Owning up, try hards & detaching from mom
Written by Sasha
Dear Sasha! Very recently I started an affair with an ex. And I really don't feel guilty about it. So here is the background: I've been married for 13 years. My husband is not perfect; he cheated on me very early in our relationship. But I stuck by him because I believe he is a good man and the person I was meant to raise children with. As parents, we are great. We have turned out two of the brightest, most well adjusted kids anyone could ask for. They are adorable, really! As husband and wife, though, we suck. Starting with our sex life. It is non-existent. And not for a lack of trying. He always wants it. But for me, sex is the last thing on mind after a day of full-time work and then dealing with the kids. Well, sex was the last thing on my mind before the ex came calling. I guess I started sleeping with him because I was unhappy and horny and still not over my husband's infidelity. I thought "This is something just for me, nothing that will hurt anyone else." And it hasn't hurt anyone else, I don't think. But now I am obsessed with the ex. I can't get enough of him. The sex. He was not that great of a boyfriend, in fact I left him very abruptly to be with my now husband. The ex is and was very emotionally distant, but what he was back then and still is to this day is "The Best Sex I've Ever Had." I don't know what it is, but what we have in the bedroom just can't be duplicated. And I've tried. Needless to say it didn't work. So now, all I want to do is have sex with the ex and come home and play mommy and daddy with my husband. This obviously can't go on forever. I would honestly rather have a slightly better sex life with my husband and stop this affair. But every day I become more and more attached to the ex and less and less attracted to my husband. Meanwhile, the ex is starting to pull the same old number he did on me 14 years ago, giving me the best orgasm I've ever experienced one day and then refusing to call me for several days. I'm starting to unravel because of this. My schedule is already full, so I don't have time to stalk this guy and fight with him about why he is not calling the married woman he is having an affair with. So I'm giving you an easy one here, since you and I both know what I need to do. But I need someone to tell me what to do and why I have to do it. T.T.
TT, in my opinion there are a couple of things you gotta wrap your mind around before you ‘do’ anything, because I think a big part of why you don’t feel guilt is because you’re deep in denial.
The first thing that you need to acknowledge is that you are actually hurting people in your life. For argument’s sake, we can pretend that your husband is totally clueless about what’s going on, but that sure as hell doesn’t mean you’re not straight-up betraying his ass. Last time I checked, betrayal and hurt went hand in hand. Whether or not someone is aware that they’re being punked doesn’t mean they’re not still being punked…y'know? So yes, just to hammer the point home: You are absolutely hurting your husband. And I shouldn't have to remind you of what that hurt feels like ….
So listen, I’m aware the next thing I’m about to say will make you want to kick my ass, but girl, unless you have super human powers I’m pretty sure your perfectly adjusted kidlets aren’t getting the best mom these days. Sorry, but it’s true. I don’t buy that you can juggle all of this in your life without things falling to sh-t. Trust me when I tell you that your kids don’t need all the details to know that’s mommy isn’t 100% present. So TT, time to own up to that one.
Starting to feel the guilt yet?
Next I want to touch upon the whole staying-together-for-the-kids thing. TT, I know right now you both pride yourselves on being awesome parents, but I'm always confused when couples stay together for the sake of the kids. I think if you continue in to stay in an unhappy relationship - and if you're both unhappy - it's only a matter of time before it affects your kids. You always hear about it later when the kids grow up. And I don't mean that your children will resent you as people, but they'll grow to be adults who don't know what it's like to have parents that are close; they will have grown up with parents who don’t love each other, and that typically opens up a whole other bag of sh-t for them later in life.
Now, TT, once you own up to all of the above, it’s time to turn your attention back to YOU. Listen, I’m not going to deny that this affair didn’t unlock your inner freak and I’m sure you got your rocks off in more ways the one, but I bet you still feel pretty empty inside. Just think about it for a second: you’ve wasted all this time and energy on this affair and you still have zip - you have nothing to show for any of this, nothing tangible, nothing real, f-ck, your ex isn’t even calling you half the time. I know I’m coming off harsh right now but TT, what I’m trying to get you to DO is end this useless affair RIGHT NOW. You have to call it quits.
And listen, I don’t know what all of this means for the future of your marriage but no matter what – lies and sex with another dude isn’t going to make it better. TT, send your kids to their grandparents this weekend because it’s time to fess up - its time to figure out if this relationship even has a chance. Whatever the outcome, the fact remains: you need to stop replacing your problems with more problems.
