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Tiffany Glass Windows

Hey, I’m rerunning a favorite today. Meanwhile, don’t forget to craft your Valentine’s Day Infidelity poems! — Tracy

tiffany-chapel

Hi chumps! I’ve been on vacation with my family in Orlando, Florida for a few days. Yesterday my mother and I visited the Morse Museum in Winter Park, which if you find yourself in the Disney World orbit, I can highly recommend over rollercoasters, crowds, and uber-commercialized touristy crap at the theme parks. The Morse Museum is a mind-blowing collection of Tiffany glass, jewelry, and Arts and Crafts pottery. Really, I cannot convey to you how exquisite it all is. Make it a must-do if you find yourself in this neck of the woods. But the crowning jewel of the museum is the Tiffany Chapel.

tif-peacockThe chapel was created for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. It’s this Byzantine-inspired Art Nouveau confection of glass mosaic and stained glass. It’s freaking amazing. The altar piece is a mosaic of two peacocks facing each other with a crown floating above — it looked like a technicolor dream of Gustave Klimt to me, the swirls and jewel-like abstractions. They say it was Louis Comfort Tiffany’s masterpiece.

The chapel had a rather sad history, which you can read about. Suffice it to say, it was a sensation when it debuted, but then struggled to find a home. Tiffany rescued it at one point, had it restored and installed in his mansion estate Laurelton Hall, (which is its own amazing story). By the 1950s, the estate was abandoned and in 1957 a fire raged for three days and most of the place was destroyed. The chapel survived, only just.

The daughter of Tiffany called the McKeans, a couple that ran a small museum in Winter Park, Florida and asked if they wanted a few of the windows. Okay, TRY and imagine a world in which someone is saying “here, please TAKE a Tiffany stained glass window off me, because I know you would appreciate it and no one else apparently does.” So the McKeans travel to Long Island, New York and viewed the wreckage of Laurelton Hall. The fire fighters had salvaged some of the windows, which were leaning against a wall — some miscreants had come and thrown rocks through some of them. The place was full of debris, open to the elements. The McKeans decided then to rescue the chapel and save as much as they could. At the museum are photos of the ruins and the salvage company that came to move it — who didn’t treat it right, threw all the pieces in the back of a truck with the crowning indignity — topping the pile with an old tire.

Mind blowing.

Tiff-MorseWhat does this have to do with infidelity? Well, as I was listening to this story during the narrated film at the museum (which my mother insisted on attending… thank you Mom…), I thought — what kind of MONSTER throws a rock through a Tiffany glass window?! What kind of idiot cannot see how freaking beautiful these works of art are? What sort of world do we live in where an entire mansion full of Tiffany glass is just abandoned? And it occurred to me, that some people can’t see obvious beauty. They destroy and devalue. Or they can only appreciate something if it is set in a context of What Is Fashionable and Approved Of, versus just seeing it for what it IS — beautiful and worthy.

Cheaters are the sorts of people who would throw a rock through a Tiffany glass window. To give your heart to someone, to be faithful to them, to try and forgive an unforgivable betrayal — that makes you a beautiful person. Tiffany glass windows are no less valuable because some idiot could not appreciate their beauty and threw a rock. Tiffany windows should not think… Gee, if I’d only been some work of abstract expressionism… something in vogue… if I’d only been a Jackson Pollack painting, they wouldn’t have thrown that rock. No, Tiffany windows are what they are — exquisite, obviously beautiful things. It just took escaping the ruins and the rock throwers for the world to notice was was really apparent all along — that these are works of art. Precious creations.

I believe this is true for chumps as well. Get away from the burning ruins and find someone who appreciates you. Your worth was never in question. Some people throw rocks. Some people are ugly and can’t see true beauty. It’s not you. It’s them.

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  • Great post. And so true. I always said the ex couldn’t see or appreciate what was right in front of him. Me, his kids, family, nothing. And that makes him and people like him, just nothings. So glad to be divorced and moving on from that nothing. I gained something, me! They are nothing, just pods.

  • “Get away from the burning ruins and find someone who appreciates you.”

    We won’t get better people surrounding us until we demand better.

