The Thinking Other Woman

What you should know BEFORE your affair.


What Was Wrong With This Person? A Peabody Disaster Post-Mortem.

Posted by The Thinking Other Woman on May 20, 2023 at 7:25 AM

NO, I'm not talking about "my" person. I'm talking about another person I've recently quoted on here, one half of the famous Medium affair couple that recently broke up. You can't go on there and read his side of the story anymore, because he recently deleted his Medium account and left.

The story is very, very sad. One "J. Matthew Peabody" found himself in a sexless marriage with a wife who, although she could still run marathons, opted out of sex due to her rheumatoid arthritis. I stumbled into this story in the middle, when he'd already taken down some pieces, so I didn't get the whole story about the marriage, but what I did glean sounded like there was emotional distance as well. (Surprise, surprise ... when isn't there, when the sex stops??) 

As he tells it, he was already distressed and unhappy, especially when he asked the wife for marriage counseling and she said NO. (SPOUSES, TAKE NOTE. NOT A GOOD IDEA.) She said she wasn't likely to ever change and marriage counseling wasn't going to do anything. 

Again I say, SPOUSES, TAKE NOTE. If someone is asking you for marriage counseling and you aren't willing to get your butt in there and work your little ass off, understand that a lot of pain is probably coming your way.

As in this sad saga. As Peabody told it, he was distressed and lonely, but he still at least had friends and colleagues from work. And then ... he got laid off from a job he had had many years.

This person sort of fell into an emotional black hole, from the way he described it, out of the job loss plus total loneliness and lack of companionship. And began reading the postings of a female sex writer on Medium, who posted all manner of articles about her personal sex experiences, sex toy experiences, etc. He began DMing her on Twitter and commenting on all her pieces all the time.

I recall a piece by him on this time in his life, asking whether this wasn't a slippery slope into an affair. In the piece, he talks about just wanting to talk to somebody, wanting to see if he was still attractive to anyone since his wife had rejected him, but not wanting to have an affair with anyone.

Yet ... it's a female sex writer. It's not like he was connecting with someone in DM's about birdwatching. (Well ... at least not in the American meaning of the term.) From her stories, she knew this guy was looking for attention, but she thought he was harmless, since she wasn't looking to get involved with somebody married. Finally, he posted a photo of himself she thought was sexy, she sent him a message, and they were off to the races.

It should be noted that this woman had a history of not being one hundred percent mentally healthy, anyway. She writes that she had been the Other Woman one previous time ... with her best friend's new husband (they first slept together on the wedding night, while the bride was passed out drunk). After she found out she was not the only other girl he was sleeping with, she called it off, cut ties with both of them, and fell into a deep depression that required a daily outpatient treatment program along with medication to get through.

More background: She writes about being on Medicaid, so she has to be financially stressed, and has a special needs child she conceived by accident with some other guy seventeen years ago whom she didn't marry.

Peabody and the sex writer became very close through DM's, phone calls, and emails, and finally, under cover of an excuse, he drove to meet her. They clicked instantly and began a passionate affair. This continued for a year before he finally told his wife.

Belatedly, the wife decided to fight. She apologized for her actions that made him feel so unloved and worthless, and if I remember correctly, she offered to go to marriage counseling. But by now he was too in love with the affair partner and didn't want to lose her. Peabody and the wife had one teenaged child still left at home, and now he became suffused with guilt over the anger of his children and the tears and suffering of his wife.

From all accounts, life became a huge emotional seesaw for this man. He wrote many pieces about the close friendship and love affair he used to have with his wife, and the family life they used to have. Whole pieces were about how he betrayed his wife and kids and how awful he felt about that, and I really got a sense of self-loathing reading those. Whole pieces were about warning people not to do this because of the suffering of the family and the guilt.

However, by this time I'd found his writing and published a few of these pieces in my Medium pub (they aren't there anymore since he's taken them all down and left), and several of us on the Medium infidelity tab used to comment on his pieces, reminding him that this was a wife who'd refused marriage counseling. He may have been nostalgic for the marriage he used to have, the home he used to have, and the times he used to spend with his wife and kids ... but the marriage hadn't been close for some time, there didn't seem to be a lot of emotional support for him in that home once he lost his job, and when he expressed distress and asked for change in the marriage, he got a stone wall: "Well, I'm not going to change, so I don't see the point."

Now and then he'd acknowledge our point, and even say he wasn't sure he trusted his wife to actually work on the marriage ... and then go back to grieving and reminiscing over his home and marriage while he pinged back and forth between the wife and the girlfriend like a ball in an arcade pinball game. 

When he was with the girlfriend, he pined and pined for the home he'd left, and when he moved home to try to save his marriage, he pined and pined for the girlfriend. (Especially since she'd post despairing messages on Twitter and he felt so guilty for hurting her.) 


