Ode to Fabulous Internet Girls

In the last several posts you’ve heard me refer to the Fabulous Internet Girls, and you may be thinking, who are these Fabulous Internet Girls (FIGs), why is “Henry” so smitten with them and how can I meet and/or become one?

Well here’s the good news, you may already be one! Here’s a quick test to see if you’re a Fabulous Internet Girl:

  • Are you reading this blog right now? (Of course you are, that was easy…) Almost all of the FIGs I’ve met have been through Henry’s Twitter account
  • Do you have a vagina? I know I have a few male readers, and while I appreciate all readers, this post isn’t about you.BTW, If your vagina has a tendency to talk, a la #SaidMyVagina then you can stop checking right now: You are already a confirmed  Fabulous Internet Girl
  • Have we ever met in real life? If we have, doesn’t mean you’re not fabulous, or an internet girl, but not a “Fabulous Internet Girl” for purposes of this article
  • Do you write on twitter anonymously? Have we starred/replied/DM’d tweets a few times? You’re probably a FIG. There are two exceptions to this rule (they know who they are…)
  • Do I know your real name? Do you know my real name? If yes to either of these, you’re probably still a FIG, but one with whom I’ve started to build trust. (For the record, I think I’ve divulged my real name to 3 FIGs… you know who you are…)

So there it is. You may be a FIG, you may not, either way, the point is, they’re out there and fabulous and I’ve become big fans of several of them. Here is why I’ve become such a big fan of their tweets, blogs, and (when I’m lucky) DM, emails and in one rare case actual “virtual chat”:

  • You’re funny. Because many of you are writing anonymously, you’re openness and candor is refreshing. I know there’s a couple of FIGs I follow that are purposely trying to “just be funny” while keeping details of their real life in shadow. Whethere you’re “on-stage” full-time or sometimes interjecting real life into the stream, you’re a funny bunch of women.
  • You’re confident. Even those that sometimes post about insecurities, pain, or vulnerabilities, there is a confidence in your writing that is strong and attractive
  • You’re sensitive. With only one exception, most of the FIGs I’m a fan of intersperse “funny on-stage” version of you with real-life foibles (and even One Exception has shared enough in a few DM’s Emails to keep her fabulous). It makes you real, even in a predominantly anon world. For the most part the few FIGs I’ve actually shared emails/DMs with have been very supporting and sensitive, surprisingly so, even while maintaining the “this account is anon me, you can’t really talk to real me” distance
  • You’re a writer. Even if you’re only doing tweets and not keeping a blog, you are writing (albeit perhaps only 140 characters at a time.) I’m a writer! I love writers. Smart is sexy!

I think what I find most interesting about the FIGs—and this is especially true for the anon FIGs—is how protective some of these women are about separating the anon personas from the real personas. I’m assuming the anonymity provides some sort of emotional shield to protect themselves from…hurt? Breaches of trust? I’m not always sure.

I think the irony is feel I can be closer and more honest with these people now than if we’d actually had small-talk in some sort of online-dating or just-met-at-party type scenario. One of my top 5 FIGS (and when I say Top 5 I mean in terms of how I’d rank how much I appreciate them… I’ve no idea how FIGs rank me, in most instances FIGs are probably not “ranking” me at all, I’m just one of their 100s or 1000s of followers…) Anyway, this particular FIG, whom I do think actually gives a hoot about me, gave me some strong advice: “Guard your heart.” In almost all instances I see FIGs carefully guarding their hearts while also speaking about loneliness. Understandable, but makes me a bit sad. It makes me wonder, especially in the cases where we’ve had some rapport (or at least I think we had rapport) would we even have this much if we met under a more mundane situation? If the fates are kind and we do one day meet, will I need to pretend I don’t know about your habits, desires, likes & dislikes because those would not have been posted on your OK Cupid profile, but flowed freely when anon?

But what about you, sir!?! You’re writing anonymously now, are you not a pot pointing at black kettles? Yes and no. I’m writing anonymously not necessarily to protect me (although that is true in a professional sense, not really keen for my current or future employers to read my lamentations on my sex life), but from a personal perspective more about my ex “Catherine.” While I don’t mind venting about her indiscretions in disguise, I would never disparage her openly in public. Her friends and our families do not need to know the details.

As always, I digress.

Want to close with this though: you Fabulous Internet Girls have been a wonderful distraction; funny and witty and smart. You are strong and passionate and alluring. I’m lucky to have met you, even if just online.I really hope that I do get to meet one or two of you in real life one day.

