Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How to Date: Worms Who Cheat

Today is July 23.

A year ago today, I discovered I was being cheated on. And while I now feel nothing but indifference toward the guy who did the cheating, I am still not over the the actual act of cheating or the long, drawn-out mindfuck that followed.

The reaction you have to unfaithfulness goes beyond the simple realization that someone you love slept with someone else. The penis familiaris goes into the foreign vagina (Bonjour, pénis). And that act is just biology, as simple as a roundworm taking up residence in a dog's intestine. If we all had the brain capacity of a nematode (or a penis for that matter), everyone would go skipping through life emotionless, eating, screwing, and pooping until they die. No one would notice if Mr. Nematode stepped out for the evening and came back with lipstick all over his cloaca. Because he was, after all, just following his instincts.

Unfortunately, we have feelings. And we have attached some of them to sex. Therefore, last July 23, I felt not only A) the physical and emotional betrayal, but also B) the instant reaction of finding fault in myself, followed by C) being forced to go over the scenario again and again in my mind. And the scenario is the sickening part. Because you think about it CONSTANTLY. Did he go over there planning to screw her? Or did she seduce him? Was he wearing that one shirt I liked? Did he hang it up like he sometimes did or just throw it on the floor? Did he lay there afterwards or leap right up, get dressed, and go home? Did she chuckle wickedly as he drove away? And most importantly, did they bother with protection?

After the truth came out and I was taken in by his one-man show, Remorse in Four Acts, I couldn't shake the feeling that part of him enjoyed what I was going through. He would say, "Tell me what you're thinking," and I would tell him, for the sake of our newly formed "vow of honesty." He would want to talk about it again and again. Over a beer after work, via email, on the phone before I was allowed to go to sleep at night.

And then there were the text messages. Constantly. There would be one when I got up every morning. "How was I feeling? Did I still love him? Could we hang out over the weekend?" If I didn't respond right away, he would text again. "Did my lack of response mean that I didn't love him anymore because of what he did? Could he come over so we could talk about it?" (Even now, if I get a text message from anyone, I get a feeling of dread and have to check it immediately to reassure myself that it's just someone asking me to brunch.) Any time we spent together led to a discussion of some sort. He seemed to love the post-cheating conversations. (Personally, I think it got him off.)

And let's not even go into the absolute loathing I felt for the woman he cheated with. A woman I had never met, and yet felt that I deserved to suffer in some way. Simply because her former boyfriend was my current boyfriend. The funny thing was, all she had to do was wait it out. Our relationship was headed for the pooper anyway. I knew mid-June that it was just a matter of time and finding the strength to untangle myself from the emotionally abusive and manipulative turdhelmet. After that, she could have had him back, guilt free.
So when I say that I'm not over the actual act of my ex-boyfriend putting his dick where it didn't belong but totally over the dude himself, I mean that I'm still questioning my own reaction to it and coming to terms with the fact that I was likely as anyone to be cheated on. And I know that I'm a different person now. I trust people less. But I'm happier. Because I know that what he did, I would never do to anyone. I am, and always was, a better person.
So, here it is. One last bit of, I think, terribly helpful advice...
How to Rid Yourself of a Nematode:
1. Realize that the thing chapping your ass is probably a nematode.
2. Take the necessary actions to get rid of it.
3. Avoid further nematodes.
A nematode is not worth getting anemic over.


Jen said...

If I didn't have class tonight, I'd totally be taking you out for drinks.

Anonymous said...

You know, that's the thing about being cheated on, it goes far beyond the actual betrayal. The months (and even years) of emotional fallout are absolute torture, especially if the cheater is one of those assholes who refuses to let you go. If I lived closer, I'd be buying you a drink tonight too.

The Honorable Mayor of Bethville said...

You guys are so sweet! I'm actually okay. I just wanted to get it all out there since it's been a year.

Sometimes I even forget that I work with the guy these days.

kate said...

The other thing about nematodes is that they sometimes wear pink shirts that are terribly unflattering.

Again, my offer to jump up and down on said nematode in my pointy-heeled boots is still good.

The Honorable Mayor of Bethville said...'re sweet, but he's not worth ruining your good boots over. :)

jody! said...

i could spill some deliciously sticky bug juice on his bright, shiny white sneakers for you. then i'd be ruining HIS good shoes.

if i wasn't moving furniture tonight... shall i send carlo over in my stead? and just know that while i'm getting hot and sweaty, i'll be thinking about you, doll.

The Honorable Mayor of Bethville said...

Ha...probably his only shoes.

Just imagining you hot and sweaty is all I need.

myrtlebeachbum said...

You are an excellent writer with very shiny hair and perfect skin.

You also kinda ripped my heart out with that post, but that's the thing about good writing: there's nowhere to hide, sob.

Keep it up.

The Honorable Mayor of Bethville said...

Thanks, Myrtle. That is an incredibly nice thing to say. I'm flattered.

I tried and tried for a long time to write this, but it always came off as angry and sad. And I wanted it to have some level of funny to it. That's really important to me.

Anonymous said...

I think it's definitely got the funny you wanted. And it's obviously written by someone who's over it but wants to address the situation. It's a good place to be and I'm glad you're there.

The Honorable Mayor of Bethville said...

Thanks, BGC. I appreciate that.

Also, I'm really hurt that no one has made a comment about my Photoshopping skills! Does no one appreciate my hookworm? I worked hard on that! :)

I call it "Remorseful Hookworm." I think his expression says it all.

MsDirector said...

I would just like to say that I still have revenge fantasies about this worm, and I've never even met him.

Ooh, there's one now, involving him, me, an empty subway platform late at night with a train coming, and no witnesses...

The Honorable Mayor of Bethville said...

He would escape unscathed, I'm afraid, Pocket. It's his way to never have to suffer for any of his actions. Maybe it's asshole's luck.

Anonymous said...

Your hookworm reminds me of the very superior movie Tremors, which is always a good thing.

This was a great and difficult post.

Fuck 'em!

The Honorable Mayor of Bethville said...

Hahahahaha! I didn't even see that connection until now. Hilarious!

AmazonRedhead said...

Death by fire would be far too good for this asshole who hurt the amazing and beautiful Beth. I'm sorry he did this to you.

@Jen: Why don't you call her when you have no class.

*h said...

I had one of these. Not a cheater, per say, but a manipulator. A breaker-upper/get back together-er.

I think you're spot on with the idea that he got off on those conversations- mine did as well. After a while, all I could do was ignore him. That KILLS this kind of ass.

You are the greatest. Even in a post that breaks my heart, you make me laugh. You are ridiculously talented.

The Honorable Mayor of Bethville said...

@amazon: He would enjoy that. First of all, fire wouldn't kill him. And think of all the sympathy and coddling he would get from people. And what a good "sad story" to tell prospective girlfriends to make them fall for him.

@*h: It took a long time before I was able to just ignore him, although I really, really tried. You know, sitting at the desk next to him made that hard. Where do we find these guys anyway?

Thank you so much for the kind words. I'm going to get such an ego.

kate/katastic said...

That's why they're black boots, Mayor. So the blood doesn't show.