Bloggers note: This was a late-night conversation that bled early into the morning hours; I may need to have an update later when the brain fog clears.
Readers you may know that on this blog we stress not watching heavy amounts of TV or cable. Its far better to seek out advice from real people not paid actors. A former close friend of mine from college nuked his life last night. While some may say this was a long time coming, he overreacted drastically and his marriage is over, and his life has begun a spiral. I have a feeling, copious amounts of drugs/alcohol or worse could be in his near future.
This friend of mine has been married for 15 years, he works for the State of California and lives in the Bay Area. He seemed to have a lot of great things going for him, including a 13-year-old daughter. He has always kind of hopscotched in and out of my life, kind of a “when I need something you are my phone call, when the opposite is true, he plays the kid/marriage card in my face.” Anyway, he called about 2 weeks ago in a full-blown panic. He was barely making sense over the phone, so I told him email/text what he wanted to say…. he kept insisting I had to believe him.
If you know me, I’m pretty fiercely loyal to friends of mine…until you screw me over/double cross me. I think I’m a pretty sound giver of advice should you choose to take it. I also normally can ask friends of mine “off the record” to advise friends in crisis. He started the text chain to me with “when I was in Texas for business…” I cut him off right there. California’s state workers are forbidden from traveling to certain states due to a perceived “human rights violation in certain state’s constitution” aka they are hostile toward gay/lesbian/trans people. So that was a lie and I knew it. He went on to say he was seeing someone there, ok that makes more sense. Apparently his “side piece” told him her child was likely “theirs”, this child is 10. The freak out ensued.
I apparently wasn’t texting back quickly enough, so he called. He kept saying I had to believe him, while not telling a story that made a lick of sense. When he finally calmed down, I asked how she knows it’s “theirs” and what his thoughts were. He told me he is convinced it’s his because he has been seeing her for about 11 years. When I asked if he used protection, his response was a no… preceded and succeeded by a sheepish chuckle. When I asked what this girl was like, he made her out to be a promiscuous, flirt. A red flag, but at the same time, it offered an out route. He asked what I thought and immediately offered an opinion of “do not freak out, wait and I’ll get in touch with an attorney whose new firm does a little bit of everything.” It was almost 2am so I offered a call back in a day or two. This wasn’t good enough for him, as he apparently was checking every site on the internet for advice.
I got in touch with my friend. She of course was appalled but said, the best thing to do is always operate under the guise, of “you do not know that yet.” Until you have a positive paternity test showing a definitive match, you are in a gray, but not dark area. She recommended 2 tests, to insure against a false reading on way or the other. Also said do not share any of this with your spouse. Blogger Note: I do not condone cheating in any form period, full stop, but in cases like these I prefer a wait, watch, and see as opposed to admitting your sin immediately. She also recommended getting tested for STD’s since he was “hitting it raw” there’s a likelihood, especially with both of their lifestyles. Additionally, if he popped positive… well you better tell both your side piece and your “spouse” asap.
Well, my friend, after I relayed the info, rejected in outright saying since I am not married and have no kids, I have no credibility on the issue. Fair enough, I guess. He also flatly rejected my lawyer friend’s advice, not only did he refuse the paternity test, but he also declined getting tested for STD’s. Apparently, he saw on TV a show that glorified cheating on your partner, and that they would come around. To be honest my lawyer friend was aware of this; and apparently there are many of these shows. He went on to tell me on shows like the Bachelor etc., contestants have sex with many women during a short period. I am not sure who told him this was smart, but he took it as sage advice. Note to readers, TV is not the real world, not even close, it’s a perverse fantasyland masquerading as reality for an hour each week.
So, in his infinite wisdom, last night (Wednesday) at the dinner table, after 2 glasses of wine with daughter finishing her meal, he decides it’s time to “come clean.” Again, I’m not sure who gave him this advice, but yikes. He tells his spouse he needs to talk to her in front of child. He says he needs to come clean about his “business trips.” They were in fact not business He was seeing someone else. He then tells her she needs to stand by him, it “was only a phase.” YIKES. He then said she is accusing him of fathering her 10-year-old child; again, accused but no proof, but I digress. Predictably, the spouse stormed off bawling her eyes out, grabbed an overnight bag, threw her wedding ring at him, and off she went. Saying I don’t even know you anymore. I guess the master plan failed.
Like any fantasyland residing loser, he then went to work on his daughter who was crying and locked herself in bedroom. He kept telling her “We need to be strong as a family” and “this will all work itself out.” Yeah, seriously.
