Monday 30 March 2020

Cheats and Overlappers - Is there ever any justification?

Having suffered to the hands of many cheaters and overlappers I can honestly say it is probably the one thing that I really do not condone. 

It is one of the many things that I can not get my head around. For me if you are in an unhappy relationship it is better to end it than to start a relationship with someone else, whether it be a long term affair or secret rendez vous with various people. Maybe I am narrow minded and should be more accepting of this behaviour, after all I don't know the circumstances of why the cheater hasn't left and I am sure there are thousands of excuses that they come up with. 

So what is cheating? For me I believe cheating is anything that encompasses deceit in the form of having to hide any form of communication with a potential romantic interest that you feel that you need to hide from a current partner. 

This could be meeting up and being intimate with someone else or sending text messages that if your partner found would feel hurt and upset. If you have to hide this type of behaviour from your partner, unless you are organising a surprise birthday party then you are more than likely guilty of cheating. If you have to hide and delete you are likely to be behaving badly and have zero respect for any one other than yourself.

Even if you have the worst partner in the world and dislike them, what do you gain by cheating on them? Is it not better to just get out and move forward with someone else? I appreciate it can be complicated with children, debt, financial responsibilities but surely it is better to do the honorable, respectful thing to end the relationship than to be a cheat and destroy a family or the trust of others in one foul swoop?

So what is an overlapper? Well this is a new term for me but totally rings sense if you have read my post "The Practice Wife" or "Time Alone or Rebound?.. The Red Flag of Grief". Overlapping is when someone starts chatting to someone, not necessarily being intimate with, but communicates in such a way that it potentially could as soon as the relationship ends with current partner. My understanding of this is that the overlapper is wishing to end the relationship but actually doesn't want to be alone so actively looks for a replacement to engage into a relationship with as soon as they ends theirs. Very similar to cheating but not quite at the destruction level, but none the less very sneaky behaviour.

I have experienced both of this type of behaviour and what I will say is that it is pretty shit to be in that situation. I know being in a rubbish relationship is bad enough but when the person you trust most does the dirty it hurts like hell.

It makes you question everything about yourself and doubt your own sanity. One particular relationship where I was being cheated on, he use to lie about everything. It became that bad that it felt quite like the gaslighting effect, where if I dared question his behaviour or where about's he would make it out like I was going crazy. 

Hindsight is a beautiful thing and now I can see that he was a prolific offender of cheating and overlapping behaviours. At the time he made me feel horrendous. In fact he lied so much about his "activity" it became very apparent that he had got him self a sexually transmitted disease whilst we were together! I know unreal really yet he gaslighted me so much that made me think that one of us had had it 4 years prior before we met, although at that time, when we first got together we both tested negative. I should have left at that moment but continued the relationship which he continued to lie and more than likely cheat until he at the end was having an affair. I eventually found out, but I believed his lies and extraordinary stories for so long. A coward of a man, if you can call him a man. But that relationship and how it ended is for another post. I might call it "Thank god we never made it"!

Would it be safe to say that Cheaters and Overlappers are selfish? That they are not actually regarding the feelings of anyone else? Are they thinking about the person sat at home, their children or even the person they are cheating with, if of course that person doesn't know. If they do, then they are just as guilty. I wonder what justification they have? 

Surely leading a double life would be extremely exhausting trying to maintain a lie. I am unsure why they do it? Is the grass always greener? And if it is why not gate the field the current grass is in give it a good mow and move. Then and only then should they be choosing a new plot of land with fresh grass.

Breakups are difficult at the best of times but surely it saves for even more hurt in the long run if they have affairs? I would rather my exes have left me before they had affairs that's for sure.

From my experience I believe anyone is capable of having an affair and I understand accidents can happen but how is jumping into bed with someone else an accident? Surely that is a choice? It comes down to morals and respect. 

Do people who cheat or overlap continue to maintain this behaviour? The age old saying "Once a cheat, always a cheat". Well from my experience and only mine I can say I do believe it is true. If a child can get away with taking the extra cookie in the hope of not being caught, many will.

The men that have cheated on me have either cheated on previous girlfriends before or gone on to cheat after cheating on me. Perhaps it comes down to whether you've been cheated on yourself, depends on whether you carry the same behaviour out or not. But then there are people out there who have been cheated on and continue to cheat themselves. So perhaps it comes down to genetic make up? Is it nature or nurture? I would suggest nurture but then I haven't enough evidence to suggest that this is true.

