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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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.

Jezebel

March 2015

I’m getting ready to write this amazing post about healing and moving on and blah blah blah but first I want to get this other stuff out.  I’ve been thinking about Jezebel and her reaching out comment and why that pisses me off so much.

So, here is the background.  I’ve already written about how she asked Zack to keep secrets from me, went out to dinner with Zack and Husband #3 without me, encouraged Zack to leave me for Harley, criticized my spending habits, and then, 18 months later, sent me a FB friend request. After that request was declined she then ran to Zack, crying about how she had reached out to me for the last time and she was done!  Why does this bother me so much?

For starters it pisses me off because she has done so many shitty things to me and she turns around and portrays herself as the victim.  As MY victim.  How?  Did I get your husband to go out to dinner with me and my new boyfriend, Jezebel?  Did I convince him to ditch you and lie to you so that he could do so?  Did I convince your husband to keep secrets from you?  Did I criticize you to your husband?  NO!  In fact, I’ve never even met your husband. Further fact, I could have met your husband back in April of ’12 but you deliberately chose to exclude me! I’ve never had a single conversation with him- not in person, not over the phone, not via email, text, or FB.  Never said hi, bye, how are you, or fuck off. So, that’s the first thing.  She encourages my husband to leave me for another woman and then 18 months later, after I decline a friend request, she turns herself into the victim and me into the bad guy.  This is a theme that keeps recurring (not just with her) and it baffles and infuriates me.

Moving on… she tells Zack, “I’m done reaching out.”  As I’ve said before, “Really?  What exactly have you done to reach out?”  The answer is nothing. May, June, July, and half of August Zack is waxing poetic about his darling Harley.  She’s his world, the love of his life.  She makes him happy.  He wants to marry her.  I treat him like a handyman and a paycheck.  We’re just roommates.  Harley good.  Sam bad.  He gets caught, I give him an ultimatum, and he tells his sister he’s done with Harley and he’s choosing me.  Jezebel tells him she fully supports him.  I hear nothing from her.  No text, no email, no phone call… nothing.  She never says:  Gee, I’m really sorry I encouraged my brother to leave you for another woman.  Never even says:  Hey, how are you?  I’m thinking about you.  How are things between the 2 of you?  I’m rooting for you two.  I hope you are able to get back to where you used to be.  No matter what I want you to know you’re family and I love you. What can I do to make it up to you?  I want you to know I’m sorry that I hurt you.  I should have stayed out of it. I think of you as a sister.  You are very important to me.  Your kids are important to me.  I want to have a relationship with all of you.  What can I do to regain your trust?  What can I do to help rebuild this relationship I have so badly damaged? I don’t blame you if you hate me.  I tossed you away like a used kleenex in an effort to support my brother. Please give me another chance.  I’m sorry.  No, none of that.  Even if she were lying it would have been nice to have had her express just a sliver of remorse.

In October, when I found that FB conversation between him and his nephew I texted her and told her she should probably check up on her brother. That was October 23rd.  She replied the next day and wondered what was up.  I then told her he had been upset the night before because of the conversation I found. This is what I said: Honestly?  He was pretty upset last night because I refused to come home.  I found messages between him and his nephew where he was going to bring Harley with him to get his tattoo.  She was going to get one, too.  A sparrow on her foot to represent love.  And he told him he needed to keep everything under wraps to protect our children until the time was right.  Like they wouldn’t be able to figure out he had left their mom for this whore. And he let him know he was going to marry her.  He was upset and threatening to end his life if I’m going to leave him.  He’s sleeping now but I’d check up on him later because I’m still not sure what I’m going to do.

She wanted to know if it was a recent conversation with Harley.  I corrected her and told her it was a conversation with his nephew about Harley and about marrying her. After, I say: I told him last night to book a flight and go find her and fuck her.  He wants her so damn badly he can have her.  Why don’t you go ahead and let her know he’s back on the market so the whore can take up with him and they can get married and be happy?  She replies: I just know he told me he was done with her.  He doesn’t want to lose his family.  He made a mistake. At which point I’m all like:  Wow- if only it were that easy!  You don’t get to tell another woman you love her and want to marry her and your wife means absolutely nothing and then turn around and go, “Oh, my bad!”  She then says:  I know.  Not making excuses.  I just know he doesn’t want to lose his family.  I go on to tell her that’s one of those things you probably need to think about *before* you start the affair because once it begins and your wife finds out it’s no longer up to you.  She then replies:  I understand.  For my part in this I am sorry.  I love my brother unconditionally.  Ah, the long awaited for apology.  I know there are parts that are missing from the texts on my new phone, and I’ll go back over them later. (All texts have now been included.)  But, that was basically it as far as apologies go.  Gee, sorry you got hurt but my allegiance is to my brother and you were collateral damage.  Sorry.

