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Dear Chump Lady, He’s moved on. I haven’t.

catfutureBWDear Chump Lady,

Despite two years of separation and impending divorce, I am still angry and upset. I want to smack this asshole upside his head. His stupid sister actually told me deserved to be cheated on because I was weird. (Apparently I’m too chatty and slightly scatterbrained). Last I heard wedding vows did not say unzip your fly because wifey is absentminded and a chatterbox.

But what really bugs me is I am stuck. I cannot move on. I’m angry and want to lash out at him and it won’t matter because he has moved on. (As my youngest son says, Dad moved on at the beginning of your marriage — you have a lot of catching up to do.)

Is there anything you can say to shake me out of my fog?

Thanks,

Just Another Chump

Dear JAC,

Gee, someone you’ve considered family for years just said you’re weird and deserved to be cheated on and you wonder why you’re upset? (You sure it’s him you want to smack upside the head and not her? Make it a twofer?)

You’re not yet divorced. It’s going to suck now. You don’t have any finality. The settlement hangs in the balance. You’re still legally and emotionally tied to this person, and if he’s like most cheaters, he’s probably fucking with you. Fucking with the settlement. Swanning about town with his Schmoopie. Blithely skipping over his obligations, ignoring the wake of destruction he’s caused.

It’s not a super fun time, JAC. It’s a battle to stay sane. And it’s a battle you have to wage on many fronts. He’s out there with his narrative that your chattiness Drove Him To It. It’s a slog to get through the legal process, divide the assets, figure out custody. It’s a battle to stay physically healthy and not sleep deprived and emotionally exhausted. And add to all that — you’ve got the slings and arrows of an ordinary adult life. Working your job, raising your kids, getting the sixth load of laundry done.

You need to keep your eye on the prize, JAC.

Prize? What prize, you ask? The prize of living alone with half your shit? The prize of Divorce Shame? The prize of sleeping solo?

No, the prize of your new life. The prize of your saner, cheater-free life. The prize of your self-respect and agency. THAT prize.

Oh. Can it be my date to the office Christmas party?  

No.

Oh. Will my self-respect keep me company as I grow old alone with cats?

No. The cats will keep you company. And they’re much friendlier and easier to live with than cheaters. And you can chat to them all you like, they don’t mind.

Oh. Will people think I’m weird?

Who CARES? Fuck ’em! Personally, I’d find you a lot more perplexing living with a serial cheater than I would divorced. But there are people out there who will find your eccentricities endearing, who will love you right, and be true to you. Go invest in THOSE people. Why spend one more minute of your life lamenting marriage to a cheater?

Look, I know you’re grieving, and that is perfectly natural now, but there is going to come a day where you wake up (it’s a Tuesday) and you wonder what the fuck you ever saw in this person. Why you ever thought losing them was a bad thing. There will come a day where you trust that he sucks and you know the Other Woman (Women) aren’t getting a prize — they’re getting a cheater. His passive aggressiveness, his dirty underwear, his bitchy sister — she gets all that wonderful and more. (She gets the Ashley Madison dating profiles too!)

There will come a day when your new life eclipses your old life and you accept. We call that “meh” here — when you get to the point where this person no longer has the power to hurt you. You won’t allow it. You’re too invested in your new life to look back.

Until then, JAC, keep marching. Call in the tanks and the artillery if you have to. But keep marching toward Meh.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • Just Another Chump,
    Come join Chump Nation. I am sorry things are so hard, I understand and so does everyone else here.
    It has been 1.5 years since my dickhead abandoned me after several years of abuse and hell. My divorce has been final for one week.
    The stuck feeling is shitty. Chump Lady has the most articulate and direct advice. Just keep chugging away at your new life until you are so invested in the new you that you do not want to look back.

    My journey is its own roller coaster, moments of mightiness and then those troughs of despair.The past several years really undid me mentally and physically, but I can see that the lows do not last as long as when I was discarded. They still suck, but I am better able to invest in myself and reason my way out of the rut.
    A whole new life will take time to put together so be easy on yourself. Be sure to acknowledge the progress you are making since D Day. I am sure there is measurable difference from that time to now. Write a list of even the smallest things that are improved. You will see, that list will grow with intentional self love and investment.

    I wish you all the best on your new path one where you can choose to have agency and meaning.
    Just remember be kind to yourself and just keep stepping forward even of those steps seem so small, it is a building process.

    Peace and Love

  • JAC,

    Anger is a gift. It helps us to reset violated boundaries when healthy. Use the energy from your anger to fuel you towards your cheater free future.

    I suspect part of the stuck is you wished it was otherwise. We cannot change the past. But we can act in the present. Remind yourself why divorcing and moving forward is best. That’s what using your anger constructively is about.

    Surround yourself with supportive people as CL says. Don’t waste any more time on the cruel and stupid ones.

    Wishing you the best on your way to being unstuck!

    DM

  • “Swanning about town with his Schmoopie. Blithely skipping over his obligations, ignoring the wake of destruction he’s caused.”

    Maybe it’s a lie I’ve concocted to make myself feel better, but I think this is an act. At least with my STBX. I kicked his ass out (of the house he loooved), so of course he needs to find a new house. I’m traveling on, my own and with my kids, enjoying the holidays – he had them Thanksgiving and did nothing while I cooked us a meal and celebrated the night before, we have a huge tree and are planning a little Christmas party – and getting on with it. I’m not at meh; I recently had a moment of sadness thinking he would be spending Christmas with his whore and all their romantic trips together, but I got over it. This is not the life I planned, but it’s not the life he planned either. His cake is gone. All he’s got is his silly-bitch Shmoopie. Christmas Eve is the 1 year anniversary of DDay and as I said, I’m not at meh, and I’m sure there will be some rough days the next few weeks, but thanks to CL, CN, NC and trusting that he sucks, I am confident I will make it through the holidays.

    • Hugs to you, ExpatChump…DDay on Christmas Eve?! You are mighty! You deserve an awesome, cheater-free Christmas this year.

    • Like you expat I have moments of sadness when I think of my ex and schmoopie but I like your way of thinking. It’s not the life I expected to have but his isn’t either. I can’t wait to get to Tuesday but I’m building my life one day at a time.

      JAC-eventually you will get to Meh too. Stay with chump nation and read as often as you can. It’s very healing to read about all the former chumps out there who have made it to Meh and are living mighty lives.

    • Oh man, a Christmas Eve dday.. my heart goes out to you. I wish you a happy holiday. You’re right, I sometimes think they live in this weird “The grass must be greener over there! No, wait, over there! No, wait… there!!!” kind of world, and may never truly BE happy because what is missing is something inside of themselves – has nothing to do with us.

  • Yes, it hurts like heck and your anger is certainly justified, but in time, it will pass once the divorce is final as Chumplady mentioned. Surrounding yourself with a supportive team (as Divorce Minister stated) is key to maintaining some semblance of sanity during this rough period. I can’t help noticing, however, that the response of his “get a clue” sister, and his narcissistic behavior speaks to their clearly dysfunctional family dynamic. It doesn’t feel like it yet, but you’re better being away from their abusive tactics. Be blessed and hope that you continue to hang out with the Chump family for feedback and hugs.

  • Just A Chump, I’ve been where you are today. I stayed with a serial cheater for over twenty years and finally got out nearly two years ago. The journey, like most of us here know, is loaded with tears, anger, regret, depression and yet there are also moments of clarity.

    Here’s what I did to get to meh:
    I had to come first. Anyone or anything that did not add value to my life? Gone. No sneaking into FaceBook pages, no playing Sherlock on Google. I told everyone not to mention his name or tell me anything he was up to, unless he was plotting to harm me. Is he dying? Well, too bad. I don’t mean to be flip; I just want to emphasize how important it is for you to come first. That sister in law of yours? She is not part of your quality world. Get rid of her pronto. My ex in-laws want a relationship with me and I established my boundaries. They adhere to what I asked.

