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Don’t Be Bitter!

bitterbunnyThere was an insipid article over at HuffPo Divorce recently, by Marina Sbrochi called “Signs You Make Your Divorce Bitter.”

Flippant and jokey, it actually advises divorcees to “turn a frown upside down.”

Now, I am not arguing in favor of a bad attitude, but I wonder if someone would give that advice to the recently bereaved? “I’m sorry Bob is dead. But geez, lighten up a bit! You’re such a bummer to be around.”

Divorce is a loss too. Only it’s often, especially in cases of infidelity, a loss with a shitload of injustice. And people don’t bounce back as quickly as some of the non-grieving might like them to. Not only did you lose your spouse, probably your financial security, and time with your children — you’re dealing with betrayal. And that hurts like a motherfucker. It’s injury AND insult of the most humiliating, intimate kind.

Grieving after betrayal is very Alice in Wonderland. Things are not what they appear. Who can I trust? What’s real? What’s fiction? Who is my friend? Who is my enemy? Who’s that crazy lady in red screaming “Off with his head!” and why am I at a tea party?

The last thing a person in that bewildering state needs is for some jerk to tell them to quit being a buzz kill. Which is really just another way of saying It’s Not That Bad. Expecting someone to be buoyant and positive after such a tragedy is minimizing their grief and really, denying their reality. Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said on the subject of forgiveness, that the depth of our anger reflects the depth of our love. Chumps love deep. Not only did we lose, we were played. It’s a very angry grief.

I get that some people don’t want to be around it. Makes them feel powerless and frightened. Gee, if this can happen to you, maybe it could happen to me. I’d rather feel smug and safe, so clearly You Did Something To Make This Happen to You. You know what tells me this is your fault? Your bad attitude!

I’m not arguing against resilience. I think everyone should face adversity with a kick ass attitude. I think on those hard days, yes, count your blessings, will yourself to function, and be as positive as you can muster. Have faith it WILL get better.

But I don’t think you get there without grieving. And IMO what propels you towards acceptance and “meh” faster is the acknowledgment that what happened to you was unjust. That it was devastating. That doesn’t mean you get to skulk around being “bitter” forever. It means a terrible thing happened to you, and you’re gathering your strength to rise above it. But it’s work. And it hurts. And no one would like to be further ahead in this grieving shit than you, the chump, and not Miss Norman Vincent Peale there with the platitudes.

This column ran previously.

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  • We aren’t good at grieving generally, I think. We seem to expect perma-happiness, and any deviance must be punished with social ostracism, drugs and articles about how bitter we are.

    I love Chump Nation because we GRIEVE, and thus we actually work through it and get to Meh. It’s harder at first, but it’s worth the journey.

    • CL, as always you know how to hit the mark. I’m two years out now from Dday, just went through 6 months of ridiculous “mediation,” finally got ex to sign some child support, but in the very first check he provided, he violated about 3 things he just signed off on and agreed to. These people don’t understand fair or what’s right for the kids. So, bitter? Yeah, I feel strong feelings and I hate to say bitter because then what? How does one get through bitter? So, thank you for normalizing that this is an “angry grief.” No truer words were ever spoken. I can be angry and not bitter. I can tell my friends and family are waiting for me to bounce back, to move on, to be in meh. I know they love me and just want me to be happy but it’s truly impossible to get real understanding unless you’ve been there. So thank you, CL for your helpful understanding. What helps me move on is feeling understood at the injustice of it all, rather then prodding me to get back to myself. I don’t think I’ll ever be back to myself. 6 months I just endured of “negotiations” because ex, after a few days, decided he didn’t like the mediated deal and so changed everything. I lost big time financially. And I’m supposed to just let that go without some angry grief? The answer is no, it’s just not that easy.

  • Finding out that the person you loved deeply for 30 years did not ever truly love you nor even appreciate having sex with your gender is not something one just gets over quickly. I feel so much anger and hurt it is hard to imagine I will EVER feel okay and normal again. I will get better at not speaking about it to those around me, but that doesn’t mean I won’t still be feeling it. I am just over 2 months out from D-day now and still months from having the divorce final. I sincerely hope to be doing much better within a few years but I make no one any promises. If anyone in my life finds it unpleasant to be around me, they are free to go elsewhere. There. I said it.

    • Being a chump married to a closet case has its own unique twists, one of which is that some people greet the news as if the fact that they’re gay somehow makes the infidelity easier to take. Or worse, they express sympathy for how hard it must have been for him to deny his “authentic self” for so many years. Never mind that a lot of these special cases cheat with both genders in an attempt to convince themselves and everyone else that they’re not really gay.

      Then there’s the double betrayal of the infidelity coupled with knowing that they married us on the basis of a very deep and far-reaching lie and, as you say Dixie, that they never even wanted to be having sex with us to begin with. Two months is still so fresh, and it definitely helped me once the divorce was final, knowing he no longer had any leverage to keep me in the closet with him.

      • YES. My ex is still “dating” women, I suppose in a desperate attempt to find another beard who will financially support him while he continues to secretly have sex with strange men he meets in gay bath houses.

        • This is just awful. Very selfish and self-serving, conning innocent people like that. This makes me so angry.

      • It’s mind-boggling that nobody seems to care about the chump’s “authentic self.” The chump authentically put themselves whole-heartedly into a marriage, and invested years of their lives with someone who was too cowardly to be truthful. Being used sucks in general, and being used as a cover-up the chump had no idea was taking place? That’s worse, because then nothing the chump believed in was real. Finding out you were a prop in someone else’s production is to find out you were no more important than a well-placed chair. That is devastating.

      • YES!! Even my own family members sometimes start feeling great sympathy for how difficult it must have been for him emotionally to keep his secret. He professes to be bisexual and has cheated with many women, but I do think it is very likely this is self deception. He has major ED since early 20s and even viagra doesnt help … I suspect this was a lack of arousal problem. Sorry for tmi. Anyway, it is a really big shit sandwich. Not that others here suffer any less … sent one more draft of settlement agreement to the lawyer today, hopefully the final one.

        • My X had lots of EAs, and likely PAs, with other women, too, despite also having a history of ED since his early 20s. And he started pursuing a new beard just a few weeks after I filed, but she pegged him as a stalker and told him to leave her alone. I have no doubts, though, that he’s busy pursuing his next one, all to prop up his image of himself as a straight man.

          Like other narcissists, it seems as though the closeted ones have their own chapter in the playbook. Mine also claims to be bisexual even though every indication, as well as the mountain of evidence I compiled being marriage mall cop, is that he’s straight-up gay, pun intended.

          In any case, it’s just another variation of the shit sandwich we all had to eat, only along with the sour aftertaste we also have the added challenge of learning not just to fix our pickers but our gaydar as well. I’m hoping my theory that most closeted spouses are narcissists will help me filter out any other men who might be on the down low, since I’m getting to be pretty good at sniffing out narcissism from a mile away.

          Congratulations on taking one more step towards the divorce, Dixie–I hope this settlement agreement will be the final one!

          • OtherKat, your situation sucks. It sounds like your ex code you precisely for your tolerance and support. So selfish.

            • The closeted ones who marry straight people are their own special kind of narcissist, taking the con and the manipulation to an entirely new level.

              But they still do follow the same playbook–it just dawned on me that the reason so many of them claim to be bisexual once we present them with undeniable evidence of not being straight (after first trying to convince us that all straight men just love to look at gay porn all day or that they were at the gay bath house helping a friend) is that it’s their version of trickle truth. Only own up to anything we have proof of, nothing more.

              Even better, claiming to be bisexual is also an excellent form of gaslighting and blameshifting–I’m not gay, I’m into some women, just not you because you are . . . insert cheaterspeak here. Once the discard is final, moving on to another beard becomes one more way of blaming you–see, I’m not gay, I have a new, better woman! I have two chump friends IRL whose closeted Xs did exactly that, same as Dixie’s STBX did and my X is trying to do.

              If nothing else they are all so predictable and lacking in imagination.

              • OtherKat, my STBX is probably gay as well. He probably could never come out due to his fundamentalist Christian background but he was sexually abused as a child (and then became a molester) and said he liked it. He also always wanted to do anal and have me wear a strap-on. Which I wasn’t into. Further, he loved getting blow jobs from men (supposedly only in his youth before I knew him) and many, many gay men were attracted to him and/or flirted with him. But he’s also a small town, redneck rube in some respects.

                Oddly, had he been honest, I would not have judged him. As he wasn’t, I do judge him for being a lying dirtbag who oppresses vulnerable women.

                I think he chose me because he did not find me attractive but I did have a six-year-old (his sister’s age when he started fucking her). This is speculation on my part, tho, because I’ll never actually know why he is living his current lifestyle.

                I doubt he knows himself beyond poor impulse control, entitlement, alcoholism, FOO issues, weak character.

                He has decidedly not made Earth a better place during his tenure here, just consumed a lot of resources and hurt a lot of women who loved him.

              • Yeah, my ex insisted that his interest in men was only because he didn’t “feel enough passion” for me. Funny though, he started fucking other men before he ever even met me and continued to do so long after we separated. Now he tells our son he is bisexual, and I suppose that technically he is, but there is absolutely NO doubt in my mind that he far prefers men and only fucks women when there is some sort of potential financial or image control gain, or they are married to some other man, so he finds it exciting and fun.

            • I am amazed there are so many of us with gay cheaters. All your stories are so dreadful it breaks my heart all over again. My cheaters affairs with women were all EAs and that is an additional reason I strongly suspect he is actually gay rather than bi. The other thing about gay affairs is that they are extremely easy to conceal. My cheater openly visited his lover, talked to him on the phone constantly, had him over to the house for dinner (which makes me just livid) and went on guy trips for camping, beach and skiing. They shared hotel rooms all the time and I just thought they were great buddies from high school. Whereas openly sharing a hotel room with a woman would obviously not be possible. So this post should be a heads up to anyone whose husband is maybe just a bit too attached to one male buddy.

              • I’m so sorry, Roaring, it sounds like yours has all of the hallmarks of being a closet case in addition to so many really dark and disturbing character traits that had to have been especially difficult to live with 🙁

                It is amazing how many of us here have been married to gay spouses. Glad, my X also tried to blame me for his gay porn habit (the most he would admit to), saying that if I hadn’t “cut him off” he wouldn’t have needed to “spice things up.” Meanwhile, he’d been the one to cut me off first, though now in hindsight I’m grateful he did before I figured out the extent of his life on the down low and had the chance to get myself tested before it was too late.

                And Dixie, you are so right about how easy gay affairs are to hide–I remember saying to one of my friends after my first day of duty as marriage mall cop, “Well if he’s cheating, he must be gay because all of the numbers he’s calling and texting to belong to men” (as well as all of the meet-ups he was having that I was able to track). I said it as a joke, ha ha. But it definitely threw me off the scent for quite a while before I realized that he was in fact cheating and that yes, most of it was with men. The EAs with women were, as you say, a cover for what was really going on beneath the surface.

                He also was very close to a couple of “buddies” that he traveled and hung out with in a way that was much more like the BFF relationships women tend to have with each other. Until I clued in to it all, I thought that made him more “evolved,” when the reality was that it just gave him more opportunities to cheat with men without me suspecting a thing.

