I have followed your site for four years. I never thought I’d be here. When I married my husband I accepted that he was a lot of things, but was at least “true blue.” At the first appearance of the dirty whore, and after 17 years together with my husband, I categorized my cheater as a “better sort of cheater.” You know, the kind of guy who was lost and “in a fog.” Midlife crisis. Of course, I was completely traumatized. Stepped out in front of cars. Wanted to disappear. Lost tons of weight. Thought it was my fault. The usual.
Over 4 years later (started in March 2012 when our only child was in kindergarten), I’m still here. In this marriage. Pissed at myself for staying, but, at the same time, glad that I’ve kept my son away from the sociopath my husband’s fucking. She follows me. She’s shown up (and hung around) at my work. Her husband has followed me — they have an open relationship. She’s changed careers to be in the same line of work as me, which had given her access to our personal information. She’s changed her hair to look like me. I’ve memorized licence plate numbers to make sure I’m not being followed and have adopted an anxiety-inducing level of hypervigilance. I’ve only confided in two people in four years to try and save face. I’m trying very hard to stay strong and above it all for our son’s sake. It feels like it’s more about fucking with me than her being with my husband.
It’s just so low class and I am humiliated. Who does this??? Who treats people this way??? When is this okay??? Four plus years is long enough for me to spot the patterns. The “work” trips to coincide with the timing of our Las Vegas (guilt) vacations. The “coincidental” drive-bys when we are out as a family. She drives by (or tailgates us) on weekends. Sometimes with her son in the car. How do I stop this? How do I protect my son? I’ve asked my husband to tell me the truth. He won’t. He’s way in over his head with this woman. His life and family are at stake, but he won’t come clean. Looking for your awesome perspective. I realize he’s a fucking coward, but how do I hand my son over to his sociopathic side dish every other week? I feel like if I can just hold on another couple of years, my son will be better equipped to handle himself.
From where I sit you’ve changed your spackle from “affair fog” and “midlife crisis” to grade A “I must stay for the children!” spackle.
Reality check — you are trading the THEORETICAL harm this whackadoodle OW might do every other weekend, with his father there, to the ACTUAL HARM this situation is doing to your son right NOW.
Do you want a fourth-grader to think this how men should treat women? Consider what four years of hypervigiliance and a living with a mom who wants to walk out in front of traffic is doing to your child. You’re kidding yourself if you think he cannot sense your anxiety or the marital tension.
I do not doubt that the OW is a total wingnut. I too would be totally unnerved by anyone who stalked me or tried to be my doppleganger. I believe you that she’s a whole chocolate-covered DSM nut cluster.
She’s also not the problem here.
Oh, I’m not absolving her from her Single White Female crimes, Classy. She sucks. But her antics have distracted you from the real problem — that you persist in staying with a man who continues to cheat on you and devalues you. Who will not answer your questions. Who thinks he can buy you off with Vegas weekends for cake.
So instead of really asking yourself if this relationship with a flagrantly cheating husband is acceptable to you, you minimize what he is doing. Oh, he’s in over his head. He’s a coward. NO — he is making DELIBERATE choices to HURT YOU. And he is putting what HE wants (fucking around) OVER your welfare. He doesn’t care if you want to walk into traffic so long as HE gets CAKE and zero consequences.
THAT is your problem.
That’s a scary, awful problem to have so we need more powerful spackle and that spackle is — I only stay to protect my child from Ms. Crazy.
No, you stay because you’re afraid to start over. Because you’re afraid of letting her “win.” Because you’re afraid to lose your identity as Family Person Married to Mr. Coward. A new life is unimaginable to you, but if you allow yourself to go there, it begins with — I’d never want to share my child with Ms. Crazy.
How about — I’d never want to spend one more minute with a man who abuses me.
Because that’s what you’re doing — you’re staying in an abusive situation For Your Child. That’s not healthy for you or your son. What would be far healthier is watching his mother say to his father: “I am not tolerating this shit. I am taking my child and will be raising him in PEACE. And I will parent MY values.”
If this man only wants his child every other weekend, how much influence do you really think he has? If you step out of the Pick Me Thunderdome, the OW has no one to compete with. The constant presence she has in your family life is now reduced to every other weekend MAYBE with Mr. Coward.
Now consider — this woman is married. Frankly, it doesn’t sounds like she’s in an open relationship. (Who told you that?) Because casual sex partners, IMO, don’t become obsessed with the wife. I’d tell her husband what’s up and see if he knows about the “open marriage.” She has a child of her own to raise. I doubt she’s going to want to lavish attention upon yours.
How do I stop this? How do I protect my son?
By divorcing this fuckwit you’re married to. You protect yourself with self respect, and you protect your son too. There are dozens of chumps here who have survived an affair partner in their children’s lives, and you will too. But I promise, the new cheater-free life is worth that occasional pain.