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Dear Chump Lady, Where’s the Karma?

Dear Chump Lady,

Well as the song goes, ‘Yesterday it was my birthday, I hung one more year on the line.’

But this year was the first birthday since my husband of 21 years announced, in early July, that he was ‘in love’ with somebody else, and was leaving me and our 17 year old son.

He’s ‘so so sorry’ and ‘can’t understand how he got here,’ apparently. So that’s OK then.

And as people have been finding out, life for me has been pretty awful for the last five years. (His dad died, and he gave up work, has not bought a penny into the house since, has been in a self pitying spiral, and he and his whole family relied on me for all their emotional support, as well as organising the funeral, tax returns, registering the death, etc etc, and filing tax returns every year since for his mother.)

At points during these last five years, I have been very close to jacking it all in myself. It was 100% give from me, whilst I got zero in return. By Christmas 2013 I was on anti-depressants. He even acknowledged that he was responsible for driving me into a state of depression and anxiety.

But I’m quite a traditional, old fashioned sort. Or just stupid I guess. So I stuck it out. Because I made vows which said ‘for better for worse’, and I knew it couldn’t get much worse, but convinced myself that he couldn’t help it, and that eventually it would all turn around and we would have a good life again. I’m not a quitter, I don’t give up on years of marriage just because things are a bit rubbish. Plus, we have our son, my shining light, a child I never thought I would have who I went through much emotional and physical distress to get. I owed it to him to keep working at the marriage and ensure that he didn’t come from a broken home.

But now this. And to compound matters, husband has moved in with his mother, six doors away from me, whilst the other woman lives at the top of my road. I cannot leave my house without risking seeing either, or both of them, or her mother who also lives in the village. It’s a small, gossipy place, and all eyes are on me, pitying the poor woman who has been dumped. What a lovely feeling that is.

But hey, I have to sell the house and move to something smaller anyway. And I have to find a new, better paid job. A virtually impossible task, when prospective employers find out I’m 52. Plus of course I will be busy sorting the house ready for the move, doing all the paperwork, and desperately trying to make ends meet.

I discovered that he has taken this woman away for the weekend. I can’t remember the last time he did that for me.

And that’s my question I guess. How long does it take for this rage to subside? Having realised that I have been married to someone with NPD (I’m convinced) it is not that I want him back or wish we could sort things out. I know, actually, that I’m better off without. BUT, why am I suffering so badly, in so much emotional pain, with so much worry and uncertainty heaped upon me, and yet him….he’s just fine! Living for free with Mummy dearest, still having all his food served up to him, his clothes washed and ironed and probably having his a*se wiped too for all I know. Then he goes round to the woman’s house, to get his ego fed, and of course get his ‘oats’ as we say here in the UK.

Where’s the Karma? Where’s the justice? Why am I so full of rage that I really don’t know what to do with myself, scared to realise what I might be capable of? How do I last the course?

Elle

Dear Elle,

Here’s the thing with idiots — they don’t suffer. Well, not in front of you anyway, and not in any convincing manner. They’re idiots. They don’t feel anything all that deeply. Joy, sorrow, karma. It could rain firing coals on your idiot’s head and he’d tell you he’s enjoying a hot stone massage sent from heaven.

It’s all impression management with the disordered.

So that’s part of why his life seems so easy breezy. Because he doesn’t feel that deeply, he disconnects pretty easily. The investment was shallower than you ever imagined. (Excruciating to realize, I know.) And because he doesn’t feel joy that much either, karma can show up with a shit sandwich and it’s not that much different to his palate than a steak sandwich. (Which explains the down grade affair partner phenomenon as well.)

The most important thing to a narcissist is kibbles. And extracting value from other people so they don’t have to work too hard. Everything else is whatevers. Although they’ll work hard to convince you everything is Fabulous with them. (Keeps ’em in kibbles. Don’t you want to hang with Mr. Fabulous? Don’t you want what he’s got? Come closer so I can lay some sparkles on you…)

Your idiot is a parasite. He has adapted his lifestyle over many decades to bleed people and he is alarmingly good at it. He quit his job and bled you for awhile, now he’s moved over to his mum’s house. The other woman will get her turn too. Sure, he took her on a trip. That’s just salting the mines, as they say. Sprinkling a little gold dust on the mine to convince an investor that the whole mine is gold. Bernie Madoff gave a great return on the investment dollar… for awhile.

The good news is you’re free of a parasite. That’s GOOD NEWS. Doesn’t feel like it right now, right now you’re choking on the injustice and the hard work ahead, but gloria hallelujah you’re narcissist free!

All this man was going to do is drain you. Financially, emotionally, physically. Now you get your life back and you’re free to rebuild. All that energy you were throwing at him is now yours to invest in yourself. So take it back and don’t look back.

Talk to a lawyer. If he’s spending marital assets on his affair you can ask for that back in the divorce. Get the best possible settlement off him. If he’s desperate to be with his soul mate, use that as leverage in the divorce. Work this shit to your advantage if at all possible.

Is it unfair that you have to lose half your assets and rebuild your life? Yes it is unfair. Getting cancer and losing your hair is also unfair. Misfortune has costs. You’ve lived 21 years with cancer and now you’re cancer free. You get your life back. It’s a gift. USE that gift.

People hire kickass 52-year-olds every day. Please don’t give up before you’ve begun. You don’t know how life will reconstitute itself. You just take it on faith and work your ass off. But guess what? You’re GREAT at working your ass off because you’ve been doing it for him for years. Now do it for yourself and report back to me in a year. I’ll bet you my Australian Shepherd you’re infinitely happier (if downsized) a year out from this mess. Meanwhile, read here. Chump Nation has your back. You can DO THIS.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • CL, nice post!
    Elle, my heart goes out to you. It is simply going to take time before your heart and mind are on the same page. For me, it has taken 2 years to finally feel at peace.
    My exH (18 yrs married, 23 yrs together) left our family for a woman 12 yrs younger than me, and almost immediately started a new family and moved away. It has been tough seeing the devastation wrought on the children, and tough to see them liking the OW.

    This summer, after the kids returned from an extended trip to their father’s, I finally felt peace. I finally see that karma will reach him: not in a blaze of glory of OWife cheating on him (as she cheated on her ex, etc.). It’s the little things: laughing with the kids, sharing a book or movie with them (latest– movie version of “and then there were none.”) hearing one of children make a comment about the father, and realizing they see through the lies.

    I finally see exH the way he is: lazy, lying, selfish, coward, who takes no personal responsibility for his actions, and continues to lie to me, the kids, and everyone else : either directly, or by omission.

    It is tough beimg in a small place. ExH and I continued working at the same small place for 9 months before he quit and moved away. I have learned that people “get it,” even if they do not say anything to you. The folks in your village “get it”…. He is living with his mother, after all. And for those who don’t… They are not worth your time or attention. We get to choose our friends in life.

    Head high, stand tall. It _WILL_ get better, it just simply takes time.

    • “I finally see exH the way he is: lazy, lying, selfish, coward, who takes no personal responsibility for his actions, and continues to lie to me, the kids, and everyone else : either directly, or by omission.”

      Sounds like you married MY X. To a TEEEE!

    • “I finally see exH the way he is: lazy, lying, selfish, coward, who takes no personal responsibility for his actions, and continues to lie to me, the kids, and everyone else : either directly, or by omission.”
      Perfect, zyx! I am slowly getting there..7 months out from DDay, my clarity is starting to kick in.

  • For me the question of karma is still a double edged sword. I can’t, just can’t, no matter how much time I spend reading here, I can’t help but wonder is this MY karma?
    I love this statement “And because he doesn’t feel joy that much either, karma can show up with a shit sandwich and it’s not that much different to his palate than a steak sandwich. (Which explains the down grade affair partner phenomenon as well.)” it makes good sense to me, but his infidelity continues to be the gift that just keeps on giving! I want to do a quick hijack….have a binding child support agreement that states he will pay the school fees in leiu of child support, but if he stops paying where do I stand? What do I do? He has been gone 2 years, we are divorced, I don’t know where he is and he makes no contact with the kids so I should be happy but somehow I can’t be. There are still 5 and a half years of his game playing ahead of us with school fees and I wonder will he be punished ever for mucking his kids around and keeping me in a constant state of stress and financial worry? Will karma grab him for this next enslaught of BS….or is this just something I have to deal with instead of just being able to get on with my life?

    • Nat 1 I too have thought is this MY Karma. Today would have been my little brothers 47 birthday he died when he was 10. I met my X 1 month later and have been with him for 34 years. Its 5 mths since I found about OW I have my ups and downs mostly like you Elle. Always there for him always about him but deep down I have to admit when my little brother died I felt that I was always waiting for The Other Shoe To Drop and I guess now it has. It is hard to find yourself at 56 single again and yes I have family and friends but read every day from CL to find that it is gonna take a lot of work and more time than only 5 mths to get on and get use to my new life. But I too wonder a lot why his life “seems” so so perfect and mine is just screwed up and I have so much to do 🙁 Hugs to you all ps I am better believe it or not than I was 5 mths ago. lol Just it being my brothers bday and my X always being there before for me on this day guess its a downer day. xxxxxxxxx

      • Dear Minime1224,

        I’m so sorry you are facing this anniversary today. I totally understand how hard it is to find yourself without the emotional support you used to turn to from your ex husband. Even in a crowded room filled with loving friends and family, we still feel acutely the absence of the person we thought we were closest to, and 5 months is absolutely no time to have got used to them not being there during the hard times. I send you a huge virtual hug and heartfelt sympathy.

