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Dear Chump Lady, Where’s my Meh?

MEHDear Chump Lady,

I have worked really hard as seeing the STBX for what he really is. Gave up with the ego kibbles, stopped playing pick me, worked on myself, went to therapy, made new friends and hobbies. But I just can’t get to “meh.” I am constantly angry and hating him for cheating for leaving me and for all the underhanded things he did and said. And while I do enjoy many things in this new period of my life, I experience crushing sadness when I seriously don’t think I can stand another minute.

It has been 18 months since Dday, over a year since he moved out after a false reconciliation, and I still can’t seem to be meh. What else do I have to do to be okay with the shit storm that ravaged my life?

Pearl

Dear Pearl,

Accept shit storms.

I know that sounded really flippant, but have you heard the expression — if it rains, let it? Part of getting to “meh” is accepting the injustice. That shit storms happen. That you suffer. That it isn’t fair. But still you get up, rebuild (while STBX is probably swanning about with soulmate #137…), and live your life without the benefit of a karmic reckoning.

I don’t know who schedules the karmic reckonings, but they seem to have a sixth sense where “meh” is concerned. Just when you really don’t give a shit, is about the time that tree falls on the cheater’s house or they die of clap. The karmic scheduler is really perverse, because when you badly wish for some Old Testament justice, some hot coals to fall on their head, a plague of locust… anything! — nothing happens.

Let me put this another way — to get at “meh” you must first eat the shit sandwich of injustice.

I’ll give you an example. My son’s dad (who is mentally ill) has sued me multiple times over the last decade. For custody, several times. Because I put my son in a Waldorf school (and paid for it myself). Because I moved across the river from Va. to DC. once. Because I moved 2 hours away later. If there was an opening to litigate or harass me legally, he took it. Usually, he represented himself  — and I paid TENS of THOUSANDS of dollars to my lawyer to fight this shit. All told — probably close to 100K over 10 years.

And no, I’m not rich. And yes, he did this while owing me thousands in back child support. It pretty much ate through an inheritance and my home equity. And while I’ve been very blessed in my life (everything is fine now) — when I was a single mother earning peanuts, the stress of this was never ending.

Is it galling to consider how my life would be different if he didn’t sue me? If I had an extra $100K to have spent on my son and myself? YES. If I didn’t live with the yearly nightmare of a mentally ill person trying to take my son from me? YES. Some how, I don’t wish that man dead. I don’t want to dance on his grave or spit in his eye. I just count down the  couple remaining years until I am done with legally having to interact with him. I honestly feel “meh” about him. I don’t hate him. I don’t care what he’s up to (insofar as it doesn’t harm my son). I wouldn’t care pro or con if he got run over by a bus tomorrow. He’s a nonentity.

And the injustice — and a litany of other shitty unforgivables I won’t bore you with — is just part of my history. It happened. I did my best to get through it. And eventually, I triumphed over it — and you will too. I built a better life.

So how do you eat the shit sandwich of injustice?

Well, I found a few things helped. First, validation. It helps a lot for people — a therapist, a friend, someone on a board here like CL — to say “Wow. That sucks. I’m sorry that happened to you. You didn’t deserve that.”  It helps a whole lot to hear people call injustice unjust. To not spackle or spin, or tell you to stop being bitter or angry, or feign “neutrality” — but to clearly call out that this is SHIT. And it’s unfair.

When that happens, a weird thing happens — you start to let go. Some people think that hearing that a situation is unjust will keep them locked in an “angry” place about it. (I get this criticism about Chump Lady all the time…) I have found the opposite is true. Feeling heard allows me to be quiet. Otherwise, I get locked in a dispute with people who want to minimize the shit sandwich. I feel defensive — no this really happened! And it was dreadful! But when good people hear you? Preferably people who have lived the same thing? The validation helps you let go and get to “meh.”

Next, to eat the shit sandwich of injustice, you have to do some spiritual work. I read about Buddhists’ views on suffering — life is suffering and no one is immune. When you think of the democracy of suffering and consider another person’s suffering, someone you would never trade with (a dying child for instance), it helps put things in perspective.

This isn’t minimizing it. When you’re trying to be validated nothing is less helpful than someone saying smugly, “Oh, it could be worse. You could be a starving orphan in China.” Oh gee thanks… That’s why this is work you do yourself. Come up with your own examples. Look around. Read the paper, get outside your own head. The world is full of examples of people who suffer unjustly. Count some lucky stars. Doing that helps you practice gratitude.

Gratitude in turn, lifts your mood and makes you, well… nicer to be around. (I’m sorry. Your mother was right.) Which takes me to my third suggestion. Fight like hell to be the person you want to be. There are many days in which your mental state is going to be a battle. You will have to will yourself to get through this. To accept these injustices. To go forward anyway. I often say be kind to yourself — yes — but the truth is there are many more days when you have to kick yourself in the ass and force it. Today I won’t dwell. Today will not NOT look at his Facebook page. Today I will NOT call her.

Part of that battle is not doing certain things (dwelling, staying in contact, pining) and the other part of the battle is having a vision of yourself as a resilient person who is going to Rise Above this shit. You want a new life, and you want to attract good people to that new life — and what’s attractive? An angry person? Or a positive, thankful, engaged person? Who would YOU rather be around? So be positive. It’s in your best interest.

Pearl, it’s early days for you. This will swirl in your head for awhile, but you’ll find in time (dreaded time) he will take up less and less of your mental real estate. You will never forget the injustice. (I don’t think Nelson Mandela has forgotten the 27 years he spent breaking rocks on Robbin Island before he won the Nobel Peace Prize.) But it’s not the only narrative. You’ve got other stories to write.

Meh will come when that new story takes more of your interest than that old story.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Of all of the responses you’ve written this is one of the best. So concise, articulate, meaningfully kind and honest. Every step I’ve taken forward, has been through comments on CL. I would not be at this positive point in my life had I not sought out Chump Lady.

    When I felt totally alone, you all were here for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, which by the way, is no longer a globe of fragile, hand blown glass.

    • Same here. And you hit it nail on, when other people state: you could have had it worse… I get really irritated. If they say: oh, that’s terrible, I’ll be the first to downgrade my losses! And really, it could have been a lot worse. But still I did not cause or deserve this, did not see it coming, I’m mourning my lost past, present and future. But… I’m starting to see that there is no shame in single parenting, the children are resilient (with my support) and I can see there is a (different but no less bright) future after all.

      My heart is still very fragile, but there are days now without crying, I sometimes even keep from collapsing in a blubbering mess when someone is very nice and caring… I truly believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you CL and CL-regulars for showing it to me.

      • DC, Good for you! I rarely ever cry anymore which seems impossible. Now when I run into people and they say “I’m Sorry” I can actually say “Don’t be I’m not” with a genuine smile on my face…:) this site is a lifesaver, and so are all the Chumpettes.

  • I agree particularly with CL’s first point – talk to people who will validate you.

    I remember growing up my mother always made sure not to tell us how we should feel. An adult may logically know that not being chosen as hall monitor isn’t the end of the world. An adult may know that scoop of ice cream or that toy is not the most important thing in existence. But a young child, even an older child may not see it that way.

    She would counsel us that it would all work out in the end. She corrected our behavior, but she never condemned our feelings. She would say, “you shouldn’t yell” not “you shouldn’t be sad.” Whatever someone else may think, you have a right to your own feelings. Actions are punishable by law. Thoughts and feelings are not.

    No one should tell you how to feel about the situation. No one should say, “it’s not that bad” or “get over it”. That’s why we’re here. We will listen and tell you, “you’re right, that’s not fair” instead of “life’s not fair”

    You’re feelings are valid. We’ll be here to listen and remind you that they are.

  • Hi Pearl
    I am exactly in the same position as you. Same time frame and eating a shit sandwich. I assume you live in the States. Well the shit sandwich tastes the same in Australia.
    I have been questioning everything and sees glimpses of ‘meh’ only to fall back into eating the sht sandwich.
    CL comments this morning are incredibly powerful.
    The validation of pain and hurt is so important. I don’t hang with people who tell me to get over. I just cut them out.
    It’s important though not to labor people with our dramas. I see a therapist every week and she is sensational. Six months ago I couldn’t wait to see her or after three days needed to see her but now I can go the week in comfort and now we are beginning fortnightly appointments. So there is progress but its incredibly slow.
    The money spent on lawyers ( as CL did)is insane. I just can’t get my head around the cost of running two houses and legal fees while I eat the shit sandwich. It is unfair.

    There is this wonderful opportunity though for self development and who knows where it will lead us. It’s often hard to see it but there is karma and there is a new life after this and probably better. I have met many new friends and some in the same boat so we have this common thread of understanding and care for each other- both male and female.
    Of course there is Chumplady. Whether you live in New York , Bangladesh or Sydney chumplady and all the people here share our thoughts and ideas that can help us get through the day. The power of new media!!!! Real life experiences. Real love and examples of everything in between.

    Talking with Penny my therapist helps put groceries and chainsaw mans crap life in perspective too. They own ALL THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR ACTIONS. They can’t undo it. They continue to live a fantasy and are eating their own shit sandwich because the boys and others aren’t on board. Their fantasy is just them. They can control what they want but they can’t force others to be part of it. It’s hard to understand that the person you really loved and hounored, obeyed, nurtured, supported, respected turned 180 and walked away causing so much damage. She if course feels the same about me. It’s a train smash.
    The only thing we can do is walk away and stay away from the train smash and build a new life.
    Meh is out there. I’ve touched it, felt it but I haven’t fallen into it. I’ve been to the edge and seen it. It’s fucking awesome!!!
    Pearl, just keep going. Good days, bad days. It’s just part of the deal.
    Focus on self. Most of us are givers by the sounds of things so to be selfish is contrary to our normal behaviour but in the position we are in focus on self is really important

    • i’m nearly at meh and have had a lot of moments of meh but sometimes I don’t feel it. I figure it comes in waves until it finally takes hold as fully as it can. I saw the ex today and I felt nothing for him. But now I’m thinking about things and turning over in my head again just what a useless asshole he really is. I suppose that’s fairly close to meh. I don’t want him, that’s for sure, but I do miss my lovely intact family.

  • I find getting to “meh” involves small steps, or sometimes big steps. Sometimes, I’ll surprise myself and think “wow, I haven’t thought about him all afternoon.” Sometimes, it’s when I accomplish something that would have been far easier to do with him, like recharging the AC in my truck. Sometimes, it’s a really large thing… like yesterday.

    I had his initials tattooed on my body… I know, you should never do that, but this was DIFFERENT! We were IN LOVE FOREVER! (as I later deemed it; two people in love. Both with the same person.) I moved out 18 months ago. Played all the reconciliation games, and went NC (mostly) in December. Still couldn’t get myself to cover those pesky initials. After having to deal with him recently about retrieving some of my things he still had, I came home to New Orleans, and made an appointment with a local tattooist. As of yesterday, I no longer have his crappy BL on my body, but a beautiful dragonfly and flower, each symbolizing passion and rebirth/renewal.

    It feels amazing (but a little painful.) As I was sitting there, in real pain getting his name off my body, I kept telling myself, this is the last pain he will ever be able to inflict on you.

    Yay me!

    • Wow Tamara that’s awesome! I am 53, luckily old enough to have missed out on the whole “tat” craze because I’m also severely needle phibic. Oddly enough 2(!) men in my life had my name tattooed on their bodies. One was my husband (that passed away years ago) and the other was a horrible N also, just like the one I’m trying to get over now. It wasn’t my idea with either one…they were “surprises”. I often wonder what would convince someone that they had the whole of their lives figured out enough to put someone’s NAME over thier heart…I’m so glad you found a solution to yours. It sounds beautiful!

      • Ha!… I’m 51. I got my first tattoo 28 years ago.

        I thought about just trying to date someone else with BL in their name… seemed a little difficult. So then some friends and I thought about all the things we could turn those initials into… Bud Light, perhaps. Born to Lose. Big Love. Box Lunch (given the proximity, not a good choice..). In the end, I turned it into something beautiful.

        Oh.. and guess who just called because he saw something one of my kids posted about “mom getting a new tattoo at 51..”

        Maybe BL always stood for Big Looser.

  • I use Nelson Mandela finding happiness in prison as an example (to myself and others) of just how little we need to be happy 🙂

    It has been a long week for me. I had jury duty last week, almost got stuck on a sequestered jury, but then got excused from that, and then I got stuck with a murder trial, but the defendant plead guilty to avoid the death penalty, so they let us go, and so I thought, that was pretty easy, but… apparently one of my fellow jurors infected me with some nasty flu virus, so… long week of just wanting to feel well.

    Last night, I watched “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”, and as I set there sweating (fever) after the end of that movie, a feeling washed over me: “None of the crap that happened in my marriage really amounts to a hill of beans”.

