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Dear Chump Lady, I don’t miss him at all. Is there something wrong with me?

Dear Chump Lady,

I just walked away from a 17-year marriage. He admitted to his second one-night stand in our marriage. I’m not chumpy enough to think there wasn’t more. He thinks because “It was just one night. A whole year ago!” and “It’s been 10 years since he last slipped up” that he somehow gets brownie points. The simple version is; he cheated a year ago, admitted it 3 months ago, after a little waffling from me and some insensitive moves from him during a separation; I said I’m done.

I just never realized how done. I don’t miss him…at all. Not. One. Bit. It’s actually kind of scary. He was THE main character in my life for 17 years and I adored him. But his actions flipped a switch in my brain that I didn’t realize I had. I honestly wonder though. Is there something wrong with me? Shouldn’t I feel something when he’s bawling and begging me to come back? Or is this what people mean when they say “Harden your heart”? My friends say it’s just self-preservation. I’m so genuinely confused. I feel bad that I don’t feel bad. I feel bad when I lay down at night, and realize I didn’t think of him all day. So, is this semi- normal?

DMH

Dear DMH,

Maybe you’re just really sick of his shit. Like bone tired. Like you’ve been puking on that carnival ride for 17 years and you’ve got no puke left to puke. Or fucks left to give.

Maybe after your umpteenth stomach-dropping loopity loop of his psychodrama you’re DONE. And having been separated for a few months, you realized peace and terra firma and a calm stomach are preferable to puking. And goddamn it, you deserve peace.

Should you feel bad? No. You just got to “Trust That They Suck” sooner than the rest of the class. That makes you in the top percentile. I swear a gazillion chumps will read your letter and wish they were you. They long for the flipped switch, and the self-worth that is stronger than the self-pitying laments of cheaters. Consider yourself fortunate.

I can’t tell you how “normal” this is, because most people who write me are here to get help in letting go and leaving. Those secure in the path of Gain a Life probably don’t need the same validation.

Why should you miss someone who deceived you for ten straight years? And had two affairs (that he’ll admit to)? Why would you miss someone who returned your “adoration” with gut-wrenching betrayal? You don’t have a hard heart, you have lucidity. It’s a gift. You can see him for who he is, and because you value your heart, you’re shielding it from any fuckwit who would abuse it.

I would guess going forward, you might miss the husband-shaped space he used to occupy — but God bless, you know the difference between a figment and a fuckwit. I think you’re going to be just fine, DMH. Rock on!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Good Morning!
    Hey you are normal. It’s the exact thing I said to my therapist a few days ago. We had been living separately under the same roof for quite a while. I simply do not miss him so I feel bad about not feeling bad. Hmm… enough of the lies, cheating pain and off course all the hickey on him must have done something in me.
    Flipped the switch. Yea! I know I’m done.

    • I was devastated when mine left. I was talking to myself for about a year, endless rages and more betrayals, the devastation of my folded marriage, intact family gone, financial troubles and the feeling that the other woman “won”

      But oddly enough, I never missed HIM and I felt really strange about that.

      I think it was because he didn’t actually do much around the house, there wasn’t much to miss, he was stingy and insincere, nothing in bed either, that’s for sure.

      But now I See it’s not that strange – so yay!!

      • Same. I’m having a hard time coming to terms with the failure of what I had HOPED my marriage would be, but I don’t miss him at all.

        There’s nothing to miss really. He sat in a room by himself and when he did talk to me it was to tell me how terrible the shows I watched were or how messy the house was or to question if I really did work at my job. Who would miss that?

      • Same here. I miss what I thought I had and what I thought the future would look like. Mostly I miss my sense of trust in the good of people or what I thought marriage should be.

        But I do not miss him or our memories. None of it even seems real anymore. He was not real with me or our family. And frankly, I really do not like him as a person anymore.

        • I miss my false sense of security, my imaganiary marriage, and like GetMeFree, what I miss most is my sense of trust in the good of people.

          I don’t miss walking on eggshells, wondering what mood he’s in, his arrogance or his ridicule.
          He’s an imposter, a fake, a sociopath.
          I don’t like him as a person, he’s petty, cruel, vindictive, dishonest and disgusting, all things evil.

          I find him repulsive.

          • You just read my mind! Wow! I get choked up thinking that my life was a facade and that I wasted 18 years on a guy who ultimately left me for the neighbour. It was humiliating, but I can see now how manipulative, narcissistic and cold he was…a true sociopath! I’m glad I’m not the only one who feel this way!

          • It is a comfort to know that others are experiencing what I am. I was married for 25 years, when I found out that my husband was having a (3 week) affair with a woman he met in a bar. I was not paying enough attention to him because may dad was dying of stage 4 lung cancer at the time. I left the day I found out. That was almost 2 years ago. He has continued to beg and plead for me to come back, because “enough time has passed.” What he doesn’t know is that I know that he is still having sex with women he meets in bars, seedy bars. This man was both my friend (although a somewhat volatile friend) and husband for over 25 years, at least I thought he was. So, I was betrayed by my husband and my friend. I have not gone forward with the divorce yet, because I am having such a hard time understanding how a person you thought you knew, a person you trusted with your life, a person you had 2 (grown) children with, could do something like this. His ONLY excuse is that he was “depressed and desperate”, and he needed companionship (from someone in a bar?); however, he cannot explain to me what he means by this or how I know he will not get “depressed and desperate” again. Having said all of this, I also have great “guilt” because I do not miss him at all. Not even a little bit. As was said previously, no more walking on eggshells, no more verbal tirades, no more drunken nights out, no more occupying all of my free time. I am so so much happier now. Change is hard and I am finding it difficult to actually file the paperwork.

        • I’m in the same boat. I am surprised that I don’t miss him AT ALL. That said, I do miss the family.

          And I am struggling living alone with an angry, strong-willed teenage girl. Angry at me for being so sad and angry for the past 18 months. This PTSD is brutal — I wish I had the resilience to be able to take the punches without feeling knocked down.

          I’m struggling so much… Not about losing him and I’m no longer grieving the marriage. Now it’s about grieving the marriage I never had. Not even the marriage I thought I had. The marriage I should have had but didn’t even know what and how much was missing. I was a smart, strong, driven, successful business woman — how did I let myself get played?

          • Giddy Eagle-

            If I was in the same room as you I would gently take your arm and sit you down in a chair facing mine. I’d hand you a cup of tea and a soft comfy blanket to snuggle with.

            Then I’d look you straight in the eye and lovingly yet firmly tell you to cut it out. You are being waaay too hard on yourself.

            “I wish I had the resilience to be able to take the punches without feeling knocked down.” -What? Do the buildings that are still standing after a hurricaine beat themselves up over their broken windows? No. They are STILL STANDING. That’s where we focus.

            “I was a smart, strong, driven, successful business woman — how did I let myself get played?”
            I felt this way, too. But they are sicker than we are smart. Hard to believe, I know. In my case the professor who encouraged us to get married had worked on Capitol Hill in D.C. for years. Being exposed to so many phony politicians, you would think he would not be fooled by STBX. But he was. That helped me feel better about being played.

            Hugs to you.

        • Question. Is this “meh?” Cause this is exactly how I feel. I feel like a switch was flipped too shortly after I went no contact. It’s only been 2.5 months since he left me for her and I filed. I was a wreck for the first two…because I kept pick me dancing and talking to him. Now that I’ve stuck to my guns, I’m just indifferent about him! And I feel so. Much. Better!! I just didn’t think it would happen this quickly? Is it too good to be true?

      • The same happened to me, but I think its normal, how could you miss someone who continually rejects you, fills you with debts, doubts, manipulates and above all does not even satisfy you sexually?

        • Yes, agreed. It’s hard to miss someone who constantly rejects you. Add in decades of excusing himself from family events, weddings, funerals, and spending time together. He was almost always “working” or if not, sitting around the house on his phone. Add in disappointing and disappearing sex, and what do you have to miss? He was gone decades before.

          • So true. I definitely do not miss being rejected and feeling unloved by someone who was supposed to be on my side. I’d rather be alone than unloved by my spouse.

        • Ugh! I am the same as you guys…I do not miss being rejected, being wrong all the time, tip toeing around him and his ‘moods’, catering to his every whim while he kept letting me down again and again and again. He was just a miserable and unhappy lump in my life and without him I have never felt more free and I laugh and smile like I haven’t done in years! I’m almost four months out from that Dday shitfest too!

          I worried there was something wrong with me to be healing so fast given that I was a wreck for 6 weeks after Dday. Not so…I was just so done and once I got a feel for a normal and happy life – there was never going to be any going back or missing the cheaterpants!

      • I certainly don’t miss the way things were just before DDay and I would never want to go back to that. I can’t say that I miss the man he has become, but I do miss the man he once was and the relationship we once had. I know some here will take me to task for believing this way, but I do think STBX changed over time. He was a good man when I married him. Rather than changed, perhaps it is more accurate to say that his negative qualities that my always have been there gradually expanded and became dominant and took over while his positive qualities that were once dominant diminished, sank below the surface and disappeared. The better man wasn’t just a mask back then but now he is. STBX actually put it best himself when he said “I’m just too far gone”. I hung on to hopium for a long time believing that the good STBX might still be in there, but I have come to realize that he is gone forever and is never coming back for anyone, not even Schmoopie, not really. She gets the mask.

        • I feel this way too. The bad was always there but muted in the background. Now it has become the primary mode of operating.
          I suppose it does not matter too much as long as we have open eyes toward reality and stay away from the hopium pipe.

          • I believe the bad was always there, none of us would have anything to do with them if we had known who they actually are. They learn from talking with us who we are and what traits are important to us and what we’re looking for in a spouse and they will transform themselves into someone with these traits, similar values and our perfect life partner.
            Gradually with time the mask slips and they’re showing us who they actually are.
            They’re imposters, and like a Chameleon will change to whatever fits their needs at that time. We however hold onto the person we fell in love with, making more excuses for them gradually accepting questionable behaviors as normal or just a quirk of theirs not realizing how dysfunctional our relationship has become. Good people don’t destroy their families, their children lives or purposely hurt people especially someone they claimed to have loved and who loves and cares for them. It’s absolutely evil.

            • I’m ashamed to say that I had a difficult time accepting he was evil, and that somehow I was to blame for X abuse and his leaving. X had me convinced his unhappiness was my fault. He was searching for things to blame me, and I fell for it, such as an insignificant remark I made 5 years prior, the vacation we went on with his parents and I didn’t want to share a hotel room with his Uncle..
              I can’t believe I didn’t tell him to fuck off
              I would still be blaming myself if I hadn’t found CL and CN.

              Thank you Chump Lady and CN you saved my sanity.

              • Thank you, brit. I laughed out loud when you wrote … “…and I didn’t want to share a hotel room with his Uncle…” Kudos to you! I was involved with a blamer, too.

        • I think every person is different, and it’s entirely possible that your husband changed over time. People do, after all. I don’t know him so I can’t say. But he was who he was come D-day, regardless if he had been like that for 2 years or 20.

    • Excactly how I knew I was done dancing. Ohhhhh I was so bone tired. Good for you. Therapist said. You will know when you are done. She was right. 👏🏼

      • I was also bone tired, but I still miss the good things about him. We were together 36 years, and I think what I miss most is our family time with the kids. We had two boys and they used to cut up together and it was fun to watch. I also enjoyed his large, happy family, and it hurts to have the kids still be a part of all that when I’m not. But there did come a point where I thought, “I just can’t do this any more.” Too many years of feeling like his plan B. Too many years of sitting on the back burner waiting for him to have time for me. I feel so dumb to have wasted so many years waiting when I could have been living my life.

        • Lyn. I think you were living your life. You were enjoying your family, so so much. Your devotion is exactly what your ex took advantage of at the time, and that happy family is exactly what he was willing to see you lose. Good riddance to a cruel person, and my heart hurts for your losses. You are lovely, and deserved so much more.

          • Agreed! YOU were the one who created those events. Your asshat showed up to be counted. Where did he really invest in those memories?? Cherish what you created because you invested in family and children.

            • And if everybody else is carrying on without you I bet they are feeling your loss. It won’t be the same and probably feels all wrong to most of them as well even if they don’t say it out loud out of politeness to your ex and/or whatever slut is with him.

            • Twelve years before dday we sailed across the ocean on the QE2. It was a dream come true. Ever since I was a child I wanted to travel by way of an oceanliner.

              One evening aboard as we were enjoying a cocktail my ex said, “You always knew you’be here, you just didn’t know it would be with me.” Looking back that was so true as I was the one to organize the vacations/family get togethers/house parties.

              If he is like all the cheater exes us chumps had to put up with, he probably no longer has any memories of our good times together.

        • I think I feel the exact same things Lyn! I miss my family, his family, watching him with my boys playing in the yard and wrestling in the house. I miss the space he took up in bed and someone by my side. I don’t miss him and his antics. I don’t miss wondering where he was or who he was texting or if he was golfing. I don’t miss his immaturity and him making me feel like the bad guy/bitch all of the time for being the responsible adult. I enjoy the freedom my boys and I have now. I enjoy not having the stress in my life. It is bittersweet and I’m still not a meh, but I am getting closer everyday!

          • So well said Sorrynotsorry. After my second Dday in our 18 years of marriage and 2 different schmoopies that I know of, I realized I had nothing left to give. I could never look at him the same again. The first time was a howorker when our kids were little. Second time was the 20-something assistant coach at our kids high school. I suspect he was working on a secretary at work a few years ago. He loves going for the damsel in distress. I heard about each of these women and how hard it was for them for this, that, or some other reason.

            I miss the spouse I thought I had, the family life, and soforth. I don’t specifically miss him and that’s really sad. He is a 49 y.o. man running around with 20-something year olds (his current group of friends) or a few narcs like him.

            I hate it for my kids the most. So embarrassing to see him now. A bald headed, old narc walking with a limp. Running around with a young blonde. The most attractive part of him according to my divorce attorney is the MD at the end of his name.

            But I did all of the adulting really. I work fulltime and more hours than him. I did all of the housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal cooking, pet care, kids appointments, etc… He volunteer coached our kids, but now I know it was for the kibbles he got in return. He was so high maintenance and a bottomless pit of need. Always complaining about everyone else. No one understood how great he was. If I needed to talk about me, I had to beg him for 5 minutes to focus and help me.

            I started mentally rolling my eyes as he bitched about everything. I’m a glass half full person. He’s a glass is shattered type person.

            He’s running around blowing money, buying an expensive home, doing all kinds of stuff with schmoopie. Nothing he would do for me in our 18 years together. At first it hurts like a MF’er, now I know he’s buying the attention and admiration he desparately needs. Good luck with that arsehole. When you’re tapped out, so is schmoopie.

            • TwiceaChump,

              Oh dear…the “Dumsel In Distress” thing. That was my cheater’s M.O. too.
              Both times that I have proof of the cheating, it was with an underling, younger, vulnerable woman with low self-esteem who needed his “support and help” with her “unhappy marriage/boyfriend trouble…”

              Of course, him having self-esteem issues of his own, meant that being the more “together” person, and also higher up the employment ladder, made him feel more secure and I’m sure made him seem more attractive and desirable to them.

              Guy had no boundaries.
              And he wouldn’t go for someone who had their act together. Preying on someone who is in sort of a mess is easy pickings. Low hanging fruit, and all.

