I get asked this a lot, and I don’t have a specific post on it, just a letter and a cartoon, so I thought I’d flesh out a further Exegesis of Meh.
First off, it’s not an acronym, although you could come up with some pretty nifty ones. Must Exit Hell, or in Memoriam Ex-Husband, or Mother Effing Hotdish. (Please add yours in the comments!)
Meh is actually a bit of slang the cool kids use that means indifference, to not be bothered by.
I live with a 16 year old boy, a demographic who have perfected the art of meh. Studied indifference comes naturally to adolescent boys. About the only thing my son works himself up into a lather about is if someone forgot to buy frozen pizza this week, otherwise it’s an air of “Oh really?” and “Huh. Is that the best you’ve got?” Meh is indifference with a smattering of withering disdain. “You don’t impress me. Whatever.”
Meh is hard for chumps because we are so good at being all in. It takes quite awhile to extract ourselves from whatever or whomever it was we committed to. And chumps want to be liked (teenage boys, not so much). We get frustrated when people don’t reciprocate our kibbles even a little bit. Or just outright shit on them. The injustice!
Meh is what happens after you internalize “trust that they suck.” You give up the drama, you give up trying to fix them, or make them see the error of their ways. You just move on. And when that annoying, horrible somebody crosses your path? They don’t move you. At most, you might work up to exasperation. What Is the POINT?
Meh is also a very pleasant state, because it stands in stark contrast to the previous drama. Oh, the crazy ride? I lost my ticket. Huh, guess I’ll take this nice walk in the autumn woods instead.
So what is meh? It’s acceptance. It does NOT mean you don’t find what they did utterly reprehensible. Rather, it’s accepting that yes, this happened to me. And yes, this is who this person REALLY IS. You stop bargaining, you stop the what ifs, you stop fishing around in the soup for Those Nice Qualities, trying to weigh them against infidelity and abandonment. Meh is putting the focus back on yourself, and your healing. Meh is when your new (better!) life has eclipsed that painful old life.
Meh is when this person just stops having the power to hurt you.
Meh is really out there. I swear the pain is finite. But it’s really a mental battle some days to move through it. To make yourself walk the dog, or change the sheets, or finish your progress reports. To not let the injustice paralyze you. To tell yourself again and again “this person SUCKS” until you believe it. To live your life without the promise of karma. To just get on with things.
Because one day (a Tuesday), you wake up and you feel free. Oh thank GOD that is over. Whatever was I thinking to give so much of myself to so unworthy a person?
I leave you with a Siegfried Sassoon poem.
“EVERYONE suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields;
on—on—and out of sight.
Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror Drifted away … O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.”
“when your new (better!) life has eclipsed that painful old life” now that’s poetry.
If you omit the ‘disdain’ part of your explanation, you would have described what is sometimes roughly translated as ‘detachment’ in Buddhism, or… a little closer to home (but less contemporary) what Enlightenment thinkers called “Indifference” or “disinterest” : not being personally invested in something for selfish or personal reasons (just to highlight how language and the meaning of words change over time).
I kind of have a hard time holding up a definition of “Meh” as an ideal if it incorporates disdain because disdain implies some disrespect. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that it might be virtually impossible not to consider somebody unworthy of respect because of their repeated behaviors (hence, “ideal”), but for me… being dispassionately disinterested is what happens when I sometimes manage to totally forget anything that might plausibly resemble even minor resentment, and whatever was bothering me ceases to have any effect whatsoever on my present state of mind (ideally), and to me… that’s even more “Meh” or “whatever” 🙂
You might or might not agree. Not that it’s important. Feel free to say, “Meh”. 🙂
You can meh your way 🙂 but I’m okay with a bit of disdain. (Just a smattering. Not a steam shovel full.) It tilts you over on to the “trust that they suck” side.
If indifference comes from other folks’ religious beliefs, like buddhism, that has some element of We’re All God’s Children — I’m fine with that. Whatever gets you to whatever.
Very nice, once again. Your understanding is amazing. Putting this on my phone in sections to pop up and support/sustain/clarify me while I struggle through this phase .
“So what is meh? It’s acceptance. It does NOT mean you don’t find what they did utterly reprehensible.”
“When we forgive evil we do not excuse it, we do not tolerate it, we do not smother it. We look the evil full in the face, call it what it is, let its horror shock and stun and enrage us, and only then do we forgive it.”