I did give my spiel about how I love my brothers unconditionally, too, but I would never condone something like this. Actually, what I said was:  I love my brothers unconditionally, too.  But I’m very certain I would have told them to get their heads out of their asses and think about what they were doing.  I would have told them to go to marriage counseling and do everything in their power to make their marriage work first.  I would have told them you don’t start dating someone else when your wife doesn’t even know you want a divorce. Practically speaking, if they were carrying on an affair with a family member 1800 miles away I would have asked them how they see this playing out.  Are they willing to leave their kids behind to go be with this person?  Do they really think their wife is dumb enough to move 2000 miles across the country so they can be closer to the mistress? And hey, what if it doesn’t work out?  Since you’ve chosen a family member how do you think that’s going to work if you call it off?  You’ve picked someone that your wife is going to have to deal with until the day one of you dies.  But again, I’m practical and I’ve read enough to know that in 97 or 98% of these cases once the affair partner becomes the primary partner it ends, if one spouse even leaves the other to begin with.  And she tells me:  Whether you believe me or not I told him ALL those things.  To which I replied: So what did he say to those questions?  Was he so crazy in love that he thought everything was going to work out like some fairy tale?  And that’s when she begins to go into victim mode.  She replies:  Obviously you think I’m the enemy.  I’m sorry you feel that way.  My intentions were never to hurt anyone.

That’s Jezebel at her finest.  Dig yourself in deep and then play the victim when you realize you backed the wrong woman.  I replied (quite sensibly, I believe): What on earth did I just say to make you think that? I honestly never knew you had said anything to him beyond: you should do what makes you happy.  And I knew from conversations with him that he was telling you Harley made him happy and he thought he loved her. Hell, he was telling his nephew he was going to marry her so I imagine he would have told you a lot more than that.  In the end it’s not your fault.  He was the one who cheated.  He was the one who lied.  I never expected you to choose me over him.  As a close friend pointed out to me last night no one in his family would be able to hurt me if he hadn’t had an affair.  She later says:  I am worried about him.  I am sorry you were hurt.  I hate all of this for everyone.  Can you all go to counseling?  Do you want to try to fix this?  Does he?

I have to say I find this questioning kinda weird.  Didn’t he tell her he wanted his marriage?  Why would she wonder if he wanted to fix this if he had already told her he didn’t want to lose me, his marriage, his kids, any of that?

There were only a few more texts between us.  I told her we were going back to counseling, although now that I think about it, we never did.  Told her that he said he loved me and made a huge mistake and it has always been me.  Told her that he told me Harley was giving him the attention he was craving from me.  I admitted that I have a hard time believing that’s all it was, that he’s been begging me not to leave him, and that I’ve always been very honest with him about not wanting a divorce.  She replies back:  That’s all it was.  To which I said: He was telling people he was going to marry her.  He told people he loved her.  That doesn’t sound like nothing.  And then she says:  I understand.  Do you?  Do you really understand?  How?

The following day I texted: I realize in hindsight that it sounds like I didn’t return home at all the other night.  That’s not true and it wasn’t my intention to lead anyone on to believe I had stayed away all night.  I did come home after about two hours.  Your mom called last night thinking I had left him and I wanted to clear that up.  She just said ok, and asked how things were.  I told her they were ok and that we had talked a little bit but he had asked that we not talk about any of this for a few days because he had been such an anxious wreck for the last 36 hours.  She said:  Understand.  I then told her he was doing better that day and made a joke about how he was fortunate that he had an extremely understanding wife.  I followed that up with:  Of course, that may lead to my downfall.  And she says:  Well, let’s just hope this is the beginning of a better road.

