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Dear Chump Lady, The cheaters live next door…


How do I get over it when my soon-to-be-ex-husband (STBX) moved in with the Other Woman (OW) who lives next door to my work!!???

I’m a small business owner and my studio is literally next door. I try to not think about it, but there are days he drives by and then he pulls into her driveway. It’s like the few times I stop to think and look out, there he is. We live in a small town so it’s hard to avoid this. I feel like since this all started I have been in hiding, scared to run into people. I go to the other side of town to do things. I know I’m not the cheating piece of shit, but I feel embarrassed.

Just when I get close to not giving a shit — BOOM there he is!!!!! Help me get to meh!!!!


Dear Seacurlz,

Where’s the Berlin Wall when you need it? Boy, if ever there was an occasion for poured concrete, jagged glass, and concertina wire, this is it.

I’m not sure how you can eject your unwelcome STBXH from the neighborhood. The United States army had some success when they invaded Panama and blasted Van Halen and the Howard Stern show at General Noriega. He surrendered within 24 hours. Maybe we should ask Chump Nation what music they would play to torture cheaters with? Polkas? Celine Dion? Hand bell choirs?

Unfortunately, it’s a free country and we can’t choose our neighbors. Which means you’ve got two choices — find a new studio, or quickly reach great new heights of meh.

Personally, I’d look for a new studio. I consider myself happily moved on and meh, but if I had to live near either of my ex-husbands, I’d have to take up drinking… and Valium… and firing rocket launchers.

You just can’t have peace of mind around people who’ve abused you. The single most important thing you can do to heal is go no contact and have a safe space to heal. Most of us spend most of the day at work — you need your workplace to be safe!

Your divorce is not final, so you’re not years out from this shit. It’s fresh. The quickest course in meh I can give you is recognize his cheating is not YOUR shame to bear. You have absolutely NO reason to feel embarrassed around other people. You do, however, have every right now to feel flinchy and freaked out around the cheaters, because they harmed you. Your husband, who used to be your intimate, is now your adversary in a divorce. Seeing him must stir up all sorts of awful.

Even though he is next door, don’t be around him. Keep contact to a minimum. Communicate through brief, business-like emails.

If moving is absolutely out of the question (but do consider it, really), then please trust that he sucks. When he pulls into her driveway, tell yourself, isn’t that lovely? She won a cheater! Make a list of every wretched offense, every lie, every annoying habit, and keep it on you. When you feel upset, ask yourself — what is there here to miss? The sparkly dog turd that is him? Why would I care that she has a dog turd and I do not.

If you cannot move, light a scented candle and think meh thoughts. (((Hugs))) It sucks.


Ask Chump Lady

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  • If you don’t move to a new studio the pain will subside eventually. Real “meh” comes when you can think of them, see them, talk to them, and still not give a shit.

    One piece of advice, do not for one second be embarrassed about the situation. You got screwed over here and were not the one breaking the vows of your marriage. You can be sad that it didn’t work out and mad that they didn’t take your relationship as seriously as you did, but do not for one second be embarrassed about it. You can be proud of yourself for honoring your vows AND standing up for yourself.

    God bless you!

    • I think part of achieving meh is not living near them. You can do anything in short spurts if you have to. Literally living next door is, IMO, a different kettle of meh.

      I don’t care about my cheating ex. I would never, ever want to live next door to him. Meh has to be nurtured. I don’t rock the meh by putting myself in situations where I would lose meh.

      • Huh, this idea of nuturing meh or that could meh could temporarily be threatened is interesting. I don’t think I’m yet in the land of meh, but I do feel like I visit sometimes. I figured that once I got to meh, I would be unshakeable in my meh. But maybe 100% never-ever-wavering meh is near impossible? I guess the after effects of this kinda thing probably can surprise us years down the road with a non-meh moment here and there…

        • Let’s say somebody mugged you and beat you very badly, then they were arrested, and you eventually were able to move on.

          And then they moved next-door to you. No thanks. I don’t know about you, but I am not trying to outshine the Pople, the Dalai Lama and even Jesus to prove I have super-meh powers.

          • Pople = Pope. I hate when I have to explain my typos; it ruins any sarcastic humor in the posts 🙁

            • haha, i got it the first time without the explanation but your explanation made me laugh

            • well, they are calling the current one “the People’s Pope” so I thought that is what you meant, LOL

    • “Real “meh” comes when you can think of them, see them, talk to them, and still not give a shit”

      Is it meh that when you see them or talk to them, you think, “God, I really don’t like you. At all.” Because that’s where I’m at with the X. Because of our young kids, its hard to be 100% NC with him, but I’m at a stage where when I’m forced to interact with him, I can make banal small talk like I can to an extremely annoying distant family member or that one co-worker that I really cannot stand but must be pleasant to. I don’t like him for what he did to me, and I don’t like him for how his Narc behavior affects our kids.

      • yeah – I figure it’s meh when you are seeing them for what they are and not what you hope they are. I reckon it’s ok and meh if you decide you are not rockin’ their shitty personalities anymore 🙂

        • it is meh when you truly see them without rose colored glasses for who and what they really are and not what you thought they were, realizing the person that you loved didn’t exist at all, but it was just an illusion created by the cheater to reel you in and once you can come to terms with that its meh or very close to it.

          Btw Jayne, I love your language, when I read your responses you just crack me up girl! 🙂

            • Alex, “meh” is the goal. It’s when you don’t care anymore. You don’t mourn for the lost love, you aren’t so pissed you want to throw shards of glass at their face, you’re just, “meh.” Said with a teenage face and a shrug of the shoulders. Like, “meh, whatever.” Chump Lady often talks about how forgiveness isn’t the goal because you don’t have to forgive someone who wronged you so horribly. Love or friendship is certainly NEVER the goal with a narc cheater! The goal is to not care about them anymore. MEH.

  • Oh… another good one!

    “You just can’t have peace of mind around people who’ve abused you. The single most important thing you can do to heal is go no contact and have a safe space to heal.”

    WHY… OH WHY… can’t people just allow us Chumps to do this? All I hear is… “you need to get along for the kids!” “You are being immature by not talking with him.” “Let it go and forgive.” Really? So the consequences of HIS actions are MY fault too?

    Thanks for helping us all to get to “meh”… through honest healing words!

    • I would say “define getting along for the kids”? Yes, you have to communicate and share logistics. Treat this person with business-like professionalism. Getting along does NOT have to include making chit chat, inquiring about their day, or sharing personal details with them. As I’ve said here before, treat them with all the courtesy of a county tax assessor. Do exactly whatever the court order states. Do not editorialize about them in front of your kids. Maintain your dignity.

      You can be (and should be) civil. You Do NOT have to be friendly.

