Married 31 years, chumped the last 2 (that I know of), 2 kids early 20s. I did it all, untangling the skein of fuckedupness, rode the unicorn for a while, smoked a lot of hopium, dined at the buffet of grief, anger, etc. and went back for seconds and thirds.
Moved out to a city I love 4 hours a way in a luxury apartment. Loving life. Getting more perks than I would with a divorce. So much so, I’m turning the tables. I keep giving him a glimpse of the unicorn, keeping him on hopium, throwing kibbles now and again and that gravy train is on the tracks.
It hit me hard when I finally figured out he never intended to end it with the OW. She got sick of his bullshit and figured out he was never leaving and dumped him. This sad sausage has been flipping through the channels mostly over the anger of getting dumped and losing his cake… except for this cupcake.
So I am biding my time, playing with him, while enjoying life. I have no intention of ever getting married again and want to do my thing. I must say it is a power trip turning the tables.
Dare I ask Chump Lady her take?
Dare to Ask
Dear Dare to Ask,
I think this is a completely moronic strategy.
If you had presented me with a situation in which you were impoverished, financially dependent on your cheater, or had a disability that made you vulnerable, I might understand your hesitancy to divorce. (Still I’d advise legal aid, post-nups, credit report, protect yourself).
But you live in a luxury apartment. You can afford a divorce. You either work, or can afford not to. In which case staying in your marriage is about material comforts and some perceived power trip.
I will now disembowel both of those arguments.
Consider these “perks”:
He could run up debts you are liable for. He’s already checked out on your relationship. Don’t kid yourself that he hasn’t checked out financially as well, or won’t do so in the future. Especially as you aren’t there as kibble dispenser/wife appliance.
He could leave YOU. Don’t assume you have a marriage to fall back on. It hasn’t stopped with the OW? Oh, but she dumped him? Oh but you thought that for two years and she was still there? Yeah, that’s a good sign. (I wrote that in my sarcasm font.)
He gets to make medical decisions about you. Imagine your future infirmities. You want this guy making life or death decisions about your welfare? You think he’s changing bedpans or administering meds? You want to nurse him in old age? It takes a lot of love and stoicism to be a caregiver. Where’s the bedrock foundation in your marriage that gets you through that? There are worse things than being alone. Try neglect.
If you perform the pick-me dance naked, or take auditions, he could expose you to disease. In ordinary times that’s STDs. Now we have a pandemic. Now re-read “he gets to make medical decisions about you.”
He wastes your precious time with his centrality. He may live 4 hours away, but you are legally bound to him. Your shadow husband. You think “perks” don’t cast shadows?
Consider your power trip:
“Playing with him” is not meh. You CARE. You are deeply invested in fucking with him as he fucked with you. This is just another kind of hopium — that he’ll feel all the feelz and realize what he lost. He’ll pick me dance! He’ll choke on the humiliation! He’ll cry and mourn and want you back!
What? As Plan B?
You think he CARES? He just had a two-year affair and is mourning his Schmoopie. You’re deluding yourself if you think there is “power” in pick me dancing.
Yes, YOU are dancing. The jig is called “Now the Turd Dances for Me.” GET OFF THE DANCE FLOOR.
I have no intention of ever getting married again and want to do my thing.
Divorce isn’t about marrying again. (Unless you’re a Schmoopie.) Divorce is about walking away when the relationship is dead. It’s about self-respect and not tolerating abuse.
You just want cake — all the perks of marriage and none of the commitment. You want what he had. Are those your values? Really? A cushy apartment and a fuckwit on a string?
So I am biding my time, playing with him, while enjoying life.
I don’t think Fuckwit Puppet Theater is bringing out your best self.
If this is your best self, I can’t help you.