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Is All This Anger Normal?

Dear Chump Lady,

My husband walked in on Christmas Eve to break the news that he had fallen out of love with me and was leaving me for another woman.

I had spent the day wrapping gifts for his family and prepping food for Christmas dinner, while he was with the other woman planning their own magical Christmas.

He gave the whole “I love you but I’m just not IN love with you” speech, before dropping the bombshell that he had been planning on leaving me for the past 18 months but was waiting “for the right time”.

Now, a few months on, the initial pain has passed and to my surprise I’m not missing him in the slightest — he was lazy and cruel and now the blinkers have been removed I can see that my life has the potential to be much happier without him in it.

But I still feel incredibly angry — angry that he never told me he was unhappy or tried to work on our relationship, and instead threw it all away for a woman he had only been seeing for a few weeks. (But it’s true love and she is perfect and special, he says). Angry that I’m now stuck in the middle of a messy divorce and might lose my home. Angry that he has told lies about me to his family, friends and lawyer, claiming that I’m a total bitch and threw him out. Angry that he wasted precious years of my life — we had been planning on starting a family this year, he let me think this was what he wanted right up until the day he left. If he had been planning on leaving for 18 months, how could he have been so cruel as to lead me on like this? Now I find myself single again in my early 30s and I’m worried it will be too late for me.

He has blocked all forms of contact and we only talk via our lawyers, which thankfully prevents me doing what I want to do and hurling endless streams of abuse at him and the other woman, but leaves me feeling very frustrated. He hasn’t acknowledged any wrongdoing and before cutting me off, and he openly admitted he didn’t feel any guilt or shame.

Sometimes I feel so angry I can’t focus at work, I wake up feeling angry and I don’t know how to deal with the strength of my emotion. Is it normal to feel this way? How can I deal with this anger without resorting to Kill Bill style revenge scenarios?

Many thanks,

Goodbye Ginger

Dear GG,

Your anger is totally normal. I don’t even know the guy and I’d like to dangle him over a balcony for you. Let’s recap:

He dumped you on Christmas Eve — ludicrously pronouncing it “the right time.”

He cheated on you.

He’s assassinated your character — to that family you were wrapping presents for.

He wasted your precious time and fertility window, letting you invest further in him.

He’s left you with a huge legal mess.

He doesn’t feel one bit sorry.

Yeah, I’d be all Godzilla over his Tokyo too.

You know what’s really madness? The expectation that you wouldn’t be angry! Where does THAT come from?

(Ooh! Raising my hand. The Reconciliation Industrial Complex. Every conscious uncoupling article in every glossy celebrity magazine. Every supercilious mommy blogger simpering how she’s “friends” with her ex For The Children. A bazillion years of the patriarchy insisting that women smile as they eat shit sandwiches. While looking like ladies. And wearing lipstick. Lest they be burned on a pyre as a witches.)

Why are you angry? Because you’re SANE. It means you’re paying attention. It means you CARED.

Anger is a good sign. You’re in protection mode. You’re not going to be played. You’re full into Trusting That He Sucks, and turning a corner towards Meh soon.

Frankly, I’d much rather you be angry than directing that fury inwards into sadness. Or worse, be mopey and paralyzed, still loving the bastard. It’s SO much easier to help angry people than unicorns. He looked sideways at a self-help article I taped to his mirror. I think he still cares! Or depressed people. What’s the point? The OW is prettier than me. I think I’ll just weave flowers in my hair and lay down in this stream… 

Ugh. I prefer anger. Especially when channelled towards snark.

Anyway, GG, you won’t be angry forever. The Kill Bill revenge scenarios are finite too. It’s a stage you go through as you process the enormity of the transgressions. All the alarm bells are going off in your body as you get free. You’re still in this middle of the nightmare, so it’s going to suck for awhile. He’s still central, because you’re dividing property and he’s moved on with Perfect Schmoopie. The unfairness of it all will feel overwhelming at times. Okay, it will feel overwhelming A LOT of the time.

And you know what? You’ll come out on the other side okay anyway. You really will. Talk to me one to two years out from this crap, when you’ve got the foundations of that new life built. I promise that new life will be WAY more interesting than whatever Fuckface is up to. And if it isn’t? Get working on that new life! Stop looking backwards at Fuckface!

As you’ve realized, life is already improved without his lazy cruel ass. He will never not suck, and the injustice will never be acceptable — but it won’t consume your life. The pain fades. Your heart scars over and remains a working heart.

Maybe you’ll love a future partner and future children. Maybe you’ll love orphans. Or preservation societies and corgi puppies. I have no idea how your life is going to turn out, except for the BETTER because you lost a loser. We don’t get the lives we imagine, and that’s a good thing. God didn’t answer my reconciliation prayer, He sent me my husband. I didn’t get the farmhouse by the river with my precious garden — I got sent to Texas, a state the color of dead grass.

We don’t know where our hearts will take us. This is what I can tell you from my chump experience — my greatest gifts could never have been possible without my greatest losses. Without that suckfest this blog wouldn’t exist, this lovely tribe of CN wouldn’t exist. I wouldn’t have written a book. I wouldn’t have left the safe confines of my existence to meet some Texan in New Orleans.

There’s a lot I did NOT get — more children, my money, my deep investments in other lives I thought I was going to have.

And it’s okay. There’s nothing to be angry about any more, because it worked out. Doesn’t make any of it RIGHT, of course, but I’m stronger than a couple of fuckwits — and you are too.

This one ran previously. Stay safe everyone. 

