47: Broken Knights and other fishy tales

“You either die a hero, or live long enough to become a villain.”

Harvey Dent


Since this started C has been surrounded by people telling me what they think of me and who I am based on their own ignorance, fears, and armchair psychology.

While all I’ve truly cared about is what C thinks, feels, or says. Which is nearly nothing.

It has, in the past, seriously messed with my head and anxiety disorder.

Let’s get the qualifier out of the way, because it is important to repeat that none of what I write excuses my infidelity, the secret-keeping, my escalating series of lies, and the ways I worked to protect my secret. Nothing can justify my selfish choices.


However, a friend said to me over the week, “What you did was wrong. It only defines your life if you let it. Don’t let others use it to define your future.” She encouraged me to write about it if it helps me, write about it if it helps others. She said, “Anyone that reads your writing, reads it by choice. You made choices. Do not be defined by theirs.”

Since the first ambush by W, I’ve been plagued with a recurring nightmare of C covering me with gasoline and setting me on fire and of “friends” trapping me in an alley and beating me with baseball bats.

They have also been sending me their opinions, calling people in my hometown and telling them I’m dangerous, a con and charlatan, and posting to social media walls. The themes have varied but the essence is the same: C is an innocent, poor, and defenseless girl and I’m a big bad meanie and I need to stop writing because it’s all lies, lies, lies, lies mixed with bad grammar and inane ramblings.

I don’t care about the rumors anymore. They cannot hurt me unless I allow it.

It is why I choose to spend time in and around the community that has been my home for the last 5 years. I will not run from the pain. I will not hide. I will not allow others to use my Ugly against me. I am free of secrets and I won’t be blackmailed.

Of course, it scares the hell out of me but so did telling the truth to C about my betrayal. I won’t learn if I continue to let my fear of others define me and my choices.

It’s ironic when I was lying and secret-keeping my infidelity was slowly killing me and when the truth came out it destroyed my life. Now that I’ve embraced being secret free and open people want me to shut up and keep secrets.

It’s almost as if people never want the truth but wanted to feel comfortable and self-righteous.

Two friends wrote me earlier this week telling me I should stop writing because it upsets people and is humiliating to C. Which is never my intention but my story for the last seven years has been so tied to her, my betrayal has no meaning without context.

I wrote the first post because C wasn’t speaking to me and I was looking for answers. I wrote it because the five primary friendships in my life suddenly stopped speaking to me. I wrote it as a plea for communication and openness. I wrote it because I was reaching out.

Almost immediately the hyenas showed up making wildly inaccurate accusations having almost nothing to do with my infidelity. Just their ghost stories and armchair psychology.

I keep defending C and shifting the responsibility to those individuals enmeshing themselves into our story out of their ego, arrogance, and a desire, as a friend said a few months ago, “to get into C’s panties.”

However, their narratives weren’t created in a vacuum.

Someone painted a dark narrative around my infidelity and supporting behavior. They’ve used it to justify their behavior, reward destructive coping mechanisms, hide their own deceptions, and avoid owning their own issues. They have as, a professional said to me, projected their damage onto ours.

I realized this week when her Hero de jour wrote to me, C has her own secrets too and by encouraging others to paint me as a malignant narcissist she can better hide and run from her issues. It’s the reason I wrote a letter of apology to her former husband. Although it isn’t my role to reveal her secrets, it also isn’t my job to keep them.

Looking at my pattern it is obvious, in some ways, why I chose her.

As such, to recover my self-respect and power I need to stop thinking of her as a victim too, because she is not. We each take turns in different places in this Drama Triangle.

“Once we decide to take self-responsibility and tell our truth, those still on the triangle are likely to accuse us of victimizing them,” writes Lynne Forest. “To escape the victim grid, we must be willing to be perceived as the ‘bad guy.'” She adds, “This doesn’t make it so, but we must be willing to sit with the discomfort of being perceived as such.”

She’s right, of course. It is uncomfortable. Thank science for Lexapro!

And the Irish for whiskey.

