kids aren’t old enough to do that, and they actually want to do something for him I’ve heard many people suggest letting them make him a card or draw him a picture. If you’re feeling rather generous maybe take them to the dollar store or some big box store and give them a budget of $5 or less. If your kids don’t ask to do anything, or maybe they’re not even old enough to do anything, don’t do anything for him. It’s not your job.

Take back your power. Take back your sanity. Don’t let them hurt you this way anymore.

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.

Never Again

I read this somewhere and I wanted to discuss this:

The inability to receive support from others is a trauma response.

Your, “I don’t need anyone, I’ll just do it all myself,” conditioning is a survival tactic. And you needed it to shield your heart from abuse, neglect, betrayal, and disappointment from those who could not or would not be there for you….

…From all the situation when someone told you, “We’re in this together,” or “I got you,” then abandoned you, leaving you to pick up the pieces when shit got real, leaving you to handle your part and their part, too.

From all the lies and all the betrayals.

You learned along the way that you just couldn’t really trust people Or that you could trust people, but only up to a certain point.

Extreme independence is a trust issue.

You learned: if I don’t put myself in a situation where I rely on someone, I won’t have to be disappointed when they don’t show up for me, or when they drop the ball… because they will always drop the ball eventually, right?

Extreme independence is a preemptive strike against heartbreak.

So you don’t trust anyone.

And you don’t trust yourself, either, to choose people.

To trust is to hope, to trust is to be vulnerable.

“Never again,” you vow.

But no matter how you dress it up and display it proudly to make it seem like this level of independence is what you always wanted to be, in truth it’s your wounded, scarred broken heart behind a protective brick wall.

Impenetrable. Nothing gets in. No hurt gets in. But no love gets in either.

Fortresses and armor are for those in battle, or who believe the battle is coming.

It’s a trauma response.

by Jamila White

There was more but this encompasses most of what I wanted to write about.

I read this, and my first thought was, “Wow! This is so profound. So true. You’ve got to open your heart. Learn to trust. Not let the bad experiences shape you.”

And then I thought, “This is nuts. Of course the bad experiences are going to shape you! You should learn from them, not put your head in the sand and pretend that the next time it will all be okay.”

I suppose I should start with this: I don’t think I engage in extreme independence. I also don’t think I deny others the chance to support me.

Am I perfectly fine being on my own? I sure was. I didn’t think I would ever date again and I was pretty okay with that. I didn’t go looking for the mobster. He found me.

With that said I absolutely love having someone like him in my life.

Now, having said that I’m still not ready to throw caution to the wind, move in together, chuck spousal support out the window and cling to the notion that, “This time it will all work out!”

Yeah, last time it damn near killed me. I’m not exaggerating when I say that. I sometimes forget how awful it was because five years have passed and my life isn’t horrible anymore. And you know, you would think that would be a big help.

Hey! You survived it before! You thought you wanted to die and that your life was going to suck forever and ever. But look at you now! It doesn’t suck. If he walked out the door you’d pick yourself up and carry on. You’re in a better position now even because you already have a job! So you wouldn’t be back to square one. You’d be on, like, square two at the very least. Maybe even square three. You couldn’t lose everything all over again because you already lost everything and you never really rebuilt, right? It’s not like you bought a house. You don’t have any furniture. There’s nothing to lose! You’re good!

Ah, Happy-Go-Lucky Sam! I’ve missed you. Unfortunately for her, Baptized Through Fire Sam also shows up. And she’s like, “Are you crazy?”

My answer to that is, “No!”

I’ve thought about this a lot and it comes down to this. Let’s imagine there is a lake I swim in quite often. For years I go to this lake and I jump in and I swim around and have a grand ol’ time. And then one day, I go to the lake and I jump in and I swim around just like I always have. Only this time… an alligator bites my leg off. Now, I don’t know how the alligator got in the lake. It’s not like I live in Florida. Maybe it was a pet and it got too big so someone let it go. Maybe it migrated. I don’t know. I just know it now lives in the lake I used to swim in. And it bit my leg off. I was lucky to survive. It was a miracle. Kinda like me surviving my damn divorce and losing everything. Hmmmm…. Anyway… if someone asked me, “Hey, Sam, why don’t you swim in that lake anymore?” I would have no problem with saying, “Because a damn alligator bit my freaking leg off!” And if they tried to tell me that the chances of the alligator biting my other leg off was slim to none I’d tell them I wasn’t going to take any chances. I know there’s a damn alligator in that lake!

