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“I Need to Forgive the OW” WTF?

forgivenesstrollDear Chump Lady,

My divorce was final just 3 months ago. I went back to using my maiden name. I have been living with family and I expect to be living here awhile. Meanwhile, cheater ex and the OW live together. Life is going on. I am moving on as much as I can from D-Day.

I was out with my sister, her husband, and another couple the other night for dinner. (Editor’s note: This letter is pre-COVID. A rerun.)

I am the 5th wheel. My 8-year-old son calls me in the middle of dinner and I answer. He is with his father for the weekend. You bet I’m answering. He is telling me about his weekend. OW bought him Beats earbuds. And they made rock candy!!! Can WE make candy at home?? I love that he called me. It’s the reason I bought the phone in the first place. I was doing what the Sane Parent does. I listened and showed interest in what he was doing.

After I hung up, my sister said she was really impressed with how I handled that so well. I was happy to receive the praise and told her that it’s hard when it comes to the OW. I have been completely No Contact (she blocked me when I found out who she was) and as much as I love my son, I don’t want to making f*%$ing rock candy. But, I am gracious with him. HE is trying to navigate his new world. I said that I was just happy that Cheater Ex and OW seem to treat my son well.

After hearing this, the married friend (woman) across from me said something along the lines of “and you need to forgive her.” I had to ask her to repeat herself. And she actually said it again. I furrowed my brow, leaned in and said, “Jane (not her real name), I have to forgive myself for picking the Cheater in the first place. And, SHE knew what she was doing when she started a relationship with a man who had a wife and child.”

My anger came quick and unapologetically. My blood pressure soared and I feared I had upset others at the table so I apologized for snapping at her. I mean, the tension was tangible. My sister had to stop her from saying anything else. (My sister and brother-in-law were on my side. They were as angry as I was that she would even broach the subject. During dinner. In a public place. But I didn’t realize it until we got home.)

Jane and I are friends. We both actively seek relationship with God. We both know that we have been given grace and blessings that only God can give. And I understand that there is a grain of truth to what she said. But how dare she? It’s this kind of stuff that sets me back on my road to Meh. It makes me feel alone to navigate my experience, my trauma, and my healing in a world of smug, married people. Until you’ve walked in my shoes, you don’t get a say. And you certainly don’t know the timetable for healing. It’s different for everyone. I dare you to take a moment to just PRETEND your spouse did what mine did. I bet you can’t even handle that, Lady.

So what would you have done? Other than posting on social media as I have done before, how do WE, the Faithful Ones, best handle these people? Because, frankly, I wish to be direct and firm. And angry. Is that anger considered “righteous anger”?

conniered…and pissed.

Dear Conniered,

What would I have done? Tracy probably would’ve sat there gobsmacked at Jane’s smug idiocy and fumbled for a rejoinder. Chump Lady, however, would’ve let loose both barrels. (Consequently, Chump Lady doesn’t get invited to too many dinner parties.)

So, Jane, who appointed you Jesus? Nice of you to sit there smug, enjoying the incandescent glow of your coupledom, and tell this recent divorcee how she’s doing Rebuilding Her Life All Wrong.

Forgive the OW? A person who thinks she is perfectly splendid and did nothing wrong? And who doesn’t want my forgiveness?

Yeah, Jane. I’ll order up some instant magnanimity to go with my shit sandwich entree. So, how long have you been cheating on your husband?

How dare I make assumptions about your personal life? How dare you make assumptions about mine. The sort of person who scolds chumps and demands unilateral forgiveness, I suspect as cheaters themselves.

Excuse me, Is that a syphilitic boil on your neck? You should have that looked at.

Then Chump Lady would then get up and excuse herself from Jane’s company.

I know, Conniered. We never think of these things when broadsided. I think you handled it quite well. You naturally got upset. If anyone should’ve apologized in that instance, it’s Jane not you. She’s the one who gave offense! Even if she was the most misguided of Forgiveness Trolls, she should care that she hurt you. I’m not reading where she was tripping all over herself to apologize.

Oh that’s right. We can’t apologize to the Bitter People.

Look, forgiveness is nobody’s business but YOURS. Next time someone asks impertinent questions about your forgiveness status, do what my Methodist minister father does when people proselytize at his door — he asks about their sex lives.

Good luck.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Chump lady at her best.
    Why should you forgive the ow, mine tried to make my life a misery. She gives fuckwits a new meaning. She told my ex he was excellent in bed, that made me laugh.

    • Maybe her standards are low.

      I’m at the point where I feel bad for my ex’s whore. Apparently he’s the best she can do…..a guy who’s 15 years older, can’t get it up, wears a shitty black toupee (at 65), doesn’t have that much money, and is as phony as they come. If it isn’t sports or the weather it’s off limits.

      She can’t do any better then that, but I can and I have.

    • I LOVE CL’s response! It must’ve been hard not to say that’s great son but we don’t need to have pure sugar to rot our teeth and give us childhood diabetes For fun, thanks ow…
      struggling today because my mothers advice is forgive him when you’re ready. We really love your husband. I know you do too (I do mom but damn)
      I guess she’s trying to help in saying everyone makes mistakes and maybe he’s learned from this
      She does on to say I know he loves you and you’re hurt. Give it some time.
      I love my mother but I feel like I’m choking now. Ever since she texted me that yesterday I can’t move
      You don’t have to forgive that ow. Ever. You don’t have to even think about her. She’s a stranger.
      Thank them for allowing you the fresh start.
      It’s the place I hope to end up

      • OH thats why I pruned the Foo tree. The dumb things that they say are extremely rude and hurtful at times. I’m so sorry.

      • Man my Mom does that shit. And I get it, but I hate it. We were together twenty-ish years, married for 13. The last few years I’m he repeatedly cheated on me and then left me for a howorker 15 years younger. No kids even! And I still can’t bitch about him to her without her acting all wistful about him or taking up for him in some small way.

        Then again…I was the product of a 10 year affair. My Dad’s first wife finally divorced him and he married my Mom when I was 12, then they made each other’s lives hell. So I should consider the source. Still hurts though.

      • I’m sorry, Shann. That’s an upsetting thing to hear from your mom. And, you know this but it doesn’t hurt to read it, too: Just because you love someone, doesn’t mean he has the right to abuse you. Someone abuses you? You leave. And no, you don’t have to forgive him for the abuse, either.

      • I can so relate.
        So my Mom said to me after I spent some quality time sharing about the pending divorce and the things I have been through, the last thing as I was getting ready to leave from one of my long travel trips to visit her after I had just kissed her goodbye:
        ‘Will you tell “sad sausage” that I love him.’
        Stunned, I gathered myself and I stood up tall and I looked at my dear mom and I said “mom you can tell him yourself.”
        And she got the message loud and clear.
        I reclaimed a part of myself that night.

      • Aw, Shann,
        I’m so sorry your mother said those things. They just don’t get it, do they? My own mother…who was cheated on by my cheater father…still romanticized my skeevy ex after his first round of affairs. My sister threw in my face an old relationship I had been through years before when I told her. Both if them…it felt like they were siding with that asshole!
        This treatment from MY OWN family, as I see it now, was part of why I picked and settled for and reconciled with that fuckwit in the first place. They treated me like I deserved it, so why shouldn’t I agree? My sister went on to cheat on her husband. I stayed w my ex for 30 years until Dday #3, 3 years ago when Chump Lady strengthened my spine to kick him out.

