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Dear Chump Lady, Nobody gets being chumped (except chumps)

Hi Chump Lady,

I’m two months post D-Day. My piece of shit ex-husband is a middle school teacher who had an affair with the school guidance counselor (or, “brother fucker” as I like to call her). Said guidance counselor also had sex with my husband’s brother, as well as his direct report at school. I’m sure she gives great advice to middle schoolers. Not surprisingly, he put all the blame on me — I wasn’t attractive any more, I was working too much, he was unhappy. Blah Blah.

I’ve almost got myself over the infidelity. What’s more painful is the realization that I allowed myself to be verbally and mentally abused for years. Shit sandwich after shit sandwich. And, even post D-Day, it continues. I’m not sure why I expect him to all of the sudden have some kind of empathy toward me — but I guess I would just imagine some kindness after shattering someone’s world and self-worth.

When I found out about the affair, I moved swiftly — kicked him out, hired a lawyer, filed for divorce, put my house on the market, and am moving to a new city (in large part due to you and the other amazing people on this site who have given me strength at a time when I feel totally shattered).

I definitely did my share of crying and yelling in front of him — certainly not the “meh” way I hope to be one day — but I am proud of myself for not trying to stick around with someone who treated me like shit and is cruel to his core.

My biggest struggle right now, though, is that no one understands. I still get REALLY sad, VERY angry, and a few times, even just wanted to give up. While I know I’m powerful for making the moves I have, it doesn’t lessen the pain, make me forget how he continues to treat me, or ease the immense sense of loss and fear that I feel.

I’ve always been the “happy kid”. When I talk to my parents, they just want me to be over it. They say things like “It happened. He was a bad guy. Get over it.” They get upset with me when I cry or get angry on the phone. They tell me that I’m “hard to handle” in my emotional state. So, when I get off the phone, I just feel worse than where I started. They try and compare my pain to other hardships in their lives (none that are actually an affair). I know we all have struggles. I know I’m not unique in my pain. But I also don’t want to hear about how I don’t have it that bad compared to others right now.

Listen, I know I’m better off without my sack of shit husband and his little brother-fucker. I know that I need to get over things. But I also know that it’s only been two months and I’m still hurting. I see a therapist weekly, I’m walking everyday, I read CN like the Bible, and I’m doing about as much self care as I can manage while still working my job.

So, I guess my question is, how do you deal with people who just can’t imagine this gutted feeling that I have? Who do I talk to when I need brought off the edge? How long is too long to feel unworthy and scared and lonely? Help!

Shattered but surviving

Dear Shattered but surviving,

Dear God woman! Has no one told you that you’re a FUCKING ROCK STAR?! Two months out? TWO MONTHS OUT and you’ve “kicked him out, hired a lawyer, filed for divorce, put my house on the market, and am moving to a new city”? What else have you done? Lifted cars off of trapped children? Spun the earth backwards on its axis? Leapt tall buildings in a single bound?

I’m sorry no one understands your mightiness. It’s probably because they don’t have superpowers themselves that you appear freakish. (This is the plight of superheroes everywhere.) Some are bit by radioactive spiders, others are betrayed by fuckwits. You have super strength.

I’m sure you’re thinking, no I don’t. I’m a blubbering mess. I sob in showers and stare lifelessly at sandwiches. Cease your pep talks at once. I know you’re just trying to make me feel better. But you don’t know what’s matted in my hair. 

Yeah? Well, you’re still MIGHTY. Courage is doing the hard thing even when you’re shattered and scared. Strength is being your own hero and dragging yourself out of that burning building of dysfunction. YOU DID THAT. You SAVED YOU.

Your mettle has been tested and you survived the trial. I know it’s not over. Hercules had, like what, 8 trials? You’ve probably got some shit-filled stables to clean out next. But you’re amazing.

Shame on your parents! They can’t take EIGHT WEEKS of your pain? I’d hate for life to hand them something horrible that goes on longer. Like say, old age and infirmity. Perhaps they should meditate on their lack of empathy from the long unvisited corridor of a nursing home?

Okay, that’s churlish of me. They’ve probably known real pain and rejection. Had a boil lanced off their ass once. Were not selected for their co-op board. Pumpkin spice season ended. Life has its crushing disappointments.

They say things like “It happened. He was a bad guy. Get over it.” They get upset with me when I cry or get angry on the phone. They tell me that I’m “hard to handle” in my emotional state.

My nicest interpretation of their suckitude is that it pains them to see you in pain. (To which I’d say SUCK IT UP, YOU ARE THE PARENT HERE!) You. Just. Went. Though. This.

It’s one thing to mutter “get over it” years out, it’s quite another at two fucking months. You have done EVERYTHING right. You have navigated yourself through this brilliantly. What you need is some validation that it’s HARD. That it HURTS. That it’s SCARY. And that you’ll be OKAY.

And they’re withholding that. Or they’re incapable of it. Which makes me think a nice line of inquiry at the therapist’s is — am I the child of narcissists, and did I choose someone as a life partner who invalidates me the way my parents did? (and continue to do)?

God, Tracy. Maybe they’re just not equipped for this and are Very Nice People and you’re being terribly judgy.

Okay, then accept that your parents have limitations. They might be great company at baseball games, but they don’t do major life events. Shared DNA is often overrated. Focus on what you do have together, and find comfort elsewhere.

How do you deal with people who just can’t imagine this gutted feeling that I have?

You find people who can walk into your cracked open heart, because theirs once cracked open the same way. Get on the CN forums (register on the home page, upper right, the forums will appear).

Who do I talk to when I need brought off the edge?

Talk to a fellow chump. We’re here 24/7. On the forums you can also find meet-ups around the world. And if you can’t find one, you can start your own. Chumps are EVERYWHERE. Where are you moving? I guarantee there are chumps there.

How long is too long to feel unworthy and scared and lonely?

It takes as long as it takes. You can’t rush grief. He absolutely sucks, but you loved him and invested in a shared life together. Not only did you lose that life, you lost who you thought he was (or had the potential to improve into — your beautiful, beautiful reclamation projection, your vindication of sunk costs), you lost the future you thought you would have. It’s a LOT to absorb.

The important thing now is to protect yourself and act. Processing your feelings can come later. With no contact, it gets easier over time. You’re in the white hot center of this mess. I say it here a lot — it’s gonna hurt like a motherfucker.

You’re normal. Unworthy, scared, and lonely is NORMAL. If you didn’t feel those things, you wouldn’t have a pulse.

The measure of who we are is how we deal with vulnerability. Not everyone can handle vulnerability — and who can and who cannot is a good indication of character. Invest your time in the people who matter, who are there for you.

What if no one is there for you?

I created this place so no one ever feels that way. There are people at the other end of computers here with an encouraging word whenever you need it. So take as long as you need.

And someday, pay it back. Your superpower isn’t rejection — it’s empathy. You can walk into cracked open hearts. It’s a gift.

You’re gonna be okay. ((((BIG CHUMP HUGS)))

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 call adultery “soul rape” as it is traumatic on a spiritual level like that. Plus, it explains why people telling us to “get over it” sound so cruel to our ears. And it is cruel.

    You are doing great as CL points out! The pain and grief is finite, but you have to walk through it. Please be a good friend to yourself and not “should” on your feelings. They just are. It is okay to feel them.

    • I like that way of describing adultery. It is indeed soul rape!

      If the interactions were between any others than husband and wife, one could sue the adulterer for fraud. But adultery is no fault in my country.

    • Dr. Harley (famous author of his needs, her needs) also calls adultery soul rape. He has a video on YouTube explaining how some rape victims told him the pain of adultery is worse.

      Back to the original topic. Mega props to this woman for acting so quickly. I hope my next wife has as much integrity as you do.

      I also understand her pain, it’s hard to find people who can relate and sympathize with you. I eventually did. But my biggest help was lots of time (2 years) and God. Allow yourself to grieve and remind yourself there is light at the end of the tunnel

  • CL is spot on – you are mighty! Two months is nothing, the recovery from this shit takes YEARS. I don’t mean you won’t feel exponentially better in even just 2 more months, you will. But your compulsion to talk about your EH or the horrible way he treated you takes times. You’re still in days where it’s super fresh. And your talking about ex-husband and getting cheated on makes others feel uncomfortable, almost like infidelity is contagious. I’ve had friends with cancer who’ve told me when they talk about it, people will say shit like “think on the bright side!” I have a former coworker who lost his 6 year old son in the Sandy Hook shooting and people say stupid shit to him “Well, at least you have another son!”. They don’t want to hear about the horror that his youngest son went through and how he was slaughtered.

    Of which, none of what I’m saying means your pain is any less. But CL is right – use your therapist, meetup groups, other group settings of other chumps. You can’t make others, many who are fearful themselves of seeing a chump in a vulnerable position, as it highlights we’re ALL vulnerable and mortal and exposed, be there to be a shoulder to cry on.

    But WE are here, and we get it. It’s been over 4 years since my divorce was final, and really only in the last 18 months do I not think or even mention Dracula anymore. And now my coworkers will ASK ME “What is up with Dracula?” Your friends and parents are listening and absorbing. They, like most people in society, just don’t know how to react to tragedy in others. Hang in there, you’re doing FAB in these early days!!!

    • I went through the same thing. People have been avoiding me like a plague. They are afraid to even say more hi to me. I don’t know why my coworkers and neighbors are so afraid of a chump.

      I told my fuckwit to leave after 3 months from DDay. He used our money to buy a fancy house in my neighborhood and moved in with her. The divorce was finalized two months ago (total time from discovery = 7 months). Schmoopie is playing step-mom role already.

      My 5-year old told me last night after coming back from fackwit-and-miss true love house: I’m not good enough. How can daddy loves Schmoopie, but cannot love me? I have to be a perfect girl for his love. OMG!! My heart broke to hear her doubting her self worth. He is hell that keeps on giving evil poison!!!

      • It’s awful, Banana. I have 2 boys w/ Dracula. He triangulates and ignores my younger son. It breaks my heart, watching my beautiful baby pick me dancing to get attention.

        Just keep telling your 5 year old that she’s good enough as she is, she’s just as perfect as every other human on the planet, and keep spending time with her & loving her.

        These Cheaters are the scum of the Earth.

      • What is with these disordered non-people?! This makes me so angry for your daughter. It was hard enough for my 12 yo, but 5?! Fuming and heart-brokening with you.

      • My advice is more than likely frowned upon by the courts but you have to start letting your daughter know, in a very calm, cool & collected manner, her father is not right in the head. Be almost sympathetic and let your daughter know he is not normal. This could potentially cut him off at the pass when he attempts to make your daughter feel “less than”.

  • Dear S and S,
    Here’s something I have learned. We all have a role in our family of origin. From what you say, your role has been to be “the happy kid.” (In my case, it was “daughter to be sacrificed for others’ happiness, and is expected to find her own happiness and self worth in sacrificing herself.” AKA Trained to be a Chump from birth.) Being “the happy kid” comes with expectations for behavior and attitude, and conditions you to act and react in certain ways that serve the larger family dynamic and for which you are rewarded.
    In a dysfunctional family dynamic, the roles we’re cast in and trained to occupy are in the long run detrimental to our development and emotional health. But even in healthy families, when for some reason—like infidelity, like now–we need to step out of our assigned role, our need disrupts a family pattern, which makes other family members uncomfortable, and they then seek to restore the pattern. This sure seems like what your parents are doing. You have ceased to be “the happy child.” For whatever reason, they need you to be “the happy child.” They are unprepared for you to be “the unhappy child” who needs their support. Which means they can’t be the ones you turn to for support. It’s too bad, and it may reveal something you never observed about your family dynamic while you were comfortably occupying the role of “happy child.” You may in the future need to spend some time thinking about that family dynamic.
    But for now, note it, don’t beat your head against the wall seeking help from those who are unable to give it to you, and post as much as you need to in the forums, where there is a wealth of marvelously wise members of the Chump Nation waiting to help you.

    • Adelante,
      You are so right about the roles we played in our original family and how we continued once we left. My training set me up to stay quiet, never rock the boat and keep my needs unmet.
      CHUMP grooming.

      • I was trained the exact same way.

        After being chumped, I’ve been changing this. I stand up for myself, speak my mind and don’t allow people to stomp on my boundaries. I’m being the person I needed as a child, and I’m starting to feel stronger and happier than I was BEFORE I got into the relationship with my ex. And that’s what this is all about…the learning and healing so we can go on to lead fabulous lives.

        I’m 7 months from DDay (kicked him out the minute I discovered his affair). He moved out 6 months ago, and I went no contact 5 months ago. (We were together 9 years, engaged for 6.5 years…thankfully never married!)

  • Two months?! You are super mighty!

    My family and “oldest” friend have no empathy or understanding, either. First, they convinced me that “he seemed like someone who wanted to be married to me” after I told them how emotionally abusive he was & how miserable I was during the post DDay/in house separation (a true circle of hell, by the way). So I believed them and begged for a reconciliation attempt, which of course blew up after lies & broken promises & fits of rage on his part (surprise!). Now that I am divorced they continue to socialize with and invite him to family events, and tell me we all have “to get along for the sake of the kids.”

    With “friends and family” like these, who needs enemies?

    • MehBeSoon,
      I can relate. My mother still invites the ‘human’ I unwittingly married, the one who abused the kids, me, and others (physically, sexually, emotionally, and financially) for decades to my parents’ home, where my kids and I are temporarily living, for refreshments–even though retraining order a wise judge gave us (without me asking for it) states that my ex-husband may not enter my residence. I sometimes feel stabbed in the back by my own kin. As much of a pacifist as I am, I sometimes envy people who’s relatives say, ‘Where’s my gun?’ when they hear about abuse of their offspring (whether minor or adult).

      • So sorry – I get it. It’s a terrible feeling, that the people we should be counting on for support & validation are instead adding to our pain. In my case, I think it’s because they don’t want things to be “awkward” or “uncomfortable” for themselves, but guess what, it IS awkward and uncomfortable as hell FOR ME.

        So now I have to decide whether it’s worth telling my own family to either invite ME or HIM to future events…..or to continue to eat shit sandwiches to “keep the peace.” Bleh.

  • I totally feel you. My father was probably somewhere low on a narcissistic scale and my mother was an anxious person who just couldn’t take my distress. The thing is that I learnt not to have feelings, or not to show my negative feelings, or minimize them (all with predictable consequences). It was very difficult being a child and adult with a huge emotional wound until at some point I’d realized that I’m no longer a child, I can put my big girl pants on and I can take care of myself. This means I give myself permission to feel as bad as I feel for as long as I need, I no longer have unrealistic expectations of my parents (and I don’t show them my feelings). I rely on my friends for emotional support and I’d even call complete strangers (like Samaritan phone libe) if I needed to. You sound awesome, what you currently feel is understandable but look elsewhere for support that you need. Two months is exactly nothing but you’ll get through this.

  • Oh SHATTERED I think you are expecting way too much from yourself. At 2 months i was a snot ball, blubbering mess with English as a second language i just couldn’t grasp. My kids couldn’t understand a word i said for months! There came a day when i didn’t cry and out of curiosity i looked up how many days it had been…..something like 247 non stop days of crying. The smallest memory would spark me off. Then i’d be okay but just for a few hours until the next pathetic thing hit me. And the pain was curl up in a ball excruciating

    Be gentle with yourself, IT’S ONLY 8 WEEKS!!!!

    I found the cycle exactly the same as grieving a death and when i got to anger my life became so much easier. I too had no one to talk to so it was all internalised for me and you rip yourself mercilessly to pieces.

    You will get there in the end and each week will be a little better, until one day (Way down the road not just months so let up on yourself) it will be easy to think or look at him and think god yuck what did i see in you. For me it was 2 to 2 1/2 years to feel nothing. This site saved my life. I would spend hours here every day and night.

    You are in my eyes simply amazing for doing ALL the things you have already done at just 8 weeks and truely you’ve done a shit load. It took me 7 months to find the strength to get a solicitor.

