Friday, February 24, 2017

What can your affair (AKA disaster) teach you?


I think Chi is showing me:

1.) where my self esteem still needs healing, and

2.) that I'm really, really, really, really needy. And that isn't good.

Why do I think all of this?

1.) When the astrologer told me Chi was "activating my house of self esteem," I assumed that was good. He thought I was beautiful, sexy, loved how well we communicated, and told me the night he broke up with me that I "had set the bar high." 
Never did I think that he might be "activating my house of self esteem" in a BAD way--showing me what was still wrong with it! I thought, I had a great marriage with Simon! therefore I am capable of one, so nothing is wrong with me.

Maybe not. I was writing in my journal the other night, noticing that one reason I'd feel pulled to resume an affair with Chi is that I feel a great need to prove I'm a worthier choice than Rory, when I remembered a couple of things.

The whole reason this started in the first place is, the night I decided to tell Chi how I felt, I had a stack of reasons not to on one hand, and a stack of reasons to tell him on the other.

The thing that broke the tie was that CHI KNEW ME. He saw me with Simon for eleven years; he KNOWS I'm excellent, quality material, and that I treat any man I'm with very, very well. And I know he knows this. 

I chose to tell him how I felt that night because he was telling me he felt repulsive to women and unlovable. I knew if it was ME telling him that he wasn't, that I in fact adored him: HE'D BELIEVE ME. And I was as good to Simon as I know how to be, and everyone who knew me and Simon (including Simon) agreed that that was considerable.


He knows that already, and this is not in doubt. I can't offer any better proof of that than I already have.

So, any waffling about taking him back someday is unnecessary. I have already proven to him that I am pure gold, and there is no need to demean myself to prove that any further. 

He knows what's over here.

That really made me feel a whole lot better. I felt better for two whole days.

Until I remembered this picture I saw online. It occasioned a comment from one of Chi's friends about a possible mid-life crisis, and Chi's reply was something about having gotten over that. Smiley-face emoji.

I felt punched in the gut when I saw it. (Everybody knows what most men do during their "mid-life crisis." And, in Chi's case, I was it.) 

Now I remembered that "mid-life crisis" comment and felt punched in the gut again. Every time I thought of it.

I had to wonder where that came from. Why should I care so much if this person has written off the best I had to give him as nothing more than a "mid-life mistake?"

Apparently, I care very, very much about what this man thinks of me.

I love him very much. And when I receive evidence that he thinks I am not valuable, trash, a mistake, throwaway crap, it really, really, really, really hurts.

It hurts as much as when my stupid mother would start screaming at me about grades that weren't high enough, calling me lazy or something when the truth was that pre-algebra was just damn hard and I didn't quite get it. One time I was sitting there during a screaming match like this--she was angry because some other child had gotten a better grade than me, and I retorted that that child's mother was a teacher at that school--and all of a sudden my face stung. Really hurt. And I was like: What the hell was that?

Until I happened to look over a few minutes later and see the plastic comb she had been combing her wet hair with lying on the floor. She had thrown that comb and hit me in the face with it! And then got angry with me a few days later when my grandfather asked me how I got that bruise on my face and I didn't lie for her. (I didn't tell what she did, I just didn't say anything.)

During episodes like that, when my parents would scream and yell at me over things like this, I would start to cry because I was so upset. And then my mother would say, "Look at her, crying. She's just trying to manipulate us and get out of trouble."

And that would make me cry even harder, because it hurt so damn much. Here I was, so hurt and upset by the things they were saying to me, so upset that they thought so badly of me, and then they misread me so badly and I couldn't do anything at all about it. Nothing I could have said would have helped. They had me pegged as a bad, mean, manipulative, hateful little child, when I just wanted them to love me and I was trying so hard to be good.

And that is exactly how ripped apart I felt reading those words, "I'm well past that," with a  smiley face. The very same punch to the gut. 

As if Chi was doing the same thing to me and feeling the same way about me, that I had just been manipulative and mean, and that I was worthless, not worth caring about. That the best I had looked like trash to him, just like it looked like trash to my parents. When I loved them, I really was having trouble in math and I was not lazy, and I was trying so hard to be the best child I could be. To have that called something terrible and not have who I really was recognized at all, and then be treated so cruelly and meanly on top of that, is a horrible, horrible experience. 

And this experience felt to me exactly like that one. And that's why it is still upsetting me, even though I know I have shown this man that I am pure gold and that when I love a man, I do a pretty good damn job.

It feels horrible to be so misunderstood, and to be called cruel names, when you gave the best that you had to someone you love.