      • I have a hard time with that editorializing. i really have to watch what i say. i dont mean to put my sons sperm donor down, it just comes out that way. i guess i need to read up on what editorializing means.

        in my case it is hard to fight with a ghost who has been mia since july we havent seen him since june. although i have a feeling he is going to come around at christmas, i just hope i can be civil to him. i know i will not be civil to his MOW. who thinks it is HER job to talk for my XH, protect my XH from his evil xw (me) AFTER she twists everything i say to him, as well as do the thinking for my Xh and to explain HIS needs to me because after 14 years i dont have a clue how the man works.

        so how does one treat a person who has been mia for 6 months and suddenly remember he has kids around christmas? what is the proper professional answer when he calls (probably on christmas day) requesting to pick up his sons so he can see them? or wanting to take them to one of his cousins/aunts/family house because he doesnt have a house that i am aware of?

        i am really starting to stress this the closer christmas gets. hopefully we will not hear from him at all but i doubt that.

        • One of my favorite ways to say no comes from another blog is “I’m afraid that won’t be possible” or “I cannot accommodate that request” and, my very favorite, “We needed to make these arrangements at least a month ago, now it is too late to change our plans.” You do not have to jump just because the x calls. Personally, I believe that changing plans at the last minute is actually harmful for the children because it teaches them to do the same thing. If xh wants to visit with the kids at the holidays, then he needs to arrange it with you before the holidays arrive.

          • THank you Kendra. i am actually thinking of just letting him come to the house on christmas day during our down time. that way he can give his gifts to the boys and see them for a little while before we go eat dinner at my sisters.

            problem is i know that will not work for his MOW. she doesnt like for him to come to my house because she is not allowed to come with him.

            so because of this. i foresee some drama coming my way. but you have given me some answers to play with and think about.

            • MrsVain, you don’t have to accommodate her. If there is drama, let it be between those two. Stick to your very reasonable ban on her coming to YOUR HOME (it’s your home – fuck em if they don’t like that – an englishmans home is his castle – I know you are not english, a man, and it’s not a castle – but still – every word applies to you 🙂 ) Boundaries are good, and bollocks to them! If you haven’t yet discussed the xmas arrangements with arsewipe, if it will help YOU – might I suggest you put forward your idea of how it’ll play out – except – it’s not how it’ll play out, it’ll be how it’ll be – unless arsewipe comes up with a better more amenable plan, stick to it babe! You can do this – you’re awesome and deserve respect! 🙂

              • thank you for that! i am NOT letting her in my house EVER!! and i am not talking to her EVER! but i know as soon as i tell Xh that he can come to our house at 2:00ish, without her. the shit will hit the fan and the crazy will come out. my plan is to tell him that and then not answer any more texts or calls and let them spew in their own emotional vomit on how unfair i am, how i just need to accept they are a couple, how i am hurting my boys, etc etc. it has all been said before and i do not have to accommodate him at all. so if he dont like it, he dont have to come

                thank you for giving me strength

            • Its not on the skank to decide.
              If she even dares to step foot on your property – write her name in blood – with her own. Nothing less.

              • haha. i would love to do that but she is not worth going to jail for. but thanks for the image…..

              • MrsVain, my personal favorite is from Pirates of the Caribbean “I’m disinclined to acquiesce to your request.”

                Unless you have an agreement in place that he gets the kids on Christmas I wouldn’t let him come over if he happens to call the day of. He should be contacting you ahead of the day and arranging to see them. Of course if the kids want to see him and would be hurt by that, whole other story.

      • Lemme see, our cheater exes are not told to be faithful “for the kids.” They are not told to be nice to us their ex-chumps “for the kids.” No one suggests they keep schmoopie away or tells them they should pay extra child support or give up primary custody “for the kids.” Yet we, having been born and bred as super-chumps, are told to make nice to our abusers “for the kids.” Fuck that shit Jen Grice. If ex had beaten me no one would expect me to be friends with my abuser, yet just because he led a double life for decades and blew up my life and the lives of my children, we should still be one big happy family?

        Forgiveness for me is not praying openly and loudly for his death every damn day. And speaking to him with the warmth and wariness I reserve for the local tax collector…..all of course….”for the kids.”

        • KellyOne……”Forgiveness for me is not praying openly and loudly for his death every damn day.”
          OHHHH YESSS! ME too!! I thought maybe I was alone with that one! And I have NO kids with Lucifer, the rat bastard!

          • I haven’t laughed in 4 months since kicking out my ex narc…but this Lucifer comment just made me laugh really hard and brought tears to my eyes. My ex was damn sure
            I just wanted to say thank you for that!!

        • “Forgiveness for me is not praying openly and loudly for his death every damn day.” This made me laugh and my day. Too funny!

        • “Forgiveness for me is not praying openly and loudly for his death every damn day.”

          I love this!! good one Kelly!! and the people who tried to tell me that I need to forgive and forget, if not for him but for myself… My answer, “you can all go ahead and kiss my ass!! People like that makes me want to BARF!!

          • Forgiveness for me was reading the asshat’s obit and knowing that he’d gone to that really hot place earlier than I expected.

    • When people tell me that kind of psychobabble dribble, my response is, “Why don’t YOU divorce him and see how you get along.” or “Why don’t HE move in with YOU and then we can talk.” Shuts them up EVERY TIME.

    • I am sick of hearing people (therapists and laypeople) say, ‘Just forgive (cheater) and forget.’ In certain situations, anger, fear, distrust, and sadness are useful emotions that prevent us from being annihilated. ‘Forgetting’ without any change from a cheating partner is being foolish. Would these same people advise us to forget that the last time we touched a hot stove or pet a snarling dog we got burned or mangled? Next time I hear ‘Forgive and forget’ (without qualification) or related outrageous advice, I think I’ll respond with, ‘You first–how about you forget that your spouse cheats on you, creates children with someone else while married to you, gives you incurable diseases, depletes your accounts, takes your (joint) children, and tells everyone how YOU don’t meet HIS/HER needs?’

      • personally i am sick of hearing the “Get over it” that is what XH MOW has been telling me from the day i found out about her. wtf. how does a person just get over finding out your husband is fucking a hood rat. how does a person just get over the fact that your marriage vows were shit, and he doesnt love you enough to do the right thing. grant it, i am sure she was fucking with my husband ever since oct of last year but hell, i just found out. (feb 9 2014)

        and she keeps telling me to get over it. like she just borrowed a jacket and didnt return it or something. these people amaze me. most of the people he hangs around feel like that. they all tell him to tell me to “get over it”. his enablers. his supporters. they are all fucked in the head. his aunt told me a week after my divorce was final…mrsvain are you still single? i was like wtf still single? you mean just single? just because he has been acting like he was single doesnt mean he was. our divorce was just final last week. (mar 20 2104)

        and everyone seems to say that. coworker. friends, family. everyone is over it already so therefore everyone thinks i need to get over it

        i swear if i hear that one more time i will explode

        • Like I said above, mrsvain – its none of her fucking business and she should have a letter written in her own blood by you – and hopefully get drained of said blood – to death. Scum of the earth who can’t land anyone without spreading her legs.
          These other unworthy scumbags don’t deserve to be in your life either. Fuck them all.

