Hi Chump Lady,
I think I’m almost out of the woods with getting over my cheater, but right as I get to “meh,” I realize that I’m still quite angry at him and want to contact him.
We began in an “open relationship” where he assured me that he wasn’t interested in the other woman as more than a friend, and that when he said “I love you,” it was just as friends, and that it would be no problem to leave her for me since I wanted monogamy.
Thus began 10 months of the pick me dance and cake eating except that I couldn’t very well be angry about it because, as he often liked to remind me, I had agreed to it.
Finally, when we became monogamous, he cheated on me with her less than a month or two later because, woe is him, he’s just not cut out for monogamy and he was “shooting himself in the foot because he knew he couldn’t handle it.” When he confessed to it about it four months later, I did the whole “we can fix this” thing for a few months, before becoming completely swept away in my own emotional affair shortly after finding my boyfriend was getting close to his ex/affair partner again.
When we broke up, he figured out that I had started seeing my emotional affair partner while we were “on break” and quickly turned our breakup into a victimizing event, crying to everyone who would listen about how “while he had his flaws,” I had moved on without so much as a sniffle for his feelings and that my new boyfriend and my ex boyfriend had “overlapped.” Hence, I have a community of people who think I’M a cheater while my ex-boyfriend cries, and his affair partner has swooped right back in to play the “best friend” role while helping spread the news that I’m a sociopathic bitch.
I’m having trouble getting past this because he’s the one who cheated, and I kind of fucked up my chances at having our community on my side (we share a friend group and a few hobbies) by getting involved with someone else so quickly. Any advice on how to ignore the smear campaign?
Here’s some advice you didn’t ask for — don’t agree to be something you’re not.
You can’t really be mad at a person for being something they’re not, if you’re something you’re not.
You want monogamy, but for a chance at the pick me dance and all those fun, fun prizes (low self-esteem! hypervigiliance! matching luggage!), you’ll pretend to be polyamorous. He states, upfront, that he’s not monogamy material. And then you’re shocked when…. he’s not monogamous?
You guys both seem to suffer under the same delusion, because he’s shocked that you’re… seeing someone else?
I kind of fucked up my chances at having our community on my side
Change dorm rooms?
I mean, I don’t know how old you are but I’m guessing early twenties, tops? If I need an organizational chart to figure out the character plot in a letter — it isn’t polyamory. It’s just old-fashioned fucked up. Let’s do our best to untangle this.
We began in an “open relationship” where he assured me that he wasn’t interested in the other woman as more than a friend, and that when he said “I love you,” it was just as friends…
So you got involved with a guy who has a girlfriend? Who he says he loves? As a friend? Is everyone aware they’re in an “open relationship” or is this woman being chumped?
Have you considered that you might’ve begun this relationship as the Other Woman? Or do you think straight guys have non-sexual relationships with women friends and just profess their “love”?
and that it would be no problem to leave her for me since I wanted monogamy.
If they’re “just friends” there’s no relationship to “leave” — right?
DIRECT YOUR FULL ATTENTION TOWARD ME is rarely a winning relationship strategy. I encourage people to avoid performing the pick me dance, but then… polyamory.
Look, I’m the wrong person to expound on polyamory. I’m a happily married, squidgy, middle-aged mom with uncombable hair. I watch PBS. I go to bed before 9 p.m. (Okay, unless is Mystery Hour in which case I might make it past 9 p.m. for Hercule Poirot.) In short, I am the poster child for staid monogamy.
But it seems to me, that if you’re going to be all edgy and polyamorist, you’d have some rules of engagement. About who is a significant relationship, and who’s an extracurricular. There’d be trust and boundaries and discussions. There’d be safety precautions.
Instead, the polyamory letters I get are full of spackle. It’s not cheating! It’s polyamory! Did we have a monogamous marriage? Well, upon discovery of secret fuckbuddies, let’s open it!
Are we immature and selfish? Impulsive? Wouldn’t know a healthy relationship if it bit our left nipple? Hey, just spread polyamory over that shit and –voila! instant sophistication!
Maybe it’s just fucked up and not “polyamorous” — okay?
I did the whole “we can fix this” thing for a few months, before becoming completely swept away in my own emotional affair shortly after finding my boyfriend was getting close to his ex/affair partner again.
Having an affair is not a good life skill for conflict. And you weren’t “swept away” — you were just performing another dance step in the Pick Me cha-cha — LOOK! I HAVE ANOTHER BOYFRIEND WHO CAN LOVE ME BETTER!
You tried to goad him into the pick me dance.
How’d that work?
When we broke up, he figured out that I had started seeing my emotional affair partner while we were “on break” and quickly turned our breakup into a victimizing event
I’m tripping over “on a break.” That assumes there was a continual Thing to break. It’s on, it’s off. It’s friends, it’s open, it’s committed, oh hang on, it never was.
And now he’s butt hurt? And says you’re the cheater?
Not your problem. He’s the past. You wanted something with someone who was unavailable — like, with another girlfriend, or interested in another Pick Me contestant, not the monogamous prospect you’d hoped for — and now you’re with a fellow who IS available. (I assume. Not a lot of details on Mr. Emotional Affair.) Why are you obsessing on your sorta-ex?
Because he said mean, untrue things about you that conceal his true Douche Identity?
You don’t control that. By the time you’re my ancient age, you’ll shrug at character assassination. (YOU’RE THE MEANEST MOM, EVER! Yeah, whatever, go wash the dishes.) It stings, but the way forward is to be your best self, and forget the haters.
Any advice on how to ignore the smear campaign?
Know who you are and what your values are. Invest in the people who share your values, cull the people who don’t. I think you’ve got some work to do there, kid. Good luck.