Into the Bowels of Hell, The Recap, Part 3

We’re up to the fifth and final hurdle. This ended up being a new one for me. I never anticipated having breakfast with her.

Fifth hurdle- breakfast the day after the party. Oh, Jesus, help me! Her sister apologized profusely the night before. She (the sister) had wanted to get together with her niece and nephews for breakfast because they were going to be taking off the next day. BSC heard them making plans and invited herself on over for breakfast with them.

I have to admit, for a small window of time I was kinda pissed at the mobster that he didn’t text her and flat out tell her not to come. You are not invited! You are not welcome. Stay away.

I got over it. I did not, however, make breakfast. Yeah, no. I’m not cooking breakfast for that woman. Instead, Mobster and his brother-in-law made breakfast.

It turned out to be a very interesting morning. I’m glad it happened because I learned a lot.

When I first came out of the bedroom BSC was sitting at the table with her sister. A’s girlfriend asked me how I was and I replied, “Fabulous,” and went about my business of grabbing a cup and making my coffee.

Thankfully, she spent most of her time outside with her sister. Hooray! I spent it inside (in the air conditioning) with the sons’ wife and girlfriends. Very interesting stuff.

I’m going to call the oldest son’s girlfriend Little Miss Sunshine, because that girl is so sweet and loving. I’m going to call the middle son’s wife CeeCee, because his first name begins with a C and her first name begins with a C, making her C’s C. The youngest son’s girlfriend I will refer to as The Dog Lover. Honestly, all three of these young women are dog lovers, but the other two have other nicknames from me. Now for the stories.

Story #1- A, the oldest, was asking Little Miss Sunshine what his mother was doing here. She told him she had no idea. I raised my hand and said I knew. I asked him if he wanted me tell him, which he did. So, I told him about her overhearing her sister when she was making plans for breakfast with them and her inviting herself over for that. He shook his head in amazement.

At another point C had to go outside and say hello to her. CeeCee was like, “Better him than me.”

It’s sad when your kids feel that way about you. Which brings us to Story #2.

I have to say I really enjoyed spending time with C and CeeCee this time around. Not that I didn’t enjoy it before. This time it felt more authentic, I guess. I learned a lot more. I feel like more barriers were down. I think CeeCee is just a much more reserved person. I think both her and The Dog Lover are a bit reserved, unlike Little Miss Sunshine who is bubbly and overflows with sweetness and kindness.

Anyway, CeeCee began talking about BSC. I forget what led to it, but basically she has no tolerance for her. She hates the way she manipulates her kids, especially C. As she put it, “She’s always the victim.” Exactly! That’s what we’ve been saying! Not that we’ve ever said that out loud to the kids, of course. She went on to say that it would be nice if she could take a step back and look at what she’s done to her kids, and see that maybe the reason her kids don’t want to have a whole lot to do with her has to do with her own behavior. She gave the example of BSC texting C late at night to tell him she got kicked out of the house and she was living in the woods. She said he would get upset and worried about her while CeeCee tries to remind him that it’s all lies.

I am a bit proud of this girl because she knows in her early twenties something that a lot of people don’t figure out until their forties or fifties. You can’t have a relationship with a toxic person. She said that. She even mentioned that she’s not sure she would even want BSC around her children, and cited that as a major reason they’re not sure they want kids.

At one point CeeCee said that BSC doesn’t like her and never has. She talked about how frustrating it was that BSC didn’t come to her bridal shower or anything else having to do with the wedding, but then showed up at the wedding, drinking, dancing, whooping it up and acting like nothing was wrong. Preach it, girl!

I took that opportunity to tell her that yes, I did actually have Garth Brooks’ concert tickets, but once I found out she was going to be there I decided not to come, or at least that had been a huge part of my thinking the entire time. I flat out told her I was worried that she would have shown her ass and I didn’t want them to have to worry about that on their big day. She agreed with me and said that’s probably exactly what would have happened. She also said BSC didn’t bother to show up until right before the wedding began.

I think this may have led into Little Miss Sunshine telling her that BSC had glommed onto her at the wedding and was trash talking her and A’s ex-wife. Seriously, who does that? You don’t go to a wedding and trash talk the bride! You may not care for the bride or groom, but you don’t pick their wedding reception as a chance to vent your frustrations to their other guests!

In addition to telling Little Miss Sunshine how much she disliked V and CeeCee and that Little Miss Sunshine was the only good girl in the family, she also took that opportunity to steal sips out of her drink. Like, she would reach over, take a sip, and put it back in front of her.

When BSC finally decided to leave the house and head back to her own place she came inside to say goodbye. We were sitting and standing around the table. I think C was there. A. Little Miss Sunshine. CeeCee was sitting on the end. I was beside her. Rock Star beside me. I think maybe the brother-in-law was next to her. Possibly the grandson. L was sitting slightly behind us, on the barstool and The Dog Lover was sitting next to him.

She hugs C. Hugs A. Hugs Little Miss Sunshine and makes a big deal of saying goodbye to “baby girl” and telling her to keep in contact and be sure to send those pictures of the grandson. She turns around, completely ignoring CeeCee, myself, and Rock Star. Pats L on his cheek before giving him a hug. Ignores The Dog Lover. Hugs the grandson and the brother-in-law and then heads out. Wow!

Come to think of it, after she left I looked at Little Miss Sunshine and remarked, “You must be something special. She didn’t say bye to CeeCee or me!” That may have been when she launched into her story about the wedding and all the trash talk.

Either way, this is your daughter-in-law. Your son has chosen to marry her. I’m not saying you have to hug her and love on her and act like you think she’s the best thing ever. But is it asking too much to say goodbye, maybe even a, “Nice to see you again,” regardless of whether or not it’s a lie? The brass balls on this woman is astounding.

When I look back on this weekend I will be able to say that it was a great weekend, despite BSC’s presence. For the most part we stayed away from each other. When we had to be close by, even passing right by one another, we didn’t look at each other and we didn’t speak.

His kids were amazing about accepting Rock Star into the fold. She was frequently called out to be on a team for volleyball. At one point she told me, “God, I always said I wanted a big brother and now I’ve got 3.” She’s not real sure about that.

The night after graduation we went over to C’s, as I mentioned, and we had a fantastic time. I know the mobster just enjoyed having all of his kids together. All his baby birds in one nest.

Saturday was spent at the house, enjoying the graduation party.

Sunday after the disastrous breakfast the “kids” all played volleyball, then we (C, CeeCee, A, Little Miss Sunshine, the grandson, Rock Star, Mobster, and I) went to grab snow cones. The mobster and I left the snow cone shack to meet his brother and sister-in-law at a winery here in town. My daughter left to go put gas in the car and buy herself a new pair of swim bottoms. The last remaining members went to play pinball and arcade games, although CeeCee went home to shower and do some homework. T, who didn’t go with us to get a snow cone, met her two brothers at the arcade. Then we all met up for Mexican food around 5:30.

I heard some incredibly funny stories about their childhood while we were there. The evening could be summed up as a lot of laughter.

We all went over to C and CeeCee’s house after dinner. They played yard games and volleyball. There was some more drinking, although not a lot.

For me, I felt like I really connected with his kids this weekend. A was very warm and welcoming. He is his father’s mini me. The mobster always said it was C, and while C never seems to meet a stranger much like his father, A is a carbon copy. Holy moly!

I felt very accepted and welcomed by C, and this was the most I have ever spent talking to CeeCee. She’s a very sweet girl. She loves C very much and I know she hates what he’s gone through. She’s a good wife. Very loyal to him. I’m sorry I missed their wedding and I wish I could have been there, although I absolutely know it was the best decision.

Monday morning A and Little Miss Sunshine were up around 5:30 to get the car packed and get back on the road. I got up with the mobster to send them off. I got hugs from all three of them, which was nice. A said, “I’m sure we’ll be seeing you again sometime soon,” which was also nice.

To sum up, there was a little drama but it was definitely outweighed by the goodness of the weekend. As always I bow to the mobster. He is the smartest man alive.

 

Into the Bowels of Hell, The Recap, Part 2

I’ve crossed the first three hurdles. They ended up being surprisingly easy. This next one, though… it was a little tougher. Little more drama. I took my first drink (punch spiked with vodka) around 1 and kept on drinking until late that night. Thankfully, it was spread out over 8-10 hours so I never even got buzzed, despite having 3 drinks in hand at one point in the afternoon!

Fourth hurdle- the graduation party. Sweet J nailed it. She absolutely, positively did show up. She was there all freaking day! The party started at 1 and I don’t think she left until 6 or 7. It might have been later. So much for not being able to bear seeing the mobster with me, huh?

