What Ever Happened To…

I came across one of my old posts, Living With a Cheater on the Weekends… For the Children (Of Course!) and I got to wondering what had happened to that writer, Jaimie Seaton.

If you missed it the first time around the story is this: Daddy cheated, got his much younger mistress pregnant, and left his wife for the mistress. One day when Mommy was dropping the kids off in Daddy’s new town one of the kids wanted to know why she wasn’t going to accompany them on their adventure. And thus set off the new direction of her life. She began going with them on their weekends and letting him stay in her house for the weekend when he came to see their children.

People were divided over whether she was a saint who put her children’s needs ahead of her own anger or if she was a controlling nutjob who was depriving the new baby of her daddy every weekend and denying the OW a chance to bond with the kids.

That was written back in 2016. I found a podcast that featured an interview with her about that article so I had a little more background info. Nonetheless, I was curious so I googled her.

The daughter is off to college in Europe but Daddy Dearest still visits every other weekend and still stays with Mommy.

A little over a year ago she wrote a new piece entitled, How My Ex-Husband Accidentally Became My Good Friend.

Six years later we’re divorced, and he still drives up, alternating weekends between his new home and family, and our children. He arrives on Friday night or Saturday morning and comes straight to my house, parking his car and letting himself in the front door. When he calls out his arrival, the dogs rush to greet him, and my son darts from his room and into his father’s arms. When he arrives on Saturday, he makes himself a cup of coffee and we sit outside and talk about the week: how the children are doing, changes I’ve made to the house, the latest happenings at our jobs. Invariable, we fall into a discussion of the week’s news; dissecting the latest nugget of information from the Mueller investigation, or weighing the chances of various candidates in the midterm elections. We linger so long in these conversations that my son has to interrupt to remind us that his father came to see him, not me.

When he’s here, our home feels complete. For two weeks at a time, I am alone, struggling to juggle a full-time job with taking care of the children; driving my 15 year old son to activities, trying to snatch a few moments of conversation with my perpetually on-the-go 18 year old daughter. I do my best to keep up with the house, with cooking, with mowing the lawn, but I always fall short; it’s too much for one person. When he is home, I have a part-time partner to share in discipling the kids or helping with homework. There is someone to run to the store for milk, or cook dinner. I am finally free to go to a movie or simply sit outside and write. In the afternoons I often fall asleep on the sofa reading a book. Because I can. Because my children have their father.

Oh my. Where to start?

Look, if you want to remain friends with a person who lies to you, cheats on you, throws you under the bus, and blows up your entire life after creating a new family, be my guest. I don’t claim to understand it but if it works for you, awesome.

But let’s get real. He is not “home”. His home is in Manhattan with his mistress and their new shared child. He’s visiting. And the youngest kid is at least 15 at the time of this writing. She can’t take a nap or go to the movies without another adult in the home? Is she afraid her 15 year old is going to wander off, dump out all the shampoo, or get into the household poisons? Since my youngest has been 15 he spends the majority of his time in his room. I go out to dinner. I go to the gym. I go out with my friends. Never once have I thought, “I can’t leave my little baby alone. Who will watch him?” He’s 15. He’s going to watch himself.

She claims she doesn’t want him back and perhaps she doesn’t. As she has said in podcasts and in other articles she misses the life she had. So maybe this is a way for her to get that back for a little while. They sit around drinking coffee, discussing the nearly grown children, their careers, and current events. Their son has to pop in to remind them that Dad is here to see him and not Mom. In fact, in a podcast interview she admits that now when she asks if she can go with them to dinner or breakfast her son frequently responds with, “No!” with the follow up that if she comes along he won’t get to spend any time with his dad because they’ll spend the whole time talking.

She talks about a recent event where the two of them went car shopping together and how she later told him she was never going to do that without him again.

She says they talk almost every day.

He reads her work and gives his opinion on it, which she appreciates because in the very beginning of their relationship he was always her proofreader and proved to have a valuable eye when it came to such things.

He readily acts as her handyman and fixes stuff around the house. Apparently cooks dinner and runs errands as well.

One of the things that she mentions is that this didn’t happen overnight. She had a lot of anger and says it remains a very painful situation. But she also didn’t want her kids to deal with parents who couldn’t be in the same room. She didn’t want her kids to have to spend their weekends in hotel rooms with their father.

Personally, I feel that’s one of the consequences of cheating on your spouse and leaving them and your children behind to create a new family. Kids might have to spend the weekend in a hotel. Kids might get dropped off at Starbucks to spend the weekend with one parent and then the other parent picks them up at the end of the weekend.

I don’t think it’s a horrible thing to explain to your child that when people treat you badly it is okay to no longer want that person in your life. It’s okay and healthy. Nothing wrong with explaining, “Daddy hurt me very badly. I don’t choose to keep people in my life that have hurt me and lied to me and betrayed me. There will come a day when someone in your life does something very hurtful and if you decide their behavior is a deal breaker you have every right to no longer let that person be a part of your life.” I think teaching children about boundaries is a good thing.

I also feel you’re almost setting your kids up for failure if you teach them there are no consequences to cheating on your spouse.

These kids have seen their mom open their home up to their father, engage in long conversations with him when he’s clearly moved on (he lives 5-6 hours away), treat him like a spouse as opposed to an ex-spouse, and eat shit sundae after shit sundae all in the name of making sure her precious darlings never have to suffer the consequences of having divorced parents. What happens if the lesson they internalize is not grace under pressure but rather they can do whatever they wish without consequence? And what happens further if the person they cheat on isn’t as noble as their own shit eating mom? That’s a hard lesson to learn on the fly.

A lot of people commented about her controlling nature from the first article and believed that Daddy should be able to pick up the kids and take them to his new home with the OW and the love child.

I said it before and I’ll say it again, Daddy is perfectly comfortable with the way things are. I cannot imagine that there is any judge out there who would order visitation take place apart from the new family forever. Yet here they are, six years later, and he’s still leaving the new family to go spend the weekend with the ex and the originals.

I’ve got to hand it to her. Most people are not so fortunate as to be able to keep the OP away from their kids. I don’t know how she got him to agree to it but she did. It sounds like those kids have never met the OW or the new sibling. Just to be clear, I don’t have a problem with that.

Naturally, she speaks of how exhausting it is to carry that kind of anger around forever. I disagree. It’s not exhausting at all. Because it’s not about going around angry forever. It’s about getting the toxins out of your life and living a life free of that.

Later on in the podcast interview she talks about how difficult it is to find someone with whom she can share her life, and in the same breath says it’s a huge red flag for her when men talk ill of their exes.

You know, at one point I thought the same way. I guess I’m not sure where to draw the line. I don’t have particularly nice things to say about Jerry Lee. He cheated. He moved us across the country to get closer to his mistress. He cheated again (if he ever stopped). He abandoned his kids financially and emotionally. I’m not sure what kind things I should be saying in this instance. He made good money. That’s about all I’ve got. He had a great sense of humor when he wasn’t moping around. Sometimes there really is nothing good to be said.

I do give him credit for the few things he did. I do my best not to speak ill of him but I’ve often said my kids are older and it’s a hell of a lot harder to lie to them. I don’t have the time or energy to try to make him and his behavior look good. I’ve reminded them of good things he’s done and vacations he took with them. I’ve corrected misinformation. I’ve told both of them that I understand them wanting to have a relationship with him, that he’s their father and it’s not a betrayal of me if they wish to have a relationship with him. That’s as far as I can go because I’m not going to lie for him and I don’t think it does my children any favors to lie for him.

I think the biggest reason she doesn’t have anyone else in her life is because her life is filled up with the ex. He’s the one that goes car shopping with her. He’s the one she talks to about her job. He’s the one that gives her advice on her articles. They talk almost daily. He runs errands. He cooks. He lets himself in and the dogs greet him before he goes and fixes himself a cup of coffee and they spend the next hour or two shooting the breeze. How would she ever fit another man into this? She even admits that some of the men she’s dated have told her she needs to get him out of her life.

Her philosophy is that it is a good thing when the exes have a good relationship. I can see that to a certain extent. Would I want to be with someone who’s ex shows up on their front porch, screaming obscenities and calling the police on them on a weekly basis? It would not be ideal. Is it easier if you can have a civil conversation and be flexible with the schedules? Absolutely. Is it easier on the kids if you can both be in the same room without flinging insults or acting like the other doesn’t exist? Probably. But I can assure you I would take the mobster’s ex sending crazy, threatening texts any day over the mobster going out to dinner or spending the weekend with her. That is a flat out no. If he remained that embroiled in her life then he would not have time for me.

I find it interesting though that in all this talk about how her kids never have to choose between their parents and how both of them are invested in the two kids and are able to attend all of these important events in their lives there is never talk about the OW joining them. That is a very important piece of the puzzle. It works because she has managed to exclude the OW and the love child and Daddy has gone along with it. Yes, she is proud of the fact that she planned a graduation dinner for her daughter and instead of her daughter having two separate celebrations for this milestone, she had one with both of her parents there. She’s proud of the fact that she can sign her ex-husband up to help with her son’s drama/singing activities. They sell tickets and concessions together, and sit together at the performances. Yet, in neither of those situations does she have to deal with the OW. Mom and Dad are at these events and OW is conveniently edited out of the picture. That doesn’t usually happen. Most of the time the cheater insists upon including the OP. In Jaimie’s case she’s not only able to put aside her anger to come together and do these things together for her children, but also she’s able to pretend the OW doesn’t exist and they’re still a couple, albeit a divorced couple.

