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.

I’d Love To Be That Naive Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pursuit Of Happiness Fallacy

What seems like eons ago, when in reality it was back in June, there was an article posted on Huffington Post about two wing nuts that got together through their mutual love of the Oregon Country Fair, or “Fair”, as the “family” knows it. Tracy Schorn UBT’d it over on Chump Lady and Jennifer Ball posted about it on her Happy Hausfrau Facebook page.

The quick recap: “Ruby” and Paul spent 16 years working “Fair” in Oregon. One day, while peeling potatoes the feelz hit ‘em real hard and they realized they were destined to be together. While his wife and kids were away on vacation Paul invited Ruby over for a “picnic”. They spent the week together navel gazing and justifying their behavior. It was a love that could not be denied. When his wife came back into town he told her he was leaving her for another woman and Ruby left her husband as well. Ruby was simply stunned that her ex-husband didn’t chase after her, begging for another chance, and was equally shocked that Paul’s ex-wife didn’t bow out without a fight. I’m pretty sure if I remember correctly they are now married (going on 4 years of blissful happiness) and own a pot farm.

Even more vomit worthy than the article were the comments. These are just a few of the stand out gems:

Love isn’t ownership. I’ve walked and I’ve had others walk. Learn and grow and move on. Stop blaming people for loving someone.

Good on them. No point continuing a BS relationship just to conform to everyone else’s BS relationships/marriages. Life’s too short and too long to live a lie just to please church goers. Obviously they’re against real love anyway.

In response to someone saying that people who cheat on their spouses have a character flaw: We all have character flaws. People who stay in a loveless marriage also have a character flaw. They keep their spouse from meeting someone who will love them.

Yes, it’s a kick in the teeth when your spouse says they’ve fallen in love with someone else, and hard for the kids to deal with two homes, new step-parents, etc. But I can’t think of anything worse than reaching old age, the kids gone with lives of their own, moved to other states even, only to call on holidays and birthdays, and you being stuck immobile or infirm as time ravages your body, depending on someone you don’t love, haven’t loved in a long time, are disappointed with and sad to be around, and knowing you could have been happy, could have actually had a life worth living, years of love, sharing, fulfilling companionship, etc. and missed your chance.

Don’t stay somewhere you are not happy, life is too short! People like to pass judgement based on their own fears and insecurities. Let people live!

…way too many people stay in miserable marriages and hate their lives. Glad they’re happy.

People that are brave enough to admit their faults, their choices, their lives, always get very “righteous” people judging them… you could see that both of them were unhappy in their marriages before they “found each other”.Are people supposed to live a mediocre and unhappy life forever because of what looks good for society rules? No. I don’t think so.

Wow, so much hate because someone fell in love with another person and left a toxic situation.

Life is short, some people will stay miserable to “do the right thing” and never really live a happy life which is ok… but it’s also ok to make the decision to find happiness.

My husband left me for a younger woman. I’m happy for them. My 10 year marriage was unhappy. He wasn’t happy. I let him go be happy. It’s the mature thing to do.

They are both adults who made a questionable decision, but I’m sure all involved are better off, No one deserves to live unhappily ever after because of their “responsibility” to someone else’s feelings.

Let me remind you what Thoreau said:

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To paraphrase Rock Star, “I. cannot. even. with all of those asinine comments.”

I love how everyone believes that if you’re in a toxic relationship you’re entitled to cheat. God forbid you realize you’re in a bad situation and actually get the fuck out without having someone else waiting on you.

Wait a second! Are you telling me I can actually end a relationship before I have another one waiting in the wings? I can leave someone who makes me unhappy and sucks the life right out of me even if I don’t have another person I’m going to immediately be involved with?

Yes! Yes, that is exactly what I’m saying!

Then why in the fuck didn’t they tell me that? I’ve been stuck in this miserable relationship for the last ten years because I didn’t have time to set up a Tinder profile! Or volunteer at Fair.

I don’t know what to tell you, Sparky. You’ve always had the option of leaving. This remains a free country and more importantly, divorce is legal.

Quick question. Who will have sex with me once I kick my spouse/partner to the curb? Who will hold my hand while I go through this divorce? Who will tell me how awesome I am and how horrible my spouse was? And who’s going to pitch in and do all the things my spouse used to do?

Ah, that is the kicker, isn’t it? It’s not that these cheaters don’t realize they can leave a toxic relationship; it’s that they’re lazy. They don’t want to leave until they’ve got the replacement lined up.

Look, I don’t think anyone advocates staying in a miserable marriage. I know I don’t. I’ve always said you’ve got a couple of choices. The two good choices would be you can try to fix it or you can end it. The two bad choices would be you cheat on your spouse under the guise of unhappiness or toxicity, or you suffer through it for years on end.

About that so-called unhappy/toxic relationship. Cheaters lie. Mine lied a lot. It’s amazing to me how many people who have been cheated on talk of their cheaters telling them how much they loved them, how they couldn’t live without them, how these had been the best fill-in-the-blank years of their lives, how they were the love of their life, they were their rock and salvation, and sunshine shot out of their asses.

Hell, even ol’ Jerry Lee claimed that I was his rock. My family was his only real family. He wanted to renew vows. He wanted to have another baby with me so I couldn’t leave him.

A year later I was a mentally abusive spouse who never supported him and hadn’t had sex with him in ten years.

The story has to change when they start doing shitty things. It excuses the shitty things they’re doing.

So many of them focus on “ownership” and not staying if you’re unhappy. I truly don’t think most people think any of this through. We’re not talking about a summer romance here. We’re not talking about a couple who has dated a year or two. We’re talking about, in this case in particular, two people who were married to other people. They made plans with each other. They bought houses. They may have moved across the country. In one case they had two children together. The time to figure out the relationship is not working for you is before you get married and certainly before you bring children into it.

And again, I’m not advocating staying in a loveless or toxic relationship but, Jesus Christ, could maybe someone put a little effort into maintaining their current relationship, the one that did produce those children, before they decide the potato peeler is the new love of their life? I think the innocent children in these situations deserve a little bit more than, “Golly, I just wasn’t happy. Mommy didn’t support me quitting my full-time job and becoming a pot farmer.” Grow the fuck up! It is not just about you anymore.

That seems to be the popular refrain. You’ve got two choices. You either wait out a miserable life being trapped in an unhappy relationship or you cheat on your spouse and get the hell out. Repairing your current relationship never seems to be a solution. What an antiquated idea!

