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Dear Chump Lady, How come I don’t feel like a success story?

Dear Chump Lady,

I should be one of your success stories… Before I even knew about you and the good, mind cleansing stuff you push out there, I was being a fairly good, semi-adept chumpling. I had quit drinking well before D Day. I got the fuck away from my exit cheater almost immediately, and began rebuilding my life. I secured a good, prompt divorce and protected my son. I did a minimum of pick me dancing, spackle slinging and never once went to Amazon, although I did borrow “For Better or For Worse: Divorce Reconsidered” by E. Mavis Hetherington, from the library, and I made absolutely no trips to the NPD supply store for kibbles or cake.

When I lost my graphics job during the height of the divorce, I found better ones that I continue to love far more than the old one. I kept all the parts about me that were good and that made me the decent person I felt I was before, during and after the failed marriage. I stopped being all the other stupid shit that I was being to try to please an ex who as it turned out — never really existed except in my mind. I got quality counseling and learned a lot about myself. I began living consciously in the “now,” whereas before, I had lived it — but did not know it, and thought it was unprofessional and wrong for me to be that way. I’m still gratefully sober. I have 50% custody of my amazing son and our relationship is the coolest. I work with school kids during the school year — helping to mold beings of lasting beauty as I push them to learn to love, and love to learn, and I continue to passionately perform music I love in the summers, surrounding myself with kind, decent people who love me.

I have my family’s respect and love. I have wonderful friends both old and new who care about me. I have my own modest, but beautiful home with no reminders of the old life except my son when he is here; and he is more about a fun, new life than anything else. He is my whole world. I kick my shoes off wherever I like. I have food in my fridge that pleases me. I wear a soul-patch. Man! that marks a guy as single more than any lack of a wedding band… My bank account belongs to me. I answer the phone when I feel like it, and say what I believe in to the people who call me. I go to bed at 9PM if I’m tired and I re-read “The Once and Future King” when ever I fucking want. I don’t have a mother-in-law living in my basement. I wash darks and colors together. I hang inspiring stuff on my walls where ever I want. I wear wool ragg socks with my Birkenstocks.

I should be one of your success stories… So why — when this evening as I looked at [our] shared Google calendar that we keep for tracking shared parenting duties — do I feel so lousy and gut-punched sick when I see her and the AP’s “wedding weekend” highlighted out in August of this summer?

I mean I knew they were getting married. Even had she not told me, I would have known they would get married. One thing that seems come from reading at Chump Lady and practicing the tenets thereof — You find you know your ex much better than you ever did when your marriage was “strong.” They become pretty predictable. I always figured that two people with what — IMCO — must be guilty consciences; would marry. Either that or there’s no guilt. Just that pervasive sense of entitlement. They have to show the world — no, the world needs to see — that it was meant to be and that all the hearts they broke, the minds they fucked and the decent people they left writhing in their dust?  See? It was all worth it. Look how happy we are!

It’s been more than three years of good, solid, forward motion for me. Why does it still feel like I suck? Why is it still so hard to trust that they suck?



Dear Bede,

Take consolation in the fact that you have excellent taste in literature. Thanks to you, Bede, I get to trot out one of my favorite quotes from T.H. White’s The Once and Future King.

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”

So Bede, what wags this wedding — and what can we learn from it?

I think you’re pretty clear on their motivations — to show the world, with hand-engraved invitations and pastel sugared almonds — that they aren’t fuck ups. No, their treachery had PURPOSE! This is what soul mates DO — they marry. You were just an obstacle to their happiness and so now they can be together for an eternity! 

Bede, what does marriage mean to two people who have already shat all over monogamy? What does commitment mean to people who don’t honor commitments? What does honor mean to dishonorable people? —  It’s a farce registered at Macy’s.

People who cheat have crappy life skills (i.e., I’m not “happy,” I think I’ll cast about…). They tend to be narcissists (i.e., I feel entitled to cheat!) Narcissism and crappy life skills are not good qualities in a partner. Perhaps you suffer from the common chump delusion that with the affair partner they will be Different! Well yeah, their surroundings are different. Their wedding china is different. But they are still the same crappy people they were before, only now with more baggage and life complications. His dick doesn’t have magic transformative properties that turn her into a good woman.

She’s got her shiny new thing. For now. Ever seen a turkey with a mirror? Oh, hang on, youtube’s got everything. Look! It’s a video of your wife!

Turkeys just love sparkles and reflections. They get really stupid for them — I can tell you this as someone who has driven on to a turkey farm with a chrome bumper. This wedding is her chrome bumper. She’ll look like an idiot playing kissy face with her reflection, and either peck herself to death or get run over. These things don’t end well.

If you’re feeling particularly vengeful, the best you can hope for is that they stay stuck with each other for many years to come, as the shiny quickly wears off. Someone is bound to cheat and check out. Gaslight. Blameshift. Do less and expect the other to pull more weight. A long, miserable life together trying to prove everyone wrong — hey, it was so worth fucking up everyone else’s life to have this… banal, shitty existence together.

Don’t take their wedded bliss too personally, Bede. It doesn’t mean that you were an obstacle, or that you suck, or that you were holding her back and you’re somehow fundamentally unloveable. You ARE an awesome success story. It’s just up to you to feel that way — for your inner dialogue to reflect your actual life circumstances — that your life is better now.

Maybe seeing your ex get married stirs up ideas about your own future. Maybe you want to be partnered again some day? Or maybe not? I don’t know. But if so, no harm admitting it to yourself. Because that’s totally possible. Guys like you are a stock that trades very high. (Although, personally, I’d lose the soul patch. No good woman is attracted to a soul patch. If you’re going to commit to facial hair, commit. A beard, a goatee, mutton chops. Anything but a soul patch. Next you’ll be wearing some hipster fedora and droning on about your singer/songwriter influences. You’ll be a 50 year old with a sleeve tattoo. You’ll live in Austin. In a gated community. But you’ll care very deeply about rain water preservation and authentic breakfast tacos. This is what soul patches lead to Bede — douchebaggery. Don’t be a man with a soul patch. I have spoken.)

Anyway, my point is — I think it’s a lot less likely you’ll care about Mr. and Mrs. Cheaterpants nuptials if you’re happy with your life choices. No one is happy to get divorced, but if you KNOW your worth (high stock trade) and you KNOW your boundaries (divorced the cake eater) and you KNOW she didn’t cheat because you suck (she’s the idiot here) — Meh is much easier.

I think being single is fine and dandy — I did it for a lot of years myself. But I won’t lie — it is a lot easier to be meh when you’re with someone who is a bazillion times better than your ex. Until then, you’re taking it on faith that it’s out there. Maybe mixing the darks with the whites isn’t as satisfying as it once was. Maybe this wedding underscores a certain loneliness? A benchmark of where you hoped you’d be versus where you are? Feeling a bit left behind? If so, learn from that. Face it! Address it! Dust off your dating profile. Your future happiness has everything to do with you, and nothing to do with your ex.

She’s moving on. Disastrously, most likely. But she’s making a very public pronouncement of her moving-on-ish-ness. It’s normal to feel a bit weird or sad about that. The remarriage of a former spouse is a finality different than divorce. It takes some getting used to. But you’ve moved on too, so try not to compare your life to hers. Be secure in your choices. You navigated this crap brilliantly — and you’ve filled your life with good people and good deeds. You didn’t give up. You aren’t dissolved in a puddle of drink in some bar. You’re a great father with an enviable custody arrangement. Whether you think you are or not — you’re a success story, Bede. Now lose the soul patch. Better days ahead!

Ask Chump Lady

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  • Hey, Bede, take heart. My cheating EW of 20+ years married her last (?) affair partner a couple of years ago and I think that’s . . . fantastic. Those two half-wit mirror-peckers deserve one another. Hey, I ***know*** what the AP is getting. I know about her self-absorption, her unwillingness to help, to give, to appreciate, to reciprocate. I know her laziness and irresponsibility with money and profoundly bad judgment. I know the slimy matts of hair she left in the shower drain and the piles of her dirty clothes she left around the house for weeks at a time. I know her sneakiness and decades’long use of affairs and gas-lighting to make her feel smart and superior and help her cope with her staggering underachievement. I know about her fake and conniving mother and the rest of her hillbilly con-artist family and the demands they will make on him. And from talking to her AP’s ex-wife? I have a pretty good idea of what she’s getting as well: an anti-social cheater with tenuous employment, a family history of mental illness, communication skills stuck at the third grade level, and a fondness for wiping his boogers on the bedclothes.


    In all seriousness, if I were the kind of person to wish a curse on someone, I could hardly pick an imagined fate worse than marrying either of these lowbrow losers. Maybe chronic illness, but that’d be a close call (hey, at least flesh-eating bacteria don’t touch a person’s soul). It is poetic justice for a cheater to be afflicted with a cheater, a symmetrical kind of earned torture that we don’t see nearly enough in real life. In its own filthy way, I think it’s kind of beautiful, like a rainbow shimmering on the surface of spilled waste oil or a raw sewage leak.

    It was a difficult day two years ago when my ex married her AP, mostly because she insisted on enlisting my sons into their barftastic sham of a ceremony (they had a religious ceremony and, yes, she wore a WHITE dress, a very large white dress). But now I wouldn’t have it any other way. I will be sad, indeed, if they ever divorce. My heart would sink a bit at the knowledge that they each freed themselves of a cheater–and thereby knew the thrilling liberation that once gave me.

      • Oh – “Half wit mirror-peckers” just may be my new favorite term for cheaters.

        CL – I think that one has excellent possibilities as a mug or t-shirt.

          • Okay, I think I would like to illustrate “half wit mirror-peckers”! I can draw a dumb turkey… noOoo problem.