    I don’t know if that was the fever, post-appocalypse epitath writing from watching the movie, or whatever…, but it was the most real thing I have felt in a long time.

    It doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. Pfft.

    • I am where you are and it seemed like an eternity to get here, but actually, it was not all that long. I too, was watching a movie, an old black and white one and as the story unfolded and resolved issues, so did I. The cheater means nothing, absolutely nothing.

      I still resent him and can hardly stand to be in the same room with him, but I am emotionally free from distress. I breathe deeply and sleep soundly. Life is so much better.

  • You know, it’s funny. I am not at “meh” yet with my STBX, but I know that it’s possible. I had a very difficult time with one of my siblings while growing up. This person was, quite possibly, one of the suckiest older siblings to ever walk the earth. The sibling was competitive (though quite a bit older than I was), insecure, resentful, and if I hadn’t had another older sibling who provided a buffer and two parents who saw what was going on and defended me, I’m sure the insufferable sibling would have had a far worse impact on my psyche. I often wonder if I married STBX in an attempt to right the wrongs inflicted upon me by my sibling– the sibling and STBX are very much alike.

    Anyway, from what I’ve heard (VERY reliable source), the sibling, who is now NC with our entire family for various ridiculous reasons that are based on highly revisionist history, is apparently living a fantastic life. The sibling travels everywhere, does not work (unless you call exercise classes and minimal volunteering efforts work) and is fully supported by the spouse, the spouse makes tons of money… yet I do not care. I am so past what this sibling has done and how awful this sibling has been, I wouldn’t care if the sibling won the Powerball and became a famous celebrity who was feted by all. It’s weird because my other siblings still carry a great deal of anger about this black sheep; they think that karma needs to pay a visit. I think that this sibling is so messed up and unhappy that the showy trips and life of Riley are nothing more than what’s on the surface. It’s hard to be happy when you’re mad at the world, blaming your failures on everyone but you, and living a life with dreams that are unfulfilled (which they are… there’s something that the sibling desires professionally that hasn’t happened and likely won’t as the sibling is now getting too old).

    So, “meh” is possible. I was startled to realize that I had achieved it in my life since I am pretty good at carrying a grudge. It took me several years to get to “meh” with the sibling, so I’m being realistic about when my Tuesday will come with STBX. I think we all need to be a little kinder to ourselves in that regard.

    p.s.– Sorry about all of the gender neutral talk. I wanted to keep this as generic as possible so that it doesn’t look familiar to anyone.

    • Moving On..
      I have a similar sibling. In fact when I mention her to my therapist, or friends that don’t know her I just call her ” The Bad Sister” I have a large family with many siblings but she is my only full blooded sibling. She has abused me in every way imaginable including physically (beating me up when we were young – she always had 8 years and at least 50 lbs on me) Anyway, CL, and you wonderful people on this site not only are helping me with XN, but a side benefit I’ve come to realize I’m gaining is mostly NC with her too…AND anyone else that has made my life hell over the last 50 years. Meh all around..I can’t believe how much better my is. Meh IS possible, I have faith and hope for ME now!

  • Not even close to MEH myself but baby steps CL and the folks here really help. Last week I cried wondering if after 23 years he ever really loved me at all. My H picks out sensational cards. I found a text on the “secret” cell phone and the OW was going on and on about how great her birthday card was and I could only imagine what it said. Then suddenly the word “spackle” rose in my head. I use to wonder how he could pick these great wonderful loving cards and act like a sh-t so often. SPACKLE!!! Some will reach meh sooner than others some may never quite get there. But we all got to keep on truckin

    • My X was good with the cards too – one Valentine’s he gave me a card with a picture of a couple on a trapeze, she’s swinging him and it says “Where would I be without YOU?” And when you open it it says “Hanging out with all the wrong people” And that’s EXACTLY what happened. The last thing he gave me (Xmas) were some crumpled up 20 $ bills he just pressed into my hand….Guess she (they?) got my cards? Keep on truckin is right..phony liar

      • I resent the card thing too. On our 30th anniversary he finally gave me a wedding ring. A year later he was sleeping with another man’s wife. There is no way to unfuck another man’s wife. Talk about stepping over the line, he tripped way over it and fell flat on his face.

  • I’d say that I’m about 75-80% of the way to meh. The thing that really snaps me back into focus is remembering to think about ME, not him, ME. I am a world-champion co-dependent. For what ever crap he could dish out, I could make an excuse for him. Poor sweet baby, had such a horrible childhood, so misunderstood, so vulnerable. I still find myself making mental excuses for him at times, thinking that ultimately he really did not MEAN to treat me like a piece of dog $hit; it’s just that his mother was so cruel when he was a child! He is afraid to love! (gag) My focus has always been all about him. His needs, his motives, his problems, his opinion of me. F- all that! Who even cares why he did what he did! What about me? I am somebody’s sweet baby too. My parents cried, bled, toiled and lost sleep to set me on the road to a good life. I am worthy of happiness. I am focusing on myself, fighting for myself, not making apologies. It seems to be working. My life is so sweet right now. Putting effort into my life, for myself, is already paying off. Who knew?

    • You are my hero, River.

      I, too, was a champion co-dependant. It took me until now to realize it, though. How do otherwise strong, intelligent people get pulled into this crap? That is the only question I have left. I’ve finally gotten past the Whys and What ifs. It just doesn’t matter. All I want to know is that I will never make that mistake again.

      I’m having a glass of wine with my daughter right now… we’ll have a toast for you, and how far we’ve all come.

    • River are you still here? In your shoes as a co-dependent champion here. Trying to bring back the focus on me as well. Hard after your mind and heart was doing the opposite for 12 years. How are you today?

  • Well well we’ll. Rupert Murdoch files for divorce after 14 years. What an arsehole. His relationships with his older children is a mess. He treated his wife here with so much disrespect.
    Pearl , there is Karma. He must have run out of viagara. Wendy,you must be so proud of the damage you have caused the other children.
    You can keep Rupert. We don’t want the cheating bastard back!!

    • Baci, I read the story today. He divorced his 2nd wife of 31 years and married this Wendy gold digger less than 3 weeks after it was final. She worked at his company and he was having an affair with her. She is HALF his age. He’s in his mid 80’s. GROSS! She previously broke up another marriage and married the guy only to divorce a couple years later when I guess she realized he didn’t have much money after child support and alimony payments.

      Murdoch apparently filed and said the marriage had been irretrievably broken for over 6 months now. I’ll bet you money she cheated on that old man with someone closer to her age. Karma is a bitch. Not only is he gonna get his but I hope she gets hers as well. I would also bet his 2nd wife is laughing her ass off right about now. Even though it took 14 years, karma finally made her rounds. Gotta feel bad for all the kids caught in the middle though.

      • His youngest son, Lachlan returned to Australia many years ago because he wanted nothing to do with News Corp, Wendy and more than likely Rupert.
        Lachlan married Sarah OHare and seems to be everything his father is not.
        What’s Rupert going to do now! Try and repair his relationship with his kids!!!
        His ex wife is sensational and I just hope she is laughing her arse off- without the fanfare of course. With dignity and grace the way she treated the matter when Wendy came along and caused so much damage to the whole family. Rupert is sad sad man. Feel so sorry for his kids

      • The first husband and his wife sponsored her in AMerica. She had an affair with the husband and married him. Then she cheated on him and he divorced her. then she met Murdoch. He divorced his wife and married her. Apparenlty the word ‘jaw dropping’ is being used as to the reasons Murdoch is now divorcing her. I assume she’s been having chandelier sex with a Cabana boy or similar. She’s something else, that Wendi.

          • New rumours swirling about, most pointed to her (allegedly having an affair) with someone high in government or someone high in gov’t’s SPOUSE. Or that he’s had an affair with a certain redheaded minx. I shall not name names but hte rumours are pretty loud.

  • I love this post. I am sloooowwwwly getting to my Tuesday also. I definitely don’t cry like I used to and some days when I get sad and think I’m going to cry the tears just don’t come. Maybe it’s knowing deep in my heart that jackass lost way more than I did. I have family and friends that love and care about me and will be here for me no matter what. He used to have that too but threw it all away. His loss.

    • Dear Disappointed: we here at CL are your friends too. We KNOW what the crazy-making behavior feels like. We know the pain, anger and frustration you and your family are feeling. My DDay was March 3rd and the numb feeling is only just starting to go away…it’s like PTSD.
      Focus on yourself. Love yourself. Praying for you and everyone here…

      • Thank you for you kind words. They started my day off with a smile. It will get better for all of us.

    • This is what keeps me stuck here. I know what he will lose when I go. Even his family will be pissed at him. He will be alone; but sometiimes I’m alone in the same room with him

  • One of my favorite books on living with the injustices in the world is Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. Its a memoir describing life in Nazi death camps and lessons for spiritual survival.

  • I am also trying to be patient at achieving meh. I think it is a two steps forward, one step back kind of thing. I think it can be hard to be patient, especially when I read some articles on HuffPo, or see other divorced people who appear to be moving on faster. I try to remind myself that I am happy with my choices and I am just being honest with myself about where I am. Everything I’ve read though also says to take the time to grieve, etc. and I think they are right (though maybe grieving isn’t really the word I would use). But it can’t be good to just bury your feelings and move on to the next thing. If I had to go through this shit you can be damn sure I’m going to take my time and learn from it!!!

    I think one of the biggest things holding me back from meh was this weird sense of shame that I had. Honestly, I do still have it a little bit but I’ve gotten SOOO much better. I think I was ashamed about my marriage failing and especially why it failed. Making the transition from married person to divorced person and having to communicate it to all the people I knew. I even got embarrassed when the kids would just mention “going to daddy’s” and things like that in public. So after the initial anger of betrayal, etc. subsided, then I was mostly just angry about having to deal with the “shameful” situation. A situation HE caused and from which I had to suffer the consequences. Sure, he had consequences too… but he deserved them! I didn’t! If I lived in a vacuum meh would happen much faster.

    Anyway, Pearl, I know it’s annoying as shit to still be angry when you don’t want to be. Or have other feelings that you wish you could just move on from. But I know that in time we will all get to where we need to be.

  • This came at just the right time. Tonight my nine year old daughter got angry at me and said that I hate her and she wants to go live with her father. The same father who left us over two months ago and who has seen his kids a total of 25 hours in that time. I hate my husbandso badly for what he’s done. But I’m going to eat the shit sandwich and know that eventually he’s going to be no more than some crap on my shoe.

    • Kay H, I’m sorry your kids have to go through this! At least your daughter trusts you enough to fight with you. She must be wishing so much she had a father to go to, at all.

  • I find that the path to ‘meh’ is like walking in the mountains. Sometimes you’re low in the valleys and feel like you’ll never get out, and other times you’re up high and can see so far! It’s been a year tomorrow since the definitive decision to separate (we were common-law for 14 years), DDay was 2 or 3 weeks before that. That shitty narc and what he did are no longer the first things that pop into my head when I wake up in the morning, that’s been a couple of months now. There are days when I feel quite good all day, others up and down, and some really rough ones. The kids went w/their dad to another city last weekend, and on Saturday met the OW for the first time (they only know she’s their dad’s girlfriend). That was a very hard day for me, but the next one was already easier again.

    I totally agree that talking to people who validate your feelings and don’t tell you to ‘move on’ is SO helpful! I have great friends. I try not to burden any one of them too much, but the closest ones get plenty of earfulls! And I saw a therapist for a few months. After years and years of having to contain and not think too much about my unhappiness, while living w/the ex, I’ve learned to just let myself feel what I feel. So I write, read, talk, rant and/or cry about what’s happened or is happening, and then it’s pretty easy to feel better after.

    On the worst days, Advil plus caffeine help a lot! I just don’t use them too often; want them to remain effective! (Did you know that our brains process emotional pain in the same way as they do physical pain – that’s why Advil helps!)

    And I find that what I don’t feel ‘meh’ about yet shifts, too, which I think is a sign of progress. These days the hardest is seeing the kids still suffering from never having their whole family together and happy any more, when it would have taken SO LITTLE to make that work. And it pisses me off that the ex wrecked his children’s family (in many ways, not just the 2 affairs) essentially for nothing – he’s no happier now.

    I also realized that when I missed the ex while still recognizing what a shit he is, I needed to think about what it was I was missing FROM MY LIFE, that he used to represent. So now instead of missing him, I miss feeling safe and loved in the arms of someone I love. And that focusses me forward, instead of back. I will feel that again one day, and hopefully I’ll have my picker working better, and that can be real and last.

    On the road to ‘meh’. And now able to be patient w/myself; I’ll get there when I get there!