Oh, and for those who doubt she’s batshit crazy and I’m just interpreting things from my point of view? She’s batshit crazy. 11:00 the night before the party she texts the mobster, “I hope you go to hell!” Who does that?

To her credit though she did bring 16 hotdogs and 2 packages of hot dog buns. Plus a watermelon. And maybe some potato salad, but I’m not sure.

Even better, at the graduation she tells one of his sisters that she dislikes the mobster immensely, but then shut her pie hole when her sister came up. Can’t let anyone see that she’s the instigator, of course.

Thankfully, her sister had already told Mobster that she recognized BSC always played the victim. It’s always someone doing something to her. It’s never her fault. In fact, later that evening after she went over to see where she was living they went by the site of her accident last year. She pointed it out and was laughing about it.

On top of all of that, according to various sources she spent a great deal of the party crying. Someone told the mobster the day of the party his ex was in the house crying and two days later someone else told me she had been bawling and carrying on pretty much the entire party.

Okay, the person who told me was the mobster’s mother. And the story I heard was that for some reason BSC yelled, “You don’t love me!” to her and then apologized for her behavior as she was leaving. Mobster’s mom said she was surprised because BSC had never raised her voice to her like that before.

There’s a very good chance she was drinking, though. She and the boyfriend’s sister kept going up to the car that was parked behind the house.

I have no idea what she was crying about and so far I have yet to hear a good explanation from anyone who might have been near her.

She is the one that was cheating. She is the one who left. She is the one who moved straight in with her boyfriend. You would think with all her crying and poor little me attitude that I was the other woman who had moved in on her husband while she was none the wiser and thought they had a blissfully happy marriage. Nope, not how it played out.

One of the mobster’s sisters swears she’s unhappy with her life and wants to come back to him and that’s why she’s acting like this.

I think she simply can’t believe he moved on. He was supposed to always stick around and be waiting, and he didn’t. She pushed him too far this last time and he was done.

But what would I know? We stayed in separate areas the entire time. Well, almost the entire time. At one point I was outside underneath a canopy with Mobster’s brother-in-law (not the one married to BSC’s sister) and a few other people. Mobster was playing, “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” by Motley Crue, and I was singing along. I was sitting in this comfy adirondack chair, my eyes closed, drink in hand. Someone called out to T and asked her to come over to where we were. I am singing the chorus: Girl, don’t go away mad. Girl, just go away. I happen to open my eyes, thinking T had come over, and who should appear but BSC. Oops!

I remained composed. It wasn’t intentional but it sure as hell was funny. The brother-in-law was looking at me like, “Oh shit!” Eh. She went away. Just like the song suggested.

Most of the time though if she was outside we were inside. Or, she was underneath a tent and Rock Star and I were in the garage.

The same brother-in-law who ended up enjoying my concert later, sat with me in the garage while we ate and asked me if it was awkward. I told him it was okay. He then went on to say she was walking around like she still owned the place. I wouldn’t know because I didn’t pay much attention to her.

I think when she first arrived she did come into the house with her boyfriend’s sister. We would just walk by one another. Never said a word to each other. His sister was plenty nice though and offered to help.

At one point Mobster and I drove up to his parents’ house because his son had inadvertently taken T’s phone with him. He agreed to turn around and drop it off at his grandparents’ house and Mobster would go pick it up.

When we came back we parked up behind the house. “That looks like David’s truck,” he says to me as we were walking back to the house. “It wasn’t here earlier.”

“Surely she wouldn’t attempt to bring him to this party,” I told him. I was thinking there was no way their balls were that big.

Alas, I was wrong and Monica nailed it. I’m not sure how we got separated but I walked into the house and saw him standing with her on the enclosed porch. I’m pretty sure my eyes got wide and I was thinking, “Oh shit! Mobster is going to lose his mind.”

I do remember walking into the house and preparing the Jell-O shots (not alcoholic; they’re actually pudding and Jell-O topped with Cool Whip.) and when his sister-in-law came up I said he was going to be pissed and then asked what the fuck was wrong with some people.

I shouldn’t have worried though because the mobster handled it like a champ. I think she wanted the drama and he didn’t give it to her. He ignored it all (aside from passive aggressively playing music). We didn’t even do grand gestures of affection in front of her.

At one point I know we were outside sweating our asses off while she and her boyfriend enjoyed the air conditioning inside.

There is a juvenile, petty side of me that would have loved to have seen the boyfriend escorted off the property, or for the mobster and I to have been kissing and hugging and making a scene. But, as the mobster kept saying, “It’s T’s party. It’s all about her today. I don’t want to ruin her party.” And he was correct.

Had we done either of those things it would have been playing into BSC’s hands. We would be seen as the unstable ones, the unreasonable ones, while she comes off looking like the victim. Sometimes you’ve gotta eat a little bit of shit, I guess. Really, it wasn’t that difficult. We stayed away from them. They stayed away from us. Although, there was a point where I told him I was going to go up to the two of them and ask them if they wanted to play cornhole. I didn’t.

Three other small things: #1- at the beginning of the party T came up to the mobster and I and put her arms around us both. She said thank you for her party. I told her she was welcome but that it was all her dad’s doing. Just between us, yes, I helped decorate but he bought all the decorations. I made Scotcheroos, beer bread, taco dip and Jell-O shots, which she requested, but he bought the hotdogs, the hamburgers, the buns, and the 6 ft. sub. Her grandmother brought potato salad and really cute sweet treats. T’s sister-in-law brought a pasta salad. We all pitched in a little to help him out but he did the majority of the work.

The mobster did mention he wondered if she did that to piss her mom off. I have no idea. I prefer to think it was genuine and that she was really grateful for the awesome party her dad put together and that I helped with.

#2- Later in the afternoon I was passing out the Jell-O shots when one of T’s friends piped up with, “Wow- Sam’s the good mom!” Disclaimer: This happened in the house in the living room. Mom was safely outside.

To be honest I was a little taken back. More like a deer in headlights. Oh shit! What do you say to that? All of her friends know the story but I wasn’t expecting that. I know there was a time when she had a few friends over and her mom was also over getting something and they all made it a point to say hello very loudly to me. I probably didn’t handle it the best way. I probably should have said, “Well, yes, I am a good mom, but that’s because I’m a good mom to my own two kids.” I guess that could have made things really awkward though. Instead I laughed it off.

His oldest son, the one I had just met the day before, was there in the living room, playing video games with the other kids, and he pretty much laughed it off as well and told her friend, “You know, in “The Good Mother” the mother actually wasn’t good so that’s not really the compliment you think it is.”

Then we both laughed about it and I made a lame joke about being evil.

#3- As I mentioned a moment ago I made beer bread. Turns out C is a huge fan. I’ve written before how I sometimes feel like some of Mobster’s kids don’t like me. This time though C looks at me and asks, “What kind of bread is that?” I told him it was beer bread. I was thinking he was going to tell me he was allergic or something and run to spit it out, but instead he got a big grin on his face and said, “I love beer bread. You’re the best!”

Yes! Success! Sam came. She baked. She conquered!

Into the Bowels of Hell, The Recap, Part 1

First, the good news. I survived! That’s awesome, isn’t it? Did you doubt me? I’m a plucky little thing.

Second, there is so much to recap that I’m going to have to do this in three parts, or you’ll be here reading for a good 30 minutes.

To summarize, when I last left off I had five hurdles to navigate. #1- meeting the oldest son, his girlfriend, and the grandson, #2- meeting the sister and brother-in-law, #3- meeting the son placed for adoption, #4- the graduation, and #5- the party.

As it turns out the adopted son did not attend. Something about he doesn’t have a license so he was going to fly but then nobody heard from him. Regardless, I didn’t meet the son placed for adoption.

Funnily enough I still ended up with five fucking hurdles. I got blindsided with a breakfast at the house with her on Sunday. Fun, fun!

Are you ready?

First hurdle to navigate- meeting the oldest son. He and his girlfriend were delightful. If they hated me they are very good at covering it. I jest. We had a great weekend together. His girlfriend is just the sweetest thing ever! She immediately went to hug me and then stopped herself. “Is it okay if I hug you?” she asked. Of course I said yes.

I think it was later that night someone was talking about what he should buy his girlfriend. I piped in with, “You could buy her a hot tub.” Now, there was a purpose behind this. It wasn’t as random as it sounds in this post, but I can’t remember what we were talking about. He replied, “I might be able to do that. It’s better than what most people tell me I should buy her. They’re always telling me I should buy her a ring.” Immediately I reply, “Well, you should do that, too.” This brings me to the point of this whole paragraph. He says, “Wait a minute! You’re supposed to be on my side!”