          • WOW!!

            i really like the scum of the earth who cant land anyone without spreading her legs. i am sure that is the truth. 6 months after dating my XH she got his name tattooed on her chest. Who the fuck does that? of course she had to cover up the name of her LASt boyfriend, not the name of the man she is married too. but that must have really impressed my XH. her love must be real.

            i cant believe that i honestly thought he was better then all that. His true colors are shining thru now.

      • I’m with you RockStarWife, my therapist had a big hard on telling me “forgiveness is for your sake”. I finally found a definition of forgiveness I can relate to, it’s Oprah (unreal I know). For me forgiveness is recognizing the past could not have been any different. I forgive myself for allowing shit I should not have, forgiving an asshole who will loudly proclaim “I didn’t do anything wrong” until the day he dies? Not going to happen. Forgiving people is when they make a mistake and they own it. Forgiving someone who hurt you and kept on hurting you without any remorse is bullshit. Forgiving someone who purposefully lied to you and harmed you is bullshit. Forgiveness is a mechanism by which we understand when someone made a MISTAKE that they REGRET and they truly wish they never hurt you.

  • It seems like he’s deliberately throwing this in your face. I would have a strong desire to throw something back in his. Like, can you get a couple of men friends, that are clearly not customers, to come over a few times when you know he’s at her place to act like they’re boyfriends wooing you? Take it to the street and when your new ‘BF’s go to get in their car, can you fake a really passionate hug and possible kiss good-bye. I wonder how long he would want to continue seeing you do that while he’s at her place.

    • Decoy boyfriends? Really?

      Trying to make him jealous is just the pick me dance. See! Look how desirable I am!

      I think real meh is a better approach, JMHO.

    • i thought it was funny, you know he is just being hateful so i see nothing wrong with throwing some hate back at him. unfortuantly i am at an age where finding fake boyfriends are too much effort besides i am 46, nobody would believe men were beating a path to my door. but yah, this would be something i would do in my 20’s. but then again, in my 20’s i was a bitch, so a break up did not effect me, and the boyfriends wouldnt have been fake.

      but OMG it would be delicious to see his face if she had some guy walking her to the door. you know he is enjoying that she is seeing him at the ow place while she is at work. probably even timing his comings and going when she is there. what a dickhead.

      • maybe put a sign up like you see on the internet…..something like the woman my husband is having an affair with is living next door, if you look you can see his car (name and color of car) parked in her driveway….

        hahaha okay okay…i am having way too much fun with this. i have a sick and twisted mind.

        • My twisted mind is even sicker…invite X & OW woman over for meal (a la “lets try to be friends for the kids sake”) and have sexy hunk fake boyfriend present oggling HER, make arrangements for them to be alone together for a span of time (while you and X do legitimate family something) then he hits on HER.

          Heh heh heh…. For me this is do delicious because OW collects other wives husbands & boyfriends. My X is the 3rd i know of…

          Would never do this but i love pretending to fight narcissism with similar character flaw!

          Aiming for Meh. Helpful to know even CL has to guard her occupancy in Meh land.

      • she should sit outside with a camera and everytime he drives up she should act like she is taking a picture. that would totally freak him out. hahahha

      • Or she can hire some big mafia looking thug like men to stand outside her door with a bat and tire iron…

        • mrsvain – you are enjoying this too much 😀

          And hey! Just stop that now! 46? K’in ‘ell girl! You are barely in your prime – have a word with yourself there!!!!!

          • i was really having a good time with that. i guess it is all my secret fantasies that i wished i could have done to my XH….

            but i really wasnt trying to be disrespectful to her pain.

            i am just having a good day. and ya. 46. most of my vinegar is gone. my “get even” has changed to “let karma” but i used to be a real bitch when i was younger. sometimes i miss her. lol

  • When I first found out about the ex’s cheating more than 4 years ago and I thought I would leave right then, I contemplated running away to another warmer state where I could start over. I didn’t wind up leaving the state or him unfortunately until this past January. I had visions of running away again and then I realized that I was running away from an inconsequential loser and what sense did that make? My whole family is here, my career is here, I ain’t going anywhere!

    That said, I would rather be dipped in nectar and hung beneath a hive of killer bees than live next door to the asshat. If you can move; I would seriously consider it!! I’m so sorry for you. Hang in there and keep living an authentic life.

    As others have said it’s not your shame, it’s your ex’s. Anyone with good character will know that. Anyone else, you don’t need in your life. Stay strong seacurlz!

    • Amen, cheaterssuck! This is a very personal decision. I decided to stay in my (formerly “our” though still “our” on paper) house of 12 years even though the very night of DDay cheater was saying I should move out, go to a “small apartment” near where I work, that OW wanted to live here (in house I paid 90% of the mortgage on for 12 years). He gaslighted and claimed “everytime we argued, Margaret, we both know that you threatened to move out if we couldn’t resolve our differences.” Lies. This is my home. I am still here a year and a half later. I’m NOT moving until I get his name off the deed thru the legal process. Has it been hard? Yes, there isn’t a day that passes w/o me thinking of my former life here with him. But my thinking has morphed from “OMG, why did he ‘leave’ me?” (bec. he didn’t, I busted him for cheating and threw him out) — to Wow this is the House that Margaret built. I will leave when I’m good and ready. He’s latched his hooks into OW and is living w her, I guess – I’ve finally arrived at a Meh-like state of not giving a shit where his ass is parked tonight. I just. Don’t. Fucking. Care. Just hanging in for the legal process to kick his name off the deed the same way I kicked his sorry ass to the curb that night 1.5 years ago.

      • Mine pulled similar shit Margaret. First, he thought I would skulk away from the house we raised our kids in, the one I turned into a home. He wanted to slide me out and slide his bimbo in, like nothing had ever happened. When I told him to fuck off, he tried to buy a house across the street from me and the kids. He figured the kids could “live” at both houses, and he wouldn’t have to pay child support.

        Like cheatersucks, I would rather have lived next to a nuke dump.

        He’s 20 miles away now, and still not far enough out of my orbit. I had to get a No Trespassing order when I came home early from work one day and he was sitting on my picnic bench, lecturing to one of our kids. Buh bye.

        • Mine did the same thing too. Used the house I found and fixed for 12 years to attract a new admirer to step into my role. Wanted to stick me in a small place around the corner so I’d pine in the shadow of the home I’d built and probably dance really hard to get it back. I wanted to keep the place, but finally realized it would be best if I was where the ratbastard couldn’t find me. It was the best choice.

