I don’t know how I got here. That is the despairing question that keeps going around in my head.
I found out that FW was having an affair with a neighbor/friend in early December 2022 and by the beginning of February, he rented an apartment a few blocks away with the OW. The OW was a neighbor/friend who is 15 years younger than my husband. The four of us (FW, myself, OW, and OW’s then husband) used to have dinners together; the stayed at our country house. When the OW’s husband cheated on her and their marriage broke down, I helped her so much. I talked to her, fed her, etc. I even invited her to join FW and me on her first Valentine’s Day after her separation so that she wasn’t alone.
In hindsight, it was like a bad 80s movie. She always wanted to copy me. She wanted to go to the same hairdresser, same shops, wanted to learn my recipes, and so on. She used to say, “You live in my dream house.” It was an endless “Single White Female” creepy nightmare.
I knew she wanted my life, but I never thought my husband would stoop that low. Then, they started drinking together every night when her marriage ended. She is a big drinker. My husband started going out to a neighborhood bar to hang out with her and her friends, starting at 6 p.m., every night, coming home for dinner at 8 p.m., going back out at 8:30 p.m., closing the bar and coming home afterwards intoxicated. This went on for good three years. In the meantime, he did not parent, other than paying for things.
I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t. I was shocked when I discovered that they were having an affair. I think their bond is tied together with constant drinking and smoking. She quickly assumed the role of a partner. Two weeks after he moved out, my father-in-law was already hosting family functions with FW and OW. It is like I have been lifted out by a crane, replaced by OW, and nobody notices. You talked about how friends and family become Switzerland in your book. This is much more hostile than that, say Russia.
Now, all of sudden, I am left alone. I didn’t cause this mess but am met with his aggressive attacks. Here is one of his emails.
I think it is unfair to suggest that I am causing financial stress when it is me that has all the financial stress. I am paying around $$$$ for the mortgage each month. For a house I don’t ever enter. $$$$ for the utilities, and about $$$$ per month from the joint account – which you know I never use for myself anymore. About $$$$ per month in total before school fees and other kids’ costs. Let alone supporting myself.
“I would like to meet to work out how we can have an arrangement that works for both of us going forward. I do not want to cause increased stress and I have tried not to over the last six months. So I think now is the time for a proper conversation and some solutions for us both to live our lives without rumour, confusion, misunderstanding and additional hurt. You refusing to talk to me has not worked for either of us.
Why does he want me to feel badly that he pays mortgage on the house that he owns but left on his own accord? Why is he complaining about children’s expenses when he is spending tens of thousands on himself and the OW on holidays?
Then there is the lack of respect for boundaries. FW and OW wanted my dogwalker to walk OW’s dog. They wanted my friend to dog-sit her dog. They wanted my cleaning lady to clean their house. Yesterday, a friend of mine who is a personal shopper told me that he had contacted her to help OW with her clothes. How inconsiderate. I feel like there is no point talking to FW, although he wants to meet with me to coerce me into paying money for maintaining the house, because he’s just so out of touch with reality of what is right and what is wrong.
I have stayed well away from him because seeing his face or even his handwriting cause me anxiety. He is a bully. Like you said in your book, no contact has helped me so much. I do not want to see him. That is what lawyers are for.
Am I wrong? I am so lost.
Yes, lawyers. I assume you have one? He can discuss the finances with your legal representative. No one gives a flying burrito about his “stress.”
He’s discarded you, now dissolve into ether and have no needs. That goes for the children too. Daddy needs another beach holiday with his Pygmalion project.
Jesus. Who cares what he thinks is “fair”? You’re divorcing because his dick wandered. There are consequences. Which are pretty tame all things considered. He has to pay his existing obligations (the injustice!) and divide property. No one is smiting him with a lightning bolt, or demanding his left ear as tribute to a vengeful god. He has to pay the mortgage.
