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?

Talking ‘Bout Boundaries

I was reading a reprint over on Chump Lady last week or the week before. It was How To Save Your Marriage After Infidelity. She was messing with her Google analytics really, knowing that that is the question so many people want answered after finding out they’ve been cheated on. I know many people, especially those who wish to reconcile, are not a big fan of hers, but she actually gave some great advice.

#1- Recognize that it’s dead. That’s a step most people don’t want to take. I get it. The reality though is that when your spouse cheats on you and betrays you you can’t trust them. You shouldn’t trust them! You probably don’t feel safe with them. Here’s the important part of that piece of advice though: We don’t control other people. The only person you control is you.

This is both good news and bad news. It gives you agency. You decide what you’re willing to put up with, what your deal breakers are. At the same time, if your cheater violates those deal breakers then it’s up to you to decide what to do. Because you don’t control the cheater. You control yourself. So, you tell your cheater you want access to all of their social media and you don’t ever want them around the AP again, and they violate that. Now it’s up to you to decide if you’re going to put up with that, or if you’re going to walk away. I can’t make you show me your Facebook/Instagram/text messages, or make you stay away from your AP, but I can leave you if you’re not willing to do those things for me and for our relationship.

#2- It’s not your fault. If you take only one or two things away from Chump Lady please make sure this is one of them.

Pay no attention to the blame-shifting. You didn’t hold a gun to their head and force them to create dating profiles. You might actually suck, but you did not make your cheater cheat. That’s completely on them. People have agency and many options, including therapy, divorce lawyers, and honest conversations. They cheated because they wanted to. It’s that simple.

They don’t cheat because you were too fat, or too skinny, or played too much Candy Crush. They didn’t cheat because they’re in a fog or having a midlife crisis or because you didn’t understand them. They cheated because they felt entitled to cheat. They wanted to and they did it. You’re not the boss of them!

Her third point was talking about the importance of having boundaries in the midst of infidelity, especially if you are planning on reconciling. Folks, as I said above if you only take one or two things away from Chump Lady make sure this is the other one. If you have any hopes of saving your marriage after infidelity you need to be willing to walk away if those boundaries are violated.

I am guilty as charged. I was petrified at times. I didn’t want to upset the apple cart. If I’m a good little wife and I keep everything perfect then he won’t be upset or leave. You know what? It didn’t help in the end. He cheated with the exact same person and this time he actually left. Or at least was making plans to leave until I found out and hightailed it to a lawyer’s and filed for divorce myself.

So, if one of your boundaries is your cheating spouse needs to give you details about what transpired? Then cheater better ‘fess up. If one of your boundaries is telling you who the AP is, cheater better ‘fess up. If one of your boundaries is letting you see Facebook, text messages, emails, etc.? Cheater better be showing you everything. If cheater hems and haws, does “trickle truth”, or just flat out tells you, “No.”? Then you need to be prepared to show Cheater the door. If you don’t? You are telling this person who has already horribly betrayed you once before that you are willing to put up with anything in order to keep this person in your life. You’re letting them know there will be no consequences for their atrocious behavior. They can abuse you again and again because the most important thing in the world is that they stay. You’re willing to put up with whatever in order to make sure they don’t leave you. Put another way: They’re the ones that cheated and you’re willing to let them call the shots on how reconciliation will play out.

Again, I get it. Sticking to your boundaries is scary. Truthfully, the cheater might leave. They’re not known for doing the difficult things. They like easy. But is this how you really want to live?

I didn’t stick to my boundaries. I didn’t realize they were being violated actually. But I recall that October back in 2013 when I found messages between him and his nephew and he was telling him how he was going to bring her with him and he was going to marry her one day.

I was so pissed and I refused to come home. He threatened to kill himself, which I later learned was a form of manipulation. We talked a few minutes about those messages but then he made his plea to give it a rest because he was “so anxious and stressed” and he just wanted a day to not talk about it. We never talked about it again. Until he tried to keep me off the deed to our new house when we moved.

