It’s Been 14 Years…

Maybe I wasn’t writing this blog when I first read this. Maybe there was so much turmoil going on in my own life this seemed like nothing in comparison.

My old steady debate board had a post entitled: I had lunch with the OW.

In this particular situation she and her husband had dated for 10 years before marrying. They were married around 7 years, I believe, with 2 little girls, aged 7 and 4, when she discovered her husband was having an affair and had in fact gotten the OW pregnant. Deliberately.

For many years she was quite blatant in her disdain for the OW, and how she had absolutely no use for her.

Fun fact: He never married the OW and is now cheating on her with somebody else. The original OW actually had the nerve to email the now ex-wife and complain about it.

What happened, apparently, is that there was a death in the family and she attended the memorial luncheon with her daughters. She wrote that not only were they in the same room for the first time ever, but they had sat at the same table. Someone else asked her how that conversation went.

This is what she said:

She walked right up to me when I walked in and held out her hand and said, “I think with all this time past, we should, you know..”

And I shook her hand and said, “Yes, life moves on.”

Maybe it’s true that time heals all wounds. I tend to doubt it. Maybe time dulls the pain but I don’t think it heals it.

I’m astounded at the hubris of the OW. I think with all this time past…

Huh. Who knew? It only takes 14 years for it to become okay for the OW to have slept with her husband. Enough time has passed that the fact that she deliberately set out to get pregnant by another’s woman husband is a moot point. Now that 14 years have passed it makes it okay that the OW threatened to sue her if she dared to tell others, specifically the OW’s employer, that the OW was pregnant with a married man’s baby. Fourteen years later and the ex-wife should put the past in the past and forget about the time she called to confront the mistress and the mistress threatened to take legal action against her. Fourteen years has wiped out the fact that her husband left her in financial peril, that he bullied her into quitting a job where she made more than him, and then promptly began sleeping with the OW. Fourteen years later and it no longer matters or hurts that her daughters grew up without their father in their lives everyday, while the OW’s daughter lived with him. Fourteen years later and it no longer matters that the post writer had her best friend and partner stolen from her, that she has gone through all of life’s biggest events alone, that she has shouldered the burden of house repairs, taking care of elderly parents, and doing the majority of the child rearing.  Interesting.

I’m only four and a half years out so maybe that’s why I’m not so magnanimous but I still clearly remember every damn thing Jerry Lee did to me while Harley was along for the ride. I’m in no mood to forgive.

I always love it though when the OW decides to be the bigger person. Not tough to do when you haven’t lost anything. Poor little OW. No one recognizing how nice and sweet she is to the betrayed wife. Sure, she’s fucking your husband but she’s not calling you names or saying mean things about you to your kids. Why can’t you do the same for her?

A little later on the writer says they’re not going to be best friends or anything. She’s more indifferent and doesn’t have the time or energy to scratch her eyes out. She also said that it could be time dulling everything. She’s glad that he’s her problem now (remember, he’s cheating on the OW with an OW now, too).

I would love to say that in fourteen years (or would that be more like 9 years?) if I ever had to be in the same room as Harley I wouldn’t “scratch her eyes out.” Alas, it took my mom over 30 years to get to that point with my dad and stepmom. Not that she didn’t allow them in her home plenty of times or that she ever attacked anyone. But, nowadays she will actually meet them for lunch or breakfast when she’s driving Rock Star down to school. That will never happen in my situation. I would rather slather honey all over my body and roll around on an ant hill than have a meal with Jerry Lee and Harley. Okay, true confession- I really don’t want to do that either, but I really don’t want to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner with the two of them. I don’t want to share cocktail hour with them. Light h’ors d’oeuvres. Nothing. Stay the fuck away from me, you two jackasses.

Hell, I’m glad I no longer have to deal with him and that he’s her problem now and I’m only 4 1/2 years out. I will still never shake her hand. She extends that thing she better be prepared for it to be ignored or broken.

I am happier with the mobster than I ever was with Jerry Lee. Yet I will never forgive either of them for the hell they put me through. The passing of time does not mean that my life being blown apart didn’t happen. No matter how much time has passed it will never change the fact that I lost everything thanks to them and their affair. I will never forget having to go through my entire house and put price tags on everything. I will never forget having to leave behind the majority of everything I owned. It will never change the fact that I was forced out of my home, or that my kids were forced to give up yet another set of friends, or that I worked my ass off just to provide the basics while they lived it up. The passing of time will never give me back my life as I once knew it. It will never restore everything that was lost. It won’t put money in my retirement fund. It won’t buy me a house. It won’t make me financially independent. It will never replace the time I lost with my kids. It won’t make up for the lackluster performance I’ve given as my children’s mother these last 3 years or so. Time will never erase the past.

No, what I’m left with are the pieces of my life that they blew up. Of course, time will see an increase in my retirement fund. But it’s going to be a much lower retirement fund than if my husband hadn’t run off with his whore cousin. Bloody pieces of my life. Maybe, one day, far in the future I may be able to buy a home. But maybe I won’t. I refuse to buy some disgusting piece of crap just to say I have a home of my own. I’m not going to settle and it may very well turn out that I can’t afford anything I like. Regardless it sure as hell won’t be anything like I used to live in. Another bloody piece of my life.

My friends and family talk about what a great memory I have. Some of my longtime friends are amazed at the shit I remember. It can be a blessing and a curse. It’s great to have those memories, but at the same time it means that fourteen years wouldn’t do shit for me as far as forgiving. I will never forgive either of them for what they did to me. I am perfectly fine with that.

What Exactly Is Forgiveness?

There were a lot of good comments on my post about me becoming a publicist for bitterness and grudges. I decided I had way too much to say to respond individually so I decided to write a follow up post.

Maybe it’s a matter of semantics. Maybe it really is a different philosophy. What I do know is not forgiving does not equal holding onto anger.  It does not equal hating that person. It does not equal refusing to accept your new reality, or refusing to accept that this person will never be who or what you thought they were, or wanted them to be. It does not equal seeking vengeance. At least not for me. It simply means I do not forgive that person for what they did. It means that what they did was so egregious that I am writing them off because it is pointless to try to mend this fractured relationship.

