If He Walks like a Duck and Talks like a Duck . . . Then He’s a Pig
People always say, “Don’t panic.”
Really? Who are these people? I discovered that my husband of eight years was banging every short skirt—and wide back—in Hollywood after seeing it on the cover of a celebrity-gossip magazine, but I’m supposed to stay calm? I’m supposed to eat shit with a fork and a knife and say thank you when I’m done swallowing this crap?
Fuck off. I’m here to tell you that if your husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend is cheating, life, as you know it, is over. It’s the God’s honest truth, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either completely blowing smoke up your ass, a lawyer, or my ex-husband.
It’s actually quite the contrary. It’s time to freak the fuck out, and that’s not just acceptable, it’s obligatory. The rug has just been pulled out from beneath your feet, and everything you thought you knew with absolute certainty has vanished. Absolute hysteria is just the beginning—you’re about to embark on an entire roller coaster of crazy-ass emotions. So I, Brandi Glanville, am here to bestow this simple but valuable piece of information on you: if you discover your partner is cheating, drink like it’s your last party, blame everyone else for your problems, let “binging” be your new favorite hobby, and, by all means, FUCKING PANIC.
It was a cold, sunny morning the day my world fell apart.
Sure. There were signs. Like, what man has baby wipes in the center console of his Porsche? Please, like he ever changed a diaper. It’s not a science, but I’m pretty certain my husband was getting more than his fair share of roadside assistance.
But, as the saying goes, ignorance is bliss: I had a beautiful, six-bedroom home in Calabasas, a full-time nanny, a brand-new Range Rover, an $11,500 boob job, two wonderful little boys, and a gorgeous Cuban husband. And I was the perfect little Hollywood housewife. Yes, the writing was on the wall that my husband was far from perfect, and, yes, every so often my curiosity would rear its head, but I chose to ignore it because life was good—plus, even if I believed it, I couldn’t prove a damn thing—in fact, it was great. So when reports of my husband’s infidelities became national news one fateful March morning, I was the lucky recipient of the world’s biggest gut punch. (Both Sandra Bullock and Elin Nordegren would soon follow my lead—let’s just say Eddie’s lucky his golf clubs weren’t handy.)
It was just your typical Wednesday. Like clockwork, a sleepy-eyed Mason wandered into our bedroom just before five in the morning. Who needs an alarm clock when you have a six-year-old? And just as I did every morning, I gently tugged him into bed and placed him between Eddie and me. With my finger, I would softly trace letters across his tiny shoulders until his eyelids fluttered and he drifted back to sleep. Eddie would, without opening his eyes, smile and toss his strong, muscular arm over us both and pull us to his chest. Wrapped up in each other’s arms, my little family and I would fall away for a few more hours of precious sleep. Oftentimes, I would even lie awake, taking it all in and appreciating how perfect life could be. Not until we heard Jakey’s cries would Mason finally say, “Mom, go get your robe.” I would crawl out of bed and head down the hallway to release Jake from his kiddie corral with Mason trailing behind me.
The sound of Jake’s shrieks would echo through the house until I would finally swing open the door and see my two-year-old sitting behind his baby gate with crocodile tears and a smile from ear to ear. “Faker,” I thought, but still I picked him up and hugged him hard until I could feel his little body relax. I couldn’t resist that face—or those gorgeous dimples. Well advanced for his two short years, Jake Austin Cibrian not only managed to crawl out of his crib nightly, but he’d also figured out how to open the door to his bedroom. Did I mention that he was still in diapers? This kid would be the death of me.
So being the paranoid and nurturing mama bear, I had nightmares of my precious baby waddling about in the middle of the night and tumbling down the grand marble stairway or climbing up the banister and falling to his certain death onto the foyer floor below. I know I was being totally irrational, but I decided to put a lock on the outside of his door, because if he was clever enough to climb out of a crib, the baby gate was going to be zero challenge for him. I was aware that this was in strict violation of a number of fire-department building codes, but I didn’t care. Seriously though, it isn’t as drastic as it sounds, but you try going to Mommy and Me class with a bunch of uptight professional Beverly Hills mothers. Ultimately, if it gave me the peace of mind that he was safe so I could sleep for six uninterrupted hours, then I was willing to do just about anything.
