Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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No contact

I recall the long journey that ultimately culminated in me going no contact with my alcoholic, narcissistic brother.

I had absorbed decades of abuse from him.

All in the name of family loyalty. To honour my dead mother.

Once I decided, for sure, to go no contact, it got better.

I didn’t have to endure being called names, being put down, being used as a bank. Trying to be supportive to try to help him. I just said, no more. I can be civil if we need to be in the same place. But nothing more.

Tough love. I guess.

He has since had moments of begging to be in my life, always followed by verbal abuse when I don’t respond. Or in the one case where I did, to try to explain it was best for both of us, some very nasty, really immature name calling, trying to shame me into further contact. He’s used family members, friends, his partner…all to try to engage me. Guilt me into contact.

I have stayed stoic this time. It’s been years now. He was around a bit last year, as we dealt with our father’s ill health. We were civil. Until he wasn’t. Micromanaging me (the lead carer for the father.)

I have him blocked everywhere now. Opened communication via phone/text for that period. It was closed again when he abused me for leaving Dad at home one night for a couple of hours, him much recovered, curled up by the fire, with soup, toast and plenty of Wifi and TV access.

I blocked him again.

No contact is the most peaceful way of dealing with toxic people.

I read Don’t Lose Hope’s insightful post about trauma responses.

And whilst I didn’t fit the fawn response entirely (because I did ALL of them, fight, flight and freeze included) I did include a lot of fawning. A lot of puck me dancing. A lot of, look how fkn marvellous I am, Pick Me!!! It’s pathetic. I felt pathetic.

Last week, I looked back over my communications with Rog, during that period we lived together, while he was eating my cooking, wearing the clothes I bought and laundered for him, having sex with me, all while he was eating cake by doing the same with Trinket.

I was sweating reading the messages. Totally embarrassing. I knew I was being desperate and pathetic. But I was fawning all over him, hoping he’d wake up and see me! Ugh. I feel dirty even recalling it.

Shudder.

So not who I imagined I was! But I was desperate. Desperate to wait this whore out. Desperate not to lose “my man” whom I really, truly still loved completely, and all we had worked so hard together to achieve.

Desperate not to have “failed.”

My stomach is literally churning now, gutted at my needy grossness. The words I read – I can-but-can’t remember being that sad, sad, pathetic person. Your love leaving you for fresh meat does terrible things to your self esteem. To your values. It deconstructed my picture of who I am.

I am often asked if we are friends now. Now that our lives are divided. I’m told regularly that we were the couple that appeared to be such great mates. As well as very into each other.

Sadly, no.

No, we are not friends.

Neither will we ever be.

I have had to learn the hard way, friends don’t treat you like he did me. I was just collateral damage to his wants, needs, desires. He had to fuck me over to get to the wonderful Trinket. I have zero worth to him.

So why would I accept that in any friendship?

I don’t anymore.

I don’t accept it from the Switzerland friends. My abusive brother. Nor Roger, the man I still love, but know he doesn’t value me in any way whatsoever.

I got pushed too far.


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Forgive. Forget

Wow! Yes!

Roger painted me as unforgiving.

The reality was, he wouldn’t do what I needed, to make me feel safe.

I asked him to please change his phone number. He argued it was best to keep it, as then he could “manage” Leanne’s apparent crazy.

This left me in a constant panic. That they were still playing me.

And yeah, well, after all his assurances that he was done, he went and fucked her again, two years after “he was done.”

He never tried to work out why he did it. Who he is and why. He never bought a single book, read a single article, or booked a single counselling appointment.

Oh, not true. He booked a psychologist. For ME!

Because I was the problem. My reaction to his actions. That was a problem for him.

Secrets are his stock in trade.

When I finally discovered Trinket, I started digging again.

Marriage fucking policing AGAIN!

And I got as far as online dating profiles on three different platforms (technophobe, riiiiight) going back at least two years. I gave up digging after that. No doubt it went on much further back. I honestly had no clue about this behaviour. Why would I, when he kept telling me he wanted only me, kept touching me, holding me, “loving” me, and “only” me. I was the only woman who got him, the only woman FOR him. He’d never have with anyone else what he had with me….

