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Kick Me Out of My Funk

Hello Chump Lady,

Can you give me some pearls of wisdom (or a swift kick in the pants) to get out of my funk? It’s been almost 5 years since D-day. Married for 24 years at D-day, together for 26, almost 30 years together at divorce.

I found out (for sure) Yahoo was cheating from the police coming to my home. They were looking for him to forcibly take him to a psych eval.

Here’s the background… I found after D-day that he had been serial cheating on me for at least 6 years. He got cancer in 2010 and instead of becoming a better person, he decided you only live once and decided he never really wanted to marry me so he started cheating, devaluing, etc.

He’d head to Vegas with the “guys” and hang out with his friends in bars here in town (no mutual friends between us. Should have been a red flag right there. We basically led separate lives.) I trusted him, though, so I didn’t ever object. I just felt like if he cared so little about me that he might actually be cheating, then I didn’t want him anyway. But I was suspicious. I found cards and pictures of other women in his sock drawer. He started grooming himself differently, dressing nicer, the whole bit. Yet I still told myself that he was an honorable person, and sure, he might want to leave me, but he’d come to me and tell me; he would never cheat.

So on Labor Day 2016, my anniversary weekend, he asked to go to Vegas with the “guys.” I said ok, I even drove him to the airport and I’ll never forget, I said to him, “Don’t do anything stupid while you’re there.” Of course, I was thinking of too much gambling or something. Well, he didn’t return home when he said he would. Wasn’t answering phone calls. I was out walking the dog about 2 days after he was scheduled to return home when I rounded the corner and saw a police car with an officer standing on my lawn talking to my 13-year-old son. I figured Yahoo had killed someone drunk driving or something. Long story short, he finally got enough pressure from Schmoopie that he actually married her in Vegas. Yes, he wasn’t there to meet the “guys.” Unbelievable. It’s a void marriage and a felony to commit bigamy in Vegas. And he’s a lawyer!

So apparently, Schmoopie and Yahoo had returned to our city and holed up in a hotel. They’re out partying one night and the enormity of the double-life he constructed finally hit him along with too much alcohol and he tripped down some stairs and started threatening to kill himself. Schmoopie called an ambulance (apparently she’s unaware at this point that he’s married so she’s pretty panicked and confused by his behavior). He’s at the hospital and they’re preparing a petition for a psych eval when he walks off.

The police get a pick-up order, come to my home looking for him, and scare the living daylights out of my son banging on our door, telling him to open up. They asked him where his dad was and how long his parents had been married, and he told them forever, and that’s when they blurted out to my son that his father got married in Vegas and they were looking for him. Unbelievable that they did that. Perhaps they thought he was older. (He was tall for his age with a pretty deep voice.) Anyway, that’s when I showed up with the dog and got the details.

Unbelievably, I did the whole wreckoncilitation thing for two years until I’d finally had enough and filed for divorce, which was final in 2019. I stayed in the family home with my son until this year when he turned 18.

My “problem” is we sold the family home a month ago and in this market I can’t find another place to live without spending a fortune for a home that’s so much less than what I had, that I don’t even like at all, that requires tons of repairs, but it’s all I can find in my price range, and I’m scared of over spending by thousands of dollars while watching my pennies for retirement. I was doing ok but after selling the home, I’m finding that I’m depressed, angry, and anxious all over again.

Meanwhile, he has rich parents who pay his rent, etc. (Of course, he quit work in all this mess and can’t find another job, apparently.) I know there are so many others who are not as fortunate as I am, but I can’t shake this. I’m completely no contact as our son is now 18, but I just feel like my life is over. I have no interest in dating, none at all. I just see myself muddling through work until I retire, in my crappy house that I paid too much for, with my son gone at college 1000 miles away, and I might as well just pack it in. I’ve looked at volunteering, which I do intend to do, but I’m so angry, depressed, and anxious I can barely function each day right now.

Any helpful suggestions, other than “grow up?” Maybe I’m just a big baby. I’m really hurting right now, and I don’t see my way into the future. How do I become more appreciative of what I have and quit worrying so much? All I can do is be sad about all of this. I have a real fear of ending up poor and alone, so I am so scared about buying this house, but I don’t want to throw away rent either and have the market become so high I can never buy if I sit out renting and spend all that rent money. I’m a mess. Why can’t I just be happy about what I have and make a decision on a home vs renting and move on? I’m so anxious I can’t even make a decision. Seriously, what is wrong with me?

Thank you,

Depressed, Angry and Anxiety-ridden

Dear Depressed,

I don’t think your problem is real estate. I think it’s depression. You’ve been dealt one blow after the next after the next. Betrayal, wreckconciliation, divorce, empty nest, moving. It’s a LOT, especially in a short span of time. Quit beating yourself up, you’re grieving.

I’m not arguing against appreciating what you have or volunteering — I think those things go a long way when it comes to funk beating. But I’d do a couple other things right now — get to a psychiatrist and get screened for depression. There’s no shame in it. And no shame in going on anti-depressants for awhile, just to right the mood ship while you’re making some big life decisions.

Trauma can really fuck up your health. Don’t gloss over my yada yada yada self-care speech. Trauma. Can. Really. Fuck. Up. Your. Health. We’ve done posts on this here at CN — hair falls out in clumps, the “infidelity diet,” mysterious rashes, auto-immune diseases, ad infinitum. Stop making this about your “bad attitude” and start thinking about it as your HEALTH. Protect your health. See a doctor about your mental health, eat nutritious food, take long walks or whatever your preferred form of exercise is. Grief is a marathon.

Next, (and I know this is the depression talking), quit catastrophizing. I’m waving my magic Chump Lady wand and I’m giving you permission to make a Less Than Stellar decision. You have to live somewhere. Rent for a year and give yourself space to consider your What Next. Or buy a condo. Or buy a house in a seller’s market. NONE OF THESE THINGS ARE FATAL. You are an intelligent woman, a resilient woman. YOU WILL WORK THIS OUT.

Consider solo living — do you really need the upkeep and size of another house? What might be groovy and unique for you? Think creatively — maybe you’d enjoy communal living with a friend or a retirement apartment complex with activities. Maybe you rent or live in a small apartment for a few years while you plan for retirement to someplace a thousand miles away, in a cheaper market, and THEN you buy something.

Maybe offloading that house is an opportunity you just can’t see right now?

I know that losing a relationship AND a family home is a tremendous shit sandwich. I’ve grieved gardens. Hell, I dug up a Japanese maple when I left the cheater, put it in a giant Rubbermaid tote and hauled it to work, and presented it to a green thumbed coworker. I’d was going to be god-damned if I let that cheater kill that tree. (Many years later, that former coworker still sends me pictures of how the tree is doing. It’s thriving.)

We all get it. Losing the family home. The pollution of the family home. (Schmoopies slept there.) The financial loss. But losing houses can also be a gateway to freedom.

Now YOU call the shots on how you live and where you live. No matter how humble the dwelling, it’s YOURS. You choose the paint colors. You get all the closet space. You plant what YOU want. No bad cheater juju.

So, rent or own, you get PEACE. Your life isn’t over, it’s beginning in new surroundings.

Grief sucks, but it’s finite. (Get professional help if it feels infinite.) I believe you’ll blossom again in the right environment. Being rootless isn’t forever. Hang in there.

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.
  • Depressed – Thank you for sharing your honest feelings which are so completely understandable. I’m sure it was difficult to re-visit the events even several years later. And thank you, CL, for running this current letter and for your wise advice.

    In addition to a full eval and posssible medication, the writer can consult with real estate professionals and retirement planners. I’ve used the pandemic (there’s another stressor!) to finalize my divorce, consolidate my finances, voluntee and explore co-housing. But some days, even three years after first DD, I am satisfied to do just one or two of these tasks.

    If I combine those with one or two wellness efforts and touching base with one or two friends, I count that a good day.

    I hope Depressed finds a way forward to a sweet, little home.