Isn’t that the goal with all parenting? Don’t kill the kids? Shit, isn’t that the goal with every relationship—not killing one another?
When I finally managed to get both of the boys dressed, the three of us headed to the kitchen for our typical morning routine: a breakfast consisting of hardboiled eggs, Honey Bunches of Oats cereal, and Gatorade, followed by the Round Meadow community car pool and a laundry list of errands to run before the trip to Parrot Cay Eddie and I were planning that weekend. My best friend was getting married to the man of her dreams—who just so happened to be Hollywood’s biggest movie star, Bruce Willis—and it was the first time in months that Eddie and I were escaping for a grown-ups vacation. No babies and no BlackBerrys; just my handsome husband and me.
Let’s be clear, Eddie and I had an extremely healthy sex life (so where he got all that extra energy, I’ll never be sure), but every so often we would run away together so we could make love in the middle of the afternoon as loud as we wanted, for as long as we wanted. And he would kiss me the way he did when we had nothing but time. That, coupled with an occasional lesbian make-out, was the recipe for our seemingly successful marriage. I know what you’re thinking: how was it okay for me to hook up with other women, but not my husband? Welcome to La La Land, ladies and gays. If you don’t keep your man satisfied, there is some other hussy who will. I thought keeping things spicy in the bedroom was the only surefire way to keep my man from straying. #LessonLearned. I’m not talking about any below-the-belt action, just some harmless grab-assing and sexy making out. I can definitely appreciate a pretty girl, so on occasion I would hook up with girlfriends, so that my husband could watch. (Sometimes the girl had a boyfriend or husband, too, who also seemed to enjoy the show.) It was harmless and Eddie seemed to appreciate it, because without fail, it would lead to some pretty hot sex afterward. Like I said, I was just an average Hollywood housewife doing whatever I could to keep my husband happy.
After breakfast and midway through an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, I popped a toothbrush in each boy’s mouth and began packing Mason’s lunch. Right on cue, Eddie dropped into the kitchen to give the boys and me our morning-ritual “love bug” kiss (where all of our lips met) before heading off for the gym—already fully showered. (Again, you would think a little alarm would go off, but nothing.) Little did I know that our simple, boring morning encounter would be the last time I would ever see the man I married, my Eddie. He gave me a tap on my booty—his favorite part of my body, which he often referred to as my “upside-down heart”—and flashed me one of his toothy, crooked smiles, complete with those dimples that I loved so much. (Flash forward: Eddie ended up getting Invisalign to straighten his teeth from crooked to perfectly perfect. Now if only he could do the same to his crooked-ass lies.)
Then he disappeared, as he always did, into the garage. I went about my morning in blissful ignorance. After getting my babies dressed, fed, and loaded into the car (no easy task since the nanny was nowhere to be found, but, then again, the house was ten thousand square feet), I finally arrived at the seventh circle of hell: the Round Meadow car-pool drop-off line. In what universe is it normal to wait forty minutes to drop your kids off at school? Welcome to the Valley, ladies and gentlemen, the land of horses and divorces. No wonder everyone who lives here pops more pills than a Celebrity Rehab cast member. Once I finally navigated the drop-off lane, I sent Mason and my carful of grade-schoolers (minus Jake) off to their classes. “Finally,” I thought, as I headed back toward home, a three-minute drive if you’re not waiting in a car-pool line. I needed to get Jakey home to our nanny, who I assumed was awake by now. I just had to find her, before heading to meet my private Pilates trainer of the last six years. (Ladies and gays, if you are thirty-five or older and are looking to change your body, Pilates is the only option. Trust me. I’m forty years old today and I’m feeling as confident as ever.) Just as I hit my ostentatious neighborhood gates, I heard my phone buzz. It was a text message from a “friend”—aka a total fucking hater—and the second wife of one of Eddie’s sleazy-ass friends.
This woman—an incredibly bored woman who broke up her current husband’s previous marriage and resented that I was still close friends with his first wife—was all too eager to alert me to a story on PerezHilton. She texted me that the blog had posted the accusation that my husband was having an affair. Most people would freak the fuck out, right? That’s the only normal, natural response. And that’s my advice. But as you will quickly learn, my darlings, do as I say, not as I do.
