Dear Chump Lady
Here is a silly question. I have been through years of hell. In short, like most people here, my husband of thirty years cheated with a woman at his office 30 years younger then him. I went through all the usual crap including forgiveness, starting again, listening to him gaslighting, blaming myself, counselling, anti-depressants, pick me dance……thank the Lord I then found this blog. Yes dear readers he did it again and I threw him out, we were moving house at the time.
I was devastated. He then got cancer and had a major op…. Which killed off my no contact with the miserable toad.
However, I was preparing myself for my son’s graduation. I went for a haircut and came out with a really brilliant cut and very loud pink highlights. The question is, why did a simple cut and admittedly extreme hair colour so change my mood when everything else failed? I would say I am me again and achieving Meh. Do explain if you can.
One untold benefit of the infidelity experience is that you feel more alive.
I know that doesn’t make any sense to someone reading this with a recent D-Day. Alive? I feel run over by a Mack truck. I feel nauseous. I feel numb.
Hear me out — yes, you will in time feel MORE alive, not less. Your senses are heightened, you’re raw with emotion, and in a weird way you are more receptive to the world. There is a certain thrill in letting go. Your world is falling apart and you just fall with it. You look at everything in new ways. That sad song you heard on the radio a thousand times now takes on such import and significance. You relate to the pathos. You sing along and it feels so fucking meaningful.
This stage doesn’t last forever because we can’t go through life like an exposed nerve, but while you’re there you’ll find yourself incredibly receptive to new things. For you, that’s pink hair. For me it was welding. Embracing new things means you’re healing. Shaking yourself out of that old identity and into a new one, requires some experimentation.
Some people buy new bed linens and stop there. Other people dye their hair pink. I learned how to use a plasma cutter.
A little riff on welding — it’s like a glue gun that can kill you. Oh, I’ll just stick this piece of steel to this piece and look — it’s a flower! (See picture above — I made that!) But you ground it wrong and the current goes through you, not the metal. I did that and burned a hole through my hand. The fleshy part between my thumb and index finger had a neat, cauterized hole! WOW! Did I ever feel alive after THAT!
Sane, cautious Tracy would probably never take up welding. Heartbroken WTF Tracy did.
Old you probably would not have attempted pink highlights. New you wants to shake it up a bit and see yourself in new ways. Good for you! Rock that pink hair at your son’s graduation and enjoy your new life!
(And please tell me that even with cancer this guy is your ex. Last I heard radiation doesn’t cure cheating. Somehow I’m doubting his 30 year younger OW is sticking around for the chemo appointments…)
This column ran previously. A shout out to all the new hairdos out there. 🙂
I haven’t felt the urge to dye my hair pink but I am just beginning to feel a sense of possibilities in the air. I’m going to launch out into a new business. I’m looking at my friends marriages and not feeling envious in fact I’m relieved to be out. I’m open to pink I think I’m open to a lot of things two years since DDay. I’m just not open to another relationship that will never happen.
For fun rocking hair colors without a huge commitment – try Overtone. Pigmented conditioner. Won’t make dark hair lighter, but can certainly add some vroom!
The two main outcomes of psychological trauma are disempowerment and disconnection (See Dr. Judith Herman–Trauma and Recovery–the most important piece of trauma writing done in our lifetime). Any thing that is about personal choice and agency is our own psyche working to empower ourselves again. Every step that we achieve is a part of our recovering ourselves. So give yourself a big pat on the back for anything you do or try to to do. That’s YOU, wonderful YOU, saying I’m still here, fucker!
This >>>>”That’s YOU, wonderful YOU, saying I’m still here, fucker!”
After D-day, I was depressed, couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep. I finally went to the doctor two months later to get help. The cheating, “Christian” sociopath texted me while I was at the doctor, “I’m praying for you.” Barf! During those two months he was hard at work behind my back, launching a lie-filled smear campaign; setting me up to fall hard and ruining my stellar reputation with anyone who would listen to him.
My doctor does not like to prescribe meds that you can get addicted to, so she prescribed THREE Ambiens to use “just in case” and antidepressants. With young children in the house, I didn’t want to keep the meds laying in plain site, so I hid them in my tampon box. The day before the sociopath read me The Divorce Letter, he asked me in a nice, caring way, “Where are you keeping your meds?” Thinking nothing of it, I told him where and why I put them there. The next day he read me The Divorce Letter and then went onto say he took all my meds away “except for one pill”, so that I didn’t commit suicide. My sister went ballistic when I told her this! Yeah, I’m gonna commit suicide with three ambien!! And suicide was the farthest thing from my mind those early days. It was like he was planting seeds in my mind that I should be so upset about losing him that I’d kill myself. I never ever wanted to kill myself over losing him. I wanted to die from all the gaslighting, mind-f*cking, being lied to and manipulated by my ex-pastor and MIL and all the hard work it took to gain a life on my own. I would never kill myself over him. He’s not f*cking worth it!
So, yeah. I’m still here, f*cker!!! I’m still working daily to get a life and it’s a slow process. His whore that I caught him out with after she got a divorce — well, she had it easy. She’s been on a chemical “in love” high with dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, so it’s easy peasy getting sh*t done when your body is being flooded with all those feel-good chemicals. The same goes for my ex-cheater. They will never ever be as mighty as me and they will never be me. He’s finally equally yoked with a non-Christian like himself (true followers of JC don’t do what he did and does) and they both share the same values and morals, so they belong together.
I’m an atheist who didn’t cheat. My church-going God-fearing Wasbund however, did cheat. With a fellow believer.
Takes all kinds.
Martha – My blood just boiled reading your post and the audacity of this man to gaslight you in that manner. Feigning their concern for your well-being. What a nice guy…NOT.
Hope you’ve shut him down completely. Screw him. The best revenge is a life well-lived.
What is it with cheaters and having to make you feel like you are the bad party? My own Dickhead gaslighted me so bad the last two months of our marriage. We were supposed to be working on ‘us’. While I was trying, he was out screwing prostitutes and some other twat. He lied to me every Friday (his day off) when I asked what he did that day. He got mad at me because he had ignored me to the point that I blew up. When I did, he pointed the finger back at me as if I was the reason that we had fallen apart. Not once, did I know what he was doing or had done. I will never forgive me for making me feel like I was the bad spouse. You can only imagine my anger when I found out, a month later, what had actually transpired.