              Even when WE met, I was distraught over my long-term live-in boyfriend dumping me and leaving me homeless. Our first meeting was me having had too much to drink and snuffling about being dumped.
              Cue the “Hero.” Snort!

              It never occurred to me that his “helping” these people out was anything to be concerned about. I thought he was this great guy who liked to help people.

              It’s only now I realize that the “people” he “helped” were of a certain type.
              (As in, people he could eventually have sex with.)

              Color me stupid.

              Nope. Don’t miss that at all, either.

              • It always amazes me how they go for the damsel in distress but leave the people who need them most. Then they tell themselves they’re “good people” for helping someone in need. I noticed my ex was super helpful to people he thought could do something for him. But a woman digging through the trash because she had nothing to eat? He’d just scowl at her to get away.

              • So true Lyn! Mine would never take off work for family days, or appointments. We actually had an argument, shortly before D-Day, about a chemo appointment of mine conflicting with his end of the year work party. He just could not miss that event. Not even to take me to a chemo appointment or at the very least, be home that evening to help me out.

                Yet after he left, he was completely available to help a much younger coworker move. Even took off a day of work for it!

              • Yes the dumsel in distress. I think my ex bonded with schmoopie 1.0, a twice divorced subordinate with a history of cheating on her husbands (and all of 30 years old at the time). She was just so pitiful and had such a hard life.

                The secretary I suspected he was preying on, she was about to get fired. We work in the same organization and I had more influence with administration and advocated for her on his behalf. He told me she really needed to work cause her husband sucked and she supported their kids, etc… When I stuck my neck out, I found out what a low life she was and why she was on the chopping block. Afterwards I thought of the lunches he took her to and I bet he was trying to screw her too. She ended up getting another job and left anyway.

                Then the latest schmoopie 2.0, our daughter’s 20-something assistant high school coach. I heard about how her parents divorced and her dad was controling. Her high school coach didn’t support her so she didn’t play her sport in college (even though this guy gave her a job!). No one ever thinks about her and leaves her out of everything.

                Yep the dumsel in distress. He’s dumped me and the kids for the last time riding off to rescue one with his sparkly dick. But I was a bad guy for trying to volunteer, bringing in lost animals, he said ‘you’d be out saving the whales if you could’. I guess it doesn’t count as rescuing and doing good if you don’t get something in return (like a blow job).

              • Yup. Same here. Always helping out, as long as she was female and within a certain age range. It took me a while to catch on to that one. I don’t think he slept with more than the last two, but I am sure now that he thought about it.

                He was my hero once, rescuing be from going back to a bad relationship I had been struggling to leave (we weren’t officially a couple and I had already been distancing myself from the guy so I wasn’t cheating on anybody). I called him my prince for years until a few years ago when I started to just not feel that way anymore (once devalue had really started to kick in).

                His emotional affair was with a woman who was miserable in her marriage and hadn’t been kissed in years, he so wanted to make her feel better, but at that time he still wasn’t willing to hurt me to do that. Schmoopie 1.0 was a lonely single mother who had been abandoned by her boyfriend while pregnant. Schmoopie 2.0 and the one he left me for was also in an unhappy marriage to a cheater/alcoholic. He just had to be her night in shining armor. Well guess what asshole, you aren’t the hero in this story, you are the villain.

              • Another interesting thing of note. All of these “damsels in distress” tried to resist him in any way. They were all stuck in abusive relationships themselves, and their plan for getting out was to latch onto somebody else’s husband and pass the misery forward. This is another side affect of cheating/abusing others. Sometimes it carries forward.

                I am determined not to carry it forward, I have pledged to myself that I will never knowingly screw another woman’s (or man’s) husband and if I find out later, instant dump and tell the wife. I hope to carry it forward in a positive way someday by providing an awesome partner for some deserving man. In the meantime I will try to carry forward a happy, stable home for my kids.

              • GUBU’s “Dumsels” didn’t resist him, either.
                In fact, I’m pretty sure THEY were the ones that put themselves in his path with their cries of “Puleeeeze…..save meeeeeeee!!!!”

                I know that one knew all about me, and I guess she thought she was going to just remove me and get my life. (Never mind the fact that she was young enough to be his GRANDDAUGHTER and had a few small children of her own, and a husband. And GUBU hates kids, never wanted any, EVER.)

                Turns out, I believe SHE dumped HIM when it became apparent that he’d exposed her to a sexually transmitted deadly disease he did not disclose, and he never used a condom. (Idiot.)
                And when she realized that he’d had no intentions of dumping me (and CAKE!) for her.
                He had it so good with me, why mess up a good thing?

                He has since repeated this pattern with other women who contacted me privately because…get this…
                they were SO UPSET at how he treated them… knowing he still had a wife, was a cheater, all the gory details…and THEY WERE ALSO MARRIED!!!!…and they wanted to commiserate. With me.
                The gall of some people!

                But I was curious, and really at “meh” with him emotionally, otherwise I really don’t recommend going there.
                I listened to all they told me and learned that what I thought I knew about his escapades was really just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. And I didn’t feel a thing. A year or two ago, I wouldn’t have been able to handle it. That’s also when I knew that “meh” had officially arrived for me.

                I listened, and listened, and really got an earful.
                That’s when I knew he’d never change. Not for anyone else, not for himself. He is damaged, and disgusting. If anything, he is much worse than he was when I was with him, because he has no one for whom reining in his destructive behaviors is important.
                He’s off in his own world of weirdness.

                He has no idea that these people have contacted me, but what I know now…gives me shudders.

                Still, back to Schmoopie 2, the poor dumpy thing was just heartbroken when she realized he was only using her as he said “A pleasant diversion”. This dope was going to dump her loving husband and take up with mine and her little ones, and live happily ever after once I was out of the picture. HAHAHAHAHAH!

                I’m rambling, sorry….

                The point is, it’s my belief (by things that he said) that she was the one who made the first move.
                He doesn’t have the guts, if you want to know the truth, so I believe it.
                Can you say “Daddy Issues”?!?!??!

                When I found out, I threw his shit in a bag and told him to go stay at her house.

                Ummmm….
                He “couldn’t”. Wonder why?

                Because she realized what a POS he was and was off licking her wounds and scrambling to get her own Chump Husband back in line.

                The fact that he is a POS is something every other one of his dalliances have learned. I was “special” in that it took me 30 years to figure it out. But I have my own challenges in that department…and I’m still learning.

                So…miss him? Not in the least.

              • Ahhh yes… I was married to a real hero too. He was part of our town’s volunteer fire fighters as well as the first responders group. He got a real rush out of being a hero, so he also kept an eye out for weak, unhappy women to save. He admitted to me that his main reason for losing interest in me after 20 years of marriage was that I was “just too strong of a woman for him”. Telling. Very telling…. Hope he enjoys his life with Schmoopie because she is as weak and helpless as they come. She refuses to work more than part time. She can’t handle herself in social situations. Basic adulting is tough for her. My older kids say they already appear unhappy together and predict their relationship will last 5 more years at best, before he loses interest and moves on to the next damsel in distress. If he hasn’t moved on already, that is. His relationships tend to overlap. 🙄

            • Dear twice,

              my STB XH is also an MD. Married 35 years and 3 kids and I was there for my own law school (my career totally changed when our first child was born. Nothing changed for my husband). I was there for the whole bumpy impoverished road to financial success. Except now he’s with skinny tattooed botched facelift Schmoopie on the tundra.

              He posted on Facebook just weeks after BD. He’d “found the love of his life” and was ‘introducing his HONEY to the family”. (Not our family, but his dad and brother).

              He really wanted our adult kids to “be happy for” HIM, and to embrace her SO SOON after we separated that 1) it was blatantly obvious he had cheated on me (again) and

              2) besides – who the fuck is “in a relationship” on fb posting happy kissing photos, when they are still married and barely separated???? And 60 years old??

              Now he’s on the tundra with her and is upset that the kids “won’t talk to” him. Tough shit, it’s not like I had to tell them to be silent with their absentee father. Sadly, they saw through him long before I did.

              But I miss having an intact family and I resent the hell out of a woman who would cheat with a married man AND brag about her Christian faith on FB and not feel at all reticent about it. I resent my husband daring to be angry AT ME, (as if he’s the hero and I’m the villain in his distorted narrative.)

              I resent putting him through all the schooling and all the shitty poverty days and so much DEFERRED gratification and all the years I spent as a single parent – so many nights without a mate —

              only to learn he has been lying again, planning to leave for the tundra with or without me, and right after our last child went to college (and my mother died. Nice touch, asshole.)

              A year has passed and we have spoken once, about insurance and got off the phone. He wants to settle this divorce now and has finally agreed (in theory) to pay me SOME spousal support.

              Unfuckingbelievable. I want to break myself of this sickening dependence on a bad man. And somehow not badmouth him to the kids (though 2 of them bad mouth him to me, OFTEN…)

              Oh, and the shithead cut off college tuition for our youngest AND YET pouts about how HE gave her the “veteran’s benefits”, which pay for books, btw.

              He never asked how she is doing or how she is paying for college now that he yanked funding due to his “retirement” as a doctor.

              What a dick. Ugh, I’m not sure if I’m more disgusted with myself for enabling this sick bastard to hurt me and our kids so much for so long,

              or him for being so dishonest and selfish for so long.

              • Dr’s first wife and kids, i relate to so much of your post. Be disgusted with him not yourself. You had faith in your husband and that is admirable- what he did is not. He is a first class jerk to put it nicely. You don’t bad mouth him, you are a saint in my book because he deserves that and worse.

                We should put all these fuckwits in a room together and see how they survive.

                Hugs!

            • Twice, go easy on the bald heads lol.
              I have a nice oval shaped head that it works on. If I let the hair grow I would have the Gallagher ring lol.
              In my youth though, I played n metal bands and hair past the shoulders, mid 80’s hair bands, lol.
              Bald can be beautiful!!!!

              • 50 Chump bald is beautiful!!! But really more appropriate with a mature woman by your side. Not a 20 something girl as his schmoopie 😉

          • I also miss the space he took up in bed and someone by my side. That is the hardest part, going to bed with no one to cuddle up to. That was a moment of bliss each night. Instead now I cry myself to sleep every night. I hope that will be done soon, the pain is heavy. I envy someone who can walk away and not miss them.

            • Chumpalicious, stay close to CL & CM. The price of that cuddle was far too high for you! You are worth so much more than what you got! Your heart will heal. Feel those feelings, cry every tear you need to, but KNOW your Meh is waiting for you. Trust that they suck. But not everyonedoes. There may be an honest, righteous, worthy cuddle partner out there for you.

            • Chumpalicious, I understand your craving for comfort and physical contact. I remember that very clearly and how I ached to be held like a child for awhile after my husband left. It has helped to find someone who really is willing to hold me, but it took a few years. Now I have someone to cuddle on the couch with and watch TV sometimes. I think in time we learn to love ourselves and provide all that we need, but it’s a process. It might help you got get regular massages if you can afford it. Just being touched by another person is so important. Also, hug your other family members as much as possible.

            • Its been a year since he moved out. I cried for a long long time. When I got up, when I drove to work, at work, coming home from work, when I was fixing supper, doing laundry, in the shower, when I went to bed, in the middle of the night. Sad tears, angry tears, desperate tears, fearful tears.

              I would have given my left eye to not have gone through all that. I’m FINALLY to a place of where I’m not crying all the freaking time. I’m not waking up with him the first thing on my mind, or going to sleep with him being the last. I’m not waking up in the middle of the night and crying, either.

              It’s been a long road

              • Sunflower 36, I too cried at every turn. I longed for his touch. I don’t cry everyday anymore, but I still wake up and go to bed with him in my head. Not because I miss him but because we are still married and I keep finding out all these things he’s doing. These days I’m mostly infuriated. My ultimate goal is to feel nothing but indifference for him.

            • Read CL’s book and the section on the barbed wire monkey. I know that side of the bed is cold for now, but fill it with someone worthy of you… or spread out and sleep like a starfish!

              Remember, he was holding other women the same way. Sadly, it never meant to them want it meant to us.

              • Chumpalicious,

                Trust that everyone here has been through the same thing or something similar. It DOES GET BETTER.

                The beginning is the hardest. Heck, I longed for GUBU after I tossed him out on D-Day, even though I knew he was a POS at that point. But he was “my” POS! The rejection was the worst.

                And this is a man who’d been clinging to the ever-increasing bed for our entire relationship. We started out with a full sized mattress and ended up with a king where he could avoid touching me 100% of the time.

                Still, I craved affection…consolation. He was the person I had always turned to in the past and I will say that at least when someone else was the perpetrator, he was pretty good at that nurturing thing. But that’s where it ended.
                If he felt at fault, all I got was anger. So confronting him and pulling the mask off meant I got nothing but cold, calculating shark eyes, and seething contempt.

                Did that mean I did not lie in bed after he’d gone, wailing and gnashing my teeth? Nope. Did that. And more.

                But it came to an end when I was able to see him clearly. He was someone toxic to me. He was not my Best Friend. He was my ADVERSARY.

                Who wants to cuddle up with someone who is actively doing you harm and plotting against you? Not me. And not you.

                It’s a habit now. And it’s sooooooo hard to let go of what we thought we had. I knew I didn’t want GUBU back, but I sure as hell didn’t want to be going where I was being forced to go.

                I wanted the lie back. I wanted to go back to not knowing. At least I thought that’s what I wanted. Because knowing was too painful.

                But getting away from him and recovering from his emotional abuse meant there was a space made for other things; namely, more of the things that I enjoy and had given up in order to be a good wife, and when it was time, a space for a new person who really does love ME.

                Hang in there, it takes time. Take good care of yourself while you’re doing it.
                As they say, “The only way out, is through.”

                And you’ll be stronger and better and wiser and more compassionate for having endured this.
                I promise.

        • Lyn, I understand your feelings and share them. While my mighty is growing slowly, I was sad last night for the loss of my images of what we had together. We were together for 31 years, had 2 awesome kids, lost an infant, survived addictions (both), really did work to come back from his first 2 (overlapping) affairs (26 years ago) and had some delicious family moments in the middle, with scouting, camping, fishing, travel.
          I’ve worked 50-hour weeks to keep his aging, ill butt insured (he’s self-employed). And helped him not to die in hospital this spring. My reward? Schmoopie got her white trash cheap perfume bought in time for her birthday when he was barely able to walk a week later!
          I am glad I’m not the only one who feels like a switch has been thrown. I can’t muster a positive thought for him, much less any desire to swim back into hus swamp. He says he wants to wirk things out, but when he brings it up, or I hear his ringtone, my stomach turns. LUCIDITY. Thanks for that, CL!
          My memories are illusions. The lies are his. I grieve for what I thought I had, the “stable” family, the tiny (shrinking daily) moments of happy life together. But MY happy was real, genuine and loyal. The crap is all over HIM. While it was a huge investment in time, love, devotion for me, I refuse to pass another day committed to an illusion! I know that I am capable of loving and loyalty. If I have to live alone to live in truth, I will, gladly. A cheating partner is no partner – they are thieves, abusers, users. One less chump to target! Thanks for sharing, everyone.

