According to Redbook Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Take Back A Cheater

I came across some light reading the other day. Entitled 5 Reasons You Should Never Take Back a Cheater it goes through a list of, you guessed it, five reasons you shouldn’t take a cheater back. It’s more like a checklist, I think. As in, if the cheater in your life did this…

And while this comes backed by Redbook experts (!) it’s nothing that the exquisite Chump Lady hasn’t already covered pretty thoroughly in her excellent post, Real Remorse? Or Genuine Imitation Naugahyde Remorse? I think we can all use a refresher course once and again so let’s begin.

Reason #1 you shouldn’t take your cheater back: It was an emotional affair. If sexologist and author, Eric Marlowe Garrison, tells you that emotional affairs can be just as hard to weather through, then you should probably believe him.

In all seriousness, what I hear time and time again is that it is not the sex that destroys the betrayed spouse. It’s all the damn lies and gas lighting.

CF’s first affair was supposedly an emotional affair. We did live almost 2000 miles away from Harley and I can testify that CF does not have a 1500+ mile long penis so perhaps he was telling the truth. Or, maybe on one of the few times he visited with his mom he took off and fucked the whore. I don’t know and I don’t care at this point. What hurt the most was the fact that he told me she made him happy. That was something I had been trying, and failing to do for eighteen years at that point. You want to talk triggers? Any talk of happiness was a huge trigger for me.

He told her he loved her. He made plans for the future with her. They talked about coming home to each other and eating dinner together. All things he didn’t bother doing with me and our kids. He was giggling like a teenager in love to his nephew about bringing her around when he got his tattoo, and telling him, “I can’t say much but one day you’ll be related to her!” Tee hee hee. So yeah, that stung more than a little bit.

Reason #2: Learning new info over the months. I think that’s what those in the reconciliation industry like to call “trickle truth”. It’s a pretty little cover for what should be known as lying by omission. It can also be called covering your ass and what they don’t know won’t hurt them but what they do know can sure as hell hurt me!

For those of you who have dealt with the so-called “trickle truth” you know it’s difficult to heal. For one, you know there’s information you don’t have. For two, every time another bomb drops, usually courtesy of someone or something else, you go right back to square one. It’s almost impossible to heal, or forgive, when you don’t know the entire story and you keep getting little chunks of it over the course of months or years.

Reason #3: They don’t answer all your questions. Well isn’t that some bullshit? They cheat and break your heart, potentially destroy your family, and then they’re going to get a burr up their ass about answering questions.

I like the way sex and family therapist, Jane Greer, Ph.D, puts it: The person who cheated should answer all these questions. If they can’t or won’t, walk away.”

Amen. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There are quite a few cheaters out there who have no interest in a divorce, but they also have no interest in truly reconciling. Divorce might mean having to do for themselves. Divorce will mean divvying up assets and potentially paying child and/or spousal support. Divorce might mean a lot of unpleasant things the cheater doesn’t want to face. What they want is for you to shut up and go back to the way things were before they were caught. They won’t do any work on the relationship, or helping you heal, and they feel like you should feel fortunate they’ve chosen to stay.

I do my best to let everyone find their own way but I will say a little prayer that any of you who find yourselves dealing with a supposedly remorseful cheater who refuses to answer your questions and does the trickle truth routine will find the strength to tell that cheater they can either start answering your questions honestly, or they can get the fuck out.

Reason #4: Placing the blame elsewhere. Specifically, if they are blaming you for the affair. No one makes a person cheat. I couldn’t get CF to eat a turnip. I couldn’t get him out of the bedroom to join us as a family. I couldn’t get him to enjoy holidays or vacations. I couldn’t get him to replace our screen door. I couldn’t get him to follow through on the promised theater room or the outdoor entertainment area. It follows that I couldn’t prevent him from fucking someone else. That was all on him.

For the love of God, if your cheater tries putting it all back on you, please, PLEASE, stand up to that sniveling coward and let them know you had absolutely nothing to do with their piss poor choices. Be crystal clear that the cheating they did was their own damn fault and a result of their poor character, which had nothing to do with you. And then go one step further and let them know that if they ever dare to blame you for their affair again you will kick their ass to the curb and file for divorce immediately. Or better yet, just leave. You’ve got nothing to work with. That’s a whole lot of entitlement and crazy thinking to cheat on your partner and then expect them to shoulder the blame for your shitty actions.