Hi Sasha, I'm in my mid-twenties and moved to a new city about two years ago. It took awhile for me to find a group of friends and I struggled with my new surroundings for the first year and a half. Within the past few months I've made a great group of friends and I'm really happy to be where I am now. I've always had a solid group of girlfriends and I feel like I've finally found that here, plus some solid guy friends to go along with the gals. The group has been formed for awhile (way before me) and includes people that were friends from college and those that they met the last few years. I have one problem: I get along with everyone, but one guy drives me absolutely crazy. I don't know if I'm getting more testy as I get older, but I find this person incredibly annoying. The thing is, he's really nice, so technically I should stop bitching. In fact, that's the problem, he's too nice. He tries too hard, he makes lame jokes and his general presence is enough now to make me feel peevish. I'm generally a nice and polite person. Every once in awhile, I have an issue with someone, but it's pretty rare. He's definitely a part of this crew, so if anyone is going anywhere, it's going to be me. I do know that a couple of the other people find him a bit annoying, as well, but given how new I am, I've never opened up to them about my frustration. My dilemma is this: Any time I hang out with them, unless it's a girls' night, he's going to be there no matter what. This kid doesn't miss an outing. I've gotten to the point now where I can't even politely laugh at his lame jokes, but I now just don't respond. Example: Our friend is driving us to the bar and I'm in the middle seat and Try Hard is sitting next to me. He asks if he is jabbing me and I say "No". His response is, "Oh whoops, I guess I didn't try hard enough" and then he proceeds to laugh at his own joke. I don't respond. So, what do I do? Do I suck it up and just deal with Try Hard? Do I distance myself a bit from the crew? Do I suggest more girls' nights as to avoid his overly eager presence? Do you have any insight as to why this guy might be annoying me so much? CB
Oh the Try Hard - they really are the f-cking worst. I have my own personal Try Hard and good god, this person is some next level nerd-dom. So CB, I feel your pain.
But here’s thing with these annoying f-cks…they are just really nice people. Whether it’s nature or nurture that makes them so sh-t-ass irritating, I don’t know, but I always have to remind myself that they mean no harm. They’re just trying to be the best person they know how. And you know, just as well as I do, that you have to let people be who they are. It would be pretty sh-tty of you to mean-girl this dude when in reality he hasn’t done anything all that bad to warrant cruel treatment. And by all means, start doing more girls’ nights out but I think it’s pretty ridiculous to start distancing yourself from the group. I mean, you're the only one who gets boned in that move.
Now get ready for a Sesame Street lesson because CB, I think this is the perfect opportunity for you to learn about that thing called Tolerance (with a capital T). The lesson in all of this is about being patient and letting people just be. Without a doubt, I’m still learning how to do this too, but every time you feel the bitchiness boiling inside of you, take a deep breath and just remind yourself that this person is just doing his or her thang. Lately, when my Try Hard starts yapping about useless sh-t, I just fight through the pain and smile….and honestly it works. I’m actually starting to find the humor in this person’s actions or at least I’m just sucking it up better. Try to roll with it, CB, and be more open -minded. I promise you’ll be a better person for doing it. And you might (eventually) even laugh at his jokes...ok, fine, maybe not.
Here is the situation - its icky. My mother and father have been married for about 30 years. In my opinion, they have not had the best marriage, but they stayed together for us. Fast forward to the present. My mother is convinced that my father is cheating on her and that he is up to "very bad things". About 5 years ago, I was googling on my dad's computer and realized that he had entered some pretty icky search terms (erotic massage, ashley madison, stuff like that). I decided that this was none of my business and that there were no actual conclusions I could draw from the searching. So, I let it be, but it’s always been on the back of my mind. I'm pretty scared that the "very bad things" are along the lines of these searches. yuck. So here are my questions:
1) how do I respond to my mother when she tells me these things? I don't think it’s fair to be stuck in the middle, and I feel like I am betraying my father by having these conversations.
2) Could something be up? I can't imagine when he would have an actual affair, but I don't think my mom is totally off base either. LA
Oh barf city! The thought of parents doing anything sexual freaks me right out so LA, I’m going to skip that mental picture and just get down to the facts. Listen, I’ve gotta say I think it’s pretty unfair of your momz to pull you into this, because what are you expected to do here?? Confront your dad? Obviously not. And regardless of what age you are, I don’t think ‘kids’ should be privy to their parents founded or unfounded sexual habits. But I guess you’re already knee deep in it, so here’s what you need to do:
I think it’s time to sit down with your mom and tell her exactly what you wrote to me and it’s a simple as this: “mom, I love you and support you but this information is really making me uncomfortable. I know this is a hard time for you but I think it’s really unfair that I’ve been put in the middle of this. If this is a real problem then you have to talk to dad about this, not me. I love you both equally but I feel like I have to take sides and I don’t want to have to do that anymore.” (or something to that effect)
She’ll get that, right? I hope so.
And LA, when it comes to whether or not your dad is getting up to some shady sh-t – all I can say is, if you’ve seen grimy stuff like Ashley Madison, well, chances are he’s been curious about it. But whether or not he’s actually pulled the plug – who knows. And f-ck, I don’t think you should spend any more time trying to find out. The bottom line here is your mom and dad are grown ups and you need to be excluded from their problems. You need to make that very clear to your mom.
I hope this helps LA. It’s going to be hard but really try your best to not engage in these conversations from here on out.
And P.S I swear I didn’t plan the questions like this but remember the time I ranted about the whole staying-for-the-kids thing??? Um, point made.