Trust is a 4-letter word

Ok, so I’ve been having some issues with trust lately – hence my last post.  And I have a cold which is exacerbating everything.  But tonight was one of those evenings that if I didn’t write about it, would just fester in my head.  It’s been a couple of days (honestly more time than that) since I’ve been struggling with how much I can or really want to trust my ex-MM/BF.  The issue with his parents is galling and has been gnawing at me for a long time, which caused the eruption on the phone the other day but the precipitating cause was different.

A couple of years ago, MM was traveling to another state on business.  He was with a couple of vendors.  One of them invited a woman friend to join them, which she did.  The next thing I knew, MM had “friended” her on Facebook.  He likes to amass people on his friend list.  Interestingly, he develops a relationship with her where they speak.  How do I know?  Because he told me that he shared some sage advice I had given him with her, and how smart he sounded.  I wasn’t really happy about that then.  Of course, the old maxim “once a cheater, always a cheater” played on a loop in my head. 

Then she shows up on his business networking contact list and thinks nothing of asking him to help a “friend of hers” find a job.  None of this makes me too happy, and I tell him that I don’t really understand the need he has to be her friend.  He tells me that I’m foolish to worry, there’s nothing going on, he loves me, blah, blah, blech!  So I let it go.  OF course the absurdity is that he’s married and sleeping with me.  What’s to say that he wouldn’t be with someone else?  Once a cheater . . .

I subsequently learned that she was getting divorced through a posting on Facebook.  (Ah, isn’t that just the way of the world these days.)  And still, I don’t say anything, don’t mention anything.  Flash forward to Thanksgiving 2010.  MM is in the midst of his divorce, we’re a “couple” and his joining me and my family for the holiday.  I don’t know why he’s passed me his blackberry, but I see that he was texting this woman as he was driving up to be with me.  I said that I was surprised he was speaking with her and he makes to reach for his blackberry which I give to him saying that there must be plenty to hide if he doesn’t want me to see it.  (Of course, the last time he had his blackberry taken from him and read – his wife learned a whole heap o’shit!)  He tells me that he has nothing to hide and tells me to read the texts.  And they are in the order of him giving her his new cell phone number, telling her to call him because he’s in the car for a few hours going upstate, but at no time does he mention that he’s coming to see ME!!  The emails have to do with how hard the holidays are when you’re single/getting divorced and he  empathizes, but doesn’t say that he’s not alone!  I was furious!  I tell him that I don’t quite understand the “need” he has for this “friendship” and that I would like him to not be friends with her.  I can think of only one other time that I ever asked that of anyone (shockingly it was him) and that was from a work situation.  He refused.  He told me that I was over-reacting and that there was nothing going on.  I told him that’s how I felt, and that there were men that I was friendly with that made him uncomfortable that I was no longer friends with or had limited “work only” contact with.  Once a cheater. . . Not to mention, that for the most part, men don’t often want to be “just friends” with women.  And if in fact that’s what happens . . . we all know how emotional relationships/friendships/affairs move to the physical. 

Then 2 days ago he posts something on facebook to which she commented.  And I thought it was more “intimate” than it should have been.  When I asked him, he told me that he only spoke with her about his ex-w so she meant it as a reference to her.  I told him that I was done.  First he tells me she knows all about me, but not my name, then he says that they only spoke about his ex-w, then he doesn’t ever remember his stories or keep them straight.  This was what precipitated the fight about his parents, about this woman.  I told him that I wanted him to unfriend her which of course led to the comment that if I didn’t trust him, then we have bigger issues.  Yup.  He’s right.  We have bigger issues.  Yup.  He’s right.  I don’t trust him.

Tonight.  Ah, tonight.  x-MM/BF was hosting his daughter’s slumber birthday party.  WOW.  My kids would rather not have a party if their only choice was to be with their father, but his daughter ASKED him to host it.  (I guess he’s not all bad.  😉 )  They were going to a hibachi restaurant first and then the girls were going to come over.  He learns in the late afternoon that his daughter has asked his ex-W to come to the restaurant.  (I’m sure it played out differently than that, since his daughter got her ‘nails and hair’ done with his ex-mother-in-law today, I have a feeling it went something like: mommy’s so sad that you didn’t ask her to come to your party today – that the kid was guilted into asking her.)  And of course, the ex-w said yes.  Really?!  What a shock.  So these were the texts:

Him:  Heading out.  I’m a little stressed.  Daughter asked mother to be at the restaurant.  Not psyched about that.  Look fwd. to getting back home with the girls.

