It’s been almost 10 months since D-Day. Things are slowly but surely getting better for me after finding out that my tramp of an ex had been cheating on me for the past 10 years or so. It was a tremendous blow to my heart and ego, but I’m starting to realize that I’m glad I finally found out rather then having to live with my suspicions for the rest of my life. The only time I feel really angry about the situation is when I have to look at her during the court proceedings and having to fathom the thought of giving her things that she doesn’t deserve.
I did not know anything at all about her before we met and got married. But I saw her as a good person who worked hard, was a good mother, and was really a good wife. We had our issues like any young couple experiences during the first years of marriage, but nothing that damaged our relationship. But after our first daughter started school (10 years into our relationship) and my STBXW met other mothers (lowlifes who liked to party) through play dates; getting attention from other men (boob job) and forgetting her responsibilities as a mother and wife; I saw the person I loved turn into some one that destroyed our family. She turned into a “me and I” person and forgot about the family and its needs.
So what I’m basically asking you is: “Was she a bad person who put on a charade when she met me, but ultimately changed back into the person she really is? Or was she good person but slowly but surely turned bad?”
I can’t see how someone can do a 180 in their life and purposely hurt people, because I could never do that. Was there always a narcisist hidden inside of her or was she just so greatly influenced by the people around her that she decided to sleep with our daughters’ soccer coaches, ruin our finances, and make my daughters and I live a lie this whole time? I guess that is the only thing that I still question about her because I never thought that this person who I loved so much could turn in to a monster that broke up our family.
This is a classic Untangling the Skein of Fuckupedness question and I’m about to give you a really unsatisfying answer at 10 months out. (It will probably only make sense at about 10 years out, which is where I am in the chump trajectory).
It doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter if they were a good person with oodles of potential, who took a bad turn, happened upon the wrong set of friends, wandered into the carnival, and grew donkey ears. It doesn’t matter if they were born evil and presented a convincing mask for decades, which one horrifying day you saw behind. It doesn’t matter if they’re a confused muddle of midlife crisis and regret. What matters is her ACTIONS and what you will TOLERATE.
Everything else is untangling the skein. Why? Why is she this way? How could she do this? Which is another way to say you’re in the bargaining stage of grief. Maybe if I understand it, I can prevent it. Maybe if I could change something about myself, this wouldn’t have happened. We’ll pick up those thoughts in a moment…
What you’re really asking me is — did I matter? Did I EVER matter? Do my daughters matter?
Probably. But not enough.
That’s the suckfest of being chumped. The feeling that this is all somehow personal, that you didn’t register, that you bonded to someone who wasn’t bonded back. And worse, you were not special, you were just of use. The connection was shallow. Your commitment to your ex-wife didn’t stop her from fucking around on you for 10 years. Your daughter’s love did not prevent their mother from fucking their soccer coaches. She did the cost-benefit analysis each time and decided that her kibbles were worth more than your well-being. And if her kids are mortified and lose their friends, and their home breaks up — hey, Coach Douche LIKED HER NEW BOOBS.
You’ve been married to an idiot gambler who traded the family homestead for a Mexican jumping bean. That doesn’t jump. But is purportedly MAGIC.
And you’re there, standing with what’s left of your shit, having lost your entire home thanks to this bad trade, and you’re wondering, “Have you always been an idiot, or was this something that came upon you suddenly?”
Dude, wrong question.
The right question is — How fast can I get away from this person and protect myself from their horrible judgement?
Tremont10, you’re doing the right things. You’re divorcing and building a new life. Put your energies there. Focus on what you can control — you. Figure out what your values are and what you will and will not tolerate in relationships. Learn how to enforce boundaries. That way, when people start acting shady, you’ll speak up and remove yourself from harm. You won’t get lost in their skein.
Be brutally self-appraising. I did not know anything at all about her before we met and got married. But I saw her as a good person who worked hard, was a good mother, and was really a good wife.
Yeah, you SAW her that way. Was she that way? I’m going to bet there were signs of her entitlement in the past, but you spackled over them. That’s the kind of shit you can fix going forward — projecting your values on to other people. Judge people by their actions over time, NOT on how you wish to perceive them.
I’m sure your wife wasn’t all bad. Few people are. Even the most loathsome people have their hooks. But that doesn’t mean you can sustain a relationship with them. It’s all about the price of admission you’re willing to pay. We’re about self worth here at Chump Nation.
I will tell you this, however — a decade of a double life isn’t normal. It might not be uncommon, judging by my sheer blog numbers, but it’s not sane. In my opinion, the only people who can sustain a lifestyle of constant deceit — cheating, stealing marital resources, lying — are Cluster B personality disorders. The people whose empathy synapses don’t fire. They’re wired wrong and they’ll step over your broken heart for a Hot Pocket. It’s a good life lesson to know that these people exist. Not everyone shares your values.
Your job going forward is to:
A). Trust your resiliency. Are there freaks? Yes — but with some better life skills you can shut their shit down. (See “boundaries” above.)
B.) Be the sane parent. Your daughters need you to model what loving attachment looks like. Mom’s having Girl’s Night Out with her 36Ds.
C.) Work on the new life. You escaped the idiot! Rebuild!
Don’t look back and try to pinpoint where it all went bad. Don’t waste time wondering what motivates someone to cheat. (She was a Sagittarius. And it was August. It was bound to happen.) Don’t look to idiots for validation. (Did she ever LOVE me?)
Full speed AHEAD. Leave her in the dust.