It’s Been A While…

I’m going to start by thanking everyone that participated in the Emma Meets World project.

Emma

Most of your goodies were stuffed into that box and mailed to her while Scribe was here, and she was thrilled to receive it. So thank you all for sending me the things you did and helping Emma learn a little more about the world around her.

I’ve been stuck on Cross Out Name and I’ve just been a shit about updating on a weekly basis. I have a few chapters banked, but I keep forgetting to upload them for you. Have no fear, I’ve added a new one so you can now get on with the next chapter. Hopefully my brain will unfuck itself and I can get back to work on it. I will finish that story, I promise! I’m changing the layout on my page so that all of the chapters will appear in the sidebar from now on since there are so many complaints about the drop down menu at the top. I’m going to work on adding previous and next links, but as I’ve said before, that’s a time consuming process. Seriously, it’s not that hard to just use the drop down. Also, if you’re reading from a mobile device, considering downloading the WP app. It’s super easy to use and very reader friendly.

Crossed Out Name: Chapter 15

Writing with Missy Dee has been very productive for us both. I’m super excited about teaming up with her. I still love writing with Scribe, but there’s a definite difference in the kinds of stories I can write with Missy as opposed to what I can write with Scribe. When I told Scribe about Play With Fire her first reaction was, “No.” I like that the stories Missy and I are talking about writing all have a taboo-ish edge to them and might make people cringe a little bit but they become almost guilty pleasure type stories without getting so far from reality that you can’t recognize the situations as being ones that could actually happen.

Which leads me to a little rant I need to expel from my system. I’m going to put the majority of this under a cut so that anyone not reading Play With Fire doesn’t have to read this or get spoiled with this post if they were planning to wait until it’s finished posting to read it. Check me out being all considerate and shit…

So my gripe today is about cheating. More to the point, the reaction we got to Aude finding out that Eric has been cheating on her for months. I find it interesting that the first place a lot of readers went was to assume that Aude has been cheating as well. There are plenty of reasons why she and Eric may not have had sex in the last year. Maybe she’s a typical woman and after having six kids, being over forty and having a husband that isn’t very attracted to her anymore has shut her down. What married woman wants to have sex with a man that’s basically just using her to get off, especially when way back in the day she knows he used to at least somewhat enjoy having sex with her?

Is it possible Aude could have something going on? Sure it is. Whether or not readers have assumed correctly will be revealed before the story’s end, but for the time being can we just focus on the fact that Eric said he would give up not just his wife, but his children to be with Sookie? That’s some pretty serious shit.

Maybe he wanted to get caught by not trying to hide it all that well. That’s entirely possible and I don’t think he and Aude going their separate ways is a bad thing. IMO, they needed to split up a long ass time ago but they didn’t because of the kids and because it was just easier to stay together. Had he not met Sookie, I have no doubt Eric would have stayed with Aude out of loyalty and a sense of duty to her and their kids.

I think this situation is a hard one to point fingers and at say, “This is all your fault.”

There’s a loveless marriage and Eric has never really felt the sort of things he feels when he’s with Sookie. She brings something out in him that he didn’t know was there. I think she makes him feel more alive and like his life doesn’t have to be so miserable. Those a pretty powerful emotions when you’re used to feeling so resigned to your life. With her I think he sees a way out of the misery he’s been living in.

Unfortunately, he fell in love with someone he’s supposed to have a business relationship with. And yes, Sookie’s feelings for Eric have shifted considerably since they first met but she’s not wrong when she says he doesn’t truly know her. He knows the woman he pays to keep him sexually excited. That’s very different from dealing with the woman who weeps at ASPCA commercials when she’s got PMS or getting caught up in her family drama. There is so much about her that he doesn’t know, and trust me, she’s got a whopper of a story to tell.

Ultimately, regardless of whether or not Aude has something to hide, Eric still fucked up. He cheated on his wife of twenty-three years with a prostitute. Not cool! If I was in Aude’s shoes I would be furious about it. We know that Eric is mostly being safe with Sookie and that she’s clean, but that isn’t the reputation most prostitutes have and Aude certainly doesn’t know about all of the testing Sookie undergoes to make sure she’s clean. I would flip the fuck out if my husband told me he’d been sneaking off to carry on an affair with another woman for six months and he was paying her to do it. And to make matters worse, he’s in love with the woman he’s having sex with.