        Of course, I too wonder if all this crap is MY Karma, I too wonder if the disordered personality is really me, because I simply have not stopped raging at the injustice – and its ruddy 5 years since D Day and 10 months since I completely stopped getting sucked into false reconciliations! I have been such a fool! If I could go back in time, I’d tell myself to read your post (and other, much stronger fellow chumps) who have made giant strides to MEH in such a small amount of time. At 5 months I think I was still dry-heaving and on the cheater diet, and sure, he was really, really good at the mindfuck, gaslighting, blame-shifting game, but how I wish I’d have been more bloody ruthless in protecting myself. So full props to you, you are, as we say here – MIGHTY 🙂

        Best regards,

        Jayne

        • In the sense that “karma” is the result of choices that you have made in the past, I guess we all experience these betrayals as “karma.” That is not the same thing as saying we DESERVE to be betrayed or we “asked for” the shit sandwich or the long-term financial and emotional turmoil. That’s just “you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.” That’s why most of us must fix our picker so we don’t make similar choices in the future, so we don’t put ourselves in the path of these destructive people or anyone like them ever again. And for us, this “karma” calls to mind an image from tarot, the Tower, which symbolizes the kind of lighting-bolt change that cracks open unhealthy situations, destroys the things in our life that hold us back from happy, healthy lives. And while these situations we face after betrayal are painful and challenging. while they require risk and courage and great strength, going through them takes us to a new level in our lives.

          On the other hand, we have lying, gaslighting, blameshifting narcissistic, abusive cheaters. As CL says, it looks from our position as if their lives are going great–they’re “in love.” They’ve ditched financial responsibilities and commitments. They’re “salting the mine,” as CL says, with the new AP to get that person hooked into the new stable kibble source. But what a price they pay. They abandon or brush aside everything that makes us respect good people–honesty, loyalty, love for their kids and their betrayed partner, trustworthiness, gratitude, unselfishness. To be in their shoes is to be hollow. Empty of all that matters. Jackass lives in a house his parents paid for, sits on furniture someone else bought, has no real friends, goes from job to job, has a broken relationship with his daughter. No doubt his next “relationship” will be largely carried out on his phone with some married woman so he can have his sick secrets. His truck hasn’t been hit by a meteor and he won’t run out of sad women or skanks to play games with. But at every point in life when he got a chance to make a great life, he threw it away. That won’t change.

          • We often have no control over the painful things that happen to us, but what defines us is how we respond to both our opportunities and our challenges.

            • “We often have no control over the painful things that happen to us, but what defines us is how we respond to both our opportunities and our challenges.”
              I hear this a lot, LovedaJackass. But for me it’s a double-edged sword. 7 months out from Dday I don’t find myself responding well. I don’t feel as though I’m moving forward as I should. I feel really, really down 99% of the time.

              • Your message struck a chord with me. I know how you feel. I have down days when i just cannot make sense of it all and feel such a great loss of the life and family I once had. Then I just try to give myself a talking to and count my blessings, it is hard sometimes. I know this will sound daft but I have recently taken up painting. My friends and family think I am getting good at this but I am not so sure. I just love that the painting really gives me a focus and distracts me from over thinking everything. It gives my brain a rest, similar to meditating. Give it a try and please believe that things will get better, find something to really distract yourself . X

              • LAJ….your quote has registered a beep in my depress filled brain that I will use for strength in the near future.

                I feel your pain Salzo and I haven’t even left my cheatertard husband. We had separated before and the last time I believed I had hit rock bottom, 2 yrs separated from late 2005 to 2007ish and I was still an emotional fruitcake. Very dark times and the painful memory from that makes me hesitant to walk away

  • I feel for you, Elle, I too have struggled with anger that my ex just drifts along in what I describe as his Blanche DeBois existence, never worrying about bills to pay or holding a steady job because he just “depends on the kindness of strangers” – whatever friend or family member he can leech onto currently. Meanwhile, I struggle in a low-paying job I hate, not getting anywhere with my new job search, in a POS car that keeps breaking down, in a cramped house and take care of all of the kids’ needs on my own. (Child support is oh so infrequent.) Oh sure, he shows up for his alotted visitation, but those are brief visits – he isn’t the one who stays up all night with a sick child and has to go to work the next day, has to work all day and then come home and help with hours of homework, or who gets screamed at for having to take a day off of work because I can’t get a babysitter.

    Where’s the karma? Well, for one thing, I wouldn’t want to be his age and live the life he’s leading. It’s pathetic. That’s what has helped me when I get upset – think objectively. If you were a stranger, and you heard about this guy’s life, what would you think about him? Leaves his wife of 21 years and his 17 year old kid for some neighbor chick. Doesn’t have a job and hasn’t for years. Doesn’t sound like he can do much of anything on his own since you said he AND his family relied on you. Doesn’t live with the OW, he lives with his mother. You said you were 52, so I’m going to guess he’s about that age too.

    I’m a stranger on the internet, I’ve heard about this guy’s life, and I can tell you that I’m definitely not impressed. I think you sound like you’re in a much better place, struggles and all, than him.

    Hugs! They’re the losers, not us.

    • Amen. Sometimes you have to create your own karma, and a lot of that can be by perception. I was left while pregnant, and even though there was a LOT of bad in that, I tried to see the good…my son didn’t have to go through an adjustment of his dad being there, then not. I got to do things my own way from the get-go. My OB felt so bad for my situation that she’d do free 3-D ultrasounds and anything else she could think of to make the pregnancy special for me. I think we always think of karma as the bad, but sometimes it returns as good karma, for us.

        • Yeah, and the first bit of good karma is being rid of somebody who isn’t capable of valuing things like commitment and honesty and integrity, etc. 🙂

          As for their Karma; meh, not your job… thank Goodness for that 😉

      • And “good karma” for us is that we get to experience those kind acts from family, doctors (like lale’s), and many times even strangers who give you compassionate thoughts and make us believe in GOOD again…

    • Great comment. I had the same thoughts about Elle’s husband as you did. Suddenly ups and leaves his family? Had an affair? Moved back in with mommy? Unemployed bum? Sounds like a LOSER to me! While Elle sounds like a strong woman who won’t put up with this bullshit!

      Elle, I would bet others in your town have the same thoughts too!

  • You are in the early days, so you are still going through shock, grief and rage. As for karma, I think some get to witness it and some don’t. My guess is your guy is on a downward spiral into continued suckitude. I got to witness major, spectacular karma, but it took time and by the time it rolled around, I didn’t even care so much about it anymore. And at this point, he actually seems sad to me. Chumplady is right, don’t waste your life waiting for karma. You are free of a parasite and can work on rebuilding an awesome life for you and your son. My prediction is that you are going to come out of this strong and happy and your ex will continue to be a sad sack and you will end up wondering how on earth you put up with him for so long.

  • I feel exactly the same way. My husband of ten years told me earlier this summer he had been having an affair. Since then he has been living with his parents 4 miles away. I just said the exact same thing last night …Mommy is doing EVERYTHING for him. In the mean time I am taking care of our daughter full-time, working 50 hours a week, and taking care of our house. What I want to know is what is wrong with these enabling door-mat mothers?? If it were my son, I sure as hell would make it known that he was expected to pull his weight while he was staying there AND could only stay there on a very short term basis.

      • I bet a lot of us were in competition with these “crazy enabling doormat mothers” even before we realized we were married to soulless sex freaks. We learn a lot from our mothers, and when our mothers are untreated borderline alcoholics, we learn the fine art of triangulation at a very young age. And then we are young and dumb and think our love will make it all better; and mommy dearest is ALWAYS happy to have the little boy back that you “stole” from her.

  • check with any university business schools in your area for programs to reboot your career. Women’s initiatives, a lot are called, for both changing jobs and returning to. There are more and more geared towards women over 40, I just interviewed with one. I spent 6 hours one day on line networking and got some bites – and i’ve been out of the workforce for 17 years. I, even at 45, got a call back for an internship at a start up, originally geared for new (cough cough young) graduates. It may not turn out, but the interviews are confidence building. It propelled me out of the navel gazing crying jags, woe is me, why why why, and right into starting to feel positive and empowered. You are fierce, don’t forget that. Fear holds us back, but frankly, after what you’ve been through, what is there to be afraid of? Take one step at a time, break your tasks into tiny manageable chunks and don’t get too overwhelmed with the whole picture. And check in here. A lot.

    • And you never know when the boss or human resources person doing the hiring will be a chump who understands your situation.

  • In my state if a person gets too far behind in child support the court will go after them. My advice to anyone with children is to get cs mandated through the court! Then if he/she gets in arrears you can use CSR to go after them. If he is completely off the grid the idiot does not realize this never goes away. Be proactive. There is not always a good outcome but if he has a job his wages can be garnished. I hate parents like this who think children are disposable!

    • Agreed! I hate to hear when parents accept whatever the ex is willing to give, for fear that he won’t give anything at all…if you’re always scared about that you may as well face it and be done, at worst they’ll be on the run from jail and you’ll figure it out on your own, at best they’ll have to pay a set amount and you won’t have to walk on eggshells to get it!

      • And unless he refuses to work or lives in a hole he dug in the ground, once official arrearages start to accumulate, the state will attach any tax refunds or wages even after the kids are grown. He owes the money. It’s like have hideous credit forever.

        • I just got 8 months worth of child support via stbx’s tax refund. Yay! Not a lot of money cos he’s useless and doesn’t work, but it’s still a win 🙂
          (Also, it’s not very meh, but I like to imagine the little tanty he had when he realised where his $$$ went. Double win.)

    • In my neck of the woods in Iowa, at least in my situation, STBX’s employer automatically takes it out of his paycheck and sends it to our county Clerk of Court, who then gives it to me. THANK GOD, because the asshat would never ever pay me a dime of child support..EVER.

