Stupid People’s Comments Regarding Affairs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These people are idiots. End of story.

It Brought Me To Where I Am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

For the Low, Low Price of a Kimono Robe

I have a good new/bad news situation going on. The good news is CF has been sniffing around lately; the bad news is CF has been sniffing around lately.

Seems that since CF modified his child support payment on his own he has a bit more in his pockets and for some reason he’s choosing to spend that on his daughter. He asked her if there was anything she needed and coughed up $200 to go towards a new laptop and then ordered some sheets, a body pillow cover, and decorative pillows that she wanted for her room.

The other day a package came in the mail. It was a white waffle weave cotton kimono type robe with her name embroidered on it in pink. She later tells me he’s also sending her a tumbler. She doesn’t know why because she didn’t ask for either of the two latter gifts. I have my suspicions.

First the good news. I recognize that it is generally a good thing when a child has two involved parents. I know that basically being abandoned has been difficult on Rock Star. I think I pointed out once before that both kids were extremely pissed off at their father; I feel comfortable saying they would have loved to have lashed out and hurt him, rejected him, told him they wanted no part of him and his whore cousin. That was stolen from them. How can she possibly reject him when he has already rejected her?

On a selfish level for my own self every dollar he gives her and every item he buys her is one less thing I have to purchase. Rock Star is going away to college and she acts like she now must furnish a 2500 square foot home. Apparently they no longer provide linens at the college. You must buy them. She also needs a comforter, a mattress pad, storage units, a shower caddy, more towels…. you get the picture. It can all easily add up. I’m just thankful I won’t need to do it all over again next year!

If he wants to toss $200, $300, $400 her way, be my guest! I don’t want to get my hopes up but I’m hoping she will tell him she needs an extra thousand or two to pay for tuition and he’ll be willing to help her with that as well.

Unfortunately, we all know what happens when you take money from the devil. He owns your soul.

I hope that Rock Star can maintain her boundaries and resists the lure of easy money because here is the bad news: I don’t trust him.

This is a man who calculated child support for her down to the half hour on her graduation day. I don’t need the extra few dollars that actually paying through the entire day would have brought me, but there is something seriously wrong with a man who does that and then turns around and wants to lavish gifts upon her. He wants to be seen as a hero and not as the selfish, greedy ass that cut his daughter off seconds after she walked across that stage, diploma in hand.

This is a man who still has not sent his son a birthday card, much less an actual gift.

This is a man who wrote his old address on her most recent cards instead of having to admit he had moved with the new fam. I know this because I noticed an envelope addressed to him. At first I thought it was a thank you note but upon closer inspection it was obvious it was a graduation announcement. I suppose he asked for one after buttering her up with cash and gifts, and she obliged. I had to laugh and tell her that the address was incorrect. It was then that she told me it was the one on her cards. “The ones he just gave you?” I asked incredulously. Oh, yeah. That’s how I know he put the old address on the cards he gave her for graduation and her birthday this year.

Go ahead and call me a bitch because I told her he had moved his new family into a new house over a year ago, one that looked very much like our old house in Virginia. I’m not sure she knows yet that he got remarried. If she does she has not said anything.

I have been honest with my kids when asked questions. I have not rushed in to tell them things that would hurt them. I am not infallible. I did disclose, very early on, the fact he had made waffles for not-his-kids. I finally did tell Rock Star about the $300 dress he bought for Harley’s daughter after she was looking online and planned to order a dress from China so that it wouldn’t cost much. At that point I said, “Oh no! If your dad can spend $300 on not-his-kid’s dress, he can spend that kind of money on yours. You will have a nice dress.” I did not, however, reveal that the same month he didn’t have the money to buy her a Homecoming dress, he had $4200 to spend on an engagement ring for Harley. I might have mentioned he promised her daughter a car; I think I did, but I’m not sure. I don’t believe I ever told them about the puppies he bought for her kids, although I might have. I never outright told them that while they were learning to do without he was sharing a bank account with Harley and she was blowing through five grand a month on herself and her kids. Maybe they never really thought about where all of his extra money was going, but if they did I’m sure they could have figured it out. I never told them about how he spent exactly the same amount of money on them at Christmas that first year as he did on his fake kids, or him going to Show-n-Tell with her son, or celebrating their birthdays out at dinner with them, or playing hero daddy at the hospital, or going to the zoo with his new family, or wearing a t-shirt with not-his-kid’s school mascot, or how he told someone he felt it was very important to show up and support not-his-kid at her competition, or going on family vacations with them. Up until the other day I didn’t reveal that he had moved them into a nice new home that looked like our old home, complete with a neighborhood pool. I also didn’t tell them he had flown to Vegas to marry Harley.

No, I didn’t tell them these things because I figured it would only hurt them.

Also, contrary to the narrative that the betrayed wife must always be bad-mouthing the ex and spreading vicious rumors and lies, I said little about him. As Chump Lady would advise: I gave facts; I did not editorialize. Your dad is in Kentucky with his girlfriend. Yes, his family knows about it; yes, they’re okay with it. Your dad lost his job; we are going to have to move because he is not sending me anymore money. Back when he was still paying no support (followed by what he felt like paying once he got a job): No, I cannot take you shopping; my two jobs pay our bills and allow us to eat. Now: I cannot do this/buy that until I get the support money. Once I get the back support your dad owes me I can help you with buying a car; I cannot do it until then. We cannot fly down to Orlando because I did not receive the alimony or child support in time.

Small side rant: When I took the parenting class that was court ordered way back in the beginning, one of the things the instructors cautioned against was talking about child support. I think that is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. I believe there is a difference between complaining about the amount you receive (We can’t have nice things because your parent is a cheapskate that fucked me over in court!) and letting them know certain things will have to wait until you receive the money you are court ordered to receive. In that respect it’s no different than telling your kid you can’t buy them the new X-Box or go to the movies until after payday. I have already said that my days as his PR manager are over. I’m not falling on my sword to protect him, and in that case, I’m not hurting my children by being truthful. FYI: I have never asked that man for a dime above and beyond what he is ordered to pay me. My kids will never hear me say, “I would buy you X but your dad won’t give me any more money. I guess he’s too busy spending it all on his new kids.” Nope, never! I will, however, without one bit of guilt, tell them we cannot do something because he has not sent me the support yet. Rant over.