Guilt and self-loathing made up a major theme in this guy's postings. Wherever he was, all he felt was guilt for hurting whomever he wasn't with, and wherever he was, he felt pining and nostalgia for whomever he wasn't with.

He often wrote like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One piece he wrote about taking his vacation at Disneyworld for a marathoner's weekend there (both him and the wife ran marathons) sounded like, meeting her there a couple of times for dinner, he could see how they both had moved on, they were in different places in their lives now, and the marriage was over. But the next piece he wrote about it talked about how the only good parts of the vacation were the times he spent with his wife, how sad he felt for their former partnership and home life that was no more, what a wasteland life was now, and how she said he was going to destroy his life and that was exactly what he believed had happened. To be sure, he wrote that this happened right after the GF dumped him again ... but the back-and-forth pattern was TOO characteristic of this whole saga.

Other pieces followed about how he had his head so far up his ass and his ... you know what, so far up her you know what, that he couldn't think straight when deciding to leave his marriage. He also wrote that he wasn't planning to divorce, since his wife still needed his health insurance, he didn't want his wife and daughter to lose their home, and he didn't think he'd ever be able to consider anyone else his wife anyway. (Wouldn't have wanted to be the GF and read that.)

Were I on the receiving end of this, I don't think I'd feel at all comfortable having this guy move in with me. Especially since the girlfriend wrote about repeated instances of this person being with her in her hometown, having a wonderful time together ... and then him getting some sort of message about one of the kids and having a guilt/shame attack, turning all inward and cold, and then saying something like, "I don't think I can do this anymore," and snapping her head off if she had anything to say about that. One time they were in bed together and he suddenly got very emotional, shaking and near tears, and had one of these, "I don't think I can do this anymore," episodes. 

These always ended with a breakup. Once or twice he moved back home, vowing to rebuild his marriage, only to reach out to the girlfriend later, lonely again and not wanting to lose her. 

She always took him back.

Until this last time. One issue between them has always been that he still wants to text and have a friendship with his wife. The girlfriend always felt very threatened when, say, she discovered him checking her whereabouts on his phone (always with some good explanation) or texting them both the same photo of the same humorous t-shirt. 

This time, she discovered he had met her for meals at the Disneyworld weekend, and then lied about it. She flew into a tizzy and threw him out.

What do you think happened next??

Next came the slew of sad pieces from him about how he'd lost her forever, how much he missed her and how happy she made him, and now he'd never find anyone ever again. The rest of us pointed out how we certainly didn't expect this from him, since all he was posting was how he had ruined his life, agreed to stop contacting his wife when he really didn't want to do so, and how all he did was miss his marriage to the point where he really didn't even want to have sex anymore because it made him feel so guilty (along with a few strongly worded advisements to seek therapy.) (Not guilty!) Oh, and did I mention the post where he had hoped therapy would tell him what to do?

His response was that he didn't want to post anything happy about moving in with the girlfriend because family members were reading the Medium account. He also said that after moving out, he was basically penniless since all but $840 of his money every month went to keep his wife and daughter in the house and appropriately health-insuranced, and living with his parents and driving back and forth to all these places was a miserable and stressful life that made him miss his old home life. But: that he really was happy living with the girlfriend and was sorry he hadn't shown her that, and why couldn't she be more understanding about his lies about seeing his wife at Disneyworld?

I did have to say that, since the mistress always comes last in a married man's life, it would tend to make a person insecure, coupled with the fact that he had left several times before, she seemed to have put all her emotional eggs in his basket, and she sounded like an insecure person with abandonment issues to begin with. Once he moved in with her, she began expecting him to leave, and went into a pretty serious depression.

He never answered that.

Interesting how, for many months, he maintained to the girlfriend that she should just move out of her parents' and into the condo she wanted without him, since he only had $840 a month to live on anyway and couldn't afford to move in with her ... but then did so anyhow on the selfsame $840 a month. I would say the issue with moving in with her was not exactly financial.

At last sighting, he had texted her a million times trying to get her back, wrote a despairing piece over losing her on Medium, she had written him a sixty-five page letter over the breakup, and now she is going back into another outpatient program; whilst he has taken down his Medium account and is lost to further followup.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. What the FUCK happened here???

If I had to guess, it would be codependency coupled with trying to make a life situation permanent before being emotionally ready, due to not having made the many adjustments that are required emotionally after ending a very long-term relationship. (I just wrote about those on Medium here: ).

If you read that, you will know why it was so much harder going directly from the marital home to the girlfriend's.

I say codependency because NOWHERE in this guy's pieces was any respect for himself or his own needs, nor any recognition that for a relationship to work, one person cannot be broken on the wheel so all the other people in the household can be kept happy. Relationships have to meet the needs of BOTH people, or they don't work at all.

This guy seemed to just plain loathe himself to begin with, plus loathing himself for having any needs at all.