I can fully embrace Tracy Schorn’s philosophy. I no longer wish you dead; consider yourself forgiven. I’m also a big fan of the idea of reaching that blissful state of “Meh” where you simply don’t care about the person who hurt you one way or the other.

What does that mean for me and Jerry Lee? It means I’m not sitting around waiting for the karma bus to run his ass over. I don’t celebrate his failures and I don’t cheer on his successes. When his mother died it was a non-event. I didn’t feel horrible for him; I wasn’t torn up inside. I didn’t retreat to my bedroom and sob for our lost relationship and the fact that there would no longer be chances to make amends. I also didn’t kick up my heels and giggle with glee that he was going through a very painful moment. I didn’t give a toast and chant, “Ding dong the witch is dead!” or, “Ha ha, suck it, Jerry Lee! Karma’s a bitch!”

It means that when The Saint told me he was still sleeping with Harley, had in fact fucked her soon after Jerry Lee left to come back “home”, I got a momentary feeling of satisfaction. But in the end I didn’t crow about it and I didn’t tell him about it. I knew it was pointless. Jerry Lee wouldn’t have believed that his beloved cousin would cheat on him with all the money he was throwing her way. They really really liked each other after all, and they were leaving their spouses to be with one another.

It means that every time I start to feel bitter and resentful about everything he’s put me through I remind myself of how blessed I am to be with the mobster and how that wouldn’t have been possible if he hadn’t cheated on me. It means I look at my kids and remind myself that I’m the lucky parent that gets to spend time with them and be a part of their lives. I remind myself that money didn’t buy happiness with him. I can adapt. I can persevere. I can overcome.

It means my life goes on every day without reading up on his, trying to figure out what he’s doing, where he’s going, what he’s bought, if he’s still with her.

My situation at present is a little more complicated because I’m still forced to deal with him. I’m still dependent upon him. When he’s living in a nice big house and claiming he can’t afford to pay what he’s supposed to for support, we have a problem. We are undoubtedly going back to court soon and there is also the matter of the garnishment. He’s going to be pissed about both of those and I’m sure there will be fallout. So, I’m not saying I’m 100% there right now as far as not knowing what goes on with him. I have to know certain things. I wish I didn’t. He’s never far from my mind because I’m always thinking about how I’m going to frame my case in court. Having to defend every move you make is exhausting. Having to second guess every decision is also exhausting. I’m exhausted a lot. 

Even with all of this that’s going on I wouldn’t say I hate him most of the time. Oh, there are definitely moments, especially when it involves my children. I will never not hate him when I see either of my children suffering because of his choices. It may be brief but it will always be there.

Most of the time, however, it is simply a fact. His stupidity is interwoven in my life. How do I resolve this problem he’s thrown my way? How do I juggle this? Oh, that was an interesting twist. He’s doing what? Jesus Christ on crutches, is he an idiot or what? Sigh and sigh again.

When I read about people forgiving others and they write about forgiving for their own peace of mind, or because they can’t carry that burden, or it becomes mentally exhausting I again wonder if we are simply talking about the same thing using different phrases.

For me forgiving someone requires action on my part. It’s not deciding to let something go, choosing not to hate that person, or being okay with what happened. It’s not passive. It requires something more than simply saying, “I forgive you,” whether it’s actually said to the person or to yourself.

In my situation with Jerry Lee I could say, “I forgive you.” I’ve said before I think he would be offended by that. He doesn’t believe he’s done anything wrong. He believes he is the victim and I am the bad guy. Nevertheless, let’s pretend we’ve crossed that hurdle. I say I forgive him. What does that mean?

Does it mean I drop this garnishment case against him? Does it mean I stop going after the legal fees he owes me? Do I start lying to my kids and tell them how wonderful he is and how much he loves them and how they should cut him some slack because it’s difficult to merge two families? How much action on my part does this forgiveness take? Am I now supposed to be happy for him and Harley? Wish them the best? Hope for only good things for them? Do I offer to do things for them or is it enough to be willing to take on all the blame? Do we all go out together for dinner? Do we spend the holidays together? Am I just saying the words or do I need to do something?

For some when they talk of forgiveness I get the sense that it means they no longer dwell on what happened; they are choosing to let it go. “We’ll no longer talk of this. It is in the past.” Maybe, “I will no longer think about these things; I will not let any of this invade my day to day life. I won’t let it ruin my future.” Maybe for some it’s a matter of telling themselves, “This person is the way they are. I can’t change that and I accept them with all their limitations.”

Or, they verbalize this forgiveness and yet there is no subsequent relationship with that person. “I forgive you. I don’t wish to have dinner with you. I don’t want to run errands for you. I don’t want to see you ever again. But I forgive you.”

Again, for me, forgiving requires action. It requires more than saying the words: I. Forgive. You.

Back in February of 2015 during the time that Jerry Lee was in the psych ward I was on the phone with Tammy Faye. At one point she told me I needed to forgive him if we were ever going to truly move forward. I remember telling her that I had forgiven him. I reminded her I had moved across the damn country for him. I (stupidly) voluntarily moved six hours away from his mistress instead of insisting we remain a safe 25 or 26 hours away from her. I put his happiness and his wants ahead of mine and ahead of my kids.

To me, that is forgiveness. I didn’t just say the words. I took actions that showed I forgave him. I did things that weren’t in my best interest and weren’t in my kids’ best interests, all to demonstrate my forgiveness and my investment in our relationship. It cost me dearly.

If you’ll indulge me I’ll give you another example of what I consider to be the difference between forgiving and not forgiving and how that “not forgiving” looks.

Many, many years ago when I was a young, stupid 21 year old I came home for the summer and began dating a guy. We’ll call him Dick, mainly because in real life that’s what we ended up calling him.

We’d gone out for about a month when he decided he’d rather date one of my best friends. I preferred that he not dump me for one of my best friends. Truth be told I didn’t think I was madly in love with him, nor did I think we would end up married one day; nonetheless, I did not want him dating one of my best friends, especially if he was going to dump me in order to do so.

