Monday, January 26, 2015

School Lunch and Infidelity

Tigers don’t change their stripes. An old dog doesn’t learn new tricks.
Both of those old chestnuts are ways of saying that people do not change. I consider myself a student of human behavior, and in the years that I have been paying close attention to the people around me, I can tell you that this old adage is very true. An intelligent reader might already be wondering where am I going with this particular point.
I am going to do something rare and cut to the chase. Dealing with other people is almost the standard human condition. We are meant to be social animals. This means that there are some basic things that we all have to accept when dealing with one another.
Having my wife recently dump me has me eyeing the dating pool. I don’t want to be here. I wasn’t given a lot of choices when she dumps me for some dude she has been talking to since back in the days when we were dating. I guess the grass looked greener on that side, and maybe it is. That isn’t the point. That relates to my subject though.
I forgot the basic concept. Tigers do not change their stripes. Old dogs don’t learn new tricks. People never change. Me overlooking that fact cost me a good bit.
When the missus and I got together she had a boyfriend. They lived together. According to her, he was a drug addict and mean to her. I saw evidence of that truth, and most importantly I wanted her so I didn’t think anything about the flaw in her being with that doofus. I admit that I liked her from the first time I put my eyes on her. If I ignore the last 4 months and 2 days and the things that have happened in that very short amount of time, I still like her. (I don’t ignore that time even a little bit and it rather dampens my like of her)
When she and I started dating she was still with her last guy. I know they had sex after our first date. It didn’t really bother me. (I have never been particularly jealous of that sort of thing. I am most thankful for the person who is nice enough to have sex with me so long as it is all safe. Very cavalier of me, I know) She made it very, very clear that we could hang out, but she couldn’t kiss me or anything until they broke up. She gave in a kissed me before she kicked him to the curb. I figured I was just that good.
Just two days after she left me, I stopped by her work to try and have a conversation. I got a much-needed hug and tried to kiss my loving wife. She turned her head and refused to kiss me. She couldn’t even look me in the eye. I knew immediately that she was in another relationship. I even knew who she was with.
Based on the way she acted with me, I am 99% sure they were already sexually active. I would be more than willing to bet that they have moved in together by now. I would say that he feels like he is special and different. He was cool enough to take her away from her husband. I even heard a rumor that they are engaged. I could believe that even though we aren’t anywhere near divorced in spite of the fact I haven’t heard from her in 60 days or so.
I should have seen all of it coming based on nothing more than the simple idea- People do not change. A tiger does not change its stripes. An old dog does not learn new tricks.
I know all of that is sad to read, but you never really lose if you learn from your mistakes. I am keeping a close eye on the people around me and the decisions that make. I have decided to be a lot more choosy and critical of how people come into my life. I am going to look very hard at how the person I get with ended their last relationship.
That may have triggered a question from the more intelligent and critical of my audience. That question would likely be,”Why do you assume that the person you are going to hook up with has an ex?”
Another very basic truth to accept in life and social situations are: Everyone has someone and that someone is likely to be complicated.
To the guy who is dating my wife, even though we have met a time or two, I am just the guy he took her from. I matter just a little bit more since I have legal paperwork on her, but some people worry about that more than others. He has already overcome me as an obstacle when she chose to dump me for his loser ass.
(oh that one was emotional and mean, but what kind of person breaks up a happy marriage? and yes if you are reading this in spite of the lies she told you we were doing really, really well before you came back around and you screwed us up. You won’t have to answer to me for that, but broken Oaths and broken promises come with circumstances you faithless, immoral heel)
To him, she was an available single woman. I pretty much didn’t fight things happening. I wasn’t much of a road bump. That isn’t the case for most people.
Everyone has someone and that someone is likely to be complicated.
If you accept the fact that the person you are interested in has some emotional baggage in the form of current or prior attachment things are likely to be much smoother. I never had much use for jealousy.
Children avert your eyes for this next statement. I am about to be perverse.
I don’t sleep with virgins. That is a hard and fast rule for me because I don’t want to deal with the insanity of that situation. Plus any virgin my age has a lot of other things going on.
That rule for me means that any woman goodly enough to bless my bed has had dick before me. I don’t care about that. As long as she is clean the rest doesn’t really matter. I don’t want to know her sexual resume and I don’t give mine out. If I am proceeded by dick into the relationship, why should I really even care about it? So far, it is a fact that the women I have been with have moved on to other relationships… most of them while still telling me they love me (the wife was different in that way. She went from loving me and needing space for a few days…obviously, so she could shag him… to wanting a divorce and never wanting to speak to me again in 4 days. You have to give credit where credit is due.)
Back to the moral of the story…
I accept that any woman I involve myself with is going to have guys (and probably women) around her that also want her attention. The only part of that which really matters to me is that said woman is choosing to give me her time. I let that fact do a few things for me.
1) I don’t get jealous. If she decides not to give me all her time, that is alright with me. If I get some of it (her time, perverts) then I don’t worry about the rest.
2) I let her choice of me deal with her attachments. There isn’t any point in me fighting battles I don’t have to. (Now if someone acts a fool and needs to be dealt with, great, I enjoy that sort of thing)
3) If she chooses to move on to someone else, I accept it and (eventually) do the same. Begging someone to stay when they don’t want to is pointless. They already made their decision when they moved on. (This is a hard one when you have been married nearly 5 years, but I stuck to my beliefs)
4) I don’t get possessive. That is a big one because it keeps a lot of negative things that go on between couples from becoming an issue.
5) I expect trouble and don’t worry about it. It might be as simple as her wanting to explain some bad experience to me or as big as him showing up with a gun to run me off. ( I have had both happen a couple of times)
This lets me keep things simple… well… no one would describe my love life as ever having been simple, but for the last 25 years, I have had a busy love life. I would like to think I have gotten better at it over time. There aren’t too many people beating down my door at the moment to be the future ex Mrs. Cantrell, but that is the last thing I want right now anyway.
Just remember, for those of you crazy enough to be out there dating, there are two basic rules I have taught you tonight.
First, People don’t change. The way he or she is treating the last person they are with is the way they will be treating you going forward. (Lots of luck to the fella who stole away the wife. Trust me, pal, you can’t give her more than I did, or treat her any better. Plus your karma going into this thing is DARK. As much as this sounds like I hate you, I don’t, you really did me a favor, but it hurt when you did.) If you are helping someone out of their situation and it looks sketchy, realize that they are a big part of that sketchy business and keep your distance even if it looks safe.
Old Dogs Don’t Learn New Tricks. A Tiger Doesn’t Change Its Strips. People Do NOT Change.
Second, Everyone has someone and it is always complicated. If you are very, very lucky you will never know about the past of the person you end up with. More likely it will blindside you right in the beginning with a bunch of drama and nonsense. Either way, make sure that the relationship is worth it before moving forward. Expect it. Be prepared (or armed as the case may be).
(for example, all the guys my poor wife is dating right now have me as extended baggage. God have mercy on you all.)

That’s it, kids. I hope it had some meaning to you. I hope it helps.

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