the honeymoon phase is coming to an end

In case you didn’t know, Linda’s brother had an affair, divorced his wife and married his affair partner. They claimed they were ‘soul mates’ and she made his life wonderful, made him feel young again, yada, yada.  Now we see signs that the honeymoon phase is coming to an end.

We only see him and his wife about 4 times a year, and one of those times was at Easter.  During the 5 or so hours that we were in their presence, both Linda and I observed what would appear to be signs that their little honeymoon bubble is starting to get a little shaky.

Now, we certainly aren’t exposed to them enough to get a firm grasp of their reality, but the signs are there, in our opinion.

First, let’s get all the players straight…

Let’s call my brother-in-law “Ken” and sister-in-law, “Barbie.”  Ken’s two daughters are “Kate and Allie” and his son is “Donald.”

Kate, Allie and Donald are not shy about expressing their feelings when it comes to their dad, Barbie, and the stuff that they do.

With all that said, here are some of the signs that could possibly indicate the honeymoon phase is coming to an end back in La La Land.

They argue.  Kate stayed with Ken and Barbie for 2 days prior to Easter and she told us that they argued a few times in front of them while they were there.  That would never have happened before.  And it seemed as though they were arguing over stupid stuff, like, what city has the best zoo in the country.

Sure, every couple argues at times, but we NEVER saw this before with Ken and Barbie.  It was always, “yes honey, no honey, whatever you say honey.”

Barbie is an alcoholic.  This is relevant because it was supposedly the straw that broke the camel’s back during Ken’s (meager) attempt at reconciliation with his first wife.  It was obvious that she was an alcoholic and Ken had wanted her to seek treatment.  In fact, he and his family held an intervention, but she refused to go to treatment.  Ken left home shortly thereafter and resumed his affair with Barbie for good. 

See also  After the Affair: Giving Linda What She Deserves

So that brings me back to Ken and Barbie.   Their relationship entails lots of partying.  They eat out a lot.  They travel frequently.  They’re always at fundraisers and company dinners. And they drink wine – lots and lots of wine. 

According to Kate, the first night she stayed at their house, Ken and Barbie consumed no less than 5 bottles of wine.  At our house on Easter they finished off 3 bottles. (They’re wine snobs and bring their own bottles, which they never share, by-the-way.) When pouring her first glass of wine, I noticed that she had the shakes.  

At Christmas, she was slurring her words the minute she walked in our door and passed out 3 hours later.  Ken was so embarrassed that he all of a sudden announced they were leaving, helped her out to his car and threw her in the back seat, and drove home.  Not that big of a deal except for the fact they were supposed to spend the night.

Funny thing too…Barbie mistakenly picked up my daughter’s gift bag that my sister had given her.  It had a present, some cash and an expensive bottle of wine in it.  (My sister is a wine snob as well.)  Anyways, the next day, Ken calls and apologizes for Barbie’s behavior, acknowledged that they had my daughter’s gift bag and that they would send it back right away.  Well, everything was returned – except for the bottle of wine.  Go figure.

So, is he going to make her seek help like he did his previous wife?  Surely he sees the signs, right?  I’m not so sure because I think he is an alcoholic as well. We shall see.

She doesn’t mesh well with Ken’s kids and they don’t really want to be around Barbie very much either.  Allie and Donald didn’t come into town a couple days early like Kate did, because they didn’t want to spend time with their dad and his wife.  This has to be a sore spot with Ken.  Perhaps he’s harboring some resentments??!

See also  Is The Cheating Spouse Living With Regret?

I also noticed that he and Barbie were not around each other very much this year at our house.  In previous years, they were always glued to the hips.  Not anymore.  Was this because he was trying to spend time with his kids, or was there some other reason?

The kids tolerate Barbie but take advantage of her desire to win them over by accepting gifts and money from her. Then they talk about her behind her back.

Barbie is not accompanying Ken on business trips as much as she previously did.  Now, this either means she finally trusts Ken, or that he doesn’t want her along as much as before.  She also spends time alone, or with friends, at their second home (about 3 hours away from where they live) – sometimes in stretches as long as two weeks. 

This is a bit of a shocker to me, because Barbie is fairly helpless and always needed Ken around.  I think her neediness is starting to wear on Ken.  Again, just my opinion.

