Dear Therapist over at the Atlantic Monthly is on break, so perhaps she doesn’t mind me answering this godawful letter she got from an OW lamenting that she can’t trust her married boyfriend. Oh hang on, Dear Therapist did answer it. Appallingly.
Well, I think it could use an assist from the UBT.
It’s balking, however. “I’m a Universal Bullshit Translator, not a combine harvester!” it whines. “With so many hedgerows of bullshit, we’ll be here for days!”
So, after some delicate negotiations, (I must sing the “UBT Is So Great!” song and then let it gorge on People magazines), we’re just doing the letter today. Tomorrow we will UBT Dear Therapist’s response. “There are many ways to look at this situation” — none of which involve the chump.
🎶 UBT is so splendid! UBT is so great! Bullshit trembles at its transponders! Esther becomes irate! 🎶
My boyfriend did not tell me he was married for the first three months of our dating because he didn’t feel the timing was right for him.
Neptune was not in the Seventh House of Cake.
Had there been a more auspicious moment to mention his legal, emotional, financial, and sexual entanglements, over the 2,184 hours of knowing you, I’m sure he would’ve brought it up.
“Boyfriend” status doesn’t dwell on such intimate particulars.
Eventually he apologized and explained that he had been afraid of losing me, and I forgave him.
You’re special, and that’s the part that matters.
And if it takes lies to keep you, what’s a little artifice? There’s also duct tape, car trunks, and state lines. When you want someone, keep them by any means necessary.
The UBT thinks your relationship is off to a stellar start.
Two years later, we are still together but it’s been an incredibly exhausting struggle to get him to take the steps necessary for the divorce.
He’s still with his wife.
He would promise to do a specific task at a certain time but then continuously forget to do it.
His passive-aggressiveness is endearing.
By “specific task” I meant “file divorce papers” but I think he thought I meant “bathe the cat” or “meet me at Quiznos at 8” — and forgot. It’s almost as if he neglected to mention to his wife that they’re divorcing.
We also fought a lot about how much his wife should be part of our lives:
As if being married to him gave her a vote or something.
I didn’t want her to continue to contact him about random casual things given that they were separated and childless,
A guy that would hide his wife, whereabouts, and divorce papers would never lie to me about his marital status.
The problem is her phone calls.
but he felt I was too harsh and refused to budge for many months.
The problem is also my harshness. JUST MAKE ME YOUR PUBLIC GIRLFRIEND AND I WON’T TORCH THE PLACE! IT’S BEEN OVER TWO YEARS!
Eventually he agreed to keep her away
Locked in a dungeon of his choosing.
after I got a therapist to help us.
I dragged him by his hairy little ear to a shrink sofa.
In the meantime, we were otherwise incredibly happy and in love
Between therapy appointments and ultimatums.
with each other and set up a lot of important building blocks for our future together.
By “building blocks” I mean fucking. CAN’T YOU SEE WE HAVE A FUTURE TOGETHER?!
Now that the divorce is surely going to be concluded in the coming six months,
I will wait in this pumpkin patch with sincerity.
I am flooded with feelings of doubt about the relationship because it feels like we never really healed from that initial breach of trust,
It is slowly dawning upon me that he’s a lying cheater who lies and cheats.
I will never heal from not being special.
Ergo I will stifle this fleeting moment of lucidity and write to a quack instead.
and I am afraid of what all the subsequent broken promises might reveal about our compatibility.
(For 2.5 years you’ve been okay with lies and broken promises, so the UBT would say you’re compatible.)
He has asked me to give him a second chance and shown much remorse.
Ask his wife how that’s working for her.
I wish I knew how to heal from a betrayal of trust in a relationship.
HAhahahahahHAAHAHAAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHA! (cough, cough, WAILING!) HAHAAHAHAHAHAHAH
I’m sorry the UBT is unavailable for further comment. It’s choked on something. We’ll resume tomorrow.