Let It Go

I am almost 3 1/2 years out from my final D-Day. You would think I would have everything together, everything figured out, everything resolved and put behind me. You would be mostly right but there are days when some things linger.

I suppose part of it is the fact we are still trying to get support modified for Picasso. My lawyer is taking her sweet time, claiming to be swamped with work. This has been ongoing since July. My patience is quickly coming to a close.

My beef though is with him. This was his responsibility. He has a court order. I used to think that meant something. Instead, he just glances at my texts about modifying the support and not simply cutting it in half and he says, “No.” Calls me a cunt when he realizes I’m not going to roll over and play dead. More importantly I’m not listening to him and I’m no longer letting him have his way. Then he insults the mobster and implies I’m using child support to meet up with him. He haughtily tells me he won’t pay a dime more until he hears from my lawyer. Once he hears from my lawyer he wants to argue with the numbers she gives him and decides to try his hand at playing lawyer. He refuses to pay the legal fees which I have incurred because he is an asshole.

From my perspective he gets away with it. He gets away with all of it. He openly defies a court order. He calculates child support on his daughter down to the freaking minute she graduates. He divides child support in half and dares me to try to tell him that it should be different. When I do, he says, “I know better than you or the judge what happens next.” He drags me through the mud and makes me do all of the damn work and then he says, “No, I’m not paying your legal fees. That’s all on you.” So again, if I want him to pay I have to take him to court again. Which costs even more money.

What can I do? I control only myself. I suppose I can continue to fight him and hope that I win and that by winning I land a solid uppercut right on that smug face of his.

There is a lot of talk of letting go… walking away… being the bigger person… focusing on the big picture…

Yes, I suppose I could drop the rope. Say, “Fine, pay half of the original support amount.” I could eat the legal fees. God knows I have so much discretionary income that another $600-$900 to my attorney is no big deal! <<< That was sarcasm.

Then he wins. He gets away with being a fucking jackass. He gets away with violating a court order. He gets away with talking down to me. He gets away with making me jump through hoops. All so that I can tell myself that some money is just too expensive and it’s not worth it; I can try to convince myself that having him out of my life is worth all of the shit sandwiches I’ve had to eat because of him.

It’s not even about the money at this point. It’s about the fact that I told him very nicely that he should probably contact his lawyer and get this modified. I agreed that it would go down but told him it would not decrease by 50%. He knew that. He was just playing games. He doles out the money when he wants and he pays what he wants. I told him again a few days later after he sent his version of prorated support for Rock Star. It’s not going to decrease by 50%. Please talk to your lawyer and get this modified. Instead he lets me know there are no separate orders for child support and therefore I will now receive 50% of what I had been receiving. He even has the audacity to tell me to read the court orders.

If that’s not enough of a shit sandwich to swallow, once my lawyer finally gives him new numbers he wants to argue. Oh no! I don’t agree with that at all. If we’re going to modify this we need to make sure all the numbers are up to date. I want proof of insurance since my wife is a such a lying, cheater (oops, that’s me!) and I want to see if she got a raise since we were in court last time.

He actually has the balls to scold my lawyer and point out that there are newer forms, which he has used. Finally, he follows all of this up by letting her know he refuses to pay my legal expenses because he is not privy to my business affairs. He has no control over whether or not I choose to get a lawyer involved.

Yes, because my first course of action was to call my lawyer about this. Oh, wait! My first course of action was actually going to him and letting him know he should speak to his lawyer about getting child support modified for one child. He could have had this done and over with in probably 30 minutes- maybe an hour if he decided he was going to look the forms up and do it all on his own right from the beginning. Instead, even knowing that he was wrong and he did indeed owe more he still crossed his arms and stomped his feet and refused to do anything on his own. I had to do it. Furthermore, he thinks I should be the one to pay for it.

I might even be able to shake this all off by telling myself that he looks like a giant ass while I keep plodding along, doing whatever needs to get done. Don’t let him get to you. Pretend you’re a character in a movie. Get to work and just do what needs to be done. Don’t worry about the other stuff. That’s not what’s important.

That’s when the thoughts of, “It’s not fair!” begin screaming in my head.

Because it’s not just this latest thing. It’s the fact that I have had to do all of the dirty work ever since the day I found out he was fucking his whore of a cousin. Who told the kids we were getting a divorce? That would be me. Daddy of the Decade was off fucking his cousin at the time. Probably throwing hundred dollar bills at her kids, too. Who had to break it to the kids that we were going to have to move? That would be me again. He was busy half-ass participating in alcohol treatment and refusing to give me any information. Who had to go through and price all of the items in our house and list the furniture on Facebook? If you guessed me you would be correct! Who held our daughter while she cried because she found out she was going to have to start all over with a learner’s permit instead of getting her license like she had anticipated? Oh, oh! Pick me. Who worked two jobs to pay my bills and attempt to give my kids something for Christmas? Again, me. Who watched as our beautiful daughter became depressed and anxious after being moved her junior year? And who held and supported her as she cried on her Senior Night because she didn’t have much to list on her achievements and didn’t have anyone but me there to support her? By golly, that was me, too! Who had to hire an expert witness at the cost of over $8000 to prove someone was faking PTSD? That money, btw, could have gone towards my kids or a house. It’s me again! Look, it’s a rigged game. It’s always me. Every shitty thing that had to be done was done by me. Every bit of bad news that my kids heard was told by me. Cousinfucker was off doing his own thing with his newly created fake family. They were so much more important than his original family.

It extends back to the entire settlement that I accepted. After more than 2 years, and being told a judge would probably rule this way anyway, I did basically as my lawyer suggested. Now I wish I had fought some more.

There are times that I’m still pissed I had to account for the $27,000 I took. I was told repeatedly by multiple lawyers that as long as I spent that on the household and could prove it I wouldn’t have to split that with him. I faithfully kept receipts for more than 2 years. Still had to account for it in the settlement, which hurt me a lot. It definitely helped him because it mostly offset the stock he cashed in, the 401k he drained, and the money he gave to her. Plus, because his primary 401k was the only asset we had as a married couple everything was rolled into the 401k and how it was divided.

This meant that when I was paying all of the household bills and marital debt while he remained living in the home and paid nothing towards any of it, he was free to blow through tens of thousands of dollars. When I was working two jobs and getting up at 3:30 in the morning he decided to drain his smaller 401k, pocket the $10 grand and was sleeping in and watching TV. Because all of our bills were automatically withdrawn from our joint account I was still paying his insurance. I made his final car payment.

All of that was rolled up into the 401k and then divided. Instead of a big fat check he had to write to pay me my half of all of that, I have less than $100,000 in a 401k, waiting for me when I retire in another 15-20 years.

Our pool ended up being paid off with his bonus check and then we split the rest. His half was already gone by the time he lost his job. I’m assuming the whore blew through it, spending it on Vera Bradley and God only knows what else. I know they got to take a vacation to Florida over Spring Break. I got to use my share to live on when he lost his job and decided he wasn’t going to send another dime until he finally got a job worthy of him.

He got to spend his money on fun things. Vacations. Dresses. Puppies. Engagement rings. Romantic getaways. Bribing children that weren’t his. I used mine to survive while I looked for a job, and the rest of it is waiting for me when I retire someday.

Let it go, right? I can’t control it. It’s in the past. What’s done is done. Move on. Make a brand new life and make it fabulous. Yep, I’ve heard it all. I do my best to follow that advice.

Yet some days I curse, “Motherfucker! It is not fair! It’s not fair that he gets to run around without a care in the world while I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. It’s not fair that he got to spend all of that money on whatever he wanted and got to have fun, and I had to use mine to live on. Goddamn! Sonofabitch! Motherfucking motherfucker! Asshole!”

Add in that he pays support whenever he feels like it and doesn’t think I need to be given a heads up. You want to pay funeral expenses for your mom instead of paying your court obligated support? You go right ahead. Hey, no need to tell me what’s going on. I like the shortness of breath and the tightness in my chest when I think my world might be collapsing again. It’s invigorating. He asked to be allowed to pay every other week instead of in full on the 1st, which I agreed to; however, he pays whenever he chooses with no rhyme or reason. He’s made his first payment as early as the 8th (only happened once) and as late as the 16th. Usually it’s somewhere between the 12th and the 14th. The last two months he’s paid child support on the very last day of the month.

It all comes down to feeling helpless. He walks around doing whatever he wants, paying whenever he wants, thinking he makes all the rules. I can’t do a single thing to change this. Oh, I realize I can take him to court. I can garnish him. That’s where my power ends. And until my lawyer gets her ass in gear I can’t even do those things. Instead I wait and I repeat, “Let it go. Let it go. Let it go.”

Update: Sometimes you just have a bad day and let bad thoughts overwhelm you. I’m doing much better already. He’s an ass. Life is unfair. I’ll carry on. I’m sure I’ll be fabulous as well.

4th And 1

On this day 24 years ago I was heading towards the church at about 80 mph.  Despite my hair stylist’s assurance that “you’re the bride; they’ll wait for you!” I felt it would be rude to be late for my own wedding and I really didn’t want my groom to think I was standing him up at the altar.

On this day 5 years ago in 2013 and then again the next year in 2014 I so desperately wanted to shout out, “Happy Anniversary to my better half.  Looking forward to the next x years!”  But I couldn’t.

Five years ago on Aug. 14, 2013 I found out my upstanding husband was engaged in a long distance emotional affair with another woman.  A woman who, it turned out, was his cousin.  We made the decision to reconcile but even so whenever our anniversary rolled around I would be overcome with sadness.  I couldn’t tell everyone it was my anniversary and have well wishers wishing me a happy anniversary when it was a farce.  My wedding vows had been broken.  There had been another woman- a woman he at one point claimed to love, discussed a future with, sexted with.  A woman who sent him naked pictures and claimed to be able to “envision a future with him.”  How could I ever celebrate our anniversary again?  I would fall into a funk which would last for several days.

I thought 2015 would finally be the year I was able to face our anniversary and be able to look at our entire history instead of a 3 1/2 month period.  I thought that would be the year I could really celebrate our anniversary and focus on our future instead of lamenting the past.  I had high hopes for December 10, 2015.  Unfortunately on August 10th of that year I found out my husband was involved yet again with this woman he had once claimed was his biggest mistake, a midlife crisis. He told me he should have bought a motorcycle instead. He was certainly riding something. This time it transitioned into a physical affair. Pretty much one year to the day that our furniture was being delivered to our new house from across the country my husband chose to meet up with his cousin, Harley, instead of going on vacation with his family.