Being good looking only gets you so far, and there’s no amount of charm that’s going to save him from this. I don’t think he should be let off the hook for it either. He screwed the pooch big time. He’s lucky his kids are older because if they were still little I doubt Aude would let him anywhere near them, and I wouldn’t blame her one bit for that. The court would take one look at the records Aude has of where he’s been going and throw the book at him. Clearly Eric’s judgment is questionable here on many levels.

Do I understand why he did what he did? Yes, I do. Does that excuse it? Hell fucking no. And if he didn’t think it was wrong he would have just told Aude what he was doing but he didn’t do that. He lied about where he was going every other weekend and he was spending their money on a mistress that was costing him thousands of dollars a visit. The worst part really is the emotional attachment he’s developed for Sookie. Just because getting a divorce is the right thing to do doesn’t mean it’s easy to just up and get one or they would have done it already.

I tend to think that in most situations where cheating happens, both the cheater and the person that cheated are at fault in some capacity. Make no mistake, I’m not saying that if a husband cheats on his wife any of her behavior makes her deserve it, but there was a reason the man cheated. Maybe he was bored or didn’t think his wife was interested anymore. Maybe he had a moment of stupidity that he would take back if he could. Maybe everything in the relationship has shut down and he went looking for what he needed with someone else. Or maybe the guy’s just an epic bag of dicks and cheats because he can get away with it. Whatever the reason, it always takes two and there’s a certain level of responsibility that belongs on both shoulders.

But then I’m the sort of person that looks at relationships that fall apart from the perspective of wanting to know what I could have done differently to avoid the situation I found myself in. What did I do to cause a situation to occur? What can I learn from this so it doesn’t happen again? Just saying that so and so did this and it’s all their fault won’t fix anything or help me learn anything. Just like, if I was in Aude’s situation, blaming everything on Sookie would be a waste. Yes, Sookie shares some of the responsibility for the dissolution of this marriage but it was over long before Eric met her. The interesting thing is that it seems like Sookie is the only one that ends up feeling any sort of guilt over what happened, but we’ll get into that in the coming chapters.

Finally, I would just like to say that it’s okay to think Eric is a dick for what he’s done here. Yes, feel badly for him that Sookie rejected him but he still cheated on his wife. He did a shit job of hiding it and I don’t think his expectations were realistic. Did he really think Sookie was going to give up her job, move to Utah and… what? Was he thinking they’d just get married and live happily ever after? No. Eric needs to deal with the consequences and the fallout from what he’s done and he really has no one to blame for any of this shit but himself.

/end rant

16 thoughts on “It’s Been A While…

  1. “Epic bag of dicks” FOR THE WIN!

    My only gripe is that I’m not getting any new post updates from Dirty Lemons or Brainmates. The fuck is that about?

    See? I edit it down when I’m really pissed.

    I followed both, but no new updates at all. Maybe I have to go back and type my email address too?

    *stupid redundant wordpress*

    • I think you have to click the button on the sidebar in order to get updates. Just following the blog up at the top won’t get you emailed updates. It’s weird, but yeah… I think that’s your issue.

      Damn you, wordpress!

      How dare you confuse my techtarded wife?!

    • This has happened to me twice, when I accidentally unfollowed you kjwrit & also Missy Dee cos the following/unfollowing button is far too easy to press by accident if you’re rubbish like me & read on a tablet & have fat fingers. When I refollowed you I got no alerts; you have to go into Edit Blogs I Follow & edit the settings to get instant post.