        Still, this past weekend, ex-idiot invited our kids (S24, D18, Dil & grandbaby 9 mos) to a cookout to meet his ….new fiancée! Yes, grilled meat & “Here, hug this stranger amid a pandemic.” Good god! When I told my mom, she said, “Well, maybe he’s old enough he’s outgrown ‘all that.’ ” Wtf??? He was cheating into his 60s just 3 years ago, why would he stop now? I’m just grateful he has another hypotenuse/wife appliance candudate. Mom? I give up on her, too. She doesn’t get it. He’s endangering my kuds and grandbaby. Ugh! The remorseless centrality & entitlement!

        Still picker-fixing up in here.
        Forgiveness? I’ll let God sort that out.

  • I’ll have to think of a different go to comment. I don’t want to ask about their sex lives. Some people will tell you. I won’t be able to unhear that. Shudder. Perhaps a physics question?

      • My dad’s point is he considers personal matters of his faith personal. So if a stranger asks do you know Jesus Christ as your personal lord and savior, are you born again? They get a question in return about their sex lives. I’ll match your impertinent question with my impertinent question.

        • OH NO I completely understand. It’s just TMI. Some people will tell you! Eeeeeeek. I’ll stick to string theory. It’ll hit the reset button. As in say what the fuck? Some people are as dumb as a box of rocks. Bless their hearts.

          • Yes. The old southern “fuck off” code words. “Well, bless your heart!” Perfect for any socially awkward situation.

            • I love that idea, works in any culture. I will definitely be saying “well, bless your heart” followed by “ if you actually think that’s your business”. Said very calmly so no one can roll out the ‘she’s bitter’ excuse.

            • Oh lol…..yes! “Bless your heart…Daaahlin’…. Ain’t you just the sweetest little thiiiing.” said in a very slow southern drawl. Translation – what you just did or said is completely idiotic and you are a complete and utter idiot who should stfu now.

              My other personal southern favorite is “thaaaat’s niiiiice” = fck you.

            • The trouble is…, I’m not Southern and so it never enters my head to say, “Well bless your heart.” I will need to practice so that it comes naturally!

              • Don’t worry. I only cracked the southern code a few years ago. Darn yankee girl figured it out when the words didn’t match up to the situation. So I asked the southern girl and she confirmed it. Oooh. Me so naive. 🤦‍♀️🙄

        • Ah, yes, my versions of this are to ask for bank account and credit card numbers, home address and alarm code, and/or social media passwords. 😁

        • Ah, that opens the field, so, how much money do you make? Who are you voting for in the next election? Are you seeing a therapist?

        • I was raised Catholic-but haven’t been practicing for years. Whenever I see my very religious Aunt during Lent, she always asks me, “What did you give up for Lent?”

          Every year I always answer, “Church. And it’s been working out pretty well for me for the past 20 plus years.”

        • I live that your dad does this because both are EQUALLY uncomfortable! And PRIVATE,Yes❤️ Smart man

        • This made me laugh. My mother also had an interesting way of greeting missionaries at the door. With a beer in one hand, and a cigarette in the other. Even if it was 9 a.m.

      • In the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics is there an ow who’s not a cheap skank?

        There must be a material non zero probability for this to be likely.

        Ha ha…..physics might be my background.

            • At this time it going to be a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. I know wrong day, but my phone kept balking the nerd reply. 🤦‍♀️My preferred beverage lately is H2O. I’m very lame.

        • That’s not necessarily a benign question. I knew all these really condescending Russian grad students who wanted to be string theorists. They would make snide comments in Russian about everyone else, not realizing that my Croatian friend could understand every word.

          Plus string theory has never predicted anything that is likely to be measurable within the lifespan of homo sapiens, but just because it has an evocative name everyone thinks it’s cutting edge, and …

          Well, anyway, you can see it’s a pet peeve of mine.

          • Hey, Involuntary Georgian!
            Great to see you here, friend!
            Screw the string theorists & all the sneering condescension.
            😊😷🤣

          • I’m with you Involuntary Georgian re String Theory. In my earlier reply to your comment, which didn’t get get posted I said that string theory is Not Even Wrong and I left a link to the Amazon pagefor Woit’s book–which might be against the rules (?) So I’m posting this to see if it shows up. I’m going to be terribly embarrassed if all three comments suddenly show up all at once.

  • I too am a Christian and understand the concept of forgiveness. It’s an ongoing process and doesn’t happen all at once. It’s not a make believe feeling that everything is ok, it’s letting go of the anger in our case, it’s giving it to God. It’s basically getting to Meh(seems like I’ve heard that before somewhere). People who haven’t been through the emotion of it spout forgiveness like it just happens. People are clueless when it comes to the emotions of betrayal unless they’ve been through it so it’s super easy to spout forgiveness. I can totally empathize with what you’re going through.

    • In the Bible there are two criteria when Jesus forgives: 1) the sinner is ignorant of his or her sin, 2) the sinner regrets his or her sin and wants forgiveness. When these aren’t present Jesus doesn’t pronounce forgiveness, but just sends them on their way with an admonishment to stop sinning.

      Conniered’s ex and his ho aren’t repenting or regretting what they did. They’re delighting in it. What, exactly, is she supposed to forgive? Is she supposed to be more holy than Jesus himself?

      • I agree.
        My understanding of Christian forgiveness is that the sinner should acknowledge the sin and be truly sorry. Then they should ask forgiveness of God, apologise to the person they wronged and try and make amends.
        As far as I am concerned the OW in my sitch isn’t sorry (as far as I know) and doesn’t meet the other criteria. So I am not obliged to forgive her.

    • Have these people even READ Luke 17?

      “If your brother or sister sins against you, REBUKE THEM,

      And IF THEY REPENT forgive them,”

      No obligation to forgive without repentance. Permission (obligation!) to rebuke them.

      Sheesh!

      • Well done!

        I’m not religious, but I did say from the outset that I was not interested in forgiveness. It’s ok to gently and confidently inform smug/ignorant people (I was one once) that “Oh, that is so nice of you (*gag!*), but my goal is not forgiveness. That can be your goal. [piercing stare] My goal is more like indifference. I don’t believe in forgiveness without remorse, and not without restitution–not for someone who is ok with hurting innocent kids and a wife. It’s probably hard for someone like you to understand, but that’s ok! I forgive you!”

      • Side question on that: husband cheated before our marriage with the ex. I forgave I saw the confusion in him plus we were one year in. Yes we started in a lie it hasn’t been easy since
        Now: married 6.5 years together nearly 10
        Admits one month ago they cheated again 6 years ago. He’s asking for forgiveness and that I allow him to show me we can be great
        I struggle with forgiveness I am fully capable but the struggle is the “then what” is forgiving obligating me to stay or is it just that…? Is he WORTHY if he’s sick as I am sulking around the house, texting watching YouTube talking to phone counselor etc…

        • Is he asking forgiveness because he truly repented and his actions show it? Or is he admitting to a 6 years ago affair to throw you off the trail?