I think when it comes down to it that’s the driving force behind this. She disclosed in the podcast interview I listened to that her ex and the OW are still not married. She also admitted that the OW hates the relationship Jaimie shares with her ex, and that she (the OW) often sends profane laden texts to her, telling her that they need to act more like a divorced couple and that he’s not her husband anymore.

There you have it. A delicious triangle that will go on and on. Her ex is a cake eater extraordinaire. He dumps his wife for the pregnant mistress. The wife eats shit sundaes on behalf of her children, letting Daddy Dearest camp out at her home while he dodges any kind of consequences. This, of course, does not sit well with the OW. She’s now forced to dance, dance, dance to get this buffoon to pick her once and for all because let’s face it, even though he “chose” her he hasn’t completely discarded the wife and he’s not marrying her, even after the divorce. Why do you still talk to her, dammit? And why won’t you marry me? Your divorce took four years and I waited patiently but now you’re free. You have no excuse! Meanwhile, the wife, who has been humiliated and discarded, gets the chance to stick it to the mistress every other weekend; you know she’s got to be uncomfortable with their weekends spent together. She knows he’s a cheater because he cheated with her. Now he’s spending every other weekend in his ex-wife’s home, letting himself in with his own key, greeting the family dogs, and chillaxing with a cup of coffee while he and the ex spend hours chatting. All for the children of course. Plus she also seems to get to call the shots when it comes to the children; she has effectively banished the OW and her child.

Ex-Wife: No, you will not expose my children to that cheating whore. If you want to see your children you will see them without her or her child around.

Ex-Husband: Okay. Sorry, love of my life, nothing I can do. She won’t bend.

Mistress: But I’m your partner now!

Ex-Wife: Ha ha ha- we’re out car shopping and having lengthy discussions on the Trump impeachment hearings.

Mistress: You need to act more like a divorced couple. He’s not your husband anymore! He’s my partner.

Ex-Wife: Bless your heart. Couldn’t get him to marry you, could you? Always the mistress, never the wife.

Mistress: Why are you talking to her anyway? You left her for me. You act more like a married couple with her than you do with me!

Ex-Husband: Baby, it’s for the children! It won’t always be this way. Only three more years!

Mistress: Stay away from my man!

Ex-Wife: Shouldn’t have fucked my husband, you trollop. Buffoon, come fix my kitchen sink and read my newest article.

Ex-Husband: [to the ex-wife] Yes, dear. [to the mistress] Dance, bitch. We’re not married yet. I could still go back to my ex.

Rinse and repeat. Yes, one fine triangle.

Hallmark, You’re Disappointing Me

Maybe “The Northern Lights of Christmas” was so damn fantastic that nothing else can live up to the hype of the Hallmark movie season. I’ve been watching the Christmas movies and I’m sad to say not a whole lot has kept my attention. I was watching one the other day, something about a town called Evergreen. I was liking that but I was also doing other things so I didn’t give it my full attention. Most of them are just falling flat.

What has really raised my ire, though, is the movie, “A December Bride”. The basic story is this: A woman is invited to her cousin’s wedding, only her cousin is marrying her ex-fiance. She gets a date to the wedding (the guy who introduced her ex-fiance and her cousin) by happenstance and because of a few mishaps they pretend to be engaged. That sounds delightful, doesn’t it?

The main character, Layla, lost her mother years prior so her aunt, her mother’s sister, has stepped into the role of surrogate mom. Oh, plot twist. The aunt is also the mother of the fiance stealing cousin.

There’s a line in the movie where she tells someone, “Because I’m family I’m expected to be at this wedding.”

I had to argue with the TV at that point.

No, you don’t. You do not owe it to her to attend her wedding. You do not have to put yourself through that just because it’s family. Anyone who would expect you to do that is a horrible person. Sit this one out. Write on the RSVP, “Are you fucking kidding me?” and then send it back.

Who in the hell writes this bullshit? I’ve gotta go watch my ex-fiance get married. If only he had left me for someone who wasn’t related to me I could be spared this heartache.

At another point in the movie when her aunt is urging her to reconcile with her cousin she mentions that they are family and there is nothing more important than family.

Huh. Where was that tidbit of advice when your daughter was off stealing her cousin’s fiancé? I’m thinking maybe that would have been a more appropriate time to bring out the whole, “Family is the most important thing.”

Aside from the forced forgiveness the other part that really struck me was the family’s push to make her a December bride.

Apparently, Layla’s mother always made Christmas so special and Layla had always wanted to be a December bride. When news of the faux engagement began making the rounds everyone was wondering if she would be getting married in December.

Um, they just announced their engagement. I realize from start to finish my engagement only lasted about 7 months but even still… Most people don’t announce their engagement and then get married a week or two later. The closest thing we have to that is called elopement and that doesn’t include an engagement announcement. It’s a straight up wedding announcement.

Her aunt says, “Oh, I know how you’ve always wanted to be a December bride. There’s not much time left.”

Does she have a terminal illness we’re not aware of? She can still be a December bride; it just won’t be this December.

This is Hallmark. Of course she doesn’t have a terminal illness. And everything works out in the end. She gets the fabulous new job staging houses (which is why they continued their charade of being engaged) and they both realize they are in love. They even got married in December. I guess you can plan a wedding in a couple days time when you’re in a Hallmark movie.

I’m crossing my fingers that this stuff gets better. If not, I suppose I’ll just watch “The Northern Lights of Christmas” every year and call it good.

Into the Bowels of Hell, The Recap, Part 3

We’re up to the fifth and final hurdle. This ended up being a new one for me. I never anticipated having breakfast with her.

Fifth hurdle- breakfast the day after the party. Oh, Jesus, help me! Her sister apologized profusely the night before. She (the sister) had wanted to get together with her niece and nephews for breakfast because they were going to be taking off the next day. BSC heard them making plans and invited herself on over for breakfast with them.

I have to admit, for a small window of time I was kinda pissed at the mobster that he didn’t text her and flat out tell her not to come. You are not invited! You are not welcome. Stay away.

I got over it. I did not, however, make breakfast. Yeah, no. I’m not cooking breakfast for that woman. Instead, Mobster and his brother-in-law made breakfast.

It turned out to be a very interesting morning. I’m glad it happened because I learned a lot.

When I first came out of the bedroom BSC was sitting at the table with her sister. A’s girlfriend asked me how I was and I replied, “Fabulous,” and went about my business of grabbing a cup and making my coffee.

Thankfully, she spent most of her time outside with her sister. Hooray! I spent it inside (in the air conditioning) with the sons’ wife and girlfriends. Very interesting stuff.

I’m going to call the oldest son’s girlfriend Little Miss Sunshine, because that girl is so sweet and loving. I’m going to call the middle son’s wife CeeCee, because his first name begins with a C and her first name begins with a C, making her C’s C. The youngest son’s girlfriend I will refer to as The Dog Lover. Honestly, all three of these young women are dog lovers, but the other two have other nicknames from me. Now for the stories.

Story #1- A, the oldest, was asking Little Miss Sunshine what his mother was doing here. She told him she had no idea. I raised my hand and said I knew. I asked him if he wanted me tell him, which he did. So, I told him about her overhearing her sister when she was making plans for breakfast with them and her inviting herself over for that. He shook his head in amazement.

At another point C had to go outside and say hello to her. CeeCee was like, “Better him than me.”

It’s sad when your kids feel that way about you. Which brings us to Story #2.

I have to say I really enjoyed spending time with C and CeeCee this time around. Not that I didn’t enjoy it before. This time it felt more authentic, I guess. I learned a lot more. I feel like more barriers were down. I think CeeCee is just a much more reserved person. I think both her and The Dog Lover are a bit reserved, unlike Little Miss Sunshine who is bubbly and overflows with sweetness and kindness.

Anyway, CeeCee began talking about BSC. I forget what led to it, but basically she has no tolerance for her. She hates the way she manipulates her kids, especially C. As she put it, “She’s always the victim.” Exactly! That’s what we’ve been saying! Not that we’ve ever said that out loud to the kids, of course. She went on to say that it would be nice if she could take a step back and look at what she’s done to her kids, and see that maybe the reason her kids don’t want to have a whole lot to do with her has to do with her own behavior. She gave the example of BSC texting C late at night to tell him she got kicked out of the house and she was living in the woods. She said he would get upset and worried about her while CeeCee tries to remind him that it’s all lies.

I am a bit proud of this girl because she knows in her early twenties something that a lot of people don’t figure out until their forties or fifties. You can’t have a relationship with a toxic person. She said that. She even mentioned that she’s not sure she would even want BSC around her children, and cited that as a major reason they’re not sure they want kids.

At one point CeeCee said that BSC doesn’t like her and never has. She talked about how frustrating it was that BSC didn’t come to her bridal shower or anything else having to do with the wedding, but then showed up at the wedding, drinking, dancing, whooping it up and acting like nothing was wrong. Preach it, girl!

