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How Do I Gain a Life Before the Divorce Is Final?

Hi Chump Lady,

I’d love yours and the input of CN on the transition between Leaving the Cheater and Gaining the Life. I feel I’m in transit, like I boarded the plane to Meh on Monday, and I’m about to touch down into Tuesday with a few bags and a little bit of hope. It’s like I’m jet lagged.

My travels were frought with delay. I took a while to put down the hopium pipe, roughly 12 months whilst I played amateur detective and pick me samba. My husband, not yet divorced but separated for 18 months, pretended he was leaving because “I was boring, he didn’t like me and I was the most aggressive person he knew”.

I hunted and I found more than I’d bargained for. Other women, I love you’s from co-workers. It culminated in finding my own intimate lady parts posted and viewed on Reddit by over 800, without my consent, under a thread called “share my wife”. I know I could go down the path of criminal charges, I currently choose not to. The abuse is not where my question sits.

What I’d appreciate advice on is the recovery from the trauma, the Gain a Life part of the story. My kids and I are getting support, I’m on my way to filing, I have a close knit circle and I’m weeding out the flying monkeys and Switz friends. I operate on extreme self care, I stay true to Grey Rock, I am building my new realm with a value of sane and stable parent at the foreground of all choices I make. It has taken my every strength, but I’m starting to see the rewards. Slowly. One Thing Every Day is my mantra.

So, I ask. In the transit, I have so many options. What do I choose? I’m healing, my pattern was to jump into another relationship or bury myself in work/hobbies. I’m nervously stepping into new ground. I love my single life. I’ve got things to finalise. I’m out of the chaos with no desire to return. What now? I escaped, and I’m on my way but it’s all so unfamiliar. Do I keep building my feeling of worth? How do I go from Leaving to Gaining? How do I take this to the promised land of Meh?

I’d appreciate yours or any input on the transit.

Much love!

Onethingeveryday.

Dear Onethingeveryday,

You’re doing all the right things. In fact, you’re doing so many Right Things you could teach a masterclass on resilience.

Self care? Sane parenting? Not self-medicating with new dating profiles? Kudos! I’m sure it doesn’t feel mighty, but this is what mightiness is made of — slogging forward in spite of.

Asshole posts intimate photos of you on “Share My Wife” — and you haven’t yet stabbed him with a box cutter? GOLD STAR. Go to the front of the class! OMG, just recovering from that is a lifetime’s worth of therapy right there.

Let’s talk about recovering from that for a moment. He commoditized you. He reduced you — intimate you — to pixelated bits and broadcast it for kibbles. For his own, and others’, titillation (forgive the pun). Clearly you, as a whole person, with an entire loving history with this man, didn’t register with him. He doesn’t respect or connect on a deeper level, or he wouldn’t be capable of this.

There’s something menacing and obviously misogynistic about those sites. Anything intimately shared will be weaponized. So, aside from criminal charges (which you’ve decided not to pursue), I think the proper response to revenge porn is defiance.

Where these freaks are expecting shame and terror, how about a shrug and “Why yes, I do have nice tits.” Be above intimidation. Never stop seeing yourself as a whole and magnificent being. Whatever response these fuckwits want — refuse to give it.

You’re not grubby smut. You’re a mother, a worker, a daughter, someone who raises border collies, a grower of fabulous dahlias, creator of the world’s best tortilla soup. I don’t know the particulars of your magnificence, but you do. So own it. You define you. NOT THEM.

That’s where Gain a Life starts — taking yourself back.

What now? I escaped, and I’m on my way but it’s all so unfamiliar.

Well, you’re not truly escaped until you’re properly divorced. So don’t expect meh yet. But do expect it all to feel unfamiliar now. Of course it feels unfamiliar — you’re getting over TRAUMA. If it felt familiar, I’d have to slap you. Living in trauma and chaos is not okay. This new uncertainty is HEALTHY. Move towards it. Keep doing the uncomfortable, scary-good things. Pretty soon you’ll stabilize and feel steadier.

What are those scary-good things? Not taking his crazy bait. Maintaining gray rock. Moving forward with the divorce. Resisting the hopium pipe. (JUST SAY NO. That’s not remorse, it’s a trippy hallucination you’re having.) Little baby mighty steps.

Do I keep building my feeling of worth?

Yes, of course. What’s the alternative? Go back to Dr. Pornography there?

How do I go from Leaving to Gaining?

Leaving is gaining.

How do I take this to the promised land of Meh?

Finalize the divorce. Meh is out there, but when you breed with a fuckwit, full indifference is a ways away. It’s all manageable and survivable, eventually. But just accept you’re in slog mode now. You made some pretty earth-shattering discoveries a year ago. That takes time to heal from, and you’re still sorting out the particulars.

Be kind to yourself. That’s often a throw away line, but let me tell you what kindness looks like — not expecting miracles of recovery from yourself too soon.

You ARE a miracle of recovery — but you’re not going to FEEL like it for a long time. I’m nearly 13 years out from my D-Day and I look back on it like it was another lifetime ago. I do marvel at my courage now (okay, and my chumpy stupidity) — and I feel exactly zilch about the sociopath who inspired the hard-won wisdom of this blog.

At the time I went through it, I mostly felt exhaustion and confusion. But the most important thing I felt was defiance. You don’t own me. You don’t own my story. You don’t own my future.

Start there.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • This is a story of beauty and strength in the journey.
    I think I know what you mean Onethingeveryday. The sense of a lack of direction, certainty – the loss of my security (financial, psychological, emotional etc), the loss of relationship and the future I thought I would have. Life on hold until the property is sorted out.
    And underneath all the tears and pain, you know in the bottom of your soul to hang onto your integrity. It is the one thing you can trust and you’ll be glad you did in the long run – it provides confidence and comfort.

    • 4 years out from leaving day, and its only this year that I have some semblance of financial stability, albeit at a much lower level than I ‘enjoyed’ (I cleaned and maintained, he enjoyed) when I lived with XAss. And yes, underneath all the tears and pain, the confusion, doubt, terror and uncertainty, I kept my integrity. No matter what lies were (and still are) told. I KNOW what I did and did not do. And I have NOTHING to be ashamed about. He can never make me doubt myself again.

      • Yes Down under! Integrity under the pain & despite the baiting with lies. Financial stability was my first goal when I put down the hopium pipe. It still continues to be a major force in my day to day. It was a practical thing I had control over, to a certain extent, and could take action on. It meant I could move out and go gray rock. It’s the foundation on which I rebuild. A necessary part of healing.

