Homewrecker: The Chart of Good Person-ness (Part 5 (1 of 3))

What could be better than completing my 5 part mini-series with part 5? Making part 5 have three sub-parts for NO GOOD REASON. Well, there is a reason. My posts are so long that if I tried to make them into one, this would be you by the time you finished reading.

skeleton

Because, hey! If it can be said in 100 words, leave it to me to do it in 1,000. Next week, please check back for 5.2, ‘Parentage by Hostile Takeover’ and 5.3, ‘The (Un)Holy Union’. Thank you for reading!

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asshole chart

In my letter to Honey regarding visitation last year, I mentioned how hard his visit (with HomeWrecker in tow) was going to be on me and on the kids. I outlined what he needed to do to keep them emotionally and physically safe, boundaries about where the pickup/drop off would be, etc. In that letter, I mentioned one thing about HomeWrecker. I wrote:

HomeWrecker is a stranger to me, and to these kids. I don’t know how she behaves around children. All I know is that she refers to her own children as ‘little shits’ in a public forum that they can read. (FaceBook) Neither of you are to use language or mean labels like that around these kids. I would hope this is common sense and doesn’t even need to be said.    

Of course, HomeWrecker bypassed the part where I expressed how his heartbroken 3-year-old may have a hard time dealing with their abrupt appearance and equally abrupt subsequent departure, but she wasn’t interested in the pain of my child or the reason for it. However, she was positively itching to have her say about me daring to question her motives, and for trying to establish boundaries of behavior where my children are concerned. I went and got all uppity on her. So she set out to fix that.

To me directly? Of course not.

Did I get a text or an angry email? Nope.

A pissy phone call? Never gonna happen.

As usual, she brought her woundedness about this (narrow) portion of the letter to the masses on FB to seek sympathy and attention. And as usual, a number of people leapt to her defense, wondering who this idiot was who had dared to question her integrity.

Here’s her post.

Little Shits redacted

Hey, you. Fourth comment from the bottom. No need to tell me to go to hell. That’s my current address.

And though it’s cut off, the last commentator goes on to say ‘They really need to get a life. I’m sure they have no idea what it’s like to have to be a single mom and have to overcome the kinds of things you’ve had to deal with!’ Funny, HomeWrecker’s oddly mute from that point on. No comment or correction on that, Sweety? Don’t want to explain why it is I DO relate? No? You sure? Moving on.

By the way…anyone catch the absurdity of this post’s existence? I mean, aside from its author’s sophisticated use of spaces and uninvited commas. If ‘she has nothing to prove to anyone but her kids’ then who is she talking to via social media?

So, yah. My ex-father-in-law, Pop, was comment numero uno. My interpretation of his comment goes a little something like this (though I do realize my judgment about him may be just a TAD skewed these days)…

Don’t listen to that old dishrag that got thrown out! What does what happened to her and her children matter? What she thinks and feels means nothing! Your motives GOOD! Her motives BAD! She’s too stupid and unenlightened to see that you set the bar of goodness for all other humans! Sure, I’ve never even met you in person, but any idiot can see that within 30 seconds of meeting you! How can she not see that labels and cussing are perfectly appropriate ‘antics’ to say to a minor child? It’s just part of your folksy charm, and has nothing to do with how you might act around HER children. Who is she to set such boundaries, anyway? Do not spare even a moment to genuflect on your choice of words or your role in the firebombing of that family! She had it comin’, because she’s positively dripping with ignorance about the awesomeness that is you!!

Yours Forever in Sycophantic Fervor, Etc. – Pop

In moments like these, my unique brand of coping skills kick in. I make myself laugh at the absurdity that has somehow become my life. It may not be everyone’s go-to move, but by God, it’s mine. I’ll never forget the handwritten chart I scrawled on a piece of paper shortly after reading her post. It’s graduated since then to what you see below. I’ve dubbed it the ‘Chart of Good Person-Ness’ (whose crappy title is an homage to HomeWrecker’s horrific spelling and grammar, of course)…

Chart final

How is ‘goodness’ calculated? It’s simple, really. Well, you just…

math problem

Ok, so calculating this isn’t exactly easy. Perhaps a different approach.

What about applying the Metaphor of the Ledger? You know…I did a bunch of selfless things for my kids (an 8!), so its ok that I’m having an affair with a married man (a -10!). My GOOD mostly balances out my BAD, so in the end, I can still view myself as a pretty good person.

I think this is why Honey is so syrupy sweet when he Skypes. He is positively dripping with Afghan sweaters and songs about how it’s a beautiful day in his neighborhood. Nauseating doesn’t even begin to cover it. Perhaps he thinks that if he does a bunch of horrific crap to his family, and then forces his brand of relentlessly cheerful and non-confrontational fluff onto others that they’ll be lulled by his hypnotizing melody and his comfortable-looking loafers…and eventually no one will take notice – or even believe – that he straight-up betrayed and abandoned his family.

