80 Rosebushes and Other Chump Manias

rosebushWhen cheaters cheat, they take a lot of time, attention (and money) from their marriages. Nature abhors a vacuum. So what takes place in  that absence?

Okay, jobs, children, laundry, sure. Chumps get the greater share of those, of course. But what feeds your soul? Where do you get your kibbles?

For my husband (a former chump) it was 80 rose bushes. The guy has antique rose mania. You can walk into any garden anywhere, and he can identify an antique rose at 20 paces. “Oh that’s Baronne Henriette de Snoy.” It’s like his superpower.

His snobby superpower. He’s sniffy and dismissive of hybrid teas. And don’t even get him started on knock out roses. “Landscaping trash.”

He’s got his habit down now to about 10 antique rose bushes. Which have a very short shelf life in Texas.  One hot day they go from glorious rosebud to withered ash. To love roses in Texas is to be forever heartsick. This isn’t the ideal climate for roses, so you have to be a good steward. Constantly mixing up their favorite foliar feeds, mulching, pruning…

But when properly cared for, rose bushes deliver. They bloom. They smell nice. It’s pretty glorious (if brief).

At the height of his former marriage to a serial cheater, however, the man once had 80 rose bushes. I guess his love and affection had to go somewhere. Because roses, unlike cheaters, are rewarding. He looks back at this time in his life as rather maniacal, and a symptom that things were terribly broken. As long as he had an all-consuming interest, he could ignore the fact that his wife was checked out.

He isn’t the only one. I see this with a lot of chumps, myself included. I used to be something of a crazy gardener myself. (My husband once looked at a picture of my over-the-top garden pots and pegged me as a kindred chump.) I did a lot of things alone while married. I traveled to my parents alone, with an older woman friend alone, to concerts alone. I landscaped alone. I scraped wallpaper alone. I raked leaves alone… I could go on and on.

One place chumps direct a lot of our attention, of course, is our children. And that’s right and proper to a point. But we shouldn’t expect emotional intimacy and kibbles from our kids. It puts a terrible burden on them.

Do you have any version of the 80 rose bush phenomena?

When you leave a cheater and gain a life, however, things fall back into balance. I still had my interests, but they just felt like that — interests — not escapes.

As for us and maniacal gardening? We’re considering an apartment in the next stage of life. With a doorman!

Writing this column, I just asked my husband to identify his favorite rose — and he couldn’t remember.

“Wow. They used to be my friends.”

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Itneverends
Itneverends
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Just wanted to shout it to the four corners of the earth after 8 months of horrible waiting and drama my divorce is final today !!!!!! Now time to gain my life. I look foward to lansacaping MY house the way I want and finally putting in a small veggie garden in the back yard. ( exhusband never let me put one in) …and yes tasks are more enjoyable even washing the dishes and Laundry knowing that I don’t have to clean up after his slobby mess gives me happiness. I have enough cleaning after my two kids.

@movingon I have the same worries and can relate to the anxiousness of what if’s. I hope with time that will subside as a new routine rolls in.

Again thanks chump lady for this site it greatly helped me throughout the whole process and now I’m ready for my Tuesday to come and take me down the road to MEH.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  Itneverends

Awesome news, Itneverends. Enjoy your newly found freedom!

Drew
Drew
9 years ago
Reply to  Itneverends

Congratulations, Itneverends, along with that piece of paper is the door to your better future(maybe a little bittersweet but a good baby step forward).

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  Itneverends

Congratulations…. here’s to MEH!!

Itneverends
Itneverends
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

Thanks 🙂

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
9 years ago
Reply to  Itneverends

{{{{{Shouting Applause / Waving pom-poms}}}}}

Welcome to your new, authentic, cheater-free LIFE!!!
Thank you for sharing it with us, Itneverends. (maybe a new ‘name’ is in order?)

ForgeOn!

malbecrioja
malbecrioja
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Right now my roses are lists. I have lists everywhere. Lists of things to daily to-do, lists of dreams, lists of interests, lists of fears and anxieties, lists of emotions. I keep looking at all these lists; I write things down in the car waiting for kids’ practices to end; I stop in the grocery store and write things down; I carry them around. Now I’m thinking about choosing items from the list to put on post-its around the house. When I no longer need an item on a list, I cross it out, but then sometimes I write it again. I am wondering how long this will go on…

MovingOn
MovingOn
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Same here… I’m working with an IC, but I’m consumed with the “what ifs” as a single parent who worries about what might happen if her kids had to live with ex-loser full time. What if I lose my job? What if I get sick? What if I die? What if my roof collapses from all this snow (I kid you not)? I’ve always been a worrier, but getting divorced and single parenting three young children has shot my anxiety through the roof.

MovingOn
MovingOn
9 years ago
Reply to  MovingOn

Whoops– this should have gone under Supreme Chump’s comment!

Supreme Chump
Supreme Chump
9 years ago

Only emptiness here. I’m consumed with anxiety. Anxiety and worry are my 80 rose bushes.

Chumpion
Chumpion
9 years ago
Reply to  Supreme Chump

Supreme,

Me too. After uncovering my ex-wife’s misdeeds I spent about a year dealing with anxiety attacks. The fact that our daughter was undergoing cancer treatment at the time of my discovery had already put me on the road to it anyway. Realizing that you had been gaslighted for years and what the ugly truth was lead to an extended breakdown where I just barely kept it together enough to keep my job. My heart would almost bust out of my chest if the wrong thought train pulled into my brain. Three years away from it now and I am better off in absolutely every part of my life. All hail meh!

My only odd “hobby” during my unknowing chump years was with true crime forensic shows. It was the weirdest way that my subconscious expressed that it knew some hidden nonsense was afoot, I was OBSESSED stories of how clever (narcissistic) criminals got caught.

Doglover
Doglover
9 years ago
Reply to  Chumpion

Omg I watched crime shows too especially the ID channel!! Lol

Thatgirl
Thatgirl
9 years ago
Reply to  Chumpion

Omg! Me too! I became obsessed with the ID channel, which they should rename narcissist tv.

Wives with knives! Who the bleep did I marry!

Some of the stories felt uncomfortably familiar.

One Step at a Time
One Step at a Time
9 years ago
Reply to  Thatgirl

In the last years of my marriage, I became obsessed with the show, Snapped, about women who snap and kill someone (usually husbands). I guess that is why on Dday1, my XH slept in the extra bedroom with one eye open. That makes me laugh thinking about that now!!

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago

My younger sister swears her ex was a sociopath… once she finally got tired of his cheating he started sleeping in a different room with the door locked… she said she would go in the middle of the night and unlock the door and just open it and leave it standing open. She just did it to screw with him…. wanted him to know she could get at him if she wanted to. Made me laugh :D:D

One Step at a Time
One Step at a Time
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

That is hilarious!! ^^^^

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  Chumpion

That reminds me that I used to watch tons of comedy shows the last few years of my marriage. I couldn’t sleep so would stay up watching all the late night shows. It was a way to anesthetize myself I guess. Now I go to bed early and get plenty of sleep!

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Yes, I love Conan, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and Seth Myers. I liked David Letterman up until the scandal with the intern broke. I respected him for coming clean publicly, and asking his wife for forgiveness, but the Clinton jokes just weren’t funny anymore.

Char
Char
9 years ago
Reply to  Supreme Chump

Everyone heals at different rates of speed. Don’t beat yourself up if you still feel anxiety and worry. I just woke up at 4 in the morning wondering how I was going to give my daughter the wedding she dreams of on my reduced budget. Mind you – she’s neither engaged, attached or dating anyone with real seriousness at this point. So you get my drift – our minds can be our worst pranksters in the healing game.

