Caught him cheating with his good friend and co-worker, after he had denied it for over a year and repeatedly called me crazy for “seeing something that wasn’t there.” I feel hurt, betrayed and, above all else, gaslighted (gaslit?). I alternate between wanting nothing more to do with him and feeling desperate to fix this. But if he was able to lie to my face for months, and suggest I was the crazy one for suspecting him, is there any chance this can be fixed?
Zero. But your impulse to “fix” it? That can be fixed.
When you’ve been hurt, lied to, humiliated and gaslighted/
looted/lit in such spectacular fashion, it’s an understandable impulse to want to rewrite the ending. Common, too — there’s a reason that crawling back to naughty exes has become a cliche. People crave that new ending: “He really loves ME” . . . “losing me finally woke her up” . . . “I make him want to be a better person.”
On (very) rare occasions the rewrite is true, which makes it even more tempting; who doesn’t want to be special?
Problem is, what you had, Anonymous, was someone who used your love as an opportunity to get double the romantic attention — the risk of discovery adding a dash of adventure — and who exploited your preference for a happy ending to buy him extra duplicitous months. Absolutely not your fault — unless you go back for seconds.
There’s nothing here to fix but your peace of mind, and only distance from him will do that.
Recently I was in a restaurant booth by myself reading. There was a child (under 2) in a highchair behind me. At some point he let out — and this is correct — a bloodcurdling scream. I turned around to see what horrible accident had occurred.
I found out this was just the decibel level this child was allowed to communicate in. The fourth or fifth time I turned I was checking to see how close the bill was to being paid.
As the family was leaving, the grandmother approached me to say I had “ruined their evening with my ugly face.” She said it was a “children’s restaurant” because there was a children’s menu. I was looking down at a $30 prime rib wondering where my Happy Meal was.
In my opinion, children who can’t behave in a public place should be removed. A less expensive piece of chicken is not a sign that all social norms have been thrown out the window. What do you consider to be the happy medium?
Of course ill-behaved children should be removed — something guardians should know. But “should” leaves room for clueless or self-absorbed guardians to shirk their responsibilities, right? (Sometimes, too, glaring bystanders have too low a threshold for annoyance, though “bloodcurdling scream” suggests that wasn’t the case here.)
So when the “should” system breaks down, bystanders have a choice: Protect the moral victory, and sit there while our anger mounts and daggers shoot from our eyes — or concede defeat and enlist the wait staff to find us a new seat/pack our meal to go. The loud and self-righteous family ruined your dinner, not the other way around, yes — but your choice to hold your righteous ground guaranteed it.
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