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Happy Thanksgiving!

funny-thanksgiving-e-cardHappy Thanksgiving, chumps! Sorry this is short today. I’m between turkeys. (Already cooked one last week, when family was here, and now cooking another one with friends).

For chumps outside the States, today is Thanksgiving, a holiday commemorating the Pilgrim’s first harvest in the new world. The Pilgrims survived the winter thanks to the Indians, who showed them how to farm crops here. And then the settlers repaid the Indians by decimating their race and herding everyone on to reservations for the next few hundred years.

But let’s not quibble. I’m sure after that first harvest the settlers said to the Indians, “Look, I love you, but I’m not in love with you.” It’s not that kind of brotherhood, Tonto. Succatash is great and all, but I don’t see wigwams in my future. I will always remember how you saved me from starvation by giving me your last bushel of corn… but you’re not the superior race. It’s nothing personal. I hope we can still be friends. You know, the kind of friendship where I trade you some shiny beads for Long Island.

(I can turn anything into an infidelity metaphor. This could be a party trick. At a really sucky party.)

Thanksgiving is usually celebrated by saying what we’re thankful for, so I’ll begin. I’m thankful for such a wonderful community of kick ass survivors. Every day I marvel at the wisdom, compassion, and humor of chumps on this site. Thanks for being here. And thanks for helping other folks who are further behind on the road to Meh. You guys rock.

Now I must leave you to go “baste the beasty” as my grandmother used to say. Happy Thanksgiving!

tday

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  • Today I am realizing how thankful I truly am that Richard the Brave removed his bloated, alcoholic, porn addicted, over-spending self from my life. His “everything” is welcome to him. Thanks to both of them for shining a bright spotlight on all the flaws I spackled over for years and forcing me to move forward to better things.
    I still hate his guts, so I am not quite at meh, but I get closer every day and discoveries of chargers to porn sites makes it all the easier.
    Happy Thanksgiving, Chump Nation. I lift my glass to all of us.

  • Thank you Chumplady!!! I’m thankful for you and everyone else on this site.

    I’m also thankful that this year I’m not coming home from my family thanksgiving without my husband because he was “sick” to an empty house while he was spending the day with his affair partner.

    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  • So grateful for you, Chumplady! I can’t even express what you, your site, and these brave, bright, caring Chumps mean to me. Seriously grateful. Wishing all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving! …Gobble til ya wobble.

  • Happy Thanksgiving to the whole chump community and CL from the UK.
    Learning to give thanks for what we still have is truly the key.
    Best wishes to you all!

  • I am unbelievably grateful for this site and this community. You all have made such a difference in my healing process. Thank you, Chump Lady and everyone.

  • CL:
    You are hilarious! I personally want to thank you and the other wonderful Chumps here for helping me find the humor through the most difficult peroid in my life.
    I am so thankful for the big change ahead in my life. Getting a divorce from a man I once loved but now am disgusted by. It can only get better from here!
    Thank you Chump Lady and the fellow gang of Chumps here! You have enlightened me, made me laugh out loud on some of my darkest days, and given me the strength I needed to kick his ass out to make a better life for me and my kids. I will be forever grateful to you!
    I wish all of you happiness today and a better future!
    Rebecca

  • I just put my kids to bed. We read to each other and then they started singing silly songs to me, based on my every utterance. We laughed far past bed time and I realised that my life is good, despite the challenges. I have these wonderful, happy moments with my kids, where we laugh deeply, gently mock one another and bicker in between. It’s all wrapped up in love for one another and it’s all ours. I’m incredibly grateful I put them at the centre of my life and did everything I could to protect them. And I’m grateful they forgive me when I fuck up.

    Happy Tday everyone. We’re coming up to the end of 2013. Let’s head into 2014 stronger and happier than ever. 🙂

    • Good job, Nord. Way to appreciate what is important in life. It will carry you far, knowing you are doing what is right, and really loving it, too. I feel the same way about the choices I’ve made since (and prior to, really) d-day.

      Doing the right thing pays in spades. It’s really unfortunate that cheaters don’t get it.

  • Happy Thanksgiving from Canada.

    Thank you CL and all the Chumps who, when on days that are especially difficult for me, make me feel that much better. You folks are really gift in my life. 🙂

  • Hi CL, your post made me laugh out loud today, I have been reading every day and all the comments and posts help me to heal a little more each day.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you all from me in the UK and thanks to you all for making each day a little better, I will get to meh soon, I can feel it coming.

  • Well I’m in Australia, but happy Thanksgiving to you all over there!

    CL, do you happen to have an ETA for your book yet…?

    • Happy Thanksgiving EffThatGuy! I’m originally from San Francisco, but my cheater brought me to Sydney 20 years ago to emotionally abuse me and cheat on me for tge whole of the marriage. Fun stuff!