Lewis B. Smedes
Calling a spade a spade does not make you bitter or obsessive or a bad person. It means that you have acknowledged the truth.
When I was seventeen I was volunteering backstage at a show. I tripped over something in the dark and cut the top of my foot. It didn’t look that bad so I finished my job then went to the bathroom to hold a paper towel over it. I wrapped it up and kept working. About a half hour later I noticed blood had seeped through the paper towels and the wound was still bleeding freely. Deciding to go to the nearest Urgent Care was not hurting me deeper, it was acknowledging what happened and unwrapping it the wound so it could be properly treated and begin to heal.
Truth does not become more true by virtue of the fact that the entire world agrees with it, nor less so even if the whole world disagrees with it.”
“The village that voted the earth was flat doubtless modified its own behavior and its system of physics accordingly, but its vote did not in any way modify the shape of the earth. That remains what it is, whether human beings agree or disagree about it.”
Meh is not denial, it is the acceptance of truth.
I love Dorothy Sayers. Never saw that quote before — thanks for it!
Love that last quote
Misery Ends Here = MEH
Ooh, I like that.
And we have a winner!
Perfect ! I’m almost there .
Perfect timing as usual CL. I thought I had achieved Meh over the summer, but relapsed. I’d feel ok, sort of Meh, but then go through that “what the fuck WAS that? how could he do that?” kind of thing about my ex, and feel sad or mad or both again.
A few weeks ago, however, I was in Orlando to take depositions, and I was supposed to fly home on a Monday night. The depositions went unusually long, and I ended up missing my flight. All later flights were completely booked, so I had to check back into the hotel, and wait to fly home on Tuesday morning.
After I boarded the plane on Tuesday morning, I started thinking about my ex, and my sadness and anger (the last time I had been in Orlando was with ex and our children where I thought we had such a happy family time). I read some inspirational writings, some religious, some saved from this site. Then suddenly, out of me started pouring this “knowledge,” and I had to write it down– and I started typing it furiously into my I-pad notes, the only thing I had available–
I realized that while I thought my ex was so wonderful, I was the one who was the warm and involved parent, the dependable provider to the family, the person people really liked; I was the one who was smart, genuine, and personable; I was the one who was successful; I was the one who carried the marriage and made the family what it was…..NOT MY EX. I was astounded. I realized that I gave him my power, pretended he was our “hero”, acted like he was a good father, a loving husband, a hard working provider, because that is what I WANTED him to be. But he wasn’t, it was always me. So while he fooled me and lied to me and pretended, and also fooled and lied to a lot of other people, I was smarter than that. I should have followed my gut which told me that something was wrong with this picture, that he was “off,” — the gut instinct I did NOT want to listen to for so many years, because I didn’t want it to be true, because I had so much invested time and costs.
I realized that I refused to see what was right in front of my face. Yes I know he is a very good pathological liar, but I should have stood up for myself and my children demanded an authentic marriage and authentic life. I should have paid attention to my instincts, I should have believed myself and believed in myself. OH MY GOD, I thought, my ex is not sparkly and wonderful, he is sort of pathetic and silly. It was literally a revelation, as if the world had somehow shifted back on its (proper) axis again. It was the picture that looked like the beautiful young girl, and then your focus cleared and you see it is only an old hag.
And I realized I was finally free, for real. And then I wrote– “CL was right, oh my god, I am free! Meh Meh Meh Meh. And I achieved it on a Tuesday….ON A FUCKING TUESDAY!!!”
And since that day, I have been so happy, so free, so thankful to be where I am. I look forward to my life. I no longer hope to hear from ex. I no longer care what he is doing or who he is with. It is such a gift to not care and to know that pain is over.
Thank you CL.
Kelly – your story made me cry. I am trying to get to land of meh – I think I can almost see it – or maybe it’s a mirage. I see all these responses by CL fans and I have been using the word “delight” to describe their/our emotion when someones story or CL’s wisdom resonates with us and we can’t restrain ourselves from commenting or saying “yes yes yes – me too me too – I know what you are talking about – been there – I have 4 t-shirts, etc. etc.” but the word is not delight – I don’t know the word describe our emotion when we feel an affinity with brother or sister along the road to meh. Thanks for your victory story and Happy Tuesday to you – I will raise a glass in your honor tonight for making it to meh’cca (Sorry Friday, no offense, but you are just so last week).
