90.2: A Perspective on C (Part 2 of 2)

I offer what has surprised me in my pain: that life is not fair, but unending in its capacity to change us; that compassion is fair and feeling is just; and that we are not responsible for all the befalls us, only for how we receive it and for how we hold each other up along the way.

Mark Nepo
May 8
The Book of Awakening

This is part two of a two-part story on my Perspective on C. Click here to read Part One.

Five plus months. I’ve stopped counting days. Mostly.

That is how long it has been since C asked me to leave and sent me to North Dakota. It was the last time I talked with her.

From the beginning, I’ve been willing to talk with her at counseling, at the location of her choice, or on the phone. I’ve offered to meet her with my doctor. I’ve been willing to meet under any terms and conditions. C isn’t interested, leaving me questions lacking answers. The trolls have provided information and only C can provide the knowledge.

In reality, all C provides is silence. I’ll never know her truth. There are lots of possible explanations for the silence.

However, the simple fact is the relationship is over. I understand that. The reason it is over is my betrayal, secret-keeping and escalating series of lies is unacceptable. This I understand.

It is everything else I’m still confused about. To help me with understanding what she has done, I made a list of possible reasons based on my limited knowledge.

Diagnosis De Jour: Narcissism

The most obvious is C considers me a malignant narcissist and has adopted the zero contact approach to deal with me. If the opinion of the trolls in any way reflects C’s opinion of me she has taken the clickbait approach to dealing with narcissism: don’t feed the monster.

If this were true, and I was a narcissist, then she believes I think this is one big game and any interaction just feeds my ego and power craving…or whatever feeds narcissists.


Or, as a friend that knows both of us, and has been following this situation, stated that everything C has done from the moment she discovered my betrayal, secret-keeping and escalating series of lies has been about revenge and punishment. “C and her trolls think they are better than you,” says my friend, “so they treat you as such.”

“Revenge,” says Ester Perel, “is a lazy form of grieving.” C knows how to hurt me most and used it to her advantage. She cut off her heart, sent me away, isolated me from friends, weaponized my deception, and tried to break my link to the community.

Dolly Allen, and a number of other betrayed women have repeatedly reminded me the betrayed often say and do horrible things following the reveal of the betrayal. Dolly has encouraged me not to emotionally overinvest in the things C might or might not have meant.

She is right of course (as usual). If this is the reality, I don’t like it but I would work with C to move forward. After all, I’m asking her to accept my ugly, I will accept hers too.


Screenshot 2018-05-09 at 9.17.27 PM

Another friend added, “C has done nothing but take from you from the beginning of the relationship. Now that she has taken everything from you, you’ve served your purpose.”


My friend encouraged me to step back and be honest about what C has done since K’s phone call. “You have tried to do everything she asked and when you stand up for yourself she tells people you are ‘harassing her’. She is more than happy to use other people as foils to her feelings.”

Of course, “your former friends were more than happy to leverage it to their advantage and put the band back together, call you names, and help spread rumors.”

And what has she done?

She weaponized my shame to humiliate me further. She printed off emails I sent to K and went around town and showed them to friends and influential people. She cherry-picked my issues to create the most damage with those I was closest to including S, D, A, and M. She messaged, texted and emailed other people truth, half-truths, innuendo and ghost stories. She approached friends and family of my friends and offered dire warnings of caution to pass along to others. I’m sure there is a word to describe that behavior.

When I did stand up for myself and push back on issues of money and property she would accuse me of not taking responsibility, manipulating, or punishing her further using my guilt and love for her against me.

While I was fighting for the relationship C found a new boyfriend. She did this knowing I was committed to a conversation and I was living out of my van.

She told me one thing while she was doing something else including taking money from me, spreading rumors and innuendo about me, and turning a blind eye to the harassment and trolling from her posse.

Meanwhile, she was telling me she was hurting, broken, codependent, and damaged and couldn’t see me yet. Five days before her boyfriend wrote me she told me getting together “wouldn’t be a good idea.”

She lied to get what she wanted for as long as she could get it. She has spun a narrative that no matter what I do or say I will appear to be something I am not: narcissistic, sick, and dangerous. Hence the childish threats and attempts at intimidation from the all-male Troll Patrol. Which is ironic, because I’m never said, written, or texted any demands, threats, or attempts at intimidation towards her. I always said the same thing to C: I’m here when you are ready.

