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The Forgiveness Trolls

forgivenesstrollHey guys, today you get a twofer! Tomorrow is the Chump Lady blog birthday — two years old and teetering on 2 million views. (I think it’s going to be Sunday, but not sure.) It’s Easter weekend, so you get this long post with cartoons and I’m taking a little break. I’ll be back Monday to attack that stupid Yahoo news story on Ashley Madison. So stay tuned. Have a great weekend and see you back here Monday!

Today I got my dander up when some troll posted on the Translating Other Woman-ese thread. She was an artful troll though, the sort many of you probably encounter in your day-to-day life. The sort of person who notices your big, cracked open heart, peers in and sniffs, “Gee, you really should do something about that.” And then follows it up with observations that you’re grieving in all the Wrong Ways, offers sympathies, and adds that troll herself has never suffered such misfortune. Too bad yours is “self-inflicted.”

These people make me crazy. First of all, why on earth would you come on my board and tell chumps what to do if you yourself have never been chumped? I don’t get on boards for people whose children have died and tell them they’re grieving all wrong. Or really a better analogy would be children who were killed by a drunk driver (I didn’t intend to hurt you!) and remind them not to be angry, but focus on the future. Oh, and then link them to my book. What fucking gall!

forgivenesstrollbunnyThe problem with forgiveness trolls is they would just like everyone to bypass the unpleasantness. Which to me, cloaks a hidden agenda — unpleasant for WHOM? Trust me, this shit is a lot more unpleasant for the person going through it. I’m sorry chump pain is inconvenient and uncomfortable for you, troll. Anger is a stage of grief. Most chumps try very hard not slop their grief around in their real lives. They come on to anonymous boards like Chump Lady and spill their guts with people who get it. So really — I have to scare you forgiveness trolls off with a broom? You’re going to pester nice, anonymous chumps about their grief and “bitterness”?

God I can’t stand these people.

Here is your problem chumps — YOU’RE NOT ANGRY ENOUGH. I’m putting that in all angry shouty caps. If ANYTHING is “self-inflicted” it’s that you’re too damn nice. That you give people the benefit of the doubt. That you try harder. The problem with chumps in my opinion is they don’t get to anger fast enough. The whole purpose of my blog is to get more chumps to stand on a chair and shout “I’M PISSED AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE!”

Why? Because I like angry people? Because I’m just bitter that way?

NO! Because I want you to move forward out of this situation that is hurting you, and the best way to do that is to get pissed off and see it for the injustice that it is. I’m a fan of PRODUCTIVE anger. The sort that says “HOW DARE YOU!” and calls a lawyer. That anger is your friend.

I’m not a fan of unproductive anger. The kind that turns in on itself as depression. The kind that stays pissy and short-tempered and refuses to do anything to help itself forward. The anger that stays stuck in limbo and paralysis.

You know how you stay stuck in unproductive anger? You listen to forgiveness trolls. Those “well-meaning” idiots who tell you to get over it. Not be so upset. Stay friends. Don’t be so rash. Puts a chump into a perpetual loop of cognitive dissonance. “I’m pissed!/I don’t think I should feel this way.” “How dare she!/Maybe this is my fault.” “You hurt me/I brought this on myself.”

That shit keeps you stuck.

Righteous anger frees you, gives you the jolt of lucidity you need to see that you’re being played for a sucker.

Do I want you to stay angry? Yes I do until you trust that they suck and you don’t get lured back into an abusive relationship. Does that mean I want you lurching around like Frankenstein, setting fire to small villages, venting your rage? No. Please don’t harm innocents with your anger. But do remember it when you feel the chumpiness coming on.

Once you get to meh, you won’t need your pal anger so much any more. Why? Because with some time and distance you realize who this person truly is and that being around them sucks. Your life is so much better (after time and distance) and you begin to wonder why you ever fought so hard to keep that wing nut in your life. Bad dream! The anger percolates up time to time as you deal with the fallout of the cheater’s shit decisions (money, kids, in-laws). But on the whole, you know how to protect yourself and you don’t feel vulnerable to their manipulations any more.

You don’t get there without anger. If that makes some forgiveness troll call you bitter? FUCK ‘EM, chumps. FUCK ‘EM. They haven’t lived it. They don’t know. What you aspire to, is to be high above it, blissfully indifferent to what a shithead your cheater continues to be, because you’re too busy with being awesome.

I’m not done with my rant. Oh no, I’m putting the comment through the Universal Bullshit Translator.

I have been married 25 years and neither my husband or I have ever cheated.  I’ve been reading this because a friend is struggling with a cheating wife. Though I have never worn your shoes, I can imagine how I’d see red if my husband went off with another woman and lived a “fairytale” life, in a nice house etc.

But living in bitterness and anger never helps us feel good or whole. For a while, allowing ourselves to experience truly death-dealing anger probably feels both necessary and good. But after a time, it will eat away at us. For the spouse who has been cheated on, the most important thing you can do is focus on the future not the past.

You deserve more. You are better off without your ex. I imagine this is almost impossible to swallow. It seems like it would be important to do your best to let it go. To aim for forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t mean the ex is/ was right–but it allows you to move on and rebuild.

The other thing that is so cruel is how often the man cheats and b/c he is the earner, his life continues in the same vein whereas the woman suffers in terms of her lifestyle. This must seem like a daily slap in the face. The dependency on a man is so undermining. I’m a writer and until about ten years ago I barely made two pennies. Even so, I’m not sure I would have wanted his money if we’d gotten divorced. I would have needed it, but I would have hated relying on him. It’s hard to build up a sense of self worth and potential when you depend on the very person who rejected you.

Good luck everyone.

P.S. Oops just realized I am part of the “smug unknowing class.” In reality, I am someone who dealt with the amazing pain that is self-inflicted when you can’t find a way to forgive–or at least try to forgive– someone who has wronged you.

I have been married 25 years and neither my husband or I have ever cheated.  

So you have absolutely no experience with what we’ve gone through. Zero. Zippy. And you’d like us to know that you, unlike us poor unfortunates, have never suffered a divorce due to infidelity. Bully for you.

I’ve been reading this because a friend is struggling with a cheating wife. Though I have never worn your shoes, I can imagine how I’d see red if my husband went off with another woman and lived a “fairytale” life, in a nice house etc.

Yeah, I see red when someone cuts me off in traffic. I collapse in grief, puke for days, lose perilous amounts of weight, get STD tests, spend thousands of dollars on legal help and years in therapy when someone cheats on me.

But living in bitterness and anger never helps us feel good or whole.

And there we have it. We’re grieving wrong. Thanks very much Troll-Who-Has-Never-Been-Chumped. You played the “bitter” card. I feel very sorry for your chumped friend. Something tells me you haven’t resisted giving him this advice if you feel compelled to lecture perfect strangers with it.

For a while, allowing ourselves to experience truly death-dealing anger probably feels both necessary and good. But after a time, it will eat away at us.

And you know this how? Because??? Someone was once mean to you? Didn’t invite you to their birthday party? Snubbed you on the golf course? Gave you an ugly haircut? Have you suffered some soul-wrenching trauma that makes you an expert on “death-dealing anger”? It “probably” feels necessary and good? Probably meaning you’re guessing? You don’t know shit.

Look, troll. I wanted to carve my cheating ex-husband up with a fish knife. It didn’t feel “good” — the rage felt terrifying. Fortunately, I channeled those feelings into running the hell away from him. But let me just tell you, you have no fucking clue what you’re talking about. NONE.

For the spouse who has been cheated on, the most important thing you can do is focus on the future not the past.

No, understand the past before you focus on the future, so you don’t repeat the same damn dynamic in your next relationship. Realize you’ve been chumped, get angry, grieve, and THEN move forward. The most important thing you can do is HEAL. Moving “forward” is not the same thing as healing. You can “move forward” with fuck all for understanding. We call that “rug sweeping.”

You deserve more. You are better off without your ex.

Here we are in agreement.

I imagine this is almost impossible to swallow. It seems like it would be important to do your best to let it go.

You imagine. It seems important to let go. So in other words, you don’t know. This “seems” like the right thing to say. And you’re an expert because? You’re linking to your self-help book on my site about middle children? Hey, tell you what — I’ll keep my mouth shut about birth order and you keep your mouth shut about infidelity.

To aim for forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t mean the ex is/ was right–but it allows you to move on and rebuild.

Don’t presume to tell other people what to forgive or what forgiveness does and does not confer. Some people’s religious believes require that the sinner ask for atonement for their sins, to acknowledge the injury. Most of us never get that. Many of us move forward quite nicely without forgiveness. Others struggle with it. You have a lot of nerve to tell hurting, vulnerable people what they should do when you’ve never experienced this.

The other thing that is so cruel is how often the man cheats and b/c he is the earner, his life continues in the same vein whereas the woman suffers in terms of her lifestyle. This must seem like a daily slap in the face. The dependency on a man is so undermining. I’m a writer and until about ten years ago I barely made two pennies. Even so, I’m not sure I would have wanted his money if we’d gotten divorced. I would have needed it, but I would have hated relying on him. It’s hard to build up a sense of self worth and potential when you depend on the very person who rejected you.

So your husband supported you for 15 years while you barely made two pennies. How nice that you imagine the flinty independence of single mothers who wave off support out of a “sense of self worth.” God, those weak women who “rely” on men! May their children “rely” on support from their fathers, or does that undermine their self worth as well? Yes, it IS hard to depend on checks from the very person who rejected you. Ask my son how he knows.

Good luck everyone.

P.S. Oops just realized I am part of the “smug unknowing class.” In reality, I am someone who dealt with the amazing pain that is self-inflicted when you can’t find a way to forgive–or at least try to forgive– someone who has wronged you.

I know from self-inflicted pain, troll. I read your entire comment and responded to it. Stay smug! Stay unknowing! Bye!

Ask Chump Lady

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  • She seems to me to be very naive. One of those people who lives a comfortable middle-class life and tells people living below the poverty level, “you can do it, just get a job, I had a time when I had to work hard too because I was worried about bills but I got through it” then goes away feeling she’s done something good.

    Then when, surprise! it’s hard to suddenly not be poor, sighs, shakes her head, wonders when those silly little poor people will learn how to work like she does to get the life she lives, pities them, then drops off her kids at soccer club and goes to get her hair done.

    Full of sympathy, but completely lacking empathy.

      • Yes indeed! She reminds me of my childcare provider who was in cohorts with the OW by hiding the affair frim me–the OW being the president of a birth education organization I attended and then supportrd whose mission she the OW stated ON VIDEO was to “support new mothers and families” She did so by having an “emotional affair” with my monster husband for a year and a half in two states. This corrupt childcare provider, also a leader in this organization and her mother were upset because I went no contact with them. Upset because my child “would not have them as a sounding board to go to during this hard divorce” WTF. Middle class women, volunteers lady of leisure who have not a clue but really have to tell you what is best for you and your children, in my case that they helped fuck over. You can’t make this shit up.

        Chump lady, dearest Tracy. I love who you are. You are doing a great service for us chumps. You have my back in ways I need so much. Your responses give me a response that is true for me in a time when my pain keeps me a mess. You hold out my humanity. I bless you with all the goodness in the world. You are doing the right thing. You are helping me find my voice. Your responses help me respond in ways I could not without your clear headed no nonsense thoughtful and kick ass writing. I will always be grateful.

    • I’m going to go out on a limb with the “middle child” thing and assume she’s projecting some failed coping mechanism from her childhood onto everybody else.

      Usually when people are very far off-base and apparently feel strongly enough to lecture you about something, if you pause and think for a minute, you realize what they are saying isn’t really about you; it’s about them.

      • That’s a great point, TimeHeals. The middle-child thing. I’m a middle child, with the classic desire to play the diplomacy role in my FOO and try to keep everybody happy, get people to compromise, negotiate and all that, and make all the uncomfortable feelings go away. And if I’m honest, a big part of what I’m trying to alleviate is my own discomfort over their tension.

        I think Chump Lady nailed it when she called the Troll out about trying to get her chumped male friend to get over it for her own benefit, not his.

        • Agree with both TH and RS. Middle child here, too, with the same dynamics and the same efforts to get comfortable with discomfort. This has fuck-all to do with being chumped, though. I really don’t get why people actually go on boards that have nothing to do with them and start shooting off their mouths. One of my best friends has been dealing with MS for years, and although it’s heartbreaking to watch her go through what she has to go through, I support her IRL according to HER experience. I can’t even imagine seeking out an online MS support group and presuming to offer advice. What did Wittgenstein say? “Whereof one does not know, thereof one must not speak.” These are words to live by.

        • Middle child here too and it does enter into my tendency to at least try to appear to give benefit of doubt, negotiator, etc. even when the person doesn’t have anything to stand on with their points. I was same way with the small contacts I had with OW. As with the troll, with ire raised and not knowing much about the person except their inane comments, I find myself approaching with calm and trying to instruct thinking something will sink in if presented in a way that this person can see that they are off base completely but not being trashed. Right CL, too much mindfuckery. It isn’t worth the time and the troll and the OW in my case were obviously smug, even malevolent. There is no point in letting them have a platform to say anything. All ties in with the book now reading from the list, Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist. One is not going to change them.

    • I don’t think she is naïve, I think she is just ignorant and know it all. How could she give advice on something if she never experienced it first hand? I too had to deal with morons who told me that I should just forgive and move on, not for him but for myself. Here is the news flash, I moved on but I am still pissed off and he can kiss my ass and the rest who threw the “bitter card” at me!

      • Thats right sister…what do people expect…being bitter is a perfectly normal reaction to the unfathomable abuse inflicted on chumps by the scumbag cheaters, liars and pieces of shit we were deceived by…my bitterness has helped me become self protective !!! Bitter and prod of it !!!