That was the last conversation of any type I have had with her since.  October 25, 2013. Not one follow up.  Hell, maybe she’s following up with her brother.  But if you’re going to go crying to that brother about how you’re done reaching out you might want to have some proof you’ve actually reached out.  She never did.  *I* reached out to her, only because Zack had said when the shit first hit the fan and he thought I was going to make him sever his ties with her, that she was the only one who could talk him off the ledge.  He was on a ledge that night and I was pissed and I wasn’t going to come home. I texted her so she could help clean up the mess the two of them had created with all their lies and collusion.  She could help him through this since she was the one telling him all along that he should do whatever made him happy because he deserved it.  She had helped mire him further into this mess and she could help him now that it wasn’t all going his way. She gave me 2 half hearted apologies.  For my part in this I am sorry.  I love my brother unconditionally.  Yes, she’s sorry, but anyone else would have done the same if they loved their brother like she loves hers, right?  I’m sorry but…. you really can’t expect me to have your back.  I’m sorry but… my brother told me he was in love with someone else so what was I supposed to do?  I’m sorry but… Harley makes him happy and you don’t so obviously I’m going to take this chance to have my brother join me in the Leave Your Spouse For Another Person club.  Obviously you think I’m the enemy.  I’m sorry you feel that way.  My intentions were never to hurt anyone.  I am worried about him.  I am sorry you were hurt.  I hate all of this for everyone.  Who is everyone, Jezebel?  Because as far as I’m concerned the only victim here is me.  I would count my kids as well if he had actually left, but since they’ve never had a clue about what their dad was doing that summer I feel comfortable leaving them off the victim list. I mean, are you feeling sorry for Zack because he cheated and got caught and didn’t get to live out his happily ever after?  Are you feeling sorry for Zack because you think he gave up happiness for duty?  Why exactly are you feeling sorry for Zack, if he’s part of “everyone”?  Because he feels bad now that he got caught?  Because he found out it wasn’t as simple as saying, “Oops! Sorry!  I promise I won’t do it again.  Turns out I love YOU!”  I’m trying to wrap my mind around it.  Are you hating it for you because you got caught supporting your brother and his whore?  Sorry because it’s cost you a relationship with your niece and nephew?  I mean, seriously, how are you hating it for yourself?  You’ve lost almost nothing.  You never saw those kids.  If I brought them to you you’d carve out an hour or two, maybe an evening, to see them.  You didn’t stay in contact with them.  Are you hating it for your mom and Pastor Fake?  Why?  I was obviously disposable, so why the fuck is everyone so sad that they don’t have a relationship with me now that Zack has decided he wants to be back with me?

