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So Why the Hell Isn’t She Happy Now?

Hi Chump Lady,

So my wife had an affair and after being found out asked for a trial separation. She said she had been “struggling with her feelings for me”, that whilst I was a great dad and someone she admired, she had changed and we had “drifted apart”. Yadda Yadda Yadda. I told her to make it permanent since she evidently didn’t want to save our marriage. She at least had the humanity to agree.

So here’s the thing: she said, although it was hard to see me so hurt by her actions she couldn’t allow my reaction to “emotionally blackmail” her. Here was her logic:

  1. The fact she cheated must mean she wasn’t happy in the marriage (she couldn’t actually come up with anything I’d done wrong).
  2. If she wasn’t happy in the marriage, then she would only make the kids and I miserable and she’d just keep trying to cheat.
  3. Ergo, it was better we separated so she could at least be happy with her Twu Luv and I could be happy with someone else. (Not that she had much choice at that point, what with me saying “no more cake”).

Within a fortnight her schmoopie had left his wife too. True Love Rejoice! They could finally date each other properly!

So why is it, three months later, I find our Switzerland Friends are sending her pity presents? That they are concerned because Drifting Wife is Suffering So Much.

I never got pity presents. I never got cards saying, “You’ll get through it, Chump!”

I’m sorry, but didn’t someone say they wanted out because they were unhappy? And that getting out and being with their Twu Luv would take them straight up the road to Happysville? That’s the Perfectly Reasonable Argument, yeah? And, the kicker is, by all accounts they’re still all loved up with each other. Her Schmoopie’s chump tells me he can’t stop blathering on about her (she’s stuck living with him at the moment, sadly). I’m pretty sure crushing reality will emerge one day, but it hasn’t yet.

Am I being unreasonable to want to shout: “HOW DARE YOU BE MISERABLE!!”?

I mean, she *chose* this outcome. She nuked our family and that of her Twu Luv’s because they could not bear to be unhappy. And yet, not only is she *not* happy, she’s apparently *even more* unhappy.

My brain would hurt if it wasn’t so furious.

Yours,

Billy-No-Presents

Dear Billy,

Ah yes, the if-you-didn’t-want-to-go-to-Chicago-why’d-you-get-on-the-train? dilemma.

I must go to Chicago! Only in Chicago will all my dreams come true! I have purchased a one-way ticket to Chicago! I have boarded the train! Behold as I embark on an epic journey of self-discovery! Farewell, losers! (Throws glitter to the masses.)

(Trains stops in Chicago.)

CHICAGO?!

I know, it’s maddening. You’re a chump, so you assume people who board trains to Chicago want to go to Chicago. And that people who leave their marriages to pursue Greater Happiness were Unhappy and desired Happiness. But the goal was never Chicago — which is a real place, with sights and smells and subzero gusts off frozen lakes — it was impression management. The promise of Somewhere Different. Of easy change without hard work. Of how one looks on the train platform in a fedora. Dashing? Mysterious? A star in one’s own biopic? But then the train actually leaves and deposits them.

And suddenly the reality of Chicago isn’t at all as it appeared in the brochures. It’s cold there. It smells like a stockyard. And they kind of miss Loserville. Chicago doesn’t make hotdogs the same as Loserville. And the taxes were lower in Loserville…

Couldn’t they just ask themselves why they got on a train to Chicago? No. That’s too honest. Instead, they feel dissatisfaction through the lens of injustice. Were they unhappy in Loserville? I’m sure that was your fault. Well, there’s unhappiness sometimes in Chicago too. Heads must roll.

So they start looking at other train schedules and deny they ever really intended to go to Chicago. It just happened.

How they discuss The Chicago Decision really just depends on the audience — and what they need from that person. To love them?  To go away? To try harder to please them? To give them pretty presents?

Charm? OMG, I’m so fabulous to be living in Chicago! It’s been a journey of EPIC self-discovery and I bought a snow globe! Follow me on Instagram!

Rage? How DARE you judge me for going to Chicago! That bad man made me buy a ticket! I was kidnapped! Forced against my will to board that train!

Self-pity? I am so sad and alone. A little puddle of sadness on the shores of Lake Michigan. How did I get here? Won’t someone buy me a pierogie?

See how that works?

So why is it, three months later, I find our Switzerland Friends are sending her pity presents? That they are concerned because Drifting Wife is Suffering So Much.

The easy answer is because they’re fuckwits who don’t share your values. (Hey, public service announcement — people who cheat on their spouses and abandon their children do not deserve gift baskets!)

But also understand, you’re not the only one she mindfucks. Mindfuckery is her basic operating system. And of all the channels on mindfuck TV (rage, charm, self-pity), self-pity is the most powerful.

