I am new here, however, I am not new to chumpdom. I am a young chump (just turned 30) and am going through the second breakup with a man who lied and had an “emotional affair” throughout our time together, then proceeded to proclaim fucking the other woman officially the moment our breakup was verbalized. (“But we broke up” everyone reminds me of).
I have experienced the exact same sequence of events twice with two separate men back-to-back, however, the situations are eerily similar — me knowing all along, ignoring my gut, “she’s just a friend”, blah blah blah. I was with the first man for 3.5 years and the second for over a year.
This is no way to the degree of what other women describe on your site, but jaysus am I feeling hopeless and so much PAIN.
My question for you is how the fuck do I break this cycle?
I have been in therapy and take pride in healing my traumatic past and working very hard on myself and well-being, however, I keep attracting the same narcissist, different face.
I’ve been single for years and not single, dated and abstained, thrown myself into work/hobbies/meditation and have also just lied in bed for months. I’ve taken antidepressants, I run, I don’t run. I gain weight I lose weight, sometimes I’m pretty and sometimes I’m an ugly hog. I’m exhausted and feel like I am missing fuses in my brain or that some cosmic entity hates my sorry guts.
How do I get away from this pattern and break the cycle without just wanting to die? I’m afraid to ever marry someone or have children now because of my horrible choices and of all the horror stories and horrific people in the world. Damn the fucking other women too, I’m so sad about the fallen “sisterhood” and don’t trust anyone anymore. I have a young bitter heart.
I am currently no contact with all the exes, they never care enough anyway and all quickly abandon me. (Yay?)
Wanted to reach out…
Young scared chump with a black heart and way too much life ahead of her
Dear Young Chump,
Why is this about you? What cycle? You’ve invested in two losers. I can’t really say if that’s a “cycle” — or just shitty luck. There are a lot of losers out there. Maybe you’re perfectly splendid and just need to learn to dump people sooner instead of investing 3.5 years in them. That’s the kind of skillset that comes with age… and encounters with losers. Perhaps what you need is a pocket Field Guide to Losers and not self-recrimination?
I’ve been single for years and not single, dated and abstained, thrown myself into work/hobbies/meditation and have also just lied in bed for months. I’ve taken antidepressants, I run, I don’t run. I gain weight I lose weight, sometimes I’m pretty and sometimes I’m an ugly hog.
So, you mean you’re normal. Are you comparing yourself to some happy, always productive, perpetually attractive species? I don’t care what Instagram says, they don’t exist.
We all struggle, kiddo. All of us. No one feels gorgeous and loved and brilliant all the time. You just have to find what you’re good at in this world, and stick at it, and ascribe value accordingly. Don’t measure yourself by fuckwits.
I feel the invisible sentence after “I’ve thrown myself into work/hobbies/meditation” — and still no one chooses me.
Work because you’re an adult and work is how adults support themselves. Work because you’re proud of what you do, whether that’s swapping out carburetors or crafting sentences. Have hobbies because you have interests — not because you want to be noticed Doing A Hobby. LOOK AT ME WITH MY GLUE GUN. AREN’T I PRETTY?!
Please don’t be that person. The world is full of those idiots. (I think they live on Instagram.) Be the nerd who joins the Thaddeus Stevens Society because she LOVES Thaddeus Stevens. (Um, okay, I just recently joined the Thaddeus Stevens Society. Best $25 nerd dollars you’ll ever spend.)
Speaking of Thaddeus Stevens, he wasn’t lucky in love. He was born with a club foot and died a bachelor. Oh, but you know what he did do? He was a goddamn abolitionist and a senator from Pennsylvania. He saved the Union. He fought for public education (because he was poor and self-educated.) He was a lawyer and created a foundry so that escaped slaves and freemen would have jobs. The Confederacy hated him so much, General Early came to personally burn his business to the ground and tried to hang him. HE REBUILT. He gave those motherfuckers HELL.
You know what Thaddeus Stevens wasn’t? Popular on dating sites.
My point — there’s a lot of ways to live an amazing, productive life that don’t involve dating narcissists, or being coupled. Or, hell, even being attractive.
Consider Newt Gingrich. Dude’s been married three times. I mean think about that — a guy who is named NEWT who looks like Newt Gingrich has found three different women (real women! not robots or inflatable people!) to marry him. Thrice.
Does that make you want to blow your brains out, or stop and consider just how far chutzpah can take you? I mean, imagine if you had one-tenth the self-esteem that Newt Gingrich has, what things you could do! I guarantee you are one-thousand times more attractive than Newt Gingrich. (Most of the human population is, and most of the non-human populations too.)
How do I get away from this pattern and break the cycle without just wanting to die?
Know your worth. Isn’t your life more valuable than the opinion of a couple fuckwits? Who, by the way, collectively spent 4.5 years with you, so if you suck, apparently you don’t suck so badly that they didn’t invest years in you too.
Be your own person, who does not need the validation of fuckwits. Do you think Thaddeus Stevens cared if the Confederacy liked him? Or probably half his own party. He had shit to do. Important work. Go be your best self, and hang out with people who bring out that best self.
I’m afraid to ever marry someone or have children now because of my horrible choices and of all the horror stories and horrific people in the world.
Oh please. Engage with life. Of course do your due diligence, but don’t be scared to grab life by the curly shorthairs. Chances are you may fuck up. I did — not once, but twice. I made horrible choices. And — surprise! It turned out okay! Really! Out of Horrible Choice #1 — I got my beautiful child. And out of Horrible Choice #2 — I got Chump Lady. This voice came from fucking up — and getting back up again.
The point of life isn’t to Not Make Mistakes — but to learn from them. And, if you want to wax all philosophical, (and I did just natter on about Thaddeus Stevens, so yes), to leave the world better than you found it. Which means INVESTING in people and good works. Not being a shrinking violet.
I’m not really the best person to give dating advice. I’ve spent a decade now with Mr. CL (coming up on 9 years married) and I got lucky. The wisdom was knowing a good thing when I met him (I didn’t have that kind of wisdom in my 20s and 30s, see Mistakes #1 and #2).
The difference this time around is that I invested in a person like me — a bonder. Someone capable of intimacy and deep commitment. I’m from the chumpy, gooey, empathic Bonding Tribe. Not everyone is. I wish someone told me that when I was younger. You know how to tell when you’re with someone who is not committed? When you’ve spent years with them with no commitment. You want commitment? Next.
You know how to tell if someone can bond? You’re not pick-me dancing. You have their total attention. “Friends” that make you uncomfortable? Next.
Some people don’t want to bond — they want the buffet. When dating, that’s OKAY. They’re the Buffet Tribe. You’re not them. NEXT.
Find your tribe. That’s all I got.