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Dear Chump Lady, I’m REALLY angry. Is this normal?

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Dear Chump Lady,

My husband walked in on Christmas Eve to break the news that he had fallen out of love with me and was leaving me for another woman.

I had spent the day wrapping gifts for his family and prepping food for Christmas dinner, while he was with the other woman planning their own magical Christmas.

He gave the whole “I love you but I’m just not IN love with you” speech, before dropping the bombshell that he had been planning on leaving me for the past 18 months but was waiting “for the right time”.

Now, a few months on, the initial pain has passed and to my surprise I’m not missing him in the slightest — he was lazy and cruel and now the blinkers have been removed I can see that my life has the potential to be much happier without him in it.

But I still feel incredibly angry — angry that he never told me he was unhappy or tried to work on our relationship, and instead threw it all away for a woman he had only been seeing for a few weeks. (But it’s true love and she is perfect and special, he says). Angry that I’m now stuck in the middle of a messy divorce and might lose my home. Angry that he has told lies about me to his family, friends and lawyer, claiming that I’m a total bitch and threw him out. Angry that he wasted precious years of my life — we had been planning on starting a family this year, he let me think this was what he wanted right up until the day he left. If he had been planning on leaving for 18 months, how could he have been so cruel as to lead me on like this? Now I find myself single again in my early 30s and I’m worried it will be too late for me.

He has blocked all forms of contact and we only talk via our lawyers, which thankfully prevents me doing what I want to do and hurling endless streams of abuse at him and the other woman, but leaves me feeling very frustrated. He hasn’t acknowledged any wrongdoing and before cutting me off, and he openly admitted he didn’t feel any guilt or shame.

Sometimes I feel so angry I can’t focus at work, I wake up feeling angry and I don’t know how to deal with the strength of my emotion. Is it normal to feel this way? How can I deal with this anger without resorting to Kill Bill style revenge scenarios?

Many thanks,

Goodbye Ginger

Dear GG,

Your anger is totally normal. I don’t even know the guy and I’d like to dangle him over a balcony for you. Let’s recap:

He dumped you on Christmas Eve — ludicrously pronouncing it “the right time.”

He cheated on you.

He’s assassinated your character — to that family you were wrapping presents for.

He wasted your precious time and fertility window, letting you invest further in him.

He’s left you with a huge legal mess.

He doesn’t feel one bit sorry.

Yeah, I’d be all Godzilla over his Tokyo too.

You know what’s really madness? The expectation that you wouldn’t be angry! Where does THAT come from?

(Ooh! Raising my hand. The Reconciliation Industrial Complex. Every conscious uncoupling article in every glossy celebrity magazine. Every supercilious mommy blogger simpering how she’s “friends” with her ex For The Children. A bazillion years of the patriarchy insisting that women smile as they eat shit sandwiches. While looking like ladies. And wearing lipstick. Lest they be burned on a pyre as a witches.)

Why are you angry? Because you’re SANE. It means you’re paying attention. It means you CARED.

Anger is a good sign. You’re in protection mode. You’re not going to be played. You’re full into Trusting That He Sucks, and turning a corner towards Meh soon.

Frankly, I’d much rather you be angry than directing that fury inwards into sadness. Or worse, be mopey and paralyzed, still loving the bastard. It’s SO much easier to help angry people than unicorns. He looked sideways at a self-help article I taped to his mirror. I think he still cares! Or depressed people. What’s the point? The OW is prettier than me. I think I’ll just weave flowers in my hair and lay down in this stream… 

Ugh. I prefer anger. Especially when channelled towards snark.

Anyway, GG, you won’t be angry forever. The Kill Bill revenge scenarios are finite too. It’s a stage you go through as you process the enormity of the transgressions. All the alarm bells are going off in your body as you get free. You’re still in this middle of the nightmare, so it’s going to suck for awhile. He’s still central, because you’re dividing property and he’s moved on with Perfect Schmoopie. The unfairness of it all will feel overwhelming at times. Okay, it will feel overwhelming A LOT of the time.

And you know what? You’ll come out on the other side okay anyway. You really will. Talk to me one to two years out from this crap, when you’ve got the foundations of that new life built. I promise that new life will be WAY more interesting than whatever Fuckface is up to. And if it isn’t? Get working on that new life! Stop looking backwards at Fuckface!

As you’ve realized, life is already improved without his lazy cruel ass. He will never not suck, and the injustice will never be acceptable — but it won’t consume your life. The pain fades. Your heart scars over and remains a working heart.

Maybe you’ll love a future partner and future children. Maybe you’ll love orphans. Or preservation societies and corgi puppies. I have no idea how your life is going to turn out, except for the BETTER because you lost a loser. We don’t get the lives we imagine, and that’s a good thing. God didn’t answer my reconciliation prayer, He sent me my husband. I didn’t get the farmhouse by the river with my precious garden — I got sent to Texas, a state the color of dead grass.

We don’t know where our hearts will take us. This is what I can tell you from my chump experience — my greatest gifts could never have been possible without my greatest losses. Without that suckfest this blog wouldn’t exist, this lovely tribe of CN wouldn’t exist. I wouldn’t have written a book. I wouldn’t have left the safe confines of my existence to meet some Texan in New Orleans.

There’s a lot I did NOT get — more children, my money, my deep investments in other lives I thought I was going to have.

And it’s okay. There’s nothing to be angry about any more, because it worked out. Doesn’t make any of it RIGHT, of course, but I’m stronger than a couple of fuckwits — and you are too.

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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.
  • Mmm hmm. I get called bitter and angry by them quite often, as if that’s a bad thing. I say these are legitimate feelings that we have for the very valid reason that they screwed with my life, hurt my children, and acted in unconscionable ways towards me. I own these feelings. Not ashamed to feel them.

    • I’m all for reclaiming bitter, angry, shrew, old hag, witch, the lot.
      As a very old lady friend says every time she’s asked if she wants sugar in her tea, I’m too sour to be sweetened. This woman lost a 4 year old son many years ago, her husband was a chronic cheater. In those days,walking away was almost unthinkable especially with 5 other children. But she survived it all, was given a few months to live about 7 years ago but buried the cheater instead.
      To sour for germs and diseases to get her too. Rock on.

  • Yeterday, I took our 3 kids to meet their new sibling. The child was born to stbxh and his gf. *I am NOT saying that so you all call me selfless or whatever.*

    It hurt. It still hurts that these people reproduce while we are still married. It hurts that I may never experience a helpful partner while raising a newborn. Stbxh is NOT helpful. He is selfish and a monster.

    But here’s what I take from the years of dealing with my stbxh. I am a STRONG mom. I am doing the best I can. I can tell you that I wouldn’t be the woman I am if I hadn’t married stbxh or had our great kids. The heartache changed me. It molded me. I held their new baby yesterday and felt peace. Not anger. Not jealousy. Not resentment. I know how stbxh is and will be. I feel a sense of pity for the child if stbxh remains as he is. If I hadn’t been through all of this, I wouldn’t be this person now.

    • AlohaFreedom,
      A precious new baby, a new life, no matter how this being came to be, really does not matter. A new life deserves to be loved, cherished and protected.
      The fact that you held this little being in your arms, and you brought your three children to meet their sibling, well, that is LOVE, above all other.
      When I think of the definition of LOVE, I will think of YOU!

    • Kudos to you. My now ex and his AP turned wife just had a baby too and the best I can muster is pity for the poor kid to have those two for parents.

      • Sorry to hear that, Sunflower. I can imagine that must hurt, a lot.

        I’d be the same as you, Sunflower. I have nothing against any future children of the ex and the AP, but I’m staying well away from the cheaters.

        If the ex wants his children to meet his and the AP’s baby [when that does happen], then he can damn well transport our children himself.

        • Every one of these comments resonates. I just want to extend a big hug to anyone in the middle of the blinding rage phase. I stayed in that place way too long, and take occasional weekend trips there still if I’m being honest. Honey moved cross country and left me to raise our 1 and 2 year old with no warning so he could co be insta-daddy to HomeWrecker’s 2 kids, then had a new baby, and right this minute they are expecting another one to be born any day. He’s visited our kids one time in 4 years. He and the HW have blamed me for every resulting visitation and child support problem they now have without cause. He’s in arrears $40K (visiting food pantries at my church has been fun). She has mocked me and laughed at me in my deepest pain. They DEEPLY SUCK.

          I try to leave the anger in my rear-view, but then my son or daughter says something heartbreaking about daddy leaving from the backseat and I’m inadvertently white knuckling the steering wheel with rage. It’s so, so hard.

          But I found that after 4 years with this anger, I had to harness it and use to to fuel me towards a better life for me and these babies. So on May 19th, my son and daughter will be in the crowd as I walk in commencement for the bachelor’s degree I’ve been working on every night as they slept for the past 3 1/2 years. Rage fuel has been the gas in my tank when every other part of me wanted to chuck in the towel. I let this adage by Stanley Bing guide me along the way and hopefully it will stay with you as well:

          Anger is a fuel.You need fuel to launch a rocket. But it all you have is fuel without any complex internal mechanism directing it, you don’t have a rocket. You have a bomb.

          Build a rocket instead, Chumps! 🙂

          • Honey&THW – congratulations and please enjoy EVERY moment of your graduation day! You earned it, girl! Education is one of the only things dbags and natural disasters can never take from us. You’ll always have it to move you toward a better future, and it will always be a shining example for your children of hard work, character and self-motivation. My education and professional credentials are what enabled me to tell dbag to get out once I got over the initial shock, and it’s also what saved me from financial ruin moving on to a better life solo. So happy for you! Congrats!!

          • This brought tears to my eyes. You are so mighty! Congratulations, and know that you are such an amazing mom to do this for yourself and your kids!!

          • Congratulation! You are amazing! I send you great blessings in your future. My mother returned to school when my father abandoned us. It was her example that ensured that my brother and I strove for education. We both ended up well-educated professionals and earning very good salaries, and we treat my mother like the Queen she is. Every year, she vacations as a gift from us. We make sure she has everything she needs. As for our father, we don’t hate him, we pity him. We understand that his own life growing up sucked and that caused him to suck. But, we don’t extend ourselves to him. He is not a King.

            Your children will know your sacrifice because you will ensure that they grow up to be moral people. You will be a Queen. The first one to meet the special people in their lives. The one thanked profusely at their wedding day speeches. The first one they will take to see their new home and get decorating advice. The first one called when their children are born. The one they will acknowledge as the model they follow in their own parenting. They will care for you as you age and ensure you have all that you need.

            You are WOMAN. You are SURVIVOR. You are LOVE. Enjoy your victory and embrace your new lease on life. I love you SISTER!

          • You are amazing! Congratulations on your graduation (from a college professor!). And thank you for the sentiment that gives me the goal: to be a rocket not a bomb (although there is someone I’d like to blow up….).

          • YOU ROCK HONEY!!! GET THAT DEGREE AND GO KICK SOME ASS!!!
            SHOW YOUR KIDS WHAT A WINNER LOOKS LIKE!!!

          • YES! YES! YES!
            Turn this shit into FERTILIZER!

            Grow your AMAZING NEW LIFE!

            No one else is gonna do that for you.

            It feels SO FREAKING GOOD to walk head held high and look down upon these loony tunes and laugh “so long suckers!”

            Ahhhh. It’s then you know without a doubt anywhere in your mind, body and soul that THIS made you the awesomeness you are today.

            Love you Chumplady. With you all the way Chump Nation!

      • It just when I found out the ex married the OW a month after our divorce. More so when I found out they were having a child…. but I also knew what kind of a man he was. Sure enough, they’re divorced and he sees his child once or twice a year as he moved several states away to be with new OW turned wife and THEIR child together. I feel so sorry for the kids. They won’t know each other well, if ever. And the first has the knowledge that he wasn’t enough for his own father to stick around the area for. I’ve been at meh for a long time now. I just feel so sorry for the littles who had no choice in who their father is.

    • My ex and his girlfriend are due to have a baby almost any day now. Our divorce was final in Feb., a year after he walked out the door. I’m in awe of your situation. First that they let you bring the children to meet their new sibling. My ex hid the pregnancy for several months. They do not seem to want me involved in the meeting of the new sibling, other than to offer my guidance from afar, much less hold the child. And that is probably for the best. I am angry about the whole situation and at the moment I cannot get past that anger for the larger benefit of my daughter. Kudos to you on your strength.

      • ChumpChump – X also his version 2.0 baby before we were divorced. X covered it up until our kids told me that OW was pregos. I even rushed our divorce so they could be married before their bundle of joy arrived.
        At the time it was infuriating as hell. Now many years have gone by, X has passed away and our children, whom I raised, are flourishing. I am secretly (and horrifically) smug that OWife’s kids don’t even speak to her. Her whole bloodline is a tainted mess!
        Meanwhile my live has gone on with highs and lows. Nevertheless it has been MY life and I’m proud to have survived so many insults only to pick myself up and move forward.
        You are Mighty!! The anger and resentment pass.

    • AlohaFreedom,
      I am in complete awe of your strength. Last night my soon to be ex MIL posted a picture on FB of my stbxh and OW’s 2 mos old baby. My stbxh and I have a one year old. Seeing that picture of their baby completely shut me down again. I’m not sure how I’m going to navigate these waters with introducing my daughter to her half sibling somewhere down the line. I have a lot of anxiety about it. They live 2 states away so I’m sure I won’t have to deal with it anytime soon but damn, seeing that picture was like being gutted all over again.

      • you need to block every single person connected with your STBXH, that way you wont see or deal with what they post. If your STBXMIL wants to see your kid she can text. Blockety block block block. Its a great tool for social media.

        • I don’t know, I might block it AFTER I posted a picture saying “Oh, look how much they look like their older sibling! And how nice they are SO close in age!”

          • Hahaha! Thank you for the laugh, crushed. I totally should have. I just deactivated FB and called it a day.

          • I agree with Crushed. Don’t let them get away with that bullshit. After you’ve posted the truth, block them.

          • Oh that’s a good one. Let all her friends be reminded of the embarrassing situation. However, now it’s time to block. Send her pics and messages through email. She’s in a tough situation in that she has to acknowledge this new grandchild. It’s the right thing to do. It puts you in a bad situation though, so disengage.

      • Dear ‘You Can’t…’
        Aloha is doing what she chooses. You get to do the same–choose what is best for you. If seeing that adulterous horse manure shuts you down, don’t look at it. You do not have to jump on that bandwagon–it’s their character that is in question, not yours.

