Who says chivalry is dead? Oh, wait. I do.
My definition of love and marriage:
A sacred permanent covenant made between three parties: me, you, and God. Creates a bond so strong that it cannot be broken unless the biblical grounds for divorce are met. The oath made before God and our families is the literal depiction of our sacred honor as human beings. Therefore, breaking this oath is to be taken extremely seriously. Feelings that wax and wane in marriage are to be ridden out like waves on the sea. Feelings do not rule our choices to go or stay. God’s word, our sacred promise to Him and each other, and His great love for us do. God is the glue of our marriage, not our nebulous and ever-changing emotions. Happiness is derived from living a God-honoring life, and is not our sole aspiration in this world. True happiness is actually a byproduct that naturally flows out of a life of duty, honor, commitment, and self-sacrifice.
Society’s definition of love and marriage:
A promise made between two parties: me and you. Creates a bond we try our best not to break. The oath made before our friends and family is important. Breaking this oath shouldn’t be taken lightly. But feelings change, and following our bliss is the most important thing. If we decide to leave, it is justifiable as long as it is in order to be true to our feelings. Sensations are the glue of our marriage, and if those sensations change, we may justify destroying homes and families and children’s lives under the almighty banner of ‘happiness’.
Honey’s definition of love and marriage:
No, it’s down, left, down, right and THEN shoot. What you’re doing will allow you to dual-wield the plasma canon, but you won’t get any experience points unless you blow up the bridge AFTER the gate is breached. Can you pass the Fritos? The cord on my Xbox controller can’t reach.
Some very insane and blog-worthy things have happened in the past couple of months, but I’ve reached a level in dealing with this garbage I like to call ‘level ostrich’. I bury my head in the sand and pretend it’s not really happening, because acknowledging it means I have ownership of it.
How did this get to be my life? This crap was NOT in the brochure.
Here’s the most recent series of events that lead to yet another public tantrum and full-fledged meltdown by HomeWrecker on Facebook.
Honey sent me an email titled ‘reaching out’ about 6 weeks ago asking me to reduce the garnishment that FINALLY hit his paycheck after over a year of him not paying child support. The very first paycheck where that reality hit home, he sends an email asking me to ‘do the right thing’ and ‘think of the kids’ because he was not going to be able to afford a visit out here if half of his income was being taken (as though not one other financial decision he’s made has led to him not being able to visit for 3 years – it all comes down to me at this moment). It was worded respectfully, but that’s Honey for you. Yes, he is very respectful as he screws strippers and lies about it and permanently moves away from his own children. He wears a fantastically believable mask, and unless you’re looking closely, you’d never know there’s a face-hugging alien spawn in lieu of a heart and soul under there.
I thought very long and hard about my response. I considered ignoring him as he ignored his kid’s needs for over a year, but realized that would not do. I composed a response that was as to-the-point as I’m able to be. I do love me some wordz.
My sister called me right around that time to tell me she’d seen a GoFundMe set up on HomeWrecker’s Facebook page asking for everyone to share it so she and Honey could combat the evil child support courts and visitation-blocking ex-wife who were clearly out to ruin their happy lives. His rights were being VIOLATED, yall. Her GoFundMe post coincided with that very first, very painful garnishment they will now get to enjoy for all of eternity. You owe $39,852 in child support arrears? Add the 5, carry the 2…yep. You’ll have that baby paid off by Christmas! Of 2097.
So I decided to carbon copy HomeWrecker. To that point, I’d still never had a phone conversation or email dialogue with her. Everything I’d learned about this cuckoo bird I learned from social media. I knew with certainty that in doing so I’d be on the receiving end of a tantrum, I just didn’t expect it to yet AGAIN be on Facebook.
Dear Honey (and H Dubs),
Child support as presently set is not adequate for raising two children and has been shown to be paid very infrequently. Therefore, I cannot agree to reducing it. More importantly, there is now an established history of abandoning financial obligations with no explanation about when, or if, they would ever be receiving support.
Furthermore, you presently owe your children almost $40K in back support, a portion of which comes as a direct result of you showing up to CSS court (by phone) without the documents you were instructed to complete to obtain a reduction. Had you done so, modification based on your income would likely have been completed last spring or summer, saving both of us thousands of dollars in attorney costs that neither of us had and thousands of your support dollars. Instead of showing up that third time with the right items, you sent a lawyer, and nothing got solved about support that day (or later in family court for that matter). Perhaps your wife is unaware of this fact, because it seems she continues to lay blame for your support and visitation problems on me.
