First of all thanks very much for your book and blog about which saved my life when I discovered my husband’s affair last year. We had been together for 21 years, married for 15 and for the last 12 years he’d been sleeping with his former howorker.
The affair started two weeks after my second failed fertility treatment and his contraceptive sloppiness likely explains why my Fallopian tubes mysteriously blocked themselves a couple of years later. As a result, I was unable to have kids but the due to a serious (and related) accident the day after I found out, I never got tested so any STI wasn’t identified at the time.
He’d previously invited the howorker over for dinner — she was as dim and cheap as they all are so I never saw her as a threat. She knew we were having fertility treatment.
For the last seven years of the marriage, he was living the full double life, pretending to her we were divorced. She’d never met any of his family or been to his imaginary apartment, and they never spent Christmas together so unless she really is that dim, she must have suspected. He chose to work abroad for many years which made it easier to juggle things, and pretended too that he had erectile dysfunction.
His behaviour post D-day was horrifying — he was mainly in the rage channel with a heavy dose of blameshifting.
I was so scared I started taping his visits to the house. To my amazement after a brutal discard, on his final visit he did a full hoover. He told me he loved me, wanted to get back together and that I was always the “main person” (gee thanks) and he “never saw himself ending up with her”.
I saw through the phoniness — I think it was all about trying to get me to negotiate directly without lawyers — and told him get lost. He then accused me of “unilaterally ending our marriage” (funny I never signed a consent form for the cheating).
However, it seems he has “ended up” with her and they are about to move to new city where he’ll be able to isolate her from anyone who might pick up on his abuse (he is full blown narc with a side dish of psychopathy). And I find myself in possession of a rather spicy tape that might put a dampener on their twu wub.
I am pretty much at meh with both of them — they absolutely deserve each other, she will never be able to trust him and they are safely out of my way. But there is a part of me that just wants to toss that grenade on my way out. Should I just let them take each other out of the dating pool or add a little fire to those trust issues?
Leave the pin in your grenade.
She has been a side-dish for TWELVE YEARS. Did I read that right? TWELVE YEARS. Seven of which were full on farce. (aka “I have an apartment, but you can’t see it.”) This woman eats cognitive dissonance for breakfast.
Whatever evidence you present her with — an audio tape, a full confession, a hologram from her future doom — she will continue to believe what she wants to believe.
How do I know? Because she’s been on a steady course of evidence-denying for years. There’s a significant segment of our society who believe in lizard overlords. They’ve got nothing on this woman. Many people take great comfort in their delusions.
I get the impulse to lob truth bombs at Schmoopies, but it rarely works out the way you hope — messing up their twu wuv. This is why sending the tape is a bad idea:
1.) It solidifies their centrality. She won the pick me dance. And she thrills to the “competition” — that’s why she stuck around for 12 years. Did he beg for his marriage? Well, that was just you “winning” that battle of his attention, but SHE won the war! Spackle, spackle, spackle. Their takeaways will be that you CARE. Kibbles! You CARE if they break up. Kibbles! They will cling together tighter against the threat of His Crazy Ex-Wife. Kibbles!
Stepping away from this madness is the biggest fuck you grenade there is.
2.) She knows what he is. She’s not a victim. I’m all for telling unknowing chumps — she’s not a chump. She’s a co-conspirator.
they are about to move to new city where he’ll be able to isolate her from anyone who might pick up on his abuse (he is full blown narc with a side dish of psychopathy)
I understand the impulse to warn the next one, I really do. But she believes her specialness makes her impervious to harm. He’s Only Shitty to Other People. That works for her… until it doesn’t.
3.) If it feels good don’t do it. This is the Mr. CL axiom. He’s a trial lawyer. That’s what he tells his clients. Resist retaliation. Even (especially if) they deserve it. It doesn’t look good in court and you don’t know what the unintended consequences could be. You say this guy is a psychopath? Don’t poke his cage. Get out, stay out.
Chumpawumba, he’s a freak, but he’s her freak now. No tag backs.
After awhile, you won’t care about the evidence, the dating profiles, the bag of receipts or whatever. It will just be part of story you’re glad you’re not part of any longer.
Wishing you peace in the New Year.