    • Thanks, Karen, for putting into such clear words what I have been feeling: it’s what’s missing from my OWN life, NOT the life that I tried to make with him, that causes that empty feeling inside. I felt empty while I was still with him, but at least I had something I was constantly (and unsuccessfully) working towards (like a hamster on an endless wheel, I might add). Now that he no longer represents those safe and loving feelings (but never actually got), I’ve been working on finding that peace and comfort within myself. Slow process, but I’m making tiny baby steps every day. Wobble, teeter, stagger, limp … stride!

      • Oops … typo. Should be: Now that he no longer represents those safe and loving feelings (THAT I never actually got) …

  • I struggle and struggle with this. It’s been longer for me than most of you here, my divorce has been final for almost 1.5 years, yet I STILL am not at “meh” and I am still choking down that shit sandwich. Sometimes I wonder if it will ever end.

  • I think what keeps most of us from “meh” is “Medea.” We want justice. Period. We want the incredible pain, suffering and loss we’ve sustained to be revenged. It’s a normal reaction. I know that King Arthur states in “Camelot” that “Revenge is the most worthless of causes” but it certainly is what drives humans who have been wronged. I can’t think of anyone who successfully thwarted the revenge instinct outside of Jesus and maybe Ghandi.

    The ancient (and timelessly relevant) play “Medea” spells it out for us. Woman falls for dashing narcissist (Jason), uses her abundance of talent, skills, connections and more to advance his goals. He promises the moon, fathers two sons and……..then cheats on her and abandons her for a twinkie. Three thousand years doesn’t change the script, apparently – the Greeks knew that most men were assholes early on. What is great and terrible about “Medea” is that she takes justice into her own hands and exacts revenge on the a-hole who wronged her in a swift and horrific way – by killing their two boys. Then she uses her sorcery to ride a flaming chariot with the bodies of her dead sons draped over it right past old Jason to really drive home the point that she had the last word. It is tragic and horrible and understandable all at the same time. You don’t know whether to revile Medea or sympathize.

    The point of this is that Medea didn’t allow herself to get to “meh” and in the end destroyed all she loved and herself in her search for revenge against her ex. Not the way to go – she lost more than he did in the end, including her heart and soul. But we all are a bit “Medea” in our own way – we want that justice, that payback, that validation that we gave as good as we got. But it costs more than it’s worth. I struggle with the desire to see my ex stricken with every venereal disease and abandoned by his much younger OW every single day. There are days I actually pray for it. And I guarantee – it won’t happen until I stop.

    My oldest daughter, who is just now starting to mature and grow into the woman I’d hoped she’d always be – told me early on after the divorce began that her dad would get everything he has coming to him…..as soon as I stopped watching for it to happen. Pretty wise words from a 20 year old girl. Smarter than me. So I try and put my Medea instincts in a box and shut the lid and try to find my new life more interesting than my vengeful fantasies. It’s about 50/50 right now – but I’m getting there. Give yourself time. CL said the truest words – karma doesn’t work on our schedule – it works when we truly don’t care. Maybe that’s more in the “revenge is a dish best served cold” category. If so – we should enjoy our lives, move on from our victimhood and be ready to enjoy the cold dish when it happens. Just because you get to “meh” someday doesn’t mean you can’t have a wonderful schadenfreude moment when karma does hit him. And it will.

    • I don’t want revenge. I want two apparently intelligent people to wake up and realise this is not the proper way to treat people who love you and to treat children with such disrespect.
      But I may as well ask the Taliban to surrender – it could be easier.
      Reaching Meh is not caring about the cheaters but as humans we can’t help but wonder at the destruction and mess involved.
      I thought groceries and chainsaw man would walk all over me and many times it felt like it but there are signs that what they have is an empty shallow existence but as soon as the fantasy completely blows up they will just join Rupert and Greg Norman on the pile of lost cheaters

      • Baci
        Your comment “But I may as well ask the Taliban to surrender – it could be easier.” is hilarious and true. We think at times that how can humans be such. Can we segregate these disordered or bad ones from others and send them on an island so that they enjoy each others company and not destroy the human society by their non-existent conscience. You are right “Reaching Meh is not caring about the cheaters but as humans we can’t help but wonder at the destruction and mess involved”.

      • Baci,
        You are working on the assumption that these two people are self aware and willing to learn the error of their ways. They are not. You cannot teach people who do not want to be taught – you cannot make people unwilling to accept that they are doing anything wrong see the pain they cause. You could lay it out like Perry Mason and it still wouldn’t matter. Narcissists caught up in the thrall of mutual satisfaction can’t see anything but their own desires being met.

        And trust me – you may say you don’t want any sort of revenge, but down the road, when the inevitable breakdown happens in the ex/OP relationship – you won’t want to short yourself that small, smug moment of “THERE it is!” That doesn’t make you a bad person – just human. Indulge yourself when it happens – and it will.

  • Wonderful post, CL and responses. Too tired to write much. (blessedly–haha). long day… driving 180 miles through the monsoons. I could’ve written that letter, almost verbatim. I think its so many factors that create this pain, especially for those of us in very long marriages. Its an entire lifetime of memories gone poof– up in smoke! I sometimes think… Oh, Christian’s (my online name for my Jewish son) barmitzvah. Fucktard was hot and heavy in his predatory ways. I noticed how “flat” he was when he gave his speech, but just chocked it up to feeling uncomfortable speaking in public or being overwhelmed… Who could’ve known that he had sold his soul…

    I’m so sorry CL for what you went through with your husband. What a crazy fucker he is! If it had been my son, he could’ve gladly had custody. I realize that sounds absolutely horrible and I will be deemed a sorry excuse for a mother. I love my son to bits, and have moved heaven and earth to get him help, but he is hell to live with. One day, I pray he will not be so disordered! Alas, he’s actually an “adult” at 18, but we might need to get legal guardianship. Services are starting to come through, however! hooray!

    • Great news about services coming through… I’ve been wondering how that is going for you. And no, you do not sound like a bad mother for wanting a sane life.

      I agree about the memories going poof. When I remember some good time, I always wonder what he was “really thinking about” or ” where he went the next day.” It’s like all my history is a lie. It’s very disorienting.

      • Thanks honey. I think a lot of us have kids with issues. People ask me how I do it. I do it because I have no choice! I also think that we can all relate to thinking about past events like anniversaries, family events and so forth, knowing that our spouse was actually leading a double life that we knew nothing about.

        As an aside, I found myself with an extra hour and had a pedicure and picked up People Mag. (forgive me.) But they had a superficial article about LeAnn Rhymes who had an affair with a man and then both of their marriages went bust and she married the AP. To her credit, she conceded that she fucked up and felt very badly about hurting her family so badly. but, THEN, she says somewhere else, that she and her new husband, (her former AP) TRUST EACH OTHER COMPLETELY.

        seriously? I dunno; do two liars cancel each other out?

        • She says she is sorry people got hurt but does not regret what she did. I loathe that yodler. She is gross with the continued stalking of the first wife. Batshit, she is.

    • Hi DDW
      I so much want what you want…but as CL says…Accept shit storms and shit sandwiches…first step to “meh”. In fact I do not believe in Karma reckonings…U can teach him a lesson or leave it and move ahead…I chose the latter 🙂

  • I love CL’s post on the beauty of validation.

    There is nothing more heart-rending than turning to someone and laying out a situation, and asking if you are crazy to think there is something really, really wrong with your abuser’s actions, to have them turn around and tell you that you are angry & bitter and need to move on. (Remember, long term infidelity *is* abuse.)

    They might as well flat out say, YOUR ABUSER IS ENTITLED TO ABUSE YOU.

    I remember at one point, my mother flat out said, “You admitted your depression came out of remission during pregnancy.” As if this somehow makes Andy’s choices acceptable.

    I wanted to rip into her. I wanted to demand, “If cancer had come out of remission, would that make it okay for my spouse to start trolling the dating sites for relationships while I’m gearing up for chemo?”

    It tore me up inside to hear my own /mother/ justifying a decade of abuse because of a disease that had been in remission for *years* prior to going off my medication for an unplanned pregnancy.

    Not only was the pregnancy unplanned, but I know exactly when conception occurred, as *Andy* decided birth control was not necessary. Andy was already dropping the D word (divorce) at odd intervals –and we’d only been married 3 years at that point.

    I almost died during that pregnancy, me and Radio Flyer Princess both. And when I started taking responsibility for taking care of myself and doing the *work* (and believe me, a mental illness that cannot be cured but can be managed & mostly controlled is HARD LABOR to care for when it is not in remission) of getting my disease back under control, Andy interpreted that as me abandoning him.

    To hear my mother using it as a way to minimize the severity of Andy’s choices on my life was like being violated for a THIRD time.

    People who tell you to “get over it”, people who minimize, marginalize, justify—they are not your friends. They are the people who will continue to hold your abuser’s hand and tell him he deserves better while you are holding busted ribs.

    No contact is NECESSARY; good friends are NECESSARY; a kick ass divorce attorney is just really, really helpful.

    • I find that even some people who know that what my ex did was dead wrong want me to get over if faster than I am. They don’t understand the need to grieve, to experience our anger, to experience our sadness and pain, to get gradually to a place where we don’t think or talk much about our ex or what happened.

      Before I had kids, I’d see moms at the store or the park who had ‘let themselves go’ and think that I wouldn’t do that. Then I became a mom, and I let myself go, and it felt absolutely right. Then when it was time, I started taking more care of myself again, of how I looked, etc. Sometimes being upset, angry or bitter about the narc ex is where I am right now, it’s the right place for me to be. And I’m not just wallowing in it, I can see it’s getting me somewhere. And when I’m done, I’ll be done! Fortunately I have great friends who totally get that! And I have a lot more patience for people being where they are, and moving forward at their own pace.

      Last fall, just a few months after D Day, I went on a hike w/some people from work, and my new boss and I started chatting. Turns out she was divorced 25 years ago from a HUGELY narcissistic cheater, who had the $ to go after custody of their small son, leaving her with visitation only (which he stated clearly was a punishment for her having dared to leave him when she found out he was a serial cheater).

      She had a horrible time, but clearly came gradually to a great place in her life. She still had both the compassion to validate what I was experiencing, and the clarity to be again horrified by her ex! When she discussed it, the emotion was present, and yet she goes sometimes a year without thinking about him. (BTW, her now grown son spent more and more time with her as he became more independent, and they have a great relationship!) I wanna be her when I grow up.

  • A great post, and as always – hope and comfort for me from both CL’s advice and the kind words of my fellow chumps in this comment section. I have been struggling a lot this past week in trying to get my STBX to agree to the proposed Settlement Agreement so we can finalize the divorce. The only thing we can’t settle? Child support, imagine that. There is a $300 per month difference between what my lawyer calculated and what his did, so I offered to split the difference and meet in the middle. My STBX refused because “he can’t afford it”. Cry me a fucking river. Im working 10 hour days just to keep the bills paid, while he takes the kids out to eat and constantly buys them DVS’s, video games, etc. It was his choice to screw around, it was his choice to take almost nothing when he moved out and now he’s burying himself in debt by financing new furniture, a new computer, and a new car. But Im supposed to feel sorry for him, ffsstt. Once again, he cant think of anyone besides himself. When talking to my BFF about my efforts to try and get STBX to be reasonable and compromise, she told me this:

    Why are you trying to use reason and logic to get through to him? Its like trying to teach a toddler physics. It just aint gonna happen.

    And yes, its good to hear that Im not being greedy or unreasonable but standing my ground. Validation helps sooo much, way more than words can say.

    So, off to mediation we go. Im not sure the my STBX asshole has considered that if he wont compromise, when it goes before the judge he might just get hit with having to pay the highest amount. Im keeping my fingers crossed.

    What helps me the most to deal with the shithead and his sammiches? Validation from others and knowing that no matter how stinky life gets, its still way better now than it was being married to a lying, cheating, self absorbed, porn addicted dickhead!

    The best revenge? Being happy without them, drives em nuts. lol

  • Great post, CL. Validation is critical. Don’t suffer alone. Get perspective, and when you see how small, how truly tiny, these NPD people are, it really helps.

    Great follow-up posts, too!

  • My prayer every day since D-day was to get to the point where I could look at my ex and feel nothing. When I can look at him and feel nothing but gratitude for the lessons I’ve learned then I’ll know I’m completely healed. However, I didn’t understand at the beginning of this process what hell I would go through to get to that point. I’m not sure anyone who hasn’t been through it truly understands so I appreciate having this place to share. My youngest son’s wedding is coming up next week. I’ll see my ex face-to-face for the first time in 18 months. I PRAY FOR MEH.

    • That’s one of the things that anger me the most. The future I was so looking forward to. Being robbed of being able to enjoy your children’s life events with the person who you created and raised them with. My family is no longer the same and it’s no fault of the kids but they end up suffering the most.

