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Dear Chump Lady, I just want to watch it burn

Dear Chump Lady,

My friend directed me to you Chump Lady, I have been humming and hawing about wanting to message you but I decided as we are about to make the 1 year threshold it was time to talk and ask a significant question.

My partner for 5 years, and wife for over 4 years, turns to me on Christmas morning and says, “I think it’s time for you to leave.”

I was devastated, destroyed and had 10 years of my life ripped from me. The plot thickens…..

I leave that day and go live on my brother’s couch for about 3 weeks until I can arrange an apartment situation. On the 1 month anniversary of me leaving the house I get a text message from her stating…..oh btw I’m in a relationship with your best friend….JIMBOB….(name kept for privacy).

During this 4 week break, I payed for therapy, bought her flowers for her birthday and had no idea this was going on, all the while confiding on my best friend JIMBOB as to what was going with my marriage all the while finding out that he had been accidentally falling into nethers on a regular basis.

I was messed up, a part of still has trouble with what was going on and my best friend left his wife of 20 some years…..high school sweethearts… go schtoop my wife instead. Not to mention his teenage son, who doesn’t want to have anything to do with him.

So there’s my story……shrunk down for the viewers….. And now my question…

I walked away from everything — the house, all our purchased possessions, to keep my mental sanity.

I want one thing from her….. anything to do with our wedding I want, so I can burn it and watch be wiped from the face of the Earth itself. Is that too much to ask? I hope this act would bring me some kind of closure.


Too much to ask??

Dear Too Much,

Who among us hasn’t wanted to throw all totems of their ex onto a giant funeral pyre and dance around the flames?

It’s an understandable chump impulse. She burned your marriage down to the ground (metaphorically), so now you just want this small ritual reflecting that fact. A purification rite, of sorts. If you can kill the symbols of your love, maybe you can kill the actual love you felt.

You’d think her fucking JimBob and deceiving you out of every worldly possession would be enough “closure.” But perhaps there’s a certain satisfaction in igniting polyester garters. Or burning pearl-studded wedding albums, or whatever your nuptial detritus.

I mean, you don’t have to burn shit to know it’s OVER, right?

I’d say there’s no harm in asking, except for the kibble dilemma this poses. If you demand that your wife (ex-wife? soon-to-be ex? Where exactly are you in this process?) hand over all your wedding tchotchkes, she may get a big kibble high off the request. Oh, Too Much cares! He’ll never get over our Great Love and will maintain a shrine for me!

Can you stomach that? Because telling her you want something for the sole purpose of destroying said thing is probably not a winning strategy.

The other dilemma is that it’s not Meh. And we’re all about the meh here at Chump Nation. When you need something from your ex To Move On, you’ve handed your ex your power. Power they will probably delight in denying you. (See also “Apology,” “Fair Settlement,” and “Schmoopie’s Head On A Pike”.)

There’s really no such thing as closure, there’s just building a new life that eclipses the old life. And that takes time. And a shit-ton of emotional effort.

But where’s the JUSTICE, Tracy?!

Over there, moldering with your unity candle and cummerbund.

But look, dude, if you manage to get that shit back — I won’t deny you your bonfire. Squirt the lighter fluid, throw the match, and warm yourself by the glow.

Maybe you’ll feel better the next day. Maybe you won’t. The important thing is — you got two toxic people out of your life. No tag backs, JimBob.


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  • Funny, I just watched “clueless” last night with my teenage daughter. Love the scene towards the end where Tie (sp?) burns a towel and a tape of a song they danced to: “Rolling with the homies”. But she didn’t have to ask for stuff to burn. It’s just my opinion, Toomuch, but don’t give her the satisfaction… You WILL get to the scene at the very end of clueless where you have truly moved on and don’t care anymore. It takes time!

    • YAAAAAS to everything about that scene.
      “Oh my Gawd, they’re playing our song…”

    • Ha ha! I watched Clueless this past weekend, too!

      Favorite lines ever:

      “I want to do something good for humaity.”

      “How about sterilization?”

    • I totally understand your need to burn the wedding stuff. My was-band of 20 years left me for a loser bar hag. He was a gifted wood worker and made most of our furniture. My new boyfriend and I burned it all in the fire pit. I remodeled the entire inside of the house to wipe away any trace of that monster. I even had my boyfriend change all the light switches, outlet plugs and plastic cover plates just so I could remove any skin cells of him. I also scrubbed anything else he may have touched. It was quite liberating to de louse the house. Lol

  • Like CL, I can’t recommend asking for your wedding photos and related items. That would just be way too much of a contact high for your ex. Actually the fact that you left them behind probably bugs her more. Ask me how I know.

    When I helped my parents move last year, my mom gave me a whole bunch of my wedding photos she had. (I had long since forgotten she requested copies of certain prints.) She didn’t feel right throwing them out so she thought she’d give me the opportunity to do with them what I would. I was 4 years from divorce and getting ready to move into the neighborhood of meh so I just tossed them in the dumpster when I got home.

    My point being that you might have relatives who can provide you with copies to burn but the best thing to do is distance yourself from this hell and start rebuilding your life. That really will give you all the closure you need.

  • Compare these past 10 years to getting a PhD. You are now very well educated and know what it is like to live with someone who lies and cheats. You are very well educated in no longer thinking that he’s a good guy because he acts like one. Your education has now been complete. Burning those pictures will not get you to meh. Just living a good life without those two is the best way in the world to move on. They should be nothing but dust in your rearview mirror. Leaving all that stuff behind was the smartest thing you could do. I looked at a picture the other day and I thought it was beautiful. It was a wall of glass, a sofa, two chairs, a bookcase full of books and a fire in the fireplace. That was all that was in that room and that’s where I felt living would be the most comfortable. Don’t load yourself down with stuff, just get the hell out of the house and go have a great time.

    • Thankyou words of wisdom. I like that. Getting a PHD in liars and cheaters. I must say since it ended I have observed these characteristics in others with more ease.

  • After Too Much’s post I am sooooooo tempted to burn every single photo I have of sparkledick and his old friends and family (my late MIL entrusted the family records to me). Including the photos with our sons in them that I can’t cut out without ruining said sons’ faces.

    I have not done this yet because I really think it is cruel to so many people. On the other hand, sparkles did not ask for them and he could have as part of the divorce settlement; after 40+ years of marriage, I discovered he had been cheating on me for years under a facade of an honest man and that I was not the cause of money and relationship problems.
    So for now photos are in a trash bag that is baking in a bin out in the blazing sun.

    And if I were Too Much, I would use the kibbles to make the bonfire and then make sure she finds out about it.

    • Divide the photos by who is in them. Mail them to each. Whatever is left over send to Sparkle then just get on with your life. I watched my brother erase his ex from his life and he was so much happier. Those photos are burdens. Burn them or mail them. Whatever gives you some peace.

  • Could do some version of this even without the stuff.

    Write out anything notable about the wedding on little slips of paper. Or maybe print out pics of relevant things. Then feed all of that to a magical New Year’s Eve bonfire. Let the smoke rise and the ashes fall, and be cleansed of all of that as 2019 begins.

    • I like that idea. It doesn’t make the pain burn away. Just small victories and moments of satisfaction

    • Yes, could do this on the solstice too, and then watch more and more light come back into the days. I’m planning on burning some sage in my apartment this solstice to mark the darkest day before more light comes back.

      • I love all you chumps! I do a little solstice ritual too! I am lucky enough these days to have a little yard with a firepit. And I DO write things on paper, things I want to vent or get rid of, and throw them in–along with dried flowers and juniper sprigs collected over the summer from the garden, some of that hippie sage, etc.

        I’m years into Meh, but, yeah, there were bonfires that I filled with his memory and watered with angry tears. It can be therapeutic. But listen to all the chump wisdom here. The real healing begins inside, with you. Peace out.

  • CL is correct. Building a new life that eclipses the old with that piece of garbage is the closure you want. But that takes time. In the mean time i say go for it. Small victories are much needed. And make sure to take pictures and video of the bonfire. After my d-day I took a bat to some of his prized possessions while my brother recorded – in slow motion. Still gives me great joy when I look back.

    And welcome. Sorry you had to find this place but you’re not alone here

  • Beware of “needing” anything from a cheater. That gives them power over you. Now, if you can walk away without it fulfilled, then it is probably fine to ask. Just something to consider…

    • Wise words! Even collecting much needed and legally required child support from these types is a kind of torture. I really liked what I read on another CL thread that advocated, whenever possible, receiving a one-time distribution of assets in lieu of support payments to avoid future entanglements. That wasn’t possible for me, but gosh, not having to need anything from my ex would be fantastic and I look forward to that day (coming soon).

    • The day after idiot left, I went through ever photograph album and shredded every photo of him and his family, Kept all the ones of me, my family and grandkids. 40 years shredded in a couple hours ! I must say there was very therapeutic watching his face disappear into those shark like teeth.