I loved the one that posited, “I’m sure they’re all better off. No one deserves to live unhappily ever after because of their responsibility to someone else’s feelings.”

What kind of bullshit minimizing is that? It’s a marriage. It’s a legally binding relationship. If he’s in the hospital, as his wife I will be the one deciding whether to pull the plug or not. Our lives are entwined. Our money is combined, I’m taking care of his children. I’m keeping his house and doing his laundry. Do not reduce it to some kind of half baked responsibility to my feelings. No, I’ve created a life with this person. We have made plans for our future. When he decides he no longer has a responsibility to my fucking feelings he’s not just hurting my fee fees he’s fucking with my life.

How does this person know that everyone is better off? Maybe the kids have psychological problems stemming from this. Maybe his ex-wife is struggling to keep a roof over her kids’ heads. Maybe she’s working two or three jobs to keep afloat. Maybe his ex-wife was a depressed, suicidal mess for months, if not years, after this happened and his kids were barely being taken care of because their mother was unable to function. This idea that everyone magically pairs up with someone new and has this fantastic life now is magical thinking designed to excuse people like this.

Look at Jennifer Ball. She’s lived just above the poverty line ever since her husband left. She raised four kids on her own. The jackass ex was rarely around. He was far too busy with his ho-worker and their two new spawn. Is she better off? I think she would tell you that she’s happy and counts her blessings, but better off? I don’t think so.

I’m going to have to invoke my John Walsh analogy one more time. He’s got a lucrative career on television because of what happened to his sweet little boy, Adam. Had he never been kidnapped and murdered John never would have done the work he’s done with missing children or going after wanted fugitives. But I think anyone would have a hard time arguing, “Oh, he’s better off.” Quite honestly, I think anyone stupid enough to say that to him deserves a punch to the throat.

I also appreciated the person who declared that, yes, it is a kick in the teeth to get dumped, and golly, it’s probably hard on the kids to deal with a change in their lifestyle, two different homes, and potential step-families, but gee whiz, wouldn’t it suck to get to old age and realize you’re with someone you don’t want to be with.

Yes, it’s slightly disappointing when you find out you’re being cheated on and deceived. It kinda sucks when you have to return to the workforce after being a stay at home mom for 15 years and you don’t get paid enough to actually support your kids and have a home of your own. 

Sure, the kids do sometimes struggle. I mean, I’ve got one who now thinks he shouldn’t have to even complete high school because it’s pointless and another one who calls me up crying because her anxiety is out of control. They both suffer from anxiety but one gets stressed and cries, and the other finds it difficult to reach out for help and fails school. Neither one of the kids dealt with anxiety or depression when their father and I were together but hey, if one of them winds up killing themselves it’s worth it so long as their dad is happy, right? The kids are collateral damage. Don’t get too attached.

Yes, the real travesty isn’t one parent living in poverty or kids having anxiety attacks or lives being upended. The real travesty is finding out after the kids have left home that you are in a loveless relationship and you were too much of a chicken shit to actually do anything to improve your relationship, or to end it the correct way.

I think my favorite comment though was the one who said that people in loveless marriages have a character flaw because they are keeping their spouse from meeting someone who will love them.

What the what? First of all, maybe the spouse in the loveless marriage doesn’t think they’re in a loveless marriage. Maybe they think they’re in a very happy marriage. Second of all, if you’re both in a loveless marriage, but only one person goes off and cheats while the other person remains faithful, why in the fuck is it the faithful partner’s responsibility to get out of the marriage? Oh, I’m sorry. Why is it their responsibility to make sure their spouse finds someone who will love them? I would think it would behoove the person who can’t keep it in their pants to get out of the marriage before it comes to that.

That whole comment is just one big mindfuck.

Oh, your partner cheated on you? That’s not a big deal. Move on and get over it.

Oh, you stayed in a loveless marriage but didn’t cheat? You horrible person! How can you keep your wonderful spouse from finding love? I hope you rot in hell!

I’m going to say it one more time. I’m not against ending an unhappy marriage. Hell, I would advocate for ending unhappy relationships far sooner than most of us do. Most of us who stay, even when things aren’t going great, do so for good intentions. We do it  because we want what’s best for our kids. We believe in commitment and working through the hard times. We think about things other than ourselves and our own happiness. We regularly put others ahead of ourselves. 

I will, however, take issue with someone cheating on their spouse and then excusing it by saying, “I wasn’t happy.” That’s entitlement and crappy character, not a search for happiness. It’s about selfish people putting their own wants and desires ahead of everyone else.

The Irony of the Happiness Argument

This comment from a reader over on Chump Lady pretty much sums up how ridiculous the argument, “He/she deserves to be happy!” is:

Weird, isn’t it, that in this view everybody except the betrayed partner and the kids “deserves to be happy.” Cheater gets happiness. AP partner gets happiness. Their families, friends, colleagues, and eventual wedding planner get to be happy about their happiness.

Actual spouse and kids? Weirdly, the happiness train does not stop there. Of course, the kids can ride every few weeks, if the cheater has time, if the AP doesn’t object, if the betrayed spouse drives them to the station and pays for the tickets, and if they are not old enough absolutely to reject the whole idea of playing along with the rules of bizzaro world.

And when the chump finally gets it, escapes from that train wreck, and goes totally no contact with cheater and cheater’s weird world? Why, there’s the evidence that chump is anti-happiness, which is considered overwhelming evidence of why cheater needed to cheat.

Hmmm. Pretty brutal, this “happiness” thing. I’ll pass.

When your happiness is achieved at the expense of others you aren’t pursuing your own happiness. You’re being a selfish, entitled, spoiled nitwit.

My Splendiferous After Trial Weekend 

Obviously this was written back in the beginning of November. I didn’t think it was smart to post when I had prying eyes on me. But I’m free now so here you go! 

My divorce didn’t go as planned as you all know; however, that did not stop me from having an absolutely fantastic weekend.

The mobster drove up to see me. He met me after the trial. I took him to my favorite restaurant in town, which I think I wrote about before. It’s an all-you-can-eat Japanese steakhouse/sushi restaurant. They make everything to order instead of having it all out on a buffet. It’s delicious. I had my favorite- the Angel Roll.

I could have sworn the mobster told me he loved sushi but it turns out he didn’t think he’d ever had it. He ended up trying two different ones and said he liked them. It was an amazing dinner and he thanked me for bringing him to this place and showing it to him.

