Monday, July 18, 2011

Double Agent: The Judgemental Betrayer

I have been waiting for a good time to share the following email exchanges with you, Dear Reader. Now seems as good a time as any, considering Double Agent's recent appearance in DH's inbox. On March 22, 2011, DH composed a short and sweet email to his "friend" who we knew was continuing an inappropriate relationship with DH's mother. What you'll see below is the evidence showing how DH's email went over, and how this friend responded. After DH sent his initial email and received DA's response, I wrote back to DH with my thoughts. I offered DH my interpretations of the situation when he asked for my input. You'll see DH's messages in black, Double Agent's messages in blue, and mine in red. For clarification, Double Agent did not see what I had to say about his emails. My messages were for DH's eyes only.

From: Dear Husband
To: Double Agent
Date: March, 22, 2011
Subject: Yo

Ok so, I need to get something off my chest. I suspect you know at least a little bit about my situation with my mom. I feel that in continuing in the relationship you have with my mom you are hurting me, and being disloyal to me and our friendship. Now, I know you're a grown man, capable of choosing whatever relationships you want, but I hope you can see that my friendship with you is of great importance to me. If you continue to engage with my mother, our chances of continuing our friendship are slim.

From: Double Agent

To: Dear Husband
Date: March 22, 2011
Subject: Re: Yo

Umm... That came out of nowhere.
My thoughts: Not really. If he had really been paying attention to your circumstances at all, then the fact that you are feeling this way wouldn't be all that surprising. But okay, so he feels taken by surprise. Moving on...

"I suspect you know at least a little bit about my situation with my mom." I know that it's tense and that there isn't much communication. Obviously there has been hurt on both sides and the fact that she and Jonsi don't get along adds to it.
My thoughts: Couple things here - unless you chose to tell him this information, it is not something he should be privy to. This statement gives you an idea of the kinds of things he has been hearing from your mother - even if it was a while ago that they actually "talked." How does he know that me and your mother don't get along? And...what have I ever done that would count as 'not getting along?' No doubt, he is believing your mother, who has told him and everyone else that I have been mean to her - but you know, as well as I do, that I have been civil and polite to your mother. I do not have a biased opinion, this I know...which means that I read this and interpreted him siding more with your mother. But by the time I got to the end of the email, my overall feeling was this: he does side with your mother...not your wife (and therefore, not really you.) Furthermore...if he gives a fuck about your friendship, he should be a hell of a lot less concerned about your mother's feelings and more about yours...which you are telling him...and he's not listening.

"I feel that in continuing in the relationship..." I don't really know what you mean. It's not like we talk often. When I visit my parents I don't drop in to say "Hi" to your mom. The last interaction I had with your mom was attending her Christmas party where I hung out with Pig and Pig's wife and barely had much conversation with your mother. She emailed me twice leading up to your wedding but those are the only two times I recall talking to her in the last YEAR.
My thoughts: He doesn't have to talk often with her - any talking is bad, any engagement is bad. HE DOESN'T THINK GOING TO THE CHRISTMAS PARTY WAS A BAD IDEA, OR THAT IT WAS CREEPY, OR THAT IT SHOWED LOYALTY TO YOUR MOTHER INSTEAD OF YOU. THIS IS A RED FLAG! Also.....WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOUR MOTHER BE EMAILING HIM TWICE LEADING UP TO OUR WEDDING? More red flags, pay attention to these. DA seems to think that because his level of communication is infrequent, it is okay.

"...you have with my mom you are hurting me, and being disloyal to me and our friendship." Even if we presupposed a strong relationship between your mom and myself, this doesn't hold much water. Were you disloyal to me in 8th grade when you were friends with both Pig and I while we disliked each other? I certainly don't think so. Not only that, but the situation is even less strenuous than the LSV-Pig-DA relationship since your mom, to the best of my knowledge, wants reconciliation unlike Pig and I.
My thoughts: THIS IS A COMPLETELY JUVENILE ARGUMENT. He is comparing his relationship with your mother to that of the relationships of three eighth grade boys. Um, hello? Those boys he was referring to were kids. He is not a kid anymore, and your mother is not a kid, (nor has she ever been while cultivating her near-pedophile relationship with him) and their choice to continue to have any kind of relationship with each other is now a completely adult decision. Not only that, but he is trying to use logic to explain away YOUR FEELINGS. Whether you are right or not is irrelevant. You feel badly about it...it doesn't have to be logical.