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Finding My Moral Center (redux)

A question came to me this morning from one of the Fabulous Internet Girls asking me, “Will you ever trust anyone again?”  It has prompted me to accelerate a post I’d been planning as a sequel to the one I wrote a couple weeks ago about questioning whether my morals had actually not only worked at a disadvantage but in reality not served me well at all.

Since writing that blog post I have done more soul searching and determined that despite the experience i’ve gone through I would not be able to participate in the behaviors that “Catherine” and her cheating partner (whom I typically refer to as “dickhead”) engaged in. I’m just not wired that way.

And yet… there are lessons to be learned. I think there’s a couple of things I have learned from this experience and some of the experiences that came before:

1. I will not pursue women with the same determination. Two of the women I loved most deeply, the as-of-yet-unmentioned “Minnesota Girl”, and “Catherine”. While I was immediately attracted to both of them, they were not initially attracted to me. It took me several months of flirting, trying to charm (well, what passes for charm in my sometimes awkward quirky way), dates, trying to impress, etc. With both women, they eventually saw someone who they claimed to fall in love with that was obvious from their first impressions of me.  Love eventually grew between us…. and then they both cheated on me. The lesson: I’ve dated women who were attracted/interested/”into” me much earlier on in the relationship who were faithful. I have a feeling if it takes that much energy to try to get a person to see your qualities, your good side, it puts you at risk for being the one who has more invested and easier to lose as soon as they get distracted or into an unhealthy space.

2. I may not try as hard to make a relationship work. As you can tell, there is a streak of “old-fashioned” principles that run through me (let’s be clear: I’m not old-fashioned and I’m certainly no prude, but I do have what I consider some chivalrousness in my perceptions on how men should treat women). With Catherine, it was clear as far as 4 years ago that she was frustrated and not “into” me any more. But I was determined to make it work no matter what the cost. We were married! We had children! I would have stuck it through to the end. I even remember Catherine telling me one time 3 years ago when we were having big problems and I was worried about her divorcing me then, she said, “I’m not like you, I will not just go down with the ship.” I worked VERY hard then to try to make my marriage work, made concessions, adapted my behavior to try to become less antagonistic, give her a man that she’d want to come home to. It didn’t work. She didn’t leave the marriage and said she would try to work on it as well (“working on it” from her perspective meant just staying in it, and doing more things for herself to try to make herself happier. It did not include trying to reach out to me.) In hindsight, I probably should have said, “You know what, if you’re not willing to work, neither should I.” Hopefully I will never again be in a relationship that requires that sort of decision, but if it does come up, I may change.

3. Will I trust again?. Absolutely. Not Catherine, obviously, not for many years anyway. But I’ve known more wonderfully honest people than not. Catherine’s behavior was despicable (as was that of Minnesota Girl) but by and large not wholly unexpected. When you read the statistics as to how many people cheat, it’s not surprising. And while I did not cheat when I was at my lowest with Catherine, I was having some flirtatious back-n-forth emails with one of my friend girls that easily could’ve gone there if I wasn’t such a fucking boy scout (I say that angrily because I feel, in hindsight, Catherine was able to get have her cake (me) and eat it to (dickhead) whereas I just got to live the last 4 years playing out my quixotic quest to win her back with nothing to show for it except the moral high ground. Well, people, I have yet to see the return on my moral-high-ground investment. I digress. I will certainly trust. But, I will also trust my instincts (I will trust them… instinctively! Ha!) I suspected her affair, my head told me it was happening, but my heart was saying, “Maybe not.. maybe it’s just her going through some sort of hormonal change or something… maybe it’s your paranoia…) No, my friends, it was an affair. I felt it. She was lying. I knew it. Next time I will just trust that sooner. And as before, hopefully I will never have to experience it.

“Why do you have to move out?”

“Why shoud you be the one to move out? Why doesn’t she move out? She’s the one who cheated!”

It’s a question I’ve heard from several of my friends, especially as I get closer to moving out of the house which, as of this writing, happens in about 48 hours. As I get asked it so often I thought I’d write about it.

The answer my friends is simple: Damn near every decision I’ve made since January, and indeed even earlier was grounded in the premise: What would be best for the girls? And this is no different.

