The woman who tried to steal Marvin

Somewhere or other I mentioned this woman awhile back and people have asked about her since. I know I’ve told this story before but obviously everyone hasn’t heard it, so here it is.

Marvin is my ex-husband and the person who suggested I start blogging in 2006. I am certain he is chagrined that I’m still doing it. In any event, I’d known Marvin in college, we dated three terrible months (I was an anxious attacher and he was a love avoidant at the time. Seeing as I didn’t know about this dynamic I just felt constantly nervous about if he’d call and he rarely did and that sums up those three months. I remember calling him on my birthday just so I wouldn’t spend my birthday worrying if he’d call).

Ten years later, Marvin lived in Los Angeles and I lived in Seattle. We’d stayed in touch, sporadically, and I always liked him. I invited him for a visit on the spur of the moment because you know how I’m not impulsive or anything. He immediately said yes and visited a few weeks later and the rest is history but then again so is the holocaust.

The visit went well and we got married. I mean, not that weekend but I’m trying to move the story along.

Fortunately, by that point Marvin was more of a secure attacher and as an anxious attacher dating a secure attacher I said, “Wow, this feels so different. I don’t have to feel terrible and wonder if he’ll show up or disappear or what have you.” So then I became a secure attacher and all was well.

In my studying about attachment theory they say the cure for anxious attachment is to find you a secure attacher and I can say it really does work. Then we got divorced and I stampeded for another love avoidant and follow me for more healthy choices.

I trusted Marvin. I never looked through his desk or computer history (we didn’t have phones to look through but I wouldn’t have looked through that either) or any of the old tricks I’d normally pull as an anxious person in a relationship.

Ten years into the marriage and four years into blogging, this woman started leaving comments on my blog. As was the custom back then, she also had a blog. She was hilarious and really smart. I think she had a PhD, if memory serves. This was back when maybe four people would leave a comment all day, and I’d end up emailing back and forth with those commentors. So we really got to know each other.

I have since figured out I choose two kinds of friends: the charismatic unreliable and the old faithful. I am always, always drawn to smart, funny, charismatic women (and men) who inevitably let me down. For example, one friend in LA, who wrote screenplays for a living and left you ON THE FLOOR with his hilarity, said no to my wedding invitation because, “I thought about your wedding and said to myself, ‘Am I really gonna have fun?'” So he didn’t go.

I always want those people as friends and they always fail me. I end up staying friends with people who are quieter and more sensible than me. My friend Sandy. Dottie. The Other Copy Editor. You see the trend.

The point is, this woman was 100% a charismatic unreliable, and oh, I was enamored with her. She lived in New York, which seemed so glamorous to me. We got on the phone and MapQuested each other’s addresses, or maybe it was Google Maps by then, who knows. The point is, we could see each other’s dwellings and it seemed super cool and futuristic and she couldn’t believe I didn’t have a sidewalk.

She was unlucky in love, and I gave her advice, the sage advice of a married woman.

I can’t remember how she and Marvin started playing Scrabble online and maybe it wasn’t even Scrabble but it was some game. I must have set it up, and there you go. Then he’d be telling me her latest woe and we were both friends with this funny, smart person in New York.

As I said, I trusted Marvin, maybe too much. We once met this young, pretty woman we liked at the dog park and they both wanted to see some band play and I said, “Why don’t you go together?” and they did and in retrospect I think I was kind of setting him up to fail a bit.

Anyway, over MLK weekend, the New York woman sent us cookies with a funny card, and I wrote her to thank her and she didn’t write back. We talked all the time so that was odd.

I wrote her again and? Nothing.

After a week I really started to worry. What had I done? Was she OK?

And I can’t remember all the ins and outs now, so to speak, but I know in my worrying I found her secret blog she had or something. I don’t think I found this in her regular blog. Anyway, it was a whole post written over MLK weekend about how “the affair had been memorable” but she’d decided to end it without another word.

I mean.

It couldn’t have been an affair affair, as we were hundreds of miles apart.

“Did you have a cyber affair with Charismatic Unreliable?” I asked Marvin.

“What? No!”

It was the first time I’d ever had any sort of anxiety like that the whole time I was married. I didn’t believe anything had happened at all, but then I feared something did, and now 12 years later I don’t know what to think.

I mean, Marvin left one year later, almost exactly. So maybe he needed someone to talk to, and she was lonely, so maybe they got close and she got excited about it and Marvin didn’t see it the way she saw it.

Anyway, it’s water under the bridge and I never talked to that woman again but that’s the story of how Marvin was almost stolen by Scrabble. How many points for the word harlot?

Love,
Charismatic unreliable June

47 Comments

  1. Holy cow! I did not remember this story. I’ve been around here awhile but only lurked in the early years. I’m not sure I would have known what to do with all THAT way back then!
    Also, it occurred to me as I read that those cookies were not really for YOU. They were for MARVIN! So when YOU sent the thank you note, she freaked.
    What a story!!