But worse, here, is that some of it is true. I loved Chi, and I did all I could to show him who he really is--a person supremely worthy of being loved. 

But I was selfish, too. I WAS trying to hook someone into taking care of me. I WAS afraid I couldn't manage in the world by myself, especially financially, and part of it was that I WAS trying to hook him into taking care of me. And, yup, he had every right to be angry and upset about that. 

If he wanted to call me trash on that account, and put me down as nothing more than a mid-life crisis, well, he'd be well within his rights on that front. The affair wasn't ALL that, not by a long shot, but it was about 15% that. I was scared of being all alone to take care of myself financially for the rest of my life. I wasn't doing well enough at work then to do that. And now I had no one to fall back on. 

And I actually remember thinking, early, before it all started, that he obviously was someone who could be easily strongarmed into taking financial responsibility for a woman, and God knows I'd offer him a HELL of a lot more help--a HELL of a lot more, period--and treat him a HELL of a lot better, than Rory. 

I just wanted some damned HELP and support in my life, a real helpmate, instead of ending up struggling on my own all the time to take care of myself and a bunch of old, sick, feeble, dying people.

White Knight shit. (So-called after the book, White Knight Syndrome: Rescuing Yourself from the Need to Rescue Others, by Marilyn Krieger and Mary C. Lamia.) Sometimes part of White Knight Rescuing really IS self serving. And on some level, Chi knew that. One of the best pieces of advice I've ever seen about Neptune (and Chi is heavy on the Neptune) is this:

The answer lies in an aspect of Neptune that provides the key to really understanding it. Neptune is a totally selfless energy, not readily harnessed to the demands of the human ego.  If you have a strong ego-wish that something be a certain way, Neptune's involvement becomes dangerous.  The more your ego needs to enforce a situation, the more Neptune will delude you about it.  

This is ACoA stuff. Chi is so exquisitely sensitive to what others want from him in a relationship that if he wants the caring and the love from you, he just sniffs your dream out and presents you with it--voila! And he even deludes himself.

How many years had I been hearing how fascinating a certain hobby of his was, only to be hearing now that his heart really wasn't in it, he really wanted to pursue other activities, and he just got into this other hobby in order to get through gatherings of hundreds of people when he was such an introvert and really didn't enjoy it. He was just doing it because of Rory and the kids.

Here he was asking me how I felt about moving in together and sharing expenses, or him moving upstairs and helping me with expenses anyway even if he wasn't living in my space! At the time, I was shocked. (And happy.)

And now I'm just ashamed of myself. I am doing fine at work. I can take care of myself. I never, ever needed to manipulate or ask this of him. 

Yep, on this front, I AM a bad decision, and a "mid-life crisis," too! Rory may have lived in that house in a very lopsided situation regarding who does the most work and contributes the most to keep their life going, but she was the stay at home WIFE who raised the kids and that was the dynamic they agreed on.

I was just the interloper Jezebel. And a calculating, selfish one at that.

So, it's both things. I react to Chi's opinion of me just like he's my family members--the threat of whose shaming kept me in professional school even though I knew I wasn't going to be happy--and I'm ashamed of myself for being selfish. For USING HIM. When I was very, very angry with Rory about the same thing.

I would like to know what to do about this leftover parental shame. I know how they treated me was bad, and that I don't deserve it. Why does this keep cropping up? How do I get rid of it?

I never had to deal with it with Simon, because it never came up. With's coming up. Along with the White Knight shit.

(And that's exactly what that is. Shit.)

I'd like to figure out how to root these things out of my personality. They are causing me trouble.

I guess here's where I have to ask for advice, since most of the time I can figure it out. This time I am having a bit of trouble.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Grieving the Married Man


If you follow me on Twitter or on Facebook, you will have seen that recently I, yes, attracted yet ANOTHER married man.

WTF?? Do I have a sign around my neck or something?

I wanted to like the guy (well, before I found out he was married), I really did. Every time some new guy shows up at a club meeting, I think, maybe this one will be interested; if so, I should give him a chance. Maybe this will be the new healthy relationship with an available person of like mind who will make me forget about Chi.

That’s the litmus test for a man these days. If he can make me forget about Chi, he’s got real potential. I try to give ‘em a chance, I do.

I didn’t like this guy before I found out he was married. Well, no, I don’t mean that. He’s a perfectly personable human being. Before, I guess, he started IM’ing me incessantly in that annoying way, and then at the end of one meeting he turns to me and finds an excuse to invade my space and stroke his hand up and down my arm. That was about the moment that, “I’m trying to like the guy,” turned to, “Ewwww!!!”

