Me and My Big Mouth (or keyboard)

So I have this friend, whom I don't see nearly as often as I want to....but I love her.  She's bold and brassy and tall and sexy and strong and a fierce mama.  Her husband left her a few months ago, for (gasp) a younger woman.  He gave her the same litany of excuses and reasons that so many of us get:  things are stale, he needs more (insert whatever primal need here; blowjobs, attention, steak dinners, whatever), this new chick just "gets him" in a way she never could, etc.  I have tried to be there for her during this whole process, the sifting process in which the woman who has been left behind tries to sort out the good stuff from the bad, a process which I know firsthand can be soul-wrenching and laborious and make you feel like you want to just jump in front of a speeding semi-truck somedays.  I know, firsthand, that realistically the only thing you can do for a woman in this situation is just be there for her.  Sifting is hard.

Anyhoo.  So when this woman first told me of the news, that her husband was leaving her for someone new and shiny and oh so much better for him than her, I thought I had done what most of us would do in this situation:  I picked a side.  When you're friends with both parties, you try to sell yourself a bill of goods which goes like this:  "I like both of them!  I can be friends with both of them and it will be ok and not at all uncomfortable or awkward for any of us!".  Bullshit.  It's like trying to be both a Republican and a Democrat.  Can't be done.

Or wait, can it?  I suppose in the cases of divorce where it was a truly two-sided, even, amicable split...I suppose it can be done.  I have another friend who is recently split, who has done just this:  she and her ex are parting as friends.  And knowing that, if the three of us ever find ourselves in the same space, I would totally be buds with both of them.  Because I know that's how she wants it.

That said, in a situation like the one my aforementioned friend is in, I don't think it's so easy for people who are friends with both parties.  I think a lot of people want to remain neutral, to stay in the good graces of both parties. And that mystifies me.  I think when you remain on good terms with the spouse who cheats and lies and leaves, that is the same as supporting what they've done.  I know, I've heard the rationale:  "But what he does doesn't define him, Jenny, he's still a good person.  I can't judge him, that's for God or Zeus or whomever to do."  Again I have to say bullshit.

In my very humble opinion, it does define a person.  Let's say, for example,  you have a friend.  He is a GREAT guy, a pillar of society, a stand-up dude.  Let's say, then, that this stand up guy is found guilty of, oh...let's say animal abuse. Bad animal abuse, like dog-fighting caliber. Would your former opinions of him still stand?  Would you still think that, deep down, this guy is still all that and a bag of chips?  I don't think so.  I think the act that he has committed has shown what kind of person he has been all along.

Same with  these guys who leave their families for greener, more taut, pastures.  And here come the waves of excuses:  But there are two sides to every story!  You don't know what he's been going through!  I get it, really I do.  I'm right there with you on the "two sides to every story" thing, really I am.  I am always the first to say that my marriage wasn't perfect, that there are things I could have done differently, but there is never, ever any excuse to cheat.  Never.  I summed up my feeling about this in a post titled, go figure, "Such Bullshit".  Click on the title if you want to read it...I was mad that day so it's kind of ranty, but I like it.

Let me just say that I don't condone ostracizing the offending spouse, or bad-mouthing them or doing any of that alienation junk.  I have never once asked my friends to not speak to Big Daddy, nor have I asked them to keep their kids from seeing mine while they are in the custody of Big Daddy.  That's not my call.  Would I let my kids go over to the house of a friend's ex-spouse?  It depends.  It would matter to me if the ex-spouse in question did something I found to be questionable.  I realize that doesn't matter to a lot of people, and I respect that.  However, I know that I find it unpalatable that my kids have to be around people who have done crappy things, and if I had my druthers they wouldn't be there.  But that's another diatribe for another time.  

So back to the point of this post:  When my dear friend confided to me that her husband was philandering, I thought I did what a friend should do:  unfriend him on the facebook. Apparently, though, I didn't do it, because last night, before I settled in with William to watch Iron Giant (OMG please, if you haven't watched that movie, do so very soon.  I forgot how completely awesome it is!) I perused my facebook for a few minutes.  And I saw that my friend's soon-to-be ex-husband (they haven't yet started the grisly dismemberment process) was tagged in a few pictures.  Being the nosy snoop I am, I clicked on them.

