wasbands and other things that bite

In ALL, BREAKUPS & BREAKTHROUGHS by Stephanie Klein50 Comments

300px Canis latrans

I took Nyquil last night, sick as a dog. Threw up in the middle of the night. Then went back to bed. I wonder if it’s just some kind of bug I can’t shake. Asleep today, until 11am, I was in a half-dream state, where I wasn’t sure what was dream and what was actually happening. I heard barking. It sounded like an audition for a three dog a cappella group. When I finally awoke, dressed, and found my way downstairs in need of a muffin, Phil asked me if I’d heard Rex, our neighbor’s dog. "Yuh, what was that about?"

"There was a coyote in OUR backyard."
"…"
"And it’s rare that they come out during the day, too. It was 10am."
"How do you even know what a coyote looks like? I mean, how’d you know it just wasn’t someone else’s dog?"
"’Cause I KNOW."
I shrugged my shoulders and assumed it was the same as when a woman just knows if she’s about to get her period (which I just did, FYI).

"They can eat toddlers ya know."
"Yeah, I called the number you’re supposed to call if you–"
"In New York, there’s a number to call if you see an unattended bag or suspect package. In Texas, we get a number for baby-eating mammals. I don’t know that I feel safer here. What with rattlesnakes, scorpion, and rabid coyotes that target young children IN OUR BACKYARD." WTF?

It is, however, better than running into your Wasband and his redheaded escort on the streets of NY. I’d choose poison, personally. And what was my friend (albeit not a close one) thinking sending me a link to his photo anyway? Like I even give a shit what that assmunch is doing screwing with his life? Actually, on second thought, might add a few nice new details to the TV show. If I had a mustache, I’d twist it right now.

It’s amazing how fast the anger can come back. How you can genuinely wish someone treats him the way he treated you. That you can still care, even though you shouldn’t. You care less, but I don’t know that it ever really goes away.

Comments

  1. I have found that I only have malicious thoughts for those that had malicious hearts and took it out on me. There are many people from my past who did me wrong, but didn't necessarily know better. And I've witnessed them getting the due I once hoped for them – and it didn't feel good. But, for those who did me wrong, and KNEW it, news of their misfortune didn't feel all that bad!

    The way I live my life – treat people with respect and hopefully when the raw wounds heal they won't be having thoughts of me while pushing pins into a voodoo doll somewhere!

  2. I don't know how you do it but you once again managed to capture exactly what I'm feeling in words…it's been a month and a few days since my boyfriend of almost 10 years and I broke up. BTW, he already has a new girlfriend. I hadn't been angry about it until last night and it all hit me in a huge wave. Grrr.

  3. I love to fantasize about what I would say or do if I ran into someone who really hurt me, maybe ask if their STD has cleared up? Or if the Viagra is still working? But that would just provide temporary gratification and you might feel petty about it later. Better would be a sincere thank you for such an easy divorce. And if he's with a woman you might suggest that she read your book….

  4. I'm still sorry I never told my high school boyfriend what a prick he was. I was actually afraid when I broke up with him senior year, so I told him in my parents living room and blamed everything on myself to avoid a scene. This was the guy who forced me to give up my friends, my hobbies and anything else that threatened his total control over my life (so after-school special, I know) and I had such crap self-esteem I allowed it to go on for almost 4 years… and then I actually tried to spare his feelings when I finally got up the nerve to break up with him. The thought still makes sick to my stomach. At least you had the guts to speak your mind at the time.

    If living well is considered the best revenge, then living happily ever after with a beautiful family, becoming a published author, and co-producing a tv show where you get to tell the world what an ass your ex was must just be off the charts.

  5. Did the Wasband or Rome ever contact you about the book? It was such a scathing indictment…I am surprised they never came forward with their side of the story. How he ever gets laid after that story you told is beyond me.

  6. I'm also curious about the wasband and Rome's reaction to the book and the blog, or the tv show. Have you ever actually ran into either of them while still living in NYC or when you are back visiting?

  7. My mantra—>What comes around goes around. I no longer picture him in a wheelchair helpless and at my mercy. His FIFTH wife beats HIM. Heh.