      • I pretty much did the same, except it was a few weeks after DDay and the day I realized there was no possible reconciliation with my wife. I deleted all of her pictures, broke 3 wedding/vacation DVDs into small pieces and threw away every single thing she had ever given me. That was the first night in weeks that I slept more than a couple of hours, so mentally it was VERY therapeutic to destroy every memento I had of hers.

  • Walk away and don’t look back. Do you have kids with her? If not, as soon as the last legal tie is severed you can go total forever no contact. Until then only necessary legal contact, preferably through an attorney. The satisfaction of completely removing a toxic person from your life is better closure than ritualized acts like burning photos or smashing rings. These rituals are all about them, not you. Think of the cheater like a dog turd you stepped in. Wipe your shoe off on the grass and keep moving.

  • You might save yourself the effort and get a contact high watching Angela Bassett in “Waiting To Exhale” storm through her house gathering loser husband’s treasured wardrobe, piling it into his treasured BMW via the sunroof, squirting on the lighter fluid and lighting it all on fire…..

    …..while noting that the husband evidently cared about the car and his clothes more than his wife, which proves what a dick he is. Good riddance to him and his shit…..

    The best revenge is putting your efforts on detaching from the malignant tumor of a wife and mentally, spiritually, physically, emotionally walking away.

    The worst punishment for a dog is WITHDRAWING ATTENTION. I don’t know if this works on cheaters but I do know it’s the fastest road to feeling better.

    • …and I should add that for my own burning ritual, I printed out pictures of my phony husband and one from the crime partner’s Facebook page, defaced them, and burned them in my backyard fire pit whenever the mood struck. I still do this, while thanking God for freeing me to lead an authentically happy bullshit-free life.

  • Ive been here. I completely understand.

    But don’t. For reasons above but for also this great feeling that will come; you will delete those images/emails/etc little by little, some here, some others there and you will note how much better you feel along the way.

    That is powerful.

    Also, your son may one day like to see SOME history, it’s his story too. So don’t.

    And demand your share of the stuff. You’ll need whatever you can for your new life. Consider whatever you leave behind a gift for the couple; you wouldn’t want that, rt?

    Get what’s your’s.
    Your new adventure is on its way.

      • no.. my coffee didn’t kick in. It was early. its Monday…etc…

        Still though – I think kids deserve to have a look at life that once was.
        So deleting everything robs them of that opportunity.

        I have some family photos left. On the other hand, I’ve deleted a lot off the computer and for sure every image of X that was on FB.

        Now, though… I really enjoy tossing things that used to mean something and now dont. Its proof I’m gaining a new life…. gaining ground.

        • Family photos I’d save for the kids and grandkids. As the great grandchild of a cheater who abandoned the family I’ve always wondered what he looked like anyway. Yes, I know how much he hurt my gr-grandmama, and gramma, but still I wondered. My grandkids may feel the same way someday.

          Abandoned personal possessions that only hurt for me to see, well that’s something else entirely.

  • I will pile on to the crowd of “dont give her the satisfaction”.

    I also hope you saved the text about “Im in a relationship with JimBob” because you will need to circle back and get everything that is rightly yours…not that you will engage in a tug-o-war over plastic Christmas ornaments, but savings, home equity and personal possessions are rightly yours and it would be a shame to see JimBob and Cheater yucking it up in your bass boat.

    Im sorry…this sucks huge. Please know however that there is a large cohort of ladies who DONT EVER want to be in a relationship with a man who destroyed families then later found himself single. Granted every single divorced person in the universe claims victimhood, but some nice gal in the future will take the time to discover that you really did get chumped and you will be her prized beloved. That is what happened to me….

    I was a stubborn unicorn who smoked hopium and wouldn’t leave no matter how many insults he threw in my direction. God finally had enough of the whole mess and took Cheater out of the equation with a sudden cardiac event. My future love had 12 years prior received cold hearted instructions from his then-wife to leave since she was done with him. We value each other because we deeply know what “suck” looks like.

  • I hear so much grief and trauma in your letter, TMTA. My heart goes out to you.

    Suggestion: maybe if you feel compelled to do the burning ritual, try writing and drawing things on slips of paper, then build that fire and burn them one by one. Make sure you include a little Jimbob in there, too.

    It seems cheesy at first, but that kind of step has been highly cathartic for me at some critical times, and it doesn’t require you to engage with a sociopath to complete the ritual.

    And if you can, reach out for support. Maybe you have people close to you who will write their own things and burn them too. Maybe there is a skilled counselor who can support you in processing this betrayal trauma of getting duped by the two people closest to you. It’s important.

    I am so sorry, Friend.

  • I like the opinions above — you really don’t need to make her (and him too) feel important by asking for anything she still has — walking away was the best thing to do as you already cleared out (left behind) the useless crap from the past to start afresh — appears that you didn’t have kids together, so that will make it much easier to go NC for life on that toxic pair

    Now if you still have items left yourself from the marriage then yeah, why not, throw it away, burn it, smash it up, whatever works! I did

    I took my wedding rings (bands) to a jeweller a couple of months ago and sold them. Got a couple of hundred so I was really quite surprised and happy I did that too.

    I also did the ceremonial-burning-thing by taking the very first letter she ever wrote me that I’d chumpily carried around in my wallet for 20+ years, and burnt it. Oh rather I tried. I swear that damn piece of paper was spirited with witchcraft and pretty much refused to burn. After several attempts I just picked up what was left and just threw it away.

    For wedding albums, photos, etc. then I’ve already decided. What she doesn’t want, or take with her, I’ll take straight to the local rubbish dump.

    • Re: the letter…

      Maybe bullshit doesn’t burn well after it sits for a while.

      (Couldn’t resist that bit of snark this morning.) ????

      • lol yes, excellent bit of snark @Amiisfree 🙂

        actually she wrote me that letter just 3 days after we met — when I read it for the last time the love-bombing was so obvious — no-one but a potential cheating narc writes something so over-the-top that soon after meeting someone — amazing how so many of us look back and think yep, missed so many red flags

        still at least I didn’t get discarded on Xmas morning — the height of cruelty by Too Much’s ex — that alone should tell him all he needs to know

  • Too Much, it would be awkward asking her for your wedding album, and all the wedding memorabilia without giving her an ego boost. You could change your thinking, she has all the wedding crap, someday this could be your greatest revenge. In time Jimbob, will lose his allure. Everyday life and seeing each other day after day, replaces the excitement of planning their next romantic interlude. Jim Bob isn’t always going to be her knight in shining armor, one day she’s going to pick up the wedding album, look at your handsome smiling face, and it will be a bonfire of regret.
    Just a thought…

  • I left all of those pictures behind. Knowing now that he brought his OW to our house with all of our pictures around well he can keep them. After that I noticed I didn’t miss all of those happy memories. Once a cheating liar well you know the rest. I did the same as you, therapy, books and DivorceCare. Found out I am much better now that I don’t spackle my marriage anymore. As for revenge, yes it is sweet but as the old saying goes “it’s a dish best served cold” believe me you enjoy it more. When it happened for me it was no big deal. Karma

  • Too much, you are making some pretty bad choices right now – I get it. Instead of the bonfire, why don’t you focus on hiring a lawyer instead. Letting her have everything without a fight is a bad idea. It validates HER choices.

    You know what you should burn? Every damned remnant of your friendship with JIMBOB. And then subpoena his ass for a deposition. Also, I assume JIMBOB’s wife knows about this? If not, she should. That could be the another bonfire for you to focus on.

    We are all a bunch of Chumps around here, Too Much. Please keep coming back and read everything in the archives.

    And please keep us posted. I’ll be looking for you in these parts…

    • This. Hire a good lawyer and get your share of the assets, then pick a few things out of your 50% that you’d like to burn.

      • Exactly. The Ceremonial Burning needs to be scheduled for somewhere down the road. First, get a lawyer, get a fair settlement, and get access to all the stuff you might really need from the house. When you are getting your half of the tree ornaments or gardening tools, you can toss in a wedding photo or other symbolic object. A Ceremonial Burning always goes over well on the day your divorce is final. (And we at CN give you permission to make little voodoo dolls of your wife and friend to include in the fiery ritual)

  • First of all, can I attend your Bonfire? (just kidding but really, I would enjoy it).

    So three years out from D Day, just a few weeks ago I suddenly realized I was quite happily remembering my wedding. All the people there, the feeling etc. and thinking I am so glad I had that. I think that might be a moment of Meh? I liked my damn wedding and no one will ever take that from me! I do recall thinking what should I do with all the the photos’ etc. Dealing with the photo’s etc. at the time was disturbing, but now the wedding itself is becoming a memory on it’s own, like all of the other joint memories I now realize I felt much more deeply than he did. There is no way he is taking my good memories from me. I understand everyone has different circumstances and deal with this mental mush mess differently though, especially those with proven long-term cheaters.