When I read the text again, my immediate reaction was to burst into uncontrollable nervous laughter. This had to be a joke, right? Even if there was any truth to it, why would PerezHilton ever care enough to publish a story about my husband? This “friend” seriously expected me to believe that someone put Eddie Cibrian on one of the most popular celebrity websites? Please. He was just a little-known made-for-television-movie actor. He had managed a pretty consistent soap opera career, but my husband was far from a household name, and in no world (other than Playgirl, or perhaps Out) would he be worthy of any magazine cover. Don’t get me wrong, I was always proud of him. I considered Eddie one of the most handsome men alive and appreciated the life his career provided for us, but when it came to his acting, I was under no delusions. Eddie was pretty. Actually, he was fucking gorgeous (and he knew it), but the man is not the most talented actor. I always thought Eddie’s calling should have been professional sports (I mean, he did have more affairs than an NBA player), but he wanted to be an actor. Our boys were blessed with his athletic build, but their coordination . . . question mark. Maybe that wouldn’t have been the case if Eddie had actually been around the first few years of their lives, but the boys have come around and are now great little athletes.
Eddie started acting because he was hot as hell and it came easy for him (much like the abundance of pussy he surrounded himself with). Despite earning an impressive football scholarship to UCLA (he played strong safety), he decided to quit midway through his junior year to join the cast of the TV soap The Young and the Restless. He looked fantastic on camera, but he was never winning any Academy Awards.
I grew up in the modeling world. At seventeen years old, I was plucked out of a mall in Sacramento, California. I was told to change my hair color, forced to abandon my midnight-blue eyeliner, and was strictly forbidden to taking tweezers to my eyebrows. I was told I was a body girl and didn’t have the kind of face for beauty work. I was tormented by some of the most well-known agents and supermodels in the business, so the idea of putting on kid gloves to nurse Eddie’s acting blues was never something I considered. Every so often, I relented and spent a few minutes stroking my husband’s ego. Little did I know that my husband was already getting a fair amount of stroking elsewhere.
Eddie Cibrian was a working television actor with a gorgeous smile that paid our bills and afforded our life. That was all I cared about: Eddie and our children. I didn’t need to be married to Brad Pitt—I just wanted Eddie. He was, but hopefully won’t always be, the love of my life. And love can be blinding. However, when you choose to remove your love goggles, a good prescription pill might be in order.
The text about the PerezHilton post wasn’t the first time rumors had swirled among our group of friends about Eddie’s wandering eye. Every so often, I would pick up on little whispers about my husband’s extracurricular activities, and when I’d confront him, he’d say, “You’re crazy!” He never hesitated to calm my insecurities and convince me how totally insane it was for me to question his total devotion to our family and me. I fell for it every time: hook, line, and sinker. The lies that he could tell were astounding. I mean, could you ever convince your significant other that you caught HPV simply by sharing a lollipop with a colleague? Or then try to argue that you had actually been born with it, and it just didn’t show up for thirty-five years?
Yes, this raises more questions than answers. For example, what grown man sucks on a lollipop? (Clearly, he was sucking on a whole lot of things.) That’s a little weird. And why, if making the decision to be a grown man sucking on a lollipop, would you actually share it with another person besides your wife or children? In the end, I guess he did actually end up sharing it with me.
These are all questions I should have demanded the answers to, before undergoing three surgeries to remove cancerous cells caused by the strand of HPV that was discovered after we had already been married for years. My doctor said it was almost certain I got it from my husband. (Oh, just so you know, you can only catch HPV by having sex with someone else who has the disease or if it was one of the rare cases when it’s passed on during childbirth. And never from a lollipop.) So even if our marriage didn’t last, I will always have a certain “something” to remember him by. Thanks, Eddie. Couldn’t he have contracted something curable, like the clap?