Your ex brings a different layer of pain or stupidity to cheating. What he did, what he said – there’s no excuse or reasoning. I swear they are from a different planet. But, you are right, their morals, their values (much like the Dickhead) are matched. They never deserved us.
Wow. Thank you. I have been feeling disconnected for a year. I think everything hit me. I’m reconnecting now. Feels good.
Facelift. And I love it.
Rock you pink hair. I now build barns and not little ones. And I wasn’t allowed to put a nail in the wall before. Two D days later, and husband less, 😉 you will find you and enjoy life.
I may even take up welding.
I grew my 80’s mullet again for a while after my divorce….just for the hell of it. Cut it after 9 months.
My parachute pants didn’t fit, though.
Haha, too funny!
Cheater #4 resented my short hair. I tried growing it ‘for him’, but still not enough to keep him interested, plus it felt dumpy and frumpy.
Cut it all off and felt better once I was free.
Now five years later I am growing it ‘for me’ and like it a lot more. Turns out pretty much everything suits you when you’re smiling and happy.
My cheater wanted me to cut my hair super-short (just like the OW’s). So I did, just to make him happy, all the while being clueless he was trying to get me to look like Schmoopie. My hair is back out to the length I like (long).
Cheater #4 is a bit special with hair, in that he has some kind of fixation with smelling it.
I have since watched his latest victim go from sporting a funky short hairstyle that really suited her, to ‘growing it for him’. Also putting on a ton of weight because he likes to have someone to have dinner with, heartily.
It’s awful to think how we lose ourselves in another person like this. The real question is why, and that’s one for the therapist and the journal.
I’ve been reading existentialist psychology recently, and it’s really big on our tendency to do pretty much anything to avoid responsibility. But it’s in taking responsibility for ourselves and our choices that we attain mental health and really participate in the process of self-creation.
Anxiety, they say, comes from a life crisis which is a choice point, and the anxiety is caused by the fact that we’re being forced into making a choice that we’d rather avoid. I know that’s how it felt, each time I realised I had to leave a Cheater. It was like: NO! NO! I CAN CHANGE FOR HIM!
Turns out that I COULD change – but not in the way I expected.
Dear lord I cannot wait to move out of this house we currently share! Once I graduate I can get my own home! Divorce is such a long process. I served him a week ago and he still is saying he doesn’t have a lawyer.
I’m so tired of the mind fucking! He’s still with his fuckbuddy whore, while I’m home raising two BABIES! what a twat. He kept on asking me for sex, cuddles and everything in between and I continued to deny him! And now he’s all butt hurt about it! He has his fuck buddy why want me? Oh some of his responses like “ well I enjoy spending time with (fuck buddy).
But I enjoy fucking you. Dear lord help me.
Then the other day I text him about something and I get the OMG fuck of response, and the your harassing me response. WTF? Someone please explain this to me? He’s the one that keeps the conversation last going?! I’m like going mad dealing with him!
And the social media, oh good grief the shit he shares, like a recent one saying that he attract broken people cause he’s god fuckimg great, and that those broken people drain you and sometime you have to put yourself first because you’re so awesome and perfect! Is this man delusional!!!!!!?????
Yeah fucking around on a pregnant wife, continuing to fuck your affair partner while throwing it in her face, acting like your kids don’t exist 90 percent of the time and hiding money, make you an amazing human being!
Please someone help me untangle this mindfuckery!!!!!! I cannot wait to have minimal contact with him!
Edit because he’s so fucking great*
Heartbroken, I’m sure others will chime in here. I’m not much use because my kids were older when mine fucked off. Just sending you big (no, HUUUUUGGGE) hugs. Hang in there. You will get there.
Thank you, aren’t they just such scum bags!?
Absolutely scumbags. But in their own eyes, they are wonderful. They have to take some time out for themselves because they are so exhausted from helping the broken world, and they must post about it on social media. Mine had to engage in one of his affairs because if he didn’t, he would have hurt the feelings of the woman who was flirting with him, and she was a very sensitive person. Such generosity, such compassion, such community service – to everyone except the person they are married to.
Omg that is fucking crazy! I read this shit and I’m just baffled, like wtf do these people think? They can’t truly believe the bullshit they speak can they? I’m sorry you had to go through that, these assholes
seem to love destroying lives
Oh, mine also said about one of his fuckbuddies that he fucked her out of generosity. Because she had been long divorced and her ahole ex was not paying for the education of one of her sons and so she was so heartbroken that she needed a benevolent fuck. He provided it. I was mean to not empathize with her needs.
”Such generosity, such compassion, such community service – to everyone except the person they are married to.”
I remember, when I didn’t *know* his ‘fishing buddy’ was also his *fuckbuddy*, him throwing a screaming tantrum when I asked him to drive to the chemist ( 2 1/2 miles away, and I don’t drive, + I have an acoustic neuroma which makes me very shaky on my feet walking, sometimes) to collect my prescription. He had absolutely no problem driving 20 miles away though, to the cunt whore’s house, so he could put a lock on her bedroom door.
Oh yeah, **trust that they suck** !!
Apropos of today’s post, not long after dday, I had red and gold streaks put in my dark brown hair, and it felt *wonderful*. I’m going to get a nose piercing and a tattoo as well. *We* are mighty ! 🙂
My cheater said those exact words to me as well “I enjoy fucking you” “I enjoy spending time with her” (fuckbuddy). I was disgusted – he thinks you are trapped and can not/will not leave. My cheater asked for two more years after telling me I dont give a fuck about the kids and I hate women, I should get myself aroused and let him me fuck me hard and he doesnt care if it hurts. Your cheater and OW do not give a fuck about you. I was a SAHM with my babies aged 6 and 8. First year of full time school for my youngest he started fucking his ho- worker. Keep reading Chumplady. Greyrock really does help – it highlights their appalling actions for you to clearly see. Right now my cheater works overseas and has 13 hours visitation when home (some of it is conveinent for me as I now work part-time) – his latest mindfuck is emotional blackmail – like he is a prize father- “I wont be back anytime soon for 10 hours of seeing kids” and I want to talk to you about taking kids to DisneyLand this year”. He works overseas contracting no roster.
“You’re a really good lay !” Isn’t that a lovely way for a man to talk to his wife ?!
Heartbroken, focus on getting your degree. He’s creating chaos to put you off balance. He knows your triggers and I’d using them to sabotage.
