Hi folks, just home from epic holiday travel. Airport delays, sullen teenagers, those horrible people in coach who recline their seat all the way into your lap… (can’t they feel my misery and judgment radiating into the backs of their heads?)
But on a happier note, I did get this nice email from a fellow chump, Jay, with some great advice for the new year. Thanks for the day off, Jay! — Tracy
Dear Chump Lady,
Christmas marked the one year anniversary of me finding out about my wife’s affair with a neighbor and friend. I wrote to you in May (https://www.chumplady.com/2014/04/dear-chump-lady-do-i-have-to-tolerate-the-om-around-my-kids/) asking for advice as I was concerned about my STBX bringing this slob to family events (birthday parties, etc.), which she vowed to do (but then didn’t.) Your advice was awesome: “She gets a reduced standard of living, single motherhood, and an unemployed boyfriend! Oh THAT’s going to turn out well…” and helped a lot.
I just wanted to share some lessons I learned over the past year.
- Actions tell the tale: We tried counseling for a month or so but she wasn’t interested so I told her we needed to move towards divorce and someone needed to move out of the house. She moved out (leaving me the sweet old Victorian house) and our divorce is almost complete. Was it easy and painless? Hell no but it was necessary and 5 million times better than limbo.
· Revenge!: There really isn’t much revenge, not like you imagine it at least. The best revenge is moving on, acting indifferent (even when it kills), and keeping things business-like. One caveat: I did spend the first month after D-Day group texting her and her boyfriend with the cruelest messages possible. Was it childish? Yes. Did it feel good at times? Also, yes. And when I stopped, it felt even better.
· Karma: Sometimes it kicks in; sometimes it doesn’t. My ex moved out of the house and into a duplex with her mom on the other side. When her mom got into a loud argument with my ex’s boyfriend, she banned the unemployed bum from her house. This meant my ex had to move again and now, much of her family barely talks to her. Once the kids found out what really happened, they totally turned their back on this guy who they used to like. Despite his ongoing efforts, they are still very cold towards him.
- Try to be productive: I was so out of my mind that I started walking 4 miles every morning. And then sometimes the same thing at night. It didn’t make the pain go away but at least I was doing something useful. By the time I met someone new, I was 20 lbs. lighter and physically felt better than I had in years.
- Move on: Holy spit! Here’s a chance to move on and meet someone worthy of your love. I met a lovely woman who was also a chump. It’s been 10 months now and it is incredible to be with someone who is appreciative and thoughtful. The best was when my ex found out and then told me I shouldn’t talk about how I tried to save the marriage through counseling “when you so readily found someone to replace me.” Dummy.
- Focus on the kids: Resist the temptation to badmouth, even though it’s tough. For instance, when my 11-year old refers to my ex’s boyfriend as “Fat Boy,” I don’t tell him it’s inappropriate. I just chuckle.
Yesterday, on Christmas, I got the greatest gift ever. It was a small box and inside, there were 20 notes from my sons, telling me how much they love me and what a great Dad I am. Bingo!
Thanks, Chump Lady, for the advice and to everyone going through this, believe in yourself and move on as quickly as you can! Happy New Year!