  • Well my 2 cents that echoes I too am Thankful for finding this site, for the kick in the ass advice Traci gives and for all the love and support of my fellow chumps ((HUGS))

  • Thank you Chump Lady. I am slower than most but I find your wisdom and the manner in which you express it to make me laugh out loud more days than not. I think you have great insight into the cheaters, OW/OM and when you explain your thoughts and beliefs, it makes the most sense to me. I am a believer when ever I read your page. Thanks

  • I’m thankful for all the chumps here, and especially Chump Lady!

    I’m thankful for the 14 family and friends arriving at my apt in an hour or so for dinner. One is the new man I’ve been dating. I’m maintaining an attitude of cautious optimism, but so far, he seems great.

    As for my ex? He’s spending the holiday alone in the little pool house he’s renting from some gay guy. Apparently, none of his 5,000 “friends” on Facebook like him enough to invite him to dinner. I’m so thankful to be away from him.

    • HA! That 5000 friends on facebook comment made me guffaw. I am so thankful you are away from him too. I cannot unsee that leotard video.

      • Glad, your ex has provided so much entertainment for us with his nude leotard performances. So happy you are away from him and on your way to a better life!

    • Good for you Glad, you deserve every happiness….and I laughed aloud when I read your comment about the 5,000 facebook friends. My ex too had no family willing to spend the holiday with him, nor did he have any available AP’s, and so by default he will have spent Thanksgiving in a bar. I on the other hand had my 3 children, my fiance and his children, my siblings and their families, assorted grandparents, inlaws, and family of inlaws at our large and raucous gathering. I thank God every day for the beauty, vitality and strength of the people surrounding me. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • I am grateful that the Health Dept. (re: STD’s) elder Social services in his Mother’s home state, and detectives in my hometown have already come and gone/contacted me all in the last week and I have been able to say to them ALL that I have been NC for at least 6 months.
    And that is ALL Thanks to YOU CL, and the Chumpettes! I love you all and bless you on this day!

    XO

  • I still have residual damage from Thanksgiving. We used to have big Thanksgivings every year. My folks and his mom, my bro and his then wife. The last year of our marriage, XH had moved out to be with his AP, but I was still covering, hoping things would work out, so we had Fake Thanksgiving. Family all came into town. We had the usual great time. My brother was introducing his soon to be wife. We had a big dinner. As soon as everybody left, XH left too, leaving me alone to go be with his AP. That was a few years ago, and I am ashamed to say, I have not been able to do Thanksgiving since. I have offended friends and family who have invited me. The first couple of years, I went, but I was not myself and just could not feel comfortable. Now, I spend Thanksgiving by myself with my pets. Sometimes I do cook Thanksgiving food. This year, I did not. I find myself kind of hungry and sitting on my patio knowing there is a lot of food all around me. I dont know. Someday, I hope I am myself again. But, I did not have a bad day! Took my dog for a long walk. I am reading a really good book. I enjoyed myself. But I grieve the person I used to be.
    Happy Thanksgiving, fellow Chumps. I really appreciate you all and wish you all the recovery I want for myself.
    Violet

    • Violet, I’m thinking of you today. I know I had a last Fake Christmas and it took me several times of opening the boxes this year, then having sad memories surface, putting the lids back on the boxes, then reopening them until I was finally able to deal with decorating my tree alone this year. It turned out okay, better than I thought it would. Our lives are different but they can be good again. Hang in there!

        • Hi Violet

          I understand. Last year on my birthday my STBX and I were separated but working on reconciling. On my birthday I was sad but he came over for supper with a nice gift. I thought it was a good sign. Turns out he went the next night to be with his AP. I didn’t know he was having an affair during the separation and that the affair had been going on for over a year. To make matters worse he brought her to our home where they had unprotected sex. (I had left town to visit family).

          I can hardly bring myself to celebrate my birthday and it’s coming up very soon. I too hope to reclaim that day. It’s not easy.

    • I am sorry, Violet! That’s awful!

      I at first thought xH had stolen my good memories from me–I was going to allow him to do it. Hawaii and Yosemite, to name two. These places were special to our family, and then he made them special with OW, much to my despair and disgust. He’d ruined those places–stolen them from me.

      Well, then I decided he couldn’t have them. Oh, he can have Ho-waii and Ho-semite, but the good times we had, I’m keeping. He doesn’t own any place.

      Our last Christmas, I realize in retrospect, was spent by me making it a family occasion, as usual, and by him, no doubt, texting and otherwise communicating with the love/biggest mistake of his life.

      I ain’t giving him freaking Christmas. No effing way.