I’m 4 1/2 years out and recently finished some last settlement business up with my ex, who apparently took issue with my wording in speaking of his third wife (the OW he abandoned his family for.) He said that he was “just so tired” of the slights and smears against the OW and him because – after all – it has been almost five years. Funny how cheaters see time as some sort of magical redemptive for their unapologetic bad actions, but chumps see it as something that slogs along in a very slow healing process. I think chumps have the truer timeline, but I caution you to not let obsessive thinking (another big trick in our minds’ arsenal) about your ex or your situation bog you down. Follow CL’s lead – let your interests be your outlet when you start to feel anxious. Let them fill up that emptiness a bit. Keep yourself busy and force yourself to take those forward steps. It’s the only way to eventually leave the hollowness behind.

I believe that time is the Chump’s friend and the cheater’s foe. We can heal because a clear conscience helps in that. But a cheater? They wait for time to absolve them of the many sins they don’t want to face, and it doesn’t work that way. They still wake up every morning and face themselves and have to pretend that they are wonderful and happy and really – it was all for the best. But somewhere, deep down, they know the truth. And time reveals that over the long haul. We in Chumpdom don’t have to wait to see it happen (that would be a waste of our lives and time)….but we know it will.

Stay strong and carry on! 🙂

Regina
Regina
9 years ago
Reply to  Char

Well stated Char!!

Lania
Lania
9 years ago
Reply to  Char

‘So tired against the slights and smears of the OW’? Maybe she shouldn’t have been pursuing married men then? No sympathy, BITCH.
Char – if your daughter is anything like yourself – she would be appreciative of any support for a wedding in the future. You don’t need to splurge out on a single day like this – and if those demands are given its just a breeding ground for narcissism. The money spent on a wedding is far, far better spent on more practical things, after all. (But then again, I’m not married – this is just my personal view of what any future wedding of mine would be like – one on a budget :D)

MzIt'sJustBeginning
MzIt'sJustBeginning
9 years ago
Reply to  Char

Char, yes that last paragraph was wonderfully said!!!! ” all for the best”…..I hate that phrase!!!!

Karma Express
Karma Express
9 years ago
Reply to  Char

I believe that time is the Chump’s friend and the cheater’s foe.

Char, thank you for that paragraph. That insight is amazing. I’ve put that in my “f*cktard be-gone” journal. I should make a cross-stitch of that and hang it above my desk. 🙂

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  Karma Express

@KarmaExpress “F*cktard be-gone” journal~~ Now THAT is priceless, I love it lmao 😀

tflan386
tflan386
9 years ago
Reply to  Karma Express

Karma: So true that time is the Chump’s friend and the cheater’s foe. Narcissist cheaters end up bitter and alone – the chump is gone, the honeymoon phase with OW/OM is over, kids become estranged, friends abandon them, and jobs lose their meaning. Incredibly, they never figure out what role they play in all of their life’s losses. They grow old and dissolute – can’t muster up all that old charm anymore cause they’re just too tired. Who feels sorry for them? No one.

Drew
Drew
9 years ago
Reply to  tflan386

Char, Karma, and tflan386, yes, this. My ex has surely made his bed.

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
9 years ago
Reply to  Supreme Chump

Oh god do I identify with this. After 6 months my attempts to find new hobbies or rediscover old ones seem empty and insufficient. I keep trying to remind myself that progress is happening even if I can’t notice it, but my patience is running thin.

I might have flashes of giving up on my ex’s narrative of me, but they don’t last long. I still feel like I’m the problem, that my depression and struggle against childhood trauma made and make me too broken to love. How is bowling once a week supposed to fix that?

nuclear tuna
nuclear tuna
9 years ago

It may take longer than six months. You’re running a marathon, not a race. The first months are of course the worst.

IC to learn how to re-focus all that energy spent on anxiety and worry into self-care was a huge help for me. Eventually it becomes habit and you realize that you’ve been so engrossed in living your life that you haven’t thought about Cheater all day. 🙂

Lina
Lina
9 years ago

Me too Which Way. I know it’s depression. Nothing means anything to me anymore, even things I used to be passionate about. I still feel like the problem too. I have a history of people walking away from me when they no longer “needed” me for something and now my husband of 23 years has done it too. It’s like the gravy on top of the shit sandwiches.

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Lina, I’m sorry that you know this experience so well. I already felt like I had to be needed to be loved, so I tried to make myself indispensable to my ex’s dreams. If being needed isn’t enough to make me bearable, what possibly could be?

We trust these people so much and they know exactly what to say and do to make us take the blame for their behavior. Recognizing that I was manipulated doesn’t make me accept her narrative any less, though. It’s a sick, twisted beast, this depression.

ByeByeCheater
ByeByeCheater
9 years ago

‘We trust these people so much and they know exactly what to say and do to make us take the blame for their behavior. Recognizing that I was manipulated doesn’t make me accept her narrative any less, though.’

Agreed, Which! I know the ‘knot of anxiety’ that both you and Lina are talking about. It’s ruled my world throughout my marriage and is still present during our separation. I hope it will be gone some day soon for all of us!

chumpfor21
chumpfor21
9 years ago
Reply to  ByeByeCheater

I am with you both Lina and Which Way

I had a hobby – keeping him out of the financial messes he created and hoping against hope that he would change and actually pay the bills.

It’s all I had time for. The anxiety of that hobby has been replaced by anxiety for my future. I’ll admit that it’s getting better though. Step by step.

Oh and I gave up FB stalking – one week. The motivation for that…. That I could end up on the People You May Know Bar. No thanks.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  chumpfor21

I stalk OW’s fb a lot less now but it’s on lockdown anyway so can’t really see anything except profile pic (ugly). However, it doesn’t bother me if she knows or not, because I actually have a couple of mutual friends and besides, one of the most insulting and hurtful things about this entire experience has been watching the two of them just act like I don’t even exist. Which gets to the nut of what’s wrong with this picture in that they and their selfish deceitful actions got to decide unilaterally without me having a fair chance, what was going to happen here. That still makes me angry.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  chumpfor21

I still hear his parting insults running through me like an icepick. I try to answer each one to push forward. For example: I will never get anywhere with you. You are correct fuckwit, I divorced you! You never gave me affection. Yup, because you were too busy fucking whores! You throw your laundry down the stairs. Yes, and I now own the washing machine and dryer!
No one will ever want you unless you work on yourself. Yes, I lost 42 pounds and work out every day. I relax in a nice bathtub. I can read a book whenever I want. Now that your gone I have plenty of time to do what ever I want for myself. I look good in clothes. I want half your pension. Fuck you, you didn’t get it, fuck you again for good measure! After the divorce hearing and settlement: I think about you all the time. I’m single!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We wasted so much time on these assholes. We never deserved it and wherever they go and no matter who they are with they will bring their serial cheating, Narc, porn addiction, drug addiction, sadistic selves with them. That is what makes me push ahead every single day as I am so grateful I had the courage to finally leave the creature.

Lina
Lina
9 years ago

I’m so sorry for your struggle too. I agree, recognizing it doesn’t make it any easier.

Regina
Regina
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Lina; IT IS NOT YOU! I realized no matter how many people do this it is not you. You may be picking people incapable of caring, or may also have disordered people in your family as well. No one normal treats people this way.

Nord
Nord
9 years ago
Reply to  Supreme Chump

You and me both. I still, three years later, still wake up some mornings with a knot of anxiety in my stomach. Usually it’s 4 or 5 am. It’s gotten better but it’s still there. Deep breaths.

Chump Princess
Chump Princess
9 years ago
Reply to  Nord

I’m so happy to know that I’m not the only one dealing with anxiety. I started taking an herbal remedy which seems to take the edge off. I mentioned to my therapist that I have resigned myself to the fact that I may suffer some low level anxiety for the rest of my life. Not sure if I will, but I’ve had to accept it as a possibility. It has definitely gotten better, but like you Nord, I wake up at 4 or 5 in the morning with it.