    • Thanks to everyone at chump nation, and especially CL, for their words of wisdom. Yes, I think I’m likely depressed and suffering from PTSD. I cry a lot, break down in front of my son, strangers, the whole bit. I am starting back on a med I took when this whole thing blew up so hopefully it’ll help soon. I’m not sleeping, losing weight, etc. I need to right the ship. Your support means so much. When I look back, I think there was a lot more subtle abuse and devaluing than I realized. I also didn’t even mention that my ex was a horrible, neglectful father so I’ve been a single parent since day one. When things were really starting to go bad and my ex and I were fighting a lot and my son was starting to realize that his dad wasn’t involved with him at all like the other dads, he took an overdose of my ex’s sleeping med in 7th grade. I wondered why he was sleeping one whole day, but he was breathing when I checked on him and there were no signs at all that he’d do something like that. My son told me about it a year later. So there’s that too. My son is thankfully fine now, but I know he’ll have issue come up from his childhood later in life. So I guess I have had a lot to deal with, but no more than all of us have gone through with these cheaters. ((Hugs)) to everyone.

      • Depressed, all of this IS traumatic and so sad. I grieved my garden and all the trees my son planted when I decided to sell and move to a house 4 times smaller with zero garden, but with 3 prolific avocado trees. The BEST financial and practical decision I made. The only downside is that there are no stairs = extra exercise, but one can make up for that; I also put in a garden.

        Please do not let a cheater ruin your health or your son’s health. Everything else can be fixed.

        • Thanks to everyone again. I’m reading all the comments, and it’s so heartening to hear that I’m not alone, although I already knew that because I’ve been lurking here but not posting since D-day. Thank god I found this site!

          • Hi DAAR,
            Sorry to hear you are in such a funk. I’ve been there for sure. Like you I found that by the time my Fuckwit finally settled house prices had gone thru the roof in the area I wanted to buy. I’m a bit alternative and wanted to live sustainably and I be been interested in the tiny house movement for years. So I thought, why not? I watched heaps of YouTube vids on it and researched builder and also where I would put my tiny house. I have friends on a farm outside of Melbourne and they have given me a beautiful space to put my house. It finally arrived last weekend and I LOVE IT! I have a brand new house off grid in a gorgeous rural area. It costs me next to nothing to live here. No electricity or water bills. Just a small fee to my friends for the rental space. Thinking outside of the box can release you from the pain of the past.

      • OMG, Depressed, you’ve been through so many things! And your poor son 🙁 How is he now?

        It sounds like you’ve been through 18-year survival course where you did’t know where the next blow was coming from – I fully understand what you say about PTSD! We often forget that surviving things requires strength and that strength can be seriously depleted when there is one blow after another. It is very easy to slip into depression when you are mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted.

        In addition to what CL and CN said about seeing a doctor, may I suggest not volunteering just yet and instead focusing on doing things that are enjoyable for you? It seems to me you need to refill your strength and resilience reservoirs first. Having fun and pampering yourself are great ways to do that in my experience 🙂 Good luck and hugs! 🙂

      • Depressed, you and your son have been through hell. Don’t feel that you don’t have a right to be traumatized just because some other chumps are in a worse situation. Your ex sounds emotionally abusive, so it seems likely this is more longterm CPTSD and about more than just the cheating. You already suspect it yourself, so you’re doing the self analysis you need to do. I would suggest a therapist, however, in my experience it’s difficult to find a good one. A bad one makes things worse, so be careful. Interview them as to their views on adultery and betrayal trauma before you choose one. I’m glad you’re going back on meds. Much love to you and your son.❤

  • Dear Depressed, Chump Lady is right. Please do as Tracy suggests and get you to a Doctor.

    All of this is temporary. Even this out of control housing market is temporary. Have you considered RV living? That is another housing possibility. You, your son, and the dog could have new surroundings whenever you wanted to drive away. This could be a temporary solution to your housing needs.

    I am deeply sorry for you and your son. I suggest you get as far away as possible from that bigamist. He abused you. Adultery is abuse. You are dealing with the trauma that is the result of that abuse. Depression can be a response to that abuse.

    Take back your power and take care of you.

    • As a chump currently living in an RV, I can attest to how nice a change of scenery can be. I really enjoy that aspect. Also, though there is not the level responsibility found with living in a sticks and bricks home, there are other things to be considered. For instance, at the moment, RV parks and state parks are booked solid, and where to live is a conundrum. Boondocking is always an option, but if you are living in a climate that is hot right now you are going to want good climate control which means plugging in somewhere. Rv’s become hot boxes in hot weather without electricity for an ac. Also furnaces need electricity beyond what house batteries can provide. There are a whole bunch of trade offs with RV living. It’s a different set of things necessary for a good life.

      Plusses are not having taxes, freedom to come and go as I please, decorating my rig as I please, new experiences and meeting new people, and a sense of freedom that I have never had before.

      Cons are things like having to do laundry at a laundromat, establishing a mailing address and state residency, figuring out where to park for the night, staying warm or cool, and dealing with water supply, black and grey tanks, energy needs, vehicle and tire maintenance.

      If you are a person who relishes a challenge and can take setbacks in stride, who enjoys new experiences and likes the idea of exercising your ingenuity, it’s a great life style.

      For the folks who thrive on a sense of
      security and continuity….not so much.

  • Oh my – please get screened for depression. It’s warranted because the situation has been ongoing, the pandemic, the real estate markets, the stress…

    I double the recommendation of renting an apartment, or sharing a home with a friend or some other variation on the theme. Home ownership isn’t the best solution for everyone at all times. Really – it’s not. It may not be right for you AT THIS TIME.

    Things have changed significantly and you are feeling unsteady – we get it.

    I’m so glad he didn’t harm you more than he has already.

  • I agree with CL that grieving loss is real and trauma is real and getting through it in a genuine way takes time. (I extended mine with a 5 year wreckonciliation, gah).

    I will add that The Universe also tasked you with recovering from this awful experience during a pandemic when so many options of social interaction were non-existent.

    THIS IS HARD. (One of my kids moved to a new state the pandemic and had to face unemployment, isolation and cancer… mom-coaching him through that was quite a trick. Not throwing the javelin in the Pain Olympics here – just saying all of our experiences are valid and life has been really hard).

    I was stuck for a LONG time and even though I still process my shit on a daily basis, Im one of the many chumps here who prove that you can get through this shit and eventually thrive. Keep going !

  • “Now YOU call the shots on how you live and where you live. No matter how humble the dwelling, it’s YOURS. You choose the paint colors. You get all the closet space. You plant what YOU want”

    I second this! Having your own space that’s completely your own space is an absolutely amazing feeling. When my X left me and our kiddos (both still in diapers), I ended up buying (my first!) home quite by accident through a grant program in my community.

    I was a single income earner currently with no job and two dependents. You better believe I couldn’t afford anything but a piece of crap. What I found in my price range (with that grant) was a 564 sq foot, one bedroom shack, built in the 50s, with a lot of repair problems. It… was not a quality house, let’s be real.

    But it was *my* house! It wasn’t “formerly our home”; my adulterous X had nothing to do with this place. It was all mine. The kids shared the one bedroom and I slept in the livingroom… for years! Eventually, when I could, I upgraded. But I loved that crappy, humble shack because it was mine. I learned to do many of my own repairs (some badly, lol), I decorated it 100% the way I wanted to without having to defer to him, and the whole “I’m living in a shack now” experience was wonderful because that place was mine and it was untainted by him or memories of him.

    I was still grieving but I was becoming absolutely intoxicated by this new feeling of absolute independence.

    In these spaces I hear many chumps who (understandably) fear moving to a new place or downgrading their living spaces to something more sensible for the numbers in their family or their new economic situation. My story, of course, is not everyone’s story because mileage will always vary but I say: do it! Downgrade to a smaller place if you have to. Not only is there no shame on it, it can actually be a fantastic and empowering experience.

    I loved that crappy little shack. It served me well in a time of need.

    • I went from a large house to a town home, which I could afford on my own, but never wanted to do (shared walls, HOA, etc.) Well the neighbors are great, the HOA is reasonable (and takes care of so much that would be hard to juggle as the single parent of a young kid), and that place is MINE (fuckwit not included). I was surprised with how quickly it began to feel like home, and my daughter and I are happy there. I couldn’t ask for more.