I thought that was cute. It was like we were a team already.

Second hurdle- meeting the sister and brother-in-law. What can I say? The mobster is the smartest man in the world. He’s getting a bit cocky with it now because this last time I admitted it he asked me, “So when are you finally going to start listening to me?”

They couldn’t have been nicer and more welcoming. His brother-in-law, upon meeting me, asked, “Is this Facebook Sam?” Yes, yes it is.

Later that night, after the graduation, he put his arm around me, leaned down and told me it was nice to see the mobster smiling again.

Her sister was super helpful the day of the party. She helped decorate and was always asking if there was something she could do.

They taught us how to play new board games, invited us both up to New Hampshire, and gave us hugs when they left.

They were both fantastic. It didn’t feel awkward at all.

Third hurdle- graduation. She showed up. Several people, including her sister, said she either looked or sounded drunk.

Thankfully we didn’t sit together. There were over 20 of us there for T’s graduation and we didn’t even all sit together. It was so hot and humid. Of course it was outside, which worked well for the graduates as far as not having to limit the number of people they could have. It was hell for the audience, though.

She was hugging on all of the mobster’s family. So great to see them all, I’m sure.

At one point her sister was waving to someone and it caught my eye. I looked up and happened to lock eyes with BSC for a moment. That was uncomfortable.

After the graduation we all went out onto the field to take pictures with the graduate. Naturally, BSC was close by, hugging people, and just generally acting like Mother of the Year.

We ignored each other, which suited me fine. T came up to me and told me she wanted to get a picture with me. She had already taken one with Rock Star.

The mobster’s family all came up and said hello to me and made sure to keep me included.

After the graduation we bought pizzas and went over to C’s house. There was eating and drinking and a bonfire. She was not invited. We were out until after midnight. It was worth it though. I know the mobster enjoyed being around all of his kids.

To be continued…

Into the Bowels of Hell

I’m writing this as I’m on my way to Virginia to watch Mobster’s daughter graduate from high school. My daughter is driving and scaring the crap out of me.

I swear, she’s a worse driver now than when she was first learning! And I say that knowing she ran into the garage door at about 2 mph before she got her learner’s permit. If I even make it to the hotel tonight it will be a fucking miracle. Plus, I’m being subjected to rap music on the first part of this journey.

So… on my way. Bowels of Hell. Hmmm…. Why the bowels of Hell, Sam?

Oh, you know. Being introduced to a bunch of people I don’t know, many of whom are her people. Her sister and brother-in-law. Her son she placed for adoption. Potentially spending the day with Batshit Crazy. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised to find out she had invited CF and Harley and they were both in attendance. Finally meeting the oldest son and grandson.

Honestly, it’s the title I came up with a few weeks back and I didn’t want a good title to go to waste. I’ve calmed down quite a bit.

The mobster assures me I will not encounter another child who, while cordial, wants nothing to do with me. He tells me that his oldest has always been supportive of his relationship with me. Still, I’m dealing with the nerves.

What if he hates me? What if he can’t figure out what on earth his dad sees in me? What if he thinks his dad can do so much better?

It doesn’t help that I am currently going through an intense ugly phase. I may not actually be ugly but I am feeling ugly. I’m fatter than I’ve ever been and it doesn’t seem that anything I do to my face or hair helps me look one bit better. I try to take solace in the fact that the mobster always thinks I’m beautiful. I guess that’s going to have to do it for now until I get out of this slump.

About those other people… Currently BSC’s sister, her husband, and son are all staying at the house with us. Ironically, I am Facebook friends with the brother-in-law. I don’t remember how that happened, but I know he sent me a friend request.

I am told they are both very chill people and have tried to remain neutral. Maybe I’m making more of a big deal of this than I should. It just seems weird to me to be spending the weekend with the STBX’s sister and brother-in-law.

I’m not sure if BSC’s other son will be there or not now. Once again the mobster is excited to introduce me to him and thinks I’ll really like him. I’m sure he’s amazing. However, she’s his biological mother. I’m the woman dating her STBX husband.

As far as she goes, well, I’m not at all excited about the prospect of spending the day with her. I know she’s made very unkind comments about me and my body and with me feeling the way I’m feeling the last thing I want to do is give her fodder for her insults.

A few months back Mobster had talked about possibly throwing the graduation party at his son’s house. I told him then that if it was there then she would undoubtedly be there because one of his sons would insist upon inviting her. Eventually he decided to have the party at his house. Only T’s half brother planned to come to the graduation and where he goes, his mother goes. So… we’re right back to her being at the house and at the party.

I seriously considered not going for a week or two. I ended up telling him to ask T how she felt about it and if she would be uncomfortable having both of us there. She didn’t hesitate. Of course I was invited and if her mother couldn’t behave she would be escorted off the property.

Originally when he told her that I would be at the party she shrugged it off for the most part. Said it was no big deal and mentioned that maybe her boyfriend could come, too, then.

More recently, however, she said she would just drop off the hotdogs and buns. Seems she’s now not going to attend the party because she “can’t bear to see him with his girlfriend.” That’s me. “Yeah, because it was so much fun seeing you and David together at all those soccer and softball games,” was his response.

That’s right, folks. She’s living with her boyfriend. Has been since the day she walked out on him and their kids. But she can’t bear to see him with me.

I know I caught flak for referring to her as batshit crazy, but she is. Truly. On one hand she is now accusing him of breaking her back (yes, really!), saying first it was when he pushed a bookcase over on her and then when he was sitting on top of her and pouring alcohol down her throat. On the other hand, the night she told him she wasn’t coming to the party she told him she missed him and missed his laugh.

Their divorce is postponed right now because her lawyer has asked to be recused from the case. Her lawyer was appointed a judge, and will step into that role in July. Apparently this fine, upstanding person who wouldn’t tell a lie if her life depended upon it, is not returning her lawyer’s calls so she is unable to finish up the case before her appointment.

Once her lawyer is recused Mobster’s lawyer can reach out to her and offer to write up the paperwork and get this finished. Of course, I fully believe she will ignore her as well, which is why I told Mobster he should do one of two things.

Option #1 would be to tell her if she doesn’t want to get divorced, that’s fine. He’ll sell the house, take all the proceeds and move to Indiana. He only has to share with her if they actually divorce. I’m not completely serious about that but hopefully it would light a fire under her ass.

Option #2 is to tell his lawyer to reach out to her with their offer and give her a two week deadline. After that set up a damn court date with a judge.

For whatever reason she doesn’t want a divorce. Living with one man while she’s married to another is perfectly fine with her.

I’ve been told by friends and family not to breathe too easily with the news she won’t be attending. As Sweet J said, “Oh, she’ll show up. Expect her to make a scene.”

Yes, that’s what I’m afraid of. Into the bowels of Hell I go. Wish me luck.

Sam’s Untitled Message to Cousinfucker

I’ve been sitting on this one because I wrote it a few months ago and a lot has changed since it’s inception. Sadly, I haven’t been doing a very good job of keeping up with my blog so enjoy!

Dear Cousinfucker,

I’m beginning to think you didn’t mean it when you said you wanted us to “come to a healthy relationship apart from all of this” (I am guessing that “this” meant your affair with Harley) or when you encouraged me to “build a future relationship that we both can be happy for each other and our children and show them that happiness and being whole are vital to a person’s future.” Then again, we both know you were lying out your ass when you told me that while I would take a hit financially I would be provided for for life because your lawyer had me “covered for the rest of [my] life.” You certainly tried to worm your way out of that one, didn’t you?

I’m beginning to believe talk is cheap. It seems to be especially cheap when one side (you) has everything going their way while the other side (me) is being served a giant shit sundae and told to smile and eat up.

You don’t seem to be very happy for me. In fact, you seem quite bitter. I have to admit, I don’t quite understand it.

Sure, you could argue that I had no interest in being “happy” for you when you first broached the subject. I will point out that when you first extended this so called olive branch that I was in the initial phase of being discarded after twenty years of marriage. Not only was I being dumped, but I was also being replaced by the whore you cheated on me with two years prior. You had played me for a fool all summer long, once again. You had also cut me off financially so I was forced to live off of savings until the temporary support hearing and I wasn’t completely sure what was going to happen to me and our two kids. I was desperately hoping to be able to stay in the house until Rock Star graduated, and perhaps beyond that if Picasso wanted to stay and graduate from that school as well.

While I wasn’t cheering you on for your weekend fuck-fests I also wasn’t harassing you. I left you alone to play happy family with the whore and her kids. I didn’t call. I didn’t text. I didn’t chase you down in my car. I didn’t stalk you. I left your skank ass cousin alone, too.

