When You Have a Wife and a Girlfriend (Pt. 2)

So, needless to say, Owen and his wife were actually not at all separated. Physically, yes, they really did live separately, but they were still very much married. I went from A-Z with her about our involvement. I emphasized that we had never met and he had backed out of the trip, but needless to say his interaction with me, whether we met or not, went on for a couple of months and was definitely entirely inappropriate.

In the spirit of defending my own honor (to drive it home that he definitely told me he was separated/not married), and because I was in shock and freaking pissed, I sent her a few screenshots from our conversations to prove that what I was saying was true. And honestly, having been down the inadvertent “other woman” road before, I know how these things tend to go – she’s going to confront him and then he’s going to try to pull the “she didn’t mean anything to me” card and generally downplay everything that went on between us so he can salvage his marriage. I don’t think so, asshole.

The wife, whom I shall affectionately refer to as Crazy Kay (there’s reasons for that we shall get into), talked for maybe 30 – 40 minutes. I would learn that he lied about several seemingly insignificant details of his life, even besides his name. Like, he told me he was an only child. He’s not. Toward the end of our conversation she asked me not to let him in on anything because she wanted to confront him eventually and give him the shock of his life.

So, naturally, I texted him immediately. I was so angrily texting though that I worded it wrong – I said I “found” his wife. He assumed I was just acting crazy again and told me to leave him alone. I clarified:

She called me actually.

Oh, and I’m going to send her the entirety of our WhatsApp conversations tomorrow.

Funnily enough, his tone changed then…

“I’m sorry for everything. Please try not to ruin my life.”

“Can we discuss this, please?”

Sure, let’s discuss it! Call me. And he did.

Once I explained to him exactly what occurred and chewed him out and the gravity of the impending implosion of his marriage sunk in, he did seem to become genuinely conciliatory, but he also started remarking on how he was scared for his career. He had it in his mind that she would call his job and try to make waves for him. A big no-no for military officers. Then, stupid doormat me, started feeling bad.

We actually talked for a couple of hours. I made him video me to apologize “face to face” so I could look at him and try to analyze whether he really meant he was sorry for being a lying bastard or whether he was just *saying* he was sorry so I wouldn’t send his wife our conversations.

I was probably up until 5am with this nonsense before finally getting to sleep. I ended up taking off work since I hadn’t gotten any sleep.

So, pretty much, over the next couple of weeks, I put him through the wringer and he confessed to everything he did and took the beating for it. He did genuinely seem very accommodating and communicative and sorry. He was sorry he’s a liar. Sorry he was horrible to me during those 3 weeks we didn’t talk – he was scared. He was sorry he lied about having siblings, it was to try to stay as anonymous as possible at first.

And not just sorry he got caught, but genuinely sorry for lying and hurting me, and sorry for hurting his wife. They had been in an unhappy marriage for a long time and he had checked out of it years ago, he admitted, but he knew what he was doing wasn’t right as my trip out approached, so he did lie to back out of it.

No, his mom did NOT have a stroke. That was actually almost the worst thing about the whole thing to me – THAT’S what you choose to lie about to get out of it? Your mom having a stroke? WTF does that? There are a million other reasons he could’ve come up with.

So pretty much, we did end up reconciling, so to speak. I was honestly just genuinely worried about the guy – he’s not used to his life being out of control and he was still worried for his career. Apparently she was threatening to pore through the phone bill some more and call colleagues of his and even commanders and what have you. He promised there would be no other women to find, but it’s still not a good look when your crazy wife is calling to question them about your possible affairs.

And yes, Crazy Kay is crazy. She has some substance abuse issues in the form of alcohol and pills and has for years, according to Owen. I think that’s part of the reason their marriage fell apart. And I know for a fact that this a problem for her myself since I’ve actually talked to her several times since that original night, on her own volition.

One morning a little after 4 am I’m in the gym before work and my text notification sounds from my gym bag as I’m stepping on the treadmill. This is maybe 2 weeks after everything went to hell. Who the hell is texting me at 4 am? It’s Crazy Kay. She’s “scared for her and her daughter.” She “thinks there’s still someone in the picture and wants to know the truth.”