I took that opportunity to tell her that yes, I did actually have Garth Brooks’ concert tickets, but once I found out she was going to be there I decided not to come, or at least that had been a huge part of my thinking the entire time. I flat out told her I was worried that she would have shown her ass and I didn’t want them to have to worry about that on their big day. She agreed with me and said that’s probably exactly what would have happened. She also said BSC didn’t bother to show up until right before the wedding began.

I think this may have led into Little Miss Sunshine telling her that BSC had glommed onto her at the wedding and was trash talking her and A’s ex-wife. Seriously, who does that? You don’t go to a wedding and trash talk the bride! You may not care for the bride or groom, but you don’t pick their wedding reception as a chance to vent your frustrations to their other guests!

In addition to telling Little Miss Sunshine how much she disliked V and CeeCee and that Little Miss Sunshine was the only good girl in the family, she also took that opportunity to steal sips out of her drink. Like, she would reach over, take a sip, and put it back in front of her.

When BSC finally decided to leave the house and head back to her own place she came inside to say goodbye. We were sitting and standing around the table. I think C was there. A. Little Miss Sunshine. CeeCee was sitting on the end. I was beside her. Rock Star beside me. I think maybe the brother-in-law was next to her. Possibly the grandson. L was sitting slightly behind us, on the barstool and The Dog Lover was sitting next to him.

She hugs C. Hugs A. Hugs Little Miss Sunshine and makes a big deal of saying goodbye to “baby girl” and telling her to keep in contact and be sure to send those pictures of the grandson. She turns around, completely ignoring CeeCee, myself, and Rock Star. Pats L on his cheek before giving him a hug. Ignores The Dog Lover. Hugs the grandson and the brother-in-law and then heads out. Wow!

Come to think of it, after she left I looked at Little Miss Sunshine and remarked, “You must be something special. She didn’t say bye to CeeCee or me!” That may have been when she launched into her story about the wedding and all the trash talk.

Either way, this is your daughter-in-law. Your son has chosen to marry her. I’m not saying you have to hug her and love on her and act like you think she’s the best thing ever. But is it asking too much to say goodbye, maybe even a, “Nice to see you again,” regardless of whether or not it’s a lie? The brass balls on this woman is astounding.

When I look back on this weekend I will be able to say that it was a great weekend, despite BSC’s presence. For the most part we stayed away from each other. When we had to be close by, even passing right by one another, we didn’t look at each other and we didn’t speak.

His kids were amazing about accepting Rock Star into the fold. She was frequently called out to be on a team for volleyball. At one point she told me, “God, I always said I wanted a big brother and now I’ve got 3.” She’s not real sure about that.

The night after graduation we went over to C’s, as I mentioned, and we had a fantastic time. I know the mobster just enjoyed having all of his kids together. All his baby birds in one nest.

Saturday was spent at the house, enjoying the graduation party.

Sunday after the disastrous breakfast the “kids” all played volleyball, then we (C, CeeCee, A, Little Miss Sunshine, the grandson, Rock Star, Mobster, and I) went to grab snow cones. The mobster and I left the snow cone shack to meet his brother and sister-in-law at a winery here in town. My daughter left to go put gas in the car and buy herself a new pair of swim bottoms. The last remaining members went to play pinball and arcade games, although CeeCee went home to shower and do some homework. T, who didn’t go with us to get a snow cone, met her two brothers at the arcade. Then we all met up for Mexican food around 5:30.

I heard some incredibly funny stories about their childhood while we were there. The evening could be summed up as a lot of laughter.

We all went over to C and CeeCee’s house after dinner. They played yard games and volleyball. There was some more drinking, although not a lot.

For me, I felt like I really connected with his kids this weekend. A was very warm and welcoming. He is his father’s mini me. The mobster always said it was C, and while C never seems to meet a stranger much like his father, A is a carbon copy. Holy moly!

I felt very accepted and welcomed by C, and this was the most I have ever spent talking to CeeCee. She’s a very sweet girl. She loves C very much and I know she hates what he’s gone through. She’s a good wife. Very loyal to him. I’m sorry I missed their wedding and I wish I could have been there, although I absolutely know it was the best decision.

Monday morning A and Little Miss Sunshine were up around 5:30 to get the car packed and get back on the road. I got up with the mobster to send them off. I got hugs from all three of them, which was nice. A said, “I’m sure we’ll be seeing you again sometime soon,” which was also nice.

To sum up, there was a little drama but it was definitely outweighed by the goodness of the weekend. As always I bow to the mobster. He is the smartest man alive.

 

Into the Bowels of Hell, The Recap, Part 2

I’ve crossed the first three hurdles. They ended up being surprisingly easy. This next one, though… it was a little tougher. Little more drama. I took my first drink (punch spiked with vodka) around 1 and kept on drinking until late that night. Thankfully, it was spread out over 8-10 hours so I never even got buzzed, despite having 3 drinks in hand at one point in the afternoon!

Fourth hurdle- the graduation party. Sweet J nailed it. She absolutely, positively did show up. She was there all freaking day! The party started at 1 and I don’t think she left until 6 or 7. It might have been later. So much for not being able to bear seeing the mobster with me, huh?

Oh, and for those who doubt she’s batshit crazy and I’m just interpreting things from my point of view? She’s batshit crazy. 11:00 the night before the party she texts the mobster, “I hope you go to hell!” Who does that?

To her credit though she did bring 16 hotdogs and 2 packages of hot dog buns. Plus a watermelon. And maybe some potato salad, but I’m not sure.

Even better, at the graduation she tells one of his sisters that she dislikes the mobster immensely, but then shut her pie hole when her sister came up. Can’t let anyone see that she’s the instigator, of course.

Thankfully, her sister had already told Mobster that she recognized BSC always played the victim. It’s always someone doing something to her. It’s never her fault. In fact, later that evening after she went over to see where she was living they went by the site of her accident last year. She pointed it out and was laughing about it.

On top of all of that, according to various sources she spent a great deal of the party crying. Someone told the mobster the day of the party his ex was in the house crying and two days later someone else told me she had been bawling and carrying on pretty much the entire party.

Okay, the person who told me was the mobster’s mother. And the story I heard was that for some reason BSC yelled, “You don’t love me!” to her and then apologized for her behavior as she was leaving. Mobster’s mom said she was surprised because BSC had never raised her voice to her like that before.

There’s a very good chance she was drinking, though. She and the boyfriend’s sister kept going up to the car that was parked behind the house.

I have no idea what she was crying about and so far I have yet to hear a good explanation from anyone who might have been near her.

She is the one that was cheating. She is the one who left. She is the one who moved straight in with her boyfriend. You would think with all her crying and poor little me attitude that I was the other woman who had moved in on her husband while she was none the wiser and thought they had a blissfully happy marriage. Nope, not how it played out.

One of the mobster’s sisters swears she’s unhappy with her life and wants to come back to him and that’s why she’s acting like this.

I think she simply can’t believe he moved on. He was supposed to always stick around and be waiting, and he didn’t. She pushed him too far this last time and he was done.

But what would I know? We stayed in separate areas the entire time. Well, almost the entire time. At one point I was outside underneath a canopy with Mobster’s brother-in-law (not the one married to BSC’s sister) and a few other people. Mobster was playing, “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” by Motley Crue, and I was singing along. I was sitting in this comfy adirondack chair, my eyes closed, drink in hand. Someone called out to T and asked her to come over to where we were. I am singing the chorus: Girl, don’t go away mad. Girl, just go away. I happen to open my eyes, thinking T had come over, and who should appear but BSC. Oops!

I remained composed. It wasn’t intentional but it sure as hell was funny. The brother-in-law was looking at me like, “Oh shit!” Eh. She went away. Just like the song suggested.

Most of the time though if she was outside we were inside. Or, she was underneath a tent and Rock Star and I were in the garage.

The same brother-in-law who ended up enjoying my concert later, sat with me in the garage while we ate and asked me if it was awkward. I told him it was okay. He then went on to say she was walking around like she still owned the place. I wouldn’t know because I didn’t pay much attention to her.

I think when she first arrived she did come into the house with her boyfriend’s sister. We would just walk by one another. Never said a word to each other. His sister was plenty nice though and offered to help.

At one point Mobster and I drove up to his parents’ house because his son had inadvertently taken T’s phone with him. He agreed to turn around and drop it off at his grandparents’ house and Mobster would go pick it up.

When we came back we parked up behind the house. “That looks like David’s truck,” he says to me as we were walking back to the house. “It wasn’t here earlier.”

“Surely she wouldn’t attempt to bring him to this party,” I told him. I was thinking there was no way their balls were that big.

Alas, I was wrong and Monica nailed it. I’m not sure how we got separated but I walked into the house and saw him standing with her on the enclosed porch. I’m pretty sure my eyes got wide and I was thinking, “Oh shit! Mobster is going to lose his mind.”

I do remember walking into the house and preparing the Jell-O shots (not alcoholic; they’re actually pudding and Jell-O topped with Cool Whip.) and when his sister-in-law came up I said he was going to be pissed and then asked what the fuck was wrong with some people.

