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Dear Chump Lady, Is it okay to fuck with his head?

Dear Chump Lady,

Is it OK for me to fuck with his head?  I really want to scare him and the OW over the holiday season for my amusement. I probably would not follow through (but I may). I know stuff that will freak them out, not to mention his other family members, if I disclose the info (think porn addiction).

He has no clue as to whom I have disclosed this info. I know where they live (five hours away). I just want to say to them that I will drop in to wish them a happy holiday, and then share with them. In the past, I have stated that I may drop by and he has freaked out. That gives me a good feeling. There is so much more that I am pissed about. This would give me some holiday pleasure.

So, is it OK to fuck with his head?

Thanks.

Catlady

Dear Catlady,

Yeah, so how’s that going to go? You drop by elderly Aunt Mildred’s house and over gingerbread cookies you say, “By the way, Bob likes anal sex. Really likes it. Honestly, it’s a fetish when you consider how many porn videos he’s downloaded in the last month. Me? I never cared for it. But apparently, OW really digs it if his Instagram account is anything to go by.”

No Catlady. You don’t do that. It’s not okay to triangulate. Because you’re not just fucking with your cheater’s head, your fucking with Aunt Mildred’s head. You’re involving innocent people who don’t need your drama or the details of his sex life. (Imagined or real.)

You’re not going to get the reaction you crave. “Tell me more! Were any goats harmed in the making of those videos?” or “Bob is a TERRIBLE person! I will never share a Christmas pudding with him again! He is DEAD to me!”

No. They’re going to think you are a despicable person for sharing such intimate details of his sex life with them. They’re going to feel mortified. Intruded upon. And sorry for your cheater. “Who is this horrible woman saying such terrible things?” You will not be an object of sympathy. You will be resented. TMI! There is NO artful way to discuss his porn addiction. NONE. To do so would be seen as spiteful, because it is spiteful. You said yourself — you want to fuck with his head.

Fuck with your own head. Ask yourself why you’re giving this douchebag, the OW, and his family so much mental real estate. Don’t you have Christmas shopping to do and 15,000 holidays details to attend to like the rest of us?

I understand the impulse for revenge, I really do. As I’ve written publicly, I had the most violent fantasies of gutting my cheater with a fish knife. Didn’t do it, of course. But I thought about it. Infidelity is an injustice and it can bring out the vigilante in a chump. HE MUST PAY! He must be humiliated the way I have been humiliated! He must suffer!

Look, being the shithead he is is punishment enough. Oh, I know it doesn’t feel that way, but get some years out from this crap. You’ll see how pathetic these people are. How undeserving they are of our thoughts. It’s embarrassing that we were ever associated with them. The best thing you can do for yourself is just get the hell away from this person, the OW, and his family. Go no contact and wrestle your revenge fantasies down to the ground.

Please don’t confuse my advice to not keep a cheater’s secrets (“Oh, we grew apart”) with permission to share every mortifying detail with everyone. Especially for spite. If people ask you why you broke up, absolutely tell the truth. “I couldn’t live with his girlfriend.” or “He was a serial cheater/sex addict.” That’s very different than Facebook blasting his friends’ list with the minutia of his illicit activities.

Be a class act. Be meh. Tell the people closest to you what happened, and be graphic with them if you must. Word will spread, I promise you. Meanwhile, get on with your life. Enjoy that you don’t share space — physically or mentally — with a cheater. Let the OW have his porn addiction. Keep your sanity, Catlady. And your dignity.

 

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  • Ay Ay CL! The key is that when reality of who they are settles in you will see how pathetic they really are and it will be an OMG what was I thinking moment for you.

    You will realize how silly it was to even get upset over such a mess of a being. Don ‘t under any circumstances let them drag you into their pathetic mess. People see the creeps that they are and if the don’t then those people are probably creeps as well!

    Whatever good people saw in them when you were together came from your light shining on them. I learned this after I got rid of mine. People felt if I was with him there must be something valuable there. After I wasn’t there, the terms weirdo and creep surfaced quickly with high fives when I told people I broke up with him. One of his employees told me whatever I was doing to keep doing it because it totally changed him for the better and she sincerely thanked me. If that wasn’t a giant red flag I don’t know what was!!! What the hell was he like before me?

    The minute you are no longer with one of these parasites your value immed. Shoots up 200% (100% for the loss of the loser and 100% for yourself sans loser).

    The sparkles belong to us Chumps. Without us the truth of who they are shows very clearly to the rest of the world. Trust me on that one!

    Don’t reduce yourself to turdome, let them live there alone!

    xo

  • As we say in PA, don’t mock the afflicted.

    There is really no sport in it, so direct all that primal energy into something more constructive. Hard, I know-Mr Fab’s OW was and is -ahem- MOST accommodating. But that as CL says, is on her.

    He’s a perve. Most cheaters are. In addition to this site, read up George Simon’s Manipulative people blog for a definition of perversity that might help you see the bigger picture.

    As a woman who was given a foot-long ‘present’ of the battery powered kibd less than three weeks after giving birth, I suppose nothing would shock me about Mr Fab’s behavior. That’s on him.

    Fucking with Aunty Mildred’s peace of mind would be on you. Sooner or later, there will be an STD in his life, and you will just have to content yourself with fantasies of him having ‘autoerotic strangulation’ on his death certificate, or some such.

    hug.
    M

    • LOL, M, I love don’t mock the afflicted, great line. I asked my therapist early on what should I do if I run into him, she said just look at him as he is, a sick man.

      I think that says it all.

      Catlady don’t let their sickness infect you. Stay healthy and live that way!

      • Oh, I like that. A lot.

        I used to worry a great deal about seeing him or her or both around town–what would I do? What if my face showed how upset I was?

        Then it dawned on me one day: if my face shows how upset I am, that’s perfectly natural and a real human feeling from someone whose heart was broken, from someone WHO HAS A SOUL! And if it makes the two of them feel great that I am suffering? Wow. They really are as sick and horrid as it seems like they are.

  • Revenge is never a good idea. It just lowers you down to where they are.
    Be better, do better and live better. That’s how you prove you ARE better.

    • True! I think we all just get tired of being the bigger person sometimes. We chumps have been doing it for so long…

        • I know, it is really the only way we can retain our dignity and know we are better than them. But it does get tiring sometimes… and thankless. I wish someone would acknowledge how well we are responding to their bullshit. It’s probably a factor that we have lost the person that is supposed to be our cheerleader (our spouse), so I miss having someone to fill that role. And the person that used to fill that role is now essentially “the enemy”. I guess I’ve gotten compliments on how I’ve handled the situation once in a while – but sometimes they have also been of the “you’re too nice” variety.

          • Oh! I too hate the ‘you’re too nice’ compliment! What a pile of judgmental crap disguised as a compliment!
            My ex was never much of a cheerleader for me to begin with, but still, it would be nice for someone, occasionally, to notice what I’m doing, what I’ve done.

            • yeah, my ex wasn’t an awesome cheerleader either (shocking for a cheater, I know :)) but he was better than nothing.

  • Of course, the best way to f*ck with a narcissist’d head is to go No Contact. Man, they HATE crickets. Drives ’em crazy. Nothing more excruciating for an egomaniac than to sense that someone, somewhere, doesn’t give a flying f*ck at a rolling doughnut what they are doing, saying, or thinking. Plus, truly not giving a damn what your cheating ex is up to (other than an occasional humor/karma break) just happens to be healthiest path for recovering chumps as well. A true win-win.