  2. My parents divorced after 30 years of marriage. My Dad said he just didn’t love her anymore. I told him that I could totally understand that. My mother was very domineering. i told him just don’t let it be for another woman. Well it turns out it was. Looking back it was so much easier to blame the other woman and my Dad for not giving a shit. My mother never took that real hard look at herself to see what made him wander. I understood it. Mom was bossy and didn’t like to do the same things he did. She turned her nose up at going out and having a few drinks or just letting your hair down. She was a teetotaler and scorned you for drinking and having a good time. I was a frequent recipient of said scorn.
    Now that I have been married for 30 years I don’t know what to think. The kids are grown. One still lives at home. My husband works away from home and is gone for 4-5 days a week. He chose to work like this instead of moving us around with him. Now he is fussing about it. I have very little patience for him temper-tantrums. He chose this life, he only has about 4 more years to retire. He needs to suck it up. I find that we really don’t have that much in common anymore or never really did. I guess I am just old and tired and really don’t want to put up with much these days. Just let me do my thing and leave me alone.
    Anyways my point to all of it is I can see how Aude and Eric got to where they are. Its easily done. Aude needs to take blame as much as Eric. Eric is really being a twat if he wants to give up his kids for Sookie. If he is like my Dad though, Dad always thought that we should side with Mom anyway. She is the one that stayed with us and really raised us. I always thought that was kinda weird because I generally liked and got along with my Dad more that my Mother. Regardless of the reasons it still hurts when your Dad pushes you away.
    I like the story and can’t wait to see where you take this.
    Happy writing. B

  3. “Epic Bag of Dicks!” *steals* mwahahaha

    eh, life is fucked up…people are fucked up…things are rarely clean and there’s always many angles to a situation…understand? yes. condone? no.

  4. Great commentary, Meg! I agree with you. I wasn’t condoning Eric’s behavior at all. Adultery is appalling in any form, and a sin. My suggestion of Aude possibly being a cheater came about because she hadn’t expressed any issue with Eric being gone at these regular intervals. I was wondering if we were going to have the irony of Eric telling her about the cheating only to have Aude tell him she wanted a divorce to marry someone else first! I come from a family of 6 children with parents who should have divorced when we WERE children instead of “staying together for the kids.” Both were serial cheaters, drunks, & miserable. You can only imagine what this does to your children’s POV on relationships & marriages. Talk about a skewed vision. Divorces, abusive relationships, LTRs without marriage, remarriages, addictions, etc. abounding. If you’re not getting what you want out of your relationship or marriage, and you cannot communicate with your partner, get out of it before you spend a lifetime hurting too many others. No one should be so unhappy in their life, and children deserve happy parents – whether they are together or separate.

    “Epic bag of dicks!” Classic! I think I’m going to have to borrow that one!

  5. While I completely and totally agree with you in regards to cheating and Eric being a douchebag because of it (I am extremely anti-cheating. I’m a 1 strike you’re out kinda gal), I do feel I need to defend some of the reactions.

    This is a Sookie and Eric story, yes? I’m gonna take a stab in the dark here and say your readership are here because we LOVE this pairing and love seeing these two together. (And spoiler sentence following *********** Thanks to the f***ery that CH has done with her last book, we’re all particularly rabid and protection of our fave couple). We don’t particularly care HOW they are / get together, just so long as they DO get together. I know I’m not speaking for everyone when I say this but I’d say a bunch will agree, we will forgive pretty much anything from either of them because we love them together so much.

    A perfect example of this is the TV show Frasier. For the majority of the show Niles was married to TWO women and when he was single didn’t bother making a move on Daphne. However, because he was in love with her we forgave him for the fact he was essentially emotionally cheating on his wife / wives. (Heck, he married the second one in a knee jerk reaction to Daphne getting engaged / married and not because he loved Mel). What he was doing was pretty despicable but we forgave him because everyone wanted them together. The same can be said for Eric and Sookie.

    So while Eric might be cheating on his wife, while he may be letting her and his kids down, we don’t care coz she’s not Sookie. Sure we get caught up in the HOW they get together and are along for the angsty ridden ride but that’s what makes them getting together all the more sweet. It also helps that you’ve kind of written Aude as a frigid witch. That may not at all be how she actually is but the impression I’ve been getting so far is that she’s caught up being a mum and forgotten how to be a wife. That’s a trap many couples fall into. Yes it’s easy for us to say, “Oh my god. She’s married to Eric!! How on earth does she make herself not jump him every three seconds? No wonder they have 6 children!!!!, but he’s not a famous viking vampire that millions of women spend countless hours pondering the order in which to lick his abs. She’s a woman who has been married for many many moons and has a squillion children. Don’t matter though: she’s not Sookie.

    I actually have a hard time morally reading this fic because as I said I am extremely anti-cheating, as well as anti Prostitution but it’s Eric and Sookie so I’m along for the ride.

    Thank you ladies again for your fics. Now that the SVM journey is over, fan fiction is the only place we’re gonna get our HEA for our beloved couple. Keep up the good work and I look forward to many more fics!