    I didn’t resist that I was stuck. Instead, I observed it and accepted it. I didn’t have to like it, but I accepted it. Once I accepted I was stuck, I was amazed how quickly I got unstuck. What we resist, persist.

    I practiced mindfulness, meditation and self-compassion. I am no woo woo kind of person but I was willing to explore anything that brought healing, part of extreme self-care practice. Works of Jon Kabat-Zinn, Christopher Germer, Kristin Neff and Daniel Seigel come to mind that were extremely helpful in my journey.

    I have a strong spiritual life so I wanted so badly to forgive. Again, I was resisting. Once I accepted I was not ready to forgive, I felt better. I was trying to take a spiritual shortcut. I am comfortable not forgiving him right now but I do feel compassion for him today. He screwed up his own life!

    In the beginning, he was flaunting his new life and affair partner. He even sent me emails wishing me and our son well, as if he left his old world and was oh so happy and gleeful. I was the collateral damage until I decided I wasn’t. Two years later? No more flaunting, no more “It’s a Wonderful Life” for him. Instead he is in deep depression and has been very sick a lot. I found out by sheer accident. He could no longer face friends.

    I, on the other hand, am happy with my new life and, as Tracy said, I could not, for one minute, imagine I actually was attracted to this man. The worst thing that happened to me has become the best thing that happened to me.

    Also, know that meh is a journey with setbacks but think of it as the tide coming in and out. It never resets back to where it started. It’s a forward journey.

    Best of luck to you, JAC. You will get there.

        • Very well said. “Stuck” sucks but it helps to find spirituality, to cling to those who are in your corner (while discarding those that aren’t or worse…the fence-sitters), and to realize that some things have to unfold as they must in their own time. It’s hard for me to wait for my new life but it happening….step by step. Not to Tuesday or to Meh yet…..every once in awhile the anger bubbles up – you have to face it (and for me, owning the part that not having appropriate boundaries and ignoring the signs contributed to chumpdom). I am on the road to being happier without him. It’s certainly not what I envisioned at this time of my life, but I’m grateful to be free and away from the Big Fat Liar.

    • Great post Unique! “know that meh is a journey with setbacks but think of it as the tide coming in and out. It never resets back to where it started.” — This exactly !!!

    • This. I LOVED reading what you wrote. Infact, i think i will write it in my journal tonight. Word for word. Thank you!!!! xoxox

    • Well said, Uniquely me. Let’s face it. Being involved with a narcissist is a relationship in most instances doomed to fail. Why? Because our feelings simply don’t matter. If we’re cheated on, it’s a thrill for them, but hell for us. But as Uniquely Me put it, there is always Karma, because after 2 years she can smile with joy, and ultimately, that’s really the ultimate goal for all of us. We suffer the pain of the abuse, being cheated on and lied to over and over, causing us to doubt our own self worth, and they feel absolutely NO guilt. Once we make the decision to leave, it will always hurt, but in the end, I believe there is redemption in knowing that we got away to pursue our passions and explore the chance for happiness. Hugs…

      • Do you really think cheaters feel no guilt? What about my wife who has just cheated this one time? I’m dying here. She just left because I confronted her about a false facebook account she created. She said I’ve humiliated her for the last time. I said “I’m not your enemy! You humiliated yourself!” She used a picture of my friend as her facebook pic because she wants to track her affair partner and he’s “blocked” her. Mid 40s and acting like a teen.

        I haven’t moved on either. I need to.

        • Charles, my ex felt guilty every time he cheated but it was not enough to make him stop. Do you really want your wife stop her affair and stay married to you out of guilt? That’s not healthy on any level. You deserve better. If I remember correctly, you just found out about her cheating recently, so I understand the desperation. By letting her go, you can begin your journey of rediscovering and taking care of yourself. If you don’t do that, you will be invested in winning her back (a losing proposition), and the journey is downhill. Once know your value, your honest to goodness value, you will not want her back.

          • Thanks for saying that. I hate being in the house with her. I take out my anger on my kids a little bit. She cleaned today like a robot and acts like I am her enemy. I said “we are not fighting. I am not your enemy. I did not bring this on.” In any case, I was completely resolved today to file for divorce, but when things get real I panic. I’m in the house now and my three little ones are asleep. It’s like everything is a lie. Also just a side not: I can’t believe how good everyone writes on this blog. It makes me think that chumps are smart, thoughtful, introspective people. I know that’s a non-sequitur, but I wonder if being smart is somehow connected to being compassionate, and also easy prey for narcissistic people. I’m all over the place, but I just wanted to say thanks.

            • Charles, my husband only cheated on me once, but there was plenty of other emotional abuse before that. He’s a Grade A narcissist and he’s extremely smart. He just doesn’t care about me any longer — It was like he pushed a button and transferred his affection from me to his whore in a matter of seconds.

              • ML – you know he didn’t transfer his affection, right? He just transferred the pretence of affection. She is just the next convenient source of kibbles, money, sex, admiration, whatever. He is just an empty facade.

                You are way too mighty for him!

              • I didn’t want to point that out. 🙂

                Look, your wife saying that you humiliated her is as much bullshit as my ex telling me I ruined his reputation. We didn’t make those choices, they did. i mean, your wife is in her mid-40s and she’s setting up fake Facebook accounts to stalk the OM, who has blocked her and is seemingly done with her? I am so very sorry you’re going through this and I know that you are probably falling apart, full of anxiety, not sleeping, in a panic, etc. Know all those feelings well but I can say that if you stay you will continue with those feelings and you will probably lose your self-worth.

                Don’t put up with being disrespected. She doesn’t sound like she really gives a shit about your feelings or how her actions have impacted you so I would file, end it, take care of your kids and slowly creep back to the land of the living. It will take longer than you think and it will hurt like hell but think of it this way: you can have the pain of convincing her to stay and living with this person who hurt you so deeply, knowing that they may well do it again and the chances of truly rebuilding are not great. Or you can rip off the bandaid now and start on that long road to recovery.

                We’ve got your back, either way. This place will support you and help you as best as we’re able. You will be ok – although you won’t feel like that’s true for quite some time.

        • Charles–my husband (ostensibly) only cheated once, too–8 years ago. That is enough. Think about what they did to violate our marriage vows. And your wife is still tracking her affair partner, which means the emotional aspect has continued.

          It is SCARY with all caps to divorce. But it is scarier to think of living like this, with someone who manipulates, shifts blame, and tries to paint herself as the victim. In one year, you will be better off without her. But you & I have have recent D-days, and it’s going to be a rocky road until that year is up.

          Sending support your way–Call a friend or family member who can get you through tonight.

          • I’m sorry for you too. I’m having a hard time because I really do love my wife still. But when I think about what she did — just the willfulness of it — it blows my mind. I have tried to think of it as a form of temporary insanity in her — like she lost her mind for a while and will get it back soon. But it’s not coming back. And you’re right, she fell in love with this guy (who is a dancer!) and I’m a professor, so I have a complex like I’m somehow a fuddy duddy dolt and my wife wants a dude with chiseled thighs. She still obsesses over him every day. But the upshot is I feel happy and less stressed when I imagine life a year from now without her. That must be a good sign. Is that how you’re feeling?

            • Charles, of course you love your wife still. You can’t just turn it off like a tap after X number of years. I was still in love with my cheater until he moved out three months ago and I went NC, and that love has gradually dissipated to the point where I feel pity for him and his fuckedupness. While your wife is still in your house, you don’t have the separation needed to give you distance and time to heal and think.

              Of course you feel like you’re “dying.” Your marriage has died along with all your hopes and dreams for the future. You’re in mourning. But the problem is, the corpse isn’t cold yet. Sorry for the macabre imagery but if your wife is still in your home, you can’t properly grieve.

              You’re not a fuddy-duddy dolt. If you’re a prof with three young kids, you have a tonne of responsibilities and I’m sure you’ve met them all with aplomb. How can you possibly compete with a dancer? His “chiselled thighs” won’t last forever. Your wife is fulfilling a teen fantasy of escapism, just like all cheaters. She didn’t temporarily lose her mind. She showed her true colours, and they’re black. She’s showing the signs of whichever DSM disorder applies.

