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Getting Through ‘The Slog’

mehWe have a new series. On Tuesdays (“the day the pain stops”) members of Chump Nation share their gain-a-life stories. Today’s Tuesday tale is from ICanSeeTheMehComing!

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Somewhere between D-day and Meh is a place I look back on as “the slog”. You’re no longer married (or connected) to your cheater, but they still take up mental/emotional/spiritual space in your life.

Maybe you’ve got a court-ordered visitation schedule in place and child support is set-up. Maybe you’ve gone back to work and now have to juggle being the sane parent with being the bread winner. Maybe you’re an empty nester and your fuckwit is starting a new family. But everywhere you turn, there they are in the shadows…

“Are you sure you want to do that?”…

“I don’t see why you think I have to use the parenting software.”…

“Can we switch nights so he can meet Schmoopie and her kids?”…

See what I mean? The slog. And birthdays and holidays, don’t even get me started. Dating, don’t make me laugh!

For me, trying to figure out “what comes next” was initially overwhelming. I had followed the counsel of Chump Lady and Chump Nation. I filed first, I held my ground in mediation, I kept my child fed and loved and on a regular schedule. And, to some degree, I fell into robot mode. I was tired. Bone tired. I fought the war and came out weary and needing to rebuild a life… and get to Meh.

The first thing I focused on (after keeping my son on track) was me. And, let me tell you, that was not easy. Relearning things that gave me joy. No longer living in fight-or-flight mode, no longer living with cognitive dissonance, no longer living paycheck to paycheck… was unnerving.

I started small… on the nights my son had dinner with Mr. Sparkles, I made a conscious effort to get out of the house… I’d take a walk; invite a friend to dinner; go to the library… something just for me.

Room by room at home, I removed anything that reminded me too much of Mr. Sparkles but also didn’t make my son feel like it wasn’t still his home. I replaced photos in frames to just me and my son… I burned my favorite scented candles… I watched TV shows that made my son laugh instead of feeling we had to disappear so Mr. Sparkles could watch “the game”. I cranked up the radio playing my favorite songs on K-Love. My best friend surprised me by repainting my bedroom and changing my bed linens while I was on a work trip. And sage, I burned a ton of sage (ha ha).

Slowly my baby steps turned in to mighty steps, I made the medical decisions… I made the vacation plans… I reignited my career… I dated. I built a cheater-free life.

All told, I’m nearing 8 years since my finally D-day (I spent many years spackling, it happens.). I’m in Meh. My son is thriving, I love my home and my social life and my job. I’m No Contact and have been for years. We discuss anything about our son via email. I do not engage with him at all, and I think that has been key to my healing.

If you’re going through the slog… keep coming back to CL and CN. We are your tribe, we understand your journey. We aren’t bitter, we’re forever striving to be better… and that is a big difference. In the words of Maya Angelou:

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

Rock on Chump Nation – you’ve got this!

ICanSeeTheMehComing!

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  • I’m in the slog now and along with the divorce proceedings, daycare issues, custody drama, and the daily grind of work/ home/ dinner/ bedtime, I’m also trying to get sober. It’s a lot. Sometimes I don’t know how I can handle it all at once. Anyone else?

    • I too am in this slog, yesterday being a particularly bad day! I am three months out from D Day and most days I am on auto pilot. I feel like I am in marriage purgatory as he is dragging out the divorce even though he is happy living the single life with OW. I am so thankful to have stumbled into this group, nobody understands this pain like a fellow chump.

      • Great user name, and all best to you! You are absolutely in the thick of it, but it sounds like you have moved with mighty speed (compared with some of us). FWs gonna FW, unfortunately. Reluctant phoenixes unite!

      • My ex did the same. Asked for a divorce and then made it as long and difficult as possible. You have found a great support group here.

        • I get my fix of CN everyday, it is literally saving my sanity at the moment. I am so grateful to everyone who posts, doesn’t feel such a lonely road I am travelling. x

      • Truly happy people don’t lie and deliberately hurt other people. There is a difference between “happy” and being under the influence (dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins, serotonin). And people who are involved in affairs, getting high on those brain chemicals, are not healthy.

        At 2am, bars are filled with drunk people who think they’re happy until the drug wears off. And I know first hand that chemically induced happy isn’t authentic happy.

        There are people who derive pleasure from hurting others; I wouldn’t call it “happy”.

    • I’m back in court with FW after 5 years. Our very adult kids all still live with him. It ain’t easy because they are totally emeshed with his drama . But I do a lot of walking, travel when I can, work, and watch a lot of comedies. Somedays the house is tooooooo quiet. But peaceful.

      • Mitz – Why are you in court after 5 years with adult children? My youngest emancipates next month and the nagging fear that even after she finishes college, the litigious nightmare that’s been Douchecanoe and his howife for the past 9 years won’t truly be over.

        • Our son has adhd and the ex wants life time child support from me. Son won’t work, has never tried, and was told by experts he is capable of working. But ex disagrees…….. so this mess.

    • I got sober during my divorce from my cheating narcissist ex. The walking on eggshells, silent treatments, cognitive dissonance (how is the person who is supposed to love me treat me like this?) fully turned on my alcoholism gene. During the divorce, still reeling from the discovery that he had gone on Ashley Madison and had been sleeping with this woman for 4 years gutted me and took me to the edge. With the support of family and friends I was able to get the help I desperately needed. It adds a different dimension to recovering from narcissistic abuse and infidelity. It’s hard. But I can truly say I’m the happiest I have been in decades. There is freedom in being out of a soul crushing marriage and in recovery. You can do this.

      • Thanks for the encouragement. I have a gut feeling that FW should not find out about this. Did your FW ever find out that you were trying to get sober/ going to meetings/ whatever, and did it backfire?

        • He found out when I was in treatment. We fortunately didn’t have children together so it was never an issue. If there are any custody issues, if it does come out, you being strong in sobriety is the best defense. I know all of the emotions and shame that come from having this disease. I continue to work through this. But my relationships with my family and friends are so much better and stronger for seeking help and keeping my recovery strong. Best wishes and you are not alone!

        • Hang in there Nepeta. My FW drove me to drink too. The constant chaos, the violence, the spending – and then of course the cheating. It was very, VERY hard for me to get away from it because I used booze as a drug to numb my feelings. I occasionally have a drink now and then but I don’t NEED it any more (I’m divorced 11 years). Please hang in there and do NOT let him know that you are trying to stay/get sober because of course he will use it against you! My FW-ex is here in France right now. I haven’t seen him for 3 years (my youngest son’s wedding where he of course got trashed) and he came over for the 1st birthday of our grandson, who he hasn’t met before. I’m actually fine around him but to be honest he looks TERRIBLE and by god the empties at my oldest son’s house where he is staying ….. When I commented to my son “by God you two have been busy” he just said nope, that’s all dad!

          • I’m so glad you were able to moderate once you were free of the mindfuck! I don’t think I’d be getting sober if my FW were still around. Our abnormal drinking was something we bonded over for a long time, and when I became a single mother I figured out real fast that it was time to deal with some uncomfortable truths.

            I admit that seeing evidence of FW’s continued abnormal drinking makes me meanly glad. FW can have the booze— I’d way rather have the kid and be the sane, sober parent. I think ChumpLady is right when she says that the hard road is the one with the bigger payoff. It’s just hard to keep slogging when the payoff seems so far away, you know?

        • I suspect your STBX (who I’ll bet has a problem too) knew you had a problem, which is what he’s likely to point out if there is conflict in custody proceedings.
          Your drinking was not a well-kept secret (we often find out it wasn’t!) therefore your recovery shouldn’t be.

          Whatever we put before our recovery, we lose. We can’t lose when we prioritize our recovery. Keeping secrets is about trying to control and manipulate outcomes, and this is one issue I’d suggest being honest about.

          Do you have a great therapist? I’ve had one my whole recovery and IMHO is the reason I have been around as long as I have. I would never tackle big unfamiliar territory on my own without her.

          • VH: “Whatever we put before our recovery, we lose. We can’t lose when we prioritize our recovery. Keeping secrets is about trying to control and manipulate outcomes..” It just his me that this is not only true in recovery due to alcohol, etc., but it certainly rings true when we think of recovery from the abuse, betrayal, etc. that FWs throw our way. i.e. if someone breaks no-contact they are putting that break before their recovery from their FW. List could go on and on. I always gain from your posts along with a lot of other posts on this site. Thanks so much for your contribution to so many of us.

          • Are you sure that letting FW find out won’t backfire? There’s a lot of eagerness there to prove that I was The Problem In the Marriage. What a gift to FW to find out that I was the one who had to quit drinking!

            FW already likes to sabotage my therapy appointments— what’s next? My meetings?

            The only bright side here is that FW absolutely does not want custody, after finding out that the custody arrangement doesn’t affect child support in our state (damn, FW, you really showed your hand there 👀).

            • What I am sure of is that no one has control over what he does or thinks or feels. No one can predict outcomes; we can speculate and guess. People, and to a greater degree alcoholics/addicts, want to control. You are as powerless over him as you are alcohol.

              My personal experience is that lying and keeping secrets causes and compounds problems and telling the truth and being in integrity prevents and resolves problems.

              He already knows you have a problem. I don’t see that keeping your recovery for that problem a secret, addressing the problem, being in the solution for the problem , as a problem. Especially a problem I’ll bet he has too. (I’ve also been in Al Anon since 1986).

              All cheaters go into Blamespeak Overdrive. There is no way around that. You won’t be able to control that either.

              Look in the archives here for “Bagged Salad”…..they are desperate for excuses to pin their cheating on you.

              If he was a person of integrity and you had the worst drinking problem on the planet, he should have gone to therapy, Al Anon, tried interventions, and could have left the marriage ethically after doing his best to work with you to resolve problems between you.

              See pages 35-47 in the book, Secrets of Your Family Tree (Carder, et al.)…”What It Takes For a Family to Recover”. You will see he did NONE of that and was himself, as a cheater and a liar, the problem.

              All people have problems. All relationships have problems. All marriages have problems. The best anyone can be is a Problem Solver instead of a Problem Denier.

              Cheating, a unilateral and secret act, single-handedly destroys marriages and families.

              You’re not to blame for his cheating any more than if he decided to rob a bank or assault someone.

              Again, if he knows you are an alcoholic, why would you want to keep your recovery a secret?

              ❤️

              • Agree, this is sound advice. Working on recovery is seen as a positive in court and can be demonstrated snd measured. I would not volunteer the information just ready a defense for court with my lawyer. Let lawyer guide you in disclosure.

                Parents don’t lose rights to their kids over addictions much to my dismay. The abuse and neglect of the kids has to be well-documented before courts will intervene. I would never want my kids to suffer to that point. Even then, terminating parental rights is a very very slow process because it is not the preferred route. Foster care is full of kids who the courts goal is to reunite with their parent/s. If you, the sane parent, are providing for the kids, nothing will happen. ExFWs of course can make peoples lives hell by calling in fake social service checks and wild accusations. That can really cause problems. Let’s hope the disordered thinking doesn’t extend that far but the hate for us and love of drama and centrality is real. They cheat on us, discard us, force us to divorce them and then hate us on top of everything—the ultimate DARVO and blame shifting in the end.

                My ex is an alcoholic not in recovery. Has been right from the beginning and it only got worse. I did not recognize it at first, then tried to control it and naturally failed. He put our kids in the car after drinking many times that we only realized in retrospect. Ex got a DWI after driving drunk hundreds of times. He hid alcohol and drank ‘water’ in front of me laced with vodka. He refused to admit there was a problem even after being disciplined at work twice that threatened his job. He made every excuse to go play golf so he could get drunk with a buddy. I could go on and on. He was also a serial cheater with anyone who was handy.

                It’s funny but the cheating was the deal breaker for me. I mistakenly thought that you don’t abandon people because they have problems, that you try to help them. What I didn’t understand is that anyone addicted to any thing is not available for a relationship because that thing will always come first. It’s true. It’s one thing if someone is actively trying to get better. Mine was unrepentantly not and when called on his behavior only got better at hiding it. For both cheating and drinking. After all I provided free cake. I was stupid to rely on someone so unable to provide stability and fidelity much less love and respect. I saw what I wanted to see and believed him when he said he’d change. It never lasted. Hopium is horrible as is believing 30 years of sunk costs entitled me to a life of being shackled to his misery.

                The drinking played a role in our settlement. He started going to AA very late in the separation but had been going a year by the final hearing. The judge asked him what color chip he had. The ex paused real long and told him ‘red’ which I learned later was 90 days sober. It was also probably a lie and was a 30 day chip but in any case the judge was not impressed as the ex started babbling some excuse that they took his chip away because he had one ONE slip up—. Essentially AA was impression management for the divorce because he stopped going after but insists he doesn’t drink anymore. Without any evidence to back that up. More lies. I have the drunken text rants that tell me otherwise. However, these are Lies that can hurt or kill my children. Or someone else’s loved one. In the end I was desperate to be free of his stunningly bad choices. I had had enough of paying the inevitable price for them. Ask me how much a DWI costs. I finally was determined that the kids and I were not going down with his ship.