      • there you go Margaret, you are almost there! maybe you already are there! the MEH that is! 🙂

  • Oh my! My STBXH’s whore, who was also my friend and neighbor only lived a few houses down from me and I had no idea how I was going to cope with that! So of course I called her and told her if I caught her out of the house I would break her neck! She moved out in a few weeks….but it still bothers me she lives in the same town, I can’t imagine them being right next door! My heart aches for you and I hate you are having to deal with this!

  • OMG! This looks like my life. My ex and his HO used to live 3 miles in another town and it used to bother me so bad. Then they both got a house and he lives practically accross the street from my place of employment. I would give anything for them to move back to where they were. They are now in the same town where I live and work. I could run into them in at the grocery store, post office, drug store, etc now.So now I feel that I am in complete hell. It’s been two years and I can’t get over it because I feel it’s because I lived here for over 20 years with him. Every place reminds me of him. When will this nightmare end? It’s now way worse than it was before. Each time I go to the shopping area where all the stores are I have to pass their house. How can anyone be this cruel?

    • Oh Maria, I’m so sorry.

      They can be this cruel because that’s how they roll. I’m so sorry. Chin up, chest out, head high – fuck em. You have every right to be a fully fledged invested member of your community – and you never proved yourself to be a lying deceitful backstabbing bastard – so you go claim those streets girl – piss on those lampposts (metaphorically, or really if you must) they belong to you and you didn’t risk them! God I hate cheaters, but then, God hates cheaters too! Run into them everywhere – you are the reminder they are pieces of shit who have no integrity whatsoever. Stand tall and reclaim your land!

    • Maria, I’m so sorry you have to feel like you’re always on guard in your own town. I also live in a small town and was worried I’d run into him every time I went to the store. Miraculously it never happened, then he moved away. The one time I passed him in the car he waved at me like I was just a friendly acquaintance. Just about killed me. Anyway, you will eventually write new memories in the places that remind you of him. A friend of mine who lost her child encouraged me not to hide from places with memories, but to go with other friends and make new memories. It does seem to help.

      • Lyn, I work a short walking distance from my ex and somehow have only unexpectedly run into him once about a year and a half after dday. (I had, before that, seen him a few times when I knew I would likely see him at certain events. OW was there one time and that was very soon after dday and that was awful. That about killed me.) Anyhow, the time it was the random run-in, after a brief pause upon seeing me, he came over and made a little small talk. We exchanged a few non-personal sentences then went on our ways. Thankfully, it was not as bad as I would have imagined. (However, if OW had been with him, that would have been very different.) But it is super weird to have to be treated as an acquaintance by the person who was my partner and the love of my life. Now I am just like anyone else to him. Or worse….a disposed of appliance.

        I like your friend’s advice. That’s been my approach too because I decided I was not going to move away and avoid everywhere (and everyone) that was a part of my former life. It’s a long process to reclaim a whole life, but I am finding it gets easier as time passes. Building new memories and trying new, really different things somehow helps the old memories take up less space in my head.

        • NorthernLight, that one time I did see him drive by and wave at me like a friendly acquaintance was within a few weeks after he left. I couldn’t stop myself, I ended up turning the car around, drove to our home and knocked on the door (I’d moved out by this time). I asked him “so you’ve watched babies come out of me and spent 36 years with me, but now you’re going to treat me like we barely know each other?” I don’t remember what he said, I think I just got in the car and drove away crying my eyes out. That was one of the last attempts at conversation I had with him. I’m sure he told everyone in his gamily that I was crazy because of episodes like that, but their cruelty makes you feel crazy. I’m glad to be away from it now. I try to tell myself that our brains just aren’t wired the same way. He doesn’t have empathy. He knows how to act like he has empathy, but he doesn’t really feel it.

          • HI Lyn, your story reminded me how right after dday, my ex started signing his emails. When he did it the very first time, I called him out on it and said, so now you sign like that with me? He said that’s how he signed with everyone else. I said I am NOT everyone else. Thankfully he did not continue that, but it was so upsetting. Especially right after dday when everything was so very raw…. And I probably would reacted similarly to what you did. But you’re right….they aren’t wired the same. (And maybe we were just appliances to them anyways. Who knows….)

  • Yeah, I am in a situation where I have to see my loser ex briefly in the morning, 4 mornings a week. It sucks but I can’t think of an alternative until our son turns 3 and goes to preschool (2 more years). XH also has weekend visitation every other weekend. I try to avoid him on the weekend pickups and drop-offs, having my brother handle them, but that’s about all I can do.

    I cannot wait for the days when I see XH less. Gods I hate being around him.

  • If all you are feeling is embarrassed, maybe you can handle being next door. But if it is painful every time you see him pull into the driveway and every time you look at the building, and you do things like sneaking in and out of your studio because you are afraid of running in to either of them, I strongly suggest you get a new studio. My wasband moved in directly next door to my house after the divorce. I got to see him taking a shower every morning as I pulled out of the driveway because his bathroom window was 5 feet from my driveway. It was really damaging for me. I was on high alert at home all the time, and eventually, it turned into an anxiety/stress disorder.

    • This image might help: ‘When I was married, I usually kept my trash, which attracted disease-carrying flies, inside the house; now I put it where it and flies belong, outside on the curb.’

  • seriously, besides my kidding in my statements above….i really do feel your pain.

    my XH. moved in with his MOW and was only a few blocks from my/our house. i could see him drive down the street to work every morning (before he quit his job) and it was super painful. my heart felt like it was just going to explode everytime i saw him drive by. of course he never swung past my house even thou it was 5 in the morning.

    i have no words. i remember thinking how can he do that!?!?! what type of person moves in with some bitch right next to the house where he and i were a married couple?!?!?! i know that i would not be able to purposely do that. PLUS this house was right by my work (at a university) if i wanted to (and i did quite often) i could drive down this one sidewalk and look right into their backyard. it was all i could do NOT to go over and ask him if he missed me.

    i doubt you could move your business. i am so sorry you have to deal with this. he is heartless for putting you thru this because he KNOWs what he is doing.

  • Seacurlz,

    You have my sympathy. Not everyone understands this type of situation, but I’ve found that more people express the sentiment, ‘What a dirtbag (regarding the cheater)!’ than, ‘What did you do to make him want to leave?’

    Many years ago, in another state, my then fiancé, who I did not marry, brought strippers (OWs) home from the strip joint across the street.