Perhaps she is also unaware that after receiving no support from you of any kind and no word of when any would ever come, (and the despair that comes as a single mom getting no help and no communication from her ex) I got a sitter, drove downtown, paid $20 to park my car, sat on a bench in child support court for hours waiting for my turn, only to learn from your speakerphone appearance that you didn’t provide the required documents. Three. Separate. Times. That third time, it was literally my last $20 until I’d be getting paid 2 days later. I cried all the way as I walked into and out of court.
You might have tried to ‘reach out’ to me as a first resort rather than a last before pulling me into family court and blaming me in the order for your inability to co-parent (2,300 miles and a new family makes it impossible for you to co-parent, not anything I’ve done). However, after what I have witnessed about the children’s financial priority, and the lack of respect shown to me as the one who facilitates their care (such as in communicating nothing about when or if there would ever be any support coming), I cannot in good conscious allow them to accept less so you can have more. The court will determine any modifications based on need as proven.
And finally, ‘reaching out’ when the impact of that first official garnishment hit home tells me you only intend to do ‘reach out’ when the consequences effect you. You never once reached out to find out what the consequences were of denying your 3 and 5 year old rent and food money for months on end. You didn’t reach out to find out the result of that even once. Nor did you ask me if there was some small need that you could meet for them (groceries, shoes, gymnastics class) even though you would not be able to meet the larger need of the $**** a month. There’s a very large gap between $**** and $0. Had you shown some care, or offered any help, it would have demonstrated your concern that their needs are being met. The zero tells me a lot and is frankly very disturbing, especially learning in family court that you DID have quite a bit of employment last year…but didn’t report it to CSS (that I know of) and jobs weren’t long enough to be garnished…and still chose to send them $0. When left to your own accord (rather than forcing a court to take it), you have shown you are fine with them receiving nothing.
I am a student getting my degree and working toward a career that can hopefully begin once both kids are old enough to be in school next year and I can use the ESS services provided. Life will change financially for all of us when that day comes. As of now, a 4 year old who isn’t in school must be with me 24/7 or be placed in daycare, which I can’t afford. I have to take Little Man to school every day at 8 and get him at 2:20. I have no co-parent to assist with any of this, because you moved away. Therefore, your support dollars are meant to see the kids through this time until life gets a bit easier. I work one day a week because my mom’s back can’t handle more than that while I do their office work. Please tell me where else I’m supposed to work where I can take my 4 year old and also leave to get my son in the middle of the day.
As an aside, it is interesting the “spin” you have at the end of this request. Somehow you think that what is “best for Little Man and Baby Girl” is for you to pay less money for their support and care? The kids have experienced the zero from you in both time and dollars, and with regard to that, I agree that it is NOT what has been best for them.
Just a recommendation here (though this has nothing to do with my decision) but maybe don’t ask someone for help the same day you insult them on gofundme. I have no doubt that due to my refusal to modify, I’ll be an even bigger villain in the preposterous visitation-blocking narrative your wife is spouting, but I am not concerned with her opinion because I know it’s based on false information she’s been fed. It’s not her fault. You are wrong about some intent on my part to block co-parenting, and you know it. I have made it abundantly clear you can visit any time you wish, and call on the phone (outside of Skypes) any time you wish. I can count on one hand the amount of times you have done either in 3 years, even when you were making great money.
The battle she promises? The fight that is ‘far from over’? She’s been duped into thinking I’m the opponent. I’m not. The circumstances you’ve created with your own free will are her opponent, not me. Your fight isn’t with me, H Dubs.
The kids come first. Believe it or not, I’m sorry you find yourself in a financial pinch when there are children looking to you for their every need. Believe me, I know very, very well what that feels like.
HomeWrecker responded. Here is her email. Approximately 2 hours after this, she and several of her extremely classy family members went on FaceBook and called me a ‘slut bitch’, a greedy whore, and a litany of other delightful titles that I would love nothing more than to stitch on the back of my ‘Betrayed Wives Club’ jacket. It’s Member’s Only!