    • learning this the hard way… I’ve been really good at being “meh”… but recently my ex has started to bring the OW and her kid around my kids. After all this time. It’s weird, he was pretty good for about a year I thought he wouldn’t do it. That maybe he’d meet someone “better” at least. Alas, I guess he can’t.

      So, needless to say I flipped out on him. I really don’t care who he sleeps in his spare time, but I don’t see why this person needs to be around my kids. So by flipping out, I think I just encouraged him to do it more. Recently he even had them over on his one weeknight he has with our boys… she and her kid had to drive close to an hour each way on a weeknight to hang out with my children for about 2 hours and irritate me.

      I can’t help but think he is using her to piss me off because this is the only thing that still exists that can get a rise out of me, and she, as usual, is happy to do it. Maybe it is my ego, though. Maybe he does actually care about her. But I doubt it. I know when he hangs out with her on the weekends its so he has some entertainment and doesn’t have to take care of the kids by himself as well. So, he can irritate me, get some ego kibbles, and reduce his responsibilities at the same time. That’s his win-win!

      It just really bothers me because they are not even “dating”. Around their family (and yes, he’s had her around at his parents with my kids as well) he is still trying to sell her as his “friend”. He actually claims she is just his “friend” to me!! I feel like if he will not take her out in public on real dates or acknowledge he has some kind of relationship with her that she has zero reason to be around my children. It is just complete disrespect for me (I know, it is extremely stupid that I expect him to show me even a modicum of respect). And it really irritates me that he tries to act like he’s this nice guy and tells me he cares about me and blah blah blah. Don’t worry, I call him on his bullshit. But I’m sure that still encourages him.

      Anyway, I have resolved to not bring it up to him anymore (haven’t brought up that I know about the weeknight thing). And probably go back into therapy to figure out what I should tell my kids (if anything) about who they are. But I have thought about my own version of revenge like this poster… of telling his family that he had an affair with her and that is why we are divorced (they still pretend to be blissfully ignorant as to the reason for the divorce). I really wish I could do something, anything, to keep her away from my kids. Ugh.

      • You can’t get rid of her.

        Focus on the fact that a) he is making her drive all over the place to help him babysit his kids and

        b) after all this time, he is not publicly acknowledging her. No doubt he blames you. She is still being treated like an OW.

  • I know you want revenge and chances are you won’t see it first hand but you will probably hear about it somewhere down the line. Various sources like friends of her friends and school teachers or your kids friends who overhear their parents talking tell your kids and your kids have emotional breakdowns struggling with what they now know and blurt it out in anger and frustration. Yeah real pleasant times like that where you really get to see the damage they have done to their children. Or 3 years from now you have a drunken neighbour at a BBQ confess all she was told but realizes now that it was bullshit and she never trusted your ex at all and thought she was a cold bitch AND now wants to be your friend (fuck that). Yes the really cool movie magic revenge plots we think of don’t exist but the real good ones come out of no where. For example …you sitting down?…this one made me feel great ! this actually happened: I had dated a girl for about a year and a half but circumstances just made the relationship not work for us at that time and we had decided to remain friends and we are still . I get a call from her one day after about 4 months or so of not hearing from her and she says she has something strange going on. She’s on a dating site and had been contacted by a guy who for some reason just sounded vaguely familiar, his divorce story his social hobbies , his seperation drama etc. Now understand this lady friend of mine is quite perceptive and very intelligent and since we dated for almost 2 years she knew my history and what my ex did to me, her kids etc. she knew all the players by name but never knew the faces (only my ex). So picking up on this she asked him certain things and kind of lead him along and every discussion online seemed to be waaaay too coincidental to what she heard from me . His profile is hidden and doesnt have a picture so when she called me her gut was telling her that this might be the same guy but she also knew that he was in a relationship with my EX . So she asked me if I heard if they were broken up?..I said not that I know of. I live in a fairly small community I would have heard especially from my kids. She told me the things he was bragging about and how his exwife was crazy and is ruining his life with his kids etc. (of course the opposite to reality rite remember NPD here) This guy is a major psycho he was literally arrested and taken from his house in cuffs in front of his kids for domestic violence. Real POS. I said well play him up and get a picture , She had no idea what my exes psychotic turd looked like, so she does. She says she’s interested but won’t talk further until she gets a picture , attraction blah blah blah etc. WELL doesn’t he fall rite in….he sends her 2 private pics on his dating profile and she emails them to me…YEP sure enough it’s HIM !! I called her and said yep thats him and stay away from this creep which needed not to be said . She was totally creeped out by this and I asked her if she had her picture on her profile and she said yes but was deleting it as we speak (I have a feeling he knows what she looked like thru my ex) She printed off all the conversations they had which were clean but he made it very clear he was single and looking and his last GF was boring and held him back from living , ETC . Hahahaha Sooooo here’s the GOOD PART I now have copies of all, his online (hidden) profile pictures ,all the conversations dates times etc and guess who got them next? LOL It was a great day when she opened that envelope AND I also gave her a very clear warning to tell the fucking creep to stay away from my friend ! and the cherry on top is she had 3 of her fre-nemys there with her in a perfect public setting just to add to the humiliation. So moral of the story is: Their shit will start to stink and people will notice and Karma does exist …be patient.

  • This post struck home with me. I understand where you are coming from, I get it.

    I, too, had fantasies of bludgeoning him with a golf club and watching the blood shoot out his nose over, and over, and over again. I get it.

    I had plenty of dirty little secrets to share – and I did – it became a contest of who believed what. Take my advice – don’t do it.

    You know the Chinese proverb: If you seek revenge, you must first dig two graves.

    • Agreed, Scared, re: the proverb. Another one (if our desire for revenge sticks in the craw like Krazy-Glue): “A rut is simply a grave with open ends.”

      I’m more than three years out from what I call the murder of my marriage, and there are still times … I’ve never felt such rage towards another person.

      Lowering our own standards of behavior to the betrayer’s … We’re smearing their shit on our own lives. No. There’s been more than enough smearing.

      Catlady, move on. Do something different with your desire to hurt him. Something I did often in the early days (and still do sometimes) was to go for long, hard walks. With every step I took, I imagined I was stomping on his head. It felt great, and no one was harmed.

  • I never sought out revenge on my ex, though I did think about it at times. But I truly believe the best revenge is moving on with my life, living a good life and leaving him behind. Narcs hate that.

    Now, having said that, if I heard that the karma bus had mowed ex down in the street, I admit I’d feel pretty good. But I won’t be the bus driver.

    • My shithead and I had a meeting with our lawyers this week to finalize our agreement. Shithead dragged his heels and wouldn’t sign before leaving. He needed a night to think about it. The next day I got home and there was a message from his auto insurance. Shithead had gotten in a fender bender in a parking lot a few hours after our meeting. It’s his third accident in three years. And it was in his brand new, just a few months old, car. Hahahahaha. Apparently karma can be found in a parking lot. 🙂

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you CL and fellow Chumps. I knew I would hear the voices of reason here. This past week has been hard for me, so needless to say, revenge is what keeps popping to my head.

    I will take the high road, maintain my integrity and dignity and carry on.

    Thank you again everyone for your kind words, experiences and guidance.

    • I know the need to punish – to hurt him as much as he’s hurt you – can be overwhelming sometimes. The whole eye-for-an-eye thing.

      And the legal system DOESN’T help. If OW was a thief who broke into your house and stole your television, you could have her arrested for theft. But break into your marriage and steal your spouse? There’s absolutely NO legal recourse. All of the lying, cheating lawyers and politicians had those infidelity laws wiped from the books long ago.