I generally don't think people change their behaviours and if they have the capability to cheat or overlap are likely to repeat that behaviour. It might not be every time but I think that potentially if unhappy they will seek it else where before getting out of the current relationship. I could call them cowards, would this be a fair word to use? Nobody likes to be the bad guy and end a relationship, but it takes a far more decent human being to end it than to cheat or overlap.

Perhaps these cheaters and overlappers are so unhappy with being single that they just move from one relationship to another with out any down time. 

For me being single is really important for growth, especially between breakups. Maybe people are incapable of having single time. Perhaps they aren't happy with themselves deep down and have no idea of how to be in their own company for long periods and that they constantly need and want reassurance and attention from someone else? 

Is there ever any justification? I generally think the answer to that is "No" People who cheat and overlap need to either stay in the relationship without seeking that missing something from someone else or end it. 

Generally people always get caught and people always find out and that's when innocent people get hurt and the destruction starts.

So before you cheat or overlap, think about how you would feel if you found out someone was doing it to you. 

Wednesday 4 March 2020

Love bombed by a functioning alcoholic

That moment in your life when you have lost all hope in finding the partner you only fantasize about when suddenly as if out of nowhere they appear. 

He appeared to me as a tall, dark, handsome and charismatic man who seemed to have his shit together. Full of fun and never stopped laughing. The first few dates were amazing and he seemed to be exactly what I had been waiting for my entire life.

You know that feeling when all of a sudden you go from single to a fully fledged relationship. It is like the world stops moving for a second and you are in some sort of dream world.

Within this dream world the first few weeks move super fast, faster than you could ever imagine, the dreams you long for are promised to you whole heartedly whilst the person stares into your eyes and say they would never hurt you and will give you everything you ever want from a relationship. 

The speed of the relationship moves rapidly and things that don't usually happen until further down the line start to be spoken about early on. Your head is on cloud nine and you really believe you've hit the relationship jack pot at last! You justify it by being a little older and that thought "No point in waiting at our age, we both know what we want, let's just go for it" is voiced.

For me the man was suggesting living together and having children and told me he loved me by about date 3-4, I had longed for this for so long that I went with it and wasn't aware at that point of any "red flags"

The weeks turn into months, and you gradually realise that this momentous whirl wind romance wasn't actually all it cracked up to be.  Only to be awoken several months later emotionally bruised and your self esteem at the lowest. Before I even knew such terminology existed I now realise I had been "Love Bombed". 

When we had first started dating he always seemed to have a drink. Dates always involved having an alcoholic drink, whether it be for a meal or a bar, the cinema. It never crossed my mind that the drink might actually be a problem. As many people drink socially especially on dates.

At first he was funny when he had a drink but I started to notice that his behaviour, words and actions all started to change somewhat the further into the relationship I went.

He started to become very erratic after having a drink until one day he broke down into tears and spoke of his past and the trauma of loosing both parents only a couple of years ago. His mother of cancer and his father of a massive stroke.

He soon disclosed that he drank to numb the pain. At one very low point he actually admitted he had an issue with drink, something he rarely admitted. He said that he couldn't handle the grief and the emotions it caused within him. At this point my heart sank for him and I felt the urge to protect this man, who seemed to be so kind and loving to me but driven to drink by grief. Perhaps we could get through this together?

Over the following and very short lived months of this turbulent relationship, I soon began to learn that it was impossible to be in a relationship with a functioning alcoholic. For the only real relationship he wanted was with a pint of lager.

What I mean by functioning alcoholic, is that he drank about 10 cans of lager once he finished work. He might finish work at 3pm and he would sink his first pint in the local pub, usually without any one actually knowing that he was there. He would skip meals and make excuses not to drive so that he could drink. Inevitably being extremely drunk and pass out by 8pm. Weekends I dread to think how much he actually drank. What I am certain of is that he would on average drink 3 pints to every usual man's 1. One saving grace is that he did attempt to only stick to lager as he and I both witnessed on a couple of occasions how mixing lager with wine or spirits turned him into an even worse abusive drunk.