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We went back to the hotel and went swimming and soaked in the hot tub. We were the only ones there. It was so nice to lounge around in the hot tub or float in the pool and just talk and be together. The pool closed at 11 but we stayed in until almost 11:30. We were quiet so I don’t think they minded.

The next morning we woke early enough to enjoy the beautiful sunrise against the backdrop of the mountains. We had breakfast at the hotel and then headed out to see one of Rock Star’s friends. I had him take the scenic route so I could show him the breathtaking views I got to experience while living there. I also took him by my old house and had him drive along the road I call my happy place.

It’s just a short winding road with a quaint stone fence, a relaxing creek and my beloved cows. For good measure there are sometimes ducks swimming in the stream and the house across the road has big, white, fluffy ducks.

I took him by Picasso’s middle school and Rock Star’s high school.

We met Rock Star’s friend at the new coffee shop; we had a really nice visit. She caught me up on her life. She’ll be graduating with her cosmetology license when she graduates from high school in June. This is the kid that practically lived with me the last summer we were there. She bought me Chunky Monkey ice cream as a going away present. I love this kid!

We ended up giving her a ride home and from there we left to go to the beach. Yes, you read that right. The mobster and I headed to the beach in November.

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It was glorious! Granted, it took us an hour to find a room because there was some police convention going on but that was really the only hiccup.

The mobster likes to make frequent stops so I indulged him. We stopped at a scenic overlook and one time I told him I felt really bad but I needed to stop for a bathroom break. We also stopped along the way to see a friend of mine.

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I met my lovely friend M back when I lived in Utah and she and her family eventually followed me to Virginia. Nah, not really. Her husband got a job at one of the many colleges in the state and they moved. But still… what a story. Two people meeting up thanks to PTA; they click right away and become fast friends. I move 2000 miles away and she thinks she’ll never see me again. Instead she ends up moving less than three hours away.

Her husband’s birthday was that day and she had to work all day so it was a quick visit. We met at Starbucks and chatted for about 30 minutes. I asked her later what she thought of him. She replied that from what little she had seen of the two of us she thought we were perfect for each other.

The reason I’m telling you this long rambling story is to explain why we didn’t get to the beach until after 7. The police convention caused us to not check into a room until around 8.

As soon as we checked in we headed off to a fabulous seafood buffet. They had oysters, shrimp, two or three different kinds of crab, scallops, multiple types of fish, soup and crawfish. That’s off the top of my head. They also had a salad bar, tons of veggies, and many different types of amazing desserts. It was so good!

You know the best part? The mobster stood in line to bring me crab legs. He would get butter and cocktail sauce for me. Isn’t that the sweetest thing? I’m 48 years old and yet I find a man doing something as simple as running and getting me something I would like to be an amazing gesture. For the record, I did go and fetch some baklava for him. I knew he was a fan. I don’t want anyone to think I just take, take, take and never give.

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We woke up bright and early the next day. I discovered he had kept the sliding glass door slightly ajar so that I could hear the sound of the waves crashing onto the shore all night. I love that sound.

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We took a very long walk. He wanted to go all the way to the end of the boardwalk. I joke that we walked all the way down to -25th Street. Along the way we stopped and took pictures. Gosh, he loves to take pictures and videos. It’s so refreshing. I bet we were out walking for close to two hours. We walked on the beach and dipped our toes into the Atlantic (it’s quite cold this time of year, btw). We walked on the boardwalk. We walked on the sidewalk. We etched our names into the sand. We watched boats and we watched people. We held hands. We laughed.

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We had grabbed a cup of coffee before we headed out so on our way back (after walking 80 blocks, uphill, both ways…) I started looking for a public restroom. He thought it was adorable how my bladder got so excited upon seeing a port-a-potty. I had to literally stop, cross my legs, and wait for the urge to pass me by. He thought for a minute I was “leaking” which I suspect is a really polite way of saying, “peeing my pants”. So I had to explain to him that I was not “leaking”; I just had to take a minute because my bladder went into overdrive seeing its opportunity. I spent my youth being instructed to “Go now!” whenever we stopped on long trips. Now, whenever I see a bathroom I have to go! Seriously! Even if I had no urge before. I’m like Pavlov’s dog.

We got breakfast at the hotel and took it up to our room where we ate on the balcony. Sometimes it really is the simple pleasures. I loved just watching the people go by, listening to the crashing waves, looking at that beautiful ocean, and admiring the dogs with their owners as we sat on our little balcony and ate our eggs.

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Finally, we checked out, wandered the streets a bit more, bought souvenirs for our kids, and then had lunch before heading back to his house.

We had less than 24 hours there but it was still enchanting. I loved going in the off season. The crowds are practically non-existent. The rooms are cheaper. And the weather, at least this time, was still fabulous. High 60s, low 70s. Perfect!

They were setting up all their Christmas lights and we had a great time trying to figure out what some of them were.

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We both agreed we’d love to go back, and maybe next time take our kids with us.

We didn’t get back to his house until after 7. We picked up a pizza and headed home. We watched some episodes of The Office and I fell asleep with my contacts in.

In the morning he took me over to his parent’s house so I could meet them, and then we drove the hour and twenty minutes to meet my mom. We had lunch together, gossiped about the trial, and before you knew it, it was time to say goodbye.

It seems like there is never enough time together. Thankfully, we had already planned on getting together again in two weeks. I’ve been hating the four and five week gaps. I can do three. I prefer two. Stay tuned for our next adventure.

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2017 Wrap Up

It’s that time of year where we look back and review everything that has happened. Can I just say 2017 has absolutely flown by? Whew! I know time seems to pass more quickly as you age but this is ridiculous!

2017 started off with me beginning my first full time job in basically 19 years. It was rocky in the beginning. Does anyone remember me crying that I was probably going to get fired because my drawer wouldn’t balance? And it was a little intimidating going into all these new branches, meeting new people over and over.

I did, though. I stuck with it. I got better at my job. I made friends. I have one branch that eagerly looks forward to my Teller Balancing dance. As 2017 comes to a close I’m less than 2 weeks away from my one year anniversary with the bank.