I think even more than just right after the discovery of their affair, the fact that she never reached out after this and then runs to whine to Zack baffles me.  She was given the perfect opening. In the end it’s not your fault.  He was the one who cheated.  He was the one who lied.  I never expected you to choose me over him. And let’s face it- with today’s technology there are so many ways to get your message across. You don’t have to talk face to face.  Never once after that day did she ask me how things were or even tell me she was “praying” for us. She never texted a Happy Thanksgiving or a Merry Christmas. To be fair, she did send Christmas gifts that year which I didn’t acknowledge.  I know that was a bitch move but I figure she’s Zack’s family and he can deal with her. Plus, I’m fairly certain that she never made a huge effort to let us know she got anything we sent, or how everyone liked everything. Never wished me a happy birthday. Never texted just to ask:  Hey, what are you up to these days? Or:  How’s it going? Or:  Hey, I heard you took the kids to Disneyland.  How was that?  Did they have fun?  Did you have fun? She could have asked the same about our trip to the Grand Canyon and Four Corners. I’m sure Zack told his mom about all of that. She must have known we were moving, where we were moving.  Undoubtedly he had told her of his and Harley’s master plan to get him closer so he was putting in a bid for the Whoreville plant.  So she knew I was being moved closer to his whore.  Knew I was moving to a town that he had plotted to move to to be closer to Harley.  But she never asked me how I felt about the move.  Never asked me if I was ok with it, how the kids were taking it.  She never said:  Wow- you’ve got a big move coming up.  How do you feel about that?  How are the kids taking the news?  This will be a fresh start for the two of you.  Are you excited?  Perfect opening. Could have texted or messaged or emailed after the move and asked how we were liking it here. Even made a comment like:  We’re so much closer now.  We’d love to come visit as soon as you get settled.  You’ve never met my husband and I think Rock Star and Picasso would really love my stepkids. Nope, again, nothing.  Didn’t ask if I was doing ok handling everything by myself with Zack living in our new state.  How’s it working out for the two of you with you and the kids still living in your former state and him in your new state? Are you doing ok?  Are you stressed?  How are the kids doing?  I know this one would be a stretch but in August she could have sent a message saying something like:  You’ve made it through the first year.  Hoping this will be the first of many great years for the two of you.  Yes, I giggle just typing that because I know she’s not nearly that aware of other people.  I’m just busy tossing bones out.  Once the kids started school she could have asked how they were adjusting, if they liked it.  Hell, she could have asked about them over the summer.  Hey, I heard Picasso is spending a month in Florida.  Wow- that’s great.  I know he’ll have a great time. (He didn’t.) Or, I heard Rock Star sprained her ankle.  How’s she doing? NOTHING!  She had many, many chances to ask how we were doing.  Not even in the context of how we were doing as a couple who was dealing with the aftermath of Zack’s affair.  Just how the fuck we were doing as a fucking family that she supposedly loves oh so much.  No, for over a year I had heard nothing from her, and then out of the blue I get a friend request from her.  And when I decline it she runs to her brother and declares:  I’m done reaching out to her. Again, I ask, when exactly has she reached out to me?  Was it when she gave her lame ass apologies, cloaked in excuses, after *I* reached out to *her*?  Was it when she sent her customary $5-$10 Christmas gifts that same year? I won’t apologize for not buying gifts for her and her family.  That is now Zack’s responsibility, same as thanking her for the gifts is his responsibility. If I’m disposable because I’m just the current female he’s fucking and he’s her BROTHER who she supports unconditionally no matter what, then why does she think gift buying/gifting falls under my domain anymore?  Oh no, honey, that’s your brother’s responsibility now.  Same with making sure the kids get down to his home state, although that’s off the table for you now.  You will NEVER be around my kids again. But up until February when you were telling my husband how crazy and wrong I am, and how he deserves better than me and he needs to leave me, it would have been Zack’s job to get them to His home state to see you. No, there had been no reaching out.  Jezebel has just been handed so few consequences for her shitty behavior that she can’t deal with it when someone isn’t blinded by her bullshit anymore. Consequences?  What consequences?  I’m Jezebel.  Everyone just tells me how pretty I am and giggles coz that’s Jezebel. No one holds anything against me.  And if they do then that must mean I’m the victim.  Nice try, honey, but it won’t work this time.  It takes a lot to really piss me off.  It takes a lot to push me over the edge.  But once you’ve managed to do that I do not back down and I do not forget.

I know I tend to ramble and go over and over things ad nauseam but I knew there was a reason that really ticked me off.  I think it was because she had so many chances to reach out, to reach out and not make it about her brother, his affair, or his part in it.  And she never did it.  But when I wasn’t ready to make nice it suddenly turns into, “Sam is a big ol’ meanie!  I’ve tried and tried but she won’t give me the time of day and I’m just done trying!”  I’ll be honest, I don’t know if her reaching out would have changed anything.  But at least she would have had a leg to stand on when she went whining to her brother.  If she had sent a couple of texts to check up on me, or, I know this one is entirely out in left field, but an email or a letter where she actually says:  This is crazy.  I’m sorry for what I did.  I know I was wrong.  I don’t have any excuse but I want to make things right.  Please tell me what I can do.  You are family.  I hate that my mom is never going to have all of her kids and grandkids together again.  I hate the thought of never seeing Picasso or Rock Star again.  I hate the idea of never spending another holiday together.  Can’t we please work through this?  Just tell me what I can do to help you move on, how I can make it up to you and prove myself.  At least THEN she could honestly say she had tried.  She had tried, she had reached out, and I rejected every advance.  But that’s not what happened.  She asked Zack to keep secrets from me, she lied to me, she ditched me while she and Zack went out to dinner with Husband #3, she encouraged Zack to leave me for someone else, and she criticized my spending habits.  Then when the jig was up she practically went into hiding.  Never reached out to me.  She reached out to Zack at least once when he wasn’t texting her much.  Hey, Jezebel, you didn’t fuck over your brother.  You fucked me over.  And 16 months later she sends me a friend request. Let’s just pretend this never happened and nothing is wrong. Yes, Jezebel, I want to see you change your cover photo and your profile picture every 2 weeks so everyone can tell you what a great picture it is. I want to hear you gush over your new husband and tell the world how crazy you are about him and how he’s your soul mate and very best friend.  I want to watch you post about all the sweet things your step kids do for you, knowing that in another 10 years, give or take a year or 2, that you’re going to break their hearts because you’re done playing Rambo Barbie and you want to move back to the city.  I want to watch as you post picture after picture of you going on vacation to Florida and Gatlinburg, while you continue to tell us how you’ll try to get to our house one of these days.  I want to look at pictures of you dressed in hunting gear and pictures of dead deer.  That just makes my day.  Oh, and I’d love to hear about all the expensive gifts you’ve been given for Christmas, your birthday, Mother’s Day, and your anniversary.  If anyone deserves it, it’s you.  I’d also love to hear about all the elaborate plans you’ve got going on for your big whopping 2nd year anniversary.  That would just be awesome.  Oh, and how can I forget all your shout outs to your newest “sister” and reading all about that fantastic relationship.  It means so much, especially when I’ve been tossed aside, despite having been your “sister” for 20 years.  I love watching your FB page and seeing how frequently you can run down to Florida and how often your in-laws can do something fantastic for you. That never gets old. Yes, nothing says our relationship has been repaired like becoming shallow FB friends. Especially when you’re so busy showing off everything that everyone does for you that you can never comment, like, or support what anyone else is doing. I’m sure that if we had become FB friends again then I would be running the kids to your home state once again, we’d just be best buds, and we’d spend all of our holidays together.  Hmmmm… somehow I don’t see that happening.