Most people, especially chumps, are disarmed by self-pity. It can be hard to distinguish distress (oh no! Someone’s in crisis! I must help!) from self-pity. (“I has a sadz.”) Self-pity is deflection from one’s own terrible choices. It’s not very deep as introspection goes, and its basic message is TAKE CARE OF ME! I CANNOT ADULT!

But as manipulation goes, it has hooks. The chump or Swiss friend or innocent bystander who swoops in can tell themselves they’re a Hero who has a hanky/can save the day/has money to loan/can fix this just-stop-crying!

Fact is, a lot of people don’t stand back and look at the big pictures through the lens of basic moral values. They wonder how’d they look in a cape.

I never got pity presents. I never got cards saying, “You’ll get through it, Chump!”

You know why, Billy? Because you’re STRONG. Because you’re not manipulative. Because you’re probably reacting to this adversity with private suffering and stiff-upper-lip-ishness. You’re DOING things, like caring for your children and I HOPE calling a divorce lawyer.

And where fuckwits see strength and competence, they think “Hmm, Billy can’t be suffering THAT much.” And they also think, thanks to your cheater’s narrative, “Billy is the Bad Man who made Cheater unhappy!”

Ergo, no presents for Billy.

So Billy, here’s your gift — Freedom. It’s monogrammed and everything.

Quit untangling her skein, if she’s happy or unhappy, or registering over at Sparkletwats R US. The woman just isn’t that deep. “Unhappiness” doesn’t make you lift wallets or cheat on your family — lousy character does.

You’re getting her out of your life. Yea! That freedom looks good on you. Wear it proudly.

This one ran previously. 

Ask Chump Lady

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  • “So why is it, three months later, I find our Switzerland Friends are sending her pity presents? That they are concerned because Drifting Wife is Suffering So Much.”

    Because she is moping the loss of sweet, sweet reliable CAKE. Oh, she doesn’t tell them that part. She mopes for them. She leaves out the fact that she just lost a reliable partner who she happily chumped until one day she was caught and tossed out.

    So, they buy the moping part.

    They may or may not know about the cheating. If they do know they are not Switzerland friends – they are FORMER friends. If they don’t know, they are not certain WTF is going on and don’t want to be seen kicking someone who says she is down – although it sure would be nice if one of them asked you WTF happened before sending the fruit basket. So they are downgraded to distant acquaintances and may be set adrift on the ice floe before too long. Or maybe they will come around, apologize for being stupid and gradually gain entry to one of the outer rings of intimacy.

    Got your attorney hired yet? If not, do so. Don’t forget to go through your financials with a fine-toothed comb.

    “Within a fortnight her schmoopie had left his wife too. True Love Rejoice! They could finally date each other properly!” plus “Her Schmoopie’s chump tells me he can’t stop blathering on about her (she’s stuck living with him at the moment, sadly).”

    How the hell does that work without Fellow Chump losing her hair and her sanity? Send her to this site. May she show up, read up, and toss the Fuckwit out on his ear to go live with your Fuckwit.
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    This one ran previously.

    By any chance, did Bill or the fellow chump ever update you? Join up? I have my fingers crossed.

  • And while you are at it, dump the Swiss friends. Those people Do Not Have Your Back.

    In fact ( ask me how I know ), those fence sitting numb nuts usually stab us in the back.

    Anyone who sends gift baskets to the cheater while still communicating with the Chump is living for the drama and is probably a cheater supporter or cheater themselves.

    Find a new group of people to surround yourself with.

    • Exactly Lucky ! Riding the fence is like front row seats to a rock concert to them . Imagine the money they save on cable TV , “hey look free entertainment ! Commercial free!” Sadly in those social circles there’s always something juicy going on to keep them glued to the virtual set. Sad sad sad.

    • Yes, second round of recovering from chumpdom is ditch all the moral reprobates and cowards who justify the cheating and feel oh-so-sorry for the cheater who is SUFFERING, I tell you, from shitty life choices. Trust me, I tried to stay in touch with a few Switzerland friends and the irritation trumps any benefit I got from the supposed friendship.

      • (( Hugs Tempest ))
        I am so sorry you have gone through this twice

        You are still mighty and amazing help to us newer kind of Chumps who read the archives

  • I too would love to hear from Billy.

    This -essentially- is what happened to me. I got all twisted up, trying to get any approval as the marriage broke down.

    She took the train to Iowa, but probably lowered the window, took a whiff and returned home. Now there’s a new guy.

    Part of me wonders if I’m ever brought up; “how’s Tall One doing?”, etc.. Most of me is relieved to be done and gone.

    I sometimes miss Switzerland friends, then remember their assholeness and move forward in my day.