        Thank you for commenting! Big hugs!

  • Onethingeveryday

    I hear you. I am about 18 months out, but I was not married so am living in our house with a supposedly non legally binding separation agreement and very angry ex hating now that he’s paying for me and a really frankly awful situation where he and new Schmoopie are grooming my daughter for them to be the perfect family unit and yours truly to be frankly rubbed out if but they could (but they can’t). I have a good life otherwise, good friends, sadly family very depleted and both parents gone which boy I could do with now and do things I love so you know have good days. I am so traumatised by some of what has happened (and continue to happen) that meh seems like an unobtainable goal. I am very meh about him as partner that bit is for sure! It’s the on-going need to have him in my life due to my daughter that makes me feel how much more of this is there (my counsellor has told me probably a lot, sigh). So in between waiting for Tracy to publish Breeding with a Fuckwit, working full-time, spending quality time 50/50 with my daughter and doing nice things that I enjoy I have moments when I am OK and others when I think oh god why why why is this such a slog, will it ever end. And you know it feels like it won’t but I can’t see any other way to behave that would make it any better. I can’t even fathom dating, I am frankly terrified of that prospect and maybe for some time if not forever. It has hurt me a lot in that regard, I often feel like my peace is a long way away and I wonder if that I might never get it as it will always be too much to bear and yes it’s so confusing as to what is the right next step. Also now I am on my own I feel any wrong step could be the be the one that messes up the rest of my life. We were not financially solvent to come out of this in such a way that we are both finically secure, of course he Schmoopie but I do not. There are so many worries that I try to put to the back of my mind and what worries me is I know in 13 years I will look back and think what the hell was that all about. But I don’t want to suffer the next 13 years getting there, which isn’t easy. I call my meh a half meh. I’ve got to meh about some aspects of it completely, others not. But that’s OK considering. Rest of the time I feel like running away from it all but I have a daughter who would be truly hurt by that. You can only do what you are doing and feel good that you know you are doing all mighty things in the meantime. Wish others could get that sometimes when they are moaning about whether their (good) husbands haven’t put the bins out on a Wednesday or something but you have to have been through this to understand and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

    We will climb that mountain and see total meh all around.

    • I know exactly how you feel I’m 2 1/2 years out of D DAY and it’s still hell. At least I have my own “SMALL” suite and the family dog! He’s got Smoopie but I think the glamour is wearing off as he has started “HOOVERING”!

    • Dudders, when this first blew up I had no job, no savings, was living in a house his parents owned and was desperately trying to find a way to “fix this for my family”. I lived with him for 18 months of “separation” BEFORE I found the pictures. Finding the pictures actually brought a realisation that I needed to escape, get out no matter what. The enormity of the abuse hit me like a train.

      My point, take steps to remove yourself. Don’t minimise the damage. Seal yourself and make a plan. It will take time. It will be exhausting. But it will be worth it to be free. I’m on my way. I’m not yet fully clear, nor healed, nor “safe”.

      You can get out. I still read the mighty chumps every day. CL and the nation are inspiring. Start somewhere. We are here! We care! Hugs!

  • I’m a year and a few months out and I’ve started feeling the “meh” season arrive. Press on, once divorce happens a different type of grief will take place and when you’re through, you’ll know it!

    • The message to get on with the divorce is loud & clear. And yes, a different form of the grief process is coming with it. I’ll do my best to rise above the fear of it. Thank you!

  • After the divorce, I felt like a boat with no rudder. I didn’t have my husband and adult stepson to take care of, my mother passed away during the divorce (I helped her a lot in the 4 years leading up to her passing)
    and it was just me. I had no idea how to take care of just me.

    I learned to to be patient with myself, to let life sorta guide me to the next place. I let go of control and let things happen. Also learned the concept of boundaries and started to, for the first time in life, really enforce them.

    The map to Meh is not linear and it’s different for everyone. Try not to worry too much about the future – it will get here soon enough. Feel each day and let the experiences guide you on the way to your new peace.

    Time can be great teacher

    • Ms B, your comments are always compassionate, wise and I’m in awe of your mighty! I’m a little bit “fan girl” stuck like “omg Miss Bailey commented” lol. Thank you for reminding me to let it happen. Much love!

  • What I used on the journey was Ted talks and YouTube recovery videos. I would pop in my earbuds and listen for hours and hours. It helped a lot!! And while I was escaping I was also learning. A lot about what I loved before and had let go to the wayside for years. It became a journey of self rediscovery and I started to enjoy it. And without condemnation and complaining from a fuckwit which was great all by itself.

    • No Mo,
      Thank you for reminding me that I often tolerated condemnation from romantic partners. (The last one even condemned me for things like putting a bottle of diet soda instead of water on my bicycle cage one day and repeatedly condemned me for wearing lipstick, which I did to prevent my lips from drying out and to feel like a professional athlete while I cycled! He would tell me that he was something along the lines of embarrassed to be seen with me. Just a few of the many hurtful things he did to me—and I tolerated—until he finally abandoned me for his now second wife. Now, strangers, both male and female, compliment me on how I look (in my fifties) and how hard I work while I exercise. Last partner did leave me for a pretty, wealthy, amazingly smart, young (childless but young enough to bear him children) work subordinate. I could not successfully compete with her for him—I lost the Pick Me Dance.) Your comment helps me avoid looking at my previous relationships through rose-colored glasses and avoid thinking just ‘Paradise lost.’ The relationships were far from great and probably never could have been, no matter how hard I tried.

      • Oh, do I remember the the condescending remarks throughout our entire marriage. Got worse during his affair. He complained about almost everything I did. I did not wipe the counter right. If the dishwasher was empty and I would put a dish in the sink. He would say who is the moron who put the dish in the sink? The dishwasher is empty. If I would let a cup sit on the end table. He would say who is the idiot that left the cup on the table. He even had a condescending way of shaking his head in disapproval. He sure knew how to make me feel horrible. But, it was OK that he smoked in our bedroom. Spilled ashes on the carpet. Would leave milk in a cup in the bedroom until it curdled. And I of course would clean it up. His excuse for cheating was I was no fun. I was boring. My cousin was happy all the time.
        It is so nice that I no longer have to endure his abuse. These cheaters sure have a high opinion of themselves. I say good riddance to the abusive cheating idiot.

        • Of course your cousin was happy all the time, she wasn’t living with him!