Forward the whinging emails to your attorney and please put them out of your mind. Every day people work out divorce settlements. His angry feelings about it ARE NOT YOUR PROBLEM.
Really! He’s upset and… you don’t have to accommodate him or respond!
“I would like to meet to work out how we can have an arrangement that works for both of us going forward.
Your attorney can contact his attorney.
He’s trying to get you to bypass that whole legal advocate thing, where you have a member of the Bar champion your rights. Go straight to “arrangement.” LOL. Funny how cheaters are all about consensus after they unilaterally blow up their marriages.
“So I think now is the time for a proper conversation
“and some solutions for us both to live our lives without rumour, confusion, misunderstanding and additional hurt.
Says the man who doesn’t want to pay for his children. He cares about misunderstandings and hurt.
Whatever. He can express his sentiments with timely support checks.
“You refusing to talk to me has not worked for either of us.
I think no contact is working splendidly for you. Him not so much. He can’t twiddle the knobs of the mindfuck machine. You tuned out.
Keep up the good work, Lost.
Now about your creepy carbon copy, there. Looks like she’s stepped the Pick Me Dance into high gear. Even if you’re not there to vie for the crown with, she can compete with your image. Who wore your human skin best?
In hindsight, it was like a bad 80s movie. She always wanted to copy me. She wanted to go to the same hairdresser, same shops, wanted to learn my recipes, and so on.
Yeah, I’d be creeped out too. But think of how pathetic this person is and how shallow. She cannot capture the essence of you, because you’re more than your chicken curry recipe. She thinks if she cobbles together some superficial traits, like a deranged magpie, she can assemble an Interesting Person. Someone who will hold your ex’s attention. Like you, only 2.0. 15 years younger and more malleable.
Pity her. Or maybe get a restraining order. I don’t know. These kinds of people seriously weird me out.
She used to say, “You live in my dream house.” It was an endless “Single White Female” creepy nightmare.
Funny. Sounds like you still live in your dream house and FW is paying the mortgage. I don’t imagine that’s how Schmoops envisioned her HGTV fantasy.
FW and OW wanted my dogwalker to walk OW’s dog.
Ugh. Incestuous dog walking. She’s really trying to insert herself into your world, isn’t she? Well, obviously you don’t control your dog walker’s client list. But I wouldn’t want to know about it.
They wanted my friend to dog-sit her dog.
Is this a mutual friend with your soon-to-be-ex? Best not to have the same social circles. If this friend’s answer wasn’t “Hell no! Call Rover.com!” reconsider the friendship. (I’m also feeling sorry for this dog getting pawned off on strangers.)
They wanted my cleaning lady to clean their house.
It sounds to me like your ex isn’t very good at adulting. You used to organize these things and now he has to find his own service people. Instead of Googling, he’ll just appropriate yours. FWs aren’t very original. That’s why you see exes take Schmoopies to the same restaurants, same vacation spots, same movies, etc. It’s not that they ascribe great meaning to these things… like, HOW DARE YOU! Mr. Popper’s Penguins WAS OURS! … it’s that they don’t ascribe meaning at all. Everything is transactional. Everyone is replaceable. Your upset is an extra frisson of kibbles, but I don’t think it’s the driving motivator for him. Laziness is.
For her, it’s just amplifying the pick me dance because you won’t play. Will you compete for the DOG SITTER then? It’s nuts. Ignore her.
Yesterday, a friend of mine who is a personal shopper told me that he had contacted her to help OW with her clothes.
Look, your lifestyle sounds pretty fabulous. But how sad is this — your ex wants to dress Schmoopie? Excuse me… “help.” Sounds like a bid to get her to pick me dance. He must be in thrall to a woman who will mold herself into any pleasing shape for his approval. How toxic. What accessorizes with control freak?
He is a bully.
And now he’s her bully. No tag backs. They can go drink themselves into a stupor and play matching holiday pajamas.
Keep rocking the no contact and Godspeed on the divorce.