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Glimpses of Meh?

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MEH

Anyone seen the Promised Land? Are you at Meh?

“Meh” — that liberating place of acceptance — is where you no longer are consumed with cheater drama. You don’t love them. You don’t hate them. You sort of pity anyone within a five-mile radius of them, but their existence doesn’t rock yours anymore. You’re Meh. Whatever.

Meh doesn’t mean you’re okay with injustice, or having your boundaries trampled. It means that you’ve internalized “Trust That They Suck.” They SUCK. Not your job to fix them. You’ve got a life to gain — who’s got time for that crap?

Now, I know what you’re thinking — Tracy, if I were at Meh, do you think I’d be at Chump Lady? Isn’t this the place to come vomit my grief daily?

Well, newbies wash up on the shore here every day, and yes, in the early stages, no one is at Meh. (There’s numb. That is not Meh.) Meh comes on gradually — the longer you do no contact, the more you build a new life, and the more you internalize that this person is NOT a prize. Before you know it, you’re a veteran.

Oh yeah right. There’s really a mythical place ahead where I ACCEPT what happened and I don’t give a shit about the Fuckwit? He can erect a billboard to his Happiness, post a thousand schmoochy pictures of himself and Twinkie on social media and I won’t feel stabby?

Yes! Meh exists! Today your assignment is to share your Meh. Describe it. What’s it taste like? How free do you feel?

Maybe you old timers could pick up a few chumpy hitchhikers on the road to Meh. Tell them what’s ahead. Happy Friday!

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I have seen the light and it feels so meh! I’m not having nightmares about them anymore. He’s not the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning. The only thing I feel is slight amusement when I see his feeble attempts to contact me. He can go ahead and stare at me at the gym, send unnecessary work emails, even threaten me with a bogus lawsuit. He sucks. I know it. Maybe he knows it? The thing is, I don’t care anymore! I may feel meh about him, but I’m back to my normal self. The difference is I know the red flags. I know to trust my instincts. And I can see how much power I have by refusing to let those toxic, disgusting people continue to be in my life.

    • With the passing of time I have found peace in Meh land. No more policing, anxiety, stress, money-troubles (not that I have a lot to spare but it isn’t being taken by a cheater for his whore #winforme) or heartache. Peace is a truly wonderful gift and I hope all chumps can discover it too.

    • It’s been several years now, and sadly, I’ve only reached the outer suburbs of Meh-tropolis. The progress is real, though.

      I think the most important tool for getting there is Gray Rock (thank you, CL/CN), especially for those of us with complicated children’s arrangements. Once you’ve learned NEVER to let even a peep of emotion slip into your communications with the Suck Person, you will begin to extricate yourself from Suckland.

      Good luck!

      • “Once you’ve learned NEVER to let even a peep of emotion slip into your communications with the Suck Person, you will begin to extricate yourself from Suckland.” This… Man have I had a hard time with this. He is non-stop saying really mean unnecessary things to me knowing he left me for another person. Yes, I am Gray Rock and only email and text about the kids but he finds every opportunity to be ugly to me. I just don’t get it.

        • Many of them seem to live in attack mode. It’s a very strange affliction. They have a lot of venom and bile to spew. It takes discipline not to fight back when attacked. But they LOVE it when they know they have hit a nerve. Gray rock frustrates the hell out of them.

        • Look up “extinction burst”. He’s there.

          Piss him off until he rips himself in two by continuing to ignore/grey rock him.

        • The Suck Person is not entitled to your feelings. Gray Rock means they never know how you feel, so their manipulation techniques (usually) fail.

          Conduct your business with them as though (I think CL said this) they were your plumber and you had a stinky toilet – resolve the issue and politely conclude the communication. You don’t invite the plumber/Suck Person out afterward for drinks to talk about your lives.

          • Unless of course your shithead stbx was a plumber..and then he will ask you out for coffee, drinks and whatever 😀😀

          • I really messed up this past week. DS ran away on a 10 degree night and was gone for a few hours. Needless to say I was very stressed, police there to help etc. EXH blames me when I called him (he’s 1,000 miles away) and I lost it. Literally screened ‘it’s your fault for leaving us and moving 1,000 miles away to live with your whore’. Yep I totally lost it.

            Not sure how to get back to no contact….I don’t call, text and only email about DS. Feels like I am starting over.

            • Don’t overthink it. You’re going to fall, but you get back up on your horse and start riding and each time gets easier and you go a little further.

              • That is so true..”each time gets easier”. I lost it NUMEROUS times…My last time was this past April/Mayish. Sooo….. this fall when he sent me a picture of him and OW (selfie); I just shake my head. Yeah it still hurts, but not as much. I won’t allow him to hurt me anymore; nothing surprises me! No contact is for me! I’m not at MEH yet, but am so much closer than last year this time.

        • Search DARVO and Narcissist. Once you realize this is how they deflect any blame and responsibility (IMO they truly believe this), then you realize you are never going to get them to come to their senses. Not only was Dr. Cheaterpants like this, I’m in a battle with an employee like this. She is a handful and a lot of people believe her nonsense.

          Here’s a snippet I pulled from an article:

          “DARVO refers to a reaction that perpetrators of wrong doing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior. The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim into an alleged offender. This occurs, for instance, when an actually guilty perpetrator assumes the role of “falsely accused” and attacks the accuser’s credibility or even blames the accuser of being the perpetrator of a false accusation.”

          DARVO seems to be a combination of projection, denial, lying, blame shifting and gaslighting. Dr Freyd notes that other observers have identified the same phenomena using different terms. My male clients experience this behavior when they try to hold the abusive women in their lives accountable. It also seems to be common behavior in most predators, bullies, high-conflict individuals and/or abusive personality-disordered individuals. DARVO especially seems to occur in high-conflict divorce and/or custody cases.

          • ^^^this!
            I cannot thank ChumpLady and all the chumps on the forum enough for all that I have learned. Spotting and understanding DARVO, gaslighting, and narcissistic supply was a huge step, for me, to Meh.
            I no longer have to deal with the ex, but I carry this knowledge into my workplace. I have the tools (gray rock) to interact with my disordered bosses. Their behavior is so predictable, it is comical to me. Being able to laugh and finding my ex to be a ‘joke’… another step to Meh.

    • Last night I got my bike robbed.
      It was one of the first presents ex fucktard gave me after we got married. I saw the thieves jump over the wall and pull the bike over . I smiled
      I wasn’t bothered . Yes it was just a bike but it was used constantly to pillory me about not riding it enough (WE got pregnant soon after) and every time said bike was mentioned for the last 20 years he would put it into the context that I was ungrateful for his gift because I had the audacity to get pregnant.
      Anyway it’s Tuesday as I read this post and I thought this day of meh would never come and certainly didn’t think it would be symbolised by me not giving a shit my bike got nicked !!

  • Totally! It took me 27 months to get to MEH! I knew deep inside me when I reached 24 months but I finally got it!!! Best advise from you, I am deeply grateful to Tracy’s advise and the book that I read over and over …I still do =) in my case I had an amazing team support which helped through the rough times between lawyers and ex-cheater, abuser. The gaslighting effect was the one took me longer to overcome.
    I am enjoying life now on my own!!! Yes!!! Be Awesome to all followers, best to Rock!!!

  • 92.6% Meh.
    Things changed for the better emotionally after the 4 year divorce was finalised and we were in a permanent home, I no longer felt afraid of him one day. Then I saw a photo of him and the new squeeze with “I love you to the moon and back” on a fridge magnet at his mum’s house in Jamaica when I was taking little legs to see her Grandparents (I’m UK Based, it was a financial sacrifice) and felt sorry for her.
    He gets me sometimes when I am resentful I have to start over romantically.
    And when he messes with child support.
    Otherwise, I have no yearnings or interest in his life.
    Meh is pretty great.

  • I’m trying to get there – will be two years in March since he walked out/I kicked him out when he resumed contact with whore after four months of pick me dancing. I dont miss him. I dont miss his (constant) chaos. I dont miss his sulky face, lazy attitude, undermining approach to family life, negative attitude to anything we tried to do, non existent contribution to any discussions in the house. I miss a physical presence in my house. I miss having someone (I thought) I could rely on. I miss having the other parent of my five young children to share any burdens or joys or just silly things they said with. He took so much of this with him. But I realise only when he went he took so much negativity as well. I am getting to meh. Strong no contact being practised in the last 2 months and I feel more in control even if his intentional 9 months of unemployment, non payment of maintenance or mortgage, and not taking his kids at agreed times jars still. Not there but trying really hard to get there. Going to face awful court and legal battle imminently so I know I wont have meh for a while but if I can see snippets of it now I will be content

    • Your comments about what you miss, fit me to a T. We miss something we never had or just the simple things about the kids you want to share. I’m 21 months out and don’t have the need to share anything with him. I want this divorce done so I can totally disassociate from him. I am starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there!

      • Hi Julianne, I want a definite separation from him too – hes the one who wanted this blooming separation/divorce and now hes stalling by not producing bank statements, agreeing to paying maintenance etc. I so want out but he is being a tosspot and wasting more money and racking up the stress factor with his inaction. He was so slow to do anything when he was with me I see the same (intentional) inaction now. I share nothing with him – havent done I think since he walked – that is hard. No one else feels the same joy at your 8 year old reciting a poem about eating spaghetti as a mum or dad. But he is not watching them grow up. Hes not getting that poem recital. Hes missing so much. I was in disbelief at the start of this mess of how a man I thought was a loving father could do this to me, his kids blah blah blah. Only slowly I realise what narcissism really means, and as someone said he is an emotional vacuum. Sitting in the car this morning waiting to bring my older son to school – head down glued to his phone. That stupid phone. His passport and one way ticket to infidelity that me his trusting wife never did the infidelity police on. I dont want to think about him as it makes me cross and upset. Life is better than being with someone who walks out on a wife and five kids and tells her he is entitled to his happiness and when I meet someone else I will realise what true love is. Flip, I thought I experienced that 15 years earlier when I met him at the bottom of a church aisle and we both said ‘I do’. I have the kids all of the time. Not sure how I’m going to juggle this true love I’ve yet to meet. But I’ve managed the last 6 weeks with a broken leg and 5 kids and no spouse so I’m sure I’ll be able to juggle a good (available!) man should I ever hopefully cross paths with him

        • Just a thought about no one else feeling the same joy at our children’s special accomplishments etc. That was one of the most gut wrenching things to get over for me. Over time though I can see that even that perceived sharing was not the same kind of ‘joy’ we feel. I can hear it when my son speaks to his Dad on the phone and tries to get him to share in some new excitement. If it is something Dad is into or makes Dad look good, he joins in. If it is something Dad is not into, then poor kid gets shut down, not overtly. It’s subtle, just like he used to do to me but I never realized it. It’s JUST NOT THERE. Empty. He is not into his son as a whole person, just as his son. He loves him in his own way, but not in a way we can relate to.

          • Really insightful observation that also describes how these dysfunctional, hollow people (not just cheaters but any narcissists, alcoholics, etc) relate to us vs. how we wish they were relating to us. They’re just not capable; they’re broken and it’s not up to fix them.

          • I agree with this insight. I worry that will happen with my ex and the kids. Then, I wonder if I’m reading too much into things. And, sometimes, I wonder if I’m being too judgmental. Hopefully that is the case. He’s not being a bad father; just a lazy father. I still look over all the details of the kids’ lives. He picks them up, they watch lots of tv, play video games, and very occasionally do something else. It’s not very active parenting.

            He’ll suddenly appear more on the ball at times. It’s those times that I know he’s not spending as much time with the OW and now he’ll give parenting some more attention. He doesn’t make all that much money and so he gets the kids almost nothing, yet I know he goes out to dinner with the OW and has gone weekends away. It saddens me that she gets prioritized over the kids. Luckily, they’re too young to notice too much; they’re just happy to see Daddy.

            However, we were always active as a family doing all kinds of free things. Community festivals, events at the public library, hikes, playing ball. He’s a major baseball fan (even ran a fairly successful blog for a few years), yet he never throws a ball around with his own kids or signs them up for baseball. I do. I realize now how much I carried all those activities and just saw it as us as a family. He has the know-how through those years of experience of things to do with the kids.

            He has access to my garage keypad code. That is how he picks up and drops of the go-between overnight bag. I told him that he can take whatever is in there to do with the kids – skates, sleds, balls, golf clubs, snow shoes, roller blades, bikes, camping gear, beach gear. He’s been gone 13 months and he has not used anything from the garage a single time. Not once. Nor did he even think to divide any of these things when he left last year or ask me since to take some of it.

            I fear he’ll end up fathering like his own father. He’ll be present in superficial ways, but he won’t dive into his children. He’ll love them, but with some distance. All of it civilized and hard to pinpoint what is missing (like our marriage). Hopefully, my children won’t pick up on those relationship traits and continue the inter-generational dysfunction, so I’ll try my best to counter-balance this with how things are done in my home. What goes on over there will be my “meh” as long as the kids are not in danger.

            • This shows who most cheaters are. They are great when others prop them up. Not so great when it comes to doing the work. Like most Chumps, I did it all…and well. The parenting, the housework, the yard work, decorating, holidays and birthday celebrations, and the whole perfect family bit. He was good when he just made an appearance👎😂 and didn’t cause drama. I remember feeling thankful when he just did things he was supposed to. And then appalled because…wtf??? Sometimes you are just so frog boiled that you don’t even recognize how many things you’re juggling all by yourself, while X’s one constant trick pony was taking care of himself.

          • Wondernomore, you put my thoughts into words, it is heartbreaking when they show no interest in their children’s accomplishments unless somehow they will gain some recognition. Ex shows indifference with anything our son is interested in or finds exciting. Ex instead will ridicule whatever our son is interested in and make fun of him like the obnoxious bully he is,
            I tried to encourage ex to show an interest inner son by suggesting things I thought ex would enjoy. Ex told me to mind my own business, he had nothing in common with our son and ex was fine with that. Nice Dad..
            When our son would have friends over ex’s personality would change from miserable and nasty to great guy, super Dad. Ex’s entire demeanor would change including his voice, he’d sound like a talk show host, making stupid remarks trying to be funny along with a big loud fake laugh. Thinking about it turns my stomach.
            It makes me sad to know that I’ll never be able to share stories of our sons life with my sons father or my son will never hear his parents reminisce together sharing memories of the day he was born. I realize now that ex never valued our life together or our son like I did.
            I don’t think they love their children, they use them like everyone else in their lives.
            They can say they have children and get attention, they use their kids for attention, as tools, they’re convenient to have as someone they to hang out with when they find themselves alone someone to hang out with in-between relationships. he when they find themselves alone..
            If they genuinely love their children they wouldn’t shatter their lives. A devoted father and family man is too busy thinking of their family, making plans to do things with or for their children instead of making plans to do things for or with a stranger.
            Cheaters are poor role models for their children

            • Brit- thank you for this post. Your words are heartbreaking and yet comforting in their familiarity. My son is 20 now and successfully forging his own path with the unwavering love and support I’ve given him since the day his father left. He consistently chooses to stay with me during school breaks though his father and stepmothers house is bigger and “nicer.” Atthe start of last holiday break he walked around, looked at the familiar cheesy Christmas decorations of his childhood and said “it’s good to be home.” Home and family are the soul food that his father can never provide.

        • Nini, that’s pretty damn mighty, managing 5 kids with a broken leg. Sending healing thoughts to you along with great respect.

    • I’m nowhere near meh yet, but I m approaching the outer boundaries. I really relate to your paradox of not missing the person but really missing their presence. In 2 months it will be our 25th wedding anniversary; my first support hearing is next week. My lawyer can’t even get him to the table to reasonably discuss divorce settlement. Yet when I have a nightmare, when something funny happens with our daughter, or when I hear an interesting news article, it’s those times I feel more like a widow than anything. I think meh, however, will come by way of the dog. He’s pretty interested in our daughter, the news, and he’s always willing to cuddle in the middle of the night
      These posts offer hope.

    • wow, how you described your ex at home felt like you were talking about my ex!! it just shows how they have checked out already but stay untill they are ready to jump ship! They just want their ego rubbed by being desirable. i think my ex had a shock when i told him i never wanted him back after i found out about ‘his friend from work’ whom he moved in with promtly. now he spends his days gas lighting me, playing the victim and trying to control me finacially and with time by having the children as little as possible so i have no time to myself.

      I am no where near meh yet, but i look forward to it and can see the light at the end of the tunnel now ive started grey rock tehcnique

  • Meh,
    That place where I see a future without her in peace. I am so at meh, I don’t know what is next. But my cheating ex plays so many games with my daughter who’s 17 I can’t even try to contact my daughter anymore. It’s all games I’m walking away from both of them for my peace. Every time I reach out to my daughter my ex uses it as a chance to play games. My daughter wants nothing to do with me so what do I do? I have to go no contact meh right? on my daughter?

    • At 17, quality over quantity? Most teens don’t want to hang with their parents, and that’s normal. I’d try to untangle normal teen I-don’t-know-you from your worst fears. I’m sorry your ex is being horrible. Don’t give up on your daughter though. Divorce is hard on kids. Just keep reaching out and be sane, stable, and loving. Hope others who lived this weigh in.

    • I agree, don’t quit. Even little fast food meals are a place to start. She’ll be a adult longer than a teenager. Even if your house is the place for her alone time, it’s something

    • As a 17 year old I had a dad in name but he was a very troubled man. He died when I was 28. I am now 55 and still wish we had a chance at a good relationship. Please don’t give up on her and get some quality outside help with the situation!

      And as wounded as I am by my STBX, I get outside help managing the situation so I don’t do any damage to their relationship.

      • Carl, I hate to hear you are going through this and know I am not the only one. Some days I think back and wonder if I put up with it for a few more years I could have a relationship with my kids.

        I am not to Meh because of the alienation of the boys. I go months without seeing/hearing from them and it is not from lack of trying. They are 19 and 18.

        The alienation took at 17 and 15, 3 months after I got remarried. I tried to talk to the ex about it and in his rant one of the things he said was, “I did this because you got remarried.”