2017 also began with me working two jobs and my mom off to Florida. I jumped into the full-time working mom gig with both feet. It sucked! I was getting up at 3:20 in the morning 4-5 days a week, going in from 4-7, crossing my fingers my son woke up on time and got on the bus, heading home to grab Rock Star and take her to school, and then heading back home to get ready for my “real” job which I would work from 8:45-5:15, unless I needed to close and stay until 7:15. Then I got to come home and do parent stuff- making dinner, grocery shopping, cleaning, doing laundry, shampooing carpets, running errands. Hooray! I remember thinking life really sucked at this point. I remember feeling no joy. I remember begging for an aneurysm to put me out of my misery. And I cried pretty much every day. I was still broke. Still receiving no support from CF. Working two jobs meant I could buy food and toilet paper. It didn’t leave a lot left over for fun.

In February I traveled to Virginia for the first show cause hearing. My husband declined to attend. My spousal support was slashed from $4600/month to $1600/month but I was awarded my arrears and he had until May 5th to pay. I also walked away with a trial date for my divorce. I turned 48 and had probably the most depressing birthday of my life, although I have to say my brother and his family did their best to make it a wonderful day.

In March two things happened which helped my burden tremendously- my mom finally returned home from Florida which meant she could help pick up and/or drop off Picasso (especially with the damn bus always running two hours late!), and Rock Star finally got her license which meant I could hand her my keys and let her go. I don’t think I will ever forget the first time I came home exhausted, wanting to take a nap after working a Saturday at Target, and figuring out what time I needed to wake up so I could go pick her up. Then it hit me. She had driven herself to practice! I could take a nap without interruption. Sleep, glorious sleep, was mine for the taking.

I should also note that when my mom came back she once again began doing my laundry and cooking dinner. Thank you, Mom! I sincerely do not know how single moms do it day after day.

In April Rock Star, with the help of a loan from her Nana, bought her first car. I also finally got my back support!

I gradually began feeling a little better. I laughed more. If I wasn’t necessarily optimistic I was at least less pessimistic. I could breathe again. I started looking to the future and thinking about the many possibilities. I got excited about being in control of my own life and doing things on my terms.

May saw my daughter head off to prom; my divorce trial date came and went thanks to CF trying to make a claim for PTSD. My beloved Beau died. My mom had a birthday. She would kill me if I told you how old she was.

What will stand out the most about the month of May, however, is that I met my mobster. My wonderful, wonderful mobster. The man who has brought laughter and love back to my life. What started out as a chance “meeting” quickly escalated into something more, something absolutely amazing. And thus began the nonstop texting, the video chats, the phone calls, the late nights and surviving on 3-4 hours of sleep.

In June, we finally met in person. Ironically, he was with me on the day that marked the one year anniversary of my life imploding, the day CF dropped the bomb that he had lost his damn job and wouldn’t be sending me any more money. Rock Star turned 17. The mobster turned 49. We had our first adventure together when we went canoeing. Damn near killed me!

Picasso turned 15 in July. The mobster and I met up a few more times in various locations. He met my son. This month marked one year since I moved out of my home in Virginia and moved in with my mom back in Indiana. One year. Hey, I survived!

I quit my second job in August. It was bittersweet. I was going to miss the friends I had made working at Target, and I was grateful for the chance they had given me by hiring me, but I was so looking forward to having weekends off and no longer having to set my alarm for 3:20. I saw the mobster a few more times and I finally met his daughter. Likewise, the mobster finally met my daughter. We had an awesome time Labor Day weekend (which started in August). We went rafting and to a large festival. Rock Star began her senior year and Picasso began high school. I attended training to do referrals and make sales at my job this month as well.

September was pretty quiet. I only got to see the mobster once more. My divorce trial was supposed to take place the 26th but we got kicked out of the room so it was postponed yet again. I knew this early in the summer so it wasn’t a shock. I got to walk with my daughter for senior night. Lots of football games to watch my cute cheerleader. This was my first month attempting to sell products to our customers. I’m not so great at it but it’s a little bit of extra money. Rock Star was invited to join a competitive cheer team. She also got her first college acceptance letter.

October I didn’t see the mobster at all. More football games. It was much colder. I did lots of prepping for the divorce trial.

November 3rd I finally went to court. I thought my lawyer put on one heck of a case. The judge must have agreed because on November 22nd I found out it had all pretty much gone my way. You all know the drill- $2800/month in spousal support, $1805.81/month in child support, $25,000 in legal fees, and what will probably amount to 60% of what is left in his 401k, plus half his pension. He was also found to be in contempt for not paying support and ordered to pay me by January 5th or end up paying an additional $10,000. The judge told him his story of why he stopped payment on the checks “hurt his credibility”. Plus, bonus points for the fact that Harley the whore was named in the judge’s opinion. She was found to be a major cause behind his move to Kentucky and the real reason he can’t make any more money; the judge also pointed out that CF could be paying me more he was just more concerned with making sure his girlfriend and her kids had whatever they wanted.  I had a great Thanksgiving. I had a few good weekends with the mobster as well. CF decided he wanted to toy with me by hacking my Facebook page and sending obnoxious texts to the mobster. Basketball season began and I went to watch my cute cheerleader.

And finally we have December. I went to my very first cheer competition which was very expensive and it didn’t work out exactly the way I had planned. I had fun nonetheless. I’m looking forward to watching more at the next one. I have a referral goal of 12 referrals each month at the bank. With one more day of work this month before I take a few days off I have 38 referrals. The sales side sucks, but I’ve got referrals coming out my ass! I got my full support order for the first time since May when he sent me a check for $3600 for February’s back support. CF decided to up the ante and contact his daughter to try the sad sausage dance. It didn’t work. We had a pretty decent Christmas this year. I am heading to Virginia to see the mobster. The kids and I will be spending 4 full glorious days and 2 half days with him and his offspring. We have a lot of fun things planned, including a huge 2 night concert. I plan on ringing in the New Year with my mobster and our kids.

2017 started off in a gray, dark, joyless place. It has ended up being a great year. I have found laughter and love and all things light. If I were to name this year it would be this: 2017- the year happiness returned.

Am I Truly Happy? Part 3

I didn’t discuss the mobster when talking about my happiness in Part 1. Why? I don’t know. He is still present.

No, I do know. He deserves his own page. He makes me incredibly happy. He makes me laugh. He talks me off the ledge when I’m losing it.