His behaviour altered a lot. If we were out he would cause nothing but drama and react loudly and inappropriately and be centre of attention. It was extremely embarrassing and I frequently had stares of sympathy and "control your man" by public on lookers. If he didn't get his way, he would kick off and make a scene like a child having a tantrum in a shop when told he couldn't have any sweets or the latest toy.

He would frequently throw and slam things about sulking, blowing hot and cold and walking off. 

At one point he decided that he would reduce and stop his intake and I supported him with this, but at that point it was very early days and I don't think at that point I knew how badly not drinking would effect him. His abstinence did not last long. 

I have many examples of nights out that were ruined because of his drunken behaviour. He would verbally abuse me and one of the most common things he would shout on repeat like listening to a broken record player were the words; "F*****g boring you are, you're F*****g boring. I don't love you, you're f*****g boring".

One evening, I had misplaced his bank card, which he had given to me to put in my handbag for safe keeping, as he would loose countless wallets. I was genuinely sorry and desperately trying to look in my handbag to find it but he was shouting abuse at me, making a scene and eventually launched my handbag and contents across the floor in the street and that is the shortened edited version.The next day he couldn't remember a thing and the bank card was in a zipped compartment of my handbag, but he had flustered me so much I obviously didn't see it. I rarely got an apology, it was like I should know and accept his drunken antics. "You know what I'm like when I'm drunk" was his usual mitigating statement.

We went to restaurants but if he had to wait, he would walk out mid way through, he would leave me and get out of a taxi on the way home just to get to another pub. He was vile. Yet once he woke up he could barely remember anything that had occurred.

I celebrated New Years Eve sat alone crying in our room before midnight because he had threatened to knock an old man out following falling over a sofa and knocking glasses everywhere in a lovely country Coltswold pub. He was passed out on top of the bed  sheets horizontal, so I couldn't even get in. We had been asked to leave by the bar tender. That all too familiar look from people giving me sympathy of having to deal with an absolute dickhead.

If I wasn't available to him, like if I was at home doing something and he called and he was drunk he would blow hot and cold. He would demand I go up there, which was a 45 - 50 minute drive from my home) and say that I didn't love him if I didn't go. He would say I was boring and start to cry often. The times when I did go by the time I got up there he was even more drunk and then would pass out. He made me feel like a piece of shit. He would consistently end the relationship by text and then video call or text later on or the next day or 2 saying he loved me etc. 

He never wanted sex with me and blamed it on the booze or just not in the mood. Our relationship was no longer intimate.

I was forever in limbo. Unsure if he was going to love me or not love me that day.

So the million dollar question most people ask is why didn't I leave? Well, when he was sober or had only had a couple of drinks, he was actually a very caring thoughtful kind man. Hard to believe I know, but that is why I stayed. I could see the demon inside him that was the grief he was suffering from loosing his parents. On occasion he would say he needed help and I offered my heart and soul to him. I would listen to the sadness in his voice. I put up with the emotional abuse because I cared.

It came to a head following a weekend away when yet again he had drank way too much. What was supposed to be a romantic weekend turned out to be a living nightmare. He had drank too much and we hadn't eaten. I suggested that we get something to eat but wasn't much availability as it was getting late in a little village. We eventually found a bar that sold pizza, yet again another bar. He said I was being moody (I wonder why putting up with his alcoholic antics and comments, which he forgets about) I sat and was eating the pizza I actually didn't really want and he went on to say yet again "You're boring, I don't love you anymore" 

Now don't get me wrong I enjoy a drink from time to time and yes indeed can too get drunk but there is a time and place. I am also not a nasty drunk. This weekend was supposed to be about hiking, climbing mountains and enjoying the sea air". The night before our weekend, instead of getting the early night we had discussed because we wanted an early start, he decided we would go for a meal and a drink. But he could never just have one drink. By the time i had arrived with my weekend luggage he was drunk. Once out he kicked off being drunk and left me alone to walk home without even having a key to the house to get in. 

So that night right or wrongley of me I'd had enough. Following the last nasty comment I decided to go back to the room. He followed me calling me boring and unloveable all the way through the hotel to our room. Once in the room I retaliated and shouted back, I had suppressed this hurt and anger from the first couple of weeks into our relationship. He started to record me on his phone which just fueled my fire. Eventually I could not take any more and I knocked his phone from his hand and slapped him twice. I do not condone any form of physical abuse but I also do not condone any form of verbal and emotional abuse either. I had been subjected to verbal and emotional abuse for long enough and by slapping him it was in fact the only time he shut up. Things got considerably worse that evening and he disappeared for hours eventually coming back to the room in the early hours paralytic, he had ht the spirits as well as the lager, someone had to escort him back to the room. Prior to that he had come up and banged around shouting that yet again I was boring because I wouldn't go back down to the bar for a drink.

