Dear Chump Lady
I think my friends are getting sick of my rants about my abusive ex and sometimes I just don’t know when my rage and sadness at the unfairness of it all will stop. My incredulity at his awfulness is the gift which keeps on giving.
Hard to summarise it all here, but in a nutshell: After 25 years together, my ex left me to join the circus. An underworld cast of magicians (of which he is one), prostitutes, webcam girls and swingers who don’t believe conventional reality is worthy of respect and who mock marriage and monogamy.
I found social media accounts with help of a private investigator, ‘friends’ online who look like whores, dating site involvement, dressing up stuff which suggests he was into BDSM, freakish stuff to do with witchcraft (‘using magnets to increase your sexual attractiveness’) and a video still (recovered by PI) of an orgy which was ‘professionally shot’, along with lots of video equipment, which I didn’t even know the pervert had. I had wondered about affairs because he was doing weird stuff with his phone all the time, locking himself in bathroom for ages, etc. I also found a couple of messages from women that he claimed must have been sent in error. But I never expected this underground freakshow.
I found all this out just at the beginning of the pandemic, when his stonewalling and nasty rages had led me to say ‘Hey, go stay at your mum’s for a bit’. I had just started a new job, literally six weeks in, when all this shit hit and both kids were doing online school too. It was so surreal and traumatic. When I confronted ex over the phone about some of my finds (still haven’t told him everything I know), he denied anything was off, said the stuff was for his ‘shows’ (what shows?), put the phone down when I told him I had evidence he used prostitutes and was connected to webcam girls, and refused to engage.
This was the man I supported through two bouts of ‘depression’ because he hated his job for the past 5 years, found a job for at my last company (though he didn’t hang on to it and lied to me about how it came to an end), and who swore he would never turn out like his father (cheating lying arsehole).
I changed the locks and filed for divorce within weeks of these revelations. I asked to discuss his ‘alternative life’ and how we would deal with the kids. But he refused. Never met or spoke to me again after what I thought would be a few weeks apart while he was at his mum’s. He never came for his stuff. Just abandoned his old life completely. Refused to meet with mutual friends for a chat or coffee about WTF happened here. He didn’t even ask to see the kids until I suggested it.
The divorce was final 6 months ago. I last saw him 18 months ago. It is like the old person I remember (who was sweet, devoted and caring for most of our years together) died. My teenage daughter doesn’t want to see him as she knows he cheated and saw him change into someone she didn’t recognise. My son is having a break from him because he too needs time to process, but has no idea of the order of stuff.
My question to you is, how on earth will I find a spring in my step again? I feel so battered by all this toxic stuff, will it ever heal? I used to feel optimistic. Now I feel sad a lot and shocked by how my life turned out. Did he win? Meaning he got away without any accountability. I know I am better off without him. But I just want some of my old joy back. Tuesday feels a long time away.
I assume you’re speaking metaphorically here — he left to join an underground sex circus? Ringling Bro. and Brothels? Cirque du Sol Fuckwit? Watch the Great Wankini pull a prostitute out of a hat!
I’m sorry. My mind goes to strange places.
If my mail over the years has taught me anything, it’s that there is a wild, weird variety of double lives out there. (Magicians. Huh. We’ve also had dancing Yetis, pagan scythes, and doggy-cam D-days. I’m shock proof.) It’s totally normal for chumps to feel like Freak of the Week after discovery, but I assure you, it’s a big circus tent. You’re not alone. (Heck, we have contests about this stuff.)
But back to you.
webcam girls and swingers who don’t believe conventional reality is worthy of respect and who mock marriage and monogamy
Okay. If it’s all beneath contempt, why was he fronting a conventional life with a conventional wife and children? Why wasn’t he living his high-minded principles? Oh right. You were of use, what with paying the bills and homeschooling kids through a pandemic. Funny how after discovery, cheaters craft treachery as a noble quest for authenticity.
freakish stuff to do with witchcraft (‘using magnets to increase your sexual attractiveness’)
Could you connect him to an engine block?
I told him I had evidence he used prostitutes and … webcam girls, and (he) refused to engage.
I’m sure he’ll be very happy with his pay-by-the-hour friends who just love him for him.
Never met or spoke to me again … He never came for his stuff. Just abandoned his old life completely.
Well hey, you can’t compete with a six-ring sex circus.
He didn’t even ask to see the kids until I suggested it.
Don’t suggest it. Don’t manage his relationships for him. Rookie chump mistake. Let the kids figure out the Disappearing Fuckzino on their own (and with some therapy). Perhaps he’s shackled in a box, or being sawn in half, and can’t come to the phone.
My question to you is, how on earth will I find a spring in my step again?
It’s been 6 months since your divorce. 18-months since D-day. Give yourself a break. You’re allowed to feel like crap. You’ve been through some monumental trauma. Working and simultaneously home-schooling teenagers during a pandemic is enough to break the average person. Now add in your marriage imploding because your husband fancies himself a sex wizard? Friend, congratulate yourself for getting through another day.
You’ll have a spring in your step again (happens on a Tuesday), but first kick the shit out of something. I get the sad. You’re exhausted. But consider how you propped this guy up and managed his life. And he repays you how? By siphoning off family funds to indulge his sex fantasies? By using you? And then abandoning his children? Get mad. Channel it. Be energized to rebuild your life for the better.
He’s done you a big favor (bitch cookie) with the no contact.
I feel so battered by all this toxic stuff, will it ever heal?
Yes. But you’ll wear the battle scars and have a much lower tolerance for stupidity and injustice. The shit sandwiches never taste delicious, but at least you’ll be able to discern that they are, in fact, shit sandwiches.
I used to feel optimistic. Now I feel sad a lot and shocked by how my life turned out. Did he win?
Did he win?! He’s an under-employed magician with a hooker habit.
In the great Life Winner Hall of Fame, he’s gum on the sidewalk.
What did he “win”? Unfettered time to play Spanky the Clown? Who will finance his web ladies now? Or the battery of needed STD tests?
You have your kids! (And all the attendant work. I get it.) You have authenticity. You have GUTS.
Look at how you navigated yourself out of this shit show and be PROUD. I know it’s really hard to have faith in your future, to feel optimistic when everything is shit — but what other choice is there? Get pulled into the undertow and drown? Let Sneezy the Syphilitic Sorcerer be the last thing you ever invest in? Is that the legacy you want?
Get some rest. Be kind to yourself. Then give yourself the sort of bolstering you’ve been wasting on him for years.
I predict you’ll bounce again. Far away from the fuckwit calliope.