Or what about Condemnation of the Condemner (also called ‘Denial of Victim’)? It’s basically a rationalization technique wherein the bad things you’ve done are reduced or eliminated because you proclaim that the one condemning you has done worse. Sure, I ran y’all over with my car and slept with your man (-10), but I heard you punch kittens and children for sport, and pooped in Old Man Jenkins’ yard! (-8) You’re not so innocent! Y’all deserve what you got!

Note: I have never pooped in Old Man Jenkins’ yard. It was Old Man Johnson’s.

Or how about Relabeling? This is a way for someone to present a more socially acceptable identity by calling the ‘bad’ thing they’ve done by a much more palatable name. So, yes. I may have run you over with my car. But it wasn’t attempted murder, it was playful antics. In this way, HomeWrecker’s overly-optimistic beliefs about herself can seem downright charming. Hey, I didn’t wreck your home. I just helped realign your paradigm. You’re welcome! 🙂

Or maybe we could check out ‘Appeal to Higher Loyalties’. Whatever the acceptable moral or ethical norms are, they must be sacrificed for the higher calling that ‘made’ them break codes of honor, decency, and truthfulness. Look, I may have stepped on your face while I was climbing over flaming wreckage of your life (-10), but you aren’t special enough to understand that it was for a higher calling. Don’t you see that we are all just casualties of TRUE LOVE?  (+1,000,000,000) You can’t get MAD at true love! ‘Cuz true love is like this thing that co-opts my ability to make moral choices and gives me a get-outta-jail-free-card to set fire to whoever I see fit! You have no right to stand in its way!! If you do, you will be sorry!!

I already am sorry. And that doesn’t sound like true love to me. That sounds more like a speech made by a communist dictator getting ready to invade a neighboring country.

The answer about how to tell where someone falls on the chart of good person-ness is actually pretty simple. Look at a person’s actions, not their words. That is the one and only way to figure out who a person really is. Say they hate cheaters, but encourage a married man to do just that? Claim integrity, but endorse lying? Act the victim, but victimize someone else when others aren’t looking? We can know with a pretty high degree of certainty which team it is they’re playing for.

team dirtbag

So, I guess my problem really isn’t where she falls on this chart. Her actions show me that she’s the entire wind and percussion sections of the ‘Zone of Dirtbaggedness’. My problem is where she proclaims to be on this chart. In my mind, she not only got away with everything she did, she’ll continue to get away with it without ever having to say a word in her own defense while I’m left holding the crazy-ex-wife bag.

She’s duped every single creature within her reach – including herself – into believing that she and Honey met while he was retrieving her glass slipper, if you get my meaning.

He merely sprang forth from the pages of a fairy tale, a flower tucked firmly between his teeth, to sweep her off her feet and make all of her dreams come true. And oh, how the masses fawn and adore. How they defend, how they smooth over and normalize Honey’s reinvention of himself despite the cries of the of the three people he’s just trampled under the carriage wheels.

Luckily, HomeWrecker doesn’t live near here. Visits will be infrequent, to say the least. I feel for those of you who deal with this crazy-making garbage on weekends and shared days and holidays and the like. You are NOT alone, and you are not crazy. I have come to realize that despite the distance, my kids will eventually have to spend time with her.

This is why I care about who this human being is at the core.

She will undoubtedly co-opt their innocent and trusting nature by presenting this re-written fairy tale version of the story to them before they even know the true origins of the real one. Because how can I tell them the reality? I can’t. Kids, your father just walked out on us one day with a packed bag with no warning and no hint of problems in our marriage and left you to grow up without a dad and left me without a husband or parenting partner. Why? Oh, a stripper he’d been having an affair with behind my back for 5 months claimed she was pregnant, so he moved to the other side of the country, and then she wasn’t pregnant, but then she got pregnant for real, and then your dad got $16K behind in support, leaving us in abject poverty and causing us to have to go without and to make tons of sacrifices he neither knew about or cared about. But it’s ok if you love him because you need to be able to love your parent for healthy emotional development…right?!? Right??!?

This new life, this new ‘family’, this new half-brother of theirs…this is going to become their ‘normal’. She’s going to present as a loving member of their extended family, and my kids are going to eat at her table, hug her and sit on her lap, and probably refer to her fondly when they come back from seeing her…completely unaware that their childhood was radically and fundamentally altered due to her (and Honey’s) horrific, selfish choices.

What will I do in that moment? Nothing. I will do exactly nothing. I will kiss their faces and tell them I love them, and calmly walk into my room to scream my guts out into a pillow.