Which, I have to say, society is all too happy to help anyone leaving a marriage to do. Especially if one leaves partially because there's no sex life. If one partner doesn't want sex anymore, sex is seen as dirty and something the other partner should gladly give up and also have no need for. (Although ... since along with sex comes emotional connection, this might be difficult. Unless both people are eighty years old or something and neither one of them can have sex anymore.)

This guy couldn't seem to do anything but hate himself because other people were upset, and long for whatever it was he didn't have. Whereas, it would seem that those who can make a SUCCESSFUL transition into a new relationship are able to prioritize themselves, what they are looking for, and what would make them happy to be with in a new relationship.

Not in a selfish way that doesn't care that leaving their prior relationship ended the life their spouse and kids knew, not in a way that doesn't have empathy that they now have to make a difficult life adjustment they didn't want to make, but in a way that acknowledges that even though this caused a painful rupture other people will have to adjust to, there was no way around it, because the marriage simply could no longer work. And in a way that acknowledges that they themselves want to be happy, not suffer so that other people can be happy, and that now they will look for their own happiness and not just other people's. 

And maybe in a way that has quiet faith that everyone will adjust, and everyone will survive, and that they don't have to end up hating each other for all time ... unless they really, really want to. (Which, let's face it, some people do!)

I don't know. What do you think??

What does any of this have to do with me?

(Other than the fact that I, after the penultimate breakup, inadvertently got them back together by blabbing to one about the other one, causing a flurry of messages back and forth between them again, after which they decided to move in together.)

Well ... having written the previous astrology lookup, I do wonder if I've seen the last. I've wondered and wondered--since whatever's going to happen gets underway next year, yet tarot cards assured me that the "crucible" just past was NOT, actually, Decision Time. I found myself wondering, If that wasn't actually Decision Time, then When The Hell Is It??? Because you know that shit should be footnoted in the astrology somewhere.

If I'd known Jupiter was going retrograde, I would've had a clue where to look sooner. Behold ... Jupiter retrograde ... then nodal opposition ... then his Saturn square. THERE we go. That Saturn square is about a year from now. Before that, I have a lot of "bad for a relationship" transits, and Rory has that interesting Jupiter conj Venus that carries through til the first of the year. Does he give her one more try and then give up if she's still got her head in rectal defillade? Does she wake the fuck up and they're fine from then on? Because I have discovered that if you've made some kind of breakthrough in your life and you're doing better, your transits don't keep congratulating you ad nauseum. They mark the triumph and then keep talking about the problems you have left.

After all, we don't need advice about the things we're doing well, do we?

I must say, I am getting to the point where I just don't care anymore.

We're old people now, in a whole different age and time of our lives. All that start-a-life-together young stuff, we're too old for now. We're going to blink our eyes and be having strokes and cancer and heart attacks and get carted off to the nursing home. There isn't much life left to live. Certainly sex is about over at our ages. I personally don't even give a shit about it anymore. 

All that stuff I once was looking for has passed me by. All that's left for me to do in my life is figure out how to live with myself. Since, whether you find another partner or not at this age, that's what a woman is going to end up doing anyway.

Say I wound up with this person. He's ten years older than me, and we live longer. Chances are that I'd end up doing the caregiving for another final illness very soon and end up alone again in no time, when all that person's productive years went to someone else. They got all the benefits of being with this person (dubious at best, I will say, since it was codependent and not a healthy relationship anyway), and I would end up with the heavy lifting and then nothing at the end of it.

In any case, when I imagined a life with this person, what was it?

I thought we'd write. Well, I'm VERY sour on writing now, since I see that publishing is for a couple of crowned kings and queens and no one else. I was fascinated with this person's mind, all he knew, how creative and funny he was and how interesting to talk to. Well ... I'd better get used to some short conversations, since the specter of the Peabody Fiasco looms in my space as the worst example you can expect from a codependent who gets too caught up in guilt to think for himself.

In relationships, not only do you have to think for yourself (instead of letting spouse/inlaws/family/kids/friends/society think FOR you), but you also have to think OF yourself. Because if you don't, you get broken on the wheel of keeping the family happy while you get nothing you need at all.

If a person doesn't see that ... you can forget it ever working out with them. Whether there was a prior marriage or not.

At my age, I don't need anything to work out with anyone anymore. All I need to do is find what I need to find in myself to have a contented old age. Other people have never been there for me other than for a few short years in my life. Old age isn't going to be the time they start! 

Old age is when you buckle down and get ready to battle the misery of physical, mental, and financial decline all by yourself. 

Even if this guy did show, I'd have to evaluate that with a very keen eye, especially in light of The Peabody Disaster. 

Either way, I still have to ride out old age alone. So why care, or why bother, or why even think about this anymore??

It's not like it will matter. The dream of True Love Always died with my husband, because the fact is, even when you find happiness ... it's always over sometime.


I just need to find enough to live for in myself ... because I am all I will have from now on. And that's actually been true for ten years now.

I just wasn't strong enough to face it.                                


Categories: Life Lessons, The Twin Flame Journey