        You can completely block anyone who cheers on your cheater and the other woman. Lay it down and walk away. Start your new life without any vestige of the two of them and anyone else who fails to understand the truth of their choices. Fill your new life with better people.

        Big Hugs!

        • Thank you, Don’t Go There. I’m feeling especially low today and reading your message really helps. I’m going to screen shot it for future reading. Thank you for the hugs.

      • I want to do things to him on your behalf. Horrible things. The old, ‘when darling baby was this old, this is what he was up to’ is always a kick in the teeth. Ask me how I know. But it’s not on you, it’s on him, and her, despicable garbage person that would fuck around with a man with a pregnant wife/newborn. And he won’t be different for her, I swear to you, in the end he won’t. Try not to stress yourself further projecting yourself into the future and having to deal with shit sandwiches. Just breathe and keep on being the awesome mamma you are. (((Hugs))

    • Wow. I’m in awe of you. Logically I know it’s not the baby’s fault. But man oh man I could never hold their baby. She’s not pregnant, but I’m sure that’s coming. I’m going to have a very very hard time with that

    • WOW. That is the definition of Love for your children. Beautiful. Not sure if i could do it.
      I admire you.

    • AlohaStranger please accept my admiration and respect. For growing your self into your honest wise self with your lucky children.

    • My ex and his A.P. turned wife, lost what would have been my kid’s half sibling about 6 months ago. She was already showing, but didn’t carry to term. I don’t believe they can reproduce together. I feel bad that my child won’t have a sibling because I chose not to have any more children either, (been single for 3 years, so, duh…)
      I’m actually even more disappointed because I wanted her to go through the experience of having to raise a child with the ex fuckwit-left with all the responsibility, constantly undermined and made to not feel good enough. Perhaps, just maybe, she might have had an “Oh” moment in understanding my side…seeing as how he must have told her what a drag I was, making requests for help and also, what a horrible wife and mother I was, during the start of the affair. I wanted to her to experience the post partum, the sleepless nights, the strain on her drinking habit, the ex constantly having something else to do…so that maybe I could have some validation, which I know would never be expressed to me. Selfish, I know. But I’m sure they are in their own personal hell, seeing as how my ex now has me on a pedestal as the mother of his child; and quite honestly, I’d feel sorry for the child, having those two as parents.

    • well done, aloha. new and beautiful lives need all the love they can get. your example shines brightly. x

  • someone wrote on here once that “anger propels you forward”. I would agree with this and CL’s statement that its waaaaay better than being sad and mopey. Sad and mopey will keep you stuck- it’s a symptom of still being a hopium addict. The Cheater is a bad person. Get away from the bed person. Divorce the bad person. Have as little contact as possible with the bad person. These people have hurt you and will hurt you more if you give them an easy target.

    • Exactly. Use the anger. Let it inspire you to move mountains. Let it lead you to a cheater free life.

      Life is better n the other side.
      Keep moving forward!

    • Yes! And it’s HARDER to be angry than Tracy’s ‘weave flowers in your hair and lie down in a stream’(!!!!) But I realized I needed to not get caught in pity or sadness and propel myself right into my powerful angry self. Clarity here, at our beloved CN.

  • Oh Gigi!
    Want to change places with me? When I got to the part in your letter where you are worried (!) that you are in your 30s I flipped with relief and joy for you. I was already relieved that you are angry.

    I hope you turn your spark to gozilla fire and get a very good settlement.

    Just curious: did sparkledick’s family turn their backs on you while having the gall to complain you never did anything for them, even though for 38 years you cooked, cleaned, gave thoughtful presents, lent your savings (never paid back), changed dozens of mother-in-law’s diapers and helped pay her bills (as well as funeral of brother-in-law’s mother-in-law’s; BIL is broke, it seems because he has another family hidden away) and got screwed on price of artwork you bought to help out another BIL???

    You are lucky Gigi! Godzilla hugs. And keep up the cautious anger. Chump Nation has your back.

    • Thanks ClearWaters. One of the few things I feel thankful for it that this happened at a relatively early stage, I can’t imagine how it must feel 38 years in when you’ve given them so much. Fuckface’s family did turn their backs on me, very quickly when the truth came out. As he left on Christmas eve I made him load up the car with the gifts I’d bought and wrapped for them but I didn’t receive a single message of thanks or sympathy. One of the things that hurts most is how quickly they all managed to erase me but bow I think it’s a case of apples not falling far from the tree.

      • Good riddance to the bunch of defects. Anger is very healthy in this situation. Next you will be repulsed by the thought of him and then feel utter relief and gratitude you got away from him.

      • I’m so happy for you that you’re in your early 30’s. And that it was a clean and definitive break. As you read the stories of the people here, you’ll see that many have been deceived for years or have tried to patch up their marriages from multiple discoveries of infidelity.

        What you have on your side is TIME! The faster you get through this, the quicker you get to move on to your new life. And, thank goodness you didn’t have a child with this man or you’d be forever in each other’s lives.

        The RAGE? Yes, yes, yes. It sucks, but it’s way better than rumination and being paralyzed. Harness that energy to help you get through what needs to be done. Get some therapy to help you understand that this is not about anything you did, or did not do. You just picked a piece of rotten fruit — we all did here.

        • On the kid front, you still have a window to meet someone and have a child. There are lots of older parents these days. I had my daughter at 40. It will keep you younger than your age, I’ll tell you that!

      • Does the term “righteous anger” ring any bells for you? That is exactly the right thing for you. He’s a creep and a horrible person, and you will be so much better off without him in your life.

        And you are NOT too young for a baby; you will be able to find the right kind of guy for yourself and go on to have a wonderful life.

      • GG,
        I had DD at 37 with now-exh2. I felt like a single mom even though we were married, so when he left, it wasn’t much of a change.
        My point is that it’s possible to have a baby, with or without a partner. It’s up to you.
        I got discarded by exh2’s family too— the family that I cared about, trusted. Just blip! Gone.
        Exh1’s family tried to keep me in the family, but exh1’s OWife was Just. So. Awesome., I got discarded by them too.
        Anger is your friend, use it. Let it process.
        I was mostly angry when exh2 left. Hell, I still am, three years out, but it’s not the dominant emotion in my psyche anymore.

        • You are still young enough to have a new and happy family, you just can’t picture it yet. It happened to me at the age of 64 and I wish it would have been 20 years ago. I know you are hurt and angry but try and be thankful you didn’t waste your whole life on the jerk!!!

      • Re the babies. I had my children late 30s early 40s. Obviously that doesn’t work for everyone, but early 30s is still a very hopeful timeframe.

        • Just to chime in on the baby front. First, my mother had 9 children and did not begin till she was 32. All the natural way (but with a ton of pain relief).

          Second, my sister in law used IVF to have her first child at 51 – I swear. So, there you go.

          Third, I cannot imagine having the child of your loser and being stuck with him. At least now if you have a child, it won’t be with HIM…

          Hugs!

  • Yes to anger. It’s been a little less than two years since DDay and 14 months since the divorce was final. The only reason I was able to get through it in that time period and come out the other side with a good settlement, no debt, a new home and feeling proud about it all is because of my anger…I like to call it righteous anger. My anger is what prompted me to get therapy, read everything I could on cluster b’s, work my ass off and ask people for help along the way. Also anger helped me to do most of the leg work in my divorce and stand up to divorce attorneys and bullish X who thought that they could strong arm me. The moment I found out about the tip of the iceberg of deception my love for X moved all the way to the other side of the spectrum to hate. Anger was involved in that too. I really didn’t think it would ever go away and at times the anger was directed at me…how could I have picked a father for my kid from the barn wire monkey pile?! How could I have stayed for 10 years with this characterless person who waved huge red banners in my face for years before I finally understood how disordered and empty and awful he was?! But, slowly, if love is at one end and hate the other, I am getting to indifference.
    Anger really does go away after time. In Chinese medicine the emotion associated with wood energy is anger…birth and the season of spring are all associated with wood energy. It is a very useful emotion that helps people move forward. Embrace it and use it as a springboard for your new and improved life.

  • “Frankly, I’d much rather you be angry than directing that fury inwards into sadness” This. GG, I’m totally jealous of you for having the completely correct emotional response of anger to what has happened to you. It would have done me a lot more good than just drowning in devastation. I remember my sister telling me she kept waiting for me to get angry. I just couldn’t get there. I was crushed, not angry. I would take angry any day of the week over crushed. I was paralyzed. I had trouble protecting myself. I’m OK now, but jeez anger would have served me much better in the beginning

    • Do you have any idea how you got past the sadness and devastation? I confronted STBXW for cheating 18 months ago then tried to “reconcile” one-sided until Jan this year. Been moved out for 3 months now.

      This last 2 years has been nothing but sadness and devastation for me, at her foolish actions destroying our family, disrupting our kids’ lives (now 5 and 3) before they even knew it, etc.

      I really want to get angry at the multiple injustices heaped on me over the last few years plus her dysfunctional family and all the crap I supported her through there for 15 years.

      I’ve just no idea how to get to that stage . 🙁

  • “my greatest gifts could never have been possible without my greatest losses”
    CL, YOU are CN’s greatest gift.
    I am so sorry for all the pain you went through.
    Today, your life is exactly what you deserve your life to be!

    Goodbye Ginger,
    In time you will need to change your name to HELLO Ginger.
    Anger is one of the stages you have to navigate through.
    There are much better stages ahead. Other Chumps will guide you there, here take the hands reaching out to you. Some will even lead you on to a land called MEH. Many good happenings are waiting for you there. Follow the light.
    You got this!
    Mighty, YOU are Mighty!

    • “my greatest gifts could never have been possible without my greatest losses”.

      That has been my inspiration every single day after D-Day. Sometimes, I am even grateful for sparkledick having crossed my life even though I wish everyday that I had not run into that friend who invited me to work for a month in the jungle with her.

      I think am a more just person now. As Tracy says, we chumps will never be smug again.

      • My “problem” with anger is not that I think it’s unjust. It’s VERY just for me to be angry.

        The problem is that it can consume ME, while not doing a damn thing to the DOCTOR. I have found myself actually feeling sick and enraged, at times. Like my heart pounds and I’ve wondered if I was having a heart attack. It happens less now, but still. I spent all of my adult life with him, and now I’m 58.

        Though less often now than 6 months ago, I still wake up in the middle of the night feeling so angry. WHITE HOT RAGE when I recall another shitty thing about my wasband. Another cruel comment made to hurt me, or yet another realization that a weird explanation from years ago, was actually another lie…

        So many lies. So many betrayals. So many questions I have to let go of on top of letting go of our home, half the assets and the future that would make all MY sacrifices for HIS career, finally pay off.
        The DOCTOR will earn 7 figures and doesn’t understand why my career is disadvantaged by staying at home for 18 years. But, never mind…

        CL is right of course about NOT doing what I did at first. I was in a FOG which numbed me at first, then the stage of wallowing in inert sadness, which was the depths of despair for me. Paralyzing and SO painful. The 18 months of gut wrenching discoveries, cruelty I myself am not capable of, and the hideous fear I may have wasted most of my life with a NPD person.

        AND not knowing if consequences really happen…to HIM at least. I know my own life is up to me. I stubbornly cling to the myth that this is a contest and if the DOCTOR has more money (he will) and marries Schmoopie (very likely) and ACTS happy (he will) then I lose.

        So I come here to bitchslap myself and read the archives about why he won’t be better for her. The money will be, b/c we put ourselves through school and lived below the poverty level for our first 7 years. Now he’s an anesthesiologist and earns big bucks for Schmoopie and HER child…not ours.

        AND YET

        For ME, the Anger Is Not Healthy. Not now anyway…

        GOAL

        I read that “every minute we spend in anger, we could have had 60 seconds of laughter or peace.”

        THIS^^^^ It’s been 18 months since DD and one month since the divorce was final. NOW the DOCTOR has reached out to our youngest child, but I have no idea how their conversation went. I suspect he’s going to marry Schmoopie soon.

        Schmoopie is objectively, a trade down, not just b/c she’s with a cheating married man who had no contact with his 3 children for 18 months, stole ALL our marital money and left me while I was impaired after a neurological event, but b/c she’s also uneducated, less intelligent, less attractive than me AND a lot less funny. I guess It helps in a way b/c it’s clear that this is not about me.

        But it often FEELS like it’s about me and my inadequacy. (I know I must reframe it).

        LAST problem is that my kids will probably be asked to meet and or attend the Schmoopie wedding and that kills me.

        But if my kids ask – the answer I am “trying on” is that they don’t need my permission. That I think what their dad did was shitty and he’s not entitled to my amnesia,

        but my feelings for them will remain the same. I love them and he’s their only dad.

        This man disappeared on us TWICE for 2 years…

        Thing is, our daughters were FAR MORE mistreated & neglected than our son, yet the girls yearn the most for a relationship with the DOCTOR dad.

        Ironic, but true.

        Advice welcome.

        • Doctor’s1stWife&3Kids,
          I don’t really have advice, but I certainly have understanding for your feelings.
          I worked as a nurse for years and often felt disgusted by how some Doctors treated their partners, for example obstetricians calling frequently for updates on their labouring patients as they did not want us calling their home, because, of course, they had told their wife they were at the hospital delivering a baby. Well, eventually, at the last minute for many, but, no, they were out screwing their schmoopie, sooooo many times.

          YOU have always been the present, sane, loving person.
          You have integrity, honesty, a loving heart toward your children, and I am sure your children realize who puts them first.
          He has a schmoopie, he has money. Is he happy today, maybe. Will he be happy in a few years time? Probably not, he threw his real valuables away! He gave up his true gems, a loving wife and children.

          I believe once a cheater cheats on a Chump, then that Chump, you and I, and all CN, then we have the right to feel whatever emotion we want to feel, whenever we want to feel it.
          I feel as though I now have an affair, my affair is with all of CN. I can come here anytime, say anything I want to say. My purpose is to reach out to new Chumps, to tell them, to shout out from the roof top, to leave a cheater, gain a life!
          I have forgiven, but I will NEVER forget! That is my right.
          I know, as you have stated that it is best for a Chump to try not to let the anger ruin us, consume us.
          BUT, I am many years later and I AM SO ANGRY!