Stop talking to him about the OW and the divorce. Stop texting and looking at his posts.
He has to respond to your filing and a court date has no doubt been set. Be patient. If he doesn’t show up in court or respond they will set a new date. If he wants to discuss, tell him your attorney is handling it. Disengage with him. This type is usually cocky and may chose to represent themselves. That’s to your advantage in my opinion.
Thank you, I agree! I need to stop being so nice to a man who’s openly fucking his howorker without a thought to how it affects me. How can someone be so heartless, I’m so frustrated because he won’t stop even though he knows it’s wrong! It’s infuriating!
He is super cocky! Like he thinks he’s such a prize I should just always want him.
Heartbroken, he enjoys the pain he’s inflicting. If he mentions sex, laugh and walk away. Say nothing.
Be sure to check your state laws on health insurance. Some allow you to stay on as long as it’s included in the decree.
Also look into your future, student loans are yours to pay. Don’t share any information and keep all documents in a separate location.
Look at credit card and checking account purchases. The cocky ones aren’t too smart.
Hit the fucker where it hurts. In his wallet. Get alimony, include child care costs, medical, and dental. Cover all bases. Personally, I’d go for physical custody. Then you make the decisions for your children.
Keep your eye on the ball. It’s hard but practice makes perfect.
Yeah he must enjoy hurting me, how can someone act that way though!!!!! It’s infuriating me!!!!! How can he just throw me away! Act like his kids are a burden!!!!! Just walk away from his responsibilities and continue to see her!!!! Why!!!! I’m so angry! He lies and cheats like it’s no big deal, who is this demon!? I want to cry. And this woman how can she keep seeing him!!!!! Knowingly the whole time!? That we were married, that I was pregnant with our baby, how can a woman be ok with a man like that????? How could she sleep with him knowing he’s cheating on me!? And then share stupid shit on Facebook that makes people think she’s a decent human being!!!!!! Where do these people come from!? I’m so angry and nothing I do will ever stop them both, they are just living in lala land it seems so unfair. I’m so devastated at how callous he is like my life was a lie.
Someone help me out of this mental hell!!!!! All the while he’s in happy land. I have to keep on with being an adult, handling responsibilities, cooking cleaning, bills, kids, school everything!!!!!
Heartbroken, I 100% understand what you are going through and I’m so sorry for the pain of it all. My ex cheated when I was pregnant too and at the time we also had a one year old. My ex decided to not leave us for the ho-worker way back in 2000, but ended up leaving me in 2014 for another ho-worker. Yes, 14 years of who knows what was going on behind my back while I thought we had a very happy marriage and wonderful life.
I know none of this makes sense. I see all your questions and the best thing to do is go as much no contact as possible. Only talk about the kids and only if you have to. Be as gray as a rock to him — that’s called Gray Rocking someone. Look it up on the Internet for help on what it means. Don’t feed him anymore of your energy. YOU WILL NOT GET TRUTHFUL ANSWERS FROM HIM! You will get answers that will f*ck with your mind and you don’t need that. I wish I would have found Chump Lady and Chump Nation at the very beginning, because I had about a year and a half of mental torture with all he said and did to me, followed by all his Flying Monkeys did to me.
Take all the great advice found on this blog and do what everyone is telling you to do! Eventually your mental hell will get better and you will realize that he sucks. And his whore sucks too. Good women don’t f*ck married men! And I’m sure she knows you are pregnant, but she doesn’t care! My exes whore didn’t care I was pregnant either. I’m sure he told her some lies that she bought to justify their relationship. It doesn’t matter. Trust that they both suck and you be as mighty as you can be each day and get him out of your life! And I know it’s hard. This will probably be the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do in your entire life, but I know you can do it, because I and the rest of CN did it. Take it one day at a time. Get up, take care of your kids, go to school, work on the things that will help you get divorced from this freak. If you house isn’t spotless, who cares. Just do your best. And please stop looking at any of their social media! You are just hurting yourself and you don’t want to do that. Hugs to you. You can do this.
I’m so sorry you also went through the same thing, it really is devastating. I can’t believe he dragged it on for so many years. They really only care about themselves.
Everything your Saying is true, these people are truly horrible people. I know I have a long road ahead of me before I can move on from this hell he has created, but I have some hope because I see everyone seems to be so much better after they’ve had time to heal from it.
I am sorry that you are going through this trauma. One thing to keep in mind as you do all the heavy lifting you are doing, which IS unfair to you and kids, is you are developing strength and resilience, like someone who is preparing for a powerlifting contest, marathon, or some other athletic contest. This training is HARD, like a Spartan’ warrior’s but it will but it will physically, emotionally, and intellectually make you a Bad–s that people will admire and build your confidence in handling life, no matter what it throws at you.
But you’re divorcing him. What he ‘still’ does doesn’t matter. He sees it as ‘I’m already losing the wife appliance so it doesn’t matter what I do.’ … He did it while you didn’t know… he’s certainly not going to stop once you’re leaving- the consequences have been served to him. Don’t expect his behaviour to change. What changes is you- you get to rebuild your life on your terms. That’s the beauty. You don’t see it yet, but your actions matter. He’s a turd. A turd is a turd is a turd. Leave him in his toilet with the other woman where he belongs.
Unsure if you have a Separation agreement. If you don’t get one. There is a shelf life on guilt, and it becomes your divorce agreement. Think about what you must have, want, and would be nice to have. It’s a negotiation and it’s doubtful you will get everything. Know what you are willing to give up.
Start pulling a little more cash out when you get groceries etc. and start your own nest egg. You will be surprised how expensive everything is. Get therapy now, it does help. Don’t put your nest egg in the bank – even a safe deposit box. His lawyer can find it. Take your jewelry and anything else that you personally have that has value out of the house and hide it.
Be prepared for the shit storm to be big, bad and ugly. You’ve made the first step by serving him — you found your bad ass – let her rule your actions for awhile. All communications with him should be written as if a judge was to read them — put no emotion and just facts in them. Take screen shots of everything between the two of you. Find out if adulterous relationships get you anything in your state – it did not in mine. Find out if he leaves the house if that gets you anything as it might. You are no longer his wife – you don’t cook for him, do his laundry or hang out with him. Make him want to leave if that works for you.
Remember he is only going to say or do things that will benefit him…..zero trust. That was the hardest thing for me — married 31 years together 36.
