Dear Chump Lady,
So, I have been divorced now for a month or so. My ex-husband and I separated in February and he had a girlfriend with a few weeks. Wow, what a shocker. Oh, but they never cheated, and they were just “friends” before. The whole time we was basically trying to have his cake and eat it too. He would tell me that he loved me, and never really wanted to get a divorce. He always seem to withhold the truth from me.
See, he’s in the Navy, and we lived apart because he traveled so much with the navy wrestling team. So I was never around to really know what was going on. He finally told me the truth in August after playing me for months. He said he did love her, but he was still confused about us. He said that he still loves me and hopes we can work it out someday. What kind of crap is that?!
I finally had enough and divorced him. It was so hard. Recently he came into town to take care of business before he was deployed to Japan. He got into contact me and asked to “apologize” in person for all the pain he has caused. He still swears up and down that he never cheated, but I know that he did. I am having a hard time of letting him go. It’s been a struggle because he still tries to contact me, and tell me all this crap.
The crazy thing is that he’s still in a relationship with this girl and broadcasts it all over Facebook. About how they are so in love, but yet, he’s telling me he loves me too. I’m so tired of the manipulation. I realize what he is doing, yet I still let him get to me. I need someone to smack me upside the head. I know he’s a narcissist. But yet, I still love the stupid fuck.
He keeps coming at me that he just wants to be friends, and that I’m still his best friend and blah blah blah. I just would like to know your view on this. And I need someone to tell me the harsh reality of it all. Thanks so much for your blog. It does help. I can’t believe there’s so many awful people in this world that like to hurt people. Thanks for listening.
Choose your weapon. What would you like me to hit you upside the head with? Last Sunday’s New York Times? A wet mitten? (I just got back from Minnesota. It was snowing. In OCTOBER.) A muddy boot? These are the things I have on hand. Thwack! Consider yourself smacked.
Okay, now that I’ve smacked you, I’m going to hug you. ((((Natalie))) This guy IS a stupid fuck. Worse, he is an ABUSIVE fuck. Cheating is abuse. And yes, he cheated. Of course. And he’s cheating on Miss Fabulous Facebook chick too. (I’d say tell her, but he’d probably explain you off as his bat shit crazy, jealous ex. Still you might want to consider forwarding any incriminating emails about his “love” for you.)
He doesn’t love you. Healthy, loving people don’t behave like this. This is not a “love” that is good for you. I know that hurts. And I know that you hunger for those words of remorse, for apology, for him to explain himself. You need to let that shit go. Because you know what? He’s manipulating you with it. It’s ego kibbles for him. It’s a GAME. Every time you respond to him, you’re feeding him. He feels centrality, that he matters. That he is winning some sicko game that only he knows the rules to.
You have to stop participating. It’s like kicking a drug. You have to go total no contact with him. I hope you don’t have a kid with him, because that will make it harder. But NO CONTACT. (And if you do have a kid, email contact only and it’s about finances or kid logistics. Nothing else.)
The longer you stay no contact, the stronger you’re going to get. Little by little, day by day. And when you feel weak, I want you to reach out to a SANE person. A friend, an online support group, post on this blog, go for a walk, eat a cupcake. Do SOMETHING ELSE, but do NOT contact him.
Change your number, block his email. If you’ve got divorce logistics to work out, he can contact your attorney (yes, the billable hours are worth your sanity).
You need to detox from him.
I get how sparkly narcissists are. And I understand bonding with one. I did it myself, and thus, Chump Lady. But the next thing you need to do Natalie, is have a hard look at yourself. A kind, but hard look. Why is the sparkly narcissist guy appealing to you? Do you buy his bullshit that he’s really All That? Do you? Do you need to be with someone so uber confident and arrogant? Do you get some contact high from that? I did. Mine was like that. Baffles me now, but I once thought he lit the moon.
The way past that is self knowledge. Know yourself Natalie. Know what your values are. You value honesty, love, and a true commitment and that is why you divorced that douchebag. He’s not someone you can EVER be compatible with, because he’s not in your league. You don’t share the same values. You’re not being unforgiving of him (assuming his remorse is real. It’s not, obviously.) He is utterly incompatible with you.
When you focus on him, you’re taking focus off of yourself and your healing. You’re giving energy to him that could be spent elsewhere. On someone better than him. As the song goes, he’s taking up another man’s space. Better than a wet mitten upside the head, I’m going to leave you with a great Aretha Franklin song. Listen over and over, as needed.
Dump him for GOOD, Natalie. You can do this!