I let my feelings be known to my best friend and she swore she wouldn’t see him or get involved with him.

A few days later my other best friend and I asked her if she wanted to go out with us. She declined. I went into sleuth mode and we drove by his house to see if she was over there.

She was.

I was devastated. We went back to my house and I proceeded to stab the small stuffed cow she had bought me as I sobbed and cried in grief. I could not believe she would betray me like that. And to lie about it as well? It’s not like she could hide it from me.

Spoiler alert: He wasn’t a prince for her either. I don’t think they dated for more than a month or so, if that. He ended up telling her that his mother had died. She had not. My friend ended up running into her somehow. Shocked the crap out of her and definitely shed light on his character.

Along with the whole “dead mother” thing he had also told me he flew helicopters and he had his very own flight song, like in Top Gun. I told you I was young and dumb. He also said some horrible, horrible things about me and said some horrible things to me when discarding me for my best friend.

I stewed about their relationship and our broken friendship for most of the remaining summer. Thoughts of becoming an alcoholic crossed my mind. I’m not sure why. Thankfully I realized they wouldn’t care. The only person I would be hurting would be myself. Thoughts of planting drugs in his car and reporting him to the police crossed my mind as well. Thankfully I had no idea how to procure such drugs so that remained nothing but a fantasy. Plus, I probably would have been caught and thrown in jail myself.  I envisioned many times getting the chance to tell him off or to punch him in the face. My short story, Killing the Anti-Christ, is about him.

What does this have to do with forgiveness, you may be wondering. You sound like a whackadoodle, Sam, with all your planting drugs on people and killing them off. What can I say? I have a vivid imagination. And I’ve grown up a little bit since I was 21.

I forgave one of them. The other one I wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire.

That friend? Was Sweet J.

We were not on speaking terms for approximately two years. Maybe not quite that long. Life went on. I dated other guys. Dropped out of college for a semester. Took up running. Went back and graduated.

We had mutual friends. One of them got married and she (Sweet J) was the maid of honor at the wedding . We spoke then and were civil. We had to be. That was the beginning.

I found that I missed her; time had passed. Looking back on it it was easy to see that we were no longer friends over a guy that neither of us was with and neither one of us ever wanted to marry.  Oh, and did I mention he was evil?

I’m not exactly sure how it ever ended but when she got married 4 years after this all went down I was a reader at her wedding. She was a bridesmaid at mine six months later.

I was one of the first people she called when she found out she was pregnant. I went and visited her after she had her son. I checked up on her after she had her mental collapse. I was a shoulder to cry on when she was going through her divorce and all the difficulties leading up to it.

She called and checked on me repeatedly while I was going through my divorce. This last time when I thought he was no longer paying once again her reply was an immediate, “That sonofabitch!” Followed by telling me she wanted to find him, punch him in the balls and yell at him, “You know why!”

We go out dancing and we go out to dinner on a regular basis.

She has apologized for what she did, although it wasn’t necessary.

I have forgiven her. I haven’t just moved on from what happened. I forgave her and we rekindled our friendship.

Dick, on the other hand? I have not forgotten the cruel things he said and did. I have no use for him.

Sometime between finding out my husband was cheating on me in August of 2015 and moving in with my mom in July of 2016 I got a friend request on Facebook from him. I had to ask Sweet J if she remembered what his last name was because I thought it was him but I couldn’t remember his last name. That’s how little I think about him. I didn’t know for certain if that was him or not because I couldn’t remember his last name.

She confirmed it was him. I thanked her, declined the friend request and blocked him. End of story.

When people say they forgive because they can’t hang on to all that anger and rage I don’t understand what they’re talking about. I haven’t forgiven him for those things he said and did, but I’m certainly not expending any energy hating him either. Those days of plotting his demise are long over. I declined a friend request and blocked him so he wouldn’t taint my life ever again.

It’s been 29 years, 30 this summer, since everything happened. I forgave Sweet J after a period of time. We have a great friendship. I’m happy that we are still a part of each other’s lives because it would have been a shame to end a great friendship over a guy neither of us ended up with. I will never forgive Dick. I don’t feel one bit guilty about it. There’s not an ounce of hatred in my heart; there’s not even a flicker of anger. Aside from the 20-30 minutes I spent perusing his Facebook page, checking to see if there were any friends or pictures I recognized to suss out whether or not this was the person I thought it was I haven’t thought about him at all since that summer of 1990.

Truth be told there are a very limited number of people on my “enemies” list, as Jerry Lee would call it. My enemies list is not as nefarious as it sounds. The vast majority of the people on this list (and we’re talking maybe 8-10 people in a 50 year lifespan) don’t even register with me anymore. I probably still wouldn’t piss on them if they were on fire, but I don’t fantasize about setting them on fire either. I don’t think about them period. I don’t hate them. I don’t wish them dead. Even the three that do still register with me I don’t hate. I don’t wish them dead. I’m not fantasizing about some amazing revenge scheme.

Okay, I will confess that sometimes I fantasize about winning the lottery and buying Jerry Lee and Harley’s rental house and just imaging the look on their faces when I inform them that I’m their new landlord and they’re living in my house. As far as revenge fantasies go I think that’s pretty benign. I don’t even envision kicking them out.

So maybe it is a matter of semantics. Maybe when others say they forgive a person what they mean is they are no longer angry at that person. They no longer hate that person. They’re no longer plotting against him or her, regardless of whether the plots are based in reality or fantasy. Maybe they mean they no longer care what that person is doing. I don’t know.

What I do know is that when I say I don’t forgive a person it doesn’t mean I’m spending any amount of time on that person. It doesn’t mean I hate that person or that I’m angry with him or her still. It doesn’t mean I’m plotting against them or wish ill on them. It means, in the simplest terms, I don’t forgive them. Period. What they did is not okay with me. I don’t want to have a relationship with them. I don’t want to spend time with them. I might even go so far as to say I don’t think they are a good person.

I would like for them to go live their life and for them to leave me alone and let me go live my life. Don’t send me a Facebook friend request. Don’t tell me things can be civil. Don’t spread lies about me and expect me to act like that’s okay. Just go away.