        My ex is just plain mean. He learned it from his parents. It has been 10 years and they still stir up trouble, so I won’t be to Meh for a long time.

    • I’m not a parent, so take this with that grain of salt. I was once a teenage daughter and, though I was an unusual one in behavior, I was as angsty and vulnerable to manipulation as most teens.

      If/when you contact her, one thing you could consider is neutrality of outcome. What I mean is that the general message could be that you would love to see her and you will always love her and be available whenever she’s ready, but you honor her needs and the ball is in her court.

      I don’t mean stating it dramatically. I’ll give a weak example to try to illustrate.

      “Happy birthday, YourName. I am so happy you were born and that I am your dad. You are beautiful inside and out! I hope you have a wonderful and joy-filled day.”

      This way you are reminding her that you care, you are present and this stupid situation hasn’t impacted your love or investment level in her, and you are happy to be her dad, but not pressing her *for* anything. It reminds her the door is always open so she can take the chance and knock on it later when she has grown up some.

      I don’t know if I am barking up the right tree, so these are just points to ponder.

      Parents?

        • Kids, like us, are subject to manipulation and gaslighting. It’s especially tough to crack through because their judgment centers aren’t fully development. As someone who has taught young people from ages 14 though college, I can tell you that they often believe what they are told and they aren’t rigorous critical thinkers. I thought for years, way beyond high school, that my father’s drinking and workaholism were the problems in the family. It took me a long time to see that the reality was far more complex.

          I would suggest that you look for a first-rate therapist with experience in dealing with this kind of alienation. You are making contact, with no VISIBLE effect or response, but you may be able to develop a better contact strategy–the kinds of things to say, how much is too much, etc. It will be a huge help to have someone else give you more helpful strategies and suggest neutral wordings. Just this week I got bent out of shape over a small issue at work and my therapist reined me in and said, “That’s exactly the wrong way to handle this.” I need to hear that. And over the years, her advice about how to talk to administrators, parents, etc. has guided me and allowed me to rebuild some relationships that were poisoned by a narcissist colleague.

          The two things I would never, ever do. Don’t defend yourself. Ever. That just engages with your X’s defamation of your character. And don’t ever discuss her, even obliquely. You can text, “Congratulations on making the honor roll” or “I would be glad to pay for a great prom dress” or “You did so well in Tuesday’s game.” Or just “Have a great day!”

          • I have learned through experience that teenagers manipulate as well. My STBX eldest from his previous marriage learned this from him. Specifically omitting information and triangulation. She’d open up to me about things and selectively report my responses to her dad out of context.

            • My daughter (who I know does love me) often tries to manipulate me via triangulation with Ex to get what she wants. If I won’t do something she wants she will say “I will call Dad. Maybe he will do it for me”. I don’t let that phase me. I will just say “Good idea, maybe he’ll have time for that today. That’s why you have two parents”. I know that isn’t the response she is looking for. I also know that no matter how much I disappoint her, her Dad still disappoints her more. If nothing else, I hope I am encouraging her not to manipulate people.

    • Carl, it is very important to separate your Ex from your kids in your mind.
      Your daughter is under your Ex’s evil influence but that may not be forever.

      My advice is to do what I do which is always take the high road even if it hurts. Tell your daughter that you want to talk to her about her life not your Ex’s–you daon’t care about that. You need to encourage good behavior in your daughter and not accept bad but don’t be a jerk about it because she is your Ex’s catspaw right now. Always tell your daughter that you love her, would love a relationship with her BUT relationships at her age are two way streets and if she only calls when she wants something or to upset you, that is unacceptable.

      She may come around down the road when she gets away from your Ex’s influence, so have hope but set boundaries and don’t get ugly when she crosses them but let her know when she does and that you will not accept her disrespecting her father. Good Luck !!

    • Carl, CL is on target. Teenagers have so much to deal with. Constant social media has made life much more difficult for them. It also has changed the way they communicate. (I taught high school for 31 years.)

      My daughter was 27 (and a newlywed) when we sat down together and told her that her dad was moving out to be with his affair partner and we would be getting a dissolution. Her husband’s parents are divorced. My wise son-in-law told my STBX: “The relationship you had with your DD is in the past. Going forward the only relationship you will have is what you create.”

      That was 14 months ago. Fuckwit is living with the howorker and dragging everything out. I have been going to therapy and have supportive friends. I am mostly no-contact and I have short visits to Meh. My daughter is angry with her father and told him the OW was not welcome in her house. DD set a boundary that she did not want to talk about it with either of us. She still has limited contact with her dad via snapchats. She went to a college football game with him in Nov and posted a smiling picture together on facebook which was painful to see. I think I spend as much therapy time worried about my relationship with my daughter as I do recovering from the trauma of being married to a serial cheater.

      My therapist advises me to give my daughter time to grieve the loss and to keep reaching out with positive messages and to plan simple things to do together. So I send (text, snapchat, instagram) pictures of the dog or other things that might interest her. I ask about her day. I call every week and keep it short (she has never liked long phone calls.) I have my talking points ready (family news, questions, planning.) I keep it positive and I always end with I love you.
      I remind myself that our children are allowed to love both parents. All we can do is try to be available for them. CL is right that we must be the sane parent.

      For me the Road to Meh has gone beyond a 5K and is more of a Marathon. But that makes sense when ending a long term 33Y marriage. Keep doing the work and riding the waves. Each day is a new chance to make progress down the road. Meh is a beautiful sunrise just over the horizon. Keep going… you’re doing great!

      • “I remind myself that our children are allowed to love both parents. All we can do is try to be available for them. CL is right that we must be the sane parent.” I constantly have to remind myself of this. You guys are totally nailing my thoughts today.

    • I beg of you Carl, do NOT quit on your daughter. She is 1/2 of you and her growing teenager brain, which has the double whammy of unstable hormones and a narcissistic manipulative mom, cannot cause her to be there for you— you are the parent and the adult and you are the one who must put hurt feelings aside and be the loving parent who is there for her no matter what— this is the “what.” Remember, you chose her mother— that choice had this consequence. It’s not easy but that’s what distinguishes us chumps (empathetic people) from those narcissists who run when their egos are bruised by normal ups and downs of family life. My advice: go to your daughter and immediately take responsibility for your part in the estrangement. Tell her how you let your hurt feelings impact your unconditional love and support for her. Ask her what she needs and have your checkbook handy— teenager girls living in this modern world want trinkets and clothes to fit in— give her what you can to show her with your money AND time and attention that you care deeply with no manipulations. Show her you want her to be happy. Ask her about her. Teens are very self absorbed — they want people to care about them and how they are even as she acts grumpy (see point about the hormonal upheaval and impact on prefrontal cortex function of growing a woman body, above). Be kind. Be loving. Do not use her to seek info about X. If she brings anything up, you respond with cool, bummer, wow, then change the subject: “hey, are any musical concerts coming up that you and your friends might like to go to? I could get tickets and drive you?” Or “do you want to go shopping at the mall and get some dinner…?” “How’s your car running?” “Can we go get an ice cream and I will fill up your tank and check the tires…” “i’d Like to take you and your friends on a trip — where would you like to go?” Etc etc etc

      It’s about HER , you’re feelings are to be shared here. Keep coming back Carl.

      Ps I have 6 teenagers— they all love and respect and adore me — because I do exactly these things myself😘

      • I’d add: don’t miss the big events. She may not want to talk with you but show up at the game, the play, the “red carpet” before the prom, the dance recital–whatever she or other kids do. Show up. Take a photo or two and send that later, as NoMorePattyCake says about sending a photo of the dog.

        It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t talk to you. You are still teaching her. You are the parent. You show up. You are the steady, predictable rock. The hard part is dealing with your own neediness and your pain, which is where the therapist and writing here can be a big help. Don’t allow it ever to spill on the kids.

    • Carl, don’t give up on your daughter! My dad left the family to run off to another state with one of many whore’s he cheated on my mom with. I think I was around three years old when he left. He has since apologize to my mom and all of us for all he did, but there has always been a part of me that wishes my dad was around my entire life. My dad is a narc, so I have given up hope that he will ever be a dad to me.

      One of the Youtubers I follow has recommended the book “Divorce Poison” to be helpful for people in similar situations as you. Good luck and don’t give up!

    • My ex has done a number on my 17 year old step daughter. He told me he would make sure I never saw her again and he’s come pretty close. I don’t chase after her because I know he makes her feel terrible and in the middle when she sees me. I just tell Jer every time that I will always love her and she will always be welcome. The rest is up to her. She knows where I am. Its my job to remember she’s still a kid and still very much under his influence. If she chooses to stop by I love on her when I can and if she doesn’t I wish her well and pray for her.

    • Carl,
      My present partner is an ex-chump whose cheating wife did a great job of PAS with their daughter who was 6 when they divorced. For years, she refused any contact with her Dad, would not come to his house, he missed out on so much.

      Now she is 24 and has seen her crazy mother for what she is…and she has come back seeking a good relationship with her Dad. I am so pleased this has happened, and am glad to see them spending time together as adults. She told me the other day she regrets so much having turned against him, and see the lies for what they were. I told her it’s not her fault, she was manipulated. We get on well.

      Carl, leave the door open to your kids. The next ten years will bring great change for them as they mature and start to realise there are two sides to every story.

      • Can you not text your daughter? Say you hope she is well. Tell her to let you know when she is available to do lunch, or go to the mall, or go out for an ice cream. Never stop trying. We chose their other parent so we have to tolerate some crap on behalf of our kids until they mature enough to see the big picture. Your daughter is immature, as are all kids her age.

        My dd posted a picture on social media once. She was a young teen, she wrote. “I put up walls to see who cares enough to knock them down.”

        • I put up walls to see who cares enough to knock them down….
          When it comes to teens that is so true!
          It’s a fine line of knocking down that wall without intruding on their space.

    • Your daughter is daring you to give up on her to confirm all the worst things her mom is saying about you. When kids feel unsafe and unsure about things, they push HARD to feel the security of boundaries and parental love. I urge you to continue to cultivate your relationship while drawing strong boundaries around acceptable behavior.

      • Awesome advice FV,
        Every word true!
        And best way to cultivate that relationship is Chump Lady’s “Cool!, Bummer!, Wow!”
        Teens don’t want to hear anything else from their parents in conversation.
        And when you draw boundaries, just say “No!”
        i.e. Avoid long winded bullshit explanations. Remember, she’ll be getting more than enough bullshit from your ex, and will, in time, appreciate the difference.
        Good Luck Carl!

    • I agree; don’t give up on your daughter. Instead, demonstrate that the door is always open to her, should she wish to come, and that you’ll meet her on her terms. If she texts, then respond to her text, but don’t push for more and don’t get pulled into discussions about her mother. Instead, when you do have communication, keep it focused on her and what’s important to her at that point.

      It’s impossible to predict if she’ll decide to have a relationship with you in the future. However, keeping the door open makes it possible for a relationship to happen, even if it’s a few years down the road. It sometimes takes teens several years to process their emotions and get to their own Meh.

    • I’m sorry, Carl. Let your daughter know she can always contact you. Keep sending her birthday cards, valentine cards, etc. The same-sex children of cheaters are almost always the most fucked-up because their main role model is corrupt (and deep down, kids know this). No guarantees, but one day she may see the light about which parent is the sane one.

    • Don’t give up on your daughter. My dad died when I was 14, and I didn’t go visit him one last time before he was gone, because I was 14 and didn’t understand. I spent all of my young adulthood wishing I’d had a relationship with my dad and that he’d tried harder.
      I work with teenagers, and they have this way of making you think they don’t care when they do. But please don’t let your daughter think that you don’t want to be in her life. Keep communicating with her, and maybe she’ll come around when she’s more mature.

    • Carl – I had the most horrible father and wanted nothing to do with him. Yet, my teenage little heart always secretly wished that he would have fought for me.

      He rarely showed me any attention, and I was so resentful of him for the things he did to us (he was an alcoholic and abusive towards my mother). The few times he attempted to show me civility, I cut him at the knees. He didn’t try very hard, and each time I was disappointed that he didn’t try harder.

      Keep at it without expectation of immediate results. Simple words, simple actions that tell her you are wondering about her, she still matters, and you are there. Give it time, which is hard, I know.

    • Carl. I’m surprised this topic doesn’t come up more often here. I can ONLY speak for myself and my own experience with this. So if I come across bias I apologize to anyone. I’m a male CHUMP. Blindsided by a divorce. My now 18 year old son has almost nothing to do with me. He was 13 on DDAY and 14 when the divorce was finished. Immediately Parental Alienation was beginning. He was suddenly uncomfortable around me. He distanced himself from my entire family to eventually cut off all contact. before he was 15 my mother, his grandmother passed away. Within a years time my father also passed. He did not attend either funeral or memorials. My son had spent every summer of his life at my mothers pool along with virtually every birthday and holiday and family gatherings. My father lived about 120 miles away so he wasn’t a every day fixture but loved him and was involved nonetheless. I recall begging my estranged wife to not go along with this and to foster my relationship with my son. During separation on rare occasions I would hear from my son it was often what was going on with his parents asking adult questions about things he should not have known about. Also along the way in the 1st divorce hearing my atty asked that unsupervised phone conversations be enforced along with visitation. Atty had obviously seen all this before. But it went ignored by the court and passed on to later dates in court. The final hearing for divorce and custody came. Ill never forget what the judge told me. Mr. “—-” your son is now 14 so you will have to be patient”. My heart absolutely sank. I knew that my son’s mother was just given a license to steal. I knew that she did not fear the court and the alienation would not only continue but get worse. As the 1st 5 months went by and was completely ignored by my son with phone calls and texts things got worse and worse. The AP from out of state was coming around more and more often. I cannot prove it but I suspect that my son was exposed to this person long before I knew he was around. Pictures of trips on FB. The NEW FAMILY. This obscene man claiming he was my sons NEW father figure. I cant describe the grief or anger that I felt. This man, at the time, is extremely fortunate that he and I never crossed paths. Not proud to admit it but I would definitely have changed the way he walked and ate food for the rest of his life at that time. Ive been through a lot of tough times in my life but this was and still is the most difficult experience by far. For me, I lost my son, my wife and home as if they were gone in a fire. We live no more than 4 miles apart and the 1st year was maybe 1 mile. I’ve been blocked from social media. They have changed phone numbers. Moved without notification and on and on. There must be 15 or more violations of the custody agreement. I sought help from 2 more attys and they both told me I have everything on paper I could ever ask for. But enforcement would never happen and would be a waste of a very long process that could take years and by then he would be almost 18 and emancipated. No judge would side with me but would only empathize. I went through the SILVER BULLET process of false allegations during separation as a ploy to keep me out of my own home. After that failed attempt the same judge, refused to change in case attys tried to re-accuse me, turned down any order of protection. I have ZERO history of violence in my entire life. The judge said you can now go back home. My atty was very adamant about me never going back there. It will only give the ex another opportunity to make something up. I will never understand why she took it as far as a court proceeding in DV family court to only tell the truth. I was never violent nor had I ever threatened violence to anyone in my family or in my life for that matter. AM I perfect? Of course not. I cant imagine what as and has not been told to my son about the divorce or even me for that matter. But hopefully his young adult eyes are opening and he is seeing his mother and how things went for what they really are. I’m a human being. The last 5 years have been soul crushing. The pain of losing a child that is still alive is indescribable and I can understand what you are going through Carl. The list of emotions seem endless and snap you back n forth like a YOYO. Sorrow, anger, resentment, betrayal, loneliness, grieving for someone who should be in your life everyday. Theyre only a phone call or text away and never respond. The years go by and that child grows and changes. Then there’s the new emotion. FEAR. Parent and child will be 2 very different people. Pretty much strangers who may or may not ever CONNECT again. Carl, all we can do is hope. Maybe they will have some clarity, Maybe they will realize, as in my case, the alienating parent put up a alternate reality just to save face. To hide an elicit affair. Drug use. Financial abuse. Maybe the young adult will realize that theyre going into the worl on their on with a lot less than they should have. CL once said ” Some people have the ability to make nothing from something” That’s what these alienators do. I don’t even try to imagine the blackness that is in the heart of a person that would willfully do tis. Carl, I do think that at some point after so long and so many years we do have to let go. I hope things have not got that far for you. But eventually I did have to stop grieving. I was dying slowly inside and just had to stop. I don’t care anymore about my ex wife or her affair. But I will never forget the evil that it took in her to take my boy. I let go for ME. If he ever does come around to reality? I’ll be here. I’ll be a lot different. Meeting each other again for the 1st time. I honestly DO NOT know how it will go.

      • I can relate to your situation. DD was fourteen when she decided she didn’t like how I ran my household and wanted to move in with her dad. She has borderline personality disorder so was a difficult child to live with on her good days, but she is still my baby and it hurts so much not knowing how she’s doing, if she’s being properly cared for (living with ex and OW suggests she isn’t) or if she even thinks about or cares about me anymore.

        It’s especially hard because she had such strength of character immediately after D-Day. Helping out with the other kids, understanding what her dad and my best friend did was wrong while still loving him, trying her hardest to get through it and generally doing really well. And then we had a falling out over her stealing (it was the last in a line of little things that was pissing me off) and that was it. She called her dad and told him she wanted to live with him after I threatened to call our mental health chrisis line because her tantrum during the fight was so violent.

        Even after time to cool off, a long talk in my driveway and her dad telling her this was her home, she grabbed her bike from the garage while I was changing her baby sister and ran away back to his house and she’s been there ever since. She rarely responds to my texts, and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen her in the last almost three years. It’s hard grieving for her because she’s still alive, but our relationship is pretty much dead.

        Just another aspect of my life ex has poisoned or ruined, and I will never forgive him for all the things I’ve missed in her life or for how he’s enabled her to stay where she is rather than build her up and encourage her to mend things with me. Losing a husband, friends, family, a best friend and two children in this situation is so painful there are a lot of days where I don’t think I can do this any longer, even on meds and with counseling.

        • Cakeless, I’m so glad you posted. I think about you all the time. Our teenaged daughters left to live with X’s and APs— unthinkable! At the same time — you were a lifesaver, knowing you knew the pain. My dd is living on her own and we have a superficial relationship but it’s WAY better than 2016 — that was an excruciating time.