          • LongingForMeh, we went through a miscarriage together too. It will never make sense to me that a person could go through childbirth and cancer treatments with you then walk out the door. I think of my ex as a plant that had prolific leaves but very shallow roots. Unfortunately, I’m more like a dandelion. A bit scraggly but with very deep roots.

          • “If I have to live alone to live in truth”
            I must remember that. How disrespectful that someone can lie so easy and feel no remorse. I too had a flip switched in my head when I stumbled upon this website.

    • I am currently living with my cheater while we work out the logistics of divorce/selling the house. I’m still mourning the loss of what could have been, but what I am realizing that I never really had, in this marriage. I also mourn for the idea of a happy family, and worry for my children. But I’m also realizing that I feel so much more at peace those times when he is NOT here. All signs that I am slowly getting to DONE.

  • Some of us just have nothing left for their cheater. I also felt bad for not missing Narkles the Clown. It was almost a relief to be free of him and his abusive behavior. Once he was out of my house I embraced the ensuing peace.

    Enjoy your mightiness DMH and never look back.

      • I agree. Once I got him out of the house, it was peaceful. No more walking on eggshells, wondering what he was going to say or do. We had the added bonus of domestic violence which further added to need for peace.

        No. I do not miss him, no way, no how.

    • All I have left of my cheater is 30K in debts due to his failed business … it was worth every penny to get out.

  • I’ve wondered the same thing occasionally. But at the end of DDay I knew I was done. I had months of PTSD-like symptoms along with the horrific pain of the deception and having to accept the fact he threw our life down the toilet but I think any trace of love was flushed as well. In fact I reckon I hate him.
    I have to interact with him (kids) but I’m pretty grey rock and if I have to leave that state I do a great impression of the “nice friendly(ish) ex…because self preservation. But I hate him. I don’t let it eat me up- I really avoid thinking of him unless it’s necessary.
    Who needs any other feeling for these disordered arseholes?
    I miss what I thought I had and what I thought my future was going to be but I don’t miss him.

  • Same ^. I don’t miss him one bit. If we didn’t have children, I wouldn’t have to deal with him at all.
    The only emotion I have left for him is disgust.

  • Yeah, I miss him. I miss him spending us out of house and home. I miss not getting the shit kicked out of me at least twice a week. I miss not lying awake at night to hear his key in the door when he comes staggering home drunk yet again. I miss not having to take out yet another loan to pay for damage to his car or other people’s cars. I miss not having to chauffeur him around for a total of 4 years because that was the length of time his licence was suspended before it was eventually cancelled. I miss not having to listen to his catterwalling (sp) all the while he thinks he can sing. My life is great, so yeah, I miss him like a hole in the head. Schmoopie, you’re welcome!!! Ha, bloody ha.

    • Love your attitude Attie! I miss driving the drunk home. Miss doing the whore count and playing detective. I miss the thirty dollars a year he spent on two cheap bunches of flowers semiannually.

      I miss he dead silence waiting for him to initiate a conversation and sex. If I’d held my breath I would be dead waiting.

      Right now Nanthony is waiting for her future to unfold s he continues to cheat. I miss future faking most of all. It’s almost as fun a pretending he’s human.

  • CL- once again, you found the words that resonate in my soul….Why should you miss someone who deceived you for ___ straight years? And had ___affairs (that he’ll admit to)? Why would you miss someone who returned your “adoration” with gut-wrenching betrayal? You don’t have a hard heart, you have lucidity. It’s a gift.

    DMH- do not second=guess yourself. I could not feel peace for a while; some I can blame on divorcing a character disturbed person for 2 years, and some I have to own. I gave him mental real estate and tried to go back to somehow prove our lives were real and his professed love was too…just so I could not end up concluding that I lived a lie for 30 years. It took time to work that through my head and be ok knowing I would never know what he lived and I know 100% of what I lived.

    Freedom, peace, and terra firma…do not question yourself, DMH. Good job getting there so fast. The trust that they suck switch is powerful. Sounds like for you it was a permanent once and done flip. That is not wrong. It is right in every way.

    • My version of this is that I can’t miss someone I didn’t know. And my not knowing was by his design. It is also my explanation for those who don’t understand.

      I thought I knew him but that was just a mask or a persona. Some aspects of it might be true but I have no way to sort the truth from the lies. I caught glimpses of his hidden part, the BDSM serial cheater and liar. I can be pretty confident that they are real. If I’d known about those qualities (cheating, lying, using people), I would not have invited him into my life. After final DDay, he did a full on self-pity assault to try to make me feel so sorry for him that I would not divorce. It did not add to his appeal.

      So why would I miss someone like this? I think it is healthy to get to that point. I’m impressed with the instant clarity, DMH. You are mighty. It took me longer to get there but at this point I don’t miss him at all.

      • That’s how I felt, too, Ohana. Like I just never really knew him at all. As if something I thought was a pretty little box on my mantlepiece was actually made of uranium and seeping toxic radiation into my life for over a dozen years. “Oh, I thought it was THIS, but it’s actually THAT.” So not only was any thought of him a reminder of how I’d been mistaken for all that time, but once I realized what it truly was, why would I miss it at all?

        I, too, did not ever miss XH himself, but I confess I’ve struggled with the “husband-shaped space” CL refers to. But the radioactive chunk of toxicity? Nope. Don’t miss that at all.

        • Yes, I remember the moment I looked at him and realized I didn’t know him at all. It was stunning to me after 36 years to realize that.

      • I agree, Ohana. When I realized he wasn’t who I thought he was and discovered he was a monster, I realized there is nothing to miss. He doesn’t deserve to be missed. He isn’t even worthy to be missed.

  • I understand this completely. I was devasted when he pulled the rug out from under me but I know my self preservation kicked in big time. I sold the house a week later and was on my way to freedom. I was done with this idiot. He pulled the same stunt 20 years earlier and deep down I regretted taking him back but at the time I sucked it up and got on with life because that’s what responsible people do to save their marriage! Ugh! This time was different! My switch definitely flipped. Maybe older and wiser. This is just stupid shit these idiots pull and If they want to waste their life with some fuckwit that’s their business . I wasn’t about to play this game again, I’m living life for me now. As the poster above says enjoy your mightiness!

    • Lyndaloo, your story is mine exactly. I have now done the same as you – I am so done. He has been gone 3 months now and I actually cannot think of any happy memories in 26 year marriage that spring to my mind. As for missing him – no way just angry at myself for thinking he actually would not betray me again.

      • Yes what is that saying about ….fool me once…… We just carry on ! Don’t be hard on yourself we were all duped by these morons!

      • Lyndaloo and Setmefree my story is the same. I did not miss HIM when he left, after 23 years. Looking back I came to realize that, I was doing it on my own all along. With every D-Day he killed of any love and respect I had left for him. With the last d-day I knew I was done.
        As for missing him – no way just angry at myself for thinking he actually would not betray me again.
        This is so true, the young me was a hopuim addict and listen to his words. The older and wiser me compared his words to his actions, and they did not match up.

      • My abandonments were 30 years apart, lyndaloo and I have some similar events. The first time he returned to the house this spring I found him repulsive and was so grateful that any desire or sadz I might have had about losing him physically was gone– I had spent the weeks in between writing out and adding to 6 pages (front and back!) of crap that I would no longer have to put up with and that helped me see him for the total POS he really is.

        I have missed the lie though, the dreams of retirement and travel and shared grandchildren with this moron I have loved since he was 17, I missed what I thought I had, what I had speckled together out of the shit heap that he is. I feel robbed and have tried to accept that it was never going to be there, he was never going to be there during any future health crisis I might have had, he was a bomb waiting to explode at the worst possible time. He is a selfish coward and would have poofed eventually.

        DMH, you have been given a gift.

        • NowIC, My idiot and I retired 16 years ago, we travelled, had grand children who are now ages from 11 to 20. Had a lovely home and a lifestyle most folks would think was enviable! When idiot decided he was “in love again” for real this time ! I asked him if he Realized what he was giving up? His rely was ‘ I’m well aware’. So there you are, 40 years of marriage, 16 years of a good retirement, 4 beautiful grandchildren successful step children and idiot walks out the door for a 75 year old fellow bridge player??? The step children that treated him like he was their biological parent, never forgot a birthday or Father’s Day and grandkids that never knew any other Grandfather, just can’t understand why he’s gone.
          I can accept that he didn’t love me, but I have great difficulty in accepting his caliousness towards my children and grandkids who loved him. I will never forgive him for this betrayal of our family. As for being there when and if I’m ever ill, that’s a joke. Two weeks before he sprang the news of his latest dalliance on me, he told me one morning that he would always be there for me through illness etc.??? What kind of an idiot does and says these things? You are right they are like “ticking time bombs” there is no telling what they might do or say next. I’m just grateful I am still healthy, I can’t imagine having a catastrophic illness and having to rely on this useless POS. At least now, I know what measures to take to make sure my future is as secure as I can make it. My kids will survive and so will the grandkids but the humiliation I have suffered at this mans hand is reprehensible. Thank God or perhaps I should say Thank Tracy for this site and all the folks who post here it’s truly a life line! Hugs !
          P.S. I recently heard he may have a brain tumor, I hope Schmoopie is a good nurse as well as bridge player! Glad I’m out of there! Phew dodged a bullet there!

      • Isn’t it crazy how we get some distance and then see just how completely fucked up the whole thing was? I look at my old life and wonder how I stayed in that……at the time he left me I was DEVESTATED to say the least.
        I know know I was just scared of the unknown. I don’t miss him, but I am traumatized by what he did to me. I don’t fixate on him, but more with how I just couldn’t see what everybody else did.
        I don’t worry about the mistress he ended up with, she will get hers. I do feel for the two young kids she’s tossed into that shit show that will be hurt like my adult kids have been when he ( or she….they are both scum) destroy that relationship.
        But miss?? Miss is not a word I would ever use in relationship to him.

        • Good way to exactly describe how I feel. I don’t miss him but I still feel traumatized by what he has done to me and our children. Doesn’t help that I have spent almost 2 years trying to get divorced while he betrays us financially as well. Knowing what I know about him now, I would have never chosen to even go on a date with him, let alone marry him.

          • Yes, and I remember the times I wanted to leave him and move back to my hometown halfway across the country when my kids were little but I didn’t because I thought it was all me being crazy and the kids needed their father. They do need a father, cheater just isn’t capable of filling that role. Can’t turn back time and decline that first date and I wouldn’t want to erase my children- just fuckwit and his parents.

        • Paintwidow… yes, exactly. At Dday and when he left for 1.5 yrs I pined and wept and prayed. I cried SO many tears in 26 years…. it felt like millions of them. The day 2 yrs ago I learned of the serial cheating, the switch was fucking flipped and I haven’t squeezed a tear over him since. Other people can miss him, he didn’t fuck them over like he did me.

    • Lyndaloo, you are my hero. I, too, am done playing this game and am now living life for ME! Actually, I’m still trying to find out what I want, what I like. For 39 years, it was ALL about him. Reading this letter this morning, gave me pause. Asking myself do I miss him, I realized I don’t. I still think about him waaayyyy too much, but it’s mostly about trying to wrap my head around what happened.

      It’s a beautiful day, CN. Let’s go be mighty!

      • JustBreath and LF meh,
        We almost need a separate article for chumps that were married for over 25 years. Seems there are more and more of us. Which makes me wonder why these jerks stay so long, well I suppose they stay until they find a willing partner in crime. They can’t stand being on their own. It is hard to know what you want to do with the rest of your life once you’re free of these “burdens” they took up so much of our energy.
        I was lucky that I always had a good support network of women friends. My kids and family are supportive and while my new house is lovely inside the garden is well, in need of some attention, LOL. Now I’m getting comfortable in my new community I hope to join an aqua fit class at the local Y and as a knitter/spinner there are lots of workshops and guilds close that I am considering joining. One if my daughters lives in the US and one in the UK so I will look forward to visits with them. I think you have to just go and try new things and see what appeals. I try to look at life as a new adventure and accept invitations even if I’m not sure it’s exactly ‘My cup o’tea.’ If you don’t try you will never know. As you say Lets go be mighty!” Hugs !

    • Lyndaloo,
      We could be twins…same here. I know for SURE that he sucks…and I don’t! He had his second chance (that he didn’t deserve). Not. One. More. Day.
      Good for you!

    • Lyndaloo,
      We could be twins…same here. I know for SURE that he sucks…and I don’t! He had his second chance (that he didn’t deserve). Not. One. More. Day.
      Good for you!

  • “I swear a gazillion chumps will read your letter and wish they were you. They long for the flipped switch, and the self-worth that is stronger than the self-pitying laments of cheaters.”

    ChumpLady, you got that right! I definitely wish my switch had flipped on DDay #1 instead of keeping the devoted wife lights on until the bulb burned out and left me looking into the darkness of my cheater’s soul.

    DMH, please stop feeling bad about not missing him! Believe me, all of us chumps would love to be like you and have meh aptitude in the 99th percentile.

    • Oh, I want to add that Woody is going to get served any day now. I hope it will be a nice surprise for him!

      And I am NOT going to miss him one bit once the divorce is final in January. He already used up most of the misses I had to give over the past two years when he was in the same room giving me the silent treatment. The rest of the missing was really withdrawal symptoms from my strong pair bond after we separated.

      Done. Meh. <–wipes hands

    • “keeping the devoted wife lights on until the bulb burned out and left me looking into the darkness of my cheater’s soul”

      That is perfectly worded. Just awesome!

  • I’m still hung up from from yesterday’s post…..Chump Lady brought back memories of some really, shitty oatmeal.

  • There is a long burn occurring when a spouse is unfaithful – whether confessed or not. They are turning it over in their minds. Coming to conclusions. Comparing. Doing the what ifs. Patting themselves on the back for sticking it out in their marriage despite the whatever’s. Keeping track of falsehoods. All of it. The chump feels this but it can’t be acknowledged. It’s an untouchable space in the cheaters person at best – an awful source of “why do I feel like he wants to kill me???” at worst. This is part of what you’re leaving behind and that is wonderful.

    • So well put, Joy!!! Gaslighting will make people lose their mind, it’s actually robbing them of their mind!!…I developed OCD symptoms that later on I would discover being aligned on the timeline to when he was initiating and then terminating a new inappropriate liason at work. Our minds and guts always know, but it’s a nightmare not knowing what he is going on!!! I also recorded my dreams at the time and there was a recurrent theme of an intruder in the couple. I didn’t even remember it at the time, I just very recently noticed this.
      And his answers to my problems? See a therapist, get medication, it’s not my fault, you were already broken when I met you.

      • ” Our minds and guts always know, but it’s a nightmare not knowing what he is going on!!! ”

        I had that feeling of fight or flight all the time. It was probably because of the cheating but I didn’t know it so I turned in inward and believed I was just crazy like he wanted. The fight or flight feeling left with him but it sneaks in when the divorce issues ramp up.

        I don’t think I miss fuckwit but I do think I feel like a failure for not being able to change him into what I wanted him to be. Hopefully I’ll get past that some day.

        A recent revelation from 15 year old sharing from her therapist visit was: cheater didn’t do the simple things that create bonding and memories like offering to takethe kids for ice cream or going to the batting cages. If we did go for ice cream, he wouldn’t order and then he would eat off everybody else’s. If we went to amusements, he was commpetitive- had to be the best. He would take the kids to do his grand hobbies but then he wouldn’t connect with them because operating a sport fishing vessel etc required his full attention. His other guests entertained the kids.