December 10, 2015 was the first “anniversary” I spent in limbo. My marriage was over. My life was blown apart. There would never be an anniversary to celebrate, to ignore, or to grin and bear and get through. I celebrated with my children. They were the best things to come out of that disaster of a marriage so I decided to do something to celebrate them. We went to Olive Garden which was, ironically, in the city with the same name as the whore’s city. My daughter gave me a gift, thinking it was up to her to make that day special for me now that her dad had relieved himself of such responsibility.

December 10, 2016, the second one post D-Day, I was working two jobs. I probably worked 14-16 hours that day. First at Target, going in at 2 am, and then moving on to Kohl’s and working 12-8. I just remember my feet throbbing from being on them all day, and me hobbling around the store, trying to do some Christmas shopping with my employee discount.

Last year, the third one post D-Day, still in limbo, I was in Louisville at a cheer competition. The mobster was supposed to be with us but thanks to CF snooping around on my Facebook page we were both wary of what he was up to so we canceled our plans. Instead of spending a fun filled weekend together, cheering on Rock Star, I navigated a huge competition hall by myself (first cheer competition ever as well!) and sat alone as I watched my daughter compete.

Today marks the first time I have officially been divorced on what used to be my anniversary. This year I went to work. After work I stopped at a store to buy lunch meat, cheese, and bread for Picasso, and picked out some ornaments. I have a holiday dinner tomorrow and we’re exchanging ornaments. I also picked out one to add to my polar bear Christmas tree which is in hibernation, one for my niece, and one for the mobster’s son and his wife.

I did my best to treat it like any other day. In fact, every time I had to type out the date instead of thinking, “Oh, that’s my anniversary,” I would tell myself, “It’s just another day.” And it is. I have a knack for remembering dates so they don’t ever really go away, but the significance is definitely fading. Even though this is the fourth one since I’ve found out my husband is a lying, cheating liar and cheater, it is the first one since my divorce. I think that next year it will be even more insignificant. It will be but a small blip on the radar, if it even registers. As always I’m hoping that the mobster will be up here and we can spend it together.

Here’s to more insignificant days.

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!

More Bad Advice

My apologies in advance. I’m not completely familiar with this blog so I’m not sure if cheating was a part of this story or not. I’m not sure it really matters in regards to the overall advice, but it definitely doesn’t fit when you’re dealing with a cheater.

A while back I read an article entitled: The 7 Life-Changing Benefits of Treating My Ex-Wife Well After Divorce. Hmmm… sounds like something Cousinfucker needs to read. And therein lies the problem. I suppose it could be great advice if you’re dealing with someone normal. Unfortunately, there are many of us out there that aren’t dealing with normal.

My first objection was when he talked about the worst day of his life being the day he found out his wife was in a new relationship. Now, I’m not sure how long after she packed her stuff and left him this was but I keep going back to the whole, “Just because we’ve had children doesn’t mean we don’t have human emotions anymore.” Jeez Louise, we are human beings! We are imperfect. I would imagine that if someone has just ripped your heart out of your chest, cut your time with your child in half (at least!) and is now happily moving on with someone else, even potentially someone he/she began “dating” while you were still married, the first thought in your mind wouldn’t be, “Oh, I’m so happy for my ex! They’ve got someone new while I cry myself to sleep every night. Well, that’s only fair and right. After all, they deserve to be happy and I deserve to be miserable.”

No! You’re probably going to think bad thoughts. You might even hope bad things happen to that person. You know what? That’s okay! As long as you don’t have the power to make things happen just by thinking them you’ve done nothing wrong. And if you do have the power to make things happen just by thinking them please think that I’ll soon buy the winning Powerball ticket.

My second objection came when he said that usually the first or only “bad” thing he learns when dating a fellow single parent is how much of a dick the father is to the mother. That alone wouldn’t have raised my hackles. It’s when he goes on to say: Fair or not, marrying and conceiving children with someone capable of THAT much assholery reflects poorly.

Ummm…. excuse me but when I married my own asshole he wasn’t an asshole. I married a man who had graduated from an extremely prestigious school. He had been a standout in football, a wrestler, a baseball player supposedly who caught the eye of a major league team, a team captain in multiple sports, a certifiable genius. He was described by others as shy, introverted, geeky even. He didn’t come across as arrogant or an asshole.

These guys are good at what they do. They know how important it is to put on an act until their victim is firmly entrenched and has nowhere to go.

Yes, it was my fault I rushed into things. I thought I was far enough along in life that I knew what I wanted and that we were a perfect match. And to be fair to him, although he definitely had his little quirks throughout all of our marriage he wasn’t completely bad all the time. Even the things I bitched about in my Bitch List Parts 1-14 didn’t come along until much farther into the relationship. Him being a complete and utter lying, cheating cousinfucking piece of shit didn’t come until he began his affair and he lost control of me and my reactions.

I digress. Here is his list of the 7 benefits and why I think most of them don’t amount to a hill of beans in my situation.

  1. Reciprocated cooperation is very helpful.

Oh, I’m sure it is. And I would never suggest to someone to not cooperate just for the sake of not cooperating. Like the author says, your best friend or sister is having a wedding and it doesn’t fall on your weekend, how great for you and the ex to be able to exchange weekends. If the kid needs to go see a doctor or dentist and you can’t take him or her, how great if you and the ex can coordinate schedules so that the appointment is taken care of and your child gets whatever care he or she needs. It’s fantastic if little Hayden leaves his soccer cleats over at Dad’s house on Mom’s time and Mom can just call up Dad and swing by, or have Dad swing by her house. Awesome!

It’s also not the end of the world if that doesn’t happen. Mom buys a set of cleats; Dad buys a set of cleats. Appointments aren’t made if that parent can’t get it done. Or instead of relying on the ex to step in and do it, maybe you depend upon a relative or a friend.

Again, I think cooperation between divorced parents is fantastic. I also fully believe that even if Cousinfucker still lived in the same town (or hell, at this point even the same state!) there would be no cooperation because he can’t and won’t face his kids. Cooperation would look like this:

Please, Cousinfucker, I’m begging you! Can you please take off from work to take Rock Star to her doctor’s appointment? I have no vacation time left after all of our court dates and she needs to see someone ASAP. Please, for the love of God, would you do something for your children just once?

And he would look at me and reply: It’s not my problem. You’ve turned them against me. You deal with it all.

Because that’s who he is. He didn’t help out with them when we were married. I’m sure as hell not expecting any help now that we’re divorcing. Plus, there’s that pesky little problem that he moved 6-7 hours away from his kids so even if I were to debase myself and ask him for help he wouldn’t be available because he’s too busy playing daddy of the year to her kids.

In the final analysis I will concede that point to him. Cooperation is very helpful and if you can cooperate that’s a beautiful thing. Good for you. However, don’t feel guilty or like you’re a bad parent if that’s not possible in your situation. I would even go so far as to say if you are repeatedly knocked down whenever you try being civil and cooperative, STOP IT!

2. I get to know things I wouldn’t and freak less

The author seems to think that the only reason he knows things about what goes on with his child when he’s not around is because he communicates with his ex. He also lists his ex being willing to spoon feed him the dates of sporting and school events as a perk of treating her well.

I have definitely heard of parents who refuse to let their kids speak to the other parent when said kids are with them. I think that stinks. I applaud those parents who will let the other parent have unlimited access to them on their time. But that has nothing to do with treating your ex well. It has to do with treating your child well. Sure, when your child is crying because he or she doesn’t get to talk to you whenever they are with the other parent it must destroy something inside of you. The reality though is your ex is hurting your kid every bit as much as they’re hurting you. I guess I don’t look at that as treating your ex well. I look at it as respecting your child and being sympathetic to their needs.

I’m also going to be very blunt and say that playing secretary to my ex is no longer in my job description. Either he needs to tell his whore to get on the website and keep track of that for him because he’s far too important to do such menial tasks, or he can figure it out himself. OR, and here’s a really radical idea, he can talk to his children!!!! I know. Mine are a bit older. They are 15 and 17. I’m going to go out on a limb though and say even a child younger than that can offer up such helpful tidbits as, “I’m playing soccer!” or “I started swimming lessons!” or “We’re having a big program at our school. We’ve been rehearsing every day for two weeks now.” It’s amazing the things kids will tell you when you talk to them.

I think that gets to the heart of it. Even at a young age if being an involved parent is important to you then you’ll figure out a way to get it done. You’ll talk to your child. Even a very young child can tell you what they’re doing or going to do. I’m sure that even at four or five, if they know they’re going to the zoo or an amusement park or some other big trip that they’re excited about they can tell you they’re looking forward to it. They may not have all of the details but they can certainly let you know something is about to happen. At that point you may want to follow up with the other parent. Or not. If I found out through my kids that good ol’ Daddy was planning on taking them to the zoo one weekend what more exactly do I need to know?

Most of his concerns seem to revolve around things that parents either have no obligation to report or should be sharing with the other parent regardless of how they feel about one another.  Here’s a quick for instance for you- when Rock Star hurt herself this past summer I let CF know. I didn’t do it because we have a cooperative relationship. I didn’t do it because he treats me so well. Hell, you all know he treats me like crap. I did it because it was the right thing to do. Because even though he’s a shitty father who hasn’t set eyes on his kids in over 18 months he is her father and I thought he had a right to know. Furthermore, I felt I had an obligation to inform him. Period. It had nothing to do with our relationship.

3. Being together isn’t the worst time ever

Apparently, one of the benefits of treating your ex well is that when you have to be together because your child is involved in activities it’s FUN! If you didn’t treat each other well then maybe one of you would end up skipping out on events and that would make little Amelia sad.

He goes on to say that he and his ex are often in the same place at the same time. They are both there to support him. In fact, many people probably don’t even realize they are no longer married because they are such great friends and treat each other so well.