Sigh.

Played.

By a fucking maestro.

But, my gut knew. I knew not to let my guard down. I knew deep down what he was capable of. I wasn’t fully conscious of my own intuition, but I struggled with forgetting. I could and did, forgive … enough. Not complete “forgiveness.” Deliberately breaking the person who adores you’s heart is actually quite literally the definition of unforgivable.

Deceit. That was always him. While stroking you softly, he would plunge the knife in.

So, I was made to feel not good enough.

Not a good enough forgiver.

Despite staying (and he knew my stance on cheating) and busting my arse to heal us, from what he did. Despite all the time taken and paid for, in therapy. Despite four years of cramming in two degrees (to help me understand human behaviour, and to try to rebuild some absolutely shattered self esteem) whilst working, raising kids and running the accounts for our farm.

He did it again.

Sadly, proving all my intuition to be spot on.

He didn’t change.

He just got even better at hiding his duplicity. Better at the soul rape. Better at fooling me that he was only having sex with me. Better at getting non-consensual sex, because I never consented to share my body with others, to expose myself to the diseases I now carry in my body, because he shared his with others.

But, I still feel “not good enough.” Even with all of this knowledge.

That’s the terrible scar left by a cheater, on a loyal, loving partner. It never fades. You just learn to dress to hide it better.


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Too much

They don’t leave because you’re not enough.

Not good enough.

I spent years and oodles of emotional energy on this. The couples’ counsellor I eventually – years later – managed to finally drag Roger to, kept drilling into me that I am enough.

That my brain’s constant message, that none of me was enough (not thin enough, not clever enough, not rich enough, not pretty enough, not sexy enough…ad nauseum) was delivered by Roger’s actions. And were not the truth.

The reason they leave is because the OW is less.

Easy.

They can impress them by being nice to their kids. (Love bombing them. Cheering them on. Seeming invested in their futures – less so their own kids, or at least the ones who have seen the truth of who they really are.) Seeming to be thoughtful. Passionate. Kind. Generous. Etc. They can whisper sweet nothings, touch the new love in all the right places (both figuratively, and literally.)

We betrayed, have seen behind the curtain. The facade. The mask.

The new supply doesn’t have all the facts. And will never dig deep. Probably doesn’t care about what he did to someone else. How does that affect them?

After all, they won the prize.

Easy.

Walk away.

Start again.

With someone who is willing to engage with an already partnered person. So has the same low morals.

That’s a helpful place to start. They’ll never try to hold them accountable. They’ve already set the bar low.

Honest, loyal, faithful partners, who are working through previous betrayals, working on themselves, are just too much hard work. Better to cut and run.

And this time, don’t pick one with integrity, a brain, a heart.

Just pick the first one who is easy, and believes the bullshit.

Including the woe is me stories, and fake remorse.


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Closure. Yeah right

These points are bang on the money.

Even for my covert narcissist.

With covert (nice) narcissists, you think they maybe aren’t “as bad” as the overt (nasty, openly abusive) ones. It’s a perfect mindfuck. Who him??? No way.

He doesn’t care, and never has. I was just a vessel to him. A way of getting the admiration, the children, the free labour that he wanted.


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Covert narcissists and long relationships

Ah. It seems I’m a known statistic.

Covert narcs often have long, seemingly happy relationships.

Because they are masterful manipulators. They play the long game.

In the above linked article, the only thing I would say that didn’t match with my experience, of thirty years with a covert narcissist, was the sex. We were exceptionally well matched, and passionate. Always. Not just at the beginning.

Well, until about five years after my first DDay. When I started to go sexually numb. When I knew subconsciously he hadn’t done the work on himself, I felt like sex had become an embodied form of emotional rape. I was at a loss at the time. It was my biggest grief then. My loss of feeling. I did several sessions of sex therapy, where the therapist somehow assumed I had never been a sexual person, treated me like I had no idea about wanton, lustful passion. I had been incredibly sexual. His affair with Leanne awoke my rape fears, the terrible mind movies of them together, clear as a bell in my vision. Horrific rape nightmares of them tearing my flesh off my body, penetrating me, ripping me apart from within. My tearing rape was relived, embellished, retraumatising me. The diseases he gave me made me feel unclean, a disgusting lump of filthy flesh.

