Exactly one year ago from Mother’s Day, I was opening gifts, receiving flowers, and left alone in the morning to catch up on some much needed sleep. The next day I woke up with so much gratitude, I said to my husband, “Thank you for a wonderful day, I am so grateful for our life, our family, and you.” Gave him a big kiss as he walked out the door.
Five hours later, after being inspired by Marie Kondo, I found what would be the first of many clues to his double life. Turns out, he had been going to massage parlors and prostitutes — for years. The nicest guy in the world, the one everyone loved, that guy — almost bankrupted me, put my life in danger, and broke up our family.
Because he was too much of a coward, he let me go down a rabbit hole of uncovering all his dirt, which included profiles, emails, and $700 “Tantra” appointments. This motherfucker. I kicked him out shortly after, and never really considered reconciliation because all the books (until I read yours) said the remorse and transparency required, to truly save the marriage, he failed to give.
Doesn’t surprise me that “nicest guy” became cold, distant, and you guessed it, a victim. Clearly my failure to put my postpartum to the side made him feel “rejected” and “disposable.” I barely speak to the douche, when I’ve tried, I just revert to insane crazy woman he destroyed. Parallel parenting and emailing works best for me. I cannot stand to see his face, or hear his voice. He is pushing for counseling because he wants to be “friends” and is uncomfortable with being hated. Imagine that.
Chump Lady, I am so fucking angry. It’s been a year and I’m struggling with all this loss. I was married for 10 years, never even saw it coming. Yet, somehow, I can’t stop crying this week. I’ve cried every day and night. This approaching Mother’s Day feels like trauma, all over again. I can’t even think about it without falling apart, getting angry, falling apart again. I’m known for being tough, resilient and no nonsense. Yet now I’m weak, angry and sad.
The kids are with him this weekend, and honestly, I want to turn off my phone and sit in silence. Don’t feel like lying to everyone about how “great” I’m doing, nor do I have the strength to be cheerful for my kids. Do you think it’s wrong to take the day? I’m hoping this POS hasn’t ruined all Mothers Days, but on this shitty anniversary, I just want to stay in bed. I feel discarded and abandoned, Mother’s Day makes me feel worse. I know it will get better on Tuesday, but this Sunday feels like a shitbag of negative emotions headed my way.
What should I do?
Do you know the expression, “If it rains, let it”? The forecast calls for grief. These are still early days, and the first holidays can be hard. Mother’s Day’s often an onslaught of smug Intact Family propaganda and #blessed hashtags. And those corsages. OMG, the single mom years when I wanted a corsage and one of those overpriced brunches… And that was before Instagram.
What should you do this Sunday to tough it out?
Whatever you want to. Sob in a corner. Turn off your phone. Stab little Marie Kondo effigies. (Does it spark joy?)
Practicing self-care isn’t all mani-pedis. It’s wailing like a banshee sometimes. It’s not wrong to “take the day.” No, take the whole year if you need too. GRIEVE. Puke your guts out. Punch pillows. Shriek.
For fuck’s sake — you lost your family. I know your kids are alive and well, and you are their sane parent (really, even with the shrieking) — but this feels like death. An unnatural, premeditated death. A tsunami didn’t come and wash away the unbroken legacy of your family — a fuckwit killed it. For strange pussy.
He let you invest 10 years of your life, and create lives, and nurture those lives, and be vulnerable to him. All the time he was humiliating you, risking your health, and stealing your money — your children’s money. (If you can afford a hooker habit, you can afford a college fund.) If the WORST thing you want to do is turn off your phone Sunday? You’re a goddamn saint. You’re not tying him to a tree and bludgeoning him with pink teddy bears, or asphyxiating him with daisy bouquets, are you? I’d say that’s pretty damn classy.
Next year, I’ll give you the pep talk. The Fight For the Life You Want motivational speech #178. And I’ll remind you that you are still an intact family, minus one fuckwit (addition by subtraction!), and Mother’s Day at home with your kids and some half-cooked pancakes beats cheater impression management any day.
But Sunday, just chill out. You aren’t obliged to “fake it til you make it.” You’re obliged to survive it.
Lower the bar. Pull up the covers. There’s some good Netflix on. Big ((hugs)). Tuesday is out there, but first you have to plow through some sucky Sundays. You’ll make it, promise.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mighty Moms of CN!