I admit I’m being a smart ass and this guy probably doesn’t deserve it. This type of thinking, however, drives me batty! I do not need to like my ex nor do I need to have a supportive relationship with him in order to attend my kids’ events. I’m going to be there come hell or high water. I don’t need to talk to him. I don’t need to sit with him. And I can assure you that if he were ever so stupid as to bring the whore or any of her kids with him when he came to “support” his actual children I would not be schmoozing with any of them. We would not carry on as one giant, happy family. No, I am not friends with my husband’s whore. I am not friends with the woman who fucked my husband and helped cause the destruction of my family. I am also not friends with the man who was supposed to be my partner in life, who I was supposed to grow old with, and who ended up lying to me, gas lighting me, and making a complete and utter fool out of me. I call those people enemies. I don’t choose to share my life with those types of people.

Yes, I realize it’s always easier when everyone gets along and there is no stress or strain. Unfortunately, that’s not how it always plays out. So grow up, put on your big boy pants and get to the ball game or the concert or the school assembly and support your kid. Not because you’re absolutely giddy at the thought of getting to spend some quality time with your ex, but because you want to be there for your child. You don’t need to sit with the other parent. You don’t need to talk to the other parent. You just need to be there for your kid.

4. Our son is happy and healthy

Yes, none of us with less than stellar relationships with our exes have happy, healthy kids.

And once again there is more of this, “If you speak or behave in any way that is hostile or otherwise shitty to your ex-spouse, your children will know it and feel stressed and generally uncomfortable any time you’re all together, or even just in phone call situations. Being intentionally shitty to your ex is in many ways being intentionally shitty to your children.”

Oh please! My kids are stressed out because their father is a liar and a cheater who deliberately and with no thought of them whatsoever, destroyed their home and their lives as they knew them. They are stressed because we were forced to move out of our family home and they had to leave behind yet another set of friends. They are stressed because they had to start all over. They’ve gone from having a mom who stayed at home and was available to them all the time to having a mom who at one point was working two jobs and was very rarely available to them. They’re stressed because their dad refuses to pay his court ordered child and spousal support which allows me to keep their lives somewhat stable.

All of the stress they’re experiencing is because of their father’s behavior; it is not because we are not best buddies. Their father has done everything in his power to make us miserable and to make things difficult for us. There really isn’t a whole lot I can do except keep trudging along, being the sane yet impoverished parent.

I do my best not to put him down. In fact, I have gone out of my way to remind them of the good things he’s done in the past. If you ask my mother she will tell you that I have shielded them way too much from his shitty behavior. But I will not lie to them. If they ask me a question I’m going to answer truthfully. There is a difference between being shitty and being honest. Sadly, too often when cheaters (and I’m not calling the author a cheater; in fact, I don’t think he is) speak of not tearing them down in front of the kids what they really mean is, “Hey, I need you to lie for me! Keep up my good guy image so they don’t know what a shitty person I am. And if you won’t then I’m going to accuse you of damaging our kids.”

Generally speaking the people I know of who have kids who are struggling don’t have struggling kids because the parent isn’t speaking highly of the other parent. They are struggling because of something that other parent is actually doing.

5. You preserve important friendships

Apparently, the author believes that you should treat your ex well so that all of your friends will still like you. Because they have conflicting loyalties and if you’re honest about the ex’s bad behavior that may make them uncomfortable and they won’t want to be your friend.

Oh no! Whatever will I do when someone tells me they can’t choose sides and they love us both? What should I do when someone wants to support us both even when I’ve done nothing to deserve the abuse my ex is heaping upon me? I know! I’ll get new friends! Problem solved.

It might be an overly simplistic way to look at it but when you’re going through a divorce, even one that doesn’t involve infidelity or abuse, you need support. The last thing I’m going to worry about is whether or not my so called friends are offended by my vitriol towards this person who has caused me immeasurable pain. In fact, if they are offended by this because they think my ex is so wonderful then they are not my friends. They’re my ex’s friends.

I’ve heard it said before that divorce shows you who your true friends are. Maybe that is true and in that case you probably should weed out those who feel no loyalty whatsoever to you. It’s good to know where you stand and who has your back.

6. You’re not a messy, walking contradiction

Alright, full on honesty here. This is the one that really made my jaw drop. I will quote this since I’m not sure my paraphrasing can do it justice:

Don’t act like you didn’t love- or don’t still currently love- your ex-spouse. It’s a lie and you can’t trick yourself no matter how much we’d all like to.

He goes on to say:

If you want to live a balanced, healthy life where things aren’t constantly shitty and dysfunctional, it’s important that your actions reflect your true values and feelings. When you dislike someone but act like you like them, it becomes this gross, slimy, fake and all-around inauthentic display that most healthy people can identity right away…

You’re always going to feel just off if you spend your life doing things that don’t reflect your true feelings and intentions.

So. Just own it. You loved, and to some extent, still love the person you chose to marry and have children with.

What. The. Ever. Living. Fuck. I almost have no words. Almost.

Here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter if I loved him or not. What matters is now. We could argue that at one point John Wayne Gacy was a cute little boy and his mother loved him so much and he had so much potential. Yeah. But the reality is he grew up to be a serial killer and that’s what we’re dealing with now. Memories are great, but not when they obscure reality. We need to deal with what is and not what was.

I have said many times I lost every feeling I ever had for Cousinfucker when I found out what he was doing. It doesn’t matter that I loved him once. What matters is that he moved me and our kids across the country and then after buying a brand new house, a brand new car, brand new furniture to fill the brand new house, and a brand new $57,000 inground swimming pool he began lying to me and cheating on me with the skank again. I’m not going to dwell on my feelings of love or the nice things he did 15 years ago. I’m going to focus on the fact that he started taking money out of our marital bank account and giving it to his whore, all while lying to me and telling me he was sending it to his mom. Or that when he was telling me he was buying new phones for his mom and stepdad he was really buying them and paying the bill for his whore and her daughter. I’m going to focus on the fact that he forced us out of our home after losing his job and has never consistently paid his court ordered support since then. I’m going to focus on the fact that he abandoned his children without saying a word to them. He moved out of the house and out of the state and didn’t blink an eye. He can’t do enough for four children who don’t belong to him and who have a loving, involved father while he neglects his own. He never did even half of what he does for the whore’s kids for his own. Those feelings I once had for him? Aren’t going to do shit for me now. That person I loved is gone. He was replaced by a known liar and cheater. I Do. Not. love him. I don’t even like him.

There is absolutely no contradiction in my feelings at all. Just because I married someone and had children with them doesn’t mean my feelings can’t evolve and change due to their shitty behavior. Believe me, I get the whole, “I’ll always have fond feelings for this person,” sentiment. That’s not for people who have napalmed your life. CF has done so many awful things to me and our kids in the last two years the only contradiction would be if I claimed I did still love him in some way. I can assure anyone reading this that I am not the least bit moved by the fact he is, unfortunately, the father of my children. The only feelings I have towards him are anger and hatred. I am eagerly awaiting the day when I feel nothing at all, one way or the other, towards him. When he registers as nothing more than any other stranger on the street.

7. You get to be you again by healing much faster

You’re going to have to read this for yourself because I’m not entirely sure what he’s getting at here. I suppose it’s more of this enlightened thinking where he has found happiness and purpose by putting aside all thoughts and feelings of anger and unhappiness towards his ex. By treating her with love and respect and reframing their divorce as a “new type” of love he can successfully navigate the murky waters of divorced parenting. It’s more of the, “Let go of the anger and bitterness” advice. Be buddies with the person who gutted you and then you’ll once again be happy.

He mentions in the beginning that his divorce could be a lifelong prison sentence if he chose to be super involved in his kid’s life and a massive asshat to his child’s mother. Again, I think that’s short sighted. If you want to get along with your ex, if they haven’t done something egregious to you, or if you just like getting kicked in the throat repeatedly, go for it! There is another alternative, though. You can be super duper involved in your kid’s life, not be a massive douche but also not be friends with your ex.

You’re cordial if necessary. You cooperate if possible. You provide necessary information. But you also stay on your side of the bench. You don’t go out for drinks afterwards. You aren’t buddy buddy. You don’t call each other up and chat for hours. It’s almost like a client relationship. You are cordial. You take care of business. And then you go on your way.

He also talks about how he found meaning in the truth and in the meaning he found forgiveness and in forgiveness he found the big one- love. He goes on to say:

It looks nothing like the love we’d promised each other standing on that alter, young and ignorant. But I’m pretty sure it can be enough. In fact I think it already is.

Again I have no feelings of love for my STBX. I don’t want to feel any feelings of love towards him. I wouldn’t be interested in dating a man who said he still loved his ex. I don’t understand why we’re trying to get to a consensus of some sort of love between exes. You’ve discarded the relationship. You don’t get to whine that they no longer love you. Yeah, we know! If they did they’d still be married to you. Is it not enough to simply respect the relationship your children have with the other parent and to get on with your new life which doesn’t involve the ex in any way? Is it not enough that we’re not interfering in or trying to make things more difficult in the ex’s life? Must we now profess to be buddies and have to hang out and talk to each other all the time? I kinda think if that’s what my ex wanted then he shouldn’t have cheated on me. If that’s what some non-cheating ex wants then maybe they shouldn’t have ended the marriage.

It’s the end of a marriage, the end of a relationship. You don’t get to end it and then cry foul when that person wants nothing to do with you. You especially don’t get to whine and cry when you’ve lied and cheated and done other horrible things and the person you’ve abused, for lack of better word, no longer wants to be around you or have anything to do with you.

I realize even the author and some of his commenters mention that this advice is only helpful when you are dealing with someone else who is sane. Sadly, I think it’s almost a foregone conclusion that if you really need his advice you’re not going to take it. The cheater in my situation will never recognize himself in any of that. He’s perfect. I’m the problem.

If you don’t need it then you’re going to experience some guilt because you’re not doing any of those things. You might feel like you are somehow failing your kids. If only I could just eat this one last shit sandwich then things would go better for them. If only I could humiliate myself one final time then my ex would do the right thing.

The problem is so many people see this and they begin to feel guilty that they can’t or won’t do these things. Here’s the truth: You are not obligated to be friends with your ex. You are not obligated to have any kind of a relationship with them. The only thing you are responsible for is not thwarting a relationship between him/her and the kids. Too often those of us who have already been kicked repeatedly while we’re down are expected to just take some more abuse in the name of the children. Meanwhile, the people that really need that advice go along their merry little way, doing whatever their little heart desires. I’m not down with that. I plan on helping to write a new narrative. One that says speak your truth and take no shit!

