Dear Chump Lady,
Dday was late April. Unlike many of your readers I was strong and kicked him out straight away. We have two kids so it hasn’t been easy.
He denied everything even after being caught red handed with the texts. And then after I kicked him out he stupidly updated his iPhone and all the texts came though on our home iPad!
So at this point I had the texts, her number, and proof. I even called her and once she knew it was his wife, she hung up and texted him again in a panic! Ha! I was reading it as it came through. They work together and see each other every day.
It has been six months and he still won’t admit it. And I’m over getting to the truth. I have seen a lawyer and we are separated. Will be able to get a divorce next year. (I am in Australia and you have to wait a year post separation to file for divorce).
I am taking the high road and remaining calm. I did lose my shit when it first happened and told his mum and sister. They were in shock because his brother cheated on his pregnant wife and, at the time, my husband made a big deal about how wrong it was. Relationship with his brother has been strained ever since.
He won’t admit this to anyone and he has told people we have separated and there had been issues! Yeh fucker, the issues were you were screwing a coworker whilst I looked after our two young children and took my mum to her chemotherapy! Nice huh?
My sister tells me that most people would know something happened. I took my vows very seriously and for me to kick him out and lawyer up so quickly is in her mind proof that most people would get what happened. My question is do they think that he cheated? Do his mates hear it and just go “Righto mate!” but their wives go “um, that doesn’t sound right”?
Does the cheater realise eventually that even though they’re denying it and the ex-wife is taking the high ground, that yes everyone gets it?
I applaud you for navigating this so well, and so quickly. No pick me dance. No limbo. You acted very decisively. Well done!
You’re just hung up on a couple newby chump mistakes — a) caring what people think and b) wondering when your cheater is going to Get It.
Last one first — Does the cheater realise eventually that even though they’re denying it and the ex-wife is taking the high ground, that yes everyone gets it?
Really depends on how delusional they are. The truly disordered — lies are truth, truths are lies, reality is all situational. Even if he’s aware that his narrative is transparently idiotic — expect him to stick to it. These people cannot lose face EVER.
Expecting him to feel shame or disgrace is pointless.
But! But! He condemned his brother for cheating! His takeaway there was feeling superior to his brother. He got kibbles from his brother’s fuck up. See, I’m the Good Kid — he’s the Fuck Up. The takeaway wasn’t Cheating Is Wrong, my poor pregnant sister-in-law. The takeaway was — see how I sparkle? See how he doesn’t? Don’t you love me better?
It’s all very inconvenient to his self image that he’s guilty of the same transgression. Hellooo cognitive dissonance. So, he’ll stick with his narrative that you suck and this is your fault, thanks very much.
As for what other people think? You don’t control that. You only control you. Oh, and guess what — taking the “high road” as you put it, does not include maintaining your ex’s image. You were cheated on, that’s the truth. You may tell whoever you want to tell. You didn’t do anything wrong telling his mom and sister. That’s not losing your shit. Losing your shit is lighting his car on fire and emailing their sexts to all their co-workers. You just told the truth about what happened to you. BIG DIFFERENCE.
So you want people in your life to make an informed decision about his character? Tell them what’s going on with you. Don’t be emotionally sloppy about it (although many chumps have that tendency in the early days, I know I did). Some people prefer handy phrases like “We’re divorcing because I didn’t like his girlfriend.” But most people aren’t going to ask you. So, IMO, I wouldn’t volunteer it, but if asked? Oh, lay it out there. One person will tell the other 50.
Infidelity is not your shame to wear. It’s his. Telling folks allows the good ones to support you and show you kindness. And telling sorts the wheat from the chaff. People who don’t care about your ex’s cheating? You don’t need those people in your life. The “neutral” I don’t want to judge human blobfish — these aren’t your A list social circle. Avoid them.
Will your ex get it? Best chance of that is go no contact on him and let consequences rain on his head for a few years. He probably won’t give you the satisfaction of reaching out and telling you he sucks, but the guy has to live every day with his suckitude. You know the truth. Live that truth. Keep being your awesome self. That’s enough.