Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Her Boyfriend Ghosted Her

This letter is going to feel like playing three-dimensional chess. A woman writes to Ask Polly-- already a big mistake-- to figure out why her ex-boyfriend ghosted her. She names herself Fully, Entirely, Utterly Crushed (FEUC) and explains a situation that will leave your head spinning. Fortunately, Polly, as is her wont, has nothing very useful to say-- except for the obvious: FEUC should just write him off. Of course, it’s easier said than done, especially when the two have undergone a three-year relationship.

As we will see, the problem is not really the problem. FEUC mentions the real problem, almost in passing, but surely she should understand that losing a baby is more traumatic than losing a faithless, cheating boyfriend. Polly does not quite pick up on the point, so, take a look at the letter:

My three-year relationship with my boyfriend just ended over a few text messages. Just days before he was sending me videos of our cat and pictures of apartments he said we might someday live in together. In the last month, we’ve been long distance since his unpredictable boss decided without any notice to move the entire team to Miami. We hadn’t come up with a plan yet, but there was lots of love and support between us through it all. Then he stopped replying to my texts. Finally, he responds and tells me that he found out about messages I sent to someone he knows. He said he was upset and my messages were inappropriate. I’m frantically trying to figure out what he’s talking about and told him I had no idea. A sign of guilt, he suggested. I should just come clean. He could tell that I wrote the messages, they sounded like me. And, the kicker: “We done. I’m done.” My brain spinning out of control, I responded “What The Actual Fuck” and then all my subsequent messages failed to send, appearing as green bubbles without any sign of a delivered receipt. The rain that followed thereafter is still pooling.

FEUC thinks that it began when a few years back when she had to travel out of town on business. During that time, her boyfriend had an affair. He cheated. She confronted him. He lied. She accepted his lie. They stayed together and moved in. Then, she got pregnant. He responded by explaining that he really had had an affair.

For the record, FEUC calls her ex-boyfriend’s hookup a mistress. As best as I understand it, you need to be married to have a mistress. They were not married. The point seems not to concern anyone. Getting pregnant before making a public commitment and swearing vows is commonplace today. This seems not to be such a good idea.

FEUC continues:

In fact, we moved into a new house together and spent a lot of money on furniture and laid down roots for a future. But when I got pregnant accidentally, he came clean and admitted that my suspicions weren’t “crazy” as he’d suggested at the time, and that yes, he had cheated on me repeatedly with the same person and almost left me for her. He wanted me to know the truth if we were going to raise a child together. I was livid. I was broken and pregnant. I can’t really put it into words. I had thought we were on our way to a healthy partnership, living in a house and at the right age to start a family. But this information came down on me like a mallet. I spiraled emotionally. I also started a new full-time job, one of those around-the-clock jobs that women who are pregnant don’t take because they don’t really allow sleep, water, food intake, etc.

One likes to emphasize the point, that the boyfriend ought never to have confessed. God only knows where he got the idea that openness and honesty are more important than hurting a woman you are supposed to love. I suspect that it came straight from the therapy culture. Obviously, he hurt her. He hurt her deeply. And yet, consider her dilemma. She discovers that the father of her child is scum… not just because he cheated, but because he chose precisely the wrong moment to announce it.

She nearly fell apart, but she took the wrong kind of job, the kind of job you do not take if you are pregnant. Knowing full well that this would be dangerous for her baby, she took it anyway.

As they say, you can’t make this stuff up.

I ended up losing the baby. I went through immense emotional pain over it. Family members were aware of the pregnancy, so that made it worse. I plowed through work, saw a therapist and a psychologist and tried to work through the pain and forgive my boyfriend.

Clearly, she holds her boyfriend somewhat responsible for his behavior. And yet, she continues to want to forgive him. Note that she seems to have felt like she was going through this alone.

Given that this unfortunate couple has bought into the ethic of openness and honesty, FEUC, while being pregnant and while having a job that is bad for her baby and herself, chooses to write to her boyfriend’s “mistress” and confront her. She leaned in and told the other woman what a bad person she was… for sleeping with a man whose girlfriend was away on work.

When said “mistress” did not respond, FEUC took  the bad advice offered by a friend and wrote directly to the mistress’s boyfriend. You see, said mistress was also cheating on her own boyfriend. Naturally, her friend suggested that the mistress's boyfriend would want to know. Another idiot offering bad advice.

As they say, you can’t make this stuff up.

One evening in the midst of my pain and confusion and lack of sleep from working 18 hours straight (that sounds like an excuse, but I am being 100 percent honest), I DMed the woman he cheated on me with, asking her why and how, and expressing my pain. I told her I thought she was a bad person and she was hurting other working women by sleeping with their boyfriends while they’re traveling for work. She didn’t respond right away, and my best friend at the time suggested I message her boyfriend. Wouldn’t you want to know? My best friend asked me. I wrote him a message, and deleted it, wrote another one, deleted it, sent one, deleted it after sending … I was a mess. It was late at night, and I don’t remember how much I sent or deleted, honestly. I couldn’t see straight. The woman ended up messaging me back apologizing and explaining her side of the story and I honestly just forgot about the dude. I walked away from the exchange with the mistress feeling okay about reaching out to her, for both her sake and my own.