    • Hahaha…STBX is TERRIBLE with money. He’s always made quite a bit but was one of those who was always broke, so I had to play banker and ‘deny’ him money so that we didn’t go under (I would always secretly stash money into savings accounts just to be safe–and thank god because that money came in handy a couple of times when he jacked things up).

      Anyway, here’s the funny bit: he runs out of money early each month and the young OW ends up paying when the kids are around. Right now there’s a fairly small cost for the kids that needs to be taken care of. He doesn’t have the money for it and it’s his area to take care of. I am refusing to pay for it. I have plenty of money because I’ve cut WAY back and am trying to save, stretch, not live at all beyond my means, just keeping money aside for the proverbial rainy day. He’s exactly how he always was and spends it as soon as he makes it.

      Cracks me up, actually, because although I have a lot less now than I did I know how to handle a budget and am slowly rebuilding my funds. He’s not. 🙂

      • Are all of these turkeys bad with money? Holy crap, Nord, my STBX makes six figures and still can’t afford the phone bill … but he certainly can afford a surround sound system, a vacation, and a new car.

  • Hey Chump Lady,

    “Bede, what does marriage mean to two people who have already shat all over monogamy? What does commitment mean to people who don’t honor commitments? What does honor mean to dishonorable people? — It’s a farce registered at Macy’s.” Thanks for my morning belly laugh!

  • CL loved the quote from “Once & Future King”
    Bede, I’ve heard many divorced people go through the same low point when their Ex remarries. I’m not sure if it is tinged with regret for lost love and what could have beens or what. I think it is normal. You loved the cheater; you were married and committed and she broke your heart. This is just momentary; you sound like you have really been doing well and will continue to do so. Don’t beat yourself up for being human. My father ( a serial cheater) finally divorced my mother and married someone old enough to be his daughter. Went on to divorce her and remarry 3 more times. Everytime he remarried my mother wondered aloud if she should send the new wife a sympathy card.

    And now a comment or question to everyone. My husband had an emotional affair with an old girlfriend on face book. Recently the secret (LOL) cell phone disappeared and he deactivated his facebook page, This AM when I logged on my page I had a follower( not even sure what that is) and it turned out to be the mother of his girlfriend. WTF!! I’m not sure how to interpet this.

    • ahhhh… fakebook… the heights of good and the depths of bad… girlfriend’s mom is stalking you? eww… if you wanna, you can go into your settings and stop her from following you and block her or you can just ignore it. It ‘might’ be perfectly innocent. Maybe she’s just curious, or maybe the entire thing is just smoke and mirrors. You see… as I have experienced this sort of crap… it goes like this… secret cell phones. deactivated accounts. He could have a dozen secret cell phones and 50 fakebook accounts. the mom might not even BE the mom, it could be her daughter who has access to Mom’s account. The point is that its freaking you out and a massive source of anxiety. who needs it?

      • Smart, smart. My “real” facebook page is in a fake name (who knew Fallulah wasnt my real name? lol) so that I only have the people I want there, and no stalkers come looking for me because they don’t know I’m there.

      • Maybe she’s trying to find out if you’re the crazy person your cheater made you seem like.

        • My ulterior motive for starting the face book page was to let the OW know I was out there and this was me.. a woman of high quality that had been married to her great love for 23 yrs. so I’m glad I’m being viewed by her. Just was very surprised thsi AM when her mother showed up as a follower. Why not just use your own page? Does she think I’m stupid? And yes CL he is not acting the least bit sorry and I am not being taken in by this.

      • I would echo — who needs it? As I recall, he’s not exactly tripping all over himself with sorry.

  • ditto on the soul patch. they make me wanna vomit. To me, they say SWINGER and that doesn’t sound like you, right? DITTO to FP on “its a farce registered at Macy’s” Can I steal that one? brilliant!

    Bede you do know that this onion (no, that wasn’t a typo) has a 3% survival rate, right? That’s the number of cheater unions that make it. that means that 97% don’t, if my math is correct. ;]

    BTW, I think its absolutely fine to wash colors with darks, (unless, they are very runny darks) its darks with lights that makes us men with wombs go carazzzy. 😀

    • Yup, I always do darks and colours together. Cold water and you’re good to go.

    • Hey, what’s the big deal about his soul patch? He likes it, leave him the hell alone! Use a little tact. You had to say “makes you vomit”? Your comment makes me want to vomit. You have no class.

  • Hey there Bede –

    I thank you very much for articulating these sentiments. I profoundly relate to this as well – despite having everything, and rocking this post divorce life – I still feel devastated inside. And years later still trying to making sense of it, because, I do not love him (quite the opposite), and would not take him back under any circumstance (even though I know my kid would love this. “Hey Mom – I loved the Parent Trap.” Sigh. Gag.)

    Yet, he is and his last AP have been together for years now, and though not married own a home together, where, yes my kid spends time with them.

    So, hoping this helps, here’s some of the realizations I have come to:
    Firstly, when you share a kid, you are linked forever, so those of us in this circumstance can never move on definitively. These people who betrayed us, are part of our family. But, like our own families of origin, they are not necessarily people who we would choose to put in our own lives, so deal appropriately we do despite our feelings.
    Secondly, it just doesn’t seem fair, does it? That’s what sends me into a rage. Why is it that those of us who did all the right things just get crapped on? Why do we lose time with our kids? Why are we facing all the work of life alone when they get a partner?
    But, then I remember that I would rather face all these challenges alone then live a dishonorable life. I am profoundly glad that although I lie down alone at night, it is with a clear conscience, and not with a rotting soul next to an equally putrid human being.
    And the fact is, I have had relationships since, but I have ended them because they were not meant to go on, and I think if you’re honest with yourself Bede, you could have gotten remarried too. But, alas, you have standards!!! You refuse to use another to just fill a hole in you, I’m guessing. Yes, the good ones spend the most time alone. Ever notice that heroes in literature/film are nearly always solo? It’s not a coincidence….

    CL, you were born to write, clearly. I too just laughed and laughed at the “farce” comment. I have never understood why the Parent Trap pissed me off so much, but, it’s a glorification of the pick me dance, isn’t it? Thanks so much for your ongoing wisdom and incisive wit!

    • FWIW, I have kids with a fucktard, but not a cheating fucktard (that I know of, I’m beginning to doubt that narrative lately, but anyway…) — and I can say — you are NOT linked forever. Perish the thought! Your kid is your kid. I don’t look at him as 50% of my crazy ex’s DNA. It’s only necessary to communicate with him until my child turns 18, and then I very much look forward to never having to deal with him again in my life, save for some awkward wedding of the future. But for that there is a stiff cocktail.

      I just don’t think our evil exes should take up any more mental real estate than we allow them, kids or no kids.

      • Oh, right! Forgot about that! I’ll have a cocktail at their weddings!


    • “I am profoundly glad that although I lie down alone at night, it is with a clear conscience, and not with a rotting soul next to an equally putrid human being.”

      RIGHT ON!!

      I love the inspiration here.

      Yes, any of us could have jumped into a relationship with someone horrid. I refuse to do to my kids what their father did, however.

  • Bede, The reason you are feeling the way you are is because you are human. Humans have emotions and feel. Just like Janet said “You loved the cheater; you were married and committed, and she broke your heart. ” You were all in and she duped you because she wanted out and decided on a shitty way to get out by cheating on you (and your son). Exit affairs are a sure sign of selfishness.

    What I’ve read is that you will never forget, but time will allow you to deal with it better. Since you are human and are capable of having feelings you get to also experience good feelings too. Do your best to make sure you have more good feelings than bad. When the sun is shining be sure to step into the light and let it soak in. Sunshine does wonders for me.

  • I’m not a huge fan of the soul patch, myself, but maybe that’s because my STBXH started wearing one before he decided to go to the goatee, which merely emphasizes the jowliness around his face and made him look 10 years older rather than achieving the Bad Boy Harley image he was after. Also, OW likes men with facial hair, so whatever. He shaved off the goatee and I complimented him on both his haircut and his clean-shavenness, so yes, I deserve a “meh” award.

    Anyway, my bet is that you’d feel a bit like this even if you’d remarried. I can’t speak from experience on this matter, obviously, since I’m still married to the cheater (but counting each payday as another toward Liberation), but more than one of my friends is on Marriage #2, and when their ex-spouse remarries, it’s a blow. No one gets divorced because their marriage was wonderful, and in the cases of my friends, some of their exes were truly scumbags, so when they remarry, it’s as if the karma police went on vacation. Marriage is an amazing thing when it works the way it should, and we all of us know marriages where we see this. That our Ex might find the kind of fulfillment that marriage brings seems terribly unjust.

    I do agree with CL. You are definitely high stock trade. Dust off the dating skills, and remember that the women you want to meet don’t hang out in bars (this is something that OW does between married men–and she’s 40!!! Nothing says “cougar” or perhaps “easy” like being a 40-year-old woman in a bar in this college town).

    Oh, and actually, I not only wash dark and coloreds, but also dark and lights together. It depends on if the colors will bleed. As long as the lights get their own load with some oxygen bleach every once in a while, it’s all good.

    • That’s a really good point, kb. The remarriage of the cheaters feels like injustice. They fuck up everyone’s lives and then they get a PARTY?! WTF?

      But any idiot can throw a party. That doesn’t mean there is actually something there to celebrate.

    • Why do bars always get a bad rap? In my town, I often head to to local places to check out local bands, trivia nights, watch sports, grab a cocktail or two with a friend/friends.. One of the nicest guys I dated years ago, I met in a bar.. Cheater husband I met through my family.. Blech. Don’t be afraid to socialize in a bar. I say good people can be found everywhere. Even in bars. 🙂

      • Depends on the type. Personally I differentiate between bars and pubs.

      • I differentiate between bars and pubs, and if you’re going with friends, checking out the music, etc.–well, fine. OW goes solo to cruise for men. And to drink.

        As for family, well, both my brothers are happily married, thanks to their sisters. You think they’d return the favor, but no!