                Unfortunately, because I still allowed him to drive the youngest to school in the morning (rarely drunk first thing? Desperate for any kind of help since I had to do everything?) my pleas for visitation based on rehab or AA were denied. The ex refused to do them voluntarily. Fortunately ex did not fight me for custody so I got full physical. And eventually he lost interest and we haven’t seen or heard from him for months now. In the past I drove them to meet him and he doesn’t drive them anywhere. The agreement says no drinking before or during visits or visits are over. This means I am on call for visitation. Ultimately I just ended up waiting in the parking lot for them to finish. It’s sad that the kids have to play drink police and I fear they could be too easily fooled. Still, the ex has not taken any accommodations suitable for housing children. And, he has never, not once, in three years, taken them for more than three hours at a time. Usually its an hour or less meal. Zero overnights. His choice, as he has weeks of visitation in the summer. I am simply thankful.

              • Onward and Upward, I brought my daughter to Alateen as soon as she was old enough. I’ve heard of Alatot for even younger little folks, but I don’t know if that’s still around. FYI. ❤️

                My daughter has never been to her grandparents house (his parents) and was never left in their care. They live five
                minutes away. We had visits at my house or in the park because of Grandpa’s alcoholism. I had her when I had twenty years in recovery, so by then it was easy for me to set those boundaries. I mention this because people think you “have to” do things because of “family”, and I want people to hear that no, you don’t have to. I support you doing whatever is right for you to protect yourself and your children. ❤️

                When my daughter started going to school, I realized I had to be aware of other parents’ drinking/drug use. I had to navigate situations like, “what do I do when her friend’s father shows up drunk to pick up his child from a play date at my house? Moms drinking at birthday parties?” Etc.

                Sending love.

              • Thanks for this. I’m heartened to hear that my being in recovery won’t play poorly in court especially if I’m working at it. Drunken texts are the worst thing my FW has against me and boy, does FW love reminding me about those screenshots. FW hasn’t gone as far as to suggest that those texts are going to hurt me in a custody battle, but I think the threat was vague for a reason, to make me scared to bargain for anything.

                I am so sorry about everything you went through with your ex— I absolutely understand the “love heals all” mindset. By the way, your instinct is correct; the red chip is 30 days.

            • I’m a hard “no” on deliberately telling him you’re getting sober…you are doing this for you, not to one-up or impress him, and no need to give him an opening. Yes I am sure he would try to sabotage it because he will find it threatening. But I WOULD absolutely tell any family & friends that WILL support and help you in that part of your journey. If he finds out through one of them…so be it. “The best revenge is living well”, and you are starting your BEST life now. YOU’VE GOT THIS.

      • YAY! I was in a soul crushing marriage to a narcissist. I am also now the happiest I’ve ever been. The freedom is amazing.

        And congratulations on your sobriety!

    • Dear Nepeta,

      I had 31 years sober and in active recovery when DDay hit in 2017. I met my husband in recovery, and like with most cheaters, recovery was another thing he was lying about.

      Infidelity is far and away the most painful thing that has ever happened to me. The man who knew about the childhood I survived by some miracle turned out to have a bigger knife that he didn’t hesitate to stick in my back. So it was by some other miracle that I have stayed sober.

      My best trick has been
      DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING
      ONE MOMENT AT A TIME
      JUST FOR TODAY

      If we recover loudly,
      have a chance to save others from dying quietly. Whether it’s from the pain of infidelity, or from drugs/alcohol.

      I have 35 years now (DOS 8/15/86) and four years of infidelity recovery.

      Just do TODAY.

      • Congratulations on 35 years! And how amazing that you stayed sober through the nightmare of your husband’s infidelity. My FW has also lied to me about quitting drinking… is there anything they won’t lie about?

        • Nepeta, lying about quitting drinking indicates he has a problem too. Even more reason for you to plant your feet firmly in recovery. ❤️

    • Nepeta, you are MIGHTY! Congratulations on starting a sober life. I’ve been sober 33 years and very active in AA. I love the concepts of taking life one day (or hour) at a time, striving to do B- work (just show up), praying to be inspired, meditating, asking my HP to help me be loving and tolerant (but not abused). Doing the next right thing in each moment. Realizing that it is always “now” and even in the darkest times “now” was ok- I had heat, water, children and pets to love. “This too shall pass” has been a mantra and helpful for me. 😘😘😘. Maybe we will unknowingly be sitting in a meeting someday.

    • It’s like in Finding Nemo where Dorie says, “Just keep swimming.” Part of surviving the slog for me was finding the smaller victories (teeth getting brushed, laundry getting done, attending teacher conferences)… bigger victories like going No Contact and getting a divorce settlement take TIME… and 24 hours can feel like a 100 when you’re in the slog. Get to your meetings (put your oxygen mask on first)… great wisdom in the rooms and the serenity prayer might become your best friend and letting go of what you can’t control! I have faith in you.

    • You sound super together so keep at it.
      I struggle with sobriety too and I’ve decided to stop shaming myself for slipping up, which I think is just part of the slog, but sometimes I just need to just not feel the constant pain, but it’s for sure on my list of spackle that needs to be removed from my own story. Such is the chump.
      Have a good week.

    • You can’t handle it all at once. You do it one day – one minute – at a time.

      Don’t be afraid to ask for help everywhere you go. You need it.

      And yes, not everyone will be kind, and yes, sometimes you’ll have bad days. But the bad days will become fewer, and you’ll gain more and more strength.

      Happiness and good mental health are absolutely based in a relationship with reality. Chumps and addicts have a lot in common: we are confronting a reality that really hurts.

      But fleeing that hurt instead of facing it doesn’t bring freedom. Facing it – slowly, over time – does bring freedom, and peace, and Meh.

      You can do it.

    • Nepeta, you can get through all of that and get sober. It’s a journey well worth taking. I managed to do it and I’m doing well. Find your tribe of sober people for support. Small steps. If you’re too tired to make dinner, have breakfast instead. Remember to breathe. Hang in there.

  • What an inspiring story! Really needed this today. Just hearing that it is possible to: feel sane again, not always be waiting for the next attack, be able to enjoy things, look forward to something. All this is amazing and thank you for sharing your strength!!

    • Thank you for being here BTAW… we’re all on a journey and we keep each other supported here at CN. I didn’t think I would ever reach Meh… my fuckwit didn’t even want to get a divorce (without knowing for sure that his schmoopie would be his next meal ticket). I found strength in controlling what I could (like filing) and letting go of the rest (his narrative that I withheld sex so he had to cheat). Keep coming back!

      • I would call what I’m in the “grog”. Sort of like a grieving slog. Still paralyzed and back and forth. Both outcomes (staying, leaving) are not looking good. It’s not that I think I have a unicorn, just sort of feel like either option sucks. Half the time I cringe when he comes near me and the other half I’m still longing for him. It really helps to hear stories of happiness after all the pain. Thanks!!

        • Both options DO suck. But only one of those options comes with the possibility of a brighter future.

        • Might I suggest that you’re still on the hopium pipe? And yes, I was on it for a long while so I get it… you’re trauma bonded and that is a real thing. It helped me to change his name in my phone to Ted Bundy (no insult to Ted)… I needed to be constantly reminded that my X was/is a lying cheating monster and he “killed” my family and my dreams of a life with him. Now I have him as MrGrey19XX because that was his Ashley Madison profile name when I was still trying to prove to his current GF that he’s a cheater (they don’t change, ever). She stayed, I gave up trying to save her (she wasn’t the OW). Put the pipe down, come join us in Meh.

  • I to am in the slog right now, trying to get divorced and keep our home. I am trying to be as no contact as possible, only engaging via email about our twin sons. This is a nightmare, I still cry every day and D-Day was Jan 2021, desperately hanging on and thinking one day it will be better.
    This is my second time divorcing a cheater so you would think I would know the score but the BS is unreal……Thanks CL and CN for inspiration that I will get through this and be mighty!

    • I cry everyday too, also found out in January. We have two daughters, 5 and 6 and navigating this for them is an absolute nightmare. Everybody says it gets easier, I so hope they are right.

      • Reluctant Pheonix, omg you are only 3 months out from Dday? Of course it’s still a nightmare. I am so sorry you are going through this. And yes, it will get easier. It will for sure. XXOO

      • RP – I’m sorry this is happening to you, but I’m glad you found CL and CN. The journey you are now on is a marathon – know what you need at the finish line for you and the girls and set your course. We’ll be here… and healing will come. Promise… it just takes time… f’ing time.

    • You are MIGHTY Carol… you are modeling resilience to those boys and guess what, it isn’t always pretty but it provides a valuable lesson. Think of your tears as rain washing away all the toxicity of your marriage… the prettiest flowers bloom after the rain. You are worth it!

  • “I don’t see why you think I have to use the parenting software.”…

    I heard this too. I can’t urge new Chumps to hold firm on this strongly enough. Keeping the texting and phone lines completely open is an invitation to enter the head blender all over again.

    My daughters are now 19 and 18 and I still insist on this, despite several prompts from KK that I “grow up.” It hasn’t stopped her from the occasional name-calling and snide passive-aggressiveness, but it does keep my texting channels clear for communications with those I care about.

    • #truth UXWorld… my son is 16 and has had his own phone since 5th grade so he and Mr. Sparkles could communicate… yet, just as recent as yesterday I get a text from Mr. Sparkles asking me where he is supposed to pick up our son for his evening visitation. #facepalm #manchild

  • ICanSeeTheMehComing,

    What a glorious post!!!
    Congratulations on making it thru the slog. You are mighty ❤️

    These posts are so important to the new chumps and those still barely getting through each day.
    I considered that time “walking through hot coals”. It was so incredibly painful – minute by minute – that I cannot tell you how I made it through. Have faith and believe those here who have come out the other side that it is all worth it.

    A cautionary footnote for chumps who have kids. Get yourself together and learn good skills before the grandkids come. The years between graduation and babies can be wonderfully no contact. Even wedding are survivable. Grandkids are tough. The parents probably won’t want separate birthday parties, religious newborn events, etc. A smiling face is the only way to go.

    • Rebecca… such wisdom! I still have to cross paths with Mr. Sparkles at gender reveals for my stepchildren’s children (I’m Gigi)… we divorce the cheater, not the kids. At first, I used to get nervous and worry about what I was going to wear and if the schmoopie would be there… now, at any type of event (I still have graduations and choral and orchestra and sports to go with our son)… I surround myself with friends and family and he and his current GF are the “outsiders”… it is what it is. Life goes on, don’t let a cheater steal your joy any further!

      • I just recently saw the fuckwit and his wifetress at my son’s wedding. It has been 7 years since my last sighting and I was anxious to say the least. Afterwards, I let the stress and anger stay in my head a few days, but you know, after about a week it was over and I was back to rocking my own life again. I honestly think that the next time I have to see him whether it be at a child’s or grandchild’s event, I’ll be much more confident. I may even be smug! I’m not dealing with that fuckwit anymore and I’m more confident now than I’ve been in years.

        • Thankyou for this. I’m about to co-host a birthday party for my son with Mr Sparkles and the OW. Sooo not looking forward to it but my son sees us all as his family so…
          Nice to be reminded that there will be a time after the party where life will feel more normal again.

  • I am in that horrible middle ground of trying to get the settlement in place. The FW is doing everything he can to stretch things out as long as possible but the hearing is coming up shortly so he can either agree or go to court. Live in a fault state and we have so much evidence from pictures of him and Schmoopie that he accidently loaded to my adult son’s shared photo account, to receipts of transfers of money to Schmoopie and much more. Just being in the thick of it is awful but there is light at the end of the tunnel and I am sure I can get there soon. The waiting is so hard though.I cannot wait for the day of signing or going to court to come. Court would be on a Tuesday so that seems symbolic.

    • CFANM… dang you are AMAZING… and a fault state… BOOM! I am in a no-fault state but I still filed for adultery because it was true and it deserved to be on the record. The OW lost her shit when she was served, bummer. It amazed me to how Mr. Sparkles would miss court deadlines and obligations in the beginning… and even on the day our divorce was to be finalized, he was a no-show… the JUDGE CALLED HIM from the court room and ordered him to appear… he loved that we all had to wait for him… but it was the one time it was worth the wait! Glad your freedom is in sight.

