What you wouldn't have seen were the many, many postings on my facebook wall - such as the one to the right - where my very protective, wonderful and well-meaning friends would post images or comments calling Yoga Girl a "slut" or a "whore", etc.
I won't lie.... little images like this one *do* make me giggle. I mean these thing are written to be funny - and ... they are. However, what you won't see is that on my wall I would defend Yoga Girl. I would, while laughing under my breath, remind people that this was a young, 'stupid' 22 year old and that while having a sexual relationship *with* my husband while he was *very much* still my husband.... makes her allllll kinds of things to me: that doesn't maker her a "slut".
I have very mixed feelings about Yoga Girl. When this started, I was grateful to her for her honesty - and I shared that with her on two occasions. I thought A. LOT. about this person who interfered in my marriage - I wondered about what she looked like, how she moved, I spent FAR. TOO. MANY hours imaging what they talked about..... I know he must have turned on all his humorous charm - telling his best jokes and being the 'fun guy' he is.....
Winning her over.
While she would have known who I was - who my children were.... I didn't really know who she was. I didn't know anything about her.... while I found that terribly unfair - I *still* had to consider what I did know about her at the time, which inclined me to 'hate' her a little less than I should.
When I asked, she admitted to having sex with my husband, and this was *while* he was denying he knew her at all... let alone that he had played 'hide the sausage' with her..... she was honest with me. Before I had the unfortunate opportunity to talk with her further.... this honestly weighed on me a good deal.
In spite of it all... I gave her the tiniest bit of credit: for her initial honestly.
As time when on and their lies grew two fold, then three fold - the little bit of respect I had for her waned, but still, I didn't want to stoop to the level of calling her names. I am many things... but I was above that, or at least I hoped I was.
I spent ever MORE time thinking about how they kissed... when they kissed.... where they had sex, and... sadly.... *how* they had sex.... I even asked her once - "Does he do that one little thing that he always did with me like *right* before he finishes......?"
She didn't like the question.... in fact, she doesn't like talk to me at all. She say's things like, "... it isn't respectful to talk about [El Capitan]......" - and she speaks to me like a teenage girl speaks to her Mother after she has been caught sneaking in her bedroom window with her hair pushed up in the back, shirt miss-buttoned: classic signs of a 'walk of shame'..... only she's talking to the woman whose husband *did* that shameful act...
When we spoke, even though I *had* shown her respect - I had refrained from calling her names, I have not screamed at her, shown up at her place of work, harassed her.... nothing. I didn't even speak to her until I caught them texting TWO WEEKS after he *swore* to me that they weren't together and her "hardly knew her".... and then I simply called her on his cell phone. I needed the truth: I hoped she would give it to me.
When I spoke to her I wanted answers and hoped I would get... some? a few? I thought she might be young - and possibly a bit timid? Yet, there was no remorse in her tone. There was no discernible regret, no moment of pause where she heard the pain my voice and the tears streaming down my face and she would express the appropriate guilt and concern one human being shows another.... but there was none.
When she heartlessly and matter-of-factly, informed me that my marriage was "loveless" and that she had "saved" El Capitan from a marriage where we no longer talked and he was "alone". (Hard to be 'alone' when you're banging two different women.... but there you have it.)
THAT was when she became Ugly Baby Teeth. But not before.... not before *she* was rude and unkind....
To this day, while I am *very* unimpressed with Yoga Girl, in fact my favorite thing to say about her to El Capitan is...."She's a quality item Clark....." (it's a Christmas Vacation reference)..... I have been careful not to call her names or just stoop to the level of calling her a "slut". (Mind you, in the effort of full disclosure, there I have, when talking with friends, called her a "b" spelled with a "c". lolololol)
Yesterday, I got an email that I want to share because I think that *this* girl's story - while I'm fairly certain it's *not* Yoga Girl's story.... is important, and one that needs to be shared.
There are *many* people who have been and *will* continue to be hurt by El Capitan's choice to cheat. He *had* other choices.... he could have done the manly thing and sit down and say... "So... here's the deal: I'm not happy and I want out." Or, he could have answered me *honestly* during the three weeks he was actively cheating and I was begging him in the kitchen to tell me what was wrong and he lied and said.... "nothing".
So I'm hurt, the children have just been given a lifetime membership to the Hall of Hurt - and no matter what I do: it will never go away.
I don't know if one day Yoga Girl will wake up and realize what she's done -t he damage she's caused, the pained she's helped inflict on my children..... I personally believe she is bereft of feeling any kind of guilt, impossible of any kind of ownership for her actions... but on the off chance I'm wrong, I will remember the words of the email below and allow them to linger.... again, I'm open to being wrong. I really am.
Yesterday while I was online, a news link to your For Sale sign led me to your story. By 11am this morning, I had read every entry of your blog and I plan to buy your book very soon.
Elle, I was a Yoga Girl. A much different personality from your YG, with a different scenario, but nevertheless, I ended up being one almost a decade ago. You and I are about the same age. I make no excuses. I'm not proud of it. In fact, it is the one thing I have done that I truly regret. There is so much more to the story, but I am married to the man who was only separated, not divorced, when we chose to be together (I was single, no kids). His sons both under ##### years old when he and his wife finally divorced.
There is so much you might assume about me, and about us, and most of it would probably be wrong. My husband and I have been married #### years now, with his ex-wife and her husband married #### years, and while I have committed myself to being the best stepmom possible, and have laid low knowing my place isn't as a main decision maker (ex-wife and my husband share joint custody), I realize more and more how much pain I have caused.
One of my best friends has very recently been put in your shoes, in so many similar ways to your own story. Being with her through her hell, and reading stories like yours makes me vividly confront the chocies I made. All these years, our blended homes have worked to coexist cordially (cordial, not quite friendly). But I am ashamed to say that I have not once apologized to my husband's ex, and I know that doesn't make ANYTHING better, it doesn't change anything, but it should have been done a long time ago.
Back when I hooked up with this man, I was not thinking of anyone but him and me. I did not think about the consequences to his wife or children. There was more to the story, all around, but my actions boil down to me being selfish and young, and seizing a moment without thinking about how it would affect anyone else. I was wrong to do that. I know I need to make time to tell this to the ex-wife, to her face, and I do not expect anything, not even acknowledgment. But I am sorry. And I am sorry for what you are going through.
Your story and blog help women not just in your shoes, but hopefully are eye openers to those of us who shared Yoga Girl's shoes instead. I am horribly aware, now so late down the road, that I caused so much pain to another woman who I never set out to hurt, but who I also never thought to respect in the first place.
I will make it a priority to apologize, though it might mean beans at this point. I will also continue being a good stepmom. I just wanted to write you and thank you for the honesty of your blogs. You are a strong woman making the best of a shitty situation...but with both your strength and your ability to put the kids first, you will be alright. That part is very clear.
Sometimes, when we're willing to be honest, when we're willing to accept our own failures *that's* when we might see a teeny-tiny bit of change in ourselves, or in the world around us.
It's not much... but I'll take it.