Not only did I not badmouth him I will also once again point out that I actually reminded them of things he had done with them, trips he had taken with us, times he had way more patience with them than I did.

You want to know who badmouths the other parent? Big twist- it’s him! He has never missed a chance to bash me and try to make himself out to be the victim.
And that scares the shit out of me.

Each and every time he has come around looking for sympathy Rock Star has shot it right back at him he’s responded with: Let me tell you about how bad your mom is.

To date the excuses are I never loved him and I never took care of him with the added bonus that one day he’d like to talk to her about all of that.

He even pulled that crap with Picasso his first weekend back after being outed. I had taken all of his money. I had a lawyer and he didn’t. Yes, he had a girlfriend but it was okay because we had grown apart.

When Rock Star went off on him about Harley posting on Facebook about how much she missed the comfort she had grown so used to, i.e. I miss having my married lover in my bed, he sprung into defense. “I don’t know who told you this, or what you think you saw, but she’s not like that. She wouldn’t do anything like that.” Yes, it must be me spreading horrible lies to my children and not his beloved whore actually behaving like a whore. Even worse is the fact that once she sent him a screenshot of what Harley had posted he ignored that. He cried that he hadn’t been lying; he had truthfully never seen that. Never confronted the fact that Harley did indeed post such crap, just said he hadn’t seen it.

So this is what I think is happening and how I see it playing out. I believe he thinks that now she is 18 she is suddenly independent and out from under my thumb. I think he figures that once she’s off to college he can communicate with her and she won’t say anything to me (or more likely that I can’t check her phone, not that I do that anyway). My guess is that he’ll continue to offer money and gifts, and then eventually he’ll ask about coming up for a weekend so they can spend some time together.

Maybe he’ll rush right into his big defense; maybe he’ll give it a visit or two. Eventually though I think he will try to start spreading his own narrative. He’ll do his best to paint me as the perpetrator and himself as the victim. I was a horrible wife. We weren’t well suited for each other. He hadn’t been happy in years. I treated him like a wallet and a handyman. I never loved him. I didn’t take care of him. I didn’t care about his PTSD. I was only in it for the money and the lifestyle. You know the drill. I was awful and evil and he was my poor, bullied victim so what else could he do when this angel of love and understanding appeared before him? It was fate. He’s happy now. Don’t you want him to be happy, Rock Star? Isn’t everything so much better this way? Forget about your shattered life- the end of gymnastics, leaving behind the only life and friends that you remember, being moved thousands and then hundreds of miles twice in two years, leaving behind all of your new friends and this great life you had formed for yourself, moving in with your grandmother, having no home of your own, having to start all over your junior year of high school, not getting your license on time, feeling like you were nobody, basically losing your mom because she worked 50-60 hours a week, having few friends in this new place, having a crappy graduation party because no one knows you here. The end result is I’m happy and isn’t that what’s important? Now let’s talk some more about how your mom sucks and she’s the real reason you’ve suffered through all of that!

I know my daughter pretty well. I would like to believe that she wouldn’t fall for his crap and wouldn’t even entertain it.

“No, Dad, my mom doesn’t talk about you. She doesn’t go around telling us about all your faults as a husband. She gives us facts when we ask; facts that can actually be verified. She doesn’t badmouth you. She has actually defended you. YOU are the one that is constantly badmouthing her.”

There is always that possibility though that she will be so ecstatic that he is finally paying attention to her that she’ll allow herself to be bought over with the lies. He’s a pretty good liar; I mean he convinced me to move 20 hours closer to his mistress. I bought the pack of lies about how Anne was some crazy stalker that he had tried to help. I believed him when he said Harley was the biggest mistake of his life. If I could be fooled in my 40s, how can I be certain my daughter won’t be fooled when she’s only 18? He’s her father, for crying out loud. Much like I wanted to believe him back then I’m sure she wants to believe him, too.

As I said a few days ago I can accept her having a relationship with him, even if he’s telling her lies about me. I would like to believe she would ask me about it and not just run with it.

I can accept her having a relationship with him even though I sincerely believe he won’t be content just having a relationship once again with his child. I believe he wants to destroy me in the process. Call me crazy but he’s acted like the victim throughout this entire ordeal. Again, I will have to trust that my daughter is smart enough to see through that. To be able to look back on her own life experiences with him. To remember which one of us was always there and which one abandoned her.

Unfortunately, in addition to him trying to destroy me, what I see happening is him trying to slowly integrate Harley into Rock Star’s life as well. If he’s looking to destroy me what could be a better way than to find out my children think the whore is fantastic?

“She’s really nice. She really wants to meet you. She cares about you and your brother. It has broken her heart that you haven’t given her a chance. I know you’ll love her. She’s great. Can’t you just give her a chance? One meeting. That’s all I’m asking for.”

If that happens and she acquiesces that is the point at which you will see my head spinning faster than Linda Blair’s in The Exorcist.

I cannot and will not accept that. My kids were old enough to know the hell I went through because of her. They are old enough to remember the upheaval they experienced because of her. Yes, I know he was my husband but he’s also their father and I may have to eventually accept the possibility of them having a relationship with him. I do not have to accept it with her so she’s the one I’m focusing on. That bitch knew he was married, knew we had just moved, knew I had followed him all around the goddamn country and had been a stay at home mom for the last 15 years. She knew I had no way of supporting myself or staying in my house long term. She knew that when she began her affair with him she was going to destroy my life; she knew I would be left with nothing.

She blocked my daughter after Rock Star tore into her father about his whore’s shenanigans. Didn’t apologize. Nope, she’ll just block her and post about fucking a married man until her heart’s content.

My kids are both old enough to know what the hell happened, how I was duped and betrayed, and how my life has been one long struggle since that day. They are also old enough to be able to tell their father, “I want a relationship with you but I want nothing to do with her. If you want to have a relationship with me then you’ll respect that. If not, well, looks like once again you are putting her ahead of us.”

I’ve had people tell me that’s unrealistic or to say I can’t expect them to eschew Harley while they have a relationship with the mobster. To that I say, “Balderdash!”

