I’ve always played the long game. Never really been one to buy into instant gratification. Consequences of my actions are considered.
That’s not to say I can’t be spontaneous. I’ve splurged too often on a gorgeous piece of clothing, driven several hours to meet a lover (Roger) to surprise him, passions ablazing. Taken off at a few minutes notice, made love outdoors, in the rain….
I was just reading this article about betrayed women and other women. And whether these other women are happier than us betrayed women in the long term. Because, lordy, does it HURT like a MOFO that I put in three decades of bloody hard graft, and Trinket waltzes in with her wrinkly neck and sob story about a serial cheating dead husband, and skips off into the sunset with my life.
It seems so fucking unjust that they get to be all loved up, while I have to start over. Mum always said life wasn’t fair, so get on with it.
The reality is, I have known from DDay that being authentic, honest, loving and doing the goddamn hard work of recovery, rather than trying to sweep it under the carpet, pretend it didn’t happen, or plaster over the agony by replacing Rog with another dick (or me with another willing vagina) is not a recipe for long term success and happiness. Poaching someone else’s partner would grind away at me. No question. No matter their story. I made someone else so unhappy, my happiness would be forever tainted.
But maybe that’s just me.
From the research. (Betrayed) “Women report that they are more attuned to cues of infidelity, dishonesty, and other ‘low mate value’ signals following having their mate ‘poached’ by another woman.
“Women also report that they are now more aware of their female friends and associates behaviour regarding their significant other.”
Oh yes! This is a big part of my grief and loss. I trusted EVERYONE because I trusted Roger. Meaning I probably trusted no one more or less than anyone else did. But I was never jealous nor suspicious, because I trusted him implicitly. I had the most soft, kind, loving, ex-cheated on guy in the world. His words were that I was the only woman for him, that somehow we had found each other. A perfect match. Two weirdos who got each other. When no one else did. He even said that as he was leaving me. “I can’t ever have with Trinket what I had with you, but I broke us. Maybe one day we will find our way back to each other.”
Cool story, bro.
Now I trust very few. I have lost a lot of long friendships over this. But, I do realise I also gained so much. A fearsome tribe of amazing friends, much deeper, much more genuine than the social acquaintances you think are your friends.
As the study explains, “the woman who ‘loses’ her mate to another woman will go through a period of post-relationship grief and betrayal, but come out of the experience with higher mating intelligence that allows her to better detect cues in future mates that may indicate low mate value.
“Hence, in the long-term, she ‘wins’. The ‘other woman,’ conversely, is now in a relationship with a partner who has a demonstrated history of deception and, likely, infidelity.
‘Thus, in the long-term, she ‘loses”.
The problem I have with it remains the level of intelligence. When yours is low, I think you still believe you have won the prize. It’s easy to delude yourself under the shower of love bombs.
Rog was always a love bomber. Always super attentive, loads of texts, loads of cards, notes, constantly in touch. I’m learning I got addicted to that. Expecting constant affirmations that I was so desired. That is not normal, or healthy. Yes, it feels incredible. But now it has been removed, I’m anxious and needy. It is a terribly unattractive thing. I really did used to feel confident. Because my brain had been wired by Roger to love only him, the source of all of that self esteem kibble.
Rebuilding is hard. I’m far more vulnerable and lacking in resilience and self love than I ever realised. Seeking external validation is seriously gross. I feel myself wanting someone to tell me I’m beautiful, or sexy, or any other of a myriad of vacuous physical bullshit. I was never like that as a teen, or young woman. I never valued myself by my looks, or lack of them. In my 50s, however, as a betrayed spouse, my self esteem has taken such a hit I feel such disgust that I somehow, in some way, now value that bullshit. Which is why, I quite like this whatever-it-is with BarGuy. He doesn’t spout on about my looks, or flatter me with false crap. I get the odd compliment – he swooned over my intensely green eyes briefly, the other day. Roger constantly flattered me about my boobs, my arse. Running his hands over them, proprietarily. I like BarGuy’s smile, kind blue eyes, and his lack of bravado. We are in our 50s. We’ve lived life. It’s bashed us around some. We both look after our appearances, but most importantly, our health. He worries about his extra weight. I am disappointed by my loose skin. But I keep moving, stay active and keep my brain engaged.
Playing the long game. I fought cancer, and fight suicidal urges. I’m determined to keep playing the long game, and keeping my integrity.