I shouldn’t have worried though because the mobster handled it like a champ. I think she wanted the drama and he didn’t give it to her. He ignored it all (aside from passive aggressively playing music). We didn’t even do grand gestures of affection in front of her.

At one point I know we were outside sweating our asses off while she and her boyfriend enjoyed the air conditioning inside.

There is a juvenile, petty side of me that would have loved to have seen the boyfriend escorted off the property, or for the mobster and I to have been kissing and hugging and making a scene. But, as the mobster kept saying, “It’s T’s party. It’s all about her today. I don’t want to ruin her party.” And he was correct.

Had we done either of those things it would have been playing into BSC’s hands. We would be seen as the unstable ones, the unreasonable ones, while she comes off looking like the victim. Sometimes you’ve gotta eat a little bit of shit, I guess. Really, it wasn’t that difficult. We stayed away from them. They stayed away from us. Although, there was a point where I told him I was going to go up to the two of them and ask them if they wanted to play cornhole. I didn’t.

Three other small things: #1- at the beginning of the party T came up to the mobster and I and put her arms around us both. She said thank you for her party. I told her she was welcome but that it was all her dad’s doing. Just between us, yes, I helped decorate but he bought all the decorations. I made Scotcheroos, beer bread, taco dip and Jell-O shots, which she requested, but he bought the hotdogs, the hamburgers, the buns, and the 6 ft. sub. Her grandmother brought potato salad and really cute sweet treats. T’s sister-in-law brought a pasta salad. We all pitched in a little to help him out but he did the majority of the work.

The mobster did mention he wondered if she did that to piss her mom off. I have no idea. I prefer to think it was genuine and that she was really grateful for the awesome party her dad put together and that I helped with.

#2- Later in the afternoon I was passing out the Jell-O shots when one of T’s friends piped up with, “Wow- Sam’s the good mom!” Disclaimer: This happened in the house in the living room. Mom was safely outside.

To be honest I was a little taken back. More like a deer in headlights. Oh shit! What do you say to that? All of her friends know the story but I wasn’t expecting that. I know there was a time when she had a few friends over and her mom was also over getting something and they all made it a point to say hello very loudly to me. I probably didn’t handle it the best way. I probably should have said, “Well, yes, I am a good mom, but that’s because I’m a good mom to my own two kids.” I guess that could have made things really awkward though. Instead I laughed it off.

His oldest son, the one I had just met the day before, was there in the living room, playing video games with the other kids, and he pretty much laughed it off as well and told her friend, “You know, in “The Good Mother” the mother actually wasn’t good so that’s not really the compliment you think it is.”

Then we both laughed about it and I made a lame joke about being evil.

#3- As I mentioned a moment ago I made beer bread. Turns out C is a huge fan. I’ve written before how I sometimes feel like some of Mobster’s kids don’t like me. This time though C looks at me and asks, “What kind of bread is that?” I told him it was beer bread. I was thinking he was going to tell me he was allergic or something and run to spit it out, but instead he got a big grin on his face and said, “I love beer bread. You’re the best!”

Yes! Success! Sam came. She baked. She conquered!

Loyalty

Anyone ever heard of Ester Perel? She is Chump Lady’s arch nemesis (I only semi joke) and is the author who refers to affairs as “exuberant acts of defiance”. She seems to have quite the following by cheating spouses, and occasionally the cheated on spouse who is trying to reconcile. I have seen this quote from her book several times now.

My loyalty has never wavered. I was always there. I am so sorry. I never meant to hurt you. But when you measure my allegiance only by where I stick my dick it’s as if the rest doesn’t count for a thing.

Huh. That’s almost as insane as the time the mobster’s wife told him that nothing was going on between her and this other guy. As she explained to him, “I only showed him my pussy.” Let that one rest for a minute. It was no biggie. She only let him take a peek. No harm, no foul.

My loyalty has never wavered.

I’m wondering how that man defines loyalty because I sure as shit do not believe my husband can be loyal to me at the same time he’s fucking someone else. No, I take that back. Let’s take the sex out of it. How is anyone supposed to believe that a person can be loyal to you while they are actively lying to you?

Letting your spouse dance like crazy to win you back while you’re fucking around is about the most disloyal thing you can do. When your spouse has no idea an affair is even a possibility fucking around while acting like nothing is amiss is also disloyal.

I’ll break it down so that there is no confusion. You are not loyal to a person when you are lying to them. Lying is inherently disloyal.

I was always there.

No, when your attention is divided by someone else you are not there. Not the way you should be.

My husband might have been physically present when our daughter went to the ER during his first affair with Harley, but he wasn’t fully there. He was distracted by the whore. He had to make sure to let her know not to contact him, that he was going to be with his daughter so he’d have to “talk” with her after he was done at the hospital. I remember us being a united front for her, but there was nothing between us. There was no hand holding. There was no leaning on each other for comfort. His mind was preoccupied with the whore. He was disloyal and he was there only because he had to be. He wasn’t there for me. He was barely there for Rock Star. I’m sure he was counting down the minutes until he could rush back to his office and chat with the whore.

He was not “there” when he was having sex with me and then calling his whore every morning to talk to her on the way to work. It’s also not loyalty. It’s a heavy dose of mind fucking. And using a person for your own needs.

I am so sorry.

I’m sure you are sorry. Sorry for yourself. Sorry you might have to suffer some consequences. Sorry your can’t continue fucking your whore while your partner does everything for you. Sorry your spouse won’t get over it and act like everything is normal again. It almost always comes back to being sorry for yourself.

I never meant to hurt you.

Yeah, they never do. Is there anybody out there who thinks that fucking someone else and then lying to your spouse for weeks, months, possibly years is not going to hurt? That they might get lucky and their spouse will take Taylor Swift’s advice and just shake it off?

But when you measure my allegiance only by where I stick my dick it’s as if the rest doesn’t count for a thing.

I don’t even know what to say to this. Oh wait! I think I do. I hear ya, bro. All I did was show him my pussy. Maybe insane comments should be met with equally insane comments.

Here is the unfortunate truth: sometimes the only measure of a person’s allegiance is whether or not they’re faithful. For some people cheating is a deal breaker. Period.

It’s been pointed out being betrayed by someone you love, someone who is supposed to have your back and be there for you, is a very difficult thing. Once broken, trust is a difficult thing to restore. And as I’ve pointed out it’s more than a little difficult to reconcile this idea that your spouse can be loyal to you and claim “allegiance” to you while they are lying to you.

Do we do this with other behaviors?

I’ve always been loyal to this company! I’ve mentored youth, I organized your files, I updated all of the reports; I even created a chart that everyone in the company uses to this day! I landed two of the three largest clients we have and I’ve grown profits by 30% since I’ve been here. I’ve stayed late. I never call in sick. And I never forget a birthday! Are you really going to fire me over one incident of embezzlement? When you put that up against my stellar record….

Maybe it can be more accurately and gently conveyed this way. Imagine two people begin dating. They have a fantastic relationship, whatever that means to you. They get along. They take wonderful vacations. They like the same things. They do everything together. They have a lot of the same goals. But as time goes on it becomes apparent that one of them wants to have children and one of them doesn’t. Do they end the relationship because of this one disagreement? Or do they take the approach that this one issue shouldn’t overshadow all of the other positives of their relationship?

I would say that’s an issue that is going to make or break a relationship. There is no compromise with that. One child is not a compromise. So yes, the relationship is probably going to end because of that one thing. Nothing else counts.

I think the most astonishing part of that statement, “… when you measure my allegiance only by where I stick my dick it’s as if the rest doesn’t count for a thing,” is that this guy is completely serious. He just can’t believe that his wife might have a problem with that and that it could potentially lead to divorce. It’s like he really doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal, and if only she could put the fact that he’s out fucking strange up against the amazing family vacations and awesome holidays she would see how silly it is to be upset over it.

I’m trying to imagine how a conversation would go if it had been her cheating:

Look, all I did was show the guy my pussy. And yes, I might have sucked a few dicks. Who’s keeping track? I still fucked you. And I was always home to make you dinner. Me screwing other people has taken nothing away from you. I always took your clothes to the dry cleaners. Got the heavy starch, just like you like it. I’m still taking the kids to school and hockey and gymnastics. So what’s the big deal? I’m here for you! I work my affair around our schedule. Why are you making such a big deal out of this? You are always my first priority. My loyalty lies with you!

You think that would fly? Yeah, me neither.

The Doubts

Welcome to Part 3 on my series of the folly of pain shopping. You can read Part 1 and/or part 2 if you are so inclined.

I do not want him back. He is a pox upon humanity. I am madly in love with the mobster and I am happier than I have ever been. Still…. I look at that shit on her Facebook and I wonder…

Was he right and we just weren’t good together? Is Harley better suited for him because she doesn’t mind sitting at home all day long? Will their love of Kentucky basketball see them through every hardship? Is she just better than me in his eyes, because he certainly didn’t want any part of the family life with me and our kids? I couldn’t get him out of his damn bed. I couldn’t pry him away from the TV. We didn’t take trips together. He didn’t feel the need to be a supportive dad to his own kids. He never complimented me where everyone in the world could see it.