      • It is getting close enough that I can see it. These FWs do anything and think they can get away without consequences. He just got back from a Schmoopie vacation too. PI has some great pictures. Yep, we hired aPI because the law says you are married until you get an official decree of divorce. Judge will love this one but I suspect that he will settle now that my lawyer shared some of the evidence in our latest agreement. Glad his lawyer had the opportunity to see his nudes that my so had to see.

        • Those FWs think they can get away without consequences because we allowed it for so long. It’s what they’re used to doing. I’m so glad you’re no longer allowing him to get away with anything. He must truly hate you these days. So if you see him and he’s smiling and acting like everything is ‘fine’, know in your heart that it’s all an act. He truly is seething.

          • Amazon, yes he is not happy that I have gone no contact on advice of my attorney and what I learned from Chump Lady and CN. Everything goes through the attorneys so every crappy little thing he would throw out would get a response (email only) of: “Please bring you concerns to your attorney and he can communicate them to my attorney”. He absolutely hates that but his petty stuff has been significantly reduced because it cost him money. NC is absolutely the best thing.

  • Six months and one day into the slog. I’m having a hard time with the crazy physical pain! I actually feel like my heart is damaged. Yesterday – the six month d-day anniversary – I asked him to come over and I ranted and raved and cried and screamed ‘fuck you’ at the very top of my lungs until I was horse. He left and I called him on the phone to ask him to come back so we could hug but then I did it again. I feel like I’m actually losing my mind and humiliating myself on a regular basis. I’m frustrated with myself and I feel like, at a certain point, this pain and powerlessness is a choice I’m making. I feel very stuck in a victim mentality.
    I texted him last night to tell him I clearly couldn’t handle seeing him and was going to try no contact again. I know I know I should just do it and not tell him. Well, this morning it took all of my strength not to call him on the phone just to hear his voice. I miss him so much. I’m still in such shock. He had an affair for 7 years. They went on vacations. I just can’t believe it still! I feel like if the physical pain would ease up I’d be able to breathe and get a grip.
    We have a 15 year old and she is with me. He moved out. This house is nothing but pain but I’m a potter and my studio is here. Im established here, and my daughter wants to stay.
    I feel like my whole identity was wrapped up in him and I don’t know who I am. I guess my question goes back to the victim mentality – I need a hard slap across the face. How did you deal with the pain?

    • Lost, if you are dealing with physical pain, take yourself to your doctor. You need to get checked for a physical cause. And if there is not one you need to know that emotions CAN cause physical pain and there are anti-depressants that can help. I know that it’s one more thing on your to-do list and doesn’t seem urgent. But you MUST care for yourself or you cannot care for your daughter. And if you haven’t been checked for STDs you also need to do that.

      • Thanks Lizza ❤️
        I got checked for stds right away. I’ve tried 2 medications and they both made me feel anxious. I know it’s psychosomatic pain or maybe broken heart syndrome. I just really feel like it’s mind over matter here. I am getting some blood work done on Friday. I’ve lost 20 lbs.
        deep in the slog!

        • Read The Body Keeps the Score, or listen or watch interviews with the author about how trauma gets stuck in our bodies. I also lost a ton of weight (and I was already very thin) did the same trauma bonding insanity you describe, and felt like I was losing my mind. I also have a child with him which as you know makes it all the more complicated. You don’t need a slap in the face – you already got that on Dday and in the millions of reverberations after. What you need a tribe which you have here in CL and CN. I found making art and writing to be very helpful. You said you are a potter. Maybe getting into your creative zone will help you reconnect with you. Take care and know you’re not alone in this.

          • I think this is the right line of thinking. I also think that sometimes we get stuck in circular thinking and can’t get out. I too lost 25 lbs during the separation and divorce time. You are so upset you can’t focus on anything. Im amazed I kept my job. And you can’t solve the problem because you have nothing to work with with the cheater. Chumps are used to fixing things and in this we feel powerless initially. Divorce truly is a lose/lose proposition. But it is the way forward when going back is not an option.

            After the physical is taken care of, you have to work your brain out of its track. You intellectually understand that you have to get a divorce but you don’t want to. There is a lot of waiting and downtimes as the lawyers and courts work through things slowly. In the meantime we have to go on. I would lie awake, unable to sleep, brain spinning, emotions all over the place. I cried an ocean. EMDR some have found useful. I played very repetitive games requiring complete focus on my phone to distract my brain from the unsolvable problem of my ex. I would try to tire my body out so I could be calm and exhaust myself so I could sleep, aware that I HAD to be functional for my job and kids. I ‘angry walked’ every day. I cleaned manically and mindlessly. I went to therapy weekly.

            After I took the kids and left, things got better without the constant irritant/abuse of his presence. We endured 16 months in the same house because he wouldn’t leave. I went grey rock. I threw myself into solid goals where I didn’t have to focus on anything other than concrete check-lists. Get a new job. Move. Get kids settled in school. Become proficient at new job. Exercise. Support the kids extra curricular. Sell the family house. Execute the plan for the proceeds. Finish the divorce. File the appropriate paperwork concerning that post divorce. I set firm boundaries with my ex as far as how much he was allowed to encroach in our life. Set the wheels in motion for my settlement. Look for a new house to buy on my new budget. I went to open houses every weekend to understand the market. Deal with the bank for pre-approval. I probably viewed 50-60 houses before placing an accepted offer. Then it was, close. Arrange for services and contractors. Remodel/fix before move in. Move in, purchase things needed specifically for house. We also had to deal with Covid shut down at same time.

            It was a lot for a newly single person to deal with. But I had tons of help. The ex only caused delays and problems. He actually contacted his many old flames at the first Christmas to tell them what they did was ‘wrong’ so they would contact me protesting they didn’t do anything (they were all people close to our family at various times such as the child care provider and the realtor). Then on New Years he texts he’s lost his job. Timing is suspect for maximum drama. Anyways, the kids and my parents helped. The lawyers and realtors helped. The school admins helped so much. As did the therapists. We got through the slog.

            After awhile ex lost interest and leaves us alone for the most part. For that I am thankful because rebuilding a life after a really long marriage where you lost yourself takes time, patience and self-compassion. I didn’t even know what I liked anymore. For one, I am no longer the same person as 30 years ago. Secondly, I was always trying to please him-who-would-never-be-pleased or the kids. I had to relearn how to live for myself, stripped bare from all the trappings from my past life. It was not fun. Many parts were intensely painful. I had to face reality, finally, brutal honest truth instead of hopium. But it HAD to be done. And it did take a long time for me to find equilibrium. But it was a couple of years, not infinite time. Ultimately life is honest and good on the other side. And after feeling like only bad things happen to me I am starting to attract good things into my life. I have started a list of unexpected and amazing things as kind of a gratitude journal to remind myself of how things are looking up. I also keep a summary list of all the reasons why ex is not my friend, to bolster my grey rock stance and keep him on a ‘need to know’ basis. (Hint—most every thing he doesn’t need nor is entitled to know about the kids or me—kids are old enough to tell him if they want to—and they don’t). And I am making plans to travel and looking forward to the future finally. As things settled I’ve been able to devise a new plan for retirement etc. I may be close to meh. Maybe some Tuesday soon.

            Sometimes all you can do is get through the next five minutes. Then it’s an hour. Then, you realize that you haven’t thought of ex for a whole day or a week. Peace is derived from no contact with the person who caused the trauma. I don’t know him anymore and I don’t want to; I’ve had enough abuse to last a lifetime and don’t need any more to trust that he ducks. Good luck and hugs because it DOES get better.

            • You have written such useful things to know for the newbies here. I forgot the trauma of just surviving. I’m glad you were able to write about it (which means you’re still trekking to meh.) Thank you for writing it all down. I bet that in itself is cathartic as it shows you how mighty you are.

            • Thank you so much for this inspiring response. I will reread many times. I’m having a hard time with ‘he is not my friend anymore’. He was my very best friend. It’s just so sad I can hardly stand it. I have made it through the day with no contact and I’m confident I’ll make it through the rest :-/

              • You may have been a true friend to him but he did not reciprocate. You do not lie, cheat and sneak around on a friend much less a life partner. He did not put you first before his selfish wants. Not only was he not your friend, he was in fact the enemy. A mind-f—- for sure. Takes time to wrap your head around it. It’s a huge shit-sandwich to swallow. But keep trying to see the truth and not what we all wished was true. The truth will set you free. If he could do the things he did, it was never love.

              • Mine was my very best friend too, Lost. The “good guy” who everyone adored. I know that pain.

        • Lost – I got though the initial pain through No Contact, no alcohol/recreational drugs, exercising a bit more each day, meditation which can be as simply as putting your hand on your chest and breathing, adding other sensory experiences such as hot showers, scented candles, building a support team (lawyer/therapist), making a gratitude list.

          Take control of planning the best future for you and your daughter.

      • Lost, Lizza is on point here. I went on Wellbutrin after the first 6 months as I was going through the exact same symptoms…It really helped calm down the screaming in my head.

    • Hello Lost, I also felt my heart was damaged and went and had it checked out a number of times – I couldn’t understand why I was still alive, the pain was so bad. CL’s book and this one https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/cheating-in-a-nutshell/9990058595980-item.html helped me to get through the physical, mental and emotional damage plus the ongoing damage of lawyers and court dates. “What Cheating Does to The Victim” is so important to understand and learn aout. You are not alone. Please keep going. Your integrity is there, underneath it all.

      • Chumpedchange, thank you for the recommendation.

        I developed a terrible cough when he started his discard by disappearing on a holiday ‘on my own’ to get headspace. In fact he was on holiday with exgfOW staying in luxury hotels in places we had also visited at key moments in our life together. My father had died only a few weeks earlier. The ‘holiday’ was during my dad’s birthday week. I saw the doctor, who sent me for a chest X-ray because the cough was awful, persistent and she thought I might have lung cancer. My weight loss was dramatic, 5’ 6” and only 8st at my lightest. I was 59 and hadn’t weighed that light since I was 18! The X-ray was clear, of course. I was suicidal, went on anti-depressants for 18 months. Slowly, gradually, I rebuilt my life to where I am today. Working full time, paying a large mortgage to buy him out until I am 70. I’m now 62. I’ve said here before that I am often unhappy. I am single, no desire to date, no kids. I am often lonely. But, the alternative, being married to a gross liar and cheat, an abuser, with such strong narcissistic traits that if he ever took the trouble to examine himself he would go and get a firm diagnosis. The alternative would have been unbearable. The ex withdrew sex 10 years before we split. The question I have to ask myself in therapy is ‘why was that acceptable to me’. The answer is that there was nothing left of me. I had no resilience, no independent thoughts, lived in fear of making mistakes which would end the relationship. I was so scared of what would come with ending the marriage, and did not have the resources to do it. The marriage ended anyway. And I did have the resilience to manage the slog. And life is better and will continue to improve. The slog is worth it.

    • Lost, what you describe is totally in the six-month chump reaction ballpark. Remember every day and every interaction is a learning experience and don’t join him in beating yourself up.

      Keep a journal….write down what you’ve learned, what you want to remember for the next interaction, and review it before interacting with him. NO CONTACT unless absolutely necessary. Wait 24 hours before sending any necessary emails….pause when agitated….call a TRUSTED FRIEND when you want to call him.

      Come here and read for help advice and strength .

    • Lost, Please find someone else to talk to. Your FW is NOT that person. A therapist or a great friend. Someone who can handle the release of your emotions until you are feeling better. And you WILL feel better with distance and peace and clarity and time.
      Reading your words, I could feel and remember when I felt like this. I am 4 years out and I thankfully feel 1000x better. Two suggestions. I HATE exercise, but someone suggested pushing myself physically would be a metaphor for accomplishing something I didn’t think I could do, but could. And then find who you can talk with who is not FW. I have talked here before about my best friend who suggested that she become my d$ckless husband and that I text or call her and say everything I would normally have said to him. It took time, but eventually I reflexively stopped reaching out to FW and with no contact came all the peace CL and CN write about. Your teenage child deserves seeing her mother feeling great. You deserve to feel well!

      • Yea physical movement is also a huge help. It reminds us of our own agency. We can actually get through this.

      • I hate exercise generally, but I took up running. I had to focus so hard (I’m not a runner) on just breathing, it actually really helped me get off the “hamster wheel” of my obsessive/intrusive thoughts and rumination. It also helped me sleep, because it tired out my body.

      • I also want to add that if you get someone to ‘talk to’, make sure you don’t get someone who says “You need to get over it” after about the 10th time of you repeating your pain. I had several people do that to me, which just pushed me into another spiral of self doubt. I doubted myself yet again thinking that I wasn’t right in the head because I couldn’t just ‘get over it’. Fortunately I had some very wonderful friends that understood that I had to say things over and over and over until I no longer said them.