    Sometimes I want life to hurry up and be all better, answers all revealed. Sometimes I’m ok moving slower.

    About 2-yrs divorced.
    About 3 (4?) yrs from last D-day.
    About 100,000,000 moments away from the shitstorm.
    All the closer to meh.

    • Hi everyone – Billy here! Quite a surprise to see this again (a pleasant one though – ChumpLady and ChumpNation gave some excellent advice). How are things? More settled. She’s still with Schmoopie but for a good twelve months or so refused to admit it to anyone. In fact, she’s still not admitting it to anyone – they just sneak about like teens smoking behind the bikesheds. Its only in the past month she’s told me she’s starting to introduce him to the kids. It hurts to hear them occasionally mention him, but on the plus side all youngest has told me (unbidden) is that he likes eating his bogies, so I… uh… guess that’s going well?

      I reached a certain level of “Meh”. Certainly five to midnight on Monday evening. Them being together doesn’t affect me. Is she happy? God only knows. She’s so good at faking a “polite” face I honestly no longer have a clue. I’ve not been able to dump the Switzerland friends entirely (my eldest is best friends with their’s so we keep socialising) and they tell me she’s been mainly lying her ass off about being single out of shame. What kind of relationship is that? One where you have to hide you’re even seeing each other to everyone but a select couple of confidantes and family because you feel ashamed about it? Switzerland friends are trying to persuade her to go public – so I guess this whole rigmarole must be causing her some stress – and, to that end, asked me to buy into a lie about them having, literally, just started dating should I ever be asked. When I asked “why the hell would I do that?” I got told “what do you hope to achieve by not doing so?” You just get so weary of this nonsense you end up learning to shake your head, silently mouth “F*** you”, vent to an understanding friend and then get on with more important stuff.

      Other people? They don’t care anymore. Seriously. They’re wrapped up in their own lives and I don’t blame them. Much as I’d love for them to be bringing the whole “community scandal” vibe and have her branded with a scarlet letter, it doesn’t happen. People want peace. They don’t want to take sides. Its none of their business and they don’t want to judge.

      So I feel I’m over her and the end of our marriage, in as much as now feel numb about it all. On the plus side, its brought me closer to my kids. I’m so much more involved with their lives than if I’d have stayed married. And that definitely brings me a lot of joy. Downsides? I’m cynical. I’m undoubtedly suffering depression. The main issue is thinking there’s nothing new to build. I feel incapable of finding someone new – its not just that my self-esteem is low, its also that the whole notion of love utterly confuses me now. I’ve fixed my picker and turned away a couple obvious narcs. But there doesn’t really seem to be anyone or anything to replace what I lost. It feels like losing an eye or leg. I mean, you can find ways to adjust and still live a productive life without them, but you’ll always be living with their absence. And I feel that about losing my marriage and the person who I though was my best friend. If she wasn’t… who is? I now who *isn’t* good for me. No longer have a clue who *is*. Plus, the whole notion of “romantic love” is tied up with the reason she cheated, so the moment I feel it I feel disgusted and try to purge it.

      Apologies, this ended up being a bit of a long one!

      • “I feel incapable of finding someone new – its not just that my self-esteem is low, its also that the whole notion of love utterly confuses me now. I’ve fixed my picker and turned away a couple obvious narcs. But there doesn’t really seem to be anyone or anything to replace what I lost. It feels like losing an eye or leg. I mean, you can find ways to adjust and still live a productive life without them, but you’ll always be living with their absence. And I feel that about losing my marriage and the person who I though was my best friend. If she wasn’t… who is? I now who *isn’t* good for me. No longer have a clue who *is*.”

        WORDD. THIS.

        Thanks, Billy, for writing it so well how it really is.

        My family got ripped up, so wastefully, for reasons that are incomprehensible or downright petty.
        He is now on SoulMate #4 (all overlapped, not that they know it) and they are official.

        One of my children said to him: during our childhood we never saw you showing affection to our mother but we have to see you all over her, can you cool it down. That hurt so bad, I could barely breathe.
        My disdain lasted for a long time, and he did the discard (tru wuv with OW) whilst still wanting me at home, silent and in the kitchen. So I really endured outright emotional abuse from around 2002 to try and keep my family together. It takes a long time to get over.

      • Billy,

        After having gone down this road I am going to say it was never about me learning to trust anyone else… I had to learn to trust myself. Trust myself that no matter what happened, no matter what other people said and did that night upset me, I knew I could trust myself to be ok. If I met a man that I was interested in, I would rely on my own intuition…I know what red flags look like, and if it’s not someone that has the same principles and values I do, I trust myself today to get out. It took me a long time to get to that place. I still have some trauma symptoms… I still have insomnia. I still struggle. But I too am closer to my kids and I have a great life and I got to a place where I just don’t care about him. I let go. And it was the only way to find my own peace.

