Do you think chumps should tell their family and friends that the reason they are separated from their spouse is because he/she cheated?
My marriage counselor (MC)’s advice was that the reason for the separation was not anyone else’s business and said that by telling the truth (i.e. their spouse cheated) the betrayed spouse was portraying themselves as a victim. My MC’s advice was to say the separation was a mutual decision.
My spouse has moved in with the OW and is living far enough away that my family and friends have little chance of contact with him. We have no children. What’s your advice?
My advice is to replace your lousy marriage counselor with a good divorce attorney.
Your husband left and lives far away with the other woman. You have no kids. What exactly does your marriage counselor hope to “save” here?
Let me guess, the MC is peddling the notion that you can single-handedly save this if you don’t make any Wrong Moves, like, for example, speaking the truth about why you are separated.
Presumably telling people this separation is a “mutual decision” instead of an abandonment is supposed to preserve your dignity and keep your friends and family stuck in neutral should you reconcile. Gee, we’d hate for them to have to base their opinions of your husband on the truth. Which is “no one’s business.” The important thing to remember is Not to Portray Yourself As a Victim!
This baffles me. If you got pistol-whipped by a mugger and had a black eye are you supposed to go around and tell everyone you ran into a door by “mutual decision”? Hey, you wouldn’t want anyone to think you were a Victim of Crime.
Being a victim just means that someone did something to you against your will. You were harmed and had no choice in the matter. See the definition:
I don’t think your husband cheated on you with your consent, did he? You were duped, right? You’re a victim of infidelity. Stating the facts of what happened to you is not Playing the Victim — you ARE a victim. You got chumped.
Now listen, Blinkered, this infidelity shit does NOT define you. If you acted with faithfulness and integrity in your marriage, you have NOTHING to be ashamed of! So you got played. Okay, it happens. What you do with chumpdom is entirely up to you. There’s a big spectrum of reactions between emotionally vomiting all over everyone’s shoes and taking this to your grave. And hell, emotionally vomiting when you’ve been shocked and traumatized is pretty freaking normal. If a drunk driver ran over your grandmother and you collapsed in grief, would your counselor tell you to “stop playing the victim”? Fuck no. You’re grieving a loss.
You asked for my advice — so here it is — if you want to get past being a victim, start taking your power back. Divorce this asshole. He walked out. He lives with her. There is nothing here to save. If he’s living with her and throwing you lines about “needing time”? He’s eating cake at your expense. Collect all the financial information and see a legal professional immediately.
You want to stay a victim? Remain in “marriage” counseling alone. (Is that like one hand clapping in a forest or something?)
Seriously, nothing says “I can’t move on” more than trying to “save” a marriage all by yourself. You’re dancing with that corpse and ignoring the stench. And your MC is only too happy to keep taking your money and signing you up for more ballroom lessons.
Walk away from this. Like this brilliant Nina Simone quote — “You have to learn to GET UP FROM THE TABLE.” Fold your napkin, push your chair back, and leave. This guy has no love for you.
Next, tell whoever you goddamn want to what happened. You can keep it brief, you can come up with a line like “I didn’t like his girlfriend,” but you are not obliged to keep his secrets. His abandonment is NO reflection on you. And wearing the shame is acting like it IS. So fuck that. Hold your head up and file.
Rerun. This deserved to be said again.