It turned the sex tap off. It was agony. There are no words to explain the pain I felt over the loss. I wanted to die! I thought sex and passion were dead to me. Forever. At one low point.

At least, that is my experience of the only sexual partner I ever had.

I know I compromised myself. My own dreams, aspirations, etc, for him. For his. I know I did that because he had the greater economic power, I was essentially an unpaid labour unit, and I was left to the vast majority of the parenting. All of the domestic load. I don’t recall him cooking a meal after the first honeymoon few months, and once or twice after Leanne exposed their affair. In thirty years.

There was a longing to push for more. Do more. He was more financially conservative than me in many ways, but then, took a gamble of several million dollars in buying a farm without selling our current one, on somewhat of a whim. Having said that, his property investment decisions historically had been lucrative. I knew this one wasn’t going to be, and I protested. (Turns out I was right. Eleven years after purchasing it, we sold it for the same money…after spending so much time and money improving it. That place broke us apart.)

After the affair was exposed, I knew I needed to find Paula again. That clever, feisty, independent redhead. That was when I embarked on my academic journey. A way of rediscovering my passions, stimulating my mind. Topping my university’s Geography department and second in Anthropology, my co-major, during my undergrad degree. Winning scholarships and awards, a First Class Honours Masters thesis…these achievements saved me. Allowed me to feel positive about myself. Lifted my self worth after he squished it under his whores.

Then, as described in this Couples Therapy Inc article, I was discarded. But the discard by some of my lifetime, long term friends, was a secondary, almost-as-painful blow!

“These marriages are often long-term, and when they end in divorce, all the casual acquaintances will despair.

“They were such a nice couple. He is such a nice guy. She left him. Terrible that she’d leave such a nice guy.”

People have NO IDEA NOR CARE for the betrayed, when the “nice guy” has another affair, and discards you for a stranger he met online, knew just a few weeks. Because he is “such a nice guy,” by default, I must be a total bitch. Who drove him to fuck other women, draining resources from our joint assets, I deserved the cancer he gave me, etc. In fact, we’ll be firm friends with his new supply! She must be far superior to that bitch he endured for three decades.

Ugh.

It still stings. But I have far better acceptance of it. You can’t change what people choose to believe. After all the thoughts are, If that nice guy did this, bad things could happen to even me! That’s scary, huh?

No idea.

A woman I know through work is a member of a women’s collective page I am a member of. I think she must have recently been through something similar, as she posts uplifting and interesting posts, similar to the above. She didn’t post this one, but was quick to comment, “oh, Lord yeah.” It’s a weird club. One you don’t wish anyone to join.

But sometimes you “kinda” do, not because you wish awful things for your friends, or former friends.

Just because you wish they could understand the utter devastation, and the enormous effort to survive the treachery, the discard.


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So loved

I still have moments where I vomit with the mind movies of them together!

That seems extreme.

I am a bit vomit phobic. I hate throwing up. Have never been able to put my fingers down my throat, for example.

But I threw up yesterday, while out shifting my cattle. A huge wave of him face deep in her…then caressing and cuddling her, whispering how much he loved his Snookie Bear – to her. Her lapping it all up… 🤮🤢🤮🤢

To counter the pictures in my head, I sternly try to change the subject, in the moment.

But know it needs to be dealt with. It circles back around.

Lying in bed at 4am, with a restless but snoring BG beside me, I visualise what everyone tells me. This Roger I thought I knew, is not genuine. His sweetness, his love bombing, he did that with me, too. I was convinced we were bonded deeply, forever.

And he treated me like dog shit on his shoe once he’d secured new kibble supply.

He doesn’t love deeply. He uses the genuine love and care a woman gives him, to stroke his needy ego. She believes he loves her. I know, because he seems so lovely. So sincere. So sexy. I believed he adored me, too.

Fuck.


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Abuse, blame shifting and manipulation masterclass

I recently watched Allen v Farrow.

It was wrenching.

No matter how or what you think about the NYC/Hollywood lifestyles, this story is compelling.

And sickening.