And while you were home, using our children’s home as your extended stay hotel during the week? I left you alone. You were free to text all night with your whore. I didn’t send our kids to you to try to play on your pity (you don’t have any). I didn’t pound on doors. I didn’t scream and yell at you. Oh, I suppose I did occasionally play some songs from my freedom list very loudly. Aside from that, I ignored you. Yet you continued to act like the victim, crying to our daughter that you were treated worse than a piece of furniture. I didn’t fix you a plate and bring you your dinner every night. I no longer did your laundry. Worst of all I put bells on the door so I could hear you when you came in the house. I can see how that might have traumatized you.

Even during the darkest times you had it pretty easy. When I found out you had quit your job and fled the state I cried on my own, confided in my mom, poured my feelings out on my blog. When I found out you had lost your job and weren’t planning on sending me anymore money, again I cried on my own, confided in my mom, poured my feelings out on my blog. And then I went on to price almost everything in our home to try to sell at a garage sale and listed all of our furniture so that I would have money to move and to live on once I got back to Indiana. You didn’t hear a word from me. Not one single nasty text. Not a flurry of emails. Not one car ride down to where you were, making a big scene.

So again I’m trying to figure out how you justify being so angry at me. You got everything you wanted. Don’t you remember how you cried about what a disaster Virginia was? How you were destined to fail because Randy wouldn’t support you? How Charlie wouldn’t fade into the background like he was supposed to? You wanted to leave your job in Virginia and you did. Why so sad?

You wanted to work with your best friend. Don’t you remember how you lamented not taking him up on his previous offer? If I recall correctly you surmised that that was one of your biggest mistakes. But then like a fairy godmother he appears out of nowhere and manages to get you a job at his plant. It’s a dream come true! Granted, your children weren’t part of the package, but then again, you didn’t really bother with them anyway. It’s not like you offered to take them with you. They probably would have just gotten in the way when you wanted to spend the weekends with the whore. In the end though you got exactly what you wanted, what you thought you had lost. You got the chance to work side by side with your very best friend in the world! You had lunch with him every day. That is so exciting. I would be so happy about that. Why weren’t you? According to you, he was there for you. He listened to all your sad little tales of woe.

You wanted to move back to Kentucky. I remember you telling me how you’d love to be able to call your sister up and meet her for a drink. That’s not happening anymore, seeing as how you’ve labeled yourself an alcoholic and your sister still lives a good 2-3 hours away from you.  You know she won’t go out of her way to see you, and you seem far too lodged up Harley’s ass to go out of your way to see her. Therefore, you don’t see her that often. But you’re there and that’s what’s important! Plus, you got to spend your mom’s last years with her as well.

And remember how you told everyone that Harley made you so happy while I made you miserable? Well, now you’re with her! That is news for rejoicing.

Where are we again? Oh yes, you wanted to quit your job with PCA, you wanted to work with your best friend, you wanted to move back to Kentucky, and you wanted to be with Harley. By my count you got all of those things, although not all together. You did quit your job at PCA. You went and worked with Blockhead. Even got a promotion. Finally a GM and not a PM. Congrats! Of course, you ended up losing that job. But, all was not lost because it meant you got to live with your whore cousin in Kentucky full time. Bam! Two birds, one stone. You moved back to Kentucky and you moved in with the whore that made you so happy. You got everything you wanted. What more could you possibly want?

Was it the fact that I didn’t cry and beg and plead for your return? Instead I found a lawyer and filed for divorce, and then put you on ignore. Or were you miffed by the fact that I found out what was going on before you got to ambush me? That also meant I was able to take protective measures, like moving over all of our money into an account you couldn’t touch. You are very fond of your money so that probably pissed you off a lot! Not to mention the fact that I wasn’t completely at your mercy. Maybe it’s the fact that you couldn’t destroy me. I kept on going. Even worse, I found someone else.

About that… I don’t understand why you’re so pissy about my relationship with the mobster. I would think you would be happy for me. You’ve found what you think is a much better match for yourself. I know I’ve found a much better match for me. What’s that you said? We’re not good together. I know you will be whole without me. Take a minute and reflect upon those words. I’m thinking maybe you didn’t really believe I would be whole without you. Or maybe I was supposed to be whole without you or anyone else while you frolicked with the whore and basked in your unique love.

If you could stop being so butt hurt that I somehow managed to get over you and all your fabulousness and found love with someone else maybe you would realize that could actually turn into a very good thing for you. If I remarry you’re off the hook for spousal support. I’d think you would be doing everything in your power to make sure my relationship with the mobster worked out. I’m surprised you haven’t sent us on an exotic vacation or at the very least set up a romantic date night for us.

No, instead you wander around making snide comments about my love. What happened to being happy for one another? What happened to showing our children “that happiness and being whole are vital to a person’s future”? I’m so confused. Was that yet another round of bullshit to make you look evolved?

Look everyone! Sam and I are divorcing the right way. Look how happy she is for me and Harley. She’s not bitter or crying or upset. No! She realizes that we aren’t good together and that Harley is a much better match for me. She understands the importance of me being happy, and agrees that her happiness shouldn’t even be a consideration. She is completely in agreement with everything I want. 

She knows she will take a hit financially but she is so happy for me that she doesn’t care. Not even a little bit. She will do her dutiful job as the mother of my children and explain to them that they will have to learn to make do with less so that these other children might have everything they’ve ever wanted. And she will joyfully head back into the workforce after not having worked an outside job in over fifteen years. I’m sure she will get great satisfaction out of a low paying job. She doesn’t know it yet but she is going to love having to schedule vacation days instead of having a wide open schedule, and farming her parenting tasks out to others because she can no longer do it. Oh, it won’t be me, of course. I’ll be too busy playing doting daddy to Harley’s kids. But Sam will manage.

In fact, Sam and I have done divorce so well that she will face every challenge I throw at her with a smile. When her income goes down by 90% and mine stays the same, she won’t complain. When she is facing this divorce on her own while I have my cousin by my side, she will be happy for me. When I take off and move out of the state I drug them all to she will shrug her shoulders and realize I’m doing what’s best for me and my new family, and she will be happy for me. She will let me pay her whatever I decide is fair. She will never complain. She will never make demands. 

She will tell our children how much I love them and make endless excuses for me and my bad behavior. She will constantly reassure them that even though I’ve deserted them I still love them and they should still worship me and beg me for attention.

Best of all, Sam will spend the rest of her life pining away for me. I’m so fabulous I know she will never be able to find anyone else. She will live the rest of her life working a pathetic job, maybe even two or three of them, never having what she had when she was married to me, and spending her evenings and weekends all alone.

Ah, I refused to go gentle into the good night. That’s the problem, isn’t it, Buckaroo? I didn’t continue to do image management for you. I told the truth. I did what I was required to do and nothing more. I refused to settle for table scraps while you feasted on steak and lobster. Gone were the days of you and Harley living it up and her living out her gold digging dreams at my expense and the expense of your children. Instead you had to pay way more support than you thought you were going to have to, and that, my “friend”, is when you really began to change.

Life isn’t quite as much fun when you’re not withholding money from me and you and Harley are no longer able to spend, spend, spend because you’ve got a judge, judge, judge on your ass, ass, ass! Gone are the days of blowing through five grand a month on whatever it is that whores spend money on. Gone are the days of you having thousands to spend on whatever you want while I’m left to pay all the bills- while you continue to live at home. Gone are the days of knowing that I’m working two jobs just so that your kids can eat and wipe their asses in the same month, while you move your new fake family into a nice, big home in an upper middle class suburb complete with a pool and a clubhouse. No, now you have to manage ol’ Harley’s expectations with the reality that you owe me more than half of your paycheck. I bet you didn’t think you’d get imputed, did you?

That was probably the other piece that fell into place to make you change into somebody who no longer valued “being happy and whole”. That judge really ripped you a new one, didn’t he? He didn’t buy a word you said. Named your gold digger in court documents. Said you were perfectly capable of paying me more instead of putting all your money towards your “girlfriend” and her kids. Didn’t buy your mental health issues bullshit. Didn’t buy your PTSD excuse. And then told you if you were willing to move you could easily make what you had been making. Remember when he wrote that he found your “girlfriend” to be a major factor in your refusal to move away from Kentucky? I sure do.

Regardless, I hope you can take comfort in your new relationship. After all, she makes you so happy. I’m sure she won’t cheat on you, like she cheated on her first husband. Or like she cheated on you in the beginning. With her estranged first husband. You know, it was probably just a divorce negotiation trick.