          I understand!
          Xxxxxxxx
          Peacekeeper

          I still feel anger, but I tell myself many of the same things you are feeling, that I have to re direct anger

        • Wow! You have every reason in the world to be very angry. You give your life to someone and they toss you to the curb and continue on. But if he marries Schmoopie I do believe they will implode. And your children will never like her. I do think it will take you a very long time to get over your anger. It’s relative to the time invested. You have a big hill to climb and I wish you the best.

    • Peacekeeper, thank you. Just yesterday I was talking with my pastor, and he recommended that I take time to determine what I want from/for my life, nevermind the cheater currently still in it. So your note is very timely for me, reinforcing what I was told yesterday. Hello, indeed!

      It was kind of a rough day. When I was sorting old emails, I came across one I had written to a friend about 6 months after DDay, and was stunned by how fast the old emotions and pain came roaring back, like it had happened only yesterday, even though it has been 18 months.

      Wow.

  • BE ANGRY!!! That’s okay! I am so goddam angry sometimes. I am so pissed off that I’m dumped here, with three kids and an enormous mortgage, and he’s off with his Stupid Girlfriend who is 20 something years younger than me. I’m so angry that he treated me with so little regard. I”m angry that he plays the victim all the time and somehow, everything is my fault. Your guy did the same thing.

    BUT SCREW THEM. We are shot of them. And you know that’s a good thing. It can live, side by side, with the anger that they screwed us over. But we’ll ride it out and move on to something else. I’m still in the shits, not yet on the other side, but I know it will be there for me.

    Hang in there. I told my parents, This will suck but I’ll be fine when I get through it. I hold on to the clarity I had at the start of this journey when it feels like I’m sunk in the muck in the middle of it. There WILL be another side, and we’ll be on it, doing okay. Different, but okay. Possibly even grand!

  • If I got angry when I should have years ago I think I would be in a much better position. For some reason it took me a year after leaving him to feel angry. Anger would have allowed me to protect myself. If I had a dollar for each time someone said “why aren’t you mad!?” I would be rich.
    I kinda feel like anger is a survival mechanism when another person is actively trying to destroy you. Angry animals charge at threats. Sitting down and crying doesn’t do a damn thing when a lion is trying to eat you.
    2018 goal: be an angry elephant. charge at the lion with my pack.

    • “ Sitting down and crying doesn’t do a damn thing when a lion is trying to eat you“

      WOW this is profound and so so right

  • Darling darling as awful as this is he did you a favor. You have every right to be angry. It is very normal. What is really good is you did not have kids yet. You won’t have that terrible issues in that regard. You are very young and have your whole life ahead of you. You can’t worry about his friends and family. More than likely you lose them anyway. It is definitely not too late for anything. You can get another home. Now focus on getting what you are entitled to. I hope you have a good lawyer who is fighting for you. Extremely important and you get what is your in way pensions, retirement, 401k, whatever. Don’t take less. You will get through this. You are already admitted he was cruel and lazy and he has no guilt for what he did. Proves that by doing this at Christmas. Be glad he didn’t waste more of your time pretending to work it out. There was nothing to work out. Another thing is you don’t know he had only been with her a few weeks. It was probably going on much longer than that.
    I hope you can see you are better off without him. Please let us know how you are.

    • It’s nice just reading “you will get through this” even when it’s being said to someone else. Your post is very encouraging.
      Satan would use my desire to be a mother as a way to control me. I think he got sick pleasure from taking my window of fertility. Now he mocks me saying “you’re not getting any younger”. Shows where his thoughts are. He was running down my clock. I know it. How powerful to take a woman’s ability to have a child away from her. The only thing that makes me happy is that I escaped and have a little time left.

  • I really needed this today. I’ve been cycling through the emotions, and the past few days have been stuck on “sad and sobbing.” I need to re-inhabit my anger, as tomorrow we have an appointment with a mediator, and although I said I’d go the meeting to see whether I could approve mediation, he’s acting like I’ve already agreed to mediation and tomorrow’s meeting will be about the division of assets and perhaps the only meeting needed. I need my bitter, angry bitch self.

    • You need a lawyer. Don’t sign anything. Hire a lawyer and let them review it. Do NOT be pressured into a settlement.

      Be mighty. No “try.” (Yoda). 🙂

      • What do you do if you are not allowed to hire a lawyer? And you have been a stay at home mom for over 20 years, so you don’t have your own money? Can you just say, Okay – half is fair and send money to cover the kids living expenses when they are with me? (They will be in college in the fall.) Hubby has been gone for weeks and I was told in all caps in a text DO NOT hire an attorney.

        • Hire a fucking attorney ANYWAY! He no longer gets to decide this type of thing for you! Take money from a joint account, max out a credit card, sell your engagement and wedding rings, hell, sell the marital bed! Borrow from someone who cares about you! Do whatever you need to do! You can even mediate, after, once you know what your rights and obligations are.

          And if nothing else is working, contact the Domestic Violence services in your area. Your not having access to ‘family’ money is ABUSE.

          • Hire an atty. of course he doesn’t want you to.hire one, he knows he’s screwed.
            My lawyer told me to put it on a joint credit card…..don’t think he won’t do the same damn thing.
            Fuckface….I hate him for you.

          • CRUSHEDCHUMP

            Are you in America or another western nation? I cringed when you said you were “not allowed” to hire a lawyer. You are an adult woman and of course you can hire a lawyer.

            Besides, – What’s he going to do if you hire a lawyer, get mad at you and LEAVE? (Oh wait…)

            It is NOT a crime to take all the money out of a joint account.

            I am an attorney and I only learned this after my DOCTOR wasband took all of ours.

            Many spouses would have taken half, at most. That’s because taking all of it is “frowned upon” by the courts but so what? But my wasband got to keep all of it for 17 months!

            Eventually I got my half – but that was so long after – I had to beg and borrow to live and pay my legal fees while waiting, and so

            HE LOST NOTHING BY TAKING IT ALL. There was no penalty.

            For God’s sake, woman up and lawyer up! At least seeing a lawyer will give you info you need.

            Your husband’s tone & wording show him to be a bully. Sadly you are at least emotionally battered.

            His words basically mean –
            “Do NOT PROTECT YOURSELF WHILE I ABANDON YOU…”

            CRUSHED CHUMP, you have to protect yourself. HE will not. He is the one betraying you so he is not your protector now. It sucks but it’s true.

            **Do NOT tell your husband when you see a lawyer

            and DO NOT TELL your husband what your lawyer says or that you already saw one.

            But see one tomorrow.

        • He is not the boss of you. HIRE A LAWYER. Post-haste. Whatever it takes to get the retainer, do it. You cannot negotiate this process by yourself with a disordered person.

          Mine also told me not to hire a lawyer because we would save money doing ourselves. Know what it would have cost me to accept his initial “generous” offer instead of the equal split my lawyer plugged into a spread sheet? Many, many, many, many thousands of dollars.

          Your STBX can take his CAPITAL LETTER texts and shove them up his arse. GET A LAWYER, really.

        • OMG – why would you listen to anything the cheater tells you????
          Let him put it on a billboard or his forehead but you need to do what is best for you!

          What is best for you is to get to a lawyer RIGHT NOW. Preferably yesterday!

          Do not try and figure out what’s fair. That is your lawyer’s job. Your job is to be a sane parent to your kids, help them navigate the transition to college and work on yourself (self-esteem for starters).

          You DO have money. Half of everything you own is yours and you earned it.

          I was a stay-at-home mom for longer than you and my lawyer got me every penny the law thought I was entitled to. That settlement was better than anything I would have asked for myself.

          There are issues that you haven’t thought of – healthcare for you and your kids, his social security, IRAs and investments.

          While he is gone, get every piece of paper you can get your hands on. Tax returns, bank and credit card statements, do a credit report on him to find out about any accounts you don’t know about. If you have a joint computer, copy everything onto a hard drive; you may need it later. Put everything at a friends house. Don’t assume he is honorable or a nice guy.

          Go to your bank, take out 6 months of money and start your own account. That is the money you will use for a lawyer. The money will Come into play during the settlement but will give you something to live on.

          Get the toughest lawyer you can find and hire them. DO NOT tell your husband anything until you and your lawyer have a plan in place and then serve him while he’s gone.

          With a long-term marriage like yours, you have to be proactive and strong! Your state may be one with life-time alimony.

          PLEASE do not listen to anything that comes out of his mouth!

        • Fuck him. He doesn’t own you. CALL A LAWYER. Failing that, call your state bar association and ask about “lo bono” (low fee) or pro bono (free) legal services in your area.

          You CAN get free. Don’t let him mindfuck you. Jesus.

          • An under used free resource- law schools.

            Third year students in the legal clinics will take cases and their supervising professors oversee and sign the pleadings.

            I was on the other end fighting against one of the students and she damn near killed me. Meaning she was kicking ass. Had the Eye of the Tiger.

            The students are not jaded yet. This is a good thing- they still believe in right and wrong. Billable hours are not their carrot. Principles are.

            There is a lot of competition for these 3L slots so get ready to plead your case. Go to every law school within a day’s drive . You have nothing to lose. Good Luck. 🍀👍🌺

            • YES!
              I have been mired in the divorce from hell for over TWO YEARS. I go to trial Monday.
              I hired a kid who just passed the bar and is in what equates to a residency program overseen by the University and the Dean of Ethics. I’m paying him $60/hr as opposed to my husband’s $350+. I didn’t want to go to trial but here we are.
              What Eco says about the newbies not being jaded yet is true. They are warriors with a different outlook and are eager to dig in to learn and prove themselves. I call mine Doogie Howser, Esq.
              I have had horrible representation and he is the greatest. Lack of experience can be compensated for and the fact that he is collaborating with others about my case, and being evaluated and overseen brings a level of accountability that I otherwise would not have with a Judge who could very well have my stbx’s high powered firm’s hand in his pockets.
              There is corruption and bias in the family court but the added layer may make the judge think twice knowing his decision will be scrutinized and even studied.
              I even love the fact that he looks young and unassuming – he may be able to disarm my husband’s barracuda into underestimating him.
              Good luck.

              • It is true!

                I just picture them in their small apartments surrounded by pizza boxes, legal pads and I believe they brainstorm the hell out of these cases. They are an untapped invaluable resource. I actually find them to be sharper than lawyers that have been practicing for many decades.

                You also make an excellent point in that they have faculty backing them up. If the Judge does something absolutely absurd- which happens often – he or she will have the wrath of several tenured law professor come down on their smug entitled asses. I have seen one come to court and drop a 16 inch pile of motions on opposing counsel’s desk.

                It’s a beautiful thing.

          • I called a Woman’s shelter for IC and was granted the legal advice of a lawyer on staff and then referred to a lawyer who would work for a reduced fee.

            It’s a place to start – they can offer assistance in all areas and get you moving forward!

        • ALLOWED???? Whoa there! He does not own you! He does not decide what you’re allowed! The LAW does! Marital money is YOUR money! That is the law! Crushedchump, if you need this explained to you, yiu need a lawyer more than anybody

        • As a stay at home mom, you do have your own money. It’s 1/2 of your assets.

          Interview the best lawyers in town, even if you can’t afford to hire them. Once they meet with you, he won’t be able to hire them, because they have previous knowledge of the case.

          I live in CA — the division of assets is clean — 50/50 from date of marriage until date of separation. The child support is based on a formula, driven by the amount of time they are with you.

          Your battle will be spousal support — your earning potential is low because of your lack of work history, never mind the opportunity cost of what you could be making, if you had pursued a career for the past 20, instead of investing in his.

          Stand firm on the spousal support — if you’re able to settle out of court, you can negotiate that it continues until his retirement, death or your remarriage. If it’s court ordered, it most likely will be indefinite, which leaves the door open down the road for both of you.

          I was initially outraged at the best I could hope for was 40%. How can we have an equal standard of living if he has 1.5 what I do? In the end I got 33% of his income until he retires, and he’s not allowed to retire early because of his obligation to me.

          Now that it’s resolved, if I make1/3 of what he does, then I’m on equal footing. I can live with that. And it will be oh, so good to be out in the working world again.

          • Really i do understand. I was in the same situation. 20 years. Blindsighted. No money of my own. My husband really really didnt want me to hire an attorney. Please take my advise, do whatever you have to do and get an attorney.

        • I didn’t have an attorney, but was savvy enough to do all the above-mentioned suggestions.
          I called Legal Services, attorneys with free consultations, asked friends that have been through it for advice, etc.
          Do NOT let him bully you.
          He wants out so badly, HE can pay for it, and keep paying for it as long as the law allows.
          That’s what I did with The Evil One— he wanted to be with Schmoopie so badly and be free if me, he signed off on all of my demands.
          Be mighty.
          We have your back.

        • I’m sorry Crushed, but ‘not allowed’ and ‘don’t have your own money’. He’s got you brainwashed. You have been the lynchpin of your family for decades, and if he’s a typical Cluster B (which he sounds like from his text) he’s been having an easy ride and you’ve been working your ass off. Go into your savings accounts and if they are miraculously untouched, transfer half into a safe account and go see some lawyers with that money of yours. Hugs

        • What the hell do you mean “not allowed” to hire a lawyer? No no no no no, that’s not how this goes at all. He doesn’t want anyone to advocate for you because it means that he’ll have to potentially give more in the divorce. Well fuck him, those are the consequences of cheating and discarding your family. This is not a joint decision-making process. YOU a get to decide what is right for YOU and your kids. He gave up the privilege of having a say in what you do or how you do it.

          You matter. You’re worth hiring someone to be your advocate. You have a voice and you deserve to use it. You are entitled your marital assets according to the law, not according to what he feels like giving you. Show him that you’re strong and not to be fucked with.

        • Crushed, I’ve been thinking about you as I’ve walked around the house, and I had to come back to say this. If there is any satisfaction to be found at all in the no-win shitstorms that our cheaters unleash on us, I guess it would be that they would look back on the carnage they caused and go, “Well fuck, that didn’t go the way I planned”. These idiots have a scenario in their mind when they plan all this (a symptom of their disordered, lazy thinking), that the chump will just roll over, give in to their every demand (but some, I think , find it more fun if we try to resist them and then they feel all cunning and smug that they managed to ‘outsmart’ us via channel-switching, sneakiness or outright aggressiveness) and they will be able to walk away into the sunset with all the money all the assets, all the sparkles into a fabulous new life, consequence- free. In my case particularly the OW had an image in her mind that I would leave in disgust, leaving cheater ensconced in the house for her to move right in, take over my life, and start spending all our money. I was an angry chump for the most part (it’s my mode rather than face the sadness) and fought back hard and fast, and she skedaddled pretty fast when she realised that her little scenario was being doused in a ice-cold bucket of reality where our assets would be split, I would tell everyone in our circle and our tight-knit hobby community what had been going on, and she wouldn’t get to sneak around for a certain amount of time after the split and then pretend that they had fallen in love after Cheater’s separation from sexless, angry wife. So, if nothing else, claw something back, and give them a hard, cold reality check, just to return the favour. Because he’s trying to bleed you dry, he’s not your friend. So protect yourself.