Ken is still selfish as ever  

Yes, his selfishness continues and only serves to cause Linda to resent him more each time she sees (or thinks about) him.  There are lots of examples of this…

A biggie for Linda is that he won’t be attending our girls’ college graduation because he has to get their boat in the water that weekend.  Now, we attended all of his kids’ graduations and had to travel 8+ hours 3 separate times to do so.  It pisses Linda off to no end.

He offers no help whatsoever when it comes to assisting in the care for his aging, considerably helpless parents.  In fact, he has no clue of the shit Linda and I go through on an almost daily basis – much less why we have to do it.  He never asks how they are doing or if there is anything he can do to help.

See also  Discussion: What Stands in the Way of Restoring Trust After the Affair

He and Barbie recently went on a vacation to Aruba and he didn’t even tell his parents (or us) that they were going.   Linda found out from pictures he posted on Facebook.  Maybe we’re nitpicking here, but it sure pisses us off.

Anyways, the reason I mention his selfishness is that it was that element, combined with his constantly being out of town for business that helped to create the opportunity for his affair with Barbie in the first place.  So, could it happen again, seeing that not much has changed with him? Hmmm.

Perhaps we’re just hyper-aware of this sort of stuff when we’re around Ken and Barbie, and maybe their relationship is as swell as it’s always been.  But it’s hard for us to ignore these little signs that we see during the short amount of time we’re with them.

In those rare cases of people who leave a spouse and actually wind up marrying the affair partner, they frequently learn much later (after the affair partner takes on the role of spouse) that their specialness had more to do with their earlier role (during the affair) than with the person themselves. 

Many people have an illusion that this new person is their soulmate, only to discover after a few years that all the old feelings and issues are there just as in the past. 

It’s clear to everyone – Linda, me, Kate, Allie and Donald, that Barbie is just a younger version of his ex-wife. 

They didn’t really change games at all, they only changed the players, and brought their baggage with them.  So, will history repeat itself?


    37 replies to "Looks Like the Honeymoon Phase is Coming to an End"

    • TryingHard

      It’s interesting to watch the evolution of this story.

      I think Barbies drinking won’t be the deal breaker for ken. Ken used his first wife’s drinking as an excuse to leave the marriage. I have a friend whose husband did the same thing. People who don’t tolerate alcoholism don’t hang around for years with a drinking partner. Especially if they too have a drinking problem. They use the partners drinking to their advantage. When someone is passed out drunk it’s pretty easy to do as you please.

      No in fact it sounds to me ken and Barbie are two pathetic peas in a pod. Codependents even. I doubt ken even thinks or realizes he’s in the very same situation he was in with his first wife. He’s just not that self aware. The only difference for ken is his children use him and hate him now.

      In fact should they split I will bet he goes after the very same kind of woman. I hope these two creeps stay together to spare any one else their wonderfulness.

      • Doug

        Maybe you’re right, TH. Perhaps because he is displaying alcoholic tendencies as well, they are indeed 2 peas in a pod and will spend their next vacation in detox together.

        • TryingHard

          I don’t think there’s any detox in their future plans. Look I love a glass of wine as much as the next guy, snobby wines and not so snobby wines. I am fortunate enough to say I have drank some of the best wines made and while they are delicious I don’t limit myself to those. I drink no other alcohol other than wine. I hate being drunk and I hate being around drunks. And, I have never ever drank 5 bottles in one night! One bottle was enough to teach me that lesson.

          I have a feeling inebriation is you BIL comfort zone. It’s what he knows. He knows how to manipulate it because maybe he is a functioning alcoholic. He sounds like one at least. He’s in a position of power when Barbie is drunk. He knows the drill and he likes it.

          I feel so bad for Linda. I can only imagine how much this hurts her watching her brother act like this. I think it is wonderful and admirable how much you and Linda do for her parents. Someone has to be the adult in that family. Taking care of old people is no fun or easy task but it must be done. No amount of anger that Ken is jetting off to Aruba will change the fact that he is a self centered person and if you and Linda weren’t caring for her parents no one would be.

          I hope his kids are getting all the cash they can out of dear old Dad just to deny Barbie any more of it. But I do feel bad for them.