Am I utterly in shock over some things you’ve said …. Yes I know he has fallen short of paying … this was due to Honey not paying as well as this year with lawyer telling us not too … you will once again receive the taxes for last year in hopes of the amount of **** … I’m not asking that you would reduce support to benefit him .. your kids come first above all / I’m trying to just find a balance of support /to where he is able to pay regularly/catch up and most importantly visit the kids as much as possible …i don’t want to be an enemy but I forever will be in your eyes , and I don’t blame you one bit / I have been there with my kids dad , I’m only hoping that one day the visits and support can be accommodated so that Honey can visit often , as much as you may think not paying support and not seeing his kids doesn’t bother him … you are wrong, I’m only going on what Honey has relayed to me , he wants to be there …. financially it is just as strained here as it is for you, I know he owes a huge amount in support he will always owe that we are only trying to find a mutual agreement to get that paid up and continue support without interruption and visits with him as much as possible…. the go fund me wasn’t directed towards you but the situation that we are in ..
And … I’m trying my best to stay out of this … it’s between you and Honey as not to cause issues… but if you lived anywhere but ******* child support would not be $**** a month. I have child support from Two Dads that doesn’t even equal clothes to the amount of support that you get or supposed to get every month on that alone there is no way the mat can save up the amount to come visit the kids we are trying our damnedest to see the kids, if you believe me then you believe me if you don’t then you don’t I am stuck in the middle of this and I’m just trying to find some common ground.
I never replied, but if I did I think this would warrant a DIRECTOR’S CUT!
Your emails to me were bordering on sane. Your public tantrum less than 2 hours later on a social network that can be viewed by millions of people was not. However, despite your clear need for spell-check software and an extensive mental health evaluation, I will say this. You’re right about ******* being expensive. Tell you what. Next time you get betrayed and suddenly abandoned with 2 babies in diapers and have to run heartbroken to the only place where there’s any family that can help you, I’ll get to tell you where you should have moved because it would’ve been better for me in some way. That way, we can both have a turn being insensitive assholes.
If by ‘find some common ground’ you mean waiting 114 minutes from the moment you wrote this to calling me a ‘money grubbing whore’ on Facebook, then…common ground attained!
And, if by ‘stuck in the middle of this’ you mean ‘repeatedly inserted myself into a marriage I had no business interfering in, then getting all squidgy when I have to actually address the ex-wife I screwed over’, then…hoorah! Now we’re cooking with gas.
And lastly, if by ‘doesn’t even equal clothes to the amount of support’ you meant ‘I took my clothes off and now you’ll get half my new husband’s paycheck as support’, then…spell check be damned! You know what? You’re cute as a button. Gonna bake you a cake with squiggly icing letters that say ‘at least you tried’.
Did you make ‘Two Dads’ uppercase for any particular reason? No? Just shooting that grammar gun into the dark again? Enjoy your cake.
Tantrum to follow in a future blog (for dissection and hilarity, of course). Why? My life has been hijacked by a tacky reality show. This is how I cope with that.
And just in case you missed it, Dear Readers, she just admitted that she’d been on the receiving end of betrayal…and knowingly heaped that mountain of pain on another woman and family. I. Can’t. There are no words.
Ever experienced any of this insanity? Love to hear about it in the comments below.
Fall hard on my knees.
Tears and screaming and pointless pleas.
Though the world collapses in on me, there’s somewhere else I need to be.
Diapers and tears and endless cries.
Fake a laugh. Don a disguise.
Tie a shoe, pretend to be wise.
Fake it all when they look in my eyes.
Tear-filled Kleenex in great mountains rise.
No sleep, no relief from dusk to sunrise.
No way out of this cycle that I can devise.
Diapers and clocks and blue or black skies.
Collapse in anguish, hoping to die.
Imagine his new lover. Bake a pie.
Search for tears but find I’m bone dry.
Kiss a skinned knee. Stop asking why.
Lift. Sweat. Buckle. Breathe. Crawl.
Stagger. Try. Fail again. Fall.
Parent, alone, these babies so small.
Collapse beneath the weight of it all.
Will yourself to standing. Confront your fear.
Laugh for once and find it’s sincere.
Stop visiting yesterday, just be right here.
Dance with them anyway in the moonlight clear.
Books and late nights. Yawn. Repeat.
Missing socks and lunch-pails and tiny feet.
Hugs and self-loathing and kisses sweet.
Victory, it seems, is holding hands with defeat.
Rise from my knees.
I’ve got adventures with my kids to seize.
My world stopped collapsing in on me, because there was somewhere else I needed to be.
