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Don’t Ignore the Flashing Lights

Several years ago, I dated a man. Shocking, I know.  But it’s true.

Our relationship wasn’t terribly long, but I really fell for this guy. He was everything I thought I wanted. He appeared to meet all the characteristics of The List. And I fell hard and fast. In fact, I felt so hard and so fast that I actually introduced him to my kids. He became part of our daily lives and I thought he might become a permanent fixture in our home.

I would have married him. In fact, I told my friends, my family and my heart that I would marry him. He insists that I even told HIM that I would marry him.  I don’t recall that, but whatever. He’s not known for being particularly truthful.

Things were going along quite well, then there started to be a few nagging little inconsistencies that just didn’t seem to mesh with what we had going. Simple stuff like not introducing me to any of his friends (he explained that he knew it was hard for me to get a babysitter, so we spent lots of time at my place with the kids) or having a credit card with someone else’s name on it (WHAT???).

You can see those flashing lights already, can’t you? Well, I didn’t. Or I didn’t want to.

Then, we’d have plans to spend a holiday with my family and he would suddenly be called out of town on business.

Flashing lights (brighter, in more alarming colors) with exclamation points!!!

A little curious digging into court records in our county turned up not one marriage, but two (and the second one wasn’t even “dissolved” yet). Which he attempted to explain away with an allegedly long separation. Yeah, I know that the fact that I was even digging was a clue.

I know. I know. BIG BRIGHT FLASHING LIGHTS WITH RED FLAGS ATTACHED. And jumping monkeys trying to get my attention.

And I ignored, explained away, and tried to swallow the nagging doubts in my head. You see, in my marriage, I had been (rightly) accused of being a bit of a control freak. And to be fair, there was a tiny bit of truth to that.

But in the midst of this relationship, I was still trying to retrain my brain NOT to question every little thing. NOT to have to have things MY way. So, I passed off all of these “this doesn’t feel right” moments as MY problem.

Stupid. if it walks like a duck, it's a duck

Two days before Christmas, right before a family outing, he informed me that he had recently discovered that he was going to be a father. And the date of conception WITH THIS OTHER WOMAN was within the time frame that we were allegedly exclusively dating.




My heart was broken. It took me a long time to get over that one.  And sadly, I still miss him sometimes.

And now, I know…if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. And I don’t want a damn duck.

Lesson learned.

And really…it worked out for the best. I don’t need one more heartbreak, and I’m pretty sure he came preloaded with several rounds.

In fact, I kinda feel sorry for his new wife. Wonder if she knows she’s #3. Wonder if she wonders where he goes. Wonder if she has doubts of her own.

Looks like I lucked out. I’m still single.

{ 43 comments… add one }

  • Leah A February 24, 2011, 2:43 am

    You totally lucked out!! Yikes, what a creeper! How can someone withhold so much important life changing information from someone?! And then he goes and cheats on you. How terrible! You are WAY BETTER off without MR. Dumb!

    • RChicken February 24, 2011, 6:13 pm

      Yeah..” How can someone withhold so much important life changing information from someone?” — That’s what I want to know too. He’s probably just an insecure little boy inside with no real confidence on which to build a real relationship.

  • Heidi Smith Luedtke February 24, 2011, 3:44 am

    Isn’t it sad how long it takes us to learn to trust our own instincts?! This was a great post — reminded me of some of my own past experiences. Thanks for the flashes of insight!
    Heidi Smith Luedtke recently posted..Comedic Genius- Orange You Glad I Didnt Say Banana

    • RChicken February 24, 2011, 6:12 pm

      I’m learning to trust those instincts. Right now, the instinct pendulum has swung FAR the other way. I trust few men and often distrust. But I know that in time, it’ll come back to center.

  • Karen and Gerard February 24, 2011, 5:49 am

    So glad you finally saw him for what he was. It’s hard once you love someone to not overlook their faults but those were pretty strong signs something was not right with that guy. I feel sorry for his new wife too! Being single is good–way better than married to a creep.

    Stopping by from writer’s workshop. Here’s the link to mine if you get a chance to come by: http://zemeks.blogspot.com/2011/02/alternate-bowling-style-lesson-writers.html
    Karen and Gerard recently posted..An Alternate Bowling Style Lesson Writers Workshop

    • RChicken February 24, 2011, 6:12 pm

      Yeah, it almost too a figurative 2 x 4 upside my head to get my attention. I do feel very grateful that I wasn’t the one who was PG.