      Your best option is to find a distraction when the need for revenge consumes you. Call a friend. Play a video game. Go to the movies – SOMETHING. They’ll pass, in time. Soon, you’ll realize the BEST revenge is to let OW have him – because relationships based on lies and deception tend to implode from….lies and deception. It’s only a matter of time.

      • Red, I don’t know if it helps to think of it this way, or not, but I have a different viewpoint. I don’t think OW “stole” my husband. You see, he willingly gave himself to her. He opened the front door and walked right out the door with that whore. Now, I have no doubt that he was seriously manipulated, but he is a grown-up, perfectly capable of reasoning and understanding consequences. I know for a fact that he manipulated her (pretending to be generous, hard-working, charming–none of which is the real him.) It just turns out that he doesn’t care about me or the kids all that much. But, he is and should be free do to whatever and whomever he chooses. I don’t own him, and wouldn’t want to. As painful as it has been to come to terms with this understanding, he chose an alcoholic, immoral, personality-disordered stranger to be his partner, leaving his family to pick up the pieces of our lives and rebuild. Therein, he revealed his true lack of character, of what a pathetic coward he is.

        So be it. I don’t want to be with anyone who doesn’t want to be with me. I don’t want to be with anyone who would hurt my children, hurt his own children. I don’t want to be with a guy who would do what he has done.

        They can have each other. It will take me some time to get over the pain of betrayal and disillusionment. I still have work to do to figure it all out, to heal. I am having a lot of fun in the process, believe me. I like my new life quite a bit. I do not miss the man (term used loosely) that he really is. I do miss the man I thought he was, but that’s my disconnect to figure out.

        That’s the way I see it. It helps me to think of it this way, because I do think that a theft of a husband, as a concept, would make me insanely angry–the way, for example, I would feel if one of my children were taken advantage of by someone else.

        Hang in there. You’re WAY better than that idiot and his current stand-in.

        • Stephanie, I agree with this.

          I don’t believe the OW ‘stole’ my husband. What she did do is pursue him despite knowing he was married to me (she knew me) and manipulate him by flattering his ego. He chose not to put a stop to it but instead due to the fact that he is weak and selfish encouraged and enjoyed it.

          I am still healing but I too like my new life. I miss the man and the marriage I thought I had. I do not miss the pathetic, cowardly, alcoholic liar he actually was.

        • Stephanie, I completely agree with you. Some people thought I should confront the OW, but I always told them it had more to do with him than her.

          I’ve had many entertaining revenge fantasies, especially when I found the incriminating evidence in black and white, written by him, validating everything I’d suspected was going on for the past several years of our marriage. I spent many hours thinking about things I could do with that document. I even talked to my son about it. No matter what, though, it seemed like exposing him had the potential to blow up and hurt me. I was hurt enough, and tired of the whole mess. My son is a lawyer and he advised me to put the energy into building my new life, instead of exposing my ex (his dad). I think it was good advice. I still have the document locked up in my lock box, though. It gives me comfort to know the truth, and that I wasn’t crazy.

        • Stephanie, I know she didn’t “steal” my husband – that comparison was more of a metaphor – but she did ingratiate herself to him for personal gain, and he fell for it. He wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last.

          But now that their relationship is over, he acts more and more like his old self. Except now he looks old, gaunt, and tired. He sold his soul – and wife and kids – for a little “strange,” and now the bill is due. And it’s much, MUCH higher than he ever expected…

  • Catlady, CL’s right – your crazy behavior in exposing all the nitty-gritty details is all anyone will talk about, not his cheating. NOT what you want.

    The easiest way to mess with a narcissist?

    Give them a taste of their own medicine.

    IT DRIVES THEM CRAZY.

    Let me give you a couple of examples:

    My XH’s cell phone earpiece seems to be permanently attached these days. 90% of the time he comes to pick up S11, he’s on the phone talking to someone. I find it rude and dismissive.

    Yet one time when he stopped by, I received several texts in a row, which I didn’t look at because he was standing there and I refused to be as rude as him. On the 4th beep-beep-beep, however, he went BALLISTIC. “Who in the hell is that?” he demanded.

    I looked. It was my sister, texting me something funny that had happened. I laughed. Then, just to be ornery, I said to XH, “Nobody you know.” Beep-beep-beep, the next text came in.

    I thought he was going to have an apoplexy. It took every ounce of his self control not to rip that phone out of my hand to see who was texting me. I looked at the new text and laughed again. And again, I excluded him. It was EXACTLY like all those times before Dday when OW would text HIM, he’d laugh, I’d want to know who it was, and he’d say, “One of my students.” It’s not so fun when the shoe’s on the other foot.

    By the time he left a few minutes later, he was in a BAD mood. I however, smiled all night.

    Another time I made plans to have drinks with a group of friends. I was nearly dressed, trying to figure out which top to wear, when XH showed up 20 minutes early to pick up S11. I answered the door wearing a flirty, off-the-shoulder sweater. He took one look at it and said, “What’s with the top?”

    “I have dinner plans.”

    “With WHOM?” he demanded.

    I stared at him for a moment, stunned by his gall. But remembering the rise I got out of him with the texts, I shrugged and said, “Nobody you know.”

    He clenched his jaw and a vein started throbbing near his temple. I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing out loud.

    So again, you want to mess with his head, Catlady?

    Don’t be spiteful and vindictive. Move on and get a fun life that doesn’t include HIM. When he sees how much fun you’re having WITHOUT him, it will be a bitter pill to swallow. Because you’re supposed to be lost and wallowing in self pity without him. When you don’t follow script, it drives them crazy! 😉

    • You are so right, Red.

      I am in the early days of my split, and still living in the same house till we reach a settlement agreement.

      I have started “dating”… I certainly don’t want to start up another relationship this early on, I just wanted to test my radar out on some guys and have some company to pass the time at lunches, dinners, etc. I’ve actually made some great new friends this way.

      So, one guy I talked to online somehow got my home phone number. This in itself is a bit troubling, as I only ever share my cell number. In any case, my ex answered the phone, said, “It’s for you.” The guy at the other end was embarrassed, as he figured I was on another date. I had no intention of actually going out with this particular guy, so I let him think that and said, “Yes, I’d better go. Bye.”

      My ex walked heavily to the liquor cabinet, poured himself a whiskey, and looked most disturbed.

      Yes, mine is a cerebral narcissist, and he can’t conceive of me not falling all over him. So me being distracted by someone else clearly bugs him. GOOD!

      I note that I had not planned to mess with him like that. It was an accident. But it was satisfying nonetheless.

      I notice that practicing either indifference or happiness at all times around him also throws him way off kilter. So I try to maintain that facade as much as I can. Inside, I feel awful and continue to grieve for my 20 year marriage that never was, but on the outside, projecting indifference and watching him go ballistic actually reinforces what I know about his bad side, and makes me stronger.

      • CNM – it IS satisfying for them to realize that one of the consequences of their behavior is that they could lose US to someone else. It’s easy to demonize us to justify the cheating, but to have someone ELSE find us attractive? To turn OUR heads? Not so much.

        But what can they say? THEY’RE the ones who put that consequence in action…

    • Red, the thing that I don’t get is that he even thought he had any right to know who was texting u or who u had pans with. Unbelievabe!

      • Red is right besides going to the trouble of talking about him will only let him know you are thinking about him. Ego kibbles ( oh I’m still important to her) Living well is the best revenge.