        Rejoice that you don’t miss your husband because you shouldn’t.

        • He created a lot of good memories with me, he liked being the cozy, family guy when it suited him. He did enough to hold a general impression of it. The thing is, it’s even worse because he did those things *while* he did those other things, so that’s how little it all meant to him. He went to great lengths to cover up his stuff and actively shut me out of his second life. That feeling of exclusion is what I most hold over his head. I only had one life and wanted him to be a part of all that, even in my own close-ups with inappropriate moments (like when a toxic ex tried to hoover me back), I always wanted to face them together. He didn’t. He left me alone to deal with said toxic ex, he just demanded him gone and offered me no support, in a situtation I didn’t even understand at the time, where I was afraid I might still have feelings for that ex. He didn’t stand by me to sort them out even though I asked him to, and knew I wanted to be with him. It’s like he abandoned me in front of a predator, while he was busy chasing his own preys.

          To this day, he wants secrets in his head, whereas I want to share every thought, it’s just my natural instinct, I wish there was a way to show my mind so he could read it and he actively would hate to give me that chance with his, because “it’s his”. He thinks my vision is toxic, I think his is. What’s for sure, is they’re not compatible, so problem solved.

          • I know exactly what u are talking about. I was an open book with my thoughts feelings opinions and actions and actively shared it with him. He just mirrored back to me basics and kept everything secret. I wanted a partnership and he wanted to look good when it suited him. It would hurt me every time even when he didn’t cheat that there was so much he kept private. Like all of a sudden I would find out a week later he did this,that, saw that person all unknown or unshared with me

            • Yes, it would bother me too when he said “oh I forgot to tell you…” and proceeded to tell me something that had happened a couple days prior. I felt a mean zing each time, because most times it would be something that it would occur to most people to share right away (usually with technology these days that’s very possible).
              Or like I didn’t even know he liked to crank up the volume to the radio in his car. Little things like that make you wonder “why don’t I know this person after a decade??” and then you think you failed at communication, but it’s them who like to keep secrets. I just don’t even understand how anyone could find appeal in that. What’s worse is, what if he’s right and normal people will always want their partner out of their head like that? I mean, I shouldn’t be listening to him, but I have very little experience with men (no sane ones at least!) so I’m worried this is something only women may want or only a few people want 🙁 that would make me feel very alone in the world.

              And to think he loved the movie Into The Wild, where the motto at the end is “Happiness is only real when shared”. What a joke that is now…

              • He was a joke. I hated those zings they happend to me all the time. I think it’s a part of cheater mentality only sharing a bit of info about what you need. That is not normal in relationships to be that private. Especially if he could tell it meant something to you. I watch my brother and his wife. They have a healthier relationship and he opens up to her answers her questions etc. I don’t think he would open up on his own but he does share a lot with her and they do things and face life as a team.

        • I remember taking my son out of town for a soccer tournament over night. STBX had my daughter. He invited a bunch of guys over to the house to watch a fight. He had one guy bring his daughter. My daughter was left to entertain this girl who was 4 years younger than her and whom she didn’t even know.

          All I could think at the time was that he had an entire evening to spend with his daughter and that is what he came up with? But then I spackled over it…

      • Yes, sure don’t miss the gaslighting. My gut was always trying to tell me something was wrong, but I wouldn’t listen. Then about a week before D-Day, with Cheater lying beside me in bed sleeping, I dreamed a gigantic hand reached down from above me and ripped my heart out. This was so realistic and scary that I instantly woke up and sat up staring up at the ceiling. I’ve never forgotten that. I don’t know who or what that was but that giant hand was trying to tell me my heart was about to be ripped out. I’m not a mystical, religious or spiritual person for the most part, live a pretty mundane existence. But I don’t doubt that something supernatural was trying to protect me. D-Day was 9 days later.

    • Yes, well put Joy. I used to tell my husband that he was like an impenetrable wall. I could never get him to talk to me or open up about his feelings at all. The only acceptable topics of conversation were his work, sports, or the kids. But then when he left he blamed me for not knowing how he felt. It was exhausting trying to figure out how to connect with him emotionally. Turns out he was giving all his emotional insight to schmoopie coworker. It’s peaceful now to focus on myself and what I want out of life instead of trying to reach the unreachable.

      • I realized that the only conversation we could have was current events and politics. We couldn’t talk about the future and growing old together because Stbx is too afraid to grow old. Peter Pan won’t fantasize about growing up- just more childish adventures.

    • Joy: In your one short paragraph, you have perfectly captured what I was feeling throughout my 40-year relationship – I just didn’t know it or maybe better put, I just didn’t call it what it really was. We were separated for 6 months and I was pining for him the whole time, slogging through the emotional devastation of yet another D-Day, seemingly unable to stand up for myself, assign value to myself, believe in myself and want something better for myself. We went through 5 agonizing months of marriage counseling (a total waste of time and money… you can’t wreckoncile a marriage with just one interested party). One day, as we sat there on the therapist’s couch, he said he wanted a divorce and said that session would be his last. Then he said “I’ve prepared a statement for today” and to the amazement of both me and the therapist, he proceeds to whip out his smartphone, flips through a couple pages and then starts reading 4-5 sentences of complete drivel. Then he got up and walked out the door with a shit-eating grin on his face. In that moment, my switch was flipped. I knew it was time to put on my big girl panties and come up with a plan for ME that didn’t include him. “We” became “Me” and “Ours” became” “Mine”. I wish I could say I orchestrated a seamless journey to disconnection, but that isn’t true; regardless of how shitty someone has treated you, when you’ve been together twice as long as you were single (met at 19, divorced at 60), that bond – while not necessarily healthy – is still strong and takes time to unwind. It took a lot of counseling, love from my family and support from my loyal friends to realize just what a colossal clusterfuck I had been part of and how close I came to losing my soul. It became clear to me that I wasn’t really missing him… I was missing what I thought we had and what he said our life in the future would look like. Sadly, not a shred of it was true. If I’d been smarter, stronger, braver, and understood my true worth sooner, I could have reclaimed my life much earlier and left the drama behind for someone else to deal with. Shortly thereafter, I went Zero Contact and that was the best decision I’ve ever made. It greatly accelerated my healing and removed me from the chaos. Today, I was feel like someone who took the last seat in the last lifeboat as the Titanic was sinking under the waves – lucky lucky lucky!

      • Good for you, MyRedSandals! It’s very hard when you’ve been married so long you can’t even remember who you were before you were with him, isn’t it?

    • So true, Joy.

      I don’t miss asshat. I miss the fact that my kids have never known what an honest, invested marriage looks like. And I harbor big feelings of guilt that I permitted them to be punked by a sociopath.

    • Ohmygod, Joy!
      “why do I feel like he wants to kill me???” I thought this on some deeeeep level, below conscious thought, until you just wrote it! SPOTTHEFUCKON!
      He was kicking me in his sleep towards the end. Elbowing me. By day, mild-mannered mr niceguy that everybody loved. Ugh! (Until I tell folks what’s gone on, then they start telling me what they REALLY thought about him! Yes!)
      Beautifully put, Joy, thank you for the validation.

    • OMG Joy….yes. Bizarre freakish feeling where they may not have done anything overt and you dont know, but you know you are marginalized and judged and unwanted.

      I used to imagine what it would feel like if I were ever to get a terminal diagnosis…I would have looked over at him and said “you got your wish, I will be gone and no one will fault you for it”

      Your description was amazing…I feel validated

      • “patting himself on the back for sticking it out in the marriage” that is so true. A decent person woudl think “how could he do such things” and a disordered mind could think “I am so good for putting up with her, the side flings are my reward”

    • Here I am, almost 2 years later reading through all these comments and feeling a cold shiver of recognition. We would go for walks in the woods and I refused to go if he wanted to carry a gun (lots of bears), “joking” that there just might be an “unfortunate incident”… I’m sure that deep down I wondered. Fast forward to sitting with a marriage counsellor, he lost his shit one day and she said to him, “When you yell at your family like that, they can see the hatred in your eyes.” Absolutely, bone-chillingly true.

  • I’ve never missed him, either. All that he represented, sure, our house together, our routines, my perceived security, that I’ve missed so hard I thought I would go crazy. I still do, it’s been 5 months and who knows how longer. But the moment I realized he *really* wasn’t who I thought he was, there was nothing left for me to miss. Something that didn’t exist? And I think it’s a process. I don’t believe in the flipped switch, I believe the switch is a gauge and when we reach the last tick, it feels like a switch. But you were clearly dragged through the gauge in your relationship. Disaster after disaster, the impending doom just move you forward and withouth you realizing it, made you more detached. It’s human nature. We are supposed to love those love us, not destroy us. So I think your “feeling bad about not feeling bad” is exactly your “feeling bad”. The vague guilt you feel by absence, that’s your grief.

    Like a ship that has sailed quite a while ago, you can’t even wave at it from the deck cause you can’t see it anymore. You know it’s there on the horizon somewhere but it’s uncomfortable that you already can’t see it. But it’s for a good reason: that ship has sailed.

    • “I believe the switch is a gauge and when we reach the last tick, it feels like a switch.” So true, Jgirl

      “Like a ship that has sailed quite a while ago…” So beautiful Jgirl. Thank you for giving us this reference.

      My house only has paintings that bring some kind of reference for me. Now I have to get one of a sailing ship. I already have one of a rainbow arching over a retreating storm at sea. Wish I knew how to attach a photo of it to this post, but I am a technoklutz.

    • There was definitely a switch that flipped where I knew I had to get away from him because if I didn’t I wouldn’t survive. I guess the self-protecting bouncer in my brain told me, “enough is enough,” and wouldn’t let me near him anymore.

  • That’s awesome! I too did not miss him AT ALL either. After DD#2 I was completely done. Sure I had a lot of hurt to deal with (and still dealing with some PTSD/triggers a year later in a new relationship) from the daily mindfuck I endured for 3 years, but NOT ANYTHING about him I missed. SOOO glad I didn’t have to deal with this 33 year old loser ass who acts like he’s 16 and cant get a decent job, is a shitty ass dad, and is a fraud to everyone around him. I’d love to refer to him as Narkles the Clown (as the above poster did). That always cracks me up.

  • I’m betting there’s a lot more to it and that he has dished out some pretty integrity-lacking and hurtful behavior on way more than one topic over time. Just a guess. Serial cheaters are often “cheating” (being dishonest and sneaky) with multiple foci (sex, money, porn, substances, gossip/triangulating, etc etc etc).

    As long as your other normal emotions in life seem generally intact and you aren’t blowing off people who matter to you, I agree that you are just clearly understanding that this cheater has been presenting a facade and there is nothing to miss (except, as CL said, the illusion).

    More emotions may arise in you over time, too. You may feel angry later when the “crisis mode” period of having to get shit done to expel him is over. It doesn’t always happen all at once.

    Hang in there. You are probably just super conscientious and second guessing yourself. It happens in trauma. We are here for you.

  • Some good advice I have heard: “Don’t ‘should’ on yourself.” You don’t feel bad. That’s your reality. Nothing wrong with owning that. Plus, I say it is a reality worth being thankful for!

  • DMH, you are normal. I feel the same way after 40 years of marriage. CL has nailed it again: It feels far better to be lucid than stupid. I felt stupid my entire marriage thanks to ex’s blameshifting, gaslighting and mindfucking in general. Getting this off my shoulders is worth MY worth.

    Husband was a figment. One more mantra for us chumps.

  • One of the things that strikes me is how movies, books, songs etc that we thought we were familiar with take on a new extreme significance post- Dday.

    Like this from “When Harry Met Sally” —

    Harry Burns: I miss her.
    Sally Albright: I don’t miss him. I really don’t.
    Harry Burns: Not even a little?
    Sally Albright: You know what I miss? I miss the *idea* of him.

    Only those of us who’ve been through it can really truly appreciate this sentiment.

    Once we realize that what we miss is the security, the trust, and the contentment that’s supposed to come from commuting to a partner, and NOT the disordered fuckwit that we unfortunately selected to fill that role, the quicker the fog lifts and we can get on with enjoying a life lived genuinely.

    • UXWorld – I couldn’t agree more. I have more been missing the practical elements of having my wife around and the feelings I felt from it, as you mentioned security, trust, commitment, but not so much of her specifically. I don’t know her, whomever she is now. This is so true.

      • I was thinking how sad it is that we all end missing the *idea* of our partners, and not the person, like it was all for nothing.
        But of course ALL we could ever miss about them is the idea, because that’s all they ever gave us! All there ever was to know about them. The empty shell that walked around us, the hologram of a life.

  • I agree that you are lucky to have strength and clarity, but just make sure you are allowing yourself an opportunity to grieve and feel what you need to feel. The funny thing about feelings is that they can hit you like a ton of bricks out of nowhere. 3.5 years later and I’m engaged to someone new and I was surprised by having a few weeks where I really missed ex-douchcanoe. In planning my new wedding I was remembering my first wedding. All the stress, but also all the fun we had and how excited I was. I remembered what it was like with my ex in those early years and how he was my best friend and I felt like the luckiest woman in the world. And I missed him. I missed that friendship.

    Your strength is very promising but just be aware that you might be caught off guard by emotions one day when you least expect it.

    • Good point, Strawberry. It could be that her self-protective switch is flipped and she will feel grief later. Our brains seem to take over and control things until we’re strong enough to face them. Then again, she might have already grieved while she was married and is just relieved to be free.

      I’ve always enjoyed writing in a journal but for over a year I didn’t write a word. It was like I was fighting to get through a valley and had no time to stop and reflect until I got through it. It was survival time.

      • Lyn, we think alike! 🙂

        I was composing my comment to StrawberryJellyfish while you were posting yours. We had pretty much the same thought at the same time – we must be psycho. I mean psychic.

    • Good point, Strawberry Jellyfish. Grief is a powerful thing. It can come up and bite you in the butt when you least expect it. So knowing it COULD happen makes you prepared.

      Grief is also different for everyone. Some people do plenty of anticipatory grieving: once we first recognize loss – which can be even before D-Day #1 (as behavior changes become evident) – we start processing it. So when we reach our personal limit, we may already have done most if not all of the “grief work.”

    • The best thing about banging your head against the wall is it feels so good when you stop. there will always be memories that make us sad for the past. But they cannot impact our future. The future must be fuckwit free. Most times I feel glad he is gone. The difficult times are the firsts without him like completing a house project that we used to do together. Then I realize that after we agreed to do it, I was always the one to plan it. Pay for it and bug him to get it done. Now I hire it out and boom…done. Love it!!

  • Awesome, awesome message ChumpLady.

    I’d expressed the very same feeling – feeling so guility and wrong for not missing – to my counselor a while ago. What was WRONG with ME? – and my awesome counselor sat back and smiled…

    Counselor: So, you’re walking down the street barefoot and get a piece of glass stuck in your foot. What do you do?

    RDM: Stop and pull out the glass!

    Counselor: Why?

    RDM: Because it HURTS!

    Counselor: Do you feel guilty?

    So, when things and people hurt us, when we finally have figured out that we have VALUE, that our lives are not deserving of pain, we pull the glass out of our foot. And there is NOTHING to feel guilty for, because it was hurting us. I try to remind myself of this every time I want to slide backwards. I never deserved that kind of pain. Not from anyone.