This post ran previously in 2015
I’ve known for some time that I should see a counselor. I’m not equipped to handle the ‘skein of fuckedupedness’ that I unwittingly attempt to untangle every day (shout out to the AMAZING Chump Lady). I feel like a grade school teacher trying to land a 747. So, I began therapy last week. The therapist didn’t know quite where to begin with me. I’m pretty decimated in every area of my emotional life, and as I’d already warned her about, feeling incapable of getting myself out of this prison of my own creation. So she played it pretty safe, and stuck to the basic getting-to-know-what’s-wrong-with-your-crazy-ass script. But then she busted out with a simple exercise for me to do until I saw her again, and honestly, it’s been rocking my world.
She wants me to imagine two chairs. Every day, I have to decide which chair to sit in. In the first chair, I can only speak positively. I must mention only the good characteristics of my life. I must not have a negative outlook about the future. Ha haaaaa!!! As if. She clearly doesn’t know me.
In the other chair, I can do and say and think whatever I want. I can give in to my deepest hatred, fears, and pain from the past. In it, I’d feel perfectly justified to give voice to my rage and lay waste to small villages with my sarcasm cloud.
And as I’m contemplating how comfortable the second chair sounds, she says it. Those six simple words that have been keeping me awake at night for the last 2 weeks. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
The petulant child in me dug in her heels. I smiled and listened, all while thinking ‘Um, NO. It’s not. I don’t have any control over my suffering. It was imposed upon me. My brain makes no distinction. It simply plays and plays the horror reel from the night it all went down. It takes my heart and crushes it in a vice with imagery of my nuclear family being ripped apart in a firestorm of tears. It’s on autopilot, my brain. SO IT MOST CERTAINLY DOESN’T FEEL LIKE A CHOICE, LADY!
But I knew she was right. I just didn’t want to eat my broccoli. So after wrestling with it all week, I sat down to pen a few things that I thought I might say if I were to sit in the first chair.
Ok. Here’s the chair where I’m supposed to somehow wring the infinitesimal drops of goodness out of what Honey did to us. I want it on record that I’m sitting here begrudgingly. But the view is nice.
Hmmm. I suppose I could say that he set me free. Free to what, I still have no idea. But at least I’m not married to someone I thought was my best friend who is, in actuality, a selfish asshat. Ok, wait. I think that wasn’t very positive. Let’s try again.
Ummm…ok, think I’ve got one. My son and daughter will not have the man he turned out to be as an influence in their life anymore. Or at least, in a very limited capacity. Binding my hands so I don’t type more here.
I’m in my home town again with my friends and family. Juxtaposed against the misery I felt living away from them, this is a return to normalcy that I don’t verbalize my appreciation of often enough. Sure, I know what a blessing it is, but I shouldn’t take a blessing as something ‘standard’ or expected. The girl in the other chair might say ‘yah, I’m back with everyone, but at what cost? Look what’s been done to us!’ But the girl in this chair has a lump in her throat thinking about how much this has been my healing place. This tropical paradise, with its familiar streets and sights that flood me with all manner of great memories from the course of a lifetime. I can drive down a street I remember being on with my dad when I was 5. I should never take that for granted. The people here love me and my children, and have supported us fully. I thank them endlessly, I really do. Yet in my mind, I’ve let the bad that’s been done to us outweigh the importance of what having these people in our lives really means. Don’t think I could possibly appreciate them more.
See? I can do this. I’m kicking ass and taking names.
If this hadn’t happened, I’d never have known what I’m capable of as a parent when I have to be. Even when I say I can’t do it, or I can’t go on, I do. Because their little faces compel me up and out of my paralysis. I’d do anything for them. Despite going through the worst year ever, I’ve made sure we read books, and do puzzles, and go to the zoo and SeaWorld and the beach. We examine bugs and play in the dirt and I sing them songs every night while I rock baby girl to sleep in my arms. I need to forgive myself for the early days when I was a zombie, and didn’t and couldn’t step up for them. But as soon as I could, as soon as I could orient myself to the horizon, I did. I will choose to focus on the good that I can do, rather than the family that Honey robbed them of. I have to let go of the fact that I simply have no control over that. And, I think if I really work at it, I can eventually put down the picture of the nuclear family I’ve had clenched in my fist for so long.
Aren’t I a fount of positivity?!