I confronted him, asked him if he was moving me out there to divorce me. Once again he had the tears going. “How could you think that? I don’t know what that person is doing and I could give less than two fucks about them!” That was the end of it.

You all know how it played out. Approximately four months before D-Day #2 I was recording messages for my loved ones after they found my body. That’s how crazy he made me. That’s how desperate I felt during that period.

That’s not even mentioning the lies he told or the way he disrespected me the entire summer as he lied and handed money over to his whore bitch and her kids. I jumped through hoop after hoop trying to help him and make him happy and my payback was finding out he was fucking his cousin that he swore up and down was the worst mistake of his life.

I’m not saying that if I had been more confrontational all would have been well, but I know when we set boundaries and they step a toe over that line that’s not respect and that’s not how you behave when you are truly remorseful and wish to reconcile.

Tracy has this fantastic post called, Real Remorse? Or Genuine Imitation Naugahyde Remorse? that should be required reading for those who want to reconcile. As much as it sucks you better be able to suss out whether they’re genuinely sorry or if they’re simply trying to avoid any harsh consequences.

I will say this much for myself. I told him back in 2013 when I found out about Harley the first time that I would forgive him this time but if he ever did it again there would be no second chances. I would leave him and I would cut him off at the knees. I found out on a Monday night  and I was calling lawyers the next day. I hated it. I hated the fact that I was in this position. We had been in our new house in a new state for a year at that point. I had a brand new pool that had been filled for six days. I had new furniture and a new car. The last thing I wanted to do was file for divorce. But I knew there was no going back. He knew what my boundary was. He didn’t care. I guess he thought I was prepared to put up with anything in order to try to keep my cushy life. Cheater found out the hard way that was not the case.

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.

More On Grieving the Affair Partner

October 2014

Yep, reading another blog. This one is by a cheating spouse. Says he’s remorseful but it seems like he spends most of his time grieving the loss of his affair partner. At one point he was asked if he had feelings for her and he replied that it was one of the most intense and exhilarating, I believe, relationships he had ever had. As his wife I would have been pissed and beyond hurt. I can truthfully say that if Zack actually ever felt that way about Harley he was smart enough to never admit it because let me tell you… If he had, I would have been outta here. If you’re so in love and heartbroken then just go to her. Let’s see if you miss me. Let’s see how you feel when she’s the only one you’ve got and there is no wife at home doing your laundry, cooking your meals, taking care of your children, taking care of you. Let’s see if she’s so wonderful when she’s the one having to do all of those things. When she’s cost you a relationship with your kids.

I will say Zack has made it seem like even though he told her he loved her he now realizes he never did. At one point he told me he thought he talked to her and shared with her the way he wanted to do with me. He referred to her as his midlife crisis. Even when I asked him, a little less than a month after D Day, if he missed her and he admitted he did, he was careful to say he missed talking to her and hearing about family. He tried to be clear it wasn’t her he missed so much as it was what she represented.

I am thankful for all of that. I honestly don’t think I could stay and try to work through things if he was pining for her and acting like she was his true love, his soul mate, the one that got away. I was sincere when I told him I deserved to have someone who loved me. And I would not want to live my life knowing I was second best, or that as much as my husband may profess to love me there was always that one person whom he loved even more.

Present Day Sam Says: Experience has jaded me. If you’re grieving your affair partner then you have no business being married. Leave your spouse, let him or her find someone worthy of them, and go roll around in the gutter with the immoral shithead who thinks it’s perfectly fine to fuck a married person.

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.

Plenty of Bullshit From CF

This is the kind of mind fucking I got from him. All of the time! I still can’t reconcile how I was his rock, his savior, a saint less than a year before he began his affair with the whore again. Instead of getting mad (or getting a headache!) let’s make fun of his text messages instead!

July 2014

I am a saint and his rock. I am his everything, according to his texts. I try to believe him. He’s willing to do anything for me. So he says. I hope I’m not being played. (I was.)