      I do hope you’ll find it in your soul to have a do-over. You loved Thanksgiving. Don’t let him steal it from you. Celebrate it the way you love. You know, it may turn out that you actually do love spending it with your pets. In any case, you shouldn’t feel ashamed. We all cope in our way.

      xH got the kids this Thanksgiving. So I went to work. People kept asking me, “Why would you come to work on a holiday?” Easy for me–because I don’t like celebrating holidays without my kids, if they are with the coward. Honestly, holidays at work are festive and laid-back, and that’s where I’d rather be. I might work next Christmas, too. We shall see. I’m not ashamed or even embarrassed. You shouldn’t be, either.

      BIG HUGS!! I hope you can get to where you are comfortable with Thanksgiving. Sometimes recovery takes a little while. That’s ok.

        • (((Hugs))) Violet…and I think Stephanie’s advice is sound– don’t let him have the Holidays too! Make them special for yourself in a new way if you have to. You will get there when you are ready.

    • Violet: My sister is divorced. I remember her first Thanksgiving apart. She was separated she and the children living in a very nice condo. Every year she had hosted a huge Thanksgiving dinner for his family anywhere from 15-24 people and for some reason was planning to do this again. Finally her sister -in -law had the heart to tell her that family was planning something else and her children were invited. Heart broken she called me and traveled to my house and we had very low key dinner ( just my H , my sister and I). Since then we have made the effort to see each other on this holiday, since my H works most holidays we have started the tradition of meeting for dinner and a movie this year was the 5th time we did this. The holiday season is awful cause it is filled with so many memories try and make new traditions and get out with people. Volunteer to do something. Have a friend or two over for dinner or go out even if it is just to a diner. Try not to be alone.

      • Violet,
        It feels like the holidays often accent our feelings of being alone. The first several years will suck, but please have faith that your life will fill up again! You are not alone, we are here and are rooting for you! This time you’ll be wiser and fill your life with genuine loyal and wonderful friends who have substance! Just imagine how much better life will be! ((( hugs))) you’ll get there!

    • My cheater took xmas and other holidays away from me over the years.

      So while the holidays are hard, at least now I have the chance to celebrate them again.

      The cheater will be spending the holidays in Thailand paying hookers to shine his knob. Hope he has fun with that and catches some great STDs!

  • “I’ve seen the holiday lights of Paris,
    I’ve seen the holiday lights of Rome.
    But the prettiest holiday lights I’ve ever seen;
    are the tail lights of my cheater leaving home…”

    Gobble gobble Chumpster, same to you chumplings. I feel your vibe always…

  • Happy Thanksgiving CL!

    Thank you for this site. It has helped me so much.

    I’m very grateful for everyone who shares their story and their compassion and wisdom.

  • Thankful for you, CL. You rescued me from the depths of sadness and despair, just by validating my feelings of hurt and anger and chumpiness, all rolled into one. I love the wisdom, but mostly, I love how it is wrapped in humor, profanity and honesty.

    Another holiday without feeling like a loser for being married to one. Yay for us!

      • Oh YES! Living without feeling like I’m always “doing it wrong” is wonderful, indeed. Holidays might make it back on my “fun” list before long.

        • Or always wondering what we can “fix” about ourselves so our cheater would love us. Ugh. I shudder when I think of the love calisthenics I had to go through to gain the love of someone who I don’t even like today. The view when one gets away from the cheater is so different when one is entangled in the mess.

  • Thank you CL and all my fellow chumps for sharing your stories and advice. It’s so enlightening to know I’m not alone in navigating the process of creating a cheater-free life. Something on this site makes me laugh every day. What a gift! Laughter truly is the best medicine. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  • Happy Thanksgiving to all who post and read on this wonderful site. The generosity and care offered is truly beautiful.

    Thank you, dear Tracy, for shepherding us all through this valley of crap (sorry – not very poetic but apt non-the-less). You have shortened much suffering.

    And remember everyone, next Thanksgiving we will all be another year past the pain. THAT is something to be grateful for!

    • I love your use of the word “shepherding” because I think that very aptly describes Tracy, and I wouldn’t have thought of saying it like that.

      • And I would like to add that your comment that Tracy has “shortened the suffering” is so very true! Thank you Tracy and thank you fellow chumps!