I wasn’t sure exactly what she wanted from me in that conversation – I guess just to vent? Honestly, I think she just wanted to admit that he and I started talking again. But I wouldn’t. She brought it up several times and then even ended on a final outburst about me “forgiving quickly” and not to ever “fucking contact her again!” after texting me off and on for several hours about Owen destroying his family and various other emotional vomit (Okay? You texted me?). When I was finally able to talk to Owen about it, he surmised that she was on a bender.

That was it until about 3 weeks ago at 10:30 pm on a Wednesday night. She wanted my “rebuttal” to the remark that Owen had made flippantly about filing a restraining order against me.

And that’s the thing…ideally I shouldn’t engage with her but she texts so randomly and starts off with something so wacky I just want to figure out where she’s going with it.

I reminded her that that was a glib remark Owen made out of anger months ago when we were fighting. I had told her pretty much almost everything that occurred between he and I during our original conversation (which I now regret), which is how she knew about that.

She claimed he had recently referred to me as the “psycho he got involved with” and this and that. I admit, she almost had me for a second. I got slightly livid because I assumed that he was posturing to get back with her if he’s talking about me like that, and I started texting him to chew him out.

He told me that none of that is true and that Crazy Kay is on a bender again and in one of her “moods” and has been at clawing at him throughout the night as well. But he was working and couldn’t engage with her readily. He sent me some screenshots to show that he was telling her how unproductive their conversations are and that all he cares about at this point is his daughter.

Then, in furthering my own discussion with her, it became obvious that her real motive with this line of questioning (like we’re court – you want my “rebuttal” – what the fuck?) was that she was trying to position herself to make it out as if, with Owen having ONCE threatened a restraining order on me, he should be concerned about having someone crazy around his kid or something. Pretty much it was this:

Then she went on to mistake me for Owen, clearly (I guess her pills or whatever really started to kick in), by asking me “why I’d do this to my family.”

Owen and I talked the next day and he apologized for her contacting me; I apologized for playing into her nonsense at first and letting her get under my skin.

I told him there seems to be a pattern emerging where, I guess, when he’s busy and she can’t get a reaction from him right away, then she moves onto me.

Two days later, as he had planned, he had a phone consultation with the attorney that he hired in their home state. He’s pretty much screwed in terms of alimony and equal custody for now, but he just wants to get something in place where she can’t deny him seeing his daughter, which she has already done when he asked if the daughter could come out to him.

So pretty much, this has been kind of a cluster. No idea how it will end.

When You Have a Wife and a Girlfriend…(Pt. 1)

…but neither knows. That could get awkward. Like most things in my life, I find this out, the hard way, of course.

Once upon a time, or on or around March 12th of this year, I was doing some traveling in Southern California. I can generally take or leave Tinder, especially when I’m out of town and the ratio of men who will consider me solely hookup material exponentially increases due to the distance. But, ya know, sometimes a girl gets bored and starts swiping. So I did.

And what do we have here? A cute blond gent with only 3 pics (2 in sunglasses, one kind of blurry) and little profile information. Probably bad news (comes off as signs of trying to be surreptitious), but I’ll give it a go. It’s just a swipe.

We match and he immediately reaches out with a somewhat questionable remark about my height (I’m tall) that confused me in whether it was meant to be disparaging or not. He immediately apologized and chastised himself for knowing that cheesy jokes don’t translate well via message sometimes. And then said he was glad we both went right. I thought that was endearing.

Owen and I clicked right away. He said he was separated with a toddler daughter, and while he is stationed in California (he’s military), his estranged wife lives across the country on the east coast. It’s “amicable.” I thought I’d get the cold shoulder when I told him I’m just visiting and actually live 2,200 miles away from him, but that didn’t appear to rattle him. We added each other on WhatsApp expeditiously and bantered a while. Unfortunately, that was my second to last night in town and I wasn’t able to adjust my plans in time to see him that night or my last one. But I wanted to. 

When I got back home, he said he hoped he’d hear from me again sometime. I asked if that’s a hint that we should stop talking unless I’m back in the area, and he said of course not.