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.

Gosh, Just Be Grateful He Picked You!

October 2014

I was reading one of my favorite infidelity websites. Is that an oxymoron or what? The topic was why does he stay? I’ve been honest that I still sometimes wonder if he stayed because of the kids. Hell, for all I know he called her and said, “Baby, I’m all yours!” and she said, “Uh, no thank you.” And that’s when he decided I wasn’t that bad after all. Now, he insists he knew he loved me June 13th when I confronted him. He can’t quite explain why he was such a dick to me then. And of course there’s that little mystery of why, if he knew he loved me and wanted me, he continued his affair with her. He doesn’t have an answer for that.

Anyway, a popular approach to this vexing question seems to be: What does it matter why he picked you? He chose you. Now you can begin to do the hard work of rebuilding your marriage.

Oh yea! That’s exactly what I want to do when I’m the second choice or the choice of convenience. I mean, I get why that advice is there. It sounds sound. Hahaha. I crack myself up. But does that really cut it for most of us? No, we want to know he stayed because he realized he had made a huge mistake and he is madly in love with us. I don’t want to deal with him pining away for her. I don’t want to know he’s constantly wondering, “What if…?” Again, I am probably a cut your nose off to spite your face kinda gal but I wouldn’t want my husband under those conditions. You either want me or you want your whore. If you want me it had better be because you love me and realize what you’re going to lose. If I find out later you’ve chosen me because you don’t want to miss out on your kids’ lives, or a divorce would be too expensive, or you don’t know if you can really bridge that long distance gap or she isn’t ready to leave her husband or, or, or… Then I don’t want you. This crap quickly gets hard and I’m not wading through shit for someone that’s not madly in love with me. I don’t care if the feelings eventually come back. I don’t care if he eventually realizes he’s in love and very happy. I don’t care if the end result is he’s happy and he knows I’m the one for him. He had better feel all that before I agree to work on this marriage with him because agreeing to do so with no guarantee that will happen is just not for me. As I said it’s hard work and I’m not willing to do it for some selfish ass that thinks he’s thrown away his only chance for happiness and is resigned to living a life of misery with me. Or willing to see if he can transform his misery with me into something bearable to withstand another 10 years or so of marriage.

Present Day Sam Says: Yet another lesson to share with you all. If the cheating spouse is trying to figure out which one to pick, is mooning over the other person, and has basically chosen you because it’s the honorable thing to do and their happiness no longer means anything, run. Seriously. Set them free. Cut them loose. It’s not worth it. Plus, you will always be blamed for any problems or unhappiness they are feeling.

In my situation I didn’t even get the ten years. It was less than two and he was out there fucking around with the exact same whore. I’ll give him this much. He played a good game. He was an excellent con man. I sometimes actually believed him when he said he had made a horrible mistake with her and that I was the one he really loved and wanted, and that he wanted his family.

Here we are not quite two and a half years later and he’s living with the whore. He walked out on all of us. He hasn’t set eyes on his kids in over a year. Yep, he really valued all of us.