          And Rock Wife, please stop this she is young, pretty, wealthy etc. When I was younger, solvent and hot, I wasn’t even remotely interested in older, taken goats who are abusing their position of power by trying to have an affair with me. No, I was interested in SINGLE, younger, hot guys,, at least financially on the same level as me. Don’t you see something is very wrong in this young chick story (in addition to her lack of morals and intelligence)

      • So one person criticizes your exercise style and everyone else compliments it. The odds are in favor of the compliments. Go with that and be proud. Your ex is clearly not the majority opinion and not the one you should be listening too.

      • RockStar,

        You won the pick me dance. You won the grand prize of getting to spend the rest of your life away from the jackass who thinks that constant negging is a substitute for love.

        Schmoopie lost. Now she has Mr. NitPick in her life. You may think she’s pretty, smart and successful, but I’m sure he does everything he can to keep her from feeling that way about herself.

        Now you get the freedom to enjoy your life, your hobbies, and the way you choose to exercise.

    • Here is real wisdom: “And while I was escaping I was also learning. A lot about what I loved before and had let go to the wayside for years.” Gaining a life is often recovering ourselves, recovering those things that we allowed to drop out of our lives or that (for some of us) were denied to us back in the day when women didn’t do X and men didn’t do Y.

      What did you love before? What fell by the wayside, not just in marriage or relationship but for other reasons? For me, that was a path to recovering myself.

    • No Mo, learning about myself is definitely necessary as I move into full freedom. It fits into the “uncertainty” feeling. I shrank myself and struggle at times to know what I want. Who is OneThing? What do I really really want to do with myself? I find it hard to answer. It’s unfamiliar turf, this thinking about me bit. Baby steps. Thank you!

    • Yay! For You Tube. I like TED talks, Eckharte Tolle, stoicism, mindfullness videos and much more. I think the digital world is accelerating narcissism. But there is good too and here we are.

  • My comment is about the photo your ex posted online. Before you just let that action go, please research the law where you are. Even if you don’t want to–or can’t–prosecute your stbx for posting it (and I can see why you might not choose to do that, as it could reveal your identity, it might be possible to make reddit remove it. Also, talk to your lawyer about what he did, because his having done what he did will make for GREAT leverage in the settlement. (If he doesn’t know you know what he did, don’t let him know you do.)

    • I would press charges though. I think it will help you to have him with a sex offender tag. Do you want to find a picture of your daughter next?

        • In my experience (my kids and I were physically abused by ex and still I could not get full custody or even supervised visitation for my husband) and based on what several attorneys have told me, I think that it would be extremely difficult and probably a waste of money to try to get full custody of daughter based on ex posting naked photos of Op, as reprehensible as ex’s actions are.

      • What he did was reprehensible BUT if currently her main financial support is his alimony and child support then pressing charges might have major financial blow back to her and her kids.

        An arrest and conviction on a sexual crime is the kiss of death for a career and I wouldn’t want her and her kids to be further victimized. She should definitely talk to her lawyer about it and use it as leverage but pressing charges might financially seriously hurt her and her kids sadly.

      • Exactly, kellyp, what prevents him to post the picture of daughter next? She needs to protect her! Her and potentially daughter’s (female) friends.

        Oh, he would never do that … I bet she once thought that about herself.

        Maybe she doesn’t want to prosecute but it definitely should help with custody, visitation rights etc. Also, she should have a look at ‘revenge porn’.

    • Who knows who may start harassing and stalking you because of what HE did ! That’s some scary,disturbing behavior that warrants legal action. Even better if you can monetize it.

    • Exposing myself in this forum was the toughest part of hitting send on my email to CL. Part of my trauma recovery has been associated with the guilt of not going full throttle to court, or fighting to out” him, or using his abuse to gain the upper hand with custody etc. I often find myself worried about what others think about my choice to not “immediately” jump onto it.

      I won’t be explaining my reasoning here, or justifying my current stance. I’m not certain. I fluctuate. I have episodes of PTSD symptoms which wax and wane.

      I knew this would be the hardest part to respond to, but I will not run from it. I’m determined to honor the varied points of view that are expressed when people hear this part of my story. I get it, it’s criminal, it’s severe abuse of an insidious nature, it evokes deep fear. I’ve lived it. I am owning my narrative. This is MY story to tell and I am so very grateful for CL for backing me with that!

      1, I have had legal advice on it.
      2. I have two adult children from a previous relationship who are very aware of the situation.
      3. I’d have to expose myself and them to the court/legal process and drag us all through the public eye, not to mention what it would cost.
      4. He is aware that I know.
      5. I took screen shots.
      6. He took it down as soon as I lost my shit and screamed at him over it
      7. As CL said, I didn’t stab him with a box cutter despite actually wanting to kill him in my rage filled reaction… I deal with shame over my reaction, often.
      8. Therefore, no revenge IS MIGHTY!
      9. I can take it to court later if I choose.
      10. My healing, escape, sanity, stability and my family came first.
      11. I will not live in fear, nor will this break me or have me compromise my values.

      I hope that eases some of the concern. I really am grateful for the support here. CN has been a rock and I Thank you all!

      • You need not justify your decision. In these situations, inevitably the actual victim, though they may in fact eventually win convincingly, is put through humiliating misery just by virtue of the looonnnnggg…. drawwwwwnnnn ouuuuttttt process that is the law. It’s one reason why victims of sexual assault just actually cannot summon themselves to press or follow up charges. AND THAT IS THE FAULT OF THE SYSTEM, not the victims.

        You have actually suffered enough. The picture is down. In the future, should you feel it opportune, you can revisit the matter. But please, above all, feel zero f8cks for being enraged when you discovered a filthy, perverted betrayal of this sort. Feel as much rage as bubbles up. He deserves that and 10000,000 times more. By your grace, he is spared that. By your being stable, sane and mighty, he is spared a tiny fraction of the horror you have been put through. That’s serious high road stuff. If you happen to rip up his clothes / trash his stuff/ screech obscenities along the way, that is of no consequence.

        All of the very best in your continued recovery from what you have been put through.

      • You are so mighty! I totally understand your reasoning. No need to explain yourself here. I agree with Caroline Bowman as well, do not beat yourself up for your reaction. You had every right to feel that way.

        Wishing you so much strength on this journey, you’ve got all of chump nation on your side!

        (((Hugs)))

  • Sounds like you are off to a great start, but get that divorce going and done, dear.
    Mine was content to stay married, living separate, him living with his OW. Not much drama. But when I filed, and consequences started rolling in, he responded with a lot of anger, threats, and manipulation to the kids. They do not like to be under authority or answer to anyone.
    Know what you want and need, get it going.
    Hugs to you!