  • I pretty much talked about anger issues in the earlier post “Dear Chump Lady, I wish I’d filed” and you are so right; expressing anger is extremely hard for chumps; “People can’t we all just get along?” As my h and I are in this weird inbetween stage ( I won’t call it reconciliation) after the OW dumped him tonight I was telling him something that had happened to me today and as usuakl he interuppted me right in the middle of my story. Then had the nerve to ask me why did I look bored while he went on and on I was fuming inside and told him so. “So what is your problem why are you such a b–ch” Because I am still mad at you but you just don’t get it and I can’t tell you!

    • “I was telling him something that had happened to me today and as usual he interrupted me right in the middle of my story. Then had the nerve to ask me why did I look bored while he went on and on I was fuming inside and told him so. ‘So what is your problem why are you such a b–ch.'”

      I know this story. If it’s not about HIM, he gets bored and changes the subject to him. But if YOU get bored talking about HIM, then there must be something wrong with you. Because clearly, there’s no more interesting subject than HIM…

      I stopped taking my XH to parent-teachers conferences long before the divorce, because when the teacher would go on and on about how smart and brilliant the kids were, XH would always infer it was because HE’D sired them, and he was a college professor with a PhD, so how could they NOT be smart? If there were kudos going around, HE had to have them ALL – forget the kids. It was infuriating.

      Janet, PLEASE do as CL and Daddumwuf suggest – GET MAD. Get so mad at this guy that he fears for his home and appreciates that you’re still around. Because, clearly, he doesn’t. The only remorse he’s showing is that OW dumped him. Why don’t you dump him, too? Take away his safety net and see what that does. He calls you a b–ch for getting bored when he speaks? Just imagine how testy he’ll get when you kick him out, change the locks, and call a lawyer. Show him what a real b–ch looks like – and how you play with fire when you cross one.

      Just a thought…

  • As much as, years later, I have come to accept what happened to me, forgiveness is not something I can even consider. Don’t know why, probably all the lies and hurt. There are some things that are unforgivable. There just are. Does that mean I sit around and “plot revenge?” No, but fuck them.

    • Yes Louise. Yes! Forgiveness is not something I can ever consider, but I can’t sit and wait anymore until I start feeling better. Something has to give and I guess its gonna have to be me, again.

      • Nat1, I really do try to live my life without constantly thinking about what happened to me. This site has helped more than anything because it has allowed me to voice how I feel without judgement (and boy, do I sometimes feel judged). I do not believe we are throwing a pity party for ourselves. I think we are trying to get through the most traumatic event of our lives. Some of us are at the beginning of this unwanted journey, others a little further down the road. ALL of us have legitimate pain, anger, yes, even rage. For someone who has never experienced betrayal to tell us how we should feel is insulting. I hope things are better for you soon!

  • Two very enthusiastic thumbs up, high five, standing ovation, 21-gun salute, etc.

    I really appreciate this smackdown. Even though I’m not normally so reactive, her comments this morning really upset me. Maybe it’s because I’m feeling pretty fragile at the moment, and what she said echoes what I’m sensing from some of my IRL friends. “Get over it already. It’s been half a year. Just be positive. Move on with your life.” Of course this is what all of us are trying so desperately to do, but it’s not a linear process. Honestly, no matter how empathetic a person tries to be, I do think only another chump can get it. So grateful you got our backs, CL, and so grateful to all the other chumps here whose voices remind me daily that A) I’m not crazy or weak and B) I’ll pull through this.

      • Yes THIS! I got home opened my iPad yeay! And read the last bit of yesterday’s responses and added my own.. I can’t even begin to share how validated I felt when I stumbled onto Tracy’s Blog. I tell everyone I know about it because it is relevant and the best piece of advice concerning cheaters. This stuff should be taught in high school!

    • Half a year? Please!

      I read somewhere that it takes an AVERAGE of one month for every year you were together to get over it. Ten years, ten months, thirty years, thirty months.

      But everyone’s different – particularly if there are compounding life-changing events like:

      *Birth of a child
      *Death of a parent
      *Child leaving home
      *New job
      *Loss of job
      *Major illness

      Each of these is traumatic on its own, but add infidelity, separation, and divorce on top of that, and you’ve got PLENTY of reasons to sing the blues – AND take some time in getting over it.

      It’s still early and you’re still day-by-day, FoolMeTwice. Give it some time. And just know that if any of your IRL friends ever find themselves in your shoes, you’ll be able to console them properly.

      • Good point. And how many people who have been betrayed have a bunch of these things going on at once? So many cheaters check out when a parent becomes ill or dies, or the partner becomes ill, or a child leaves home. How many people here had Cheaters who started up during a pregnancy or right after a birth? And when the cheater leaves, the Chump might need more hours at work, or to take a job; the chump might have to move or sell the house. And we all know that the stress can lead to all sorts of physical issues. It’s a process, this recovery. Someone yesterday posted about doing one thing every day. I know if you write one page a day, in a year you have a draft of a book. There’s no prize for getting done fast; there are, however, great rewards for doing what CL says and sticking with the process of feeling the anger and the pain and moving through it by standing up for yourself.

      • That explains why he waited 18 months to marry her. It has taken him 18 months and he is getting married tomorrow. But finding out about her AFTER he left, finding out about the pregnancy AFTER he left, finding out he was such an arsehole AFTER he
        Left, now finding out about their upcoming wedding….those things, those little extras, little “shocks”‘ they add months to my recovery. 18 months isn’t going to cut it for me.

        • It’s like he’s hitting the “fuck you” restart button. Fuck him, she’s getting the sloppy seconds, & will soon find out how helpful he is with a screaming infant, diaper changes, feedings, bathing… Oh, that shine is gonna fade but fast.
          He sucks, he sucks, he sucks. You’re so much better off without him, because he sucks he sucks he sucks. The mantra that will lead you out of the wilderness of WTF. Big virtual hugs to you!!!!!

      • I don’t see people being ready to to do any moving on, emotionally that is, until the divorce papers are in their hands. I mean, there is so much shit to do and get organized and negotiate during the whole divorce process, how could the reason why you’re divorcing in the first place not be in the forefront of your mind?

      • I don’t think it works that way.

        The best things I can think of comparing it to are grief and trauma.

        And as it turns out… people (Bonano et al) did get around to studying how long it takes people to grieve and recover from traums (and their benchmark study groups were the genocides in Kosovo and Rwanda and 9/11 survivors), and some of the fallout from those studies were this:

        About 2/3rds of the members of the study groups were pretty much highly functional and thought more about their present circumstances than the extreme trauma that had happened to them within 7-12 months.

        Within 2 years that ratio rose to more than 95%.

        Less than 5% indicated they were having troubles more than 2 years out.

        About 3% experienced persistent, chronic grief indicating that they weren’t adapting more than 3 years out, and these were likely candidates for some kind of therapy.

        Also, from those studies and others studying the impact of “mandatory grief counseling” (which was negatively correlated with adaptive behavior), the picture that arises from empirical studies is that most people are fairly resilient, they do not go through “five distinct stages” of grief as prescribed by grief counselors, and most people fare pretty well with non-professional support systems (in fact, most people do better with friends and family support than they do with professional support).

        So… there is no rule for how long it takes. For most people, it’s probably less than 2 years. For many it’s a year or less, and for a tiny few, they just don’t adapt and require professional intervention.

      • I was married 7 years, had a big move, job, and 3 kids. I’ve decided to give myself 2 years to figure it out. If it happens sooner, great, but I think I would be a fool if I rushed anything. I would rather be too slow than too fast.

    • And what is this “it’s been half a year, move on” stuff? As I’ve said, I wasn’t in a long-time marriage, but in a long-time friendship (so I thought) that became a committed relationship (ditto). But I was devastated when he cheated. And my therapist, who is one tough woman, told me I wouldn’t be ready to even think about dating for a year or more because it was a major life trauma, given my circumstances. Now, take THAT and imagine a 10-year, 20-year, 25-year, 30-year marriage, or a 3-year marriage with a couple of little children. Yeah. Six months and move on. Don’t mourn the dreams or the financial stability or the memories that are now tainted or the loss your kids experience. So what if it take 2-3 years just to get through the legal process or to figure out how to pay the bills on 1/2 of what you used to have? Or who can feed the cat or watch the kids if you have to go out of town since your partner has checked out of the family. What utter bullshit. One friend told me that “I was better than this” and I should get over it like she did (blah blah) and I told her off, big time. Said ‘you have no idea how much pain I’m in and you won’t know until you experience it.” Big lesson for me in not substituting my experience/biography when someone else is in pain. And some of these folks are no doubt getting chumped but don’t know it, yet.

  • When I read the this woman’s post, all I could think of was what C.S. Lewis wrote in “Mere Christianity”:

    “So much for my omissions on doctrine. In Book III, which deals with morals, I have also passed over some things in silence, but for a different reason. Ever since I served as an infantryman in the first world war I have had a great dislike of people who, themselves in ease and safety, issue exhortations to men in the front line. As a result I have a reluctance to say much about temptations to which I myself am not exposed. No man, I suppose, is tempted to every sin. It so happens that the impulse which makes men gamble has been left out of my make-up; and, no doubt, I pay for this by lacking some good impulse of which it is the excess or perversion. I therefore did not feel myself qualified to give advice about permissable and impermissable gambling: if there is any permissable, for I do not claim to know even that. I have also said nothing about birth-control. I am not a woman nor even a married man, nor am I a priest. I did not think it my place to take a firm line about pains, dangers and expenses from which I am protected; having no pastoral office which obliged me to do so.”

    Enough said.

        • For those not familiar, C. S. Lewis was one of the greatest Christian theologians ever.

          The “Chronicles of Narnia,” a book of child friendly Christian Allegories by Lewis, provided the plot for the movie, “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” and was based on this verse from Ephesians 6:13: “Therefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

          Someone took a clip from the movie, paired it with the song “Stand” by Rascal Flatts and then posted it on youtube. This is one of the musical pieces that sustained and lifted me during the dark days.

          So, incredibly eloquent and appropriate for those who need to armor-up and stand firm.

          • Narnia was also littered with references to pagan mythology, Lewis was a drunk, not a great fan of children and he had an affair with a married woman.

  • Well, Mrs. Troll, I am the breadwinner and it still sucks! Betrayal sucks. It just does. It always will. I was lied to, called fucking crazy for saying anything and had to watch my husband adore his EAP. (Only an EA that I can prove.).
    It also sucked when this same CH had physical affairs earlier in our marriage. Money can’t by love and it can’t stop pain. And don’t insult women by assuming they are dependent or by sloppily sympathizing with those who have been caught unprepared for financial devastation.
    There is also a reminder that we ought to forgive our lying cheating spouses.
    Forgiveness is a beautiful thing. It comes at a cost to the one offering that forgiveness. Yes, I want to forgive and I will. Today, however, I am angry and I am trying to decide what to do next. Forgiveness is just out of reach today.

    • This week’s struggle, since I’m blessed with a new stress all the time 3+ months since dday, is this: what holds me back from moving forward is that I’m financially dependent – like a-17 year- hole -in my -cv dependent. So I’ve done great free lance prestigious work, but not $250k/yr, more like buying gifts for the family. I’ve dedicated 17 years to my kids, greatest thing I’ve ever done, yet it’s also the most financially crippling thing I’ve done. And now I’ve started to cry again. Because if I’d made the choice to not support an entrepreneur spouse, I could walk away today, but I’d have never had those precious and priceless years. Did I shoot myself in the foot? My kids are amazing successes at school, after school jobs, etc. but why do I feel I failed them by not being able to support them myself? Sorry, last Easter my h was deep in his ea (or was it?!?!?) and so cruel I was debilitated. Thank you chump nation for buoying me. Today, with a house full of clueless family, I’m a mess.

      • Nic, your children are worth it all. They are that part of you, your love, your values, your little quirks, even your DNA that will go forward in the years after you have gone from this earth. They are your joy now and your comfort in your senior years. Precious years you spent with them are priceless. Treasure that time.
        You will work out what to do next. In a sense we moms are blessed devastated by the betrayal, but empowered by the love we share we our children. Don’t be afraid. I think of the country song, “Jesus Take the Wheel”, the mom is at the end of her own resources but she reaches out for help that the eye can’t see.
        You will find your way. There is life and love on the road ahead.

  • Oh my, we got a double crazy whammy between this troll and the other woman-ese adulterous counselor. I feel like Mugatu, has the whole world gone crazy?!

    Troll-lady, you really have no idea of the pain that betrayal and abandonment causes. To see your children devastated and in pain because of a divorce, because their father left them as well. It’s a pain that I do not wish on anyone.

    I stayed at home with my children for 10 years and I’m dependent on child support and alimony. Yes, I wish I didn’t have to take money from him. But I do need the financial support while I get back on my feet. With that money I am able to get health insurance through Obamacare. I can enroll my kids in their extracurricular activities. So you know what, I’m going to take it because it’s compensation and really the least he can do after all the damage he caused.

    Something tells me you might be joining us here as a chump soon.

    • “Something tells me you might be joining us here as a chump soon.”

      I think the Trolls husband will be joining us soon !
      Consoling her “male friend” about his marriage problems?
      Chumps know all to well how that shit can turn into “twu lub.”
      Her male friend is grooming her.

      They understand each other.
      Soul mates in the making !

    • Nat, I hear you!

      I feel absolutely NO remorse in taking his money. I put him through grad school, waited 11 years to have kids, did 95% of the childcare, and got a sh*t sandwich shoved down my throat for my efforts.

      Money is the LEAST he can give me.

    • “Taking his/her money”

      Legally, when you are married, most property is assumed to be jointly owned = there is no “his property”. When attorneys attempt to untangle this, it may be unfair, but there are generally mathmatical formulas that distribute assets. Yes, sometimes people get burned, but for spouses who (often at the urging of the cheater, in an attempt to isolate them and keep them dependant) gave up careers to be “at home” spouses and/or parents, this support is a lifeline until we can get back on our feet.