        I agree with the others who say those friends aren’t your friends. Maybe acquaintances. I would quit talking to them about her and tell them not to bring her up. Yeah, they are feeling important in all this and just hurting you when they think they are trying to help. I had to eventually cut people like that out of my life. Maybe not completely but put them on acquaintance status. All the energy you spend thinking about her life should go to thinking about your life. What do you want for you. Just reaching out because I feel your pain; I still have my own.

      • Thanks for putting it so perfectly.

        2.5 years from dday, 1 year from divorce. Everything u said here is spot on for me.

        When people ask me if I am over it….him? Yes. Not waiting or interested in him coming back/apologizing/anything.

        It….as in the damage it has done to me as a person? Going with a solid no on that. How do you ever get over your best friend betraying you and denotating a nuclear weapon on you family and life? How do I look forward to my life 12 years from now when kiddo graduates high school and I get to start retiring and go mountain biking and hiking all over the US and Canada ….by myself?
        How do I get comfortable starting to age into middle age without a partner who will see the last 20 years of me when he looks at aging me? And I thought there was a tick tock when I was 33…rofl.

      • “I’m undoubtedly suffering depression.”

        And you have so many good reasons to be suffering from depression too. I am so sorry. It may be you are still attracting narcs and whackos because you are depressed. They smell blood and move in. Plus the kind of people you would enjoy hanging with and developing a relationship with don’t want to move in on someone who is still hurting.

        So getting the depression treated is good for you and your kids, plus it may (MAY – because there are no guarantees) make it easier for you and a GOOD person to get to know one another. Out from under the umbrella of depression.

        It really really sucks.

        I am so glad that you and your kids are doing better together than you were with the Fuckwit in the house.

  • Seriously . Straight out of the cheaters /manipulators handbook . My head swirls with the continually festering bullshit . Oh how they talked about me. All the “friends ” that came to me for help with getting jobs , finding places to live , financial advice and assistance , the midnight calls from police stations and emergency rooms , the help with moving, help with fixing houses, and so on. As if the marital infidelity wasn’t enough the cavalcade of fringe infidelities was like dog piling . I’m still pulling knives out of my back . She’s not happy because you aren’t unhappy . This twisted mentality is sadly common , it demands fidelity from anyone happening to be in the social circle , the one dimensional sheep that look to your ex as if she were the protagonist in a Bernard Shaw drama . Take this as your rebirth , a little bloody a little messy a little depressing a little scary, but in the end an awesome new creature emerges . View the lawyer you’ve chosen as the pediatrician for this new awesome being. As for the Swiss , they never deserved the title of friends .

      • Yes, that’s it exactly! So grateful for the collective wisdom of this group. Absolutely brilliant and invaluable. A huge “Thank you!” to everyone for sharing, and to our beloved founder, Chump Lady.

    • Thanks for this New York Nutbag. Mine is miserable, nothing nice is happening in his life, it’s so sad. That’s because I have dragged myself up from feeling suicidal 4 months ago, found work, issued divorce proceedings (he can’t say ‘divorce’), found a couple of great roles with more on the way, and, when we met, said I was grateful to him for doing what he did because my life is now so full and wonderful. The narcissist’s little face fell to the floor, he started backtracking on things he’s said, and he wants to meet ‘socially’. OW not quite so shiny now. But I am, and I’m shiny for me, and no one else. I’ve got my joy back! He’s sad because I didn’t crumble and I’m happy. Why would I want to spend my time with a miserable liar and cheat when there are other lovely people in the world?

  • Unfortunately, impression management and Switzerland friends are just the beginning. Once the divorce begins, their true characters emerge with the most unrelenting vile behavior. I believe this is done to provoke you to react and thus prove their image of you as the “crazy ex”. So divorcing you was not only deserved, it was their only course of action. Twu Wuv with Soul Mate Schmoopie must prevail!!!! NC is the best defense. Don’t unintentionally get sucked into their drama.

    I couldn’t understand why Dr. A**hat and Mrs. HoWorker continually and repeatedly made my life miserable, while they trotted off to a land filled with puppies and unicorns. I thought once he had left, he would be reasonable during the divorce. Well………..they take their miserable with them. Not only have you’ve exposed them, their bodies can’t function without cake. It isn’t their fault they have cracks in their veneer–it’s yours. You must pay for it all, as any relationship with a narcissist is purely transactional. I had a tab of 25+ years to be repaid, so inflicting financial and emotional anguish was a daily game for my Ex. I doubt he’ll ever understand that he’s the source of his unhappiness, but less than 2 years after the divorce, I no longer care about him at all.

