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Angry Feelings Still That She ‘Got Away with It’

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Waiting for karmaHey Chump Lady,

Thank you so much for your site. Once I found it and discovered that I had my own agency and that my feelings mattered it really helped empower me to tell my cheater to get packing.

It’s been since 2014 now, and I’ve moved on pretty well. I still live in the house we had bought together, I’m pretty happy with my job, my lady friend, and everything else. I just don’t know why I still hope to hear my cheating ex was hit by a truck or something. I really still feel like she got away with it. I even saw some posts on social media that her, the first affair partner, and his wife, were all hanging out with my ex’s sister and her kids. Seems kind of crazy to me, that his wife — who knew about them before I did — would be OK with them hanging out. It looks like they’re all friends now.

Maybe it’s the injustice of it all, that he gets to keep his life and everything, even go play video games with his AP and her family with no repercussions.

Anyway, I feel like the fact that this bothers me at all, means I can’t really get to meh.

I can give you more of the backstory if you’d like, but in general the question is why am I stuck with this anger?

I don’t want to spend the rest of my life hating someone.

Thank you,

ChumpedBrick

Dear ChumpedBrick,

Imagine I’m flinging a foam brick at the back of your head. Thwack! Stop looking at their social media!

No contact is a discipline. Practice it.

You moving on and rocking your new life has absolutely nothing to do with justice. Whether a piano falls on her head, or soul mate #137 dies of the clap, or she’s transported to a fuckwit penal colony. You do you. Please don’t make your future happiness dependent on outcomes beyond your control.

Is that FAIR? No, of course not. But if you and I had to stand in the Unfairness Line of Life, there’d be a lot of folks ahead of us. Syrian refugees? Go right ahead… Encephalitic baby? After you. 

A little perspective helps the shit sandwich go down.

I just don’t know why I still hope to hear my cheating ex was hit by a truck or something.

Don’t waste your life waiting for that call. And you’re not a bad person for thinking dark thoughts about someone who grievously harmed you. It’s what you DO with those thoughts. You’re not driving the truck, right? You’re not wasting your life hoping for that truck, right?

Redirect to the here and now. New lady, new life.

I really still feel like she got away with it.

She got away with it. And the sun rises in the east.

Reframe what “getting away with it” looks like — her punishment is being her. People with crappy life skills tend to go on being people with crappy life skills. This is the essence of Trust That They Suck. Once you really accept the suck, you can let go. Will her shittiness catch up with her, or will she be awarded a Congressional Medal? Dunno. She still sucks. It’s not acceptable to have this person in your life. (Dusts head… clears more mental space for Disapproving Corgis…)

I even saw some posts on social media that her, the first affair partner, and his wife, were all hanging out with my ex’s sister and her kids.

And here is your problem, Brick. You’re polluting your mind with their propaganda and you’re BELIEVING the impression management. Your brain synapses could be looking at corgis right now! This is self-harm.

I have no idea why that chumped wife is doing performative art with the woman who fucked her husband. I’m sure she’ll write some self-congratulatory unicorn debasement nonsense on Medium soon. #evolved

Seems kind of crazy to me, that his wife — who knew about them before I did — would be OK with them hanging out. It looks like they’re all friends now.

And you’re free of that crazy. You’re not in that Facebook feed with those “friends.” Thank you, Jesus.

Brick, there is NOTHING to be envious of here.

Maybe it’s the injustice of it all, that he gets to keep his life and everything, even go play video games with his AP and her family with no repercussions.

There are probably repercussions, but Brick — who would you rather be? Some cheating nitwit or you? Is your ex-SIL that great of a hang? I mean, would you trade it all to be playing minecraft with them?

I think perhaps what’s bothering you is your insignificance in this picture. That you got chumped, and these people reordered the seating chart and don’t appear to give a shit.

Spoiler alert: They don’t.

And, ergo, you shouldn’t either.

why am I stuck with this anger?

Because you’re allowing them in your head. Please evict them.

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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.
  • Focus on your life , as the saying goes , you can’t go around hurting others and expect a beautiful life. They’ll step in that dogpile eventually , those type of people always do. Your future , your happiness , is all that matters to you. They don’t. Your hatred needs to evolve to indifference. That’s the cure for what ails you.

    • “you can’t go around hurting others and expect a beautiful life. They’ll step in that dogpile eventually , those type of people always do. ”

      And when they do step in that dogpile, they are going to hide it as best they can, just like they hid their shit piles from us for so long.

      It is what they do.

      You may or may not ever see it, but their life will not be dog pile free, because barring that character transplant; they will seek out the dogpiles.

      • Since we don’t have children or anything, I’ve managed to stay NC for years. Maybe it has happened and no one told me about it.

        Brick

        • Because I have teenage kids whose friends are starting to express different attitudes towards sexuality (some reassuring and some verging on dysfunctional, yikes) I read an interesting study reporting that individual levels of adult promiscuousness (“sociosexual orientation”) hinge more than anything on the amounts of money people spend on alcohol every week. More booze expenditure= more screwing around. Researchers were looking for all sorts of correlations and weren’t necessarily moralizing but the one constant was… booze.

          I’m not giving cheaters/abusers the “demon whisky” alibi. Consider the high dv rates in countries that ban alcohol and how that worked out for the US when domestic violence activist Carrie Nation believed the era’s leading medical authorities that booze caused battering and plunged the country into Prohibition (without making a dent in dv rates).

          But do people regularly get drunk or engage in other types of escapism because they’re happy? One thing I know is that functional (or not so functional) drunks often fill social media with grinning pix to convey their enviably peppy, groovy lives and popularity. It’s a standard cover for chronic dysfunction and personality disorder– faking glee in public.

          Long story but my former high stakes, booze soaked profession was filled with tons of megalomaniacs and I’m very familiar with image management vs. the real story behind the scenes. Consequently I’ve become more immune to people’s fake covers at this point. I had a lot of traumatic professional brushes and experiences that taught me this. Just thinking about the leadership roster of one company I worked for years ago as an example: that happy-go-lucky, life-of-the-party program director whom everyone thinks is warm and empathic beats his partners, patronizes street hookers and once tore his bathroom sink out of the wall in a narcissistic rage. That bubbly, funny associate once pushed her Yale roomie into a busy street and punched the girl in the face because the bubbly associate was unsuccessful in poaching the roomie’s boyfriend. The “fatherly” partner kicked his ex wife in the spine when he found out she had finally started seeing someone else though he’d cheated on her rampantly and had coerced and harassed interns during the marriage. Then there’s the lauded, famous ex boss from another company who was exposed during #MeToo for raping a series of teenage interns and students over the course of 20 years.

          Their lives all look great on social media (except the ex boss who was disgraced and died), but I and many others know who they really are: miserable, deranged f*cks.

          The best thing to do in response is to live completely differently than people like this. I kind of hate how overused the term “mindful” has become but I think living a thoughtful, sober, passionate, self reflective, caring life can lead to genuine joy (not constant but achieving moments of it). I also think the more genuine we become, the more fake happiness reads as fake. We become less easily fooled by fakery. I literally feel nothing when I run across the personal and professional PR of the monsters I used to work with. I’ve even personally run into a few doing their “flying high” acts years and years after I changed careers and feel nothing. Their public personae are figments and so they’ve become figments.

          Having already had that experience, it was comforting to know that chump trauma would eventually fade and only the truth would remain and that ultimately I’d naturally turn my back on it.

          I agree with CL that the first step is to go deep NC and block all the ex’s social media as well as the accounts of everyone in her circle. Burn every bridge. Maybe you’re having memory issues of how shitty life was with that ex so it might be a worthwhile exercise to write a list of every crap thing she did so that reminiscing doesn’t start to develop misty, pastel hues over time. Then give yourself the chance to develop passions for things that have nothing to do with that ex, that represent the opposite of her. Cheating, like all forms of gratuitous cruelty, is an exercise in total meaninglessness and callousness so a “cure” could be building a meaningful life based in empathy.

          In my experience, the latter catches hold, eventually sinks in and transports, eclipsing and nullifying everything that’s empty and stupid and crass.

          • Interesting food for thought here. I started running my colleagues through the drinks a lot vs. flails a lot measurement scale and discovered the research you are reporting on may be on to something. A number of people whose lives look dysfunctional to me (and thus frustrate me because of the way they make a collaborative work environment difficult) also drink a lot. I know several of them (single) engage in sexual escapades that have no appeal to me, and suddenly, I think I’m seeing new patterns.

            Clearly, it was true of my EX. He drank too much and paired that with a propensity for finding his “soul mate.” His parents drink far too much. I excused that when we were dating as part of military culture. Now, I think it might better be described as unhappiness culture.

            Thanks for the information.

            • I guess we could look for the creepy escapism more than the particular form of escape. I think that’s different than people who transport themselves through, say, music or art or astrophysics or bird watching or working in soup kitchens. Escapism tends to be crass and conformist and leaves nothing beautiful in its wake, just empty bottles. full ashtrays and a pile of broken bodies.

            • Yes, I think HOC is right. My fw, AFAIK, didn’t cheat until he started drinking heavily. Substance abuse is a sign that a person is not happy with him/herself, for whatever reason.
              So it’s not that drinking causes it, because crap character does that, but substance abuse is a sign the person is burying some bad feelings. Sometimes it’s a trauma, but sometimes it’s just the subconscious sense that they are shallow and empty and therefore life has no meaning. That must be awful, and while we may empathize, they deserve no sympathy.

              I even told fw, not knowing he was cheating, that the increased drinking showed he was not happy.
              He smirked and claimed he was “VERY happy.” Later, to my shock amd outrage, I found out what he was so smugly “happy” about, but of course it wasn’t true at all. He was miserable then and still is, because he has enough sense in his mostly empty head to despise himself, though not enough to do anything about it.
              Tough shit for him, and tough shit for Chumpedbrick’s ex, fronting away on social media. The more unrealistically rosy their social media looks, the more empty they are. My fw had a stupid FB page when he was cheating, for the purpose of image management. Now he does not, since he seems to have accepted that his image is beyond repair and no longer cares.
              I would rather be chumpy old me, even if I’m alone forever, than be a fw for one day. You need no phoney image to protect if your self image is strong and grounded in reality.

              • “So it’s not that drinking causes it, because crap character does that, but substance abuse is a sign the person is burying some bad feelings.”