  • i think the hardest thing for me is letting go of our happy memories and the future we could have had. it’s very difficult to let go of someone who was your best friend and now turned enemy. i have a strong christian faith that teaches forgiveness but it’s so hard to forgive when there is no remorse. i’m still feeling lost in all this.

    • Alice – I know exactly what you’re going through and I just realized, our divorce was final exactly 6 yrs ago. It feels like yesterday. Being married 36 yrs to my best friend who I shared almost every memory with (2 close knit families – no kids ourselves) . Every photo together, we’d finish each others sentences and we got along pretty well after that many years. No pent up frustration to haunt us.

      And, suddenly, he is the absolute enemy! It was very difficult taking all that in and he became more of an enemy during the divorce process. The day it was final, I bawled for the first time in months and months, so not a happy memory. My life as I knew it was gone and he took it away of his own accord. I had no choice. And no idea what lay in store. Talk about leaving it all up to the universe to fit into place for me.

      I don’t know about forgiveness after even this much time. He wanted it immediately of course, being very Christian and I just had to laugh. And, I’ll never forget the pain and anguish he put me through.

      So, he can go plead with his own God for forgiveness because I hope never to see him again either on this side or the other.

    • You don’t have to forgive- just move on. I think forgiveness is bs if there is no remorse. My own cheater is not only defiant but claims he is a better person. I don’t need to waste time forgiving him. I forgive myself for not running the first time I found out he cheated. Forgiveness is for yourself do what u want. I will always condemn cheating and lying – it’s just shitty behaviour.

    • Oh, Alice. He wasn’t your friend if he is treating you as an enemy. Even though he’s hurt you terribly, you don’t see him that way, right? So you can see that he’s not like you.

    • You don’t need to forgive if there’s no remorse, no repentance and no atonement. Your religion is very clear and specific about how the sinners who want to be forgiven should behave.

      Also, start with letting go of your fantasies. He wasn’t your best friend, he just played this role. Your best friend doesn’t lie and cheat on you behind your back.

    • The fantasy mirage was shattered for me. There is no unseeing. I take solace in knowing I was true. I find peace in acceptance of reality. The reality that I have so much love to give, I just have to direct it toward the right place. Currently that is me and my kids. Big hugs!

  • I am troubled that he posted private photographs on reddit and that you have a daughter. Plese save all that information. What he did is illegal and bad judgment and unethical. Can you pursue custody?

    • It’s very natural to feel disturbed with this. People with care, empathy and compassion struggle to comprehend this level of disordered action. I’m working through my desire to understand. We think of the impact on the children, and we want to protect them. The best thing I can do right now is heal myself from the trauma, come out the other side a stronger person. Be an example for my children. Demonstrate mighty and reach for Meh.

  • So now I’m curious and slightly terrified – how does one find out that one’s spouse posted such pics?!? I wouldn’t put it past mine to have done something so evil and dastardly!

    • Ugh, I had the same thought! Mine actually got pissed at me for not sending him photos and videos of me. It was right before I started unraveling his double life, but even then I felt an overwhelming discomfort and bad gut feeling so I never gave in. He was telling me I was prude and later stated that as part of the reason he had all the side fucks. I found out during the divorce that he has a massive porn addiction and an online presence in the dark online sex world. Thank goodness I didn’t pick me dance into that mess!

    • Kudos to everyone having gotten out! I too am terrified when I think about the risk I am taking in not yet deciding to separate. My husband has trickled out confessions of online porn, strip clubs, prostitutes, yet nothing in the past 3 years. Some days I want to investigate if there is a “fire” rather than the “smoke.” It leads me to want to find out how to snoop – his computer & phone are password protected. Other days I am content to not change anything. My son who has high functioning autism & who had 2 hospitalizations in the past year, is now very stable. A divorce would drastically change our living situation. Plus my husband just lost his job 3 months ago. So not a good time financially right now. Yet if I had evidence, I can imagine myself leaving ASAP.
      I only found out about CL 1 year ago. That stopped my hope that things could get better. I’m still re-evaluating my values. Everything I valued & thought I had in my life now seems like a sham, or was destroyed, or tarnished by the infidelity & my not knowing what were the real activities of my husband. I have to tell myself, yes, I believe in monogamy, marriage, children, my faith, despite my reality of not having all those things in the way I thought I did. Thank you CL for telling me I lived my life in the way I wanted to even though it had different results that I had no control over!

      • So if you are “not yet” separating, instead of snooping about infidelity, get your financial ducks in a row. Run a credit check while you are still married to look for accounts you don’t know about, debts you don’t know about.

        *Make copies of all financial documents: pay statements from your H’s last job, unemployment comp statements, tax returns, mortgage (know how much equity you have!), utilities, etc., bank statements, investments, insurance, bonds, retirement, etc. Then make PDFs of all paper documents and copy them to a cloud and to thumb drives you keep in a safe place.
        *Insist on sitting down twice a month to review all financials and update your financial documents. See what happens when you insist on this. If you have been the money handler, make him sit down and confront this stuff.
        *If there was financial infidelity, get an accounting of what was spent.
        *Given your H’s employment situation, plan out how you will take care of necessary home maintenance, appliances, medical, dental, and eye care needs. Make sure you hit maintenance marks with your car, especially tires, battery, and brakes, while you are still living together.
        *Start putting aside gift cards when you shop. Cut a coffee or cold drink purchase out of your daily budget and you can put aside $50-60 per month.
        *Plan for how you will pay for a lawyer if you need one. Credit card in your name? Parents? retirement savings?
        *Start imagining your single life. With your son’s situation, would it be better to share a home with someone? Would it be better to sell the home you have and buy a duplex so you can at least have separate quarter, while caring for your son? Do you have parents or a sibling who can help?

        Just some things to think about while you wait for your H to get another job.

        • Be careful about that unemployment. You don’t want to end up paying him as well because he can’t be bothered to find a job.

    • A public service announcement to everybody-DO NOT ever share nudies with your significant other/partner/spouse for reasons like this.

      • There is a side view of this. Living in fear of sharing your intimate side with a trusted partner is not a way to live. It’s not a healthy relationship if you can’t trust them and be intimate or expose your vulnerable underbelly.

        Fixing my picker is about knowing who I can trust. I trusted my husband. He abused my trust. He did so in the most damaging way.

        I work on this currently. I cannot go through life in fear of being intimate. Or holding back from love and closeness because I chose an asshole who fucked me over.