I also know that when I do forgive a person I forgive them whole heartedly. I’m open to having a relationship with that person who has been forgiven. I am willing to do my best to get back to that point where we were before. I invest in the relationship. I am willing to demonstrate my forgiveness.

That’s the difference for me. Forgiveness is rekindling my friendship with Sweet J. Going out dancing on Friday or Saturday nights. Going to dinner. Exchanging Christmas gifts. Being a part of one another’s lives. Taking that 6 a.m. phone call when she thinks someone is following her and she wants someone on the phone with her as she walks out to her car. Looking at apartments with her when she got out of a bad relationship. Not forgiving is declining a friend request from Dick and then blocking him because I still don’t wish to have him in my life.

Wishing Them Well

I was reading a blog the other day. It was actually Betrayed Wives Club. Elle wrote,

…though it may seem counter-intuitive, being able to extend compassion for others’ dark sides, for those parts of themselves they kept hidden out of shame or fear or lack of awareness, releases the shackles we wear. It frees us to love the flawed person seeking to be better, or to wish them well while choosing to not have them in our lives. Either way, we’re liberated.

That’s a very nice way to look at things but unfortunately, I don’t wish him well. If I’m being honest I try not to think about him at all. But when I do think about him the last thing I’m thinking is, “Gee, I sure hope he’s doing well. I hope he’s being a better husband to her and a better father to her kids than he was to me and our kids.” Nor am I thinking, “Golly, I sure do hope he’s got a great job that he finds fulfilling and that the house he lives in is exactly what he’s always wanted. My prayer for him is a life filled with serenity and riches.”

No. Quite honestly it pisses me off that he’s living it up in his five bedroom house while his kids and I are still seeking refuge in my mother’s home. It pisses me off that our lifestyle has changed significantly since he decided to fuck a whore while his has never wavered. That is probably why I do my best to not think about things like that. Because it is grossly unfair.

Does that mean I’m somehow shackled? Will liberation always be out of my reach until I can hope for good things for him?

I don’t think so. I feel very liberated. I feel very free admitting I don’t wish him well. I don’t spend my evenings plotting revenge but him living a wonderful, blissful life is not my concern, or my wish for him. As long as he keeps sending those support checks I don’t give a shit if his life falls apart. I’m very liberated in acknowledging I don’t give a rat’s ass if people think it’s horrible I’m not invested in his happy future. I will never sympathize with him. I will never justify what he has done, nor will I ever excuse it.

I heard it said once that the only reason forgiveness gets the action it is does is because it’s got better quotes and better publicity. It’s not looked upon as favorably when you preach about not forgiving, or remark that it’s okay to not want great things for the person who betrayed you.

Somebody really needs to get to work on that! Maybe I should give it a shot. Stay tuned…

The Devil You Know

I came across an article written by someone who purports to rebuild remarriages after affairs. For a tidy sum he can help you keep that delightful lying, cheating love of your life.

I have long said that I’m not here to give advice. If you’ve read much of my blog then you know that I had more than one DDay which means I forgave my lying cheater at least once. Technically speaking I suppose Harley was the gift that resurfaced three times. The first time was when he supposedly spontaneously confessed he had been “texting” other women.

True story? Her husband discovered what they were up to and messaged me on FB. Cousinfucker deleted the message and then blocked him. Why he owned up to texting her is beyond me.

Oh, and he never elaborated on exactly what it was he was texting and then refused to disclose a week or so later. I was so stupid and thought he was so honorable that he might have felt guilty simply because he was talking to other women and spilling secrets about our marriage.

So that was DDay #1. Happy Mother’s Day!

DDay #2 was August 14, 2013, three months later. I got yet another message from her husband.

Yeah, about that blocking thing… when he came back from Jezebel’s wedding Harley the Whore blocked me. I had her profile picture up all over the house when he got home and my lying cheater promptly told his twu luv all about it. Once I realized I was blocked I did some digging and found her husband on my list of blocked contacts, which was really strange because at that point I don’t think I had blocked anyone ever in my life!

DDay #3 was two years later, almost to the day. August 10th, 2015. A day which will live in infamy and is only surpassed by June 10th, 2016 as one of the crappiest days of my life.

I dredge all this up again to point out that I, too, forgave my husband at one point. I don’t condemn those who choose to make a go of it. I don’t look down on them. I’m here telling my story and sharing my thoughts so that hopefully others won’t suffer through the same shit I did.

With that said, what the hell, Mort? You’re selling snake oil!

Some of his wonderful advice? #1- Don’t ask about the affair or go to marriage counseling. #2- Tell them divorce is not an option. #3- Have sex with your partner if you want to. I’m not sure if #4 is from him or some other person promising success for 3 easy installment payments of $299, but I’ve also heard that if your partner is still in the affair then be extra sweet and understanding. Don’t make them feel any “toxic shame”.

O.M.G. This is a cheater’s wet dream! I get to fuck around and you can’t ask me about it!

Of course they don’t want to talk about it! They don’t like consequences. They’d rather engage in all that hysterical bonding. Now that’s where the fun is at!

Let’s concentrate on the sex and forget the talking. When you talk you make me feel something akin to guilt and I don’t like that. I’m so splendiferous that I wouldn’t actually feel guilt but when you use words and say things like, “You really hurt me,” and “I don’t trust you anymore,” or “What were you thinking fucking that low class whore?” then it almost makes me feel bad and it certainly doesn’t get me hot and bothered. Let’s stick to sex and forget all the talking stuff.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but let’s face it divorce is always an option when one person wants out. You can’t prevent it no matter how much you personally may be against it.

Honestly? It’s just another form of pick me dancing. No matter what you do I won’t divorce you. Keep fucking the whore. Tell me everything is my fault. Give me a list of things that I need to work on. 

I think my favorite thing about Mort, though, is his philosophy on forgiving the cheating spouse. https://marriagemax.com/cheater/  What if your spouse has done the work and is truly repentant? Don’t you owe it to him or her to forgive and forget and reap the benefits of all your hard work? Don’t you realize that your chances of dumping the cheater only to end up with someone else who just cheats on you is sky high so you may as well keep the cheater you know? I think Mort says it so much better.