I send you HUGE HUGS — it does get better. I’m a little more than five months from D Day and three months from divorce being final. I have happy moments, not days, but moments. I have faith it will only get better and better.
Heartbroken, it’s not you. These people ARE crazy-making. Disordered people ARE crazy-making.
Once you get your head around this, you will no longer be surprised. This calls for head down, gray rock, and as little contact as possible. You will get there.
In the meantime, expect every kind of crazy-making shit to happen, including sudden metamorphoses into The Perfect Man and Romantic Just Like It Was in the Beginning. It’s bullshit. It will last about a week at a time. Don’t fall for it.
It’s very painful for disordered people to run smack into a wall of Consequences a.k.a. Real Life. But ultimately your job is not to save him. It’s to save yourself.
Dragstrips. I have an urge to watch loud cars go really fast.
If you are 50 or older and want an attitude adjustment, Google “Iris Apfel”. She is one of my heroes, inside and out. She is a kindred spirit. Since I was a toddler, I have dressed myself and decorated anywhere I have lived, as a form of creative expression, and it has brought me JOY. My STBXH, who said he wanted to make my dreams come true, probably suffers actual physical pain when he has to spend money on anything that is not absolutely positively necessary for physical survival. His parents are German and grew up in low-income situations during WW2. When he says he has “no money”, that means the bank balance has dipped a dollar below six figures. Buying real estate? No problem!
Heating it? Buying furniture for it? To sit on? Big problem!! Buying art? ARE. YOU. INSANE?! (I am an artist. How’s that for a “you are worthless” message?) We were advised to not mix money unless we were married. Good idea! So of course, therapy advocate that I am, we got married in October and in November I start the “let’s get some outside help creating a democratic money management system. Not my way, not your way, but a third way that incorporates our strengths!” For 20 years new ideas for financial harmony which would be fair to both bounced off his boilerplate Teflon suit. For 20 years I was stonewalled. For 20 years I allowed myself to be browbeaten and shamed for wanting anything he didn’t approve of, which wasn’t much. Exactly how he was treated as a child. And he cited his resentment about this as a reason he had the affair. A big FUCK YOU for not following his financial orders.
We went to Yosemite years ago to have Thanksgiving at the Ahwahnee Hotel. I brought my massive green two-tone Italian silk taffeta ballroom skirt, a black cashmere sweater, and every piece of vintage Navajo turquoise jewelry I could put on and walk without collapsing under the weight of it. I asked him to wear his tuxedo (he bought it himself for our wedding…a miracle!). We were seated at THE COVETED ALCOVE TABLE IN THE DINING ROOM! Ralph Lauren would have passed out by the sight of us! This does NOT happen if you walk in there for dinner in your muddy active wear.
To be fair, I have tremendous compassion for the way he was indoctrinated. His parents went through trauma. They passed on their belief system. But this is what therapy is for. They have never been able to, or tried to, or wanted to change their belief system, and it works for them.
Ok, got it. But when we marry and both the families of origin sit down at the dinner table, it’s Problem-Solve or Die. He has come a long way since we met, but we could not overcome that gap in our differences, a nut I tried to crack for 27 years.
Now I can enjoy dressing up again, decorating again, being creative. Goodwill or Neiman Marcus or thrift store. Meanwhile, he had been priding himself on living on 100.00 a week in the loft of one of the buildings we own at the company we own. With plenty of cash in the bank. I called a business meeting and told him that was a ridiculous amount of money to live on and insisted he take a draw. He took my advice. He can now die happily, in a bed with a mattress stuffed full of money.
He’s going to two therapists right now on his own, for the first time in his life. It’s sad that it took him intentionally destroying our family beyond repair to inspire him to go.
…..and now the state of California is doing for us what he wouldn’t. And weirdly enough, we are now doing what I had been trying to get him to do financially. Tragic and sad.
“…..for wanting anything he didn’t approve of, which was almost anything and everything.”
I just looked up Iris Apfel – she is amazing. I want to be her when I grow up!
You can start now!
Ha, you’re so darn right!
Velvet Hammer–we are kindred spirits! Love Iris Apfel (Grandin Road now sells some of her house products), and also Betsey Johnson–both Bold! and irreverent designers. My sister once asked if Cyndy Lauper was angry I raided her closet.
I completely agree with the Pink Hair strategy for overcoming betrayal. Self-care after infidelity is not just taking bubble baths with candles; it’s forging ahead with things you have heretofore been inhibited from doing. Most important, I believe, is to reach out for new friend connections (and chump meetups are the best place to start). Ending a relationship affects neurotransmitters in the brain connected to pleasure. Best way to get back to balance is to get a dopamine rush from trying something new.
Oooh, we will have to dress up and meet!
I am once removed from Iris…she is a client of a jewelry designer friend, Marsha Archer.
I worked as a rep for Masha in 2000 and Iris owns the African mask necklace that Joan Rivers declared was hideous when we did a trunk show in Las Vegas at Saks.
❤️ you Tempest!!
Would that explain why chumps like skydiving? I’m thinking of the movie Yes Man…
I just googled Iris! Wow! I’ve seen her photo in memes but never knew who she was. Seems they’re making a one-of-kind Barbie of her – action figure! ????
I’m an artist, and am starting to paint icon-style paintings. The Christmas shortly after D-day I gave the ex one and asked if I could photograph it for FB as a friend wanted to see it. He said fine but please send it in a private message. I put it on my feed anyway because I was proud of it. I sometimes wonder whether he asked that because he thought it wasn’t good enough, or because he didn’t want the OW to know I’d given him something so personal.
I have the Barbies..of course! Which my STBHX would have a problem with. I can continue to enjoy collecting Barbies with my daughter…..
Check out the documentary about her…
Me? I just fired my therapist. She doesn’t believe in labels. I also did the math and for half what I’d be paying her for a year of weekly therapy, I can get an artisan paint job for my new bedroom.
Also! Found written proof of the sociopath’s (label!) affair yesterday, so yes to the growing documentation!
Eh, this reminded me of a woman I was talking to about divorce rates during cancer treatment. She’s an oncology nurse. Women get dumped during cancer, meanwhile men rarely ever get dumped during the cancer process. In fact, men are often taken care of by their EX-wives. Maybe I’m going going to hell, but I’d never do that. I don’t care if he has no one else. Don’t owe kindness to anyone who has hurt me that badly. Ugh
I am with you.