        • Blech.. A troll skank. Yes, I think that is just creepy. Drinks by herself and trolls for men? Ew. Nasty.
          Yes, I should differentiate between pubs and bars. I prefer the former. 😉

  • Other than the soul patch and the sandals with socks you sound like a fabulous guy. Screw your ex-wife. She’s gotten what she deserves: a relationship with a cheater. And she’s a cheater. Guess what? They’re going to be worried about each other forever. You don’t need to worry about that. You’re a good guy.

    So revel in your awesomeness and remember that you too will find someone who values you and your great qualities. It’s taking longer because you have the good sense to take the time to heal and rebuild yourself. In the larger scheme of things it hasn’t been all that long. YOu’ll get there.

    (But please rethink the socks with sandals!)

    • Hey! I wear socks with sandals! (And… um… the sandals might be Birkenstocks…)

      It’s comfy. I wouldn’t go to the opera dressed like that, but around the house, yeah, I let my dork flag fly.

      • *sigh* Socks and sandals are never right. Even if no one else sees it YOU STILL KNOW. 🙂

  • Since reading this site I understood to play it safe I should preferably go for a fellow-chump. I would totally date you, sight unseen (OK, maybe not for the soul patch… or the fact that we probably live in different continents!). But I understand there is a line forming? 😉

    Seriously, I know I would feel the exact same way when/if my ex’s relationship with the AP gets serious. But I know Chumplady and the other people here make perfect sense.

    Of course their relationship needs good marketing, like additives-rich/nutricionally-empty junk food. Nice packaging, no real content. It’s all about showing it was all worth it, since they háve to be soul mates. Not just showing it to all the world, but maybe just as much to themselves?

  • Two things.


    2) Where does the line form for Bede’s telephone number? 😉

  • Bede–I agree with everyone here. From your description–yes–you will do well on the market, my friend. And, some of us like a small soul patch! A lot! You sound intelligent, sensitive (in the good way–you love your son, you mourn the loss of your family), and good-humored.
    I think the whole wedding thing IS a gut-punch. That NPD you were married to got a real thrill out of splashing that across your mutual calendar. She has no soul. And, of course, a wedding can only make a normal person, one who has not achieved high-level meh at this time, wonder, “Was it me? Seriously, could it have been me? Why, if I did nothing wrong, and she is a heartless slob, is she warmed by togetherness, and I am standing here all alone in my Birkenstocks, sharing my son with her 50%?”

    I know that feeling, Bede. When I found out the passive-aggressive ex–NOT a catch–had taken the BPD alcoholic on a vacay to Hawaii this winter, I crumbled. It hurt. Like you, I love going to bed when I feel like it, but there’s something about their togetherness that maked crawling into bed alone feel all aloney. And it hurts. But then I reminded myself of what it would be like to go backwards and crawl into bed with HIM and I felt so much better.

    And YOU, Chump Lady–DAMN! This is the most brilliant column by far. BY FAR! I love the mirror pecker image (video, even!) and my favorite quote had me spraying raisin bran–firepainter already beat me to it. Fucking awesome. That should be a greeting card. Yes! Make a greeting card, with a sparkly turd wearing a wedding ring (ahem!) on the front–hell, you can actually put real glitter on it! And on the inside it says, “What does marriage mean to two people who have already shat all over monogamy? What does commitment mean to people who don’t honor commitments? What does honor mean to dishonorable people? — It’s a farce registered at Macy’s.” And then send the cheater pair a wedding mirror. Ooh, like one of those 10X magnified ones! Yeah!

    Can you imagine? The new couple? WAY more awful, oh, please. Now they’re BOTH cheaters, instead of one cheater and one normal person.

  • Hey Bede,

    Appreciate your comments to CL, but just remember that you should never trade loneliness for misery. You sound lonely right now but not miserable. So you’re a lot better off than you think. Loneliness holds better prospects for future happiness than does misery. The equation is simple… first misery, then loneliness, then happiness. That’s just the way it works.

    Don’t concern yourself with your Ex. Her emotions are too shallow to figure out whether she sucks or not. They’re like sharks that can’t stop swimming, but once there is blood in the water, they’ll eat other. Swim away and observe at a safe distance. Play your current situation cool and just treat it the same as all the other obstacles your letter plainly shows you have overcome.

    • Matt, excellent advice and observation about loneliness versus misery. Loneliness is difficult, but living in misery while married to a cheater is so destructive to the chump’s mind, body, heart, and soul in so many ways. We all experience loneliness after separation/divorce, but nothing is worse to me than feeling miserable (and lonely!) while married to the cheater. Not knowing he was cheating, I thought stress at his job, family members ill with cancer, and depression, were causing his emotional upheaval and distance from me and our daughter.. And I supported him through it all. I was miserable, lonely, sad, and so isolated. Boy was I ever wrong about him.. It was stress from living a double life, stress from keeping the hidden life secret, the lies he told and keeping the lies straight to make sure he did not get caught.
      You know, to me, being miserable, isolated, and lonely while married to a cheater is a million times worse than feeling alive yet alone on one’s own. The former is when you are emotionally abandoned and trapped. The cheater does not give a shit about your well-being. They use you for whatever they need from you: Sex, home security, taking care of them, the house, etc.
      The latter is about empowering yourself. Getting back to you. Your kids. Finding your groove. But in doing so, you are going it alone. On faith. On making a leap. But this road is not for wimps. It is a tough, long road. It takes guts, strength, and willpower. Because at the end of the day, as much love and support a chump is given by family and friends (much needed and greatly appreciated!!), it is the chump that must walk that road when s/he decides to leave or be left. Regaining one’s self after such devastating loss is no easy feat. However, As hard as this road is, I am glad I made that choice to love myself enough to not be disrespected and abused by that cheating schmuck. It is a lonely, hard road, but it is a road that leads to independence, strength, inner character, and a learning process about who you are and what you are made of.

      • Beautifully stated, Rose. As hard as the path is, there is no other legitimate option. The primary satisfaction is being able to live with yourself and your choices.

    • “The equation is simple… first misery, then loneliness, then happiness. That’s just the way it works.”

      Love that quote, Matt. Deceptively simple, but full of hope.

      • Thanks for repeating the quote Dawn. has been a very bad 24 hours here. Misery in large doses and you wonder why you let yourself in for these things

  • Thanks, CL and Bede, for this post. I am going through the same situation, and it has been very hard (mostly because I worry about my kids being with the OW and being forced to play Brady Bunch). I really needed to read this today, and I loved the quote as well.

    Bede, I understand how you feel. Life has gone in a very positive direction for me, but to hear that STBX (we’re not even divorced yet, BTW) is rushing into a second marriage to his AP (the same one who was happy to ditch her own kids while she ran off for trysts with STBX) makes me feel nauseated. I wish that I could completely shield the kids from the inevitable fallout that occurs, whether it’s the end of their relationship or if they stick together and the relationship is a nightmare once the sparklies tarnish.

    CL, if you could post any advice about how to help kids through this process when the cheater ex stays with the AP and forces them into the kids’ lives, I would truly appreciate it!

    • MovingOn, I am in the exact same position as you and second the request to CL to post something about how to help the kids thru the process when the cheater ex stays with the AP and forces them into the kids’ lives. I’d also love some advice for ME re how to handle it when they all go away together on some Brady Bunch style vacation and I end up sad at home, feeling that yes the AP really did successfully steal my life. OK it’s true that by the time she got him, ex had degenerated completely into a narcissistic, pathologically-lying, alcoholic womanizer who couldnt keep a job. But sad as it may be, I had accepted all that (except the cheating, which I didn’t know about), realizing that you either have to accept or get out since there’s no changing them. And as for her, she cheated on her 1st husband plus she’s a fat whore with no morals (sorry but that’s the truth) so logically I know it’s not a great union, but man if it doesn’t still get to me.

    • My ex was never there when they really needed her-(sometimes just her presence)- and what happens when they try to cram their new relationships down their throats? They leave!.. both my older daughter and son were 16 and just turned 15 at the time. They told her to never bring him around,never mention his name , but no she told them how it was going to be and tried to justify why it was a good relationship in some sickening way and they left -my daughter for 2 months my son still has an estranged relationship now for over 2 years…she sacrificed her kids yet again for herself. But does she understand this???…NOOO…thats what eats at us…the normals…they can’t see the damage they have done.

      • Let me guess, it’s not her fault, it’s yours. You turned your kids against her because you’re jealous/bitter/crazy.

        • Brainwashed was the term…yes of course…nothing is her fault ,how did you know this?
          Yeah I didn’t just “get over it ” apparently but can’t get a divorce document signed from her for 5 years and counting.

  • I wasn’t married to the X – but we were planning a life together moving forward and we were a couple – it was like some sort of fairy tale for me…. and then, it wasn’t – I cut him off completely as his idea of being a “nice” guy meant being gratuitously cruel – I’m sure one of his “nice guy” moves would be to tell me he is getting married and even tho I certainly wouldn’t want him back, I don’t want to hear about it either – like never. I have blocked any access he might have for just that reason – his sense of exceptionalism has taken over – what is clearly gratuitously cruel behavior became, for him, just “being a good guy” trying to “do the right thing”. Which is astonishing because if someone did the equivalent to say, his daughter, he’d be crystal clear about how fucked up it was.

    I sympathize Bede – and things are never what they seem – a wedding is not a marriage. But, I so see how upsetting it would be….. I wouldn’t want to know either.

  • yeah… I was just thinking. She has to put her wedding date on her CALENDAR??? like, what? if she doesn’t, she might forget? lol yes, yes… I know… she will say its there FYI, but… she highlighted it. That’s the tell… she just loves to bring you down, doesn’t she?