Magicrain
Magicrain
9 years ago
Reply to  Chump Princess

Same worry worry worry all while ex and ho worker live happily ever after…uggg

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
9 years ago
Reply to  Chump Princess

Dear Lina and Chump Princess,

I recently found out that when your liver is not healthy, that will give one the feelings and sensations that we call ‘anxiety’.

Yes, all of the poo we have been through is clearly anxiety-inducing. No doubt about that!!! However, addressing your liver health, giving it a good cleanse and nutritional support very often goes a long way in reducing those feelings of anxiety, as well as the early morning wakings.

I read that those types of nighttime awakenings can often be attributed to the nightly ‘dump’ that the liver takes. It has to dump the waste from all the processing it has done all day. During sleep is when it occurs.

When I became aware of these things, I did some things to assist my liver. Guess what?! My ‘anxiety’ is dramatically reduced!

The horrific distress these pathetic cheaters put us through causes great harm to our bodies. (As we all know)

In addition to the liver, the adrenal glands suffer terribly! So, both the liver and the adrenals need some serious TLC.

Anyway…..l did some researching and did some adjustments to my diet and added in some recommended supplements. It has really helped me a lot with the anxiety and the nighttime awakenings. (Not gone, but maybe the Seagram’s and Coke has something to do with that?! LOL)

Hope this helps you……

PS: My ’80 rose bushes’ were gardening, volunteer work, researching health topics and housekeeping! I also read & researched many resources that ‘fed my soul’ so I could be of assistance to my fellow humans in various ways.

Arnold
Arnold
9 years ago
Reply to  ForgeOn!

I’ve taken a deep interest in internet porn.

ffghtr67
ffghtr67
9 years ago
Reply to  ForgeOn!

I am interested in Liver health, anxiety and holistic response. Please post more

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
9 years ago
Reply to  ffghtr67

Dear ffghtr67,

My best suggestion is to research on-line yourself. Educate yourself.

Some suggestions: NaturalNews.com / naturalhealth365.com / terrytalksnutrition.com / jonbarron.org.

From these, you can find links that will lead you to others who are well-educated professionals in Natural Health.

ForgeOn to better health…..

Free
Free
9 years ago
Reply to  ForgeOn!

I’ve had so much anxiety I thought I would never get over it. But I have gone to a nutritional therapist who practices functional medicine and she has put me on some supplements (vitamins) that have totally taken away the anxiety. Also the herbs Holy Basil and Rhodiola Rosea really help, they support the adrenal glands and calm your whole system. It is really worth getting professional input into this and not just a doctor, who will only recommend anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication.

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
9 years ago
Reply to  Free

Awesome, Free!

Thanks for sharing your excellent results with natural methods.

I have used the rhodiola as well as ashwaganda at times. l have recently found out about L-glutamine for both liver and adrenals & have benefited greatly from taking it.

Forge on, Free….ForgeOn, all…..

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  Nord

Yes, the knot of anxiety! It’s like it’s there to remind me even when I’m doing my best to distract from it all. Like it’s saying, “Hey, remember that horrible thing that’s happened?” If I let it, it dissolves into tears. I’m tired of crying. Two and a half years of crying so far.

I did lots of things alone during my marriage. Things that weren’t his thing. I actually felt freer alone because he tended to be judgemental about certain things I liked. I guess that was a red flag. Then I desolved into depression and anxiety. I gave up traveling once a year for my work which was a great joy to me because he resented it. He could have come with me but refused. So I gave it up, all to have him walk out in the end.

Tessie
Tessie
9 years ago

At the time in my life when my marriage blew up I did not have much energy left over. I was working full time nights, going to nursing school evenings, doing all the cleaning, cooking, shopping….etc, trying to be there for my boys, all on 3 hours sleep. Cheater ex was upset that I was not paying proper attention to him, so he went out and got himself another schmoopie. I know now there were others from looking back on his behavior at other times in the marriage.

Anyway, all I had time for was to study….study….study…..but I did graduate and pass my boards. Ex was counting on the cash rolling in and informed me that now I could put him through college. Then he pulled his ” I feel like killing you and the boys and then myself.” thing and the boys and myself went Bye,Bye.

Now i have all the time I want for anything I want….Ahhhh, freedom!

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
9 years ago
Reply to  Tessie

Yes! This was me. I guess I got tired of always asking during about the last 8 years of our “marriage”: “Why are we do disconnected??” Only to hear, “We’re not!” yet no affection, little sex, I’m working full time, coaching our daughter’s soccer team for 7 years, doing essentially all the housework, laundry, & bills for the family ALONE. I finally decided I was gonna make myself happy. I earned a professional accreditation that about 5% of my industry have. Then, that felt so freaking good, I stopped coaching for awhile to earn a master’s degree over 3 years. Fuckwit and I had our first child at 18 & 19. I did everything backwards, but worked my butt off to make a great life for us.

So 4 mos after I finish the master’s, I’m hit with DDay. Then more info, and more, and so it turned out that fucker had been cheating for about 20 of our 23 years together. Only, I was too busy achieving & not being an emotionally immature 16-year old kibble dispenser. I was too busy being a freakin’ ADULT, trying to improve things for my family. Yes, I was up till midnight reading and writing papers for those three years, but douchebag had the nerve to say during mediation, “Well, who was with our daughter while you were buried in books and papers??” I immediately barked, “Yeah – because doing something for hours to better the family’s earning potential is SOOOOO equal to your hidden adultery while I was busy, and which you also likely committed while you were SUPPOSED to be engaging with said daughter.” Classic lame fuckwit.

I filed 8 mos after DDay. He had abandoned us and moved in with the married whore-worker and her two brats almost immediately after DDay. Strange how these dumb whores don’t think, “Hmmm. This cheating, scheming 40 year old abandoned his own blood and wife/loyal partner of 23 years. Why would he want to start over & raise some other dude’s kids and deal with my 30s dumbass? Plus, his kids are 21 & 14. Mine are 3 & 6. He also has a grandkid he hasn’t seen in a year. Why wouldn’t he do the same thing to me when I can’t be the kibble dispenser cuz I’m a MOM with little brats??” Well, we know why they don’t think past their crotch – they’re f-ing SPECIAL!!

Since he was gone and I wasn’t begging for love, affection, or attention from a cheating fucktard anymore, or playing marriage police, I re-did my kitchen cabinets by hand, and am slowly finishing the dozens of projects he tore up, and left. Re-did my daughter’s room, lost 50 lbs, and am training for a first 1/2 marathon. People run for cancers, and various challenges, and losses. I’m running – and tell anyone who asks – to put a face with the destruction that adultery has on families. You want out – freaking GO, but to brutalize a loyal spouse, and tear up your own child’s home through emotional abuse and abandonment – just fucking GO before anything else. You actually ARE dispensable, you’re not special, and you suck at being a spouse and parent because your genitals are more important than anything else, and we’ve known it for a LONG ass time.

Love to all u Chumps. You’ve each helped me through some dark days. Now I’m dealing with the asswipe’s inability to make freaking credit card payments that still have my name on it that he was court ordered to pay. I’m about to file a motion of contempt of a court order. I’m sick of it!

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago

“You want out – freaking GO, but to brutalize a loyal spouse, and tear up your own child’s home through emotional abuse and abandonment – just fucking GO before anything else. You actually ARE dispensable, you’re not special, and you suck at being a spouse and parent because your genitals are more important than anything else, and we’ve known it for a LONG ass time”

Exactly, KibbleFreeMM– I was just having lunch with a good friend yesterday, and we talked about how much less devastating it would have been if ex had just left when he realized he wanted to cheat or had just started cheating. If he had just fessed up that our life was not what he wanted, and let everyone get upset and then move on, we all would have adjusted– myself, our children, our families and friends. Instead, for unfathomable reasons, he chose to lead a double life for over 15 years, and did unspeakable things with the women he lead our children and even me to us get to know and like as “family friends.”