Despite the horrible things that Catherine has done, and let’s be clear, while I concede that I had a part to play in the demise of our marriage, I did not do horrible things to Catherine. She lied. Cheated. Lied some more. Cheated some more. I will be permanently affected by her actions, and not in ways I think improve my character.. but I digress. Despite her horrible actions to me, she has not been a horrible mother to the girls. Aside from her actions which resulted in them losing 2 parents that lived together in a loving relationship, she has been a good mom. She’s patient and caring and sensitive with the girls. Spends a lot of time with them, encourages them, and provides for them in ways that truthfully I don’t think I could do as well as her. It’s not that I’m not a good dad—indeed I am a great dad and have all kinds of great dad qualities—but she is a great mom. And they are girls, and those two girls, rely on their mom in a different way than they rely on me.

When it came time to figure out what the situation was going to be, Catherine offered variations of flexible agreements (“feel free to live here in the other room”, “you can stay here and I’ll leave on your weekends”, “I’ll live in the other room”) All generous offers, but really I’m still in a bit of a harboring anger point were anything she offers is contrasted against, “Hmm, where was that sort of rational thinking when you decided to fuck some other guy?”

I’m still digressing. Damn it.

My point is: Catherine is a good mom. She’s a shitty wife, but she’s a good mom. The girls do not yet know this, but one day they will. This is a subject for another blog. I honestly think that at this point in their life they will be more happier and more secure if they live in the house they’re comfortable with with their mother. Catherine has a much more flexible schedule than I do (work wise) and that means she actually does more of the activities with them than I’ve done in the past (take them to dance, school, etc.) Let’s be clear, people: I do a lot, probably more than most dad’s you know. But whatever else her faults might be, Catherine has been there for the girls.

Now you know.

“Did Somebody Else Die?”

That we broke the news to the girls that we were going to separate on the morning of June 2 did not come by accident: we had planned the event since April to coincide with the end of their school year merit tests, but with still enough time for them to discuss the news with their friends and teachers. If you’re a regular reader of the @DivorcedD20 account or blog, you know this has been a big deal for me and the cause of much anxiety in me for the last month.

But first, some more background:
As a reminder, Catherine and I had been going to a family therapist/marriage counselor since January when Catherine told me she wanted a divorce. The therapist advised at that time not to say anything to the children as the dynamics could change and we should not introduce any unsettling news until we knew for sure. We went through several months (of what I now know was false folly) until I discovered her affair in April. Once that happened, the conversation turned to: how do we tell the girls that we’re getting a divorce to minimize the damage.

The therapist had some tips, but she did tell us one startling fact: “Make no mistake, this will be one of those ‘frozen in time’ life altering events. They will remember everything about the time you sat them down and told them this horrible news.”

Ugh.

Generally speaking, here were the tips the therapist gave us:

  • Continue to reiterate that this is not their fault. In their child-heads they will think that perhaps if they change their behavior somehow that you two might stay together.
  • Tell them that it’s OK to be sad, but that you’re going to be OK. If they think that you’re not going to be OK they’re going to want to “save you” which will cause stressful behaviors.
  • Reiterate that while you two will be living apart now, that does not mean you’re not a family. The girls will always have a family. You will be there for them.
  • As much as you can bear it, do as much as you can together: dinners, camping trips, evenings at home. The more they can see that you’re a family the better they will feel.
  • Be cordial to one another. If you bad-mouth one parent, the children will take it as a slander against them as well. They will want to “protect” that parent.

And because Catherine and I hadn’t fought much in front of the girls, the therapist offered this advice:

  • Tell that this is a separation, but that it could become a divorce. If they have not suspected anything is wrong and then you just drop on them that you’re getting a divorce and then leave the house, that could alter their perception of normalcy for life. They could think that things that seem OK on the surface could suddenly turn sour at a moment’s notice.

Heavy words indeed, my friends.

So the plan was the plan: we’d tell them right before school ended, but with 2 weeks left so they could talk to their teachers and friends about it.

The morning of the event we had our usual breakfast and did some things around the house. And then around 11AM we started setting out snacks and telling them we needed to talk. They immediately knew that something heavy was up. We only did this sort of thing when we needed to talk serious topics.

I was already feeling like a big pile of shit. I had been dreading this day for weeks and now it was here. My throat was swollen, I felt nauseous, and I knew if I actually had to do any talking I would probably break down crying. (No judgement ladies! This is heavy stuff…)

“Is it something bad?” asked our youngest Elizabeth.
“Well, it’s something important,” replied Catheine.
“Did somebody else die?” she asked. One of Elizabeth’s classmates had died in a tragic accident just three weeks before. We had to break the news to her on a Sunday night what had happened and that her friend would not be coming back. Catherine has also been very sensitive to death since my own father died a few years earlier and we had to break that news to her.
“No, no one had died.”

