Starting the Journey

Yes, there are plenty of blogs written about cheating and infidelity.  The journey that an offended party goes on is surely similar in many respects to that of grief.  There is the denial.  The “no, this cannot be happening to me/us”.  Then comes anger – how dare you do this to me, what was the point, I need to kick your head in.  Followed by a slice of bargaining from either side – “I promise to put her down”, “come back for the kids sake”, “we can make this work”.  Then there is the depth of despair, the depression and why bother with life if you are not in it stage. Then lastly we have acceptance and can hopefully move on.

I am aghast that my partner not only had sex with someone else (I could have handled that) I am rocked to my core at the level of deceit involved. The lies, the betrayal, the reassurances that everything between us was okay, that he wanted to be with me, that he wanted us to be a family, that he was working hard for us – a conscientious family guy who took in jobs, worked long hours. He was a great father, a wonderful lover, a kind man. Yet he was dishonest, a cheater, a manipulator, emotionally abusive on a subtle level, financially abusive, a fraudster. Heck, if he had the marriage certificates he’d be a bigamist!

The pain of our story had wrecked me yet it has also allowed me to re-evaluate myself. As is common I blamed myself for the affair – I wan’t pretty enough, not caring enough, not desirable enough, too controlling, too weak, too successful, too kind, too trusting, too lazy, too boring, too mumsy, too damaged by my own problems and concerns. I cannot even now think of anything I have done either intentionally of accidentally that would in any way give someone the fuel or incentive required to behave in a hate filled and disrespectful way to me.

Even if he had fallen out of love with me or wasn’t liking the person I had became over the years then tell me, be honest, be open, say you need space or want to leave for a while. Yes I’d be hurt but I’d manage. I’d manage far better than how I am now as there would have been an appreciation of his honesty, that he respected me enough to vocalise his feelings, that he was not shy of opening up and laying it on the line, that he could read his own feelings and interpret what he needed. By carrying on regardless and ploughing through and making a mess of everything he touched. By upsetting so many people, by lying, by being deceitful, by thinking he could pull this whole thing off, by taking an extended ego trip, by thinking he could stick his dick up anyone by using mistruths and lies to get what he wanted, all show acts of a selfish, ego driven nature, thinking he was better than anyone else and was in control when actually he was floundering, in a panic and avoiding all the issues that were going on around him.

I am not a psychologist and have only just started reading up on the topic but I know his behaviour is abnormal, that it may have been well hidden for years and that he has a well worn veneer that upon my discovery of his infidelity started to crack. He still tried to hold it together and continued his lies even though I knew all about affair number two with slutface and didn’t tell him. I watched him dig his own grave, saying there was nothing else to tell me, that he was staying at his male friend’s flat, he even lied or got mixed up about how he felt about Bitch woman – saying he loved her and that it had only been going on since February. His ability to spin out the lies was unravelling and it was painful to watch the effort he put in.

There were even bigger lies, well just as big a set of lies, and I don’t think there is any greater hurt than being betrayed by the one you love completely. I read somewhere that the only greater hurt than this kind of long-term infidelity and cheating is the death of your child! The pain is enormous.

For 20 years I believed the story he told about his father. He never knew who his dad was. He’d never asked his mother growing up and his mother had never told him. One day after much deliberation and hours of discussion with me on the topic, he plucked up the courage to ask his mum. We were in a pub as he wanted to do it in public so it’d be more civilised and controlled. I left them to it.

After the event, maybe over the course of several weeks he told me his mum had given him the address of his father’s sister. She lived in the same town and had two children (his cousins) and he met them and went to their house, they were very nice and treated him well and with much kindness. They told him details of his father, which he in turn told me, that he lived in London and had a wife and children, that he’d arranged to meet him and they’d talked on the phone. His supposed meeting with his father didn’t take place until months and months, maybe years after this chat with his mum but at some point he did tell me that when he was in London visiting pals he did meet his dad and went for dinner with him. I remember asking what his dad’s name was and he gave me a weird avoiding answer so that even now I could not tell you what name he had told me and at the time I got a funny feeling but I thought he was just feeling awkward about it because it was so personal to him and made him over emotional. I felt I couldn’t mention this to his mum as he either said or gave the impression that his mum didn’t know he was going to London to meet his dad. So I kept quiet. For years.

Every so often I was fed a nugget. Like he’d met up with his dad when he was up visiting Edinburgh for work. He took our son to meet him. I thought at some point he would introduce me to his father but he never did. There was always some excuse – he’s having to travel back early or he’s got his wife with him or that there wasn’t time. Nothing that suggested he was fabricating this tale. I just thought it was all too emotional, it was his personal family business and I’ll leave him to deal with it as he saw fit.

He must have realised he could reel me in and I’d believe him even if the truth was nothing like the picture he painted. The only reason I now know this to be a long two decades of spun out lies is because after I discovered his affair with Bitch woman, she came round to the house to talk to me and she was the one that told me about his “dead Jewish dad”.  It all unravelled from there. I could not understand why he would not have told me this important life event. I asked him about it. He squirmed. He said he couldn’t talk about it. That it was too painful. I felt for him. I felt deep anguish that he could not confide in me. That he had been carrying this weight of grief. Bitch had told me he attended the funeral. And I thought it strange that at no pint he had ever told me or I’d noticed a change or that he went away for a few days to attend this funeral. I was very confused. He told me his dad had died at the same time that his mate C was getting married in London, that he didn’t want to spoil their big day. I said I’m sure C would have understood, that he hadn’t of coped alone and should have told someone. My heart went out to him, he’d been dealing with this anguish alone, he’d never now have a proper relationship with his biological father. I then thought the penny had dropped and he’d been left money in the will (like he always wished he would, that he be recognised in his dad’s will as his long lost son that he was too mortified to tell his wife about so secretly gifted him some money in the will) according to Bitch woman there was a fight at the funeral because of this….

My concern but not yet fully fledged suspicion was raised. I felt pity and empathy. How could my buddy go through this hurt without letting on, without confiding in me like he had about all his other father anguishes and confusions. It was then it clicked. He didn’t because it was not true. He had lied to Bitch to gain sympathy, to paint a poor-me picture. Then I realised if he’d lied to Bitch he’d probably lied to me. Which version of his story was true? I honestly didn’t think he’d lied to me for nearly 20 years! But he had. We were all puppets in his make believe life.

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