Who Is Mariella and Why Is She So Stupid?

Have I got a gem for you today! This comes from an advice column. I wish I knew which paper ran this tripe. Is there a newspaper called The Observer in England? Horrible advice! Horrible.

Here’s the story:

The dilemma: I’ve been in a relationship for four years. It started as a workplace affair, but we fell madly in love and knew we wanted to be together forever, which meant leaving our spouses. She went first, informing her husband their marriage was over. But she did not tell him about our affair. They agreed to separate and all was amicable. When I confessed, I was able to end my marriage, but not without difficulty and revenge acts. Neither of my children has spoken to me since, despite my efforts to reconcile. Three years later, my partner and I are still together. It’s mostly very good. My problem is that she retains a strong relationship with her ex. I understand this is good for co-parenting, but it makes me uncomfortable. She hasn’t divorced him or made any effort to- even though I made a point of getting a divorce to ensure a clean start. In contrast, my ex-wife and I have never been able to have a polite conversation. She is spiteful, vengeful and constantly asks for money. I appreciate my actions have had consequences. However, I struggle to manage my jealousy and fear my partner will return to her husband. It feels as if she is keeping her options open. Am I being irrational?

Let’s hit the pause button because there is so much to digest here, and we haven’t even gotten to the juicy “advice” yet.

From what I’ve managed to put together they began as a workplace affair but fell madly in love- in the span of a year. That was enough time to decide it was worth it to destroy two marriages (or perhaps only one…) and abandon at least one set of kids (although I’m guessing two sets since he mentions his love co-parenting with her husband/ex-husband). That sounds about right. It’s all about the happiness.

Second thing I’ve noticed is not only is she a cheater and a liar, but she’s also a liar. No, that wasn’t a mistake. Obviously, the majority of the cheaters out there have to tell lies in order to carry on their affairs. She continues with the lies. She has gaslighted her husband into believing that their marriage just magically went poof! It’s over. No real reason why. No, I’m not fucking my co-worker. We just grew apart.

Next I’m hit over the head with the news that she is not divorced yet! The bitch went first in letting her husband know their marriage was over and she’s still married? It’s been three fucking years!

This guy is a cheater so I’m not terribly sympathetic but those feelings he’s having? That wondering, “Am I being irrational in feeling jealous? Am I irrational for wondering if she’ll return to her husband that she hasn’t managed to divorce in the three years since telling him their marriage is over?” is a gigantic red flag waving furiously in the breeze, signaling the fact that this is not a good person he’s with. She is a liar and a cheater who will say or do whatever is needed to put herself in the top position. She has not changed for him. She conned her husband and she’ll con her co-worker/affair partner. He feels like she’s keeping her options open because she is. If things don’t work out with the shiny affair partner then maybe she’ll give her poor sap of a husband another shot.

I get it. I really do. He left his wife. His kids won’t speak to him. His wife won’t play nice and refuses to help him out with image management. Meanwhile, his partner in crime is skating along, consequence free. No one knows she’s a lying, cheating whore. She kept that shit to herself. “I’m not going to tell him I cheated on him. There might be consequences. What if I need him later?” It’s almost like the two of them decided to rob a bank together and only one of them got caught. He’s doing hard time while she’s out spending all the money they stole together. That’s a bitch, huh, dude?

Fear not, though, because Mariella is on the job. Her response to his question: Am I being irrational?

Just a touch. You do seem to be ignoring the obvious, which is that your partner’s approach is netting positive results while yours has created only adversity. She’s engineered a departure low in acrimony while yours is marred in misery.

Of course it has! She’s been lying and gas lighting her husband! The only reason her “approach” (correct terminology: lies of omission) is netting positive results is because the spouse in her situation does not know the truth!

She’s engineered a departure low in acrimony while yours is marred in misery.

Oh, she’s engineered something all right! Her departure is low in acrimony because her spouse has not been given the full information. He was never told, “I’m leaving you for someone else.”  He can go blithely about his life believing they just grew apart when the reality is she was fucking her co-worker and making a fool of him.

I’d put money on your being one of those impetuous lovers who doesn’t like to let detail get in the way of an increased pulse rate. There’s certainly romance in the notion that the right two hearts would forever beat in unison and previous commitments were merely training for this, the real thing. It’s also a pretty naive stance to take.

What are you babbling about?

Rushing from one relationship to the next, swearing undying love and tying yourself up in hard to untangle commitments is beset with obvious flaws. It may play to your sense of insecurity to believe that your new partner is hedging her bets, but a better way to regard it would be with a degree of admiration for her superior wisdom.

