Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Lately, I’ve been blogging some especially depressing stuff. (Traci, I was considered writing “whatnot,” and then I stopped myself.) I’m getting lots of Internet hugs and well wishes and atta girls, and when I say they mean the world to me, I’m not exaggerating. I wrote something and you responded. Thank you. But it’s probably time that I lift the mood a little, dontcha think?

So I’m going to tell you how it came to be that I’m dating Jim.

I phrase my reply exactly the same every time someone asks how we got together—“My husband left me for another woman, and I am dating her ex-husband.” Then I see a perplexed face followed by a processing look, then comprehension and a smile or a laugh and very often a way-to-go. “That’s it!” I’ll be told, “That’s the best revenge!” And I’m grateful for the exuberance, but this was never about revenge.

From the time I learned out about his extramarital dalliance, Mark made clear that if our marriage was going to have any chance, I had to stop all communication with Jim. Don’t respond to emails! Block his phone number! Skirt him at church! Jim was poison; he was going to put things in my head about the affair that weren’t true.

If you ask Jim about that time, he’ll tell you that he was angry with me for cutting contact. For him, salvaging his marriage meant rallying and sharing information. For me it was doing what my husband wanted, and my wayward spouse was paranoid that any sliver of information about him that I might accidentally spill to Jim would be used to somehow destroy him.

Once our divorce suit was filed and I knew the Ellikers were in the same place, I reached out to Jim. My partner at work has been divorced for 14 years, has two kids, and is Mormon. She hasn’t remarried, and that makes her unique, for within the Mormon culture there tends to be a rush to wed once a divorce is done. As she discovered the details of what was going on with our marriages, she told me, “I would love to help Jim and his kids if I could.” So I emailed Jim her contact information.

To tell the truth, I planned to marry them off. Happily Ever After. The End. But those two, um, weren’t a good fit. (I, however, am a terrific fit. Just ask. He’ll confirm. At least he better . . . )

But she did give advice and insight, and he was grateful. That’s something I admire about Jim—he is never too proud to ask for help and accepts assistance graciously.

In November I let Mark watch the dog while I went to New York with Amber and Jessica. See, back then I thought that we could have some kind of amicable split. When he came over to return my Soph, I mentioned something about Jim. I think I said that he offered to cut me a Christmas tree.

“Wait, you are in contact with him?” Mark was alarmed.

“Yeah, he’s my friend.”

“He only wants to harm me.”

“I understand that desire. And I can’t fault him for it. Did you or did you not sleep with his wife?

“Don’t talk to him.”

“I need a friend.”

“Find a different one.”

“I want this one. He understands what I’m going through.” I opened the door so Mark would go, “And you and I are getting a divorce.”

On the very date that my divorce was absolute, I felt comfortable texting Jim and asking if I could take him to lunch. Why wait until the divorce was final? Because I was scared that anything I might do that would piss Mark off would lead him to try to change the divorce arrangements and find a way to screw me further. But it was complete, so I felt free to do as I wished. And what I wished was to heal and help heal. 

While I was certainly a victim of someone else’s shitty choices, it took me months to see that I wasn’t the main casualty. It was Jim’s four kids. I was especially concerned about his 11-year-old daughter since I’m pretty sure that that age is one of the worst possible times a girl’s parent can go batshit crazy and dissolve her secure environment. So I asked Jim out specifically to inquire after that kid.

Once we were at lunch though, my motives expanded. I’d been needing to find someone to make out with, and sitting across from Jim at a booth in Granite Street Eatery, I decided it would be him. In our beginning, I wasn’t looking for a relationship; I just wanted to get some. 

There were barriers though. He thought of me as a little sister. Or rather, he thought, “If she were my sister, I’d want someone to be kind to her, so that’s what I’ll do.”

Friends had set him up with some other lady that he was starting to like more than I was comfortable with. So as I got closer with Jim and his family—going to his house to do origami, helping wrap Christmas presents—I maneuvered her out of my way. I encouraged him to look for red flags. And then I magnified them. Nimbly, I relegated the woman from potential girlfriend to casual pal. 

Then I steered him my way. While bashing our genius exes one night I commented how moronic Mark was to go for such an older woman. “That’s not how it should go,” I said. “But it’s different when the man is much older. That’s totally acceptable.”

Jim sees this as the turning point, as the waaait-a-minute moment when he realized that despite being 16 years his junior, this little thing in front of him was a prospect.

Guys, I got married when cell phones were scarce, so I had never experienced the charge of initial flirtation via text. Holy smokes, it’s sensational! Constant contact. You can reread what your quarry wrote. The butterflies that rushed me whenever Jim Elliker showed up on my screen can’t be overstated. He was—and still is—a constant heart thrill.

When I went to Utah to visit for Christmas I tried not to be too obvious about it, but it was “Jim this and Jim that” so much that The Family started to see that our association wasn’t just friends helping each other through a rough time; it was Megan getting smitten.

So one night in my parent’s family room, while I was obviously texting with Jim, my mom said, “Hey, invite Jim to your graduation. I wanna meet him.” Graduation was in two weeks. It was in Massachusetts. I asked him right then. Within minutes, he had a plane ticket.

It was on.