From that point on, it was pretty much 0-60 really quickly. Besides being good looking, he was charming and communicative and smart. He always matched my level of interest and enthusiasm when I would gush over him, and vice versa. He made me feel secure and pretty and blushy and googly-eyed. He seemed to make a valiant effort to talk to me even when he was running around and/or busy at work. He made me smile. There was some serious chemistry in the air.

On March 31, I officially booked a ticket back out there to see him in the first week of May. We planned a 4-day extended weekend together and both seemed to look forward to it in equal measure as the days counted down.

But there was one snag that occurred in the immediate weeks preceding the trip. He had warned me once that he might disappear for days at a time, but not to be worried. By “disappear” he meant not be available on WhatsApp if he doesn’t have cell service or something. He’s in the military, so it didn’t seem too out of the ordinary.

But starting the weekend 3 weeks before my trip, and continuing throughout the week approaching the 2-week mark, he was nowhere to be found. His “Last Seen” was like the preceding Friday. I let it go for a few days but then once we started getting to Wednesday…then Thursday…I genuinely started thinking something was wrong. Especially since my latest messages were only going through with one check mark, meaning they hadn’t even been delivered. And I wasn’t blocked or anything. He had never been MIA for THAT long and I was wondering why my messages weren’t going through – did he die or something?

So on Thursday I started trying his actual phone number. Of course I knew it since it’s connected to his WhatsApp account, but we had never texted outside of WhatsApp so it felt slightly “out of place” doing that. But I didn’t know what else to do. I asked if he was okay. No answer. I called and his phone rang at first, but he didn’t pick up. When I called again some time later, it was completely off.

I figured maybe it was some extended work thing but something still didn’t seem right about it. We were still matched on Tinder and I checked from time to time and would see his location updating by several miles, so clearly his phone is not off? I finally messaged him on there and told him I think something shady is going on – that this doesn’t seem quite normal. No answer there either.

On Friday night, my friend Hannah suggested I give her his number so she could call and see if he answered a number he didn’t recognize. Entirely confident that nothing would come of it because he’s a magical, upstanding gentleman and it just MUST be work, I said, Sure, give it a go.

Oh, but answer he did. Hannah asked for a random name and he said she had the wrong number. She said he sounded normal and not like he was in dire straits. Yikes. I was incredulous: What do you mean HE ANSWERED!? Hannah felt bad, because we both knew the writing was on the wall at that point. This ain’t good.

So I did what any reasonable crazy girl would do and I called him myself, except I used an app that can spoof your caller ID to another number so he wouldn’t know it was me. He answered and I was basically like WTF?! He gave me some story about losing his phone and not having had the chance to download WhatsApp yet on his new one. Um…okay. I’m only flying out there in 2 weeks, maybe you should actually download our main avenue of communication, but no big deal.

I implored him to let me know if this was some sign I shouldn’t come – the trip was exactly 2 weeks out at that point. Just let me know now so I can cancel my ticket. He assured me he still wanted me to come see him. And he insisted on downloading WhatsApp right then and was back online and reading my latest messages even before we were off the phone.

We messaged some after the call and he apologized for being inconsiderate. Crisis averted I guess. Maybe for once I’m actually not dealing with an asshole. MAYBE.

That next week, on Wednesday, I checked in to see how his day was going. He tells me about a work activity he is participating in and that was pretty much that. At that point I’m flying out in 10 days or so, so I don’t really feel the need to hound him. A couple of days pass with no contact and now it’s 7 days to go. I don’t hear from him throughout the whole weekend. Starting to feel antsy, I text him on Sunday that he’s making me nervous.

On Monday, I start texting his actual phone again because I am starting to get anxious. How about some freaking contact when I’m flying out there in 4 days?

Commence train wreck on Tuesday. He sends me this long-winded text that evening about his mom having had a stroke and how he had been back in his home state since the preceding week. She will be fine but the stroke will be “life changing for her” and he has been “dead to the world.”

Needless to say, the trip was off. His poor mom, right?

