It’s been roughly 6 months since finding out the love of my life was screwing around with her married co-worker. While the decision to end things was made slightly easier by my ex’s “I think this is for the best”/”you deserve better” lines (funny how it’s an exit affair when they notice you won’t be the usual doormat), it was still a rough time in the beginning. Had to go through a joint custody case, the typical blame-shifting, gaslighting, mind movies, etc. All the usual stops on the chump train. Now things have calm down. I’m in individual therapy, doing little to no pain shopping and no big fights for almost a month. While her cheating has no excuse, I’ve accepted my role in the dysfunction and know I’m not some helpless victim when it comes to the actual relationship. I finally feel some control over my circumstances.
However, I’m still struggling with the emotions. Mainly sadness and anger…..mostly anger. Anger as in it’s a fine line between shouting into a pillow and punching the wall. There’s a ton I’m pissed about, but it really comes down to the feeling that she got away Scott free. I never really found the “Yeah we knocked boots” smoking gun but it doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to see that something was going on. Not much room for interpretation with a phrase like “I haven’t been with him since September” in a conversation between her and another co-worker….who happened to think it was amusing that a woman was cheating on the father of her child.
My ex still gets the benefit of the doubt.
She will only admit to an emotional connection and hanging out….wait no. I did eventually get a “we only made out” (rolls eyes).
She still hangs with the Other Man’s wife and kids. Still brings our kid around them. When I told the wife, she went into denial. (They were “open” so I often wonder if she was in on it too……or just stupid.)
She still got her own place while I had to move back with my mom.
Her coworkers, friends, family pretty much are okay with it. Her mom even admitted to me that she knew what was going on and co-signed the “I made her unhappy” narrative.
It just feels like she actually ended up with things going her way. Singledom with the occasional break from motherhood. How the hell do I stop being angry over this? Being angry that she doesn’t really think she did anything wrong and that I didn’t do enough to make her happy.
Sometimes I get the urge to post a long rant or one of your articles on Facebook to let people know what happened, but I know all that does is make me look bitter and cause conflict. I don’t owe her any protection for her reputation, but it just seems like nothing will really hurt it. Seems to me her charm and my lack of hard evidence will always make it seem like what I thought happened, never happened.
You know, there’s a difference between rejection and deception. Rejection is a motherfucker in and of itself, but deception? That’s another magnitude of pain.
And yet people confuse these two things, even chumps. So what does this have to do with your anger? You’re being framed for a crime you didn’t commit. The narrative she’s peddling is one of simple rejection — that you Mr. Chump, aren’t taking this sad, inevitable ending in the proper spirit. You’re a Bad Sport. It’s a case of sour grapes, and you can’t get over the Wonderfulness That Is Her. Relationships end, don’t be a bitter bunny, accept and be happy for her. And really, isn’t this rejection partly (okay, mostly) your fault? A new start is all for the best really!
Meanwhile, you stand in the wreckage, with your 50/50 custody and half of your shit. It doesn’t feel very just or happy, as she skips into her new Schmoopie life.
But the truthful narrative isn’t one of simple rejection — that ALONE would be hard — the real narrative is that she defrauded you. She didn’t have the decency to honestly END things and reject you. No, she extracted value from you, lied, had an affair, and ONLY when you would not roll over and go along, was it an “exit affair.” She was quite content to eat cake, until you took away her fork. THAT is the core of your rage, Sir.
Oh but rejection is rejection — who cares why she ended the relationship? People fall out of love!
Let’s use another example to drive this home. Imagine you had a job in a widget factory and you don’t particularly enjoy making widgets. In fact, sometimes you make a few mistakes and widgets come down the line wrong, but overall you’re a good employee. You’re reliable, and you work widgets to put food on the table for your family.
One day you discover that Widget Incorporated is embezzling your pension fund. Widget Inc. is quite happy to keep extracting value you from you (“more widgets! faster! faster!”), but they’re stealing your profits and security. So, you blow the whistle and report them for pension fraud — and they retaliate and you lose your job.
In the legal world, you’d have a case for wrongful termination.
So how much sense would it make if the people in your life were saying, “Hey, it’s just a job! Find another one! Get over it.” Or “You weren’t great at widgets anyway. It wasn’t the right fit.”
NO — the point is, you lost your job because you wouldn’t accept unethical behavior that was HARMING you.
AC, you lost your marriage because you would not accept unethical behavior that was HARMING you.
You have every right to be pissed off about that. It’s unjust. If it was just a case of simple rejection, things weren’t working out, you deserved the dignity of an honest goodbye or a chance to put things right. Losing your marriage and intact family is a lot to grieve, but being utterly fucked over and chumped is never okay. The deception is all on her. Don’t own that, or confuse your part in this.
So, about that anger. It’s early days — you’re only six months out. SIX! You’ve been incredibly mighty so far. Most people are quivering, weepy blobs at six months. You’ve already had a joint custody case for Pete’s sake!
Here’s the deal to get past this crap — you have to eat the shit sandwich of injustice. You were chumped. It happens. Look around you at the thousands of other people here this has happened to. Life goes on — but it’s a sweeter life without a cheater. Leaving a cheater is addition by subtraction. This person is not in your life mindfucking you, or making you babysit while they go out on dates.
Cheaters have crap life skills and they take those crap life skills with them, because true character growth is painfully hard, whereas entitlement and kibbles feel awesome. So, she’s still a shitty person in a lousy apartment playing sex satellite to a married couple. Hollywood isn’t writing biopics on her life, AC.
You’re a solid guy with a witty turn of phrase, a faithful partner, and your stock will trade highly. Give this some time. (People with crappy life skills usually nosedive.) But don’t make what she does or doesn’t do contingent on your healing. Be all about YOU and your kid. Be the sane parent. Go invest in yourself and direct your energies there. The anger fades as your new life fills in.
The injustice isn’t never going to sit right with you, but it’s not going to consume you either. You’ve got better things to do. Get out there and do them! Stay mighty, my friend.
Also, please findicate a different therapist. Anyone who is teaching you to take the blame for this is really not helping. Plus, it doesn’t take a genius to get way you are (justifiably) angry.
It’s me angry chump! The therapist hasnt said I share blame for her infidelity. I’ll never forget the “wtf” reaction I got when I told him everything that was going on. He soooo agrees that ex is a PoS. It’s more that when I was in my control freakery phase, he drilled in that i can only control myself and should use the betrayal as a learning experience. So that I did. I learned that my shit communication skills, people pleasing, and emotional stone-walling was more harmful than I thought as it gave me a terrible “picker” and regardless if someone is a cheating sack of shit or Not, would frustrate anyone.
Also I should clarify that we weren’t married. Together for 7 years. Ex pointed that out once I guess to say i should be over it. “You make it seem like we were married for 20+ years”
You’re going to be just fine. Anger is a good reaction at your stage. Like CL said, most people are a mess at 6 months but you seem like you’re using your anger the right way, to get away from your freak! You’re well on your way. I like the fact that you know your worth and you’re not questioning yourself. But your problem seems like you’re waiting for the proverbial train to hit her and that’s keeping you engaged. We’ve all done that. STOP! Until you can stop that she will have real estate in your head.
Please don’t let people, especially your scumbag ex, minimize your pain because you weren’t married. Seven years is more than enough time for a complete Tour de Mindfuck.
I wasn’t married, either (we were common-law), and I was with my cheater for less than 4 years. That experience still traumatized me more than my entire dysfunctional childhood.
People who say shit like this deserve a swift kick in the ass. Really, it’s like saying, “Why are you complaining about the injuries from your head-on collision? You were only in the car for 15 minutes beforehand.” WTF.
I agree with everything CL said. Hang tight, OP! You can and will be happy again.
One more thing, I am a big proponent of embracing your righteous rage. It really is like being cleansed by fire. Don’t worry that you’ll get stuck in it–you won’t. Quite to the contrary, it is the single-best thing I found to help me move forward.
I agree with FMT. Rage helps you detach emotionally, and re-claim your self-esteem (“how DARE you do this to me!”). It is a horrifying phase in the healing, but a necessary one. It will start to wane, re-flame, and eventually settle into mere moral indignation.
The righteous rage: this was my peak homicidal fantasising stage. And it does pass.
Agreed…..oh I had some doosies…like duct taping them to the car seats and….well let’s just not go there.
It did me a favour too; the rage.
Mine got so enflamed that 2/3 of the way down a bottle of gin I decided he would look much better with a knife in him. The desire grew and grew. I don’t think I would have stopped it had I not decided the kids deserved better and put the lid back on the bottle for good. We had been heavy drinkers for years. Functional, but I wasted a lot of time life and money on booze.
It’s five years now since I had a drink and my new life continues to improve. I like it so much better without him. And without the booze. I got my freedom creativity and self back.
Bloody marvellous, yesmehlady. Fantastic!
Lots of homicidal fantasies. The most persistent was locking the OW’s house down and burning it to the ground. I did run at him with a quad bike one day. But the fury that preceded that act was more about hurting him rather than murder, I think. But that blind rage. Scary shit.
Though it doesn’t consume my every waking moment, the times it does pop into my brain I STILL feel rage and I’m closing in on 4 years!
I will NEVER forgive or forget. And yes, he got to skip away into the sunset as well, like I was another ship in the night.
I am so outraged that I was duped/deceived sometimes its hard to contain my fury. So when that happens I just block it and do other things……like eat! Yes, I’ve gained weight since going on my infidelity weight loss diet!
I’m venting my rage, finally, with exposure. Check out the Facebook, Serial Cheaters NZ. Remember, there is no cause of action, either slander or libel for the truth. And I have all the evidence of truth.
Yessss agree. That fire does cleanse. You have every right to be angry. Fight for yourself! But yea, a year out I’m glad I never posted something on Facebook (I had the urge, too). I think the facebook thing is not worth it because about 99% of those people don’t even care or matter to your life anyway. Your pain is their soap opera to judge and talk about. For the amount of people who think your ex sucks, there will be just as many people judging you. No reason to expose yourself to that.
In my angry phase I did knock out a few important pillars – his parents, his close friends… only when I was asked. Well, his best friend unsolicited but whatever, the guy was kind of hinting around to figure out what was going on. I hit him with a well placed text. In the end I realized, yes, I want everyone to know the truth and what a piece of shit he is, but really other people knowing doesn’t change things (e.g., you mentioned her mom, who doesn’t care that her daughter sucks). Those people who are closest to her will probably pretty much stay loyal, even if they disagree with what she did. In the long run of your life, those people don’t matter.
It is said so much here because it’s true – all you can control is yourself. Your instinct not to go full crazy is right, but that doesn’t mean that you have to cover anything up or look a certain way that you are not feeling. You are angry and that is sooo justified and ok given what complete and total douchebaggery you are dealing with.
Not married. But together for 29 years. Three kids. The OW once said to him, “we’ll you can’t love each other that much, you never married.” He shut that shit down pretty damn smartly, telling her that she had no idea what love is (I saw these messages after D-day.) But as I said to him, he was demonstrating to her just how ‘much’ he loved me, right? The words meant nothing while he was pleasuring her. The reasons we never married included my reluctance after witnessing my parents’ ‘happy’ marriage imploding due to infidelity/my Dad discovering/admitting to himself that he is gay/bi. The OW’s parents have been married more than 50 years. Her father has cheated since the beginning. Marriage seems like a GREAT idea, hey?
Wow. “It’s not like we were married for 20+ years”. Minimize much?
JS, my sister just sent me this article as I was reading your post and it seems on point to the main question that I hear in your post: Why does this PoS get to fuck me over and then get off pretty much without without consequences while I suffer? I have to admit, that’s a tough question, and, fellow chump, I feel your pain.
If you have the time check out this article:
Being chumped forces introspection, which is generally accepted to be a good thing and a growing process. I agree that it is necessary to dig deep and look inside. But I have struggled for the past year with excessive, paralyzing introspection. This article suggests that we can ask ourselves the wrong question, and maybe there is a better, more productive way to look inward.
Lots of love and best of luck on your journey 🙂
Thanks Rockette – that article was very helpful. I tend to ruminate way too much. I am going to ask the “what” question instead of the “why” and see how this can help me move on. I have learned so much from CN.
I think a huge part of my anger was not from “how could you do this to us” or “how could I have been so stupid to have picked this person” but from feeling furious that this low integrity guy who didn’t deserve an ounce of my emotional energy was still getting something from me when I was having meltdowns that felt like storms I couldn’t control. When I realized any expression of emotion around my ex was actually feeding his ego it gave me a sudden sense of control. I can’t change who he is, but I can change from having a reaction to having a response. Boom. Power. Which is what I needed to recognize that the emotions aren’t me- I’m bigger than my anger. It passes. I don’t. So suddenly the anger didn’t matter so much – I could detach from it and notice it, and as soon as I started doing that I found that I could detach a lot more easily from him and his nonsense just by noticing I am not what I’m feeling. I am not him or his actions. I am not what happened. There is a lot of peace in this place that bad actors can’t ever find, because they seek pleasure at the expense of others and they aren’t capable of understanding that a bad motive can never achieve a good end.
This is almost the same thing that helped me detach easily from my anger. Every time I started feeling like I was going to have a meltdown, I kept reminding myself that the selfish cheat was happily making sure that his new catch is happy, especially since he was already spending money on her and I will be giving him the pleasure of still hurting me even when I was rid of him. This brought my pride up and made it easier to stop focusing on him as the good guy I thought he was in my past and him as the cheat. I saw the liar he was and I patted myself in the back for being the better person. I still always remind myself that I was the easy target cause I was a good, honest and trusting person and he wasn’t. That calms me a lot.
You have every right to be angry. Like mentioned above, you are way ahead of most in processing this. It was a good 1 1/3 years before I hit full anger. Still have periods but you just have to let it go and move on with your life. You’re lucky that you only had 7 years invested. Many here have 20+ years. Mine was 29. Doesn’t mean your emotions are any less just you have a lot of your life left. Just keep working on you and fix that picker. It’s a process and not easy. You can and will have a good life ahead. Just remind yourself that you will when you feel really angry. Stay strong!
Angry Chump: Be patient with yourself. Your anger is perfectly normal and completely justified. And, as so many others here have noted, you’ve only been on the chump merry-go-round for 6 months, so give it time. Keep doing you in the best way possible!
My XH neatly and efficiently operated a completely secret life outside of our 40-year relationship. I have to give it to him, he was actually quite masterful, coming home every night to eat dinner and sleep in our bed, puttering around the house on weekends, and always being available at his office whenever I’d call or stop by unannounced. Then, out of the blue, he stated he was moving out. You could’ve knocked me over with a feather. He denied from start to finish that he was involved with anyone else, but he just needed “time and space to consider the role our marriage would play in his life”. WTF? I had no idea what he was talking about! Of course, now that I’m a citizen of Chump Nation, I know that well-worn and commonly used excuse is about as flaccid as a limp dick.
Before he skipped off to move back into his old bedroom at his mother’s house, he did agree to go to marriage counseling; I now know he did this merely to boast to anyone who’d listen that “he tried everything to save the marriage”. I’m eternally grateful to the highly recommended counselor we saw; he immediately tuned in to what was going on and could read my XH like a book… within the very first session, he got my XH to admit that not only was he currently fucking his married coworker, but he’d also had 13 other affairs that began when we were dating in college. Every single one of those OW was someone I knew… his coworkers, the wives of couples we socialized/vacationed with, the woman we took into our home for 3 months because her alcoholic husband was beating the shit out of her, the team mom for our sons’ soccer team, and yes, even our babysitter! Obviously, these whores had no problem falling onto my husband’s penis, knowing all the while that he was married, had children, and his “good wife” was clueless. As you can imagine, it was beyond mind-numbing to hear all of this news in one fell swoop, but I went home from that appointment, took off my wedding rings, and the very next day, was sitting in a killer divorce attorney’s office getting my ducks lined up.
For whatever reason, XH decided he was exempt from being honorable, and never once said “I’m unhappy, this isn’t working for me, it’s best if I leave”. Instead, he’d say, “You are my safe harbor”, and “All I need is you” and “I couldn’t have asked for a better wife and partner”. . So for 40 years, I was the perfectly groomed chump! I cleaned the house, washed the clothes, cooked the meals, raised his 3 children, put him through school, worked full-time to contribute half the household income, supported his expensive hobbies, entertained his friends… and I never had a single reason to doubt that he was grossly unfaithful, was exposing me to every sort of STD, and very likely, never really loved me – even after he insisted we renew our marriage vows on our 30th wedding anniversary.
