I Am NOT the Woman You Are Looking For

And feel sorry that you thought I might be.

Dear John,

Yes, I know that isn’t your name but I certainly don’t want to embarrass you in public. What follows might indeed embarrass you if people connected it to your real name. I don’t want that to happen.

I thoroughly enjoyed most of our day and evening together yesterday. Lunch, wine tasting, walking around town to look at the odds and ends in Wenatchee’s trendy consignment shops. Lots of conversation and laughs. Fun stuff — very promising for a second date.

I looked forward to our dinner together as I drove the winding roads to my temporary home with you behind me in your car. I appreciated you helping me with the groceries and my unexpectedly malfunctioning smoker. (Honestly, if the thing had worked properly for the entire time I was out yesterday, those ribs would have been much better.)

But it was during our conversation while I made dinner that things started to go south. You see, you originally represented yourself as “divorced.” I was very surprised to learn that not only was your divorce not finalized, but you haven’t even filed for divorce yet.

News flash: You are married.

You told me about your troubles with your wife — although I’m not sure why you referred to her as your “ex-wife” when you’re still legally married. I understand that things are not what you want them to be. You told me that she kicked you out, although you also said that she refuses to admit that she did so. Maybe she didn’t? Maybe she was giving you some freedom so you could get your head together?

And I think you need to get your head together on this.

When I asked you outright whether you would go back to your wife, you had to think about it before replying.

And what’s with the apartment without furniture? You say you have furniture in storage — why not move it to your new home? Is it because you’re not committing to that as a new home? Is it because you think there’s a chance that you and your wife might get back together and you don’t want to go through the process of moving twice? You did say more than once that you could pack up everything in your apartment into your van. Are you thinking of moving back in with her? Be honest with yourself! What are you really thinking?

You tell me that you send her money, so you’re still supporting her. You refer to your house that’s up for sale — don’t you realize that she owns half of it? In fact, because of the length of your marriage, that she probably owns half of everything you own? And, until you file for divorce, she can lay claim to half of everything you earn?

You tell me that your separation went smoothly and that you and your ex-wife remain on good terms. But she’s not your ex-wife! She’s your wife! Wait until you finally file for divorce — if you ever do. Things will turn ugly very quickly if you have something that she wants and you’re not willing to give it up. And how do you think divorce negotiations will go when another woman is involved? (Ask my ex-husband. He threw away any chance of the “amicable divorce” he claimed he wanted when he lied, cheated, harassed me, and made unreasonable demands for money and property. He turned what could have been a quick, civilized proceeding into a costly, never-ending war.)

And what about your kids? Do you really want them to remember you as the man who cheated on their mother?

I’ve given all this a lot of thought since you left last night on your long drive home. I realized, with a great deal of sadness, that you’re playing the same game my ex-husband played: poking around on dating sites to see whether you could replace your wife before doing the paperwork to legally end your marriage. You’re showing the same weakness he did: a fear of facing life alone. I honestly believe that you’re suffering from the same kind of confused thinking that plagued him in the final year of our marriage. That midlife crisis gone horribly wrong.

Yes, as I mentioned to you last night, my ex-husband also signed up for an online dating site while he was still married, before there was any talk of divorce. While he was talking to me on the phone about spending the summer with me in Washington, he was dating other women in Arizona, actively looking for my replacement. I can imagine him telling those women the same thing you told me: that you and your wife were separated with no chance of reconciliation. Is that really the truth? It wasn’t the truth for him.

But unlike the desperate old whore my ex-husband wound up with — what else could you call a woman who sleeps with a married man and takes his money and gifts? — I don’t date married men.

I have morals and principles. Being “the other woman” does not fall within the realm of what I’m willing to do for companionship and a warm body beside me in bed. And I’m not looking for a meal ticket or someone to tackle a “honey do” list.

Unlike the old woman who seduced my weak and morally confused husband with her sweet talk, 30-year-old lingerie photos, and god knows what else, I am not desperate enough to compromise my principles. And I never will be.