      I don’t want a penny of my exH’s money; but our children ARE entitled to it. They should not have to suffer because “daddy” found “true love” somewhere else. In my case, when and if exH ever pays the $90,000 in back support he owes, that money will go straight to their college funds. My daughter has already said (she’s 11) she doesn’t want it; and will donate it to charity, because she doesn’t ever want to feel like she “owes” her dad for anything. But at this point, she has options, because I was able to recover quicker than most…if we were still struggling, I would hope she would use that money without any guilt, because it is, by right, hers.

      People who claim that ex-spouses and kids AREN’T entitled to financial support really don’t understand what it is to be a a parent.

  • You’re timing is so perfect…how do you do this? Read our collective unconscious?

    Here is what my ex’s current fuckbuddy wrote to me. She btw, is herself a cheater,and was fucking him before we began divorce proceedings–she was cheating on her own husband. (We have a mutual friend…slut/fuck buddy was posting all lovey-dovey about her hubby on FB, but boinking my Ex.) I only car(ed) because he lied by omission, and I believe she was coaching him throughout our divorce negotiations–he’s a $64 asshole. Anyway, here’s what she wrote to me! (PS. she is “OK with” his cheating on me…well, d’oh! she’s a cheater too…idiots.)

    Finally–she has no children, and she presumes to tell me how to parent through the shitstorm that is divorce from a cheater! some brass ones!

    “You can spend your life being bitter and angry about the past. Or you can try to forgive, or at least let go, and move on with your life. I am sure you know I have Parkinson’s. I have had my share of anger, feeling sorry for myself and woe is me days. I believe all that negative energy is a waste of time. You can spend your time dwelling about the past or start living in the moment.

    My 2 cents…be a mother to [daughter]. If you continue to take your hurt and anger out on [fuckchuck] it will damage [daughter]. How you deal with [fuckchuck] is an indicator of your self-esteem and maturity. If you are raging, then you have lots of problems to work out. You don’t have to be a jerk. You don’t have to be a bad person in any situation. How you act is your choice–let your conscience be your guide, not your righteous indignation.”

    Can you believe this drivel? She must have been reading the “Cheaters’ Manual to Life and Its Excuses.”

    Needless to say I have blocked both moral idiots. Life waaay to short.

    • Well if you gave her Parkinson’s for shits and giggles, I wonder if she’d embrace the whole “letting go of anger” schtick.

      This stuff is such a mindfuck because it makes you want to argue against it and what are you arguing for? To remain angry and rage filled? No, who wants to be stuck with that argument. What’s infuriating is how they take their own personal responsibility out of it. This woman helped break up your marriage. She is the LAST person who gets to lecture you on forgiveness.

      It’s like I slap you and then state “I don’t understand your hostility. Have you always been such an angry, hurt person?”


      • I just calmly pointed out that the whole “rage” myth is just that–I’m not raging at all. It’s a lie promulgated by my pathologically lying ex. (Rather, I’m getting on with my life and thrilled that he’s moving to the other coast.) And, that he’s an empty black hole inside, because of his narcissism. And wished them well.

        I also did say that I had been a defacto single parent for many years–and she wouldn’t really know bout parenting, would she? Since she is not one? And that [daughter’s] father’s actions had hurt [daughter] far more than anything else ever could–if she could imagine being an adolescent abandoned by her father.

        You see, this particular fuck buddy is the GF that my ex had prior to our relationship (she fired him then, bwahah) so I know a lot about her–like her horribly, wretchedly dysfunctional (very wealthy waspy) family.

        As I said, they are not worth any effort–I’m only in the game to secure what my daughter needs.

        • My cheater narcissistic XH has Parkinson’s now too. He is from L.A. & moved back when caught to live with his last OW, the best friend of his college GF. He too is judgmental & self-pitying. I think cheaters & AP’s are both narcissists. Their smugness masks their inability to feel. Discussing how chumps feel or should feel is just an intellectual exercise for them.

          This troll’s advice about not taking the alimony for our own self worth’s sake is bizarre. I was married for 30 plus years & put him through grad school & was a single parent while he was busy cheating for 10 years or more. It increases my self worth to get the alimony I already earned!

          • Meg – I agree! His money to support his family is small payback for all I gave him to get him where he is.

      • “It’s like I slap you and then state “I don’t understand your hostility. Have you always been such an angry, hurt person?”


        Or…they tell OTHER PEOPLE about your “hostility” and “anger” without telling them that they first SLAPPED you!

        After my ex confessed, I posted about his EA on a site that the three of us belonged to: Me, ex and his AP. After about two months, I posted about how angry I was. His AP had the AUDACITY to start a new post about anger that piggybacked off of mine.

        In a nutshell, she was saying that (my) anger was “unhealthy”. Of course, no one knew that SHE was one of the *REASONS* for my anger! She also posted some story about how she once met someone who she didn’t like. But after getting to know the person, she and this person became “pretty good friends”.

        Believe me when I tell you how TEMPTED I was to post to her, “Did this “pretty good friend” steal your boyfriend or your husband?” I could guarantee her that if they did that, she probably would be singing a different tune…

        My ex told me that he “fell in love” with another woman shorty before his wife passed away. He told me that he asked his wife if he was a good husband. I don’t know what her answer was, but I’m fairly certain that it was pretty favorable. He also bought her and expensive gift, and she said that at that point, she KNEW that he loved her.

        Of course, she had NO CLUE that he had cheated on her. So, basically, by my ex and the AP were getting ego strokes under false pretenses.

        My theory is, that they NEED the *CONSTANT* ego kibbles because they KNOW that they don’t deserve them. Maybe they figure that if they hear it enough from others that they’ll eventually believe it themselves…

        Good luck with that, dude…and dudette…


      • hilarous! thank the FSM, he’s technically my ex…it gets final on June 14th…counting the days….wheee. It will become my anti-versary. 🙂

    • What.a.crock.of.shit.

      Namedforvera, I cannot even put into words how offensive that email is. Anyone who cheats has got NO BUSINESS talking about conscience, their own or anyone else’s. And to presume to lecture YOU, after her being a total HO, about self-esteem and maturity? And someone without kids lecturing about someone else’s parenting, especially when they contributed to current parenting issues? WTfingF!!!! If you can step away from that and not engage, then you’re a total champion.

      Grrrrr. What a nincowpoop. What an ultramaroon.

    • What can you do such morally superior verbal diarrhea that won’t encourage them? Nothing. If you get tempted to defend yourself, it like admitting to them they have a point.

      When I read stuff like that, God help me, I think of that scene where Indiana Jones is staring down the scimitar twirling maniac and after a long pause……….just shoots him.

      • You are all totally right. Here’s where it get’s really funny, and I do expect to see the good ole Karma bus chugging around the corner soon.

        Picture: two narc cheaters hook up, after many years. One–she–has long been into s/m and now is a full on dominatrix. He, on the other hand, has ‘issues’ with strong women!

        What could be more fun? All I can think of is better popcorn…. How long before their Twuu-Wuv turns all sour? Only time will tell. Should be right entertaining, however.

        With any luck, it will be an entertainment I will totally miss, though. 3200 miles away. Tant Pis!

        • mmm yes….block them and lay in the popcorn supplies. Real butter and that super fine grained popcorn salt. KarmaTunes. (TM)

    • There is something so amazing about a person who has done wrong lecturing people about forgiveness. She moves it over to you should forgive him, but basically, she’s talking about herself. She has a lot of nerve.

      Obviously, the best response is to stop dwelling in the past and ignore anything she says.

      For the record, though, if you are raging, it is because your ex is a problem. He has been a jerk. He has been a bad person. He has damaged your daughter. He needs to start using his conscience better and choose to act better.

    • namedforvera, respond to her with some form of “and your point is?”….. and do it as many times as she is willing to put effort in reacting to that question.

      Just like the (sort of) old joke: How do you kill a Geek? Answer: put them in the shower with a bottle of shampoo……”lather, rinse, repeat.”

    • Yet another person telling you how to act/react to a situation they caused.

      “If you are raging, then you have lots of problems to work out.”
      Really? Of course you’re raging. Only someone who hasn’t been wronged in this way could ever consider saying something like that. They have no clue what it’s like to be betrayed like this!

      Daymn! That’s some ballsy crap there!

  • Well, all smuggy said she and hers haven’t cheated….har har

    I was the last to know

    What a smart ass to post what she did

  • OMG, I had not read the thread to that point!!!

    Ok, I know that Full-Steam Ahead and a few of us self-identified Christians have used the f-word. And if I have EVER sounded that trite, OMG I am so so so so fucking sorry. I see a lot of similarities between Meh and what I understand forgiveness to be, and that’s part of the long list of what I love about Chump Lady and her site. I have always tried to respect that the whole leaving a cheater thing is an individual process, and getting to Meh is a journey, and each person gets there their own way in their own time.

    I am a chump. I am not done in my chump lifestyle. I have other deep pains in my life that I have come to a Meh or type of forgiveness state. I have found healing there.

    It is nobody’s fucking business to tell another person when they are healed.
    This is what I think of assholes who do that kind of shit to others:

    • There is nothing wrong with forgiveness just like there is nothing wrong with charity. In fact both forgiveness and charity are good things that better the lives of both the giver and the receiver.

      However the smug preaching and attitude of “Listen to me, pitiful one, and maybe you can be as wonderful as I am” gets people’s backs up and unfortunately gives Christians a bad name.

      • It’s just gross that depending on who wields the word, it can be a balm or a whip. I do see forgiveness as good. I get sick when I see the term used to shame or beat people into someone else’s expectations, and given that all people have to go on is the written word, I just hope that I haven’t come across as one of those trolls and hurt someone here.

        • Like I said, I see forgiveness the same way I see charity. Inherently good, but easily twisted.

          If I volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, or give clothes to the Goodwill, or pay for dinner when out with a friend who I know isn’t flush, those are all good things.

          But then there are the Givers who make other people want to run the other way:

          People who do nothing but talk about how much they’ve given and how much more you ought to be able to give to those poor unfortunate people. See them at work shaking a can under a co-worker’s nose and loudly lamenting when someone doesn’t pony up to humiliate them into opening the wallet.

          People who give you charity when you need it and try to make you feel guilty for being in a bad place. “Poor soul. Here’s some money. Now I know you’re only on the streets because you’re a drug addict/irresponsible/criminal/lazy so know that there was one time when I was worried about making an electric payment, so I work longer hours and got through it. You can too! Just work hard and you’ll be better off. Bye!”

          Then there are the Receivers that turn people into misters:

          The people who think they “deserve” what they see other people have. Sally gets her hair done twice a month, I deserve to get my hair done twice a month. Bob’s wife has dinner ready when he gets home from work, I should have dinner ready when I get home from work. And the implication is always “if you have it then I’m entitled to the same and it is your job to provided me with the means to do so”. You took your kids to Disney World, you owe me money because it’s not fair that my kids don’t get to go.

          Or the person who is constantly borrowing money with sad excuses “my kids are starving”, “we won’t be able to pay mortgage”. “How can you sit back let us be thrown on the street? How can you let children starve? I thought you were a good person! That’s what I get for believing in other people!” When these excuses are heard every other month for five years without fail, then no, the problem is not that you’re a mean person, the problem is that he/she doesn’t know how to handle money.

          It’s the same way with forgiveness. Forgiving someone is a good thing for you and them, but constant “you HAVE to forgive, you hurt yourself and your kids when you don’t forgive, I deserve to be forgiven, you’re a bad person if you don’t forgive, etc.” leaves people with a bad taste in their mouth.

          • Green girl, btw don’t donate to Goodwill anymore. Read this;

            CEO and owner Mark Curran profits $2.3 million a year.
            Goodwill is a very catchy name for his business.
            You donate to his business and then he sells the items for PROFIT.
            He pays nothing for his products and pays his workers minimum wage! Nice Guy.
            $0.00 goes to help anyone!
            Stop giving to this man.

          • one more thing Greengirl, by any chance do we live in the same city? lol! There are many people in this city who seem to think they are entitled to your things and constantly asking out for handouts for years, 1- they don’t know how to handle money 2-always counting on others to bail them out 3- they are just USERS!

        • Chump in the sand,
          actually I went through this in my life with a friend who is a devout Christian, about me not forgiving my ex as well as someone else in this blog using their religion and their beliefs…Yes it upsets me, when they try to shame or beat me into “their” expectations/beliefs according to their religion on forgiveness…I accept what has been done to me, but I don’t have to forgive just because someone else thinks I should, for whatever their reason, here is the way I see it, I know its a bit blunt or maybe offensive to some, but they never seem to think for one second if they offend me when they use their religion or beliefs against my decision on forgiveness among other things, here it is;

          “Religion is like a penis. It’s fine to have one and it’s fine to be proud of it, but please don’t whip it out in public and start waving it around… and PLEASE don’t try to shove it down my throat.”

          • “Religion is like a penis. It’s fine to have one and it’s fine to be proud of it, but please don’t whip it out in public and start waving it around… and PLEASE don’t try to shove it down my throat.”

            OMG that’s hilarious! Did you come up with that quote yourself????

            I think it’s sad that “fuck” is a more socially conventional word than “forgiveness”. And I don’t mean that in a prudish/prissy way–I have no issues with swearing! It’s that a word that had an uplifting meaning has become so meaningless.

            • I wish! I read it somewhere and boy that stuck in my head since and it gave me a chuckle the first time I read it! It is funny though and I also do love your sense of humor! Your humor brightens my day lol 🙂

              hear hear, I am the same way as you can tell with my swearing. Its just that I got so tired of people telling me to forgive and move on because its a right thing to do or I will have to answer to a higher deity on my second trip, according to “them”. (when I refused to go to a New-year party when I found he was going to be there or when I refuse any contact with him) Some people use religion to abuse others…pushing you to forgive is one of them… Everyone has a different way of dealing with betrayal and I respect their decisions if forgiveness works for them and I choose not to, all I ask is the same courtesy in return, especially when it comes to according to their religion… The thing is, I don’t even discuss it with anyone around me anymore, just here on this blog and with people who understand what betrayal does to you, at this blog I feel at home and I love the fact its secular and hope it stays that way.