              • OtherKat … Mine also cut me off sexually 15 years ago. I thought it was because his ED was so humiliating that he wanted to just avoid the whole ordeal. And it was indeed an ordeal. Luckily, i managed to get pregnant with my one child (secretly on purpose) during our last time together. I planned to keep ambushing him because i so wanted a child. I have never regretted that subterfuge. Part of being pregnant was being tested for stds abd HIV/AIDS. This is a true blessing because I had no idea i was at risk. Those bastards were playing with our lives.

              • My 2 cents worth: the ones that come as not exclusively gay, but also taking a bite at being bisexual are using the closet gay thing, because these day it gains them a lot of sympathy and cheerleaders for their “liberation”. What they really are is Entitled to Fuck Anyone They Want, of any sex, and to use any excuse, preferably hurting you as much as possible because that’s even more entitlement, isn’t it. I am so sorry you guys are forced to eat the fashionable metrosexual shit sandwich. You have every right to be angry.

    • Just scrolling through these comments and feeling such deep empathy. I am the eldest child of a gay man who married my fabulous mother in the 60s. It was rural NZ. And he didn’t identify as gay because he honestly didn’t know what that was! Very sheltered upbringing by parents he was born to (after 3 much older sisters) at 40 and 50 years of age. On talking to him I discovered that he knew he was different. But not WHY, until he had been married to my mum for well over a decade, with 4 kids. He hid it well for about 5 years. Then was outted to my mother due to a blackmailing male lover. Ugh. It’s a long, long story. And yes. A special kind of next level pain. As mum said, “I was madly trying to look prettier, more attractive, and I knew the irony was that he didn’t want prettier. I could never be attractive enough. I was the wrong gender.” She stayed a year. Neither wanted a divorce. But that year was her coming to terms and lining up ducks. She asked him to leave and they told us kids as I was just off to uni. Interestingly, 30 years later he has recently told me that he identifies as bisexual. Hmm. Now I think everyone has the right to self identify. But I did ask him how many other women he’s been attracted to since Mum. Answer. Oh, just T. T was his interior decorator who totally ripped him off to the tune of tens of thousands- maybe more. So yeah. She was attractive to him. No wonder he threw money at her fantasising about bedding her. If he is bi, it is only by a hair! It’s all about men. He just wishes he wasn’t gay because of the guilt caused by his severely restricted upbringing.

      On another note. Just about to embark on my geography Masters thesis on this very topic! Will post about it early next month if I can. The intention is to give voice to hetero spouses who never knew they were marrying LBGT spouses. Challenging dominant discourses. I will need participants. I hope some of you will consent to anonymously share your stories ?. I would be so grateful and promise to work hard to do these stories justice – especially for my amazing Mum who died 16 years ago tomorrow – after rebuilding a truly wonderful life after almost 20 years mostly very happily married to my gay dad. Much love to you all. From another chump.

    • I am just adding a comment here for anyone who reads through the archives for support. The feelings of hurt I described here at 2 months are pretty much gone at 8 months and have been since about 4 months out. So when you read through these comments, please take under consideration where on the path to healing commenters are. It really does get much much better with not as much time as you would suspect.

  • Anyone who says to someone blindsided by infidelity and divorce, “Come on! snap out of it! Lighten up!” must be on the spectrum of narcissism. They want to tell YOU how to feel about what’s happened because you are effecting their mood. I say rinse them right along with the cheater. Who needs that noise?

    • I would actually be okay with someone telling me, “I’m tired of listening to you on this topic,” because it least it would be honest. But telling us to “get over it” is patronizing, lacks empathy, and lacks common sense–trying to hasten healing is more likely to slow it down.

      (now where is Arlo with those Bitter Bunny badges?…..)

      • only two relatives have told me to “get over it,” or “you need to learn to trust again.” Not talking to either of them.

        • I always imagine a snarky retort to the trust comment, like “and you need to learn how to be supportive of a person who’s hurting”. It actually came out once, early on with a person I didn’t’ know well, and it was clearly a pretty painful blow, so I try to make it a joke when I can (“yeah, I’ll get right on that, thanks”). Still, that trust thing is a huge hot button for me. Always will be, I’d expect.

          • I’m sure it was an eye opener, too. The person will never pull the “get over it” card to someone who is hurting.

            I’d like to be able to say, “do you have an empirically-tested time table for when people are supposed to get over a variety of traumas? Because I would love to see it.”

        • Sadly I now have my mother in this category. We still talk just not about anything that concerns my mental health or emotional welfare. It’s so much easier.

          • If you cannot talk with your own mother about yout emotional welfare, then you dont really have much of a relationship left with her. That is so sad … I am so sorry.

            • Yeah. My Dad said “Honey, Come on down for the family reunion weekend, we can’t wait to see you. Just don’t talk about your situation…”

              You mean my filing for divorce after a 38 year Pathological relationship to a serial cheater? Finding out my entire marriage was a lie? Oh, that.

              I didn’t join them.

              • Jesus . . . what the fuck is wrong with people?! Sorry you have to deal with that.

              • Sorry, ChumpChange, your father was insensitive beyond belief (jeez, imagine telling someone what they can or can’t talk about!). I stopped planning a family reunion this year for the same reason–one “get over it,” + one “you need to learn to trust again” = I don’t want to see you people.

              • Chump Change

                My sister wanted to silence me also. I have been invited to her home once in two years to join her family and my father (abusive narc) for a meal I cant eat due to my diet. She never once called to ask how I was doing, or to invite me to go anywhere.

                I have cooked Thanksgiving dinner for years and years. Guess what? Last year was my last. I’m done.

              • Yeah. Whenever I think I’m the only person contemplating how nobody has my back, I come here and see I’m not alone. We wound up with these shithead cheaters likely due to the pump priming from covert narc parents. My father doesn’t understand where my people pleasing came from. Gee, from a rageaholic dry drunk abusive cheating asshole, maybe? I had a revelation that my father changed narrative on my husband when he realized my husband conned him too. Then all of a sudden daddy said he always knew cheater was no good and didn’t bother to tell me for twenty years. Same father needed me to keep quiet about my sex abuse so it didn’t ruin his relationship with my abusers father. I’ve untangled my own skein. I hate everyone.

              • Yea, send me a list of things that I can and can’t talk about… :p

                Wouldn’t want to drag down the family reunion with conversation with relatives.

                If Aunt Jenny says “I hear you are getting divorced” You say: a. “My daddy won’t let me talk about it”, b. “How about this weather?” c. “Sit down, this is going to be a long story, you’re going to need a drink…”

                Answer: b – Ask Aunt Jenny about the weather.

                When Uncle Henry asks “Where’s your husband”? You say: a. “My daddy won’t let me talk about that today”, b. “You look good, did you get hair plugs?”, c. “Sit down, this is going to be a long story, you’re going to need a drink….”

                Answer: b – Tell Uncle Henry he looks good.


      • Tempest – I get this too, and I agree. In all honesty, what I always want to say is “Fuck you.” However, my considered response is: “I’m sure you don’t mean it that way, but telling me I just need to get over it and move on is the worst thing you could say to a person in my position. Please never say that to me again.” Usually works. Of course, I’m thinking “Fuck you” probably would too.

        • Thanks Rumblekitty, Tempest, Doingme and Yup,

          My Daddy is a narcissist for sure. Was a successful character actor. It’s all about him. As an adult I realize he is sweet, lip service loving, and shallow as they come. A simpleton really. But at 84 he’s not gonna change. Between he and my critically cruel, whipsmart bi-polar Mother, I was taught that my feelings don’t matter, as the scapegoat eldest daughter my performance did. My mother would behave horrifically, and my Dad would come and tuck us in, and say “Your Mom has had a bad day, you need to love her and forgive her, and we’ll start fresh tomorrow. And Voila! I was programmed perfectly to have super high tolerance, loyalty and staying power with a covert anti-social pathological narcissist. Never saw it it coming. I learned exactly what his Cluster B personality traits were For Sure by working with the very experienced counselor at For any chumps wondering if their partner might be character disordered, that sight is a life saver.

          • Chump Change, Can you tell me more about working with a counselor there? Someone from CL’s blog directed me to a “radio show” from Safe Relationship Magazine. I completely agreed with what they had to say.

            • Martha, I work with Jennifer Young who does phone counseling. They know exactly what they are doing, this is a step by step journey, and the work is moving me forward so much towards my healing. The first part was the His Traits list. After I filled that out, we went over my answers and Jenn said “You’ve hit the Trifecta! Now you know FOR SURE that he is an anti-social, pathological narcissist! Having that come from a woman with over 20 years experience in the field of pathology was extremely validating. I am gaining real world tools to move past my cognative dissonance and understand the reality of what I am dealing with and what happened to me. I also joined their 12 week program that just started this week. There is homework. Go to and find the “contact us form”. Let them know what you are interested in (in my case it was 1 on weekly phone sessions). I had to fill out some questionaires and it took a little time, but I was accepted. This is the best thing by far that I have done for myself. They have lots of free resources too, articles, blog talk radio shows (google Sandra L Brown) and her books. Good luck!

        • You’re right, JK, the most polite AND most effective thing one could say is your wonderful line, “I’m sure you don’t mean it that way, but telling me I just need to get over it and move on is the worst thing you could say to a person in my position. Please never say that to me again.” (And we expect no less from you!)

          But you’re also right that “Fuck you” has appeal in so many situations. It’s like the little black dress of responses ; ).

  • As if the cheating and betrayal that lead up to discovery aren’t bad enough to “get over it”. it’s all the bullshit shady dealings with the cheater trying to divorce them. That shit is an ongoing process. That’s when you realize that the cheating lying backstabbing stbx is willing to further screw you over if you just rolled over and “got over it”. That’s why I have no issue with telling people the truth of what’s going on to anyone who wants to know. He’s not rewriting an ongoing history of being a dirtbag.
    It also is damn straight an ongoing grieving process to know that the person you dedicated your life to could and continue to try and cheat you out of everything on every level. It’s not so much bitterness in our parts and pursuit of some kind of justice.

    • Exactly! I keep saying that every time I think I’m on the road to Meh he does something else that I have to deal with. It never stops.

  • Yes, I believe this is one of the most misunderstood matters on recovering from infidelity. Religious people treat it as primarily a matter of forgiveness when it really is primarily a matter of GRIEVING, an emotional process. Emotions are messy, and some people simply can’t handle the mess.

    • DM, as a person raised in the Christian church, I’ve struggled to get to the place of “forgiveness” with my spouse. I finally decided that giving any thoughts of retribution to God and moving forward with my life is the closest I can get to forgiveness. I’m suspicious of people who forgive egregious harms easily, but maybe people with really strong faith are capable of it.

      • I think that TIME (lot’s of it) helps to “let go”. Letting go does NOT mean instantly feeling happy OR forgiving. It means giving up any active pursuit of vengeance while doing whatever we can to protect ourselves from what we know the cheaters are capable of. It means checking OUR motives for what we do thereafter.

        The Church seems to push instant forgiveness without ANY indication of true long lasting repentance…which does nothing except to make chumps feel even MORE injustice. Divorce is a Just remedy for unrepentant cheaters in order for innocent chumps to reclaim their lives.
        For cheaters (and those who support their narrative), the very best that Christian chumps can do for a long while is to acknowledge that time and giving the situation over to God to deal with is our best “bet” and course of action…separation and/or divorce is most often the best way to get there…and it is the best way to “show” others the seriousness of that sin.