I would confide my concerns to friends, who would say, “B, he adores you. You’re crazy.” I had a perfect life, so I chalked up the rumors to jealousy and decided all of my concerns were crazy. Seriously, when would he even have the time? We were rarely without one another while he wasn’t “working,” and he was equally curious as to my whereabouts. I always figured that occasional jealously kept both of us on our toes and kept our relationship spicy. What husband or wife doesn’t want to think that his or her partner is desirable to other people? It’s all part of the game, because “the challenge” is key for just about any relationship—especially in LA. They don’t call it a trophy spouse for nothing.
I was so certain that this text message was a joke made in the most miserable of tastes that when Eddie called moments later, I was cool and breezy when I answered the phone. “Hey, babe,” I purred.
It didn’t take long after that for my entire life to begin unraveling—and I could do absolutely nothing to hold it all together. “There’s a story in Us Weekly,” he said, failing to mention that it was on the fucking cover.
“Oh,” I said, playing dumb.
He immediately spiraled into what turned out to be a whirlwind of lies. He rattled off some story about him and LeAnn Rimes having dinner in Laguna Beach, as an act of charity to help out a friend in a struggling marriage.
LeAnn. It all started to make sense now. It wasn’t my husband who was the big draw to the glossy celebrity-tabloid world, but rather a certain country-music singer who was my husband’s recent made-for-TV costar. Maybe it was his too-forceful denial or maybe it was that I never really trusted him, but in that moment I knew my life was about to change. But just how drastically, I could never have known.
Truth be told, I had already suspected for months. I recalled when she sat across the dining-room table from me, telling me how hilarious Eddie was on set. Ladies and gentlemen, Eddie Cibrian is many, many, many things—the former member of a failed Canadian pop trio, perhaps?—but humorous is not one of them. LeAnn’s then husband, Dean Sheremet, and I shared more than one look across the table. He knew, too. We were both visiting our spouses while they were on the Calgary set of Northern Lights—Dean actually stayed on location during the majority of filming. Not until I insisted upon meeting his little Nashville costar did Eddie set up a double date at a nearby sushi restaurant. And this woman, whom I had just met, spent more time flirting with my husband than acknowledging her own. And Dean, bless his heart, ate his sushi, laughed at all the right moments, and pretended that he didn’t see exactly what was in front of him. As the evening progressed, every time LeAnn made some sort of inappropriate advance toward my husband—a whisper, a giggle, or a reach across the ever-shrinking table—Eddie squeezed my hand a little tighter. And as if on cue, Eddie would lean over the table, every so often, to offer me a nervous, overly tongue-y kiss to gauge my current state of mind. I decided that it wasn’t my husband’s doing; she was just a child star who had married young and was unhappy with her own marriage. It couldn’t be anything else. It couldn’t be anything else, because it appeared to me that she was both very married and not at all Eddie’s type. I can definitely appreciate a beautiful woman (I’m a total waist-up lesbian), but I didn’t find her at all attractive. When later that same night LeAnn awkwardly pulled my husband (not hers!) onstage for an awful karaoke rendition of Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe,” I just about lost it. (Side note: that was the song they danced to at their wedding three years later. Sweet, right? And not at all creepy or insanely inappropriate?)
Was she serious? I felt that I was in the twilight zone. I sat there waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out from behind the bar, because I was certain I was on Punk’d. Being the devoted housewife and trusting partner, I wasn’t going to say anything to them, but I knew that kind of tenacity didn’t come from nowhere. I looked at Eddie’s smiling face on that stupid, low-rent stage and leaned over to Dean and said, “You know they’re fucking, right?”
Dean didn’t say anything—which said just about everything I needed to know. He knew it, too, but, like me, didn’t have any evidence besides that gut feeling, and he chose to ignore it for now. I went back to sipping my wine and kept quiet. On the outside, I appeared calm and casual; on the inside, I was going fucking insane, cursing the day I convinced Eddie to do this film and meet this horrible woman. That was, until the final fucking straw.
LeAnn had “accidentally” smeared some cake frosting on her top (she was still a bigger girl and completely flat-chested at the time) and asked my husband, not realizing that I was standing behind the both of them, if he wanted to lick it off her. This woman asked my husband if he wanted to eat the frosting mess she’d dropped on her nonexistent chest? Are you fucking kidding me? He hadn’t realized I was there either, and he laughed with hungry eyes at the suggestion.