  • I too thought that because I don’t miss him then maybe I didn’t truely love him because I wasn’t pining over him anymore. I also thought that meant that his reasons were leaving were justified because clearly I didn’t love him enough.

    When I started to look at his actions and not his words I began to see that there wasn’t really anything worth missing. I knew who he was and I didn’t like that person. I love the husband I thought I had not the one I actually had. I miss the family and future I thought we would have been I realise he was never going to be able to give me and our children that.

  • During my first year away from my ex, I just repeated the mantra: “I don’t miss you. I miss the person I thought you were.”

    Hit the spot like a hot cuppa Joe in the morning!

    • JC that is dead on. Thank you for that. Im going to have to start repeating that myself. Im six months out from leaving him on DDay #2. I know Im greiving who I thought he was… or more like who he portrayed himself to be.
      It will take time. I know I dont hurt as bad as I did just 3 months ago so I know Im moving forward.
      Im writing your mantra down.

  • I never for a minute missed my ex-wife of 22 years after I filed for divorce. I endured years of sadness at watching our kids suffer though the destruction of their intact family, and their shame and awkwardness at my ex enlisted them in her reconstructed new life with a creepy former affair partner. But miss my ex? Never.

    Other things that I also never missed: breaking my car’s windshield with my head in a car wreck, summer weather in Houston, and the enormous glasses of MiraLAX I had to drink before my colonoscopy. #hadenough

  • I remember a distinct moment months after the first d-day, after having listened to all the negative things about me, trying to keep it together for the kids, and there was a moment that I said “I have nothing more to give.” I got tired of hoop jumping…
    -he needed me to need him, but I was too needy! Hu?????
    – I was a great mother, but I wasn’t the mother I should be! Hu????
    – I never denied him sex, but I withheld it! Hu???
    (Note: that’s the shit you get when you aren’t just done! Consider yourself lucky!)

    I never went back to jumping through hoops, and that, of course, is one of the hundred excuses he uses for his impression management champagne… (seeing there was a second d-day). His narrative “I refused to work on our marriage!” They have an uncanny way of flipping the script!

    By just being done, you do not have to subject yourself to the torturous mind fuck! Now my bet is … he’ll still flip the script, but you’ve removed yourself from the mind fuck mamba, so hopefully the second guessing (the critical Cheater voice in your head) will have never taken root!

    Smoking hopium has the residual effect of hearing that critical voice long after the cheater has left the building! So if that is wrong, you don’t want to be right! It took me getting-a-brain and getting to a point of “I don’t give a fuck” to not care about if my behavior toward him was normal! It’s all completely normal, though they’d love you to believe it’s not!

  • Yes to everything above. My life with ex husband was pretty awful even without the knowledge of the cheating and drug use. I had been spackling and disregarding my gut for 10 years. The disfunction affected my kid and that was really eating at me. I knew in my gut that he wasn’t a good person to be around and was bringing us down, but I still allowed him to “be the boss” the “man in the family”. He was a shite boss. And the really screwed up thing is I always thought of myself as a strong woman and feminist and here I was, going against my beliefs to prop up a lie of a marriage.
    When I found out about the cheating and the drugs, although I was reduced to a sobbing heap on the floor, it was as if a metamorphosis was happening. I literally could feel the love and caring for him leaving my body and brain completely.
    So I was lucky with that BUT the hard thing for me has been that the anger (which has been an awesome tool to get me through the divorce and financial messes he left) can get in my way now. I still cannot believe I was so blind. I am so mad at myself for not seeing through the con. I am mad at myself for caring that he is so good at managing his image throughout everything. I am mad at myself for wasting a decade on a crappy sex life because I believed in his “depression” excuses as to why he SUCKED in bed.
    I feel mighty most of the time and free all of the time, and am working hard on acknowledging the feelings but trying to focus on other things that are more productive…
    You are mighty DMH!!

    • What struck me recently was how much I accepted from him that I would never accept from others. He often displayed racist, sexist, antigay attitudes. It wasn’t blatant, just subtle disapproval. He had the attitude that people who don’t accept prejudiced attitudes are themselves hypocrites for not accepting different points of view. He was also somewhat selfish, arrogant, entitled, paranoid, had a bit of a victim complex (while simultaneously blaming others for their own problems) and could be a bit of a fake. He was highly judgmental of others. He was also good at impressing people. Everybody thought he was great.

      Anybody else I met who was similar, I would be wary of them and keep my distance. There are plenty of other people just like him who I didn’t trust and didn’t like even when others thought highly of them. And yet with STBX I spackled like mad. He didn’t really mean it that way. He had a good reason for feeling/thinking that. He isn’t really a jerk like those other people. He wasn’t really listening to daytime talk radio (ie. Rush Limbaugh), he just had the radio tuned to that station for the sports. I protected his reputation as well. I explained away or covered up anything that might make him look bad to others. Looking back, I am not entirely sure if I was doing that for him or for myself so people wouldn’t think I was married to a jerk. Or maybe it was me I had to convince.

      Really, there is so much not to miss. There is less to stress over now that he is gone. So why do I still miss him sometimes? Why am I still sad sometimes and why am I mad at Schmoopie instead grateful to her for taking him off my hands. Why do I still want to believe that there is a good man inside there somewhere? I guess old habits die hard. I am still looking for that switch although I am getting warmer.

  • I used to feel so strange when I did not miss his company. I used to chat to him all day long, every hour, every half an hour, telling him all about my day. After DDay I stopped cold turkey. DDay night I thought I was going to go crazy, not going to being able to do it. It was so, so easy. It was only later that I realized I’d been talking alone, as if I were talking to the people on tv. There was nothing to miss: there had been nothing for a very long time. He was even chatting to me before and after fucking the whore.

    Even now, 5 months after DDay, I’m crying because of how I ended here. How my FOO put me in this place. How I chose a man like my Dad, cheating included. How I am so afraid because I don’t have any model of a good, loving relationship, so I can’t really believe this is not going to happen to me again if I decide to open up to somebody. The asshole was so good pretending, there were no red flags. He was living to impress, so he followed the model he knew of a loving relationship, his grandparents, and did everything they did with me. But it was just a play, and the character disappeared as soon as he found (reconnected through facebook) his cousin-whore with her legs open. I am not crying because of him, I’m crying because my mom keeps insisting all men are distant like mine, that I am to share my responsibility in the death of the relationship. How can I get out, fully out? Can I?

    • Hi Gato. Hope you don’t mind me replying to you.
      There is such pain in your post. I have nothing to offer except my own experience. I remember those days, when it dealt like a lead weight round my soul that would never EVER go away.

      But it did. It took a long time but eventually my fog lifted. Now I see. So will you over time.

      And when your fog lifts you will see all the cr*p that people say over these situations for what It really is. Cr*p.

      Your FOO didn’t make your ex cheat. Your ex’s FOO did. You don’t need to have a model of a good relationship as a pattern to follow. You now know the pattern of a toxic relationship not to follow. That’s something.

      Not all men are asswipes. Not all women are bitches.

      You can get fully out. It’s simply a choice.

      Make the choice.

      Peace

  • “We are supposed to love those that love us , not destroy us” I loved my STBX for 32 years, then a horrific D day and then a year later the Alcoholic, druggie, half his age AP died . My pushing 70 STBX is raising 6 year old from affair despite other relatives wanting child. Even though threat of AP is gone, innocent child, and over 30 years invested , it’s just not in me . My family, life, and finances are destroyed but I’m getting strength from this post that it’s ok to not feel this kind of “love”

    • Chumpsrushin,

      I know how you feel.. 34 years married to s selfish, cold narc. Divorced 2 years now but I still feel the humiliation & pain of his long term affair.

      But Karma hit… the OWhore died last week in an accident. Now he’s sleeping on his brothers couch.
      Destroyed our family for what?

      I’m still waiting for him to feel the pain he gave me.

      I hate him….😈

      • Wow, Kathleen, just wow! I’m sorry another human died. I’m not sorry for the pain the ex is in right now. I will just have to deal with my feelings regarding this situation. It is just how I feel.

      • chumpsrushin and Kathleen, missing is not an issue yet as I am separated but living under the same roof. But I do wonder if something’s wrong with me for reading your posts and experiencing a fleeting moment of revenge glee at the news that your exes’ APs died.

        Of course, I don’t “rejoice” at anyone’s death – I think I was reacting as if it was a revenge fantasy, which I generally think is OK. But you’re telling about actual deaths, and I felt glad for some “justice” in your situations – those cheaters caused you big pain, they got big loss. What’s wrong with me?

        And I’m feeling guilty for my reaction to the Karma bus hitting my cheater. No death involved (he has no AP now, just younger women who text a lot with him but make clear he’s in the friend zone). It was a weekend ruined for him by diarrhea and burning hemorrhoids. What is wrong with me that I had zero compassion, just a Grumpy Cat-like response of “good?”

        • Hopium4years,

          Ironically I wished many times Karma ( which I never really believed in) would hit them for the cruelty they caused. But when I heard of the accident & demise of the ow…I felt nothing.

          I am a caring, compassionate person but not truely sorry. Any death is a loss of course but this is like Wraith of God.

          Maybe the saying…”What goes around..comes around ” is true!

  • DMH–I’m with you, did not miss X at all once I kicked him out, rather I reveled in the peace and lack of criticism & subtle abuse. 24 years together….nada.

    Four months after Hannibal Lecher left the house, and 2 weeks before the divorce, he sent a moving van to retrieve the furniture he wanted. We were texting & emailing as I asked questions about additional things he wanted, and in one email he admitted, “My heart is filled with sadness.” It took all my willpower not to respond, “My heart is filled with relief,” as I thought that might be mean.

    That said, don’t rule out a moment or two of weakness in the future as your immediate anger dies down. X and I had attended academic conferences that housed our two related fields when we had been dating for 5 years. 1.5 years after he left, I sat in such a conference by myself, and was amazed at the tears that came unannounced. That arena–joint intellectual interests–had been the one part of our relationship that was healthy and fulfilling, and I did miss that, even if I didn’t miss him overall.

    • Tempest, you have just helped me gain perspective and peace: the intellectual fulfillment was somwthing to miss… doesn’t mean I still have feelings for ex in some repressed part of self.

    • That’s true. I do miss the good times we had as parents with our kids. That part is hard. On the other hand, waiting for hours while he worked overtime and constantly traveled? Feeling like I’m at the bottom of his never ending “to do” list? I don’t miss that.

      • Screw that. I was always at the bottom of the to do list. He was so busy being “of service” in our community that he forgot to be “of service” to his relationship commitment. Talk is so cheap. I heard “I love u” so many times and then he would act like I was some pain in the ass stranger. In fact he was nicer to strangers

  • I am also taken aback by how much I don’t miss him, I absolutely adored mine too! It’s like he just killed it all.

    It’s been four months (he walked out for schmoopie) and there is so much hurt and devastation, not only the loss of our marriage but our family, his massive disrespect to all, my regrets of spending decades spackling in a marriage with someone who is ultimately unworthy of the family he so flippantly destroyed. Until D-Day I really did have a massive amount of love and adoration for my husband, but now he’s proven to be such a disrespectful, selfish, jackass, that so far, I don’t pine for him at all. He’s caused too much pain, he’s too evil and undeserving.

    I hope I hold onto not missing him forever.

    • Funny how I can just picture my ex responding to that with: “See? That’s why it was a good thing I lied!” Like that was giving us a good thing, ugh.

      He kept refusing full transparency for 2 years, withholding the truth “to protect us”. But he would reveal it one day! When, I asked? Cue to escalating intimidation. Rinse and repeat, until I went and looked on my own. And then got the hell out.

      • Oh my gosh, this is my cheatess verbatim. Even the word “protect”. Yes, I’m being “protected” from your repeated cheating and ongoing emotional abuse by your ongoing lies. Right. You’re in fact the hero aren’t you! Her entire family believes lies are a good thing. They are such a sick cult-like dysfunctional “family”, but I won’t get off track any further on that subject. How did you go about getting truth (that you are entitled to!) for yourself?

        • Oh I dug with my own bare hands, but there’s only so far I could get.
          For me it was going through his phone, going through his email, and all social media accounts before he beat me to it and shut everything down. I still kept finding bits and pieces using Google and his name and web nickname, I tried everything. In the end, after two years, I decided to reach out to the women whose names he’d offered in one panicked moment. Funny how I respected him for those two years and didn’t do anything about it because he had asked. Then, a wedding approaching, I just had to get to the bottom of it and he was no help, so of the three names I had, one lady had the kindness to talk to me and confirm her side. Turns out he’d gone out (platonically) with her (he’d told her he was single), and it was way more than I thought was going on and, of course, that he’d let on.

          Too bad this was repeat behavior in his case. He had already had a questionable connection with a different coworker years prior, that first he came to me about, then took underground. So I was outta there.
          Oh, and I had also turned to one of his male coworkers that I knew he was close to, but while friendly, he wasn’t exactly helpful. I know he knows something I don’t, but wouldn’t quite tell me.

          If I had to go through it again, I would be much more methodical about it.
          I let blood go to my head too fast each time I discovered something, was too quick to confront him and blew up the chance for further investigation. With previous experience, at least the second time I had enough cool to bluff about knowing “everything he’d been up to!”. Had I not bluffed, I shudder thinking today I’d probably be still stuck with him, because that’s when he blurted out those names.
          But gathering information is key, I wouldn’t be above hiring a private investigator if I felt the need for one. These days, I could take it further but I know enough and sadly I’m afraid of retaliation. He has threatened me over me trying to ask more people from his work about this (they would know, though!)

          Lol at “cheatess”, that’s clever! Yeah, lots of proud secrets in his FOO, too. One of the many red flags I chose to ignore.

  • I was completely devastated for 2 months after kicking him out (& filing), but after going NC other than kid related issues, I don’t miss him AT ALL. He had so many bad habits…chewing with his mouth open..talking about his favorite subject all the time – himself..to name a few.
    I’ve realized how self- centered and selfish he is!!!
    The OW has got herself a real “prize” LOL!!!

  • Maybe you aren’t normal, but not being normal isn’t always a bad thing. Super geniuses are not normal. Super athletes are not normal. Mother Theresa was not normal. The women in “Hidden Figures” were not normal. You were able to get to meh much faster than the rest of us floundering around desperately seeking it, inching our way there but not quite able to grasp it and hang on until months or years have passed. No, you are not normal, but in a good way. As chump lady said, you are ahead of the curve and you have a right to be proud of that. The rest of us might be jealous, but we won’t hold it against you. Maybe we will even admire you and look up to you and use you as inspiration so that we can also get to where you are in your emotional journey.

  • Miss flying monkey? HELL NO. Miss myself and finding my way back? YES. Miss my opportunity to end things differently and not get stuck with cleaning up after total destruction? Uh-huh. 😉

    • YES! Although I have to admit I spent a better part of the first year missing him (and came to the realization many of us do that I really missed the idea rather than the reality), now I miss myself more. I feel like a t-shirt that has been through a spin cycle too many times, and I’m now a stretched out, faded version of my former self. So many moments in the 2+ years since d’day I’ve said to myself, “be funny! be interesting! Be Chumpintraining!” Aside from having to share my kids 50% of the time with exhole and wifestress, this is the suckiest thing about the whole situation, the feeling of being diminished somehow.

