Mystery man, or liar?

Blogger friend, B, has prompted another post. She’s good that way! In a comment on my last blog entry, she posted a link to this NY Times article and mentioned that she thought I might be able to relate.

I read the article twice, and then replied to B’s comment. I absolutely can relate to this article, but my conclusions about marriage and “mystery” diverge from hers, and I’m not sure where that lead in line came from about “lack of curiosity”? Of course we are different people, have unique experiences, and we are married to different men. The author is also a hospice chaplain and has drawn some of her conclusions based on talking with a lot of dying people who are finally ready to give up their secrets. But they are giving them up to her, not the person who may have wanted or needed to know these secrets, or mysteries as the author calls them. She seems to have accepted that her husband is a mystery (I read that as keeps secrets, or doesn’t tell the truth all the time), and she analogizes not knowing another person, kind of like not knowing all of what will happen in the future. For me, these two concepts are vastly different. One is about lying and the other is about a journey. I do very much want to be on this mysterious journey of life, but I don’t really want to be on a journey with a liar.

As I have talked about so many times here, I know I will never know everything about any other person, namely my husband. A lot goes on each day in our separate brains. I do talk a lot, so a lot of what is in my brain comes spilling out all over the people I am with. People who know me or have met me can attest to this. It’s not necessarily an asset, but I really am an open book and even though I realize other people, namely Blue Eyes, need more space than that, that they are not like me, and I realize that is okay, it should never be a rationalization for hiding and lying.

I have my own bachelor party story, briefly outlined in this entry, Wedding, but I had a spy at the party, so I knew about it right away. No one was arrested, but my guess is, some should have been. I did feel like a fool, that my soon-to-be-husband could be coerced into participating in such a vulgar display, but also that the participants “took a pact” not to tell any of the wives and girlfriends. Fucking cowards. If a person needs to keep secrets about their behavior, maybe they should rethink their behavior. Yes, I really believe this.

Two nights ago at the beach house, Blue Eyes and I were discussing our budget and going through our bank accounts. As a continuation of his education, our older son applied for and was accepted to a prestigious fellowship program at a well known Manhattan museum. The program is heavily subsidized, but there is an entrance fee and he will need to cut his work hours. We are very proud of him for this amazing accomplishment. During this time we will subsidize his income. I went to his bank account, where I will electronically deposit money, and was shocked to see his visa charge card was nearly at it’s limit, when a few days ago it was paid in full. I perused the charges (he knows I do this) and found a substantial charge for the release of a NYC boot on his car. For anyone who doesn’t know what a car boot is, it is a contraption the traffic police attach to the wheel of a car. The owner is unable to drive the car while the boot is on. It costs a lot of money to have the boot removed. Why does the city put boots on cars? Unpaid parking tickets, that’s why. How do I know all about this? Blue Eyes, that’s how.

In college, Blue Eyes was the king of “rhino boots” as they called them. When we saw the charge for the boot release on our son’s visa charges, Blue Eyes immediately said… “well, we’re not paying for that.” I asked him what he did when he was in college and needed the boot off his car (he would leave it on there for quite some time, until he actually needed the car). He sheepishly admitted he would go to his father for the money for the fines and boot removal. *sigh* We’ve had this “like father, like son” conversation quite a few times over the past few months. I love the father, and I love the son, but man do they have a lot of similarities that bust my butt. The father/son conversations were not had to make Blue Eyes feel bad, but merely to point out that his actions have consequences. Cat’s in the cradle, silver spoon, when you coming home son, I don’t know when… kind of consequences. Very predictable. I saw it coming. Our actions are not done in a vacuum.

More frustratingly, however, was Blue Eyes saying, yeah, yeah, I make a lot of mistakes… I get a lot of tickets. Wait, what? Current tense. I “get” a lot of tickets. Over the years Blue Eyes has received lots and lots of tickets, parking tickets, moving violations, expensive fucking tickets. At one point they suspended his night driving due to his poor judgment. A 30-something attorney with his own business… suspended license for lack of good judgment. I looked at him and he realized just a second too late. I asked him when was the last time he received a ticket? He said, oh a year ago or so. I parked in a truck loading zone. But I could tell he was lying. I asked him where was the truck loading zone? Who was he visiting that he parked in a truck loading zone? And when exactly was this? And where is the ticket? I don’t remember seeing a ticket. And what car was he driving, etc… etc… If there is anything I have mastered, it is pummeling Blue Eyes with questions about his lies.