          • Doug

            Yeah, definitely no detox in their future. I was being a bit facetious. And you may be right about him being in his comfort zone when he’s buzzed. What’s funny is that he was never, ever like this prior to about 7 years ago. He was always a little heavy and he had a gastro- by-pass, or some such operation and ever since then he’s been a different person.

            Well, thanks for the kind words… And yes, Linda is hurt, but she is more pissed.

    • TheFirstWife

      Maybe there are a few things happening:

      1. Barbie fears Ken is cheating on her. She no longer travels with him. RED FLAG!

      2. Ken is such a nightmare to live with he has caused Barbie’s drinking to escalate.

      3. Barbie fears being kicked to the curb and realizes she has nothing.

      4. Ken realizes he has made a HUGE mistake but cannot admit it so he takes his unhappiness out on Barbie.

      5. Barbie is now seeing the real Ken and she is unhappy. So she covers Her unhappiness by drinking more and more.

      6. They both secretly resent each other – Ken for losing contact with his children and he blames it in Barbie; Barbie resents Ken b/c she is no longer joined at his hip and she fears she is being replaced.

      Terrible choices that affect the entire family.

      • Doug

        Yep TFW, there could be all of the above happening! I also think that Barbie has a lot of pressure on her (self-imposed) to look good and act young for Ken. Hence the fake lips and cheeks – and who knows what else. Gotta keep him interested, ya know.

        • TheFirstWife

          I think Ken has lost interest. They used be joined at the hip and now she is no longer traveling with him.

          I would say that is a red flag right there.

          Barbie may soon understand how it feels to be the betrayed wife.

          Geez I just hope she doesn’t join this blog lol!

    • TryingHard

      Oooo TFW. I hope she does bwahahaha

      • TheFirstWife


    • Rachel


    • Alice

      Just being plain nosy here…did Ken get a prenup?

      Also, I hope his children have made peace with the fact that they will inherit nothing. I’ve seen that happen too many times and in relationships that didn’t even involve affairs. The second wife makes sure everything comes to her and the biological children don’t see a dime.

      • Doug

        Hi Alice, When they got married he told his parents that he did indeed get a prenup. I have my doubts though. And yes, I agree that more than likely, his kids will not see a dime unless she goes before he does.

    • TheFirstWife

      Doug. The interesting point that the AP is “nothing special ” really hit home.

      We had a saying at work – the person you marry is not the person you divorce. So true!! Divorce brings out the “ugly” in people. Vindictive, nasty, mean, etc.

      When my H ended it with the OW he saw her true colors – she came after me! Harassed me online – wanted me to think the affair was still happening (long after it was over and they had no contact). She was really nasty b/c she could not get him back.

      What my H probably doesn’t know is she has an arrest record and a troubled past. Drama queen. Etc etc etc.

      Yet my H was going to move her into his life, possibly as the step mother to our kids.

      He told her intimate details about our children and sent her photos.

      He was shocked when I showed him the emails and stuff she posted.

      So yes she was sooooo wonderful. She was his soulmate. He was going to divorce me.

      Until he chose our marriage and she lost. Then her true colors showed.

      Just like Barbie – she was so wonderful and Ken just had to be with her. Until he tires of her or gets bored or sees the next hot thing that attracts his attention.

    • Kate

      Have you considered that your ex sister-in-law’s death may have helped or sped-up the inevitable process of the unraveling of the honeymoon phase? It happens in all marriages, but it seems to me that both Barbie and Ken may have had to take a long hard look in the mirror when your ex sister-in-law died. They may not have liked what they saw & they drink to numb out those feelings. The bad feelings in families brought on by an affair don’t fade quickly.

      Also, Dr. Frank Pittman says in one of his books that whatever the financial cost of divorce, the emotional cost is far higher & there’s a sense (especially if the affair partner is single) that this had all damn well better be worth it. That’s a lot of pressure for the new wife to live up to – a feeling that they’d better be worth it all the time. A couple of bottles of wine will help with that.

      • TryingHard

        Hi Kate–You make a great point but that would imply that Barbie had a conscience. Something many affair partners lack. I think she likes her wine because she’s a drunk, plain and simple.