I’ve never been with anyone like him before. He is wonderful. He’s sweet, supportive, complimentary. He is fun. He brings me out of my shell. He makes the drive to see me. He spends hours cleaning sap off of my car. He talks to me. He listens. He pours his heart out to me. He never tells me to get over it or to stop whining. He’s okay with me being sad; he doesn’t consider it a personal insult. He says he’ll always be here for me. He actually likes being with me and wants to spend time with me. We talk on the phone and video chat for hours. For some reason that I cannot even begin to understand he loves me. Like, willing to sell his house and business and move up here with me, loves me. He makes me want things I never thought I wanted.

A week or so ago he asked me if I would be okay if the judge ruled against me and CF got away with everything. He asked me if I would be okay if I got no spousal support and we ended up living on whatever the two of us made together- which combined would be maybe $60-70k a year. A far cry from the $200k CF and Harley would be making. A far cry from what I’ve been living on the last 15 years.

Truthfully? I’ve been mulling that question over ever since and I still don’t know 100%. I think I know the answer and yet I hesitate to say yes or no because how do you really know until you’re right in the thick of it?

Here is a cold, hard fact: I want CF to pay for what he’s done. No, I want him to suffer some consequences! He wasted my life. He ripped my world apart and destroyed everything I ever had. He replaced me with a 3-time arrested, lying, cheating, manipulating, gold-digging whore and his life goes on without missing a step while my kids and I struggle to rebuild from nothing. Taking his money away from him and preventing Harley from gaining this fabulous new life is the only thing that will really hit him where it hurts. Asking me if I can be okay with him not being forced to pay and the two of those wastes of oxygen living like royalty is like asking me if my child was murdered and we never found out who did it, would I be okay with it.

How are you really okay with something like that? On the other hand there would be nothing I could do. I can’t scream out for the murderer to turn himself (or herself) in so that he/she could be punished. And really… even if they are punished that doesn’t solve the real problem which is the fact that my child is dead.

That’s pretty much what I told him. I can’t do anything if the judge rules in CF’s favor and he’s off living his fabulous $200k a year life while I’m making less than 25% of that, struggling to pay my bills and support my kids. There is a definite sense of helplessness. It’s frustrating and it makes me want to scream. He may very well get away with everything and there is nothing I can do.

Will I be okay with it? I’d like to be. I hope to be.

When he first asked me that I kept trying to envision what life would be like living on only $60-70k a year. It’s been a very long time since I’ve lived on that kind of money. It may sound snobbish but it’s true.

At first I tried to envision the kind of house we’d live in. All I could see at first is what it wouldn’t be. It wouldn’t be a 4000 sq. ft. home with 5 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, a pool, hot tub, game room, updated kitchen with granite countertops, enclosed porch, formal living room, dining room, finished basement, separate laundry room, 2 car attached garage, etc. But then I started thinking, “We don’t need 4000 sq. ft. of space. We don’t need 5 bedrooms.”  Some of my best memories of family vacations have been in my mom’s 2 bedroom townhouse in Florida with 9-10 people sharing living space. Do I really want to be paying out 30% of my income on a mortgage payment? I reminded myself that even when CF was making good money we couldn’t indulge like others around us. Why not?

Well, for starters we never built up equity in our homes so we were always starting from scratch. We kept progressing into larger and larger homes. Rock Star was in a very expensive sport. I indulged the kids in expensive birthday parties (even the ones at home), I spent a lot at Christmas, and I shopped often for clothes for Rock Star.  Picasso got his fair share of clothes as well but he’s never been the fashionista that my daughter is. Buy the kid a new Xbox every two years and he’s fine.

We didn’t indulge in the great family vacations that I saw posted on Facebook. We didn’t buy the big toys. We were too busy spending our money elsewhere and paying a large monthly mortgage.

Do I really want that again? No. Furthermore, do I really want granite countertops? Well, yeah, probably. They are really nice. Can I live without them? Of course. Jetted tubs are wonderful when you actually use them but how often did I use our tub when I had a jetted tub the two times we had one? Not often. I’m a shower in the morning type of gal and I just never found much time to soak in the jetted tub. I don’t need a formal living room or a separate dining room. I think I would be quite happy if I had a large master bedroom with walk in closets and an en suite. I really hate having to wander out into the hallway in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

Recently the mobster and I were checking out houses in my area together to see what was available. It turned out to be a lot of fun. The prognosis wasn’t as bad as I had feared originally. And really? I’d much rather live in a smaller house with him than in a 4000 sq. ft. home with all the luxuries with CF. The house just doesn’t matter anymore.

I’m realizing that a lot of the things I worry about and fear don’t matter. For instance… there were times I would let my mind wander to a dark place and I would ask myself what this new future was going to look like. Sure, he’s willing to go places with me, but will we be able to afford to go anyplace? I know he would soak in the hot tub with me but will we ever be able to afford a hot tub on what we make together? I know he loved having a pool and would love to have one again. But will we be able to make that a reality? Other things I wonder about: Will we be able to afford to go on vacation? Will we be able to help out our kids? Will we be able to splurge at Christmas? The mobster loves Christmas. I used to love Christmas before wasting 20+ years with CF and becoming broke. Can we go out to dinner? Can we go out and do things, like visiting wineries, or festivals, or go to the zoo, see a movie or a play? I wondered: Will I be so happy and in love that I don’t care that we struggle all the time? Will I be so happy with him that I no longer want to buy anything or go anywhere if we don’t have any money left over? Will he be enough to make up for the fact that I’m not living in my Barbie dream house? Will I always be longing for a walk-in closet and an en suite? Will I not care that I can’t pay for my daughter’s wedding, or afford to buy her a plane ticket home from college because I’m in a good relationship?

This is what I’ve come up with. I think I was pretty unhappy for a long time. I know this is going to sound like I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth but bear with me.

I made a choice to be happy when I was with CF. I knew our relationship was not like a normal relationship that most people had. I told myself quitting was not an option. Cheating was not an option. So I found joy in things I could. I liked spending money. I liked volunteering. I liked doing things with my kids. I found joy in being the person that would throw money around- not in a vain, in-your-face kind of way, but in a way that would help people. I got joy out shopping, out of decorating, out of buying gifts. It was a pretty lonely existence. Looking back now I believe that I shopped for my kids, my home, and myself as a way to fill that loneliness. It was a justification in some ways for staying.

Here’s another thing that is worth noting. The mobster is the best man I’ve ever been with. He is adventurous and kind and committed. I love spending time with him. I love talking to him.