Everyone’s roles in the Drama Triangle is the Way of Thing it isn’t the Thing. As Harvey Dent said, “You either die a hero or live long enough to become a villain.” We’ve both played all these roles at different moments since discovery day.

I’m now sold as the Villian because I’m owning my shit and working really hard and looking for a way out of the triangle.

Which also drove many aspects of my relationship with K.

I may not be doing any of this well but I am doing it.

Allowing the Way of the Thing (in this specific case, the Drama triangle) to go unchallenged and unspoken reinforces my place as the villain de jour in the Drama Triangle. As such, I’m finished playing any role for C – or her merry band of enablers.

What I did was reckless and selfish. However, I’ve never sent a threatening email or text to her. And contrary to the ghost stories I’ve never stalked her online or skulked about our home once she asked me to leave. People selling that story are hurting her and adding damage to someone already struggling and hurting.

I don’t deserve a relationship with her. She either loves me and lets me stay or loves me and asks me to leave. There is no wrong choice.

I’ve consistently said – and acted – in a way that gives her all the power to end the relationship. What I’ve done consistently is let her know she is the one and was always the one. However, I’ve stopped Pursuing or throwing myself on her sword – mostly.

That isn’t me being a victim. That is telling the truth. As my friend said in a message to me recently, there is definitely something more at play here than jealousy, vengeance, and anger.

And the truth is why her Hero de jour emailed me a love note. This is the pattern and I’m too out of fucks to continue playing roles defined by others and pretending it isn’t.

In December there was a competition for Hero de jour. I had multiple Hero’s emailing me. Below is one of my personal favorites.

Years ago, when we first met, and I was the Hero de jour I wrote one to a different Villian.

(I’ve posted them all chronologically below from newest to oldest.)

They all read essentially the same and talk about C the same way. These say a great deal about these three men. None of it particularly flattering.

Regardless of the threats, I will keep writing. After all, as Mark Nepo writes, “If I had experienced different things I would say different things.”

It helps me. Maybe it helps others. Let the pain have a purpose.


This is a note from her current boyfriend, let’s call him Patsy. We’ve never officially met but he’s been chatting up C at least since last summer.

Everyone has motives, right?

Screenshot 2018-03-24 at 11.47.21 AM

This is a note from her December Hero de jour. He only knows me through C and has never spent any time alone with me. In the seven years C and I were together he spent less than 10 hours with me. He sent me a dozen of his editorials after I started writing. This is from around Day 20 as well.

I discovered last night he started following my cadconfessional.com blog. That should be fun. The irony is, he accuses me of stalking C without evidence (because there is none) but he keeps showing up on my social media.

Screenshot 2018-03-24 at 12.35.37 PM

This is my email to C’s high school boyfriend. There is more to this story but it is an example of how willingly I jumped into the Hero role and tried to handle things I should have stayed out of.

It makes me so sick looking at it. I have a pattern. It needs to stop.

I’m disgusted by my own arrogance and need to be the Hero. I’m going to owe this guy an amends too.

Screenshot 2018-03-24 at 12.58.18 PM

20 thoughts on “47: Broken Knights and other fishy tales

  1. People can be vile. The bullying nature of this goes beyond. I am not the kind of person to join the gang and become part of the number. I always want to know both sides of the story. I am the kind of person who wants to learn, to understand and gets that there are reasons for everything and we never go out with the intention of fucking things up. Things sometimes just happen. There are ALWAYS two sides to the story and having the decency to hear someone out goes a long way. The narrow mindedness of people given how diverse mankind is for some reason still astonishes me.

    1. When I was responding I said to W, if he really wanted to help he could have simply called me and asked if I needed help moving instead of creating a FB messenger post with five other ppl threatening to have the cops there if I don’t do it the way he wanted. He did this without ever talking to C or knowing there was ready a plan.

      My reaction, and his, did more damage imo post discovery than just about anything else.

      1. I don’t think I could live somewhere that toxic. I would have packed my bags and moved across country. Life’s too short to try and reason with people who don’t want to listen.