    • I agree with a lot of what missron80 said. If E/S are your OTP there is a tendency to not be critical enough of their behaviour & even their characters (Missy Dee’s Something New springs to mind here). We essentially want them together so we forgive them stuff that we would be appalled about in RL. And we have built in sympathy for them in situations cos we already love them. I for one hate all the angsty stuff but I know it’s necessary for an interesting story & for the characters to grow & develop (ahem CH) and I hope that my investment in them will lead to the ending I hope for (or at least one that makes sense lol), so perhaps I’m not critical enough along the way.
      I also think readers have latched onto Aude’s possible indiscretions & lack of interest in where Eric is in earlier chapters. Both you & Missy replied to a comment on ch 4 in a way which could’ve implied that a reader was correct in thinking Aude & Arlene were up to something (tho there were 3 different speculations in that comment & your replies could’ve related to a different one) & again people grab these crumbs. We want him to not be a total shit or at least not be the only shit. However the most worrying tendency is some people’s need to blame anyone but Eric even when he is clearly in the wrong, which usually means blaming a woman, often Sookie herself.
      I think ultimately we need to be more critical, but we love these guys & you have made them pretty likeable in this story. At least you make some of us think sometimes!! Thanks as always.

  6. I guess I am in the group you were talking about who feels Aude is up to something too. It is possible that she isn’t, maybe she was just avoiding him because she did not like confrontation or she was too upset to talk yet. I am just confused as to her attitude towards her kids. When my last relationship blew up, I wanted to spend more time with my daughter rather than less. So, I guess I Don’t get her. As for condoning cheating, I don’t. I would never stay with someone who cheated and I expected no less from Aude. Eric using the household credit cards makes me think that deep down he wanted to get caught and have a reason for the marriage to blow up. Either way, this is Eric’s deal. It is all on him. He cheated on his wife and spent precious time away from his family doing it. Now for the elephant in the room: Prostitution. I have a problem with it. All of it. Even in a good clean situation, like Sookie has with Pam, you are exchanging a intimate personal service for $$. Many of your customers are married and are cheating on their wives. You are breaking up families by ‘just doing your job.’ Sookie did not intend on breaking up Eric’s family when this started out but she did. I identify strongly with Sookie in almost all of her many fabrications characterizations. So, like another reader wrote, I will support her and root for her to be happy and with Eric no matter what. I thought her reactions to Eric in the last few chapters were right on. She is figuring out that she loves him and does not want to take him away from his kids. She is very independent and is used to looking out for herself. Being in a relationship with Eric would mean big changes and letting someone know the real woman. She would have to let her guard down and it does not sound like she has done that with anybody for a really long time…

  7. I completely agree with you Meg. Yes, the cheating part of this story is the hardest bit for me to ignore. Eric and Aude should have gone their own ways a long time ago, but they chose not to. If you ask my ex, I chose to go the easy way and seperate early. I looked at it as getting out of a bad situation, cos I didn’t want my daughter growing up seeing her parents in a bad relationship, and I had tried to make it work, but had to face the fact that things weren’t going to change.
    This is not an easy decision, and I don’t judge people for not being able to make it. However, while I understand why cheating occurs, I also agree that doesn’t make it right. If it has to got that level, either stay in an unhappy relationship or get the hell out. So yeah, Eric did screw up big. And he shouldn’t have an easy fix. But he is Eric, and I want a HEA for my fave twosome so…. I’ll forgive him 🙂
    Thanks for your rant Meg!

  8. Oh and thankyou for your awesome work putting a story index on the side….. If I could do gifs, I’d find one that would represent me bowing down to your magnificence!

  9. Yeah, I found it kind of amusing that everyone jumped at the idea that Aude was the first to stray. I’m not particularly interested in reading about an Eric that is a saint (particularly a vampire Eric, but that’s another story). I think the Eric in this story has gotten a particularly easy ride so far – his kids (or at least his eldest) seem understanding, Aude hasn’t taken him to the cleaners or tried to deny him access (which actually surprises me a bit – good thing she didn’t see those nude pictures of Sookie), in short people are being civilized decent human beings. Which, sometimes, they are in a divorce, thank heavens. I’m enjoying both your co-productions. Thanks!

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