          Do his actions show that he truly values you and wants what is best for you? Or do they show that he devalues you and is admitting to a long ago affair so that he can play act at being righteous?

          Ask me about empty promises. My cheater would say that what happened yesterday should be left in the past, and his actions said that the promise alone was fulfillment of whatever he promised. If I asked him when he was going to make good on his promises he’d stall for time, then say, “oh, I thought you didn’t need/want/care about that any more.”

      • I am also a Christian and yes, that’s what Luke says; however, in Matthew Jesus says that you must love your enemy. I get around this ‘enemy’ business by stating that the OW is not my enemy. In all actuality, the dick-ex is not my enemy. But boy did I have a problem with Jesus’ mandate to love him — and her. Eventually I found that “loving them” is wanting the best for them, and wanting the best for them is wanting the best for me, and wanting the best for me is to realize that when I sin, that I ask forgiveness, and that I repent. And if that’s what’s best for me, then that’s what’s best for them. And that’s how I love my enemy, by praying for the best for them. However, forgiveness was a whole different issue. I never felt the need to forgive the OW as she wasn’t the one that sinned against me. She sinned against her husband with my husband, But if it wasn’t her, it would have been a different woman. The person I had to forgive was the dick-ex. And yes, I forgave him, but I need not ever have anything to do with him again. Forgiveness does not mean having to reconcile, or to have any type of relationship with the one that hurt you. You really can walk away and go no contact the rest of your life. Forgiveness just means not seeking vengeance against the one that hurt you, but instead letting God handle it however He sees fit.

        • AmazonChump…On one hand, I get what you are saying that your husband is the one directly at fault and responsible for the sin, not the OW. On the other hand, the woman also sinned against you (and God). She coveted someone else’s spouse – commandment.

        • I’ll have to disagree with you on this point. God loves all sinners, but that doesn’t mean God lets them get away with thumbing their noses at Him. God forgives the repentant sinners. There is a difference.

          It has always been my understanding that God wants us to love all, including our enemies. But we are not compelled to forgive those who intentionally hurt us and have no remorse. Instead we are ordered to point out their sins, and if they refuse to listen we are to treat them as outsiders.

    • It’s not Christian to lecture other people about forgiving those who injure them. It’s just not.

      The Lord’s Prayer is often cited in this matter–“forgive us our trespasses AS we forgive others…” and so on. But notice the first thing: The person praying acknowledges wrongdoing and asks for forgiveness. So the “as we” indicates that that the people we forgive should acknowledge their wrongdoing and ask forgiveness. That’s the model.

      If the OW wants forgiveness, she should ask for it, showing actual remorse for what she’s done. And that is never going to happen because the X and the OW are fine with what they’ve done. They don’t NEED forgiveness. They aren’t sorry.

      We forgive way too much. We don’t need forgiveness as much as we need freedom from caring about the opinions of random other people, like Jane. My answer to Jane would be: “When you think about how arrogant that statement is, I hope you are as sorry to have said it as I was to hear it.” And then I’d put some cash on the table and excuse myself.

      Jane is no friend. No “friend” would mousetrap me in that way, in a social situation. And not one of my friends tells me how or what to feel about the things that happen to me. And Jane is no Christian. There should be an 11th Commandment: Mind your own damn business.

      • I should add that forgiveness is how we RECONCILE we those we are in conflict with.

        There is no need to “reconcile” with people who injure us without remorse. The reconciliation and forgiveness we need is for ourselves.

  • Yeah it’s amazing what the ‘happily married/coupled’ smug set will say about your journey to Meh Land. I have reached my destination without forgiving them, but myself for being fooled and strung along. Happy I am and embarking on a new relationship.

  • What I really hate about forgiveness trolls is that they also assume two other things:
    (1) You never forgave this person before and
    (2) Any problems now are because of your lack of forgiveness

    It’s like for them “forgiveness” is a magic wand that you wave over a situation to make it all sparkly. In fact, there are many stories about how forgiving someone makes them better! They will realize the error of their ways when you forgive them!

    When people told me to forgive the Cheater, I was mostly gobsmacked by their assumption that I had never tried that. Do you have any idea how many times I forgave him? I forgave him for debt he ran up without telling me, for taking out credit cards in my name and using them for porn sites, for phone sex with a hooker… on and on and on… Oh, forgiveness????!!! Wow, WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT? *eye roll*

    But they want to believe that forgiveness fairy dust works, so they assume I must just be an angry, bitter person who never forgave anything.

    To this day, the worst thing anyone ever said to me about my divorce was, “Do you ever tell Cheater anything you appreciate about him?” I still want to punch that lady right in the face.

    • Yes Carol39!!! The truth of the matter, ironically, is that it’s the chump who has likely done nothing but forgive, and sacrifice, and look for the best in others, and call deeply on their faith. They have truly carried their cross. They have come to know that there is a difference between sin and evil. Sin is when you depart from what you are to do wrong, evil is when you depart from what you are to appear good. There is a point to forgiving sin when repentence occurs. But Evil must simply be stood against or avoided altogether. Shake the dust of their town from your feet and do not cast your pearls before them. But then here come the little Sunday Schoolers, bright and shiny and naive, spouting maxims they’ve yet to be tested on to learn their full meaning.

    • “Do you have any idea how many times I’ve already forgiven him?”

      Oh yes, I spackled and forgave. And each time He took that as license to do the same, again, and again, and again. You see, he could always count on my forgiveness because he didn’t have to repent to get it. My forgiveness cost him so little that my forgiveness, and my needs, were worth nothing to him. My kids learned from him that they didn’t need to respect me either.

      I’m through passing out “Get out of jail free” cards. They were worth nothing to him, but they cost me a lot. They cost me my self worth, and robbed me of the respect I should have received from my kids.

    • Mediator tried that one in the initial meeting (he actually is a chump who, remarried, still is friends with his ex – go figure). I took one of the fancy notebooks they had set out and scribbled ‘X is a successful attorney’, held it up and said, since this is the only positive statement I have, if you don’t mind, I’ll just hold this up once in a while, if it makes everyone feel better?

  • I don’t think you need to forgive ex and ow to move on and get to Meh. Anyway it is no one else’s business.
    A friend mentioned the f word to me shortly after Dday and I was infuriated. I know he was well meaning but as someone who hadn’t been betrayed he did not understand. I wouldn’t condemn your friend. She just has no idea.

  • Fuck Jane and the horse she rode in on (sorry not sorry). That kind of comment is so disempowering, especially when it’s all fresh and you feel fucked over as it is. I experienced the ‘two sides to the story’ from close family members (on his side), a fake friend who told me that if her partner had cheated on her, she would realize that she had done something to make him unhappy enough to do that (that really broadsided me and permanently damaged our relationship) and a well-meaning neighbor of the Christian persuasion told me that forgiveness was the way (she is usually a most excellent person, and had had a terrible family accisent/tragedy where I can see that her ability to forgive had released her to continue to live a productive and peaceful life) and all in all it really just makes you feel so alone, misunderstood and broken. I am so glad that Conniered sister and BIL were on her side and shut down that shit, and we really just have to look at these people and ask ourselves which planet are they from that they lack the sensitivity to not go there. I think she handled it firmly and well, and the fact that Jane didn’t take the hint shows her to be an irredeemable fuckwit.