    Many (((Hugs))) Shattered your simply amazing

  • …”How long is too long to feel unworthy and scared and lonely?
    It takes as long as it takes. You can’t rush grief. He absolutely sucks, but you loved him and invested in a shared life together. Not only did you lose that life, you lost who you thought he was (or had the potential to improve into — your beautiful, beautiful reclamation projection, your vindication of sunk costs), you lost the future you thought you would have. It’s a LOT to absorb…”

    This. It’s gold! Thank God for you, Tracy.

    • THIS!!!! I read it and thought it’s gold too.

      Shattered but surviving, your story resonates with me because I did very similar things- kicked him out, sold a house, moved our kids and me to a new city, and filed on his cheating ass as soon as I was on solid ground and could see what a terrible man he was. That was 2013. I was mighty. If you saw me from afar, doing this while working, taking care of kids and myself it was impressive. BUT, and this is key…I was so scared and very sad and shattered. I lost 15 pounds in 2 months. I was hypervigilant, on little sleep and devastated. I knew what to do, I knew why I was doing it, it felt right in my soul where my worthiness lived, but the pain did not ease because it was right or healthy. It was still painful! I felt deep sadness, true fear, and many of the emotions you shared.

      I did not have CL or Chump Nation then becuase I found them a little late. This is where to come for validation and empathy because we get it. No matter the varying stories we all have, this group will give you what you need now. Tracy got it right…What you need is some validation that it’s HARD. That it HURTS. That it’s SCARY. And that you’ll be OKAY.

      I am 6 years and a week out from D day. I was mighty then, but if I could go back I would have found more validation and support through the fire. You already found this site, AND you have mighty in the bag in terms of actions. You are going to continue to make progress. It is not linear progress either, and you may feel better sometimes, and then sadness or anger or “fill in the blank” returns. Be good to yourself and don’t let your feelings be a measure of your mightiness for a long time! You’re in the fire, Girl.

      (((HUGS))) to you! I applaud you along with CN.

  • Blimey – I think we all have someone who has done this to us. I had a woman say it when I was only 3 months and in the middle of grieving. I think my psychologist just did it to me 2 weeks ago and I am now 2 years out.
    But 2 months out?! Like CL wrote – you are getting yourself together – keep going girl! Take all the time you need.
    I am sorry you have hit this with a few people – esp. your parents. I would like to think that my parents would have embraced and taken care of me, but they just got all panicked and then I had to take care of them – groan. And yes – I have periods of loneliness and it can be hard to take action on my own behalf.
    Self-compassion and sharing with ppl who understand (do you have some good girl friends nearby?) can be your foundation to recovery.

    • I had a mom that said “I don’t want to hear it anymore”, all while NEVER once stating how sorry she was that I have to go through this. Had a therapist tell me that I should be over it (only two years divorced after 36 year marriage). Have since found a new therapist.

      Had an ex SIL tell me that the new woman is “nice”. Excuse me, the woman that destroyed my family is “nice”? Well, she said that was between you and your husband. OMG

      Shattered…YOU are amazing! People are going to say a lot of STUPID things. Consider the source.

        • My Mother was the same and she WAS a cheater. After she realised I knew, my life was 200% her invalidating me at every turn. I think I survived because I went to boarding school with great teachers and had two sets of loving grandparents.

          We are all resilient. Take Care.

        • Precisely why I have avoided going to ex’s family’s weddings and funerals, even though these people were family to me for 30 years and I am friendly with them on social media, and receive invites. It is a huge loss for me and they are collateral damage, but I have no desire to reopen old wounds. Karma’s a bitch though, because my ex hasn’t come out to his family and so cannot bring his partner to any of those functions, so I know it’s more painful for him.

      • Wow Notmyfault! This resonates with me soooo much. I remember (I’m nearly 8 years out now) when one of my best friends sent me a text two weeks after idiot ran off, how lovely it is to see him so happy and his girlfriend is so lovely. I blocked and deleted her off everything. I have not spoken a word to her since.

        • jode70, I heard the same thing from a neighbor I considered my friend. Similar remarks from other neighbors. I no longer speak to any of these people. If I happen to see them when I’m out shopping I look right past them. Not long after Dday, I was at the grocery store and she comes running up to give me a hug. Uh, no.., and I walked away. I’m not normally rude, she looked hurt, I felt bad for a minute then came to my senses. My feelings weren’t being considered when she was socializing with ex and his gf then letting me know how happy he is and how cute she is.
          My neighbors don’t exist to me anymore..

          • Honestly. There is no understanding. None. Of how fucking devastating this is. My best friend of 40 years did this to me just the other day. Her 13 year old son was just killed tragically. I just bit my tongue. Hard. And remembered why I keep some distance these days.

            My ex’s best mate’s wife called me names – screamed at me – when he hadn’t even left my home yet. She was immediately deleted from my life.

            Fuck it was so hard. Small town. My whole social structure destroyed.

  • Shattered, one of the ‘nice’ things about going through the Valley of the Shadow is that you learn who your real friends and family are.

    The current list gets WEEDED like you wouldn’t believe. Old relationships get totally revisited and turned inside out. There is a spiritual and emotional spring cleaning that’s probably long overdue.

    Not your fault, hon. But in time, you will be glad you got to see the old familiar bullshit with new eyes.

    I do think you’ve partly answered your own question, as Chump Lady says: you have people close to you who can’t tolerate your pain, and who try to shut you down when THEY become uncomfortable. Get thee to a decent therapist or to the forums, or both, and you can start thrashing this one out any time you like.

    Down the track, you are going to have new friends and family, because you will start finding people who GET this, who GET you, and who don’t tell you stupid things like ‘You should have moved on by now’.

    • This is so true, but also painful as hell. On top of dealing with the end of my marriage & hopes of an intact family for my kids, my relationships with my family and “oldest” friend are being reconfigured because I have come to realize that I really cannot count on these people for the support I need.

      I am building & strengthening other friendships, but it’s like my entire old life has blown up, not just my marriage. I hope and trust that I am building something better and more authentic.

      • I am in the same boat and my son has become resentful because of it. According to my husband I blew his world up by putting pics of him on FB for everyone to see when he was on meth but I meant to make it clear it’s not ok for him to be doing that. I have tried to get through to him but his family and friends even do it and I think he’s really just too far gone. It’s possible he has even been with others when he was in Memphis for six months staying at his step grandmothers house with his mom and step dad

  • You’re doing SO well!! <3

    The problem with being strong and capable, efficient and determined, is that we make dealing with Really Fucking Horrific Things look EASY to those on the outside. You're supposed to be a weak, blubbering mess ALL the time, not chucking assholes and their trappings into the dumpster and going to those who should support you only when you NEED it.

    Your parents have shown who they are. Their actions match their words. They mean it.

    This is a new life in resetting your Picker too! And your new Picker doesn't try to convince other people that you're worth caring about, no matter who they are… not even family. New Picker knows you.are.fucking.amazing and that people who care about you will show you that, even if you end up realizing that the entire lineup until now needs to be gray-rocked into fading away. New Picker knows that there is no benefit to giving them a speech or a note or a sternly-worded text or email because they don't care in the first place. And if they do care, after all, and regret not being supportive when you asked for it? THEY will put in the effort to show you they care.

    You're off soon, to a better, true-er life. Congratulations and good luck!! <3

  • Two months?
    omg, you’re really migty, Shattered.
    I’m 18 months in, and the papers are still waiting (I hope they’ll be signed this month).

    I cried sooo much for an entire year. Even more. I had panic attacks because he went to my place and took “his” stuff and lied he never was here. I’m still crying almost every day my 4-year old is not sleeping at my place.

    Your parents are NOT up to par with your mightiness.
    You can try to tell every time you call, towards the end: “I’m so glad I’ve called you. I feel so much better. You’re great” (if it’s true).

  • I’ve got to say, while I endured emotional abuse for over a decade, it was the cheating and lying that pushed me over the edge. Now that I’m 2 years out, I see it in reverse, with the cheating being just a small percentage of the ongoing abuse, if only because the cheating didn’t directly affect me daily, but his abusive ways surely did. It’s a sad paradox.

  • My parents too, were not at all helpful. My mom would allow no discussion of it, except to concede that the leaving of dread from my heart was a sure sign that he had been doing bad things. Otherwise she blocked my stepdad from giving me any advice or consolation. Upon reflection, I see why: stepdaddy is a nonstop cheater and staying with him has gutted my mom, but she tells herself that they stayed married, and that’s the important thing. (Ugh.)

    My faith community kicked me in the teeth. No support there. I do not know what Jesus Cheater told them, cuz I was No Contact, and cuz I don’t gossip, so no one could relay any of his stories back to me.

    I prayed to God when all those doors closed: “marriage” ended, no support from parents, my faith community bailed on me — led by a couple of manipulators (narcissists love to prey on the faithful, whether in marriage or in religion), and I found an open door, leading to a new path for me. I am trying to free myself from the least trace of spite, hate, or resentment, and walk my new path and live my new life.

    • I am so sorry you had the experience of your faith community abandoning you! No one should have to suffer such double rejection and abandonment. I truly believe my priest saved my life with his support and empathy. God does not want us to suffer alone. If your faith is important to you, find a new church; a trustworthy and empathetic spiritual adviser is priceless. Please know that there are people, priests, communities, out there that would welcome you with open arms and help ease this pain for you. The hypocrisy of some Jesus cheaters apparently knows no bounds–but real faith based compassion is out there.

    • I noticed, too, that the “chumps” that stayed with their spouse even after cheating are talking down to a chump in pain the most. For example, a (former) friend of mine suggested that her husband’s affair made their marriage stronger and I should look at the event as an opportunity.

      Not that I had the option, My husband wanted to leave and nothing else. I was completely

      . And that was then also the woman who found consolation by texting my husband how sexy he was and what a great night she had with him a week after she came over… (on that specific night, I left the alone, and went to bed early).

      Some people have no integrity.

      • Yes, it seemed to make our marriage better after dday but 10 years later, I found out he was cheating again! So give it time, and you’ll see that it didn’t make their marriage better. He just got better at hiding the affairs and made sure to show more affection to his wife to throw her off his cheating pattern.

        • Exactly! It seemed to have made our relationship better, he stopped giving his all to work, we’d spend time together, have fun, be cozy, we were going to therapy, everything was wonderful, so much so that I initiated talk of marriage and he went along with it and proposed! Too bad my feelings of despair and distrust only grew and I summoned enough strength to reach out to one suspected affair partner to know the actual truth, because I knew there were things he was still withholding, only I’d been made to believe they were much more innocent! Turns out he saw it fit to try and shut me up with a ring, when he knew just how much he was still keeping from me.

          Where there is cheating, there is abuse. Not always the other way around, so imagine that!
          There is no happy marriage where abuse is. And 9 out of 10 abusers never even start confronting their issues, so a lot of those women just decided to keep chumping. I don’t disparage them for it, we do what we gotta do, but at least don’t flaunt your “healthy marriage” when you don’t know the first thing about what it should even be like.

  • Tracy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I needed this. I printed it. I highlighted it. I put it on my fridge. You, and my fellow chumps, have saved my life. I don’t know where I would be without you. Gratitude doesn’t begin to explain it. Everything you wrote, all of these comments, they are exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks for understanding, for your empathy, and for being a cheerleader when I feel stuck on the bench sometimes. We are all going to get through this.

    • Shattered,

      Your parents talk to you exactly the way my ex used to talk to me when I was reeling from his betrayal and emotional abuse. I’ve come to understand this behavior as fragile narcissism. People like this would rather make you choke down your pain than have to feel it with you. Self-pity is the only “empathy” they can manage.

      I wish I could share my mighty mother with you. She was my first stop on the Road Trip to Meh, three weeks of hugging, listening, and giving good advice even though she was hurting too (because the AP was her own granddaughter). But what you can’t get from a mother, you can get from chumps. Add my two thumbs up to the meet-up suggestion!

  • How well you’re doing after only two months. What you say totally resonates with me and it is refreshing, but sad, to hear that your issues and fears are similar to mine, but by the same token are just what this journey throws at us. Like with many of life’s challenges, unless you’ve been through it yourself, it’s not easy to totally empathise with those who are suffering. Chump Lady and this site is so refreshing and practically a lifesaver for me at the moment.

  • WOW! It took me six months just to muster up the energy to arrange a separation agreement.

    I was a snotty mess that had melt downs up to that point, and I thought I was one of the strong ones. I’m around 3.5 years ish from Dday now and not to ruin the ending for you, it really is great on this side.

    Just got the letter from the solicitor today that Chuckles has been served the divorce papers (I agreed to this length of time in the separation agreement and it was a good financial deal, his terms LOL still can’t work out why he didn’t want to divorce me) so once that final hurdle is over then its meh all the way. No rear view mirror required. No more shit sandwiches. No more egg shells – it’s bliss. Promise.

  • Two months!? Wow, you Shattered-But-Surviving are indeed a Rock Star among us chumps and yes, only other chumps will truly understand what you’re going through and the grieving process, which will take as long as you need it too.

    Like many here, CN is my life-saver, not just from the great advice of those who have been through this before me, but to also realise that all the Sadz, narcissistic rages, stupid-shit-they-say, etc. is the same as we all see in our cheating exes. Trust That They Suck indeed.

    One family member is a chump and I had a long conversation recently with that person. Without question they get it and no-one else does. What I do now is not actively mention to others what I’m enduring (still stuck in an in-house separation) or feeling but wait to be asked. People just seem not to want to know about it. Maybe it’s defence mechanism to avoid having to think it could happen to them too? Or maybe they’re a cheater (so many about). So CL’s blog and the CN forums are my therapy (tried 2 therapists but largely useless).

    That family member? Well they told me that it took a good 2 to 3 years to realise that the marriage was well and truly over and their ex was never coming back (and not that they’d want them to either).

    • One other bit, is that I promised myself not long after D-Day that I would do whatever I could to help a fellow Chump.

      Recently that opportunity came and it really was nothing more than me sitting for 2 hours and just listening to a newbie Chump pour out their pain & frustrations & anger. I think that’s often what we need. For me it was helpful too, just to hear the exact same words (excuses) spoken by the other person’s cheating ex as I’d heard from mine; e.g. the “I’ve been thinking of divorce for 2 years now” yet had never said anything to anyone about it, yeah right…

  • Dear Shattered, you are a Rock Star! I wish I had been as mighty as you. When I found out about the affair, I kept it to myself for five months. We had just moved to a new town across the country and my family was 500 miles away. I had no one to confide in. I finally cracked when I was trying to staple packages for a PTA project, thankfully to someone who had also experienced a lot of pain in her personal relationships. She checked on me EVERY SINGLE DAY after that. Even though she barely knew me.

    My parents, by contrast… well, I took my three young kids down to see them for spring break about 7 months after BD. We were still together and the pick-me-dance was winding down, and this 12 year SAHM was getting her head around the way my life was going to change. I wasn’t sure if he would pack up and clean out the bank accounts while I was gone. I thought he was going to move out while I was gone (he didn’t). I was a wreck. On the night before I was to take my children back home, my parents kept me up late and gave me a HUGE lecture about how unenjoyable our visit had been, that I was too much of an emotional wreck for him to find me attractive, and that I needed to calm down and just have a long conversation with him and everything would be OK. (Apparently they missed all the information I had given them that week). I had a 10 hour drive home to process that lecture, and my conclusion was, there was no point in reaching out to them for help anymore. I went from being the daughter who called every week to chat for two hours to not calling them for months. Newsflash! They didn’t call me either! Although about a year later when I invited them up to visit me in the new house I’d bought, my mother did scream at me for about an hour and a half about how I never called anymore and she didn’t know if I was able to get out of bed in the mornings. LOL.

    The thing is, even though I was brand new in a very tight-knit town, I found friends who were compassionate and kind. Some of them were a little ham-fisted about it but you could see the generosity behind not knowing how to act or what to say. Some people were jerks and that’s OK. I hadn’t found Chump Lady when I was going through all that, but I was on an RIC forum where I spent lots and lots and lots of time venting my fury and hurt and fear and confusion. It helped to vent my anger SOMEWHERE, and believe it or not, it was on an RIC forum that I was directed to CL.