        For those who appear to have “strong faith” to “easily forgive”…I think that they are either numb, OR like me, have already had MANY glimpses of the cheaters character all along by the time that the shit finally hit the fan. I saw indications of what my cheater was capable of early on and over the years…so by the time I caught him red handed, I fully expected it and it was a “done deal” as far as “letting go” and doing what I needed to do thereafter. It LOOKS like I “easily forgave”…but in reality, I had already relinquished myself to his dark character and KNEW that there was nothing left there to work with. I simply let go of hoping for or expecting a different outcome.

        There is a big difference between forgiving and letting go. I think once we HAVE “let go”, we can then get to the place of “Meh”, where we trust that God WILL bring justice in His due time…but forgive? Nope, a cheater needs to humbly confess and repent FIRST, and acknowledge and make restitution for all the damages he has done (this is Biblical mandate). He needs to show YEARS of true character change (even when no one is “looking”) to be proven authentic for sins of this magnitude. Meanwhile, NO CONTACT is what God would want for me. I feel sorry for those with children who keep having repeated injustices to have to deal with.

        And if he/she is dead already? God does not expect us to forgive “the sin”…that would be unjust and immoral and not in line with His nature. He wants us to let go of “the sinner” and reclaim our lives so that it eventually becomes a distant memory and has less and less impact on our souls. This often takes years to do.

        Taking scriptures in the Bible out of context regarding forgiving is the problem being promoted by a Church weak on discipline. It is easier to just pull out a singular text and club a chump who is suffering deeply over the head with it.

        • I like your comment on letting go and reclaiming your life! Like CL says, “people cheat because of something lacking in them” not you.

      • Forgiveness is for you not them. If u are a Christian it is necessary. But one is not commanded to forget or to stay with a cheater. They broke the vows…. If one reads, God has brought sever punishment against those who broke their covenant with him. Does not expect us to live with the abuser but to forgive them so we can move forward and not live forever bitter and angry towards them.

        • The forgiveness is indeed for me, as I forgive myself for tolerating an abuser who lived a lifetime of cheating and lying while living a double life. I have moved forward and have no intentions of being forever bitter and angry. I also have no intention of forgiving as that route prolonged my faith and hope he could change. Rather than forgiving him I chose to act. This included filing for divorce, going no contact, detoxing, seeing a therapist, and seeing him as an unrepentant serpent. I do not forgive evil. Not my job, never in my lifetime.

      • Lyn, to me that is forgiveness. Forgiveness does not restore the relationship. It doesn’t requore that you continue the relationship.

        • Exactly. For me, forgiveness is the very specific state of not wanting someone harmed in return for the harm they’ve done to you. You can relinquish the desire for revenge and punishment but still not ever want to see or speak to the person ever again.

          • I agree with relinquishing the desire for revenge and punishment HeatDeath. And I have no plans of ever speaking/seeing him again as he is toxic to my soul. I know I cannot control others nor do I want to. However, when I hear his business is failing, he has to sell his car to pay his rent, he’s using credit cards to live and pay his income taxes, I realize these are the consequences he earned through his actions. Yes, I smile. I live better.

    • It’s actually very freeing when you realize you don’t have to forgive others to find peace. I forgave *myself* for making the choices I did, but I will never forgive exes who treated me like shit or my family who are extremely abusive. These people never asked for my forgiveness and they don’t deserve it, since they don’t even think they did anything wrong, of course, it’s all my fault. Forgive them? Nah, they can rot in hell.

      • Thanks Kellia, that is a really helpful way for me to think about it. I don’t think I can ever forgive him for what he did but I can forgive me.

    • Considering you’ve made a vow to someone for a lifetime, and two become one in marriage, ending that in any way involves major grieving. Divorce is a death, and most people recognize it takes time to process a loss so profound.

      When one person is clearly wronged as in our case, the healing process is extremely difficult. I feel heinous crimes have been committed against my family, and the values I hold dear discarded by my STBX to fulfill his selfish, sordid desires. I fight not to feel like a victim or succumb to sorrow.

      I do forgive my STBX because I know who the real enemy is, and because God forgives us even though we don’t deserve it. I do NOT judge others who struggle with forgiving and I completely understand the feelings of injustice, betrayal, and rage. Sometimes people associate forgiveness with letting go or with giving the perpetrator a pass which I could not do since I’m not ready to move on yet (but am working towards it) and his actions will always be reprehensible. I feel forgiveness is uniquely spiritual (in a Jesus sacrificing himself covers all sins – even your cheater’s – kind of way.)

      Healing is a personal process for everyone, and we are all in different places along the path. Real life consequences of Unfaithful’s choices have caused setbacks and struggles for me that are challenging to navigate in every way. I am just overwhelmed by everything from replacing my dreams for the future and imagining my life without him to STD testing and financial fears. I am devastated that he has destroyed our family but am determined to survive this.

      • You are an incredibly strong woman, Neverwouldhaveimagined. The very best to you in your healing, and please take a small amount of comfort in knowing that you and your family will eventually be stronger for the scarring. Because of my ex-husband’s actions, my 21 year old daughter learned some unfortunate (but probably necessary) lessons about the human capacity for deceit. My sorrow at (and maternal guilt from) seeing her being forced to navigate an intolerable situation has been replaced with immense pride in her character, judgement, and emotional maturity. You WILL survive this, and please know that every single second that passes brings you further away from the nightmare and closer to peace.

        • Thanks! I have two teenage girls who need to be closer to peace, and I can only hope they triumph over this tragedy like your daughter has.

  • “And no one would like to be further ahead in this grieving shit…” YUP.

    Found the OW’s picture in my 10yo son’s phone yesterday. Talk about a trigger.

    So often, I feel good… strong…. able to see the fuckwit and the abuse honestly. And, I have a faith in God that he is preparing me for something far better than a life with Mr. Sparkles -which was only chaos, lies, abuse, and infidelity.

    These out-of-the-blue whammies are killers.

    But you know what… I’m up and showered and ready to go to work because I have a house to run and a child to build a future for and I’m grateful. Afterall, I could still be with a cheater… and there is nothing worse in life than that.

    (But I did delete the OW’s picture – I’m only human.)

    Rock on Chump Nation!

  • True. We are taught that if we provide love & respect to our significant others (and all people for that matter) we will be treated in kind. When discovering the evil that we endured it’s only natural to seek some sort of justice in order to restore our balance in order to move on.

  • In some ways my life is so good, but I have had some SERIOUS shit to grieve. First I got the Bomb Drop of his intention to Divorce, my parents (narc, Borderline, alcoholic) banished me because I spoke truth, then my son (with whom I was very close) had a mental health crisis which decimated his personality and caused him to fail out of college (he blew $75,000 I trusted him with). Another kid was also depressed and suicidal then Husband drops dead then I learn he was a serial cheater.

    Throughout this whole time I went to work every day caring for dying children…do you have any idea how much raw horrific human pain you participate in to earn $75,000 only to watch your child blow it as it it meant nothing?

    It is often said that women base their sense of success on their relationships and my parents, spouse and kids all lobbed neutron bombs at me and thought nothing of it. I am not a big fan of quantifying and comparing pain, but nowdeadhusbands betrayal, hatred and hostile discarding hurt the worst – I was SOOOO invested i that relationship and I thought I had some control over it (unlike the parent thing and the kids things which I could intuitively tell were not may fault…I did give support and love to them all but I knew I didnt drive their bus).

    Well here I am working this shit out and anyone who would tell me to turn my frown upside down meeds to be punched i the face.

    and yet I still do pretty well and Im damn proud of it. Perhaps my most dysfunctional after effect is a detachment that many might be extreme or pathologic (if my mom dropped dead tomorrow, I wouldnt care…my “give a damn” is so worn out I couldnt squeeze anymore out if I tried) – sorry if that sounds mean, it just is.

    but Im a mighty CHump who only has one life to live and I have decided that I have spent too many of my days fretting over other peoples mental issues and Im done with that. I will love and support but my days of handing myself over to their issues is over.

    • unicorn, you have certainly been through a tremendous amount of loss, on tops of dealing with a very challenging job. I’ve also noticed I have a stronger feeling of detachment from people around me now. Don’t know if it’s from feeling like everyone left me at the same time (ex left at same time kids got married and moved away), or if it’s just from living alone now. Sometimes I miss the part of me that cared about others so deeply, but now I’m afraid to get close to people. Really didn’t want to end up like my grandfather who stayed away from people because they were all too much trouble. Anyway, love and hugs to you for everything you’ve been through.

    • Unicorn I agree. My give a damn is busted also. I’m so tired of giving and investing in people that take it for granted and don’t appreciate it. The shit gets old. Time to look out for me.

    • Well said, Unicorn. Its the old oxygen mask thing. Put your own on first. You deserve to be looked after – by yourself.

    • I think I have a couple of things going on at the same time:

      When Nowdeadhusband died so young and suddenly, it showed me so clearly that life really is finite…we all know this on some level but we each have to learn in for reals by it hitting close to home. If life is THAT short then me wasting it fretting over other peoples shit is stupid.

      My mom banished me from the family (my bro and dad were punished anytime they spoke to me for 5 years). She later asked me to rejoin the family (I didnt want to but I didnt want to look petty) but when I interacted with her, it was clear that she had drunk herself into dementia. They also spent every dime they own and now make comments about my money. This, from people who refused to give me $50 for food the first month after nursing school when I was in a new job in a Pediatric ICU which only paid employees once a month.

      My older son who blew my $75,000 also turned on me when he had his crisis, he decided that our relation ship meant nothing to him.

      Learning that NDH was a serial cheater just pushed me into some serious place of “burn out”…He had blamed and blamed and blamed and the kid learned from him he/kids/parents all came after me regularly like a bunch of narc piranhas and I just had enough….I have set some healthy boundaries and refuse to get pulled into the drama.

      My D isnt beyond hope but I have told her Im not her shit receptacle. I took her to Italy and she was grumpy from Venice to Rome…havent taken her anywhere since.

      My new husband is very sweet and we have a good relationship. He is considerate ad nice and generous and I appreciate him, but I will never again fling myself at the fanblades of an abusive marriage. If H2.0 ever decides he doesnt want to be with me anymore, I wont try to talk him out of it.

  • I’ve had to grieve the loss of what I thought the next several decades of my life would be like. I don’t appreciate having a timeline thrown at me for that. It’s tough enough having to REBUILD a LIFE. Nobody is gonna tell me how long to take.

    • “I’ve had to grieve the loss of what I thought the next several decades of my life would be like.”

      3.5 years out from D-day, and I’m still grieving this. I’ve long since stopped grieving the cheater. That was relatively easy.

    • Yes! I don’t miss him but I do miss what I thought my life was going to be like; I miss what my future was supposed to be. I feel bad for my kids who were brought up having everything and now may end up with nothing.

      I did everything shy of wiping his ass for him. Now? I wouldn’t piss on him if he was on fire.

      • AMEN! This is exactly how I feel. I look at it this way – if his chickie is with him in 30 years – she claims he has to live that long so they would be married longer then we were – she is the one who will be wiping his ass and taking him to the dermatologist to have skin cancer scraped off him. Did I mention she is 21 years younger?