  • Having a hard Thanksgiving so decided to read Chumplady for inspiration. It’s been two years since discovery and I still rocket up and down emotionally. I feel like I was broken into pieces and poorly patched together. There have been periods of a week or a few days when I think I’ve finally reached the other side and I’ll be okay, but then a few days later I am sobbing on the bathroom floor. I work 12 hours a day because when I work, I don’t feel lonely. I work really hard at getting better, but I feel I might be permanently broken. I’m lonely but the thought of being with someone almost makes me sick to my stomach. I’d never meet anyone anyway–all I do is work and go home. I tried online dating but was too embarrassed to put my picture up. One man liked my profile and asked me to send a picture. When I did, he wrote back and said there wasn’t any chemistry for him and was sorry for getting my hopes up and had learned his lesson about contacting someone without a picture. At the time I was feeling great and laughed about his jerky, arrogant reply. My biggest fear has to be all alone in this world and here I am. When it gets down to it, I have only myself to rely on. I should make myself be fun to be around.

    • nwrain, no, you are not permanently broken. That sounds like what your cheater would have made you believe. Are you the same? Absolutely not. But you’re not broken – you’ve been refined and you are still in the process of going home to yourself. You will get there. And you will like what you see. Please practice extreme self- care. As for that jerk on the online dating site? You dodged a bullet. In my case, I have decided that I will only be in relationships (romantic or otherwise) that honor me and enhance my life. You are not alone – you have you. That may sound New Agey but it’s the truth. I, too, was terrified of being alone and now, I really love and enjoy being alone. Hugs. We are here for you.

      • Uniquelyme,
        Thank you so much for your kind and hopeful words. It helps to know that people have made it through. On better days, I feel comfort realizing I have myself, but other days it’s devastating. I keep a brave face with friends and save it up for my therapist. Who wants to hear that you’re not better after two years? Even my sister, who I have nurtured for years through her tough times, can’t seem to remember the one thing I’ve asked of her–to text me on weekend mornings so I’ll get in the shower. I have reread your message several times. The kindness of strangers with congruent wounds seem to be the best support.
        With much appreciation,
        nwrain

    • nwrain,

      ” At the time I was feeling great and laughed about his jerky, arrogant reply. ”

      That’s what you need to remember! I feel I will end up alone too…but I don’t feel sad about it at all anymore! In the beginning it was just because I was “used” to him here even though he was lying, cheating, horribly gaslighting and abusing me.

      Now I have a NEW normal and am pretty surprised when I get those feeling great times. And I make a point to recognize them, as you should too. We are all here for you as you are for us…XO

      • Dear Toni,
        Such good advice to take time to recognize and savor the times I feel buoyant. When they happen, I naively believe I’m cured and won’t feel that gut wrenching terror. New plan: slow down and treasure those days, hours, moments when I feel strong and healed to help me remember that I can feel that way when the roller coaster heads downhill.
        Your kindness means very much to me,
        nwrain

        • NWRain, it’s what we all need to remember. Time. These things take time, and there is no magic bullet that is going to speed up the process (although the concept of bullets at times, and things that might harm my cheater, have been welcome fantasies)!

          Anyway, as a friend said to me, “How long were you in the marriage? 20 years? Don’t you think it’s likely that it will take more than 2 or 3 months to get over it? “(That’s how long it was at the time for me).

          What I’m finding is longer stretches of peace and calm, and shorter stretches of crying. Where I used to break out in tears many times a day, now I can cry for less than a minute in the mornings, and be done with it.

          Some days… More and more every week, I get through whole days without shedding a tear. And that seems to be the process.

          I also know that on days when I look back and try to analyze, those days get me into more trouble emotionally, and I try to remember that the past doesn’t matter, and I’m better off to just stop.

          I stop. And I’m stronger.

          Hang in there!

    • NWRain, I understand some can meet decent people on those dating sites, but I don’t know how. I tried them for 2 weeks and ran away screaming (and taking down my profile as fast as I could). Instead, get out and do other things, connect with old friends, do activities at church, etc. Whether you meet someone to date or not, it will lead to renewed or new friendships and a happier you. For me, my current fiancé came when I gave up thinking I would ever date again and had sworn off the dating sites.

      • Dear Kelly,
        People on this site are so kind. It means a great deal to me that you would take the time to write a reply and offer helpful advice.
        With sincere thanks,
        nwrain

      • Kelly, I agree. I am 45, and I really believe that most middle aged people on dating sites are a bit broken… Myself included.

        I got onto the dating sites just to test my radar after the cheater.

        There have been plenty of guys I’ve run screaming from… More of those than anything else, and when it was all new and I was still in shock from what my cheater did, all it did was serve to make me feel more hopeless.

        However, I have met a couple guys now, a bit later down the track. They have both been chumps.

        One has become a quick friend. No more, no less. He understands things are still raw for me, because he’s been there. He hopes to have a relationship with me some day. At the moment I don’t share his feelings, and he knows that.so for now we are friends and he is good company.

        So my advice would be that if you try dating sites, and it actually makes you feel worse, then don’t do it. Give it some time.

        Just remember it when you are feeling stronger… You may want to give it a chance again someday.

