What do you do when your head knows the things you should do, but your heart keeps pulling you another way? Where do you get the strength?
My ex cheated on me on Ashley Madison, so who knows how many, and with a local whore. They are actually on vacation right now. We divorced a month ago. And I am secretly hoping he comes back!
I know in my head it is absolutely the best thing for me that we divorce and that things will get better. He was stalling around not wanting to make it official until I just said I was done. Got a new job, changed my name — but how do I get over this?
I need to talk to him about finances/house stuff since we still own the home together until my son finishes college in 3 years. But I do crazy ass stuff. Text him that I’m still not over things, tell him again how much he hurt me, ask about where he is, drive by his apartment, look at her Facebook page (I changed my name so I dont think she know I can see public posts.) He of course is being “polite” since he most likely loves the attention, but I end up feeling like an ass!
Why do I care? Why do I text him? Why am I abusing myself? Why am I being such a chump?? All it does is bring me down into a pit of emotion. I’ll tell myself “ok, no more texting him about random ass stuff today” Then a few hours later, I’m asking him about the weather or something else irrelevant just to have contact.
Another day, another bargaining stage of grief letter.
Listen Dial, grief can make you do stupid things — set table settings for dead family members, call psychics, taxidermy your mother and keep her locked in your basement… (Okay, that was just Norman Bates). Point is, you’re deeply stuck in stupid and you need to put some chains on those tires and pull yourself out.
No contact is a mental discipline. Master it, because it is the quickest way to healing. So long as you’re interacting with your ex (or trying to), you’re keeping him central in your mind — and that real estate is precious. You need to be focusing on rebuilding your new life, and not looking backwards for fuckwit validation.
Anything you “need” to say to him about the house and financing can be done through your lawyer. Yes, that costs money. Your sanity is worth it. Your son is in college. His relationship with his father is HIS business. You don’t need to manage that relationship. If your ex pays expenses towards college and there is something to discuss, again, leave this communication to your lawyer (if it’s serious), or to your son (if it isn’t).
Which leaves us with the weather and what highway exit he’s at presently…
Why do I care?
Because you’re in the habit of caring. Break that. Get angry. I’m not saying go lurch through life as a bitter harridan, muttering curses — I mean, get righteously ANGRY over the way he devalued you. You have value! HOW DARE HE blow up your family and waste years of your precious life! How DARE he expose you to diseases. Who the FUCK DOES HE THINK HE IS cheating on you! Extracting value from you, deceiving you, for some pathetic fem-bot he meets on Ashley Madison!
Get out of the bargaining stage of grief (maybe he’ll come home! Prepare the table mats!) to ANGER. (He SUCKS. I am not safe around this person. DANGER!)
Why do I text him?
You want attention. You expect validation from the one person on this earth who refuses to validate you. As a result, you place huge value on his precious kibbles. OMG HE EXCHANGED A PLEASANTRY WITH ME!
Meanwhile, you’ll shovel a grossly disproportionate amount of kibbles to him. Which debases you, and makes you sad.
How’s that working out for you?
Why am I abusing myself? Why am I being such a chump??
Because you’ve been caught up in this mindfuck for awhile. And I imagine for years you thought if you made your needs really small (see disproportionate kibble exchange above) he would stick around and be husband and father material. So you’re used to this really shitty bargain. And you think that failed strategy might work if you employ it with more vigor. (Also known as the Pick Me Dance).
I suspect you didn’t divorce him because you felt done with him, but because at some level you thought it might get his attention. But he didn’t “snap out of it” — because he was never under a spell, Dial. He’s a shitty person. He just found an easier kibble source. And bonus! You’re still there being auxiliary kibbles. This works for him.
You’ve failed to internalize the CL maxim: Trust That He Sucks. Know your worth. Don’t skip over that sentence — tattoo it on your forearm if you have to — KNOW. YOUR. WORTH. People who know their worth don’t pester the unworthy for their thoughts on the weather. He’s not powerful — you’re giving him your power.
This is fixable. STOP IT. Next time you want to text him, chew through a leather strap instead. Dial a friend. Bake some cookies. Do most anything other than contact him. The longer you maintain NC, the easier it gets. (It’s hard at first. You’re kicking a bad habit.)
But! But! Then I’ll be alone! ALOooOOONE!!!!
Yep. You’re going to have to learn to sit with that.
Pretty soon, birds will alight, the sun will shine, and you’ll realize — wow, it’s kind of peaceful on the other side of crazy. Six months to a year? You’ll wonder what you ever saw in the fuckwit. Hang in there.
Artwork is copyrighted, Tracy Schorn, from “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life.” (Hachette, 2016)