Friday, April 1, 2011

Welcome to Crazy Town!

"You're acting jealous!"
"She's just a friend who's going through a rough time."
"You're being ridiculous. I hate it when you act like this."
"If you believe I'm cheating, I might as well just go ahead and do it!"

Welcome to Crazy Town! Like a sign that notes population (there's a lot of us living there!), the above "slogans" are generally an indication that you've landed in Crazy Town. The problem with Crazy Town isn't that we so much arrive there all of a sudden, it's that we slip into it from a back route. We discover ourselves there after months or years of simply not consulting our internal GPS, the one that knows where we should be going...and therefore recognizes when we take a wrong turn. That voice that says, "please turn around and head left" or "I wouldn't recommend this route". It's the voice that gets drowned out by his voice, assuring us he'd "never do that." Or accusing us of cheating ourselves, based only on the fact that we're accusing him. Or it's the voice that sounds deceptively like our own, making excuses or assuming blame.
However, we get there, Crazy Town will only make you crazier the longer you stay there, until up is down, black is white, and everything that's ever gone wrong in his life is your fault.
The good news about Crazy Town is that it's possible to leave.
It starts with challenging the rules of the place.
Rules such as, "he wouldn't cheat if I was prettier/smarter/sexier/thinner/younger/insert-ridiculous-adjective-here". Rules such as "if I stop nagging/complaining/crying/accusing, he'll come back to me". Crazy rules that have little basis in truth, but pack plenty of emotional punch.
It often starts with a simple question (thanks to Byron Katie for this nugget of wisdom): Is it true?
We too often assume to know what another is thinking. Or why they're doing what they do. Or accept blame for something that, upon closer examination, can't possibly be our responsibility.
Is it true?:
Am I truly unlovable?
Am I to blame for someone else's lies and deception?
Is it my responsibility to keep someone faithful? Is it even possible to control another's choices?
Must I accept that men are programmed to cheat?
No, no, no, no and no.
And a funny thing happens when you start challenging these long-held (or sometimes short-held but deeply felt) beliefs, you start to recognize them as ridiculous. Not right away. But slowly, with increasing scrutiny, these "rules" start to sound like what they are: bullshit crazy talk.
No-one deserves to be lied to and deceived.
No-one deserves to have their own needs dismissed.
No-one deserves to be betrayed by the very person who promised not to.
And no-one deserves to be told they're crazy, unhinged, jealous, ridiculous, a nag, etc. by the very person whose actions are making them feel that way.
It's time to pack your bags and leave Crazy Town. With a simple passport consisting of three words – Is it true – you can begin to de-program yourself from your paralyzing beliefs.
And get the hell outta town.


  1. This one hits the nail on the head! It really is a detour into Crazy Town!

  2. This isn't really a comment on this blog entry, but a letter that I wrote this morning to the other woman . . .

    So, you are “heartbroken.” That’s what I hear. While it does give me a sense of satisfaction to hear that, it also invokes a sense of amazement.

    You are “heartbroken”? Over him? Over a man who hurt his family, the ones he loves more than anything—his own children? Over a man who used you to get prostitute level sex for free? Over a man who you had sex with in public restrooms in public parks? Over a man who never gave you his cell phone number because he didn’t want you calling him? A man who hates to hear your name, wishes he had never met you, and never loved you—really? You are “heartbroken”? It does amaze me.

    You acted like a whore, yet you are “heartbroken” because you are being treated like one? Exactly what did you expect? Perhaps you should reexamine what you need to be “heartbroken” about—you destroyed your own family, your soon to be ex-husband can not wait until the divorce is final, your children have no respect for you because you did not even have the decency to hide what you were doing from them, your 17-year old carried the burden for an entire semester at school—seeing me in the hallways and wanting to tell me what you were doing with my husband, you don’t have respect for yourself—you allowed yourself to be used by a man who has a problem with sex, and the people you work with know about it because you didn’t have the decency to be discreet.

    I know why you are “heartbroken.” You are like a child, “heartbroken” that you did not get what you want. “Heartbroken” because you immaturely think the world revolves around you, and you can’t understand why it isn’t working for you this time. You are “heartbroken” because you thought that you could hold power over a man with your sex and are now realizing that you are not as powerful as you thought you were. Your ego has taken a hit. Again, it does amaze me.

    I don’t imagine that you will use this situation as a learning experience. You will continue to wallow in your “heartbreak,” moving on to use your sex to gain power over someone else. Just another example of how women like you and women like me differ. I do not feel sorry for myself anymore. This is just one experience in my life that has made me stronger and has given me a better sense of who I am. Do you even know who you are?

  3. Wow. Sounds exactly like far too many women I know of. And you're right. Heartbroken, not because of the pain they've helped create (let's remember, it takes two to...ummm...tango), but because they're the ones left in the dust. Too true – what did they expect from someone who's revealed himself to be a liar and cheater. Then again, what does that mean WE can expect. Well, unless our spouses truly want to change and are willing to do the work to ensure they don't go down that same road, I guess it means we, too, can expect more of the same.

  4. In response to my letter earlier...and the comment above...

    I have filed for divorce. I have no desire to remain with the other half of that "tango." I will not be expecting more of the same from him, because although he said he wanted to "change," he wasn't willing to put in the work or to deal with my anger and pain.

    I wrote the letter above after a conversation with her ex-husband. Unfortunately, there are too many betrayed husbands too.

  5. A commitment to work HARD to figure out why a spouse strays is the only way to ensure it becomes a learning experience, albeit a bloody painful one. If he won't do that, you're wise to get out.
    And yes, there are far too many betrayed spouses of both sexes...and in same-sex relationships.
    I wish you peace and healing. And thanks for the letter. A great blueprint for other betrayed wives thinking of articulating their own feelings in a letter! :) It can be quite cathartic to simply put onto paper all those overwhelming feelings. Then, if it's not prudent to send, you can burn, stomp, or otherwise deface the letter. But at least the feelings are out there...and not simply poisoning your own heart.



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