    • Exactly Get Out Yo! I’m in the process of moving out of the family home of 19 years. It was my decision to downsize but oh my God, it’s hard dealing with the memories involved in weeding through the accumulations of 25 years of married life. As LiningUpDucks said, I don’t miss the cheater at all but I do grieve the life I thought I was living and the lasting impact this is having on my children. Rebuilding your life is hard work. Worth it in the end, no doubt, but the process itself SUCKS.

      • I’m doing this too. And its refreshed my rage. Cheater is cooperating with doing what is necessary to sell it, but the chronic sad sausage nostalgia about the wonder of this house makes me want to kick him in the teeth. Through multiple ddays he’s bitched about the work and hating the house. Now he’s weeping over losing the house he hated. Kind of like the way he weeps over losing the wife he never loved. Where was this sentimentality when he was fucking people not his wife in the wonder house? #channelsettosadcharm

        • I get the rage. I feel that too. SO many things left undone over the years that now have to be addressed before I can sell the house. There was never enough money to do the repairs or he was too busy “at work” to do them and too cheap to pay someone else. Little did I know at the time, when he was po’ mouthing me and our kids, he was spending half his take home pay on his penis games. Fortunately, all the proceeds from the sale are mine so I don’t have to put up with the sad sausage routine. I have no doubt he’d be singing that sad song too. They are all the same, aren’t they?

    • Get Out, you got it!
      All the where do I go from here?
      Anywhere away from him is only a start. Many of us have to bail ourselves out financially for years. Then we have to figure out if we will ever be able to retire. No turning that frown upside down.

  • As an actress, comedienne, social media professional, sales professional, and a lady with some very boobsy and heavily make-up slathered Google images (alongside some different-person-altogether, what-I-suspect-must-be book cover images) insincerity seems to permeate her internet presence. Not exactly coming across as a shining star with years of relevant expertise on the topic, counseling degree or no counseling degree. Writing books and chatting on the radio don’t make a person an expert. Those things only mean the person may have talent OR may have connections and/or money.

    She doesn’t seem to me to be a person whose voice really matters much in the conversation. (Also, she smells like either a polyamorist or an OW.) Any counselor who says you should “just be cool” because “people like cool people” is suspect in my book. (Dr. Barney Stinson.)

    • Also, let me just say that a person can have loads of credibility without high-falutin’ counseling credentials – our own beloved Chump Lady comes to mind – the difference is that this article’s author is asking people to pretend they feel happy when they feel sad so other people will like them, which is really shitty, even as a joke. And she’s using “counselor”/author credentials in an attempt to legitimize that voice. I only mean to say that she has no other, better, stronger argument, and the one she’s using isn’t legitimizing anything. In fact, it makes her case worse.

  • I learned a lot about this topic when it took me nine, yes, NINE, long and exhausting years to get to meh. I left a trail of “snap out of it” folks behind me. I have no desire to engage with those people ever again. A few weeks ago I went on a date with a widower. Later we talked on the phone and, unfortunately, the subject of death vs divorce came up. He got a little huffy when I said that I thought some (not all!) divorces were worse than a death. He indignantly replied, “Well, I lost my spouse.” I then informed him that I did too, and no one brought me a casserole. I just have no patience for this BS. What I went through was horrible and it makes perfect sense that it took me almost a decade to process it.

    • Yep. There was so much opportunity there for mutual support, which you are willing to share. If he isn’t ready to see that, that’s his to wrestle. Good boundaries.

    • I know it would have been easier if my ex had died. At least I’d have had the comfort of my extended family and good memories of our life together.

      • Or your spouse could die and you could have memories of horrible times together. Assholes die too.

      • I agree Lyn. I would have preferred if my stbx had died. At least I’d get some sympathy from his family for being a struggling, grieving single mother of two teenagers. I’d get regular “check-ins” to see how I was holding up, some emotional support and offers of help. But their son/brother decided to fuck some trampy whore and abandoned us. He is a selfish dick and decided to cheat on me – so now I’m left with 100% parenting responsibilities, two hurt, confused and angry, children, and a shitty financial situation – my loss is not seen the same way by them. My 14 year old summed it up for me recently “I would have rather he died a good person than be alive as a horrible one”.

    • Yep, and I bet no one ever asked him what he did to cause his wife to die.

      • NoLongerMyProblem Thank you! I’m going to remember that. I’m sure I’ll have a chance to use it.

      • Depends on if they’re a member of a particular religious community. I know a case where this happened, and the church said that the husband’s especially horrific death at the hands of their son must have been god’s retribution for her (unspecified) sins. She left that church and never looked back.

        • My sister, a year older than I, lost her husband to cancer a year after my divorce. She was devasted, of course, but man, she sure took it well and was happy to move on, rather unfettered that he died because he died a very honorable and popular man. She understands that I was left by a cheating-no-good POS who will never have a good obituary and she thinks it’s worse than her own husband dying. However, it’s tricky and I don’t like to exactly say that to her. But, she understands the pain I’ve gone through. It may not be a good idea to out-pain somebody, no matter the occasion, but I certainly wished he had died an honorable man, and I will always mourn the loss of that. She had a kitchen chock full of casseroles and….I did not. Nobody told her to ‘get over it already’, like my niece told me. She is out of my life now too, gladly. Niece is/was a big cheater, of course.

          • Haha. SheChump – The “cheating-no-good-POS who will never have a good obit” comment is very true and makes me laugh. I so wish mine had died the honorable man I totally had believed he was. Here is an example of how delusional my Gaslighter is: A very well respected man in our small community died recently, and over 650 people were at his funeral. A friend mentioned to me, that when someone said aloud that he would be lucky to have 20 people at his funeral, my stbxh responded with “Oh, I’ll have several hundred at mine!” (Narc much?) This guy then said to my ex, “Yep, but they will all be creditors!” Hahahaha! Can’t make this stuff up!

            • …And this comment from the only child that never held a funeral or memorial service for his own mother. I still have her ashes. It’s very telling of the type of person he is.

    • I agree that divorce after infidelity is worse than losing a spouse. Death is a horrible punch in the gut, clearly, but you are allowed and expected to grieve freely and openly. You also get to keep all of your cherished memories. With divorce after infidelity, you feel guilt and turmoil for grieving someone and something that was destructive to you. Few people support your grief for more than a few months, max. You also lose your memories, because behind all of them is now an alternate story that you didn’t know. The memories lose their authenticity, and that is a cruel experience that most people don’t go through after a death. It’s not about who experienced the most pain, as that’s not a fair comparison. I think it’s more about the fact that one person lost the entire definition of the relationship itself, in addition to losing their spouse.

      • “The memories lose their authenticity, and that is a cruel experience that most people don’t go through after a death.”

        This is so true, and something I think people who haven’t been through this can understand. Losing the meaning of my memories was one of the hardest things. Now when I look back, there’s no emotion attached to the memories that used to be cherished. It’s strange not to have the father of my children around to remember the times they were little. Makes me feel like getting married and having children was just a dream.

        • Yep, that’s for me the biggest kick in the gut for me. 38 years of memories. Every birthday, holiday, adventure, vacation, event, raising 2 amazing sons, Gaslighter was a part of since I was 19.

          Now every memory is bitter sweet. I’m not sure what was real, then the cognitave dissonance sets in, so I try not to go down memory lane.

          People don’t understand this.

        • This is so true. What was real? What was fake? Everything is tainted now. All I know is that I was the real deal. My kids were and are the real deal. That will never change.

        • Wow. You’ve all explained perfectly how I feel. My ex was cheating the entire 10+ years of our marriage. Our life (and our two children) was a con, a joke, a game. Wrapping my head around that reality has been like glass in my eyes; my mind; my heart – I know now that none of it was real, and it has made me feel even more invisible, more of a joke, and more worthless. It’s better some days, and then I slide backwards on others.

          The best advice I’ve gotten – that I”m still trying to believe – is what Martha said. It was real to ME. My feelings and actions were real. My children are real. My love for them and my treasuring them is real. And the cheater? He’s the invisible, fake, illusion – a mirage of a human – that never was – that I pray will fade into dust over time. I walked out of the movie theater into the bright, painful sunlight (Outsiders reference 🙂 )…the show is over. He was an actor. He – and the fake movie that I thought was my life – never existed at all.

          Thank you all for your courage and comments. It is so very healing to know that we’re not alone.

      • We also don’t get divorce in the family days (death in the family). No one questions anyone needing time off to recover from a dead spouse. I am lucky that I am in a salaried position with a lot of vacation and sick time, but most people aren’t that lucky. If they don’t work, they don’t get paid. I also have a very understanding boss. I had to reassign all of my cases of domestic violence. I just couldn’t be what they deserved. The other cases involving assholes I kept. They deserved me.

        • I know what you mean. For a while there, I would sing to myself or play Reba McIntyre’s song, “The World Ain’t Gonna Stop (For My Broken Heart)” and its so true.

          Divorce with a cheater is harder than death in my opinion.

          When The Evil One was out chasing a piece off ass or hooking up with someone he met online, I would imag7ne him having a horrible accident, dying and his secret (and my shame, embarrassment) would die with him…kind of like Delores Claiborne…when he left, and I started spilling my guts about just exactly what I had been dealing with, my friends and family were PISSED that I hadn’t confided in them.

          Now, a year + a few months, I know I’m a million times in a better place than I was then, I am at MEH, but am I still angry!. Hell yes!!!! I dont give a flying fuck about him, but I’m still angry and yes bitter that I wasted 13 years of myself on someone that never deserved me. Thats on me, I own that.

          Like @Tempest said, if someone tells me, “UGH, enough about TEO, let’s talk about something else!”, i can deal with that, but to tell me to “get over it” or “let it go”?!?!?!? Im not the fucking Snow Queen in that Disney movie, I dont have to let go of shit, except my ex’s/TEO, LOL and anyone tells me that, theyll get my big toe in their ass!!!!!

          • ^^Bahaha..”I’m not the fucking snow queen in that Disney Movie!”.. Thanks Unsinkable…TOTALLY needed that today.

      • I have not had a spouse die, so I can’t compare that vs. infidelity and don’t want to be able to. When I’m in more charitable moods I realize that most people simply don’t know and can’t conceive of the long term infidelity pain and mindfuckery. These people usually may be lacking in the empathy department, and so it goes. I am tired of grinning through conversations with these folks.

        I have some friends who are incredibly sympathetic to me, but people I know who have actually experienced this have such a crystal clear, razor sharp knowledge of this that NO one else gets.

  • It can def be a drawn out process to get away from the betrayer, it’s not always an open and shut no contact, I have 3 young children , it took me over over 6 months just to come up with an exit strategie/plan . I was about 1 month in on a major renovation on the house. The first few months were total mind fuckery. No one wants to be in that place, a chook with its head cut off would be a good description . Baby steps , after months of pick me dances , the light slowly starts to filter thru and you realise there is better stuff waiting on the other side . I’m only just finishing my house now over, a year and a half later after finding that first knife in my back. In that time I’ve quit a high paying job , made myself no1 , and kept my kids close. I reset my life. It’s true the sooner I realised that there was nothing to save , the easier it was to handle the lies and deceit. For me I realised how many great cards I was holding, I will be out of my situation in the next few months , yeah I still have a heap of hurdles , but I know as long as I’m moving forward everything will be ok , it’s best if you don’t look back too much.

    • Very inspiring Manchump–I”m glad you’re through the worst of it. Love the “reset my life.”

