I have been in a serious committed relationship for two years now. We have had ups and downs, but mostly due to space caused by knowledge of possible cake eating.
I’m 35 years old, a loving, caring, single father who was really not looking for a relationship but found it just by chance, by being in the right place at the right time or maybe the wrong place at the wrong time… now I don’t know. I went out with two of my married best friends to celebrate winning my joint custody case for my daughter. There she was, we will call her Amanda for this story… we hit it off and have been in a relationship since.
Although I had not been open for a relationship at all up to that point dealing with over a year and a half of litigation for my daughter, I felt everything seemed to have good timing.
On to the Red Flags… and besides parenting disagreements, the ups and downs seem to be normal.
We are always paid for our suspicion by finding what we suspect. ~Henry David Thoreau
After a year and a half of our relationship I started to get the feeling something was out of place or going on.
So I looked.. I looked at her text, phone and email communications.
She had been contacting, going to lunch, going to happy hour and engaged in which I think as inappropriate messaging with this person.
Example, I was off work with my daughter so we dropped in at her work to surprise her and bring her food. She was actually getting car maintenance done and meeting this person for lunch. I read this and in a text, did not mention it and left it alone, only being disappointed that she failed include the detail.
It did not get better from there… Although I had planned to just not take our relationship so serious now, since apparently I was the only one who thought it was, Amanda was pushing so hard to be serious, I started to grow more unhappy.
I found at another time a message which he requested, hey can you do lunch and are we meeting at the hotel? This one is the one that started the major relationship issues for me — but still did not mention it.
Next it was a Friday, I was clearly starting to withdraw from our relationship by then and nothing was getting better. She calls me, I’m at home and like most evenings I was just relaxing, cooking delicious foods and staying in. She tells me she is going to an happy hour right after work and that she will call me later.
She did and that next Saturday I find a message detailing how his wife was out of town so he wanted to meet up for happy hour. I did not say anything, and once again took the opportunity to discuss rather she would really be interested in an open relationship. Well, hell no was the answer and Amanda could not figure out why I would even ask such things.
It’s mid-summer, our relationship has suffered mostly due to now my knowledge now of her continued relationship and I had decided that we need to work on things before moving any further or continued involvement with each other’s kids. In hope of us moving past it, I went to a baseball game in which her sons were paying.
Shit hit the fucking fan!
Her “friend” as she calls him shows up, she runs over to talk with him for awhile, and then comes back and asks me did I remember meeting him and his wife once when we first started dating. At that point I could not hold out any further.
I said, “Oh, is that the guy you went to happy hour with on Friday?” I then let her know I knew of the lunches, emails, and text messages.
She said, that they had been friends for 10 years and they once worked together. She said that the meet at the hotel text was an “inside joke” because years ago his wife was jealous of their friendship, so he found it funny to joke about meeting at a hotel with her because of how silly his wife is.
She also said that she went to happy hour to talk about our relationship. She said that he was a close friend and she was sorry she had never EVER mentioned anything about him and wanted to move forward and if that meant leaving the relationship with this person behind then that was what she would do.
Now mind you, I’m a very successful person. I have a very large close family and my parents are still together, educated and have taught us what a loving, trusting, caring family is like. What a father is like and what it means to be there for someone forever. I have a very stable career, make over six figures and swim bike run whenever my family and relationship will allow. I pondered just going back to the old me. The just me, I have done that very well and have no problem going back I hope.
After the baseball incident and not being able to spin the data or order of events in my own head in a way to make it ok, we did not see each other’s kids and started only to work on us, with our agreed upon understanding on what each person feels it means to be in a serious relationship.
We were moving forward. Around thanksgiving I even saw her two sons and we all started building a relationship again together. It felt good and was finally moving to where we both wanted to go, plus I truly love her and we are so good when we are together.
I just wanted to check… I just wanted to know that we are finally open and past all of the bullshit. I looked.
This time the text message was her inviting him to lunch. I said nothing until she called me and out of the blue a few weeks later and said her friend she used to work with has interviewed and accepted a position where she now works and will be starting in the next two weeks.
After asking her about how exactly I’m supposed to move past this she only said she realizes she may not have handled the situation as she should. She is sorry and that they have only ever been friends.