Me:  You’ll be fine.  In the future,  u need to be clear with daughter.  Not to mention ex-w should have said no.

Him:  I feel shitty.  I can be the best dad in the world, but a dad can’t compte with a mom.

Me:  Not true.  Ever.  Don’t say that.  She’s playing u.  U need to set the rules.  Besides, daughter wanted to have her party with YOU!!!  I’m sure her grandmother said: mommy is so sad that she wasn’t invited . . .

Him:  I wish u were here   🙂

Me:  Next year.  And I wont let you be manipulated.

Him: Ok

Me:  Did ex-W show up?

Him:  Yes

Me: Ugh.  She’s horrible.  Tell her you expect that she pay for herself.

Him.  She’s paying half, so that’s good.  She’s all chatty and social with the couple at the end of the table.  What’s up with that?  Daughter asked her to be here and wanted her here and she’s not even talking to her.  I feel shitty.  Haven’t said a word to her.

Me:  You should have told daughter that it was your party for her that mom can do another one.

Him:  Just noticed that didn’t have dinner, just a drink.  What’s up with that?  She told son that she was having dinner later.  What the f? 

10 mins and I hadn’t responded and he says: R u there?

Me: Yes, I’m here.  Always.  helping my daughter clean her room.  Ex-w is disgusting & cruel.  She’s pathetic in the truest sense of the everything.  She’s all alone with her misery & herpes.  If she was so happy, she wouldn’t be putting on a frenetic show for everyone.  Very sad.  It’s all a facade.  She doesn’t have and has never had any friends.

Him:  I feel like the antisocial one.  I’ve been paying attn to son and taking pics of the girls.  She’s chattering on with the couple sitting at the end of the table like she’s Ms. Popularity.  And the kids are still paying attn to her.  Oh, and she’s dressed and perfumed for her date.

Me:    It’s a show with her costume and makeup.  If she were happy she wouldn’t behave like that.  She wouldn’t try so hard to convince everyone that everything was great.  And the sad truth is, but for her mother and the match.com guy who gave her herpes, she has no one.

Him:  Who knows.  I feel bad.  She just took off – overheard the guy tell her to have fun at her dinner party.

Me:  Really????????  Who knows??????????  Come on.

Him:  I don’t know.  Maybe she has a whole bunch of friends now.

Me:  Quick.  If you run after her, I bet you can still catch her.

For me, that was the final straw.  I couldn’t “listen” to the whiney, pathetic, whoa is me, drivel.  Shit.  If you want to be with her, be with her.  Stop your fucking whining already!!!!  I couldn’t take it.  He called me as soon as he got the kids home and I blasted him.  I’m not the one to make him feel better about his divorce!  Are you insane!!!!  All of sudden his ex-W is dressed up going out, lying about where and with whom and what???  He feels sorry for himself?  Boo fucking hoo.  I was yelling at him on the phone.  He wanted me to make him feel better about the father/mother dichotomy, he said.  No, he wanted me to make him feel better that his ex-w was going out and he was stuck home, that she was pretending to be something that she wasn’t and never was, because it would make him jealous that she was NEVER that way with him.  She wins!  Again!!!  When they were discussing the divorce, she must have told him a million times, that she wasn’t interested in dating, that she’s a homebody and that she was just going to get her life in order.  Yeah, right.  She was on match.com before she even filed for divorced.  She may be a homebody, but she doesn’t want to be alone, like her mother.

So, x-MM/BF and I finished up our discussion with him saying that he wanted me to be supportive, to which I responded that I had been VERY supportive, but the pity party was more than I could take and I had reached my threshold of stupidity for the evening. 

Let’s call it what it is.  I’m not there to make you feel better about your divorce.  I’m the reason for it.  I’m not going to make you feel better about your ex-wife having a life.  Good.  I hope she does and leaves you alone.  (Of course, I’ve been wishing that my ex-H would get a life and leave me alone, take me out of his cross-hairs).  I have talked endlessly about what a good father, parent he is and marveled at this daughter wanting to do her party at his home.  I’m tired.  I’m exhausted.  I’m sick. 

I’m not your mother.  You have a mother.  She doesn’t acknowledge me. 

Trust.  Yeah.  Bullshit.

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12 Responses to “Trust is a 4-letter word”

  1. melinda Says:

    Susan, I know you are sick but I am going to ask you to do something anyhow! PLEASE read over what you just posted at least four times out loud to yourself.

