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.
Thank you. That’s exactly what I needed to hear. Onward!
Excellent advice as always, CL And chumped, I totally get what you’re feeling. I’m coming off 20 years and having to face up to the fact that STBX is a serial cheater who really is a total dickhead. He’s with the final OW right now and from the outside it seems like it’s great, they’re blissful and I’m sitting here trying to rebuild the career I’ve paid no attention to for a long time, losing my home, facing some pretty huge issues. But you know what? Just like the OW in my situation, the OW in yours has got herself a guy who cheats. And not just a one-off, oh-we-fell-in-love-after-more-than-three-decades-of-being-faithful but instead it’s ‘shit, I’ve really lost my wife and now I’ve got to make this work because otherwise I look like a massive dickhole’. STBX more or less admitted this to my kids-that he’s hanging on to the final OW because he doesn’t have anything else. Pathetic, isn’t it? And isn’t she just so, so lucky?
As far as the kids, Yeah, keep in minimal but I’m not quite as saintly as CL suggests. When this all first hit and STBX was being absolutely rotten to the kids because, you know, they are a TAD upset, I was clear that their dad has issues that go far beyond cheating. I don’t say much anymore, although I have had the odd meltdown, but overall I do allow them to talk about their dad (mine are still early teens) but have reached the point where it pisses me off to hear about him and OW so I now tend to cut them off quite quickly and say that I’m not all that interested in what their dad is up to.
And I tell them why: he hurt me a great deal, as did OW, and I prefer to not be hurt anymore.
Good luck–it sucks and it’s hard but you really will be ok.
Dear Chumped – this part sucks big time!! I don’t have anywhere near the history that you have but my life, I swear, sometimes feels like a prison. I feel so stupid for what happened – I ignored my better instincts and what I knew. For starters, I blocked and I mean BLOCKED any form of contact that the X might employ to keep contacting me – and I cut out everyone in my life who could give any status updates, big or little, unconscious or not, of the new couple. You must do all you can to create a predictable environment for yourself – put your helmet and goggles on and just grind thru. I have SO MANY revenge fantasies and I totally want everything for them to go up in flames!!! When I catch myself in those feelings and thoughts, I make a conscious decision to ask myself what it is I want from my own life.
All that said, its hard – sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but, its not like you can give up. Fantasy and hope dies hard. Do as CL says – don’t give these turds any more real estate in your life or in your soul. I’m not saying its easy – but, its the ONLY path out.
That jealousy thing is so poisonous and it hurts so much. I get it. God, I SO get it! Keep the faith – but you must purge from your life any avenues of information or updates (the fact notwithstanding that some avenues are more easily purged than others, like offspring). If people cannot respect your wishes, then purge them – and DO NOT ASK!!!
Believe me, I know all this is easier said than done – I feel bad giving advice here sometimes, like I wasn’t chumped enough or something but I feel all the things everyone else feels – so, for what its worth…… in my humble opinion. My history is well documented on this site, starting back in November 2012 with CHUMP LADY PLEASE DECODE THIS – and it was a revelation. And sometimes, as they say, the truth just hurts and hurts.
Wonderful advice! It truly is the best way to go. No contact and eschew anyone who gives you information. You can’t be jealous of what you don’t know.
I’m in a similar situation. Ex has now admitted to a serious relationship with OW and wants to introduce our daughter. They are both working and living it up at every opportunity. I’m unemployed and struggling to make ends meet.
So what did I do? Put a brave face on and say I don’t have an issue with that. Smile when they take my daughter out and spoil her and cry my eyes out when the door is closed.
I won’t give either of them the satisfaction of thinking I care or am jealous.
The wheel of fortune is at the bottom now, but it sure as hell won’t stay there if I’ve got anything to do with it!
Chumped, I seriously think you are going to get some pretty satisfying retribution and see the BITCH of karma real soon! Why? Well, let’s look at what you said about your STBXH
“I ended my 33 year marriage 8 months ago.”
