Dear Chump Lady,
My husband and I separated six months ago. I was 36 weeks pregnant when I discovered his six week affair with his accountant from his emails (purely by accident — I didn’t suspect a thing). I also had a toddler and was suffering from extreme morning sickness.
When confronted, he didn’t deny it, he simply packed his bags and moved in with her. She was married with two kids so she left her husband to be with him. She and my husband are still together.
I have since had the baby and he comes to visit now and then. He and OW have split up and got back together several times so I know all is not rosy there. However, I just can’t accept that he truly sucks. All the evidence is there — he cheated on me while pregnant, then abandoned me and the children. He also left his first wife when their second child was six months old so he is a repeat offender.
But he is a really sparkly person and every time I see him, I seem to get sucked back in to missing him and the life we had together. I find myself wondering what he and OW have that is so much better than what we had. What do they talk about? Do they talk about our kids (she hasn’t met them yet)? Do they eat the same dinners he used to cook for me? Go to the same restaurants? Visit the same hotels? I just can’t seem to move on and accept that he truly sucks, that she isn’t somehow the winner here and that their relationship is irrelevant to me.
My heart and my head are at war and my heart is still winning. Help!
If he doesn’t suck, what is your definition of “suck”? Drowns baby kittens? Kicks elderly people in the head? Steals drugs from cancer patients?
Sure, if he did THOSE things, you would see that he sucks. My examples aren’t rhetorical. In every instance, he would be harming a vulnerable population — baby kittens, elderly people, cancer patients. Only the really despicable would sucker punch a weaker person. Only truly dreadful people prey on the vulnerable, right?
Vulnerable like say… a woman 36 weeks pregnant with a toddler.
This man cheated on you during a time in your life when you needed him most. He then abandoned you with a newborn and a toddler. Just ran off with NO explanation (what could he say? “I am filth”?) — a complete shit and total coward — and you want this person back?
What kind of sparkles eclipse that lack of character? Blinding sparkles?
He’s an asshole. He did this before (please tell me you weren’t the OW in that scenario). This is who he IS.
Who is that? A man you cannot trust. A man who cannot be relied upon to support his family and the mother(s) of his children. A lot of chumps blame themselves for their cheaters’ infidelities. What are you going to blame yourself for — carrying his child? Taking care of a toddler? Did kibble production fall so low he had to go find it elsewhere? Do you really want the sort of narcissistic monster that demands more kibbles from a pregnant woman who is otherwise occupied, you know, gestating a human being? Do you think you can keep up with that kind of demand? Because you cannot. NO ONE can. It’s batshit disordered.
So why do you miss him, why can’t you trust that he sucks? Because you’re mourning the dream of what You Thought It Was. You invested wholly in that dream and you thought this man was your security. He gutted you and now you need security more than ever. What’s more scary than being cheated on while pregnant? Being abandoned. Feeling twice as vulnerable now, you’re naturally afraid, and so you do that chumpy thing — you return to the very person who gutted you and demand that he heal you. He must make it better. He must reverse this. Only he has that power to bring the dream back!
Fuck him. Fuck the dream. That dream is dead. I’m sorry, Lisa. It’s time to rely on yourself and cut this toxic man out of your life.
Does he cook the same dinners? Go to the same restaurants? Visit the same hotels? Yes. Because he’s not very original. One kibble source is as good as the next. When that kibble source flags he will find another. (Apparently, he’s already keeping the OW off balance, dumping her and taking her back to increase the pick-me kibbles.) He does all the things he did with you because that’s his schtick. No one is special. Read that again: NO ONE IS SPECIAL. He only treats women “special” to lure them in as a kibble source. When they get vulnerable or tired or divert their energies to someone that isn’t Him and His Needs — he bails. When he needs a new sucker, he turns the “special” sparkles back on.
You miss the sparkles. You miss the illusion of being special. I get it Lisa. Been there, been a chump. Listen, the sparkles are a halluciangenic drug. It’s just a feeling of “special.” But the hangover is insane and withdrawal is painful. If he truly thought you were special, if he cherished you, if he were CAPABLE of cherishing you, he would not have abandoned you.
That doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of being cherished. You are. But love yourself first. Love yourself more than this asshole. Love your children more. Call a lawyer and make this guy your EX husband. Nothing here to save. (((Big hugs)))
This column ran previously and there’s a special front-row bench in hell for people who cheat on pregnant women.