              You are absolutely right though “that a word that had an uplifting meaning has become so meaningless.”

      • “However the smug preaching and attitude of “Listen to me, pitiful one, and maybe you can be as wonderful as I am” gets people’s backs up and unfortunately gives Christians a bad name.”


  • Thank you CL. These “well intended” folks drive me nuts. Your response was spot on.

    I would never presume to tell someone to “get over” anything as horrifying as experiencing infidelity. It’s a brutal process to recover from this. I’m so glad you speak up CL and give people who haven’t gone through this some insight into what it’s like. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

    • thensome,
      So true. Brutal is a great description. And unnecessary and cruel.
      CL is so fierce and honest and funny to boot.
      This site has been a life saver.
      Your last sentence made me stop and think if I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. But you’re right. I will never know if the karma bus runs over the “luckiest” woman in the world or the ex but I do know a calm life is it’s own reward.
      And that is enough. Meh.

  • And BTW, what kind of dumb blonde does an Ooops! Post-script? What the fuck IS that?

    “Dear Poor Slobs Who Have Spouses Who ‘Hurt’ You Horribly,

    I’m so very sorry that your lives are miserable. I have a lovely life. Aren’t bunnies cute?

    Anyway, I think you should clean off your emotional muck. It’s kind of stinky. I use soap. It’s got Bubble Busting Bunny Boosters! It’s miraculous!

    P.S. Ooops! I forgot to put up the link–I sell Bubble Busting Bunny Booster soap–I have a special deal if you sign up for a lifetime supply of shiny smiley life sparkles.

    P.P.S. Ooopsies again! Forgot to say y’all have a nice day, now, y’hear!”

    • Love this chump in the sand!!

      Of course I am still laughing over ” just fuzzy little gray bunnies of truth that frolic along the borders of rationalization, nibbling the daisies of perception. Why can’t they exist in their morally nebulous pasture? Why must the big, black wolves of judgment come and gobble the bunnies up? And judge them? WHY?”

      I showed CLs article about translating Other Woman-ese to a friend of mine who has not lived through betrayal but has been totally supportive of what’s happened in my life. She loves it when I show her CL articles and when she read the above paragraph she said “Is this woman a stand up comic or something? How does she do this every day?” I told her “No, she’s not a comic but she is a life saver!”

      I love chump nation!!

  • hmpff. I think she’s an OW. What is she doing on the site? So true, too. You do need the anger. Sadly, sometimes I think the only things that keep me sane are the anger and the routine of my job. I hate that I had to go back to work and leave my precious little chubbers at daycare but in a way it’s the best thing for all of us to have an imposed routine. I’m pretty sure she pulled in Bridget Jones references too- smug unknowings? Isn’t that a Bridget line? Well, Undercover OW/Bridget Line Stealer, sadly, a lot of people fall for Love’s seductive offer of bedrock (I can steal lines too- that’s from TDSOTYY Sisterhood) and then have the ground fall out from under them. When you owe your lawyer $8,000 and you buy nothing but granola bars and apples for yourself so you can afford lovely baby snacks and organic fruits and vegetables for your child- when you actually have to choose not to eat much so your baby can eat well, and you scrounge under the carseats for 4 dollars in change so you can buy gas because your X WHO MAKES SIX FIGURES doesn’t feel like paying child support and his lawyer has found lots of fantastic child support loopholes, you can check back with us. The Chump/Cheater dynamic is real. They really do have narcissist/psychopath tendencies. They really do make us suffer in the most humiliating of ways. If we had lovely Xs who cheated on us and made up for it with a shining, golden divorce settlement and fantastic child support and benefits WE WOULDN’T BE CHUMPS. We’d be reading Eat Pray Love by the pool and doing hot yoga! Stupid Troll/Undercover OW.

    • “If we had lovely Xs who cheated on us and made up for it with a shining, golden divorce settlement and fantastic child support and benefits WE WOULDN’T BE CHUMPS. We’d be reading Eat Pray Love by the pool and doing hot yoga!”

      Thanks for the great laugh, Rose. 🙂

    • I got a whiff of OW duplicity too. Huh, let’s see…

      Married 25 years faithfully.
      Helping a MALE FRIEND with his problems with cheating wife.


      • My take exactly !

        She’s practicing cheater talk 101 (forgiveness, moving on, letting go) for her exit from the marriage. Running it by us as a trial run.
        She’s in the affair fog stage !
        She’s already passed go !

        Praying for her Chump.

          • I love your handle too Medicated FYP. You are inspiring me to change mine to: “My cheater should be sued for fucking up my chemical makeup.” Or “Got migranes on Effexor now on to Prozac.” Or “Never took drugs for mental illness but after Dday its 10 millimeters of Prozac for me” They are a bit long and self depricating. Will keep editing.

            • “Cheater Inspired Prozac Dependency”?
              “He got OW, I got pills”?
              “Got a life, Got SSRI’s”?

    • When my first husband and I divorced long ago and a very different saga, I sold my wedding rings to pay for gas to drive to work. Sometimes we just do what we have to do. Rose, I admire you for your ability to figure out ways to take good care of your kids.

  • I so agree that the anger feels good at the moment. My husband picked up our children in a new to him car this week. Nice, shiny – said his car was getting old and it wasn’t safe to cram three carseats in one row. I specifically asked him to wait until our terms were settled as I am understandably uneasy about my new financial situation. I even offered to switch cars when he had the kids. He just bought the car. Did what he wanted to do. Again. The things that worries me, however, is what my anger, rage, hate for him is doing to my children. They are young. 2nd grade and under. How do you handle that one? Fake it for them when with him?

    • Do they see it? If they’re so young how much are they picking up? Do you actively yell at him? I text (taking into account they all go to his lawyer) but I do not speak to him at all. Doubt my LO can feel the anger from my texts. I would just not speak directly to him as much as humanly possible. Can he pick up kids at a neutral location? Can you leave them at gran’s house or a friend’s house? You need to let your anger out with friends and with Chumpnation (and for me- with my fingers as I dial Child Support Services to try and garnish his wages!) but I would seriously try not to speak to him at all. When they’re in bed drink wine and bitch and be angry but when they’re awake try and be calm. I play a game where I try not to speak to him at all. When he does a pick up I try not to say a single word, or if I have to I try and think of the shortest possible sentence I can possibly come up with. You can also call the police to come and do a “Safe Transfer” and they just stand there looking bored when you hand the kid over. The police’s presence is a very calming factor to say the least. Everyone stays calm and mostly silent. Try playing my game. Try to say 5 words or less when he picks the kids up and drops them off. Blow off steam after the kids are in bed, and with friends and here- with us Chumps!

    • You could always take a pill (my favorite is a .5 mg adivan) just takes the edge off without making you loopy. Has helped me when freaking out would not have helped anyway.

    • Amy,

      I had a 2 and 5 year old when exH left with no forwarding address – to another country. He called when and if he “felt like it”, so I would take his calls with the little ones in the back seat. My 5 year old listened to EVERY WORD, and sadly, knew far too much about what happened. I’m not proud to admit either that there were times where I completely fell apart – in front of them. One time was especially horrible, and I sort of collapsed on the floor of my daughter’s room and rocked back and forth and screamed. And they saw it.

      For at least two year after that, if they saw me cry, they would cry, and beg me, “Mommy, please don’t cry…” It was one more guilt that I blamed myself for, that I would do anything to take back, if I could…we’ve moved on; I’ve been kind enough to myself to realize that I did the best I could, but some scars still remain – for me and for the kids.

      I would only offer (from my train wreck) – do your best to hold it together – but forgive yourself for being human. Lots of us cry in the shower. Explain to your kids that even mommys (and daddy chumps) cry when they are sad. Make sure they know that they didn’t do anything wrong, and it’s not their job to make you feel better. Do you best to model healthy ways that you help yourself feel better – take a walk, a bubble bath, read a good book, watch a funny show; we did LOTS of music “therapy” – the old Phil Collins song “I Don’t Care Anymore” has AWESOME LYRICS (“I don’t care what you say; I never did believe you much anyway…”). My kids called it the “drumming song” and we’d play it in the car, and they would drum with their pencils on the car seat and expend lots of anger…

      And realize that they will get better when they see that you’re going to be ok. And know that it will happen. For the record, my exH was driving a new Mercedes SUV and the OW had an $80,000 new car. And he left us with $80 and I couldn’t even afford a box of popsicles for the kids that summer. But it did get better; and I am 100% confident that we will be just fine. And most days, I really don’t even care what happens to him. And that feels good. Hugs to you and your babies 🙂

  • Over the last two years, each time ive received some of this advice or attitude from someone who seemed well meaning, but was just smug and insensitive with the “forgive and move on” shit, I’ve come to find out, by their own admission, that they either cheated at some point, or one of their parents cheated, often both. Every time.

  • PS. I would KILL (but not cheat!) for a ” Bunny for Your Bitterness” T-shirt… ahem.

    posting a lot tonight, must be a weekend 🙂

    • Happy Friday! Love the TRUTH here. CL is awesome. The BLOG f-in’ ROCKS. Writing is fab, authors are witty, intelligent, and fierce. What’s NOT to love?! I did not have one close friend who had gone through what I had and thought my marriage was solid. Painful doesn’t even begin to tell my story. Sharing my story gives me strength. Looking back I recognize there was nothing I could have done to prevent this outcome, I just wish my kids hadn’t had to witness crap from the front seat. It sucks too when the person who’s supposed to love you destroys everything you took so long to build, right down to that happy family. One of my last meals with my ex was when my family went on vacation to check out all the colleges son (you know the one who recovered from that tragic accident) got accepted to (and that my ex had no intention of paying for) and went to a dinner at my father’s college buddy’s house. My ex sat through that meal next to me pretending to be a family man surrounded by our two youngest and unbeknownst to us all had stashed his OW at the hotel we had relocated to. Upon leaving, the host, an extremely religious man, said to me referring to my ex, “He’s a good man and loves his family.” I remember stopping to look at my ex and then thinking, “No, he is NOT.” Two weeks after our trip, DDay.

      • Oh, my God. How awful. There is betrayal to the tenth power. What a shameful, lying, duplicitous hypocrite. What a mindfuck. What arrogance.

        If the Troll is reading this–how exactly do you expect the Chump or the Chump kids to process an experience like this and “look to the future”? In the very moment when the family as a unit was “looking to the future,” this Cheater and his skank OW were undermining a major landmark in a child’s life, making a fucking mockery out of a college trip. That is a wound that might heal but will leave a huge scar on everyone else involved–everyone but the Cheater and the skank OW, who thought they were entitled to their double life.

  • You are incredibly insightful, your writing packs punch, you’ve lived what you talk about. I read your blog in the hope that it will help me improve my picker! Sometimes I wonder if there are any decent people out there!
    Thanks – you do a public service by running this blog. Bless you, live long and prosper!

  • “But do remember it (anger) when you feel the chumpiness coming on.” CL

    Exactly why I need to continue reading this blog everyday, because if the times I feel myself falling into ‘chumpiness’ again. How do you know the exact thing to say?

    Don’t know, but thank God,you do!

    Bypass the unpleasantness. Yup. I have come to realize that not just in this case but many cases stbx was telling me I was being unreasonable. I came to believe it.
    He lead me to believe that my reactions to things – including his cheating – was far too much.
    I got sucked into it, too.

    So many people have zero clue how it feels to be betrayed like this and the emotions that go along with it.

    IF you’re going to forgive and move on that’s up to you. You do it in your own damn time. 🙂
    People who don’t have any experience with this should not be giving life advice in this arena.

    Here I was feeling bad…now I’m a little angry again. Thanks CL! 😀

      • Isn’t it ok to believe that some things are UNFORGIVABLE? I have worked with young children who were sexually abused by family members & then pressured to forgive by others. Do they have to forgive? Why? Why do I have to forgive my cheater XH? This is just image management. Again. I can’t and won’t offer the gift of forgiveness to someone who still lies and won’t take responsibility, be remorseful or make amends. I forgive myself for trying so hard & chump-ing along too long.

        • I’m a survivor of 2 1/2 years of sexual abuse. 2 different molesters.

          Forgiveness was, and is, a part of my healing process. i felt a huge weight off my shoulder when I took my first step towards forgiving them. Having said that, I will NEVER engage in image management for them, in any way, shape or form.

          But, as I mentioned before, it is none of anybody else’s Goddamn business to tell the victim when or how this process unfolds or even what forgiveness should mean or look like for the victim. That is perpetuating the abuse cycle. And it sullies the name of God and forgiveness. I believe it to be the REAL form of taking the Lord’s name in vain.

  • Never judge something you’ve never endured . I had a Narcissist parent . Extremely abuse , mostly in subtleties , and passive aggressive . Didn’t God give them a responsibility when they chose to have a child ? Because that child suffered and it affected every decision they made after , mostly choosing people like them because of how they were conditioned from growing up that way . This keeps them in a cycle of abusive relationships their whole life after , it’s subconscious . I am fortunate to have woken up , but what about the people who never woke up ? Maybe their significant other killed them . So the forgiveness troll has the nerve to say forgive ????? Forgive someone who was intentionally abusive to a child , and responsible for setting them up for a abusive life. That forgiveness statement screwed me up too . It discounted and invalidated me . While it honored them with no responsibility , while granting them to be released from their behavior. Just because it was a parent hearing oh they would never do that is another thing morons say . STFU already , you couldn’t handle what some of us went through with these TRUELY EVIL people . Tell me since you Forgiveness Trolls know so much , should God forgive Satan and let him stay in his world ? Or should God forgive Satan and allow him to continue and destroy his world ? NO ! Garbage for Gehenna . Armegeddon he’s getting rid of him for all time . He doesn’t want anyone and won’t allow Satan to destroy his world . This neither should we . You do not know God and you do not know evil so STFU . Thank you , your ignorant , and I hate when people are ignorant and pompous asses .