      Maybe the only Meh I have right now is knowing that my cheating wife has told me that she takes full responsibility for her infidelity, And that she understands that Shitty choices get you Shitty consequences. But that’s about it. Unfortunately we are still stuck making sadwiches out of it. Anybody have any good recipes for shit sandwiches?

      • Bud, I can absolutely understand what you said:

        “That’s one of the things that anger me the most. The future I was so looking forward to. Being robbed of being able to enjoy your children’s life events with the person who you created and raised them with. My family is no longer the same and it’s no fault of the kids but they end up suffering the most.”

        I was so looking forward to watching my son graduate from his local high school next year! He has ADD and has struggled academically just to have a C average with college prep classes. He hasn’t really connected with people at his high school as an out- of- district student. He has opted to do his Senior year in California and live with his Dad. He’ll turn 18 this Fall and so I am having to accept his choice to do this. For the last few years I had always dreamed and planned about celebrating his graduation here with family because although he’s a good boy the ADD has really drained me: constantly monitoring his homework, prodding him to ‘hang’ in there etc. So my dream of watching him graduate with my family is ‘not’ going to happen. I will put him on a plane this next Friday to California and I’ll try not to dissolve into tears. I will miss him!

        I hope he has an awesome Senior year next year and I grieve the things I won’t get to be part of: picking out his Senior picture photographer, helping him pick out his outfit for pictures, watching EVERY one of his football games and cheering him on as I always have, getting to see (perhaps) his Senior prom date and helping him plan his big night out 🙁

        I am crying as I write these things because it is just SO damn hard! I always wanted to just be a family, ‘happily’ sharing our kids’ achievements together and this won’t be happening. I don’t know how to make a shit sandwich taste any better either but I guess I’ll just have to try and find some joy in ‘little’ achievements that my son will make in the next year both personally, socially etc. That is the only thing that comforts me.

        • Hi Hope,

          I am always going on and on about my 18 yr old with autism, but I also have an ADHD son who’s going to be 23 next week. Also, a handful, but very different and much more normal childhood and adolescence. Do you have a skype account? Its easy to get and you can SEE and speak to each other at the same time. And you CAN still be a big part of his life. Look, he’s going off to college soon, anyway and this will be good practice for him. Think Dad is going to do the million things for him that you do? haha. no way! No, it will not be the same, but if you don’t have older kids, I can tell you that once they leave for college, it will never be the same. My son is now a professional musician, but all throughout high school it was endless performances and THEN, it all came to a crashing halt. (except maybe for a couple times a year). Yes, I miss those days horribly. But I look back now and am so pleased as he’s a fine young man. (despite driving me nuts with his oh, its Friday? am I supposed to be somewhere today? lol) Yours sounds to be too. Yes, its a handi-cap, but it sounds like you have a good handle on it. Mine still takes meds. He tried a few years without, and then realized that he did better with the medication.

          When you look back, I can guarantee that you will notice a tremendous amount of growth in him this final year of high school. He will, because he’ll have to! So, maybe if you focus on the benefit, that might help?

          • Laurel, thank you for your encouragement. I hadn’t thought of a Skype account but that is a great idea. What is also tough for me is that my son is enlisting in the marines following high school through the delayed entry program. I will have my heart in my throat everyday and will likely wear out the kneelers saying prayers for him at Mass. I know he’s going to grow so much as a young man but I’ll have limited time with him over the next 5 years. That is going to be long and hard- I am accustomed to tremendous amount of interaction each day with him and now this is all going to be so different.

            Fortunately, I have a 14 year old daughter who I will be able to give even more energy to as well. I just hate to see my son miss out on a year of time with her and I but I just have to suck it up!

            • yes, I think that a lot of us are empty nesters or about to be and it only adds to the grief. I know that its a big part of it for me. It feels like my entire life was just sucked out from underneath me.

              I think its this compounded loss that also makes getting to “meh” more difficult. I used to say that our “difficult children” banded my husband and I together even more. Then, he leaves the reality of what was really going on, OPEN on my laptop. (several years ago) For me, it works better to be “friends.” I know that it doesn’t for a lot of the people on here. Fortunately, he doesn’t blame me and there is no OW. He’s not a “fighter,” he says.

              fine.

              we always got along like peas and carrots, but he needed to be “validated.” absolutely. hey, over here! me too! while he’s out getting “validation,” think he’s putting any energy into US? no, of course not.

  • My dday and abandonement was 3yrs ago, and I can’t honestly say I’m at “Meh” yet…but close!
    The first year I spent grieving and analyzing everything. I was barely functional and had been really blindsided. We had just bought our dream home/farm and I had been working so hard to get it ready for us. It was going to be a new phase of our lives together -our ‘retirement years.’ He left me for his AP one week after moving in!

    I obtained my separation agreement just this past Christmas, so everything had been in limbo for 2.5 yrs and that was difficult. In that time, I started dating again(probably too soon but I knew early on that it was over for me)and I started going to Buddha classes, saw a therapist, I dated, worked on all my relationships, gardened, got myself 2 lawyers(family and corporate) and stood up for myself.

    I’ve grown so much in this time, in every aspect of my life so I gotta say “every cloud has it’s silver lining.” I found me again, and an inner strength that had always been there but got buried. I found a really great guy who I’m happier and much more compatable with and that feels great. Now I look at the situation as a blessing.

    I had become a co-dependent and like others here, it was not only with my ex, it was with several other relationships too, especially with a sibling as well. I’m dealing with that now and it’s getting better and better, but change takes time.

    There”s lots I’ve learned from my Buddha classes which helped me a lot and contines to help me. I don’t mean to preach to you all but this is what helped me.
    Patient Acceptance: We like to think we have so much control over everything but really the only thing we can control is ourselves internally-our own thoughts and reactions to things. Life is about change and it’s to be expected. Having a peaceful mind helps and knowing that ” this too, shall pass.”
    Non-grasping Attachments: Buddhists believe that not all relatinships are meant to last forever, in fact, NOTHING lasts forever and that’s why we need to accept that life is change and not fight it. We all will die one day, that is a given and the only thing we get to take with us is our ‘inner wealth.’
    Love and compassion for all: this is realizing that we all want happiness and the least amount of suffering. We need to accept that we’re all on different learning curves/paths on our journey to ‘enlightenment.’ We all create our own karma-good and bad. If we can’t wish love and compassion for all we should aim for indifference which is meh!

    Like I said, take from that what is good and leave the rest. I am also not a trained teacher so that is just my interpretation of some of the principles that helped me. It’s been three years , and I do enjoy life, feel wiser and better for the experience now, but it takes time, hard work and patience. I wish all my fellow chumps a speedy and full recovery and a new and improved life! What’s important is you’re doing the hard work now that can only make your life better in the future. I know most of the time, you just wish it would all be over. It’s slow, tedious, and painful, but it is not a waste of time or energy, even though it may feel like it at times.

    • I find snippets of my own story in so many that I read about on CL.

      Yes, like you, the most helpful reading I have done is on Buddhism. One idea I remember, from one of my many books, goes something like “We spend all of our time trying to put solid ground under our feet, but what we really need to do is learn to love the feel of floating freely.”

  • What’s tough for me to achieve Meh is that since my wife agrees that it’s her fault for the infidelity, I’m not mad at her. I don’t hate her, I still care. and that bugs her a lot. I haven’t been able to turn the Love switch off yet. And maybe it never will I don’t know. It’s only 7 months after D-Day but about one year since “I got the I love you but not in love with you speech”. However there are many things that I do hate. I hate the other turd that she got involved with. I hate what she did to us and our family. I hate what are lives have turned into. I hate that she lied so many times while I was trying to make our relationship better. I hate how she turned our 19 yrs of marriage into nothing but a memory. I hate that she trashed the future I was so looking forward to with our children’s College years, Weddings, Grand kids, Holiday’s etc. (life events) I hate that she still looks back at our history and mentions only the bad times/things. Never any of the great things/times we had. I hate that she doesn’t open her eyes and see/understand that reality is not the same as fantasy. I hate that she doesn’t understand what it’s like from the chump side. I hate that she still claims to be a good person (a christian) but doesn’t understand that even without a religious view you still need to have a good Character and be a good role model. Ethics, Morals and Virtues are still important.

    I know I played my part in not paying enough attention to her emotional needs. She has huge Self Esteem issues and we both know it. I’m sure her childhood SA played a big role in that but that’s not an excuse to cheat. So in hindsight I wish I would have been better at that. However that is still no reason for her to do what she did.

    In the mean time I keep on going up and down those emotional mountains searching for the Valley of Meh with my back pack full of shit sandwiches.

  • What “emotional needs” Ted? Forgive me, but that’s a total load of hooey. What, you didn’t tell her how beautiful she was 10 times a day or reassured her that you loved her 20 times a day? But poor low self-esteemed wife just had to TELL you that you weren’t there for her, “emotionally.” That’s a classic mindfuck, Bud and its utter crap.

    Let me ask you. Was she THERE for you, in any way, shape or form? My best guess is no and she has the temerity to say that she loves you but is not in love with you? Did she make any effort at all into putting something into this marriage? It takes TWO people to make a marriage and I only see one person putting forth the effort.

    Look, she is not the same woman you married and she is NOT a good person, Christian or otherwise. She’s a lousy role model and she was a lousy wife and she’ll be a lousy wife to your successor, should they marry. (shudder.) Now as for those milestones. I am different from most around here, but I want you to look forward to these events because you are still a FAMILY. No one can take that away. You raised these children– together and they belong to each of you, married or not. So, I see no reason not to make it one big happy family. (or maybe by then, she’ll be on husband # four?) Who effin’ cares? (Just please have an important meeting you can’t cancel when she comes a cryin’ on your door step.) Hold your head up high and know that this woman is not right for you. I don’t think that she’s right for anyone because she is pinning ALL of her hugely unhealthy esteem, as the responsibility of her siggy other and that is a recipe for things to go south and quickly. She’s highly immature at best and a whole lot of other things.

    Bud, you love the woman you fell in love with. However, she doesn’t exist any longer. Sorry, but she doesn’t. Now, do you love THIS new woman that she is right NOW? From what I hear, the answer is no. Please let her go. Move forward with your beautiful life and make a new plan for yourself. ((hugs))
    PS: Its alright to care. Caring is love. Just don’t dwell on should’ve could’ves, cause that is counter-productive and there was nothing you could’ve changed anyway. You didn’t do anything wrong. She was programmed to self-destruct your marriage. Sometimes, that’s all it is. It would’ve happened to anyone she was married to.

    • Thank you Laurel, that was a very hard slap of reality. I saw a flash of white! It’s funny but I did say I loved her, I did say she looked beautiful, just not 10 to 20 times a day. Maybe I did when we first started dating but didn’t we all. With some of the reading I’ve done on Sexually Abused kids and their inability to have lasting Relationships she sounds like a perfect example of what the article was talking about. Unable to accept compliments. The ability to lie without real remorse. etc. So I do feel sorry that she has to live with that all of her life. I’ve always asked her to seek help with that but she felt that she didn’t need to. Me on the other hand I have always been able to stay pretty strong up until the affair came into our lives. Prior to this I’ve had a couple of rough years prior, Best friend committed suicide, Childhood friend lost both his young adult kids in two separate car accidents a year apart. I got laid off. Started a new job that wasn’t what I thought it would be. We lost our best couple friends over some stupid fighting. So life was pretty crappy and I had a lot on my mind. But I was strong and had no intention of failing. So you are right, she could have been more supportive but I wasn’t expecting her to be so I never asked her to. I was happy with her just being my wife, I was happy with what we had while I plowed through what I was going through.

      I understand she is still in a Blameshifting mode so that is why she says what she says about things so far back as before we were even married. I do see it as a line of crap and I’m not fooled and will not fall for it. She is seriously stuck in the past. I just keep moving forward one step at a time. I’ll get there I’m just slow at it.

      • sorry. I didn’t mean to slap you ;] and the first paragraph was dripping with sarcasm. My husband in the last 15 years, never told me that he loved me or that I was beautiful. never.

        I absolutely LOVED what you said here.

        “she could have been more supportive but I wasn’t expecting her to be so I never asked her to. I was happy with her just being my wife, I was happy with what we had while I plowed through what I was going through.”

        hey folks (just a comment to the cosmos). THAT is ALL it is!

        she needs to say those things to make her feel like a “good person” who’s totally justified in decimating her loving spouse of 18 years. She absolutely has some serious issues and she’s just chicken shit scared to deal with them. Yes, its sad… but the story isn’t over. Do you think its going to be better with her cheatin’ paramour?

        NO IT IS NOT!!!

