Dear Chump Lady,
My girlfriend and I have been together for five years. We have a four year old daughter together. We are both young, 24 and 22. I have been working my butt off to put her through nursing school for the last three and a half years. She just graduated this last December (2012). We moved from up north to Texas. We love Texas and that was our dream to relocate as soon as she graduated. We left everything behind and moved out here on a whim. We had no plans, we just wanted a new life experience. We left everything behind literally, it is still in a pack rat storage container up north. We have been here a month and were closing on a house this last week.
This last week she was tired from a long day at work. I happened to pick up her phone and I see graphic texts of her and her SO. When I confronted her she came somewhat clean and freaked out trying to hold me in the hotel room. I went on a drive and returned a few hours later. She talked to me until 4am about what happened. It was pretty heart wrenching to think everything we had worked for she just threw it away. I tried telling her she had to go right then, but I decided to let her leave first thing in the morning. I packed her stuff for her and booted her out of the hotel 9am the next morning. It has been four days. Now it is just me and my daughter.
I have a large array of feelings towards the situation. In the texts it is clear that she was in charge. The SO was trying to tell her he had deep feelings and She pretty much said “this is what it is, we both have our separate lives when this ends”. I just don’t understand why she would move half way across the country with someone and chump them (me) like that. Is she just that scandalous and didn’t think she would get caught? From the look of the texts it looks like this went on for about a month. The weird thing is that she left the texts on her phone. It was like she was wanting to get caught but did not have the courage to tell me about what happened.
She had a terrible childhood. Her dad went to jail when she was 14 and abandoned her. Her parents disowned her from a young age. I know first hand they never told her that they loved her or showed her or any of the other daughters affection. She has felt stranded until I came along. I always had a can do attitude for her and supported her in making her life better. I am the only real person who has cared about her in her life. Is this a way of acting out because she is not happy
with herself and refuses to think that she is loved?
Fast forward to today. She is doing anything and everything to show me that she loves me. I am just not buying it…. Her dad did this to her mom and I personally think it is the only way she knows. She is trying to tell me how much she really does care. She is manning up to her mistake and asking that I just keep an open mind. She is admitting that she can never apologize for what she did but is going into counseling this week to work on herself. It just seems to me to be the typical bull shit a cheater would say to get back what they had. Her problem is that she craves attention from guys Facebook, her girlfriends-boyfriends friends and people she does not even know like a hotel desk attendant. I am starting to see that she is just scandalous and I just wasted a shit ton of my life and now will never reap the benefit of paying 30k for her nursing school.
Notable, she does have problems. She has been going crazy before this, not sleeping, non normal though patterns, and being a weirdo at times. I have asked her to see a counselor for sometime and to get on some sort of medication or meditation to help with her sadness/denial. She tells me all of the time she is just a worthless piece of shit like her family and can never do anything good. Is she subconscious trying to fuck her life up? I think she just may have succeeded!
No, I don’t think your girlfriend is trying to subconsciously fuck up her life. She’s pretty aware of her choices and a real expert at life fuckupery. It’s YOU I’m worried about. Subconsciously or not, you’re fucking up YOUR life staying together with her and trying to untangle the skein of fuckupedness. Why is that? Let’s take the focus off her (her dysfunction is slopping out all over the place), and put it back on you. Why are you trying to make it work with someone who would cheat on you and walk out on her daughter?
If you ask other people, Shawn, I’m sure you may get some reconciliation advice. Some “hopium” — you know, that false hope drug that’s so addictive. And you could waste a lot more of your young life on this person. But your girlfriend has SHOWN YOU who she IS. She is someone who is quite happy to have you foot a 30K education bill, raise a child, move cross country — and fuck around on you. She’s someone who likes to flirt openly with other men. Who has a family history of cheating. Someone who is okay with using people (you, that idiot she’s screwing as her fuckbuddy when he wants “more.”) THAT is her character. THAT is what you’re working with.
I’m not seeing any evidence that she’s sorry. Yes, she’s saying the right things. After she got caught. And no, she didn’t want you to see those texts (subconsciously). She just got sloppy. Cheaters do that. They’re so entitled and so used to playing you, they assume the consequences don’t happen to them. They like things risky.
I’m unclear on where it stands now. She’s been gone four days? Yet she’s also back in your life trying to make things right? I hope she’s still out. Here’s some advice.
1) See a lawyer. You need to document EVERYTHING. The cheating, what you’ve paid on her education, her flakiness, her leaving her child. I know you asked her to leave, but my read of it is, she’s okay with you having all the grown up child rearing work. Correct me if I’m wrong. Maybe you’ll get lucky, and she’ll just hand over custody. I hope so. In any case, work out the most advantageous custody arrangement you can. Always, always, always document her misbehavior. That’s what the courts want to see — who is acting in the best welfare of the child.
2.) Paternity check your daughter. I’m sorry to bring it up, but if she’s a cheater and this much of a flake, you can’t risk not knowing if you’re really that child’s father. It’s hurtful to mention it, and you may still very much want to raise her, but it could make a big difference legally.
3.) Know that you’re a GOOD person. Yes you got chumped. Learn from this. You’re a good man to be a father to that little girl and such an amazing source of support to your unworthy girlfriend. That 30K wasn’t a waste if it means that woman can support that child, or pay you child support. In future relationships, look for reciprocity. Someone who is self supporting and uncomfortable receiving so much from you. We do so much out of love, but look for a sense of entitlement in others. Cheating is based in entitlement thinking. She was okay taking from you, and playing you, and putting your future, and that little girl’s at risk. For ego kibbles! You deserve MUCH better.
4.) She’s still trying to manipulate you. STOP trying to mediate, reason, get her to counseling. It is NOT your job to fix her. She just pulls out her “woe is me!” card. Oh, she can’t do anything good! She’s worthless! That’s your cue, Shawn, to throw ego kibbles at her — No sweetheart, you’re worthy. You’re a good person! Bullshit. Her actions are NOT good. She wants to fix this, and BE sorry? ACT sorry. She can get a job and pay you back $30K. That’d be a start. She can get HERSELF to therapy without your prompting or help. She should be falling all over herself to fix this. She ISN’T. Shawn, that’s a CLUE.
5.) Consider moving back home with your daughter. See a lawyer about this first. I don’t know your job/house situation now. But I think you need support. Don’t let yourself be isolated. I know you love Texas (you’re nuts, Shawn, I live in Texas. Talk to me after August…), but Texas isn’t going anywhere. You need family and friends and a support system you’re not going to find in a new place. Keeping you here means you’re at a disadvantage, and she’s playing on that. Oh, Shawn has so much invested, he’ll NEVER leave me now! He moved cross country! We bought a house!
Shawn, I’ve been in those EXACT shoes. Moved to another state, bought a house, quit a job, got chumped. It took me over a year to extricate myself from that mess but I did it. And you can too. Don’t be afraid to quit a bad investment. I know how badly it sucks, I truly do. But there’s a good life on the other side of this nightmare, and you need to start moving towards it. Start doing the hard, painful work of saving YOURSELF. That’s the only person you get to save here. Well, you and that child of yours, if the courts will let you. You cannot save your girlfriend. She doesn’t want saving (she wants to play you) — and it isn’t your job.
Report back, please, and let us know how you’re doing.