I don’t think anyone would fault me for that.

I think I tend to trust but verify. Trust but not put all my eggs in another person’s basket. Trust but not blindly. Trust but don’t be stupid. Any of those could be my new motto.

The mobster spent a few weeks with the guy who sold him his route. They talked a lot. The guy had 2 children from a previous relationship. He was currently with his girlfriend of 7 years. They had a child together and she really wanted to get married. His father ran routes all over for years until he began the Missions routes, which were basically given to him. Between him and his two sons they owned multiple routes. The guy who is selling the mobster the route makes quite a bit of money between the three or so routes he runs and his investment properties. One day the mobster came home and he was relaying the stories he had heard from him. I don’t remember how it came up but I remember him saying that at one point B was explaining that while his girlfriend worked a full-time job as well “all of this is me”, meaning that while she worked, too, the reason they had the giant house and the waterfall features in their yard and the Tesla and the million other things they had, was because of him.

My first inclination was to think, “Well, that’s not very team-like of him.” But my second reaction, which quickly followed my first, was, “He’s absolutely correct. It is all him.” Or rather, it’s all his.

I’m sure she helps him out logistically. She may even provide insurance for him and his two other children. But the reality is she makes a fraction of what he makes. Her lifestyle is funded by him. If she walked out on him tomorrow his life wouldn’t change. He might have to scramble to find someone to help out with his kids, but he’s not going to be wondering if he can afford the mortgage. He won’t be worried about whether or not he has to take his kids out their school because he might need to move. If he walks out on her? Oh you can bet your ass her life is going to change. She may have a full-time job. She may not be destitute. But she’s not going to be living in a house like she does now. She won’t be driving around in a Tesla. A lot of the things she can afford to do and purchase she wouldn’t be able to afford or purchase if he left.

That is still my mindset. I went through my house and I put price tags on all of my belongings. What I couldn’t sell was left behind. I lost my home. I lost my pool. I lost my brand new furniture. I had to move out of the state and back in with my mom. I live in fucking Indiana once again, for crying out loud. 

I will never financially depend upon another man again. That is still my stance. If I can’t afford it it’s not mine. If I can’t afford it on my own I don’t want it. I see all of these happy people who live these amazing lives and they’re doing it because they’re married. Their husbands fund their lives. It’s the ol’ “teamwork” concept. We’re a team! What’s mine is his and what’s his is mine. We don’t have his money and my money; it’s our money. I sometimes think how nice it would be to be able to do that again. To think that because I have a husband who can buy us a second home on a lake that I somehow have a home on a lake. To think that because my husband can afford a boat that I, too, have a boat. To think that because I’m married to a man who can afford a half a million dollar home that I have a half a million dollar home.

Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that that is not true. If my fictitious future husband decides to walk out on me for some gold digging whore then I no longer have a lake house. I no longer have a boat. I no longer have a $500,000 home. And I do realize that I got a very raw deal because Jerry Lee let our house go into foreclosure as opposed to getting up off his ass and getting a new job, hoping to wait me out. But I probably wouldn’t have been able to keep that house anyway. 

The way I look at it is this: As long as I follow my own common sense advice and only live on what I can afford on my own then I don’t have to worry about losing my home and everything in it should the man I’m with suddenly decides he wants to fuck a gold digging whore. If I acknowledge the fact that I only have access to his huge house, or his pool, or his boat or his lake house, because he wants to fuck me then I’m not shocked when I no longer have access to any of that if he dumps me. I don’t have to pack up my house. I don’t have to put stickers on everything. I don’t have to move back in with my mom. Would I be sad? Of course! But I’m not having every single goddamn thing I own taken away from me either. 

It’s kind of like if I had a job where I got free concert tickets as a perk of the job, or they allowed me use of their corporate condo in Hawaii. I would expect to only get to use those perks as long as I worked there. I wouldn’t be thinking, “I have a condo in Hawaii.” No, I’d be thinking, “My company has a condo in Hawaii and I get to use it as a perk of my employment.” If I leave the company I don’t have access to that condo in Hawaii anymore. I no longer get free concert tickets. All of those goodies are contingent upon my employment, just like my access to anything I can’t afford on my own is contingent upon my partner still wanting to be with me.