I think I understand it now. When you said we should build a new healthy relationship based upon being happy for one another what you really meant was I needed to suck it up and be happy for you. When you said I would take a hit financially but we both knew your lawyer had me covered for life what you really meant was that I was going to be struggling for the rest of my life while you and Harley lived it up at my expense. When you said we weren’t good for each other and that I would be whole without you what you really meant was you had found someone else and I should spend the rest of my life wanting you and my old life back. You didn’t really think I would ever climb back up on top. You didn’t really think I would forge a great new life without you. You certainly didn’t think you’d be paying me as much money as you ended up paying. And you didn’t think I’d find an amazing new partner. Despite what lip service you gave the whole “we need to be happy and whole and model this brand new relationship model for our children,” you didn’t give a fuck about me and my happiness, did you?

A Hex on Hax

I don’t know what your Google newsfeed looks like but mine is filled with news about the royals, some television, Ted Bundy, as of late, sharks, the Kardashians and Duggars, for some strange reason, and advice columns. So many advice columnists. I’ve got Dear Abby, Dear Prudence, and Dear Amy, and Carolyn Hax.

As you might be able to surmise I have a bone to pick with Ms. Hax. One of her latest columns featured a woman who had been married for 33 years. From what the letter writer writes it seems she was a stay at home mom to 3 children who are now all college educated adults. Husband traveled for work quite often. Letter writer held down the fort. She has “a feeling” one day and spies only to find out her husband has been cheating on her; the affairs go back at least 20 years. The entire time he’s been cheating he’s also been having sex with his wife. Wife quietly gathers proof- she’s downloading emails and texts and dating profiles. She’s got a GPS tracker. She is prepared. And then little by little she methodically divulges this information to the husbands, boyfriends, and families of the people involved.

I don’t want to speak for Carolyn but I think what upset her so much was the very matter-of-fact way the wife went about this and the fact she seemed to have no remorse. As she stated at the end of her letter: Shouldn’t all the players’ lives be altered as the wife’s life has been? Shouldn’t these people, without concern for wife and children- whom some met- be exposed for what they are?

Please don’t advise karma, therapy, divorce, the price of revenge. Whatever wife decides to do about the marriage isn’t relevant, this is about leveling the playing field.

It was probably the whole, “Shouldn’t all the players lives be altered as the wife’s life has been?” 
That sounds way too much like vengeance and as we all know, vengeance is bad. We must accept being cheated on and humiliated with a smile on our face and a song in our heart. We owe it to all the other parties to keep our lips closed and to let them wander about with no consequences.

This was Carolyn’s response:

You suffered a devastating pain, which no one deserves. I’m sorry that happened to you.

You responded, though, by inflicting pain just for the sake of inflicting pain, which nothing justifies. You leveled the playing field with firebombs and calculated fury.

And without apology or apparent remorse.

Even though such payback never affects only the guilty, but also the people who love them. Innocents all.

He did this to you, with them, yes- but you ensured that everyone affected got the most information in the worst way possible.

Yet I can’t talk about karma, therapy or the price of revenge?

Does that mean you’ve written only to invite applause?

I have none. I have only dismay at reading of a person who apparently worked hard for an entire lifetime to build good things, and then, under the influence of incendiary rage, turned destructive as if these were movie people and feelings, not real ones.

I know you don’t want help.

But I hope you cool down enough to see the wisdom of getting it, professionally and soon.

Huh. I guess we are once again back to the old adage, “It’s not what I did that is the problem; it’s your reaction to it that is the problem.”

I find it interesting that Ms. Hax seems appalled at the idea that the wife’s response was more severe than the injury inflicted upon her. I guess if there was a way to measure how devastated this wife of 33 years was by the information she uncovered then her response/revenge could only be equal to that. But how do we measure that? And what is an equal response? If you find out someone you know is fucking your husband are you entitled to call her a big ol’ poopyhead but telling her husband she’s a whore is out of bounds? I’m not sure of the rules here. Perhaps Ms. Hax thinks it’s better if we just go about our lives as though nothing is remiss. Smile and wave, ladies. Smile and wave.

I have this philosophy. It’s pretty simple. Probably too simple. It goes like this: If you don’t want your spouse or significant other to be told you’re sleeping with other people’s spouses, then don’t sleep with other people’s spouses. Crazy simple, right?

I also find it interesting that Ms. Hax seems so bewildered by the fact the wife is not remorseful or apologetic about blowing the lid off of these secret affairs.

If I’ve made the choice to tell someone’s husband that his wife has been fucking my husband I’m not going to apologize for it nor will I feel remorseful. I obviously feel like I’m in the right in doing so. I may feel terrible for that duped husband or boyfriend, but that’s not my shame to bear. Me telling him his wife/girlfriend has been sleeping with my husband isn’t what hurt him; her actually fucking my husband is what has hurt him. Period.

I will also take issue with her statement that the wife inflicted pain just to inflict pain. I think the letter writer can easily argue that she wanted to let these clueless men know what they were dealing with so they weren’t blindsided like she was. She’s offering up information. What they choose to do with that information is their business. At least they are fully informed.

I did love this gem: Even though such payback never affects only the guilty, but also the people who love them. Innocents all.

Are we including the betrayed wife’s children in the tally of innocents? Or just the families of the women who cheated with her husband?

Carolyn, I know you didn’t ask me but here’s my take on this bullshit. I really don’t think any of the guilty parties’ loved ones are suddenly going to turn against them. Their mommies and daddies will still love them. Their siblings will still invite them over for Christmas. Their children will more than likely still think the sun rises and sets by them. What we’re really talking about in this situation is the fact that the person who was sleeping with the wife’s husband may suffer a moment of embarrassment. Oh, the horrors!

It’s possible you might have an irate husband or boyfriend, but even then I’d lay 50/50 odds that he won’t leave her. I’m not sure if all of these people who were contacted were the significant other when the affair took place (they did go back 20 years) but in the case of a boyfriend who didn’t even know the hussy when she was doing the wife’s husband, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he didn’t care about her previous affairs. She didn’t cheat on him…

Plus, I’m still going to offer up the idea that if you don’t want the people in your life to find out you’re a husband fucking whore then don’t fuck other people’s husbands. If you continue to do so then that’s the price you may pay.

He did this to you, with them, yes- but you ensured that everyone affected got the most information in the worst way possible.

Information is bad. It’s horrible. Let’s keep everyone in the dark.

Again, Ms. Hax insists that the problem is not what the cheaters did; it’s the fact that the betrayed wife lets the other spouses/significant others know what they did. Fucking around on your partner isn’t bad. Telling someone their partner is fucking around is downright evil. You need professional help immediately!

I think my favorite part though was when Carolyn admonishes the betrayed wife for turning destructive because these people were real people, dammit! Not fake movie people. And their feelings were real. Their families’ feelings were real, too. Unlike the betrayed wife. She was just a movie prop. She had no feelings. No one needed to consider her. Or her family.

All those women who met her and her then minor children and then went off and gleefully fucked her husband certainly weren’t treating any of them like they were real people Nope. They were simply props in their affair-y tale world.

Quite honestly her final remarks were condescending and arrogant: I know you don’t want help but I hope you cool down enough to see the wisdom of getting it, professionally and soon.

Really? Why does this woman need professional help? Because she isn’t taking crap from the cheaters who felt entitled to cheat behind her back? Because she didn’t shut up and sit down and remain silent when she found out what was going on? Because she decided if some woman wanted to ride her husband badly enough then her family could damn well hear about what their lovely wife/girlfriend/daughter/mom/sister was doing? Because she dared to speak up? Because instead of remaining passive and having things done to her and her life she took charge and started being proactive? Because she dared to push back against entitled cheaters?

Hell, I wish I had half her moxie when I found out what my dear cheating husband was doing. The only thing I did was file for divorce and take all the money. I had no one to tell because I was the one that was contacted. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again for the record. I am enormously thankful that The Saint contacted me. If he hadn’t I probably would have gone on to pay off the pool and the kids and I would have been living in utter poverty from day one.

To hell with you and your worthless advice, Carolyn Hax.

 

Stop Feeding Your Kids Shit Sundaes, Part 2

I treat it the way I do because I’ve seen enough from the other board where I used to read that I know it does more harm than good to try to convince a kid that a neglectful and/or abusive parent loves and cares about them. I’m not accusing Cousinfucker of being abusive. I guess he is neglectful in the sense that he hasn’t seen his own son in almost 3 years now. He’s neglectful in the sense that he walked away from his two kids and that he didn’t give a shit when we were barely keeping our heads above water. He’s neglectful in the sense that he doesn’t communicate with them regularly and he makes up bullshit stories about not knowing how to get in contact with his son. Really, I think he’s just self-centered. It’s all about him and what he wants. No one else matters and he’s always the poor picked upon victim. Not exactly the kind of person you would want in your life, huh?

