I recently got a letter from a fellow who related to a letter he read here “Dear Chump Lady, My Wife Cheated with a Woman” and wanted to know if I could connect him with BeardBoy, the chump protagonist.
I’m not in the habit of connecting people. (I’m sorry! I get too much mail. But please do connect with each other on the closed Facebook and Reddit sites.) However, as guy chumps aren’t as forthcoming with their stories, I made an exception and said I’d try.
Lo and behold, BeardBoy responded. And not only did he say, sure, connect him with Mr. New Chump, he shared how that Gain a Life thing’s been going for him.
A shout out to BeardBoy today and to the good work of the Straight Spouse Network. He said I could share his letter with everyone. We all love an update.
I would be happy to connect with him.
By the way, what a difference a year makes. In the last year, I separated from my wife, landed on a 50/50 custody arrangement with my ex-wife, went through divorce and a divorce trial (ex-wife failed to understand that “splitting assets” means “splitting them 50-50”, but the judge helped her understand that concept), bought my own house, and found the incredible support of the Straight Spouse Network. I have met so many straight spouses, most of whom discover their spouse’s same-sex attraction in the context of infidelity.
I have worn my “shame” of this horrid experience on my sleeve, and I’ve discovered that people are incredibly sympathetic when I share my story. I told my boss at work, and he revealed that his first marriage exploded when he discovered his wife was a lesbian. I connected with my former boss for a social call, and she revealed that her first marriage exploded because she discovered her husband was gay. One of my direct reports at work went through the hell of her ex-husband’s infidelity. So many people suffer because of the selfish choices of our cheating ex-spouses, and sharing stories is incredibly healing.
I even met a beautiful woman through that Straight Spouse Network who discovered that her ex-husband was gay and has three kids of her own. She gets “it“ (and if you’re a straight spouse, “it” encompasses a lot), and we are now dating. We’ve discovered that being with a non-fuckwit in a healthy relationship is one of life’s great pleasures.
Other than losing out on 50% of my time with my three incredible kids, I feel like my life has been upgraded in every other way. Even though I miss them on the days I don’t have them, I can see from the way they act and from our quality time together that it’s much better to be from a broken home than in the hell of a broken home.
So many people worry about divorce because of losing time with their kids (I was one of them), but it’s far better to have 50% time with the kids that’s of the highest quality at a home that I control than a situation where I have them 100% of the time bogged down by a gaslighting, lying, manipulative and entitled narcissist. This seems really obvious in retrospect, but we chumps sometimes have trouble understanding this.
So I need to thank you. Your response to my letter changed my life. I have shown it to so many people (family, friends, co-workers), who have enjoyed your wisdom and humor. “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life” is the only book anyone needs to read about infidelity. (PS: I live in Boulder, Colorado, home of the insipid Michelle Weiner-Davis. Guess how much she charges for a two-day “in person” session? A mere $10,000. No, I didn’t go. She’s stupid.).
But it’s the private email that you sent to me that brought it all together: “Hang in there, BeardBoy. Do the hard things. Life is much better on the other side of a fuckwit.”
You were right. Thank you.
Awwww! Thank you BeardBoy! Letters like this are why I do this. Thanks for paying it forward to the newbie chumps. Everyone feels like freak of the week when this happens to them. There’s many flavors of cake, and “be my beard while I continue to live in the closet” is one shitty variety. I’m glad you’re free and doing so well. Thanks for the inspiration today!