    My parents are off living the dream in their 55 & up community and I still rarely call, but we have come to a place where I can take them for what they are and not rely on them for the heavy stuff. Just like going NC with Mr. Fantastic gave me all kinds of perspective about who he is, backing away from them in my time of trouble has given me a lot of perspective about who they are and how that has impacted me. My needs are met elsewhere and while that’s kind of sad, it’s not the end of the world. I just hope I do better for my kids if they ever go through something awful.

    You are a ROCK STAR and don’t you forget it. I still have moments of pain but how I conducted myself during the actual divorce is something I am enormously proud of. When I have down moments I remember how that process showed me who I really am and it helps. Be proud of yourself, and trust that there are people out there who care about you.

  • This so resonates with me. I feel exactly what you feel, however, I have gotten to the point where I finally accept people will not empathize or realize what I continue to overcome and it’s ok because I know I am the strongest bitch out there LOL.. I, Me know what I have overcome and I could not be prouder of myself. I have learned that unless you have walked the line you have no clue and sadly you can find the strength I have found in myself. Sympathize with those who don’t understand, they need empathy from us warriors . Be proud of yourself and only expect people here to understand. We are a special breed here. LOL. I am so grateful for Chump Lady because we all share a common thread that nobody out there understands and that’s ok. You have you and you know what you overcome every day and YOU ARE AWESOME!

    • I feel exactly the same way. I’m a mighty tough woman now, in the best of ways. It’s like we’re all part of this club now. We extend our hands and hearts to fellow chumps. You’ll make it through and you’ll be formidable after the journey.
      I thank all of you for this practical and loving place.

  • Wow, she been busy for those 2 months. She should be proud of herself.

    As for hear parents, well not everyone is out to provide the emotional support one really needs in a time like that. My father was useless and many of my friends where as well. I had one friend (who ended up being my best man when I got remarried) and he was a champ. Almost daily (Monday – Friday) he was on the phone with me for about 30 minutes listen to all the nonsense with my X. Not only was he listening but he was giving me advice and he was there every step of the way (mentally).

    Like Chump Lady said, DNA is overate. Find your real friend and stick to them because real friends are hard to find. Majority of people are acquaintances and only like to be around you for the fun times.

  • Hey shattered – welcome to the club! CL hit the nail right on the head and sunk it with one blow (as usual). I believe you’re suffering from a type of PTSD – because the symptoms are so similar to combat/sexual assault PTSD ( lucky me as Viet war vet and a chump I have to shake off both at the same time!) You’re going to suffer from it for long time. My antidote is I work out (and have been for years) – as you get stronger (and fitter) you’ll gain more confidence and will become more mentally strong. Try it – go to sites like live strong and body building.com and you find a whole world – AND you have a whole nation right here backing you up – go for it a little at a time – sieze your own power – you already have an unbelievable start! Own it! Show that shit for brains what he’s lost!!!

    • Yes. I totally agree. Exercise is what saving me through the divorce as well. I normally hate working out and I don’t have time (kid, works, etc.) But my body showed sign of PTSD after DDay. I suddenly have high blood pressure, fainting, throwing up every morning, hand shaking, weight loss, etc. So, I started from going for a couple miles walk in the park and later started jogging. Now I’ve joined a weight training class. I’m much more mentally stronger than four months ago when I was a snotty mess. It helps me dealing with shit buffets much better. I don’t lose it as often. So, exercise has been an amazing medicine for my chump wounds.

  • Came to echo that perhaps your parents are exactly why you subconsciously chose a narcissistic partner. I know mine were, and it took quite awhile to see that full spectrum. I knew mine had been unhealthy/toxic…but I’d never faced a truly difficult time in my life until my ex cheated. They did their best, they gave what they had; monetary help, picking up the childcare slack when my ex had better things to do, occasionally allowing me to rant for 5 minutes before cutting “the negativity” off…
    But I realized how ingrained accepting shit sandwiches was to me, bu seeing how emotionally unavailable, especially my mother, was to any and all things after my divorce.
    You are awesome and I hope you’re proud of yourself!

  • I like the way Dr. Phil says that there are no statutes of limitations on how you feel.You don’t have to forgive or forget or even get over it. It’s good for me to remember bad situations so that I can recognize them more quickly the next time.

    • In confession, I recently confessed to my priest that although I had tried to, I had been unable to forgive my ex. I explained that sometimes something would happen in my life (not even necessarily to do with him) and the anger would boil up in me all over again. He nodded sagely and said “Anger like that is very often a warning we are given by God to help us navigate rightly. It helps us know how to handle new situations based on past experience. It is a gift, not a sin.” That changed everything for me. All this time I spent lamenting my own ability to forgive. He so neatly separated that righteous anger from any notion of forgiveness, by showing me it was a gift given to me so that I would not endure poor treatment from other sources. It was a different perspective completely. Not only was I allowed to be angry indefinitely, but it was how God meant to help me. Game changer.

      • Been loving the priests lately.

        Three priests and a chaplain that I have been in communication with (I’m an educator in the Catholic school system), and all have been tremendously supportive and wise.

        What’s ironic is that while I was in the pick-me dance of my life, I didn’t consult with anyone outside of a few close family members, all very Catholic and all pro-marriage. I felt I didn’t need the priests because of the support I was receiving. However, my STBXH left me anyways for the OW, who I later learned had been in affair with my husband for at least 20 months of my marriage.

        It was in trying to understand what the deterioration of my marriage meant in the context of my faith that I first went to my parish priest. His response shocked me most of all. He did not agree that the advice of my more conservative Catholic family members was correct at all. He would never have told me to stay through all the bullshit that I endured that last year. Given the circumstances, he felt that I was being made to endure too much trauma and humiliation in the marriage and that what was happening was not good for me or the kids. He would have put his foot down on my husband and have demanded more from him than all the advice that RIC was dishing out about going easy on him because I might scare him away. I think that over the years, the Church has gone through a major renaissance in its study of psychology and family relationships in order to arrive at healthier solutions. It’s also impacting on the annulment process, which I am grateful for too.

        And, so the Catholic Church actually ended up being more progressive in its approach to how to handle infidelity than I was. Who would have thought?

      • Jojobee, thanks for sharing what your priest said to you. What you posted as been copied and pasted in my CL/CN Wisdom folder.

        I’m still angry and my forgiveness level is what CL said, “I don’t wish you dead. Consider yourself forgiven.”

        To look at my anger as a gift instead of sin is very eye-opening. I was brought up to be nice and kind to everyone and then of course they would be the same way to me. Not even close to the truth! When people intentionally hurt me, used me, cheated on me, etc. I just tried harder to be a better person to win them over. I was a total doormat and people pleaser. Not anymore! Well, at least most of the time. 🙂 I’m still nice and kind, but when people try to walk all over me or hurt me intentionally, I get mad now. I don’t freak out and cuss people out. I just stand up for myself and have no problem anymore walking away from abuse of any kind and mistreatment. My anger is a gift like your priest said. The old me used to get upset and depressed, because I felt helpless in how I was being treated. I knew I wasn’t being treated right, but I didn’t feel like I had the right to stand up for myself.

      • there are scriptures that say “when we ask a woman to forgive an unrepentant man, we’re asking her to do something not even God himself would do”. I read about it in a book called When Sorry Isn’t Enough: Making Things Right with Those You Love – loved it ever since!

  • I don’t talk to ANYONE who makes me feel
    worse. I am very selective about who I talk to and what I say….for sure sticking to fellow chumps when it comes to talking in detail, or trusted friends who are emotionally literate.

    Jillions of us grew up trained away from our emotions, a critically important system for navigating the world and our lives. IMHO being trained away from my emotions primed me for ending up with the cheater, and in his case enabled him to cheat.

    If you were intentionally run over by a Mack truck driven by your “husband”, which you were, in the ICU in a body cast with a side of traumatic brain injury, no one would ever dismiss your pain and recovery process or order you to will yourself
    better.

    Invisible psychological/emotional/mental injuries are a mystery to those trained away from their emotions and are a mystery.

    Check out the work of Dr. Jonice Webb and get that emotional system back on line.

    https://drjonicewebb.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Dr.-Jonice-Webbs-Tips-For-CEN-Recovery-PDF.pdf

    • TYPO…

      Invisible psychological/mental/emotional wounds are a mystery to, and scare the crap out of those trained away from their emotions.

      PS…I am 1.5 years out from DDay and still in a lot of pain. But like a physical injury, the pain is not the same as the moment the injury occurred. I am definitely healing but not “all better.” Like with any other injury or illness, I need to adhere to my recovery/treatment plan ONE DAY AT A TIME and let go of the “how long”.

      As others have said, it takes what it takes.

      • I am learning this too. I was dismayed at how many people turned away from me like I had a disease they could catch. Those who did not avoid me often said such hurtful things. It was like doubling up on the pain. I am letting them all go, or strictly limiting the types of interactions I have with them. I am looking for my real tribe now and it will include only people who can access their own emotions and be comfortable with mine. They are hard to find but I will not settle anymore. Four months out after kicking him out of the house and promptly divorcing him. It is a whirlwind of emotions some days but I’m gaining clarity every day.

  • “I’m sorry no one understands your mightiness. It’s probably because they don’t have superpowers themselves that you appear freakish. (This is the plight of superheroes everywhere.) Some are bit by radioactive spiders, others are betrayed by fuckwits. You have super strength.”

    This rings so true- because we have super powers we seem freakish- and is one of the other reasons people just don’t get it. It’s fantastic to be able to do what you did in a short time, Shattered.
    You escaped the burning building. Now you must allow yourself time to process the horror of it all.

    Stick with chumplady, that way you get to process the horror along with a sense of humour.
    “You have super strength” YUP!!!!
    Rock on with your amazing self.

  • 2 months? I don’t know what your parents or others around expected. I have listened to MANY chumps in the past who were not even married (no offense to the cohabitators).

    So, you are doing VERY WELL and that means you will process this a bit faster than some.

    You already know there are some “dry wells” out there, so don’t go to them when you are thirsty for support, so you must choose the listeners carefully and acknowledge them often.

    you have a therapist and a lawyer!

    My advice is to FIRST – read Tracy’s book and do your best to implement the tenets

    AND Second, trust 2 things.

    1) Trust that your ex sucks – = he’s not Misunderstood, & this is not about your failings. So there will be no closure or grand apology coming, unless there’s an agenda that does not benefit you…

    2) that sometimes you have to ACT/Stay NC before you are at peace and before all is understood.

    I read that^^ somewhere here.

    As I tried to untangle the labyrinthian maze of fuckedupness that the DOCTOR created over 35 LONG years, and realized that 2+ years had been spent on the untangling.

    AND it was fruitless.

    Here, I will paraphrase what CL said “First, go no contact and stop the untangling because there is NO untangling! The only “answers” you MIGHT ever get will suck more of your time and energy than you already gave an undeserving demon, (and there are NO “good” answers).

    So we move forward. We trust that time will help and that if we open our hearts and minds and stay strong and brave – we invite more joy into our lives.

    Choose the confidantes wisely.

    Someday Meh comes. It might be on a Tuesday.

    I believe this^^^ most days. Not always. I slip backwards and have to pick myself up. But I changed careers, got divorced, moved to Europe and am crowding out as much of the PTSD symptoms and memories I have (literally) with new interesting fun ones.

    I’m giving it my best. That’s all any of us can do.

    • Doctor’s First Wife,
      Thank you for mentioning ‘inviting joy into our lives.’ I am going to hold that thought while trying to live my new life and ideally helping others, especially those who have suffered greatly, make the best of their lives.

  • OMG, it’s been only two months and people want you to get over it?!You are doing amazing!

    I have to admit, before my own D-day, I had a lot less empathy for chumps than I did after. I didn’t expect them to get over it, although my exMIL is still not over her cheating spouse, and it was over 20 years ago and he has since passed away. (Ironically, she seems to blame me for her son cheating on me and for our adult kid not having a relationship with his POS dad). I felt like she needed to get over it after 5 years, which was unkind of me.

    I had no idea I could be in so much psychological pain. I felt like I’d been hit by a Mack truck and it was parked on my chest. For weeks I felt this way. I couldn’t stop shaking, couldn’t eat or sleep and was drowning. I got a ton of professional help because I needed it. I still look back two years out and don’t know how I survived those first few months, it was that bad.

    I’m not “over it” now either. I have zero interest in dating and worry that my ex permanently broke me in terms of romantic love. I’m mostly meh, but I do harbor hopes for my ex and his skank to get hit hard by he karma bus. I’m mad at myself for ignoring all the red and yellow flags throughout my relationship and allowing myself to be treated so poorly. Those things linger and I’m trying to be kind to myself in terms of how I heal. Because that’s what you need time to do on your own schedule: heal.

    I’m sorry you haven’t found the support you deserve. Maybe you could find a co-dependent recovery group? I’m in AA, and I’ve found sympathetic ears there, but I also hear good things about codependent groups in terms of helping in these situations.

    Hugs to you.

  • PS

    Unrelated question – I f—ed up my password and which email and stuff. I was busy de-compensating but then – gaining a life.

    So I can’t enter forums and I hate to re register.

    Advice?? Options?

  • This Forum and website has been my savior i would never had managed to cope without reading it every day .
    I am 5 weeks past D Day ( 16th March ) i found out while on holiday . As soon as i got home he packed and left . Told me basically go take a F to myself so i did .
    I got a lawyer the next morning , got the house valued , got my mortgage in place to buy him out . Served him with legal separation papers back dated to 16th March so i took him at his word it is over .

    He has not contacted me nor me him he must have now got a lawyer cause my lawyer got a letter from his on Tuesday just past . He says in his lawyers letter there is no possibility of reconciliation – No Shit Sherlock like i would have you any where near me !

    As i say he left on the Monday and he just keeps coming in and out of the house ( He has been in and out of the house when i am at work at least 10 times) taking things . I was off on Monday and Tuesday when he tried both days to come in . He started his this is my house i pay half the mortgage calling me all the names under the sun yeah so i redoubled my efforts and got my lawyer on his ass the same day

    I feel shattered cry all the time just don’t even know how i have made it to 5 weeks without him .
    But honestly finding this site and the amazing people on it has saved me and gave me strength

    • ::Hugs::

      I’m 7 months post d-day and divorce was finalized 2 months ago – I know where you’re at! It’ll get easier-sucks that he keeps being a dick but you should be super proud of yourself for acting so swiftly. You made it 5 weeks without him because you never needed him in the first place, babe! You’re 100% capable of standing on your on 2 feet – you may not feel like you’re doing great since you’re crying and emotional, but think of what you HAVE been able to do in the face of this trauma. Focus on that.

      • Thank You .
        I try and tell my self i am doing the right things with lawyer etc but its so hard some days to even think straight .
        I think just now i am in self preservation mode and then it will all hit me . I just have to keep telling myself he was not the man i married and he never loved me . I will get that in to my stupid head one day .

        • Don’t expect him to be fair or reasonable. If you can’t change your locks, can you take items of value and sentimental to another location for storage until you can lock him out? My attorney asked me if I had secured my jewelry and at the time, I thought WTF? Why would he take my jewelry? But obviously this wasn’t her first rodeo of a chump and a fuckwit!!

        • karenb6702, in addition to what mjb said, I had the same problem and spoke to my attorney about it. I had cameras in the house and it was very triggering to see Douchebag on the cameras, trolling through the house when I was not there. My attorney negotiated agreement with his attorney that DB had to give me at least 30 minutes written notice when he wanted to come to the house. My attorney reasoned that if I were home, I could easily think it was a burglar, which might result in a confrontation, or in me calling the cops, so this was for DB’s self-protection. The other thing I did, on advice of my therapist, was take all DB’s stuff out of my bedroom and bathroom and put it in the garage. Not garbage, garage. It was hung up nicely or in plastic boxes so he had no reason to complain. He also had no reason to go into my bathroom or bedroom because his stuff was not in there any more. Then I locked the bedroom door when I left for the day. This helped me gain a tiny modicum of mental safety until I was able to finalize the divorce, take over the mortgage and change the locks. Then I invited a friend over and we had a little wine and “smudged” the house, which felt really good. I have the lemongrass over the door as a symbol that his bad juju will never be allowed to re-enter my house. Set reasonable boundaries and start carving out your own turf. You’ll get there!