If my X asshat had cancer I would visit his bedside just to inform him that I will not be visiting his bedside. I would remind him that he gave that up when he abandoned me for a woman our daughters’ age.
And oh, BTW, the daughters won’t be visiting his bedside either.
He can rot.
I would believe that about the dumping. I have a friend who nursed her husband through cancer, only to be dumped afterwards by him, because after all, he now had a Second Chance at Life, and he had a Right To Live It The Way He Wanted.
These people fucking annoy me.
I dyed my light ash blond hair screaming red. I originally did it to piss cheater ex off, and to declare my indepenence, but found I liked it so much I kept it. I occasionally make forays off in to different hair colors but I always come back to red. It’s become my signature.
After 28 yrs of marriage I am finally learning to do me. Brazilian waxes, tattoo and whatever else I want!! Next is a move to another state to be near all of my family. New beginnings….
I’m wearing a pixie cut. It’s easy to style and I don’t have to fuss with it. I do have box of temporary purple that I’ve been eyeing for some chunky purple highlights.
My new me doesn’t want to stay home. I want to travel my big destination this year is the Galápagos Oslands in August. Our vacations revolves around the Dickhead’s hunting. I did get to see new places but know I get to pick where I want to go.
I make sure I have one (big – i.e. long distance) holiday a year and one European holiday a year, on top of the trips home to the UK and round here locally in France. Last year was Costa Rica and Sicily. This year it’s Sri Lanka and ….who knows. But I can now do this because I have the money (half the income but twice the savings since he’s gone) and I can go and ENJOY my vacations because he’s not there getting drunk and ruining it by pretending to know everything about everything.
Sri Lanka is a fabulous choice for a holiday! Make sure you have plenty of room on your credit card to buy gemstones!
I was thinking of the food —- but gemstones!!! Can’t wait!
The Happy ME is decorating my apartment MY way. Bold flowers on the bedspread, Bold Flowers on my shower curtain, pictures and prints on the wall, mine. No more let’s talk about it. That is all he would do is talk but no action as that required money. No more sitting on 20+ year old furniture and cooking on outdated stove. Seeing my kids and grand kids when I want. Enjoying meeting my friends without concern that I would embarrass him. FREEDOM and rocking it!!
My sister and her husband had a big argument during Christmas and while I felt bad for both of them I congratulated myself for not putting up with ex anymore. Working my way to adopting a cat. One commitment at a time.
OOH I can relate. Ex talked BIG about what cool new fun stuff we’d buy for our apartment. 2 years later we had the same old shit that we moved in with because all cute fun decorative stuff was “frivolous” and we were “saving for a house” (well I wasn’t but I guess he was, I didn’t and don’t want a house yet).
Ex always wanted me to get a lob- claiming he liked short hair better than long (now I realize it’s because his OW now On and Off GF had a lob). I tried it and hated it because I didn’t have her thin hair. I now have bum length layered hair and love it.
I am an extreme example of the “feel more alive” club. Probably as extreme as they get.
I’ll never forget how it started. The first weekend the ex had the kids, and I was all alone, there was a huge rainshower, and then this huge rainbow. It was the most brilliant, beautiful rainbow I’ve ever seen. I pulled the car over into a field just to get out and look at it. This was such a terrible time, but I stood there for several minutes admiring this beautiful part of nature.
Since then, I’ve tried all kinds of new stuff. I didn’t trade in my haircut; I have to look neat for my job, and in any event, I’m a guy :), so it’s not the same thrill. But…
I took up rock climbing. I had a fear of falling, and did it anyway. I now teach others, and I may get my certification soon.
I’ve traveled all over the world, every chance I’ve had (hence my screen name).
I took up yoga, and played on an indoor soccer team. I’m not any good except as a warm body to stop the ball when the other team’s kicked it :D, but it’s still fun.
I learned to dance.
So many new things I have done and tried in the past 3.5 years since GTFO day when X wouldn’t stop fucking OW/using pot/lying/blameshifting/gaslighting. Good riddance!
Some of the highlights: I expanded my career greatly, got my license in another state where there is tons of work, learned a whole new area of my profession, funded my retirement account 100% plus catch up for past 2 years, hired a CFP and a new CPA and redid all my estate planning. In 5 years I plan to start traveling the world and working less (I work remote so can go anywhere). On the fun front I tried a lot of new activities and found I love hiking and snow shoeing and Paddleboarding. I wanted a boyfriend who is a mensch, (not a big helpless angry baby like X) treats me like I deserve to be treated, who is fun and loving and sexy as hell— I didn’t settle and found a companion whom I love. Finally, after careful thought for 3 years I finally had plastic surgery and am literally thrilled with results (4 big babies and 10 years of nursing followed by 20 lb weight loss after DDay made me very uncomfortable with my tummy skin and deflated boobs). I earned the money, carefully selected the surgeon, and did tons of research. It was a huge deal for me as I’d never had any surgery in my life. But…. wow! Funny thing is I went very small on top and no one even notices, which is exactly how I want it. X never mentioned anything negative about my body so this has nothing to do with him and he doesn’t know about it and will NEVER get to see it— my BF, though, says he feels “guilty” because I look like I’m in my 20s in that area now — hahahah…..
CL, I love that line about radiation curing a cheater. My ex is a very high cancer risk. For years she had a few scares but caught things in time. Don’t get me wrong as I do not wish that on anyone. She is although a cheater whore that’s also addicted to mood stabilizers and opiates still the mother to my child. What hurts her hurts him. This May marks 5 years Dday. Coincidently it is the same month that child support runs out. Ive been feeling anxiety about it. I fear that shortly after she will in some way reach out. Things haven’t gone very well for her. AP is not in picture. Next man up date raped and beat her after drugging her and live streaming it. With my chissup ending she is losing close to half her income. She supports her mother who is partially disabled and collected SOC SEC early so her benefits every month don’t add up to shit. She lost our marital home she was awarded in divorce and took about a 16k hit in equity. I shouldn’t feel anxiety and should feel some liberation. Its like a young kid in the months before Christmas who feels anxious to behave. LOL We never speak or see each other and work within 1/8 of a mile. There is no coparenting of any kind. Once I discovered everything she became a very wicked person and manufactured horrendous lies and continues to do so. Shit just seems to find its way to me. I just have this feeling of dread that the past is going to come knocking again and not sure what I will do. Most likely stay NC and ignore. A little concerned I may engage and try to untangle countless years of skein for nothing. Only pain on that road. But I know in my heart and just plain intuition that its coming.