Not one time since this began has she sent me a kind word. Not once asking me how I’m doing, if I need anything, or even if I am okay.

Who does that after seven years? From a sycophants perspective, “I’m getting what I deserve.”

This is the one perspective on C I keep sticking my head in the sand about. I just do not want to accept that these are the things C is capable of doing. However, if I look at her behavior over the last 5 months this kicks everything about our relationship into a realm of unhealthiness I was blind too.

However, I don’t know if that is true. I still cannot believe she is that kind of a person and what this would mean about her and everything that has happened over the last seven years.


Or, despite her words to the contrary, she just wasn’t that into me and was looking for an out. The reveal of my betrayal just gave her the excuse she needed to show me the door.

Weaponizing my betrayal allowed her to play the victim so other people would carry her water. It also allowed her to get rid of me and not have to face any questions about her decisions. If people around her remind her how dangerous I am then she doesn’t have to struggle with the good feelings.

As a direct result men (and a few women) have flocked to her and took care of her house, acted as a foil to keep me off balance, supposedly held a fundraiser, helped promote her art, visited her all winter keeping her warm, and treated her like a fragile flower.

To the point that even one troll while demeaning me has referred to C as “our C” and objectified her as a Barbie-esque sex object. These all allowed C to get what she wants without having to do any of the hard emotional and vulnerable work.

In which case, she is just using my failure to do what she wanted to do anyway but lacked the integrity to say it out loud to me.

Others have reminded me that if the relationship were actually important C would have had at least one or two conversations. If she cared for me as a human being she might even have attempted closure. They are also right.

In this situation, she has no shame or remorse about her behavior because she lacks the ability to see her own dishonesty. Whereas I lied to cover my shame and fears, she lied to get what she could take from me. At least I knew what I was doing wasn’t okay.

Screenshot 2018-05-07 at 2.50.55 PM
A small section of a drama fueled comment sent 4.5 months after the reveal by a troll to a third party. “Our C”? This is creepy by any standard. It included a picture.


In this scenario, a group of friends showed up to help C and hijacked the narrative. In her pain and anguish, she showed friends what I did and talked about her anger and fears. The interlopers ended up projecting their pain and opinions on the narrative in order to make C feel better and ended up introducing ghost stories. To soothe her pain she accepted this narrative.

For their own ego gratification, the trolls continue to fuel a Drama Triangle.

I really dislike this possibility.

Essentially, C, allowed a group of people to convince her every good feeling, event, and activity was a manipulative lie perpetrated on her by a charlatan. In this event, her friends convince her if it was good it was bad and if it was bad it was malicious.

They gaslit her reality to make themselves feel more important. I have a hard to time believing she would let people do something like this. She’s too smart but pain drives people to believe anything to avoid it.

New Love

She had her own side piece waiting in the wings. This would explain the initial trolling by her new love, his childish tough guy threats, and his attempts at intimidating. I know as a fact C had been in contact with Patsy most of the summer and all fall.

It also explains C decisions to blame me for her decision, hide her social media from me, and weaponize my betrayal.

This is also consistent with her pattern of ending relationships. The way her ex-husband found out about me was, she left the computer on so he could find our emails.

I hate this option, but it make the most sense to me.

Hard Truth

There are some in-between possibilities too. Again, I don’t really know as I’ve tried to respect her space and not intrude. There may be more to the story. I don’t know.

However, the hard truth is, despite my betrayal, the relationship means more to me than to C. That is a brutal truth too.

So be it.

In the few times, I’ve asked C directly about her thinking and feeling, based on what I’ve heard, she spins the conversation, lashes out at me, and deflects away from what she feels and thinks, needs and wants. I’ve resigned myself to never actually knowing. I could spend an eternity guessing and never know. Guessing doesn’t impact her in the least and continues to give away my power.

The more I think about this, and the bullshit and intimidation tactics from the trolls, the more disappointed I am with C’s whole, “I’m a victim” act and the way she allowed others to weaponize my betrayal and divide us. As I’ve said, she has her own ugly and betrayals too.

Like me, she too has her pride.

I don’t know what is and isn’t true about C’s feelings or thoughts. All I have are third-party conversations. What I do know is I still care about C’s well-being and I still hurt. I also know the loss and loneliness will pass with intention. I will always care about her and cherish our life together.