          • I’ve also been thinking about crushed chump all day today. Every single piece of advice you are receiving here is from people who have been there, who know better than anybody what you are up against, what your rights are, and what you need to do to exercise those rights and come out of this situation a winner. A winner with a wonderful new life, with financial support, free of abuse! The power you think he has over you is an ILLUSION. I’ve been there. I know! I know you are afraid of him. You don’t need to be! God I wish I had figured that out sooner. There are laws protecting us stay at home moms. For gods sakes, go talk to attorneys. Today!!

        • Hire a lawyer! He is going to screw you! You have been married 20 years! You don’t agree to anything. He may have hid money and assets from you. Start calling and explain your situation! Don’t dare agree or sign anything! He is not looking out for your best interest. Please listen to us!

        • During the consultation, tell the attorney your spouse has total control over the finances and is not providing any support for you and your children’s basic daily needs. An attorney can file an emergency motion for both a financial restraining order and for temporary support. Your husbands threats and bullying will no longer have power over you once the court is involved.

        • You must grow a backbone and hire an attorney asap. Payment will come from marital assets and I’m sure you have those after 20 years. You have rights and entitlements and you are not powerless here. It may feel like it but you are not. He is trying to manipulate you which he probably did your entire marriage. You have one chance to get what you financially deserve from this man and you must act on it now. Don’t tell him, just do it, please!!!!!

      • I totally agree. Mine did the same thing and pulled the “so you really think being a good mom is using all our money on lawyers instead of the kids college funds”. That one always got me thinking I should do mediation. As I sat in the meeting feeling railroaded the woman mediator (it was a man/woman Team doing it) said to me that I hadn’t said much and wanted to know if I had anything to add. I don’t know what happened but at that minute I said “well, it’s not as simple as he makes it sounds as there’s another person he has not mentioned who has been spending our money and since I can’t trust him, I am highly doubtful I can trust him to be honest in mediation”. His lips curled and I thought steam was going to come out of his ears like in the cartoons. I felt so good that I spoke up (although he made more threats when he got home) but the best was that the mediator called me later that day and told me how happy and proud she was that I spoke up and she knew how hard it was. When I told her that I was not going to continue with mediation she totally understood and told me that I was right to get an attorney and that mediation isn’t for everyone

    • Hi Trying for Mighty, I am going through the same process, just a month ahead of you. I posted on this forum as I was bussing in to town to our mediation session; with mediator and lawyers. I had a good cry before I went in to mediation. I dont think it went well. Have a back up person, As my friend said, who was my phone back up, “You dont need a mediator in there , in that room. You need an advocate.”.I refuse to see, speak to , have any form of contact with my STBX. I am way too skittish, wary, hurt, untrusting. And he is not a huge narcissist, just a small scale one I think. Anyway, what I have done , as I started to feel a little crazy after the session, was to delay the settlement, to give me time to think. My STBX also assumes a lot, as he is used to getting his way on the big issues.
      Best of luck, and listen to your gut. If it doesnt feel right, it isn’t.

    • I agree. Also, don’t get fished in by anything he might do to try to make you have an emotional reaction. If he gets indignant as though he can’t believe you aren’t doing what he wants, don’t take the bait.

      I have heard this is anything they do in front of mediators to try to make the chump look unreasonable. Do your best to stay as calm as possible and use neutral language. It is reasonable to ask for time to think things over. Don’t let him tempt you into tipping your hand.

      • “If he gets indignant as though he can’t believe you aren’t doing what he wants” then you know you are doing something right.

        Go into the session prepared for this, looking for this reaction. Then, when it happens, you can just smile inside and say to yourself “oh there it is, CN knows what they are talking about” rather than reacting to his indignation. I know I would start doubting myself in the face of the righteousness. Now you can just see it for the ridiculous manipulation it is.

        And yes, don’t sign anything without a lawyer to review. Any decent mediator will want both of you to take the agreement to your own lawyer.

    • Oh man! I did that and X overplayed his hand by having a temper tantrum in front of the the mediator and stalking out of the office. The mediator was kind and took the opportunity to tell me that the personality of X is not the type of personality that can mediate and to get a strong attorney. Cheaters are liars. You cannot mediate with a liar. Mediation is all about fairness but theses types will use the situation to continue to abuse you. Don’t do it. Get an attorney please! I had to borrow the retainer from a friend. I know it is more expensive but it is worth it.

      • Yep, exactly. I knew a woman once whose attorney gave her this exact advice about her request for a restraining order. He said it’s textbook. “He will try to make you look crazy. Remain completely calm. This will piss him off and he will act out in front of the judge, which is to our advantage.”

        Boy, was he right. The guy actually loudly shouted a threat to kill her and her unborn child, right in front of a judge!

        Some people really are honest to God stupid.

        • I guess we were both lucky with the level of disorder of our X’s;) Impulsive bullies do not do court well. In the divorce the judge kept looking over at X with a side eye…I glanced over and he looked like he was going to take off like a rocket. Red face, shaking slightly, jaw clenched. I was so happy that a room full of people, mostly strangers, got to see this behavior from him.

        • I accompanied my good friend as support
          ( and we brought my pit bull mother) to obtain a restraining order after her husband had pulled a gun on her after she caught him making preparations to marry a woman from Brazil. ( yep- while he was married to my friend)

          We practiced the night before regarding her remaining calm on the stand.

          She took the stand and was very composed and sad but just told the facts.

          Dumbass took the stand and tried to stay calm but quickly became irate. He then actually looked out into the court audience where my friend was sitting between me and my mother.

          He addressed her ( from the stand) “ I see you got new hair. . If you think that makes you look younger or hotter think again girl” snicker snort.

          -it was something to that effect – very demeaning and horrible. Cruel. Vile.

          My friend said nothing and my mother and I were shooting daggers at him but we said nothing either.

          His lawyer looked sick.

          My friend is African-American and I am white and there was some type of sub text about the hair thing that I was not getting but it was a low blow.

          But the female African-American judge got it. The minute dumbass made fun of her hair I saw the judge scowl. The energy changed like storm clouds rolling in with the promise of chaos.

          The judge just sat there like a stone while Dumbass lied

          That little bit of verbal abuse showed her who my friend had been dealing with all along. We got the restraining order and went to lunch and celebrated.

          That was the first shot over the bow of the long war which she did eventually win. He did marry his mail order bride from Brazil. I feel such pity for this woman as he works her like a slave a massive garden and makes her keep the house immaculate. He is a controlling abusive freak and she had no idea what she was getting into when she came to America.

          I can’t promise you a fairytale and that everything will work out just because you remain calm. You must be calm, wise and a bit sly to outwit the disordered.

          But they don’t have that self control- not when it counts.

          Their character will follow them like a leaking colostomy bag.

    • Trying for Mighty-
      DO NOT sign anything unless you have sat down with someone, preferably an attorney, to decide an equitable distribution. My ex wanted to “give” me a little money and us split the house. My best friend told me— fuck that, you go into mediation with a bottom line and to call her before I signed anything so she could talk some sense into me if needed. At the end of mediation, I received double what he was offering and all of the house. Mediation was exhausting and if I wouldn’t have had someone with clarity helping me through it, I would’ve just settled. Don’t settle! Mediate so that YOU can move on and not struggle financially. How much is all the destruction he caused worth? A fucking lot if you ask me. His sad pity party is about him— let this be about you. Re-visit the clusterfuck he created and get super pissed, don’t let him bully you! Please, just don’t.

      • +1000

        Ten years ago with OW#1 my Xhole refused to leave the house. He said “It is MINE” even though we are in a community property state and I earned a really good salary too. He would have had me and our teenage girls out in the street before he would choose the OW and leave on his own. Man-child. We didn’t divorce then and I chased the lying cheating unicorn for 10 more years until he poofed.

        With the divorce in 2017 and OW#2, I ended up getting 94% of the house value. I walked with about 60% of the total estate by grabbing future college and medical costs for the adult daughters as well as taking a bit bite for having to be the only one disposing of all the material items. Goes to show, they are stupid and selfish and you would do better to have mediation with a homeless guy in a tinfoil hat.

        You MUST get a lawyer!

      • I’m an attorney. I hired an attorney for my divorce and did none of my pleadings.

        I was not able to be a proper representative for myself at the time.

        Hire an attorney for you. You. You you.

        It’s about you. And if you don’t realize that you will be screwed but hey you would have been warned.

    • I’m sorry. It’s so overwhelming and debilitating. Hang in there. You can do this. Be HERE, reading and sharing and getting LOTS of support. Listen to CL. We’re here for you. It’s just tough tough stuff.

    • Crushed,

      Unless you wanted to rename yourself Double-Crushed, you must get an attorney. The words “cheater” and “mediation” together almost make my head explode. You CANNOT do mediation with someone who has lied to you (he’s a liar) and cheated on you (he’s a cheater) and then puts in ALL CAPS (COMMANDS you) not to get a lawyer. I almost screamed out loud when I read that – and I’m at work. You do have money. It is called marital assets for a reason – they belong to you both and that includes money. I have worked for attorneys most of my adult life and my jerk of an Ex tried to “order” me into mediation. We are talking about anger today? This was at a point when I was beaten down and close to suicide, but “mediation” was almost like a magic word that triggered rage when the Ex would say it because I was internalizing “he thinks I’m stupid.”

      Your soon to be Ex is trying to roll over you. You need a lawyer YESTERDAY. I discovered that my Ex had filed for divorce about 2 days before I knew he would try to have me served. I called an attorney the next day.

      Chumped, there is usually no fee for a consultation. You can interview attorneys. You can explain your situation. You will be surprised how many will help you and make their payment part of the settlement agreement – and your soon-to-be-Ex will have to bring the attorney’s (certified or cashier’s) check to court in order to finalize the divorce or will petition the court to advance a retainer out of marital funds. You need legal advice even if you ultimately decide to do mediation.

      ((HUGS)) to you and good luck.

    • We met w/ a mediator the day after DDay.
      It was already scheduled. In fact, we interviewed other mediators along the way. Fuck that shit. It was the same morning I had to ask if she was practicing safe sex. FUCK THAT.

      If you can’t sit across the table to discuss who gets that table, lawyer up. And I could not stand to look at her.

      We did do collaborative divorce. And thats kind of a mix. But I for sure had a lawyer.

    • I second the Chump Lady. You are there tomorrow hear the proposal and then go to an attorney with it. Your ex will try like hell to get you to sign, but DO NOT tomorrow.

      “I am here to hear your proposal and will get back to you with my response.” That’s it!

      • My now ex didn’t want me to lawyer up as he put it. Then he sent me a very long email and titled it Separation Agreement. It has lots of legalize verbiage in it and he started it by saying ‘I haven’t talked to anyone else about this! You and I can do this without lawyers’. Uh, right. That comment needs to now go to Cashmere’s post in the forums of Cheater says: We don’t need lawyers Translation: I can control you and screw you are financially too as long as we don’t bring in someone who knows I’m doing that and tells you this is my plan.

        See a lawyer!! Do not let him take advantage of you financially too.

        • Yeah he said that crap to me too. “Oh we don’t need lawyers. We can do this without paying lawyers”. Yeah fuck you asshole. You think I trust you now? I’m getting a fucking lawyer

    • Update: Went to mediation today. At stbx’s insistence, to see whether we could do without a lawyer. Guess what? Everything I told him the mediator also told him! Mediators are for those who can’t agree. But if we agree on the split of assets (and we do), my lawyer can draw up the papers, he can review them (or get an attorney to review them), and then my attorney goes to the court with them. He now accepts that you can’t do a divorce without at least one attorney–but he doesn’t like it.
      He claimed he couldn’t trust my attorney, but doesn’t want to hire one for himself. Cheap. The mediator actually said to him “Divorce is expensive.” (I thought: Consequences, asshole.) And then the mediator said mine had given me a good deal on the retainer.
      The upshot is that we’re going with my lawyer. I’m taking the agreed upon split of assets to her (the split I know is fair). She’ll do the paperwork.
      So: extra weeks and a wasted morning to prove to him that I was right all along, because he wouldn’t believe me.

  • I wish I was a bit more consistent with my feelings. Being super rational, I don’t think I minimize but I do seem to skip to the ‘I’m alright and not that broken’ … and sometimes some rage might be good for me.

  • I’m still furious. It’s getting better, but I still have very bad days, especially when I work on untangling the parts of the skein where I realize or uncover another way he mindfucked me and continues to try to. It doesn’t help that I am by nature a brooder when I’ve been done wrong.

    I’m especially furious I’ve the time I wasted. He was my second husband and I thought he was a Prince after being married to an abusive asshole.

    He was just another fucker in a different package.

    • Me too, Sunflower!

      You said it “just another fucker in a different package”. It was almost worse because he was so covert about his abuse and cheating. I didn’t see it….

      I will be ‘eyes wide open’ next time. I am working on that picker.

  • In many ways my story is like yours. EX Asshole left me at Christmas too. Not physically, but mentally. After I had planned a magical Christmas for his Mother who had major heart surgery and was in a recovery center, after I cooked a magical Christmas dinner and purchased many presents for him and his family with no help from him.

    I still remember that Christmas Day. Not a gift from him, not even a card. When I encouraged him to go to the recovery center where his Mother was at he did help carry in the food and presents but stood silently by while his Mother declared to me ~ Jodi, what is all this Shit? Shit? I said. What Shit? These are presents for you and a delicious home cooked meal. There were no thank you’s made.

    Later that day when we came back home I saw on his Mother’s facebook page how HER SON had made her Christmas in the recovery center magical. No mention of me. Just accolades for her SON.

    He did hug me later on the spur of the moment and say how I had made the day magical and thanked me. I asked why he didn’t even get me a card and the reply with dark shark eyes was, I.DON’T.KNOW…
    Chump me replied, well ~ I’m just glad you are still here and we are going to work on us.