    Get a good attorney and go NC. To the best of your ability, put your head down and ignore those around you who don’t fully support you. Be ready for additional betrayals by people who you thought were good people–they are not. You deserve more, even if it’s the peace and quiet of your couch with only you and yourself for company. It’s enough, because it does get better!!!

  • When I got my ticket to the Shit Show, I knew his Unhappy had everything to do with him and not me. In 1990, our therapist (requested by me as we both grew up in cuckoo nest alcoholic violent families and I wanted to learn so as not to repeat)
    told us “if you leave the relationship because of problems, any and all unresolved baggage goes with you into future relationships until you deal with it. You will be swapping deck chairs on the Titanic. All relationships have issues. The trick is to find a partner you can work through things with.” I thought I had. He’s a Nice Guy! He is In Recovery! We go to Therapy As Preventive Maintenance! We will be Relationship Winners!!

    This therapy thing went from 1990 right up to DDay 2017.

    I actually had married a kindred spirit of Bernie Madoff.

    I found out he’s been lying lying lying lying lying about who knows what for who knows how long. I have been totally Madoffed for half my life.

    Two and a half years later, going to his own therapist, he still lies. He was (is?) living with the fantasy racial demographic assailant and our daughter caught him on Tinder while using his phone. He can’t even tell the truth about putting his family on our business Costco membership.

    Don’t get me started about the effing phones.

    I am gratified to report that he is still not happy, as I predicted. Now it’s worse. He chose someone totally capable of resolving issues. Active alcoholic. She doesn’t speak English and was raised in a very culturally different country. I guess it will be fine as long as he is The Boss. He destroyed his relationship with our daughter (but according to him the problem is her anger, not what he did). I know what the road to Happyville looks like, and it if you are lying and cheating you are not on it. He remains completely oblivious to that very very very simple fact.

    I didn’t have a marriage; I had a MIRAGE and I now have an opportunity to get rid of MY baggage that contributed to ME choosing HIM. As for him, he has a new Family of Origin Issue sparring partner.
    He can’t communicate very well in English, and not at all in her language. But then again you don’t need to talk to a blow up doll.

    He wants a Yes Woman who will join him in pretending Everything Is Fine 24/7. That is why we are NOT compatible.

    I am taking this whole thing as a big fat backhanded compliment.

      • You sound stronger every time you post. Congratulations! It sounds like you are well on your way to Meh.

        • I am at least driving in the right direction…I can’t verify my sanity. I do have my fingers crossed.

    • This line belongs in the list of Great Chump Nation lines: I didn’t have a marriage; I had a MIRAGE.

      So many Chumps bemoan the loss of their marriage. Nope, they bemoan the loss of the mirage. It’s tempting to wish that we could stay in this blissful state, but the truth is that the first step toward living a genuine life is to know the reality of our situation.

      One of the hallmarks of Cheater personality is that they fundamentally deny the nature of their reality. They tell themselves they didn’t cheat, or it wasn’t their fault, or they were unhappy so it doesn’t count as cheating. They deny their fundamental selfishness, but then cycle through the channels (charm, rage, self-pity) which shows that It’s All About Them.

      Billy, I hope you touch base to update us on how things go.

      • I love this mirage concept! It’s so true for us chumps. We’re suffering from losing what we thought we had, not what we really had. After d day I actually went around my home and found all his sex fear that was virtually hidden in plain sight. I just never thought I had to look for it… a mirage indeed.

      • I love this mirage concept! It’s so true for us chumps. We’re suffering from losing what we thought we had, not what we really had. After d day I actually went around my home and found all his sex gear that was virtually hidden in plain sight. I just never thought I had to look for it… a mirage indeed.

  • On one side you have the cheater, trying to garner pity for you leaving her no choice other than to cheat…..guess what though? She is not really unhappy, she’s just playing the part of not being happy. This narrative suits her, she gains “sympathy” so she can look good and she won the AP! Life is really really good. As for the Switzerland friends. They’re jerks and the sympathy is fake, they just want to hear all the scandalous crap to feel better about their own pathetic lives. She is more forthcoming and therefore provides more entertainment. So basically your cheater wife is playing a part and so are the Switzerland friends. Let them have at it….move on from all of them.

  • I remember when Mr. Sparkles first moved out and yet every minute he wasn’t with the OW, he was coming by my house for dinner… joining me and our son for movie dates on the weekend… you know, the kind of family stuff that was apparently sooo boring he needed a fuckbuddy. I couldn’t understand it… why was he continuing to come home to me and our family if he wanted to leave us to be with his OW and the green pastures… (that apparently weren’t as green as he had hoped ‘cuz he cheated on her too).