    • He moved out. He abandoned you. Change the locks. I did and he threatened to call the police on me. I told him that he could not be trusted and I had to do what I had to do. He would still come into the garage and remove things…resorted to unplugging all garage doors (as his car remotes were still programmed to my house). Rejoiced the day he no longer had those vehicles.

      • Hi
        I can’t legally change the locks ( I am in Scotland ) it would be against the law for me to do it . If i did do it he would have to get a key until he is off the mortgage .

        Oh i know he abandoned me he is very very very proud of the fact . Gleeful and very happy with his ho worker .

        • I put a keyed lock on my bedroom door, so that even though he had access to get in the house he couldn’t get into my room. I put all the stuff in there that I didn’t want him to get to. You might give that a try.

        • Karen -I’m in the UK and couldn’t change the locks. My x kept coming in when we were out, taking things and making sure he left little signs he’d been in. Such a power trip. It was horrible. Anyway – hopefully the solution I stumbled on will hopefully be of help to you too. Most people only carry one house key around, my x carried the front door key. Every time my son and I left the house, I would leave my key in the back of the locked front door, turned halfway. That meant his key wouldn’t fit in the lock, and the half turn meant he couldn’t wiggle my key out. We would then go out the back door, taking the key with us. He couldn’t get in the house, but I also hadn’t changed the locks. All you need to do if confronted is to look innocent and say you can’t understand why his key won’t work. It was a game changer. Hope it helps xx

        • I’m on Scotland too. Don’t change the locks. Add a lock. Or say you’ve lost you’re keys and get a new lock fitted. Why play by the rules? They didn’t.

    • Yes, change the locks. He left you. Don’t expect him ever to do the right thing. He is fighting for his life like a rat cornered. The “great guy” ex dickhead of 25 years in my life, did everything he could to harm me once I found out what he was hiding (and it was the tip of the iceberg). You become their target. The book
      “Splitting: Proteccting Yourslef While Divorcing Someone with Narcisstic Personality Disorder” by lawyer Bill Eddy was hugely helpful. My lawyer had also read it. If I had followed her advice straight away I would have saved myself a lot of time and money (get an order to freeze assets; get a restraining order; take half of what’s in your accounts; if he wants an “open relationship” he’s already having one; if he’s having one then he’s amassing money for his new life)
      Please try to find a friend, just one person you can speak to about these things. You are under attack and you need a safe space. Try to find that – with all your mightiness. You deserve to feel safe. Tell the cops what’s going on, and what they might expect. Have your lawyer back you up. This was another thing I had to do.
      Be careful. And be kind to yourself karenb

      • Thank you for the book recommendation. I’ve consulted lawyers but they don’t get it. When I inquired about primary custody they assumed my motive was to lower child support payments. It’s hard to explain that the best interests of your child will not be served by a disordered manipulator. Maybe lawyer consult number 4 will go differently. The first 3 said write me a check and we’ll start filing a contested divorce. Sounds super scary and expensive when dealing with a narc and I don’t have the courage to put everything on the line right now.

        • Document everything. Document document document. copies of all legal papers, business documents, emails, texts, DO IT QUIETLY whenever you can. In court you need absolute evidence as the narc will twist and turn and morph. Read chumplady https://www.chumplady.com/2012/05/how-to-leave-a-cheater/

          Document his movements, the times he comes and goes. His movements with the kids. Anything he’s said to denigrate you in front of them.

          It’s so very important. And of course they will try everything to get off the hook, including calling YOU the crazy one.

          It is scary and expensive, so do what you can to quietly protect yourself. The grey rock method is a good tactic of withdrawing quietly into yourself https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-Gray-Rock-Method

          Take care and check out all the information here.

          • Thank you for the info. Documenting is exhausting. I’ve been saving screenshots and I have gathered a few trump cards that I would prefer not to play in the interest of a functional future co parenting relationship for my daughter’s sake. Should I assume the narc will remain a pos and abandon hopes of a functional coparenting arrangement?

          • While I agree with documenting, and I did it months before I left, bank accounts, hotel receipts, social media accounts and passwords, hook up ads, pictures on his computer, browser history, 7500 emails to men he slept with, letters he wrote, text messages, FB messages, troll accounts on FB-all of that. It did me absolutely no good. I live in a no fault state. He got half of everything, I get no alimony, and he pays $300/month for child support. My lawyer said ” I agree, he deserves nothing, but the judge won’t rule in your favor and won’t impute income to him (he was fired from a 6 figure job and remained unemployed until the day before the divorce was final, and even then took the lowest paying job he could find). It’s nice to think that you can use the court system to get back at someone and make them pay, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

        • @Mac1234
          I know it’s difficult with all you have going on, but keep interviewing with lawyers until you find one that “gets it.”

          There are a lot of lawyers out there and many of them are substandard. Keep looking until you find one that understands your situation and has your back.

          On the bright side, every lawyer you consult with (even if you don’t hire them) is another lawyer who’s unable to represent your spouse.

          • Thank you for your support again GDD. At issue is a lump of stocks from my employer that I believe the lawyers will likely collude to liquidate over a long drawn out battle where their procedural tricks like no contact orders will prevent a settlement until the money is gone. Is this a reasonable fear and how can I manage it? If we could reach any settlement out of court we would both walk away with enough for a soft landing.

            • I’m not a lawyer, and I’m reluctant to wade into this, so don’t take my layperson’s advice as gospel. But you (or a specialized accountant) should determine which assets (if any) were yours before marriage and which assets were acquired while you were married. Depending on your State, these assets may be treated differently regarding spousal distribution.

              If you earn the bulk of your family’s income maybe you should have a lawyer draw up a draft agreement. And depending on how cooperative your spouse is, maybe approach her with the agreement for her to sign or take the agreement with you to a mediator to save the expense of hiring an attorney for your spouse. Of course all of this depends on how cooperative your spouse is.

              Again, I’m not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. So take my advice with a boulder-sized grain of salt. Good luck!

      • Forgot to say, I’m a Brit also but living in France. I changed the locks on the fuckwit (also illegally) but it gave me a few days respite from his constant assaults. I had to give him a key eventually (as ordered by the judge) but it at least put him on guard that I had warned the police about him. He knew the only way he was getting in before that was breaking the windows (and he was quite prepared to do that).

      • Again thank you for saving me .
        In Scotland I can’t lock him out of the house even after adultery . It’s illegal to do so so I’m playing by the book and doing everything through lawyers .
        I posted on the forum what happened at Easter !
        I will stay my time and do every single thing by the letter of the law . I will NOT break the law or get in to trouble just cause he provokes me every day . I will play the long game he will fuck up eventually and cause I’ve got a shot hot lawyer and he’s got a nothing on the cheap I know he will fuck up . I sit back and await the fall out but there no way he’s getting me to fuck up and break the law .?

        • Karen I am in almost the same situation. I’m in England and my cheater and I co-own our house. I’m entitled to live here until our daughter is 18 and pay all house costs, mortgage etc but he’s still entitled to come in. He hates us being here. However, my solicitor wrote to him to say that I’m entitled to live here in peace and he has to give me 24hrs notice and should not be walking in and taking empty plant pots (really, that’s how low he’s sunk). He’s adhered to that so far. Unfortunately he still labours under the illusion that he is my landlord and tonight has forbidden me to keep any pets in the house. Nor am I allowed visitors. Yeah right. Anyway, perhaps worth a chat with a solicitor to see if they could ask him to give you reasonable notice before entering?

        • I agree with your stance about not breaking the law, you are doing the right thing by playing the long game here. You will be at peace about your conduct and they (he and lawyer) will have nothing more to manipulate you with. Nothing about dealing with cheaters is ever easy anyway.

  • Shattered, wow! Only 2 months out and you’re doing this well?! 🙌🏼 🙌🏼 🙌🏼 No words to describe your mighty. Brilliant.

    I have learned to not look for validation and empathy from certain people in my life. They just don’t get it. And never will. I know thats upsetting, but you can’t make people understand. I firmly believe that only those who’ve experienced it can truly understand.

    That’s why after 3 years out I still check in with the Chump Lady blog every few days or so. I play the LACGAL audiobook in my car when I’m driving alone. I meet up with fellow chumps. I get what I need from Chump Nation. I don’t know where I would be without this community.

    Hang in there girl – you’re already WAY AHEAD of the game. All this just takes time. So go easy on yourself. And find comfort in the best place – here!

    Hugs from Down Under 🦘🌿🐨

  • Wow! You’re doing great! You’ve done all the right things and are making sure to take care of you! Great job! Many people (me included) take a very long time and go back only for it to happen again! You’ve cut out another d day and possibly many more wasted years! So big win for you! The way you feel is so normal. I had people like your parents in my life as well. “Just get over it” “you’re better off” “you’re so lucky”(some people think because you get a settlement you’re lucky) no I would have rather had a devoted husband and intact family myself but that’s just me I guess. Another one of my favorites was “it could be worse”. They weren’t wrong sure it could be worse but you know what it could be f@!king better also. But just know chump lady is right. And everyone grieves and processes things in their own way and own time. I’ve been divorced for 3 years now and I JUST started to feel meh about my ex. Now am I still mad? You bet! And I think that will never go away completely( I share young kids with this asshole and now he lives with a 24 year old) so ya. And I found out lots more stuff after the fact that just trickled out over the years. One of my favorites was this girl whom I thought was my friend pretended to be my friend during and after my marriage and I thought wow she’s the only one who ever tells me anything about things he’s done and does when it comes to other woman, well turns out she was a scorned mistress whom was having an affair with my husband while throwing me a baby shower and thought he was leaving me for her (because he got her pregnant) and when he didn’t she decided to make his life hell and maliciously messed with me to make sure we didn’t get back together, to screw him over ,until I found out the truth about them(which was recent). But my point is it will take years to not feel a certain way but the good news is you won’t feel as bad as you feel now 6 months from now. Then 6 months later you’ll feel better etc etc. so hang in there and talk to chump nation! We all understand and have been and felt just where you are! If it didn’t happen to them people just don’t get it. That’s just how it goes with anything really.

  • Shattered, you are mighty, mighty, mighty! My D-day was three years ago and I describe myself with your exact words.

    About people not getting it, it does really hurt. My sons are sort of like your parents. I don’t expect them to abandon their father (they will have to take care of him), but I don’t understand why they talk to him.

    Cheater’s father was the world’s greatest cheater and cheater would not talk to him, did not invite him to our wedding, introduce him to is grandchildren…. I don’t get any of this. Maybe my sons are more generous?

    • Hi ClearWaters
      I get what you are saying. There are days when I wish my son’s would be NC with their Dad (he has been such an ashhole to me and used to be a great Dad to them when they were much younger but now his focus is himself and he has hurt them greatly) but I realize that I love my children WAY more than I despise my STBX. They have to do what they are comfortable with and sometimes it hurts but I would way rather be the kick ass Mom who survived the cheating and lying with grace (mostly) than the lier/cheater/unable to express emotion Dad. Hugs!!

  • Holy crap – TWO MONTHS?! That is AMAZING. I suspect CN will hoist you onto their shoulders and have a ticker-tape parade because you deserve it! Then to be plied with matzo ball soup, pie, cozy blankets, a kitten and your house will be scrubbed, repaintes and sold for 50K over the asking price.

    In case you haven’t done so yet, please get tested for STD’s. Brother-Fucker may have more to share than the faculty.

    • Ha. I did. Don’t worry. I got the clap. Thank God that I caught it quickly, for strong antibiotics, and a sense of humor about it!

      • And this, kids, is why the RIC can go burn in hell. Sure, an affair is all fun and games with a slap and a tickle–and hey! people sometimes need variety!–but no one wants to talk about the STDs.

        And the fact that you got one shows that you POS STBX didn’t bother with safe sex and at least one of his partners didn’t bother, either.

        That fact shows just how much of an entitled narcissistic asshole he is. He and his AP can go rot in hell.

        • But first I want his dick to develop oozing sores and fall off.

          May Brother-Fucker develop PID.

          Not that I get a vote.

      • Shattered you are mighty ! You acted quickly! Do you know how many spent years with a cheater and ended up with the same results? Many ladies on here say they wasted another 5, 10, sometimes 20 and 30 years! Ended up the same way! I don’t know how old you are but you have many good things to come even though it doesn’t feel like it now. One thing is you must put a stop immediately to him treating you badly still. You don’t put up with that garbage. Go no contact. If you have minors there is a program I think called Family Wizard. Maybe other chumps can kick in here and advice on how to go no contact. Go by email so all documented. Do not continue to take his bad treatment. He is trying to wear you down and it will get ugly. Get what you are entitled to.

  • Can only echo what has already be said: you are the mightiest of mighty. I BOW IN AWE. And: your parents BAFFLE me–for f’s sake, only two months out? At the two month mark I was still wandering the house in a dirty nightie and brushing my teeth with tequila!

    Better days ahead! Believe it or not, you got this!

  • I’m reading your letter, Shattered but Surviving, and thinking, “Yeah, Chumps expect family and friends to still be listening to their tear-filled agony a year after D-Day…” and then I see it: TWO MONTHS.

    Jesus Christ on a cracker. TWO MONTHS. I wasn’t even married to Jackass and I was still high on hopium at two months.

    You’re busy saving yourself now. But the next phase should include a deep dive into what disordered people are like. They lack empathy. They’re selfish. They may, as my mother did, show up at the hospital and “do all the right things,” but on the side they are lashing out at anyone in their path because someone has to pay if they aren’t the center of the universe.

    When you say you were always “the happy kid,” what came to mind was what I learned about alcoholic homes: kids have their designated roles. The scapegoat, the hero, the clown, the manipulator. Or the happy one. Maybe it’s not drinking in your home. Maybe one of your parents has a character disorder or a personality disorder. But chances are decent that something in your background made this jackass attractive to you, made abuse something that you would tolerate.

    Of course you’re mighty. And a couple of years from now, once you’ve fixed your picker and figured out how to keep your boundaries strong, you can find someone worthy of a warrior queen.

  • You need other confidantes.

    I come from one of those Midwestern German families where you don’t do feelings. I have one cousin with whom I might be able to talk about something like this because her husband turned out to be a one-man shitshow, but the rest of them? No dice. They’re good people, they just cannot do this. Despite what made-for-television movies claim, not everyone’s moms and/or sisters have it in them to be that shoulder to cry on, even if they care (and I admit I’m one of them. I have a hard enough time managing my own emotions, never mind somebody else’s).

    So, maybe your family is callous, but maybe they’re overwhelmed and have no idea what to say. Either way, they are not the people to go to for support. Find other friends, or ask your therapist if she knows of any support groups, or anything.

    • Rag Doll,
      I can relate to what you say about families that don’t ‘do feelings.’ After experiencing decades of abuse by partners (husband and boyfriends), I confided in my father that I felt suicidal. I told him that I sometimes wished that he would just hug me (or something along those lines). He replied, ‘I don’t do hugs.’ I wonder how much of that philosophy about human bonding in my father’s family led me to becoming a door mat. Over half a century, I am still trying to figure out why I am the way I am.

  • Dear Shattered believe in yourself you are doing great!

    I can totally understand how you feel as my parents are just the same – my dad yelled at me for 2 days straight and only has limited communication with me these days, my mother keeps saying this happened because I loved my husband too much, and oh yes she dropped the “your father will never do that to me” line which is just adding salt to the wound. Sure I’d like to think they did it because they love me and don’t want to see me in pain, but I also struggle at times to accept the “support” (or lack of) I get from them.

    You will find your support group somewhere. From my experience no one will spend all their time/effort/love/support on you, you will only get a few percent from each person you meet along the way and slowly add them up. I am grateful for all the help I have received so far but I know what you are saying… no one will give you the priority you have to pick yourself up and love yourself (which you are!) I feel sad that I don’t belong to any family and no one “loves” me like I am a part of something but I suppose I have to learn this new way of life.