And, if this hadn’t happened, I never would have started talking to Van. That relationship, though I recently ended it, saved my life in this last year. Yes, it was all by phone (he’s 2,000 miles away), but it was intense and amazing and life changing. He made me feel valued. Loved. Adored. And to me, removing the pressure of being together in the same place made it even better. I was not thinking rationally, and the last thing a woman should do is place themselves in a vulnerable position with a man when their defenses are down. I love him. I really do. And he loves me. We get along beautifully. It’s like a symphony of wit and sarcasm every time we talk. So, why end it before it could really begin? Because no one, especially not someone as amazing as Van, deserves to have someone as emotionally scarred as I am. It’s not right. There were some other factors at play about compatibility between us, but ultimately once things calmed down and I could see clearly, I realized that I am simply NOT ready. And though I hurt him, we still talk and will remain friends.
I can see this all as a positive if I just frame it right. Must be the chair.
So, that brings me to the other chair. I’ve been sitting in it for over a year now. When I thought about what it might look like, this is the first thing that came to mind.
This chair is going to kill me. I can’t stay here. I will do my best not to sit down in it again. Though I make no promises, I can at least say that if I do, I’ll do so knowing full well that I do so by choice. This will be my new mantra, by God.
This chair is a choice. This chair is a choice. This chair is a choice.
And I’m going to repeat it until one day, I absentmindedly sit down with a book and a cold glass of tea in the first chair instead.
The view is much nicer there anyway.
Honey filed a custody case against me in September. You can read about it here.
It was finally heard last week. Why the long wait? Because Honey hired, in my opinion, one of the single worst attorneys that I have ever seen. It was…glorious.
Not that I’d ever tell Honey what I think of his lawyer. If he cannot discern between a competent lawyer and a clown, far be it from me to enlighten him. And while this unmitigated disaster of a man’s bungling ended up costing me an extra $1,500 (that I don’t have, beyond the thousands already paid that I didn’t have) to keep my lawyer at the ready, it was worth every dime.
After several completely avoidable paperwork delays caused by Honey’s lawyer, it was finally our turn to be heard…four hours later. I thought I would throw up, faint, and pee in my pants when they called our name, in that order. Here’s how it began:
My Lawyer: This motion to amend support is improper, your honor. There is an open child support case in the child support court, which has jurisdiction. It’s in every declaration we’ve filed from day one of this case. So we can only discuss custody today.
Honey’s Lawyer: (indignant) I was not aware of this!
My Lawyer (turning fully to address him, stunned) Yes, you were, sir. Not only have you claimed to have read our declarations in this matter, you appeared on your client’s behalf in child support court on that matter last year.
Honey’s Lawyer: I did no such thing!
My Lawyer: (incredulous) That is FALSE, Sir! On the such and such day of 2016, you appeared in that court. There were witnesses, including my client.
Honey’s Lawyer: I did no such – uh, hmmm. You know what? That’s correct. I did appear there, I recall that now. I’m sorry your honor.
This was a court room packed with very stressed out people about to have their child custody cases heard. For some of them, it may have been the worst day of their lives. And yet, in this somber place of misery, the entire crowd burst into laughter at the bumbling fool to my left. The judge didn’t even look up from her documents or quiet the crowd, annoyed at the time he’d already cost her court and the sheer idiocy of what had just unfolded. It was beautiful.
Oh, and the child support reduction issue? The ACTUAL reason he went for custody of the kids? Since his lawyer botched it and filed the motion in the wrong court, 5 months of waiting, delays, continuances, paperwork errors, declarations, and expensive lawyers, and he couldn’t even get that part heard.
In the end, no, Honey did not get custody. What he did get was a court order to complete a series of therapeutic re-unification visits here in our state over the next 2 years. Custody will not be revisited until and unless those terms are met.
From the beginning of this case, Honey was taken aback and offended by my suggestion that he would need to fly out here for recurring re-unification therapy before he would EVER be allowed to just get on a plane and fly off with them. To send them off with him before they’ve re-established their relationship would completely traumatize them, because the kids no longer know him as a trusted adult or legitimate parental figure. All they know is that he once used to be, but ‘left them to go live with his other kids’ (their words, sadly).
He was offended at the notion that his kids do not know him well enough to just hand him custody, because SKYPE. He said, and I quote, “Wow, I’m just floored that you would even ask for therapeutic visits. I mean, wow. I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say. I’m just really taken aback. Wow.”
Of course you are, Honey. That’s because you’re the king of your own imaginary kingdom, Big Guy.