  • To me this reads as she is the OW and the underlying message is to the wife to suck it up by not taking her lover’s money so they can live happily ever after.

    Look past the bullshit. And all this “writer” wrote is exactly that. Bullshit.

  • Why would I forgive someone who will never admit to wronging me or my children? Someone who felt justified and entitled to have an affair behind my back, squirrel away family money, take trips with a woman AND HER CHILDREN to our family home on Cape Cod, all while me and our children were home wondering what the fuck we had done wrong? Why was dad treating us like we didn’t exist anymore? Why didn’t Dad come home for his own birthday part, the day he and his 12-year old had ALWAYS spent together and his son had baked a cake?

    I don’t forgive that. All I want to do is try to forge on to feeling less victimized and more healed. That’s never going to include forgiving the two losers who willfully caused may and my sons’ pain.

    • chutesandladders,

      “the day he and his 12-year old had ALWAYS spent together and his son had baked a cake?”


      That had tears springing to my eyes. That is a triple dose of what the fuckity-fuck! I don’t even know your cheating pig-scum-weasel-pinhead and I can’t forgive him for that! I don’t even want to try to think about how much that hurt that child. I don’t believe in torture, but for your Ex, I would not only be willing to make an exception, I would be the first one with the thumbscrews.

    • Why would I forgive someone who will never admit to wronging me or my children?

      Why does he need forgiveness if he doesn’t recognise he has done something wrong? Forgiveness in this sense must surely be as meaningless to him as your wrath. Why waste the energy. I think we all need to learn to focus on ourselves and our kids don’t we? I keep losing sight of the important things because I am trapped wading through the shit. All I need to do is change direction. Forgive myself!

      • Actually Nat1, he was getting off on my wrath, so I went no contact about a year ago (as much as I can with three children with him). Now he just hurts me through my kids. Having been married to me for 20 years, he is very good at it.

        Although unemployed for going on a year and unable to pay full child support, dickhead and his live-in bimbo took our kids to DisneyWorld for a seven-day resort vacation. Even though it was one of my dreams to vacation there as a family, he always refused to go. He once told me he’d rather have a week-long migraine than go to Florida, let alone Disney. I was crushed. Growing up, we were poor and never went.

        All of a sudden, now that he has replaced me, it’s seven days in the fun and sun. While they’re vacationing on school vacation, I’ll be working my second and third jobs this week to keep me, our kids and HIM (because he’s unemployed) in health and dental insurance.

        People tell me to “enjoy my vacation from the kids.” Although meant to be helpful, that advice hurts like a motherfucker. I’m spending my first Easter alone without my children, who are at the happiest place on earth with the meanest man on earth and the skankiest whore on earth.

        • Chutesandladders I am so sorry to hear you are not with your family this Easter. But can I say YOU are not alone. I am with you, CL is with you and chump nation is with you. I too am spending Easter without my girls. It’s a shit sandwhich which I didn’t order and I know you didn’t order it as well.
          But I believe we are mighty, you are doing the best for yourself and your children.
          Please reward yourself when you can and stay strong.

        • Chutes, I’m in a similar situation. Waiting 23 years for a dream house, 3 months after moving in he leaves for married OW. She got her big house on only 18 months. I could go on and on, I know what that’s like, kids going to Disney world with the Frankenfamily. Hurts deep.

          • I feel the same. My ex would never do anything with us. Wouldnt come to Disneyland with the kids and I because why would he want to do that., i went with my parents. I always got told why would he want to do anything he doesn’t like. Now he is always going to the movies, away with her and her kids, he even got a cat (he hates cats). I just don’t get it.

        • Chutes, I’m so sorry you did not get to spend Easter with your kids. This was my first Easter without mine as well. It pisses me off that HE got to choose this life for me. I WANT to spend Easter with my kids. I didn’t sign up for them to spend Easter with HER family. It hurts terribly, and I too have the friends who tell me to “make the best of it”. WTF?!?!? I wish this could be easier for all of us. I wish I could offer you advice, but can’t as I’m struggling with the same ‘stuff’. Just wanted to let you know you are not alone. Hugs to you!

  • I found this site about six months ago, after I learned I was (again) being “shadowed” by the bitch who publicly imploded my long term marriage. I was so pissed and to be honest, more than a little scared, but felt (and still do) that I could not really show the depth of my rage for all to see. I truly felt like I was a lab specimen under a microscope.

    I started reading CL; even went back and read all the blogs and comments. It took me a very long time to join in. I was so accustomed to putting a smile on my face and saying,” I’m fine, no big deal, thanks for asking.” I didn’t want to acknowledge how much anger I still had! Reading about the shit other people were confronting was such a comfort to me because it made me feel less alone.

    I eventually joined in, something I had never given myself permission to do. Being part of this group of people I do not even know has made my life bearable. I am finally able to understand how seriously fucked up what happened to me was. Thank all of you for not just “getting over it.” I am sure your honesty has helped more people than you”ll ever know.

    Strangely, in expressing my anger here, I became less angry in my every day life. I am more sure of myself and the decisions I have made. The folks here let me vent without telling me I’m wrong to feel the way I do. So, I view coming here as something I do to heal myself. And I am finally being honest with myself about…everything.

    • Louise – after Dday and LOTS of reading, I learned that 50% of people cheat in their marriages. I remembering going to school to pick up my kids, looking around at the hundred of parents who were doing the same, and thinking, “Half of these people have been, are, or will be going through the same thing as me” – yet you’d never know it by how they looked.

      Read and post away, Louise. You aren’t alone, and you need some place to vent. I think we’re all seeing the situation differently because of ChumpLady. No more spackling, no more “getting over it.” Just “getting through it,” one day at a time…

      • I recognize this place and my therapists office are very safe places to vent and rage when I need to. My kids don’t need that vibe around them 24/7. It’s important NOT. To bottle up the anger. It’s important to have very close friends and a safe places to rage it out. I scream a lot in my car too. Well I guess when I drive to work it looks like I’m rocking it out. This is not always the case!

      • Red, I’ve heard that 50% number a LOT, but have never been able to find any actual research that states that. I’ve also heard it in different ways; 50% of people cheat, cheating occurs in 50% of marriages, 50% of divorces involve cheating, etc. I’m actually wondering if it’s some kind of urban legend that gets passed around so much everybody figures it’s true.

        The family therapist my kids saw with their dad (after he showed them repeatedly and consistently who he is, so they started refusing to see him) also mentioned that number to them, very much in order to ‘normalize’ the cheating – makes me wonder if she’s a cheater as well.

        But even if it’s 50% of divorces, that means half of half of all marriages (’cause 50% don’t divorce, and other stats I’ve seen say that cheating does eventually lead to divorce in most cases), and half of those people are cheating (assuming one cheater per marriage – usually the case!). That means maybe 15% of people are the actual cheaters. And I always remind my kids that one cheater means usually means multiple marriages or relationships ending; just my ex has already had two long-term relationships end this way, so that’s two non-cheating partners both chumped by the one cheater.

        Even if we’re generous on the cheater stats, I’m betting less than a quarter of people actually cheat – which is important to know, because high numbers help the cheaters justify that it’s ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ to cheat, ‘no big deal’. And it helps keep chumps stuck even longer, believing that.

        But when my daughter and I discussed whether that 50% number was true, I told her that in the end it didn’t really matter. I choose not to be with a cheater. And I know there are good, honest, caring people out there – I choose to be with one of them.

      • If you are in a group of 100 people, statistically 10 of them do not know who their real biological dads are.
        Just think of it, 10% of us do not know who our real dads are. It amazed me how often women cheat.
        Men , I sort of already figured.

    • I read the original troll comments before finishing this post. All I can say is that CL & Co. are completely right. Emotions are neither good or bad; it’s all about how we channel them. I was stuck in that forgiveness troll trap for a while because I didn’t know how to move on. I bought into the myth that “healthy” people magically swept problems under the rug and were perfectly happy in the future. I wondered what was wrong with me. After all, why would people give me such cryptic, crappy advice? With some therapy and reading stuff like your blog, I realized that it’s dumb to expect people to magically transcend human emotions and required cognitive steps to process everything, make steps to take care of yourself, and heal.

  • Sounds like she is peddling cheap forgiveness with a steaming, heaping pile of pity. While I think forgiveness is a good place to go eventually, you can’t get there by sweeping the adultery under the rug. I totally agree with CL on that point. Anger is a proper and healthy response to injustice.

    What I would like to ask this person (and others like her): why aren’t you furious about your friend being cheated on? A healthy person would be FURIOUS at the person committing adultery against a true friend. Focus on that before you pontificate to chumps. Maybe it will teach much needed humility.

    • You are right. Years ago when a friends husband cheated, I never spoke to him again. He was crossed off my list and not only did I not forgive him but I never expected my friend to. Fifteen years and my own personal chumpdom later I have no need to forgive and I have moved on very nicely. In this case, I don’t think the writer is friends with someone who was cheated on. She is either an OW or she needs a pretext so she can post a link to her book and thought we would be the perfect audience.

  • i am very angry because Art put my name in the NY times Obit without my permission and my son and daughter dont call dont visit dont write. they are very busy “grieving” this biodad because he had money. they dont have a clue as to what this is like for the “brave noble Mom” i had dinner with a lovely lady i know from this area. i remember her husband.apparently he walked out on her and 3 children many years ago and left no money. Well this champ went back to school, worked her buns off, he moved on to a lovely life and of course ‘”forgiveness” is the answer.o yeh! this lady retired,just went off chemo,lost 1 of the children to cancer, and Mr X got a big award. he died in 1990. i hope he suffered. did i say that? Yes.!!!Chump Lady you are so right. should i fire my bewildering offspring too? and what about millions to the elephants due to the blessings of the Supreme Court? i hope you remember that .Yuck!!!!to all my chump friends you are great and i bless you Muriel

    • Muriel, your story has forever colored how I view Liz Claiborne. Like Paul Newman and Carol Burnett, her infidelity dampens my appreciation of her success.

      I’m so sorry your children are ignoring you! Seems to me they’d be spending MORE time with you, not less, now that their father is gone. I just don’t get some people. Perhaps you could direct them to ChumpLady to let them have a good look at those who are left behind. Perhaps it might open their eyes in a way big $$$ never could…

  • You know what I find hysterical about this post is that the writer focuses on the bitterness and anger of the chump without taking into account that in my case and in the case of many of those here the cheater and the AP are angry and bitter. In my case hubby is angry that his friends and family would support the affair and refused to even meet the ow. Of course that is my fault and he is angry. He is angry I didn’t roll over and play dead and let him have everything the way he wanted and he is angry that He can’t control me or the situation since I no longer have the incentive of giving in in order to keep the peace or play the pick me dance. I wish this moron would write a post to tell stbx not to be so angry.

    • Excellent point, Pearl. I’m a pretty happy person. I want to move on with my life and be happy (hence my username). It’s my ex and his Owife. They are the ones who make cutting comments, and he’s the one who is incredibly hostile, which I think is fueled by her. The only anger in this situation resides in him. Sure, I get angry from time to time, but it doesn’t dominate my life or control how I behave 99% of the time. I think that my ex is still angry about how things turned out– he thought he’d skate right along, and I’d keep his dirty secret so that his image could remain intact. Instead, anyone who is friends or family with me no longer speaks to him, his family still remains nice to me, and instead of begging him to come back and/or trying to be his bestie post-divorce, I interact with him as little as possible and in a very detached way. I don’t think he likes how his actions have been received, and instead of accepting the consequences, he lashes out at me because all of that is, of course, *my* fault. 😀

    • The anger is interesting. My cheater exH is too passive for that (exemplifies our entire relationship) but my narc cheating exBIL, 9 years later, is still a royal asshat to my sister and children. Dude, you cheated with the nanny for years, then married her and started another family. Why so angry at your ex wife for divorcing you??

      It’s because she had the guts to leave him.

  • Thank you, Chump Lady, for showing us what it looks like to OWN our self-righteous anger! You are MIGHTY!!!

  • The ow, who is our grandson’s aunt, while leaning on the counter of the kitchen in the family home, that she had boinked my then husband in, said to me, “you really need to look at your part in this”

    All I can say is that she is very lucky I am a sober woman, the ol me would have done something news worthy!

    The self righteousness of this people is beyond my understanding.

  • The troll’s comments are things I’m sure we hear a lot from well -meaning friends. There are the comments of why aren’t you spewing his shit from the roof tops for the world to know?? Why haven’t you filed? Why haven’t you told your kids? Why is the Asshat still in the house? Why can’t you forgive? Why haven’t you contacted his OW or her husband?

    Well people, if I spew this shit for the world to know, Asshat may loose his job which equals loss of income for me to take and support my kids. He embezzled $$$ to entertain his GF, he’s fucked a co worker and used company resources to meet paid sex workers. Hmmm….

    Haven’t filed because step one is post nup. Step two, once DD is off to college, are the magic papers. I’m in the process of actually taking over our combined finances with a planner and restructuring it.

    There is zeo benefit of telling my kids ANYTHING until the shit is already spinning in the fan. I’m sure they know something is up and they choose to believe in unicorns right now. Ok. I get it that for the long term that’s bad. For my short term, it has to be.

    There is no forgiveness. People who haven’t been emotionally abused do not get this. I am moving on and I am not bitter. That’s a waste of energy. Well-meaning friends get puzzled by this. I’m not a lover of drama and creating drama, so why make my life into a Lifetime movie for some of these people? Asshat and his GF are very Jerry Springer in their love for one another, that is about as shocking as it gets when some of my friends ask me for details.