                I agree with this and everything in your comment, OHFFS. And at the same time, I have to remind myself that burying feelings or being unhappy aren’t the crimes. Bad feelings don’t make someone bad. (Although it’s hard not to internalize this message when you’re being gaslighted and abused while hearing on repeat that “it’s not what I did, it’s your reaction…”) Sometimes, burying is what we must do to get by when things are too difficult to process and keep going. Sometimes we can’t afford to. I get that this “skill” can become maladaptive, and I suspect many chumps learn it young (some form of responsibility, resilience or optimism?) – and that it’s the perhaps the very quality that makes us such natural spacklers.

                Thinking about this helps me see that the abuse (of people or of substances) goes deeper than the buried emotions. Trauma and unhappiness don’t cause, and certainly don’t excuse, the abusive, reckless, socially disordered behaviors. While I was a far more mindful, calm and flexible than my ex, he meditated, and he told me I should too. According to him, my reality was a construct and I could be happy if I just let things go. I think this attitude exemplifies the kind of burying (or letting go) that is dangerous, because it becomes a license to wreak havoc and take no responsibility. You can harm someone and then divorce yourself from the pain you caused them, remorse, responsibility for the consequences – to others and in your soul.

                Now past the acute PTSD (or whatever it is that happens to us chumps that absolutely destroys us for a time), I still can’t shake depression and anxiety. I can remember and write on CL about much of what still angers, hurts and scares me, but I can’t let myself feel the way it makes me feel. It’s separate from, not part of, my public presence and life. It’s too much, so I numb and bury my feelings and tell myself it’s all fine. And yet… I’m still living with integrity. I was tested when I faced what I hope will be my darkest days, and I did not become abusive or dishonest.

                The terrible couple’s counselor was actually the one who pointed out to me that a person who abuses substances also abuses their family. No matter how loving and well-intentioned the substance abuser, they are prioritizing a harmful substance over their own health AND the health of the people who count on and love them. They are not putting their partner’s health and happiness on the same level of importance as their own, and they feel entitled to this inequality. They are not honest, and they use manipulation and deception to maintain their addictions. At a minimum. There are consequences to others, and they don’t/can’t care. Whether or not this makes a person good or bad is irrelevant, when they’re your partner. Forget about what it means about them, and focus on what it means for you.

          • And only the truth would remain… brilliant yet again HellofaChump. Thankyou. It takes time- but this actually happens. Not without pain of course. But with large amounts of relief

          • I don’t doubt there’s a high correlation between drinking and “promiscuousness.”

            But it’s not a perfect correlation. One of the things that attracted me to my ex was his lack of interest in alcohol. He said he did drink as a teenager and in his early 20s (we met in middle age) but rarely drank anymore. I never drink alcohol.

            He didn’t even keep any in his fridge; once we moved in together it was the same. On occasion (like when we were at a German restaurant) he’d order one beer. I saw him order a beer maybe 5 or 6 times a year. At family gatherings he and I and one other relative were the only people drinking Cokes.

            But narcissists who don’t drink are perfectly fine with cheating!

            • True.

              My fw when we were first married drank a bit too much. He was never a mean drunk, but he would come home sometimes having obviously had too much to drink. About a year after our first year together (our first year married he was in Vietnam) he decided he would not drink any more, he did not want to be an alcoholic like his dad. In the whole t1 years we were together I don’t believe he ever took another drink.

              Having said that I also believe he was a cheater througout our entire marriage (he only copped to the last ten years of it.

              When we D’d, he married whore a few months later, in short order per my son he cheated on whore and she “left him” snicker. (she was never really going to leave that meal ticket, she had worked years for that).

              Then I assume he convinced her he stopped fucking around, then he turned to gambling and bankrupted them. Then he went all in to become a preacher. After getting asked to leave two different churches he gave up on that.

              My mother in law used to say men will either chase women, drink or gamble. I guess her son settled on 2 out of 3.

              But, as far as I or my son knows he never did pick up another drink.

              My daughter in law thinks he had an addictive personality and he couldn’t just do something he had to make it his focus. When we were together it was boating, I sacrificed so much for him to have his boat and camp site. It was all he thought about. Then of course adultery.

              I am guessing if he couldn’t gamble he might have gone back to drinking. I do think the reason he turned to gambling is he had a huge health issue and I am betting given the condition he had, his dick went limp; so he had to find another obsession, so gambling it was.

              I think he was scared to death of drinking, but he had no issue smoking himself to death.

              Bottom line these folks are fucked up.

              My sister in law told me he was paranoid for years that he would die at age 48 like his dad did. He died at 71.

            • Hey, Hitler didn’t drink either! Your ex is in great company (ugh).

              Your point is spot on and that’s why I was careful to qualify it. Abuse never has an excuse. Batterers don’t batter because they drink; they drink (if they drink) in order to commit domestic violence. This is because alcohol is a disinhibitor (letting them do more easily the thing they wanted to do anyway) and also because it’s culturally viewed as an alibi and they can whine later that they didn’t mean it because they were drunk and evade consequences. But not all domestic abusers drink or use drugs and not all substance addicts abuse partners. For any kind of abuser, violence and abuse are the primary “disorder,” addiction the secondary disorder. The rate of recovery from substance abuse is far higher than for domestic abusers, who have about a 97% recidivism rate even with therapy. Basically, relationship outcomes are probably better if you’re partnering with a gentle drug user than with a sober abuser.

            • My ex-cheater hardly ever drank in the 30 years I was married to him. As far as I know, he did not have any addictions. He just liked to have a skank on the side that he failed to tell me about.

              • This is so like my ex. He said to me, there was just some things I didn’t want to tell you about. 🙄

            • Yes, exactly. Same here. No boozing, no smoking. Doing sports and he is fit and full of energy. Full of charisma , womanizing and cheating. Fullstop!

          • Hell of a Chump, these words of wisdom are so appreciated, and needed far beyond the readers of this blog. Thank you 🙏🙏🏽

          • I witnessed this dichotomy firsthand.

            My ex had (and I presume still has) a somewhat popular YouTube channel that’s all about his wholesome, homesteading, house building life. He started making and posting his videos years ago, when he was drinking heavily and cheating, and he continued to post through getting sober (and cheating), post-recovery (and cheating), messing around with painkillers (and cheating), and so on. Different twists on the theme of secrets, betrayal and abuse. None of this was shared, or even hinted at, in his videos. I don’t know how he could look himself in the mirror, let alone constantly document himself, sift through and edit footage, and then post online for the world to see. He NEVER missed a week. As far as I’m concerned, his channel is a record of his duplicitous, phony double life. Together with the emails and evidence I discovered, there’s plenty to help me trust he sucks even when I begin to slip into self blame and confusion. He’s a narcissistic sociopath (or something) who made self-aggrandizing videos while being a thoroughly rotten human. When I look at the fake life and persona he shared online, the abusive but deceptive life he was leading with me, the covert, creepy lives he was leading with different women, and the often hidden substance abuse… the juxtapositions are jarring. You would NEVER know if you stumbled across him. Well, seasoned chumps might pick up on some red flags?

            Through the worst of his “depression” after my dday departure, when he was supposedly reckoning with all of his “mistakes” (and still contacting OW, though he continued to Hoover me and say otherwise), he took a brief break from posting but couldn’t stop documenting everything he did. And then he later posted those videos, anyway! When I caved and moved back the final time, he started up again. He never once celebrated our anniversary (we never married and didn’t really have one), but soon after I returned, I found him down by the house we were building, using sparklers to make a time lapse to celebrate gaining 10,000 subscribers. This was during the terrible time when I came back for one last attempt, and he was not putting this kind of energy into making me feel special or important, yet he could celebrate himself. The week I permanently moved out when he assaulted me, he posted another glib video of his house progress. The following week, he was celebrating the new well. That summer, he’d pan over the gardens and show the vegetables I’d planted growing, taking credit for all of my hard work. No one watching would have any clue I existed. Our pets were stars, of course.

            The last time I looked (last fall, briefly) I saw the long shots of my flower gardens; his obnoxious monologues; drawn-out thank you’s to the many people who help him or give him things for free (for example, the “good friend” – who he couldn’t have known for over a year – flying him around in his private helicopter); cute little notes and cameos with his new girlfriend (and one of the sleazy long term OWs). His life looks whimsical and magical and wholesome. Maybe it is, for him. Maybe he and the OW are living in bliss. I don’t care, and still thank god that’s not my life. I just wish he hadn’t destroyed mine.

            How disgusting that he never publicly (or even privately) credited or thanked me, and I was his supportive partner for many years, through all of this. I did more than anyone, and he didn’t mention me once, yet he immediately had to show off his POS “special lady friend.” Perhaps even weirder is that when that was my life, I either didn’t care or told myself I didn’t care. Anyway, who and what he showed to his “followers” (perfect) was so far from the reality. I was invisible in my own life.

            As for the cheating/alcohol thread, I don’t think the alcoholism caused my ex’s cheating, but I see so many connections: lack of… empathy, accountability, concern about consequences to help there, reliability, true romance and intimacy, honesty, self control. He was also addicted to exercise, cheating, substances, vaping, YouTube, seltzer, podcasts, you name it. He could not be alone with himself, and he could not own his mistakes or do something real to make himself happier or better. Now, thanks to what he did to me, I think I understand some of this way of being. I understand the urge to escape, in a way I never could. I don’t always make the healthiest, most empowering choices, but I don’t cheat and lie. I don’t steal. I don’t go on benders. I don’t abandon family and friends or do things that will hurt other people, even if I feel like it. When I was at my lowest, I wanted to die, but I am responsible to my loved ones.

            Guess I am still angry, too, but I do suppose it burns less than when I first had to scramble to GAL while that abusive POS got to do and have whatever he wanted. It doesn’t preoccupy *every* waking and sleeping hour, anymore. I’m really trying, but it’s so hard to let go.

            • I try to remember that I never wanted to go to FW’s work parties because his profession is filled with provincial dorks with no political acumen. It was a kind of snobbery on my part, but a snobbery towards shallowness.

              My own profession was jam packed with narcs and monsters but also the occasional gentle genius with moving insights. I never once met anyone of that caliber in his field. Well one– a brilliant and sweet Korean woman who I really liked. But that was it and if course she quickly left the firm and launched her own projects in some world capital.

              Anyway, only after I learned that FW had likely deliberately discouraged me from going to his work events so he could flirt and prevent the workplace bimbo squad (even his profession’s bimbos were a lower caste than the doorknobs in my profession) from registering that he was really, truly married did I have trmporary waves of FOMO type despair.