I do appreciate your honesty, even though it was belated. I’m just not the kind of woman you might think I am.

I’m disappointed. I really liked you a lot after our first date. So much, in fact, that I as I showered and dressed for yesterday’s date, I considered the possibility of asking you to spend the night if things went well. I even made appropriate preparations for whatever that might entail. But your revelations about your true marital status put any such thoughts out of my mind.

I’m also a little angry. I feel misled, manipulated.

So I’m sure you won’t be surprised when I say that I’d like to end this now, before it goes any further. I don’t need to make another bad emotional investment — I’m still reeling from the last one.

And do you know what’s crazy about all this? If the woman my husband left me for had half the moral fiber I have and had walked away from him as I am walking away from you, my marriage might have been saved. Maybe I’m saving yours.

And yes, I’ll speak to you in person before I post this online. It’s not my intention to break this kind of news in writing, especially in a public forum. Only a coward would do that — and although I’ve been called many things, coward is not one of them. This blog post is a reminder to me — and others in my situation — of how misguided some men can be. I’m so sorry that you’re one of them.

With sadness but no regrets,

Maria

8 thoughts on “I Am NOT the Woman You Are Looking For

  1. Quite right Maria. Most men look for anew squeeze before dumping the old one. They are cowards who cannot face life alone. Me? I left not for another but to find myself first and it was 3 years before I tried dating again .. and still single 14 years later with no regrets or hassle.
    Good luck,your Robinson may give you problems at times but will not break you heart.

    • Thanks, John. Nice to hear this point of view from a man. Silly me: I thought my WASband was unique in his weakness. Apparently, many men are too cowardly to face life on their own. As I mentioned elsewhere, I need a strong man. I really liked this one, but when I realized what was going on, I knew he was no stronger than the one I left behind in Arizona. I’d rather be single forever than get into another bad relationship with the wrong man.

  2. Not meaning to be condescending, but, Welcome to the wonderful World of Dating circa 2014! It’s incredible that there are as many people out there completely for their own satisfaction. The really sad thing is the number of women who do the exact same thing. I could tell you some stories about my experience with dating when I was actively doing so. But, patience and you will find the quality person you are looking for.

    • Jim, I don’t ever expect to find a quality person — at least not on a dating site. I know that’s how you and Cyndi met and I have other friends who also met good partners online — and frankly, that’s the ONLY reason I’m trying it. So far, it’s been disappointing, to say the least. If this is the best that’s out there, I’d really rather be alone. A least I won’t have to wonder what (or who) a partner is hiding or deal with the bullshit that comes from lies and delusions.

    • It is pretty disappointing. But, when you least expect it, look what happens! Short of buying an online subscription to a background check company, there’s not much you can do. That’s why, after all I went through, just meet for a cup of coffee. Also steer clear of the guys who live more than 50 miles from you. Those are the ones who want to meet you in an area where they’re not known. Don’t give up. There is someone out there. But, you may be correct in not getting overly excited only to have your hopes dashed. When it happens, it will be a welcome surprise. Good Luck- good things come to good people!

    • But you had to nag her to even date you!

      As for the distance rule, this particular guy did live quite a distance away. The benefit: I’m not likely to run into him in town after this debacle. I’m thinking 25-50 miles is good.

      As for not getting my hopes up…although I really did like this guy right from the first date, I kept telling myself that it was too good to be true and that I shouldn’t expect anything to come of it. That has become my mantra with dating — and that’s probably because of the long series of disappointing first dates I’ve had. Some people might say I’m too picky, but I’m not interested in short-term flings. Heartbreak is not fun; I don’t want to set myself up for another one. Better to be sure about a potential partner before making an emotional investment.

    • What still has me dazed and confused is that I was apparently married to one of them: a weak man who couldn’t leave his current wife until he had another woman lined up to take her place. Didn’t see that coming. Only a desperate whore would take a “man” like that.

What do you think?