        I agree the emotional cost is much higher than the financial cost. I wish I had all the money I’ve spent on books and therapists since all this transpired.

      • Doug

        Kate, I do think that the death of his ex-wife had an effect on him and I know that it increased the level of resentment that his kids had for him – and her. Whether or not it helped to speed up the ending of the honeymoon phase is hard to determine. But I wouldn’t doubt it one bit.

        • Kate

          I think in all affair relationships there’s some kind of event where the participants have to take a look at themselves & what they’ve done & the pain it’s caused. It may not happen until years down the road. And, yes, most of them deflect the blame away from themselves onto the victim(s). As another infidelity website so brilliantly puts it – It’s not what we’ve done, but everyone’s reaction to it that’s all wrong. But that doesn’t really work – they may be able to convince others that it’s really the victim who was to blame for the affair – but the people in the affair deep down know the truth. They know exactly who was doing what and to whom.

          • Doug

            You nailed it Kate!

          • TheFirstWife

            I like your comment about people’s reactions to the cheaters. They did nothing wrong.

            One of the things I laugh about to this day is the fact that my H honestly believed ALL of his friends would accept the OW – 20+ years younger than him, covered in tattoos, drama queen with an arrest record.

            He thought our kids would accept her too. Maybe they would but it would be a long long time before they met her (and I’m sure I could make thay happen)

            I asked him specifically if he thought the same thing after the affair ended and he said “probably not”. It should have been HELL NO!!! I know our friends and she would not be welcome to many of them.

            He would have to find new friends – not b/c of choosing sides but there is no way the Wives I know would met the H hang out with this chick or her much younger friends.

    • TheFirstWife

      I doubt either one if them think they have anything to do with the ex-wife’s death.

      Cheaters and liars have a way of drflecting all blame, guilt and shame away from them.

      My H used to do this. If I said “hey I wish you would not leave your sneakers in the doorway ” his response would be “well where do you want me to put them? I don’t know where else they belong”. It would then be left to me to move them. And if I asked again I would be the nag for asking again. He would get angry at me for nagging. And if I tripped over them and said something – well it is my own fault for tripping over them. I should have moved them. Not him. But me!

      Exaggerated example to make a point that some people refuse to take any accountability. And K&B sound like a couple that have that behavior down pat.

    • Alice

      I think you’re onto something about the ex wife’s death speeding up the break down process.

      Mutual hatred of someone makes a strong bond. If Barbie and Ken made a hobby out of trashing ex wife and blaming her for everything, there’s going to a huge shift in their relationship. They’ve got no one to mutually trash any more. Their bond will start eroding. Unless, of course they find a new target.

      • TryingHard

        You’re right. Who are they going to place all their problems on now???

    • Bb65

      Anyone else have examples how the honeymoon period ended when H moved in with AP? My H moved out 3 weeks ago. Moved in with AP. They work together.. H got mad at a mutual friend this week accusing her of telling a co-worker that he left me and moved in with AP. According to H all the co-workers are no good gossipers and whiners etc. but I heard to the grapevine that AP is the ine running her mouth.. plus co-workers aren’t stupid.. they knew for a long time something was up…plus based on accusations H made to our mutual friend it seems AP might be reading his text messages….and guess what… worried he is going to do same to her as he did to me… ha!,

      I am hoping affair fog will wear off and he will see his life falling apart there too …
      Just hard to be patient…trying to work on myself finding my purpose or gosls in life besides raising our granddaughter…

      So anywAy, would love to hear some of your experiences…

      PS: he does provide financially for us, so not much money left to pay bills at AP house. He also is still involved in granddaughter’s life. Basically between the time he spends here with gd, hisbowling leaugues that she can’t come to because gd goes with him plus he hasn’t told anyone at bowling alley, there is mot much free time they spend together..
      I know she is going to get resentful soon… just waiting for it to blow up…
      I just hope that he won’t stay just so his co-workers can’t say “I told u so” to her…

    • Doug

      I received a text from Linda’s brother on Saturday apologizing for not being able to make our daughters’ college graduation because he had to get his boat in the water. Something he had scheduled since early January. Then he attached a video of his boat being lowered into the water. Like we really give a shit. It really set Linda off!

      • TryingHard

        O.M.G.!!!! What an asshole!!!