That is how he truly destroyed himself and is now a mockery of what he once held himself out to be– an honorable, loving and steady husband, father and businessman.

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago

Awesome!! All of it!!

On his way out mine said “YOU’RE just afraid of being alone!!” I said “WHO says I will be alone? What makes you think I am replaceable and YOU’RE not?? Please!!”

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

NCStevie – nice! But what we all know is: Hey! Douchebag! What the hell do you think I’ve been the whole time I wasted part of my life with YOU? ALONE!! I’m a freakin’ PRO at being alone! Asshat!

They actually think they are infinitely capable of giving 100% to their whores, and being predatory whores themselves, AND giving their spouses & kids 100%. Dumbfucks. Yeah – center of their own universe. The only problem is: THEY SUCK AT IT and no one can be multiple lying scheming fuckups all at once and be good at it. At least not till we’re on to something being “off” at the core.

If you were like me, you were alone in a loveless, sexless, “marriage” where you were taken for granted as the anchor for your kids, finances, spirituality, EVERYTHING. It may take some time to peel off the layers, but we all will, and we’re all so much stronger, beautiful, mighty and worthy than these f-tards and their disgusting whores. It truly is their loss, but even so, I don’t think any of us would take that mediocre BS back into our lives now that we’re free, and learning to truly love ourselves, and how to be kind to ourselves. (((Hugs!)))

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago

@ Wow33 I can tell you with mine… that his whore is/was married (now separated, with 3 little boys) and they are both competitors in bodybuilding. “She” appreciates his hard work…. appreciates his “passion” and encourages him and they talk about supplements…. burning glutes… leg day…. how “misunderstood” they are… how they aren’t selfish but “escaping” and how “mistreated” he has been…. how “mistreated” she has been. They were professing their undying and perfect LOVE after talking back and forth less than a month, they are f-idiots (fidiots) and they actually “BELIEVE” their own bullshit. Their “sharing” and “communicating” is based on their “NEED” to obtain kibbles and affirmation…. they NEED someone (who doesn’t KNOW better) to tell them it’s “NOT their fault they cheated”…. that they “understand”…. that they will “love” them better….. “be” better….. it is ALL part of the “love bombing”. There is no REAL connection…. and almost everything they share is FICTION or half truths…. put in play to obtain the desired result.

I REMEMBER the beginning…. and I remember thinking “He is JUST too good to be TRUE!” and…. that saying …. “if something seems to good to be true… it probably is.” Yeah… that one….. he was… DELUSIONAL LIAR!! He tells her “I will always want YOU with me.” Yeah… I heard that bullshit too. Guess how may trips he has taken in the past 8 years…. roughly…. 15-18…. guess how many I’ve been on with him?? ONE… yes… ONE…. a week before he started this affair. Asshat.

I remember him telling me that his ex-wife of 12 years “threw” him away, he left out the part where she did that after years of being his CHUMP and 3 months after her D-Day (the affair started 6 months after the birth of their 3rd child) and years of being alone with the kids (3 theirs, 1 from previous marriage), left behind and doing everything by herself anyway.

They are sick, sad and vile people. Here’s to MEH!!

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

Reminds me e of that kid who disappeared in 2010? His stepmother, a bodybuilder, had married his father. She took him to school early for a science fair the day he dissapeared. He never made it to class, and the landscaper went to police. The new body builder wife had approached him about offing the father. That kid has never been found. I hope she rots in hell. Him too for that matter.

Wow33
Wow33
9 years ago

One thing I don’t get is, my ex- was not great at communicating or having a emotional conection with me. Hell he never expressed his big unhappiness fords our marriage!!!He is not that deep. So if women cheat with other man for emotional conection how can my EX husband all of a sudden be with her sharing feelings and discussing stuff?

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Tessie

Tessie, every time you write I think that maybe some chump married to a dangerous person will see the danger and leave. Your story proves there are no guarantees, but you know you did the best you could and it is certain (based on what he and his family did later) that your X would have at some point done as he said he would do. The worst thing chumps can do is stick their heads in the sand and refuse to see what they are married to. Hugs to you from the frozen northeast.

Tessie
Tessie
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Right back atcha LaJ

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
9 years ago
Reply to  Tessie

Tessie, I admire your dedication. My ex quit working completely to attend nursing school part-time, and then constantly complained that I didn’t do enough housework after I got home from my job that supported me, her, and whatever wasn’t covered by child support for her 15 year-old son. She was of course free to go to jazzercise or take bicycle rides during the days while I was at work, and her son was perfectly entitled to do nothing but play video games all evening and all weekend.

As I was crying and begging for an explanation for her leaving me, one of her replies was that she needed a real partner, someone who didn’t want to be another child for her to support. Part of our deal with her quitting work was that when she was hired as a nurse I could quit work and go to school; instead she waited until our savings were nearly depleted and then left me.

I used to enjoy playing video games, but after she threw it in my face as an example of my being juvenile, I’ve had trouble having much fun with them. So even hobbies that I do have haven’t been as enjoyable.

Lania
Lania
9 years ago

There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with playing video games (I’m a gamer myself here, heh – female gamers are in the minority and a fair amount of them are skanks – I’m certainly not one of those types! Quite a few females on games have been OW in my experiences.). Its actually a proven fact that with some video games they increase reflexes, strategic thinking, leadership ability and social skills (if the right kind of games). Gaming is a hobby – just like anything else is.

One would question her shitty obsession with ‘jazzercise’ (and all of those inane aerobics classes which seem to be a breeding ground for narcissistic mummy has-beens) among other things before gaming was an issue, really.

ca-chump
ca-chump
9 years ago

I got the what are you doing being so childish and wasting all your time with videogames for playing … Words with Friends. Yes, all of the five minutes a day I spent trying to figure out what four-letter words end with V or C or J while waiting to pick up kids or some such downtime.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  ca-chump

I got in trouble for playing words with friends also. Just about everything I did was wrong. Never played it since. I was bored out of my mind for the last year. He moaned and groaned about his back. Now I realize why he was so worn out and fell asleep so early.

Heather
Heather
9 years ago

Got very very good at ‘pick me dancing’ lol Think I tried everything possible to get my husband to re-engage as well as dealing with kids, home, own business, life in a foreign country and deteriorating health. Only dancing I do these days is Zumba 😀

Heather
Heather
9 years ago

I gardened and could name many varietals. I cleaned house, had my house painted and re painted. Granted my ex was my workman, but it fed my empty heart. I was a nonstop decorator and gardener. Always improving. A friend of mind finally explained what she had noted about my empty marriage being filled with my house.

Now I live in a small apartment with my second husband. I miss my garden but I am much more at peace.

Willowchumpx30
Willowchumpx30
9 years ago

Before I consciously realized I was a chump I would read voraciously. Two to three books a week. After DDay slapped me in the face, I hardly read at all. (Except this site which I check daily). Now, I too am empty and Consumed with anxiety. Screwing up the courage to take the bull by the horns. Knowing what I must do. All the while acting like I believe the shit sandwiches I am being fed are peanut butter and jelly. Literally makes me nauseous.

HollyH
HollyH
9 years ago
Reply to  Willowchumpx30

I loved to read, too. But I can’t sit still or concentrate lately.

Get this- STBX recommended the current bestseller ‘The Girl on the Train’.
So when he asks me how I liked it, I said “30 pages into the book two people have cheated on their spouses. I don’t want to read it”. He was surprised because “it’s just fiction”.

Scott
Scott
9 years ago
Reply to  HollyH

Gotta be something to this whole “I can’t read” thing. Not sure what it is, but 2 years and 4 months after D-Day I’m patting myself on the back because I read two chapters of a book the other night without my mind wandering or looking at the words and not knowing what they were.

