Tuesday, July 12, 2016
There's A Real Person Behind This Blog
Posted By Pam On Tuesday, July 12, 2016
I hemmed and hawed a bit about whether I should write this post; it's personal, and I usually don't vent about personal things on Go Retro. People come here to be entertained by nostalgia, whether it's humorous vintage ads, songs lists, or hearing me gloat about Martin Milner (he HAS been a main topic here as of late.) But you know what? Screw it. I think it's going to feel good to get this off my chest. And I actually have been thinking of making the blog a bit more personal (as long as it still relates to something retro.) This post isn't quite so retro, though. And we may end up filing it under "too much information." But here goes.
One thing I have learned from having a blog, which is a public website and putting yourself "out there" so to speak, is you have to be careful. Knock on wood, I haven't had any real horror stories to speak of...no stalkers, etc. And I hope it stays that way.
Last year at this very time, though, something happened to me, via this blog. A reader (who also followed the Go Retro Facebook page) reached out to me, and I found him attractive. I knew the name - he had been liking just about everything I'd been posting to the Facebook page for the past year, and commenting nearly as much. He had actually originally sent me an email three and half years earlier, when he first discovered this blog, and had ended his message by saying that if I was ever out his way he wanted to buy me a drink. I wrote him a friendly message back, but took the invite with a grain of salt since I didn't know what the guy looked like or anything about him at the time (and this was also before I launched the Facebook page.) Fast forward to summer of last year, and he reaches out to me again to talk more about the Paul McCartney concert he had attended that we were commenting about on the GR Facebook page.
Well...he turned out to be married. He didn't tell me he was married; he decided to keep that teeny, insignificant detail a secret, all the while giving impressions that he could be living a divorced or bachelor lifestyle. He flirted here and there in the messages. It was only after Googling him that I learned the truth. An article featuring a photo of him, his wife, and two kids came up. I continued to write, to see if he would fess up. He didn't, and after a week I told him that I knew and how I had found out.
Before figuring this out, I had sent him a Facebook friend request, which he had ignored -- that was the red flag. (Believe it or not, I am connected on Facebook to a few readers -- that I've vetted to make sure they're good people. They are.) His Facebook profile and cover photo at that time gave no hint that he was partnered and a father.
I'm not letting myself off the hook here -- I told him seeing as how we had everything in common we could write as friends. Well, you know the line from When Harry Met Sally: "Men and women can never be friends because the sex always gets in the way."
(We never had sex, by the way. We never met in person -- I made it clear I could not meet him if he were married. Plus he lived out of state -- not so far it wasn't driveable, but far enough away I suppose.)
But it was obvious the mutual attraction was there and the connection was one I haven't felt with a man in an awfully long time. I was eventually told the usual story married people give -- my spouse no longer has sex with nor spends time with me, the spark died after the kids were born, etc. He NEVER talked about his kids, by the way, even when I asked about them, which to me was another big red flag. His only mentioned his son's autism, which I already knew about, and how that had put a strain on the relationship. But after six weeks of correspondence that included some phone calls, he called me from work one night. He had to end it. His wife got access to his laptop and saw all of our emails. At first she was furious but later called him up again sobbing, admitting that she was at fault, and that she was willing to work on the marriage. She also had access to his Facebook account, so she (as him) unliked the Go Retro page and deleted any comment he had ever left on it...stretching back three years.
He did apologize to me, by the way, late in the year, for the pain he had caused me.
Just as I was getting over it, this same reader reached out to me again in January to wish me a happy birthday. And he expected that I was "OK" with "corresponding via these messages."
I told him no.
I told him there was nothing I wanted more the past few months, but that it would be dangerous. That he should be focusing on his marriage and I had to focus on finding someone available that can give me what I want and need. And I didn't really get how -- after knowing how hurt I was and I'm sure his wife as well -- he thought this was a good idea. I refused to be used. And I certainly wasn't about to put myself in a position where I'd be the cause of a nasty divorce, end up hurting someone's children, and have people despising me for the rest of my life.
I thought maybe it meant his marriage still wasn't doing so great. Then I did some Internet sleuthing and saw that a few months prior to that, he and his family had had a photography session done and the Facebook page for the photography studio had shared them online -- some of him and his wife kissing.
Yeah. I was kind of upset. Hence, many of you saw the blog post I did a few months ago where I listed songs about infidelity and how it hurts all involved.