      • We fear change. I know I did.

        Things I wanted to keep: my marriage, my husband, our family home, the lifestyle we had together.

        Things I did not want: to be divorced, to have a “broken family,” to move into a crappy “it leaks when everytime it rains and the livingroom is also my bedroom” shack.

        Things I am thrilled about now: I LOVE not being married; my family is not broken, in fact, it finally started to feel seriously and organically and complete after he finally left; and I LOVED living in that one bedroom shack because it was mine.

        All the things I thought I never wanted (single parenthood, divorce, crappy new little house) ended up being some of the best things that ever happened to me in my whole life.

        It gets better. And it gets better in the strangest of ways sometimes: by embracing what you fear. For me, every “downgrade” was an absolute upgrade in every sense.

          • I still have my struggles. I’ve cut FW out of my life (NC/grey rock/business only i.e., money talk or kid talk and *nothing* personal) and because his parents adore the affair partner he married (GF #3), I don’t contact them either. (After my former in-laws took my kids, FW, and GW #3 out on a family vacation (while FW and I were separated but not divorced yet) and I saw that their house had Sears style portrait photos of FW and GF#3 up (everywhere and displayed prominently), I felt like crying and realized that I had to let them go too; they were absolutely invested in their son’s new relationship and I don’t fault them for that but I don’t want any part of that.)

            I struggle with how much power FW has over me. Just the thought of him being angry with me makes me want to cry (no contact is such a blessing) and the knowledge that I will have to be around him one day for a major family event of some sort makes me feel nervous and vomitty. I don’t even want to look at him; any glimpses I’ve caught of him for the past several years have always been accidental.

            I love my single life. I love that he’s not a part of it. I loved my crappy shack that was my first “all on my own” house. I love my new house (which he had never once stepped foot in 🙂 ). But I still struggle with the fact that he’s around and I will have to encounter him again one day or even talk to him; the thought of it makes me want to nervous puke.

            I’ve come so far and I’m still moving forward every day. But I haven’t reached meh; it’s not Tuesday yet. I’ll get there.

  • Depressed

    My therapist says 5-7 years to grieve a long term marriage. A local friend, the former Clerk of Courts for many years, told me to buy & don’t look back, meaning if you do over pay don’t worry about it.

    I’m hoping to settle 2.5 years since I filed, after my husband cheated with coworker, became a late life addict, she’s 30, he’s 63, he’s a mess. Police at my door, at 3am, office was broken into, humiliating to tell police he now lives with gold digger. I have supportive family, friends & great neighbors but will have to continue to make decisions I never thought I’d have to make. You’re going to be fine. We can do this.

    • This 5-7 years to grieve a long term marriage scares me! I have been married 31 years, knew him for 36. I will be turning 55…..that means I will not be over this until my 60’s. 🤦🏻‍♀️. I am hoping that the grieving period is from d-day (8 months ago) and not the divorce date (which is hopefully coming soon).
      I am
      Also very nervous financially but can’t wait to get him out of my life! Was leading a 2nd life for 4 years. Very manipulative now. The best thing that I learned from CL is the no contact.

      • The trauma lessens each month. Not sure what 5-7 means and certainly depends on lots of factors. So be optimistic about your freedom. I’m 4 out and happy to be free. The memories are there but no longer sad. Hugs! Btw-I’m 70.

      • I am 56, was married 26 years, 2 years to divorce. He was a narcissist but not a cheater.

        I didn’t wait 5-7 years, not remotely close to waiting that long. I jumped right into an intense relationship. and HE was the cheater. I kicked him out immediately – after a long and crappy marriage I knew better than to let a cheater stick around.

        BUT- that taught me that I need my space in my own place. It also taught me what I want in a relationship, at least for now: one loyal guy that has his own life, his own home. We can go on dates, vacations, whatevers, but at the end of the day I have my space and he has his. I’m close to 5 years from when I filed and I’m almost a year into the 2nd relationship after – and this one is calm and gives me the breathing room I need. He respects that I need the space.

        Do I grieve? Sure – It would be nice to have an actual life partner. I thought I had that 2 different times, but I chose poorly. I have kids, friends, lover, but in the end I have myself and that’s where I need to find peace.

        Good luck!

      • That estimate is probably correct in most cases, but it does not mean the grief is equally as intense the whole time. It’s like grieving anything else in that it gets progressively less intense with time. I believe the recovery process starts from the time you kick the bum out, not from when the divorce is final.
        So I look at it this way- without the jerk, my future can only improve. I’m in my fifties as well. Don’t sweat it. You’ll live peacefully without the fuckwit around.

      • Thank you all! I certainly don’t want to rush my life but I look forward to moving on and getting my life back!

  • It took me several years to work through the trauma. There’s still some left, if Im honest.

    What’s weird is that D-day and divorce are SO bad that every next day feels kinda (or should be) better. I felt like I “should” be feeling better than I actually was.

    It’s confusing and a heavy load to carry.

    Little-by-little you start putting shit down you don’t need to carry. Most of which are expectations of a life path you thought you were on.

    Little-by-little you do start to feel better. But it’s slow.

    • Thanks for saying this.
      Dday was aug 2017. Divorce final aug 2018.
      I know i have made tremendous progress in my healing but it isnt over and i feel like i should be further along than i am.
      Tuesday i had an hour long parenting plan mediation w ex and kiddos therapist. Yesterday morning i had my first full blown anxiety attack in almost a year. Today i still feel the effects and very disconnected from my body.
      Why did seeing how angry and itrational he is about me cause me to take such a big, but temporary, step backward?
      Because i am still working through all of this. Because it is still hard to deal with someone who harbors so much rage and contempt for me when that person was my BFF and the best man i knew for 15 years. Because i genuinely dont understand it.

      I hate that it knocked me on my butt. I hate that i am so weak. I hate that it still hurts.

      • “I hate that it knocked me on my butt. I hate that i am so weak. I hate that it still hurts.”

        You are NOT weak! You were fully committed and invested in the relationship. The fact that it still hurts underscores that you weren’t phoning it in.

        His anger and irrationality may have prompted the anxiety attack because you are recognizing that he could have harmed you and easily justified it to himself. That the person you knew is gone or worse – never existed.

        Please don’t beat yourself up. He’s happy to do it for you, don’t do it to yourself too.

        Big hugs.

      • I believe their rage and hatred of us, comes from them losing control of us. It’s so appropriate that they lose control over us, and chumps are happy about this change, but Narcs hate it.
        It’s helpful to look at this and just think- How dare you??? That’s how I feel, and it’s helped me to be clear about what’s going on. Mostly I stay away from him, but we do have 3 children together.
        I know now that the X didn’t see me as even a human, who has rights. So F him, that’s so wrong. His anger is his problem, and he can own all of it!

      • Here’s how I’ve started to look at it; instead of being “weak” or one of the many other harder emotions, I see this whole experience as a powerful life lesson. And I’ve been given the opportunity to really change grow much into a newer, stronger person.

        And each time I get knocked back or feel anxious, I try and focus it as another moment to grow. Its never easy, but the narrative changes and I become more powerful instead of weaker despite how the emotion feels.

        I’ve also read “The Body Keeps Score” and while its not my story, learning how trauma stays in the body is helpful. Yoga and exercise have helped move that trauma along.

        I hope this helps my fellow butterfly

        • Great advice, Tall One. It is really important to focus on priorities. I too focus on my children and our mental and physical health. The kids (all young adults) and I immediately started to carve out time and resources to vacation together. We make bucket lists, save up money, a challenge for sure, and just go for it. It has been the best way to move forward.

      • You’re not weak. You survived something horrific. That takes strength. There are hiccups on the road to healing, especially if the cheater continues to be vile and you can’t be NC because of the kids. Your ex is the weak one. He projects his self loathing onto you. He despises his own weakness but can’t deal with his feelings in a healthy way. He can’t recover from wilfully fucking up his own life because he’s too chickenshit to face the fact that it was his fault and he did wrong. He has to have a punching bag to blame it on and take it out on. That’s a coward and a weakling who does that.