The mobster didn’t break up my marriage. I wasn’t cheating on their father with him. The mobster has never blocked my daughter. We’re not where we are because of the mobster.

Funny story. I hadn’t planned on introducing him to my kids anytime soon, if ever. I thought this would just be “our” relationship. It wouldn’t involve our kids at all. We’d get together here and there and talk and text, but our relationship would be with one another.

The first weekend we met up I didn’t bring him around. I don’t remember if it was that weekend, or the next time we saw each other in person, but I do know I asked him if the next time he came up to my town he would like to meet my kids. I remember explaining to him that their father had never bothered to introduce Harley to his kids; he had to keep her a secret. He had to keep both of those lives separate because of what she represented- the destruction of his kids’ lives. I didn’t want my kids thinking that dating after divorce was a big secret. I didn’t want them to think that I was ashamed of him or didn’t want them to ever meet up for some reason. I wanted to be open and honest.

I think he’s been around my kids six times now- only five for Rock Star because she wasn’t here the first time I introduced him to Picasso. I asked both of them if they were interested in meeting him, and let them both know it was completely up to them. I was willing if they wanted to, but I would understand if they would rather not. They both chose to meet him.

He and Picasso have a lot of similar interests. Ok, really they both just like to play video games. There was one time that I asked him if he would talk to Picasso about something, which he did. They occasionally text back and forth.

The mobster has been very sweet and supportive of Rock Star. He texts her before important events, wishing her good luck. He sent flowers on Valentine’s Day. He bought her a Keurig for graduation and her birthday.  She has even said it’s almost like he’s her stepdad; she said one time that she wonders if this is how it feels to actually have two supportive parents.

I don’t feel like a hypocrite when I say that while I’m fine (obviously) with the mobster being around my kids, if Harley is around them and wants to start making memories we are going to have some serious problems.

That’s what scares me. It’s not simply that he will fill Rock Star’s head with lies and try to convince her that what he did was no big deal. It’s that Harley will become a part of Rock Star’s life. I don’t worry about Picasso so much because it seems pretty apparent that CF isn’t having anything to do with him. Picasso has also surprisingly been much tougher on his dad than I ever imagined. I thought he would have a much more difficult time with everything that happened; instead he was pretty much, “I can’t ever trust my dad again,” and “My dad is dead to me.”

I worry that Harley will attempt to turn on the charm and try to buy my kid. Between her and CF they will always have more money. They can afford to give her things. I worry that she and Harley will become great buddies; they’ll go shopping together, grab lunch together, get mani-pedis together. Her and her daughter and my Rock Star can form a sweet little trio, full of inside jokes and shopping and vacations. Maybe she would wonder why I can’t make as much money as Harley does. Or she’d find herself thinking, “Hmmm…. Harley managed to work and still be involved in her kids lives. Why can’t my mom do that?” I stupidly worry that when Rock puts us side by side and compares us that I won’t measure up. And I know that’s stupid because I’m her mother and she will always love me. But as I’ve always said, “I don’t share.” I certainly am not willing to share my kids with a whore that fucked my husband.

It turns out I’m quite selfish when it comes to my kids. I realize my kids are older so they don’t require the constant supervision they would if we had divorced when they were, say, 2 and 4. But I’ve never felt jealous of those people who talk about how they have entire weekends or weeks to themselves. I’m glad I get every day with them. I’m glad I don’t have to split holidays. I get every Christmas, every Thanksgiving, every Easter, every birthday. Then again, I didn’t walk away from my kids. I didn’t move six hours away from them without saying a word. After I had already moved them.

I have to share with him. I won’t share with her. I am hoping that my daughter cannot be bought for the low, low price of a kimono robe, or even a few hundred dollars.

(A Long) P.S. I ended up talking to Rock Star right before I finished this. I warned her that with the money would come strings. She replied, “I know; that’s why I didn’t ask for much when he offered.”

I did end up telling her my fear was that as they talked he was going to start weaving his tale, playing victim and trying to make me look like the bad guy.

She’s a pretty smart cookie. She has taken screen shots of their text messages as proof that he has offered all these things. I guess he has also told her that if she ever needs anything to just ask. How kind and generous of him after all these years.

I also brought up Harley and told her it was quite possible that once her dad began sending her money that he might begin asking her to consider meeting the new wife (which as far as I know Rock Star does not realize she is his wife). She replied, “No thanks.” She is quite adamant that she doesn’t want to meet her. I asked her if she really thought it would be possible, with her dad giving her money, to stand her ground and maintain her boundaries regarding being introduced to Harley. “I’m not scared of him,” she told me. “And he’s offered all these things. That’s why I’m taking screenshots, so that if he ever tries to insinuate that I asked for this and should repay him by meeting her I’ve got proof he’s offered. I’ve got proof where he’s told me if I need anything to just ask.” Fat lot of good that will do if he’s in one of his tizzies, but it makes her feel better.

It was a good conversation. At least it alleviated some of my fears.

P.S.S. Another update. Another box of goodies. Face masks, nail polish, body scrubs, a make-up bag, a loofah, and loads of other toiletries.  He is going all out for some reason. This is the man who still has not sent his son a birthday card, much less a gift.

I did cave and told her he had married the whore. She was telling me how she thought all his comments and such were because he still loved me and couldn’t believe I had moved on. I assured her that was not the case and that he had most definitely moved on. She kept going on with the ol’, “I know but…” so I finally told her that he had gotten married. “To her?” she asked. Apparently she didn’t think it was legal to marry relatives. You would think, huh?

Anyway, she didn’t seem too affected by the news. I still wish I had kept my mouth shut, though.

The Pitfalls of Pain Shopping

You’re in for a treat. I knew before I even began that this was going to be long; this here is Part 1 of 5. You know what that means though, right? Five straight days of posts from me!

Hi, I’m Sam. I am a survivor.  I am a fighter. I am fearless. I am kickass. I know my worth. I don’t believe a bit of the bullshit that comes out of cheaters’ mouths, excusing their affairs. I believe there is no excuse for cheating on your partner. I believe the most important question isn’t, “How can I save this marriage?” or “What did I do wrong?”, but “What’s important to me in a marriage?” and  “What is acceptable to me?” I don’t do hurt; I do pissed off. I firmly believe in no contact. I know that cheaters are masters at image management. I know they suck.