              Being left out created the illusion I was actually missing something. Time and distance has corrected that. His profession is filled with mediocre tech geeks with no extra brain cells lying around to develop a world view and people too desperate to take humanist stands about anything.

              If you give it some thought and time, you might realize that you were right the first time not to care. You might be relieved not to be dirtied by association.

              FOMO is an unfortunate but standard hardwired lizard brain reaction to being jilted. It gives the illusion of value to things that often have none.

            • Bread and Roses,

              Bit late for me to post, but I had to chime in. This is one of the most obnoxious and ridiculous things I have ever read in a FW. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Sparkler time lapse!?!?!? Thank you for posting. Hugs.

          • “my former high stakes, booze soaked profession” Ah, journalism or media. I recognize it from the lifestyle during the RonBurgundy years. Or maybe not.

      • And even hidden dogpiles still manage to foul the air with stink. These people have an aura of evil and disease. Just because you can’t always immediatly see it, it’s there, and after a while we can easily detect it. Our experiences with people like this fine-tune us to eventally sniff it out miles away, so we can take a detour around it.

    • I also think that they get away with it … till they don’t.

      I’ve been watching a lot of true crime con man documentaries on Netflix (I have Covid – double vaxxed so symptoms not too bad). My latest favorite is The Tinder Swindler. The cheating and betrayal – he got away with so much crap until he didn’t. And his last girlfriend is now on my hero list. She turned on s dime from madly in love in the morning to selling all of his luxary goods in the afternoon.

      I also think that those that were betrayed – and then are complicit in future betray – are disordered as well. There were a couple of those in my life. Also in the Tinder Swindler. And as mentioned above in the letter. They serve as triangulation kibbles and validation that the cheater is truly glorious.

    • They got away WITH it.
      You got away FROM it.

      The karma bus already swung by: it picked you up and got you the hell out of there. No time to back up and run over the fuckwit: it needed to speed you away from the scene of the crime.

    • For real.

      I grew up surrounded by people like this – liars, cheaters, con artists, cluster-Bs, and sociopaths – and I can’t think of a single person who escaped consequences for their actions. Karma has a long reach.

      All my estranged relatives suffered horrible deaths, went bankrupt, or flunked out of school and are working minimum wage jobs but still think they’re unrecognized geniuses.

      I know 2 con artists in my community who put on a good show on social media – but word on the street says they’re both being investigated by the authorities and are up to their necks in debt and active drug addiction.

      But rest assured, I’ve yet to know of a terrible person who beat consequences. They just don’t arrive on YOUR schedule, and 9 times out of 10, it’s not like the fuckwit will tell you about it.

  • You know what that other spouse is? The one who hangs out with the two Affair partners all friendly like?

    She’s a volunteer.
    Gag. Vomit.

    She’s babysitting.
    She’s policing.
    She’s trying to be so fucking woke and cool and chill, while also trying to win the ‘I’m the cool mom/wife/buddy’ because she hopes to god it will finally satisfy her idiot spouses need instead of him seeking out spare vaginas.

    There but for the grace of chumplady go you.

    • She’s an abuse victim. Just like people can’t understand why a woman would stay with a man who beats her, this is the same thing. She’s in hell.

      • I feel for people who are stuck. I was one for a really long time. Don’t mistake this for me being callous towards other chumps. Chump lady has several articles about the folks who grin and bear it and choose the shit sandwich over and over, and how at some point it moves in from .

        This is not just a woman who finds out and tried to reconcile. This is about a woman who – according to the poster- knew before he did. And now acts chummy with someone who knows that her husband has a freckle third pube to the right.

        If you reconcile, if your partner is working to remorse and amends, the no contact thing with affair partners is pretty much a requirement for most folks. Because at the very least, you as the cheated on spouse shouldn’t have to look at them and see the Mind movies 🎥 at the joint family barbecue.

        Chump lady preaches tbe ‘it sucks but it gets better’ and… I’m proof that it’s true. I’ll understand this woman’s pain, but I hope in truth she is lining up her ducks because otherwise it’s just sad.

        Articles of my personal love where CL focuses in on ‘stayin isn’t awesome’

        https://www.chumplady.com/2016/05/dear-chump-lady-ow-taunting/ « Actually, she can’t do what she wants with your husband without the ASSENT of your husband. He’s giving it. THAT is your problem.

        And also, that I shouldn’t control my husband as we are separated.

        She has a point — you cannot control your husband. You only control YOU. He apparently cannot control himself. That’s either acceptable to you or it isn’t. It’s either okay with you that he disrespects you, lies to you, and breaks no contact, and continues his affair. Or it’s not.

        You cannot make him recommit or treat you with respect or cherish and love you the way you deserve. That’s a very, very painful conclusion to draw. So instead, you’re focusing all your energies on breaking up a couple of fuckwits. Please, walk away. »

        https://www.chumplady.com/2013/07/dear-chump-lady-im-obsessed-with-the-other-woman/

        https://www.chumplady.com/2014/09/dear-chump-lady-the-ow-calls-me-for-advice/

        https://www.chumplady.com/2015/10/where-does-meh-go-when-the-ow-moves-in-next-door/

        https://www.chumplady.com/2016/06/tom-jones-eulogizes-his-chump/

        https://www.chumplady.com/2016/04/its-not-lemonade/

        https://www.chumplady.com/2016/02/ubt-jennifer-garners-shit-sandwich/

        • AP’s wife has had over 7 years to get her ducks lined up. I was pretty surprised to find out they had another child since this affair came out. I was hoping she’d divorce him and take him to the cleaners, but somehow he gets to keep his family intact. Anyway, I’m sure it’s a pretty terrible existence.
          I’m really glad I didn’t try and stick it out longer than I did. I do wish I had my head on straight when she was cheating back in 2002, I could have saved a lot of time.

          Brick

          • And maybe she’s stayed with him because she’s just not that deep or invested in her husband. I have a friend who once told me she wouldn’t care that much if her husband slept around. She just shrugged her shoulders like it wouldn’t be a big deal. To me, it was a sure sign she didn’t love her husband. I do think there are some people out there who just aren’t that committed. Is that the kind of marriage you want Brick? I don’t. That’s why I said ‘no’ when my husband asked retrospectively for an open marriage. You don’t know what their deal is. Maybe she forgave him, maybe she’s not that deep, maybe they have an open marriage, or more likely she’s miserable because she doesn’t trust her husband and she sucks it up anyway. Either way- they suck and you have different values to them. Go be awesome and tighten the belt on no contact. Hugs

            • Thanks for this. I expect you’re right. Their marriage is certainly one I wouldn’t be interested in.
              I was also offered a retroactive “open marriage”, but even though I turned it down, it happened anyway.

              Brick

              • Exactly! My ex worked on me for a while about the “open marriage” idea. He talked about how he knew so and so had one and it was great, etc. I’ve only had one close friend who tried that, and her husband ended up leaving her for the OW. I got to the point of nearly agreeing to some sexual freedom for my husband, who said it was because he wanted to experiment with S&M. I had the idea that maybe he could see a sex worker now and again to get it out of his system. Turns out, he’d already been going to sex workers, sex clubs and having relationships for most of our 25 year marriage! They suck. You don’t. So go and be awesome and leave the fuckwits to their mindfuckering and BS.

              • Once a cheater, always a cheater. It’s probably going on right now with her and him and others.

                In Hollywood, when a couple looks all glowy at each other and profess their love for one another all over media, it’s a sure sign of an imminent breakup.

                Please go no contact, and don’t look at their PR machine any longer. Impression management is a great skill cheaters have. You deserve better!!

              • Formerlyknownas— Google studies on the “hydraulic theory of aggression.” There’s no “getting aggression out of the system.” Practicing aggression only increases it.

                Freud was wrong again. Go figure. Who knew the guy who thought all of women’s woes stemmed from penis envy could miss the mark, lol.

          • I’m sort of hoping the AP’s wife is a full blown lesbian who only married to appease a staunchly religious family and to procreate. Otherwise the situation is too disgustingly tragic. What MISERY.

    • “She’s babysitting.
      She’s policing.
      She’s trying to be so fucking woke and cool and chill, while also trying to win the ‘I’m the cool mom/wife/buddy’ because she hopes to god it will finally satisfy her idiot spouses need instead of him seeking out spare vaginas.”

      And that is the bottom line. If she can just be cool enough, and keep his dick “tethered” to her at all times… Well we have all been around long enough to know how often that works.

    • That’s exactly what I was thinking. People can engineer their image on social media but it’s completely different behind the camera. I am almost certain that since the affair, the chump wife is serving as captain of marriage police and your ex is getting their kicks of triangulation. Be so glad you are not part of that harem anymore.

    • The AP’s wife’s motive for hanging out with the OW is more than likely a “Keep your enemies close” strategy. Maybe hoping they won’t hook up again if they are friends. Rather sad really.

      • Or they could all be part of a triad. I’ve known folks like that. It’s tough for the man in such relationships to keep both ladies happy, but it’s doable.

        For awhile. Until somebody wakes up and says, WTAF??

  • At first I was wary of social media, and then I got worried I had already missed the boat with it, like if I jumped on FB or Insta at that point it would be like middle school all over again with my parents dropping me off at the party just as everyone else was leaving (“Guys? Where’s everybody going?”)

    Now, post DDay and divorce, I’m profoundly grateful that I voted myself off that island. It’s basically impossible to do full NC if you’re on social media. I attribute my mental health at this point, 2 years post divorce, at least 50% to social media abstinence. No joke.

    • I agree. I only joined Reddit for the Chump Nation group. I have no idea if my ex is on Reddit (since most people don’t use their real name). I don’t use any other social media and I think it’s a healthier way to live!

      He had a seldom-used Facebook account that I checked for awhile (when we were trying reconciliation and I insisted on having all his passwords). When we did in-house separation (AKA hell on earth) I saw that he used Facebook more as he also started using multiple dating sites, and Facebook was the way some of his dates preferred to communicate. Barf. I was pain shopping. Glad those days are behind me.

    • If not for social media, I would never have found out about LACGAL or found some of the wonderful support I have. Even without social media, many of us have children with the FWs who inevitably share details with us we would rather not know. Social media just makes pain shopping easier. Chumps no longer have to drive by the FW’s new house and see the AP’s car parked there or hear about stuff through the real world grapevine.