I think the point of this is to not let your bad experiences rule your life, but it doesn’t mean you don’t implement some safe guards. Instead of declaring, “All men (or women) are bad and I’m not getting involved with anyone ever again!” you examine the red flags you missed and the behavior you tolerated in order to stay in that relationship. It’s not, “I’ll never let down my walls!”, or “I’ll never trust again!”.  It’s being willing to have deal breakers. It’s being willing to say, “This is not acceptable to me,”- and meaning it. It means not overlooking bad behavior and coming up with excuses for it. It’s demanding reciprocity and leaving when you don’t get that instead of continuing to wish upon a star that things were different. You don’t twist yourself into a pretzel trying to get someone else to love you and you’re willing to walk away when you realize this person is never going to be who you need them to be.

I don’t think it’s so much that I’ve built up walls or have trust issues. I think I’ve seen the stark reality of what happens when you go into a relationship thinking you’re a team and that you’ve built this life together, and then one person decides they want out. I can love deeply. I can love fiercely. I can let down my walls and I can trust. But I’m not going to be stupid. I’m not going to put myself in a bad situation like I did the first time around. For me, that means I won’t rely on another man financially ever again. I don’t think that means I have trust issues. I think it means I learned a very valuable lesson. I no longer swim in lakes that are known to have alligators in them.

It’s Not Fair

I often read about people lamenting the fact that their cheating spouse has escaped the marriage with no consequences. They seem to have everything and the cheated on spouse is left with a life in shambles. “Where is the justice?” they often ask. “Why does he (or she) get to ride off into the sunset with a new partner while I’m left all alone? Why has my entire life been firebombed and his (or her) life gone on unscathed? Why isn’t my cheater hurting like I am?”

It goes beyond that, of course. There are feelings of despair. They’re tired. Everything is difficult. Life is a struggle for those left behind. And yes, the cheater does seem to have it all- the new house (or maybe the old house), the new partner, vacations, toys. It sucks. It’s unfair. Why do the cheaters get it all while the ones that are cheated on are left to rebuild?

Of course it appears they have it all! They’re cheaters. No, seriously, they’re cheaters. I don’t mean that only in the sense that they physically cheated with another person. They cheated. Period. It was never a level playing field. They got a head start. They already had everything planned before they walked out the door. They’re not mourning the end of a marriage because they’ve either already done that, or they are incapable of doing that. No one dumped them. They weren’t blindsided by you. Their life was not turned upside down against their will. And life will continue to be unfair until you have a chance to catch up.

Yes, they’ve already got a new bed buddy and you’re all alone? Of course they do! It’s not because you’re unworthy and your cheater is awesome so naturally someone else has glommed onto them. No! It’s because they’re a cheater who already had their next victim lined up. You didn’t do that. You thought you were still in a relationship with this person. If you had known what they were up to you could have got your ducks in a row as well. But the “game” is rigged in their favor. They know and you don’t.

Them knowing what’s going on while you don’t means they can prepare for their new life while you’re preparing their dinner. They can hide money. They can blow marital assets on their accomplice(s). They can get you to sign things and take on debt you wouldn’t take on if you knew what was going on. Every move they make is designed to give them a leg up while keeping you mired in the muck.

They’re financially fine because in most of these cases the cheaters are the high earners while the one being cheated on keeps the home, shuttles the children, makes sure everything runs smoothly, and so on and so forth. It’s a non-paying gig. So they walk out the door and your income goes with them.

Strangely, cheaters always seem to profit, regardless of what side they’re on when it comes to financial matters. If the cheater happens to be the one being supported they’ve already figured out what the poor unsuspecting spouse is going to have to pay them in order to get out of the marriage. They have no conscience. Everything is about them so they don’t give a damn about what they’re doing to you.

It would almost be comical if it weren’t so damn tragic but I see it all the time. The stay at home wife that gets cheated on generally ends up getting screwed over by her cheating husband. She spends the rest of her life living way below the standard of living she enjoyed while married. But the cheating stay at home wife, or the cheating stay at home husband, always seem to end up flush with cash after their divorce. Again, cheaters cheat. And not just sexually. In all areas of their life.

New marriage? New baby? New house? Yes, of course. They have those things because their plan was already in motion. You’re still trying tto come to terms with the fact that you were married to a monster and the monster has been planning their exit for months, if not years. While you were planning a future with this person they were planning their exit strategy.

In the end I guess what I’m trying to say is that of course it seems like they have it all. And it’s easy to get down on yourself when you compare.

Remember though that the reason it seems so easy is because they’ve been laying the groundwork far longer than you can imagine.

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.

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.

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