Most victims of infidelity (and other emotional hardships) believe that they’ll be safer in a relationship with someone who never cheated on them or hurt them. I completely understand this FEELING. However, the OPPOSITE might be true.

In the case of the woman above, it appears that her husband really changed. And I’ve seen many people transform themselves after getting the “I want a divorce” wake up call. Unless her husband is a pathological liar or a sociopath, he’s LESS LIKELY to make the same mistake again compared to someone whose track record is clean. In other words, once a spouse learns their lesson, they’re LESS vulnerable to make the same mistake than someone who’s never erred in that way before.

According to a 1998 survey by researchers at the University of Chicago, about 25 percent of married men and 17 percent of married women in the United States ADMIT to having been unfaithful. The noted author Shirley Glass’ research suggests it is probably closer to 25 percent of women and 40 to 50 percent of men! That means that starting from scratch gives the above woman a 50% chance of finding another husband who will be faithful.

Now let me ask you: at this point in this woman’s husband’s life, given all he’s been through and learned, what are the chances that he’ll screw up again? If this woman gave him another chance, what’s the likelihood that he’d make the same mistake that almost caused him to lose his family years before? In my opinion, it’s dramatically less than 50%. In fact, I think it’s slim to none.

Let me clarify that I’m talking in this case about a man who truly transformed himself and succeeded to prove that he’s changed. I’m NOT talking about someone who continually makes empty promises.

If this woman were to leave her husband, I think Las Vegas would give her LOWER odds that this sort of thing would never happen to her again.

Here lies an unfortunate irony. People wait years and years for their spouse to wake up and change their ways. Then when they finally do it, they’re told it’s too late.

I understand why someone would feel, after being cheated on, for example, that “it’s too late.” But the fact of the matter is that they’re about to walk away from a person who is FINALLY prepared to be a wonderful loving spouse.

In my experience, it’s these people, people who have made serious mistakes, people who have had the harshest wake up calls, who become the BEST spouses and are capable, more than anyone else, of forging the MOST fulfilling relationships.

Do you see the irony here?

The mistakes that ruin relationships are those that transform the sinners into people capable of the most outstanding relationships. The unfortunate thing for the victim is that they don’t know how to heal from the hurt that would enable them to reap the benefit of their ordeal.

So the roles become reversed. The person who was ruining the relationship stands ready to transform it; while the person who wanted to work on the relationship all along becomes the cog in the wheel that inhibits true love.

In other words, the woman above has a choice. If she lets her husband go, he’ll most likely fall in love with another woman and treat her like a queen. He’ll be the husband to his new wife that the woman above always wanted him to be to her. I’ve seen it happen too often. Some lucky woman owes a poor victim a lot of gratitude. But this woman has another option. She could forgive her husband and become that lucky woman!

Here’s Sam’s philosophy: Yes, if you don’t fix your picker and figure out why you settled for so little in your relationship there is a good chance you could wind up with the exact same kind of person- a person who is willing to lie and cheat and take you for granted. But if you do fix your picker you have a really good chance of finding someone who won’t cheat on you, someone who will value you. Or put another way, you already know your current partner is a cheater. Those odds are 100%. It’s done. This mythological new person? Hasn’t done a damn thing to you!

But I’ll bite. Let’s take Mort’s theory bit by bit.

Most victims of infidelity (and other emotional hardships) believe that they’ll be safer in a relationship with someone who never cheated on them or hurt them. I completely understand this FEELING. However, the OPPOSITE might be true.

Yes, it might be true. Then it again it might not be. As I said above; however, you know with 100% certainty that your current partner has the ability to cheat on you because they have already, wait for it.. cheated on you!

In the case of the woman above, it appears that her husband really changed. And I’ve seen many people transform themselves after getting the “I want a divorce” wake up call. Unless her husband is a pathological liar or a sociopath, he’s LESS LIKELY to make the same mistake again compared to someone whose track record is clean. In other words, once a spouse learns their lesson, they’re LESS vulnerable to make the same mistake than someone who’s never erred in that way before.

Well, Mort, the devil is in the details, isn’t it? The problem here is that a lot of very remorseless cheaters say they’ve changed.

What they really mean is they don’t want to go through the hassle of a divorce. You are useful to them. They’ll do a better job of keeping the affair hidden.

My own husband swore up and down that he had learned his lesson. Harley was the biggest mistake of his life. He should have bought a motorcycle instead of engaging with her. He talked to her the way he wanted to talk to me. He would never make that mistake again. I was the reason he was alive and why he fought in a war.

Two years later I was going through the exact same hell and with the exact same whore. The man learned nothing. He wanted everything to be perfect and go back to normal and at the first hint that that wasn’t the case he reached out to Harley the Whore.

According to a 1998 survey by researchers at the University of Chicago, about 25 percent of married men and 17 percent of married women in the United States ADMIT to having been unfaithful. The noted author Shirley Glass’ research suggests it is probably closer to 25 percent of women and 40 to 50 percent of men! That means that starting from scratch gives the above woman a 50% chance of finding another husband who will be faithful.

Even if I agreed with your 40-50% statistic for men cheating, I still have a 50% chance that the new guy won’t cheat and I’m still left with the fact that I’m 100% sure that my current partner is a cheater.

Now let me ask you: at this point in this woman’s husband’s life, given all he’s been through and learned, what are the chances that he’ll screw up again? If this woman gave him another chance, what’s the likelihood that he’d make the same mistake that almost caused him to lose his family years before? In my opinion, it’s dramatically less than 50%. In fact, I think it’s slim to none.

I think you are way too optimistic. You are also assuming that every person who does not wish to divorce is invested in the marriage. That is simply not the case. Many times they are simply invested in not suffering consequences. Divorce has many consequences- losing custody time of your kids, splitting retirement funds, moving out of houses, no longer having someone to do your laundry/cook your food/clean your house/take care of your kids, no longer having access to your partner’s paycheck, losing friends and relatives…

Let me clarify that I’m talking in this case about a man who truly transformed himself and succeeded to prove that he’s changed. I’m NOT talking about someone who continually makes empty promises.