        I have to work out who is worthy of my trust. And ONLY when I do, will I even consider dating again.

    • It was actually as a result of a CL post that I went looking. The post was about funny dating profiles of our exes if they were written with honesty. I was laughing at the responses from CN and thought “hahaha, I wonder if my ex has a profile out there?” So I googled his very unoriginal online account name that he used for everything.

      To my shock and horror up popped my pictures! I did a double take and it was no longer funny. To say I lost my mind at that point is an understatement. And that’s when I put down the hopium pipe for ever.

  • I think you sound as if you are doing a lot of what you need to do. Getting to Meh really is a journey, so in that sense it’s a process of transition. File for divorce as soon as you’re legally able to do so. The divorce degree is an important part of that transition. It spells out your freedom from fuckwits who post your private parts online (and what kind of sicko does that?).

    Mentally, I found it very useful to try to look at CheaterX’s words and actions from a bird’s eye view. Looking at it from within the relationship, I could be trapped by asking myself how he could do such thoughtlessly cruel things. From a broader perspective, I was able to see just how absurdly juvenile his actions were.

    So file and get that part moving. You are doing all the right things!

    • “I found it very useful to try to look at CheaterX’s words and actions from a bird’s eye view. Looking at it from within the relationship, I could be trapped by asking myself how he could do such thoughtlessly cruel things. From a broader perspective, I was able to see just how absurdly juvenile his actions were.”

      Yes. You get to start looking at the cheater from a distance: from above (as in “bird’s eye”), from a distance, and, most importantly, in retrospect. (If you have kids that last one is less possible.)

    • KB,

      Thank you for reminding me that even rock stars and executives can be juvenile and immoral and, even though the public may adore and look up to them, those of who were most intimately involved with them sometimes eventually during our relationships with these larger than life people see giant cracks in their shining armor and the character flaws underneath that shining armor.

  • As others have said, you can’t get all the way to meh before the divorce is final but you can start the journey. You no longer have to consider his needs and desires when it comes to recreational activities. Take your daughter on some fun outings. Go on vacation if you can. Do things you couldn’t do when you were together because he didn’t want to do them. Also do some things you used to enjoy with him to remind yourself that you can still enjoy them without him too. Include your daughter as much as possible. These activities will not make all of the hurt go away, but it will provide some distractions and build your confidence in your ability to enjoy life, at least a few moments at a time, without him and in spite of what he has done to you. It can also potentially build some positive memories to counter the negative ones.

    Shortly before my divorce was final I took the kids on a cross country vacation to a place we used to go as a family. This proved that we could still enjoy the place and that the vacation could still be successful without him. I also planned and executed an overnight trip to see the solar eclipse with the kids. In and around the turmoil of the divorce, the kids and I also experienced a rare and magical event that we will always be a positive memory to counter the painful ones from that period of time.

  • I am 7 years past DDay now, divorced 6 years. The road to Meh is long.

    I can look back now and say that before DDay was like my life was going along nicely, on a calm river let’s say. Then DDay happened. That was basically like not seeing a waterfall was coming around the bend and suddenly you are falling. You have no control while you are mid-air. You cannot fix this because you did not come prepared with a parachute.

    So then you finally hit the water at the bottom of the waterfall. You lose your comfy raft, your oar, you are being tossed around in the turbulent current. But at least you can try to swim now that you aren’t in mid-air. It’s hard to do, to kick your way to the surface, but you get there.

    Now you can breathe, but you still don’t have your raft, your oar. Where are they? Ugh, they are out of reach. So you start swimming toward them. You get close, then some current separates you or you are exhausted and you have to stop kicking for a minute and just float and regain your strength. As you get further from the waterfall, the currents start to calm down. It’s getting a bit easier to keep your head up and swim.

    You finally recover the raft, the oar. You struggle to climb back on. You are exhausted, wet, cold, but you are safe again at least. You can now get out of the river and rest, dry off, warm up, are decide how to move forward.

    You start thinking about back on the river again to see what’s further downstream. But this time, you review the map. You look for areas to avoid that will dangerous, you get that parachute, get straps for your oar and raft so that they can’t completely float away, and you get back on the river.

    There’s not guarantee that you won’t get wet again, but you a better prepared this time. You’ve done what you can, and now it’s back to the adventure.

    OneThingEveryDay…..You are currently back on your raft and have your oar in hand (safe and know that the right direction is divorce). It’s time to row for the shore, take a break from the river (the river = relationships) and take a look at the map of the river. What did you miss before? Did you discredit the signs that a waterfall was coming? Or was the map inaccurate and not showing you the fall at all? How can you be ready if that happens again? Are you ready to accept that risk? Can you put anything in place (wear that parachute) just in case something like this comes your way again?

    You don’t even have to decide to go back on the river yet. You could decide to try hiking instead. So many options!

    No one can tell you which is the best thing for you, except for you. Try things and see what brings you joy. Keep doing those, and stop doing the ones that don’t. That’s all the advice I can give you.

    I wish you the energy to keep searching for the joy, so that one day your plan becomes clear.

    ((hugs))

  • You are doing all of the right things but after a long marriage, you need to rediscover yourself. Without the Ex influencing your decisions, who are you ? What do you like to do ? What do you want out of your life ? Once the divorce is all over, do you want to keep your existing life or make changes ?

    I think that it is very important for everyone to spend time and do this for a few years. Having non serious relationships is fine but don’t get serious too soon until you have fully healed.
    My wife is a good example, she had been with her very abusive Ex since she was 16. After her Dday and divorce, she went to therapy and didn’t date for 6 years and discovered who she was. If she wanted to do something, she did it. For example, she always wanted to go to Paris so she went in the winter when it is cheap and spent 2 weeks in Paris as a Parisian and it didn’t cost that much. She rediscovered her love of books and reading and joined 2 all women book clubs and made a bunch of friends.
    When I met her, she knew who she was and what she wanted and set strong boundaries for every relationship in her life and she is very happy.

  • My lengthy response keeps getting wiped out!

    One Day at a Time is amazing!

    I recommend not waiting until divorce is final to start living. After three years, nearly 20 hearings, and $100K to defend myself from criminal-minded ex-husband who filed for divorce and falsely accused me of felonies, my divorce was finalized. The finalization was anticlimactic—and years later, my ex-husband still takes me to court.