    My cheating STBX moved our of our new family home last month–into a place across the street. I can always see his parking space and generally know when he is home, if I am home. (When I see his car, I think of all the revolting things he did to me. These thoughts help reduce feelings of jealousy and sadness.) Fortunately, I am getting busier and busier living my OWN life and consequently think less and less about his life. We never really had a life together anyway as he was busy leading his secret life away from me. The main difference between then and now is our ‘separate’ status is now official. I suspect that sneaking around bonking everything that sits still for a minute is not as exciting for him now as it was when we were legally married (and not separated). The silver lining in this dark cloud is our children’s ease of access to both parents.

    My question to you is this: Why do you feel embarrassed? I can imagine various answers, but what matters here is yours. It might be worthwhile to talk to a good therapist about this issue. You deserve freedom from feelings of embarrassment.

    For awhile, I needed to repeatedly remind myself that I had not broken my promises to my husband and, although I was not perfect, i didn’t deserve this horrific treatment (as nobody does). Abusive cheaters condition their loyal spouses to ask themselves ‘What’s wrong with ME?’ instead of, ‘What’s wrong with YOU (the cheater) and the situation?’ I recently started calmly telling the few people who enquire about our relationship status and the reason we split that my husband wanted the freedom of ‘bachelorhood’ with the perks of marriage. (He’s getting the single dad part but none of the perks of married life with me. I imagine that your cheater’s new life looks sparkly, but I’d bet that some important benefits, like the numerous benefits of having a partner with integrity, are missing.) At first, I felt uncomfortable explaining why we split, bur it’s getting easier.

    Hope you feel better soon.

    • I like to tell people I had trouble getting along with his girlfriend. Usually gets a good laugh.

  • Dear SeaCurlz,
    This is your studio space. Why should these creeps deprive you of what is rightfully yours? Don’t give them the satisfaction.
    I lived in a small town when my parents divorced (due, of course, to my father’s rampant infidelity with God only knows how many AP, including my mom’s sister.) My mom’s answer was to move far away to a new state, which ended up being a disaster for her and my young siblings. Having grown up in a small town, I know that there is really nowhere you can move (within that town) to get away from the triggers.
    Additionally, when my own husband of 16 years traded me in for my former work intern, the one I later hired to work part time at HIS business, he moved in with her at her mother’s home one block away from my parents’ house. There is NO WAY to get to my parents’ home without first driving by his house (they still live there 9 years later). And we lived in a big city. Of all the hundreds of thousands of houses and many suburbs they could have picked, they had to end up right across the street from my family. There was nowhere I could go to escape the triggers. At home, reminders were everywhere of our 18 years together, not the least of which was our newborn son. My X is an architect, and every single item in our home down to my wedding china was chosen by X. He had meticulously remodeled, painted, refinished etc every inch of our home, inside and out, during our time there. Back at my work (to which I had to return immediately), were reminders of the two years the MOW had spent as my intern. She knew all of my staff and we had worked on many projects together. Though she wasn’t there in the flesh, there were pictures of her, projects she had worked on, etc.
    I could not even drive to my parents house for a short visit without driving by the Love Shack, many times seeing his car parked there. At first, I would shake and could hardly breathe as the moment approached and then passed. It didn’t help when my toddler started excitedly pointing out “Daddy’s Car” in the driveway. Several times I even saw OW out in the yard as I passed by to my parents. The pain was excruciating. It wasn’t enough that life as I knew it had been taken from me. They had to interfere with what shambles were left in my new life.
    But I started to notice something. As painful as it was to see his car parked at the OW’s, every time I drove by it helped me accept my new situation more. When the MOW’s photo ran in the suburban newspaper with her children depicting “movie night” at their elementary school, I clipped the article out of the paper and tacked it to my bulletin board in my office at work. Every time I looked at this sweet, beautiful picture of a former friend with her two cute kids, it reminded me that I was out and she was “in.” It helped bring me back to reality and closer to acceptance. And my house full of X’s designs and reminders of our life together. It was affordable, and at the time I didn’t have the energy to move. I made a few small changes here and there (like removing all photos of him) and changing which side of the bed I slept on. Why should I have to further disrupt my life and move out when he was the one who left? Why shouldn’t I stay in this beautifully designed home end enjoy the fruits of his labor? Eventually, I remarried and we sold the house (made nice chunk of change too.) Hey ,much later I even had X design our new kitchen when we remodeled a subsequent home.
    After the divorce was final I did take the news clip of OW off my bulletin board at work. And one day, I realized I had driven by the “love shack” without even glancing that direction. It came to a point where it was just no big deal. Soon it became a great convenience that he lived there because on holidays, etc. we could easily make the swap of the children right there at my parents.
    Why should you have to move out of your studio because your STBX and his OW live next door? They have already robbed you of your marriage. Why should they rob you of your studio space? This was your space before and it still is. If it is more financially feasible and desirable for you to move to a new studio space, then definitely consider CL’s advice. But if this is the best location for your business, think about what you can do to hold on to this thing that was all yours and still is. If your X is leaving you alone (ie: not abusive, not intruding into your property, not being aggressive etc to you) let him have his little love nest next door. Your pain is still fresh, but if you are not interacting with him any more than absolutely necessary (to deal with divorce paperwork, kids, etc,) and you are not in danger, with time that will ease.
    The most important thing is for you to do what works best for YOU. Only you know what that is.
    Sending big hugs your way.

    • i have to admit that i feel the same way. i used to purposely wake up at 5 (if i had gotten to sleep at all) and sit by the window so i could watch my XH drive past every morning. of course i was waiting and waiting to see if he would ever make that turn to drive PAST my house, and of course i was crying every day because he didnt.

      i also stalk her facebook page (well i blocked her from my fb page, as well as my oldest son account but have an aka account for my stupid games). she posts pictures once a month of her and my XH together. i purposely look at those pictures. at first my heart stops and pains me, i cant breath and of course i cry. but the more i force myself to look at those pictures the more it stops hurting. so even the new pictures are not hurting as much as the first ones. i still get nervous if i think i see his car but not as much as i used to. this is also how i know just on what weekends he is in town and for what functions. of course he NEVER as much as drives by or calls to see his kids.

      i normally dont say anything to anyone on this site about it because i know it breaks the golden rule of no contact. which i still have no contact. plus this is what works for me. i am a face problems head on type of person. i HAVE to see it to believe it type of person. i am also my imagination will kill me if i let it roam around to freely so again seeing is believing….i also know this DOES not work for most every other person so i dont say anything to anyone.

      over time, facing the pain head on, for me is the way to get over it. if i didnt see the pictures, if i didnt read all the hateful and cruel things he said to me over and over, if i didnt focus on what he was doing with her right now, not calling or seeing his kids, i would have been driving myself crazy with the hopium pipe. yes, it was the most painful thingi have ever done, along with the most hardest thing not to call him, talk to him and ask him if he misses me or loves me.

      • No contact is a great rule, but like all rules there are plenty of exceptions. No rule is one-size-fits-all. The trick is to know what to do in your specific situation and to be honest about your motivations. Wisdom is more important than blind obedience. More power to those who know themselves well enough to know what works for them!