If you love someone you do not simply unlove them or toss them aside when it is inconvenient. The heart does not come with an on-off switch. At least mine doesn’t.

My relationship was never an act for me. The benefit of all this writing, sharing, and learning, of course, is that confronted with the possible reasons for C’s silence makes much aware that if any of these things are even partially true, the relationship was never going to work. It was never going to work regardless of what she said to the contrary.

As a friend said today, “If it can be destroyed by the truth, let it be heard.” I did my part to hide the truth. I’m only responsible for my part. She’s responsible for hers.

All I can do is learn and lean into the future and love her from a distance.

Let the pain have a purpose.

32 thoughts on “90.2: A Perspective on C (Part 2 of 2)

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  1. Seems to me she likes the attention she gets from playing the victim whilst inflating just how bad you were to hide the fact that really she wanted out anyway and probably had someone waiting in the wings. It makes her look squeaky clean when probably she wasn’t. That said, with all the other people sticking their noses into this who knows what is actually true. At this point in time it doesn’t really matter now, it’s over. You have every kind of answer to your questions and none of them are particularly nice. But you’re working with what you’ve got. And who knows, if you got a face to face with her would she tell you the truth anyway? Did you never get a hint at these personality traits whilst you were together. She sounds really vindictive especially for someone who may not be entirely innocent.

    1. I had no idea.

      I figured she would simply end the relationship and walk away. The other actions I’ve been dumbfounded about from the beginning. It never occurred to me she would embrace the role of victim or make me out as a villian.

      I learned a few more things while at the doctor’s yesterday. She called my doctor around Day 20 and made lots of accusations. My doctor has chosen not to telle what C said in order to see what I discuss or avoid.

      Yesterday we talked about sine things I learned from K about C’s initial response. When I was finished she told me sine additional things told her.

      C accused me of physically pinning one of the boys against a wall. That just flat out never happened. It never came close to happening. It never occurred to me. I did plenty of shitty things throughout my betrayal but I never did that. I look like a big enough dick without making shit up.

      1. Oh Sean, that’s the worst. 😞

        Do you see how much of a villain she has to make you?? How can she play her victim card without that? I hope she breaks out of her role, she will never really find happiness there.

        Isn’t it strange her ex’s are all such horrible villains?

      2. Strange? Well, that is one word to describe it.

        I never saw this side of her…or if I did I ignored it or rationalized it away…but the Drama Triangle is seriously doing damage to C and myself. Maybe she fueled it. Maybe someone else did. Regardless of how it happened I’m no one’s villian.

        Also, as previously mentioned, the troll’s whole use of “our C” and turning her into a Barbie-esque doll is creepy as fuck.

        There is a lot of unhealthy behavior in this dynamic. It’s ironic I’m the one adulting.


      3. I’d be very careful where she is going with this. If you are 100% that she is making accusations that aren’t true especially when they involve her children, you need to tread careful. This is vindictive, spiteful and self serving on her part. I don’t know what she thinks she is going to achieve by doing this. her calling your doctor is also very stalkerish.

      4. I told her I was going.

        At the beginning I encouraged her to call if she wanted to meet with the doctor. I even offered to sign a medical waiver so the doctor could share information with her.

        After C called, C wrote to me and was like, “You didn’t think I’d call but I did!” I thanked her for calling but didn’t know what she said until yesterday.

      5. That was around day 20 when I believed she we were going to eventually take a break and then talk again. I was making an effort…a foolish, foolish effort.

      6. I gave her until April 22. Every thing now is about making sure the door is closed emotional so I don’t repeat the mistake of dragging the past into my future.

      7. My current ambition is to write whatever I want on the experience until Memorial Day, get it out of my system, and then not mention her of the trolls again.

        I should have all the paperwork for my other project filed by then. I’m nobody’s villian, villian, or hero. I’m nobody’s project.

        As I’ve said, I know what I did. I know who I am. Others do not define me.

      8. And the kid thing, I have a couple of guesses about that and how that rumor started…but the accusation has no basis in reality.

  2. I agree nyag. Here’s what I see and what I’m getting…

    She has a pattern of doing this. Sean knows he fucked up, and is doing some serious soul searching and figuring out why, how and changing his own patterns.

    She won’t, she didn’t face this one. She’s letting everyone else do the dirty work. She will repeat this pattern over and over.

      1. And here’s the thing, I’d still go back and work through it all.

        I feel like a fool.