Greg…. Tuesdays are definitely better than Fridays!!!!!!! Happy Tuesday, my friend. Here’s to meh.
Greg, I know exactly what you mean about articles or comments that resonate. I often wish there was a “really like” button when an article or post just says it all. I love your term, “meh’cca”!! You will get there too. It’s almost the kind of thing that you can work and strive for, but it truly comes to you in the end (IMHO) when you least expect it (but definitely on a Tuesday). I truly love all my chump friends here, all of this support and insight has been the key to my reaching Meh. (((HUGS))))
Thank you Kelly – your third and fourth paragraphs could have been written by me. I know exactly how you felt when you realized that your gut instincts were actually right on and that you should “have believed yourself and believed in yourself”. Once I made that realization I had a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. I took that weight and planted it solely on his shoulders. Too bad he is too weak to handle the load.
I am not at Meh completely, but I am in a much, much better place than when I left.
Exactly Margo. These cheaters are “too weak to handle the load.” But we’re not. And we will never make the mistake of underestimating ourselves or our instincts again.
You give me hope!!!
I just had to tip a few cards & tell my STBX that he is my STBX. His bonus won’t be coming in until January, so no what I can keep the charade up in person.
It went shockingly well last night. No angry from him, just I’m caught & I understand you are done.
This morning…not so much. Now it’s the, I want to dies, and I can’t believe I’m losing my family. And I’ll be damned if I’m not sitting on my hands.
I can’t wait to be Meh. I have meh like moments, but…shit this sucks!!!
Ah this would be the self pity assault. He’ll try that. Then charm. Then bullying. It’s what they do. I doubt he’ll take it lying down.
I hope you’ve got your ducks lined up. When you tip your hand, be prepared he may be lawyering up and trying to move money.
Hang in there Tallula!
Do you have a list of the phases these jerks go through somewhere?
3. Self Pity, etc
I love your list you have above. self pity . Then charm. Then bullying
It’s the exact play book he used during the separation, which eventually got him back into the house. We didn’t get to bullying, but boy do I know that’s coming!
My ducks are as in a row & they can be. The best part is he doesn’t plan on moving back. But I won’t be surprised to see him on the next flight home….
I ditched my spackle & have on my sparkle hiding sunglasses!!! Bring it!
As someone who has been bullied in the past, it’s amazing the levels of mental agony the X or STBX will put us chumps through. In many ways it’s the same as being bullied, I know that the almost-paralyzing feelings of helplessness and feeling that anything you do won’t help matters have been very similar for me.
I know I’m nowhere near Meh yet. I’m probably at something like “Eh” right now and I’m working on that final M.
Maybe those of us waiting for “Meh”. Need to remember to work on the “Me” first, then the final “h”
Tallula, I know from your past posts that you are one tough mama! You hang in there. I am so glad it went well initially, but don’t let him pull the shit he is about to pull on you. He will go one by one through his arsenal, don’t fall for it and don’t take your eye off the prize: freedom. 🙂
Thanks! No preggo hormones he can capitalize on this time.
Precisely!! He skyped with the kids tonight & I wouldn’t get the the frame. “Get your gorgeous mom to say hi!” Um, no! I said I will email you tonight. He said “I’m not going to like it am I?” Gotta say…the fear on his face was nice. Going to say no contact. Email & Skype kids. That’s it. Going to lay out financials, then forward to my lawyer. He admitted to everything via text.
Gotta say, I feel free akready!!!
You go Tallula! Get your bad ass on!
You go girl! Stay strong!!
I’m over here with a beer watching the show. He called last night & left this crazy message asking HOW I found all this out!!!?!? Blah, bla. Yawn. Today the text “I love you!! I wish I wasn’t a douche.”
I believe he will flip flop between those two until it sinks in what NC means…
If wishes were horses…..
Kelly, much of this resonates with me…I operated in my marriage the way you did. But I can tell you what would have happened if you had stood up to him with expectations of equal partnership: he just would have ended the marriage sooner. I played along with the charade for 20 years, until I hit menopause and needed some support, understanding and effort from my husband because I couldn’t do it all anymore. He HATED being expected to live up to the image we had both constructed of him. He turned on me with anger and defensiveness, then walked out just months later.
I’m working on MEH now, and sometimes I feel it, so it’s coming. It’s certainly long past due!