    • Six months in is probably too early to call your stage “the slog;” you are still grieving and flailing for something stable to hold on to. Ranting and raving and crying are all normal, and you should feel free to do this as much as you want, but you do need a different audience–a friend (or several) who agree to give you 30 minutes to vent as needed or a therapist. Maybe your EX thinks he is being a “good guy” by coming over to listen to you. Maybe he secretly enjoys being the center of your attention. Maybe he loves being able to see you rave because he can tell other people about how crazy you are to justify his cheating. But in no case is it good for him to be your audience.

      I wish there were a reliable cure for the pain, but I think most of us experimented with many strategies and just kept clinging to the ones that brought us relief. For some people the outlets are physical–taking up a new sport or activity. (Kayaking is one of my escapes now). For others it is indulging in creative expression no matter how lousy the finished product, but as a genuine artist, this might not be as useful for you. Some people redo the house (in fact, I think nearly everyone changes up some part of it–the furniture, the paint, the interior decor). Your brain literally needs to build new paths–and the easiest way to do this is by learning something–it can be yoga or a poetry class or how to bake laminated pastries or how to build raised garden beds or how to speak French. It can be hard to add something new to your day when you are so overwhelmed by the divorce, but give it a try. On the most basic level, the concentration needed to learn something occupies you and prevents you from thinking about the pain and the EX. Even if you only sustain concentration for 20 minutes, you are moving forward! The goal is not to become a master gardener or a fluent French speaker, the goal is to have new things that are yours alone–ideally, some new things will introduce you to people who know you as a single mom (not half of a couple) and some will be things that you do on your own. If you find you don’t like yoga or baking, try something else–these experiments are not failures–the point is the experimentation and discovery of who you are and what brings you pleasure in this next phase of your life.

      You are doing fine for someone only six months out from such a huge betrayal. You are still standing and still raising your daughter. Don’t forget to give yourself a daily round of applause for your courage and persistence.

      • I agree wholeheartedly that your STBX is NOT who you want to talk to. I was hurting so bad that I also reached out to the fuckwit. But that just prolonged the agony. Maintaining no contact is the only way to continue the healing process. Having contact just sets you back much further.

    • I’m so sorry you’re going through this, Lost. I remember that crazy physical pain. I still feel it at times almost 5 years post DDay, but it’s much less intense. In addition to no contact, anti-depressants have helped me. Walking my dog daily and practicing yoga regularly have also been been helpful. Spending time with supportive family and friends is therapeutic, as well as learning a new skill (in my case, I became a yoga instructor). In the early days when I was struggling with acute physical pain I made a list of the activities that helped me manage the pain and forced myself to do them. Over time, with no contact and consistent self-care, the pain has lessened. You’re recovering from a traumatic event so please be patient with yourself. ((Hugs))

    • You don‘t Need a slap across the face. You experienced a very cruel betrayal. Seven(!!!) years of your life were not what you thought they were. Your husband stole your past from you. For a very long time he lied to you and to your daughter. What you feel is absolutely normal in my opinion. 6 months is no time to digest what he did and how that changed your past, present and future life.
      I am very sorry for what this man did to you. Please don‘t be so hard on yourself. I think that before you think in terms like „slog“ or „meh“, you should give yourself time to grieve what you lost and what he did to you.
      If you care for your daughter and yourself, ist is good enough for now❤️

      • My FW actually had the audacity to tell me I should be “over it” two months after D-Day. A 7 year affair, hookers, online hookups and flirtations….and I should be over it. That is a hard NO. Oh, and since he “forgave” my multitude of sins – gaining weight, being unable to do anal sex, and asking that he participate in household chores – I should forgive him. Immediately. Just somehow wipe my brain clean.

        It takes time. A LOT of time. There are no shortcuts, and there will be triggers. A lot, at first, but they become fewer and farther apart. You will start to see more and more of the sunlight you were meant to be in. Love yourself enough to give yourself grace on the dark days, and know there are better days ahead.

        • Mine did this too, also afteeonly 2 months and 6 years of marriage/10 years in a relationship! He insisted that because he was in therapy and in a 12-step group for his sex addiction, and held down a job he hated for two years instead of starting a fight or quitting (oh brother…had nothing to do with his cheating) that it was abusive of me to still be making passive agressive, snarky comments about punters and gross married men in a midlife crisis on dating apps.

          8 months out and it takes everything in me still to not say anything to him when I have to see him. The pain is still raw.

          • Wanting chumps to just be ‘over it’ is still more cheater (RIC) entitlement to escape the consequences of their behavior. Those are the long fingers of entitlement reaching out creepily from beyond the grave (divorce). Just nope. The betrayal of cheating and abuse, abandonment and lies—truly one of the worst things that can happen to a person. Chumps reactions are justified, but the FWs don’t like it. Our feelings are unimportant and inconvenient to them and always were. We should not hate them! We should forgive and forget! My exFW always expected to start fresh *with no consequences * after each DD (I left after 3rd). Sorry, feelings are a natural consequence when you royally F—- someone’s whole life over.

            No one can tell you what to feel or how long we will feel it. We chumps don’t know ourselves. These things leave their mark. We will have triggers. We can’t go back, innocence is lost and all we can do is move on and do the best we can with what we’ve got. And I have found that in left with quite a lot! My cheater did not break our family as I thought, he just exited stage left, an intact family, one that is still intact and close years later. Messed up a bit from knowing that there are dads that walk out on their families and kids but knowing we have each other backs, no matter what. You could even argue that his abandonment brought us closer.

            Learn from what happened. Explore yourself and your decisions and learn to spot these con artists a mile away. Help others get through it maybe. Build our best life, eyes open to the evil among us. Which is ever so much better than living out the rest of our days in servitude to our abuser.

    • The heart literally can break: afib and tachycardia. I’ve had them both. I went to a cardiologist in my mid-thirties and she said I was too young, fit, and healthy for such ailments. She accurately surmised that I suffered from PTSD and these were the after-affects. These symptoms showed up about a year after.

      • We Are,

        I was diagnosed last summer with AFib. Stress-related onset. A very real side-effect of infidelity, according to the two cardiologists who were assigned to my case.

        Thanks for that, Traitor X.

        • I found it became worse during menopause hormine storm and settled down with the evening out of hormones after menopause. Too much sugar or salt can set it off. One interesting thing to try is dark chocolate. I had been consistenly having a small amount of very dark choclate with low sugar content after meals (a little bitter) for a few months, something to take away the strong aftertaste of the spicy food I love. Anyway, my afib was noticably better. Then I came across an article that a study showed that something in dark chocolate can regulate the heartbeat.

        • The onset of Rheumatoid began in my early twenties having chronic stress poor diet being the only one working while married to my first Husband ,a progressive control freak ten year Husband. After twenty year second marriage to serial cheater and leaving ,I developed dangerously high blood pressure . It is imperative to look after ones health and try to mitigate the stress! I only recently learned of color shakra relaxation. Watching treadmill videos in other countries while treading or walks yoga, music just Allowing yourself to detach from the hurt. CL was a life line, literally! All those who gather around as a support group is so empowering. I keep hoping that some how the force behind this group can change law in all states in some form to help protect those in divorce from being cheated on. The “Alienation of affection statute is still law in some states. Cheating should be recognized in divorce as abuse.

          • Yes, long, long walks helped me tremendously. It helped that I lived in a very beautiful place.

      • The same thing happened to me, though I will be 50 this months so I’m not really young. My afib and tachycardia were caused by the trauma he created. My doctor put me on Busparone and it has changed my anxiety so much! I’m still very much in the muck, but my heart doesn’t do cartwheels when I’m upset anymore.

        • Mine occured before there were all the different kinds of anti-depressents availiable now, only a few out there. An old-school GP informed me of a quick trick to use when experiencing an a-fib episode: bear down hard on your chest with pressure from your head and neck for a few seconds. It’s quite effective in short-circuiting irregular beats and often puts them back on track.

          • It sounds like you are describing the “bear down” version of the val salva maneuver, which is used in cases of PSVT (paroxysmal supra ventricular tachycardia). It is also used in afib (but I think with somewhat lower success). You can google “val salva maneuver” to see the various techniques used to re-set the heartbeat, via the vagus nerve. I have PSVT, and anxiety makes it worse. My most reliable technique is the box breathing technique (what VH refers to as “navy seal breathing).

    • Lost, Please please be kind to yourself. I too had the full on physical breakdown. Hair fell out, couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, intrusive thoughts. I couldn’t get a break from the relentless pain and discomfort. One day (probably out of sheer exhaustion), I was drinking a cup of tea and it felt so warm in my hands and it tasted so good and I took a deep breath. It was the first time I felt a snippet of peace. Even though it only lasted a little while I KNEW I could get it back if I pursued it. I would do anything to stop the ruminative thoughts – multiplication tables or when I walked the neighborhood, I silently named every tree and plant and flower I saw.Six months is still the acute phase, so be gentle with yourself – all your self talk needs to be positive; no more talk of slaps in the face. Time is your friend. It will get better. Humans are resilient. I am 5 years divorced and feel peaceful 90% of the time. I am so grateful for it now.

      • “Snippets of peace” is such a good way to describe it. Find little moments. Slowly they will increase. I found things that required physical exertion and mental concentration, like yoga and running, helped a lot with the rumination. I couldn’t do both at the same time, and even if all the intrusive thoughts flooded back right after I finished, I was at least giving my body a half hour break every day from that anxiety.

        • I put ‘Snippets of peace” on my bathroom mirror so I could see them every morning: “Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.” “I’m proud of my heart. It’s been played, stabbed, cheated, burned, and broken, but somehow it still works.” “I DID NOT CAUSE THIS!” “Women were created to be loved not abused. Any man who abuses women, is ignorant, insecure, and weak. Real men protect women.” “A man can get discouraged many times but he is not a failure until he begins to blame somebody else and stops trying.” “If God answers your prayers, He is increasing your Faith. If He delays, He is increasing your patience; If He doesn’t answer your prayer, He is preparing the best for you.” “Here’s to a year of better habits, positive thinking, clean eating, and most of all, Loving yourself.”

    • Lost, I could have written your post. I touched the hot stove and got burned over and over. I kept restarting the no-contact clock. I filed for divorce 13 months after Dday even though I wanted my old life back so badly I thought I’d die. XH wouldn’t stop the cruel discard, he wouldn’t (now I know he couldn’t) love me. I slowly came to accept that he did these devastating things to me and our kids because he wanted to- he liked it all. That sickened me. He’s probably a sociopath and I know I was trauma-bonded after 26 years with him and a cheater XH 1 before him and narcissist alcoholic parents before them. Even on the courthouse steps as XH was trying to destroy me, I still held out hope he would change. He hasn’t. It’s been 7.5 years. I’m still recovering but life is very good today. I’m at peace. I’m in acceptance most minutes. I’m really good at no contact even with 4 kids. When I slip and speak with him I’m reminded why no contact is for me, for my well being, and that I’m my own best friend and protect myself from him.

      It gets WAY better after the divorce is finalized and time passes. Sending you a huge hug.

    • Dear Lost, you don’t need a slap, you need (((hugs))). Most of the chumps here are empathetic folks. It’s true we can focus on others as a way to not look at our own pain, AND it’s true that our ability to love deeply is one of our greatest strengths. We are healthy enough to bond. That is a wonderful thing and also a reason why letting go crushes us. My DDay was 9 months ago. My ex left and started a new life, easy as you please. No remorse, no sadness. This is not normal. We grieve losses if we are human. As difficult as it is, try to remember that YOU are normal. What you are feeling is NORMAL considering the circumstances. Time will be your friend here. Take every day one day at a time. The future is just an idea in our heads. Make some plans but stay in TODAY. It does get better.

    • Lost… please read up on trauma bonding… going No Contact takes a lot of practice and you’re in the early days. You’re also trying to get love from a barbedwire monkey, he will only hurt you. Practice new ways of getting the support you need… for me, it was reading the archives here instead. I also found Lisa E. Scott’s blog and a blog called psychpathfree.com. Highly recommend you investing time in you and your healing, its your best investment plan!

    • I’ve been where you are. My whole identity was him. See my post further down for more about how I “found myself” again.

      As hard as it is STOP TALKING TO HIM. Don’t text, don’t call, don’t see him. Understand that he doesn’t care how you feel. If anything it is feeding his ego to see how important he still is to you. My ex got off on seeing me in pain. It’s sick and twisted, but it’s the hard truth. You’re addicted, but he is the LAST person who will help you heal. A good exercise is to write out all the things that he did that hurt you. Cheating, yes, but stealing your identity and replacing it with what he wanted is just as abusive. When you find yourself missing him, look over your list and remind yourself that he isn’t the guy you thought he was. He’s not the person you deserve. That you are worth better.

      I found a therapist and I would cry in our sessions. I ranted to my mom (bless her) and my best friend (bless her too). Putting on music and screaming along in the car helped me vent those feelings (there a lot of good “fuck you” songs out there).