That’s the kicker, isn’t it, Mort? How do we really know which one we ended up with? Is the person truly remorseful? Have they truly transformed themselves? Or are they avoiding consequences?

If this woman were to leave her husband, I think Las Vegas would give her LOWER odds that this sort of thing would never happen to her again.

I don’t appreciate your scare tactics. I also don’t believe you should continue a marriage based upon the fact that, “Well, the next person will probably cheat, too, so why bother to find someone who won’t cheat and who will value me?

Maybe this person will find someone who is 100x better than the person left behind. That is another possibility.

Here lies an unfortunate irony. People wait years and years for their spouse to wake up and change their ways. Then when they finally do it, they’re told it’s too late.

I understand why someone would feel, after being cheated on, for example, that “it’s too late.” But the fact of the matter is that they’re about to walk away from a person who is FINALLY prepared to be a wonderful loving spouse.

In my experience, it’s these people, people who have made serious mistakes, people who have had the harshest wake up calls, who become the BEST spouses and are capable, more than anyone else, of forging the MOST fulfilling relationships.

Do you see the irony here?

Ah, the ol’ personality transplant! This person is now going to be everything you’ve ever wanted them to be! Nicely co-mingled with a giant helping of shaming people into forgiving the person who has devastated them.

Here’s the problem with your thinking, Mort. If my spouse has been an ass for 15-20 years and I’ve been begging him to change his ways and to please, please, please, keep his penis in his pants and then I finally wise up and realize his behavior is never going to change so I tell him I’m leaving him, it is NOT my fault that the marriage does not survive when he is finally facing  uncomfortable consequences and promises to change to avoid said uncomfortable consequences. You are putting the responsibility of the relationship succeeding or failing onto the person who has been abused and gaslighted for years. No, the relationship didn’t fail because I finally wised up and accepted my husband was an ass who was never going to change. It failed because my husband was an ass who was never going to change.

The mistakes that ruin relationships are those that transform the sinners into people capable of the most outstanding relationships. The unfortunate thing for the victim is that they don’t know how to heal from the hurt that would enable them to reap the benefit of their ordeal.

So the roles become reversed. The person who was ruining the relationship stands ready to transform it; while the person who wanted to work on the relationship all along becomes the cog in the wheel that inhibits true love.

Again, nice job blaming the victim. This relationship could work if only you would forget what I did! Yes, I may have mistreated you and taken you for granted (not to mention lied to you and cheated on you) for 20 years, but the real reason our marriage ultimately failed was because you refused to forgive me the 21st year.

In other words, the woman above has a choice. If she lets her husband go, he’ll most likely fall in love with another woman and treat her like a queen. He’ll be the husband to his new wife that the woman above always wanted him to be to her. I’ve seen it happen too often. Some lucky woman owes a poor victim a lot of gratitude. But this woman has another option. She could forgive her husband and become that lucky woman!

It so rarely works that way. That’s the fear that keeps people stuck. He/she will be better for the next person!

No, chances are very good that he or she will not be better for the next person. Oh, it may look that way from what is posted on Facebook or Instagram. He or she may even be able to keep that mask on for a few years. It will eventually slip. The shiny will eventually wear off the new relationship and they’ll be looking for something new and exciting once again.

Mort likes to tout his high success rate of couples remaining together. That’s nice, but there’s a difference between staying together because a divorce or splitting up is too inconvenient and your partner is of use to you, versus actually recommitting to your relationship.

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!

No Forgiveness Necessary

April 2015

OK, let’s try to get this sucker done.  I’m hearing so much about forgiveness and realizing that things can change in an instant.  Life is too short. Hating people is toxic to you. Something about holding a grudge or seeking revenge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Blah, blah, blah.

As I’ve said before my grudges are more like: I wouldn’t piss on that person if he/she were on fire.  I don’t think about it on a daily basis.  I don’t plot ways to get revenge or to hurt them or irritate them.  I just quietly go about my life without them in it and choose to pretend they no longer exist. For the most part.  I mean, even with Harley I don’t spend time trying to come up with ways to humiliate her or hurt her in some way. I just know that if her car was on fire with her in it I’d pull up a chair and roast marshmallows while she burned to death.  Not pleasant, and not something to be proud of, but it is what it is.

So, this person I really respect was talking about this.  Her birth mother just died and she was talking about how glad she had found her and had had her in her life.  She wrote, and I quote, “Are you at odds with someone you love?  My heartfelt advice:  Knock it off!  Has it been way too long since you’ve seen someone you love?  Get it on the calendar.  Soon.”

This got me thinking because, as I said, I really respect this person.  I think sometimes this is easier said than done. I think sometimes you have to look out for YOU and if you know this other person (or other people) aren’t good for you then you need to stay away.  Now, I don’t know how things will end up with my in-laws.  I know that when they’re around I love them and I have a good time.  I know my mother-in-law is in the hospital again and her COPD will kill her one day.  I’ve been telling Zack she’ll be fine and she’ll outlive everyone, but after talking to them when they came out a few weeks ago it may not be much longer.  I’m not talking about a year or two.  I’m thinking more like 5-10 years, but certainly not the 20 or so years I figured she had.  So this gets me wondering if maybe I should just knock it off.  They are who they are.  She didn’t know about the naked pictures, although I’m not sure that makes much of a difference. She should have known that something serious enough to make Zack think I was going to leave him went on between the two of them.

I’m not going to lie.  It’s difficult knowing they still talk to her, knowing Harley checks up on her.  I find it beyond creepy that she is still in my life. I find it unsettling knowing that I can be texting my mother-in-law at the same time the whore is texting her. I just find it weird that she isn’t banished from our lives completely; she still has an in, so to speak. I don’t want that bitch to know anything about me, my kids, or even my husband. And that’s impossible when everyone is still FB friends with her. Honestly, I’m not even sure how much they tell other family members so who knows how much gets back to her. I DON’T want her knowing anything about me or my family.  It’s none of her business and she lost that privilege when she started sending my husband naked pictures and offering to let him fuck her up the ass.