Stay strong Leonidis. I’m pretty sure she will come crab-crawling back to try to get more money out of you too, but these people (you know, those to whom the rules don’t apply) create such chaos and then expect the rest of us to sort it all out when they are knee deep in shit! As long as your child is OK leave her to stew in her own juices. Harder said than done I know, but stick with the programme for your own mental health. You owe her NOTHING!
What you do is a choice. If you are not in therapy I’d suggest it. It would give you a place to talk this out. If would also be a place of support if they did reach out.
When my DDay happened it was because my EXH had an affair with the same woman he had an affair with 25 years ago. Only now she lived 1,000 miles away. It hurt, I wanted to pick me dance (we have a 14 year old DS) but I knew that was wrong. I chose to ignore what I wanted and get a divorce doing what I needed to do. I had to stop myself multiple times from feeling like I was siddling up to him in conversations — I wanted what I thought I had. Telling youself NO and doing what might be uncomfortable is a form of self-love.
You can do this, take control, get therapy and work through this time.
SA, Ive considered seeing a therapist. Cant afford it RIGHT now. But come this May I’ll be able to do the things Ive been forced to hold off on. Being enslaved by the state of Texas for chissup means more than most realize. Cant get hurt. Cant get sick. Cant risk changing jobs for a better one. Have to maintain all existing policies from marriage. God forbid I’m in a car wreck. Support 2 households. Need to always make a minimum of 65k per year to afford to be broke. If not? Cant register my vehicle. Could lose my driver license. Possible jail time. BTW, never missed a cent. Breezed thru the only Chissup review that was increased by more than 500.00 per month to total 1380.00 per month and pay all our sons healthcare premiums. So I have definitely had a life freeze for 5 years. All this to a lying, cheating, pillhead that used me to support her and her mothers needs. It will be interesting to see what she does in May when she no longer has use for our son as a meal ticket.
Enslavement is a pretty strong term for something you ultimately chose to do. Heaven forbid you take care of your child. Yea, she should get a job, but imagine if you were your son and read this. How would you think your father viewed you?
DEM, Oy vay!!! The censor police are out. Just guessing by your avatar you are a woman. With golden uterus syndrome. Way to put a lot of foresight and thought into your comment. I will give you a run down on family court ENSLAVEMENT. Soc Sec Act Tittle IV-D. It incentivizes states to max out the amount that any non custodial parent pays in child support regardless of changes in circumstances. Regardless of who is custodial. Women today file for 65-75% of all divorces depending on which state you happen to be standing in. Women are by default granted custody 85% of the time. Regardless of age of child. These are just simple facts and you can check them. Naturally there are unable or unwilling fathers that do all they can to avoid their responsibilities. I AM NOT ONE OF THEM. I was in my sons life, married and at home, from the day he came into this world. EVERY DAY. Now don’t forget I AM THE CHUMP. I did not ask for this. I did not have an affair or a benzo and hydrocodone habit. She did. The court did not care!!! They wanted nothing more than to maximize child support that is matched federally to the state through the law I mentioned earlier. A rubber stamp custody/child support case. I survived false allegations of DV. False character assassination in family court. And because I made 3x what she did I had to take on and accept all the financial responsibilities for a failed marriage and her horrible financial decisions that she hid for about 3 years. I got everything a father could want as a custodial agreement goes. EXCEPT ACTUAL ENFORCEMENT. For dads that shit costs a lot extra. And I’m sure for moms as well. But remember that stats I gave you. So from the day of a custody agreement GUESS WHAT? I get to see my own child, LEGALLY, 2 weekends a month and every other Thursday. Good deal huh? Especially for a father that is begging to see his child. Here is more of the shit sandwich you told me to swallow in your callous comment. Another man has more LEGAL access to my kid than I do. In turn, I have more LEGAL access to another mans kids than he does. Ive had to freeze my life to make it secure for me and my son. If I have a misstep, and or an event that is completely out of my control. I face incarceration, fines and loss of freedom and civil liberties. I consulted 2 different attys for 2 years who at least were honest and said this is as good as it gets. You are a human ATM. If that is not a slave/master relationship? I don’t know what is. The vile men she brought around our son is jaw dropping. 3 DUIS, probation violations, drug arrests, DV arrests and on and on. Now let me clear one thing up. I don’t use drugs. I drink socially. No history of violence in my 48 years. Ive had the same job for 22 years and was a very loyal, faithful, providing husband and father. I DO NOT NEED TO PAY ANYONE TO CARE FOR, RAISE OR TEACH MY ON CHILD. I CAN DO THAT AND DO A MARVELOUS JOB AT IT. Had there been some mutual ground or financial and parental communication and do what is in the best interest of the child? My son, now 18, would have a car and most likely a job of some sort. money for college and to be able to put his best foot forward. BUT NO. His mother and the state wanted it all for them and her. His future is much more bleak and strained. While married for 17 years and a father since 2000 the state was never involved with our family nor did it come to my door making sure that we, huh WE, I maintained a level financially for our household. But once divorced? The level of expectation was raised and fell solely on me. But I will have you shit sandwich and large fires with it. I did what his mother could not or would not do. I, as you like to say, MANNED UP!!! Even though I didn’t bring this on my son or myself. Have a nice day!
I bet you’re looking forward to the 5-year “life freeze” thawing in the very near future; I can’t imagine the personal jail you’ve been in during this time. I pray you can stand strong when your ex comes calling, and starts lobbing arrows over the wall in your direction. Maintaining Zero Contact will be your saving grace.