From that moment on I was the bad guy. He spoke to me like I had knocked the living daylights out of him every night for years. I slapped him twice. Not exactly my finest moment but I literally couldn't take anymore. It was through pure verbal and emotional abuse that I eventually snapped.

Needless to say that our relationship didn't last too much longer after that. He went on to become even more abusive and mean. He constantly blew hot and cold and made me feel like the devil for slapping him. The words that came out of his mouth were pure hatred and putting me down and destroying my self esteem inch by inch but by some how blaming me for being the unhinged person? He made me feel like I was a bad person and was mean and nasty.

Finally when we broke up after weeks of nasty messages I spoke with both his sisters who  were actually disgusted with what he had put me through. They bought me flowers and chocolates and offered me their shoulder for my tears. In fact the one sister said "I'd have given him more than a bloody slap".  Of course they are his flesh and blood and I sadly cut ties with them both following the split to enable me to move forward.

One sister sat with me for hours telling me of their childhood and how his dad was an alcoholic, (the sisters had different dads) and how badly that he treated their mum. She told me of how the parents had died and the guilt they had all felt and how my ex used to be a spoilt child. 

All of it made sense and listening to the untold story that I had never heard from my ex made me realise why I did stay and put up with his bad behaviour. He was a lost soul and deeply grieving for his parents. He had this demon inside him but the alcohol would always win. What I learnt is that you will always be second fiddle to alcohol and you can not reason with a very drunk alcoholic and I was never going to come first, not unless he sought professional help and made some changes. But I am unsure if he was ready to make those changes. 

What I did realise though was that despite the hurt and trauma he had and was suffering didn't give him the right to treat me badly. I noticed that he would blame everyone for his actions. He would blame me, his sisters, his friends (although he only had 2 friends) he would even blame his deceased parents. One thing I know is that no matter how bad you suffer, it does not give you the right to make someone else suffer too. For example, one of my closest friends mothers had passed away with cancer, but she didn't go around getting pissed and verbally and emotionally abusing me.

Should I have slapped him? Definitely not. Should he have emotionally and verbally abused me? Definitely not. This whirl wind love bomb, promised me the world and more in such a short space of time. I believed him. Did he want it? Perhaps deep inside. Was he able to do it?...Never.

Since we split he moved on to the next girl and from what I hear is now living with the one night stand he had a week after our break up. Perhaps he has now made changes and isn't drinking to excess anymore or perhaps my heart has to go out to his next love bomb victim. Functioning alcoholics don't change over night and I certainly know that he wont. I feel sorry for this new girl, or perhaps they both drink to excess and have a volatile relationship? 

I am glad that it never worked out with me and that I have well and truly moved on. God forbid if I ever find myself being love bombed again.

If a man wants to give me the world in such a short amount of time and deep inside he has issues. I am not the one to try and save him and give him the attention he wants and needs. For he needs to sort out his own loss and demons. He needs to rescue himself before promising me a thing. I am better off with out the heartache.

Can there really be a happily ever after?

For most of us girls we have grown up and made to believe in the fairy tale, and what I mean by that fairy tale is that the Princess gets swept off her feet by Prince Charming, they fall in love, get married and they live happily ever after.

This so called fairy tale is every where. It is the perfect story line in any Disney film and romantic comedy, hell even Julia Roberts in the film Pretty Women, which is actually a story about a prostitute gets the fairy tale ending.

It is drilled into all us little girls from a young age right up until the day we are peeing ourselves from laughing too much. Are we all being brainwashed into thinking that this is what we all have a burning desire to end up with?

Is each relationship we have striving for that happily ever after? Is it not possible to just enjoy the moment of the relationship and go with the flow instead of this obsessed feeling of this is the one I'm meant to be with....forever. Surely that pressure actually subconsciously puts pressure on any relationship?

I recently read a quote/meme saying:

" I may not be your first love, first kiss, first sight or first date but I just want to be your last everything".