Are you fucking kidding me? It’s not wisdom. It’s lying. It’s omitting pertinent details. Details like, “Oh, by the way, I’m fucking my co-worker and have been for the last year. I’m leaving you for him.”

She’s managed to elegantly detach herself from her marriage without causing undue emotional misery and excess pain.

No, she’s lying. She’s keeping pertinent details to herself so that she does not experience any unpleasant consequences.

Now she’s embarked on this relationship with you, but without the same determined disregard for past experience. Instead, she would appear to be carrying with her the lessons from her first foray that include the possibly, hard-earned, that wanting a relationship to last forever and achieving that are two separate and sometimes unreconcilable ambitions.

Wait just one minute. This advice might be great for two divorced people who are getting together and trying to create a life with one another. It’s bullshit advice for a couple who were having an affair. She didn’t learn shit. She’s an opportunistic whore who will work the situation to her advantage. That’s what she did in her marriage, by not being honest, and that’s what she’s doing now.

What exactly is it that she is supposed to be learning? Not to get involved with a dishonest person? Not to date a cheater? I’m pretty sure those lessons are lost on her. She’s dating one and she is one.

She’s not a heartbroken, dumped spouse with trust issues because she was betrayed. She was the one doing the betraying. Stop writing as though she was wounded by the demise of her marriage, as though her relationship failed despite her best attempts. She cheated. She left him. The only reason the marriage didn’t last was because she was fucking her co-worker and decided that the grass was greener with him. At least partially. She’s not completely sure.

For many, their first wide-eyed love affair will struggle to last the elongated journey that our increased lifespans now provide. Sticking together for up to 80 years is a tall order and we could all do with lowering our expectations.

Wow- I don’t even know where to begin with that one. I guess the most obvious is to point out you don’t see a lot of 80 year marriages. Most people die before that can happen. Even reaching 50 years together is rare.

Secondly, what do longer life spans have to do with any of it? The median age of marriage for males from 1890-1940 varied from 24.3 to 26.1. It dipped down to 22.8 in the 50s and 60s and slowly began going up again. The average age of marriage for a man in the year 2010 was 28.2 and in 2018 it was 29.8. So yes, they’re living longer but they’re also getting married later. Both men and women have many more chances to date a variety of people and sow their wild oats before getting married. Premarital sex and living together are not the grievous sins that they once were. Women are not always as financially dependent upon men as they were in the past, when they were basically considering property.

This whole “people live longer and it’s not realistic to expect fidelity for that long” is a crock of shit. It’s an excuse. But sure, let’s lower our expectations instead of raising our standards.

The mistake you’re making, and it’s a common one, is to plough on without a moment to digest the experience you’ve just emerged from- which makes you the proverbial old dog!

Again, you speak as though the letter writer has emerged from a long term relationship through no fault of his own. It’s as though you believe the person who cheated and the person who was cheated on go through the exact same thing when the relationship dissolves.

They don’t. One of those people forges on by themselves. One of those people has to deal with being betrayed and replaced. One of those people must deal with feelings of shame and regret and anger. One of those people is left feeling like maybe they weren’t good enough or left wondering, “Why wasn’t I enough?” I’ll give you a hint. It’s not the person who was fucking another person and has another partner already lined up.

Your partner, on the other hand, seems to be proceeding far less impetuously, at the revised pace of one set on her path but mindful of the pitfalls.

Of course she is. She’s mindful of all the consequences that could befall her if her husband knew the truth.

That does say something about her expectation of your relationship- not least that it’s imbued with the wisdom of past experience.

Tying another individual up in public statements of intent and transforming irrational impulses into set expectations doesn’t make it any easier to keep them on board- as both your exes have discovered to their emotional cost. The fact that you see your current partner making a similar commitment as the only way to feel secure about your hold over her deserves further scrutiny on your part. It suggests that what you are in pursuit of this time around is no more achievable than it was last time.

Um… he’s not trying to convince her to marry him. He does, however, want to know why she still isn’t divorced. Supposedly, they are madly in love, remember? Why would she want to remain married to her husband, the one she was cheating on with him?

I think you are correct though that this is no more achievable than it was last time. At least the last time he married a woman who wasn’t cheating on her husband. He also didn’t marry a woman who, despite being madly in love in with him, refused to divorce her first husband. He didn’t marry a liar.

I’ve no doubt your wife was furious you were breaking promises that she felt were non-negotiable.