    Trying to understand any of this is absolutely trying to “untangle the skein of fuckedupedness”… and here at Chump Nation we try not to spend our time doing that because we can use that time to focus on more important things like filing for divorce, going back to school, getting a job, being the sane parent… and going to the movies alone, happily.

    Switzerland friends are not YOUR friends… they are people who just enjoy the surface drama as much as your cheater. Surround yourself with people who have healthy boundaries and a clear understanding of right and wrong – they are out there and they are loyal!

    I’m sorry you and your family is going through this… but the best hope you have is to begin with changing the way you spend your time and stop giving another minute of it to her, the OM, and their cronies.

    You’ve got this! You were mighty enough to not pick me dance… just look at you GO!

  • It’s a no win situation. If you show your hurt you’re crazy and that’s why they cheated. If you act with pride you’re a cold fish and that’s why they cheated. It’s a hard pill to swallow and the best thing to do is dump all of them and find new friends.

  • Omg the pity party that mine is throwing for himself is super pathetic. I just want to scream in his face “you did this!” But I don’t. I’m an adult. And I’m tough as fuck. I needed this article today.

    • Hey Sodisturbed. I think you are right about not screaming in his face and we all know the fastest way to peace is NC. But you know what? If you are ever in the situation you can speak your peace of “you did this” in a normal tone without much emotion – it will still pack a wallop if he gets it and it won’t make you look crazy even if he doesn’t.
      I had the chance and I said something quite similiar. It left him speechless – which was no small feat. Good luck.
      Oh but come here and scream it out loud – we will listen and nod and send hugs.

      • Did the same. For the first and only time I had an opportunity to say anything, I said it calmly, smiling occasionally, and watched with pleasure as he realised I was gone. My closing line ‘no don’t touch me, I know where you’ve been’ as I turned around and walked away, without looking back. Magic!

  • I’ll read the comments later. What struck me is I took the train today to downtown Chicago. I got off the train in Chicago. I’m sitting in the divorce courtroom, waiting for my case to be called for an uncontested prove up. Cheater very momentarily to be ex is not here. Sigh.

    • This will be a sad day for you, but do yourself a HUGE favor and go buy yourself a nice piece of cake/pie/ice cream/pizza…, whatever it is that you love, and go celebrate. You are now fuckwit free!

    • Way to be mighty in Chicago, Serenity! I hope we can do another Chicagoland chump meetup sometime soon. (Are you in the western burbs, by chance?)

  • I wish i could relate but my ex is happier than he has ever been & why wouldn’t he be as he got everything he ever wanted .

    If i thought for a second he was a tiny bit unhappy that would make me happy but i know the world doesn’t work like that

    I hope you come back and give us an update Billy and i hope your life is amazing now

    • Just go on with your life and with making yourself happy. As long as you focus on him you’re not focusing on you — the most important person. Happiness is a choice. I don’t know how long you’ve been fuckwit free, but it takes a bit of time to ‘let it go’. In the meantime you have to force yourself to let it go and whenever he starts invading your thoughts, you have to force yourself to think of other things. After a while the practice won’t even be forced. But it’s imperative at the onset that you force yourself and divert your attention. The day will come that you won’t care if he’s happy or unhappy. The day will come when you are happy and what he does or doesn’t do won’t matter at all. As for me, as long as I sat brooding and waiting for Karma to happen to the dick-ex, I was losing my opportunities to enjoy life, friends, and family. So I forced myself to head out camping with cousins, girlfriends, and siblings. I forced myself to go to wine probes. And I got another lonely friend to go out and enjoy regular dinners with. Life went on and eventually I became happy. I’m 5+ years out from divorce after 30 years of marriage to a fuckwit and I am happy. Life is so wonderful without a fuckwit in it. NO MORE DRAMA!

      • Thank you Amazon

        I’m trying to just keep focused on me and in general I’m doing ok

        I’m almost 1 year out but thankfully no mind fucks just a complete runaway which in its own way is a special kind of mind fuck but thanks for the reminder 💚

    • He got everything he wanted so he seems happy…..for now…..someone with that kind of character will not find true happiness, or contentment for long. Runaway people NEVER do. That is a person who is not only a coward, but an absolute phony from what little I can glean from your comment. One year is way too early to say he is happy.

      I do know this though…..

      You reap what you sow….and the Karma bus does eventually arrive. But, it sucks. I know, I can hear it in my soon to be x husband’s voice….the excitement, the happiness.

      Most narcissists are superficial, glib, Blythe, and have zero clue. They have the attention span of a toddler, when have a shiny new toy to distract them. This will all be temporary for them. My feeling is you educate yourself on narcissism.

      I do not know your situation, or even want to pretend that I know how you feel. My heart really aches for you. I have known that place of despair, and I am sure it is not over….I will have more days. I am sure of it.