              I’m glad you feel happy when you picture life a year from now without her. I’m already part-way there because my cheater has been gone for three months and I feel like I’ve turned a corner. I know it burns like fire but the embers will soon die out. But first, you need to walk over the hot coals by filing for divorce. You owe it to yourself and your kids to model to them that what your wife did has consequences. You need to provide your kids with a loving single-parent household, rather than a dysfunctional two-parent household. Wishing you peace and strength.

            • Charles–yes, the willfulness of my H’s affair is what upsets me most. Now that the shock after discovery is gone, and the mourning of the good times is gone, it leaves me with a hard, cold hatred–that’s the only way to describe it. (I’m in no-contact with him, which helps; seeing the cheater is designed to play on your emotions).

              And yes, I imagine a much better life a year from now without him.

              I hope you’re doing better today!

        • Charles,

          I hate to hear all this. Much of this sounds like my w. I’m 62, she is 58 and had an affair with (among others) a 29 year old body builder. I’m a working guy and Dad; and while I like to think I’m still far from ready for mummification, I’m not interested anymore in drinking and partying till the late hours, clubbing, always being part of the ‘scene’, etc. These scenarios are part of her new life, and her new best friend is a 32 year old single lady who is a big partier. W has had recent plastic surgery and tells me guys are always telling her how gorgeous she is. My sister in law recently told me she has no more judgment than a teenager.

          For a while I bought into the notion (at least emotionally) that it was my inadequacy that was really an underlying problem. That is what blame-shifting and gaslighting from someone you trust can do. It truly sucks.

          Could share horror stories with you till tomorrow, but you are living it and hope you can see some familiar themes. I can’t control the cheater, and if I tried to either control what she is doing or try to change who I am to accomodate her new specialness, all it would do would be to fan the flames and feed her sense of entitlement. Tried it for a while and boy, does it ever not work, and it only prolongs the agony and hurts more in the long run.

          The way I see it is that they will not change; they are who they are. They will not ever really get how horrific what they have done, are doing, is. I’m moving on. It’s a slow process for me, but it is happening. Although the hurt doesn’t go away altogether, it DOES lessen, and the less you vest yourself in her, the more and the faster it will lessen. Trust me, be glad she has left and is not hanging on to you.

          I have a long way to go, but I’ve learned an awful lot here and have realized that I (we) are not alone in this journey. Hope you stay here.

    • Awesome Uniquelyme!!! I feel bad for x but he chose this life for himself and for his family. Any and all consequences are on him. I’m on my way to full forgiveness and for me I know that finally fully forgiving him will get me to meh.

    • So great, Uniquelyme! I’m very happy for you and this also gives me ideas and hope. Thx for the names of the people who helped you, I’m checking them out tonight. Best to you and your awesome new life!

    • Hello Uniquelyme …

      I have read, re-read and even have a copy of your post on my bedroom mirror.
      I can’t put my thoughts to words/
      However, the way that you explained your arrival at MEH speaks to me and reassures me.
      Thank you !!!!

  • JustAnotherChump, such good advice here from CL and others. I think most of us feel we’re not advancing in our progress as quickly as we “should” be. It’s important to toss that “should” aside as each of us will get there in our own time. Keep your head down and keep busy, get therapy if you can. And one day you, and I, and the rest of the chumps who are not at Meh yet, will get there (on that Tuesday).

    My husband brought his 26 year old girlfriend into our house while the pillow was still warm from me (and all my possessions still there). Why? Well, besides the new vagina, he needed someone to pay the rent after he kicked me to the curb.

    Meanwhile I am, at 13+ months out from d-day, limping along trying desperately to get on with my life. But I have something he’ll never have — my dignity.

    I think you’ve moved on more than you realize. Take stock and see how far you’ve come. And take heart, there’s no magical time when we are “over” this.

    • “I think you’ve moved on more than you realize.”
      Moving Liquid, I think this applies to you, as well. You’re so much stronger than you give yourself credit for. Heck, that’s probably true of most chumps, come to think of it.

    • Moving Liquid, I am in such a similar scenario. Any Pro Tips on how you both got your stuff out of the house as well as how you moved on knowing they were playing house in the home you had barely vacated? How have things turned out years later? Did you find meh?

  • Dear JAC.

    Anger is understandable after being exposed to malevent cheaters and their weird brethren. (Not all brethren are weird, but weird often comes with cheater packages.)

    You mentioned not being able to ‘move on’ but your cheater ‘moving on.’ What exactly has your cheater ‘moved on’ to? A new version of his distorted self-image? A new victim? It may take you longer to ‘move on’ as you are trying to create an authentic and noble life. That life takes time more time to build than does the house of cards he’s trying to reinforce. (YOU get a sturdier ’emotional house.’)

    Getting a cheater to suffer is a lot like trying to squeeze blood from a stone–exhausting and futile. I ran out of energy trying to figure out how to straighten out the distorted thinking of illogical, immoral, and selfish people like these. Now when I notice that I am thinking angry and sad thoughts related to my cheater, I give myself the gift of a ‘replacement thought.’ For instance, the thought ‘Cheater spent our money hooking up with a prostitute on our anniversary’ is ‘replaced’ with ‘I wonder how my friend, Mary, is doing. I’m going to call her today.’ Angry thought ‘I can’t believe she left me for that loser and had the guts to tell me that he was better than me,’ is ‘replaced’ with, ‘I really enjoy baking and think I could get really good at it. What type of novelty can I create today?’ and. then think of chocolate or whatever else appeals.

    One can acknowledge the pain of having lived in the bleak, parched, toxic land of Unhappy while migrating to the much more fertile pastures of Happy.

    Maintaining certain images in one’s mind might also help. For example, when you think of lashing out at POS (Piece of Sewage) Cheater, imagine what happens when lash (figuratively) hits said POS. As POS doesn’t hold together well, part of it will fly off and hit you in the face. Do you really want that experience? You definitely don’t deserve it! When you hear stupid garbage from a cheater apologist (e.g., soon-to-be-ex sister-in-law), imagine this person as a wall talking garbled nonsense to you. Would you respond to a wall? Of course not. Make up the image that works for you. This exercise can be entertaining as well as helpful.

    I hope that you soon arrive at your new ’emotional home’–it’s cleaner, safer, happier, and more tranquil.

  • I remember how much it sucked and how stuck I felt when my ex was dragging his feet over the settlement. It will pass. Once the settlement is signed and the divorce is final, some of that anger may go away. Once that’s done, if you like, you can tell your stbx and his asshole sister to go fuck themselves. Meanwhile, channel it into getting that divorce finalized, scream at the sky, go to a shooting range and learn to hit the bullseye, let your rage out somehow. And try to find some things you enjoy, even if it’s just a nice fire crackling in the evenings with a ritual brandy. I mention that one because I became addicted to fires, they calm me very much.

    Jedi Hugs JustAnotherChump! You are so much more than “just”…

    • Where were all you guys when I was growing up? What an incredible group of people.

      Read everything here and believe it. Loser STBX and sister are trying to blame-shift their lack of character onto you.

      Moving on starts with little steps. It’s doing what pleases you without concern for a person who had NO concern for you. NONE.

      A nice hot long bath, a good book, a new restaurant, learning how to fence, play a ukelele, dance, sing, garden, walk, jog, exercise, that new dress in the color he hated, boots, ride a horse, travel alone–you’d be surprised how many people I have met who travel ALONE!

      Buy a beater travel trailer and go to Nova Scotia. Visit museums, go to theater, check out an opera. Take a train across Canada, go to Chicago. Learn to play a new card game. Sew. See the Grand Canyon. Go back to school. Get to a concert. Swim in the sea or at least put your toes in. I am sure there is something in your home town where you haven’t been and should go.

      Get out of your comfort zone. Escape the box the loser PUT YOU IN.