Was he right and I was a terrible wife? I never put photo frames around his picture and declared I loved my veteran. I thanked him every year but I didn’t post pictures and photo frames and declarations of love. Maybe she is just all around better than me. I envision her working her 40+ hours a week, bringing home a substantial paycheck and still having plenty of time to cook dinner, clean house and do laundry all while being supermom to her kids. At least three of them.

I work 40+ works hours a week and bring home less now than I did when I first started, thanks to taxes, a 401k, and crappy medical insurance for me and my two kids. My mom cooks and does laundry. I rarely see my kids- Rock Star is gone a huge chunk of the time and Picasso is off doing his own thing in his room. I did begin and end this divorce with two kids so I’ve got that going for me. I’ll put that one in the win column for me.

I see pictures of them with all their pets so I know I didn’t turn him off because I loved animals and had a house full.

I sometimes even see witty memes and I think to myself, “That’s pretty funny; too bad you’re a whore.”

Was he right and I just wasn’t “the one”? I wasn’t a good fit and she is. Is it that simple? Maybe they really are deliriously happy together. Maybe it’s the love affair of the century, Kentucky style.

Maybe I just wasn’t the right wife for him and she is. Did I fail him? Did he at one point think I had all the necessary traits he wanted/needed in a wife, but over the years he came to realize I did not?

That is the fear, isn’t it? It’s not that the two people who did this to you are evil, horrible, rotten people who should be strung up and shot; it’s that those two people who did this to you are so much better suited to one another. They compliment each other. They fit together. They make a better couple. They realized it and weren’t afraid to plunge ahead while you clung to the past with everything you had. It’s about being bested by a whore with no morals who may actually be the better partner because God knows he does things for her and her kids that he never bothered to do for me and mine.

Was I the starter wife? Did he learn from his mistakes with me? Did he finally realize that barricading himself in the bedroom and submerging himself in the television all by himself was not the path to a happy marriage so now he’ll do better? Is that why he’s willing to do all the things that I would have loved for him to do with all of us?

Did I somehow prevent him from living up to his potential? Was I too overbearing when it came to the kids? Is that why he was reluctant to come with us but is always ready and willing to help out with her kids and to act like one big happy family with them?

Would insisting on family dinners around the table have helped? What if I was a better housekeeper? Maybe he wouldn’t have minded being in the living room instead of shutting himself off in the bedroom. Maybe it really was me! If I had kept the house cleaner and cooked more he never would strayed. Okay, that’s a little over the top. But maybe if I had kept the house cleaner he wouldn’t have chosen to stay in his bedroom so much, or chosen to remain downstairs in the basement watching television while the kids and I stayed upstairs. I’ve said before I think that was when the breakdown began and we began living separate lives, so if I had been better at that one thing then I could have saved this and my kids would never know a life of poverty. Her little snapshots of life are all about family life and being together and doing things together. I keep coming back to: If I had been a better housekeeper maybe he wouldn’t have retreated, and all those pictures of cozy Sundays in front of a fire, or outings with children could be us.

He kept telling me I could watch whatever I wanted on TV. He didn’t need to have it on ESPN or History Channel. I never believed him though, and truthfully, didn’t want to spend hours upon hours holed up in the bedroom. It seems like she doesn’t mind and maybe if I had forced myself to do that then I would still be married.

Was I too easy going? Did that disappoint him? Did he want someone to push back? Did he want more fire? Did I make things too easy for him? Perhaps I should have taken a stand and demanded more from him. Maybe when I sighed and took on more and more of the tasks he saw it as a sign I didn’t see him worth fighting for.

Did I just flat-out disappoint him when it came to being his wife? Were there tons of things I didn’t do that a good wife should do and that Harley the Whore obviously does? I didn’t fawn over him. I didn’t call him out on Facebook all the time. I didn’t marvel over him. I didn’t bring him a cool drink while he mowed the yard. I didn’t want to snuggle in bed all day with him. I didn’t want to watch Mountain Men with him. I fell asleep on the couch even once he “allowed” me to come back and sleep in the bed. Maybe I really didn’t love him the way you should love your husband. Maybe he is now getting the love he deserves and he feels complete and happy. We all know I couldn’t make him happy, no matter how hard I tried. She appears to make him happy all the time. If you don’t believe me take a gander at her Facebook page. Everyone there will tell you how happy they both look!

Why? That is the overwhelming question that rushes through my brain as I looked at all that crap. Why was he willing to do all of this with her and her kids? He could celebrate birthdays with them, go to the zoo, take “family” vacations, go to cheer competitions, go to the hospital with her kid and fetch candy. Why can he be Dad of the Year to her kids when all he could do with ours was sit in the bedroom and watch TV? Why did we have to practically beg him to go anywhere with us? How is it that now he’s able to go away on couple’s vacations and spend time together outside of the safety of his bedroom in the evening? Why is he getting his teeth fixed? Why is he suddenly getting involved in veteran’s groups? Why is he wearing sandals with jeans? Was it something about me? Did I lack something that would have motivated him to do those things? Is she just better at getting him out of his shell? Did he give up because he thought I didn’t care?

The mobster thought this had really gotten into my head. Maybe it has but I think it’s natural to see things like that and wonder, “Why the hell couldn’t he (or she) have done all of that while we were married? Why did it take blowing up the original family for the ex to finally act the way I wish he (or she) had acted when he was with me?

I can tell you this: I will no longer be looking at her Facebook page. I do know they are masters at image management. I know that if her head was on fire she would not acknowledge it. She’d be saying, “I’m a little chilly; anyone got a sweater?” I know that ultimately it doesn’t matter what kind of a cook she is, or how promptly she does laundry, or if she keeps a cleaner house than I did because she is a woman who has no qualms about sleeping with another woman’s husband. She’s a woman who is willing to cheat on her husband. No matter what good things she may do to cover up the evil that lies within, she is an awful person with crappy character and no moral compass.

I know I don’t want him back and that life is so much nicer without him in it. It doesn’t matter if he goes out to dinner with her daughter or shows up to support her at cheer competitions. It doesn’t matter if he goes to Show and Tell with her son, or is there to hold his hand when he hurts himself. No matter what good deeds he may perform for her children he will always be an ass who abandoned his own kids, who refused to pay child support for them while he drained a 401k of $10,000, and who tried to get out of paying sufficient support for them during his court trial. He played games with child support once he got a job and calculated child support for his “beloved” daughter down to the last half hour for crying out loud. He’s also a man who has no qualms about sleeping with another man’s wife and is willing and able to cheat on his wife. Not only was he willing to cheat on me, but he was willing to lie to me, make a fool out of me, take money away from his kids and give to her and her kids, and then financially rape me. He has crappy character and no moral compass. I guess they really are ideally suited for one another. Thank God no more nice people will be subjected to their lying, cheating ways. They can both wonder what the other one is up to. I think they are probably both too pleased with themselves to ever even consider the idea that the same could be done to them.

Stay away, everyone! Nothing good comes from pain shopping. Nothing! They make you doubt yourself when you know you’re sane. They make you question yourself and your actions even when you know you did nothing wrong. They can convince you that they are living a life of carefree joy and that all of that could have been yours if you had simply danced prettier. They’ll make you wonder what you did wrong and you’ll find yourself comparing yourself to someone who is so far below you there can never be a comparison. Even when you are happy in your new life one look at the cheaters and their life on social media is enough to make you stumble off of that path of newfound happiness and bliss; they’ll take you down a twisted road of doubt and anger and jealousy.  They are master manipulators and you will never be able to compete with their highlight reel. So don’t do it! Stay far, far away!

 

The Highlight Reel

This is the second part in my five part series on the stupidity of pain shopping. You can read the first part here. Let me serve as a lesson to you! Don’t do it!

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I embarked on some “research”. First up was a new picture of her kids on vacation. It might have been Tennessee but it could have easily been somewhere else as well.

They looked like they were having fun. I don’t know if CF came along or if good ol’ Harley is finally learning the joys of life with him. In my mind he came along, because this is Life 2.0. He’s new and improved. He’s the doting husband and the beloved daddy, always ready for adventures with this new version of his family. Naturally, in my narrative he’s telling Harley how much he loves going on vacation and how I would never let him accompany us, how he missed out on so many of these adventures with his own children because of me.

Of course, I also notice the missing fourth child. I guess he wouldn’t play happy family or accept CF as his brand new daddy so he needed to be eradicated. Not even a mention of missing him.

I go back and forth between hoping he has a damn anxiety attack on the way back (or while there) that she needs to deal with and wondering if there was some magic formula I didn’t know existed that would have made him enjoy vacationing with his kids and me. Why does he do this with her and her kids when he would never do it with his own kids?

I see the pictures once again of the happy couple on their wedding day and honeymoon, I suppose. Everyone congratulating them and telling them how happy they are for them. I roll my eyes at the stupidity. It’s laughable. Two cheaters promising to love, honor and forsake all others. Yes, they’ve both got a real good grasp on how marriage is supposed to work.

I so badly want to comment and ask those people if they’re aware of the price her husband, her one son, my kids, and I all had to pay for their happiness. Do you think she’s entitled to happiness at my expense? At my kids’ expense?