8 months is NOT that long ago. You were with him for 33 years- that’s a LONG time in chump land. You will and should be experiencing anger for a while. Feeling like you wasted time is understood. You have 33 years and I have 20+ years of marriage. Feel angry, keep reading CL.com, go no contact, and sign up for perhaps a kick boxing or karate class. THAT will make you feel better and heck at worst you’ll develop some abs and core strength! NEXT you wrote:
“his business is failing”
You are seeing the beginning of the end right here! Your STBX didn’t work all that hard at his businesses over the years. He boinked co-eds when he was in school, came and went as he pleased in his business. Because your STBXH was a cake eater he neglected his business, was focused on ego kibbles. What is going on right now? Is he investing in his business and working long hours? No, he and the OW are buying cars and socializing. Just watch, I’m betting that as his business and finances start failing he’s going to feel like sh*t and start cheating on the OW at some point. Next he will either need to get money from the OW or a bank to help his failing business. A bank will likely turn him down or give him a loan with HIGH loan terms. If the OW gives him money to ‘help’ his business he’s going to resent that. If she balks at financial assistance, he will resent her and then the passive aggressive cheating will be going on while he is with OW.
Your STBXH sounds like he has zero discipline. He will live on to create his own destruction.
Your STBXH is living in HER former husbands rentals. The OW’s ex-husband got real wise and left the State. This action on the ex-husbands’ part likely outed the OW and your STBXH to a WHOLE lot of people that you don’t know. Word gets around and they won’t be able to maintain their lies about how you kicked your husband out. blah, blah, blah. . . .
Your kids will continued to mature. They will marry and have kids. Where will STBXH be? Babysitting? Making scrap books for the grandkids? Helping out with birthday parties? Probably NOT, right? CL is right, as the will grow up and as their lives get complex with spouses and kids they will see their Dad for the narcissistic cake eater that he was and is.
CL is right. Focus on what YOU want. STBXH is out of your life and your kids are grown. Do YOU want to go back to school? Start a side business venture? Take up a sport or activity that you would have liked to do with your husband when married but didn’t cause you were always working hard? Carpe Diem. Start making the life you want to live cause you no longer have to exhaust all your energies making a life around STBXH or with him.
Just watch, I am betting that if you start doing all of this and focus on YOUR life, in one year’s time you will already start feeling like a ‘new’ woman! Good luck to you Chumped- I’m giving you a big ((Hug))!
Hope49 – Damn you’re good!!! Oh and hey, Chumped, I forgot ((((hugs!!))) and remember, women just LOVE a man who can’t pay their way…. NOT. And, money problems ALWAYS make relationships smoother and more rewarding, right??? NOT!!! I think its a pretty good bet that she doesn’t want to be the bank…. and nothing is ever what it seems…..
Money problems…. that was my future with the dickhead cheater and I dodged a bullet. Gotta remember that stuff just for myself.
AWESOME analysis! Awesome!
Even I feel better after reading that!
Hope – great response!
You’re right, 8 months after a 33 marriage is not a long time. I think sometimes we feel like we need to “keep up” with the old partner… if they appear to be happy, we must be happy. And Right Away! Plus, it’s like we’ve wasted x number of years with this guy, I don’t want to waste any more time mourning his ass. But, unfortunately, we can’t rush our way through this stuff either. That is why your advice to focus on yourself is spot on. We can’t rush through some of the crap we need to feel, but at the same time we are feeling our anger and jealousy, etc. toward them, we should also be working on slowly making our lives richer and more fulfilling by focusing on ourselves and our hobbies, school, work, friends.
Thank you for y our advice, it’s wonderful. (I’ve been gone for the weekend so am just now reading these insights and wonderful responses and I’m overwhelmed!) What you say is true and I will read your response everyday for a month if I have to, to keep in mind what my priorities are and ways to progress forward. The one piece of advice I gleaned from my divorce recovery group was, “Let go or be dragged!” and that will be my new mantra.
Well said, to the above posts.
Chumped, it`s only 8 months. It may seem like a long time already, but 8 months to your 33 years! Give yourself space and time.
What you`re feeling is totally valid and understandable. But if you can just take the advice been offered here you`ll get through this. There is loving support here from people who know exactly what you`re going through.
I think it is totally admirable that you took yourself out of the mess when you had the evidence – celebrate how far you`ve come and the fact that you`re not still mired in the shit trying to decide what to do. Your sense of self is strong.
While that doesn`t help you with the pain and feelings of jealousy and sense of injustice (all valid and very human to feel that way), it`s a starting point for where you want to see yourself a year from now, 5 years from now.
I (as we all do) can relate to how you are feeling. Not only was I jealous, I was lonely. And in disbelief at the shrapnel all around me. The lives of my children (in their late teens) and mine were shattered and broken. My sense of injustice knew no bounds.