      • Chump in training- i hope that feeling will go away soon. I remember saying to myself “when did I stop having fun?” I realized that I could not be goofy, interesting, have an opinion share a story, act out, feel cute, talk about my day without it being put down or used against me to prove that I was a “bad” person. Or “defective/dysfunctional” later in an argument when I called him on his disrespectful behavior. I remember one time we were listening to a motivational speaker on cd and I told him the story of motivational speaker I knew who was a total jackass and a womanizer and that we should just take everything with a grain of salt. Later that same thing came up and was used against me when I told him that he needed to spend more time with me. His reply was maybe you would have more friends if u weren’t so judgmental – u can’t even listen to speaker tape without making a comment. I learned to basically become a zombie and not say anything or do anything. However he could make fun of the old ladies in walmart..
        But nooo he wasn’t judgmental- he was just being funny.

  • DMH – I don’t miss mine either! Still don’t! I was enjoying the freedom too much. Still am!

    I also adored my guy, but after finding out what he did, it just totally turned me off him. He’s a rather hot looking man, but after discovery he seemed so ugly to me. I was repulsed. Still am!

    I don’t miss him, but I still find myself feeling pissed at him for what he did – it broke up our family. The kids and I didn’t deserve that. While I feel I am at “meh” in some ways (I don’t miss him, don’t care about him, couldn’t give a shit about what he’s doing these days, etc), I’m not quite there in other ways (I’m still angry at him for living a secret life behind our backs, for not spending time with the kids and I because he was “busy working” when he was really out f**king his mistress, for risking my health, etc).

    Not sure how long it takes to get to ultimate MEH. I feel like I am always going to be pissed at him for breaking our family. For breaking my kids’ hearts. For disrespecting me so. There was just no need for any of it. He had a loving wife, beautiful kids and a cushy life. Fuckwit didn’t know how great he had it! He wanted more…cake and kibbles.

    He’s flying in to visit the kids this weekend. He stays in a hotel. I refuse to let him stay with us. He hasn’t seen the kids since April. Lazy ass will only video call them once/fortnight. He’ll do the usual – fly in, dump a bunch of gifts on them and take them to some playparks (“Disneying”), then fly out. And they’ll see him again in another 6 months. What an ass. He’s missing so much of their lives (does he really even care?!). Stupid man!

    I don’t miss him. But I occasionally feel sorry for him that he’s THAT stupid, and has lost everything. But then I remember the LIES, the ABUSE, the STD, the aghast FEELING when it was all confirmed as true (the dreaded D-day). Then, I stop feeling sorry for him. He brought it all on himself. What an idiot!

  • The night that cheater ex sat me down and announced he was in love with schmoopie, was when that switch flipped in me. The tipping point. Oh yeah, that feeling of being so completely done with all his shit…… as in…. I. Can’t. Do. This. For. Even. One. More. Second. I have never felt more emotionally tired I’m my life. No love left for cheater ex, nor compassion, boom! Just like that! I just wanted to get my kids and I as far away from him as possible. I didn’t care what he was doing, or feeling, the disconnect was total. The only thing I felt when he wasn’t around, was relief.

    I just looked at him, that night, and said ” Really?” along with a cold stare. Not the reaction he was looking for I guess. He followed up with the ILYBINILWY speech, and a plea that schmoopie was this poor, sad, problem ridden woman who needed his help, and mine. I just looked at him with the you have to be fucking kidding me asshole, look. Then I got up and walked away.

    In retrospect, it was a culmination of all the little abusive crap he pulled through the years. All the little betrayals, the moments of cold dismissal of my hurt feelings, the cruel little jabs, the selfish behavior towards my boys and I, ……it all adds up. I call it death by a thousand cuts. That’s what killed my love for him.

    His narrative after that was I didn’t fight for him. Mine was that I didn’t believe in fighting for someone who could treat is family in such an evil fashion.

  • I just remember how exhausting it was the last few years of my marriage of having to play marriage police, searching for missing money, getting anonymous emails about who she was with or where she was, having to come up with money to cover for her spending or mistakes, listening to her blame me for all of her problems, and having to go out in public with her with the knowledge that all of our friends knew what she was doing (god that was humiliating).

    Now I don’t have to do that anymore and I love it. That switch flipped for me after about a year and a half of limbo – during which time all I took was more disrespect – and I so, so, so, wish it had flipped sooner.

    DMH, you are fortunate and hopefully you have some optimism now. Look forward now to the chance to lead a better life. Good luck!

  • This is an interesting angle. Nope, dun miss his rages, his lies, his self pity that he had sacrificed the last 10 years of our 19 year marriage for sake of the children , that he now derservec some “happiness” with married schmoopie and her 2 kids . I Still feel pain and searing sadness but stoically sticking to NC one year on from D day, 9 months from divorce. The only thing chumps have left is pride. Pride in our own strength and resilience. Run from the drama.

    • Agreed, Mehmehdancer. If you can do it, it ain’t bragging. And it’s OK to have pride in what we can do. We can do a lot more than we thought we could.

  • I don’t know if it’s quite “Meh”, but I’m pretty much there, too. I’m now approaching a year and a half from D-Day and I don’t miss her. I never thought I’d ever get to this point. But now with some perspective, I’m surprised by how relatively brief the period of trauma seems to have been.

    At the time my walk through hell seemed like an eternity. I experienced the initial devastation, the unrelenting pain and anguish, the inability to focus on simple tasks (like eating), the loss of equilibrium, the feeling of being abandoned, the regrettable (albeit, short) pick me dance period, the one brief night of bargaining (cringe), the recriminations, the blaming, the anger and the acceptance. The anger stage lingered mostly because of having to live in the same home (separate bedrooms) for a few months until the legal stuff was sorted.

    But once I was on my own and away from ‘crazy’ the sense of relief was amazing. That wonderful feeling of freedom was transforming. I still have some lonely moments, but fewer and farther between. I don’t miss her the same way I don’t miss a festering toothache. Just grateful for getting rid of the constant pain.

    Time and distance gave me the ability to step back from the trees to see the forest, gradually comprehending the entirety of the clusterfuck and eventually coming to terms with WTF happened.

    Now I mostly feel sorry for her. For me, every day holds a new possibility. I’m grateful when I encounter genuine kindness and I’m thankful to have a keener ability to identify it. I may even eventually consider going on a date someday. For now though, I’m just a gratefully divorced dad.

    • Very apt description , GDD! Like CL says, the rejection hurts like a mother fucker. And like you say, each day can seem like an eternity. But I still never missed him through all that painful growth. It was all about me and my feelings and my loss, he did not factor into at all. Getting away from the crazy (and lazy) was so freeing! Isn’t it nice out here in the sunshine?!!

    • ^ this!

      Thank you, GDD, for putting my thoughts into words! The relief came for me the very moment that I discovered my STBX emailing his “friend”. Bye bye, see ya. No tears then, just relief. The pieces started falling into place quickly and I was comforted by the realization that I wasn’t the one who was disordered. It’s taken a while to let go of the things he had me believing about myself – that our problems all boiled down to me. Hmm. The more I know about him the more I cannot fathom what I ever saw in him. I hate that though, because I love my kids dearly. Here’s hoping that they got the tiny bits of goodness that he used to be.

  • “I believe the switch is a gauge and when we reach the last tick, it feels like a switch.” So true, Jgirl

    “Like a ship that has sailed quite a while ago…” So beautiful Jgirl. Thank you for giving us this reference.

    My house only has paintings that bring some kind of reference for me. Now I have to get one of a sailing ship. I already have one of a rainbow arching over a retreating storm at sea. Wish I knew how to attach a photo of it to this post, but I am a technoklutz.

  • I’m not going to lie, I picked me dance like Cloris Leachman on DWTS when Mr. Sparkles left me for the OW. Even though I KNEW he was a whore, he was my whore by God. That went on for a good 10 months. Then he announced he was ready to introduce our son to her and go on a “new family” camping trip to see how her kids and mine got along. And, something in me flipped. I think at first it was a “HELL. 2. THE. NO.” switch, but it got me rolling. I filed pro se about 60 days later.

    From the moment I filed pro se and then in subsequently hired an attorney, I went stone cold no contact. I think I became so focused on nailing his hairy ass to the wall, that I no longer saw him as a person. I saw him as my opponent and I was going to war. By dehumanizing him, he became smaller and smaller in my mind and in my perceptions. Every time we had to be at the same place/same time for the kids, I sat across the room. After our mediation and court sessions, where he tried to get me to grab some lunch and talk, I declined. Twice, I let him in the house for him to “tell me something very important” and both times I escorted him out within minutes.

    So, DMH, mine wasn’t like yours – but I did get there all the same. And, I do think it is because you hit a bottom. Just like addicts who want to recover do, you have to admit you are powerless over the fuckwit and let it go. (I also had friends who liked to sing that song from Frozen whenever he did something stupid.)

    It is hard to think that I feel NOTHING for someone who once meant everything to me… for someone I had “forgiven” 3 times prior (and would likely have forgiven a fourth had he not walked out.) Now, when I see him, he is a total stranger to me… and he truly is. It has been 3 years… I don’t know this guy… and the one I did know was a pathological lying bisexual whore.

    So, yeah, I think you do get to meh… some instantly, and for some us, a bit further down the road. There is this great meme of a pirate looking through a telescope and it reads “LOOK! There goes the last fuck I gave.” That’s how it feels today and that is ok.

  • “Husband-shaped space.” I absolutely *love* this phrase, and I think it makes a perfect counterfoil to the “spouse appliance” role we all filled.

    I have felt many, many things since I walked away 4 years ago, but missing him is not one of them. Not even once, not for a nanosecond. Do I miss companionship, conversation, teamwork, physical intimacy, shared dreams and goals, the sense of being part of something bigger than myself? Of course. But those ideals only ever existed in my own imagination anyway. It’s hard to miss what was never actually there.

    • Well said FMT! I read somewhere to not mourn that which was never real. It’s so true. I too don’t miss my ex, because those ideals never existed between me and my ex. So what is there to miss really?

    • Exactly. I miss those things too. But that long time relationship was there was an illusion. The commitment and loyalty was only on my side.

      Last DD was like the last straw for me, Done so done. That righteous anger helped me to do what I needed to do move on scary as it was. disordered X was so indignant sure he shouldn’t have been privately sharing endearments with an OW but his needs were not being met, (again) Long before CL I ‘won’ the first pick me dance amongst the powdered unicorn glitter thar it was only hugging and kissing the howorker. Last DD that lie unravelled too.

      Epilogue. After charm failed to work the second time, he was a sad sausage and now is a vindictive narc dragging out settlement,

  • OMG, DMH! Me, too! Except mine was almost 25 years. I also felt bad for not feeling bad. I had always openly stated my zero tolerance policy on infidelity, so I just had to make good. It was like the decision was already made for me through my history, so there was no decision to make, just actions to take. I took them quickly and decisively.

    Through church I was founded in the concept that love isn’t a feeling, it’s a choice. Love is choosing to treat someone in a loving way every single day. So on DDay, I simply chose not to. And it was over. The switch was flipped, as you say.

    CL, you slay me, girl! I do indeed on rare occasions miss the “husband shaped space he used to occupy”!! Like when I forget to make my own coffee. And when…, uhh, yeah when…. Nope, that’s it. I only miss him when I forget to make coffee. Then after a 30 second stop at the corner station to pick up a fresh cup, I’m over it.

    • NH,
      This made me laugh so hard, “Nope that’s it. I only miss him when I forget to make coffee.” I also agree that my religious upbringing was enormously helpful. If you don’t view marriage and love in that ridiculous, romantic, being swept away with feelings way in the first place it makes it very easy to see that THEY CHOSE NOT TO LOVE YOU.

  • Not a fan of R Kelly but he had it right when he said “when a woman’s fed up, there ain’t nothing you can do about it. ” the lyrics don’t lie. Also Whitney Houston’s song ” I learned from the best” summed it up for me. I didn’t miss him. I was relieved… Hurt but relieved. Confused for a bit but relieved. Mad as hell but relieved. You get me.
    It’s hard to miss shit.

  • The “Switch” thing happened to me too. No feelings when he left except for complete peace and joy. WTF? Why was I not crying my eyes out for him?

    Could it be that I simply “got it”? I thought at first that perhaps I was the one who had turned into a Sociopath because I was relieved at seeing his back going out the door one last time.

    Nearest that I can explain it is that after all the Porn/flirting/sneaking communications on Poker chat rooms while I slept, heavy drinking, financial disasters w/bankruptcy ect… and especially finding out that he had been a serial cheater in his last marriage, that I was not surprised when I caught him in the back room of his store with a live woman after ten years of so called “marriage”.

    Something just switched off in me that day when I met the OW face to face… and I KNEW I was finally Done.
    He fasted and prayed for 27 days before he left…just water, and got so weak that he could not go to work on many of those days. I suppose that that performance was supposed to convince me that he had changed…only, it didn’t. What a cold hearted meanie I am. I realized that bad character would not be “removed” from him so easily and in the twinkling of an eye…prayer or not. This is his long journey into facing up and squaring off with his own black soul…and I was NOT going on that journey one more day with him any longer. I suppose that Jesus ripped away His robe from the cheaters hand that he was hiding behind all those years and exposed him.

    I would NOT dare to insult the Lord by pining away for a wicked man like Cheater is.

      • He smoked cigars like a blazing wood stove during the whole fast. Yep. And he kept leading the weekly Bible studies in our home that he had been doing for four years. I have no idea what he prayed for…but I imagine he prayed for a way to exit the marriage with the least amount of financial damage or image management damage to himself. He had a dream that he jumped on a train (like a Hobo) taking only a few things with him. The train was so long that he could not see the beginning or the end of it.

        The night he broke the fast, he got on the computer sometime after midnight and applied for a home equity line of credit for half the value of our house. I started getting phone calls from Lenders in the morning while he was still sleeping…I told all of them that I would not sign anything. I confronted him and that is what got the ball rolling to remove him from my life. He took his favorite clothes, two steak knives, a large frying pan and the wine bottle opener. That’s it. Forgot his Bible. Game over…jumped on that train.

          • I agree. One thing though…I told him that his “issues” required far more to be permanently rid of than just a long fast with prayer, studying the Bible (and cigars) LOL! He is 65yrs old…this is a lifetime character defect in him…dating back from his early twenties even though he has been claiming to be a Christian all those years.

            I did tell Cheater that his fasting gave the Lord his “consent” to bring about the change that he is needing and supposedly asking for. So there IS that much at least to be said for it. But Cheater somehow fully expected that God would suddenly “zing” him into being a faithful husband for once in his life…yet, I have never seen anything so ingrained during an entire lifetime that worked out that way…and even after the fast was over, he could not bring himself to admit to or confess anything to me (which I have asked for many times). And that is only PART of what I wanted for beginners.

            He will be on a LONG LONG journey for years to come. I had gotten up the nerve to ask the Lord sometime ago if Cheater would be coming back in the years ahead. I got: “Yes, but not before I have torn him into pieces and rebuilt him”. Wow. Just wow.