The pain of this betrayal, abandonment, and divorce has been soul-shredding. I wish this kind of experience on no one. If nothing else, it codifies your beliefs and boundaries right quick. It’s perfectly alright to tell kids that something is NOT okay (in a way that is right for their age) and then to model what boundaries and self control look like in similar situations in order to guide and instruct them. But what does that look like in my case? How can I phrase something so horrific in a way that would make it any less so? From here, it sure doesn’t seem like there’s an ‘age appropriate’ explanation. I suppose  the best I can hope for (for now) is to demonstrate that ‘you teach people how to treat you by what you will allow.’ (Stephen Covey). Granted, I had no idea what I was ‘allowing’ since it was hidden, but I DID allow a total lack of reciprocity for the sake of keeping things peaceful. I just thought that made me a good wife. In reality, it just made me a good CHUMP.

I saw a post on HomeWrecker’s page once that said ‘Counting other people’s sins does not make you a saint!’ No idea if this was directed at me, nor do I care. But I will say on the topic that I never once claimed that it did. I’m right there in line for judgment day, same as everyone else. I’ll have some answering to do, of this I am sure. Perhaps more than a thing or two I’ve written in this blog, in fact. But not calling out egregious, horrific behavior that that IS NOT OK because of some PC notion that judging is never ok, ironically, originates from judging judgment about judging. Don’t judge because judging is bad! Even though judging you for judging is also judging…

Now that word sounds really weird. If you say it enough times, it starts to sound like something a blue Muppet should be singing. Judging judging judging judging judging judging judging judging judging judging judging judging judging judging judging judging.

And on that note, my dear readers….

Thank you for singing that in your head. You know you totally did.

Wife.

 

I’m a busy mom, part time worker, and full-time criminal justice student who longs to spend the rest of my life writing and earning an income for my lovelies doing just that. If you think someone you know might wish to impale themselves on something blunt from reading my depressing blog, please LIKE or SHARE. Hey! It won’t be depressing forever. One day, I will awaken with absolutely no desire to spray HomeWrecker with my sarcasm skunk. And then I’ll write about knitting or something! Disclaimer: I do not know anything about knitting.

11 thoughts on “Homewrecker: The Chart of Good Person-ness (Part 5 (1 of 3))

  1. Thank goodness you cleared up that issue of pooping in Old Man Jenkin’s yard. I didn’t want to call you a liar but I thought it was highly likely you had pooped in someone’s yard.

    I don’t envy you your position with knowing eventually your kids are going to have to spend time with the Homewrecker. She’s a low class human being any way you slice it and the people surrounding her are trash. I’m so thankful my kids are old enough that they can tell their dad, “Absolutely not!”

    As far as telling them the truth… well, take this for what it’s worth but I’m a big advocate of telling them the truth. I’m a Chump Lady fan and I think her take on telling the kids what happened is spot on. You tell the truth in an age appropriate manner, just the facts, m’am. No editorializing. So for your kids it would be something like: When two people get married they agree to not date other people. But Daddy got a girlfriend so now we’re divorced. You can wait until their teenagers to spring the whole “She’s a home wrecking whore!” thing on them (I kid; I kid! Honestly, she probably won’t even be around once they’re teenagers.).

    One last bit of unsolicited advice: Stay off of her FB page. I know you want to keep tabs on her. I’m sure you think it’s the only way you’ll find anything about this person who will be around your children. I’ve been there. Believe me! I spent almost 2 years consistently checking up on CF’s OW. I told myself it was to keep an eye on her so I would be prepared. In the end it didn’t help at all. OK, because of stalking her page I did insist upon my name being on the deed to the house instead of putting it on later. That’s the only thing that it helped with though. This time around I have stayed away with only a few exceptions and I haven’t looked at all since November. It doesn’t help. It hurts. And you know what else? They lie. She (Homewrecker) will never admit when Honey has done something to bug her. She will never talk about their fights. She will always put the absolute best face on it. For the two of them to do something so egregious it has to mean something to the world. If they’re just two horny idiots getting it on and leaving a wake a destruction in their path then no one coos, “Oh, what a beautiful, romantic love story.” But if he’s her knight in shining armor and she’s the damsel in distress (belch!) then everyone can tell them this is true love and it was meant to be. Just my anonymous two cents from out here on the Internet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Do you really thing they will be popping in to visit anytime soon? My sense is that he isn’t really interested and is just putting on a show for whoever with the phone calls, which you had to suggest.