I sleep on a couch. My daughter has spent two years basically with her head down just doing her damnedest to graduate and get the hell out of here, to start all over in college. My son, instead of hanging out with friends, stays locked in his room playing video games. We live on a busy street, not a neighborhood. There are no kids around he could hang out with.

But they’re happy and they deserve it because apparently I was a horrible, evil, mean person who tried to shit all over their happiness. No one cares what their happiness did to anybody else’s life.

She wants everyone to know that lazy days spent on the couch in front of the fire with her beloved are her favorite kind of Sunday. He’s got the remote in his hand so he hasn’t changed that much.

I see her incessantly calling him out, mentioning him, tagging him. “I love my veteran!”, “Waiting to watch the fight!” (from their home, on the couch, with him), and letting everyone know how they’re “getting their Halloween on”. Wow- you managed to get him to watch something other than Ice Road Truckers or Mountain Men? Congratulations! You didn’t get him out from under the television altogether but at least you’re watching together.

Again I wonder: Why not with me? Why can he suddenly do all these family and couple oriented things with her that he never could with me? Their life seems to be like a cozy, warm sweater. They carve pumpkins, sip hot apple cider, and watch Halloween movies together. I’m sure Christmas is now magical as well for him.

I see all their happy couple pictures and people cooing all over them. “Beautiful!” “Such a happy couple!” “So nice to finally see you happy!” My former in-laws are the worst offenders. And so incredibly stupid.

My late former mother-in-law shouts out to all on Facebook that, “That’s my baby boy and he’s going to make them my family, too!” Really? Aren’t they already your family? I could have sworn you told me that day you sat in my kitchen that you couldn’t cut her off because she was family. She might be a whore, but gosh darn it, Sam, she’s family, too! I see my evil ex sister-in-law gush that she loves them.

Funny side note: Maybe it’s a woman thing but I definitely noticed how Harley was always commenting on their pages once CF broke things off with her. She didn’t comment much at all before her affair with him but she was all over it once she got dumped. Imagine my surprise when I saw that she’s not falling all over herself to comment on every insipid post and each picture. Curious.

Always there are the obligatory compliments: You are so beautiful. Pretty. Great picture of you, whore.

I freely admit it has always been a sore spot that my former in-laws never missed a chance to tell her how wonderful she looked, while ignoring me.

I posted a new profile picture (obviously this was back when we were still married). Keep in mind I am not the type of person who changes profile pictures every week. That would be Harley. I think this was the first change in two years. Two years! On top of that I had just got my hair cut. I had kept my hair styled basically the same way for years! This was a major change and the most I got from any of them was, “That hairstyle looks nice on you.”

Maybe the former in-laws always thought I was very ugly and wondered what on earth their beloved prince was doing with such an unsuitable specimen. Maybe they like the Hillbilly Whore look. Who knows?

I do my best to shake my head and continue on.

I see all of the pictures of her adorable animals. Most of them purchased by my then-husband. Couldn’t give me money for a homecoming dress for his daughter but he could buy them new animals.

To inject just a brief moment of sanity in this I will note that I don’t see the pets she used to pose with. I wonder if she discarded them like she discarded her son and husband. Much like her new husband discarded his family and pets. Oh well, everything is replaceable, right?

I see her update on moving into their new home. That’s nice, bitch. I live with my mom. My kids don’t have a home of their own. It’s nice that thanks to my husband’s money (and he was my husband at this point in time) your kids are able to move into the nicest home they’ve ever lived in. It’s fantastic that things are going so swell for your kids. Well, except the one you abandoned.

Guess what? She later reveals she loves their new home. There’s so much for her kids to do! I’m so happy for them.

There’s the post about her youngest banging his head in the pool and needing stitches. Don’t worry, though, because New Daddy was on the job keeping him calm, happy, and stuffed with candy!

Awww… that’s so sweet. I’m glad he can act like a father for your kids. Too bad he’s done nothing for his own. To be fair he did manage to make a few ER trips with us (hey- my kid was a gymnast; she got hurt a lot!) but that pales in comparison to what he’s done to them the last 2 years. Maybe we should start calling her youngest, “Mulligan” since he seems to be CF’s do-over.

There were the pictures of the family outing to the zoo- two whole hours away to boot! I guess that PTSD must be in remission, huh? I suppose since he’s no longer trying to con me out of sufficient child and spousal support he can fully enjoy life as the asshole he is.

Oh, there it is! Yet another new profile picture of the whore so that everyone can compliment her and tell her how pretty she is. There’s CF chiming in, “Gorgeous!”  Really? I was married to that sonofabitch for twenty fucking years. Granted, he was not on Facebook long while we were married and most of the time I imagine he spent trying to fuck other women, but not once did he bother to compliment me.

It bothered me when I was married to him. It bothered me when we were wreck-onciling. He knew it bothered me. I told him it bothered me. His excuse? “I see you everyday! Why would I bother to comment on Facebook when I can tell you in person?”

That’s a good question. Why is he bothering to comment on Facebook when he could just go home and tell her?  Better question: If he really wants to let everyone know how special she is why doesn’t he tell her that she’s worth the thousands of dollars he has to pay out every month? I would think that would be a huge compliment! “Your pussy is so fantastic I don’t mind paying out thousands of dollars a month for it!” or maybe, “You were worth abandoning my children!” Hmmm… perhaps that does not convey the message they want to convey…

I see more pictures of the happy couple posing in front of scenery that does not resemble Kentucky. Maybe they travel a lot now. How convenient. It’s nice to know he spent twenty years wasting my life and making me do everything solo because he got such anxiety anytime he ventured outside of his house. I think the mobster is right and Harley very much is his seeing eye dog. With her by his side as his faithful companion he can go places he once only dreamed of.

One last new snapshot- one of her daughter and her two smiling sons. They’re all going out to celebrate her birthday. I think it’s wonderful that he can finally go out for birthday dinners once again. The last year he lived in the house, the last birthday each of my kids had before finding out that their family was going to be shattered and their lives torn apart, he was simply too upset and anxious to go out and celebrate. He stayed behind, probably texting the whore, while I took the two of them out. Who cares if he fucked over his own kids, right? The important part is that he’s doing right by her kids.

Once again I see the picture of CF with Mulligan at Show and Tell. It was Veteran’s Day. This year she improved upon the picture with a cutesy frame that told everyone who cared to listen that she loved her veteran. The year before though it was simply about how pleased Mulligan was that New Daddy/Cousin Daddy (Caddy?) could be there.

You know what I thought about? I thought about the time he snapped at Picasso because he wanted his dad to drop him off at school. Good ol’ Daddy was anxious and didn’t know how to navigate the carpool lane. The man can fight a fucking war and blow shit up, but a line of cars whipping through the horseshoe drive in front of the school just wipes him out.

I thought about the time he got pissy with me because I needed him to run to Target and grab a gift out of the dollar bin and bring it back up to the school for Rock Star so she could participate in her classroom Christmas party. As always, shooting people and blowing shit up is easy; a quick trip to Target is life threatening. He will probably need psychological counseling for the rest of his life because of it.

Once again I see them posing the day of her daughter’s cheerleading competition- him posing in a t-shirt with her high school name and mascot on it. Both of them gushing about how important it was to be there for her. “He must love her so much to wear that t-shirt!” “Oh, it was painful to put that Cardinals t-shirt on but I wanted to support her.”

He never saw his daughter cheer or compete as a cheerleader one single time. He never went to a single high school gymnastics meet. At the time he was saying this he had moved out of the state without saying a word to either of his kids and he hadn’t seen them in over eighteen months. Yes, it was so important that he support the daughter of the whore he’s fucking.

And always there are the comments. Comments from people I used to call family. Comments from people who still try to act like they care about me and my kids while they support that fucking whore and her kids. Comments from people who used to be family shouting out how happy they are with the jolly new couple, how much they love them, how much they love Everything. About. Them. They are so proud and this is their family. Tammy Faye cooing over the newest grandchildren. She loves them so much! Doesn’t seem to give a shit about her actual grandchildren but the whore’s kids? She was on that shit quick!

As tempting as it may be, don’t do it! Don’t pain shop. Maintain no contact (and that includes social media). You may think you can handle it, that it will be no big deal, but feelings will come. I promise you this. Even if the majority of those feelings are rage and anger it is still a lot to deal with. It can still mess with your head. Even knowing they are masters at image management, even knowing that truly happy people don’t have to make a huge show of their relationship every day and every hour on social media, even knowing he is the problem and she is a whore, it can still make you doubt yourself.

The Pitfalls of Pain Shopping

You’re in for a treat. I knew before I even began that this was going to be long; this here is Part 1 of 5. You know what that means though, right? Five straight days of posts from me!

Hi, I’m Sam. I am a survivor.  I am a fighter. I am fearless. I am kickass. I know my worth. I don’t believe a bit of the bullshit that comes out of cheaters’ mouths, excusing their affairs. I believe there is no excuse for cheating on your partner. I believe the most important question isn’t, “How can I save this marriage?” or “What did I do wrong?”, but “What’s important to me in a marriage?” and  “What is acceptable to me?” I don’t do hurt; I do pissed off. I firmly believe in no contact. I know that cheaters are masters at image management. I know they suck.