They have no memory of living with him. They have no memory of visiting with him. He’s been in their presence for 4 days of the last 40 months. This man is totally delusional and knows nothing about kids and how they process things like this. They’re not terriers that he can just stick in a crate and chuck on a plane. They’re people – people he’s wounded and has done nothing to make amends with.
Think I’m being dramatic? Let’s see how well they know you as a parent when you’re cruising at 20,000 feet, Honey, with no mommy in sight for the first time since EVER, going somewhere with a person they last saw in person over 2 years ago, and the weight of that hits them. G’head. Let’s think on that real hard and consider who that’s going to be most traumatizing for – them, or every passenger on that plane. You will not traumatize these children again because of your indifference to their well being. You did that once already when you walked out of their lives. Never again.
Luckily, the judge was in agreement that simply reappearing after all this time to take them away with him on a plane would be completely unacceptable. At least a judge echoed what I said and perhaps Honey will grasp that this ‘outlandish’ requirement is not some personal attack or power trip. It’s about the kids, period.
So on to child support court we go. His recent defiance of court-ordered job contacts may not make the judge in that case very happy. Nor will the W2’s that show he worked last year, but didn’t once report that employment to the court or provide one dime of it to our kids.
He’s only a LITTLE behind, so maybe they’ll cut him some slack. He only owes $34,140 after all. But if, by chance, a judge didn’t think it was very nice of him to dodge paying for Little Man and Baby Girl’s food and rent while ensuring that his new family was fed and housed, he’s lucky that he’s already got the perfect tattoo for his new job making license plates in county.
Do you have a story about YOUR day in court? Post in the comments below!
Forgiveness, to me, is a four letter word. For the last 2 1/2 years, I’ve been referring to it as the F word, incapable of forming the actual sounds and syllables with my mouth lest I wildly vomit at the utterance of its name.
I’d like to take the F word out back and shoot it point blank in the face. I want to print the word off, tape it to a mannequin, and uppercut it into a raging bonfire. I want to shove it, face first, out of a moving vehicle. No, a train. Oooo! Oooo! No. A HELICOPTER. Then, I could watch it fall helplessly, a look of shock on its face, arms outstretched in slow-mo like Hans Gruber falling off the Nakatomi Tower on Christmas Eve. Yes. THIS.
So when I got to my group therapy session this week and found out the subject matter would be the big ole F word, my primitive brain – thinking only of escape – envisioned running at full speed through the plate glass window to my right. Luckily the rational me thought better of it, seeing as how we were on the fourth floor of the building.
I took my seat, mouth agape at the horror of what was surely to come, one eye mildly twitching. As my terror reached its zenith, I thought ‘You cannot be serious. Get me out of this room, God, and I swear I’ll think about maybe thinking about doing some more thinking about forgiveness, maybe. But tonight, I just flat out don’t want to hear it.’
Which is, of course, precisely why I needed to. In my arrogance, I thought I knew what was about to happen. I was going to hear a whole lotta people tell me ‘The F word is your friend. You should invite it in, feed it some soup. Tell it your deepest darkest secrets. Cuddle with it on a cold day.” And I’d nod and smile, all while envisioning the F word meeting its untimely demise at the business end of my boom stick.
But that’s not what happened. Instead, they acknowledged that reticence to dishing out the F word is normal, there’s nothing wrong with you, and they just wanted to give us some things to mull over. They started out by discussing what forgiveness is not. So here’s the basic message that was presented that night about the super-happy-fun-time subject matter that is the F word:
Forgiveness is not:
‘Hold the offense against them.’ That’s an interesting phrase, I thought. If it were a metaphor, Honey’s crimes could be viewed as a physical, tangible thing. I could choose to keep pressing this heavy object into his torso, or I could choose to put it down. I really wish I could put it down, actually. My arms are nothing but jello.
I’m angry. I’ve been angry for a long time, and I probably will be for a long time to come. But I don’t want to become an angry person, and I can see how that is a slippery slope indeed. As Desmond Tutu put it, ‘You should never hate yourself for hating others who do terrible things: the depth of your love is shown by the extent of your anger.’ Anger is a god-created emotion. It is necessary, and it is good. To borrow from a fellow chump whose husband cheated on her, ‘I hold anger in high esteem; it’s a signal that I know who I am.’