There he was, with his new lady (and her kids), enjoying a fun getaway to Florida.  At first I was just all, "Ewww."  and then I decided to read some of the comments people had left.

"OMG you guys are SO CUTE!"
"Good for you, man.  Good for you!"
"WOW girl, you snagged a hot one!"
"So so happy for both of you!"

And I got mad.  I got mad for my friend, who was home dealing with two teens while her a-hole husband was romping the beach in Florida with his new conquest (who, of course, looks A LOT like my friend.  What is up with that???).  I got mad for her kids, because their dad was on a vacation with some other woman's children.  I got mad for all of us who have been discarded when I read the comments other people had left.

So I did what I think a lot of people think of doing, but don't.  I left a comment.  I wrote, "XXXX, I feel sorry for your wife and kids."   That was it.  Then I unfriended him like I should have a few months ago.

Was I wrong to do that?  The pictures weren't even his, they were the girlfriends, but as one of his "friends", I was privy to them.  And as one of his friends, I was allowed to comment.

When I was going through my divorce, when Big Daddy unveiled Secretary to the world, when they came out as a couple, I often wondered if anyone ever said anything to them.  I wondered if anyone had the balls or the lack of tact (I'll admit that one right here, folks) or the integrity or the loyalty to call them out on it.  I don't think anyone did.  And I think that's a shame.  Because I think this is another case where silence is interpreted as support.

I don't support this kind of activity, so I wasn't silent.  Did I screw up?  I don't think I did.  It probably didn't come across as "HELL YEAH NORMA RAE YOU TELL 'EM" as I hoped it did.  In fact, it probably came across as very bitter and shrewish.  I don't care.

He sent me a message later that night, I didn't see it until this afternoon.  It was an angry message, in which he told me to mind my effing business, told me that when I was dumped he was on my side, told me how dare I sully his girlfriend's photos with my bitchy comment.  Then he told me to enjoy my life, and stay out of his.

Do you think I did the mature, emotionally-stable thing, and just delete/ignore?  Of course I didn't.  I had to write back.  Because it's how I roll.  So I wrote back (addressing him the way he addressed me, and also using the same "relaxed" writing style he did):

Yo XXXX, here's the deal 1 if that crap shows up in my newsfeed, it is my business. I've removed you from my friends and will go ahead and block you to save myself from further exposure to this kind of stuff. 2 Have Einstein fix her privacy settings...that way only people who support what you're both doing can see it and you'll only get positive responses. 3 thank you for your support during my dumping, it was appreciated. However, how anyone can go ahead and do the same thing after seeing what it does to the family torn up and left behind is beyond me. I've dealt with kids who became suicidal after Daddy left for something younger and shinier and newer, and let me tell you, it's not fun. It makes one angry and sad and when I see it happening to a family that I adore it makes those feelings even more tangible.

However I know you are in the honeymoon phase right now so nothing that I say will sink in.

I apologize for encroaching on your happiness, however I will never apologize for speaking up for women and children who are the victims of cheating husbands/dads.

You reap what you sow, ya know?

I will enjoy my life, and pray to all things good and positive and holy that you are able to enjoy yours.

Take care.


I am thinking that people will be divided on this one.  I'm sure that more than one person will tell me that I overstepped some lines, some boundaries, and you know what?  I'm sure I did.  But I am also confident that some other women, most likely women like me who have had their worlds ripped apart, will support what I did.  There are women out there who will read this and wish that someone had done this for them, so that all of those people slapping the Big Daddys of the world on the back and saying "Congratulations" may see, for just a second, the wreckage that these men have left behind.  And the friends of those women, the women who knowingly enter a relationship with a married man?  I think they need to see, even if it's just for a moment, what kind of disastrous consequences come from "snagging" a married guy.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.  Just like I'm sticking to the couch right now.  Even with the air cranked my pasty thighs are sweating like a whore in church.

Stay cool, friends.  And stand your ground when you are given the chance.  Or don't.  I won't judge you either way.  But someone will be grateful to you for doing it, that's a guarantee.


  1. Your response to him was completely appropriate. That is all.

  2. I think you responded with a lot more tact and dignity than I would have mustered.

    The "Good for you, Man" comment makes my SKIN CRAWL.