His detachmen and his cold indifference to what and who he had just destroyed was probably the hardest pill to swallow. It was as if our 31 years together had never happened. It was truly the worst and hardest time of my life.
And what was worse is that he appeared to be so happy.
All is not really as it seems. He is now onto his 3rd live-in girlfriend since our split. He doesn`t see our children (now 25 and 24) often and when they do, they are increasingly disillusioned with him. They have both told me that they think he is emotionally stunted. They have both told me individually that he doesn`t get how he destroyed our family.
He has tried to tell them that our marriage wasn`t as good as I say it was, but both have disputed that with him. They witnessed what we had. (That doesn`t stop them wanting to love both their parents though.)
And while it seemed as if he was so happy and was so detached and distant, I wonder if he sometimes actually can`t look at himself in the mirror. My son has indicated this recently.
I too am not a saint – I lost my dignity at times in my anger and the pain. I had meltdowns and I wobbled and I felt so sorry for myself. I eventually moved from the small town we had lived in as a family. That helped me get away from seeing him and hearing how great his life was. It wasn`t in my face anymore. It`s way better since I moved, but it`s still lonely because I live in a city and don`t have my support system of friends around me.
No contact with him and telling people you don`t want to hear about him and his wonderful life will make a huge difference in your healing. It`s like rubbing salt into an open wound if you don`t put a stop to it..
Good luck, keep us posted and know that we all care about each other.
Hope 49, you are amazing at your analysis for this guy’s future! CL, you are right. “Reconstructing your life is hard work.” I think this one matters most! And when hard work is the demand from chumps like us…where is the time to be jealous? Why not use our energy is recreating ourselves. Do things that please us.
However, being jealous is human. We have to allow ourselves to be that for some time, till we feel in control. Here, we aren’t jealous of rich, young etc. etc. We are jealous of someone, who has chumped us and taken away a lot of our material things and spiritual well being. It is okay to feel so for a while. But, we have to “let go”. Otw, we are helping them chump us even more, by making us still concentrate on their affairs!
A lot of times, we think that the serial cheater is happy. He is only happy when he is getting his cake and eating it too. With the cake gone, he definitely should be feeling shit. Hope 49’s analysis also shows that his future seems bleak too. As for the eating cake, why don’t you get in and find out for yourself – how good it feels to be in their shoes. It shall be a bad feeling! I can assure you that! Chumps rarely find it good in scenarios, where they have to go against their own core values. Believe me. No vegetarian eats non-veg without an inner conflict…that is what makes this option bad for you. Something else should give you more satisfaction. Time to find that! There is more life has to offer to you. Time to discover that!
Chump Lady, how did you know I needed this little pep talk?
Is it ok to burn the cheap, impersonal souvenirs my ex gave my kids from his recent vacay with the alcoholic BPD homewrecker?
Why would a father rub his kids’ noses in his happy new life, anyway?
“Hey, since I walked out on the family for a skanky ho, I’ve just been yucking it up, big time. Here–I brought you some ugly things to show you I care, and to show you that I went on a vacation without you, and it was fabulous.”
I wouldn’t recommend burning your children’s things, no. Those things belong to them now. Let them grow tired of them or learn to see that they are cheap, ugly, & meaningless. Better than them being pissed with you about it.
Haha, thanks, moda! *sigh*
I like this.
Let those things become meaningless, irrelevant trinkets with no power over you. That is better than burning them!
Oh Stephanie – chin up – what a dick indeed. You’re so smart and insightful – I wish I was there to help. What a dick!!! You can do this!!
Stephanie, I suggest you sort of sit back and watch what those kids do with the cheap, impersonal souveniers.
Depending on your kids’ age, they may think the souvenirs are special. They may have them near their beds, wearing them etc. However, as time goes on that may change. If they’re angry at their father because he’s not showing up to their soccer or little league games, school assemblies, etc. you might actually see them discarding the souvenirs, throwing them across the room, etc. etc.
In maybe 3 or 6 months should you be cleaning their room pick the items up and casually ask them, “Where would you like me to put your Dad’s bracelet, nic-nac, etc. he gave you?” Now, gauge his/her reacton. If your child shrugs, looks mad, ignores the question you’ll get a lot of information and a reading on your child’s mental emotional state.