    Like

  2. Wow! I had never heard this story either. I found the attachment theory stuff interesting. You’ve blogged about it before I think, but it just hit me today that I think I may be an AA and my husband is a SA. I dated almost all love avoidants before him I think. With him, I’ve never been compelled to snoop or worry. We’ve actually spent a good bit of time apart over the years due to his work, and I’ve never even considered that he might cheat. Even early on, I completely trusted him and I never knew why. Maybe the attachment theory explains it!

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  3. I grew up with a friend like that – she found a way to appropriate everything that started out as mine. She secretly started talking to, and then stealing away, my first boyfriend.
    Every time I made a new best friend, she made sure to come along and bust us apart and then miraculously end up with them as her new best friend.
    Finally, she got me to “lend” her a large amount of money to help her out of a huge personal jam.
    One day, I finally had enough and put a complete end to our interactions. Through my life I have found that there really are two types of people, givers and takers. Although I also agree that there is a subset group of women who embrace, as a mission, the taking everything their female friend has.

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  4. I would trust Matt with most things but sexy online Scrabble crosses a line.

    Actually had something similar happen when Matt was training to be a physiotherapist. Aged late twenties, not a classic uni life. The course is about 90% women so he obviously made lots of female friends. He’d go over to one friend’s house since she lived right behind the university. He helped her pack up when she was going to move. They’d mostly hang out in a group. She ended up at our house confronting me about giving him the space to “follow his heart”. She said they’d never kissed/had intimate contact but was surprised I was aware of how often he’d visit her. I ended up consoling her? It was a strange afternoon.

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  5. Thank you for this story. I’m so happy you had trustworthy Marvin in your life. This story touches a nerve as I had an untrustworthy ex and even after many years, counseling and finally having a trustworthy partner, I’m still dealing with the emotions and the damage to my self-esteem. The biggest thing that haunts me is that there were several women over the years, but only ONCE did a woman have the decency to say “No way, you’re married!” Don’t get me wrong, I know the blame is with my ex (and that’s why I adore Marvin for being so trustworthy). However, if a married man was hitting on me, I would find that repulsive and I could never do that to myself or another woman. I could never reach out to Marvin in a Scrabble game and think we had something going when I know he’s married. So my question to you is whether this experience changed your perspective on other women, friendships, etc.? Was your trust affected, not towards Marvin but other women? Are you more guarded now?

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    1. Not at all. In my opinion, this was an isolated incident and I rarely think women are trying to hit on my men. I did know one coworker/friend was trying to hit on Ned, but that is because she very blatantly hit on Ned. To be fair, she waited till we broke up, but our breakup wasn’t as breaky as she thought. So when she gave him her card and asked him to call her, he pretty much came home and showed me her card and said, “Your friend wants me to call her.”

      My point is, no. Whereas sometimes you find out people are sort of lacking in morals, I generally don’t think women are trying to steal my men.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. Your feelings reflect mine for the most part, but it took me a lot of counseling to get there. I feel fortunate to have many female friends that I trust completely.

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  6. Wow. This was a story either I was unaware of, or had forgotten. Thanks for sharing because I was curious. But I’m also so aware that you don’t owe us everything, like you said in this blog several days ago. (I’m also sorry for anything you’ve felt pressured into revealing when you didn’t.)

    This attachment theory stuff…I should look more into it.

    ALSO. I had a charismatic unreliable “friend” to this day I miss desperately. It can be so difficult to let that go, darn it. But it really isn’t missing much. What your friend said regarding your wedding is so self-centered and just icky.

    I’m rambling.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love the way you move the story right along, lol. Marvin thought they were just playing Scrabble. New Yorker thought he was devoted to her, as home wreckers usually do. It’s so wonderful that you really really trusted Marvin. I’m being really honest here, there’s only a few men that can be trusted. I’m glad you had one in your life.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ugh. Gross. Women that prey on the men who belong to other women are just the grossest. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.

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    1. I was an anxious commenter to begin with, but June is so nice that I became a secure commenter. Either that or the wine helped.

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  9. Have been waiting for this sorry since you mentioned it and it was worth the wait! A charismatic woman from the big city! Discovery of a secret blog! Sweet, sweet scrabble!

    Thank goodness Marvin resisted.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Wow. I’d like to think she thought it was more than Marvin did, men can be pretty oblivious. That said, I can totally see where that would raise red flags for you. I would be livid!

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  11. Gosh, I never remember this event at all! Doesn’t mean you never shared it, but I thought I had read all your posts. Maybe you shared it on the FB before I joined.
    Tee

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I was an anxious attacher in my last relationship and he was a narcissistic, abusive asshole. He wasn’t my first narcissistic abusive asshole. That is why my dad told me my picker was broke.

    Liked by 2 people

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