The first 6 months of my post D-Day journey were complete hell; I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t eat, and I only got out of bed to go to work to keep my paychecks rolling in. The next 6 months were marginally better, alternating between panic, sadness, self-doubt, grief and intense anger. Just beyond the 1-year mark, our first son got married and having to work closely with my XH (i.e. wedding finances, rehearsal dinner, out of town travel) turned out to be a horribly awkward experience, one that I did not want to repeat. So I came home and promptly went Zero Contact. From that point on, all communication was directed to my attorney and if my XH felt he absolutely had to contact me personally, it had to be via email, which I’d then promptly forward to my attorney. This boundary enabled me to ignore (with a completely clear conscience) his phone calls, IMs and text messages, as well as shred all of the mushy Happy Anniversary (no lie), Valentine’s Day (no lie), Happy Birthday and Mother’s Day cards he continued to send me for the next 2 years until our divorce was finalized.
It was that period of radio silence that finally got me on the healing path I richly deserved. So, when our second son got married 9 months ago, I was so strong and so mighty and had so much support from the family/friends who attended (including the minister, who used to be my XH’s BFF), I was able to thoroughly enjoy the happy occasion… all while my sad sausage XH sat 3 tables away with his twice-divorced sister as his date (my son and fabulous DIL showered me with love and respect by telling the married coworker she was NOT invited). Winning!
My life today, at age 62, is nothing like I pictured it would be. It’s SO much better! Safe! Authentic! Happy! Mighty!
So Angry Chump, if I have any additional advice for you, it would be to get as close to zero contact as possible. I know you have a minor child together, so it won’t be a pure boundary, but do your best. And during those times when you must have contact with her, go gray rock. You’ll be glad you did!
Wow, absolutely inspirational. You are so mighty! Fuck him. What is wrong with these people? Cheaters are twisted, and they suck.
Seriously amazing! The skill at deception and length of the charade is just astounding. It is mind blowing why anyone would want to live their life like that. Also, mad props to that marriage counselor. If only more were like that.
Yes, I was amazingly fortunate to work with the marriage counselor I did. Tom was so knowledgeable, so savvy and had seen so many disordered cheaters like my XH, he figured out in the first 5 minutes that there was “more to the story” than just a restless man dealing with a midlife crisis. For those chumps who believe in a Higher Power, finding Tom was, without a doubt, a “God thing.
What I didn’t mention in my previous post is that at the end of the tell-all, verbal vomit counseling session, my XH whipped out his iPhone and said he had a “prepared statement” he wanted to share. This is what he read to us (no eye contact):
“I have made my decision. I want to divorce. You have been a wonderful mother to our sons and a good provider. I lay no blame for this on you; this is entirely my decision. When others ask me about you, I will speak well of you. I am confident we will both flourish as we go our separate paths and we will remain good friends.”
Then XH smugly got up, left the room and closed the door. Tom looked at me and said, “For your sake, I’m glad that’s over!”
He then said, “Whenever I work with a couple who ultimately splits up, I always offer my individual counseling services to the spouse who was left behind. Today, it’s clear that person is you. Many marriage counselors will refuse to continue working with one spouse individually, citing a conflict of interest. But I think that is precisely the time to help the rejected spouse get back on his/her feet. Is this something you want to do?”
OMG, I couldn’t say “Yes” fast enough!
I was in counseling with Tom for the next 3 years, throughout my entire 33-month separation and 3 months past the divorce being finalized. Tom always told me that it was up to me when to stop coming, that I would know when I was ready – and he was right. I stopped seeing Tom in December 2015. In our last session, we hugged goodbye and he said his door was always open should I need a “tune-up”. Since then, I’ve gone through several life events that could easily have spun me off into outer space, but I was able to draw on the affirmation, strength and insight I gleaned from Tom and not only handle those crises, but rise to an even higher level. Oh I still have a day here and there that feels just plain dark, but they are much fewer and much further apart than they used to be. I am on the train to the Land of Meh, and expect to arrive on a Tuesday.
In the meantime, you can rest assured that:
(1) My XH and I are NOT good friends. I’m still Zero Contact, but he plays the victim by telling anyone who will listen “I don’t understand why she doesn’t want to have anything to do with me”!
(2) I simply CANNOT “speak well” of him. How can I speak well of someone who knowingly and proactively deceived me out of 40 YEARS of my life? That is time I can never get back.
(3) I really AM flourishing! Too bad I can’t say the same for him… the grapevine says that a karma bus of the double-decker variety has crashed head-on into his house several times since he followed his penis out the door and wait a minute, his life is not going according to his master plan. Sorry, not sorry!
MRS I am happy for you. It really sounds like you have waded through the muck and have come out the other side clean. And after so many years spent with him. I really hope to be where you are with all of this one day.
Somewhere or another (I still spend too much time trying to untangle that skein), I read these cheaters get to keep you while they try on AP’s to see if they’re a good fit. This really spoke to me after 2 Ddays with 2 Schmoopies. I am plan B. He’s always looking for something better and only coming back when plan A doesn’t work.
I finally realized I can’t live that way. I can’t be the marriage police. There’s ALWAYS another ho around the corner.
My XH doesn’t look so wonderful either right now. I think there’s trouble in paradise with Schmoopie 2.0 and the kids instantly rejected the innapropriate relationship (with someone 1/2 his age involved in their high school). He has no limits to his selfishness and entitlement.
Was there anything specifically in your IC that really helped you move on? I really think sometimes I’m turning a corner and then I get a set back.
MJB: First, I can’t tell you how sorry I am that you’re going through this shit storm. But look how mighty you are! You’ve decided that being Plan B (or perhaps Plan C, if he’s already at 2.0) is unacceptable.
From day one, I blamed myself for my XH’s departure… after all, how much more personal can that sort of rejection be? It must be about me, that I did something to make this happen! I was somehow lacking… I should have done more XYZ… Why didn’t I say ABC… blah blah blah. That kind of inner trash talk served to victimize me again.
After being part of the CN for a while now, it is reassuring to know that this is a common chump mistake. But my fabulous IC, Tom, told me:
“I’ve been doing this for 30+ years and I can tell you, unequivocally, that this is NOT about you! We’re dealing with an emotionally damaged, disordered, self-righteous person who lives a superficial life, rewrites history for his convenience,
holds himself blameless for your situation, and feels entitled to place himself above others. He believes that the only truth worth considering is his truth. Trust me when I tell you this… you could never be enough, say enough or do enough to make him elevate you to first place; he is simply incapable of dealing with a relationship that has real depth. So what stands between you and your recovery is ridding your mind of these self-accusatory statements and getting your head around the fact that you ARE good enough.”
And Tom went on to say:
“When the two of you first walked into my office, you were a 1-dimensional, colorless, cardboard cut-out of someone who used to be a real person. It was obvious you were on the verge of disappearing all together. But now, you’ve emerged from under 4 decades of emotional and psychological battery, and you are one fantastic person! You are strong, resilient, smart, loyal, and oh so funny! Doesn’t it shock you that this amazing high caliber person almost vanished without a trace?”
When I said “Yes, it shocks me! How did this happen”?
Tom said, “One day at a time… for 40 years.”
And then he proceeded to remind me of the well-known “frog in boiling water” parable (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_frog).
Now, please don’t think for one second that I’m sitting here, as clean and pristine as the first snowfall of the season. Every now and then, I will still find a smudge of mud or muck that’s hiding in some unexpected place, and when I do, that means I still have more work to do on myself. As I said before, I may be on the train to the Land of Meh, but I have not yet arrived; I am constantly turning one more corner, and then another, and another.
Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint.
Just keep doing what you’re doing and you will get there! Perhaps you can start by pledging that you will:
(1) Take that skein of fuckupedness and burn it! It has totally outlived its usefulness in your life. Bye bye!
(2) Quit the Marriage Police; turn in your uniform, whistle and handcuffs. Keeping track of your XH’s many “traffic infractions” is… say it with me… no longer your problem!
I need to get me some red sandals.
You rock girl!
My Red Sandals! Thank you for a post loaded with nuggets of inspiration and promise of a better day. Its is scary though, 40 years of coming home, all the stuff you said, and they still manage to have another life. How would anyone ever truly know? God, so glad you are alive & kicking and sharing your walk. Blessings.
Totally agree. Its like he was surprised i was so pissed when i discovered he had been using me like a housekeeper with benefits. So now i find out from mutual friends the poor lamb felt ‘suffocated’ and ‘the kids were holding him back’ ‘he couldnt do what he wanted ‘ wow… even if that it had been a bit true its still a shitty excuse the blow up your whole family of 25 yrs and move in with plan b immediately. ‘Another relationship is the last thing on my mind ‘ ….bullshit as that turned out. They lie becsuse they already had the narrative broadcast to a wider audience. You’re only one person who didnt get the memo.
I love this story, RedSandals. The fact that you can emerge so strong and happy from a betrayal of such magnitude is inspiring and reassuring to a freshly minted chump like myself. Thanks for sharing this. I’m happy for you.
And I need to send your therapist, Tom, a check. Thank you for including this, which landed squarely between the eyes of my loudmouthed and indefatigable inner critic:
“I can tell you, unequivocally, that this is NOT about you! We’re dealing with an emotionally damaged, disordered, self-righteous person who lives a superficial life, rewrites history for his convenience, holds himself blameless for your situation, and feels entitled to place himself above others. He believes that the only truth worth considering is his truth. Trust me when I tell you this… you could never be enough, say enough or do enough to make him elevate you to first place; he is simply incapable of dealing with a relationship that has real depth. So what stands between you and your recovery is ridding your mind of these self-accusatory statements and getting your head around the fact that you ARE good enough.”
HeChump: Thanks for your kind words, but the fact that I I’m still standing in one piece is due in large part to the many loving, caring and supportive people in my life who (like Tom) circled the wagons around me and kept telling me I was going to be OK, even when I didn’t have a single reason to believe it.
Also, as a person of faith, I knew my best chance for emerging as a whole person was to trust that God had a plan for my life, and it would be infinitely better than anything I could have dreamed up for myself. Although I do not, in any way, believe that God is responsible for my XH’s choices, including to divorce me, I do believe that He will allow certain things to organically unfold and follow their natural course… and if I could be patient, manage the pain, keep my heart open and receptive, and most important, if I could trust Him, the lessons I was meant to learn would become clear and the growth I was meant to experience would be realized. Undoubtedly, this has been the most challenging journey of my life, with the death of my father perhaps being the only exception. So many mountains and valleys, so much drenching rain, so many broken bones. Arghh! So every single day, I reread and clung to a one particular Bible verse, and the promise contained in that scripture did come true:
“After you have suffered a little while, our God, who is full of kindness through Christ, will give you His eternal glory. He personally will come and pick you up, and set you firmly in place, and make you stronger than ever.” ~1 Peter 5:10
HeChump, I’m truly sorry you’ve been awarded an unsolicited membership to Chump Nation. Unfortunately, these memberships seem all too easy to attain, and I’ve yet to meet anybody who voluntarily stepped up to become part of our community. But we are mighty and there is much wisdom here. You may find that by reading other people’s stories, things will start to resonate. You might find answers to some of your most pressing questions, or even, some healing for yourself. Feel free to share because this is a VERY safe place.
Thanks for your story and so pleased that things are so much better for you.
your experience with your XH is very similar to my own with my XW, but not over such a long period or with complications of children (happy complications in your case).
Luckily I employed “no contact” so on after learning of my XW’s seral infidelity so was able to move on relatively quickly after our breakup. Not without a lot of pain however.
For me the intriguing question was why? What makes a prison act that way in such an utterly bizarre way?
A psychologist gave me the answer. He suggested that her behaviour and background (she had been sexually molested as a child) was consistent with Borderline Personality Disorder and also possibly Narcissism. when I later researched the conditions it made increasing sense.
So beware disordered people!
JS2017/Angry Chump, I’m you 2 and a half years ago. You seem like you are doing it right. Facebook is not a place to air shit, as far as airing the adultery, I use it to follow chumplady, and follow the posts. After that someone sees I’m reading it, it’s my time.
As far as engaging the cheater, not your problem. I repeat to myself a lot of things. If she wants to be in that relationship, and hid it on you, then she is not a genuine and honest person. Do you want to waste time on someone who can’t be honest with you? Is that the way you want to be treated by a Special One in your life, a friend, a colleague, an absolute stranger, not likely. Lies are the worst as it does not allow you to make appropriate decisions. You now know the truth, and are making a decision from that truth.
You have these things to worry about, you and your kid. That is it. If what is happening does not benefit either or both of those, then it doesn’t matter.
I stayed angry and used that energy to get through the divorce/legal crap. Do that, you are early on in this, anger is your friend in that it gives you determination and energy to complete the tasks at hand of ridding yourself of a lie, and that is what she is.
When you feel you have appropriately dealt with all the legal crap, no contact (or with a kid as close as you can come) is enacted, and you feel like you are past keeping with the basics like eating and sleeping, then get rid of the anger. I screamed, swore, and ran a lot, they may help you.
6 months out, you’re doing excellent, keep on track with what you are doing. Life gets better on the other side because it is yours. Keep making good choices.
that’s because some of them have been 20 + years and have had a lot more to deal with than you so don’t make light of it some here have been through hell and back and some like myself are only beginning it doesn’t matter either it all hurts because we all cared
I guess I am still not impressed with the therapist. If the take away is that you would annoy another with your “controlling” behavior with no reference to the cheating (that I would suggest made you twitchy), I question the insight of such a therapist. Now, I am all for learning relationship skills and no doubt you have worked on those. My issue is linking that with the ending of your relationship with this cheater. You do not have to prove–or should never have to prove–to the therapist that you did NOT and do NOT deserve to be cheated upon.
In the rush to avoid the “helpless victim” identity, I fear this therapist has failed to spend enough time acknowledging that you are indeed a VICTIM of your cheating ex. All the talk about relationship skills obscures this fact. It has the impact of suggesting you might have avoided this outcome if you had been better at doing relationships. AKA victim blaming.
I don’t buy any of those messages. Perhaps, the therapist did not fall into those common traps. But I am left wondering with what you have stated.
Also, just because she denies the physical relationship, does not mean she is innocent of that. Liars lie. That off comment to the friend says enough. I would assume the worse. As CL, trust that your cheater sucks.
Right on DM!
Chumps should only seek and accept help from those who totally gets Chump Lady’s widget example (aka The Parable of the Widgets).
And most Folks just simply do not get this parable, and inadvertently inflict a lot of additional damage to Chumps by trying to ‘help’.
Be mindful of where you seek solace, validation, and help as you try to heal.
We all should…
“Be mindful of where you seek solace, validation, and help as you try to heal.”
This! Icandothis18 and I were just talking offline about this: 21/2 years out and neither of us really try to talk to anyone about this who isn’t going through it right now. They just don’t get it and it does further harm. Thank God we have CL and CN. at this phase of things I wouldn’t even be willing to try to talk to a therapist because so few have any sense of what this is and I just can’t risk being knocked back by somebody who would further abuse me by some different-“you had a part in the marriage ending” bullshit blameshifting narrative.
Bitter Bunny – I’ll have to remember that! What are other good names that chumps can reclaim?
Lol, I remember “the babysit so he could go out on dates” routine. Too bad he didn’t inform me of that fact so I could have charged him. And divorced him.
Married people do not date! No matter who supports anyone’s ex on this one, it will not make it right. She’s a loser, and anyone who supports her adultery is a loser, too.
You don’t have any responsibility for her being a cheater, and if anyone tells you that you do, tell them to Suck It!
Ha, don’t even get me started with this… I was taking care of the kids, while she was telling her boyfriend how I wanted to spend time with the kids and they were free to get together. Or the “I’ll just blame so and so girlfriend when I am with you as I always do” crap. Deception is shit and they all deserve a special place in hell for the soul rape!
I get the babysit part. I used to babysit his mother when she came down here for the winter while he was out banging skanks. One night when he didn’t come home at the usual time his mother called him and I’m sure he was balls deep into the whore when she called.
AC, you did deserve this, you don’t own the shitty behavior of the cheating ass. May you use your anger for a better life! HUGS!
Six months with no apology, admission or regret from someone you trusted as your partner for life?
Damn right you’re angry!
Good for you!
Own that anger, not your ‘part’ in her being a cheating, rotten, narcissistic liar. All that behavior is on her.
As Chump Lady says, if she was unhappy she should have said so, behaved like the adult and good mother she pretends to be and gotten out of the marriage like an adult.
If you haven’t read Chump Lady’s book, please buy it and keep it next to your bed.
Many of us have been in your shoes and have your back.
Use that anger, go “no contact”, lawyer up and fight for your parental rights.