    Your parenting plan is pretty clear — you have lots of control. Don’t be afraid to use it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comments, Alice!
      When I was still in the very early days and still drunk on delusions about my husband, I contacted (and even paid for half of) a mediator who drew up a marital settlement agreement specifying the terms of parenting. Everything is to be amicable. No alienation of affection. It was all very ‘keep details away from kids’ in nature. Since then, I’ve subscribed to Chump Lady’s logic and now DO agree the kids should be told the age-appropriate truth. But I have NO IDEA what that is for a 5 and a 3 year old, or if that is contrary to what the MSA specifies, and therefore what he could potentially do to me in court.
      I took him to court (he appeared by speakerphone) 2 weeks ago for being $16,000 in arrears in support. He’s pissed now that the consequences are really starting to hit home. Not at himself, of course, at me. What a depressing day that was. I walked alone to the courthouse shaking my head the whole way, wondering how this became my life and the life of my children. So while it’s unlikely he’ll have a bunch of cash to visit with any time soon (and yes visits have to be here for now), he does travel and that could put him here to see the kids. And guess what?? I just learned HomeWrecker is travelling with him, staying with their baby in whatever podunk hotels he rents. Keeping an eye on him, there, H Dubs? Starting early, I see! Be diligent, my dear!

      Like

      • Did he come up with a plan to pay his arrears? Any chance, you could get a warrant served on him for his arrest should he step foot in your state?

        Like

      • I am not a lawyer but I don’t think telling your kids the truth is contrary to the MSA. It’s that whole: Me lying, cheating, and abandoning the kids wasn’t bad. You TELLING them I lied, cheated and abandoned them was bad! Again, I’m not a lawyer but I have a really hard time believing that a judge is going to hand over custody to a man who left his children (at what, 1 and 2?) behind to go find true love because that man’s ex had the audacity to tell those kids that when you get married you promise to only date each other but Daddy broke that promise and he began dating someone else at the same time he was dating Mommy. As to how you bring it up? Well, I suppose it depends. If they ask, obviously there’s an opening. 🙂 Hey, why did dad leave? Why don’t I have a daddy around? Why did you get a divorce? Otherwise, it might be better to wait until a different opportunity comes up, such as if one of them accuses you of keeping their dad away from them, or tells you everything is your fault. Some incident in which you would have the chance to set the record straight.

        Finally, I realize he’s pissed now because of the money. Doesn’t it always come down to that? And you are afraid your kids might parrot that back during a Skype call. Honestly, on a scale of 1 to 10 how likely do you think that might happen? Do they regularly tell him things that you’ve said? If they do mention it and he loses his shit well, first of all, he’ll have to come to your state to try to get custody, I believe. He’s not likely to do that. Secondly, if he does say something to you (and I recall he doesn’t really talk to you because he believes you’re beneath him) you can simply tell him if he didn’t want his kids to know he was a lying cheater who had abandoned his kids then maybe he shouldn’t have lied, or cheated, or abandoned his children! Then click off Skype!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I agree with sam you shouldn’t hide the truth from them – I used to believe in the whole shit sandwich the parenting classes say you should eat – um no kids need to know the truth about what happened to them not a fairytale

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I will add my vote here for the truth. Your kids SHOULD know the facts behind why he left and for whom (or is that who, or just whore?) You don’t have deliver it with rage and tears and an impromptu demon-purging ceremony done while waving burning sage (although you *could*, ha ha). My husband and I are still together, but he told the older two the truth. The younger two will hear it when they are old enough. Frighteningly? The older two knew much more than we thought they did. They had also misinterpreted a few things, and by airing the truth we were able to set the record straight and give them some reassurance. This was their story too. They lived it. They will continue to live with the after shocks for many years. My kids admitted that for awhile they were very angry at me because they knew so much more than I thought, and they felt I was covering up (and thus condoning) what their father had done. They needed to see my pain, within reason and they needed to see his shame and remorse. I have zero regrets about telling them. In your case, it is better to calmly tell them the truth and when they hear the half-baked excuses offered by the ex? They will recognize what is true and what is not. They will know who is consistently in their lives, who is there for them and who is most decidedly NOT.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, exercisegrace! It’s good to know I don’t need to do a rain dance of shame, but I do find that demon-purging ceremony idea appealing (but impromptu? Who’ll be in charge of punch and snacks? We must plan out these ceremonies or risk running out of crudites!)
      My kids are 5 and 3. I have NO IDEA what to say to them. My son, 5, has all but shut down his discussions with me about how his dad leaving has made him feel. I worry about this daily. My daughter is too young to understand. I don’t know what I should say to him, or how I should bring it up. And, if they parrot it to Honey during a Skype call, should I fear that I’m waking/poking a sleeping sociopath? We do NOT want those awakened…

      Like

  5. Pingback: HomeWrecker: Parentage by Hostile Takeover (Part 5(2 of 3)) | Honey and the Homewrecker.

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