Why Her And Not Me?

January 15th, 2018

Break Ups, Cheating, Douchey Guys, NEW!

theother

 

There you were, still married to him, posed with your three children atop a snow-covered mountain. Goggles on and poles rooted, you stood beaming. A flick of my fingertip and I was barraged with photos of your idealic life. Vacations. Summer cottages. School fundraisers. On a beach somewhere exotic you both stood, arms linked, holding fireworks. Friends left comments gushing over what a cute couple you two made. You’d even taken up Buddhism.

#intention #prayer #love

That’s…interesting.  If only they knew how it all began. You were his assistant. He was living with someone else. To friends, he called you a whore to fool them.  He didn’t want to be known as the office cheater, even though he was.   On nights when everyone else had gone, he would take you into his office and bend you over his desk. There, he’d hike your skirt over your hips, his hands pawing your breasts through the thin cotton t-shirts you used to wear.   At least, that’s what I’d heard. Over fruity drinks and stale beer, the gang would gather and giggle about why you were late to meet us.  The crunch of peanut shells under our feet couldn’t mute the sound of idle ugly gossip. Not about him. About you.

#slut #homewrecker

Despite his assurances, months passed and he refused to leave her. You wouldn’t abide by being his dirty little secret, so you took things into your own hands. Class act that he was, he used to take you in the bed he shared with her. Never one to miss an opportunity to be devious, you left clues behind. Earrings. Books. Pictures. Your panties.  She knew, of course. She always knew. Now she had confirmation. You found a cockroach-ridden apartment and told him to move her out. No more stalling.

#finally #girlfriend

You thought that would be that. But it wasn’t, was it? She just. wouldn’t. go. away. Calls. Dinners. Favors. Didn’t she get it? He was yours now. Didn’t she have any self-respect? Why wouldn’t she just let go? “That’s it!” you said, rolling up invisible sleeves. You’d show her.  The voicemail you left her detailed the sexual acts you and he had performed and where, all right under her nose. You laughed at her cluelessness and desperation. You told her all the mean-spirited things he’d said about her; that he pitied her, that she didn’t know how to satisfy him. You vented your rage at her. Not him.

#eyeroll #ofcourse

She played the tape for us. One by one, we pressed the phone to our ear, wincing at her cruelty. None of us looked at you the same after that, so you found another job, someplace where nobody knew your history. To keep the peace we tolerated you. When you disrupted a mutual friend’s  wedding weekend by getting engaged, that was it.  Shame was never a part of your repetoire. You were brazen in your pursuit of him. I almost envy you for that.

#tacky #rude

The images in your feed reek of smuglove. Each image presented a life worth coveting. That’s important to you, isn’t it?  Black and white photos of your wedding day with captions like, “Sixteen years! Yay us!” Yay you, indeed. You got the man with the pedigree, like you’d always wanted: ivy educated, wealthy family, large paycheck. I scrolled past a photo of the prayer necklace you’d beaded, wondering what you said when people asked how you and he met. I assume you tell them an abbreviated version?

We used to work together.

Does it ever haunt you, how things started? Do waves of panic and paranoia crash over you when he doesn’t answer his phone or works late? Is that why you turned to Buddhism? To repent?

#karma #howyougethimishowyoulosehim

What don’t we see in those photos? Did you reap any consequences? It can’t be that – after what you two did to her – you were rewarded with a happy marriage.

Can it?

One question gnawed at me as I crept through your pruned and curated life:

Why her and not me?

 

 
Thoughts?

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38 Responses to “Why Her And Not Me?”

  1. UWSGal Says:

    Yes it can. In the words of Dr. House “nobody gets what they deserve, they get what they get”. Love and happiness are not doled out based on merit and while religions have been invented to explain this away, because this randomness has always been just too much to accept for people.

    Reply

  2. Trish Says:

    It’s just pouring out of you right now, isn’t it(?!!)