        OK tell Linda to just picture the Judge Smails (Ted Knight) from Caddyshack and hopefully she can project that image of him onto her brother. What an arrogant, pompous ass!!!

        Hey at least you know where you rank. Right below his boat.

      • TheFirstWife

        This should explain it all.

        Why his first wife had problems.

        Why his children are distanced.

        Why he has strained relationships with other family members.

        His boat comes before a family event. Enough said.

        I hope if he has a life emergency he can understand why no one will be there for him. He wasn’t there for others.

        • Doug

          I agree TFW. His priorities are messed up!

          • blueskyabove


            OK, I will admit that sending the video wasn’t necessary, but did your BIL absolutely positively know when he scheduled the launching of the boat in January that it was the same date as your daughters’ graduation? Speaking just for myself…I don’t schedule my life around what may or may not be taking place in the life of a relative and/or their children. And for sure I wouldn’t do it months in advance. Considering you have voiced your disdain for him, his ex-wife, and his current wife on numerous occasions on this site, I’m surprised you aren’t actually grateful he and his current wife didn’t show up for the graduation. Maybe he just didn’t feel they would be welcomed. Did anyone consider that possibility? IMO this is a relatively minor infraction to get PO’d about.

            So, I’m going to put my Dr. Phil hat on and ask you, “What are you, and Linda, really angry about, Doug?” You aren’t required to answer me, I just want you to give it some thought.

            • Doug

              Hey Bluesky, thanks for the comment. I hear what you’re saying and in some respects I agree that we were probably happier that they were not there. However, the anger and resentment that we feel towards them is born more from their almost total obliviousness and sense of caring towards others in their/our family. I’m sure that when he made the reservation to have his boat put in the water he did not know that our daughters would be graduating that day. So I don’t fault him for that. But he could have rescheduled once he found out (about 2 months ago) when the graduation would be. The dude is a millionaire, so even if it would have set him back a few hundred bucks to reschedule, it’s a relative drop in the bucket. And not to mention that this whole boat thing also caused him to not be here for Mothers Day, (the lake is about 4 hours away from where we live) which didn’t sit real well with my mother in law. This is just another example of a pattern of selfishness and self-absorption that irritates Linda and myself. Otherwise, to be quite honest, we treat both of them well and they are indeed welcome at our house – as TFW mentions. And we don’t let our anger show when they are here. They are both otherwise pleasant people and we get along fine and there would have been no reason for them to not feel welcomed.

              I appreciate you playing Dr. Phil as your comment did cause me to reflect on the situation. It is to the point for Linda that she feels that she needs to talk to a therapist to help her deal with her anger towards him. I do think a lot of her anger is emotionally charged since the marriage was born out of an affair. There is also the issue with her parents and his lack of awareness, assistance or concern regarding their health and care.

            • TryingHard

              Doug–I think a lot of our anger towards people who let us down is our high expectations of them. Nothing so selfish as putting ines boat in the water would have kept you or Linda away from Mother’s Day or a family graduation. We expect people to have the same values we have. There in lies the anger and disappointment. We need to learn to set the bar much lower in our expectations.

              As far as not knowing the graduation date when he set the appointment he damn knew it was Mothers Day that weekend. Truth is he doesn’t care. HE DOESNT CARE. He’s way more important than his mother or your family. He’s shallow and materialistic. That is what you and Linda are dealing with.

              I feel bad for Linda’s parents. I’m sure they are heartbroken but it also sounds like they will make excuses for his choices.

              Sending the video was simple bragging on his part. A shallow little man showing off his shiny toys. Besides if he’s so rich he could have easily paid someone to supervise that task. I doubt most millionaires supervise manual labor. Putting the boat in was an excuse and a chance to brag.

            • Doug

              You’re absolutely right, TH. I guess we need to dial back our expectations of him at this point. Hell, we should have done that a while ago I guess!

            • blueskyabove


              Thank you for taking my comment in the spirit in which it was given. It isn’t my intention to make matters worse for you and Linda, but merely to offer a different perspective. I know how things can build up and get blown out of proportion when we feel we’re being used and unappreciated. Considering you posted two comments yesterday regarding your disbelief about the behavior of others, it was a pretty safe bet that you were generally upset.