          Sending love and care.

        • Careless I too lost my whole family due to ex. Mom dad brothers sisters niece nephews, aunt and cousins. My mom let my ex use her car to drive her AP to get meth. Every friend I had in my married life either picked her side or found someone they knew would cheat with them. I’m 4 yrs out in April. I have lost contact with both of my kids. My son is in the military. I don’t know where he is what branch nothing.
          I was there everyday of his life. Sober. Thousands of hours of soccer practice. I lost everything. Except the material possessions. So do understand I know what you mean when you say some days you don’t know if you can go on.
          Right in the beginning of our separation my celiac disease gene decided it was time to activate. I went down to 120 lbs from 160 in a week. I had suicidal thoughts. Dreams. I didn’t know it was celiac for a year. There were several times I was ready to go. If I had a gun I wouldn’t be here now. Take away the gluten and I see what I am. I am a licensed and insured homebuilder. I am loyal, my health is better and better. I have a couple properties I am about to develop. My future looks better than I have ever imagined as far as personal achievements. I am a decent looking fellow, kind , charitable, overall I am a good person. And the world loves that kind of person. I see a nice future most times.

          Add just a dash of gluten in cross contaminated food and I am a complete failure. Nothing good is in life. If my kids don’t talk to me what does that say about me. I get extremely depressed and anxious at the same time. In those moments I want to leave this plane of existence. In those moments the relationship between my kids and I is my sole focus and it’s telling me that I am a failure. Now that I know this is a cerebral allergy response makes it easier knowing this to shall pass in 24 hrs. I just wanted you to know I understand the great loss. My friends don’t understand. They think I pine for my ex. They rush to judge. If they listened they would hear I pine for my kids.
          This may be cruel but my ex just started a relationship with a woman beater, she doesn’t know it. I am not going to tell her. I can’t wait to see how this ends. I try to talk to her about my daughter she says leave her alone. I will honor her request.

      • Leonidis and Carl, I’m in the same boat as you and it sucks beyond measure. I’ve moved on from all of my Ex’s BS but her slowly alienating my kids from me and have the OM become “Dad” is a wound that will never really heal.

        It’s gut wrenching when you see the OM at Daddy daughter dances that you were never told about, and he’s Daddy in all things unless something needs to be paid for (beyond child support or medical like school trip, band or sports gear) then the kids and Ex are like bill collectors calling and texting me.

        What I have done is always taken the high road and the kids know that when they are grown the door is open to a relationship but a relationship is a 2 way street based on love and respect NOT bumming me for money. A boundary I’ve set is that I have been used enough in my life and I will not tolerate that.

        Good luck, it sucks but do the best you can and they MAY come around some day but if they don’t as painful as it is you’ll have to let go.

        • I do all kinds of things to reach out to my daughter. My question is this. I have to speak to my ex because she’s the only adult in my daughter’s life that has any influence. All my texts email and calls are ignored by my daughter. If my ex won’t talk to my daughter and my daughter won’t talk to me. What point is acceptable to walk away. Why do I have to look forward to yrs of emotional pain with no relief in sight? It’s already been a miserable 4 yrs. I didn’t choose any of this this was thrust upon me
          What point is acceptable to accept the things I cannot change? Not once have I tried to shed my parental responsibilities. Where is the line? I know that I am not popular in my belief. I was treated like shi*. Now my kids treat me like I am an ex husband not a father. That’s what my ex taught them. How to treat their dad like she does her ex husband. All the contempt and narcissism. Is there never a point to just say enough is enough?

          • Carl, I have seen in my life several men (including an extended relative) who took years and years of abuse from their kids after their divorce when all they wanted was their kid’s love. In one instance (the extended relative), when the father divorced the mother (and there was no cheating, alcoholism or abuse rather the father couldn’t take the mother’s verbal and emotional abuse anymore), she told the kids to choose –him or me.
            The oldest tried to have a relationship with both and the mother and his siblings made his life Hell. Still the father tried for decades to be good to his kids even when they were adults and all he got in return was their abuse and entitlement (to any of his money). The father died last year and now the kids (except the oldest) who are now middle aged are feeling horrible guilt and don’t understand where this anger is coming from and its too late now. Meanwhile the oldest child is fine, he always had a relationship with his Dad and has no regrets.

            Carl, it’s a tough thing and people who have never been in this situation do NOT understand but I and many folks here do. My advice is to do what I am doing and do right by your child until they are 18 (you owe them that as a parent). Then right before they turn 18 demand (with the Sheriff if necessary) one last visit with the child and explain to them that you love them, will always love them but from here on out relationships are a two way street and you would love to have a relationship but will not be abused or be their ATM. Tell them the door is always open and then leave it to them. They MAY come around eventually or they will not.

            Either way, you do not have to be abused or taken advantage of by anyone –even your kids. That is how I’m handling it with my kids and my therapist agreed that that was a fair and proper way to do it. Also if you haven’t already, maybe find a good therapist to talk about this with. As rough as the Dday and divorce was, having your kids alienated from you and abusing you is 10x worse.

  • I believe I am at the Meh stage however not completely. Yes, I trust he sucks and have no loving feelings or regrets that I divorced him.I do still wait for that Karma train constantly.I just can’t seem to move along with the feelings of being so wronged by someone.I don’t think I will ever get over that. I guess just can’t forgive. Still working on that but I have come along way. I’m great with no contact and don’t obsess with his new life . My nightmare started 5 years ago but still feels so recent. My point is you can reach meh and still feel empowered and good again. These are traumatic events in your life and I believe you do suffer post-traumatic stress but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a normal life.I applaud all those who truly have a state of meh. Mine is not 100 percent because I still hold a grudge and will not be complete until the Karm train rolls on through. It may have but I will never know because I have moved on .A vengence does still live in me and Im working on it.

    • Getting on with YOU enables the Karma train to arrive in the perfect way at the perfect time. One arrival for me took 20 years and was so deliciously beyond what I ever could have planned or imagined that I willingly now let go and let the unseen forces of our universe handle it.

      • I do believe that. I just need to add a little more to my life and finally let go. It’s only when I’m bored or impatient with my own growth I start thinking of that karma train. Guess I just want that validation that nice guys and gals finish strong and last. LOL.Thanks

        • I don’t think there is anything wrong with believing in karma.

          These crazies continue their crazy, eventually it will come back to them. It is called justice, and I think that is more what I am waiting for.

          • I guess I’m at meh because I don’t even wish the karma train on him. I just wish to never to think about him in any way, shape or form ever again. It took me about 7 years to get to this though. Thing is, he is such a Twat in a permanent state of self-inflicted chaos that I guess karma will get him eventually – because I won’t be there to clean it all up!

    • The thing about the “karma train” is when it finally arrives (and it always arrives) you will be at the point where you really don’t care. It may bring a smile, smirk or eye roll to your face but it won’t have the impact as say if it arrived today or the last few years.

    • I wait for the karma bus too. And I still find myself internally competing with him in my head. He has a job in the entertainment industry and lives a fantastical life that I know he loves (even at the expense of not seeing his kids often). I find myself wanting to succeed in ways that will impress him…even though I don’t care about impressing him…I just want to win at everything. I want to make more money than him while raising our kids and find a happy relationship and be able to know he knows that I did it all. I’ve come massively far in 2 years but have a bit to go until I shake that karma bus/competition thing.

      • You’re waiting for the karma bus that you can see. He doesn’t see his kids often. For those of us who love the kids in our lives (children, nieces, nephews, grandkids, students, players on our teams) we can’t imagine not seeing them. I know as a coach I cherish those fleeting moments when I get to see kids achieve something special or help them get past a hard place in their lives. That’s what’s real. Not the “fantastical life,” not to the money, not the faux relationship he has.

        Comparison is the thief of joy. Love your own life. Your happiness? Your connection to your kids? That’s the karma bus, that’s the bus parents want to be on. He missed that bus long ago.

        • I have so many karma moments watching Cheater and OW crash and burn….bankruptcy, unemployment, caught stealing…the OW is bat-shite crazy, hypochondriac, writes a blog about it. I got so many laughs from their predicaments, and tbh say a prayer of thanks every day that she relieved me of any future with him.

          Just the thought of them together makes me smile!

        • If you see the kids more than your ex you win. In our case ex does still see his kids. He is still involved to a point. He shows up to events when he is able. He still loves them and they love him but he is no longer a full time parent. He doesn’t live with them. He doesn’t say goodnight in person every night. He isn’t the one doing their laundry. He hasn’t taken them on vacation since he moved out. Sometimes I think he may spend more time around Schmoopie’s kids than his own and they feel that. They love him but they don’t feel close to him. Sometimes I can’t help but think “He got Schmoopie, I got the kids, I win”.

          The chumps for whom my heart aches are the ones who don’t have primary custody. The ones who have been deliberately alienated and cut out of their children’s lives. It’s bad enough when a cheater discards a loyal spouse but when they deny a parent the right to be a parent, that is pure evil. There isn’t a Karma bus big enough to run them over.

      • Lovedajackass,
        This is exactly me too. It doesn’t seem to be too bad to be competing with him for right now as I’ve doubled my income in less that a year. But I still hate that I care that he “loves his life” without me in it and I still love him deep in my heart. Such an asshole. Full meh will come someday…🤞🏼

        • Unexpectedchumpiness – Same! I’m making a killing after being a SAHM for 9 years and it did nothing for making me feel better which I found surprising. I thought for sure that would take me to meh. I think about how much he is relishing in his freedom and how hurtful it is that he saw the kids and I as holding him back. I would love to get to the place where none of that matters and I can just be proud of what I have accomplished without comparing it to the enormity of this big life he lives.

      • Prettybird, you might be feeling this way, because to a narcissist, EVERY relationship is a competition. They define it that way for so long, sometimes we get sucked into accepting our relationship w/them as defined by those comparisons.

        Look at your OWN values. Do you see your other relationships, friends, family, co-workers, as all about the comparisons and the competition? Are you only happy when you’re winning? Or do you appreciate peer relationships, where other people’s success and joys are also a joy to you, where other people’s struggles are an opportunity for you to provide support, not to crow behind their backs?

        If it’s mostly w/your Ex that you keep comparing, then try re-calibrating. When you find yourself having those thoughts, remind yourself of who YOU are, what YOU value, and refuse to compare, deliberately turn your thoughts to what you are grateful for and what you are accomplishing in your life that YOU value. Over time, you can shift how you think about him, and enjoy your life more!

        • KarenE – you right on. I don’t compete with anyone ever and have extremely wonderful and healthy friendships. However, i spent the entire marriage listening to what HE valued (money, status, workaholism, travel, social climbing, etc.) and part of my pick me dancing was to constantly show I was on board. I think the competition factor is actually more pick me dancing. It isn’t because I am actually wanting him to pick me – it’s more just wanting him to see that I actually AM “worthy” of what he didn’t think I was worthy of. I find myself working out, constantly dieting, striving more in my job, doing things that I know he would be impressed with – mainly because I want him to have some regret. When in reality, I just miss the days of being a SAHM and wife. My kids are the most important aspect of my life and I agree with the others that “I win” in that regard. Something in me just wants to “win” where it will hurt him. And that all goes back to the karma bus….that seems to have broken down on its way to his house 😂.

  • Achieved “meh” status last summer, 2 years after the big discovery. I can look him in the eye at kid pickup (though I don’t) and I just shrug my shoulders. He’s having problems with Schmoopie-poo now, but – not my circus, not my monkeys. He signed up for that shit.

    My life is pretty good these days.

  • I’ve spent a few months since D day in the land of moral outrage. It was getting me nowhere because although I have a moral compass, he does not so it was wasted energy for me.
    I’m in the station waiting for the train to Meh……..
    I’m not at Meh yet, but I know what it looks like.
    I wrote it down so I have something to focus on. I’ll get there, I’m already getting that the NARC is a total loser, pathological liar, emotional vaccum and no prize, in fact I was the prize and he lost me because of his cheating. I have my respect for myself intact and looking forward to the land of Meh with soft furnishings of my choosing, ulster radio and the slow cooker bubbling away, it will be so peaceful without him in it!!

  • Well, I haven’t offically arrived to the land of “Meh,” but I can see it in the distance. At first I cried about waking up alone, and wondered how I would ever be happy again after my perfect (oh-not-so-perfect) husband cheated and threw me away like yesterday’s garbage. But more then a year later I stretch out, thrilled to have a king size bed to myself (and a dog and a cat…) everyday I write, exercise and read trashy (as in fabulous?) romance novels. I unapologetically make caddy comments on stupid Elle blog posts while drinking alchohol in the bathtub. I wear lots of weird scarfs and drink gallons of coffee on my front porch. I stay out late and go to all the museums. I enjoy screwing with gross sexist guys on Tinder by asking how tall they are and if they’ve ever considered wearing heels. I often look at myself in the mirror and praise myself for being such a boss for supporting myself financially. I more or less do whatever the fuck I want, whenever I want because that is my path to meh. So far, I’m really having some fun getting there.

    • ^^^This made me laugh.so.hard!!! 😂😂😂 Thank you, Robin! “I enjoy screwing with sexist guys on Tinder by asking how tall they are and asking if they’ve considered wearing heels.” 😂😂😂

    • “I often look at myself in the mirror and praise myself for being such a boss for supporting myself financially. I more or less do whatever the fuck I want, whenever I want because that is my path to meh.”

      @Robin – I adore this. I should definitely follow your lead and do this too. I’m supporting myself financially and I also do whatever the fuck I want (Croissants for dinner? An excessive amount of trips to the theatre? Volunteering for causes I love? Hell yeah!).

      • Hey thanks! Life’s a blast when your not being cheated on and lied to isn’t it? You know I had zero appreciation for women who support themselves completely before. Now, I realize how amazing that is. Awesome job!

    • @Robin, I’m a big fan of your path to Meh! Thanks for sharing your awesomeness!
      I plan to implement this every morning… “I often look at myself in the mirror and praise myself for being such a boss for supporting myself financially. I more or less do whatever the fuck I want, whenever I want because that is my path to meh.”

  • Yesterday was my youngest sons birthday and although I am slowly moving out of the numbness. I was gently reminded of the abscense of his other parent, I recognise that I am far far away from the feelings that ensnared me. That my choices are only my own and available to me freely without conscience to anyone else, so yeah meh!

  • What I do know is that my daughter is mad at me for making breakfast every morning. For making my child breakfast I am not worthy to be her dad. Her mother won’t straighten out her belief. I didn’t have breakfast growing up. It wasn’t there. I am a bad dad for not wanting to see my kids suffer as I did. Sent my daughter flowers to school this week. Her mom said she would talk to her for me. I neglected to ask if she would pass on the conversation so I know where things stand. No my ex won’t tell me. So here I am trying and getting no help. I was there for breakfast and dinner. I picked them up from school everyday. I was there. My ex taught my daughter how to treat me like an ex husband not her father. I see no choice but to go meh, no contact. Feel free to offer advice. I am going to work will check back after work

    • CJ – sounds like you need the advice from local group of divorced dads. Surround yourself with dads who have teenager girls and soak up their advice.

      Play a game of inches, not long bombs. Make and offer breakfast, don’t be hurt if she won’t eat it. Show up. Be steady, be dependable not flashy.
      Do not rely on your x to connect w/ your daughter for you. That’s your job now.

      Find support. Be always available. Don’t stop.

      Hang in there.

      • Continue to try to contact her. Let her know how much you love her. Pray, meditate, whatever you do. Seek counseling and work on yourself and your feelings so when you do have contact with her, the bad feelings don’t overwhelm you.

        This is a marathon, not a sprint.

        You just got benefit of my YEARS of counseling.

    • Don’t go through your ex and do get therapy. Or support group sounds like a good idea.

      I over-do it with the meals too because I didn’t have that growing up. I was given the silent treatment by my dad at 14 and kicked out at 15. Obviously, I also didn’t choose well in the husband department.

      Don’t give up. Be CONSISTENT! Do the right, strong, protective things if there is appreciation or not. Let her know you’ll be there for her. I also recommend the ‘5 love languages for children’. I totally get how breakfast means a lot to you (I’m similar) but her language may be words or encouragement or small gifts (maybe silly magazines or jewelry show that you’re paying attention to what she likes – I dunno? But see…)

    • Can you buy your daughter a cell phone so that you can text/call her independently of her mother?

      Gosh the breakfast thing…..you did your best to look after her in the best way you could. If she feels you pushed that issue too hard she needs to understand that what you did was out of love and concern for her.

      You may want to tell your dd that you want a relationship with her and she can let you know when she is available to get together. The boundaries are that it’s about moving forward and not rehashing the past endlessly.

      • I am a couple of days late to this thread because I was trying to gather my thoughts on this having been a teenage daughter who “lost” her father during the divorce.

        The 1a.org just aired a podcast recently addressing family estrangement and I was tempted to leave a message with my answer to the question “Why did you cut ties with a family member ?” My answer would have been self-preservation. I wasn’t surprised to hear a caller say he cut ties with his father when he learned of his father’s cheating. There is a lot of stigma and shame regarding this issue. Most people don’t want to hear the why or they “should” others into forgiveness. Some transgressions are too heinous.

        I watched my father emotionally abuse my mother for years (stonewalling) and he weaponized my older brother against her. The abuse escalated a couple of times to shoving and hitting my mother and I remember women calling the house. During one separation, my father took me and my brother to a Cosmos soccer game at the Meadowlands (1970s) where we met Gladys McDogface, his girlfriend. They made out in front of us. I got lost at the end of the match when I got separated from my father,brother,McDogface and the husband of one of my mother’s friend s who accompanied me and my brother. I was eleven at the time. Boy was my mother angry and worried when we got home late !

        My father separated from my mother twice, renting an apartment in town both times. No daily phone calls from him or weekly visits. I didn’t learn until years later that he was singing his sad sausage song in town to anybody that would listen. “It’s all my wife’s fault ! She alienated my daughter from me and she’s a terrible mother to my son !” I was there and can say he made no effort. I was almost a teenager and it wasn’t my job to reach out to him. My brother spiraled (drug use,academic problems,screaming horrible things at my mother,beating me up) and my father played Uncle Daddy, cosigning for a motorcycle when my brother went off to college for a couple of years before being expelled.