        I don’t understand how my ex could do all this awful stuff to me after 30 years together either, but I know I have to get to a point where I’m okay with just attributing it to the fact that he sucks as a person and is fucked in the head. I’m not all the way there yet, but I will be, and you will as well.

  • Oh my gosh, Depressed. Definitely get screened for depression. Also for PTSD. You’ve been through some serious trauma. It’s normal to be a mess after what you’ve been through, and the Covid insanity can’t be helping.

  • OP: I feel I need to point out in your letter you say he didn’t wanna be married to you anymore, so we started fooling around. If he didn’t want to be married to you anymore, why didn’t he divorce you?
    Chumplady has discussed on this forum how infidelity is abuse. Perhaps your ex-husband felt entitled to abuse you to take out his anger when being diagnosed with cancer; however I propose that he was always a bit of a schmuck and was abusing you in subtle ways before the discovered infidelity.
    The net net is that you spent 30 years with an abuser. Of course you feel horrible. It’s going to take you a minute to feel better. Give yourself the time to grieve, and adjust. And maybe even find a place to live with an income property. There are more ways to live than just a house. Please take care of yourself and would love an update.

  • Great advice, CL! I think sometimes we chumps initially try to recreate the life we had, complete with a similar house. But maybe that doesn’t serve us anymore, and we can do something radically different! Especially since your son successfully went off to college. Maybe you, like myself, made your life ALL about the crazy fuckwit! Now you need to focus on you for a change. About time.
    I recommend massages, walks in nature with a friend, time with siblings, and journaling about your ideal life.
    My sister helped me a lot, taking me to yoga classes, and even a high end spa, with hot and cold plunge pools! I started feeling alive again, but it takes time.
    Sending you love, and hope for a future where you come first!

  • Wow this is timely. Thanks CL. 2 years after D Day and I’m in a similar funk. It helps to know this is normal.

    • I was recently dived by a veteran senior financial advisor on my moms estate- whatever you do, you will always wish you had done something else- I’m other words, hindsight is 20 20. There is no perfect right answer to investing – house, condo location price etc.
      Invest in yourself first- with professional support. You deserve it the most. You’ve experienced a Boatload of trauma and kept functioning not possibly able to deal with it all on the go. So far you have survived and that’s a win.

  • Simply sending you my love and support. I feel very much the way you do and needed, like you, to hear that it’s okay to be grieving still. I had been doing pretty well and am now surprised to be be backpedaling. Recovering from this kind of shock is hard and NOT linear. It helps to read CL, get encouragement from everyone, and remember it will be okay. Bless you. Take gentle care of yourself.

  • Six years out. Had to move 5 times in 3 years before finding the current apartment I’m in. The cost is over-priced market average, but its clean, in good repair and the landlord doesn’t suck. The housing market is outrageous here too. I also don’t want to buy an overpriced renovation job that isn’t’ what I really wanted in the first place with what little $ I have.

    I don’t know if I’ll ever be a homeowner. I may end up having to leave this town and a job that I love if I ever want to have my own house. I’m giving myself another year, until my son graduates HS and is off to college, before I make any final decisions. I’m hoping the landscape will be more conducive to my financial situation by that time for finding my own place.

  • Not only did he leave you alone on your anniversary weekend, he LEFT you and married another woman on your anniversary weekend. That’s an insult on top of injury, and you may have been retriggered by the recent Memorial Day weekend, the other summer bookend to Labor Day. I know we don’t untangle their skien—police apparently wanted a pscyh eval to try to do that–but I did wonder if he was afraid he’d forget Schmoopie’s anniversary, and chose to re-use yours. Whatever the reason, that’s extra pain, but someday it may be laughable that he’d be so shallow, and cruel, to you, Schmoops, and your son, who’s old enough to know the dates.
    Your concerns are valid, particularly for many older chumps. There’s good advice here, and also from real estate and money management professionals who participate in Second Saturdays workshops in-person and on-line to support people (especially women) going through divorce. http://www.secondsaturday.com/
    You ask what’s wrong with you, while I see what’s right. It burns that he– a lawyer–isn’t working and has mommy and daddy paying his rent, while you’re being the sane parent, doing the adulting for yourself and your son while working to pay your way. If he uses unemployment to avoid paying support to you or your child, ask a lawyer if your state considers that voluntary unemployment and he’s still liable based on former income.
    You wrote that “we” sold the house. That’s physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting in any situation, and especially in yours, especially if your ex was uncooperative. You lost your life partner, then the home that was a safe harbor and tied to your future dreams.
    A house can be a large part of our identity, and you’re concerned that the next one won’t live up to the former. It might help to think that you’re looking for a home for an independent woman and her son, rather than suiting a wife and husband.
    Since your son is 18, you may be experiencing some real or anticipatory empty-nest grief.
    Feeling angry, depressed and stressed are all justified. Medication, a good therapist, and a support group can all help. I think you also need both rest and a reprieve from all the emotional and mental demands. As others have suggested, co-housing or a short-term rental could give you a cushion while you wait for the real estate market to cool down and consider other long-term options. Housing stability is a basic need, and it will be hard to feel safe or settled until you resolve that, even temporarily.
    As others have said, take care of yourself. See your doctor for depression and anxiety, and find some individual or group support. You’re still grieving your losses and coming through trauma. You’ve surmounted the challenges of work, child-rearing and home selling during a pandemic. Although you’re feeling down, you’re mighty.

  • I, too, find this timely, as I, like the letter writer, was hit with a series of life changes and challenges all at the same time or in quick sequence (divorce, complete with selling the house and moving to a rental, followed by retirement, then straight into temporarily relocating a thousand miles away to look after elderly mother, interrupted by pandemic, with its rise of house prices in the tight real estate market). Depression has also signed its name on my dance card too many times in my life.

    “Depressed,” you does indeed sound as if you are suffering from “situational depression,” brought on by events outside your control that have altered your life and left you without the social and financial framework you built your life on. Your cheating husband not only abused you with his cheating, but exposed you to the humiliating and infuriating experience of the police coming to your house and traumatizing your son. Your son’s leaving home is happening at a time that compounds the challenges you face. Add in the pandemic. Add in the financial uncertainty that comes with divorce, and the spiraling upwards of house prices. No wonder you feel overwhelmed, and our response to feeling overwhelmed is that sometimes we just shut down. We might know what will help us move forward, but can’t find within us the wherewithal to make that happen or even reach for help.

    Recognizing that depression can be a rational rather than a pathological response is a start. They don’t call it “situational depression” for nothing. It’s not that you’re weak; it’s that you’ve been traumatized.

    Getting tested for depression can be useful, although a lot of family doctors have squat-all experience treating it. Nor are medications necessarily the best first line of defense, or always helpful. Some anti-depressants zero out your emotions altogether; some bring weight gain (which is in and of itself depressing!); some start you ruminating or fixating, even about suicide. Apart from medications you can arrange, if you can afford it, talk therapy with a therapist who sees adultery as abuse, and is trained in trauma recovery. If–IF–you can summon the energy to make those appointments.

    If you can’t, you can also start by helping yourself, taking the baby steps that you can manage in your depressed state. Start by engaging in box-breathing that Velvet Hammer wrote about, because it helps engage your parasympathetic nervous system and calms you. Become as conscious as you can about looking for things that give you even momentary pleasures or make you feel good: a neighbor’s garden (or your own), the clouds, a bird. Seek them out.

    These practices won’t solve the bigger problem of making house prices go back down, but they will help you to a state in which that problem is a problem to be solved and a challenge to be met rather than a reason to despair.

  • You are not alone! After D-Day, I left the home I had helped design. We had just put a huge addition on it. I moved in with my mom. There wasn’t another bed besides hers, so for a few weeks I slept with my mom in a king sized water bed. 9 months later the FBI questioned me about him.
    We’ve been through hell but I assure you with time it does get better!

  • This isn’t a funk, it sounds like you have depression. Which is a real thing after you experience major life upheaval. And it can go on for a long time, it’s not a quick get up and get over it thing.