    • Omg Stig people like this shit me to tears and I just want to give them a big gigantic bitch slap for even daring to utter something so fucking insensitive. You were shit on in the worst way possible but you’re expected to show forgiveness because ‘it’s the Christian thing to do’. I’m an atheist but I grew up in a full on Christan household and I learned that forgiveness has zero to do with being Christian and you should only do it if you feel ready and are doing for yourself, not because someone has told you to do it. If you never ever forgive them then that’s your prerogative. It’s hard to forgive someone that’s done something pretty shitty to you and shows zero remorse.

      I had so called friends and family do this crap and I told them to shove their opinions straight up their arse and got rid of them out of my life pretty quickly. People that love and genuinely care about you support you, not judge or make you feel lousy about walking away from a person that treats you terribly. Nor do they encourage you to forgive them or the AP. People that do this don’t say stuff like like this because they actually care, it’s because there is still this big social stigma around being single and they’re more worried what people think of them being associated with such a person.

      One of the things that splitting up with my children’s dad taught me was who my real friends were. But the best one I heard from anyone was my ex mother in law whom tried to guilt me with: ‘what example are you setting for your children by giving up that easily that you could have put up with and turned a blind eye to, plus your children will be traumatised and come from a broken home’ my response was simple ‘i’m setting my children a good example by showing them that they should never tolerate a person that cheats on you and is abusive which is something no person should turn a blind eye to. Subjecting them to a human being that is verbally abusive towards their mother and teenage brother on a daily basis is more traumatising than it would be to get out of there and yes my children will come from a broken home but I’d rather my children come from a broken home than live in one.

  • Forgiveness may sometimes be part of the Meh package, but I think the expectation of a clean slate for the cheater, who oftentimes is not sorry and never will be, is damaging and re-traumatises the chump. Making out that chumps are bitter, un-Christian etc for never wanting to see the cheater’s face again, let alone be all paly-waly now that it’s ‘water under the bridge’ is like asking someone who’s children have been abused by a pedophile to let them babysit again, because that’s in the past.

    • Oh, Stig, so much this. I might be able to forgive, but I will NEVER forget. Cheaters seem to want quick and cheap forgiveness, but then, everything about them is cheap. Mine actually said, 2 months after DDay, “I told you I was sorry, why aren’t you over this (7 year affair plus hookups and hookers)?” Like I could just snap my fingers and be all smiles again. My response to him was, “because YOU aren’t over HER”. Silence, because he knew it was true. Sure enough, 2 years later he was still reaching out to her in spite of the firm boundaries I had put in place. I found an email he was trying to get a third party to send to her, and that was IT. Done.

      I have no idea if they are back in contact. However, I have reached the place where I kind of hope they wind up together, though I doubt it. She has a pretty cushy life with her husband, and I seriously doubt she would give that up willingly to be with a currently unemployed guy she is going to be a nursemaid to in the not too distant future. Anyway….

      People say stupid stuff when they are trying to be helpful or self-righteous or simply aren’t thinking. Those are the people who try my patience. And THEY are the ones in need of forgiveness.

      • “However, I have reached the place where I kind of hope they wind up together, though I doubt it.” I wanted them to get together as that would be a lifetime of hell for them both because they are both so awful. But the longest term affair partner left when I did because it was no longer fun for her if she wasn’t destroying lives. Oh well. Sigh.

        • ^^ Yes, I hear this! If it weren’t for the fact that my kids would have to deal with whomever STBX next shacks up with, I would be all for her getting back together with her most recent AP. It would serve them both right! As they say, cheaters always trade down, since nobody decent will have them.

          I’m not sure whether anybody decent and healthy will have STBX in the future, either, unless she can parlay the sad-sausage act into sympathy and somehow persuade them that she’s now “healed.” I sometimes fantasize that STBX’s next partner will want to talk with me after hearing about STBX’s history of cheating, to get my perspective. I would hope that anybody of reasonable emotional health would think twice about getting together with someone with that history (assuming that she’s honest about it). And I truly don’t know whether I would agree to talk with the new partner or not; I guess it would depend on whether I thought the person was worth warning or not. Of course, it seems like any chump in a position to talk to a new partner is damned if they do tell the truth about their experience (“gosh, you’re still awfully bitter”), and damned if they don’t (“well, maybe you’re as aloof as STBX says you were”). Again, I wouldn’t give a crap about any of it if it weren’t for the fact that my DD8 still has to live with STBX for another decade, and both my kids might have to deal with a new partner for the rest of their adult lives.

          Or, as is quite likely, STBX will never find anyone who can satisfy her notion of happiness for any length of time, and my kids will see that she’s incapable of staying in long-term relationships. And meanwhile, I’ll be doing my crosswords, seeing the world, and chortling!

      • Yep, it really shows the depth of their puddle, doesn’t it IvyLeagueChump? They’re over it, so everyone else should be too, why have you still got a problem with my actions etc? It really brings to light their level of investment and lack of empathy. And I think we also, subconsciously or not, recognise that a lot of their apologies, if forthcoming at all, are lipservice designed to smooth over the situation and take things back to the status quo/avoid consequences so they have time to plan their next moves. When the thought of them together no longer bothers you, that’s a very good sign, but as you say, when there is no longer the duper’s delight and sense of covert power there it’s not the rush that a lot of the OWs are after (I had one like that too, was quite happy to rummage around and stir up trouble and get a sense of power from encouraging my cheater to fuck with me, but cleared off once I threatened to expose their shenanigans). Sick, lazy, shallow people.

  • As a person who frequently frustrates folks by taking the position that no matter how bad the AP is, the cheater is the one who is your actual primary problem (patent pending)… I am on board with the perspective that you don’t need to forgive the AP and that it’s super messed up to suggest it.

    In fact, as a person whose definition of forgiveness in relationships is like forgiving a debt – meaning you stop trying to collect what is clearly not coming, write off the loss, AND refuse to ever extend credit to the borrower again, instead listing the borrower as a bad risk – it is generally my position that telling another person that they should forgive any other person is bad form.

    This isn’t an appropriate place for “should”. At most (and NOT when things are still acute!), I can see saying something like “at some point it will be important to figure out how to become less charged about that person because the anger will end up poisoning your soul, but that doesn’t mean we ever have to condone what the person did or be friends with the person”.

    Telling someone they “have to” forgive another who harmed them is like telling the person they “should” stop grieving a death. It’s ludicrous, and unhelpful, and often self-serving (a la, “I’m uncomfortable holding space for your pain so you should stop talking”.)

    • I’m so glad you’re on this forum. You have such smart and insightful–and useful!–things to say.

      • Aw, thanks! I love our exchanges of great ideas, too. 😊😊😊 I have learned a LOT about just growing up in general on here. ⭐

    • In all my years here I have never seen forgiveness described in that way–as in releasing a bad debt–and I must say, you are brilliant! You really touched a nerve.