  8. Nyquil makes me sicker. My daughter, too. Let your cold/flu run it's course and try to take only natural, healthy things to deal. Vitamin C, echinacea, peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils, orange or grapefruit juice, chicken soup, hall's mentholyptus (I know, not natural, but it won't make you sicker like nyquil does).

  9. It goes away after 25 years and it is amazing to realize that it has gone. Completely. But it sucked for a long time.

  10. Stephanie – it could be Austin allergies – all-time high for ragweed. It's kicking everyone's butt, mine included.

  11. Speaking of things that bite ;) how is Linus? We never hear about him anymore.
    I can't help but wonder if there is some unresolved feelings towards the Wasband as much as you have brought him up in blogs before (recently, not right after SU&D). Then again, I guess your past is always part of your present so that's just how it works.

  12. Move to Houston and live inside the Loop. The only thing we fear is missing a sale at Neiman's or passing a metro who still uses to much hair gel.

  13. I'd want to see the picture of my ex-, so that I know where she is right now and I can update the "DO NOT ADMIT THIS PERSON" information at home and work. Four years and counting…

  14. so, I read your posts every day, have both your books…but almost never comment, but now we are cycling on the same schedule (thru the internet) and I am sick as a dog too. Try children's liquid benadryl. Won't make you as sick as Nyquil, and just helps to sleep. Also, we have coyotes in our backyard too. Which is slightly terrifying, but the scorpions…oh my. Makes our deer mice look downright adorable.

  15. Hey- there's women who fell in love with Scott Peterson and the Menendez Brothers- there's an ass for every seat. Doesn't mean it's a nice ass- it's just an ass. So, I wouldn't even give it a second thought…although, I did get a little chuckle that it was a red-head.

    Hey- an acquaintence sent me a "friend suggestion" for my long-term ex who cheated and I too had a good, "WTF" moment, then another moment of annoyance…till I was able to see his photos where he's losing his hair in just such a sad, awful way. Then, I smiled. I'm over him…but I don't know if you ever fully get over being betrayed like that by that particular person.

    Feel better!

  16. Anger waxes and wanes….but the juicy part is that it compounds as time moves on, shrunken by our ever-growing BIG-BIG BOOMING lives. And it sounds like you've got a lotta happiness going on, which makes the anger so marginal…no? :)

  17. Hope you feel better soon. My wasband got re-married rather quickly & I thought "another woman for him to leech from". When I heard that his custom made suit (because he is SO special!) didn't fit on the big day,& puckered badly down the back, – so sad, I had to laugh!

  18. It never really does go away does it? Because even though I'm completely over my ex (of four years) and very happy with my new boyfriend I still wouldnt mind if perhaps a small bus were dropped on the ex's head. Or if I ran into him wearing somthing incredibly sexy with flawless makeup and hair and then a bird shit on him. Because I would be the one to laugh and smile and walk past him like I own the world.

    And those feelings are what keep us from making stupid mistakes again and again and again.

  19. hi. hope you feel better! and that the coyotes stay away from the tots. I'd like to hear about LInus too.

    I'm a forgiving kinda person, pray that the whole 'vengence is mine' thing never takes effect and all that. Its been 4 years, and I"m completely over him. Forgave him. He was an abusive jerk. Then I was told he was getting married and then I saw him with her.

    It amazed me how quickly the anger came back. I could care less about the marriage, it was remembering the repercussions I had to go through afterwards.

    After praying about it, I relized its the base instincts that are keeping me from ever making that mistake again. Mistakes happen so we can learn. If I was truly amazingly happy at seeing him, I wouldnt have learned.

  20. I totally can relate to you. It is amazing how sometimes the anger can flare up again. My wasband got married this summer to the girl he cheated on me while we were married.
    Although I am in a much happier place and have a very loving and caring relationship it sometimes comes back, – the anger against him.
    I told my sister the other day that sometimes I wish something bad will happen in his life. She told me not to worry but karma would take care of it.

    Hope you feeling better soon!

  21. 3T, that is the best description I have heard yet on this subject. Happened to me just the other day and I did something which, in retrospect, was pretty spiteful.