My son is 17 years old. Our home is not enormously spaceous and I had put away some pictures I had in the house because there just wasn’t enough shelf space. I had tucked away some pictures in his closet. About 3 years ago, I had him clean his room and organize it. His video game collection and computer was taking up a lot of his desk space. I noticed however, that he made space for a particular 5 X 7 framed picture. It is a picture of me- a VERY happy new mom joyusly smiling while I am holding him up in the air. He was only 4 months old and dressed in a little bow tie and blue velvet shorts and suspenders. I am all dressed up. He is so small but he has a grin on his little face looking at his beaming mom.
That picture is STILL there in his room carefully maintained and placed among an array of Sports Illustrated magazines, Marine Times Newspapers, (He plans on enlisting in the marines after high school) and video games. He has never put that picture away. Now, this is the same son who never wants me to hug him in public around his guy friends, and will walk 3 paces ahead of me in public. At home he is still my son. He will lay on the couch next to me to watch a movie.
I tell you all this because your kids will likely reveal themselves to you through objects and keepsakes in the home. Keep your eyes open and watch. You will likely see things that will give you GREAT comfort as to your role and importance in their lives. So don’t throw out those cheap, impersonal souvenirs. Just sit back and watch.
((Hugs)) to you and every fellow chump on this site this Sunday.
Ditto this. Although this does sadden me, the artwork lovingly made by my kiddos in school is typically all about me. I don’t think that they gave STBX anything for Valentine’s Day, and I received several adorable cards. My DD comes home from preschool with pictures she’s drawn of me and her, me and one of her brothers, etc. My kids hardly ever put him in pictures or draw things for him, even though I encourage them to do things like that. Sad but true.
Your feelings are valid,
That is the first thing we will tell you at Chump Lady. You’re allow to feel angry, betrayed, devastated. It does hurt to see him having fun that you don’t feel he deserves. It’s alright to want him to go down in flames.
But life is not a movie and sometimes seeing the bad people always getting their karma instantly doesn’t happen. Remember, at the end of the day whats most important is that you can look t yourself in the mirror and not have to lie to yourself to make the reflection look good. They do. And that’s worth far more than 10 new cars.
I wish there was a ‘like’ button so I could use it here! 🙂
Chumped, you and I are on same time line, only my boys a younger.
Same shit sandwich though. we both have a perspection that our cheating narcissist exes are going to live happily ever after. Well they are not.
Chainsaw man bought a brand new Volvo SUV 2 weeks after our d day. He’d been driving rental cars for years. It was black my exes favourite colour for a car. What does he want a SUV for considering he has no family here. I was jealous as hell. Well I can tell you as of today the boys have never sat in it and nor do they intend to. WHY?
Well the boys are 13 and 16. I sat down with them and told them the truth. On the third night we were alone after their mum moved out they said at dinner “we don’t understand why this has happened because you and mum never had a fight ,yelled and we were all happy here. ” I told them IN MY OPINION mum thinks that she will have a better life with CSM and her thoughts are effected by her being in love with CSM. Bit like getting a new bike , guitar etc. All you want to do is play it and you will spend more time playing it often at the expense of seeing mates. Then after a time the novelty wears off. They understand.
“Problems in the marriage” is not the point. I don’t give a flying fuck if my ex beat the shit out of me every night. It’s NO EXCUSE TO CHEAT”
Cheaters cheat because they think they can get away from it.
Your husband MAY be telling your children that the marriage was terrible etc but I will assume And I maybe wrong that he is trying to justify the affair. My darling ex wife says that CSM is a good man. He’s calm , sucessful in business , bla,bla, bla.
Good men do not leave their family in another country when the daughters are young. Good men don’t sleep with married woman with young children. Good men don’t take their lover to New York for a marathon instead of her family going. Good men don’t expose their lover to losing friends because of his selfishness.
Clumped I used to be as jealous as hell but in my case these two pathetic sad people are just that. They are isolated lonely and facing reality. I don’t really know what they do day to day and I don’t try and find out
I know my ex spends fuck all time with the boys and he is with her the whole time they are not. They are going to suffocate each other. They work next door to each other. They lunch together.
Focus on yourself. This site helps because we all have common issues. It’s important to take control of your life and live a life that you want to live.
It’s bloody hard work but what choice do we have.
Just think that morally you are far above them.
