Missing Flags

I still don’t see how I missed the red flags with STBXW. I think this may be a reason for my trust and insecurity issues. She just didn’t seem like the type of woman who would be on that type of time. Here are the things that put my guard down around her:

She didn’t go out much. She wasn’t loud and abrasive. She doesn’t party a lot nor drink too much or have drug issues. She didn’t seem materialistic insofar as buying expensive brands. She dressed pretty modestly. Didn’t/rarely wore makeup. No weaves or wigs. She had been cheated on in a previous relationship, so we talked pretty extensively about how terrible it felt. She said that she did not want to raise a child in a single parent household. Her male cousins told me that she is a ‘good girl’….and I was lucky to find someone like her. (i didn’t ask, nor need their approval, and they had no incentive really to say such things if it were not from their perspectives). She didn’t seem selfish as she would sometimes drive an hour away to visit me, wake up the next morning and drive directly to her job. It seemed that she was really into me.

The only things I can say that kind of gave me red flags was that in the beginning, on the weekends, she sometimes didn’t answer my calls…..but we weren’t official yet and i chalked my doubts up to possible insecurity. She never really contributed to deep questions about life so we never had really deep conversations. But I figured it was just me overthinking things as usual….. and usually, she’d just listen when I went there. This wasn’t alarming to me as I don’t expect everyone to be interested in talking about things like that. She wasn’t expecting or feel entitled to me buying her anything or taking her on dates. She didn’t mind just spending time doing whatever, as long as we were together. She was really sweet and I remember thinking that she might be a little naive. I thought it was endearing though and I felt that I needed to protect her in certain ways.

Looking back, parts of her story didn’t make sense. Like, she had led me to beleive that she and her ex fiance had been broken up for a few months….yet she was still working on getting money back from a wedding reception. But then again, that could happen. I never considered the idea of me being a rebound though….I didn’t think about stuff like that back then.

Between being attracted to her as ‘my type’ physically, the ease at which our conversation used to flow, and not seeing any major red flags, I didn’t stand a chance. I was head over heels and felt for the first time in my life, I’d move heaven and earth for this chick.

This is a scary proposition because what on earth could have caused her to completely switch up on me like that. Granted I may have not been perfect, possibly could have been more ambitious and a better leader….maybe I was too beta OR either too far gone (in love)……but I’d think that even if she fell out of love with me, she had the moral fortitude to either communicate her dissatisfaction and gave us a chance (for our family’s sake) OR she would have divorced me for x,y,z reasons. I know I treated her right, even if she wasn’t happy with lack of ambition (which I didn’t know at the time).

The cheating was unnecessary. The humiliation she put me through was overkill. The lying and betrayal seemed so far out of my perceived character of her that I was completely blindsided by it.

I’ve never been a jealous man or at least I never try to display it….unless jokingly to keep it spicy and start up some shit…..but usually it’s clear that I’m just joking….I’m act no more jealous of my lover than I did with her…..so I don’t think this was an issue.

A few concerns, looking back is that I do believe that I did love her a little bit more than she loved me. The day I was going to propose to her, I asked her….”do you really love me” a few hours beforehand…..and she sort of looked at me asked why I was acting so weird before confirming that she did….I don’t know why this stands out to me for some reason. Another was that I didn’t learn about her “best male friend” until after we were married. I had no clue this guy existed. Maybe she mentioned his name once or twice, but she never said anything about it being like a best friend or anything. Maybe a good friend she grew up with, but I don’t recall ever having a conversation about him let alone meeting him. He didn’t stand out at all as a threat until I caught them texting “I love you” in a few of her text messages. But this was a year or two into the marriage.

She dismissed it as just him being her best friend and I told her I felt it was inappropriate. She agreed and agreed to stop. Her aunt vouched for the guy when I asked her about him, but I still remember thinking it was strange that he wasn’t invited to meet me, or come to our wedding, and didn’t visit our son until many years after he was born. For a “best friend” this seemed strange to me. When I brought up why she didn’t invite him to the wedding she said….because she didn’t want him to “act up” because his relationship has just failed. It never made sense to me either, but I trusted her so didn’t really press too hard on it…. but I always had suspiscions about this guy even though I didn’t say too much about him.