The first year after I had to reread darn near every sentence 3 times just to understand what I was reading. Last year I read two books (one was CL’s) and that was over an extended period of time. One page. Fall asleep. One more page. Put it down. One more page. Lose interest. One more page. A week later…you get the point.

I think the trauma is so severe your mind is impacted horribly and your mind compensates where it can…

Lania
Lania
9 years ago
Reply to  Scott

Its because reading is an activity which needs a decent amount of mental concentration, and at the time of being smashed with a D-Day – your concentration is obviously out the window.

spiritwoman
spiritwoman
9 years ago
Reply to  Lania

I have always been avid reader with huge variety of interests, kind an eclectic reader, lol. I used to could read a book in a day, even an intense book would only take a week if time available. However, after BD I could read but not retain, finally, I decided to just browse books and pics etc. It allowed me to absorb myself without having to need concentration. Can say now I’m able to read and thoroughly enjoy again all the subjects I love without XH around anymore.

Moony
Moony
9 years ago
Reply to  spiritwoman

Unable to read here, too! That’s easy to recognize – used to read, can’t anymore – but I worry about how what is preventing me from being able to relax and focus enough to read is impacting the rest of my behavior and interactions.

Regina
Regina
9 years ago
Reply to  Moony

I should add I took 2 $20,000 pay cuts during this 3 year period because I could not do my job. I am lucky I still have a job, but loss upon loss is grave payment for someone else’s “fun!” I have not regained any of this pay.

Regina
Regina
9 years ago
Reply to  Moony

Scott, Lania, Mooney & other readers who suffered concentration loss. I am also an avid reader, and was drawn to reading to figure this thing out. The first year I read over 300 books. The topics ranged from of course infidelity, narcissism, PSTD, RIC type books, psychology, co-dependency, character disturbances, etc. Sometimes I read a book in a night also, while other things piled up to do. The couple of shrinks I went to mostly to help me stop the rumination said I had read far more on these topics than they had. They had little help. Every day when I opened my eyes my first thought would be “Oh yeah, this is my new reality, Hell.”

However, I tried to go back to school to advance my Nursing degree and found I had great difficulty retaining any information, (or giving a damn about completing it), even though I knew it would be so good for my self image and fledgling ego. I ended up abandoning the idea for now. It added another failure to my plate, but I just could not concentrate well, and most of it was memorization.

The really sad part is the Cheater has the answers you seek, usually the cognitive dissonance is because of lies & half truths. It is hard to fathom that the cheating was not enough hurt, now they are going to screw with your brain. My Cheater did not read ONE book, yet wanted to reconcile. I could not understand why he did not want to help me out of this place he had put me. I thought he was my friend, but no amount of suffering on my part was enough for him to tell me or tell himself the truth. This was shocking to me. I could not comprehend this vast difference between us & I kept trying to close it. Giving him more than the best years of my life made it harder to give up on. It took a long time for me to give up on who I thought he was.

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  Lania

I have the same problem with reading for fun. I have read a ton of psych books trying to understand all to this. One thing that has worked for me is to reread my favorite books. It’s relaxing and doesn’t take as much concentration.

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  Willowchumpx30

Willow, I was a big reader too. In fact, I wrote a books column and write for a living. Since DDay I have been mostly unable to finish a book and flounder on writing projects. If I could sue my STBXW for loss of income through the stress and anxiety this has caused me I would do that. If she’d negligently hit with a car, I could do that, but since she deliberately blew up my life, confidence and psyche instead, I can’t.

Webster
Webster
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

I have had 4 years since the original d day and four months since finally escaping through a series of events that prove in my mind somebody out/up there was looking out for this particular chump and my three chumplings.Of that time, my ex worked overseas for more than half of it while I worked full time, wrangled teenagers blah blah. Top two coping mechanisms; when I couldn’t read (a particular torture for me) I started downloading digital audio books from my library, when I couldn’t bear to be in the same house/felt down I walked; sometimes I cried and walked, but I kept walking and it saved me. The magic combo was walking through nature listening to an audio book. It calmed my frenzied mind, made me fit and meant I could keep my life together until this particular chumpy finally got closure 🙂

namedforVera
namedforVera
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

yup. ditto. Not a writer, but unable to concentrate to such a degree that work has been al but impossible. 2.5 years on, am starting to get my ability to work back (which involves writing and analysis.) And I’ve had heinous physical consequences, in addition to the PTSD, making my former “hobby” of house restoration out of the question as a single person.

So, it reinventing an entire life: social, work, hobbies, no bf or companion. kind of wretched, but at least I’m free of the lying Crapweasel.

Webster
Webster
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforVera

It will get better!!

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

Completely agree on this.

Chumpette
Chumpette
9 years ago
Reply to  Willowchumpx30

Willowchumpx30…the anxiety miraculously disappears when you leave the cheater. You cannot know this now. But it. Will. Happen.

I don’t know your specific situation, but please don’t confuse fear of the unknown with anxiety of living with an enemy. The anxiety is a signal that you are in danger.

Leave a cheater. Gain a (real, anxiety free) life. You will see!

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
9 years ago
Reply to  Willowchumpx30

Amazon Chump here. I think I read 20-30 books in less than a year…but on a positive side, it did give me a very good knowledge base to help others beside myself. When things started to settle, I re-engaged in cooking, had my introvert night alone (i.e. homemade pizza and a movie), and continued to read.

Willowchumpx30, it was a struggle for me to just do the basics when the first shoe fell. I think that is rather normal as I understand when dealing with the initial shock of all of this awfulness. It does get better.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Willowchumpx30

Make a plan. Have steps to take. Do one at a time. If you think about the whole “bull wrestling by the horns task,” it’s overwhelming. But today you can copy tax records. Tomorrow, get all your bank stuff copied or in an online folder. The next day, sort out the pictures and heirlooms you value and start securing them. Then research attorneys. Have lunch with a friend who got through divorce. And so on. But the steps should lead to your goal. Doing that stuff gives you the courage and the self-esteem to act. Think of it like weight-lifting; the more you work out, the stronger you get. And if you are working your plan, you will find you don’t have to eat the shit sandwiches!

Elizabeth Lee
Elizabeth Lee
9 years ago

Living the Chump Life™ destroyed my health. I ended up with multiple auto-immune diseases and could barely do the basics of life. Fortunately, the main one is controllable, and the others are all MUCH better now.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

For me it was cancer, endometriosis, asthma and allergies. I’m a lot healthier now than I was living as a Chump!

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

A year before DDay I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease, an inner ear disorder; I had 36 vertigo attacks that year. Ex later complained to friends (they are still his friends and not mine) that I was “faking and he was getting sick of having to pick me up at work” after an attack of vertigo. At the ENT Dr. with me, he said, “Doctor, do you think this is just a symptom of her menopause?” I was so embarrassed. The doctor said, no, because men get it too. I was not much “fun” because I couldn’t go out to bars with Ex and our party animal friends. I often had to stay home, doped up on valium, when he went out anyway on a Friday night with the shallow people who are still his friends, who said, upon hearing that I broke up with him for cheating on me, “He must have his reasons.” I’ve lost 100%of the hearing in my right ear, have loud tinnitus but ya know what, I don’t care; I am scared of caring for myself along in the event of a vertigo attack but I know that I’m actually safer without that lying worm in my house.

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

“Supposedly” they are linking stress as a cause for breast cancer now too…. so I guess I’ll blame him for that too… why not?

Regina
Regina
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

NCStevie; I have read that energetically the breast area represents the heart and that a broken heart can create breast cancer. I don’t know if there is proof of this, but I wouldn’t be surprised. There is no way something so painful is not tremendously damaging to your health. Or any of these other auto-immune system problems etc. What a dreadful price to pay for someone else’s “fun.” I am so sorry to hear of these challenges.