  3. Yeah Beth, that was the one that made me sick too. Yuck!

  4. Reading the comments you mentioned gave me goosebumps and made my stomach want to vomit it all out. How can they post these happy snappy comments knowing that the man left a family behind for this? Is this 'seeking happiness whatever the cost and for short term gain' the new norm I wonder sometimes.......
    Hats off to you, you did the right thing and I wish more people would be sticking to their beliefs and calling a spade a spade......
    I too have heard how great some people think it is that my X and his GF seem so happy blahblahblah.....Made me feel awful, as if they implied that he fled something very unhappy. What they don't realise or acknowledge is that it is having the GF and the affair that makes the marriage seem unhappy. Unhappy marriages don't make affairs, affairs make for unhappy marriages.

  5. Jeannette, I wonder if it's the new norm, too. Doesn't seem to shock people anymore, does it?

    Can you imagine what the feedback would be if a woman did this? I mean, I'm sure it happens quite often, but I cannot imagine people effusing such joy over a new coupling if it was a woman who walked away from her family to start anew. Maybe I'm wrong, but for some reason it seems to be just find and dandy for Daddy to switch things up, no matter how many people he hurts.

    And YEP. Bingo with your last line..."Unhappy marriages don't make affairs, affairs make for unhappy marriages."

    We should make bumper stickers with that saying on them. SO TRUE. I've never once heard of how an affair has helped a marriage.

    Thank you for reading, my friend.


  6. Loved both your replys!!! Way to go!!!

    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad to have your support. Thank you for reading :o)

  7. I'm with everyone else -- what you told this fool was brave, badass, and just plain awesome. His totally juvenile and pissy response only proves that he BADLY needed to hear exactly what you posted. I just would have added these quotes:
    "Instant Karma's gonna get you..." -- John Lennon
    "You want the TRUTH?? You can't HANDLE the truth!!!" -- Jack Nicholson in "A Few Good Men"

    1. Thank you, JCS. I appreciate your kind words! And love, LOVE the quotes. "Instant Karma". Perfect.

      Thank you for reading!

  8. Way to go, you!!!! This ass needed to be told exactly that! Why the hell should anyone be excited for them or congratulating their douchebaggeryness?? I doubt that any of them could get betrayed and destroyed and still think it's a great thing. It's all about perspective...

    1. Thank you Debsy. And thank you for adding the perspective side, too. So true...I wonder how their friends would respond if they had been the victims of cheating? Probably not so enthusiastically.

      Thank you for reading!

  9. Right on! I'm glad you had some good friends who totally had your back.

    I don't get it, either. I don't understand how they can look people in the eye and act like what they've done is cool. I think our society is a little effed up.

    Thank you for reading!!

  10. Hi Jenny,

    First off, I've got to thank you for writing this amazing blog. My fiance left me for a 20-year old (and he's 40, ugh) more than 10 months ago now, and it's only in the last week or so that I've been able to read anyone else's stories of betrayal and healing. I am SO glad I found your story, because it truly, excuse the cliche, makes me feel less alone, less weirded out by all the nasty things that have happened to me in the past year. I'm sure scads of your readers can say the same thing. You're helping yourself by writing this blog, but helping others at the same time, which makes you VERY cool!

    I had the "good fortune" of a little instant karma when the just-out-of-her-teens girl dumped my fiance two weeks after they came out as a couple, and just 48 hours after I got on a plane and left my home with him forever. (And my four cats. GRRRRRR.) My entire life had to be re-started, I got no real financial help as we weren't yet married and I couldn't ask for anything, my job looked precarious during those months, I had to find a place to live in a *hurry*, and out of state where friends were, since the girl he loved decided to shack up next door to us after she broke it off with her boyfriend. Charming. So, "leavin' on a jet plane" it was.

    I cannot, however, imagine going through all of that with four young kids. (I've got two, from my first and only marriage, and they're young adults now, so didn't live with me and my fiance at the time.) The "instant karma" boost didn't last too long, as the feeling of rejection and fear and insecurity and "who the hell WAS he?" lingers. (Sometimes it's nice to recall the pain he went through when she changed her mind, sometimes it makes not a whit of difference. Sometimes it actually makes the whole damn thing even MORE stupidly absurd.)

