Dear Chump Lady,
How does one get over the horrible feeling of jealousy?
I ended our 33 year marriage eight months ago after many years of being chumped…chumped over and over again but never having hard evidence, I finally did, called him on his shit and pointed him to the door. Since then I’ve been to counseling, a divorce recovery group and have read so many self-help books that I could just explode. I’m so sick of the woo-woo way I’ve been told to “get over” this…breathing, mindfulness, tapping (EFN–check it out), and on and on…all very calm and “spiritual” and none have done me any good until I discovered Chump Lady and found out that my anger and nausea and disgust are not out of line and are, indeed, a healthy way to get that creep out of my life and head.
But as much as I am so happy to be living on my own and not in the presence of that narcissistic, alchoholic, sex addicted creep, I can’t shake the feeling of wanting to see him and his skank go down in flames.
Instead, when I showed him to the door, she let him live rent free in one of her many rentals (her husband was all for it because he was told by them that I was the one having the affair and poor, poor dickhead was “kicked to the curb.” Meanwhile his wife and my husband were getting cozier and cozier.) So eight months later, the husband now knows the truth and has left the area leaving his skanky wife the beautiful home they owned, several rentals that are her source of income, and her dalliance with my STBXH.
They are giddy! His business is dying, but that doesn’t matter because she has enough money for both of them, he rarely contacts our grown children, and the two of them are out buying cars for themselves and socializing and having fun. Meanwhile I’m home, going to work every day, living with my two aging and needy dogs (I love them but, hey, they’re dogs!) and hearing about all the fun and escapades my ex and his skank are having. It’s eating me alive!
I have such a need for retribution or at least some kind of karma. I was married to the jerk for 33 years — never once cheated or even ogled another man, worked every year we were together — sometimes supporting him as he went back to school (and boinked co-eds) and even after our two kids were born I was only allowed 3 weeks off after each of their births. He has always been independently employed and could come and go (mostly go) as he wanted. Now he has access to 50% of everything I have struggled to put away (pension, Social Security, IRAs that came directly out of my paycheck, etc.) and I have my dogs.
My kids won’t talk to me about it because they don’t want to feel negative about their dad . They tell me it takes two for a marriage to fail and resent me for booting their poor, poor, dad out. I’m pissed! I want retribution! I hate to hear of all the fun my ex and his skank are having. I want to move on but just can’t seem to get beyond wanting to see those two go down in flames. It just doesn’t seem fair and I guess that’s what I’m having trouble with. How does a person who has tried to do everything right, devoted herself to a sham of a marriage, now past her prime and feeling old and used up (I’m heading very quickly toward 60) feel okay about the way things have unfolded? I hate to admit it, but I’m jealous of them and feeling sorry for myself. How do I get beyond that?
Well for starters, Chumped, stop being the conduit of their happy tidings. How exactly are you hearing about “all the fun my ex and his skank are having”? Are you snooping? Stop that. From them? Consider the source and go no contact. Your kids are grown, you have zero reason to be in touch. From “friends”? Tell them unequivocally you do not want to hear about your ex’s fabulous life and that it is painful to you. Real friends don’t stir up the drama to hurt you. Real friends only gossip about your ex if it’s to tell you that a giant tree has fallen on his house and crushed his BMW. Anything less than a karmic reckoning is not worth the news wires, okay?
If it’s from your children? Again, you need to enforce your boundaries. “Your father’s infidelity was very painful to me, so please understand that I don’t want to hear updates on his life.” When they say “it takes two for a marriage to fail” consider that they are probably mouthing the crap he has told them. Also consider they’re not married themselves, have no experience of betrayal, and are talking out of their asses. As any parent can tell you, children are sometimes insensitive creeps. Nip that shit in the bud just like you would any other bad behavior. “Junior, you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Let’s change the subject, shall we?”
And that goes for you. If you don’t want your children to bring up your ex, YOU need to not bring up your ex with your children. They don’t care about cosmic injustice of it. I know that is hideously unfair, but they don’t. They want to love both of their parents. If you take the high road and keep your mouth shut (beyond telling them the truth of why you broke up, he cheated. Without editorializing, because he’s a narcissistic sex addicted asshole…), they will figure out who he really is in time. They cannot NOT figure it out, because disordered wing nuts always let the crazy show. It’s who they ARE.
Next, YOU need to internalize that is who he is. When you really do that, then there is NOTHING to miss. If you really believe that he is a “narcissistic, alchoholic, sex addicted creep” then you won’t care how many free rental units he can mooch off the OW, you’ll be relieved he is out of your life. Trust that he sucks. No one envies a woman shackled to a narcissistic, alcoholic, sex addict. NO ONE. Figure out what you thought you saw in him, (other than your investment of 33 years), and let Mr. Imaginary Husband go. He was a figment.
The injustice? You have to eat that shit sandwich. I’m not going to tell you to mindfully Ohmm it away. Face the shit sandwich and acknowledge it. Realize you are in very good company. Millions of people have been chumped. People deal with far worse than infidelity and survive. You’re jealous of his imaginary good fortune, because you don’t have a life that you want. Direct your energies THERE. Create that life that YOU want. Nelson Mandela spent 27 years on Robbin Island doing hard labor, unjustly. He got out and became president of South Africa. That’s setting the bar pretty high, but consider that there are worse shit sandwiches. Who do you want to be? Do you want to be jealous of some low-life cheating skanks, or do you want to be someone who overcomes adversity? No one can give you back 33 years. Only you can make the most of your remaining life. It’s WORK. I’m not going to lie to you, it’s fucking hard work to rebuild and reinvent. But it’s rewarding work that has real pay offs in peace of mind, deeper friendships, and laughter — things you’re never going to have when you rue your past with that creep.
Every time you waste mental energy being jealous, you’re stealing from yourself. You NEED that energy to focus on you, on rebuilding your fabulous new life without him. The OW commuted your sentence to the “narcissistic, alchoholic, sex addicted creep.” Step out of the cage.