        Either a friend or our family therapist advised my mother to stay out of my relationship with my father. I realized that my father just didn’t give a sh*t about me and didn’t know me. I got really depressed (grades dropped) and my mother kept asking me “Do you want to go talk to G. (family therapist) by yourself ?” I saw this therapist once a week, more often than my father who lived a couple of miles away;he was my surrogate father through high school. I don’t think the therapist had any grasp on narcissistic abuse. He encouraged to share my feelings with my father one day, inviting him over to the house. When I told my father how hurt I was that I never heard from him, he responded “I sorry you feel that way” “You know, I’m not responsible for your feelings” It still smarts to think about this decades later but this is who he is. An emotionally unavailable person. Why expose your underbelly to somebody who is going to punch you in the gut again ?

        My advice to all the parents is keep reaching out to your children. Your kids may take after their disordered parent, as my brother did, but you’re the parent. At least you can say in good conscience you tried, with cell phone/text use to prove it. Best of luck to you all !

        p.s. Gladys McDogface was using my father to get another man to propose to her and she dropped him when he was no longer of use to her. He was her Plan B !

    • Teenagers are weird. Sometimes they want people to notice them. Other times they don’t want to be noticed. And still other times, they want to be noticed, but they don’t want to feel as if they’re being noticed. They go through a phase where they don’t want people to make a big deal over them. There’s a lot of prickliness that happens during the teen years while they sort themselves out and figure out what they do want.

      I second the suggestion for joining a Divorced Dads group, if there is one. Don’t go through your daughter’s mother. She’s unreliable (remember that she cheated on you, so you can’t trust her).

      And work with your therapist on good communication strategies for the times when you are around your daughter. Teens don’t often do well with larger gestures like flowers. Heck, she’d proably feel embarrassed if her boyfriend sent her flowers while at school. They do want to know that you’re there for them and that you have their back–when they need it. You’re trying to show that to your daughter, but she’s operating from Planet Teen so she doesn’t get it. Your therapist can help you with how you communicate with your daughter.

      Good luck!

    • I think you should do things because you honesty want to and let go of any expectations on her reaction.

      Did you really want to send her flowers or did you do it for a response?
      Did you make breakfast because you wanted breakfast or because you thought of her instead of you? (one is cool, one is co-dependent)

      I really doubt you would ever actually turn her down if she wanted to get to know you – so maybe quit feeling like giving her space to come to you is “giving up”

  • Meh: I learn that Jackass announced his marriage to Next Victim on my birthday.

    Whatever. He must be out of a job again.

  • I think when you realise how much shit they put on you, financial, emotional, whatever, you realise you were too nice. You realise you will never get the truth, because they think your not worth it.
    Other people may accept their crap, but you don’t have too.

  • It’s helpful to see other’s timelines.

    68%, sometimes 34.46% meh
    But the fog is clearing.
    Coming up on 1 yr legally D.
    22 months since D-Day or so

    The other night I found myself walking the dog leashless around my neighborhood park and I was singing loudly to the music in my ear.

    Had nothing to do with my divorce. Had nothing to do with my x. Simply happy and free to sing.

  • I think this is pretty meh. This past summer, I was at an intersection near my home waiting to make a left turn. Across this tree is the high school and the library.

    I’m not the most patient driver, so when I saw an old guy (gray hair/beard, paunch) crossing the street (and delaying my turn) I muttered, “Grandpa better speed it up.” It wasn’t until he was almost at my car that I realized that it was the Ex.

    You’re at meh when you literally don’t recognize the person you were married to. For 16 years. Who, by the way, is almost 5 years younger than you.

    • Oh this is delicious! It’s only been 5 months since STBX walked out on his family, but in that time he has gone nearly all gray, and he is a very vain man. I’m nowhere near Meh yet, but seeing just that little bit of karmic justice gives me resolve. I can’t wait till I no longer recognize him in passing. Just someone that I used to know.

      • Mine has a zztop beard. It looks ridiculous on him. I’m no contact but I drive by his shop in my school bus. It shocked me but then I thought meh/-she gets to deal with him and his skanky beard( he would not be clean about it ).

        • X unsuccessfully tried growing a beard once when we were first dating. Since he had several patches with no beard growth it looked scraggly. I was glad when he shaved it off

          Recently heard from my kids that he was sporting a beard. Evidently, DS21 told him it looked horrible and to ‘shave that shit off.’

          Too bad. Having to look at that patchy beard everyday would have been a sweet karma minibus.

  • Not close to meh as I hack his email every day and look at it. *hack as in he’s logged on to my tech and didn’t change his password.

    I realize that that’s a decision that in the long run will hurt me more than help me but it helps understand how awful he is behind the scenes when he says he’s doing awesome. It’s like reading a novel…

    Hoping to grow the strength to divorce soon but I mourn his income and the security of “not being single”

    I know, I know…

    However, on the other hand I’m building my own life and hobbies as well. It’s not like I spend all my time snooping. I have new friends and enjoy yoga. I feel like I could hang out in this limbo between separation and divorce for a while…

  • Ah…the promised land of “meh”!
    It is a wonderful land to live in 😊.

    Small disclaimer: I truly believe if you are wondering if you’ve reached “meh”, then you haven’t.
    When you actually get there, you will know.

    If I could ever draw a cartoon of my Chump experience, it would show me walking thru flames 🔥 and over hot coals with my kids, best friends (the ones who never gave up or grew tired of listening), dog, grand dog and therapist on the sidelines cheering me on. There would be a banner at the finish line that simply says TUESDAY.

    For anyone new who doesn’t know my story, it took me years to get here. DDay #1 and only was 8 years ago. His AP was his co-worker/family friend 🤮 and they are still working and living together. He cheated for at least 5+ years and I have learned to be OK with never knowing. He left without admitting anything so I had to go to her to find out they were having an affair. It was rough to say the least. I told everyone about the affair and will never be sorry that I did. Everything I said was factual and true so why wouldn’t I tell everyone? I had to fire my first lawyer due to a mistake he made. It took every ounce of badass I could find to fire the lawyer AND refuse to pay the $12,000 balance due! Talk about channeling my rage. Then I was given the best advice ever and hired the toughest, bulldog lawyer I could find. I took Chump Lady’s advice and figured I would beg or borrow the money to pay her. Best advice EVER!!! This is the one time you have to do whatever is necessary to get the greatest lawyer possible. To save time and money, I went into full sleuth mode and dug up things even may lawyer was shocked to see. Then she decimated my ex. His deposition was the best best day of this whole process. Like all cheaters, especially one who thinks he’s a great lawyer, he was not prepared to be pushed against a wall and he went right into rage mode. He got caught in a million lies and looked like a fool. I made my children, 18 and 23, read both depositions so they would know the facts and the legal truth. The worst day was when the judge told me that my then husband was a sociopath. That happened in her chambers with his lawyer and my lawyer present at my first court appearance on our 29th anniversary. That statement sent me into a deep depression and two hospitalizations for suicidality. Since then I have clawed my way out of depression with the help of medication, therapy, those best friends, dogs, CL and my children. It was more horrific than I can find words for.

    But reaching “meh” happened one day and one step at a time. It cannot be rushed and for every step forward, there will be many steps backwards.

    In my “meh”, I stand tall and proud. My walls always sing and give me peace and quiet when needed. I practice self-care when needed. For me, self-care is solitude when needed, reading, sleeping well, eating well, my puppy, being the present, strong parent for my children, being a great friend to the people I CHOOSE to have in my circle, doing activities I love and sharing kindness with those around me. I enjoy life with an open heart and a smile on my face! I have gone very public with my battle to find the right medication to keep me on solid ground and I am proud to tell my story. I stay on Chump Lady because without Tracy and this community, my life wouldn’t be as good as it is. After online dating for several years, I decided it wasn’t for me and I stopped. That was a freeing decision for me and one I am comfortable with; if I meet someone it will be through living my life. I now challenge myself to try new adventures and am usually glad when I do but know I don’t have to if I don’t want to.

    “Meh” is about me being me! Life on my terms. Proud to be a survivor. I’m happy and free.

    I saw this posted on the streets of NY recently and it is my new life motto. Not a bad motto for this proud Chump 💗
    “Measure my life by the moments I made a difference”

    • Wow! Thank you… that really gave me some hope. I have a similar situation… I think my stbx is also borderline, bipolar disorder… did you ask for a psychological evaluation for him?

      • Ana my ex was invalided out of his job with bipolar (so diagnosed), and he ticks every single box for borderline too. It is hell on two legs living with these guys.

      • He and his issues where never my problem.
        I was only focused on what he DID. The court only cares about actions.
        In my opinion, a professional diagnosis would only be helpful if there was real danger to any children. Besides that, the other person’s mental state is irrelevant (but I’m not a lawyer).

        From my post, I hope you can see that when talking about my present life, I do not mention the ex at all.
        He is not part of my life, my hopes or my dreams.
        My life is only about me and my loved ones.

    • Rebecca,

      Thanks for your story. I’m wondering about the legal side of things. Did the infidelity matter in some way for court? How did it help you? Are you in a fault state? My lawyer is saying it won’t be a factor in our no fault state.

      • I live in a no fault state and, while the court doesn’t care about infidelity, I did find that as human beings they do.
        Especially if you can prove financial manipulation/depletion or anything where monetary restitution can right the situation.
        Mine hid money and put some things in her name and I had proof of his enjoying the benefits of having a stay at home wife (like moving his parents and selling their house). I also happened upon a photo of a lamp I paid for in AP’s apartment. His lawyer was not happy as it showed commingling. If he could put a lamp in her apartment then he could put money in her account.
        It all comes down to what the court can award monetarily.
        In my case he was forced to finish paying youngest child’s college tuition after showing emails about how proud he was at the time of child’s acceptance. I was awards half of everything I could still find in addition to maintenance to maintain the marital lifestyle.
        In addition to hiring the toughest lawyer out there, I recommend digging for anything and everything you can find that MIGHT help. Did I ever think a photo of my lamp would turn into real money for me?
        I pulled out card after card where he wrote I was an amazing wife and mother. Where he said the kids wouldn’t be as wonderful as they were without me. I used anything I could to prove my worth and his cheating and lying.
        No one can give you satisfaction but monetary awards go a long way towards healing.
        I’ve said here before that you have to make Google your best friend until the end of the divorce. Document every tiny thing. Use that rage productively. Then let it go.

    • Rebecca and Attie -your stories are horrific, and I cannot imagine the pain (physical and emotional) you both endured. It bring tears to my eyes for you. And here you both are, talking about your walls singing and living a life that is good and has value. Thank you for being you, thank you for showing us that hope is not lost and that good people do exist. Thank you for helping us along this journey – from the horrible first days to the land of Meh.

      • I am glad my story can provide inspiration.
        Please give yourself the gift of time. Healing cannot be rushed.
        Most of us old-timers have been here for years! But I CAN promise you your patience will be rewarded with a wonderful, but different, life.

      • Miss Bailey, I’m a strong person but even I didn’t think I would make it out alive. As Rebecca says, it can be done. It ain’t easy but time helps. And now? I LOVE LOVE my life – it is everything I ever wanted. As for the Twat? Who cares?

  • One thing to consider is that the true way out is in!

    There’s a skein to untangle and it is all yours. You have to focus inward (not outward on what the fuktards are or aren’t doing) and figure out why.

    Why did you settle for less? Why you ignored red flags, didn’t set boundaries (I didn’t even have any), accepted mistreatment. How did this happen that you let yourself down?

    Because really why you are focused on someone else letting you down you are overlooking the elephant in the room. You let yourself down.

    This is where your power is and that’s where the path to personal empowerment lies. It’s the road to everlasting meh, not just in your current situation but for the rest of your precious life.

    It’s hard at first and an uphill battle but the view at the peak is breathtaking. Here’s a place where you can fast track your journey:

    https://www.melanietoniaevans.com/

  • I am pretty sure that if something bigg happened with my alimony or child support I would be upset, but I just found out that the X is marrying the OW and I said “ Oh, is that all? Can’t fix stupid!” So I guess I am approaching the hallowed gates of Meh!

  • My meh came gradually after the divorce and the fact that my new life took over, and I had a new normal. Taking my ex to court was the best thing I could have done, since visitaion, child support, and all dealings with the children are in a legal binding document.
    Luckily for me, ex realized that he was bound by law to adhere to this agreement, and there has been no hitches since.
    I have been fortunate to finally get to MEH and stay there, no drama, no bullshit on his part.
    MEH means having civil conversations about the children and being cordial. This works well for both of us, but it took a lot of work on my part to get to that point.
    I swallowed my pride and decided that the kids were more important than anything else, and that helped me get on the fast track to MEH.
    As far as my ex goes, I wish no ill will upon him nor feel anything whatsoever in regards to him. He is a good dad when he has the children, and they are happy.
    Getting to and staying in MEH is worth everything I’ve been through.

  • It probably took me 6 months to get to “meh”. The first 2 months after finding out about the affair was brutal….I could barely function. I hate thinking about those days.
    At the 6 month mark: I watched a YouTube video about divorce.. realized this is universe’s way of telling me that ex and I were NOT meant to be together (my path was being redirected to where I should be), I found this blog , and realized I all the “pros” of not being married to him. The bad habits, his friends and family, etc.

  • I can see Meh, and have many friends there. I have two lovely friends in my car driving there now.

    At this point on the road trip, I don’t miss him and I don’t want him back. I miss who I thought he was, a person who exists only in my mind and whom no one can date or marry or hook up with because he only exists in my mind.

    The pain I feel is from me and my daughter being assaulted, abused, and betrayed. From having my dream of a healthy intact family destroyed.

    I am also feeling glimmers of excitement about what good things are going to happen. I want to be on my own. I do not want to hook up or date or get married. I want to continue healing and being a mom and using my gifts and talents.

    He told me “you won’t know what you had til it’s
    gone” about himself, as if he was some awesome guy. But he was right! Sixteen months out, I am seeing how sick he is, beginning with the news that he is a cheater.

    To be fair, I don’t assume I have 100% of my shit together. I am far from perfect of course. But I live far away from the red light district, inside and out, unlike him. I didn’t lie, cheat, or abuse him.
    I didn’t destroy and abandon our family. And I am SO glad I don’t have to live the rest of my life with that on my conscience. I think he can because he may not have one….not the kind of person I want to partner with.

    • This is a very powerful statement: “I miss who I thought he was, a person who exists only in my mind and whom no one can date or marry or hook up with because he only exists in my mind.”

    • My ex said the same thing “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone”. I don’t know if he was talking about him or me being missed or missing the other. I know that what I had, however, was someone who didn’t value me and who didn’t know what he had. I also now have a better understanding of what I had and it isn’t what I thought it was.

  • For me, the best road to me was the road to me. The better I made my own life, the less impact his departure left on me.

    It took longer to get to single-meh than it took to get to cheater-meh. When my life felt complete as my own, I got there.

    It’s a self-care and self-direction thing for me. The freedom was the best part.

  • I’m very Meh. Didn’t take long because Wasband did a very harsh verbally abusive discard leading up to D day, by the time I figured out the whole picture it just all made sense. I know he sucks in so many ways.
    Lately him and Scmoopie have separated after about half a year of marriage. Their reasoning? I put him under so much stress it makes him unbearable to live with and she has to kick him out for her own sanity….
    I didn’t know I had such Omnipresent powers of control. Eyerolll.
    He’s just unbearable to live with full stop.
    When the karma train hits them after Meh you really do pity them and everyone around them. It’s a cycle. I was just one iteration of the suckitude that encompasses his whole life. It will happen again and again unless one day he admits his own faults and see himself as the common denominator, however I’m not holding my breath for that day. I have my own life and I live it.
    Meh is the day where the cheaters life no longer feels attached to yours but is like a bad soap opera you watch on TV. Actors on a stage. Due to children I still keep up with the progression of the episodes but only as an unaffected audience.

    • Same here – reached meh very quickly due to cheater’s toxic behaviour leading up to D-Day.
      Schmoopie is now being hit by the Karma Train due to the fact that he’d never encountered
      the drunken abusive version of cheater throughout their 2 year affair.

      • David, the Twat ran off with first Schmoopie who he met in a scuzzball bar and who was as big a drinker as him. She left him (cheated on him, that should read) after three years because she was afraid he would kill her. I believe her because he was violent without being drunk – add drink in there and your life really was on the line! Latest Schmoopie no doubt never saw that side of him while they were in twu wuv but she moved in with him about 6 months after the death of her second husband!!! I wonder how she’s liking the Twat now she will have had time to see him in his natural environment!

  • Meh is splendid. It is waking up every morning happy and full of plans. It is doing exactly what you want to do. It is saying “no” without guilt. It is beginning to trust yourself again, to regain your pre-abuse self, to recognize when you are being used. To sing and laugh. To not give a hoot about what other people think.

    To get here? A year of aging X pretending to have dementia to cover his transgressions. Dday to discover he had been doing things for decades I never even heard of. The sex addiction industrial complex abuse of spouse. The divorce and financial division. His immediate remarriage to a 78 year old woman and my brother dying the next day after months of caregiving. A diagnosis of OV cancer a year later.

    I am 8 months out of chemo, cancer free (btw my medical team blames the cancer on his decades of secrets and abuse) and love my life. All the pain and sorrow crystalized into freedom and joy.

    I have never been happier and more at peace than now, in my mid 60’s. Believe in meh.

    • Dianne you rock to get through all of that in one piece. I am working on getting to the same point myself. I’m 58 but feel I just may end up staying alone. It’s not as frightening as it was 2 years ago. 💖💖💖💖💖

      • I left out that it took 3.5 years from dday to get here. A year of twice a week therapy with an abuse counselor. An exercise program. Help from many friends. It was not a quick or easy road.

        If you mean by “staying alone” no more men, well, I wouldnt have one, no more taking care of old men. But my life is full of friends of both sexes, and that is enough!

        Beth, you explained all that perfectly. We are changed.

