nolongerinbetween

what is the magical number?

Posted on: February 19, 2016

famous-betrayal-quotes-u3 xxxx

Betraying, lying, sneaking behind your lover’s back, cheating, breaking the bond of trust are all forms of backstabbing. You need to be the object of a betrayal in order to understand why in Dante’s Inferno betrayal is the ultimate sin. You need to be backstabbed to understand why he dedicated the ninth and the last Circle of Hell to their perpetrators.

1. When you first encounter the betrayal and all of these happen to you there’s still room to work it out. At the end of the day shit happens. Maybe it was an accident. Maybe it wasn’t done out of habit or because your spouse is that particular way. Whorish. Dishonest. Treacherous. You will wisely say to yourself – wait and see. Don’t rush into judging people. Don’t rush into labelling them based on a single instance of mistrust. People make mistakes. People do make mistakes.

Once you are faced with such an ordeal you have two options. You can turn left  and exit the relationship or you can turn right  and wait to figure out what was all that about. If you turn right, preserving that relationship, you can either put on hold the whole thing (ignoring the betrayal or just thinking it out properly before making a move) or confront him with his disloyalty. If you decide to confront him, his options are admitting the treachery or denying it. If he admits it he can do it remorsefully or he can do it making excuses. If he denies it he can do it lightly or he can do it in a strong way, outraged that you would dare put him in such a place. The former, the light form of denial is rather common while the latter, the rage denial is rare and abusive. Whether it’s done as a defensive mechanism (out of shame or embarrassment because you have witnessed his flaws), or as an offensive and deterrence mechanism (in order to prevent you from challenging him again in the future) is another matter. No matter the case the outraged reaction over his own mistakes and exposure is a sheer case of abuse. If he denies lightly he is just weak and defensive, it’s understandable. We all are. It is not abuse. If he denies it in a strong and punitive way, turning you from a victim to an abuser, punishing you for his own mistakes, this means he is an impostor and it’s a first sign you will likely face an abusive relationship. He is an abuser and that’s the end of it. It’s better to get out of there before you are involved too much and it’s too late or too difficult to find a way out. He might be loving otherwise, he might make you happy at times, he might be sweet and all that, but unless you like being abused and find joy in being mind-twisted by lies and deceits it will never work out. At some point the price will be paid in full. Because, mark my words, there’s no way to turn an abusive individual!

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2. Anyway, so you decided to wait and not to make haste. To smooth things out. To credit the accident explanation. So far so good. For a while everything seems to be back on tracks. The project of smoothing over the whole affair seems to have worked. And then, out of the blue, much to your surprise, it happens again! The betrayal. The lying. The pain. The irrepressible pain. The break of trust. The backstabbing. It’s s i c k e n i n g. You are once again fully exposed to his disloyalty. You enter the same circle. Copycat. He admits or he denies. He admits the wrong doing, either apologetic or providing excuses. Or he denies it, either casually or abusing you. In any case, as far as you are concerned, now there’s something else added to the first shock. The idea of an accident tends to fade away. It becomes clear that what happened the first time was not an accident whatsoever. One pillar is an accident, two pillars is a fucking bridge. Yet, you say to yourself, it’s not routine. We can still work it out. I could reach him. I could turn him. It’s not like he has cheating in his genes. There’s no necessity running through his veins that makes him do that. It’s his decision. It’s up to him to be honourable.

So, you decide to credit him again with trust. Usually he would mumble an apology, rather out of embarrassment and because he was caught, not because he is really sorry for hurting you or because he turned out to be a dishonourable man.

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 3. Then for a while, everything goes back to normal, with the ups and downs of every relationship. And then, at some point the u n b e l i e v a b l e happens again. Three in a row should count for a disaster by now. Sheer geometry. One is a point of no consequence. Two makes a line. Three define a plane. That’s final. Settled. Alas, it should be easier somehow. At the end of the day, you know the cycle you have to go through. But if you love someone, the pain of being betrayed and lied to never dies out. Now, added to the shock that the betrayal was no accident is the terror that the person you love is undeniably a deceitful liar cheater. Now it’s crystal clear. If you decide to give him another chance you will have to live every fucking day with this fear deep inside you. He will do it again. It’s not a question of “if”, but “when”. As a matter of fact, he might be doing it right now. You can no longer trust him. You are having dinner with him and he is telling you stories from work from that day. You both laugh. But you also wonder. How much is real? How much is true from what he’s saying? How can one distinguish between truth and lies? Is there an antidote to this toxicity of lies that he brought in your relationship? And when someone poisoned a relationship with his constant deceit and betrayal should be given another chance? If you ask me, the answer is no. However, it’s easier said than done. By now you are already too involved and there is too much at stake. You should definitely leave but somehow love is stronger than anything. Still. As usual, he mumbles his apology, probably adding more resentment towards you, for not being able to get away with it again. Of course the problem is that you outsmart him and that you caught him, not that he is a jerk in the first place. But who am I to say that a sinner cannot repent and be given another chance? Second chance. I mean third chance. Actually fourth chance. Damn. I lost count already. Some people are born martyrs, aren’t they?