Catherine then went on to tell a story about how sometimes people that care for each quite a bit still have differences and sometimes they fight. And sometimes the best way to try to get past that fighting is to spend some time apart….

“…and Mommy and Daddy have been fighting and we are going to now spend some time apart.”
Elizabeth’s eyes immediately get wide, “Are you getting a divorce?!?” Her voice quivers, she begins to cry.
“I knew it!” said our oldest Mary.
“How did you know?” I asked Mary.
“Because you guys have been fighting.”

We then went on to say how Dad would be living with “Uncle Charles.”

“But who will help me with my homework?” worried Mary.
“I will still be coming over every night to help with you homework,” I said. “But I will then go to Uncle Charle’s house to sleep. I’m going to try to spend as much time with you as I can.”

Mary seemed pleased by that. “I knew this was coming. Did you know, Elizabeth? Because I knew.” (Her tone was very Mary-esque in the way she typically talked to her younger sister.)

At the end, Elizabeth shed some tears, but Mary didn’t even cry (or seem nonplussed for that matter.) I’m not sure if that’s because they don’t fully appreciate the significance yet because I’m still living in the house, or is testament to their security with us as parents. In the 3 weeks since we’ve told them, they’ve mentinoed it a couple of times, usually to friends (“…my parents are separating…”) and they’ve mentioned that it’s sad, but really have not shown any out of the ordinary outward signs of distress.

I suspect this may change next week when I actually move out. But, as I mentioned, I am going to try to spend as many evenings as possible after work with them at the house, helping them with their homework, and then putting them to bed like I normally do, but instead of then sitting in the family room not talking to Catherine, I’ll just move onto the room I’ll be staying in with my friend. So far the girls seem OK, and I’ll take that 🙂

Finding my moral center

[Reader Beware: I’ve tried to write this article about a dozen times now, and My Main Point frequently squirts away defying clarity.. I apoloize in advance if you find yourself saying, “What the hell is he trying to get at?”]

Something I’ve been struggling with lately is the question of whether or not the moral code that I try to live my life by is, well, too moral. This has especially come into sharp focus in the last several months with the discovery of Catherine’s affair and how I want to react to her affair versus how I probably will react to her affair. How I want to react is driven by a mixture of anger and jealousy and betrayal and compels me to go out and indulge in bad behavior without thinking of the consequences it might have on my own feelings or my “partners”. How I no doubt will behave… more more subdued. I will say more:

The facts: In mid-2010 as my marriage to Catherine was at its (for the time) nadir, I was as frustrated as any husband could possibly be. C was angry with me all the time, I, in response, felt slighted and impatient. The favors and courtesies and compromises that I would typically not hesitate to give were being held back out of spite.

Our intimacy was effectively zero, and yet I would still ask her or intimacy displays of affection and sex. She not unsurprisingly would deny it. But let’s be clear friends, I was trying to break out of this cycle: I was trying to rebuild romance, friendship, and any sense of connection, but was frequently rebuffed. She saw me as she might see a piece of old furniture she couldn’t wait to get rid of. But despite the months of this destructive behavior and rejection I would not cheat on her.  In my mind: I was married, I made a commitment, and dammit, you DON’T CHEAT ON YOUR SPOUSE, regardless of how hard things were going, you plowed on through. I was under the delusion that if you kept being honest, kept the lines of communication open, kept talking about what the issues were, you would eventually be able to “solve” whatever problems were ailing the marriage.

We know how that turned out.

So, what does that have to do with your moral center?

I now find myself wondering: Should I have cheated on her? My current moral center thinks: Of course not! You were raised to think of marriage as the most intimate contract between two persons. Your sense of self would be tarnished in a way that the guilt & shame you’d feel would be make you feel ugly. You pride yourself on being a person of honor, of character, of loyalty!

And yet… she was pushing me away, she was telling me she didn’t want me, and then ultimately she had an affair. So who’s the stupid one? Who is the one that received more satisifaction by following (or not following) their convictions? Me who lived by some sort of chivalric code that gave me close to two years of frustration, or C for blowing off the values and having an admittedly “sexual only affair.. very gratifying sexually… very exciting…” providing her 6 months of glorious sexual living. (And yes, that particular joint therapy session was particularly hard to sit through.) It is hard for me to look at the past two years and think: “Well, at least you still have your honor.” My honor is doing nothing to ease the loneliness and hurt and humiliation I feel.