I don’t even care for: He/she loves you in the only way he/she knows how (or the best that they can). What kind of bullshit is that? Seriously? We’re really going to try to justify an adult walking away from their kids and then playing the pouty brat because those kids are upset with them? Or try to convince a kid that the best their parent has to offer is subpar and they should embrace that?

I believe kids can sometimes see with a clarity that escapes adults. It was my 13 year old nephew that saw something in Cousinfucker’s eyes when we came back from our family vacation in Florida. CF had opted out of the family vacation, choosing instead to go first to Tennessee and then to Kentucky so that he could participate in a mini family reunion that excluded his actual immediate family, and then turn around and fuck his cousin. I do believe he said he could see evil in his eyes.

I still remember the mom who was realizing as her son turned 16 that he would have been so much better off if she had never pushed for a relationship between father and son.

The story was this: They had been friends with benefits (maybe had even dated at one point). She got pregnant, kept the baby. They didn’t marry. He paid support but didn’t have much of a relationship with his son although he did have visitation and she supported them having a relationship. He went on to marry another woman a few years later, had two kids with her. He was supposedly a great dad to the two kids he had with his wife, but remained a largely disinterested father to his eldest. He basically went through the motions and did the bare minimum. I remember a story about the father giving him a special dice set for his 16th birthday. I think that was it. Nothing else. The straw that finally broke the camel’s back was a family trip that was planned for DisneyLand. It was to be Dad, his wife, their two kids, and this boy. He broke his ankle so wouldn’t be able to get around easily. Instead of trying to reschedule (and I believe the younger kids were not yet in school) Dad was practically giddy at the thought of going on this “family trip” with his wife and two kids, leaving the oldest son behind. It was quite obvious to the boy that his father really didn’t care about him. In the end he (the son) chose to cut off all contact.

I recall the mom who eagerly advocated 50/50 custody. She had offered it to her ex and constantly talked it up as the gold standard. Her daughter had both parents in her life and there weren’t too many transitions compared to a child seeing a parent every other weekend. Her daughter had no problems with it. She had four parents. She would never force her ex to be a peripheral part of his daughter’s life. Life’s a funny thing. Stepmom had a child of her own and no longer had time for her stepchild. The daughter got older, had her own teenage life, and wanted to spend more time with friends. Despite the 50/50 custody Dad was not willing to accommodate her. The relationship broke down because Dad was more concerned with his own needs than his daughter’s. That child is now 18, hates her father and has an eating disorder. There is some suspicion of sexual abuse and stepmom definitely contributed to the eating disorder. The mom now says if she knew then what she knows now she never would have agreed to 50/50 custody and she would have fought to end 50/50 custody long before she did, which was when her daughter was somewhere between 14 and 16.

Yet another mom dealt with an alcoholic ex who, by her description, makes CF seem absolutely delightful. He was entitled, rude, weird, and unreasonable. Mom worried about what a judge would say if it got to court so she was always, as she said, busy keeping her halo shiny for court. She didn’t think she could support her daughter in not visiting her father because that might cause him to take her back to court. She went along, hoping for the best. Yet another situation where the mom now says if she could she would do things completely different, because the father was extremely toxic to her child, once again to the point that there was some abuse involved. I think it was mainly emotional abuse; I don’t think he beat his daughter. But she was asked to keep a lot of secrets and he laid a lot of guilt trips on her. That poor girl ended up with severe mental health issues and has no relationship with her father.

Another mom worked hard to support her son’s relationship with his dad only to watch it disintegrate once the son turned 18. Once her son became an adult Mom left them alone to manage their own relationship. Left to their own devices and without having her there to guide them, the relationship crumbled.

So many of these women look back as their children grow up and are only now realizing the damage that was done.

It wasn’t always a case of telling the kid Daddy loved them when he didn’t. Many of the situations came down to them either believing having a dad in their life was very important, or not knowing how to keep a kid from a toxic parent.

I prefer Chump Lady’s motto: You only need one sane parent. That parent can be a mom or a dad (hello, Mobster!), and while it’s always nice to have both parents be sane, you can raise a perfectly functional and fabulous human being with only one sane parent.

I will never forget the woman from the first story saying that her son’s therapist had told her to stop telling him that his father loved him/cared about him whenever he would say his dad didn’t. As the therapist explained every time she told him that she was reinforcing this idea that he couldn’t trust his own feelings. She was basically telling him that he didn’t know the truth. The therapist went on to say that he was eventually going to be pissed at her because she kept lying to him. He was also relying on her to be a safe space. That safe space should be helping you navigate painful truths and validating your feelings, not encouraging you to believe lies.

With that in mind I don’t tell my kids their father loves them. Truthfully I don’t think he’s capable of it. Perhaps I should say I don’t excuse his behavior by assuring them that he loves them very much or that he loves them but he’s just broken and can’t express it very well. I do, however, share stories with them. They’re usually sappy stories which paint him in a good light. I may not think he’s capable of putting them first but at one point in time he did do nice things. Plus, I have always said I will give him credit when it is due. Like the time he came home from work and Picasso asked him to take him to the new Star Wars animated movie on opening day. Mama doesn’t do opening day crowds; however, I suggested he ask his dad and his dad did indeed put his stuff up and take him directly to the movies.

I do admit I don’t know why he does the things he does. I have offered to pay for counseling. Rock Star went for a few weeks. Picasso has no desire to ever go. As he says, he has nothing to discuss. He’s fine with his father’s disappearance. It’s just the way it is. No use crying over something you don’t have; it’s not going to change it. I don’t push. I’ve heard that’s not a good thing to do.

In a similar vein I don’t push a relationship between the kids and their father. He’s their father; if they wish to have a relationship I can accept that. I don’t find it odd to think that they may want that at some point. But I’m also not forcing it down their throats. We don’t have conversations that revolve around me telling them they need to call their dad or give him a chance. I have told them both they need to text him and thank him for the Christmas money. I’ve also asked if they’re interested in seeing him again. On a few occasions I’ve asked some “What if” questions. One time I did ask Picasso if he would see his dad if he showed up on our doorstep (I was curious because CF says one of the reasons he doesn’t drive to see his kids is because they would refuse to see him). I may have even asked once what it would take for them to develop a relationship with him again. But that’s as far as it goes. I let them lead. If they say, “No,” then no it is.

I do my best to validate their feelings. When Rock Star says that her dad is always playing the victim I sympathize and usually agree. When Picasso says his dad is scum I don’t admonish him; I listen and sympathize. Hell, sometimes I even say, “Do better than what he did.”

I think we do our kids a disservice when we push an unwanted relationship on them. Look, we ate a shit sundae for years in our quest to keep a relationship going. Shouldn’t that stop with our kids? Why lie to them and tell them someone who is actively hurting them loves them and cares about them? Again, I’m not saying that you vomit up all of your ex’s bad behavior. But I am saying that you reinforce this fucked up version of love when you try to convince your kids that someone who does such shitty things really, really loves them. Stop it! I think kids tend to have better boundaries and better instincts when it comes to things like this, and we as parents are doing them no favors when we teach them to ignore their guts.

That goes for the stupid affair partner as well. I believe in naming them and letting your kids set boundaries. Hell, I believe in telling your kids that they can have boundaries when it comes to their parent’s affair partner.

Why do some people insist upon torturing themselves by insisting that the kids get along with or meet the AP? I realize that when you’re dealing with very young children they don’t have much of a choice. But as teens or older? They absolutely have free agency. I have no problem admitting that I told both of my kids that they didn’t have to meet Harley if they didn’t want to. They are both at ages where they can decide that for themselves. I’m not going to lie to them and tell them they have to!

I also most certainly told them her name. I was not going to let him pass her off as some new love when the reality was he had been cheating on me and draining our bank accounts to do so. His kids did without so that she and her kids could have even more. He more than likely moved us across the damn country and took us away from everything and everyone we loved to get closer to her. I think they have a right to know all of that. I think they deserve to know what kind of a person she is.

I remember a relative telling me I couldn’t expect my kids to not have anything to do with Harley but think they would develop a relationship with the mobster. I assured her that I certainly could because the mobster had not been the reason my marriage ended. He had absolutely nothing to do with it. I met him almost two years later. She, on the other hand, had stepped right into the middle of it. She was perfectly aware of what she was doing and she didn’t care.

My kids like the mobster. He is good to them. He cares about them. Harley has never done a single thing to show my kids she even realizes they exist. Unless you count when she blocked Rock Star on Facebook because Rock Star saw her idiotic post whining about missing the comfort of her married lover in her bed, and confronted her father over it.

