I have a problem that I am really struggling with. What do I do when I meet the ex and the OW at an event for the first time?
A little background: was married 28 years , the last 2 years consisting of D-days and reconciliations. I smoked hopium and played the pick me dance: until I finally gave up, moved out, and filed for divorce. Our children were grown so I was able to do no-contact, I have actually not laid eyes on him in over 4 years, when I left, I never looked back.
Since then, there have been occasional texts and calls regarding family. We have become been polite and accommodating to each other when we communicate, with no longer any anger or animosity. I am now engaged to a wonderful man and fellow chump and am very happy!! The cheater has moved in with the OW (who was also married when they met) and is living with her. We seemed to have both moved on with our lives apart.
I will have to meet her for the first time, and see them together for our grandchild’s first birthday and a wedding we will all be attending. The thought of seeing them, and having to interact at all makes my stomach hurt and I get angry. I am usually at meh, this has shown me meh happens in stages and this is a new stage I will have to get through. Like it or not, my ex and I will be joined forever through our children.
What advice can you give about this situation? How do I look at them without the disgust showing on my face, or is it best to just ignore them? Most of my anger is directed at the OW, meeting her will be tough. I would really appreciate some help!!
Dear Happy Chump,
The pick me dance is over. She won a cheating fuckwit. You got a new life.
Do you feel like she won? The smartest thing you ever did was to exit the Fuckwit Thunderdome. She’s still in it! Competing for fuckwit prizes. I’m sure she’s not thrilled to make an appearance at these events, explaining how she fits into the picture. I’m sure he thrills to her pick me dance with his former life.
Don’t give these people any centrality. Enjoy that wedding, revel in your grandchild’s first birthday. Take your rightful seat at the table.
I know the OW is still the awful person who conspired in your abuse. But she does not deserve ANY power over you to ruin special events or a casual grocery store encounter. Exorcise that demon.
Treat the OW with all the polite indifference you’d give your local county tax assessor. You don’t have to dramatically snub her, ignore her entreaties to pass the canapés, or openly shun her. That’s kibbles. Just yawn in her general direction. She’s not the most fascinating person in the room. I doubt she’s going to sashay across the floor and seduce the caterer.
You don’t have to interact with your ex or the OW (oh, I think someone needs help in the kitchen! gotta scoot!) or sit next to them, or pretend to be friends. You just have to endure their presence.
You can do that. Especially with Mr. Wonderful by your side. Are you happy, Happy? Wouldn’t you rather be married to Mr. Wonderful than your cheating ex?
The OW and your ex were just the catalyst to your better life. You don’t owe them anything for that. All the resiliency is on on you. But you don’t need to let them drag you down either. He’s someone you shared some history with, but not values. She’s a nitwit who shares his shallow worldview.
Turds may appear in the punchbowl, doesn’t mean you have to drink the punch.
Enjoy the parties.