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • As we’ve said before, wouldn’t it be nice if Ginger got back on here and let us know how she’s doing. That aside, I have never felt fury like I did at my ex. Fury at the loss of my joie de vivre, at the loss of my youth, at the loss of all that bloody money I had thrown into that never-ending black hole of need of his. And sad to say that fury (and hatred) lasted for quite some time, but as CL says, I’d rather that than sadness or the feeling of hopelessness. It allowed me to get on with my life and have an even better life starting in my 50s than I would ever have had if I was still married to him, becoming more bitter, twisted and broke by the minute! And now it’s EVEN better because I’m no longer mad and I don’t hate him anymore. Not sure how that worked but it did!

    • Right!!! Exhole left me December 21st, 2017 for my youngest brothers wife. Now fast forward two years and I am loving my new life. Started my own cleaning business, 22 clients on my own in 6 months and turning more down because I can’t keep up on my own, bought my own home and moved December 2st 2019, bought my own car on his birthday March 15th 2019. I am alone but not lonely. I am living life to the fullest, well not right now cause of the darn Corona Virus but once it’s over and safe to get back at it I will be hiking with my new friends, taking pictures and making so many wonderful memories and enjoying opportunities that never would have been possible for me if I was still with him. I don’t hate him, I don’t feel anything for him at this point in my life and I am thankful for that. I am 51 this Friday the 27th and am content with my life. Thanks to him I am able to do what I want for myself finally for the first time in my life.

      • Thanks to knowing what he was and taking care of your needs! Great job. And I strongly believe in taking pictures and creating new memories. It’s amazing when I look back and see reminders of what I created in his absence. Way to go!

      • The sense of what we have done BECAUSE they left is wonderful isn’t it. And happy birthday for Friday!

      • Congrats on your house! Doesn’t it feel great? And Happy Birthday! ????

    • I remember the angry stage. It was the worst. But also the best teacher. Got my straightened ou in the angry

    • The vision of me being a bitter frustrated old woman stuck forever polishing a turd and resenting ever fucking minute of it – was illustrated for me in bright living color by an older couple in the community. That recognition at a visceral level as what X and I’s relationship would look like in 30 years was the final impetus for me to get the F out. There was no way I was going to allow myself to turn into that woman, and I was already well on the way.

      • Sadly, even if there is no cheating, there are many couples who live like this aren’t there Skunkcabbage!

  • GG,

    I hope you found someone new. I see this ran previously but I was going to say there are just as many male chumps out there as female. Once we’re able to sort through the “trash” and find each other, life can and will, be so much better.

    • So true, BBM. I am still going through the slug-fest divorce. He filed for Divorce almost 2 years ago and despite “wanting it done ASAP” he has done nothing but delay. Other than the financial mess, I have pretty much recovered from his desertion. Our kids, unfortunately, still struggle. About 6 months ago I met a fabulous man who has been divorced for 4 years (his wife cheated and left him). I am happier than I have been in years. Even my kids are amazed at how often they see me smile and laugh now. Getting through the trash is a process but it can have most excellent results!

      • I’m going through the same torture, he left, has a mistress…sorry, GIRLFRIEND, told me from day one that he was done and done, 3 years later no divorce and he keeps the lovely lady a secret to the public. She probably is fuming to learn that after 3 years of “winning”, I made it clear to her that HE is delaying the divorce. But she still hangs in there because you know, she has such a prize. A man that left his wife and little girls for a howorker and still after years refuses to give her the divorce HE so wanted is a dream come true. The thing is everyone thinks I’m the horrible and vindictive ex that is trying to jeopardize their true love. And when I ask for help to end this madness I get zero compassion. Today I heard from my own mother:”Whatever he does in his private life with his girlfriend is none of your business anymore, focus on your own life!” I’m still trying to get the knife off of my back. My own mother. What part of I am trying but he is a fuckwit people still don’t understand?

    • Agreed, good post my best friend Rick was chumped by his ex wife a total, inconsiderate bitch!

      • Absolutely. In my case, CheaterX is a man, but there are plenty of men who get Chumped by their wives.

        With respect to the anger, it’s totally normal. I found myself wishing that CheaterX would die in a single car accident. He, of course, did not oblige. I don’t really care these days whether he lives or dies, save for the social security benefits. He outearned me throughout our relationship, and I am sure is still out earning me.

  • Anger. Righteous anger. It’s all legit. Feel it own it. Heck you might feel angry for years everytime you think of the crap. But as time goes on the anger subsides and you are left with a bit of disgust at the pathetic person they are and alot of relief to be rid of them. Also for some reason, they don’t change.

    Mine waited till I came back from study and went back to work to drop his shit. Mind you before I had returned from study he made a point of saying how excited he was and how much more involved he was going to be as a partner and parent as he realised how much I did.

    They are just immature, entitled, little people. As such don’t let them be the types of person by whom you measure your worth in this life. If you must, seek validation from people with good morals, good values and standard and compassion. Not from lying, cheating pièces of crap. Consider the source.

    • I had the same. Had just finished a back to work course after 15 years at home raising five children. He reasoned now I was getting a job we could afford two homes! Do he walked and then promptly got fired from his job and remained unemployed for 18 months. He too was lazy. And negative. And unpleasant. Life is better. Not the same I thought it would be or have the same people I thought thought I was important. But I have me, my house (now finally) my kids who he doesn’t really bother with, my own siblings and parents and friends. And he looks miserable poking me with nasty texts every so often. Don’t know if the grass is greener on the other side but life is cleaner and getting greener here

  • Just what I needed to reminded of today. This social isolation has been hard on us chumps who are alone! I also learned that my exhole germaphobe took smoochie on a cruise returning right before the shutdowns. I was filled with anger and disbelief…I battle the thoughts that they have a wonderful life blah blah blah…Ive come so far but I still get hit with a tidal wave of anger and sadness sometimes!! Warrior on CN. Stay safe!!!

    • So he took her on a (dodgy) cruise and hopefully now gets to spend lockdown for her! Where would you rather be? I know where I would!

    • Remember: He’s still a sparkly turd. She won a sparkly turd, cruise or not. Better days and people await you!