    • “I reset my life” <—– PERFECT phrase/mantra/motto/whatever for me now, thanks for phrasing what I've been feeling!!!!

  • Find a new guy! Just get another man! Why arent you dating! No, no and no. Im taking care of me first i will heal and live my life. Date maybe eventually ive no desire to date. Find a guy build a new life! No at 61 the rest of my life is mine and mine alone. Share with my kids, some family, some friends and perhaps a few new ones along the way. The last “friend” who said get over it you will feel better, be his friend, be her friend, its your fault too you know i told her i will take your advice “friend” i have gotten past it, past him, will never get over what happened, i will not be friends with liars and cheater and now im pleased to say ive gotten over being ” friends” with you! Kicked and will kick every last one to the curb! They just dont get it. Who needs that shit.

    • Dating is an extremely individual thing. There isn’t a dang thing wrong with being single as long as you want, even if that’s all your life. Maybe it will change, maybe it won’t, but it’s your life and you get to be the only person to make the choice.

    • Yes, dating in itself can be a roller coaster (esp online dating!). When you’ve just gone through a trauma, it’s not always a great idea to get on a roller coaster. At least, not until you’ve healed and are ready.

      • I’d be cautious with online dating at any stage of healing. Dr. Sociopath has been lurking and lying on and other sites for years, regardless of whether he’s been single, engaged or married to me or the others. I’m sure he’s not the only dangerous cheater in cyberspace.

    • I get that a lot, too. Why aren’t you dating? Why can’t you “move on?” Ugh. I have moved on, thank you very much, but I have absolutely no desire to date or otherwise have a “romantic” relationship. I spent my entire adult life, over 30 years, being a wife and mother. I want some time to myself. I enjoy being alone! I am not saying I will never, ever date again, I am just not there yet. And if I never get there, so what? I am perfectly content with my life now. I can do what I want, when I want , with whomever I want; I wasn’t able to do that for a very, very long time. Perhaps I am closing myself off, but I don’t see it that way. Instead, I see it as getting to know myself again. I am becoming the person I want to be. If that includes living alone for the rest of my life, I am perfectly fine with that state of being. We come into this world alone and we will leave it alone, so my focus now is on trying to leave the world a better place.

      • I agree totally and my mantra do no harm. Thanks you said exactly how i feel. Big hugs!

      • That’s how I feel too, violet, although I have a male companion. Spent way too many years sacrificing myself for everyone else. Now I’m interested in finding out what I’m capable of.

      • You have described how I feel too. I am working on me first, and have no problem being alone for the rest of my life.

    • Why is the be-all and end-all of life supposed to be finding another partner? Are there no equivalent (or superior) pursuits in the universe? Very smug and myopic of people to think that coupledom is the only thing that matters in life.

      • I agree tempest. Forbid the thought we are not coupled up. Better to be single i feel and not settle just to be a couple. I cant wait to make me my femenine bedroom and have my house the way i want it. I want to couple with myself!

      • I agree Tempest. It’s very common to be single. Why do people force the issue? If we met a great person, trust me, we wouldn’t need convincing to be with that person. Nothing would stop us from dating and being with that person.

        • I’ve not had anyone in my family tell me I need to get over it and find a new man. The major concern seems to be that I’ll believe that all men are cheaters. I’ve reassured them that this isn’t true. My father was deeply in love with my mother. My brothers are dotty over their wives. And statistically speaking most men (and most women) do not cheat.

          It was my misfortune to roll snake eyes in my marriage and get one that did cheat.

          But right now, only 8 months post divorce, I’m so busy with my own life that I don’t have time to think about dating, let alone the schedule to carve out for a date. Any man interested in me will have to run to catch up. 😛

          • oh kb, it’s comments like these that make me forget I’m not on reddit and search for the ‘upvote’ button.

      • Is it my generation or just my friends? Not a lot of pressure to date. I did it to get out of the house and to stop obsessing over things I could not change but no one ever told me I should or I need to.

      • Agreed! No one should tell anyone to find someone else. Some healing needs to be done while alone.

      • Tempest, excellent point. Single is just fine, thank you.

        I just saw ‘The Lobster,’ which was a weirdly satisfying look at dysfunctional relationships and single hood. Lots to think about with regard to what Love means.

        • I can count on one hand the number of relationships or which Iknow that I myself think are healthy enough to give up singlehood. Not great odds.

          Thanks for the movie recommendation!

          • I agree, Tempest, I thought for a while there, ” (they) have their ‘happily ever after’, why should I be alone?!?!”…then, you get your senses back and realize that like all things, time is the best healer.

            Some of my best friends are young enough to be my kids, and other best friends are old enough to be my mother. Neither group have ever suggested that Imstart dating, but they have offered to find me a hook-up, but thats another story.

        • Haha. My brother just recommended the lobster to me. Apparently, you go to this place and have to find a partner. Before you start, you have to pick what animal/fish you want to be should you fail. The guy goes to the place with his trusty dog, who is his brother….as he pulls up, he sees a woman shooting a donkey…..or something to that effect. He said it was really good.

  • My Soon to be Ex had me evicted, arrested…arrested…..arrested….and jailed and just a month ago arrested for a text message. The judge dissmissed it on Friday. Point is…..I also had to deal with finding out about his cheating…..he abandoned our daughters. Last year I found out he molested one of our daughters. He moved his whore into my home with her 3 sons…..I still owned the house….I still own the nick nacks and furniture….yet she gets to live there…
    And people tell me to get over it…..Hmmm…..Hmmmmm try that yourself. Walk one day in my shoes.

    Anger…bitter….unforgiving…..Yup….that’s me. And I am fine with that.
    I grieved….I wanted to just crawl in the corner and die. It was awful. That was 4 years ago.
    Friday was the first hearing in 4 years I did not attend. I can’t stand to look at his pathetic lying face not one more minute. That’s huge for me……
    I’m getting there…but I sure as hell am no letting anyone tell me how to get there or how long it will take me…. if they want to try….I will tell them where they can go…..I’ve been there…I don’t need directions….been to Hell and Back.

      • Special place in hell for people like him. Its what i told asswipe screw me over. Ok but our kids even if they are grown. He mostly ignores them, doesnt listen to them. If they are standing in front of him loves to show them off cause they are pretty and do the big daddy routine. Both of them picked up on that right away. He was a semi good father, good provider and home most of the time but not emotionally available or great giver of his personal time. They should hear what he says about them when they are not around they wont hear it from me. They will hear it out of his own mouth eventually hes not nice when hes drunk. He used to be their hero no more. They see right through his big daddy routine he put on for the whore and her family. Of course her and her family are perfect his kids are not. And he is always asking about them from me and gets pissed cause me and the kids call and text all the time what does he expect from them when he only wants to be dad when he feels like it. These parents alienating their children for their own selfish needs is heartbreaking. All i can do is be there for them as i always have. I used to make excuses for him no more. The ho tried to talk to my daughter about it and she cut her a new one and three times dad tried to get her to side against me with him she flat out told him make me choose dad and i will choose mom she didnt do this you did! Its hard no matter what age they are. The kids should never be put in that position. He moaned to my girl mom wont be my friend, mom hates my girlfriend how could she hate her shes a good person. My girl bless her said you are not moms friend you fucked her over and mom would never ever be friends with a woman of such low moral character, your girlfriend is not a good person, shes a low life who would sleep with a married man and not care and she encouraged you to deceive mom so you too dad are of low moral character so dont push me dad! My girl i love her but that asswipe put her in a bad place and he really sucks.

        • Wow, SMH, what a douchebag!!!! Props to your DD!!!

          My daughter with ex is Autistic, and he couldnt be bothered with her when we were together, but now when has her for visits its all happy sparkly family with OWife her two kids (that he bitches about to me). ..scumbags. ..

    • Tracy, you are a fierce momma tiger for your children! I am so sorry to hear that you’ve had to deal with this POS!

      You are mighty!

    • You are mighty Tracy!!! Id love to throat-punch him and all the rest, but we are too pretty for prison, ((((hugs)))) ^5

    • Dear God in heaven Tracy!!! ((((( Hugs))))). Wow. You are an inspiration!! And I HATE them for you! What an awful human being, I’m so, so sorry to hear what that animal did to you and your sweet babies. Monster. So proud of you!

  • Great article Tracy! In this world where so many people are disordered, statements like this cause even more damage. It’s like pouring salt over the wound. It’s similar to saying: Oh just get over it! It’s completely invalidating and the opposite of what people who have been betrayed need. We will smile again, after we’ve grieved and have validated the hurt and the pain. You can’t short circuit this process. I hate statements like that.

  • Yeah, ONE MONTH after my cheater asked for a divorce, my monster-in-law said to me, “Are you STILL crying about this?” Once again this monster of a woman said something hurtful, uncaring to me. Well, she just lost her husband to death and I hope someone says something similar to her. I always wondered how my now ex could instantly turn from a loving boyfriend/husband into a cold and mean person. Well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. He’s just like his mommy. Fake, multi-faced people to the core.

    • But you had 30 WHOLE DAYS to get over it!

      (Not funny….) What a horrible woman she is. Don’t talk to her.

      • I agree. The MIL sounds like a bitch. No wonder her son turned out the way he did.

    • Yeah, check in on her in a month and ask her the same question

  • I say, “Fantastic if it makes people uncomfortable.” (Disclaimer … if you’re in a dangerous relationship, then talking about it might be the worst thing you can do … I’m lucky in that I am not.)

    I talk about betrayal because it’s abuse, and we need to talk about abuse. My grandmother’s generation didn’t talk about bathroom habits, my mother’s generation didn’t talk about cancer, my generation didn’t talk about menstruation… all huge secrets … OMG!!!! Don’t say that word around your brother!!!!

    So today? YAY!!!! We talk about human rights, LGBT, bullying …. it’s out there, we’re talking, and we’ve learned something from our ancestors … don’t whisper it, TALK ABOUT IT!!!! MAKE A DIFFERENCE to even one person’s life, that chump hiding behind the asshole who’s telling you to get over it, for example!!!

    Infidelity’s blameshifting, gaslighting, and entitlement reminds me a whole lot of the bullying I got in public school … and back then I didn’t talk about it … NOW i AM TALKING. Just try to stop me.

    • Champ

      “I talk about betrayal because it’s abuse, and we need to talk about abuse,” This is a powerful statement for the abused to hear. I feel this is a public service announcement and should be on billboards, busses, and taught at an early age. Love it!

  • What on earth do I have to be bitter about? Sure, my husband moved us 2000 miles across the country for his “dream job”, forcing us to leave our friends and old lives behind but that’s no big deal. My daughter who was a promising gymnast, who lived for gymnastics, and who would have been a Level 10 last year, had to give it up because there were no gyms in the area we were moving to. My son loved one sport- hockey, and playing the cello. Did our new town offer either of those? No, no it did not. But again, no big deal to completely shuck your life so dear old Dad is happy. It will all be for the best and this was going to make our future so much better. We bought a new house, filled it almost entirely with brand new furniture, we bought a new car, and then we spent almost $60k putting in an inground pool, something we promised the kids for moving. All of that sounds amazing, right? Only six weeks after we get out here dear husband is complaining about his “dream job”. Less than a year after we moved he restarted his affair. The entire time we were overseeing the construction of the pool (it was supposed to take 3 weeks; it took 10) he was giving that bitch money and bought her and her daughter new cell phones AND paid the bill, lying to me the entire time. In August, six days after our pool was finally filled I got a message from the whore’s husband letting me know my husband had been spending his weekends in Whore Town with the whore.