    I feel like you need to listen to your own SELF carefully! This is said with the utmost kindness and respect towards you. I just want YOU to listen to yourself, and also to TRUST ! your OWN words and feelings.

    Hugs melinda

  2. Anotherother1 Says:

    Susan, please thing about this, too. HE…should be doing everything in his power to be making YOU feel secure AND to make up for all he put you through while he was trying to “save” his marriage.

    What does he do to make YOU feel better? I hope he is actively trying to make up for all that he put you through. It was hell. Remember?

    Susan, you are such a wonderful, beautiful woman. You are free!!! It makes me sad to see you in this relationship that is STILL all about him.

    Believe me, I know how damn impossibly hard it is. I’m the last one who should ever give anyone advice….

  3. Susan Says:

    Melinda & AO1 – You’re right. I didn’t re-read aloud, but I did re-read in my head (2x). It is ugly in black and white. 😦

    We did, in fact, have a further discussion about the events of that evening. He said that a few things that I thought were interesting. 1. That it wasn’t about me; that he needed to vent; and as he’s so often said, he tells me everything. 2. That I’ve always made him feel good about himself and that was what he was looking for from me and he guessed that maybe he had pushed me one time too many. (Ya think?!?!?!?!) and 3. That as hard as he tries, he’s not the “mother” and that a father can’t compete with a mother, even a selfish, narcissistic, absent one.

    My responses were more measured and a little less (not much) hostile. 1. It is not a competition of who the kids love more, who does more for them. They know, they see, they get it. If you continue to always cover for ex-W, the kids will not see her for what she is and will be appalled/dismayed/deluded when they are older. They need to know that when mom sleeps late on Saturday and is too tired to take them to their activities, that they dont’ go; not that dad steps in and makes it right. That’s a two-fold problem: mom is never responsible, dad is a door-mat. They aren’t going to think – wow, dad really loves me. They are going to think that it’s ok to treat dad like a door-mat because he’ll do anything. Stupid and foolish to do that. They will also think that mom is without reproach. At some point you need to stop covering for her — you’re not a “team” anymore. (Of course my brilliant advice comes years of listening to/fighting with my daughters’ therapists). And then I told him: i think he’s jealous that it appears his ex-w has a glamorous, Holly-Go-Lightly life now and he doesn’t. Boo Hoo for you. And if history is any teacher, it is all a LIE. She has no friends, she never had any friends (remember she had to call YOUR friends to tell them about the affair since she didn’t have any of her OWN????) It’s an act and your buying it.

    Of course, the conversation moved to his parents which I blasted him about again and again. GROW UP ALREADY!!!! If you live your entire life looking for approval from someone that is NEVER going to give it to you, you’re going to be miserable. Let it go. Who gives a shit anymore what mom or dad say???? You’re a grown man. Once you stop caring, you will actually be happier. Ha ha ha ha. That remains to be seen.

    What I’ve learned is that you can’t tell people what to do, how to act, how to FEEL. They need to come to that realization on their own. Have their own “AHA” moments. For him, my speech is a lesson, not a FEELING of HIS or an AHA moment for him.

    Yeah, is he working to “repair the severe damage he has caused” me? (I can still close my eyes and see the “However comma” email). We have talked about it. I told him that I’m not past it. That I’m not over it. That I carry around a lot of hurt from that time and it will be quite some time before I over it. (RBM talks about blind faith and trust; what he doesn’t talk about it is “time” and “talking.”) I need to talk about it, yell about it, look him in the eye and ask him why, why, why. I know what the answers are. I know that he’s a different person today than then and that he’s done things, lived in a way that was heretofor unimaginable to him, his parents, his upbringing. Good for him. It still doesn’t excuse him. The thing that concerns me most when I talk about trust, is that as I find it elusive, I will start to be more and more and more guarded. I will find others with whom I can confide, feel open, vulnerable with and it wont be him. And eventually, the relationship will die. So, we’ll see where we go from here. We’ll see if i have it in me to “trust” and if that he’s really who I want to be with.

    In the aftermath of an affair we lose track of who we are, what we want and how we got so hurt. As I re-read some posts I saw that with the passage of time, I was starting to feel better about myself. It’s been a shitty year (personally and professionally). I feel that I only have strength for one battle at a time – and right now I need to earn a living. When x-MM/BF pisses me off, I don’t answer the phone or respond to his texts. Fuck him.