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

NCStevie,

It’s not really ‘blame’ when it is the TRUTH!

Stress kills in many different ways!

However, we can combat it by changing our lives to live better, cleaner, freer. Some of the ways we do that is by eating better, drinking better (water), avoiding chemicals whenever we can and, most important of all, kicking the cheaters to the curb!

ForgeOn, all……And go create your best healthy selves!

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  ForgeOn!

Good point, I’m so used to him blaming me for everything that the word itself is always on the tip of my tongue. The “credit” not “blame” for all of the stress…. goes to the fuckwit!!

The amount of stress I have endured throughout this relationship has definitely taken it’s toll on me, I am surprised it hasn’t shown itself in other health issues…. keeping my fingers crossed.

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

So true, NCStevie! ‘Blame game’ is one of their favorite, so that word does tend to get ‘stuck’ in our vocabulary! So sad that is the only kind of ‘credit’ they ever earn!

Keep making at least small steps to improve / protect your health. It is truly possible some other health issue is ‘lying in wait’, so be pro-active.

(Sorry, but ‘crossing your fingers’ is not a good treatment choice! Silly you…..)

Seriously, now…..my health did not get as bad as some chumps, because during the worst of the horror I actually ate a very healthy diet & avoided a lot of things many people do that add to the destruction of their health during severe distress. (That is, when I was able to eat / lost 40 lbs on the infidelity diet!)

However, I endured some very serious health crisis last summer, including one that almost killed me. I dealt with every thing through natural methods and have recovered nicely, with no side-effects and my over-all health is slowly improving.

My Bio-feedback & natural therapy technician pointed out that a lot of it was due to the fact my body had been through SOOOOO much and it finally crashed! She said “No wonder, after all you have been through for so many years!”

So, hang tough, NCStevie! It took years for us to get this bad…..takes some time to recover and heal, on all levels.

Keep Forging-On to better health!

Sweetz
Sweetz
9 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

Leukemia for me…but that was the result of the stress/heartbreak from my FIRST unwanted divorce two decades ago. I am determined not to let THIS impending divorce take me down that road again and impact my health. The Lord is good. He has been slowly showing me what I will be facing in the months to come and at a pace that does not stress me. Discoveries comes a little at a time rather than all at once…I can handle that and process/prepare for it in a timeline that does not destroy me.

God bless you and keep you well Elizabeth.

FeralBlue
FeralBlue
9 years ago

World of Warcraft was my 80 rose bushes. That and jogging with my German shepherd and his backpack.. The jogging was a good thing.(something I should seriously get back into) Now, I did meet a lot of real life friends through World of Warcraft, but the time I spent emersed in game got out of hand. Of course, the ExH blamed the final affair on my gaming. When, in reality, I gamed because he was never there. When he was out of work during the winter, he would surf all sorts of sites on the web and then leave 20 minutes before I would get home from my 10 hour shifts. He had “band practice”. A lot of which, I learned later, he never showed up for. But yes, my obsession that was a reaction to him being gone, was definitely the cause of him being gone.

I thought I was to the point of meh, but lately I’ve been having dreams (nightmares) of him. Where he’s smug and I somehow end up married to him again or all of my clothes have disappeared and the only thing left was one of his favorite shirts. Blech. My subconscious still has an issue with him, apparently.

Lania
Lania
9 years ago
Reply to  FeralBlue

Bwahahah, it seems quite a few Chumps are WoW-gamers. Thats awesome.
(I don’t play it, but quite a lot of my online friends do – and I’m into a similar genre of games)
Nothing wrong with hack-and-slashing through stuff when you’re being treated like shit by your spouse.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  Lania

I too played a lot when shit was bad, LOTRO was my game. Then went on vacation totally off grid and when I came back I had no interest. A few months later I discovered the cheating. Guess I was using the game to avoid real life.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

My Cheater was obsessed with Magic The Gathering. He used to play with my teenage sons. Cheater was in his 40s and would sulk and get mad if the boys won. He would say that it wasn’t fair that he got bad cards.

firepainter
firepainter
9 years ago
Reply to  FeralBlue

Warcraft – (laughing) me too! The orcs are approaching! Don’t feel bad, you’re not the only one who wasted hours and hours on gaming. Took my mind off of my problems.

overcomer
overcomer
9 years ago
Reply to  firepainter

WOW carried me thru the loneliness of my ex’s devaluing stage but I sucked at grouping up…lol,
….then my father took me bicycling and it felt like I was flying… I found my roses!. I spent the next two years racing my anxiety on my bike and now 4-1/2 years out I am still speeding along but taking it all in, living in the moment and enjoying the view – the anxiety only comes in little bits now, easy to talk myself down and I took up hiking and maintaining the PCT with a nice group too…life is so much better now!

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  overcomer

I got through the summer riding four miles a day. It does help with the anxiety. I decided not to use my car for work.. I walk 2-3 miles a day in snow, sleet, and rain. I walk along the ocean to work and used to cry half way however since my final hearing I feel so relieved I sing instead. It really helps.

Lina
Lina
9 years ago

Willow, I can read anymore either. I used to love it. I can do audio books though.

informal
informal
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Reading was my enjoyment as well. When he bashed me for keeping my head in a book (meaning you did not put it down when I walked in and suck my dick or fix my dinner plate) and made the comment I thought I was better than him; I stopped reading to keep peace. HOWEVER after leaving the only books I could absorb were self help books. The FIRST thing I did specifically for myself was join a book club. I got out of my comfort zone by being around others and it kind of forced my to read with intent. I was actually shocked at the first meeting with the women gave their opinions freely without a blink. I thought “wow these are strong women.” Crazy because it was about a book not life or death. I realized how fearful a relationship I had been in.

insistonhonesty
insistonhonesty
9 years ago

Everything else. I didn’t just cook, garden, budget>save, and do little household projects… I made the BEST meals. I nurtured the BEST, most-whimsical, most-efficient vegetable garden. I paid off ALL of our debts and saved and got us to where we could easily buy our home. I knocked down walls and built furniture. I rerouted furnace ductwork to be more efficient, and replaced plumbing in our very.old.house. I learned to do much of this from growing up- a teenager when my family built a house over the course of 3 years.

Husband would appear MEH about my efforts/distractions and harbored growing resentment toward me about my projects. He didn’t want to do it with me; I offered to show him so we could do things TOGETHER, many times. He wasn’t proud of me or happy to have everything be better; he was jealous. He thought I was competing with him, ability-wise. He didn’t realize that DUH – we were on the same team!

He was a jerk.

kimmy
kimmy
9 years ago

What a moron he was!!!!! You rock! I wish I was as skilled as you.

insistonhonesty
insistonhonesty
9 years ago

And that was all while being pregnant with>giving birth to>nursing>raising three very closely-spaced children. I had them over the course of 2 years, 3 months. THAT should have had me busy enough, right? WRONG. The void in me was HUGE.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago

Most people would love and admire strong, competent, creative, tough-minded partner and be inspired themselves to reach their potential. Narcissists feel diminished by anyone like that. That’s why so many of the APs are obvious downgrades (even those that are younger, etc.) It’s not about appearance or age; it’s about how being in a supposed intimate relationship with a fully-formed person triggers that black hole inside them.

Chumpguy
Chumpguy
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Thanks! Another light bulb clicked on. Always had wondered why w tended to tell stories that painted me as a bumbler or ones that made her look like the heroine who pulled everything together when no one else could. Not blowing my own horn but I can pretty much guarantee that no one who knew me thought of me in that way except her. She’s intelligent and competent, and people know that; why would she need or want to do that? Great insight!

JD
JD
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Change can be very difficult, but things will always work out over time. Narcissists are always looking for ways to dumb you down because they feel threatened by you. I believe that the anxiety we feel is due to the fact that these assholes offer us no closure. They will feel you feel inferior and worthless, but are you really? NOPE!!!!