    Get over it! Look on the bright side! I did. I faced the facts; I accepted what was going to happen. I consulted lawyers and I filed for divorce. I wasn’t bitter; I was heartbroken and had no idea how I was going to break the news to my kids or what was going to happen to us.

    He kept upping the ante. I find out he’s cashed in the rest of his stock. He’s taken out a loan on his 401k. He opened a checking account with her, deposited half of his check into that account each month and gave her a debit card so she could freely spend out of it. The half he deposited into “our” account? I was expected to pay all the bills with that money while he lived rent-free in our home. He’s interviewing for jobs out of state. I wasn’t bitter; I was disgusted. I felt betrayed. Because I had been.

    Approximately 6 months after D-Day he finally moves out of the house. I find out a week or so later that he had quit his job and moved several states and 7 hours away. He moved us 2000 miles across the country, systematically dismantled our lives, and then he took off! He didn’t bother to tell me. He didn’t bother to tell the kids. He just left and I found out when my support check wasn’t automatically deposited into my account. His cell phone was a company phone which he had to return when he resigned so I had no way of getting in touch with him. I cried for the next week not knowing if he was planning on never paying another dime again or if he would fulfill his obligation. I was envisioning having to pull my kids out of school midyear and it broke my heart. I wasn’t bitter; I was scared. Yet I still dealt with all that crap! I faced everything head on, despite the tears and the fears. I kept my shit together for the sake of my kids.

    And then in June I get a text message from him: I lost my job today. There won’t be anymore money coming your way. I guess you’ll just throw me in jail. To put a cherry on top of that shit sundae he apparently checked himself into a psych ward, is claiming PTSD and has supposedly been ordered by the VA to attend outpatient therapy 3 days/week for 4 hours a day for some undetermined amount of time. So now almost 2 years to the day we moved across the country my kids and I are going to be moving again. This time we’re moving 600 miles away, in with my mom. We have to get rid of our cats, I’m selling off almost everything I own, and my kids are once again starting over. My daughter gets to finish out her last two years of high school at a new school. The one silver lining at her current school was the fact they had a gymnastics team. Now she won’t even have that and cheerleading tryouts have already been held and practice has already started. My son was finally making friends and was going to join the high school marching band as an 8th grader. Gone. As for me, I was watching fireworks last night and calculating how much I would be making if I work at the hospital and work overtime every week. I’ll end up with approximately $600 left over for the month and that’s not putting in anything towards my share of utilities or paying rent. Yep, life’s looking fantastic.

    I do my best to look on the bright side, to find that silver lining. I know others have it worse than me. I’m trying not to be bitter but some days it’s damn hard. Every time I pick myself back up he does something else. I don’t even bother asking what else could he possibly do because that asshole can undoubtedly sink just a little bit lower. Bitter? No. I’m feeling defeated and I’m pissed. I’m mostly over it. I’ve dropped the rope and have accepted that this is what has to happen. As my son says, “No use crying over what you can’t change.” I agree and yet sometimes I feel a little bit sorry for myself and I mourn all that my kids and I are losing. Again. Anyone who doesn’t like it or can’t deal with it can kiss my ass.

    • Nolongermyproblem – omg, your husband sounds like a monster. He’s a liability, just simply ruining everything on his path, until he completely destroyed his family. No wonder he checked himself into the pysch ward, he’s crazy. I can’t find one redeeming quality in him from everything you described, very selfish and self-absorbed. I’m so sorry you were married to such an ogre like this. Big hugs to you.

      • Thank you, Kellia. He’s all kinds of crazy these days. Actually I think he’s just entitled. He’s been living a fantasy life and now that reality is intruding he’s going to his go-to routine which is having a temper tantrum and then shutting down. For at least 4 months it was spend, spend, spend. He bought her kids a Great Dane puppy, spent over $4000 for a diamond ring for her, bought a $300 dress for her daughter, spent $800 at Christmas on her kids… Then he got his bonus check in January and it looks like they went to Daytona Beach for Spring Break. After he finally had to send me the checks to pay the final installment for the pool and my share of the bonus he wasn’t left with much. Now that there’s no more money he’s crazy. Boo-freaking-hoo.

        • I can only hope all these bastards/bitches get exactly the lifes they deserve.

        • Your ex sounds manic depressive or bipolar. And it sounds like he had money to offer, but nothing else, since he was a cheater, liar and didn’t seem to care much about his wife and children. And I fail to understand how someone who spends so much, would have no reserves or funds to fall back on. This guy seems quite mentally unstable, and needs to be on meds.

          • We never really saved a lot plus he walked away from $30-40k in restricted stock when he quit his job. I have his bank records and it’s amazing the amount of money he has spent. Starting in January once the temporary support order kicked in OW began depositing money intuitive the account as well. In June between the two of them they deposited approximately $10k. The balance at the end of June was a little over $3000. From what I could see there was no rent paid out of it. They did pay some utilities and a cell phone bill, possibly some insurance but most of it was spent on fun stuff.

    • So sorry NoLongerMyProblem-Your soon to be ex sounds like a real douchecanoe! I wish I could kick him swiftly in the nuts for you….twice.

      Chump Nation has your back girl. You are so mighty! Jedi hugs coming your way!

    • Unbelievable and so sorry you went through this crap. I have no doubt your ex is/was not living in reality and unfortunately reality is going to bite his ass and soon. He won’t be able to make a living as this crap follows you and if he does land a decent job he owes you. Crazy or not he cannot get out of support. Has the OW left him yet or is she still hanging on?

      • I believe she’s still hanging on but I don’t know for certain. They are 6 hours away and I’m pretty much no contact with him. I could ask her husband (ex-husband maybe by now) but I simply don’t care enough.

    • I am so, so sorry, what an unbelievable self absorbed entitled narc. I was throwing myself a little pity party today (our narcs have some similarities as I moved for mine) and your story has snapped me right out of that. Wishing you all the best.

      • NoLonger

        It never ceases to amaze me how truly brave chumps are. Yes he sounds crazy. Follow that money trail regardless of what he tells you. Hugs to you and your children.

      • Thank you but I know my story isn’t even close to the worst one here. I do appreciate the support though.

    • NoLonger, you are amazing for holding it together as well as you have. Your ex sounds like one of the worst. I’ve got a friend whose husband abandoned her when she was diagnosed with a terminal disease and he cashed out all his retirement so she wouldn’t get any. He left her completely high and dry with no means to support herself after 35 years of marriage. Even though the courts ruled that he had to pay her support, he promptly quit his job and went to work on a cash only basis, after he moved to another state. The only way she might get any help from him is if she lives long enough to draw social security off of his account. For now she lives on meager disability payments, food stamps, and the charity of friends. I put your ex in the same category as hers.

    • Nolonger, whoa. What a devastating two years you’ve lived through.

      Digging a big hole in the yard = apt metaphor for what he did to you.

      In another era, justice would act swiftly on his cowardly ass.

      You, on the other hand, are amazing. Look at what you did, girl! Your kids sound amazing, too. That’s down to you. Imagine if you weren’t their mom {{shudder}}.

      YOU MATTER. In fact, you are the most important person in this story. Don’t forget that. Keep coming here.

    • NoLonger–I hope you have one kick-ass lawyer who is about to unleash a forensic accounting investigation on your STBX’s ass to explore all those missing funds and “no job” bullshit. Your cheater is evil, no two ways around it, and your anger/bitterness/rage are perfectly righteous.

      If you are not fully divorced, also make sure that your attorney includes a life insurance mandate so that jackass MUST name you as beneficiary to compensate for child support should he croak. Then we all sit back and cross our fingers.

  • Was this article aimed mostly at women? Would she tell a man to “turn his frown upside down” after his wife left him?

    • True. Plus, anyone who uses an insipid phrase like “turn your frown upside down” is automatically relegated to my IGNORE file drawer. If I wanted my intelligence insulted, I’d watch Barney episodes on an endless loop.

        • I wanted to gag or become violent at the “Lighten up and be cool.” Is this high school? Anyways, don’t watch scientifically accurate Barney if you’re not somewhat twisted.

          • @Annie get your Gun, What this gal is talk’n about is image management, cause the yellow bellied coward framed the narrative first, sometimes months, even year’s before an unsuspecting Chump even knew what the hell was going on; but I must admit my gut SCREAMED at me every day.Roll with it, go with it, turn that frown upside down. Bull SHIT! Yeah, I didn’t “Lighten UP”, I turned all the “light’s on” and turned the narrative back around to fall full square on the POS’s life, ego and “image”. Bitter is for Dark Chocolate Cake! Anger is for expressing that one is a feeling, breathing human being.If they don’t like my narrative, then I just tell them, as one Chump posted, there’s a reason why your Rear View Mirror is smaller then your Windshield.

            And when the POS, try’s to start engaging; Pouty Sad Sausage Stage due to consequences, I just love throwing back ” Get Over It”. ECHO Chamber of all the shit projected.

            Love and Light! to Tracy and Ya’ll.

  • I moved across the country after my divorce to take a job working for my old friends, John and Lisa.

    When the news of my ex-husband’s whore fucking double life broke, they were very sympathetic and cool about it… and offered me this job that I took. I’ve known them a long time, they were at my wedding all those years ago.

    In the year since my divorce, they’ve both made it clear that they think my healing is taking too long. They’ve been together about 25 years, so about 4 years longer than I’d been with my husband.

    I realized quickly than the best course of action was to just avoid ever mentioning my ex or certainly anything about how I was feeling about him or what happened.

    About a week ago, John told me that he had a bad dream the night before where Lisa told him she wanted a divorce. He said the dream was so realistic…. she was being so mean…. like she didn’t even care. He then told me how much of a relief it was to wake up and see her next to him. He said “Thank god, that was the worst dream.”

    I WANTED to say “Wow. That sounds shitty. Now imagine if you woke up and DIDN’T get that feeling of relief. Imagine if you woke up and realized it was even worse than the dream. Imagine now that that’s happened the last 800 or so times you’ve woken up”

    But I didn’t say anything. I’ve gotta work for him. I’m just hoping that he knows me well enough to know that me saying something is me screaming “FUCK YOU”.


    • I MEANT TO SAY “me saying NOTHING is me screaming “FUCK YOU”. Why do I try to write before I’ve ha enough coffee?

      • GTT; It is clear to me that not only does one have to go through this yourself to fully understand the depth of the ditch you need to climb out of with everything that comes with the infidelity package; but also just like your friend and his dream reveal, it confronts their own worst fears for their own life.

        I was cheated on in a 4 year relationship when I was much younger which was also devastating, but when you have your whole life ahead of you it is easier to rebuild, still trust, etc. You have time.
        Like someone earlier in this post said, when all your memories, your vision of the future, your basic feelings of trust are shattered and so many years stolen, it is impossible not to be devastated. Yet have also found that people do not understand the lingering rage, grief and continuing internal challenges that come with the Infidelity Package.

        Those of you who had a gay partner who used you as a front, this additional betrayal which they knew they were inflicting from the start, well lets just say they are lucky to have come through it with a pulse. A whole new level of selfishness and debauchery.