      • Nat1 – it’s because he’s STILL cake eating, STILL feeling entitled to my full attention. In his mind, the divorce allows him to date other women, but I’m still supposed to stay home, raise the kids, and never look at another man again. EVER. Just like I did when we were married.

        This mindset is very common, particularly among narcissists.

        Mel Gibson was in the midst of his very public baby mama drama a few years ago when he discovered his ex-wife of 28 years was dating someone else. He was furious. His response? “Mothers shouldn’t date!” (But apparently fathers can do whatever they want, including father children by other women while they’re still married.)

        Then there are all the Jewish and Catholic men who legally divorce their wives, but don’t religiously divorce them via get or annulment so their ex-wives can remarry. Without the religious divorce, the ex-wife commits adultery if she remarries, and she can’t remarry in her synagogue or church. I’m Catholic, XH was Catholic when he filed for divorce (he’s since joined OW’s church), and he has NEVER mentioned annulment. I doubt he ever will, unless I decide to remarry. THEN I expect a fight.

        In truth, Nat1, his behavior doesn’t bother me – because it means I will eventually get my revenge. He WILL know what it’s like to be set aside for another, just as he set me aside for OW. The difference is that my next relationship will happen honestly, in the light of day, not by deception in the dark of night, like his with OW. And to know HE’S the one who made a new relationship possible for me? Priceless!

    • Spot on, REd. The more interesting my life becomes the worse his mood gets because he’s stuck. Stuck in a relationship with a dull young woman who apparently isn’t as much fun now that the sex high has worn thin. Stuck in a job that he doesn’t like, stuck ina very small world with few people who like or respect him. And me? My world is expanding and growing and more and more new people come into it all the time. It drives him mad. He is more angry after two years than he was when all this started. It’s hilarious and I swear he’s going to give himself a stroke.

      • Nord, I’m discovering the same thing. I have some HUGE plans in the coming year that, in essence, allows me to pick up the life that I put aside 30+ years ago to be with him. He’s going to FURIOUS. Can’t wait!

  • I am so guilty of this – especially this weekend. I did exactly probably what I shouldn’t have done and sent all our mutual fb friends and his relatives messages detailing how not only did he cheat on me with the woman he is with now. He also had me start a business with him. Which he is running now without giving me shares. And still owes me $15,000 over year later. He was suckering me knowing he was cheating and taking money from me and having me work on a business… I can’t seem to stop myself sometimes – I am so angry and feel like I was such a sucker. He was knowingly using me and my business contacts. I feel like I was a fool. And am so upset someone who claimed to care about me could have done something so shitty. I am so terribly hurt and sometimes it’s just so hard to take the high road.

    • Yes, I swear I was married to your husband, too. I feel like a sucker – for signing the Parent PLUS ($26k) loan for his son – yes, that’s right. And I’m still paying it and will be for a long, long time to go. Can you say “in love and stupid”? I was.

        • I don’t have any words to ease the path you are on. I am on it, too and I still haven’t quite found myself.

          I know that people tell me that karma will bite his ass – but I haven’t seen it. I struggle, he thrives. I get where you are. And I get that somehow I meant to be here and deal with it all. Every morning I get up and tell myself that this is “the day” – “the day” that I win the lottery, meet a new man, feel less pain, get the promotion, watch him flounder – and still nothing.

          Just know – you are not alone.

          • Scared
            I think you might be spending too much time “looking”. What I mean by that is you are looking to find yourself, looking for the lottery, a new man, promotion, etc. Try instead to just get up and eat a great breakfast, read the paper, do basic normal things. Pretty soon it becomes a welcomed habit. These habits can then give you eyes to see new things. You get up, eat breakfast, read an article in the morning paper about a trapeze artist who has leukemia. You think “well I needed a haircut so I will donate my hair to Locks of Love”. You come out with a great haircut and an urge to try trapeze. You have some fun, laugh your ass off, and take yourself to a much needed lunch. The waiter is super hot looking and flirting with you. You contemplate taking him out for a test drive but then just giggle and leave with a full belly and a tank full of moxie. Slowly but surely you begin to “see” the world that has always been in front of you. You only “see” this now because you were not busy looking elsewhere for yourself, the lottery, or a new man.
            I’m still on the road to MehVille, as well. If you ever get on a trapeze let me know, I’ll join you. Or at least join you for lunch at the place with the hot waiter. ha ha ha

  • God scared – I almost want to cry reading your words. It’s what I feel every day I wake up too. He’s off living his life with this new woman. Taking her to Spain. Looking happy and content and all I did was care and take care of him. I am in so much pain sometimes wondering how people are capable of doing such things to others who are good to them. I just am in so much pain daily and it’s been a year. It’s unfair. So unfair. I just want everyone to know what a piece of shit he is – what he is capable of – it’s the only thing I seem to be able to do now. Warn people about what a monster he really is. As he parades around like the worlds most lovely guy.

    • I take real issue with Scared saying that “she is meant to be here”. Please don’t take the road. It isn’t true! You were not mean to be taken advantage of. Not meant to be lied to. Not meant to be discarded! You need to get to meh, but the road there is not paved with thinking that you just have to take the shit sandwich and smile.

      I also encourage you to stop waiting for karma to come around. Again, this is not meh. I understand the desire and I remember it well, but the best revenge is to just get to the point where you don’t care anymore. Even if you have to fake it. As has been said many times, it often drives them insane. Refuse to play the game! Refuse to provide kibbles! Just plain go on with your life and pay them as little attention as possible. Be ecstatic that you no longer have to deal with their crazy!

      It will likely drive them nuts, but more importantly, it will give you peace. In the end that matters far more than anything they are or aren’t doing. Far more than any karma that they are or aren’t experiencing.

    • As your fellow chump coach for the moment, I URGE you to find some new meaning in your life. Redecorate your living space (so many blogs out there that describe doing it for cheap), take a class, volunteer, make new friends, plan a trip, get a pet–something, anything–to not put that jackass in the front of your head. His relationship will implode. I always consoled myself with the knowledge that the bigger they go, the harder they will fall. So if they went big, I reassured myself it would hurt even more for them one day, and they would be the bigger asses. But I also realize that the demise will take time, and may occur with a long, barely noticeable suffocation rather than a spectacular explosion, and I don’t want to waste my life watching for it to happen, like a pot on a stove never boiling.

      I KNOW your pain. I still feel it and expect I will always feel pain when I think of him and that troll he is with. But I also know that the happiest times for me are so much sweeter, and they involve me doing something for myself or the people I work for, or my kids, for example.

      Don’t waste your life focusing on jerks. Really. Resolve yourself to take control of your precious life and make the most of it.

  • That wouldn’t be “no contact” now, would it? Oh man, I would love to fix his little red wagon, but in all honesty I find it better for me to think about me and enjoy what I have instead of trying to ruin someone else, who, quite frankly, is too shitful to dirty my hands with! So much less stressful to concentrate on my own head….he will fuck himself over.

  • I need to get there Nat1 – I go no contact and then somehow find my way back and then get really pissed off seeing how happy he looks. It just infuriates me…just because it seems to be so unfair. It’s not no contact… But I have moments of weakness.

  • My aunt divorced a guy who left her for another woman. She ran around calling him a “sex addict.” I recall thinking that it made her look bad–a little crazy, a little scorned, prudish. I don’t like the term. It’s too vague. The cheater can always claim (and they love to, or people assume) that you were a cold fish and he had to look outside the marriage for sexual intimacy.