  • Hi Elle,
    21 years with a narcissist can make being 52 seem like 82! But in reality, 52-year old women are still extremely vital and fabulous. Don’t sell yourself short when imagining how your life should and will be moving forward. Now’s your chance to create exactly what you want for yourself without the burden of a selfish disordered spouse holding you back in any way. Remove yourself as far as possible from his drama so you can get into a better mental space and you’ll be amazed at how the positive energy will reconstitute in you and around you. Inevitably when that happens, you’ll be more motivated to update yourself both physically and emotionally and wear those 52 years with class and exuberance. Congratulations — your life is about to make a stupendous turn for the better!

    • Thank you FinallyDone!

      I’m in the UK and just turned 51, facing the need to get another job in the not so distant future (I’m a support worker for an elderly disabled lady and inevitably we all come to the end of it, don’t we? Plus, truthfully, the job don’t pay enough and ex-tosspotopath regards my job as a ‘lifestyle’ choice which ‘he is not prepared to support – his argument for not helping me to find somewhere else to live when the mortgage company repossess now he has stopped paying the mortgage! – NPD – the gift that never stops giving!). So grateful someone else thinks us over 50’s are not quite ready for the scrap heap! Thank you 😀

      • PS,

        I love my job. No it’s not going to make me a millionaire (truthfully barely gives me enough to make it from one end of the month to the other) – but I know I am truly valuable – I make a difference – I am helping someone to live and enjoy her life and I’m hoping that it’s putting some pennies in my own karma bank. Does that make me wrong? Maybe he’s right – it is a lifestyle choice. I guess I could go and swell the coffers of some corporation somewhere – I could be making some shareholders some shit-hot returns instead, couldn’t I?

  • One of the things that I have noticed is that conversations amongst many of you is about the amount of money that your exes have, the wonderful trips they take and especially when they take your children. From experience over a long period of time I can tell you children are not the least bit impressed by bells and whistles, what they like are sand to dig in, rocks to pick up, places to just play and explore. If you live in the US be sure and write the tourism board and you will find the wonderful state parks that are either free or very small fees to pay. Within a 10 minute drive of my house is a beautiful waterfall and a creek for wading and a place for picnic and it’s all free. My children have loved it. If you live close to the beach go to the beach, if you live close to the creek let them wade in the mud. When my children were little we took them to Disney World, they were not half as impressed as they were with the state parks where they could just get out and use their own imagination. Please do not let all those sparkly, twinkly things that your exes dangle in front of your children, scare you. Your children will have good fun in your backyard with a water hose and some playmates. Your exes get off on showing off. That is not childhood. Childhood is imagination, dependable parents, and freedom to just play.

    • I agree with Thewatcher. This applies to adult “kids” too. My sons’ father (cheater ex) bought a big luxury place on the water with all sorts of sports equipment, and lets the boys bring their geoups of friends for weekends. Sure they have fun, but when they visit me in my modest house 3000 miles away, they express a feeling of “finally being home” with hugs and good meals, lots to talk about, and their MOM.

      They just don’t feel comfortabl with the OW, prancing about, wearing stilettos and pretending to be cool. Hey, I got nothing against stilettos…on the right person…but they say she creeps them out. They are not cool with their father’s new wuved up lifestyle and wish he’d chill out. They describe him as “faintly ridiculous”… Love that expression.

    • thanks for that Thewatcher. I too as a grandma brought one of my little grandsons to a little fair they were having about a month after my X left me. I dont make a lot of money on the job I got stuck with after being married for 34 years. So I scrounged up the money for the rides just a few and watched him having the time of his life on this rickety old but safe ride while Grandma waved and had tears in her eyes behind her sunglasses as I watched my dreams of what I was gonna do with my grandchildren with the X as they grew up, go up in smoke. But the other day we went to the park and played for hours and he seemed soooo happy then we went to Burger King I know crappy food but what a fun play area lol and I bought cheapy tickets to see the Dinasaur thing at the Bell Centre and I am not crying so much behind my sunglasses because I now remember that we had NO money when my daughter was little and my parents had NO money when I was little and my grandmother whom I only saw once and a while use to send me $2 in my bday card cause that was all she could afford and my childhood memories and my love for my parents and grandma was to the moon and back.

      • Minime1224

        So beautiful and so true. Thank you for reminding me of my beloved grandparents who were ever strapped for cash but never strapped for love 🙂 xxx

  • Let’s repeat– Your husband walked out on his family, grabbed the closest piece of ass on your cul-de-sac, and lives with your mother. Frankly, that sounds like a resort in Hell.

    One evening a few days after my husband just abruptly walked out, I had to clean the dishes he left in the sink. I was scrubbing the dishes and I got really pissed. Here I was literally cleaning up the mess he left behind and he was enjoying maid, er, “mom” service at his parents house and jaunting off to pump the crotch jockey in his spare time.

    You have to wonder what sort of loser would want to have sex with a man like that. So that says a lot about her.

    As far as karma, I do not really believe in it, so I don’t hold my breath. I just have to wake up in the morning and enjoy the day for what it is. You only get but so many. The rage will subside when you eventually wrap your head around the obvious fact this guy is a loser, but the spark will be there sometimes. Use it. It can serve you well. It will help you find that higher paying job. It will give you the impetus to stick up for yourself the next time someone tries to take advantage of you.

    • I too have a jaundice view of the “Karma” concept. In reality, we get good things back when we methodically plant good seeds in good soil. We waste our pearls on swine while the really worthwhile people get short shifted. (Pardon the loose allegories).

      If we took all the energy, sacrifice, devotion, and sweat equity and put it into truly worthwhile people… our kids…non-NPD persons…even into ourselves, then watch the fruit burst forth. That’s what I think real Karma is…when good comes back to you from fertile places in the universe, not from the barren rocks of cheaters.

      1. Dump those rocks;
      2. Find some good soil; and
      3. Harvest a rich life.

  • Elle, I can empathize. I am 53, and a little over a year from where you are right now. It’s been difficult, and being layed off from my dream job hasn’t helped my self-esteem.

    As the sane parent, it still kills me a little to know I can’t provide the “resort vacations” that X and the bimbo bring my son on every few months. X has been unemployed since our divorce, so I’m sure the bimbo is funding all the trips to reel the kid in to their picture perfect lives (built on colossal lies). That hurts, but my son knows that I’m his “home.” That has to do for now.

    I can promise you that it does get better. It will hurt for a long time to see your scumbag X living the life of Riley while you scrape and scrip. My unsolicited advice is to try to acknowledge any personal triumphs that you may encounter, even if it’s just paying bills on your own, or holding your head high when you leave your home and have to walk past your cheater’s or bimbo’s residences. No contact except through your attorney will be a triumph, too. Every instance of you not succumbing to your cheater’s level of engagement and parasitic lifestyle will give you strength. I know this to be true.

    I do not believe in Karma. There has been just too much pain and inequity served up these past years for me to ever hope of justice, and waiting for it to show up takes the focus off of my future. However, it’s taken a whole lifetime, but I do believe in me now, and my power to make the best of a bad situation. I will never succumb to the ongoing crap X continues to send my way. That’s not karma, that’s my little “fuck you” to him.

    Continue to visit Chump Lady. She has a way of validating our feelings and kicking our keisters when we need it to “Leave a cheater, gain a life.” She saved my life.

    • “There has been just too much pain and inequity served up these past years for me to ever hope of justice, ”
      ChutesandLadders, that is how I feel. 100%.

  • Elle,

    I too have spent quite a bit of time angrily waiting for something drastically bad to happen to my cheating ex. There are moments when I have envisioned a Coliseum with cheater ex and his affair princess in the gladiator arena while our friends and I sit watching, waiting for the two of them to spontaneously combust into flames from their narcissist behavior.

    However, not long ago a friend told me that the ex had to change locations for his engagement party because in the city they live in now, they have no friends (he systematically broke ties with all of my friends who used to come to the great parties we hosted. In the 8 years he’s lived in this city, he has yet to make a friend there). So they moved it to another community/small town where the ex can poach friends from his best friend who lives there and knows many people. They also sent out invitations via text and facebook (tacky). I can already picture this engagement party: kegs all around, people who have no personal connection to the future cheating groom and bride, and just want to get free drinks. Then my ex will get stupid drunk and his affair partner will have to breathe in his stinky beer farts all night.

    I think this might be the karma I’ve been waiting to happen.

    At any rate, it is true that we have to trust these cheaters suck and the karma will roll around one day and we may never know about it. I heartily agree though with the posters above that it does sound like karma is working on your ex, as he lives a pithy existence with his mom (and at his age!), with no job and having foolishly discarded you from his life.

    Best wishes for you Elle, you sound like a beautiful person.

  • I do believe in Karma and what goes around comes around. But as CL says,, the idiots won’t recognize it if it hit them in the face. They are so used to twisting everything around to their narrative, that even negative is positive, talk about a mindfuck!

    My cheater in the last year, we divorced, got kicked out ( by me 🙂 ), truck (only vehicle) broke, and lost his job and health insurance. But in his mind, he’s doing great! Why? Because he thinks he chose the divorce, LOL, he doesn’t think I kicked him out, truck broke? oh well… new GF just went and bought him a new one, and he wasn’t fired in his mind, oh no….the new VP was gunning for him… so it wasn’t his fault.

    LOL. WOW.

    I am so so so so glad that I no longer live in this crazy. I am so much closer to meh than I was a year ago, and it gets better every day. I love that I live in reality and that is an awesome feeling that he can’t take away!

  • Elle,
    CL is right on when she says these cheaters simply don’t feel the same way as normal people do. As in hot coals can rain down on them and they can turn it around and say that the gods are sending them hot rock massages.

    I gave up on the karma bus visiting my ex and the OW. It’s been almost 8 years and their lives just get better and better. Grand houses, fantastic jobs at Ivy League colleges, trips to Europe. Me? Well, not so much. Last night I picked up all the shingles that blew off my house in the last windstorm. I haven’t had a vacation in years. I’m still single and still on antidepressants. Does it get better? Yes in the fact that I don’t cry every day. I still get very lonely. Maybe not for him but certainly for the life I thought I had. I go a lot of places by myself in spite of reaching out to all my friends. But they have lives and they’re just not available. I won’t sugarcoat it. Being a single woman can be very lonely. I don’t care what anyone says. Something died inside of me the day I caught him fucking that woman.