As a student of film, Allen’s work always seemed very scary to me. Yes. Thought provoking. But so often this skeevy guy was in a power imbalance with some young, beautiful girl (not woman, a girl.) Manhattan was stupefying to me, as a young woman. I mean, really???

Lots of normalisation of affairs, shady behaviours…but yeah, especially ugly old guy, beautiful young woman bullshit.

I haven’t found the words to post about how affecting it was for me. My own sexual abuse and trauma was triggered. But I was aware that “at least” I was 20, not a little girl, being abused by a father figure…what the hell do you do with that???

So, catching up with some of Chump Lady’s March blog posts, I was almost relieved that she found many of the words that I was at a loss for.

The trauma of Dylan and her family is obviously immense. But behind that, the narrative of Mia as the “scorned woman” about how women are “crazy.” In feminist human geographies, we unpack binaries, one of the key binaries is masculine rationality versus feminine emotionality (read, irrationality…)

Let’s unpack Mia’s place and space. As a child of Hollywood, she was possibly trying to find her identity and love through parenting a collection of children – to find her place in the world. She fell in love with a powerful man, disguised as a hapless geek. When he is exposed as having an affair with her childhood-traumatised, college-aged daughter (and evidence is presented of this having been going on since Soon Yi was in high school) evidence of his abuse of a much younger daughter arises.

Aha! A scorned woman!

I get it.

Once Leanne came out with her affair with Roger, after 22 years of what I believed was a fantastic, loving, faithful relationship, I went over our past with a fine tooth comb. Leanne is the only one he could not deny. He denied and denied and denied for the length of their affair.

He never confessed. He doesn’t do that. He admitted several times that his plan was “to take it to my grave.”

I believed his denials. Surely if I asked him to his face, he’d admit he’d been caught out, right?

Turns out there were more.

Of course!

I can count nine women he had sex with, that I know of, since we moved in together. Leanne was there from the beginning. And popped up again around the 20 year mark. Again at 24 years…who knows when else?

I count her once.

There were others.

At least one prostitute.

Several “just friends.”

Et cetera.

If questioned, he will (and does) DENY vehemently that there was anything inappropriate!

Again. I believed him.

Until I gathered evidence. There were transcripts between another one of the dating app women and him (while I had no idea he considered himself single, and available to date, before Trinket.) I have the word of one of his “just friends.” There were “fishing and hunting trips.” He had me completely and utterly sure he was faithful. He denies any others.

Just like he denied Leanne.

And the prostitute.

So yeah. Triggered, like any woman who has been abused, by the series.

Sadly, the more you live, the more women you realise have been abused, gaslit, manipulated, used.

I was never special. That was a thing I made up in my head, because I had a master liar, covert narcissist and expert, calm, love bombing manipulator of the truth.

Not many believe me. I can’t tell my story IRL, because that makes me the bitter, scorned woman. This is why I love this blog. Where my truth, my pain, my lie of a life can be put down, to help ME heal. In a similar fashion to Dylan Farrow, when she was told by her therapist, not to tell, because it would undo years of healing.

Nope. Telling sets you free.

Even if it’s to the internet. My story is here. My truth. What I (barely) survived.

Thank you all who bear witness here xxx


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A short history of my life with a love bomber

I found this this morning. And, my God! It me!

“For the person who needs to read this-

“He’s so perfect, isn’t he? You think you are the luckiest woman in the world for a guy like him to have picked you. He makes you feel amazing. He compliments you all the time and tells you how beautiful and sexy you are. He goes out of his way to help you. You’ve never met someone as selfless and accommodating as he is. He isn’t just helpful, he’s almost heroic. He shows up to save the day when you have a flat tire or a broken pipe. He offers to watch your kid or take care of your housework when you’re sick. No man has ever done so much for you before.

He’s so romantic. He’s full of sweet gestures, both big and small. He brings your favorite treat to work. He leaves love notes on your desk. He shows up unexpectedly with some small gift that shows how much he’s been thinking of you. He texts you whenever you’re apart, making sure you know he’s missing you. He’s talking about the future, making travel plans with you, offering to give you every experience you’ve ever dreamed of but have never actually had. He is sweeping you off your feet.