    Bede, I totally get the feeling of being so traumatized and afraid to get back out there, but underneath it all… what I hear is a very lonely man. Also, your son is of course, a very, very important person in your life and I don’t know how old he is… but its a slippery slope to make him your everything. I have two boys 22 and 18 and if he’s anywhere near adolescence, you have about 60 seconds left before he leaves you in a lurch. This is an important part of his development, not a rejection of you. However, ya need a life outside of him. If you don’t feel like dating, just getting out and doing things that you enjoy with OTHER people is what I feel might be missing in your life.
    Now, this might sound a bit strange, but maybe visit a stylist for some help with the wardrobe/hair/etc. I’m not saying that you can’t be who you are, just be the BEST who you are. i’m concerned about the Birkenstocks with whatever that was, that you’re wearing them with. lol Despite what you may have read, its not true… we DO like a room with a view, amongst other wonderful traits which I believe that you already possess–in spades!

    sorry to sound so superficial. Its just that what I want to hear is that by August, you have a beautiful (inside and out) woman on YOUR handsome arm at that ferkakta narc wedding– with a huge glowing smile on your face.

    What is it that they say? The best revenge is…

    just do it. We’ll be standing by! :]

    • ‘They love to bring you down’. And they really do. I realised at some point that STBX feeds the kids stuff that he knows they’ll come back and tell me. I stopped reacting a long time ago but it took a bit longer to not feel wounded.

      Look at it this way: STBX remains supremely angry with me. He puts loads of energy into being a giant asshole to me. And all because I discovered he was a serial cheater and got a bit gobby about it. But he is so focused on me that it makes me laugh, because he’s supposed to be all blissful with the OW.

      Meanwhile I’ve been like you, Bede. Spending time rebuilding myself and rediscovering myself. I’ve been lonely at times and now I’m venturing out on a few dates but I’m taking it all very slowly because I need to and you probably do as well.

      Get out with friends or just go to a museum on your own when your son isn’t with you. After the museum, sit down and have a cup of coffee or tea. Stare around you, watch people interact, maybe make some eye contact. Just live within yourself fully and you will attract someone worthy. But take it all very slowly and make sure you don’t lose yourself.

      And fuck your bitch ex. She’s a tosser.

      • Take a class (as Merlin said – learn!) . Just once a week for an hour or two!

    • Good advice, but hey, be kind about the Birkenstocks. Some of us chumps are on the crunchy side too (not naming names). And a good person is going to look past some fashion backwardness. First time I met my husband he was wearing camo shorts and Chuckie Taylor hightop sneakers. (He was 46 at the time.) He cleaned up nicely the next day, though, so I saw the potential. But I just don’t think it’s on most women’s list o’ deal breakers.

      • Oh sorry about my Birk statement. I didn’t mean to step on anyone’s toes. (sorry, I couldn’t resist) :] Yes, I’m verrry superficial and visual. lol but I’m an interior designer, so kinda my thing. Although beauty IS in the eye… and my h was far from dashing, but I fell madly in love with him for other reasons… and he wasn’t in the slightest bit sparkly. He was very down to earth, bright (although, he’s gotten a lot dumber as he’s aged) was and still is side splittingly hilarious and very sensitive and kind… He was soooo good to me and he still is, in many ways…

        EXCEPT, when he’s fucking around behind my back.

        hint: the dude has massive MOMMY ISSUES. he was going to therapy THREE TIMES A WEEK when I met him. He never should’ve stopped! Sure, some narc traits, but more of the avoidant-personality-passive-aggressive type.

        and one last thing… we have an 18 yr old who has autism… and its a full time job for two people! its insane and so I am obliged to be in close contact with him. Fortunately, there was never a problem with that. In fact, we were quite compatible.

        He just needed his ego kibbles much more than he needed to be a good husband.

        why? because in his NEGATIVE mind-set… it was ALL HOPELESS!

        you see… its all one big set up. Sometimes, folks, that’s exactly what it is. They are programmed to self-destruct and there ain’t a bloody thing we can do about it except stay outta harms way!

        • My STBX also has mommy issues, as in mommy took over when I left and now lives down the road from him. She moved there after finding him a place.

          • That’s the best punishment ever, Nord! He’s living with him mom?! I can only wish that 10th Circle of Hell upon my STBX.

            • Not actually living together but she’s got her head up his ass most of the time. He likes this, I think, because his mother is ‘perfect’.

        • My STBX has major family issues, too. He lived with his mom until just about a year before we were married. His father had a long-term mistress in another city, and commuted back and forth between the households. Papers found after both his parents had died indicated that they stayed together as a result of a financial arrangement. STBX hated his father, but at the same time wanted approval. Also, despite being the harder-working of the children, the family photographs in the house were all about his younger sibling.

          If I ever find another person I want to marry, I’m definitely checking out their family background. Do the family members like each other? Are all the children gainfully employed? Were the offspring able to move out of the house and live on their own for a bit? After that, I’ll look for other shared values.

          I’m okay with the Birkenstocks and socks. I live in a very crunchy area, and that’s not an uncommon combination.

      • hmmmm… I thought it was Yiddish, but my h is a Jewish ex South African or technically Zimbabwean, but he did live in S africa for a while.

        • Well, Yiddisch, Afrikaans or Dutch… I would block my nose at that wedding! 😉

        • ferkakta — the little I remember of Afrikaans — isn’t kak mean shit? (My one phrase of Afrikaans — Je man, je praat kak — you man, you speak shit.)

          Is ferkakta mean fucked up shit? I like the international cussing here at CL! Keep it up!

          • YES! its fucked up shit! and the Yiddish should be more like farkakte– one of my fave words! and raising a frakas– as in flipping out

          • Pretty close CL! I love the way you put that! You sure do have a way with words! Fucked up shit …… Oh my, that’s my new saying from now on. You’re a genius with words.

            I can teach y’all some really bad names to call your cheaters, especially if you say it with a smile 🙂

  • Let me take a moment to compare divorce with death. The marriage is dead after all.

    Let’s say someone dies, a grandparent, parent, sibling, or spouse. They had lung cancer, the treatment didn’t work, they’re dead. But when you hear that coffin hit the dirt at the bottom of the hole, it’s like it’s final. Death is already final, you knew it was final, you knew there was no chance that the dead person was going to wake up after a week of being dead. But the coffin disappearing somehow adds an extra level of real.

    That’s what’s happening now. You knew the marriage was dead, this wedding however is the funeral, it brings it all home. Like when at a funeral you remember things about the person you thought you forgot, you might have flashbacks in regards to the wedding too, you may remember some good times or what song you two danced to. It’s alright to grieve. Just don’t forget, dead is dead.

    • Good analogy. But vampires and zombies are the the meme these days: the dead just won’t stay in the box. Rationally, they have crossed the final boundary, but in the dark night of the soul we hear a creaking….

      I had a wonderful thereapist years ago who said that in the moment we are truly capable of moving, we should expect “the last grasp of the devil,” a powerful temptation to regress or stay stuck. All we can do is expect it and recognize it for what it is.

      Move on, Bede. You are exactly where you need to be, going where you need to go.

      • Boy I can relate to the “last grasp of the Devil.” I wish a shrink had put it that bluntly to me, because I certainly did more than a few rounds with the Devil, resurrecting a relationship that I knew was dead (or always lived in the realm of fantasy). Regression IS a real powerful undertow. I think a lot of us struggle with it. I’m far out of it now, but I remember it and still cringe.

        Good advice, Bonkti. Moving forward is the way to go.

      • Awesome post, Bonkti! I feel like that’s what has been happening to me lately– I feel good about myself, feel like things are headed in a positive direction, and then STBX reaches out in some way… last grasp of the devil, indeed! That’s just what it’s like!

    • Great analogy GreenGirl. I think these little “deaths” happen a lot in divorce. A big one is when your ex remarries, but another might be dividing the holidays the first year, or going solo to a family event. Sometimes it pulls you up short, but it’s good to remember, it’s grief. It’s a death. Thanks for a great post.

    • I agree GreenGirl…yeah… except we mourn and grieve them/the relationship and they rise from the dead and wage war against us for trying to live.

  • CL: Great column! I have been lurking awhile, and finally decided to post. I love your comment about what marriage means to people who do not honor their commitments. NOTHING! How true.

    Bede: It sounds as if you are in a wonderful place. I know it is difficult when the AP remains in the picture. Yes, we understand intellectually the we are better off without the other person, but emotionally it is difficult when they seem to be moving on, and we sometimes feel that we are not (or appear to not be, since we have not remarried ourselves). The impending marriage of the ex reminds us that we believed in the teamwork aspect of marriage, and had committed to “for better or for worse.” But things did not end up that way.

    In my case, I know my exH will eventually marry his exit partner. She is already a fixture in the ex-in laws family; they are all on vacation together right now. I admit it was a little upsetting to learn. I tried for years to get exH to have us all go on vacation as a family (our kids, his parents, and a great grandfather), but he never would. Oh, well.

    As an aside, I have been known to wear Birkenstocks with socks myself, so let me stand in line to meet you. You sound like a gem.

    All the best to everyone who visits CL!
    Stay strong.

    • Birckenstock matchmaking!

      As far as the big family vacations I went on quite of few of those. Be thankful you never had to do it. It can be fun but it can also be torture.

      • I love my Birks (as well as my hiking boots and water shoes for the tide pools)

        Nord, I know a big family vacation can be tortuous, but it fed into exH’s and his family’s false belief that I HATED them. That’s another reason it stings. All those years together, and it is as if I never existed to them. And the immediate acceptance of the AP, the woman who cheated with the married man. Still boggles my mind.

        CL: I echo the request for a column on dealing with AP and the children.
        It took a lot of finagling, but the kids are not to meet AP until May (long story). Given the selfishness that the exH as demonstrated, still not sure if that will happen. Time will tell! But, after that point, I will have to frequently hear about, and probably interact with, this immature person that had an affair with a married man. And maintain a smile in front of the children.

    • Welcome to the site zyx321!