    And yes, I’ve joined the clubs and go tons of places and reach out and be a friend and host lots of dinner parties. It just is the way it is. I sleep alone every night and the OW sleeps with him. And there’s something about that that just seems so unfair. I don’t fuck other women’s husbands and I’m the one that’s all alone. So karma? Nah, I don’t believe in that shit. Some people think that the meek shall inherit the earth. We have a difference of opinion. It looks to me like the asshole’s do.

    • My X brother-in-law is a prominent doctor-travels all over the world, lives in a big mansion in a gated community, has a sailboat on the West Coast, works part-time and has made millions over the course of his career…and is the most miserable human being you will ever meet. Now, if you ask him, he is the king of the hill, happy as a lark. In reality, he is a high functioning alcoholic, none of his grown kids will talk to him, he’s been married twice and engaged so many times he has his jeweler on speed dial. Owes all his siblings thousands of dollars and has never even acknowleged his debts. Met his latest bimbo at a wet t-shirt contest and lives with her and her two (adult) heroin- addicted kids. What fun! Like so many other NPD personalities, his karma is being HIM! I don’t let all the glitter and gold fool me. At the end of the day, these disordered fucks are suck with themselves and that must really suck!

    • Syringa, I hear what you’re saying. I sure have moments when I’m lonely or would like a nice man to share life with. And at 62, many of my friends are caught up with their kids and grandkids and spouses and don’t have the time to hang out or go to the ball game. But most of the time I’m busy with my job, my garden, and the other things that interest me and I find myself stretching out in my home, for the first time content to just be me. I know you are a mighty woman and I wish you lived “here” in my city and we could hang out together.

      • Thanks LAJ…would love to hang with you. Most all my friends are caught up with their kids and grandkids too. I don’t remember my parents generation being so involved with their kids and grandkids. Mine certainly weren’t. My friends only have time for their grown kids.

        I have a job I love and a big place to take care of. I have a handsome man interested in me. I’ve known him quite awhile but I’m so afraid of relationships. Something in me broke after that last go around.

    • Syringa..I agree. It’s very lonely for me being single. I like companionship, and having someone to come home to. I’m not adaptable like most people on here..I don’t have that kind of strength.

  • Karma. It’s interesting how many times I’ve wondered to myself what I ever did to deserve the heartbreak of stbxh’s affair. When I’m hurting I often get so angry that he and the AP have “walked off into the sunset” together and are living a wonderful, magical, love-filled life. Then my brain kicks in! Stbxh and the AP are attempting to build a relationship based on dishonesty and destruction. They both hurt other people. They both have questionable morals and neither one of them would recognize the truth if it jumped up and bit them in the ass! Stbxh is dealing with the consequences of his choices: he has been shunned by his family, my family and our mutual friends. The only person he has left is the AP. Karma, baby : )

  • I made the cheating pornvert move out one year ago. I have 4 children 7 thru 13 that I homeschool. Right now pudwhacker is putting in the court mandated interim support, and I too am uncertain about my children’s and my future. If I get a ”regular” job, they will have to go to public school. They have been homeschooled their whole lives. I am now 54, have heart disease, stents anxiety daily meds I to take. I am training dogs again, thats what I did before I got PG with child #2. Before marriage, I was working in the OR as a Surgical Technician, which is what I have a degree in. I could go back to work doing that, but kiddos would have to go to public school. Asshole got fired from his sheriffs deputy job last November, so I am on foodstamps and the kids are on Medicaid. I HATE THAT. But in 14 years of marriage, we have been on and off public assistance due to shitheads inability to KEEP A FUCKING JOB. I just got the courage to screen for STDs , I only have Medicaid for female issues, so I am on my own for my heart, and thyroid, osreopenia, vitamin D deficiency etc. I was mortified to have to be tested for that shit. I have an order of protection from the court so he cant come anywhere near me or my house. Thank God. But he does have visitation 2 nights a week, and every other Sat and Sun but no overnights. Out of the 4 only the youngest 2 go with him. The older 2 are so mad at him they refuse. My 11 year old daughter would throw up everything she had to go with him, but since the domestic violence and subsequent arrest and protection order, she told him to his face she was afraid if him,uncomfortable around him and would not go, even though it is court ordered visitation. I love having no contact, it has helped me tremendously. But my fears for the future are causing me so much anxiety. My 13 yo son is acting up terribly. I know that when the interim support becomes ”permanent” support, it may be less than what he is paying now. He is woefully underemployed, and my atty says be is staying that way so he doesn’t have to pay alimony which I am entitled to, but have no chance of getting because of the crappy job he has now. I am sure he is making more than he says he is. He has not yet turned in his financial inquiries to my atty and now have to file a second motion to compel. He took our entire 10,000 $ tax return and had I deposited into an account in his name only, an account that I did not even know existed. I am still so anxious and don’t know where me and my children will end up. To add to my stress, my 20yo is in Afghanistan getting shot at every day. I too wonder where the karma bus is. I am 100% responsible for my kids. And that is FINE with MD. But I also have to deal with all through fallout. I have to make it all come together. And keep my composure, hide my fears, be the rock that my kids have always been able to depend on. But in the still of the night, when all are asleep but me, my demons rush in. Fear. Uncertainty. Anger. Wondering how in the HELL did I allow this shit to go on for so long??? Am I really that stupid? Or is he really that good of a conman? I no longer care about finding outwit he did or did not do. I already know enough, after playing marriage police, and all the other fucked up shit goes along with the RIC, which I embraced wholeheartedly trying to save my sham of a marriage. So I am making homemade soap and selling it st a farmers market. Training dogs and wondering if I can make it. He s dragging this divorce out. I just want to get on with it. Sorry this is so rambling. I just want out. And I am afraid. I get that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach trying to think this through. Then its like my brain says ”fuck it” and I cant think about it anymore because it is too much. Thanks for being here Chumplady. I need those sometimes gentle and sometimes not so gentle reality checks. Thanks to all of the chump nation. You are all such a fountain of wisdom, caring and great support. I love you all. I really do. <3

    • Sorry Elle! I kinda hijacked the thread rambling on about me. Chumplady is right. Getting away from the jerk is the best to happen for you. Waiting for payback wastes precious time. YOUR time!!! You, like many of us, wasted our years on narcissistic assholes. I am 54, and I also feel like I am all used up and no one will want to hire me. But we aren’t. 🙂 we are mighty because we survived. We are mighty because we tried. Even in the face of the impossible, even with our shattered hearts and all the mindfuckery, we kept on . Trying. Hoping. And watching it all get shit on by the NPD asshole, who feels none of the grief and trauma we feel. You are not washed up!! I THINK all of us, formatter our age, are able to find a wonderful and fulfilling life. It is just hard when the narcissist has sucked your lifeforce out, to get it back. But you will my friend, you will. Hugs and sorry for through hijack 🙂

      • Jaysus Irish – God love you but look at you apologising for bearing your cross to us! Honey, you have got some terrible worries there and every reason to vent! You have nothing to apologise for! I wish I could help and I wish I could make the world a better place where the users and abusers get their just desserts (karma) and chumps like us don’t ever, ever feel like we have to apologise for naming the shit those abusers and users deal us! Big massive virtual hugs to you – and you have every right to call the truth – every right in the world!

        Love and best regards,

        Jayne xxx

        • Thank you Jayne. I just t felt bad spewing my own problems on Elles’ thread. This song is my Anthem these days: http://youtu.be/1m8GSnIkxPM . I don’t know if this’ll work. I had to Google toothpaste a link LOL. It is Sarah Evans. ” A Little Bit Stronger.” Love this song and her beautiful voice.

          XO Irish

          • TO POST. I hate autocorrect. As a side note Sara Evans husband was a pornsturbating cheating asswipe too. She divorced him. Good for her. 🙂

        • Irish, I have been a teacher for many years. I am no big fan of public schools as they are now. But don’t worry so much if your kids have to go to public school. They will manage. In our state, there are cyber charter schools paid for through tax dollars that allow kids to “attend regular school” but do so online. It’s hard when you feel like you are losing one thing after another. But if you are healthy enough to work, that might bring some stability to your situation. You are carrying a very heavy load; sending you big hugs and blessings.

      • I say this as a 22 year old woman. I pray I have half the balls of you and Elle when I am your age. You two ladies are MIGHTY to have chucked those assholes out and to be juggling all this shit by YOURSELF. You are both an inspiration to me.

      • You didn’t hijack ‘my’ thread! Whatever any of us write here is for all of us to express ourselves in my opinion and if it sparked off something in you, I hope it helped by writing it down. You are amazing to be coping with everything the way you are.
        You are dog training, (for me, my dogs and the horses I go and see are pivotal to my healing) and you make soap to sell at markets. I think you are amazing. Damn right, you are MIGHTY!
        Love, Elle x

  • Elle,
    You have had 5 years of this in your face. Think about it, in a way the karma is right there for him to see what a loser he is. He has you the wife he just walked off on, only he only went a few doors down to his mommies house, and there up the same road is the ow. So he has his mom serve him dinner, she does his clothes and he just goes to the ow place, up the road????? What a loser, all he has to do is look at the street and who is living there and with whom and see what the sum of his life is.

    This man is such a damaging thing in your life, think of that as you pack your home, think of this as blowing the doors open to a new life with him not on your street or the ow or his enabling mom, and you can live freely without this in your face.

    You are a very strong person to have been in this, and thank heavens you have some medication to help you to move forward far away as you can, at least mentally into your own solid safe life, what you chose.

