I just bought your book, and I am enjoying it a lot so far. There are parts of the book that I can’t relate to because, I am NOT married. My story is different, I am in a relationship with a cheater. Oh, he has cheated on me so many times and I keep going back to him because he is nice, fun, vegan (like me), knows my son and my son likes him and I am a single mom that doesn’t want to date and obviously doesn’t love herself enough. He has cheated multiple times and gone to therapy while he was still cheating. He is known for his career and so he has that power that a lot of woman want and uses it for his advantage.
Sometimes I think it’s a control thing for me, sometimes I think it’s low self-esteem or maybe codependency or all of the above ? Sometimes I feel empowered if I can hurt him or play the game.
What is wrong with me ?
Uh…. that you set the bar at “vegan”?
It’s nice to have things in common. But when a shared love of brussel sprouts is eclipsed by shitty character, why cling to the brussel sprouts?
I mean, imagine the guy drowns kittens. And you defend him with, “Yes, but he doesn’t eat kittens.”
Isn’t that kind of dumb? He models terrible things to your son. Hi, watch me disrespect your mother and vanish from your life! He’s manipulative and plays at therapy with zero interest in changing. And he brings out the worst in you. Sometimes I feel empowered if I can hurt him.
But, but… brussel sprouts?
No. What do you see in a serial cheater? You have a choice — you can be the sort of superficial person who doesn’t care. He’s nice! I don’t have time to date! Or you can be someone with larger values who cares. I don’t like how he treats other people. I don’t like how he treats me.
You can’t be both. Are you the Other Woman in this situation? Are you complicit in his cheating with other women? Is that who you want to be?
He is known for his career and so he has that power that a lot of woman want and uses it for his advantage.
Yuck. Are you dating Harvey Weinstein?
How about being the sort of woman who is known for HER career? Then you don’t need his career to get reflected kibble glory. Ask yourself, are you your own person, or are you a satellite?
An accomplished partner is a beautiful thing, but accomplishments mean jack if they’re eclipsed by rotten character. And one doesn’t tell you anything about the other. You can have beautiful character and not a lot of worldly accomplishments, and you can be The Shit and be a shit.
We are the choices we make.
You define yourself as unmarried twice. Cheating is destructive whatever your relationship status. If you invested, you hurt. Arguably, people who are legally committed have much greater sunk costs, children, mortgages, family, public commitments — but the power dynamics of cheating don’t have much to do with 401Ks. They’re about triangles (rectangles, dodecahedrons… I never tire of this line).
I can’t tell from your letter if you’re dating a player with a harem of pick me dancers, or if you’re the Other Woman and the guy’s doing therapy with his chump wife. Either way, this isn’t a good look. If you think being used or complicit in hurting others is fun, I can’t help you. Anyone with any shred of self-respect won’t tolerate this crap.
My advice — dump the loser. There are a lot more vegans at the group house potluck. Choose better.