      I’m so sorry about the vacation thing. It’s hard not to take that as a big eff you. Especially if you’re cheater knew how much you wanted it. It’s either part of the mindfuckery. Or it’s part of their complete insensitivity. Neither says good things.

      • OH, my God, the in-laws accepting the AP. That’s really nice. What an insult. I suspect they are either jealous of you and/or they have no spine between the two of them and/or they are lacking a few IQ points.

        Their witto baby boy can do no wrong!

        Just disgusting.

        • I can top the ex-in-laws/AP story.

          My ex-sister-in-law and I are still in contact. She told me she was on the phone with her Mom when my ex and his AP/boyfriend walked into their mother’s house.

          My ex-mother-in-law said to my ex-sister-in-law: “Gotta go. Joey and Chris are here.”

          LOL! OOPS! This happened…mind you….months and months after D-Day/our “divorce”.

          Paging Dr. Freud….but hey at least the ex-mother-in-law misses me! I sure as fuck don’t miss her…

        • My inlaws had the AP sleep at their country home, in a bed I had slept in for 15 years, 2 months after we separated and had not even filed for divorce yet.

          • I think the in-laws (the majority, anyway) feel they must support the person from their birth family, no matter what the circumstances. 1 month after we told our daughter we would be separating, STBX took AP to his sister’s wedding out east (with our daughter.) This was after he had said “You know, I’d like you to still consider coming to M_____’s wedding. It could be a good family trip for us together.” (My name WAS on the invitation, after all.) I of course said there was no way I would be able to handle going through a family wedding with him. So he instantly went to plan B: Take the new girlfriend. I know a few of my in-laws were quite surprised, but then they shrug shoulders, grab another beer and carry on. My BIL unfriended me on FB immediately. Whatthefuckever. (Though I do feel cheated out of being able to tell them all goodbye, for some reason.) They were in my life for 22 years. I’ve known the majority of my nieces and nephews on that side since they were born. Sang at the funerals of both my MIL and FIL.And now I’m suddenly not family any longer.

      • Ah, vacations…you know, STBX and I never had a honeymoon. Sure, we went places together, but only after the kids were born. The timing was never right for just the two of us to go off someplace.

        Yet he’s been on at least THREE overnight getaways with the OW because “she wants to travel when she’s young, before the responsibility of family.”

        Pisses me off.

  • Nailing it on the head again CL. I love this site.
    Laughing about the “by the book,” predictable exiting cheater makeovers. Mine too wears the hipster fedora and is into the music scene. He got the tattoo and moved to the gated community and drives out of his way for the authentic breakfast taco.

    • Oh, you are so well rid of him. Hope he chokes on his authentic taco.

  • CL–

    Maybe your store could offer a crystal spackle tub and silver spackle knife in the gift section?

  • If Bede likes wearing a soul patch, I say go for it. I kind of like them, myself. They make me think more of older, hip jazz-types.

  • thx bede for writing. I was thinking the same thing as I predict I will be in a similar situation soon. you wrote the question a lot better than I could. I agree with CL in her response to you. I guess if we keep moving forward we become to busy to remember to think we suck (and deep down inside we know we don’t) , we work on ourselves, rebuild what was destroyed. so keep on the path, you just might meet someone like us around that next corner (not the married ones of course).

  • Bede, I am so sorry. I guess this is all part of the grieving process that will lead to healing. Continue on your way living your life by filling it with people, places, hobbies and things that fill your soul and self. Wish you all the best.

  • Great post Chump Lady! And yes… You definitely should be writing snarky greeting cards!!!

      • Oh, could you make one for my ex? On the outside it should say, “To a woman who always had her feet planted firmly in the air.” I’ll leave it to you what snark should go inside.

  • CL –

    Like Bede, even though I’ve done all the right things I still don’t feel so great. And I know it takes time, but I thought I’d be having more fun by now.

    I kinda feel like I’m in a bit of a limbo again. Not like the super shitty limbo between D-day and kicking my XH out, but still, a limbo just the same. I’ve been separated over a year and my divorce just finalized 2 weeks ago. One life has ended but I’m not sure my new life has truly begun. I’m still not used to switching the kids back and forth, I still haven’t met many fellow divorcees, let alone formed any kind of romantic attachment, etc., etc. I’m trying to get out there and do all the right things, meet people, but it feels forced, not natural. It just feels hard, I think especially as a SAHM in a small town. And an introvert. I’m kinda feeling like giving up for a while right now, I’m tired of pushing myself to do this and that because it’s good for me, thinking about how I need to “rediscover” myself, etc., and I feel like giving myself a break. I am allowed to do that, right? At least until I start my grad program at the end of June. If that doesn’t fix my limbo feeling, I don’t know what my excuse will be at that point 🙂

    Now maybe I’ll go read The Once and Future King… I actually haven’t read it before!

    • It’s still early days aE — you only just finalized the divorce! Be patient with yourself. It really does get better.

      And yes, check out The Once and Future King — great read!

      • aE, I think you’re doing great! I just left 3 months ago, but haven’t done anything to dissolve the marriage. (and pigs will fly before he’ll ever do it.) Its not that I don’t want to… its that I’m already in over my head with my business (I have to support myself- 100%) and transitioning our son with autism into the next phase of his life which right now, is endless and largely frustrating hours of advocating.
        I agree though… I went to a couple of meet ups… they were just women things, but if felt bizarre to be in a room with complete strangers that I had nothing in common with.
        my h said the weirdest thing after D-day #2 when I told him without hesitating. “that’s it! we’re through.” (It wasn’t that simple… I spent months and months screaming my fucking head off at him. YES… I know… a waste of breath and I’ve gotten it out of my system), but he said… “I thought that you would just start dating right away.”
        that was the LAST thing I wanted to do. I’m even more terrified of that than I was of leaving.
        I don’t know how I’m ever going to trust another man ever again.
        talk about baggage. I’ve got a fucking train load of it.

        • Laurel,

          Thanks 🙂 Yeah, they say that shit about you dating because that’s the first thing they’d be doing if you’d given them their “out”. Hell, they obviously didn’t even feel the need to have an official “out” before going on “dates”. They also can’t conceive of the pain they’ve put you through nor do they understand that you have to get over a lot of shit before you can move on. And, unlike cheaters, we think with our actual brains, not just our sex drives.

          Plus, now that you might have an opportunity to get some somewhere else, these a-hole cheaters seem to become weirdly jealous. It’s funny, annoying, and hypocritical at the same time. Also, just a little bit flattering, which is the most annoying part about it by far.

          On another note, I think you should contact a lawyer if you haven’t, just to get some advice. You don’t necessarily need to do anything with it yet.

          • well… we’ve already split up our money and the house is under contract and I’ve moved. Our sons are both of age. The younger one has autism, however. This is very, very tough. My h was my best friend, or so I thought. He was my partner and I loved him, but then 11 years ago, he lost his job… so then, after some time, it was decided that we would work my business TOGETHER.
            ahhh… passive-aggressive fucked up even the simplest tasks that any seven yr old could do with ease. And he was bored… awwwww… so when Laurel went out… on the puter he went. That’s how it started. I won’t bore you with the rest of the sordid story, but after D-Day one… I became very, very lost. I made a lot of stupid mistakes. but the two years preceding D-Day #2, I TRIED my very best to be a good wife, but he would not even touch me. He hadn’t touched me in years.

            You see… it begins with porn… and what happens is that if one watches enough of it, well… they can’t perform in real life— then, comes the FEAR. I never, ever said a thing!

            So, my h because a serial online predator. Craig’s list and I had no idea. He just gave up. that’s his MO. He’s a depressed schlub who refuses to take meds and self-medicated through deceiving me and preying on other married women.

            Then, 2 years after D-day #1 he had told me that I could date and so with the encouragement of my shrink, I got a dating profile on a site.

            uh oh… I met one guy I really liked and he took me down, down, down, into his low low slimy world— and I allowed it. Its difficult, but I guess I learned a lesson I needed to learn. It wasn’t cake so much as escaping this life I couldn’t face. The point is… however, my husband knew. I told him as much as he wanted to know… however, I had NO IDEA what he was doing, even though I asked. HE FUCKING LIED TO MY FACE. I just thought he had no sex drive.


            but it wasn’t just sex. It was the confidantes and the emotional affairs that he was engaging in left and right.

            I was so phenomenally angry. After everything we’ve gone through with our kids and let me tell you, the older one is great now, but he has severe ADHD and the younger one has autism and goes to a therapeutic boarding school.

            I thought that he was my life partner. I thought that it was HIM AND ME— against the world… but it was him and me and Sarah, and Mary, and Kathy, and Joyce and Ellen and Nancy…
            faceless, body-less women that he KNEW INTIMATELY, and I had NO IDEA who they were or why he needed to fuck over the one woman he claimed was the ONLY one he ever truly loved.

            its sick. That’s what it is. but at least I’m OUT.

            but yes… one day, I’ll contact a lawyer… just not quite yet. It’ll be quite easy, because we have already unhooked the other from the other, financially.

            • Wow. Nice. You thought you had one problem and it turns out there was a whole bunch of other shit going on. Ugh. You’re exactly right, it’s not cheating when you have his permission. He’s the a-hole who was lying.

              So, the porn thing… he couldn’t have sex with you, but he could with other, anonymous women? What’s the deal with that shit? A friend of a friend has a husband that won’t touch her… or maybe does a couple times a year. They’ve gone to therapy, are trying to spice it up, but he’s not too into it. My friend’s husband thinks this guy might be addicted to porn and I guess there’s this talk (maybe when they were in therapy?) of how he doesn’t want to treat his wife like a sex object or something ridiculous like that. Like he respects her too much or something. I don’t know. Is it even possible that he’s not cheating on her?