    He is such a parasite, sucking the life out of you and then these ride alongs he doesn’t even see what a parasite and joke he is.

    You are so strong, you just you as you stated are better without him. He is such a user of people, even with you, he wasn’t there fully, he was always planning, or already cheating on you and you didn’t know.

    It is amazing what a full fledged narcissist you have there, carefully leave with no news ahead of time, as he likes his world like this and everyone in their place. Let him be the last to know what your plans are.

    Hang in there!

    Hey, 52, what is so wrong with that. That is a great age to be to empower yourself.

  • And, you really have one heck of a “mother” in law there, she is all for marriage isn’t she. Amazing, I wouldn’t be surprised if cheating is in her past, or her husband, you didn’t say he lived with his parents, so.

    Yes, run like the street is on fire out of this, you don’t need this garbage in your life.

  • Elle,
    I live in a small village in the UK too. I know exactly the kind of atmosphere you cringe at, each time you go outside. You know some neighbour is looking, pity and smiles abound, but underneath you feel the stigma of being yet another abandoned wife. You can’t even go down the pub any more without feeling nervous. Or all the local misfits are staring at you through their beer goggles and it’s creepy. Or the OW’s friends are there, leaning on the bar while you wait for your coffee. Been there!

    There must be more separated and divorced people in my village than there are happily married ones. There are a myriad of stories about “he’s with Joe’s wife now” or “she’s on her fourth live-in, no the kids aren’t his”. I get so confused I can’t keep straight who’s with who.

    Karma? Never mind about that. Get on with your future. Can you move to a nearby village? Just anywhere to get a little peace and privacy. From the sound of your ex, you may be very fortunate to be rid of the drama. You’ve done your bit, now time to please yourself and give your son some stability and love.

  • I used to think….”why me?”. How come this affair shit had to hit MY life? Everything was so good before all of this. But……now, I look at my exH’s affair as the bullet that SAVED my life. Now that I am removed from the situation and all of the drama that he and his crazy family brought to my life, I can be me again. A few months after I asked him to finally leave and told him that I was seeking a divorce, I realized just how overly dysfunctional he and his family are. He and his OW truly freed me.

    I won’t lie, Karma sounds GREAT though I don’t expect it. I try very hard to concentrate on myself, my two daughters and my new life. Life is so worth living and I plan on making mine the very best!!!!!!!!!! I gave him too much of my time already!

  • Elle,
    I felt exactly as you do now about two years ago. My ex walked away from a 9 year relationship without so much as a look over his shoulder. Within a month, he was shacked up in a new house with the pregnant OW. I used to look at all of the happy, “look at our perfect lives” photos she posted on FB, and would feel incredible jealousy. He left me behind, paying all of the bills and living in a house I bought only because I believed we would be together for our lives. I would lie awake at night, feeling incredible stress about how I would keep a roof over my head. It sucked. But fast forward to now- he’s miserable, living with a woman who controls his literal every move, doesn’t work and he has to foot all the bills. And the OW recently posted on FB about her drug addiction history, along with her mental health history and previous suicide issues. (I know these things, because his sister and I are still very close.)

    The karma bus hasn’t really hit him, and it may never come along. I’m ok with that. No matter what picture he and the OW try to present to the world, I keep this in mind: I’m free of him! I don’t have to live with his lies, his deceit, his nonchalance about my feelings- none of it. When we run into one another (we work for the same agency), he can’t look me in the face. He can’t face me because he’s a turd, plain and simply.

    52 is plenty young. I know MANY folks this age (and older too!) who are starting over or starting a second career. You have your dignity- you did nothing to cause this. And who cares what others think anyhow? You have a son who loves you and knows who you are. He also knows exactly who his father is (and isn’t).

    Go no contact with him and focus on YOU for a while. Take YOURSELF away for a weekend when you can. I know things suck right now, but I promise they will get better. You have a divine purpose- you just don’t know it yet. When things suck, focus on what a turd he is/was. Don’t look at things as “what you lost”, but instead “what you no longer have to tolerate”.

  • Elle,

    Chumplady’s advice to you was spot-on, particularly this gem: “Because he doesn’t feel that deeply, he disconnects pretty easily.” This is who he is, and this is who he will be in this lifetime. Don’t waste your precious life worrying about when and if “Karma” is going to drop an anvil on his clueless head.

    If you think about Karma as “Actions leading to consequences,” the best way for you to focus that energy is on yourself. If your action consists of spending your time wishing ill on the people who have wronged you — what is the outcome, for you? I’m guessing it’s misery.

    But if you start to focus on yourself and moving forward without getting sucked into someone else’s drama? That’s how you get the Karma you really want.

  • Everyone here will send good wishes for the continued health of his mother, because when she gets ill or dies he WILL call you for help! I hope you have time to regain your strength before that day arrives.

  • Elle, I struggle with wondering if my husband and his treatment of me is MY karma because I ruined the relationship with the husband I had before him. I keep thinking this is my comeuppance. And of course I’ve spent time hoping my current STBX will someday know the pain I am now feeling, but let’s be honest, he’s not really capable of it.

    For you and me and most of Chump Nation, fixing our lives, improving our lives, rising to all the challenges, and being independent and mighty are our reward. That’s where all of our focus needs to be: on us and our dependents and on a rich and rewarding life.

    You sound like a strong woman and you already did have all the responsibility in your marriage. Doesn’t it feel wonderful not to have to carry his load as well? Don’t you feel a bit free now that you can spend your money or save your money the way you’d like to?

    The rage will leave, but very slowly. Carrying around that anger begins to affect the world around us in negative ways, and that’s not good for us. So, each day we, if we are being self-reflective, will release our grip just a little on our rage.

    If we don’t let it go, then the person who hurt us, cheated us, and abandoned us will have “won,” while it was in our power to lift ourselves up and move on with our lives. Don’t give them that power.

  • What is it with cheating XH’s living with their moms? Mine lives with his elderly parents now, who have nothing to do but cook and clean for him all day. He also has another apartment where he presumably stays with his OW.

    I think my ex-MIL loves it, because she always said that no one could take as good of care of XH as her. She always thought that XH could do “better” for a wife, basically someone who centered her whole life around XH (as she is doing now) and puts up with his rages (as she did with ex-FIL). She has no friends, can’t drive or take public transportation, never had a job and doesn’t speak English. She just spends all day handwashing XH’s clothes, preparing his favorite meals and cleaning up all of the mess he leaves behind (when she lived with us, she actually blamed ME for XH’s socks being on the floor, while I was working full-time and taking care of two young kids when I was home). XH’s childless sister comes by once a week to drop off groceries.

    • Or how about living with inlaws? Less than 6 months after the divorce was finalized my exH was living with the OWife and the newborn at her parents house.
      Granted it was temporary, but I found it amusing.

      • The second time I was chumped, I threw him out (to his surprise) and he had to move in with OW in a bedsit (UK equivalent of a bachelor apt) above a betting shop on a scuzzy street. Within a few months she was pregnant and they moved into her parents’ rec room to save money. While they had their facebook accounts blocked, the OW’s foul-mouthed mother did not…and reading her endless accounts of their “combined households” gave me all the fodder I needed to LMAO and know absolutely that Karma was doing her thing.

  • Elle,
    52 is not too old to find a decent job. I am 56 and I manage a department of five women, all over the age of 45, and all making £40k+ (Which by the way is good for rural UK). I just hired a 48 yr old this week, because 1. I value her experience, and 2. I know she will not go off on mat leave, and 3. She is grateful as hell and will take the necessary IT training to have the skill level of a younger woman.

    Employers are not all prejudiced against 50+ especially in the UK. I have also worked in the States and there the youth culture is much more prevalent. Because the benefits system here supports so much mat leave, and sick leave, and carer leave, people take the mick all the time, as you no doubt know. So, present yourself as healthy, childless (17 yr olds are not children) and too old to get pregnant, and I bet an employer would (silently) choose you. Perhaps take a local course in MS Word and Excel…great little skills to help you get a job at a reasonable wage.

  • “Where’s the Karma? Where’s the justice? Why am I so full of rage that I really don’t know what to do with myself, scared to realise what I might be capable of? How do I last the course?”

    You make your own Karma, you rise. His Karma is no longer your concern.

    There is no justice, as children we are taught there is, and for good reason, we learn to adhere to the social contract that binds us together. It obviously doesn’t work with everyone. Life is not fair, we only have the one, we live it as joyfully as we are able whatever our circumstance.

    I recall the rage against the injustice. I still have it when the chronic health issue he bestowed upon me flares up. Right now you are raw with pain and I get that too, I did similar, I stayed with my ex through some bad shit, I considered long and hard leaving him, ultimately stayed. Then when my Mom died and I needed him, he checked out with an AP. He left me to rot with deep depression. Where’s the justice? You are getting free of him, that is likely to be the extent of your justice. It was the sum total most of us experience, it won’t seem sufficient at first, later mostly it will.

    “Why am I so full of rage that I really don’t know what to do with myself, scared to realise what I might be capable of? How do I last the course?” Use the anger to overcome the fear, to overcome the doubts about whether you can rise up and make a new life. You are at the bottom of a hole, let the rage propel you to dig UP. Take risks, go full Monty, find out what you are capable of. Plan the course, you can change it any time but plan it, create it in steps, take the steps, adjust as needed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, see a therapist, see a lawyer, get excited about a new home and a new start. When you cannot channel the rage let it out, scream, envision the justice that would satisfy you – this last I think you will find that you are incapable of meting out that justice, even if you could without consequences. Your humanity will get in the way.

    Jedi hugs!

  • PS: many posts about depression lately and I know it’s hard to function when things feel hopeless. The Bloggess reposted a blog about depression and I am passing the link on for those struggling, you’ll find help on this site beyond this one post;
    http://thebloggess.com/2014/01/strange-and-beautiful/
    I also recommend her book, even in the deepest places, you will laugh.