“Meh” is Radical Acceptance. Or as was said in Ivanhoe: “There can be no peace between us until there is space between us.”
I will only add that it takes real-world defenses to shore up the mental detachment:
*Going NO CONTACT
*Warding off the Flying Monkeys sent to snatch you back to KibbleLand
All of those things need to be firmly in place so that you have a breather. After all, even the most battle-scarred soldier with PTSD may re-enlist ~ just to get back to the action and the adrenaline. Going “Meh” involves a certain amount of withdrawal symptoms. And just like someone swearing off any other familiar vice, get a support system of people you can call when you are tempted to re-engage. Keep visiting (and posting) to this site. Get thine tushy to a competent therapist and stay in that chair until you can identify all the buttons your Narc will push: then disable them.
Be patient with yourself, because you will backslide. After all Chumps have souls. It is bound to happen.
I have taken a screen shot of this! I will read it & reread it.
I love the flying monkeys analogy.
What better descriptor for the coterie of crazy they surround themselves with?
Enabler = Flying Monkey.
It makes all the arguments about how you suck so much you deserve what happened, sound weak and stupid.
It is an inescapable fact that “shit bombs” are going to hit close to home if we live long enough. Nobody totally escapes “shit bombs.” Nobody. For me, “meh” means achieving the state where you can maintain your inner peace and ability to cope ….by putting into perspective, dealing effectively, and moving on from whatever “shit bombs” are going off around you.
I am stealing “shit bombs”. Thank you, notyou!
I read this with tears – I had reached “meh” – or something close to it most days…until about two months ago. ExH left me, and a 2 and 5 year old over five years ago (left the country actually with no way to contact him…). It was a hellish first year or so, but I was able to get divorced; get a job; get the kids back to a healthy place – and then EXH shows up back in the states again last summer. We have had a protection order in place for 5 years (he had been violent and threatening), but it was set to expire, so I filed to extend it. WOW. Unhappy Mr. Sparkles. He “can’t have this – it’s bad for his career”…”people will think I’m a bad guy..” I had to see him in court last week for the first time in over 5 years…according to him “we have a GREAT relationship”…
The court process will drag on, but I desparately miss “meh”. I’m back to the crazy train of being scared, worried, and shaky. No contact was so lovely for that 4 years of him being gone, and even the past year with minimal contact. I had a breath of fresh air – a taste of what life could be like again after 10 miserable years of being married to a completely fake, mentally ill, very sparkly lie – and now here we go again.
This website has been such a blessing. I’m NOT the only one. I have up blaming myself for not seeing his lies; for thinking I was stupid – as a friend pointed out, “You would never be willing to be so deceitful, so you had no way of expecting that from someone else.” I’ve moved on from hating all the other women – they are now cursed with him, or with the consequences of their choices. I’d even started hoping and believing that there are good men out there. Now this. Not sure how this will go, or when I can claw my way back to “meh”, but I’m so encouraged by all of you and this blog. Thank you so very much.
Hey RDM sending you ((((BIG HUGS))))). I’m so sorry that jackass is back. Can’t you drop a dime with immigration? (Wishful thinking). You’ve done everything right — and I’m so glad you’re extending that protection order — hope to God it goes through for you. And I hope your lawyer is a pit bull with domestic violence experience and can really advocate for you. I would think it would be very difficult for a man who abandoned his family for 4 years and has a PFA to argue back any sort of visitation. (And if God forbid, that happened, I’d want a psych evaluation and it to be supervised visitation).
If he’s sparkly, chances are he’ll direct his attentions to an OW and leave you alone. Post here anytime for support. We’re here for you.
RDM, he is like a f@cking monster in a horror movie, popping back up when you least expect him. He’ll disappear again RDM, Meh will be back.
RDM, I just went through this in spring, my PO was expiring and I went crazy with getting a good lawyer and lining things up. Turned out ok for me, I got the PO extended. Don’t let it set you back, your fear is justified, do what you need to keep afe and go see your therapist for a bit of help. I had to do that when this shit hit, nothing wrong with recognizing danger and doing what you have to. I am at meh, I am not at “I am safe” because my ex is an abusive asshole, some of us have to deal with more than meh, don’t give up.
Thank you Datdamwuf (great name btw…) – you are right – and I love how you differentiate between “meh” and “I am safe” – there is a difference, but I’d been lulled into “meh” when he was on another continent.