    • Melissa Flack—-

      I have also felt the abandonment the hardest cut, as they seem to walk away with it “all” and feel no pain. When I lamented to my therapist that Schmoopie had “won”, she literally screamed at me (this woman never has any emotion)–“She didn’t win, she got HIM.” She gets a man who lied, mentally abused and stole from the mother of his children–not a prize. Does she really think they’re soul mates and he’d never do that to her???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? What she doesn’t know, is that my Ex has been in contact with his first mistress & she comments on my daughter’s photos on his Instagram. You have no idea what is going on behind the circus tent, but trust he’s still the same lying f**kwit.

      Narcissists have black holes that are never filled. She is just the latest shiny toy he picked up from the clearance rack. Rest assured her tab is accumulating and eventually your ex will demand payment. Your journey now is to use the anger to help you move forward. Plan a cruise just for you–there are websites out there that have single cruises. My mom died & divorce hearing were November 2017 and my dad died, 25th wedding anniversary & divorce were May 2018. I used my anger and fear to go on a vacation to Cambodia/Vietnam by myself that Christmas. Easier said than done, but focus on YOU.

      CL is spot on–trust that they suck!!!!

  • I had been struggling with how angry I am and after following this site thought I should be closer to Meh.

    When Dr Narc makes a jab about how angry I am it stings….. but I have decided I need to keep angry to get out of this shitty, shitty, shit, shit situation I am in!!

    For me anger then divorce then peace!

    I fear hopelessness or compassion for him more than my anger. I’m hanging on to anger until the divorce is done ✅

    • Hanging onto anger until the divorce is done is self-protective. If your stbx is accusing you of anger it’s a ploy of his to try to manipulate you into a settlement that’s better for him.

      • Thanks Adelante – I’m really only half way to understanding and accepting the level of manipulation that has been happening xx

  • Two years out is a good marker; I feel like a totally different person.

    And I’m braver than I could imagine.
    I’m more appreciative of moments.
    I’m way happier.

    It does get better.

    • T1
      July is my 2 years past destruction cardinal mark.
      And yes you are spot on for the feeling better observation. As much as I didn’t want to believe the projected “2-5 year recovery window”, I can now see it’s validity as a nominal period.

  • Surprisingly it’s all too common to be left around the holidays, anniversaries and other major life events like buying a new, home, retiring , a death in the family or while battling a health problem.

    The Limited made his announcement after my mother’s passing, an adult child needing support while homeless and another facing a major trauma. It was the week of my anniversary (the last thanks to filing) that he wanted to buy a home, then move me into a studio where he said I could sleep after refusing to sign for a mortgage.

    Narcissists (covert and overt) keep shuffling the deck crazy making especially when you’re at the most vulnerable point in your life. Who wouldn’t be angry.

    It’s the crazy making that is meant to maim, paralyze and give them the advantage of use. Anger is GOOD. Let it guide you, not to be plan B, but to propel you forward in getting the BEST settlement while they are infatuated and in a fantasy mode. Lawyer up and gather all documents. Protect yourself, the cheating is new to you, not to the assholes.

  • Anger is much better than paralyzing depression. As someone who has always been uncomfortable with anger, my therapist help me see that anger can be a terrific ally that contains the energy you need to act. What to do about the anger? Here are two things my therapist suggested: I am a big bicycle rider so when I thought I would explode from unexpressed anger, she encouraged me to cycle as hard as I could yelling as loud as I could “F*ck you! F*ck you!” in rhythm with the pedals. I suggest you do this somewhere isolated! Amazing how cathartic and empowering this was.

    Also, it helped me to take a stick and beat the hell out of a stone wall. Yelling is optional. No innocent bystanders were hurt. The wall could take it. This is just what helped me. You will come up with techniques of your own. But harnessing the power of your anger is crucial! Expressing it in some external, harmless way will keep it from gnawing away at your insides.

    • Being angry (when there is good reason and justified) is very healthy. It should never be held in, recognize it and let it out. I know two women that never express anger and they are quite frankly a mental mess. One is passive aggressive, totally unreliable and drives people nuts. That I believe is her way of “getting back”. She was molested by her step father starting at the age of 3 or 4. It lasted till she was a pre-teen. She informed her mother when she was 21 years of age. The mother or her never confronted the step father. The mother stayed with him for another year and then divorced him. All very civil. His son went into a mental institution for a bit. I’m pretty sure he was molested as well. Again, never confronted the father. The other woman claims to have been molested by her older brother, hates him with a passion, but again has never confronted him or her parents. She labels everyone and I mean everyone a narcissist. Both have anger issues that have not been addressed

    • Screaming “F*ck you, f*ck you!” also works when you are trying to get the energy to stop crying, and force yourself out of the house, and stepping out of your comfort zone into a new activity. I learned I had two modes: either energized with rage or paralyzed with grief. I sometimes had to make myself enraged to be able to take care of myself.

      • Yeah, my treadmill play list was a very simple for a while – FUCK YOU – FUCK YOU – FUCK YOU. I found it amazing that you could play track that no matter what pace you were setting.

      • Kid Rock has a song called FOAD (Fuck off and die). I highly recommend it : )

  • I’ve been surprised how NOT angry I’ve been. I realized that it’s because I’ve been turning that pain inward on myself. I’m trying to embrace the anger and let it out. We have every right to be angry! Adultery and betrayal from your intimate partner is dehumanizing and degrading. A callousness and lack of regard that takes your breath away. Add the injustice of it all as they go on to their shiny new life while we’re stuck cleaning up their mess? Fuck yeah, I’m angry.

    • MC, I was many things at first (disgusted, ashamed, bewildered, devastated, etc.), but not angry. I had gotten really, REALLY good at burying my anger, while he was allowed to have a hair-trigger temper.