        Now about the studio space… Both staying or leaving will have its pros and cons and no one can really advise you about what’s best. But I do suggest you not let painful emotions alone make this decision for you. I generally tend to take the side of “why should he have the power to decide where I go and what I do?” I’m more with Miss Deltagirl on this one, which is to reclaim some of your own power. As she said, they already robbed you of your marriage – why should they rob you of your studio space? I had to make a similar decision once – I was playing music at a little bistro where everyone in town hung out, and after an ex-lover dumped me he was insensitive enough to bring the OW in to hear the music! It was excruciatingly painful at first and I thought “well, I’m going to have to stop coming here because I just need to avoid him at all costs in order to heal” – but then again I loved playing there, and the feisty part of me said “HELL NO, why should I let him decide where I’m going to play? Why should he have the power to rob me of this joyful part of my life?” My desire to reclaim my power and be free of his ability to influence my actions was stronger than the painful feelings I had to endure. And I had to be willing to endure them, which I did, and because of that it took my a lot longer to get to meh. I had to grit my teeth through his presence for the next six months, and it wasn’t easy, but that was MY choice and – miracle of miracles! – eventually he stopped coming. And me? I still play there 2 years later and love every minute of it.

        Not saying this would be the right decision for everyone, but in my case, the act of reclaiming my power was what I needed. For others, avoiding the ex utterly and completely is the best thing to do. My point is, there is no rule about it. Seacurlz, I have faith in you knowing what’s best for you and hope you’ll let us know what happens in the future.

    • missdeltagirl65, I was very interested to read about your house that your architect cheater x designed because 1.5 yrs out I still live in the house that cheater contractor and I spent 12 years renovating together and he, too, personally designed and built every new part of this house and I paid for it all. I will go to my grave scratching my head at how he could put that much effort, down to every detail for that long, so controlling of every aspect of it, while at the same time secretly continuing to fuck one of his “ex” girlfriends for the first 7 years that he and I lived here after buying the house together, fucking another OW I know of (there may have been more) beginning in year 8, and then OW that caused DDay beginning in 2012. I just don’t get it. Why did he even care about the house. I still live here because I always intended to live here and though he began trying to force me out the very night of DDay, I refused to leave. This had been my home for 12 years. Every day it gets a little better and I associate things less and less with him and his domination and abuse of me, then the cheating discovery; and in the next year I hope to win the legal fight then I can decide if I want to stay here or sell it and start somewhere “mine”. This is hard to contemplate at age 59 though. Thank you for sharing your insights.

      • I too am living in the house my STBXH built. I don’t mind though. It’s where my son has lived his whole life so I grab onto that fact and hang on to it. I am not leaving and I am slowly making it my own…painting, re-purposing rooms, rearranging furniture, buying damn curtains because I love them and he thought they were a waste. He left the screened porch project unfinished so I need to figure that one out.OH, and I want his name off the deed. Pray that he will acquiesce. We can’t sell it and he already has an apartment in a different county so he should give it up. He ain’t paying the mortgage so just give me what I want! haha I’m not worried and I insist on winning!!

  • My office is a few blocks from the third party interloper’s office. I give no fucks. She should feel uncomfortable running into me.

    If you cannot move, which I agree is best, consider how she feels literally living in the shadow of a woman who owns her own studio. She just gets to screw her leftovers. You win.

  • “Make a list of every wretched offense, every lie, every annoying habit, and keep it on you. When you feel upset, ask yourself — what is there here to miss? The sparkly dog turd that is him?”

    I did that and it works!! now I am disgusted by him and my skin crawls when I even hear his name! but I do understand the shame part. I felt so embarrassed, so humiliated, especially when I saw what these women looked like and who they were and to think he lip locked, had sex with these horrid, ugly, lowlife trash then came home to me?? I felt beyond humiliated and grossed out what a disgusting pig he really was! Not anymore though, its not my shame its his! now he can live with it ha!

    Seacurlz, as usual Tracy is right on! Follow her advice and you will reach meh eventually! OW won a pile of dog shit! You on the other hand deserve much more than a lowlife cheating, pile of dog shit, in reality you won, she lost 😉

  • CL you mention sparkling dog turd…how about a flaming one…on her doorstep?
    Thats what comes to my mind!
    I have to deal with that everyday as he moved he and his tweeny bopper 6 blocks away from me. I can’t even begin to tell u how painful it is everyday that he drives strait by our old house down the block to his new little castle with whore bag…and of course our child watches as he cruises on by…and then back with tweeny in the car…off to the mall. It takes everything in me not to throw a brick thru his window..or the faming dog turd.
    I wrestle with it everyday…its been 3 months since the divorce and it still stings like fuck.
    Sorry …no good advice…just empathy.

    • My 16 year old son suggested we send my cheating husbands OW a box of dog shit through the mail, he said you can actually do that on-line, I wonder if you really could.

        • That. Is. Soooooooo, Tempting!!!! The OW (divorced 3 times because is super awesome at relationships) needs this for Christmas! But I am trying to not look crazy. I swear.

  • I recommend relocating if you can.

    The organic German response to the Berlin Wall: ‘irgendwann fällt jede mauer,’ means: “Eventually, all walls will fall.”

    While one wants that for a wall like the one in Berlin, to stay separated and no contact from a creepy Ex plus hOW the wall must stay in place! Well, you need distance I think. How awful for you.

    I felt so much more Meh when my Ex moved his skanky butt to the opposite coast! I would wish the same for you.

  • I love all of you! Finding CL and all of you has really gotten me through all these emotions and has managed to make me smile and laugh at some of the craziness we’ve endured and survived. Seeing my STBX drive by my studio didn’t upset me or make me sad…it felt more like ‘ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!!!!!!!!!!!!” All week I just felt WTF about it and made me just think how did we come to this??

    I worked hard for my business and have invested a lot of time and money and I’m proud to say I’m doing well. My mind tells me I would never let them take that from me but at times my heart says MOVE!!!! It’s just not smart for me to move…I know that but it was just hard to have it rubbed in my face like that but I have to continue on.

    I’m trying get over the embarrassed feeling of his actions. All our friends have been NC with me since he moved out. It boggles my mind that he does all these horrible things to me and our daughter and him and the OW have the nerve to just bad mouth me. I’m making new friends and realizing the old ones were never really there to begin with…sad reality.

    missdeltagirl65…I’m with you! Thank you all of you

    • Can you get a legal restraining order type thing? Whatever they call it where you are? That he can’t come within a certain distance of your residence or place of employment? Presto, no visiting schmoopie at her house anymore!

      Of course, if you have children, it makes exchanges more difficult. And it might be hard to justify if there was no physical abuse in your relationship.