I immediately stepped in between the two lovebirds, well aware that I was positioning my ass in my husband’s crotch (you know the drill), and coyly asked the pair, “What the fuck do you two have going on? Do you two have something you’d like to tell me?”
LeAnn laughed through her oversized dentures before purring, “Oh, honey, you’re just being silly.”
People can call me a lot of things, but I know what I saw, and this married chick was not about to convince me otherwise. I went back to the table, grabbed my purse, and got the hell out of there. I don’t know if my husband even came home that night. (But I can’t imagine he went home with LeAnn and Dean. I assume that they had a few things to talk about, too). Eddie and I had adjoining rooms, so I locked the door and slept with Mason (my then five-year-old and the real love of my life). We woke up early the next morning and jumped in a cab to the airport. I flew home convinced that my husband was having an affair with this woman.
Ironically, I was the one who actually convinced Eddie to do this Lifetime movie. He was a lucky working TV “actor” coming off guest spots on a few television shows (Ugly Betty, The Starter Wife, Samantha Who?—so strange that they all were canceled shortly after he joined); he thought he was “too big” to do a made-for-TV movie. But I knew we needed the money, because his mother—who managed all of our finances—told me as much. I mean, clearly I wasn’t given any access to our bills, because Shady McShaderson had almost all of our bills sent to his parents’ house. So, I encouraged him to take the role and the paycheck. Plus, being a jealous wife, I always was concerned with who his costar would be. But LeAnn Rimes? I thought it couldn’t get much safer. I was much more at peace when my husband, and the father of my children, was playing opposite a married woman. Oh, boy . . . was I wrong. Child stars are just about the worst. Throughout their careers, no one ever tells them no; they just assume that they can take anything they want without any repercussions.
When Eddie finally got ahold of me the next day after I had retuned to Los Angeles, he convinced me that I was just being paranoid. I even asked him about the frosting incident, and he told me, “You see and hear things that don’t actually happen.” I wanted to believe him so desperately that I let him convince me that I just made it up in my head. Apparently Dean was delusional, as well. I was a sweep-it-under-the-rug kind of girl—had been my whole married life. It’s shocking how oblivious you can allow yourself to be. And it’s even more shocking how much the truth can still hurt, despite knowing it in the back of your head all along. My marriage was a heartbreaking sham, and I was completely blindsided, because I chose to accept the fantasy and to keep wearing those love goggles—chose being the operative word. I chose to believe/fantasize that through our eight-year marriage that my husband was faithful. Now, it literally makes me laugh out loud.
That fateful Wednesday when the story broke, my phone conversation with Eddie ended in a hot blur. I’m not entirely sure how I ended up on the floor of my closet sobbing, but I can only assume it was an instinctual attraction to the only thing that could ever bring me peace: my shoes. A teary-eyed Eddie found me lying there minutes later, and without saying so much as a word, he started kissing me all over. He pulled off my workout pants and we started having sex right there in front of Manolo, Christian, and Jimmy. Yet another huge red flag that our relationship was six different kinds of fucked-up. He swore up and down my body that it wasn’t true; that it was just a string of disconnected photos that didn’t tell the actual story; that he didn’t tell me he was meeting her because he knew I would be mad and that it was completely innocent. In that moment, it was easier to believe him, because I just couldn’t stand the thought of being without him. We had a trip to go on, and I had some super-tiny bikinis to run around in. Okay, I decided to go with the fantasy and believe he wasn’t actually cheating on me. Like always, it must have been all in my head.
If only I could have been prepared for how wrong I was.
We spent the weekend in the Caribbean, just as I had planned: drinking all day on the beach and making love on crisp white sheets. We didn’t talk about what would happen when we returned home, because we were caught up in the weekend. It was a perfect getaway, and it felt like just what the doctor ordered. Plus, I was trying to be strong for my best friend. I didn’t want to make this weekend about anything other than her beautiful wedding. Eddie never mentioned the affair; my best friend married her soul mate; Winston Churchill remained a civil rights activist; and everything was right with the world. But in the back of my mind, I knew this was our last hurrah—our D-list Jen-and-Brad beach moment. We were saying good-bye to our lives as we knew them. The sex was unbelievable, because I think we were unsure if we would ever make love again. I was certain we would have sex again, but truly make love? I didn’t think so. Eddie and I landed in Miami after our trip to Parrot Cay and returned to reality, and, boy, did reality bite.