      The last couple of years, though, I have been allowing the anger out. He got a few glimpses of it prior to becoming my ex, though certainly not what he deserved.

      • I’ve also found it so difficult to express that anger! I recognise it but just can’t feel it!! 6 years on!! My counsellor has helped me to explore it but I am definitely still doing what I always did and burying it. I’m working on it; I find myself alone as the world goes through the horror of the Virus and I feel anger at him having left me now socially isolated until we get through this! It’s slow but I’m getting there!!

        • I’m alone too through all this, Sue T, so I get it.

          I find myself more angry now than I was before the corona virus mess. I wonder if this pandemic has made me take a closer look at my life and I’m now facing how isolated I am (I have no friends or family in the state I live in). My neighbors were poisoned against me because of the lies my ex told them. I am truly alone, and now I’m starting to consider where to go from here.

          • (((Sisu)))
            I just want to reach out with virtual hugs to you.
            I don’t really comment a lot, and I am behind in reading the posts, but I have read many of your’s in the past.
            You have a big, kind heart, and I never want you to feel alone.
            You will never be alone!

            Adding here, that I never felt anger at DDay time. I was so busy Pick Me Dancing, I was loving toward him, I was sympathetic and even told him that I agreed with him, he had to talk with the OW and figure it all out. I agreed with him when he said it was not fair to her.
            How could I not think of how unfair it was to me, pregnant with his child and mother to our precious young child.
            Was this some kind of flaw in me that I never once felt any anger, ( not until many years later when it really is a wasted emotion, for me anyway).
            I do get angry, inside, at the younger me, who never even thought of being angry at this horrific time of my life.
            Does anyone else ever feel this way?

            • Wow, Peacekeeper, thank you so much for your caring words. It really means a lot to me. Hugs to you too.

              Regarding anger, I started feeling anger in tiny amounts a few days after DDay, but like you, I was nice to my ex. I did start to distance myself from him in small ways. Big anger sauntered in a couple months down the road and was in full force a few months after that. I put it to good use and probably could’ve leapt tall buildings in a single bound. Damn, I didn’t think to try that at the time.

              I still feel anger now, a year and a half from DDay, but it’s not as red hot as it was. It’s more of an orangey yellow like a California poppy, and as such, doesn’t push me into productive outlets in order to release it. Instead, it bricks in my stomach waiting for me to regurgitate it and chew on it like cud so I can fully digest it. And when I do, I realize the new anger has to be orangey yellow because it forces me to look inward. My inner child is angry with the adult me for not protecting her from my abuser. I put up with a lot from him, but I’ve subsequently learned how to protect myself. I’m hoping in time my inner child will realize I can and will protect her going forward. In time, I’m sure my orangey yellow anger will turn into the soothing aquamarine of peace.

            • Peacekeeper and Sisu,
              I have been pretty much isolated for 4 months now( emptynester and moved back to remodel my house to sell). You would think I am used to this social isolation by now but the first month was the hardest, I cried everyday. I truly needed to know who I am not a wife and a mother to grown adults now. My anger didn’t come until a year after my divorce. When I say anger it was more like a fuel to get me moving and doing something of value in my life. I was the one who was too sweet, too caring and blissfully unaware of the reasons behind his multiple affairs for 20 urs. I literally froze, that was how I reacted to most things. Some people see me as salty now because I speak my mind but I actually feel liberated to express anything I want now without fear. My thoughts are, anger is the catalyst to get yourself moving and parent yourself. Kicking your own butt ,so to speak. It literally drove me to be the best version of myself and for myself. Xoxo sweet btw. So grateful that I am not alone in this isolation and it makes me realize what’s truly important. Love to you both!

              • Much love right back to you, my dear CN friend, sweetChumpgirl,
                I am so proud of you! You are not only sweet & “salty,” YOU are Mighty!


              • Well said, SweetChumpgirl. When we take the shitty experience and learn our lessons, life gets exponentially better because we get stronger and no longer allow people to use us as a door mat.

    • The day I found out about SchmooperFreak, my husband complained about how cold I was. I was a) fricking relieved I wasn’t insane and b) yes, cold, with anger. It was an icy, internal rage like I’d never experienced before. I was polite, matter of fact, and threw him straight out. And then refused to reply to phone calls, texts and emails. Upshot? After 11 days living in bliss with his ‘Perfect Soulmate’, he came crawling back. So, I suppose I ‘won’ the ‘Pick Me Dance’, except I never actually played it. Quite often, I wish I’d lost (although, in all fairness, I have to say I’m as sure as I can be of anything that he hasn’t cheated again. Too scared by the Schmooperpath).

      • I should probably add that, even before I called him to come home and discuss my SchmooperFreak discovery, I cancelled his Amex Black companion card. (Obviously, because I was such an angry bitch.)

  • Your husband is a complete fucking dick.

    Your anger is valid.

    If you want revenge of the godzilla kind or worse, those feelings would be valid, too. Acting on them is not, but don’t feel bad about wanting to inflict suffering on him mentally. It’s a stage that will pass until you get to meh.

    My ex wanted to label me bi-polar because I ripped him a new ass post D-DAY and all the times I got incensed when he was lying and gaslighting me up until the final D-Day. He knew he was lying and cheating on me all along, but he just blamed me for all of his shitty behavior. and was cruel. I spoke the truth about what a fucking dirtball and scumbag he was/is and how he is abusive to women — all the women he plays and keeps it a secret. I no longer give a shit what he say or who he says it to – I know who I am and what I am worth. He can label me whatever he wants – I don’t care. Reading CL validated what I already know: scumbags all play from the same book.

    I’m sorry this happened to you. Please know you are entitled to your feelings. There are ways to lessen the anger….and many on this blog will give you helpful tips.

    You are special.