That’s my story.. In my heart I love her. In my sole I don’t want to live with the mistrust and the situation where now I would wonder everyday what kind of bullshit is really going on.
There is a part of me which feels the only way this would ever work would be for her to remove herself from the situation by finding another job. Not that I actually believe she would do it, but if she did should I say with her? Have I created this whole thing up by not understanding the not funny at all inside joke? Is she a cake eater?
Dear Mr. H,
Is she a cake eater? Did Hostess make Twinkies? Do diabetics like cookies? Do cupcakes have frosting?
YES she is a cake eater.
Whether she is cheating (yes), or cake eating (yes), or simply disrespecting you (yes again!) — you need to dump this woman like yesterday. Fabulous, fit, gainfully employed, family oriented you deserve better than this. You are a stock that trades high. Know this. A cheating, single mother of two? Not so much.
1.) I think you have some issues with your picker. Get some therapy on this. You apparently have a contentious relationship with your ex-wife. Healthy people don’t put each other through nearly two-year long custody battles. How do I know? My mentally ill first husband has sued me repeatedly (pro se, representing himself) for over a decade. Been there, done that — oh and I also have the disastrous follow up marriage to a serial cheater. You have spared yourself that misery by questioning your relationship with Amanda at this juncture (well done!) But back to wife #1 — what you’ve been through is so damaging, so difficult. I know you’re fabulous, fit, successful, etc., but please also considered that the divorce and custody shit addled your brain. Made you vulnerable. How could it not? You didn’t date while it was going on. I imagine you were rightfully lonely and overwhelmed. You need to really shore yourself up after those kind of life events — get very, very strong and focused on what you want and what healthy looks like before you throw yourself out into the dating pool. You stumbled over Amanda in a bar, fell for the sparkles. It happens. It’s time to realize that you picked BADLY, very badly, and fix that.
2.) Stick up for yourself! Every time you found something damaging and suspicious, you shut up about it. Held it in. Until the fateful ball game, where she’s flaunting this asshole in your face. Texts that say “meet me at the hotel” are exactly what they look like — hook ups at a hotel. You’ve known enough for awhile to know this is bad. To dump her immediately. Read up on spackle. You’ve been spackling.
3.) It’s NOT LUNCH! She has been fucking him at lunch. She is a cheater and she is mindfucking you. Let’s review the evidence, shall we?
She said, that they had been friends for 10 years and they once worked together. She said that the meet up at the hotel text was an “inside joke” because years ago his wife was jealous of their friendship, so he found it funny to joke about meeting at a hotel with her because of how silly his wife is.
NOBODY makes jokes like this. This is a transparent lie. His wife was “jealous” of their “friendship”? Hell yeah she was. He’s a cheater. Assuming that he’s not a cheater (he is a cheater), his wife feels insecure about this “friendship” and so his way of assuaging her concerns is with CRUEL JOKES? That your idiot Amanda there is party to and finds FUNNY? That makes them both colossal ASSHOLES. If her lie is true (it is not), she is dump worthy just for being the kind of fuckwit who would do such a thing.
But the simple truth is, Mr. H., these are the lame fabrications of the discovered cheater. And you know it. In your gut, you know this.
4.) Now you are the butt of the cruel joke. So, just like Mr. Asshole’s wife, you are suspicious of this “friendship” and asked Amanda to cut it out, which she promised to do, but then she breaks no contact! And is doing “lunch” again! And BONUS! Is going to be working with him again! A trifecta of betrayal!
You are NOT in a healthy relationship. Assuming she is not cheating (she is cheating), she is DISRESPECTING YOU. She lies, breaks her promises to you, and brushes off your very legitimate concerns. This is NOT the stuff that healthy relationships are made of.
You love her. Okay, fine. Everyone who reads here at Chump Lady once loved a cheater. This does not distinguish you. Every cheater has hooks. Some love is not good for you. Jerry Sandusky “loves” little boys. You are of use to her. You are being her chump. She transgresses and over and over and over again you stay SILENT.
Time to speak up. This relationship is over. You created a boundary (she stops seeing this man), which she agreed to, and she violated that boundary. It is up to you to enforce the boundary. Dump her. And do not take her back.