I am also not immune to curiosity. I “investigate” social media on occasion. I have recently been pain shopping. I am a dumbass.

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I could easily blame this on my mom. She is the one who informed me CF and Harley had gotten married. I could have comfortably lived my life not knowing that. Who could resist sneaking a peak at the happy couple? Certainly not me!

It started with their wedding picture and making snarky remarks about the “happy couple” to friends. Harley looks terrible. She really does. Her wedding picture is maybe one step up from her most recent mugshot.

When she was chasing after my husband and finally landed him she was thinner than me. I’ll admit I was jealous. People complimented her on it. Now she looks like a beached whale. Seriously. I am not someone who usually picks on someone for their weight because God knows I’m not some size 2. But she has to have a good 30-40 pounds on me.

You’d think that would be enough. Yep, there they are. You’ve seen them. Let’s move on from this train wreck. Yes, he actually married the whore; true love won. Move along!

You would be wrong.

Rock Star announced recently that her dad had contacted her, asked her where she was going to school and if she needed anything. I guess he can afford to act like the big shot because he’s got almost an extra thousand dollars in his pocket each month now. He ended up sending her $200 so she could buy her laptop and then ordered the rest of her bedding for her and is having it sent here. What a hero! Cut off support for her the very moment she graduates and then swoop in to save her. What. A. Stand. Up. Guy.

This gets me to thinking about the possibility that he may become a part of her life once again. He and the whore may sneak up to campus and spend weekends with her. He might invite her down to his house so she can live like she used to. He could offer up the use of the pool in their neighborhood. See how nice and luxurious life could be with us?

I’m trying to wrap my mind around this possibility. It does not happen. I have come to the conclusion that I could accept her having a relationship with him. He is her father. But her? Over my dead body. I will not have that whore weaseling her way into my kids’ lives.

The other very real fear is that as he worms his way back into Rock Star’s life he could easily start to share his own version of what happened with her. His version, of course, is that I’m an evil, horrible person who deserved everything he did to me. I didn’t take care of him. I never loved him. We weren’t good for one another. I’m just a bitter, angry person who refuses to thank him for setting me free from the burden of being his wife.

I would like to think that Rock Star is smarter than that and that our bond is deeper than that. But money talks; you hear stories everyday of children who go with the parent that has the deepest pockets.

This is the background story to my pain shopping. Why I chose my next move I am not sure. I suppose I thought I could handle it; I thought I was prepared for anything and figured I could use it as snark in another post.

Oh, there will be snark. But there is also fury and anger and indignation. There has even been some doubt. Doubt that I was a good wife. Doubt that I was a good partner to him. Doubt that I treated him right.

Don’t do what I did! Stay off the social media! No contact is the way to peace and light. Checking up on them is pain shopping. It’s looking for ways to make you doubt yourself; you compare your behind the scenes to their highlight reel and come away feeling like crap in most cases. They are masters at image management; they will never admit when things go to shit. It’s all posed fantasy. I repeat: Do not do what I did!

Who Had June 25th or Six Months Post Divorce?

Cousinfucker and Harley the Whore got married in Vegas. My mom told me. Isn’t that quaint? The two cheaters made it official. Now the destruction they wrought has purpose.

Can I just say, “Vegas? Really?” On one hand it makes perfect sense. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. It’s all cheap drinks, gambling, and street performers. It’s showmanship and glitz. It’s a mirage. Perfect for cheaters like them. A farce registered at Macy’s and celebrated in Vegas.

On the other hand I can still remember him tearfully telling me that he felt so isolated out west. If he had to stay there much longer he would wind up in the psych ward. Apparently he can get married out there; he just can’t live out there.

As far as I know my kids have no idea their daddy has remarried or that they now have a brand spanking new step mommy and four step-siblings. Rock Star has said nothing so far and if I know her like I think I know her she could only sit on this information for a day or two.

Picasso washed his phone and it no longer works so even if his dad wanted to contact him he couldn’t.

I haven’t said anything because it’s not my news to tell, and frankly, I found this all out just as I was leaving work to go down and surprise the mobster for his birthday. None of us needed a cloud hanging over our heads thanks to CF.

I will also add that while he was all tears and stone faced for his daughter’s graduation, he was smiling in his new wedding pictures. Can’t smile for or with his daughter, but can grin away for a whore.

Honestly, it left me feeling strange for a few hours. As the mobster said, it’s like the final discard. He has completely and totally replaced me with this horrid other person. It was a little weird to think that she was taking over my spot in that family. I suppose I should add legally taking over, because let’s face it, she replaced me a long time ago. That’s really at the heart of it. I was effortlessly replaced and no one said a word. It was as if, despite twenty-one years with him, I had never existed.

Fear not! I don’t want him. I don’t grieve the loss of him. As I said I was on the way to see the mobster and throw him a fabulous surprise 50th birthday party. The mobster is my future. Despite any weird feelings CF’s marriage brought up I know I’m so much better off. I am happier than I’ve ever been.

Them? Well, let’s say I wish them all the happiness they deserve. He’s a man who cheated on his wife. She’s a woman who cheated on her husband. And who cheated on him in the first six months they were engaged in their affair! How much longer can he keep that mask on and convince her he’s a loving family man, a doting daddy to her kids? How much longer can she keep her legs closed to other men? Or refrain from sending naked pictures to other men? How long until she winds up being arrested again for writing bad checks because all that extra money that was so new and exciting is now routine? That’s the crappy thing about pretending to be someone you’re not. Eventually you can’t keep up the charade any longer and the real person comes out. Uh-oh!

Now a new pool will begin. How long will this last? How long until she cheats on him again? Anyone think he will be the cheater once again? Final bet: Will he tell his kids what he’s done, and if so, how long until he does so?