    It is hard, but when you realize your spouse is a pod person (thank you kar marie) there is no choice worthy of us but to move on. We have lived Iives filled with such deception, devaluation and misdirection that we cannot begin to understand the beauty of normal until we have taken the blind leap and arrived at the other side.

    And once you get there, you see what you missed all along, and the cheater’s relevance fades into meh.

  • Came across this the other night as as I was archiving. It was just what I needed to read and have been thinking about how true it is since..

    • LS, that is such an exquisite way of expressing this concept! Your words will definitely go in my “Inspirational Quotes” folder!

      Thanks, Tracy, for this re-post! It is also one of my favorites.

      Thank you and ForgeOn!!!

        • Thanks for sharing, LaughingS!

          That’s what I love about this Nation! We have a place to pass on such words of wisdom to others like ourselves who will actually benefit from them, will live by them and share those wise words with still others!

          Here’s some more wise words to pas on:

          “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
          —-Ernest Hemingway

          “On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.”
          —-Michel de Montaigne

  • Hi tracy, thank you for this post today. Cheaters dismantled the gifts of beauty that they were blessed to have.
    Hope you had a great time in Florida. Florida is my home. Rather chilly but beautiful.
    Perhaps you might consider travelling further west to Tampa bay area. Our beaches are besutiful!

  • This is probably my favorite CL post. At the end of my marriage I felt so completely worthless, so devalued. This article really helped me understand that worth is in the eye of the beholder, and I needed to be the one to start valuing myself. Sometimes I tell people it took being thrown away to appreciate my own worth.

    • Lyn – “it took being thrown away to appreciate my own worth”. Love this. After 4 1/2 years, I am just getting to the point where I buy into this.

    • “I felt so completely worthless, so devalued”
      I felt this way for most of my marriage yet I still didn’t cheat.
      I could see beauty in the world all around me but had lost the ability to see it within myself because I let a cheaters opinion ruin my point of view.

      Now, I am set free and although I have my imperfections, I shine brightly like a pane of Tiffany glass for those I love and could care less about the opinion of a cheap, old, single pane of glass that couldn’t pass safety code!!!!! Ha Ha Ha!

  • I suppose this is true. I suppose I am a much better person than any of his Russian lady-“friends”. Just to make sure, I look at the Facebook profile of one of them. Let’s see.. she has 299 friends, I have only 84… but in my group, half are female, all of them have a decent job, most of them are true friends that I have spent some good times with. In her group, 99% are male, all nationalities, all ages, unrelated, showing muscles, many look like thugs… and among the 299 repulsive mugs, my poor Ex, who looks innocent, walking our dog… It’s very painful to admit that he is not who I persist to see.

  • My meh really did come on a Tuesday – just yesterday, in fact. My stbxh left our 9 year marriage, me and our son to pursue a new relationship with a divorced woman (10 years younger) with two children (near our son’s age). (Yes, it began as an affair – so we all know how that’s gonna go!)

    I thought, how could walk away from our life? We have a good home, good jobs, good health, wonderful friends – from the outside in, our life was enviable. But, what you can’t see from the outside is the bottomless sinkhole that is inside a Narc. If you could – you would run for your life.

    So, for the last year, I’ve been asking myself this question over and over… still thinking on some level it was me – it was my fault – I could’ve/should’ve done more… I wasn’t Tiffany glass. Then, just yesterday, in gathering evidence for the divorce I did a quick search on adultfriendfinder.com – guess who is still running a personal ad looking for a woman/couples/or groups. YUP – the sinkhole… Mr. Sparkles. Guess the knew “love he didn’t think he would ever feel again” isn’t getting the job done for him – shocking.

    My meh came in a rush… and I finally saw that I am the Tiffany glass… my son and our life that we are rebuilding is a beautiful treasure. And the Narc may throw rocks (in the form of requesting 50/50 custody and trying to void my pre-nup)… but we will withstand the test of time.

    We all will.

  • I feel the grumpiness at the people charged with taking care of these things. The people who got paid to transport and preserve what they could, and they throw a tire on it. Phooey. The glass and me deserve better and I’m gonna burn white on my husbands ass for all of this.

  • Stones will be thrown
    That can break a bone
    You can’t see my beauty
    Because you are chasing booty
    But I will never be alone

      • I have been rhyming everything since yesterdays post. So damn contagious!

