Meg Cantwell forgives me

“You are being mean to me and I have done nothing to deserve it. I forgive you because I know things are shitty but I can only interact with you if we mutually respect each other.”

That was Meg Cantwell’s response to “What’s his name?”. It was the first time I had accused her of seeing someone else. 

She forgives me.

His name is Colton. Meg had dated him for four years before me. She told me their relationship was over then continued to date him for the entirety of our nominally monogamous relationship. When she told me she was working late, she was talking to him on the phone. When she yelled at me, seemingly out of the blue, it was because they had gotten into a fight. When I asked for support, and she seemed distant, she was screenshotting our conversations and sending them to him to complain about. When our relationship started, and I was setting boundaries with friends I had a prior sexual relationship with, she was telling him she loved him and missed him, kissy faces and all.

We dated for a year. We were talking about starting a family. I have a 30 year mortgage on the condo we lived in together.

Every time I raised suspicions or asked questions, she responded with deflection, denial, or anger. She did the same to him. She would talk about me to him constantly and get angry at him whenever he suspected she was dating me. She stopped talking about him to me, I believe, because every time she did I would tell her it was unethical to conceal our relationship from him.

“I’m not going to sit here while you make accusations like that.”* was her next denial, a week later and in person. I had accused her directly this time. She had grabbed her phone, and as she would later admit, was on her way to delete the records from it that would prove what I accused her of. I told her that if she did not unlock her phone and hand it to me right then I would never speak to her again. She did.

I had been up for 40 hours at that point. My world was falling apart around me and I couldn’t sleep. I’d taken all the PTO I had remaining which was about two weeks. I’m now on FMLA leave and don’t know when I’ll be able to return to work. When she handed me her phone I had a hard time understanding what was going on. I took her at her word when she “came clean”. 

Her story was that my depression and alcohol use had caused the relationship to fail a few months in, and that’s when she started talking to Colton once a week or so online and seeing him in person every few weeks. This was a lie, but I believed it, and I blamed myself. She said she would tell Colton the truth, then the next day told me she had and that they were no longer speaking.

We tried again. And they tried again. Telling each of us, again, that she was not speaking to the other. She tore away the denial I was clinging to by telling me she had a nightmare about Colton dating someone else, then adding “which is weird, because I haven’t been talking to him”*. Now on more sleep, I (with permission) looked at her phone again. She did not start talking to him a few months in, she had been talking to him for hours every single day, from the very beginning.

To put this behind us and move on, I have asked for three things.

  1. Tell me the truth.
  2. Tell the truth to Colton and any other men she is romantically involved with.
  3. If she lied about me to someone I might encounter, tell them the truth.

She has agreed to tell me the truth many times. Each new truth explaining only the lies I had discovered since the last and nothing more.

She has agreed to tell Colton the truth. She told me she did. She did not. When I said I would send him a facebook message letting him know that she and I had been in a relationship, she convinced him that I might go to his house to assault him as a pretense for getting him to block me. She did that over the phone five minutes after telling me “He specifically does not want to be contacted by me [Meg].” He still does not know what happened and I do not know how to change that. I tried to send him a letter that I don’t think he has read.

Instead of showing remorse and taking responsibility for her actions, she has been proactively spreading lies about me to make it harder for me to share the truth. When I asked her if she wanted to review this document for factual accuracy before I released it, she threatened to sue me. Her story, as I understand it, is that she occasionally talked to her ex who she had a platonic relationship with, and when I found out I became furiously jealous. It was not platonic, they were involved physically and planning a future together. I’m not jealous, I am sad, anxious, and confused. I don’t know how to make sense of this.

I have tried to get her to do the right thing using less drastic measures than publishing a document like this, but none of them worked. I’ve reached out to her, to mutual friends, and to her friends. I’m not comfortable letting this go unaddressed knowing the names and faces of the people she is doing this to now and next. This is not a hypothetical future harm, it is an ongoing one. I understand she is trying to protect herself by spreading her version of this story, but her story doesn’t line up with what I experienced or the evidence I have.

If you have any factual disputes, questions, information I’m missing, criticisms, suggestions etc please reach out to me over facebook messenger or email. 

* paraphrased

(posted 10/17/2022)