Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
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Wednesday
Nov222006

How Do You Like Me Now?

Here is what I did. I had coffee with my ex and did not tell The Surge about it. Of course, I planned on telling him. Just not while I was in Utah, not over the phone. I didn't want to make a big deal about it. Maybe because I know he is sensitive about this particular issue. Maybe I felt guilty. I don't know. Once home, I stayed up late writing the last blog. He went to bed. I got up early for a job interview and was gone before he woke up. Needless to say, I returned home to a very angry husband.
"It's not that you went for coffee with him. It's that you didn't tell me. And I found out about it by reading your fucking blog! You would freak if I did the same thing to you!"
"Bullshit! I told you to have coffee with your ex so you could tell her we got married. I hadn't seen him since before we got married. So I had coffee with him."
"You're missing the point. Fuck the coffee! It's that you didn't tell me!"

He's right, of course. I just didn't want to get into it, I guess. I don't really know. Have you ever had coffee, drinks, lunch with an ex? Email? Instant message? Did you tell your spouse? Should you tell your spouse? Must we shun our past because we not longer consider those people our future? Some people don't fit into the present puzzle that is my life, but they're still worth keeping in touch with. What if there are no romantic, flirty intentions? Why bother a spouse with a non-issue? Is honesty always the best policy? Must we tell each other EVERYTHING? Does not telling imply that I am up to no good? I know women who flirt their asses off when their fella ain't around. I never do that. I have never even glimpsed the shipwreck of inappropriate behavior from my vantage point here on deck of S.S. Married Life. I know married women that hit all the Manhattan hot spots for drinks and dancing, sometimes several nights a week. With their girls. Where can you find me? Walking my dog or writing on this fucking thing.
"We don't do anything. All we do is eat dinner and watch TV."
"Yeah? So? Isn't that what people do? What do people do?" Now I've got to add that to my list of anxiety inducing situations? Pay bills, get job, do stuff. What stuff? Now I'm Entertainment Director of S.S. Married Life?

Marriage is a neverending negotiation, a constant collision of personalities. Aside from that, even if you love your betrothed beyond all reason, they're still there monitoring you. Oh, it may be subtle but it's always there. The raised eyebrows when you pour yourself that third glass of wine. The 'are you STILL sleeping?' Is that your third bowl of cereal?? The unwavering support despite your faults one minute; the lash out and use of your admitted faults against you the next. Is this how it is?

"Why don't you post how it really went down? Not some sugar-coated version of you discovering yourself. See if they still like you then." He said.

There you go.

Reader Comments (30)

marriage sucks ...



sometimes.
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjellybeans
When i first started working at my job my ex was on the same shift that i was training. my car was in the shop that week so he drove me home, twice. i told my boyfriend about it. i didn't tell him about how we talked in the car for an hour both times. and my ex didn't tell his girlfriend which made the whole thing seem worse.

i always told myself that we don't tell the whole story when we think we'll get int trouble for what we did. but i didn't tell aiden about the long talks because i didn't want to hurt him over something he couldn't possibly understand. he doesn't have to.

i don't know where the line is, but i don't think that was it. and the only thing where i side with The Surge is, is that if you air the laundry on the web, you need to make sure that parties who read it, don't find out from the internet first.

hope that didn't sound preachy, hope things have been smoothed over, and i hope you know that we all love you no matter what you do :)
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte
Yes, of course I've had contact with my exes. And it either goes like this: Honey! I have to tell you this! Are you listening? I got an email from so and so today.

Or it's offhand: By the way...I spoke to so and so today.

It's not a big deal, but I try to walk the line between honesty and casualness. And I kind of suck at that, so I probably come across as an idiot. But I'm the idiot he married. Also, I am friends with a lot of my exes, especially the ones I had, shall we say, more casual relationships with. So I was very clear in the beginning that this was all nothing to anyone now. My husband is deeply cool about all my craziness.

I can see myself writing about it and not telling him first, but I can also see myself telling him in my ! voice so he wouldn't read about it without knowing about it.

And, yes, there is always that eye...Aren't you going to bed yet? You stay up too late. (I don't want to go to bed yet!) You told me to tell you only one more drink (But I want another one!)