But the problem with anger -especially righteous anger – is that it fools you into justifying bad behavior. It tells you that the bitter, sarcastic text you just sent is somehow ok because, well, you’ve earned it. You’re right. And for this reason, being right can be dangerous.
And while that list they gave me was actually logical and helpful and far less koombaya-let’s-hold-hands-and-I’ll-just-pardon-your-atrocities than I thought it would be, there is one very simple and over-arching reason that I can’t seem to put this thing I’m holding against Honey down.
Consequences. Namely, Honey has never had to face any. He was gone too quickly to see any of the pain he caused. He never had to look any member of my family in the eye, or suffer awkward or painful moments of any kind. He simply moved to the other side of the country where he could invent an entirely new narrative, one which was never questioned by HomeWrecker. He enjoys a perfectly intact reputation among friends, both old and new. His family endorsed his horrific behavior within days of leaving us. He never had to slowly watch the realization on his son’s face of what happened, or watch me process what he’d just done to the family I’d so deeply suffered to give him. He didn’t have to pack a box or a dish, or help us move back to my home town for help. He just vanished with nothing more than a suitcase and a smile, moving right in with HomeWrecker and washing his hands of any of the thousands of responsibilities that were suddenly heaped on me in my destroyed state.
And in the years since, he’s acted like a non-confrontational robot when I mention the fallout the kids and I have suffered. Doing as you please and expecting a consequence-free life is completely unrealistic, yet that’s Honey’s mentality to a T. So that means, to him, I’m the problem. I’m pointing out things that no one else is, that no one else is making such a big deal about.
He will never understand the pain I see in the eyes of his babies, or the rage this produces in me on their behalf. So it’s certainly a no-win prospect for me to try to explain the harm he’s caused, and frankly, it’s just not my job anymore. If he can’t figure out on his own that it’s wrong to betray your spouse and abandon your post as parent, nothing I could say would make a damn bit of difference.
He’s now $30,854 behind in child support. Now, he’s taking me to court for partial custody so he can get his support payment reduced, and blames me in the legal action for ‘making it difficult to co-parent the kids’. First of all, that’s completely untrue. Second of all, I think the 2,300 miles is why he can’t co-parent his kids, because last time I checked, he can’t make his son or daughter dinner or take them to a doctor’s appointment from there.
So if anyone thinks I could pardon him for all of this, as well as for shaking his crying toddler off his leg with zero emotion to get out the door the day he left us, they are out of their ever-loving minds.
But…holding someone else’s crimes against them is exhausting. And what does that make me? A guard, or a prisoner? Does it really matter? Both have to spend all their time in a jail. And holding this heavy thing up all the time doesn’t leave room for growth in me, growth that comes from looking at my own deficiencies and fixing them, or from for helping others, or from improving our lives as a family. It takes up valuable mental real estate, and I can see that it’s taken its toll on me emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
No matter how much I would love to see some justice and some consequences befall him, I can’t live my life behind bars waiting for Karma to pay Honey a visit. I want indifference towards him, not emotional investment about what is or isn’t going to happen to him. And so as much as I’d like to shoot an arrow through the F word’s heart, the fact is, I just don’t want to work at this prison anymore. Too many neck tats for my taste anyway.
As I listened on, we got to a list about what forgiveness is.
Sigh. Lot of sense being made here. It was pissing me off something awful. I left there feeling completely scrambled, and also convicted. There’s been this gigantic, glaring elephant in the room that I’ve been pretending isn’t there, and after this session, I knew that it was finally time to face it.
God forgave me. God instructs me to forgive others. He doesn’t recommend it. He doesn’t suggest it. He directly tells me to do it in His word. Now, for non-believers, the entire concept that all people need to be forgiven by God may be a foreign one. It certainly was for me for the first 21 years of my life spent as an atheist who openly mocked Christians. But the longer I live as a believer in this fallen world, the more I see the biblical truth about the sin-nature of people all around me. And yes, that most certainly includes me.
Though my feelings scream ‘Run! Don’t you dare forgive him, he doesn’t deserve it!’…I have to remember that God forgave me when I didn’t deserve it, either. So my will can be set, despite the opposition of my feelings, on a course that is in line with my beliefs and God’s instruction.
I’ve been disobeying my father/creator/savior out of fear. Fear that what Honey did would somehow cease to matter if I forgave. That he would get a pass, just like has in every other area of life. But it’s not true. I can impute this offense into God’s care to be handled in His way, put this heavy thing down, and get some damn sleep.