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The Myth of the Sexless Marriage

I was reading a conversation over on DC Urban Moms and Dads. The original poster asked why on earth anyone would recommend Chump Lady’s site because she was so bitter, angry and negative. Several people patiently pointed out that anger is useful to get you through the initial phase of being discarded and accepting what you married. Others pointed out her tag line is: Leave a cheater, gain a life. She’s not into the reconciliation business. Eventually it meandered over into the fact that men NEED sex and that most people who cheat do so because of sexless marriages.

Well, of course they do! It couldn’t be the fact that the person has bad character. It couldn’t be the fact that the cheater lacks impulse control, or feels entitled to anything he or she desires. It couldn’t be the fact that they act like toddlers, throwing a tantrum anytime things don’t go their way. It can’t be that they are needy and clingy and are bottomless pits of need. No, it must be because their spouses (wives usually) have cut them off from sex, forcing them to cheat. They wouldn’t do this awful thing if the “refusing” spouse would simply hop into bed and participate. This is not their fault! It’s the cheated on spouse’s fault!

Why not divorce? Coz reasons! It’s no fair that if my wife cuts me off from sex and I believe that’s a deal breaker then I have to be a grown up and make hard choices. One person even put it like this:

I’m not comfortable defending the position of a cheater but…

A wife who unilaterally chooses to be sexless gives her husband a Hobson’s choice. Either cheat or divorce, and along with divorce comes a free raping by the divorce court. Losing their kids, their house, half their stuff and the added bonus of continuing to pay the person who caused this for the rest of their life. That’s a ridiculous choice to have to make. So in that case, cheating is not a wholly unreasonable solution.

A wife whose husband has become sexless can make a legitimate choice to divorce with limited negative consequences, so there is no excuse for them to cheat.

Oy. And vey. Dramatic much?

A wife who unilaterally chooses to be sexless gives her husband a Hobson’s choice.

First of all, who are these wives this person speaks of who entirely cut their husbands off? There is a difference between, “I want to have sex six times a week but my spouse will only give it up twice,” vs. “I haven’t had sex in five years.” Not to mention, cheaters lie. It’s what they do.

CF will tell anyone who will listen that we hadn’t had sex in ten years. That is an outright lie. He will also tell people he is an Army Ranger. That is another outright lie. He lies. It’s what he does. I feel like I’m in a fucking Geico commercial!

In addition, the only spouses I’ve ever heard of who cut their spouse off sexually were the cheaters! They did it to maintain control. Meanwhile, they were out there screwing anything that moved.

Either cheat or divorce, and along with divorce comes a free raping by the divorce court. Losing their kids, their house, half their stuff…

Secondly, if you do even the tiniest bit of research you will find that it is generally women who pay the greatest price when it comes to divorce. Hell, I know I got a great deal compared to some people but my standard of living is still far, far below what it was. I will again remind the reading audience that while CF is indeed paying out in excess of 60% of his paycheck to me, he’s doing so because he refuses to leave his sweetie behind to find a better paying job. He was imputed at his previous wages. Even with a ten month gap in employment and being basically fired for drinking on the job, he managed to get a $100,000/year job. I finally got one for $11/hour. He lives in a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom 3000 sq. foot home which looks eerily like our old home in Virginia, with a community pool and a community clubhouse. I live with my mother, have no bedroom to call my own, and sleep on the couch.

Sure, there are stories of women who take their husbands to the cleaners. The ironic part? They’re usually the ones cheating. I know far more women who have been left destitute after a divorce.

…and the added bonus of continuing to pay the person who caused this for the rest of their life.

I’m pretty sure CF must have written this. Yet another person lamenting having to pay “for the rest of their life.” No, it’s not the rest of their life. In many states they pay nothing aside from child support! Child support ends at some point. Spousal support ends at some point. In my case it will end in 16 years. That is hardly “the rest of his life”.

I loved this though: So in that case, cheating is not a wholly unreasonable solution.

A wife whose husband has become sexless can make a legitimate choice to divorce with limited negative consequences, so there is no excuse for them to cheat.

Nice! So men are forced to cheat because otherwise they may have to give up some of their stuff. Women, on the other hand, never have an excuse to cheat.

It’s too bad some of these people never grew up. If they had they would understand that sometimes doing the right thing isn’t easy. They would understand that on occasion you get to choose between two shitty things. These poor babies just assume the fact that divorcing comes with consequences they don’t want to face means they should be excused for cheating.

Could we please stop acting like women (or whoever is withholding) have all the power? It’s not like a stay at home mom who is “refusing” to have sex has nothing to lose if her husband leaves her. Many states start with 50/50 custody so she stands to lose her kids. Even if she has primary custody she still misses out on weekends and holidays with her kids. A woman who divorces may find her children being raised by another woman. After reading a Mom vs. Stepmom debate board for over ten years it seems to me that women are much more territorial when it comes to the children. Many states have no alimony, so even if she does get custody of the kids, she won’t be receiving it any longer than 18 years and it will go down as each child ages out. Her chances of finding a job where she makes as much money as her husband are fairly low unless her degree is in something that will remain current- think nursing. I’ve known women who were teachers, IT professionals, and accountants who struggled going back into the workforce after years of staying home with children. If she was already working then he’s not going to end up paying her alimony anyway, if they live in a state that awards it, unless he makes significantly more than her. And, if their salaries are very similar he might not end up paying her much in child support either- probably none at all if custody is 50/50.

It’s all a narrative to justify cheating. Those trying the hardest to justify it keep referring to the “refuser” in the relationship and how that person is the one who first broke vows. Apparently, one of the vows you make when you get married is to have sex on demand. If that vow isn’t met then the other spouse is justified in cheating, or so their theory goes.

Even when it’s pointed out that if that is indeed happening then both parties know they are not having sex. The person being refused sex is not left in the dark. When the other person decides to go outside of the marriage both parties are not aware of it. When that is pointed out, and divorce is offered up as the responsible response to such a situation (not getting all the sex you deserve) they once again chime in with, “But… consequences! Why should I suffer any consequences for any of my decisions? I have to cheat. I deserve to cheat because they won’t do what I want them, no NEED them, to do.” They are nothing but big ol’ cake eaters.