        I have an internal voice chastizing me for being open and vulnerable to C after 5+ months.

        Doc said to me yesterday, 5 months is hardly a long time considering you just came out if a 7 year Partnership that clearly meant so much to you.

  3. I’ve read the post several times and all the comments. I agree with Walking the Journey’s summation, although I would go a little further. As I’ve written and believe, we all have narcissistic tendencies, some more than others. Hearing about things C has done as in talking to others to turn them against you is classic narcissistic behavior. You speak of the trolls gaslighting her. I am seeing it the other way around. You stated with one in particular that you never spent much time with him alone. Therefore, his opinion of you is primarily based on C. The initial emotions (revenge) happens, it did with me. However, to spin the narrative to the extent you have learned C has, showing emails, warning others, etc, goes beyond the hurt of betrayal in my mind. Combined with the fact that she ended her previous relationship by letting him see emails between you and her and the fact that she was in contact w/Patsy prior to your affair being outed, further indicates to me a cheating pattern on her end. I am seriously wondering what would have happened had you not been cheating yourself? Is that how it would have ended with you? Another classic narcissistic pattern is to line up the next one before discarding the current one. I am not saying C is a narcissist Sean, but I see more evidence of those behaviors with her than I do with you. You have owned your actions and tried to use the experience to grow, which you have been doing successfully. Keep moving forward. I know you love C, and I was hopeful you would get to speak at some point, but I’m not sure she deserves you…

    1. I’ll add, I’m trying to be vulnerable and open but people will never hear all the details. C deserves to be happy and with someone safe.

      I cannot provide that too her. I really don’t blame her for ending the relationship. It’s all the other shit that makes it so complex and painful.

      She doesn’t owe me anything.

      1. All well and good, and she doesn’t owe you anything other than telling the truth. To spread lies about you and villainize you is not right. Ending the relationship because you had an affair is well within her rights. What spreading rumors and villainizing you among friends with lies, is unacceptable. Just my opinion

      2. I can deal with the truth too. I understand that. As I said, I did aot of shitty things to maintain cover. People don’t need to make shit up.

  4. I think your doc is correct, but can I poke the bear a bit here? (I’m contrary… sorry/not sorry.)

    A lot of what I’ve read about how C maybe should have conducted herself is, while true, I think incredibly difficult if your spouse has cheated on you with someone who means something (more than sex) to them. These affairs with old loves, friends, siblings of the spouse (yuck! but it happens more than you’d think), and exes are messy and they intensify the trauma for the betrayed spouse. I have to wonder if perhaps C’s response would be different if you had been occasionally shagging the local bar squatter instead of your ex.

    I can only speak for myself, but I do speak from experience. My husband had a lengthy physical affair with a random skank, and he had an emotional affair at the same time and of the same duration with “the one that got away” from 30-years ago. The aftermath of that emotional affair is infinitely more painful for me than the physical affair of the same duration because his EA partner mattered to him. The skank did not. They are both awful betrayals, but knowing that he had another woman in his life during our marriage that he cared about (and that he wasn’t just trying to screw), makes that affair somehow worse than the other. Or, maybe just harder for me to put behind me than the other.

    Perhaps some of the response you are seeing from C has more to do with who your affair partner was and how damaging that choice actually is to C, as opposed to a character flaw in her that predisposes her to wallowing in self-pity.

    1. I completely agree with you. Would love to discuss it with her.

      At the moment it’s all conjecture and I’m finished guessing.

      However, after a point her behavior is as unacceptable as mine. If it was just her and I, I’d take all the slings and arrows. It’s not. It’s trolls carrying her water and I owe them nothing.

      Her behavior has consequences too. I’m not a victim. I”m not a villiain. This isn’t a season of Shameless.

    2. I agree with your perspective in most cases, including mine. I would have rather my husband had an affair with someone random rather than the skank whom he’d known for 30 years. While he wasn’t in love with her, there was fondness as a friend. And she had been pining for him for years. That being said however, there seems to be an issue here of C possibly lining someone else up from summer. Also she’d made it known after learning of the affair that she was ‘looking for an excuse’ to end things. While I agree that things are said in the heat of the moment, her approach seems to be more deliberate. The majority of people from what I’ve seen would at least have a conversation. At this point, as Sean has said, everything is speculation and probably will remain that way if C stays the no contact path…

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