    It’s a sticky wicket, this attempt to make the cheater look bad, while maintaining your dignity. I think the best strategy is to, as I was urged early on by my mother and dearest friend, take the high road. It is a STRUGGLE to do so, mostly in the early phases, but it is the only way. Stay classy, and preferably don’t burden others with ghastly details of your strife, unless, of course, they’ve been through the same thing. And even then, you may be surprised by reactions from people who you’d expect to be most sympathetic. I agree with Tracy, that you should not bear the cheater’s shame, and you should speak the (brief and concise) truth about why the relationship ended. “(S)he cheated.” Or, “(S)he met someone on Facebook,” or, “He was visiting prostitutes,” or, “She was sleeping with the kid’s basketball coach,” or something similarly brief. People who matter will know what a scumbag thing that was to do. People who don’t matter won’t be convinced, but you will end up looking like a bitter, angry, hysterical jerk, no matter how justified. I think it’s ok to show dignified pain and hurt, but NOT to dwell in it. Don’t make others wonder if the ex was right to leave. Do live as though to make people wonder who would possibly ever want to let you go.

    Ironically, it was my xH, in a flash of brilliance, who taught me, “People don’t really care what happens to you, but they will study your reaction.” Whether fair or not, you are being watched and judged. There’s that phenomenon where people want to believe that bad things can’t happen to them, so they look to find the reason it happened to you, so as to distance themselves from that similarity. Don’t give people that reason. Play this wrong, and you will alienate people and make them think you played a role in the betrayal. Play it well, and you will gain admiration and respect.

    • Stephanie,

      I’m not sure if what he said was a flash of brilliance… I’d say there are SOME people that care what happens to you, but a narcissist probably can’t see that… but it did lead you down a brilliant path.

      You are completely right. I hope everyone wonders what the hell was wrong with my husband. That is why I refused to sink to their level in any way and don’t act vindictive about him. When I do talk about it I always admit that I was not perfect in the marriage either. And I definitely think the people that I tell do seem to try to find a reason for it happening to convince themselves it can’t happen to them. I’m pretty sure I scare the shit out of some people, actually.

      I do need to learn how to answer questions more vaguely as well though. It’s funny, I have some semi-close friends that I’ve met since the divorce that I think try to be polite and don’t ask details of why I’m divorced and they are the ones I wouldn’t mind talking to. Then I have random people that ask pretty early on and while I answer with a brief, but quippy response then they push a little and I end up telling them more than I should. I still maintain my dignity and I don’t reveal a ton but I now regret that there are people floating around out there that have heard too much. I think it’s just going to be a lesson where I learn to enforce my own boundaries and stand up for myself and don’t just answer a question because someone wants to know.

      • Well, if I were a genius at my social skills, I would be able to say that I’ve only handled myself perfectly, but, like you, my mouth and my broken heart sometimes get ahead of me and I say too much, and I’m sure I sound wounded to people who don’t really see me all that much–not enough to know that I actually do have a life beyond being betrayed and abandoned. Oh, well. Live and learn and help others to learn from my gaffes. 🙂
        Overall, I’m happy with the way I’ve handled myself, frankly. My kids are fond of telling me that I have done well. They are proud of me, and that matters a great deal to me.

  • There’s a lot of “definitely not Meh” on this replies thread 😉

    I don’t see the point of wanting to screw with somebody. It just keeps you in their orbit.

    “Onward and upward”, I say. I tried that orbit when I was married, and it was like close orbiting a black hole: it just sucks off any useful energy that enters its gravitational pull, and any energy returned is at-best a toxic spew of deadly X-ray energy. It’s a lose-lose proposition.

    It’s one thing to get angry, but I figure you should try to understand why you are angry, and then figure out the best thing to do to address what is making you angry, and getting away from that death spiral is what springs to my mind immediately.

  • CL is correct IMO. What you want to do is not really fucking with his head, it’s fucking with yours. Get justice and revenge out of your head and you will feel better. Like CL says; someone asks why you split up you can say, he was addicted to porn and he cheated on you. Otherwise you are jumping on the crazy train with your ex. You got off the train so you could live a good life, but hey after living with a crazy train person you get used to drama, once you get away the drama goes too. This is a GOOD thing, but you are habituated to crazy, notice it and realize it won’t make you feel any better. Stay off the crazy train, get on the train of your own peaceful life.

  • I don’t want revenge, I don’t care about my ex any longer in that sense at all. He got me arrested when he attacked me after I told him I wanted a divorce. He almost killed me and suffered no consequences beyond a mental evaluation and 3 days in hospital when he pulled a gun and threatened to kill himself and to kill me. I had to fight, hard to get a PO. I had to file and write all the horrible things before I could get him to settle/divorce. He made me aware of my mortality in a way I hope no one else has to endure. I do wish he was dead because as long as he lives I feel in danger from him. But! I don’t dwell on this, I don’t feel any need any longer to make it happen, to hurt him or to kill him. I took Gift of Fear’s lesson to heart. Do what you can to mitigate your danger and be safe, then let the worry go, let the other shit go. Live your life like it was the only one you have, because it is.

    I’ve lost a family member and today was the funeral so I’m afraid I’m a bit crazy right now. But damn it, if you are angry, be fucking angry and then let it go, if you want a life that’s good, be good and go, keep fucking going.

  • I so understand the DESIRE for revenge, but it is best not to engage in the ACTION. The desire is a visceral reaction brought on by the pain of the betrayal. Take it out, examine it, write a story where you carry out your revenge fantasy, if necessary, then let it go. My wise daughter once told me about my STBX Narc, “You don’t have to do anything, Mom. Eventually, he will screw himself over.” I think of that whenever he engages in some asinine-assed behavior and do what I need to do to release the anger and move past it. And, as she has said, he will invariably engage in some behavior that someone witnesses where they get a glimpse of who he really is.

    James Baldwin has a quote, which I genuinely believe, where he states, “People pay for what they do and they pay for it very simply, by the lives they lead.” You may never see the payment come due for your STBX or X partners, but the natural cycle of the universe is to return whatever energy which you put out to you. I have had the fleeting thought that I would like to bludgeon my STBX, but that would hurt my children and earn me an orange jumpsuit – and orange is not my best color and that jumpsuit look does not flatter me at all.

    I have told only the people closest to me most of the details of what happened between the Spawn of Satan and me and they get it. Since narcissistic behavior is pretty fixed, his behavior and the way I conduct myself serves to validate the truth of what they have heard. It is extremely difficult to constantly take the high road and live in your truth, but you will be amazed at how doing so will ultimately show to those that matter to you who the pig’s ass was in your marriage without you having to explain anything. Only people who don’t want to see the truth will see it differently, and those people will not matter to you.

    Stephanie is so right when she tells you to play it right and you will gain admiration and respect. Maintain your dignity even when you want to scream and slap the demented monkey’s ass and walk with your head held high even when you want to curl into the fetal position and cry. Rage and cry in private. These cheaters are assholes and they will continue to function as assholes. If an asshole is placed beside a rose, the asshole is easily identified. Chumps are roses, our cheaters are assholes. Only a blind person will be unable to tell the difference between a rose and an asshole, and even a perceptive blind person will be able to tell the difference by the smell, since a rose smells like a rose and an asshole smells like shit. This is the difference between Chumps and their cheaters and why revenge is a waste of Chump time and Chump energy. We have given enough of our time, energy and head space to these shit-smelling assholes. That energy is best directed to our own healing and moving on with our lives.