In my experience, I thought I needed CLOSURE to move on. What I needed was to focus on me and my healing. To look at my worth and what I have accomplished and how much stronger I had become. One thing I do know, when you work on moving on with your life, you are modeling strength to your family and that you don’t need a fucktard in your life!!!

stevie729NCStevie
stevie729NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  JD

I think THAT baffles me more than any other aspect of the whole shit show…. WHY do they stonewall SO effectively?? Mine hasn’t sat down and had ONE adult or normal conversation with me about “us” “the affair” “our son” “next step (house/stuff/moving)…. ANY of it…… he was a complete crapweasel from the MOMENT I forgot my chump status and confronted him….. if I played house and pretended nothing was going on it was smooth sailing… if I DARED breach the subject of his “affair” or anything he might be “doing” he went ARTIC! It REALLY pisses me off where our son is concerned, how shitty of a person are you that you can’t put your own child (any of them) BEFORE yourself. WTF?

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago

Exact same for me Stevie. When I was still being a chump and told him we could still be friends, he was huggy and warm. As soon as I dumped my chumpiness and started calling him on his BS, he was cruel and cold and wouldn’t even make an effort for the kids. I’m not sure but I think that may be the behavior of a sociopath. Creepy.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Nicole S

My therapist claims there is very little to distinguish a sociopath from a narcissist (even for practiced clinicians)–very similar symptoms.

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  Nicole S

I called mine a narcissist too. He hated it and got rageful and then said “I don’t think I’m not narcissistic at all. I just need to work on being a better person.” He’s got a lot of work ahead of him. Huge crap weasel.

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  Nicole S

My sister SWEARS he is a sociopath….. I’ll go with Narc 100% and possible Sociopathic tendencies…. he isn’t the Dad he should be but he makes an effort., I’M the one he punishes (with a vengeance) He AVOIDS everything and anything that makes him feel “negative” or “inadequate”. They are all creepy, crap weasels….. and mine did NOT like being called a narcissist… AT ALL!! He said “you called me a NARKACISST!!??” (yes, pronounced NARK by him) I always say to myself, when i need a laugh… “Well you can still BEEEEEE one… even if you can’t SAY it!!”

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
9 years ago

“the MOMENT I forgot my chump status and confronted him…”

This is priceless.

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

LAJ, you called it, that hole where empathy and compassion and hard work and giving should be… they got nada. So when you are a fully formed, blazingly capable person, you be come a huge threat to the pudding skin they have manufactured as a persona over that gaping hole. Yup, they do fo for a down grade.

Jensays, I did that ignore the SOB, go on raise the kids, my mantra was ‘That is ok ringin’ single mothers do this all the time.’ But what did he do… he made sure he was the hero, with buying things. I am so divorced and he is SO GONE…

I have to admit to a bit of fb snooping. CFMily’s recent post? A discourse on the merits of a particular type of pooper scooper, with pictures demonstrating as well. Me: I think I have just figured out how to get $30K to an orphanage where I work in Mex. You are getting what you deserve, Dr. Demento a pooper scooper queen.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago

Yep. Mine went from a writer with a doctorate (me) to the MOW (who recently wrote “I seen this in your store window…” Now, I am NOT a grammar snob (I teach linguistics) but for Mr. Smarty Pants Jackass who fancies himself a writer, he will know she’s a downgrade. But a literal pooper-scooper? Priceless.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Yes, Insistonhonesty, it is so disheartening when you are trying to help make things good and you just get resented for it. They don’t want us to be helpful, capable partners, they want a nemesis to scapegoat.

I helped him with the business/admin details of running his restaurant. He just hated me for it, even as he was asking for help. He didn’t want to be successful, he wanted to blame someone for his problems. Well now he can blame the woman who provides his drugs, as I won’t be a part of it anymore.

If you just go on, raise your kids and ignore him, it will drive him slightly crazy. He can’t be the hero in that story. But carry on, it is such a pain in the neck to try and incorporate their endless needs.

stevie729NCStevie
stevie729NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

Oh my goodness…. same here… he didn’t WANT to really be successful just wanted ME to fix his problems for him. Legally I couldn’t, we weren’t married (just engaged for 8 years) so no IRS dealings for me. I TRIED getting him organized… he just shoved paperwork wherever he could… console, pockets behind seats, glove compartment, floor…. whatever. I also TRIED getting through to him that he could NOT start a new business until he cleaned up the financials & taxes on the one he had been “running” for the past decade. They are just SO stupid smart….. he even said “I’m not that smart” WELL then WHY wouldn’t he listen? I think they are SO untrustworthy that it is impossible for them to trust us chumps.

ChumpedtotheMax
ChumpedtotheMax
9 years ago

I have had multiple manias over my lonely 20 year marriage to a cheating narc- from beanie baby collecting, to gardening, cooking, cleaning, decorating, quilting, music- anything to fill the void. Since he is gone, the divorce settled and I have met someone new that adores me just as I am, much of my former interests are gone. I am still planting veggies, but not with the same enthusiasm as before. My backyard garden oasis is now just a lot of work. I too am thinking about a condo without a yard or pool to care for, and just relaxing in my new life with peace and joy.

Mighty Mite
Mighty Mite
9 years ago

Me too, ChumpedtotheMax…and I like the way you said it…multiple manias! I would pour myself into the new interest and then burn out and move on to the next one. When I grew my garden it was HUGE (we have acreage) and everything was organic and natural and no chemicals added…which means lots of work! When it was cooking, I made everything from scratch and was canning my heart out! When it was knitting, I knit a sweater a week! Since DDay and my decision to leave…I no longer feel the need to pour myself into any activities. I know now that I was just trying to distract myself from my misery and I don’t need to do that anymore. I feel that from here on out, if I have an interest or hobby, it won’t consume me! And a condo does sound so peaceful!

tflan386
tflan386
9 years ago

Chump lady: Your post brought tears to my eyes this morning. I divorced my cheater ex many years ago and am happily re-married to a fellow chump, but your words brought back such sad memories of the many lonely years of existing with a partner who had long checked out of the marriage. My 3 kids were young, so most of my energy went to raising them. My therapy was walking, whether pushing a child in a buggy for miles on end, or pounding the pavement after kids were put to bed, on those rare occasions when cheater ex was actually home. I walked and walked and walked for hours in the sun, in the rain, in the snow, in complete silence – can’t remember much of what I was thinking – certainly not deep thoughts because I was not capable of them at that point.

I still walk a lot, and for a long time now, it’s with a spring in my step. On my walks, I listen to the birds, chat with a neighbour, pat a dog. It’s not about maniacally releasing pent up anxiety anymore, but rather a calm stroll to refresh and rejuvenate.

Drew
Drew
9 years ago
Reply to  tflan386

Tflan386, I like this. 🙂

Jen
Jen
9 years ago

Does drinking count as a hobby? Everytime I got mad at him for being withholding or spending time with his other “friend with benefits” I would sneak shots of vodka from his freezer. He knew I was doing it and that was actually part of the fun for me. Only problem was I was only hurting myself, and it was enabling me to put up with the pain of the situation.

I do not think I’m an alcoholic, as the problem is only connected to my psuedo relationship. I really wanted to get even. My behavior doesn’t make a whole lot of sense because he didn’t really mind if I drank. It was just “sneaking” a drink seemed to be the only way I could fight against him “sneaking” sex with someone else. I didn’t want to be with someone else, so that was the only thing I could do.

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

Dear Jen,

No, drinking does NOT count as a hobby, even though many of us pursue it just as avidly while in these ‘pseudo relationships’, as you brought out.

I sure did drink as though it was one of my ’80 rose bushes’, but it surely didn’t help me in any way!