He seems to have a 3-4 year pattern of his lies catching up to him. I’m hoping that he’s close to moving on since he’s been back in the area about a year and a half, but I’m feeling a little trapped or like I’m sliding backwards when I’m doing the “trying to logically analyze the behavior patterns of a crazy person” habit again. Blech.
Self destruct should be just around the corner – just hoping the kids and I are out of “blast range” this time.
RDM, read gift of fear and especially the part about worrying, it helped me with my fear freaking. Do what you can to mitigate things and set the rest aside is what it comes down to. Yes, I still had a lot of anxiety but it was not as bad as back when my ex really did have me legally trapped with him in a marriage. I he things work out ok. And yes, safety issues and meh are different.
Thank you Kelly. Yes, a monster indeed – a two faced/two headed monster with sparkles on one side, and evil slime on the other. What is interesting is how warped, twisted, and crazy this seems now – and it used to be my normal. I guess that’s something. 🙂
CL, I live with my 17-year-old son, so I truly understand what you mean about the frozen pizza!
I’m still a long, long way from meh, but I’m sure closer than I was even a few months ago. It’s a lot easier now to trust that my ex sucks, and when I have momentary delusions that somehow I was the one to blame for the problems in the marriage, I’m more able to quickly shake my head and ask myself, “Glad, what the FUCK are you thinking?”
Thank you so much CL – your blog has been life changing, even after five years.
The protection order is a toss up since I can’t PROVE he’s been violent the last five years (he was out of the country 4 years; then subject to the order, so there was no contact…). Whenever he doesn’t get his way (not filing for divorce fast enough because he had a wedding planned to the OW who didn’t know he was married; when Child Support sent him the letter that he owed almost $100K; when he was threatened with felony non-support) he threatens to kidnap the kids (who don’t remember him) and hide them overseas, since he is a dual citizen. The attorney hopes the threats will be enough, but there is a chance I could lose the order. At least now the kids are old enough (7 and 11) to be careful, but it is a constant fear. So sad for my little ones – we had come so far.
You know your stuff 🙂 – he has remarried, but new wife still lives overseas, so although I’m sure he has plenty of female company, he appears to be bored enough to be bothering me again. My favorite last week was when he called and left a message asking to meet and “work things out” (NEVER) – when the police called to inform him he’d violated the existing order, he claimed they “had the wrong number – he didn’t call”. Crazy huh? YOU LEFT A MESSAGE YOU MORON! That was my marriage for ten years – crazy, merry go round of hell.
I try to think of my “lost decade” as being kinda like having a crush on a character in a movie. You LOVE what you think you see, and then you wake up, and realize that it was just a movie – none of it was real. My entire marriage was a joke and a lie – to him. I loved your post about that – because it was real – to me. Our kids (one bio and one adopted) are very real, and I will protect them with every breath in my body. Thankfully he has no interest in seeing them (he would like pictures though…NOT); they don’t spackle, and they have LOTS of questions that he is quite uncomfortable answering(Example – when my son was 3, exH called, and he asked, “Daddy, I know it’s bad to have 2 girlfriends; why do you have girlfriends when you have a wife?”). It doesn’t help his case that he told several of the OW that he “wasn’t sure his daughter was really his” – oh, and he failed to mention to his family and the overseas OW that he had a son – at all – they finally found out when he was almost FOUR. So, I’ll fight my way back to “meh” – and soak in your – and your followers’ – wisdom and humor.
I hate how I keep moving toward “meh,” and like other posters on here, I get dragged back into the drama because of the kids. XWH and I are now have a go-round about the holidays. I’ve had to contact my attorney. I hate how he keeps pulling me back down in his cesspool just as I feel I’ve finally made my way out. I don’t feel like I’ll be able to achieve true “meh” until our kids are adults. 🙁
Yeah, it’s essentially a hostage situation when they really suck and they take their crazy out on the kids. You just do your best to get through it. I’m totally meh about my cheating ex. My son’s father? I’d say 95% meh. 5% not meh when he fucks with my kid. (Like canceling on his visitation last minute.) I feel awful for my kid — and angry — which brings out the un-meh in any parent.
But it comes back. There comes a point where they are the aberration and meh is your new normal.
Meh it soon be so for all Chumps.
With you on that, Moving On, and even then it isn’t over. I am a long way from Meh, as kid keeps getting dragged back into the sewage of sparkly crazies, it sucks. But every time I get dragged in, I swim out quicker.