        You are strong! (but we all have our days… don’t I know! and some kind people here were totally there to talk me down from the ceiling the last time that happened to me. and then, its onward!)

        • You are absolutely right she does have some serious issues. I have told her that, I’ve asked her to “go try and fix you”. I can’t, I’m not a professional in that field. But of course she heard that as a slam and was offended. Not at all. It was to wake her up.

          This just came to mind of some of the crap she recently told me. Her counselor said “he (me her husband) wasn’t meeting your emotional needs, that’s why you cheated” I would like to tell her NO, That might be why she WANTED to cheat, She cheated because she CHOSE to handle it by screwing her HS boyfriend. Why do these paid professional get to feed them with such BS?

          • OH get this. The old boyfriend that she started screwing with again. Cheated on her back in HS!!!!!!!!! Is that messed up or what?

              • She is a narcissist, Ted. End of. “Might as well try to teach a toddler physics.” Cheaters cannot encompass anyone else having feelings-they have to negate their partner as a human to have an affair in the first place. Take your commendable compassion, and bestow it on yourself. Very hard to do, but it feels more ‘Meh’.

          • People with high integrity don’t cheat. They just don’t do it. They might divorce you, but they don’t go around screwing other people while they are still married. That’s what somebody with low integrity does.

            Don’t know who this ‘counselor’ is or where they got their ‘education’, but from where I sit, owning your own choices and having an integrated sense of self and not blameshifting are key to having a happy, fulfilling, compassionate adult life.

          • oh dear. It really gets my hackles up when I hear some lame shrink contribute to the mindfuck. Let me ask you this? Did your wife ever come to you and say??? “honey, I love you but just don’t feel supported emotionally by you…”

            no, of course she didn’t and why? BECAUSE ITS TOTAL BULL SHIT, that’s why!

            hey, its possible, just possible that wife has issues that she was resolving through her affair that had absolutely NOTHING to do with you! People with serious issues don’t like to hear that because they can’t deal with it, otherwise they wouldn’t have the serious issues to begin with! Of course, then she goes to an unscrupulous (or maybe she’s just plain dumb) shrink who knows that she has a 180/hr/week gig and doesn’t want to mess that up.

            Look, there isn’t a marriage on the face of the earth that is absolutely perfect. We are all human and therefore are imperfect. We say or do the wrong thing. Shit happens. And hey, you went through a lot of serious shit. Maybe you were depressed yourself. Maybe you felt completely numb from all of the trauma. Maybe just maybe, it was YOU who needed the emotional support, but this woman does not care. Its all about her. She’s a child in a woman’s body. I’m beginning to actually despise her. Honey, imagine her covered with vomit, because from where I’m sitting, she is just that ugly.

            • Not for one moment do I think there is such a thing as a perfect marriage. And you are right I was going through some trauma myself. All right around my late 40’s. So I would admit there was some lower level of depression maybe even some mid-life stuff going on too but I was trying. I wasn’t out drinking with friends. I wasn’t running around. To her credit she did ask for more help with kids and I honestly thought I was, but since I’m not a mind reader it wasn’t enough. But I guess that is all part of a non perfect marriage. Again I’m not perfect. and never thought I was.

              The comment you made about a child in a woman’s body makes me think, Maybe that’s why she still looks back to HS as some of the best time of her life… Maybe that’s why she spent last summer drinking like a college student. I know she’s made reference to me being a child a few times. To that I say, Sticks and Stones may break……. wait… that would be childish……

              Can’t see her covered in Vomit. I’m just not there yet.. She’s still the mother of my children.

              • Yeah… my boys were both big projectile vomiters for seven months a piece. lol She needed more help so she’d have more time for screwing around? Look, you can’t win. You fix one thing and she’ll manufacture, yet another excuse. (eg: you forgot to put deodorant on, on August 18, 1997). She will always find a reason to justify piggy behavior. And that acting like a child comment, sounds like classic projection.

                Look, as you know as a mature grown up, life is full of ups and downs and that is to be EXPECTED. And if she doesn’t know that, then she’s sorely delusional. She will ALWAYS be disappointed because unfortunately, despite our best efforts, someone, somewhere is going to fuck us over even if inadvertently and she cannot handle that. She will just go out and find a way to self-medicate her pain and disappointment and then find someone else to blame it on.

                Bud, I really think that part of the difficulty is that you’re still having trouble accepting that she’s disordered. I’m sure that she also has many lovely qualities. Most people do. But sorry, if she needed more help with the kids, then why was she going around getting drunk and fornicating with idiot ex-high school, cheating boyfriends? sounds like she has too much time on her hands… and she is quite masochistic.

                I wanted my wasband to get help too and he did but stopped after a few weeks. Why? He was looking for “validation” and when he got it, he stopped. He also has a “good guy” script. The sad thing is, he IS a good guy except for this one area. I do not fault him for his own low self-esteem, depression or even having trouble making a decent living. He’s conscientious and loyal except for where I’m concerned. But then… he had a horrendous relationship with his mother.

                I became her surrogate. He couldn’t fuck her over… and that left me.

              • Bud, you need to fix very carefully in your mind that even though your ex had ‘issues’, only SHE could find ways to fix them, and she chose not to do that, and only SHE chose that incredibly selfish way to make herself feel temporarily better.
                My ex also had a very messed up childhood, and I can see every damned little thing that has contributed to his becoming the difficult person he is. But the fact is he knew he was messed up, and he knew he was making the kids and I unhappy with his negativity and bad temper. But he did NOTHING about those things. He knew that he had never learned to have healthy relationships, but he did NOTHING about that either.
                Your ex, like mine, is not responsible for her difficult childhood. But she’s an adult, and responsible for her choices as an adult. Please don’t get stuck in trying to untangle her skein … that’s the opposite direction to the road to Meh!

      • Here’s the thing, Bud. We went through a lot as a family in the few years before dday: job loss, kid being bullied, neighbour friends who turned on us, several long distance moves, etc. etc. etc. And you know what? I saw it all through. I saw it as normal life ups and downs, normal shit we all go through and come out the other end. You know how my ex saw it? As life is unfair and poor him, he needed extra attention because life wasn’t quite panning out the way he wanted. He actually said to me, a few days after dday, that everything is great between us-we’re friends, we work together well (meaning I do everything and he likes that), blah blahblah…but the ‘spark’ was gone. You know what that was? Just another ‘I love you but I’m not in love with you’, meaning ‘I know how great you are and all we have but wow do I want to bone this other person some more and I’m not willing to stop’.

        It took me a long time to realise this, to face it, but when I did it really helped. He didn’t see the long term picture or else it simply didn’t matter. He wanted butterflies and excitement and banging the same woman after 20 years just didn’t do it for him anymore. So no matter who got hurt, including the kids, or how much destruction this caused, he was going to go bone this new person or people and fuck the rest.

        So I kicked him out and it hurt like hell but 18 months later I’m slowly reaching meh, I’m slowly getting my life together, I’m slowly putting my career back together. And I fuck up regularly, with the kids, with the career, with everything. But I still get up each morning andremember that HE didn’t have what it took to see things through when they got tough. He couldnt’ be there for me or the kids when we needed him most.

        So ultimately he loses, no matter what.

        • Your ex sounds so much like my wife, very upset about life being unfair, It’s Not what she had hoped for yadda yadda yadda. Now your ex is just the opposite of me when you wrote “banging the same woman after 20 years just didn’t do it for him anymore.” Well.. lets just say that after even more than 20 yrs I thought it got better. But that’s me.

            • I’m sorry I don’t want that. Would it help if I said it was better just wasn’t as often???

              We can’t have any crying. It’s Friday and the weekend weather looks great (at least here where I’m at) My 12 yr old boy wants to go fishing this weekend so that’s what we’re doing.

              • its better to let it out. its not your fault. now enjoy your time with your son.

  • Cl said: “Just when you really don’t give a shit, is about the time that tree falls on the cheater’s house or they die of clap.”
    LOL! If my STBXH died of clap, that would definitely help me get to “meh”! Him just getting the clap would suffice. Which is possible if he continues to f*** everything that moves.

    Meh is a long way off, for me. Why? I think the worst may still be ahead. My divorce isn’t even announced to my STBXH, let alone finished. Who knows how long the divorce will take, or how ugly it will get. (Could it be emotionally worse than Dday and the months immediately thereafter? We’ll see.) Once these thing are under my belt, I think that is when meh will be a possibility.

    I am hoping that once this horrible secret is out, that I can work through the rest of this mess. At that point it will be public, and I will deal with all of the family picking sides, friends, etc. Not fun, but I know it is coming. I have braced myself for this. I hope my attorney will kick butt.

    For now, I am grateful that I no longer love my STBXH. He doesn’t have my heart any more. That alone has given me some peace. I’m no longer putting all my energy into a doomed relationship with a narc. I’m no longer giving said narc the best parts of me. For years, I cared *so much* about making the relationship work. It truly was exhausting! Now, I’m putting that energy into leaving.

    I’m also getting to a better state of mind as far as the “crazy-making” part. I can see my husband’s skein, and it is tangled! I am getting wise to his revisionist history, lies, blaming, and guilt. I see them more clearly now. I’ve come a long way since dday. It has taken a lot of grieving, and I am still going through it. But I *am* going through it, I’m not shoving it under the rug. It hurts, but I am glad to be accepting reality.

    That’s another thing that is helping my state of mind – knowing that my current life will *undoubtedly* be better than staying with a cheating narc. Every cell in my body tells me to never live with this man again. And I’m listening. Loud and clear.

    • Wow, great comments all of you…GREAT similarities/parallels – it’s amazing how alike they all are. We also went through alot of storms, and neither of our Moms were a picnic, we both had issues but I had his back, the only mistake was thinking he had mine. And I spackled how many of the problems were directly his fault because of his lousy moods, depression and mainly his sense of entitlement. I too got the “not attracted to you” He made me feel ugly, and old. Now I am feeling so much better and stronger every day. Even strangers are beginning to smile at me again, mainly men!

      • That’s the part that kills me; I DID have his back, and showed it in so many ways, and I assumed and spackled, believing he had my back too. It killed something inside me to figure out, over the years, how much he did not have mine. There was no ‘we’ there for him, never was, just an ‘I’.

        But what makes me want to rip his heart out with a spoon is that he didn’t have his kids backs, not the tiniest little bit, not at all. He admitted he NEVER thought about what it would do to them and to their lives, his getting involved w/the second OW.

        Fucktard.

  • Pearl,
    This is my first comment but I have been reading faithfully here since last summer, and
    feel as though I ‘know’ you all. I have been moved to tears and educated by so much of the collective wisdom here … THANK YOU from the depths of my soul to every one of you, and of course to you CL. Like so many others, I turn to your blog on a daily basis for strength.

    I am not as far along as most of you; I just worked up the guts 2 weeks ago (10 months after DDay) to give my STBX a deadline for moving out.

    I will not go into my whole horrific story in this comment; instead wanted to share/repeat some of the things I have learned/read/paid for in counseling that are helping me:

    1. “See the delusion, don’t BE the delusion.” A Zen and Power of Now saying, meant to teach you to stand back from your situation, instead of living and breathing with anxiety in the thick of it. Zen teaching also talks a lot about “Big Mind” vs. “Small Mind;” Small Mind being our attachment to all the worldly things we think of as comprising our “life.” Big Mind, by contrast, is the simple awareness of the peace and beauty of our consciousness. Ideally, we need to KEEP that peace through it all, good or bad. Very hard to do unless you are a monk, I know. But just reminding myself that I am almost always in the Small Mind state wakes me up, a bit.

    2. Let yourself feel the pain and anger, as CL and others here say. I have a new counselor. She tells me the only way to heal from our pain is to FEEL it. I am analytical and superb at “using my head to distract me from the pain.” When she told me this a week ago, I finally got that that’s what I’ve been doing daily for 10 months. Even though I think I’ve been in pain every minute of every day, I have rarely allowed myself to really feel it — likely due to unicorns/hopium, the Pick Me dance etc.

    She suggested buying a plastic baseball bat and beating the bed with it while screaming out the injustices, hurt, rejection of it all. Have not tried it yet but believe it would be theraputic.

    3. Realize that any focus on him ONLY hurts you. STOP hurting you. I learned this lesson from CL and all of you, and most painfully, from the snooping I felt compelled to do, that indeed, only hurt me more. I stopped snooping months ago. I know enough. I also know that he is hardly spending the time and energy thinking about me or our 26-year marriage that I have spent. I have taken a very long road to truly get: HE ISNT’ WORTH IT (aka Trust that He Sucks!). As some wise poster noted here months ago, the only way to stop the pain is to stop wanting … your old life …. him back … this to all never have happened.