    Little did I know he had the circus clown in the AA meetings he was attending and they were working on THEM. He moved out that following February for space to embrace his new sober life and said he needed space. I gave him that space only to find out after many lies he told me that he had been with the circus clown all along. I saw them together in his truck with her all over him and he had to admit they were an item.

    He filed for divorce on the grounds we couldn’t get along. Oh really? Is that why? LOL

    I found anger to be what got me thru it. Anger that he had lied to me, anger that he couldn’t just tell me he didn’t love me anymore, anger that I felt like a bag of trash left at the curb. But one day I realized, he may have left me like a bag of trash at the curb, but I don’t have to stay here. I replaced every caring emotion I had for him with anger. Yep, anger is the appropriate emotion for these bastards.

    You’ll be okay as long as you don’t let the anger turn into a KILL BILL for who in their right mind would want that? I certainly didn’t want to give up my life to live in a little cell…and he just wasn’t worth it.

    • Powerful post Jodi Lynch!
      YOU are way too good for your ex and all his tribe!
      Many many hugs to you and your kind kind heart!
      One day all your kind acts will be returned to you, how could they not!
      ❤️

  • Quite simply…awesome response CL. I am over 2years out and while the anger has cooled, I still have days where I wake up angry. I understand that awful frustration of not being able to get it out. And the pointlessness of spewing at the ex (no remorse or empathy) leaves you without an outlet. Friends and family burnout from hearing it, too. So, I either let it out alone in my car (who cares if the strangers driving by think I’m crazy) or I write it down. The last one always seems to help me. It gets it off my chest and I can then stop the words from playing on repeat in my head. Or I come here. This group will listen and better yet, understand.

    Anger isn’t bad. And it will start to fade as your life is filled with things not related to the ex.

    • I was once in a business deal with an unscrupulous person that made me so angry that I realized I was raving in my journal; I came to realize I was giving her too much real estate in my life and wrote that I would no longer put her there, and just ignored her and her actions thereafter. It was amazing how much calmer I was after that! But I had to come to my limits in my own time, and you will find that limit for yourself.

  • Stay tough. The anger is normal, as is every other emotion you will experience. And they will drive you to make positive changes in your life.

    And eventually, you will have to let go of those emotions (if they don’t dissipate on their own) because you’ll realize that they have served their purpose but can’t define you anymore. You’ll have a totally new identity, beyond all of this.

    It really is a day at a time. But each day without a cheater is better than a second with one.

  • I am so sorry that you are going through this, Anger is a positive emotion right now. It is better to angry then to drink alcohol and take pills like I did. Cheaters are cruel abusive pigs. Picking Christmas to tell you was just another form of abuse. He knew that the holiday would be hard for you in the future. Just like my stbx had divorce papers served to me on my birthday. My anger towards my husband and cousin(yup he screwed my cousin) has decreased. And be thankful he moved out. My husband as per the divorce papers will not move out until the divorce is final. Just another way to screw with me. Things will get better I promise.

  • Right time huh

    Jigsaw announced pregnancy plans with OW on my birthday: unsolicited and had to break into my bedroom whilst I was asleep to do so.

    • That’s insane and it’s worst for that baby. ‘You’re not a person you’re a tool for my triangulation.’

  • Very timely post. My STBXH dropped the ILYBNILWY on me on New Year’s at 3AM. He moved out February 3, just a few weeks after we brought our suicidal preteen home from the mental hospital and I found out I have thyroid cancer. I then entered the weeping on the floor, not eating, please come back to me phase. But now I think my antidepressants have started working and now I am feeling nothing but WHITE HOT RAGE. He claims it was only an emotional affair with a coworker, and that he needs to live somewhere else so he can work on himself. What a fucking tool. I had NO IDEA there was anything wrong. And the image management going on in fantastical! I fantasize about horrible things happening to him, like ass cancer. Thank you for giving me a place to vent my rage.

    • After promising dinner and a present Donkey went awol with Tootsie on our wedding anniversary. I guess that was the ‘present’. The assholes all seem to have such ‘class’ in common!

    • Consider his departure from your lives a gift to your depressed teen. If nothing else, hold onto that thought if you are ever even slightly tempted to take him back! Even if your kid right now sees Dad as the “good” parent, we know he’s not if he’s a lying cheater. If your teen is like my daughter was (also hospitalized for severe depression, at age 19), the depression could well have been aggravated by having had to interact with a controlling mindfucking narc parent. Your rage is justified, and it will help you get through cancer, too.

      • CHICKYNOT ,

        you are so right . never under estimate the “incongruent” words and behavior, the cognitive dissonance ,the effects it has on the unsuspecting spouse/family , the damage it does to the health and wellbeing of each family member ,is unconscionable , they truely are malignant narcissists, they have earned that label ………

    • Are you by any chance on Welbutrin? One of the major sides effects in women is anger and rage (so imagine when the anger and rage is thoroughly justified).

      Anyway, any lady chumps needing to choose an anti-depressant, I suggest Welbutrin. It converts sadness to rage, HUGE benefit for those who need righteous anger.

  • It’s hard to get to “it all worked out” when you are still in the shitstorm that is the aftermath of cheaters. Who wouldn’t be angry that they are forced to eat shit sandwiches?

    Our societies view of anger is that it’s dangerous, irrational, unsophisticated and associated with violence. Sure anger can get out of control, but people who recognize their anger and verbalize it, are often far less dangerous than those who don’t. Imagine having no warning signal that signaled to yourself or others that an issue needs attention; Violence would literally come out of nowhere.

    I view anger like this: when my children where younger I had to come up with something to let them know when I was reaching my mommy breaking point (without actually reaching it and unleashing it on them). I had to learn to spot my emotions as soon as they started to brew. I would give them a verbal “one”, that let them know I was entering the territory of becoming angry and were headed toward punishment. If there wasn’t a shift in behavior, they got a verbal “two”, which singled their last chance to make a change before there were consequences. Once I said “3” consequences were handed down. This allowed me to avoid getting to a point where “I” was out of control. To do this, I had to recognize my own anger and have a method to communicate it. In that way anger was predictable, there was warning and it was acknowledged. I can’t imagine any mental health professional telling me acknowledging my anger in that manner is “bad”.

    So why do we tell adults who are rightfully angry to suppress their anger? I don’t think suppressing anger is the answer. It’s what you do with the anger that is important. Anger is a warning, it’s motivating and it is a catalyst for change.

    When we see the spouse who throws their cheaters belongings in the front yard, and hangs a sheet on the porch with crude lettering declaring them a cheater, we are quick to judge them unsophisticated, bitter, whatever. This display of anger is less likely to end in violence (not that I’m promoting doing this) than the spouse who pretends it’s all okay and then reaches a breaking point.

    There are certainly social (and potentially legal) consequences for how one chooses to display their anger, but anger in itself is not a bad emotion.

    • Women,in particular, feel pressure to be gracious and ladylike. And i am gracious and ladylike. But im not going to even pretend my x and the ow are normal people. They are cutthroat guttersnipes. I might as well invite a wolverine to a teaparty and expect it to have lovely manners. It is very important to know just what you are dealing with. If other people don’t get it oh well.

      • This is so true, so many people have told me the best thing I can do is retain my dignity, not react etc. It’s all true but not easy to do when you’re burning up with anger and are expected be ladylike and serene. It’s funny that fuckface is allowed to act on whatever emotions he feels – lust, greed, cowardice etc and not once has he been chastised for a lack of dignity!

        • I wanted to wrangle that fucker to the ground and tattoo i’m a deadbeat dad on his forehead. I had to get real though and think about what i could actually do to this pos. Work everyday on practical legal things. Prepare to take his ass down.

        • “Retain your dignity” used to piss me the F-off!

          Why is MY dignity in question? Simply another shift of blame …. “it’s not my behavior, it’s your response to it!”

          Once I realized half the crap he did was to bait me into a response, I got a little more clarity on the power my responses gave him if I responded the way he set me up to respond. I definitely learned my sense of control comes from how I choose to respond.

  • I remember talking to my attorneys secretary and blubbering on about something. She finally gave me a bit of advice. She told me I needed to get angry and use that anger to get a good settlement! My head wasn’t on straight and I wanted to be fair! She told me with my attitude that he would eat me alive if I didn’t wake up and get good and pissed about what he had done! She was right. Anger isn’t a bad thing, but a useful tool at times. Anger is normal under these circumstances!

  • The possibility exists that this idiot might circle back around someday with some sad sack scenario about what a huge mistake it was to lose you. It happened to me during his marriage #3 a few years post-divorce. Sure didn’t see that coming, but I’ve since learned that it’s a common cake-hunting scenario.

    The anger you feel now will serve you well if that ever arises. That’s just a side note, and just one example of how it can be channeled in a useful way.

    • Amiisfree- mine was all nice before mediation and said he was nervous about his contempt hearing for not paying spousal support (all this said to my daughter who has some pretty serious mental health issues). He even told her that he missed me. About two weeks after mediation, I got a “nice” email telling me how he wish he’d never met me and that I’m a terrible mother and he hopes I get my karma (a partner that is faithful? Sure, I’ll take it). Don’t trust them- their new nice is simply to have their consequences be less.

    • Oh, they do circle back. My Exhole had the audacity to contact me (thank you ever so much, ex sil, for giving him my number *sigh*) and attempt to cry on my shoulder about how his marriage to Owife had just imploded. He got caught cheating again so either she did too or he simply accused her of it. I didn’t ask him. I just said “Why, of all people, would you think I would be sympathetic to you blowing up your 2nd marriage? Did no one else want to comfort you because you’ve done it before and pulled the same sad sack act yet again? You want to be friends? Hahahahahaha hahahaha hahahaha . I hope she takes you for every penny.” *click*

      I was livid for a few days after that. But I also realised just how alone he would have to be to even think of calling me. That NOBODY was buying his B.S. anymore. Teehee indeed.

      • Ooooh, I am jealous that you had a view of the karma bus as it whacked him hard. And HE was at the wheel of his own destruction.

        Cool, bummer, wow, huh

        I have to remember those words if my XHole tries to cry sad sausage one day. Got fired? Bummer. Finally heard from one of our daughters? Cool. Going off to another country for work? Wow. So sorry for being such a jackass? Huh.

  • Let them eat cake while we eat shit – Lol!!! We all get angry….hell, at times I still am angry and we’ve been divorced for 4 years now. It’s gotten better though. Learn the sweet taste of the shit sandwich and let that emotion fuel your FREEDOM and a BETTER LIFE! Also, make sure you start learning the red flags so you see them in your future relationships so you can decipher between good and bad relationships. That is a lesson I am learning after Narc number 2 just recently presented me shit sandwich numero dos. Eat the shit and be greatful to be rid of the shitty person in your life. Hugs CN!

  • She isn’t (yet) moving in w/ FuckFace, but she decided kill the marriage. I held on to the threads till the very end.

    I told my stbxw in a custody meeting that I’m using my anger to get through this mess. And I got a look of surprise, liked I dropped a bomb or something. But who doesn’t?

    Anger was the horse I rode in on. It breathed fire, was midnight black and tall.

    It’s amazing to be so aware of my emotions b/c I can also now start to lay that burden down.

    I’ve signed all the paper work. I don’t want or have to stay angry & bitter. But I sure needed it to get through the fire.

    Now I can stand being in a room with her. I’ve dabbled in being “helpful” as she moves out.

    True revenge is joyfullness. I’m headed in that direction, but couldn’t do it without anger.

  • I actually *enjoy* my anger. It feels really good to quietly whisper my favorite line under my breath (“fuck you, you fucking fuck”) when ex is being a colossal dick.

    I was raised that being angry was somehow a flaw and expressing it was a sin.

    OhHellNo! It feels SO GOOD to vent when I need to. Anger is empowering, which most of us Chumps really NEED because we tend to spackle, dance the pick-me dance, and puff like mad on the hopium pipe.

    {and here I will insert my eternal gratitude to CL for giving us the words that so perfectly express our chumpy mental and emotional choreography}

    Fuck that shit! This Christian lady has NO ISSUE with letting my anger allow me to curse like a sailor at all the injustice done to me and my kids by their sperm donor of a father.

    Let that anger propel you into your new life, GiGi. Meh will come soon enough.

    (Meh = No longer giving a fucking fuck. Oh what joy, knowing the possibilities of the eff-word are never-ending.)

    OhHellNo

  • I’ll echo what the others have said. Anger is good. You have every right and then some just like the rest of us to be angry. “How Dare They!”.

    The anger helps propel us through the grief and helps power us through the things that need to be done.

    @GoodBye_Ginger – One thing you can be grateful (?) for is that unlike some of this, this happened fairly early. For others like me it was after 26 years of what I thought was a decent enough marriage with 2 grown kids and all the accompanying stuff.

    One thing that I wanted to touch on though was how cheaters seem to have a knack for tainting important places and times. In my case it was on what was supposed to be a romantic vacation in Mexico that she insisted on. While we were there she gave me the “I’m leaving and there’s nothing you can do about it” speech while blind drunk. She confirmed it two days later (she didn’t seem to remember the next day) when we were back in Canada on my birthday. So – hurray! An entire country and my own birthday tainted.

    I presume it’s the same for others – since cheaters seem to be some sort of kit / Ikea construction – that Mme YogaPants would always wait for when I was vulnerable to drop bombs etc. Like telling me that no – at 50 she wasn’t pregnant with her lover’s child while in a public change room at a clothing store. Or telling me while I was fresh out of the shower standing there naked that she was spending the night with him and I needed to look after her dog (class act? No).

    Anger is good. Remembering that they suck is important because anger does fade and come in waves. That’s one reason why almost 2 years out I still come here to remind myself that I need to build a life separate from her.

    One thing she was very upset and worried about was that I would hate her. As she told me, hate is a hair’s breadth away from love. Unlike some here, no I don’t and never have. I’m hurt, angry and have no respect for her.

    Yes – I’ve been tempted to be all “nuclear” and destroy her reputation but you know what? I didn’t need to and by being relatively low key have been able to maintain my dignity. This is despite occasional posts I make on social media that make it clear what she has done.

    So – chin up – chest out – lawyer up if you haven’t already. You have a Nation behind you.

    BT

    • BT – in the end having your dignity is important. Doesn’t matter what others think. If you feel like good about yourself it will carry a long way.