      Even if he never “gets his”, but I believe he will, but let us just pretend for arguments sake he never does….I have this sneaking suspicion that you will end up with someone that is far superior in every way, and you will be left wondering (and this may take a while) why you ever wasted a second of your time with him.

      I don’t ever reply to posters, but I just really felt I needed to share that….

    • Of course, he is pretending to be super happy. Image management. They’re used to pretending. I know it can mess with your head. They’ll never say a word about any troubles beneath the surface but people who cheat tend to have to prop up their relationships to keep the impression management going. I found out my ex became poly with his wife and he broke the poly contract, kicked his wife out and then found out the GF was lying to him. He drank so much the wife had to call 911 to help him. The drama follows them because it’s within them. But, it gets him off my back which is a good thing.

  • My ex was never content or happy. We moved constantly because he would campaign to move, saying he destested where we lived. I would eventually cave in to the constant moaning and we would sell and move. Only to start all over again. He got a old car, that worked for awhile. Then it was a motorcycle. Then it was an off road motorcycle. Each was the next big thing that was going to make him happy. Then it was an OW. After that he needed a cottage. He was never content for more than a few months.

    He had priests and ministers feeling sorry for him AFTER he cheated. No one can play the poor soul like he can.

  • Won’t someone buy me a pierogie? Thank you CL for this line – I really did laugh out loud at a time when I truly needed some joy in my day.

  • I assume with the spelling of “Billy” you are a guy? If so, I can’t help wonder if there isn’t some reverse sexism at play. I am a woman who was married to a woman – 11 years (together 3 before that). She didn’t leave me, she had casual encounters and then wanted to stay and have cake. That didn’t work for me, oddly enough. But it was still all a horrible shock on D-day and I fell apart. My friends have gone above and beyond. People have done whatever they can to show support – including my best friend pretty much moving in with me until I could get my shit together.

    The more mutual friends have thrown their support solidly behind me. They have expressed “concern” for her because her behavior has been so completely whacked. They will still exchange brief pleasantries if they run into her, but they are definitely keeping her at a distance, not inviting her out and are definitely not giving her gifts. I’m wondering if being a guy makes people think you are tougher and do not need gifts and or any other nurturing through this trauma. If that’s the case, I’m sorry. I think that sucks and its something that needs to change.

    • I supposed there could be some sexism sometimes. But, I remember my family rallying around the husband of their couple friends when his wife wanted a divorce. And sometimes it feels like cheaters get more sympathy in general from some people. Maybe because they’re practiced at self pity, charm and rage? I guess it depends on the kind of friends we’re dealing with. I don’t think my parents are very cheater-friendly so the non-cheater in their formerly coupled “couple friends” gets more support from them.

      Perhaps, it doesn’t help when we’re used to being strong and struggle to ask for what we need. I feel bad telling people I feel alone sometimes or that I could really use a hug. So, I don’t. Then, I feel sad. But, I’m not sure how I’d tell people without it sounding like I’m trying to manipulate them into having to shower me with kindness or hugs.

  • Kick that whore to the curb and fuck your Switzerland friends they are not your tribe. Ur gift is leaving a morally flawed person and rock’n freedom to live a cheater free life. U were way ahead of me when I found out. The injustice sucks but at least your on ur way to be free of assholes and people holding u back. Keep gaining that life. 💪🏻

  • Mine is acting so pitiful. The divorce was final in February this year. I had to hound him to get the special warranty deed signed to turn the house over to me. He finally got that done, so I said he could come over and get his artwork, “ this weekend”. He replied- I worked all day today, then all day Sunday, then I work all next week. I know you get home at 6 pm but I’m in bed by then. How about next weekend? I did not reply and have not replied. But was utter BS. I had so many responses I didn’t send. Like I thought you left me to have fun? And you’re in bed at 6 pm every night? Haha- boring old me is up until 10 or 11 pm doing things every night. And then I read between the lines and “in bed” every night at 6 Pm could be him in bed wirh schmoopie every night at 6 pm!!!!

    • More than likely cheater wants to dictate when he can pick up his stuff and he isn’t about to change his “schedule” to reasonably accommodate. Just a pathetic power play.

      • Very pathetic because I will never ever ever contact him again And he’s not getting his artwork. I’ve made multiple attempts for him to get it. But it’s still here. And- most likely he’s too drunk at 6 pm to even drive to pick up his stuff.

        • Meet him off site. Not in the evening=vulnerable.
          Any time he’s coming over have a friend there.
          My ex hovered me for one year, gross.
          Xo

    • Sell it, donate it or bin it if he hasn’t contacted you to pick it up within 6 weeks. Of course, check with your attorney first regarding the length of time. But really, you aren’t supposed to be saddled with his shit FOREVER. That is the magic of divorce!