Here’s another truth. It’s not about the sex. If he’s getting it twelve times a week at home then he’ll complain that she won’t do anal, or oral, or some other thing. Or it’s that she won’t do a threesome or let him watch her have sex with another guy, or participate in a gang bang, or agree to an open marriage, or participate in S&M. Look at the swinger from last week. He and his wife are having sex upwards of five times a week and he wants to be able fuck strange on the side. His complaint about his first wife wasn’t simply that she only wanted sex a few times a month. It was also about the fact that she wasn’t willing to indulge his other fantasies.

If you read Chump Lady you will hear that narrative over and over: I had plenty of sex with my husband, but he went looking for other sources because I wouldn’t… (fill in the blank).

People don’t cheat because they’re in sexless marriages. I would be willing to bet that most of them who make that claim aren’t even in sexless marriages. They cheat because they feel entitled to cheat. They cheat because they want to eat cake, as Chump Lady would say. They cheat because nothing is ever enough for them and no amount of groveling and catering to them will ever make them happy or satisfied. They always demand more. They cheat because they don’t want to have to do the hard work of filing for divorce and going through everything that entails. It’s far easier to keep your spouse and some strange on the side, than it is to be honest and do the hard thing. They cheat because they have convinced themselves that it’s YOUR fault. You’ve made them do this; the poor lambs didn’t have a choice.

Don’t fall for the narrative, folks. People with an ounce of common sense don’t ask what the rape victim could have done to prevent the rapist from raping her/him. People with an ounce of common sense don’t tell the battered spouse, “If only you would do (fill in the blank),” or “If you wouldn’t do (fill in the blank) your spouse wouldn’t be driven to abuse you.” People with an ounce of common sense should also realize no one makes another person cheat. It’s a damn choice. Own it!

#riseup

Do We Ever Learn?

On the heels of my uplifting previous post… Drew over on thezombieshuffle wrote about the divorce rates in North America. According to his research the rate of divorce for 1st marriages is 50%, 67% for second marriages and 73% for third marriages.

While doing a little research of my own I came across some statistics from Dr. Phil. His statistics aren’t quite as bad. According to him your chance of divorce in your first marriage is 35-40%. Hey, you’ve been given a 10-15% bump up in success rates! Hooray! Your chance of divorce in a second marriage is 60-65%, giving you a slightly better chance by a 2-5% margin. If you choose to marry a third time (hello, Jezebel!) the chance of divorce climbs to 70%+, which is a slight 3% bump from Drew’s figures.

Regardless of whose figures you use it seems apparent that your best chance for happily ever after is your first marriage. Statistically speaking, of course.

The bigger question he asks though is this: With the identical trend of the rising rate of divorce the more times you walk down the aisle, do people actually learn anything from their failed marriages? Follow up questions: Are relationships a waste of time? Are they all fleeting?

I think more than likely he hit the nail on the head with his first question. I think people don’t learn. Look at cheaters. CF constantly plays the victim. Nothing is his fault. His relationship with his kids is in the toilet, but it’s not his fault. Oh no! It’s mine! I’ve poisoned the kids against him.

I’m taking all of his money. But that’s not his fault. I’m just a greedy, money hungry bitch. His behavior didn’t play even a tiny bit into what has happened to him.

He was forced out of his home. He had to quit his job. He has a drinking problem. It’s all my fault. I didn’t love him. I didn’t take care of him.

He’s not unique. Most cheaters blame the spouse they’re cheating on. They blame us for all of their ailments and failures and unhappiness. And then they turn around and blame us for their affair(s).

You didn’t grow a garden. You didn’t fetch me my slippers. You didn’t wear sexy underwear. You got bald. You wouldn’t help with the kids. We didn’t have sex (often enough or ever). You didn’t support my new pumpkin patch business! You didn’t support my passion for crab racing! You didn’t understand me!

Nothing about where they went wrong. Nope. Just pick a different partner and everything will be tickety boo.

This can apply to almost anyone though, not just cheaters. Many people think the partner is the problem and so long as that changes everything will be fine. Others love that “in love” feeling and bail when things get difficult. Still others can’t bear to be alone so they quickly get involved without ever looking at themselves and the choices they are making. Others are just flat out crazy! No seriously, they have mental health issues that don’t make them suitable partners for anyone.

When you start looking at second and third marriages you have additional complications. There could be an ex or two in the picture, children that aren’t yours, schedules that have to be coordinated because of custody. Then you have money issues: child support being paid, how to fairly distribute funds, what to do when one of you dies. There are family rules to settle and how much authority does the new spouse have? Are your families going to blend? There could be differences in how you raise your children versus how your new spouse has raised his/hers. All of those things complicate the relationship far beyond that first marriage where neither of you had children from a previous relationship or an ex-spouse. Considering all of that I’m not surprised subsequent marriages face an uphill battle.

My favorite Dr. Phil statistic though was the chance of a divorce for a relationship that begins as an affair. He puts it at right around 95%. I guess Chump Lady wasn’t too far off the mark when she described marriage between cheating partners as a farce registered at Macy’s. Or as another reader’s lawyer described it: Repeat business.

It Is Time

I’ve been mulling this idea over for a few months now. I know I write an awful lot about my own circumstances, especially since my life took such a drastic turn back in 2016. When I started this blog I really wanted to expand beyond my own situation and offer some sane advice to others who are dealing with this, whether they are in the discovery phase, the reconciliation phase, or in the middle of a divorce. I was reading Chump Lady one day and she said something to the effect of, “I’m only one voice. I can’t do this by myself.” And this gave me hope because I do want to add my voice to hopefully turn the tide on how we look at infidelity. It kills me when I read blogs by people who are going through this, hoping to reconcile, and their spouses are being absolute shits, refusing to give them answers, treating them like crap, blaming them. I want to scream out, “It’s not your fault!” I want to tell them cheating is an entitlement issue, a character issue. I want to point out that if sad little spouse cheated because he/she was unhappy, you were in the same marriage and yet you didn’t cheat. How could that be? I want to tell the cheated on spouse all about the blame shifting mindset of, “It’s not what I did; it’s your reaction to it.” I want to point out all their false equivalencies. Yeah, I cheated. But YOU never put the lid back on the ketchup. You never wanted to play golf. You snored. Or even better, the sneering, “Oh, you’re so perfect. Sorry I’m not perfect like you!”