    4. Accept who he is, period. And let yourself walk away, as fully as possible. Instead of fighting (in your own mind at this point, perhaps) with whatever you want out of him — just as we need to be validated for our pain — he too should be validated from our perspective, in the sense of letting him be who he is. We don’t have to like it. Who he has turned out to be is a shocking, crying shame. “Hey, I now trust that you suck!!”

    I applied acceptance to my get out sooner vs. later speech, when I told my wasband that he NEVER has to talk to me about ANYTHING if he does not want to. It felt great, and was a total 180 because I have done almost nothing BUT pine and wait and wait for him to open up, since DDay. He has talked to literally over 100 people about our marriage, but has NEVER once talked to me about why he is unhappy (like so many of us that never get any answers). He actually said, “I don’t know what you expect me to talk about!!” Wow, just wow. So I said, and meant it, that that’s fine. Don’t talk! It has been a breath of fresh air mentally to just, plain accept.

    5. Make a list of all the reasons you DON’T want him and read it daily. That reinforces what you know in your mind but may not feel yet, fully, in your heart. Also takes the focus off your anger about him, and puts the focus on YOU, and what you want and deserve.

    Sorry if I am only re-stating what CL and all of you have shared in terms of tips in the past. I just hate that we are all in this long-term, awful, daily pain and felt compelled to finally pitch in with whatever I could.

    One more thought: If you haven’t read The Journey from Abandonment to Healing by Susan Anderson, it’s a good book with exercises for each stage of recovery from this loss.

    It is indeed a Journey that I know I am only just beginning. You all are my rock. I am a Phoenix at the very bottom of the ash pile, but I know I will rise some Tuesday, thanks to your sharing your encouragement and lessons!

      • Yes, wonderfully wise and a hearty, warm WELCOME Phoenix. Although, sorry you have a need to be here. I especially love #4 because I think this is where a lot of us trip ourselves up. The “if onlys”. If only he could do this, that, go back and be like he was. Well, he can’t and the sooner we accept that what we have is what we have the better it’ll be.

        and #5 could be a whole new blog post.

        Name all of the reasons you don’t want him or her. And what is the reason that you do? I think a lot of it is ego, not love. I am not sure if any of us were truly happy with our spouses. I mean, how could we be? But we feel like a failure. We STILL think if they are saying that its our fault that it MUST be our fault. It is really hard to get one’s head around that one. We hate splitting up our family, even if it was sad at times or we were unfulfilled. Take the bitter with the sweet is the chump way… but WHY?

        I have wanted so, so, so much more out of this stifling existence. Now, I am NOT going to blame my wasband because that is what we are telling them not to do. But, he sure did not help. It got so that he almost never wanted to go out or do anything at all! In fact, that’s what I loved so much about him when we first got together in 1986. He would say, “come, let me show you a good time.” and he did. He ALWAYS did. But then LIFE intervened. Two kids who would’ve caused Mother Theresa to fold. Job loss, then another job loss followed by a third job loss. (while the wife aka: cash cow was “establishing herself nicely”).

        I still struggle with showing MYSELF a good time, but I’m working on it. I went to the ballet last weekend with my girlfriends and I’m going again, this week, by myself. It’ll be fine.

        Its Swan Lake, so I’ll be in great company. They were all abandoned… all of those exquisite swans…

        • Thank you for the warm welcome Laurel, and Bud, glad you found some value in what I am trying to apply.

          Yes acceptance has been the hardest thing for me. I have been wanting him to acknowledge his responsibilities in all of this. I have finally realized that he is a narc with no desire to change. He gets too many benefits from his abuse!

          Now that I have been refreshed by my first bit of acceptance, I feel as though if I take it step by step, and accept all the bits of ugliness, it will help me through the pain and sadness.

          Yes he blames me, too. We Chumps are loyal to a fault; believing in our marriages; believing in “for better or for worse,” accepting our own responsibility and that the person we married would accept theirs, and be willing to work through this. Wrong!

          I was conned for cake for so long, I had no idea that the “new” him is the Real Him. This is the bottom line that has taken a while to sink in.

          I did write a painfully honest list of why I think I wanted him. For me, it was the sparkle; the normalcy of the marriage, despite not being a great relationship, it endured and everything seemed ‘fine.’ Now I know it has been form, not substance – I know how much I have subjugated my own feelings and needs, overlooking so much, bowing to him. Not getting much reciprocity at all. Leading to a tangled skein of mutual resentment; a vicious circle. (Very similar to Movin_on’s situation, it seems.)

          I can see and face my own role in our issues (not however blaming myself for his serial cheating). A counselor told me months ago that I was the only one living in reality. That truth is power, and I needed to lean into it. Perhaps we Chumps are better at dealing with truths. I have made peace with my truths, by forgiving myself, and being willing to address them head on. He is not willing. So be it! I am not fighting it any longer. Like CL says, you can only control you.

          I wrote my list of why I DON’T want him in the form of questions, to which I could answer (rinse and repeat) a resounding “No.” Do I want to be with a man that talks to EVERYONE, but not to me? No. Do I want a man that lusts after other women right in front of me? No. Being brutally honest made it a long (and embarrassing to have put up with list). In short, I have to WANT to stop wanting him. No one can help me do that, except me. So I absorb the list daily.

          Laurel you are NOT a failure. (I have really struggled with this, too.) You are a powerful, incredible woman with so much to give. He’s the one that’s the mess, not you. You and the others here have already risen above it all, in so many ways I admire. Thank you.

          • Phoenix – Spot on characterization of my marriage. Bravo!

            I am also taking a path similar to yours – facing my imperfections and committing to working on them. But not accepting serial cheating as a “reasonable reaction” to my behaviors.

            I also have a freakishly similar list of “Don’ts” from the man who talks to everyone but me and lusts after women in front of me. Did yours also blow his nose freely in the shower so you could be surprised by unexpected shower wall decor?! Oh, I used to love seeing that – how very considerate.

            AGREED on the Laurel point – strong, insightful, well-spoken and a comforting presence here.

            Thanks for another great post Phoenix.

    • Nice to meet you Phoenix! Love what you have to say and I will definitely check out that book. Glad you have been hanging around, love what you have to say. I was a crying, vomiting, hot mess when I found CL and having no direction and having just enough brains cells left to realize that CL and Co. were good people with good advice I followed every one’s suggestions as best as I could to the letter. And when I couldn’t – or thought I couldn’t everyone here caught me and stood me back upright. I hope to do the same for others. It’s like there is a whole underground full of Chumps just below the surface and CL finally gave us some light. I will always grateful!

  • This was a comforting post, CL – Pearl could be me. Same timeframe, same spot in “recovery” from finding out my X was a serial cheater.

    The brilliant responses are very helpful too. X has moved on to a new neighbor (#3 – the first two occurred while we were still married, along with numerous other women). And, after years of me scheduling couples’ counseling (yes, totally co-dependent) and begging him to get individual counseling for his childhood trauma, he is finally getting “fixed.”

    I left and he fought for 8 months to get me back. He now says we should have divorced years ago. That we had been unhappy for many years (the last 7 of which were sexless b/c he said his childhood trauma impacted his desire. It would appear he’s a sex machine now. I guess he always was, just not with me). That I was a negative person who was bringing him down to my level. So, on one hand, he owns his issues (takes full responsibility for the implosion of the marriage due to his “secret life” of affairs – which he claims were all EA, but I doubt that very much)…On the other hand, we were unhappy and I was too negative and mean to live with (meaning, I forced him to seek out other women). Which is it??

    He tells me to “move on” when I get upset with his actions (photo of him with new girl prominently displayed in the house for our son to see – two months post-divorce and one-year post separation. My son tells me it makes him mad. X says our son is totally fine with it.)…Tells me he’s “getting fixed now” (I guess because he finally found true love)…wants me to be happy…I guess it’s easier for him since he gave up on the marriage and was moving on long ago and this is all still pretty fresh for me. The validation piece is huge. Nearly every one of our friends seems to be staying neutral so I can’t get the “he did this before” validation I would dearly love.

    I’m venting here, but I guess I’m getting at: I’m trying so, so hard to get to “meh” and it feels good to hear that my timeline is normal. And that “you could have it so much worse” sets others off like it does me. I didn’t really cry for a long time – I was too mad. I cry more often now, which I actually think is progress, although to others it looks like I’m going backwards.

    I too have a nasty older sibling. She shamed me for my reaction to learning of my X’s serial cheating. Said I wasn’t gracious and compassionate enough.

    Thanks to you all for the thoughtful replies and to CL for a great post.

    Movin_on (or sometimes, not so much)

    • honey, there isn’t enough crazy glue on this good earth to fix him. Contradicting accusations? yep. that’s mindfuck alright. He can’t live without you, but you should’ve split up years ago. right.

      sis needs to put duct tape over her mouth, permanently with some of that crazy glue. seriously– just downright cruel, is it what it is. Shame on HER!
      (((hugs)))

      • Thank you so much, Laurel. I’ve been coming here a while and I love your perspective. Enjoy the ballet tomorrow – I took a weekend trip alone a few weeks ago -it was liberating and wonderful!

        Phoenix – inspiring post. Like Bud, I will refer to it often!

  • Am originally from Sydney but I am just existing somewhere in Melbourne Australia. Would you like to make contact please Baci? I feel so isolated humiliated and alone after the shitstorm the gift that keeps on giving ..have done my dash with psychs trying to reconcile past 18 months yet found out some more past month that just took my last breath away. Things I cannot reconcile with in my head. In emotional shock and trying to function at home for my children and at work. overwhelmed and Feel frozen yet I know I need a good psych right now not for reconciliation but to help me survive without the human trigger in my life. . I have been reading these posts for support and the rest is all a blur. I am very grateful to have found this site.

  • Pearl, give yourself time, dear…you need it. You have and are going through a lot right now. Give yourself permission to just feel. Just like Cl said, accept that shit is going to happen. We have all gone through it.

    WHenever I felt especially down, and was having my own pity party what CL said about considering “another person’s suffering, someone you would never trade with (a dying child for instance), it helps put things in perspective.”, wow, did it ever.

    I too wished the earth would open up and swallow him and his whore but it didn’t happen. Oh well.

    You WILL grow from this experience. You WILL become resilient. Consider writing him a letter—where you can say anything you want: how angry you are at him, and how it makes YOU feel. Keep adding to the letter until you don’t have anything else to write. Until you’re all written out…and then, destroy the letter when you’re ready. Burn it, cut it up into little pieces, whatever it is that is cathartic to you.

    You are doing great! All of us have been where you are or are soon to be there…we need all the friends (who understand) we can get.

    Hang in there…this too shall pass!

    Valentine

  • I understand that crushing sadness.
    I’m still stuck with my cheating husband…financial problems, but I’m not stagnant, made a plan with a DDay set, give or take a week…….Nov 2013.
    Anyway, I find that we still can have a laugh and the bottom line is I still have feelings for him, but have gotten past that “dream” of wanting things the way they were in the beginning or wishing he were like he was in the beginning because the bottom line is this “The way it was in the beginning” was a lie, it wasn’t real, it just seemed better and yes it felt better.
    That is the part that brings me the most sadness is knowing that there is nothing to wish for nothing that got messed up or that I screwed up. It wasn’t real. It has taken a 2 years to pull back all the veils and mind fucks in order to get down to the one basic premise. It was fiction. Very sad indeed.

  • Well, just shy of two years BD and I’m pretty much meh, but still a bit sad from time to time. I find dating at 58 problematic, strangly enough the women I’ve met have mostly been the ones that blew up their marriages*, not the men, by accidently falling on the erect bits of strange naked men while trying to “Find Themselves” . It’s got so I can spot them from quite a ways off… Age inappropriate clothing…check….Newish looking tattoos…check… obsession with cell phone…check… excessive use of highlights in hair…check ect…

    * I live in a small city, the truth does get out.

    • Where you meeting these types, hun? Geeezzz, I will never EVER get a tatoo and I HATE cell phones and if one takes a call while I’m out with them, unless its one of their kids who’s severed an artery, its just plain rude.

      However, its good to know that there are men with integrity out there. There are, right?

      • They are all over the place, it’s like a right of passage, dump hubby, go girls gone wild and get a tattoo. The tattoo thing is like an epidemic, even my X, who used to think they were dumbest idea in creation got one. As for men with integrity, there’s at least one I know of…..me ;~)

        • I’m 48, and have a tattoo on each ankle. I was 35 when I got the first one (ex narc husband hated it, thought it was embarrassing that I had a small tattoo of a flying bird with the words “Love Life” above it) and I got the second when I was 45, shortly after Dday. My second tattoo is a swimming koi, very beautiful, with bright color. A koi tattoo symbolizes overcoming adversity, which I felt quite appropriate. I also have the Chinese symbol for “Hope” above the koi.