    Couple of years after divorce and abandonment by my last (abusive, post-separation) boyfriend, the guy who I thought was monumentally honest, also a chump, and my friend of thirty years, for work subordinate (much younger than me), who is now his wife, I am a fifty something, slightly chronically injured, non-home-owning, unemployed mother of young children, one of whom has special needs. I did not get to finish the doctorate I labored at for several years and most likely never will. Several of my relatives have died in the last few years. I have lost virtually all of my Social Security due to a strange and unjust set of laws that pertains to veterans who have also been teachers in certain states/worked in other civil servant jobs. For the last two years, every day has been marked by anger, fear, sadness, despair, lethargy. I have tried many of the treatments commonly recommended to feel better, but I have just wasted tens of thousands of dollars. Instead of waiting for various things to change or get better, I am going to ‘do the things that scare me.’ (Thanks, Pema Chodron.) I might as well charge the cannons, although I will likely be annihilated. If I figuratively stay here, curled in a ball, experiencing ‘analysis paralysis’ or worse, ‘deer caught in headlights’ syndrome, my kids and I will surely be annihilated. I am just going to accept that I will continue making mistakes. I wish that I could be mighty like many of the posters here. I am not. My life is characterized by epic flops. Unfortunately, I believe most of the awful things my exes tell me about me being a loser. I wonder why I have never had a healthy romantic relationship, only a long string of disastrous ones and for the last two years, not even a slightly promising date—what’s wrong with me? This belief (that I am a deeply flawed, incompetent loser) makes it difficult to excel or even survive. I hope that nobody who is abused gets down or fails to achieve his or her potential due to the insults made by abuses and the lack of love and respect of abusers.

    • I think the first step is to not take any critiquing from some jerks seriously. Do not permit anyone to judge you and the minute someone attempts to make you feel bad about yourself it is time to immediately terminate that relationship. Maybe the romantic relationship goal should be placed on the back burner for the time being and place your focus on a career. You’re in your 50’s with young kids so first and foremost you will need to get decent employment and resolve yourself to the fact you’ll be working the next 20 years. Nothing wrong with working into your 70’s. We all make mistakes and bad choices (I’ve made some doozies) but you can’t obsess. You do what you can to right the ship. Good luck.

      • THAnks, KB22. I have put dating on the back burner as I cannot get a data.

        I don’t mind the idea of working or another 30 years if the job is not awful. The question is ‘Will anyone pay me enough for that long to survive?’

        • Sure they will…..the era of looking at replacing older workers with younger workers or hiring young candidates is changing. I know as I work in a recruiting field. Older workers tend to be reliable and have a decent work ethic. I’m not knocking young candidates but we are finding a lot of them want a “star” (increase) for just doing their job. Older workers are not as sensitive and can take criticism. The time I have spent with younger workers with hurt feelings because someone corrected them or spoke to them in manner in which they are not accustomed is ridiculous. Again there are fabulous young candidates with a great work ethic and some older ones that are a pain in the ass, but just letting you know that there have been significant changes. As far as compensation, it all depends on what type of employment you are seeking. If your current field does not pay well then time to research and see what changes can be made to move to another lucrative field. Maybe you have qualifications or an area of talent to start your own business.

    • I totally agree with this statement: “This belief (that I am a deeply flawed, incompetent loser) makes it difficult to excel or even survive.” There you go. You see that your BELIEF that you are “deeply flawed” and an “incompetent loser” makes it “difficult” for you to “excel” or “even survive.”

      So change your beliefs. You can see that, like everyone else, you are “flawed.” Like everyone else, you have made mistakes and will continue to do so because we are all learning as we go. But what makes you a loser? Because you are single? Single parents are not losers. I’m not a loser because I don’t have a husband. I’m not a loser because I don’t want to cohabit. And I wouldn’t be if I changed my mind.

      Here’s a list of terrible things you say about yourself:
      “My life is characterized by epic flops.”
      “Unfortunately, I believe most of the awful things my exes tell me about me being a loser.”
      “…for the last two years, not even a slightly promising date—what’s wrong with me?”

      Why would you believe what lying, manipulative cheaters tell you about yourself? I’m quite sure Jackass has a poor opinion of me–he would have to; otherwise, he would confront how badly he treated me. Blameshifting is their modus operandi.

      Since you don’t have an abuser in your life, you’ve taken on the job of abusing yourself. You can stop that. Therapy helps. Is there a women’s shelter in your area? Can you get into a therapy or recovery group?

      Everything is created twice: first in the mind, then in the real world. What are you creating by allowing these negative thoughts in your mind? What are you gaining from beating yourself up? I know you want a happy, satisfying life and home. You need concrete goals and time lines. But you won’t get anywhere if you think you’re a loser.

    • RockStarWife, my therapist made a good point when after Dday and the divorce when I was a mess and had a poor self image. She started asking me WHO said that you were a loser ? WHO said that you were a bad husband ? WHO said that no woman would ever love you ? My answer was of course my Ex.
      She then said “this woman who was screwing 3 men behind your back while you were working supporting her and your kids. This woman who lied over and over to you, stole money from you and threw away a 16 year marriage over sex with random men. WHAT kind of person does that” ?
      My answer — A real asshole.
      Her response– “So, you are going to let a real asshole define who you are and what kind of person you are” ?

      Her advice is perfect for you. You are going to let your 2 asshole Exes define who you are as a human being ? **** them ! You are smart enough to almost have a Phd– how many people can say that ?
      You didn’t ditch or abandon your kids like your Ex did, you’re being their Mom and doing the best that you can. You sound like a pretty good person to me. One of the hard won lessons from my Dday and divorce is that I will no longer allow negative or toxic people in my life… period. You should do the same, come up with a career strategy and life your life day to day and every day do the best you can. Over time, things will get better.

    • Rock Star, stop this slave, patriarchal mentality that you’re defined by men (a man). You see yourself as a total failure because your romantic relationships failed and you can’t get another romantic relationship. All your worth as a human being isn’t defined by the men. I see a woman who’s trying to keep everything together for her children and takes care of one who’s disabled, who’s finished her undergraduate degree and was clever enough to start a doctorate and who’s trying to help others on this forum. I can’t say anything else because I don’t know how your gardenia are and how good you make your soups. 🙂 Your first priority is to find a job, try to see if you can finish that phd and find somebody who can help you with legal aspects. I mean, it sounds like your ex is abusing law to harass you.

      • RSW. I have followed your posts since I first stumbled here. Your anguish is palpable at times, even from over here on another continent. I want to see you happy and flourishing. You deserve it! I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. You exude dedication, grace and passion. You’ve scaled so many mountains. You keep going no matter the odds. I’d have you and your kids over for dinner and we’d blast our favorite tunes and laugh at these morons together.