Yes, it’s amazing how furious some spouses can be when they find out they’ve been lied to and cheated on. It’s amazing how angry it can make you to realize your whole entire life as you’ve known it is over and you’re forced to start all over- by yourself- while your spouse traipses along with your replacement. It’s downright puzzling to think that just because someone went to the trouble of asking you to marry them and then made vows to you, that you might believe those promises and believe, too, that they were non-negotiable.

You’ve proved her wrong by leaving her and now you want your next partner to make those same unrequited promises all over again. Think about it- it really doesn’t make sense. Embarking on a relationship preoccupied with how swiftly you can create an inescapable institution doesn’t bode well for the success of the enterprise.

Many of us will move on from relationships that aren’t perfect or have lost their allure over time, but life is supposed to be a learning process. I appreciate that the world today may not encourage belief in that concept- and your determination to declare your current pairing a “together forever” situation when you’ve already broken that promise once is just another indication that as a species, we still have a lot to learn.

That’s adorable. What it boils down to is this: So many people are simply too provincial to understand that marriage is temporary. It means nothing. It’s just two people who have decided this sounds like a good time- for now. When it’s no longer fun- dump them and move on. Make sure you have the next one lined up, though, before you move on. You wouldn’t want to be lonely.

I suggest you enjoy what you’ve got- and when you are content enough not to care whether she commits publicly or not is the perfect moment to get remarried.

I had to go back and re-read because Mariella keeps mentioning remarriage. Unless she omitted that from the letter she published, there is nothing in this letter that indicates he’s freaking out because she won’t marry him. He’s freaking out because his affair partner hasn’t left her husband, despite telling the poor sap their marriage was over three years prior. He’s freaking out because she never did ‘fess up about their affair.

What Mariella is suggesting is for the letter writer to feed his mistress lots and lots of cake. Do the pick me dance, Cheater Boy. Don’t make demands. Don’t enforce boundaries. Whatever you do, do not impose consequences. Wait silently and show her that you, too, can be a useful sap.

Lest anyone fears I’m going soft, or feels like I’m defending the original cheater, I’m not. I just happen to think all of this advice stinks to high heaven. If Mariella is willing to gaslight a cheater the way that she has throughout this advice column I don’t even want to see the kind of damage she could do to a deceived and hurting spouse.

Watching Someone Else’s Shit Show

Three channels. That’s all they’ve got, according to Chump Lady. Charm, rage and self pity.

I’ve only seen rage and self pity from my shit eating chimp. My mobster gets to see all three from his lovely delusional STBX.

I wrote once upon a time that maybe I got lucky with CF basically vanishing from our lives. Watching my mobster go through the things he’s had to endure makes me at least somewhat thankful for my situation. I don’t have to worry about running into CF or Harley. That’s a constant worry for him. It’s a small town to begin with. They’re everywhere. She still attends events for the kids and often brings her man whore with her. I, on the other hand, never see CF and Harley.

I don’t have to watch my kids go off with him (or him and her) and wonder if they’ll forget about everything I’ve gone through to keep things stable for them, or if they’ll begin to accept the whore.

A mere two days after we began talking Mobster’s son graduated from high school. This meant he would end up seeing the STBX, especially because her relatives were staying with him.

Fortunately, she left her AP at home so Mobster didn’t have to deal with that. But at the end of the festivities she asked him if she could have a hug.

Are you taking notes? This person who has been lying, cheating, and gas lighting, who walked out on her husband and kids to go live with another man, is actually asking the person she has cruelly betrayed to comfort her. Can you believe this shit?

That’s what they do. They destroy everything. They do whatever the hell they want. Then when consequences hit they are suddenly the poor innocent victim in need of comfort and understanding.

Can I have a hug? I just want to make sure I can keep you on the hook. I’ll throw a few kibbles your way and let you think if you wait long enough you might still have a shot with me.

Can I have a hug? I’m suddenly realizing everything I’ve given up. And Mr. Perfect isn’t quite as perfect and wonderful as I thought. So maybe you could hug me and tell me everything is going to be okay and you still love me and want me no matter how badly I’ve treated you.

I told him from the very beginning that once she realized there was someone else that she would be back. It’s all part of what Chump Lady calls “hoovering”. They hoover around trying to suck you back in. He disagreed, saying she was happy with this new guy; he was everything she said she wanted. And she definitely didn’t want him back.

I then patiently explained to him that neither of his two points had anything to do with her coming back around.