    I think the bonfire could be a good experience for you but I believe it is far more important to financially protect what you deserve. THAT will be something I can 100% guarantee you will be happy you did down the road when the pain lessons. Take care.

  • My favorite movie is Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman. So much vicarious pleasure to be had.

    Sorry, pal.

  • TMTA, so sorry to hear what they did to you, and so glad you finally spoke- please continue posting! There’s nothing but good will and good advice for you here. Hugs!

    I believe people need ritual. I wrote a letter to him full of rage, profanity and vicious insults, took it to a beautiful woodland river near the house, tore it into very tiny pieces and let the water carry it away. I don’t want bitterness and anger to rule my life. I even included the phrase ’emotional masturbation’ and this was before I found Chump Lady! I also devised a little ceremony for myself when I took off my ring, like the Pagan cutting the cord. I think we humans need ritual at important moments like these.

    But if you can, don’t ask for the photos back. Don’t let her know anything from your time with her is important to you anymore. And please let us know how you’re getting on!

  • She sounds like such a mean cold individual- if her statements to you about leaving were that succinct and terse and her BTW about Jimbob was so matter of fact; consider how you’ll feel if you ask her and she replies just , “No”. What then? You’ll feel foolish.

  • I guess I must be someone who needs rituals and symbolism.
    Yesterday I got my first “single for the first Christmas after the divorce” Christmas tree. I went into it in the spirit of “in your face, I’m not surrendering.” Unexpectedly, the whole thing–the trip to get it with a friend, getting it onto and off the car, into the house, into the stand; the overwhelming SIZE of it it, the fragrance–became something much more and much more positive. It was a reminder that I am competent, sure, but more than that, it was a reminder that the divorce is a re-birth: solstice and the sun’s return, the hope and joyful deliverance that is the Christian story. I’d been feeling as if I overdid it with the size of the tree, but now I am so happy I ended up with an huge, outsized tree: it’s as if it emphasized to me that that’s the way I can live now: large.
    As for the purifying bonfire, well, yes, I had one. My story is that at age 58, after 32 years of marriage which included multiple emotional affairs, my ex declared he had decided he was and had always been “a woman inside,” and then revealed a several years-long history of transexual porn, stealing my discarded underwear out of the trash, and “exploring” with an ex-student with whom he’d long had an inappropriate relationship. After a year of living with my ex’s entitled, disordered reality (he believed he had “multiple women” inside him, and expected me, privately, to accommodate them all, while still living publicly as the man he is), I decided I had to divorce him, although it took me another almost two years to find the courage to come out of his closet and to leave.
    On my 36th wedding anniversary (I’d moved out and we were then in the process of divorce, which was final one month ago), I burned a print that I had bought to give my then-husband as a gift. When I bought that print, I was in full “I can adjust” mode, and it depicted an androgynous figure in front of a mirror, and, behind the mirror, an open closet door and a closet full of women’s clothes. The same friend who went tree shopping with me yesterday came over to my new place, and I torched that thing in my fireplace while my friend took a video. It didn’t bring me closure, and it didn’t make me “meh,” but it sure was satisfying. Oddly enough, every part of the print burned except some of the figure, which remained intact. The next day I fished it out of the fireplace grate, and I keep it still, discolored, partial, and burnt around the edges, which is exactly how I now think about my marriage.
    So, Too Much, it worked for me, and my feeling is, if you can acquire some memento without giving your cheater the kibbles (I like the suggestion you ask a parent who might have a wedding photo), torch away.

  • The timing of this is weird…I have all the wedding stuff…and to be honest, I’m still trying to figure out what do I do with it all? There’s my favorite photo from the day that I enlarged and framed…WTF do I do with that? I mean, OMG I cannot even bare to look at it.

    Also, is there really a blog post called “Schmoopie’s Head On A Pike”??!? If so, can someone direct me to it?


    • How about taking a picture of your framed picture and then toss it? That’s what I did.

  • Check your motives here before breaking no contact.

    Are you wanting everything from your wedding day to set on fire as a way to say “FUCK YOU” to your cheating bride? If so, don’t bother, she doesn’t care. If she cared, she wouldn’t have schtooped your bestie.

    Are you seek a catharsis? Hire a pitbull lawyer and get the assets you are due. Don’t set her up and JimBob up in a nice home/apartment that you paid for… I’m sure JimBob’s wife won’t be.

    Nothing sucks more than getting asked to leave your own home by a cheater (see the manipulation there)?… let alone at Christmas. Take back your power. Let the sparkly turds have each other. Meh is out here waiting for you.

  • Hehehe. Before I went no-contact I was speaking to STBHX regularly, despite having moved out.

    While collecting some belongings (as he laid on the floor crying) he told me he started bringing hookers into the house the second I left. My blood ran cold. I looked around and saw my mail on the table, photos of me on the wall and yep – I took those suckers out of their frames and lit em up! I was skeeved by the thought of those “professionals?” ::gag me:: knowing my name or face or having any association w/ said creep. So, it was more for my protection.

    Though, I suppose tearing them up and flushing would have sufficed…Now, what to do with the photos in this darn phone.

    That being said – I didn’t ask. The power dynamic in our sham marriage shifted in an unusual way post D-Day. If you have photos that are in your personal possession, maybe print them out and get your kicks that way. The wife sounds like she’s been “empowered” by this new found wuv. “I think it’s time for you to leave”! WTF is that!

    Sorry this is happening to you, but glad you’re breaking free!

  • I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I took all the “us” stuff. She didn’t even ask about any of it and was going to leave her wedding dress behind until her mother took it to save for our daughter (yeah that dress won’t be involved in any future nuptials.)
    I kept them for a bunch of reasons most of which don’t matter anymore. No I want to throw the stuff out but I wonder if my kids or even me will want to look at it in the future.
    Prob not. I seem to be the only person who mourned my 13 year marriage (based on DDay not when I filed lol) or my 25 year history with her (based on when I filed lol the calendar questions still puzzle me. Don’t know when she started so nonidea when “we” ended.
    Anyway, I don’t want the stuff anymore but feel bad throwing it out

  • TooMuch,
    I think you hit a nerve here. Many of us wanted to “watch it burn” and some followed through. I had that urge and my attorney told me to “be an angel,” meaning I should do nothing that would make me look vengeful and crazy in court. So, I gave him everything. Every scrap of junk mail with his name on it, everything he asked for I responded with “sure.”

    IT MADE HIM NUTS. I didn’t plan on that but I have to say it was such a bonus. He couldn’t imagine why I didn’t want all these keepsakes of my life with Dr. Dumbass. It’s the narcissism that really digs at them and you can use it to your advantage.

    I recommend to pretend “meh” as much as you can.

    Hang in there brother! CN has your back.

    • i was so super nice that i lovingly folded and packed all his clothes into boxes at 4:00 am the day after new years eve when he did not come home and was not answering my calls and texts. i put all his important papers and cards from the children into boxes also. i made sure that he had everything he owned so that he would not have any reason to come back to my house (not that i needed to worry about that because he ghosted soon after for a little over a year. after that his troll had him on a tight leash and she did not want him to visit or call either me or his sons)

      now i wish i had threw all his clothes in a pile and burned them. .. .. either way it doesnt really matter. we have been divorced for 5 years in march and he has NOTHING left from those boxes anyways. from what i hear he is currently homeless, jobless, troll-less, child-less, money-less and leaving in an abandoned house. all those clothes, papers and cards i packed for him are lost or left or thrown away just like everything else he comes in contact with.

      i have peace and happiness. i have sheets that lasted longer then my marriage. i have clothes and items from before, during and after wasband. i have my children and grandchildren in my life. i have a good job, my house and vehicles. i have a good life. he will never have a good life or find peace/happiness.

  • Stone cold people.

    The betrayal is shocking and traumatic.

    Good news: It could have been 20 years.

    Don’t ask her for shit. No contact, grey rock. JimBob is welcome to the coldhearted disordered cheater. Two peas in a pod.

    Lawyer up with the best bastard you can afford and get everything you are entitled to.

    Call back your spirit from the wedding and let the memories be separated wheat from chaff. Your life has integrity no matter what the cheater did/does.

  • Here’s my suggestion. You will get unwanted texts and emails. Print them (keep copies if you are still in the midst of divorce). Maybe your mother or your sibling has a photo from the wedding. Trust me, they don’t want those photos either. Scan one and print a copy on paper. All you need is one. Make a list of everything she did to hurt you. Write a letter with all the stuff you want to say but you won’t, because you don’t feed a disordered person kibbles.

    Burn that stuff. It’s paper. It’s not toxic to burn indoors. As it burns, say out loud your intention to no longer think about her, her life, her actions, her thoughts. Take out the ashes. Follow with a sage smudge (light a bundle of sage) to cleanse the air.

    • Because what you want to do is symbolic, so symbols (e.g., on paper) is as good as the real thing.

      • LOL!!!

        Perfect photo choice, Tempest!

