I am a male chump. My marriage went to shit after my wife went through a midlife crisis empty nest menopausal revisit teenage youth selfish narcissistic period. She reconnected with an old boyfriend on facebook and ended up fucking him. Though still working on reconciliation, I really appreciate your site, your perspective and that of chump nation. It’s a reality check, keeping the fog cleared.
Around the peak of our marriage crisis, after an initial discovery of inappropriate communications (sexting). I could sense more blame-shifting, demonizing, dehumanizing and revising history to make our marriage sound terrible. All the usual shit sandwiches the cheater throws at us to post-justify their depravity. I could see I was being made a villain.
I decided to put my thoughts into a poem. It’s not real lofty and it doesn’t rhyme, but expressed well how I felt about what I was experiencing. I read it in a joint counseling session. It pissed her off tremendously! She hated it. I loved it! I could tell it hit a chord. The only response she could muster was an evil, hateful stare. Afterward she had a meltdown but I stood by it.
This was a couple years ago but I ran across it today cleaning up some files. I thought I’d share it with you. If you think it helpful, feel free to use it in any way you’d like. And please don’t totally abandon us reconcilers. Even though your target audience are those who leave their cheater, many many of us who don’t (or haven’t yet) still appreciate and benefit from your good work.
I am not the Villain
I am not the villain, I am a good guy
I am not the enemy, I am an ally
I am not the foe, I am a friend
I am not the opponent, I am a teammate and partner
I am not the problem, I can be part of the solution
I am not the cause of all ills, I can be part of the cure
I am not evil, I try to be Christian and moral
I am not a liar, I am honest and sincere
I am not malicious, I try to protect us from harm
I am not conniving, I try to be sincere and communicate objectives and motivations
I am not deceitful, I work hard to be of solid integrity
I am not hurtful, I try to be helpful
I do not push you down, I try to be there to help catch you when you fall
I am not controlling, I try to help establish safe boundaries and influence or steer in a positive direction
I do not keep significant secrets, I try to be open and share thoughts and feelings with you my partner
I do not act in spite, or in revenge or to punish, I try to act in kindness and treat others as I would be treated.
I am not pessimistic, I try to be realistic but optimistic with hope and faith
I am not perfect, I can always be better and do better
I am not hateful, I love you
I am not the villain, I am a good guy.
And your wife’s reaction to this was….to lose her shit?
All my beautiful, beautiful blameshifitng! AiiiGH! You cursed Brat! I’m meLLLTttting!
What did you internalize after that episode? Don’t write poetry? Don’t try to tell your wife how you feel? “I am a good guy” — hate me anyway?
I’m sorry for saying this Untold, but I don’t think you learned much. How do I know? Well, like you, I enjoy writing. So I deconstructed your letter.
I am a male chump. My marriage went to shit after my wife went through a midlife crisis empty nest menopausal revisit teenage youth selfish narcissistic period. She reconnected with an old boyfriend on facebook and ended up fucking him.
Here are my edits.
I am a male chump. My marriage went to shit after my wife
went through a midlife crisis empty nest menopausal revisit teenage youth selfish narcissistic period. She reconnected with fucked an old boyfriend on facebook and ended up fucking him.
Your marriage went to shit because your wife fucked another man.
Not because of a “midlife crisis.” That’s bullshit.
Not because of menopause. Plenty of women not having periods are perfectly faithful and sexual with their partners.
Not because of an empty nest. Teenagers leaving home is a cause for celebration. (No more wet towels on the floor! Goodbye locker room stench! Hello cheaper grocery bills!) It does not compel people to trawl for exes. (Shop for two-bedroom apartments and downsize? Throw off the oppressive bonds of the School Calendar? Trot around the house half-naked? YES.)
Not because of Facebook. Old boyfriends and girlfriends are out there. Oh hey, I’m not looking for them! Oh hey, I might be friends with them and I don’t fuck them! See how that works?
Not because of revisiting “teenage youth.” That’s impossible. There’s no back-to-the-future DeLorean to transport us to 1984. We don’t get our youth back. We get gray hair, and saggy asses, and AARP memberships. And that’s okay. The people who don’t get the “age gracefully” memo are embarrassing. They’re that dude in the toupee cruising girls his daughter’s age. (Eww.) They’re that woman who looks like a Desperate Housewives extra. People who think they can hang on to youth are creepy… not “youthful.”
Untold, you did get one part right — selfish and narcissistic. Strip away all the qualifiers and just leave it there. You have a selfish and narcissistic wife who fucked an old boyfriend because she could. And then wasn’t one bit sorry about it.
Who is she now? You don’t tell us.
Who you are is a guy who’s still spackling. (Midlife crisis? Really dude?) You’re doing that very chumpy thing of meeting abuse with vulnerability. Here’s a POEM! With my FEELINGS! See how sensitive and caring I am? Now my decency will impress you and compel you to be kind to me!
That never works, Untold. Your decency, kindness, and vulnerability just compel her to see you as a chump. I know in that poem you’re trying to assert yourself, tell her that you’re not the villain she painted you as.
But as long as this is just a contest of words, and not actions (read CONSEQUENCES), she can tune you out. If explaining basic decency (I’m not an enemy!) to your wife with a 20-verse poem doesn’t work, I don’t know, try hand puppets? Interpretative dance? Bottom line is, Untold, you shouldn’t have to explain basic decency to your partner.
She gives your efforts a “hateful stare”? Take your poetry slam elsewhere.