He’s protective of you. He defends you against anyone who would threaten or harm you, your family, or your job. You’ve never felt so safe with anyone.

He seems a little bashful at times, almost a bit self-deprecating, as he verbalizes that he doesn’t understand how he got lucky enough to find you and for you to actually want to be with him. He’s told you all about how long he’s had feelings for you, how he didn’t act on them at first because he thought it was hopeless; after all, how could someone as wonderful as you want a normal guy like him? You just don’t understand how this kind, sensitive, caring, protective, amazing man could possibly not see how wonderful he is. You feel like it’s you who doesn’t deserve him.

You’re falling in love, and it feels so good. You’ve never been so genuinely happy before, not even with past boyfriends or husbands. Every day is so exciting. Even though you haven’t been together for long, you really think This Is It. He is The One.

I know how this feels. I experienced this, too. Every single thing he’s doing for you, every romantic gesture, every love note, every gift, he’s already shared all of them with me. He also did all of this with Other Women. They and I had quite a few conversations about their relationship, and it was like he was just repeating our history with them.

Wait, you didn’t think you’re the first? LOL

He has a routine, a plan he implements to lure women in. It’s called love-bombing. He makes you fall in love with him so deeply and quickly. He makes you believe he is the perfect man. He does this to ensure your loyalty to him. If you love him, then he can use you, do whatever he wants to do to you or with you, without ever having to worry that you will leave him.

Here’s what you don’t know: The man you are falling for doesn’t exist. This guy he’s pretending to be right now is just a figment of his imagination, dreamt up to make you love him. The real person underneath is nothing like the man you’re dating now. He’s selfish, cowardly, manipulating, and controlling. He lies. He cheats. He is probably a sex addict and definitely a narcissist. I know you don’t believe me right now. I mean, how could any of this be true? I’m just his crazy ex, right?

If that’s true, and I’m just vengeful and vindictive and trying to ruin both of your lives, then consider this: How did I describe your relationship, his actions, and your feelings so accurately?

Don’t worry; you will see the truth one day. You will find out that I’m not crazy. You will revisit this beginning of your relationship and wonder what the hell happened to the man you fell in love with. You will eventually figure out who he really is. For your sake, I hope it doesn’t take you years, like it did for me. I hope you don’t waste years of your life, your money, your happiness, and your peace of mind on him. I hope you don’t ignore all the red flags. I hope you are able to find your inner sense of logic and reason even with all the amorous feelings bombarding you.”

If I could go back in time, this is the advice I would give myself, so this is the advice I give to you: If it seems to good to be true, that’s definitely the case.”

I’m stunned.

Don’t know why. But THIS!!!

This is what he did. Exactly! He was on my doorstep with flowers or groceries or phoning me every night after work before I moved in with him.

At 20. Just five short weeks after we met! My first – and until 20 months ago – only, lover. FFS.

I saw him do this to Trinket, too. Constant messaging. Twice a week driving the seven hour round trip to her. His face buried in his phone when he was with me.

He told the story of seeing 15 or 16 year old me at a party I was working as catering staff at, years before we met, and thinking how beautiful I was. Totally this – “He’s told you all about how long he’s had feelings for you, how he didn’t act on them at first because he thought it was hopeless; after all, how could someone as wonderful as you want a normal guy like him?” He built this story about how he’d wanted me for longer than I knew him. Ugh.

This is who he is. I know this, but am still stunned to read it from someone else who has also lived it.

He caused so, so much pain and misery, and yet that love bombing did what it was intended to do. Bonded me to him. I still hear him telling me that I was the only one who got him. The sexiest woman he ever met. That one day we’d find our way back to each other.

He is doing it to her now, too. I know it. It’s how he gets women to adore him. It makes him appear soft, kind, attentive, loving. But he’s just using you for kibbles. Until you work him out, or he hurts you very badly.

Wow!


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And he won’t care

Today, some people in a support group talked about a betrayed whose ex was playing the caring card. She’d had a breast biopsy. And he was hovering around, asking if she was okay. Did she need anything?

