A little over two weeks ago I found out my husband of 17 years has been cheating on me …. “He didn’t feel loved.”
Whatever. Obviously, I didn’t feel loved either.
Sunday he comes over wailing like a little girl — on the floor, screaming. I am a nice and empathetic person. I feel bad. Start to wonder if he could be the person I want him to be.
Then yesterday I find out he’s still sleeping with her. Because he NEEDS to feel loved.
Dear Chopped Liver,
You lost the pick me dance. Thank you for playing Win a Fuckwit. I’m sorry, the correct answer was… there is no correct answer. The game is rigged! As a consolation prize, please enjoy this luggage set.
You know what’s nice about luggage sets? They’re emotionally stable and never compare you to their affair partners. Unlike a FW, they’re useful and have extra pockets. Is your FW slumped over the sofa bemoaning his complicated love rhombus? Luggage has wheels, is on the go, and adapts to every situation. If you leave your luggage at the airport terminal, it does not hold a secret grudge and later accuse you of abandonment. No, your luggage waits for you. Luggage is solid. It understands.
Really, luggage is the winning prize.
I know it’s early days and you don’t feel this way, but Mr. Snotty Emotions there is not worth your heartache.
I found out my husband of 17 years has been cheating on me …. “He didn’t feel loved.”
News to you, I’m sure. Were you tripping the light fandango?
Thing is, we cannot argue with feelings. We all have them, justified or not. And we cannot be inside another person’s head to know what their feelings are. So if someone says, “I don’t feel loved” — believe them. It’s not a debatable point.
Yes, even if you have 17 years and it was filled with ponies and balloons. Even if you have evidence that he appeared deliriously happy for 16.75 of those years. He doesn’t feel loved. Then it’s up to HIM to do something about it.
There is an ethical decision path and an unethical decision path.
Ethical path: Discussions, self-soothing, maturity (“no one feels butterflies all the time”), therapy, divorce lawyers.
Unethical path: Cheating and blameshifting his shitty behavior on to you.
Obviously, he chose the unethical path. This whole “doesn’t feel loved” meltdown is DARVO — deny, attack, reverse victim and offender. He’s victimized you, but he’s made himself the victim here of your inadequacies. You don’t “love” enough.
Where rookie chumps go next is into apoplexies of self-improvement to demonstrate their fealty and affection for the person who just gutted them with betrayal. You’ve been goaded into the pick me dance.
SHOW me you LOVE ME! DANCE HARDER!
Affair partners aren’t immune from this either. Poor FW is just so torn. Hey, Schmoops you’ll understand if you have to spend Thanksgiving alone, right? He loves you, but this is family. Be a nice side dish. He’ll be back later to warm you over like a plate of congealed leftovers.
Sunday he comes over wailing like a little girl — on the floor, screaming. I am a nice and empathetic person. I feel bad.
Don’t. But the fact that you do demonstrates that you have empathy — a component of love and connection for him — and he does not. He isn’t shedding tears for your pain, is he?
Nope. All those tears are for him. The FW who created this mess. Trust me, he’ll get over it because he’s not that deep.
Then yesterday I find out he’s still sleeping with her.
Let’s do a thought experiment. He doesn’t feel loved. So he goes and gets himself
laid loved. He solved his problem. Why the deep emotional distress?
Yes, Admiral Ackbar, it’s a trap. To disarm you with compassion for him. To go easy on the consequences. And better still — to let him eat cake — go back and forth between you and Schmoopie to fill his love bank.
Eww, Tracy. No deposit, no return.
Yes. Don’t take him back. Walk away from the rigged game.
he NEEDS to feel loved
His needs aren’t your problem. He fired you from the job of caring. Enjoy the luggage and the better life without him.