So folks, if they’re not staying because they realize they have made a huge mistake and they’re willing to spend the rest of their lives making it up to you and they will withstand your anger and your sadness as long as it takes? Get rid of them. It will never be the marriage you deserve.

The Joys of Reconciliation

October 2014

His anxiety is worse than ever. He started taking meds for it almost a week ago now. Some days I wonder if he’s so anxious because he never stopped having the affair. Some days I wonder if he’s so anxious because he got in touch with her again, or he’s carrying on with someone else now. The only thing I have to compare it to is the day he was in the tub, before he half heartedly confessed. He was a wreck. But once he started it up again I was never able to tell. I guess here’s to hoping he just has mental health issues.

It also makes me nervous that he’s no longer texting me during the day. That’s stopped within the last week. He didn’t text me a lot when he was messing with Harley because he was too busy texting and sexting with her. So I’m left wondering if he’s texting her again, or if he’s found a new soul mate. Maybe Danielle. I know he deleted all their conversations off his phone. I’d like to believe he did it because I mentioned to him that she sure texts him a lot so he was trying to appease me. Past behavior would suggest he’s saving his ass.

I swear if he’s fucking around on me again I will leave him. I’ll take the kids and move away. I will take everything and what I don’t take I will destroy. True fucking story.

Present Day Sam Says: I think the title says it all.

Maybe he was already messing around with Harley. Maybe he had never stopped. Maybe he was anxiety ridden because Blockhead told him about my FB page. Regardless, this is what I got stuck with. He moves me thousands of miles away from my friends, disrupts my entire life and that of my children, and then I get to stress over what he’s doing and how he’s feeling.

I guess it goes to show that he could never be happy. This was his dream job and yet within weeks he was miserable once again. At least it proves to me that it was never about me. I couldn’t make him happy because nothing makes him happy. It wasn’t me; it was him. He’s a miserable person. And the joke’s on Whore-ley (thank you to whoever coined that termed!) because she’s going to find out sooner or later that she doesn’t make him as happy as she thinks she does. Plus, she’s a whore. She probably won’t care in the end.

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

September 2014

Last month I posted about the differences between reality and what I sometimes feel I should have done. I know how I handled it. I was pissed but pretty calm, I think. I demanded that he end it. Honestly, I didn’t think he would and I was prepared to start divorce proceedings. I figured I wouldn’t come back from my home state. He must have thought that, too, because he told me he planned on driving out there to come get me.

But I wonder what would have happened if after confronting him and him admitting to loving her and wanting a future with her I had said: Fine. Call her up and let her know you’re free to be with her. Don’t bother coming home tonight. I’ll tell the kids you’re on a business trip and tomorrow I’ll tell them we’re getting divorced because you’re in love with someone else and you want to marry her. I’ll take my car to the airport on Friday morning and while I’m in my home state I’ll figure out what I’m going to do about all of our stuff and how to get it out there to us. CLICK.

Would the end result have been the same with the only difference being I wouldn’t feel like such a doormat? Would he have jumped at the opportunity to be with her? Would he have too much pride to fight for me after I told him I was leaving? Would it have sent him into a panic? Would he have, in fact, driven to my home state to come get us?

I could ramp this little fantasy up. He panics. He realizes he’s about to lose everything for some fantasy whore that he really doesn’t want if it means losing us. He calls her and ends it. He calls his mom in a panic, crying that I’m leaving him because he’s been having an affair with Harley and I found out. Maybe even texts his dear sister with the news. Of course, she’s no help. She’s good at helping people leave marriages but she’s at a loss on how to rebuild one. The news is spreading back in his home state like wildfire. She’s leaving Zack! He had an affair with Harley! I come home after the party and find him there. I ask him why he’s here and he tells me he won’t leave. I say fine and go into the bedroom to pack. I tell both of the kids to pack a bag. When he tries to interfere I ask him if he wants to tell them now. They are frantic now, wanting to know what’s going on. Of course he doesn’t want to say anything but I calmly tell them that he’s in love with someone else and wants to marry her so we will be getting a divorce. We probably won’t be coming back from my home state and we’ll probably be moving in with Nana.

Ok, honestly, I don’t see the part involving my kids happening. The last thing I wanted to do that day was ruin the memory of her party. I remember thinking that this would be her last good memory before her world came crashing down. I would hate to throw the discovery of her father’s affair and the fact that she was going to lose all of her friends and teammates basically overnight on her that night after having such a great day.