  • Dear Elle,

    Your letter touched my heart. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through this pain. BUT, I am immensely glad that you’ve rid yourself of your ex-deadbeat.

    So he’s living the life (well, your mind, I dunno if living with your mother in your 50’s is something I’d want anyone to know about), and you’re struggling. Chumplady said two important words, “impression management.” Now I’m not so sure that he’s managing his ‘brand’ so well; I happen to think that you’re giving his situation a lot more credit for being carefree and wonderful than it deserves.

    Impression management is not just for fucktards, however. It’s for mighty chumps, and done well, it will drive he and his schmoopie nuts. First thing you do is fix yourself up to the nine’s and plaster a great big grin on your face every time you leave your house. Don’t avoid them all, hell no, you take walks with your head held high and that big smile pasted ear to ear.

    They and all the villagers are going to start wondering what the heck you’ve got going on. They’ll see that rather than being some poor abandoned woman, you’re glad to be rid of the lout (and you should repeat the same if asked). 52? Bah! I’m older than that, and I dare you to tell me life is washed up!

    Next time tax time comes around, make sure you turn a deaf ear to any requests. Let him do his mother’s taxes while you enjoy a good book or three and giggle.

    Stay mighty!

  • I’ve sat here, reading the replies and am stunned at what a caring, positive, amazing bunch you all are. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the words of encouragement, and of course the common sense view of CL. And damn right, I shouldn’t whinge about it being ‘unfair’. Only a narc would have such a sense of entitlement that makes them believe that they are due a better life than other people.

    I so agree that the Karma needs to be good karma to me – that’s something I can influence and enjoy. And of course, you are right, they don’t really ‘get’ karma, but as you say, people like that don’t really experience feelings of joy either, something I think all of us on here are capable of, simply because we are human and compassionate enough to have felt the pain of the lows.

    And today, I thought back to my birthday, Monday. A few friends came over, we drank wine, laughed (sometimes at OH but mostly just laughed about stuff) His brother arrived who I hadn’t seen since the split. He told me he was having nothing to do with OH, that as far as he was concerned he could rot, and if there was anything I needed help with, I just had to ask.

    Most of ‘our’ friends have rallied around me, many either saying they are not planning on resuming a friendship with him, some saying that they will still see him but that they are not entirely comfortable with him. The OW is in with a crowd of people who are very, very, different in outlook and values to my OH, so he may be acting a role with her and with them at the moment but I know it won’t last.

    But the main thing is, I have realised that I am able to look in the mirror, and know the person who is staring back at me. What does he see I wonder?

    A shallow, soulless void I suspect.

    Thank you all again – I just wish this was an empty page, I wish no-one else was going/had gone through this. But you are all inspirational. Much love, Elle xxxx

    • I’m glad you found us Elle. You’ve got a great spirit, and I think you’re going to get through this just fine, with your soul intact. Mr. Narc will probably spend his days being tucked into bed by his mummy and reminded to eat his beets. The village must know he’s their idiot. Hold your head up.

    • Elle, you’re the British snapshot of me during divorce #2. Right up to the part where the X took up with a jaw-droppingly younger OW. But this happened to me over a decade ago. So let me fill you in on how it goes 🙂

      Years 1 – 3: Shock. Struggle. Nothing seems right. I slept with the TV on for over a year because I was so lonely & couldn’t bear the eerie stillness. Dating produced laughable results. But it’s important to get out there and socialize.

      Years 4 – 6: Start to meet people that are more suitable. Nothing jells quite yet, but things start to look more promising. Without realizing it, you’re making huge improvements in your living situation. I embarked on a lot of home repairs & got housemates because I was in a crap real estate market & couldn’t sell the house. Since my personal life was more stable, got a better job & was able to hang onto it. Threw a lot of parties & started to have a good time.

      Year 7 onwards: Started dating the person who became my spouse. More parties. Kids started finishing college & becoming independent.

      I know it hurts like hell now, but it won’t always. Sending you big hugs & hang in there… As we keep telling each other… “Just keep swimming… Just keep swimming!”

  • Ran off to live with his mother when your son turned 17: classic.

    Sounds a bit like my ex, except he did get his own place, but his mommy furnished it all, just like she’d furnished our home, and his vacation home that I helped pay for.

    Is your ex the passive-aggressive type, too? Is he jealous that your son is starting the young man phase of his life, and wishes to re-live his own youth, care-free, never realizing just how much you did for him over all these years, but resentful of allllll the responsibility he shirked?

    Me, too!

    My ex now has his dream life–the dumb blonde, pretty and adventurous, sans responsibility (except to her little ankle-biter doggies, which must drive xH craaaazy!) Oh, he left with some trepidation, for he is a tight-fisted cheapskate, and she is an alcoholic with no savings, no real career, no retirement, and a healthy appetite for international adventure and bleach jobs. The poor jerk wondered how he would be able to support her lifestyle. But he has the money, and she knows it, and she really is pretty and also pretty good at flattery, and she’s always ready.

    So why is he so bitter and angry?

    I like Ayn Rand’s philosophy of happiness:

    If you achieve that which is the good by a rational standard of value, it will necessarily make you happy; but that which makes you happy, by some undefined emotional standard, is not necessarily the good. To take “whatever makes one happy” as a guide to action means: to be guided by nothing but one’s emotional whims. Emotions are not tools of cognition; to be guided by whims—by desires whose source, nature and meaning one does not know—is to turn oneself into a blind robot, operated by unknowable demons (by one’s stale evasions), a robot knocking its stagnant brains out against the walls of reality which it refuses to see.

    Me thinks that the frantic pursuit of happiness has left my ex quite unhappy. He is lacking direction. It’s pretty sad, really. He has a lover, and he’s all alone. He cannot escape the truth that he is a coward. That is karmic retribution. That is his hell. He could fix it, but he stubbornly clings to the belief that his happiness will come from distancing himself from his family, by doing as he pleases for the moment, by being with a woman who, it turns out, apparently IS appropriately matched to him. How his soul must shrink in the presence of his sons, who are fine young men. At least he could wear the image of a better man when he was a father and husband of his sons’ mother. But now? What does he think when he puts his head on his pillow, when he shaves his neck in the morning in the mirror? Does he fancy himself a winner? I don’t believe so.

    One day you will realize this about your ex.

    For now, you can see clearly–he’s a middle-aged failure living with his mother, and who abandoned his wife and son. Who could respect a guy like that? Surely he has no respect for himself. Guess what? His vacation with the twat troll will come to an end, and then it’s back to his reality. Imagine the dread of the return flight–my God. He’s in hell.

    You hold your head high. Others will watch to see how you react, how you respond. Take the high road, and you’ll have no regrets–think long-term. For now, though, act on your anger–channel it to get your business taken care of. It will serve you well.

    You got this. You are the mighty one. He is the loser.

    • Ayn Rand carried on an affair with one of her acolytes much to the dismay of his wife and her husband. She also was considered empathy a weakness.

      not exactly a good role model, and I am leaving out lots of nasty bits.

      • Actually what i understand is Ayn Rand insisted on this “sharing” of her affections and did not hide it, she was certainly arrogant.

          • Actually, she was profiled as the epitome of a narcissist in the book “Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life,” as was Picasso and Frank Lloyd Wright. All of them, incidentally, were philanderers.

    • “At least he could wear the image of a better man when he was a father and husband of his sons’ mother. ”
      My x left me a stupid voicemail that stated something to that effect. He said something about me being right and that we could do things all my way, just please take him back. Idiots always think that the grass is greener on the other side until they see themselves for what they are. Unfortunately, that doesn’t last too long because they go back to being stupid rather quickly, or at least when they find someone new to manipulate. And it will always be a rinse and repeat cycle with a cheater because the grass is always greener.

    • Miss Sunshine, so true. I almost feel sorry for my ex but the truth is he doesn’t even deserve that. I never understood people who cheat (it is the last thing I would do to someone I loved) and move quickly from one relationship into another. I would never think to be with someone until I can bring my best (not perfect) self to it. And gosh but doesn’t honesty go a long way.
      I feel sorry for this man’s Mom. (I am a chump and have been living with my parents (3 years and counting) to put my kids through college. I am very grateful and plan to pay it back.) This mom may have had very little to do with her son’s choice to destroy his marriage. As much as I love my children and am supporting them, I one day would like them to make a real go of the world. I just hope they treat others well, live authentically, and know what it is to be happy. And make a decent living. I did not work for most of my marriage and that decision was the best one my ex and I made together. I think people who choose not to work and are capable of it are afraid. It is a scary world. But don’t we all just pull up our panties and get to work when we have to?
      Oh on another note Child Services is a valuable resource for enforcing court ordered child support. Use it. Also if your ex has ditched the mortgage try to get a motion filed that spells out who should pay what while the divorce is in process (a pro rata share for each), the house is so often the second largest asset owned by couples divorcing.
      Elle, my ex was never his own man. Pick him up, put him on another rock, and he will change color! Like yours. 🙂 sparkly but not at all healthy. I am years out and looking back I recognize he was never the man I needed in a marriage. Live and learn.

      • Drew–I can respect your decision to accept help from your parents, when your plan is to help put your children through college. That is what family does–you help each other, you lend support in a noble effort.

        The difference is that you didn’t abandon your family to seek indulgence from your doting mother, to shirk your responsibilities, to act like a spoiled child.

        You were forced into a situation by abandonment, whereas Elle’s ex, and many like him, chose it intentionally. You are being resourceful and grateful; he is being shiftless and infantile, and hiding behind his mommy.

  • Miss Sunshine — eloquently said. That IS karmic retribution. Thanks, your post is printed and on my fridge!

  • Karma? I dunno – but this is my experience wondering how he’s living after being kicked out 8 months ago. And, I realize we all have varying degrees of educational and just plain-luck wealth as we go.