He's a smart enough person, and definitely accomplished. It’s just that everything about his personality reminds me of everything Chi was and this person is not.

When a guy you loved more than anything dumps you, and then you realize the emotional problems the guy had, do a little research, and find that some manifestations of these problems are downright scary in terms of the health and longevity of a relationship, you start to think maybe you dodged a bullet. And it’s easy to accentuate the negative, and separate yourself from the situation.  

I was lucky, you think. This person can never have a healthy relationship with anyone, not without a whole, whole lotta work he didn’t seem willing to contemplate (and frankly, his therapist didn’t seem to have a clue, either. Was one senile or the other less than forthcoming?) How would I ever know when he was being real with me and when he wasn’t? How will I ever know that this decision he says is OK with him now won’t come back and haunt me in ten years: “I’ve never really been happy with that. I just acquiesced to please you, because I was too afraid you wouldn’t love me if I didn’t. And then I couldn’t be myself, so I talked about you instead of to you and now I’m cheating on you.” 

I love you, you love me, stuck in codependency!

Then a guy like this Ewwww Dude comes along and makes you remember, by comparison, all the things you fell in love with. I was having a hard time, for a while, remembering Chi’s voice. I remembered his face, all right. He has such a handsome face and the most beautiful blue eyes. But suddenly his voice came back to me. He really does have a lovely voice. And I remembered what it was like having him around. He has such a nimble mind. Such a sneaky and original sense of humor. He’d come up with some one-liner nobody else would ever have thought of, and it was always just so funny and so right. He was so smart, so curious and so interested in everything. He knew so much about books and movies I’ve never heard of, music I’d never heard of. Every year or so he’d come to a club meeting talking about some new hobby or activity he was into that I’d never known existed. He was multitalented and very good at all he did. He could debate anything and everything with a keen intelligence and no trace of ego or superiority. Long before we got together, while I was still married to Simon, even, I’d notice when Chi wasn’t there, and I’d miss him. And I adored Simon. He was the love of my life.

And this oaf made me remember all this. Not that I’d forgotten it, but in my fear of How Chi Could Destroy My Life (Not To Mention: His Own), it had gotten a little fuzzy.

It isn’t fuzzy anymore.

My therapist says I am experiencing a wave of grief. Yep.

Like I haven’t had enough of that already. I’m a young widow, for fuck’s sake.

I know that I truly love Chi. Yes, mixed up in that at the beginning was some pathological stuff. I was afraid for my future, afraid of facing life alone, attracted to his competence in the world and the things he can do so well that I was afraid of doing. I was addicted to the wonder-woman high of trying to save my mentally ill mother since early childhood. I was chuffed that such a smart, such a funny, such a sweet, nice, tall, handsome, well-off, good-looking, sexy, adorable guy with such a beautiful voice would actually want me.

But get over all that (and I did. It’s clear to me now that I am doing just fine, and I can survive on my own quite well, thank you. And I know now that I am something special, and he would be lucky to have me.) Get over all that—and there’s an awful lot left over.

To me, love is not only when you can put the welfare of someone else above your own needs—you don’t love someone if you will cause them pain to get your needs met—but also when you just love who they are. When that quality of mind that that person has, the tenor of their voice, the way they furrow their brow when they concentrate…the way you know something that just happened is going to draw some original and funny dry barb out of them and you wait to see what it is, and then it just hits the air like a little firecracker, and you just sit there and say, Wow

That’s love. When every way of the person’s being who he is is just precious to you, and you know you will be forever poorer for his loss. And you cry just typing the words.

Who knows if horoscopes are correct? Maybe Chi and Rory found each other again, maybe they got excellent help, maybe they’ve both worked their asses off in therapy and their marriage is very, very happy now. Maybe Chi is looking back on me now with shame, embarrassment, and regret. Maybe I will always be the villain in their story, not only to Rory, but also to him. But the love I gave him and still do was a true gift, whether he is ashamed of it or not. And as I sat there in tears in therapy today, I knew that. I’ll always be glad I gave it, and I’ll always be glad I knew him, whether I’m just shameful and embarrassing to him now, or not.