Really what I would like to see, what I hope eventually happens in all this claptrap of open marriages and polyamory and how humans aren’t meant to be monogamous, is to see people no longer tolerate infidelity. I’d like to believe that the tide will shift, like it shifted for domestic abuse and rape.

I know; I know. Neither of those examples are without fault. There are still travesties of justice. But as a whole we no longer tsk tsk and ask what the wife did to make her husband so mad. We don’t ask her to take responsibility for him shoving her down a flight of stairs or knocking her head into the wall or punching her. It is not perfect yet, and there will always be those who excuse it, but we are less and less likely to put the onus on the abused spouse.

Similarly while examples abound in the news of men getting a slap on the wrist we are making strides in getting the message out there that rape is not about sex. It’s about power. It’s about having control over another person. It’s not because a girl wore a short skirt or had too much to drink. Hell, men get raped as well. We are putting the responsibility back on the person who is actually committing the act, and not asking the person who was violated to take responsibility for that person’s behavior.

There is a woman on another board I frequently read and she does not like the idea of self-defense classes for women at college. She thinks it puts the responsibility on the female to not get raped. And yet this same woman has said about cheating, “It’s a symptom, not the disease. It is an indication of a problem in the marriage.” She would never dream of telling a young college girl that it was her fault she got raped, but she has no problem with distributing the blame in a marriage when one part of that couple cheats.

I have hope that one day instead of blaming the betrayed spouse we put the blame where it belongs- on the person who cheated. I have hope that one day we won’t ask what the spouse did to cause their partner to stray. We won’t look at the woman who has gained weight since the wedding day and cluck disapprovingly, “Well no wonder he cheated; she let herself go!” As I’ve pointed out many times beautiful, thin women get cheated on all the time.

I want to believe as more voices start rising up that we will combat this insane idea that only those who are “perfect” don’t cheat. Or that being unhappy entitles a person to destroy their spouse.

I long to see the day where people recognize that cheating is an entitlement problem. It is a character problem. I was not a perfect spouse but I sure as hell didn’t deserve what CF did to me and our kids. I didn’t deserve to be cheated on. He had a plethora of decisions he could have made instead of cheating. You don’t need to be perfect in order to have a faithful spouse.

I have hope that people will be called out when they toss out such stupid remarks as, “Life is too short to be unhappy,” or “We live in an age where we’re not forced to remain in unhappy relationships.” Yes, by all means, seek out happiness. Don’t remain in a relationship if you are unhappy. But don’t cheat either! I’m sure it will come as a huge surprise to many cheaters out there but you can actually file for divorce without having another person in your bed! It’s crazy; I know!

When people yammer on and on about how monogamy isn’t natural I look forward to people informing those idiots that antibiotics and other medications aren’t natural either. Indoor plumbing and electricity aren’t natural. And if you want to go all, “In nature…” on me. Well… in nature a lot of nasty shit happens, like the weakest of the herd being killed off, or killing the offspring of the former alpha so the females will mate with the new alpha, or starving to death. Cheaters aren’t usually big on consequences. Then again they usually think they are the best in show and above all the rules.

I hope that one day, instead of going back to, “Infidelity is a private matter between two people,” or “Cheating is a symptom and not the disease,” people start to look at what toll infidelity takes on everyone. That is one of the reasons I was upfront about it on Facebook once the divorce was finalized.

Cheating is romanticized and minimized. But it’s not romantic and the impact it has on everyone in its wake can be devastating.

Look at the kids whose lives have been upended. Look at displaced stay at home moms who are suddenly thrust into the workforce making next to nothing. I was lucky; many states don’t have alimony. Look at men who have to paternity test their children, or who lose everything in a divorce to their cheating wife.

My kids and I lost our home thanks to my husband’s cheating. My kids were forced to change schools and move out of state. I worked two jobs to make ends meet and still didn’t have much while CF and Harley lived it up. My kids suffered. I’m no longer around and available for them like I have been in the past.

I also realize I had it easy compared to some of the stories I’ve heard. College funds drained. 401ks liquidated and spent on Schmoopie. Hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent on gifts and trips. People losing everything in their divorce- their house, their children, their business. People who have only been with one person in their entire life finding out they have an incurable STD (or even a curable one). Women losing babies or babies being put in the NICU because of STDS. In some instances lives were threatened, poisoned, and even ended. Those stories need to get out there.

I know. It’s not fun and exciting. It makes people uncomfortable. Especially if they truly believe it when we tell them it’s a character and entitlement problem because that means there is nothing they can do to prevent it from happening to them.

I want to believe that at some point we stop acting like we owe nothing to another person. So many people want to minimize cheating, want to minimize what role the affair partner plays. They want to be seen as sophisticated and edgy and nonjudgmental so when they hear of someone having an affair with a married person (or just hear of someone having an affair) they play it off as though it is no big deal. Or, you know, they didn’t owe anything to anyone.

No! You do owe it to others in society to be decent. It is not okay to fuck another person’s spouse. It is not okay to lie and deceive another person. You don’t have to owe them anything in order to not do that to them. It is a bad thing. If you are perfectly willing to fuck another person’s spouse because “you don’t owe the spouse anything; you didn’t make vows!” then you are a shitty human being. Those things need to be said. People who do crap like this need to stop being given a pass. It isn’t edgy or hip. It is destructive. It hurts people. It hurts families.

The good news is more of those so called sophisticated articles romanticizing affairs are being called out. People are pointing out that cheating is not your only option. Commenters are stressing character. They’re not buying the bogus excuses. They’re not allowing the wool to be pulled over their eyes.

