Hi Chump Lady,
I am a lesbian and have been in a relationship with another woman since March of 2013. In June, I found out that this woman, “Sally,” is actually married and has been married since 2010.
I confronted Sally about it and she told me that she married a good friend of hers but that she was not attracted to him or to men and knows that it will not work out. She claimed that they are separated and, additionally, he lives in a separate state and knows she is gay. I didn’t quite feel comfortable dating a married woman and expressed that to her. She said she would have the divorce taken care of by the end of the year, because she wanted to build a life with me and is gay. I then told her that I loved her and trusted that she was being sincere. I did say that by the New Year, if she was still married, I would not be able to be with her.
Fast forward and I leave out of town in December for a month. Granted, when I left things with Sally were fine and going pretty well. We did occasionally argue, but we seem to recover and bounce back afterwards and implement any changes that we think will help the relationship. When I returned, Sally was being very distant and strange. I knew something was going on and I asked her about it.
She confessed that she was seeing a therapist and wasn’t sure where we stood. I was blindsided. I questioned if we were a great fit months earlier and expressed that to her, only to have her reassure me at that time that our love was real and we were lucky to have found each other, and more blah blah. So, I was very hurt, but told her that I would wait until she decided what she wanted and that I would like to work on our relationship. I am aware, like her, that some things are not healthy and need to be changed. (Example: I can throw tantrums and act like a child; she tends to scream and swear.) She told me she didn’t want the added pressure of the holidays and that she needed to think because she wasn’t sure.
On Christmas, I wanted to see her and she told me she was in the suburbs with her best friend because she didn’t want to be alone and was spending the night there. She said she wanted to see me on Friday and that she loved me.
I wanted to surprise her and leave a gift by her door so I headed to do that. When I arrived to her place, the lights and television were on. To my complete surprise, Sally was at home with her husband. Talk about betrayed, blindsided and lied to. I now wish I would have acted in a mature fashion and walked away. However, I knocked on the door and was pretty furious. She didn’t want me there and was trying to push me out. Clearly, her husband had no clue who I was and wanted to “take care of me” by placing his hands on me while she did nothing. Granted, from his point of view he probably thought I was a random person trying to get in and was harassing HIS wife. WTF???
I wanted answers from her as to why she felt compelled to lie to me. She wasn’t willing to talk so I emailed some of her friends the following day for answers (yes, another childish move I wish I could take back). She finally confessed that she felt that I was emotionally unstable and to avoid conflict, she would rather not say things because of my reaction. She said she was going to tell me things on Friday when we planned to meet. I still don’t think that justifies lies. I am left curious about what she was going to tell me on Friday. Were they actually meeting to get the divorce settled on Christmas? I would have not been thrilled that she was meeting with him but could have understood if she needed her own closure and last Christmas with him.
So, now it’s 2014 and time for those resolutions! I keep going back to the good days of the relationship and blaming myself for not giving her a safe zone to tell me things. I wonder if my moodiness contributed to her lies. I even miss her and want her back, which sounds pretty awful. I wanted to believe she was being sincere and the relationship was true. I need to be good to myself and learn and grow from this so that I can apply it to my next relationship.
Any insights and advice?
PS. No sugar coating needed! Just the raw truth and honest feedback!
Well, I would give you advice, but you have to wait until Friday. Nope, hang on, I can’t give you advice and it’s all your fault because you’re emotionally unstable. Now torture yourself imagining what my advice might be.
Yeah, that makes me sound like an asshole, doesn’t it? Connect the dots, Steph — Sally is a manipulative piece of shit. Gay, straight, confused — she’s a cake eater. She’s doing all the classic things cheaters do — lying, blame shifting, juggling partners like bean bags. And you’re a chump doing all the classic things chumps do — asking yourself what you did to make her this way, believing her bullshit, spackling like mad.
Take heart, Stephanie, we ALL believe whoppers. We’re chumps. That’s what we do. But I gotta tell you that people don’t spend a warm, cozy Christmas together, toasting marshmallows, hanging their stockings by the fire with care… discussing the details of their divorce.
Oh, and no one needs “closure.” You know what says closure? No contact. Actually filing for divorce says closure. Let the lawyers work out the details, or answer the occasional unpleasant logistical email. Not much is required of you when you’re ACTUALLY breaking up.
Cake eaters? Those people get together to rehash their relationship, or fuck for old times sake — they just enjoy stringing people along. And chumps do the pick me dance, and listen to the bullshit. Why? Because they’re high on hopium. Cheaters will drag this shit out as long as they can — it’s kibbles. Don’t you want to step up your game to keep them?
So, her presence with him on Christmas signals that’s she’s very much in a relationship, no matter what she says.
Stephanie, why would you tolerate one second of “she was in the suburbs with her best friend because she didn’t want to be alone and was spending the night there.”
What are you? Chopped liver? If she thought she was your girlfriend WHY would she worry about being alone on Christmas of all nights? Poor sausage. Poor her. Fortunately she has a “best friend” to save her from her dreadful aloneness. That’s your cue to perform the pick me dance. I’m here! Pick me! What about YOU being alone on Christmas? Did she consider THAT?
I’m glad you knocked on her door. But I wish you’d taken it further and told the husband you’ve been having an affair with his wife for the better part of the year. It’s still not too late to do that, by the way. I very much encourage you to tell the poor sap, and direct him here for support. Don’t assume they’re getting divorced. Don’t believe a word she told you. He’s a chump.
Please don’t miss this awful woman. Get angry. She lied to you and she blame shifted her misdeeds back on to you.
She finally confessed that she felt that I was emotionally unstable and to avoid conflict, she would rather not say things because of my reaction.
Classic cheater move. The problem here isn’t What She Did, it is Your Reaction to It.
So you want to grow from this? Here are lessons you can apply to your next relationship:
1) Anyone who waits three months to tell you they are married is a colossal jerk and should be dumped immediately. There are those who date while separated (no judgement there, some places it can takes years to divorce), and there are those who are cheaters. Honest people have this information on their dating profile, or tell you on the first date. NOT months later. The people who conceal their marital status are cheaters.
2) If find you out that someone has a spouse, months in to the relationship, and you stick around? (Oh but I’m in too deep!) You’ve just signed up to be an affair partner. They lied to you about their marital status — assume they’re going to lie about everything else. You cannot trust this person. You were a chump until June. After June, you were the other woman. I know you took her at her word that she was in the process of a divorce, but you should’ve asked for evidence. Red flags should’ve been flying that she concealed her marital status from you.
3) You don’t make people disordered. That’s on THEM. Your “moodiness” did not “contribute to her lies.” No, she’s a practiced liar all on her own without your help. Maybe my squidgy midsection caused the polar vortex. Maybe my curly hair makes my husband absentminded. Maybe my inflamed sinuses cause traffic delays.
You know why chumps think such stupid things? That we MAKE people do things, that we have these codependent super powers? Because it saves us from concluding the truth — we don’t control this, and the disordered person doesn’t give jack shit about us.
Yes she lied to you, no she didn’t love you — because loving people do NOT behave this way, no this isn’t your fault (but your chumpiness is, join the club).
Please stay no contact with this terrible woman and her friends. But do tell her husband, and answer his questions, then bow out of the drama. What he does with the knowledge of his wife’s affair is his business, but he should know.
Stephanie, work on that picker. Next time someone waves a red flag — put down the spackle and PAY ATTENTION. Good women are out there — she’s not one of them. You deserve better.