      Thanks to social media, I found the best attorney and a million other things by reading the voices of other chumps who have been there. I think it’s a matter of self-control. People who go crazy about alcohol should not have it in their home, easy to access. And if you tend to use social media in ways that are more harmful than helpful, yeah… best to stay away.

  • But what about triggers? Especially when you have kids together and, like your pet ca, they deposit a dead rat at the kitchen doorstep?

    I totally get ChumpedBrick.

    I wish there were some kind of substance that would wipe out memories selectively.

    • There is no substance but there are four words to say to yourself, over & over.
      Trust that they suck.
      Trust that they suck.
      Trust that they suck.

    • No doubt, it is tougher to distance yourself from an EX when you have kids. You can block the EX on your social media and communicate only via an agreed upon method (text, a family scheduling piece), but you will still hear stuff from your kids. It takes discipline to just let their tales wash over you and not react to them. And it is always hard. It is worth remembering that they are always performing for the kids–some EXs perform Fun Dad or others choose Victim Mommy, but it is always about getting their persona in front if the kids.

      • Totally understand and I’m in the same boat. Because I’m the parent with unconditional love, my kids will often just do what their dad wants – it’s easier to go along, to get along (with him). He creates situations where they can choose what anyone would recognize as ‘the right thing’ vs what he wants.

        Bottom line, they know I’ll love them no matter what and while I’m gently trying to set some boundaries (without calling their dad a liar, which they are in denial about), they’re in a rough situation and it will take them years to figure it out. In the meantime, I try to remain calm and zen about it. But the truth of it is that their dad is making the shit sandwich – and asking them to serve it up on a silver platter.

        • Before I left the state, I was the same way. I even celebrated Christmas a week early several years because I didn’t want my son to have to shut one of us out.

          After I moved away, I went back for Christmas a couple time’s while the grandchildren were small. My son made it clear to me that it was my visit and his dad could do the early or late Christmas that year.

          It all worked out.

          It didn’t matter much though because eventually fw and his whore blew up their relationship with my son. Son, mended it as best he could, but their relationship did not fully recover before fw died.

  • Who cares what immorals people do?

    Focus on what you want to do.

    Your insignificance in that picture might bother you (we’ve all been there!), but hey, there are plenty of other pictures to look at (I vote Corgis) – and so many new ones to create!

    • And I want to add, 5 years later, my ex seems to “have it all”. He was always the one with the good job, while I took care of the house, so that his (our) free time would be actually free.

      Now he has a bigger house, new partner, a dog, and his dad living with him (my replacement as wife appliance). And he recently got promoted. And he kept whatever “friends” we had.

      My point is it would be easy for me to get tangled in despair, since I’ve made lots of progress but I’m not “there”, I’m not settled into a new life that I can call my own, yet and he not only came out unscathed, he made further progress. While I had to play the long haul.

      But I don’t compare our journeys, I can’t, they’re profoundly different. We were never the same, him and I, certainly won’t be starting now. Apples to oranges.

    • 👆🏻 THIS right here. WHO CARES!?!

      I feel like there is a lot of unraveling the skein of the chumped other spouse, too. Who cares? Once the other spouse knows, there is no responsibility by anyone else to do anything. Is she marriage policing? A victim? A volunteer? It doesn’t matter! I wouldn’t waste another moment letting any of them be in my head.

      Over the years, once in a long time, an old boyfriend crosses my eyeballs. One is the CEO of a high profile company who has his own podcast and had a guest on talking about a subject related to my work. People at work said to check it out and gave me the name of the podcast. When I looked it up I was surprised because I had no idea what ever happened to him. And I thought “Huh. Good for him.” Another one is harder to escape… well known really great guy who ended up with his own reality show. Now, both these people were good people and I am happy for them both but I don’t lie awake dwelling on them.

      Juxtapose that to a bad ex boyfriend I had. Well, two, actually. One was a cheater, the other was not (as far as I know). All these people are in my dating past 20+ years. The two bad ones, I was wronged. But I DON’T CARE how their stories ended. And if I came across updates about them, I would shrug and “Meh.” Glad they are not my problem.

      Sometimes cheaters end up wealthy (see Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates) and have happiness. IDGAF The FW I married, I have to let go. Justice is not always served. I won’t spend my life wondering about exes, good or bad, and whatever info I get gets mentally stored where my brain recalls that wombats poop cubes. It doesn’t stir anger, excitement, jealousy because they are just some humans walking around with whom I had some shared history. No more important than my second grade teacher. Probably less so.

      Stop giving FWs and their hangers on more importance than they deserve. GAL, Brick. Move on.

  • I am a chump in the middle of the process but I stopped all social media and blocked the FW and his crew of friends and family. Once I did this things got better. Trust me you really don’t need to see their smile, supposed coolness and fake happy lives. You have a life, focus on the good in that. A FW will not change mainly because they already think they have no faults and are perfect. It’s okay to wish for the karma bus to hit someone who blew up your world and it will hit soon enough but don’t look for it.
    It may seem like she got away with it but that is part of her campaign to manage perception. Yes, everything appears to look great but the fact is she is still fucking someone else’s husband. That shows who she really is, a low life without morals. If you want to get rid of the anger, stop pain shopping and block, block, block and don’t look back. Live for the good things in your life now and in the future. You are free of a FW. What could be better than that?

  • Brick,
    Can you think of anything better than you inadvertently finding out years after the fact that the karma bus was the vehicle that metaphorically served up their karma? And you honestly thinking, “m’eh.” If you cannot, then start living your life in a way to make this happen, and it will.

  • I had knee surgery while going through my big cheat experience. For some reason my ex accused me of faking my walking difficulties. I was incensed, of course, and shook my cane at him and said someday it will be you, @&$@&!! Well, a few years later I heard he had knee surgery and fell down the basement stairs. Oops! And fell off a ladder twice all within the year. So karma does happen. Unfortunately, he still lives. So I settle for karma krumbs. The thing is, these small. Ugly on the inside people are still who they are. That’s their punishment.

  • Yes, not worth it. My therapist once said it this way…

    The mental gymnastics to live in so much denial takes up so much space. They are incapable of living an authentic life after that.

    Nope, they didn’t get away with anything of value.

  • They do get away with it, while we’re left clearing the wreckage. This is the nastiest rancid part of the shit sandwich that they made for us. Hard to accept that justice doesn’t exist in this world and you must make room in your new worldview to accommodate that reality. I don’t actively wish harm on xhole, but I’d be just fine if it harm found him and AP. I’m still chewing on that rancid bite of shit sandwich.

  • Oh I hear you my chumpy friend .

    I’m sure I won’t get to Meh until I can let the unfairness of it all go , but so far at almost 3 years out I’m ashamed to say I can’t .

    It’s fine for everyone to say focus on you , your life your goals which is the actual truth but the hanging about praying for some sort of justice keeps me in limbo .
    I wish I knew how to let it go ! Especially since there hasn’t been one not a single one consequence for his actions .
    They just skip off into the sunshine with the double income , bigger house , new wife , new family, and I had to pay him off !!

    Sometimes I wish I could scream from the roof tops not that it would do me any good . So I just plod along building my new life ( which is pretty good to be honest) and know i won’t see it in my lifetime . I just have to keep trying to accept it

    • I hear you both Karma and Brick,
      I am 7 years out and still struggle with the anger. I do my best; I feel it, breath, try to distract, try to move on with my day. My therapist has advised to make peace with it. She says, “of course you’re still angry!!” (God what a breath of fresh air that is after the cultural narrative of forgive and get over it). So I am kind to myself. I give myself a mental hug and a free pass to feel whatever feelings I feel. I do work on moving away from the thoughts more quickly. Sometimes I mentally write “fuck you I hope you die” on a post-it note and then mentally let it fade from view. I am SO much better now. I laugh every day and I love the peace in my house. It’s a long slow process for some of us. Just be kind and gentle with yourselves xxoo

      • Oh my goodness KathleenK! I absolutely needed to read your post today! “Fuck you I hope you die” on a mental post it note made me laugh out loud to almost tears! Thank-You! That is my new mantra!

      • To openly admit that you hate your cheating spouse and AP, hope they both suffer like boil in oil, lose all their money or “fill in the blank” is healthy in my opinion. To try & force yourself to forgive is not natural. It’s just bottling up legitimate anger and that can lead to health problems. Anger (without violence) can be very good as long as you don’t take it out on innocents or yourself. Keep it focused on the person/people that screwed you over.

      • The power of profanity! Sometimes I write initials on a post it note at work. CIAA= Cheater is an asshole. It gets it out of my head. It is a validation.

      • I love your post KathleenK. I can’t even describe how much I needed this today – many thanks to you for sharing your feelings and your therapist’s wonderful insight!

  • “I really still feel like she got away with it.

    She got away with it. And the sun rises in the east.”

    This

    I went through the muck of Chumpdom for YEARS. I made progress then slid back and was in the misery for YEARS.

    The Ghost that I fought with was “What if my husband NEVER loved me?” I fretted, I obsessed, I sought answers that weren’t there…

    Cheater died, I found love again life was good, but I still had mental sword fights with this ghost.

    One day I found a long-lost hard drive in the basement, I had then-boyfriend crack it open. In it, there was a file of a an anger management workshop. In it, he wrote “I never loved my wife”.

    Was it temporary? was he in limerence? was I his last thought as he died? blah blah who gives a fuck?

    So my worst fear was there in black and white staring me in the face.
    And the surface of the Earth did not crack open and swallow me whole.

    My response was to ratchet up my “Living Well Is The Best Revenge” checklist.
    Boyfriend proposed on a yacht trip to the Aegean (there was a chef on the yacht). We married, and I finished school advanced at work, got my kid through college. We recently managed a trip to Italy during a lull in covid that roared back right after our trip was over.

    When I think of first marriage now (it was over 25 years long, I gave my youth and everything else to it), I get the Biblical image of kicking the dust off my feet after being unwelcome in a village. I DONT try to “remember the good” (fuck that) the best I can do is not bash him to the kids, yea me.

    So, yea, maybe she DID get away with it. Fuck her, she sucks.
    Now go live.

    • I really feel sorry for the OMs wife…gah…the “consciously (un)coupling” crowd got to her. That is a shit sandwich with maggots in it. Dont ponder it any more that you would ponder any other putrid thing.

  • When you are shallow enough to cheat, all you are is shiny on the surface. Don’t mistake their social media curated shininess for true happiness.

    As far as the cheater appearing all happy in a new life while you still struggle? Remember that they gave themselves a huge head start while actively sabotaging you.