You are her Plan B, her backup. You have never left her up until this point, even after everything she has done. You didn’t leave her this time because of the affair. You asked her to quit drinking. She fully expects you to be there when and if this new romance fails.

I’d go so far as to say she expects him to be pining for her even if this new relationship lasts forever. She considers him hers. No matter what.

That’s who they are. It’s what they do. They are selfish and think only of themselves. We are inconsequential to them. You hear about it. You read the wise words of those who have already traveled this path. But you don’t always fully believe it until you’ve experienced it. It’s fascinating.

Can I just tell everyone now that I am a freaking prophet? That, or I read a lot of Chump Lady. Because his STBX is hoovering hard. And she is flipping through all three channels like crazy. And again I find it fascinating because it is so completely textbook.

Shortly after discovering I existed she suddenly got a wild hair up her ass and decided she needed to get more of her belongings from the house. She had to go through their youngest, or maybe she chose to do so; either way she was highly irate that he had, up until that point, refused to have contact with her.

Oh, here it comes! Here comes the rage: You need to be a real man and talk to me.

Translation: How dare you cut off my supply? Why are you ignoring me? You want me! You can’t live without me! So start acting like it. Know your place and fall into line or I shall have to insult your manliness. You’re being a big meanie for ignoring me. You’re being a child! Grow up and grovel before me like a real man!

When rage doesn’t work she decides to flip the switch over to self pity. She tells him she tried to kill herself.

Translation: Don’t you want to worry about me and tell me not to do such things? Don’t you feel sorry for me? Ride in on your white horse and rescue me! Show me you care, dammit!

But wait! There’s more! She’s also able to turn on the charm. She told him he was the best she had ever had. And, when asked point blank what it was she wanted, did she want to still be his wife, her response was to assure him she would move back home in a heartbeat but the kids wouldn’t allow that.

Bravo!  I like what you’ve done there. Stroke his ego. Make him feel like he’s special and like he’s got something no one else ever will. Then keep his hopes alive by letting him think you’d dump your married lover and come back to him in a second if only the children you gave birth to would only accept you and let you live in the home they don’t pay for. Those damn kids!

Actually, I think my favorite part was when she coyly told him, “We can’t do this!”

kibbles-234x300

Oh, kibbles, kibbles! How delightful.

He shut that down quickly by telling her he didn’t know what the hell she was talking about and he was never having sex with her again.

And just to make sure she followed the textbook to a T she managed to pull out the ol’ “I want to be friends,” card. Again, stunning work. It’s not original at all but the copy was truly outstanding.

Yes, let’s be friends. I can’t imagine why anyone who has been lied to and betrayed wouldn’t want to be “friends” with the person who lied, cheated, backstabbed, gaslighted, and betrayed them. You don’t want to be friends with someone like that? That’s crazy talk!

Apparently in his quest for closure they met for coffee the next day. I guess that’s when he told her he was moving on and he had every intention of getting remarried someday. He wasn’t going to let her be his final chapter. She must have been on the charm channel, fully believing that his invitation to have coffee must be code for, “I want you back!”, because he said the tone of the conversation changed once he told her about his feelings for me and how he was going to marry me someday even though I thought he was crazy.

Then she told him she would call him at lunch. You’ve gotta admire her persistence. She cannot believe he would ever be done with her, can she? He told her not to bother because I would be calling and we always talk at lunch.

That pissed her right off; here comes the rage again. “Fine! Go have fun with your girlfriend!”

Thankfully he was able to see the absurdity in the situation as well.

As he said, so she’s pissed off that he’s seeing someone after she moved out of their house, left him and their kids, and moved in with her fuck buddy?

Yes, Mobster, that about sums it up. As I’ve told you you are her backup plan. You are supposed to sit around and wait for her. You are supposed to be at her beck and call. You are supposed to remain faithful to her until your dying day.

Now she’s back to texting and calling. He has her blocked on texting but not on phone calls so if she calls, her text messages show up as archived.

She called 11 times one evening and then turned around and called 14 times the next morning. And I’m not talking about “call once, wait 20 minutes, call again.” I’m talking about the “call him, hit redial immediately, hit redial immediately, hit redial immediately” 14 freaking times, kind of calling. I know this because we were video chatting when she began calling. He ended up shutting his phone off once we finished talking.

That’s some hard core hoovering! It screams, “Don’t ignore me!”

That doesn’t even touch on when she called him asking for help filling out her W-2s and then began crying because she was lonely. Doesn’t she have a boyfriend for that shit? Oh wait, there it is once again. Rage and charm have not produced the desired effect so maybe a little more self pity will suck him back in again. Why ask your live-in boyfriend for help and pass over a perfectly good chance to fuck with your STBX’s head?

