Brian Taylor

Despoiling Interloper in My Relationship with Anita Manderfield

This is non-news. But I am paranoid about deceiving or betraying you.... The reason I think that he provoked in me enough interest to bring him up is that I suspect... [he] could accommodate and withstand casual entanglement.

Anita, 2017-07-21
(fair context below)

You are correct; that prospect [Brian Taylor] is almost certainly doomed, not the least because my decisions last night were largely (though not entirely) driven by emotional sabotage. I've even done this before.

[...]

I found myself imagining you, while with him. Probably you are also right that no one will ever compare, not remotely.... This morning, I feel vacuous. Also petty and corrupt.

Anita, 2016-08-16
(the morning after her first night with Brian)

Anita is the only woman who has ever broken my heart. I loved her; and bolstering her poetic professions to such effect, I had material evidence that she loved me, too. Thus, I made life-changing decisions (e.g., planning where to move) based on my belief in at least the possibility that I might spend the rest of my life with this woman; and beyond that, I spoke to Anita of “eternities”.

Until she met Brian.

When Anita first mentioned Brian to me, it was in the manner of her desire for a little something on the side. I might have been amenable to such a thing—strictly in the right conditions, which here were not met. In substantial essence, I communicated to her that I would need to be in control of the situation to make sure it wouldn’t blow up—as here I would not be—and that regardless of either of our wishes, the “other man” would need to accede to the arrangement, as Brian most probably would not. (He did not even know I existed, and would not until I effectually forced Anita to tell him about me as recounted below.) I explicitly, emphatically told her that my main concern was that if not properly controlled, such an arrangement would tear us apart.

Weeks after this first discussion of Brian, Anita and I had a fight about a matter wholly unrelated to him. It was not the worst fight we had ever had; and we certainly were not broken up. But as then unknown to me, Anita has an established behavioral pattern of answering a relational spat by cheating with a neighbor, if the opportunity of a sexually attractive neighbor should avail itself to her.

She did it to her ex-husband, before they were married: Stepped out with a neighbor, then had a five-year relationship with him including cohabitation, then dumped him and returned the man she would marry. She did it to me, with Brian. If she stays with Brian, she will likely do it to him someday, too, unless he should be so fortunate as to only have ugly neighbors.

None of this was foreseeable to me; for although I am ordinarily untrusting, I trusted Anita. I trusted her more than any woman I’ve met since I was a naïve youth below the age of twenty. I trusted her more than was wise.

After Anita used Brian as a meat-weapon to stab me through the heart, incredibly and incredulously, I tried to forgive her. I am not a forgiving person by nature. An act of forgiveness for such a violation underscored my nearly unconditional love for her; a cynical reader may sneer that I was only besotted with her, but such a thing could only be said without really knowing me. Anita’s response: A month later, she started dating Brian behind my back whilst still involved with me. At this point, her actions were behind his back, too, insofar as he didn’t even know that I existed.

Eventually, she told me...

I have not been up front with you about Brian.

We had sex again, a few times. And I am getting really attached. I met some of his family last night (visitors from Holland). It was lovely and nice to speak Dutch and also emotionally exhausting, and contributed to my abyss of sadness this morning. Anita, 2017-10-09

I am sorry for my concealment. I regret that, and do not seek to justify or even explain, unless you want me to try.

[...]

Among/despite all else, you have been and are my truest friend. Anita, 2017-10-10

...yet still, she did not tell him. I forced Anita to tell Brian the truth about how their relationship started—a process which took several months due to extreme recalcitrance and, I suspect, further obfuscation on her part.

Amidst this agonizingly extended process, from start to finish, her entanglement with Brian poisoned and destroyed her relationship with me. But of course.

I did not know what I was doing, and I fucked everything up. And I cannot go on with you now.

Anita, 2017-11-05

All along, Anita openly admitted that what she did was wrong and moreover, that her actions had serious consequences to me, and could have serious consequences to her, too. Yet though she mouthed a thousand apologies to me, she continued to simply do whatever she wanted, unless forced to do otherwise.

I don’t defend my actions. I wronged you and him and myself.... This has wrecked your life and now stands to wreck mine.

Anita, 2017-11-06

You are right to be upset by my actions, as I have said before. I will not defend myself. I cannot put this right, but I am trying to let him know. And I want him to. And I want him not to.

And I am losing you, and I want to. And I want not to.

Anita, 2018-01-21

Had I not forced her to tell him, he never would have known. Yet I did, and she did, and he does.

One of my several reasons for so doing was to evoke his responsibility. In the course of these months, Anita lied to us both; and I could not very well blame him for what he didn’t know. But as the aphorism goes, it takes two to tango; and by accepting how his relationship began, Brian endorses and condones Anita’s outrageous behavior. He embraces his first night with her as having been malicious relationship “sabotage”. He subscribes her having dated him behind my back whilst she was still together with me. As such, Brian is retroactively responsible for knowingly alienating her affections from me and despoiling our relationship. It is he with her who destroyed something beautiful, and turned it into one of the worst things which has ever happened to me.


Addendum

Quoting Anita, so as to provide sufficient context as for our first substantive discussion of Brian on 2017-07-21 (boldface supplied):

I mentioned I made a friend whose mother speaks Dutch. He has invited me to the pool just now.

[...]

I have been trying to figure out whether and to what extent this person interests me at all. I am thinking not in a particularly profound way. But he is cute, and sort of refreshing in some ways, so I need to be aware of the fact that I continue responding to him and not keep that from you. I am not withholding any more than that. This is non-news. But I am paranoid about deceiving or betraying you.

[...]

And I wish for you not to worry. Paradoxically, that is why I even bring it up. I wish to understand the parameters of what is worrisome.

[...]

This person seems friend material. But he also does seem very grown up. He is a dad, and gainfully employed at skilled labor. Not an intellectual. But I like the things he says. Well, when I first met him, I expressly did not. But I asked him about those things, and understand better, now less dislike.

The reason I think that he provoked in me enough interest to bring him up is that I suspect of him a few attributes: that he does not get out much and is not some playboy, and yet is sufficiently guarded of his own privacy/burned by women/genuinely respectful enough to be a legitimate friend such could accommodate and withstand casual entanglement.

I was not actually aware that that sort of thing might be interesting to me.

Human nature and all that.