Money doesn’t buy happiness. Try and reconnected with the children. Don’t belittle their father but its important that they know the truth and know that cheating reflects on the cheater. Every single web site and book says there is no excuse for cheating.
I too am jealous. I have been doing pretty good w/ NC, last time I actually saw him was on VDay, with her, very briefly as I was driving to work. A strange thing has happened though, he has “accidently” called me a few times, even waking me up one night at 12:30AM. This is not new, and I actually warned him (CHUMP) a long time ago that even if he doesn’t realize he’s dialed me, I can hear everything being said on his end. Well, it happened again yesterday afternoon, after I had one of the best days I had had in a long time. He and the whore were putting away groceries, or at least that’s what it sounded like, he was talking about his day, steaks, and I think he was trying to persuade her to get a job, altho’ I can’t be sure, and I’m sure she is on food stamps, so that would endanger that possibilty. Am I sick or what? I knew I should just hang up the phone but I felt like I was watching a horror movie (Don’t go in the basement) but I couldn’t, and I sat … and listened …for about 15 minutes…SICK I know I know. But I was so sad, and so jealous, and fooling myself into believing that I was loved once. In anycase I called him back, told him calmly to erase my # from his phone, he said he was sorry (first time he’s said he was sorry about anything) then he started yelling at me. I hung up, called him back and read him the F-ing riot act. I don’t think it will be happening again. But I was weak, and I want you to know you weren’t the only one. It was only 12 years for us, and it’s only been about a month, but I want them to be miserable and burn in hell. Sad but true….1 step forward, 5 steps back, I was so upset I cried and cried, and cried again. But I am getting better, and stronger and am beginning to think I can survive this so hang on, you are not alone…XO
Wow, one month and he’s already seeing the writing on the wall? Trying to change her already? Sounds like a match made in heaven. No, they aren’t living a life worthy of jealousy. But the bitch did you a favor. She dangled shiny sparkles in front of him to distract him, and trust me, one day you will double over in relief–YOU are the one who got away from a guy who would do that to you. Twelve years? I bet you can look back and see that he had it in him the whole time to cheat on you. Bet he wasn’t such a gentleman, kind and attentive and loving.
Good job, now hang in there. “Only” 12 years is a long time, and you meant it to be forever. It hurts to know you gave your heart to someone who would crush it without a care.
You’ll be ok. You’re smart.
As always, Thank you, and everyone for your kind words
He was cheating pretty much since year (or day) 1, he made a point of telling me that when I finally confronted him about seeing them together, a letter I got at work etc…And I’m pretty sure he created this thing with her…and I don’t want to trade places with her OR go back, I truly don’t – but there IS some part of me I can’t seem to beat down that says “He’s Mine!” “He belongs here with me!” You are stealing MY life!” Even though it’s a life I no longer want it’s the life I know, have known for so long and sometimes I feel like I don’t know who I am anymore…..like I said…5 steps back…I can’t even begin to tell all of you how much ya’ll being here means to me and hopefully I can give back with some support to CL and Co. He told me that day that he was wrong, damaged, he’d always been that way and couldn’t stop….I just wish I could hate him and stop obsessing, but I feel like I’ve lost a limb.
IIIIIIIIiiiiiii know! I KNOW!
I don’t want dickhead back, either, but it still hurts to have someone stomp on the delusions that kept you feeling secure. (Mostly, like when you ignored or spackled over the crap.)
It hurts to think that the bad guys are winning–it’s SO unjust!
I’M LOVABLE! WHY DIDN’T YOU LOVE ME!? (I am lovable, right….?) All the insecurities are enormous and overwhelming.
But we will each find our ways. Sometimes it helps to remember and write down all the things I hated about him. There were many things. You, too, I bet.
The bad guys aren’t winning, even if it looks like they are. They have to live with themselves, we don’t. It helps to remember that from time to time, as well. I will never have to look in the mirror and wonder what sort of completely fucked up fuckhead I am, that I would walk out of my children’s lives, that I would treat the mother of my children like complete shit and then blame her for the demise of the role in my family. I will not have to lie to friends and family about what happened and hope that they believe me. I will not have to keep running from myself and from the truth. I don’t live with a manipulative, parasitic, borderline alcoholic homewrecker who is thrilled about what I’ve done to my kids and wife. I don’t have to hope my kids forgive me, if not now, then some day.
What about your ex? What does he have to live with for the rest of his life? Being a coward? There is NOTHING sexy about a coward. NOTHING.