My frustration built as I could see the lies in his eyes. FINALLY, he admitted to parking in a truck loading zone outside a downtown restaurant while picking up a to-go order A COUPLE MONTHS AGO. By the way, there is a parking lot next to AND across the street from the restaurant with legit parking for maybe $5 (as opposed to the $200 ticket). But interestingly enough, the ticket wasn’t even for the illegal parking (which is idiotic as it is). The ticket was for an expired registration. What? He neglected to renew the registration on his vehicle, THEN, he parked illegally. WHAT? But the thing is, and this is what gets me, is that when he is doing these things, like parking wherever the fuck he wants regardless of “rules” he really believes he is impervious to consequences. The consequences don’t hurt him, I guess. When he parks there he thinks, I’ll be less than 15 minutes, no way will I get a ticket, not me. And I won’t tell Kat when I do get that ticket, because, why? I don’t have to answer to anyone. She doesn’t need to know and that way I won’t have to look like an idiot. I’ll just have sex with this woman a few times, I won’t get caught, not me…. Oh wait, yeah, the lying does bring back a whole lot of bad bad memories and feelings for me. It still makes me wonder if he is capable of telling the truth. He knows my response would have been to say he was an idiot for assuming he wouldn’t get a ticket and also if he doesn’t have enough time to have the car registered, give the damn thing to me. I’ll spend the two hours and get it done. Getting a ticket is just not worth it. But instead, he willfully breaks the law and then lies about it. First by omission, then he just flat out lies. Blue Eyes is quite the “mystery man,” isn’t he.

I don’t want that kind of mystery in my life.

22 thoughts on “Mystery man, or liar?

  1. Are y’all ready for the eclipse? Lots of hype for something that can blind you.
    We live right under the path. I plan on staying indoors and watching NASA watch it for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are ready. Just the two of us, with approved glasses, in Portland. The kids went east seeking clear skies and totality. We’ll experience 99.5% from our deck. I think watching NASA’s view is a great idea. There has been a lot of hype leading up to the event in terms of traffic and crowds, but it seems most of it was just hype and Portland is a virtual ghost town. There is some congestion around large concerts/festivals in the path, but otherwise, very manageable. I imagine there will be some amazing images taken by professionals that we’ll all be able to view in the coming weeks.

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  2. Why do I feel compelled to get on this site and “shoot my mouth off”? May I “talk” to BE? If not delete this.
    BE, please recognize that you keep trying to make CK your mother. She can’t fix what went wrong in your childhood. Keeping secrets is demeaning to both of you. She has to frown and nag to get to the truth and you get to be passive aggressive. The parking ticket is not the issue. The lying is and you know it. It makes her off balance and gives you the power. Still, this is your childhood coping mechanism and it probably saved your sanity when you were young but it does nothing but cause dissention in your marriage now.
    I have two practical suggestions. The first is to do the old fashioned day planner. The one you and Kat open and peruse over coffee in the morning. Use a red highlighter to circle the BIG things like getting car stuff taken care of. You might scoff at this but I saved the sanity of a friend who lost four phone and three wallets in a year. When your mind is organized your life is, says she who can never remember when anyone’s birthday is. A failing, I’m sure. If you two have your lives in bold red ink in front of you every morning you might remember to get those pesky things done. The second suggestion is to put aside 30 minutes every evening after work to sit together with drinks or cups of tea and just be. Be together, hold hands, talk about pleasant things. Give yourself permission to vegetate. No work, no family drama, nothing that causes anxiety. In fact while you recline get in touch with your body. If you feel anxious is it something to do with work, the beach house, or is it coming from a long buried holdover from childhood? Start with your feet and slowly, mentally work your way up your legs, your body, your head. Whereever you feel anxious or tense use that smart brain of yours to begin to relax one muscle at a time. Your inner child is still in charge. You are going to have to send him to his room while you stay behind and love your wife.