    • @GTT–John is a toxic glowing example of an insensitive asshole. I’m sorry that happened and really sorry you have to interact with him everyday for your job.

      I expect this to remain with ME for quite a while, it’s such an epic suck ass thing to have said.

      {{hugs}} to you


  • Well if one spends 25 plus years with someone…. And you find out it’s been 25 years of false vows and promissed, it kind of makes one bitter! To have to start over when u are knocking on 50 blows! Some much wasted time!

    • Forty one years was the magic number for me and I’m thankful no one has ever called me bitter. In the past two years since DDay I’ve gained a much better life. My granddaughter said, “Grammy, your life is so much better now.” The sadness has lessened. Healing has no specific timeline. The day will come when you feel relief you will never have to wake up next to him ever again. It’s a process no one should rush. Take all the time you need.

  • Good timing for the re-run of this article. Thank you!
    I’m on vacation with my kids, keeping things as normal as possible for them, STBX couldn’t be bothered to take his kids anywhere- only time for OW since he devalued and discarded nearly 2 years ago. The shit keeps coming in the divorce and with my middle daughter. And yet I’m expanding my career, keeping everything going with my home and kids, even have time for some fun in my life between the tears. Moving slowly towards meh.

    Invited a girlfriend to our lake resort for the day / she brought another woman I’ve known casually for 20 years. I told them of STBX’s latest and the other woman said “I can’t believe you’re so bitter after ALL this time!” What.The.Fuck? The event I was discussing happened Friday! Turns out, sure enough, she was the OW in a prior relationship.
    I got up, said nothing, walked away and found an empty chair in another area of the resort, enjoyed a long call with another friend who was grieving the death of her husband, and then swam and played with the kids. Fuck that noise! Still bitter? Damn right I am and fuck anyone who tries to take my right to feel and grieve and live in the truth of the aftermath of this abusive horror my STBX brought on me and our children.

    I will not give one second of my new life to people like that.

  • In my opinion it’s worse than grieving. Death is inevitable. Infidelity is not. It’s a choice. We all want to be happy. The fact is many of us are lonely and worn out working and being a single parent. Sbrochi’s article is victim blaming – plain and simple.

    • I agree infidelity is worse than death. And you can’t even compare the two. One is betrayal, while the other is a sad event, but not as damaging as the lies, betrayal and trauma it causes. And one can look back at death and have peace of mind living the kind memories of the deceased, and knowing there was love there. Not with infidelity, where the damage may very well hurt forever. It’s 2 completely different situations that you can’t even compare the two.

  • I find that it isn’t so much the affair that makes me bitter anymore, it’s the aftermath that kinda kicks you in gut over and over again. You know…..when you struggle to make ends meet, when your children and their lives are continually affected by the demise of your relationship with your spouse, when you are tired of being the only responsible parent, etc. That’s when bitterness takes over and rears it’s ugly head.

    Everyone heals at a different pace but I think the truth of what happened in your life and relationship is ever present. Someone you loved is gone with no real explanation and now your life is forever altered, not of your own doing but that of the one person you joined with forever.

    • Kimmy, spot on. That is where I am at…..I’m glad the loser is gone. It is the aftermath that exhausts me some days.

      • I feel like i’m entering that stage as well. Just today, I had to go home at lunch to take my daughter to school so she could work on year book stuff. Asked her to call her mom and see if she could do it. It uses my whole lunch hour because her school is on the other side of town. Mom didn’t answer her phone so I did it. Take her by mom’s to get something. Mom was there just asleep. AT NOON!!!! She’s not working because her last job was too hard. Then not an hour later she texts me asking where her child support is. Well stupid, my employer sends it to the state the last day of the month. The day I get paid. Don’t ask me where it is. I sure don’t have it. My daughters are living with me mostly even though it’s supposed to be 50/50. I pay for clothes, school fees/supplies, cars, insurance, etc. Yeah, I’m bitter!!! Stupid cheater x!
        I too am tired of being the responsible one. Now, I get to fund college for the oldest all by myself! I am thankful my kid is going to college. I was just always lead to believe mom would go back to work to help out when we reached this point. Instead, she cheats and wants a divorce. It is exhausting guys! I want one of those baths that just takes you away from reality! Forever!

    • That was perfectly stated Kimmy. It’s the aftermath now that kicks me in the teeth occasionally and reminds me that my family and future is ripped apart and I am left holding the bag of responsibility as the main child care provider and household manager.

    • Well said, Kimmy!!!! My #1 reason Im still pissed.

  • Cheater ex#1-after a year out from all the BS, my friend and his said to me, “Get over it, already.” I was married for 20 years with a teenage son. Karma comes to bite, a year later his wife cheated on him.

  • PS- these new non-cheating , non asshole men and women were are supposed to date can be found under what tree when you shake it? Is there a “Dating” tree similar to the likes of the elusive “Money” tree???

  • Tracy, this is why you rock. You tell the truth that us Chumps know. It was unjust, we were treated shabbily and it hurts. Thanks for all you do.

  • I didn’t get the “I always come back to you” statement it was the “I never meant hurt you” gem. Well, isn’t that so very kind of him? By D-Day number 2 we were separated but divorce wasn’t a conversation we had had which is why I thought we still had a chance and why the second D-Day was so devastating to me. If he was done with the marriage it was a complete shock to me since he was over to the house three and four times a week, spending holidays and taking vacations together. If it was okay for him to have another woman in his bed why did he have to hide it and lie about it when I discovered the evidence?

    I do have some friends that have told me that if a person cheats there is something wrong in the marriage. Really? You think? Maybe what’s wrong is that the spouse doing the cheating has some significant character flaws and self-control issues. Yes, I really wish I could “just get it over it” so that I can move on with my life without the nightmares, panic attacks and feelings of being unwanted and undesirable. If it were that easy, I would have divorced him before D-Day number 2 could even occur. But I’m a chump and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to just turn off my feelings the way he can any time those feelings become inconvenient to him. If he was really done with the marriage he would have divorced me. Period. Instead, he’s left that piece of unpleasant business for me to handle. How very kind of him AGAIN to give me all of the responsibility (and blame). If he really didn’t see me as his wife anymore why did he need all those cheating apps on his phone? Why go through the charade and expense of “hiding it” with an Ashley Madison account if he felt he was entitled to go off and do whatever he pleased? Those aren’t the actions of a rational human being.

    “I never meant to hurt you” translates to “I never expected you to find out and I have no intention of discontinuing the thing that hurts you.” When actions don’t match up to someone’s words, that’s a huge red flag. If you didn’t mean to cause me any pain you wouldn’t have played the hide the pickle with someone else’s fiancée. He wants to stay friends but who needs friends like that? He can take his friendship offer and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. Or perhaps he should just get over it.

    • Done4Good, he didn’t mean to cause you any pain because he didn’t consider you at all. Mine also wanted to “stay friends,” but all I could think was “if this is the way you treat your friends, I’d hate to see how you treat your enemies.” Sheesh. I couldn’t get far enough away from him.

      • I think CL has stated this as well but staying friends helps them with the illusion that all is okay and that he’s not really a bad guy because see, we can hang out together and be best buds. All of that is smoke and mirrors and only perpetuates the idea to others that their poor life choices weren’t all that destructive to their families. I haven’t agreed to be friends. I’ve decided to be “friendly” for the sake of our five-year old. But even that cordiality doesn’t mask the poison he projects as even my little one tells me she doesn’t want to stay with daddy because he’s not nice.

    • I posted this response to the wrong feed, but you all get the gist. I guess having that one extra day off messed up my brain!

    • Studies have revealed that 80% of those who cheat are “happy in their marriage”. Therefore, shit-character really is the culprit, unless scientists locate a specific gene for stupid.

    • “I do have some friends that have told me that if a person cheats there is something wrong in the marriage.” Yep. I heard this bullshit too.

      What these people don’t understand is, if there was something wrong in the marriage, that was news to me. My X was affectionate as could be, we had a fantastic sex life, we did everything together. We rarely fought about anything. If there was something wrong, the only thing I can point to was that he was fucking someone else’s wife behind my back. That’s what was wrong in our marriage.

      The mind-fuck for me is just that . . . I had what I thought was a pretty great marriage. But now I can’t trust that. I can’t trust that if things seem good, they really are. Now I’m dating another, and sometimes I’m confused about what is real, and what isn’t? Or what is worth worrying about, and what isn’t.


      • There was something wrong in the marriage, which is only as strong as the weakest link–and the weakest link was an entitled, spoiled, poor-impulse control cheater.

      • I don’t know if I will ever be able to trust another man again. People tell me if I let that stop me from being with someone else he wins, but I I just have no desire to be placed in that situation again. I barely survived this relationship with my sanity intact.

        • Well, this relationship is different. It’s not that I don’t trust him, it’s more like I just don’t care. I don’t worry that he will cheat but if he does, I’d tell him to fuck himself and leave.

          I don’t know that I like being this way, but that’s how I feel now. I’ve been through the worst already . . . what can he do to me?

          • You really don’t know and nothing in life is a guaranty. Sometimes we have to take risks, that’s all we can do, and let things play themselves out. One of my gfs was getting ready to marry her boyfriend, they had a great courtship, rarely fought, and it turns out he lied about his profession. He pretended to be an airline pilot, when he was a mechanic. He’d wear the cap, the suit each time, pretending to fly for Lufthansa. But everything else seemed to indicate that things were amazing between them. And then everything crumbled when she found out he had lied to her about his profession, he had never been a pilot, nor even flown a plane, ever. It did a number on my friend, where she even started doubting her own sanity. She’s recovered, but she met a great guy and over time started trusting him again, but it took years. She’s in a good place now.

      • It’s amazing how this bullshit is tossed out over infidelity, but not other breaches of contract or crimes. No one says, “Well, there must have been something wrong with the business,” when someone embezzles from a partner, or “Well, there are two sides to every story,” when someone robs a stranger on the street, or “Maybe his needs just weren’t being met,” when a dude is convicted of raping some woman he encountered in a parking lot. Hell, you don’t hear, “I prefer not to take sides,” when someone is busted for child abuse, but cheating gets a pass from most people in our depraved society.

  • not to highjack the thread but if you haven’t seen it, Kibblesnbits rewrote the Declaration of Independence yesterday over on the general forum.

    Take a look, it’s EPIC!

  • The emotional pain between the cheater and me is about as equivilant as the pain difference between a snake and its rabbit victim. Which one heals faster?

  • We’ll I’ve had 7 years to “get over it” but now I’m dealing with my 18 year old daughter’s depression which has developed partially as a result of ex’s emotional abuse of her. She processed it all as a child and it’s all comes out as an adult. So am I bitter? Maybe. Am I pissed off with him all over again? Yes!
    Wow betide anyone who tells me to get over it. That narcissist comes back to haunt us .

    • I’m sorry, Justine–it is horrible when the cheater’s behavior comes back to haunt the children.

  • I think labels like ” bitter “, ” jealous “, ” insecure”, etc have one main purpose. To discount the experiences of the person being labeled, and to control them. That is why cheaters LOVE to use them against their spouse.

    • Preach it, Anita–invalidation and denigration are two of the most useful tools of someone seeking to dominate another person.

      • So true, Tempest! And every single person who ever told me I was jealous, insecure, etc was always the one CAUSING those reactions. And I call it a reaction because it is in response to a hostile action against me. Never again .