  • The AP wife is hanging out with your ex and her family so she can keep an eye on things. She’s policing. You aren’t, because you don’t need to. You moved on and found better.

  • My adult son, had a close “friend “ who his wife mistakenly thought was his mistress. His wife divorced him and magically he and “friend “ fell in love. Eye roll. Now they are having a baby in two months. I fully support his first wife, emotionally and financially at times. She is a wonderful human being. I have spent one holiday with wifetress and son. Post nothing and made it clear how I feel. Every day I think karma bus ideas. I’m at a total loss as to future. I don’t want to be madly in love with new grandson, knowing his mom, lacks all morals. Yes, I’m aware son walks in his father’s footsteps. My son is extremely well off, so I doubt she will leave. When you have to keep seeing offenders, what do you do to be at peace? I feel like a two year old , not fair, not fair not fair

    • Heard I’m sorry about your son . I have a daughter who shows a lot of the same selfishness and manipulativeness as her dad. I have told her I won’t be moving in and that is the main reason. We’re both single. You can love your son as I love my daughter but don’t get tangled up in his mess. Distance is your friend.

      • Hi NewLady15,

        How did that conversation go?

        “I love you, but you’re too much like your father for me to try and live with. I’d rather sleep in the van, down by the river, thank you very much.”

        Brick

        • It goes like this. “ I dearly love my independence and would like to maintain that as long as I’m physically able. Thanks so much for being concerned for me.” End of convo. No elaboration necessary. In case of argument—walk away.

      • This situation sounds so very difficult. My only suggestion is that you just take it one day at a time with your grandson. We talk often here about being the sane parent. You may want to think of yourself as the sane grandparent.

        We like to believe that we can raise children “right.” All kinds of evidence suggests otherwise. Great people emerge from terrible households. Vicious people emerge from wonderful homes. Nature and nurture shape kids in ways we can try and direct, but we cannot control. Your grandson may be an immoral person, eventually, regardless of his parents or a normal one with flaws and strengths. Spend time with your lovely young grandson doing things that reflect your code of morals–it is all we can do.

    • HCard, you are a wonderful person. My in-laws never spoke to me or their grandkids again (after 26 years in their family) after X discarded us. That hurt so badly and my kids despise them.

      • After knowing them for 30 years; after having just helped them through the death of their wife/mother and making funeral arrangements, after my father-in-law called me the daughter he never had, that father-in-law and both sons (one my ex) discarded me like I never meant anything to them. On top of the callousness of my ex, their abandonment compounded my hurt. I guess the entire family is disordered.

        I understand your and your childrens’ pain, Motherchumper99.

    • I’m sorry about all of this. Entitlement can run in the family.
      Good for his wife, though. She saw her boundary being crossed and she dropped the “cushy life” to keep her self respect.

      Brick

    • Yea, that’s tough. But you must consider that it is not your grandchild’s fault and that having you in his life may serve to help guide him in a better direction than his cheating father and mother. All I can say is that you might want to work on being able to bifurcate your feelings. It’s not easy, and often times requires therapy, but if you can find a way to be in your grandson’s life in a loving way, but also not co-sign your son’s actions or be perpetually triggered, that’s probably a good thing.

  • I do not believe lingering anger at the person who cheated on you is unreasonable.

    No one would ever question lingering anger at someone who raped you, assaulted you, burned your house down, poisoned your animals, murdered your child, or otherwise seriously violated you or someone you loved. But most of the world minimizes the injury of infidelity, and expectations of how the victim should feel and when they should feel it goes along with it. And chumps had better get in line with those expectations, right? Because we’d better all keep perpetuating the denial and the myths about the damage and pain of this very common situation.

    I will keep yelling that the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes until I take my last breath.

    I don’t think lingering anger at the people who betrayed me and nuked my life is unreasonable. I do think infidelity is a very very deep and extremely painful wound that needs to be cleaned at periodic intervals, possibly for the rest of my life. Which is an upsetting thought. Yes, I would like to reach a place where I never felt this pain ever again, but it’s just too big of an intentionally inflicted wound. For me, a spell of anger is the indicator that the wound needs cleaning.
    Today is the anniversary of the day he left four years ago. I am glad he left and I am glad we are divorced and I am actually experiencing an episode of deep anger right at this very moment. Time to clean the wound. I don’t want a relationship with those who assaulted and violated me, and as of today what they did still hurts.

    That being said, I think people who reach a place of neutrality about the people involved in the infidelity is just as normal. I think how we feel and when we feel it is a very individual process.

    What is most important is that I respect how I feel, that I don’t “should” myself about how I should feel, accept how I feel, and have a plan to take care of myself.

    I lived far too long in the company of other people telling me how to feel and when I should feel it. I don’t accept other people’s agendas or timelines about my feelings, a place I reached with the help of two guardian angels masquerading as therapists.

    Read Virginia Satir’s work on this topic.

    Time to dress the wound.

    • I kind of do feel like I “should” be past the anger at this point, it’s been 7 years. Thanks for the message.

      Brick

      • I’m about ten years past my last D-Day. There is no timeline on this. No point where you “should” feel like it doesn’t hurt somehow. I love two people in my family I loved very much way back in 1991 in tragic circumstances. My eyes still water up, sometimes, when I try to talk about them. At no point do I ever feel like I should be “past feeling like this.”

        If it hurts, it hurts. Embracing this has brought me a lot of peace.

        FWs totally seem to get away with it and they don’t feel bad about it at all. Once I truly embraced this, it also brought me a lot of peace. Once I fully… like *fully* realized that FW doesn’t feel shame or bad at all about what he did… surprisingly, I started sleeping better at night.

      • I think the idea is not so much to get over it as to learn to compartmentalize it and not examine the feelings too much. Its like mentally packing all that shit into a storage box and labeling it DO NOT OPEN!

        I think the idea is to live in the present. To be so busy living your new life being totally involved that you don’t have time to dwell and ruminate on past wrongs. Yes, they happened. Yes, it sucked. Yes, we are a product of our experience and that adversity made us stronger. We are NO LONGER in that situation. WE DONT HAVE TO RE-live it every day—that is self-torture. We SURVIVED and now it’s our duty to ourselves to thrive. The best revenge is a life well lived. And if you are totally focused on your life, you won’t have time to wonder or worry about what the FW is up to. No contact helps you put them in the rear view mirror. They are just ‘somebody that you used to know’ —sort of, y’know lies and all that. Memory works like this: the more you reflect on something the more your brain will go there. We reinforce memories this way. Don’t do it.

        Sure, we all get triggered. Something comes up from the kids for instance. My FW will be in my life til the kids turn 18 and he’s still doing shitty low life things for kibble. Still, I have gotten really good at narrating history to the kids with only minimal fuckwad appearances. I can do it without flinching at three years post DD#3. Still not at meh though.

        If you lie awake wondering and are tempted to hit social media—don’t. I suggest exercise. If you are tired, you will sleep like a baby when your head hits the pillow. If you find yourself ruminating—play your fav music LOUD! Sing along! Dance! I dare FW to share head space when you are trying to remember lyrics. Learn something new. Set new goals. Figure out how to get there. It is never ever to late to start something new—just make a plan!

      • Maybe moreso, you should be better actively working toward getting past the anger. It is true that there is no one timeline for letting go of past trauma, and I loathe the “bitter bunny” characterization where anyone who dares be angry for more than a nanosecond just needs to “get over it.” But, prolonged and heightened anger won’t serve your soul, and may be detrimental to your health. I wrote on this in a below entry, but it’s possible that you have more of a “pain shopping” issue than anything else. Knowing things about an ex can naturally trigger anger. So, take away the knowing and see if the anger fades.

    • Thank you VH, your post resonates with me. I’m
      mostly at peace/indifference towards XH because “it” happened and there’s no do-overs. He is actively using and progressively getting worse, although he hides some of his “isms” with a lot of money. However, occasionally I am reminded of something (usually a memory of how my children suffered after the discard) and I feel really angry for awhile. I process the feeling, allow it, breathe through it, accept the normality of it, and then turn my thoughts to someone I can help. I make a meal, walk my dog, call a newcomer, do my job, etc. the moment passes. I’m coming up on the 5th anniversary of divorce decree (7 since Dday). I had 26 years and 4 kids with X. Of course it will take time.

    • Velvet Hammer

      February 16th will be the four year anniversary of when my ex left. We’re on the same timeline.

      I truly would never want him back. But, I sure wish I could find a best friend to fill his old role. I think that’s what hurt the most…not only was I not meaningful as a wife to him, I was also never his best friend as I had thought I was.

      But, I also now realize what a superficial parasite he is. He doesn’t make connections with anyone. He just found someone else to dupe.

  • So, I sent in the letter to ChumpLady.

    Thank you all for the soft bricks and 2x4s.

    I did have her blocked on social media, but I saw a picture that my ex SIL had posted and when I saw them both in a photo, I really triggered, mild nausea and all. I had to unblock them both and see if they had ended up together. I was pretty surprised to see that his marriage was still going (at least in Facebook reality), while he was hanging out with his old AP. Finding out that the AP’s wife was friends with the ex SIL was pretty shocking, to be honest.

    I have to say Tracy helped me get over the “loss” I felt in losing my ex wife, the great prize that she is. It helps a lot to have that door closed in my head and heart.

    • My former in laws have been married to each other all their lives. He is now 96 and she is now 86. It is a very sick relationship and always has been. There is a long history of severe physical domestic violence in this family and he could have easily killed her many times. Yet I actually heard her at dinner one time say how safe she felt with him.

      You just cannot cannot cannot go by appearances and allow your perspective to run wild. My perceptions are not facts. Facts, like cheating, which is emotional violence, and physical violence, are facts.

      Cheating is hard evidence that someone has big problems, no matter how many photos of them there are of them laughing at the bar. It’s baked into an illicit relationship and you can’t get it out any more than you can get the eggs out of the cake.

      • “My perceptions are not facts. ”

        So true. Even in my own marriage my perception of the reality of my marriage up until the last few months were so wrong. I bought the image, I thought we had a solid marriage and we loved each other and were committed to each other faults and all.

        Truth was my marriage was falling apart unknown to me, and the only one who held love and commitment for their spouse was me.

        It takes a long time to come to terms with that.

      • “perceptions are not facts”,
        and,
        your entire “you can’t get it out any more than you can get the eggs out of the cake” paragraph, so well said!
        Thank you!

