On my last first birthday without soon-to-be-ex husband, I am all filled with emotions. My husband and OW had an affair while I was pregnant (during the COVID shutdown) and left me the day our daughter turned four months old. I will say he politely waited until I found out who won RaPaul’s Drag Race Season 7 before telling me (I can’t type that without a huge eye roll). My husband is the textbook nice narcissist and amazingly skilled at faux kindness.
I did Chump things — signed us up for couples therapy, read books and shared with him why it was better to save our marriage, begged him to want to be involved with our baby, tried to figure out why he didn’t even want to have a conversation in hopes of staying for our new family, etc. etc. He went to the couples therapy, but w
ent straight to the OW right after for bowling, and I went to take care of our baby and two dogs (oh, I should add — we were all friends and she was married, so we all hung out together all the time and she knew I was pregnant. Bought us gifts and everything). He did the bare minimum for our baby and partied, and I cried myself to sleep thinking I was trash.
I am doing things to slowly, but surely, get to a better place. I got a separation agreement, moved in with my parents in another state to get support with my daughter, started another job to hold me over right now, therapy, and hired a financial coach and career coach to work on getting a better job and set my daughter and I up for a life where we don’t need him.
However, I am frustrated, angry, exhausted, sad, overwhelmed, and really just miserable. My almost ex-husband is living his best life — traveling, going out to bars and restaurants, and doing things we did pre-COVID and pre-baby or things we always wanted to do, but he was too frugal to do them. Then to me, he cries about what he did, that he is going through a lot, and it is hard only seeing his daughter every other weekend.
I am working a new job that I hate, coming home to take care of my baby and two dogs, and having to be “on” for my parents. I get zero downtime to just be. Well, correction I get every other weekend off when he comes to see his daughter.
Recently, my almost ex-husband said, “Well, this may be an opportunity to be happier.” One, it made so much sense that a month before he left he said he started seeing a therapist because he said “I am just not as happy as I could be with you, the dogs, and our baby.” Turns out he was just plotting so that he could be happier and have more fun. Secondly, (as my baby is wailing and my parents are complaining about the dogs) I started to wonder… When will my happier come and how long will this pain last? Am I on the right path? Or am I going to fail and watch him and OW live out the family dreams I had with my daughter?
Is Tuesday Even A Day Of The Week?
You’re totally doing all the right things. And all the right things are exhausting.
Single parenting, moving, trying to leverage your career — oh, and bouncing back from abandonment — I’d be shocked if you felt joyous. You are a badass MOVING A MOUNTAIN. People who move mountains are frequently overwhelmed. Because. It. Is. A. MOUNTAIN.
Your real question is — why do I have Mount Shitmore and he doesn’t?
Because you’re not a fuckwit and he is, that’s why.
Every time I answer one of these chumped-while-pregnant letters, I trot out this line (because I don’t have a better one): People who do this have empty elevator shafts where their souls should be.
Anyone who can walk out on a four-month-old infant is monster. Infants are utterly vulnerable. And so were you there, gestating a human being, giving birth, bleeding like a stuck pig for weeks afterward, enduring an abdomen of silly putty, sleepless nights, nursing. It’s not a sexy time — it’s a deeply INVESTED time. You literally gave your body so this man could have a child.
And how did he treat that gift? He shat on it. Because he doesn’t do investment. People needing him doesn’t make his dick hard. So he looked around for a fellow Empty Elevator Shaft and found one.
My almost ex-husband is living his best life — traveling, going out to bars and restaurants, and doing things we did pre-COVID and pre-baby or things we always wanted to do, but he was too frugal to do them.
Well, wait until the divorce settlement hits. And also document in case he cries poverty on that child support, okay?
Next, stop and ask yourself what Living Your Best Life looks like. For YOU. Is it fabulous nights out at the Cheesecake Factory with your fuckbuddy du jour, or is it the love of your child? Self-respect? Kicking ass at your job?
Any fool can create a bar tab. You’re creating a LIFE.
You’re doing the shit that matters. And it doesn’t mean you can’t practice some self care and a vacation or a night out too, okay? Superficial “happy” bullshit is ALL he has. That’s ALL that matters to him. That bar tab isn’t going to wipe his ass when he gets old. And for every day of his life, EVERY DAY, he’ll be a man who walked out on a four-month-old child. That stain does not wash out.
Then to me, he cries about what he did, that he is going through a lot, and it is hard only seeing his daughter every other weekend.
Oh no he does not. Because you aren’t taking those calls. NO CONTACT. Get parenting software this instant.
Why are you letting him cry to you? To see him suffer? To conclude you matter? HE HAS AN EMPTY ELEVATOR SHAFT WHERE HIS SOUL SHOULD BE. Make that your ringtone when he calls. Let it go to voicemail. Leave a message, Shaft. Delete.
When will my happier come and how long will this pain last?
You’re building your happier right now. The pain lasts until Tuesday. The things you are investing in now matter and they pay a lifetime of dividends: joy, self-respect, the love of your child. Consider that you’re tired. Maybe ask your parents for some more down time. Or spend less on career coach and more on a sitter so you can have that break you deserve.
Am I going to fail and watch him and OW live out the family dreams I had with my daughter?
YOU and your daughter are your family dream. It’s normal to miss the dream, but Tuesday, he was never invested. He couldn’t have been to do what he did.
Will he fake some Instragram blended family bullshit with matching holiday pajamas? Oh probably. These people eat impression management for breakfast. Don’t watch it. Turn that channel OFF. Stop comparing.
His punishment is being him. Who would you rather be, really?