Maybe I can just chill out, I think. I mean, love is love. You ended up not loving me. You broke my heart but that doesn’t make you a villain.
But then I remember that pandemic Thanksgiving when the kids and I tried to make things special – normal. I cooked and the boys baked pie. Our daughter made mini pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.
We were too worried about a tickly throat to keep the plans to see my parents for dinner.
You were in your office. We tried to get you to come to help with dinner and spend time with us, but you said you were too busy.
We set the table. You were still too busy.
Vegetable dishes started getting done. We called down to you.
Everything was ready. We sat down without you. By now, you were in the shower.
You finally walked upstairs.
“I was taking a shower, I don’t need to be policed, “ you said when I asked you why you hadn’t come up earlier; why you had to take such a long shower.
It was not what I’d call a lovely dinner. Tensions were high.
After dinner we watched a movie, you spent most of it on your phone.
Later, you told me how upset you were. Nobody had told you how nice you looked when you came upstairs. You were insulted because your wife and your kids who had been working all day to make dinner hadn’t complimented you on your outfit. “It’s called self-care!” You said to me patronizingly with a sigh.
I didn’t understand. I thought the problem of the day had been how you didn’t spend any of Thanksgiving Day with your wife and kids. I thought I was the one who was angry with you. Turns out you were angry at me. You were angry at me for not leaving you alone on Thanksgiving, for wanting you to spend time with the family, and most of all. . . For not telling you how handsome you looked when you (finally) walked up to the kitchen.
A week or two later you told me about Heather. All about Heather. You hadn’t been working and taking a long shower. You had been on the phone and FaceTime with Heather. What is FaceTime sex called? I don’t know. But whatever it’s called, it’s why you didn’t spend much of Thanksgiving with your family.
I think that might make you a villain.
Somehow you thought I was the problem. You almost cried that when you graced us with your presence 3 hours late, we hadn’t told you how handsome you looked.
I’m working on the idea of anger with my therapist. She says women have such a tough time being angry, being okay with other people being angry at them.
I spent years not knowing what was going on, years thinking it didn’t make sense to be angry at you, years questioning my gut and my feelings.
I don’t think there’s any question here though. You were an asshole that Thanksgiving Day. Not only was I angry, but I knew more than I thought I did. (Although, Thanksgiving Villain sounds too cute to be what you were.)
So people –
Listen. To. Your. Gut.
Listen to your anger.