Weeks after Honey abandoned us, I called and asked him how he could have treated me and his children with such revolting disregard by leaving in the manner that he did.
His reply? I had to do it this way.
Did you now. I see. Well then let’s just examine the endless myriad of options you had in each pivotal point of this sh**-show, and see what kind of choices you felt you HAD to make. What will those choices say about you as a man? I guess we’ll have to tally up the score at the end and see.
When you talk to your wife by phone while you’re working out of town, decide what to say to her about where you’re going and what you’re doing. Which of these options did you feel you HAD to choose?
- Tell her what you’ve been doing and that you’re sorry or at the very least lie by omission. Select any one of the thousands of opportunities you had while on the phone with her to open mouth hole and speak words about your supposed unhappiness in order to ask for counseling or a divorce. Consider her feelings as being as important as your own.
- Concoct hundreds of elaborate lies. Tell her you’re bored, or that the plumbing in your rental isn’t working and you have to stay with your friends, that the town is weird, that you’re going to bed early every night and that you love her and the babies, when in actuality you’re going out every night, eventually chatting up a stripper on a pole, dating her and planning a life with her while telling her you’re separated, all while your wife waits for you at home and makes you out to be a superhero to your 2 year old son. Do not consider how cruel this is to do to her at any point in the process.
Decide what to say to me when you come home from being out of town. Which of these options did you feel you HAD to choose?
- Get your mom to watch the babies. Take me to a quiet place and park the truck. Divulge the horrific things you’ve been doing behind my back. Apologize and form a plan to remain in the children’s lives and arrange to escort us back to our home state. Help me pack the house. Stick around while I am so devastated I can’t properly care for the babies. Consider my feelings as being as important as your own.
- Say nothing. Act like nothing has happened. Have sex with me, and let me make you a bunch of homemade meals while you secretly text your mistress from the dining room table. Continually allow me to treat you like a king while you both plotted your eventual exit strategy. Do not help around the house, and only pick up the babies to take selfies to text to HomeWrecker. Do not consider how cruel this is to do to me at any point in the process.
Decide what to do when your wife confronts you not once, but twice, about some distance she’s feeling from you. Which of these options did you feel you HAD to choose?
- Volunteer the truth, or at the very least be honest when confronted the first time. Tell her you’re deeply sorry. Accept that she is going to be mad and say unpleasant things. Stick by her through it to help with the babies until a plan is formed to part ways. Consider her feelings as being as important as your own.
- Lie and deny. Be aggro and rude and confrontational about petty things in order to pick a fight, but never actually grow a pair to have an honest conversation. Make her be the one to have to eventually yank the truth out of you. Get annoyed that she wants counseling, and doze off as she’s sobbing in confusion. Do not consider how cruel this is to do to her at any point in the process.
Decide what to tell your wife is the reason for your affair. Which of these options did you feel you HAD to choose?
- Tell her that you are selfish and was thinking only of yourself. Tell her that she did not deserve to be treated this way, and that you’re ending the affair until all options are considered about what this means about our marriage, the house, where we will live, and how we will work out some sort of co-parenting. Consider her feelings as being as important as your own.
- Say, ‘Wife, you’re my best friend, but I don’t feel about you the way a husband is supposed to feel about a wife.’ When asked how long you’ve felt this way, tell her it’s been 4 years…the exact number of years ago that she almost left you over some ambiguous sexual emails she found (but that you claimed were purely fantasy). Don’t consider that when that happened, she wanted to leave you because you were trying for a family at the time and that she ‘would never bring children into this world just to become the product of divorce’, but you promised her that would NEVER happen and you begged her to stay. EXACTLY that many years ago. Don’t consider how cruel it is that this is also the exact period of time in which she suffered through painful, high risk complex pregnancies to bring you the babies you are now telling her you’re walking out on. Tell her you’re going to continue the affair and move 2,000+ miles away and shrug when she asks if you’re in love with her. Do not consider how cruel this is to do to her at any point in the process.
You’ve been embroiled in an emotionally charged night after the truth has come out. Your wife is distraught and sobbing in the kitchen. Which of these options did you feel you HAD to choose?
- Go stay at your parent’s house for a few days until she is calmer and plans can be made for packing, sorting, moving, travel, children, etc. Take the babies with you for the afternoon to give her some space to breathe and think about everything that’s just been laid at her feet. Consider her feelings as being as important as your own.
- Take your packed bags and walk out on her to care for two small babies with zero help in the throes of her deepest agony and despair. Leave the bed unmade and your dirty laundry on the floor and the house a mess and a hot cup of coffee on the counter. Never return. Do not consider how cruel this is to do to her at any point in the process.
You’ve walked out on your family, and your wife is now having to sort and pack and move out of state on her own with no help and limited resources. Which of these options did you feel you HAD to choose?
- Fly or drive back to assist in the process. Accompany them on the long journey or meet them at their destination to help them with the trauma that they’ve all just been through. Consider her feelings as being as important as your own.
- Do nothing. Force your wife to pack up and drive with a 1 and 2 year old unaccompanied 3 states away to seek help from family. Let her take on the role of mother, father, hired muscle, cross country driver, and maid for your life while her heart is shattered and her mind is a mess. Give vague well wishes by phone from your mistress’s bed. Do not consider how cruel this is to do to her at any point in the process.
You’ve moved 2,000 miles away, and your children are being forced to grow up without their father in their life due to your choices. Which of these options do you feel you HAVE TO choose?
- Spend time on each coast to ensure that you are there for your children. Put their need for a father before your needs, desires, and other relationships. Take them to sporting events and doctor’s appointments while your ex-wife finally has a chance to go earn money and complete specialized training. Consider the children’s feelings as being as important as your own.
- Remain an absentee father. Intentionally extricate yourself from the role of father in the lives of your children by claiming you can’t afford to travel since you’ve now had another baby. Be a live-in parent to that child, ignoring the fact that this will emotionally confuse and harm your forgotten children. Cease paying child support and accrue arrearages of nearly $30,000, causing suffering and hardship and pain that you have never once asked the details of. Act like Mr. Rogers on Skype calls as though you are not actively harming your own children. Do not consider how cruel this is to do to them at any point in the process.
Human Decency Scoring System: 7-14. The lowest score indicates highest level of self-awareness, while the highest score indicates a complete lack of interest in the harm caused to others. All numbers in between indicate a gradation, getting worse as the number gets higher.
7: Decent but flawed human being. Weak and selfish, but understands fundamental concepts about accepting responsibility for their actions. May not have learned many life skills. Makes poor choices but understands and feels guilt, shame, and remorse.
14 – Cold, calloused and cruel. Indifferent to being the cause of suffering. Every choice made is to mitigate effort or pain on their part, despite the deep harm that may bring to others. Makes every effort to still be seen as normal person, despite egregious treatment of those closest to them. Insists that they are well-meaning and abdicates all responsibility for the harm their weak and horrific choices inflict on others.
As you might have guessed, Honey is a 14.
Honey, I get it now.When you said ‘I HAD to do it this way’, you could not have spoken truer words. Of course this is how YOU had to do it. It’s not in your nature or character to have done it any other way.
Thanks for the (unintentional) clarification.