    Again, I’m sorry you’re hurting, but I LOVE this writing.
    My heartbeat changes at I read to the end. I just want more.
    This is good.

    Gifted. Just sayin’.

    P.

    Reply

  3. Joy Says:

    Wow…your writing is amazing.

    Reply

  4. Mandy Says:

    The writing is AMAZING here, but you lost me at one part: “She played the tape for us. One by one, we pressed the phone to our ear, wincing at her cruelty. Her nerves a tangled mess from the trauma, she never spoke to him again. None of us looked at you the same after that, so you found another job, someplace where nobody knew your history.” I’m confused with the pronouns…you “she” played the tape, but “you” found another job? Don’t you mean “you played the tape” or am I missing something?

    Am I reading the theme right, the “why her and not me?” as even though she did all these TERRIBLE things now she’s happy….so it’s not just why is she happy and have everything she ever wanted and not you, but why could she handle doing all those terrible things to get it and you “had to” play by the book? Because that definitely strikes a nerve with me (and makes me want to read more!)

    Reply

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      Thank you for pointing that out. I didn’t catch it.

      Also – in case it wasn’t clear – this is a true story.

      Reply

      • BTownGirl Says:

        Make sure you have any identifying details changed! One of my lawyer friend’s clients just won an online defamation case without their name even being used in the piece, because there were enough personal details (no idea what constitutes “enough” legally though) and the author couldn’t prove definitively that what they wrote was true.

        Reply

  5. Nia Says:

    I love this writing! It’s got a lot of edge, but it’s obviously from the heart.

    I think the reason (if it’s a real question!) is why her, is because her goal was getting married. Period. Not being in love, finding a good man, or even happiness. Just getting that ring from this particular person. “Winning”.

    So yes, she was willing to abandon all morals and character and lower the bar to someone who she likely will never feel 100% safe with (and is likely cheating on her, because once a man marries his mistress, he creates a job opening) but it “looks good on paper.”

    Do you want a wedding or a marriage?

    I know couples that are absolutely miserable and have kids, a house, the big ring, everything looks great on the surface….

    But he’s cheating, drinking too much, impotent, not straight, never home, a bully, has a gambling problem, or whatever.

    Or they’re trapped in a dance where they’re not in love….they’re dependent on one another for something. Maybe it feel familiar—the old dance of reaching out and getting slapped down, over and over. Or of being in power over someone who “adores” you. Maybe wimpy guys need bitchy, strong, dominant women to “tell” them what’s what.

    But as my mom said: You don’t want [him] anyway!

    Reply

    • UWSGal Says:

      “and is likely cheating on her, because once a man marries his mistress, he creates a job opening)”

      I think this is one of those feel good BS things women who were cheated on tell themselves. The reality is – not necessarily. Sometimes people genuinely fall for someone who is not their spouse, leave their current spouse and live happily ever after. I got plenty of examples of this (people i know that is). Men and women. This is life.

      Reply

      • Nia Says:

        The type of man who has sex with a subordinate at the office? In the office?
        Sure, anything’s possible.
        But from the way this was written, this was not some love story. This was a sordid affair that the girlfriend wheedled and blackmailed her way into making into a marriage.

        For what it’s worth, I’ve never been married and as far as I know, I haven’t been cheated on in my serious LT relationships (but I’ve only had 2 or 3 of those), but that phrase/idea HAS saved me from losing my head when married men have approached me or I’ve toyed with the idea of “dating” them.

        There’s a difference between falling out of love with a spouse and moving on and having a sexual affair at the office with a colleague or “underling” and then marrying that person.

        Reply

        • UWSGal Says:

          “The type of man who has sex with a subordinate at the office? In the office?”

          because (gasp) that is so inherently evil? [she wasn’t coerced into it in the slightest]. No, what we see here is a woman in her 30-ies (16 years together i am assuming all participants about the same age) who wants a family, sees a guys she wants to marry and goes for what she wants. The man in the story is not some lamb that is being walked around on a leash by these women. He went for what HE wanted too, and that happened to be the woman other than his live-in girfriend. That does not make him evil. That is what happens every day. People breaking up with their live-in gf/bf. You know the saying “everything’s fair in love and war”? In this story I saw two people who put their own happiness above that of their friends of former romantic partners. Good for them. That’s the way it should be, really.