    The second reason I'm commenting -- you're a fabulous writer. I make my living as a writer, so take that as a major compliment. :) I've not read through your entire blog yet, but I hope somehow you can find someone to pay you for this talent. It's not just your story that's compelling, it's truly in *how* you relate it. Excellent. (And yet your technique never gets in the way of the raw human truth you're expressing. That's rare.)

    Thirdly, and lastly, and the reason I'm posting this comment under this particular blog post: don't waste a freaking nanosecond feeling even a microscopic speck of guilt for posting what you did on Facebook. You're human. You went through hell. You didn't "censor" yourself and you let your opinion be known without resorting to obscenities or rants. Isn't it interesting how the couple that cheated on their respective spouses are lauded and congratulated and seen as "to err is human" and yet you're being told you're a bad person for expressing one opinion. When that cheating couple gave in to *their* vulnerabilities and insecurities and didn't rise to a higher standard they destroyed two families and caused immense amounts of pain. When *you* acted out of emotion and vulnerability you posted a single sentence on Facebook and bugged a couple of people.

    BIG difference. Massive difference.

    You did the right thing. :)

    And you rock.


    1. Hi Salish!

      Wow...I have big fat tears in my eyes right now. Thank you, first of all, for letting me know that you found comfort here in these pages. Cliche or not, knowing you aren't alone in this can make all the difference in the world, right? I'm so very sorry about what happened with your and your fiance. You sound like a positive, smart and funny woman...his loss! I am truly sorry about the kitties though..do you know if he's taking care of them? I had to find new homes for my cats when we moved out of our little old house, and I still think about them all of the time. (I am a closeted cat lady)

      But hey, yay for that instant karma! What was he thinking?? 20 years old? She can't even buy a beer! I totally get what you mean, about the mixed emotions when thinking about how your ex may be feeling after being dumped...especially how absurd the whole situation is. I remember walking my dog one time, and saw Big Daddy drive by. We waved at each other, like you'd wave to a neighbor or your mailman (I think I actually wrote about this). But at the time I remember thinking, "How freaking bizarre this is". Life is funny.

      Thank you for the compliments on the writing...I am really humbled by your words. People who know me say that when they read my blog, they can hear my voice in their heads, and it's like listening to me babble in person. I just write what I'm thinking, glad you are able to decipher my crazy :o)

      Lastly, THANK YOU for the comments about this particular blog post. This one brought a lot of long-forgotten feelings to the surface: that pain of seeing "them" together, the seemingly blase' reaction from friends and family...it makes me so angry that more people don't stand up for the people who have been cast aside.

      Looking back on it now, I am so glad that I did that. Like I said in my reply to the dude, I doubt anything I said got through to him, but maybe...just maybe, for a second or two, someone who read that comment stopped to think.

      THANK YOU so much for this lovely comment of yours, I was out with a friend last night and told her that I had received the loveliest note on my blog. Told her that reading comments like this are all the payment I need.

      I wish you happiness and all the good things in life that you deserve. Thank you so much for reading.


  11. Are you right or wrong that is a matter of perception. Plus what good does it do to be right? What good does it do to be wrong? Unless it causes you to think. When I am faced with these situations I ask myself “Is this who I want to be?” If it is not then I look to see how I can change myself.

    For the record, based on my values, I think cheating on our partners sucks and lacks integrity. It is not who I want to be.

    What is apparent to me by your behavior and the emotion with which you write is that you are angry. When we are angry, there is powerful information in this anger to say what is occurring is not right for us. Then it is up to each of us to act in integrity with our own values.

    The energy side of anger, which we carry in our bodies, is destructive from a health perspective and it can cause us to have bad behavior which negatively impacts our relationships. I am very familiar with this as I have been angry since I was a kid.

    I was presented with a choice, carry this anger with me or let it go permanently. I was lucky when I went through my divorce, I was taught a technique that I could use to let go of my anger and all the other destructive emotions that I felt when my ex cheated on me. I choose to practice the technique and let go of my anger, fears of being alone and loss of everything that I held dear.

    The result was freedom from emotional reactions. I have been able to go on and live life as a totally different person. I am happier and I now live into my dream life without fear.

    We don’t know what God / the Universe has in mind for us. Perhaps these divorce occurs as a wakeup call for us to take some action in our own lives to become stronger mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Most of us aren’t aware of how to do this, especially in the emotional realm. I had been diligently working on becoming happy for years, perhaps this is why I was taught the Emotional Hot Button Removal techniques. I don’t know, but I do know that they have changed my life for the better.