Now, realistically, I know she doesn’t come around. I probably shouldn’t say that because I really wasn’t aware the bitch whore even contacted my MIL so who knows?  If she asked her if she needed anything and Tammy Faye said yes it very could end up with Harley running to Tammy Faye’s town to show her devotion to her wannabe future MIL. But, let’s just pretend that realistically she doesn’t come around.  She’s like a fly that keeps buzzing by your head, annoying you but unable to do any damage. She probably won’t show up for holiday dinners or baby showers or weddings.  But then again, and I know this is the crazy talking, maybe she knows from Jezebel or someone else that I won’t be at events so she doesn’t bother coming.  If she knew I was planning on being there perhaps she would show up.

Seriously- how can it not a bug a person that her husband’s mistress is buddy buddy with his mother, his stepfather, his aunt, his cousin, and his sister?!?!  And those are just the people closest to him and/or that he sees regularly when he’s there. That’s not taking into account all of the other relatives that have no clue what the two of them were up to.  I mean, really?  One of the things that I always read about is no contact.  It is imperative that all contact stops between the two cheaters.  OK, he is no longer in contact with her.  What about everyone else in his family?  Does no contact still count when his whore can have an inside view of our family?  She fucking prayed for him when he went into the hospital.  YOU ARE NOT A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY!  Not a friend of MY family! DON’T PRAY FOR HIM, BITCH!  YOUR PRAYERS ARE WORTHLESS TO ME! I just sit amazed, with my mouth wide open while I shake my head.  How can any of them justify staying in contact with her? Oh that’s right.  Because she’s FAMILY! I can’t possibly be the only person who finds it difficult to pretend the other woman doesn’t exist even when she’s gushing over everyone in my husband’s family. Yes, let’s just act like she’s no longer around.  I’ll do my thing and she can do hers, and when we end up running into each other with my kids around and I lose my mind and start screaming about what a worthless whore she is… well, won’t that just be a story to share? Or maybe the plan is for me to pretend like she doesn’t exist and my in-laws keep us separated from here on out. I just delude myself into thinking she’s gone and no longer a part of my life while the bitch just continues to compile information about me and my family. There is still so much to think about when it comes to this.

Present Day Sam Says: We all know how this ends. They didn’t end their relationship with the whore because they were all preparing to welcome her back with open arms when he finally dumped me. I do have to wonder what they’re going to do when this bad romance ends with their beloved Harley cheating on their even more beloved Zack?  Tough call, tough call!

Folks, if you’re going to give reconciliation a chance you make this a deal breaker! Your cheater has to have no contact with the AP. Their family needs to have no contact with the AP. If they do, then your cheater needs to stay the hell away from all of those who refuse to cut the snake’s head off. It’s just not possible to heal or move forward when that snake is still nearby. That person always has a front row seat to your life. Put a stop to it. Immediately. Or get ready for another D-Day.

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.

What Part of, “I’ve Forgiven Him!” Don’t You Understand?

February 2015

My MIL called me last night. She was checking up on my husband because she hadn’t been able to get ahold of him. She knew he had planned on going to church and was saying that she hoped he continued to go and that it helped, and that she had heard he was supposed to see a psychiatrist and she hoped that helped, too. Then she went on to say she hoped he got better and that we got back to where we needed to be. What? Um, we’re fine. She went on about how the past was the past and I needed to forgive him and she was sorry for anything she might have done to me and she hoped I would forgive her. Everyone makes mistakes. And she knows it’s difficult because she went through it with her own husband years ago.

There are so, so many things I want to address in all of this mess. I’m not sure I can focus enough to get it all out there. But first, I HAVE forgiven him. I moved 2000 fucking miles across the country and completely uprooted my children and their lives, along with my own, in support of him. I would call that forgiveness. If I wanted to dwell on what he had done I would have never moved. Because, once again, our current town will always be Whoreville to me. I’m here because of my husband and his whore and their sweet little plans to be closer together. No matter how much I may come to like it here (and that’s doubtful) it will always be tainted by the fact they plotted to move my family here so they could carry on their affair. It was all put into motion once she started promising blow jobs and anal sex. I’m still here, still living with him. If I was going to kick his ass out I would have done it when I first found out he was still lying to me and cheating on me. I’m not softening him up for the blow. And I don’t believe in staying with a cheater and then using that to throw in the cheater’s face for the rest of his or her life. If you’re going to stay, make peace with the situation. I know some people say you can rebuild without forgiving, so I won’t say forgive and move on. But, you definitely need to make your peace with it and I have made my peace with him. I even do my best to not think about why I’m living here, 2000 miles away from my friends, my support system, my social life, my volunteer activities, because if I were to dwell on it I would cry. Harley and Zack fucked my life up spectacularly. Once my loving husband set the wheels into motion they didn’t stop just because he supposedly stopped fucking around with his whore of a cousin. Nope, they were going to send him (us) here come Hell or high water. So, you wanna play the past is the past? Oh, you bet your sweet ass it is. I’ve buried that motherfucker deep because I would be overcome with rage if I didn’t.

As for being sorry for whatever it is she’s done to me… well, that’s nice, but since you don’t even realize what it is that you did I’m not sure it means that much to apologize for it. And once again, I’ve made my peace with it. They will never change. I love them but I can’t have a relationship with them like I used to. I have tried and tried to envision a way that I’m ok with loving them, hanging around with them, visiting them, supporting them, sharing holidays, vacations, memories with them, and all the time knowing they love and support her, my husband’s whore. I will never feel safe. I know the minute he decides to toss me aside and replace me they will welcome my replacement with open arms and I don’t know how to have a relationship with people like that. I wish I could live in the moment, not worry about the what ifs. But when you’ve already been confronted with that I think it’s more difficult to pretend like it won’t happen. Everything about it just feels false. Oh, you love me. Oh, now you don’t love me because my husband no longer wants to fuck me. It’s not me they want to have a relationship with. It is my title. Whoever assumes the title of his wife is the one they want to have a relationship with. At this point I don’t even feel comfortable attending family events because I always assume the whore has been invited as well. And that would not end well. If we are ever in the same space I am about 99% certain everyone in that space will know exactly what she and my husband did. I find the whole situation sad. I find it sad that I am undoubtedly cast as the bad guy even though I was the one that was cheated on, and Zack and Harley were the cheaters. I’m the bad guy even though Jezebel was the one who lied to me, encouraged my husband to leave me, and talked trash about me. That’s just the way it is with them. Then you add in the humiliation factor, wondering if everyone is talking about you, your husband’s affair, how you compare to the sainted whore, how sad it is that you got cheated on and what on earth you did to “deserve” it. It’s an all around yucky feeling.