Feeling okay means nothing. Because the issue was about to come back to haunt her. Which issue, you ask? Why the issue that is weighing on her sometime boyfriend-- that she told his mistress’s boyfriend what had happened. Thus, that she betrayed her boyfriend’s confidence. Losing the child seems not to have been overly concerning for him. Unless he was simply hiding how much he cared, given that he made a mistake that set in motion a chain of events that caused her to lose the child.

FEUC has now discovered that her ex-boyfriend cares more about how other people see him, especially about how the mistress’s boyfriend sees him. We do not know, from the information provided, how this played out in their circle, but once the information enters a social network, nothing good is going to come out of it.

I know this means he cares more about how he’s seen by his mistress’s ex-boyfriend, who he’s wronged more than I ever did, than he does about me, a woman who gave him mostly unconditional love and understanding. And that alone is enough of a reason to leave him. I do recognize that all of this must’ve gone down publicly and really injured his ego and I have empathy for that. But how do I work through this when I feel a mix of emotions that include humiliation, guilt, fear of getting a restraining order filed against me, worry about reputation repercussions with my work, and just utter and complete sadness over losing my best friend so suddenly and so painfully?

As noted, we do not know what the mistress’s boyfriend did or did not do. We do not know what happened to his relations to his mistress or anyone else. We do know that the information circulated and made him look very bad indeed. We do not feel very badly for him.

And besides, which best friend is she talking about? Is she talking about the woman who recommended that she write to the mistress’s boyfriend? If so, she notes that said good friend has now also ghosted her… for staying in an abusive relationships.

The BFF said that she herself, having had her share of abusive relationships, cannot process them while at the same time supporting FEUC. Did it strike you that these people have no feelings for each other, no care for each other, coupled with extraordinarily bad judgment? Welcome to the millennial generation.

If it went down publicly, it probably did not just injure her ex-boyfriend’s ego. Duh. And FEUC’s empathy is precisely worthless. If that is what she learned from her therapist she should fire her therapist.

If she considered her boyfriend to be her best friend, this tells us that their commitment was not exactly firm. She ought not to have “utter and complete sadness” about losing the boyfriend, but is probably still working through her sadness about losing a baby.

At the least, she should have learned the value of discretion. She should forget the lost relationship and move on. It's lost beyond repair.


Sam L. said...

I wonder how she found the name and address of the "other woman"'s boyfriend.

Anonymous said...

"As they say, you can’t make this stuff up."

That was exhausting to read or imagine having to write ABOUT. Imagine an author's mind THAT IS capable of intentionally "making this stuff up" the "stuff" being "FEUC-life". If FEUC exists hopefully will find the best path towards being un-FEUC'ed.

Anonymous said...

After reading, ask-polly-my-boyfriend-of-three-years-just-ghosted-me

My only thought was "this article is not written in English".

"Your ex is Brett Kavanaugh, shrugging and saying “I like beer” as if that explains everything."

The linked article is written in "RAPESPEAK" as one youtube-commenter (is not me) illustrates using brute-force:

Did you drink beer?
PARANOID SEX PREDATOR: Well, I drank beer, my friends drank beer. I drink beer. I mean, I like beer. Yes. Boy and girls drank beer. It was legal, so we drank beer. I drink beer, I still love beer........... So yes. Sometimes they drank too many beers, sometimes I drank too many beers, sometimes we all had too many beers, sometimes we all had too few beers. But I like beer. Yesterday I had a beer. I drink beer. I love beer. I'd kill for a beer. Beer.

Anonymous said...

34 minutes ago
How is this Millennial-bashing relevant to this letter? It was a 3 yr relationship where LW was seriously planning to raise kids with him, not a drunken hookup.

For the record, I am a millennial who has never hooked up and know plenty who haven’t.

The commenters for the article are feeling even more raped.

"seriously planning to *raise kids with him*, not a drunken hookup"

How sweet, imagining FEUC "raising little FEUC kids" with Mr FEUC.

A horror story about a horror story concerning whining about an aborted nightmare. It is like an infinity mirror peak into a Hell reality oozing poison into readers brains.

Anonymous said...

Reading RapeBow. Experience rape by reading. Don't smile, be happy.

Anonymous said...

Mind your salivating rapebow. Read FEUC.

Anonymous said...

How is this FEUC-bashing relevant to this letter? It was a 3 yr relationship where LW was seriously planning to raise FEUC kids with him, not a drunken FEUCup.

For the record, I am a FEUC who has never FEUCed up and know plenty who haven’t.

JPL17 said...

Dear Anonymous,

I hope you get the help you so clearly need.


-- The Non-Insane World

Anonymous said...

Anonymous did not write the RapeSpeak article. Anonymous explained how "ask-polly-my-boyfriend-of-three-years-just-ghosted-me" is RapeSpeak. When people read "ask-polly-my-boyfriend-of-three-years-just-ghosted-me" the result is the reader's mind gets molested.

The comment copied from the article pasted as an example that this RapeSpeak effect was not imagined.

Anonymous said...

As the writer writes (italics are mine):

"I had thought we were on our way to a healthy partnership, living in a house and at the right age to start a family."

Her use of this already hackneyed phrase, dictated to her by popular culture as conveyed by the complicit media, shows she was not thinking for herself but was instead conforming her thoughts to progressive fantasy and expecting promised results to follow. Blinded by this to reality, the outcome was, sadly, inevitable.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Good observation, thank you.