Or not. See, the problem in the midst of this all going down, is that I was participating in some profession-related events and some steady drinking had ensued. So while I knew something wasn’t quite right, I wasn’t in the right mindset to put my finger on it immediately. But what I did definitely do was manifest my anxiety and suspicion over the situation in the form of many nonsensical tipsy texts that night and over the next day or so basically asking for the truth and why he’s being like that.

He got pissed (understandably – I did go off the rails a little bit with the texts) and kicked me to the curb. He said the last 2 days have “scared” him and he realized we’re not compatible and we should just consider this a “disaster averted.”

Now, realizing I did act a little crazy, when I sobered up in the waning days of the week, I tried to explain and apologize but he was having none of it. He “didn’t see a future” and maintained that we were done.

I let that sit for a day or so and then after going over everything, I realized what was wrong:

He had told me, in reference to his mother’s “stroke” that he had been back home since the previous Tuesday. But if you recall, I talked to him on the previous Wednesday. He was normal and said he was at work, basically. So how the hell were you back home since Tuesday if you were across the country at work on Wednesday? HMMMMM…

I brought that little tidbit up and started getting more confrontational because I knew something was wrong here and it wasn’t some stupid flurry of drunken texts. It started to occur to me that this guy might not be who he says he is and/or is actually married after all. Long story short…the next 2 weeks or so (off and on) consisted of me confronting him about his marital status or being a liar, and him being evasive and blocking me on any number or medium I contact him from, including all the ghost numbers I would text him from (modern technology is grand!) since he had blocked my real # and WhatsApp. Yeah…I was acting a little crazy, but I knew something wasn’t right and I just wanted the truth.

It pretty much just became a fucked up cat-and-mouse game of me pressing him and him downplaying the extent of our involvement, insisting that I leave him alone, or telling me he’ll get a restraining order or contact my job, etc. He was actually sort of vicious, like a cornered wild animal. It was actually very bizarre, really, how much of a 180 he did and it only bolstered my curiosity. Besides all that, I looked up his name, his number, reverse image searched…tried to find anything I could about the identity he gave me. I found nothing.

I did end up still going to California to see my brother. I tried not to, but I called Owen from my hotel to see if there’s any chance we could meet and talk in person, but I never heard from him. Surprise, surprise.

Eventually, I exhausted myself and gave up. May 20 had been the last time we talked. I let it go and tried my best to forget about it, although I was still puzzled. But what could I do?

In the first week of June, I noticed something peculiar – that he had unblocked me on WhatsApp. I was looking through archived conversations and realized I could see his picture and “Last Seen” again. Hmm. Very curious. He had made no effort to reach out, but he did pointedly unblock me. I tried not to give him the satisfaction of saying anything to him, but I did eventually, in the spirit of being catty, advise him that he might want to re-calibrate his security settings or whatever because I seem to be unblocked. I checked every once in a while to see if he had read it, but he hadn’t been on for a bit. I figured he’d just block me again once he saw I said something to him…didn’t care.

And then one fateful Wednesday night in mid-June, I was in bed asleep. At midnight on the dot, my phone rings. It’s an out-of-state number I don’t recognize. I’m half asleep and don’t know who it is and don’t really feel like talking so I don’t answer. Maybe 10-ish minutes later, my phone rings again. This time it’s a blocked number. And that’s when I started to sense the distinct vibe of a raging maelstrom of bullshit on the horizon. I pick up without saying anything and listen to see who it might be. No one says anything for about 10 seconds or so, so I hang up.

About 10 minutes after that, the original out-of-state number calls back. *Sigh* Alright, let’s just get on with whatever dumpster fire this is about to be…

And guess who it was? A woman wanting know why my number shows up so many times on her husband’s phone bill. Who is your husband? She recites a phone number and it’s Owen’s. Only she’s saying a different name from Owen’s. A completely different first and last name from the one he gave me.

I was confused about the name and wanted to make sure we were talking about the same person, so she was kind enough to text me the cutest little family photo of she and their daughter greeting him when he got back from deployment a few months before. Yep – definitely him.

And that’s when the fun started…