Trying To Make Sense of the Nonsense

 

March 2015

Let’s see them hack into this!  There is more than one way to skin a cat. At this point I switched over to journaling on my computer.

I’ve been thinking.  A lot.  Mainly about Jezebel and her comment, my favorite, about how he deserves so much better than me.  About my husband’s comment to his other sister, how it’s been 2 years and why can’t we just move on? About that sister and her snide message to me about me worrying about the house and then turning around and booking airline tickets. About being grateful.  About accepting reality.  About moving on. About pain shopping, which dovetails nicely with moving on.

OK, we’ll tackle moving on first.  It’s very difficult to move on when your husband doesn’t do the few basic things you’ve asked for in order to reconcile.  I told him that 1. He needed to send Harley a text and end things with her.  I wanted to see the text to prove that he actually sent it, and he was to have absolutely no contact with her after that. 2. He was to give up all passwords to me and remove the passcode from his phone. 3. We were going to attend marital counseling. 4. He was to never discuss our marital issues with Jezebel again.  What did he do?

Well, instead of sending her a text and ending it, he says he called her and ended it.  That’s nice, but that’s not what I wanted.  I had a purpose behind wanting you to send a text.  I wanted to see it in black and white.  I wanted to see him write:  My wife knows about you.  She gave me an ultimatum.  I choose her.  We’re done.  Don’t contact me ever again.  Did I get that?  No, I got the replay of his supposed phone call to her. And then I got her text which makes it look like he actually chose her and she ended it.  Furthermore, his response to her was based on not wanting to hurt her.  He felt bad for her.  Her- the mistress of 3 1/2 months.  Not me, the wife of almost 19 years.  I got a reply about honor and duty and obligation.  Not love.  Not choice.  Am I supposed to believe him without proof when I vividly recall asking him if she was worth losing his wife and kids, and he replied he knew he didn’t want to lose his kids?  Am I supposed to believe him when he would have sex with me and then turn around and walk out our door and text her good morning and then precede to talk to her on his entire 30 minute drive to work every.fucking.morning?  That is some strong faith, and if I’m not there yet so be it.  I figure I mainly believe him.  I only have doubts some of the time.  It’s been 2 years?  Nah, not really.  We’re coming up on 2 years of your half hearted confession where you couldn’t even admit you were doing something wrong, or that she was your whore.  You tried to make it sound like she was one of many and it was just a little texting.  No, it wasn’t.  It was her, and only her.  And you were telling her you loved her and you were telling other people you loved her and she made you happy and you were going to marry her. On top of that, you two were talking about sex and what all you were going to do to each other, and you were talking about a future together and she was sending you naked pictures.  It’s been 2 years since you tried to confess and pull the wool over my eyes at the same time.  It hasn’t been 2 years since I discovered the truth.  We’re at about 18 months for that.  18 months since I found out the extent of your lies and betrayal.  18 months since you told me you didn’t want to lose your kids.  18 months since you told me you hadn’t been happy in years.  18 months since you admitted that you two talked about sex, and how much you loved each other, and how much you wanted to be together.  18 months since you told me you two really really liked each other. 18 months since I received The Saint’s FB message asking me if I had gotten a good lawyer yet.  And we’re at 16 months since I discovered you bragging to your nephew about marrying her, after insisting to me that you two had no concrete plans.

So that’s part of the not able to move forward movement.  I don’t know.  I don’t know what their plans were.  I don’t know what all they talked about.  I don’t know how far into the planning it got. I don’t know that I was his first choice. I have no proof of that. Again, for all I know he called her up right after he got off the phone with me and told her I knew and I’d issued an ultimatum.  And then he told her she was his soul mate, his one true love, his very best friend, and the love of his life and there was no way he could give her up.  For all I know he told her, “I choose you, Harley!”  And Harley, being the manipulative, deceitful cunt that she is warned him that if I got wind of his choice that I’d probably run.  Maybe she even reminded him that I already had airplane tickets to fly to my home state in 2 days.  “If you want to keep your kids around, then you need to make sure she thinks you chose her.”  And then the good little whore proceeded to tell her husband she was leaving.  And her husband said, “Fine, but you’re not taking the kids.  They’re all disgusted with their whore of a mother.”  That’s when Harley finally realized she and my husband weren’t going to be forming their own version of the Brady Bunch, that there might be bumps in the way, and that the path to true love was not going to be a smooth one.  Maybe her kids gave her a ration of shit.  Maybe the two oldest told her they weren’t going to live with her.  It was at this point she decides it’s just not going to be worth it and that’s when she sends her bleeding heart text to Zack.

Is that really all that crazy?  Why is that version any less believable than the one he told me about?  At least in the second version I have her text ending it. It would be lovely if, instead, I had a text from him ending it.

What else did he do?  Well, he did in fact give me his passwords and take the code off his phone.  And to his credit he did recently offer to have my thumb print be one of the prints that could open his phone.

Marriage counseling?  He went but he didn’t really participate, and our counselor told us that is was pretty much a waste of time after 3 or 4 sessions. If we ever went again I think it would be interesting to hear his side of everything that happened.  It seemed to be mainly me talking because he didn’t much participate. I’ll give him credit for going when he didn’t want to, but I’m not giving him credit for anything else.  He didn’t participate and I don’t think we got much out of it. At this point in time I’m tired and I’m not willing to go again so I guess he’s safe.

And not discussing our marriage difficulties with Jezebel?  We both know that one went completely off the rails.  He performs a fucking Shakespearean soliloquy when he’s telling everyone all my faults and everything I’m doing to him, and I get a fucking one line reprieve when he pulls his head out of his ass.  I know that’s not a kind way to put it, but it pisses me off. And upon looking up how to spell soliloquy that’s not really the best description.  That’s what I perform on a daily basis when I’m raging!

That brings me to another point- the concept of the man in the middle. There is a poster on a board I like to read and she often says that many times you can look to the man in the middle as the source of conflict.  I’ve thought about that a lot and I believe it’s true, even with this.  He throws me under the bus to Jezebel, goes on and on and on about how horrible I am, and then says, “Oh, my bad!”  Is it any wonder she hates me?  He doesn’t tell her the good stuff.  He’s too busy getting his head patted when he’s the poor, oppressed little brother married to the evil, awful wife who uses him as a handyman and a paycheck. Man in the middle.  Have no doubt, I’m still not pleased with her encouraging him to leave me when he was fucking around.  And I’m definitely not pleased with her latest round. But he poured gasoline on the fire, and he did something I told him not to do ever again.

His mom and stepdad are another case in point.  I told him in therapy I didn’t like how Pastor Fake was gushing over Harley’s picture.  It was hurtful.  His attitude was, “I can’t control what he does.”  Then shortly thereafter his mom gets online and tells her she’s sooooooo pretty.  I unfriend them (they were sharing an account at the time) and probably blocked them at the time.  Undoubtedly unfriended them from my daughter as well, and blocked them.  I know she must have asked about it but instead of coming to me and saying, “Hey, what happened?  My mom says she’s blocked on both your and our daughter’s page,” he acts like he can’t control anything.  I keep thinking that if he had only pulled his mom aside in the beginning and said something along the lines of, “I know I created this mess, but if the two of you want to have a relationship with my wife and kids you’re going to have to distance yourself from my mistress.  It is upsetting to my wife to see the two of you acting all chummy with the woman I cheated on her with.  We both know we can’t control you and you can both do exactly as you want.  But I’m here to tell you that there is no way you can have Harley in your lives and have my wife and kids in your lives.  So you’re going to need to make a choice.”  Or even a much shorter, condensed version:  My wife can see you two gushing all over Harley, joking with her, telling her how pretty she is. You know that I cheated on her with Harley; therefore, she has no desire to associate with anyone that wants to be a part of Harley’s life.  It’s that plain and simple. You can have a relationship with my wife, or one with my mistress but you can’t do both. (Believe me, I tried! ba-dum!!!).

I think that’s part of not being able to move on, as well. I think I have made tremendous progress in accepting the fact that his parents will never turn their backs on Harley.  They will always be kind to her.  They will always compliment her.  She will always be around.  And I, in many ways, am forced to accept that. I’m forced to accept the fact that I will never be around for any family events because I don’t know if the whore will be there or not, and I don’t want to be there if she is.  I’m forced to accept (and I know this is morbid) that when his mom dies I’m going to be going through 3 levels of hell.  I’m going to have to deal with Zack and his grief, I’m going to have to deal with his bitch of a sister, and more than likely, his whore will show up. It’s very difficult to move on and forget about her when she is front and center all the time, or at least it feels like that.  She was praying for my husband last month.  Praying for him!  She has a front seat into the window of our lives.  Anything my in-laws post on FB about us, about my kids, that bitch can see. How do you move on from that? How do you move on from your in-laws thinking that your husband’s whore is a swell person?  I keep expecting her to show up at Thanksgiving and for them to offer up the use of their bedroom so he can fuck her.

I read about pain shopping yet again yesterday.  It’s not so much that I want to do that, it’s more I don’t want to be ambushed.  I guess when you don’t feel safe or confident you continue to look over your shoulder.  I don’t know that I was his first choice.  Hell, I don’t even know for certain that he’s not back in contact with her again.  I don’t know that someone won’t throw facts at me, facts of which I have been completely unaware of for over a year, which might result in my own downward spiral. I don’t look on her page that often.  I check every now and then to see if she’s got a new profile picture up.  I occasionally check my in-laws’ pages to see if she’s commenting or liking certain things.  Of course she is!  Good ol’ Harley can’t fade into the background. Oh no!  Look at me!  Look at me!

I know I’ve said it before and I will say it again.  Not knowing the bitch is being welcomed with open arms by all who know about her and Zack doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.  And closing my eyes and pretending like as long as I don’t see it everything is ok, is just living in a fairytale.  It does no one any good.  Eventually, you wake up and you discover the truth and you feel betrayed.  I’d just as soon get it out of the way.

I guess what it boils down to is can I accept what happened?  Sure.  I can accept it.  Doesn’t mean I like it.  Just like accepting who my in-laws are.  It hurts me very much knowing they can embrace the woman that almost tore my life apart.  But, I accept that that is who they are. When I am with them I enjoy being with them and I love them.  However, I will never have a close relationship with them again.  I simply cannot do that, not when they are still in contact with Harley and act like she has done nothing wrong. I will never be willing to go out of my way for them again. I don’t call.  I don’t confide.  I let Zack handle it. Honestly, I prefer to keep my distance because I’m afraid I’ll be sucked in if I get too close.