Ok, here goes. This will be an act of sheer determined will, because my feelings are telling me to go have a Kylo Ren-style temper tantrum with a light-saber in my kitchen. Alright. Sigh. Let’s do this thing.
For your past atrocities against the children and I, I F you.
For your present insensitivities, F is the letter of the day, Big Guy.
And for your future ball-dropping and parental absenteeism, I’m gonna go ahead and give you a great big fat F.
Hey, it may not be pretty, but it’s the best I’ve got. While I’m dishing out pardons, I can’t forget there’s one more.
I forgive you for not knowing who you were married to. I forgive you for your less than kind responses to Honey this year. But it’s time to put it all down, baby girl. Be kind to yourself today, please. Play with the kids. Get a nap. And be happy.
ID: Hey, Ego.
EGO: Yah, ID?
ID: Check this out. (motions towards the cop show starting on the TV)
SUPEREGO: Hey, wasn’t that the little girl from Alf?
EGO: Oh, no. I think I can see where this is headed.
EGO: Wait for it…
EGO: (making retching noises) So ridiculous. Why does it have to be so damned contrived? Anyway, why is wife watching this drivel? Did you put her up to this, ID?
ID: Obviously. Because unlike you, Ego, and the twisted doomsday scenario you’ve got planned for all of us, I believe that love IS possible again. I believe in second chances, and if anyone deserves one, it’s Wife.
EGO: Oh, sure. I believe in second chances, too. After all, you got one. Wife took pity on you and couldn’t go through with letting me string you up or drown you in the kiddy pool. Poor thing tried and tried, but she lacks that killer instinct. Pity.
ID: For your information, egomaniac, the reason she couldn’t let you ‘off’ me is because somewhere deep down, she just can’t bear to kill the possibility of love. She may not have much hope, but she knows killing me would spin the dial on the safe, weld the door shut, and throw it into the Pacific. She had to leave that glimmer alive, no matter how small. She denies it, but I know it’s true.
EGO: Oh, please. I think I know her pretty well too, ID, and I don’t think that’s why she spared you. I just think she’s afraid of what your absence would mean, like she would immediately feel dead inside and want to adopt, like, 17 cats.
SUPEREGO: For your information, you’re both wrong. If shes’s held on, it’s only because she hasn’t wanted to face the prospect of never having that one person in her life who cares if she makes it home safely at night. The person she can stand in the kitchen with and laugh about her day over a plate of rolled tacos. She can’t bear the thought of never having a spouse, and getting to BE a spouse, because she was fulfilled by that. Because she was good at that. But the reality is, she is alone, and based on the level of heart-mind-soul destruction she’s dealing with, it’s no wonder at all to me why she’s chosen permanent celibacy.
ID: (interrupting) Uhhh, hold the phone a minute there, SuperEgo. Celibacy? Let’s not go throwing the ole ‘c’ word around, ok? We’re not doing that. She’s not doing that. That’s not happening.
SUPEREGO: No, ID, it is. Permanent celibacy is what she’s chosen, and I agree with it 100%. It’s a perfectly reasonable and moral choice for many…
ID: (interrupting, whispering) I hate you so much right now.
EGO: Finally! Thank God. She must have read my actuarial tables.
SUPEREGO: ID, this IS what wife wants, and like it or not, that is in line with our belief system. It was my idea, actually. Whether God sends someone her way or not, she’s not going to remain open to it. She didn’t share it with you because she didn’t want another massive internal war breaking out, given our history. So you might as well get used to the fact that we are NOT sleeping with anyone without being married to them. We are never getting married again, ergo, we are never having sex again.
EGO: (stunned) This is the proudest day of my life.
ID: (whispers) I’ll get the rope.
This has been the second installment in a series involving ID, EGO, and SUPEREGO.
To read the first episode in this series, ‘The A-Sexual A-Team’, click here.
I loved and he left. Now I'm just trying to heal.
Who says chivalry is dead? Oh, wait. I do.
This is the story of a life wasted on a lying, cheating, disease-giving, narcissistic husband.
Who says chivalry is dead? Oh, wait. I do.
the Middle of Healing and the Beginning of a New Marriage
Things I used to trip on, I walk over now
An ongoing story of a runaway husband
marriage, meaning, surviving infidelity
A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.
When we are our authentic selves, we give others the unspoken permission to be the same. In Truth, there is freedom.
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