  4. melinda Says:

    Susan, from where I sit, you are a wonderful GF to this man and he should be so proud! I can’t believe the patience you have, and the compassion. Yes you get angry at him and yell at him, but it is always out of your real feelings and the need to be heard, not any maliciousness in you towards him. I wish he was more like this with you! (My need, not necessarily yours).

    I wonder have the two of you tried therapy? It seems like you are doing too much of the emotional work on your own. This BF needs to step up to this plate too! (IMHO). It is clear this year has been rough on you BOTH but there seems to be enough of an interest on both of your parts to continue as a couple for now, at least, so why not try some couple’s counseling? Or maybe you already have?

    Best wishes, melinda

    PS My original advice still stands: PLease Read and re-read your blog words out loud! Listen to yourself and BELIEVE yourself! No one will or can do this for you, not even a “beloved”……Only we can do this for ourselves.

    • Susan Says:

      Melinda – I have thought about counseling – just to talk through some of the issues. I have been very honest with him about my thoughts and feelings. What I really think sometimes is that there are things he needs to talk about and discover about himself in his own individual therapy. It doesn’t help for me to tell him, although I have had my fair share of ‘aha’ moments while speaking with him. Emotionally, he is completely different than I am. His relationship with his parents is that of a child & adult. I can’t make him change that. I can point things out, but he has to FEEL it. I can tell him what I want, what I need and he’s willing to work towards it. So that’s a plus.

      He carries around a tremendous amount of guilt – not just about the affair, but about everything. It is not possible to live up to expectations that you can never meet, especially when the bar is always moving. He married someone like his mother – cold, distant, narcissistic. His ex-w blogged on her marriage board that they had a great relationship until the affair – until she DISCOVERED it?!?!?! Was she living under a rock? He had been unhappy for years and she never noticed. He was so unhappy and more than 10 years ago he shared it with his father who told him to “suck it up.” Wow. What must it have been like to grow up being him. While the divorce was pending, his kids were spending time with his parents in Florida while he was working. He asked his mother to maintain a log of when his ex-w called the kids and when she was unavailalbe to speak with them when they called her. You know what she said? She said she COULDN’T and WOULDN’T do that as it was their mother. Is she insane? It was HER SON asking her for help during an ACRIMONIOUS DIVORCE. And she denied him in favor of who? A stranger, not her own child and not her blood. His father offered advice to his ex-w about how to proceed in the divorce and when BF confronted him, he said: what would you do if it were your daughter? It wasn’t HIS daughter. It was his SON.

      So, yeah, we have issues, yeah, he’s immature, yeah, I’m having trust issues, yeah, I need some stroking, reassurances and YOU BET that I want him to make it up to me all the time. BUT – I don’t want to be his ex-w or his mother. And he WANTS to be with me – not because it’s “right by everyone”, but becuase HE wants to; because HE’s happy when he’s with me, because HE loves me, is attracted to me and feels alive when he’s with me. Yeah, mommy dearest doesn’t like me, wont acknowledge me or listen to what he has to say about it and so he doesn’t. But what she underestimates is that when he’s with me he’s happy. Apparently the need for him to feel that is so great that: he fell in love with me in 2006, began a physical affair with me in July 2007, exploded his life in December 2009 and finalized his divorce in October 2010. Sucks for her, I guess. 🙂

  5. melinda Says:

    Well Susan I give you credit for hanging in there! This has been anything but easy for you (and for him) too over the past year. As a divorced woman myself, to another divorced woman, I can tell you something you already know: Your MM hasn’t even had a chance to process his marriage being done, let alone his horrible childhood. Then there’s him trying to be the “perfect Dad” in a divorce situation. Obviously the guy is up to his neck in crapola. And we both know how futile it is trying to be the “perfect divorced parent”. That is a minefield all its own!

    As a person who had a horrible childhood too, I can say I “get it” when I see what he is going thru with these parents. But still, alas, he needs to grow up if he wants to be an adult in the adult world and to have an adult woman by his side. Earlier in my life, I, too, was definitely “too needy” and emotionally immature and my unresolved childhood issues drove more than one guy crazy.

    However years of therapy, and twelve steps groups have helped a LOT. Now it is up to your BF to decide how far he is willing to grow alongside a partner? This is a big question for him, but I also see that you do (kindly) give him a lot of rope (with which to hang himself, LOL). I wish the very best for you Susan: you are worth it! REMEMBER: Don’t think you will never find anyone else besides this man, as it simply isn’t true! m.