        And truly, I DID LOL when I scrolled down and saw that!

    • I did this minus the sage. As a somewhat devout Catholic, I am obligated to pray for people’s souls. it is a grave sin to pray for anyone’s damnation–but I figured since he was probably starting from a point of damnation (the horrible things he did to me were just the tip of his horrible iceberg! ) I felt perfectly okay that I pray for his place in purgatory–still doing him a non damnation solid but purgatory is definitely a no fun zone. So for those with a religious bent, this sort of ritual can be similarly satisfying.

  • My D-day was 29th July 2018 (12:30 p.m. to be precise)

    Monday 30th July 2018 I destroyed the lot 🙂 – wedding albums (hard copies & digital), wedding souvenir presents, congratulation cards, wedding favours & guest book. The only thing that survived is the wedding dress which was in the pile of crap she took with her when she left, My destruction spree went even further with the laying waste of her 30th and 40th birthdays plus the complete and utter annihilation of every photograph that we were ever pictured together in.

    As Mr G. Orwell said : “whoever controls the past controls the future”

    • My wedding dress is going to an organization that makes burial gowns for stillborn babies. I couldn’t get rid of it before but that makes me happy.

      • I attempted to do that with my gown, Atty, but they get so many donated in my area of Texas, they couldn’t take it.

        Your kind and thougthful heart is fortunate you are able to do so 🙂

        • How about just donating the fabric to a sewing club! Not the same as the burial gowns but maybe give that beautiful fabric to someone who can take pleasure in it. I have 2 sons (one already married and the other getting married in 3 months time). I don’t see either of them wearing it!!! It would be nice to have a little granddaughter at some point but for me personally I would like my dress to go somewhere more sentimental.

          • A high school friend gave her wedding gown to the little girl next door to play dress-up !

  • Oh yes it’s cathartic as hell and I know you can find something without asking.

    I put my wedding dress in the dumpster and tossed the wedding album in on top. It felt good. Don’t know what the garbage man thought of it lol

    I hope you find something soon and it helps you too. I’m 3 years out and my life is seriously the best it’s ever been!

  • “My wife ran off with my best friend and I miss him”. Ok, probably hard to laugh right now, but seriously, in many ways the best friend almost seems like the bigger betrayal. If you have only been with your wife 5 years, you have probably known him longer. You probably thought he was a good man who cared about you and his wife and child. Now you find out he is a monster who blew up his marriage for some stupid slut who turned out to be your wife. It sounds like you do not have children with this creature. Thank goodness. That will make it easier to walk away and go no contact (after you get the best settlement you possibly can in the divorce). It is a good thing she revealed herself relatively early to be a cold heartless individual who betrayed the man she made promises to in front of hundreds of people and happily tore another man’s family apart for personal gain along the way. It is too bad you wasted any time with that piece of filth, but at least it wasn’t longer and you now have the opportunity to get away from such toxicity and no longer be associated with it. Anyway, if you ever have that bonfire, make sure you burn any mementos you have from your “friendship” with Jimbob jerk face too.

    What I also don’t get is why you were the one who had to leave? If she was so ding dong unhappy in her marriage, then she should have been the one to leave. She has some nerve telling you “you need to leave” and making you be the one who had to go sleep on your brother’s couch. Typical narc behavior, however. Everybody gets to cater to me me me. Don’t let her get away with taking everything. Make sure you get your half or more if you can get it. Then it’s on to no contact with either of those losers. As for the bonfire, if you are patient, they will build one for you when their relationship crashes and burns as it is bound to do. If you are lucky, you won’t yet be so far along the road to meh that it doesn’t give you at least a touch of satisfaction to see that fire burning in your rearview mirror.

    • I think they were together nearly 10 years. 5 years before they were married and then 4 years married. Sounds like his ex best friend and ex wife are made for one another. I like it when defects get together as it means they are staying away from decent folk. Well at least until the twu luv relationship blows up and it will blow up.

    • I also wondered why you, not abominable wife, had to leave. (My last boyfriend told me a similar story about his cheating ex-wife. I used to feel sorry for him–until he started routinely lying to and insulting me. I became a doormat to a doormat, which puts me at the bottom of the totem pole and thus feel extra bad.)
      I am glad that you are not acting as a doormat right now–your future self will likely thank your present self for putting up healthy boundaries.

      Regarding what to do with material items, Everyone is different. I left my wedding dress in a closet at my parents’ house for years–until my three-year 16 hearing long divorce ended. I had been emotionally at Meh about my borderline, narcissistic, sociopathic, chronically cheating husband (but not about what he did to our family) for several years at that point. I was able to give my dress to GoodWill without emotion by then. I think that I may have one small wedding album in my home, which I keep for my kids. I have felt a mega-ton of anger toward my ex-husband for years (before and after separation), but I did not want him to see me angry nor sad as doing so just fed his ego and gave him ammunition to paint me as a ‘crazy wife/ex-wife.’ I literally put the burden on him to decide what to do with most of our joint possessions–for me, making him to do the heavy lifting was WAY more satisfying than asking him to give me anything.

      Good luck in your healing journey. I hope that you have a glorious life that rapidly improves from now.

  • Nothing worked for me to physically eradicate memorabilia … I still have it playing in my head over and over no matter what kind of bonfires I’ve set to get rid of the memories. So it may not be the closure you are hoping for.

    Chumps, including you, are kind people and naturally generous, so how about this idea?

    Write your memories on little pieces of paper (get friends to help, as someone suggested already). Keep them in a container in your car or your knapsack or your briefcase with a crystal or pebble or shell, something that gives off good energy when you open the container.

    Each day pull a piece of paper out, throw it out, and do a good deed. In a drive-thru? Pull out a piece of paper, throw it in the drive-thru trash bin, and pay the coffee for the person behind you. Walk past a street musician? Throw out another piece of paper, and throw some coins in her guitar case. By a homeless person a coffee. Do little things, they can be ever so small … If you find yourself helping a tourist with directions, throw out another piece of paper. Give something to charity? Throw out another piece. If someone compliments you, yes you!, throw out another piece. Accomplish something you haven’t had time for in the past year? Throw out another piece.

    Do it naturally, not forced, maybe once a day or more often, keep it simple, just little acts of kindness towards hard-working or hard-done-by people, or even yourself. If you find yourself laughing and enjoying a moment without thoughts of your own sadness, throw out another piece. Keep going until it’s empty, give the container to a thrift store, and release your stone or shell back to nature.

    It could work for you … I hope so.

    • I had an idea similar to Champ’s (as I might get into the Guinness Book of World Records for Rumination–a dubious distinction). When I think about something painful that I cannot fix (e.g., good loved one dying or toxic loved one abusing/discarding me), I try to envision one positive image (e.g., ducklings waddling to a moat) or engage in one brief pleasant sensory activity (stroking a loving pet, hugging and smiling at a child, wrapping myself in a soft blanket, tapping–a therapeutic technique you can do anywhere) to ‘dilute’ or ‘balance out’ the negativity. Give yourself the loving kindness you have been denied but deserve!

  • I burned his Christmas stocking in the street in front of my house with all my neighbors watching. It was therapeutic. It was stupid but it was like a rite of passage “out with the old, in with the new”.

    I say….burn it!

  • As Clint Eastwood says in “Heartbreak Ridge:”
    “Don’t give the *#&! the satisfaction.”

    Asking for this will just give her kibbles.

    Instead, find something of hers, something she gave you, or something JimBob gave you, that somehow made it into your possession that you just don’t need. Torch that stuff instead.

    As someone who has made a bonfire of Shmoopie mementos, I can tell you it’s very satisfying. Just be careful, and don’t burn your new bachelor digs down.

  • Oh TooMuch, I remember so well when I was in your position. I just wanted to get outta there and forget the whole thing. But, looking back, I think I made a mistake taking the memorabilia. I put it in a box for my kids who may or may not like to have it some day. I certainly don’t look at them anymore. Im 5 years out – not at “meh” but more clear-headed. I do wish that I had taken the things that I had purchased for the house. Get a good lawyer and make a list of the things that you don’t want to hafta buy later. Its just part of the business of a fair split and is easier to get asap rather than waiting until later when she is not so guilty.

    • Loved and Lost,

      Thanks for sharing.

      I am years past Meh in terms of my abusive ex-husband, but at nearly 1.5 years since last discard by last boyfriend, who after thirty years of what I thought was a friendship turned romantic relationship but turned out to be a ‘friendsh-t/relationsh-t,’ I am not close to Meh with last partner. (Perhaps because I don’t know whether he physically cheated on me and virtually everyone thinks that he’s successful Mr. Nice Guy, I have a harder time getting to Meh.)

      Could you share your healing path/timeline over the last five years? I want to feel hope that this ordeal won’t feel nearly as painful someday and I won’t mind being a single (celibate) mother.