    • I think it’s normal to have that reaction if it’s just suddenly in your face like that. It means that you DON’T suck, you committed for real. The disordered people aren’t happy, they perform happiness for cameras. The endless void inside them is never filled.

    • Eh, meh or not we are human, sometimes we see something and react.

      I say just deal with it, as you have. Feel it and go forward.

      You know you don’t want that mess back and that will help you.

      I actually feel sorry for the wife of AP in this case. We all know she is likely trying desperately to hang on to her marriage, or what she thinks is her marriage. We all know that she is likely to crash and burn at some part. Then she will need CL and others.

      • I agree. One thing that worked for me was (suggested by my counselor) —for my sudden moments of intense but very nonspecific sadness—to let the feeling roll over me and then let it go. It speaks to feeling the feels but not hanging on to them. I went from thinking there was something very wrong with me to effectively dealing with the episodes with self-compassion. Now they are far less frequent and I’m less anxious when I get them. I know this too shall pass.

    • Brick, time to block ex SIL too. Time to block all of those dysfunctional people. Block all the flying monkeys. Physically slamming the social media door shut on everyone in that tribe of terribles might spare you in the future. Every time LTC Fuckface crops up in my social media I get to blocking. It is always a shock to see anyone I used to know show up. I’m sorry you were waylaid by that visual of a bunch of cheaters. Keep slamming those doors!

      • I blocked and was still too curious. I ‘disappeared ‘on social media. (I deleted everything!) I went back with a fake name on FB to join two hobby groups.

        There are ways they can tell you look, too. Some of those 3rd party apps for who is looking at your FB work well. I don’t look at anyone’s profile. No contact works.

        • According to FB and Kim Komando Third party aps are a scam and they can’t show you who has looked at your profile.

          “Beware of third-party apps
          Where there is an opening, hackers find a way to squeeze in through the cracks. The same goes for Facebook services. You may have seen third-party apps offering services that allow you to see who’s viewed your profile.

          Don’t fall for it. As stated by Facebook, there are no third-party apps that can provide this functionality. If you come across one, don’t engage and report it to Facebook immediately here.”

          I agree go NC and no pain shopping, but I just didn’t folks to think they were buying an ap that will give that info.

          https://www.komando.com/how-tos/protect-your-facebook-posts/799060/

      • Yeah, I never had a problem with her or her wife, so I kept them on facebook. Honestly, I went to her page to look at baby pics. They had twins not very long ago, and I wanted to see how they were doing.
        There is a lot of my ex wife’s family on my friends list. I suppose it’s time to clean house.

        Thanks for the advice.

        Brick

        • Honestly I don’t see anything wrong with remaining friends with ex relatives you get along with.

          I am still friends with my ex sister in law. We worked at the same facility for years. I read her page a couple times a week, I am also friends with my neice (her daughter). I was the one who called her to tell her her brother (my ex) was in bad shape and not expected to survive. My son was just not up to calling her.

          If you are seeing stuff that bothers you though, of course you don’t want that.

          Life is messy sometimes and there are some folks worth keeping in contact with.

        • It’s different for everyone, but for my own peace of mind, I had to let go of my ex’s family and any friends who have stayed in touch with him. The people I was close enough to to share some of the details shouldn’t want to still be connected to FW; if they do, good riddens. The ones who I didn’t feel close enough to share with – I can also let go. Ex-SIL (and her kids) were the toughest to let go, but our relationship became too painful and inauthentic to maintain after I left and went NC. It’s been over a year, now, and while it still makes me sad, I think I made the right choice. FWIW.

          Thanks for sending in that letter, Brick. A lot of us still struggle with the anger, even though we know we “shouldn’t.”

  • I’m also struggling with this. 2 months post her leaving him for me I’m often feeling broken over the fact that she seemingly got over us so easily. How she isn’t looking back after treating me so horribly, despite showing or at least faking affection for 6 whole years. It’s getting slowly better though. I’m taking each day at a time. It’s really about you trying to live everyday for yourself and yourself only. Do what makes you happy. Trust in your future. Trust that they suck, do full NC and try to let go, even if slowly.

    • Oh Man. Two months is still really raw. I was probably still crying daily at two months.
      It does get so much better.

      Brick

      • Reading CL’s book and going to the website has already helped me a ton and I’m already feeling better than I was in the very beginning (or the end of the relationship itself actually).
        Thank you, I’m sure you’ll notice far more improvements too 🙂

    • I’m sorry your going through this FT.
      The first months are really hard. Hang in there man and keep coming back daily for support. Share whatever you want share with everyone here. We got your back.
      Also: read “Now what” by dad starting over. It was a huge help for me and have me a lot of aha moments.
      Hold fast

    • Yeah, two months is early, early days.

      Do something every day that gives you a little bit of joy (eat something you enjoy, go for a walk, do a crossword puzzle), and just trust that it gets better with time.

      Get some help with sleeping and concentrating if you need it. If there was ever some times for some temporary psychopharmaceutical help, this is it.

      Hang in there.

      • Thank you!
        I’ve been telling myself that this is my reality now and I have to make the most of it every day. Just trying to be really selfish and just do whatever makes me feel good, which is really out of character for me but it really helps!
        I’m also going to therapy, but sleep and concentration come back slowly over time, I’ve noticed. So no need for pharmaceuticals atm

        • Working out also helps. Those first months I did a lot of running. I normally hate running but during that time it felt really therapeutic.

          • I did the walking. Back then power walking was vogue; but I had done it for years.

            While I was trying to stand up straight again, it did help me a lot. It also helped me to think clearly when I was walking.

  • My FW went on a solo vacation, a cruise with his clubbing friends, 2 months after D-day when I was barely getting up off the floor and he was supposedly pretending to reconcile. He felt zero guilt whatsoever on his cruise, and there are plenty of pictures to prove it.

    When he got back, he was angry and offended that I didn’t want to hear all about how his friends group put on the best parties on the cruise and everyone wanted to be at them, they were all so popular (oh and of course he def didn’t cheat again, he virtuously slept alone every night. Sure.) After that, I think it really sank in that no, he does not care, not even a tiny little bit. He can go have the time of his life without ever thinking of my pain, before we’re even broken up. I’m not real to him. It’s just how they’re wired.

    But am I jealous of the life he’s going off to live? What did he really get away with? A man in his fifties eager to be the most popular party animal at the clubs? I mean, have fun at the pussy buffet, man. I’m sure there will be an endless supply of young women crawling over each other to get to you, and your children will still respect you, and this will not end badly at all. The life he wants sounds exhausting and drama-filled. I’ll be over here being a committed member of a family.

  • Brick,

    Thank you for writing this. I feel similar feelings of WHERE is your punishment/misery, you asshole!
    And I am further out than you and I don’t even have socialist media. Thanks for writing to CL about this. She is right of course. And the poor AP’s wife… that ain’t fun. That is wreckonciliation, and she hates every second of it. Trust that they suck so much that just living their life is a punishment. I have occasionally imagined the relief and joy I’d feel if FW died or got divorced or if some amazing karmic event befell them. I suspect, as others have written, that it would be less joyful than I imagine.

    Hugs.

    • “Socialist media” is pretty funny. 🙂

      I also got the feeling that AP’s wife had cheated on him earlier in the relationship, so she’s no prize either. They have a couple of kids. One was a baby when this affair was happening, the other was born after this mess. I also got the feeling this wasn’t his first affair. I guess when there are no consequences for doing something terrible, there’s no reason to stop doing it.
      I don’t even really blame the AP as much as my ex wife. From what I’ve pieced together, she cheated before we were married (but living together), with a guy who was visiting from Europe. Right after he went back, she started pushing for a ring. I think she thought that if she was actually married she wouldn’t be tempted to cheat on me? All that did was waste 12 more years of my life and cause the breakup to need paperwork and lawyers.

      Brick

      • There was a terrible consequence — she lost you.

        It’s not your fault she’s too stupid to realize it. (And she might, but investing in AP and impression management helps project It Was All Worth It!)

        • Thanks for the reply Tracy.
          I do see that she had consequences, hut neither of her APs have.
          This guy is still married, and the other one she was starting something up with, while we were trying to figure things out, is married too.
          I sent a letter to the second guy’s BW a few years ago, but it doesn’t seem to matter to some people. I guess a lot of people are willing to eat the sandwich vs. losing their lifestyle.

          • You don’t know that her APs haven’t had consequences. You do not know what their marriages are like, especially is a spouse sticks in the marriage for financial reasons. That sounds like a pretty terrible life to me.

      • Brick –

        Congratulations – You got yourself out of a messy and disordered life, and with no kids to have to co-parent!

        I feel like those that are most dysfunctional are the ones that manage their social media image as if they have this shiny life. Maybe they do, maybe not. It’s all image though.

        I got it through my head that I will probably never know if he gets the karma he deserves. And I came to terms with the fact that I loved him the right way, and he abused that, and if he is happy in his life and what he did to us then he is not worth my mental energy.

        It helps that I have blocked any mutual friends we had, and that he moved 45 minutes away. I haven’t been triggered in a while. I may feel exactly like you do should I see or hear something about his happiness.

        I am just over a year from D-day and I’m at meh, and I don’t miss the life I had with him. Not at all. It took that heartbreak to realize that I would much rather live alone and be a cat lady. My teen daughter lives with me very other week, which is nice. I have a great bf, who respects my need to not be together constantly.

        Now that you got triggered after so long, maybe this trigger will help desensitize you so the next time will be less emotional.

  • Things are not always what they seem. Social media was designed for people to stroke their egos and show the world how wonderful and successful they are., which is, in part, why so many people use it. My ex’s social media shows happy parents surrounded by their adult children, folks smiling ear to ear, beautiful large home, etc. The reality is they are in the middle of a long drawn out contentious divorce. He occupies one floor of the house, she the other.

      • I stopped posting relationship things. I also locked down my social media and unfriended many.

        Mostly I post cat stuff. And Wordle, while it’s still free. (Still at 100%, mostly 4 guesses, but today I got it in 3).

        And I argue with strangers on Twitter.

        A while back I saw the FW post some pictures with his latest conquest. It was back when he was still trying to contact me and get back with me. He finally realized that he was blocked, so he stopped posting his “fairy-tale” relationship. Which tells me that he only posted to get a reaction from me.