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 4. So, you have decided to give him one more chance. Maybe this time he will make the most of it. Maybe this time he won’t ruin his chance. Maybe this time he will come around. Maybe this time he will learn honour. The very thing he pretends he respects most. Ha. The never-ending irony. But you know that’s not going to happen. You weren’t born yesterday. Even though there’s still some undying hope that things will turn out different this time, you know the only thing that is left for you is to find a way to deal with a serial cheat. That’s all there is to it.

According to the script, for a while everything is back to the new-normal. His bitterness and resentment (geez, I love twisted psychology) that you once again witnessed his flaws deepens. Your bitterness and resentment that he once again made you live beneath your dignity deepens as well. You try to make your way through pain and suspicions and lies and fear and disappointments and shock and terror and hope. And then it happens again! Bloody hell, it’s turning into a joke. No surprise here though. Now you cannot pretend it is a shock. Yet it feels like it happens the first time. The pain of being betrayed is always the same. A rape is a rape. No matter if it happened before. You don’t grow antibodies against betrayal.

By now you know you have to find a way out. Some people find the strength to break the vicious cycle themselves and move on. Some people cannot break free suddenly and they need time to adjust and make preparations. And some people, the most unfortunate, cannot break away at all, not even slowly, in small steps.

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5. For the people who are able to get their soul out of the hold of someone else I have nothing to say more. I just envy them. If it’s out of indifference I don’t, but if it’s strength I do envy them. For the people who still need to linger along an abusive person they love before they get delivered from it I have my all sympathy. I am one of them. You listen to the usual play, his excuses, his apology, his pretended remorse, his bullshit choreography bla bla. You don’t believe a word of it. Not because you don’t want to. Not even because it happened before. But because you know him. You go back to your life with him not having any expectations now. Waiting for that strength to grow inside you. And it does. Slowly. Never enough though. Yet it’s a small improvement in breaking that bondage. You still suffer at the thought of breaking up with him but you also find some joy at the thought of soon being free from all the pain. That is something. You’ll have to learn how to live with this dissociated self for the time being. Time passes by. Sometimes it’s quiet and it’s normal and it’s nice. But you never let yourself be fooled by the domestic bliss. Underneath its surface the havoc awaits. And yet you cannot stop the hope turning up. Hope that he will stop being a treacherous asshole. Hope that he will come to his senses. But of course he won’t. As predicted, it happens again.

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 6. You still suffer but there’s a sort of numbness in that pain. It comes with a repetitive rape. The pain is still there but you are not there anymore. You are folded inside yourself. You try to keep going and regain your self back from its trap. You try to find ways of being more independent. To make new friends. To move your focus on other things, on other people. To some extent it works. Slowly but steadily. Never enough though. He says he loves you. He still wants to be with you. But you can’t be fooled more than twice. You know nice and dishonesty comes at a package with him. You can’t have one without another. And it happens again. Now you just wonder why it took him that long.

7. (…) And it happens again…

8. (…) And it happens again…

9. (…) And it happens again…

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Beth has been married for 10 years. She had a good life, living with her husband and their two kids. At some point her husband Dave disappears. Just like that. He vanishes. As if he never existed. No warning signs. No leaving note. No explanation. No potential reason whatsoever. She is in shock. Is he dead? Did he have an accident? Was he murdered? Is he in a hospital, lying unconscious? Is he running on the streets, amnesic, unaware of his identity? Is he a corpse lying in a morgue unidentified? Did he leave her? Did he just leave her? Without letting her know? Without the slightest explanation? Was he having an affair and he just ran away with his new lover? Did he fall accidentally in a river? Was he kidnapped? So many possibilities. Not a single piece of evidence. She is in shock. She fears for his life. She is dead worried. She cannot even sleep. How can you sleep when someone dear to your soul might be in danger, in pain, needing your help? How can you sleep when you don’t know? How can you sleep or even eat when you don’t know if he does? The police takes the case but they don’t have any clue for the time being. After a week or two of overwhelming and sickening worries she follows the classical pattern of people dealing with a trauma. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. No acceptance stage though. She cannot reach the fifth and final stage. How could you accept the un-acceptable? You need an explanation for that. You need a body. You need a corpse to mourn. You need a leaving note to refute. You need a husband who leaves you for another woman to hate. None of these whatsoever. Time passes by. Apart from the pain of not knowing is the sense of abandon that grows bigger and bigger. When a marriage doesn’t work you acknowledge this fact and you get divorced. And then you try to move on. You don’t just leave people behind like that. More than anything else she needs closure. To be dumped like that, without even letting her know is worse than anything. Worse than death. Oh, she is losing her head. He will turn up eventually. She doesn’t have to give up on him. She feels guilty now. Every night she looks through the windows hoping that he will appear from nowhere. And there are also these anonymous calls in the nights. Nobody talks at the other end of the line. Is it him? If it’s him why doesn’t he say anything? Is it him having second thoughts? Is it someone else who knows something? On one hand it gives her hope, on the other hand it fucks her up. Lingering like that in a limbo, glued to a telephone and looking through the windows. It’s been two months since he disappeared. Two months of hell. She just wants things to be like they were before. She just wants her family back. She wants her husband back. She can’t carry on without any shred of explanation. If she knew she was dumped for another woman she would have been devastated but she could start healing. If he was dead she would be devastated but she could mourn him and start healing. She needs closure more than anything. Not knowing is tearing her apart. It’s been five months by now. She still hopes that at some point he will enter the door as if everything was a nightmare. She lives like a zombie. She put her life on hold. The anonymous calls carry on. Now and then a call during the day or in middle of the night. She cannot bear the thought of not knowing if he is well. Fed. Properly fed and cared for. Settled. Sometimes, she feels she would be happy even if he was with another woman. At least he would be safe. But she ought to know that. Sometimes she feels angry at that thought. It’s been eight months by now. The pain is still there but sort of numb. It has reached a plateau phase. The silent calls in the nights didn’t stop, yet they are less frequent. It’s been one year and two months. She tries to carry on living. The hope is still there but dying out. Like a candle barely flickering. She tries to be sane for her two girls. She throws herself in work trying to forget, to come to terms with her trauma.