It took months for us both to have any confidence that what we are doing is a good idea. Our hearts had just been beat to shit, so how could we know if the way we felt was legitimate? Time and patience and trying to scare the hell out of one another with brutal honesty to see who blinks first helped us get to a place where we’re both secure. He makes me happier than I ever thought another person could. And, guys, our first kiss happened like in a movie. It was at the airport. There were snow flurries. I was wearing awesome boots. I called out to him at passenger pick up. He walked across the road, didn’t stop to speak, grabbed me, and kissed me until I was weak in the knees. Trust me, this is a very good idea.


In case you were wondering, yes, I do like it when people come up to me and say, “I read your blog, and . . . ” I like to know you’re there. It’s not stalking. You don’t have to apologize when you tell me you read a post. My blog ain’t private. It’s here for public consumption. Yeah, there’s some seriously personal shit on here, and I can understand if reading it makes you feel a little awkward—hey, I often feel awkward posting it—but I love writing reality, and this reality is what we’ve got for now.

No need to be bashful when you approach; I like you already. (Unless your feedback is unfavorable, in which case, I don’t mind at all if you stay anonymous.)


Wildflower said...

I'm glad you love writing reality, and you write it so well. Thanks for sharing.

Megan said...

Thank you so much. I do try!

Annie said...

So now I feel like you've given me permission to tell you that I stalk your blog. I found it through a Facebook comment by my cousin, Kelsey. My own "wasband" left our two daughters and me for a manly woman in January of 2012. It has been so, so, so therapeutic to hear about your experience and I've been silently cheering for you from the east coast. You are an amazing writer and I always look forward to your posts!


Wildflower said...


I heard this song =
on the radio on my way home from water aerobics this evening and immediately thought of your blog post I read earlier today. It seems now that my comment is somewhat inadequate. You speak truth, and life, so purely. Thank you for using your words to inspire, and may you continue to "Speak Life."

Señora H-B said...

This post makes me happy to my core. I'm so glad that you are finding happiness with such an unexpected person (especially because the revenge symmetry is kind of awesome).

Hillary said...

I don't know you at all, but wow, do I ever love your blog! I love your unvarnished take on reality, but quiet optimism. I love your swear words (seriously, we Mormons need to use them more). And I love that you're willing to share deep, personal thoughts that other people are probably experiencing and thinking, but few have the courage to make public.

You remind me of a Nora Ephron quote I read the other day--something along the lines of being the heroine of your own life, not the victim. It sure seems like you're the heroine of this story (when you could have so easily let yourself be a victim and nothing else)! Best wishes.

Jim Elliker said...

10 things I love about Megan:
1) SMART! -Not just book smart either, she knows what the hell is going on around her. Thanks Wait Wait... Don’t tell me.
2) She is GOOD at EVERYTHING- Need a present wrapped, airline reservation made on the correct date, advice on what glasses look best or a wedding officiated. She is your girl.
3) CREATIVE- Yea, if you think she can only write you would be dead wrong. Don’t believe me? Just go to Amazon and type her name. You will instantly know what I am talking about. Do yourself a favor and buy some art.
4) FUNNY! -She has great timing and when she laughs it comes from down deep, slaps her hands and collapses to the floor. It is adorable and she doesn’t pee her pants, which is also great. Who announces that anyway?
5) COMPASIONITE and KIND – She is always looking how to help out and fix things. She is always talking about her friends, yoga community and her family. She really loves all of you so much.
6) FAMILY – She is all about family all the time. She makes her own family a priority and she respects me when I make my family a priority. For me there is nothing more attractive than putting family 1st.
7) TEAMMATE – She is the one you want on your side. You know where she stands and she will not let you down.
8) DEPENDABLE – She follows through on stuff. She thinks ahead and makes things easy.
9) CUTE – Not in just a next door neighbor way either, (unless you are her neighbor) but cute in a way that melts my heart. The ways she dances, the way she surprises me with gifts, the way she looks when she goes to work in a pencil skirt, I love to see her excited to go to yoga and also how exhausted she is when she is done with yoga. She is ripped, her arms…. Oh those arms.
10) ACCOMPLISHED – She can thaw pipes when they freeze in her house, she can sell the hell out of drugs; mow a lawn with a push mower. (I am not talking about one that isn’t self propelled I am talking about one that has nothing but blades and wheels. Like the one The Beaver used to mow lawns in the 50’s.) She has a so many things she has accomplished like school, deans list, great pharma job, yoga, writing and the list cold go on and on.

I love you Sweetie. Thanks for inviting me to lunch that day. : >)

Megan said...
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Megan said...

Annie, you've always got the go ahead to speak up. Thanks for doing so. It's lovely to meet you. I remember Kelsey telling me about a close friend of hers that was going though something similar and that she intended to forward her my blog. That musta been you. I'm so glad she did. It's nice to know we aren't the only ones in hell, isn't it. Not that we wish it on anyone else ('cept the cheating bastards and their skankbags), but I'm increasingly appreciating the value of solidarity. I'm glad you can get it through my posts. Don't be a stranger, now. You're out!

Megan said...

I'm so grateful for your happiness for me, SHB. Thank you! And you're right, the symmetry here is like very pointed sacred geometry with bite. Pow! (Glad to hear from you again, btw.)

Megan said...
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