Tinder, Cheating Husband, The First 30 Days
The time: 2 a.m.
The date: January 2016.
The location: Basement of suburban New Jersey home.
The mood: Anger. I-hope-you-get-herpes-all-over-your-face RAGE and anger.
After hearing my husband on the telephone with a woman in the middle of the night, I made an awful discovery. His Tinder account. And so it began. The complete downward spiral called "I have been betrayed ... hear me roar!" So much anger and pain. I hit a low point the first week after the discovery of his Tinder women (The Tinders) and their ugly faces smiled back at me from my husband’s cell phone.
There were twelve of them. The #DirtyDozen. The images burned in my mind - my husband taking a selfie in the shower (who does that?!) to send to one of his Tinder girls. The message, “Can’t wait to see you, sexy” to the woman he labeled “Lauren Tinder” in his contacts as they planned to meet for Japanese food. PS: He doesn't even eat Japanese food.
"Sexy," he wrote, to a woman who looked like the informant cops use at a bar because as my friend put it, "That woman obviously has a lot of mileage." I could feel the rage bubbling over. I wanted him to feel the pain I was feeling. To suffer. For his face to break out in boils.
Ten days later he and I met in the parking lot of the Sprint store. At this point, he was in a hotel. He wanted off our family plan. Naturally. He knew I was still looking at his call log. If you can believe this piece of garbage, even AFTER I discovered all the sex messages and photos, he continued to talk to one of The Tinders. This woman - Jackie Tinder - was supposedly offering advice on how to repair his marriage and was a listening ear. What do I look like? A moron? You suddenly went from sexting to new BFFs? Please.
That day I flew into the Sprint parking lot at top speed. My anger had boiled over because the previous night I could not get a hold of my husband. I called his phone repeatedly. No answer. Called his room phone. No answer. I jumped out of my car and ran to his driver’s side door. His window was open. I began screaming, yelling like a maniac through his window. It was FULL PSYCHO MODE at Sprint. My inner crazy was unleashed.
I realized it could have ended badly for me. Featured on the evening news: “Psycho Wife Screaming at Sprint Store Arrested for Disorderly Conduct.” My new accommodations likely a padded cell. The truth was, the anger and pain was unbearable. I felt like a fool. I was heartbroken and devastated. How could he DO THIS to me and our family?! I became the crazy woman those first 30 days. Obsessed, emotionally distraught, and unable to sleep.
After three weeks in a hotel, my husband found an apartment The New Tinder pad, I called it. During the first week of February, still filled with rage and bitterness, I arrived at the apartment to bring a few items over. My husband went to unload my trunk. I went into his bedroom. I honestly don't know what I was expecting to see. XL condoms lying out? Edible undies? A Tinder girl hiding under the bed? Unlikely.
I did, however, see a green notebook on his nightstand and started flipping through it. There was neat handwriting on a few pages with a list of divorce items to do. Not his handwriting. Not his list. I lost it. I ran into the living room and started screaming and tearing the notebook into little pieces. There was a shower of paper as I threw pieces into the air. I yelled that The Tinders had given him a to-do list of how to take me to the cleaners. How dare he turn to The Tinders for divorce advice!
Take half retirement.
Life insurance CHANGE.
Take HALF savings.
And what? Leave me to play my high school clarinet at Penn Station in New York and beg for money? I was enraged.
My husband said it was his boss (allegedly), who had been through a nasty divorce (allegedly). Calm yourself, I said. It could have been his boss. OR it could have been one of The Tinders. Didn't he casually mention Jackie Tinder (with all her pearls of wisdom) had been through a divorce? Maybe it was HER. It probably was his boss, but my mind was already too far gone and The Tinders had taken over. It's what happens in those first 30 days. I realized I had to do something about my anger because now I was the bad guy and instead of holding it together, I was coming off as a lunatic. I was the psychotic ex-wife tearing notebooks, screaming about The Tinders, and envisioning them all laughing on the sofa while they created a how-to-financially-ruin-her-list. I needed to get my head and actions under control.
My divorce book recommended a no-contact policy after a breakup. No texting unless our son had an emergency, I decided. No calls. No nothing. This lasted exactly 11 minutes. I’m the one to blame for this because I couldn't let go. I am a truth-seeker, fact finder. It's what I do for my job and I wanted answers from my husband. I wanted remorse. I wanted closure. I wanted him to suffer and feel pain and suddenly have all his teeth fall out.
I couldn't understand how he and The Tinders - the #DirtyDozen - seemingly tossed me to the wayside. Why? They were all hideous. I couldn't wrap my mind around it. I felt lost. And confused. A lot of tears in the first month after uncovering the Tinder scandal. I could barely make it out of the house. I played sad country songs on my Ipod – cue: Mandolin Rain. I was crying, sobbing uncontrollably picturing my life in ruins. I ate brownies in the Stop and Shop parking lot (twice – false, three times) and wallowed in self-pity. I couldn’t seem to pick myself up and I didn’t even know where to start.
The first month was ugly. Period. I felt hideous, undesirable. I was exhausted. Why isn't HE eating brownies in his car? Why am I the one who can barely get through the day? My good friend, John, called me at least six times towards the end of January. His voicemails all the same: "I will keep calling until you pick up. I heard about the Internet women." I finally called him back. I told him what happened, I told him about The Tinders.
He said, “What are you doing?! Don’t sit there crying! Get a hold of yourself! He is a loser! Tell him F*CK YOU and give him the finger!” If only it were that easy. After 10 years of marriage and 15 years together, it’s hard to let go. Even if you know you are playing with fire and you are burned. Here’s hoping everyone who has been similarly affected got a hold of their crazy in THEIR first month. I did and I’m moving forward … slowly.