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When she felt a bit stronger she tried to let her friends in. Supporting her. Comforting her. One of these friends is also her boss, Mike. He always liked her. He always fancied her but since she was married he never express that. Now he decided to take a chance. She was flattered but told him that even though she likes him she is still married and she is too of a mess to even think about it. Is she still married though? Is she? On paper yes. But without a husband is she? Mike doesn’t give up on her. She starts growing fond of him. Slowly. Gradually. Small steps. At some point, eventually, she starts seeing him. She still hopes her husband will appear at the door in the same way he disappeared. She feels guilty she is dating another man. She is not that kind of a woman. She never cheated on her husband. Is this cheating? Is she cheating on her husband? What husband? She tries to cope with everything, letting the past behind and opening up for what is ahead of her. Is it too soon? Is it too late? Is she a widow? It’s been a year and four months by now. Sixteen months. She doesn’t have much hope left but she still jumps when somebody rings the bell. It’s never him. Bloody sales agents. Bloody mormons. Sometimes she is thinking, what if he would come back now? What about her new relationship? Incomplete, yet a relationship. What a bloody mess. At some point she gets a visit from her brother in law. They always liked each other. She tells him about her sense of guilt over her new relationship. He tells her that she shouldn’t and that she is entitled to a bit of comfort, a bit of happiness, that she is right trying to move on. She learns of something terrible. She finds out about the source of those anonymous calls. She finds out that behind that constant torment was her mother in law. Beth goes mad. Understandably mad. She cannot help challenging her mother in law. Putting her through all that hell over and over. Dwelling on that hope like a mad woman. How could she? Her mother in law is embarrassed but at the same time she says she needed to do that. It’s her son. She cannot give up on him. And she cannot allow her daughter in law to give up hope. Even if that is cruel. “It is my son. I could see you trying to move on. Giving up on him. Breaking your wedding oath in the end. You are married. Married to my son. You are cheating on him. This shouldn’t happen. “ Oh, for the love of God….

And then Beth goes really mad. She tells her mother in law that she is not welcome in her life anymore. And then she asks her, yelling like a madwoman: WHAT IS THE MAGICAL NUMBER? What is the good number then? When is she right to go stray? When is she entitled to move on? After three months? After five? After eight? Twelve? Sixteen? Two years and a half? If she goes stray after two months she is a whore but if she does that after three years she is not? What about four months? Would she still be a whore? If so, what then? Seven months? Eleven? Two years? WHAT IS THE BLOODY MAGICAL NUMBER?

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Well, Beth is a character in a movie, as the second part is a tv series broadcast by BBC (Ordinary lies). The first one is not. It was my life. The parallel is obvious. When I watched the British tv series and reached the part where Beth exploded with rage asking that question I almost jumped off the couch. I just saw myself in that rage. In that question. In the process of going through that sense of abandonment, betrayal and pain what is the magical number? When can you go astray? When can you come up with a reaction? After the first instance of betrayal? After the second one? After the third? The fourth? The sixth? The eighth? Some of you will say undoubtedly: never. You will say that going astray is not the solution. I would admit it is not. Retaliation is never a solution. But things are not that simple. It would be better if you just break up with that and give up on that compromised relationship. But, for the sake of argument, let’s say it’s not that simple and it is not an option. When is it okay(ish) to reciprocate then? When is it okay(ish) to try to move on and defocus so to speak? After which one? After which instance of his going astray you are entitled to go astray? What is the magical number? One?… two?…. three?… four?…. five?… six?… seven?… eight?… nine?…

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1 Response to "what is the magical number?"

Unu e numărul magic, când doi devine unu.

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literatura e efortul inepuizabil de a transforma viaţa în ceva real

The priest: Aren't you afraid of hell? J. Kerouac: No, no. I'm more concerned with heaven.

literatura e efortul inepuizabil de a transforma viaţa în ceva real

The priest: Aren't you afraid of hell? J. Kerouac: No, no. I'm more concerned with heaven.

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