If it makes you feel better to reach out to the spouse of the creep your “wife” is hooking up with – go for it! She may not have a clue and you would be doing her a HUGE favor.
Go easy on yourself and be kind to yourself.
Sorry, I see you already reached out to the wife.
Own your own public story loud and clear…she is a cheater and you don’t owe her thinking you caused her to accidentally fall onto another man’s penis!
Yah Angry Chump, what Rebecca said!! Don’t take the blame for not knowing how to “communicate” with a spouse who is a cheater / liar / blame-shifter / gas-lighter.
Just imagine for a second, that one of your young friends is going to get married, and you want to impart your “knowledge” on how to communicate with a spouse who you come to find out is a disordered character, in case it’s every needed.. You’re thinking that this knowledge would help your friend salvage and recover his marriage. Think what would you would tell this hopeful, committed lover . . . there’s really nothing you could say is there? There’s no way to prepare yourself and know how to react and respond to news that our trusted lover is a piece of shit.
Successful marriages are a process. It takes love and truthfulness and fidelity to stay together. Those are base line skills. The other skills like communication, boundaries, and self-care are practiced and perfected in a safe and loving environment. None of us is prepared for the intensity and intimacy of marriage, we have to learn.
Six months? Damn right you’re angry still. And those fools are feigning happiness. They feel nothing, which seems helpful where pain or culpability is concerned, but they have never felt love or true happiness either. I married into one of these families, no surprise, so I’ve watched the charade for 25 years. They have the depth of a fucking puddle and are empty. Hence my name.
Yes, his family is like this, too. The result is a revolving door of spouses and no real attachment to anyone. How is that family?!
We chumps were just discussing this topic on a thread on the forums. Rejection + deception = righteous anger. So true. The fury against the injustice seems the most enduring.
“Addition by Subtraction”
Words never fail you CL!
I LOVE THIS!!!!?❗️❗️❗️
Oh AC you have come to the right place. We will validate your anger all day long because we have all felt it. My STBX hasn’t tried to pretend that he and Schmoopie are just friends and I am still boiling angry at the injustice of my suffering as a result of his poor life choices. Go ahead and be angry and punch those pillows and vent to us or whoever else is out there who you trust to be on your side. Don’t do anything that could cause you trouble, play mister nice guy in public, but in private go ahead and rant.
And don’t own anything in the breakdown of your marriage. You may not have been perfect but you were loyal and you did your best. She didn’t even try. She betrayed your trust. That puts her in the position of worse partner. If there are things you think might have made you a better partner, remember that for the next relationship, but don’t think for a minute that having done things differently would have made any difference in your relationship with her. She did what she did because she is selfish and self-centered. You could have been a whole different person and things would still have turned out the way they did.
In the meantime, make the most of your 50/50 custody and be the best Dad you can. Your child is your priority now.
+1, especially the part about not taking blame. You’re right, no matter what you would have, should have, could have done, the end result would have been the same. Because it had nothing to do with you. It’s ALL on them.
+2 It’s been 9 months since I found out and I’m still angry as hell. There is a difference between anger and moving on though. I will always be angry about this. It’s why I keep coming back to this website. What they did will never be okay. Instead of being up front like adults, they wanted to be the kid with the candy that doesn’t get caught, doesn’t get punished. Even with everything in the open, they will only take responsibility superficially at best (look remorseful, but continue trying to “get theirs” and make themselves look better). But I am moving on because I never had any control over his crappy actions, and because life is so much better without that load on your heart. I have a young daughter (not even a year old when all was revealed) and I focus enjoying my time with her. I do also feel like being the parent most of the time (she lives primarily with me, with once a week and every other weekend time with her father), he gets some sort of pass to go and date or whatever (cheated with prostitutes, so…yeah). It isn’t fair that they have this “freedom” and you are stuck at home, but I think we get the better end of the deal (although it’s hard for me to see this sometimes…going through toddler tantrums right now, ha). Family is the name of the game, and they didn’t deserve the loyalty and love that comes with that territory. Let them chase their fantasies. Be angry, but continue forward in a positive direction for yourself and for your child(ren). Oh, and I’ve taken up boxing, which has been a fantastic release for that screaming into a pillow/punching a wall energy.
+3. You owning your shit and working on yourself is your journey and good on your for taking it. But fuck owning your part in the break down of the relationship. That is all on her.
Dear Angry Chump
I used to be so livid with anger that at times I imagined myself to be a giant green Golam hopping around mutilating things .
Anger makes you grind your teeth, spew lava and scream into pillows.
All I can tell you, is that it is a righteous feeling!
FEEL IT, it’s your friend.
My doctor told me to be careful with anger. She said it would harm my liver. She warned that I could get cancer.
QueenMother, that doctor is an ignorant quack, and that theory about anger and cancer or liver damage was discredited long long ago. Anger is a HEALTHY reaction to injustice and abuse, and has an important role in motivating us to confront unfairness and get away from abuse.
ANY long-term stress can undermine our health – as many Chumps know well. So, yeah, we don’t want to be stuck in anger for decades, or in grief, or in anxiety. But far more Chumps have improved their health, both on the short and the long term, by letting anger mobilize them to get OUT, and to fight for a better life. And we let anger go on our own timelines, as we gain a life.
so i violated CN principles and lost my shit with my cheater. i dumped his boner pills in the toilet and emptied her bottle of booze in the sink after i found her shit in his house. back to the drawing board. i feel like an ass, he is pissed of course
try suppressing the anger and see how healthy that is!
That doctor sounds like an idiot. Maybe they are a cheater!!
Thanks for your responses, friends.
Yes, I’ve always known that my ability to easily express anger and let it blow over was a secret to my health. So let me tell you what I’ve figured out:
There’s a sick rage that comes from contact with James Bond, quite different from my own anger, when in no contact. It’s my proximity to his evil self, his spirit has a detrimental effect on me..
When I’m away from that asshole, I get happier (of course), sleep better, think more clearly, my hair grows back, my skin smoothes out, my mood gets sunny.
Contact with him would result in a sick rage, quite different from the thunderstorm of anger, that booms and flashes and blows over. Maybe my doctor’s advice could be revised to: no contact with asshole, for your health.
Dear Angry Chump, I kind of like my anger. Maybe it will pass but I find it far more comforting than being sad over cheaterturd. I think it’s healthy, it propels me to living my life well. I dont want to be curled in a corner weeping for what was (or what I thought it was). I say feel the anger until you don’t feel it anymore and in between use it to fuel your new life. It gives me a sense of being a fighter vs being a victim. We were swindled, cheated, used, manipulated and disrespected! Anger is the appropriate response!
Im with Beachgirl…I like my anger…it feels much better than all the alternatives…and I was also deceived and rejected. It has been 2 years sonce I learned that I was chumped for 26+ years and I dont know that I will ever NOT be angry with him. I don’t HATE (that take too much energy and would lessen my life) but I have chronic lowlevel distain for him.
Fuck yeah! I like my anger and I own it.
What he did will never be okay. Damn right I am angry ~ I was married for 18 years, he wasn’t. I thought we had a good life, he didn’t. Point is ~ he never told me he wasn’t married or wasn’t committed to me. He just told others when he dropped his pants.
Hell, I even had a huge argument with the 7 eleven chick when she insisted he wasn’t married. LOL
The deception and lies will never be okay.
I’m angry as hell ~ but happy as hell that I don’t have him in my life.
When he divorced me and left me like a bag of trash at the curb ~ he did me a favor. But
I’m still angry about how he did it.
Ditto! Every word applies to me!
…Chronic low level disdain…I like. This is me.
Damn straight you’re angry. And you know what? Go find a gym or a friend’s garage with a (literal) punching bag. Beat the shit out of it. Your anger is absolutely reasonable only six months out. If this were six YEARS later, I’d be concerned. But no, go find a rugby game or a karate class, and yell and grunt out some anger. You’re entitled.
“Go find a gym or a friend’s garage with a (literal) punching bag. Beat the shit out of it.”
I’m 3 years post D-Day and this is literally what I do, Can’t imagine who i’m punching every time I strike the heavy bag, I developed calluses on my knuckles, lost weight, gained muscle and got my confidence back.
I do yoga five hours a week. The benefits mentally have been huge, helped me regain my self respect and set boundaries. I weigh and look like I did 15 years ago apart from a less toned stomach from two children. It has surprised me, in 5 months my health has turned around, his mental abuse was crushing my soul. I am highly sensitive and looked and felt terrible in 2016 and previous years. Only down side is sometimes crying in the guided meditation at the end of class, that piano music just breaks me.
I’m not really an exercise person but I would recommend anything physical as it really helps the healing.
Had a good angry rant on here the other day as I was royally pissed, it comes and goes in waves, just ride it.
Namaste: The Devine in me bows to the Devine in you.
AC, I am still, after almost 10 months post DD and 5 months post divorce, angry.
My experience is a little similar because although I danced for 10 years with a disordered, “all about me” bully of a husband, I really was in the dark about his cheating and drug use until he made his “exit”. So. It was all a fraud. I was just a tool so he could look the part while having his needs met-as CL says-those adulty things like bill paying, child rearing, meal preparing, cleaning as well as cleaning up his little life messes like keeping it a secret that I paid for an attorney to help get him out of a felony DWI charge…your basic spackling.
And what did I get in return? I got to find out that I married a fraud who did not love or cherish me, just pretended a bit to keep me “of use” until he found the new more shiny wife appliance number three. (Who hasn’t had all the negative life experiences with him like I have…hard to look respectable when your current spouse is figuring out that the game is rigged…so….just get a new one!)
I am glad for this feeling because it helps me set my boundries with my XH. I know that, unfortunately only time and new life experiences of the “I’m free of my cluster b” variety will help to calm these feelings so I move ahead and try to do that.
Please try to be good to yourself and have some experiences with your children and alone because those are the true antidote to feeling shitty about giving them any more energy than we already have given them.
We have all been there or are there. I am taking our “elders” advice that Meh is out there! Good luck!
Yes, in the final whore, “he found the new more shiny wife appliance number three” and my anger helped me set the boundary of complete No Contact. This has been instrumental to my healing for many reasons.
The anger is a normal healthy reaction to the outrageous & cruel betrayal of your Cheater wife, don’t worry it will settle down with time. I channeled my anger into exercise, or if I was feeling particularly enraged, used to whack our punching bag with a baseball bat.
It does seem very unfair, but I cannot believe these people are capable of happiness, or a loving relationship. It’s hard to see that early on when they are rejoicing in their infatuation, with the gross insensitivity that only lust-inflamed narcs can muster, and you are left shell-shocked amidst the wreckage of your family.
I use exercises and kickboxing and feels great but. Never took a bat to a bag. sounds wonderful. LOL
So well put.
“… but the family will be just fine.” While they are flaunting their new relationship in front of you… total mindfuck and disrespect.
They’re incapable of being happy. X left for his AP and claimed he’d never been happier in his life, the best decision he’d ever made in his life. Not long after that I found him on match.com while he was with her. X eventually left the woman of his dreams for a new love he found on match.com, true love this time, she’s his biggest fan. Guess what? he’s happier than he’s ever been in his life.
Sounds like I’m talking about a teenage girl.
Lost souls and hungry ghosts
I think the “rejoicing in their infatuation” over the OP is continued emotional abuse of the primary partner. The message is that they can be happy and in love, just not with their primary partner, who is deficient in their eyes. They cannot just leave without making their primary partner feel worse than they already do over the infidelity. In a break-up between emotionally healthy people, one partner does not try to make the other partner feel bad or deficient when the relationship comes to an end. The “rejoicing in their infatuation” also sends the message that the break-up with the primary partner was right and justified, as the OP is the real deal, the true love of their life. This often coincides with the smear campaign of the primary partner, who is a “crazy abuser” who victimized the poor cheater.
I felt like the Tasmanian Devil with my anger in the first few months after D-Day. It did propel me to get through the divorce in 3 months post D-Day. Two years post-divorce, I still feel anger over the betrayal, but not at the level that I did immediately post D-Day.
I say it’s ok to be angry. We’ve all been there. We’re heart broken and our lives turned upside down by someone who intentionally deceived us. It can take time. I’m about one and a half year out. I still get pissed about how he got away with it. They fuck you over and life goes on for them. Maybe they’ll get what they deserve. Maybe they won’t. And it still makes me very sad. Not that I want him in my life. But the reality of what you thought you had and where you are today.
But you have to move on. There’s no other choice. It does get better. Will prob never go away all together. Like with everything try and turn a negative into positive. Addition by subtraction is correct. There are days I still feel this is nonsense but deep down it’s true. And it’s reality. We have to face it. And we have to focus on ourselves. NC helps a lot. With kids I’m sure that’s not always possible. Stay strong. This is a great community. Lots of people here will tell you like it is but we all want the same thing. Peace and happiness for each other and ourselves.
This sums it opus so well. peace and happiness – yes!
“It just feels like she actually ended up with things going her way.”
Angry Chump, I know that’s the way it looks. I know that’s what she will tell everyone. I know that’s all she will ever post on social media. I know people don’t know your side of the story and, frankly, don’t care to hear it.
I know all this because I lived all this. Just this past week I learned that my ex told a potential employer that we divorced because I am mentally ill. He also neglected to mention he had a child because why would the court award full custody to someone who is mentally ill…but I digress.
Anger is absolutely what you should feel because it is righteous anger. You don’t get to key their cars or do anything other such thing to act wrongly on that anger, but you DO get to be angry. In fact, at this point, anger is very, very healthy–it does things like keep you from going back to that kind of wrongness.
But my main point is that while it looks like she ended up getting away with it, that karma bus will soon crank up the engine, shift into gear and slowly, painfully slowly, begin to roll her way. That’s the thing with the karma bus, it goes 0 to 100 in about 5 years, but when it does–it has built up a full head of steam and will flatten her. But by the time it does, if you do what it takes to get healthy and get through, you’ll be happily living in the land of Meh and won’t even care…well, you’ll probably smile a little, but then go right back to being awesome.
Hang in there. It gets better later.
I really understand how you feel. I’ve been angry for almost 3 years as I fight the fucktard in a high conflict divorce. I was duped for over 15 years. Yes, some of the anger stems from him drifting off scot-free to a new life. Most of the anger comes from him trying to kick me while I’m down. But, the anger and injustice keep me fighting because my kids are worth it. I’d choose anger over self-pity and paralysis any day. I find that when I’m away from reminders of the situation I am a better version of my previous self. It is incredibly freeing. I am happy that he is no longer in my life and that I do not have to endure his cheating and mind-fuckery anymore. I have no doubt that you will be just fine in no time. As Chump Lady says “most of us are quivering, weepy blobs at 6 months”. Embrace your anger when you need to. Know that a better life is coming your way 🙂
30 years married 4 kids together and I find this dating app on his phone. It was tip of the iceberg. Because I wouldn’t just let that go…I find out about his porn obsession, his 7 different email accounts including Ashley Madison his daily Craigslist postings looking for anything and everything. I am sick to my stomach.
I get no apologies, no remorse. He says “you are broken”. “I want what I want”. I take our 2 kids and leave. I am blamed for leaving him. Within weeks he is got a gf. Basically walked out on his family. He is buying her jewelry and going on trips while we struggle. He is posting all his happiness on fb while taking away children’s insurance benefits and telling them he works 2 jobs to support us. Called his vacations “little treats” for himself. My oldest laughed…she said you know mom…little treats like a dilly bar. I don’t feel sorry for him. I am back in school getting my education to get a good job to provide for myself and the kids. I am still mad as hell. He is passing trollface off as someone he met after I moved out but I know its not true. I do not understand how others are so supportive of him. I do not get how he has absolutely no shame about what he’s done. Divorce will be final in November. Oldest son asked me to his baby reveal party in July and told me asshat and trollface will be present. I cannot bring myself to go. It breaks my heart. He told me a few months after I left..”thanks for making this so easy for me”. Omg. Where is the karma bus???
Deni, I am SO sorry you were married to such a truly world-class, gold-medal, champion asshole. It’s a horrible feeling to be struggling while he just seems to sail off in to the sunset, eh?
He has no shame because he has ZERO character or morals. Others support him because they aren’t much better. I hope you have a good lawyer who can get the kids’ insurance back. Because for people who have no moral compass, the law is the only thing that works.
Feel free to choose not to attend your son’s party. Tell him that maybe in a few years you’ll be able to be in the same room as your ex and be able to enjoy yourself, but that’s not happening yet. Reassure him, and yourself, that you hope to/expect to/will have lots of other opportunities to enjoy him and his partner and the baby.