    • Susan Says:

      Thanks, Melinda. Very nice of you to say such kind things.
      You’re right – I don’t think that he’s even begun to deal with the end of his marriage. But somewhere in the back of his mind, when it died, he let it go. What he needs to deal with and come to terms with is his fantasy concept of “nuclear family” and what that means. He was raised to believe that a “family” is defined as a mother, father and children all living under the same roof. What he needs to come to grips with is that his children are better off with 2 happy parents in 2 homes than a miserable, quiet, angry home with unhappy adult role-model(s).

      As my marriage got worse and worse, I found that I was spending more and more time focusing on my children – to the exclusion of all else. Certainly, I did not have a healthy adult relationship/partnerhsip in my life and so I had nothing but them. They were the beginning, middle and end for me. And I knew that wasn’t healthy for anyone. x-MM/BF has been living like that since his children were born, hence I see the ‘perfect parent” issue looming in front of his eyes. The conversations we’ve had are about any chance he has to be with them, even if it means babysitting for his ex-w, he will take. UGH!!!! That’s not healthy – for anyone concerned.

      And last but not least, I too have spent years in and out of therapy. Your last sentence hit home. It is a loop that plays in my head whenever I’ve been in a relationship. The “what ifs” : What if I never meet anyone else; what if: i don’t fall in love again; what if: no one asks me to be with them; what if . . . . on and on and on. I have business partner who told me the other day that the next years are the best of my life – personally, professionally, physically, mentally – and that now is the time to meet people and find “the one”. And she knows x-MM/BF. So I hope that one day, I see what everyone else sees.

  6. melinda Says:

    Ah yes, the nuclear family stuff. Weren’t most of us raised with that? All the “what ifs” you mention are clear evidence in your case (and in MINE) of our painful childhood programming. These are negative, self-defeating thoughts that only cause us to stop growing and searching. Try not to play these thoughts in your head if possible as you ponder your relationship with your current BF.
    He either IS or IS NOT good for you or something in between (!) but this is not because he is the “best out there”, or your “last chance” at finding real love.
    Ignore your head when it tells you how you will never find a guy again….Hogwash!

    • Anotherother1 Says:

      I totally agree!!!!! You are an amazing, intelligent, attractive woman. You know….just a thought…but being with XMM/BF is preventing you from exploring any other option.

      And Melinda is correct. When the shit hit the fan, you were in the process of leaving him. What were the reason for that??? If I remember correctly, it was because even then you knew that YOU were way more powerful, strong, intelligent of a person than your (then) MM.

      It was when you were under the horrible grip of rejection, that you needed to have him back. Was that LOVE?? Or was it wanting to win? You have won, baby. Now cut loose, and find YOU…find someone who is WORTHY of YOU!!

      OK, and I know….who in the hell would take advice from ME??? Of all people, I have made more mistakes in love than anyone I know. On the other hand, who can better point out mistakes in love than me? 🙂

      I love who you are!!! I have this image in my mind of this wonderful, strong, incredible man who will value all of the wonderful things you are. NOT a man who needs from you, but a man who compliments you!

      Love…. P

  7. melinda Says:

    Last but not least you need to recollect the reasons you wanted to bail out yourself at one time from this relationship? (When he was still married) Are those reasons still relevant today or only water under the bridge now? What did you see that made you want an exit? Can you remember clearly and does it matter now? Higs, M.

  8. secondplace Says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for writing this blog. February 19th I was informed that my MM’s W found out about our affair. He aplogized over and over. Said she suggested they go to counseling for 6 months and he had to end our relationship. He tried to say that there were no guarentees it would work out between them but I stopped him right there and told him that wasn’t fair to say to me.
    No contact since (except from word of mouth from a mutual friend who told me he told her missed me and felt horrible but has to submit to his W’s request. He tells her to check on me for him and asks her how I am doing. But I have no contact with him)
    I was sad for a while, then in total denial of any pain, soon after angry at him. And now I’m sad again. Just can’t stop hurting. I really miss him and I wish I could stop crying about this.
    I know most people would think I deserve to be hurt for being with him. But this is the first place I’ve read where someone finally gets what I am feeling without suggesting I’m some horrible person. So thank you for writing about this, atleast I don’t feel so alone and I know the crappy emotional part will end at some point.

  9. JCC Says:

    I’m in the process of doing the same thing – trying to figure out what I want. Who I want….
    http://lettersintothevoidjcc.blogspot.com/

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