      • I just focussed on my kids, my family and my job. In between I was very lucky to have had a circle of friends at work to whom the same thing happened. I lost a lot financially but regained some self-respect. It’s still lonely at times but I’m also enjoying my freedom and comfort with myself. Life is good and as long as I trust that he sucks, I do t need any more facts.

        • Thanks, LovedAndLost,

          Sounds as though you are handling things like a Boss!
          I wish that I could just ‘Trust that he sucks.’ I guess that because I don’t know whether he physically cheated on me, although I suspect that he frequently was ‘shopping’ for an upgrade while with me–he might have just repeatedly lied to, insulted, invalidated, criticized, and not loved me between moments when he seemed like a good partner and I was grieving multiple losses, acting not very independent, talking about my anger toward my adulterous, abusive STBXH (now ex-husband), I often feel that to some degree I ‘deserved’ to be mistreated and discarded. I think that I often think that I suck. I have tended to believe what abusers have said about me to me over decades–stupid, underachieving, failing, unlovable, not good enough. Most people aren’t all good or all bad; most situations are not ‘all black or all white’. Going to try to focus on helping my family and others who warrant help.

      • Rockstarwife – rather than constantly ruminating about whether or not he took it physical, tell yourself that it did. That will put a sense of finality to it.

  • Well thank you all for your kind words and help. It’s just hard sometimes to walk away from it all……I think the bonfire of what I have might be better. All the good memories I had are now trash. I just don’t want to do anything that reminds me of her or that piece of human toxic waste who was my best friend.

    • I am so sorry you are going through this, IITM. Nothing will ever “change” what these vile people did to you.

      What I want to ask is….during any of the ceremony or honeymoon, did YOU have a good time? Was there a conversation with an elder that maybe didn’t make it much longer past your nuptials? Was there some thing that you did or saw or experienced while on honeymoon?

      I ask because I have a problem with the concept that every. single. thing. that happened has no worth to you.

      I’ve been married twice. First one was huge and splashy and second was a JOP and two witnesses I had never met before. First one cheated and we went through a vicious custody battle. He gave me a multitude of reasons to burn it all. Cheated with a co-worker while I was at home, upon demand from him (if it is good enough for my mother, it’s good enough for you!) with a 3 yo. Isolated on a farm in the middle of Ohio in winter, no car, no friends, no skills, no hope.

      Second didn’t cheat. He was a stingy, verbally abusive, horrible man after the wedding. Used me to get where he needed to go (graduated from school and into a new high paying job). Then he asked me for a divorce the next day.

      I placed all of my first marriage belongings into a cedar chest and locked it. Pictures of everything from the first time I saw a cow up close at the fair with him–to the pictures the NICU staff took of us with our preemie.

      I don’t know if you have kids with her, but those items that you want to so badly burn—have an intrinsic value. Right now you are looking at them as HER and HER HORRIBLE ACTIONS. “There! Take THAT! I will ERASE YOU!” Then one day, you will remember something that happened at the reception, something funny or poignant maybe with a guest or a relative—and you’ll wish you had those pictures to reflect.

      Someone told me, and I am sure it’s a quote of someone smarter than I am—“Take pictures of your life. If you don’t, how will you ever prove it wasn’t all a dream?”

      My mother threw away all of the pictures/mementos of my childhood, because she was too busy “moving on” from this. and that. and something else. And all of those little items were tossed along the way.

      The only things I have of my childhood are from my Dad, who divorced her pathetic cheating ass–he kept a bunch of pictures of my First Communion, an Easter Sunday where we still wore gloves to Church, and my Kindergarten school pic where I still had a full head of hair and a life of promise ahead.

      Don’t cheat yourself out of the possibility that one day, you may want to remember something about this experience in your life. It could NOT have been ALL BAD, is what I am saying. You don’t have to give her CREDIT for the happiness that you felt. But the memories are real, honest parts of who you are.

      • I’ve got a bin that I am putting the wedding stuff into for my kids in the future. I will let them decide what to do with it. My mother did the same for me, and I actually chose to keep the wedding album (I’m a bit of the family historian anyways). I also have all the holiday cards and letters (both written by me to him and him to me), so when the kids are adults, they can determine what they want from those messages.

        But, I have also put in there a copy of all the emails that I discovered and printed between my STBXH and the OW, so that my children older, they can see the decline in their father’s esteem in their mother and the rise of the obsessive love for the OW. I hope that it will be a tool for them to learn what love is and is not. Should this relationship with the OW actually last the long haul, the kids will later have the opportunity to see what it’s origins entail and the toxicity that it brought to our family, verses the way their father’s relationship evolved with their mother. One relationship was honourable and truthful, the other relationship was deceitful and betraying.

        I have a small collection of wedding photos which were the large prints we had framed around the house. I don’t need to keep those large photographs. Perhaps I will plan a burning ceremony at some point – never thought of that before.

      • yes…HomeBoung…I agree, surely it was not just nothing, an accident, I like that when you say perhaps you had a conversation with an elder for the last time….
        My brother signed my marriage certificate, I was very proud of him because he was 10 years younger than me, he is not here anymore.

    • TooMuch – I agree with others who say don’t ask her for those items. It’s not worth it. I burned some wedding stuff and it was a good feeling, but it didn’t really help me emotionally in any way.

      12/28 will be 2 years out for me and I still struggle (22 years with my cheater + 3 kids). It gets better. Best of luck.

      • Oh. Sorry, forgot to say….don’t ask HER for these things. Get copies of them somehow. Mom, brother, friend, whomever.

        Burning the originals is what he’s believing is going to help. It won’t. I only regretted burning or tossing items that I believed were “tainted” in some way by either of my spouses.

        Yes. Get rid of the bed and the intimate, sexually charged things. Absolutely. But I deeply regret getting rid of the three or four pictures of my JOP wedding. Because now….looking back on it…I could use it as a metric for how far I have come, and to remember something that I felt was important at the time. To document something I felt was significant.

        Yeah. He was in the pictures. But so was this lovely couple who volunteered to stand up for us, and brought us a bottle of Veuve Clique. It was so thoughtful and it made a stressful day much easier (spouse felt that no honeymoon was necessary. we went to a Microtel for $40/night, he griped about the cost, which I bore, along with his wedding ring cost and the the cost of the ceremony)

        I regret it. And nothing is going to change what I endured or how I came out the other side BETTER for it. The original stuff of the first wedding….I don’t regret keeping it at all. It’s something I look back on as lessons learned, growth and how my life actually MEANT SOMETHING. I didn’t just float through the years with nothing to show for it. Yeah. He was in them—but so were a lot of lovely, cherished people I will never see again, because of one thing or another.

        OPs wife is vile. She will get everything that is coming to her. Because she is who she is. Asking her for anything, especially if they don’t have kids? Pointless. It strikes me that he wants her to KNOW that he is going to destroy these things….and wants some type of reaction from her….hurt or pain or sorrow….and he’ll never get it.

        These people are sociopaths. They are not wired like you are OP and they never will be. What is important to you, will never ever be important to them.

    • Hey, I hope you did not truly mean that’s all you want. Get every bit of money and property that is your due. Don’t you walk away from financials or take less than what is yours. Seen too many chumps regret that.

      Jedi Hugs!

  • Though I was unable to bring myself to burn the wedding pictures (why punish myself–I looked damn good!) I did take any and all ‘memorabilia’ from my marriage to the raging high functioning alcoholic narc husband and POP (the subsequent Parasitic Opportunistic Predator ‘boyfriend’) that was shreddable and run it though the shredder…..very satisfying to see their words go down down down into its teeth and become itsy bitsy nothings. Some other items I initially burned but that became dangerous as there was a lot and the wind came up and embers were flying. That’s when I remembered I had that brand new shredder that needed its initiation……

    Taking my wedding dress (an honest to goodness Princess Di era poofed sleeve masterpiece–ugh, fashion of the day!) and duct taping into the smallest bundle I could and dumping it in the trash was fullfilling.

    Mind you, I took none of these actions ‘soon after’ any heartbreak and chaos….it took me YEARS to become strong enough and what tipped me over was packing for my move and not wanting to take any of that crap with me.

    Though I ended up having to move from my dream property due to punitive divorce actions of rager attorney husband, not having daily subliminal reminders of selfish narc actions of both him and POP, being in an ‘untained’ home with none of those memories is a great relief. I resisted the move for years and honestly it was the WORST thing I could have done to myself both emotionally and financially.

    Things are not so great for those two narcs—smoking caught up with ragey (I’d begged him to stop for 27 years) and last I heard, POP has had his 3rd drunken driving charge and currently has an interlocking device on his car (again)—now THAT will get you the girls to abuse and live off of–NOT!

    As for me: FINALLY no stress and not a care in the world other than what I will make for dinner tonight and if I want to put more Christmas lights up outside 🙂

  • If you happen to live in California, maybe forego the bonfire idea…? No reason to make others suffer smoke inhalation further because of her evil decisions. Besides, if you happen to get the photos, the trashcan is far less ceremonial and will feed her far fewer kibbles. I’m all about just leaving her to clean up the mess and destruction she left behind. Just think of the just desserts of her having to sort through those photos and decide what to do with them.