  • I spent 14 years of turning my frown upside down around his friends and family who had no idea of all the lies and abuse I was dealing with behind closed doors. They had no idea of the porn addiction that he had replaced our sex life with. He would show affection to me around them but they had no idea that’s the only times I would receive any during the last 3 years of our marriage. They never read all the heart felt letters that I had written to him over my sadness of just being roommates and my fears that he would take his addiction to the next level. He’s the only one that saw those tears and the frown that I wore inside of what appeared to be such a happy home.

    But he huffed and puffed and blew the shingles right off that happy home along with all the spackle that had held it all together on the night of D-day. There is no pretending of emotions anymore where he’s concerned and he’s pissed that I’ve told the truth to family and friends, along with a few strangers here and there, just because it felt damn good to do so. Schmoopie now gets the role of being the next spackler. She’ll need to search for it out of town though because I’ve already used up all that Lowe’s carried in our area.

    And I’ll get over it when I’m damn good and ready.

    • Schmoopie now gets the role of being the next spackler. She’ll need to search for it out of town though because I’ve already used up all that Lowe’s carried in our area.

      And I’ll get over it when I’m damn good and ready.


      LOL and a a high five! !!! Stay strong, honey!!!

  • Boy, this struck a chord….My CheaterP struck up his affair after 25 years of marriage and his own cancer diagnosis. I had spent many years adjusting to various challenges he brought to the marriage, because, chumpy old me believed that marriage was give and take. I made the decision to ‘stick it out’ with CheaterP because I did not want to share 25 years of our finances with the Schmoop…I did not bank on CheaterP lasting another 7 years before the cancer got him. He passed away in 2012 and I was left with the dual emotions of anger (for the cheating, lying and betrayal) grief (for his very messy horrific cancer death) and confusion…(how to come to terms with the conflict) on top of having been moved away from family and supportive friends…If someone tells me to get over it, they are cruizin for an earful….

  • I just read the original article from Huffpo and I would just like to say What a sanctimonious bitch the author is. She just really has ALL the answers doesn’t she? Dumass.

    • I laughed at this article, and tried to apply it to my own circumstances.


      He told every single whore I was a bitch for 36 years of marriage. Hmmm….during the divorce I was a bitch, finally. He wanted my pension, health benefits and expected me to pay for the travel to see my son at college weeks before dday. I did bitch when his lawyer was fired (the two raged at the lawyer and she withdrew). I also bitched because I was spending 300 an hour and he didn’t show up for court after waiting another six weeks for him to hire another lawyer. I did bitch when the entitled prick called the police stating I broke into my daughters house, he called his home when he was NOT living there. I did bitch when the whore approached me in public places and asked me in her crack, bar whore two pack a day voice how it felt to be ‘alone’.

      Note: Cluster B’s don’t bitch, they rage, bully, and feel justified about their entitlement.


      Oh hell yeah, my attitude sucked during the divorce. He lied to my children, called my lawyer and she had to hang up on him because of his abuse. The whore repeatedly approached me as he swayed in a drunken stupor. As soon as the moron signed the agreement, I smiled and my attitude changed to one of victory.

      Keeping Score:

      Really? This is a fucking joke. His cheating 18 that I know of. My cheating 0. All the lies he told, hundreds. Mine, 0. The money I reported, accurate. The money he reported 0. He over estimated the worth of his two vehicles by at least 8000 (dummy, these are assets), my worth of vehicle, less than actual value, it does have dings, lol. He wasn’t happy for the last three years of our marriage. I want happy for thirty six years of his living a double life.

      Not Cool:

      Ok, he wins the prize. My daughter gave him a card for fathers day saying he was ‘cool’ dad. Yup, he hit on her friends, her friends mothers, took her to OW’s houses as a child, smokes weed daily, gets drunk, and acts like an immature 15 year old who can get a hotel and skip using condoms. Party, dad.
      Me, I’m a dud I guess. I spent 11 years going to college, worked every year since I was 13, had sex with only one person in my life, and I get drunk on two drinks.

      Bitter is Heavy:

      Clarity is enlightening isn’t it? How does one make a divorce with a fucktard better?

  • This post was timely. I stumbled upon the email I sent to cheater ex about filing for divorce while looking for something else. It was syrupy kind and I cannot believe I even wrote that! Yes, I was firm that I wanted a divorce but I had this line, “I have no resentment towards you …” and more similar stuff from my higher self. Reading it today made me want to puke. I’m thinking that there was still some hopium smoking going on (this was less than 2 months from the final DDay) at that time. (I deleted the email after I read this line.)

    Today, three years out and at meh, I am so glad I am no longer that woman being so kind in spite of the emotional abuse I got throughout the marriage. I can now see exactly for who the cheater ex and how our marriage was simply a cover-up so he could be regarded as a respectable member of the community.

    I had to grieve my marriage. I am sure my faithful friends wanted to run the other way when I started talking about the ex. But my friends listened and listened and listened. And I would do the same for them. Chumps, we have no choice here. We have to get through this shit storm. We can’t go around it, pretending to be zen about it. If we do that, the pain will somehow find its way back into our lives. It hurts like crazy but getting to the other side is worth it.

  • Wow, four years out and I still cannot respect my x or myself. My children are struggling to maintain a relationship with him but all of their and my memories are tainted by his self absorbed prattle. I keep beating myself up about the fact I stayed with a man who thought we were there solely to serve him , to adulate him. My sons have at least acknowledged that I may have been codependent but I always was a loving and encouraging presence in their lives. Yeah, I think they still think I’m an idiot. I still think I royally fucked up and should have left the creep when the first red flags showed up but … hey all his friends said he was such a nice guy, why would I ever suspect he used hookers, had one night stands, slept with his friend’s wife etc. ? I strongly suspect those friends were woven from the same cloth!

    • I’ve had similar thoughts. Why didn’t I see the red flags and leave him sooner? It can be hardest to forgive ourselves. The truth is you are a strong person who found the courage to leave a major mind-fucker. We often don’t see clearly while our head is being messed with. I believe we were doing the best we knew to do at the time. Once we knew better, we did better. You are also an encouraging and loving person despite the crap you were put through. There’s a lot to respect about you.

    • But ARE you co-dependent?

      I’ve been reading Sandra Brown’s book Women Who Love Psychopaths, and while I’m not suggesting your ex is a psychopath (well, not yet, anyway!), she has put together a profile of women who are most likely to fall for these awful men.

      They are NOT generally clingy, needy, women. They’re generally extraverted, outgoing, adventurous women who have high empathy, a really good ability to bond and to show affection, and with plenty of loyalty.

      In other words, it’s women who actually have a lot of good traits who are the most likely to fall for the lies and manipulations of a psychopath. And yet they’ve gone to therapists and simply been branded ‘co-dependent’, when before the ghastly relationship, they were actually kick-ass women.

      We see a lot of chumps like that – people who were really kick-ass, but who got beaten down and humiliated and degraded and devalued by their cheater, sometimes over decades.

      The good news is that recovery back to the kick-ass original self is VERY POSSIBLE if you can dump the cheater, get your life back, get some good therapy that affirms rather than blames, and of course go No Contact and maintain this.

  • I don’t believe people “Get. Over. It”. I think betrayal changes you forever, in good ways and bad ways. Perhaps, you learn to set better boundaries with people. Perhaps, losing your lover/”best friend” causes you to seek out better friends. However, this does not mean there aren’t scars. It doesn’t mean we won’t occasionally be ambushed by tears of grief x months/years after the loss. I sometimes wonder if the “just get over it people have experienced any major loss in their life. If not, I think they will change their mind when someone dies or betrays them.

  • Perfect timing. I just found this site today. My sister told me yesterday that “i need to let go” and”i am so angry”, Of course I am. Every memory of my 31 year marriage is tainted. Everything I thought was real was a facade. He had 1 mistress for 4 years and another for 2. He was actually cheating on the first whore with the second one. I only found out about the cheating because #1 got jealous of #2 and called me at work to let me know about their affair. AT WORK! I thought I was picking up a business call and my whole world was changed.My divorce was final 9 months ago. My first grandchild was born just 2 months after he left. 5 months after that my oldest son (babys dad) was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. So I had to see the ex for the first time since he walked out at a cancer benefit for our son. This prick spent the evening cozying up to MY family all night long. Laughing, joking, backslapping and it made me sick. But I plastered on that fake smile. I didnt speak to him. I choose not to acknowledge him at all. I was beginning to think I was refusing to let it go. It makes me feel so much better to see other people who understand what I can’t seem to put into words.

    • “This prick spent the evening cozying up to MY family all night long. Laughing, joking, backslapping and it made me sick.”

      He is a real prick indeed. And I wish your family would have treated him like the scum he really is, like the dirt you scrape off of your shoe. Tolerating him, while he’s laughing, joking and backslapping. I’m glad at least you had the common sense not to acknowledge him at all, nor speak to him.

  • have read very few helpful articles on HuffPost Divorce and this one isn’t fit to wipe my ass with. Along with those lovely people who say “People get divorced all the time”. Yeah, they do. the man in particular who said that to me was divorced. I looked him straight in the eye and said “Being cheated on and lied to for the better part of 3 years is devastating. I would rather he would have beat me and left physical marks. The marks that he has left are invisible. If I had a black eye you would be much more sympathetic.”

    I heard the same bullshit. ‘I never meant to hurt you.’ I asked him why he continued to lie to people, his response “I don’t want people to see me as a bad person”. Guess what dude you are a bad person you fucked another woman while married to me and you lied about it to EVERY ONE you know including your dying mother.

    I recently changed my facebook marital status to “Widowed” and got messages from people who expressing their condolences. I told them I was divorced but he was dead to me. Am I bitter? No but there are days when I am still really angry simply because he is such a jerk to our sons.

  • One thing I love about Chump Lady, besides the great blog posts Tracy writes, is all the other brilliant minds on here that help me get clarity on things that are confusing me.

    Take being called Bitter, for example. We all know that’s cause we are “unforgiving, and that forgiveness isn’t for the other person, it’s for you!!”

    From here and Divorce Minister, I have sorted out that there are two Types of people who wronged you and that you are supposed to forgive. Those who actually are remorseful, and those who are not.

  • I heard the tripe about forgiveness from the ex, while he was concurrently continuing on with the whore, showing no remorse, and indeed saying he’d done nothing wrong. But yet i was unforgiving.

    I think Forgiveness is used as a tool against you by people who have done you harm. And want to continue to do you harm. I’ve been around enough psychos to know that they can spout out I’m sorry with the same ease they spout out the rest of their horseshit. It’s just another manipulation. I’ve done the forgiveness with these nuts before, and trust me it did everything for them, nothing for me.

  • I also feel that when you forgive a person who is unremorseful, you are risking harm to yourself, psychically and emotionally.

    I had a situation with my first mil where she did something that came close to ruining me financially. It cost me literally thousands of dollars and my finances never truly recovered. But dumass that I am, I felt sorry for her and forgave her after her son, my first ex, died. We never discussed it but we became friendly again, I would visit, take her to eat, etc. So, I thought I had forgiven her and did feel OK about it at the time.

    She died a few years ago, and now I realize I feel like an idiot for Forgiving this woman. She maliciously did horrible things to me and never expressed any remorse whatsoever. I do feel like I have harmed myself over this. When you mess with a snake, you always get bit.

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