Stephanie, you have a couple sentences there that are really important. I’m betting that EVERY chump on this website can relate to:
“The bad guys aren’t winning, even if it looks like they are. They have to live with themselves, we don’t. It helps to remember that from time to time, as well. I will never have to look in the mirror and wonder what sort of completely fucked up fuckhead I am, that I would walk out of my children’s lives, that I would treat the mother of my children like complete shit and then blame her for the demise of the role in my family. I will not have to lie to friends and family about what happened and hope that they believe me. I will not have to keep running from myself and from the truth.”
This is really UNIVERSAL with all of us chumps. Look at all the people on this website that have experienced what you wrote. You, Me, Baci, Arnold, Jay, etc., etc. We need to print this out and paste it on our bathroom mirrors to read when we are having a bad day! We may be in pain BUT at least we are moving OUT of the fog we have lived in and will be deluded no more. On the other hand, our former Cheater NPD STBX’s have to delude themselves and others even more to survive!!! Think about it, we are ripping the band -aids OFF the wounds for the world to see- we are spackling NO MORE!!!. Our Cheater NPD spouses have to step up their game of lying and deluding even MORE! It’s really crazy isn’t it?
I have read that the end years for NPD types are really not so pretty. Psychological treatment for NPD types doesn’t work because they won’t accept responsibility. Their lives NEVER get better and they just keep on spinning. They just blow through more relationships and they end up dying alone and pretty isolated.
I hear ya on the insecurities. It’s not fair that they did this to us when they were supposed to be our closest ally.
Can’t even think of having another relationship-gives me the willies and besides, who is going to want me? I can imagine if I was developing a relationship sometime that eventually I’d need to say what happened to my marriage, wouldn’t I? I imagine the other person drawing back and not wanting involvement with someone from a distasteful situation–almost like I’m tainted by his gross behavior (years of prostitutes all over Asia and who knows where else).
And what about sex eventually? Ick. I just think about where he’s been like shit on the bottom of your shoe.
I’ve worked really hard to understand why I was vulnerable to someone like him and am working hard to build a satisfying life for myself.
Those who are further along than me, do you get over these things eventually?
As I had said earlier I was having a really good day till the phone rang…this is what I’VE been doing….
Reading CL religiously, reading some posts / comments over and over
Copying and pasting like mad in a “notebook”
Went to Yoga, very gentle session – made me cry but I felt wonderful for hours
Went to a movie by myself (first time ever)
Cleaning/redoing the apt (this part feels good but also makes me really angry, I may be evicted if I can’t meet the rent on my own AND I’m cleaning up his F-ing mess)
Learning all I can about Narcissism
Practicing gratitude, all of you included
AND, reading CL faithfully!!!! Can’t stress this one enough!!!
“Stealing my life”
Exactly how I fell. After been here a while and realising a life with our cheating exes would be fraught with danger that’s how I feel. How dare he come along and just steal what we as a family had. It’s broken forever.
How do they expect to go on with this and honestly look our kids in the eye as if nothing happened.
As CL says go out and build a new life but the boys and I were pretty happy with the one we had.
But I do feel like you do often. He’s a low life thief. It’s a crime
So true Nord, lthough my daughters are grown women with children, and as thier father had passed away many years ago I still feel horribly guilty I brought him into their lives, they really loved him. When we had the confrontation I howled “You were around my Grandchildren!” Which totally baffled him but In MY mind I had exposed them to scum, dirt, lies. You DO NOT include families, children, etc. as if you have the right, ecspecially when he has NEVER been there for his, except for the minimal amount I talked him into……have to let all that go, kncluding his Mother who is hurt and bewildered. but I feel like I’m barely hanging on myself, so have to make it for me first…
Exactly how I felt too about my life being stolen away from me.
And how dare he!
No matter how much I didn’t want him when I found out about his serial cheating, I wanted the life I thought we had – I couldn’t seem to let go of that. It was as if my heart and mind couldn’t correlate the two pictures of him. Seeing him as the cheater didn’t kill the longing for the life and love I thought we had.
I remember telling someone once that I felt he had stolen my memories from me too.
(We had been talking about pregnancies, the births of our babies, milestones of the kids, etc) Just thinking or talking about aspects of our lives together was raw, raw pain.
I have my memories back now – I took them back and over time, detachment happens.