        I have also accepted that he may never cheat on his latest. He did see how broken I was. He may think I still am broken, but I’ve glued myself back together, just have the scars. I do know that it will always hurt him that the one person that knew him so well and still loved him no longer cares to ever see him again.

  • This is my biggest struggle at 4 months out. The fact that he got to keep his life, his friends, and immediately move on with the AP is hard. Its hard knowing he gets to be happy with someone else while I am mourning. Its hard knowing he probably never thinks of me as he was so easily able to replace me. I try to remind myself that wherever they go, there they are. At some point people will continue to be dealt the same lessons until they address them. At least thats what I tell myself. Sending you light

    • I used to feel the same way, NAPS..
      4 months out is still so raw.
      They might be enjoying their
      “New Relationship Energy “ but it doesn’t last.
      But yes, it’s very hard to feel replaced, forgotten, and insignificant.
      I felt all those same things, I literally cried every day for years. Hence my name…
      I promise, it does get better. I will think good thoughts for you today, and sending you a virtual hug. TMT

      • True.

        And for most chumps as they work through their healing, at some point they will see that the fw gets their life but we get a new life too. It is hard to see at first; but for most of us just about the time the new life for the cheater is getting routine; we are in the beginning stage of our new life of whatever we choose. Will it be perfect, probably not; but dang it can be good.

        • Yes. I would have never traveled to twenty-some countries and experienced the adventures I did. Instead I would have been stuck at home with a lying cheat, most likely stuck with his babies and afraid to leave. The road less traveled affords beautiful vistas and possibilities. We leave these assholes in the dust.

  • It took a lot of time for me to go from feeling like “they got away with it” to believing they didn’t get away with anything.

    What they each chose was a partner who was waving the biggest red flag in the red flag factory, right in the face of the other. Not an upward move or sign of intelligence or emotional health IMHO.

    Most everyone here has a tale of the STOP signs we blew through long ago about the very person we’re here because of. They didn’t get a character transplant, and in opting for cheating prove they don’t do inner work either. Cheating is a character DEFECT. Who hires an unrepentant embezzler as their bookkeeper?

    Cheaters want the high of cheating, and when the game stops working with the existing players they just go find new players. The chumps are the actual winners, and winning is walking away or being left, AKA relieved of your status as a player in their game.

    • ….and I found out he was cheating on the Craigslist cockroach, (who was just the one I had hard evidence about). Our daughter saw a drop down message from someone on Tinder while using his phone at a time when we knew he was living with the Craigslist cockroach. I heard she was upset that the liar, who she knew was a liar, that she was lying with, was lying to her. Can you say “disordered”?

      If they had loyalty in them, they would have been loyal to YOU.

      Einstein said you can’t solve a problem with the same brain/consciousness that created it. Cheaters take their patterns, brains, and consciousness with them to every associate. They’re in for a big surprise when they find out they’re just in a different deck chair on the Titanic, an inevitable destination unless you do the very slow and difficult and painful work of inner change, which cheaters by nature avoid at all costs. However, there is now a klieg light on them and what’s left in their tool box is Impression Management, and their ego needs to lay it on thick.

      As a chump, it’s a total bummer when the ship gets struck by the iceberg. But you have the option of a seat in the lifeboat, which is this place. Or you can stay on board, listening to the orchestra, without a modern day survival suit, believing the ship is unsinkable.

      I’d posit that those who get in the lifeboat are the ultimate winners, in spite of all that was lost.

  • If you keep on waiting for bad things to happen you will never move on. I blocked on Social Media my XW and her flying monkeys. The best “revenge” is living a good and happy life. My ex makes a 1/3 more then my wife and I combined. But I am happy with my new life. If you are happy with your life right now it doesn’t matter what is going on with her unless it is hurting your kids (if you have any).

    • No kids for us. I even had a pre-nup, because I had been saving and doing well for years before we got married. Without the pre-nup, I would have had to cash out a 401k and hand her enough to buy a condo. Glad that didn’t happen.

      To be fair she has a good career and is fine financially, she just gets “bored” and churns through things like cars quicker than I do.

      Brick

  • I don’t know if this will help, but…
    I, too wished that some misery would befall them, it was the last thing I would think about before drifting off to sleep… it actually calmed me.

    It’s been 3 years since he left and moved right in with her. The divorce I had to file will be final in 16 days.

    I just recently found out through one of the only mutual friends I kept, that misery has indeed befallen them. Really bad stuff. Their lives are in a shambles, everything you could imagine,
    (I wish I could give details, but it somehow seems wrong…) you would never know it from their FB posts – I am not on FB, same friend commented on it tho.
    My point? I wished it, it happened, and my level of disinterest was surprising, almost shocking.
    It was only then I knew I had arrived at Tuesday.

    For the record, I think you can simultaneously live your life, “do you”, thrive … and hope for karma. There’s some kind of healing that goes along with it, at least for me. I know they are both rotten people, and I never lost faith their actions would lead to their misery. Most chumps won’t know about it – but count on it.
    I did both, I live my best life, and karma came, and I feel free.

    • Thank you for being honest about this. It’s exactly how I feel. Not only did I see the out-of-control karma train righting itself and getting back on the tracks with my ex, I’ve seen it play out with other abusers in my life and the lives of other victims (I’m old). People often are afraid of talking about how good and righteous it feels to watch someone get theirs. It’s not gloating as much as its well-deserved justice, the universe balancing things out. I’ll always remember a wise soul telling me decades ago when I was in the thick of the horror of betrayal with my ex and a few other abusers that “eventally everything comes out in the wash.” I didn’t believe it at the time, but it does, it does, and for that I am thankful.

  • It is a bitter pill to swallow

    We have an innate desire to see bad deeds punished

    Most people really don’t care about what happened to us, the few that do are to be cherished

    I find the karma wish has faded with time for me. I now see it as part of the huge injustice that many people live with for many reasons. Almost all of us were dealt a bad hand in life, one way or another.

    It’s processing that bad hand and creating a good life that matters

  • Cheater behavior is pretty predictable. When they want to avoid something, it’s just easier to lie. The bigger the problem, the greater the temptation. Difficult situations will come up again and they will take the bait.

    And that’s a big ass bus with a crappy parking break, waiting at the top of every hill. They can avoid eye contact with the driver, maybe walk faster and not get squashed today, but that bus is still going to be there tomorrow. And forever. Gravity doesn’t make exceptions for the sparkly ones.

    Living like that is not a win.

  • Chumplady. I do love your turn of phrase. “A little perspective helps the shit sandwich go down.” Indeed it does. “Fuckwit penal colony” is priceless!

    I’m picturing some remote island where cheaters are stuck for eternity with other cheaters. The ultimate punishment for cheating!

    My ex-Fuckwit would fit right in. Maybe there will be plenty of rats to eat.

      • Things won’t be ‘right’ until his AP, for YEARS (she claims the relationship changed during covid – yeah, right), is out of CNN.

        Have to love it when the name fits . . .

        Anthony Weiner
        Jeffrey Toobin
        Allison Gollust

  • The ex’s distain and hatred towards me was evident. I could have been a saint or a bendy porno star and it wouldn’t have been right to him. I just wasn’t “ it” for him. He’s an empty, abusive, character disordered being breathing and moving among us. I don’t have a personal window into his life but I know he is the same because he can’t changed what’s hard wired. I’ve seen his long term AP, know the names of others and know he’s heavily into prostitution. We are all a different breed and I don’t compare myself to them. Well, I may have tried to figure out the long term but I think it’s transactional as well. I did feel bad for the prostitutes being controlled by him for a few hours through money and hoped it was by choice on their part not forced sex trade. It’s just gross to me thinking about the things he asked of them knowing they wouldn’t have full freedom to reject him.
    On the flip side he was not “it” for me either which is why I left legally. After immense fear, came distain from me towards him as well. I just couldn’t express it openly because of abuse. I was finally able to let it go through attorneys.
    This person obviously isn’t your person. Do you really want to carry this forever?

    • I’m sorry you went through all that. Sounds pretty terrible.
      I don’t want to carry this anger forever, but I’m having trouble letting it go. That’s why I wrote to Tracy.

      Brick

    • I know, my STBX is into that kind of stuff as well as being with Schmoopie. I just look forward to a decent settlement. Once this is done, he can continue his endless parade of Schmoopie’s and hookers. In the end, they will take him for all he has and he will be old and alone. I won’t look for it on social media but I know he will not change and this will be his future. I know my life will not be perfect but hopefully, my friends will be around, my parents will maintain their health and my son will get married and I can look forward to being a grandmother. If that happens, I will be perfectly content. I know that I don’t need to chase sparkles because I have what matters and it is real.

  • If you are thinking “she got away with it,” you are engaging in both untangling the skein of her fuckedupedness and mind-reading. Yes, cheaters are grand at just discarding spouses and partners and kids and pets and whole lives. How they square that up with their self-image is unknowable if you aren’t yourself disordered. The fact is that you don’t know what it means to be that kind of person. How shallow is that person’s emotional life? How much does the new partner feed that monstrous selfishness? Is it a case of what my mom used to say, “Water finding its own level?”, where your chumpy devoted heart requires more of a cheater than he or she can produce? Who knows?

    I’m deep into the Beatles these days, post-“Get Back,” and I think a lot about George Harrison, who was an amazing artist in his own right who was marginalized in the band, but went on to collaborate with the likes of Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and Jeff Lynne, among others. Prince’s version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is iconic. He was honored by the best artists in his generation (including his former bandmates, eventually). So it took a while, but before his death, his worth was recognized.

    His first wife cheated on him and left him for Eric Clapton. He eventually remarried a remarkable woman who actually saved his life when a demented man broke into their home and stabbed him, and she cracked the intruder on the head. This woman and the son they had together have protected both Harrison’s artistic legacy and his charitable interests since his death. Is it “justice” that the people who wronged him are still alive? Is it justice that the man who stabbed him spent only 19 months in prison, or that Harrison died 2 years after the attack? No. It’s not justice. It’s life.

    I agree that it is human to want to see bad deeds be punished, but all of that is out of our control. As time goes on, and we refuse to give cheaters and their accomplices free rental space in our heads, we let go of the need to see direct punishment. [He cheated. Now a lightning bolt hit his house and it burned down. Or the local minister won’t talk to him anymore. Or his dog hates him.]