So, he called me after this episode last night/this morning, as our chat lasted ‘til about 2 am. He blamed his wife for walking out; his child for being “obtuse” and could not understand how his plan failed. He could not get through his head he was at fault. He kept quoting “Scripture” from their wedding about staying together in good times and bad, sickness and health. Oh, the kicker, he literally said to me “what kind of idiot throws a 10k wedding ring at someone?” This Einstein couldn’t figure out he is the problem. TV overload like you read about.
When I could finally get a word in edgewise after being shouted down about not having a wife or kids, I tried to level with him. He took a bad situation and escalated it to a point he lost all control, then like a typical TV enthusiast he tried to blame everyone but himself. How is this possibly the wife or his daughters’ fault?
AM Update: Well, he called me again. I guess to seek out more advice he won’t take under advisement. He filled me in that “His dumb spouse filed for divorce this AM.” A truly shocking development to everyone who lives in fantasyland. Daughter has not left her room, and he has fielded a call from the sheriff’s office stating his spouse will be returning to get personal belongings later today. She also passed through the grapevine to him that she has gotten an STD test already. He took a personal day off work today, probably the only good decision he has made lately.
Final Thoughts & Commentary
I need a disclaimer here, as stated above I do not condone cheating in any form, its morally wrong; however, after texting the lawyer friend of mine, we both agreed on how to handle this in the best way possible. First the trips to TX stop immediately, and a paternity test needs to be done ASAP. If negative, I would end the “Texas Two-Step” for good, you have a family bro, and I would argue no one needs to know. If positive, well the situation is still bleak but there are options. You can try to explain away an affair, the child is not something that you can casually dismiss. It’s going to cost you monthly in $$$ and likely your marriage. This is when you break the news, while also providing a negative STD test. It won’t make the pain hurt less, but to put it bluntly, it may show you aren’t an immature child. I would have moved my things out and tried to come to an amicable split in an attempt to save face. He will not have much of any relationship with his spouse anymore, he could still have been in his daughter’s life…. that chance looks remote now.
As for as his soon to be former spouse, good on you for acting quickly. Society is so backward for this “stand by your man” trash. Your “man” penetrated another woman, raw, and showed no remorse until he inexplicably decided to come clean, then blamed you. You will have a tough road transitioning to a divorced single mother of an adult daughter but with the coming settlement, things will look up.
As for my acquaintance, you chose to nuke your marriage and demolish your life. I am not totally sure why. You had sound advice, yet instead you followed the advice of TV shows you binge watch? Your story of an affair going on for roughly a decade plus makes very little sense, but I mean, I guess TV has show’s that glamorize it. I find it hard to believe you knew nothing about that child until recently. Frankly you just didn’t care. Like most indoctrinated TV viewers, you can no longer sense real vs fake, all you know is the ending is usually a good outcome. You were puffing on vibes from your cable TV, feeling like superman, and didn’t realize your spouse had the kryptonite. You cheated on her and lived a double life, blaming your “job” for travel. Then you tried to use a narrative that you were the victim, unreal. That’s rich, you got what you wanted with the exception of a storybook ending, and you seem to think you have done nothing wrong. Rest assured the law firm retained by your soon to be ex-spouse is going to take you for everything they can…I verified them through the lawyer friend of mine whose advice you shoved off. Fear not I am sure your “side piece” is lawyering up as well and if the kid is yours, have fun working that state job until you croak. You may think your pension is sacred, but not in CA it ain’t! Try to pull your martyr act in family law court, it won’t go very far.
In closing, understand this, what you watch on television is made to hold your eyeballs and keep you from wanting to change the channel. You sit mesmerized for hours, through turns and plot twists. They eventually catch the bad guy, try him, convict him, or the belle of the ball gets with prince charming or vice versa. Even if the bad guy gets away, on the next episode he is caught. The mere idea of thinking breaking this news over dinner and walking away without a blemish, speaks to your lack of living in the real world. Honestly from the stories you told me, the chick in Texas sounds like a pay-for-play cheap hooker, the kid is likely not even yours, sounds like she was saber rattling and you got spooked. You may have cut off your family to spite yourself. GET THE PATERNITY TEST!
Lastly turn off the TV. You have been desensitized to what the real world is all about. Anyone who thinks cheating with someone and not using a condom is normal, is major league messed up in the head. BTW the bag over your pepperoni would have likely saved your marriage but I digress. You had sex with a bimbo and had no regard for your own body (who cares) or for your wife. This is how STDs are spread. You got pretty good advice from both a male and female, one who you were friends with in college, the other a licensed lawyer, and you threw it away. Rather you decided taking advice from a TV show was better? I guess the only happy ending you will be getting now is from the chick in Texas, sadly you nuked your own life.