  • It was a long (years long) and hard journey but I am officially a permanent resident in the land of Meh. It’s hard to believe when you are in the throes of the pain of infidelity but with time and good self care you really can get to the place where you just. do. not. care. at. all.

    To give you some perspective, Ex was a part of my life from the time I was 17 until I was 53. It’s been just over 3 years since the divorce. I do not miss him at all. I rarely think about him except when I’m posting here but those recollections cause me no pain. The thing is, everything I went through; all of the pain and grief and self doubt changed me. The sheer pain and mental agony I endured trying to survive such a devastating betrayal changed me. Trying to keep myself together for the sake of my children changed me. It ALL changed me. I am a completely different person from the girl who fell in love with an illusion. He has no part in the life I have created. This new me is someone who doesn’t know him and doesn’t want to. He’s not my type. I am very, very sure that he has not undergone any change at all. There was no agony, no introspection, and no grief. He is still the same guy and there is no place for such a person in my life. I don’t need him or want him or anyone like him. I’ve been on my own for long enough now that I have come to cherish my independence. If I spend the rest of my life alone, I’ll be fine. Sure, I get lonely sometimes but never enough to make me want that old life back. And I guess that is my most valued sign that I am fully and completely at Meh: if the Chump Fairy Godparent told me that I could have my old life and my old self back with a no cheating guarantee, I would say no. I’m happier and healthier now than I would have been in my old life.

    • @Beth – thank you so much for your honesty about how long it took you to reach the land of Meh. When I read people saying that it took them 6 months to get to Meh and they’re not even divorced yet, I feel “less than”. As LAJ said “comparison is the thief of joy” but I’m 3 years post-discard and 2.5 years post-divorce and only now do I feel that I am reaching the very outer limits of the wondrous land of Meh.

      • I’m glad it helped you @allgood. I spent a couple years (literally) siting and thinking things through, going to therapy, just trying to cope on a daily basis. It was a long process but ultimately worth the time and effort. Be patient with yourself. Everyone’s timeline for healing is different. {{{hugs}}}

    • “He has no part in the life I have created. This new me is someone who doesn’t know him and doesn’t want to. He’s not my type. I am very, very sure that he has not undergone any change at all. There was no agony, no introspection, and no grief. He is still the same guy and there is no place for such a person in my life. I don’t need him or want him or anyone like him.”

      @Beth… What you wrote is so relatable to me. These thoughts have squashed any desire (out of boredom) to find out how he is doing. I simply don’t care! It is truly liberating to get rid of all toxic people in our new lives!

  • 28 yeas married. He moved out of the house while I was away on a work trip and abandoned me by e-mail early April 2017.

    Divorced final late September 2017, exactly 9 years to the day after he admitted about an OW#1 (I was dumped for an OW#2). He moved to Europe permanently to be with the 25YO ho-worker sparkletwat last spring. She is our adult daughters’ age.

    I do hate him and wish him aggressive painful cancer with a lingering death and that his Schmoopie refuses to wipe his hairy old ass in his decline. I want him to wallow in regret. So, no, I am not at meh.

    I do not want him back. I don’t care who he screws. I am not even slightly interested in his plans, dreams, or disappointments. Our adult daughters barely speak to him by text. It is great that he doesn’t live in the country but it is a little like waiting for your rapist to be paroled when the asshat decides to move back to the States. He will cause problems when he does come back so I hope the girls’ weddings and first babies can happen without him anywhere around. So far our dughters are on the track of sending him an e-mail notice that they wed or that he is a grandfather. Much like his e-mail toodle-loo to me, he should only get that sort of notice from them about big life events.

    Working on meh for me and my single life. I do what I want when I want. I do wish a nice fellow would be interested in me but I am sort of socially isolated right now– everyone I work with has been among my direct reports so obviously I can’t date them. Work takes way too many hours right now but I do hope to retire this summer at age 50 and then really pursue fun activities where my tribe can be found. Yes, the endorsement from a genuinely good guy that I am worthy would be a great push to mehhca. I may never marry again because I enjoy my life now, but it would be dang nice to get rid of the shadows of hate that the X asshat dumped on me as he departed, informing me just how awful I am. I would like someone to tell me he was wrong, someone not my daughters or blood relations.

    So, meh in sight. Less than 2 years since poof day I think it is going along well enough.

    • Hugs IC, I am in the early 2017 class also. Glad you are working on you and wish you safe travels in your journey. I hear your pain in your words and want you to know that your are enough, this is not your fault, you are surviving a shit storm. You must be amazing to be able to retire at 50-that took some serious hard work and intelligence. I’m guessing you are an Excellant manager. Be well and take care of you!

      • It is good to track familiar names from similar cohorts, helping each other heal. I continue to be amazed at how far I have come but still am carrying some pain.

        Wishing you well on your journey too!

    • IC – you sound like such an awesome boss. You mean wishing painful cancer isn’t meh? Damn… I was so close. If you ever travel to Florida send me a note. I could totally hang out with you.

      • Yeah, dreams of his balls rotting off are forgiven but maybe not quite meh! I am in the opposite corner of the country myself. Still, knowing that my online tribe is out there will give me confidence that there are kind people everywhere and I will seek them IRL as well. Thank you for the kind words.

  • I have lived in Meh for five glorious years. I may yet run for Mayor of Meh.

    I had four Cheaters, all different, over around 25 years. I am the only person I know who was born without a picker. Not even a broken one – just no picker at all.

    My revelation came through a blog called Baggage Reclaim, which led me to Chump Lady. I had already begun No Contact with Cheater #4, and this roadmap took me through one disastrous attempt at a relationship several years later that lasted less than six weeks when it turned out he had a harem.

    I am joyously and unapologetically single. I have done serious emotional work on myself – work that I could only have done alone.

    I have a great job and a beautiful group of friends – especially once I purged the users and abusers. It’s quality these days, not quantity. I am busier than I have ever been in my life.

    There is still work to be done. I will not date again. I will not marry. I am enough.

    • Yes! Baggage Reclaim with Natalie Lue. I first heard of her from my eldest- she had Nat’s book “Mr. Unavailable and the Fallback Girl” and was reading it while dealing with a certain troublesome boyfriend. It was right in the middle of that book when the asshat poofed so my daughter witnessed not only her dumbass BF but also her dad exhibit those behaviors. Damaging.

      That book is a good one for picker-tuning especially in young women. Buy it for your daughters, CN, along with Gavin DeBecker’s “Gift of Fear.” Hopefully if you buy those for your girls you won’t ever have to recommend Lundy Bancroft!

  • Reached a higher level of Meh when I had to call the cops on my ex for custodial interference and file a police report.

    Reached a higher level of Meh when I had to file for child support via income execution on my own in family court.

    Reached a higher level of Meh when I was informed that a lawsuit is being filed against him for harrassment (against someone else).

    Trust that they suck.

  • I recently went back as an alum to the opening night of Divorce Care to lend encouragement to the new group. As the alumni introduced themselves to the group, I noticed that where before many of us had been so wrapped up in the story of the betrayal and the hurts of the past, now the alumni stories touched on the past but focused on the power and positivity of now. Even one chump who has a child with cancer(and is now divorced from one of those abhorrent deadbeats who was busy cheating while their sick child was in the hospital asking for them) said she and her child were much happier and doing better because they realized how peaceful their house felt and how so many friends had stepped in to help fill the holes in their hearts.
    I think there is something to be said for the idea that if you want the wound to heal you can’t keep ripping off the scab. You must focus on the healing. Of course the wound stays open for a long time and you don’t really seem to have a choice during the dark days except to suffer the pain. But my experience is that there comes a point when you laugh again or you notice something spectacularly beautiful, and in that moment your heart is full. Those moments of grace become so important; They are a balm to sooth away the ache and burn of loss.
    I think the meh arrives one day when you look and see how the broken pieces of the empty vase you once were have formed into a beautiful and complex mosaic that you never tire of examining. The hurt and betrayal are in a small corner in the shape of brown scattered leaves, while in the center a garden blooms around a tall tree with golden fruit growing on leafy branches. You see the withered leaves and they remind you of your pain but you realize that the pain has fallen from you and you’re still whole and beautiful. You’re still strong, with roots that anchor you, and your fruit, when tasted, opens you to the way it feels to sway in the breeze or soak in the sunlight. The dead leaves blow away and are scattered and you don’t miss them because they aren’t important. The new growth is what really matters most.

  • I have moments of MEH which to me is a feeling of joy-true feeling of happiness. Moments even hours where I am loving life, laughing at silly things, appreciating the people I am with, and just feeling good about myself and the progress I am making in my life. My relationship with my family is very good and surprisingly part of it is because I pushed through when my heart was broken. I stood for right rather than being a door mat. My strength has helped my sons and their families grow through the shit show of infidelity. Sorry to say, I think it is harder on them than me now. They can’t divorce their Dad and without me guiding, he has shown himself to be a real jerk-yep he sucks. Without his oppressive personality, I feel I am opening. CL and CN have helped by giving me the right perspective about my situation without letting me off the hook of “recovery” and giving me a forum to barf up all my resentment whenever I want-that has great value and is very therapeutic to just get it out. I literally mime puking up my crappy feelings and throwing them away and making him appear small like a bug I crush in my minds eye when things were at their worst (my hypnotist taught me that -works) Thanks and hugs to all especially newbies.

  • I have the ‘problem’ of my ex being overall pretty good. (I will take that over him giving me trouble any day) It created a lot of self doubt in the beginning and still pops up sometimes. But there are enough times where he makes it very clear he thinks what he did was 100% justified and he has a real nasty streak when he is upset.

    So it has been 3 years, 3 months since D-day, and 1 1/2 years since divorce was final. This was after a 30 year relationship, nearly 27 years of marriage.

    My problems now are kicking up my work another notch and how to do that, worries about what is best for my son, worries about elderly parents, worries about how much damage he did to my trust when I date and think they are BS’ing me, when that has proven to not be the case so far, bla bla bla. The worries never go to anger over what he did anymore. The feelings of sometimes being alone NEVER EVER makes me think I would still want to be with him. I have since had opportunities to be with decent men, I just think being single is better than being with someone who I don’t feel is right.

    I don’t think I am at complete Meh but for those early on, I have to tell you I still had some fun and made precious memories in this process. Mixed in with the horrible days, grab the happy moments and thoughts and internalize them. Enjoy them. They are just as important to enjoy as is the work of fighting off the crappy ones.

  • One sign of Meh for me is that I can sit at one of my kids games when Ex and OW are there and I no longer feel like my skin is crawling. I no longer want anything to do with him and I could laugh at her stupidity now. I do not wish to talk or sit near them but it no longer causes anger and hurt to be in the same place.

      • It helps that he sits off to the side while I am with the other parents. He is a “visitor” who shows up every so often while I am the “regular”. That means that this is my crowd and most of them think he is scum. It would be harder if I had to try and pretend to be on good terms with him or if I was forced to sit elsewhere because I wanted to keep my distance. But I used to look for him to know if he came or not. Now, I don’t care.

  • My fellow Chumps, I’m 7 years from Dday and 6 and a half from the divorce being final.
    I can tell you that it DOES get better and the key to glorious “MEH” is exactly what CL says: no contact, fix your picker and live your life and be the best you that you can be.

    I will admit that it is a much harder task when you have underage kids with the cheater—you then have to deal with their BS until the kids hit 18. The key there is as CL and others on here have said that you limit the contact to be JUST about the kids and nothing else. Over time, your Ex like a vampire will realize that you are a grey rock and there is no blood to get from you and will turn their attention onto others and mostly leave you alone.

    The hardest thing though that you have to come to terms with before you can hit Meh is that your Ex was NEVER the person you thought they were and that tarnishes many of the good memories you have from your marriage. In the end you will realize that your Ex is disordered and f****d up and they are not going to change. I have told people that if their Exs had married someone else, would they have behaved the same way with them as they did you ?? If the answer is Yes, then was what happened really anything about you or more about them and their f***dupedness ??

    Live your life and be as happy as you can every day and one day you’ll realize that your at Meh and even happy with that SOB out of your life !!

  • Am I at meh? I am with cheater ex( sometimes the anger over the financial abuse still surfaces but I’m at meh about him). However, my picker was still broken when I met my bf and I stayed for 2 years and spackled his bad behaviour as it emerged. Reconciled twice and just finally finished in december. I just blocked him after 6 weeks of what a minister friend of mine now calls cyber bullying. I was deep back in grief for most of the last 6 weeks. I am 58 and do want a partner but just in the last couple of days realize I can do this. I have my friends and family. Work and hobbies also keep me busy. I do want a partner but newly formed boundaries mean it’s going to be difficult. Let’s face it at my age it’s many leftovers now and most wont pass my boundaries. A bit of self love work still to be done. I’m sure I will still have moments of grief but I think I will be ok in the end.

    • NewLady, I like to think that there’s not just ‘leftovers’ out there. I’m hoping there’s some good quality, real nice widow/ers out there who are looking for an open honest relationship with a straightforward sincere chump, I think that’s the best bet.

      • My ex referred to me as his “leftovers” as in…no one would want his leftovers. I don’t feel like “leftovers”. I am a loving, kind & giving person. At age 54 I found it difficult at first to begin online dating. I was afraid of who would want to be with me (an older woman with a failed marriage & 4 kids). I’ve been doing it for 2 years now & you’d be surprised how many men want a mature caring person as a friend. I haven’t found the right one but who knows what the future holds. Either way I’m okay with being single…because with my 4 kids & great friends I am never alone.

        • I’m sure you already know this renee62, but cheating on your partner and then calling her “leftovers” is about the most awful thing I’ve heard. Your ex sounds like a rotten person. It’s unfortunate how frequently cheaters resort to cruelty to protect themselves from having to own up to anything.

          Glad it sounds like you’ve moved on and are in a better place (how could any place be worse than with someone like that??).

  • It’s worth remarking that Meh can be trickier to reach when there are children involved. I feel that I am only mostly at Meh because when my ex isn’t causing trouble for my kids, I barely think about him. I truly don’t care what he does, and I don’t even want revenge on him (though if he moved away, that would be okay with me as well).

    So, I *think* I’m pretty meh, but then he pulls some asshat move on one of our kids, and I do get angry and feel frustrated on their behalf. I think my anger levels have come down significantly, and I’ve become better about expecting him to react in an irrational manner, so I think that I have truly absorbed the “trust that he sucks” lesson. But full meh? I think that will only come when he either becomes so disinterested in parenting that he has very little contact with my kids or when my kids are finally adults and are no longer bound by the rules of custody. It definitely sucks that parent chumps must continue to be pulled into the sad little dramas that the ex-cheaters create with their children, but I also know that staying with him would have been unbearable, and both I and my kids would only be surviving right now rather than thriving.

    Focus on meh, but expect that there will be setbacks. I am definitely far more meh than I was when all this senseless destruction of our lives and family began.

    • I know what you mean! I am almost a year out from d-day, divorce in the works while she’s living with her “twu-wuv”(tm) cheating partner. It’s frustrating because I can feel “meh” trying hard to get in. I want nothing more than to never have to think about either of them again, and I feel ready to do it.

      But she keeps using our young daughter to pull me back into her drama. I’m becoming resigned to the fact that I won’t be able to achieve full “meh” just because I’m ready for it; it will have to happen when she’s done messing with me through our child. That’s hard to swallow sometimes.

  • I was at meh once. I actually know what that feels like. In collage I was involved with a total manipulator. I have always referred to him as Butt Head. Honestly, I think it was a game to him. How much can I get without giving anything back. He had a girlfriend when he first started coming on to me and I resisted when I found out about her. Then they broke up (at least that is what he said but now I wonder) and I caved. I can’t say that he cheated on me because he was never officially my boyfriend but he was always after others. He never claimed to be devoted to me and yet he would not stop seducing me and I kept falling for it. I was totally hung up on him. Looking back I am embarrassed to have ever fallen for him in the first place. How did I let that happen? Even at the time I knew it was stupid and yet I kept getting hung up in his spell. I managed to get out. I deliberately planned a semester abroad in another country to put distance between us so I could get over him. It worked. No contact was the path to peace and light just as everyone here says. In the meantime I met ex. He was my prince. He offered something so much better. He is the one who treated me right. He was loving and devoted. He was helpful. He did things for me and he sent me flowers. He did dishes and laundry. We got married, I embarked on my career, and I became a Mom. I gained a life and I was happy with it. I was completely at Meh over Butt Head. Whatever darkness he had brought into my college years was completely irrelevant in the long run.

    Then one day that life I gained came tumbling down. After more than 25 years as a couple (22 years married), my prince blew up our marriage in the most painful way he could. This person who was the answer to my dreams, my happily ever after, the person I could always depend on and who would always be there for me suddenly wasn’t because he had found somebody else he would rather be there for. The person I trusted most in this world betrayed me. He chose to give somebody else the life he promised me. Somebody else was getting the flowers, the intimacy, the attentiveness and the chores around the house. He is there for someone else when she needs him. I am far enough along in my journey to realize that none of this was my fault and I was powerless to stop it. I have never felt so helpless. Getting to meh again is a struggle. He was such a big part of my previous meh. How can I ever get there again? How can I ever feel secure in my meh when there are no guarantees. I am much father down that road than I was 2.5 years ago, but I am not really sure I know what meh is going to feel like. I think it will have to be different than it was before. I am no longer willing to depend on others. Meh for me will mean knowing that I will survive because I can depend on me.

    What makes me sad is that I don’t think I will ever be able to trust another person again the way I trusted ex. I can’t ever be that devoted to a man ever again. I don’t know if I will ever be able to really love someone without that trust. I have a new boyfriend and I enjoy his company very much. I won’t cheat on him and I will be there for him if he needs me to the best of my ability around my commitment to my children, but I don’t know that I could ever really love him because I am not willing to make myself vulnerable to him. I don’t know how long a relationship can last without that. I might accept help from him but I would be reluctant to ask for it or expect it or just know he would be there for me if I needed it. I know I can depend on myself. I know I can get by and survive and even thrive without a life partner if I need to, but it just feels wrong to be so damaged that I can’t love a man who might deserve it. I don’t know how I can get beyond that and I am afraid to try.