Reason #5: The affair has been ongoing. I always thought if a person cheated I would end the relationship, no questions asked. Boom. We’re done. And then of course I bought into the whole, “I won’t measure our entire relationship by one mistake,” hocus pocus. But even after I considered maybe forgiving a cheating spouse I always figured I couldn’t forgive him if either the affair had lasted a very long time, or if there had been multiple women.

I hate to quote Audrey Hope, a celebrity relationship expert (whatever that is) but I agree with her when she says, “If cheating lasted a long time, like a year or more, it’s no longer an affair, but rather a full-blown relationship.”

Most affairs are short-lived. I don’t think I could have dealt with a long running affair. Had I found out CF and Harley had been fucking around for 2 or 3 years the first time, I’m pretty sure I would have been singing Ace of Base’s, “I Saw the Sign” and walked away. Nothing to save. There is an awful lot of lying going on when someone conducts a long term affair. The sheer fact that my spouse could have lived a double life for years on end would be enough for me to say, “I’m done.”

Similarly, when Elin Nordegren first took a golf club and chased her husband down, ending with him crashing into a tree, I thought to myself, “Maybe they can rebuild.” And then the long list of women started hitting the news. That’s when I said to myself, “She needs to leave him. She’s got nothing to work with.” A one night stand, or even a one time short-lived affair is a whole different kettle of fish from someone who will fuck anything and everything.

You might be able to rebuild your marriage after an affair. When you’re dealing with someone who endlessly cheats you’re married to someone who wants a pussy or dick buffet. They’re not interested in faithfulness.

There you have it. Five reasons you should leave your cheater. If it was an emotional affair, if your partner won’t tell you the whole truth or refuses to answer questions, if your partner blames you for the affair, or if the affair was long-term Redbook says to run. If you can’t trust Redbook, who can you trust?

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Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!

August 2015

Texted him good morning around 11 and then that he would need to pick up Rock Star from cheerleading tomorrow.  He finally texted back around 3:30 so I asked him if he was on the road.  No, not yet.  I texted him around 5 to ask if he was on the road again or if he was just going to stay another day.  Haven’t heard back from him.

Then, since I’ve been keeping track of all our expenses I checked the account.  Another $228 to Wal-Mart.  In Whore Town.  Surely he can’t be that stupid, can he?  He said before he didn’t know why it would say Whore Town because she had bought stuff in a different city.

I hate this!  He won’t be home until at least 11. Probably later.  And I don’t give a shit how tired he is tomorrow.

Next fucking time he goes to his home state I’m trailing his ass down there.  I don’t care how I have to do it.  I’m sick of this.  I’m sick of being a basket case.  I’m sick of wondering why the hell his phone is tied to his side.  I’m sick of wondering if he’s going to leave me or if he no longer loves me.  He better not have brought me here only to turn around and leave me.

And it gets better.  Jezebel posted pictures of her and Zack, captioned a surprise visit from my brother.  Haven’t seen him in almost 2 years.  Not only does Harley like the pictures, but her sister says, “I seen him at the family reunion.  It had been years!  It was great to see him.  So glad you all got to get together.”  WHAT?  What fucking family reunion?  I’m hoping it was autocorrect and she meant she say it has been years.  It damn well better be.  I mean, I know his cousin died.  That’s not in dispute.  But I guess the funeral really could have taken place on Friday at 1 and then he could have gone to this family reunion.

 

The Day Before D-Day

August 2015

No better today.  I ended up texting him around 8 last night.  Got no reply so I called.  He was napping.  He’s not planning on leaving until around 2 or 3 this afternoon.  I got to see pictures of him and Jezebel on FB.  Always good to know he’s hanging around her.  My mom is pissed since I told her he’s no longer seeing his psychologist and he went to His home state again.  I’m not very happy about it either.  I can’t stand confrontation but I’m not sure how else things will move forward.  How does he not see it’s wrong to stay holed up in the bedroom while he’s home, ignoring me and the kids, but he can drive to his home state for a funeral of a cousin he has barely spoken to in 20+ years?  He’s planning on driving to see Blockhead soon and then he’s going to his fucking reunion in October.

