Act 5: A Bug or a Feature

The next day I check Facebook and find that Zoe has unfriended me. Odd. I say something snarky about it on Tumblr. She sees it and facebook messages me with: “I unfriended you because I figured you’d never want to speak to me again, for what it’s worth (probably nothing). I won’t bother you again. Sorry.”

This doesn’t really make any sense, as it’s not like I have to message all of my Facebook friends, so, as has by now become habit when dealing with Zoe’s occasional incomprehensible answers, I don’t question it and (to stretch the jigsaw puzzle metaphor) just file it away as a puzzle piece.

I ask her if she was serious about getting back to being that person, and she says she was. And I tell her that the right thing to do, then, is to inform Josh’s wife. Zoe says she doesn’t have any info on her and freaks out about the possibility that she might go public. I’m disappointed that this is her primary concern. But she does at least recognize it as the right thing to do.

We spend the next four hours or so talking. Much of the conversation is open and calm — consisting largely of stories she’s already told about her past, but she gets mad and tells me she feels attacked whenever I ask about any of the inconsistencies in the claims she made about why or when she cheated on me. Asking about things that aren’t related to that seem fine though. This defensive behavior is new; she wasn’t responding like this when I first got her to admit to cheating, and I don’t really understand what’s changed. I throw it in the puzzle piece pile.

A few days later [July 19th] I check in on her, and ask when her therapy appointment is. She tells me the date, then gets mad and asks why I’m pressing her on this.

I tell her it’s because she’s in an environment that encourages and enables (and has potential to be harmed by) her behavior, and so she has something to gain by not taking therapy seriously. She takes a strong principled stance against letting me know if she’s going to her appointments.

Practically speaking this strikes me as a serious problem. Given that lying has been such a successful strategy for her so far (with recent exception — which still took me months to be sure I wasn’t just going crazy), there’s no reason to believe she would want to change, and no reason to believe she isn’t lying about trying to stop lying. We argue about it, and she says she’s not doing therapy for me, and I tell her I’m not worried about me because I already know not to trust her. I’m worried about everyone she’s misleading first, and — if she really does have a problem — her second. She gets angry again, and I decide to give her some space for a while.

It would at this point be impossibly dumb of me to just trust that she’ll take it seriously, but I can’t really do any more than hope.

I don’t message her for the next four days.

(In retrospect, if I were asked to evaluate from a distance how seriously she’s taking therapy — on a scale of “take therapy very seriously and go to appointments regularly” to “don’t give a fuck and take a trip to europe for three months.”

I would say that she isn’t giving a fuck

And taking a trip to europe for three months

But I’m sure she has some good explanation for it. She always does.)

9 thoughts on “Act 5: A Bug or a Feature

  1. You are a sad, pathetic and slightly dangerous individual. I wonder, what do you hope to gain out of all this? The barren meaningless sympathy of random strangers?
    We choose the people we get involved with. Your own insecurity made you fall for a young woman with obvious personal issues, it concerns only the both of you. Your attitude is despicable.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Why do people keep journals?Because writing things down not only helps to give you closure, but helps you organize your thoughts and provide a release. This whole thing sounds like it was written by someone in dire straits who NEEDED to get it all out and understand WHY. I doubt he really gives a fuck what random strangers think about it, beyond the countless people he worries will suffer the same things as him due to her actions.


    • If you think you are going crazy establishing touchstones is more important than anything.
      Could he have known better?
      Could he have cut it of sooner?
      Doubtful, but theoretically yes.
      Love is such messy business because we try to make it work and are, at least if we are sane and normal, incapable of dumping our losses and our relation before it gets painful, because we want it to work.
      There is surely revenge here, and intent to hurt.
      But then again, there is also a desperate desire to find out why.
      This is not about moral high ground, this about coming to grips with it in probably the only way he had available.


  2. Your story has really helped me get over a recent break up. It’s unfortunate that you had to effectively play “Papers Please” irl, and I hope your psychological well-being is somewhat better now. It doesn’t matter who supports or flames you, and I’m thankful that your message is told.


  3. Out of curiosity, why was it your place to make sure she went to therapy or even changed into not a cheater? Because your end of the conversation comes off as controlling. As does the insistence on seeing her Facebook messages with the threat of leaving. And being the one to decide she needs to tell the wife. Their marriage and their issues are absolutely none of your business, but your eagerness to get back at your girlfriend ( or ex, I really can’t tell at this point. Half of your conversation seems staged so you can come off as the calm one) trumps their private lives I guess. One of your disappointments is that she put herself above telling the wife. Well, sure looks like you put yourself over the fallout the wife would experience so you’re not exactly a paragon yourself.

    No one adheres perfectly to their principles. No one.

    Cheaters tend to lie and try to cover their asses.

    Acting like a control freak pops you right out of the victim column and lands you square in the ” just as much of an asshole as she was” column.

    The both of you need to grow up a hell of a lot more before you get into serious relationships again. I don’t know how old either of you are, but I feel like I just read a high school diary. But this diary o woe and angst is being linked to in order to prove who the fuck knows what about this person and that person and people not even relevant to the issue. And this Zoe chick isn’t the only one who should be embarrassed by this. You should too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s fine if people think I’m an asshole. So long as they realize how far Zoe is from the faultless virtuous person she claims to be. Whether they think I’m awesome or a jerk doesn’t have potential to harm them. But believing that Zoe is totally incapable of being dishonest and taking advantage of people, when she actually does that almost constantly has considerable potential to hurt them. She has a knack for really really making people believe the absolute best of her.

      To answer your questions, it wasn’t quite as simple as my being controlling (when she offered to let me) though. I was only holding her to her standards — the ones she claimed to have, and for which I fell in love with her.

      Her standards dictated that infidelity was a violation of sexual consent, and that she should do whatever she could to prevent the violation of other people’s sexual consent. She herself acknowledged that informing his wife was the right thing to do so as to not violate his wife’s consent, so I asked her to do the thing she claimed was right.

      Her standards also dictated that she could read my private messages, so I was only holding her to reciprocity by asking her to let me read hers in return.

      I don’t know that holding her to her own standards and wanting reciprocity is controlling, but even if we assert that it is — I’m not the one deciding the way she is being controlled. I’m only asking her to control herself the way she controls others.

      When you ask why it was my place to make sure she went to therapy — I guess it’s kind of like noticing a bomb in a train station and just saying “eh, not my problem, my train is leaving three minutes before it goes off.”

      Zoe is a very public figure. And she moves from social circle to social circle, because she has to move on to a new one after she strains the relationships in the old one. There were *way* too many people she stood to hurt in the future. Just like there were way too many people she had already hurt in the past. And I don’t mean just the cheating and emotional abuse. I mean careers.

      As for our ages. Yeah. It’s my first love at 24. It’s one of Zoe’s countless loves at 27.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. I’m only this far into your story and have just read one article from her side but must point out something very obvious from your version. If your side is true she is most likely bipolar 1 and was manic when she did this to you and probably can’t remember all of it, thus her story changing. I think it’s sad that instead of getting help she got bullied by your supporters.


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