To a cheater it’s perfectly rational thinking. They should never experience consequences because they’ve done nothing wrong. So when you leave your spouse for someone else and it’s not the perfect paradise you imagined OR you just can’t resist the idea of two people fighting for you, of course you throw a few bread crumbs your spouse’s way. Of course you expect them to offer you a shoulder to cry on, a sympathetic hug or two, maybe even an invitation to jump into bed again for old time’s sake. Hey, I told you you were the best I ever had! You expect them to be there waiting if things go south or you decide the new flavor of the month isn’t quite as sparkly as you first thought.

As I said, when she calls the text messages show up as archived messages. Once again she’s flipping through those three channels, trying to find a little crevice she can wedge herself into.

Rage:  I thought you were an adult and could talk but I guess not.

Of course an adult would subject himself to your constant mind fucking!

Self pity: I’m having a seizure. Help!

Really? You’re suffering a medical emergency and your first thought isn’t to call 9-1-1 or the man you’re living with, but to text the man you lied to and cheated on and who is divorcing you? That’s some bat shit craziness you’ve got going on.

Charm: Mobster Lobster StarfishMan (or any other nickname she used)…

See? See how cute and charming I can be? Don’t you remember all the good times we had? Forget about the men I fucked and concentrate on the cute nicknames I used for you!

Self pity: Why won’t you talk to me? Please talk to me. I wish you would talk to me.

Why are you being so mean to me? Don’t you want to hop back on that pick me roller coaster? I’m insinuating you might still have a chance with me. Why aren’t you jumping at this opportunity.

Charm: Can we meet up and talk over coffee?

You might get lucky. <wink wink>

And my personal favorite… Rage: 25 years of love and friendship and my crap, no response from my best friend.

Yes, 25 years of love and friendship have been decimated because he won’t entertain your attempts to suck him back into the abyss of crazy and text with you or meet up with you. The fact that you cheated on him and in fact walked out on him and your kids plays absolutely no part in your marriage ending. You certainly weren’t throwing away 25 years when you moved in with another man. You fully expected him to wait around forever, quietly yearning for you while you flitted about and did whatever you pleased.

And the part about him being your best friend? O.M.G! If that’s the way you treat your best friend I’d hate to see how you treat your enemies. He’s no longer your best friend. Your new boyfriend should probably take over that role. I have a feeling he would be none too pleased to see those text messages where you’re begging your STBX not to ignore you and declaring him your best friend. I can tell you right now if I ever caught wind of Mobster declaring you to be his best friend I would be outta here so fast it wouldn’t even be funny.

It really is an amazing process to watch as it plays out. For his part he has handled it beautifully. He told me the other day he finally read all the texts and he felt nothing. He was simply done with her.

It would be very easy to get worried about this. They had 25 years together. We’ve had a couple months. Her walking out and him filing for divorce are relatively fresh. And she’s hoovering hard! I would imagine that might be hard to resist after so many years together and all that hurt. It must feel good to know that the person who discarded you now wants you back.

But here’s the thing. If he does choose to go back and ends things with us, I’ll survive. He’s wonderful. I want to spend every minute of every day with him. I will be devastated and I will cry and I will be broken hearted for quite some time. But I’ll survive; I’ve lived through worse.

Here’s another thing. She may have 25 years with him but a lot of those years were miserable, filled with lies and gas lighting and cheating and out of control drinking. He looks back now and tells me she was never happy, never content. As he likes to say, “She could win the lottery and then bitch that they gave her too many tens.” Wow! Sounds like someone I was married to!

She’s got rage, charm, and self-pity. Those are her only three channels now. Me? I’ve got nothing but laughter, good times, and dreams of the future with him. I’ve also got honesty, integrity and faithfulness.

So I’m going to sit back and watch this shit show, offering support and encouragement when I can. I might even say a prayer of thanks that CF figured out quite early that I wasn’t going to play. I realize he had already decided to discard me but he did want to keep things civil. Thankfully he didn’t care enough and/or was full enough on the ego kibbles Harley was throwing his way that he didn’t need to bother with me.

Watching her flip through those channels, trying so desperately to suck him back into the mind games is fascinating once you realize what’s really going on. I’m almost positive he gets it, too. He is offended that she would think he would wait around for her. I guess that means when he is faced with choosing rage, charm and self pity, or laughter, honesty, integrity, and faithfulness it will be a pretty easy choice.