I’m tired of being portrayed as the bad guy.  I’m not the one who cheated.  I’m not the one who lied all summer long.  I’m not the one who hasn’t been around for years at a time.  I’m not the one encouraging people to leave their spouse.  So why the hell am I the one feeling like I have to fix everything?

I’m picking Rock Star up at noon and then I think I’m taking a pill to help calm my nerves.  I keep telling myself to breathe and to slow down.  He loves me.  He fears every day that I’m going to leave him.  He’s not having an affair.  You don’t have all the facts and you’re going off half cocked.  I’m just ready to die and the only thing that keeps me going is my kids.  I can’t do that to them.

 

Two Days Before D-Day

August 2015

It’s now 5:41 and I have yet to hear from my dear husband today.  I decided to wait it out and see if he would text me first.  I guess not.  I guess it completely slips his fucking mind that him being in his home state, a mere one hour away from HER might cause ME just a wee bit of anxiety.  Along with his staunch refusal to take either of the kids.  I think I’m going to take a pill tonight.  I just can’t function.  I’m on autopilot and thinking about crashing my car again.  Am I being totally ridiculous with wanting some contact?  I was looking at old texts from him, sent just a year ago and they are so damn different than what I get now.  Maybe it’s all the newness wearing off.  Maybe he was just missing me seeing as how we were apart.  But I miss it.  I miss what he turned into for that short amount of time.  And I’m getting pissed because he has done squat to keep in touch.  I keep telling myself that he wouldn’t cash in pretty much all of his stock on this swimming pool only to turn around and leave me.  I keep telling myself that I don’t know that Blockhead is telling him to divorce me.  I just don’t freaking know anything anymore.  He’s making me crazy and at least one of us needs to stay sane for these kids!

Present Day Sam Says:  He was probably too busy setting up his joint checking account with Harley to get back to me. Oh, and an hour away from her? No, she was there at the funeral with him. It’s date night, y’all! Complete with his mommy as chaperone and introducing her to everyone in his family!

Writing this right now makes me realize that everyone in his damn family knew that our marriage was over and that I was being replaced before I ever had a clue. Talk about humiliating.

 

Three Days Before D-Day

August 2015

… I’ve been texting with Zack.  The funeral was supposed to be today at 1.  He tells me today that the funeral was changed to tomorrow at 3.  Am I wrong in thinking he is really expecting a lot from me?  I mean, he goes to his home state alone.  He’s a mere 60 minutes from Harley.  He never seems to have great service when he’s there so texts don’t get answered right away and there’s not a whole lot of communication anyway.  A fucking funeral gets moved to a completely different day and time and I’m expected to just go along with the flow and not question anything, not have any worries.

I think that’s what’s been bothering me.  Not only does he want to move on, focus on the future, not dwell on the past… but also I’m supposed to do the same.  I am not allowed to heal at my own pace without making him feel bad.  I see so many blogs where the men are apologizing months and months after D-Day.  They take their wife’s anger and understand they caused it.  They deal with their breakdowns and anxiety.  Zack has never wanted to face any of that.  He wants to pretend it never happened and that if we just focus on the future then none of that will happen.

It’s not my fault I get triggered by things.  It’s not my fault him being in his home state by himself causes me anxiety.  It’s about time he realizes that instead of expecting me to make the concessions.  I’m not the one that cheated!  I didn’t betray him and make plans to live my life with someone else.  I wasn’t telling some other man I loved him.  If he had ever done a smidgen of research on affair recovery he would have known triggers will always be present.  He would have known it generally takes between 18 and 24 months to fully recover.  Instead he wanted it over and done with pretty much after he confessed.