They are planning on coming to visit over Spring Break and I’m now waiting for her to come at me over Jezebel. The past is in the past. Everyone makes mistakes. Again, I’m trying to envision a way I’m ok with anything beyond superficial niceties and I’m once again coming up blank. How do you reconcile the fact that the person you are spending holidays with, confiding in, and creating memories with, will turn on you the minute her brother decides he wants to fuck someone else? Maybe it’s easier for her because she’s spent her whole life using people for what they can give her. So, she takes everything her in-laws can do for her and laps it up and when she moves on to the next husband it’s no big loss because now she has a new set of in-laws that can do new things for her. Or, to put it another way: It’s not about the relationship she shares with these people. It’s what all that relationship gives her. It would be like having a SIL that takes you on lavish vacations and shopping sprees. You like the person ok, but when the relationship ends you miss everything your SIL did for you a lot more than you miss the actual person. I even try to envision spending time with her on a superficial level. I say hello, how are you. When asked how I am I say, “Fine.” It doesn’t go beyond that. How are things in Whoreville? Fine. How are the kids adjusting? Fine. Just keeping everything superficial. Not excited about anything. I try to imagine having to go to her new house and be polite. Meet new people that I will only see every 3-5 years. I honestly believe I would hate it. I would feel like I was crawling out of my skin. Having to feign interest in everything she has and has done. You can’t be too noncommittal because then you’re considered rude and once again, you’re the bad guy. But treating her like someone I actually care about and have an interest in? I’m a good actress but I’m not that good. Besides, I don’t care if everyone knows the relationship has changed. Trying to imagine sitting outside at her fire pit. I suppose I would listen as everyone talked and not join in. Nothing to say. I would play the part of the uninvolved observer. Quietly listening and observing, not interjecting my own thoughts because I don’t wish to give anyone a glimpse of me. See? All of that seems so terribly complicated. So much easier to just stay away. There is no relationship so why create an artificial one? For her? Why? I don’t give a fuck about what she wants. She didn’t care about me and what I might have wanted. I’d like to return the favor.

Wow- ok, I think I did get most of it out. I can’t think of anything else really. I just keep trying to imagine these re-structured relationships and I have an incredibly hard time wrapping my head around it. It’s so much easier to avoid it.

Forgiveness After the Affair

September 2014

It’s too late versus it’s never too late. Hmmm. I suppose it’s a matter of, well, mind over matter. Can you forgive? Can you eat shit? Can you smile while eating said shit? Can you just decide it doesn’t matter and to forge a new beginning? Forget the bad and concentrate on the good? Or, do you say, “It’s just too late,”? Telling you what I need, or needed, and you doing it now, is pointless. That’s where I am with my in-laws. It’s too late. It may be a case of biting off my nose to spite my face but if I actually have to say, “Cut off all contact with the whore and tell her why! Stop complimenting her and talking about getting together with her!” then it’s pretty apparent they don’t think what she did was all that bad. Hell, I think it makes it perfectly clear that they support her. Maybe they even wished he had picked her over me. So why bother?

I know without a single doubt that if my son ever fucks up the way his dad did I would never continue a relationship with his whore. I would contact her once to let her know I knew what had transpired and that in light of that I couldn’t continue a relationship with her. I would let her know that it was much more important to me to have a relationship with my son and his entire family. And hopefully I will love my future daughter-in-law so I would also tell her that, and that I would never hurt or betray my daughter-in-law by continuing a relationship with her, the other woman.

I sometimes think my husband wants to pretend that none of this happened. He wants me to act like none of this bothers me and just forgive and forget. Wouldn’t that be nice? And oh so convenient for him and his family. No, what he really wants is to take the easy way out and to not have to confront his family. He could have ended this a year ago when I told him I didn’t like the fact that his stepfather commented on the whore’s picture and told her she was beautiful. He acted like his hands were tied. I can’t tell him what to post! No, but you could have a conversation with your mom and let her know that immediate family interacting with your whore was painful and upsetting to me, and if they truly wanted to ever see me again it would probably be wise to discontinue their relationship with the whore.

It’s hard to believe there is no contact when everyone he spends time with down there has a relationship with her. Even if he is actively avoiding her it’s easy to see how she could come up in conversation, even show up in person. Easy to see how information about her could be passed along, even if he’s not interested.

No, when you get down to the root of it, me forgiving his family and pretending like none of this ever happened would be for his benefit, not mine. It’s easier for him to try to guilt me into going where I don’t want to go and putting on a fake smile, than it is for him to tell his family that their continued involvement with his whore is resulting in him having to choose between his family of origin and his wife. And by choosing between the two rest assured I simply mean that I refuse to go with him. He wants to spend the holidays with them? He’s free to do so. I won’t be there, though. The kids can go with whomever they choose.

Present Day Sam Says: Folks, this is yet another excellent demonstration of what not to do when you’re reconciling. If this is what you’re dealing with, RUN! He (or she) isn’t sorry. Things won’t change. It’s quite possible you’ll face another D-Day. Get out now!

Everything I worried about happened. Since they never had a problem with her (or the two of them as a couple) to begin with they didn’t have a problem when they hooked up again. Hell, they encouraged it!

Don’t be as stupid and trusting as I was. If your spouse’s family is still in contact with the other person, RUN! I can’t stress it enough. You will never feel safe. You will never BE safe. The interloper will simply hang around and wait for the right time to pounce. Even better- the family will tell that person when the best time to pounce might be. Get out now. Save yourself. It will not end well.

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.