      The first thing I did was go to “Ripley’s Believe it Not” with a Groupon coupon. A crazy nut thing to do but I related to the oddities. I had a dear friend who knew I was off my rocker and went with me. I always wanted to go as a kid. I’m in my fifties and finally made it.

      The two headed tortoise reminded my of my duplicitous cheater. Loved seeing it stuffed!

      His life is not greener. I promise you his life IS NOT GREENER.

      Put all the energy looking at his life into charging yours. That word is correct, “charging”. You will pass him by 20 miles out the door.

      Now, get out there. It’s beautiful on the other side.

  • “Will my self-respect keep me company as I grow old alone with cats?”

    I would rather sit down to Christmas dinner with a dozen mange-ridden feral feline lepers crawling with fleas and ebola-laden ear-mites than my cheating ex and her family of illiterate, lazy, racist, big-screen-TV-obsessed, hillbilly grifters.

    Do not fear being alone, JAC. With some people, the greatest gift they can give us is their absence. Merry Christmas!

    • Haha, oh Nomar, I want to play:

      I would rather sit down to Christmas dinner with plague ridden rats, rabid bats, and something with eight legs crawling on my head than sit down with my miserable cheating ex and his whining, racist, bigoted, narcissist, shallow, hypochondriac, selfish, designer shoe obsessed, mall occupying family.

      P.S. Dear SIL, it’s impolite to grab at the birthday cake with your bare fucking fingers. And MIL, you don’t make anyone feel welcome when you go on incessantly about “doing it all myself” and not having a maid.

      Fucking complainers.

      • Because nothing expresses the true spirit of Christ’s arrival on earth like complaining that you haven’t got a maid.

        LOL.

        Sounds like a pack of boorish, vapid rodents. You are sooooo lucky to be rid of them!

    • The best gift nomar gives us on this side is his perspective because he is now on the “other” side. He now knows what a healthy relationship looks like. Most of us are still recovering from the shock, pain and grief and wouldn’t know what a healthy relationship looks like if it hit us. So yes, being with “faithful” four-legged creatures definitely beats the cheating two-legged ones.

  • You have a wise son! But I would not use your husband as a metric for “moving on”. That is setting a very low bar.

    My ex did all sorts of neat moving on activities like walking out on me with no explanation, having an affair, travel to exotic destinations, remarrying in less than a year, and buying a baby mansion in the shitty side of town.

    It took me more than a minute to move on. It took me longer because I valued my marriage and commitment. It took me longer because I am a decent person. I took me longer because I have a heart.

    The only thing I wish I did differently is just allowed myself to just “be” in that state. I blamed myself a lot for not doing a better job of “moving on” and instead pretended I was sailing on yacht instead of a lifeboat with a hole in it. There was nothing wrong with the lifeboat.

    Everything turned out just fine. Value your feelings. They mean you have a great capacity for love and that is something to celebrate.

    Now that’s out of the way: Squee! What a cute cat!

    • This is nice, Doc. Just this very evening, I was talking to a friend of XH & me who was Best Man at our wedding. He lives far away so we don’t communicate too often. I hesitatingly asked if he talks to XH (I haven’t, in over 4 months). He said, No, he doesn’t, because he can’t get XH to talk about anything other than how super-fabulous his life is. He wondered (as I have) if anything matters to XH at all, or if it ever has? It was reassuring to see XH’s impact on someone who knows us both, especially since i thought friend would come down on the side of XH, boys being boys and all that.

      Anyway, I’m still in pain because I value things, so I value when they break or are lost or die. XH? Not so much. Maybe I have more pain in my life, but my Life will have been one of deep meaning and joy. I don’t think XH will ever have that, and for maybe the first time, I pity him. … but not too much.

  • You will get there. I’m still waiting for Tuesday myself. But I’m certainly much closer to meh than I was last year. I had to suffer him being in my house for the holidays last year. Not this year. Or ever again. I have an order of protection which keeps him the hell away from me. Otherwise he would be here all the time. My stbx is draaggging the divorce out, trying to starve me out by not putting money in regularly for me to pay bills and take care of our kids. . I am in limbo. He does not want the divorce on religious and moral grounds. Ain’t that a hoot???? I told my attorney to just put a bullet in it already. I have custody of our 4 children. He has limited visitation with the two that want to see him. The other two want no contact.
    Just keep on keeping on. And all of the chumps have such great advice. Go with that. Getting rid of toxic people is a must. Taking care of you is a must. Someday you will be free. And happy. Rebuilding is tough, but being able to live an authentic life that is you and not allowing cheaters to wreck you is so worth the struggle. I’m right there with you, struggling too. Trying to support my kids with almost no income, handcrafting soap for my little business my friend and I started. Trying to stay positive and in the NOW, rather than trying to figure it all out. Praying to be able to stay available to my wrecked children, when sometimes I am emotionally tapped out. But they look at me as their rock. So, I read chumplady daily, for all the support and advice. And keep on keeping on. Go to my farmer market sale on Sunday, sell soap, and teach my kids. You’ll make it. Promise. Take care. I mean it. And kick that bitch of a sister-in-law to the curb. Jeez. What a bitch..

    • Irish, I like the pic of you with your four kids and small business handcrafting soap. The hardest, leanest times can sometimes be the best of times (and worst, lol) but one day when you are rich and famous you will look back and know you rocked it.

      • Thanks Drew! After I kicked the cheater out, I started making soap with my friend. We got pretty good at it, so I looked for a market to sell our soap and got a great little farmers market not too far from my house. We are doing ok. I’m a homeschooling mom so I’m trying to keep schooling my kiddos as long as they want me to. But financially the assclown ruined us. He can’t seem to stay employed. Things are lean and with Christmas coming its going to be much different than they are used to. But we have each other, I’ll cook like crazy and it’s gonna be ok. This site has saved my sanity. Really it has. We have the nicest and most caring and helpful group of people! Everyone knows how this goes down. And the tremendous struggle that comes with it. Thanks to all the chumps here sharing and caring. 🙂

        • I’ll try it! Always looking for new scents! I have a 10x orange that is really good. Jasmine added sounds heavenly

          • I love the smell of jasmine – it is one of my favorite scents. If you make a jasmine soap, I would buy some.

              • Let me know – w1308915 @ apps.losrios.edu (all run together as one email address). I have severe allergies, so knowing exactly what’s in something is really helpful, and I love supporting small business. 🙂

    • Ooh, Irish–do you have a website? I always order handmade soaps for Christmas presents and I’d rather buy from you.

      • I don’t have a website yet. Can you pm me? That way I can give you my# or email and I can let you know what I have.

        • Hi, Irish–I couldn’t figure out how to PM you, so I’ve created a new email account–tempest.ariel2014@gmail.com for you to email me with a list of your soaps, prices, shipping rates, etc. (I don’t know if we can keep identities secret with payments & soaps needing to change hands, but we can do it to the extent possible).

            • Sorry about that–my home computer crashed so I started that account on my work computer. I’ll see what happened tomorrow when I stop in my office and get back to you. (I have a backup email if the tempest one won’t function).

              • Thanks DDW!! That would be fine and you can giver her my cell if she wants it. I just don’t want to put my email and phone number on a public forum ya know? We need to talk again sometime!

      • Tempest – Awesome that you are able to support Irish’s business. I think that is so wonderful!!!! Maleficent: We all have those days when it seems impossible to even get out of bed and get moving, but it does help to read posts to lift your spirit or to surround yourself with a supportive team. Sometimes watching something totally crazy on television, or looking at funny posts can make you smile. Continue to hang in there, and know that you are HUGGED by everyone here!

  • Dear JAC,

    So many words of wisdom here. For me, I had to delve into the realm of personality disorders. I had to have closure and I had to know that I was not responsible for what happened. Here is my peace. We survived for as long as we did because of me, not him. Our kids are mostly sane because of me, not him. There is a great deal of peace in this.