Can I accept the fact that I’ve been moved 2000 miles across the country to live in this Godforsaken town where I know almost no one?  Sure.  It’s reality.  I can pretend I don’t live here but what good would that do? I can pretend that we can go back to our former state but I know that we can’t.  Whose job is he going to take?  Especially when they just got a new GM and a new PM less than a year ago.  Where will we live?  Are we going to ask the new residents of our home to kindly move out because we’d like our house back?  No. If I’m being perfectly logical most newcomers to the area head over to two up and coming areas.  Our kids wouldn’t be going to school with their old friends; they’d be at a new school.  My daughter could go back to her old gym but she would be competing as a Level 8 once again, more than likely, and all of her former teammates would be 9s.  My son could play hockey again but he’s lost a year and he already started late so he’d be behind as well.  No, we are stuck here, at least for 7 years until they both have graduated from high school.  Then my husband can yank me away from my new life, and at the rate I’m going now that won’t be a bad thing. I’m so tired of hearing, “You need to get out there and meet people!  Volunteer! Take classes!”  Um, I’d love to meet people but that’s a little difficult when you’re 46 and not in school and don’t have a job. There are no classes to take. Quite honestly, I’m sick and tired of being the new person.  And volunteering?  Where would you suggest I volunteer?  The PTA?  They don’t seem to have many opportunities.  I’m supposed to go tonight for an after prom meeting where I will know no one and the woman in charge is going to ask me to solicit donations, which is something I absolutely hate to do. HATE IT! This gets me thinking that if everything PTA does needs to be funded with business donations I want no part in it. Oh, I also found out that I was sent an email to see if I wanted to volunteer at the book fair for the middle school.  It went to my junk mail and I didn’t get it until after the book fair was over. Lovely. I could go to a PTA meeting but again, I’m tired of putting myself out there.  I’m tired of being the new person.  I’m 46, for crying out loud!  My life should be settled.  I shouldn’t be scurrying around trying to find a whole new set of friends.

I tell myself to think back on all of our other moves.  OB was easy.  I had just turned 29 when we made the move. We went out with all of his co-workers.  And from that I became friends with some locals and they introduced us to other people. In the next state I started out by participating in an online group.  I got very lucky and those people met weekly.  I put myself out there and I joined their group. Gradually, other people joined in as well. Then, right before my daughter turned 2 I started going to church; when my son was an infant I volunteered to help in the nursery. A few months later I became a team leader in the nursery.  Gradually I did more. I became a small group leader.  I joined the meal team. I think when my son was around a year I joined MOPS.  I became part of the hospitality team with them.  I started a MOPS group at our church. I was there 6 years and it was gradual, but my calendar filled in.  Plus, it helped that I had family only 2 hours away. I think I found my online friends within the first 6-8 months. I was 31 when we moved back to State #2, just under 2 months before my 31st birthday. We moved a few months before I turned 38. In State #4 I think it began after I volunteered to join PTA.  It was about 5-6 months later.  The following year my daughter was competing so I made some friends that way. PTA just became a huge thing for me.  I met a ton of people that way.  And I met some people through my kids.  This time it just doesn’t seem as easy. I was 45 this time when I left. I’ve been here coming up on 8 months.  They have been the longest, loneliest 8 months of my life, I think. I don’t have online friends.  I don’t have a church. I don’t have PTA; it’s pretty much non-existent.  I certainly don’t have MOPS. My daughter competes alone most of the time. This next meet all of the girls meet together.  But here’s the thing:  most of the girls are young, like 10-11.  Their moms are young.  I don’t want to hang out with them.  I don’t need to be overrun with 30 somethings while I’m nearing death. I do have some parents I can sit with at the high school meets.  That’s nice.  But that’s it.  I know a few people on sight.  I’m still shocked when I run into someone I know at the grocery store because it happens so infrequently. I am grateful for the outpouring of support from the few people I do know when Zack was in the hospital.  Our neighbor called and offered to help with whatever we may need.  S offered to take my daughter to gymnastics.  C prayed for us and checked in on us, offering to run errands or bring a meal.  D took my daughter to gymnastics and grabbed food for both of my kids.  I felt very fortunate to have that help and those offers.

So, this is my reality.  I’m far from family.  I’m far from friends.  I’m not fitting in or finding a niche.  I really really hate it here.  I’ve booked tickets for me and Rock Star to go see the state gymnastics meet back in our former state at the end of the month.  I’m looking forward to that.  Can’t wait to be around friends again. Can’t wait to see all those cute little gymnasts that I get to cheer on for the first time this year.  I’ve missed this.

I’ll save Jezebel’s asinine comment about him deserving something better for later.

The Best Revenge

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I came across a meme the other day, very much like the one above. I also came across this:

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and this:

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Logically, I know that this is all good advice. I knew this way back when I was a mere 21 years of age. There was a guy that I dated for about a month. He dumped me for one of my best friends. I briefly fantasized about being an alcoholic and watching my life fall apart, and then quickly realized neither of them would really care about the mess I had made of my life.

The stakes are higher but it’s the same philosophy now, 25 years later. Me being miserable for the rest of my life won’t make CF or Harley feel bad. Hell, if anything it would probably make them ecstatic. The thought that I can’t make it without him has to be glorious news to Cousinfucker’s ears. I’m sure he takes great satisfaction in knowing that my life has fallen to shit and that I will never have anything to call my own again. There will be no more shopping trips, no more vacations, no more day excursions, no splurges. My kids will never have anything they want anymore. I can’t afford it and I doubt I ever will. That must make him and the whore so happy.

If I killed myself tomorrow, or was diagnosed with cancer, or just had a heart attack like I’m hoping for, he wouldn’t feel shame or regret or guilt. No, he’d be dancing on my grave, thanking me for letting him off the hook for child and spousal support. Oh, did I say thanking me? No, he’d never actually thank me. He would dance gleefully and probably shout out loud about how happy he was that I was so stupid and pathetic, though. Ding dong the witch is dead!

In my head I KNOW all of this. I know that the best revenge is living well. I know the best revenge is to be awesome and amazing and to show him that I don’t need him and that the kids and I are doing great without him. I don’t want to give him the satisfaction of seeing me suffer. I want him to hear that I’m doing awesome without him, that I have a full social life and I have a great career and I’m making money and I don’t need him to support me (although I will take his money- I earned every dime). I don’t want him thinking he’s broken me because, honest to God, I sometimes think that’s exactly what he tried to do with his cross country move.

I sometimes think he wondered to himself, “Hmmm… how can I destroy Sam? She’s way too happy for my tastes. I need to knock that bitch down a peg or two. How can I make her suffer? I know! I’ll move her across the country and take her entire life as she’s known it for the last eight years completely away from her. I’ll move her to a desolate place where she can’t get involved and will have few friends so that she must rely on me. I’ll give her everything she’s ever wanted. And then, when I’m the only one she has and when she has everything she’s ever wanted, I’m going to walk away and leave her empty handed and completely alone. She will never recover. Finally, she will know what it’s like to live life like me- never happy, always miserable.”

Yep, that about sums it up, I believe.

So knowing this, knowing I don’t want to be pitiful and knowing I don’t want him to beat me the question then becomes HOW do you do this? How do you rise? How do you live your awesome life? How do you find happiness in a world of gray repetition? It’s a nice little quote but it doesn’t offer much guidance.

How happy am I supposed to be when I’ve lost everything? I’ve lost my house. I own very few possessions. I live with my mother. My husband cheated on me with HIS COUSIN, for crying out loud. I work two jobs, both of which pay a whopping $11/hour. I’m NOT living a fabulous life. I’m just not.

It is demoralizing to get up every fucking morning at 3:20, work stocking shelves at Job #1 and then get ready to work as a damn bank teller for another 9 hours. And the end result isn’t a fantastic lifestyle. No, it’s being able to barely pay my bills, put food on the table and buy household necessities. Or as I prefer to put it: I don’t have to choose between wiping my ass and eating.

Rock Star wanted to know if I could take her clothes shopping. I had to tell her no. After years and years of being able to indulge her whenever she wanted to go shopping, I can’t drop even $100 on clothes for her once in a blue moon. I don’t find anything happy or fabulous about that.

She wants a car so badly. She was promised a car when she got her license. Then her dad lost his damn mind. There is no car, and again, I so badly want to make her happy. I would love to present her with an inexpensive car. Obviously, if I can’t afford to take her clothes shopping I can’t buy her a damn car.

I hate not being able to go places. I hate the fact that I won’t ever get to take my kids on vacation again. I hate not being able to spend money like I used to. It sucks! Anyone who says that money doesn’t buy happiness doesn’t know where to shop! The fact of the matter is money problems are the leading cause of arguments and disagreements within most marriages. It’s a huge stressor in people’s lives, and more than a few people have actually divorced over it. Money may not guarantee happiness but it certainly helps. I prefer not having to worry about how I’m going to pay my bills over worrying constantly.

Because I get up at 3:20 in the morning and don’t get home until around 6 every day I have no energy to go and do things after work. I think about volunteering somewhere but the truth of the matter is when I finally get a chance to go home I want to take it. I want to go home and chill for an hour or two before I need to go to bed so that I can get up and do it all over again.

I work 6 days a week most weeks.  That means I have one day to catch up on everything I need to do. While I do get off work by 9:30 at the latest on Saturdays keep in mind I’ve been up since 3:20 am. If I don’t take a nap on Saturday and I run around getting stuff done then I’m conked out early-  like 7:30 or 8:00.  I usually don’t want to go anywhere. It’s exhausting. If I go and do something and run all day on Sunday then that means I have to go another 6 days at full speed before I get another chance for any downtime.

Then we add in the fact that he moved me 2000 miles away from my life and then, just as I was adjusting, I was forced to move again. I have to start all over and I’m tired of starting all over. I’m tired of reinventing my life again and again. I’m in a town I don’t want to be in. My friends all have lives of their own. I do not have a jam packed social schedule. I don’t even have a moderately packed social schedule; the last time I went out with any friends was approximately 6 weeks ago. My friends who would have had me over for a night of drinking or who would have gone out with me or kept my mind off of the hell I’m living or who were actually going through the same crap all live 2000 miles away. I rarely go out and do anything with anybody I know. I’m tired of MeetUp groups. I have no desire to start attending church again. I can’t get involved at my kids’ schools because I work constantly. I can’t even help out at the track meets because you need to be there by 5 and I wouldn’t get there until at least 5:30.