    He wanted to build us this HUGE house. Dream house. I was uncomfortable ‘wearing wealth on our sleeve’ as we both came from humble background. (Farm families, same church values, etc) But, he sparkled at business and kept wanting to acquire more and more materialistic things. Finally, the icing – this Elephant of a house. I was worried our small town would think we were big snobs (horrors – felt like a fish out of water) and, of course, everybody had that opinion until we integrated into the wonderful community. Had many fundraisers, family dinners – we were a destination for all our family being on the coast. Lots of business clients. He had a fancy office upstairs he showed off to everybody.

    Then – BAM. >that fast< when the cat was out of the bag. He was gone to curb – moved into our 250 sq ft motorhome and been there ever since.
    I know he thought he would keep his office – and the house – "HE PAID FOR IT!" ha.
    Know he wanted to push me out of here with his mental torture and he almost won.

    Course, I found C/L then.

    Anyway, my little Karma or, better; smart and early decisions based on educating myself on how all this cheating shits work…Here's his life:

    Trailer (ok, a nice enough bus) – no dogs. No friends. Well, I think he lives p/t at g/f'ds but she's moved to a skivvy apartment (yep, I checked it out) from a nice suburban home in the city after this broke up their marriage.

    I guess, I go to bed feeling pretty blessed. I have a nice view, some room and my dogs.
    If you want to call that karma – I'd rather call it getting your ducks in a row early on, listening to all the good wisdom on these sites, and getting the upper hand however you can.

    Best wishes to all on the karma bus – we're all riding it and do have some control.

  • My ex got very ill on two occasions after we split. This required hospitalisation, many follow up appointments with specialists and a lot of medication. The other man also went through a period of wanting to return to his wife (they separated, but never divorced). I have no idea what’s happened with that relationship, but my daughter never mentions him anymore, whereas she used to talk about him all the time.

    I’m not sure if I believe in karma. The illnesses were not something I would wish on anyone, even her. To be honest I didn’t even get any satisfaction from the situation with the other man. I felt a bit sorry for her (a trap for me), but got that under control fairly quickly. It was a weird time – I was simultaneously angry and sympathetic.

    Ultimately she’s the mother of our daughter and, for that reason, I wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to her. I have very little respect for her as a person, and certainly would never contemplate resurrecting our relationship, but our daughter loves her very much and that is the most important thing.

    • Kendoll, you have this right. My children love their father but they struggle still. Still it doesn’t push me into spackling, which I did to great success as they were growing up and ex was off doing his thing. The less I knew the better! Lol They do not fully understand why I am still no contact (I don’t do that whole “family thing” for my kids as all those past vindictive choices of his still make me angry) and go out of my way to avoid him. I just recognize I don’t need toxic in my life and recognize that while I did not have the opportunity in my marriage to live authentically I do now.

      • I’m with you. Contact with my ex is peaceful (now) and strictly relevant to our daughter. There’s no discussion about personal stuff anymore. Like everyone else here, if I had my way I’d never speak to her again.

  • I would love for swift justice to happen to my STBX aka Cold Slab of Meat and his Concrete Operational OW. But knowing what I know, that Wasband simply does not feel in any more than a shallow pool of infatuation, is punishment enough.

    I feel blessed that I am capable of a deep and committed love so strong that it took abject cruelty and abandonment to even dent it. I know now that it was wasted on the wrong person. But imagine the inner life of that sociopath, always feeling like a leaky bucket that has to be topped off or run dry. Imagine feeling abject passion for your spouse one day, and the months later nothing. How soulless and empty that must be, scanning the hordes for a new supply and setting on the neediest POS downgrade you can muster with your aging overweight bald bumpy head and ass and crooked teeth. And deceiving your wife who loved you well, bumps and all, until you begin to let the contempt slip through the cracks and criticize, having given all your loyalty to a stranger.

    Then borrowing money from Daddy to move out to a shitty apartment he can’t even afford on paper. And no money left to impress the Princess.

    I have to remember all this the next time I sit crying in my modest little house that I only pay and HOA fee, with my salary nearly 150% of his (he gets NOTHING) and the 900 plus dollars I have left over each month. Remember that this will be OVER next month. That there was no false reconciliation to devour another day of my life, That we had no children together that prevent full No Contact. That the marriage was relatively short. That I should not waste another day of my precious life with regret or shame or inertia. Thank you all for reminding me that sometimes want is not need, and sometimes want is the opposite of need.

    Their karma is being them. Flailing unaware in the same dance, trying to fill the unsound vessels of a broken soul.

    • Very well said, Luziana! You are thinking a lot like I am tonight.

      “But knowing what I know, that Wasband simply does not feel in any more than a shallow pool of infatuation, is punishment enough.”

      And, even better – “How soulless and empty that must be, scanning the hordes for a new supply and setting on the neediest POS downgrade you can muster with your aging overweight bald bumpy head and ass and crooked teeth. And deceiving your wife who loved you well, bumps and all, until you begin to let the contempt slip through the cracks and criticize, having given all your loyalty to a stranger.

      I guess this is what we all try to handle. He’s in the dating pool out there. Good grief. And, we know who they are. My stbx is also one of them. All the more reason for me, at least, to stay the hell away. I heard my H shaved off all his hair. Either that, or hey – maybe he’s stressing and lost it. Poor boy.

      Yeah, the unrequited love we finally realized is sure a wake up call.
      I was in love with this guy with all my heart. jeez, silly me.
      I am finding a lot of strength not only in myself, but what people tell me about myself. They actually say (more than once) that I seem to be blossoming. Imagine that at 58.

      Maybe he is too – maybe he bought himself a full length mirror and loves what he sees, dunno.

      • I also feel grateful that I never would have gotten this kind of start on healing without Tracy and everyone who contributes to this place. You are all tops, aces, wonderful damn people.

      • right on She Chump Im 56 going on 57 soon. I am looking and feeling better than I have in 30 some years. My friend who is also divorced now for about 12 years and is 64 said she isnt looking because “Why would she want to date somebody elses Problem” and I thought she is dead right on. Except they arent all like our X’s out there but seeing all the people on this site there probably is a whole bunch of them problems out there 🙁 sigh If I saw my X’s picture on a dating site and under it it said hobbies watching Tv more Tv and more Tv plays guitar (one song and not all the way through it) likes to hike to the liquor store likes to know whats for dinner after breakfast and then wants to know whats for supper after dinner, likes to wear the same sweatshirt all wkend etc etc etc I would not touch with a ten foot pole. anymore 🙂 The list could go on but its late and Im tired and you probably get the picture 😉

          • Ladies, the heading my ex husband of 37 years had on his RSVP profile was “Free to good home”! 🙂
            He also stated that if “you like to be treated like a lady and to have doors held open for you and your chair pulled out”, well then he was the man for you.

            Any takers should speak with me and I will set them straight. He eventually removed his profile because he said he could not replace me, but us being together was no longer an option but we could still be F buddies. Not likely.

  • Have to agree. Karma is suffering their own consequences to their poor choices. As someone so eloquently states, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.”

  • I think the karma is that they actually have to live with themselves. Affairs are by definition escapes from your reality. I think my XH was trying to escape himself. He was always wanting to move to a different city, even a different country, wished he had a different career, even wanted to change genders, and then eventually wanted a different wife. He hated everything about his life–his career, his wife, his kids, his home–because deep down he hated himself. He will probably spend the rest of his life jumping from one escape to another, not realizing that, wherever you go, there you are.

    I’m trying to get to “meh.” I know intellectually that whether or not XH is happy should have no effect on my life. Whether or not he is amazingly happy with a new girlfriend (said he broke up with the OW) and they build a fantastic new life together, or whether he continues to be his usual depressed, miserable, angry self who blames everyone else for his problems, should have no bearing on my life (unless he and his girlfriend try to fight for custody of the kids or treat them poorly or try to harass me or something). How he lives his life really has no effect on my day-to-day life–whether I have fun with friends, whether I am in a happy romantic relationship, if I am successful in my career, how my relationship with the kids is going, etc. Because I am NC with him (except for emails about the kids), I really have no idea what is going on in his life. The occasional emails I get from him every couple of weeks (the emails have decreased a lot in frequency and interestingly coincide with times when he has to mail me a check) saying that the divorce is a mistake, that I am destroying the kids’ lives, that he never wanted a divorce, make me think that perhaps he is not completely happy, but who knows?

    • Look at Robin Williams. On the outside, he seemed to have it all–talent, a successful career, fame, lots of money (thought I believe he squandered a lot of it on drugs), a new young wife, children, lots of good friends, physical health. His life looked certainly sparkly on the outside. But in the end, it looks like he couldn’t escape his self-hate. The admiration of the world wasn’t enough for him.

      In case you didn’t know, he has a long history of infidelity, including having an affair with and impregnating his son’s nanny, who eventually became wife #2, and having a mistress sue him for giving her herpes. The nanny-wife eventually divorced him amid rumors of cheating and alcohol abuse.

        • Yeah, I’m sure that’s a terrible disease to have. But I’m sure most who have been diagnosed don’t commit suicide. He has also had a long history of substance abuse, which seems to indicate he has had a lot of inner demons.

  • I too wonder if “karma” will ever show up for my soon-to-be-ex, the only one getting the shit sandwich seems to be me.
    H cheated with his married (on her third) boss after knowing her for four months. I caught him a year ago, right before our 21s anniversary. Months of pretzeling, begging, pleading went along with his cake eating, gaslighting, lying, deceiving ways – this went on for months. He never gave up the OW and left the house 9 months ago, leaving me with two confused and devastated kids, a huge pile of debt and a monster of a house that has been on the market for a year with no offers in sight.
    His life with this woman seems charmed, she was obviously his meal ticket to something more glamorous – our sleepy, family oriented side of town must have been so stifling for him. MOW comes with a huge family here, H left me with no relatives for 2600 miles. They are renting a beautiful home, living a fabulous life (soon to include my D14 for 40% of the time – they have been love bombing her for the past few weeks).
    I am so enraged and devastated that everything is so rosy for him. None of the people he spends time with now knows the truth of what happened – he tells everyone they just started dating (MOW father owns the company they work for and has welcomed H into their large family). I would love for a huge karma bus to steamroll the lot of them.
    Instead I will move on as best I can and try to floss the pieces of shit sandwich stuck in between my teeth.