I will do anything for you. Anything. There is nothing I won’t do for you. Please know that. You are my life. Above anything. I love you to my core. And I will do anything to make you happy. There is nothing I can even imagine that I would not do for you. Nothing. My entire life is committed to your happiness. Just ask. Anything. And I will do it.

Anything, huh? Will you stop fucking your cousin? Will you start paying your court ordered child support? Will you step up and be an actual father to your kids?

Hmmm… maybe I should send this to him and give him a list of my requests! Hey, Cousinfucker, remember back before you conned me into moving across the country and you told me you loved me to the core and you promised to do anything to make me happy? You told me you couldn’t imagine that there was anything you wouldn’t do for me. You’re slacking off here, buddy! I need spousal support, child support, a divorce. Hey, if you could have refrained from having an affair with your cousin that would have been great, but that’s already a done deal. Can’t change the past.

I didn’t mean it that way. I don’t want to burden the kids. If you think it is too much, then I won’t take them to see her. I don’t want to hurt them. I realize you don’t want to talk about this. And I thank you for doing it. I am so sorry for all the wrongs I have done. And I can’t even begin to express much I love you. You have taken all of me. The predominantly bad. And the very little good.

Yeah, I did take the predominantly bad, didn’t I? You don’t understand what you add to my life? Stand in line, Cousinfucker, because I have no idea what you added to my life either. Were you a partner? Nope. Were you a decent father? Nope. Good in bed? Negative. A social butterfly that helped us gain new friends? Nyet. Someone who cheered me on and supported me? Oh good God no! Make good money? Well, only until you started fucking your cousin. Then you decided to quit two jobs in four months and abandon all of your responsibilities.

You know what this really is? It’s victim morphing. I’m so worthless. Why do you love me? I have so little to offer you. And like clockwork I come along and tell him how wonderful he is and assure him that he isn’t worthless and that he adds so much to our lives.

I’m sorry you have to deal with that. Thank you for being a saint and my rock.

Yeah, I was a saint and your rock. Blah, blah, blah. A damn lot of good that did me!

Do You Want To Thank Him, Mom?

Blast From the Past 55

June 2014

Some days he really sticks his foot in it. We were texting back and forth and he said this: Your mom is lucky. She should be kissing my ass. Her little girl found the perfect man and she has never had to worry about you at all.

I know that I can’t keep coming back to last summer but at the time I’m thinking: Are you shitting me? The perfect man? You cheated on me for 3 1/2 months! You told your sister there was nothing left of our marriage and your whore made you happy and you loved her. You told your nephew you were going to marry the whore and you planned on bringing her with you to get her tattooed. How in the fuck do you consider that perfect? And as far as her never having to worry about me- honey, that’s only because when I finally went to call her to tell her I was pretty sure I was getting a divorce and moving back home I couldn’t get ahold of her. Otherwise she would have been plenty worried, plenty pissed, and in an eternal unforgiving mood where you were concerned!

Now I’m left wondering if I will ever be able to truly put the past behind me. Will I always scoff at the idea of having the perfect man? Will I always come back to the summer of ’13 when he mentions something? I guess time will tell.

Present Day Sam Says: Ha! Perfect man? Perfect asshole is more like it. It reminds me of his text message this past spring where he told me I should be a little more grateful because thanks to him I have a great life! Present tense, not past.

This perfect man turned right around and did it all over again. Lied all summer and funneled money to the whore. Oooh, I guess that makes him a perfect liar, too! He abandoned his kids. He blew approximately $30k on Harley and her kids in 4 months time. He drug us across the country and then moved out of the freaking state! Without saying a word to his kids. He opened a bank account and is living with another woman while he’s married to me. He is in no shape or form the perfect man.