    I think, instead, that’s enough for me to know that Jackass is a very bad man, that Wife3 will eventually suffer just like Wife 1 and 2 did, just as I did, just at the others who got involved with him did. There’s a pattern. He’s old enough that he is probably not figuring out a new way to relate to others. He’s incapable of intimacy. But I don’t care if this time he’s hooked up (literally) with a “nurse and a purse” who will be with him till the end. I don’t think of him at all. I’m not even thinking of him as a write this, except as an example that could just as well be a character in a movie, for the little I feel about him.

    Bad things happen to good people. And bad people often don’t get punished by society (whether by the criminal justice system or through social sanctions or by having someone do to them what they did to us). Watch an episode of Cold Justice on TV; we see some of these murderers walking free 30 years after the crime, sporting a giant beer belly and a “I love Grandpa” sweatshirt. But when I look at their faces, I don’t see someone living with joy and intention and love. The rot shows on the face. And see, 3-4 months after the arrest, how fast they lose their luster (Lori Vallow, who murdered her kids to be with a cult leader, is a case in point. She lived the good life until she didn’t). Eventually, what we are catches up to us. What we do marks us, whether we get “caught” or punished if we do wrong or we get rewarded somehow if we do good. It’s about what we are becoming as humans. The consequence for being a bad person just may not happen the way you want it to; that’s just a fantasy of control that you can let go.

    • …..when I read Eric Clapton’s biography, I’m pretty sure I remember he said George Harrison cheated too (which made me sad).

      They were close friends….George wrote Here Comes the Sun at Eric’s
      estate…..I’ll have to check the book again…..

      • “Here Comes the Sun” is at the moment my favorite song. And I’ve often marveled at how George and Clapton were able to stay friends. I wonder, too, if their most significant relationships were with their various musical collaborators.

        My point, though, is really about not living in the past–about being willing to go through the suffering to gain a life, about how a second partner may be much greater than the first for all sorts of reasons, and about how even if we don’t take another partner, there are great things we can do in the world.

  • maybe you just need to burn something. burning is cathartic. i found my X’s travel journals after he moved out–he always made a big fuss about writing in them when we were on holiday and i never looked at them. privacy is important.

    there they are, tucked in a box in my office, and i take a look. there was nothing in there beyond the dates and logistics. no impressions, no thoughts, no substance. like him. i burned them in the outdoor fireplace.

    could you print off the offending pictures from social media and burn them?

    #symbolism

  • I received all financial assets after divorce because I could prove my lazy cheating husband of asset squandering and other no good, illegal behavior. Karma comes through! He passed away a few months after the divorce due to his continued bad behavior. Karma comes through!

    I’m still angry though he got his and then some. I take an hour a day to deal with the anger, and I go on with something pleasant the rest of the day. It’s natural to be angry. But it helps to move on as you have. My late ex still has a ton of social media floating around. One of his schmoopies is the legacy holder of his accounts. (She came out as gay a year after his passing, so go figure. I had a good laugh and stopped looking)

    I can tell you she and her flying monkeys are scum. Karma does come. Go with that and don’t look anymore. You’ll be much better off.

  • Eeeeeew. Sleezebags all hanging together.

    Don’t want to touch that with a 10 foot pole.

    No contact is the way to meh.
    Don’t tell me about x not interested don’t care about karma bus x is nobody i care to know about not sorry

  • ChumpedBrick: No advice here, but plenty of empathy. It’s hard when you are just going through your day and suddenly something happens that flashes you back — it sounds like this is what happened when you saw that picture.

    When I was having the worst of my flashbacks, and I REALLY couldn’t escape them, I decided not to fight them, but instead to try and learn what they were trying to teach me. I kept telling myself “Everything I am going through right now is necessary for my ultimate healing process.”

    I don’t know whether that was actually true, but believing it helped me to manage the rage until it started to settle down on its own.

    • I think you’re right. I totally had a physical and emotional reaction to seeing them together in a new picture. I had stumbled on other pics from the sport they played together (both OMs were on a certain pick up team with her) and that was not great, but not terrible.
      Not sure why the new pic bothered me so much more. Maybe because they somehow stayed in each other’s life, which I didn’t think would be very possible. I even remember emailing OM’s wife to watch out for her, because we were breaking up. I remember his wife was sad and was hoping we’d “make it” whatever that might look like. I think it translates to “I was hoping you would rug sweep”.[
      To be fair, me being married to my ex would make her policing job a bit easier. There would be 2 of us in hell/limbo policing our marriages.

      Brick

  • I have a handful of quotes that stay with me. One was hearing what Elijah Cummings said to Michael Cohen, who was testifying to Congress. Cohen had admitted his responsibility and knew he’d be going to jail, but Cummings was gracious and offered this:

    You may be asking yourself, why is this happening to me? I suggest that instead you ask ‘why is this happening FOR me’.

    I hold onto this when I backslide into the unanswerable ‘why’s’ of life.

  • Hail, Tracey. Goddess of Truth. Your words are the sobriety that is my life ring as a recovering chump. I’m feeling something like AA, “Hi, my name is Liberated! and I’m a Chump.” Maybe CN needs a twelve-step program with all the expletives and tongue-lashings frosted and delivered in your singular truth and compassion? No words here, except to say I’m four months sober and free of a fucked-up abusive nightmare that keeps on giving. I bow to you, wisest one.

  • CL hits the nail on the head. Not caring is a practice, and you can let mind follow body. Meaning, you stop looking these people up online, at all. You resist the urge, do whatever it takes to NOT indulge in this activity. If other people bring them up, you just put up your hand and respectfully say “I don’t wish to talk about my ex, thank you very much.” Once you effectively STOP looking then up and stop hearing about them, over time, the urge to do so fades…and then the caring fades, and then the caring goes away altogether. This works especially well when our own life is busy and interesting and robust. Busy being a key element. If you have time on your hands to perseverate on this stuff, you need to do a better job of filling up your schedule.

    The more insidious factor to all this is compulsion. If you have OCD or actual compulsion issues, you may not be able to train yourself out of this habit of cyber stalking. In that case, consider seeking some behavioral therapy to modify your actions. And, if that still doesn’t expunge the OCD-type thoughts and actions, consider medication.

    Best of luck! When you’re fresh off a betrayal, its pretty normal to pain shop like this. However, the longer it goes on the less normal it becomes.

  • Hey Brick.

    The unfairness eats away at me too, not always now it’s been a decade since I faced my shit-shoveler and told him I’m breaking free, but the triggers are there.

    You might have come across this but little time-out CBT self sessions really help refocus and create detachment with this. You might have heard about CBT but you ask yourself a set of repetitive questions whenever your mind and emotions get stuck in their toxic fallout, questions like “pick a color, find six things with that color, describe each item in detail, “close your eyes and identify everything you hear” “look outside and identify everything that is moving” etc there are sites that list some good questions, find a handful that centre you and pull your mind off of ‘them’. There are also great apps, CBT but also mindfulness/self esteem which pull your mind from the hate. It works for me every time, it is a habit you need to work on, but after a few months you’ll be able to automatically start the self care and you will find you reach a point of simply not giving a fuck, even if you pain shop, you would have reached the level of ‘meh’.

    It does help to reach a level of acceptance that shit people do shit things and they come up with a huge pile of shit to deal with. Unfortunately, you had a shitty person in your life but you’re so lucky you’re free of them now. Life is so much nicer without all that shit!

  • Brick, I don’t have much more to add as CL pretty much lays it out. Follow her advice, especially when you start to think about the unfairness of it all. We all have our place in the “Unfairness Line of Life.” Be thankful you’re not in the front.

    Let me share my new-found perspective on giving FWs energy: In 2020, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I went through a challenging treatment protocol and finished the last of my treatments this past August. My prognosis is good, I feel hopeful and grateful. I’ll be 61 years old next month. I have no idea how many more days I have on this earth (no one does), but however many they are, I’m extremely circumspect when it comes to giving away my time. Time is the only commodity that cannot be regained. I no longer waste a minute on unimportant or toxic people, regrets of the past, or allowing past injustices to eat away at me. Nope. I look at my life now like an hourglass, with precious nuggets of gold sand gently slipping away. The narcissistic ex who treated me like something you scrape off the bottom of a shoe? He’s nothing. A zero. A blob of aging cells. Not worthy of one second of my precious time. The hourglass is trickling.

    You sound as though your life is on a positive trajectory. Wonderful. Be grateful. Your ex-wife? There’s a popular spiritual saying that goes, “Wherever You Go, There You Are…”

    She can’t outrun herself. That in and of itself is delicious. With a scoop of vanilla on top.

    Enjoy your life. Don’t waste another minute of your precious time ruminating about her. Your time is gold.

    • I’m glad things are looking up for you. You have a wonderful outlook on life. I’m sure it will serve you well for many years to come.

      Brick

  • Realize that what you see on social media is often worlds away from the truth. None of my “friends” had any idea what my life with him was really like, either.

    My ex and his AP, according to their social media, were living a fairy tale. The reality was addiction, alcoholism, violence, money problems, fighting, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and abuse.

    And as someone whose ex DID get his comeuppance? It doesn’t feel as good as you might think. (My stbx killed himself after his AP left him.)

  • Such a person is constitutionally incapable of feeling shame or contrition. Even when such people do get the karmic cosmic justice they deserve, they do not acknowledge or admit that is what it is. They reframe it as persecution or conspiracies or something else other than the consequences of their own actions and keep doing the same shit they always have. They are certainly not going to broadcast to the world that they are getting what they deserved on social media; that is completely the realm of fantasy and image management.

  • I love Disapproving Corgis!!! Thank you for the laugh!!! My husband and I decided to call it quits yesterday. Your blog has been so helpful!!!

    Yes, he cheated… found out he had a whole secret life of fucking men, women, prostitutes. According to him it’s all my fault. I think that one of the things that your blog has made me realize more than anything is this: he’s not as special as he thinks he is. After reading your blog, I have found comfort in the predictability you keep mentioning. It’s like, this is supposed to happen… maybe you could do a blog on a checklist of this predictability? Anyways… it’s gone like this, ok… I’ve accidentally found out about Hubby’s secret life, he’s going to blame you☑️ He’s going to make himself the victim☑️ He’s going to make eggs and do extra stuff not to apologize at any cost☑️ He’ll set up therapy, but you’ll have to cajole and threaten the shit out of him to get it☑️ He will blame it on you again, “I just wanted you to like me” stage☑️ Then the “I thought we were over” stage☑️ The apologies that are not apologies☑️☑️☑️☑️ in the midst of all of my pain and anguish over the loss of the promise for forever, you have made me chuckle over and over again. Thanks!

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