MyRed, It will remain zero contact. I will never forget the “Devils Circus” of Family Court and the show she at least attempted to put on. She cried and played victim. Threw whatever she could at the wall to see what it would stick. Any parental decisions that could be made since have been without me. She stated in text, which I showed in court, that she wanted mothing but money from me. I have put off so many things in my life and health to keep things safe and secure for my son and myself. Just because I will no longer be mandated by the state to provide the way I have does not mean I will stop. But I will have options and choices. I will be able to guide my son to make choices (especially tune in his own picker so he doesn’t have to go through the same with his own family) and prepare himself for young adulthood. So he can make good decisions and have reasonable expectations for life. I want nothing but the best for him and hope he never has to live like I have. As for his mother. I told her 5 years ago, don’t look back to me. I will not be here for you. This is the bed you made and you WILL lay in it. Truth be told. Things have gone pretty much as Ive expected. She used me for a living for the last 5 years. Has nothing to show for it and has lost more than she would ever admit to. Hope the people that she lied to and drank the kool aid ask her one day soon. If everything you said was true? Why is your life so much less without your sons father? Why are you struggling with caring for your mother and under such financial strain? Why did you lose your home? Why are these miserable losers in your life? And the biggest. Why is your ex-husband not having all these problems that you are? TADA!!!! So looking forward to liberation and control over my own life again!!! It will definitely make me a better father/parent for my son!!!! THX FOR THE PRAYERS!!
At 54 I put all of his things in garbage bags and threw out the garbage. Got purple highlights. Went to Mardi Gras and got two tattoos. Bought an Audi. Loving life.
For me it’s a house. I’m getting an old house with character as opposed to the boring tract home he wanted. I might add that he made me to risk my health renovating it and our former vintage house (which I was terribly sad to leave, so many memories) because he was too lazy or too busy with his mistress to do his share of the work, even though he’s the one who insisted we move in the first place.
Now I’ll get back to a lovely old house and fill it with antiques. He won’t have a thing to say about the paint colours (he likes everything beige, the boring jerk) which he bitched about in our other houses. I will also get to be in a small town whereas he insisted on being in the city, which I now know was so he could have better access to bars and rock concerts to get wasted at and have more opportunities to meet women. He claimed it was because he was sick of commuting by car to work and wanted to take the bus, only to begin driving to work again within months of the move, claiming the bus was too smelly. Something smells about that and it aint the bus. It must be all the groping of his howorker he did in the car at lunchtime and all the drives he took in it to her house when he was “working late”.
I got chumped on multiple levels; location chumped, house chumped, car chumped as well as the standard chumping. Never again. Soon I’m off to my beautiful old house in a delightful town and nobody is ever going to take me away from it.
After my divorce was final my daughter took me to get my first tattoo – a small crown – as a permanent reminder that I am the Queen of my own life and will never again give up my control over my own destiny or my freedom.
He liked straightened hair. I had curly hair.
After D-day I had a hair cut to put the spring back in my curls. Stop! I said when one side was cut and the other longer…. loved asymmetrical… then after Appeal court… red on the longer side and this fades gradually to pink.
This has been the new me, post divorce for over 2yrs now and Loving It! It’s a f**k you to him, the shit in my old life and actually to the world. I’m 63…
I just learned that my last partner, the one I loved as a friend and then an intimate partner (30 years on total), married the work subordinate he left me for a little over a year ago. He wasted no time (under a year, as he did with his first wife) locking her down. I anticipate him and his second wife having kids any day now. He’s pushing 50, just a few years younger than me, and she is pushing 40. I just lay in bed staring at the ceiling yesterday, devastated, even though he frequently interspersed Mr. Nice Guy treatment with dealbreakers and, I learned a couple of years into our dating, never posting any photos/comments about me in social media because he was embarrassed to be seen with me. (Not sure why as, although I am not a supermodel, I am a slim, athletic, well-groomed, educated friendly woman with decent features and he was not bad looking but no Jack La Lane/Brad Pitt.) I got up today, realizing that nothing (positive) is going to happen if I just lie there and when the bottom falls out, as I feel it has in my case over the last few years, there’s only one way to go–up. So might as well be daring. Here’s my version of trying something new–As a divorced fifty-something-year-old mother, I am leaving my job, which had some lovely clients and colleagues, but no perceptible room for growth and thus could not support for my family for much longer the way I was going, and my industry without anything lined up. Scary and exciting. I will have to work harder than I ever have, even harder than I did while simultaneously working on my PhD and raising very young children, mostly without spouse around. I am sure that many people will think that I’m nuts for doing this, but, in a way, I feel as though after half a century I am finally starting to live my authentic life and really listening to my own voice instead of waiting for someone to tell me what to do. Also have started calling people although I have always viewed myself as ‘NOT a salesperson.’ Wish that I had started on this path over 30 years ago, but better late than never. I am also going to try not to stay mad/sad about the demise of past bad intimate relationships. Staying angry and sad hurts me, not them. They’re off living their messed up but generally affluent, conscience-devoid lives. If I had fully valued myself and realized that building up my competence and self-efficacy would have seen me through on my own, I would never have tolerated 90% of the garbage I tolerated from my dishonest, cruel, unloving partners and others (in the academic/professional world).
<3 You're going to do great.
Could you tell me what got you into programming (script writing)? I have been taking software courses (SQL, Tableau, Quickbooks) in the hopes of finding (or creating) paid work opportunities. Would like to create a blog, perhaps in a year.
Make your blog now. It won’t hurt anything. Hell, I don’t even have a blog.
RSW, that was a helluva hard blow for you. I know you’ve been dreading it, but now it’s happened – and it’s over. And you have handled it with dignity and grace.
Your life, on the other hand, is JUST BEGINNING. Seriously. I know this will be hard for you, but fortune favors the audacious. I think you just turned a big corner. Congratulations.
And spot on for identifying the things that really matter. I am your age, fat, snaggle-toothed, hopelessly nonathletic, and happy as a pig in clam chowder – because I live my authentic life, and have self-efficacy and agency.
As your authentic life grows, you will become happier. All the detritus of depression and the past – where you’ve measured your worth by the amount of male interest you could command – will fall away. You’re worth so much more than you realize – I know your confidence has taken an almighty hammering, but there’s a stronger woman starting to emerge from underneath that process.
Everything around us constantly forces us to weigh our worth by the weight of 1 x diamond ring and 1 x gold ring on 1 x left ring finger. That’s probably less than 10 grams, all up.
But you know what? If you go to this website, you can calculate your weight in gold:
The combined rings are worth around $370. I weighed in at 174lb this morning; I’m worth $3,246,327.17. Yes, that’s 3.2 million fucking DOLLARS.
Who’s more important in this scenario? That would be me. You should try it – calculate your weight in gold, because that’s what you’re worth.
so sorry RSW. been flat on my back starring at the ceiling too after 30 yr marriage. we all have! good luck to you! sometimes we have to go sideways to go forward! better days ahead. hugs! hope you got a good settlement!