In the beginning he used to worry that he couldn’t give me all the things I was used to having. I remember telling him that as long as we had enough to pay our bills, do the things we wanted to do for our kids, go out, and take a vacation or two I would be happy. Sometimes it’s very easy to get caught up in all these other scenarios. Sometimes it’s very easy to get caught up in jealousy because the lying cheating ex you were once married to seems to be living high on the hog and not suffering a single consequence.

I think that’s where Chump Lady’s brilliant advice comes in. Concentrate on your own fabulous life. You control no one except you. If I focused on him and what he and the whore are doing and all they have I’d go crazy.  They’ll always have more money than me and the mobster.  If they’re happy for even a day it’s not fair. Those two disordered nitwits should be miserable for the rest of their lives. But they won’t be.

There’s a twist to that though. Cousinfucker will never truly be happy. He’ll be happy for a little while with his whore and his new fake family, living close to his dysfunctional family back in his home state. It’ll go away soon and he’ll be stuck with himself.

It’s true he likes his money and some days I think that may be enough for him, but eventually he’ll start to resent being seen as a wallet. That’s his catch-22- he loves to toss that money around but then he begins to feel like nothing except a paycheck. Because that’s what he’s turned himself into!

The other wrench thrown into this mess is the fact that Harley is a lying, cheating whore herself. Oh, this new lifestyle is real nice right now. It’s new and exciting. But the newness will wear off and she’ll want more and more. The once exciting will be mundane and he’ll have to up his game.

Remember, she’s already blown through over $30k in four months time- just on random crap. No amount of money he makes will ever be enough for her. She’s always going to want more and sooner or later he’ll be fishing her pathetic ass out of the county jail once again because she’s literally written checks her ass can’t cash.

He’s going to be right back where he started: Thinking his money actually means something, trying to be the big man throwing it around and paying for everything, and then resenting that everyone sees him as a payday. He’ll once again be complaining that she’s only with him for the money.

Me? I’ve learned that money doesn’t buy happiness. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’d definitely rather be rich than poor. I’m not stupid; however, I’ve had the guy who made great money. I was alone. I took vacations with my kids while he stayed at home (or went and fucked his cousin). When he did come along he usually ruined them. He didn’t want to do things with me. He didn’t want to socialize with others. He didn’t like celebrating holidays. He was not a partner. He didn’t want to be a part of a family. He didn’t help me. He was a gigantic pain in my ass, looking back on it. He always threw the money in my face, too, and loved to tell others I only stayed for the paycheck. Asshole!

That’s the other twist to this story. This time around I want to be the one making the money. I want to be able to take care of myself even though the mobster tells me he wants to take care of me and he wants to share everything completely.

Ultimately, I think that I’m going to be okay. I don’t really have a choice. If the judge rules that Cousinfucker gets to continue his $200k a year life while the kids and I are reduced to pretty much nothing, then I’ll have to find a way to go on. If Cousinfucker and the whore live lavishly on $200k while the mobster and I live frugally on $60k then so be it. In the end I’d rather be with someone who makes me laugh, someone who values me, someone who loves me over someone who thinks all he has to do is throw money at me. I’d rather do fun, inexpensive things with the mobster than take some grand vacation with CF, not that he’d ever go, of course. I’d rather live in a modest home with the mobster than in a lavish home with CF. Because our home is not eating up our entire paycheck we could buy a hot tub. We would lounge around in it, sip wine and talk about our day, something CF never bothered to do. We could put in a pool eventually and have fun family and friend pool parties as well.

What else does this new future look like? Pizza Night, Family Game Night, and Movie Night with our kids in our cozy home. Walks together in the evening. Getting ice cream. Kayaking. Trips to see our kids. Trips to introduce each other to long distance friends. Vacations together where I’m actually interacting with a partner! Holidays spent celebrating instead of trying to just get through them.

The mobster asked me if I would be okay if the judge ruled in CF’s favor and I ended up living on $60K a year. He also asked me how I would feel if it turned out Harley and CF ended up happily ever after and if they were really a much better suited match. Here’s the final answer. I would love to make CF pay for everything he’s done to me, but ultimately I don’t give a fuck about him and Harley. They deserve each other. They are going to eat each other alive. I can’t even say I wish they get everything they deserve because that bestows too much caring upon the outcome. It grates on me some days; I’m only human. But in the end I really don’t care because I know he’s a horrible person. I know they’re both horrible people and the only thing they have that they care about is the money. I don’t know how yet, but I do know I can make my own money. I may not make as much as they do but I’ll make enough. I also know I would much rather be with the mobster over CF any day. I know he’s a much better man and a much better match. He is the peanut butter to my jelly. He makes me happy. I don’t recall being this happy with CF even in the beginning of our relationship. So… will I be okay? Will I be happy? Hell yes I will!

Am I Truly Happy?

In the past week or so I’ve been asked if I’m truly happy. Apparently it isn’t believable that I could be happy with the recent developments in my life and still be so “angry” and “bitter” over CF and his treatment of me and our kids. I believe I was accused of talking out of both sides of my mouth actually. I’ve also been asked if I can be happy regardless of the outcome of my divorce. That was a question posed by the mobster one day, and one that I have mulled over at length.

Let’s tackle the first question. Am I truly happy? Or more to the point, how can I say I’m happy when I still rail against the injustice of infidelity and divorce? How can I say I’m happy when I have no desire to be friends with Cousinfucker, and still have copious amounts of anger towards him and the whore?

I believe I already attempted this explanation back in November. My divorce is not final. I don’t have a settlement. What he originally offered me was a joke. He continues to do shit, and a lot of that shit is not something I can easily ignore. Like, say, stopping payment on his support checks. Or…. not paying his court ordered support.

Believe me, I would love to be in a position where his support check was simply a bonus. At this point in time, however, I am not. I am a 48 year old woman re-entering the workforce after a more than 15 year absence. I make $11/hour and I have two kids that are used to living a fairly affluent life. After I pay my current bills I don’t have enough money to rent an apartment, pay utilities, and buy food and necessities, much less have anything left over for fun or for my kids. It’s going to be a long time before I’m truly able to stand on my own and not need his support check.

I’ve said before that he has simply shed his old life for a new one. And that is hard to take some days. After his first affair with Harley (the emotional one) I told him if he ever did this to me again I would make what happened to Jezebel’s Husband #2 seem like a walk in the park. In my old FB entries I referenced taking everything and destroying what I couldn’t take. The truth is he is losing nothing. Nothing that he cares about anyway. And I can’t do anything to him.