    What you’re doing to yourself right now, saying “Kick me out of this, I just need to get over it” is called emotional bypassing. You’re trying to rush yourself through a healing process that needs to take time. You’re telling yourself to just get on and get over it, you should be over it, all you need is just a swift kick in the pants to jumpstart it. You’re trying to bypass the longer journey it takes to deal with the pain caused by this situation. Doing this can lead to more prolonged depression and anxiety. Because these things you’ve experienced need to be faced.

    You experienced first, the trauma if discovering long term infidelity (upheaval number one) you spackled while the evidence of continued cheating built up in your house (upheaval number two) your husband did not return home on the day he was scheduled to return (upheaval number three) police showed up at your door interrogating your adolescent son (upheaval number four) you found out your husband had escaped from the hospital pending a petitioning for involuntary admission to a psychiatric facility (number five) that he was now a bigamist (six) you went through wreckoncilliation (seven) and the selling of your family home you had lived in for the greater portion of your now ended marriage (eight.)

    This is not something that fades to black in a short time. Especially not when you try to force yourself to get passed it before you’ve really addressed the level of pain and trauma it did to you. First and foremost, you should accept that this did you major emotional harm. It is real. It is painful, and it is traumatic. Second, you need to seek professional counseling and consider the possibility of antidepressant medication to help take the edge off the physical symptoms of depression (of which there are several, even if you don’t fully notice them) and help your mind steady itself. I take them for my anxiety (Anxiety secondary to PTSD) and they have made a world of difference in my ability to focus on therapy.

    Also, CL is right, you need to slow down and take things steps at a time. Don’t think about big houses, years down the line, etc. Think about the right now. You need to live somewhere. This doesn’t mean you have to live forever in the place you choose in this moment. Renting for a year or two while you work on therapy for yourself and figuring out how to settle your finances is not the end of your life. And she does make a good point, if you are currently living by yourself, is it really necessary to have an entire house, with multiple rooms, and the required upkeep, for just one person? You don’t have to hole up in a studio apartment, but there are many things in between that and a house. See what your other options are.

    Lastly, give yourself more time. Don’t set the expectation for yourself that you have to be over and done with this already. The grief process is not short, and it’s not linear either. Some days will be harder than others, and that’s fair. Don’t rush yourself. Your ex husband decided he was allowed to take all the energy he wanted to destroy your home life and go be a complete ass hair. You actually are allowed to take all the time and energy you need to heal from the harm that did.

    • Dear Depressed:

      ^^^^^^What Kara says ^^^^^^^

      You have had a lifetime’s worth of shocks delivered in rapid succession, by someone you loved and trusted. Your world exploded…over and over again. You are traumatized. Funk is when Starbucks can’t make your favorite beverage, or you can’t find your cell phone, or you spilled chlorox on a good shirt. Trauma is when the man you loved for decades and thought you knew is revealed as a callous, lying stranger.

      If you can afford it: a good trauma therapist and EMDR. Meds have a temporary place as everyone has suggested. And most of all: go easy on yourself. Surviving all this is like going through a war. If your friend walked up your driveway, returning from war, her body burnt and shrapnel in her skin, eyes staring, just kind of lurching along…you would go out and hug her, help her into your house, give her some soup, talk to her in comforting, loving words. Allow the same for yourself. Allow some healing time. Get a cheap but safe rental and give yourself a break. Do things that give you pleasure, even if it is a bubble bath or watching some crappy no-redeming-social-value TV. Read a book if you enjoy that. Buy some nail polish in a color you love. All this is camoflauged as frivolity, but it makes you stronger. No big decisions for now. You are going to be a different person when you heal, and you don’t know what she needs yet.

    • I wish there were a LIKE button for this!! ^^^^^ some really really sage and easy to digest advice. <3

  • I was in my mid 40’s when I divorced the father of my children, My sons were 9 and 12 then. I was in my mid 50’s when I divorced the rebounder. Our life changed, then changed again.

    I am mid 60’s now, retired for 2 years, and happier than I ever was before because I am finally doing what I want to do when I want to do it. My son’s are grown, my dad died this year, my mother has dementia and probably won’t live much longer, and there is nothing I can do about any of my past decisions. All I have to look forward to is whatever life I have left. So I do not concentrate on possessions. I do concentrate on health and joy.

    I do not need a big house to care for, or fancy clothes, or a shiny new car. I have to live somewhere, and I’ll probably buy one more car before I go. So I am happily living in my small home, driving an 8 year old car, living on a budget, and taking care of myself. The two most important things I do are eat healthy food, and play music with my friends. Post pandemic panic, live music is back in my life, and for a few hours every week, I am so happy! I don’t dress up, and no one else does either, and we all just share something we love doing, and companionship, and it is more than enough.

    I am not doing what I thought I would be doing, or living the way I thought I would, but so what? Life is about change and adaptation. Who has a right to judge or evaluate you? What do you really need? What can you do for yourself? You don’t need permission, or approval. Live. For. You. It is not selfish, it is the best gift you can give yourself. Find your joy, and don’t make an apology. Look at the advantages of your new choices, don’t consider them a downgrade, consider them an opportunity to be happy.

    I am not being flip. Transitions are hard, and uncertainty is scary. Just don’t stay stuck in your past hopes and dreams. It is so much healthier to create new hopes and dreams, and to be fine when you are pleased with something. No one else has to like or approve any of your choices. People who are your true support system will be happy that you are happy. You are on a trip to MEH, it is ok to take side trips and to stop and smell the roses along the way. The same destination awaits all of us, it is what you do on the journey that makes life interesting.

  • This is timely for me as well; I just posted yesterday about my frustration in how Kave-man won’t leave the home that my attorney has advised me to stay in. But now I’m rethinking — just what is my attachment to this home now that life has changed so completely? I’m imagining a life in another place all my own (even if rented) and the freedom, peace, and pleasure that could bring. I sincerely hope I find this, and that Depressed finds this also.

    • “…my attorney has advised me to stay in.”

      Ask your attorney what you may lose if you leave it. It may be that your forfeit your share of the equity and that can be a lot of money.

      • Thank you, NSC.
        I do not live in a no-fault state, so the judge could indeed award Knave-man more of the equity than me if I leave the home. It could also go the other way, as our marriage was a long one, especially if I remain in the home.
        My challenge now is to determine if I really still want it.
        I assumed I did; my attorney assumed I did.
        But after reading here today, I’m not so sure.
        Having my own space without him or our memories together sounds like a new beginning that even at my age (mid-60s) I could appreciate.
        I hope Depressed gets her new beginning, too.

        • I wonder if you discuss the mental health aspect of it with your attorney if you can minimize the risk of losing a disproportionate share of the equity.

          Are you seeing a mental health professional whose testimony may make a difference?

          Best wishes to you Bees. You definitely deserve peace of mind and spirit.

  • You’ve been dealt some heavy cards. I cannot imagine finding out your FW has been living a double life by the police, a marriage, and potential psych eval all at once. That was a nuclear bomb dropped by your ex. Mine has has been setting off landmines all along, the toll is the same. Trauma, grief, sadness, a general feeling of what in the fuck?! I don’t have a solution just solidarity. I try to keep my self busy and have projects to work on. I’m not sure its the best way, but its how I am managing. I also think that being pharmaceutically tuned up with a little antidepressant and/or antianxiety meds to help manage is good too. If your a dog or cat person how about a pet? Dogs can be great companions, get you out to walk, meet people. Maybe adopting or fostering one could be healing for you in some way.

    • I was always a cat person but we promised the kids we would get a dog when we moved into our current family home. By DDay we were at two dogs. I do not think I would have made it through the FW’s ongoing and seemingly endless bullshit without their companionship and love. I lost one early this spring and when all of this is over I would hope to add another pup to the family.

      • They are great therapy! I’m anticipating adding one if the fw insists on taking “his” dog. It would be helpful for all of of us!

  • Also I would urge you to see that your son gets help for his feelings about the whole thing. Even if he seems to be doing well, young people can often mask tremendous emotional pain when they don’t want to be a burden the stable parent whom they love (you).