    I don’t like the term “move on”… I am forever scarred by this experience I can only learn to live with it and move forward. I wish you all the best, stay positive and move forward (!) at your own pace 🙂

  • Two months and you have absolutely slayed this! That whore and your STBX suck dirty donkey balls.

    Your parents also suck.

    I think I was vulnerable to this type of narcissist because of my parents and their cheating and abusive selfishness. So…..

    When X, who I had been with 26 years, married 25, 4 kids, devalued and abandoned, I literally never heard from my entire in-laws family ever again and they didn’t even invite my kids to cousin birthdays. My own siblings never once offered to help me or be a supportive shoulder to cry on. My so-called best friends expressed some Luke-warm supportive words at first but not one showed up when I had to move my kids out of our family home. Most of these people are cheaters themselves.

    My circle is VERY small today.

    4.5 years out and although I’m in a good relationship, long since divorced and NC, working hard at building a life, which I’m also rocking, I am NOWHERE NEAR OVER “IT!!!!!”

  • “What’s more painful is the realization that I allowed myself to be verbally and mentally abused for years. Shit sandwich after shit sandwich. And, even post D-Day, it continues. I’m not sure why I expect him to all of the sudden have some kind of empathy toward me — but I guess I would just imagine some kindness after shattering someone’s world and self-worth.”
    This so resonates with me, I totally get it.
    I am two years since D day, after nearly 40 years of marriage. Some days the anger was so great I didn’t know what to do with it, but as Tracey says the pain is finite. Trust me, you won’t always feel like this, better days are coming. You are awesome, and you will feel better, we promise. Hugs to you xx

    • I, too, think about the issue of my ex (ex-boyfriend) suddenly showing me some kind of empathy after having left. It’s a bit like hoping that after the ship has gone down in the middle of the ocean and you are bobbing on the surface that the ship will magically resurface intact. I don’t know why I keep hoping (years later) that a dysfunctional, cruel former partner and what was clearly a dysfunctional relationship will reverse themselves. I think of those movies (Pet Sematary, Frankenstein) in which people try to resurrect the dead–we know how all those attempts turn out! I neither envision nor hope for my ex-husband to turn into a civilized human being. Yet I still hope that someday my last boyfriend will turn into a truly Nice Guy to all, including me, the woman who would have given her life for him, and talk to me, show me some kindness, and, gasp, apologize just once. The cognitive dissonance in me and probably many chumps is severe. Our fundamental beliefs about the world are often shattered by betrayal. Need to take this guy of the pedestal and start living (my) life.

    • I, too, cannot understand why every new cruel thing my former partner does still surprises me. He has not changed. And in all honesty, I stayed in a marriage that was already abusive… I just did not want to believe it. I knew it, but only the actual cheating made it clear to me that I had to get out.

      I think I liked the image we portrait to the outside. Him being so sparkly. An executive. A dedicated father. A great house. A great lifestyle.
      And I did believe I was lucky that he put up with me and all my flaws.

      • This is me too….My therapist asked why I am still surprised by his behavior, when he has shown me, again and again, who is really is. It’s a great question, and speaks to how much we want to cling to the illusion of who we THOUGHT they were. I guess I was so fooled by the mask, and/or had held on to the promise of him realizing his “potential” for so long, that I simply could not believe he was as terrible as he seemed.

        Even now there is a part of me (but that part gets smaller by the day) that hopes he might some day truly “get” the damage he has done. Maybe this is because so many people have told me he will “realize his mistake some day,” but as CL says, if he never truly valued me, how will he know what’s he’s lost?

        • MehBeSoon,

          Absolutely needed to hear this today. I’m in the middle of “negotiating” the divorce. I had to meet with him today and thought I had prepared myself and limiting my expectations. I failed myself again being surprised and hurt at how cold and detached he is. I knew it was coming too, but there I sat, heart heaving and breaking some more.

          My brain knows better but my emotions still hang on to the thought that he is a caring person. Or rather that he is a person at all, ’cause people have feelings and shame and guilt. I still keep thinking he will have some epiphany and truly realize (feel) the damage he has done.

          I’ve seen him apologize more to a stranger after bumping into them at the store than I’ve received from him for banging his ho-worker and taking my son and home away.

          He actually said to “look on the bright side” because now I could go “have sex with lots of people”. I just blinked at him, mouth agape.
          Umm, that’s his dream, not mine.

          Why can’t I accept that some people just don’t have empathy?

          And I don’t think the desire/wish that he will one day realize what he’s lost will ever fully leave me.

          I’m so sad.

          • Yep. Same here. He has always been more decent to anyone, even a total stranger, than me… and I received a comment when I said that I dread being alone on Christmas that was something like: Just find a boyfriend.
            It was end of November and we had not, yet, started the discovery period of the divorce.

            I also am hoping that he will get the point, but he proves again and again that he only sees his own wishes, desires, and needs. If I disagree, I am wronging him.

            I am really wondering… when will this go away? When will I no longer be surprised and see him for the evil person he is?

          • A number of years ago, when I was in full fantasy marriage construction phase, I had an argument with my brother & brother in law about the father of my first two children. At the time, my second husband and I were new parents with my 3rd child. The father of my first two was the very obvious loser who had become an addict and I’d removed access to his two kids. I was in the process of building my “Happy ever after” with husband number 2 and child 3.

            My family insisted I “give up all hope” that loser husband 1 would ever be a good man. I argued, fought and swore. I was adamant that I’d never lose the small ounce of hope that he would one day come to his senses, get clean and try to make amends with his two children. That was over 7 years ago.

            Fast forward to this year. The bubble I constructed out of spackle & hopium has burst. My happy ever after marriage & family unit, is no more. I’m rebuilding on my own, revising my picker, healing deep wounds, still being the sane parent, encouraging my own mighty & on my way to meh. Husband number 2 has followed a similar path to number 1. If he continues down this path, I will remove his access also.

            About a month ago I got a phone call 10 minutes before I was due to start work, from husband 1’s sister. He has stage 4 cancer, is in hospital having surgery & might not make it very longer, she said. He’s asked to see you & the kids before he goes. I sat down, took a deep breath and knew. So we went. We each had about 10 minutes with him alone. On his death bed he attempted to make amends. I told him he could now go in peace. It’s little comfort but it was something. Im grateful for the attempt hes made, for his kids.

            The point I’m trying to make. We hold people in a space of hope because it is in US. We carry optimism because we have that spark in US. We want the best and see the best in others because OUR faith is strong. We believe in the light triumphing because we ARE strong in it. Our hope, our joy, our strength our courage our light our feelings our endurance our vision our care our belief our love. We brought that! We invested that!

            Don’t be sad. Don’t let them minimise that. Celebrate it. We ARE mighty! In the end, I know what I’ve brought to the table, fool the one who thinks otherwise.

            One saying I’ll forever repeat… “Ye of little faith”.

            I’ll never, NEVER, let another crush my hope, my value, my love, my joy, my commitment, my worth. Theyve tried.

            If he sees, on his deathbed or after… It is not my concern. I live my life. We can hold hope with our eyes open. We can want what is best whilst maintaining boundaries. We can continue to invest where it is reciprocal and deserved. All is NOT lost, much is still to be gained.

            Big hugs!

          • Fearful! Do not let him manipulate you and take adva of you! What is with this meeting with him? Can’t you do this through either lawyers or email? Don’t agree to anything on the spot . Take time to think. He has to know he has made light of this,by saying what he did. The other problem now is doesn’t see it as he lost anything hence his actions. Please be on your guard.

      • Inescapable,
        I think you read my mind—‘Him being so sparkly…Him putting up with my flaws.’ We elevate jerks to the top of giant pedestals while accepting the blame for bad, disrespectful behavior from them as a sign of unworthiness or at least major failings/flaws on our part. While with my last partner I often thought about how I could support him and make myself valuable to him although most of the time he didn’t really think about me, like, not respect me and he never truly loved me. What waste of my time, money, and self-esteem.

  • Two months out, I was clinically insane. I was catatonic alternating with hysteria and homicidal rage.

    I am not using hyperbole. I was an absolute lunatic. Destroyed. Crazed. Dangerous. Wild.

    You are an epic bad ass. In a while, brother fucker and douche will self implode. It is going to be a big bad scene. And you will be safe and removed from their shit show.

    Meanwhile, turn that CUNT into the school superintendent- as far up the chain as you can go. She has no boundaries. They can ignore it but you can put it on the record.

    • Seriously, all that evidence needs to be gathered and as soon as alimony is in the bag, every single educator including the cheater husband needs to be exposed. If I were a parent I would NOT want people like that around my children. Jeez!

      I was also crazed at two months. I don’t think I could have physiologically thought straight at that point…I felt like I was not just grappling with the enormous pain of betrayal, I was struggling against a 13 year long Stockholm Syndrome. If it hadn’t been for my mother’s guidance and love, it would have taken so much longer to even try to pack a bag, let alone leave.

      You are safe with us, Shattered but Surviving. I am 1.5 years past divorce and still very much in the healing process. Don’t you dare feel guilty about how you feel! You are still right in the white hot center, like Chump Lady said. Its gonna take some time.

      • Nice! Cheaters think that our fact finding missions are equivalent to their betrayal. Mine went so far as to say that the 3 beers I drank the Saturday after Dday was WORSE than her long term affair. It would be humorous if they didn’t truly believe it. Exposing them as selfish bastards rather than selfless teachers (or in my case a social worker) to their colleagues would be sweet. I like having a clean conscience and we have a daughter to raise so I’ll just daydream about it.

        • Yes. Mine went also far in reversing blame and claimed the following:
          – Snooping in his messenger account was hurting his privacy
          – My reaction was way worse than him ending our marriage without telling me for years
          – Me thinking badly about him and criticizing his actions was more than what a man can take

          Ugh… I cannot believe how he manipulated me for years that I was always the problem. And even tried this after DDay.

          • Mine has told me I had his privacy invaded and he’s always going to be the devil to me and my family and told me it’s fine though cause I have to have someone to blame cause I’m actually mad at myself and I’m passive aggressive cause of it…… I even found messages on his messenger in his phone where he told someone else he was kinda with that he can’t get me under control and the more he says the less I believe….. There was another where he got back in touch with from elementary school. She told him she thinks about him a lot and how he always told her she was going to be his wife after saying she sees he’s a newly wed….. His response was yes married six and together 9 but having problems but yes I think about you a lot too, I mean more 20 years….. When I made it clear I had a problem with it he told me he’s sorry I don’t understand the concept of a life long friend. This bitch even had the nerve to send me a message on messenger telling me how amazing he is. I talked to her ex and he told me she told them they fucked. In some of the messages my husband was thanking her and told her she’s beautiful and was thanking her for showing him respect and that he had a good day with her so I know he has seen her. There has been a few from his past that has been interested so I’m not surprised. He should have never engaged in anything, much less seen her and I could just choke him for it. It’s one thing after another My God I have tried everything to get through to him. It’s just insane. I am hoping I get on at Dollar General soon that I put in for last night so I can do something different

  • I am sorry you are experiencing so much lack of sympathy from your parents. You are mighty and there are people out there who will recognize that and admire you for it as well as understanding your pain and offering compassion. Unfortunately, sometimes people just can’t handle the pain and grief of others so they try to minimize it hoping that somehow that will make you feel better when what you really need is validation that yes, it sucks and you have a right to feel grief. Sometimes people really do care but just don’t know what you need from them. I know that I don’t always know what to say to others who have experienced a loss of some kind I haven’t experienced. I will express my condolences but I don’t always know what else to offer and many people in a grief situation don’t know how to ask for what they need. That is why it helps to find someone who has gone through what you are going through because they do know what you need and empathy will compel them to act without being asked. At least I know not to tell someone to “get over it” or “look on the bright side” when they are suffering even if I can’t fully comprehend their suffering.

    Shattered, you are doing everything right. It will get better but the wound is still raw. It is going to take time to heal but you have already proven your strength and you will thrive in the long run because you are awesome and you know your worth.

  • I’m so mad at your parents.

    “Imagine this, Parents. Someone you love is dying … you don’t know what the disease is, you can’t find the cure, you’re struggling to fix it, make it better, but you can’t. They slowly slip away, and die in front of your eyes. You’re overcome with emotion, but you have to call the funeral home, you have to call the relatives, you’ve got to clean out their apartment, arrange their finances, do all the practical stuff, remain stoic for the family, get things done by Saturday when you’ve got 50 people coming from out of town … egg salad sandwiches … you need 50 egg salad sandwiches by Saturday’s funeral.”

    “And then that night, the first night of the death, you go home by yourself, you’re exhausted, you’re all alone, you sit with your cup of tea and you think …. “he’s gone. He’s gone. He’s never coming back. HE’S GONE.” And you’re alone, there’s no one to call, it’s past midnight, your life has changed, no one’s going to be there for me after midnight, and at 8 a.m. I’ve got to be at the funeral home, I’ve got to find something to wear, I’ve gotta call my workplace, I’m hungry, I can’t remember if that chicken in the fridge is still good … I can’t remember when we bought that … I remember he didn’t like chicken and told me I shouldn’t have bought it … he yelled at me for buying it … in fact, he hit me … and now he’s gone … and there’s no one to talk to … I wish he was here. I miss him … Why did he have to go?”

    And I’d say to anyone who can’t empathize with you, who tells you to move on … “Do you remember “moving on”? Do you remember just going from A to B without those empty moments of aloneness, when there was no one to call? Did you just watch this person die, bury him and continue on? Is that what you did? I as sure as hell don’t think so. So don’t fuckin’ tell me to move on and not even offer to help me move.”

    Shattered, I think you’re brilliant for having read CL and taken all the steps in the right direction. (Six years later I’m still struggling.) Maybe what it is, is that in talking to other chumps you might be thinking, “Of course they’ll understand …”, and maybe it’s the frustration of not having people in your life, your closest family, understand you. It’s easy for chumps to understand (and it’s wonderful) … but the hard part is dealing with those who can’t even relate to your situation, even if it’s not exactly the same …

    Everyone has had someone leave them, your parents included … if they can’t relate to that grief, any grief, then don’t even bother trying to get understanding from them, and protect yourself from their comments. It’s not on you to have to deal with your parents … or anyone else’s uncaring advice. Keep doing what you’re doing, put up some barriers as to what you will tolerate from others, and maybe there will be someone on the other side of the barrier that will eventually come through for you … and that will be a true friend. Meanwhile, CL is here for you, and has your back.

  • Shattered But Surviving:

    Wow, you hit the ground running, took charge like Wonder Woman, and did everything right. You are amazing and anyone who tells you differently has rocks for brains.

    Sheesh, when my XH of 40 years discarded me to be with Married Howorker, I did every single thing WRONG. At just 2 months in, I was still laying in bed, surrounded by a mountain of snot-filled tissues, immobilized in abject fear, unable to pull myself together, not eating, not sleeping, barely breathing. After decades of gaslighting and other forms of emotional abuse, I thought so poorly of myself, I prayed without ceasing that XH would just come home so things could to back to “normal” (he didn’t). Today, I thank The Almighty that He had a different plan in mind, and though I couldn’t see it at the time, everything was going to be so much better on the other side; I just had to be sharpened and strengthened so I could survive the fire (I did).

    And as for the people in your life who are telling you to “Get over it” after just 2 months? They. Are. Not. Safe. People. Put a healthy dose of physical and emotional space between you and them. Give yourself room to heal. Give yourself time to grieve. Find new people who are equipped to give you the love, support and empathy you need to scale this mountain. Chump Nation is a good place to start because we get it.

    And remember, there is NO prescribed timetable for recovery… that’s an open-ended process and depends entirely on you. Maybe some people are feeling just dandy after 2 months’ time, but in my experience, most need a LOT more time. ❤️

  • Shattered I’m so sorry that your family doesn’t understand infidelity, gaslighting, projection, and every other crappy thing a cheater does. They just don’t get it and never will until it happens to them. Stick with chumplady and all the chumps. They are so helpful. I know for me, my dad has been my rock. He calls me every week to just check on me and tell me he loves me. He also gives me pep talks. But then again he was a chump (my mom cheated and left when I was a tween). I also have an adult son who tells me to “get over it” and “move on” like it’s a high school breakup and not a 22 year marriage. I still talk to him but lovingly know he just doesn’t get it or want to believe what his father truly is.