    We can do this.

    P.S. Just wanted to throw in my Thanksgiving thanks for Tracy, who saved my sanity with her purpose and her clarity in executing that purpose, all the people on this site and my wonderful and supportive family and friends. Love you all.

  • Dear CL, I love you, really, but enough revenge is that “he’s a shithead?” I mean, c’mon, is that really enough? Because we all know these shitheads don’t ever realize that they are and wasn’t it you who said in earlier posts that telling them they’re shitheads won’t have any effect on them unless we hit where it hurts, so certain revenge tactics are acceptable. I believe the post I’m referring to had a scenario where the AP ended up being little league coach for the chump’s kids and the question was whether to tell the coach that he ruined those lives and your answer was that it wouldn’t have any effect on him, unless the chump told him he’s a shitty coach instead. Maybe I’m confusing the examples here but I’m basically pro exposing the cheaters in any way possible because one thing most narcissists have in common is preserving their reputation. Hence, telling aunt mildred that X is a porn addict on too of everything else seems appropriate.

  • It is satisfying to plan revenge and think about the reaction, which, of course would be exactly like you planned. . . but stopping there.

    I’ve driven the karma bus onto the cheater’s front yard many times but only in my mind.

    The reality is that NC is the best way to go. It’s not easy, though. Sometimes I write a scathing email in response to a particularly egregious accusation but I don’t send it. Or I’ll send it to my friend and ask him for his reaction. And being a supportive friend, he always backs me up, tells me that I’m terrific and right. Then I log onto CL and read post after post, fellow chumps who have lived my life, who were married to an EX exactly like mine, I breathe a sigh of relief that I took the high road, that I didn’t respond to his email, his accusations or questions. And then I imagine him checking his email inbox over and over . . . angry and frustrated, waiting for me to respond and none comes, getting up the next morning and immediately looking at his phone for a text from me and there is none . . . . And that, my friends, is even MORE satisfying.

    • I do the same, new life. I will answer things in whatever way I feel in the moment, then put it in drafts until the next day. Then I go back, read, take out all emotion, do not respond to a bloody thing that isn’t necessary and make sure I recognise when he’s trying to push my buttons.

      It happened this weekend. I had to ask him about something and he wrote back something nasty and something that was sure to stress me out/cause me anxiety. So I ignored it until this afternoon, wrote a very measured response and left it at that. Often I don’t answer at all because half the time he’s just lashing out for whatever reason. It seems to happen when he’s not happy with OW – which seems to be his trigger for having a go at me because everything wrong with his life is, naturally, my fault. 🙂 He’s such a tool.

  • I took the high road and have never, ever regretted it. Nowadays, I am just so happy that I have my life back, sans cheater, that there is no way I will have any form of contact with my ex. Cl is right. Almost a year out, I look back and think, “Whatever was I thinking that he was worth anything?” I haven’t talk to him in nearly a year, and he called on Thanksgiving. I ignored the call. No contact is the only way to go, the only way to heal, the only way to lead a life I deserve.

    • I agree with Uniquelyme. I took the high road, and I have no regrets. After 10 years of doing the Pick Me Dance and his long-term affairs, I finally got the divorce six weeks ago. I am walking on a cloud now! Walking on Meh Clouds! And although I would never have wished anything bad on him (he is the father of my fantastic children), he got hit by the karma train. And he used to blame me for everything that went wrong in his life, but he can’t anymore because I am not in his life anymore and #7 or 8 is. I am busy envisioning doing whatever I want in life! The funny thing is that it really does drive him crazy to see me so happy. Remember that book, “Who Moved My Cheese?” that was on the bestseller lists? My Ex is now asking “Who Moved My CAKE?”

      • Im jealous. I, too, am not in my ex’s life, but he still continues to blame me for the karma he receives. Most recently I had to file to collect child support that he’s been withholding for 9 months. I tried my best to take care of my 4 kids on my own, but recently had to take a pay cut to keep my job. As soon as he got the paperwork he started harassing me via text claiming that we agreed that he needed to have a few months to pay his bills. This agreement is impossible since I don’t talk to him. Now I’m a money grubbing bitch (btw, during these nine months I have cleaned out my bank account to give him $2000 to buy him out of a vehicle we co-owned, and he’s also found ways to steal money from me). He is seriously delusional, which makes this karma stuff unsatisfying to me 🙁

        • Hugs, JBaby. He’s a loser, clearly, but it doesn’t make life easy to know that. You are strong and brave and a good mama!

        • JBaby, please don’t feel that you’re asking for anything unusual, for him to contribute 50% to take care of his own flesh and blood – he should only expect that to be what happens after you split up! Their sense of entitlement extends to money, my X does that too. We’re you one of those wives that took care of absolutely everything in the marriage? I was. Then when we break up, they just can’t let that go. Please, please focus on yourself for a change. You need that and deserve it. One of my friends told me ‘treat yourself’!
          When he wants to make you feel bad, just because you need financial support from him, repeat in your mind – he’s supposed to give us this, and WE DESERVE IT!

          • Thx Stephanie, and pattytoo, you know me too well, somehow. I put off filing for so long and I thought it would feel like a burden lifted when I finally did it. But, as soon as it was a done deal and I was walking out of the office I just felt so horrible. Like a mix of guilt and fear and shame and like I failed (bc I felt like superwoman when I was doing it all by myself). I know, rationally, that he needs to do his part and that my kids deserve contribution from both parents, but can’t seem to kick these feelings.

            And yes, I was superwife. In particular, I took care of all of our finances bc he was always horrible with money. I cleaned up his hideous credit so that as he was leaving us he could drive away with sparkling credit in a sparkly new car. He then proceeded to destroy his credit, wracking up 20-30k more over the next three months and then never paying the bills.

  • My motto over the past year has been “Living well is the best revenge.”

    For so many years all my energy went into caring for everyone else – STBX, kids, my mum, elderly neighbours, sibs – and I lost the ability to sit down with myself and know what it was I needed or wanted. I felt like any time I admitted to myself that I needed or Goddess forbid wanted something it was selfish, greedy, conceited, which of course was just what STBX on some level wanted. It wasn’t until he left that I had the space to finally confront myself and deal with why I was neglecting myself, my needs, my well-being.

    Yes, when I found out about OW, about all the lies, the deception and the complete lack of empathy, I wanted to hire ninjas and subject him to all sorts of unspeakable torments. But after a satisfying fantasy, I would come back to me, the freedom I had to work on myself, to finally live my life awesomely.

    Listen to CL, Catlady. Don’t waste your energy and precious time on this idiot. Just because you don’t react to his betrayal does not mean that the energy you put into the relationship was not important, if that makes any sense. You did your best to maintain a healthy relationship; he did not. Be proud of what you did and let him go. Don’t cheapen what you worked so hard on by spending more energy on this POS.

    It’s taken me two years, and I’m still not divorced, but this week I went out and bought a new car to replace the 16 year old vehicle STBX “gave” me when he left because it was “good enough” for me to drive through the winter. I’m finally coming around to believing that I don’t need to settle for “good enough”, that my hard work and conscientious planning and careful living is worth something in spite of what Toddler Boi says. Another tie cut, and you can bet that this example of independence is going to drive him nuts, control freak that he is. Each time I slip a little further away from him he is confronted with the reality of his power in this world, which really isn’t much without his adoring Chumps mirroring his ego to him every day.

    Please take the advice of everyone here – write your fantasies down, talk them out, but don’t for heaven sake act. Then go do something to make yourself feel good in a constructive way. At least for me that’s the way to walk the high road to Meh!