  • The potent fury I felt was the most amazing power I’ve ever felt in my life. I decided early on that I either had to use it for my benefit or go crazy. My therapist told me it wouldn’t last and to consider it a gift from God to carry me through, so I decided I’d see it like that and boy did I ever benefit from that choice! First I became a distance runner to burn off the heat because I found that I could think more clearly about my next steps when I used up some of the fuel. This led to a complete transformation of my physical appearance and health over the course of about a year. That led to an open mindedness about a career change and a new found bravery to go after what I wanted. That led to a huge boost in how I thought about myself and my capabilities which led to my opening myself up for new friendships and opportunities. Those opportunities and friendships paved the path for an entirely new lifestyle filled with joy and hope and people who care. I look back now and see the gift of anger as one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given. When it left me, I felt cleansed and whole again. So my advice is USE it! Harness it for your good and for the good of those you love. It doesn’t have to be viewed as destructive or a feeling that is bad! No feelings are bad and no feelings are final.

    • You are a great example of how to use the positive power of anger. It definitely is a gift!

  • “Ugh. I prefer anger. Especially when channelled towards snark”

    ↑↑THIS!↑↑. ( ChumptyDumpty raises both hands. )
    Anger is motivation. It is power. It is productive. I’m 7 years out from divorce but still angry as hell. I’m completely no contact with a couple of exceptions involving our (grown) kids and some financials. I’m allbusiness then. He gets zero emotion from me. I save my zingers for appreciative audiences. Oh, how I’d love him to one day see the ‘self-esteem’ cartoon ChumpLady drew of him. ..”You’re Famous, Fucktard.” But, no.
    I hear the old comparison of anger to poison All.The.Time. But I disagree. It may be all-consuming at first – rightly so!! But over time it learns its place in a balanced life. You’ll find the right outlets, starting here at Chump Nation ????

  • I have Godzilla rage. I have a punching bag that I abuse. Nearly broke my hands a few times, I was that mad. I have resorted to medicines to help me sleep. (I’ve tried several different prescription ones.) I pay my therapist so I can literally scream and yell at him. I’m not kidding. I lose my shit weekly there. I pay to yell at the guy. It’s someone I’ve been seeing for years. So he knows why I’m so so angry. He’s accepted his fate, sort of. He asked if it’s helpful. I truly don’t know. The anger just doesn’t stop some days.

    I filed for divorce 4+ years ago. The divorce process is in the final arguments but not finished. We still spar in the custody (50/50) and child support arenas (currently no support but I was threatened to have to support his lazy ass.) My children think he’s a GOD. They can’t wait to go to his house. He wins the pick me dance every time.

    Every day it’s a new sharp pointy stick from STBX or his accomplices, his lawyer, or one of mine! I kid you not. I sometimes wonder whose team they’re on. I am paying you! You work for me! Start working like you work for me not him! Fuckwits, all of you. Then, they send the monthly bill. I got a screaming email when I dared to be concerned if they have vascular problems. Yeah, I did that to one of them. I saw the two page email response to my three sentences, and thought shit wonder how much that cost me. Literally, it was my first thought.

    My family has been less than supportive. I tried to ask for help. They’ve all been through a divorce already. I’m told what to do like a small child and then dismissed. So I’ve gone no contact with them. (It’s made the anger actually a little better. I think they were starting to make me crazier!) It was always “you have do XYZ now or the world will end! We know best because we’ve already been there.” So I believed them and did whatever they suggested. Lawyer looks at me and goes “why did you do that? I don’t need this.” I tell family. They say keep doing it anyway and get a new lawyer. Go look for a new one. Yes, I have tons of time for more things to do! GODZILLA!!!

  • Anger in the face of injustice done to you is normal. It is normal to be angry at being cheated on and lied to, it’s normal to be angry when someone decides the “right time” to abandon you is Christmas fucking Eve. Anger is NORMAL as a reaction to cruelty.

    Everyone here has gone through horrible experiences of injustice, cruelty, abuse, and topped off with a sprinkle of absolute absurdity that is Stupid Shit Cheaters Say. We ALL have the right to be angry.

    But the RIC, the aforementioned mommy blogs, airheaded celebrities (I’m looking at you Paltrow), and self-proclaimed relationship gurus (who are themselves cheaters) all blather on about how Chumps basically just need to eat shit and internalize how horrible WE are.

    -Work on bettering yourself to be More Attractive!
    -Focus on Yourself, you need to have something to offer!
    -Fix your side of the affair, you need to make the marriage hospitable for them!
    -You need to be understanding of THEIR emotions and what you did that drove them to this!
    -You should learn to Let Go and move on, why are you so stuck on this!

    Don’t cry, don’t yell, don’t get upset, don’t demand answers, don’t ask questions, don’t mention your needs, don’t speak, don’t react, don’t have any human emotions whatsoever lest you scare the Forest Creatures and look like a bitter and angry hag that deserved it.

    It’s always about how you screwed up, and you need to fix yourself, but there’s never enough “fixing” to be done with people who only ever care about themselves. And that includes cheaters, cheater apologists, aforementioned airheaded celebrities, and self-titled relationship gurus. The goal-post of good enough is always moving. You must meditate more, be more grateful, breathe more calmly, speak in dulcet tones, did you try yoga? Have you tried drinking water? Why can’t you just CHOOSE HAPPINESS?????

    None of that airy-fairy garbage ever helped me. It just made me internalize the idea that I was broken and messed up and that’s why I got cheated and lied to, because no one wants a broken woman.

    Then I met someone who told me that’s crap. He didn’t just tell me it’s crap, he said he gets angry at things that are wildly unfair, and gets angry when terrible people just get away with doing terrible things, and that’s an appropriate emotion for then that happens. He didn’t judge me, he didn’t tell me I need to not react, or let go, or choose any other emotion that the one I was actually feeling.