  • Shattered but surviving, you are doing all of the right things but you have to realize that it takes a LOT of time (YEARS not months) to heal the brutal wounds that have been inflicted upon you and even then they may be scabbed over but will never totally heal. Even now 7 years after Dday and divorce (and I’m very happily remarried), I can get triggered and upset and furious by certain memories.

    The truth is that unless you have been through what we all have been through you CANNOT understand the soul crushing pain.
    When it happened to me, I had some friends and family members try to be understanding and help and to this day I’m grateful to them. I also had “friends” and family who suddenly became Switzerland friends, believed the Ex’s lies and turned their backs on me or didn’t want to hear about my troubles and told me to “shut up and get over it”.

    I have a sibling who I had been close to who after Dday told me to “shut up and get over it since I TOLD you not to marry her so it’s your own fault” !!
    I went from spending time with and talking to them all the time to now just seeing each other at holidays. I can’t forget that in my time of greatest need my own sibling turned their back on me — that permanently ruined that relationship for me.

    Your parents I hate to say are Narcs. No parent who really loves their child could coldly treat you like that if they weren’t. It’s all about THEM and THEIR feelings and you UPSET THEM.
    Well now you know where you stand with them and if I were you, i’d see them on holidays and if they EVER need you then I would let them know that you will treat them in their time of need exactly as they treated you in yours.

  • Shattered, I was in the middle of typing out a long supportive message when the site crashed on me. Dang it! The gist of it was that you are MIGHTY for how you’ve handled yourself, and you will always be head and shoulders above your cheater because you actually allow yourself to experience your emotions. You actually harness them for good (i.e. self-preservation). Your cheater self-soothes feelings he doesn’t want, or used the affair to conjure up feelings he thought he was lacking and/or deserved. Self entitlement at it’s finest. You are in the midst of betrayal trauma, so be gentle with yourself. I admire you. You don’t have to be or feel kickass all the time for me and others here at CN to see the strength in you. Come here for support. It’s not a club any of us wanted to join, but we are here because we all are courageous enough to turn to each other for support instead of stuffing all of this down. Big hugs to you.

    • This site is the absolute worst for crashing like that. I don’t belong to any other listserve or contribute to comments anywhere else where this happens. It’s beyond frustrating. I’ve also lost long and thoughtful posts, and then thought, well, sorry, that’s wisdom that’s not getting out there, because I don’t have the time or mental energy to recreate that comment. (My last lost one was on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and forgiveness.) My solution now, when I remember it, is that when I begin writing a post and know it’s going to be long…I open a Word document and type it out there first.

      • This site has me and two moderators — Tempest and Rebecca — who VOLUNTEER. If you only knew how much time is given to fishing people’s comments out of spam folders for blog comments and on the forums. Or what it takes to run a site with this much traffic.

        Think of a spam filter like a volume control. If you set the volume too low, lots of spam gets in and you’re getting hijacked and spell casters are leaving phone numbers. You set it too high, you will get some “ham” — people who innocently get filtered out. We do our best to EVENTUALLY within the DAY get your comment up.

        There are other reasons for your site crashing that could have nothing to do with this site. (Updated your browser lately? Cleared your cache?)

        Also, on occasion, this site gets a bad ad that redirects. I have exactly ZERO control over that. All I can do is report it to SheMedia/BlogHer and they usually resolve the situation ASAP. It’s a problem with ALL online ads EVERYWHERE.

        Don’t have ads? Okay, pay my IT bills and WPEngine bill. And give me some margin to my life.

        If this sounds pissy, it is. If you think the occasional lost comment is “beyond frustrating” — try running this place. If you’ve got a long comment, sounds like you’ve found a good work around — save it. The spam filter often chokes on long comments or things with many URL links. It’s absolutely nothing personal. It’s the spam filter.

        If you encounter an IT problem, or crashes, or redirects, email me at info@chumplady.com or Tweet at me @chumplady

        • One other thing — I have a very liberal comment policy here compared to other sites. You don’t have to register to comment (you do on the forums, however.) There is no moderating delay (like that have at the NYT or big newspapers, that hire STAFFS). All the moderating is done by me (I get an email everytime someone comments). It is the largest job of running this blog and I scan it all at home after I work a full day.

          I could make life much simpler, and go to full moderation on the comments. But then you wouldn’t get the engagement and the community of CN. It is not perfect. I haven’t found a better way to do things. I’m open to suggestions.

          • The solution is for all the chumps who have been helped by Chump Lady and Chump Nation (and obviously who are in a financial position to do so) to click that Become a Patron link at the top of the page and help fund the site so that Chump Lady can do this work full time.

            This site may be free to all users but it’s not free for Chump Lady to run in terms of her own time or money.

            I’m proud to have supported Chump Lady and Chump Nation on Patreon since the very beginning and I will continue to do so for as long as I am financially able to. This amazing place saves lives.

            • I do support Chump Lady on Patreon.
              Tracy, my beef with losing comments has never been with you or anything I think you do or do not do; I’ve always just assumed that whatever eats comments was something to do with the site that supports the blog.

    • Writing it in word first works for me as well. I often have trouble with the site locking up due to “long running script” in the adds but it has gotten better lately. I have also heard that some browsers do better than others with that issue so try different browsers and see if that helps..

  • “Which makes me think a nice line of inquiry at the therapist’s is — am I the child of narcissists, and did I choose someone as a life partner who invalidates me the way my parents did? (and continue to do)?

    God, Tracy. Maybe they’re just not equipped for this and are Very Nice People and you’re being terribly judgy.

    Okay, then accept that your parents have limitations. They might be great company at baseball games, but they don’t do major life events. Shared DNA is often overrated. Focus on what you do have together, and find comfort elsewhere.”

    THIS is what I am literally discussing in therapy at the moment post-breakup with a serial cheater (Dday 1 Jan 12, Dday 2 March 12 + sense that I’m sure there’s still loads I’ll never know).

    My mother brings all conversations back to her problems or her betrayals and even compares some of the stuff she’s gone through (small arguments with relatives) to my pain, talking of “what we’re going through” – her and me. I really don’t think it’s malicious but it IS a sign that I cannot fully depend on her to emotionally support me at this time. Nor can I really fully depend on anyone, apart from myself and my therapist for an hour a week. I’m not super religious but I am finding some light Christianity (I listen to BBC Radio 4 daily service) also helpful at reminding me of goodness and perseverance and patience at this time.

    FYI, you are mighty. I am in the same hole you are in and I was with my cheater for only a year and 2 months, not married, just dating exclusively and intensely and very much ‘in love’ with lots of holidays and time spent together, so it was still very horribly jarring and soul-destroying to have it outed as a sham. So if I am feeling this bad 4 months after Dday, you are absolutely killing it.

    I also downloaded an App called SoberTime (designed for alcoholics) to monitor my No Contact and keep me on the straight and narrow. It basically counts days and has little inspirational quotes whenever you look at it. Even if you relapse and talk to him at 2am in the morning, you can reset the app and start counting again. I find the simple obstacle of not wanting to reset the app stops me from contacting him at those vulnerable ‘fuck you’ 2am crying moments.

    Sending love, strength and solidarity. xxxx

    • “My mother brings all conversations back to her problems or her betrayals.”

      AC, your mother has some sort of disorder–character disorder, personality disorder, or a problem with addiction. There’s her need to be central. The lack of empathy.

      Brene Brown talks about who can hear our stories. Her focus is on shame stories, but her point holds true also for our stories of grief and trauma:
      “Our stories are not meant for everyone. Hearing them is a privilege, and we should always ask ourselves this before we share: ‘Who has earned the right to hear my story?’ If we have one or two people in our lives who can sit with us and hold space for our …stories, and love us for our strengths and struggles, we are incredibly lucky. If we have a friend, or small group of friends, or family who embraces our imperfections, vulnerabilities, and power, and fills us with a sense of belonging, we are incredibly lucky.”

      • Thank you so much, Chump Lady, for creating this space. So many of us found ourselves without anyone who gets how horrible it is to survive emotional abuse, which often comes hand-in-hand with cheating.

        Also, how is this the only mention of Brene Brown so far? Don’t just OD on Chump Lady — get you some Brene Brown to OD on too. Allll her books, alll her podcasts, alll her videos. She is the queen of vulnerability and is straight up about how, yes, people with open hearts like us hurt the most. But we also genuinely love and feel joy more than others. We just have to value that about ourselves and be more careful about who has the privilege of being close to us.

  • Shattered but Surviving,

    Good grief, two months? On the “Life Shattered By Betrayal” time scale, two months is about two seconds. Give yourself lots of time, Shattered. You are incredible that you’ve done so much in such a small amount of time to build your new life. It took me a couple years to do what you’ve done in two months, and I salute you!

    Your parents are just Wrong. I got the same crap from my mother. “You need to just get over this” within weeks of him moving out. She just couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t instantly be celebrating my life free of this asshole. The truth is, my mother is a pretty cold woman. She doesn’t do empathy. Sounds like your parents are the same. Is there anyone in your life who can give you unconditional support through the coming months? A friend, sibling, distance cousin, or even acquaintance who has been through this? There are people in my life, fellow former chumps, who tell me now, “you should have called me”. I encourage you to try to find and reach out to such people, and spend much less time on the phone with your parents. Right now you need to weed out people who don’t support you. Sounds harsh, but this is a “you take care of you” time in your life. Reconnecting with your parents can come later (ask me how I know this lol). You’re going to be ok, shattered. More than OK. You got this. You got a great life ahead of you. Go get it!

  • Shattered,

    A lot of people don’t understand that the Big Reveal (of adultery) and the ensuing divorce are not one-time events. They are often ‘just’ the tip of the iceberg that is abuse in the marriage and post-apocalyptic reality of life after divorce and abandonment.

    Another thing to consider: It’s lonely at the top. As a leader (at the vanguard), you might realize that very few will understand you and your situation. You may well be in uncharted territories. You may not realize that although many will fail to show sympathy, a perhaps large portion of the population is silently admiring you and learning from you!

    • Very good point RSW. Yes we are the vanguard.
      Ps i have wondered if it bothers you when people compliment others with – Youre A Rock Star – given all youve been through. In that case- YOU ARE THE ROCK STAR . And not the rock star wife! Take it back maybe?

      • Thanks, Chumped Change and LAJ!

        By the way, I am gradually finding my voice. At a chamber of commerce meeting in my large city, I talked to several people who have worked with several presidents on economic initiatives. I believe that I have something worthwhile to add to the conversation and asked for these individuals’ help in reducing poverty. I feel the advocate (and champion of others) in me coming to the surface!

        Every day, I work on becoming a rock star researcher, educator, and advocate. Going to try harder to be a rock star parent and daughter.

  • We learn our boundaries and patterns from our parents, and often don’t realize what we are learning is unacceptable. My ex was almost a carbon copy of my emotionally withdrawn father, and one of the hardest lessons to learn was neither of their behavior is okay, and I will not find support from my family. My father would minimize all the abuse and bad behavior, or outright not care. Unfortunately not everyone will have a supportive family to turn to, as the family dysfunction often made us chumps with low standards in the first place.

  • Briefly………..

    I had one conversation with my mom early on in my healing stage and I believe she was frustrated at not knowing the right thing to say and she blurted out some unfeeling……”you just have to move on and get over this”. To that I said…………”Imagine losing dad. Suppose he died tomorrow…..how do you think you would feel at a month out? Six months out? A year out? Divorce and infidelity feels like a death. You have to mourn it. It takes time. And I have to continue to see him….which keeps the healing alive!!! Give me the same empathy and tenderness you would give someone who just lost a loved one”!!!!

    That stayed with her. She still brings it up and that was five years ago!

    • Kimmy,

      Right there with you. smh. My father had many years of unrelenting active support from me after his wife of 50 years died, but when my second cheating husband left it was “you’ll get over it” before he buried his head in a newspaper.

      I think Shattered is experiencing what many of us did in the aftermath of this journey however it is still very tough to come to the understanding (when you are in the midst of it all) that some of the closest people to you do not in fact have your back.

  • You have done more in 2 months than many can do in 2 years. Bravo! Give yourself a pep talk every single morning, look at yourself and say, “I am fucking worth it, and I am badass” because you are. And just because there aren’t enough people in your life to remind you of that, does not diminish it.
    Some people will just not have the stomach to handle someone else’s raw pain. They just don’t have that level of empathy. That’s ok. Of course it doesn’t mean they don’t love you, but they are under some weird idea that if you don’t talk about it, it will go away. Clearly, that is BS. This pain we have, this mountain of garbage that got dumped into our hearts has to be unloaded. It has to be discussed, it has to be vented….
    I know the only way I got through some of it was by talking about it. Literally, unloading the shit and pain off of my heart. Some people will be able to listen, some will not. Through this process, you will find some of your strongest allies, and you will learn a lot about yourself. Just having that knowledge that “SOME PEOPLE CANNOT HANDLE THIS” is a lot. The fault is not with you, or that you are feeling too much, or that you can’t get over it… no, you are justified in your pain. The fault it with their lack of empathy. What you are going through, and what most of us here have gone through, is some HARD shit. It scares the life out of most people, and it should. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. But there are many of us out there that get it. And we are happy to lend an ear, a box of tissues, and help carry you through to the other side. As you have probably read in many of the previous posts, “Meh” sounds pretty awesome. (Still not there myself).

    • Good post. I’m 6 weeks from Dday and am blessed to have wonderful parents who said, “We love you and we support whatever decisions you make.” My dad is a loving and devoted father but he just doesn’t say “I love you.” Well, when I told him about the betrayal he said it to me for the first time ever and it was beautiful. I like to think I’m being mighty in one specific regard, I took the advice of fellow chumps here and spread the venting around. My family and friends have been good to me and I’ve kept it to one or two detailed vent sessions apiece. It helps to get it off my chest. But the only place where people really understand is right here. Rock on chump nation.

      • Dumbass counselor told me to read the 5 love languages. Recommending that book can only be interpreted as the counselor’s assumption that I simply didn’t love my wife correctly. I was completely triggered throughout as I realized I have always been a good husband and more importantly a decent human being who strove to please his wife and provide for his family above all else. Both the ill fated MC and IC seem to operate under the absurd assumption that adultery happens because of unmet needs. We need to get a few exchumps to become counselors who know that we got duped by selfish pigs. CL communicates this better than anyone.

        • Mac,

          This week I had to give an impromptu speech in the five love languages after a few other people in my a Toastmasters group gave their speeches about the five love languages’ role in romantic love. The task felt challenging and unpleasant. I decide to talk about brotherly love as I no longer have a partner and interactions with prospective partners lately have been awful.

          I hate that expression, ‘it takes two to break a marriage/relationship’ No, it doesn’t! Unfortunately, there are some bozos in the psychotherapeutic community. How did they get through grad school and licensure?

  • BIG chump hugs! 💕. We ALL feel this way. Sadly when you’ve been chumped multiple times it begins a pattern with you and the people around you of unworthiness and why are you choosing the wrong people to let into your most intimate circle. During this time of hurt my biggest piece of advice is to figure out what you are attracted to that keeps you opening up/trusting the wrong people and then distance yourself from them….including your parents. You can set healthy boundaries….they don’t have to know about your emotions. Put on an act of happiness with them (to get them off your back). Then SURROUND yourself that you can be real with!!!! Find those people that prove to you that you can trust them. Those are the people that you can be you around! And, CL is right….most of them (if not all, will be chumps also). Do NOT try to find it in another man right now. Narcs and serial cheaters have a 6th sense and can smell the blood of a chump who is not strong, that’s when they know they can weasel their way in and ultimately end up trapping you in another chumpy situation. Cry and share your anger to those who you can trust. Act and set boundaries with those you can not. Eventually, it gets easier and soon you will feel better about you from the inside out. You will be stronger and you will realize who is safe and who is not. You will also see toxic patterns in your life and others and learn how to steer clear from this patterns and people. Big hugs and you should be so proud that you are Strong, Smart, Beautiful and Determined to have a better life!