Anyway, I don’t know if it’s the Prozac kicking in after a mere 3 or 4 days or what but I’ve been keeping the anxiety at bay.  I’ve got diarrhea like a crazy woman so maybe it’s manifesting itself that way.  Pleasant.  Can’t take the Visteral until after 8 because I have to pick up Rock Star…

I’ve been keeping track of the money I’m spending because for the life of me I can’t figure out why the hell we don’t have a ton of money left over each pay period!  Well, I know for the month of June it was because we were on vacation and eating out all the time.  And last pay period it was because we were in Florida and again, eating out and going shopping.  But even this pay period I wouldn’t have stayed within limits if not for the fact that we didn’t need to pay for trash, Am Ex, or the bank credit card.  Of course, I also went back to school shopping today because it is the tax free weekend and ended up spending almost $500.  Plus I had Rock Star’s cheerleading fees to pay plus a sweatshirt to buy.  The check to Mom for the water park came through and that was $90…  Picasso got assigned to be in band instead of getting art and home ec as his electives so he may not be signing up for cello lessons after all.  Who knows, maybe he’ll really enjoy band.  I’ve got fees to pay on the 14th but even for the 2 of them I don’t think it will even cost $100.  I do still need to buy food for the rest of the pay period…

Present Day Sam Says: A change in funeral plans? Come on, Sam! How dumb are you?

Okay, I will admit I was suspicious, but he was so convincing. He insisted that he was told the time was going to be Friday and he must have misunderstood.

Did anybody catch the Prozac reference? The man lies and says I was mentally abusive and manipulative and I ended up on fucking Prozac before this was all over and done with! I stopped taking it almost immediately when he tried to insinuate that “my depression was deepening”.

I wasn’t depressed, you asshole! You were driving me fucking crazy!

 

Approximately Four Days Before D-Day

August 2015

Well, he’s in his home state.  He told me yesterday he was going to his cousin’s funeral.  He left around 11 and got there around 6:30.  He texted me to let me know he had made it but I haven’t heard from him since.  Typical.  My anxiety when he goes to his home state by himself is always already amped up and he does nothing to alleviate it.  Checking in would be nice.  Letting me know what’s going on would be nice.

I haven’t been freaking out too much.  The pit in my stomach isn’t the boiling mass it was a few days ago.  Last night was nice with him.  And he was friendly and flirty with me today.  I asked him if he loved me and he said he did.  I guess he could lie if he wanted to but I’m hoping that he is telling me the truth.

I know that eventually, somehow, I’m going to have to bring up the other FB page and his feeling that I’m going to leave him.  Maybe he no longer cares.  Maybe that’s something he worried about in February but is completely over now.  I was reading some old texts that I had screen shot and he was so head over heels in love with me just a year ago.  Telling me how much he loved me and how I was his entire life.  I liked that.

Now I can’t get him to come out of the bedroom and he spends all of his time on his phone, answering emails and talking to Blockhead.  I wish someone that he confided in actually knew the entire story and could tell him he was acting crazy.  Instead they feed the delusions and then I come across looking crazy!

I did ask him if he was ever going to go anyplace with me.  He told me he had driven someplace once and I replied that he was planning on going to this funeral by himself and then visiting Blockhead and then going to his reunion.  All by himself.

I read something today that makes a lot of sense.  I know I’ve seen something similar before but for some reason it really hit home.  The woman was talking about how her husband could just forget all about his affair and she wished that she could do the same.  Someone replied to her that once the affair is discovered it is usually a relief to the cheater; they no longer have to keep their secret life hidden.  Everything is out in the open and they no longer need to lie to you or worry about being found out.  It’s over.  But for the betrayed it’s just the beginning.  Now they know and they have to deal with the fallout.

I think that’s what Zack doesn’t get.  Once he was found out he made a choice and could move on.  He could forget about her and move on.  I, on the other hand, had just discovered my husband’s betrayal.  I was rocked with doubt and insecurity and fear and everything else. I couldn’t just forget it and move on.

I deleted all her pictures off my phone today. It felt good. I also deleted all of her corny little inspirational sayings.

I have to be able to move at my own pace.  I’m sorry if Zack doesn’t like that.  I’m sorry if it makes him feel bad or like I’m going to leave.  I have indulged him plenty.  I never discuss her or their affair with him so let me just have my own thoughts that I work through.  It’s so stupid when you think about it.  Blockhead rushes in to tell Zack all about my FB page and everything that I was upset over back then I’ve worked through.  I could have worked through it on my own with my husband being none the wiser, but noooo!  Oh God no!  Blockhead knew better.

He rewarded himself with a bottle of bourbon for going to his psychiatrist appointment on Monday.  Then on Tuesday he decided he was done with therapy with his therapist.  He said he has no faith in it and he’s too much of a black and white thinker.  He’s going to rely on the drugs to help him.  They better help fast!  I’m at the point where I’m about to take his anti anxiety medication.