I am also not immune to curiosity. I “investigate” social media on occasion. I have recently been pain shopping. I am a dumbass.

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I could easily blame this on my mom. She is the one who informed me CF and Harley had gotten married. I could have comfortably lived my life not knowing that. Who could resist sneaking a peak at the happy couple? Certainly not me!

It started with their wedding picture and making snarky remarks about the “happy couple” to friends. Harley looks terrible. She really does. Her wedding picture is maybe one step up from her most recent mugshot.

When she was chasing after my husband and finally landed him she was thinner than me. I’ll admit I was jealous. People complimented her on it. Now she looks like a beached whale. Seriously. I am not someone who usually picks on someone for their weight because God knows I’m not some size 2. But she has to have a good 30-40 pounds on me.

You’d think that would be enough. Yep, there they are. You’ve seen them. Let’s move on from this train wreck. Yes, he actually married the whore; true love won. Move along!

You would be wrong.

Rock Star announced recently that her dad had contacted her, asked her where she was going to school and if she needed anything. I guess he can afford to act like the big shot because he’s got almost an extra thousand dollars in his pocket each month now. He ended up sending her $200 so she could buy her laptop and then ordered the rest of her bedding for her and is having it sent here. What a hero! Cut off support for her the very moment she graduates and then swoop in to save her. What. A. Stand. Up. Guy.

This gets me to thinking about the possibility that he may become a part of her life once again. He and the whore may sneak up to campus and spend weekends with her. He might invite her down to his house so she can live like she used to. He could offer up the use of the pool in their neighborhood. See how nice and luxurious life could be with us?

I’m trying to wrap my mind around this possibility. It does not happen. I have come to the conclusion that I could accept her having a relationship with him. He is her father. But her? Over my dead body. I will not have that whore weaseling her way into my kids’ lives.

The other very real fear is that as he worms his way back into Rock Star’s life he could easily start to share his own version of what happened with her. His version, of course, is that I’m an evil, horrible person who deserved everything he did to me. I didn’t take care of him. I never loved him. We weren’t good for one another. I’m just a bitter, angry person who refuses to thank him for setting me free from the burden of being his wife.

I would like to think that Rock Star is smarter than that and that our bond is deeper than that. But money talks; you hear stories everyday of children who go with the parent that has the deepest pockets.

This is the background story to my pain shopping. Why I chose my next move I am not sure. I suppose I thought I could handle it; I thought I was prepared for anything and figured I could use it as snark in another post.

Oh, there will be snark. But there is also fury and anger and indignation. There has even been some doubt. Doubt that I was a good wife. Doubt that I was a good partner to him. Doubt that I treated him right.

Don’t do what I did! Stay off the social media! No contact is the way to peace and light. Checking up on them is pain shopping. It’s looking for ways to make you doubt yourself; you compare your behind the scenes to their highlight reel and come away feeling like crap in most cases. They are masters at image management; they will never admit when things go to shit. It’s all posed fantasy. I repeat: Do not do what I did!

Too Late For Apologies

It’s happened a second time. A former OW posts an apology to the betrayed wife, writing about how sorry she is for the pain she caused.

The first time I read one of these it wasn’t so much an apology as it was a list of things that she would like to say to the former wife. “I’m sorry,” was one of those things, followed by, “You’re welcome.”

Yes, honestly, you’re welcome. I’m sorry I fucked your husband. I’m sorry that when I finally figured out that he was married I continued to see him and fight for him and team up with him against you. But really, I did you a favor so… “You’re welcome.”

The reality was she ended up with an abusive, narcissistic asshole of the highest order. That fight she fought so valiantly? It didn’t yield the great riches she thought she was going to get. Soon into their relationship he began making outrageous demands and responding like a petulant teenager whenever she wouldn’t submit. Like a frog in that pot of warm water she sat there as he continued to turn up the heat, making more and more demands, taking over all facets of her life, and leaving her a shell of her former self.

The stories she wrote detailing the emotional and physical abuse, before revealing that she was at first an unwitting other woman, and then a full accomplice, were horrific. He really was an abusive piece of shit. I’m glad she got away.

Nonetheless, it takes a whole lot of hubris to tell the woman whose life you destroyed, “You’re welcome.”

The most recent one, also an unwitting other woman before joining forces with the married man, also experienced the love of a narcissist.

Like the previous apologizer she eventually realized the hell she willingly entered once she was involved with him. He wasn’t nearly as wonderful as she had thought he was back when he was lying to and cheating on his wife with her.

Therein lies my problem with these so-called apologies. They’re only sorry because the knight in shining armor turned out to be a doofus in a tinfoil hat. That hunk of gold turned out to be a sparkle covered turd. That’s the only reason they’re apologizing.

If Sir Doofus was still showering them with praise and gifts and lots of great sex instead of terrorizing them they wouldn’t think twice about the woman who was betrayed and discarded. They wouldn’t be a damn bit sorry about anything they did. My guess is we would hear a lot of, “You can’t help who you fall in love with,” or “It was fate,” or even, “I’m not a bad person! This doesn’t define me!”

Perhaps I’m being too hard on them. Maybe being lied to, cheated on, and abused has brought out their more empathetic side. Maybe their painful experience with the love of their life has taught them compassion. I don’t really know.

What I do know is it’s too late for apologies. You don’t apologize when you finally realize you didn’t actually win the prize. That’s not an apology; that’s remorse. For yourself. Apologies are more than words; they’re actions. When you don’t act until it’s your own ass in the fire you’re not sorry about what you did; you’re sorry it didn’t work out as splendidly as you were led to believe it would. “I’m sorry I didn’t get the Prince Charming I thought I was getting when I poached your husband,” is no apology at all. Acting like you did the betrayed wife a favor is adding insult to injury.

Divorce Laws and Double Standards, Part 2

Because I was married to an entitled fuckwit once upon a time I figured I better know exactly what was allowed and what wasn’t. Could it really be that simple? I mean, it’s that simple when it comes to marriage vs. divorce. So, I’m not living with someone. I’m not remarried. I’m good, right? Oh no!

After inquiring what would constitute “living together” I was informed that pretty much everything constitutes living together! At least the courts have heard cases that involve pretty much everything.

Naturally, the first bit of advice is to not sign a lease or buy a house with someone. Well, duh! I think we would all consider that to be living with someone! Also fairly normal would be not sharing bills with someone, using the address of that other person as my own, and sharing a bank account.

Really? So when CF and Harley share a bank account while we are still married it’s no big deal. Certainly not proof of any wrongdoing on their parts. Can’t get me an immediate divorce granted based on adultery. But if I share a bank account with the mobster a few years down the road it’s now proof we are living together in a relationship analogous to marriage? I’m thinking these laws are a bit biased.

On the not so normal side? My attorney cautioned me against: grocery shopping together, doing the mobster’s laundry (oh, how could I resist?), going to church together, not leaving both toiletries and clothes over at the other’s house, naming one another as beneficiaries on each other’s insurance policies, taking too many vacations together, and giving each other a key to our separate homes. In addition to all of that she advised against spending too many nights at each other’s homes.

Seriously? Going to church together now conveys marital status on a couple? How can that be? I was married for 20+ years to CF. Aside from our children’s baptisms and maybe one Christmas Eve service he never went to church with me. If that is the standard then I’m already fucked because the mobster and I did attend church together. In a state that neither of us live.

I could say almost the same thing in regards to vacations. Twenty plus years together and if I think real hard I can think of 5 vacations he took with me. Six, if you count the one weekend we went away to Vegas for his birthday.

Holidays? We spent probably as many apart as we spent together.

If I give my best friend or neighbor or brother a key to my house (you know, in case I lock myself out) could someone argue that we are living together?

Back to that shared bank account…. when CF and Harley did it it wasn’t proof of adultery. If the mobster and I do it even while living in separate homes we can be considered living together. WTF? Disclaimer: I am in no rush to share a bank account with anyone. I am merely appalled that the courts could use that as proof to dismiss alimony because we could then be considered to be living in a relationship analogous to marriage.

In one particularly scary case the husband took his ex-wife back to court to try to get spousal support dismissed based on the fact that she and her boyfriend were in a long term monogamous relationship, basically. They both had their own homes. She stayed with her boyfriend when her kids were with their father, so about 4-5 days every two weeks, and he might spend the night at her house once a week when she had her kids. They didn’t have clothes at each other’s homes, although he did have a toothbrush over at her house, and I believe she had some toiletries at his. In fact, it was stated she brought a suitcase with her every time she stayed. He pointed out that when she went over there she took her dog along. I believe they went to church together and they tried to use the fact that they would cook meals and cleanup together. The vacations they took together were also scrutinized. Who paid for what? Did they pay separately or split the expenses? They even brought up him going to her mother’s funeral! I believe he went to the funeral but not the memorial, or the funeral but not the burial. They presented themselves as a monogamous couple who were sexually active and in love and that was enough for her ex-husband to try to take her back to court and get spousal support dismissed.

She took her dog with her when she spent the night! Oh no; she’s living with him! No, dumbass, the kids are with their father. If she didn’t take the dog with her who would take care of it?