        This morning as I was getting my 3 little birds ready for school. I said – “kids go make up your beds while I make your eggs” – “finish your plates before we are late” . My daughter goes, “Daddy what is wrong with you”. As I was LMAO I said, “honey, I’m just being funny!”

  • How fitting….. I just sat in a my all claims hearing listening to my Stbx rant over the Tiffany stained glass lamp that is mine. He told the court he sat and counted how many individual pieces of glass are in the lamp shade and described the design. It’s a beautiful lamp. Guess where asshole is currently storing this valuable marital asset…..on the floor in the basement next to his girlfriends son weight bench. Oops…gee didn’t see that lamp when I dropped the barbell.

  • When I was living in that hell of a marriage I often thought to myself…. he doesn’t get me. He doesn’t realize how much I have to offer. HE failed to take advantage of what was in front of him. I have 2 graduate degrees and he thought my opinions were stupid. My home was featured in several magazine and he thought my taste was awful (although he llluuuuvvvveeeedddd getting written up.) Forget my sense of humor and what I did for the kids. Like the glass he destroyed me… slowly leaving me too with a big hole. Now in the process of getting back to that cool chick I was when I met him. Fucker.

    I think now that he is with a sociopathic anorexic obsessive compulsive (I am not making this up) that hates to cook (something he loves) skank there is probably a vague awareness that he fu(*ed up but I am sure that is suppressed quit quickly. But she more valuable to him because she has more social status…. well in Miami she does… take her out of this city and see what you get…. hahahahaha. He clearly lacks an eye for beauty.

  • So glad this reran today as I will be in Orlando later this month (with my sweetheart – the chump who introduced me to this site).

    Repairs are proceeding rather nicely…

  • I read this post the first time it ran and thought it was lovely then. Thank you Tracy.

    I’m a big fan of re-reading. Especially of passages that have moved me. I always say (to explain/justify my love of reading books for the umpteenth time) – I always see something new, I didn’t get the last time I read.

    Just as you can never cross the same stream twice, I come to this piece a different woman from the heart-broken girl I was when I first read it. My heart has shifted and so it hears ‘you are like Tiffany glass’ in a different way. It doesn’t hurt anywhere near as much that ‘The Great I Am’ threw rocks, or that he cared not one jot for ‘Tiffany glass’. Today, my tears are gratitude for being reminded I am worthy and beautiful. All in my own right. Thank you Tracy 🙂 x

  • Tracy, thanks for that. I still wake up some mornings with the first intrusive thought being ‘I got thrown away’.

    I need to remember that I am a Tiffany window. He couldn’t appreciate me or the kids, or family. Part of this is yesterday would have been our 25th anniversary. Ick. I know I am better off but sometimes the pain resurfaces.

  • Thank you for running this again. I treated him like the Tiffany glass that I now know I am. Of course once my eyes focused, I can see clearly though his cracked single-pane drafty cheap self.

  • Thank you for running this again, I needed this today! This also reminds me of Tempest’s comment on Kintsugi art (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kintsugi).

    As I forge on, I have come to accept that being betrayed and discarded pulverized my self-esteem. Now my work is to turn this hurt into wisdom. Thanks to CL and CN’s support, I know I will get there.

    • to give credit where credit is due, Northern Lights was the person who pointed out Kintsugi to me shortly after my own D-day when I thought I would never heal.

      We can never be the same after being ‘broken,’ but we can be even more beautiful and worthwhile.

      • Oh, WOW! Thanks ladies! I had never seen this repair work / art form before today. Exquisite!

        So glad you made mention of this. I now have several new bookmarks in my Favorites!

        This is what this whole Nation is filled with—-Incredible, beautiful, stunning works of ART!

        Love all y’all……

      • Thanks Tempest and Northern Lights. I’ve been reading about Kintsugi and it’s a beautiful metaphor. I feel broken and shattered right now but with the help of CL and CN, I hope to repair my shattered self and emerge stronger and more beautiful.