    When you start to read about narcissist and borderline personalities, you will, in all likelihood, find him in this literature. You will find his shitty sister, mother, father and the rest of the disordered bunch there too. Reading this will open your eyes to a realm of humanity you never knew exisited. It is sort of like taking a shit bath as you read it. It is pretty strong and smelly stuff. But for me it was necessary.

    You will come to understand that you survived a tsunami of generational horror and now your job is to make sure that stops with your X. Your job is to keep your son emotionally grounded.

    You will lose your innocence and faith that there is something redeemable in all people. You will come to understand that you can’t save people, no amount of lovingkindness, compassion, will help them be full, complete and happy humans. It can’t be done, they are damaged and dangerous from the core of their beings. That is the bad news… The good news is that you will come to see people in a new light. You will come to judge their actions against their words and against the values that you hold dear. You will be much more able to say to yourself, hmmm, not so sure about that person, I think I will give them a wide berth at the beginning of a relationship vs thinking, oh they are just having a bad day or glossing over whatever inconsistancies and unkindness you have just witnessed. There is a great deal of freedom in this. It let’s you go into that big world feeling better armed and better able to find the people who are good, and kind and true.

    And in my reading today about Narcissists, I read. “When a cheater/narcissists moves on with another romance, they always trade down.” That is certainly true in my case. I bet it is true with your cheater and his schmoopie.

    So take heart, know you have friends, know you are not a failure for not ‘moving on’. You are working on yourself, doing that terrible hard work of moving through a range of emotions and when you are through, to Meh, you won’t have these toxic emotions bubbling up. They will have poofed. You will be able to trust your emotions, trust your people skills, trust your competancies to make and get through a brand new life.

    • “Here is my peace. We survived for as long as we did because of me, not him. Our kids are mostly sane because of me, not him. There is a great deal of peace in this.”

      Ringing, great comment all around! I too had to learn about personality disorders and realize that all people are not good and not redeemable. It is hard to understand from a gut level although we intellectually understand that it is true.

  • JAC, you may be stuck if you’re dwelling on your sunk costs–all the time and emotional investment you put into the relationship. You maybe can’t believe it’s all down the drain and you feel you have little to show for it. I know the feeling. It’s hard to let go of the fact that everything you worked so hard for was not only devalued by your ex, but seemed to get you nowhere. It sounds like you have a least two kids, and they’ve likely turned out great, so I’d say your investment paid off at least in that regard. In order to get unstuck, you need to accept that the largest part of your investment is gone. It’s a loss leader. It ain’t ever coming back.

    Another part of unsticking is to know that you did nothing wrong and that you are building an authentic life, unlike your loser ex. You are taking the high road of integrity. Taking the high road is hard. Sometimes it gives you nose bleeds and the thinner air makes it harder to breathe. It can be twisty and turny and the journey can take much longer. But the view from up there is glorious.

  • JAC, you aren’t stuck or not moving on. You must have done a great job to have a son who understands this: “Dad moved on at the beginning of your marriage — you have a lot of catching up to do.” By definition, cheaters are always way ahead of chumps in the most visible aspects of moving on: they’ve acquired schmoopies, they’ve shifted their loyalties, they’ve dumped (seemingly, and for the moment) their memories, hopes, and dreams for the relationship. They are not being assailed by sentimental memories or affection for their chumps, because moving into the affair(s) requires them to jettison what we understand as love and affection for the chump. Meanwhile, the chump is busy working on their internal pain and confusion, while keeping the family (even a family of one plus cats) afloat. That work is not visible to the outside world, but it is absolutely key to your new life. Your happy, healthy, wonderful new life.

    But once you move through the divorce and you get to some resolution for the economic issues, and your own life starts to take on a shape visible to the outside world. Maybe you lose weight. Develop a new wardrobe style. Finally plant the flowers you love in the yard. Trade the car you hate for a minivan or truck–or vice versa. You might change your religious practice or worship site, Change your hair style. Go back to school or take a cooking class. Whatever appeals to you, whatever you find you need to do. Somewhere along the line, this vital new life becomes visible. Meanwhile, the cheater’s new life has settled into the mold of his old life because he or she has not done the inner work you did while you were struggling out of the pit of D-Day. He distracted himself with Schmoopie.

    And even if the cheater keeps up the facade (nice house, hot vacation, public displays of affection with various APs), the cheater never does the inner work. The cheater is the one who’s stuck. He just trades partners, does a cheap life remodel, and stay on the cheater gerbil wheel.

    Meanwhile, I protest against the ongoing defamation of that most loyal animal, the “harmless, necessary” cat. I’ve got two. That doesn’t make me a crazy cat lady, anymore that having a dog or two makes someone a crazy dog person. A cat is a wonderful, comforting pet for someone who can’t come home in the middle of the day to walk a dog–and who can’t kennel an animal for a full day without feeling cruel. Cats also purr, a most comforting sound. Love a cat!

    • “He just trades partners.” Yes, LAJ, That is NOT moving forward. That is filling a hole. My ex went directly from our bed to another, and directly from our marriage into his next with OW. He doesn’t know who he is or what he wants (unless it’s his immediate “fix”. How could anybody think that is moving forward? He exists. These people don’t “live” they are zombies. My POS ex continues to be the “man” he always was, so glad it’s no longer with me. I remember my marriage and it sucked.one day I hope to have a partner who is my equal.

      • That is my hope too… CL has some good words of advice on that score. Reciprocity is one of the keys… will he give as much for you as you give for him and that is not just the overt romantic gestures shit, that we have all been suckered by. It is the taking our the garbage, finding a meal cooked when you come home, liking your friends as you like his. Who knew you could have a relationship like that… I was just the house slave for my STBX. Not anymore, baby, not anymore.

    • Good point: “…the cheater never does the inner work. The cheater is the one who’s stuck. He just trades partners, does a cheap life remodel, and stay on the cheater gerbil wheel.”

  • All of these replies have helped me so much. I have also been stuck in limbo land. We are divorced but still have a big house to sell. This was our dream house we built with love and tears and happiness. Thankfully, I’m living here and his new life certainly didn’t pan out the way he thought it would. I try and take pleasure out of that.

    Sorry to highjack this thread but, what is sticking me is my inability to sell this house. I’ve looked at numerous real estate and I definitely have to take a down-turn and every time I look at a new home, I get all upset that I have to leave my current home against my will and without having done one damn thing wrong to have to make this enormous change. Every time I think about it – I get so ANGRY at him.

    Any insight how to move past this? I know it’s *just* a house, but it is MY house and I love it here.

    • That truly sucks…..but what helps me is to be grateful for choices I CAN make. And that you will have a home. Remade your way. Better than the one with the Idiot.

    • Omg we are clones lol
      Thats identical to my situation
      Exactly how I feel too this house keeps all my memories it’s what keeps me sane I can’t leave

    • Shechump, I totally get this. I too had my dream home in the Sierra’s on twenty beautiful acres. My ex chose not to pay the mortgage, he was throwing every bit of money towards his new life, and when an offer was accepted (100k less than its value) the bank opted to foreclose, they had a financial incentive not to short sell it anyway. As my ex had basically walked out the bank was stuck, I had three adolescents to support, and the buyer at foreclosure offered me a financial incentive to move. I could not have done so otherwise. Didn’t stop asshat from vandalizing it.(I told the cops.) Looking back though I wish I had rented rooms out to college students and tried to meet those payments. Cheaper than rent here and my children would still have a home. But Narcs destroy everything and I went after our retirement instead. That continues to be a nightmare, but better that asset than none at all.

      • Shechump, if you have a big house, what about finding someone with income to share it? An older person who is alone but has a solid income might welcome not being alone in exchange for helping with the costs of the house. So far, I have enough money to keep my house, but it is a stretch because of the sheer amount of labor it takes to keep up several acres in the suburbs. But week by week, I get better at it. And I give a lot of thought to remodeling the walk-out basement to be able to rent it out if I need to.