In the end, he's the one who loves me and I'm the one who loves him, so any mistakes we make along the road are just little bumps.
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEDW
Rob loves nothing more than to bitch and slander my exes or even male friends that I have never had any romantic involvement with...it is his FAVOURITE thing to do. Anyway - lets get to the nitty gritty of it - of course I don't tell him about my encounters with them *innocent passing on the street or whatever* because I don't want to have to get into it with him - I don't want to argue...I don't want to have the same conversation with him that I had three years ago on the subject. I get why The Surge is mad...but really, Monica, I hear ya!
November 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRichelle
Well, if you wanted to keep that a secret you would have not written about it on your blog... I think it's just another way to telling it to the Surge, not a way to hide it.
I understand it could have been a shock for him, but... it was your way to tell him, wasn't it?
And if he reads the rest of the post (not only the "I had a coffee with the ex" part) putting aside the rage, he could see that it is clearly a love letter for him! :)

By the way, this "ex" thing sucks... it is always an issue to talk about your exes with the one you love... and it shouldn't be!
If you think about it, if an ex is an ex there's a reason; I'm more worried about the new acquaintences of my husband than about his exes...


November 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSerena (from Italy)
A married woman seeing an ex isn't a good idea. A married man shouldn't either of course. In this case, Monica's motives were completely innocent and she had no sexual agenda on her mind. So it should be cool, right? WRONG! Because the DUDE had sex on his agenda. 100% guaranteed. So really, by agreeing to see him is kind of insulting yourself by leading him to believe he may have a chance at getting some of that past hot action. The second time around, men don't have to try HALF as hard to get down your pants. I know, men are pigs but that's just how it is. That's why the Surge is mad. Because another dog thought he could move in on HIS bitch!
November 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBeg2Defer
Monika, I still like you that's for sure but you should have been told Surge :) although you decided to write here about that "coffee".
...but I understand you very well I've got the same blockade in such situation, I've got male friend who live out of country and I e-mail him sometimes, for me it's just an e-mail to know how he is, nothing more.
and it's clear when I love my partner it's mean I love him but for my partner for a long time these mails became like betrayal. and then I wondered did I really need to tell him about that? Was I ready for next argue? was it necessary to tell everything? etc... Anyway after a few harsh tokes I decided to be honest, and now I tell him about it, he is cool (or tries to be) with that even if sometimes I can see it's hard for him. I think it's better, I don't need to feel guilty because I'm never cheat on as he felt about it. and it's true being with someone is a neverending, and neverending negotiation.

*great your're back, i like reading your post, make me know myself more and better :) best regards to you both.
November 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterana
Definitely not cool.
Don't use the blog to communicate with your husband, and don't do things you wouldn't feel comfortable telling him about.

I still like you, though.
November 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercitywendy
Here's my [to be read in a joking tone] "words of wisdom":

If it were me, I would have told my husband about the coffee date but then again I tell him everything about everything. Now, if I knew he had an issue with something, I'd make sure to defninitely tell him, and definitely before he could find out about it in other ways, in order to be sensitive to his issues and needs. I can't imagine seeing an ex and not wanting to talk to my husband about it. Why wouldn't I tell him? Especially if I knew he'd want to know, as yours seemed to.

If you don't want to tell, it seems you are either avoiding confrontation about it that you anticipate or that there's something not right going on, otherwise why not tell him? Wouldn't you tell him about it if the ex was anyone else? An old friend? A relative? I would. And I would have told in this case especially since I would have known he'd want to know. If you think he won't react well and that's why you didn't tell, then you two should talk about that, maybe his reaction is too harsh and drives you away from telling him things? These are all guesses from the little info. I have.

As for not going out enough, etc. that is up to both partners in a marriage to deal with if they want change. Not your burden alone. If he wants change and you want something different he will have to plan his life so that he does more of what he prefers even if he will have to do some of those activities separately. But one person is not to blame for what two do. Hopefully you want to do at least some of what your partner wants and vice versa and therefore you make most of the changes together.

Constantly monitoring you and using your faults against you--not okay in my book. That is how my parents' operate. Not my husband. My husband never uses my faults against me; he always tries to raise me higher,if anything, never lower--even in a disagreement.

And we don't monitor each other, except in areas of safety--"don't drive so fast you're about to hit that slow car ahead of you that keeps braking"--or courtesy--"please go to bed now so you can be up in time for our plans tomorrow,"--knowing I can never get up on time if I don't get enough sleep the night before.

