STBHX, may I offer you a parable?
I was born and raised in a small town. Classic middle America old-school “Main Street” type town. My grandfather started a small business in that small town, some time between WWI and WWII. Classic small town retail business. Brick building on Main Street with parapets and an engraved granite nameplate above the windows. Friendly clerks who knew every customer’s name and credit was recorded on a dirty sheet of paper slipped under the old cash register. He had a business partner, who I will call Mr. Smith.
Mr. Smith was probably about 10 years younger than my grandfather. When my father was of age, he bought my grandfather out of the business and became partners with Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith and my father grew the business. They bought a warehouse. A fleet of trucks. More locations in other towns. Brought in more partners. Classic middle America hard working small business, nose to the grindstone, prudent with the money. We did well. Lots of people worked full careers and supported families from that business. Many young people, like me, held down summer and/or evening jobs there during high school.
Our family and the Smith family became close socially. Many weekend barbecues at the lake, water skiing, etc. Paterfamilias Smith retired about 10 years after my Grandfather. His son did not buy him out, but the extended families remained close friends.
My father’s sister (my Aunt) inherited my grandparents’ home – just a couple of blocks from our home – when my grandparents passed. She lived in a big city several hundred miles away with her husband and family, but would spend holidays and summers in that house.
My Aunt has a daughter. Let’s call her Holly. That makes Holly my cousin, although she is about 15 years my junior. Holly grew up in the big city. She is a naturally pretty girl, tall and lithe with an amazing rack and long blonde hair. Life can be easy, in certain ways, for pretty young women, especially if they’re generous with the punani and not particularly discriminating about who they share it with. As the Eagles said: "City girls seem to find out early how to open doors with just a smile."
Holly was that kind of girl, a modern-day Hollygolightly neo-hippy: Burning Man, Rainbow Gathering, Coachella. Wherever a man would take her and pay her way. She enjoyed a steady stream of the finer things in life, plus adventurous travel, etc., thanks to an eager string of men. By the time she was 25 or so, she also had a couple of kids from random bio-dads who are not part of her life.
Holly eventually came to live semi-full time at the residence inherited by my Aunt from my Grandparents. She would remain there for a period of 6 months, or a year, or maybe 2 years. She didn't have to pay rent, insurance, or utilities (her mom owns the house free and clear and covers its expenses), so all she needed to cover was her food, clothing and transportation. She would flit about town, holding down part-time jobs at cafes or at the small university, taking occasional classes, but mostly luring in a string of men who would buy her whatever her heart desired. A fancy dog. A car. A trip to Puerto Rico. Some blow.
During her high school years growing up in the big city, Holly had fallen in with a crowd of ne’er-do-wells, headed by a small-time thug. Let’s call him The Artful Dodger. Artful mostly made his living on the street corner selling colitas and nose candy. He was not a distributor. He was an end-of-stream guy selling individual packets for chump change to people in the neighborhood. Low-life scum.
Holly was not a complete slacker. As noted, she was in fact an entrepreneur who traded her natural resources for the largesse that men would provide in exchange. After she settled into my grandparents’ home in my small town, Holly sensed another opportunity. Soon, neighbors (mostly older people – like most small middle American towns, my home town is shrinking and mostly older people are the ones left behind) began calling my father and reporting that, about once a month or so, Artful would show up at the residence, and for the next several days there would be a string of cars containing young people stopping out front. A young person would leave a car, enter the residence, spend several minutes, and then emerge, stuffing an item into his pocket.
One day, young Master Smith, grandson of Paterfamilias Smith, got wind of the retail opportunities at my grandparents’ residence and decided to head over there for a transaction. However, when he showed up, Artful recognized him as a young man of (a) monetary means, wallet stuffed with cash, and (b) small town naïveté. Artful decided that, rather than complete the normal transaction, he would pull out his steel and lighten young Master Smith of his wallet. Apparently, Master Smith protested, in response to which Artful popped a cap into Smith’s head. They then wrapped the body in plastic and put it into the trunk of Artful’s car, all under the spying eyes of the old folks living next door and peering through cracks in the blinds. Artful didn’t get very far before he was stopped and busted. He’s now doing time.
Which brings me to you, and to me. Young Master Smith was a friend of our families. Our two families had deep history together. Now, he’s dead.
The POS who killed him was Artful, a small-time thug from a city. Human detritus. There might be one person, some strung-out girlfriend or maybe a customer in need of a fix, who misses him. It’s easy to hate Artful for killing my friend, and in fact I do hate him. And loathe him. But I hated and loathed him before he killed my friend. He is human scum. Bottom of the barrel. Could I devote energy to figuring out some sort of revenge plot on him? Sure, but what is that ever going to get me? He is utterly generic, a caricature of a human, a person with literally nothing to lose. It would be a waste of my time. If Artful hadn’t killed my friend, he would have killed somebody. He is a cipher.
My cousin, on the other hand, she is the vector that brought Artful into my family, physically inside my family’s home, and figuratively within my family’s social circle. He was poison, but it was Holly who decided it was okay to bring that poison into our lives. None of the other bad stuff would have occurred if Holly didn’t choose to treat the sanctity of our family as a toilet. Holly is a pathetic character. She has been largely banished by the family. Last I heard she was living in a yurt in a hippie commune somewhere in the northwest, kids dirty and hungry. Good riddance.
My cousin is your WW. She decided to bring poison into your family circle. That poison has now infected you. You want to hate the poison, but all it is doing is what poison does. What the fuck was she thinking, bringing that beaker in and spilling it around the family? How does she plan to clean it up? How does she plan to help you get healthy again? She needs to be giving you a concrete plan that responds to these questions.
As to your WW, I think it’s fair to get in her face with questions like:
Please explain the logic behind your decision that it was a good idea to bring this man into our marriage, a man who would file a false police report on me. Clearly you thought it was a good idea to fuck this man and otherwise make him a secret part of our family. What did you think I was going to get out of that decision?
Please explain what you plan to do to fix this. I want to see that plan in writing by morning.
I’m being only half way facetious. From your description, your WW is basically cowering in a corner doing nothing. She owns this and yet is simply ostriching, hoping it will somehow go away. If I were you, I’d probably be feeling things like (a) memories of the love I had for the woman I thought I was married to, (b) pain due to the realization of the truth that the woman I thought I loved does not actually exist, and (c) pity for the shell of a woman cowering in front of me. For me, I don’t think I could muster hate, because the face would still remind me of the faux love. But I would certain find her pathetic, and feel pity.
Pity is of course no basis for a relationship going forward. Which brings me to my final bit of advice. Tell her that if she wants a chance with you, she needs to make herself into a different person, one who isn’t pathetic, one for whom you can feel something other than pity.
[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 10:31 AM, September 7th (Friday)]