|Posted by The Thinking Other Woman on July 14, 2019 at 2:55 PM|
The strangeness in the preceding entry was the catalogue of transits I had in January and May 2019 to my natal vertex in my horoscope birth chart. Some know that the vertex represents a sensitive area of the chart connected to fate. Transits or conjunctions to the vertex reflect a fated meeting or a fated event in the life. If you read here, you know I have followed the transits to all three charts into the future. A LONG way into the future. One interesting thing I've seen is that, apparently, the years 2020-2021 appear to be a "crunch time" of sorts for the wife here, "Rory." About 2/3 of her transits for the year 2020 are telling her she's discovering she has a rival for "Chi's" affection. Then, she gets a "do-over"-- a chance to review her actions in her marriage and do things differently. Now, I had to ask myself how the hell she finds out there's a third person in her marriage, when I haven't heard from Chi in almost two years?? If she does, something has to happen before much of 2020 is over, and most likely this year. The first place I went was: My vertex, which is how Alice The Great predicted I'd hear from Chi last time. The transits you see were divided almost equally between January and May. I saw a third spate of hits in October, but I sort of paid it the no-never mind, because it was so close to the end of the year, and there's a spate of affair transits right now that clearly aren't happening. (Holdovers from what I could have started in 2017 but elected not to, I presume?) One happened on May 19th. The abortion debate rages on, and I had posted a rant about it on Facebook. Just after I hit enter, that little notification square popped up: This person likes your post. I recognized the name and the icon in an instant, and my heart flipped: The Guy. Almost left his wife, painful breakup four years ago, quick reconnect a year and a half ago. He's still married, of course. In spite of that, the upstairs neighbors probably heard me scream. I was *that* glad to see him. This guy was the second love of my life. Even though I know there was no rational way that marriage could have gotten any better in the last year and a half, I still fall into paroxysms of, "They're still together, aren't they? They finally reconnected, and now he must hate all memory of me." I know we'll never get back together, but I'd feel truly terrible if his feelings ever changed so much that he's ashamed of me or he hates the thought of me. Just a week and a half before, I even asked the Cosmos for a sign of goodwill. That was all I wanted, just to know he wasn't sorry we ever knew each other. And here he was on my screen, and here I was screaming for joy. I checked my notifications just to be sure I wasn't hallucinating. Nope, there he was. Five minutes later, he disappeared. He reconsidered and took the "like" down. I know he had to be on my page to even put it up in the first place, because nobody shared the post. I know what that means. I'd done the same thing: Ohhh, I really shouldn't have liked that. I'm going to go unlike it before he sees it. Which you only do if you really miss someone, but you're pretty sure they don't want to hear from you. I sat for a moment, basking in the knowledge that the feeling is, apparently, mutual. I allowed myself that glorious moment of fantasy: What if he were actually ready to leave the marriage? What if I actually did see him again? I never entertain that fantasy very long, because the truth always stops me dead. The guy in question is a raging codependent. And codependency kills relationships. The internet is full of advice for the Other Woman. It all says, Don't do it. And the reason the relationship experts all give for that goes like this: He'll string you along. He'll move between households several different times. He'll promise a million times he's leaving. But, eventually, you'll figure out the truth eight years later when he still hasn't left his wife. And you've wasted eight years you could have found someone else and been happy. I knew all this when the second love of my life and I discussed his leaving his wife, and us beginning a future together. I was so concerned about getting used and strung along, I scrutinized his behavior with a microscope for weeks. The problem was, I was worried about the *wrong thing.* I am a firm believer that most of these dithering long-term mistress guys are codependent. And, while the relationship mavens are making a valid point--no one wants to be strung along and used for eight years, and no one wants to be cheated on--they haven't really gotten to the heart of the problem. The fact is that codependency kills a relationship on the sly, slowly, insidiously. And, yes, the spouse of the codependent really is the last to know. She doesn't suspect a thing until one night the whole house collapses under her feet. Even if this little signal on Facebook did herald the second coming, and he really did leave his wife, my ex wouldn't have left codependency. He's an adult child of an alcoholic, and codependency would move into my place right along with him. Marry a guy who cheats on his wife, and you'll get a guy who cheats on his wife, everyone says, as if the person is being willfully mean. But, while I would fully expect that to happen to us, the dynamic is a lot different from the narcissistic intent to use and harm that the snide cynicism in these platitudes implies. Five features of