      2. Yeah. But I’m not interacting with any of those people. I have a really fantastic circle of friends, who see see me as a person first. I made it decision early on, not to make any major changes in my life for the first 12 months, unless I absolutely have to. Like my job.

  2. Just curious: did anyone that is jumping all over you, judging and diagnosing you ever say a thing to you during your marriage?
    The bottom line is, it’s your marriage. Nobody else’s.
    I don’t know you, but I have followed you for months now. We all play the roles at different times. I came to twitter and WordPress to write and get this shit out of me, to process and put the puzzle together. We do what we have to do to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Meeting people like you has helped tremendously.
    Keep writing Sean, do what you need to do.

    1. Of course they didn’t because everyone that ever saw us together always saw I felt about her.

      My behavior wasn’t about her. Ever.

      1. No, it wasn’t. I agree. That took me a while though, what my husband did was not about me, had nothing to do with me really. It was him, something inside of him.

      2. I said on Twitter this morning I realized I feel like this is HS again.

        Her new boyfriend (s) are going to beat me up if I don’t shut up. And because they don’t know me, or think they do, they only can base decisions on what either C tells them or what their egos tell them to say.

        My betrayal (and all the behaviors) were reckless, selfish, & dishonest. There is no excuse.

        But since K’s decision to call provided me help to break the cycle I’ve put myself out there over and over to own it. I’m adulting now.

        I’m so grateful for Ks help…mostly.

      3. And honestly, I can give you example after example of the ways I was adulting in our relationship. It isn’t an all or nothing thing.

  3. Well you know how I feel about writing and getting all out there. Had I not had my Twitter and blog, I would have gone insane with all this bullshit. I am pretty vulgar and unfiltered at times on my blog. But, it’s MY blog. If someone doesn’t like it, they are free to move along.

    Your writings and insights have helped me tremendously in understanding the other side of betrayal. It is refreshing in all honesty, seeing a ‘betrayer’ willing to take responsibility and try to openly talk things out. Most of us ‘betrayed’ have instead dealt with more cover-ups, lies and trickle truth before finally getting the communication you have been so willing to offer up, right from the start.

    My husband’s skank utilized the narcissist and ‘poor me’ sob stories. She portrayed her now ex husband as a narcissist who neglected and emotionally abused her and her special needs children in order to get my husband to pledge his allegiance to her. She spun a web of blatant exaggerated tales and outright lies in order to make my husband literally hate this man. While the ex wasn’t the most hands on father, he still was a good father in addition to being a hard worker. He worked many hours to give her a good lifestyle, a bigger house and kept her at home with their kids.

    When people experience the brutal pain of betrayal, they sometimes spin the web of deceit, contempt, accusations and ‘poor me’. When I first learned of my husband’s affair, I did the same thing. If I wanted to, I could make you believe my husband was Jack the Ripper. Not only could I make YOU believe that, I would convince myself as well that was true. Of course, once that trail is blazed, it’s hard to go back to your friends and admit that maybe your recollections were slightly exaggerated….

    Some women need to go from one relationship right to another. Some need to have others fight their battles. My husband’s skank was one of those. She thought she had my husband hooked. Her kids were in their mid-20’s and she never made a move to divorce her husband. She did however bad mouth her husband, tell all her friends how miserable she was for years, reveal his was a ‘malignant narcissist’, but made every excuse not to leave UNTIL she thought she had my husband reeled in. Only then did she agree to proceed with a divorce which her husband ended up filing.

    Walking the Journey said it best, it’s your marriage, your relationship. Others should the two of you resolve it or dissolve it. As a fellow ‘betrayed’ spouse, I feel for C, however I am disappointed in her as well. I personally would never allow people to interject on my behalf. I appreciated my friends’ support, but it’s up to me to put on my big girl panties and deal with my husband whether it be divorcing him or reconciling. The relationship is between the two of you, the ending of it, or reconciliation should only be between the two of you. From my experiences, I don’t quite understand how C can allow the added drama of others emailing or commenting on your posts on her behalf. As you wrote in this post, it does sound like high school.

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