“I’ve Been Cheated”

by Elizabeth on April 11, 2014 · 7 comments

in love, struggles

*Caution: very strong language ahead*

Shit head!
Mother fucking cheating bastard!

Those are the words that have been going through my head for about 10 days.  If you read yesterday’s post, you know that The Carpenter and I ended our 20ish month relationship about a month ago.  If you read yesterday’s post you are probably surprised at my tone and the implication of cheating because I didn’t mention any of that.  I wrote it like that on purpose because a) I wrote most of that post a few weeks ago, and b) I wanted you all to be as surprised as I was.

Last Tuesday, 3 weeks to the day The Carpenter asked me for a break, I get a phone call from The Carpenter.  I couldn’t imagine why he was calling at 2:30 in the afternoon but I was worried that something might be wrong, so I answered.  A girl named Stephanie was on the other line.  Her words: “Hey, my name’s Stephanie and apparently I’ve been fucking your boyfriend since mid February”.

Me: stunned silence, followed by “excuse me?”

Apparently, instead of doing the nice, normal thing and saying “Elizabeth, I don’t want to be in a relationship with you any more” or “Elizabeth, I want to get back together with my ex girlfriend”, The Carpenter decided he would cheat on me with a girl he broke up with 4 years ago.  (His reason? She was nuts and bad for him. Ha!)

He got himself in trouble because he told this other girl that we had broken up in February and she found out and called me.  I kind of admire her balls for doing that and I’m glad I know but…wow.

I have a sinking suspicion that the reason he asked me for those two weeks was that she was getting close to finding out he hadn’t ended it with me and used that time to pacify her.  Then he decided he missed me to much (because I’m awesome and a terrific girlfriend) and tried to get back together with me.  Of course, that didn’t go the way he planned.  And then, because he had continued to text me about how much he missed me and all that crap, she found out and flipped her shit.

I was understandably devastated.  Even though we had broken up, and I most definitely didn’t (still don’t) want him back, I was still rocked.  For at least 6 weeks that were still together, he was sleeping with someone else.  That includes the week he practically lived with me while his car was in the shop and I was driving him all over town.

I have never been cheated on, never been betrayed like this and I still have trouble putting my emotions into words.  I had not been very upset about our breakup and had actually been making plans and doing way more things socially than I had been in a long time, but that night, I curled up in a tiny ball and grieved.  For a relationship that was over, for a relationship that never was what I thought it was, for my heart that was shattered into a million pieces, but mostly I grieved for myself and the loss of innocence that comes with this sort of betrayal.

Later that night, after I calmed down a little (and read an entire book because I couldn’t sleep), I texted him demanding an explanation.  I deserved an explanation.  I still do.  But, alas, because The Carpenter is a yellow bellied coward, I won’t get one.  Instead of sitting down with me like a rational human being, or calling me and telling me he doesn’t want to/can’t talk to me, he had his new girlfriend, who claims they are living together (!!), text me from his phone asking me to leave them alone, that he doesn’t want to talk to me, that we over, and a basically a whole lot of crap that wasn’t actually a real response to the text I had sent.

While there are a lot of red flags there and I’m not sure how much I can believe from a woman who is knowingly staying with a cheater, it doesn’t really matter.  What The Carpenter is now is NOT the man I met and fell in love with.  That man was strong, with good morals, and would never let someone else fight his battles.  I don’t know this person.  All I know is that this person is a lying, cheating, asshole.

If you couldn’t tell, the main emotion I am feeling is anger.  I’m angry at him for doing this and not having the guts to tell me himself.  I’m angry at him for making me think he was still in love with me and for making me feel guilty for hurting him when I ended things.  I’m angry at myself for accepting his excuses (as much as they made sense then and still kind of do) and for not seeing it.

I still can’t rationalize it.  I don’t understand why he would cheat, what this girl has that I don’t.  And that leads me to my other emotion: guilt.  I am a guilty-feeling person.  It comes from being a southern Catholic woman and from having parents I was always terrified to disappoint.  I like to say I feel guilty for breathing – that’s how much guilt I carry around with me.  So naturally I feel guilty and that this was somehow my fault.  That I was responsible for him cheating.  That I wasn’t good enough, hot enough, outgoing enough.

I know this isn’t true.  Despite my lack of good sense when it came to The Carpenter, I am a smart person.  I know that he cheated because he’s an asshole, that he was so buried in self-pity and self-loathing, that he was an asshole (again. really, it can’t be overstated. asshole.).  Most of my brain knows that.  But the other part is somewhat convinced that it really is my fault.  That if I hadn’t have been so nagging, if I had been more adventurous, if I had been more like the women he had previously dated, he wouldn’t have cheated on me.  I still would have broken up with him, but I wouldn’t be left with this “what the fuck” feeling and looking at our relationship in an entirely different way.