    • PS. The must hurtful thing ex said to me after DDay was “I wish I hadn’t been so nice to you. Maybe I would have gotten better out of you like Butt Head did”.

      • What a horrible thing to say. I’ve found in my own mess that my stbx wife has frequently resorted to cruelty as a defensive mechanism. Any time my pain gets too glaring, or there’s any hint of how what she did was wrong, out comes some cruel statement or revisionist history, or sometimes both together!

        Him saying something like that to you was probably his (weak and pathetic) way of coping with the fact that a part of him knows he was in the wrong, and that what he did to you was terrible. He can’t own up to it, because that would require admitting his own deeply flawed character, so lashing out at you serves as a substitute.

        I’ve also struggled with how or whether I’ll ever be able to trust a partner again like that. I don’t have a clear answer. But I would like to think I can get there by accepting that she and her cheating ways only have as much power as I’m willing to give them, and that it’s in my control to decide whether I give them this particular power over me or not.

        Good luck. Put him in your rear-view mirror!

        • Honestly, I think there is some truth in that. At the time I was trying to be understanding and not judgmental in order to reconcile. He knew he had done wrong, however, and couldn’t handle being in the role of perpetrator who had to make amends so he lashed out instead. He doesn’t say things like that to me anymore. In fact he treats me better now than he did the last few years of our marriage. I guess that is as good a reason as any to be divorced. I doubt he even remembers saying it and would probably deny it if I brought it up but I remember it because it was such a hurtful thing to hear at the time because I thought he had gotten the best of me, not Butt Head.

          I hope we both our meh, whatever that looks like in the end.

          • Chump in Recovery, I know I will never marry anyone. That’s a decision I have made AND a truth that I recognise.

            I won’t have ‘man friends’ or ‘girlfriends’ either. The whole romantic life partner thing is not for me.

            Coming to that realisation set me free to love a lot more widely, and be available to do a lot more good in the world. My life has opened up to a whole range of people who I can love – really love, with no fear of sexual exploitation.

            I have fallen for / crushed on / been infatuated by some of these people. I just bide my time, and don’t act on it, and it wears off.

            It’s a great myth that the only happy ever after involves you and another person and a bed.

            So my way of life is not for everyone, and it requires some grit, but the sacrifices feel smaller every year, and the gains feel greater.

            • Lola I love this! Thank you for this post. I also feel that this may be my path in life and it was so refreshing to hear a positive and non defensive description of single life.

              • Great! Happy to help.

                Don’t get me wrong – I have my times when I think ‘Woe is me’, etc, but that’s just it – they are transitory, mopey afternoons, or post-party blues, or just plain perimenopause.

                These moods don’t last. My thinking brain kicks in, and my balance sheet of pluses versus minuses, and I be gentle with myself till I get my equilibrium back.

                This is after a long process of cognitive reframing, and it’s worth the effort. I was historically not good at emotional regulation, but I have learnt a lot in the past few years

            • In honor of the upcoming “holiday”

              “On this day may you remember that while our culture privileges romantic and erotic person-to-person love over all kinds of other love, that it is not the most important. And that being in a romantic relationship is not the achievement all of us seek, for many of these relationships are destructive, and often I worry that people stick to them because of the mandate that you must not be single , otherwise there is something wrong with you and you are not achieving the success of this “primary” love. I actually wonder that if being single was more and more culturally acceptable , less women would stay in violent relationships.” Anisse Gross

              (applies to men as well, in my humble opinion)

              • Amen to that. I wish there was a Festivus option for Valentine’s Day. The Airing of Grievances and Feats of Strength would be something to see.

      • What an Asshole. Seriously he’s an asshole. And I know exactly how you feel. I adored my STBX and I though the feeling was mutual. We built a beautiful life together, through sacrifice, communication and love.

        And then he blew it up, with no remorse, no feeling, no nothing, just a lot a blame all laid at my feet. He called me every name in the book, and used all the secrets and personal things I have told him through out the years to try and destroy me. And for a while it did.

        The worst for me was the day I begged on my hands and knee’s, ugly crying, snot running down my swollen reddened face “What can I do?” What do you want?” “Why are you doing this to me?”
        And the person who swore to love me for all time, the person I counted on for care and comfort…he looked at me and said “that isn’t real” “those aren’t real tears” “you’re faking”.
        Well in that case I’d like to thank the Academy for this lovely golden man statue.

        It was and still is absolutely devastating, I’m tearing up right now just at the memory of how he looked right through me, like I didn’t even matter and certainly my very raw pain that he caused didn’t matter either.

        But I know that he did that because of self preservation. He did it because he is selfish and to acknowledge the damage he was doing would mean he would have to admit fault. They say and do these things because of their own self loathing, they hurt you because it is easier to project their own hurt on you.

        They know all our buttons, and they don’t just push a couple, they mash the panel. Just remember it was never about you, it’s about their inability to take responsibility and consequences for choices they alone made.

        • Your ex is truly a monster. He blindsided you and betrayed you and then tried to kick you while you were down. I am glad you are not going to let him destroy you. You will survive.

          The statement made by my ex really says more about him than me. It tells me that he was only ever “nice” to me because he was expecting something in return and not because he loved me and wanted to make me feel good. I had no idea how much he resented being nice to me.

          • He is a monster of his own design. He did that to himself out of insecurity and fear and that’s on him. And as much as I hurt, the gaping void in my STBX’s soul has to be much more excruciating.

            A mutual friend of ours who still works with him told me today. “I realized that what I liked about STBX was basically you.” “You brought out the best in him.” “He is no longer that person, his work ethic is shot, and he is rude all the time now to everybody.”

            So the mask has permanently fallen off, because the only person he is really disappointed in is himself. And the only person that can fix that is himself.

            Chumpinrecovery, we are both going to survive and be better for it. Because deep down we know who we are, warts and all. We are able to look inside and see where we need to heal, or what we need to work on. And that is good enough for me.

        • It is comforting to think that deep down they know they’re doing wrong. Maybe. Maybe not. When it comes to being human, the seriously disordered fake it, so they think you’re faking it too.

      • CIR, I could have written your post.

        I have been thinking about this so much lately and keep coming back to Step 1…being powerless over others. The scariest thing in the world. Realizing deep down that we never ever have power over or guarantees with others. I think the answer for me is making me and my relationship with HP number one.
        My foundation is me, HP, my recovery. Trust if I get the green light to do so but be willing to walk if more is revealed (as in deal-breakers) and trust and safety are broken. Realizing that the only permanent passenger in my car on the road of life is me and HP. Not even my daughter is a guaranteed passenger. People change, people die, people relapse (my “prince” husband).

        Tracy’s “trust that they suck” is hard for me because right now a big part, a MAJOR part of the damage is I DON’T TRUST MYSELF. I don’t trust others. And HP? I thought HP was supposed to protect me from this. Maybe it should be “CAME TO BELIEVE THAT THEY SUCK.”

        Step 1
        Admitted I was powerless over other people, had no way to see their insides or secrets, and realized there are no absolute guarantees regarding the longevity of a relationship.

        Step 2
        Came to believe that if it was revealed that they suck, a power greater than myself would restore me to sanity.

        Step 3
        Turned my will and my life over to the care of that Higher Power, as I understand it, the only guaranteed source of trust and safety.

        People change, people die, people lie, people keep secret double lives, people get sick emotionally as well as physically. The trust I have to have is to trust ME….not to have X-ray vision into someone’s inner world, but to be able to stand on my own and let go if and when it’s revealed that I am in danger or the game is over, at whatever point that happens.

        I knew going into my 27 year relationship that there are no guarantees. But it looks to me like I still want one or thought I had one. I thought I had a bullet-proof relationship that could not get sick and die. And it did. Relationships, just like people and animals and any other living thing, can get sick and die. And boy am I pissed. Someone else killed my dream. He got sick and did not take our relationship to the hospital. He just let it die.

        So my new dream is get strong on my own, try to pick someone safe and trustworthy if I ever partner again, and be willing to let go and walk away if necessary, to really internalize that there are no guarantees and the only person I will absolutely be with for the rest of my life is me, with HP as my only other guarantees lifelong companion.

        • I was young when I met my stbx. I have learned a lot since then.
          Even before d day I stopped believing that when two people come together they become one. That’s bullshit, and that’s how we get fooled. I knew my marriage had some flaws, but I was willing to coast.

          We each need our own foundation. Once we trulyfind that inner strength and peace perhaps we might share our lives again. But I know I will never go looking for someone to complete me again.

    • Maybe your bf is happy to take what you are able to offer him? Sometimes companionship and shared activities at a certain stage of life is A-ok…..

      • I hope so. Right now it seems to be working for us. I don’t think he wants to be vulnerable either and I understand that.

  • Meh comes in waves. I experience it and then I go down a black hole. Probably 1/2 my problem right now is that it is January in Minnesota. Vitamin “D” anyone. I just keep reminding myself of how Meh feels. I don’t miss or want him. I’m still mad about the lying for 30 years. Wasted my time.

    Meh may come in April.

    • I think I’m affected by SAD. The grey Midwest days seem to drag on forever, and my mood goes into a dark tunnel. Luckily this morning is sunny but it’s freaking cold.

  • I’m 2.5 years out of divorce and last year found out he needed emergency eye surgery. I noticed when finding out about his problem I told my friend well he has OW to take of him. No big deal. I still think of him but it’s hard to describe, do I miss him? Not really. My new life is great and so are my new friends. I don’t cry for him and haven’t for 2 years now. 30 years of one man is enough for me. I’m getting a cat. My journey to Meh is coming

  • In Meh land! 4 years ago almost to the day I found out my ex had a secret apartment and several 23 year old gfs. I had 5 kids and the youngest was three months old. Danced for 9 months in the reconciliation awful place, but luckily he sucked so bad I got the divorce. Now 4 years later I’m in graduate school for Speech Language Pathology- I have way more friends then I ever had with him, a great boyfriend who is light years more awesome than ex, and my worldview has opened beyond the narrow narrative of a women’s role in society that I was handed as a child. If you’re going through hell, keep on going….but only with no contact! Truly the way to truth and light!!

  • A couple years ago, I was on a conference call, when my ex Missionary-Jesus-Cheater unexpectedly hopped on to say, “Hello.” Afterwards I was struck by my state of meh. I had virtually no reaction to hearing his voice. Since others chimed in to greet him, I remained silent, and he exited the call.

  • Meh is a ways off for me. It’s hopeful to read all these stories and to know that Meh is a true place filled with peace and new life. Some days I can see it in the far distance and others days it’s completely cloudy. I’m trying though – one day and one step at a time.

    • It will come. Trust me it hits you when you least expect it. After finding out about my Ex’s eye surgery I asked myself I’m I a heartless bitch? No just didn’t care. It’s nothing special. Like you said one step at a time. One day I hope to find out I didn’t even think about him. I do know how much I’ve progressed on my own and realized how much I was spackling our marriage. Shocker!!

  • I am super early into this. I was blindsided in November. Never expected my stbx would have the energy or balls to cheat.
    My eyes are wide open now. Not only do I see his sneaky and creepy behaviour, but I have had an unbelievable realization that I have been deferring to him for many years and that I am done with that.

    I am a smart, compassionate and self aware person.i have spent years working on my relationship with my narcissistic mother. And it’s suddenly so clear that I married someone exactly like her. And I never, ever connectedthe dots. I know how to proceed now.

    It’s an epiphany that is setting me free. I know some day I will realize this is gift for me, I’ve been shaken out of my complacency. That this will be a pain that transforms into something better.

    But I will never forgive hurting our children. That is the most selfish move ever. Even there, I think my anger is greater than theirs. They both see their dads selfish, boorish behaviour.

  • I have happily reached Meh several years ago, luckily. At nearly 8 years out from the divorce, I have learned that I cannot manage his relationship with our son, that is his issue. I find humor in the types of women he chooses to have relationships with. I’m remarried, happily, with a man who adores my son and treats me wonderfully. I never have to worry about where the money is going, if he’s drunk again, or who he might be with, because we enjoy spending our time together.

    My Meh is great. At this point I have little more than pity for him as a human being, because he’s destroying his life and relationships due to his toxic behavior. Not my problem anymore beyond making sure my son is taken care of. In a few short years that won’t even be a problem because as an adult, my son’s relationship with his dad will be all on him. Until then, we coparent at a distance. And I’m back to having a stable, loving home and family and a life I enjoy. There isn’t even a tinge of the pain anymore. I come here sometimes to remember what I used to feel like because it reminds me of what I will never, ever tolerate again. 🙂 And I love seeing others come out of the fog and join the Meh revolution! It’s there, don’t despair. The only way is through!

      • Oh, don’t fear the future. It can be soooooo much better. I remember the absolute pain I went through after DD, and the subsequent divorce. But now I have so many new memories of great times and happiness. I have money (he was a money suck as well as a closet alcoholic) and I bought my first house. I had a nice, small wedding last summer with a man who is so much more a partner to me than my ex ever was. You’ll be surprised how different the world is when you aren’t dealing with someone like my ex anymore. Even the small amount of time we have to spend seeing each other for our son is really no big deal now. Because he isn’t anything to me anymore. Just someone I used to know. 🙂

        You will get there! Every day it will be a little better, until you wake up one day and hey, I don’t feel bad. In fact, it’s a good, even great day! Look forward, there’s great things ahead!

  • JB here! I had my situation posted here in November about my STBXW kissing a coworker.

    It’s been 2.5 months since C-Day (Chump day).

    In the beginning, it was hard. I was friends with my STBXW for 5 years, dated for 6, married 9. I’m 33M father of 2 young boys. She cheated on me. I’ve learned a lot of other things about my situation and her’s but none of it excused her to go outside of the marriage. This site showed me that 1) cheaters share and follow the same playbook and 2) I could climb out of this crap hole. On C-Day and for a month after, I felt like crap. The person I made myself vulnerable to, opened up to, shared everything with, had firsts on most things with had hurt me and driven me for the first time to ever sob. Twice. I had never felt so sad, bad, lonely like this ever in my life. I doubted myself and asked what I could’ve done better. I questioned anything and everything about myself in this marriage.

    Here are some things that pop out in my head as I write this and I hope this helps anyone who reads this:

    1. The emotions of sadness and anger come and go – I’ve accepted that this is normal. You can say I’m grieving for the loss of someone I loved or once knew. Grieving for the loss of my marriage, my kids going through this, my dreams and goals that I had planned out and I’m angry for all that too – As a hardcore football fan, I feel like this is no different than my football team losing.

    2. I do love and hate my STBXW. This is my MEH. I’m okay with it. I accept it because I am a good human being. There are things that she is or does now that I love her for but there’s also a lot of things she is or does now that I hate her for. She’s the mother of my 2 boys and I can accept the good and the bad, however, I do not care for her in the sense in that I need or want anything from her. I do not agonize over her. I’m a good human being and I cannot and won’t stop how I naturally feel, and I can say that it doesn’t take anything away from me. I don’t expend any energy more than I need or want to. I don’t want her back or am not pushing her away. I’m focused on me. I do want/miss my family and marriage but in the sense of what it provides and stands for and hope to find that someone special who is loyal, faithful, beautiful, successful and all that jazz that I can create again that family and marriage. I do not want that STBXW to be my wife again.

    3. I was responsible for my part in the marriage but not responsible for my STBXW cheating. Are there things I can work on to become a better person, husband and father? Yes! Did my actions or inactions drive her to cheat? No. She did that on her own choice. She could’ve chosen other appropriate avenues (counseling, better communication, better conflict management, etc).

    4. Honestly, I can return these words to her without spite and whatnot – I LOVE YOU BUT I DON’T LOVE YOU.

    • You’re only 2.5 months out. You have a lot more meh to look forward to, I promise. My ex-husband just up and left and it took a long time for the feeling of love to go away but it did; and it will for you too. 🙂

  • Kinda hard to get to meh when the court ordered co-parent counselor insists that I need to “put on a poker face” for now for the kids and eventually go minimal contact when our relationship has improved. He looked horrified when I said another way to handle high conflict divorce was with minimal contact and he asked me where I found such information. He is hell bent that he is going to improve our co-parenting relationship even though ex was diagnosed the narcissistic personality disorder and continues to drag the (my biological not her’s) children through the mud behind every married woman she can sink her teeth into. Previous marriage counselor suggested I run from my marriage and stop trying to save it. Not even 3 years out from officially being ex-wife #1, ex is planning marriage #4. My. Poor. Children. Ughhhhhhhhh. I could so get to meh if I wasn’t always furious over actions in regards to my babies!!!

    • It’s too bad you can’t tell that RIC to stuff it. Recommend CL’s book to him and tell him to read that before he tells you what to do.

  • I am happily living in Meh. Three years ago was all different, I thought I was going to die. I felt like I had lost everything, love, marriage, home, future – and that things would never become good for me. Then I decided it was all in my head and that I had to change this Programming in my head – that he was not worth it, that nothing was worth me not being at peace. One of the biggest pieces in my new life has been Chump Lady. It was so liberating to let go of so many of my misconceptions! Today I have a new man in my life, but we are at a very different place than I was when I met my second husband 30 years ago. I will never marry again. Being lied to and me being a chump for decades, doing most of the stuff CH mentions we do, has changed me. However, I am learning that it is not the normal man who acts the way my X-husband did, and that it has nothing to do with me. And that whatever happens, I can trust myself to take care of me now. I like myself so much better in Meh-land and all of my relationships that I value has become so much better. I can do what I want, say my meaning, be honest and loving towards everyone. Well – most days, at least. For sure – my worst days are not anything like the way they were when I was still clinging to an illusion. I am not even angry with my x-husband anymore. Travelling to Meh is totally worth it!