    And I finally gave myself permission to just BE ANGRY. And damn did it feel GOOD. It felt like a giant crate of internalized criticism just fell off my back and broke into pieces. I talked about it to my therapist and she basically told me yes, it is okay to get angry about your cheaters and abusers. Those guys SUCK.

    Never listen to someone whom, in the face of cruelty and abuse, tells you to not get angry. You can be. It’s allowed. And it can propel you to set boundaries, to stop putting up with bullshit, and speak up for yourself and your own human needs. It’s shockingly good for flushing out fake friends too.

    Oh nooo but it scares the Timid Forest Creatures! Good. Let them run.

  • Of course you are angry. You have reason to be angry! But know that when the anger burns off you will be so thankful that he did not waste any more of your life.

  • I too felt for the first time in my life all consuming white rage. I felt destructive and if he had been present when I felt that I’m not sure if I wouldn’t have physically harmed him. I’m not a violent person; I have never hurt another human being with physical violence. But honestly I felt at that moment, that I could have. It surprised and scared me at the same time but it was a huge release to be that angry. I did throw chairs off our deck and wanted to do more but that’s the most I could do which now in retrospect makes me laugh because that was really not much – not material as my lawyer said and they were my chairs. The anger did drive me to go to divorce quickly, to negotiate a settlement that was very much in my favor. and it drives me today to not regret what I did to finalize the divorce and just get myself free. so I am a big fan of anger. hugs to everybody.

    • Yes Thrive, anger can certainly be a positive. It also propelled me forward, gaining a settlement in 7 months, staying no contact and remembering that he sucks. Three years out I don’t need the anger as I have reached Meh. Still hate what he did but have gained a happy enough life.

  • My anger came and went, but now it’s like a steady flame that helps me stay no contact. After cheating for the first time with a coworker which didn’t last long because she was violent and more unstable than he bargained for but now I found out that when he moved back home with his toxic mommy to his hometown, he “reconnected” with an old high school sweetheart from 30 years ago. While we were still married!! While he was stalling the divorce and costing me thousands of dollars in extra legal fees, and while he maintained that I’m the love of his life and he still feels married to me-he admitted to living a double life –and then he said it was all because I didn’t like him to dance with other women when we took ballroom dance lessons.FIFTEEN years ago. Oh, and he’s like his mom and can love more than one person at a time and I shouldn’t be so morally rigid about monogamy. So it’s my problem, not his narcissism and lack of emotional connection. No contact is the only way to cleanse THAT virus. He’s the Covid-19 of humanoids.

  • Hi Ginger,
    I was 36 and 38 when I had my younger two children. Kids are still possible, Third Time’s A Charm and I are trying for more, but we can’t seem to stay awake long enough.

    Also, don’t rule out a sperm donor. Being a single mom is hard, I was one for seven years, but I did it. I was enough. So are you.

  • My partner of 20 years announced Monday, the 16th that she wanted out to be with the AP. Right as the world goes on lock down. We have a 15 year old daughter we will tell today. I found out about the affair in September 2019. I read CL, listened to book as well, lurked on this blog. I was angry and ready for us to start the hard work of separation then. I saw a lawyer, talked to my investments guy, was all revved up by anger…righteous anger…to end the relationship. But she said she still loved me and wanted to reconcile. I fell for it, and for the last six months we have been “reconciling” while she was continuing the affair, hoping to keep it all together until our daughter left for college in two years and she wouldn’t have to reveal her poor character to our daughter. But I guess the Covid19 got her spooked and wanting to be with her Smoochie. This last week has been hell as we try and decide on a timeline, on what we tell our daughter today. And the anger is back, it’s rage and I feel it all over. I can’t stop crying, so mad at myself for being double chumped. I know CL says we get through, but with my anxiety disorder, being 57, and now isolated in my home with my daughter and my lying, cheating, narcissistic partner…who goes to see her AP each day and spends the night away when our daughter stays every other weekend with her bio-dad…I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel like I did six months ago. And the anger doesn’t let me sleep. This is so hard and so unfair to my daughter that her mother would dump this shit storm on us right as the world is so uncertain.

    • Double, I feel for you. I just posted too. Going through this during the virus is more hell. 1 day at a time, 1 hr at a time? Take care…if it’s any comfort, you’re in good company.

    • DC
      Time to pick up where you left off.
      Put her shit in bags on the curb. Don’t let her back into your World. Soldier on and put on your war face.
      She’s made her decision, YOU make Yours.
      The light will reappear once you’ve cleared this underground curve and gets much Brighter.
      And Rage Healthy, Strategic and Mature Brother. You have my permission.

      • Double Chumped,

        I can’t even imagine having to go through this during this isolation/outbreak. An absolute nightmare! Marcus is right. If you can, get your wife out of the house as soon as you can and keep it that way. I’m seven months out from D-Day and the only thing that makes this any better (or help reach meh) is no contact and having her out of your life.

        This really makes me mad (topic of the day), not only when a spouse cheats and lies in their marriage, but then chooses to make the situation so much harder for their significant other. Just to be mean and hurtful. My heart goes out to you.

  • My Anger has reduced some what but i used it every day to get me divorced

    The thing that boils my blood with Anger is Why does it seem to always work out for the cheater ?

    I know I know i shouldn’t care and trust me i have done a lot of work on myself and with my therapist but its a constant loop of WTF !!

    My Ex has had a baby and been remarried all within a year – yet i have not been even asked out on a date ( not that i am ready to date but you know what i mean )

    What he just meets someone at his work and his life is all sorted , yet i am still trying to pick myself off the floor .

    It makes me so angry still even 1 year later .