      It’s not what I feel/mean when I think of the word–mine is more of a mercy and love, maybe some pity, a gift, very personal–you can’t forgive someone on behalf of someone else, for example. And there are times where I feel I could forgive them if I had a whiff of remorse.

      But your definition is so clear and so relatable, and now for the first time do I feel that I understand why some people CAN get to “forgiveness” and move on.

      Wow. I will be thinking about this for a long time. I love the part about listing the borrower as a bad risk. Because for me, part of forgiveness is realizing the person can’t be what they can’t be–letting go of higher expectations, because it’s like asking a car to be a dog. It can’t.

      Great job!

      And, gosh dang it! While I’m at it, I really love the idea of informing someone, “Hey, thanks, I know you mean well, but to be honest, it’s not appropriate for someone like you to tell me what I should and shouldn’t do.” (Call me when you’re in my shoes and I will help you from your new perspective.)

      • “Hey, thanks, I know you mean well, but to be honest, it’s not appropriate for someone like you to tell me what I should and shouldn’t do.” (Call me when you’re in my shoes and I will help you from your new perspective.)

        Brilliant!

        I’m just hearing from one of the other women in the last couple of days, and she’s genuinely unrepentant. But she’s making nicey-nice, and I don’t want any part of her, even if she IS my sister. She thinks I should forgive cheaters.

    • Well said. I’m a huge believer that it’s your right as a person to decide whether or not you want to forgive that person. If you do it should be doing it for yourself and because you’re mentally in that place to do so, not because you’ve been told to do it or guilted into it. For the majority of people, infidelity is a huge breach of trust that tears their lives apart and if they have children theirs as well. It’s not something that is magically fixed by an I’m sorry and forgiveness.

      People also have this misguided idea that if you forgive you’ll move on with your life, which is a load of bollocks as you don’t need to forgive to move on with your life, being strong enough to walk away from a crappy situation, seeking help and living your best life is the greatest way to move on with your life.

  • My ex just got engaged to his affair partner — less than four months after our divorce being finalized after 20 years of marriage. The kids haven’t even met her and, not surprisingly, are upset. Previously, he complained that I “disparaged” his relationship with her. I’m not anywhere near meh, but that is my goal, not forgiveness — of him or her.

    • You have my support in showing as much respect for their “relationship” as they did for yours. Respect is earned and a two-way street. Miss Manners agrees. Only gruesome, dreadful people
      get involved in illicit relationships. He may want to look up that word; it doesn’t sound like he knows what it means. I fail to see how you would be able to have anything but a negative opinion of his decisions. When you use a ten dollar word, it’s best to make sure you have enough money in your brain account.

      Disparage away!

      ❤️

      • Exactly Velvet Hammer. Respect is earned not given.

        I was told by my ex that I had his new girlfriend/the OW feel bad and hurt her feelings because she wanted to be friends and I wanted nothing to do with her and I should be more respectful and consideration towards the stepmother of his children as after all she is an innocent victim. I shit you not he actually said this and it took all my restraint not to junk punch the douche.

        Instead my response was ‘I am showing the same amount of respect and consideration I was shown, when you both showed me when you both tore our family apart without compunction or regard. That innocent woman is hurt that I don’t want to be friends with her and you can’t understand why I don’t want to make friends with a person that had no hesitation in banging my partner in our bed. As for respecting her because she is my childrens stepmother, the term stepmother alone does not entitle her to respect, it is your actions and the type of person that determine if you are worthy earning respect. As for me not wanting to talk to her, be grateful I don’t as she’d see exactly how little respect I have for her’.

        People like this deserve the exact same respect they showed the people they shit all over.

  • Some people are hell bent on being morally superior and will seize any opportunity to flaunt it. I think Jane falls into this category and I don’t buy the sincerity of her forgiveness spiel.

  • I’m not an admin, but just a quick comment before they delete, because that is an awesome observation. You are exactly right. People tend to assume it was a one-time mistake that you failed to forgive. I love the way you describe it as a “tire fire.” Yep, that is exactly what it is like. Cheater had SO many frauds going all the damn time that I couldn’t keep up with them all. My life was reduced to monitoring everything he did looking for his latest bizarre screw-up, and even then, I often didn’t catch them until they had been going on for years. I actually ended up in legal danger because he used my name in some fraudulent stuff that I had no idea about. The sheer amount of deception and abuse is staggering.

  • I think the Number One Rule of Forgiveness is that it is NOT something you tell other people to do.

    In my own case, I define forgiveness like a bank. When they forgive a loan, they stop seeking repayment. They also stop loaning you money.

    I have a big button installed and the nuclear code is telling me how I should feel.

  • I once had a man I work ask me if I had given the X a chance. Did I go to marriage counseling, yada yada yada. He had no idea what I had been through for 20 years and sat there trying to tell me what to do. He then confessed he was a sex addict who had cheated on his wife multiple times, but bless her heart, she was hanging in there. We ended up sitting next to each other at a luncheon that day, I looked at him and nicely said “I will not be speaking you.” I was done with him. He wasn’t worth my time, much like my X. I don’t answer to anyone about my pain and my struggle. Especially someone that is just as bad as my X.

    • @ChumpToTheMax

      “I will not be speaking to you.”

      I effin love this! You crack me up! Awesome way to cut off the creep.

      • Chump to the Max
        Perhaps you could have asked The Sex Addict, between the salad and the main course, for his wife’s phone number. You wished to ask her how she was dealing with hubby’s addiction,
        abuse and trauma in her marriage.

      • Chump to the Max
        Perhaps you could have asked The Sex Addict, between the salad and the main course, for his wife’s phone number. You wished to ask her how she was dealing with hubby’s addiction,
        abuse and trauma in her marriage. And how is his sex therapy progressing?

    • What a disgusting pig! What a clueless piece of shit. He dumped that on you, did he? And felt entitled to your acceptance and, what–admiration? What a complete piece of shit!

      I LOVE LOVE LOVE your reply to him. “I will not be speaking to you.”

      I mean, really. Why waste your breath and brain cells on a lizard.

  • Hmm, this got me thinking. Could your friend Jane have been another women in some point in her life? You do not have to explain yourself to anyone. You were not the one cheating and ruining lives. The OW sure did not give one rats behind about you or your child. Your ex and the OW are slime. Or maybe your friend thinks that an affair could never happen to her and doesn’t understand how an affair rips your life apart.
    As for me I could never forgive my cousin. She knew exactly what she was doing. She knew me and our children once played together. She is pure evil.

    • Yes, where is the empathy for what you and your child were put through?? My sister told me that her marriage was affair proof because they met each others needs. These preachy horrible people make me want to vomit.

      • I love to look those people in the eye and praise them–“Oh, yes, I know. You married way better than I did, for sure! No worries!”

  • What part of you can’t forgive somebody who isn’t remorseful do these morons who not get?
    They’re either utterly lacking in empathy, cheaters themselves, or chumps spackling over the abuse they received and expecting you to do the same to make them feel better about it.
    We don’t have any duty to make anyone feel better about their shitty choices, be it APs, exes, or a piece of Swiss cheese like Jane.