Present Day Sam Says: Sad, sad, sad. I’m dancing as fast as I can to placate him, to tell myself that everything was going to be okay and it was so far off track at that point there would be no recovering.

We’ll have to discuss the FB page at some point and I’ll end up apologizing for “hurting” him. He just needs to understand what I’m feeling and how much this affair hurt me. I’ll forgive EVERYONE for the shitty way they treated me if that means my marriage prevails. And meanwhile he’s down there fucking his cousin and not giving me a second thought.

It was a nice touch when he chose to “reward” himself with a bottle of bourbon. Was he setting the stage for his PTSD/alcoholism excuse once he left me and the kids in the dust?

In the end here we are. On the verge of divorce, him living with the whore that set this whole thing in motion more than four years ago. No good deed goes unpunished and the path to Hell is paved with good intentions, right?

 

Approximately Five Days Before D-Day

August 2015

Feeling better today.  And I’ve made some progress.  Yesterday I finally removed all of her pictures in my contacts.  I had her picture up for his nephew, Pastor Fake and Jezebel still.  Since I was beginning to talk to Tammy Faye more I had already replaced that one.  I kept her number in but deleted her picture and have her in my contacts as Kim.  I started to delete most of my entries on Facebook and then just decided to deactivate that account.  I’m even considering reaching out to Jezebel with a friend request.  CONSIDERING.  It’s not a done deal.

I am finally starting to realize what Shawn the Wife means when she talks about not pain shopping and focusing on your own happiness.  Tracking her down and seeing what she was up to, trying to interpret events (her hair is longer and darker, she’s lost weight- does this mean she’s involved with my husband again? Is she getting a divorce? etc.), seeing how she was interacting with my in-laws, did nothing for me except make me crazy.  Honestly, I know that I have given her more head space than she will ever give me.  I know my in-laws will never turn their back on her and I need to let that go.  Somehow try to find a way to focus on us and our relationship.  I doubt it will ever be the same.  I was re-reading some old entries when I was deleting stuff and I came across the one that finally nailed down what it was that made everything so hard.  I loved them.  I considered them family.  But when it came down to it I wasn’t the one they rallied around.  I was disposable.  I loved them all just like they were my original family and then I found out I didn’t mean anything to them if I didn’t mean anything to Zack. I felt like they were my family; they felt like I was Zack’s wife and everything about our relationship was based on that. So, I think I can navigate some sort of relationship with them while understanding that it doesn’t really mean anything.  It makes things more peaceful at home.

Hell, I’ll even forgive Blockhead and his snooping ways.

As for Jezebel, well, I don’t trust her and any relationship we will end up having will be extremely superficial.  I can be cordial.  I can do holidays.  But I won’t be willing to do things with her on our own.  I won’t confide in her or let her in on my family life.  I can be FB friends but honestly I’ll probably unfollow her because I don’t want to see her bi-weekly profile and cover picture changes or hear about her fabulous life with her very best friend and soul mate.  If the kids choose to be friendly that’s great but I won’t be facilitating it.  I’ll just caution them that these are people they’ll see maybe once a year and if Jezebel and Husband #3 ever divorce they’ll be out of their lives forever.  Enjoy it but don’t get too close.  Oh, and the biggie, remember to NEVER EVER trust her.

This way is just so much more peaceful.  It’s hard sometimes to sustain rage and I’m over it.

Thinking about everything that has been happening lately I realized just how much I love Zack, how entwined our lives are.  I’ve spent almost half of my life with him.  It’s not just about the two of us.  It’s about us and everything that we have built over the last 21 years.  I don’t want to lose that.

I am hopeful that this is the year our anniversary offers up no triggers.  I’ve even been thinking about renewing our vows.

Present Day Sam Says:  Oh, Sam, you stupid, stupid, stupid woman.  You so badly wanted everything to be ok even though your gut was undoubtedly screaming the truth to you.  You were too trusting.

Now that I’m done scolding myself I want to say I always find these later entries so painful.  I was finally over it and just as I recover he goes and does it again, assuming, of course, that it ever truly ended.  I ate so much shit so that everything could go back to the way that it was and it turns out it was all in vain.