And then I think: Well what should I do now? Perhaps I should just go and be The Other Man in someone else’s relationship. I have a few friend-girls who have said, “Oh, you want to have an affair? I’ll have one with you!” I have friends who have no qualms at all about one night stands. I follow fabulous Twitter Girls who talk about the liberation of dating, of craving purely casual relationships, sometimes flat out admitting that they are hesitant to dating “nice guys” or pursuing relationships where the man feels like “boyfriend material.” When I read these words I feel my moral code might be antiquated, an anachronism in a world where it’s acceptable to be non-committal and aloof. My wife of 10 years slept with some dude who had no qualms sleeping with married woman with children. I lost my home, the family structure I’d built, a year of my past, and my sense of quality. He, in turn, got to enjoy the forbidden fruits of my wife for close to six months while I worked tirelessly to obtain an iota of compassion. She gave him what I’d been seeking for years. To the best of my knowledge, came at no personal or emotional expense to him. Sadly I think: his more lenient “moral center” served him much better than mine has. It’s a horrible feeling. I feel like I’ve been told the world is round and indeed it is flat. I am a fool.

And yet.. at my center, sad but true, I am unavoidably a “nice guy.” There is no way I could do the things either he or she has done and feel good about myself.  I would not want to introduce that kind of turmoil into anyone else’s relationship. As much as I read from Fabulous Internet Twitter Women that it’s OK to be casual, and not everyone is looking for “boyfriend material”, I would have a hard time with casual encounters. I care for people. And despite Catherine and her dickhead adultering paramour destroying what I worked hard to create for myself and my family, I will, perhaps foolishly, continue to follow my moral center as I have all these years. And that, my friends, is when I feel the most foolish.

One of my friend-girls (who is actually an ex-girlfriend of mine) whom I’ve been exchanging emails with said to me in response to everything going on in my life: “Hoping this is not changing you too much, or just enough to keep you interesting.”  And while I’m struggling with, perhaps I should change, deep down, I too hope it doesn’t change me too much. Or at the very least, just enough to keep me interesting.

“I was a Catherine”

So I have to admit, in the last 5 months since I started the Divorced D20 blog (and subsequently reaching out to new folks under my ‘real me’ alter-ego on another social network, I have in a very short time “met”  some of the most intelligent, interesting and charismatic women I know. I use the term “met” with dick-finger quotes because I haven’t actually physically met any of them and the majority of them I know under their own anonymous alter-egos. That hasn’t prevented us from having some very thoughtful conversations (typically in short bursts of 140 characters but sometimes, when I’m lucky, in longer emails.)

One of my readers shared with me the other day:

an affair seldom happens on its own, what you don’t find in your marriage you go find elsewhere… I was a Catherine 😦

And this reader is not alone. I’ve had similar stories from other female readers confessing their infidelity, usually accompanied by comments filled with sadness, shame or regret. For some reason, the aforementioned quote struck me in a way that I had not expected, and therefore tonight’s blog is not going to be about the reaction of the kids taking the we’re-getting-divorced news (that’s still coming) nor will it be about how I’ve been struggling this month with my own moral code when it comes to intimacy (aka, Henry’s frustration at realizing that Good Guys finish Last and Adulterer Guy get’s to nail his wife.. that blog, too, is probably coming along shortly…)

But tonight: I was a Catherine

Perhaps, dear readers, I have not done enough to tell Catherine’s side of the story, as best as I can understand it? So tonight is more soul-bearing: what has she said was the problem, and did she have a point? What was my part in this?

This could take a while. Over the last 5 months, Catherine has told me repeatedly that the affair was not the cause, but a symptom of our failing marriage. She was unhappy. She felt empty. She felt distance. She was nervous that she was falling into an empty shell of a depression. But why?

I will try to summarize the points, but each could probably take a chapter in it’s own right. I will try to tell these statements in words I believe she’s used. I’m even not going to try to counter any of these points… I’m just going to lay it out here and let you the anonymous reader judge for yourself. If you’d like to know more, then please let me know as I would be happy to tell my side of it on any of these points. But again, I’m trying to use her words as i’ve heard them, so I’m probably going to sound like an asshole here… trying to be true to her side of the story 😦

I was not the man she thought I was when she married me. When she married me I was funny and care-free. I never got uptight. After a few years of marriage (especially after our first was born) I was more serious, more uptight. I wasn’t the happy-go-lucky person that I was in the beginning.