        If it’s not feasible to raise enough to stay in place, shift your thinking about changing residences. Think about how you might need a new house for a new dream. What kind of life do you want? What kind of house will fit into that new dream? It’s one thing to look at houses; it’s another to look for a new place to birth your new dreams. Blessings to you, for sure.

      • I am leaving the marital home. I did the math and realized I just can’t afford the house. It’s a shame, as I was the one who really urged us to buy a home. This is a nice house in a nice neighborhood. We haven’t done a damn thing with it. STBX spends the money that should be used to deal with home maintenance on other things like Schmoopies. I’ve paid for every single repair.

        However, if I were to be stuck with the house, I’d probably rent out to a grad student or to a visiting scholar. I am in a college town, and one thing we have are students (which is why buying is better than renting–our rent is artificially high) and visiting research scholars. This would give me enough income to tide me over, fix the infrastructure and do some curb appeal work, and ride out until there’s a buyer.

        That said, I do feel really sad to leave the house. It embodies a lot of hopes and dreams that never came to fruition. I think I’d feel worse if, like Shechump, the house was the dream house. I’m not sure I’ll ever have a “dream” house, but I think that I’ll have a house that will have a lot of joy in it, once I’m settled. 🙂

        • Kb– if you’re in a college town you should definitely rent out a room or two to a grad student!! Stay in your dream home!!

          • Tempest, I’m amazed that you can even type out the words “grad student,” given that your ex cheated on you with one.

            • Karma Express– you’re right, thankfully I am friends with many graduate students myself so I know they are largely not home-wrecking sleazy whores. I am SOOO tempted to send my husband’s whore a Scarlett A in the mail anonymously (especially as I hear she is getting married). Guess I shouldn’t, eh? May the karma bus run over her big time.

    • SheChump,
      Im my half-century of living, I have never owned a home and probably never will. (If my kids and I don’t need to get on welfare and food stamps, I will be delighted.) However, I understand the unwillingness to sell at a loss and move out of the home you love. (I did that recently, while mourning the loss of several dreams, romantic, financial, and professional.) I am guessing that one thing that makes you feel good about this house is that you MADE it. Whether you live in it or not, you have accomplished something great. Nobody can take your ACCOMPLISHMENT away from you. If you sell it, you offer your home to future owners (ideally, nice people) as a ‘gift’ and those future owners will appreciate SheChump and the house SheChump built.

      • Thank you Rockstarwife and all the others. Your words are special and I will pass this home off with pride. Say goodbye to what was and hope others are as happy as we were here for 18 yrs. Love the advice.

        I want to reflect on what I wrote and I realize there are so many folks out there that cannot buy a house or even rent, at these high-prices, and don’t have many resources. And! With young children. I don’t dare feel sorry for myself with having choices others don’t have.

        I want to focus on the gratitude of all the people, especially Chump N that has brought me so far and continues to prop me up. My great family too. Many don’t have good support.

        I don’t know what path I will take going forward but I do know, I want to help other Chumps without resources to figure out how to get on their feet. It’s the least I can do for so many that have helped me. It gives me an idea of where I want to live.

        Would love to rent out rooms here – and my X’s awesome office with a helluva view to some attorney, with it’s private entrance. But, not in a college town and my dogs are noisy. lol – thanks for the ideas though.

      • It never ceases to amaze me how many of us have more than cheating spouses in common. Like Drew, my EX forgot to pay the mortgage (over and over again). We finally lost that house (with acreage and trees that I loved and nutured for 15 years) not because of a bad mortgage or any lack of funds; but because Dipshit wanted “things” (tools, Off road equipment and toys). Then he moved on to his high school sweetheart after I put up with all of that and began to rebuild our credit.

        He’s bought a new place and moved in with her (the VA loan made this possible somehow – I cannot imagine the lies on those loan docs) – I’ve had to live with friends and family (and I’m grateful to be with them). I finally am able to afford to rent a place – I move in after the holidays —yeah !. I may never own a home again – but I’d rather live in a box than with that wreck of a disordered jerk.

        Chump nation – thank you for being here. I read this blog every day. And when I read all of your posts – I send Jedi hugs to you all.

        • What is it with these people? They must all be related in some way. We finally bought a house that I really liked – not necessarily the location, but the house itself. Of course, STBX decided that, after over 25 years, I had never been the “right” wife for him and decided to begin a new life with the disordered past(wh)or(e) – a woman he knew growing up. This was after years of me filling in the monetary gaps of his profligate spending and rebuilding his credit so that he had an excellent credit score. He then decided to stop paying the mortgage in order to save his money to spend on himself and the past(wh)or(e), thus damaging my credit so that I no longer have access to any should I need it. I am fortunate that I got an apartment prior to that. Of course we are trying to sell the house before the bank forecloses.

          I thank God and the Universe for the blessing of a place to stay, even though it is not the home that I loved, and the people at Chump Nation who totally get this.

    • Shechump,
      Lots of good ideas here about how to stay by renting a room out. I rented the 3rd floor of our dream house for a year. But the truth was it wasn’t the same house after the family was destroyed. It was like a museum of The Family That Was. I sold it and moved out after a year. It really helped me, and out kids, to have a new space after the awful dust settled.

      So if you sell, the new space will be….a new and blessed space.

      But still, of course, it sucks to have to sell 🙁

  • JAC, I feel your pain. Today marks the two year anniversary when X moved out with my 17-year old son to live with the bimbo, her daughter and her daughter’s druggie boyfriend. Prior to the move, he squatted here for ten months because I refused to leave our family home. It was HELL on earth, but the moment he left, I still fell apart. He left with my oldest son, my dreams and (what I thought at the time) my future.

    Today, I’m doing SO MUCH BETTER! My son returned home within three months after he figured out what a freak show his father had traded his family for. I came to realize that my life and emotional state improved immensely when I didn’t have to co-habitate with such a lying, cheating scumbag every day. I had done all the chores all along, so although I needed to learn how to rewire some outlets, I didn’t have to fawn over the one useful thing X did every few months.

    Still, there are moments when I feel myself falling back into Hell. When one of my sons reports that their father has rewritten our past to fit his new version, or his bimbo tells one of my kids that my sister in law told her that my mother in law never really liked me all along. Or I find out that X took Bimbo to one of our special places. To find out I was only a replaceable prop in his life – the life we had together – stings. It’s shit like that that I admit still hurts. But my bounce back time is improving.

    Someone so succinctly wrote above that we are better away from a dysfunctional extended family. I agree.

    • Chutes and Ladders– try not to hear news about your X– it will always be sanitized and can only hurt rather than help (until the karma bus hits him hard).

    • Chutes and Ladders, what Tempest said. Sanitized and twisted. It’s always about controlling the narrative. And IT’S NOT THE TRUTH ANYWAY. You know my ex and his crappy family can talk ALL the trash they want, but who the FUCK cares!?!? I sure as hell don’t. It’s a reflection of them and their two timing piece of shit brother. He cheated. He dissipated assets. He destroyed his family. Try covering that up. All the spackle in the world won’t give him the integrity he needs to be a decent human being. No matter the spin “family” places on what happened, the fact remains that his choices suck. He can OWN that and his HIV test! I know now that his affair was the tip of the iceberg, allow his family to figure that out as well. Cheaters usually do a great job of “making their beds….” Lol.

      • Have to slip this in here…the worst part for me was that many of the flaws he complained about were true. And during the time of DDay shock all that got bundled in my trauma brain, and it stuck. So for a long time i thought my normal human flaws, over the course of 27 years together, were unforgivable and i was ultimately unloveable. After all, he was my best friend…

        But with good therapy, family, and Chump Nation, i came to see reality. I was a loyal, committed, faithful wife and truly loved him…(or the him i thought he was..) and his choice to have a 4 year affair (!) and expose me to STDs and financial ruin, all the while accenting my flaws ….so when i found out, i thought i deserved what happened. I shudder now at that thought.

        But you know what? If any info about his lying justification narrative slips through my security gate, that trigger can start me feeling like it was my flaws again, and i have to work hard to remember reality. And i do.