So, if he came home against my wishes I would probably have just ignored him, told him to go talk to his future wife. Hey, it’s all out in the open now. Call her. Text her. You’re free to be together now without all the hiding. Maybe he would have been begging me to talk to him, to reconsider. Maybe he would have told me he ended it right after he got off the phone with me. Maybe he’d be begging me for a second chance.

I’d like to think the outcome would remain the same. Eventually I would agree to work on this marriage and to not run off to My home state and file for divorce. We’d make up. I’d forgive him. He’d answer my questions. The only difference is one of pride.

Can it be said that a person is too rational, too calm, too focused on the goal of keeping the marriage together? Or is that a good thing? I sometimes wish I had made him grovel more. I wish I had been more hot-headed, less rational.

I know he went through hell (well, let’s face it- his own version because hell is finding out your partner’s been cheating on you) even without me tearing him apart. I know he thought I wasn’t coming back and he was prepared to come get me. I don’t know why he thought that because as I’ve said many times I never told him I was filing for divorce. I never said I wasn’t coming back. I know he was frantic in October when I found those Facebook messages and I told him I wasn’t coming home after I dropped off our son and dinner. I know it hurt him to see me cry.

In the end what’s done is done. Regardless of what actions I took or what actions I wish I had taken it is in the past. He banished her. He chose me. We are still together. Despite my last few entries we are happy. God willing we will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in 30 years and wondering if I want to acknowledge our 20th won’t even be a blip on the radar.

Clarity. Yes, at our 50th anniversary celebration this will all be so far in the past. If you look at our marriage, our life together, as one long winding road then this will be a huge pothole along said road, but only a pothole nonetheless. There will be beautiful waterfalls, and canopies of trees, and plenty of beautiful flowers and wildlife along the way as well. There will be hills and sharp turns and straight stretches and rough patches. There will be mountains and red rocks and countryside scenery and congested cities. Rivers and oceans and streams. And sometimes it may just be barren land that goes on for miles like I-80 through Nebraska or I-57 through Illinois. But those desolate drives always take you where you want to go. You have to look at the entire road and not concentrate on the potholes, the flat tires, the rough patches.

So, I may just go ahead and celebrate our 20th anniversary. In a big way. Hell ya we made it. We may not have made it perfectly. But who does? I won’t let some whore define us. I won’t let some whore take away our happiness and prevent us from celebrating a huge milestone. We may not have made a huge fuss in the past but nothing prevents us from adjusting and learning and applying what we’ve learned to the future. We’re not condemned to be stuck in the past. We can celebrate our marriage and make it a priority, even if we didn’t in the past. If we were miserable and just hobbling along then there might be cause to ask, “Why celebrate?” But we’re not. We’re good. We’re better than we’ve been in years.

I think that’s the point of the quote I wrote about. You can keep dwelling on the past but that won’t help. In fact, it usually does damage. But if you resolve to make a better future and you do exactly that it doesn’t matter what happened in the past. If you focus on the future, and the future is happy, then there is no reason to confront the unhappy past over and over. Or to put it another way: You can choose to concentrate on the past and be unhappy. Or you can choose to concentrate on the future and be happy. I choose to be happy.

Present Day Sam Says:  I should have left his ass back then. I should have done exactly what I wrote about- told him it was over and I wanted a divorce. I wouldn’t have disrupted my kids lives. I wouldn’t have bought a new house. I wouldn’t have moved half way across the country for that disordered nitwit. I would be done with him by now. I would have been supported by all of my friends. I would have had a support network. But no! I had to fight for the damn relationship! I had to give him a choice!

The biggest irony is that I didn’t want to cause a scene for Rock Star that day back in 2013 after her birthday party and yet in 2015 I ended up telling her and her brother about our impending divorce right after a pool party she had at our house with her cheer teammates.

I think the saddest part of reading this, aside from the excuses I would make for the asshole, is how I had hope.  I was so busy putting a positive spin on all of this and convincing myself that the worst was behind me.  Oh, Sam, if you only knew how bad it was going to get in a few months.  I should have kicked his ass out after I found out about him and Harley the first time, even if it wasn’t a physical affair (and I do doubt that at times).  I should never have agreed to move across the country and disrupt my kids’ lives.  I should have told him the kids were settled and I didn’t want to go.  I made so many mistakes.  All I can do is do better from here on out.