    Maybe work with your lawyer to just get back what’s rightfully yours instead.

  • Dear Too Much,

    Please take CL’s advice and not ask for the wedding pictures. You will certainly be handing your power away and giving her kibbles that you most certainly should not want her to have!

    I left behind our wedding album, honeymoon album, two trips to Europe albums and all our family vacation albums. I honesty never want to seem them again as my ex lied and cheated on me since we started dating, which was back back in 1991. He lied and cheated in various ways non-stop our entire 23 years together. A couple years ago I was thinking about asking for our wedding album, because I wanted to set it on fire just like you want to. I’m thankful I never asked for it, because now I know it would give him more kibbles and power. He sucked me dry and tossed me out like garbage. He’s not getting anything else from me for the rest of his life.

    Too Much, please try to think of other ways you can purge her from your life. CL and CN has given lots of good examples so far. I myself tossed all the pictures before our kids were born into the garbage. I got rid of any stuff that reminded me of him or his family. My entire home is rid of him and my life with him. I still have furniture, but for some reason, they hold no emotional value to me. I did do a mini wedding stuff fire in the backyard, but that’s when I was still living with him and I was packing to leave. I 100% understand the need and want to torch memories like wedding pictures. But that ship has sailed for you and it’s time to think of healthier and mightier ways for you to get your anger out. 🙂

  • Let her have her cheap thrill when you ask for the stuff. Let her think what she likes, say what she likes. Let her laugh and mock and crawl even further up her own a*#e.
    It’s worth it. Believe me. The fuel it supplies HER with, is a very damp squib compared to how good you will feel as those flames consume what amounts to a Lie.
    Don’t forget to video the whole thing though. Not to send to her… Oh no, she’s already stuffed full.
    Just quietly, without any announcements or fuss whatsoever, post it on social media, at the same time as you’re uploading ‘boring’ pics that most people will ignore.
    One day, she WILL see it. By which time you will have long since reached and sailed past ‘Meh’, without an ounce of flying fukkery. ????
    It works. ????

  • first of all, anything you want from her you will never get just for the plain fact that once she learns you want it she will keep it from you anyway.

    second of all, asking for anything from her will make her feel like you want/need/love/owe her. it is basically not worth it. after all it is just pictures. she burned the marriage as soon as she hooked up with your best friend.

    i am interested as to WHY you feel like you need to do this. do you think it will give you closure? do you think it will make you feel better? unfortunately you will never get closure and you will need to learn how to move on without it. Divorce this troll, change your number and move on with your life. NO CONTACT!!! NO CONTACT!!! NO CONTACT!!! NO CONTACT!!! NO CONTACT!!!

    stop thinking of things to call her for. (i know because i was there for a year or so and i have children with him).. .. you might think it sounds like a “good” idea but it is actually just a feeble attempt to contact her for whatever reason (i just wanted to hear his voice and to be able to say something hateful to him) .. .. . Resist the urge to contact her for anything. believe me when i tell you it is not worth the pain you get

  • my cheater left her wedding rings(custom made) tge marriage certificate and threw out out wedding picture in the trash for me to find even though ibasmed her if she was throwing it out to pleae not to at home two mere weeks after d-day. but she kept the wdding album because she “had no hard feelings and wanted to fondly look back on the wedding in her later years……..????????
    i was left to file the divorce even which to this day she has fully ignored, apparently ‘didnt see the point of’ (while with a new not shmoopie bf. also not there anymore) but as of a few days ago ‘I act like the only person ever to get divorced and let it go’……again ????????
    two years out i pawned the rings bought the kids xmas gifts then i did burn our marriage certificate in my backyard firepit over a glass of rum. it felt a bit crappy but more like nothing. i know it probably wasnt meh but i just met my now very lovely gf at the time and felt like it was a good way to end a chapter of my life my idiot ex forced on me but didnt bother to finish herself
    point is man. if youre still in anger hate mode don’t bother it wont help. but ehen you’re reasy to move on or at least at tge ACTUAL start of that go ahead and ask. i think if i did these things earlier i wouldve fekt dumb for the effort and her still getting to me. now ut just more of a feeling of ‘whelp, so much for that. on with my life’ ……it did feel fairly good

  • Dear Too Much, I agree with the other posters that you are too narrowly focused. You are not considered a grasping money-hungry ex-spouse if you demand all the marital property that you deserve and enlist the help of a lawyer to make sure you get it. Don’t expect for there to be an adultery bonus in it for you, but get what is yours under the law. It is also fair for you to be able to list the household goods you want as part of that settlement, and perhaps specify, in your list, something symbolic that you can trash. I kept the house and it was cathartic for me to cleanse the house of everything that reminded me of the Douchebag. I am having my engagement and wedding rings made into a pendant for my daughter. I am selling some of the stuff DB didn’t want and donating the proceeds to a battered women’s shelter. I’m having fun purging in a transformative way that might benefit others.

    • Yep. I too have preserved some marriage relics for our daughter to pass to her if she wants them when she’s grown. I want her to always know that she was conceived and born in love (even if it was just me loving him, thats still love), and our marriage was part of that. But, I’ve packed them discretely in a box tucked deep into my garage so I’m not looking at it. That seemed fair enough.

    • Melding your rings into something new is a nice idea. I’ve been wondering if I should keep it for the kids in future to see it, or if I should sell the rings to fund a nice trip to Disney World while the kids are still young enough. It was a trip I always wanted to do as a family with my STBXH, perhaps the symbolic “f&*# you” comes from using the money of those rings to go have the experience of a lifetime with my kids without him.

  • I am so sorry for you. The current burn is that inside you for the heat of fury from this double betrayal, unbelievable that people can do this to others. Nothing is more keenly felt than betrayal and you hjave it in spades. If the house is in your name you can go in and retrieve whatever you want. Fight her over every spool of thread. I can’t guarantee, just hope that one day you will be in neutral, not angry, not in love, not hurting, not thinking about them with any feeling.

  • I dropped off our wedding album on schmoopie’s door step along with the separation papers where I GOT EVERYTHING, and burned every single picture and sentimental card he ever gave me. Since we never had kids together and he couldn’t have cared less about the little grandkids born while we were married, I have no remorse getting rid of that stuff although I have wondered how schmoopie’s bonfire went with our wedding album. Ha!

  • Oh Too Much I feel your feels. I have two kids so I separated all that crap into two roughly equal piles, packed it into two separate boxes and labeled one with each child’s name. When they are old enough to have a home of their own they can decide for themselves if they want to hold on to / display any photos from that time in their lives or not. For myself I have only kept photos of the children alone or with just me. This stage sucks. Things do get better.

  • Sorry friend, that sucks big time. But see the forest not the trees. If you’re focusing on destroying marriage mementos you’re not focusing on receiving a fair settlement, which IMO is more important. Those acts can be cathartic, but they can also leave you feeling worse (I started to tear up old photos once and I ended feeling sad and petty and childish, I kind of shame spiraled for a minute). The best action you can take is going no contact as much as possible. Good luck.

    As for those old photos, I packed them all up in a box and delivered them to ex along with the rest of his stuff without commentary or fanfare. Maybe he didn’t notice or care, but no matter it was a step toward me not caring too.

  • Get yourself to a lawyer ASAP and discuss the consequences of you having moved out. Make sure that doesn’t come back to haunt you in some way. You should still have legal access to the house, but you can’t just waltz in there either.

    A friend of mine moved out when his wife asked him too and the OM moved in within two months before my friend was able to get most of his stuff. Two years later, he is still trying to get back his tools and collectible hockey jerseys, and she has used these items as litigation points in trial. He wishes now that he remembered to grab off of this stuff during the afternoon session his lawyer had arranged for him.

    Make a very detailed list of everything that is in the house. Assuming that you don’t want to buy her out and she isn’t in a position to buy you out, it is likely that you are both looking at selling and splitting what’s made.

    However, you should ensure that you get what you need to furnish your own place. Although you want to burn things up, be practical about the cost of replacing things. Equip your kitchen, tools, etc. Think of your prized possessions and collectibles.

    Your lawyer can send her a letter with your very detailed list of everything you want to pick up. It will state the date and time and request that she not be present. Then grab those photos or sentimental item that you want to burn, and burn baby burn.

    My STBXH made this detailed list before he left. We discussed what he could take as I was buying him out and keeping the house. I made sure that he took the things that I never really liked or I knew were not in a great state and had wanted to replace for some time. He rarely did the deep cleaning of the house so he didn’t know the state of things. When he insisted that he wanted a particular sofa set, I was more than happy to let him have it. I knew that a number of the cushions were safety pinned into place by me to keep them from moving around and there was a big tear. The sofa set I was left with was in mint condition (other than needing the fabric steamed).