      • Yes, patience. It’s just part of me feels like I’ve wasted too much time already and I want to get the new stuff going! Not that I want to run out and do a bunch of stupid stuff I regret either 🙂

        I’m probably going through some weirdness right now because of the divorce FINALLY finalizing as well.

        Yeah, I just need to relax. And go read a good book 🙂

    • I think it takes a lot of time to work back to normalcy after a divorce, especially after infidelity. I know that it will take me time to be able to trust someone on this level, but I think once I get there, I’ll be ready for dating. Not before, though.

      Also, things are more complicated with kids, since you have to figure out the whole joint custody thing, and sometimes your X can be a real jerk.

      For example, one of my supervisors was going through a divorce after her husband was cheating on her with a grad student. From what I understand, this was not a one-shot with him. Anyway, while she was visibly more relaxed once the divorce was finalized and she was living in her own place, it took a couple of years for she and her X to work out the joint custody issues. Her X is/was a real piece of work–definitely a narcissist–and he decided their daughter should have riding lessons. He helpfully scheduled them on a day when the daughter was in her mother’s custody. Yep, he was that kind of guy. My supervisor, now colleague, was furious, since that meant that she had to spend her time schlepping the kid around for what was her X’s idea.

      Of course, he didn’t want to do kid pick up for when the kids had after school activities.

      They eventually did get things worked out. She’s glad she’s no longer married to him, since he’s still a creep. The kids have turned out just fine. It’s been about 15 years now, and the older child is in a PhD program while the younger is doing very well in his studies.

      aE, you’ll be fine, but it will take a while. Ask around in your area to find out if there are any decent therapists who do well with people who’ve gone through divorce. I know that one of the lawyers I interviewed gave me a list of therapists her clients found helpful, and she wanted me to know that I should tell her if I found any of them to be unhelpful. I’ve got the list, but my insurance provider is fighting with one of the other groups in town, so I’m putting therapy on hold until I can see how the insurance situation plays out.

      • Thanks KB.

        Done some therapy. I can’t really afford to do it regularly, so I kinda just check in every once in a while now. Last time I was there she did briefly commiserate with me on the fact that it’s hard to meet people in this area and said she hears it all the time. Guess all of us cool people in need of friends need to get some kind of group together. I do have some divorce workshop thing on Tuesday (see? not completely giving up on the “work” of divorce 🙂 ), so we’ll see how that goes.

        I’m just in a bit of a funk recently… maybe the whole two steps forward, one back? Anyway, glad I got someplace I can post about it to people that understand 🙂

  • Gosh, I must be the only person who doesn’t dig the Birk/sock combo.

    Also, wanted to say something: I watched Dave Chappelle on the Actor’s Studio tonight and he said something that I think is applicable to a lot of us.

    Many of us, when we freak out upon dday or even start acting not quite ourselves beforehand and are called ‘crazy’, not just by our cheaters but by observers.

    Chappelle takes issue with calling people crazy, saying when you call someone crazy you are being dismissive, you’re saying you don’t understand that person or care to understand what they’re thinking or feeling so you just brush them off and make them insignificant by calling them crazy.

    Ok, sorry, it just really struck me tonight, considering all the times I’ve been called crazy by STBX and part of his family for, you know, being pretty PISSED OFF to find out he was a serial cheater.

    Check it out on youtube if you’ve got a bit of time.

    • No Nord I’m with you any sock/sandal combination is just not right. And soul patches do nothing for me either. Now a nice moustache hmmmm

      • I’m with you – socks and sandals are never ever right.
        Soul Patches, not really either.

        • okay… count me into the no birk/socks-soul patch club. lol. I hope its okay though, I do happen to LOVE granola! ;]

    • Nord – thanks for this.

      Chappelle: “These people are not crazy. They’re strong people. Maybe their environment is a little sick.”

      I know I wasn’t acting like myself when I was still living with my stbx. He, his family and friends almost convinced me that I really was crazy. I sought counseling. He then used that as proof that I was nuts. People who had known me for decades actually bought his BS. (btw…counseling was the best thing I ever did…saved my sanity.) Looking back, I now see that living in that sick environment was the problem. Chappelle is right, calling someone crazy completely dismisses them as a human being. It’s a cheap, easy and oh so cruel way for N-cheaters to avoid taking responsibility for their actions.

      • Yes, that’s exactly what he says. Thanks for the proper quote. It says it all as far as I’m concerned. I probably was acting a bit nutty in the sunup to dday but hey, when your spouse is telling you he loves you every day, is making plans for the future but also acting very strangely and yeah, you don’t know what you’re reacting to so you react in a kind of crazy way.

        I love Dave Chappelle, by the way. Genius guy.

  • Couple of things….

    First: I like a soul patch. But, I live in New Orleans. We’re different here.

    Second: The Once and Future King is one of the best books ever written, followed closely by The Book Of Merlin. Read them often, and introduce your son to them.

    Last: Dude, you’re one of the good guys. It will take time. It’s taking me time, but you will find someone who deserves you. Someone who appreciates you. Your X never did. What she does deserve is the POS that she is marrying. The only question about this marriage is who will cheat first. The only advise I have for you is to continue to give your son positive role models, real men who care about those around them. Maybe someday you can model a true, caring, trusting relationship. He sure won’t see that from his Mother. I always worry that I totally fucked up my kids chances of ever having a good, healthy relationship. They are in their 20s now, and not one of the three are attached in any significant way, nor have been. I worry about that.

    Hang in there…. we’re all kind of together, in our own chumpy way.

  • My STBX listed the OW as his “fiancée” on his online address book which used to be linked to my computer.

    At the point in time when he did that, our divorce paperwork hadn’t even been processed – technically, we were still married and only informally separated.

    That felt like a slap in the face.

    Needless to say, I deleted EVERYTHING. I don’t need to see that crap.

    Apparently, others don’t either – if STBX is so proud of his 18 years younger former student (really!) fiancee, why isn’t he broadcasting the presence of his new soulmate to everyone? Why do the two of them try not to be noticed when they are out in public and they spot other former students he’s taught?

    Apparently it’s fine for him to inflict emotional pain on me, but God forbid others inflict it on him.

    • Oh yeah, and lest anyone out there think this is another professor/grad student situation, he teaches HIGH SCHOOL. Dday involved finding out that he goes after former students.


  • Greetings CL. I’ve been reading here for a few months … my daily therapy session. You, and my fellow Chumps, dispense such solid advice. Thanks to all of you. Sadly, it helps me to know that there are others out there experiencing similar pain and heartache. I guess it makes me feel a little less lonely during this very lonely time in my life.

    Bede’s posting is timely (and very touching) as I am coming off an emotionally challenging week. STBXH and his (also still married and mother of a 5 year old) OW had a baby in mid-February. I just received news of the birth this past week. Even though I knew it was coming, it still felt like a punch in the gut. I left and filed for divorce in May/June of last year, right after I confirmed X’s 6 month long ( doctor/med student) affair. You all can do the math. I’ve been told that STBXH and OW have professional photog pics of baby “Grace” posted on their individual Facebook pages. Good grief, they really have NO shame!

    CL, you are so right when you say that divorce is like a lot of little deaths. This baby has left me feeling obsolete in an entirely new way. It pains me to know that he/they are (seemingly) enjoying such great happiness … in the face of having caused so much pain to others. It doesn’t seem quite fair. I’ve been a decent Chump to the extent that I have been NC for over 6 months, and that really has helped me to heal. But, I haven’t really moved on with my life in a meaningful way. I spend way too much time thinking about the whole disgusting mess, probably because I don’t keep myself busy enough. I don’t have a lot divorced or single friends, so I feel a bit isolated. Isolated is probably a nice word for loser. Dating isn’t even on my radar and probably won’t be for a long time.

    Sorry, I’ve rambled on now. I know we all have a sad story to share. Thanks again to you CL. I’m glad to know that you and my fellow Chumps are out there. Be well and be good.

    • Welcome Brooke!

      Good grief — what a story! Does the husband of the OW know about the affair? Has there been a paternity test? I hope you have a kickass lawyer. How horribly painful this must be for you. Bringing a kid into the mix adds a whole new layer of fuckupedness. I’d just say get out ASAP — and be patient with yourself. It’s only been 6 months of NC. You don’t have a date for goodness sake. Just surround yourself with people who love you and get you, they don’t have to be divorced or single. But a divorce support group (a lot of local churches/community groups have them) might help.

      You’re healing from a profound betrayal. It takes time to grieve. But keep working on that new life — it’s going to eclipse this mess in time. Stay strong!

      • Yes, husband of OW does know. After I left, I warned my STBXH that she/they needed to tell him, otherwise I would do it. Once he told me that OW’s husband had been told … I reached out to him just to confirm. As it turns out, OW told her husband that she was “emotionally” involved and wanted time away from the marriage to figure out what she wanted. I think she didn’t want to tell her husband that she got pregnant with another man’s baby while still living under the same roof with him. Anyhow, I spilled the beans about what was really going on and also the pregnancy. That was an awful feeling but I don’t regret it. As it turns out, she and her husband had been trying to get pregnant with baby #2 in the months leading up to the start of the affair. When the affair began, she continued to sleep with her husband, but made him use protection. She told him that she was no longer sure that the timing was right for a baby. So it would seem that she let herself get pregnant with my STBXH’s baby. I’ve never asked him is he knew that she wasn’t on birth control. It doesn’t matter. Yes, there was a paternity test done during the pregnancy. OW’s husband still did the pick me dance, right up until a few months before the baby came. And she let him dance. I guess she liked the attention of two men. So many layers of fuckupedness!!!

        • (((hugs))) Brooke,

          so let me get this straight. She asked her HUSBAND to wear protection so that she could have her fuck buddy’s baby? and he’s a doctor and she’s his student????????? hmmmmm…

          That poor baby!