I know these feelings aren’t healthy, so you will all be pleased to know that I am going to see my therapist this afternoon to try and start working through this.  I need help figuring it out in my head and lessening my guilt.  I need help so I won’t fear relationships and think that all men will eventually cheat on me.  I need help understanding that just because I was wrong for one person (who was entirely wrong for me), doesn’t mean I’m wrong for everyone.  That someone will love me for the boring, would rather be baking or reading than going out, person that I am.


So yeah.  That happened.  The Carpenter, in addition not having his life together and not being the kind of man I deserve to be with, is an fucking asshole, cheating bastard.  He’s out of my life: off my phone, off my facebook, out of the pictures in my house.  Hopefully, I can get rid of this guilt and some of this anger, because if I get any more angry I’ll probably end up egging his house, slapping the shit out of him, or destroying his car a la Carrie Underwood in “Before He Cheats”.



*”I’ve been cheated” is the first line in the 1975 Linda Ronstadt cover of “When Will I Be Loved”.


The End. Or Is It the Beginning?

by Elizabeth on April 10, 2014 · 7 comments

in love, struggles

About a month ago The Carpenter asked if we could take a break.  He needed some time to “get his life together”.

This was not unsurprising to me nor was it very upsetting.  We had been having problems on and off for over 6 months and things had gotten progressively worse since we returned from our cruise.  While I won’t go into all of our issues, because many of them are very personal, I will say that yes, The Carpenter did need some time to figure himself out and get back on track.  He had drifted very far from the man I met and fell in love with more than 18 months ago.

As much as I wanted things to work and wanted him to return to being that man, I didn’t believe he could.  The past months had shown me that he wasn’t truly ready to make a change nor was he ready to make the kind of commitment I had hoped was in our near future.  I actually attempted to break up with him in mid-February but chickened out.  So when he said he needed time, all I felt was relief.  This was my way out, a way to end things that wasn’t dramatic and didn’t end up with one of us in tears on the floor (okay that would have just been me).  He said he wanted a couple of weeks to figure things out and then we’d go from there.  And then he left, because going to play pool was more important than trying to fix our relationship.

That sealed the deal for me.  I was done.  Done feeling like I came second, third, even fourth place in his life, done feeling like it was somehow my fault that things weren’t working, done worrying and stressing about him.  Just done.

I called my mom, who is awesome, and she came right over.  I know I did cry a little but I just couldn’t help but feel relieved.  What he did with his life was no longer my problem.  My parents have always been super supportive and let me spend the night with them so I didn’t have to be alone and dwell.  I am a champion dweller so it’s best to just avoid those situations.

I was both surprised and not surprised when the next two weeks turned out to be much happier (or at least less stressful and anxiety filled) weeks than anything in the recent past.  I thought I would miss The Carpenter more, and I did at first.  It was very hard to not get a “good morning” text, to not have someone to share random stuff with throughout the day, and someone to talk to before bed.  But after the first three or four days of adjustment and a few almost breakdown moments, I was actually doing really well.  Again, I was both surprised and not.  I knew things were bad but I wasn’t prepared for how much relief I would feel.  I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

For two weeks, The Carpenter and I had zero communication.  Two weeks to the day that he asked me to take a break, he called and asked if we could talk.  In my mind, we were done, but in his we were still on a break.  I knew this and knew that I needed to end things with him and get some closure for both of us.

The Carpenter was surprised when I told him that I was finished, had been finished since he walked out of my house two weeks ago.  Despite him not attempting to fix any of his problems, he apparently thought that because he missed me, I would fall back into his arms and we could pick up where we left of.  He was wrong.  I know I upset him and I know that I hurt him, and I struggled with feeling guilty about that for a while.  I (and everyone else around me) kept reminding myself that I had to think of me, that it is okay to be selfish in these situations because it was obvious that our relationship wasn’t healthy.  When you have emotional and mental problems like I do, you have to be very careful to stay away from people and things that can trigger anxiety and depression.  For the sake of my own mental health, I had to step away and protect myself.

For the next few days, The Carpenter tried to reach out to me via text.  He kept texting me that he missed me, that he saw me everywhere, that I couldn’t understand how hard not talking to me was.  I finally had to ask him to stop texting me because we needed to move on.  He responded with a snarky text (which of course I felt guilty about), but he did stop texting me.  I was ready to move on with my life, and I couldn’t with him still popping up every once in a while.

I was done.  Our relationship had come to an end.  While I do feel like it is an ending, it is also a beginning.  I learned so much from my relationship with The Carpenter and I feel like I know myself and what I want much better.  I am beginning a new life as a single woman again.  It’s scary, but my god it’s so much easier than being in a relationship.  Who would have thought? ;)




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