          Reply

          • ATWYSingle Says:

            I have to say that I agree. People cheat all the time. Unless they have a pattern of it, sometimes it’s just a case of someone falling out of love and not knowing how to end the relationship/marriage. It’s not pretty to consider, but at the end of the day, human beings are self-serving. To think otherwise is naive.

            As for this particular situation, I think she was approaching 30 or just a little older than 30 and was feeling the pressure to get married. I also think she was looking for someone to provide for her.

            Reply

            • Joy Says:

              What would have happened if you didn’t let him go?
              This makes me wonder, how many of those so-called perfect relationships truly stem from mate poaching and someone cheating on their SO?
              I’m surprised that he actually married her, if I didn’t know better I’d have thought that he’d just screw around with her and then move onto someone else he truly liked.

              Reply

              • Joy Says:

                Sorry, just to clarify by what I meant in “you didn’t let him go”. I mean, you just fought over it and then decided to forgive him (assuming that he would have stayed with you and swore off the affair).

                Reply

              • Parenting Says:

                These types of beginnings have plenty of happy endings. 16 years and 3 kids later, it matters very little how it started.

                That said, I wouldnt buy a used car from either of them.

                Reply

            • 40something Says:

              I 1000% agree with the statement “people cheat all of the time.” I’m sure it’s for a myriad of reasons and I believe people (some) cheat and actually still love the person they are with. We all have a different concept of love and commitment-whether we like it it not. Where I disagree is that people don’t know how to end things. Of course they do! They just don’t want to or are afraid too-for a plethora of reasons that are their own.

              I think many people “hope” or want people to regret what they’ve done. This is simply my option. It’s like when you hear women say, “he will be sorry!” Or “he will never find someone else like me!” Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t recall ever hearing a guy say that and if I did it ws rare. The reality is he wanted something different. And I know some some who carry around this bizarre hope that somewhere down the road the guy comes back and says “I made a mistake, cupcake. It’s you I want.” Nah. Rarely happens. Not saying never but it’s rare.

              Life isn’t a meritocracy and neither are relationships. Peeps will do what they do. We don’t control that.

              Sorry I got so wordy

              Reply

          • KK Says:

            Dude, what planet are you on? All’s fair in love and war and that’s the way it should be?WHAT? No. It IS true that people shouldn’t sacrifice their own happiness for someone else’s, but cruelty isn’t ok and causing someone else’s unhappiness, while inevitable, is NOT something to be lauded.

            And who the fuck knows if he is evil or not. He is a supreme asshole, as is his wife.

            Reply

          • ? Says:

            UWSGal, the only saving grace in this whole sordid situation is the fact that the man in question did not have kids with the woman he left.

            I think you would be singing a very very different tune if it was your own father who walked out on you and your mum to pursue his passion and the kind of life and woman HE wanted and thought he deserved – bugger you kiddo. Suck it up ! Alls’ fair in love and war for Daddy.

            If Daddy spends the rest of his life focussed on his new wife and kids – well, too bad you miserable whining kid. Daddy has a right to fall out of love with you too. Fuck you kid

            Reply

            • UWSGal Says:

              Actually. my dad walked out on his first wife and kid to be with my mom. He has been the most amazing dad to me and he is my favorite person in the whole entire world, and he and my mom have been together for 40 years, and the best I can tell they’re very happy together. The point I am making: he made the right decision for himself and built the life he wanted with a woman who loved him. It makes no sense to sacrifice you life-long happiness because of another person (the girlfriend in this situation, or even a wife in a hypothetical). One person’s happiness is not more important than the next one’s. Staying in a relationship that is dead, unloving, is not gonna make your partner any happier than you leaving! At least if you leave they can find someone who truly loves them, as opposed to someone who just won’t leave because of some moral principle or what not. Adding a kid into that equation doesn’t really change things that much, IMO. A healthy co-parenting situation is way better for a kid than a toxic “marriage” that has ceased to be real marriage. And one doesn’t have to abandon their kid if they split from the spouse. This is 21st century. People have options.