  • I stumbled upon a quote a few days after D-Day that I immediately cherished. It is so very, very apt for this story:

    “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

    Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

    I just love it. For me it’s about our inner strength and innate goodness, in the face of dire and difficult situations. And who do you know who is shiny and sparkly or the surface, but underneath is dark and ugly? Yup.

  • I read this the other day when one of our dear fellow Chumps made a reference to it to say, essentially, “It’s not you. It’s them.” I have a relatively easy Chump road. I wasn’t married to the jackass; I didn’t have devastated kids and thoughts about broken homes. But the devastating feeling of “if he cheated, there must be something wrong with me” fueled my early post D-Day fantasies of getting him back–even though it was clear that 1) that wasn’t going to happen; and 2) it would be disastrous for me if it did.

    Now thirty months out, and many experiences with gaining a life later, it seems to me that healthy self-worth is the key to both recovery from infidelity and building a life that is better than our fantasies:
    1. Infidelity is abuse. It’s abuse of trust. To sustain an affair, cheaters must emotionally abuse their faithful partners (lying, gaslighting, picking out faults, blame shifting, denigration, dehumanization). To sustain an affair, cheaters must abuse their partners’ time and energy, because the cheaters have unplugged from the relationship and someone must do the work to sustain it. Living with abuse erodes a person’s self-worth, that necessary regard for the right to normal, decent treatment. Living with abuse also habituates a person to being abused and victimized, until it begins to look and feel normal. (A sociologist calls this the “normalization of deviance” from what was previously considered acceptable.) So the longer we stay in an abusive situation, whether it be physical abuse or emotional abuse, the less healthy we are. Our reserve of self-worth is depleted.
    2. Many of us start with little or no self-worth because we were raised by narcissists, substance abusers or other highly inadequate parents. And then we pick partners who allow us to reproduce those unhealthy early relationships. Our pickers are pre-set to “selfish” or “mean” or “narcissistic.”

    For these reasons, I wish that even chumps who want to save their marriages would consider a lengthy separation before attempting reconciliation. What does it matter if you’ve got a unicorn if your self-worth is so depleted that you can’t value yourself enough to set good boundaries? We have to see ourselves as whole, healthy, beautiful and worthy before we can make a coherent decision about who is worhy to be our partners.

    • I just had time to read this today LAJ, and it is so very true and well thought out. I too have time passed by, since the betrayal and abuse, and really, there is no substitute for what that gives you! I feel that my head is clearer, and my anger is starting to fade away, and, mostly thanks to all the wisdom (and snarky humor) on this amazing site- I know my worth now! I was not the cause of the abuse, nor did I deserve one atom of it. He was just damaged, and lashing out, and I was the easiest target. Removing myself fixed that, and then I was able to start the huge, but interesting, job of figuring out what I wanted.
      It’s my life, don’t you forget…
      Loved your comment, and printed it to read later!

  • “Your value was never in question.” What a difference a year makes CL. Last year at this time I was awaiting the final hearing for the divorce. My attorney was retiring and this was the lat time she could represent me in court. We settled. It was over.
    At the time I thought I won, and it was monetary at the time. Since, then his actions cost him much more. Devaluation cost him the beauty of his granddaughters voice singing like an angel every weekend and during the performances he’s not included in. He lost the respect of three amazing children, their graduations, and our famiky trips celebrating birthdays. He lost the daily interactions of family laughter and joy. He lost the home my son and granddaughter cherish and aporeciate. Most importantly he lost an intelligent, kind, loving, loyal partner of 41 years who supported him through thick and thin.

    We rose from those ashes of his destruction and the light shines through our windows. Karma as I see it came the moment he chose the mentally ill sleazy whore who had nothing to offer. Now, having my power back, my needs are being met and it is I who no longer glances back. Thank you CL for everything! Love and peace.

    • Donna that was beautiful….I don’t know your ex but I do know he is one very dark soul who has lost all beauty from his life after reading your post. You sound very lovely and deserving of an honest love filled life 🙂 as do all chumps all over the world.

  • You’re worth was never in question”. Thank you, CL. I believe that my worth was questioned from Day1, and it was easy for him to question because I was a sack of insecurities. He knew I’d question myself, not his loyalty or superiority. Those days are gone. I’m trying to fix the window. I know, I know, it’s in shards. It will take a long time.