  • Everything above!

    A move to another city might not be possible but could a vastly different neighborhood or space be an option? A funky warehouse loft apartment, a house in a neighborhood that you would have never considered before or a more rural area that still allows you to commute.

    I moved eight times during my childhood and through my 20’s and learned to love it. New state, new town, new place to live. I used to joke that I had a 7 year parking meter for each place I lived. It gave me permission to wildly purge “stuff” both physical and mental. The change *is* hard in the beginning but exploring new places, new restaurants and meeting new people always wins out for me. I came to the realization that my happiness wasn’t about where I was but WHO I was wherever that may be. My version of the CSN&Y song “Love the One Your With” but for a home.

    Yet, here I am still fighting for my house; almost a decade ago and before DDay I made a promise to myself and my kids that our home would be here for them through college (FOO issues, story for another time) and STBX was and is completely aware of this.

    Depressed, this market is killing me too; FW increased the value of family home by 100K in his updated property affidavit from the value we agreed on last fall. I would love to move to another city / neighborhood but my youngest is still in HS and I know any drive over 10 min one way means they will just go to FW’s because it’s convenient.

    Added word of advice: If you and your medical professional decide to try anti-depression meds and they are NOT helping ask for a different dosage or a different medication!

        • I have heard that some people (especially with kids) agree to a split on the value of the house (50/50 or 70/30, etc.), but the division of the asset does not occur until the asset is sold at some point in the future. Maybe you could agree to a time frame–you’ll sell the house at the time of your choosing, no later than 3 years after the youngest graduates high school.

      • Yes, for sure. My attorney hired an appraiser; FW pulled a number of the air. The current negotiated value is exactly in the middle. I should have skipped the appraisal and just provided my own crazy number. Truth and facts have no purchase in the divorce process.

  • This stuff is so hard to recover from…. And while you’re recovering, I think renting for a while seems like a logical idea. Personally, I try to avoid making big decisions when things feel very unstable and I’m not in a great emotional place, if the decision can wait.

    And since owning a house may or may not actually be cheaper than renting, despite the prevalent idea that renting is throwing away money (this post actually posits the opposite: https://jlcollinsnh.com/2012/02/23/rent-v-owning-your-home-opportunity-cost-and-running-some-numbers/), I don’t think it hurts to put it off a while. It could, in fact, be a much more financially advantageous choice. Buying would be less expensive in a better buyers’ market (not to mention extra time to save money for the down payment, etc.).

    I like to consider worst-case scenarios of various options when making a decision, so here two possible worst-case situations come to mind:
    -buying a house for too much money that ends up being not what you want (location, size, style, whatever)
    -renting for a year or so in a non-ideal place and maybe spending more than you wanted to before later deciding to buy

    Personally, I’d chose the risk of renting right now over the risk of buying a house right now. You can always re-evaluate as you move forward and feel more ready (and when you’re not make a choice that scares you and feels like a huge compromise). Renting has the extreme benefit of being very flexible. You can move apartments (or towns) pretty easily if you end up not liking the choice you made or if your budget changes, etc.

    Good luck as you keep moving forward, one step at a time, through this tough season.

  • I am amazed that blood work for cortisol levels isn’t routinely prescribed following trauma/cheating. I also lost 30 pounds without trying.

  • My D-Day was about 5 1/2 years ago. Six months after D-Day we were done, sold the house about a year later and divorce was final about a year after that.

    I remember that a financial planner who was also a good friend said to me as I contemplated where to live once the house sold, “You don’t need to solve a small problem with a big solution.” What he meant was I just needed a place to live and just needed to find a place to rent for a year or two. I didn’t have to go all in and make such a big decision. He said that I might change my mind about what I wanted and to give myself time. “Rent somewhere fun. Rent something you wouldn’t buy,” he said, and that’s what I did. That’s not to take away from those of us who bought right away and found owning their own place joyful, just another perspective that giving yourself time could be fantastic for you.

    After all the trauma and stress, my biggest concern was the impact of all of that on my health. So I did whatever I could think of to counteract the constant cortisol and adrenaline loads coursing through my body. So journaling, writing, meditating, running, volunteering, walking in the woods, cleaning out closets, Al Anon, Vitamin D. Whatever I thought might build up my health. Heck, someone gave me some “Euphoria” spray and on the off chance it would help, I would spray it and dance around in the mist. After many health scares and doctor ordered tests, so far, the trauma has not impacted my health.

    About 3 years post D-Day, I was doing okay! But I also realized I was very lonely. And heading toward deeper depression.

    In my case, I had not been on a single date in the 3 years since D-Day: no one set me up; no one popped up from my past; no one I met was interested. I decided I needed to take responsibility and actively build my own pipeline of potential companions. I went online and one day, just as I was about to give up…

    That was a couple of years ago. I still have grief and trauma but the waves aren’t as often or as strong. And now I have someone who helps me paddle.

    Way back when I sold my house, I ended up renting a place for a couple of years. It was nothing like I was envisioning long term. But I ended up loving it. A month ago, 5 full years after D-Day, I bought a place of my own just like the one I first rented; in the same part of town, on the same street. And I have a very kind, loving Roomie.

    Take care of yourselves all of you reading this and give yourself the gift of time. It’s a long journey and that’s okay.

  • Depressed,

    I empathize deeply with your story and your pain. It’s striking to me that in your first line, you ask for “a swift kick in the pants.” How many of us here at CN are in various stages of recovery from the mindset of the abused and codependent that further abuse feels normal and comforting? Friend, you have already taken more kicks than anyone should endure. May I offer you a hug and share what I’m learning on this path?

    First, I’ve found it essential to have both a therapist and a psychologist. (I’m grateful for the privilege of having good employer-sponsored health care and that there’s a local clinic that offers both types of providers in the same practice; I hope that you can get access to something similar.)

    The psychologist has a medical degree and can diagnose PTSD, CPTSD, depression, anxiety, etc, AND prescribe and monitor a variety of medications with much greater precision than your family doctor would be able to do. Meds have given me the ability to sleep, to reduce anxiety, and to provide emotional resilience. I see the psychologist once per quarter.

    My therapist provides more frequent sessions to talk through the issues that arise from all the past and ongoing trauma. We often carry the weight all by ourselves, because we know that it’s not appropriate to put it on our parents, kids, siblings, or friends. It was a revelation to me when a kind friend looked me in the face and said “That’s the therapist’s JOB.” Knowing that I can tell her anything and everything relieves so much strain. Like so many of us here in CN, because of coparenting I have ongoing contact with my FW, which means the mindf*ckery never ends. My therapist is the only one with whom I can share these encounters, and even after all these years, when I still deep down think that I must be the one who’s crazy , or in the wrong, or misinterpreting, or too sensitive, she’s the one who gently validates that “NOPE; that’s gaslighting”, or “that’s abuse.”

    Another thing I’ve done to supplement the professional support is to start fresh anonymous accounts and follow really solid therapists and mental health-related channels on Instagram and TikTok. This fills my feeds with positive, supportive, and enriching content. The posts and videos are always bite-sized and digestible, ideally suited to the type of scrolling I find myself doing when I’m in that stupor of hopelessness. And, of course, I read CL first thing every morning.

    The complex grief we’re all processing is arduous. Though we long for it, there are no swift fixes, no magic words, and certainly no kicks that will boot us back to the time of innocence that we so sorely miss. The sad irony is that at the exact time when our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual resources are most depleted, we start to realize that in order to heal, we also have to start thinking differently about EVERYTHING.

    Forming new neural pathways is hard. Those of us used to abuse find self-care to feel uncomfortable, even wrong. Of course you feel Depressed, Anxious, and Angry; those are entirely valid responses to your experience. May I suggest that you don’t need a kick? You need kindness, patience, and gentle support. We all see and witness your pain, and we hold you in our hearts.

  • Depressed, Angry and Anxiety-ridden:

    I can relate so much with what you wrote!

    Bottom line, you did not deserve the clown show that your ex turned out to be. Sorry too, for your son.

    Time really does soften the pain. It does. But, I mean t i m e, not a week, but maybe a few years (4 years). But, every year is a bit better.