"I hope you can see that my friendship with you is of great importance to me." I do. And it is to me as well.
My thoughts: I am going to say, I do not believe this.

"If you continue to engage with my mother, our chances of continuing our friendship are slim." I'm confused. Mostly regarding the fact that you think that I'm "continuing to engage with your mother."
My thoughts: He is telling you he doubts your feelings, he doubts your reality. He put that phrase in quotes the second time because he does not believe that what he is doing is engaging with your mother. HE DOES NOT THINK THE RELATIONSHIP THEY HAVE ON FACEBOOK COUNTS AS ENGAGEMENT! HE DOES NOT THINK GOING TO HER CHRISTMAS PARTY IS ENGAGEMENT. HE DOES NOT THINK SPEAKING WITH HER ON ANY LEVEL IS ENGAGEMENT. I fear that the fact that he wants you to further explain YOUR FEELINGS, is not a good sign. I would like to say, be more direct - tell him what you mean by engagement - but no clarification is necessary here. Engagement means ANY communication with your mother - be it face to face, email, phone calls, or even (gasp!) Facebook. But I don't think he'll get that and I don't think he'll be willing to stop, mostly because he truly doesn't see anything wrong with it.

An addition, your friend may be book smart, but he's not people smart. He is being fooled by your mother, and therefore he is compromised. He doesn't know what he is talking about in terms of your relationship with your mother - he is talking to you as though your feelings are invalid. You were not communicating with your friend about this for him to validate your thoughts/feelings/or opinions about your mother. You don't need his approval to feel the way you do.
_____________________________________________

In some follow-up emails, DA responded to my husband with a couple of real gems:

- When DH asked DA if he found it strange that NMIL contacted him prior to our wedding, he responded: Yes I do. It was an act of desperation on her part.

- DH asked: What if it were you having an issue with your parents, and I went to an intimate event they hosted - that would seem like I'm invalidating my friendship, my loyalty to you, wouldn't it? To that, DA responded: First, the Christmas party wasn't an intimate event. There were 50 people there and beyond a tour of the new house I had almost no direct interaction with your mom. Outside of Pig, Pigs wife and Childhood friend+her Fiancee, the only person we really spoke to was that clingy gay guy...Second, I can't really commiserate with your plight. When I was having serious relationship troubles with my mom (junior year of college) I didn't just write her off. I worked on the relationship and didn't try to destroy it further by ignoring her at holidays and important events. It's obvious that you're not interested in reconciliation so this isn't a comparable situation.

- When DH expressed his difficulty in bringing any of these issues up at all, DA replied:
I wish you had brought it up in December when I told you I was going to the party. Sure, tough issues are hard to bring up.
- I occasionally hear from my wife about Jonsi disliking your mother. And from you I hear absolutely nothing.

- When DH announced that he needed " some time," Double agent's response was: How long is "some time"? It's been roughly 2 years...

- Do you think that avoiding important things like her Christmas party two years in a row is doing anything but demonstrating a resolve not to be reconciled?

- I am your friend. I am friendly to your mother. I have not, I am not, nor will I seek out contact with your mother. However, if she emails me I will reply out of common decency.

- Your definition of discomfort-inducing contact is truly strange. I've literally had 3 small exchanges of pleasantries with your mother in the past year. If she was a genocidal dictator, that would be a problem. If she doesn't get along with your wife, that's a complete overreaction.

- [NMIL] deserves a response because it's what is socially appropriate within the context of this situation.
________________________________________

When all was said and done, I forwarded the shit show on to my dearest friend, Upsi. She has given me permission to share her (fucking awesome!) commentary with you. Here is what she had to say:

[Blue]= lines from [Double Agent's] messages, [Green] = Upsi

I know that it's tense and that there isn't much communication. Obviously there has been hurt on both sides and the fact that she and Jonsi don't get along adds to it.
He did not address your DH's problem with the fact that "he knows" anything about the situation.  DA asserts that you and NMIL don't get along as though he knows the situation enough to analyze it, while saying out of the other side of his mouth that he never talks to NMIL and never hears anything...In [DH's] situation, when they frame it as "DH isn't talking to his mom because his crazy bitch wife is controlling him," he gets the double whammy of not only being framed as a doormat to his partner, but it is immasculating!  They're going after his manhood...your DH does not deserve the kind of gossip his "best friend" has revealed. 

