Sex, Marriage & Lies: Be Kind, Rewind

wedding

Photo Credit: Renee Towers Photography

Okay, so the last entry left you with my secret of my husband’s infidelity, and I touched on how I felt.

But what about some of the ‘lead up’ to my discovery? (Note: There is a huge discrepancy as to when he cheated and when I actually found out, so the events ‘leading up’ can’t be discussed in a similar fashion as it was significantly some time later that I found out the truth.)

Let’s get down to business. What was my relationship before like?

Were things perfect before?

Was my partner perfect?

No. He wasn’t. And things weren’t.

To be honest, one of the reasons I knew I was so in love with him was that I’d ‘allow’ him to treat me in a way I wouldn’t have normally tolerated from other men (I’ve always been a rather selective dater. Okay, okay, I’m not being honest. I haven’t been someone who has had a lot of attention from men, so selective is a polite way of me saying that, with the exception of the abusive relationship I’d had previously, I barely dated anyone before my husband).

For example, my husband has a hard time honouring commitments and taking responsibility. It’s probably his biggest flaws. He likes to say yes to everyone because he doesn’t like to disappoint, and then to avoid any disappointment, he’ll deflect.

Before I discovered the cheating, we’d had a few problems that I – personally – had found so grievous that I almost ended our relationship around the one-year-mark.

Due to his inability to say no, he would often say yes to everything and then decide last minute what he was actually doing. For the most part of our relationship, I was constantly forgotten. I remember at one point trying to illustrate the problem and I’d written down every time he’d forgotten plans, stood me up, or cancelled to hang out with friends, and it was, on average, more than once a week.

At first, I’d been more flexible than usual due to his unusual and complex work roster. However, by the time we’d hit around the one-year mark (and I’d brought up that he was frequently beyond inconsiderate), I had lost all patience.

One of the final straws, however, that led to me telling him that if he didn’t immediately start amending his behaviour and making me a priority so I could count on him when he told me we had plans that I was going to leave him because I deserved better, something worse happened.

A guy from my past randomly messaged me. We’d never dated, but had had a flirtation. I was well and truly happy in my relationship with Scott, and he was with the woman he’s now married to. (Does anyone else feel awkward hearing stories like this?)

He sent me a bunch of text messages about my lingerie (which you can see pictured below, because if you got it, flaunt it) and a few other sexually inappropriate messages for two people in relationships and I was pissed. I was angry, humiliated and devastated. He seemed to know what lingerie I meant and that he had spent ‘hours and hours’ looking at, but I didn’t. I felt violated and invaded. He swore that I’d given him permission, and even if I had, I could not fathom why he was masturbating and obsessing over photos of me when he was moving in with another woman. (I actually straight-out asked him this, and he told me that ‘He wouldn’t tell if I didn’t’. Yeah. But he’s married now, so I’m sure that’s all cool.)

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Take me to church I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies I'll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife. A few decades ago, this outfit would be shameful. Sinful. Disgraceful. Now, I have bikinis far more revealing than this beautiful piece of lingerie. Whilst there's still stereotypes, judgement and stigma surrounding uploading such photos, women all around the world do so freely because they want to – and most importantly, they can. In Australia, we're having a sort-of non-binding vote on legalising same sex marriage. Like with this photo, there will be a time when same sex marriage will just be referred to as marriage. Love will just be love. Our world is changing for the better and you can stand back and judge people who just want to be accepted and loved for who they are, who just want the same rights afforded to them as straight people are, or you can make a difference in this world and vote yes. And if you don't know the above quote, type it into YouTube and listen to the song. Perhaps the video will leave a more lasting impact. #takemetochurch #afreshpoisoneachweek #illtellyoumysins #hozier #makeachange #samesexmarriage #yes #makeithappen #bethechange #love #loveislove #voteyes #thingscarlaloves #isabellaspassions

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I was out to dinner with my friend (one of Those Girls, we’ll call her A) when his messages had come through. I was on school holidays, and I remember being upset because I’d specifically come back to him because he’d asked me to come back early ‘because he missed me desperately’, but after I arrived (it was an eight hour drive), he told me that he and his friends were going to have a three-day-long computer party instead. To drown my sorrows (well, to pretend I didn’t have any, actually), I went out with A, as her husband was also at the aforementioned party.