    You are entitled to all your personal effects. Get them before she decides to start a bonfire of her own.

  • Dear Too Much,
    I was not able to burn wedding photos because I have a 7 year old daughter. But I had/have so much anger that I needed to release. For me, symbolic burning was not enough. I needed to get physical to release some of the anger. I stumbled on this knowledge by accident, when I saw our wedding flutes in the china cabinet. I went to throw them away and as I was walking to the garage the anger just broiled up inside of me; I threw them violently in the bottom of the empty trash can and they smashed into a thousand pieces. Oh the satisfaction! From that point I realized I needed that physical destruction action to get that toxic anger out. I started getting cheap glasses from goodwill or garage sales, and when I was alone would do my own form of anger management. Also, in my area we have a business called “The Rage Room” where you can throw things, beat things with a baseball bat etc. A lot cities have them now. The other thing that helped me in the beginning was driving into the boonies where it was all cornfields and screaming, primal rage screaming. I screamed till my throat was sore, but it got out so much anger and I felt a little better. It all sounds corny, but for me this helped with my overwhelming anger. I was not sad for the most part, I was pissed to the tenth power. It kind sounds like you might be dealing with the same thing. Now I am about 7 months out from Dday, and I don’t have as much anger as often. It still flares up now and then but I know what to do now. I hope you find your way to meh ASAP! I am always striving for it and I know one day I will get there…

  • First Christmas post-D-Day and divorce from exh2, I had me a righteous burn day. I burned our marriage certificate and took pictures of it for my profile here on CN, it’s still one of my profile pics here ????????

    I burned old crappy stuff he had left behind, old ornaments, even a T-shirt he had left, and a few pictures of us. It felt good.

  • “There’s really no such thing as closure, there’s just building a new life that eclipses the old life. And that takes time. And a shit-ton of emotional effort.”

    I’m a seasoned reader of your blog. There are so many brilliant posts you’ve written. But these three sentences just blew me away because it sums it up so succinctly. Thank you.

  • I felt like leaving all of our wedding artifacts behind made a statement. I wanted him to know how little I thought of our relationship, so I left all of that stuff for him to deal with. Did I burn things? Of course– I had a nice little campfire in our backyard of all the cards, letters, and postcards he sent me over the years (back in ye olden days before the internet), but those went with me because they were all mixed in with other mementos from family members and my childhood. I sorted his crap out and burned it all quietly without saying anything to him or posting it on social media because it was for me– a goodbye to what I thought was my life with him and who I thought he was.

    I agree with CL– letting the cheaters know in any way that you are interested in marriage artifacts (even if just for burning) gives them the “pay attention to me” kibbles that they are so desperate for. Walk away from that stuff with your head held high and leave her to clean up the detritus of your relationship as a big Eff You: “You can clean that up yourself, you dumb cheating arse, because I don’t want anything to do with you or what we were.”

  • ”I want one thing from her….. anything to do with our wedding I want, so I can burn it and watch be wiped from the face of the Earth itself.”

    I totally get how you feel. But no, just no. Asking the whore who betrayed you, *with your best friend* !! for wedding mementos so you can then burn them, is just giving her thrills, kibbles, and centrality. She will really get off on that. Oh, I’m still so central to his life ! He’s so bitter ! I’m so important !

    **Much** better, and sticks it to her more, is to simply walk away. You don’t want mementos, even to burn them, because they are worth nothing, based on lies and deceit. *They are not important to you*, because they are a record of years of lies and betrayal.

    My STBXH came to collect a shitload of stuff in outside boxes, amongst which was a big bag of photos etc of our wedding, honeymoon, trips we had taken, holidays, etc, etc. He took them, but as to what he did with them, I don’t know, and don’t care. Maybe he burned them, dumped them, crapped on them, whatever. I simply don’t care.

    Don’t let this bitch have the satisfaction of knowing your hurt and anguish, just walk away, hun. ((Hugs))xx.

    • Chumpnomore, that’s pretty much what I did. Let my attorney fight for that stuff. Half of wedding and marital mementos. Then NEVER showed up for and never asked again. Left her to sift through the shit and remember it. I did however write a short but nasty letter with my wedding ring in the envelope. I explained how I did want or need it. It came from a person that never existed and belongs to the evil whore I met on D day. As close as I cane to burning man. Lol.

  • I know the bonfire desire. I am 5.5 years out, and just happened upon several years of letters in the garage (ex and I were in a long distance relationship for a while). I had no idea I still had them.
    I plan to burn them one cool night. I am at meh, but it will be satisfying to see everything burn since I never yelled, etc at my ex. Though I wanted to.

    I have kids, so I am keeping the photos of the wedding etc for my kids. They can decide what to do with them.
    My parents are divorced, and I remember liking to look at the photos, being amazed at our young my parents looked when they got married.

  • Oh, I freely admit to taking grim satisfaction when I smashed his wine glasses/wine collection: a habit he acquired from schmoops. I tossed two glasses against his shop door the morning after DDay, then tossed the bottles (and remaining glasses) one at a time onto a slab where I knew he would find them. It looked rather gory. Yes, he was unhappy when he found it.
    THEN I slowly and carefully unraveled a rather detailed scarf I was knitting for schmoops who had pretended to be my friend while she was bonking my husband, right in front of him. And THEN I ceremoniously tossed the tainted ball of yarn into a bonfire he had carefully created on our 10 acres.
    Did it help heal me? No. Did it make me feel better? Only in that I was doing what I could to remove any trace of HER from MY house.

  • JimBoB was more of a friend than you know , after all , he help rid you of a cheating skank ,it’s his problem now…rofl

  • @toomuch , I know, from a past relationship, how good the burn pile feels. It was awesome. But with the more recent guy, Mr. Creeperpants, my only regrets were the few little things I did after the breakup that let him know he still mattered (like responding to his texts and telling him “I’m in so much pain”). I so wish I hadn’t given him that. So, before you request your wedding memorabilia, play it out in your mind and make sure it’s worth feeding her ego. Oh, and be prepared for her to hurt you with telling you she already threw it out, or something lime that.

    Sorry you have to go throught this. 🙁

  • Everyday I read CL, my jaw drops at all the new levels of low one must endure with the most vile deceit and betrayal by the ones we chose to let into our hearts. I’m sorry this had to you.

    As most of us already know, closure doesn’t necessarily come from burning wedding photos. Closure comes when our head and heart can accept we were brutally betrayed and the closure and answers and respect we deserve may never come. Closure, I am finding, really is about accepting what we can not change. (I sound religious and I’m not!) I’m just finding my way to meh after a 8 months….

    I also found that leaving gifts I was given by the ex-shit at his home instead of taking them with me gave me pleasure. I sent a message – he’s not worth it and anything from his is garbage to me. Did it give me closure? No, but it did give me some satisfaction.

    Hang in there…at one point, all this shit will go away. In the interim, we just have to swim in it.

  • It’s pretty horrible when a person cheats on you but it’s even worse when it’s with your best friend – a person you’ve known, cared for and have had each other’s backs your entire life. It’s nothing short of devastating.

    I’m not going to give you false platitudes of “every cloud has a silver lining”, “they did you a favour” or “you will find love again” because the reality is you’ve been blindsided and been shit on big time by not just one but two people you thought you loved and trusted and you’re not going to feel right or trust for a long time.

    But as much as you feel like crap you need to take affirmative action now so you can get her out of your life for good and move on with yours.

    Open up a new bank account straight away in your name and have your wages go there so she can’t access your money. Lawyer up straight away to set the wheels in motion so you can get your share of the house and assets. Avoid the temptation of talking to her and only communicate through your lawyers.

    The first order of business is to itemize your clothes and personal effects and have the lawyer send her a letter to organize a time and date for you to collect them. Legally she cannot refuse to do this as the house is still in both your names and you are legally entitled to your personal effects.

    I’d have the lawyer give her an offer to either buy you out for 50% of the house and assets or sell the house and get 50% of the proceeds from the sale and split the assets evenly. I’d also fight not to pay spousal support- you don’t have children and she committed adultery with another married person with kids, kicked you out to be with that person and is now in a de facto relationship with said person so she should be entitled to exactly $0 in spousal support.

    If she does decide to fight it just remember it is half yours and settle for nothing less than 50% of the house and assets. Don’t lie down and let her walk over you anymore – she cheated and kicked you out of your shared home, her and her lover should not be entitled to everything you’ve worked for. Because there are no children from the marriage it is very likely you will be awarded half of everything in the settlement. It’s when children are involved it gets tricky.

    But I highly doubt she’s going to fight it. As well as her going through a divorce, her partner is going to be going to be going through a costlier and messier divorce because of not only infidelity being involved but he has children in the mix so he’s going to be paying child support, spousal support and by the time his settlement is done, he’s probably going to be broke so I have a feeling she’s going to need the money sooner than later.