        Don’t look back at either ex. Tell yourself everyday that you’re strong, and capable and that you’ve got this. We love you, now you must see through our eyes until you believe it so deep it’s unshakable!! Much love & hugs!

  • When this kind of terrible, disorienting stuff happens, people often suggest adopting a new workout regimen. Usually the implication is that you’ll recover your self esteem and have an awesome revenge body if you start hitting the gym like crazy. So it’s easy to dismiss that advice as not very helpful psychologically. BUT in reality looking fine is not the primary benefit of committing to a new exercise routine. Working out just makes you feel better. And it gets you out of the house, improves your appetite, regulates your schedule… all things that really help if you’re dealing with depression.

    Exercise has been part of my routine for a long time, since before this crap happened to me. But before I stuck it in randomly to my schedule rather than reserving set times on certain days. And I did it at home (weights, machine, calisthenics) or at least alone (running). Joining a gym has really changed things for me, especially going to group exercise classes. You get the benefit of a social environment, but there’s no expectation that you have to actually talk to anyone—great for those times when you want to hang out with people but have nothing to offer conversationally beyond “I still hate that asshole!” And so long as you can motivate yourself to show up, you can rely on the instructor to tell you what to do—great for those times when you’re feeling down and don’t have the mental energy to hold yourself to a particular workout regimen.

    • Good point, Nicole. I got down to 95 pounds at 50 and got a ‘revenge body,’ but my last partner left me for his much younger work subordinate, now second wife (who also has a ‘revenge body,’ that is younger than mine and can still produce her own biological children) and I still cannot find anything close to a decent partner, so getting the ‘revenge body’ neither helped me get a partner nor help me get self-esteem. It (the intense, time-consuming exercise program) did help create some structure in my life and made me feel slightly accomplished, though.

      • As Sucker Punch said, exercise for yourself, not for a “revenge” bod. The latter is typically a short-term endeavor that pays little dividends long-term, whereas the former is a life-changing habit and a great investment in “you”!

        BTW, pardon my candor, but unless you’re 4’6″, 95 lbs is not a “revenge” body. That’s a bod that screams GIMME A CHEESEBURGER! Just saying. 🙂

        As for finding another fella, be patient. Admittedly, there’s a bunch of idiots and fakes out there, and there’s plenty of 50-yr old knuckleheads prancing around like they’re re-living their 20’s. Avoid ’em! There are good guys out there; again, be patient….or perhaps give up your search efforts for a bit – they say your match often comes along when you least expect it!

    • Exercise for your health and enjoyment, not for a “revenge” body !

      None of us will ever look as fit and trim as we did in our teens, twenties and thirties. Get over that notion unless you want to spend hours working out HARD every day and have lots of disposable income to spend on cosmetic dermatology and plastic surgery.

      Go for a walk/run, hike, bike ride (if you own a bike or rent one of them through a bike sharing program) or just swivel your hips on a hula hoop in the back yard or the park down the street. Push ups, sit ups, whatever in front of the TV. You get the idea.

      • Good points, Sucker Punched. It is hard to refrain from trying to keep up with the competition. I still sometimes hope against hope that I, even over 50, can get a good long-term partner (husband), and to do that it seems as though it would help to be on par with smart, wealthy attractive thirty-something-year-old women without kids. Some people say that some men prefer older women as long-term partners because ‘we’re wiser,’ but I have not found that to generally be true among the older available male set.

        I am considering cosmetic facial surgery to make myself more marketable on the professional and romantic fronts although I am not a fan of elective surgery. Tired of being turned away for being ‘too old.’

        • There is no competition! It’s not a competition! A “good long-term partner” would be someone who wants a woman who is comfortable in her own skin, with her own age. I’m 68. I’m dating a great guy a decade younger. If I wanted to date other people, I could. It’s not age. It’s about the KIND of man you want. Someone who wants a 30-year old body is not for you. That’s sparkly and shallow and narcissistic–like your X and your abusive former BF. I don’t get why you don’t want a “family man.” You have kids! You love your kids! What would a good man look like? There are probably many men in their 40s and early 50s who would find you attractive as a dating partner if you aren’t looking for a narcissistic sparkly type.

          I spend my working life around young women who are not only beautiful, but 20-year old beautiful. I don’t compare myself to them. I see myself as their mento–showing them how it’s not all about looks, money, boyfriends. That women need to have a Self in order to have self-worth.

    • You’re absolutely right, Nicole! And you don’t have to run marathons to get he benefit. Simple exercise, on a consistent basis, has a profound effect on mind, body and spirit.

  • Wow! I was 27 when I met my ex — 28 years later, 3.5 years post-split and I’m reeling from the knowledge that he took advantage of me and abused me for at least 20 years. I gave up a career, single-handedly raised our daughter while he traveled for business and had affair after affair. He’s angry that he’s stuck supporting me for the next 13 years. Life has consequences.

    There is some good news in your situtation. You were married less than 10 years, so you will not be saddled with long-term spousal support. I didn’t hear you mention a child, so once you’re done with her, you can be done with her. No child support, no attempts at co-parenting, no parental allienation.

    You are 27 and now have valuable information about choosing a mate. Integrate it, learn from it, and live your life!

  • It sounds like you are on the right track, so I have no further comments for you. However I have an observation for chump nation to reflect on.

    The intimacy of our relationships and marriages makes us vulnerable to so many things, and it seems to me we need some creative lawmaking in this age of pornography and monetary fraud. The problem with hiring a lawyer and going to court for damages over posting private pictures and financial theft is the expense and legal documentation required, and the long process of time.

    I am not a prude, and I understand curiosity, but I think we need to do something as a society to prevent, or address these issues. The Me Too movement is causing some change, but we need to stop regarding porn and sexting, and even photos taken without our knowledge or permission as “harmless fun.” I personally know a woman whose children received copies of her “harmless fun” shots after the relationship lost its luster. Personally, if a man voluntarily sent me a picture of his junk, that would be the last contact he ever had from me. The pendulum of public acceptance has swung too far, I don’t want Victorian mores which require my ankles to be covered, but I don’t want any photos or videos published either. If they were taken without my knowledge (and that would be the case), I would be even more upset. Posting things on websites is entirely too easy, we need some new laws, and new policing techniques to keep this stuff from happening. Any ideas on how?

    I know ChumpLady was using humor about taking things into hand with a box cutter, but I personally find this solution to be understandable. How can you resist at least thinking about it? He may not be worth the time spent in jail, but the mental image seems very satisfying to me. Just a thought.

