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June 15, 2005

I got an e-mail from my ex this evening, to discuss the mortgage, among other things. He responded to some of the comments I made to him last week. One of them in particular really angers me. He said he didn’t cheat on me. What?? Maybe my definition of cheating is just different than everyone else’s, but this is the abbreviated version of the story.

He spends time getting close to a friend whom he happens to work with. They are both in committed relationships, the four of us had standing Friday and Saturday night dates together for over a year. We even moved into the same apartment complex to better accomodate this.

Then in March, the two of them start going to work functions together. Her boyfriend hated that kind of stuff, and I actually had a life, so I was usually not available on the nights that they had stuff going on. People joked that they had a “thing” going on, but I thought nothing of it. Those same people always told me how much he adored me. Plus, we still had our Friday and Saturday nights together.

At the end of April, he tells me that he has doubts about our marriage. Meanwhile, I am planning him a huge 30th birthday surprise party. I felt like I was hit by a bus the night he told me. A week later, he admits that he has feelings for her, and has for some time. In fact, he’s in love with her. In my book, that’s where the cheating started!

At the end of July, we talk and he tells me that he feels that he needs to take the chance of telling her how he feels about her. I say that if he feels that strongly, then I agree he should take the chance, and if she feels the same way, I will gladly step aside because I want him to be happy.

Mid-August, right before he leaves on his weeklong vacation to “figure things out,” he finally decides to tell her while I am at home bawling my eyes out to my guy friend about all of this. He comes home that night and tells me that he told her, and “I didn’t get rejected completely, but she didn’t return the feelings.” What really happened, as he admitted a month and a half later, was that she did reciprocate his feelings and they kissed. Now, if that’s not cheating, I don’t know what is. In his relationship dictionary, he always said that if I kissed another man, he would consider that to be cheating on him. That’s the day I kicked him out. I packed all his breakables for him. *evil laugh*

So why is his story now this?

As for hurting families, hurting you, I fully realize what I did. But this is where our opinions start to clash. We both agree that our relationship
was in bad shape, whether we knew it or not, but from there, it becomes an
“I left you for another woman” story. That’s not true, other than in the
appearance of the situation. I didn’t leave you for another woman; I left because our relationship was long-stagnant and didn’t feel salvageable. And because I
felt too much for someone else to pretend that I could make it go away. People somehow do that in movies, but I have no clue how it would work in real life. You told me a long time ago that you were sick of hearing me apologize, so I quit doing it. Of course I’m sorry for what I did. It should go without saying. But being sorry and being able to do anything about it are very different things. And saying that I’m sorry for falling in love with [her] is just bizarre – an oxymoron, or something. It wasn’t something that I wished would happen. I never daydreamed about finding someone else. I knew it would hurt you to know that, but it would have been sick to not tell you, to pretend to you and myself, to cheat on you (as the standard definiton for “cheating” goes), which I do believe I would have done.

I’m confused. The hardest thing for me to cope with in this divorce is the cheating factor. The rest of it, I’m doing fine with. Our marriage wasn’t great, and the cheating was merely a symptom of that. Why doesn’t he get that? Why can’t he accept responsibility for what he did? Ugh. I hate ex-husbands.

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