    Once reality sets in let’s see how long it lasts. At the moment she’s living in a fantasy land where she’s madly in love and everything’s wonderful. This won’t last very long as she’s going to be saddled with helping support a broke partner and being a step parent to very hostile kids whom are going to make her life miserable.

    But please don’t obsess over this. They both chose to do this so they can live with the consequences. They’re each others problem and from everything that has gone down, it sounds like they deserve each other.

    The other thing you need to place priority on is yourself. Don’t focus on revenge or what they are doing – it’s not going to make you feel any better. Instead focus on your mental and physical health. You’ve just had the rug pulled from under you big time by two people who you loved which has left you shell shocked and devastated. Get counseling to help not just with your mental health but to get through this. Ask your family and friends for help – you’ve just had your life trashed to pieces – you need every bit of support you can get. Please don’t get caught up in the trap of not asking for or refusing help because you’re a man – you’ve just been through a pretty traumatic experience and irrespective of a persons gender we all need help at some point and no one should have to go through this alone.

    With your physical health, try and get to the gym or excercise regularly. If it helps punch and kick the shit out of a punching bag – it’s very cathartic. Eat healthy and try to avoid alcohol. When you’re feeling depressed and down, getting into the booze is the worst thing you can do and it’s very easy to do when you’re feeling like shit.

    Most importantly be kind to yourself and remember that even though it may take time (I can’t tell you how long as everyone’s healing process is different), it does get better eventually.

  • The best way, though not easy, is too live your life well. You have been doublely betrayed. You could say that they deserve each other. It could be a blessing in disguise., even if it doesn’t feel like it. Remember the affair or whatever they like to call it, is about them, not about you. You would be surprised how many people in affairs have a distorted view of reality.

  • I’m the minority here, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to burn a photo that I’m in and looking good. Now, I’m not above superimposing the head of Gene Simmons, Shrek, or any of the Hemsworth brothers on top of whomever else’s mug I don’t care to look at anymore. We all heal in our own ways. ????

  • The marriage ended about 5 years ago. I left all wedding stuff at home when I left. My kids told me that he took framed wedding pictures with him, when he moved in with the whore. I went back to the house recently (my son lives there now), and opened my wedding dress box after 27 years. It was beautiful, but didn’t fit (haha). I gave to my son’s roommate, who is a drag queen. I’m glad it will get good use!

  • I’d say fuck the photos. Know what’s better than a flaming bonfire? It’s getting your share of the assets.

  • I have a suggestion. Get a large piniata, no need to fill. Lay it on the ground, get a group of friends together, drink a pitcher of margaritas and then beat the crap out of it with a polo mallet. This is very satisfying, repeat as often as needed.

  • True, there is something cathartic in burning. I highly recommend smudge sticks. Here, Native Americans roll dried sage with red (blessed?) twine.
    When you want to change the energy of a space, you burn one end allowing the smoke to waft into the living spaces that need “clearing” or cleaning.

    I use a hawk feather to wave over the smoke stream and waft the smoke into the rooms. Smells lovely, in addition I attribute an emotional component of desiring change, peace and new energy brought into your space.

    I saw them at the health market this evening.

  • Too Much,
    Two more things to consider to help you feel better:
    (1) a viewing of The Shawshank Redemption and
    (2) meditation–you can find free guided imagery, meditation, etc. on YouTube. I recommend Michael Sealey, Jack Kornfield, and Pema Chodron

  • So sorry that you also got burned by your best friend, whom you were confiding in when all this was going on. That’s awful.

    I met a man recently who told me that he ‘cheated on his ex-wife left and right’ – and of course he ‘had his reasons.’ One of his affair partners was his ex-wife’s married best friend. The ex-wife had cried to this best friend about her husband’s ongoing cheating. That’s how this guy found out his then-wife was planning to divorce him.

    • Ugh. How horrible. How does the best friend live with herself? This is quite horrible. Did the divorcing wife find out? Why did he want to be married if he wanted to cheat left or right – ugh.

  • TMTA, think about this for a month or so. Contemplate CL’s wise counsel, as well as the comments you read here.

    Also read up on “kibbles” and think about how this request (which might be refused, just to piss you off) would give her the kibbles that she craves. (Think Audrey II, the plant from Little Shop of Horrors, who has to have human blood.)

    Time will give you some perspective. You may realize that asking her for anything puts her in the one-up position and that’s not something you really want to do.

    We understand the pain. It sucks. But it really does get better.

  • I know someone who listened to her bestfriend bemoan her husband being “ weird”. She was herself having an affair with him.
    They then married, and quickly had children.
    Now he cheats on her. She stays and puts up with it for his money. She has a fake life, is not happy but pretends. More clothes, more holidays etc.
    They do not change.

  • Although I gave him everything he wanted and anything he had before our marriage, all that was “tainted” with his cooties went in the trash or to Goodwill or on the curb with a nice little “free” sign (particularly satisfying because we live in a small town and everyone knew I was purging his crap). The wedding album was liberating to just toss in the trash can, like “whatevs, that’s over.” I did think about burning it but honestly didn’t have the energy and was scared because my attorney told me to not do anything he could spin around on me to make me look nuts/angry and try to take custody of my kiddo.

    What was most helpful, was to immediately change the house. Within one week I have an entire new sheet and comforter set, painted walls in the bedroom blue, and started remodeling the master bath. I wanted no trace of him in my space. IT FELT SO MUCH BETTER. What will feel even better than that is when this freakin house sells. Close!

    I have kept zero pictures of him and I’m glad. Just reminders of the fake marriage we had. I see enough of him already since we work at the same place. That’s a little slice of hell.

    Oh, and happy Tuesday everyone!

  • Best thing to do is let it go. If you have to burn something write something up and burn that. You don’t want contact with this person. Why ring her up if not for wanting to gauge her reaction when you ask. It’s a bad idea and detrimental to your moving on. Just a thought. Good luck, Tuesday will come soon.

  • IMO, ask for ANYTHING but what you want. Like Br’er Rabbit. Please throw me anywhere but the briar patch!

  • Ha, I did this except I ran out of lighter fluid and thought oh I’ll just use gas for the mower ( a bottle of wine didn’t help with decision making) needless to say I’m lucky I still have eyebrows and didn’t accidentally burn my house down. Good luck

  • There is an insult in Australia that we specially use for heinous people like this (it is also reserved for politicians, bankers, rapists, child molesters etc) and Aussies love a biting insult.

    Pardon the language, it’s very offensive language but considering what these two have done to you is beyond offensive, they’re what we call “dog cunts”.

  • When I found out about his affair, I removed and shredded all pictures of us together that were hung in the house. It felt good.

    He was butt hurt, but stayed silent as he glanced at the vacant frames. He wanted to make it work still, but wasn’t ready to end his affair just yet.

    There was a DVI and he ended up having to move out. I was grateful he hit me again as cohabiting with this fucktard of a man was torture.

    I’d been to visit a friend who stopped me from wearing a jacket that had my ex’s business logo on it. I realised some months later that all he’d ever given me as a gift to wear, was stuff with his business logo on it, so I gathered it all up to burn it.

    As I was gathering all that stuff, I realised the contradiction, as I’d bought him most of his wardrobe, even paid for tailor made suits and shirts.

    So I grabbed all that shit that I’d bought him, I grabbed all the business logo clothing he’d given me, and I burned it all.

    It felt wonderful and liberating. I think I laughed the whole time, not like a mad woman, but a woke woman.

    I was highly principled (with the exception of one item) and only set alight his clothes which I had paid for. The rest of his closet was filled with dated clothes from 1-2 decades ago.

    The divorce took close to 2 years and I waited patiently. Once the divorce was granted, 2 friends came into town and I got my wedding dress and his wedding suit down from the attic.

    I cut the dress into smaller pieces as I sat on my couch, hanging out with my friends and my kids.

    When I got to his wedding suit pants, I laughed loudly as I cut the crotch area out. It was so therapeutic.

    We went outside and burned it all, throwing pieces onto the bonfire, one bit at a time, all of us saying something significant. My friends had some concerns about doing this in front of my kids, but the kids had something positive to say about this being a new beginning for us all.

    They love their dad, but they know he is ‘limited’, and did wrong.

    The netting for my dress was the last thing we threw on to the bonfire. It went up in glorious flames, and provided the momentum for the fire that went on for a few hours.

    It was wonderfully therapeutic, for all of us.

    One of my friends had cut samples from both wedding outfits in case the children wanted to incorporate them in to their wedding outfits in the future. She wanted to make sure there was no regret or trauma, but she said after hearing my kids talk about the new beginning when burning the clothes that night, she realised how important the ceremony had been for them too.

    I’m really glad I did it. It was seriously beneficial to my healing.

    Typing this made me realise I still have a wedding album hidden away in a cupboard. Guess what I’m doing this weekend?

    • Burn It, I like your distinction between a mad woman and a woke woman. Sounds you have some excellent friends and some mature and thoughtful kids. Brilliant! All the best x

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