My husband and I are not immune to the perils that can occur in relationships. We have been through a lot together over the past 6 years, and unfortunately includes infidelity, poor coping mechanisms while going through the grieving process of losing a loved one, unintentional misuse of SSRI’s, and financial stability slowly waning due to numerous amounts of economic ruin in this particular part of the Midwest but I’m sure we aren’t the only ones struggling at the moment.
An interesting thing happened between my husband and his friend (who for privacy’s sake we will just call any of my husbands friends by the first letter of their first name) J. J, seems to have an issue with women and just moved back from living with his girlfriend in an entirely different state. When I politely asked about why he was so “heartbroken,” his reply was that she had “dumped” him (because that’s the word adults use to describe a relationship ending *insert exaggerated eye roll here*), his response was that he had slept with and talked to at leasst three other women, yet he was “heartbroken.” Then unbeknownst to me, J had asked my husband how he “got Madelyn to stay,” as if there is some magical trick to successfully talking and fucking other women while you’re currently being in a relationship (side note, COMPREHENSIVE SEXUAL EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS). My husbands response to this was that he wasn’t anything like J in that he didn’t lie, and that all he did was be honest and told me the truth, because at the end of the day I’m (meaning me) the one that’s always been there.
The woman that J was swooning over was way, way, way, out of J’s league and my husband is FAR more “high value” (as Kevin Samuels would have said, if he HADN’T been counseling married men, or I’m sorry, “life coaching” these married men, by telling them that “Women love it when men cheat” enthusiastically while being divorced and single, and then subsequently dying like 3 days later at 50-years-old, when the average life expectancy for black men is 71-years-old, although that is a significant fall from what it was previously, which was 74-years-old, he had a heart attack allegedly from fuckkkkinnnnggggg (sorry I’m kind of feeling a little goofy today, and it’s my damn life, I hardly think a few curse words on my own prsonal blog will harm me in the long run) too hard. Not that it matters, I want to be unabashedly myself, and I believe if you’re a writer, that’s almost a requrement. Howver, let’s curb my OCD for a moment and focus on the topic at hand.
Once again this leads me to my normal saying that literally everythig comes back to *clears throat* COMPREHENSIVE SEXUAL EDUCATION IN SHOOLS. My point for this piece, was to actually answer J’s question, in the hopes that the right moldable young brain may heed my words. I’m not going to say here that I speak for all women somehow becuause I understand “girl world” LESS as an adult than I did as a maleable young girl. What I AM going to say is that most women will be more likely to forgiv you, if you you are honest (or if you’re caught own up to it), take accountability for your poor decisions, genuinely regret it, are remorseful (in earnest, not just because that’s what she wants to hear), actually show that you’re making a legitimate effort to atone for your shortcomings, and when asked why you decided to sleep with someone else, when you are in a committed relationship, you do NOT reply with the words, “I don’t know.” J didn’t live in this state for almost a year and a half, and it seemed like he was doing a lot better mentally and in terms of preogression in life, it’s not as if he has unachieveable goals, he wants to own a business. Then as he’s processing his “heartbreak,” he’s simultaneously yelling like a crazy person, “If I can’t have her, no one can,” well nigga, it appears to me that you didn’t want her in the goddamn first place. BE SINGLE, one-night-stands didn’t just poof away with the #MeToo Movement, women don’t appear to be wanting to waste their time on men that do not have anything to offer in terms of assets or stability. Plus they’re doing shit like J is, whining and crying about how “heartbroken” and sad he is about “getting dumped” (Jesus what is up with the usage of that word lately? Broke up? Separated? No longer together? Can we fucking use adult language and hold back the urge to use middle-school slang?) when in less than two hits of a cigarette, he hastily added to his whining by laughing and saying, “Nah but forreal, I kind of ruined her life bro.” *Exaggerated eye roll, accompanied with an exasperated sigh*
My long-winded point here, is that, and once again as corny as it sounds, honesty actually is the best policy. My husband and I have always been very honest with each other. I mean really from the very, very beginning. I think that at the time, I was on the lookout for the “honestly trait” because I knew that that at the very least the last three people I had been in a relationship prior to my husband were everything and anything but honest. Yes, that includes my ex-husband T, as much as everyone would like to paint him as a “sweet young man” I’d beg to differ. T was an absolute bro, didn’t believe in depression and anxiety, was incredibly jealous (which if you know me at all, when someone tells me what to do, I immediately do the opposite. I’m very self-aware of the trait, and much like my righteous indignation to defend myself to the point where I look guilty, it’s one I cannot change for the life of me despite being aware of it.