  • For those who are still struggling to get to Meh, let me offer you hope and encouragement that WILL get there someday. I’m a single dad, so I can’t totally get Princess Cheating out of my life yet (maybe ever), but now she is just an annoying pest that I can mostly ignore.
    I am not sure just when I was truly in Meh-land; I think it may have been about a year or so after D-day. I can tell you that it is more of what you DON’T have that what you do. For me, in Meh-land:
    – I no longer worry about where the ex is, or who she is with
    – I don’t write her angry e-mails about the awful things she did to me (and they were awful)
    – I don’t feel some desire to make her care
    – No contact (as much as I can, anyway) is natural and preferable; why would I want to talk to this skank who did these things?
    – I might not wish my ex well, but I am not waiting on the “Karma bus” any more
    – I do not feel bitter than she’s got somebody and I’m alone
    – Most of all, my self-esteem is not wrapped up in the opinion and actions of a brittle, overweight, soul-less cheater who is never happy
    And-
    – I am careful to look for real honesty and good deeds in people, not just the appearance of them
    – I do pity the next guy (and she’s got one)
    – I feel like a normal person again, with value

  • My first D-day was in 2009. He left in 2014 to pursue a “step-up” younger, OW who’s Daddy was a millionaire. It took me almost 3 years to feel like I was about 80-90% to meh. BUT there were so many steps along the way that I wouldn’t have missed… and newbies could maybe keep these victories in mind to keep you going:

    – 2014… discard, pick-me dance for six months… lost 70lbs… found ChumpLady and ChumpNation… started thinking that maybe what was happening was a GOOD THING…

    – 2015… started getting in to my new routine (not having my son every other weekend)… rebuilt old friendships, created new friendships, started getting financial house in order, worked on fixing my picker with a therapist, kept the joy in my son’s childhood, sold my engagement ring and took my son to Hawaii with the funds… and I FILED (and even though I’m in a no-fault state, I included “Adultery” as cause because … well just because… LOL!)

    – 2016… Karma Bus made a stop at Mr. Sparkles place: his relationship with OW ended because she found out he was cheating on her (happens all the time folks!); son and I THRIVING in our new chaos-free life… who knew it could be soooo peaceful; finding new joy in realizing I was bleeding money with Mr. Sparkles… suddenly, I have a savings account again; took son on another great vacation… DIVORCE FINAL 3 days before Christmas – thank you Santa!

    – 2017… really feeling the meh… great work with my therapist; daily focus on Grey Rock; X changed visitation so he could go to the gym more with new GF (more time for me with my son); kicking butt at work because of my chaos free life; only use text and email for contact with X regarding son; have days of nostalgia but right-sizing to realize that I don’t really miss Mr. Sparkles… I miss the love I thought I had… but the abuse… nope, not missing that… and an apology letter from the OW, weird but validating.

    – 2018… small slip into not trusting that he sucks… 10 minutes on Ashley Madison confirms he’s still a cheating fuckwit… make decision to step back from my adult step kids – if they want/need me they know where to find me… quickly realize that I have to stop looking… this was my final LEAP to MEH…

    – 2019… having gastric-sleeve surgery; taking ukulele lessons, my son is a happy well-adjusted honor student, we have a new rescue dog, 401K is growing… BLISS

    When it all began someone told me… just give it time… I hated that advice… but she was right.

  • My D-Day was Dec 19, 2016. My divorce was final August 23, 2017. I’m currently writing a book about my experience being married to a textbook narcissist. Between these two dates I was pretty wrecked. Now, I’m struggling with the end of my book because I’ve forgotten a lot of the stuff that my financially and verbally abusive ex did to me (I think that’s a great example of meh and healing altogether). I haven’t forgotten completely, obviously, but the very specific details (which were what I dwelt on, initially), are now quite fuzzy.

    When you can think back on it and not feel a phantom pain sucker punch to your gut; when your heart doesn’t flutter; when anniversary dates come around and you forget them (only your FB memories alert you to the fact); when you do remember the very specific details and don’t turn in to a puddle; When someone else mentions his name and you don’t even acknowledge it… that’s meh.

  • I kind of cringe as I type it, because Chump Nation was a big part of my journey to Meh, but one way I know I am really truly there is I just don’t feel a desire to come here anymore. Every so often I pop in to see whether there’s anything new on the front page, and I keep up my Patreon subscription to make sure Tracy can keep the place going for new chumps.

    One of the reasons I tapered off was I found that reading chump stories and responding to posts actually dragged me back into thinking about Woody and Bazooka Jane and how I had been gutted and destroyed and abused, and I’d had enough of that abjection. Instead of continuing to identify as a chump, I wanted to focus on living my new life that I had worked so hard to gain.

    Here’s how I got to Meh:

    1. Made a bucket list of 100 positive things I wanted to do during the first year of separation. It grew to over 150 activities that I crossed off, ranging from getting Curly Girl hair to spending Christmas 2017 in London.

    2. I was on sabbatical leave and could do my work anywhere, so I took a 3-month “Road Trip to Meh” from Maine to California and back, visiting friends and family, meeting other chumps, and seeing sights I’d always wanted to see. (And when I wasn’t even looking for him, I met a new chump love along the way.)

    3. Changed jobs — to my dream job that I couldn’t have taken if I had stayed with the cheater — and moved to a new area far away from all the triggers.

    4. Went to counseling for two years and retrained my negative thoughts toward healthy ones, until my therapist told me it was time to part ways because I didn’t need her anymore.

    p.s.
    For those of you who followed my story, you may be curious about what happened to the cheating couple, my ex “Woody” (now 51) and my niece “Bazooka Jane” (now 20). Well, I hear from my brother that they are still living together in the former marital residence, but I don’t know how happy they are — because I don’t ask and I really don’t care.

    • I love CL but some days it feels like the stories set me back. Or, maybe it’s just me getting in touch with my grief and anger. But I get what you are saying.

      I did not know about your story but niece and 20 (wow, there are no words).

    • I get you about triggers and reading here and other places. My Q**** account answers have been viewed over 190K times. PSHEW! I used to go there a lot in the early days. Now I only visit about once a month.

      I don’t’ even remember writing most of that.

      I find that stepping back and revisiting positive sites that helped me is very rewarding. If something I say can help somebody, I certainly am willing to share. When it becomes too much, I step away.

    • Hey Meht, as one of the former chumps you met on your journey to Meh, I’m happy to see you come back long enough to post an update. Congratulations on your metamorphosis into a wonderful cheater free life. Love you girl! Keep up the good work!

      • Beth, you were the first chump I met in person and I will always have fond memories of our dinner exchanging our sad tales of flaming dog turds. It has also been a pleasure getting to know you (and your loyal furry friends) better through social media. Love you right back!

  • I find “meh” in puzzle pieces. Sooner or later it will all fit together.

    I tackled the paperwork during divorce. How I did it all, I still couldn’t tell you…(I was so out of it I shut the bathroom light off on people in the restroom where I work, forgetting they were even in there) but it got done.

    My own taxes and my own filing/recovery/bills online accounts are all in one place now. Even a folder in a email account with bills, insurance, mortgage server helps.

    I purchased and renovated a small historic home – when nothing else in my life was grounded. A quiet place to live goes a long, long way, ‘sistahs.

    My third year in, I collected all my “stuff” and sold/donated 60% of it. Feels real good. (Now I need another round!)

    I am getting closer in getting my emotional health recovered.
    ** Truthfully, I’m not over the sadness of the divorce, but I’m certainly not living with PTSD daily wondering when the other shoe is going to come stomping down. You have to look back at your growth. Am I better today than last year? If you can see even small improvements, celebrate.

    This year, thanks to a good friend, I learned a better way of eating, after 50 years of failed diets, I lost 40 pounds.

    Trying to organize so I live putting less to credit, more to savings, I opened a HELOC, (what a pain in the behind!) my house more than doubled in value thanks to my upgrades, so if disaster strikes, I have an easy way of dealing with repairs.

    Physical body
    Emotional body
    Shelter
    Financial Security

    These things for me, taken separately, are adding up to meh.

  • First D-Day December 2015 (online only), second in summer 2016 (despite swearing off it all, he had carried on e-mailing only more secretively and met up and made it physical) so left him then. Life really is so much better now although he still winds me up pretty regularly over the kids’ schedules so not there yet … but … this year I forgot his birthday. Not deliberately, I just went through the day without any thought of him at all and no significance to the date, despite writing it out multiple time. I realised about 5pm and it was just marvellous 🙂

  • I’ve been at Meh for years, largely because even before my divorce was final, I was on that Get a Life fast train–adopted two new dogs, bought new furniture & rugs, reached out to other chumps about a trip to Europe the upcoming summer (2015). Didn’t even throw out anything that reminded me of X if I liked it; e.g., I wear my wedding dress (which was really a 1920s style pale yellow beaded number) to the opera. No burned photos because they are a record of my past, and seeing X’s face in them is….meh.

    Know who is not at meh? Hannibal Lecher. We have only a few joint friends left, and one of them told me that she is not even allowed to use my name, she has to refer to me as She Who Must Not Be Named. lmao

    • OMG!! What a fragile butterfly, that skanky whore! I hope someone plucks those wings and shoves them up Hannibal Lecher’s ass!

    • Tempest,

      Great to hear you are doing well, post divorce! Hope you are still rocking the bitch boots. If you still have to be referred to as “She Who Must Not Be Named”, congrats, you are a powerful and threatening woman to a minor villain. Keep up your panache.

      Here, i have become a first time homeowner. Working on some serious financial stability and sustainability plans. Having fun, and working my butt off. 🙂

  • Meh is a glorious place !! My life is so much better without a stupid drunk cluttering it up. I do exactly what I want when I want. I’ve lost weight, I look 10 years younger than I did with him. I have a darling cozy house that I love living alone in. I’ve been on fab vacations since he left with schmoopie. And…the best part…is when he sees me his eyes get so puppy dog with longing. Ha! If he was the last man on earth I’d demand a recount.

    And even though I’m at meh I love reading CL and CN because all of you are so dang smart and often hilarious. Best.Blog.Ever.

  • I’m nine years out. The first four were complicated by my kid quitting college, joining the army and doing two war tours. So there was no way for me to be calm and happy til he came home. Then it was like a cloud lifting and I could move on. But I still remember the day I realized that after the grief of breaking up, I didn’t miss him and his crabby grumbling criticism. His cheating and lying were infuriating and so hurtful. He also was so oppressive. Now I control my day, my money, do what I want. And I don’t have him second guessing, criticizing or blaming me. Omg how much better I feel losing his 300 lbs of glum. That said, sometimes my kids trigger me because they look and sound like him and I only have so much change for that meter. I just wish he would drop dead on the golf course so he dies happy for my kids’ sake. And that other woman? I wish her only the same shit she brought into my life. They did deserve each other and who am I to stand in the way of true love? So am I at meh? Mostly but not totally but I’m ok with that. Been gray rock for years but when we need to speak, I’m sweet because ow gets really annoyed. Then she gets mad at him and he gets annoyed with me. Ok I get my kicks in weird ways. Glad there’s trouble in their paradise. I’m waiting, Karma. Although I know he’s really happy because he really does seem to get everything he wants. Not sure about her, though.

  • I’m 8 years out and probably as Meh as i’m going to get. I dont think about him much except as the kids father who is a control freak. I have reached out to have joint graduation parties and he declines the offer. He blamed my mom and well – my mom is pretty much NOT meh, lol.

    Much like tempest you know who isn’t anywhere close to meh? The OW/new wife. Apparently i am quite the spector in her luv nest. He always used her and any other female with tits to get me to dance so i assume it is still the same for her.

    I hate when i have to deal with him on kid issues but that seems to be about once every 6 months around tuition time. I don’t argue anymore, i just quit responding when I figure out his position (a yes or no without huge blameshifting just isn’t his thing)

    I am soooo much happier in my life. I have made friends and do the things i always wanted to do. It feels so much more authentic. I have a new partner who is kind and steady and supportive. I look back now and just SMH that i wanted him back at all.

  • I am far from Meh, but I know I’ll get there. I still wake up every day wishing it was all a dream. I still have nightmares, suicidal ideation and am on medication. But the Meh train is coming. Six months since Dday and I have finally found a lovely old house in one of the most charming small towns in my area, far away from The Asshole. If all goes well I will close mid Feb, pack up the dog, my daughter, most of the shared belongings, and leave that twerp in the dust. He is still trying to mess with my head. The other day he got into a narc rage and said I was to blame for his cheating because I’m “too sarcastic”. What can you do but laugh at a thing like that? He also cruelly reminded me yet again that I was his second choice, then said I’m the worst possible choice. He even accused me of being the one who is a narc. His “evidence” was that I continually state that behavior follows from feelings. He claimed it’s arrogant and superior of me to insist that my belief is fact. I responded; “It’s not my belief. It’s evolutionary imperative. See danger, feel fear, run. The human race would not have survived if feelings were not followed up by behavior.” Silence from The Asshole, then a convenient change of subject. He was trying to find a way to make me believe that his despicably callous behavior doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about me and DD. He actually does care very much, says the loser, but “just can’t show it” for reasons unknown. Epic fail as per usual. Deep in a small corner of his shrivelled, almond sized brain, there’s a part that isn’t 100% devoted to lying and ego-tripping. It knows he’s full of shit.
    When I’m at Meh, I’m pretty sure he won’t even bother to try his nonsense on me. When I’m at Meh, he’ll know he can’t hurt me anymore, and he still has to pay my mortgage and car payments. I have a wicked post-nup. 😄

    • Distance is good for the head. I lived with the Dickhead for 2 months after he filed and it was enough to drive me crazy. I can’t imagine how you didn’t it for longer. Congrats on your new digs!! You will make it a lovely home for you, your daughter and pooch. Six months is still pretty early (I’m at 9) so you do what you can, do what you must, and the rest – whenever you get around to it.

    • Blaming the chump for the affair is a classic move out of the cheater playbook. I think it might even be mandatory.

      Good luck with the house! Make the new digs the start of a new beginning.

  • Last night the OW called me to let me know that she had called the police on my ex. He has apparently been physically violent with her. She said that she left a good man and her family for him. She can’t believe that she is stuck with him. I’m going to say my meh is that I felt compassion for her. I told her to be safe. I told her that I would pray for her. Only now am I realizing that I didn’t think “karma.”

  • I recently saw her and her new boyfriend randomly as I was driving. All I could think of was how old the guy looked and thank God I’m not having to walk her off the edge regarding something trivial.

    He looked 20 years older than her – completely bald, seemed pudgy and out of shape, and with a huge beard. She used to hate when I cut my hair short or grew any stubble, and now she’s dating a guy that basically looks like her dad.

    But, it wasn’t until I got home that I realized that after seeing them, and processing how old this guy looked, I didn’t experience any jealousy or any other emotion. I just was glad I wasn’t in that car having to listen to her drone on about her problems and petty gripes.

  • My comments may be duplicative of the above, but some tips for newbies:
    1) you cannot hope or be in meh while you’re in active divorce battle. Don’t try. You’re in battle mode now, you NEED than anger
    2). This is not linear, you’ll take 4 steps forward, 2 steps back.
    3). Each year gets better
    4). I think this literally takes years. It takes years to recover financially, too, from these Freaks. Which impacts the other aspects of Meh.

    Two weeks ago was my 4th year anniversay of my divorce being final and I didn’t even think about it, unlike in Years 1 – 3, where the upcoming date was looming. Similar to DDay anniversay. My 5 year Dday anniversay was July, 2018, and I didn’t even think about it until months after it passed. Year 3 moving towards Year 4, I made significant, significant progress towards Meh.

    5) Be kind to yourself. There is no prize to get to Meh the day after DDay. It’s not a contest. I’d say it really took me until sometime within the 3rd year after my divorce was final to get to Meh.

    6) The key is to start. Start the divorce, get away from these Freaks. You can’t be at Meh married to one. I see comments here from Chumps who discovered the cheating, but are staying married and living with the Cheater, saying “I’m at Meh. I don’t care what he does”

    That’s not Meh, that’s continuing to make your needs small.

    “A Year From Now, You’ll Wish You Had Started Today.”

    Much love & well wishes & well-being to all of Chump Nation!

    • Chris you are fantastic! I’m about a year and half out and not at meh… but making good progress. It’s been over a year from divorce and since I spoke to him via email around tax time. (Can you believe he had the nerve to ask me to help him with his taxes after the divorce? I didn’t btw) That’s what being someone’s personal secretary will get you. Anyway, just to have someone acknowledge… this takes years. I’m proud of how much I’ve moved on, but I’m not there yet and it helps when people who have been through it know what that means. Cheers!

  • I am five years post D’day and believe I have been at meh for some time now, but how do I support a friend that has gone from D’day to Dating in three months after 25 years of marriage, and is now expecting me to accept her new relationship despite it contradicting the list of conditions she gave me when I decided to start dating three years ago.
    I want to be supportive but I am struggling, I was the friend that her mother and ex called in the weeks that followed her D’day to go check on her to ensure she did not do any harm to herself. I even spent the night at hospital with her following a minor stroke. A few weeks after that night I suggested a girls night to get her out of the house only to be told she could not leave her adult children as they were not coping with the stress of everything. Only to later find instead she went to a city bar for drinks just because she could. I have now learned she has been dating some guy since that night.
    Part of my struggle is, in the early days of her separation she was very distraught and at one point told me I could not understand her pain because unlike her I did not love my husband when I ended it, she loves hers. Her reasoning for this was because she was there when I told my cheater it was over and had never considered that being a month post d’day and having just been told my 9 year old had cancer may have accounted for my flat indifference towards him. Also she has refused to get help, claiming she knows everything she knows what she has to do she just did not see why she should have to go through the pain. so instead she is in my opinion choosing to live in denial of it.
    how do I deal with this? Pleaase help!

    • People do strange things when distressed. We often seek out approval and people to notice us, not realizing that’s not the attention we need. Pain clouds out judgement.
      Give your friend some time. She will need you when she comes to.