None of this pity party should suggest in any way that Chi should have picked me. Chi should not pick me because I’m sad. Not because I’m crying, not because I miss him, not because I appreciate the way he has of being in the world, not because I’m unhappy without him. Those things are MY problem, not his. The only reason Chi should consider picking me is if I’m the right one for him. If, in his judgement, I’m the right one for him. That’s the only reason anyone should choose anyone. We all have that right to make that choice for ourselves. We don’t make it because of other people, we don’t make it for other people, and it’s never good to allow other people to make that choice for us. The only reason to make it is when it’s the best choice, for US. If Chi picked me, he’d have to live with me. Nobody else would have to do that.

I have been blessed twice in my life by men with these fabulous minds and personalities: Simon and Chi. Both precious, wonderful souls, both fascinating, extraordinary men. Most women don’t even get blessed to be with a guy like this once. So I know how lucky I’ve been. Knowing what many women, friends of mine, have been “blessed” with in this  department, I know I have no right to complain.

The truth is that, for each of us, one day will be the last day we have sex, the last time we hold the one close to us, the last day we ever have the love of a special other in our lives again. For me, that day may have already come and gone. (Unfortunately, I’m very hard to please.)

But when the guy is married, and he goes back to his wife—and 99,999 times out of 100,000, they do, no matter what he says or what the situation is, how long you knew him, how much you know he really doesn’t want to hurt you, or how good a person he is—this is the special flavor of the grief you will be left with.

And that is why you stay the fuck away from married men.

Friday, February 10, 2017

WHY does the truly nice person cheat?


Currently, this person is incapable of treating me well.

Currently, this person is incapable of treating me well.



I’ve known this person almost twenty years at the time of this writing, and this is the first time I’ve ever been able to see this BIG FACT clearly.

This person, furthermore, is incapable of treating ANYONE well, at least in an intimate couple relationship.

The first time I scribbled myself this note, as I often scribble down ideas for this blog, I went on about how I didn’t know why I didn’t see this before.

Now I do.

I didn’t know this before because I didn’t know that he was an adult child of an alcoholic. And when I did discover that, I didn’t realize his ACoA problems were this bad.

When I first met Chi, I didn’t hear anything that didn’t mesh with my ideal of what I wanted and needed in a man. He was the sweetest, the nicest, the most darling man. That was what wrung my heart over how unhappy he was. If he'd been a rat, hitting on me, I would have said, "Yuck!" and run the other way. But he wasn't. He was handsome, he was funny, he was ADORABLE. I couldn't for the life of me understand why his wife was acting like such an ASS.

He was unhappy at having a wife who didn’t pull her own weight. Therefore, I concluded, and correctly, I still assume, that he will be a person who will pay his share, do his share. I’ve been so tired in my life of struggling to do everything by myself, and I have had some pretty bad situations dumped on me to handle just about all by myself. I heard tales of a wife who, yes, appeared to be quite a slacker, and when I began a closer relationship with Chi and heard more, I was absolutely appalled at some of the behavior I heard about.

But. What I wasn’t seeing was his complete inability to do the most important, the most important, the most important thing in any relationship: Be himself, and promptly, clearly, and consistently tell the truth about who he is, how he feels, and what he wants.And have a little fucking self esteem of his own that isn't dependent on having someone else bolstering and bolstering and holding him up all the time, moment to moment to moment.

This part, was hiding.

It was hiding behind Rory’s behavior. When you try and try to tell your truth to someone, and that person bites your head off, finds something you feel insecure about and attacks you with it, puts you down and embarrasses you in public, cuts off communication, won’t snuggle, and cuts off the sex, and you don’t feel great about yourself anyway—and you don’t want to leave and hurt your kids—you’re going to just stop talking to the person.

It looked like it was all Rory’s fault.

Especially when he could tell me things he’d never told anyone else EVER. When you see that, you think, It’s her. All he needs is a change of partner. And I’m wayyy better at this communication stuff than she is, so Problem Solved.

Heh. Heh. Heh.

What I didn’t see was such low, low self esteem that this person won’t tell his truth to anyone who gets too close. Because he thinks he’s such a subpar romantic partner that if he disappoints the woman in any way, she won’t love him anymore. All Rory did was get angry for five minutes and blame everything that went wrong in the marriage on him, and she had him back again. Out of guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt. I didn’t hear one thing in that goodbye phone call that sounded like, We really love each other, I can’t leave her, she’s my wife, we’ve found each other again.

I heard guilt. Guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt. When, I’m truly sorry to say it, but any idiot could look at the behavior I’d been hearing about for five months and know perfectly well that it was NOT all Chi’s fault. Not by a long shot.

So when I first met him, all the information I was exposed to was all the ways he’d make me a good partner, and during the four months we were in love all I was exposed to was him trusting me and telling me the truth.