      Can you do any renovations on your studio? Put up a wall or a fence? Rearrange where the windows are so you don’t have to see?

      Or, yes, moving the studio may be best for you. If you are going out of your way to do your errands on the other side of town now, you may want your studio more conveniently located over there too. You never know, you may find a better place!

      • Or a can of safety orange spray paint?

        Your side –> cheating skanks park here

        My side –> honest people and client park here.

        (probably defacing somebody’s property.)

        You didn’t say what kind of studio…how edgy is your art? You really could work with this and expunge demons and make a message at the Same time. I’ll bet a lot of people could relate. But I know nothing about running a business, so relegate me to (circular) file, where my ideas on this belong!

    • Rock on seacurlz! Put some fun stuff up in the window and ignore their asses. Likely as not without the thrill of secrecy their relationship will tank anyhow. Don’t you be embarrassed by what your asshole stbx did! On the “friends” that went NC on you? One of the good things that come from this is that you learn who your friends really are. Jedi Hugs!

  • Dear SeaCurlz,

    not much in the way of advice, I’m afraid – but big, big empathy. What a shitty, shitty thing for them to do – be right next to you. Arseholes – I absolutely hate them. I can’t imagine how hard it is to be in your shoes right now. I loved missDeltagirl’s post, and I do heartedly recommend you say ‘fuck that’ to any shame you are feeling (what the fuck for babe?) and go out and reclaim those streets – they belong to you honey – you have every fucking right to be exactly where you are – if anyone should be skulking in shame – it’s them, if moving out of your studio is too difficult for you, then you make sure you raise your chin, stick your chest out, walk tall and proud and fucking shame them out of the neighbourhood. This is an animalistic pissing territorial war you got going on here – and babe it’s your lamppost to piss on!

  • …. and fuck those faux friends too! I lost a lot of friends in both marriages – people I’d love dearly, but in end it really is a pissing war and both exes could piss better than me, I guess 🙂 Fuck em! I know I never left anyone as a result of their relationship breakdown, so fuck them if they were prepared to believe the bullshit either ex husband’s came up with. I was a good friend, they were not. Neither were your ex faux friends. Sorry SeaCurlz 🙁 You are sounding feisty there though – you go girl. You won’t be the only one to have noticed where ex has decided to pitch himself and schmoopie – chin up, chest out, defiant lock of jaw …..

    Rooting for you x

    • I feel so blessed to have kept my friends. My ex was basically living another life and moved off to be with his other friends. the friends we made during our long marriage were almost as upset with my ex as I was. They’ve been so incredibly supportive I don’t know what I’d have done without them. My heart goes out to those of you who are dealing with the loss of friends too.

  • Jayne: ‘You won’t be the only one to have noticed where ex has decided to pitch himself and schmoopie – chin up, chest out, defiant lock of jaw …..”

    Good point, Jayne. People see tacky where tacky is due.

    I guess I find myself more of the ilk of standing my ground in my nice little studio that I built from the ground up and take lots of (deserved) pride in. How do you know if you picked up stakes and move across town, that you won’t find them setting up shack there too? (oh, I’m sure that would be an innocent coincident!)
    I do like the tacky but perhaps useful suggestions (even if after hours) to:

    1) Play Eminem or Van Halen out the window on your new Bose teeny speaker. (hehe)
    2) Add some details that give you more privacy and no view of their home. (lots of great materials out there for that and greenery)
    3) Not sure if you have a kitchen or know about show-dogs, but we are in dire need of cooked liver for bait all the time and happy to pay up for it. Nobody wants to cook it in their kitchen as the terrible raw smell lasts for days. So most folks use the outdoor bbq.
    4) Do you smoke? Find somebody nice to sit on your bench outside and smoke to their lungs content. Of course, shut your windows and that may look bad for customers..but..
    5) If I find myself standing next to somebody that I have a beef with, I subtly raise my voice a little (I have a loud voice) and talk to a stranger telling them how awful it is I found my husband with a whore..Can you imagine? (actually, that’s a fantasy I have running into ex’s g/f.) But, I’ve done it on other occasions when somebody has been rude to me in a store.
    6) I still like the fake boyfriend idea. I have two nice married male friends that I would be happy to hug me passionately, and with their wives approval of course. We do it all the time after a dinner party. It’s genuine, for sure.

    I think you’ve got this one handled, seacurlz – at least some for a laugh. Good luck!

  • I know that it is incredibly hard. Incredibly hard to just ignore him. I had to live with a self centered, self absorbed ex for years. Literally, I had to call my own ambulance because the pig couldn’t see that I wasn’t able to breathe. Even still, the kids adored him. Walt Disney dad.
    Now that I’ve gone “no contact” – I’ve discovered it’s a blessing. I don’t even think about him any more. “Oh dad’s new girlfriend is unemployed – damn. That’s tough” and I move on. The kids are slowly figuring out that dad exists for a “good time”.

    Don’t be hard on yourself. Grieve. And then put up boundaries – remember “Living well is the best revenge”.

  • I moved from another country to be with my ex. 10 years of marriage, one toddler and pregnant with another when he told me about ow and affair that started 2 weeks before our older child was born.
    I had a lot of thoughts about moving back to my native country. But during 10 years I made friends here, got a student loan, and a great job. I and ex lived in a small house that was purchased years ago and he did a lot of things in the house. We also purchased a 3 acres lot 2 miles from this small house where we were planning to build our dream home and paid it off.
    When he hit me with the news and everything was fresh my mom gave me the best advice. She told me you don’t need to decide now. Give yourself a year and see if you still want to move. She told me that I will feel differently in a year. A year and half later I don’t have strong feelings about him. I am still staying in that small house that we both fixed and enjoy it. I moved his things out, I sleep at the same bed, and my children have security of living in a place where they were born.
    I even took that land in the divorce. I negotiated that I can stay at our small house for 9 month so that I can build my dream house. It will be very close to the house where I live now where probably my ex and ow will move in.
    I know I can build there and save a lot of money by doing it. And I will have a house that I always wanted. Ex and ow can stare all they want I don’t care what they think. I plan on living happily ever after.

    Give yourself some time. You don’t need to decide if you want to move now. Give yourself a year and see of you will still care.

    • I decided to stay in my ex’s country too. I realized in the aftermath of dday that I truly had people here that cared for me. Like you, I also received advice right after dday to not make any big decisions right away, and that made sense for how I personally was feeling. When I felt ready and able to think about the future, which was a good long while after dday, I made the firm decision to stay here and build my life here long-term (forever?). But I have had to work to reclaim every part of my life since everything, even the country I lived in, was tied to him. Good for you, Mommyof2, for navigating all of that and building a life you love!

  • My favorite cartoon!!

    My ex is just the turd but without the sparkles. Sweet!