Just hard to feel the progress when dancing the masochism chacha, but I have found the door outta this whacked out ballroom. For my daughter, Meh will be a long time coming.
Every now and again, I get a Meh moment.
But I have faith that the Meh moments will turn into Meh years, and then ever after. It will be as good as Chump Lady says!
Thinking of ex now makes me think of a should-be country and western song:” From the Gutter to You Ain’t Up”.
Misery Ends Here. No further acronyms required!
I had a good observation of what it is to be Meh this past weekend. I was volunteering at a community event, when one of my fellow volunteers started a lively conversation with some guy that went on for quite a while. After he left, she told me that she should have introduced me. It turned out that the guy was her ex-husband. She’d not seen him in over 30 years. He happened to be in the area, saw the type of community event, realized that my friend would be there, and stopped to say hi.
There was no infidelity in the marriage, at least not from what she said. She says that he was her first serious love, they were living together, her father had apoplexy at that, so they got married. In retrospect, she and he were too young, and if they’d continued their relationship, they’d have broken up and gone their separate ways. They’ve been aware of each other, but no real contact. And while it was good to see he’s doing well for himself, she was reminded of why they were such a bad match in the first place. She texted her current husband of 25 years to say how much she appreciates him all over again after the brief meeting with her ex.
I doubt I’ll ever get to that kind of Meh with my STBX, but if I get to the point where I don’t care one way or the other if our paths cross, I’ll be at my kind of Meh. 🙂
I am still friends with my first serious SO, 24 years later, he didn’t fuck me over, we just grew apart, he is a decent person, that is the difference, my ex was a lying, abusive sack of shit and I would never be safe around him or even if I was safe, I would never want him any where near me again.
That’s the difference: infidelity vs no infidelity.
That’s what my exH does not understand. If we truly had tried, and it did not work out, we could have remained friends. But he was a lying, lazy, selfish coward.
(I think I am at meh, because that is I longer the mantra in my head…)
Right now MEH seems to be a distant dream . I am sure the pain in finite but right now the end is nowhere in sight. Just hoping I get there ASAP !
It really does take time… Stupid time! It always takes so long! And going No Contact. The sooner you can go No Contact, the sooner you can start to see what is real and what is sparkle. After they lose their sparkle the MEH creeps in. I never thought the pain would fade, but it does. Hang in there… and keep coming here for support. I promise it gets better.
NE, Take heart. You will get there. I promise you but have no contact as much as possible. If you have to contact him, send an email, the shortest email possible with a professional tone. Disengage in everything that you do. Don’t text if you can avoid it; texting has a more intimate feel to it than an email. Be patient with yourself. Love yourself. Pamper yourself. Forgive yourself (for choosing a lousy person).
I meant disengage in everything that you do that involves your cheater.
Thanks dani and uniquely. Am No Contact . And planning to stay that way although it’s a tough bitch , this no contact thingy, coz half the time I feel like calling up and screaming and shouting. If only words could kill……
But I have decided this zen – meh state is what I want. The relationship drama just takes away so much of our precious time ….
Yes it does, wasted time on someone who has no appreciation of time 🙁
I am mostly meh (99%) and I know I got here quicker when I started questioning my thoughts and understanding my behavior. CL, I hope it’s okay to post these books that were so helpful to me (I read a ton of books – I consider reading my “play” time): “A Guide to The Present Moment” by Noah Elkrief (Kindle is only $2.99), “Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender” by David R. Hawkins (yes, the same one who wrote “Power Vs. Force”) and for those more inclined on the spiritual path, “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer.
Of course, this site helped me tremendously in finally figuring out that it’s not my fault and my ex is truly a very unhealthy, self-loathing person. Someone’s outside definitely does not reflect someone’s insides.
I would like to reach forgiveness eventually and I love this part of Oprah’s interview with Maya Angelou:
“Maya: Yes. So then you forgive. It relieves you. You are relieved of carrying that burden of resentment. You really are lighter.
Oprah: I know you often say that love liberates us, but actually, forgiveness does.
Maya: But you can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, “I forgive. I’m finished with it.
Oprah: I’ve tried to let people know, as you have taught me over the years, that when you forgive somebody, it doesn’t necessarily mean you want to invite them to your table.
Maya: Indeed not. No, no, no. I don’t even want you around me. It just means I’m finished with you.”
And I am finished with my ex. Feels good.