So I don’t have this great new social life. I don’t have a life that is full of activities that I enjoy. They don’t exist anymore. I don’t know anyone. Or rather, I have about 3 people in my social circle and they are unavailable most of the time. Quite honestly I think I’m being very generous when I say I have 3 people in my social circle. I used to have PTA, and Bunko, my neighbors, my fellow gym moms. I was a hockey mom. I volunteered for my son’s T-ball team. I have none of that anymore. I will never have it again. That part of my life is gone. He made sure to take it all away. I don’t know what to fill it with. I don’t know where to go to get involved. I don’t have the time or inclination to do it anyway. Like I’ve said before I’m tired of wasting my time with dead end events that never go anywhere. I have no desire to go walk dogs or take hikes or to go out and sit in bars with people I don’t know and end up having nothing in common with.

Yet there is a part of me (a very small part) that says I need to somehow keep trying because I will never find a new, fabulous life sitting in my mom’s living room. I didn’t get my old life by sitting at home. I got it by putting myself out there and reaching out. I didn’t meet some of my very best friends by watching TV and eating cookie dough. I did it because my daughter was involved in gymnastics and I would sit with some of the same parents. Some of them I really clicked with and we are still friends today. But I wasn’t working 55 hours a week then either. If I wasted some time it was no big deal because I had plenty of it to spare.

There is a big race coming up this summer. I have thought about training so that I can run. I only have time to do a 5K, as opposed to a 10K. But let’s be realistic. I’m up at 3:20. I work from 4-7. I come home, get ready for my second job, and then work until 5:15 or thereabouts. I head to pick up my daughter and finally get home around 6. I honestly don’t see myself strapping on my tennis shoes and going out for a run. I’m a very slow runner so eventually running 3 miles would take me almost 40 minutes. Take a shower. Eat dinner around 7. After I’ve reheated it because my mom is not going to eat at 7. She’s got dinner ready no later than 6! And then I have maybe an hour or two before I need to go to bed.

I’ve even thought about joining a gym but the same questions plague me. When would I go? My mom usually goes in the morning. She doesn’t want to wait until 6 or later. Now I have to actually drive somewhere so that’s taking even more time.

I see people traveling and taking vacations. I don’t have the money for traveling or vacations. I see people getting involved in things they love. I don’t have the time and I don’t know what I love anymore. That’s the truth. Everything I enjoyed was taken away from me and now I have to start over yet again and I have no clue what I want to do if I even had time to do anything.

I sometimes think the reason forgiveness and this whole “living well is the best revenge” tripe is so popular is because they have all these nifty phrases. Vengeance gets a bunch of warnings and people pleading with you to take the high road. No wise words. No inspirational memes.

I don’t think I’m going to be getting any sort of “revenge” on Cousinfucker and Harley anytime soon. That’s okay, though, because I prefer Confucius’s warning about revenge:

 

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I’m fine with that. I’m willing to go down with the ship in order to take him down. It’s not like I have anything else. My happiness is nonexistent so I’ll stick with making sure I can make him miserable as well. Living that insanely happy life is probably a better form of revenge but I don’t think I’m ever going to get that so this is all I’ve got.

 

What If There Is No Life To Gain?

I wrote this post a few days ago. I actually rewrote it because the first edition was enough to make me want to slit my wrists. It was really pitiful. Believe it or not this is the sunnier version and it’s still not all that sunny. I wanted to post it anyway because despite having a fairly decent weekend, and despite having a more hopeful disposition in the past 24 hours, I spend most of my life feeling the way the post describes. Who knows? Maybe a change is a comin’. That would be delightful. For today, however, you’re left with this.

The motto over on Chump Lady is, “Leave a cheater, gain a life.” I’ve read many inspirational stories about people who have done just that. They’ve received promotions, went back to school, finished Masters or PhD programs, traveled, done fun things with their kids, remodeled or bought houses, got a new family pet, took back their lives, stopped walking on eggshells, found out that life without the cheater was fantastic, etc.  Good for them. Sincerely. These are the questions I’m always left wondering:  Did you have a job when you got divorced? How old were you when this happened? How long had you been married? Did you lose everything when you got divorced? Did you have to sell off all your furniture and belongings and leave whatever you couldn’t sell behind? Were you moved across the country and then forced out of your house, forced to move hundreds of miles once again, or do you still live in the same city? Did you have to yank your kids out of their schools once again and make them start all over? Did you move in with your mother or father or some other relative that took pity on you because without them you’d be homeless? Were you left with nothing but debt? Did your shithead ex quit his or her job after 15 years of making 6 figures and leave you destitute? Did a judge take pity on them and slash their support obligation by almost half? Were you old, fat and pretty much used up when they left for the shiny new whore?

I try very hard to hold on to that inspiration. To this belief that there is a new life out there to gain. A better life. One that will be so good that I won’t miss anything about my old life. But honestly? There is absolutely nothing that I find appealing about this new life I’m living. Believe me- I would love to say those words I just wrote: I have created a new life for myself and it is so much better than anything I lived with Cousinfucker. But the fact of the matter is, despite that 14 part bitch list I shared, I wasn’t unhappy.

I had things I enjoyed doing- Bunko, PTA, Teacher Appreciation, hockey and gymnastics for my kids. I got to travel for gymnastics meets, go shopping and buy whatever I wanted within reason, get my hair colored and cut at an actual salon instead of out of a crappy box and Great Clips. I knew lots of people. I had fantastic neighbors. I carpooled. I had lunch with friends. Hell, I had friends. I kept busy. I was able to go to all of my kids’ events. I drove them around everywhere. They were my life.

My husband wasn’t much of a partner or a father, but the kids and I got along without him. And he did join us occasionally, especially right after he was caught in his first affair. I figured out a way to be happy and fulfilled even if I didn’t have a husband who wanted to do everything with me and be by my side every minute of every day. I liked my old life, especially the one I had before we moved to Whoreville.

Now my life consists of drudgery. I work and I sleep and if I’m very very lucky I run my kids around. That’s it. I work approximately 55 hours a week. I work 6 days out of seven on a regular basis. I begin my day at 3:20 am, leave the house at 3:45 and get home sometime between 5:30 and 6:00 4 days out of 5. I dread pretty much every single day because it’s just more of the same- get up at an ungodly hour, go to work, come home, take Rock Star to school, head back home to get ready for the second job, go to work, come home, repeat. Also, make sure you’re in bed before 9 unless you’ve got to pick up a kid from a game or work. In between getting home from work and going to bed I enjoy the following fun activities: emailing teachers and/or counselors, making sure we still qualify for Medicaid, filing taxes, doing laundry, cleaning the bedroom, shampooing carpets, washing dishes, making dinner, feeding and watering the dogs, picking up Rock Star from practice, taking her and picking her up from work, and taking out the trash.

I know I should feel inspired by the stories on Chump Lady but I don’t. Every time I read them it’s like a kick in the gut once again. Promotion? Career thriving?  Making more money than I ever did when with the cheater? I didn’t even have a fucking job! I hadn’t worked outside of the home since early 1998! My big accomplishment was getting a seasonal part-time job that paid me $10.50-$11 an hour. I followed that up with getting a full-time job that also paid an amazing $11/hour. The kids and I live on approximately 15% of what we used to live on. It sucks. I hate being poor. The reality is he waited until I was middle aged and out of the workforce for far too long before he left. I don’t think I will ever get even close to living the same kind of life. I’m not sure I’ll ever even get to the point where I only have to work ONE job as opposed to two. There are not a lot of job opportunities for middle aged women who are starting over at the very bottom. Plus, we’ve already established that I suck at my new job so it’s not like this is going to lead anyplace.

Traveling? Having fun with my kids? I don’t have any money! Where the fuck am I going to travel? Hop in the car, kids! We’ll take a drive down the road, cross the state line and call it a vacation! Or maybe I’ll take them to Steak-n-Shake and we can get one of their $5 meal deals. No milkshakes, kids; Mommy is poor and Daddy is busy faking PTSD so that when he finally gets a job all of his money can go to his whore and her kids.

I remember one woman saying she created a scrapbook of things she and her kids had done since the divorce. I seldom do fun things with my kids anymore; again, I don’t have the money. Or the time. I also rarely see them anymore. Picasso is usually holed up in his room playing video games with his friends but even if he wasn’t I wouldn’t be around. Between my schedule and Rock Star’s schedule driving her to school and to work are about the only times I get to see her. Thank you, Cousinfucker, for ensuring that the last 2 years that my daughter lives at home I never get to see her. You chose to abandon her. I didn’t. And yet I’m the one that gets to continually pay for your choices.

Remodeling a house? Buying one on my own? Don’t. Make. Me. Laugh. I live with my mother, for crying out loud. If I didn’t we would be homeless. I’m not joking. I don’t make anywhere close to enough to pay rent somewhere, much less rent and utilities.

Finishing a Masters or PhD program? Snort. When exactly would I have time to go back to school between the two jobs and raising my kids? Something would have to give. It couldn’t be the jobs because I need those to pay my bills, take care of my kids, and pay for this magical schooling. Plus, I’m almost 48. I need to carefully consider whether or not someone would be willing to hire someone at my age fresh out of school. Getting discarded in your late 40s holds a few more challenges than being discarded in your 20s and 30s. Not as bad as being discarded in your 50s and 60s, I suppose, but still not a great position.

No longer walking on eggshells? Life being so much easier and stress free now that the cheater is gone? Pshaw! I have an uncanny ability to put up with tons of bullshit. It’s not like we ever walked on eggshells around Cousinfucker. If he was in a mood I just ignored him and left him to his own devices. He was probably sexting whores but I didn’t know that at the time. I just went along my merry way, doing my own thing while he pouted and sexted. I would say that this new life is the more difficult and stressful one.