  22. I stayed with a guy for 5 years that treated me like crap. By that time, I knew I was crazy to stay, knew he wouldn't change, but couldn't leave on my own. But my anger was gone – I felt sorry for him and sad that I'd never have the life I'd dreamed we'd have together. Then out of the blue I met someone new – my knight-in-shining armor asked me to dance, I fell in love, and two weeks later we were engaged. We've been married 26 years now. But even though I feel so blessed, so lucky, so grateful that I didn't end up with the other guy, the sadness is still there. I stayed in touch with his family, and he ended up calling me every once in awhile – just friends (my husband knew about it. He got married, had kids, but continued to screw up his life, was never really happy, and died a few months ago, essentially from alcoholism. Such a waste! I think once you love someone, that connection is always there. I always hoped the best for him, and was truly sad for him when he never found happiness, but I have to admit the resentment never went away, either.

  23. I found the photo of which you speak. He now posts medical articles on Huffington Post. If it makes you feel any better everyone in his work circle laughs their asses off about what a tool shed he is. He's still pathetic and thinks he's perfect. I'm sure his parents think the same. They eat delusional sandwiches spread with dysfunction paste.

  24. I have been divorced from my ex for 13 years… he cheated and married her. Trust me, the hurt goes away but the anger NEVER does.

  25. I was going to just email Stephanie but not sure what email to use. I am 45 – mother of 2 – I was married 12 years and I cheated on my husband. We are now divorced but because we have 2 children together we still talk, etc…The guilt I feel will never leave me and I feel like I will never allow myself to be truly happy again because of it. I make no excuses for myself. I wonder if I should write him a letter letting him know how very sorry I am for what I did and if I could go back in time and do things differently I SO would. For those of you who have been cheated on…I know nothing can take back what was done to you…but is there something that can be done …

    FROM SK: Normally, I believe that apologies are usually only helpful to the people GIVING them, as sometimes saying "I'm sorry" just gives that person the right to say, "I said I'm sorry, didn't I?" But clearly, you feel real remorse. You have to ask yourself who you're apologizing for… for whose benefit. Your own or will it also help the other person?

    I always think it's hard to apologize when you need to most. And I believe in doing what's hard. In your case, it sounds like a beneficial thing to do, for both of you.

    The wasband never once apologized or showed any remorse for his behavior. Ever. Would it make a difference to me now if he did? I'd be shocked, for one thing, and would have to wonder if he's changed, since the boy I knew would never admit to such destructive and embarrassing behavior. Especially not to himself, never mind another person.

  26. oh god, this is so stalkery, but i actually went to the huffington post and looked up "MD" to see if I could figure out who the wasband was. Since you're laying the trail, can you give us some more crumbs, commenters? I'm curious to know who this a**hole is.

  27. I think its hard to know someone who was horrible to you can move on to have a functional and not horrible relationship with someone else. It takes two to tango, and while I dont mean to point a finger at you, I am sure you can even reflect back on your part of that relationship and think, I cannot believe I said/did that or acted that way.

    FROM SK: The thing is, of course I look back and can think of what I did wrong in any relationship. We all can. But there's a difference between small things we've done and things that are genuinely unforgivable. There are things that (no matter how horrible any of us are) will never deserve to be done to us. Ever.

    It's NEVER your fault if someone cheats on you. You cannot CAUSE someone to do that. They do that on their own, and they have to live up to it, no matter what excuses they make for their unforgivable behavior. Bottom line: it was their decision, and it's their character in question, not yours. If someone is okay with cheating, can look you in the face and lie, they'll always be a person capable of that.

  28. Why oh why would someone forward you a link to something like that? I wonder if that poor girl even knows what she's getting into. I don't think the anger ever really goes away, but it does get easier.

  29. I think it all goes away when you get to say all the unsaid things of the past. And with that comes undone all the pent up emotions, be they hurt or hatred or whatever. I guess, sometimes its nice just to be heard…I have the feeling he'll hear you anyway if he is ever sticking his nose into your blog…

  30. maybe its different if you are the one who leaves, as opposed to being the one who got left. im at the point – nearly 15 years later – where i can feel compassion for my very troubled ex – his life has totally disintegrated and now a man with a masters degree and a law degree spends his days packing crayons at the crayola factory cause he can't handle life. im still angry – a bit – at the lousy way he treats his kids, but then i remember how awfully he treated me and everyone else. what goes around does come around… you just have to let it unfold.