That Time I Should Have Said, “No Way!” To Moving

June 2014

I’m only going to go down this road once. I haven’t talked to Zack yet and told him about her impending divorce. Because, let’s face it, I don’t KNOW with 100% certainty that that is a fact. Definitely high odds but not 100%- maybe 90-95%. But, I remember a year ago when I ignored all the signs and always came up with a bullshit excuse for why each thing was happening. I’m not going to do that this time.

The fact is my husband has been an emotional mess for months now. That could be just the way he is. Not an outrageous conclusion. It could be that he’s under a tremendous amount of stress carrying on an affair with his whore once again while also selling a house, moving closer to her, starting a new job, keeping me in the dark even as we look for houses, and realizing that even if his kids are close by they probably won’t want to have anything to do with him.

Another fact is that just as we’re moving 2000 miles across the country, a mere 6 hours from her, it looks like she and her husband are moving towards a divorce. Coincidence? I’d like to believe so. But I also wanted to believe it was a coincidence she blocked me from Facebook the day after Zack came home and found pictures of her all around the house. Oh, the explanations I came up with- maybe they’d still been in contact but now that he knew I knew he called it off and she blocked me in a fit of anger. Maybe it was an odd coincidence. Maybe, maybe, maybe. Maybe they were fooling around still and he simply shared with her that her pictures were all over his house. Maybe he thought perhaps I suspected something. Maybe she blocked me because they were still fucking around and he told her about it and she wanted me to know that she was still present in my life, that he refused to give her up. BINGO!

She’s growing her hair longer. He likes long hair. I’ve kept cutting mine so that I don’t look like her.

I have a few positive signs. They don’t mean much in the end because I realize he was able to successfully lie to me for months last year. He tells me he loves me, like really loves me. He tells me how beautiful I am, how sexy I am, how much he wants me. He tells me he doesn’t deserve me and I’m so wonderful and he’s nothing. He says he worries that I won’t move to our new state. That one can easily be explained by the kids. No momma means no kids. In short, he says all the right things. He makes me believe he realizes what a mistake he made and how grateful he is for a second chance. Makes me believe I’m the one and he’s madly in love with me. He’s even agreed to go to Florida with us.

His mom seems intent on re-establishing a relationship with me. Why would she do that if she knew I was history? But then again, she didn’t know before and she may not know now.

I didn’t see anything incriminating on his phone when I checked last time but surely he’s smart enough to delete that crap and any references to it. It looked like a perfectly innocent conversation with his sister. She did say they hadn’t been in contact so he’s not confiding any affair to her. I thought when he said his mess was self made he was referring to his past affair and how it influenced things today. But maybe his self made problems involve his on again affair with Harley. And there are other options besides mobile texting. SnapChat is perfect for that. The text or picture deletes itself in a few seconds.

My gut is not screaming like it did last year, but I’m not sure that means anything. I find it highly suspicious that she is getting divorced just as we are moving closer, which was part of their master plan. Move him closer. They have more chances to be together. I don’t know if he ever planned on leaving me to be with her.

On one hand I can’t deny what he told his nephew. On the other hand he says he never planned on divorcing me, that was all talk and it was all stupid fantasy. I think he wants to believe that now. But back then, in the heat of it all, I think he did want to leave and marry her. He might not have had it planned out, might not have been sure on how to a accomplish it, but I think he wanted to.

I guess the question now is how do you go from her being your soul mate, the one who makes you happy and you want to marry, to no, you’re the one I’ve always loved? I was stupid and wrong and it was all a big fantasy.

I’m sure the conversation won’t be easy. He’s going to feel like I can never trust him. Oh well, you cheat on your wife and that’s what happens. Maybe I’ll even be reigniting old passions. But, I’ve got to do it. Like I said, I ignored my instincts the last time. Ignored all warning signs. I’m not going to do that this time.

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Added two days later: I hate the fact that whenever a lot of time goes by and he hasn’t texted me I wonder if it’s because he’s busy texting her. I hate being even a little bit suspicious.

Present Day Sam Says: What I discovered when I talked to The Saint was that she was having another affair at this point. She is delightful, isn’t she?