              Reply

              • Parenting Says:

                The kids change everything and while I dont recommend staying in a bad marriage for the kid (Ive known of children who asked their parents to “divorce already”), it matters how you exit the marriage. You dont go out for cigarettes and bever come back. And you dont spend a year courting some other woman while coming home to your wife and kids then suddenly announce you’ve found your true love and are leaving to marry her because its not just about you and your happiness once you commit to having a family. Maybe you leave first. Setup a comfortable and stable situation in which to coparent and then start looking for your “true love” or whatever.

                Reply

              • Belle Says:

                I’m all for a guy leaving a relationship he doesn’t want to be in. What’s messed up is cheating in the bed you share wth someone else, helming and hawing, and not pulling the trigger. If the wife hadn’t moved things along with forcing the girlfriend to face their relationship, would he have ever left? Who knows. Leave if you want to leave, but don’t take your sweet time and fuck with people’s heads on your way out.

                Reply

              • KK Says:

                That isn’t really the point though, is it? The real point is: how does the child from the first marriage feel about the father? How does that child feel about the new marriage?

                No, people should not stay in an unhappy relationship but also, if you are unhappy, you can leave, not wait until someone else shows up. AND we can stop pretending that love conquers all. It doesn’t. Sometimes people get hurt and that sucks.

                UWSGal, your dad is your favorite person in the world? Great.How does your half sibling feel about him? I have one friend whose father left his first wife for her mother. Guess what? She loves her dad. Siblings from first marriage hate him. Another friend, her father left her mother for his student. The marriage is really happy. She hates her father and loves her siblings because it’s not their fault.

                Life is complicated. Relationships are really complicated. Like I’ve said, it’s stupid to stay in an unhappy relationship just for the children. But it’s silly to pretend that it’s so great either. People who did nothing wrong got really hurt and let’s acknowledge that that is an awful thing.

                Reply

            • ATWYSingle Says:

              But, I mean, why should someone stick around a dead marriage just for the child? They can still be a loving, supportive parent even if they don’t live under the same roof.

              I feel like this is another one of those subjects where people project their experiences on to other people. Just because your parents stayed together or you stayed with a partner for the kids and suffered doesn’t mean others have to. This is the same problem I have with all the people crying assault on the Aziz Ansari story. It’s a bunch of people projecting their experiences and biases on others, and if you don’t agree with them, well then you’re just a rape apologist and misogynist.

              Reply

          • Zaire Says:

            Does it qualify as “former” when the girlfriend is still living with him though? Asking for clarity. Anyways it’s fine to breakup with live-in partners and yes it happens everyday but let’s not act like it’s normal to completely humiliate said partner in the process. Leaving clothes behind and nasty voicemails? Tacky and classless. Even if the guy never cheats on her this woman won’t have rest, how can she? Part of what makes romance magical is that you believe your partners love and care for you is bottomless. That’s pretty much non-existant in this situation because the wife already knows what husband is capable of if he falls out of love or just isn’t into it anymore.

            A less dramatic but similar example of this is on-off relationships. They usually fail because the depth (or lack thereof) of the relationship is revealed with each separation. Past a certain point it’s silly to get overly invested emotionally.

            Reply

        • KK Says:

          Nah. Sometimes people who do creepy things and treat other people horribly end up changing their behavior. I can totally buy this guy not cheating on his wife. People sometimes do shitty things and treat other people horribly and it works out for them. No consequences.

          Reply

  6. LaChica Says:

    Why is the guy such a non-entity throughout the story?

    Surely he must have had a say in all this.

    He’s the one who chose her over you, after all.