Sure, his kids don’t talk to him but he doesn’t really care. It’s good for a pity party soundbite, to act like he misses them and loves them, but the reality is he doesn’t give a shit. He’s got four new kids and they will fawn all over him and act like all his big gifts mean the world to them. Let’s face it- their lives have dramatically improved. They’ve been moved into a home that is nicer than anything they’ve ever lived in. Their mom’s income has doubled by partnering up with my husband, and in turn, their lifestyle has dramatically increased. He goes to their cheerleading competitions and show and tell. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he’s coaching one of their sports teams. He’s much more involved with them than he ever was with our kids.

Me and my kids? Well, we went from living in a 4000 sq. ft. home with a pool, hot tub, game room, separate bathrooms for all, and nice huge bedrooms into living in my mom’s 1500 sq. ft. home. We live with my mom! He lives with his whore. And our income/lifestyle has decreased by 90% or more. 90%, folks. Think about that for a minute. Imagine losing 90% of everything you have and then get back to me and tell me how happy you are. Tell me you have a smile on your face every fucking day and that you never think about everything that you’ve lost. I will, in turn, tell you that you are a liar.

It is an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. I told him I would wreck havoc upon his life if he ever cheated on me again and I haven’t. I can’t. There is nothing I can do to hurt him and to wreck his life the way he wrecked mine, and by extension, our kids. He is getting away with everything and doing beautifully in his new life.

The mobster likes to point out I won’t walk away with nothing. He’s going to have to give me half of his 401k and pension. I know he’s not eager to hand over any money but the reality is he’ll be able to easily make up for that money he’s had to pay out. He can replace it in about 5 years. I will never be able to replace what I’m losing financially.

He will have to pay child support. He may end up paying spousal support. There is a really good possibility that the amount of support he has to pay out, regardless of how much it may piss him off, still won’t bring my lifestyle anywhere close to his. Combined and accounting for child support I think they live on about $12k a month. If he has to pay me $2000/month for both child and spousal support he’s still living on what we used to and I’m living on a third- and that’s only while he’s paying child support for both kids.

So I do my best to not think about those things. I absolutely do my best to try not to think about the lavish lifestyle he’s living and the fact that his income has actually gone up. I do my best to concentrate on the things that are going well in my life and to not dwell on the fact that his life is not falling apart. I try my best to think about the positives. I do my best to concentrate on me and making my life good and I try like hell not to think about everything that cousinfucking piece of shit is getting away with.

You know what? Some days I fail. Some days I rage against the injustice. Some days I find it hard to have faith in myself and believe that I will one day rise out of all of this bullshit and be successful on my own. Some days I find it difficult to believe that I will ever be in a position where I can not only pay my bills but also move out into my own place and still have enough money to help my kids out and go on vacations and go out to dinner and the movies and to buy gifts. There are many days when it is difficult to believe that this, this right here and now, is not how it’s always going to be. I have a really tough time looking into the future and believing that things are going to be so much better.

Does that mean I’m angry and bitter? No, it means I’m trying to be happy with the little that I have. It means that sometimes I get these little surges of hope that I will be able to do great things and lead a great life, one that is even greater than if I remained married to Cousinfucker.

It’s For the Best

There are few phrases coming out of cheater’s and their enabler’s mouths that I hate more than that one. It’s for the best. It all worked out. They’re both much happier now. They have more compatible partners. It was a blessing in disguise.

Fuck that! You know what? I am happier. The mobster is a much better match for me. He makes me happier than CF ever did. I am ecstatic that I no longer have to deal with his never ending list of issues or his constant unhappiness that can never be satisfied. I am glad I’m closer to family. I have realized how incredibly strong I am. My kids are thriving.

Those are all things that happened in spite of what he did to us!

He didn’t have an affair to make me happy. He didn’t have an affair so that I could see how strong I was. He didn’t have an affair so that his kids could be resilient. He didn’t have an affair to “free me from my burden of being his wife” or so that I could meet the love of my life. He didn’t have an affair so that I could move closer to family and the kids could be around their cousins. No, he had an affair because he wanted to. Because Harley the Whore was available and eager to spend our marital assets in exchange for her services. The only person he was thinking of was himself. He didn’t give a shit about our happiness. It was all about his happiness.

He never once considered us or what his selfish choices would do to our lives. So no, he doesn’t get to say it all turned out for the best. None of his sniveling enablers get to say it either. My kids and I, we found happiness and we thrived despite what CF and Harley did to us. I can assure everyone reading this that we were not even a blip on his radar when he made the decision to resume his affair with Harley.

That’s the sad reality with cheaters and their enablers. If they can point to the end result and proclaim everyone “so much better off” then they don’t have to consider all the horrible things that were done. They can ignore all of that.

“Oh, you were forced to move out of your home, forced to move out of the state, and had to tear your lives apart once again? La la la la la la la… I can’t hear you! All I see is happy kids and a happy ex-wife. (Of course, the most important factor is that CF and Harley are happy.) Nothing to see here, folks. Just rainbows and unicorns. All is well.”

Yes, I’m sure John Walsh is thanking his lucky stars that his precious sweet Adam was kidnapped and murdered. After all, it led to such a lucrative television career. When a child is missing in a store and they lock it down it’s now referred to as a Code Adam. How great is that? An ode to his child that never would have happened had a child predator kept his disgusting hands off that innocent six year old child. It all worked out in the end, right?

Bullshit!

I’ll go one step further. None of them- CF, Harley, Jezebel, Tammy Faye, Pastor Fake- care whether or not we’re happy. The only ones who matter are CF and Harley. I would venture to guess that they would actually prefer I be miserable, seeing as how I made poor pitiful CF so unhappy. I was such a horrible wife and person I deserve to live steeped in unending misery. The fact that any of us are happy only serves to assuage whatever tiny sliver of shame they may feel. Hell, probably not even that because I don’t think those people have a conscience. No conscience= no guilt, no shame.