  12. Hi Jacque..

    Thank you very much for your comment.

    Yes, I am angry. Not so much about WHAT happened to me, but the WHY.

    And I'm also pissed that my ex husband is still not paying child support, and has zero intention of doing so (never mind the 3 years of back child support he owes).

    I appreciate your comment, and I totally get where you're coming from. Seriously. I get all of the "letting go of anger" and "grow spiritually, become stronger emotionally" stuff. I do. I think we all have different techniques for getting over stuff...

    Some of us drink
    Some of us date a string of bad boys
    Some of us become runners
    Some of us buy motorcycles
    Some of us get therapy

    And I write.

    I think anger isn't an totally negative thing. I think anger has helped me continue to fight for my kids. Anger has kept me going when the "old me" might have given up.

    I agree with you, 100%, that anger can be destructive. That's so true. That's why I strive to get my anger out, and not carry it around with me. I'm actually a pretty happy person, despite all the crap I've had to wade through.

    I am truly, truly happy for you, for where you are in your life and in your growth as a person. Really, I am. That is wonderful. And I thank you for reaching out and for giving me some very well-thought out advice and commentary.

    But...I think I'm going to hang on to my anger for just a little while longer. I'm going to be needing it in the very near future (I can't write about what is going on with the child support battle, but will be able to do so very soon)

    And for the record, I think what I did was right.

    Thank you so much for reading. I am now going to check out your site.


  13. Hi again Jenny,

    I gave you big fat tears, and reading your response gave me big fat tears. So here we are, a coupla weepy dames. :) (Weepy for a *good* reason, too, and with some laughter mixed in. )

    As for my four fabulous felines, well, yep, he's a "cat man" so he's taking care of them pretty well methinks. Although one, the original and wonderfully human-like cat he had before I met him, disappeared a few months after I left. He fears it was the coyotes. We lived (he lives) on five acres surrounded by neighbors with even more acreage in a pretty rural area, so that may be the logical case, but not one I can dwell on. I miss all my brats, but the one that really gets me is the short-hair tortoiseshell manx with the polydactyl front paws. Like a little stalking bear he was (is) (sigh). Couldn't bring him with me out of state, as like I wrote earlier, I had to leave *quick* to get away from the "love story" literally being played out in front of my eyes. I may send for him someday if I ever own a home (am renting now and No Pets Allowed).

    Yeah. The 20-yr-old thing. I don't know. I've wracked my brain about that aspect. He met her when she was 18, too, and I'd known her just as an acquaintance. I don't think he goes for the youngbloods, I think he's simply never matured himself, if you know what I mean (and I think you do). The thing that sticks with me is how often he lied about his developing feelings for her. You know that frustration you have when everything has crumbled to dust and turned to ashes and you think "why couldn't you have at least TOLD me so I could have a fighting chance to save this thing?"

    I know you must've felt that with Big Daddy. It's not just the actual cheating, emotional or physical or whatever. It's the betrayal of the couple-bond that bugs me the most. The fact that my guy couldn't come to me and let me know he was falling in love with someone else. Might be a warning sign that the relationship needs some work, right? But on the (relatively rare) occasions when I'd ask about his feelings for this girl (since he did talk about her quite a bit), he'd always shrug it off, deny anything other than a feeling of friendship for "a nice kid". How does one counter that, battle that, deal with it on any level, if it's hidden so well? Denied so thoroughly?

    I've been able to see a bit of the larger picture recently. Putting together scattered puzzle pieces from what I know of his past, and his actions aren't quite as freaking bizarre as I used to think. I'm wondering if you can do this with Big Daddy. It may not be easy, as you were with him for so long (I was with my guy for "only" 7 years), and he may not have a really extensive romantic history before you. But when I pondered my guy I realized he's repeating patterns, that there's something *stuck* in him that causes him to withdraw, inexorably, once a woman moves in with him. It soothed me a little, that realization. (And I have to admit -- made me realize it would likely happen again. And yep, I'll also admit getting pleasure from that. Not much, but hell, I'll take what I can get!)