The karma bus doesn’t hit everyone who deserves it, although it’s SO satisfying when it does. But he is who he is, he takes that with him. He won’t be any better for the OW, or the next gf after that, or the one after that. He won’t sustain truly caring relationship with the kids. And you can go on in your authentic, caring life.
I agree with KarenE that not attending and stating the reason why is a good step. We don’t control other people’s hearts and minds, which is infuriating when their behavior is so insensitive and unfair, but it will be good for you to state a firm, clear boundary. I had to do this with my friends who thought one day I’d be happy to hang with ex like they do. Nope. I told them if they invite both of us, I won’t come, so a decision to invite both is a decision to not see me. One of them got it and changed behavior. The rest, well, let’s just say I don’t see them much any more. But NOTHING would have changed if I hadn’t told them point blank what I would accept and what I wouldn’t.
Deni, you deserve so much better than the horrible and unconscionable situation your ex created. I’m so sorry for your pain. Please lean on the support here as you navigate through it.
Thank you. I wish my son would understand that I just cannot do it without taking it as a personal snub. He was very upset when neither of of sisters agreed to attend. Both told him they were working. (They are not) He’s sad cause he gave us all 6 weeks notice. (They are upset at their brother at how he and wife treat me and our family). His brother intends on putting in an appearance just to keep the peace but says he’s not interest in staying or meeting dads gf. I will take your advice and just be straightforward and tell him it hurts too much. I’m sure my dil will then say again that I’m being a drama queen. That’s why I didn’t want to tell him I’m not coming. It just gives them more ammunition to anahilate my character. ? I can’t win.
Thank you for your support. It is clear my 3 adult children want nothing to do with him and unless they agree to see him on his terms..ie..new life, gf, his narrative, etc..he will not indulge them. He basically abandoned them and then last week disowned them. He sucks.
Deni67 – why is the world is your son allowing trash to attend his child’s reveal party, and not have you there, and then share the baby news with asshat & the ho at a later time?
I get it you have the two older kids, but my 24 year old has does not have a single thing to do with his “dad,” the asshole who hurt his mother so badly and abandoned us. He was already out of the home when our family blew up, but he totally gets it and has loyalty to me only. He has a child, too, with whom I have an amazing relationship and his “dad” doesn’t even know. What’s up with your son? Your daughter seems to get it.
I’m sorry this is happening to you. Grand babies are such an amazing family blessing, and this asswipe & ho’s presence ruins it for you. Maybe tell your son how it equates to more betrayal toward you?
Sounds like you have to talk to your son and really spell out the betrayal this douchbag inflicted on you and set people straight with the truth, these low life’s will control the narrative if you don’t. I tell everyone as they say he can DEAL
Deni, our stories are almost exactly the same with four kids two of them grown and the only difference is that Satan’s ugly step brother left and openly has been openly living with the whore–I learned in the divorce that he even took her to my in-laws house in another state for Christmas–we were still married! We were married 25 years and those in-laws have never spoken to me or to their grandkids since I kicked X out after Dday #20++++. And our youngest is in elementary school! They’re all fucked up but they act like their shit doesn’t stink.
I’m done with all of them and if anybody is foolish enough to believe whatever narrative they’re telling then fuck them too!
Thank you guys so much for taking the time to respond. It touched my heart. The issue is that ex has everyone believing he was so sad and put upon in an unhappy marriage. Everyone is so happy for him now. He was living a double life and things would have continued that way if I would have just allowed it. I was miserable and he was grumpy and raging and mean. I used to cry..I don’t know what is wrong..he would just give me a cold stare. He even yelled at me and told me to go to therapy. Every time I would try to talk to him or spend time with him I was shut down. Finally by accident, I discovered the cheating and lies upon lies…going back at least 2 years. I don’t know any of the details because he will not disclose. I do have screen shots of all the daily #uckbuddy messages going back over a year from just the one account. Initially, I wanted to fix it but then after talking to him, he blamed me for everything including the cheating. He accused me of being so many horrible and rotten things. This from a guy who was deliberately lying and deceiving his family on a daily basis. I made the decision to go. So later on, he tells me its my fault because I left him. My 2 youngest lived through it and cannot stand him. My daughter 21..stood up to him last week refusing to be manipulated by him. He wants her to hear his side of the story. She said ..I lived it. You were never home and when you were you were not present, you lied and cheated on mom, you lied to us…etc..His response? He sent a fed ex envelope to them a week ago with Christmas cards and a letter to my daughter stating that if she cannot accept his new life and gf then she will lose her insurance and all support from him. For the past 19 months he had basically abandoned us in favor of his new gf and her family. This February he flew her out to meet his family and posted all the vacation pics on fb. Third vacation in the past year. (He has a great job makes good $$$..been buying her all kinds of things mani pedi jewelry etc. He never did that for me. Btw..We are struggling). He never called the kids this past year including holidays. He insists he just left me and not them but we can’t see a difference. My oldest married daughter 28 was completely supportive of us both from the start. Her dad has such a nice guy image. However, she has watched this past year how he has treated all of us including herself and she’s disgusted with him. My oldest son and dil are a completely different story. He was not living at home during all his dads shenanigans either but it hurt him to hear about what he did. My son has been quite kind and sympathetic. My dil on the other hand, has completely drunk the cool aid and become one of his staunchest supporters. She has in public accused me of being mean to him (after the breakup) and “sitting on my ass for the past 30 years and spending all his money”. So completely untrue. My dil told me 8 months after our break up (at their wedding dinner)I should get over it already and move on since my ex clearly has. And trollface would have been invited to the wedding dinner if it wasn’t for me. It was my fault she wasn’t there. Apparently, my ex and trollface take my son and dil out to dinners and socialize with them. My dil refuses to come to my home and according to her I am not a good influence on my granddaughter so I am not allowed to see her. She also told me that I am a drama queen. My son went to visit his older sister alone this christmas as she will not even go there. My dil insists she does not influence my son and yet…they will not attend anything they are invited to. Now, after being snubbed from my granddaughters birthday etc…I get invited to the baby revel and told that asshat and trollface will be there. Its a shit sandwich I cannot even look at. I told my son..you know, your dad and I are still married? He said he knew. I hate the fact that he gets to control the narritave. I hate that he gets the support from his family and friends. I am truely greatful to cn and cl for helping me navigate this shitshow. My family was the most important thing in the world to me and to stand by and watch it implode was hearbreaking. Now to see him try to turn the kids so he can now have his gf and everything go his way. Some days, its just too much to handle.
DIL sounds like piece of work. Please post back when the karma bus rolls in and shit gets real, it will. Stay strong and don’t go to anything out of obligation, if the thought of attending makes you sick don’t do it, you need to take care of your emotional health and not please people. Learning to say No is empowering.
My Assclown husband of 29 years – on the surface, high morals, big job, constant executive travel, great professional rep….turned out to have continued a relationship with an old GF from the 70’s all during our marriage. We were married in 1981 and I walked out on him in 2009. I have never actually met the OW, she never married or had kids.
My reason was, I became aware of her in about 2006 and did my detective work to be sure what was going on. I was gutted but silently made my plans. I obtained a passport to another country (where my parents emigrated from), saved my money, lined up my finances including an inheritance from Dad which happened in 2008. I got rid of all but the most sentimental small possessions and then rented somewhere to live in my chosen new destination. I posted parcels to myself at thr new address and had the landlord pick them up and keep them for me. Oh, the detail in the planning was enormous. Assclown was totally shocked when I simply left, no fighting, with two suitcases and a backpack. The only emotion he showed was a tear in one eye the last time I looked at him.
All I knew was, like you, I could not live with him any more knowing his true character. I also knew I could never fight the tide of reputation management he would do. Everyone worships him, even our older son. They mostly worship his money, which may be the case with your son and DIL.
So in 2009 I left my beautiful mansion home, community, friends, clubs, antiques, and two grown sons behind, and moved 3000 miles to a place where I knew virtually no one. I had a job and a place to live, and enough savings to live on. I virtually started from point zero….except that I had my life wisdom, and I loved myself enough to choose freedom. Yes, the loneliness was awesome, but I just put one foot in front of the other. And made small gains each day.
As for Assclown, he now lives with the OW in my former home. OW uses my wedding china, my maternal grandmother’s house full of priceless antiques, dines with my sons at holidays, apparently is a womderful hostess. I had an email from a former neighbour last year…she spilled the beans after being there for a party. The neighbour was not being cruel, she just felt the need to tell me how utterly disgusted she was at how coldly I was replaced. They have no shame, these people.
My soon-to-be DIL has “gotten very close” with OW to the point where this summer, OW will take my place at the parents table at my son’s wedding. I have bought a plane ticket to go, with some considerable trepidation, but for only one reason: my younger son (27) is urging me to “stand up to them” “don’t let her steal your place as our Mom”. So, I face the choice of staring down a crowd of people who, in the eight years I’ve been gone, have been fed god knows what stories about me! I was not given the chance to invite any guests, so only my current partner is accompanying me…and he sure thinks I’m nuts to go!
The truth is, I’ve had my interesting experiences in those eight years but am happily settled for now with a fellow chump. I say for now because I cannot bring myself to ever again think things are permanent.
My relationship with younger son is loving and we speak frequently on skype and see each other when we can. However, the prospect of being a grandmother is something I have to now accept may not be as one envisions.
All i can say is, be strong enough to know that the path you chose was better than staying. If you can, limit contact about sentimental and traditional stuff…don’t put too much importance on things like baby reveal parties (wtf?). Looking at your own mental health and doing what is best for you is more important. That way, you duck having to hear the cheaters’ narrative.
Marci, I’m glad to hear of your experiences. I’m also dealing with grandchildren and how my DILs want us to all get along to make things easier for all of them. My ex has bought a big resort home and the kids often spend time with him there.
I’m still close to my oldest son’s family, but my younger son and his wife seem to prefer spending time with his dad who is fun and has plenty of room in his big house. It sure hurts when I remember all the times I was killing myself to get my youngest son to various tournaments all over the country while his dad was off gallivanting around with his coworker girlfriend.
Anyway, I said too much to my youngest child about what his dad did. I even showed him his dad’s journal writings. In my son’s eyes his dad “never said anything bad” about me, so he is the better person.
All I can hope is to keep loving my son and his family and pray that some day he understands what his dad put me through. I do pretty well until holidays come, then being alone while watching other happy families doing things together is hard. Thank goodness my older son and his wife make sure to invite and include me in as much as possible. They just don’t live very close.
It sure is heartbreaking indeed to recall so clearly the good Mom work we did through the years, trusting that our families and marriages were solid. My older son, when I told him the OW makes me uncomfortable because she was the third person in my marriage, replied that I “need to get off my cross” and get over his father’s behaviour.
This was in fact the first time I had ever even spoken with son about divorce details. He obviously had been prepped by his father’s cover stories.
I had been on civil terms with the ex since the divorce “for the sake of the kids”. Since that comment, I figure the kids don’t need their fee fees protected so it’s all out hostility if the OW tries to pull any gloating at the wedding. I will play ice princess and stare her down. Awful,awful bitch, to stalk my marriage for years like she did.
I know for a fact that my boys kiss the ex’s a** so they stand a chance of inheriting his gazillions. It won’t be until I am long dead that they will regret that choice.
Now, time for better thoughts. Off to the beach!
Deni, I am so sorry for all that you’ve been through! Your story and mine are very similar. The publishing of the Ashley Madison list was the tip of the iceberg that I found. Craigslist, porn, too many hookers to count and multiple people he’d met on hookup sites that he’d have sex with 2 minutes after meeting them (WITHOUT a condom) and then continue to have sex with them until they got sick of him.
It made me question myself–how did I not see this? Yes, I knew he was a flirt but in a million years I didn’t think he’d ever risk my life for a quick screw with some sleazy (and OMG, some of them were) stranger.
Time has helped but there are still days where I’m angry and days when the tears seem to come out of nowhere.
Hang in there. We will make it through!
I am still angry almost a year out from DDay, although admittedly it took longer than it realistically should have to show up. I wasted too much time trying to be sympathetic to STBX and his unhappiness (even if I didn’t think I was really to blame for that). AC, you are working through the stages of your grief relatively quickly so with luck, you will be able to move on with your life quickly too.
This article has been helpful for me. Yes we have a right to our anger. It is hard enough to accept rejection but betrayal, devalue and disrespect on top of it is even worse. If we are such terrible spouses then it shouldn’t be necessary to go shopping for our replacements before leaving. This is the worst kind of emotional pain and it is ok to be angry at the people who are inflicting it. That includes anybody who tries to validate the other relationship in any way. Those people are hurting you too. They may do it out of ignorance, but it still hurts.
In my case, I just don’t see what is so special about Schmoopie or so terrible about me that it is worth tearing our family apart, especially if it wasn’t worth tearing the family apart before he decided that dating while married was a good idea. She can’t possibly be that great if she was the type of woman who would sleep with somebody else’s husband while still married herself.
XH was a gaslighter who never admitted to his affair with OW. That did not stop me from asking him what was so special about OW, a married woman who did not take his unemployed ass on when he got caught. He denied even knowing her so I never got a direct answer.
However, he knew that when I was growing up as a kid I went swimming at the nearby park pool every day in the summer, because I enjoyed swimming. When a little bit of time had gone by, he asked, “What is so special about the park pool?” I knew that this was blow-back from my question about what was so special about OW. I didn’t answer him, but I thought about the answer to myself; it was an activity that I enjoyed. I then realized that he felt similiarly about OW; that having an affair with her was something he enjoyed. It didn’t matter that she had no moral compass because he didn’t have one either; it was something they had in common. I think that they liked talking dirty to each other. While XH never confessed to the affair with her, he threw out cryptic little nuggets that I had never heard pre D-Day and they related to private parts.
The gaslighters have a unique way of telling the truth. Have you heard this saying, “Liars don’t lie”?
Like your story above, James Bond had dozens and dozens of ways to let me know, I just had to pay attention.
Angry Chump, you have every right be angry, your life has been shattered. It’s beyond frustrating knowing the X is living comfortably, appear happy with their new chosen lifestyle. It’s even worse when people sympathize with the Cheater X. People made ignorant comments to me such as, Brit, get over it, “you two weren’t getting along” X is a nice guy, X wants something different. Keep this mantra in your head whenever your mind wanders to her or question yourself, “Trust that she sucks” and always will. If you haven’t already drop any friends you have that claim to be mutual friends of hers and yours. On the fence Switzerland people are her friends. Make new friends, No more pain shopping. Buy new clothes, listen to music you enjoy. Spending time with friends is therapeutic, just once a week or every two weeks. Acceptance is huge, accept the truth that she isn’t the person you thought you married, you were conned by an imposter. Dishonesty and selfishness will always be who they are Do things you like to do for you. Your X has lost a devoted husband you have won a life without a cheater and an opportunity to build the life you deserve. As CL said, men like you are in demand, and a rare commodity. No need to rush into another relationship, work on your picker, and list the qualities you prefer and qualities to avoid, stick to your boundaries. Listen to your intuition. Learn to enjoy your own company, make plans for you and your child’s next visit. I don’t know how old your child is but most kids enjoy movie night at home, cooking together even if it’s making jello, camp out in the back yard, make breakfast together, fly a kite, take a hike, plant something, pumpkins in the garden are fun, your child will look forward to seeing how much it’s grown each visit. The best revenge is taking good care of yourself and not showing any interest in her. Eventually her life will implode, she’s on the fast track for disaster,
Doing these things I’ve listed sound simple to anyone who hasn’t suffered from betrayal and devastation, they’re not. Somedays facing the day when thoughts of the happy Cheater intrude on our brain they can be paralyzing.
If you haven’t already get Tracy’s book read the advice and posts here on CL. If you’re in doubt or have something on your mind theres always people here to listen. Divert your thoughts from her to yourself and child and “trust that she sucks,” because she does.
Now I need to follow my own advice.. =)
People with crazy life skills usually nosedive – ain’t that the truth!
The anger will pass – hard to imagine but it with.
I had the slow burn boiling rage for about 9 months and it suited it’s purpose because I took no shit from Fucktard. It’s been a year since I had to drag his ass to court for child custody/support and I must say, it’s so much better over here. You will get there.
I still get triggered and the rage can creep up even to this day but only as it pertains to having to coparent with a complete waste of selfish space.
Hold fast . . . I can see meh on the horizon.
Look at from another angle, any friends or colleagues that were okay or thought you should get over it aren’t people you want in your life. I know it hurts but it’s very easy judge of character , to see people’s reactions to infidelity.
One thing I said to people who didn’t get my pain and anger is to ask them ” so you wouldn’t mind if I asked your wife or gf out then right?” since it’s no big deal it shouldn’t be a problem. You can even do the same if your wife or MIL brings it up, just ask them if that’s the advice they’d give your children. I did this to my ex and I have to admit the deer in headlights look she gave me was priceless. And her response of ” that’s not fair”.