So yeah, I’m finally happy. I’m not where I want to be yet but I’m on a path. I crawled through the bowels of Hell to get to this point. Almost two freaking years after finding out my husband is a lying, cheating, backstabbing, disrespecting piece of crap who uprooted me and my kids for a piece of gold digging, jailbird ass. I cried more tears in these last two years than I’ve cried in the rest of my entire life. I was completely broken. I lost almost everything. So many times I wanted to lay down and die. I kept going for my kids. That was the only reason because I sure as hell didn’t see a future for me. I dug myself out of this living grave, bit by bit. So when he or one of his cheater apologists want to tell everyone it truly was for the best and we’re both so much happier with our new partners (see Sam, he did you a favor!) I want to take a sledge hammer and smash their faces.

We’re all happy despite your cheating son/brother. My daughter was miserable for months. I went to Hell and back. We emerged from our misery; we fought back and we prevailed. Cheater Boy never had one moment of discomfort. He never had to comfort crying or disappointed kids. He never had to look them in the eye and answer their questions. He never had to watch as their lives as they knew them completely disappeared. He wasn’t around for the goodbyes. He wasn’t around for any of it. He chose a whore and her kids over his family. He was busy playing family with them so he didn’t have to deal with any of the fallout of his cheating. He went from the comfort of his former home, his wife, and his kids directly into a new home that he shared with Harley and her kids. When he left our home he chose to go; he wasn’t forced out, unlike us. He shed his old life like a snake sheds its skin. Out with the old; in with the new. There was no loneliness. He wasn’t discarded. He didn’t have to wonder if he was so hideous and unlovable that he would be alone forever. He didn’t have to wonder what would happen to him or his kids. He didn’t wonder what some other man had that he didn’t, didn’t have to wonder what made me turn to someone else. He never had to doubt his worth. He never had to wonder how he was going to support himself after fifteen plus years out of the workforce.

No! He cut me off financially, threw over $30,000 Harley’s way (while she cheated on him!), lived like a child free bachelor, used our home as an extended stay hotel, let me pay all the household expenses while he used the remaining money to play Sugar Daddy to the whore and her hooligans, sauntered off every weekend to fuck his whore, and created a brand new life that didn’t include his wife of 20 years or his teenage children.

To this day he refuses to do the right thing. He only paid his back support under court order and the threat of having to pay me an extra $10,000. He made one additional full support payment back in April. Since then he’s done nothing but play games. He hasn’t paid the equivalent of even one month of support.

I can assure you that any positives that have occurred since the napalming of our lives has been an oversight by CF. I’m fairly certain he wanted to destroy me. I sure as hell know he didn’t give one flying fuck about my happiness or his kids’ happiness.

Happiness was achieved in spite of him and Harley, not because their affair was some divining rod that brought bountiful blessings. So neither he nor anyone in his fucked up family get to say it was all for the best, or that it all worked out. I can say it. My kids can say it. He never gets to say it. He didn’t do what he did to make us happy. He only cared about himself and the whore.

CF, you and your entire family and fucked up friends can all take your chipper, “It’s for the best!” and shove it up your ass.

One Year Later

I had been planning on writing this post several weeks ago but… I’ve been busy with a guy.

My chipper attitude is not solely due to the mobster. He’s a huge part of it but even before meeting him the clouds were beginning to part.

I fully admit I’ve been engaged in a year long temper tantrum/pity party. I’ve had brief moments of hope and happiness but the darkness would quickly wash over me again.

I also admit I have been a horrible friend, a self absorbed whiner, and a very selfish person this last year. It has been all, “Me, me, me! Listen to me wail about my pain! I’m tired. I’m poor. I hate life.”

Something has changed recently. Maybe it was my mom returning and being available to help with kids, dinner, and laundry. Maybe it was Rock Star finally get her license and a car. Maybe it was both of my kids being happy. Hell, maybe it was the fact I finally got my back support so I could breathe a little. I felt normal again. Maybe it was something as simple as cultivating relationships and feeling better at my job. Or jobs.

I’ve been thinking of putting myself out there and volunteering again. I’ve thought about doing things I want to do. I have been able to look ahead just a little bit once again.

I have a court date looming. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I hope I nail his ass and he pays for every awful, evil thing he’s done to me and my kids. If the worst happens and he gets away with his 2 year financial rape of me… well, I’ve been through Hell and I”m still standing.

When it’s all over, no matter how it ends, I will still be the better person. I’m stronger than him. I’m more capable. I’m the better parent. No matter how many times or how many different ways he tries to beat me down, to defeat me, to try to suck the joy out of life and make me want to give up and die, I will always emerge from the fire- stronger, better, ready to kick his ass.

This blog has not been a ray of sunshine for a full year. But you know what? It’s like I’ve said all along: I just have to wallow and get through this in my own time. ’Tis true. There was no way to rush it.

I had to go through every crappy feelings, every crappy experience, to get where I am. I will never be one of those people who can be grateful and optimistic when I’m struggling to survive and things are going badly. I am, however, one of those people who can look back on it all and say, “I survived. I did it. I made it through.”

For those of you who might still be in those dark days I want you to know it gets better. I can’t tell you when it will happen for you but it will happen. Don’t rush the process even though you may want to. Don’t feel guilty when you’re down and don’t try to convince yourself that you shouldn’t be feeling that way. This shit is hard. Recognize it. Accept it. Wallow in it. Let it wash over you. And then get up and get on with it.

Everybody hurts. Everybody has problems. There are so many kids out there abandoned by parents. Kids out there that have lost a parent. There are people out there going through the exact same thing as you- they were lied to, cheated on, made a fool of. People lose loved ones- perhaps a child, a spouse, a parent. Sometimes they lose homes. Or pets. We’ve all got problems.

I don’t say that to guilt anyone. Again, I say wallow in it and let yourself feel every sucky emotion. And realize you’re not alone.

I wrote once about someone looking at her life six months post break-up. At the time my life was a mess, and looking at how far I had come was not a pleasant experience. This past weekend, June 10th marked the one year anniversary of what was probably the worst day of my life. I think it was worse than finding out he was cheating on me again. It was the day that led to me losing damn near everything. It was the day I knew I was going to have to tear my kids’ world apart yet again. I knew I couldn’t keep it all together and I couldn’t do what I originally wanted to do, which was to stay put so Rock Star could graduate where she started.

On this one year anniversary I happened to be with the mobster. I paused for a moment and mentioned it, to which he replied, “Don’t think about that.”

You know what? It was okay. I  could acknowledge it had been one year since my life fell apart, and then get on with my day. I didn’t dwell. I didn’t get sad. I acknowledged it and then turned my attention to this fabulous man who drove hundreds of miles to get to me.

Sand