So my ex HATED the color red and Jeeps. So guess what my vehicle purchase was after the last D-day? Yes, a flame red Jeep! It is like my eternal middle finger to my ex.
Since the divorce was finalized, I have learned to play three different instruments and now a member of two bands. Ever heard “Born to be Wild” on banjo? I can play it! Never would have been able to do anything like that before.
I cleaned out my basement and my attic. Just pitched and donated. Realized after quickly divorcing my cheating ex that I could live and be happier with less.
I haven’t travelled.
I haven’t earned advanced degrees.
I haven’t changed jobs.
I haven’t left my rental home. I have no desire to buy a house, but I would love to fix up this one, if I had the money.
I have discovered my creative side— I’ve begun going to the wine and paint place, owned and operated by a fellow autism-mom. I started making wreaths and I’m damn good at it, if I must say so myself. I sell them for not-much-profit. I don’t make them to break anyone’s bank, just enough to cover material’s costs and a little extra for me.
I haven’t exercised, but I am taking steps now to get healthy.
My hair color has been blonde to red to brown – whatever color I feel like on whichever day.
Mardi Gras is a big thing here in my town, not New Orleans- Alabama
The first year after D-Day/divorce, I went to four Mardi Gras balls with friends, not with a pain-in-the-ass grumpy ex always having something to bitch about.
This will be Mardi Gras season #4 solo for me and I will enjoy every minute of it. He ruined 13 years for me, no more.
I’ve been raising my autistic DD without him or his lazy ass. He’s too busy with Mrs. Dumbass’s 2 kids.
I’m a homebody, only go out socially every other weekend, but my walls sing nonetheless.
I’m a mom.
I’m a friend.
I’m a hard-working civil servant.
I’m safe and secure in my life.
That’s all I can expect for now.
In one year, I started a wine club. Started guitar lessons. I’m on the leadership track for my work, taking classes. I’ve inventoried the entire house, purged and found a place for everthing. I’ve painted three rooms. Chipped away at unfinished projects that never seemed to get done during the marriage in our fixer-upper. Counselling, a support group, reading self-help books. I even have an attractive “friend” who is an old flame from my 20s who was chumped by his wife two years ago. We get together for drinks and company. Feels nice.
Overall, I am enjoying being single and discovering who I am as a single person. My stress in managing my life is far less what it was for years when married. Although I still experience the occasional pain in my heary for what “could have been,” I realize it was always the dream I was struggling to make true. Sometimes, I still feel some panic over some woman my ex chose over me, I know whole-heartedly that I lost no prize and she sure hasn’t gained one.
My daughter wants purple tips and my sin wants blue hair. I’ve purchased the colour and have told them I will do a strae of each colour in my hair when I do theirs.
I did a lilac rinse on D Day 6 months ago, before I caught him cheating for the 4th time. So crazy hair colour has kind of defined my new life triangle free.
Anyway it was getting kind of tired and didn’t work with my summer tan so two weeks ago I went fully bright apricot.
Wow did that generate a whole lot of head turning (the good kind) and compliments! Wish I’d gone there sooner.
The only unwelcome part is that it’s also given the wasbund another topic with which to Hoover me in (been ongoing since Xmas when I let him come over to spend time as a family with our two little kids – with one epic devalue in between. I’m not being sucked in. It’s a good reminder as to why I discarded him).
The old me always wanted to go there with my hair not sure why I didn’t. Too busy controlling my wayward husband trying to catch him out on his cheating I guess and save my home. The good news is I have the home (doubling down on the mortgage but worth it) AND the shiny bright hair. My guess is he’s only hoovering me to triangulate the OW he’s been screwing for 3 years whose shiny bright and NEEDY AF attitude must be starting to get tired.
Girl needs to work on that. I’m just about ready to text her to let her know that ticket out of Hell she gave me is being declined by him and he’s trying to hitch a ride back into my life and I’m not into it!
But having gone 6 months not contacting her and not looking like the crazy jealous bitch he’s probably telling her I am I’m not about to start now.
I bet she’ll be rocking bright apricot hair in no time (not the first time she’s tried to co-opt my life as her own and fucking my husband for 3 years not the only way she’s tried to). Shame I can’t see her 5 Facebook profiles to find out when she does. No drama there ????????♀️
We all find something to make us feel better. But in time many things make us feel better. After 31 years my ex also found a young woman that was a year old when we got married. Buying tires lately made me feel good. Never would have thought it would.
I got a tattoo and started to paint
I also moved to NYC, went back to school, and got a job.
Hey Chump Nation! Hoover alert!
He just called to ask if he can borrow a vaccuum cleaner for his groovy Greg Brady bachelor pad.
I think I was just literally Hoovered.
(Nope. I bet you can find one of those on Craigslist too….)
I know this is a very late comment to post here but at the time this blog was posted I hadn’t done anything to comment on yet.
Well, today that changed. I was at a gathering over the weekend with a group of friends. One of my good, good friends is terribly disabled but despite living in torturous nerve pain due to spinal cord injury she has remarkably well kept feet and toes which sport a gorgeous red polish. Although she spends 90% of her time home on her back staring up at her ceiling she takes the time to do self maintenance and her feet are included in that bundle.
I looked down at my dingy feet. Two trusty friends who have carried me far in my life yet I have always taken them for granted. Upon returning home something in me woke up and I decided to paint my own toenails. Something I have never done in my entire life!
Out came the bucket of water so I could give my feet a good soak prior to trimming up my nails etc. Well, my dexterity ain’t what it used to be so even being able to reach my toenails in order to paint them was a challenge in itself. My attempts were a disaster so I stopped after painting and figured i would give it a go the next day. Lord knows I needed a rest 🙂
Later on while walking my dog I ran into a neighbor who is in her 80’s and I decided to ask her if she painted her nails and her response was immediate, “Oh yes but I have them done and Angels Nails.”
Well, today I walked into Angels and left an hour later sporting 10 freshly painted little toe nails and feeling like I was walking on air since the pedicure included a foot and lower leg massage all off a mere $25.00!
This is so out of my character – I do not do these kinds of things for myself – I do not even think of doing these kinds of things for myself so I am still shocked but proud too because this simple act lets me know something has shifted in me and boy did it feel good.
Thanks CL and CN for shining a light into the darkness that surrounded me and showing me the way back to sanity.