    Think outside of the box (so cliche, I know) but – when we are wrapped up in trauma our thoughts are seriously stilted. My suggestion is to rent for a year, and focus on your mental health, self-care, your job, your immediate family – and take baby steps. Then, find a neighborhood or a city that you like; take some drives to see what neighborhood’s interest you. Spend a few months looking at the vibe of different neighborhoods.

    Try to remember things that you enjoyed BEFORE you met your ex. Revisit those feelings, and things that you enjoyed and were fond of before marriage. For me, I have revisited things I used to enjoy, and even learned new things that I never thought I could do – after being married to a cheater for 25 years. It gets better. No shame in managing your struggle with the right medication, hormone replacement therapy, counseling, etc. And, Chump Lady and this column truly helped me through the first few years of my D-Day, and divorce.

    • I love your point about taking time to remember who you were before your marriage. We lose a lot of ourselves in bad relationships. I appreciate your insight!

  • After you’ve read Tracy’s book, this one is gold “Cheating, in a Nutshell: What Infidelity Does to the Victim”. There is immense validation for all the hell your mind, body, and soul goes through, and backe dup by research and evidence. Cheaters make us sick- that’s our bodies telling us to get out. Please take care of yourself, and you will get to somewhere amazing. link https://wayneandtamara.com/cheatinginanutshell

  • I just want to say do not buy a house right now. I’m in real estate, the craziness that is happening right now is not sustainable. If you talk to a real estate agent they’ll probably tell you I don’t know what I’m talking about, if you don’t buy now prices will only get higher and you’ll never be able to buy, and that rent is throwing your money away. They say that because they want the commission check. I’m not as good in real estate as a lot of agents because I have a soul and I lost my home in the last recession because all our neighbors lost their homes and squatters moved into the neighborhood and a meth lab opened across the street. So we fled even though we could pay the mortgage for safety reasons. I do not want things like that to happen to other people, especially chumps who have been through enough already. This market is crazy and even if you can always afford the payment we do not know what is going to happen and you could still get screwed and stuck with no hopes of selling.

    DO. NOT. BUY. RIGHT. NOW.

    If you had tons of money and didn’t care if you lose $100,000+ of value and go underwater in the next year or two and could move out and still afford to carry the house I’d say go for it. But otherwise, don’t do it. Rent is not throwing your money away. Especially if it saves you from making a terrible investment in an out of control market.

    I rent right now. No way in hell I’d buy with what’s going on. I have to say, it’s actually been really nice. I’m 40 so I’m not exactly young but I got a place near the university in my city. It’s clean, it’s pretty quiet, but it’s also so close to everything. There are days I hibernate inside and can’t face people. But it’s also really nice to be able to go outside and have everything right here. Much easier to get myself to go places and attend events when they are right here rather than a drive. It’s pretty nice. Don’t let people talk you down or shame you about renting. There is nothing wrong with it.

    • I have relatives and friends in Florida. One looked, decided the prices were too high, and stayed put. The other bought a house for 2x more than it would have cost two years ago. I agree. Don’t buy right now. Word is out that groups are pooling money, buying everything that comes on the market and sell when the prices go higher. Sit tight. This is so much like the tulip mania. We never learn.

      • Yes, it’s insane. I can’t speak for everywhere but here we’re having homes sell on the first day they’re listed for well over asking. But if I tell someone it’s not a good time to buy they look at me like I just stomped their puppy. And I’ve heard it’s like this all over the country. It can’t last forever. We’ve been through it before and it will not last forever.

        It’s fantastic if one wants to sell but buying is a nightmare. And I’m seeing lenders “get creative” lately to help people borrow much more than the home is worth to get the sale done at these crazy prices which makes me shudder because that’s how we ended up with the last crash. I dread what’s coming, especially when the evictions start here. But it’s not sustainable to live in a world where only the very rich can buy homes. The market will correct. It always does and it doesn’t care how many people it destroys in the process. The market is a cold, cruel beast.

        • The market is a cold, cruel beast. Cheater (with delusions of grandeur) always bought on the high end of what we could be approved for. He bought this house in 2007 and when we got it we had not sold our other house…at one moment in time, I had 4 mortgages and was deep in debt. I worked like an animal to singlehandedly sell the first house and paid off 2+ of the mortgages, but 2008 hit and we lost over $100,000 K in value. I have lived here the entire 13 years and to only regained its original value in the past few months.

          Its a miracle we didn’t lose everything…Cheater pitched many terrible ideas. I am prudent and patient. I bought homes for 2 of my kids recently but before all this craziness happened. Im glad were not in a position to have to move right now.

          Katie pig, thanks for giving a rational explanation of the Markey

  • Dear Depressed, please try to see the opportunities before you. It’s hard, I was in a situation similar to yours, but I took my half of the proceeds from the sale of the home, put it in a Schwab account, and rented a place. This was over two years ago. The apartment is wonderful, the account has grown, and I have a part-time job I enjoy. I have some income from a rental property I received in the dovorce as well, but truet me, I had bag lady nightmares for two years after the shit heel abandoned me. But a good therapist got me to see that I was truly fortunate. A low dose of Lexapro reset my depressed mind, and worked wonders. You are in good shape. Just because it might appear our exes are doing better, trust me, they are not. You will be fine. We have what is called a “quality problem” and I am rooting for you no matter what decision you make.

  • That’s a horrible life story and I’m sorry you’re hear. But you have made a good choice to share and let it out in a safe place. As many have said here, there is no shame in counseling. I remember my first days after D day number two, because like a good little chump I tried the wreckonciliation. I needed someone to talk to and I had allowed her to effectively isolate me from anyone that cared. Or so I thought. A lot of it was just my own embarrassment and sense of failure. What I underestimated was that a lot of them still did care about me and yes, some were just Switzerland friends. I felt like a counselor was my only option for unloading my shit and feeling safe, which is exactly what we need at that time. When the world turns upside down, nothing feels safe. Chump lady’s website is definitely empowering, but it’s not enough to be reassured by people behind computer screens from miles away. Helpful yes, but getting back into a life and the real world requires interaction with people you can see and feel reactions from, and yes hug. I’m a hugger LOL. I learned it when I was 20 coming out of treatment for some pretty bad drug addictions and I remember thinking how unmanly and weird it was to hug or be hugged by my friends. Maybe it’s a guy thing. I consider myself very lucky to have friends that understand this. It might sound weird but my best friends and I say love you brother all the time, and yes we hug. I know you asked for the kick out of you’re funk. Chump Lady does that better than anyone I’ve seen. Tough love was what I needed too at first to get out of the pick me dance. F the world is a stage you need to get to, but remember after that, the power of a hug or a hand on you’re shoulder is IMMENSE. Save yourself first and don’t feel guilty about the anger. It’s natural and needed. So yeah, I guess in all that, what I’m saying is you NEED to feel angry and it’s ok. You certainly have my permission if it matters. Just remember, hugs all around after you feel empowered. Sending hugs you’re way!!!

  • The details are different but I could have written this. I’m 2 years out and not divorced yet. I’m also a CPA and great with money. Do not buy a house repeat do not buy a house. I rented with the intention of buying a house once the divorce was final but he’s dragging his feet and now that ship has sailed. Buying now would be financial suicide even if I could find a house so it’s looking like I’m going to be a renter for the rest of my life. I’ll be fine though I think after I retire I’ll move into one of those over 55 senior living places. There will be other people and I’ll make new friends.

    On depression I take meds and while they don’t fill me with joy they do help me function. I highly recommend seeing a psych nurse. My 18 year old daughter sees one too and she’s on ADs as well. We’re all struggling and it’s bad really bad. Sorry you are here but know that you aren’t alone.

  • Real estate is always complicated because it costs so much and is emblematic of so much.