          But honey, please… lets take this into the examination room, okay? Doctors who fuck their students fuck other students, too… After all, they won’t be students forever, or they fuck their student’s parents, their patients, their patient’s kids, parents. secretaries, nurses… doesn’t matter. anything goes! He’s an arrogant, entitled narcissistic prick and he’s probably a lousy doctor too!

          So, one day when the former student, now knee deep in poopy diapers and her nail polish is chipped down to the cuticle and she hasn’t washed her hair in a week– what do you think is gonna happen here? hmmmm??? do you think the ol stethoscope pecker is gonna keep that aging wick dry? I don thin so!

          what a sad disgusting story. the real victim here is that innocent baby! You are well rid of him. I know, I know… he also has lots of wonderful qualities. sure… whipped cream is delicious… even when its coating a pile of steaming horse shit?

          and I get the thinking, thinking, THINKING about them… but try not to. (I know, its impossible) but still please try and I agree with CL to try and get out and have fun. Try something new. If that doesn’t work, try something else. They are LOSERS and also… they are DOOMED. why? please see paragraph #2. That’s why.

          • Yes, Laurel, you have the story straight. It’s pretty screwed up. And to explain the whole ugly thing to his friends and family, STBXH told them that he was driven to cheat because I didn’t want to have kids. Sadly, that’s the exact opposite of the truth. Nothing like a little blame shifting to drive the knife in a little deeper.

            Thanks for your words of encouragement. I needed them.

            • that sucks! A lot. But be happy you don’t have kids with this guy. I feel sorry for that poor kid they now have together. Two narcissistic parents is not going to be fun. And it’s only a matter of time before one or both of them cheats again.

          • Hi Brooke & Laurel,

            The analogy of “whipped cream…steaming horse shit” is delicious. Suits by ex completely 🙂

  • Along with “crazy”, I think “bitter” is a word that is used as a weapon against chumps.

  • Bede – I can relate to your timely post. I feel the same at present. I couldn’t have said it any better.
    I seem to be doing all the “right” things too, yet I feel I should be further down the path.
    The loneliness has got to me this winter (again) and I guess I thought by now I would be more settled.
    I know, I know, what wags this, I should be asking? Time to get my journal out and write it all down. But damn! I’m growing weary……I seem to be spending so much time in “facing” the loneliness. I’m battling, but I think I’m battling myself perhaps.

  • I live in the PNW, and socks and birks fly just fine here, Bede. I would not even blink. But, a person walking around in their pajamas….*cringe* 🙂

  • Bede PMed this to me — just sharing!

    So I’ll try to address the main points that have likely been causing so many decent, hardworking chumps to lose sleep lately. Washing Darks With Colors. It may or may not be morally reprehensible to do this. Questions like this – “of great social and political import” as Janice put it – have plagued humanity and are going to cause smart people to disagree and argue throughout the ages. I won’t try to get into it. It’s in the genes, and I’m missing one that might – I said might make me a more confidant debater on laundry issues. Hope I don’t sound sexist. Or is it sexy? I need to watch “This is Spinal Tap” again. I do know however, that the thrill – nay, the utter sense of rebelliousness and evolved edginess that I feel when I wash clothes however the fuck I want will never “fade” away. Now those are “jeans” I can understand.

    Wearing Socks With Sandals. OK, to split hairs, (or toes), I differentiate “sandals” from Birkenstocks. Zories for obvious reasons, don’t work so well with socks. But Birks are crunchy. There is something you are saying about yourself when you wear them together with Norwegian wool ragg sox. (I live in MN…) I just hope it’s not what George was saying with his sweat pants. ~ Jerry: “You know the message you’re sending out to the world with these sweatpants? You’re telling the world, ‘I give up”… Seriously though, judging from the response to the very idea of socks and sandals, I might be a bit more circumspect in the future. I don’t want to add a new item to the list of méthodes de suicide – “suicide by fashion cop”.

    And… The (dreaded) Soul Patch… Touched a nerve there? Any man who has worn one, has had the enjoyable experience of conversation with a woman who seemed unable to focus on what he was saying, and who unconsciously kept brushing something off her lower lip. It’s funny. I love to tease. And no, I don’t want to be an “Old Austinian” (tks. P. G. Wodehouse), in a silly hat whose aroma, (sulfides of hydrogen), follows him as he looks for the next prandial delight in Mexican cuisine. But I earned my tattoos and have worn them proudly for many years – and I am a song-writer, so I have earned a few influences too. Alas, it’s too late to be 50. I’m a 53rd grader.

    But I do want to let you all know that the soul patch met the grim razor yesterday. Things like that are so ephemeral. We can put them on and take them off “whenevs” as my 5th graders would say. They are fun, and no number of gals and their quizzical looks can match the fun I had yesterday reading all the posts! We can put on and take off attitudes too. One I notice in particular is the one where we laugh about our ex spouses and their APs getting married and the chances for their success – and we might gloat a bit when we imagine them in years to come like a couple of rats in a small, filthy lab cage waiting for Professor Frink to arrive for the day… “FLAVIN!…” There is another way to view it though.

    A dear friend of mine – she’s a fellow chump as well as a couple chumplings here pointed out that those of us with kids may think twice before we wish ill on these marriages. I don’t give a lab rat’s ass about my cheater’s marriage other than how it affects my kid. I don’t want him suffering through another divorce. I can only control me. I’m not going to wish for their marriage to go sour although I know it is likely that it will. But like I told my ex, “I’ll be watching you and (DS’s) step dad. If I think my son needs protection, he will have it.”

    Good Attitudes. Don’t you wish we could just go down to “Macy’s” – HAR! and buy them? “Yes, I’ll try the “meh” please – 42 long?” Don’t you wish we could just dust off the dating profile with a happy and confident shout or see the great, lush green pasture we are on – say – now, as compared to the barren, ugly empty Texas lot we were on before? (Sorry Chumpster!). But if we could buy that stuff, or it was otherwise made easy to have, would we appreciate it? YRMV. I think I’ll travel the thorny road first, breakfast tacos and all, so I can kick off the Birks, AND the socks – and cool my toes in the grass.

    Education. Here’s an excerpt from a PM I sent to the Chumpster: “I have to tell you this. Last night I saw that calendar entry and I let it tweak me for just about exactly 10 minutes. Then I wrote to you. Then, and I shit you not, I went straight to the University of Minnesota College of Educational Psychology website and shopped for a certificate. Before I went to bed I had made the commitment to myself to go back to school and further my education…

    When I read your reply today – and Tracy – I could go on and on about the gift you gave me with your thoughts and words, but I think a simple “thanks” says it as well as anything…

    Anyway, I thought to myself, “she’s suggesting getting out and learning something… How absolutely, fucking amazing!” Then I thought again, and came to the conclusion that no, it’s not so amazing. What is so extraordinary about two minds thinking “lucidly” [and independently] along the same lines? If I needed another reason to think I might be on a better pasture these days, that was a darn good one…”

    “Barftastic”. “Halfwit mirror peckers”. Thoughts on “Being Human”. Injustice. “Frakakte”. Loneliness vs/Misery. “Last Grasp of the Devil”. Future posts Chumpster? And finally… The “Line” Until The Chumpster gets the dating service up and running, I think the line will have to remain in our hearts and minds. And even then? Well, we all have our limits. I still have some work to do as many of you pointed out. Besides, I would have thought the fact that Shoes As Interior Design Elements would have put more people in a thoughtful, careful frame of mind, but far be it from me to have wanted to scare anyone. I am inspired actually, to make a further commitment in improving my life. Hereafter – I vow to double the number of showers I take each month to 2!

    Thanks again Chumpster and chumplings. Who said it best? maybe JFK… “Ich bin ein Chumplinger!”


    • Lovely stuff, Bede. You’re going to be just fine.

      I know what you mean about not wanting the kids to go through another divorce, so we sit here and hope our cheaters dont’ fuck up again because we don’t want our kids to think this is how relationships go.

      Today I had lunch with a close friend who was chumped about two months after me. He’s still a bit fragile and says he won’t date yet, because he won’t just jump into a relationship for the sake of it…he really wants to be completely himself. I think we are all doing that to a degree and while our cheaters zoom towards the future we all seem to be inching slowly towards it, carefully, with eyes wide open and making sure we’re ok.

      Kind of the tortoise and the hare situation…and we know who comes out ahead in the end, right`?

      Bede, you’re smart, funny, probably cute and as long as you address that footwear issue you’re going to be fine. 🙂 Don’t stress, though. Life is not a competition, particularly with a cheating asshole of an ex. You’ve already won in that area, just by being a good guy who didn’t go bang someone else when you got bored.

      Head up, smile on, eyes looking forward. We’ve all got your back.

    • Thanks Chumpster! Before I go, I forgot – in all the blather about myself…. There was someone else that suffered too. My ex is marrying her AP, and there is a chump out there somewhere that was hurt. A daughter too. I wish I could reach out to that woman. Her husband left her for my ex at a time when she needed him sorely. She was struggling with addiction. I hope with all my heart that she found her way to sobriety – as I did. Or maybe not as I did. I just stopped, cold turkey. But however one gets there… “whatever gets you to the light – it’s alright…”

      I wish I could reach out to this woman and bring her into our community. Poor chump, out there in the dark. There is small hope you’ll ever read my words or know our compassion for you… But what there is I wish for you. Later Chumpster. Later Chumplings. I have work to do. Be well!


      • Reach out if you feel the need. Funnily enough I was drinking probably too much in the lead up to dday because my gut was most likely screaming. In the month or two after I KNOW i drank too much. And then I stopped. And now I drink like a normal person, a glass with dinner with friends sort of thing and that’s it.

  • The Once and Future King had been one of my very favorite books, but it is the tale of Guenevere and Lancelot, two of the most romanticized cheaters. I am interested to hear comments on this.

