Dear Chump Lady,
First I want to say I am so glad I found your site, it is beginning to counteract the damage all the “save your marriage” sites have caused me. Thanks for exposing me to harsh realities. I wish I would have found this site in the beginning. I am still in the throes of wanting to believe he’s different from other cheaters, that it was mostly my fault, having the desire to reconcile because I still love him and it’s best for our young child, while he and one of my closest friend are creating a life together. Yep, the lies they told were to make sure our two families would spend a lot of time together. Because they knew their spouses trusted them, they could spend time together alone without arousing suspicion.
I guess almost two years of begging, pleading, crying, yelling, and individual therapy just isn’t going to work for him. Now what…
I’m in a crazy situation, basically we are not getting a divorce because of money. (Of course I want to believe it’s that he still loves me and will come back, or doesn’t want be is a situation to get too committed to her). We own property together, he knows I don’t see the point of maintaining a business relationship after divorce which means liquidate (which he doesn’t want to do). To make matters worse I let myself believe he felt some guilt for leaving me in a home that he was demo-ing for remodel, so we just purchased a home for my son and I to live in. He explained that it was so he could stop paying rent and so he (and the OW, when she can blow off her kids and make the 1.5 hr drive here) can live in our home, and so he can complete renovations he started… 10 years ago… This leaves me financially beholden to him because he is paying part of the mortgage for the place my son and I will be living in.
Go ahead, call me super-chump, I can take it. I keep telling myself that it fucks up her plans to be wife number 4 (I know, but I thought I was special, I knew about wife 1 and 2 but didn’t take it as a sign, I drank the kool-aide) and step-mommy to my son, but it also fucks with my life… or at least the one I hope to have one day.
So… now what? Any advice for a newly minted chump climbing this mountain of crap called my life? Any tips to keep on the righteous path to fully realized chumpdom? Is there a chump to chump dating service? Been a while on that front.
I read your 5 things that keep you stuck — Hope… that’s the biggest one. How do I stop holding out hope for what could be? Smart me and Emotional me are at odds. Emotional me tends to win out… still. I want to believe he is a good person even with every obvious ulterior motives Smart me sees.
Dear Hopium Addict,
Put down the crack pipe and let’s review the evidence — he’s continuing his affair, wants zero consequences, and has conveniently shelved you and your son out of the way in a separate residence. And his excuse for that is…. home repairs? Seriously?
Aside from his blatant, remorseless cheating, I think you should dump the man if only because it’s taken him 10 years to renovate a house. No one, I mean NO ONE should have to spend a DECADE in a demolition zone. My first husband was like that. He’d rip out a bathroom and then just leave it. There is a special place in hell for such home improvement sluggards. These people love chaos. Emotional chaos. Physical chaos. To live this way is to live in a constant state of disruption and delusion — pay no attention to the mess, see the Potential! Just wait! You literally are spackling to live like this.
Just like the House That Is Never Done, you’re holding out hope for a man who very deliberately wants to live this way. Noncommittal. Chaotic. Concerned with no one but himself. Oh goodie, you get to live in a new (presumably finished) house, away from the mess. How’s that working for you? He comes and goes and plays family guy when he gets an itch to. Then goes back to his lair and fucks around without your supervision. Cake is awesome.
But the reason you won’t leave him is money? You’re keeping this douchebag around for HALF a mortgage payment? Have you seen a lawyer? Half of that unfinished wreck is yours and half of the house you live in is yours. Unless you signed a separation agreement before you moved out, you’re still legally married and own all property jointly. Talk to a lawyer. You may be able to afford to live where you’re living, or for fuck’s sake MOVE.
You don’t leave a cheater painlessly, HA. You have to be prepared for a fight. You need to hit and get hit. The houses get sold. You liquidate the business. You take a loss. And then you rebuild. Your cheater doesn’t want those consequences? Too bad. You didn’t want to share your marriage with Ms. Pretend Friend OW. Get ANGRY! That’s how you kick hopium, you get PISSED OFF. When you’re righteously angry enough, you will ACT.
Repeat after me: HOW DARE HE!
Value yourself enough to get angry. Truly angry. Not the self directed, eat at your guts, depression, passivity anger. No, get truly righteously pissed. You do NOT deserve to live this way. Your son doesn’t deserve it either. You need to be the catalyst. YOU need to change this, because your husband is very happy to keep eating cake. He likes everything just as it is. This hopium is keeping you stuck in a delirium.
Dump him, and do not even THINK about dating (chumps or anyone else) until you do some work on your picker and figure out why you’ve tolerated this abuse. You MATTER. I can tell you that, but you have to believe it. You can only unstick yourself. I can’t do it for you, the chumps here can’t do it for you. You are living in far more pain now, then the pain you fear walking into if you leave him. That, my friend, is liberation. You’re teetering on the edge of it — go forward. Let the OW be wife #4. Let her live in the shit pile of his chaos. Let GO.