    I’d advise you to make sure you choose something that has 2-3 features you love. If you rent for a year, then love the flexibility that choice gives you (the flexibility not to fix anything, not to worry about the tree that seems likely to take out the roof sometime in the next decade, etc.) If you buy a home, make sure it has a porch you love, or a bedroom view you love, a great bathtub for your indulgent soaks, or a kitchen eating space that is perfect for the kind of entertaining you like to do–then take full advantage of those features. Accept the rest of the features as utilitarian and ignore their short comings. Even if a house has 20 beautiful rooms, you cannot be in them all at once–make sure the places in the house you want to spend your time work for you.

    I still live in the home I bought with my EX. I hated it when we bought it (but, you know how it goes, he was unhappy and I was accommodating). It is in the middle of no where. I hate the commute. But I have learned to appreciate the quiet and the birds and the deer. I am positive the nitwit who designed it flunked every aesthetic course in architectural school, but it is good for entertaining 4-6 people who all want to be in the same space at the same time (i.e. the kitchen and eating area). The kids have upstairs bedrooms and I am downstairs, which they love as it gives them additional privacy.

    I am also taking notes for what I want to prioritize in a few years when the kids are all gone and I move. One thing I have been paying special heed to is how other single women live and manage (or struggle) with homes. If you end up renting, you can use the time to have long cups of coffee with single women you know and get their advice about what to prioritize for your eventual purchase, you can take long walks at various times of days in neighborhoods that tempt you to see if people behave in ways that appeal to you.

    I catastrophize too, but one thing my therapist has managed to make me realize is that I don’t catastrophize about the things that go wrong. (For example, global pandemic was not on my list!) Your thoughtfulness about a home purchase means you are unlikely to make any huge mistake in that arena of your life.

  • When I had to flee my house and rush to find an apartment I walked in and broke down crying at the “smaller” dinky run of the mill apartment. I bawled after moving in I needed to relax my sore muscles and didn’t have hot water (he beat me really badly plus the move). Next day, I called the maintenance guy and he fixed the hot water within 30 min. Slowly, my kids and I made our little apartment our home and it’s now the happiest place ever. We love our apartment! It’s beautiful and the energy is so happy! I’ve been 4 yrs in our place and finally looking at moving into a house but I realized I never want a big house again. To much upkeep and unused space. To give you perspective, my electric bill in our big house in the summer would run us $300-$400 a month bc of the pool, my bill for my apartment was $95 for this past month. My advise, listen to CL and find an apartment or condo and give yourself the freedom to grieve and heal in your own space. In time, you might find you want something completely different than you originally thought.

  • Thank you for sharing. I’m just over 2 years out from D-day. I had to sell the house we had painstakingly remodeled to perfection when my job change fell through during COVID. I decided I needed to be closer to my family, ended up moving into a charming older home. Every time I think about decorating I have flashbacks to doing that with the wasband.
    Do keep looking. I ended up moving to an area where homes/land are much less expensive. I now have no mortgage. A friend of mine is loving her new tiny home. A condo or apartment would hopefully less maintenance and more time for doing new activities to create your new memories. You might also be able to find a sheriff sale or foreclosure property.

  • I just hung up the phone with my therapist who I meet with every eight weeks. I hate taking medicine but it may have been what got me through the past year + without having a total breakdown. It was and still is terrible but I manage to get through it. Trust has become my main issue. I feel consumed sometimes wondering how this person I held on a pedestal could have been so cruel and deceitful without me realizing it. I think that part will be with me forever.

  • Dear Depressed,

    I watched My Octopus Teacher on Netflix.

    (SPOILER ALERT)

    When I saw the shark attack scene and saw how she responded, I at last had a visual for what has happened to me. Just like her, I retreated under a rock, my energy was LOW, I have been VERY still and quiet….because I was attacked and my arm is growing back.

    It is essential that I get help and take action as best I can to help myself. But I also need to maintain reasonable expectations about my feelings, state of mind, and healing time. This is a very very big deal, which is almost completely minimized or dismissed in the world. Cheating is epidemic and as old as time. But recognition of the Cat 5 trauma and severe abuse that it is, and the massive injuries it causes, is not.

    RESPECT YOURSELF.

    LOVE YOURSELF (verb)

    CARE FOR AND ABOUT YOURSELF

    ….as best you can, one moment at a time, one day at a time.

  • I would suggest (also) getting yourself into some daily physical fitness classes…joining a CrossFit box would be ideal…and/or joining a gym with yoga classes, bootcamp classes, indoor climbing, etc. You will be getting your endorphins going, getting out of your head, being around people, etc.

  • This is a timely post for me, I’m definitely in a funk. I’ll be taking a good deal of advice from ChumpLady/Nation for myself. To chime in on housing, I sold the family home of 27 years (singlehandedly cleaned it out and prepped it for sale/chumpy me) which was small but large wooded lot. It was becoming a money pit. I also couldn’t find the ‘why’ anymore to mantain it or make improvements. My kids were grown and all but gone. I didn’t even have a new address yet, but I just put everything I wanted in storage, left and drove to another state. Was a tourist/explorer for a few weeks and decided I needed a place to land and a lovely 2b/2bth apartment came available. It was almost as big as my former home, just one less bedroom that I didn’t need anyway and just a large patio/balcony. It turned about to be the safe haven I needed as I proceeded to go through the traumatic divorce/legal wrangling with his business partners/parental health crisis yet to come. Then came COVID. I lost both my parents last year. It’s been really hard. But having this little place has provided a haven for me, whether I was traveling constantly (2019) or stuck in pandemic isolation. This year I have a thriving patio garden and am growing herbs/veg & flowers. Want to know the best of all?!? After a year of minimal repairs, bldg maintenance made the rounds and I gave them a small spreadsheet of things that needed attention. In two days, they came in and fixed everything from light switch, to doors/hardware to new water heater! It cost me NOTHING and while they did it, I went out for a cup of coffee. I’ve come to love the ‘shut the door and leave it’ when traveling, and the ‘no worries’ about tree trimming, ice storm cleanup or finding a plumber. It rocks!! My longterm goal is to own a little cottage near the beach, but given the real estate market, that’s been delayed a bit. Before all the troubles, I would have loved to buy a project, rip it apart and redo it. Quite frankly, I don’t have the reserves of stamina/energy that would be required. I need a bit more time to muster that up. And that’s okay! Take your time and make the best decision that easiest on you dear Depressed.

  • It always makes me so sad to see someone pining over one of these loser cheaters. They really aren’t worth a second thought. Or even a first thought, in my opinion. I hope that Depressed finds relief from her sadness and gets the happy life she deserves very soon!!

  • When My marriage fell apart it was brutal. Talk about being blindsided. The only thing I knew for sure, was that I needed to TALK. That and, 60 minutes a week wasn’t going to cut it. I sought help immediately. Never apologize for prioritizing yourself. I’m still in the middle of a hellish divorce but at least i’m prepared. Emotionally anyway. It’s about you now, remember that.

  • I have been renting an apartment in a really funky area of the city and LOVING it. No mowing lawns, shoveling snow, weeding, worries about siding and furnace repairs.

    Instead, I entertain— have friends over for dinners, wine tasting, and ridiculous streaming. Having fun.

    As hard as it is, push yourself into a new experience. I was a homeowner for 30 years. Now I’m free to enjoy my life and my very own space. Took a year post DDay but I’m there and living life.

    Open yourself up to the new and frightening. Get the help you need at the moment and go forward. You will be pleasantly surprised!

  • I decided instead of rushing out to buy something while my life was in total upheaval, I should rent for a while first. That was over 3 years ago, I’m still renting, and it turned out to be the best decision I ever made.

    Whoever said that you’ll be a different person once you start coming out the other side was dead-on correct. I am NOT the same woman today. I know now that what I focused on then isn’t anything like what I focus on today. All of my needs, wants and desires are drastically different now. My priorities have completely changed and because of this, I don’t look back on the place I seriously considered buying back then and think of it as a missed opportunity. Nor do I think of renting as a poor financial decision anymore. Instead, I thank the universe for unwittingly guiding my decision to put off making bigger decisions, until I was truly ready.

    The message here isn’t really about renting vs. buying. It’s about finding a safe, low demand and comforting place to land while you focus your energies on the most important work of your life; slowly working your way through the mess and figuring out the person who emerges out the ‘other side’.

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