    • I’m still considering the nuclear option, BT, and am slowly building my arsenal, just in case. I have the MOW’s husband’s contact info, some journal entries my cheater made about women the OW knew nothing about, and am considering taking a very artful nude photo of myself to send to OW and her husband, since my cheater has one of her. The anger simmering beneath my skin absolutely wants to destroy BOTH of their reputations.

      IF cheater’s remorse turns out to be anything less than real, I intend to do everything I can to make his transition to the OW (if that happens) as difficult for the two of them as possible.

      This isn’t my first rodeo. I have eaten shit sandwiches in a very dignified fashion before, and have learned I really don’t like them….but, from this point on, am very willing to serve them up to the people who NEED to eat them. Along with a side of truth serum.

  • You wasted enough time on this guy but your 30s will not have to end with a lying sad ass pathetic excuse for a husband. What you felt for him was true and genuine. So be angry. Your fucking heart was shattered. But you’ll pick up the pieces. Even if it takes time. Two years later it still pisses me off. I just don’t think about it as often now. When it was fresh, believe me i didn’t think i had so much rage in me. This kind of thing will drive you crazy. It’s ok. You’re normal. What’s not normal is to let this ass face ruin any more of your life. You will be ok. You be more than ok.

    • “You wasted enough time on this guy but your 30s will not have to end with a lying sad ass pathetic excuse for a husband.”
      I like this. I got married in my 20s, divorced at 38, and I will start my 40s free of that burden. (I’m 39 now.) So maybe I’ll approach my 40th birthday with that mentality: that it is a clean fresh decade that no Cheater will ruin for me!

        • Love can have that effect as we know. I lost my 30s to that assface. Got divorced at 40 and here i am two years later. I feel young as ever, the gym helps a lot. I’m doing things that i want. Even dating but At my own pace. Things aren’t perfect but When is it ever. 13 years as a chump – stay strong. Keep your head up

  • I do think the anger lessens in intensity. I think over time rage turns to an eye roll…we see that they are just pathetic.
    I’ve said this before. I used to see my ex was calling and it would give me the shakes and a pit in my stomach and now if he calls I just say to myself “ugh! Wtf does he want??”……proceed to voicemail.
    I think now I’m more regretting within myself that I stayed as long as I did.
    I love my life but I would love some karma for them. If somebody burnt down your house, they would go to jail….pay for their crime. These disordered, entitled assholes burn down your family…..and just ride off into the sunset, then have tbe audacity to tell everybody YOU burnt it down.It’s enough to drive a person mad.
    I would LOVE the moment where his camp realizes that perhaps I wasn’t crazy or awful and they really just are assholes.
    If it happened it would just be the cherry on top….the life I have now is the sundae.
    I think everybody has their meh….mine involves my continued road to mental and physical well being, the love and respect of my sweet non cheating boyfriend and kids, and hearing somewhere through the grapevine that his wonderful schmoopie gave him an std and a love child and then dumped him and took the other half of his shit.
    I’ll continue to work on my zen…..

    • Paintwindow – everything you said – I’ve felt every bit of it and still feel it. I still wish for karma but if it doesn’t happen, oh well. And i love that now you just see him As a pathetic loser that he is. We wore blinders of love before. Now we see more clearly. 😀

  • “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to……..suffering” – this is from Yoda.

    But in my experience in infidelity land, it’s more like: “anger leads to strength, and strength leads to…….indifference.”

    I know it’s easier said than done (we all went through it), but you just need to get out of the morass of sadness and pity and push yourself through the spectrum of more fiery emotions. Once you get through those, you finally get to indifference (aka meh). But you can’t get there unless you first stand up and tell this guy that the divorce is going to go the way you want it to, at the rate you want it to, and how you want it to.

  • Oh the cycles of emotions we go through! I am still angry that I wasted so much time, energy, and money on a truly disordered individual. Angry that I fell for the con. Angry that I am a single parent again. Angry that he has the balls to contact me asking for visitation with our son despite the protective order and the divorce decree stating he has no right to visitation. And most of all angry that I have to explain to my 5 year old that daddy just wasn’t ready to be a daddy and that’s why he isn’t around.

    But as CL says, it’s the anger that propels us forward! It’s the anger that gave me the strength to get the fuck out and protect my son. I plan to stay angry so I don’t forget who he is. I plan to stay angry to fight for my son’s well being and safety.

    There is nothing wrong with anger or any of the feelings we cycle thru. It’s all part of healing and being mighty! Thank you Chump Lady and CN for teaching me this!

  • Anger will keep you strong. Anger is the fire burning in your soul and propelling you into action. It is righteous anger. We get angry when people (often unintentionally) hurt us. Why shouldn’t we get angry when the most important person in our lives willfully hurt us?

    Some days are easier than others. The anger lies dormant. Some days are more difficult, and the anger draws you in again. Anger is part of the healing process. The most important thing is using the anger to your advantage and them moving forward. The anger won’t ever go away, but it won’t control you either.

    As CL says, being angry shows you cared. Use that anger and moved forward. Best wishes.

  • I remember all too well the all-consuming anger at the realization of how I had been so cruelly and unfairly used by my ex as his “wife appliance” and “whipping boy” for decades. That anger was what motivated me to get him out of my life AND out of my mind.

    You were kept in the dark and deeply hurt by someone you trusted and loved. Your eyes are wide open now. Anger is a valid reaction and it’s NORMAL. That anger is letting you know that there is still work to be done. Your brain is still processing your emotions. Let it be your propeller to move forward in your cheater-free life. When your divorce is final, you then can truly focus on healing yourself and regaining your footing.

    The anger will recede. In the meantime, find a PRIVATE outlet for it – punch the stuffing out of a pillow, get a dart board, drive to a remote location where you can scream and curse at the top of your lungs in your car, etc. When you’re at work and find yourself preoccupied with the mental side of it, take some deep breaths and tell yourself that you will address the anger later. I know it’s hard to do, but take it one step at a time. You will get through it!

    And what is with pathology of these fuckwits dropping their bombs on holidays and anniversaries?!

    • Narc’s love to ruin holidays, plain and simple! I think it is because holidays take the focus away from them, so to get attention they stir up shit. They are sick in the head!!! Every holiday with my narc ex was filled with drama. I didn’t see it until he was out if the picture. I just had the best Easter weekend with my son, filled with fun and no drama.

  • Feel it. Don’t stuff it down.

    Feel it, and be uncomfortable.

    It will pass a lot sooner that way.

    And on the way, it will motivate you to take proper actions to protect yourself, your assets, and your family.

    In time – one happy Tuesday – you will reach the blessed state of Meh.

    But not yet. Give yourself time.

  • He did NOT know her for only a few weeks… take a little relief in that. He did NOT throw you to the curb for a few weeks’ dalliance with her; his man-whoring has been going on for a LONG time. Take his number of months and stretch it to the entirety of his adult life.

    He’s a coward, that’s all. I’m sure the “long-suffering” OW *insisted* that he be done with you by Christmas and he just barely made it to her Christmas Eve yule-log and whore-nog party. Rather than ball up and be straight with you, like an adult, he tucked tail, yelped of his angst and this being the plan all along, and trotted off to the home-wrecking hostess.

    Crumple up your idea of him being a sane, responsible, loving adult and know – KNOW – it was an act. You don’t have to drag that asshole through life anymore. You don’t have to pretend he’s pulling his weight. You don’t have to wonder what his family is REALLY thinking while they smile and whisper over your shoulder at family get-togethers.

    You’re free of it all… let your anger propel you into a better life!

    • Totally agree about OW giving him a deadline date. Also agree that the sleazy affair was much longer than a few weeks.

    • It’s also possible it was someone else 18 months ago and he has since moved on to the new and improved Schmoopie (in his head). He’s riding the high of new pussy.

  • 30 is more than enough time to recover from The Mistake.

    Fix your picker (what was it about him that attracted you? What glaring signs did you overlook? In what ways did you ignore his selfishness?) and don’t fall for abuse again. Remember, 7.2 out of every 10 men don’t cheat.

  • Anger is the most productive tool there is. Hang on to it as long as you need to to get the job done. Use it as a laser beam to keep you focused at the job at hand which is SAVING YOURSELF AND GETTING EVERYTHING TO WHICH YOU ARE ENTITLED. Anger made me pick myself up off the floor and get a lawyer, do a deep index data search on the computer my now-ex had been using to uncover all his nefarious and secret business dealings (also more women he had been fooling with) and get the upper hand in my divorce. My divorce was EXPENSIVE, to the tune of 22K (and there were no children involved!), but there were a LOT of assets involved and ANGER ensured i got my half instead of laying down like a doormat and taking whatever was dished out by my ex.
    Thats been 3 years ago and now I am happy as can be, my businesses are thriving, and I am in a relationship with a Very Kind Man.
    And my ex? Broke as a joke in another country (he never was good with money. or business. That was all me) and suffering from heart failure as the result of using IV drugs in his younger years. He’s apparently trying to sell a piece of property to get a heart transplant in Nicaragua. Oh well, karma is a bitch.
    Schadenfreude isn’t a pretty emotion but right now I am experiencing it (I recently found out about his heart condition)

  • Anger propelled me to get myself together, and get out the door with as much of my stuff as I could, and what I needed to keep my kids safe.
    Grief allowed me to process all that had happened, work on fixing my picker, and to realize that part of my life was over, and a new beginning was going to be better than continuing to live in the awful place I was living when it all unraveled.
    I did not have to seek revenge, because I realized at some point that I could change, but my 2 Ex’s could not. In the years that have passed, I have put my life back together, and I am much better off. My son’s have grown into men, and have seen the results of making bad choices in their father and step-father’s lives. Their dad has had a mild stroke, is living in a home with a big mortgage, is married to a much younger toxic Christian woman who has rages and who tries to drive deep wedges between him and his sons. Their step-dad has been through two other wives ( I am not sure, but I think his count may be 6 or 7 now, and he isn’t 70 yet) and currently lives in a RV park, and does custodial work, because he has no retirement beyond a very low social security check. These men could have had a comfortable life, and could have been in a much better financial place for their senior years — but because they continued to make shallow choices, based on immediate gratification and lust, they now have virtually nothing, and they DID THIS TO THEMSELVES. All the schemes and all the plots did not work out, because they did not have the character needed to build a foundation . Their lives will blow away like sand in the wind, and when they are gone, they will not be missed. That is the legacy they chose.

    I now live in gratitude — because I was able to survive and rebuild my life. I’ve always heard that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I live that truth, everyday.

  • I know why she feels bad for being angry, it’s because in the past, when her cheater husband displayed weird, unacceptable and abusive behavior, she likely became even more submissive, rather than actually getting angry which should have been the proper response to being violated. I see it happen so often with my friends who date assholes. Rather than getting angry, when their man treats them like crap, these women get even more submissive.

    I think anger is likely a feeling she isn’t used to having. But anger is essential and a great self-protective mechanism. So long as it isn’t too extreme and irrational, true anger helps us fight the good fight and it moves us into a healthier place of love. I would let that anger stay so long as it needs to. It’s a very powerful energy. Heck, I was angry for YEARS at my asshole parents, who were Narcissists and my mom being a Malignant Narcissist and for the years of torture and abuse they made me suffer through. But it sure motivated me to seek help and get out of my F-ed family system and look out for myself.

  • CL’s comment on anger makes me think of a scene from Netflix’s Grace and Frankie (and if you haven’t watched, you should!) Grace asks Frankie why she isn’t angry at their husbands’ affair and subsequent divorces and Frankie responds something like “Angry is what you do Grace, not me.” Grace presses further saying “How can you not be angry?” and Frankie responds simply, “Because I am heartbroken.” Very very sad scene and one that has stayed with me. I think it is good to be angry. I have flashes of VERY justifiable anger but I still struggle with heartbroken. Yes, Cheater is an ass and OW is a trailer park gold digging bimbo with fake boobs BUT he left me, his wife of 37 years, for the OW and of course I am heartbroken that the man I loved, father of our child, person I lived with and shared memories with for all this time left me. I see “anger” as my goal. Embrace the anger. It means you have survived the heartbroken stage.

    • “Grace and Frankie” has a gender problem. Can you imagine this show if the shoes were on the other feet? Two men whose wives carried on a long lesbian love affair supporting their wives the way Grace and Frankie do? Going into their ex-wives new home to help one of their wives who has had a heart attack? No. Of course you can’t. Because men would not stick around and “help” their ex-wives now lesbians. Only women would be such chumps.

    • I am also still in heartbroken stage after 27 years of marriage and 10 months since D-Day, so I know how you feel. Looking forward to angry and hoping to move on to indifference after that. I guess its a long process.

  • I think if you were just slightly annoyed you’d have something ”wrong” with you or be mid nervous breakdown. Righteous rage would seem to fit being blindsided on Christmas Eve, being financially fucked over, humiliated, lied to AND lied about. I mean, even one of those things would send me into full melt down!

    You have been betrayed and discarded by someone who led you to feel you had a future and children waiting with him. That’s a good reason to be full-on pissed. Good news though, you DIDN’T have children with him, so the day will come when you need never hear or think of him again ever. The new twu wuv (the one who won the guy who quite openly says he doesn’t feel bad at all about betraying his wife and dumping her on Christmas Eve… alarm bells, anyone?) can maybe be blessed with that. And I will foretell that not too terribly long from now SHE will be maligned to his family, she will be lied to and used and betrayed as you were, but that won’t be of any concern to you because you will be off living your best life.

    So be livid. Get a really good therapist to process what’s happening to you and hit him financially, as hard as you possibly can. People like this only really hurt in the wallet.

  • Hi, Letter writer here! thanks so much for posting this and thanks for all the replies. It’s really good to know I’m not alone in my scary anger and I can’t overstate how much this website has helped me.

  • Anger is really motivating me, at the moment. I still grovel in the “how fucking frustrating that this life wasn’t one he chose to participate in” but I also am using that rage to propel me moving forward to understanding he is just a twat. DD was at the beginning of January and I did the humiliating pick me dance and untangled all of his fucked upness until I let anger come in.

    Once that came in, I started to protect myself. Sometimes clumsily, sometimes drunk, but goddamn it, I love anger. It gives you the strength to start saying ENOUGH. Cue Jennifer Lopez movie.

    Keep that anger going. It is serving a function. WHEN it’s no longer needed, you will let it go.