This is an awesome exchange… thanks for posting it. Love that Maya Angelou!
Ok, I’m closer to meh. Court was interesting.
-house sells in 1-1/2 years
She wanted 8 years based on the kids ages. She is going to appeal to try to get 2-1/2 years. Maybe a gun and prison is getting tempting.
Sounds like you came out of that quite well TennisHack.
Oh, and I’m sure a judge will just LOVE an appeal over one year more. She has to prove the judge who just heard the case made a legal error. “I didn’t get what I want” is not a legal error.
Court news sounds about as good as it gets. Good to hear you are one more step to meh/closure
Good for you TH, sounds like you did o.k.
TH – Looks like it turned out well. Are you pleased with the outcome?
That’s not bad at all! Selling the house is NO FUN, so 1 1/2 years to get ready for that. Glad you survived 🙂
Clap TH, you did really wel!
thing is though, I know the less contact I have the more chance of achieving “meh” BUT, when you have kids how do you do that? He lived around the corner for 10 months and had nothing to do with my kids UNTIL he moved 600km away. Now he rings all the time. He lies to the kids (though they see through him) he makes them promises which I have to explain aren’t ever going to happen and the final insult this week was sending my 15 year old a $200 present for her birthday in 2 weeks time, arriving on HIS birthday. There was no return address so we don’t know where he is, and the card which simply read “happy birthday love from dad” wasn’t even in his handwriting!!!!! I’d like to be “meh” but I feel like I’m going crazy. MY kids are more “meh” than I think I could ever be! Meh, meh where are you meh?
I know what you mean. ExH never Skyped the kids during the week they were with me, EXCEPT the week were wet on vacation and he got married. Funny, 3x that week, I guess to demonstrate how much he loved and missed them?? Daughter did not want to attend, so son was not permitted to attend! Kids had one met her 1x in person up to that point, so you can understand why daughter did not want to go (only folks there known to the kids were the grandparents).
Went on vacation….
Kids had ONLY met new wife 1x…
Oh Nat1, he will so lose interest in this charade, and the minute he bores with this new “narrative” he just decided to try on, he’ll back off big time. By the way how easy it is when you are 600 miles away and don’t have to ACTUALLY SEE OR PARENT THE KIDS.
Your children should do what my kids do–they take the money or gifts whenever they come. Turning them away would be “churlish” on your part anyhow, and he would claim that you are trying to undermine him. The kids will figure him out soon enough if they haven’t already, it’ll probably take just one or two more broken promises on his part. He oughtta reach that in what? about a week?
These guys are too self centered to give much of anything to anyone else. So sit back, relax and wait patiently, it will not be long.
Meh is quite a ways away for me, I imagine, but this post is encouraging. The state of meh seems to be much more achievable than getting to Brigadoon.
I start mediation tomorrow. I am hoping my healing will take a big step forward once the mediation and divorce is over and we have real NC… (Right now there are just those necessary logistics to deal with.) I never wanted any of this, but now I know that I “must exit hell.”
“It does NOT mean you don’t find what they did utterly reprehensible. Rather, it’s accepting that yes, this happened to me. And yes, this is who this person REALLY IS. You stop bargaining, you stop the what ifs, you stop fishing around in the soup for Those Nice Qualities, trying to weigh them against infidelity and abandonment.”
Perfect description!! Meh is an awesome place. I love spending my time there :))
I can see the City of Meh and it is a ways off in the distance, but being able to see it means I’m at least on the right road. It seemed inconceivable to me 7 months ago that something like “meh” would even be achievable, let alone a vision on the horizon.
Finding Chump Lady encouraged me to view life through the lens of a survivor and not a victim. Yes, something devastatingly horrible had happened to me, but I had the WILL and POWER not just to survive but to thrive, if only I was willing to let go of the hand full of dog shit I was holding, and grab the rope that was being offered to me.
Being part of this Chump community has given me Pig-Faced Alien vision, which has allowed me to view the POS STBX as he really is and not project onto him qualities and feelings that I want him to have which he will never possess. Once you replace that old, flawed way of thinking with your new and improved reality, the road to Meh opens and you can see the City of Meh off in the distance. You recognize that all you have to do is keep moving forward and you will eventually arrive. Even if you fall down occasionally, you know it is okay. You can pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going forward. It’s like the song that the civil rights marchers used to sing – Ain’t Nobody Gonna Turn Me Around. And on the day you arrive, there will be cheers, music, a parade and it will be Tuesday.