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    • Hi Moi, thanks for the added additions to my tool box. It’s all about choices and the day planner is one of them and the other is making the effort to communicate with Kat. I totally understand and get it. With gratitude, BE

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  3. Ahhhh shit ….. can relate…..on sooooo many levels!! Kat I actually laughed out loud reading this. Rich and I got in a HUGE fight a couple of weeks ago, because yet again he got another ticket for a car related incident – of which there was photographic proof, and even then it was the cities fault…..always someone else’s fault. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️

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  4. I don’t understand this. I pound my head. What’s the point in lying about something so weird and innocuous. A ticket. Nothing big. Nothing out of the ordinary. Lots of people get tickets. What’s the big deal? Oh wow. The deal is the lie. The lie he knows his telling but he assumes its better than just owning that he couldn’t be bothered to pay 5 bucks to be safe parking and couldn’t be bothered to go register his vehicle because he just. . Doesn’t. Even after you know the deep and dark… You know he has betrayed and been lying for forever about the deepest most intimate things. And… Yet to him its still worth it to lie.

    I don’t want this. I see my life in yours, and I don’t want it. I want someone whose reflex isny to lie.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I get it CR. There are so many components to a successful partnership not the least of which is both partners need to want to be together more than they want to be apart. Bad habits like lying and cheating are not conducive to a successful partnership. It’s all very tiring. I’m with my husband, but I am also very aware now of what my needs are regarding staying. I need someone who is not resentful of his role in the partnership, and who truly understands the daily battle of “staying sober,” which has far less to do with sex than it has to do with integrity. I wish you peace in your decisions, CR. There is no magic “perfect marriage or perfect husband” pill. I used to wonder how some of my friends put up with husbands who demanded dinner on the table when they walked in the door (even if both partners were working), or husbands who go off to bars and drink with buddies and come home at all hours, drunk. Now I realize, truly, there is no perfect person or perfect mate. Not even close. It’s all hard work. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The article ends with ‘something good in him’ — I am experiencing a conflict in my situation. I know my hub isn’t ‘all bad / horrid liar only’ as he is human and has many good qualities. The lying has torn me apart, though. It’s like a reflex for him; I don’t even think HE is aware when he’s doing it many times.

    Lying is betrayal and harmful to a marriage or any relationship. I’m sorry. I get it. I don’t want “that kind of mystery’ either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree it’s a reflex to lie. My stupidity was in watching him pull the wool over everyone else’s eyes for 30 yrs and thinking I was special or in a separate sphere than they were. I was not. The biggest lie he told was that I was special to him and that I was treated differently than he treated others. That he would never lie to ME. I’m the fool for being young and wanting so much to believe him. And once we were married, I was too far invested to look at myself with real honesty.

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    • Yeah, so damaging. We took the big hit and they promised to be “good” now, but some of the bad habits are ingrained. I also know there is a lot of good in BE, but every time he lies or keeps something from me, I feel like he is making a choice against our partnership.

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      • A psychologist we worked with called it “living with integrity” and that’s a choice these guys have to make.

        His therapist also advised my hub to start telling the truth. Easier said than done?

        I don’t know, but it sure is frustrating and definitely erodes rebuilding of trust. Great deal of impact on the relationship for sure. Sigh.

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  6. I went back and read the wedding post. It made me nauseous because of my story. At my bridal shower, my mil was the first to leave due to a long drive. She got up and said goodbye to everyone then kissed wh, her son, full on the lips in the middle of the room with everyone looking. It was long and uncomfortable and was one of the first red flags I ignored in that family of fuck ups. She was marking her territory. It still makes me sick to my stomach. The room was silent.

    At the wedding, which I enjoyed even though it’s a blur, she apparently had a conversation with me where she told me how much she wanted to be close to me and that I blew her off. I have no recollection whatsoever, but it s what she has brought up often to wh over the years. That I was cruel to her. Since she talks and doesn’t shut up, I was probably just trying to walk away and visit with other guests. She tried to make the wedding about her, it wasn’t, and she’s bitter. My fault. She was a pregnant teen btw, so she lived her adult life in a different order than I did mine. And frankly she still behaves like a teenager.