      Is there a way you can make some changes in your home so it is more yours? Paint, rearrange furniture, replace items that hold particular memories? I originally wanted to keep my marital home, but in the end I walked away (even though I loved it) because there was just too much bad juju. OW practically lived there during the lockdown (I was living with my mom). I just didn’t want anything to do with it, so we sold it. When I made that decision, a huge burden lifted off my shoulders. Maybe look into other options for your studio, so you can start fresh somewhere (it’s hard, I know – I gave up my huge garden I had worked so hard on).

      Part of the healing process, for me, was just allowing myself to feel all the feelings. I felt so guilty about being angry, because I didn’t want to end up an angry, bitter person. My therapist reassured me that I was angry because I had every reason to be. I let myself feel angry. I journaled, with no filter at all. And after a while, the anger diminished. I’d still get angry if he did something stupid or hurtful, but it no longer dominated my thoughts. Feel the hurt. Cry. Listed to sad songs about loneliness and wanting him back. I had a playlist on Youtube, and it was really interesting to watch as it gradually changed from sad, to angry, to kickass. I named it “If only”. Later I changed it to “You got this”.

      Come here and rant. We’ve got you. So many people here were once exactly where you are. We did all those same things (oh, I texted and texted with my ex, trying to convince him he’d made a mistake, for a very long time). Six months feels like a long time, but it’s not. I was still a puddle on the floor at six months. I don’t know if this is encouraging or not, but it took me about 2 years to start to feel like myself again. Don’t be hard on yourself. Your wounds are very fresh. You haven’t formed new habits yet (your whole life got upended – be gentle with yourself, it takes time to make a new one). It WILL get better.

      • https://youtu.be/ti9KqwNQGhg

        I listened to this over and over when I was where you were. Maybe it will help you too.

        Here we go again
        Our game of tug-o-war
        For me it’s real now
        I’m not playing anymore
        You try to wear me down with your pretty pretty words

        Just when I think I’m done
        I’m halfway out the door
        You pull me in again
        Promising to give me more
        Yet I’m still surprised every time that I get hurt

        I reach out to touch the flame
        Cause I refuse to think it burns
        Retreat and lick my wounds
        But of course I never learn
        You’re a rocket to the moon
        I’m stranded on the ground
        Come back for what you lost
        Let me show you, show you what I found

        Here we go again
        I lose myself in you
        Your love defines me in a way I didn’t want it to
        If I keep holding on
        You’re going to bend me til I break

        I’m coming face to face
        With what I’ve always known
        That I am terrified of who I am when I’m alone
        But now it’s time to choose
        Which one of us I’m going to save

        I reach out to touch the flame
        Cause I refuse to think it burns
        Retreat and lick my wounds
        But of course I never learn
        You’re a rocket to the moon
        I’m stranded on the ground
        Come back for what you lost
        Let me show you, show you what I found

        You could be
        The greatest chance I’ll never take
        You’ll always be
        My worst and favorite mistake…

        I reach out to touch the flame
        Cause I refuse to think it burns
        Retreat and lick my wounds
        But of course I never learn
        You’re a rocket to the moon
        I’m stranded on the ground
        Come back for what you lost
        Let me show you, show you what I found

        And here I go
        Again

    • Dear Lost, the first 6 months are very very painful. I was a crumbling mess then, I had to carry eye drops in my purse because I was crying several times a day. However you can do a few things to help:

      No contact! As much as humanly possible. Every time you see or talk to FW you are re-injuring yourself. Don’t pick up that phone.

      Therapy, talk to close friends, find your tribe. Don’t isolate yourself, don’t share your pain with your abuser.

      Physical activity. You need to get out of your own head. Strenuous activity will help stop the ruminating. At least you can get a break. I am not a sporty person, but during that time I took up several workout classes including boxing and yoga, which were both extremely helpful. My endorphins levels went up and I got really fit physically, which came in handy when I got my own place for my kids and I and moved by myself.

      Do things that make you feel good: walk in nature, get a massage or a pedicure, listen to music, go to a live show, make some art.

      Whatever you do, you need to take care of yourself and put yourself first. It is a marathon, but things do get gradually better. The pain is finite. Take care.

      • I just remembered something my therapist said when I was in intense pain a few months into the separation from FW:

        “It is normal to feel pain at a moment like this, but it is not a reason to invite it in and serve it tea and cookies.”

        • YES! This. I learned from my therapist to let the grief, pain and sadness, which would overtake me at unexpected times, just roll over me like a wave. To feel it, to acknowledge it, but not internalize it and let it pass. These days it passes pretty quickly.

    • Hi Lost,

      I can only talk about what helped me so keep whatever’s useful and ditch the rest.

      I started getting mystery autoimmune flares in response to stress after my third child. It would start as a feeling like my spine was stiff and I couldn’t easily turn my head, then it would become all over body pain and a strange sense of near tunnel vision with or without migraine. The first doctors I saw said it was somatic and I should stop breastfeeding and take antidepressants but I thought this was BS. Back then I wasn’t depressed, just in pain. Also I’ve never been suggestible, can’t even be hypnotized. I knew this was a real thing. The worst part is that I have a lot of old sports and dance injuries and all those old injuries would get worse and stay worse with every flare to the point I couldn’t walk without pain.

      Inflammation is the enemy and I started to figure out this was the main problem I was dealing with. Because I have a child with a complex and chronic medical condition who’d been medically prescribed the ketogenic diet (it reportedly changes the balance of gut flora which in turn reduces inflammation) and I’d seen how well this worked with him regarding inflammation (symptoms and lab markers), I tried it with my doctor’s support. Now whatever autoimmune condition I have remains a mystery since I rarely have any symptoms and many of these conditions are diagnosed primarily by symptoms.

      My son also takes natural supplements and is celiac so ultimately the two other kids and I all shifted into his regimen because it’s easier and because we were all seeing benefits. People were surprised that teens and tweens would voluntarily live without sugar and starches but I think the way it works is once you get off the blood sugar roller coaster, you no longer get cravings or even hunger pains. We have to eat on a schedule or we sometimes forget. Meals are pretty basic but all organic so I signed up with a farm share club to bring down the cost. Since the kids hate fish, we eat a lot of roast organic chicken and sometimes beef with mountains of vegetables and healthy oils like olive oil and avocado oil.The sugar free bacon is all for me since the kids don’t like it.

      For me, no food tastes as good as living without pain feels. Good thing I’d gotten my health in order and had been doing this for some time before FW launched into his fuckwit-fest or I think my stress-crash would have been much worse and I wouldn’t have bounced back as quickly. I find it funny in retrospect that part of FW’s fabricated DARVO resentment was the “crunchy household” and so, out of “rebellion,” he and the AP turned themselves into bloated sodden pre-diabetic wrecks from all the booze and restaurant grub. They sure showed me.

      Oh, and Halle Berry wasn’t lying that keto (for her diabetes) can be anti-aging or even reverses the aging process in some ways. That’s been fun. As FW looked worse and worse, I started looking better and better. But that was last I even sat in a room with him. Cutting gluten didn’t even compare to the health benefits of cutting FW.

      Another step towards health and meh was that I don’t go anywhere near RIC-type pop-psych or “codependency” resources. I reverted to my training as an advocate for dv survivors and view FW’s behavior through the dv lens. Abuse is abuse is abuse. The psychological profiles of abusers and cheaters are virtually the same in some pretty startling ways and so are the effects on victims such as captor bonding/Stockholm syndrome, telescoping sense of life span, learned helplessness, etc. There’s no shame in initially falling prey since even trained intelligence professionals are never given whole parcels of sensitive information but only bits and pieces because they’ll all predictably crack, bond with captors and spill the beans if captured and subjected to stressors which DV expert Richard Gelles has compared directly to the typical coercive control methods used by domestic abusers.

      The tendency to captor bond to the loudest monkey is hardwired in our species. The difficulty I have with the expressions “thinking like a victim” or “victim mentality” is that people who accuse themselves of this have usually fallen for the therapeutic myth that victims emit voodoo tractor beams that “draw” abuse too them and that they have difficulty leaving because of some inherent psychological deficiency. Meanwhile captured intelligence professionals are routinely deprogrammed after release to the extent the reaction to abuse is pretty universal.

      Due to these myths and misperceptions, abuse victims generally aren’t seeking the hardcore dv victims resources that could probably benefit them. I include male chumps in this though this material is probably more difficult to absorb to the extent that, due to statistics, victims are typically described as female and abusers as male. But again, abuse is abuse is abuse and the model still fits. As clinical researcher Evan Stark writes in his brilliant book “Coercive Control,” one of the reasons victims are dissuaded from accessing better resources is because the public believes that abuse doesn’t fall under the DV banner without broken bones. But the latter is only one part of the equation. Most abusers would prefer to achieve the same paralysis in their prey through less athletic, less legally risky means (why virtually all batterers cheat). In any case, the first step to no longer being a victim is to fully admit to having been one and coming to understand things from that perspective. The books heavily favored by survivors when I was working as an advocate were the works of criminologist Donald Dutton who studied batterers like bugs in prison settings for decades; and books and studies on trauma recovery and victims of violence and abuse by founding psychotraumatologist Frank M. Ochberg (and his colleagues like Evan Stark and Anne Flitcraft).

    • Six months is very early, as others are sharing. I went into the mental hospital at two months out and then spent another month working to get matched up to a therapist who could at least stand to listen to my screaming, crying rages. I had two counseling sessions a day for a while, then was able to graduate to three sessions a week. Baby steps.

      I had two friends on speed dial who made life/death difference to me day after day. I would call, they would pick up, and I couldn’t even say words I was so raging, screaming, crying out of control. One used this response several times of: in a very calm voice she would ask me to look around. Could I find three red things? then she would stay with that until I found one thing and responded with a real word. Then she’d ask me to listen for two things I could hear. Then 1 thing I could touch. It’s a way to reengage the brain. My other friend knew that if I called and was silent, it meant she should chatter on and on about her day, about her wife’s day, about the weather, about the community meeting last week…..anything. Once every few minutes she would pause and wait. Then chatter on. Eventually, during one of the pauses I could respond, “Oh, I hadn’t heard that yet.” or something equally vanilla….but it meant my brain was circling back in to take over again and I was no longer in danger. She answered hundreds of these calls in that first year after D-Day.

      I’m two years out. Just in the past three months, I don’t cry much. Sometimes I want to, but then I find I don’t need to after all. I can physically feel that my heart no longer has a searing hole in it, that there must be a tender layer of healing building up that keeps it from feeling like air on an open wound.

      It’s over. I didn’t cause it. I can’t fix it. I’m not broken. Chumpnation is a very big part of this for me. I am grateful! Maybe I am in the slog now. It’s amazing to look back and see how far I’ve come. I wouldn’t have believed any human create healing like that.

      • Thank God for the earthbound angels. Your experience makes me think of the Native American sweat lodge ritual where the entire tribe will sit in extreme heat with returning warriors to demonstrate communal willingness to co-suffer. Researchers studied the dynamics of this and concluded that the ritual was highly effective and that the trauma of combat survivors is always far worse when they are denied widespread communal support (such as following Vietnam).

        Personally I think the best PTSD treatment for human-wrought trauma is justice. But justice is nothing more than social consensus led by authority coupled with containing/dissuading the perpetrator so they’re not a danger to the victim anymore. It’s that feeling that the “majority” recognizes that the offense was serious and sides with the victims thst’s so potent. Because cheating is a subviolent form of abuse and not typically criminally punishable, social consensus is pretty much the only available “cure.” That and a good settlement but the latter isn’t always supported by the legal system.

        At least more and more authorities are deeming sexual betrayal to be a form of intimate partner violence so social consensus is getting a few more “authority teeth” even if cheaters appear to be getting off scot free. I think knowing that certain experts view cheating as abuse is probably psychologically helpful to victims. At the very least it could encourage bystanders– the emotionally intelligent and informed ones like your good friends anyway– to take it much more seriously. You had your tribe, thankfully.

    • Lost, I’m six months out too. This may sound silly, but I did take up French on the DuoLingo app to get my mind onto something totally different. I’ve filled maybe 30 notebooks and I’ve read everything I can get my hands on — not about divorce or betrayal. I read “The Choice” by Edie Ebers, an Auschwitz survivor, because I thought — terrible to say – I needed how to go on after the unfathomable. I highly recommended her book. I never read anything about the Holocaust, but Dr. Ebers’ book is truly a gem. It’s difficult, but so affirming. And I’ve spent every day crying and hysterical, bowled over in pain. But find one person who you can call and do not call him. He is not your friend. Anyone who betrays you and your daughter for seven years does not have your best interests at heart. I looked to my husband to keep me safe and, naturally when I’m in pain my conditioned mind thinks of him, but I really think you MUST find another person to call. It has helped me to say this person is not safe, and I need to find someone I can trust because I cannot trust this person. I’m with you. Sending hugs.