  • Is it normal to be angry? After what he did to you to it would be abnormal not to be angry. I hope you have a kick ass lawyer to help you channel that anger. Also, don’t let him or anyone invalidate your anger as wrong or irrational in any way. You have a right to it.

  • Yes anger is a good thing to propel us into doing the right thing for US. After 2 years divorced & a 34 year marriage I’m still angry. The devastation & humiliation of what they did to us is something we never expected.

    Angry is better for me than sobbing, ruminating of what I lost. Anyone that can treat us so badly is not what we deserved.

    Just be glad you didn’t waste half of your life living with narcissistic who had ice water in his veins.
    Your still young enough to find a decent many who will love & respect you.

    ((HUGS)) ❤️

  • “my greatest gifts could never have been possible without my greatest losses”… PREACH! There is hope, happiness, life, and love after DDay. Mine was Dec 19, 2016 and I’m at Meh. You’ll get there too! <3

  • Anger/Rage is completely appropriate after betrayal. It propels you into action, and will emotionally detach you from the fuckwit the way nothing else will.

    About 3 months after D-day began my descent into the deepest, darkest rage I have ever felt in my life. It was ever-present. My neighbors thought I needed a padded room, I’m sure, because I would have ‘conversations’ with X while walking the dogs in which 65% of the words were ones-you-can’t-say-on-TV. I worried that the rage would envelope me, so I imagined it as a hurdy-gurdy monkey who sat on my shoulder spitting and hissing and throwing peanuts at people. He was such a constant companion, I imagined Rage Monkey occupying my guest bedroom (he needed all that space). Many months later, I noticed that some days, Rage Monkey was silent for an hour, then two. Sometimes he would even feed me peanuts.

    Rage Monkey sometimes returns on behalf of other chumps that I think are getting shafted by their cheaters, but rarely makes an occurrence for my benefit anymore. I don’t need him; Rage Monkey allowed me to fully detach emotionally from my X. I am still morally indignant at what my X did, but that is an abstracted emotion and no longer personal to what X did *to me.*

    Channel your rage into emotional detachment, a good settlement, and a significantly better post-cheater life.

    • Rage Monkey. I’m dead. 🐒

      I am taking this idea and using it to help me! Thank you for sharing, and for making me laugh.

    • Lol. Yes, I definitely gave my dog an earful for many hours a day as I was staying out of the house when my ex was home as much as possible, not to mention MAD AS HELL but trying to stay put for 6 years to get my son through high school. The dog is happy to report that I only made it 2 years and walks are much more pleasant affairs now. Rage Monkey sounds like a great name for a punk rock band!!!

    • Oh yea, the “conversations”!!!!! When I was going through the rage stage, mine were academy award winning. And they almost always ended with a sarcastic GTFOH. He was already out, mind you, but, oh boy, I undressed that fucker with raging rants in the privacy of my own home (no dog to walk).

    • Rage Monkey, LOVE it!!!
      I didn’t have a dog back then, only DD home. I spent many nights telling The Evil One off here within these four walls.
      Then one night, I got my softball bat out, dusted it off, went outside and beat my compost heap down into the ground, crying and cursing at him for all the shit I felt towards him. It was releasing and helpful.
      Rage can be a powerful ally. It was for me.

  • My ex didn’t screw me financially (I might even go so far as to say he was generous), he didn’t go around saying bad things about me to friends and family (although he must have said something bad about me to the Schmoopies to make them think it was ok to fuck my husband) he still makes an effort to be a Dad to his kids, he is generally “nicer” to me now than he was when we were married, and he was cordial to the guy I am dating when they met the other day when ex came to get the kids. I am still angry, however. Six plus months post divorce, 18 months post move out I am still angry. I am angry that he chose to tear our family apart over a selfish, self-centered, home wrecking slut. I am angry that he is trying to convince everyone that she is a sweet wonderful woman and a good person. He wants me to accept their relationship and be openly cordial to her. All of the “niceness” is just an act to make me think he is a reasonable person and I am irrational for not being willing to embrace his relationship with Schmoopie. I have told him that the best I can do is ignore her existence as much as possible and avoid bringing up her existence with the kids. The alternative is clawing Schmoopies eyes out and telling the kids what a selfish self-centered bitch she really is behind that ever so charming façade. This doesn’t suit ex, however, who wants me to think I am being bitter and irrational for not being cordial towards Schmoopie whenever he wants to put her in my face (when I am trying so hard to avoid her). He says he was cordial, friendly even, towards the guy I am dating. This is a false equivalency and he knows it. I told him that I am not going to compromise my values and morals to suite him. If she weren’t the woman who conspired with him to tear my family apart then absolutely I would be as cordial and friendly towards her as she was willing to accept, but she is the woman who screwed us all over and I want nothing to do with her. It would be irrational for me to not feel that way and ex is an insensitive idiot for even suggesting otherwise. If we can’t sit together or even acknowledge each other at kid events because he wants to bring the bitch that’s on him. We just had this conversation yesterday so my anger has boiled up again.

    • Don’t play his game. She had no respect for you or your children. He is still trying to. Control the situation.

    • I think your anger is misdirected. OW is just the person your husband slept with. He’s the crappy person that slept with somebody else after making those pesky marriage vows. Doesn’t matter if he’s nice now, or he’s cordial now … he’s the POS that betrayed you then and forever changed your children’s definition of family. That doesn’t mean she get’s a free pass either.
      In CL’s words…”grey rock” his ass. You have no moral obligation to interact with him on any level other than custody, finance and health issues for your children.

      • It’s more like I am angry at him for trying to shove her down everybody’s throats including mine. I am mad at him for trying to convince people that their relationship is normal and good. He would love for me to encourage the kids to like her because it would make his job easier. Not going to happen. Of course I still think she is a pos. So is he, but he is also the kids Dad. She is an interloper in our family. He opened the door and she entered where she didn’t belong. As for ex wanting us to all get along, I don’t think she wants to be around me any more than I want to be around her so she actually benefits from my refusal to acknowledge her existence. Ex is the only one who doesn’t like it. When he doesn’t bring her up, being cordial with him does facilitate coordinating kid schedules, child support, upcoming college tuition, 2017 taxes when we had shared deductions, etc. I expect it will be mostly NC once the kids are out of the house but we have a few years yet.

        • Maybe people used to think he was a good guy but those days are gone. People know hes a piece of shit. They are usually just too polite to say it.

          • And he just wants to control you still anyway he can. He needs you to make himself appear more valuable. Don’t let him do it!

        • I know what you mean.
          Three years now, and I have yet to even be introduced to the OW. he claims that he met her after he moved out, but I know otherwise.
          I have no desire whatsoever to be around them, ever.
          He of course acts like I’m just a bitter bitch that can’t get over it.
          Whatever, douchebag

    • You’ve summed up my husband. Not a complete narc, just narc tendencies. But, I have realized that when he is being “reasonable” or “nicey-nice,” then there is something he wants. Don’t know what it is usually, but I am aware and be sure to be on the lookout. Is he wanting me to agree to something? Is he hoping for my help about something? Is he trying to save face in front of someone?

      I think that his latest niceness is related to two goals: (1) he just admitted to his family that he is hanging out with the OW “sometimes”. He has denied having anything to do with her since he left just after Christmas and claims that he had no contact with her for three months leading up to the holidays. His family knows he’s lying but he thinks he has them convinced of his “truth.” Being nice to me helps him show his family how we’re on good terms and that he harbours no ill-will and isn’t trying to destroy me. Meanwhile, he’s just trying to do image management by providing buffer time between leaving me and bringing her into the picture. And, (2) he’s hoping I will agree accommodate a revised summer work schedule that he hopes to switch into for July and August. It will give him more long weekends with the kids throughout the summer every other weekend. But, it will give him the alternate weekends free to go to the OW’s family cottage. The drive is a bit much to do if you only have a two day weekend, but if you’ve got a 3 or 4 day weekend, then woohoo. I don’t know that I feel like being so amenable, especially when I’m concerned that he’ll try to bring her into the kids lives during one of these weekends. If so, I want to limit the amount of contact time.

      Blind rage hit me for the first time on Monday. I nearly gagged on it, got barely more than a few hours sleep. The scenes I imagined almost scared me. I felt like I might be a bit unhinged. Tuesday put things into perspective and I’m feeling that it’s more under control, as in I feel the anger but it’s not so all consuming. I don’t feel like beating my husband to a pulp with a pipe anymore and tracking the OW down and setting her on fire (alright that was my most extreme fantasy and it didn’t last long – no more super crazy thoughts since then.

    • Your situation sounds a lot like mine. I call it my STBX’s “public relations tour”, trying to repair his damaged image with friends/family and constantly telling me how nice he’s been to me through D-Day and divorce. It’s more manipulation. Trying to make himself look good and you look unreasonable. Don’t fall for it. You have every reason to hate that bitch and you should. He couldn’t have done this alone, she was a fully participating part of it.

  • Ginger,

    Don’t worry about your anger. It is indeed a normal, natural thing. And it will pass.

    When it happened to me, I worried that I wasn’t angry enough. I was too passive, defeated, afraid, broken. I wished I had the fury that you have. Channel it, use it to your advantage.

    I do think your response is healthier. Don’t be ashamed of what you’re feeling.

  • Anger is fuel. Anger says “Get a lawyer and suit up.” EVERYBODY who goes through this initially feels that fear, self-pity, and shock. My advice though, is you’ve got plenty of time to mourn the whole thing, but after D-day is when you need to stuff that down and protect yourself. If you expect your cheating spouse to have your best interests at heart, think again.

    It’s hard to grasp at first, but your cheater looks at you like a piñata. How many whacks does it take to get what I want? A lot of the narcy ones get off on your pain. Don’t give them a fucking thing.

    Do not lay down on the ground and expect they will avoid running over you. This was a person who allegedly made a promise to you. You’re spouse is supposed to be your go-to. That one person you can trust above all others. When they destroy that, they are showing you what you really mean to them. Act accordingly. You don’t owe them shit.

  • He is lazy and cruel on top of being a lying cheater!!?? GG, you are the winner. Lose a cruel, lazy ass, cheating SOB gain a life.

  • On the NYE thing, I don’t know what it is about these folks where holidays and special occasions trigger them to start the discard process. I would think with a normal person it would be the exact opposite, but then again, we’re talking about some f-ed up people.

    I got the ILYBINILWY speech while on vacation with our family about 600 miles away from home. Nowhere to run, nobody to talk to, nowhere to hide, no reasons why. She then went on to buy her married BF a souvenir while me and the kids waited outside in the car. And she can’t understand why I don’t want to be friends with her anymore.

    I also know a scumbag guy that cheated for years and decided to move out on his wife on Mother’s Day. Why? Seriously, why? What does he get out of that? What does anyone get out of that?

    And somehow these folks think we shouldn’t be mad at them?

    • Blindside…why do they move out right before holidays? Because Schmoopie is pressuring them to spend the holiday with Schmoopie. Besides, Cheater has lied to Schmoopie and others about the marriage being over…so it wouldn’t make sense for Cheater to spend the holidays with Betrayed Spouse. Then everyone would know that Cheater is lying.

    • Perhaps they simply don’t understand what anger is. They don’t understand reciprocity, they mirror these. IMHO, and I learned it here, most don’t have feelings beyond their own simple successes and pleasures. They don’t view the world as us, only me. We are elite appliances to them; once they attach to another host we simply cease to exist (outside of triangulation and kibbles every now and again). So it really is their own crap behavior to own, not ours. FucktardX thinks we should fake (my word😂) a relationship because we will be attending family events in the future. Hell, no, he should have thought about that when he began dissipating assets and fucking his fitness partner.
      As to those who are angry…this too will pass. Anger lets you know you have been wronged and “propels you forward.” It is a part of the grief process as well. A word of caution though, balance it out with extreme self care—Music, exercise, long walks, gardening, Netflix, unconditional love (ie a cat or dog, even borrowed works),anything you love—because living with the disordered is toxic and you won’t know this until you have gotten away.

  • GG, I’ve learned a lot about my anger these last 4 years. I’ve seen how it can be used against me by my X and by our culture at large. “Don’t react, don’t be bitter” – you might as well say “don’t be authentic, don’t be truthful and do not have a voice”. Of course we are all angry – and rightfully so. (key words; rightfully so.) There seems to be a confusion between being an always-angry-person in the world and a person who is situationally angry.

    But handling your anger in a way that benefits you is a good skill to have. Vent like crazy to good friends, a therapist, here on CL. Validate yourself constantly (of course you are angry!) Out in the world, you may find it more helpful to speak up and be angry in a much more controlled way. The same words but with a different tone can help you speak the words and be believed. Composure. So if I was shrieking my pain to friend/acquaintances, they might walk away and think I was crazy which feeds the narrative of my X. But if I speak up in a brief way and with a calm voice to those same people they definitely sit up and take notice. When you are super vulnerable in the early days, you might only choose to speak to people who will believe you and validate you. It’s too crushing to hear people comment “there are two sides to the story…”etc. He is eviscerating your reputation by saying what a bitch you were. (Mine did too.) Keeping silent is not the high road. Speak up on your own behalf – don’t let the only story come from him.

    Choose who you share your anger with and how you share it. But hell yes, of course you are angry!!!!

  • I still feel angry eight months post-discard. I got badly burned in court, and exes seemed to have ridden happily off into the sunset, unscathed and even happier than ever. People tell me that I need to get over it. As my anger seems to be considered an inappropriate emotion and I am told not to talk about it, I am repressing it and turning the anger inward (experiencing psychosomatic symptoms–numbness, insomnia, tingling, nausea, etc.) I have not succeeded at productively channeling my anger, try as I might.

    I wish Ginger an increasingly better life post D-Day.

    • I think people who have never been so badly betrayed have no clue what the searing pain is like. I’ve never felt such pain as I did when my ex cheated on me. I was damn mad and proud of it, it served me well by making me take action. Anger held inside WILL come out in other ways…shingles, colitis, migraines, insomnia, etc, as you are experiencing. I would try to discount those people who say to get over it. Until they’ve walked in your shoes, they have no idea what they are talking about. I found that writing in a journal helped me immensely to process the anger. When I no longer needed the anger it did leave me. Best of luck to you.