Love this 🙂
What I listened to when the gas lighting was strong was “Telling Stories” by Tracey Chapman, my iPad won’t let paste the link. Do listen to it.
ME TOO! Tracy Chapman’s songs really helped me through the worst of the abusive relationship with my narc cheater ex. Also check out “Be Careful Of My Heart” and “Remember the Tinman.”
Meh is wonderful. Like CL says, Meh doesn’t mean there aren’t times you don’t feel anger, frustration, or disgust. For me Meh is not going “there” in my head every time I come across something that might remind me of him. Meh is having a conversation with friends and family and not having a comment about his lying, cheating ass be the first thing that pops out of my mouth. Meh is talking about him and not feeling my blood pressure rise, my head hurt from the stress, my voice getting louder from trying to get my point across at how much he had hurt me and our daughters. Meh is no contact, but, when you have to have contact due to a kid issue (moving daughters to college, and Uncle Daddy was such a huge help! *sarcastic*) you can stand to be in the same room with him because you know your life is better, kinder, healthier, sweeter without him. Meh is wonderful.
Perfect description Cindy, I’m saving this one. 🙂
It only took me a few months to get there , but I did. For me, it was not a perfectly linear transformation. There were backs and forths. Some days I felt incredibly MEH, other days I felt really sad, wanted to reach out, wanted to feed him kibbles, wanted him to validate me, etc. But, I hung in there, and faked it til I made it. Now, I feel MEH all the time. That said, I had felt pretty much MEH most of the time ever since I saw the naked pictures & vids of the prostitute-gf of his in his bed. The trauma of actually seeing what they had done behind my back, not just in pictures, but worse, in videos, really made me take emotional leave from the relationship.
Thankyou. Three months out, struggling . Really appreciated your post from long ago !
So far from meh right now
A conversation I had with my 8 year old son today
Him: I wish I had two man parents
Him: Because I think ladies get more angry
Like mom gets really mad, and shouts and calls me names
Cause I mess up so much
Sometimes I wonder if she even loves me
Oh, ANR, this brought tears to my eyes! You have all my sympathy, the very very hardest roadblock on the road to ‘Meh’ is what these fucktards do to our kids.
He wishes he had two of you! I hope he meets enough kind and loving women as he he grows to realize that his mom is whacked and not the norm.
i hope so. And I will make sure he knows he deserves better.
My daughter, who is 12, has pretty much stopped seeing the ex, although she, her brother and her dad are in family therapy (at my insistence). She despises the person he has shown himself to be.
She’s been talking to me about different men she knows, her various uncles, her coaches, family friends. Really looking at models of how men CAN be. Recently she asked me to please get a nice boyfriend, as she’d like to have a good stepdad.
Baby girl has her head on straight, broke those rose-colored glasses, and cut off contact with her local dealer of hopium.
It may break your heart, but its also got to be re-assuring.
I think your baby girl has a great head on her shoulders, and a good idea Karen– maybe it’s time to get that boyfriend and perhaps even one day you will have a good husband who deserves you, and she will have a healthy and loving step dad <3
I’m there. At Meh. Nearly six years on from D-day. For me it isn’t a one off change from one state to another, it was a gradual awareness that every now and then I got to a small spot of peace and contentment.
As time went on, those spots grew bigger and bigger til they joined up to become the norm. Every now and then I find a little spot of darkness. Something happens like my ex doing something foul or a visit to a place or contact from an old friend triggers me and I am back in it.
I used to think that was it, I’d fallen backwards and would have to start all over again. Not so, it passes very fast and I now know I need to do something I am interested in, or contact someone I love to get me back into my world and then I am right again. It happens very infrequently now.
One book which changed my world view very helpfully was Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore. He gently makes the point that there isn’t a “cure” for what ails us. Rather we should regard our lives and mental health as a garden requiring care and nurturing to keep us on the right track.
Once you turn your undoubted abilities to do that away from a spouse who has wasted your energy, you suddenly have so much of it for yourself and your kids home family work and friends that the garden blooms a riot! And the ex? Just an aphid. Quickly dealt with.
Love, love, love this analogy! Thank you!
Very nice, once again. Your understanding is amazing. Putting this on my phone in sections to pop up and support/sustain/clarify me while I struggle through this phase .