              From extensive reading on this subject, I would say the KEY is learning how to control your thoughts and emotions as if it was something you have chosen and therefore accept…unconditionally. Which also means accepting her brother As He Is. Controlling our own life is hard enough. Controlling someone else’s life is impossible as I’m sure you and most of your readers are fully aware of by now. In order to explain further, I’m going to have to make some assumptions. You and Linda may already be familiar with what I’m saying. If so, then consider this as just a reminder. (Something I continually seem to need.)

              Despite what you might think, learning how to be totally unobjectionable is absolutely doable. It doesn’t make you ‘less than’ as you might initially believe. On the contrary, it almost feels as if you’re super human. I’m guessing the reason it feels impossible to most of us is because we were never taught to let go of all the piddly things that happen in life so we can just ‘be’ with the situation and notice that we’re still breathing, our hearts are still beating, our mind isn’t racing. This is called ‘being in the present moment’ or being in the Now. Question: Have you ever wondered why we’re called human beings and not human doings?

              Ultimately, it is in your best interest to explore this fascinating subject. I’m not suggesting this as an alternative in ‘how to deal with a selfish person’ but more as ‘how to live peacefully, joyfully in the midst of all the angst and turmoil that seems to accompany life’. It’s making the decision to create your life rather than live a life of reaction. You choose. You decide what, if anything, is going to push your buttons.

              I highly recommend “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle if you want to learn more. We have listened to the Audio Book many times and have been amazed at the things we didn’t previously hear. Our conclusion is we are more in the moment each time we listen.

              Eckhart Tolle Quote: “Are you worried? Do you have many “what if” thoughts? You are identified with your mind, which is projecting itself into an imaginary future situation. There is no way that you can cope with such a situation, because it doesn’t exist. It’s a mental phantom. You can always cope with the Now, but you can never cope with the future.

              Whenever you feel negativity arising in you, look on it as a voice saying, “Attention. Here and Now. Wake up. Get out of your mind.”

            • Doug

              What you say makes a lot of sense, BSA. Very Zen. Though the few times I’ve listened to Eckhart Tolle, I’ve had a hard time understanding what the hell he was talking about 😉 Maybe I just need to listen to it several times. And to be quite honest, my BIL situation isn’t something that we dwell on that much – at least I don’t. (Only when he f*$ks up!) However, it does affect Linda much more because of the situation with her parents. I agree though that we can’t let the actions of others affect our mindset so much. Thanks!

            • blueskyabove


              This is the best I have to offer at the moment.

              I read a quote recently which seems to sum up everything. Try reading it from different perspectives and see if it changes.

              “I don’t have an attitude problem. You have a problem with my attitude and that’s not my problem.”

              Does it cause you to feel defeated? or empowered?

      • Rachel

        Selfish! Me, me, me.

    • TheFirstWife

      Doug. I think it is sad he did not attend the graduation.

      He has destroyed a family and does not appear to have any intention of trying to make amends.

      Yes he should have done to the event given that you went to his children’s graduations. He could have made the “sacrifice” for once. Put the boat behind family as a priority.

      It appears he is welcome at your home. So you and Linda are trying to maintain a relationship.

      I don’t think his divorce and remarriage have anything to do with your resentment. It is an even playing field. You attended his children’s events and now you would like him to attend your children’s events.

      And he declined for a purely selfish reason.

      We have similar family members. Godfather bailed on our child’s birthday (despite confirming attendance) for a purely selfish reason. To surf that day. Showed up 6 hours late with no call or apologies. Selfish selfish selfish. And yes that is what I upset about. Nothing else. No show on your god child’s birthday.

      This is the same person who went on a month long vacation despite his dad having open heart surgery 5 days before. Left the country b/c nothing was going to stand in the way of his vacation. My H asked him to delay 1 week b/c of the surgery for my FIL.

      So Doug I understand your feelings. But just know (and I am sure you do) how selfish people can be. So sad.

      • Doug

        Thanks for the comment, TFW. You’ve got a real good read on the situation. Missing this event to put a boat in the water was just one more straw added to the camel’s back. (BTW, the girls have still not received so much as a card from him yet.) It seems as though the Godfather you mentioned comes from the same cloth as my BIL!

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