    • karenb, my long response just poofed, so the condensed version is that my father just passed his 50th wedding anniversary with Mom’s former best friend, and even though they are financially wealthy, have loads of swank possessions, and live an outwardly-enviable life, they still are two despicable people who bicker constantly. I see them as they really interact with each other at home, and believe me, the facade of civility is much easier to witness than seeing the cranky, nasty, suspicious people that they really are.

      You will emerge better from this, karenb. And I’m willing to bet that right now there’s somebody wonderful out there just waiting for you. Best of luck.

    • @karenb – I’m 2 years out from Dday, still in the middle of this shit and I 100% get what you mean. I struggle with wishing that he was in misery vs. trying to surgically remove him from my thinking–I keep thinking WHY? Why does he get to blow everything up run away and I’m left cleaning up the mess while he tra la la’s into a new perfect world? And yeah maybe it isn’t perfect but I’ll never know; I’m making it my mission to never see or speak to him again and other than 3 texts last month regarding necessary business I’m succeeding with that at least. But the flip side is that all I have are his parting words and my assumptions that life is spectacular for him and isn’t for me and I’m not yet to the place where I don’t care.

      I’m not ready to date but it’d be fantastic to look into a big fat crystal ball and have it say “Yes, that is on the way in the future, the future that is so amazing that you’ll be able to look back and go Oh That is why this all happened!” But unfortunately no crystal balls have rolled up and declared that yet. Ugh.

    • Karen, what exactly do you think worked out for the cheater? Let me tell you that the only thing that was planned was the secret rendezvous to have sex. That’s not intimacy; it’s not love. She got pregnant I’m thinking to hook the prize.. isn’t that special? And then a wedding to legitimize ‘our love is real’. It sounds like a shit show, not authentic or to envy.

      It’s not what you think. In between changing shit diapers she’s doing lots and lots to convince him she’s worth giving up a life. It’s not sustainable (the acting) and it’s exhausting. There’s a massive difference in his fantasy and the new reality filled with duck faced selfies and baby poop. Not sexy being an errand boy.

      Be angry. But not because of an imagined life between to lying cheating asses. You have no idea.

    • Karen B,
      I feel for you. My last partner married his young work subordinate very soon after he abandoned me for the last time, 30 years after I met him. He and his new (second) wife have a very swank life (house on a hill, millions of dollars, and, I am guessing, are very happy together). 2.5 years later, I am still quite upset (envious, jealous, sad, lonely, scared, angry) and feel hopeless about life. I don’t care what happens to me–it doesn’t matter. I try to keep going for my kids, so that they will not become completely impoverished. My ex-husband has virtually no work for at least six months due to corona virus. Thank goodness for welfare. Maybe someday I’ll find a way to channel anger and other negative emotions into energy to do something great, as many chumps here have done. For years, these negative emotions have just made me tense, exhausted and depressed. I am open to ideas on how to get out of this multi-decade funk as nothing I have tried has worked. I hope that you have a beautiful, happy future. I am rooting for you!

    • The marriage and baby may seem like success and happiness for your ex but I can assure you that is not the case. You are projecting what would make you happy, a lovely marriage and children. For the disordered it’s just a phase and they will soon grow bored. Then we all know what happens next. You never want to be married to or procreate with a disordered person. The disordered can turn a beautiful thing into something so ugly and miserable.

      • So true, more perfect life than my ex had is impossible: Trophy wife with brains, beautiful children, adored and idolized by in-laws, friends, super successful, handsome and the list goes on. Now, he is 45 lbs overweight, we lost a ton of money, I adored him like a God and sincerely would not mind he died of coronavirus, actually, I would not even go to his funeral. Nothing makes sense when I looked at the new love of his life I literally laughed. It’s embarrassing. And for what? pure and utterly disordered!

  • Can anyone suggest a way to get to anger? 4 months now, and still mostly PAIN. Forced to put our home up for sale now during covid 19. Everything feels like an ongoing nightmare. I have to talk to him later to ask to delay the listing. He’s already said ‘he’s not prepared to do that’. When does sadness turn to power anger? If I walk a few times a week that’s it.
    Trying to put on brave face for my kids but failing at that. Our household has not had a great atmosphere since he changed overnight from Mr. wonderful to leaving us for married latest soulmate. Now dealing with the home…and future showings… while we are all homebound and kids have online exams. Everybody is so stressed out. I’m still depressed. How do I get angry/ mighty.

    • In the same boat, three months out. I’ve tried and tried to find anger, but I’m still stuck in the depression phase, no matter what ex-asshole has done to me. Being locked down has made this even worse–I’m missing having a partner to go through this crisis with, and it’s devastating that my husband is quarantined with schmoopie instead of me.

    • I don’t know exactly how to find it, but I am really angry FOR you right now. I picture him as the big school yard bully, who’s knocked you down now, he thinks he’s winning, when all the sudden you decide “NO MORE” and find all your inner badass strength to lunge forward and take him down and you make it known that this will never happen again”. YOU are MIGHTY!! Take your POWER BACK!
      You don’t ‘ask’ him to delay the listing, you TELL him. If he insists on the listing, fine, but there will be NO showings, while you are under guidance to self-isolate and protect your children. Inform the Real Estate Agent.
      Please DECIDE that you will determine how this home-school, home-readying, stay-at-home crisis plays out for you and your kids. Now’s your time to roar Momma!! Mom sets the tone, and if there is a silver lining, it can be the chance to really reconnect with your kids. Have picnics in the living room, bake a lot of cookies, play games. I don’t know the ages, but whatever is silly, goofy, fun, anti-stress. This Coronavirus is uncharted territory, but I do know that we will recall it for years/decades to come.
      Set Boundaries with the STBX to stay far away from the new life you’re building, with your kids, from this day forward.
      To answer your question, I found my anger by kicking the dryer with my bare foot. It resonated, so I did it again… and then a couple dozen more times. There were no bruises or dents, but boy was it helpful 😉

    • Read the archives especially around trust that they suck! Also be kind and patient with yourself. Also see some of the friday challenges about self care. Depression and anger are all understandable stages of processing something so tough a d unfair. Journalling and reading CL helped heaps. When I progressed from sad to the anger stage a few unsent letters helped snark it out and keep No contact. Now a few years out I mainly make New life focused lists and gratitude reflections and often Im too busy keeping in contact with friends hugs to you life gets better. And stay safe everyone. Like many others We are in lockdown.