  • I found like minded supportive people in my Divorce Care group – I listened to their stories and sought out those women who had similar stories to mine. Very very helpful to have friends who have been there, done that – they get it.

  • Dear Shattered but surviving,

    You’re so much stronger than I am, and I respect you utterly. I think I do understand your situation; I was (or so I believed) in a committed relationship for over 10 years. Strained circumstances led to us suddenly moving, and eventually we both found work at the same place. Things slowly fell apart for three years, until one night I saw her kissing her supervisor. That night, I got home to find her tossing some of her things into her car in preparation to move in with him immediately. There was a cold, dark argument on a cold, dark night and away she drove. To this day, I have no idea how long they were carrying on their little affair behind my back, but I estimate at least 18 months prior to D-Day. At least.

    For over a year, I had to put up with seeing her in the halls at our shared place of business. Seeing her in the employee lunchroom. Seeing her at her locker, right across the hall from my office. Seeing her canoodle with that asswipe in plain view with glee on her face; glee, I should add, that curdled into an expression of sorrow when her eyes met mine again. Like all cheaters she knows damn well what she did, and the price it demands of a soul. I don’t know if she was feeling shame, pity or remorse. Doesn’t matter, does it?

    Anyway, on particular Monday, what felt like centuries later, I found a note in my office email from her; they were leaving the company and moving away together to enjoy their twu wuv; she thanked me for “helping” her “find her happiness” in another man’s lap and I haven’t dealt with her since. Anyway, I can honestly tell you that you’ve handled this far, far better than I did, and my heart goes out to you for the anguish and humiliation your ex put you through. He is disgusting and pathetic; you are brave and awesome, and nothing anyone else says can ever change that. Stay your course.

    • Josh,
      Your ex sounds like a cold-blooded narcissist.
      I am impressed that you dealt as graciously with her and her supervisor as you did—their behavior could drive many people postal!

  • oh my gosh shattered you are amazing!!!. Kudos to you, you are a bad ass. Keep coming here for support I didn’t find this place until a year out from divorce, while still begging him to come back. I found out about the first affair 16 years ago and stayed with the fuckwit to work things out. I too did everything wrong. Pick me dance, kibbles for him constantly. I finally kicked him out after the 3rd or 4th dday. Still not sure and probably will never know how many times he cheated. In hind sight I wished I would have left 16 years ago. But I didn’t and now I am dealing with a 24 year marriage that should have only been 8 years. So yes I beat myself up for that. But the MEH is coming and I surround myself with other friends who are divorced and it has helped me so much with the validation. The NC was life changing as was Tracey’s book. It is on my nightstand and I used to read it every night. Now I am down to maybe one or two times a week. CL and CN saved my life literally and so I return daily to continue to read everyones posts and I laugh and cry most days when I read everyones posts. The crying is not as often as the laughter. And believe that they suck and believe that things will be better(I used to laugh at that but things are getting better).

  • I remember those first 2 months very well. I wasn’t near as mighty as you but I managed to keep myself together, not beg him to reconsider, maintain separate living spaces in our home, move out and get the divorce. Now I am Zero Contact since September of last year – no kids.

    You are operating on adrenaline and you might (or might not) hit a low once everything slows down and you realize just that hell happened. I remember my mother didn’t understand why I wasn’t more angry. I tried to tell her that I was angry but I also know the Dickhead. If I had damaged anything of his, I know he would have gone after my stuff. I protected what was mine and myself and backed out of the situation.

    Maybe you have a friend, sibling or cousin you could confide in – one that understands that grief, anger and sadness don’t disappear overnight. There are steps, brick walls and hurdles to encounter. It sounds like you have the fortitude to face them, no matter how painful That’s being mighty. Mighty doesn’t you can be reduced to a blubbering mess in the car or shower. Being mighty is realizing that you are grieving and facing what happened. Being mighty is drying your face off and finding something to distract from constant rumination.

    You found the right place – that’s a step in the right direction.

  • to the letter writer, you heal at your own pace. Dont allow other people especially your parents/siblings force you to heal faster. i would tell them “i am sorry that my pain is hard to handle for you. i was hoping for some emotional support from my parents. but if that is too hard for you, i will leave you alone” AND then i would find someone who did understand me. my sister was like your parents. she did not want to hear my “complaining”. she was very unsympathetic and even tried to guilt me by blaming my divorce on me, saying it was my fault for divorcing HIM.. . not his fault for cheating. if i tried to explain to her what happened, she would walk away saying she did not want to hear it.. .. . fuck my sister. i barely talk to her now.. .. only on holiday or when my parents are visiting. every once in awhile my sister will try to play the victim saying she doesnt understand why i dont spend time with her. i have heard her tell others how hateful i am to HER.. .. haha. i dont care. i have peace in my life now, she still is miserable, forcing her misery on others. i realize the people that love me understand me and they know that i am NOT hateful to her.

    now let me praise you for being MIGHTY!!!! how awesome you are. look at all you accomplished in 2 SHORT MONTHS!!! .. .. of course it caught up to you and hit you like a Mac Truck.. . time for you to focus on healing your broken heart now. look up the stages of grief because that is exactly what you are going thru. Let me also tell you that it took me a little over 2 years to get to that point of healing my soul. .. . the first year i cried every single day. when my children started telling me that they did not like to see me cry after 8 months, i cried behind closed doors. so many things would trigger my sorrow, driving down a long country road, eating at a restaurant, a song on the radio, seeing a man with his kids, intact families at church, boxing up all his stuff he left behind, taking down the pictures, a certain smell, or just a sunny day.. .. . i cried at the drop of the hat. it physically hurt to breathe. and it was so super hard to get out of bed each morning (had it not been for my kids, i dont know what would have happened). .. .. after a year of crying, i spent the next year blaming myself. i should have done this, i could have done that. how could i not see that he was unhappy. why didnt i try harder. what else did i suck at.. .. . finally at some point i realized that i DID what i could with what i had to work with. and i was NOT to blame for his suckiness.. .. .. the next year i focused on accepting what my life was now even thou it was NOT what i planed on it being at this stage in my life. i worked on healing my heart and clearing my mind. i looked up cutting soul ties. i cleansed. And i found my peace.

    took me almost 4 years all together and i still have my bad days every once in a blue moon. bad days are a given. one person compared it to coming off drugs and having relapse. just acknowledge it is a bad day, that you are sad and sentimental. .. . dont run from the pain, face it, exam it, feel it and let it pass. (seriously, the stages of grief will explain all this and help you so much)

    i am so sorry you are going thru this. it will take some time to “get over it”. post it on your mirror that This Too WILL Pass.. .. time heals. good luck

    • Mrs. Vain,
      Thank you for sharing the detailed description of your journey!
      This may sound odd to a lot of people—I wish that I could cry—I have often felt suicidal over the loss of my marriage (not my ex-husband) but the lifestyle (financial security), and time with my kids and the loss of my last boyfriend, as awful as he was to me in many ways but cannot cry. I think I’m too traumatized (PTSD?) to cry, even 1.5 years later. I am just Shell Person now.

  • Your therapist might explain that there’s no ‘getting over it’, there’s working through it. And it’s great that you are taking care of yourself in this way. It’s a shame your parents can’t be there for you more, but it’s not your ‘job’ to be happy for them. Tell anyone who tells you to ‘get over it’ to get over themselves. And that they suck at empathy.

  • Hey Shattered (etc.),

    Let me pile on and add my admiration with the crowd. You are a star my friend. You are doing it all correctly, and THAT feeling of people telling you to get over it (you PARENTS?!?!) is terrible. Your suffering and the injustice you dealt with matter a great deal because you matter. We may never know why people get upset and bothered by you getting wounded, but now you get to know who really stinks and you’ll treasure people who actually have your back.

    Hey, that drunk driver who almost killed you? Why don’t you just get over it, we are so tired hearing about how you were hospitalized for a month, and after all, wasn’t that drunk just doing what he needed to do? After all, when you were on the crosswalk, you could have sprinted like Usain Bolt and gotten out of the way in time. He did not mean to do it. Your tedious story bothers me about your broken pelvis, I like winners who are on the action end of fucking other people over.

  • How dare anyone put a timeline on your grief. How dare anyone put a timeline on your healing. How dare anyone tell you what you should/shouldn’t feel.

  • Shattered, I will echo what everyone else has said on here– you are mighty. At two months out, I was working toward a divorce, but I was still living the in-house separation nightmare, and it wouldn’t be until another six months when I would have my own place. I think it’s wonderful that you took such incredible action and got the cheater out of your life as quickly as possible.

    I’d also like to add this– I don’t think that you mentioned having any children with him. If you didn’t, you are truly free. There are some of us who are tied to these morons until our kids are adults. I envy those who didn’t have kids with their cheaters. I wish that I had been able to make a clean break as well.

    One final note– as an educator, I would encourage you to report the disgusting behavior of your ex and the counselor. They might not get fired, but they might very well get moved to different buildings/positions whether they like it or not, and a letter will probably go in their files. There was some cheating going on at my kids’ elementary school a few years ago, and I know that at least one of the cheaters was moved to another building and put in a job that he didn’t want. He was forced to leave the great teaching job that he loved because he was stupid enough to cheat on his wife with a colleague.

    Don’t make it easy on her or your ex– as a parent and a teacher, I would appreciate a community member reaching out to let administration know about cheaters in my building. If they are cheating with colleagues, I don’t want to work with them. They are not only immoral liars but they are probably not working very hard to help kids because they’re too busy getting it on in the copy room. Report them.

  • I am approaching the 7 year mark of DDay. Seven years… I think your cells regenerate every 7 years so I am going to be “a new person” here soon enough. But guess what…even 7 years later…it’s still a mindfuck. Now I don’t dwell on it like I did in those early days…I was a mess. I was a zombie…a gutted walking zombie who would talk to anyone who would listen. My “friends” told me to “get over it” ….”move on”… I have…but there are days that take me back. We each heal on a different time plane. We each have different things that trigger us. Much like childbirth…it was painful but the pain was worth the end result…new life.

    You are mightier than you think. And it is perfectly OK to wallow…cry…break a dish or two.

    When I read of the people just starting this journey…it takes me back there. It helps me to see how far I had to go to get to “Meh”. It is not easy. It is gut wrenching. But it is worth it.

    Hugs to you!!!

  • Oh my goodness Shattered I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have my family for backup. BUT I do also subscribe to some of the thoughts here that maybe they just didn’t know how to deal with your grief. Who knows. Only you know your family. But I give you a gold medal for being so formidable. Sure you may collapse later but you are doing what needs to be done now and you ROCK.

    I’m British and had a typically British non-demonstrative upbringing. BUT when I spewed it all out my god they were there for me. Actually I never hid anything over here in France but I kept it from my family because I didn’t want to upset them. But my sisters were there for me (unbeknownst to me my sister was living the same hell in Denmark) but what really hit home was my oldest brother calling me and checking in on me. He died suddenly in January and I will never forget his support. I expected it from my sisters but my brothers? Nah, not so much.

  • Girl, you are a rock star.

    Unfortunately, I lost my two best friends after my divorce. I was a mess and about a year later they could not take it any longer. I was devastated especially since I was there for them through their divorces. You really find out who unconditionally loves you during this time.

    Four years later, I am at MEH!!! It didn’t take four years, it took about two. I can honestly say however long it takes you….take that time and don’t be ashamed. Their is no timeline of grief for a death and a death of a marriage is included.

    Buy the CL book and give it to your parents. Maybe then they will be more understanding.

    Good luck! Stay mighty!!

  • I only wish I was independent as this woman is. Other then that it sounds just like my situation. My husband is addicted to meth just like his mom and step dad. It really didn’t start back up until six years of us being together. Before that it was pills. I knew he had in his twenties but I believed he was never going to go back to that since he even told me it destroyed his first marriage…… My mom says he’s not who I want him to be. He’s a drug addict. It’s over and that I need to only focus on my son. I have been with him for NINE years and married for six on July 5. He’s a HUGE part of me. When I’m away from him he’s on my mind constantly and I feel such a void and wonder about what he’s doing constantly and worry. He has told me before I need to stop worrying about what he’s doing all the time and that I need to focus on me. According to his mom he thought I was this angel and I completely shattered his heart…… Yea I messed up but I have tried to make up for it. He for sure had a little mishap as he called it with his mom’s friend about three years ago as he called it. He possibly did something with a 19 year old. He told me that’s why she started calling me their wife after telling me about how he had to make her shave and how wet she got……. He even said it wasn’t that good and he had to fantasize she was me and she was fine with it because she’s into that kind of thing and she’s a lesbian….. how sick. He has also told me if I want to hear some bull shit story he’ll tell me one and that he hasn’t cheated on me. If he did do something with her it’s possible he has considered us separated since he had been staying at his step grandmothers house with his mom and step dad so he didn’t consider it cheating. He first told me a few months ago he did do something with her and how she cummed on his dick riding him and told me something I could never do and how he feels completely justified for it….. Then he goes back to he has never lied to me and I can take anything he tells me serious….,, He has changed that story. Which one is it? He’s lying about one of them and not knowing which one is true I think is driving me the craziest. I can’t stand the thought of someone else getting to have him. It just kills me. He has even told me before I don’t want him and I just don’t want someone else having him. What wife wants someone else to have her husband? Of course I don’t want someone else having him. He was my best friend and my everything and now it’s like I’m slowly watching our marriage die. I have gotten some advice from others on here and I know they’re right but he is all I know. I always wanted my first husband to be it and I’m not at all in life where I had expected to be for me and my son. I have completely relied on him and I thought we would be in our own home by now that we actually own. I just want to grab him and shake him and tell him to wake up but it seems more and more like my mom is right and I just freaking hate it and knowing my sons dad and his fiancé has EVERYTHING and has only been together two months longer than me and my husband and I know they are just absolutely loving this but it’s more like he’s not who I want him to be or what I thought I seen in him…… I am currently in a motel with him and his mother. It’s one where we have two different rooms. He has been off work because of his work truck messing up…, Now no money for rent in a couple of days and hardly no food. I haven’t seen my son in three weeks because of this and the 50/50 bull shit custody….. He is already resentful because of all of this. I really don’t believe my husband’s mother and his step dad is all of a sudden separated right when he just started his new job a couple of weeks before she showed back up and was going to be saving to get us another place. If I actually had friends I think it would help but I just can’t imagine never seeing him or talking to him again yet I know too much has been said and done and it will never be the same again cause of it so I am in limbo cause of it

    • I’m so sorry that you are going through all this. I will say this though – if you want a better life and you want to keep all the rights with your son – you must walk away. Your husband is a sinking ship and he will drag down with him. No person is worth losing your son or your dignity.

      Do you work? If not, try to find something because you need money for you and for your son. Only you and your ex husband are responsible for him.

      Your current husband and mother can fend for themselves. You need to get out there – please call friends, your own family, maybe a domestic abuse shelter. Save yourself.

      • I really believe it’s all a bunch of bull shit and their way of trying to push me out. I told him his mom needs to have her husband or his mother send some money for this room until he can get a big enough check again and he said they’re not part of this family anymore. When he said that I heard him saying that about me and my son…… When I try to talk to him about these things he says he has enough on him and I’m retarded. He got back in touch with someone he knew in elementary school and I told his mom the other day if she’s still in contact with him she better stay away from him. She started to say she’s not going anywhere but stopped and changed it like she caught herself and said she doesn’t want him and she’s nobody and was just a lifelong friend. When things are said like that like when she says someone is nobody it’s like they’re saying it about me. It’s one of those things where you can just tell even though they’re saying one thing they’re saying something different. If there was a way to remove her permanently I think I would be able to get through to him better. She is constantly around. I overheard him ask her about three years ago when we were in our last house which I was laying in our bed and they were in there at the kitchen table “what do you want me to do Mom? Leave my wife?” I couldn’t hear her response but I’m pretty sure she said ya like of course…… I really want to have his phone hacked into cause I believe it would answer a lot of questions but I believe it’s against the law. Really if they are trying to push me out they’re starting to get what they want cause I’m getting tired of it. His mom said something about how we have to be out of here Saturday and she doesn’t know what her and my husband is going to do. I told her my son is at his dads until Monday and she said so and asked what does that have to do with them. I said I’m not sitting at my parents house by myself all weekend and her response was it’s either a bed or the street. He was gone getting us McDs so when he got back I told him whatever happens Saturday I’m not going anywhere and sticking right by him and if all of this is their big plan to get rid of me they’re going to have to do better than that. That was when he told me he has enough to worry about and that I’m retarded. I want to just get his mother completely out of the picture but the way I want to is illegal

      • I just hate giving them the satisfaction cause I’m pretty sure they’re hoping I’ll get sick of things and leave

      • I just so don’t want to lose him. I have so many memories with him and hundreds of pictures of us and our kids on FB. He’s my world. I don’t want to go through that devestation but I feel like I already have lost him. He told me last night I’m only here cause he allows me to be and said you heard me. He wasn’t joking either. I could only think to say I’m here cause I want to be here

        • You have no home and your son is staying with his father. As long as you keep thinking that he’s worth losing your son over, nothing will change.