  • The slog…yup, it’s a good name for it. I’m glad to read the meh stories, because I can’t wait. I feel like I’d be at meh if it weren’t for the 8 motions FW has filed in the last 18 months, it then that’s not really meh if I feel that way. Still, it’s harder to heal from abuse when you’re still being abused, even if the abuse is through the courts. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, as my son is a teenager.

    • I feel your pain SC. My FW filed a motion almost every month for a year after the divorce was final. He had broken up with the other woman and was maybe bored? Or wanted control? Doesn’t matter why. He eventually stopped. It takes longer to get to meh when you’re still being abused via the court system. Keep going. It will eventually stop. Once my youngest son graduated from high school he went no contact with the sperm donor just like most of his siblings. I’m many years out from the slog and life is good. You will get here, too.

    • SC… I hear you. Isn’t it amazing… they cheat, they want out of the marriage (or do they), yet they don’t seem to want to contribute to making it happening expeditiously (remind you of your marriage?)… hang in there, you are close to Meh! I used to celebrate my “Meh moments”… you know, those days and/or weeks and/or months that start to add up without you realizing it… where you’re joyful, your mind doesn’t wander the fuckwit and their whereabouts, you’re planning your own vacation or enjoying the peace of a quiet home and a good book. Over time, those moments will keep adding up and then almost without realizing it… TUESDAY! You’ve got this.

      • They get used to blaming and punishing intimate partners and feel out of sorts when their scapegoats escape! There used to be a popular toy called the Bobo Doll where you step on the foot of some weighted inflatable bowling pin-shaped doll and punch it. The doll would fall back but then bounce up again with a smile so kids could punch it endlessly. Imagine the tears and tantrums if the Bobo Doll deflated and no longer rebounded for more punishment!

        Not surprisingly, researchers discovered that seeing adults punch the Bobo Doll made children more aggressive. https://www.verywellmind.com/bobo-doll-experiment-2794993

        I’m not sure if the experiment tested whether the *act* of punching the doll repeatedly made children more aggressive but there are other experiments testing this. The “hydraulic theory of anger/aggression”– the idea championed by Freud that people can “let off steam” by being aggressive and therefore end up less aggressive– turns out to be crap. In reality, practicing aggression makes people more aggressive. My feeling is FWs work their way up to fuckwittery incrementally like pit bulls training first on toys, then kittens, then other dogs. Practice makes perfect. But then they feel betrayed when Bobo files– wail.

  • I love it! The slog is a very real, dark and dreary place BUT it is essential in your growth. You have to feel the pain so you can deal with it and heal. If you don’t, you may repeat the pattern. That said embrace and accept the slog days knowing they won’t last bc on the other side is absolute freedom and joy.

    • In “The Pilgrim’s Progress” John Bunyan describes the “slough of despond” which seems unrelenting. It was certainly an apt description of how I felt for several years after Dday. The good news is that it doesn’t go on forever.

      • So true ILC… unrelenting is such a perfect word for it… and perfectly illustrates how, when you get to Meh, you realize you’re there because the weight has truly lifted and the skies are blue again.

    • Don’t the yummiest mushrooms (truffles?) grow in the dark or under mounds of dirt?! Totally agree, you have to feel it to heal it and then set it free!

  • Just a general question, is everyone still getting email updates on all the posts. I have re registered several times but, not getting any more emails except the one notifying me of a new subject each day.

    • Hi, Susie. If you mean those notifications every time someone leaves a comment, I too am not getting them. If I recall correctly, before the changes you had to choose to be notified about new comments on a particular post you commented on. This question is not asked anymore, so maybe this feature is gone? I’m not sure.

      • I think you are right. I noticed that option to choose notifications is gone.

        I can still read everything, but hard to follow replies to comments.

        Oh well. Hope all is going well for you. Thanks for answering.

        • Things are as good as it gets, but I am hopeful for improvements, thanks for asking, Susie! Always nice to talk to you.

    • I’ll look into this. The site has a new comment program Thrive and it’s being weird sometimes. More comments wind up in moderation. I’ll see if it’s possible to subscribe to comments again (that was a feature of the old program.)

  • I finally put my finger on it.

    When I began reading here, I didn’t like reading about Meh because I couldn’t relate at all. It was so radically different from how I was feeling and what I was experiencing when I was newly chumped. (By newly, I mean the first three years. For me, it was the beginning of Year Three before I felt like I was going to be OK and not like my new normal a perpetual state of losing my mind. I had the help of a great therapist, this site, my 12 step groups, great trusted friends and community members, no drugs/alcohol/cigarettes, my badly dented spiritual program, CycleBar, and soup from Whole Foods).

    What was helpful to me were veteran chump tips on HOW to GET to MEH. The MAP. And WHAT TO EXPECT FOR WHERE I AM ON THE TIMELINE.

    I have always been comforted by the knowledge that how I feel is typical for my circumstances, and how to respond to it.

    I do appreciate hearing about Meh, but even more I want to hear about The MAP to Meh, all the experience, tips, tricks, mile-markers from the residents so I can get there!

    As for me, it is the beginning of my 5th year of recovery from infidelity. It is still up and down, but FORWARD. I can see my progress when I think back to that awful night when I discovered my marriage was a mirage. When I read here from the newcomers, I can see the recovery I have made so far.

    It does get better like everyone told me, which I just could not believe.

    No matter what is going on, the right thing to do, at any moment, and where my power lies, is to love and care for myself, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, the best I can, just for today, and love and care for my daughter as well. And if I miss the mark and fall off the horse, I get back on.

    Having a WRITTEN LIST of that Love and Care For is essential. My brain forgets in the fog of trauma, and goes on Neglect Auto-Pilot.

    The first aid for emotional pain is LOVE AND CARE FOR ME AND MY DAUGHTER (and our animals). I trip up daily! Then I have to review and look for how I am acting in ways that are not serving me, plan a new response, and PRACTICE.

    Learning to love and care for myself is a DAILY PRACTICE.
    Replacing behavior and thoughts that are harmful TAKES TIME.

    My goal is to fall deeply in love with myself, to get rock solid on my own in my castle by myself, and be very careful who I let across the drawbridge, and not hesitate to call for security if I find I have let someone in who hazardous to me and have them escorted out of my life.

    I think if I had loved myself well I would not have stayed with him as long as I did.

    ☹️

    • Amen to this! Beautifully put. Your map to meh inspires me. Commiserating with others here and knowing that recovery takes time but that I’ll get there eventually helps. Thanks.

    • I was going to comment congratulating the OP (I will still do so in another comment) and saying something about how I am still taking bad care of myself, almost two years post DDay#1. But I think what you just wrote, VH, sums it up perfectly.
      “Learning to love and care for myself is a DAILY PRACTICE.
      Replacing behavior and thoughts that are harmful TAKES TIME”.
      Oh, it does. I am constantly tripping up and falling back into the (auto-)neglect autopilot mode.
      Just never could put to good use the rule by which you put your own oxygen mask first before helping others. And the others are not the ones to blame, I do harm to myself willingly. I practically gave up physical exercise, I don’t have good sleep hygiene, I skip many, many meals and don’t eat at proper times when I do, and what is worse, I am still chain-smoking even though I am well aware that I am cutting short on my days with my kids, which are probably going to need me for still a long time. What the hell am I doing to myself? I think I called it a Tuesday too soon just because I don’t feel the sting of the betrayal, that painful jealousy anymore. But maybe I achieved this by drowning myself in work on purpose so that I couldn’t hear my own grunts anymore? Am I experiencing a huge setback right now, or just realizing my progress was artificial, a coping strategy? Things are better, of course, and I am still confident that I will eventually get there. Tuesday (for real), Meh and beyond.

      • You’re making progress simply in the fact that you’re doing some self reflection on your bad habits. Prior to this self-reflection, you were just trying to get through the worst of it. Now that you got through the worst of it, you’re starting to see that your ‘habits’ aren’t all that good for you. This is great! You’re focusing more on you these days. Be patient and kind to yourself. You’re making it to the other side.

        • Thanks for your encouraging words, AC! If I am honest, it has always been clear that these habits are stupid, and many caring people continuously tell me so. If FW ever did something good for me (on purpose) it was not tolerating my smoking habit. I abstained completely from it for almost all of the time we’ve been together (20 years), except for very brief relapses around stressful times. It really pains me that my kids get to see me smoking, and I am trying to quit for good, but it looks like my will is not strong enough right now. Cigarrettes feel like made in hell pacifiers for me. Totally loser’s habit. For the other things, sure I can cut myself some slack because trauma fucks you up big time, circadian cycle included. But there is a large component of choice and will power in overcoming bad habits that I am lacking completely as of late. I didn’t use to be such a self-indulgent wuss. Right now, I am doing everything wrong: didn’t have dinner and am staring at a lit screen at 1am.

      • Progress is not linear and everyone goes at their own pace. That’s okay. Regression is normal. Some days three steps forward, two back. Other days two forward, three back. It’s all ok. Just keep putting one foot in front of another. Eventually you will get where you are headed.

    • Velvet, Without being to nosey, what kind of stuff do you have on your list? I keep my list in my head (sometimes it fails) but I have stuff like volunteer at assisted living ( I either carry mail to rooms, sometimes help them to eat by cutting food, groom the dog, etc.). I work but I don’t wat the FW and his settlement shenanigans to take up real estate in my brain I try to keep my son (in the Navy) up-to-date on his grandparents and other stuff. I really want this to end soon but I am determined not to settle for anything less than fair. FW would just love to make sure that I get financially screwed but my lawyer, CDFA and I are not letting that happen. He is much closer now than when this started but that is most likely do to not wanting his antics to go on public record.

      • Chumped,

        I have to get busy with my day…more later but for starters, this is an excellent resource that has been on the wall at my house for twenty-plus years. It’s in a prominent location where anyone can see it in their daily travels around the house.

        (And evidently Traitor X can’t read…..)

        https://www.treatment-innovations.org/store/p10/Wall_poster_of_Safe_Coping_Skills_with_scenic_background_%28English_and_Spanish%29.html

      • Dear Chumped….more…

        https://themindsjournal.com/happiness-chemicals-and-how-to-hack-them/

        If you Google “happiness chemicals hack” you’ll pull up a number of images in a diagram format which I found incredibly helpful.

        Take a moment and do some writing…..I Will Feel Better If I…..I Will Be Glad I….It Will Help Me If I…..then brainstorm.

        Keep it about what you want to do, not what you want to avoid doing. If you want to start with a written inventory of things to avoid, be sure to follow it with a list of desired actions.

        Read it out loud, in the morning, before bed. There is power in your own voice and your own handwriting for activating positive change (or reinforcing hell and misery!).

        Mario Andretti said to LOOK WHERE YOU WANT THE CAR TO GO….don’t look at the wall. I learned this in racing class. Same for motorcycles….don’t look at the ground. Where you look, what you keep your attention on, is where you will go. Why NO CONTACT is so important, IMHO.

        • Thanks, I will need to put this into practice. I just need some new techniques to cope. This settlement crap is on my last nerve, I look forward to going to court rather than the back and forth. FWs will try to abuse you financially as well as with lying and cheating. I realize that he is trying to “get back” at me because our adult son is no contact with him and of course I am to blame. Nope, it was his lack of character and his “accidentally” loading pics of him and Schmoopie doing what cheaters do. to my son’s shared photo account. I can’t be blamed for his lack of morality. I guess my son got the moral compass from the poor chump as opposed to having his father’s lack integrity.

    • Such great insights, VH… yes, most likely by the time we reach d-day we are a shell of the person we once were. It is so important to be patient and loving with yourself and your thoughts. For me, finding an amazing therapist who was well-versed in detaching from the trauma bond of being with a narcissistic personality disordered fuckwit with a wandering d*ck and more personal ads on more sites than you can imagine (or even know existed) was the key to my healing. My son was in third grade at the time and my stepchildren living with us were a college freshman and a hs senior… their world went BOOM. Making sure I was getting well enabled me to make sure they were getting the support they needed. And, time… precious time. My son and I both cried on weekend visitations in the beginning, for example, but as the new routine took hold my son started to accept it/enjoy it… and I need the time to just regroup myself… I hadn’t had a weekend alone in over 12 years! It’s a slog, we all have to find what works best for us, and know… it will be ok.

    • Velvet you nailed that perfectly! Don’t believe I’ve ever even written the word “Meh” until now because even going towards five years out it is a daily target to feel, act, learn and process toward the goal of changing up my own patterns. Dam I love hard . But for those I should have left alone! My adult Daughter helped me through the split as well as adopting a rescue pup. I bought a home that required work and I love building . Building a new life and new ways in life is not without challenge . It’s like we are all on a six horse hitch and the team is spooked the driver bails and hands us the reins. I’ve been slowing the team down for quite a few years now with my aim to one day make them all contented pasture pets.