      • Thanks, Valerie and Mandie. I am trying to determine exactly why I feel so angry and figure out healthy effective ways to reduce my anger and grief as they chronically fatigue me, making it difficult to raise kids and work well. I spen a LOT of time writing about what bothers me as CL readers well know. Each day, I am going to try writing about something for which I am grateful, too, to redirect my thoughts. I don’t want a few people out of billions get me down!

        • Try to let your anger out if you can. I also have trouble doing that and it has negatively effected me physically and emotionally. I throw up every morning, can’t sleep and have been diagnosed with acute anxiety disorder. It’s a bitch.

  • 😂😂
    I’m in the credit union laughing CL. Getting the odd look. Hilarious! Thanks!

    Yes anger …good response. Don’t feel ashamed. Anger is but one of the many emotions we feel. I’m sure you do happy , sad and everything in between. Watch the movie Inside Out. It’s for kids but puts our emotions in perspective and let’s us see what surpression does. You’re human…not super human.

    Like CL said I’m be baffled if you were not angry. Who like to be conned? Do you? Thought not.

    Stay here for a while on CN. You are not alone. You will not be the same. You will decide how you want you to go. Awesome power and responsibility in that. You will survive.
    Nuff love from sunny Barbados!

  • HEY!!!!! Chump Lady!!!

    Don’t pick on the State of Texas.

    We have green trees, too. I know……because I once saw one in 1997.

      • I don’t miss cedar fever.

        And SuperDuperChump — it’s only green in Texas after it floods. If it weren’t for tornadoes, you’d have no green at all.

        What is it, April? I’m sure the grass will incinerate soon with one of those 90+-degree “cool fronts” you people have.

  • Please read THE SOCIOPATH NEXT DOOR. Decent people don’t keep the facade up to the point you are blindsided. It takes a person of no conscience to pull that one.

    • Yes. It takes real pathology to spend years sustaining the sickness of a double /triple/decathanol life.

  • Anger is a completely normal reaction to being betrayed. I likened it to those stories about mothers lifting cars when their children got trapped. Anger helped me MOVE FORWARD. If it’s consuming you, see a professional , because you don’t want it to damage your health. But don’t feel bad about having any of your emotions. Hang in there!

  • I suck at anger.

    Well. Actually, I kind of rocked at expressing the anger directly to the cheater back when I still communicated with him (none of that for about a year, now), but that anger did no good. Riled me up, and gave him the opportunity to abuse me further.

    But I suck at productive anger. I can do anxiety all day long. I have been chums with depression (though that disappeared like fog in the sun when cheater left). Anger, though? I think I am not coping well with a lifetime of seeing anger in unhealthy ways: something to avoid provoking, something hugely scary and threatening that must never be discussed once it dies down, and something always to be prepared for because it cannot be prevented no matter how hard you try.

    I can cut loose a barbaric yawp in my writing from time to time, I can erupt into my own rages when pushed too far, but I have never really figured out how to befriend righteous anger–to see it as the combination of engine and fuel that will propel me to where I need to be.

    It scares me. My own scares me. Other people’s scare me.

    In writing, where I can control and shape it and intellectualize and reflect on it, not such a problem. But otherwise, I really do suck at it.

    Guessing I am far from the only chump who feels this way. A lifetime of training to suppress, avoid, cringe, and fear has led me here. Really allowed the cheater to push me around pretty effectively.

    Interestingly, heated conversations with kids are much easier to manage. I expect that is because the foundation of love is absolute.

  • The Archbishop Desmond Tutu has a quote that says: “You should never hate yourself for hating others who do terrible things: the depth of your love is shown by the extent of your anger.” As Chump Lady says, your anger means you cared. You cared about him, about decency, about fairness, about family … about a lot of stuff! You are a caring, loving person, and I hope each blip of anger you feel reminds you of the inherent goodness your ex- seems to be lacking.

    Much love to you.

  • It took me a long, long time to get angry. I had been cycling in hopium hell and depression for so long I thought that was my normal. Then my thought process started to change. It’s as as if everything has inverted and I can’t get out of being angry. I burn with it. Every. Single. Day. Stacy is correct, it is wayyyyy better than being depressed. Now I know I will find my power. I see right through the lies, deceit, and manipulation. Thats not to say I don’t have the odd depressive moment, but most of my days are filled with anger and justice for all. Except that i too suck at productive anger. hmmm.

  • Maybe this can help with some of the anger

    Dear stbx in-laws,

    I was wrapping presents for you on Christmas Eve when shitface came in and told me he was waiting for the right time to let me know that he had been unhappy in our marriage now for 18 months and was leaving me.
    This was the first I had heard of it.

    I want you to know that I enjoyed having a good many of you as in-laws and I don’t hold any grudges or bear any ill will to any of you. Except Fred. He sucks too.

    However shitface on the other hand is not welcome anywhere near my good energy or my life nor is the woman who cheated with him on me.

    I deserved much better than the crappy way that shit face told me he was leaving our marriage.

    I wanted you to know because it makes me feel better that you heard the other side of the story.

    Lawyers will deal with the rest.

  • This letter so resonated with me, especially the bit about not being prepared to work on the relationship. Mr Cheaterpants told me he wanted a divorce, I then found out about an OW, then he volunteered the information that “ he hadn’t had many affairs. At first I thought what kind of man after 40 years of marriage doesn’t say “ look I’m starting to think about other woman, we need to do something about this, can we work on our relationship, we’ve been though too much to throw it all away” But then of course the realisation that the infidelity had been there for a lot longer. Then the blame shifting, the image management, the Switzerland friends….so much to be so very angry about, I hardly know how to contain it. Glad to read CL’s reply.

  • I struggled with getting angry for a long time. I didn’t have multiple d-days due to cheater leaving for schmoopie almost straight away. Being discarded during pregnancy meant I had to battle with pregnancy hormones on top of everything else. I think I was still crying everyday at 7 months past D-day.

    I don’t cry at all for him now and I’m 15 months out. I still have angry days and these are mostly for my children. I see their friends fathers being around for them, and I just feel so sad that my kids won’t have that. I also feel angry still for the way he blamed me for everything. Most days I know that what he said was crap, but there are still days I believe maybe I am to blame for what happened.

    • (((((pregnant chump)))))
      You are never never never to blame for what happened.
      He married you, he had a child with you, you were expecting your second child when he cheated.
      I was in the same boat as you.
      I cannot think of one thing I did to possibly ever be blamed for what happened.
      I truly, 100 percent, believe the same for you.
      He is wrong to blame you for everything. He is just making excuses for his shitty character.
      I am happy that you do not cry for him any longer.
      The hurt caused to our children, whether a cheater stays or goes, will always be difficult to deal with.
      I understand your pain regarding this, but please, no guilt. Guilt is, and always will be, on him.
      Hugs to you and your precious children.

    • All of what the following comments have said. Don’t go there. ……

      I have been in the same boat. I think it’s the sign of a healthy person to question their role in a breakup. I have recently done some reading on the Dismissive Avoidant attachment style, which I think a lot of us have been partnered with. Not taking responsibility, blaming others , detaching, lacking empathy, narcissist behaviour, etc- all fits. Doesn’t excuse affairs, but explains to some degree their behaviour towards us. And if you were like me, you pursued, which had them detach further. No win. Thes attachment styles apparently have the highest rate of divorce.

  • Smart Woman, a man would have said something and realized the value of his marriage and made an effort to work on the relationship.
    These selfish wimps only think of themselves from beginning to end with their blame shifting, image management, and the Switzerland friends.

  • I was listening to the writer Junot Diaz being interviewed. His words of wisdom regarding oppressed people being told how to respond were “When you have endured it, tell me how it worked out for you.”

  • This post is amazing. Tracy writes so damn well! ❤️ Even though she messed with Texas there. 😂

    Anger is useful. I’m a yelly person at times, but hey, sometimes yelling and getting MAD as hell after being epically chumped are the only authentic expressions of the truth of a horribly unfair situation. Like me being lured on false pretenses to another state, way across the country, in order for my cheater to get a quickie divorce while also trapping me here, due to state laws about removing kids. In one fell swoop, he took away my entire support network and my ability to earn an income in my field. But those “friends” were Switzerlands anyway, and a couple of them even knew what he was planning and said nothing. They better not ever cross my path again is all I can say.

    Post-divorce and nearly 2 years past D-day, I’m a tysoly angrier at 2 of the fucking Switzerlands right now than I am at the actual jerkoff who used to be married to me and fucked me over. Whew! Feels good to vent ( and cuss! ). Love ya’ll.

  • Love the Texas comment Tracy! Lived there for five years while fuckwad was in grad school! I so love Texas but happy to be back on the east coast.
    And
    He will never not suck, and the injustice will never be acceptable — but it won’t consume your life. The pain fades. Your heart scars over and remains a working heart.

    Brilliant!

  • Yep! And they love to ruin holidays, because with holidays come expectations of presents and other giving behaviors that they just HATE, since they have to put themselves out for someone they’ve already decided to discard = waste of narc’s time. So the holiday makes the narc think, “This is the last straw, I’m outta here.”

  • CL’s use of Godzilla gif: absolutely awesome and positively perfect!!

    I LOVE MY ANGRRRRRRR!!!

    GG, you can love yours too – it makes you MIGHTY!

  • GG, I hear you. I kicked my abusive ex husband out when I was 30. (I didn’t actually find out about the cheating until two months later). Until the day I realized that he needed to get to therapy or we were over (he declined, obviously, because he had the mistress in the wings) we were talking about renovating our home, and when we’d have kids. In the course of a few months, he suddenly wasn’t in love with me any longer, I had never made him happy, etc. I was so angry. I supported him through his degree. I paid for his immigration to Canada from the middle east. And just as I started my degree (which he promised to support me through) he has an affair with some girl on his soccer team, who he made me hang out with weekly. I always thought she was a bore, by the way. I am still angry. I am particularly still angry about the nine years of my fertility that I wasted with him. But I get a little less angry every day. And I don’t miss him. I got through the messy divorce. I kept my house, which he put no money into, by agreeing not to go after support. I have little income coming in while I do my degree, but I make do. It’s all so very unfair, GG. That will never stop being true. But let’s hope that you and I find a better, more beautiful, and more glorious life than we would have. Let’s be grateful we aren’t tied to those idiots for life.

  • I was told that, not only should I not be angry, I should be “happy” for him as he is “in love”. With his (now) ex-best friend’s wife. And they have two young children. Meanwhile, Shmoopie is stringing her husband along and my STBX is getting kibbles from her over quick beers and groping in parking lots (high school, much?) How romantic. It was really exciting when her husband took a Louisville slugger to our mailbox last weekend and was nearly shot by our State Trooper neighbor. Good times, y’all.

    Meanwhile, yes…divorce has been filed and I am looking for a place to live. I live in rural KY, so wish me expedient luck.

  • I feel angry at my exes for repeatedly lying to me, consistently showing me disrespect, and in some cases abusing me (physically, emotionally, and financially), committting adultery on me, etc.

    I also feel quite angry at myself for tolerating horrendous behavior, even after half a century of living and having been involved with several partners often for years and oftem reconciling with them until they contemptuously discarded me for the last time (usually after securing a replacement). I feel very degraded and embarrassed about letting this happen. If I hadn’t tolerated my exes’ bad behavior for so long, I wouldn’t have so much to be mad at them about. And I wouldn’t be so mad at myself and completely devoid of dignity. I feel as though I my dignity is gone forever. Furthermore, these guys tod me and the world that I sucked. Unfortunately. After years of hearing that I do and them mistreating me, no matter how virtuous a person I try to be, a big part of me thinks, ‘I must suck if they treat/treated me this way and treat others, especially other partners, much better.’

    Perhaps CL (Tracy) can write an article about the ‘self–hatred’ (more like lack of self-esteem and confidence) that leads us to tolerating mistreatment.

    • Rockstarwife i know exactly how you feel. I feel there is some reason why they chose someone else over me. But really its is just because they are a cruel and selfish person and they need to hurt others. I have to remind myself of this still. But its true. I also have to remind myself that i had no idea people like him existed. And i really did love him. I didnt know he had bad intentions. But he did. I hope you can realize how strong you really are to dealt with such nasty people and still have the compassion to show others kindness and support.❤

    • Fuck them.
      I enhanced stbxh image in everybody’s eyes than he really was and is.
      And a great personal expense.

      Narc 2 who preyed on me during my initial separation from stbxh and along with the minions try to drag my good name through the mud and hurt me and my business also sucks.
      I don’t deserve the shit that either one of them dished out that’s on them.
      I did get a good education about those kind of people and I am learning how to say “fuck no”.

  • Rockstarwife, I’m also angry that X betrayed my trust and showed me no respect. I’m ashamed to admit that the lack of respect was obvious enough for strangers to step up and say something to X in regards to how disrespectful he had been treating me. I was too “naive” or thought it was normal and didn’t realize how bad it was. X took advantage of my trust and kindness and I allowed it without being aware it was happening.
    I was a devoted wife, sacrificed my career for “our” career and was a stay at home Mom, supported him early in his career with promise of how all my sacrifices would pay off someday.
    I feel like I’m a walking doormat.
    The day X moved out of our home I was in tears and as he walked passed me he said, Brit don’t you have any dignity?? Looking back, he’s right, I don’t.
    I never knew there were people who could be so cruel and I certainly didn’t think I was married to someone so wicked. X humiliated me in every way imaginable. I keep my chin up and on most days I’m strong but there are days I feel embarrassed. What he’s said isn’t true but I think if his lies were true why don’t people see the betrayal in making private affairs public and only said to humiliate and embarrass? Switzerland friends I no longer speak to.
    He alienated our son from me with lies and insinuations. I can’t believe this is my life.

    • I think you need to replay that scene where he walks by you and says “Brit, don’t you have any dignity… ”
      And you give yourself some credit and look at the situation you were crying and grieving a lost life.
      That arrogant prick didn’t have the humanity to be ashamed.

      Don’t take on you what other people say in order to manage you down so they can justify their behaviors.
      I don’t know those kind of people are out there either. Now I do.

  • Brit and Rock Star, so many chumps here remind me of my beautiful children growing up. New to the world, we are trusting, authentic, a little naive. In their teen years, my children began to disparage their intelligence and beauty (why everything tells them they ought to look, dress, act, etc a certain way)…when in reality they were damn near perfect. Just because an unworthy person thinks you don’t matter, doesn’t mean it’s so.

  • So needed this. I don’t think I have ever had so much anger and rage in my life but then again I have never been so betrayed and lied to either.

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