At first, my initial thoughts were, 'Oh that is sweet'. But actually having read it several times over and over I actually felt quite freaked out by it. Why would I want one person to be my last of everything? Right there, I feel this sense of pressure. For me I would rather say something like:

"You are my present, my now and let's enjoy what time we have together".

For me, that sounds far healthier, but that's just me. I am beginning to think that perhaps there isn't such a thing as Mr/Mrs Right. Perhaps it is a case of Mr /Mrs Right now.

There are many chapters in our lives but does each chapter have to lead on from the next like a fictional story book that has an actual plot, theme, introduction, middle and a happily ever after ending? Or are each of our "chapters" actually a new book entirely?

Can we be entitled to plural happily ever afters? And no, when I say plural I mean with one person at one time, I am talking monogamy not polygamy! Just several endings at different times not just one?

Instead of a happily ever after ending, where we are supposed to meet the man of our dreams and then stay with them forever or at least until we are old and grey is it just possible to have a zero pressured ending that may or may not end happy?

Are we really supposed to be with one person for the rest of our lives and work towards the ideal of societies happily ever after? Or is it OK to  have many partners over the duration of life, some ending happily or others not so much. There is so much pressure on us all to meet one person who gives us everything and to make it work out forever.

Can we really get everything from one person in a relationship? I don't believe we can. I mean I get different things from different friends and different members of my family and different colleagues so someone please tell me how we are supposed to get everything from one single relationship called marriage which turns into our happily ever after?

That is not me being against marriage. I mean I have always thought it be romantic to pledge your love for one person but does just wanting that commitment lead to a happily ever after?

Many chose to marry for many reasons. Perhaps it is for religion, for romance for commitment, I am not sure maybe people chose to marry for other reasons.

Some weddings are so invested into the happily ever after, they spend a fortune in splashing out on the celebration which they share with friends and family but does this guarantee a happily ever after ending?

For me if I did get married, I would only want a very discreet, small affair, which does not involve me walking down an aisle and being the centre of attention. For me I wouldn't want that to be the start of my happily ever after. I dislike being the centre of attention and in fact would find it a bit of a circus.

This is not meant to be a negative post but perhaps do call me a cynic but maybe there isn't supposed to be one happily after after, perhaps there can be several happily ever afters through out our lives?

I mean people get divorced all the time and I am guessing that when they got married the first time that they thought it would be a happily ever after. But they go on to meet someone else and perhaps even marry again. But what is it they are looking for another happily ever after or something entirely different?

Perhaps relationships are not forever and we are not supposed to stay with one person for the rest of our lives, perhaps we are supposed to move from one relationship to another. It is just we have never been told that this is OK.

All journeys have to come to an end eventually. Time and space is consistently moving so why does it seem that we try are hardest to stay still and stagnant in one relationship? Are we choosing to fight a losing battle as the world we live in and the universe that it sits in are constantly moving. So why don't we move too?

When we suffer heart ache we become stuck into temporarily thinking that we will feel like this forever, but for those who have experienced heart ache we do learn to understand that it is a temporary feeling. So if heartache is temporary. Why cant the feelings of happily ever after be too?

We can experience so many emotions in one single day, in fact every day is a roller coaster of emotions, ranging from happy, angry, anxious, amused, perplexed and sadness and everything in between.

So baring this in mind that our emotions are not stagnant why do we believe that this "happily ever after" will be a constant. I think a happily ever after might be temporary feeling but really can it truly be a feeling that lasts forever in this ever moving and changing world we live?

Our society has evolved from when marriage was the be all and end all and religion was taken more seriously. Nowadays we are provided with not just religion but also spiritual ways now. We are provided with more choice, allowing us to grow and not be in one situation for the rest of our lives. We have more opportunities with more availability and different sets of societal values and norms.

So if those happily ever after values are changing, why are we not moving with the times. Is that why so many happily ever after endings fail now? Because we as a society have outgrown the values that were once deemed as the only way?

I think I might be content with several happily ever afters. It might make life more versatile and interesting perhaps?

Stephen King wrote a series of books one being called "The Dark Tower" It is a fantasy/horror science fiction type novel that looks at a quest to allow the king to survive. Within the story, sacrifice for love, defeating lies and grief come into play. A famous quote within the book is this: