Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Marc/Chantelle: AITA?

I couldn't focus on work yesterday as I was still seething from my interaction with Laura. Frustration and disappointment turned to anger and I felt that I needed to do something, so I spent a lot of time between meetings composing a very long text:

Laura - 

I am 100% NOT OKAY with the way things ended between us on Saturday. Leaving on that note left me confused as to what, if any, is the future direction of this relationship. You say you are trying to be respectful to Damon's marriage, but is that appropriate? Even on the face of it, does what we have have anything to do with them? IMO you should be able to compartmentalize and think of me as your husband first and your FAKE WIFE as secondary to that. I'm not happy about the idea of you sharing a marital bed with a stranger but I understand it as part of the RUSE that you are a man named Damon who is married to this woman. Do what you need to do. But you not even being willing to explore anything with me tells me that you are already ready to close that chapter of our lives together. Where does this leave me? What about what I want for myself and for us? If I'm not married, am I free to explore other options? Don't answer that, only I can say for sure -- IF I don't have a wife who is willing to consider my feelings. I'm not saying I even want to but in this life things get lonely and upsetting when one is used to the comforts of a relationship and I could see myself trying to find that somewhere else, and by turning me down you are tacitly implying you DO NOT CARE. My first priority is to save us, but I can't do that if you're not willing to meet me half way and be with me to the fullest extent our situation allows. I am not ready for this to be done, the same as I was not ready before Maine. I want us to be together in the long run but I also want to make my feelings known.

Some hours later, I received the reply:

I understand your feelings to a degree. I had to go with what I was feeling in the moment, and at that time my thoughts were of Janessa [This is the first time I've heard her name and I don't care for it.] It was a tough decision but I stand by my call, and if we are going to succeed in these lives we have to commit to them and not "cheat" by falling into some twisted version of our old roles just because nobody is looking. People get hurt that way. I know you only think of yourself, but I'm trying to think of everybody -- you, me, Janessa, the real Damon and Chantelle. The fact that Damon and Chantelle were in an actual affair was not yet known to me, so I was playing the Damon character as a faithful husband and if I had gone upstairs with you -- and God knows what would have happened if I had but based on your reaction it could have been something major that neither of us is prepared to deal with -- I would have breached that. And frankly I still AM playing this role that way because I do not want to be a cheater. There's no "compartmentalizing" for me. But that doesn't mean our marriage is over either. I still love you and it is the height of immaturity that you think the only way to express that is by forcing ourselves to have a physical connection when there is so much more at risk than our own feelings. I would think you could at least grasp that there are more important things going on here. If you do love me, if this marriage is real and meant to survive, I would think you would be on my wavelength about this and swallow this bitter pill.

That just pissed me off further so without barely thinking I wrote back:

YOU ALREADY ARE A CHEATER!! You go to bed with a person who is NOT ME every night!

To which she said: 

I'm not going to dignify that with an answer, you have to know that's not how it is.

I was getting frustrated so I laid it out how I saw it:

It sounds like you want it both ways. You want to keep me on the hook but you want to be the "good husband" too. Not fair, not cool.

From there, silence, I'm sure she justified that because she didn't want Janessa to see her phone blowing up.

I was so mad. Her message was so condescending, the way it called me "immature" for wanting to maintain my relationship with my wife, get some confirmation that there's still something there. Is that wrong? I'm lonely, is it so bad I'm craving some touch and there's only one person on the planet I trust with that? And she-or-he doesn't want to provide it.

I just think there's some major double standards at play. Laura may or may not have sex with Janessa, but I'm just supposed to ice myself out for the duration? Does that seem right to anyone? Or am I somehow way off base here?


Penny (aka Arthur aka Liz) said...

You're not wrong to be upset; I've sort of, kind of been in both positions and it's rough. When I first went to the Inn and became Liz, I found out that it was very difficult to freeze out someone who expects intimacy if you want to leave things the way you found them, even if the biology feels wrong. Similarly, once I started to really like Raymond but wound up in this life, I was very upset about him being with the real Liz, enough to be glad I was far away from it. It's not the same, I know, but what situations are?

My advice - try to be forgiving. The situation sucks, and you're going to have to be the bigger person if you want things back the way they were later. Just keep in mind - the Inn rewired your brain to be that of a woman who likes men, if that's what Chantelle was, and the same goes for your wife. You do something out of spite, and you might find yourself dealing with more than you bargained for, because your new feelings are real, even if we all reflexively deny them at the start.

Also: Keep really up to date on original-Chantelle and new-Marc. It's no fun to work hard to keep things just so and then find out someone else has made it so that doesn't matter.

Jordo said...

Look, I don't wanna exactly contradict Penny - she's been at this longer than anyone on the blog - but I've also gotta say you don't have to be okay with Laura prioritizing her fake life over you. No matter how they've been turned upside down, these are still your lives. I'd have gone fucking crazy trying to be Dierdre, and not just because my roommate KIDNAPPED ME because he figured we had to pretend to be these other people.

I'm not saying to do stupid shit like try and make Laura's life hell if you don't like how she's living it - I've had some shitty boyfriends in this life and don't like to think whether I'd have ever been that asshole if I hadn't gone through this - but this isn't just a pause where you've got to LARP as someone else all the way to the end. Like, Annette is better off back in her life because she never stopped being herself. You've gotta live without regrets!