  • Over here in Meh-topia where I’m the mayor, CEO, HBIC etc. Meh to me is not stalking The Evil One’s Facebook, not asking mutual friends about him (there aren’t anymore, he burned bridges with all of them) I don’t even have Mrs. Dumbass blocked, so I don’t give a shit if they still creep on my page. I have nothing to hide, no one to impress, least of all them.
    It will be 4 years since D-Day this March. Meh.
    I still get sad or down feelings around certain days of the year, not just about TEO, but deaths of grandparents, my dad, etc. but that’s just part of it. It’s less and less of a sting as each year passes.
    Exh1 is onto owife5. It’s been almost 17 years since D-Day with him, and I can’t even remember the actual date, or even the specific month. That’s meh. I haven’t forgotten anything, but it’s no longer a source of pain, that’s meh.
    The first year or two is the hardest, no doubt. Just like you lose count of the days since they left, you lose the pain and sting of it all.
    I’m still angry, still think he’s a piece of shit, but if he called me right now and said he had a terminal illness or something like that, I wouldn’t care. Meh. Sucks to be you, I guess, not my problem any longer. Problem-solving for him is no longer my problem. The life insurance premium is paid up on him, meh.
    Seeing karma take little bites out of him over the years have been satisfying, to say the least.
    Newbie chumps, the road does get smoother, it does get better. It’s not easy or pleasant, but eventually you will stake your own claim to your own Meh-topia, I promise.
    I’ve gone through it twice, you’ll get there.

  • The land of Meh is wonderful and it kinda creeps up on you, like all grief one day you realise you went a whole day without them popping into your head and then a whole week. You look up and see him in his car at the lights and you feel nothing, not even a skipped beat of your heart. Finally, you surprise yourself when the OW boards the same flight as you and ends up sitting across the aisle, you stare at her, she pretends to be engrossed in her papers so you shrug your shoulders and listen to a podcast. No raging, no dramas, no needing to ask why. Just wow, you look old and thank goodness I’m not bearing the brunt of his suckitude. You notice how much she’s looking like his mother and Meh………

  • I started a new life and left Voldemort in 2012. After 5 years of complete No Contact, Meh is my norm. I don’t think of him or replay parts of our life. I miss having a partner, lover, and a best friend in the way i thought i had one with him.

    Life overall is better, happier, and more stable without him. Dating is … a process. Its still a challenge to think my needs are important, and articulate them. There is always more to learn about relationships, communication and conflict resolution skills. Its increasingly easier to weed out people quickly, but not as easy to find good folks to try out this healthy relationship process with. I definitely want a partner, but have come to the conclusion that i will be ok alone and am interested in being a single mom, rather than settling for someone.

    I became a first time homeowner after a year of planning and saving. Super proud. Doing financial planning, saving, and focused on continuing my yoga practice. I have awesome friends, and have had a few wonderful relationships in the last two years.

    I would say the difference between Meh, and a complete letting go/forgiveness is dependent on human justice and restitution. If i held my breath on that, i would be waiting forever. There are times i do remember him with love, or when i see a photo, its no mystery why i loved him. I allow the process of love to forgive myself, and free up a few more parts of my heart to love again. The great grace i found was that he was not my last love, and in many ways, i love much more profoundly than i did before.

    Hoping that 2019 is a year full of love, beauty, healing, prosperity, peace, and joy. Keep walking chumps!

    • My numbers are wrong. We haven’t spoken since 2013. 6 years of no contact, the relationship ended 7 years ago. Time heals wounds. No contact is really like asking yourself to stop picking the scab, and let it scab over and heal.

      Another tip: whether or not your manipulative cheater is a personality disordered individual, does not matter. (Untangling the skein) What matters is that you accept they are a manipulative flaming turd. Voldy McFuckbag is still the same set of deal breakers whether or not he gets a DSM IV or V diagnosis.

      My analytical mind had a hard time with this. I needed to made sense of the insanity that unfolded from someone i thought was a good person. What i could do was learn from my mistakes.

      One of the most tell tale signs of manipulative people is the cloud of drama they create. Whenever you get one out of your life, you will notice the chaos level drops, and calm descends. They are very much like Tazmanian devils. No matter if you are working like hell, life is manageable when they are not around.

      • Amen to your last paragraph ChefBella. He left, the chaos and drama left. Life became calm and serene! I hadn’t thought about chaos-making as manipulative until a CL post about 2 weeks ago but it’s spot on!

  • I am 2 years out and have bought a plot of land in meh! I pretty much live full time there with the exceptions of a few trips out of town. But seriously newbies it really does get so much better. It is so hard to believe when you feel like your world has ended, but it is true. Believe in your strength, your character and abilities to overcome. See you in Meh!

  • Honestly, I got to meh very quickly with my ex. However…. an enormous caveat. We had a house to fight over, but no children. Because there were no children, I hired an attorney and instituted No Contact. Attorney dealt with ex on any questions about selling the house. I told the attorney just to tell me when there was a real offer, but otherwise, don’t tell me about my ex. Just play “talk to the hand” with my ex. Since I could institute no contact and keep no contact, that made it easy.

    The second thing that made it easy was gathering as many facts from as many different sources as possible about my ex and the other woman. Then I documented it all in detail. What the two did together should be against the law- especially the part where he passed cervical cancer to me since I was unaware he was having an affair. And he had sex with me daily regardless of his affair that I was unaware of. And his skank gave me cancerous HPV. And I had no idea. If I had an idea, I would have gotten a pap sooner. So,
    I wrote down in great detail every (factual) and heinous thing my ex did along with his side-kick skank in crime. So whenever I felt dewy eyed about some point in the past, I would go to my journal and see if that time in the past happened during his affair. If it did, I was no longer dewy eyed. The dewy eyes were replaced with remembering where my scissor sharpener was. If I was thinking back to a legitimately great time we had, before his affair, when we were in love, I would read the journal to remind myself who he became. He was no longer the person who, when we were in India, told me to take a shower and freshen up because he was heading out on a walk and he would be back soon. He was back soon, after my shower, and he had stepped out to purchase a 30 carat emerald necklace for me. When he came in the door, he put the beautiful necklace on my neck and told me I looked like a Goddess. That guy was long gone. He had been replaced by some horrendous and unrecognizable creature. He did that of his own volition. The other woman merely brought out who he was. And she was trash too. So I realized the person who surprised me with the 30 carat emerald necklace was fake, it helped me get to meh pretty quickly. (Surprisingly, the necklace was real even though he was fake). I kept focusing on the horrendous and factual things he had done and realized that was him. I could have no love for such a horrendous human being. I felt sad for wasting several years on an illusion but not sad that I lost him. I was beyond grateful that who he really was showed up before we had children.

    For everyone who has children… sigh. I feel terrible for you. Cheaters play to win and they often use children as manipulation pawns. People who do this are worse than Satan. Satan is merely the owner of Hotel Hell, whereas the people who visit Hotel Hell are the most evil creatures. (Note: I don’t believe in an actual place called Hell; it’s a mindset since we bring ourselves wherever we go.) And I don’t believe in Satan either. Humans, through horrendous behavior, create evil all day long- we don’t need the help of a mythical red entity with a pitch fork. I am certain humans are better at manufacturing evil than mythical creatures. Does Satan ride a unicorn? Now that would be an interesting drawing.

    So the crux of it is- get the most horrendous facts you can locate about your cheater. Document them in great detail and carry that document everywhere. Remind yourselves that the facts you have gathered inform you of who your cheater ACTUALLY is… not who you thought your cheater was or who you wanted your cheater to be. The only person who exists is the person described according to the facts of their behavior. Facts, facts, facts. And fax those facts to yourself several times a day if you must. Also- sign up for any and all empowering activities. Find your anger and channel it into kick boxing, a martial art, or use your anger and pain to sing your heart out. Get empowered. Focus on you and your kids. You can only control you. You will survive.

  • My in laws have been a part of my life for over 30 yrs. Ex father in law died recently. I attended wake/funeral. Everyone was awesome to me and my daughter. Ex asshole however kept looking for reasons to make conversation offering me coffee etc. Whenever he approached me – I just gave him “the blank stare.” I never knew how I would face him being in the same room. I simply do not even care to see his face. Must be meh….! Many times I wished him dead. I no longer do. I still have my “sad”days but they are fewer. He once told me he had HIS life to live. At the time that hurt me badly. I now understand that statement and I simply do not care what he does with his life or with whom. MY life and the welfare of my daughter matters. He made her cry a few days after the funeral when he agreed to meet her but never called or show up. Not the first time! Yes I know I am the sane parent because I will never hurt her. We must find ways to move on and that is what I am working on.
    To the newbies hang in there have faith it does get better…..
    I’m 16 months out still kinda new.

  • I’m almost 5 years post D-day and fully at Meh. I NEVER thought it would happen. I was eaten alive by rage and grief, pummeled constantly by what I lost, exhausted raising a toddler alone, ready to jump out of my skin whenever I got a text from ex, and turned upside down with desire and disgust and silent screaming every time I saw him.

    It took me about 3 years to get fully to Meh. I can still get prickly when he acts like a jerk, but that’s to be expected. I had to completely re-make my life my own way before I felt like I was at Meh. It’s absolutely, 100% true that when you gain a life, you magically arrive at Meh.

    My life now is better than it was with ex. I was so focused on what I lost that I didn’t have the vision to see what more I had to gain. I have an incredible new chump partner and we’re getting married in a few months. He’s an extraordinary man and we show each other what real monkey love is. It’s what I always wanted and never got from ex, and it’s better than I could have imagined. I’m gaining two beautiful step daughters, a *real* partner, and a household that prioritizes our shared values. THIS is what love is, and it’s beautiful. I can’t believe how much less I settled for for so long.

    Meh, for me, has been a shift from obsessing about what I lost to defaulting to what I have gained. It took a while, but WOW it feels extratraordinary

  • Parental Alienation and the High Functioning Disordered Parent

    1) the child is groomed from an early age that the Normal /Faithful parent is crazy. This process begins/happens long before any DD and can happen over the course of decades. Adult children in their forties are victims of the insidious and slow drip water boarding . No one is immune or can somehow intellect their way out of years of this covert abuse.

    2) The child is a pawn in the emotional warfare that is taking place in the spouse/ parent/ child relationship long before any DD takes place. Triangulation. Weapon Numero Uno against Normal/Faithful parent.

    3) There is absolutely NOTHING sacred to a truly DISORDERED Spouse/Parent.
    They will cannibalize their own offspring to destroy the Normal/ faithful parent.

    Recovery and acceptance and the road to Meh is long and painful for those of us who don’t have our children anymore.

  • I’m pretty close to meh. I don’t have hate nor love for Dr. Cheaterpants. Just…..nothing. I’m almost 3 years out from Dday #2 with a second known schmoopie in my 20 years with him. 2 1/2 years divorced. The only way he ruffles my feathers is when he treats our teens shitty. He’s living the high life with schmoopie and won’t pay a dime towards their college let alone any other financial help. He really does suck. I am so glad to be free of his never happy, high maintenance, asshole self and I no longer have to walk on eggshells.

  • Trying, trying so hard but sometimes fail. Most of the time now I’m doing OK, therapist helped some but Tracy Shorn’s book Leave a Cheater Gain a Life was truly life changing. I will never be able to thank YOU enough. Have read the book over and over, bought several copies to keep on hand when this happens to someone else I know, love and want to help. Got the local library to order a copy for all my library friends. Hopefully I will be in a better place soon, I’m getting there slowly with some setbacks but at least I now have hope. Thank you Tracy, you are a life saver indeed.

  • wow-i think ive got it. just went to my granddaughters birthday party and my fuckwit x showed up. i didnt fell anything for him -not mad, not sad, not nostalgic,literally nothing. i keep waiting for something but nope. this is so great..

  • I have not checked in a for a few years but thought I would chime in on the subject of Meh.

    I am 3.5 years from DDay after 20 years together. Never married, thankfully. No kids. It took 2 months to tidy up joint ownerships, etc. and I then went full No Contact. Absolute N/C. Nearly killed me as Cluster B’s train you to be in contact at all times and it becomes your crack. However.

    1. I thought Meh was for others, not me.

    2. I thought it meant that nothing about the circumstances would bother me.

    3. I thought I had no control over my physiology, my emotions, my responses.

    4. I did not know about complex PTSD.

    5. The intensity of betrayal’s impact made it very hard to strategize and act.

    However, for all of you who identify with any or all of the above, I want to assure you that the concept of Meh’s arrival is not just a ‘concept’. Nor is it exclusive to only some. It is inevitable!

    It definitely does not mean that you will forget the details or that you will feel NOTHING as regards those details. It just means that you will view it all from an ever increasing distance. The facts are the facts. Your response diminishes over time. This is true of EVERYONE. Yes. Even you.

    And over time you will gain mastery over all aspects of your emotions and physical body. You will be reading, sharing, learning, emoting, experiencing ~~ all of this is like exercising a muscle. You will strengthen all aspects of your Self.

    The caveat to the last point is that there may be unexpected triggers because you may incur some degree of cPTSD. This is a variant of the PTSD that you know happens with violent abuse, combat and hostage taking. The triggers can be very distressing symptomatically, but they are short-lived and should just be accepted for what they are ~~ collateral damage from a dismantling life event.

    Effectiveness is somewhat elusive for a good amount of time. But again, time will work for you because through every moment you will be changing/evolving/maturing. At first you will go through the motions, in spite of being numb or terrified. Later, you will pretend to be efficient and wise and strong. Eventually, you will be.

    It is the worst thing that I have yet endured but it is not the worst thing that any human has endured. I felt that if others could withstand worse events, then I was going to be able to take this hit.

    I like who I am becoming. I would not tolerate that nonsense ever again. Do NOT give up. Do things to harden up a bit (exercise, cold showers, scary shit, stuff that makes you uncomfortable but that you conquer).

    Chump Lady was my therapy. Kept me going one day at a time. Deeply grateful.

  • I realized I was at meh when we had a heated exchange about kids tuition. Out of the blue, my ex had the gall to tell me that he still loved me, always had. Why would he say such a thing? It’s been 6 years since our divorce. What am I supposed to do with that? I’m married to someone else who I love. It was like a stranger saying those words. I was grossed out. Told my husband. He just shook his head.

    I am free. You will be too.

  • When my therapist told me that I never had any power in my relationship in 2014 I was stunned. My bond with my abuser was so strong I believed he loved me despite the blatant disrespect and intentional harm he inflected over a 36 year marriage.

    No contact was painful despite knowing. I was compelled to look back over those years examining every perception, memory and conversation that supported this power imbalance and my actions that supported my participation.

    My therapist literally told me it would kill me if I stayed. Despite the pain I filed.

    It’s a long journey to Meh.Im no longer bonded to my abuser. This past year was a tough one. There was more pain to deal with after being firm with boundaries. I kept telling myself to stay the course. The difference is the grieving is over. And I reminded my self the pain is finite.

    I too saw my abuser at a funeral. There was no rehearsing what I would do. It came effortlessly. That’s transparency, seeing through to the other side.

  • Meh is not a fantasy. Meh is a very real place. Finding Meh, however, requires the type of hard work and dedication that our cheating exes exercised while trying to hide their extracurricular activities. The one thing that Meh requires which our exes did *not* exercise is a hard dose of introspection. But once we’ve uncovered the location of Meh, our job isn’t done. Now we have to actually get there. That takes a complete trajectory change + time. There’s no getting around that. And you might get thrown off course from time to time because the world doesn’t stop just so you can heal from some entitled assclown’s shitty life choices.

    I found Meh about 3 months and change after discovering my stbx wife was schtooping a coworker. It took a complete rebuilding of my life, almost every single aspect of it, from scratch. For the past month, I’ve hardly thought of her. The way she pretty much ghosted my ass after we signed our asset agreement, running off like a thief in the night, was the best thing she could’ve done for me. It legitimately is like she died. And as she shuffled off this mortal coil, she stabbed me in the back with a poisoned knife.

    There’s nothing to hold onto because she might as well not even exist in the world anymore. There’s nothing to miss because she proved beyond a shadow of a doubt just how shitty she is as a person and even our good times together were probably bullshit to some degree or another. There’s nothing to be angry about because my life is ten times better now than it ever was with her in it. Sometimes it’s lonely, but that has zilch to do with her, so that little bit of leftover emotional pain doesn’t kick me out of Meh. I’ve rooted in Meh and I’m not going anywhere.

  • I hear ya. I never reproduced with my ex. So, when he ran off to be with shankenstien… that was all he wrote. I haven’t seen him since the court house. I sold my house, bought a new one in a new city and completely changed my life. I won’t say its been easy, but living life as if he doesn’t exist has really pushed me toward the land of meh.

  • Meh is a wonderful state that I never ever thought I would get to.

    I arrived at the capital of Meh when I could actually think of him in a non negative way, and engage with him on the few times we do, in a kind and respectful manner. I don’t do it for him, I do it for me.

    He cut off my insurance? Meh

    He lies and gets his way? Meh

    He finesses me so I can’t have access to our jointly owned property? Meh (and, good negotiating!)

    He causes me unnecessary hassle? Meh

    I truly no longer care what he does. It just does not define me. I am grateful for our beautiful children. I remember we did have happy and loving times.

    Whilst I have appreciation, that time is now over and I let go to explore my new life. I wish him well and hope the best for him. I still love him in a funny way. No more rage, bitterness, outrage, upset.

    Just true, serene Meh. It has taken a long time and a lot of howling anguish and tears, but I am a good person and nobody is going to change that aspiration to be the best person I can be.

  • I’m 6 months separated and at Meh.

    My cheating ex-husband visited on New Year’s Day asking for a second chance, marriage counselling, could we fix things, etc. He was extremely emotional and said things such as “there is no happiness inside of me” and “you were my reason for living”.

    I held firm – I told him that I have no hope or expectation of reconciliation, his affair has been forgiven but I have moved on. I also told him he needs to focus on finding happiness and a reason for living within himself.

    I later told my mother about this (I am very close with her and she has been so supportive) and she said “oh, I am actually starting to feel sorry for him” (she still 100% backs my decision to leave).

    I said “nobody feels sorrier for him than me, but I do will not sacrifice my happiness for his”. Yes he has been playing the pity card I am sure, but he is also truly pitiful.

    She also asked “do you ever feel that [by not taking him back] you are kind of handing him to [his affair partner] on a silver platter?” I said “yeah, but she can have him on a gold platter!”

  • Meh is a mindset.
    Before I felt it, I trained my brain to think it. Then my reality changed into meh.
    Am I feeling meh? Surely, but that’s not so important anymore 🙂 Living it is what matters

    To all chumps out there: train your brains, choose your thoughts carefully and you’ll enter the highway to meh!

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