  • Suzanne February 24, 2011, 6:27 am

    Trust your instincts friend. They’re usually right on target. If not, consult a trustworthy friend who can tell you like it is (and you will still love her after!)
    Suzanne recently posted..Organizing With Thrifty Decor Chick

    • RChicken February 24, 2011, 6:11 pm

      Yeah…that trusting the instincts thing…that’s hard stuff. I’ll keep working on it though!

  • Jen February 24, 2011, 7:46 am

    Yeah, it totally sounds like as difficult as that was, it was a blessing in disguise.

    • RChicken February 24, 2011, 6:07 pm

      Oh yeah. And he doesn’t even make really cute kids…so I’ll keep the two handsome sons I have :)

  • JimmyFJames February 24, 2011, 9:46 am

    There is nothing wrong with questioning! It’s not being a control freak, it’s being cautious. If the guy has nothing to hide, he won’t mind it. I know, when I was still in the dating scene, I wouldn’t mind a girlfriend (or potential one) checking up on things. When you get a little older (like… egads! 25 or 26! :-O), being hurt stings a little more in some instances.

    Looks like you dodged a bullet but I am sure you are stronger for it!

    Great blog! Keep it up! (Found you through Mama Kats)
    JimmyFJames recently posted..Writer’s Workshop- Describe a time when someone was proud of you

    • RChicken February 24, 2011, 6:07 pm

      Oh Jimmy…if only I were younger than 25 or 26…bwahahahaha…

      But, I know that my next guy won’t mind a bit if I need a little reassurance. He’ll be so solidly confident that there’s no skeletons (or numerous ex wives) in the closet, he won’t care at all.

  • Samantha @ Becoming Me February 24, 2011, 10:08 am

    No one likes a dirty duck. Trusting the sirens can be difficult. Trusting yourself, sometimes, can be even more so. His loss. What a jerk.
    Samantha @ Becoming Me recently posted..A Big Mess

    • RChicken February 24, 2011, 6:05 pm

      Yeah…he’s a dirty duck all right and no amount of bathing and cologne would spiff him up. He actually had the audacity to contact me a few months ago to see if I wanted to chat. I turned him down flat and haven’t heard from him again.

  • Danielle February 24, 2011, 11:09 am

    Great post! I think we’ve all been guilty of ignoring the flashing lights, flags, circus freaks, and asteroids that are sent along as warnings. Glad you got out when you did!

    Visiting from Mama Kat’s…
    Danielle recently posted..Lesson Learned

    • RChicken February 24, 2011, 6:04 pm

      Ooooh…great image…asteroid! Didn’t think of that one…like it!

  • Jessica February 24, 2011, 11:38 am

    Good thing you didn’t marry him or have a child with him. Sometimes it is hard to let go of something even when the signs are present that it is a duck.
    Jessica recently posted..I can’t sleep because of nail polish

    • RChicken February 24, 2011, 6:04 pm

      Amen! No more quacking at the Rubber Chicken House!

  • Mama Zen February 24, 2011, 12:42 pm

    I’ve ignored many a flashing red warning light in my time as well!
    Mama Zen recently posted..From The Archives

    • RChicken February 24, 2011, 6:03 pm

      Good grief…the lights were red and flashing and vibrating and jumping in my path…but at least I finally dodged them (and him).

  • Thoughts from Her February 24, 2011, 1:03 pm

    The “retraining of the brain” is the hardest part of moving on. It’s not fair to the new partner to be bombarded with the baggage of the old. I, also, learned this the hard way.

    Visiting from Mama Kat’s…

    • RChicken February 24, 2011, 6:03 pm

      Any tips for “retraining the brain”?

  • stef February 24, 2011, 1:48 pm

    That guy is a big huge poopie diaper jerk!! You are better without him, even with a broken heart.
    stef recently posted..So I Married a Deaf Man- Im expensive!

    • RChicken February 24, 2011, 6:02 pm

      It took me a long time to realize that I am really better off without him, but I know that I am now.

  • Georgia Girls February 24, 2011, 1:53 pm

    A tough situation at any stage of the game. So glad you weren’t the one pg with other women in the wings. Is it true, it’s better to be single than sorry? I gave my sister the book, “he’s just not that into you” which totally got her attention, because it’s true. Don’t give up on love, though. (thanks for stopping by :)

    • RChicken February 24, 2011, 5:14 pm

      I loved that book. Now I want to see the movie.

  • Amy Lou February 24, 2011, 7:52 pm

    I am so sorry you missed the flashing lights. ;( Maybe if he had written you a letter and misused a semi-colon, it would have made things easier!
    giggle…I love you!