Not only that, but the situation is even less strenuous than the DH-Pig-DA relationship since your mom, to the best of my knowledge, wants reconciliation unlike Ian and I...the fact of the matter is that it applies directly to this situation and you can't dismiss the argument simply because it happened when we were kids.
How dare this arrogant asshole tell [your DH] that his situation is "less strenuous" than their little problem in 8th grade.  How does he know how strenuous it is, since he hears nothing about it and knows very little?  Who the fuck is he to assume that b/c one party wants reconciliation, that makes it LESS strenuous!  "Fact of the matter" - I'd like to give him a few facts, alright.  "Applies directly to the situation" - "can't dismiss" - these are assertions with zero support, this is high-faluting language with no supporting substance.  We can dismiss it because the analogy is fundamentally inappropriate to [your husband's] situation.  A Mother - Son - Wife conflict triangle is not analogous to a friend-friend-friend scenario (even setting aside the 8th grade part).  The stakes are higher and the relationships are in no way similar due to the LIFELONG bond between mother/child and husband/wife.  Friends can call it quits, no problem.  Families are, as they say, forever.  The FUCKING "fact of the matter" is that this ignorant know-it-all doesn't want to be told not to affiliate with DH's mom and found one stretch-of-a-comparison to support himself.

I can't really commiserate with your plight. When I was having serious relationship troubles with my mom (junior year of college) I didn't just write her off. I worked on the relationship and didn't try to destroy it further by ignoring her at holidays and important events. It's obvious that you're not interested in reconciliation so this isn't a comparable situation.
...Who asked him to "commiserate"?  DH is asking him to consider his feelings, not to sit around complaining about his family problems.  Well lucky you, DA the Holier-than-thou, you could work on your relationship and find solutions.  You weren't forced to consider "writing her off" (which DH hasn't even done) because of the impossible problems.  If skipping her STUPID supply-fest Christmas parties was "destroying" the relationship "further" - further than what?  Destroying what?  According to whom?  "It's obvious you're not interested in reconciliation" - oh, is it?  Because of all that information you AREN'T getting from DH, who you've said tells you "nothing about" the situation???  How, pray-tell, is he so certain of DH's feelings and desires?  This prick masks his judgment in a pseudo-intellectual cloak of "oh mine isn't a comparable situation" - DH was asking him to PUT HIMSELF IN DH'S SHOES FOR THE SAKE OF COMPARISON - not asking him to have the same exact situation so he can understand.

I wish you had brought it up in December when I told you I was going to the party. Sure, tough issues are hard to bring up.
[This is what he is really saying]: "Well, you didn't bring it up so it's all your fault."  [DH's] bringing it up now, and it is clear if he had brought it up then, he would have been told where to shove it b/c he was being so "cruel" by skipping the party.  Their friendship doesn't seem able to handle much of any confrontation and discussion.

I occasionally hear from my wife about Jonsi disliking your mother. And from you I hear absolutely nothing.
Um, fucked up that he hears things from his wife about you "disliking NM."  Red flag.  Where is she getting this information from?  And like I said before, if DA hears "absolutely nothing" from DH about it, why is he so confident that his perceptions are accurate?

Your definition of discomfort-inducing contact is truly strange. I've literally had 3 small exchanges of pleasantries with your mother in the past year. If she was a genocidal dictator, that would be a problem. If she doesn't get along with your wife, that's a complete overreaction.
He went there, he trotted out the old "if she's not a dictator, there's no problem."  His messages are so riddled with factual contradictions...If DA has so little contact with NMIL & knows so little about the situation from DH, WHY THE FUCK DOES HE FEEL COMFORTABLE CONCLUDING THAT IT'S ALL ABOUT NMIL AND Jonsi NOT GETTING ALONG??? He is not trustworthy, not truthful, and very much a judgmental betrayer.

11 comments:

  1. DA (dumb ass) is a complete moron. I find the part about you and your NMIL not getting along especially annoying. You have been tried and convicted in absentia based on hearsay evidence! (This guy might have had some use as a juror in the Casey Anthony case because he convicts on no evidence whatsoever!)