They’re going to scrutinize if he comforted her when her mother died and attended the funeral? Are you shitting me? Can anyone else attend the funeral of my loved ones without being accused of being my “husband”, or are you only prohibited from going if you’re having sex?

This is a quandary for me because as I’ve mentioned before CF didn’t bother to attend either of my grandmothers’ funerals. I drove 2000 miles to bury my Mamaw and over 1500 to bury my grandma with just my kids. He didn’t even bother to send flowers. So, just to be sure everyone is on the same page: My actual husband did not attend my grandmothers’ funerals with me. However, if the mobster were to attend a family funeral with me that is proof that we are living together in a relationship analogous to marriage. Interesting.

Why are any of those things now the barometer of whether or not I’m living with someone in a relationship analogous to marriage? Actually being married didn’t guarantee me those things.

Are they honestly trying to claim that having sex is something that only married couples do? Hell, according to the cheaters they never get any at home from their spouses. I would argue that having sex is proof positive that you aren’t married or living with someone in a relationship analogous to marriage!

I don’t feel like debating Virginia divorce law at $250 an hour but if I did I would be asking my lawyer if there is a limit on how many times a week I can actually see the mobster. If we have lunch together every day is that marriage? If we’re over at one another’s homes every night, but return to our own beds most nights, are we living as if married?

My daughter sees her boyfriend almost every day. Are they married? When I was younger and didn’t have kids or a husband I saw my best friend every day. Could someone argue we were in a lesbian relationship with one another?

If I help him pick out furniture or decorate his house is that married? God forbid I give him any advice or help!

Are we allowed to buy each other gifts?

Your Honor, he bought her chocolate covered strawberries for Mother’s Day and had them delivered to her at work! Why would he do that if they weren’t basically married? Don’t even get me started on her birthday or Christmas!

I bought him a water jug to replace the one that was leaking. Was that a dowry? The last year before CF moved us halfway across the country I put together cute little Christmas gifts for some of my best friends in Utah. They were adorable! Cute little socks, a homemade sugar foot scrub, and nail polish with a card that read: For Your Mistle Toes! Was I engaged in a polyamorous relationship with all of them? My best friend and I used to gift each other with calendar’s each year. Was that okay? Or were we basically married? I’m pretty sure lots of unmarried people give each other gifts, even ones that are in a relationship. If that’s not allowed then I understand why so many people break up right before a holiday.

And what about the trips we take together now? After all I did make a fucking omelette for him the last time we were together. Everyone knows that’s pretty much a signal to one and all that we are married! Granted, it’s been 3 weeks since we’ve seen each other and we’ve got another 2 weeks to go but I think they’ve got a great case!

Yes, Your Honor, they live 10.5 hours apart and see each other maybe 6 days out of the month if they’re lucky but she made him an omelette!

I also made him shrimp and mushroom fettucine and he washed the dishes afterwards. Holy crap- what’s next? Making babies? He made breakfast sandwiches for me and I cleaned up. Oh my!

Additionally, I’d like to know if all these weekend getaways are considered vacations which practically spells marriage, or do we get a pass since we don’t even live in the same fucking state?

I’m sure to the casual observer it would be easy enough to call me a greedy bitch who wants my poor ex-husband to subsidize my lifestyle with another man. The ultimate cake eater. No, I paid a lot of money for my divorce, mainly because of CF’s antics and his refusal to settle; I’m not willing to turn around and hand it all back over to him. I’m not willing to let him decimate my life and the lives of my children and not pay any kind of price for that.

The cold reality is I have two children I need to support. My job does not do that. Virginia will not order support for college aged kids if the payor is opposed. I have no doubt CF would have been opposed despite the fact that we never expected to cut our kids loose the minute they hit 18 and graduated from high school. So I need that spousal support to help support my kids once they are in college and child support is a mere memory. CF is way too busy reinventing himself as a wonderful father to children that aren’t his to actually parent his own, and he has an expensive, gold digging whore for a girlfriend so he won’t be offering up anything he doesn’t have to.

Sadly, it seems to me that Virginia is trying to corner me into three shitty options: 1. Stay single and collect spousal support; this is what I thought I would be dealing with. I really had no problem with that scenario when I thought that was my destiny. I don’t think there’s anything wrong or sad about living life as a single person. I would have been fine had I never met the mobster, although he has added so much to my life.  2. Have casual, short term relationships and collect spousal support; I don’t really see this as being feasible for me. I didn’t go looking for the mobster; I won’t be out there looking if anything should happen to us. 3. Be fortunate enough to get involved in a serious, long-term relationship and have spousal support yanked away despite not getting remarried or living with one another. Tell my kids they’re on their own because I barely have enough money to support myself, much less them. Let CF and Harley ride off into the sunset, counting their money and laughing about how they got away with everything.

It’s such bullshit. Who is anyone on the bench to tell me I have to get married? Or that my relationship, one where I’m not living with another person, is analogous to marriage? The basic theme seems to be shit or get off the pot. Get married or break up. A long term monogamous relationship is unacceptable. Everyone knows marriage is the pinnacle of a relationship. If you’re not married or living together then what are you doing? What kind of games are you playing? You can do casual. You can be alone. But if you’re going to date someone for any length of time then you must take the next step or you must end it! Marriage or bust!

Maybe I don’t ever want to get married again after what happened to me. I lost everything when CF left. My entire life was torn apart and I have had to dig my way back to the surface. I can’t even say that I’m there yet. I still live with my mom. My job, thanks to insurance and 401ks, still doesn’t pay me much more than what it takes to cover my bills. I’m still at CF’s mercy and whims. Why would a judge or anyone else think that I would ever trust someone enough to remarry and lose guaranteed spousal support? I was discarded after twenty years of marriage. After moving all over the country for CF’s career. After giving birth to his two children that he has also abandoned. If CF could discard me so casually after twenty years together why would I give up what I’ve fought so hard to be awarded for someone I’ve known for a year? It’s not about pulling the wool over someone’s eyes, or trying to play games. I’m being asked to trust this new relationship enough to say, “Sure! I’ll trust you not to do to me what he did; I’ll trust you with my heart, my life, and my finances even though we haven’t been together long, we aren’t going to have children together, and I won’t be moving around the country for the sake of your career. I can give up spousal support because I know that you and I are a team, despite meeting later on in life, despite not having children together, and despite not building up our careers together. With you working your job and me working mine we’ll make up for the spousal support I’m giving up. I trust you’ll do right by me and my kids, even though you’ve only known me a few months and even though their father didn’t despite being married to me for twenty years!” Why would anyone ever think I would be willing to give up what I fought so hard for so that I could once again combine my money with someone else and believe that the lifestyle we created together is mine? I learned that lesson the hard way. If I can’t afford the house on my own, it’s not mine. If I can’t afford to take vacations or buy an RV and travel in retirement or buy a boat or put a pool in or buy a hot tub… all on my own… it’s not mine. If I can’t afford it on my own it’s not mine.

What if I’m not even the one who is dragging my feet on marriage? What if I would love to get married but my significant other doesn’t want to? What if he says, “No thanks. I’ve already had to sell the house and split the proceeds. I’ve already had to split my 401k. I’ve already paid thousands of dollars to end a relationship. I’m not going through that again. I love you but I want my own space. I want the peace of mind that not being married grants me. I want to be protected in case this doesn’t work out.”

Then what? Do I end the relationship because he won’t commit and I could be considered married even if I’m not married? Who knows- we may be sharing one too many meals together and going to church together.

Hmmmm…. doesn’t not getting married protect him from having to share anything with me? Will a judge in Virginia grant me spousal support from this person I’m “living with in a relationship analogous to marriage”? If he buys a house and I’m not on the deed, can I refuse to move out? Is he not allowed to change the locks on me? Must he name me as his beneficiary on his 401k unless I sign off? Do I get to make medical decisions for him or would that responsibility go to his parents or children? If, after thirty years together, he dies, do I automatically inherit everything? What do you think?

I find it an ironic twist that Virginia has no legal separation. You are either married or divorced. There is nothing in between. Not even if your STBX is living in another state over 6 hours away with another woman. A woman he calls his fiancé and who is wearing a big ol’ diamond engagement ring while sharing a bank account with him. A woman who knew where he was when he checked himself into the VA clinic after losing his job, while his actual wife had no clue what was going on even though it would change the course of her life. I’m still married. Still not allowed to have sex with anyone else because that’s adultery! You are either married, or you are divorced, says Virginia. Unless your ex is looking to get spousal support dismissed. In that situation you might not actually be married but you may possibly potentially act like you’re married based upon arbitrary standards set by the same people who tell you that you are still married to your lying, cheating, co-habitating with another person spouse, and can be sued for adultery if you move on before the final divorce. When you are married and wishing to divorce, Virginia is focused on what the reality is; if you are not divorced, then you are married. Once you are divorced and your spouse wishes to discontinue paying support Virginia is focused on what the reality could be; now they want to try to judge based upon appearance. How many nights do you spend together? How often do you see one another? Do you go to church together? Do you ride in the same car? Do you share meals? Do you say “I love you,” or let it be known you’re not out fucking other people?

In more concise terms: In Virginia you are married until you are divorced. Once you are divorced, however, you might be living together in a relationship analogous to marriage, even if you’re not living together.  What a load of crap.