Two weeks after Roger left me, after I bought my house and moved my life, I had cancer surgery for the cervical cancer he gave me, caused by the strain of HPV I was diagnosed with after his long affair with Leanne. I had a lymphectomy, followed by seven weeks of radiotherapy.

Not once, did he check in on me, or ask our children how I was. I did that in a completely traumatised state. Alone, heartbroken, and trying to beat cancer.

When his big affair was exposed to me, did he try to find a counsellor? Read any literature about affairs, recovery, the effects on his loving partner?

Nah.

Course not.

Emotional heavy lifting was my job. I was suicidal and seeing first a psychologist, then being medicated by a trauma specialising psychiatrist, and then another psychologist.

The second psychologist – who was a very masculine man who worked with criminal youth – was starting his third session with me, when he discovered that Roger had just gone back and fucked Leanne again. Two years after Dday.

He put his notes down. Shuffled forward, sucking in his breath, slowly.

And leaned in. “He did WHAT??? Do you know that there’s nothing wrong with you? You have been anxious and panicky and feeling traumatised because this man you love has not changed. He doesn’t understand. He hasn’t helped you heal from his massive betrayal. You’ve been running and running for two years, trying to feel safe again. And he’s just carried on. He’s not sought out how to be better.

He doesn’t care.”

And I defended him. No, he just doesn’t know how to help me. He’s a good man. He wants to be with me.

So, he referred me to the person he described as the best couples’ counsellor in the country. Saying, “if you’re right, this guy’s good. He’ll see through any bullshit. But Roger will have to go too.”

I rolled eyes. I had gone to three “couples” counselling sessions.

On my own.

While Roger was fucking Leanne.

I had no idea. I just felt something was off. I remember feeling so foolish as the counsellor asked me why I was there.

Alone.

Hmmm.

How hard do the red flags need to wave, Paula???

Years later, asking Roger, he said he refused to go because he was scared that the counsellor would know he was fucking my friend 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

He never valued me enough to try.

Dunno why I did? Trauma bonds, “love.” Shit. Such a huge amount of damage. Piecing myself back together into some semblance of the strong woman I was when he met me.

That counsellor constantly had to explain, re-question, and re-explain quite basic emotional intelligence things, and get him to answer questions, instead of going off on tangents. It was the first time I was completely aware of his lack of EQ. This was the specialist who told me that Rog was most likely a love addict. A subset of/tangent to sex addiction.

In other news, I bought some fishing tackle today. All we had, Roger took.

BG’s boat. I’m about to be back to my angling self. I love fishing! 🎣🐟


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Empaths. We make GREAT targets for narcissists

This.

I especially like the part where he says, you try to leave, knowing you are worth more, but the narcissist cries and insists they love you so much. So, you melt back into their arms.

Yep. Been there, bought the t-shirts.

This was how Roger kept me hooked for three damn decades. Lying, love bombing, gaslighting.

Six months of dating into a few weeks.

Oh yeah. I used to think it was perfect love. Deeply smitten. How adorable, that at 20, I moved in with him after knowing him FIVE WEEKS! I don’t move in. Moving in was my marriage.

Yeah. He never loved me. I was just damn good kibble and an incredible administrator. Our son said it best, when I was replaced, snap! Just like that. He knew Trinket just a few weeks when he was leaving me for her. “New admin person, Mum. That’s all. That’s who he is. You got smart. You started to see his flaws. You proved you could do academic stuff and decently paid work. You were no longer his bitch.”

He’s pretty smart, that kid. Saw exactly how I was treated and discarded. His empath mum. His narcissistic dad. He’s told his sisters he’s not interested in dating, seriously. Because he’s scared he might be like his father.

Just like BG, actually. He’s always been worried he is his cheating father’s son. He’s also an empath. Who calls his father a narcissist. He said to me last night, when I drove over with dinner for him after a terrible day for him, “fucking narcissistic cheaters. Look how good you are to me. They just can’t get enough of a good woman. They try to collect them. Discarding the ones they break, along the way. What a fucktard he must be, you’re incredible, I’m so lucky. Thank you for doing this. Driving all this way to be bored by me.”

It’s a completely different mindset.

But hey, cheating on their mother doesn’t do kids any harm, right?