I’m 3 weeks a chump and my cheater is your usual no-remorse, gaslighting passive-aggressive joy who is now playing at being the perfect father on email (he’s also an over-entitled peacock, spending secret money on posh clothes, fancy haircuts and hours lazing in the sun to get a beautiful suntan, while I toiled indoors in a sleep-deprived haze looking after our baby and toddler). Yet how is it that most of my brain energy is being spent on his mother?
She knows about the affair (started mere weeks after I gave birth, if not before), the historic domestic violence, him hiding money while the children and I went without. Yet she’s never once condemned what he’s done to me.
Sure she sends me messages saying she’s thinking of all of us and sending us all love. Yet…
Two days after I became a chump (numb stage), she rang me and the first thing she said was to say her son was very upset and could I feel sorry for him. What??? Then, she went straight in to saying it’s not about couples therapy anymore, it’s about mediation. She proceeded to bang on about how we needed mediation now and she’d found some info on the Internet, which she’d email to Cheater Son and me. Two days in, I was still wondering what my Cheater was going to make for dinner, such was my lack of comprehension, and here she was, pushing me into mediation!
Then it was “it’s all about the children now.” As if I don’t exist! Everything he did to me, all the pain, suffering, neglect, all of that doesn’t matter now, two days after D-Day, in her eyes?
The final straw was when I saw her and she offered me a hug. It was a weak, pathetic hug and as she was hugging me, she took the opportunity to whisper in my ear to remind me that it is all about the children (again). Not, I’m so sorry. Not, you’ll get through this; not, we’ll always be here for you and the children. No, she steamrolled over me once again under the guise of a hug. Shall I just call her Brutus and be done with it?!
What I want to know is, is this common? This lack of condemning what the Cheater Son has done and steamrolling over the Chump? Both her and her husband have cheated on each other, so do they have some kind of “cheating is normal, get over it, loser” attitude? It seems like both my Cheater and my MIL are behaving as if this is a normal break-up, like I haven’t been wronged. I can’t stop writing her emails in my head telling her how much she’s hurt me. Do I tell her how she’s made me feel? We have to have contact because of the children. But I can’t take any more “my poor son is so upset he’s had an affair, poor poppet”. Help!!!
Off the Crazy Train
Is it common for narcissistic cheaters to have enabling, toxic parents? Show of hands chumps!
Unfortunately, if my mail is anything to go by, YES this crappy dynamic is very common. You gotta ask yourself, total fuckwits — nature or nurture? But it’s hard to know. Your cheater inherited DNA from both parents, plus he had the crazy We Cheat On Each Other “values” modeled to him. So, can we be surprised that your shattered heart is a big shrug to these people?
What did you think would make you safe? Your many years of investment in them? Your vulnerability as a young mother with an infant and a toddler? Your devastation at learning of your husband’s cheating?
Hey, you’ve ceased to be kibbles. There’s the exit. Make way for the replacement!
You’re still reeling, and your mother-in-law is guilting you into mediation “for the children”?
This isn’t her first mindfuck rodeo. Welcome to the Discard. It’s hard enough to wrap your mind around your husband cheating — it’s even harder to comprehend the conspiracy of it. That you’d already been plotted against, your place in the family usurped, with a thinly disguised Your Services Are No Longer Needed. Do we lamely hug the meter reader? Why would we? It’s awkward and inappropriate. Who’s the meter reader to us? Okay, if you insist on this mawkish display of “affection”, whatever…
do they have some kind of “cheating is normal, get over it, loser” attitude?
Yes. You were a good baby vessel and now that you’ve bred (thank you for the grandchildren), please sign away your child support (it’s mediation… for the children! don’t be bitter!) and make a hasty retreat. Or we’ll call security.
It seems like both my Cheater and my MIL are behaving as if this is a normal break-up,
To FWs, this IS a normal break up. No shame. No self-reflection. No fair settlement. It’s all about THEM. (Who are you again? Didn’t you already read the meter? It’s there… behind those thorny bushes, and the wasps’ nest… bill me later… or preferably not at all.)
She’s using your vulnerability and paralysis to guilt you into an unfair settlement — aka mediation — and grotesquely guilting you that it’s best for the children.
Securing a decent settlement and child support IS for the children — you’re the sane parent. Get yourself a proper lawyer and your own legal defense. Mumsy and cheater do NOT have your best interests at heart. (Or the children’s for that matter.)
Mediation is what you do with honest brokers. You don’t have one of those. You can read my arguments about mediation with cheaters here. Also go read the guest blog post from divorce financial analyst Vickie Adams.
I can’t stop writing her emails in my head telling her how much she’s hurt me. Do I tell her how she’s made me feel?
NO. Why don’t you tell that lamppost how you feel instead. The lamppost has more depth of feeling and the lamppost won’t use your innermost thoughts and vulnerabilities against you in a custody trial.
Absolutely do NOT reach out to your MIL or show her ANY weakness. You must go total no contact on these people to protect your sanity. Maybe on some distant Tuesday, when you’re truly meh (it will happen, I promise), you can stand to see her face (in the nursing home, or hooked up to a ventilator, or wandering in the rose garden at the dementia ward). Until then, do not engage. Your STBXH can handle the visits and drop-offs.
I can’t take any more “My poor son is so upset he’s had an affair, poor poppet.”
Poor Poppet should go live on Mumsy’s sofa for awhile. She can bring him warm milk and graham crackers and comfort him from the affliction of his stupidity.
His “upset” is not your concern. Protecting yourself and your children is your priority. Give zero room in your head to his manipulative case of the sadz.
Move ahead with that un-mediated divorce. The upside of losing a family of freaks, is it frees your life up for better people. Big ((hugs)).
This post ran earlier and has been updated.