Sunday, April 22, 2018

Chase, Chase, Chase, Chase, Conquest

Apparently discernment only takes 24 hours, or less than. That's how much time it takes to consider whether or not to allow a man known to be a cheater to be with your children. One who lied to you. One who has a very lengthy history of shuffling through women like a set of new cards. One who wanted my daughter to call him daddy but is now driving someone else's kids around in the car that he just took my daughter's car seat out of. Apparently, it's an easy decision, whether the Holy Spirit is going to bless that emerging relationship.  

Two and a half weeks ago he sat in my parents' home professing his love for me to my recently widowed mother.

But now, he's moved on, playing house with another woman and her children. I've come to realize this woman, he was right about. He is not good enough for me, but he is good enough for her. She accepts less than mediocrity. She accepts a fa├žade, one that's already been played out. The morals and standards that I've set for myself, my friends, my home, and my child, there's no comparison. 

They win. And he was oh, so right.

I am too good. He is undeserving. 

Here's why: 

I am not easy. Not in the matter of easy to get along with but you have to work for my respect and my trust. And he did, he played every line that I drew out in a way that had us all believing. Now, that's what he's doing with her. He is amazing at playing the role. He's amazing with children, he is patient, he is reliable, he's consistent, until he has to stop playing and actually start doing. That's the catch. He wants the relationship and the family, but without losing his freedom or watching his options run out. 

He used to get mad at me. He'd get upset that I wouldn't ask him to do specific things around my house or ask him to pick up certain things at the store. I would consistently, for months, repeat, "That's not your job, I'm not putting that on you."

But he begged, and begged for the responsibility. I fully gave in to all of that responsibility and promise in March. That was the first time I actually needed him. That was the first time throughout the entire relationship that I was really asking more of him. And that's when he disappeared. That's the game.

Chase, chase, chase, chase, conquest. 

I've said it before, Claire and I were a prize. I believe I was more of a novelty, knowing that he could get written about was a plus in his book. He showed us off proudly.

Everyone sees the switch though, and will question why there are new children in your arms at basketball games. They'll ask where that beautiful little blonde is, the one that would call out your name while she watched you coach and tell everyone that you were "her boy." 

I give him credit. He's smarter than he looks. He's got the gameplay down to an art form. He'd have an answer to all of my hard questions.

I asked back in the fall, "Are you sure you're not just a commitment phobe?"

"No, I just hadn't found the one until now," he answered. 

It took a month for me to allow Claire to even see him.

And even after that, he'd come over only after she went to bed.

The first several times he slept over, he slept on the couch.

We were together for three months before we had sex. 

We were together for four months before I ever let him be alone with Claire and that was an emergency because my father was taken to the hospital. And even so, my best friend joined them only a few hours into his this first "babysitting" experience. That was the same day I came home from witnessing Dad get a temporary trach put in and had to be greeted with an argument on how I should be allowing him to have more responsibility around the house and with Claire. 

We were together four months before he snuck that key and officially moved in.

We had a chat about finances and I suggested that he pay the difference in bills. He did it happily, and we split groceries. 

We cleaned out my closet at the end of February, getting rid of excess clothes so he had two shelves and two racks all to himself - to which he really, really pushed for. 

You see, I did not treat him like my husband before he treated me as his wife. In fact, he referred to me as his wife at those basketball games. Instead, it was very much the opposite. He quite literally was begging for it all. That's a part of the game though. He will do and say all of the right things until you succumb or, until he gets bored.

It's actually concerning, how one can just move from one serious relationship to the next without a break. Like his mom told me, "He won't break up with a girl until he has another lined up."

But even more concerning than him, is the woman who allows herself to be the scapegoat, knowingly. Because she believes she is the exception and not the rule.

My little girl looked up at my mother last week and asked her, "Grandmom, where'd {his name} go?" 

"He had to go away baby," she answered.

"But why? Who made him go away," Claire continued. 

I could see how upset Mom was but she was trying to hide it, "He made himself go away."

If anyone wants to know why I still get angry, it's that situation right there. My daughter hasn't forgotten and is still questioning what the hell happened. How Claire isn't at the forefront of his mind is incomprehensible to me. It is incomprehensible that the relationship that was cultivated between all three of us was thrown into the wind like nothing more than a paper receipt.

What if Claire witnesses this? What if Claire sees him holding another little girl's hand and playing "rent-a-dad" like one of my friends so eloquently referred to him as? There was no transition, there was just a move from my front door to hers - with the occasional drop off at his parents'.

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