    Reply

    • Mandy Says:

      To me that was kind of the point. It doesn’t matter that it should have been about the guy, the woman is the one that’s getting under her skin, making her think these thoughts.

      And also, this isn’t a story about a guy who chose one girl over another. This is a story about a woman who did “whatever it takes” to get a guy who looks good on paper. “Why her and not me” I read as more “why can she do this and I can’t” and not “why did he choose her and not me”. It’s not a story about a guy, it’s a story about the woman. But that’s just my take. I don’t know if it was meant that way or not.

      Reply

      • fuzzilla Says:

        If that’s the case, I think “Whatever It Takes” would be a better title.

        Reply

        • Sheba Says:

          That would have still fed into the notion that the woman was a ruthless predator and the man was passively stolen by her wiles. That’s the overriding feeling in the story, whatever the title is. And while I don’t agree with that assessment, it makes very raw and honest writing.

          Reply

          • fuzzilla Says:

            Woman as ruthless predator seemed to be what she was going for – not that I necessarily agree. Maybe there are better titles than my suggestion, but “Why Her and Not Me?” most definitely sounds like the author is jealous of the woman. Definitely pick a different title if that’s not what’s intended.

            Reply

            • Parenting Says:

              The why her and not me provides an opportunity for just about anyone to relate and thus good “click bait” or what not. Who hasnt been the green eyed monster monster?! But I agree that it doesnt really capture the tone of the piece because while we may understand the motivations of the couple involved is ununique and not exactly awful, I disnt walk away from the piece feeling like Moxie wants to trade places with the woman because she kind of hates them both.

              I can see a more general, “Why is she married and not me?” But thats not conveyed in the piece. She doesnt get into her longing for a relationship or her loneliness. Just her dislike for this woman and her duplicitous social media image.

              Sorry got wordy there.

              Reply

              • fuzzilla Says:

                I guess it’s like, “Why is she married and not me? I’ll tell you why, ‘cuz she’s a backstabbing schemer,” etc. But you’re right, it doesn’t say anything about the “me” in the story, other than as a passive observer. The “me” in the story could be happily married herself, for all the reader of this one piece knows.

                Reply

                • Selena Says:

                  fuzzilla:
                  “I guess it’s like, “Why is she married and not me? I’ll tell you why, ‘cuz she’s a backstabbing schemer,” etc. But you’re right, it doesn’t say anything about the “me” in the story, other than as a passive observer.”

                  I enjoyed the writing, but I also found it convoluted. Was the “me” a former co-worker who watched a workplace romance unfold and didn’t like “the assistant” and “the cheater”? If those two people have been married for 16 years, why does it matter now? Why is the “me” lurking their social media pages all these years later anyway?

                  No one knows what someone else’s relationship is REALLY like. After almost 2 decades of resentment? envy?…time to let it go and move on.

                  Reply

                  • Parenting Says:

                    Well said. At this point, it doesnt matter how the marriage started. I also agree that online trolling these people nearly two decades later doesnt reflect well on the narrator. But I think there is also a refreshing honesty in admitting that your motivations arent all that pretty. I’ve internet stalked exes and former classmates and thought much the same thoughts. Some of those clowns were such losers, how did they end up with so much success?

                    Reply

  7. TwoCents Says:

    Gorgeous. Truly. As someone commented above, I’m sorry you’re hurting, but hope that you can continue harnessing it into these powerful pieces of writing. Keep going.

    Reply

  8. Yvonne Says:

    Ever see the movie, Annie Hall? There’s a scene where Woody Allen walks up to an attractive couple on the street and asks them how they account for their happiness. The woman answers, “I’m very shallow and empty, and I have no ideas and nothing interesting to say”. The man then adds, “And I’m exactly the same way.”

    This story made me think of that scene.

    Reply

  9. Parenting Says:

    I agree with the others. Very nice flow to the writing. Enjoyable read.

    Reply

  10. Belle Says:

    I loved reading this.

    Reply

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