Yes, I’m still going to be offering up recipes, ranting about random things, talking about my mobster, and chronicling my “adventures” with CF, but I’m also going to stick around so that I can continue to call bullshit on the people who say it’s no big deal and that it’s a marriage problem. No, it’s a character issue; it’s an entitlement issue. I’ll say it over and over again until it sticks. I’m going to continue to call bullshit on cheaters who offer up lame excuses, defend their atrocious behavior, and try to tell cheated on spouses how to behave. Yes, because if I’m going to take advice on how to improve my marriage I’m definitely going to listen to the lying cheater. What’s that? I should fetch him his slippers and draw him a bath and fuck him wildly several times a day? Tell me more! I’m going to continue to call bullshit on the mistresses who say if they had to choose they’d rather be the mistress than the betrayed wife because they get all the great parts of the relationship and none of the mundane shit, or they’re free to walk away and get on with their life while the wife has to deal with the aftermath. Or the ones who preen around, who tell everyone they’re not doing anything wrong and they don’t have a problem with being the mistress. I don’t give a crap if you didn’t make vows to me, slut-o-rama. Are you married to my husband? No? Then don’t ride his dick! I’ll continue to call bullshit on any of the dumbasses who defend them and the people who tout an open marriage as the best way to combat infidelity. When a person cheats they get off on the fact that they are deceiving their partner. They know something you don’t know! An open marriage would never fly. There’s no fun in that when you’re allowed to do it. They also certainly don’t want the other person off having a little fun of their own. Hey, that’s my spouse appliance. No one else gets to play with it. Hands off! I’ll continue to call bullshit on the reconciliation industry which preaches forgiveness at all costs, and tells a person who has just been knifed in the heart that they need to own their part in this. Fuck that! I keep going back to this: If I couldn’t make him eat a damn turnip then I don’t see how anyone thinks I could have made him be faithful.

Ultimately, I will continue to hope that more and more people join in and spread the word.

 

#ItIsTime #RiseUp

Which Woman Do You Want To Be?

Through reading various blogs and their comments I came across an other woman’s blog. Nothing unique or special about it. She did say something though that had me shaking my head. I’m going to paraphrase but it was basically: If I had to choose between being the other woman or being the deceived, bitter wife I would choose to be the other woman every time. I get to move on with my life, while the betrayed wife is stuck working it out with a cheater.

That’s funny because I thought to myself I would much rather be the duped and betrayed wife every time. Yes, what my kids and I went through was absolutely horrible. I don’t ever want to go through that again. But unlike that fine, upstanding OW, I would never want to inflict that kind of damage on another person’s life. Ever. I would take being cheated on any day over being the entitled, narcissistic sociopath that would choose to purposefully hurt another woman and her family.

I was also struck by her generalization that the OW gets to move on with her life, no hassles at all, while the wife is stuck working it out with the cheating husband, always wondering if he was at it again or pining for his mistress.

Does she not realize sometimes the OW wins “the prize”? She’s then stuck with a cheater herself. It’s that old adage: When a man marries his mistress he creates a vacancy.

Oh, I’m sure plenty of the mistresses who end up with the sparkly turd whole-heartedly believe he will never do that to her; they are super duper special and their vaginas have magical powers. He will never cheat on her, he will never complain about her, and he will never find her lacking in any way! No, she is definitely completely different from that ex-wife he lied to and cheated on; she is special in ways that the ex-wife could only dream about.

Of course, there are those mistresses who do realize their precious prize is a cheater, and while they’ll never admit it they definitely keep him on a very short leash. That sounds exhausting.

My favorite stories involve situations where the cheaters stay together, unhappily ever after. They know they’ve fucked up but they also know they’ve got an image to maintain. If they divorce it will only prove they ruined a family or two for nothing more than a few romps in the hay. It’s image management, baby! They will stay together come Hell or high water. Bring on the anti-depressants and the drinking problem! This is love, dammit!

Sometimes the wife (or husband- I’m using wife because it was an OW writing this, not an OM) doesn’t stick around and put up with his shit. Sometimes she kicks his ass to the curb and creates a new life for herself. Prime example? Chump Lady herself.

It took her a couple of attempts, but she finally did it. Now she’s married to a fabulous man, has a successful blog, a published book, another book coming, and a possible movie. The OW? She’s an alcoholic waiting on this guy who has strung her along over 20 years and at least 3 marriages to finally promote her from side piece to wife. Yep, sounds like she’s the winner in that triangle.

Look at my own situation. I forgave him the first time. I didn’t make that mistake again. I hightailed it down to a lawyer’s within two days of finding out he was cheating again.

Harley was riding high for a while. It was like winning the lottery in the beginning. All that money handed to her without hesitation. Her standard of living increasing 100%. Then he lost his job because of the drinking and she was forced to support him. For ten months. Finally he gets another job, and once again it seems like things are going great. He moves the new family into a swanky little subdivision. It was probably the nicest house she had ever lived in. Unfortunately,  he’s making a whole lot less, and the two nitwits made all their financial decisions without a final ruling in the divorce case. Now he has to pay his ex-wife approximately 2/3 of his paycheck and they’re stuck with a very expensive rent payment. It looks like once again Harley is going to have to bear the brunt of the financial struggle.

These two financial wizards blow through money like it grows on trees so I doubt either one has given much thought to the future and what retirement will bring. He’s lost half his pension. When it’s all said and done my guess is he will have given me around 70% or more of his 401k; he had to pay out almost $55,000 in arrears alone and that all comes out of his share.

I have a new life with a fabulous man that treats me wonderfully. We have amazing adventures together and I’m deliriously happy with him. Meanwhile, according to his own testimony Harley has to drive CF around, he’s unable to cope with being out in public or going to crowded places, and his attention isn’t focused on Harley and all her wonderfulness; he’s much too concerned with spying on and harassing me and those who are in contact with me. As my friend K told her ex’s wife one day after repeated trips to court, “I’m sorry things are going so badly at home between you two.” When the new wife indignantly replied that things were just peachy K smiled sweetly and told her, “Really? Because if my husband spent as much time trying to fuck his ex as your husband spends trying to fuck me there would definitely be a problem!”

There you go, Harley! There’s your prize. A raging, lying, cheating sociopath who is descending into madness. He’s so caught up in me and my life I bet he doesn’t even sit around the dinner table day dreaming about what the future holds for the two of you. Is he back to secluding himself in the bedroom, watching TV all of the time? Lucky you! You won!

No, I definitely would not choose to be the other woman. I have a soul. I know right from wrong. Unlike the author of the blog I perused I also realize there is no winning when you are the other woman. You’re either lied to and used as his convenient side piece and your heart is broken, or you end up with a man who lies to and cheats on his wife. No thank you.