    • Sorry, that was supposed to say “morons not get”.
      Come to think of it, those three words sum up my attitude about forgiving shitty people who aren’t sorry and haven’t changed. Morons not get my forgiveness.

  • I know this is a re-run so I hope we get an update
    I hope the OP is firmly at meh without having to forgive anyone

    I’ve never been asked to forgive OW and no body would dare tell me to but I’m sick of hearing the following

    Karma will get them – nope !

    It won’t last – eh they got married and had a baby crying out loud they were engaged while he was still married to me ! They got pregnant before the separation papers were filed . Won’t last yeah fed up hearing that

    • Insisting on the requirement for forgiveness is akin to questioning whether the person who was cheated on gave enough sex to their wayward spouse. It is about the person asking the question, not the victim. It is an attempt to reassure themselves that this cannot happen to them.

      • 100% yes. Most of these questions are a post-mortem. How am I more in control of my destiny than these chumpy people were?

        I know for a fact because I was once one of these people. I thought I knew for sure why it would never happen to us.

        Honestly there are days I am thankful for so many lessons. But then I think of my kids, and I feel badly for what they were put through.

    • What I loved about my husband was that he was loyal and would never cheat….he was such a good guy and I felt peace of mind and security. For me, that was the whole point of being married.

      It was a lie.

      They may be together and they may get married, but neither of them will ever have true peace of mind and security. She knows he is a liar and will always be on alert. She knows his MO, so there will be no blissful ignorance for her like there was for me. He is ok with an empty woman blow up doll who screws around with married people. They can think whatever they want, and tell themselves whatever they want, but as Mammy said in Gone With The Wind, they will still be mules in horse harnesses.

      ❤️

    • I think “trust -they suck” is the best mantra for your situation. He did not magically change, he is not going to suddenly become a great guy – cheaters for the most part suffer from personality disorders – they don’t change, they just find new victims. I am three years out from dday and 2 years out from the divorce being final, for the first two years he was repeatedly run over by the Karma bus – lost our kids, OW left him and went back with her ex-husband, he lost half of his 401k in the our settlement, lost his job and was living in a crappy apartment paying me spousal support out of his unemployment checks. Of course that didn’t last – as luck would have it he found a new victim/mark – in the course of year, he moved in with her, she found him a job at her place of employment and they got married. This did not surprise me, in fact I predicted it because he has always been a master of image management. Now he has a wonderful, happy new life that supports his insane narrative that I abused him, threw him out and turned his adult children against him – in short he is back to being the “good guy”. His shiny new life is nothing more than a mirage and it does not change the fact that he is an abusive, lying, cheating man with a major personality disorder (or two) who hurt his wife and children with reckless abandon and breath taking entitlement – it doesn’t matter if it lasts 1 month, 1 year or “til death do they part” he still sucks; I am just grateful that me and my kids are no longer on the receiving end of his abuse.

    • Yeah, I used to like hearing “It won’t last,” “It’s not real,” “Karma will get them,” but for me they were just ways of keeping hope alive – it might last, even though they’re shitty.

  • There are some unbelievably awful advises given to us in such situations. It help know the person who gives the advice better. Sometimes they reveal themselves as unempathetic patronizing morons. I’m not sure those words convey precisely my thoughts, except for “morons”, I’m quite certain I’m using this one right.

  • People want you to forgive so that there is none of that messy anger stuff to be around. The forgiveness is to make them comfortable. That’s not my job.

  • While we were still married, X’s crazy OW (third one that I know of) had an argument with X and he decided to break up with her. Had our 17 year old son help him pack up her shit in her car. She was 20 weeks along with (what I presume was) his child. She came over to X’s house and he didn’t want to deal with her so he sent 17 year old out to tell her he was breaking up with her. She got violent with son, reached up around his neck and broke in half the brand-new Beatz headphones I’d purchased him for Christmas the week before. (It was his only gift because it was all I could afford at the time). She then screamed at him, hit him, and shoved him against a wall. Then finally left taking the headphones with her, narrowly avoiding the cops who had been called. My son called me crying saying he didn’t know how to handle the situation because he’s 6’7″, GF was maybe 5’1″, and she was pregnant. Two weeks later, she aborted the child. If anyone EVER told me I should forgive her not only for what she did to me, but also to my son (another time she spanked my younger boy for “being mean” to her son), I seriously don’t know what I would do. Had I been there at the time, I probably would have spent some time in jail.

    • What a horrible woman and how horrible of your ex to put you son in that position in the first place. He should have been cleaning up his own messes.

    • She got handed the shit sandwich by your son. She never saw it coming. Good lesson for your son –
      Don’t handle other peoples business.
      It’s the cheater who is the prick here.

  • I haven’t been asked to forgive Schmoopie but she seems to think she is entitled to my son’s forgiveness and general good will. She complains how horribly he treats her and she doesn’t deserve it. Treating her badly means avoiding being around her whenever possible. He did insult her once after she cornered him and demanded to know why he didn’t like her in front of ex and his brother and her daughter. He spouted off what popped into his head and she took offense. Really, he just wants to be left alone. Leave him alone and he won’t treat you badly. He didn’t ask to have you in his life. Geez. He doesn’t care much for my boyfriend either, but my boyfriend doesn’t demand his attention so he is at least willing to sit at the dinner table with him. Schmoopie demands too much.

  • Jesus says, “If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive.” (Luke 17:3b, NLT). I see no repentance on the OW part. Do you want me to sin by going against Jesus’ own words?

    • Just an FYI for anyone who seeks a faith perspective in their moral decision-making process. I’ve struggled with understanding the role of forgiveness in the midst of all that happened in my marriage and since my STBXH left to be with the OW. Thankfully, my priest and faith-friends have been tremendously supportive of my well-being. No one has pushed forgiveness as there is so much that needs to be prioritized in the process of healing before getting to that.

      A friend of mine gave me the following book which I found really useful at helping me understand that forgiveness is a process that follows similar steps to to the stages of grief and cannot ever be rushed. It also seeks to correct poor biblical interpretations of the concept of forgiveness. Hope this book is helpful to others.

      Don’t Forgive Too Soon: Extending the Two Hands that Heal. Author: Dennis, Sheila and Matthew Linn

  • I would ask “how do you forgive someone who flat out denies that what they did was wrong?” And that’s before the discussions about “if what they did wasn’t wrong, why do they lie about it?” and “why was it OK for them to make unilateral decisions and expect the children and I to go along with their B-S without complaint?”

    My Ex-Wife tells everyone that I’m still bitter about no longer being married to her and that I (and the kids) need to forgive her. She’s working under the delusion that she’s the prize and that we are in some way “lesser” because of the minimal role that she now plays in our lives.

    Idiot.

    • She and my ex-husband must be twins separated at birth; I could not have described his attitude any better – their entitlement coupled with their complete and utter lack of self-awareness is truly breathtaking.

      • Chumperella,

        Judging by your post, it would appear that having an ex-spouse that thinks that they are at the centre of the universe and everyone else orbits around them while basking in their light is not unique.

        It is hard not to laugh at what my ex-wife comes out with sometimes; but then I realise that irony was never her thing and that she really believes what she says.

