Dear Chump Lady,
First of all I have to say thank you to everyone in CN for all the support and for sharing their experiences, and to you for saying it straight and the jolts of reality we get from you. My story isn’t all that different from the others, but I did indeed make it to the other side, and it is as wonderful as you described it.
Four years ago I found my then husband in the arms of his ho-worker and my life as I knew it was over. There were so many red flags over the 35 years we were together, but me, being the spackle queen I was, I spackled over everything and lived in deep denial. That denial spilled over into life after D-day, and after many reading sessions on CL, I decided to line up my ducks, and line them up I did indeed.
I contacted a lawyer, and after a long, drawn out negotiation we came to a financial settlement, as well as a visitation agreement with child support.
I met a man in January that experienced the same as I (his wife cheated on him for 5 years!), and we became a couple. We heal each other, and have an understanding for each other that is invaluable.
We bought a house, we now live together, and he has asked me to marry him. I have said yes, and am, (for the first time in my life), looking forward to the future.
I am 50 years old today, and the best gift I have received is the warmth, companionship and stability of my partner. I am happy, for the first time in my life.
The other side is wonderful, I am calm, content and relaxed.
I would love it if you used this for a day, I would love to hear other stories from the other side.
Happy 50th Birthday!
There’s nothing like surviving this shit for perspective. Wishing you much happiness with your chump fiancé!
I’m reminded of that Helen Keller quote: “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
I’m certainly a true believer in life trajectories. CN documents suffering, but where CN soars is sharing those stories of resiliency and reinvention. We overcome!
I feel obliged to point out that not every happy ending results in a new partnership. (But it might, CN, so don’t rule it out.) Contentment takes many forms. But I’m always struck at how pleased and astounded chumps are to find people in their new lives who value them — who laugh at their jokes, like their ideas, or appreciate their quirks. Sure, we had a few of these people in our lives before, but when you’re in a bad relationship, that validation is drowned out by the cheater’s devaluing.
We say “trust that they suck” here, but fact is, long before we arrive at that conclusion, the cheaters have been trusting that we suck. Oh, not enough to divorce us honestly, but to use as a threat to keep us pick-me dancing. It’s too bad you’re so inadequate. Work on that. Maybe I’ll share a kibble. (Or not.)
So cut the cheater out? Better people shine in. I’m glad you found a good person to share your life with TakeAStand!
Speaking of life trajectories, I write this from Hawaii, a stop on our way back home from Australia (a fuller post on our epic Southern Hemisphere adventure on Monday). A journey I made as “Chump Lady.” Twelve years ago this month, I was a newly minted chump. I’d just (unknowingly) married a serial cheater. About 5 months later, came my first D-Day. I’d put my whole life down on the roulette wheel, spun, and hit “Fuckwit.”
From that vomiting, sobbing, shipwrecked mess came Chump Lady — a blog I didn’t begin until I was well into meh. I thought my trajectory was pretty cool then. Six years later, this community of fellow survivors brought me and Mr. CL to the OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD.
It all began with the singular story “You can survive this.” And then more stories were added. And more. And more. Until people started believe that goddamn it, I can survive this. Oh, and my “survival” isn’t that fictitious stronger marriage thanks to infidelity! — it’s stronger because I am a badass who refused to give fuckwits any more kibbles.
And isn’t that what “gain a life” is all about? Realizing that this is YOUR story. You aren’t some off-camera two-bit character in the star-crossed cheater drama (Twu Wuv!) — you are the hero.
So, CN, for TakeAStand’s 50th birthday, tell her how you’re surviving AND thriving. TGIF!
Every time you support CN on Patreon, a new life appears at the end of the rainbow.