    • I so agree with you! For a younger generation it has become a norm to send naked pictures around. Why? Why?

      The law is catching up, in many countries they have laws against revenge porn. But no law can completely prevent us from facing our own stupidity (of taking pictures we don’t want to see inline).

    • THIS!!! New laws are in the process. It only just became criminal to do what my husband did to me. There is a step in this that we are involved with, which is changing the narrative. Some people in my close circle DID see it as harmless, and have no idea of the damage i am dealing with.

      The box cutter comment is not a jest, in my view. It’s a very natural reaction. When a person is raped, I can fully understand their instinct to want to hurt the person who raped them. I relate because I felt it. I’m not proud of how I reacted. BUT, I didn’t go full violence despite my extreme emotional state.

      Violence and revenge are not the answer. They do not solve anything.

      Thank you for taking this to a higher level of what do we do. Much love!

  • I like to go to the cruise websites and look at all the cruises, and pretend plan one even if I can’t go right now. I like to look at pictures in magazines on ideas how I’m going to make my house and yard look just the way I want them to. For that matter, I like looking at houses on one of the realtor websites. I like to make a meal he didn’t like, just for me.

  • What a great letter. It’s okay if it’s all unfamiliar, keep living it until it is. Unfamiliar is good because at least it’s not the shitty familiar that existed before.

    I’m in month 19 out. He’s got the final separation agreement from me signed. I’m waiting on his signature. Then, I get full possession of the house that I’ve started reno work on. Will file for divorce once I see how the money situation goes. Hopefully before the end of the year, which should now be straight-forward as all will be settled (will take about 4-6 months until that is done). Then, pursue the annulment with the Catholic Church (spiritual freedom from a man who clearly did not understand the meaning of mature, sacramental love).

    As for dating, here is my take on it…spent some time hanging out with an old boyfriend who was also chumped by his wife the year before my marriage derailed. We’ve been a good support system for each other, plus it helps to see that cute guy looks fantastic 18 years later all grown up and always saw you as the one that got away. But, at the end of the day, he still has a lot to settle in his life, and I realized I just didn’t want to sign on for anyone else’s problems in a personal way.

    I think that it’s an important factor to consider before we decide to jump into another relationship. Are we ready to champion someone else, and all that comes with them, especially children?

    There is something so amazing to learn how to just be alone, to be still, to be joyous in one’s own company. You can only really truly understand that happiness comes from within when you’ve spent enough time alone and achieved it on one’s own. Then, you have filled yourself up form within, validated yourself, assessed your great worth…in other words, healed. You’ve established an incredible community of family and friends who truly love you, you’ve gotten done those little projects you always meant to get to, read some books, spent LOADS of quality time with your kids as their childhood flies by, and learned to use some tools around the house.

    I didn’t lose the baggage of one man’s problems just to trade it in for another mess. I can see myself eventually jumping into the dating pool for the fun of it. Just to have some stories to tell about the crazy dates and the good ones too. Enjoying some good food and wine, conversation and, hopefully, being looked on with appreciation (and the opportunity to look on a fine man with some appreciation too). If a really good one comes my way, fantastic! If not, I will not despair. I am good enough, I am smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me.

    • I’m starting to feel the “gosh darn it people like me” part of this. Happily embracing single life and getting to know me. When I’m ready, I’ll date. Until then, it’s tie up this with the divorce first.

  • read a wonderful quote of Joshua Liebman from Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie. “We should learn not to grow impatient with the slow healing process of time. we should discipline ourselves to recognize that there are many steps to be taken along the highway leading from sorrow to renewed serenity. we should anticipate these stages in our emotional convalescence: unbearable pain, poignet grief, empty days, resistance to consolation, disinterestedness in life, gradually giving way to the new weaving of a pattern of action and the acceptance of the irresistible challenge of life.” I particularly like this description of the process of healing. I hope this gives you peace today. hugs

    • Oh thank you for sharing this quote. I saved it.
      I seem to be stuck of late again back in poignant grief, empty days, and disinterestedness in life. So this was timely reading for me.

  • Good job on coming this far. Keep it up and take your time.

    That said, if I were in your position, I would file the charges. It would give you a police report and evidence during the eventual proceedings…..from dividing assets to custody. And if those things dont go his way, it gives you more ammo to prove your case and get a restraining order if necessary. Could also help should a civil case be necessary.

    Protect yourself and your child first.

    Good luck

    • I can draw on it down the track if i choose. I’ve debated this a lot in my own head and I’m ok with not pressing charges at this point. Thank you for your care & kindness. Xxx

  • Chump Lady! Thank you. You totally nailed it for me. Defiance. Accepting I’m in slog mode, not expecting miracles of instant recovery, being ok with not yet feeling mighty & get on with finalising the divorce. I plan to reread and absorb deeper over time.

    I’m at the end of a tough work week, I’m tired. I often read your blog on the train to and from work. I was thrilled to see my words tonight and your response along with CN has made my week! Sooooo grateful! I’m grinning lol.

    Much love!! Always!

  • This guy sounds like a real sexual predator. Maybe you reach meh by stopping him from doing it again. Not all heroes wear capes, some just muster every ounce of strength they have and drag themselves to a police station to report a crime, no matter the outcome. Bravery and acts of goodness get you to meh. For sure.

  • 5 years ago I found out that my husband of 30 years had been unfaithful many times – he had gambled a lot of our money and regularly visited very expensive sex workers. He had affair/s with co workers. He is a very well respected Barrister. A leader in his field. He would describe himself as a ‘feminist’ (ha ha). I was shattered and so was my family. I had put his career ahead of mine during our marriage because I felt my role was to support him. It was not very satisfying and I sometimes resented that I had no career but I worked part-time as a teacher and felt my working life was coming to an end. I was a homemaker………. Fast forward to NOW

    5 years later

    One.Step.At.A.Time

    Moved interstate
    Bought, renovated and SOLD a house (profit YAY)
    Completed a Masters
    Qualified and registered as a Psychologist
    Opened my own practice -now booked out a month in advance
    Even started consulting – as a Senior Analyst (WTF???)
    Tripled my income
    Dated lots of interesting men (and a few duds)
    Enjoyed being alone … and also have been sad being alone
    Travelled
    Rebuilt my relationship with my Family, my children and myself

    I am now a single woman – by choice – and happy about it

    I found I was less interested in building a life with a man and more interested in building a life for me

    I just want to focus on me for a while

    Hang in there …..

    There is no easy way through this – but it will get better

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