  • I completely understand the desire for revenge. I have never felt anger like the fury I have felt towards my STBXH and OW and I am thankful that I managed to resist acting on it.
    I did expose the affair to my M-I-L and dish the dirt on the OW and I’ll never regret that but I left out the details of my husband’s membership of a sex meet up site, his subscription to a charming online service named ‘Chaturbate’ and the fact that he had been spending £100s on his credit card on Viagra. I told all our mutual friends that we had separated due to his cheating and who the OW was but again left out the details. The only people who know the full truth are my sister and a close personal friend of many years. It is enough for me that he knows I know and has no idea who I’ve told. He’s hardly likely to ask anyone ‘Did Alice mention that I was buying Viagra online and signed up to a sex hook up site under a false name?’. He will always wonder who knows and I am satisfied with that.
    The OW behaved with no dignity whatsoever. Days after I kicked him out and he ran to her with a toothbrush and a bag of random clothes she was posting all over FB about how happy she was with her ‘amazing man’. She was a work colleague of his and pretended to be my friend and a lot of people who knew me saw her revelling in her victory while I was still picking myself up off the floor. She did herself and him no favours. The funniest thing (well, with perspective it is funny, at the time it really, really hurt) is that while she was doing this he was running around telling his family and our friends that it wasn’t a ‘proper relationship’ in a desperate attempt at damage limitation.
    Many people have commented on how restrained I have been but truthfully I was determined not to give my cheater and his tramp the satisfaction of me looking like the bitter, wounded wife who couldn’t let go. They would have loved that. They are more than capable of imploding by themselves without any help from me.
    I am not yet at meh and still often wish the karma bus would run the pair of them down but am proud that I managed to navigate this shit with most of my dignity intact.
    People say the best revenge is a life lived well. A few months ago I struggled to believe that but it is true.

  • Catlady, listen to CL

    When you make choices out of spite, you are not in control. Not a good place to be.

    Those are often the worst choices, ever. Spend your energy being good to yourself.

    My mom is the chump, and I am one of the kids. One thing my 100 year old great aunt used to say was “If you live long enough, you get the rest of the story”. My father was involved with another woman for over 20 years, and she had two of his children (he had 5 kids by my mom) WHILE SHE WAS MARRIED TO SOMEONE ELSE!!!
    My father told her that my mom was sick and going to die (well, aren’t we all going to die at some point?) notice the grain of truth in the NPD’s statement.

    Fast forward years and years. My mom dials her one night to confront her. And she says “Don’t judge me. My life has been very difficult”. oh, really? boo hoo hoo.

    So, here she is, over sixty. Husband left her. Not sure if her kids know who their real dad is. My guess is she didn’t tell them, because if they knew, they would never talk to her. In my opinion, the only difference between her and a whore is whores get paid.
    My father still trying to get cake, but everyone hates him because they know what he is really like.

    I feel sorry for those kids because both of their parents suck. In my case, my mom has always been kind.

    And that has been the one saving grace through all this, My mom. She always acted with dignity, and is a reflection of her, nothing to do with him.

    Move towards your dreams. Stay away from the sucky people.

    • Thanks for this post. My girls seem to be in complete denial at this time. I will not speak about it until they ask, if they ever do, but I hope someday they see the truth. I want them to love their mom, it’s just that I want them to know what real love is. She was incapable of ever making a bond with anyone.

  • The best thing I did was to immediately unfriend him on Facebook. When I first found out about his double life, I wanted everyone to know every single yucky detail.

    I’m so glad I didn’t.

    Now people are starting to cautiously broach me about what happened. I generally say the same thing: “you know, his cheating was really a blessing, because I don’t know if my faith would have allowed me to leave him.” Then I thank them for caring enough to ask me how I’m doing.

    This way, I’m not bashing him…but they still find out he’s a lying, cheating, adulterer. Plus, they think I’m being “the bigger person” because it doesn’t seem gossipy…even though I’ve told them about his secret.

  • Dear Catlady,

    I was in the exact same place a couple of days ago. EXACT SAME PLACE. After a wretched and most dramatic D-WEEK I had left town for 4 months. The Scumbag Ex kept trying to get in touch, grovel, snivel and all that psychotic crap that the really disturbed ones do.

    I came back to town 4 days back and the NEED to fuck with his head overpowered me. I know where he lives, I know where the OW (My ex friend and flatmate lives). Everything from drama, confrontation, pepper spray etc crossed my head. I was sure that the least I am going to do if I run into him was to ‘Spit in his face and run away’ !!!

    But I did run into him in a concert (he dint know I was back btw), he stood there affixed to the ground, STUPEFIED, I took one look at him turned around and vanished with my friend !!!!

    He went berserk looking (I heard), cried a little etc etc… I wasn’t too interested. I just found a nice (and cozy) spot with my girl pal and had the best time ever ! It took everything I had to NOT talk to him, SCREAM at him, EMBARRASS him in front of his friends….. but I dont know why I feel I did the worst thing I could to him. And that just seems like a bonus. Whether it affected him or not, I know I managed to enjoy something I was looking forward too, and avoided massive, emotionally draining and absolutely avoidable drama. Trust me it feels good. I felt like ‘Titanium’.

    I swear its taking everything I have to resist the urge of ‘I want to fuck with his head’. Every single thing !! But at the end of each day, it feels just a little bit nice that I am letting my head win over my KILL BILL tendencies.

    So stay stong !! You are definitely not alone. And when the urge strikes… just know that there is at least one more soul in some random corner of the world, fighting the same battle as you. Lets play for the win this time …. the win being a creep free and creepiness free life !!

    • Kill Bill tendencies….love that! That’s how I felt, too, when I was still living in the same house with him, after Dday. Good thing I don’t know anything about martial arts.

  • You want to fuck with his head, and that’s understandable. Really. But the best way to screw with his neurons is not blasting his business to his relatives and the world. The best way is to go and stay NC, or as little contact as is humanly possible, and keep that contact to only the business at hand.

    Why? Because what he is afraid of, what he fears most still hasn’t happened, and he will imagine it far worse than what it could be, even in reality. Say you shoot off your mouth, and everyone knows, and he’s incredibly embarrassed, loses some friends and relatives in the process. As soon as the consequences come due, he KNOWS what they are, and he can begin the process of attempting to reclaim his “dignity,” and part of that process will be to point out what a crazy witch you are. You will have given him the ammunition. The unknown is always a bigger monster than the known.

    Sure, the longer you keep your mouth shut and your head high, he may begin to relax a bit and believe/hope that you won’t ever spill his dirt, and it’s going to piss you off. But there will always be that little part of him that wonders. It will gnaw at him in a way that guilt (of which he has no capacity to feel) will. Besides, if you unleash, he’ll unleash, and you’ll escalate to nuclear levels. Do you really want to devote your precious life and thoughts to that? Aren’t you worth far more than that, far more than to give him any real estate in your newly wonderful EX-less life?

    As others have stated, I’m not a big believer in karma, either. I wont’ hang my hat on waiting for karma to come in and even things out. Nothing that happens to him can make me feel better about being deceived. I believe a lot more in life reflecting what you live. On both sides.

    My cheater sent a text to me the day after Thanksgiving to tell me his brother had died of cancer and how badly he misses me. I briefly considered responding with my genuine condolences, but decided that any contact was just an invitation for him to start a conversation, and I don’t want any conversation. Let him wonder if I give a shit. I don’t. I’m truly sorry his brother died (both of his brothers have died in the last several months), but I could care less that he doesn’t have anyone to lean on, that I’m not listening to his pain or helping him sort out the details of his brother’s affairs.