Your best bet though is just to disengage with all of them completely except when it comes to the divorce and kids. I know how rough it can be but things will get better.
I asked STBX why Schmoopie would want someone who has so much in common with her ex. Her ex cheated on her and STBX hates him for being such a jerk to her sweet soul. I didn’t get a response. I suppose I could also ask why she wants to emulate her ex’s OW.
My ex actually said it was a relief to be with someone like Schmoopie, who ‘understood’ about cheating, since she had ended her previous marriage (with three kids) by cheating on her husband.
I guess both his former girlfriend and myself, who were not ok with cheating, are just too stressful for someone like him to be around. Our ‘moral superiority’ and ‘self-righteousness’ must be exhausting to such a Timid Forest Creature as himself.
Oh, and I guess that he wasn’t surprised, or upset, when Schmoopie later dumped him. For another man. Twice.
Too funny, they are disordered and don’t think straight. Mine thinks I’m bad because I don’t want to try and work things out.
Everything is met with ‘why can’t you be kind and decent’ he does not see me as a person with feelings or opinions.
Nothing to work with and frankly don’t have the energy.
He’s so fucked he actually thinks his parents who are religious are proud of him, deluded much.
Idiot cheater was equally shocked when I asked him if it would be okay for him to fuck his BFF’s GF or his boss’s wife or if he’d be okay with his mom’s long term BF fucking some whore behind his mom’s back, or if even now almost nine months after d-day if he’d be okay with me fucking some other guy. And he was shocked and disgusted at the idea. Really? Then why was it okay with him? And he says it wasn’t. ?
Anger gets an undeserved bad rap. Anger is GREAT. Anger says fuck no to blameshifting and gas lighting.
The Summer that Cold Slab O’ Meat dawdled on paying for the dissolution whilst he played poor discarded me to a host of co workers, internet dates and pregnant Schmoopie who couldn’t decide whether she was really a lesbian or not, my daughter and I built a deck. By ourselves. A 45 year old lady and a ten year old girl. EVERY NAIL had his and The Sluterus’ face on it.
This spring we remodeled three rooms more in our house. The rage of being alone to have to move a disgusting old toilet off the pipe, and my savings gone that I could have used to pay a plumber drove me. When I set the new one properly and bolted it down, the roar I let out felt like fear breaking off my heart and being permanently banished. Yeah, I know. For a toilet.
My favorite singer Nick Cave would tell you, “Out of sorrow entire worlds have been built/Out of longing great wonders have been willed.”
Anger is Good.
I love that you did rage plumbing. Every time you use that toilet it’s a victory flush.
Bolted toilet, new you. 🙂
Luziana, love this! And agree that anger is mobilizing af. It is the only emotion I think that redistributes responsibility back to where it belongs! Until I started feeling it, I just wasn’t healing. Suppressing it literally made me shake.
You Tube has helped my healing. One golden nugget was to not run from the pain, look it in the eye and feel it, don’t destract yourself and repress it. ‘The medicine is in the pain’
Pain is a tool of healing.
I love it when the writing here is this great.
Nick Cave fan here also, hello for Aus.
Love it, Luziana! I felt that way when I shoveled 17 inches of snow by myself. I feel it again every time I accomplish something I never thought I could.
Luziana, I just came in from the front yard where I have been cleaning/replacing sprinkler heads. This weekend, I’m building the pondless waterfall, that I’ve always wanted, in my backyard. This past 18 months I’ve bought power tools and learned to use them, building raised garden beds, redoing the fencing, hanging shelving, installing light fixtures, painting rooms, refinishing furniture.
Every time I finish up a project, I step back, admire, and practically jump for joy. Not only CAN I do these things (YouTube rocks for learning new skills!), the stress from having to wait for Shithead to get off his computer and his ass to do something is GONE (Gods forgive should I have had the temerity to touch any of “his” tools to do it myself ).
I want it done, I do it.
And everytime I do, it’s a giant “fuck YOU, Shithead”! I GOT this!!
Life is getting good.
You’re angry because you were shafted and also because for now you need to be angry. Seeing no consequences to your cheater just gives more reason to be angry. I’m in a similar situation. My cheater retained most of his friends, many of whom are even closer and more loyal despite knowing the way he systematically deceived and betrayed me during our marriage. They think of themselves as my friend, too, but what kind of friendship is it to see such horrible behavior and basically shrug at it? In addition, the ex has prospered since I left him. He inherited substantial funds from his father, retired with a nice pension and 401k ,and the hobby-based small business he started with my encouragement has thrived. He seems to be respected and beloved by his colleagues in the hobby. This is the shit sandwich I have to eat.
I became much more socially isolated after the divorce because going no contact with the ex meant I had to remove myself from the entire social group. It took a few years to process what had happened and develop new skills so that I felt ready to allow people into my life again without being on hyper alert all the time. Then my dear old dog had health problems and needed quite a lot of care, which severely limited my ability to invest in new social opportunities. It’s been very hard but in a way that isn’t visible to most people. I have a good job, after all, and got my own place and went on vacations. So really, what harm was really done by the ex conning me out of the 15 years I dated and was married to him? That’s the way the majority see it.
Now, I’m sure that the horrible dynamic the ex brings to every relationship continues. His live-in girlfriend suffers from fears he’s cheating on her but remains all in. I can only imagine the harm he is doing to her. He exploits his friends and they buy into his self-pity and pour more energy into the relationship. He himself is not a happy person no matter what he projects to the world. Knowing all this is pretty cold comfort, though.
I didn’t want to be angry, either. I felt like that would be losing to the ex in yet another way. I didn’t want him to continue poisoning my life even after I got free of him. So I focused on the positive. The problem is that I hadn’t really processed everything that happened. I kept remembering little details that exposed new aspects of the betrayal. I had a lot to be angry about. So after a while, I let myself be angry. I was angry for months. And given that this happened more than a year after I left, it was hard for people to understand or empathize. So I didn’t have a lot of support. Still, I needed to feel that anger, to embrace it, to understand fully everything ex cost me and to rage that he got away with it. And then, especially with the increasing knowledge I gained from this site and other resources, I was able to move forward.
I love the stories of cheaters getting the consequences they deserve. Love it love it love it and I’m so happy for the chumps who can see it play out in their own lives. But that isn’t every chump’s fate. I doubt I will ever have the satisfaction of seeing things blow apart for the ex. And that sucks. Over time, though, it becomes more of a background thing — always unfair but not a thorn digging in every moment. It took a while and a lot of effort and a lot of embracing my anger but I am pretty much at peace with it now. Let’s say 85% at peace, which is pretty good. I don’t put energy into it any more and that is energy I can put into the things that are important to me.
When you’re in the middle of it, as you are, it’s hard to hear you have a ways to go before you can arrive where you want to be. I’m sorry to invoke that old chestnut Time, but Time really will help as long as you do the work. This site will help you immensely in understanding what work you need to do and how to accomplish it. I would say, as uncomfortable and unwelcome the anger and your reasons for it are, it is where you are right now. You’ll have to get through it to get where you want to be. It’s better to deal with it now than push it down and let it simmer underneath for years to come. The angry phase sucks. The entire chump experience sucks. But on the other end, there are lessons and knowledge and compassion you might never have achieved without the painful lessons this experience can teach you.
You have everything you need to get there. I wish this hadn’t happened to you. You didn’t deserve it.
QUOTE “I love the stories of cheaters getting the consequences they deserve. Love it love it love it and I’m so happy for the chumps who can see it play out in their own lives. But that isn’t every chump’s fate. I doubt I will ever have the satisfaction of seeing things blow apart for the ex. And that sucks.”
I am SOOOO stuck on this. Most of my life continues to be a living nightmare. (21 year marriage, I hadn’t worked for the last 18 at his insistence, 2 kids, terrible settlement that I willingly signed because I was a morbid combination of terrified of him and on the brink of death from the stress of the length process.) He was a serial cheater for the entire marriage, engagement, dating. His POS mother says we must all feel sorry for him because he did this due to low self-esteem. (BS! he is entitled and an over-confident sociopath and somatic narcissist.) She has lied and told their entire family we “grew apart.” So, I lost his family and I have none of my own.
I work 3 jobs, rent a shitty place, and am totally broke. The kids know he sucks which helps emotionally, but all their financial care is squarely on me. He got a big raise (he diverted for 2 years during the divorce & separation,) bought a brand new flashy car, has trail-park whore shacking up in the new house he bought the very day we closed on our marital home. He and his mother cleaned out our house before I got my things. (He spends far more money on her than his own children. Our son (19) gets a bit for sports equipment and tuition and daughter (16) gets nothing.) His life is just a wonderful dream for him and mine is a fucking nightmare. The injustice of it all kills me. I feel like I CAN’T move on until I see some fucking karma; either bad for him or good for me; I don’t even care which. I know that’s immature and life isn’t fair, blah, blah…. but I JUST CAN’T!
Yes, of course I’m happier because he was also very abusive. Complete with threats to have me live on the streets, punching walls inches from my face, and almost raping me twice when I refused to have sex with him during our shared-house separation, on and on…. I’m not afraid of the sound of the garage door anymore, and with two older teenagers I relish the Low Contact with him. But having more emotional peace is not completely making up for the severe financial anxiety I have, the lack of sleep from working 75-80 hours a week, nor the damn injustice of it all. (divorce was final 8 months ago.)
Please help me– is there an entire thread dedicated to this perhaps? Can we have one please Chump Lady??
Correction – he spends far more on the whore than on the children. It sounds like I said he spends more on his mother… My pissed off rant wasn’t so coherent in a few places-ha!
Beenchumped respect at your mightiness working 3 jobs and supporting your two teens. Financial unfairness sucks. Anger is a righteous response your ex’s despicable actions, You could maybe start a thread on the forum on this site? Wishing you strength and happiness.
My ex-wife used to take our kids around her married OM too. And she still hangs out with him too. Maybe the only difference is that all of our mutual friends and all of their co-workers know what went on and think it’s pretty pathetic.
As for your ex’s new “happy” life, just realize that she’s a shitty person who obviously has made some shitty decisions. So she’ll likely continue to make shitty decisions in the future (she’s still meddling in other people’s marriages for crying out loud). The only reason she’s made it this far is that you were probably around to clean up the fallout from her prior acts of stupidity (like we all were).
So now that she’s on her own, just take comfort in the fact that sooner or later another shitty decision will be made, and she’ll be the only one left to clean it up and deal with the fallout – on her own. She may try to blame you (like my ex still tries to do when reality comes knocking every now and then), but that’s harder to do when you aren’t even around. Then life’s not so “happy” anymore.
I don’t think you need proof that they fucked to call it cheating.
X wants the world to think he and Skanky just coincidentally discovered their twu wuv a month after we began divorce proceedings. They posted photos of themselves at alumni events, and would spend weekends at Cape Cod entertaining his “friends.” I use “friends” sardonically because the man has the most superficial, vapid relationships with people he used to know forty years ago.
Despite the fact I found their syrupy work emails professing everlasting wuv going back a full year before we started divorce proceedings, I was the witch who “invaded his privacy” by looking at them.
Leave a cheater, gain a life, indeed. You don’t need proof to know they are horrible people. And in the end, you will feel tremendous relief she is out of your life for good.
Meanwhile, feel all the anger you want. You deserve to be able to be pissed off, big time.
“you lost your marriage because you would not accept unethical behavior that was HARMING you.”
This spoke out to me, I’m holding this close today. Thanks CL!
I could’ve written this letter myself, except I’m at 2 years and still absolutely furious. Even though I am happier and healthier than I’ve been in years, I still spend most of my time thinking about what happened, and it always gets me upset. It’s just so unfair that I can’t process it and fear I never will be able to.
I don’t want her back at all. Never will. I just hate that she got away with it with so few bumps. Nobody cares what happened. Nobody is bothered that she quit on her family just so she doesn’t have to be a mom full-time. So many think it was all about me when it wasn’t even *partly* about me. And there’s nothing I can do about it.
I have nothing more to add than that, I’m afraid. I’m sorry. This whole thing is just so unjust. I wish you better luck than I’ve had in accepting it.
I need to find and tap into this emotion (liget) to help deal with my fury…
I heard this report last week and found it so interesting! Small world!
Wow, very interesting idea, when the day I was given the BD, after the complete shock and numbness, then bawling, I felt I had to get away from home. Not even close to being able to drive, I started to walk to the pond and the pain hit me so hard I could barely stand up anymore. When then from the depths of my soul, a curdled howling scream escaped like I had never experienced. My energy was completely drained yet I continued onward to a log to lay on and at once knew that it was my call of agony. I had never felt so alone and in despair for all my life. I’m not sure if anyone else heard as I live in the country, but I assume is so they would have thought someone was dying.
I’ve felt that too but for me it came after I saw his name on the dissolution of marriage papers. That’s when it really hit me that he was throwing me away. I sobbed like my heart was breaking. I drove around trying to find a place to let myself cry even harder before I went back to work. I remember thinking I wanted to fall into an open grave and let them cover me up. I think it’s actually confronting our primal fear of abandonment that causes those feelings.
I’ve felt that and I’m lucky to be on an isolated farm where I can let these howls of rage and anguish out safely. I’ve howled myself hoarse many times. It helps.
Oh the injustice! That one took me a long time to get over… it still rears its ugly head every know and again! It’s really hard not to focus on getting screwed! Good things happen to good people… right? Nope!
Our justice system doesn’t really care what kind of person you are, as long as you aren’t breaking the law, and unfortunately there are no laws to regulate morality. I try to remind myself that I wouldn’t want my morality regulated; though I feel I have a strong moral compass, I’m sure there are things I believe that others find appalling (though none of them include hurting another person).
My STBX’s narrative goes something like this…
I hurt my wife really bad and she just couldn’t get over it. I tried to make amends but she was no longer willing to work on our marriage. This isn’t what I wanted, but life rarely turns out how we would like. I realize now that I wanted a divorce for a long time, I was unhappy (and this is where he finds his justification for all he’s done), I just didn’t know it. I tried and tried to make her happy, but she has issues she needs to work out, I could never love her enough… it was exhausting. I’m happy now, and I wish her the best and hope she can find happiness.
Vs. my narrative
I was the sole caregiver of our children and my ex spend his time working or playing. If I wanted to do something, better find a babysitter because his life was busy and he didn’t have time to babysit, not even when I begged him to take a day off of work when I had the flu and couldn’t care for our toddlers. He’d come home late and lock himself in the office and watch porn, while I bathed the kids and got them ready for bed. When I found out he was signing up for hook-up sites I had an intervention with the church. When I found out he had an affair with a 21 year old stripper, I tried to overcome it to keep our family together. When I asked him not to take that traveling position for work he did it anyway, so he could spend thousands on prostitutes while on out of town trips.
Cheaters spin the narrative in their favor to make themselves look like the victims of deteriorating marriages that they fought to keep together; until one day they just succumb to their sadness and “made a mistake.” They like to put a pretty bow on an ugly package and come out as the “I’m a bigger person, I have no ill feelings”.
Yes, this is completely maddening that people co-sign their victim license, and agree it was all for the best. Here’s the conclusion I’ve come to – people generally don’t care about others behavior unless it affects them, or unless they’ve been through the same situation and GET IT… like the good people here at Chump nation. We get it, we know it sucks, we know it’s painful, and we know your cheater is not the poor victim of circumstances beyond her control. We know people with good character don’t betray you in such a horrific way, and we know her narrative is filled with half truths, unicorn sparkles, and lies of omission. Cheaters suck, and unfortunately the receiver of the shit sandwich they craft is us! Of course you would be angry!
Yes! A pretty bow on a piece of shit is still a piece of shit.
Wow, your X is very similar to mine… how do you so grounded and healthy?!
‘Cheaters spin the narrative in their favor to make themselves look like the victims of deteriorating marriages that they fought to keep together; until one day they just succumb to their sadness and “made a mistake.” They like to put a pretty bow on an ugly package and come out as the “I’m a bigger person, I have no ill feelings”.’
Your Ex’s narrative is the same as mine. Pieces of selfish entitled shit.
AC, we are in the same angry camp. My STBX of 18 years will under no circumstances, admit to cheating. Yet, the mountain of evidence is undeniable. I too am being blamed for his unhappiness, he’s never been happy apparently, and isn’t sure if he wanted to marry me all those years ago. He has tried to make me appear crazy to our families but to no avail. When all else fails, he says things to others and our children like, “I’d tell you why I left but that would make Mom look bad.” That is basically a license to let your imagination run wild as to all the things I must have done to deserve this and how justified he is in leaving.