          I also want to get a phoenix tattooed on my hip, but am waiting until my finances are better.

          I have no highlights in my hair, am definitely NOT girls gone wild and my clothing is quite average, certainly not revealing.

          So don’t assume all of us with “newish” looking tattoos are the ones who destroyed our marriages. Some of us are chumps, believe me. My tats mean a lot to me, and I find them very beautiful. They are very artistically done, colorful and although they are not tiny, they are not huge.

    • Mike, you give me A LOT of encouragement knowing that there are men out there wise enough to see through (no pun intended ) the inappropriate clothing, newish looking tattoos, obsession with cell phone, excessive use of highlights in hair etc…, etc…

      The divorce process from my STBXH has been therapeutic for me. I am no longer coloring my gray hair and at 51 I can’t even THINK about getting a tattoo- different generation I guess! My goal is to get my finances in order, work on my career, help my daughter successfully get through high school and help her navigate her way through way through all the ‘sparkly’ boys that want to date her. I’d like to lose 60 pounds and get back into exercise so that I can live a long, healthy and happy life!

      So, after the divorce is finalized and I do some work ‘fixing’ my picker I will look forward to finding a good, decent man who knows and values a woman of substance. Believe me, I will look for men like you who are ‘smart enough’ NOT to be attracted to those ‘fluffy bits of women’ trolling dating sites for their next victim!

      • I’m two years out and am finding it very hard to meet anyone that causes a genuine flutter in my heart. I’m just not running into anyone who isn’t sporting more red flags than a Communist parade ;~)

        • I hear ya Mike and the problem with us chumps is that we sometimes see red flags where they might just be slightly pink and not an issue. But after all we’ve been through, we see them through red colored glasses! haha.

          I think that women should look like women. I enjoy that a lot and I do color my hair, a deep auburn, wear (tasteful, well I think it is) makeup and sometimes get a pedicure. (no black nails, please) My fave stores are Banana Republic and Ann Taylor and I’m 5’7 and a size 4. (no way to say that without sounding self-aggrandizing)

          That wasn’t meant as a come on, BTW– haha. just to say that there are classy women out there who’ve been betrayed and even afterward, remain classy, just traumatized. In fact, from what I’ve ascertained, as a whole, chumps tend to be more attractive than average, because narc spouses need an attractive FRONT, and besides, (they think) they deserve the best!

          I am terrified to even go on a date, much less fornicate my way through town just because I’m free to do so. (although I’m still legally married, just VERY separated and NOT getting back together).

          That’s the problem Mike. The woman who might make your heart flutter, might be sporting a trainload of baggage and might be holed up in her apartment, too afraid to venture out much.

          I wish someone could tell me how we are ever supposed to get over the trauma of realizing that our one and only love of our lives, was never REALLY committed to us; didn’t understand the rules or understood them and felt they were above them.

          sucks.

          I know… not supposed to look backwards, but that baggage is sure hard to lug around. I so wish somehow, I could just dump it all into the trash heap where it belongs!

    • These tips to spot them is going to help. The “Finding themselves” characteristics seem to be common could be part of the Mid-Life issues the suffer from I guess.

      My cheating wife also started wearing the fancy jeans, Mentioned a year or so ago that she wanted a tattoo but doesn’t have one that I’ve seen. She is severely addicted to her cell phone which I have grown to hate. To me the cell phone addiction is somewhat age inappropriate. How did she manage all these years before without it? She is a tech dunce so why she NEEDED to spend what she does on the thing is beyond me. She has always added highlights in the summer and does dye her hair in the winter so the grey doesn’t show. That always the norm for her.

  • I lost most of my luggage at the airport of life this past couple of years ;~) I’m luckier than most in some ways, looking back at my marriage as I have for clues back to the earliest years, I could find nothing to indicate my X wasn’t greatly committed to me for the vast majority of it. Somewhere in the last year of it the wheels came off, why is anyones guess, mortality staring her in the face, unmet expectations, an onset of depression, a mad passion for something strange, who knows? I don’t think even she’s really sure why.

    I do know one woman who has done remarkable well with her baggage, she was left with four kids under 12 nine years ago . The problem is she’s filled her life with so many activites just having a coffee with her is like making an appointment to see the Pope ;~) When we do get together we can talk for hours, but I can see she’s very gun shy… only time will tell…

  • “expect nothing. be grateful for everything.”

    and no, they usually aren’t sure why…(unless they manufacture some sort of lame, soul crushing excuse like “men are *genetically* programmed to bed as many women as they can get their mits on— anthropology, ya know? :/ Women could use that excuse too. hey, why not?) if they could tell us why, then they would be half-way there to being someone healthier who wouldn’t even think of doing such a thing.

  • Today is not a Meh day. Today is our anniversary. Not of our 20 year marriage. That will be in 2 months, but 1 year from the day I confronted my H about his affair. I thought it was just one. I thought he would give it up. I thought being ‘nice’ would help. We went to counseling. He said it was over (again and again). I fought and fought for something turns out he had abandoned years ago, while he took the OW (of couse, half his age and his employee) on dates, vacations, the things he stopped doing with me. This week I woke up. He wants to live in the same house, throw parties together, have sex and ‘co-parent’ our 2 sons. I am the “front”. I am successful, fit, fun (when I am not sad and angry.) I supported him for the last 10 years while he worked on starting a company. Guess he had a lot of time to feel ‘lonely’ and unappreciated. He paid OW a salary while not taking one himself. Means I was paying for their vacations. I am trying to work on me. Today I’m going riding and out with friends tonight. Hardest thing is NOT going to events with our children where he will be. I don’t want to pretend to be a happy family anymore. Please throw some love this way today.

    • It’s early days Breathe. Be kind to yourself. I’m so glad you’re going out riding tonight. What a leech that man is! I’m glad you’re rid of him. You were an awesome wife to support him all those years, and to fight so hard for the marriage. He’s a POS for not valuing you and being so callous, for USING you the way he did.

      His loss. His HUGE loss. Now you get to use all that energy and love on yourself. You’ll notice a big improvement over time, I promise.

      I’m sorry. You deserved better.

    • Sounds like that is exactly what you should do…breathe.

      You seem to be holding so much in. And for other people, your children. Someday they will understand what a wonderful mother you are and how strong you are trying to be. Making anew life for you and for your children is a lofty goal and so many here have been and are going through it. The numbers are staggering and there is comfort in knowing so many have succeeded and YOU WILL TOO. I love you and I don’t even know you. But I know many like you and my heart goes out to you today. Get through today, just today and know there will be many more tomorrows and each one will get better in its own time.

    • yes, what a total asswipe. And honey, you are definitely not alone. I tell everyone very simply that my h was leading a double life. Everyone knows what that means and then, invariably, I get… “you don’t know how many people have told me this…” Sometimes I even wonder if this woman’s husband is also on the up and up. Everyone is suspect now.

      Big ((((HUGS)))) and please have fun tonight with your friends.

  • Long time reader (hey it’s been two months now), first time poster.

    I Still Have Not Found The Meh I’m Looking For. I’m not doubting the truth, nor the path. Your spot on. I’m stuck. I swing in the back-and-forth. There’s something tasty about the shit sandwich. Like, if your gonna throw a pity party for yourself, that’s what you would serve, right? Does red or white go with it? Oh, I’m a male, so I know nothing about how to host a party, or anything else, for that matter. I read, and read again. And hope for that Meh. I wish you could buy it at Ikea. Then again, maybe not. I don’t want to run into her there why she’s buying cheap shit.

    • Hang in there, Chump Man, the ‘meh’ will come! But it doesn’t come all at once, it creeps up on you. You find yourself spending less time thinking about that mess, less time feeling crappy. But then another wave of over-thinking and feeling horrible hits you. Then that passes …..

      I’ve found it so helpful, when I can’t avoid that wave or I’m feeling stuck, to dive deep into it. I come here to CL, write about what I’m thinking and feeling, read stuff I wrote earlier …. Feel REALLY awful, then it passes. Oooph! Passes much faster if I dive in.

      And if it seems to be lasting too long, I have my miracle trio; caffeine, Advil, and talking to a friend or going out into nature and tiring myself out physically. (Best is going out into nature with a friend!).

      It’s been a year now since DDay, and I have more good days than bad. Today’s a bad one; my kids are with their dad, he just told us he won’t be able to take them as often for possibly the next 8 months (working in another city), which makes me feel bad for them, and things are all mixed up w/a cute guy I met. Blergh! But now I know that by this evening or tomorrow I’ll be feeling a lot better. I wish you the same!

      • Hey Karen,

        Sounds like you are doing great.

        I’m really starting to believe ‘meh’ is a continuum, rather than a destination.

        Sounds like you are well on your way.

        Good suggestions, too.

  • OK Chump Nation, I’m just really PO’d today. I am so thankful for this site and this community but I hate eating the shit sandwich and meh can’t come soon enough. I wake up this morning to a text from the woman that SW slept with prior to our marriage (also pretty sure during and also pretty sure at the end or right after I filed for divorce). She’s upset that her actions have gotten back to her. It’s hurting her business, her new boyfriend isn’t trusting her……………….I don’t F-ing care! I haven’t spoke or seen this person in over 6 months. When people ask me what happened between SW and I am I under some kind of obligation to sugar coat this for her? Right now I say “Well she cheated on me prior to our marriage with a guy and another woman and I caught her cheating 49 days into our marriage with ANOTHER dude!” (Yes I know how Chumped up this is) I just can’t find it in myself to say “we just made a mistake and I wish her the best.” THAT feels like eating the shit sandwich all over again.

    So the question is this. Do I get to meh faster if I choose the high road? And if so do I really have too? Why should I lie about her actions? The text this morning was so condescending. I’m so sorry you and SW didn’t work out. Like this was my girlfriend of a month. We didn’t work out because we had a difference of opinion on lifestyle choices. Me, sleep only with people you are married too, don’t drink puke, fall down and sleep with someone and spending money like a drunken sailor is not a financial plan for the future. SW. All opposite.

    • The OW in your story wants YOUR sympathy? Am I reading that right?

      Tell her to fuck off. You don’t owe her jack. Including an explanation for why your marriage failed. Oh! I know! Try the truth — “My marriage failed because you were fucking my wife. You and others.”

      Telling the truth is compatible with taking the high road. You’re not obliged to keep their secrets. If they don’t think they did anything wrong, then they shouldn’t mind people knowing about it. If they know they did something wrong, then they should apologize and have the decency to stay the hell out of your life.

      • Hi Eddie,

        I’ve subscribed to follow-up comments on this particular post because its such a struggle for me too. I agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY with CL. Telling the truth IS taking the high road! In my case, I say that my husband was leading a double life… everyone knows what that means.

    • Hey Eddie,

      I also subscribe to f/u comments to many of CL’s posts.

      You have absolutely no obligation to lie in order to protect other people.

      Whether you say something or don’t say something is completely up to you.

      Ignore the guilt trip bullshit. If they didn’t want it to become public knowledge, they shouldn’t have done it.

      The Truth will set you free.

      • “If they didn’t want it to become public knowledge, they shouldn’t have done it.”

        I feel this way too. I’ve told my daughter and a close friend. His sister knows and he was dumb enough to tell a mutual friend, a female attorney, who apparently was not happy about what he had done. The friend I told, acted upset, but in short order was all over him, acting just like nothing had happened, so I’ve decided to wait for specific opportunities to tell others. For one thing, I plan to make him an offer which includes, “And if you do not agree to my terms of divorce, I will send all 50 or so e-mails, texts, i-chats, notes, letters, etc., between you and OW, to your children and every person who up to this point, thinks you are a fine person.”

        I like to have an ace or two in my pocket.

        • Yoder,

          I agree with not keeping it under wraps and I COMPLETELY understand the need for vindication. However, (you knew that there was a “however,” coming) :]

          ugh. this is so horrible. But… people don’t know what to do with that kind of info. As it doesn’t make sense to us, it won’t make sense to them either. The only thing that will make sense is that someone they know and love will be sending them something totally devastating. They will know that you are doing it in order to hurt this other person that they also know and love. Its the messenger they may want to “kill,” not the perp. They may actually see HIM as the victim. (shudder)

          Please remember that most people still live by the “it takes two” philosophy. OR, of course she knew! Or whatever they want to tell themselves to make themselves feel okay with all of this. They may then go on to think… “well, he’s such a great guy (yes, puke) and Yoder, well… I remember the time, that she whatever (very slight thing you did, that we all do, that normally they wouldn’t have paid much attention to)… hmmm… maybe the problem IS Yoder! She seems mighty unstable… I wonder what she would do to me if *I* made a mistake.” I think that I better avoid Yoder.

          Does any of that make sense?

          That doesn’t meant that I think that you should sweep it all under the rug, but sending out all that shit could very well backfire and it may also cause him to retaliate in a way that could only be more hurtful.