I finally turned my phone back on and realized that not only did I have an obscene number of text messages, but my voice-mail box was full, too. Sure, I had a ton of family and friends, but this was ridiculous. When Eddie turned on his phone and started scrolling through his messages, it looked as if he had seen a ghost. I knew right then that I wasn’t actually crazy. Something else had happened.
The many, many messages had a common theme: there was video. Us Weekly had posted surveillance footage from the restaurant where Eddie and LeAnn had dinner. The video even captured intimate moments of my husband with this other woman: kissing one another, licking and sucking on one another’s fingers. If that wasn’t enough, it was available for the world to see. Couldn’t it at least have been Cindy Crawford? If that were the case, I might have asked to join the party. But, no, it was a has-been country-music singer.
Eddie had absolutely nothing to say. What could he say at that point? He just looked at me with pain in his eyes. I don’t think Eddie regrets much in his life, but in that moment, I knew he regretted the pain he was causing me. But more important, he regretted getting caught—and it couldn’t get much more red-handed than this. Thank God I never actually walked in on him with another woman; I would have killed them both. Eddie’s eyes were clearly no longer on the prize. Or, maybe, I just wasn’t the prize anymore.
So there we were. Eddie was catching a flight to DC to shoot a television pilot, and I was heading back to Los Angeles to see our boys. We were parting ways there in the middle of an airport. It remains one of the most defining moments of my life: sitting in a crappy, plastic airport chair watching my husband, the love of my life, walk away from me—and from us. Doesn’t that moment at least deserve a La-Z-Boy? A gliding rocking chair perhaps? Or how about a hospital bed with a morphine drip? In any event, I quickly found the nearest bar stool. It wasn’t going to be an easy journey, and there would be plenty of setbacks, but I wasn’t going to be the victim. It was time for me to put my big-girl panties on and reclaim my life. When life hands you lemons, grab the nearest bottle of vodka and make yourself a cocktail.
The moral of the story couldn’t be clearer: you already know if your partner is fucking around behind your back, you just need to decide if you’re done being a doormat. You need to wake up one morning and decide that those rose-colored glasses are so last fucking season.
Always remember that you are a beautiful, strong woman or gay, and that plenty of wonderful men (and, perhaps, women) want to bend you over a kitchen table . . . or couch. I’m an equal-opportunity furniture molester.
Once you’ve decided to regain control of your life, the next step is to catch him in the act. Or, hypothetically, tape a phone conversation between the two of you in which he admits to fucking you on the staircase of your formerly shared home just a few days earlier, despite already living with his mistress; in which he admits that she is unattractive, that he doesn’t actually love her and would never marry her; and then asks you to come meet him at the McDonald’s he is at with the kids, because he wants you to take him back. After it’s all recorded, send her ass the tape . . . hypothetically.
If at all possible, don’t get married in California. That “no-fault state” business can be a real shit show, because despite the insane levels of douchebaggery, your alimony check won’t go up, and all you have to lose is the only thing you have left: your dignity.
If you still have questions about your partner’s fidelity, here are my top five signs that he is cheating:
1. He has two cell phones and no job.
2. He showers before going to the gym.
3. Your partner all of sudden requires a lot more “me” time. Especially if your partner is Eddie Cibrian—that man had more “me” time than most single guys.
4. Local business meetings never require an overnight stay. Never.
5. His credit card bills and cell phone bills go to his parents’ house.
If you are able to check off any of these, it’s time to reevaluate your relationship. If you can check off three or more, you’re fucked. Number five may not actually be a barometer of his cheating, but it’s douchey either way—especially at thirty-five.
And while this is by no means a definitive list, I’d like to think it’s a pretty good temperature read. But it’s not brain science or rocket surgery. If the ground is wet and the sky is gray, it’s probably raining (or you woke up in a VIP room full of strippers at the Spearmint Rhino in Vegas).
Before you judge the girl with the broken ankle, walk a mile in her stiletto.