    When he cheated, with her mini-me employee, she was excited to have me off the throne. She thought he was coming back to her (he’s 50!!). She advised him against reconciling and I went NC with her. The mow was enamoured with mil, so she was by far a better partner for her son. She tried to keep them together.

    I despise this woman. I’m trying to forgive myself for falling for her bullshit, for feeling shameful when I thought she was insincere, for not liking her over the years. She’s almost 70 and I met her when she was in her 30s. Her betrayal of me and my role in her life has hurt me as much as the affair.

    But I will never forget her kissing her son, holding his face and lingering far too long. I cry wanting to go back and grab that 25 yr old bride to be and tell her to run the fuck away. But I didn’t think I deserved better than that. So I stayed and went through with it and kept my pretty mouth shut so as to not make wh uncomfortable.

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    • I totally understand. More than you could know. I hope you realize now that all this dysfunction preceded you and you are merely a victim in a lifetime of misery making. That’s how I feel about my in-laws. Both BE and I are no contact and of course they blame me and think I am keeping him from them. I am not like them. And yes, the damage my mil wreaked on me, my marriage, my children, is part of my trauma. She created a monster, but he has no excuses now. The skeletons are out of the closet. Big hugs lemondrop! xx

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    • Oh, and my mil was also a pregnant teen, with BE’s older sister. They are constantly in competition with each other. The boys were her little dolls that she paraded around in public, but tortured in private. 🙁

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      • It’s like they (mil) stopped maturing at conception. And are so angry and jealous. Wh was her best friend and partner. I have sons. No fucking way are they my best friends or partners. It’s just so gross.

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      • Interestingly, and this just occurred to me, several therapists have suggested to me that my mil, who works in social work, a female dominated field, and is a therapist, is in fact a hater of women and a male worshipper. She uses the “superior, evolved, ashram-attending, yoga-shit” persona as a shield against actually promoting women or supporting them unconditionally. I was never more than a bauble she could trot out when there was a photographer around (“see! Evidence of our tight family closeness!”), and her daughter is her best friend, meaning the easiest person in the world to manipulate and control under the guise of motherly love. Men will always be superior to women in her world, but like everything else with her, she sends her message in a subtle and very nice, smile filled package. Talk about mystery….

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh Kat. Hugs.

    I agree with you, there is a dissonance between the title of that essay and its core message. That message is what I thought you’d relate to and I am glad you got something out of it.

    I know what you mean about being an open book. There is absolutely nothing important about me that is a secret or a mystery to anyone who matters to me. While I don’t share everything with everyone, I have never ever deliberately tried to manage anyone’s impression of me, or manipulate anyone to get what I want through lies of either comissision or omission.

    As I have talked about here, my “friend” is a liar. He is the second man I’ve had in my life who just lies as a way of life. He lies almost every day, or I assume he does. In fact I assume almost nothing he says is true. A lot of it just like you describe here–stupid senseless crap. Some of it the opposite…fundamental, core being, “identity” lies. Because I have put so much distance between us, I can honestly say I don’t give a shit about his lies. Nor do I pity him for being a liar, nor do I have empathy or sympathy for him about why he is this way. I just don’t care. I remember what it’s like to care, to resent it, to want to fix him and convince him I love him and he doesn’t have to lie to manage my impression of him. But there is not enough love or assurance or whatever it would take to change him…and when I realized that I felt very free. I can’t imagine having to live with someone like him. I am grateful to have had the choice.

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    • Yes, thankfully we have choices of who we spend time with, and who we love. I’m glad you have found some peace through distance. Lying is a very ingrained behavior. Likewise I knew BE lied, and I could easily see how he formed the habit, I just did not realize the extent of it. Now I do and the lying is just plain disrespectful and damaging to our partnership. He knows this. Thanks. xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • My friend is a typical southerner, always smiling and friendly. However he gets nasty-angry when someone lies to him! It happened again recently; he claimed someone at work lied to him. It is so out of character for him to be openly angry.
        His addict son is a world class liar. When I once said “he lies to avoid the consequence of truth” he quickly corrected me by saying “he lies to get what he wants”. I never forgot that. I guess it takes one to know one.

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