My husband had an affair before we were married and there a re a lot of other couples that have been together far longer than me that have been able to work through their issues. When it comes to infedelity, it usualy means that someone in the relationship feels like their needs aren’t being met. If both are willing to look past it, and vow to grow and learn from the experience (and, you know, the person HAS to actually feel bad for doing it), then there is no reason to throw your relationship away. My situation (while I won’t go into too much detail to spare him some amount of embarassment because that’s what “instant Karma” feels like to be honest and I know that he has more than atoned for it.
The reasson I forgave my husband and what his dumb friend J fails to realize, is that he’s honest with me. I have always trusted my husband and when I found out, of COURSE, I was heartbroken? Who wouldn’t be? When you’re staying at home, watching the child you both took part in making and trying to be the “cool” and “laid back” wife that doesn’t mind if her husband has friends (yes even the female variety), or stays over at a friends house every once in awhile, because he was drinking (or doing other not so savory things) and didn’t want to drive fucked up. He communicates those things to me and from the very beginning of our relationship, I made sure to have boundaries. Obviously no serious ex girlfriends (unless you are trying to give me a new friend), if you’re running late just let me know so i dont worry (and that’s just kind of on the off chance that he hasn’t been texting me already, which rarely happens), and no “sleepovers” (the adult version of partying too hard) on worknights, and that we can both agree on. I forgave my him too because when he was finaly caught, he did tell me what was going on when all of that happened, while explicitly telling me he never should have slept with someone else, and that he absolutely was in no way maxing excuses for himself but he did ask me to “go a little easier on him,” where as under normal circumstances, I don’t think we would even be married at the moment. It’s kind of scary that it got that close to upending my life, hell my daughters life.
This is essentially what my husband said, as a matter of fact it’s fresh in my mind because we have that kind of connection with each other where we CAN laugh and joke about these things now, if not because I know that he hated himmself after the fact, but because we JUST had an extremely deep and heartfelt conversation about it, like not even four hours ago.
He told me that it was right after his father died unexpectedly and tragically from…you guessed it! A heroin overdose. The entire day didn’t even feel real, the funeral was a shit show only because the family memebrs who were “grieving” only cared about themselves, what the circumstances were when he died (i.e. did the person he was dating do this intentionally to gain an entire apartment because she was just kicked out of her grandparents place because her grandfather died, and her grandmother was put into a home and her entire family hates her because she kind of murdered her mother in the exact same way my husbands father died, albeit not in the hospital, which kind of implies that she’s a murderer, and now she wears a helmet because she doesn’t even know how to shoot herself correctly), and who was going to be receiving his things. After the funeral my husband and I were at each others throat, I mean, all of the time. You would be surprised at how differently we now communicate because of how bad it had become. I was Shipt Shopping and almost every night I would come home to all of my clothes thrown in the living room.
It was beyond chaotic here at the time, and my husband was using very poor coping skills to handle the heavy loss. Once we started fighting like we did when we were 21 and 20, I pretty much forced him to go use his employers fancy insurance and to look for a psychologist or primary doctor that can diagnose whatever this nonsense is because it wasn’t working and it was DEFINITELY not okay to be arguing like that in front of a Ham (the Ham is our daughter, and that’s a funny story for a different day) so I drew the line in the sand. That turned out to be beyond a mistake because this “doctor” I don’t feel even listened to him, and just immediately prescribed him Lexapro, and SSRI. I’m not sure if you rememeber the comment I had made in an earier post, but I’ll refresh your memory.
