I woke up sad this morning. Just when I start to gain a little equilibrium, something else happens to throw me off balance. J’s best friend from HS, R, came for dinner last night. I’ve know him as long as I’ve known J, and when I was 19, he and another close friend from HS, G, who has actually been J’s best friend for our entire marriage, were my first introduction to the inside workings of the minds of men. I very clearly belonged to J, and so they were and always have been very honest in front of me about women. I was very surprised about how judgmental men are about women, their behavior and their appearance – at least on first impression.
Since I still have not sorted out my feelings about learning the impact my weight has had on J, and because I do not see R very often, I was freaked out about seeing him. While both therapists have expressed concern about my self-esteem, I have never thought of “fat” as my primary characteristic….my size and shape are a part of who I am. I have blond hair and green eyes. I am messy and disorganized when I am working, but like everything to have a place it belongs. I am smart, catch on quickly, and have never had a boss who wasn’t really happy to have me. I am intuitive and friendly and loving. I am a loyal friend. I try to be gentle with others’ feelings, but also to be honest even when it hurts. I love cats, dogs, and babies. While I don’t feel differently about myself, this whole issue has shaken my self confidence in dealing with others. I feel weird about being around anyone who may judge me harshly….or feel sorry for J that he is stuck with an unattractive wife. I’m just not settled yet with how I feel about myself and the fact that I am no longer a size 3 seems to have been a contributing factor in J’s affair.
Once R was here, everything was fine. He didn’t treat me any differently than he ever had, and after some initial catching up, I went off to make dinner, and the guys went out to enjoy the spring evening and drink a beer. J came in freaked out and said that R told him that another friend (the one who posted the original trouble causing picture and who was also a friend of the OW) had told him that J had had an affair with the OW. My advice to him was to just tell the truth – if he can’t be honest with his oldest friend then he can’t be honest with anyone. When he went outside, I just burst into tears and sobbed. I really was surprised at my reaction. The people who have meaning in my life, and who won’t be hurt by the news, already know. I don’t care that R knows – he and J have shared a lot of drama, and he might actually be able to help J work through his feelings. J is extraordinarily calm about the picture poster knowing, since he has been petrified from the beginning of anyone he knows finding out. I have known the picture poster since we first got married, and he is one of the biggest gossips I have ever met. He already has, is currently, or soon will be telling the story to anyone who knows J or the OW…or might know J or the OW. It also means that J will have to talk to G, which he has avoided because he did not want to have to deal with what he refers to as a “rash of S*&*@.
My feelings are a mess because I have been working so hard to sort through everything and forgive the OW, whether I reach out and tell her or not. Now I feel a little bit back at square one. How did that guy find out? I’d like to be really angry…angry has actually started to feel like a pretty comfortable place to me recently, but mostly I am puzzled. J did not tell him or even hint…he has been too upset and scared at the idea of anyone finding out. I guess that there are really two possibilities – he made a guess and is presenting it as a fact, even though it will totally screw up her life and rain down the most painful type of public scrutiny on her, or she really did tell him as a weird attempt to reach out to J again through a different venue, since the last Facebook attempt failed and the last email attempt provoked a response from me rather than J.
If she is responsible, she had to know that confessing to an affair with J would negatively impact her life. The most important people in J’s life already know and have dealt with it. Does she not understand that the guy is not going to be able to help himself – he will tell anyone he can think of to tell? She’s the one who presents herself to the world as an extremely devout, Christian woman, not as a woman who might have a casual fling. This other guy had a crush on her, but didn’t get involved because he thought she was too “good” and only interested in a serious relationship leading quickly to marriage, (he actually told J “she would never do anything that would put her wrong in the eyes of God”). With him being who he is, she is not going to come out of his gossipfest looking like a good Christian woman – she is going to end up looking like a home-wrecker….or a slut….depending on how the story is told….and I know that she is not either one.
I am SO ready to move on and not have to deal with any of this any more….because I know it will not be long before I get a phone call or someone shows up at my office asking awkward questions…