I was not there for her in her most vulnerable time of need. After our first was born, Catherine went through post-partum.  I should’ve seen how serious it was affecting her. I was not supportive, and in some cases mean when she was suffering. She never recovered from thinking that the man who was always supposed to be there was not there and never saw me the same after that.

I’m cold and have a “narrow emotional range”. When she was looking for support when talking about issues with her family or past, I would respond analytically as if these were engineering problems to be solved. I did not connect with her on a emotional level. When dealing with our daughters I might love them, but with a sternness or insensitivity that seemed cold, for after all, they are little girls.

I pressured her/guilted her about sex. Once the intimacy started to fail, I would use pressure tactics to try to get her into bed. This obviously just caused more pressure for her which then made the pressure and lack of desire worsen.

So, readers, hopefully I will get some points for honesty. These points, and a few others, became the cornerstone for causing the distance and anger between us. That anger culminated 2 years ago, when i thought she was going to leave me, but we decided to stick together to try to work it out. Things seemed to be going… OK… until January. The rest is history.

“I was a Catherine…”

I suppose why that reader’s statement was so haunting when I read it is because I knew Catherine was unhappy. I knew that two years ago, and I even knew the “Why’s” as described above. What haunts me is that from Sept 2010 until Jan 2012 I was doing everything I can to address the issues described, and still she went outside the marriage. In addition to the humiliation I feel I also feel an overwhelming sense of… failure. The failure, I believe in my heart, was NOT that there was something I was not giving her that was lacking in the marriage–for there is nothing I ever denied her–but that because I was flawed she sought escape through infidelity. It’s a shitty shitty feeling.

Well, my friends, you are now closer to some of my flaws. I hope you stick with me that when/if I meet Henry’s Next Girlfriend I will have done mended the gaps in my character.

“I will not be defined by this affair!”

“I will not be defined by this affair!”

As I’ve been mentioned, we tell the girls on Sunday about we’ll be splitting up. The family therapist we’ve been seeing has been giving us advice on how we should break this news to the girls to minimize the damage (which I will save for another blog entry) but for tonight’s entry let’s just say that stress level has been close to red line at the “Henry” and “Catherine” household as we’re both filled with anxiety as to how the children will react to the news on Sunday.

The aforementioned quote came from her as part of her reaction when I informed her that I’d ran into her cousin on a plane flight I was on last week and I was surprised that she (the cousin) hadn’t heard about the divorce, nor had she’d heard about the affair. So of course I explained it all.

Catherine: You did what? You had no right to do that! She’s part of my family! It’s up to me to choose when and what I want to share with them.

Henry/Me (still trying to maintain the high road): With all due respect, you don’t have any clout to talk to me about what rights I had, once you started fucking someone else..

Catherine: (fuming mad) Oh, so that’s how it’s going to be?! (Gives me threatening stink eye…)

Henry: Um, I suppose. You did fuck someone else.

Catherine: I will NOT be defined by this affair! I am not a bad person. I may have done some bad things but I will NOT let this affair define me.

Henry: Catherine, you ARE defined by this affair. In the future when people look back at our marriage they will only see two things: our beautiful kids, and that you cheated on me, not once but twice. If I had hit you physically, even once, I’d be defined as an abuser.

Catherine: (crying) I’m not a bad person.

Henry: you’re not a bad person. You’re a good mom, you’re smart, capable, funny, but let’s be clear: you’re a SHITTY wife, and a fornicator.

Later on, when I called her a fornicator once again, she said, “Well, you are an cold, emotionally-shallow man with no feelings.”

Henry pauses. “Really? That’s why this marriage is ending? Because you think I’m cold?”

Catherine: “Partly. It has had a negative effect these last 8 years!”

I will save the “Is Henry really emotionally cold?” for another blog post. I’m assuming if you’re reading this post, chances are good you’ve read some of the earlier posts as well and maybe you already have an opinion.  PS: I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but here’s the short version: while I have a rather effective way of not turning into a steaming pile under times of great stress, I am NOT cold, in fact far from it. I have a rather deep capacity to enjoy life, love my daughters, trust my friends, and love deeply. Apparently what I didn’t have the ability to do, is reverse the effects that the stress of marriage and children created within our marriage which eventually led Catherine to turn off the sex in our marriage and start cheating with another man while I stayed faithful.

[Sigh.]

I’m sorry, gentle readers, if the blog is taking a turn for the gloomy, but as I opened with, we have a really big day coming on Sun which is weighing on my heavily. I’m hoping that by late July my writing will be closer to the more playful tone that seem to be popular with the readers.

Thanks for listening.