    The narcs in my life love spreading their evil lies but this tactic only works when they find morons dumb enough to believe them!

    The old expression, "With friends like you who needs enemies?" really fits the bill for DA.

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  2. Mulderfan: As always, you have lent me some astute observations. I am annoyed as well by the "this is all Jonsi's fault because SHE just can't get along with NMIL" mentality.

    Yeah, I'm so over that. You're right, DA is a total nitwit.

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  3. Wow. DA has definitely chosen sides, and it isn't DH's. upsi and mulderfan both nailed it that he's drawing his own conclusions without having any information: I've made up my mind, so don't confuse me with the facts. DA is proving to be an unhealthy relationship.

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  4. Good Lord, With "friends" like this who needs frenemies? Your DH and you are being beckoned into the world of "Word Wars." And very transparent ones at that.
    Mon Dieu, the healthier we get the more we "shed" the unhealthy "friendships." I clearly get how painful this is-for both of you. Mulderfan"s "PD to Reality" translation was spot on, IMO.
    And I'm truly sorry for both of you; it's painful for sure. However, these kinds of situations CAN and WILL be transcended. The pain involved is a part of facing reality, recognizing you are both "One of them thar grown-ups" and no longer need or desire validation from anyone else regardless of their relationship to us (parent, closest friend for years, some idiot who has never had to deal with this kind of foo etc.) It's called "individuation" meaning you are NOT the person you were back there and you're not gonna be treated as if you were/are.
    Marriage does not mean you become the "Bobsey Twins." It means while you have merged, you also accept one another as unique individuals in your own right. Respect is just as important IMO as trust. Never loose sight of what brought you together....and be leery of that which could pull you apart. Sometimes agreeing to disagree works very well for both partners. IMO, it's unrealistic to expect your partner to view the world, relationships at large and your relationship in particular exactly as you or I would see it. This isn't about power and control (how WELL we recognize that strategy) it's more about finding common ground. And respecting that common ground.

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  5. Judy - Unfortunately, it seemed to me that DA chose his side a long time ago, and it was NEVER on the side of my husband. DA is one of those Mr. Know-It-Alls, and like most who have been titled as such, he doesn't really know it all, he only thinks he does.

    Anon - Respect and Trust are two necessary aspects of healthy relationships, I hear you. In the case of DH's "friend" we have really begun to see eye-to-eye, so we haven't had to agree to disagree. In the past, that was sometimes the case, but as he has been growing fed-up with the games, he's really stopped engaging with people like DA, who only seek to destroy him.

    And as for DA? He's not respecting anything but his own damn (misled) opinions. Makes it really hard to find a common ground with someone like that.

    I appreciate your input!

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  6. Remember I referred to "finding common ground." I didn't say it was necessarily possible :)

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  7. Very true, Anon. I see that you did say that. It would seem that Double Agent is not one of those individuals with whom it's possible to find common ground.

    How unfortunate!

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  8. I still bristle at his dramatic over-the-top language "genocidal dictator" - as though that is the reasonable standard for deciding someone is too toxic to be around, they have to be a genocidal dictator??? I get this kind of stuff from the flying monkeys, too - "well, upsi, what real damage did she do? It wasn't THAT bad, it could have been worse" on and on.

    He also sets up this slippery little false dichotomy: either she's a dictator or she doesn't get along with your wife - leaving no third, fourth, fifth option. Who asked him to weigh in?? In fact, I believe your husband asked him to BUTT OUT!

    Nothing like a good old fashioned family conflict to bring out the true colors.

    all my love,
    upsi

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  9. Upsi: You're right. That bullshit about "It couldn't have been that bad, can't you just get over it?" is so condescending, ignorant, and asinine. Seriously dude, you're not me and you have no fucking clue what's really going on here. Worse, you are insinuating that we don't have every right to decide for ourselves what is good/bad for us, what is toxic/non-toxic.

    So fuck off, Flying Monkeys! Before I built a Flying-Monkey trap and send you all back to the Wicked Witch with clipped wings.

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  10. Wow, who knew that DA is omniscient, and therefore knows more and better about the situation than DH? --quartz

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