Dear Chump Lady,
I know you’ve heard this saga for years. I just read a similar letter from a woman who was angry and jealous at the happiness of her ex and the other woman and the response from you. My situation differs in that my cheating husband did come home, he has changed his ways, and he is truly remorseful and trying to help me heal.
I can’t get over it.
Not only am I angry at him and his inability to truly get it, I hate the other woman.
I can’t seem to stop stalking her Facebook, and I am so filled with resentment and rage that she is happy.
She has a new man, they moved in together, she is more athletic than me, has a higher degree and a more successful career… I want her to be miserable. I want her to be lonely and sad and filled with self doubt and remorse.
This is quite the obsession, and I am miserable.
Do you have any advice?
The advice you want to hear… is sadly not the advice I’m going to give you. What you want to hear is — Pay no attention to the impression management! The OW is truly a miserable person! Deep in her husband-thieving shriveled heart exists a core of self-loathing and regret!
I can’t tell you that. A.) I don’t know the inner life of OW. And B.) On the off chance the OW is, or will some day be, lonely, sad and filled with self-doubt and remorse — I don’t control it. And neither do you.
For all we know, she’s blissful. Shitty people often are.
But, but! Sparkly turds!
My sparkly turd analogy is a warning for chumps. Pay no attention to the sparkles, at the center is crap. The question you’re asking Lauren is — does the sparkly turd know they are a sparkly turd? Does it torture them? I doubt turds care. Why examine your core, when there are sparkles?
What are your values? Who do YOU want to be?
The OW is someone who can blithely hurt people and be a-okay with it. What’s there to envy? Because you do not get the sparkles without the turd. She has a nice firm abdomen and she fucks other people’s husbands. She has to live with that dissonance — you do not. You can reject her, and people like her, and evict them from your headspace.
What does this woman have that makes you covet anything she has? That says more about you, than it does her. (And let the record show, she’s a piece of shit. We have established that.)
Set aside the cheating husband and the purportedly fabulous OW for a moment — what do you want? I know that sounds like a throw away question — but if you’re a chump, thinking about your needs and happiness is radical disrupting stuff.
What. Do. YOU. WANT ?
A faithful husband?
Dump the one you have.
To be athletic?
Work out more. Join a kickball league. Take up salsa dancing.
A higher degree?
Go back to school.
A better job?
Get that degree/certificate and aim higher.
You have agency. All that energy you’re directing at the OW, you could be investing in yourself. Not to compete with her (see “turd” above), but to work on your own awesomeness. THAT pays dividends. The pick me dance? Not so much.
When you feel jealous — ask yourself a couple questions.
1.) Is someone pulling puppet strings here? Are you in a pick me dance to prove your self worth? Are you agreeing to cage matches where the victor gets the fuckwit? Step away from the cage match. You don’t perform for fuckwits. People who love you don’t want you to compete for their love. Love feels safe, not off balance.
2.) What’s missing in my life that I want what this person has? A higher education? A better heart rate?
3.) Do I really need that? Some things are worth aspiring to — like a higher education or better fitness. Granite counter tops? No. If you covet granite countertops and feel weak with self-loathing because your kitchen is particle board, examine your life and stop watching HGTV.
Lauren, you won the pick me dance. Apparently that prize feels like misery. I suggest you examine your choices and make some new ones. Beginning with total NC with the OW’s Facebook feed. You’re better than that. A couple of losers cheated on you. It’s your choice to continue to give them both space in your life — and in your head.