So I've blogged here about problems that my cousin called me with before, but I'm coming now because I've just got to get her whiny crap out of my head. The last time I had enough to say about her to warrant a post was when she was staying with this guy even though he beat the crap out of her and cheated on her and used other women to "get" to her. I told her he was doing it, she didn't like it, so we quit talking about it. End of story, but I'm still always the one she runs to when she wants to complain about the jerk. And it's not like she can just get rid of him, they had a son together, so it's going to be a long drawn-out ordeal.
Now she's got this friend, this girl that she's been friends with for most of the last decade. Well, the girl is having some troubles lately with depression and anxiety, and her marriage is on the rocks. So my cousin is doing what friends do, counseling her friends. Well, that has translated into her taking the side of the husband (and he really does seem to be the innocent in all this). He's a good guy, he spoils his wife, does things for her, helps around the house, cooks dinner and does his share of taking care of their two children. But he's got a wife that is closed-off from him, they don't have sex, and she tells him what to do all the time, then she tells him he didn't do it right anyway. She refuses to see any blame in this for herself, it's all his fault. She talks down to him, and is generally not the very bestest wife that he could ask for.
So he's turning to my cousin for the emotional support he should be getting from his wife. And it's not helping matters any that the wife jokes around about them sleeping together, about her friend and her husband having an affair! And she jokes about it as if it's fine, it's okay ... as if it's approved. Even though they both know better. She's ended up putting the temptation into their heads, and this has been building for a while, but now it's culminated into my cousin actively discussing the possibility of this affair - with the husband.
And as she was talking to me about it tonight, she said the most disturbing thing to me. She was telling me that she had been texting the husband from her cell phone, while talking to the wife on her house phone.
"And she doesn't have a clue."
You know how people tell you that when you smile in the phone, it changes your voice in such a way that the person you're talking to can actually hear the smile? Well, she said it with a smile.
It was like confirmation of something that I'd been thinking all along. She likes it. All this time she's been talking to me, asking for advice on what to do, how to either let the husband down or tattle to the wife. Whether to bother, or to back out and let them deal with it. And she's been saying she doesn't want them to break up ... that "if" she did it, it would just be temporary.
She's thinking seriously of doing it. And she's got it totally justified. "It's her own fault, she's been telling him to do it. Hell, she's been telling us both to do it." "If he's not getting it from her he's going to get it from somewhere, and she's told me before that if he cheated she'd want it to be with me. So it might as well be."
Well, tonight when I realized that we'd passed the point of "what-do-I-do" and gone straight to the brink of "oh-my-goodness-guess-what-I-did" ...
I couldn't help but remember the last time she justified being "the other woman". It was when she and her ex (the baby's dad) were still living together in the same house. I mean, separate rooms, not as a couple ... but in the same house. With "benefits". Well, all of a sudden, he brings home his new girlfriend to live in the house with them. And the girl is a kid, really, a little girl that still lived at home, hadn't even finished high school. Eighteen years old. And I can remember my cousin telling me how she told this girl how she'd sleep with the ex ... right in the house. While the new girlfriend waited for her man to come to bed, he was down the hall in bed with my cousin. And it's not like she was proud of it, exactly ... but it was the girlfriends fault then too. "Well, I told her, so it's her problem to deal with now. If she doesn't do something about it, it's her own fault. She's just stupid." "All she'd have to do is ask him, and he'd tell her too."
But that's not the point. Being told by your man that your man is cheating on you with his ex might confirm what the ex told you when she wanted to hurt you. But it doesn't change the fact that you stepped on someone else's territory. You slept with another woman's man. And if he was your's first is beside the point. What are you, three? "That's my toy, I had it first?"
Give me a break.
I don't know why she bothered calling me anyway, she knew I wouldn't approve, she knew I didn't want to hear her say that she was going to do it. She knew I would tell her that it's wrong. But she called anyway, and when I told her I didn't like it, that I didn't approve, and that it was wrong, she got pissed. Pissed enough for us to have the first real tiff that we've had in years. Pissed enough to hang up.
And the sad thing is, I'm not shocked. I'm not angry about it. I'm not even hurt. First and foremost, I'm relieved. Because before she hung up she said, "Well, maybe I shouldn't tell you about it then."
Hallelujah. I don't want to hear it. I don't want to hear the justifications of someone who would sleep with her "best friend's" husband. I don't want to hear the stories of someone who would infringe on a family that way. The marriage is already in trouble, and having another woman in it couldn't possibly help. What kind of person would do that to their best friend?
Would she do it to me, given the chance? I know she wouldn't have the chance, Boyfriend/Fiance has never found her to be attractive, though she is pretty in her own way ... but it's something I don't have to worry about. Still ... what if he liked her, and we weren't doing so well? Would it be my fault then?
This is sad. I've grown up with this woman, we shared pregnancies, we shared troubles, we shared homes when we were kids. But this is sad because I've just about lost respect for someone who has always been one of the people I thought could always be counted on.
But counted on to steal another woman's husband out from under her because "he's a good man"? I never would have thought her capable of that. I always thought she had more conscience than that, but it seems over the years she has grown cold.
In the end, what I feel more than anything is flat-out annoyed. Why call someone to tell them about a "problem" if you don't want advice for fixing the problem? Here's my view ... if you don't want to fix it, it's not a real problem. So why whine about it? And certainly why play "pity-me-what-do-I-do" if you secretly like the situation you've conveniently wiggled yourself into?
It's just stupid. And the crazy thing is, in all these years, I'd never looked at her and mistaken her for a Lewinsky. But that's the way she's ended up. The other woman. The worst part is that even though she won't admit to it, she's proud of herself, because on the side she's got this other guy that's all but in love with her and her son (not the son's father, of course) ... and she's going to string him along until she's ready to break his heart.
Nothing like having a whole range of relationship interests to make you feel sexy and attractive and special is there?