        Reality. This, and God, are my saviors. And all the mighty chumps here!

        • We all have flaws, doesn’t make us unworthy of love or respect. And some of the “flaws” my STBX pointed out are (a) either things I think are GOOD about me, or (b) things that are precursors to things he did like. For example, he complained I bought too many books, but would then brag that I was the most interesting woman he ever met. Can’t have one without the other (though fucktard would never admit that, because criticizing me gave him power).

    • My ex told his family I was a good mother but he never felt like I was the right wife for him. He told my youngest son “this has been coming a long time.” We were together 36 years and this was all news to me. All I have to say to these revelations by my ex is “F-you.” If you were living in our marriage with one foot always out the door that’s on you. I was all in, completely committed even though you were gone more than you were home. I wasn’t constantly looking around to see if I could find someone better.

      Luckily no one ever tells me what my ex says any more.

      • It took him 36 years to figure out you weren’t the right wife for him? Was he trapped in some alternate reality that involved a time dilation? This speaks to his complete lack of insight, not to mention a very sad lack of boundaries in making such a hideously inappropriate and disrespectful comment to his son and the rest of his family. What a dick!

        • My husband said the same thing. I married the wrong guy. After 35 yrs. Wouldn’t you think that would MY decision? Some sort of blame-shifting and truly, a huge revalation to me. I didn’t think anything was wrong. Yep – too much early Star Trek or something with alternative reality. So far, I think I’m the only person he’s said it to, otherwise, yes – he looks like a big fool.

          • Sorry – those are two completely different comparisons. Your H said you were the wrong wife for him. My H said he was the wrong husband for me. Apples and Oranges. Apologies.

            • I’m thinking that these statements are just variants of the same play from the Cheater Playbook: rewrite history!

      • Lyn, there is no right wife for him unless it’s an anatomically correct blowup doll. Take his insult as a compliment–if shithead didn’t want you, it’s because you have integrity.

      • Lyn, fuck him, they all re-write history – and/or they finally tell the truth for the first time. My ex said he never loved me, he just needed someone to take care of him (I believe this now) and then made up some shit about me “pursuing him relentlessly”. That last bit was utter bullshit, twas the other way around. At any rate, it hurt to know that from day one, he was nothing but a facade, smoke and mirrors. I’m glad I have a PO and never have to hear a word about his sorry ass.

      • I’m grateful it was only 16 years for me, but when I asked why he chose me, why he came back to me after the first breakup 14 years ago, and why he proposed, he said, “I have trouble letting people down.” — I shit you not.

        (His reason for leaving me is that he “doesn’t think he loves me the way a man should love the woman he’s married to.”)

      • Lyn, when I read the words “this has been coming a long time”, the hairs on my neck stood up. They are the EXACT same words my ex husband of 37 years said to me but only after he had said them to his boss. I wish I had smothered him when I had the chance. Too late now!!

  • Years ago at work when I had to deal with the human equivalent of eel shit I got myself through it by repeating this whenever I thought my head was going to explode, “I just have to deal with her a couple of hours a week for the next three months. She is going to be a giant turd for the rest of her life”. Believe it or not it worked. These creeps will continue to be creeps long after you have moved on.

  • JAC, it’s easy to move on from something you were never really “in” to begin with. Your were in, committed, you were an actual human. He was not. It’s not a fair comparison. I know there are sunk costs, it’s not fair, it hurts, he’s a douche bag to the nth degree. He’s the one losing out. A house of value is the one where the builder took the time and effort needed to get a solid foundation set before building upward. You may only have the hole dug, or maybe the basement is set, or maybe you’ve got the plot and shovel but haven’t started digging yet. You’re laying a solid foundation for your future. It doesn’t come quickly, it takes a lot of manual labor, but you’re getting to work. Your STBX only added a new coat of paint while ignoring the rotten, crumbling foundation beneath his facade. It will cave in on him, there’s no equity in his “investment.”

    His “stupid sister” is just that. You don’t have to wait for the divorce to finalize to kick her out of your life. Be angry. Lash out at something safe (i.e.: smash your wedding china or something). Mourn on your own timetable.

  • FPants – “Your STBX only added a new coat of paint while ignoring the rotten, crumbling foundation beneath his facade. It will cave in on him, there’s no equity in his “investment.”

    Wow – true words – read between the lines.
    Looking back over my relationship of 36 yrs – I see how we built up a great foundation – however, and is it possible? The carpenter ANT came along and eroded everything that was built on. Like – OVERNIGHT~

    I guess I didn’t see the nest of the damn things setting up a big compartment in the foundation – under our mutual investment on the relationship and future.

    Was he unhappy our entire marriage? He said so. Happy guy so it was news to me. So, I guess I’ll finally accept it, believe it and understand that he was, not only a builder of great things – but also turned into a big kid and knocked the Sand Castle down with one foot.

    ha – ok, I’m no poet.

  • JAC-
    JAC-
    First, I’m so sorry this happened to you, what a shitty group of people. One presumes that you didn’t have an arranged marriage (so, he’d met you before!) and nobody was threatening his life (so he consented to make his vows). Which means that he knew you were ‘weird’ and ‘chatty’ when he married you, didn’t he? He knew what he was getting into. On the other hand, YOU did NOT know he was a lying, self-absorbed sack of shit when you married HIM, or I’m going to guess you wouldn’t have done it in the first place!
    Second, from some experience with narcs, their sudden (again, you being eccentric/talkative isn’t a surprise) objection to your personality has nothing to do with how much you do or don’t talk. Any persistent habit, idiosyncracy, talent, or other human trait you have that shows you are a human being instead of a Stepford android would have pissed your ex off just as much. And trust me, it’s a much longer list- he just chose to whack you with the ones he thinks you feel insecure about.

    Third, cats are amazing, I don’t care what anyone says. My cats are sweet and loving and have the following over my ex-cheaters: when they mess up, they did it because they’re cats, they didn’t do it to hurt me. They never made any promises about clawing up the couch, after all. When they curl up with me in bed and purr, it’s because they love me, not because they want something (their food bowl auto-dispenses 3x a day). My cats occasionally let someone else pet them, but they never steal my credit cards. And my toilet trained cat has MUCH better accuracy than my ex.

    I’m so sorry this happened to you, what a shitty group of people. One presumes that you didn’t have an arranged marriage (so, he’d met you before!) and nobody was threatening his life (so he consented to make his vows). Which means that he knew you were ‘weird’ and ‘chatty’ when he married you, didn’t he? He knew what he was getting into. On the other hand, YOU did NOT know he was a lying, self-absorbed sack of shit when you married HIM, or I’m going to guess you wouldn’t have done it in the first place!

  • Hmm, I’m not sure what happened there, my computer has been really tetchy lately. But you get the idea, hopefully.

    • Dat is right, maleficent. Allow your sadness because it’s part of grieving but then balance it out by doing something wonderful for yourself. You have value and you matter.

      • Thank you so much … It’s close to Christmas and I don’t need to explain to CN what this is like .. It’s also week before Xmas last year my boys packed up the heartless ones belongings and dumped them at one of his mistresses house.

    • I agree with the others. Wallowing a bit from time to time is part of the healing process. I burned a CD of the saddest, most sentimental songs that made me bawl. Would listen to it wearing sunglasses on long drives I had to made every few days. But I also burned a CD (well, several) of kick-ass defiant, inspirational songs that made me sing out loud at the top of my voice and listened to that even more. It seemed to speed the emotional processing of these events to piggy back on both the musical grieving and recovery of others.

      I suppose not wholly unlike what happens here at CL.

      • I did this too! Listened to lots and lots of music, went to concerts. Patty Griffin’s live album was my saving grace and I burnt a whole in that record. Peter Pan was my favorite but the entire album is good. Also started exercising, walking and swimming (in a lake) 🙂 because for two solid years I was really pissed off. At his crappy self and at my own for not seeing what was right before my eyes. And he hurt our kids. I am five years out from dday and some days I just struggle. I try to do one really brave thing a day though and am working hard to rebuild my life.