Someone else said she took spin classes and met up with friends when her child was gone. After already putting in a 14 hour day I’m in no mood to do any exercise of any kind. Not spin class. Not yoga. Not aerobics. Nothing. Maybe, possibly, I might enjoy a good ol’ boxing or kickboxing class IF I can pin a picture of Cousinfucker and Harley on the bag and proceed to kick the shit out of it. Honestly, though? I’m probably too fucking tired to even do that. It all sounds great. Oh yeah, after work I’m going to lace up my running shoes and run 3 miles. Or, I’ll hit the yoga studio. Or, I’ll pretend I’m beating Cousinfucker and Harley to a fucking pulp at kickboxing class. The reality is that time kicks your ass. When you’re getting up at 3:20 in the morning 6 pm rolls around and you suddenly find yourself tired. You’ve been up for almost 15 hours by this time when most people have been up for maybe 12. Hell, I didn’t used to get up until after 7. You’ve put in a thirteen hour workday and you know you get to turn around and do it all over again the next day! It’s not like this is an aberration. No, this is your life.

Plus, Cousinfucker moved me away from all of my friends so it’s not like I have this huge support system and we get together and drink wine or do fun things together. The friends I have from my hometown have lived a life without me in it for 20 years now. Their lives are full and I make up only a tiny part of it. That would be fine if I actually had something to fill my life with outside of them; unfortunately, I don’t. So there isn’t much of a social support network.

They always counsel us to find something we are passionate about, something that we enjoy doing. I had those things. They were all taken away. I have roughly 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours each night to devote to “my passion”- if I never want to see my kids again. And if I can afford it. And if I’m not too tired. Or I can take my one day off each week and use that to devote to my unknown passion. Fuck the dishes. Fuck the laundry. Fuck the kids. It’s all about me. Only I’m not like that. I’m not going to desert my kids, especially not after their father has done so. I have so little time and I’m always tired so whatever I end up doing I would like it to be something that I really do love and care about. I don’t want to fill in space just to fill it in. That’s what all these Meetup groups feel like. I’m afraid that’s what church is going to feel like. That’s what I think a divorce support group will end up being.

I don’t know what I’m passionate about. Everything I knew and loved was taken away from me, even before Cousinfucker started fucking his cousin. My life as I knew it has been obliterated. It has been filled with work and poverty and trying to raise two kids while poor yet working nonstop. I hate it. I absolutely fucking hate what my life has become.

There is a part of me that says, “Try to get involved with a theater group. You loved that once.” But then there’s another part that says I’m too old to get any decent parts and yet another practical part that says, “Hey! Plays take an enormous amount of time and commitment. You don’t really have any time to spare. And if you do what’s going to happen to your kids? Are you going to abandon them, too? You’re already down to 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours a night with them. If you do this then you’ll really never see them. And who will get your daughter where she needs to be?” So I’m afraid that will be put on the back burner at least until I no longer have kids in the house, and probably indefinitely. Yet another thing I waited too long to reclaim.

I have no joy in my life. I have brief moments where I laugh at something funny one of my kids says. I occasionally will have a day where things are going right for me so I get a 24 hour period of relief. There was the moment my daughter finally was happy. I’m glad for her but I’m not happy. I don’t think I’ll ever be happy again.

For the most part I just exist. I’m numb. Life is neither good nor bad. It just is. I’m just here killing time, counting down the days, the weeks, the months, the years. My life consists of working all day long and then running to and fro for my daughter who doesn’t have her license yet. I don’t really look forward to anything. I don’t even look forward to or find joy in attending my kids’ events because it just means a longer day for me. It’s one more thing on my list of things to do and I’m already exhausted most days. The last thing I want to do is go for another 2 or 3 hours when I’ve already been going for a good 14 hours or more. I dread most days, actually. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve stumbled out of bed at 3:20 in the morning, got ready and headed off to Target and thought, “This is my life now.” There is a certain feeling of defeat when you realize that this is your life and it’s never going to get any better. You realize you are never going to live a good life again. You will never take another vacation. You will never get to travel to places you’d love to visit. You won’t be able to ever take your kids to DisneyWorld. You will never be able to go shopping or buy your kids things just because. You’ll never be able to give them grand gifts or surprise them with something they’ve wanted for a while. You will never own your own home; hell, you may not even be able to afford to rent your own apartment. You realize that you will struggle in poverty for the rest of your life. That you will always be pinching pennies and remembering the life you used to live- the one where you didn’t have to worry constantly, the one where you had a home of your own, the one where you had furniture and household belongings and friends and joy. It was a life I didn’t dread and wish away.

I keep hearing about this new and improved life. I really wish I could create it. Unfortunately, with the choices Cousinfucker has made I now must spend the bulk of my life working for very little money, which leaves very little left over to create any kind of new and wonderful life. I would love to report soon that I love my life, that I’m happy and content. First I heard give it six months. Then I heard give it a year. Now I’m hearing give it two years. Well, I’m a year and a half out from D-Day and I’m no closer to Meh or to a new and improved life than I was 2 weeks after that day. Perhaps I shall begin the countdown anew once we are officially divorced.

The Best Way To Let Go Of The Pain & Anger

August 2014

Because honestly, the best way to let go of the pain and anger of an affair is to craft a happy future where there really is no need to look back. If both people can get to this place, the anger usually will naturally just start to abate.

Wise words, and yet…. This is very difficult for me. It’s hard to focus on being happy and ignore the wrongs done. It goes back to my thoughts on our anniversary. I HATE the fact that I was wrong when I thought, “If you think things are bad now just wait until she finds out you’re cheating on her.” It feels all kinds of wrong to me to think that by lying and cheating he now gets a wife that tries to eliminate all of her faults, one who is always “on” for him, who will have sex even when not in the mood, who does her best to please him and seduce him and be his “girlfriend”. I text him all the time because his whore did that and he liked it. And I hate it. I hate that he got what he wanted by lying and cheating and humiliating me. I have to spend the rest of my life with the knowledge that my husband stepped out on me. I have to live with the knowledge he believed he loved another. I have to live knowing he talked of marrying her. I have to live with the knowledge that even though he “chose” me he did admit to still missing her, or at least missing what she represented and having a connection to that side of the family. I have to deal with the fact he didn’t want to hurt her and that it seems like he was more concerned with her feelings than mine. I have to live with the fact his nephew knows he cheated on me and was prepared to leave me for another woman. I wonder if he’ll think I’m just some stupid, naive horrible wife who had no idea how close I came to being dumped. I have to live with the knowledge his sister and her husband know all about my humiliation, how I was such a lousy wife that my husband sought out another. And even better is the fact they know her and like her and embrace her. The same goes towards everyone he sees while home- his mom, his stepdad, his step aunt, his cousin. I am expected to face these people all the while knowing they know my husband cheated on me and I was such a loser that I accepted it, took him back, and immediately started making changes in myself.

Don’t get me wrong. I know I sound forlorn. It’s from reading this stupid discontinued blog by a man who cheated. He says he’s not excusing cheaters but his posts and comments make it apparent he is. To listen to him an affair only starts (Ok, I’ll be fair. He does say the majority of affairs and not all of them. P.S. Research shows him to be wrong.) because the betrayed spouse is neglecting her partner, making him feel insignificant, and probably isn’t putting out often enough. The way to reconcile is to recognize how you made your husband cheat, that the other woman is a saint, and to basically say, “Oh, honey, I sure hope you’ll take me back and forgive me for being a horrible wife. Rest assured, your Royal Highness, I’ll never ask you questions about your affair; I’ll never get mad about your affair (afterall, how could I? It was my own fault!). You just let me know how you want this recovery to go. Any time you’re feeling uncomfortable you tell me and we’ll stop because YOU are the MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN ALL OF THIS! No point in examining the past and your affair; we just need to focus on the future. Now pull your pants off so I can blow ya!” Yeah, sorry, he’s just really had my blood boiling this weekend and it hasn’t been good for me. At. All. And yet I keep reading.

OK, back to me. I do realize you need to concentrate on the future. I also think those that refuse to learn from past are doomed to repeat it. And you can’t learn from the past if you bury your head and refuse to examine it.

Anyway, while I say I hate all of the above I do recognize the positive changes in our relationship. I just hate that they came about because of her. It’s almost like I’m expected to thank her or be grateful to her for fooling around with my husband. And that I cannot do. Hell, at this point it would be a stretch to piss on her if she were on fire.

It is an eternal struggle. On one hand, he cheated. I hate that and all that entails. On the other hand we are doing better than ever. We are happier, more connected. I hate that his affair is the reason for that. It kills me. I feel like I should start a blog encouraging affairs to restore your marriage. And that of course feels all kinds of wrong.

It’s hard to reconcile the reality and what you feel should be. I feel like I should have left him. I feel like I should have outed him to everyone. I know how I would have done it. I would have made a list on FB of his friends and family so that only they could see this, and then I would have posted a picture of her on my page with the caption: Does anyone know who this (really debating adding “whore” right here) is? Apparently, she is my husband’s whore. (Ooh, got it in anyway!) I feel like I should have thrown all his stuff on the front yard and told him to get the Hell out. I feel like I should have told the kids we were getting a divorce because their dad was in love with someone else and he wanted to be married to her instead of me. That’s what I “feel like”.

The reality is I had a birthday party to throw and I cared more about my daughter’s happiness than I did my own betrayal and heartbreak. I could have become unhinged and maybe, if it had happened on a different day I would have. But, instead I calmly called him and demanded answers. And at the end I told him he needed to figure out what he wanted because I wasn’t going to go through this anymore. I deserved to be happy, too. He didn’t get to have his tawdry romance with his soul mate, investing everything into her while I sat by cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and raising his kids, all the while being neglected and unloved. You want your little whore? Then you take her. But I get to find someone new as well. I always made it clear I wanted him to end it and I wanted to work things out. I never acted like I wasn’t sure if I would file for divorce or not. I never threatened a nasty custody battle. There was no yelling, no screaming, no tossing his clothes out, no outing him to everyone. We just quietly picked up the pieces and went on with our lives, focusing on us and what was wrong in our relationship. Hell, we were sexting and sending naughty pictures to each other less than a week after I found out. Divulging fantasies. We were on fire, albeit with me 1500 miles away (yeah, they had impeccable timing. I found out the day of my daughter’s birthday party and two days before I had to fly home for my step father’s memorial service). I spent very little time asking questions, compared to others. I never confronted her, although I did write back to her husband who was the one to involve me in the first place to let him know my husband assured me he had deleted all the nude pictures she had sent him. I did start up this page, using her picture and their texts and sometimes liking her comments or the same comments she had liked on my FIL’s page. And I did start to follow her on Pinterest, although I don’t think she’s ever on it. Aside from that, the worst thing I would do is check her Facebook page for new pictures and to see how my in-laws were betraying me.