  • A million thanks, Tracy and my fellow chumps, for a wonderful website with incredible support. I have reclaimed my life because of all of you.

  • I’m thankful for my two boys, my family, and friends. I’m thankful I get the chance to start over and actually really be happy. This frog got a chance to hop out of the pot before it reached boiling! I’m thankful my eyes got opened as to who my ex really is… Thanks to his own dumbass behavior but mostly because of CL. I’m thankful I discovered this site… I floundered through the first 8 or so months after d-day and I am proud of what I managed on my own but discovering CL and reading everyone’s stories continued to reassure me that I had chosen the right path and guided me further along it. So many questions I had about the different aspects of moving on have gotten addressed along the way.

    I am thankful that because of this site it has been so repeatedly drilled inside my head that the infidelity wasn’t my fault that I really, truly believe that it wasn’t. I refuse to let this, or him, mess any further with my self esteem. In fact, my self esteem is higher than before because I did make the decision that I deserve better than my ex. I finally chose me. I’ve gone out and accomplished a lot for myself and my kids since then and I look forward to doing even more.

    But I’m also thankful that when I sometimes get overwhelmed by all that I do have to do on my own that I have that circle of family, friends and fellow chumps who are there for me to offer support.

    So many people out there don’t get it so it is nice to have a place to go to that does.

    Thanks!!

  • Happy Thanksgiving or Thursday fellow chumps. Today I gave thanks that despite the delays on my kitchen reno, I am so grateful I could afford to do it, please make it done soon! But, the fact I have no kitchen means I haven’t eaten a decent meal in 3 weeks so I used a 40 year old electric corning wear electric skillet thingee to make my Noni’s chicken because i haven’t had any good cooking in nearly 4 weeks and it’s Thanksgiving, I have to have something tasty. I couldn’t go to my friends house because contractors but damit I finally accidentally figured out how Noni (italian grandma) made her chicken/potato/garlic/onion thing so brown and crispy and gooey. I did it by accident because I had no kitchen and used that electric thingee. Shit works out, from adversity we learn resilience and new ways to laugh and have a life. Today I turned being alone with no kitchen into an adventure in cooking. Weirdly it made me feel great. Now back to enjoy my fire and read a book 🙂

  • Thank you Tracy, and all the wonderful chumps who post here and who have made my long slow journey back to myself possible. Every time I read a post I learn something new about myself and my relationships, and slowly, slowly, I am changing my expectations and reactions/actions for the better. Most importantly I have learned that I am not alone, ever, even when I feel my worst and think it will never end. I can come here and read stories just like mine, and always find words of wisdom, support and humor from people who know exactly what I am experiencing and how to get through it.

    It is nice to finally start believing, if only for a little while, that the light at the end of the tunnel is not necessarily a speeding train.

  • The day after… had a nice day w the H and our 2 boys. Ran the town 5k race, cooked, drank wine, watched silly shows in front of the fire. In short, we played happy family. I tried not to be bothered by his cell phone. Ive come to hate that phone, his connection to his private life. I actually was feeling close to him. He tried to be intimate this morning and I asked if he was ready to stop skrewing around and be a good husband. I calmly said I needed to know it was just him and me, otherwise it just hurt to much. He was quiet for a while then sd it’s ok if I don’t want to have sex w him, but I snuggle up to him and then shut him down and I’ve never understood how damaging that is. He showered, dressed up, banged around in the kitchen and drove off. The boys are still sleeping. We have H’s grown daughter coming for thanksgiving 2.0 today. I am proud that I am finally speaking up for myself and saddened that my heart isn’t worth more than an orgasm to him. I guess AP will help him w that shortly. As the ever hopeful one, I still wonder if maybe he was trying and I am just pushing him away? Maybe it’s unrealistic, but I want the whole package. I don’t want to share my H w another woman.

    • “Maybe it’s unrealistic, but I want the whole package. I don’t want to share my H w another woman.”

      Breathe, it’s not unrealistic at all. It’s called a “committed relationship,” and it’s what we all thought we were getting when we promised to “forsake all others” during the marriage ceremony. That our cheaters decided those vows were optional is why we’re all here, trying to work through the betrayal.

      “As the ever hopeful one, I still wonder if maybe he was trying and I am just pushing him away?”

      All he’s TRYING to do is eat cake:

      1. Cell phone – connection to his “private” life. YOU and your children SHOULD BE his private life. The only reason it should ring on Thanksgiving is for calls from friends and family wishing you a happy day.

      2. He tried to be intimate; you said you needed to know it was just you and him. He didn’t even bother to try and lie to you – he just decided to forfeit sex instead.