All of the clinical research studies that test the effectiveness of SSRI’s, it turns out, only a very few amount of people respond to them positively, and it mostly has to do with their genes. For my husband in particular the consequences of nearly EVERYTHING was way off in the distant future for him, because he told me that he really felt like he wasn’t going to live longer than three months. If you aren’t planning on making it more than a month or two, why on earth would you care if you cheated on your fiancee? Right, you wouldn’t. Not to mention he was secretly doubling up on the medication (which seems to be a universal, human, male trait when it comes to taking anything that’s prescribed by the doctor).
The next explanation I received was an understandably and absolutely believeable one, given that my husband and his dad didn’t didn’t necessarily end on great terms, and my husband took this extremey hard, it was his best friend, the person he could actually open up to and have with, and also the person that not only would call him out on his bullshit, but also offer a healthy amount of friendly (not always) competition between the two. My husband had felt like he was “on track” with his life before he died, and now he feels lost and like he doesn’t know what he’s working towards and when he and (we will call her P) P hooked up, he had a lot of money in his pocket, we were arguing nonstop as I mentioned. He told me that he felt that by doing that and going crazy that he would be able to prove to his father that he could do better than he ever did with him without him, not to mention destroying himself with almost all of the secret vices that people have and once every other vice that that was utilized could be utilized no more, the only vice left was sex (by far the one he’s the least interested in under any normal circumstances, sneaking around, lying, and trying to remember them all would undoubtedly be annoying to him, so in REALITY this was only gooing to be able to sustain itself for so long before it all fell apart and it did), and he omitted that he was nervous and guilty and was ashamed of it, but yet he still acknowledged that I would understand. The thing with P was that she had enogh integrity and was the most responsible out of the two (and given the favt that I was on Facetime with her all day because I had been tricked into a friend/threeway, and I know what you’re thinking, and yes. Men are fucking dog brains. Turns out Shane Gillis was wrong, it’s men that have absolute dog brains) and actually told me what had happened and that it had happened a very long time ago, (8 months) and even went so far as to say it was weird as fuck and he was weird as fuck, which as bad as I would have felt in that situation, I didn’t have much sympathy for him at that point because he could have just told me. I’m not even entirely sure to this day what on fucking earth my husband was thinking.
So to answer your question J, how he “got me to stay” was by being nothing like you. My husband doesn’t self-inflict misery on purpose, he self destructs a few days before every holiday, wilds the fuck out every July, and will only realize he’s spiraling until about three-fourths of the way down toward rock bottom, and then doubles down because of the embarassment he feels. He has actual mental illness and childhood trauma that needs to be dealt with not only for his own sake, but for his family’s sake as well. J doesn’t know how to or doesn’t want to be committed to only one inividual, but since society has made every male believe that women are only needed when men like that want them. You end up with a unch of J’s who continually chastize, objectfy, lie to, and use for sex, while still feeling like he’s fooled them well enough to think that after he goes and fucks multiple people throughout the span of one relationship, and then believes (falsly) that he can play the “pity me” card and not only convince everyone else he was wronged, but still living in denial by thinking that any woman would be dumb enough to know what you’re doing and not care. J is a loser, he doesn’t have much going for him, and quite frankly he’s a drug addict. I can’t stand anyone that complains about a situation that they themelves caused.
Honesty is the most important policy and women really aren’t all that complicated, we really only ask for very litttle, however asking a man to vulnerable might actually be a lot more than any of us could have anticipated. I’m aware that we as women work longer days than men and bear the brunt of the invisible work that makes this country function, but I think we need to be the “bigger person” (again), and educating ourselves of the sheer size of the lonliness and depression epidemic among men. At the end of the day we need them and they need us (no matter how many times I’ve asked myself whether or not we really DO need them, but I digress)