During her affair, she moved to New York on a travel assignment and started acting really strange right before she left. I guess she forgot to sign out of facebook messenger on my phone and I started getting notifications from some guy. At first I thought he had the wrong person and I was going to text back, but then I noticed the bubbles by her name meaning that she was on another device texting back. In it, the guy was being very flirty and she was responding back in kind. This threw me for a loop. I let it go on for a while to see where she was going with it. I waited until she returned from NY and confronted her with the messages and she apologized…..saying it was nothing, just some innocent flirting from an old friend she saw at a party in NYC. I didn’t even know she was going out to a party….anyway that’s another story….long story short, her changed behavior and lack of transparancy led me to do something I promised I wouldn’t do which is read her diary which she left behind.

In it, she confessed to sleeping with her “best friend” a year or two before all this went down. In it she said that once she slept with him, she felt that her feelings for me had changed. She realized that she was ‘unhappy’. I hadn’t noticed a change in her…..but I did notice that sex between us in that past year seemed….i don’t know….different. Like we were both not as into it. I remember once we were doing it and I had to turn the TV off because I wanted to finish watching while we were doing it and it was distracting me. We didn’t seem as connected, but I chalked it up to just being married for a long time. I also always had a higher sex drive than her, so around the end, when she started rejecting me for sex, i wasn’t too alarmed until it happened a few times in a row. We went to counseling over that and that’s where she got the idea to start journaling.

Her “best friend” wasn’t her affair partner though. So by the time her AP rolled around, this was the second time she cheated on me. I just didn’t know about it. That same year, before all of this went down, she finally did invite him out to meet us. She had slept with him by that time. How fucked up is that she invited that man to our home, had me shake his hand, and let him pick our our son after that. Why the fuck would she invite that guy to our home knowing she had sex with him while we were married? I didn’t find out that she slept with him until after the fact, otherwise, he definitely wouldn’t have set foot across my doorstep.

Between this betrayal, the way she brutally cheated with her first affair partner, and all the lies that I’ve caught her in since then…..She’s like a totally different person. Her mentality has changed completely and I don’t recognize her anymore. She’s no longer that beautiful woman that I married. She’s colder, more manipulative, and deceptive. I’ve caught her in so many lies, that I really don’t ask anything that she may have an incentive to lie about because, who the fuck knows if she’s telling the truth or not. She’s more argumentative and combative. More secretive. I know snooping is bad, but I had a bad case of it at one time. I’ve learned that she apparently doesn’t mind playing side chick to a guy with kids. As far as I see, both of her longest lasting APs had main girls and children with them, yet she knowingly and aggressively pursues them…..even to the point where one asked her to stop texting him so much. On a side note, I saw a comment on a video once that said, noone pursues you more aggressively than a fat or cheating married woman. I can confirm. Duly noted.

I’m often wondering, how the fuck did I miss all the red flags…..or did she just change. This worries me about future relationships. The close family and friends who know who supported me throughout this say that they didn’t see this coming from her….though my closest cousin told me he that he could tell that it seemed that I loved her a little more. Based on how her family interacts with her, I’m pretty sure they’d be surprised if they knew the truth about her. From what I can tell, they all loved me and thought I was a great husband and father. They told me without me having to ask. So yeah, I honestly thought I was doing a pretty decent job.

The worst part in all of this, for me is that she never really offered any explanation nor a real sincere apology. She hurt me to a traumatic level….way more than anyone ever has. She has caused me more pain than I’ve ever felt by far. Had me wanting to end it all because I just wanted the pain to stop. It’s taking longer to get over this than I’d like to admit….

And it seems to have had the effect of not wanting to trust anyone with my heart again. I don’t think it is fair to the next woman……but with no apparent way to distinguish the good from the bad…..I don’t know how I could ever just trust or want to be in love again

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