I told her what was happening, that I was frightened, that I didn’t know what photos he was talking about, and she didn’t seem to care. (While I think I’ve established A wasn’t the nicest person as she actively told people I had Munchhausen’s, it is possible I wasn’t clear. I remember being terrified. I couldn’t remember what photos he was talking about. I often send pictures of lingerie to people I’m super close with if I think it looks pretty, so I couldn’t remember if I’d sent it innocently. I didn’t know if I’d given him permission, or the illusion of permission, or if I hadn’t given him permission at all. I didn’t know if I’d be seen as a ‘victim’ if I had given him the illusion of permission, let alone actual permission. I remember wondering if I’d given them during our flirtation because I was horny but hadn’t had sex with anyone but my abusive partner before, and I wanted to have gentle, nice, safe, fun sex. Had I given them to him – while both of us were single – in the hopes that he’d think of me less as a friend, and more of a girlfriend? Or was he lying? Was it something more ominous?

What if he’d put pictures of me on websites?

What if my students saw them? (Especially concerning when you don’t know what ‘them’ is.)

I desperately started sending messages to Scott at that point. Let’s say around seven; I know in American movies ya’ll are having dinner at like nine at night, but here in Australia we like to eat at a reasonable hour so we aren’t awake at three in the morning.

I’m just saying, something to look into. And if you do have food at a normal hour, what the fuck is with everyone in movies having dates at 8 or 9???

By the time A and I had finished our meal, I still hadn’t heard from Scott, so she brought me back to hers to watch a movie I hated.

Between the stress of not knowing, and the horribleness of the movie and A’s reluctance to help, I ended up saying that I wanted to go home and go to sleep.

I called and messaged and pleaded with Scott, but his phone kept ringing and then going straight to voicemail.

Sometime after two in the morning, I fell asleep, and I was woken up by a drunk Scott at my door.

We went to his place, because that’s where he wanted to go (for reasons I can’t remember), I told him what had happened, he said that was really shit and he was sorry he hadn’t answered the phone before falling asleep.

Before 9am the next morning, he’d taken me back to my house because he wanted to get back to the party (something he straight out told me, so no, before you ask, not an assumption).

By this point in our relationship, his behaviour was crushing me. He’d frequently cancel on me and then, on the odd occasion he couldn’t, his friends would always be left with the impression it was my doing. (Scott would insist I had nothing to do with it, but I guess if you’re the type of person who’s always saying yes and suddenly stops, people are going to wonder why.)

I felt abandoned and alone. I’d been hugely betrayed by someone I thought I could have trusted with my safety and well-being, and my partner was more interested in joining his friends for games.

And he told me that, straight to my face.

Again, there’s a huge time gap between this and when I found out, but it’s what caused me to almost leave him.

There is honestly nothing more lonely than hearing the person you love tell you to your face that hanging out with friends and gaming is more important than checking to see how you’re feeling after someone’s just admitted to having dozens of compromising photos of you, and knowing that no one would believe you if you told them what was happening.

Because, if you remember, I did tell two people – two of the closest people to me – and they both shut me down and dismissed me. In fact, this is probably the first time I’ve actually openly revealed what happened that night to anyone.

After all, A was one of the main people who betrayed me. A was one of the people who wanted my husband and I to break up because I wasn’t good enough.

If there’s one thing marriage has taught me is that you don’t know the truth.

That woman doesn’t know her husband was messaging me behind her back, begging for an affair, just like my husband’s friends don’t know that after he found out another man had compromising photos of me and I didn’t know how or why, he told me that “sucked”, but he would prefer to play video games.

Which is exactly what he did, while I had to listen to his friends tell me repeatedly how I was the lucky one because my boyfriend was just perfect.

So stop making assumptions.

Haven’t you heard they make asses out of you and me?

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