I was not exposed to his fear of telling anyone too close the truth until the very end.

While he was with me, he felt good about himself. That made it easier to do the things a non-ACoA person would do: Recognize how deeply painful the relationship was and how it didn’t meet his needs. Notice the hateful way she often acted. Understand that nobody deserves to be treated that way, and make a comparison of how I made him feel vs. how she made him feel. Envision a better life. Know he was worth it.

Until she handed him guilt, and punctured that fragile self esteem again. Bye-bye!

I started out with a picture of him as a much healthier person than he actually was, and I didn’t see any evidence to disprove that until that last phone call.

And my vision’s been clouded still in all the months since.

Clouded by how happy I was. I didn’t want to let go of it.

Clouded by what a terrible thing I did in approaching a married man, and all of society’s mores concerning that. In this society, I am a bitch





So of course I lost him. I am a bitch!

Therefore, it was all my fault.

After all, we all believe the marriage is always best, (unless you’re Hillary and you go back to Bill), and anything that’s not the marriage is therefore bad.

So I beat myself up for several months over that. And I was insecure, and trying to acquire a helpmate in life. User! Manipulative!! So I beat myself up for several months over that. And, of course, all two people in a bad marriage need to do is talk things out, and so I beat myself up several more months over that.

And he’s such a good person. Such a sweet person. He truly is one of the gentlest, kindest souls I have ever, or will ever, meet. He is not a user. He is not a player. He is not a commitmentphobe. He is not a psychopath. He is a dear, darling, smart, sharp, hardworking, fair, sweet, sweet person.

So how can he ever treat anyone badly?

It has taken me an entire year and a half to realize that he will always treat the one closest to him badly, because he’s trying too hard not to!

(Yes, Virginia, you can be too damned sweet.)

When you cannot be honest, you will always,




hurt the person you love and destroy your relationship,


you will pretend

                                              and pretend

                                                                     and pretend

                                                                                          and pretend


to be what they want until it


that you can’t do it anymore.

And, if you are ACoA,


And that, my friends, is when you start to do things that hurt the other person SO MUCH MORE


that you are a clear and present danger to anyone you are in an intimate relationship with.

If we’d stayed together, this would have applied to me.

I grieved and grieved for a year and a half because I was reacting as if I’d be treated well. And as far as I knew, that was the case. He treated me well for four months. Because we didn’t live together, and he wasn’t afraid of losing me.

I wonder what the odds are that he’s being truthful now. He probably feels so guilty about the affair, and so thankful that the wife who rejected him for twenty years is acting loving again, that he’s doing the whole thing over.



If I see him again, it’s because he’s done the whole thing over,

And it hurts too much not to be himself.

It hurts to play someone other than yourself. It really, really hurts.


I don't care how Mom and Dad treated you, that doesn't make you bad. There isn't anything wrong with you, and you're supposed to be yourself. If you're not going to be yourself, why have a relationship? If all you want is to play a pleasing role and get your kudos for being other than who you really are, you can go to work and do that. You don't need a girlfriend, husband, or wife. Those are the people who are supposed to know and love THE REAL YOU.


Unless and until some people learn that, they will always end up destroying their relationship,

Because they believe it’s good to be someone else, and bad to be themselves

which leads to the WORST BEHAVIOR OF ALL,


And this is why Chi is not capable of treating me well. He’s only capable of treating me badly. Because to be dishonest in your intimate relationship is the WORST TREATMENT short of abuse that you can give someone. Because it's a relationship destroyer. It makes your whole relationship FAKE.  And a fake relationship, one in which you can't be yourself, one in which don't get your needs met, is one that's going to have a third party in it pretty darn soon.

But ACoA-ness, codependency, childhood abuse, low self-esteem make you believe that dishonesty is the right thing, because today it makes your partner happy. And this is very difficult to unlearn. Because you believe if anyone knew the real you, they couldn't love you.

This is very sad. But it does make it easier to let go of someone.

And it does make it easier to change your stance toward them to one that will promote health. Before, I was trying to trade love for devotion. “I’ll treat you the way you always wanted to be treated, and in return, you will be…

SO grateful.


So I'm not talking about the sociopaths. I'm not talking about the commitmentphobes. I'm not talking about the sex addicts, the Anthony Weiners who just CANNOT keep their weiners in their pants.

The truly nice, decent, sweet, loving people who really don't want to hurt anyone? This is why they are having an affair with you.

And it's no substitute for therapy.

It's no substitute for finally learning, waywayw
ayway deep down, that you are a lovable person.