  31. Yet you stayed with him, or wanted him back when you discovered he was cheating on you -while you were pregnant- and this is the part that still baffles me. I have never been in that situation so I don't know how I would personally handle it but had I wanted to stay, encouraged him to give the relationship another chance, well, I would say Im partly to blame for not walking away. I know this sounds harsh but it's what I do not understand and question when you bring him up and give the responses you have given like the one to Elise. You know I love your writing but sometimes you sound like a martyr. I dont mean this nasty. Dont hit me! *ducks*

    FROM SK: "Yet you stayed with him, or wanted him back when you discovered he was cheating on you– while you were pregnant." FOR A WEEK! It might have been two weeks. I was, after all, PREGNANT, and had big decisions to make. I was still deciding what to do, and the move when you don't know how to move is not to make any sudden moves. After being with him for five years, and after he pleaded that he'd go to therapy, do whatever it took to stay together, I said okay. Then I found out about more lies, ended it. And yet, still, the night before my abortion, I turned to him. Really? Is this what you want? I didn't want to be in it alone. I was angry, but I was scared and sad, too. Seriously, I am human, and that was such a human moment. It takes compassion, Julie, to understand that people aren't neat.

  32. Hi Stephanie,

    I agree that people never deserve to be cheated on, ever. That he should have talked to you if he was having feelings outside the marriage that lead him to do what he did. However, from your book, you sounded so insanely accomodating, so Stepford Wife, so not how I have grown to believe you to be from reading your blog full of sass and strength, that it may have pushed him, in some way, to try and destroy the relationship. In my opinion, a long suffering wife who takes her husbands shit without doing something about it can drive a man insane.

    FROM SK: No one who knew me then or knows me now would EVER classify me as "long-suffering." Ever. Maybe people forget how hard it is to walk away from what you know. Intellectually, it's easy to know what to do. Emotions are so much harder to bitch slap into place.

  33. I don't think she sounds like a martyr… I think she sounds like someone who has gone through her own personal hell, lived to tell about it, and now can offer some perspective and hope to others who may be in her position or give persons who were in the Wasband's position another view point.

    Lives are so complicated.. emotions are messy… Love and longing can sometimes blind you to reality… I've been there.. stayed far too long with someone who in retrospect could have cared less. But now I know better, and I love differently and am terribly happy with my husband. Doesn't take away from the experience and it doesn't stop my heart from skipping for a second when I hear his name or news about him. You can't love someone that fully and walk away with no residual emotions… you just can't.

  34. Actually I regretted posting that after I sent it and almost mailed you. I thought I recall you explaining this to me in another discussion a year or so ago on here. My bad, seriously. I do recall the discussion now, and you explained the same parameters to me then. It is understandable. I have never been cheated on (that I'm aware of, and I think I'd rather remain blissfully unaware if there was cheating in the past of relationships) but I know it would be so hard for me to move on even years later without closure.

    It's that closure (or lack thereof) that has caused me to stay with men when I knew it wasnt right. I needed to hear them flat out tell me they didn't give two shits about me. I needed to hear it to know I have done all I can do, maybe part of being a controlling person? Hearing "I dont know" can keep you in limbo. I get it.

  35. So, here's the deal. I also have a husband that had an affair (note the present tense), and, yes, we are still married. In fact, so happily so, that we have added a third child to the mix. I clearly made a different decision than you.

    However, I find that others–particularly others who have not suffered through the realities of an affair and its aftermath–are incredibly judgemental. Either you should have left or you should have stuck it out. You are right, Stephanie, it is complicated. It seems like it should be able to be wrapped up in a neat little package, but it is just not that simple–particularly when you have joint bank accounts and children and HISTORY. And, of course, the list goes on and on.

    On a side note, I find it incredibly irritating when others criticize Hillary Clinton for staying with Bill. I'm not necessarily a Hillary fan, but I once heard someone say that she had set feminism back 50 years by staying with her husband. Please. How easy it is to judge from the outside and when you're not the First Lady of the United States. Again, complicated and not your decision, not your decision, not your decision . . .