My comment is no reflection on my view of you or your marriage --which I know nothing about--;it is a look into my marriage---which I do know a thing or two about and am very, very happy with.

I hope you, too, are happy in your marriage and from what I read here, I think you are. The first year of our relationship involved struggles, the following years have not (maybe one small issue every few years). Maybe you are on a similar path. I think my relationship is perfect and know that my husband is perfect for me. Some say saying that means you're lying; I say it means I'm very happy.

Hope you are, too, and hope you two have a great Tofurkey (or Turkey, if that's what you eat) day together tomorrow. The exes are out of the picture now so instead focus just on the one each of you married. Hope you have a fun day together with [and I have issues with saying it but I will anyway} The Surge. Happy Thanksgiving.
November 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterm
Uh, I know this stuff! Years ago - my husband and I had just been together for several month (and I still kept in touch with my ex via mail) - I checked my mails while we were visiting a friends house (and wrote a message to the EX). I forgot to log out.... My husband wanted to check his mail afterwards ... do I have to tell anything more??? We had a terrible fight that night (at the friends house...) and he was so right! I thaught I had lost him that night - fortunately not. But I immediately quit messageing with the Ex. Still now and then, I think what he's doing now. I mean, he was a part of my life for years and now I don't know anything about him...
November 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMechthild
i don't think the coffee was wrong. but what if The Surge had coffee with his ex-significant other and you found out by reading his blog? the simple how-would-you-feel litmus test. also defending yourself with the example that you told him to have coffee with her to inform her of your marriage is not the same thing at all.
that being said, none of what you did is worse than what i am doing right now: sanctimoniously commenting on your life when a) my own is a fucking mess and b) i'm doing so on company time. sigh.
November 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commentergina
I have to say, letting him find out through your blog really sucks, but I think you already knew that. So you screwed up. Apologize and move on. Don't dwell on it. Besides, aside from admitting to having the coffee, the rest of the last blog was something I'd think the Surge would enjoy reading. I still like you though. Happy Thanksgiving!
November 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
Few months ego I meet my ex boy but I didn't say about it my husmbad.
We talk in tram-car a little while.

Don't worry i maybe in future didn,t say about it, when you meet a next time your ex.

I like rading your blog is very interesting and has many
mouthful.

November 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJudytta
Bravo.
November 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHam
I hear people call you narcisstic and annoying but I just don't see that. This is one of the most brutally honest blogs I've ever read. If you go back and read from the beginning you see the progression from someone writing freely because nobody is reading, to someone struggling to still be honest despite the fact that thousands of people are reading and weighing in on your life. Of course you should have told the surge you had coffee with an ex. But it isn't the end of the world either. Every day we all do stupid shit in our relationships. Apologize and move on. Don't turn it into a fight about everything else. If I've learned anything being married, it's keep the disagreement on topic, work it out and move on. Good luck and happy T-Day!
November 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterScarlett
My thought is that when married...be married.
I side with the Surge, here.
You should strive for complete honesty; even if it makes you look like a dick.
You are a rockin' writer, but make sure that honesty also translates to your lover man.
November 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJoe kisses no ass
Now he wont feel as bad during his next trip to Bonn Germany when he's doing some German teen with a nice firm butt (unlike yours) who thinks she is fucking some big USA rock star!? Sound familair? Ha Ha Ha! Ha Ha Ha!

November 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterStarbucks Rocks
Wow 'starbucks rocks' you sound angry...
November 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRichelle
I'm a little bummed about you two fighting but I'm pretty sure you both love eachother so it'll work out. Starbucks rocks is ugly. Of course the Surge is probably tempted sometimes to cheat, and so that comment is really mean. It preys on that fear you might have about him being bad in that way. But I hope during those opportunities he has to stray he remembers that you are worth being loyal to.
Firm butt? What? You're beautiful! Starbucks rocks just sickens me.
November 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdesiree
Starbucks and everyone else can say whatever the HELL they want here and it's up to MONICA to deal with it. If she is as awesome as you all think, then I'd say she is QUITE capable of doing that. Can't you self-proclaimed comment moderators get that through your heads? Almost makes me want to become mean again...hmm, actually I was much more interesting then.
As for concerts and cheating and fresh, willing teens...well, anyone that marries a rocker should be smart enough to know about the stuff that goes on and make peace with the obvious. You people are either stupidly romantic or you know nothing about (rocker)men.
November 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBeg2Defer
Actually not everybody is that primitive.
November 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNiedlchen
Back in the day (like when he hooked up with Monica) yea but not anymore. I’m sure he gets a few offers every once in a while - but nothing worth the risk. It might get out on the internet back to Monica.