          Honey, I hear you and fully understand what a complete and utter fucking disgusting asshole he is and how badly you want to make him hurt even 1/100th of how much you are hurting; however, its not possible. You don’t have that power but the Karma Gods do; let them take care of that. (I promise you that they will. maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow… but soon…)

          If he gets nasty or disagreeable, its best as CL points out to let the lawyers deal with it. Please try to stay above the frey; I think it helps get us to “meh” faster. He is just not worth it!

          I think so highly of you. I know that you are in so much pain as we all are. Hang tough! His low world is waaaaay beneath your dignity. (((hugs)))

          • I really do appreciate your concern, but, (you knew there was a “but” coming,) I have no dignity to get beneath, he took it all away. At least away in the eyes of his family, friends and business associates. They are presently viewing me as a saint. When they know what I REALLY have lived with…well, let’s just say they will be dismayed and my sainthood will be sanctified. A con should never try to con a con. After all, I learned from the best.

            His family, friends and business associates are those people in my life I wish to divorce as well as washusband. I am confident I will never set eyes on them again or ever hear from them.

            I would like to point to a conversation we had.

            He: I made a mistake.
            Me: No, a mistake is between a Big Chief tablet and a pencil with an eraser. You make two rows of numbers, add them up and write the total under a line below them. When the answer is incorrect, you can say you made a mistake and using the eraser, rectify it. He cannot, however, unfuck another man’s wife.

            So I am sure none of his family, friends or business associates will view the filthy, nasty emails, texts and letters as “mistakes.” THEY have too much dignity.

            Two things you must accept, 1. I don’t CARE what they think. They do not matter to me. This is about HIM. 2. The only point I am trying to make, is that IF he does not agree to my terms, THEN I would send all the damaging evidence.

            He is a a flaming narc and his family’s good name is VERY important to him. I want a clean break and the idea that he could be “ruined” socially, might very well insure that clean break.

            Again, thank you for your concern.

            • I’m sorry. I don’t understand a lot of your response, (and I don’t need too) but just wanted to say that I’m sorry if I upset you, Yoder, as it seems that I did which was absolutely not my intention. Here’s another (((hug))). Honey, he does not have the power to take away your dignity unless you let him.

              I always think its best to have a lawyer do the dirty work. Just my experience, but of course, only you can decide what’s in your own best interests.

            • Yoder-

              I freaking love your definition of what a mistake is versus fucking someone other than your husband or wife. Cheating is NOT a mistake it’s a choice and one that one makes by a series of bad decisions to justify their actions.

              I don’t care what SW and her family and friends think and I have divorced them as well.

              • Eddie, I agree. When you marry, you marry the whole family and sometimes, when you divorce, you must divorce the whole family. In my case, getting rid of the entire dysfunctional family, neighborhood…actually, the whole town, is a pleasure. I hope I never hear from any of them again. And I will avoid that town like a highway pot hole.

            • Yoder,

              I friggin love your attitude.

              I don’t get the vindictive vibe from you. What I am hearing is that you are prepared to take the ammunition he practically shoved in your lap, and use it to get as close to a fair and just resolution as possible in this fucked up world.

              Anyone who thinks no one can take your dignity from you has never been manipulated into paying the APs rent, or listening to their children play with AP in their own home–while all their mutual friends & acquaintances knew it was happening and no one felt like speaking up & telling the truth.

              IMHO, the “no one can take your dignity from you” line is ultimately just another way of saying ‘it’s not such a big deal’.

              I’m actually not even hearing a threat. You are telling him flat out what you want, and what you are prepared to do in order to get what you want, and telling him how he can get what he wants at the same time. That strikes me as a lot more dignified than suffering in silence and playing the martyr card.

              It sounds to me like you have a good head on your shoulders.

              • I totally resent your inferring, Blue Eyes that I do not think its a big deal. I did not say that, nor would I. it IS a big deal. He’s scum and I made that perfectly clear, but maybe you didn’t read that. Of course he did take away her dignity; I never said that he didn’t, but I do not think that decimating his character, even if true is the way to get it back! That was my point. If you feel differently, that is fine, but please remember that I am not the enemy here! I am speaking from personal experience and I am here to say that making threats and then possibly carrying them out is a dangerous exercise at best, especially when dealing with disordered people. I feel its best to exercise a lot of caution and let the lawyers deal with them.

                The reality is that we have no power over these people or what other people think of them, only ourselves and if you disagree, that is also fine. I totally support Yoder in whatever she feels is in her best interests. I would be remiss, however, if I did not express my concerns. Hopefully, whatever she decides to do, it will facilitate her healing. This is why I am here.

                The topic of this thread is getting to “meh.” And while I believe that we must grieve and acknowledge our pain, ultimately, we must pick ourselves back up and do whatever we need to do to move on with our lives… and for me, that’s staying as positive as possible.

              • Blue Eyes, thanks. I needed that. Once I got over (and I mean “got over”) the emotional damage, shock, etc. (a list too long to reiterate) I got angry, it was out of that anger that I began to assess my assets, which were few. I did realize I momentarily had a huge advantage, in that he wanted “our” life back and was willing to do anything to get it back. I did not know how long that would last, but I did not count on his illness and the long recuperation period required. That has bought me a great deal of time to plane and at the same time, build some false hopes in his mind. I did not do that on purpose, I simply chose NOT to aggravate the situation, nor did I send false signals of false forgiveness, as a narc, he has simply chosen to believe he has, once again, charmed himself into getting his way. Blech!

  • On the subject of the “meh” continuum — yeah, that’s how I experience it, too. It wasn’t all that long ago, maybe six months, that I would feel acute emotional pain when thoughts of him and us bubbled up. Which was damned often. It felt like obsessive churning and no off switch.

    But it turns out that eventually, even an obsessed brain gets tired of churning the same thoughts. Something in you starts to get it that the thoughts don’t change a thing. Figuring out “Why???” doesn’t change the past or the future. What happened is still exactly the same. Your endless analysis doesn’t make him any more insightful or remorseful. He’s continuing on his merry way, and your life goes on, too.

    I’m an analytical sort of person. I want to understand why and how. I’ve turned this around and around for so long, though. Looked at it from every conceivable angle. You do eventually reach a point where you know that it’s a pointless exercise. And you know you need to start letting it go.

    In my experience, the greater feelings of “meh” don’t happen from some grand understanding of why. The trigger for more meh is time. We all hate to wait, but that seems to be the only deal on offer.

    Now, when I think of him and what he did, I can take it in as if from a greater distance. I’m not embroiled in the pain of it anymore. It’s no longer acute. It feels more like a calm, factual accounting of something that happened. It feels loads better to be the accountant than the paramedic.

    That doesn’t mean I’ve come to a place of total “meh.” Far from it. I’m getting closer, though, and that feels so much better. The hardest part, I find, is letting go of the dream of what you thought your life — especially your family life — would be by now.

    And Eddie, I’ll second the idea in Chump Lady’s response that telling the truth IS taking the high road. You owe your ex-wife and her ex-lover nothing. Speaking the truth is not for them. It’s for you.

    • Rally, right on target. Your articulate comment put into the written word, the words that keep running around in my head like white mice in a maze that don’t know where they are going and just run around, crazed. Thank you.

  • CL, Laurel & Rally Squirrel-

    Thank God for this site and community! Yes CL, you read that right. I’ve been doing so much better. The fundraiser was awesome (1300 bucks for a date with me!) Our 4th of July event for 5 non-profits in town is blowing up and I’ve actually started walking around with my head up. I’ve been looking at my feet for a long time. So life is getting better. Then this text this morning and I’ve been in a shitty mood all day long. I was like are you fucking kidding me? And it was so condescending which really pissed me off.

    I think Kay H said that people that don’t understand or don’t want to be around that she “regulated” them. The OW and this horrible group of people that supported SW just makes me sick. Of course she used her Jedi mind tricks on them just like her BPD self did to me.

    I’m not lying for her or anyone else. She cheated in 49 days or less, her and the kids live with Shrek 6 months after our wedding and I’m still not divorced from this wing nut!

    Thanks CL Nation for your support.

  • Yoder, in your case, you have the infinitely harder job of living with the man. Taking care of him. You have him right there in the flesh, in your house, a constant reminder of what he’s done and who he is. Ugh.

    I can’t imagine still having to live with my cheating ex. Moving on would be so hard under those conditions. Yet you are putting your plans in place. Biding your time. Working it, patiently, so that your future is more secure. I love that. Once you’re on your own — ah, the peace! The contentment. The freedom.

    Eddie, that’s great news about your fundraiser. And are you saying that someone paid $1,300 for a date with you? Fantastic! You hold your head up, all the way. Don’t let the wingnuts get you down. ‘Cuz, oh, they’ll try. Ignore them. They hate that.

    • Rally Squirrel-

      I know right! 1300 bucks and I had about 500 dollars in gifts in kind and my own donation (its a good cause) so technically I raised the most even though the top dollar date went for 1700. But he had a ringer and my buddy went second (he’s the mayor) and then me so not a bad showing for a not yet divorced guy in a celebrity (really liberal use of the word! lol) bachelor auction.

      So I’m at at a combo bday/bbq party for a friend last night and a friend of ours who didn’t quite make the cut for our wedding shows up. First thing out her mouth is where is SW? I’m like seriously, you don’t know? She didn’t so I told her. And I told her the truth. And it felt good. Rayanne was shocked. SW has/had a pristine reputation in town. (her cheating with her first husband was 4 years ago and outside of this circle of friends). Speaking the truth is for me.

      This has been a hard weekend. Sw and I were in Hawaii last year with my dad. I’m his legal guardian. He is 86 years old and has dementia and this was his “bucket” list trip. SW and were going to get married today but we decided to wait until October because we wanted our families involved. And the trip was about my dad. I was never more in love with her. We worked so well together. She was amazing with him. Until the wheels came off (and they do right after we get back) I always said she was the kindest person I had ever met. It’s surreal that a year later we aren’t officially divorced yet, she on her second guy and has been living with him longer then we lived together under our married roof.

      CL turned me onto some great books and articles about borderlines and NPD. SW is a borderline and from what I’ve read and the therapist that we briefly went to, a combination of a waif and a siren. ( http://gettinbetter.com/waif.html) She is ridiculously beautiful in a take home to mom kind of way. Once the seduction phase was complete ( if you haven’t went to this link please do: http://www.bpdfamily.com/bpdresources/nk_a101.htm) then all hell broke loose. Lying, cheating, substance abuse, spending money, gaslighting, dehumanizing etc. all to morally justify her actions inside of our marriage. It’s mind boggling the change in her appearance and actions. I did get off lucky. Many of these types of relationships end in a pregnancy and SW was trying her very hard to make this happen with me or her AP at the time. Watching her rebound (another very common action with borderlines) is so hard. This helps as well: http://gettinbetter.com/anycost.html. Knowing that she just picked an easier mark and that she will be no different once the seduction phase runs it course is somewhat comforting. Her Karmic reckoning can’t come soon enough for me which of course prolongs it until I can get to meh.

      I can’t quite figure out why someone who wanted out so quickly and used such a hurtful and cruel exit affair (well I’m pretty sure my Dday and when it actually started are not one in the same- she was fucking him the entire time) why am I not divorced yet? The paperwork is in, she owes me 15k (I’m out 100k in 5 months-yes once again I’m a chump) so get your rich boyfriend to give you money and lets get this done. The CL post today or yesterday about not letting them off the hook or not being tough on them couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve just wanted to say “fuck it” and lets get this done. Any thoughts on why she doesn’t pull the trigger? My attorney says that she doesn’t respond to her attorneys requests and that this could end up in a divorce settlement hearing. That just seems fucking stupid to me.

      OK, I’ve looked back on my ramble semi-rant and it’s mostly coherent. Thanks for giving me forum to get some things off of my chest.

      E

      • Thanks for those links.

        It was interesting reading for me, b/c Andy has accused me of being these things.

        Which I find really entertaining, considering I actually do have a different mental health illness & spent 8 years in therapy before I even met Andy, learning how to manage it in healthy ways.

        Which is even more ironic when I factor in that Andy would get insanely angry if I spent time taking care of myself, instead of him.

        My illness came out of remission for the first time in *years* when I had to quit taking my medication due to unplanned pregnancy. Andy’s response? Starts threatening divorce & trolling the internet websites for girlfriends. Eventually my doctor’s put me back on Class C medication b/c the risk of the meds to the baby was judged to be less than the risk to the baby of not medicating me.

        And still I stayed with him for another 6 years. I may not be the ultimate chump, but I’ve gotta qualify for somewhere in the runner’s up department.

        Thanks for the links; they’re good reading.

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