        🙁

        • My Ex was called “The Great D**e”, the kids were his “disciples” and called him D**e, not dad. The two son’s of the snake formerly known as my BF, were also disciples in the “Church of D**e”. Truly a narc.

          Sometimes I wonder WTF I was thinking for 25 years.

          • I don’t know why you’d censor “Dude”, the only word I know that would fit that might be censored is “Dyke”. So, I’m going to fill in the blanks with Dyke, in the way the some of my lesbian friends us the word in a positive way. Your ex is one weird dude.

            • It’s actually his name, which I was avoiding using. So my son has been calling his dad by his first name for years. So I reframe–all that hero worship adoration has now pivoted to a friend who now lacks total respect. In my prior life as the wife appliance narc protector, I would have told my son to not treat his father in such a manner–not anymore!!!!!! And I will always be mom.

              But there are many interchangeable words–Dick comes to mind!

  • “A woman runs off with your spouse and child and you are supposed to be gracious about it? Give your head a shake.”

    That might work.

    Then if she says more say I don’t care to debate this.

  • You should have looked at her husband, winked and said ‘you lucky guy! Good to know, huh?’ My idiot sister met the OW at a family affair and then told me I would have been friends with her In normal circumstances. Oh really!?! I don’t fucking think so.

    • I was told, “You’d like her” about my ex’s OW. I replied, “She cheated on her husband. That’s not someone with good character. So, no, I wouldn’t like her.”

      • My ex told my (young adult) kids in an email (with me copied in) that he thinks they will like his affair partner/fiancee, whom they have not yet met, and know little about other than her role in ending our marriage. And maybe they will, but yuck. That’s not the BEST way to start a relationship with someone’s kids …

  • Also when someone asked me why my marriage failed I said that I didn’t approve of my husband dating. That shut them up.

    • Close to what I say which is ” I didn’t like his girlfriend”. That shuts them up quickly.

      • New lady and Mitsy I have a version of that as well- I was attending a funeral for a favorite uncle on his side of the family out of state and I knew I would be asked what happened. I thought long and hard about it and my response was you’re not supposed to have a girlfriend and a wife at the same time. I made my point but I was respectful

    • I think I’ll say ”We have differing views on fidelity and honesty and abiding laws”. And I hate it when people assume cheating is caused by lack of sex.

      • Immediately after I left Mr. Sparkly Pants with what I could carry, “friends” and family asked me why I would leave such a wonderful guy. I struggled with that for a long time, and then someone suggested that I answer with, “You only met Dr. Jekyll.”

        I find that usually buttons most people right up.

  • I know it’s a re-run but I must say, asking the Switzerland/Jesus/religious friend how long they’ve been cheating on THEIR significant other and is THAT why they are so invested in you forgiving the OW who assisted blowing up your marriage is the best way to handle it.

    I wonder what he husband did when she said that. Smirked because she had forgiven him and his side dish? Horrified? Eh, doesn’t matter.

    I hope since then the Fuckwit and OW have choked on rock candy.

  • Since Dday, I realize there is barely a TV show out there where cheating isn’t made light of. I was just watching a show last night, a character cheated and the betrayed partner was told how he could show HIS love to his spouse who cheated!!!! It’s everywhere, nobody gets it.
    If you Google “cheating” as I did in the early weeks, everything that came up was around what I could do for my spouse who betrayed me – to try to keep him….( even though he was leaving me for younger chipmunk).
    Basically, people make those type of comments because in part everybody is ignorant about cheating and the suffering it causes – until it happens to them.
    Movies don’t get it right ( it’s usually romanticized as pure intense love that couldn’t be avoided ), sitcoms make light of this type of abuse ….. as Tracy said in her YouTube interview it’s a taboo that still has not been tackled.
    For me, that is part of what makes it so excruciating. People want you to get over it because the chumps pain is unappealing – and they know what’s done is done and your only choice is to try to gain life .
    I totally agree that defence mechanisms are used so that others think being cheated on and dumped won’t happen to them.
    It really is part of our fabric in society to just look away and think that we never know what went on in that marriage to make the cheater cheat ( or that the two cheaters really were soulmates and found each other at the wrong time).
    No one wants to put themselves in the shoes of the betrayed – nobody wants to identify with being the treated like garbage.
    This is why I wish Tracy would do a Ted talk and more public appearances.

  • I can so relate to this! My ex actually had the balls to ask our youngest daughter (she is an adult) why she didn’t like the ow because she “she did nothing wrong”. Excuse me??? How about she was with a married man before his divorce? Of coarse my ex still denies he cheated 🙄. Never mind that he bought a house and business with this woman before we were divorced.

    • I suspect that you held it together for your son and then this woman stepped in and blindsided you with a tactless and smug comment that you did not see coming.
      I have had a few instances where my meh was challenged from the most unexpected places.
      The thing is that until you give birth you really don’t know what it’s like…and being chummed is like that too.
      I’d do this…I’d never do that…why don’t you just…these folks don’t know what they’d do, or when or how.
      I just try to close conversations like that down as gently but firmly as posSible.

  • My longtime “friend” said to me while I was wailing in agony and grief, “you know, everyone deserves happiness. He does, and you do, and she does too.”

    It took me years to realize how fucking awful that response was. I was gobsmacked and felt guilty for my feelings, and bad about being in pain. What is WRONG with these self righteous, new-age bullshitters?!

    • You could ask “happiness … but at whose cost …. and why is their right to happiness absolute?”

    • That’s such a crock. Assholes who treat their so-called loved ones like garbage certainly don’t deserve happiness. They deserve an eternity of misery. All people are not equal in worth, and the notion that they are is the sophomoric byproduct of a lack of critical thinking.
      Some “friend”.

  • “I have to forgive myself for picking the Cheater in the first place” is perfect. That’s where forgiveness should be directed. I will never forgive my cheating ex-ho/wife or her complicit schmoopies for the emotional abuse they imposed upon me. Forgiving them would be a cheap, meaningless gesture anyway. I still wrestle with self-condemnation for ignoring red flags and marrying a fraud and am struggling to forgive myself for making such a poor decision.

  • My new response to this bs is “S/he hasn’t humbly and graciously asked to be forgiven.” Because entitled cheaters and paramours rarely do!

    If response is, “would you?”

    “I’ll cross that bridge…”

    Every Chump knows the forgiveness train is crap, lol.

  • I haven’t come through fire and death and the psychological trauma of lying and illicit affair and financial upheaval to listen to your condescending advice about forgiveness. Until you’ve walked in these shoes, will you please keep your self-righteousness to yourself.

    Or the short version.
    STFU. You don’t know shit, bitch.

    • hahahhahahah!!! I love the short version!!!

      That makes me laugh out loud! Thank you for your post!

  • Yeshua-having omnipotence and foresight, predicted (To Peter’s face) he would betray and deny him 3 times before the cock crowed.

    After his transfiguration it is said he had supper with his desciples. He asked Peter, “Petros, Do you love me”? Three times he asked Peter this question. One for each betrayal.

    How many times would we have to ask a similar question of our X’s ?…. 7x 70?