    Why is he still in the house? That’s my biggest mistake and I own it.

    Why don’t I contact OW or her husband? Nope. Not unless I file for alienation of affection. My energy is spent on me and my kids. She’s most likely a narc too. I will not feed her fat ass ego. Her husband knew of this affair long before I did. He begged OW not to leave him. He has never contacted me. I deduce he is also a chump. And a chump who messed around with this OW/current wife to break up his own first marriage. He’s been on the karma bus for years, even before my Asshat was in the picture. Nope. I won’t contact him. He is reaping what he sowed.

    I appreciate feedback from my friends. I don’t like taking advice from people who haven’t lived through this. A close friend of mine lost her teen daughter in a bad auto accident this year. What right do I have as a mother of teens to tell her “it was meant to be. It was God’s will” when my teens are healthy and alive? That’s crap. The best I can do is continue to reach out and support her through birthdays, holidays and whenever else she’s feeling depressed.

    • THIS is a very psychologically healthy approach. Kudos to you for accurately analyzing a terrible situation, devising effective short-term and long term problem solving strategies and most of all for not allowing the behavior of another person to wreck your life or that of your children.

  • Dear Katrin,
    Those that brag and bully are often in need of a lot of outside validation.
    These mind raping events are insidious, overwhelming and disturbing. It is not “conscious uncoupling” and begets much cognitive dissonance.
    Getting to clarity and healing takes time from any abuse suffered. It’s forever true that the disordered just suck. As in sucks the life put of those around them. Eight plus years of my life and the only thing I can trust is that it was all a lie.
    Cockiness and greed are easy so good luck with that Katrin.
    Humility, empathy and personal responsibility are what chumps are all about.
    I wish your friend luck and meh. With judgmental and self involved friends like you he’s going to need it.
    Happy Easter to all and an early Happy Birthday CL!!! Peace.

  • I remember how quickly I used to judge parents…until I had kids.

    Or how I used to think homeless people brought it all on themselves…until I met a few with mental illness. Or an addiction. Or a violent spouse.

    I used to think too many people divorced at the drop of a hat…until things went amok in my own marriage.

    I think it’s really easy to view things from only one perspective…UNTIL you get another. Wars have been fought over such singular thinking. Millions have died because of it.

    I’m not sure what Katrin’s agenda was – selling a few books? Undercover OW? – but if she wanted to make a fool out of herself, she came to the right place. Telling a chump to, “Get over it,” is about as ridiculous as telling a vet that PTSD is, “All in their heads,” or that a teething baby who kept you up all night, “Really just needs to be put on a schedule.” It’s a level of smugness that makes you see red.

    CL, maybe you should post a note somewhere that affair partners and the “smug unknowing class” need not post here UNLESS they have something valuable to offer (and I don’t mean their own products). Because otherwise, they just get us all riled up. And frankly, after reading some of the stories here – sh*t sandwiches come in many jaw-dropping varieties – I think we’re all riled up enough.

    Just my 2 cents…

  • I have lived through it and people who advocate for forgiveness are not necessarily trolls.

    FFS Tracey get a life why the fuck are you so angry and tryin to whip vulnerable ppl into a hate frenzy.

    You remarried your cheater did you a favour give it a rest.

    So what if your blog got a million views you started sounding like a narcissist now.

      • Fionn–If you don’t like the message, you are welcome to read the thousands of blogs by members of the Reconciliation Industrial Complex. Or, you click the “back button”.
        Just leave.
        Nobody pointing a gun to your head forcing you to read, is there? (Unlike some of the Chumps here, who have been put through physical as well as psychological or other forms of abuse.)

        As they say, don’t let the door hit you on the way out….

    • Fionn,

      I don’t think people who forgive their cheaters are trolls — it depends on what you mean by “advocating.” I think forgiveness is a very personal decision, and a painful process whichever way you go. Some people decide not to forgive. Some people would consider forgiveness if their cheater actually acknowledged harm. Some people never get that acknowledgement and they forgive anyway. To me forgiveness is “meh” — indifference. Not wishing them dead. Not consumed with thoughts of punishment. Just meh. I respect whatever people decide works for them. In the end, we all have to come to some sort of acceptance. I don’t appreciate smug people who demand forgiveness. They piss me off.

      As for “angry” and “whipping vulnerable people into a hate frenzy” — I think I explained my position on anger pretty well above. I’m a fan of productive anger. Channeled, it gets you to the other side and fuels you towards acting for your own protection instead of reacting to abuse.

      I have never advocated hating cheaters here. I advocate leaving them.

      Give it a rest? Hey, I write a blog. I created this place because I thought this voice — leave a cheater, gain a life — was missing from the infidelity literature. I suspected I wasn’t alone — that leaving was the sanest thing I did and led to a happier life. Two years later (today) I’m certain that, yeah, I’m not alone and people want this voice. Which is why I keep at it. Because every day people tells me it helps, and this community keeps them going through some pretty dark days. No one pays me. I get the occasional donation or sell a mug. What I make here pays for about one 10th of what it costs to operate this blog. (Not including my time, which is unpaid.)

      I’ve got other paying writing gigs — this is my volunteer job. This place exists because I value it and this community values it. I’m proud of building this place. If you find that narcissistic (pointed word choice, as this blog rales against narcissism) — well, you’ve got a curious sense of grandiosity and entitlement. Hell yeah it’s got 2 million views — that means there are hundreds of thousands of chumps who read it. And only a tiny smattering of trolls. I’m not shy about touting this accomplishment — I share it with everyone who contributes here.

      If you don’t see the value in that — or me — why the hate?

    • Tracy covered her own bases well, but I’d like to add a few things about the way I see it… especially for those who are misguided about what Christianity really is until they actually read the Bible. Not the watered-down, culturally-distorted, spoon-fed, politically-correct, modern version which touts grace, grace, grace….and slides right over the divinely articulated consequences of sin (which are not pretty) and why a sinner needs to be assertively confronted and failing to heed any admonishments are left to Heaven to deal with them.

      1. There is nothing wrong with righteous and continuing anger at having been sinned against, if you put it to constructive use by confronting a sinner and explaining that you will NOT participate in their sins nor enable their sin. (Jesus ANGRILY drove the money changers out of HIS father’s temple with a whip. I call that clear and assertive!) We only have the obligation to God to confront in a spirit of hating sin. We do not have to continue to throw in our lot with people who cannot see the destruction they are wreaking.

      2. Even God will not forgive if a sinner does not experience true remorse and repentance which shows in that person’s behavior. (If you don’t believe that look at some of the Old Testament “consequences” for his chosen own when they broke themselves on HIS laws. And read again the consequences of continuing to sin even when you have been told better.) Further, the scripture commands us not to be unequally yoked and to, “let the unbeliever go…” as HE would have us live in peace.
      There are Biblical grounds for divorce and the breaking of the 7th Commandment is one of them. Not only that, one does not have to hang out and “be friends” with their former spouse.

      Further, I believe that what we call “forgiveness” is reaching a state of peace with oneself and one’s creator after having, “let that unbeliever go.”

      This is how I see it, and I’m not likely to change my belief either.

      • Awesome notyou

        Exactly what I’ve found to be true biblically. I was told early on that even God gets angry – and that the misused “God hates divorce” – God hates the horror and pain inflicted on the innocent victims of infidelity. God hates sin – and cheating is sin.

    • Oh sweet little Fionn…you’re so self-righteous. I’m sure you have to be to keep the guilt from setting in. It’s like that joke from family guy that shows Tom Cruise running as fast as his little self can go, shouting “You’ll never catch me gay thoughts!” Don’t come on here and direct your anger at us. Turn that finger around and point it at yourself, where it belongs. So you stole a husband? Fabuloso! You won a sparkly turd, as we say here. Eventually you will feel the guilt and the stigma of being the OW will reach you. And your sparkly turd will stink up your own life, by cheating on you. Guaranteed. Don’t come back here then either. You still won’t be a Chump, just an OW who got what she deserved.

      • Because I am still in the process of divorce and the Cheater Turd and his attorney are still scrutinizing my purchases/finances, I have hesitated to put a charge to this blog on my bank/card statement. As the Cheater Turd has already requested to accompany me to my IC appointment (that would be Hell to the NO, Asshole), I would hate for him to clue into my only other safe place. However, if you make those T-Shirts, I will find myself living on the edge because I won’t be able to resist. Your cartoons and merchandise rock!

        • Oh! I got this too. Except what was so dumb about it was that we had completely integrated finances. I got all this paperwork telling me I had to show years of bank statements and tax returns. I had to write a thing saying if they wanted it they had to ask Bad Daddy, because he has that stuff, not me! All I have are records for the past few months that show me broke and in debt. It helped me in the eyes of the court to show how broke I was and how much money he had in comparison. Sometimes they try to intimidate you with this crap and it ends up looking bad on them.

        • Don’t know how Tracy feels about them but money orders might work. No trace.
          No reason to give up hard earned privacy and safety.

  • 2 cents! Priceless!
    Funny how Katrin said dependency on a man is undermining and then admits dependence for ten years. Trolls make me yawn.

  • I haven’t had a chance to read all the comments yet, but I fucking love you Tracy. And I love this post so very much.

    Just last weekend, I had a neighbor come over and say he noticed that my now XH hasn’t been here. I explained that he was cheating on me and basically I fired him and we’re divorced now. You know what that fucker said to me? He asked me if my XH needed “help” and tried to hand me some religious paraphenalia. He said,”I’m sure you wish him well though . . . ” and I cut him off and said “No, actually I don’t.”

    I’ll never understand people like this. I’m sure neighbor thinks I’m a horrible “unforgiving” person, but fuck ’em.

    • You missed a golden opportunity to send religious proselytizers **with pamphlets** over to your XH! Yes! Yes! He needs help, could you send a congregation please?

      Don’t worry RK, I’m sure he thought you were a horrible, unforgiving person before too. That’s why he came with pamphlets on him. To “save” you.

      Too bad you’re beyond help and everything. 🙂

  • First, let me comment on this gem;”Though I have never worn your shoes, I can imagine how I’d see red if my husband went off with another woman and lived a “fairytale” life, in a nice house etc.” No, you wouldn’t “see red,” which implies feeling some immediate, blinding anger. You would first have D-Day, which would make you physically sick, unable to eat or sleep, unable to keep food down, perhaps for weeks, because betrayal, for some reason, is felt all over the body. Then you would have to pull it together long enough to dress for work, drive there, do your job, drive home and then take care of other beings (children, pets, aging parents, etc.). I could stop crying long enough to do all that but once the tires hit the driveway, the tears came back. There’s the agony you feel that someone you love with your whole heart doesn’t love you any more and in fact, has someone else whose getting his or her love, affection, attention, money, and time. Then there’s the sudden need to be two people–because whether the Cheater has physically checked out or not, they’ve stopped living up to their obligations. The fear of the unknown future–what will happen to the finances, the house, the kids, retirement. Oh, we don’t see “red.” We see the past in flames. We see the present as constant pain. And the future as something utterly unknowable, after years of planning. Such minimizing. Such utter smug condescension.

    As to women and taking support, why do you suppose the woman is the dependent? And is it all about money? How many of these Cheating jackasses do a lick of work at home? How can they find time to have affairs and be engaged vitally with their spouse or children? So the Cheater, whether male or female, has depended mightily on the goodwill and decency and loving kindness of the Chump in terms that are far more important than money. And about money: read this board and see how many of the Chumps, male and female, are primary breadwinners, provide 1/2 of the family income, or have invested in the Cheater’s education or a family business. And every parent is legally obligated to pay child support; that is not the Chump being “dependent.” That is the Cheater living up to his or her responsibilities, moral and legal. When the cheater in my life walked out the door, the money in his business account came from me, an investment in our future. When his father died and he was up against it financially (and still, I thought, in a relationship with me, I said “use the money for what you need.” Even after D-Day, I have no regrets about that because that was me doing the right and loving thing. I am not bitter about that, but I am angry that he takes that generosity and pays it back with arrogance and condescension. So forgiveness is not a box to check off the list. Forgive infidelity–check. Forgive dishonest–check. Forgive hypocrisy–checlk. It’s a process, and as the Cheater re-offends, fails to acknowledge injuries, continues to lie, refuses to live up to the minimum financial and parental obligations, well that sucker forgiveness becomes a moving target. And one much less important than the day-to-day business of building an awesome life, from which forgiveness may be possible someday.

    • ” How many of these Cheating jackasses do a lick of work at home?”

      Yep. I never really realized what consummate parasite I had adopted by getting married until my lawyer asked me how much time the STBX spent on anything at home. How about helping out your folks? Nope. His folks? Hell, no. Typical, the lawyer said. Everybody is supposed to be there for him, but any reciprocity would have been a major imposition.

      He had the time to go play because I picked up every single ball he dropped. He had the money to go play because I ran a lean, mean, low overhead ship. What a lucky dog.

      The opposite is true for him now. Owife is not an easy keeper. And their lifestyle is way more expensive than ours was. Live and learn. All he had to do was look around him at how many of these schmoopie/soulmate infatuations actually had a happy ending. Stupider than I thought.

    • OMG lovedajackass great post.
      Just letting you know it about sums up my situation to a “t”
      Especially about the future and where do I fit in.
      Its scary to find that I once thought my financial stability was secure is not really the case.

  • Ignoramuses chap my ass.

    Picture this: I’m standing on the street minding my own business, perhaps waiting for a bus. Someone I’ve never met before and against whom I’ve committed no offense approaches me and proceeds to club me over the head, stab me, and when I fall to the ground, kicks me, urinates on me and then shoots me and leaves me for dead. I manage to recover and survive. How many people would tell me they didn’t want to take sides, that I am somehow responsible for what happened to me, that after a few months, I need to forgive the person who attacked me, and if there’s a trial I shouldn’t seek justice and testify against them – I should just move on?