    • ‘Neglect auto-pilot’.

      Thank you VH, for describing so very well where I regularly find myself. 2.5 years out and divorced, long term no contact, I still arrive at neglect auto-pilot frequently. Not surprising, as I was in neglect auto-pilot mode for 26 years of marriage. I echo your thoughts about whether I would have stayed with the ex as long as I did if I had been operating out of self-care mode. Probably not. FOO issues, where I was severely neglected by my hypercritical parents in favour of my younger brother and sister, play a large part in my difficulties moving forwards emotionally. My wonderful therapist is helping me with that.

  • Just talked to my lawyer yesterday. Felt so sad the rest of the day like I am doing the wrong thing. We were going to celebrate our 30 anniversary this July. I am feeling at peace except when I have to pack our families things, then I feel crushed all over again.

    • talking to the lawyer sends me down a rabbit hole for a day or three. i hear you. try to do something personally satisfying today–

    • Oh Devo… the cusp of 30 years… I’m so sorry. Truly. Please know that leaving a cheater is NEVER the wrong thing. You are leaving someone who is abusing you… mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. Is there something you can plan for yourself in July instead – a milestone trip you’ve always wanted to take… a volunteer project that you’re passionate about… tracking down a Michelin restaurant in the nearest city and not even looking at the check when it comes… mani/pedi and a movie? ANYTHING… SOMETHING… acknowledge it, but in YOUR WAY… and know the next 30, will be infinitely better… in time.

    • Devo,
      Sorry you are going through this. The love investment and memories are difficult to resign . This was a difficult part of the process and we to try and hang on to memories for the kids.

    • If you’ve worn your shoes on the wrong feet long enough, switching them back feels weird.

      I couldn’t see the writing on the wall because my nose was right up against it.

      Only by getting out of the “marriage” (MIRAGE) and with time passing, lots of therapy the whole way with someone very skilled, has my perspective on my “marriage” radically changed.

      Where there is deception, there is no relationship.

  • Currently in the slog phase as well because of a shared child and pregnancy from hysterical bonding. It is 4 months since i moved out after finding out FW had been having an affair when our rainbow baby was just 6 months old and had subsequently impregnated the other woman when she turned 10 months( this was after I experienced 5 previous miscarriages and one premature birth of a son who lived two weeks) . I read RIC books, prayed, cried, changed my wardrobe, cooked favourite meals,tried to work out visitation plans for him and OW’s baby until i realized i was being fed shit sawndiches by these two despicable human beings. It’s hard answering the ‘Where is daddy ?’question from my daughter as well as balance work, deadlines, single parenting, emotions that come with being pregnant from hysterical bonding. But i count the small wins on a day to day basis. Today i managed to stop therapy and for the first time the idea of him having a baby with OW did not hurt anymore. She can have him. Its not easy everyday but we take the wins we can count and be the best we can be. Looking forward to Meh one day.

    • SBS… I love your name… and I love your courage… I can hear it in you, the mightiness… the silent strength… you have survived so much… and now, you have the joy and the burden of being a single parent minus a cheating fuckwit… we are your tribe. You are modeling resilience for your daughter… your happiness (and hers) will not be dependent on “where’s Daddy” any more. I remember how my son would come down the hall in the night after a scary dream and ask to climb in bed… Mr. Sparkles used to hate it, said I was spoiling our son… after he moved out… I made the parenting decisions… ME… and guess what, I’m blessed to say I have a very grounded, happy, intelligent, and kind young man for a son. And, I think much of his confidence comes from my parenting style which showed him that I will always be there… I will always show up… you can dream and it can come true. I can’t wait to hear your Meh story someday!

      • ICSMC – Thank you. It took so much to even walk out but one thing you have mentioned that i resonate with is the parenting decisions. Idid and still do everything. At 2 my daughter knows more about the ocean, alphabets, mountains than the average child. She can communicate well. FW goes around showing her off on days his aunt takes her to see him yet fought me so much when i took her to a playgroup and didnt pay the required term fee. He even made the OW use exact terms i invented such as secret words or nicknames for nannies 🤮 but ultimaely i see her brilliance and I am glad i make the sane choices for her, and hopefully continue when her sibling arrives. CN has been of immense help . Tracy and all at CN never know how much stories shared here push us new chumps to put one foot forward, a day at a time

  • “My son is thriving, I love my home and my social life and my job. I’m No Contact and have been for years. We discuss anything about our son via email. I do not engage with him at all, and I think that has been key to my healing.”

    Its been 6 years for me. And I’m nearing the home stretch. Kid is about to launch to college. I’ve done all the financial aid and scholarship stuff. All X has to do is access the college savings account he has control of to pay what isn’t covered this year. He’d love to micro – manage dramatize me through the rest of this college financial hell process. However, I’m so at Meh today that the long email I received this morning outlining first year and projected 4 year costs outside of the scholarships barely rocked me. I just sipped my tea, typed a brief reply, and forwarded it on to my son. I feel for my son, but honestly, its between him and his father now. (Though of course, I will continue to support and assist my son as I can as he begins his adult life.)

  • Wow! It’s so wonderful to hear of your Phoenix rising! You followed CL’s advice, i.e., staying No Contact, being the sane parent, getting out and learning about you, your likes, your dislikes, in other words, you trusted that CL was correct. You got a life. I bet it was very, very hard at times. If you’re like me, you may not have believed that you were trusting CL so much as you just finally realized that what you had been doing just wasn’t working. So it was time to do something different. I kept this witticism as a reminder: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” So because what I was doing wasn’t working, I had to trust that somebody else had a better idea than me. As CL said, it was time to fix my picker. And I bet your trip to Meh also included establishing many boundaries where none existed in the past. Good for you!!

  • the cardiac stuff is real: Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or “broken-heart syndrome”. almost exclusively experienced by women. i would suggest a visit to the doctor for a full check-up.

    i’m early into year 2 and, recently, went through an anniversary of 1 year since X physically moved out of the family home. it got to me, even though i know it’s for the best and there’s no going back. hell, i don’t want to go back. i spent time sitting with my feelings and, at this moment, the predominant feeling is resentment. a whole year of my life used up by dealing with an active alcoholic in legal proceedings (no fun), worrying about my kids who are inevitably fucked up, trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my solo life. these are all things i can do/am doing but i fucking resent it. i’m 57-years old AND FEELING TOO OLD FOR THIS.

    clearly, there is no “meh” over here but a girl can dream.

    • I’m 53 so I sympathize. I’m trying to reframe this as the freedom I’ve gained for the rest of my life (however long that is). Each day can be a new start: the first day of the rest of my life. I use ‘three good things’ with my kids and myself a few times a week. Allows us to actually see the positives and not let those things be overshadowed by the negatives. Or I will do the best thing/worst thing that happened to you today. It helps us all talk about our feelings which can be hard.

  • The slog lasted about 3 1/2 years 3 of which were spent trying to convince him to reconcile). For the first year I could barely function. I was dealing with near constant verbal abuse, a roller coaster of emotions (my FW would change from “I love you” to “I hate you” in record time, sometimes in a single hour). I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, didn’t know who I was, dealt with crippling PTSD, anxiety, and depression. I would lie in bed and my body would just shake uncontrollably. I would sit and watch hours of gameshows on TV like a zombie. I dropped to 96 pounds. It was all I could manage to care for my son and survive each day. The first day I didn’t have my child with me, I sat on my bed and literally had no idea what to do. Every minute of my life for years had been focused on FW, or on my child. I didn’t know what I liked to do, where I liked to go, what I liked to eat. Nothing. I felt like an empty shell. A boat with no rudder. One day I thought about some books that I used to get repeatedly from the library when I was 16 or 17. I thought “I remember liking that”. I went on Amazon and found used copies (all were out of print by then – I was 38) and ordered them. That was the first brick laid in rebuilding an identity of my own.

    Slowly, slowly I rebuilt myself. It was not a smooth road. There was a lot of backsliding. But I eventually stopped crying every day. I read “Why Does He Do That” by Lundy Bancroft (life changing). I watched hundreds of videos on narcissism, til I figured out the sort of person I was dealing with. I listened to a lot of music. I sought medical help for my weightloss and depression. My physician put me on an anti-anxiety medication. I forced myself to eat – absolutely anything that I could stomach, no value judgements. For awhile that was a pint of mango sorbet every day. I choked down protein shakes. I began to be able to eat again, to think clearly. My lawyer helped me with each step, and never rushed me to make a hard decision. I went to therapy with a wonderful therapist who helped me so much, who validated the severity of the abuse I had lived with for a decade. I got to the point where I was ready to truly go no contact, to file for divorce, to hold my ground in my legal proceedings, to ask for what I was owed. FW didn’t like that one bit and pushed back hard, but since I knew what he was like, I was able to anticipate his reactions and prepare for them, and let them roll off me like water off a duck’s back. I stopped taking his bait, stopped engaging with him, stopped worrying about what he and schmoopie were doing. I focused on myself and set goals. I got a second job, paid off all my credit card debt, started saving money, bought a car, got my own apartment. I added good things to my life. I began having regular phone calls with my best friend (it was Covid, after all), and talked about things that WEREN’T about my ex, like books. I found the energy to start cooking again (which I love). I put the weight back on and got healthy. I finally got to the point where I felt comfortable in my own skin (FW was ruthless with his insults about my appearance).

    I had gotten to a place where I was happy and looking forward to the future. Where I no longer wanted my ex back.
    Then OW left my him. I left them to it and their happily-ever-after imploded. After that he tried again to be a part of my life – both increasing his attempts to badmouth me to the court and, strangely, to have more contact, life inviting me to dinner or to activities with our child (both of which I declined, repeatedly). Then, in despair over the mess he’d made of his life, he killed himself. I was angry. It felt like a last “fuck you” to me, since he knew I was doing well (and resented that) and that I’d have to clean up the mess he’d left and deal with the fallout for our 9 year old son. However, though it was a horrible few weeks, I found that it didn’t impede my progress as much as you’d think it would. I am happy. In many ways my life is far easier now – no joint custody, no more legal battles, no more back and forth for my kid, no more abusive text messages, no string of women coming and going in my son’s life. Between the life insurance and social security survivor benefits, my son is set up well for the future. I got a promotion at my job and make more money than I ever dreamed of. I got to keep all the proceeds from the sale of our home and our second car, so I have a nice savings and for the first time don’t have financial worry looming over me (we were ALWAYS broke, no matter how much money we made, because FW didn’t handle money well). I have returned to doing things I love that I had given up in order to invest my time and energy in FW (I read books, I am studying Arabic, I attend lectures in Medieval history, I watch shows and movies he wouldn’t have wanted to). I am decorating my apartment to suit my taste, and finally have enough money to get furniture, etc. instead of relying exclusively on hand me downs and things I rescued from the curb.

    I haven’t dated at all, mostly because I don’t really want to. I love my autonomy and freedom. I’m not lonely. I don’t feel there is anything lacking in my life because I’m single.

    I NEVER thought I would get to “meh”, let alone be happy and thriving. The slog is real, and it is a long, slow process to extricate yourself from the mire. But it can be done. I have even come to the place where I am grateful that he cheated and showed me who he really was and dropped me like a hot potato. OW let me escape a horrible situation that I was so inured to that I didn’t even realized how bad it was. I’m fortunate that I survived. Looking back, I can’t believe what I had become accustomed to, what I put up with. I like the person I have become. She wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t had to fight my way up the mountainside. I put in the hard work and I made it. My life is 1000% better than it ever was married to FW. The view is lovely from the top.

    • Oh my! You are truly mighty and an inspiration! Thank you for sharing. Like you, I am grateful he cheated and dropped me like a hot potato. He gave me the opening to start living!

  • Seethemeh!
    Congratulations! You slogged through to the other side!

    I am fortunate to not have to interact with the FW as we have no children. He moved out of the town where I live (in with his latest conquest because the home he owns is a half-renovated hoarder mess, just like the person he is). The state of that property is his Dorian Gray painting. He will only be whole if he fixes and sells that mess.

    I didn’t really have to slog through. I got to meh easier because of strict no contact/no need for any contact. I commend all of you that have to have that contact and got to meh.

  • Thank you so much for your post, ICSTMC! It gives me hope. I look up to you and am hell bent on building a good life for me and my kids, just like you did!
    I can relate to pretty much everything you described. The robot mode. The bone tiredness. The war weariness. The having to learn anew what gives us pleasure. Simple pleasures that were systematically thwarted and taken from us along years of living with little dictators. Oh, but there is the getting back the right to listen to songs to cheers us up without some grumpy asshole ordering us to turn it down to an innaudible volume. The right to sing! To sing without some bitter (FWs are bitter, not us chumps) fucker giving us the contempt looks because we are not rock stars, we are just regular people content with the regular life we have. We are just singing our love and our sadness out.