  • JAC, I’m sending you big hugs!!! There are days I feel I’m moving on and days not so much. Everyday really does get better. It sucks being a chump but we really are gaining a life without these POS!!!!

  • There is so much wisdom on this post! JAC: you’re going to make it and get unstuck as all of chump nation is rooting you on! Irish: you go chump! Dream big! Who knows what is in store for your soap business! Uniquelyme : your comments reasontes deep to my hearts desire that I too want to echo… The worst thing that happened to me was the best thing that happened to me. Ringinonmyownbell: I too survived a tsunami that turned my life upside down along with two daughters that can’t fathom who their dad really is. Trying to figure out NPD is complex and how this person posed as a person who he is not boggles a mind. Yes, devastating and dreadful. He is like a zombie out to sea, floundering in depression, anxiety from choices he made relating to having sex with patients, co-workers our entire marriage. I sure didn’t cause his problems, can’t control or cure! NC has given the gift of sanity and I am striving to be mehbound! The word mighty is powerful! Thanks ChumpLady you are helping me start anew.

  • Wow, some sister in law. Mine , after initially acting sympathetic on the phone – she hadn’t heard his “side” yet – a week later (after talking to him) told me she was “very excited for him as he begins this new chapter in his life.” Seriously WTF? After sixteen years of being “family” with me?

    Then she asked me if I would pay for Cheater’s airfare to come see her in Montana so she could “help him heal.” Then she said “it was nice having known you.” Less than one year before, at a family gathering, she had told me I was the sister she always wanted, how his whole family was so happy I was with him, and wondered when we were finally getting married, and gushed how lovely my children were.

    Now she said, “Oh no, Margaret. He was unhappy for all those years. There was no room in the relationship for him, you know, what with the children and all.” (I’m still wondering “what” the “what” was about children??) Fifty shades of fucked up. Can we say enabler? She then recommended I read two books, one about Very Sensitive People (like Cheater), and one about Women and Aging. I remember thinking, my problem is not that your brother is extra sensitive or that I am aging. He’s a douchebag!

    • Margaret, I was with my ex 36 years. A couple of weeks after our separation my MIL emailed and told me she hoped I was going to move on and not get “stuck.” I couldn’t believe it. She said she hoped to “see me around sometime.” I thought of her as a second mother! Then she said we could still be friends, but I told her we’d always be family since I was the mother to her grandchildren and she was the grandmother to my children. Sheesh. I’m sure family is at a loss as to what to say, but my ex’s family super sucks at any kind of empathetic or compassionate gesture. My SIL has actually been the kindest to me, and has even continued to text me on my birthday and holidays which is weird because we weren’t that close when I was married. It’s all so strange.

      As for aging, my ex was totally bald at a young age, and had wrinkles like crazy from being out in the sun all the time. He was always working out, though, and since becoming involved in the affair had really gone overboard losing weight and working out. In fact, he’d lost so much weight he didn’t even feel like himself when I hugged him. Turns out OW had turned him onto this weight loss drink that kept him in the bathroom all the time. (Fun to constantly be cleaning up after him so he could look thin for HER). Anyway, after we separated, my youngest son said “Dad is still a pretty active guy and you’re slowing down faster than him.” Great. Thanks son. So I get tossed because I’m aging while ex is not?

      Now I’m dating an older man and it’s so nice not to be compared to 20 year old hard bodies all the time. He seems to think I look just fabulous which has certainly helped my self esteem. It’s amazing how I’m the same person but now I feel so much prettier than I did with ex.

  • CN, just like JAC I feel I’m not moving on as fast as I would like (or ex would like as he told he is happy now and I have to move on) and be “happy” like ex and OW. There are times when I get a “glimpse” of the way they see me or not see me. Like yesterday when I picked up the kids I saw a huge picture in their living room of the two of them (I could see it from the door entrance to the other side of the room). He got upset with me because I asked him if he thought that was “normal”?. And I felt like a fool because I got it: “They don’t care” and me and my kids and my family don’t exist while they are living a happy and normal and healthy relationship (one month newlyweds) while I’m going crazy with grief (one month divorce). Its times like this that I see the devalue and discard. Now it makes sense the times when he called me a “sore loser”, “pitiful” or “ungrateful” or the times when he insults me and makes fun of me with comments on how I don’t have a “partner”. Now, I feel shame when I see myself through their eyes. I see myself as an annoying person with my morals, hopes. dreams and expectations. “Nobody cares” he often tells me…and I believe him even when I know it is not true

    • Dear PlainChump, I am angry for you … What a mean spirited heartless bastard he is. I know it must hurt but please remember your worth and how worthless a human he is to be parading around cruelly with his new found love. The night is young they are in their honeymoon stage. Be patient and try and observe that space … These two cheating bastards will lose their magic once you stop reacting as now they feel important and that their love is special throwing it in your face. Try be indifferent and don’t comment on anything upsetting such as picture. The bigger the front … The bigger the back
      These asses will self implode given enough rope … Take care of your heart lovely.

      • WhereisMia, thank you for your compassionate words. I should practice that to myself. I should stop feeding the beast (because although he keeps often tells me to “shut the f#%! up”, I’m sure he enjoys my pain). And make your “DON’T REACT” advice, my “new year’s resolution” beginning now. Perhaps I should also submit my story to Chump Lady’s contest and get the pleasure of her recreating it with a giant picture of the two and two small ugly cheaters (to show their characters) behind it…and your words of wisdom somewhere 😉 As a reminder to everyone here that cheaters inflated sense of self is not real…

    • Ugh, this guy deserves a special pod in Cheater Hell. It’s not bad enough that he’s done what he’s done, but then to throw it in your face and taunt you about it? Wow, just wow. It shows how nuts some of these people are. Any, and I mean any, normal person would recognize that kicking someone when she is down whose back he was supposed to have and protect, is utter scumbag material.

      Easy to say, but I hope you can take the thoughts from WhereisMia. Right now, the cheater jerks obviously feel ten feet tall and totally, totally entitled. That may last a while, but even now, I would bet that people are observing them from the corner of their eyes as opposed to sincerely sharing their faux specialness. Sooner or later, the blissful pair will find that the sun doesn’t shine on the same dog’s ass all the time. People here do care.

      • Chumpguy, thank you for your kind words and unkind to him 🙂 Now when someone excuses him with something like “that’s what guys do” I can confidently reply “not the normal human ones” and “not where I come from” keeping you in mind 🙂

        • Thanks for the reply! And no, he’s not any kind of normal to normal people. Hope today is looking brighter!

          • This site is the best, because the support is so wonderful and cleansing. It’s just the thing to help you feel good about decisions to leave and to start life over again. Thanks so much! Hugs…

  • PlainChump–Please do not see the world through his STD-riddled eyes. AND STOP TALKING TO HIM. He is a fucktard; No-Contact is stressed for a reason. You are a nice person, who is compassionate to other people, and he is playing on your emotions to give himself more perceived power over you. Don’t give it to him. “Nobody cares” is NOT true–we care and we wish your mean-spirited bully of an X would be devoured by fire ants, slowly, over a period of days. (Okay–can’t speak for all chumps, but after he said those things to you, I wish for it).

    And having a partner makes you worthwhile? What bullshit. He has a partner, and he is a sack of excrement. There–as much logic as we need to disprove that assertion.

  • Tempest, thank you for caring and thank you for your wishes. May I add (for when she moves close to us after ex cheater followed us after we moved to our hometown…..”May the sparkles of the frosted turd melt under the desert sun!” curse? Thank you for the empowerment and wish all chump nation the same!

  • PlainChump, think of your ex as Kryptonite. You have to avoid him at all costs because he makes you too weak to fly. You have to put all your efforts into yourself right now. Being exposed to him slows down that process. Don’t worry about him getting what he deserves or having it better than you. You are on your own path. The universe will eventually deliver to him what he deserves. Your job is to be so far along your own path that you don’t even care what he’s up to.

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