I have even gone so far as to tell both of my kids that they are perfectly within their rights to insist that if they see their dad that he meet them alone. There is nothing wrong with wanting to spend time with your parent and not have the person who directly contributed to your life imploding tag along.

I find the argument that they can’t have a relationship with the parent unless they have a relationship with the AP to be ridiculous. Of course they can! If the parent is any kind of parent at all they will meet their kid at their comfort level. And if the parent says, “Love me, love my AP,”? Well, then your kid has all the information they need about pursuing a relationship with that parent. You as the sane parent are doing them a disservice by teaching them to accept such shitty treatment.

Admittedly most of my research comes from my circle of friends and commenters on Chump Lady, but those commenters on Chump Lady are a chatty bunch. It seems that the majority of the time these cheating parents weren’t very good parents when they were married to the child’s other parent. Usually they are painted in a very selfish, unflattering light. A lot of times the cheating parent abandons the kids, or they just don’t put the kids first. It’s all about them and what they want, what makes them happy. The kids are given any leftover scraps. My question then is why on earth are we painting them as these amazing parents, half saint/half god, that are going to leave deep, festering wounds if they are not around to dote on the children? Chances are they haven’t been around much anyway! Stop rewriting history! Stop shoving the shit sundae laden spoon down their throats!

If the kid’s boundary is, “I don’t want to meet that whore,” or “I will not be around that whore so if you want to have a relationship with me leave it at home,” then respect that. Stop teaching your kids to make their needs smaller to keep somebody that doesn’t give a shit about them in their lives. Stop teaching them that their boundaries aren’t important.

We got into our situations by telling ourselves that our needs didn’t matter. We were taught that the only thing that mattered was that lying cheater. Keep him or her happy at all times and at any expense. Look where that got us.

Help your kids break that cycle.

 

I Sometimes Know What I’m Talking About

We all remember the post asking for opinions, right? I thought what went down was a bit disrespectful of our relationship and that it trampled all over good boundaries. I pointed out that while I had no fears he would up and leave me, or rekindle their relationship, she was batshit crazy and who the hell knew how she would interpret the day’s events. You’re going to agree to escort this woman who has made a sport of entering your home when you’re not there and removing whatever she wants whenever she feels like doing so? You’re going to play nice and pretend you’re a happy couple with this woman who has been known to hoover around whenever her boyfriend is off fighting fires and she’s lonely? You’re going to hold her hand and pose for pictures and sit with her throughout the wedding and dinner after she’s accused you of abuse and has exhibited lots of crazy behavior even before that? Yeah, I don’t think that’s wise. You need to maintain boundaries made of titanium steel with a person like this. You are not friends. You are not a happy couple. You are in the middle of a contentious divorce.

While many people did say some of the actions went a bit too far they also were of the opinion that it was the couple’s big day and they should have whatever they want. I heard a lot of, “It’s for his son and daughter-in-law,” and, “I would grin and bear it; it’s one day and I’d do my best to appease my kid,” and the ringer, “He’s just being a good dad.” One commenter said, and I’m paraphrasing slightly, “It was what, five minutes of hand holding and 30 minutes of being together tops? He told you about it so what’s the big deal?”

Remember those boundaries I talked about? That was the big deal; boundaries are the big deal. And they got trampled on. Since that day she called the following Monday. She showed up at his house the following Saturday, according to his tenant; he wasn’t home so he was able to avoid her. She called again about a week ago. When he finally bit the bullet and called her back because he thought she wanted to talk about the divorce (ROFL) she snarled at him, “That was last week. I don’t need a ride anymore.” Yes, you did read that correctly; she had the lady balls to call him up to ask for a ride. They did end up talking a little bit about a settlement and now this week she is sending him text messages. So far it’s been, “I’ve been sober ever since I left you but I miss the hell out of you,” and, “I know you don’t care but you’ll always be a part of me.”

Huh. Ain’t that a bitch? Turns out I do sometimes know what I’m talking about. She did interpret the day’s events as, “Oh my God, he wants me! How could he not? Everyone wants me! I’m the most desirable person in the whole wide world!” She now thinks they’re back together or at least that she has a shot. I mean, in her mind, if he’s willing to hold her hand, walk down the aisle with her, sit with her during the wedding and dinner, who knows what else he might be willing to do?

I know; I know. As Reformed Cad pointed out, she thinks of me as the other woman. You are not telling me anything I don’t already know. Hell, I’ll go one further. You’re not telling me anything that I didn’t predict. I told the mobster waaaaay back when we first started talking that two things would happen. #1- She had never experienced any consequences for her bad behavior. After all the shit he put up with from her she didn’t think he would ever really wash his hands of her. So when she finally realized he had moved on she would start hoovering around, trying to ensure that he remained her Plan B. Yep, that happened. Most definitely. It didn’t work but she tried it. And #2- She would change the narrative and I would be the other woman and why they weren’t happily married. Like CF, she is always the victim. Things just happen for no reason. Forget the fact she was cheating on him- again. Forget the fact she would disappear for a few days at a time and not feel like he had any right to know where she was. Forget the fact she had left him and abandoned their kids. Forget the fact she moved in with her boyfriend (you know, the one she was cheating with). Forget the fact that they had already held an intervention and everyone in the family pretty much told her to either get help for her drinking or to leave the house. Hell, forget the fact that he had already attempted to file for divorce through an online lawyer. No, the real reason they weren’t back together was because I was the horrible other woman who moved in on her husband.

Let’s get this out of the way right now. I don’t give a shit if she does think of me as the other woman. She looks like an idiot crying about me when she’s shacked up with her boyfriend. I know the timeline of events. Everyone who has read his blog knows the timeline of events. I know she had already moved out before I ever knew he existed. And as the mobster always points out she never actually says she’s sorry or asks him for another chance. It’s all little pieces of bait thrown out there, seeing if he’s willing to take any of it. I miss you; don’t you miss me, too? You’ll always be a part of me; won’t I always be a part of you, too? Wouldn’t it be so easy to tell me how you’ll always love me?

I was right about the boundaries. Whether it’s a wedding day, Christmas day, or an ordinary day you have to have iron-clad boundaries with people like this. It’s like giving a mouse a cookie. Before you know it… well, I don’t really remember what all happens in that story, but I know it quickly got out of hand.

Thankfully in my story, “When You Hold Your STBX’s Hand,” things aren’t getting out of hand (pardon the pun); it’s merely an annoyance. The bottom line to this story? I knew what I was talking about. Tell Miss Cleo she’s got some competition!

Poor Little OW

I came across the comments section of an OW’s blog. Shocker- she was alone on Valentine’s Day and hoping for a shout out from her married man. Another OW tells her, “I feel for you. I really do… The other woman rarely gets any sympathy and I think that is unfair. It’s impossible to stop loving someone even if you are not ‘meant’ to.”

In reply, the OOW (original other woman) says, “Thanks… it’s great to have someone who relates. Definitely unfair, and so hurtful. Our feelings are not important at all!!!???”

Are you two dipshits for real? Do you really not understand why people might not feel sorry for you when you’re off fucking married men and helping to destroy families?

I’ll bite. What exactly is it that we’re supposed to feel sorry for?

Sorry that your married man is spending holidays with his wife? Hmmmm… that’s what commonly happens when you get involved with a married man. He tends to spend the holidays with his actual wife and family, especially if you are a dirty little secret, hidden from everyone he knows.

Are we supposed to feel sorry for you that you “fell in love” with someone who was already taken? Hmmmm… I personally believe that you can control that shit. You get the crotch tingles from someone and you find out he’s married? You walk away! Period. Take up knitting. Bake some banana bread. Read to orphans. Milk a goat. You don’t engage because chances are excellent that this is not going to end well.

I’m so tired of hearing this tripe. You can’t control who you fall in love with. You can’t stop loving someone even if you’re not meant to love them. Bullshit! You don’t put yourself in situations where this could happen. If you are attracted to a man who is married you avoid that person. If you can’t avoid him for whatever reason (and truthfully, I think that’s going to be a rare situation) you make sure you’re not alone with him. You don’t socialize outside of work with him. You don’t email him. You don’t text him. You don’t friend him on Facebook or follow him on Instagram. You don’t FaceTime. You stay off his Twitter account. You don’t SnapChat. You. Walk. Away.

I’ll take it one step further. Maybe you can’t control who you fall in love with. Maybe you can’t stop loving someone even if you’re not meant to love them. You can, however, choose how to behave going forward. You can choose to stay away. You can choose to not act on those feelings. You can choose to acknowledge that it is wrong and that a relationship between the two of you will hurt people, so you again, opt to walk away.