      3. He got up and left this morning. Where was a going? A Black Friday sale? Doubt it.

      Breathe, I understand holding on to hope, I really do. I wanted to save my marriage SO MUCH, I did the “pick me” dance for 2.5 years. All it got me was low self esteem and a divorce. Had I had ChumpLady back then, I might have gathered the courage to follow my first impulse and leave when I discovered the affair, instead of following the torturous advice of the “become a doormat” relationship gurus. The longer I stuck around, the less respect we both had for me.

      Stop living in limbo, Breathe. You deserve better. If he won’t choose, choose FOR him. Throw him out. He’ll only eat cake as long as you let him. I encourage you to cut him off.

      Yes, it’s hard. But not nearly as painful as being forced to endure “private” phone calls and unexplained absences. When you don’t have to see it, you can begin to heal. Until then, you’re stuck in the “pick me” cycle. It’s a horrible place to be.

      • I can so relate to this! Some cheaters will still try and put moves on you, and act like they love you, while keeping OW standing by. Incredibly confusing to us Chumps. I finally had had enough, but it took a long, long time.
        I absolutely love the idea of freeing yourself from these users, and getting away, and then see if they do the hard work of earning a place in your life again! How much do they want you? Time will tell.

    • Oh, Breathe, your post hurt my heart. I remember so well what it was like to still be hoping, still be trying, still be hurting so bad. The sick feeling inside when you see that phone…… my ex was constantly on his phone, texting the OW.

      Your husband is certainly NOT trying. He’s just taking advantage of easy cake while still having his OW. You should never have to share your husband with anyone. That’s the whole point of HAVING a husband. He does not deserve you or your family. I hope very soon he will be your STBX husband, and then finally your ex. There is really no other way to end the pain.

  • ” As the ever hopeful one, I still wonder if maybe he was trying and I am just pushing him away? Maybe it’s unrealistic, but I want the whole package. I don’t want to share my H w another woman” He can’t be trying if he can’t/won’t give OW up. Or, trying very
    hard. He’s doing the minimum and hoping that you will accept it. He tried so hard that he just drove off to see her.

    • Thank you. I lose sense of what is reasonable. I think H is pissed off that I am now making demands. I want too much from him. It’s been too long. Where are you when trust and fidelity are too much to ask?. H wants to live in the same house, coparent, have sex, act like a family in the community. But just not have any expectations of each other. What?

      • His respect for you is so low he actually blamed you for hurting him by refusing sex because he’s still fucking someone else. When you require trust and fidelity and it’s too much to ask? It’s time to divorce.

      • Sweet Breathe – You cannot push him away because he is already gone.

        Storming away from your loving arms and your warm bed, in an entitled huff, to be with his slunt? It is YOUR right, as his wife, to expect that he doesn’t act like a selfish prick.

        I had a Christmas morning that mirrored that exactly. The memory still makes me want to vomit.

        Go for a run and chant that today is the day you begin to focus on yourself. Pull back your power. Embrace resolve. Visualize the stream of energy that you channel to him flowing back to you.

        Be brave and feel the power of those IRL and those on this site who support you.

      • Breathe, you just gave a great definition of cake. Sounds like a pretty sweet setup – for someone who is missing a large chunk of his soul. Please keep reading your Chump Lady every day. You deserve so much more.

        (((hugs)))

      • breathe – step back, please. You deserve to be honored, respected and loved. Your H is not doing that at all. I know exactly what you are going through and it seems the alternative of leaving is worst. It isn’t. It will appear so in the beginning but you are heading to a better life. Staying will just destroy you. I know. I stayed for 23 years. We were a “perfect” family on the outside. People envied our outside while I was slowly dying on the inside, living with a dull ache in my heart. I didn’t know how awful it was until I got out. I could breathe now – breathe in joy, love, honor, respect – and most of those come from myself. Strength to you, breathe, to know that you are worth a lot more than what your H gives you.

      • It’s classic cake-eating. He wants all the benefits of marriage but also wants to be able to get his piece on the side. They don’t want the world to know they are a cheater… they want the appearance of the perfect marriage, don’t want to split up the money, want easy access to the kids, want you to take care of all the chores and mundane daily tasks of life. I will say he probably does love you as much as he is capable. The problem is these guys aren’t capable of the love that we deserve. He will always love himself much, much more. These cheaters always think the grass is greener and they need/want/deserve more than what they’ve got. I don’t think they can ever really be happy because they never think they have enough even when they have so much. And because they aren’t happy and they make us unhappy as well. Only we don’t even know it. We just go on trying to please them all the time. And it never works. And yet we keep trying.

        Also, he tried to blame you/justify his cheating by saying that shit about how you cuddle with him and then shut him down. And that just pisses me off. It is never our fault… they are the selfish ones with ridiculous expectations about life and marriage. Blaming us is just how they justify their shitty behavior and we don’t have to accept it!