    I don’t think I’ll ever get over what the Coward and the Twat Troll did to my family, but, you know? I do think, Seacurlz, that one day you will realize you are so much better off without your ex, and that they can have each other. One day he will be ashamed of what he is–not because he hurt you, nor because he loves you (cheaters don’t really love anyone else) but because he realizes he is a loser and you are a winner. Trust that he sucks (he does, and so does she) but they may not realize it yet.

    You keep being fabulous at your own pace, and one day you will be so proud of what and who you are, and what you made, that you will see the ex as something that once was–a sad little loser who can’t hold a candle to you.

    I really do believe that.

  • Nice responses to this one and reminds me yet again of how an abuser acts, not to mention the poor behavior of his girlfriend who should really be embarrassed! . As Chumplady said, it’s not YOUR shame to bear, yet it still must sting. Ironically, I just wrote about “baiting and bashing” in a recent blog because we see this over and over again. Ms. Sunshine said it well – heal at your own pace and NEVER forget that YOU are Fabulous no matter what. His loss, for sure! BIG Hugs…

  • My fantasy is to exhibit an art piece I did on my Cheater ex (I discovered tons of stuff after dday but the financial decisions were the most enlightening) whose questionable behavior during the last three years of our marriage (in addition to the two years it took for us to divorce) kind of spooked me and sent me into a tailspin (I am just glad I didn’t have life insurance, lol!). Every time I saw him I felt traumatized, I had that gut response of fight or flight, and physically I grew more sick and scared when I discovered the extent of his betrayal and what a lie my life had been. I was and still am the most angry about what he did to our finances though but happy to be far far away from him (even though I loved our small town, my home, and the people in it) because I feel safer. I have family close, something I didn’t have our whole marriage together. He’s happy too as he can still spin that narrative. My kids struggle to understand what to believe because their father is so charming, insert sparkly turd here. Just the physical presence of my cheater ex in those years we were divorcing was enough to make me hyperventilate especially when he had spent years setting up the narrative. He could have easily made me disappear. My advice? Quit thinking you had it good, quit thinking their life together is good, quit thinking you are “less than” because, trust me, you are not and people who matter will know this. Know you rock and live a better life without that Cheater in it. And No Contact? The only way to move forward. As to your studio listen to your heart. It took me two years to realize that as much as I loved where I was I could no longer place myself in jeopardy to prove a point. “You just can’t have peace of mind with people who have abused you.” Five years out and I am carving out my own new authentic life, in my new community, but in the town we both grew up in. I am making it mine. Working hard. It is never too late to start again. 🙂

    • Oh and blast PIG DESTROYER, a totally legit hardcore metal band that young men love and who sound…awful, lol! Or Christmas music. Heehee.

  • I used to really dread seeing ow. Family events I would think she would show but didn’t. When they married and she finally showed, she practically hid from me. She still does. It makes me laugh. I’ve never done anything or said a word. Point is, you may think they are bothering you, but you are every bit as much in her face and every bit as much of a threat to her. it never really occurred to me until I saw her hide. It was quite the eye opening event. I’m a few more years out, but something to consider.

  • Only you can decide whether to stay put or move.
    If you stay you get the misery of having them in your face every day but you would probably find that sooner than you expect you would no longer care so much. Familiarity breeds contempt and you may very well lose interest in what these people are doing or not doing. Also, you are in their faces and they have to live up to the dream that life is sooooo wonderful now. It wont be. Real life involves doing boring things, taking out trash, having bad hair days and mowing the grass that looked so green before.
    I hope that you will not be driven out of your studio but if you really do find it impossible to be happy there then move on.
    Fake it til you make it meantime…hold your head high.

  • Wow, Seacurlz, that is tough.

    CL gives good advice. If you can move your studio, I would do that.

    Even in a big city, it is hard to escape from an EX.

    Try having a date under a giant billboard with your EX’s face on it (on the top of the restaurant). I debated telling my date…then decided not to draw any attention to it. In a movie, it would be freakin’ hilarious. In real life, not so much. For me, it doesn’t take much to laugh at the ridiculousness of it.

    But it does take a lot to get to meh. One thing I learned along the way….was to not react to the bait. (I am 100% certain that your EX parks his car in a place that you will see it.)

    Remember to hold your head high. You kicked that piece of dirt out. You have no reason to be embarrassed.

    • No way! A date under a billboard of your ex??! Wow. And you managed to hold it together AND not tell your date? I am super impressed. And that would be comic gold for a movie!

  • The collective experiences here are so helpful to think about.

    I struggle just seeing my ex and communicating about my child with him. It feels like having to be civil to the person who raped me, which is more than difficult. It feels hard to heal without complete NC, although perhaps if he were completely away I would seek him out in my mind and remember the “good times” that were not genuinely shared. Now, I see him and realize each time that he sucks and I can’t believe I had anything to do with him. I see his dis-ingenuousness. So I am afforded the reality slaps in that way.

    I like the range of opinions and practices here. I could never reality slap myself by putting a picture of the smiling stbx’s OW on my board with her “beautiful” kids, as Missdeltagirl, (particularly as a former intern/friend–just over the top perfidious), but I understand the need to do so because they entangled themselves so much in your life. That is very rough. There is also a huge desire to get out of the victim mode to reclaim one’s life. But again, for some like me, it is a physical sense of violation that needs to heal in my body and mind. A picture of the OW would re-trigger the violation, but if I had to see that anyway, everyone I went…even when I went to my mother’s work…where everyone liked the OW….that these basic places were not safe…not sure how I would deal. I really can’t imagine. I would lose it. But then again, I am not yet meh and still feel a lot of rage.

    I think the dissonance here is the heart of the politics of infidelity.

    Can one be “Zen” about it all, accept and let go–to be free? Or is that not possible because there was actual bodily harm done that has its own healing track–that is aggravated by seeing our rapists (my experience) live their lives happily after destroying one’s own. This a really uncharted territory, I think, in terms of cheating. Everyone’s experience brings us closer to understanding the depth of healing and how to chart our own courses.

    I think the common theme here that I take away is to find a way to get into my head that it is OVER, I am not living with stbx and can shape my own destiny again, a way that is possible in my life’s circumstances that I can’t change (have him run over by a bus so I do not ever have to deal with him again—can’t make that happen), get supportive places and people who can see me for who I am, take back the things that are important to me without worry that stbx will use my actions against me, and get out of emotional entanglements as best as possible.

    Thanks again Chumps for a great discussion.

  • For me, 90 miles away and no contact with the lying cheater who thought it fun to find wherever I was and try to get in with a crowbar with his little trollop driving the getaway car worked. I had to go no contact with all mutual friends and acquaintances too, as that was how he found me. Mr. “I’m so worried about my ex” got anyone and everyone to keep him informed when I stopped telling him shit.

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