I feel like I’ve been doing all the “right things” to move on and heal from my soon-to-be narcissistic cheating ex-husband. I’ve gone no contact, I moved out, I practice yoga, read self-help books, attend weekly therapy and surround myself with good friends. However, I don’t feel like I’m far enough along on my healing journey. I feel like I should be camped out in the screw you, you suck stage.
To give you background, I found out two months ago that my new husband of only 7 months was having an affair. An affair with an army friend who I made one of my bridesmaids in our wedding. And a woman who I have befriended over the last several months as she goes through her own divorce. She actually had a few month long affair with a different man right before my husband. She and her husband have a 1.5 year old daughter. I hung out with her A LOT—took her to yoga classes, invited her over for dinners, took her to church, and tried to help her “heal” from her own divorce. Little did I know that my husband was telling her he loved her and was sleeping with her.
Her behavior towards me NEVER changed. She smiled, laughed, and carried on being my “friend.” I even texted her to ask if she knew what was going on with my husband as he became cold and distant–a generic “maybe he’s stressed response.” When I asked him what was going on claimed he was just overwhelmed going back to school and was suffering from depression. What a chump I was to believe that for weeks. I actually found out what was going on from my father-in-law! When confronted, my husband claimed for three days that it wasn’t physical until he realized he couldn’t deny it anymore. I asked him to fight for the marriage for two weeks and he kept saying “It’s too far. I’m scum. I’ll always be the cheating husband now.”
After finding out, I learned that he had been lying about a lot more than that. He told me that his ex-fiancé had cheated on him, but I came to find out that he actually cheated on her with at least three different women! I also learned about an engagement he broke up between two church leaders by charming the woman, convincing her to leave her fiancé, and then dumping her six months later. Next, after I moved out, took him off my car insurance, and talked to a lawyer, he turned it all around on me. He said I was the cruel and manipulative one. Oh, and here’s the kicker—I found out they moved in together less than a month after I found out about the cheating. And he took her to our church too. He is banned from our church now—thank goodness.
After all that he did to me and all the information I learned afterwards, I feel like the last 2.5 years of my life were a waste. I had two narcissists in my midst who both used me and lied to me countless times. And who knows if they were EVER going to say anything. I know from my research on narcissists that I will never truly understand their behavior. But I’m finding it so hard to close that door of hurt. How come with all this information of how shitty of a person he is (and she is), I can’t just say screw you Fuckwits and focus on me?
Dear Doubly Chumped,
It’s been 8 WEEKS since your D-Day. Eight weeks. Most chumps are in the drooling zombie stage at 8 weeks. Unshowered. Paralyzed with grief. Barfy. You, my friend, have moved out, gone no contact, and take yoga classes!
Exactly how far along on your “healing journey” did you expect to be by now? Misty life regret? Funny tragic-comic story over wine with girlfriends stage? Ugly life scar only hurts when Esther Perel gets a cover story stage?
You are MIGHTY! DC, you’re doing all the right things! Give it time.
Oh shut up, Tracy. No one wants to hear about time.
Yeah, well, I’m sorry. Bouncing back from this kind of horror show takes time. If it didn’t take you time, I’d wonder about the state of your soul. How bonded you were. How deeply you loved. I’m sorry you hurt. It means you’re a decent human being who bonded. Take some comfort from the fact you’re not a fuckwit.
As for doing the right things, no one feels mighty slogging through this shit. You just feel exhausted and unmoored. But trust me, you’re going to look back and be really proud of yourself for not giving your soon-to-be-ex and Ms. Thing one second more of your life. Most chump regrets center on “Why didn’t I leave sooner?” You LEFT. Yea!
An affair with an army friend who I made one of my bridesmaids in our wedding.
Come here and sit on the bench with me (pat, pat) of chumps who had Schmoopies in their wedding. I paid an OW’s bar tab. It’s a special kind of fucked up. You aren’t alone.
Your husband and your ex-friend are SICK. It’s takes a sociopathic amount of chutzpah to delight in the humiliation of someone on their wedding day. I’m sure they wouldn’t cop to that. But your declarative love for him, a vow made in front of assembled family and friends, was just a set piece for their drama. The frisson of their naughtiness. The high stakes for their furtive fucks.
Your love and attention, didn’t matter one iota to these freaks. If that doesn’t camp you out in the screw you, you suck stage, I don’t know what will. Both of them, but especially your “husband” took you to the highest heights, just to cut you down. All their actions were to goad you into more, and more, and MORE investment in them — all the while they were betraying you. Your soon-to-be-ex did not have to MARRY you. OWzilla didn’t have to go to church with you, or accept your friendship. All the triangulation and deception was grist for their mill. You were of use to them. That’s all.
He told me that his ex-fiancé had cheated on him, but I came to find out that he actually cheated on her with at least three different women! I also learned about an engagement he broke up between two church leaders by charming the woman, convincing her to leave her fiancé, and then dumping her six months later.
He’s a serial cheater. There’s nothing to save. I wish your FIL told you before the wedding, but at least you know now. He gets OFF playing with people’s lives. He thrills to the pick-me dance. Guess what’s in store for OWzilla? More of the same. And she sounds equally delightful. I feel sorry for her child.
Next, after I moved out, took him off my car insurance, and talked to a lawyer, he turned it all around on me. He said I was the cruel and manipulative one.
That’s the real him. Cruel and manipulative. DARVO is what these freaks do.
Oh, and here’s the kicker—I found out they moved in together less than a month after I found out about the cheating.
Well, someone’s got to pay his car insurance, DC.
How come with all this information of how shitty of a person he is (and she is), I can’t just say screw you Fuckwits and focus on me?
You are focusing on you. You’re no contact with them both, right? Why are you still untangling the skein of fuckupedness and reading self-help books on narcissists? Because you want to understand the nature of the bomb that detonated your life. You want to know what that trip wire looks like. I get it. Just don’t spend too much time there.
They did it because they can. Because it doesn’t hurt them to hurt you. And such people walk among us. You’ll never be naive about that fact again. Which is kind of sad, but also a sort of superpower. Your narc-dar will improve.
None of this is a waste if you learn from it. (This is where the chorus of chumps comes in to tell you how they lost 20, 30 years to a fuckwit and how fortunate you are.)
I know You Dodged a Bullet is the last thing you want to hear. Some people never get shot! Some people are loved honestly and have unbroken legacies of intact family togetherness! Some people are cherished! Why am I NOT ONE OF THESE PEOPLE?!
You have the chance to be now. And you never, ever had the chance to loved properly while married to him.
I’m glad you’re free. Keep up the good work.