        I’m not saying we were perfect in our marriages. But nothing we did or didn’t do justifies cheating!

        • AnotherErica… You have just summed that up SO well, I am going to print it out and paste it to my wall! Maybe I’ll paste it where he can see it, not that it will have any impact, but if I have to live in the same house till settlement, I may as well make him as uncomfortable as possible!

      • “I think H is pissed off that I am now making demands. I want too much from him.”

        Yes and yes.

        You want respect and fidelity, and he wants a family AND a girlfriend. You’re at cross purposes – with him trying to force HIS agenda.

        If that doesn’t work for you, it’s time to part ways. And no, I don’t say that lightly. I value marriage. A cheater? Not so much.

        His needs are NOT more important than yours. If he won’t get rid of OW, then it’s time to get rid of HIM.

      • breathe, don’t forget that what’s actually happening is that he doesn’t want YOU to have any expectations of HIM. He still has plenty of expectations of you! You should maintain this facade of house, parenting, sex, family. This is CLASSIC ‘have your cake and eat it too’. He’s even willing to give up sex w/you – and why not? He’s got plenty elsewhere. (How do you like the image that puts into your mind?????) But he wants to keep all the rest. YOU are the only one who can make it clear that he can’t have all the good stuff of your marriage, if he isn’t willing to make you and the marriage and the family his highest priority.

        Sorry you’re in such a tough spot.

  • B,

    Doesn’t sound like marriage to me. Sounds like he’s getting away with murdering your soul. Don’t let that happen. Talk to a close friend or a therapist and get some legal advice.

    I understand you want to save the relationship but seriously he could be lining up a whole new life while you wait around in hope. Also I’d suggest you don’t have sex because who knows where he’s been. Take care of yourself. Be brave. You have every right to want a committed marriage. When you are married, you don’t date other people. It’s that simple.

    This isn’t your fault. Step back and start to see him for who he is. Unfortunately he seems like he doesn’t value your marriage and sadly, you. You deserve someone who does.

  • The thing I’m most grateful for this Thanksgiving is the total lack of drama. It’s taken a few years – XH moved out in fall 2010 – but things are finally getting back to “normal.”

    In fact, as the kids and I were sitting around the dining room table eating dinner last night, laughing and enjoying each other’s company, it reminded me very much of the Thanksgivings I had as a kid. Family, fun, and food.

    I was thinking about that when D16 said, “I really like it when it’s just us.”

    “Me, too,” said D14. “It’s stressful when others are around.”

    I had to laugh. XH ALWAYS insisted on including others. If we weren’t hosting, we were going somewhere. He had trouble with “just us” on the holidays, particularly towards the end. Spending time alone with his family was apparently quite a chore – which was a far cry from how things started out.

    He had Thanksgiving with my FOO once before we got married, in 1984. His dysfunctional FOO was scattered about (both of his parents were spending the holiday with their respective APs), so I invited him over. Since he’d been a restaurant cook, my mother put him in charge of the mashed potatoes. He whipped them with the skins on and my grandmother had a fit. “You can’t make them that way!” she hollered. XH flashed her his movie star smile and said, “But all the nutrients are in the skins. It also gives them a really good flavor.” He grabbed a spoon and gave her a sample. She loved them. We’ve been making them that way ever since.

    He told me later that that Thanksgiving was the first time he ever felt like he was part of a “real” family. No drama, no hollering, no blaming – just lots of love and laughs. We started looking at engagement rings shortly thereafter. He told me he was, “Tired of being on the outside, looking in at happy families.” He wanted to be a part of one. With me.

    Which he was – until we actually started having a family, that is. He had me to himself for a dozen years, but things started to fall apart when he had to share me with his children. It’s so obvious, looking back. I’ve been a single parent for 16 years. But I’ve only been divorced for 2…

    XH, however, is right back to where he was 30 years ago: on the outside, looking in.

    He apparently spend Thanksgiving with a colleague and his family. S11 told me XH bragged that he got three invitations, and he took the “best” one. I had to laugh. So being a third wheel at some OTHER family’s Thanksgiving was his “best” offer?

    Because I happen to think that sitting at a table with the happy family he walked away from was pretty awesome. Lots of love and laughter. Very c. 1984 for me.

    CL’s right: all it takes is one sane parent. Thank God one of us knows what a functional family looks like…

    • Red, it really strikes me how often having kids is a huge huge problem for these narcissists. As long as we could give them all our time, attention and kibbles, they were pretty OK. My ex made it so unpleasant for both the kids and me if I expected him to do his share of the childcare, then became so resentful of my time the kids ‘took away’ from him, and of the closer relationship I had w/the kids. BLERGH!