    What I just described is the tip of the iceberg of the emotional devastation caused by infidelity. Anyone who would minimize that devastation by telling someone after a mere six months that they should get over it and forgive and move on, should be wrapped in bubble wrap and thrown down a flight of stairs. If that same bubble-wrapped Forgiveness Fairy idiot then chose to post on a blog where other persons suffering the devastation of infidelity come to as their safe place and a place to express their pain, angst and triumphs and the Forgiveness Fairy proceeds to admonish those suffering people about their anger and inability to “get over it,” that same Forgiveness Fairy should be found and set upon with flames and pitchforks by the people on the blog.

    Thank you Tracy and fellow Chumps for the metaphorical flames and pitchforks.

  • If someone makes a mistake and harms me I can forgive that, if you purposefully hurt me, I see no reason to forgive. I don’t need to do that to let go of my pain, I accept what happened, I’ve learned from it and that is sufficient. I learned that from grandmother, she would say “never forgive, never forget, forgiveness is up to God” and “you never forget because people don’t change, ignore them, the wheel turns” (the last bit was her version of the karma bus). She cut toxic people out of her life where needed and let God sort them out. I’m not religious myself but you don’t need God to understand what she meant. My grandmother was pretty hard core.

    • These last few years have taught me many things. There are people who are NOT worth having in your in your life. My relationship with my ex taught me many valuable lessons. First, I need to pay very close attention to what people do and what people say, and how their actions make me feel. Healthy partnerships don’t make you feel like shit. Second, when your “gut” is telling you something do not ignore it. I had every excuse for my husband’s inability to connect with others. He had a hard time making friends, didn’t get along with coworkers, and spent a great deal of time at the club. Without his family. And last but not least you can not make a relationship work when you are the only one committed to doing so. My marriage could not compete with my ex’s bigger and growing need for kibbles. Nor could it compete with someone new. I now choose NOT to tolerate toxic people in my life, whether it is coworkers, neighbors, “friends”, family, and most especially my ex spouse. Needy, selfish, hurtful people need to be called on their poor behavior, but more than that I believe the discussion of what it means to be honest is a relevant one today. My marriage could not survive lies. The ones he told or the ones I told myself. CL, My greatest wish is for your voice to be heard by a larger audience. I’d like to believe that we could teach our youth (our future) what being honest means to a marriage, a friendship, an acquaintance.

      • Thank you Drew, what you wrote spoke volumes to me.

        I’m slowly learning to cut the toxic people out of my life, this sentence “healthy partnerships don’t make you feel like shit” , is so true. I think that also goes for everyone that is living under the same roof.

        One of my XH’s favorite line to the kids before they cut him out of their lives was, ” this has nothing to do with you “. Ugh! They just stared at him and walked away. My son told me later that that was when he realized how cold, self-centered and clueless his Dad really was, and that the image of the man he had thought he was, was a lie.

  • Oh, and as to the PS–there is a huge difference between inflicting pain on oneself because of a hardened, unforgiving heart and having someone repeatedly inflict injure you and your loved ones by betrayal and broken promises and stealing family resources for an affair partner–stabbed in the heart by the very person who promised to be faithful and to honor and protect you. if Chumps feel self-inflicted pain, it is more likely because we KEEP “forgiving” when we should draw boundaries and enforce them. . This idiot really pushed my buttons.

  • I have a word on forgiveness. When this happened I told my cheater I forgave him, why .. half out of my mind, anyway he said..i didn’t ask for your forgiveness, he said is snarly also.

    Now later, I feel odd about the entire forgiveness thing, first of ALL he would have to stop cheating, and I feel very numb now.

    I was not at anger when it hit, I was at blindsided and the world didn’t seem real, and I got angry, then I went to sappy, then clingly, then the unreal world, then snippy remarks about how I should move on he doesn’t want the marriage, who cares I didn’t get to decide anything, then anger, now numb.

    If I forgave now I would have a hard time not laughing as I did, and I am not sure what is even salvageable now, I don’t mean this meanly but I don’t trust anything he says now and I never will again, not that I am making that decision to show I am strong or anything, I just don’t think anything he says is about anything but himself, he threw us all under the bus it is all lies, and he still refuses to talk to anyone about it, he is just fine with it all, he could care less how this makes out kids feel and I have no idea how they explain this, they told me they don’t know what to tell their new friends the meet. How do you explain a whore parent? I am not being mean, he just is one.

    • They don’t need forgiveness, because they haven’t done anything wrong, don’cha know?

      My kids say quite openly to friends ‘my mom kicked my dad out because he cheated’. That’s on him.

      • KarenE, my son is very private but I was shocked to find out quite recently that all of his friends know his dad cheated and they’ve been telling me how great an example I have been to them for throwing the cheater out! Everyone at his workplace know his dad cheated. I bet it’s healing for our kids to be very authentic rather than keeping a “secret”. The heck with that. I played that toxic game for way too long and my ex is still playing that game, telling people that our marriage was long over before he met his gf (news to me) and changed his status on FB five months after the divorce to “prove” that he didn’t have an affair. I bet a lot of folks feel he’s insulted their intelligence. Can you imagine playing this mindfuck the rest of your life? The irony of it all is that others know what really happened, so why re-write history?

  • Why on earth did I not find this site 2 years ago.

    Just forget reconcillation, you would be taking a liar back who didn’t care he or she did this.

    You will never be able to trust them again, they will just become smarter at hiding it.

    I have been traumatized by this entire thing, my marriage really meant something to me, I put so much of myself into it, and then, this just totally blew our FAMILY into space.

    He decided for all of us to end our family to end our marriage, all for fun.

    • Tess, Hugs. I feel for you and where you’re at now. Betrayal is incredibly painful, be kind to yourself, you are in the very real process of grief. I was sad, angry and numb for the first six months. As our case progressed my anger just grew and grew. It’s amazing what else you discover when someone you love has sabotaged your world. What helped me was listening to music, walking for an hour every day, swimming too:), and talking to anybody who would listen. Incredibly another coworker was going through the same thing. My girlfriends dragged me out on vacations and though my heart wasn’t quite into it being with others helped. I really spent those first three years taking care of myself and spending quite a lot of time alone. I needed that to ground myself, to grieve, to think about my future, to figure out what I wanted and how I was going to get there; for each of us it’s different, we just have to honor our own time. I just wanted you to know I read your reply and it brought tears to my eyes. So again sending hugs.

    • Sending hugs your way.

      I understand exactly how you feel, and you described it so well.

      I had no say or voice in anything when he took 5 minutes to blow our family apart, and walked out. He had everything planned out to the last detail, all behind my back. The contempt and loathing he showed and continues to direct at me is just as devastating as all the secrets that were uncovered.

      I’ve taken the time since then to continue to try and heal, to help my kids heal. He threw us all away and replaced us as easily as an old pair of shoes. There are days still when I feel I’m so damaged I will never be whole and trust again. And the two of them parade around like they’ve got the world at their command.

      Coming here, finding a place where I feel that we understand better than anyone what each of us are going through. Taking comfort and support from that, has been a lifeline for me.

      I hope that you draw strength from this site and everyone here. Together we will all find the love we deserve.

      • “Together we will all find the love we deserve.” I believe this too, Kathy. I think being able to vent and share our stories with others who are walking the same path helps us heal. My worst years were immediately following dday. My kids and I were walking zombies while my ex was gleefully having the time of his life. People did not want to know that someone we had all trusted could do something so wrong. I can laugh about it now but my ex went all out to destroy his family and still has the audacity to think he matters to us in any significant way. Some of the comments from people I barely knew just sent me into a tailspin. I have begun to share more of my story with others but it’s only when I speak here and with those who have been through it that I feel understood. I know there will never be a good answer to “Who does this!?!” I know I will never be able to forgive this man for the choices he made and the legacy he has left his family with. I am okay with that.

  • Keep strong Tess.
    I too cannot believe a word that comes out of the stupid exh (who I was married too) mouth. Lies, lies lies
    I do not trust anything he says and will not ever again.
    These people are gutless cheaters with no character at all.
    But I do believe it takes time to get to that spot. I know I trusted the stupid exh implicitly.. I raised my girls, I worked full time and I trusted that stupid exh was doing the same. Because that is what trusting loving spouses do!

  • I understand how she can be sure that she never cheated. But we can never speak for anyone else. Right? And does she also have the nerve to promote her book? Wow.

  • I am alone wow the first time without one of my kids for easter, well they are at school, last year the youngest was here, we had such a nice day.

    And then today unfortunately I remembered when I was pregnant with the oldest and it was right before easter and we saw a group of kids scattering at an easter egg hunt and I told him, just think next year and from now on we will have kids for easter.


    • Oh Tess, I am with you. Last year my son, liardeathstarX and made our first family Seder. I was so excited that we were building our own traditions. This year? I am alone for half while my six year old lives life without me in it for half a week half a vacation at a time. Prozac alone keeps me from despair. And I am 11 months past Dday and better than I was.

    • Yes, it is very hard to do things when they are not what we loved and dreamed of and worked for. You are not just mourning a marriage and family but your dreams of those things. This week was a big deal for me as I came to the end of a project that I took on just to do something that I wouldn’t have done with the X in my life. It was a competition, and hard but I loved it and it changed me. But yesterday I wanted to celebrate and there was no one to celebrate with–friends all out with their families on Easter Saturday. So I took myself out to eat and saw a movie I wanted to see that my friends wouldn’t care for. It was OK. Today I remembered how much fun we had last year, how we talked about spending holidays together. Sad. Some days are a lot harder than others. One thing I do (don’t laugh) is send myself cards. I bought myself a Valentine, early, wrote a note on it about what to do on Valentine’s Day, to remind me to love and take care of myself. I let it sit, and then mailed itnto myself to open on that hard day. It helped. Music, exercise, meditation, the garden. Happy movies. Go where there is comfort and beauty. There is so much in the world to love, and you know how to do that already.

  • Tess,

    More hugs your way for Easter. If going out to do things doesn’t work right now, find something at home that brings some relief, whether it’s a long hot bath with candles, reading, movies, music, etc.

    We are all here in spirit for you, sending support and comfort your way.

  • It is precisely because I am high-functioning in my real life that I need this community. It is because I don’t burden my family, my non-chump friends, my non-chump co-workers with the ugliness of surviving betrayal and raising kids who were betrayed and emotionally injured by their father, that I come here. And even my chumpy peeps? Even we can only dwell so much on it together.

    I took less child support than that which was legally mine. Not ONCE did I feel badly for it–no guilt, no shame, no humiliation in finally getting proper support to raise the kids he willingly brought into this world. It was my pleasure. I’m doing a great job. My face? Unslapped. I am totally un-undermined. I think he feels undermined, but he chose to walk away and start a new life.

    I work full time, and always have pulled my fair share between working for pay, working around the house, raising kids. I have lots of friends and interests that keep me busy and fulfilled. For the most part I am happy. And a lot of my sanity comes from this community.

    We chumps are easily persuaded to think of others before ourselves, to believe that others’ opinions, wants, needs are paramount to ours. We come here for validation and moral support, for reality checks. It’s the self-doubt that can keep a chump down. Here? We learn to be righteous. My anger and steadfastness are righteous. Believe it.

    Bitter? Yeah, a little, but it’s directed. I don’t live in it, don’t dwell upon it, but it’s there, and always will be, and it’s a hurt I work around every day. Forgive? Probably not. And it’s not my goal, and it shouldn’t be anyone’s goal for me–I’m a grown woman and I can decide for myself. As I’ve said here, I am aiming for indifference. I may end up feeling sorry for the old dog at some point (I do, from time to time.) But he didn’t just hurt me, you see, he hurt my children, and I’m not so chumpy that I will ever think that’s ok. He hurt my parents, his mom, and, yeah, he hurt me. That’s on him.

    I think you meant well, but you have to admit you are naive. You don’t know what you don’t know. One big silver lining in all of this is that I’m learning to be more compassionate, learning a little bit of humility. I DON’T know a lot of things. I DON’T know the pain that a lot of people carry–pain which has made a lot of people very strong and beautiful. I hope you never know our pain, but I know that if you ever join us here, not just as a pitying spectator, but as a member? You’ll KNOW. You’ll feel it, smell it, taste it. You will never doubt it. Thanks for the sympathy. And the example.

    • Miss Sunshine :

      “It is precisely because I am high-functioning in my real life that I need this community. It is because I don’t burden my family, my non-chump friends, my non-chump co-workers with the ugliness of surviving betrayal and raising kids who were betrayed and emotionally injured by their father, that I come here.”

      You are so right. This community is what allows me to deal with this situation with grace and dignity IRL. My friends tell me I have acted with dignity, my children seem calmer and more grounded than ever, and my colleagues tell me how strong I am. That is because I can come here and express my pain and anger without judgement or fear of hurting the people I love. The CL community has been like a lifeline for me.

  • “The dependency on a man is so undermining. . . Even so, I’m not sure I would have wanted his money if we’d gotten divorced. . . . It’s hard to build up a sense of self worth and potential when you depend on the very person who rejected you.”

    Just bite me. You are indeed smug. The legal term is “detrimental reliance.” That is, to your detriment, you relied on a promise from another party or individual who failed to fulfill their end of the bargain.

    So, yeah, stay-at-home mom who just spent 20 years out of the labor market. Buck up, spiff up that resume, and figure out how to make up for your lost earning potential so you can live in a standard to which you are accustomed.

    As for me, my husband encouraged me to quit my job so I could attend graduate school full-time. He left three months later. It was a personal decision to saddle up on the high horse you are on, but again, personal decision. It also had absolutely nothing to do with pride or pseudo-feminist prattle. It had everything to do with getting rid of a psychopath.

    PS: I will forgive when I damn well feel like it.