  • I’m sitting home with a sick feeling in my stomach. Ex has been NC with even our children for the best part of the last 4 years. He married one of his long term AP’s and group sex partners last year. Today, he asked me for our daughter’s email address in advance of her 23rd birthday tomorrow. She is teaching abroad in Italy this year. I warned her an email may be coming, especially as any contact with her father upsets her. She told me she is tired of the frustration and bewilderment of being discarded by her own father, of not understanding his particular illness (as she puts it), or how he thinks. She wants to email him back and tell him off, finally, after all this time, and demand answers. This brought home again to me the incredible mindfuck these cheaters deliver not only to us but also to our children, who are certainly the most exquisite Tiffany glass. How to keep them from being even further damaged in a world that says throwing those rocks ain’t so bad?!? If we as a society ever really faced what these cheaters do to their own children, to their financial, social and spiritual well-being, the entire legal and social system would change overnight,

    • Kelly I feel for you dear chump. I too have a 23 yr old dd and a 26yr old dd. They do not have a relationship with their screwed up dad. This summer I will reach 3 yrs from being divorced. If by chance he leaves a voicemail for them, it conjures up lots if emotions. He has been stuck on the pity channel for some time now. I so get and agree our kids are precious Tiffany and yet it feels healing gets kicked back any time there is contact. My oldest has made the statement that until Dad gets “healthy” she wants nothing to do with him. I’ve tried my very best to not insert my opinion on the matter of a character transplant not likely happening. Or in reality, as we know it…….never, ever going to come about and that is tough. It’s a tough road.

      • Thanks Mehbound. My daughter told me yesterday that she has come to the realization that she will NEVER have a father, and that she never really did. It’s incredibly painful to see our children struggling with this, and having no ability to control it in the least bit. I tried at first, encouraging contact with their father, attempting to broker dinners or meetings between the children and him, making suggestions to ex as to how he should behave or approach them. And then I realized that he would just perpetually disappoint and upset them with every contact they had, and that I had to give up the illusion of control.

    • I sincerely hope you didn’t give him her email address, without asking her permission first – after all, its her choice if she wants to have a relationship with the fuckwit, and in her case certainly not.

      • No, Lania, I would never give ex any information without their previous consent. They want to give him every opportunity to fuck up, so he can fail all on his own with no excuses, and so that if they choose not to see him he is aware that it is completely their choice.

        • Yeah. That’s a smart idea.
          The reason I asked is because I’m actually the (eldest) child of a cheater, so I can relate to your daughter’s situation. And I would have been extremely pissed off if my mum had given my email address (that is, one he didn’t know about) to my father without asking me first (y’know, pushing the ‘you must have a relationship with the other parent no matter what’ narrative that a lot of apologists pull).
          Fortunately, in my particular case, my mum and I (and my two younger sisters) shared the same views – that we didn’t want anything to do with him at all, even if he did come sniffing around. In my mindset, the main thing I was thinking at the time is: “Even if I wanted to, to speak to him would constitute condoning (or at least accepting) what he did to mum, and that would be extremely disrespectful to her”

          • As an addition, I should mention that my cheater father walked out almost 10 years ago – and I haven’t seen or spoken to him since. Nor do I want to – he willingly tried to destroy my mum and my family – so I don’t want to ever speak to him again, even if he begs forgiveness, I’m not interested.

            • That is where my children are too Lania, they feel ex hurt me so much they want nothing to do with him, and don’t ever want to appear to be condoning. Plus he married AP#1 who pretended to be a family friend and hung around all of us… for over 15 years! So he sort of sealed the deal in terms of destroying his relationship with them. I am sorry for what you have gone through with your father, we are living it now. Sometimes I think we are all too polite and ex needs to be told off but good. In a way, I wish I had just said “hell no I’m not giving you daughter’s email,” but we are so concerned with appearing “fair”, not poking the beast, keeping a strange passive-aggressive sort of “peace,” etc.

              • Hey, its no problem. I have been ‘meh’ for years about what happened. In fact, my life (and mum’s life) is far richer now than it ever was back then.

