Dear Chump Lady,
After a year of being told lies about an affair I finally found the truth on the laptop.
So he’s 50 and she’s a 24 year old work colleague who still lives at home.
We have been together 11 years and have a little boy.
He told me he is with this woman because I didn’t want him.
He’s now sending me abusive texts about leaving his shoes in the rain and taking his clothes to the charity shop, using his toothbrush to clean the toilet, etc.
I’m angry with him treating me this way and I feel this is tame to what I should actually submit him to.
My friends and supportive sister keep saying to drop the revenge, but nothing feels better than winging his stuff over the hedge — surely I’m allowed that??
Why the hell won’t he move out, I don’t want him? He’s still living here, as we’re trying to sell the house.
Oh and he did this before in his first marriage, which he never told me about. She came home and found him in bed with another younger work colleague.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
You’re essentially trying to drive out an evil spirit, and the voodoo isn’t working. Defiling toothbrushes, soggy shoes, flinging God knows what over hedges. They’re all totems — it’s him you want to fling over a hedge. And rightly so, I’m not going to shame you for your anger. I get it. And I also get the idea that you if you make it unpleasant enough for him, he’ll want to leave, instead of hanging around cake-eating, and rubbing your nose in his affair.
But it’s not a winning strategy. And what you need here is a win — at least until the fuckwit moves out and liberation can begin in earnest.
Some ideas on how you can survive this shit — which is FINITE. Remember that, when the urge to fling a boot gets the better of you. Many of us here have had to master Grey Rock — the art of minimal engagement for the sake of children. And every single chump can relate to eating the shit sandwich of righteous fury.
The first guiding principle is that — he is FUELED by your reaction. Nasty texts means he’s engaging with you. You’re engaging with him. (Boots fly over shrubbery…) None of this is good for your kid to witness (this shit is traumatic enough for your son), and none of this is energy directed at him and sane parenting. I’m not shaming you here — you’re being provoked daily by this creep cheating and living with you — I’m saying REDIRECT. You’ve only got so much energy to give. Don’t give it to a fuckwit.
When you engage with him he believes in his CENTRALITY. It’s another variation of the pick me dance. Your grief validates him. Makes him pursue his affair with new vigor. All these women CARE for HIM! Drama! One wants to rip his hair out, the other fucks him (when mom and dad aren’t home? WTF?) You need to shut that dynamic down hard, NOW.
So — grey rock. Do NOTHING for him. No cooking, no laundry, no exchanged words. You do for your son, and that’s it. You don’t respond to his nastygrams. All communication can now go through parenting software — DOCUMENT — and it’s only about money and your child. Nothing. Else.
This will infuriate him. He will miss your (I MATTER!) reactions and he will most likely goad you. Stay strong. Keep at non-reaction reactions. Nothing says “fuck off” to a narcissist like your silence. It is the singular most wounding thing you can do — deny them the kibble life force. So do it, STARVE HIM.
Next, protect yourself LEGALLY. Remember, everything you do right now could be reviewed by a judge, who will not care about your broken heart, but probably will care if you’re doing anything that looks unstable and not in keeping with Sane Parenthood. So — eyes on the prize here.
I don’t know the laws where you are, but perhaps you could get temporary orders and a ruling to make him move out. Explore that.
But, but! I WANT TO FLING HIS SHIT OVER HEDGES!
The urge will pass. I promise. We’ve walked this path before you. You won’t feel angry forever — soon you’ll feel grateful he’s torturing the 24 year old Schmoopie and not you. Her day is coming where she walks in on him shagging an intern. Arc of the moral universe and all. Stay strong.
CN — got any surviving co-habitation with a fuckwit tips for Bev?
P.S. “He told me he is with this woman because I didn’t want him” is just projection. He’s discarding you. Grabbing victimhood here is just what these freaks do.