    • Thank you for the term “detrimental reliance.” It’s nice to know that the law has a word to describe the impact of someone making promised and commitments and then devastating others by walking away. And as someone who knowns what grad school at the doctoral level takes out of a person (and what it can add) I know just how big and awful a shit sandwich he served up when he left after you committed to doing the degree. But then, grad school, like having a baby, means having to share and work and support the life of someone else because you can’t write a dissertation without time, effort, and the understanding of the people who are supposed to love you.

      • Best advice I got while slogging through the dissertation:
        the only good dissertation is a done dissertation .

        • That is similar to what my dissertation advisor kept reminding me; it does not have to be perfect or amazing, it just has to be DONE! Nose to the grindstone, it IS worth it!

          • Thank you. My ex had an affair after I went back to grad school too. I was so busy working, studying, planning date nights and taking care of out son that the OW and cheater ex got away with the affair right under my nose, in my home, me and my son as dinner guests at the OW (dear God).

            I won awards am have some good opportunities and now can’t seem to finish the dissertation. My mental health is still not great after so many years with a mindfucker. I so want to finish. I want to do what you great bloggers are saying. Please have me in mind. My life feels so bad at the moment.

            • Chumpectomy, you CAN do it! Take as good care of yourself as you can manage, and just chip away at that damned dissertation. It just has to be DONE.

              Sending you many positive thoughts.

              • Thank you so much Karen. I am going to print your message and place it by my table–where I write. Your encouragement means so much. I want to do this. I won an award in 2013 in support of my writing— months after Dday— I feel like the universe is leading me on my path. I just need this strength to heal and focus. Your support really helps.

    • Applause!! well said.

      (from a fellow Ph.D-er…you WILL get there. That a whole other mountain of shit to climb, but let me just take a moment to offer you support and encouragement on that front. One of my Profs once said to me, “You’ll know you’re done when you don’t care what we think.” Despite her own toxic narcissism, she was right. I passed with no revisions. I promise you it is one of the best Fuck Off World James Brown I Feel Good moments evar.)

    • “PS: I will forgive when I damn well feel like it.”

      OH HELL YES.

      Personally I do not subscribe to the whole “forgiveness” phenomenon. In fact, there is nothing guaranteed to piss me off faster than a nice talk about forgiveness. Those damn do-gooders with their hand clasping, patronizing tones and glazed eyes.

      I remember that the therapist mentioned it once. My response was to shout “BULLSHIT” at the top of my lungs and that was the end of that.

      Nuh uh, no thanks, not for me. My goal is indifference. To not care would be bliss.

  • So well said CL… do I feel anger HELL YES!!! Do I feel remorse at having to take child support from the cheating low life… not in the lightest. He walked out to be with his true love without even a glance backwards to either me or his own children after 21 years… if that money enables me to put food on the table and clothes on my children fantastic. This troll makes me so angry. Comments like this… just get over it… my ex used to tell me this sooo many times during my marriage, just deal with it when he came home with bites in his neck, or, never came home…do I have forgiveness, absolutely… for me.. I forgive myself for being such a chump and treated so very badly for such a long time, i am worth so much more, do I forgive him, NO, I try never to even think about him.

    Bravo Chump Lady.

    • I think that is a really good point. We chumps have to work on forgiving ourselves.

      In my case I have to work on forgiving myself for being faithfully available to someone who, in retrospect, had so little regard for me. I made three kids with him, and he really barely tolerated me at times. It’s hard for me to forgive myself for that. But I’m working on it. Also I was not a perfect wife. And I do forgive myself.

      • “In my case I have to work on forgiving myself for being faithfully available to someone who, in retrospect, had so little regard for me. I made three kids with him, and he really barely tolerated me at times. It’s hard for me to forgive myself for that. But I’m working on it. Also I was not a perfect wife. And I do forgive myself.”

        This is exactly where I am at. It just blows my mind that I spent so many years living like that and it’s easy to beat yourself up over that time and again. So yes, it is time to forgive myself for doing my best at being a faithful, loving wife to a soulless, lying sack of shit. Not exactly a loving Easter message, but it is sad thinking that last year we were all together as a family celebrating, little did I know he had already started planning my downfall. God help him. And I do forgive him, not for his sake but for mine cause I do not want to carry that around with me any longer. He is what he is and I am who I am, and his stupidity has nothing to do with me anymore.

  • Forgiveness is so over-rated. OK, maybe 20 years down the road, but now…no way.

    I loved my anger. I reveled in it and used it. It brought me strength, courage and a way back to myself. Viva la anger! As CL mentions, it dissipated and only percolates up occasionally now. The LCB (lying cheating bastard) who is my stbx preached forgiveness and had the temerity to say that he would forgive me if I had cheated. Oh really? Well, then you would be a fool. I am done with that role.

    So, thank you for calling the forgiveness troll out. The smugness, the self satisfaction and the sanctimoniousness were just too much.

  • Forgive ? I can’t say I am at that point with my cheating NPD wife. I don’t know if I ever can,,, I am still with her because of the kids she begged the first couple of months for forgiveness but that ended because well she’s a narcissist and it’s all about her , I wasn’t a dick throwing into her face every 2 seconds but I still have my moments,, I think she still blames me for her cheating narcissistic ways. But I am slowly learning that’s what NPD people do. Forgive ,, forget FUCK THAT. I am a firm believer of karma it will get her in the end but for now I stay ,, my boys don’t need a part time daddy it’s a small trade off to kiss them good night 7 nights a week, it’s not their fault.

  • Well.. pretending that you aren’t angry and suppressing it is probably a dysfunctional coping mechanism. Hate to think of how that plays out long-term.

    It’s kind of egotistical to pretend you are so “evolved” that you are “above anger”. Anger is just an emotion. It’s an emotion that wants you to do something about your present situation. If you are angry, you are just angry. Now if you are angry and do nothing to change your situation (stay in a marriage with serial cheater, for example), then that’s probably not wise, but you are probably more likely to do that if you pretend you are not angry or suppress it, or direct that anger at yourself instead of looking at what the real problem is: you trusted somebody, and they abused that trust, they put you and their family at-risk due to their bad behavior.

    I think these things take time because, ideally, you’re trying to construct a new life and a new life narrative after the last life-narrative you had turned out to be a pipe-dream and your trust in somebody turned out to be misplaced.

    For me, I kind of oscillated between “OK, my ex sucks at committed relationships” and a little bit of guilt over not seeing it from the beginning because things become so much clearer with the benefit of hindsight. Heck, my dogs mourned her absence for months, so I can’t even imagine how strong the temptation to blame yourself for trusting somebody and misjudging their character if you had kids with that person. My dogs seem well adjusted now, but they can’t speak, and I can’t read their minds (and maybe that is for the best), and there is no shared custody arrangement with my pets, so I am sure the magnitude of that temptation to blame yourself is very small in comparison to what others might experience … even though all they did was trust somebody.

    I think part of the problem with people who find the anger of people who have been betrayed inconvenient and who want them to just immediately “Get over It” is they are focusing on their own comfort, and they don’t see how they might be feeding that temptation to blame yourself , or–even worse–might even feed that “fear of the unknown/change” that keeps people stuck sometimes when their anger would, at least, compel them to change something.

  • For years, my ex told me I had “anger issues” – um, brought about by his serial cheating. As TimeHeals pointed out, I suppressed that anger and sugar coated it because my ex and our stupid therapist told me I was destroying our marriage with my anger. In my herculean effort to suppress my anger, I became so unhappy with my life, I learned to detach so I could survive.

    I chanced upon Tracy’s blog a year ago (I googled “do serial cheaters change” – in case you’re curious, they don’t) and I finally, I understood my anger. It was okay to be angry and I channeled that into healing. Forgive the cheater? I hope so eventually, but I know to me it simply means to no longer speak ill (or good either) of him, to talk about him as someone I used to know. Part of my factual history but not my emotional history. I’ve learned forgiveness cannot be forced, no matter how much you want to (for those who choose to forgive). Instead, what’s working for me is focusing my attention on myself and to those who support and love me. When my thoughts are on the cheater ex, I observe it, tell myself, “Huh, I’m wasting my time” and then I think or do something worthwhile. Awareness, awareness, awareness has been my mantra on my road to healing. Without awareness, I used to spend hours (heck, days at times) thinking of the cheater and what he did to my life. No more. I could die tomorrow and would hate to think that my final hours were spent in vain.

  • So sad today, remembering my kids when they were little hunting easter eggs, dressing up in new outfits to go to my mum’s place for a family dinner, the first decent long weekend of the year. Today it’s raining and gray, everyone gone somewhere else to celebrate with other families, building their fresh new lives, which is how it should be. My mum passed these two years now. Not what I ever envisioned, this life alone.

    I’ll be fine, of course. I’ll go in the garden and cut myself some flowers, make myself a lovely vegan Easter dinner, work on a long-term project, write, send e-mails and texts out to friends and family wishing them happy Easter. I’m adapting to this new life of mine, will be going away in two weeks to house sit up coast, then a vacation end of May to see friends and the son who is moving away for school. Still…….

    Forgive? Like you said Miss Sunshine, I am working on forgiving myself, but that will be as far as it goes. I know it is the season of new beginnings, but there is still too much anger in me to even think about forgiving that sad excuse for a husband I am still saddled with. Righteous, Old Testament-type anger that keeps me fueled as I slog on the path to my divorce in spite of all the costly, unnecessary roadblocks that ToddlerBoi keeps throwing in my path. One day I will not need it anymore, the anger, but until then you Forgiveness Trolls out there can go fuck yourselves.

    I am so glad this place is here. Thank you so much, Tracy. And Happy Easter, Chump Nation!

  • Just because people have the Chump Lady forum as an outlet for anger does not make us angry in general.

    I think if you love a chump, you’ll direct him or her here, to offload a lot of confusion and hurt and anger. This is a place where we can exchange pain for a few laughs, insight, and healthy boundaries. This forum helps us to be MORE functional in real life. This is a place apart from our daily lives where we can connect and share with like-minded people who can appreciate our unique experiences, who can help us and encourage us to navigate through the darkness of betrayal.

    We chumps here are very articulate, intelligent, introspective (without being naval-gazing like cheaters tend to be), and kind. We don’t run around in our real lives all angry and crazy, nor whipped up and frenzied.

    You can’t know unless you’re a chump.

  • Some things are simply unforgiveable, particularly when the perpetrator has engaged in long-term, premeditated, vicious and repeated abuse. Especially when the perpetrator has not explained why he or she did what they did, leaving the victim with no frame of reference to even understand the perpetrator’s motivations, true feelings, or even all that the perpetrator has actually done. And of course where the perpetrator is a betrayer of the worst sort. Not much to work with there, is there? At least not much as far as I am concerned.

    I believe we are told to forgive so that the cheater keeps what is left of his or her reputation, so that he cheater can avoid any pesky feelings of guilt (to the extent these guys have any), and so that the cheater and AP’s can proceed on their merry way with as little impediment as possible.

    Anger is what kept me alive, it is what kept me crawling (sometimes on bloodied knees), it is what kept me from throwing myself in the river when I felt no will to live anymore. Rage is what made me try to stay up past midnight each night so that I could write in my diary “I survived another day.” It is what made me vow that I would survive, date again, and thrive, that I would not go to my grave alone and never having been truly loved.

    If you haven’t been betrayed in this manner you simply have NO IDEA what you are talking about. It is The Ultimate Mindfuck. For anyone who tells us to calm down, or show more decorum in voicing what our exes have done, or to “forgive already and move on,” I simply invite you to try it some time.

    • And for those who’ve never been through infidelity and think they have an idea of what it feels like, multiply that horrible feeling by a thousand and you will just be touching the tip of the iceberg of pain.

    • I don’t think there are any pesky feelings of guilt for most cheaters. It’s all about image, and self-image. Doesn’t matter what they do, only matters how it looks.

      My narc ex has recently started claiming he has terrible guilt about having hurt the kids and I so much. I can’t even wrap my mind around that possibility. 15 years not caring at all about how he treated us or how that affected us, and now he feels guilty? Nah. As our 13 year old daughter says, he’ll say anything to get what he wants, ands right now that’s what he thinks might work.

      • Same here, Karen. Mr Fab is more focussed on MY being a pathological narcissist liar-projectarooney! Your narc’s ‘guilt’ is a flag of convenience. And my DD would say the same thing, even though it turns any Chump’s blood to ice hearing your kid speak that truth. The ‘gentle lies’ of childhood are long gone. I miss some of them.

        All these translations and theological discussions are spot-on. Sinners must atone, so forgiveness is a gift that I doubt I will ever give-I think it is part of the skein of fuckuppedness to think they ever will-Mr Fab certainly got off on my anger-I reckon your fucktard is just looking for an attention fix.

        Regardless of whether you practice Passover, Eostre, Easter, or just plain Spring, love and strength to all Chump Nation! And a shining thought to the spirit of David (Chump Son), who no doubt would have had some funny wisdom or wise fun for us about this troll.

        And congratulations, Tracy, on your site reaching this benchmark. At the moment, all I can do is pay you in appreciation. You have started a community here that is mighty indeed.


        • Thanks Mehphista — and no worries. I hate to guilt anyone into donating, it just chaps my ass when trolls or whatever insinuate that I do this for some greater glory or riches. I do it because I like doing it, and I think this community should exist because there’s nothing else competing with the Unicorns. And it delights me every day when someone tells me CL makes a difference in their life.

          Now when my book comes out (in June, fingers crossed) — I’m guilting EVERYONE into buying it. Beware! 🙂

  • No surprise. Just more confirmation that those who have not been through this just do not have a clue how it really feels.
    Perhaps, another subject for discussion would be to talk about betrayed spouses who have reconciled(yeah, right) and who also adopt this attitude(or even worse, the air of superiority some display because they “got over it and their marriage is “”””stronger than ever””.
    I’ve seen some of these folks denigrate the betrayeds who do not just start falling all over themselves to forgive. Another variation on the ‘ I am so much more evolved than you” theme.

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