    It would be easy to call his brother’s death karma, but the truth is, the fallout that he earned by virtue of his cheating is not that his brothers have both died, it’s that he has to deal with it on his own.

    • This is so well written and on point that I’m copying and pasting it into my phone. Voice of reason. But I wonder why some people don’t put much stock in karma? For me, it’s the only hope I’ve got left 🙁
      Don’t take that hope away from me.

      • heartbroken,

        If I allow myself to believe in karma, it’s only to the extent that I firmly believe that I have the power within me to create some of the good karma I deserve. Really, it’s still not karma, it’s fruit of what I do.

        I create ‘good fruit’ every day. I work hard so I can create my own success. I love my kids and teach them how to be good men. I learn new things, I volunteer, I mentor, and more. I struggle like everyone here, but I try to stay focused on these things because focusing on the bad things doesn’t change them; it only makes me feel helpless and stupid and angry. Focusing on being the best person I can be and turning the bad things in life into something good, if even just a learning experience, is the thing that can actually help make my life better.

        Know what else happens when you do that? You get to “Meh” without even realizing it.

        Wait for Karma? Pffffftttt! Too damn passive! Get busy and make your good karma!

  • I am truly overwhelmed by this community. Some of your responses have brought me to tears, in a good way. 🙂

    I am so honoured to be in such good company, albeit sorry for the circumstances that brought us all here.

    Thank you.

  • Wow1 This thread has a ton of good advice and I feel like I am talked off the ledge. I am almost exactly 2 years past D day and on the holidays I always feel the urge to correct her family when they regurgitate the “it’s a shame it didn’t workout drivel” as I drop my kids off to visit. Somehow trivializing their daughters affairs to me is so insulting but reading here I know that you can’t avoid getting dirty if you start throwing mud. Even if it is true. So as I listen to trite comments at a doorway I will never enter, I will remember some of what I read…… I hope 🙂

  • I still have the photos of the OW that she sent my exH. In the Target ladies room. With a squash. (Seriously. A squash. She was no rookie with a banana). I actually printed ALL the photos she sent him off on 8×10 glossy paper. A whole stack. I put them in a manilla envelope and was going to mail them to her husband.

    THEN I thought I could mail them to the karate studio that their ENTIRE family went to.

    So EVERYONE would know what a twat she was.

    Mailing photos of the exH to anyone really wouldn’t have accomplished much. He’d be all like, “Did you see how great my ass looked in that one?”

    A good friend who had been hurt by the OW as well (a man she had cheated on her husband with before going after my husband) talked me out of it. He’d gotten far enough out from it to have the perspective we all lack in that right after phase. So I didn’t. Still have the envelope though. Funny thing is, I feel this sort of weird appreciation that she did come in and turn our life upside down and “steal” him. I have been so much happier without him. So in a weird way, I kind of appreciate that she wrecked our home. Kind of like a tornado ….but you end up getting all new and better furniture and a hot tub when the insurance pays out.

    I say keep it in your head. Fantasize about it, enjoy every glorious moment of how you imagine it would go, then let it go. Cause it wouldn’t really go like that. It would go just like CL said. While I agree with the mental real estate comment by CL, I think at a certain point some of us need these little side fantasies to work through some of the pain and hurt. (The key being that they are like a band-aid, not a cure all). Eventually, you no longer need the band-aid. But it’s okay and even soothing for just a little while. But don’t do it for real. Then you are just being a douche, too.

    My two cents since you have asked. I am coming up on several years out from mine and I can honestly say that I will have a crappy day now and then and think, “Still beats being married to that douche bag”. I should probably throw the photos away. But there’s still a little part of me that likes having them. Just so I can occasionally think of some horribly wretched thing to do with them. Like send them to his new wife. I never would but I am still fresh enough and still processing the hurt so I still need the occasional band-aid.

  • I was unable to read all the comments here and perhaps this has been addressed. I understand that seeking revenge is a bad thing, but in a way I have trouble telling people what happened sometimes because it feels like seeking revenge. Someone will ask about my STBX and I tell them she moved out…Next question: “what happened?”… My reply is usually something like “I took a more traditional approach to the number of people that should be in a marriage” or “she moved on to more shiny things”…Point is telling people what happened is a form of revenge, but I also cannot lie to them. Just a thought.

  • I hear ya, mine told me over the weekend he was bringing his OW to meet his “parents”, (to his mom’s b-day party) – 5 weeks after we had spent Xmas as a family at his mom & her husband’s place – and had wanted to introduce our 4yo to his OW that week too, (2 weeks into dating her) – I can be consumed by revenge fantasies so this is a timely post! BUT, I remember his own mom cheated on her previous husband (not H’s dad – he was never in picture) for FIVE years before she was caught, and he has lied to them all and said I kicked him out, so they truly do not give a shit if he has a porn addiction (which he does) or whatever.

    In fact his mom over Xmas told me her favorite new TV show is “American Sex” or some similarly named show all about the history of sex. Meanwhile she was telling me over dinner about her friend’s poor daughter who suffered through a porn-addicted husband and divorced him (of course! she said), and another family member who was suffering through his terrible over-30 son who lived in the house with his dad without paying rent or helping with chores or anything. Almost like she was egging me on.. since she was describing her own son!! (Who as of Jan 1 moved back into his family’s basement where he can live rent- and chore-free, letting 80yo grandparents do for him.)

    Yet, a mere two weeks later after he told his sob story about me kicking him out, and how “this time” at least we were moving on without it being a cause of his meeting up with hookers such as when I kicked him out a year previously, mother-in-law tells me “she’s sorry we couldn’t work it out..” but it was my fault for kicking him out. Then goes on to invite Dear OW over for a sleepover two weeks later. My therapist said, “some people do not want to let truth or reason take a place in their mind, it goes so against everything they WANT to believe.” And this describes his FOO. In fact, a year ago when confronted with the real reason I kicked him out that time (the hookers.. an ongoing problem), H’s own grandma – whose house he moved into – counseled ” all men do this, Can’t you just take him back?” I replied, “You see, I just really don’t want to get an STD.”

    I can’t believe I ever forgave him and tried to reconcile, but lesson learned, the family DOES NOT CARE. They know who he is! Dear grandma told me on Easter once many years ago ” You know, you can’t believe a word he says.” They know, but don’t really care. H’s ex-GF even told me his mom once told her “He will always find someone to take care of him. He doesn’t care who.” So, they are excited to welcome new GF into their homes for sleepovers in the basement, and B-day parties at his mom’s; grooming her to take over supporting him so they/I don’t have to anymore. Too bad she makes about .001% my income and lives with her mom too. Too bad for our son who now has a “special new friend” in his life. Too bad for OW, since H has been fired from every job for “insubordination.”

    But, the biggest thing that pisses H off? When he calls and I stupidly pick up the phone, he says first “Who are you WITH!!” (answer: our son) When I call so our son can say good morning (his request) and our son says “He is walking across the room over to me” and on speaker phone in bed w/GF, he says “WHO is there!!?” (answer: the cat, unlike you I am not bringing a new special friend for overnights two weeks after you asked for divorce while telling me it there was “no one else, I swear”.

    The midnight texts (every night he is not with GF, asking me about some stupid shit) shall go unanswered… no more picking up phone either; VM is just fine thx!

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