98 or 99% But Never 100%

Blast From the Past 43

May 2014

I want to clear something up. I know I’ve been talking like I’m not completely convinced it’s over between the two of them and like I’m unhappy about the move because of those fears. I no longer feel confident in believing anything having to do with my husband 100%. I can give him 98% or maybe even 99%, but 100% will forever be out of reach. I’m as confident as I can be that it’s over. That this is not a long con. That the closer proximity won’t reignite their illicit affair. But I’ll never be 100% sure. And that’s OK. As I told my therapist, what else can I do besides trust him? I can’t control him. I only control myself. I can’t prevent him from cheating on me with Harley, if that’s what he wants to do. I can only make a decision about what I’ll do if that happens. And I am 100% certain that if he ever cheats on me again I will leave him in a heartbeat. I will crush him. I will destroy him. I will suck the soul right out of his body. When I am done with him Hiroshima and Nagasaki will look like child’s play. I figure he was given two chances already. I forgave him when he came clean (somewhat reluctantly) the first time, with no details forthcoming, no idea how serious it was, and with him acting like she was just one of many. And he turned around and sniffed out his bitch again. I had no clue for almost three months and then her lovely husband was kind enough to let me know they were still fucking around. This time I got all the details and I forgave him a second time. There will be no third time.
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Added a few weeks later: So read the above carefully, Harley. It would not have been pretty, and it won’t be in the future. I will destroy him if he ever leaves. And believe me, as the woman who has been by his side the last TWENTY YEARS, it won’t take much. You won’t be skipping merrily into my old life, bringing in your own supposed upgrades. You will be dealing with a man who is a shell of his former self. One who can barely drag himself out of bed every morning. You will be in fix-it mode forever. You will be dealing with an ex-wife who is a vengeful bitch from Hell and two kids who hate your guts. There will be no blended family, no Brady Bunch ending. And if your beloved is so distraught he loses his job you’ll be trotting your happy ass off to work to pay me my alimony and child support. I wouldn’t have/won’t care if you don’t have enough to feed your kids or keep them in their activities. I’ll be thinking of my kids.  And believe me when I say I will be enjoying all the misery from my comfy seat on the sidelines.

Present Day Sam Says:  It turns out I was absolutely correct in not trusting him 100%. The minute I thought I could he turned around and cheated on me again.

Are Emotional Affairs Harmless?

It’s going to be hard to top yesterday’s entry so I’m not even going to try. I’m too busy still going through everything.  Luckily, I think I’m down to the basement now. Once I get that cleared out I can start pricing things. In the meantime, enjoy this Blast From the Past.

Blast From the Past 26

March 2014

Sometimes I wonder if I’m making a bigger deal out of this than need be and then I see something like this and I realize I’m not crazy, nor am I making a mountain out of a molehill: Some argue that an emotional affair is harmless because it is more of a casual relationship than traditional cheating; however, the intimate nature of the communication, plus the emotional investment made by the people involved, places an emotional affair on the same level or worse as traditional cheating.

It is much more dangerous for a marriage should your spouse connect with someone emotionally than physically. Anyone who finds himself or herself drawn to another person on an emotional level should consider the possible consequences of such an affair. Emotional affairs are just as likely to lead to divorce and physical affairs.

THANK YOU! Just because he swears there was no sex, not even a single meeting in person, doesn’t mean it wasn’t wrong. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t serious or didn’t threaten our marriage. There are some days I wish he had just fucked the bitch. But no, they loooovvvved one another. They were going to get married. They were planning a future. Yeah, definitely think I would have preferred if he were just fucking her.

Editor’s Note:  The funny thing is I’m a hell of a lot less upset this time around.  I really don’t care that he’s fucking her. Don’t get me wrong.  I whole-heartedly believe she’s a nasty ass whore but this hurts a lot less the second time around than when I was trying to reconcile. Maybe it’s acceptance.  Maybe it truly is a matter of being more devastated by the emotional shit instead of the physical.  I don’t really care.