      I have a good friend who’s married to somebody I can clearly see is a narcissist. They’ve never had kids, and she managed to coddle, spoil and support him for 15 years, doing so much for him both in his personal life and his professional one. But 2 years ago her father died suddenly and she became depressed. He not only SO wasn’t there for her, he became highly resentful and withdrawn because she wasn’t providing what she always had to him. Now he’s having an EA on-line w/a former student who had moved abroad ….

      Man, they suck!!

      • KarenE – I agree. My father was such an awesome dad, and he and XH shared similar traits, so I just assumed XH would be an awesome dad, too. In the beginning, he was – for about 4 years. Then the novelty wore off and overnight the kids became too noisy, too messy, too demanding, etc.

        I can TOTALLY relate to the childcare resentment issue. I did 95% of the parenting, and XH’d get put out when I asked him to pick up the 5%.

        My grandmother died when S11 was 3. The funeral was cross country and I’d be gone for 4 days. XH insisted that I take then-S3 with me because he couldn’t “deal” with a toddler – having to manage the older two by himself was imposition enough. But toddlers and funerals don’t mix, so I traveled 1500 miles to stand outside during the funeral because S3 wouldn’t sit still, and anyone who might have babysat him was either at work or at the funeral. XH’s grandfather died when D16 was 2; guess who stood outside because she couldn’t sit still? Not him…

        After all these years, I honestly don’t know what I’d do with a man who put MY needs first. Crazy!

  • The betrayal isn’t the boink. The betrayal is the sharing of confidences and intimacy that should be shared with you. I could have handled it had my then-H had a quick drunken roll in the hay with a floozy he met at a bar or a conference. A one night stand. In my mind, he would have felt eternal remorse and that would have been the end of it. Instead, he had multiple EAs at his jobs and probably outside of them, as well as PAs. But according to him, he never fucked one of these women until he told me he wanted out – five years (that I can account for) after he started whoring around.

    During my D when I thought there was only the one whore, he told me that he had had lunch with a co-worker at his previous job. He said they had lunch often and he found himself having loving feelings for her. When he got fired from the job (duh!) he was given 6 weeks severance. The job was 100 miles from my home. During those 6 weeks he drove the 100 miles to work, even though he had been fired, to give the appearance that he was still working to prospective employers (that’s the line he fed me). In fact, he was so addicted to his EA sweetie that he couldn’t stay away.

    While standing in a supermarket line one day the wife of his coworker from a previous position told me there was a sweetie at another job (he was fired from that one, too. Double duh!). He’d go to after hours work functions and act “inappropriately” with her. When confronted, he noted he wasn’t screwing her, just acting inappropriately so it really wasn’t an affair. More LOL.

    I think CL is right. Tell him and then watch him like a hawk. The one thing I learned during my road to freedom was to never listen to what they say, always watch what they do. When it comes to cheaters, mom was right – actions scream louder than words.

    Stay your course, do your planning. Take off those married-colored glasses and pull out the microscope. You’ll be amazed at the scum you find.

    Good luck to you.

  • I am still sore from my first Turkey Trot so I am a little late to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. It was my first T.Day without husband and it was the best day i have had in a long time. My two kids and I had a great day ! Don’t get me wrong we had some some bumps in the day ! But we made it over them. I am so thankful for CL and all the other Chumps that have given me the power to get over the bumps!

  • My two kids, now late teens and early 20’s just got back from my ex. husbands, along with my former mother-in-law. The affair partner is now his wife and she/they live in our former family home. It’s been 3 years now since d-day. It’s still hard. I used to do a lot of cooking and we usually had family visit. The new wife did not cook not one single THING the whole 4 days the kids were there. She also did not cook anything for the week my son and his gf were there over the summer. The new wife is not expected to clean either as they have a maid. She has no kids of her own and I doubt she ever will. She works a little pittily job. It kind of gets to me that I was expected to cook, clean, raise two kids with extra needs and work full-time and this lady just lives the life of Riley. It really digs that she lives in the house that I worked my whole life for. I know I am not the only one on here that must feel this way. My son gave me a little chuckle when he told me that my ex. who by the way has been out of work for nearly 3 months, rented a car while they were there and it was still not big enough to ferry them all around in. My son said my ex. was driving the rental to the airport with his my former mother-in-law and the new wife in it and my son was driving his Dad’s car with my daughter and her bf. My son said a state trooper pulled my ex. over and gave him a speeding ticket. I bet my former mother-in-law just about had to clean her drawers out! HAHA!! I’m sure that won’t be a cheap ticket! I’m wondering how the new wife likes him living off of her now? Oh, Karma! LOL!

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