    • RChicken February 24, 2011, 7:58 pm

      Well, you see….he was the first to impress me with his use of a semi-colon. So, my semi-colon fetish is all his fault. It’s too bad that he used his semi-colon with another girl. But, the best is yet to come for me. I just feel it :) And I love you too!

  • Heather February 25, 2011, 8:20 am

    Wow — sounds like he was a real piece of work. I know it was painful to endure, but you are SO, SO very fortunate that you didn’t wind up with him. Getting someone else knocked up is probably the best thing he could’ve done for you! (That sounded better in my head…)

    ANYWAY — love your blog! Thanks for visiting mine :)

    • RChicken February 25, 2011, 8:39 am

      Oh, yeah…seriously. Him getting someone else PG instead of me was the best thing he ever did for me. Well, that and tiling my bathroom (which he did when he was groveling to come back to me after baby was born but before he married her). I let him tile my bathroom, but that was it. Figured he owed me something.

  • Natalie February 25, 2011, 1:01 pm

    My heart goes out to you. There’s nothing worse than being misled and betrayed in that way! I call it heartbreak favor. In the end, by bringing a truly non-negotiable, mind-bending issue into the mix, he enabled you to very distinctly see him for exactly what he was. And although that was painful and heartbreaking – it was inevitable and therefore, the sooner the better. Only wish he would have done it before you fell for him. Alas, we’ve all been there and it sucks…but you are right, you are better and stronger for it! Here on out, trust your instincts and from one control-freak to another, embrace it and relish in it. You are remarkable, beautiful and perfect just as you are!
    Natalie recently posted..Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop- Her heart sang with pride

    • RChicken February 25, 2011, 1:28 pm

      Thanks for the kind words. Fortunately, this heartbreak happened several years ago, and I’m pretty much over him. I just miss what I THOUGHT I had. I really don’t miss HIM. Trusting instincts, now that’s the new lesson for my life.

  • dysfunctional mom February 26, 2011, 12:27 am

    I think there’s something to be said for a little digging around…I did some checking on my husband when we first met. Lucky for him, he came out clean. Heh.
    Sorry you went through all that, especially since he was in your kids’ lives; that sucks. But you are definitely better off without him.

    • RChicken February 26, 2011, 8:19 am

      I just want to eliminate any kind of big surprise: child molester, stalking charges, still married, etc.

  • KLo February 26, 2011, 8:07 am

    What a great post :-)!

    Those of us on the proverbial rebound seem to be more blind to those flashing lights sometimes…

    Good choice, you ;-)

    • RChicken February 26, 2011, 8:18 am

      So glad he’s out of my life. I so ignored those lights…and it’s a wonder others didn’t slap me silly because of it. But I guess they had faith that I’d get out in time.

  • lisleman February 26, 2011, 4:48 pm

    You missed your chance to learn the con game business. Maybe you’ll be able to write to him in prison someday.

    Oh, I found this on Mrs. 4444′s SS post.
    lisleman recently posted..I’m like forget you

  • Mrs. Tuna February 27, 2011, 1:10 pm

    Totally dodged a major bullet, stopping by from Mrs. 4444′s……
    Mrs. Tuna recently posted..Hoarders- Old Checkbooks and Diaries oh my!

  • Heather April 3, 2011, 4:25 pm

    That’s terrible, but you did a great job of writing about it.
    Nice to meet you from the party.

  • Sarcasm Goddess October 31, 2011, 9:28 pm

    Oh that sucks, but it does seem like you lucked out.

    • RChicken November 1, 2011, 6:29 am

      I think so too. I could be married to someone who cheats. That would suck.

  • Naked Girl in a Dress June 6, 2012, 7:57 pm

    You dodged a bullet. Seriously. Bad. Story.

    Guess what?

    He is the exception. Most guys are not like that. I really believe what I am telling you. Once I got past my would-be-king (I actually like to refer him as the Antichrist), I realized the biggest issue was simply finding the right guy for me. Lots of nice guys were out there, but just not right for me.

    Come on Kimberly….. :)
    Naked Girl in a Dress recently posted..A Moment of Gratitude and Reflection

    • RChicken June 7, 2012, 7:21 am

      As part of my year of reinvention, I’m going to redefine myself. Instead of being “heartbroken single mom” — I’m going to find a way to be “the single mom who is open to new relationships”

      There’s a lot of work to be done to get from Point A to Point B. But I’m energized and ready to push through it.

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