Sorry, sweetie pie; you are absolutely correct when you say the other woman doesn’t get any sympathy. There is a reason for that. She chose this. She knew what she was doing; she knew she was wrong and she went ahead anyway. Either she believed it was a love fated in the stars, or she believed she was so damn special she was entitled to another woman’s mate. Regardless, she chose her lot in life.

Now she and her other women friends can sit around a fireplace, drowning their sorrows in alcohol as they bemoan the fact that their married lovers have left them alone yet again over holidays, or cry as they realize the love of their life is still having sex with his wife. Maybe they can pour over pictures of the couple on social media and try to figure out if he’s really happy with her or if it’s all a charade, because gosh darn it, it just looks so real and he never takes the OW on vacation or buys her expensive presents!

If you want people to acknowledge your feelings and to sympathize with you when you are hurt stop fucking married men. It’s almost impossible to pity a woman who knowingly takes on that role.

They Cheat Because Their Souls Were Starving (Oh Brother)

I needed the perspective. I needed the REASON why he did it. Much like you his only answer was selfishness. That wasn’t good enough for me. You say there’s no good reason but there is. You were lonely and sad and you felt unloved and unwanted and you were HUMAN; you were human searching for someone to feed your soul after a long time of starving. You say it’s not a reason but it is. Your wife has a responsibility in it just as I did. Leaving someone’s soul to starve and decimate over time no matter how depressed we were is still cruel; it’s still not ok. In its own way we should have let you go instead of handcuffing you to a dead person. Isn’t that the same thing as leaving someone before you cheat? They are both actions that denote consequences for another that is detrimental. If you refuse to accept your wife had some part in this I don’t see any hope for you.

I was bored this morning and wanted to languish in my comfy bed, surrounded by snoring dogs, so I read old posts from others I follow and I clicked on links and came across this. It was a comment on a cheating spouse’s blog.

As you can probably glean from the comment the actual cheater was not making excuses for the behavior. It was a betrayed wife who was making the excuses.

As far as excuses go I think this is the one that gets the most traction and the one I find to be the biggest load of bullshit.

I’m going to take a wild stab at this and guess that almost everyone who reads my blog has had a job at one point in their life.

Let me ask you, those of you who have had jobs, if you begin working for a company and over time start to believe you are underpaid does it ever occur to you to embezzle from that company? Do you ever start to think, “Wow! The pay and benefits here are horrible! They really should pay me more. I might be able to make more money elsewhere but I really don’t want to put forth the time and effort to job hunt. I know! I’ll just embezzle from them. Maybe fudge a few expense reports. If they paid me more I would have never done this.

I’m genuinely curious because I do happen to know three embezzlers. Good grief, I’ve lived a colorful life! Thankfully, none of them were close friends. One was a friend of my mother’s and  happened when I was a child. One was the first wife of Pastor Fake. The third was actually an ex-boyfriend. To be clear, I was not dating him at the time.

All that aside I can honestly say it has never once occurred to me to steal from my place of employment because I didn’t think I was getting paid enough. My thought process has always leaned more towards, “Hmmm…. I should look for another job.”

Yet this seems to be a common refrain in the reconciliation industry. No, you aren’t to blame for your spouse cheating but you must honestly examine your marriage and see where the cracks were that led to the cheating. No matter how many different ways you try to spin it the question at heart becomes: What is it that you were doing wrong to make your spouse cheat? What are your faults? Where were you lacking? What can you do to improve?

I think that’s a very slippery slope you start to go down when you begin to explore that. Why? Because again, what it all leads back to is you are responsible for your spouse’s behavior. Your behavior determines whether your spouse will be faithful or will cheat.

Did your spouse feel abandoned by you? Like nothing more than a handyman and a paycheck? Did they feel like a cook and a maid? Did they feel like they couldn’t depend on you? Did they feel like they couldn’t talk to you about deeply personal issues? Did they feel like they couldn’t be their true selves around you? Were they lonely? Feeling sexually neglected? Did they feel like the two of you were nothing more than roommates? Were you focused solely on the kids? Did you no longer wear makeup or do your hair, or belch and fart in front of them, thus erasing the magic of your romance? Did you shut them out? Did you make them feel less than? Did you have poor communication?

Oh, ok! We can work with that! Just stop doing whatever it is that you did and then your spouse won’t ever cheat on you again.

The problem with that thinking is it doesn’t get to the underlying reason of why the cheating spouse thought that an affair was an acceptable solution to all of that. What happens when something else occurs in your life to take attention away from them? What happens if they begin to feel abandoned or betrayed or unheard or unappreciated again?

We don’t do this with physical abuse. We don’t ask the wife, “What did you do to make him mad?” Then when she goes through the litany of answers:  Oh, I didn’t have dinner on the table… I talked too much… I wouldn’t back down in an argument… My clothes were too sexy and he said I was flirting with other men… I blocked his view on the TV… I argued with him… I put mushrooms in the pasta sauce… He couldn’t find his favorite shirt… We don’t nod wisely and then suggest, “Stop doing that then! If you would stop arguing and be a better wife he wouldn’t beat you.”

We don’t ask a person what they did to cause their spouse to physically abuse them, so why do we continue to ask a person what they did to cause their spouse to cheat on them?

That brings us to the second problem with that kind of thinking. You’ve just told the person who betrayed you that ultimately they’re not responsible for their own behavior. YOU are responsible for their behavior. Your actions are so powerful that they will determine whether or not your spouse cheats.

Let me be very clear. I don’t think there is a problem with looking at a relationship and seeing where things went wrong. Acknowledging that you didn’t communicate well, or you never made time for yourselves as a couple, or you fought dirty is all good and fine. Work on the communication. Make time for yourselves as a couple. Resolve to stop fighting dirty. But don’t ever let anyone use those as excuses and justifications for infidelity. You were both in that relationship.

CF told everyone that he was nothing more than a paycheck and a handyman to me. He told me we were nothing more than roommates. He pointed out that we had barely spoken or had sex in the last 6 months to a year. What he didn’t point out is how his own behavior led to any of this. What he neglected to acknowledge is that we were both in that marriage and yet only one of us began an affair with our cousin.

That was the first time around! That was the time when I was eagerly hopping onboard with this idea that it was a marriage problem and if we resolved all of the issues that made him unhappy and led him to seek out another person then all would be okay.

Does anyone else find it absurd that he cheated and yet I was the one with the checklist of things to fix? I was faithful but I needed to fix this. He cheated but he had reasons and therefore nothing to fix.

The second time around was even more bizarre. I was accused of hating him. He’s a crying, drinking, isolating-himself-in-the-bedroom mess, and I’m running around like that guy who tries to keep all the spinning plates from toppling off the sticks and crashing to the ground. I’m taking him to the psych ward. I’m visiting every day. I’m bringing him goodies. I’m taking care of the house and the kids while he’s having a break down. I’m making his appointments. I’m going with him to those appointments. I’m cheering him on. I’m hoping to God he’ll come out of this slump and we can finally start to do things again as a couple. Meanwhile, he’s telling everyone how horrible I am and fucking around with his whore cousin. If anyone had a reason to cheat it would have been me! So no, I don’t give much credence to this thought that the cheated on spouse has to own their part in their spouse’s infidelity.

You can examine every inch of your relationship backwards and forward. You can see every flaw in your relationship, every crack that existed and even nail down who did what to whom and when. It still comes down to one person unilaterally making the decision to cheat. No one made them do it. It is a choice they freely made. I don’t care if they were lost. I don’t care if they were weak. I don’t care if they were manipulated. I don’t care if they hadn’t felt human touch in twenty years. Ultimately this person decided they were entitled to cheat. They decided that “job hunting” would be too much trouble so they were going to embezzle instead. Sadly, they have a whole army of people lining up to pat them on their little heads and tell them that it’s not their fault; they wouldn’t have done any of this if only their spouse had done things differently.

If you choose to believe this line of thinking I would suggest you ask yourself one more question: What has changed in this person so that the next time a crisis occurs or they aren’t feeling loved and special they don’t opt to go fuck another person?

Maybe because of my own experiences with being betrayed, forgiving, and then being betrayed again I am jaded. Or bitter. Pick whichever one makes you feel better. Nonetheless it is stunningly obvious that despite the fact that I was willing and eager to “own my part” and “look at what led to the breakdown”, despite the fact that I made all of those changes he asked for, while he made none, and despite the fact that I uprooted my children and agreed to move us 2000 miles across the country so that he could be happy, when he was faced with another moment of unhappiness/disappointment/crisis he resorted right back to his first response- cheating. He didn’t talk things out with me. He didn’t try to fix things. He took no responsibility. He simply resumed his relationship with Harley and blamed everything on me.