    [I yakked on so long here I have to break my post up into two submissions. Us writers can be looooong-winded! :p ]

  14. [Part 2]

    The anger discussion that Jacque brought up is really fascinating. I applaud her work on that, and how she found peace. And I had a wise older Chinese woman (sounds like a cliche, but true) tell me, "You need to just let go of the bitterness. With bitterness left, there's no room for another love to come into your life." When I heard the advice I thanked her, but thought, "No new love yet, thanks. Men SCARE me. For serious reals!" And while it's true that anger and bitterness will eat you out from the inside, what I sense after reading your blog (and I'm at May 2011 now -- your story is like the blog equivalent of Downton Abbey! It is ADDICTIVE!) is that what you're feeling now is not strictly anger. I sense a PRIDE in you that is RIGHTEOUS. You have been through the bloody ringer -- considered suicide (guilty here too), plunged into the dating thing (not yet for me), took over the ginormous job or parenting your entire brood, held on to your sanity by the skin of your teeth, lost your home, your money, your damn credit rating, kept up friendships through all this, etc etc. Damn girl -- have some righteous anger! Feel it and let it spur you on to positive things -- that's the key! Crappy soul-eating self-hating, inwardly-directed anger ain't gonna cut it. Outward-directed anger, *when it's warranted*, mixed with a nice hearty dollop of "O NO HE DIDN'T!" is going to help you kick ass and take names.

    So yep, Jacque is on track about letting go of self-hating, self-negating, world-weary anger. But when you're mad about an obvious injustice being done to you -- that's something else. That's a different animal. An energy to be used. And it'll help your kids, when all is said and done. Getting their due from their dad is gonna help them. Getting some relief from the constant strain of financial uncertainty is gonna help them, mainly because it's going to help YOU. And in the meantime they get to see a strong, proud Mama.

    You've got tons of humor in that soul. It leavens the other stuff. Don't worry that your darkness will overtake your light. I'm reading your words, and you just can't fake that spirit, you know? You got more yin than yang (or vicey-versey).

    Rock on, sistah! :D


    1. Salish, I've been meaning to reply to this awesome comment for a couple of days, and only now have been able to wrestle control of the laptop away from my 14 year old.

      THANK YOU, again, for your really nice words. I haven't seen Downtown Abbey yet, but all of my smart friends are superfans so I know you just gave me some pretty high praise. Thank you for that. And I'm beyond happy that you have found some comfort here, seriously.

      I also really appreciate the kind things you said about Jacque's comment. I was hoping that my reply to her was not taken to be a defensive one: I really do appreciate what she's saying, and also am genuinely happy for her that she's learned how to let go of the anger that plagued her.

      I love how you described what I feel: RIGHTEOUS anger. That is perfect. I may borrow that, and if I have my wits about me at the time I'll be sure to give you credit.

      You say that you have gotten some comfort here, reading my blog, but I have to say the same to you. Comments such as yours are like virtual hugs. It means the world to me to get support and friendship from people around the world, people I'd never know or interact with without the aid of this little blog. That is priceless.

      Consider yourself an honorary hen, lady.

      Thanks, one more time, for your support and cheerleading. It's appreciated more than I can say.


  15. Honorary Hen! I duly accept my title in the serious and sober manner that this great tribute deserves (i.e. with a big glass of Pinot. And a couple of tasty macarons just to make it official).

    Now it's back to reading The Happy Hausfrau Chronicles. The new drug. Hella addictive, people!



  16. I cheered when you made that comment on fb about the picture. People are seriously effed up when they can bask in their wonderful new 'happiness' with Plan B knowing that their Plan A family is left in ruins.

    One friend that I have commented at my daughter's softball game on the weight that I've lost after finding out about my husband's affair. She said, 'It feels good to get rid of excess baggage doesn't it?' and then she looked at my husband standing next to me and laughed. I don't know if he recognized a zinger when he saw one but I hope so. If he's made to feel uncomfortable at every school or sport event where he has to mingle with my friends, I will feel a little satisfaction. That's probably petty and I'm sure I'm holding too tightly to my bitterness in some people's opinions but that's how I roll.

  17. I think you were right to stand behind your friend, and boo-hoo to the cheater and his ho. Truth hurts. Otherwise you are right, saying nothing is the same as showing support. BS.
    Stay strong!


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