            I will KNOW if Cheater is the same man who left…or an entirely “new” authentic Christian when he tries to return. When God does a work in a persons soul, He does it perfectly and thoroughly…it is not just another facade or image. I cannot even imagine it. It looks so totally impossible to me. I suppose that I scour this site from time to time to “see” if anyone actually gets an authentic Unicorn. I don’t know if they would be coming here to report it however. Somehow, I doubt it.

  • I feel exactly the same way about my cheating ex-wife. Not only do I not miss her, I feel a palpable sense of gratitude every night that she is no longer in my house. If I have any emotion for her, it’s a strange combination of disgust and pity.

    When I was done with the lies, gaslighting, bullshit, abuse, etc., I was D-O-N-E. It really was like the faucet was slowly getting turned off, and then one day, it was just all the way off. I started taking down wedding pictures, and kind of rearranging things, making it very, very clear that I was staying in the house and that she was going to need to leave. I mean, I cut it off, and only communicate via text or email and only about custody of my daughter. In many cases, my responses are not even one word answers, they are single letters (Y for yes, N for no, that kind of thing). I never, ever acknowledge her in public or allow her or her friends to talk to me.

    I don’t see it as being rude, it is self-preservation and what I needed to do to heal properly and move on with my life. Anyone who doesn’t get that can piss off. Maybe that does sound rude, but it’s not meant to be; my boundaries are established, and as a father and as an adult I have to take that shiz seriously. I want to be left alone to live my life with integrity and values, and I cannot do that with shitty people trying to cling to me like dingleberries. 🙂

  • I knew I was done because for me, I felt hate for him (and still do). Yea I know its still an emotion but this hate I feel is self protection for me for being betrayed.
    I just erased the rest of what I really wanted to say because it sounded pretty cold hearted. Just trust that I’m done.
    Yippee!! feels good.

  • Everything that I occasionally do miss about him is replaceable and most of it was provided by me at the time anyway. Not just material things, but the love, generosity, creativity, sexuality, friendships, love of art and music and life in general that I put into our home, and what I thought was our family, was put there by me while Mr. Miserable spent every day of his life blaming others (me included) for his failures and unhappiness. He’s most likely still doing that (it’s four years now) but I’ve reclaimed my life and my story. So close to Meh I can taste it!

  • As chumps we give to many fucks when we shouldn’t. Giving less fucks has been one if the best parts of my growth along with knowing when people are toxic and full of bs. Now, I just get them out of life and no longer try to have relationships wirh disordered people. I tell them to exit my life ASAP or else.

    • LOL nomar, if I ever do feel nostalgic for the old Woody who put on the good act of loving husband before he turned into an uncle-fucker, I’m just going to imagine his face on that jug of MiraLAX and that turd will be missed no more.

    • Hm, something went wacky and double posted an old comment. Here, I meant to say

      Woody will get NO MORE FUCKS from me! I’m saving all my fucks for someone new.

  • Oh my.

    I had the same thoughts as you, DMH.

    After D-day and all the pain that went with it, somewhere along the line I realized that it wasn’t so much about missing HIM and His “Love” that was paining me so much, it was more anger at the betrayal and the slap in the face of it all.

    As in:
    After all I’ve put up with (his sexual dysfunction, ignoring me, never giving me any attention/affection) he had the audacity to go out and CHEAT on ME?!?!?!?

    Deep down I felt I almost deserved a prize for not cheating on HIM. Goodness knows I had opportunities, and if anyone had a “reason”, I did. Yet…that wasn’t who I was/am.

    So I was righteously pissed.
    And very hurt at the blatant rejection and discard.
    The loss of my life as I knew it, and all the things I had worked towards with a partner were lost forever. THAT hurt.

    Losing him? Not so much.

    Soon after D-day I realized that he actually repulsed me, physically. When I saw who he REALLY was, I lost any tender affection or attraction I had ever had for the man. It was just…gone.

    I feel the same way now as I go through old photos and serially delete the ones with him in the shot.
    There is the same feeling of revulsion. There is nothing else.
    I think of him not at all unless there is some legal/financial communication required between us.
    (Then I steel myself to deal with the subversive obfuscation he apparently enjoys so much.)

    I can also see how few photos there ever were of “us”, and the ones where we’re together, he’s almost as far away from me as possible. He so rarely had time for me that the photo-ops were few and far between in the days before cellphone cameras.
    In the photos I have of him where he’s alone, he’s almost always got some pet or object obscuring his face.
    In almost EVERY. SINGLE. PHOTO.
    Almost as if he was “hiding”, which, in a sense, he was.
    I remember saying, “I’d like to see your face, please let me see (for the photo).”
    Those photos show a man, clearly put out, with said object as close to obscuring his face as he can manage, while not making it obvious. His expression is cold. His eyes are dead.
    He acted like his face was on a “Wanted” poster, somewhere. (It wasn’t.)

    I don’t know how I missed this facet of our life together until recently. I guess there were so few photos, and it was only in the process of ridding myself of them that I saw them all together and ultimately noticed the pattern.

    On the flip side, I wanted photos of my husband and always kept one in my wallet, on my desk, or in a frame somewhere.

    After D-Day finally I asked him if he EVER had carried or kept a photo of me. (I know he never took any of me. Ever. Unless I asked him to. He never had one in his office, or on his desktop, or in his wallet. I already knew the answer but I wanted to hear his response.)
    He said “Yes, there is that one photo of you I liked…” He had endlessly photo-shopped it and re-worked it into various incarnations.

    Do you know the photo of which he speaks?

    Let’s just say, it didn’t include my face….

    It was of a body part, apparently dismembered. Nothing to indicate that it was me. It was just an objectified photo of one specific part of my body.

    I’m sorry, but that is some f*cked up sh*t and no, I don’t miss it at all.

      • Thanks, Lyn.

        Me too!

        Come to think of it, that’s the only photo I can remember him taking of “me” of his own volition. I was lying on the bed, and he was like “Oh, my god! I love how that looks…let me get the camera!”

        And I did. I guess he was paying attention to me. Sort of.

        Just…ugh.

  • What is there to miss really? If you were doing all the work, showing all the love and affection, taking care of the kids, the home, the finances… then he was just a sperm donor in all this really. If you think about it, some people were doing marriage on their own, while their partner was giving all their attention to someone outside the marriage, all the finances and attention were going outside the marriage. So really, what is there to miss. Even the sex wasn’t good most of the time. And what they do contribute is mostly dysfunction, discord, drama, sorrow, heartache, pain. So other than being a sperm donor to create children, these cheaters aren’t worth much. No wonder there is nothing to miss.

  • I was devastated when I discovered he was having an affair. I knew he was a high-maintenance guy, but he always had such a dim view of cheaters. Who knew? Anyway, a surprise to me, though I kept my knowledge under wraps while I lined up my ducks.

    That said, I don’t miss HIM per se. I do miss having someone who can help out. CheaterX wasn’t great with this. He’d spend all day cleaning a house that should have taken a couple of hours, and then he’d complain about it. I took that task over to make his life easier. I also did all the cooking. And the dog walks.

    But it was nice to have someone around who’d let the dogs out if I had to stay late at work. I do miss that ability to ask the person you live with to do some small task.

    Beyond that? Nope, I don’t miss him. My house is now peaceful. Gosh! He was so negative in so many ways!

    • Here’s a thought though:

      How many of us here believe our Cheaters miss US?

      Not “love us” or “want our relationship back”, but just miss us for whatever we provided?

      I am certain that GUBU misses me more and thinks of me more than I do of him.
      (Which would be “zero” and “only when I am forced to” (or writing here on CN.)

      Does he “love” me?
      Hell no. I believe he is incapable of a really deep emotion.

      Does he miss me?
      Yep.
      Because now he has no one of any substance in his life, who cares for him as I did.
      No one to make life easier, to make him feel like “The Good Guy” as most people now know he is not.
      (I made sure to set the record straight on some rumors flying around at the outset. People know who did what to whom. I am grateful for that.)

      He has to do everything I used to do on his own now.
      He has found that the endless smorgasbord of p*ssy that he thought would come his way once I was out of the picture has surprisingly not materialized!
      He’s not the “catch” the last Schmoopie stroked his “ego” to convince him that he was.

      He’s a bald, bum kneed, senior citizen with ED, a sexually transmittable deadly disease, an alcohol (and character) problem, a preference for porn, and a real problem with honesty and true intimacy.
      Oh. And he’s also losing half of his income and assets in the divorce–because he has a history of cheating on his wife.

      Oh well. That’s what he wanted. He’s got it now.

      • I don’t think mine misses me at all. He didn’t even miss his grandparents after they died. It was like out of sight, out of mind. It always amazed me how little he grieved over losing family members. He was always focused on “the next big thing.” That’s what he was in love with.

        • My narc cried actual liquid tears when he said this to me: “it will get a little better everyday… until you forget all about me!” (he started sobbing) and I realized he was heartbroken and said about how I was going to miss him. And didn’t once express any sentiments about him missing me. I did miss him for awhile but now I am deeply glad that he is gone. I own my story now.

  • One of the things that we forget as Chumps, because we have had our reality slowly altered for many years, is just how disordered they are in so many ways. You think it is just that you are opposites. You are happy and friendly and hard working and they are quiet, nervous and afraid to do the laundry. No! Fuck NO! They are just self-centered little shits. IT.IS.ALL.ABOUT them, every single nanosecond of the day and in every single activity of the day. When you point to something nice they did, look carefully at it, there is some sort of ulterior motive behind it. The cheating is just the rule they broke about being a decent human being that is codified in a thousand years of culture and a wedding vow. But all of the other aspects of their life are for shit too. So Yup, DMH, he is gone, and that sneaky little shit storm he carried with him is gone too. Sage your house… and like CL says be grateful that you got to Meh far faster than the rest of us did. If you have a magic good fairy wand that you could wave over the rest of us to allow us to get to Meh, you would make a million bucks.

  • Love is a choice we make everyday. It isn’t so much that I don’t miss him than it is the fact that I finally decided not to love him anymore.

  • I don’t miss my asshat of an EX at ALL. Although he didn’t cheat the first decade or so of our 17-year marriage, he was a shitty husband and emotionally constipated the entire time. Good riddance to bad rubbish! I am so much happier without his presence in my life.

  • “Maybe you’re just really sick of his shit. Like bone tired. Like you’ve been puking on that carnival ride for 17 years and you’ve got no puke left to puke. Or fucks left to give.”

    She just got off the ride that had been making her sick and didn’t know it until the carnival left town…

    HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW……

    Articulated my feelings exactly, Tracy. Damn I love your raw sewage brain blows…

      • I was the cartwheeling dancing frog on a ball for that mother fucker and I didn’t even know it. When the circus left town, I was so overwhelmed with reflief I felt sorry for any dumb bastard in the throws of a double life. Don’t ever think their life is anthing but pure misery.

        Thank you, God. Thank you, God. Thank you, God.

  • I wish that my ordeal with Douche Delight had been that easy….but I finally flipped the switch and quoted Motley Crue: “Don’t go away mad….just go away.”

  • I wondered this exact thing! I felt bad for not missing him. In fact, my life felt so much better the day after X left/was forced to move because I insisted on this divorce thing. I had put up with his antics for 12 years of my life and the last 3 (just after DDay!) were the most miserable I have ever been in my life. Rejoice that you don’t miss him. I’ll grant you that there are days that I feel awful about so much wasted time. The sunken costs. The daily humiliation and belittling it was being married to X. I’m just happy it’s all over!

  • Yes. You are normal!

    DMH this was also my experience when I ended my 17 year marriage after DD#2. I didn’t miss him at all. Nadda. There was a huge sense of relief. I had taken control of my life after waiting for EX to figure out ‘his sh**’ for more than 2 years. My gut had been telling me something was off — but I wasn’t listening.

    In the months after, I grappled with a range of other emotions including anger, humiliation, hurt, bewilderment, grief and anxiety.

    My advice is always the same, find a good therapist. This stuff is not easy.

    Hugs!

  • OP,
    I think you are simply realistic and pragmatic. Yes, I think it’s possible for the switch to turn off when you realise the trust is gone. Since you experienced two chumpings, then perhaps the first one was good practice….you knew in your left brain it was over, then the second d-day dealt the finishing blow.

    I liken it to being able to sell an investment when it’s hit its high price. I remember the moment I lost my love for cheater, when I saw an email that confirmed the ugly truth. I felt a wave of hatred and loathing come over me. From there on it was just a question of keeping my temper under control and making the best exit plan. You sound as though you value yourself enough to be certain you can carry on without emotional attachment and that’s good. You are a survivor. Well done calling his bullshit.

  • I don’t miss mine at all.

    I was in love with an illusion. Once I saw the man behind the curtain, the illusion was gone. *poof*

    I occasionally miss feelings of togetherness from many, many years back. But those were still part of being with an illusion. It was never, ever real.

  • I don’t miss XH the substance abuser at all. That makes me feel very sad. Forty years ago I was crazy about him but he was in and out of a marriage and I couldn’t do that. But I carried that torch for years. No one else could measure up. And then 15 years ago I married him and spent 10 years dealing with his highly progressed alcoholism. I still love him, wish the best for him and would give everything to have the life I imagined 40 years ago. But I don’t miss the abuse, the hard work of trying to suppress my feelings and meet my own needs, the lack of reciprocity, the anger, the smell of alcohol, the drunken incoherence. I could go on but you get the idea.

    • Oh yes, the booze! Hard to figure out (isn’t it?)what is really going on with your partner when they are in outer space.

      Heavy drinking brought forth serious depression and mental illness in mine. To make himself feel better he located dozens of Schmoopies via craigslist and dating sites to lie his ass off about his accomplishments (circa a decade earlier).

  • I did all of my grieving before I pulled the plug on my marriage. I spent 3 years spackling and trying to make sense of his absences and tall tails. I finally ran for my life and didn’t miss him in the least.

    “He” didn’t really exist. Just a body that resembled the person I fell in love with.

    2 years later, I’m just starting to come to terms with the emotional damage that living with the disordered did to me.

  • I suffered 5 ddays….in five years…..same OW. When I think about how my ex-husband of 20 years continued this destructive behavior while watching me change from a bubbly, confident, happy, cheerful, positive woman/wife/mother into a depressed, withdrawn, self doubting wine addicted and unhealthy woman/wife/mother I literally hate his guts!!!! Miss him??? Not in the least! I am finally ME again after his torture! What kind of human being can do this to another? Nobody I want to know!

    • “What kind of human being can do this to another? Nobody I want to know!”

      Exactly, Kimmy. Not only do I not want to be X’s wife…I wouldn’t want to be his friend…or even casually run into anyone like him.

    • Kimmy, exactly these people aren’t normal, they have character disorders. They are Narcissists, Borderlines or some other form of mentally off people. No human being destroys another. My parents were Narcissists and they did so much damage to me and my brother. Normal human beings don’t go around destroying other human beings, yet these disordered folk, keep finding people to marry and destroy innocent souls over and over again. It boggles my mind!

  • I don’t miss mine either. More specifically, I don’t miss HIM (I know who he is now *shudder*), but I do miss having a partner. A real partner. What I have now is more of the non-partner partner who won’t go away (parallel parenting, and that’s been LOADS of fun so far). Big distinction.