    These hit home hard for me:

    “I don’t see why you think I have to use the parenting software.”…

    “Can we switch nights so he can meet Schmoopie and her kids?”…

    I am still in the throes of this assholery. Just this week. Just last week. Every other week.
    I come here to CL and CN as much as I can to share my struggles, learn from other people’s, be among decent, compassionate human beings and hear mighty stories such as yours that keep my hope alive. All in all, I am doing pretty well, but gaining a life has eluded me. I can’t see the Meh coming. Yet.

    • BC, I think you will get there. Based on your story, you seem like a sane parent for your kids. Keep on being that person. Your FW just wants to be sure she can feed you a couple of shit sandwiches each week. Use some time when your kids are not with you to focus on things other than work, things that will give you joy or bring joy to someone else. Treat yourself to something, ice cream is good unless you can’t tolerate it. Spend an hour doing something physical you enjoy, a walk, riding a bike or whatever. Find yourself again, you can do this. You have been mighty and have gotten through a divorce. Just continue to be a good parent and spend sometime finding the person that the FW made so small. Take care of yourself.

    • BC… I love that your closing word was YET. That is exactly what we are about here… the hope that lives in that word YET. If I had to timeline my journey, it would look like this:
      Year 1: Denial, play nice, try to “win” him back
      Year 2: Find a therapist, CL and CN… get ducks in a row and file first… suffer through my son’s first vacation with the OW and her kids and Mr. Sparkles.
      Year 3: Divorce final, custody order in place, take his name off the deed to the house… anonymously send the OW and her family pictures of Mr.Sparkles personals ads (yup, he was cheating on her too, shocking)… definitely not Meh but #worthit
      Year 4: Wow… I think I really like sleeping alone (finally) and nice, new linen sheets are so soft (Mr. Sparkles hated them)… on my son’s visitation weekends, I’m out with friends… going to the beach… enjoying the peace… could this be Meh?
      Year 5 – 8: No contact firmly established; reclaimed the child tax credit during the pandemic because he stopped visitation; plan great vacations with my son; redecorate the house; check out my growing retirement savings account; drink the good wine; date.

      You are mighty, especially on the days you don’t feel it… moreso even… every day YOU SHOW UP… YOU’RE THERE… remember that. You’ve got this… I’ll keep coming back to follow your journey!

      • Thank you so much for your kind words and for taking from your time to answer me, ICSTMC! I think (and hope) I am somewhere in between stages roughly corresponding to your years 3 and 4. I am living more peacefully except around the weekly hostage exchanges. I also lose my shit when it comes to my knowledge that FW XW did something fucked up to my kids. That usually requires some counterbalance on my end and happens very oftenly, unfortunately. Still not quite enjoying my time alone though. Maybe that’s the key, as CFANM kindly pointed out above.
        Thanks again!

  • After 35 years married I had to see him at our sons wedding last spring. He was with another woman after the original Owhore passed away. I only see him at wakes recently but my son has purchased his own home and I’ll be seeing him on occasion there. I cannot fathom spending holidays or times with him in my life after going no contact as much as I can for the past 5 years.
    I have bad dreams with him in it still tormenting me. I pray I can handle this in the future for my son is all that matters. I’m trying to prepare myself and not have my son and daughter-in-law upset when I encounter him there with his second other woman. I come here to CL every day for support. I must stay strong 💪🏻

    • That can be rough for sure.

      If it works in your situation, what I did was I would have my Christmas with son and his family a week early; then for actual Christmas I would head to Texas to spend it with my dad.

      That way son didn’t have to juggle or be uncomfortable with us both there. We would have both acted civil, but honestly I wouldn’t have enjoyed it. Not because I still had feeling for him, but because he was an asshole, and watching him be an asshole wasn’t something I wanted to do.

      For birthday celebrations etc, I would come, visit with kids, then leave early. I had to leave early because I knew he wouldn’t, because as I said he was an asshole and as long as he was in the room he was going to try to control the event.

      That way I could attend the actual events but for my grand children’s birthdays I would take them out with son and daughter in law at another time.

      A few years after the D I moved to another state for my job, so all that pretty much went away. I went back for Christmas a few times and when I did Son and daughter in law did not invite fw for Christmas. It helped that my daughter in law could barely tolerate ass wipe and whore. Reason being fw and whore were both ass holes and they continued to be until his death in January of last year.

    • Ugh. Just let them know you are available to visit when he/they isn’t /aren’t there! That is not a public space like a wedding or graduation and you have agency! Your kids should be concerned if YOU would be upset by FW and oW and plan accordingly. Take turns even. It’s do-able and you don’t have to martyr yourself!

  • 35years married to a liar. I made promises to myself. I kept them one at a time as I felt strong enough. Get a golden retriever (Kevin my buddy), Get a cat (over achieved, Todd and Lisa), take art classes (every Sunday and signed up for month long 30 hour a week intensive in June), and trip to Ireland (I leave tomorrow for art workshop in County Mayo – very nervous). Having fun! I’m not divorced yet – but I’m not waiting anymore to live my life. FW has been with his hot mess for 5 years. I had to file, I had to push, almost done though.

  • Thank you for that post I Can See The Meh Coming! I am 4 years out, 7 months divorced (don’t ask 🙄), and on most days now, I think I can see it too. Am I out of the slog? Possibly. Some days I still feel like I am still in it, but I look back and I see where I have been and I have come a loooong way. One thing I can say is that joy is back and I am hopeful for the future.

  • Still slogging. I appreciate all of you who – like ICanSeetheMeh above – understand it can be a lengthy process, the disengaging from the partner you adored (for me, after 20 years of what felt like a solid marriage to a “good guy” as well as three children together, I spent two-and-a-half years trying to mend the marriage – now currently in the midst of disengaging from him emotionally as we move towards divorce, after our HS senior’s grad next month). I appreciate all of you who remind the rest of us that “spackling happens”, and it’s not abnormal to hope for and work towards reconciliation. It’s helpful to have those desires for reconciliation validated. But betrayal changes the game.

    One of the questions I often see people ask each other on here is, “is this marriage acceptable to you?” A simple yes or no, though difficult to answer when you’re disoriented by trauma and submerged in grief. But now that the tsunami has subsided and I’ve been able to come up for air, the answer is as clear as the blue sky above.

  • I don’t have experience with substance abuse, but I have found freedom in not involving FW in decisions I make for myself. For me, that included seeking mental health help and going back to school. For a long time I looked to him to validate my choices (or tell me I’d never accomplish my goals). It was scary to stand on my own after 23 years but it’s MY life now. I did fail my second semester and it felt like all the ways he put me down were really true. I moped for a few months then decided to re-enroll and I’m rocking it now! I don’t tell FW about anything I do but I don’t hide it either. I know he asks our teenagers about what I’m up to but I don’t respond when they tell me. A few years ago I wanted to show off my accomplishments and rub his face in my success but he doesn’t cross my mind much anymore, and now those things are for me and the people who love and support me. I’m slogging through but getting closer to meh.

  • CL – Do we have a list of coping skills/self-care ideas that have worked for others on this site? There are the generic ideas that are available across the web – but I wondered if CN had shared other ideas.

    • Tall grass , a list would be nice . Some of us live rural and sometimes this means removed from many things available in cities or larger towns. Isolation of living way out in the dingle berries can be daunting.

    • I remember a post back in February “5 things you need when you leave a cheater”. A lot of tips were shared, which included ideas to cope with the stress and pain.

  • Lost here. Thanks so much to everyone who responded to me. I’ve been crying so hard as I read everyone’s words and stories and advice. But they’re good tears. They feel more healing. Yes, I will continue to post here and eventually I will change my user name. Then I will start giving advice about becoming mighty! So much love to all of you. I’m putting on my bitch boots and going for a walk. I’m getting myself some nachos for dinner to celebrate a successful no contact day ! ❤️

    • Lost, when you get ‘lost’ in a bad relationship, you forget who you really are. Chumps are really prone to this, because they’ve been other people’s chaos janitors for years/decades.

      A way out of this – and something that can take your mind off wanting to contact the ex – is going through an inventory of pleasurable activities. You can google these; there’s lots of different versions. I won’t add a link because I’ll end up in moderation, but it’s well worth looking for these lists.

      Basically it’s exactly what it says – a list of different activities that people can enjoy. You won’t like everything on the list, but it can help to prompt you to remember things you found fun in the past – things not associated with the ex – and maybe future things to try when you’re feeling stronger.

      I found this really helpful in recovering who I was after a lot of trauma and abuse – I couldn’t remember what my tastes were, and what I liked or disliked. I had had a bunch of other people setting my tastes and preferences for me, or shaming me out of fun stuff I enjoyed, for far too long.

      It was great for my recovery – literally recovering myself from the junk heap.

  • I’m in a fortunate position in that my FW has not given me any trouble about money and doesn’t harass me. So I’m getting closer to meh even though I’m not completely NC. I think with the less nasty ones you can do low contact and still heal. I’ll have down days where I replay the horrible things he did and at those times I’m dying to tell him off. But I don’t, and the memories bother me less and less as time goes on. I guess meh will be when they hardly bother me at all. I can’t imagine not feeling some residual anger. I don’t think that would be normal. Rock on, chumps!

  • I feel like I am getting to meh because:
    1. Ive stopped going to sleep listening to the dulcet tones of Sam Vaknin with his Minnie Mouse cup talking about NPD. Even if it is highly unlikely your ex has a personality disorder, there is still a lot of value in what he says. My favourite was the doormat to psychopath video for anyone married to mr nice guy.
    2. I’ve regained some sense of physical self preservation and no longer wander along my local isolated beach at night in some sort of disassociative state trying to process what the hell happened. I was always too scared to walk around by myself at night but then realised the real danger was lurking inside the house. Im back to being a bit more vigilant about my safety but still enjoy my night time walks.
    3. I’ve stopped hyperventilating in random places like aisle 4 of the local shop. A lot of breathing exercises got me through – but having to constantly take deep breaths and slowly blow out multiple times a day does get a bit choresome. I really do feel for people with chronic anxiety after experiencing that.
    My biggest fear after finding out what my ex was up to was not knowing whether he would hurt my child. He had never done anything to indicate that would be the case, but when you find out that someone is not just liar, but that they themselves are a lie, at that moment the paranoia kicks in and they are capable of anything. Realising that my child is probably safe, and that my ex is just a bit of a dickhead, has really helped me move forward.
    Good luck to everyone out there in chumpland.

  • I was asked recently why I wasn’t bitter. I said that being bitter was a choice that I didn’t want to do. Why feel horrible and continue to expel energy into someone who isn’t worth it? Everyone has choices. To cheat, to not cheat. To move on, to stay in place. I’m not saying my journey through the slog was easy. Anger is your friend to help you get through. However at some point, it’s not worth it anymore. Yes it’s unfair and it sucks but looking back, do you really want this person back in your life? I have the choice of being alone or lonely. I have the choice of staying home and moping or doing something I like. I have the choice to accept my new life or continue to feel sorry for myself. Newbies, when you’re ready, make the choices that are the right ones for you. Just remember that they suck now, they probably sucked then and they will continue to suck. Hugs

  • I wanted to find something that told me I wouldn’t feel broken forever, and to find this piece sitting nearly at the top waiting for me, the title was perfect for what I was feeling just minutes ago.
    I am 5 months out from D-Day (I hate thinking that Christmas has been ruined for me).

    I hate to admit I done the pick me dance, done everything to make myself “perfect”, more sexy (oh god it felt degrading, I wish I never touched him after his nasty deeds in a hotel room, feels like I have every disease under the sun even though I tested myself, I was a virgin before he took it and sullied me in the end), tried to be a better cook, keep house sparkly clean, more fun, more makeup, you name it.

    I’m not sure why I can’t seem to stop caring so much, I know he is a selfish, disrespecting, never happy, always demeaning, forever window-shopping prick (dating apps and accounts), but unfortunately this prick is my sons disney dad. And I hate the feeling of pure contempt knowing he is still in contact and pursuing this OW. All my years of dedication just feel so worthless, like he is laughing in my face as he is skipping into the sunset with shmoopie.
    Some days I hate myself for hoping his life will turn out to be absolute dog shite.

    I just want to fast forward 2 years, as I finish my study and have found a job and career, when I can see my life will flourish beyond my wildest dreams, and provide for my son, and be able to keep my family home (big ask from a currently stay at home mum).
    I am tired of “the slog”, I want to wake up and my first thoughts to be happy, I want to go to sleep with my last thoughts to be happy.

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