  • Bede
    I have found that life these days is like a roller coaster. For every good day where I am feel on top of the world and like its all under control there is a sleepless night of crying, particularly when I know the ex is out with someone else. I think that is just how it is. So remember that after the roller coaster goes down it will come back up again. Good luck to you and all the other smart kind funny and wonderful chumps on this site

    • me too, honey. me too… sometimes, I’m doing really well… very productive, working really hard and sometimes–plop! I just did a really DUMBFUCK thing. I’ve maybe done this twice before in the last 20 months since D-day, but on a hunch, I got on Craig’s List— yes, Craig’s List– and in about 30 seconds found…

      my HUSBAND!!!
      and yes, even though I have left him, we are still legally married and no one has filed, but I just contacted a lawyer, because enough is enough.
      I don’t want to find him on there. We have been together for 26 years and he threw me and our entire family under the bus… and for what?

      Here’s the ad.

      THIS IS WHAT I WANT – 61 (Fuckme, NY)
      “If you can check these off, you should say hello.

      You’re no older than 55;
      You’re Caucasian;
      You’re respectful of words and their meanings;
      You’re good to your body by staying active, and you’re proud of it;
      You have a sharp sense of humor and find it in the unlikeliest situations;
      You’re at least separated, divorced, widowed or single;
      You’re an independent type of person;
      You’re ok with doing nothing sometimes;
      You’re tired of seeing “You’re……”;
      You’re capable of putting together an articulate message.

      That’s all –
      over to you now. . . . . . . . ..”


      why… that woman that he WANTS, IS ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      except its not really me, just someone LIKE me! :[

      and he thinks he’s going to find someone LIKE me, on Craig’s List???

      BTW, truth in advertising. Its not doing NOTHING–SOMETIMES. its doing NOTHING ALL THE FUCKING TIME!!!!!!!!!! CL cassanova would routinely pass out on the sofa by 9 PM…

      I know, I know… he SUCKS. WHY CAN’T I TRUST THAT HE SUCKS?

      HE’S SUCH A FUCKING GENTLEMAN! (except when he’s fucking me over!)

      • They always want someone like us…but the sparkly, unworn, no baggage, don’t know who they really are version. YOu know, the one who still looks at him like he’s a god and the earth trembles when he strolls by with all his fabulousness.

        They want unreality. That’s all it is. They don’t want a proper warts and all relationship, which is what you get when you’ve been with someone for years and years.

        There’s nothing wrong with you any more than there’s anything wrong with me. yeah, my tummy is a bit wobbly from middle age and kids but I’m an attractive woman in decent shape who is smart, funny, sexy and a lot of fun…and I’m also rock solid in a crisis and manage to always make sure things work out ok.

        No wonder he cheated though…because SOMETIMES I WAS GRUMPY. Some might even say I had moments of being bitchy. How dare any of us be human and less than perfect.

        • Laurel
          Who knows why they cheat ? But I do know its not because we aren’t enough. My husband admitted the ow wast as “fit” and was vas smart and that the only thing she had was that “she wanted him”. His own therapist told him he was making a mistake as when questioned my husband could not say one thing he didn’t like about me!!!!
          But no matter h wanted her not me. It’s all about the fantasy for them. Why have you or me (and the obligations and responsibility of real life) when you can have some idiot ripping off her clothes at the thought of him.
          It seems like a pretty empty life to me

      • This is interesting Laurel! These guys have the same search terms, which led to them finding us in the first place. They don’t modify these terms. So, if your spouse/ marriage sucked, you should modify your terms. Mine is a ditto. Maybe some strange kind of psychology…of not learning from their past. And there I agree with CL. When we chumps are up to finding our partners again, we are (or should be) wiser. We (should) look for red flags. We are (should be) cautious of not making the same mistakes. It takes time to readjust ourselves back to normalcy. While, these guys make no amends whatever. They keep making same old mistakes. If “independent”, “learned” types didn’t work for you, change your choice-set man! You’ll face similar dynamics even worse. “Turkey with a mirror” is right!

  • Can’t you just call the dude, “Bill” or whateverthefuck his name is, Bede? Does the deserve the honor of “stepdad”??


  • Laurel,

    Please, please stop checking what he is doing.

    You gave me thte same advice on another site, and though it was impossible to do it, I had etched your words into my head and I stopped.of course, the man was not my husband and I didn’t have children with him so it was easier for me to do it.

    You had told me..Sanity, he will be with other women whether you are there or not there in his life..You had said if he could be with other women when you were with him, you think he will stop now that you are not with him.You are yet expecting him to change which he will not, had told me he is so sick in his head that nothing can vying a change in him.

    Your words , though harsh, helped me in my healing.

    They were the greatest gift I could have received.

    I wish I had your clarity or a way with words to alleviate your pain.

    I wish I could return , in some measure, the gift you gave me in my direst times when I was toting with the idea that life was not worth living.

    Just know one thing..count your blessings that he is yet the same asshole he always was, that will give you the strength of keeping him out of your life.The littlest of sign or belief that he has changed would probably bring him back in your life and we all know how that ends, eventually.

    So , thank your stars that he is still on craigs list begging for a woman and not at your doorstep begging for your attention.



    • Sanity Regained – good post and good attitude.
      Before I found this site, I was stuck in hell and couldn’t move on. I couldn’t move past myself. It was pure and utter hell.
      Besides the serial cheating, I couldn’t get my mind to wrap around the fact that after I left my 31 year union with my h, he met someone the following week-end, she slept in my house that night and within 4 months he filed for divorce – she was telling everyone in our small town that they were getting engaged – and then what a bitch I was becausee I hired a lawyer, which meant the engagement had to be postponed. It was as if our years together had never existed. On top of that, he was, and remains EXTREMELY angry at me. (He is now on his 3rd live-in GF btw.)
      I see his behaviour now as a blessing and that he did me a HUGE favour. By his actions, it effectively made any reconciliation or pick-me-dance totally impossible. I have learnt, with hindsight, that he acttually gave me a gift.
      Once I learnt that, my perception about my years with him and myself, changed and I found some peace within myself.
      There ARE blessings hidden in this whole mess we find ourselves in Chumpsters.
      And things to be grateful for.
      When we are in that deep pain of devastation it is not something we want to, or can hear. I remember getting quite angry at that notion – how could the destruction of my family and the hundreds of betrayals be a blessing – that was all polyanna-erish gobbledygook trash. It was a Verkakta situation and you want me to find it all a blessing – yeah, right.
      It helps to start by being grateful for the basics – a roof over our heads, food in the fridge, our children, a smile, a random act of kindness, the sunshine, etc. Suddenly, somewhere, with practice, it becomes easier to see that their behaviour is actually showing their true colours and it`s still just all about them, and most certainly not a reflection of our worth. And unwittingly, they`re actually doing us a favour.
      As of now, Bede`s recent post exactly reflected my feelings. I have been battling myself.
      Replies from you all with the compassion, the humour, the solid, good advice has me re-thinking what wags my present feelings and view. I remain a work in progress, even though I thought and hoped I`d be further along the path than I am.
      This site gives untold gifts. I cannot thank you all enough.

      • God, sounds like your husband and mine were cut from the same clothe. The ANGER is hilarious. And the blaming of us when things don’t go exactly according to plan…the plan that lets them skip off to the rainbow while we wallow in the dirt. They really do get pissed when it doesn’t work out that way. 🙂

        Life is full of great things and although we’re all probably hurt beyond words that our worlds were ripped to shreds without our consult there is plenty out there that deserves our appreciation.

        One of my big thanks? I have a better and deeper relationship with my kids…it’s been tough at times but overall we talk in ways we havne’t before, simply because they too fell apart when all of this happened.

        • Nord – I have been struck time and time again by your posts at our similar situations.
          Not only are our husbands cut from the same cloth, you and I have been double-fucked in that we changed coutries and are living away from our homelands. The lack of family and friends around me (they are all in a different hemisphere) makes it harder. The anger directed at us by our X’s is uncannily the same.
          Hugs and warmest regards to you and all fellow-chumplings!

  • Bede,
    I found humor in your replies but also a sense of “reactivity”. Its been 3 years and you are doing very fine. You understand all the stuff being said here. However, I am worried for this “reactivity”. It has elements, which kind of says that “peace is evasive” and ex’s activity is driving you. Now, I feel, you are on the threshold of being “free”. Yes, you can. You are already practicing “Living in the Now”. Some more moves in that direction, maybe zen would suit you better. I expect you to be above these messy things soon.

  • Nord, Anudi, Pearl and Sanity,

    Thank you all so, so much… I have tears streaming down my cheeks and they are the good kind. and especially Sanity. I did not know that I did that. Its easy for me to dish it out. Like CL, my goal is dispel the myths floating out there by the so-called professionals who are all to happy to take your hard earned money giving already devastated people false hope. My story has layers and layers of fuckedupness, but underneath it all, the same principles hold true for me as with everyone else.
    Its not that I have any hope or ever really did since I found out the REAL TRUTH about my husband… who he TRULY is underneath that thin veneer of the “nice, funny, gentleman”… but that he would just throw it all away…
    Oh, how I waited and waited for these years… when our kids were finally grown and it would be just him and me again… like it was in the beginning. OH, we had so, so much fun!
    why does this have to hurt so much? I do get it, but I’ll never understand it. Its just incomprehensible. yes, yes, yes. You are all so right. I need to keep reminding myself that it wasn’t me. I’m far from perfect, but I was a good wife and a bad ass mother. Not to toot my own horn. but my 22 year old (a trombone player–lol) told me just that recently.
    It doesn’t get any better than that! I need to keep reminding myself of my many blessings when I’m feeling like such a hopeless loser.
    I have a lovely day planned with my BFF. (thank God!) I hope everyone has a beautiful day today!
    Love to all!
    PS: this is my real name. for a long time, I used a pseudonym, (Lexie) but then I realized that it didn’t matter any more. I am not in the least bit ashamed to be here or on any support forum and I have nothing to hide. I rather like it that way.

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