          My mother had a saying “you keep doing what you are doing, and you will keep getting what you’re getting”. If you want your life to change, you will have to do something different.

          I was married for 18 years and my ex cheated and threw me away without even giving me a chance to understand. I did not beg for him to take me back, I did not beg to have his cheating ass back in my life. I am worth more and so are you. But as long as you don’t see that, your life will not change.

          • Me and his dad shares 50/50 custody. We have been having to live with my parents which I just hate. I thought all of that was done with. I put in for Dollar General last night but haven’t heard from them. I tried calling today but no one ever answered the phone. If I actually had friends it would help. I just don’t know anyone

  • To Shattered but Surviving, and every other chump whose parents let them down in their time of need, I am so sorry. Denying your pain is not comforting. I understand that parents may be uncomfortable or distressed by seeing their child suffer, and may think they need to “fix” that. From the comments above, it is clear that a lot of them haven’t gone about that very well, and shouldn’t be counted upon for chump support.

    I can share a beautiful exception. When I told my Dad what I’d discovered, he was all in. He lent me money to hire an attorney. He was also a private investigator with lots of tips on gathering information. And he gave me a copy of George Simon’s book, In Sheep’s Clothing, which I treasure to this day. He got it completely. I suspect he was onto the Fucktard before I had a clue.

  • Oh my goodness Shattered! You are going to be so very proud of yourself when you look back on how strong you’ve acted. I know you can’t see clearly right now but wow! You’ve tapped right into your intuition and launched forward in spite of your pain and lack of support. For many of us our pain cripples both our ability to accept reality and our ability to act. Not for you. You’re using your suffering to grow towards the light.

    It’s so hard to feel alone as you go through this. And you won’t ever see the world the same way again. Great betrayal changes you. It changes your perspective which then changes your relationship to the world around you. When you think a certain way, your natural tendency is to look for evidence to support those thoughts. It’s a feedback loop or a mirror which is why when you were “the happy one” the “happy” became your identity. So you’re struggling with that too, because when your life gets upended, your identity is shattered. Figuring out who you really are is going to take some time and examaination but I can promise you that when you get through this you’re going to love yourself so much more.

    You will find your people to help support you though, if you keep seeking them. Remember that what you are seeking is seeking you. It takes time and discernment but real friends are out there. And one wonderful thing is that as you heal (and you will) you can become the person you’re seeking for someone else. And this is how you can eventually use your suffering to give it purpose. Which is what many of us here want to do and why this is such a strong community of support.

    Keep moving forward. The world needs your mightiness.

  • At 2 months out, I was in a world of pain, desperate to find a way back to happiness. Every waking moment was suffering. It was agony.

    Unfortunately, it would be a long two and a half years before I started to take steps away from my now ex-husband. It was as if I could finally breathe after months of suffocation.

    I could wring my hands now in frustration over my slow progress toward freedom, but I don’t want to do that. I didn’t know then what I know now: that my happiness is possible again, but only when I walk away from the abuse. Why come down hard on my poor, suffering former self? She was doing the best she could, poor thing, considering that her heart was broken and everything she believed in was exposed as a lie.

    Recovery takes as long as it takes. Feel the pain, take care of yourself, and grow.

    • I don’t want to feel the pain but I’m sure my marriage is over when he means everything to me. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I just want to disappear. A lot of times it feels like I was only put on this earth just to have my son

  • Awww! Hugs to you chump. I feel you. Its okay to be a public bad ass but in private you just want a soft place to land.
    Be that soft place to yourself. Tell yourself kind things everyday. Be patient with yourself. That love and kindness and understanding that you gave to others? Give it to yourself. Treat yourself like you would a hurt child.
    You don’t have to suck it up or get over it.
    Take your time. But I will say try not to wallow too long. Take five minutes then do something else.

  • Damn, I tried to post three times. I have extensive experience in the area of family treating you like shit after you’re chumped. It was so horrendous that I have pretty much disowned everyone in my immediate family but my youngest daughter. However, the site keeps going down before I can finish a long post explaining.
    So, quickly, to the advice; don’t talk to your abusive ex and toxic, selfish parents. Lean on friends and CN for support. You may find that if you cut your parents off and are clear about why and how hurtful if was, they will apologize and change their behavior. Or not. Either way, you’ll find out who they really are and what you need to do to keep your sanity. The cheater, OTOH, knows he’s being cruel. That’s why he does it. No contact or at least very minimal contact, and never in person or by phone. Text or email only, so your lawyer can see it all and you can prove how abusive he is. You might be able to use it for a harassment suit. At the very least, that’s a threat you can use to make the cheating SOB pay you what he owes you.
    I threatened to put my ex’s misdeeds on social media and he bought me a house and a car in my name. Give these bastards no quarter. You have already proven your strength of character. You will get through this and CL and CN will be a huge help. Go, Shattered!⭐

  • I am 7 years past the discovery day, 6 past the divorce. You have done in 2 months what took me 9 months to do. You are amazing to me!

    I feel like there are 3 phases to the pain of being betrayed.

    Phase 1 is the pain of losing your partner, losing your trust in yourself for not seeing the real person for who they really were, losing your dreams of what you were sure your life was going to be.

    Phase 2 is the pain of losing/severely changing other important relationships in your life. For me, that was some family members and very close friends that became Switzerland and continued keep a relationship to the cheater. This Phase just about did me in. It was at this point I finally sought a therapist to help me and found Chump Nation. Gawd I wish I’d found this tribe sooner!! This didn’t hit me full force until about 6 months after the divorce, and it lasted a full 2 years for me. It was a very dark time in my life.

    Phase 3 is the after shock pain. It STILL hits me once in awhile, to this day. I expect it might hit me once in awhile for the rest of my life. It’s when I see or hear something that takes me back to a painful moment or reminds me of what I lost (I will never reach a 50th wedding anniversary in my life. He took that from me and I will never get it back. That thought always takes my breath away and makes me cry angry tears, even now.)

    I have two people that I can talk to about the phase 3 pain. That’s it, but it’s enough. Those two people get it. They let me mourn for a moment, validate that he’s an asshole, and remind me that even though I lost that chance to reach a 50th anniversary, I did gain a life that I love that is so much more peaceful than my life ever would have been if I had stayed with the fuckwit to achieve those 50 years of marriage. It does NOT make the sorrow of losing out on 50 HAPPY year with the person I THOUGHT he was go away, but it makes it bearable.

    I will also always mourn the sense of relationships I had with the Switzerland people, but I no longer feel as angry about that. It’s just that they are shallow and do not have a strong sense of sticking up for injustice in the world. I have been able to fix my friend picker and now I only invest in people who do not ignore the injustice that happens to those they love because it’s to burdensome to stick up for them.

    • I had some Switzerland friends that claimed they were Team MissBailey but still had contact with the Dickhead. I cut them out a couple of months ago. The DH’s friend actually complained to me that Dickhead lied to him about the status of current relationship (started up with her before telling me he wanted a divorce). He lied about the relationship to the Switz friend for about 6 months. Anywho, Switz firiend said that DH finally came clean and couldn’t believe that he lied that long. I reminded Switz friend that DH lied to me, his wife. Switz freind actually said, “yeah, but I was his friend”. Oh, I forgot, you rate higher. Let’s just say the Switz friend is very selfish but not cold or cruel like Dickhead.

      Shortaly after that conversation, I cut off Switz friend, wife and his family.

  • We are here! I am here! You sound stellar and capable and you’re allowed to feel as miserable as you feel for as long as you need to feel it. Two months is nothing. NOTHING! I’m sorry that you’re feeling so putrid but I promise you it gets better. Please hang in there. You sound amazingly strong. I’ve mentally added myself to the gif of people applauding in ChumpLady’s response. Standing O. (And in your less strong moments, I’m cheering for you then, too.)

  • “How long is too long to feel unworthy and scared and lonely?”

    I think this is related to the question “How long does grief go on?”

    The answer to the second question is basically, forever, BUT its effect on your life becomes less intense over time. And everyone’s timetable is different.

    Grief is “forever” because you’ve lost something that will always be gone – the person or the marriage that has died isn’t going to come back. That loss is now a part of the fabric of your life. But it becomes woven in with strong threads and beautiful threads, and the grief becomes muted against the brightness of the other threads.

    Feeling scared and lonely come with any grief reaction. So expect those emotions to fade but be a little more noticeable at some times (especially in times of new grief, because grief taps into grief). But these feelings will have much less impact on your life than they do early on in your grief process.

    Feeling unworthy is more related to the depression that many of us go through, and it’s possible for that to go away completely as we heal over time.

  • Gosh, even up to a year after separation I had certain family members who were still avoiding me. Because they said that I would just return to him anyway. A full year later.

    The ones that are going to support you show it right away. The selfish ones don’t want any drain on their Pollyanna wonderful lives. Your pain irritates the selfish ones. And the shallow ones. And the narcissistic ones.

    Avoid or limit contact with unsupportive people. They just make you feel worse.

  • Again, I say, two months?

    Your parents don’t want to see you spending anymore of your time with a fucked up jerk like your x husband.

    Yet healing and recovery is a process not something that you get over.

    And you have every right to your fragile upset and needy emotional state.
    You were blindsided and you acted in your own best interest but now it’s time to process the grief.
    People who i’ve not dealt with this kind of situation do not understand the mindfuck.
    Be patient with them and be patient with yourself but do not allow anybody to deprive you of the need and the right to process this however long it takes and it may be a couple years.
    I applaud you.

  • So many mighty people here! I can totally relate to unsupportive people. All of my ex in-laws totally abandoned me and my daughter (his step daughter) after being part of the family for 23 years. You really find out her your real friends and family are. Even my own family would tell me to count my blessings and that he did me a favor. So then I would feel guilty for my feelings. It was awful. I learned to keep it to myself. I am 18 months out now. I finally am finding myself again. I have my two adult girls and granddaughter who are my absolute joy. There is light at the end. 🤗

  • I’m just short of a year from DDay (Mother’s day) 9 months from GFTO day and 7 months divorced and literally no one wants to talk to me about it anymore. No one even asks if I’m doing okay. All my parents want to hear is how great things are, they don’t want to hear if I’m having a hard time with things, like just finding out a few weeks ago that the XH got engaged in February. No one gets it but fellow Chumps. I have learned so much from them in the last 8-9 months. I learned that No Contact IS the path to the light and there is peace in the light – thank you @AllOutofKibble! I didn’t even know that I could say “I’m not talking to you anymore, send me emails only”, Chump Nation taught me how to stand up for myself. Around Christmas last year, a co-worker who I thought I could talk to outed my divorce to everyone in the company at a meeting and after the meeting I said something to the effect of “Thanks for letting everyone know about my situation.” She said, “It’s all you talk about, I figured everyone already knew.” Ah, okay time for me to shut up. I stopped talking about it at work and completely stopped talking to her, she stays away from me now which is fine by me because she’s a little too sparkly anyway. I had to cut all ties with XH’s family because they want to play both sides. The people who don’t care get weeded out. My circle is so small it’s not even a circle it’s more like a dot, but I am surviving. I hope to find my tribe, IRL someday. For now, I am taking however long it takes to heal from this, no one can dictate how long it will be. My eternal gratitude to CL and Chump Nation!

    • Nice post. Sorry you aren’t getting much support. Before I was chumped I may have avoided people who were suffering because I could not understand it. Well done on your steps to a better life. You are courageous.

    • Day was on MOTHERS DAY? These people have no shame. Props to you for already getting through the divorce before a year out. Proud of you!

      Happy early Mother’s Day!!!

      • Thank you – techincally is was more of an announcement that he was ready to start dating, we were breaking up but still living in the same house and he had his GF(now fiancee) lined up already. I’ve no idea how long he’d had her lined up, he moved in with her a week after GTFO day. He’d already absolutely ruined Mothers Day from the beginning saying to me, “You’re not my mother.” Then he ruined it for our daughter by chastising her for not getting me a card one year. How is a 12 or 13 year old kid supposed to do that on her own? He should have taken her out and helped her pick something out. But no. Oh and Father’s day he was to have lots of gifts and be revered. I got lucky he didn’t want to have anything to do with the divorce process. I did it all on my own.

    • Monimoni,
      You may not “have a circle” but you have a long line extending all around the world. Chump hands, Chump hearts, united, understanding, holding you up, all going in the same direction, heading toward the light, as best each one of us can.
      You are never alone here!
      ❤️

      (YOU sure are Mighty)!

  • I’m completely dumb. You are absolutely incredible! I am 1 year after dday and still remain. trying to save my marriage but so hard to let go of everything that happened. You show a great act of action I wish I had. Hope you can feel how right you are and how strong you are!!!! Love and hugs to you <3!

    • Why? Are you waiting for the next dday? He wants to stay and he promises to be faithful? The next opportunity he gets to cheat, he will. They just get better at hiding it.

  • Dear Shattered But Surviving:
    I felt compelled to comment on your post even though I’m at meh and have been for a good eight months or so. Two months after D-Day is NOTHING. That is a tiny, tiny amount of time in the grand scheme of things. You are doing amazingly well at two months out! And give yourself time to heal. Don’t put a limit on it. Don’t say, “I have to be over this in a year.” It doesn’t work that way. It takes as long as it takes.

    I’m so glad you’re in therapy. My therapist saved my life and continues to save my life as I try and navigate this new world of dating in my 40s after divorce, and still continue to screw up even when I know better. Life is an never ending learning experience.

    Just remember this: Healing is not linear. My therapist told me this and I’ve clung to it. I had months where I was supremely happy only to be followed my months of utter despair. Your process is YOUR process, and no one else’s. Take your time. Be kind to you. Do not talk to your parents if they’re not going to offer you kindness and sympathy and help. Talk to your therapist instead. Pour your feelings out in a journal. Come here to CL. This community was a life saver for me.

    Sending you hugs. You will get through this. Promise.

  • I know EXACTLY I got NO help at all from my mother, my sister yes but all I ever hear is to “MOVE ON” but how do you move on after 24 years of faithful marriage, two kids, house and a dog that you adore? I don’t know. Both my ex husbands affairs came through our family home and marital bed another stab in the face. My son 9 at the time had to tell me the truth it nearly killed me. I’m now 2 1/2 years out of D day it’s cost us a FORTUNE financially and he now lives with his latest “SUPPLY” he’s a full blown Narcissust! The system here in Canada does nothing to help or help with the kids they can’t judge morally. So my kids, the dog and I eat the shit sandwich everyday!

    • I don’t think it was 24 years of faithful marriage. What happened is he had not been caught before. He’ll tell you he never has before but I can almost guarantee that he cheated at other times in your marriage.

  • You saved yourself from losing even more of your youth to a man who stopped loving you. Kudos! I think most married women think that giving their husband another chance is the right thing to do but that is just wasting their youth instead of moving forward to be in a new relationship with someone who won’t cheat. Since its less than 10% of people that cheat, odds are in your favor to find someone who is faithful. Just pick someone who has a better moral compass.

  • I don’t think it was 24 years of faithful marriage. What happened is he had not been caught before. He’ll tell you he never has before but I can almost guarantee that he cheated at other times in your marriage.

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