  • Boy does this post hit home for me! I too am waiting..impatiently..for the karma bus to mow down STBX and the OSkank. It’s not coming! They’re happier than ever. (Insert vomit sounds here) It’s true love, don’t ya know? And to make matters a million times worse, on Friday my attorney and I received the financial information we had requested. Over the span of their 3 year affair, he spent money on her. Duh. But what I didn’t realize was the AMOUNT of OUR money he spent on her. As I go through the transactions and see the actual dollar amounts and what they were for..I literally want to blow some major chunks. I have been sick to my stomach ever since Friday. It’s right there in front of me now. The hotel rooms (obviously that was just for fun, because she lives in another state and isn’t married); the dinners out; the bills of hers he paid, including cell phone every month; checks to jewelry stores, with none of that bling coming my way of course; I could go on and on. I had no idea. I mean, I knew there was finances going to her, I honestly just didn’t know how much. He let my daughter and I suffer so much these last 3 years, it’s not even funny. Always the same excuse: Oh, things have been slow, haven’t had as many loads to haul (he’s a long-haul trucker, now I know what he was actually hauling), things will pick up, blah blah blah. He was giving the OSlut a ton more than he was giving my daughter and I. I had to make arrangements time and again to not have our electricity, water and cell phones shut off because he had no money. We couldn’t pay anything on our debt because he had no money. I couldn’t buy myself or our daughter any clothes because he had no money, so we have been wearing the same 5 pieces of clothing over and over. And yet..miracle of miracles..he had money! Just not for his wife of 26 years and his 10 year old daughter. Nope. We were on the bottom of that money pile. We got the pittance that was left over after he squandered it away every 2 weeks on his love bug. And now that I have won temporary child support and a few dollars in spousal support, he is calling our 2 older kids and complaining he has no money now, because the judge is making him give it all to me. What a crock. The small amount he’s giving me is nothing compared to what he brings in every month. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I really do wonder if the perfect love they share is a little bit less perfect now that he has to actually give some of him money over to my daughter and I..horror of horrors! I cannot shake this feeling of complete and utter sickness. It was like finding out on Dday all over again. I’m really devastated, knowing that he cared so little about my daughter and I after all of these years.

  • Thank you Chumplady, this describes my husband perfectly. The way you worded this explains my husband’s MO perfectly.

  • First post, but not new to the game. Six years out I classify myself as a survivor; generally happy…and about fifty-times smarter than I was when wifey dropped the bomb. My user name is an attempt to be witty, but I think it’s a fail. I’m generally positive, but maybe not. After all this time, i continue to be furious as the damage my cheating ex caused. She hurt a lot of people, not just me, yet seemingly skips along.

    Now remarried.

    Just because you don’t see justice (or karma) doesn’t mean it hasn’t been served. One thing I learned early on was not to root for her pain. It’s logical; if your cheater’s suffering gives you pleasure, what will your cheater’s pleasure give you? No thanks. She’s taken enough from me, I’ve kept my soul. Besides, even if karma was biting him on the ass or any kind of repercussions he wouldn’t tell you. You’d be the last to know.

    i like expressing myself so I’ll join in, from time to time. Lots of practice dealing!

  • Chumplady…My PC is about as useless as my narc was…I have tried to submit a question and all I get from my PC is some baloney “Not default properly installed”…has anyone else encountered this problem?

  • It’s been two months since I found out that my husband of 4 years, with whom I have a son, cheated on me multiple times over the course of our marriage with different women. Everytime I think I have made a step forward and moved on, another new story comes out. I feel like a pincushion, only all the pins are knives. Some are steak knives, (one night stands), some are butcher knives (full on relationships), but they all hurt.

    I struggle with believing that there is hope that this pain will ever stop. That there will a come a day when I reach MEH, even a day where I don’t cry. My son is very young, (2), and so I make sure he doesn’t see it, and I am very civil to his father, but otherwise, I am a train wreck. My thoughts are consumed by this, and no one else seems to understand. Why can’t I just stop thinking about it? If I could do that, I could move on. Duh, I know this. Don’t you think I would do that if I could?

    Looking for a light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m not sure it exists. For the first time in my life, I understand why people commit suicide.

    • Been there Betty…in some ways, I’m still where you are.

      Before any other comments, you gotta get out this funk where you’re feeling like shit and being nice to the cheater! Really. Start by getting REALLY mad. Being nice is eating up any self-respect you have left.

      Hey, we can’t afford to lose any more after the HUGE disrespect from our cheaters when they repeatedly slept with someone else. They chose to do that. They didn’t chose someone else over us! Nope, they choose themselves over the marriage. They chose power over partnership. They chose wildness and strangers over home and family. Get really angry over that so you don’t lose yourself to their bottomless pit of crap.

      You can emerge out of anger as a stronger, healthier, beautiful woman…but you’ll never emerge out of self-abuse or self-pity. Get angry.

      We all know of the hurt you’re feeling. That’s good and normal. Don’t stop at hurt though. Read the ‘Cheating Decoded’, ‘Chumps Decoded’, and other articles again. Get the right perspective.

      Cheers from Your nation friends.

      • Dan,

        Thanks. I just feel like a failure because I thought I’d be stronger than this. By being nice to him I am trying to make the co-parent thing work, make it easier. I want him to think I am doing okay and thriving now that he’s gone. He’s always gotten by making me feel like shit, crying, (gaslighting was huge for him). I was first angry with him and he got such smug satisfaction from that, telling our friends that I hadn’t gotten over him. Being nice to him is my only way to stick it to him, I guess. I limit contact as much as possible, but with a kid it’s inevitable.

        • I hear you Betty. I’ve got the same issues with my youngest child still underage. Even with the older ones, I’m very circumspect.

          I guess it’s the comment, “I understand why people commit suicide” that raises concerns. You’re being very open here. It’s a good thing. I just don’t believe that the current life-pain is all enduring. From what I’m reading here with CL, many others have successfully gone through the same as me and worse.

          My shrink gave me the advice, “Don’t make a permanent decision for a temporary problem.”

          • Thanks. I’m the type of person that wears my heart on my sleeve. I’m beginning to believe the pain won’t last forever, but it is slow going. Eventually I had to realize that the pain will only go away with time, I can’t speed up the process by crying all day. Suicide was never an option.

            • I figured it wasn’t an option but few people recognize how hard this is and it’s always good to check.

              Funny thing about the pain, I first discovered the affairs nearly 9 years ago and the recollection still causes a reaction. Now when something reminds of that time I go through a quick transition of emotions from hurt to anger and onto renewed resolve.

              It’s actually a good sign to have strong feelings as they fuel an abundance of strength. Count on that, fellow chump. 🙂

  • Thank you for the Ah Ha moment I’m having due to this article.

    I know understand how he has manipulated me. In a nutshell, he says terrible things to me to make me do things or to act a certain way so it will be my fault (and these are little stupid things). Now, after our split, when I set outside of being in the co-dependent relationship we had and I don’t things he has asked for with his crazy comments because 1) I don’t have to and 2) I choose not to, he gets way more abusive verbally and emotionally. When he doesn’t get a reaction from me, he gets worse. I finally get his game with this article. Thank you. Although I will probably will have to live with this endless cycle for the rest of my life, if I understand it so I can continue to pull myself out of his web, the better. I seriously thought I had most of the problems. Here is to his gas lighting ability extraordinaire! What a piece of work. We have been apart for 4 years. My first attorney gave me the best piece of advice – not to be friends with his friends because I didn’t know how things were going to pan out with him. That was so smart. I did that. Facebook – unfriend. Email addresses – deleted. Phone numbers – deleted. He had no other way of finding out what I was doing or any way to get his ‘kibbles’ from any of them regarding me. I was pretty close to one lady and I had to let her know I loved her but I needed to follow the advice of my attorney. So hard. But that piece of advice was a God send. I would be in another hell hole if I was still friends with his friends. Oh yes – this is the guy who I found out was sleeping with men when I was with him. When I found out, he asked me to be his cover because I made him look good. When I told him no, his emotional throw up was not so good – he came after me with every name in the sun, threw out all kinds of ‘you are like this’ ‘you are like that’ and how terrible I was. He also threw out if he came home to me, what was the big deal. And if he came home and told me loved me, why wasn’t that enough. Then I found he had 2 underage online profiles on MySpace and the FBI got involved. Because they didn’t find any child porn and because you can portray yourself as anyone online, it isn’t a crime. I left the relationship then and have paid the price very severely ever since then. That was 4 years ago. He has become worse with me over time. My young kids told me he didn’t put them in car seats because the car seats were too small. Apparently this had been going on for months. So when I picked up the kids from him last night, he was walking around my car taking pictures of me putting the kids in their car seats. I asked him to step away from the car and he told me he was documenting me putting the seat belts on. I asked him to back away again or else I’d call the police. He told me to call them, so I did. I documented harassment out of begin spiteful. He also lost his car a few weeks ago. And he hasn’t worked in 4 years. He is a disaster waiting for an exposition. In another post of yours, I learned that he will never hit rock bottom. I keep wondering when he will. But because he doesn’t feel anything, he will always come across as his life being ‘breezy’ (I love how you put it). So I will stop obsessing when he will hit his rock bottom, because he NEVER will. THANK YOU FOR YOUR POSTS!!!!!

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