I learned last year that FW had been engaging in an emotional affair and physical affair for 6 months. He’s a massage therapist and the Other Woman was one of his clients. I say was because allegedly before anything got physical she stopped being a client. I guess that’s where morality kicked in — I can’t fuck a client, but I can cheat on my partner of 12 years with whom I share two children with without any problem.
Anyways, we tried the whole reconciliation thing, turns out no unicorns here. He still doesn’t take any responsibility for his actions and blameshifts any chance he can get. So now we are in the process of trying to separate, but still residing together while we try to figure shit out. Initially, I thought we had to ‘be friends for the children’ but now realize that is a bunch of BS (thanks to your blog) and have implemented the 180 and grey rock.
This is where I’m struggling. I can’t stop thinking about the OW. He never told me her identity but I’ve been able to piece things together through context clues and think I’ve figured it out. I do know she’s married. I want confirmation that it’s her but not sure how to get it. I’m not sure if I got confirmation that I would tell the (other chump) or not, as that could have devastating consequences for FW, not that I care about him but if he loses his livelihood then that just puts more on me.
Believe me, I want him to experience ALL of the consequences and often have to fight the urge to go nuclear. Part of me just wants to know who the OW is so I can have the satisfaction of knowing he didn’t get to keep that from me (he’s got enough over on me) and part of me wants him to reach out to warn her that I know so that she can live with the anxiety of wondering when her life will be blown apart, like I have for the last several months. My family tells me I’m wasting time and energy but I can’t seem to let this go. Help!
Dear Need Perspective,
Well, you’ve ruled out the one good reason to know Schmoopie’s ID — so you can tell the other chump. Not as a matter of revenge on the OW (although I understand the urge), but because that guy deserves to know.
How and when to tell are delicate issues, as it could impact your settlement. As in, he loses his job. But really, how much does a massage therapist make? And could your FW not find another job? Perhaps the massage industry does not need a creeper who hits on clients, and he could go into, oh let’s say sewage drain repair.
I say was because allegedly before anything got physical she stopped being a client.
Uh-huh. Sure. Because cheaters are so honest about their timelines.
It’s really funny how people who have zero impulse control when it comes to throwing away their families, have deep reserves of honor and self-control when it comes to crossing romantic boundaries.
If you believe that, join me for Bible study at the Motel 6.
Your FW is playing power games. If he admitted, that yes, he fucked a client, that would be giving you power. Which he rightly understands that you, or your attorney, could use against him. So, he lies.
Same with telling you who the OW is. He gets to enjoy his secrets, the duper’s delight of knowing something you don’t know, plus he protects himself. Of course this is enraging. It’s also very revealing about who he is. Should you have any wobbles or doubts about divorcing him — remember, he behaves like an adversary. An enemy. Not someone you can be vulnerable with or who will be your “friend” in co-parenting.
He’s a tinpot dictator. And those sorts of people often provoke deep feelings of rebellion.
You don’t want me to know who she is? I WILL FIND OUT WHO SHE IS.
But this tug-of-war keeps you stuck in his power games. Throwing energy at him, at marriage policing, at the OW. Makes her larger than life, a mythical beastie.
She’s an orifice. No one special. If it wasn’t her, it would be another appliance. We’re dealing with a tinpot dictator here, and everyone is of use, until they’re not.
Who is she? A really classy person who fucks their massage therapist. A discerning sort of person. If it weren’t your husband, it’d be the guy who paved her driveway.
If I were you, this is what I’d do. I’d ask my lawyer if I really need this information. Will it affect my settlement? Would knowing provide my lawyer any leverage? Could your lawyer threaten to depose his workplace? Get a list of clients? Call them all and ask? I don’t know. I’m not a lawyer and this is not legal advice — but I would see how any of this impacts you right now. As you’re trying to get the hell out of this nightmare.
You only have so much energy. Devote your reserves to sane parenting and protecting yourself during this divorce process. Also it’s a real power move to not engage in his mindfuckery.
Ooh. You have a secret? Whatever.
(Excuses self to clean lint trap.)
Also, consider that you’ll probably find out in time. He may introduce Schmoopie as a girlfriend. (Yes, this happens, even when they’re married. The mind boggles.) He may introduce her to your kids. He may tell you to goad you into the pick me dance, because he’ll miss his centrality.
All of these are possibilities. He may also enjoy “winning” the mindfuck game. Let him. Don’t untangle his ugly skein. Step away. Cancel him.
The real question isn’t: who is she? But, who are you?
I say, you’re a badass who’s above his bullshit.