I too am at the angry phase, rage phase may be more appropriate. He wants to appear to be a good guy in public for the sake of his image. He tries to do “nice guy” things like open the door for me or get me a chair at our children’s activities. This of course makes me want to kick him in the balls. Meanwhile, I cannot look him in the eye. I will not engage in conversation, I do not take the “I’m a nice guy” bait. If I am not worthy of the truth, he is not even worthy of my fake smile. I am so sick of his shit sandwiches, I can’t even pretend to be polite anymore. Know your truth, share it if you want with those who ask, and remember your worth. This is not a reflection of you, no one is perfect. Good people don’t deceive everyone to keep their image intact or abandon their families. I’m finding that the anger is a welcomed emotion, I prefer it to the “I hurt so bad I feel like I could die” emotion. Hang in there, take up boxing or running or wood chopping. It helps. She will get hers. After all, she’s chosen a cheater. What goes around comes around. Hang in there.
Intuition, I love your post,;it so accurately expresses how I feel. I would prefer joy but anger is easier than the hurt which drains one completely.
Good Lord! AngryChump, I could have written this.
Chumplady’s response is so obviously correct, now that I think about it: Never confuse rejection and deception.
I’m with most of the posters above. Anger is an appropriate and proper response for your situation. It sucks to live it, we’ve all been there. As some posters stated above, find an outlet. Mickeyblueeyes’s solution of working the heavy bag with his fists is one, there are many others – find the one that works for you – running, biking, martial arts, whatever. Get your hulk on and rage for a while, just make sure you don’t hurt anyone that doesn’t deserve it (like a friendly sparring partner).
You’ve probably heard this before, but you’re grieving the death of the relationship you thought you had. And there are five well known stages to that grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. They don’t always happen in that order (although acceptance, when it comes, is usually last). So your anger is normal and part of the process. And, as was said, you’re only six months out.
I’ll go to my usual recommendation here – read Rarity’s guest blog post (Archives, March 21, 2017). Rarity is a mighty (with a capitol M) chump who is still active here. She says there’s three things you need to get over the betrayal and discard: time, separation, and doing something you love. You haven’t had enough time yet (six months is a start, but a couple years is closer to what most people need), you’re doing well on the no contact part, but you also need to find something you’re passionate about. It can be anything, volunteering at a homeless shelter, learning to speak a new language or play a new instrument, community theater, animal rescue, a new romantic relationship, a new hobby, travel, whatever. Something that gives you a reason to get out of bed in the morning, that excites your spirit. Try something, if it doesn’t work, try something else. Keep at it until you find yourself doing it regularly, thinking about it more than you think about your ex, enjoying your time both doing it and not doing it.
Eventually, you will understand that living angry, living depressed, or living in any other state than a normal, happy, healthy life, is letting her win, letting her get under her skin, letting her damage you even more than she already has. The long term goal is to move on, to gain your life back, to put her in the rear view mirror, and then past the top of the hill you just traveled over on your life’s path. You will get there, but it’s a hard road. You have to climb that hill first, and that’s work you have to do. Your therapist, your real friends, and your family can help, but in the end, you have to do the heavy emotional lifting.
You’re on the path, it’s not an easy road, but you will get to the other end, as many of us did and are doing.
Hugs. Strength. Peace.
Aeronaut, thanks for this post and for your replies to my own posts. Your insights and advice have been a big help as I embark on this stupid, unsolicited journey. I’m grateful. — HeChump
Dear Angry Chump,
Read my nickname. You are right to feel whatever you’re feeling. Please don’t let anyone tell you that it’s wrong! Own your feelings and trust them!
The only thing you need to worry about are your actions. Make them count.
“Cheaters have crap life skills and they take those crap life skills with them, because true character growth is painfully hard, whereas entitlement and kibbles feel awesome.”
Kudos to Chump Lady for summing up entire fields of study and branches of the self-help industry in one plucky little sentence!
A bit long for a book title, but this sums up everything it took me decades to learn and accept.
Angry Chump, I so know those feelings. My husband of 22 years told me “you just need to get over it” when we were maybe a month or two past our separation and my finding out about his exit affair. I’ve gone through all the typical phases and emotions. I think the bitter anger phase has rolled around multiple times. I’m now 7 months out, custody of our 2 children has been worked through, our house sold and now just 6 weeks until our divorce is completely official. I’m trying to keep focused on my future, which is undoubtedly so much brighter than my past, having shed a neglectful and emotionally abusive spouse. But I KNOW it’s so hard. It can be all to easy to slip into that mindset of “they got away with it!” In my case, he turned around and walked out the door without a second glance. Within a month he got his own apartment and his whore essentially has lived there with him since – there night and day
Ugh – wasn’t done so here’s the rest:
every time our children visit. He still has his career and friends and a woman to tell him how special he is. I got stuck with selling off a big chunk of our possessions, selling our house and moving into a much too-small apartment. I have no job as I gave up my career 12 years ago to raise our children. So I’ve felt very much that I’m stuck building a life from almost nothing (thankfully I do have child and spousal support to keep us afloat). He moved us to a new state about a year before all this happened, and he never bothered to include me in all his after-work social “activities” so I have basically no support network here. BUT, CL is right – the anger fades as your new life fills in. And as unfair as it all is, we still got the better end of the deal. So hang in there and look forward. Don’t allow yourself to dwell on her and on the past. Learn from the past, but always look forward!
Thats just not right – wishing you better days ahead. And I love this quote “Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward”
He made you move? Oh dumped_chump, I hate him! On your facts here, how can anyone who matters be on team That Guy? Seriously. Trust that he AND his friends all suck. Wow. He moved his family to a new state approxiamtely 1 year before he walked out on his stay-at-home spouse and his kids? And, crucially, never included you in his new social life? Sounds like he had been planning this — particularly if the new state has more favorable to him divorce laws than your prior state does, you gotta wonder about forum shopping, but I’m sure your lawyer already thought of that. Judges hate those kind of shenanigans! Hope you are getting a great settlement. You sound like you have a great head on your shoulders.
I am over two years out from D-Day and I can still feel that righteous anger. It doesn’t consume me anymore but one misstep from the get over it, look on the bright side, forgiveness troll, how could you not know or you’re bitter brigade will see me on a tirade much like Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction when he does the Ezekiel speech.
I find No Contact, the path to the truth and the light is the best way forward, along with other things to fill the time. Oh and, not covering for the cheater. When someone asks why I am no longer married they get the raw truth in one sentence. “Someone sent me a picture if my husband having sex with someone who wasn’t me and that’s a deal breaker”
Omy gosh yes!!!
” It doesn’t consume me anymore but one misstep from the get over it, look on the bright side, forgiveness troll, how could you not know or you’re bitter brigade will see me on a tirade much like Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction when he does the Ezekiel speech.”
I get this and there is such a visceral response.
I’m not angry at the narc-serial cheater. Though it still hurts, the hell isn’t over: the chaos, his rages and the financial damage he caused.
I’m strongly convinced that he’s pitiful and disgusting. And above all he’s out of my life. I don’t even remember his face.
I’m angry though, very angry for all the enablers.
Why are they looking for justification in the cheaters’ behavior? Where are all the understanding and compassionate people? How can they be so tolerant? It’s like everybody is on the cheater’s side.
People should hate cheaters!
They should be disgusted as I am, they should grasp all the evil intentions behind the act of cheating.
It’s not that cheaters are super sex-empowered, as endowed of an abundant sex charisma by nature.
I saw the ugly filthy atmosphere of his cheating dates. I have undeniable evidence, the chats, the pics and even the music: so dull and shadowy. Yet enablers seem to enjoy indirectly the thrill of cheating.
They’re cheaters, it’s not like in the movies, they don’t automatically become gorgeous movie stars or irresistible supermodels. The awful cheater I unluckily encountered had the smallest penis ever, I should have a photo to show (but I don’t) when people assume he’s a great lover since he isn’t that handsome.
They’re the ugly ones, without a soul.
People instead look at us chumps to find our flaws.
They’re puzzled, they assume the betrayed person isn’t attractive enough or must be boring (in bed) or must have something else wrong.
People don’t expect the evilness behind cheating.
Well, I am angry at the cheater. He’s an asshole for sure. However, I agree with you completely what is worse is the enablers. What the hell is wrong with these people?? If I ever found out that someone did that to someone I loved…you can bet the least I would do would be unfriend them on fb. That is the Very least I could do!!! And yet…not only do they retain friends but those people cheer them on. Motherfu$#&%$. I hope they all get what they deserve.
yes Deni, you have a spine, that’s why! These people don’t, they side with whomever they find coolest, strongest or whomever serves them for a purpose. They change sides in a blink of an eye when the idol falls. I call them sheeps. They follow someone else, which tells me that they don’t necessarily posses a brain. Did you say dull? 🙂
Completely agree about the anger towards enablers. I hate the cheater, too, but you’re exactly right. The cheater is responsible for the act of cheating, but the enablers drive the getaway car.
As everyone else says, six months is still early days. I’m about 4.5 years post Dday, 1.5 years post divorce, and 1 year out of the marital home. There are days I still get angry.
I no longer actively wish he were dead. The anger I feel is a dim shadow of the rage I once felt. I can look at his life and see that it is a mess. Sometimes I almost feel sorry for him. Almost. A lot of days I don’t think of him at all, since my own life is really busy.
You’ll get there. Eventually. It’s no shame not to be there now.
In the meantime, here are some thoughts and action items.
1. Hard proof is overrated. A lot of Chumps stay with their cheaters because they’re afraid that they don’t have “enough” hard evidence of an affair. What did you want? Pictures of them in bed together? Typically what you get is the text on the phone or the chance overheard comment. That’s your smoking gun. Cheaters, though, will try to gaslight you into believing that what you saw/heard was not what you saw/heard.
2. Feel free to tell your story. It’s hard when you talk to people, since they want so very badly to spackle over the infidelity. No one likes to admit that someone they know is a dishonorable cheater. They’ll tell themselves that people fall out of love, things happen–all sorts of bullshit. You don’t need to buy into any of this. Keep your story to bare bones facts. When someone tells you that they’re sorry that things didn’t work out with your Cheater, you can say, “well, I thought we had something special, and then I found out that she was having an affair with Married Coworker. I really feel sorry for Married Coworker’s wife.” Another option is, “well, yes, but once I found out she was cheating, there really wasn’t an alternative. Now I want to do is be the best dad I can for my child.”
All these responses reinforce that she cheated. Bonus if you can nonchalantly work in that she cheated with a married man. The other thing is that all the comments are short. Most people, even if they’re well-meaning and sympathetic, don’t really want a lengthy narrative. Save that for here and for your therapist.
3. Be the sane parent. Your child has a fuckwit for a mom. Sadly, you can’t do anything about that, but you can be a really good dad. Make sure you adhere to whatever custody schedule you have. Don’t badmouth the child’s mother, but tell the truth: you and the mom aren’t together anymore because mommy started seeing another boyfriend, and that’s against the rules if moms and dads are living together. Try not to freak out when your child says that s/he has been with OW’s family. Just nod if your child says s/he had a good time (“that’s nice”) and commiserate if it was a bad time (“I’m sorry to hear that. Let’s go do something fun.”). The goal here is to show your child that it’s okay to tell you everything. You don’t want Cheater Mom telling the child not to talk about what happens in case you get angry.
Do dad things with your child. Play ball. Go hiking. Join a father/child youth organization.
4. Make new friends. Right now, it sounds as if you are still in the same social circles as your X. Branch out (see father/child activity above). If you have any religious affiliations, attend the worship of your choice. Volunteer with an organization you feel makes a difference. Take up a hobby (ballroom dancing!). By distancing yourself from your old friends, who sound as if they’re trying to be Switzerland-neutral, you’ll increase your No Contact zone.
5. Set some financial goals and start working toward them. Get a budget (there are all sorts of budget software programs out there). Stick with it. Use the time at your mom’s to build up your reserves so that you can go live on your own again.
If all this sounds as if it’s going to take time, it will. That’s good. It’s time that you’ll focus on YOU, not on her or her boytoy.
Stay strong. You are definitely mighty!
Dear Chump Lady,
After you finish your book about Coparenting With Fuckwits, I would like to suggest/request another book!
When I was reading today’s blog post, I was feeling and identifying with the OP and getting angry.
But I did not have the words to explain exactly why this was fucked up instead of just being an “oh well, don’t be a spoilsport, people don’t stay in love forever, move on” like the OP’s cheater’s narrative.
Of course, you bring out all the points clearly!
I want to suggest you write a book for marriage counselors and therapists about this subject so they can more easily grasp the chump side of the story.
It could help at least some of them, especially the ones who don’t rely completely on the RIC for their income.
I appreciate how you explain this! I just sputter like Porky Pig when I try and explain the fuckery!
There is one out there. It’s called “Character Disturbance” by Dr. George Simon. CL highly recommends his opinions about treating cheating/bad behavior/manipulative people.
It has completely changed my life for the better reading CL’s book and his.
I have that one. Great book!
I think anger is natural. There’s lots to be angry about in this toxic situation. In fact, I think if you didn’t feel anger, that would be alarming.
After DDay, I went through so many emotions and continued to go through them for a very long time (3 years) until I divorced which, I’ll be honest, has only been in the last month. The one thing I noticed is that I didn’t necessarily feel angry or act out anger to others. But looking back at the last 3 years, I see that anger has underwritten a lot of the decisions that I’ve made to a) try to reconcile, and we all know how that goes and b) put the wheels in motion to get out of my marriage. Anger is there, in my core and I use it to make lucid decisions. I am a kind person, but that anger will probably stay there for the rest of my life. I want that! It gives me power to not be a door mat and to stand up to the injustice that my X served up in spades everyday of our married lives.
In my book, anger ain’t a bad thing. Like everything else, it’s better in moderation, but it’s not something that I’m letting go of any time soon. Call me bitter – I don’t care. I will not put up with the shit sandwich buffet I happily ate from my X ever again.
I like Angry Tracy. That RagingBitchBarbie saved me. Because when Chump Tracy would feel like she couldn’t go on….RageBitchBarbie Tracy rose up and picked up Chump Tracy and looked her in the eye and said, “Not today Mother Fucker….not fucking today.” And I was able to get thru another day. RBRT….she remains under the surface, she takes no prisoners, but takes no shit. I love her. She’s mighty. She’s me….100% wonderful, intricate, delightful, loveable ME. She came along when I did not think I would live past the first week…..it’s been 5 years. My Ex, The Incredible Mr.Limpdick evicted me, jailed me, jailed me again and tried to make me so distraught I’d kill myself so he wouldn’t have to pay me….let alone divorce me. RBBT rose up…..not today…..or any day Mother Fucker…..and I was awarded 60% of our assets and his 401k. Hope his Whore likes working…..he’s gonna need her to. He’s 58 with 40% of his life’s work left, a mortgage of 425,000k….. I am free 48 and financially doing fine. I am rebuilding my hair clientele at a new salon. I am slaying it. I have RageBitchBarbie Tracy to thank.
The thing I’ve learned from being made the “bad guy” by a cheater who image-manages with family and friends is….that eventually their bad character makes them repeat their cheating on a new partner. Then family and friends begin to notice a pattern. It takes time, but usually old cheaters get found out. Even by the dumbest spackling relatives.
This is exactly why you have to give up (eventually) being angry, after you’ve grieved the loss of whatever it was you thought you had. Otherwise it will eat you alive, and you will suffer health consequences. Love yourself enough to do what’s right for you, and that includes not giving her real estate in your head. Stop,trying to punish her, she will do a good job of that herself.
As for the anger, how about some boxing lessons or classes? I find punching a bag very cathartic. You can even pretend it’s her. Or not.
The anger is definitely a part of grieving and is natural. Just see it for what it is and make sure you don’t end up doing something that will put you in legal trouble.
Anger is a righteous response to the unfairness of being chumped. Channeling it into constructive things (making, exercising, cleaning) is mighty. Processing it – sharing with CN, friends, or journaling helps. I journaled unsent letters. Aim to live well (self-care, relaxation exercise, choices towards health and happiness). Initially survive then start to move on to thrive.
These negative feelings can’t be sustained, continuously, long-term.
Yes, anger is still there if you need it, and it crops up at annoying times (just like my oh-so-flattering distrust now also pops up occasionally).
But overall, the trend is towards a happier life, where these thoughts aren’t weighing you down.
Moreover, these negative thoughts are just like worry: they only harm the worrrier, and they accomplish very little in the long run. Yes, anger can be an agent of change…especially during the divorce…but eventually anger has to cede to hope and ambition.