  36. never fear SK–born and raised in san antonio, i was stung by at least three scorpions by the age of 6, and nothing bad happened (i promise!). because of that, though, i worry about placing my bed under a vent since they usually creep around in there and fall out of them. and coyotes absolutely never run around in the day, usually what you have to worry about is keeping your pets inside the house at night since coyotes definitely jump fences. never fear. texas loves you :)

  37. SK, I read and loved SUAD. Your wasband definitely sounds like a douche, and it sucked that he courted an emotional affair. You must have been devastated. But to be honest, it just really sounded like he wanted out of the marriage/never wanted the marriage in the first place. I think its possible that he can still have a good life with someone, as you have, with the right timing and a different partner. And while that can be maddening, its the reason that so many people can move on after a divorce and find true love (like you!)

    FROM SK: There's also something to be said for character and BALLS. No one pointed a gun to his head "in the first place." He made his own decisions, and he decided to run around town lying about his life, all the while coming home every night (and day) TRYING to get me pregnant. You can't erase that kind of recklessness, chalking it up to, "didn't want to in the first place." Someone doesn't all of a sudden wake up and stop being a people-pleaser mama's boy. If you want to change, it's actually hard to fight against what's familiar to you, and the last thing he did was change. This I know for sure.

  38. This totally off subject; but how do you handle narrow minded people who critize your openness and honesty?

    FROM SK: Sometimes I hit delete. Sometimes I respond. Totally depends on my mood. There's a lot of eye rolling on this end, too.

  39. Gabe does seem to hold a special place in the bad husband hall of fame. I'm sure it will always sting. The cheating seemed from your book to be the rancid icing on a stale cake that probably should've been tossed before the marriage. Not that it was anywhere near that easy- I'm sure the end of that marriage was the hardest thing you've ever had to do.

    As a side note, it wasn't in this post but I do wish you would not write that you didn't want a child, you wanted a family. Clearly you know that a single mother and child ARE a family.

    It's been said before, but living well is the best revenge and you're getting revenge big time!

    FROM SK: Totally valid point. When I'd written that it made sense to me at the time. I hadn't really meant that having a baby wouldn't have been a family because obviously it would have. I meant it wasn't the family I thought we had. It wasn't about having a baby as much as it was expanding the family I thought I had, making more of him and of us, extending our genes, sharing even more of us.

  40. Wow.

    Wow.

    I hope you take some comfort int he fact that he has to pay to find a hot red head, when he lost a very hot red head.

    You are so adorable. And so talented. And so published. And so married with adorable children.

  41. As a woman whose Wasband (love that term and will likely – unabashedly – steal it!) had an affair, too, I can empathize with a lot of what you're feeling. I've gotten past most of the negative emotions, but finding out that his whole family – and his girlfriend and her children – will all be staying with him for Thanksgiving, the one-year anniversary of my finding out he wasn't happy, has churned up a bit of emotion. I'm still processing a lot of it, but you're damn skippy some anger is poking through. I'll be alone, licking my wounds, while he plays big happy family with our older daughter, my out-laws and the girlfriend he was in love with when he told me we needed to go to counseling.

    Maybe I'll send along a pie with a side of botulism.

  42. I have come to undertand that divorce is very much like a death, but worse in some ways. When someone dies, you go through a whole range of emotions, knowing you'll never hold that person's hand again or hear their voice. You still sleep on your side of the bed as if they'll return someday to claim theirs. But there is closure eventually. With divorce, they're still out there somewhere, laughing, eating, working….living, and all without you. Seeing a picture, hearing about a new love they have, it's like a sucker punch after you've finally let go and learned to think in the "I" instead of "we."

    One comfort I have is that I'm no longer in a toxic relationship with someone who's selfish and controlling. He left me for a woman 10 years younger and when that didn't work, he stepped back in time for a girl 20 years younger. I've seen their pics, and enough time has passed for me to laugh quietly to myself because the new model looks oddly like me….20 years ago. And I bet he hasn't even realized it.

    N

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