  • OMG – You HAD to choose, of all allegories, a city called Chicago. In my language, it means “I shit on it”…

  • I’m still getting this five years later. XW and schmoopie are married, but he lives 1000 miles away. A couple weeks ago schmoopie sent his XW an email complaining that his life was “personally, professionally and financially unsustainable”, so they want all of us (me, my XW, schmoopie, and schmoopie’s XW) to move cross country so that they can live together. The message was delivered in a very friendly way (XW wants to “walk in this conversation in good faith”), which she promptly undermined by informing me that she’d retained a lawyer. I think she’s so used to deploying the stick that she’s forgotten how the carrot works.

    It’s kind of bizarre how XW complains about consequences that are so totally foreseeable. She accuses me of “not supporting her career”, as if this was still my job after she’d cheated on me, blown up two families, divorced me and married her affair partner. What everyone else considers consequences, they consider injustices.

    • What Xtra Super Sized Entitlement to think she can force et al. to move across the country for their shack up convenience. There really is only one appropriate reply to that – derisive laughter.

    • Wait – what? This does not compute!

      Both of the fuckwits, who divorced and then remarried (to one another) SERIOUSLY sent letters to their former Chumps wanting all four (? Are there kids to consider too?) of you to live in the same house/town/state so THEIR marriage can be more easily staged?

      Lives and careers to be sacrificed AFTER they divorced their Chumps – for their happiness?

      That is staggering. I hope you sent copies to your attorneys for side-splitting guffaws.

      Talk about crazy.

      • Yep. The two of them want both their exes and all 5 kids to move cross country for their new job(s) in CA.

        Probably this is just posturing, so that when they “only” ask for a dramatic rearrangement of custody that allows them stay where they are but fly back and forth less often, it seems reasonable by comparison. But it’s enough of a threat that we (the exes) had to drop thousands of dollars to re-up with our lawyers in preparation.

    • “What everyone else considers consequences, they consider injustices.”

      LOL and that right there is why some of these fuckwits are the way they are. Even scarier when they hold positions of power and there are many that do.

      Awesome point!

  • If the Switzerland friends want to throw gifts and sentiments down a black hole of nothingness, a black hole that will NEVER be filled, and if they want to sign up to be noticed by a manipulative egomaniac, well, then! Let them! And if they don’t get sick of her post haste, well? You can hope that they keep her occupied and that she will leave you the hell alone. Let others sign up for her bullshit.

    It does kinda suck when people conclude that the cheater is really just misunderstood at best, or just the sparkliest funnest person ever, at worst. It hurts like hell! But eventually…meh! People are complicated, including cheaters and their friends. If someone wants to embrace the cheater, meh. Long as YOU don’t have to, it’s all good. Really.

  • The thing is that most of those cheaters, if not all of them, will never be happy even when getting what they want because they always want more. It’s like the wiring in their brains are programmed to never be satisfied with anything. That used to make me pity them but now I don’t care. Still, it’s an observation I’ve made. There is ALWAYS an issue, ALWAYS a problem, ALWAYS something missing, because they have no strong sense of self, no real self-esteem. They’re empty, despicable people. It’s why they do what they do. And you can’t love empty people into being full. We tried our best as chumps but that’s not our jobs.

  • Squeaky wheel. You want cards and presents, squeak. You don’t want cards and presents, don’t squeak.

  • Exactly. For some reason they blame their “unhappiness” on us. My dumb ass cheater was still “unhappy” two years after I shut it down after D-day. You’re not happy? Well, it’s not because of me. Learn how to be responsible for your own happiness.

    On a side note, I was VERY unhappy in our relationship. After I dropped kicked him to the curb post-Dday I amazingly found happiness once again and have been happy ever since 😀

    Lose a cheater, gain a life!

  • Late to the game and I preface my post with an apology for exposing you all to pre-teen television.

    Reading CLs metaphor with Chicago it immediately brought this to mind…

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIZmg7v4PaE&w=560&h=315%5D

    Trena (character) thinks she is amazing and that she walks on water… she doesn’t understand why people are laughing.

    In the YouTube stream the next video is …

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnTU6QCs1Vo&w=560&h=315%5D

    I love the transformation and chump relatable lyrics.

    I’m throwing this one in just because Jade was my favorite character.

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlNzelycQp0&w=560&h=315%5D

    I hope you enjoyed the 90’s preteen tv throwback with a pre-super famous Ariana Grande.

    BTW, Katherine McPhee (Tori) is now married married to a four time divorcee, music producer David Foster. She is 35, he is 70. Yuck.

  • Do you know you cangetproof of infidelity?
    Do you know yoiu can get the peace of mind you deserve?

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