                The whole ‘keeping the peace’ thing is just another variant of walking on eggshells to try not piss off a cluster B. In my particular case though, I have a pretty fiery temper – and if my father’s subcontinential whore was stupid enough to ever cross paths with me, I’d be dragging her around by her hair, hah!

  • I think that somewhere in my next home, I will have a stained glass window, to be a daily reminder of this.

  • This is so beautiful (much like Tiffany glass) and just what I needed after a turbulent dropping off the kids session during which I pressed The 40 Year Old Toddler some financial questions he didn’t like. Even then, he can’t see what is right in front of him and tries to distract, ignore and avoid.

  • A couple years ago my stbx was finishing our basement. The control freak that he is – he told me that he would design and build a bar and theater room. He would build it and decorate it and I would have no say on anything. But I could enjoy the final product of course. I was asked to stain hundreds of panels of cherry wood and trim. Which I did, since I was a good little wife appliance. And it is an absolute showpiece of a bar. But of course, it’s all about him. And he brings people over to see it and show off all of his work and I mean anyone – the garbage man, mailman, neighbors, hvac people, the guys working on the street of our house. It’s quite embarrassing for me. But he just needs to feed his ego and make people think he’s a nice guy!

    So anyway, he brings home a business card for a woman that makes stained glass windows–yes, he had to get a stained glass window put in this bar. It had his college initials on it. He loved this glass window more than anything and anyone. Always talked about it, how it was his favorite, reminded him of his college days, Yada Yada yada. Fast forward to d-day.

    I got a text from someone telling me he was cheating. When I confronted him he laughed and mocked me. Then I kicked his ass out and i went straight to his beloved bar. Drank 3 shots of tequilla (and im not a drinker). Once that kicked in, i got a hammer and broke the stained glass window into a million pieces along with all of his top shelf liquor (about $6,000 damage). Oh and my kids weren’t home 🙂 So during false wreckincilation, the first thing he wanted to do was get the glass window replaced (before anyone could see it) I went with him to the woman’s house to repair it and she just said no I can’t fix that. I just smiled and she didn’t even ask what had happened it it. So he commissioned her to make another one. It’s an exact replica of the one I trashed.

    So although I think most stained glass windows are beautiful, this story has a different meaning for me. The fact that my stbx couldn’t see the beauty in me and made me feel like trash but he loves his material things and treasures them more than his family, is quite sad. He’ll soon be living alone in his material world and he can sit and stare at his stained glass window and drink his top shelf bourbon all by himself since he’s such a nice guy!

    • I hate your soon-to-be-X.
      Not very Meh of me, but the way he acted, and took total advantage of you, well he deserved to be hated. What are you, slave labor? And frankly, Cherry wood and stained glass sounds more like a funeral parlor, than a fun space.
      Yes, he sounds like he’s ALL about the possessions, and the public image, not good omens for a life partner. I hope you truly are Strong, you’re going to need it with this one!

      • Hey FreeWoman….I was pretty much feeling the same way towards strong’s situation….That’s righteous indignation there, sister! Doesn’t disrupt our ‘Meh’ at all, IMHO!

        Yep they are indeed all about possessions. They love things and use people….True?! The correct way is to love people & use things. I know we have all observed this with the cheater-freaks in our lives. Cheaterpants is ALL about what he has bought……Scum-bag!

        Forge on, strong woman, Forge on, FreeWoman…….

  • Free woman and forge on – it’s so sad how possessions mean so much more to him than his kids and I. For years I told people he was a “workaholic” because he was never home, missed kids activites, and when he was home he was “working” on his computer. Turns out he spent 14 years logging on to cheater chat lines looking for strange. He just used work as an excuse to ignore us and not have to emotionally connect.

    I always knew he was a golden child and had to impress his parents, I just did not know what a narcissist was. I just thought he was an asshole. I was told to pray for him…..but I think that might only work for people with souls. I’ll be leaving a cheater, and gaining a life soon. 😉

  • Sounds like you had a wonderful time in Orlando. Some people will care and preserve beauty, while others will feel almost threatened by it and throw rocks. Like you said, it’s not about you, it’s about them. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize people who throw rocks at your inner beauty and often get you to believe that you’re at fault. But once you do recognize this, you have to move on…to preserve your inner beauty, without it being damaged by another person’s actions.

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