Last Straw

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Last Straw

The wicked triangle that was me, H, and Bridesmaid gained an extra dimension this past weekend, when H revealed that he’d had a one-night-stand on Saturday.

He chose to reveal this by bringing said one-nighter—a blonde cougar, incidentally, almost fifteen years his senior—to Sunday breakfast with me and Husband. And breakfast was nice, and then it was over, and then my amusement (“He got cougared!”) faded, and what was left was a sort of surprise and anger that H had cheated, again, on Bridesmaid.

I’m sure as hell not innocent here, and I’ve been questioning my own role and my responsibilities to myself and to Bridesmaid, and I still don’t have an answer. But I’ve been wondering what this—my standing idle (or participating) while one human behaves poorly to another—says about me. I’ve always thought of myself as a compassionate, conscientious person, but I’ve been so careless here, so quick to rationalize, so complicit.

Last week, when I determined that I absolutely must end my sexual relationship with H, it was in order to distance myself from the situation. (I did not tell him this; it was simply a decision I had made.) But then that didn’t seem to be enough, and I began wondering if I needed to sever all ties with him. How could I continue to be friends with, to support, someone being so cruel and thoughtless?

The cougar incident was the straw that broke the camel’s back, I suppose, and I called him up and told him that: that his behavior was unconscionable, that I could not continue to be a part of it, that our friendship was on the line. I did not issue an ultimatum, but I’m sure it came across that way, and he was angry with me for “taking things so seriously.”

It’s not about me versus Bridesmaid, or me versus Cougar, or me versus anybody—it’s just that what he’s doing was wrong, and he needs to stop, and I don’t know how to impress that upon him except to show him how seriously I am (now) taking it. And maybe it alleviates some of my guilt as well; but if my message got through, and he acts a little more honestly in the future—maybe that’s as close to my goal as I can get with him.

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