codependency that rot relationships from the inside out, unknown to even the spouse: One, codependents had such a rotten childhood that they've developed an inhumanly high tolerance for emotional pain in relationships. Two, they feel undeserving, flawed, and unlovable as people. Three, this feeling of flawed unlovability makes them way too servile in relationships. Four, they're afraid of conflict, cannot confront, and will not stick up for their own deepest needs. And, five, this makes them consummate actors. Better than DeNiro, better than Laurence Olivier. Even the world's greatest actors only act onstage or in front of a movie camera. The codependent acts all day long, every day of his life. The closer your relationship to a codependent, the more he feels it's necessary to act and pretend for you, and the better he is at it. This is why it takes the codependent marriage decades to explode, and when it does, everyone who knows the couple is shocked. Let's take my married ex as an example. Long before he ever spoke to me about his marriage, long before he ever met me at all, this was going on: My codependent's wife is a classic avoidantly attached person. Cold, vague, and emotionless, she sort of ghosts through the marriage unless she's peeved about something, and then she looses an evil tongue on my ex. Cuddle is not in her dictionary, and the last I heard, sex was two or three times a year for ten years, then nothing. (This was *after* marriage counseling.) For decades, my codependent's response to this was to try harder and harder to please. Rather than consider leaving, it was, "Everyone else in the family is happy. I'm doing what my wife wants me to do and the children need me to do, and isn't that what I'm supposed to do? Why aren't I happy? What's wrong with me? For several years I knew him, he studied Zen, misusing it to try to tolerate how unhappy he was, and he talked about it at club meetings but not at home. He felt flawed as a person, that if he were lovable, his wife would treat him differently. The more unlovable he felt, the more he groveled before the wife and kids, presenting them everything they wanted, hoping someone would finally notice his needs and give something back. But never, ever would he confront these people with the truth of his own needs and feelings. Every time voices were raised, he felt frightened and thought it was bad. "The kids shouldn't see us arguing." So, of course, he never identified his bottom lines in the relationship, never insisted that his own needs be respected, never told anyone how unhappy he was. Well, I have to amend that. The farther you are from a close relationship in a codependent's life, the easier it is for him to share with you. Thus, those of us in the social club I met him in knew my codependent's marriage was in serious trouble sixteen years before his wife did. Clearly, this guy was doing an incredible acting job at home. When he finally exploded in pain and moved out, everyone in his family was stunned. No one had the faintest clue that anything was wrong in their perfect family. I can vouch for the acting performances of this man. When he finally told me he loved me, I asked him when he had first felt that way. Turned out that I had sat next to this person at club meetings for weeks, and although I knew I adored him and I hoped he loved me, I didn't have a clue. When codependents don't want you to know something, you aren't going to know it. And, since they think they owe those around them the sun and moon and they owe themselves nothing, they can be running themselves into the very ground trying to give you what you want. At the same time, they hide their unhappiness. They won't tell their truth in their close relationships, they triangulate it instead, just as my guy did with me. So, when that little notice popped up on Facebook, so did all of this. This guy is adorable, he truly is, and I will never forget him. But I know he has this fatal flaw. The closer you are, the more codependents hide, and the greater they cover it up with the acting performance of their lives. As soon as he'd leave her to be with me, I'd be the closest person, and to think, to even imagine, that he'd be in any way unhappy in our relationship and not trust me, not tell me, breaks my heart. I want to know my love's and best friend's heart. I want to solve problems in the relationship. I want both of us to be happy, not just me. If I only found out about it ten years later when he announced he'd spoken about his unhappiness to someone else and not me, and, oh, now he's leaving me to be with her, I'd want to jump from a *bridge.* This is the disease of codependency. It's nothing personal. Better to have this happen now, in my imagination, than in real life. So, when that little notice popped up on Facebook, I was elated for about five minutes, and then I remembered all this, and I was very sad. If you take a chance on a codependent who does this, and they swear they're going to change and they aren't acting, how would you ever know? *These people are consummate actors.* I'd be looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life with this guy, sure every time he looked okay and things seemed happy, that the bottom would be about to drop out from under me. If you're reading this, and you know you're an adult child of an alcoholic, or you suspect that you're a codependent, please. Stop acting right now and be real in your close relationships. We need the real you.