Lord, the anger. It was so incredibly useful. It propelled me. I am 3 years from DDay and I still carry he memories…the rejection and deception, manipulation and humiliation. The injustice of it all could keep a person angry for a long time because I never want to repeat that experience. Ever.
Those people in my life who aren’t Chumps tell me I am different now. They say I am angry. I don’t feel angry. But I do not take or tolerate much bullshit like I used to do….therefore, I’m “angry”. No, I just have a lower tolerance for other people’s bullshit and drama. Sorry not sorry. Call me angry. Whatever. I have learned how to take better care of myself because of my experience.
My non-Chump friends (and even one Chump friend or two) ask me why I still read CL everyday. I honestly don’t want to forget the red flags, the warning signs of a person who may mean me harm.I want to keep my skills sharp so I can SEE a person and make informed (gut) decisions about how that relationship should go. There is valuable information here. Does it make me “stuck” because I still read CL? No way. I am stuck with a Cheater for the rest of my life because 1. we have a child together 2. He choses crappy people to have in his life and around my son.
The other day I was thinking: for how long will I read Chump Lady and why?
For as long as this blog runs.
For all the reasons you listed.
And because CL’s analyses are not just about cheating on a spouse and how to get over this disaster. They’re about honesty in general, including about ouselves. This blog makes ME a better person in many ways and not just less chumpy. This does not mean I was to blame for one nanogram of cheater’s behavior. It means I pay more attention to dynamics between people.
Me too. I’m at Meh but still learning about human authenticity.
So I will admit, though hope the Lord forgives me, I can always plead temporary insanity. My anger led to rages and then feelings of hate. Yeah, some of you know what I mean to love someone and hate them at the same time, a total mess of the mind. I however didn’t act out the terrible and horrendous thoughts I sometimes gave into about what I’d like to do to my now XH. Looking back I am a little ashamed that I could be so bad, yet I know it was really quite mild to just have thoughts instead of being nuts enough to lose control and act them out.
SO instead I discovered that my verbal ability to use profanity in it’s most appropriate way was quite therapeutic and I make use of it to express my feelings now with the friends who aren’t offended, with my chump family, or even when I’m alone. So excuse me if I blow off some steam now… Fuck Cheaters!
You see him/her across a crowded room, ( or wherever you met).
The attraction may be instant, maybe it will take awhile.
But, love is cultivated and grows. He/she is your everything.
You love, you trust, you unite, you have precious children together.
Then, bang, he/she betrays you with an affair. Your world is shattered, you are crumbled, broken into pieces.
ANGER! ( just one of the grieving stages awaiting a Chump)
Some Chumps feel the ANGER right away. ( not me, I picked me danced, I loved him. I forgave him).
Some Chumps feel the ANGER a few years later.
Some Chumps feel the ANGER many years later. ( hand raised here).
The thing is, the ANGER has to be felt at some time or another.
You cannot go over it, under it or around it. You must go thru it.
Angry Chump, you are experiencing your ANGER in the early stages.
Perhaps that is best.
CL, CN will help you through the pain, and as you seek help they will guide you.
I see a meh in your future, a tuesday awaits you.
One day you will be called Mighty.
(Sending you hugs through your journey)
I don’t know if this will save anyone time, or not, but I have spent a lot of time thinking and researching about anger and relationships and stages of grief. I have come to believe that Anger does have a healthy place in the process, and it is probably necessary for successful healing. It probably acts as a propellant, too. So it is a good thing that you are angry — it makes you think about all of it, and put it in perspective.
In my case, it was a generational situation. I believe my mother was raised in a household with a narcissist father. I think that influenced her to marry another narcissist. Then history repeated itself with me. I did the same thing — twice. Tracy calls it fixing your picker. My mother chooses not to ever marry again, or even consider it. I am really close to that decision myself. If a few more years pass, it will probably be set in stone. I don’t know if I have the confidence, or the ability to fix my picker so thoroughly that I will never make that mistake again. If I was younger I would struggle with this more — but I am near retirement age, and my children are grown, and I have learned to take care of myself and enjoy my life on my terms. Someone would have to be very special for me to be willing to take this risk. So far I’ve not met anyone who even approaches being this special.
I have dated — but I have always been very clear, upfront, about what I expect and what my boundaries are. I am sure some folks think I am a conceited bitch, who thinks I am pure gold. Actually it means I am afraid — not of them, but of myself. I am afraid my boundaries will not be enough, that the old ways of thinking and longing for a mate will be so ingrained in my psyche that I will never be able to overcome my weakness. It is like an alcoholic never loosing the taste for that next drink, even though they know the cost, the risk. They still dream of the coolness, the feel of it running down their throat, that glow of the buzz. I still long for a true companion to share my day and dreams with. Some one to give a damn if I make it home or not. Someone to say “there, there, it will be ok, you will be ok,” when someone wrongs me. Someone I can count on when the going gets rough.
What I have found is mostly lonely men who are looking for a quick comfort. They hurt — they want to be fixed. They are lonely – they want someone to keep a conversation alive. They want to show their friends they can still “cut the mustard” — even if they can’t. They are alone because they never learned the art of communication or true commitment, and if things don’t go their way they feel their authority is being challenged. I have women friends who expect someone to provide for them and take care of them — in an unequal manner. They feel they deserve more than they have, and more than they are willing or able to give. Both sides of the issue are wrong, because neither is being honest with themselves — much less the other person. So it is meet, greet, date, maybe hook-up, become dissatisfied or disappointed, break up, and have a cup of bitter on the side. No one talks, no one listens.
Until there are some big social changes, until we learn realistic expectations, until we are all willing to share in the work of living, I don’t see this changing. Maybe the younger ones will find a path and forge the way. I hope so, because the social expectation of staying married no matter what is long dead and gone. Even getting married is not as popular as it once was. If we don’t change and adapt, like any other organism, we will die out.
Get angry and get well. Heal as best you can, and plan to deal with your scar tissue. Only you can evaluate your risk. You will feel better as time passes. You will never want to hurt that way, again. Perhaps you will be able to be more careful with your heart. I hope so, and I wish you all the best.
The wisdom in this post is absolutely mind boggling! I am just amazed reading this – you are 100% correct in all you say ! Wow!
I am in between anger and loneliness. WTH is wrong with these people? Why marry someone you have no interest in and have children with if all you are doing is constantly on the hunt for someone better? It is 7 months post DD and this is still consuming me . 20 years, 3 kids and he walks out and leaves the mess for me to clean up! No communication since! Then removed his name from utility’s and changed them over to current resident?? He left a lot of his crap behind! Bank statements show trips gifts and flowers for the true love that I never received . He has killed my spirit and stolen my identity and left me degraded to nothingness. I was just a nurse with a purse and now he will be his best self for her??
It might seem like that but trust that he sucks. Does not sound like his ‘best self’ is a prize worth winning. You however have found CN. Do not accept his assessment. You matter. You get to go on, making choices that benefit and cherish you. Wishing you joy in the small moments as you move on to peace and happiness.
(Similar time past DD2, kids and decades, still have anger, sadness but also finding some joy at no longer having contact)
I am so sorry. 30 years married and same. He is showering gf with gifts and trips etc.. Luxuries I never had. He is now trying to normalize the situation and integrate her into the family. Makes me sick. I too am left to pick up the pieces. I had to go back to school so I could get a job with insurance benefits. The year long program is coming to an end and my divorce will be final as well. I just survive day to day. Some days are better than others. He took my identity too. My whole life was built around him and our family. He stole the last 30 years. He took any semblance of security and idea of actually retiring. I feel like everything I worked 30 years towards went up in flames. There are no words. However, I am glad he is gone and I believe it was a blessing in disguise. You really will (eventually) gain a life. ((Hugs)) btw…they suck. They all suck.
“Imagine you had a job in a widget factory and you don’t particularly enjoy making widgets.”
I would add another analogy to CL’s: imagine, since you don’t particularly enjoy making widgets, you started to steal from your boss and also make defective widgets, putting him out of business, even though he was paying your salary and pension fund religiously.
Wouldn’t he fire you and be disgusted and furious and sue you?
Damn right I am angry.
I like the difference between rejection and deception. I didn’t feel rejected. I know I gave my all, the cheating was on him. And since ow was our best friends wife, I know her well enough to laugh at his choice. It was the deception that made me angry. All the lies and the continuing lies from a person who touted his honesty to anyone who would listen. I’m angry that he used my love and trust to deceive me. That he uses our kids insecurities to deceive them.
What I am wondering is this behavior directed towards us Chumps for certain reasons and then when they find the person of their dreams they are content? I am tying to make sense of this. I was never good enough and neither were our kids. Hurts like hell!
Most of the time they are broken inside and are not capable of true emotion. They act like they are all that, but it is an act. As CL says — poor life skills, looking for shortcuts, the easy way. The are usually incapable of true change if they are type B cluster- f’s. They build a facade for a while, but it doesn’t last. All Glitter, NO Gold .
Dear Heart broken,
You and your children are not flawed.
It is not who you are, it is who he isn’t!
Sounds like you are a hard worker, and you care deeply for your Family.
I am so sorry he treated you this way.
I understand your pain when his devotion and gifts go to the OW.
I hope there is someone you can confide in.
I told no one and kept it all inside. The pain just never goes away.
CL and experienced, knowledgable, kindhearted people in CN will tell you how to best go about getting support for your three children.
They will tell you how to protect yourself when he has just up and left.
Hugs to you and your children.
Years later I still can never make any sense of it.
Think of it this way: he couldn’t extract enough narcissistic supply from you (kibbles). And when they move on the the AP, they hit a reset button and go back to the “overvaluation” stage where everything is great. Devaluation and discard will come eventually. My grandfather cycled through this 3 times and downgraded every time.
Yes, just have to wait for it. That is one smart thing the mc I went to said: if he treated you like the affair partner, things would be different. It won’t last forever.
I understand your anger. My husband cheated on me throughout the course of my pregnancy a year ago. D-Day was roughly seven months ago in November. The level of anger I have felt since discovering his affair scares me.
Throughout the course of our relationship our friends have always told me that I have the patience of a saint as he has a nasty habit of berating me in public, which I’ve always seem to let brush off my shoulders.
He spent years testing my boundaries, trying to spur a reaction. Eventually I did react, only for him to use my angry reactions as a tool for his continued psychological assault.
Believing I was the one with the problem, I bought self help books on anger management. I found myself reacting in anger to the stupidest slights against me.
He used my childhood exposure to violence as a weapon against me; (my dad is a Vietnam vet who suffers from PTSD, and was violent when I was a child) saying that I’m a rageaholic and it’s in my DNA or that it’s learned behavior.
He also uses my growing up in a small town to frame me as an ignoramus. (ie I’m too stupid to know better).
He is well educated and I hold no degree as of yet. I worked him through a bs and an MA in economics and though it was agreed upon that I would finish my degree once we were settled; I got pregnant and the rest is history.
Three years later, I’m virtually trapped. I have no degree, no job and no $$.
He left me during my pregnancy with baby no. 2 to have an affair.
He came home in September of last year, promising that he never had a relationship and that he was coming fused and needed space to see what was at stake. I believed him, let him back in and two months later, got a call from my obgyn saying that I had contracted a deadly strain of HPV, that I screened negative three years ago, and that I needed to talk with my husband about infidelity.
November 14th, 2016 was my d day. It was a Monday, two days after my father in law died. Sometimes I wonder if he waited until his father’s death to confess knowing I wouldn’t act out against him as he was in a state of mourning.
Months have passed and my anger has just gotten stronger.
I’ve always been a very self controlled person until my husband came into my life. Even still; it took years before I started to react to his emotional abuse.
Now I struggle with self.control. Not long ago, my husband was typing a text to someone, tattling on me for getting upset at his lack of respect in front of our children. When I demanded he hand over his phone (for fear he was texting”her”) he slipped it into his back pocket and walked away. I lost it. I chased him around the house trying to get at his phone and when he pushed me away, I kicked him in the balls.and bit his arm!
This isn’t who I am. Why am I becoming the person my husband has defined me as being all these years? Why would I allow this to happen? Why would I allow myself to lose control?
What I did was abusive and wrong. And on top of that, I just handed him a huge win.
In that moment of insanity, I saw my children being taken away from our home; I saw myself taken into custody; and I saw myself ending my life because I could never bear to lose my kids, knowing they were in foster care because of ME.
In that instant I wanted to grab our kids and run away.
Anger changed me.
I am so desperate to leave but I am.virtually trapped. I know that unless I leave this marriage, my anger will escalate, but I promise myself and my children that I will never allow myself to mold into what my husband has defined me as. I get angry but I am not an angry person. I abused my abuser, but I am not an abusive person. I refuse to be the monster he claims me to be.
I am so lucky to have friends and family to remind me that I am loved and lovable. That I’m a kind hearted soul who wants nothing more than to do good- for my children and other I care for in life. I thrive when I feel appreciated. My worth is in my actions, and my angry reactions have caused a significant deficit in my self worth.
I guess my point in all of this is- it seems like you escaped before your anger defined you. If you had punched a wall in her presence, think of how she could use that against you to further legitimize her own shitty behavior.
I struck out with my anger, but learned some valuable lessons in doing so. I strive to be the happy, loving person I was before I allowed someone to redefine me.
FedUpChump, I’m not surprised you became so angry, but I’m glad you feel you must and can control it, now. Don’t let that asshole make you look like the bad guy!
If you’re feeling trapped in the marriage, can you at least talk to someone on a Domestic Violence hotline? What you’ve experienced with him is abuse, even if he’s never hit you. You qualify for their services, and you need their services! They can help you cope with this mess, and they can help you figure out how to get out of it. You deserve far better!
Fedup, I am so Angry for you.
“Leaving a cheater is addition by subtraction. This person is not in your life mindfucking you, or making you babysit while they go out on dates.”
I’m almost three years since the final discard of our 11 year marriage. He left me for the OW. The OW dumped him when she found out he was cheating. He was in a new “relationship” within minutes.
These are not the actions of a person with good character, strong moral values, or even the basic of human kindness. These are the actions of a soul-less monster.
YET, I still have to remind myself daily that HE IS A MONSTER. Because we share a child, we cross paths at sports and school functions. I’m completely gray rock in those moments and then no contact otherwise. Still, when I do see him, he looks just like I remember him… handsome, funny, loving… and then I go put my hand on a hot stove to remind myself he is none of those things. Those are the attributes I am projecting on to him. The attributes of the man he pretended to be to con me… and the attributes that disappeared about two years in to the relationship.
And, in moments of peace and clarity – I do know that his leaving was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. I sleep a full night now – whereas the mindfucking used to cause a sleep disorder and anxiety. I have a great routine with my son and there is no “silent treatment” undercurrent running through the house. On my nights alone, I do whatever the fuck I want… read a book, drink some wine, spend two hours at HomeGoods… and I don’t feel guilty.
I don’t miss being looked in the eye and being told “I’m going to shoot some pool” while he then goes to a hotel to fuck who knows that (he swings both ways apparently). I don’t miss him “acting” like he’s a family man when all he did was sit around on his ass while I ran myself ragged working full time, running the kids to their events, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, planning vacations and date nights.
I do miss believing that I had found the one man I was going to spend the rest of my life loving. I was 36 when I met Mr. Sparkles and 47 when he walked out. There are days I fear that I will never know that true love feeling and it makes me feel sad. And, I get it… at least it isn’t the same sad as being married to a pathological lying bisexual whore… and who knows what tomorrow will bring… but today… I get the ANGER piece… I didn’t choose this and he never has to spend a second alone… there’s always another woman that will fall for him.
Ugh. Not feeling the meh today.
I have been divorced for two years now. In what would have been the year of my 30th wedding anniversary, I found that the man I was married to was cheating on me. He certainly did not confess and has not to this day. I discovered the cheating when I saw that the new car seat was damaged in a way that could only be explained by sex. I stared at the seat for hours trying to see anything else. There was also a shirt sleeve stained by lipstick. Despite the gaslighting extravaganza, there were really no other explanations. I also deduced who the OW was. I had supported this man financially. It was when I was working that he used our shared vehicle to conduct his affair. Unknowingly, I enabled his affair by supporting him, trusting him and loving him. He repaid my love, trust and support with treachery and betrayal.
A year before D-Day he told me he didn’t love me, didn’t want to have sex with me and was using me for my money. At that time, I had asked him to have a talk about our marriage. He also physically attacked me. I worked very hard for the next year, single-handedly, trying to get our marriage back on track until I was confronted with the D-Day evidence. The D-Day confrontation resulted in gaslighting but no confession.
