He Got Blame

Dear Dategirl, After four years of marriage, I just found out my wife has been cheating on me. She didn't tell me; her boyfriend's girlfriend called and broke it to me. My wife says her affair is over, but I have my doubts. Whether or not she's still seeing him will eventually come out, because I've hired a private investigator and snuck a GPS tracker into her car. We have a 2-year-old, so I'm inclined to give our marriage a chance. But I'm still furious. Last night, right as we were about to go to bed, she asked me if I wanted to talk. She said it in a very snotty tone, so I asked her what there was to talk about. "Your girlfriend!" she replied. She's now insisting that I am seeing someone on the side. I offered to let her read my e-mails and check my cell phone—something she never offered to let me do. This only seemed to piss her off further. How could she be the angry one? I'm not perfect, but I've always been a loyal and caring husband and dad. She is now constantly bringing up every single thing I've ever done wrong since we met; last night she bitched about me not remembering that her mother was diabetic!—Pissed Off in Portland

Didn't you ever read that the best defense is a good offense? Your wife is a cliché. Every single cheater I've ever dealt with, regardless of gender or sexual preference, vilifies their primary partner and accuses them of cheating. It's as predictable as when they announce "I love you, but I'm not in love with you." (If you've heard this from your spouse, please know that though they may deny it, they are getting action elsewhere.) The philanderer needs to make you the asshole, because if they're lying to and cheating on a genuinely good person, what does that make them? Better you be the scumbag than her. It's simple self- preservation. A few months back, an acquaintance of mine introduced me to her boyfriend (who happened to be married to someone else), and he wouldn't shut up about his wife: how she'd let herself go, how she'd spent too much on their kids' birthday parties, and how lazy she was. I guess he thought it justified his actions, but really it just made him seem like a bigger dirtbag. I mean, wasn't it enough that he was fucking someone else behind her back? Meanwhile, my acquaintance sat there smugly, as if this vindicated them both for their duplicity. I wondered why she wanted to be with a guy capable of such cruelty to someone he'd obviously loved enough to marry and have kids with. But I've certainly picked unwisely in the past, so it's not as if I had any right to judge. (Though I obviously didn't let that stop me.) A reformed cheater friend of mine likened her mind-set during an affair to drug addiction. You don't see anything outside of yourself and the drug/affair partner. You're selfish, delusional, and completely childish. The best thing you can do when your wife starts with this crap is refuse to engage. When she berates you about forgetting her half-birthday, or how you bought two-percent instead of skim milk, just walk away. Bottom line: If she's not going to work toward improving your marriage, you're going to have to decide how much of her shit you're going to eat. If it were me, I'd start looking for a lawyer. dategirl@seattleweekly.com

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