I'm going to quote what one of my readers (and a friend to me) said of this story: "I can't stand it when married people try to pull stunts like this." LOL. So true.
Hindsight is 20/20, as they say. And looking back, I think he was a little obsessed with me. The constant comments on Facebook and the flirting. It seemed he was looking for attention. I also looked up his visits on Google Analytics going back to 2014 and 2015...and there were a LOT. An awful lot, and even during some times when this blog went dry for a month or two. Don't get me wrong -- I don't mind the page views -- but I think I became a fantasy. I think he got carried away. The problem is he couldn't give me what I want and deserve. I don't do one-night stands and relationships that revolve around just sex. This is a woman that wants a serious, committed relationship with the right man. I want to buy a home with somebody and decorate it with vintage finds. I want to go on road trips with him. I want to meet his family and be part of it, and want to introduce someone to mine.
Some of you know I follow the law of attraction and that's the one thing I still struggle with. They say if you're attracting unavailable potential partners that it's because you're making yourself unavailable or vibrating some blockage or negative belief to the Universe. I have an inkling what some of those may be, and I've been working on them and myself for nearly the past year.
But I cannot figure out why I attracted someone that was dishonest with me. (In my opinion, hiding important info to give yourself an advantage is lying.) In the nine years that I've written this blog, I've always been 100% honest and authentic with all of you guys. If I have an opinion about something, it's my genuine opinion...if I like or dislike something, I'm not pulling your leg; I'm for real! That's what has made this experience so confusing for me at times. I like to think that I only attract genuine people into my life.
And by the way, I'm not looking for sympathy (as I accepted and forgave my role in this) nor am I am trying to vilify "Mr. S" (as he shall be known) here. I learned a huge lesson and I should have nipped it in the bud the minute I learned the truth..."I can't correspond with you as you're married, but I'll see you on the blog and the Facebook page." Then again, who's to say that would have stopped what happened from happening? To this day I might be continuing to get the playful comments on Facebook and there wouldn't have been any improvement in his marriage.
Also, I admit I do feel a little sorry for Mr. S. Back then, and now. I think maybe he needed some kind of reassurance that he was attractive to women other than his wife. That's no excuse for giving a single woman the impression that you're not married, but still...I do understand because everyone is human. I think his son is a handful, and not easy at times to care for. I also believe he's on the autism spectrum himself -- something he admitted to me -- and it seemed a little obvious when he got tongue tied and nervous speaking on the phone with me. He works in law enforcement...and we all know how much more stressful that profession has become in the past couple of weeks, as if it wasn't stressful enough to begin with. I also wonder if he had some self esteem issues. Realizing all this was important to help me forgive, and move on.
I did learn some things about myself in addition to the harsh lessons. That is the positive part. I learned that I would be willing to date someone that lived in another state that was still within driving distance, and I'd be willing to date someone with a disabled child, if the chemistry and connection was there.
I doubt he plans on reading this blog anymore. I've stopped looking at Google Analytics to see if he's been by, and the last time he logged on he skimmed several pages in a minute and a half and clearly wasn't reading anything that I've written. I'm guessing there's certain things I'm writing about that are painful reminders to him of what he cannot have. I guess it doesn't matter. Besides, I have so many fabulous and faithful readers to be grateful for.
I know posting about this probably makes me sound like it still bothers me, and it doesn't. I've moved on...although I will admit it was tempting to take this experience and sink into negativity with beliefs in general about men. But I didn't. I still believe that there ARE a lot of great guys out there -- both married ones and available ones -- and I still believe that there's one that's perfect for me.
I just ask -- of all of my readers -- to please be honest with other people...and if you're married or partnered up, please don't go looking for validation outside of your relationship. Not cool. I appreciate the men that are fans of this blog that have reached out through the years to comment on something I wrote -- and are upfront about mentioning their spouse or significant other in email conversation.
Also, I can't answer everyone's email, comments, tweets, etc. I try my best but life gets in the way. I'm 44, I'm working full-time, and slowly making a social life for myself again after being out of work for so long. I think a lot of people assume that Go Retro is my way of living and my be-all, end-all. It's not. It doesn't pay many of the bills, believe me. It's just a hobby and my passion.
And at the end of the day, I'm just a real person behind it with feelings.