Dear Chump Lady,
Its been two years since D-Day. Mr. Twatwaffles and I were divorced in March of 2017 but we are presently engaged in a custody battle of our two children, so the shit sandwiches are being served up like a continuous buffet. Wounds are still raw and I am not healing as quickly as I would like because of this.
Anyway, our kids had an end of summer gathering with their swim team last night and my ex was there. Fortunately, NOT with his new wife appliance, Mrs. Alp-Ho Twatwaffles, but I noticed he was sporting a ring tattoo….like HE GOT HIS RING FINGER TATTOOED.
When he was married to me, he said he didn’t want to wear his wedding ring because it was a “signal” to women who were okay with having affairs with married men because “they know a married man is not available for anything more than just sex.” So, out of his love for me, he wasn’t wearing it.
I bought that shit ….stupid.
But he gets a tattoo now? As if their twu wuv is eternal and everlasting and not the subpar pile of crap of me that trusted him for 12 years???
And so now….I’m in a bit of a tailspin. I KNOW he displayed it to mindfuck me…and I pretended to not notice…but my God….does the fucking gut punching EVER end??? I KNOW its about image, I KNOW he gets off on hurting me…but it hurts me…and I’d like it to STOP hurting me. I’d like to stop caring. I’d like to stop crying because it was only a fuckwit who never loved me and he is not worth the literal GALLONS of tears I’ve wept and MONTHS of despair I’ve suffered. But I still fucking care….and it fucking pisses me off.
I want to start repairing my cracks with the gold that I know I’m worth. I am so sick of still being shattered by him. I want to STOP CARING.
I’m sorry. I have to stop you at “didn’t want to wear his wedding ring because it was a ‘signal’ to women who were okay having affairs with married men.”
You know what signals if a woman is okay having an affair with a married man? She’s having an affair with a married man.
But Kintsugi, let’s just take him at his word — wedding bands drive the ladies wild! The mark of the married is just an invitation for extracurricular fucking. So NOW WHAT? Now he wears it proudly? BEHOLD! I HAVE A TATTOO! Oh no. I hope he doesn’t go outdoors. The mobs of sex-starved, loose women will tear him to shreds.
Pity the OW here. Can’t you imagine how this conversation went?
Him: I don’t believe in wearing wedding rings… the ladies..
Her (interrupting): You’re. Wearing. It.
Him: But I was only thinking of you, Sweetums!
Her: We’re tattooing it. Permanently.
Oh the joys of marriage policing and pick me dancing. She really won a prize.
Kintsugi, please don’t let this fuckwit’s ring finger upset you. He’s a loser. That ink is more permanent than any of his commitments.
The really upsetting thing here — why the wounds are raw and not healing — is that you’re in a custody battle. That would make anyone insane, and it compounds the injustice of betrayal. Really, on top of everything else, you have to fight for your kids? You’re never going to stop caring about your kids — him, I promise you will stop caring about him — but this fight is hurting you where shit is PRIMAL. Do. Not. Fuck. With. My. Babies.
To have him anywhere near you right now will feel like a threat. How could it not? You can do your sane solo parent gig every day, but then he shows up at a swim meet dinner with the Wifetress? It takes a lot of composure with a divorce decree and parenting court orders. Right now, your parenting plan is in limbo, sounds like. There are no defining boundaries of where and when and with whom. No WONDER you feel off-balance!
And you’re interpreting this grief as missing him? I don’t think you miss him. You miss the dream. Of an intact family, of a loving partner, of presenting at public events as Normal Family, not Jerry-Springer-dueling-bitches-pulling-off-each-other’s-wigs. (Okay, not that that happened… just that it feels that way.)
Single parenting is HARD. It’s important work, but it’s HARD. And it feels damn near impossible when you’re under assault with a custody trial. THAT feels like punishment. You have to be strong for your kids, and you have to get up each day and do that sane parent job. Only to be cross-examined about it later in court.
What you miss is PEACE. And SAFETY. And not feeling weary all the goddamn day.
That freak you were married to? He SUCKS. He cheated and lied. He didn’t cherish you — he rejected his wedding ring with the mindfuck that it was best for you. He blows up his family and instead of conveying his regrets about that, and bowing out with a fair settlement and not traumatizing anyone any further — he fights you in court. I don’t know the particulars, but I did hear an interesting statistic from a divorce lawyer recently, that only about TWO PERCENT of family court matters go to court. That means 98 percent SETTLE. Which means the people who push this shit in front of a judge are the outliers.
I can think of reasons that would endanger children that would need a day in court — the parent is an addict, dangerously mentally ill, negligent. From what you’ve written (I don’t know) neither of you are these things. He’s someone who presents as Normal Guy At Summer Picnic. I hope the lawyers can hammer out a settlement, and the healing can begin.
Kintsugi — he sucks. He really, really sucks. His ring finger sucks. His toes suck. That creepy little tuft of back hair on his shoulders sucks. That dodgy looking mole, his dandruff, his droopy balls — they all SUCK. Make a list. Check off each suck item. SUCK! SUCK! SUCK!
Stop caring for him, and start caring for you.