I think of the mental journey since then. Initially, I thought, well he told me he didn’t love me or want to have sex with me. Because he didn’t have romantic or sexual feelings for me, he found someone else. After all, a handsome man like that needs a woman that he considers beautiful, sexual and exciting. Since he didn’t have a job and she hadn’t yet agreed to take him on financially, he had no choice but to deceive me into enabling his affair. After all, she was his only source of joy in his tsunami of unhappiness with me. I had this feeling of being in the way in my own marriage; that I had gotten in the way of a “beautiful love affair” and ended his happiness by pulling the plug on his affair by taking away the car he used to court OW.
With time and study, I am beginning to see this a little differently. Two years ago, I only looked at it from his perspective – that he needed this woman to be happy and that my needs for honesty, respect and fidelity somehow took a backseat. It would have only been a “beautiful love affair” if they were both truly single and out in the open. The fact that he had a wife that he had to deceive and disprect to achieve this means that it is an ugly thing. He did not have to pursue her. If she pursued him, he could have distanced himself. After all, he had already made a commitment to me before God and man to forsake all others when we got married. If he found that he could not resist a relationship with OW, then the moment he knew that, and before he became intimate with her, he should have come to me and told me that he found someone else and wanted to divorce. If she couldn’t take him on financially and he didn’t want to work, then they should have discontinued the relationship, instead of expecting me to enable the affair. If he would have done that, I would not have been disrespected and deceived. He had told me he didn’t love me, but he never told me about the presence of OW. I still thought he was faithful up until I found the D-Day evidence, and when I found it, I was traumatized. Infidelity is emotional abuse due to the disrespect and deceit.
Part of recovering from the trauma of infidelity is accepting that your view of the world has changed. That’s not just about confronting the fact that your spouse or partner was a liar, a manipulator, a cheater, a gaslighter. Unfaithful, unkind, untrustworthy. It’s about the fact that you will see people you counted as friends and family as “her” friends and family because they still buy into her impression management or more simply, that she is part of their tribe, right or wrong. You will see that you have lost things that were precious to you and she seems unfazed, perhaps even better off in her eyes. That’s just the nature of what happened to you.
When our lives blow up this way, it’s an opportunity to prune away anything that is dead or that is poisonous to us. It’s very hard for people not to care about what the X’s friends and family have to say, but that’s a road to misery. They are merely echoing her position. And you know she lies to them and she lied to you. What you can do is move on and embrace a smaller but far healthier circle. And once you do that pruning, you can build a life around a small circle of loyal, kind, and important people. There’s nothing wrong with having “friends” from church or the gym or work or the kids’ soccer league. But don’t confuse them with the people who will come over in the night when you feel you are at the edge of sanity. The infidelity is also a way to better define your relationship with close family members. Not all of them will be helpful or supportive, but you can figure out the safe distance to position yourself so you can enjoy the positive of your family without getting sucked into drama. This same process applies to work, to the kids’ activities, to your own. It’s about having sharper eyes to see people who relate or try to relate with you in unhealthy or abusive ways. It’s about having strong boundaries that don’t allow people to take advantage of you. It’s about learning a lot more about disordered people and learning to recognize them before you get involved with them.
You have every right to be angry about what your XW did to you. But once we acknowledge that anger and pain, we have to also understand that, once on the other side of divorce or starting over, our response to betrayal is what matters. Anger can propel us through the process. It’s a warning system that we are in danger, that our boundaries have been violated, that someone has tried to metaphorically annihilate us. But anger itself is not even the most profound emotion. There’s grief. There’s fear for our future, for our kids. And as we go on, their can be exhilaration, joy, peace, and a deeper love for life. So feel it all. Stay tuned into the emotions and watch them come and go. Six months isn’t very long, given the length of your relationship to your x. But it’s a great point to start turning your focus to yourself instead of worrying about who “won,” whose life is better in the moment, and what people think about who won.
Focus on what’s good for the kids. Is the divorce final? Are you in a position to argue legally, in terms of custody, that the kids shouldn’t be exposed to the OM and his family, wife included? Are you in therapy to help you negotiate these issues?
And focus on building your own life. What’s your financial plan? What about your plans for moving ahead with your own living arrangements? Would it make sense to share a duplex or some other space with your mom in the event you can get more custody? God bless your mom for giving you a place to land and to recover financially. In the long run, you will be much better off for moving slowly and deliberately to rebuild. From where I sit, you are the one who got the best deal. It’s like a football game where one team is ahead in the first quarter but the other team is playing a better ball game and will more likely come out in better shape. It’s inevitable that your mind will turn back to XW and her life but develop ways to snap out of it after a minute or two. What matters is your life and your kids’ lives.
Thanks, LovedAJackAss, for your generosity of spirit
I had a bad day yesterday so I be talking to myself…typos and all. 🙂
I struggle with the injustice of it all too. That some fake account of why we split is out there to many, and for those that know about his cheating only know about one affair and he’s peddled the myth that I kicked him out 18 months after DDay because I couldn’t get over it or forgive despite him doing everything in his power to make it up to me. And now he has found happiness with a chick also half his age and younger than his daughter. Everyone (except a sane and sensible few) are smiling indulgently at him and praising his happy new life.
I have my people in my corner who I share with. I know the truth. To everyone else I have said NOTHING. I remain tight lipped and comment on nothing and am NC with him, his family and all friends and acquaintances.
Yes I fantasise about putting out a full page ad or an articulated truck cleaning him and his stupid motorbike up. All those things. It IS unfair and it IS wrong.
But what I know instinctively is the moment I engage in sharing my side of things or trying to set the record straight I play right in to his hands and that fucker wins again. I “prove” I am all the things he’s been broadcasting about me. I also know that while it won’t show on the surface, he’ll be fucking FURIOUS that I am not behaving in a way that is underscoring his narrative of me; not providing him with the opportunity to get sympathy kibbles from his followers. It MAY even get a few of them to quietly question his narrative in time. No. He gets nothing more from me.
Finally, I’ve kind of worked out that even IF justice came down in one fail swoop and his dick fell off, he went bald over night, lost his job, all his friends, family and became invisible to the human race, I would still have my experience, my pain, the robbed years of life, the mind fuck. THAT will never be erased so I wonder if the wish for justice is fool’s gold anyway. And stop the envy and crazy thinking that somehow they are off having a better time and the person they are with now is going to be the recipient of this wonderful new and improved person. It’s rubbish. When my old mum heard about his tweenage girlfriend she just sighed and said “poor her. She doesn’t know what she’s got herself in to and has all of what you’ve been through to look forward to.” It’s true. It’s fact but despite all our evidence we still somehow think they are going to perform differently for the woman/man de jour.
The justice we seek should be self made. We should (and do) work hard to make sure our lives are the best they can be and flourish and thrive in their absence. Show them they did us a MASSIVE favour freeing us from their web and thank them very much. We need to “act as if” until we reach meh and it’s what we actually feel – grateful to be shot of the concrete anchor dragging us to the depths of a murky lake.
Mate, if I were in your shoes, I would be as NC as possible but when your paths DO cross around parenting play her fucking game. Meet her as an equal on the field of dismissiveness… it will sting her like a motherfucker:
“You’re right sweetie, 7 years isn’t much. Just enough for me to fine tune and perfect my sexual prowess so someone really hot can benefit down the track. And BTW thanks for being an egg donor, I’m really pleased I have put my DNA stamp on the world. Now that I’ve completed my ‘training’ I’m all set to go out there and find the real deal. Umm BTW, you might want to do something about that (insert slightly unflattering body part/characteristic twitch), it’s kind of a turn off.”
I agree with fake it till you make it. From day one I never let x or his friends see my hurt and I know that pissed him off. He simply ceased to exist after dday. Let him tell anyone who would listen that I was cold hearted. I know my pain and would never have given him the satisfaction. His true self is starting to show. He just dumped one of his long time best friends for a new sparkly one. The man is loyal to no one.
“BTW you might want to do something about that (fill in blank), it’s kind of a turn off…..”. FUCKING HILARIOUS – HAW HAW – HAW – HAW – HAW – HAAAW…thanks for this comeback ZHUCHI, I absolutely LOVE IT and know just how I am going to use it.
HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW..really made my day!!!
OMG–I love that last bit!
What I should have said: “Honey, you shouldn’t shave off your beard–it hides your weak chin.”
For me, righteous anger suppressed turns inwards and becomes despair.
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.
Thanks chump lady and to every one here for sharing your experiences putting it all into prospective!!
Its not an easy road but it sure does feel better knowing others have been on it and can say “Hey watch out for that shitty pothole but it’s smooth sailing from then on”
I feel like posting CL article on my facebook, and I am in a really good space today!
Your anger is justified, it will become less overwhelming with time, but the little pilot light will always be on ready to flare up when triggered, and that will prove very useful. You’ll never tolerate shitty behaviour again.
After your anger leaves and sadness starts to wane, prepare yourself for feeling empty. These are predictable phases. I don’t think knowing they will come and go helps you get through them, you just have to get through them. I’m in the empty phase. I don’t care anymore, I give up.
I’m just riding this depressive phase out waiting for the next one. Hanging on. Hanging tough. It’s got to get better.
Be angry. You have every right to be. Stay angry until you aren’t anymore and don’t apologize for it or feel bad. The only way out is through.
After emptiness, you will slowly gain energy. You’re probably quiet and introspective and avoiding company right now, and that’s cool. You’re like a seed resting up for germination. Your spring will come. Day by day, life gets good again.
OK, been there. Now’s your time to start doing some things you enjoy. Just simple things that give you pleasure. It takes time to fill the void, but at least it IS a void, ready for you to fill it with what YOU choose. I think of my void as a sort of candy jar.
Doing some fitness activities, have some spa treatments, read all the books you’ve not had time for, take a trip somewhere new, by yourself. Whatever appeals to you. If you are so low that “nothing is interesting right now” then try doing kind things for other people. When I was all alone in a new country, I signed on to be a friend to a lonely older lady. We became nice friends and we often went shopping together, since she couldn’t drive any more and was stuck in a small village. She called me her angel. I realised I could turn my resentment and anger toward something positive and I continue to be as kind as possible to others, with an appropriate degree of cynicism.
Your life story is my life story. I got divorced 2 years ago, approximately 3 years ago she told me she was leaving me. I knew about her affair about 4 years before that but was in denial because the AP was a neighbor and close friend of mine.
I am still angry, because I wonder why I stayed (I see the red flags every day in flash backs from times she showed me she was a narc). I also struggle with what a shitty mom she is. My kids really do not like with their new life. She bought a house with the guy less than a year of being divorced. He has 4 kids. My X and he want to pretend their the modern day Brady Bunch, but it’s more like Shameless.
I am happy but angry at the same time. The abuse I suffered for many many years and the neglect my children endure is heartbreaking. I hold my head up high and be the sane parent, but it is exhausting at times. I am free, but my kids are tethered to a lame excuse of a mom who does not put them first. Their childhood is a polar opposite of mine.
Angry Chump, I’ll pile onto this long and excellent thread with one more “hell, yeah, you’re angry!” Given where you are (which, at six months, is also where I am), anger seems like an appropriate response — and probably an unavoidable one. I’ve read in a few places that being rejected/cheated on/left by our partner triggers primal limbic-system reactions that we higher primates once needed to survive and now would need to be Zen masters to rewire. So I say own that rage, my fellow tool-using descendant of a monkey!
The injustice of it all has been among the hardest things for me to deal with as well. I love the stories of cheaters taking a nosedive. I don’t expect that will happen in my wife’s case. She’s too competent and self-sufficient, and has the kind of gifts — looks, brains, and an annoying industriousness — the world tends to reward. As we begin to tell our friends and families about our impending divorce, I dread how she’s going to spin the story, and I dread even more that many people will assume we have equal blame in the split — even if they know she cheated. I live in a West Coast city where there’s an ordinance against being judgmental (or, more accurately, being perceived as such), so I expect that a lot of people will be studiously blase about her cheating. I try not to be too invested in making my wife “evil” in all of this, especially for my kid’s sake, but if our friends buy her bullshit story about following her path to self-actualization (while trampling me and my daughter in the process), it’s going to ratchet up my anger by several degrees Kelvin. In the long term, I fully expect my wife to wind up with her boyfriend, once he musters the cajones to let his wife in on the fact that he has been fucking his One True Love for months. She’ll be happy, he’ll be happy, and I’ll be working to pick up the pieces, heal, and adjust to my new financial, emotional and social realities. And if I go around trying to correct the record by telling people how seriously she fucked me over, and how contrary her actual behavior is to her apparent integrity, I’ll just look bitter and crazy.
Chump Lady suggests all this injustice is part of being chumped. I hate that as much as I hate anything about this whole shitty experience. And yes, it pisses me off.
I wish you peace, Angry Chump, along with the good things that can come from feeling all that crummy, inconvenient, and seemingly inexhaustible anger. If it’s helpful, keep in mind that I’m out here punching pillows (and the occasional wall) right along with you.
I wish you peace hechump, and I hope you reach meh soon so you won’t care about your ex and how she’s doing any more!
That is exactly my experience. Ex gone from strength to strength jobwise. Helped by zero childcare, he sees his boys for a meal about once a fortnight and 2 holidays a year.
Wasted fortunes with lawyers, he is hideous. I have moved on from anger, to resignation. Life is not fair.
I do hope there is karma, but no sign yet.
All you can do is think this ” i know, my kids know, and that is enough”.
If you spend your life focused on them, they continue to take from you. Close that door. ( very very hard to do).
This is the first time I’ve posted in the capacity of offering advice…prior to this it’s been me seeking advice. I feel I’ve turned a corner here.
My d day was Valentine’s Day this year. I posted about a month later (see March 14th -Chumplady does this get easier?).
I quickly went through all the usual stages a chump does after discovering the life they thought they had was a sordid lie.
I seemed to get a bit stuck on the anger stage for a while and am still there now and then but it’s not the volcanic emotion that it once was.
What do I put this down to? I posted numerous times on here and got advice that can only be described as superb. Keep posting, the advice really does make you see straight. I took this advice on board. I dug deep and realised that my disordered wife (soon to be ex btw) can own her own fucked up decisions to explode my children’s lives and ours. Contrary to the bullshit she peddled to me at first and now to others, none of this is on me. Similarly, the crap spun by your wife is not on you.
I got fit, I’ve lost a few pounds, I bought a new bike, I’ve stuck some artwork up on my house walls that she would never have accepted. I go watch my football team, I go fishing again. I speak to random strangers again. I’ve put the house on the market, I filed for divorce without telling her within weeks. I never saw what a controlling and draining influence she was in my life. Now I see it with my eyes wide open and she definitely sucks. So will you if you haven’t already.
You need to channel that anger in to doing things you love
If you are up to it go and meet people, go on dates. Over the past two months Ive got back to being my old carefree and outgoing self. I never realised how lost I had become with the abuse and gaslighting. Im currently dating a fellow chump who is funny, beautiful and intelligent. She has a great outlook on life and I feel butterflies when I’m around her. It’s very early days and I’m not rushing anything but I sense that a really beautiful future is just over the horizon.
I still feel that anger inside sometimes but I’ve learned to accept it for what it is. It’s a natural reaction to being fucked over by an entitled selfish abuser who blames you for everything post d day and has not once owned their own shit. It’s a reaction to someone you trusted jeapordising your kids futures for some sordid, secretive affair. My stbx
can’t comprehend why I’ve never sat and allowed her to clear her conscience to me. Excuses are not needed, know your worth, recognise her character defect and keep moving forward towards your brighter future. I’m with you AC every step of the way, as is everyone else here who knows what you are feeling.
I’ve stopped pinning my hopes on any apology from my ex, stopped waiting for the karma bus to strike. I’m focussing on my own life now and that of my two beautiful kids. They deserve to see what a sane parent looks like.so I’m going to show them. They deserve to learn what integrity and dignity looks like. What my cheating ex does is not my concern anymore. I’m sure that her life won’t be as rosy as she’s tried to make it out to be. I’m also aware that anyone who has an ounce of sense can see through the rewritten narratives. Those who spackle and side with a cheating home wrecker need cutting loose. The day my in laws tried to lay the blame at my door to deflect what their precious daughter had done to their grandkids was the day I cut them loose too. Don’t suffer people who cover this shit up angry chump. It’s abuse, it’s evil, it’s fucked up
You are similar to me in that you have refused to accept this from the get go. Channel that anger in to fuelling your new amazing life. You deserve to be happy and I’m sure you will. I’m at a similar stage to you and I can sense a better life will come for both of us. Stay strong, stay mighty, maintain the high road and take good care of yourself and those you love.