It’s bloody hard…….. It does get better though. You just have to hang on for all you`re worth.
Then one day you look back and you realize it happened on Tuesday.
Dear Chump Lady,
I wish you were around in 2008. I did not even know about narcissists until I was researching divorce on the internet…I had an epiphany!!!
It has still been a long, hard road being married for 25 years with children and things did not change overnight. The term “mindfuck” is so true. It takes a while to get over years of what the other person has told you and your children, but I can’t imagine going back to that kind of life where I was used repeatedly and made to feel so insignificant.
Here is my question…since I do live in a small community and always have the chance of running into him and the OW, what should I do? (He likes confrontation BIG TIME) Since all of this happened, I have been going out of my way to leave the store where they are so that they do not see me. I am getting tired of this, but at the same time I feel intense anxiety at the sight of them alone or together. I do not need to have any contact (our children are older) but I feel like there must be a better way to handle this.
PS: Thank you for giving chumps a voice and letting us know that we are not to blame for another person’s actions. Most of the world tells us otherwise. I like your comments about Huffington Post.
Good question Anne,
Same situation. Bad anxiety. Actually scared at times and I’m 52! Looking forward to CL’s advice while also thinking how absurd and unfair it all is…
Oh Gosh, Anne, I think about that too, especially now that my ex and OW bought a house in my town. In my fantasy, I have all the Target guests running from the store shrieking “Adulterer Cooties! Run!” But in real life, unless my kids are with them, I will probably ignore them. Looking forward to CL’s advice too.
Unless you’re prepared to move (or they are), ignore the motherfuckers and hold your head up. You have zero to be ashamed of, but they do. There’s nothing to say, so what on earth does he want to confront you about? “HAH! I’m happy with my skank! Take THAT!”
If that’s the case, you look at him piteously and wish him all the best with that.
If it’s about something else, kids, finances — don’t engage. Seriously, do NOT take the bait. All communication must be documented via email or go through your lawyer. Communicate as briefly as possible.
I imagine he engages in drama with you to deflect from his own horrible actions. It takes two to psychodrama. Don’t dance with him. It will drive him nuts, and will give you peace of mind.
There’s no one here to miss and there is nothing here to argue about.
Thank you Chump Lady! 🙂
Like alot of theses posts have already said you are only 8 ms into a process that is different for everyone. Your EX and the OW are still in bliss. Just wait. One morning she may wake up to the fact that he is a narcissistic, alchoholic, sex addicted creep. Who knows maybe he will show his true colors and cheat on her. You are not even 60 yet. You have some good years left in you with the freedom to do what YOU want!
You know what, CL? Not all of the advice that you and the other posters give out helps everyone all of the time, but a lot of it helps some people some of the time. That’s all I could hope for on my daily visit to your site. Something to help make it through the day, a small nugget to cope, a ray of hope….something.
You just gave it to me right here: “The OW commuted your sentence to the ”narcissistic, alchoholic, sex addicted creep.” Step out of the cage.” -CL
She commuted my sentence…..wow. It’s my a-ha moment. It clicked! Ironically, the one person who I thought destroyed my life, is actually the person who set me free to pursue a new one. Here you go OW, here’s my baggage, all of his issues, the drama, the doubt, the gaslighting, his mood swings. The baton is yours. GO FUCK YOURSELVES.
Love “the baton is yours” — LOL! I’m really glad to hear it helped. Thanks, Slice.
Chumped, one useful tool I’ve used to internalize the reality of my ex is a list of all the things “I Will Not Miss (and what she can look forward to)”.
I was very deliberate in being as mature as possible in constructing this list. I left off the name calling and insults and focused on his behavior. Whenever I’m feeling down, and missing the “good times”, I read the list. When I read things like “His emotional stonewalling”, “His lack of graciousness”, or “His inability to cut loose and just be silly”, I realize that I’m better off not having him for my partner.
In an inverse way, this same list will provide me with a blueprint of what qualities are important in finding my future love. I’m not ready for him yet, but I know he’s out there. I’m happy to know my “picker” is wiser for having gone through this horrible, gut-wrenching experience.
Chumped, I know from experience that the “no contact” rule is imperative. Focus on that for now, and you will be amazed how much stronger you will start to feel. (Note, I didn’t say “deliriously happy”, but your new-found strength will get you there.)
Once again excellent advice Chump Lady, you rock. You have great hair!