Today, a year later, we are happy. I still, obviously, have a problem with how that was achieved. And for the record, I don’t hate having sex with my husband. I don’t hate texting him or trying to turn him on. I don’t hate talking to him or doing things with him. In fact, I like the fact that we are more apt to run mundane errands together now. I like the closeness and the touching and the fact he’s now invested in our family. But it’s hard for me to reconcile because I feel like I shouldn’t. There is an inner turmoil. Things are good but they got there a bad way and that doesn’t feel right. It’s almost the feeling you get when someone is forcing you to do something you don’t want to do. Even if you realize they’re right, even if you realize this thing benefits you, the fact it’s being forced upon you makes you bristle. It causes you to reject it.

So, I’m examining the quote above that started this long long post and trying to do just that, while I wonder if it will ever be completely possible.

Present Day Sam Says: In reading this now I look back and I think, “What a load of bullshit.” I should have dumped his ass the minute I found out about the whore. Instead I invested another 2 years in that relationship, moved across the country for him (coz he was sad!), took everything my kids loved away from them, and left my own friends, activities, and job possibilities behind. All for his ungrateful, whore loving, pathetic self.

A Post With No Title

August 2014

Two things I want to explore although I may only get through one of them tonight. It’s late and I’m tired.

Apologizing versus burying your head in the sand and only wanting to “focus on the future” and not letting the OW take up head space, courtesy of Shawn’s blog.

I’ve been reading a blog where the man cheated on his wife WITH HER BEST FRIEND for over 2 years. 28 months, I believe. This guy, from the sounds of it, thinks she should be over it, doesn’t tolerate her anger or sadness well, and wants to forget about the past and concentrate instead on the future. I get so frustrated reading about that but if I think back that’s pretty much been Zack’s mantra. We never did talk after I found his message between him and his nephew. Well, I should say we talked a little bit, but not much. It’s all been swept under the rug. Sure, he says he loves me and that she was a huge mistake but I sometimes feel as though we’ve never really got to the heart of the matter. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to take Shawn’s advice to forget about the OW and concentrate on your own marriage. There hasn’t been a final resolution. It’s been: Oops, I made a mistake. I lied and cheated all summer long, spent my days and weekends texting another woman and telling her I loved her and wanted to marry her, had her send me naked pictures but now? Now I realize you are the love of my life and I can’t get enough of you and she was nothing more than a mid-life crisis. All better. Let’s renew our vows!

I keep feeling like there should be more to this, more to repairing the damage. Sure, he answered my questions that first week. He answered some more questions on two different occasions. He seemed genuinely shocked that I was so upset over finding his FB messages that detailed his brilliant plan to dump me and marry her, thinking he had covered that with his vague “we talked about a future together”. That was when he finally admitted it was serious pretty much from the very beginning. And I suppose his reasons were pretty damn simple. He felt like our marriage was over; like there was nothing left. He thought I didn’t care. He wanted love, attention, and affection and he got all that, at least superficially, with her. Easy peasy. And yet I continue to feel like we haven’t done the hard work; we’re just burying our heads in the sand and focusing on the future. Here’s the thing though. Those that don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

Part Two coming tomorrow. Or sometime.

Our New House & Final Plans

June 2014

I know this is a shitty thing to admit but I’m not crazy about my new house. It’s ok. I don’t hate it. And we paid a shit ton of money for it. But I hate the master bathroom. HATE IT! It has this awful shower/jetted tub combo that looks like something you’d find in a cheap motel. It looks no different than your regular tub/shower combo except it’s got a button on the side that turns the jets on. I don’t recall if there is carpet in there or just cheap linoleum. Either option is disgusting. The double sink is small and is outside the actual bathroom. The area behind the door consists of the tub/shower combo and the toilet. It’s small. Smaller than our current master bath. So there’s no hope of even remodeling it. And there is carpet throughout the entire house with the exception of the kitchen and dining room. I HATE carpet. There is no place to eat in the kitchen. There is a small island that will seat two and that’s it. The appliances are old. And when you get down to it the kitchen is not that big. We’ve been talking about getting a sectional and I don’t see that happening. There are too many things I would rather put downstairs so no sectional down there, and the family room upstairs is too small for one unless you want to chop rooms up. I’m just hoping all of our bedroom furniture fits inside the master bedroom. Overall it’s not a bad house but the problems I have with it are glaring and not easily fixed. I loved the other house we looked at. It was gorgeous and I loved all the decks. But, there was no place to put a pool and Zack didn’t know how we could ever fence it and was worried an underground fence wouldn’t work. Plus, it was listed at $429,000. It’s since been reduced to $399,000. And we found out shortly after buying the house we were due almost another $20,000 that we could have used for a down payment. I’d better have a damn pool next summer. If I gave up my dream house in order to have a pool and I’m stuck with not the dream house and no pool I am going to be pissed.

Present Day Sam Says: Again, if he read this I’m sure it sent him right over the edge! How dare I not be grateful for everything he does?

Honestly, in hindsight I did grow to love the house. I don’t know if any of you have ever had to buy a house in 2 or 3 days before, but that was our situation. Like I wrote previously, I had had my eye on several different homes, most of them selling before I could look at them. There was one left and it looked amazing in the pictures, although I did have a few questions. Seeing it was just a huge disappointment and in many ways it felt like we were starting from scratch. Then we went to see one in town. It wasn’t in the right school district and it was more money than we wanted to pay, but with so few choices we went ahead and looked at it. It was amazing! If it had had the right backyard and was in the school district we wanted that’s the one we would have bought. After a few jam packed days of looking at numerous houses I was spent. And pouting.

But, he never allowed for that. He was the only one entitled to have a bad day or go off the rails.

June 2014

We (the kids and I) have created a bucket list of things we want to do before we leave. With the Boy leaving in less than two weeks to spend the month of July in Florida, and the Girl leaving 4 days later for camp we need to get all this done! Our first week of summer vacation was spent in Virginia looking for a new house. I created the list on Wednesday, just four days after we got back and said, “Holy crap! That’s a lot of stuff to get through!” So far we’ve been to the new aquarium, the zoo, The Cheesecake Factory, and Lani’s. Today we are off to the reservoir. I’m still hoping to cram in a short trip to the Grand Canyon and Four Corners. It will be a busy summer until it’s not.

I’ll have a nice break from the 6th until the 14th when my niece flies in. The movers will come pack us up the 16th and 17th. I pick up the Girl on the 17th and on the 18th the movers will load the truck and take off while my daughter is spending one last day at her gym. We’ll take off on the 19th more than likely, unless I take a very long nap that afternoon and can drive all night.

I’m not sure when they will deliver our stuff but we’re only there until August 1st and then we’re off to Florida for about a week. From there we’ll head to Indiana for my cousin’s wedding and then my mom, my niece, and my nephew will all follow us back to our new home for a week. On Tuesday the kids will start school.

And that’s how I spent my summer vacation.

Present Day Sam Says: I know. This is disturbing stuff, huh? My wife and kids were doing fun things??? My wife is planning for the future??? She sounds hideous!

June 2014

I’d like to try to say something about “new” relationships. They say once you’ve dealt with infidelity your old marriage is dead and a new one will form out of the ashes. That was a bit of dramatic license on my part.

You may very well interact differently afterwards, and it’s not always a bad thing. Here’s my take on a few tangents off of this idea.

First, I sometimes think this new relationship can be exhausting. People are not meant to sustain the high of falling in love. I read somewhere your body would actually give out and die if you attempted to keep the excitement levels that high. I’m not advocating going back to our old ways where we barely had a conversation but I often feel as though I’m on high alert all the time. Keep texting, keep flirting, be attentive at all times, don’t let more than two or three days go by without having sex, stay by his side, never do anything apart from him. I swear I start to feel guilty if he’s in the bedroom watching a show I don’t like and I go into the living room to do something I’d rather do. High alert. Exhausting. I felt guilty Wednesday because I didn’t have much of a chance to text him. I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off and I just didn’t have time. We’re still showing the house after thinking we no longer had to do so so I was busy putting the house back together.

I do try to do things I know he’ll like. He likes it when I call him my love and tell him I love him truly, madly, deeply. So I try to do that. I text him. I tell him he looks sexy. I do all sorts of things to make him feel loved.

And that brings me to my next thought. Learned helplessness versus independence. I think there’s a fine line between those two things. I’ve spent twenty years trying to show him I can do things on my own and he gets taken in by the damsel in distress routine. I’ve watched people, women, who act helpless and let the men do everything for them. It seems to work for them. The men eat it up and the women seem to do well. They use them up until they get bored and then move onto the next lucky guy. With that said I do realize my husband likes to feel needed so I’ve tried to let him help me. Unfortunately he’s one of those that quickly gets into the woe is me mindset and can’t seem to differentiate between: Oh my goodness, I’m so helpless. I need you to do everything for me because I just can’t figure it out. That means I love you and I need you. As opposed to: I can do this on my own but you definitely make my life easier and I like it when you take care of me. So I try to balance it. I try to step back and let him help me instead of showing him that I can take care of it on my own, that I don’t need him. It seems to be helping.

Present Day Sam Says: God, he was such a whiny, needy bitch ass baby man! He was more demanding than a hormonal female teenager madly in love for the first time!

July 2014

They are once again really locked down right. Both of them. I don’t think her state is an at fault state so the only thing I can think of is that she doesn’t want to give The Saint any ammo he can use against her with the kids. It’s so nice to know my husband was planning on leaving me for this narcissistic whore. I guess he wasn’t as special as he thought he was. She’ll fuck just about anything.

Added a few days later: It’s difficult to tell since both have their pages locked down but I don’t necessarily think she’s messing around with this guy. Another woman called him baby and his status is widowed. They did joke about that, though… I suppose I should take a drink and just come right out and ask Zack. If he’s hurt I could even think he’d do something like that too bad. You cheated, you revealed the master plan for you two sick fucks, and now, pretty much simultaneously we buy a house in the master location and she looks like she’s getting a divorce. Explain.