I would say that that guy DAVE BELIENKO is the one who is getting the hot teen groupies. That guy is getting OFFERS man let me tell you! DAVE BELIENKO gets more ass than a toilet seat!

Recently the Surge has that the look of a married man. I think its best that DAVE take over as the full time lead singer with Surge as a once in a while fill in. That way he can spend more time with Monica or be out marketing the band, learning about the finances promoting setting up gigs all that stuff perhaps without the agency getting involved.

Please allow me to explain. I watched some of the videos. There is one where Dave does an interview (It’s really fantastic) and discusses a divided stage presence – or something like that. You can see it in some of the videos. Dave still has the enthusiasm and stage presence to take the band forward to the next level. Surge is cool. But he looks like he’s ready to settle down for the married life.
November 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichael
Wow. Michael just dissected the enigma that is Marah with pinpoint incisiveness in less than 200 words.

Oh wait, except for the part where he didn't know anything about them whatsoever.

Dave is, and always has been, the primary vocalist in the band. Also, being that he started the band before Serge was even a member, he already has the senior position when it comes to "taking the band to the next level" or whatever cliched claptrap you were saying above.

And it is spelled BIELANKO , Mr. Thorough Research.

I didn't really want to dignify your ridiculous attempt at musical criticism, but I just couldn't help myself.

And Serge is like Doc Holliday, he's in his prime.

I'll be your huckleberry.
November 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterereiberg
I was just giving you my impression from watching the videos of them.

It looks like the vocals are divided up on some of the songs. If you type in Marah on Google video, click on the DAVE BELIENKO interview, at 11:45 into it.

It would be more intense with one main singer or Surge as a good backup. Like oo ooo after "making buttons in a factory". Or somthing like.

Also image is everything. DAVE has a better image now. Grungy, real, more intense, rocker image. Thats what I think.

So when is Marah coming to LA? I never get a response. Its not listed on thier website. Marah to LA anyone? I wanna get my lips around one of those brothers!!!! OK: I said it!
November 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichael
These things happen all the time in a marriage, you mess up, you fight about it, you apologise, you move on. I'm sure you would've told him in time, unfortunately you told all us lot first, and he found out that way. So what, he'll get over it, and so will you. This isn't meant to sound flippant - but in the big scheme of things it isn't that big of a deal. So you didn't tell him, but it doesn't make you "dishonest" or "untrustworthy", it was just one fuck up. I can understand how it happened, easily done. Just don't do it again, okay ;)
November 26, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAli
I'm a bit partial to The Surge over Dave, I must admit. Maybe it's because I know him better through Monica's blog. But I just think he is adorable..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kH6xETgmCyo

How can you not love the guy?
November 26, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGemma
I did not say I did not like the guy.

As you can see Monica added in "I wanna get my lips around one of those brothers!!!! OK: I said it!" to the last sentance. Apparenylt thats what she does now to people she doesnt like just like any good news "editor" would.

I was just speaking strictly in the context of band image. Just image.
November 26, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichael
If you had told The Surge about your intent to have coffee with the ex BEFORE you had the coffee, how would he have reacted? Would you have felt like you were asking permission to do it?

Personally, I think you just needed some closure with the ex and didn't want to deal with the conflict before the fact. Better to ask forgiveness than permission, right?

Anyway, marriage is a delicate balance between trust and control and it's not a good thing when either one is out of whack.
November 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterStFarmer
Thats funny. I just finished reading "The Zen of Gambling" and it said the same thing. That it's better to ask for forgivness than permission becuase of you ask permission you will get a "no" 98% of the time.
November 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichael
I wonder how many people here would be so adamant that Monica tell Serge if they didn't "know" Serge or his rock band.

It's funny you write "all we do is eat dinner and watch tv". When we were drinking with you guys before the Living Room show, and Serge asked us where we hung out, we had no answer, really, because we've been working so hard for the past six months and don't hang out. And then we were all, "dammit, if we were rock gods we would be hanging out, dammit"

but now we know - not so much :) :)

[yes you know who this is. but keep my cover]
November 27, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercoyote
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