  • I had to go see a shrink after D-Day+Leave-Me-Day. A few weeks in, I made a remark about how lonely I had felt for years, even though I had a wife. I really didn’t miss her. The therapist asked if I really felt like I got what I needed to emotionally out of the marriage. I thought about it for a minute, then said no, I really hadn’t. She asked me the same question twice more. Of course, my answer was the same. I asked her why she asked. She said that over and over, the spouse that felt left out, ignored, or otherwise mistreated wasn’t the cheater…it was the spouse that had been cheated on.
    I think this goes back to the CL’s assertion that adultery really is a character problem, not a deficiency (see yesterday’s post). People who suck at fidelity tend to suck at a lot of other things involving how you treat another human being.
    My ex forgot anniversaries, usually ignored me for hours to watch TV or play video games, treated my family like crap, got me crappy presents for Christmas & birthday…I’m sure other people at CN have the same experience.

  • 23 years DO NOT MISS HIM AT ALL. For the last three years I questioned over and over what there was to even miss and to date come up with nothing.

    I am mourning him and grieving the relationship of how I projected both to be. And it is hell but I do not miss him in the least.

  • There is so much emotion in today’s post topic.
    My heart goes out to all Chumps. I have not had time yet to read all of today’s heart pourings, but I will. Many are bittersweet and I will feel melancholy, yet happy for those who have left a cheater, and gained a life.

    We Chumps are good, decent, kind people.
    We meet a special someone and we give them our heart and our soul.
    Time, years are invested in them.
    Many of us welcome precious children into our lives.
    There are ups and downs. We weather life together.
    Then, one day, we find we are in this ” weathering life together” part all alone. It can be sudden, or graduale that we realize out partner is just NOT there, even when he or she, is present physically, they just aern’t there.
    DDay or Days come, tear us apart, heart and soul.
    Wether we pick me dance, they stay, they go, we are NEVER the same again. A trust, a binding, a sharing has been lost. It will never be what it was in the very beginning, never!

    DMH and all Chumps who “do not miss him at all,” eat ice cream in bed, dance around the house every morning on awaking, dine in a lovely restaurant alone, watch what you want on TV, you chose the radio station. YOU do what YOU feel good doing.
    Be kind, gentle, loving with yourself. Continue to be the sane, present, loving kids with all your heart parent.
    You deserve love and respect. Show this to yourself.
    If you meet another human being who deserves your love and respect then go ahead and share it.
    I truly believe that next time you will know if it is safe, because you won’t rush it. You will be cautious.
    In time, You will know, until then, keep it to yourself.
    YOU truly deserve it!
    Love to each Chump,
    Peacekeeper

    • P.S.
      Oh, and if it ( meeting someone else) doesn’t happen, You and your children and those who you truly love and who truly love you, well they will be enough.
      You are mighty!

      Xxxxx

      • Dear Feelingit,
        I am sorry that today was difficult for you.
        I know you are going through very trying times with court proceedings. I am sorry but I have probably missed some of your recent posts.
        I feel very happy when I read that things go well for you.
        You are in my heart at all times.
        I am cheering for you.
        Every day I feel like I am there with you in court, tucked with CN, in a corner of your heart.
        Keep strong,
        Always remember my motto for you and your children is: TRUTH = VICTORY.
        Slay him!
        ( I do not like him because of how he has hurt you and your precious children!) Grrrrr!

        Sleep well, tomorrow is a new day!
        ❤️

    • Peacekeeper this is me. I recently hit the 1 year anniversary of divorce and through it all I am feeling mighty, but once in a while I think why did he do what he did. He was a really fun loving man and so good to my family and I. But with time and life he hardened and became a different person. No more fun, happy loving man, just a bitter shell. He has broken up and reconciled with his girlfriend many times and she keeps taking him back. Good luck to both of them as I am well on my own and moving on. You got to mourn the death of what was and let it go. I’m getting to that point.

  • consider me one of the gazillion chumps that wishes I was over my lying cheating wife who abandoned me and her son 3 months ago, She takes up way to much mental real estate in my mind.

    • Dave K,
      It’s still so early. Give yourself some time and daily CL/CN support. Trust that she sucks. I’m just 100 days post Dday (3!) after 30 years together and while my head knows I WILL NOT go back to his swamp of lies & self pity, I still find myself sifting through the relationship detritus looking for clues that he really did love me, really didn’t fall for some white trash married skank and lie to me repeatedly for 3 years. But he DID…and so much more, I’m sure, since he’ll only ever admit to as much as he suspects I knew. He played me well, but it was the last encore. I’m done. Emotions and lingering thoughts will come and go. NC makes every hour easier! I didn’twant to believe that at first, wanting to untangle the skein of fuckedupness, but it is TRUE. Every day I ignore his calls & texts is one step closer to a cheater-free new life where I get to discover the ME who gradually disappeared under his reign of passive aggression. A-freaking-men! Feeling nothing for him is actually JOYFUL to me after the gut-wrenching grief of realizing my reality.

      • thank you you Longing For Meh-ca. I do practice no contact or grey rock with I do have contact with her, only on email no phone calls. I feel that I am slowly getting a little better, Yesterday was our 25th anniversary and I was fine all day. Today at a doctors appointment and an vet appointment, I told 2 sets of strangers that my wife was a lying cheating bitch and she ran off to Florida with her bf, Then went home and cried my eyes out. I really appreciate people like yourself, Chump Lady and Chump Nation it has been a tremendous help to me.

  • In college, I was the biggest chump there was (well, it feels like it anyhow – I’m sure some other chumps can give me a run for my money). Back then, I had a relationship with the same cheating, lying, abusive POS for 5 or so years (ages 18-23/24ish).

    Regardless of what he did to me, I just repeatedly put up with it and let him abuse me and come crawling back with each “I’m sorry” and each “I love you”. I want to shake the shit out of that chumpy version of myself and am still ashamed of it. But that’s beside the point.

    I’m posting that story because once I finally got some physical distance from him in order to go to grad school, he came to visit me (with his new GF left behind at their shared house, the one he’d cheated on me with for all those years). Chumpy me let him come. I remember clear as day, laying next to this person I had been so co-dependent on that I thought I’d die if he ever ended it with me (which is why I put up with anything he dished out and why I let him visit), that I felt literally…NOTHING. It was like all of that desperation, love, co-dependency, everything just…DIED. I couldn’t stand the way he breathed or his smell or his mannerisms or when he tried to sweet talk me into sex (no doubt why he had wanted to visit), his touch, his presence…none of it. I knew in that moment I was finally done with it all – the lies, the cheating, the abuse…HIM.

    A few years later, out of the blue, he called to tell me he was in my town and wanted to come by. I told him I was too tired and then, out of curiosity, asked him “do you have a girlfriend?” and he said “yes”. I told him “sorry, I’m tired, gotta go” and promptly got off the phone. That was the last time I talked to him.

    He since married that poor girl who was his GF at the time when he called me last, looking for more sex and to cheat, no doubt. I’m sure she had no idea (I had no clue who she was or I would’ve told her. I told the first one he cheated on me with at the time and she just refused to believe me and hated me for it).

    All these almost 20 years later I’m just left thinking that I’m glad I’m not her. I’m glad I finally felt nothing and that it finally died. That was the best gift my body gave me.

  • I sometimes miss the person who I thought he was, then I miss what I perceived as the good parts of our shared history/marriage and still feel pain, but that person has died for me, I mourned him and I dont miss or want whatever he is now, he is a disordered stranger.

    But more often than missing him I am relieved at not having to deal with all his crap anymore, his micromanaging, irresponsibility, financial mess, immaturity, selfishness and to top it off of course the lying and cheating. Actually as soon as I remember anything nice thoughts pop up about the awful stuff he did and out go the nostalgic thoughts.

  • Dave K, it truly will get better. You are only three months out. I cannot say I’ve had one entire day that I didn’t think of my ex-cheater and what he did. I used to think about him/it just about all day long and even had nightmares. Now I’m almost three years out and he barely enters my mind and I can usually sweep him out quick if I want to.

  • Just chiming in to verify your complete and total normality! Not everyone has the same experience. For me, I was sad, upset and betrayed but I didn’t miss him the way I thought I would (or thought I should?) That was about a year ago and the prevailing emotion I remember after the event itself was simply the relief and consolation of it being over.

    In retrospect, I realized that I had compensated for his disinterest by creating my own life outside of him (as a reaction to the neglect, not a precursor to the infidelity, to be clear). I had in some ways already mourned the end and created my path forwards.

    Over the last year, I’ve had some ups and downs. I think sometimes the mind has a way of keeping us from truly feeling everything at once if we don’t have the capacity to handle it at the moment. I had a thesis to finish and a lot of work to throw myself into, but months later when I found out he was actually dating one of the women he cheated with, it sent me into anger I hadn’t felt at the beginning. And while I still sometimes see something I want to share with him, I haven’t ever had that true sense of loss I expected after a decade together.

    All of this is to say, we all mourn differently AND on different timelines. You may feel a resurgence of these feelings at some point or you may have moved well and truly through them already before the end of the relationship. OR you may never feel them at all! All of these are totally fine–you do what you need to do, and feel what you need to feel on whatever timeline works for you.

  • Know what I miss? I miss the bold, confident, young woman I was when I met him 39 years ago. I was in the military. Proud of my country and the uniform I wore to represent it. I knew exactly who I was and where I was going. Then he came into my life and I lost sight of that. Finding me again after all these years is my goal now.

  • The real irony is that half of new chumps think “I miss him/her…what is wrong with me?!” While the other half of new chumps think “I don’t miss him/her…what is wrong with me?!” #itsnotmeitsyou

    • Free Vix…so true! No matter where we are, we have each other, even if polar opposite sometimes. How fortunate we chumps are to have CL & each other for validation, clarification, reality checks, inspiration, fuck-bombing, and, ultimately, roadmaps out of hell.

      • Defunitely! What I was getting at, though, isn’t that we’re polar opposites. It’s that no matter what we feel we tend to think it’s wrong and heap on the self doubt, even though we’d likely beat ourselves up for feeling the exact opposite. No matter where we land on the spectrum, we chumps excel at beating ourselves up.

        • Here here, ! My best friend keeps telling me “when are you going to quit beating yourself up, you think everything is your fault and your behavior, and extra pounds caused him to cheat” she points out all the young beautiful nice wives whose husbands cheated and keeps telling me how strong and amazing I am for getting away from 32 years of cold marriage; one of these days I’ll believe it

          • chumpsrushin, please believe it. We are not in control of how other people acts. We only control ourselves. If one wants to cheat, I don’t think there is any way we can control that – that is on them and their flawed character. Morally sound people do not intentionally hurt the ones they love.

            • Thank you for your encouragement , “morally sound people do not intentially hurt the ones they love ” this struck a chord with me, makes so much sense, I worked through 32 years of peaks and valleys , I’m realizing STBX was of poor moral character . It’s confusing because he was so nice to everyone else and could do thoughtful things. Of course, the whole secret double life thing and financial devastation kinda cast a different light

  • I don’t miss the raging, the yelling, the scaring the animals, the swearing. I miss the good times and most of these memories are centred around family time rather than couple time anyway; I miss his good traits on which I focused so much. But overall, this is peaceful. I enjoy my evenings alone, I enjoy not being a servant always trying in vain to please. So it’s true that I don’t miss him. I miss my dream of a family. I miss the prospect of step grandchildren. I miss his kids.

    • KIwichump re the prospect of stone grandchildren in case it helps I know of some new to NZ and other folks without grandparents who have been welcomed the chance to connect and ‘adopt’ an NZ grandparent because those connections with another generation are a treasure. Also know some retirees who are enjoying helping with reading recovery at local schools Hoping some opportunities that work for you to connect with youngsters in your future eventuate.

      • Thank you Onwards. I was fortunate that soon after he left a couple of young teens knocked on my door in the middle of a snow storm. Like some fairly tale! They were possuming and camping and their tent had just been blown off. Anyway, the family spent most of last winter camping in my woolshed and clearing the possums off the area and came back this year. We have all become friends and overall since my ex left, my circle of friends has become a lot wider.
        Even before DDay, I felt so isolated and unwanted at home with my ex that I got involved 4 years ago in settlement support for new immigrants; so I have made really good young friends there from cultures I knew nothing about before. As you say, there are always opportunities out there. But I still regarded his children as my step children and feel my family has been ripped out. Who knows, things may get better with time.
        I now understand he is an abuser and he will do what he did again with his schmoopie who was his mistress and homewrecker in his first marriage anyway. I hope his kids will understand what they are dealing with. His kids have always been pick me dancing with him. Poor kids.

  • Hopium – you’re brilliant! Anticipatory grief, indeed! I work in hospice care and for the past 2 years I have been over-identifying with my widows. I’ve grieved with them, even knowing some less pleasant facts of their relationships. Not long before Dday3, I wondered aloud whether I was grieving in anticipation of SugarPants’ death. It was, in fact, the death of my marriage & family life, I sensed it before I knew, and I grieved HARD as soon as the facts were in.
    You put it so well, Hopium4years!

    • LongingForMeh-ca, I too was vaguely aware that our marriage was dying. I continued to be there for him and take care of him (because in so many ways – as a manbaby – he couldn’t take care of himself). But he wasn’t there for me – and as I look back to even before things started to go sour, many times when I needed him and he WAS there physically, I could tell he wasn’t doing it whole-heartedly. Now I know that his mask was slipping; it was too hard for him to continue to pretend, especially once he started the months of text flirting with the first OW.

      So yes we were grieving our dying marriages without being fully aware of how far gone they were already.

      And let me just say how much I admire you for working in hospice care. I work in a somewhat related field, and so I have contact with hospice folks and think the WORLD of people who choose to do that kind of work. Big hugs to you.

  • Funny thing as time passed I do not have any memories of XW at all, let alone not miss her. The only memory I have is the horrible thing she did. Anything positive has been pushed out by the brain. I regret that I married her. I was lucky mot to breed.

  • There was one day that passed where I was out with my friends having a good time; then at the end of the day I glanced upon the calendar and realized it was STBX’s birthday. It totally slipped out of my mind after years and years of routinely reserving that day and doing something special.

    That was the day I realized that I really don’t need that kind of baggage in my life.

  • Dear DMH, the letter writer: I don’t know if you’ll see this comment at the very bottom or not. I just want to say I hope you stay grey rock and very mighty and successful. But be very kind to yourself, if you do start to feel waves of conflicting emotions and pain. Let people help you, and give yourself breaks. Just seems like people expect you to grieve (any situation) right away, and if you break down later, they don’t “get it” and don’t see why you might need help or cut a little slack.

  • Dear DMH,

    I hear you. That switch in my brain was flipped pretty quick as well. There was a small period of hysterical sobbing, and a “maybe we can work on this” – but that ended the day he suggested that I was the one “holding us back” from “moving forward”, as I was still angry and hurting – 2 weeks later.

    When he moved out I honestly never missed him, either. NO need to judge your own feelings or response, DMH, it’s ok. Sure, it may be part of self preservation, or it may not. You’ll probably grieve in other ways, but over time, you will see.

    Good on ya!

  • I’m just so happy to read this. I’m finally divorced and happy in my life.,I have a new partner and all is good but I’m still dealing with a huge amount of anger about how someone who I went through so much with and had kids with could treat me so badly and how I could actually accept that at ok? Haven’t missed her once though. She is a total bitch and I’m so happy she’s out of my life.

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