    So I think forgiveness has more to do with freeing ourselves from hurt versus the one who betrayed us. We don’t have to suffer fools nor their adultery.

    Having seen “who they really are”,
    Then recognizing that WE made the mistake of investing in them is OUR forgiveness. I’m sure Peter got the message to do some introspection about his “WHY”.

  • The whole forgiveness concept makes me break out in hives. The only person I have the power to forgive is myself for choosing the fuckwit. I’m not God, I’m not an ordained priest – not my place to forgive anyone else for their sins. That’s between them and whatever they believe in….which, let’s face it, fuckwits and owhores are too entitled to believe in anything, even if they do a good job of pretending.

  • I like Chumplady’s comment (previously): “God may forgive her, but I don’t.”

  • I think it’s important not to confuse forgiveness with anger.

    I’m not angry with my ex, but I also don’t forgive him because he’s a phony piece of shit who excelled in playing dumb and never acknowledged anything.

    So I can be at meh in the sense that I don’t care what he does or who he does it with……I wish him the best, but I also recognize he’s a scummy person.

    He can also fuck right off along with the horse he rode in on, and I can chuckle when I say that.

  • My sister-in-law said to me, “You need to forgive.” Apparently I appeared bitter to her, and frankly, I most likely was. But my immediate response to her was, “Oh I did forgive him. But forgiveness is not a feeling. It’s an act. And it’s choosing to let God seek vengeance if God chooses to do so. And I don’t ever have to have anything to do with that dick again.” I wouldn’t say “Bless your heart” to my sister-in-law because I know that she only wants the best for me, but like most people who say things like that, she really has no idea what it takes to get your head together and your life back on track (or how long it takes) after such betrayal. Most of them tout the memes on Facebook without understanding exactly what it takes. I love my sister-in-law, but I think I might not show such restraint for mere acquaintances.

  • What does it mean to forgive anyway? What does forgiveness even really look like?

    • To forgive is basically to deny that this really happened to us, to someone they know and to keep perpretaining abuse. It’s the VICTIM BLAMING period.

  • I think a big issue is forgiveness vs. reconciliation…fuckwits most likely want both and they think they are the same when in actuality they are seperate…you can have one without the other.

  • There is forgiveness, and there are consecuences. If we went biblical , literally biblical, then the perps should have been stoned. I’m no theologian, but is it also told that “pay to ceasar what is of ceasar, and pay god what is of god” (paraphrasing). So, yes, you could forgive, but also call a lawyer and get divorced. Oh, and in this case, divorce is fair game, because the perps made a sin , and broke a covenant (matrimony), and … yadda yadda. Forgiveness is a process to be yourself FREE. And letting the perps be free, to face their consecuences of their acts.

  • Forgiveness gets bandied around by people all the time, most of who have no idea what it actually means. If you take the religion out of it, acceptance and forgiveness are like twins. Acceptance means you let go of the anger; you’ve stopped wishing for protruding parts of their bodies to fall off; and you understand that what they did has no more power over you. You’ve accepted that although they did a shitty thing there is nothing you can do about that because it’s due to their shitty character and you don’t control that. Acceptance makes it easier to get to meh because you’ve stopped giving cheater or OW/OM free rental space in your head.

    People who lecture about forgiveness say “it’s more for you than it is for them” but since forgiveness is something you bestow on someone else, it’s harder to wrap your head around it being more for them. On the contrary, acceptance is all about you so it truly is more for you than it is for them. Another thing that gets conflated with forgiveness is the idea that once you’ve given your forgiveness everyone will be besties again and hang out on holidays. One has nothing to do with the other. Again, no one really associates acceptance with going back to being besties with your cheater ex. It’s just something you do for you.

    Acceptance is the same as forgiveness dare I say a little better. Prove me wrong.

    • I watched a TV program on forgiveness. There’re many people who forgave incredible things, like murderers of their children. Many got in contact with the murderers in prison, even befriended them and kept visiting them in prison (of course, murderes were remorseful). All of these parents, with no exception, also believed that the murderers are exactly where they should be, in prison and that they should stay there until they serve their time. And most of murderers agreed with them.

  • You don’t need to do anything about forgiveness. Here are the things you need. You need food, clothing, water, nurturing, shelter, and healthy bodily functions. Anything else is what you want, not what you need. That woman wanted you to live by some standard of her own. I think your answer should be short and sweet. “That’s never going to happen and I will not discuss it”. If she tries to answer then it’s time to say, “ I said no and I mean no. Either we change the subject or I leave.”

  • I have two responses:

    1) I don’t need to do jack shit.

    2) What you need to do is stop telling me what I need to do.

    End of story.

    It’s like hearing I shouldn’t be upset or angry with the skank who slept with my boyfriend when she knew I was his live-in girlfriend. I can be upset with whomever the fuck played a part in destroying my sanity for the next 2 years trying to recover from the betrayal This is why Chump Lady and her blog and everyone who comments on it is so amazing and truly a gift. We are surrounded by idiots who spew garbage with their insensitive and asinine remarks.

  • 3 months? and you still hadn’t moved on?

    She was the OW and you still are holding grudges against her, what a horrible person you are! You should be inviting her over for tea while listening to her talk about how happy they are and even giving her some tips on how he likes his steak done!
    And don’t forget to rejoice on the fact that your dear 8-year-old son is there with them…what a blessing to be able to have divorced parents! I heard they thrive and kids are sooooo resilient!
    puking right now.

    I actually had a therapist that told me to address the OW by her name, after all, she is a person and deserves respect. She had just told me on the phone the day before that I was an ugly old bitch, but of course, the bar is set so low for them that they can get away with all this. But for us? No! We need to keep on being the obedient sheep we are and show them respect and forgiveness. Nah, I’ll pass. And screw u Jane! I heard Tarzan was seen talking to some new castaways women…I would keep my eye open if I were u.

  • Wow, I can’t imagine how difficult it was for them to do that. They must have been at that point in their lives where they were ready and and did it because it felt right for themselves. Forgiveness is a very personal and difficult thing for anyone, let alone someone whom has been through that.

    There is no unwritten rule that says you have to forgive a person that has done something terrible to you.

    I believe forgiveness is a choice and something you should be ready for, sincerely want to do and for the right reasons, not because you’ve been told you should do, to make someone else feel better or moving on with your life. You don’t need to forgive to move on with your life.

  • Even in a Christian/religious/being a “bigger person” sense, forgiveness is for people who truly ask for it, and do the work to make things right. That’s not her.

  • My **MOM** gave the the “you have to FORGIVE fuckwad!” and I said to her, “No I don’t. I don’t have to do SHIT!” which was the first time in my life that I realized that I had a fucking backbone.

  • Why are people who have never experienced infidelity so obsessed with forgiveness and how unhealthy the chump’s anger is? I used to want to tell these irritating do-gooders to channel their energy to concern about my ex and his OW’s lying, lust and adultery, and to go hassle them about repentance.

    • They are not do-gooders, they are rug sweeping denialists.

      Many people use rug sweeping to deal with (deny, avoid) anything that makes them uncomfortable. You voice a complaint? They tell you get over it! Instant fix, at least for them.

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