    • I suspect the problem is that you’re still treating him like a partner, like he has any say in your life. Why are you asking him for permission? TELL him you’re delaying the listing. You live there, right? You’re the one taking the health risk by having a bunch of people tromp through your house, not him. Fuck him. He gets zero say about anything that affects you.
      You need to internalize the rotten person he truly is and that he is no longer your partner. Realize that he is not your equal. He is inferior to you and his opinions and feelings mean nothing. Then perhaps you’ll find that anger, but even better, you might find the cold contempt that scumbags like him deserve.

    • Read a few books if you can find the time.
      Chump Lady’s book is a good start. Another is Why does he do that? By Lundy Bancroft.

  • You are all giving me so much hope. I’m three months out of three years (known about it for two years and fell into RIC hard) and I am so angry I’m afraid of myself. I want to not care!!!! Divorce finalization is about a year away.

    • Oh Suzy! I am so angry I scare myself. I’ve been so angry my whole body trembled in rage. I found going to the gym and exhausting myself was an antidote to my homicidal urges. I lifted weights until I couldn’t. I got on the elliptical until I rained sweat and tears. I’ve lost four pant sizes. I had the mind fuck of seeing myself in the mirror and not recognizing myself.

      My anger, the rage has propelled me to being a new me. Old me would have rolled over and died to please that fuckwit. New me straps on her bitch boots and stand up and fights. I am my very own Mama Bear. Mess with me and I will eat you. Let that frightening anger lead you right down the road to Meh.

      Chumps, of course we are angry! Embrace that and use that powerful emotion for good! Use that fury to leave those whores in the dust of your awesomeness!!!

  • Righteous anger; check, have that. I doubt that I will ever be OK with what my Ex-Wife did to myself and our kids, but it drove me to fight for a settlement that meant that I could look after our children and saw them live with me.

    This doesn’t sound very “Meh” but what is better is knowing that we don’t have to be locked down with her; the youngest and I are doing great and the elder two (now young adults) are safe.

    She and her AP are welcome to each other!

  • So angry sometime especially when he continues to make bad decisions when with kids. Classic. “Your not the boss of me”

  • Thank you fellow chumps for responding to my I hope of getting off the pain track ASAP and on the anger track. The only reason XH has a say in listing the house is because I told him to move out right after I lost the short pick me dance (that was just for his amusement I guess he had already ‘made a decision’).
    He took an apt, but is still paying much of the mortgage & most of the expenses (for 8 mths -stated in our settlement). He is (was) stepdad to my kids. The fact that he had always been such a “great“ man is part of the pain prb.

    Then the virus hit and everything has changed. The kids and I were planning on moving to a place I had been renting out, but now I’m not even sure if the renters will be able to find a place to move to. Where I live all nonessential services have been shut down.
    Everything is a bunch of unknowns except for the fact that I thought I was in a wonderful honest relationship and he decided sparkly howorker was the new ticket to his happiness.

  • It seems common that cheaters like to drop the napalm bomb on Christmas Eve.

    I’m all for Kill Bill revenge. When Covid breaks down society into pure lawlessness we can all break out our Arya Stark Game of Thrones kill lists and go hunting for cheaters and their partners……good times ahead!

  • Anger, sadness and trauma are all normal. Human relationships are built on trust. A great book that explained this and why the RIC is unethical is
    CHEATING in a nutshell- what infidelity does to the victim by Wayne and Tamara Mitchell.

    • I ordered that book. Look forward to read.
      So lot of anger to ????!

  • Just to mention – depression is internalised anger. Better angry than depressed.

    • Persephone,
      You say that depression is internalised anger. Are you referring to just depression brought on by the betrayal of a spouse? I and several people in my family felt depressed (not ‘just’ grief) over some young relatives in the last few years. I don’t think that this depression is ‘anger turned inward.’ It feels like great sadness with physical and cognitive symptoms.

  • I too what to know The husband or wife , they have the affair , they trash the marriage , And they leave go off with the other person leaving u the one that didn’t do anything to cause this But we are left with nothing , We have to pick up the pieces, try and move on with our life He is the one that cheated , but he ends up with the girl a new life , as we struggle to go on

  • I’m so angry. I can’t stop thinking about all of it. I don’t know what to do. 8 years dating, my kids loved him, & his kid loved me.
    5 months ago everything came crashing down when his “other woman” messaged me. He told her I had a crush on him & that’s it. For the last year they have been dating. The other woman was horrified & we talked & figured out all the lies & she broke up with him.
    I was finally able to see the 8 years with my new lenses of emotional abuse, psychological abuse, manipulations, lies and there were 6 other women during our 8 years that he cheated with.
    I can’t get past an hour, every freaking hour I am overwhelmed with feeling the trauma & reliving 8 years of memories with my new trauma lenses. I’m exhausted.
    I just found out that his other woman decided to give him another chance and they are dating again.
    I’m so angry that he gets to walk away & go be in a relationship while I get to wade through my trauma.
    I keep having feelings of wanting to make him feel upset by telling him I’m going to tell authorities he abuses women (he is a social worker & works with mostly women & women clients. 1 of his attempts at cheating was with a client & he got fired). I want to put together a list of all the money he owes me for the last year he was cheating on me.

    Deep sigh…I’m so angry & can’t find a way to reframe all of this so I’m not feeling vengeful & angry.

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