Even though I did not drink to the excess many end up doing, it certainly contributed to my health issues, which I am working at healing now.

Hang tough, Jen and find a ‘soul-enriching’ hobby, please!

ForgeOn……

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  ForgeOn!

I think Jen’s point is linked to why many chumps gain weight while in these relationships–and I don’t mean we do it to get even. Drinking and eating are immediate and available ways to comfort ourselves and numb the pain. So some chumps like me, when in relationships that provide no comfort or emotional support, eat. Some turn to those three glasses of wine before, during, and after dinner. Some abuse meds. Some exercise like the Olympics is coming.

kimmy
kimmy
9 years ago

I became a “runner”. NOT……a jogger. I ran! I ran nearly every day. I ran as an escape. When I ran, I couldn’t think of anything else except breathing and willing my legs to carry me away from and back to the madness that was my life. IT SAVED ME!!!!!!! Really. It was my only peace. I challenged myself to run further and faster every single time I ran. I ran countless races. I even ran with my dog. I ran two half marathons (with injuries) and did pretty good for my age. I don’t know why I was drawn to running. I never ran in my life.

Running made me feel good about myself. I was proud of my accomplishments. I felt I excelled at it, something I was not doing in my relationship with my cheater I guess. I felt so shitty about being less than good enough to be loved and I just needed something, ya know?

I still run but I’m not as dedicated to it. I do it now so I fit into my jeans! My self esteem is fixed!!!!! I’m a pretty fabulous person that anyone would love!!!! (except for fucktard…..but I’m good with that!)

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  kimmy

Kimmy–right after D-day, I ran, too. Lots and lots–long distance, sprints, etc.. I got really fast–in fact, STBX is an excellent runner and I was beating him. I’ve tapered off over the 5 months since D-day (but still fit in my new skinny jeans!).

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I hope your STBX is eating his heart out, Tempest. Shake your booty in front of that jackass and run.

kimmy
kimmy
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I bet that felt great…..beating STBX!!! And high five to the skinny jeans!!!

Wow33
Wow33
9 years ago
Reply to  kimmy

I started running and have a love hate relationship with it. Ex met smoopie at a running club , they where and are just friends of course

Wow33
Wow33
9 years ago
Reply to  Wow33

Sorry for some reason it did not post the rest of my message. I used to love to read a lot too, but after discovering the affair 3 years ago, doing the pick me dance for 9 months,loosing 25 pounds in 2 months, being stressed and gaslighted I could not enjoy books.
Finally after 3 years and divorced for 6 months I am reading, going on walks, going out with friends and going back to school:) I still run when it’s not -16 F. It’s very cold in the Midwest :((

Cindy
Cindy
9 years ago
Reply to  Wow33

I am also running. Ex and whore bonded over XH’s love of marathon running. She now runs half marathons. X told me one of the reasons he had to leave me is because I wanted him to come home after he ran his races – heck yes, I did. He would leave me with a list of things he wanted me to make from scratch for him to celebrate HIS achievement – homemade pumpkin cake, Ragu Bolognese or Risotto etc. Typical cheater, he got to sparkle, and I did all of the work.

I thought, ok, if they can run, so can I! I never ran a step in my adult life. I’m running my first half marathon in May: “The Tinkerbell Half Marathon” at Disneyland!” BTW, I hardly cook these days, I am very much enjoying taking care of ME!

TheClip
TheClip
9 years ago

I walk around the giant sucking hole in the center of my life. Its always there now. Most days I can avoid it… Jump over it… Circomvent. But other days the pull is too strong and I wallow in the fear and loneliness of it. Most of the time I can grab an edge and fling a foot back over to some solid ground. I hate that hole. I hate that I live in fear of the fucking bully that I divorced. He never fails to shit on some part of my day with a caustic text or message sent via our child. Always full of anger, hate and threats. Courts do little. And orders… Well they are tested.
I do my best self talk and try to distract myself… Try to get back to myself…bake some bread… Go for a hike… Hug my great kid and asshole cat. I am faking it until I make it… I no long hang onto the dream of who we were… The family… But I have to say with all honesty that is what I miss most. i hate going to family events and watching the mom and dad hold onto the hands of their children… Or in line at the supermarket… Watching a family get their snacks for a night in front of the tv …
As much as I would take the bullet … Or the whole clip to the head before allowing him in my life… The hole is still there.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

I understand the feeling of having giant hole in your life. Right after D-day I had the most awful sensation of having lost a leg — I did some reading on grief and apparently it’s not unusual to feel like you’re missing a body part. Apparently a lot of people feel like they’re missing their heart. Anyway, it sure seemed weird to me but I decided the sensation meant I was like trying to “learn how to walk all over again.” After that got better I developed a “lost feeling.” It wasn’t exactly anxiety, just a strange feeling of being disconnected to anyone or anything. It was unpleasant but not horrible. I later read that it was “dissociation” caused by trauma. After that I had this weird feeling of walking over a bridge with a super angry troll underneath just waiting to devour me. That feeling would often hit me when I went to bed at night. I think it was fear of my unknown future that caused that feeling.

Anyway, I’m 3 years out from D-day and am finally starting to feel normal again. Hang in there everyone, because it does get better. Just observe your feelings but don’t worry about them too much. As you heal and get stronger you’ll get past the anxiety! I actually used to be a horribly anxious person but feel more at peace now than I ever have.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Lynn, it’s good to know the anxiety lessens over time. I have horrible anxiety about my Ex wanting to come back into my life because this is typical of Narcs. I fear the woman he is living with will realize he’s still dating and throw him out. I have set so many boundaries but for some reason I think he still wants to control my life. Hopefully this will pass.

willowchumpx30
willowchumpx30
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

I find I can no longer tolerate romantic movies of any kind. Nor can I stand the Viagra and Cialis commercials showing the young seductress encouraging the mid aged men to use the product for better sex. Makes me want to vomit. Oh, honorable mention goes to all the hookup ads that pop up on my H’s server – looking for 30 to 40yr old for serious romance. Women in your city looking for a relationship, looking for a hookup, check out my webcam, and so on. Actually, my h just got one of those webcam solicitations as a text msg. Said she changed her cell number and to txt her. He said it was spam texting. TWO DAYS in a row. Highly suspicious. Since I could not prove it was not spam I had to file it away. Next time I plan to photo it.

sara
sara
9 years ago
Reply to  willowchumpx30

Dear god can we get those Viagra and Cialis commercials banned? I can’t tolerate them either!

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  sara

Reminds me of the ecard, “I can see your Viagra is working, because you are a bigger dick today than you were yesterday!”

Sara
Sara
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

“I’m a bigger dick than I ever was.” Thank you Tempest 🙂 I misread the first part: “I can see my vagina is working…”
I don’t know which is worse (or more in question for me but that’s a different issue). And I just want to slap that Aching For Your Cialis Charged Dick With My Osphenically Ready Vagina woman. Not that there’s anything wrong with super powerful insatiably horny menopausal women treating painful intercourse. Just sayin’. It makes me sad thinking this is what kids see nowadays, too. Yes it’s natural but as a culture we approach sex so unnaturally, more than ever.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I love that ecard.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

My best friend sent it to me in solidarity a couple months ago, after I logged on to my Blue Cross only to discover that POS cheating ex is still trying to bill me for his Cialis, over a year after I left him. I’d say it’s fucking unreal, except I don’t think there’s any real fucking going on there. LOL The joke’s on him, anyway, since I sent the information straight to my insurance provider (can you spell “insurance fraud”?). I get that in his own sick way he’s trying to push my buttons, but how is his blatant advertisement of the fact that he has (porn-induced) ED supposed to make me pine for him?

I get down on my knees every night and thank God that I am away from that man. I mean, seriously.

ca-chump
ca-chump
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

There is a poem about that hole – THERE’S A HOLE IN MY SIDEWALK Autobiography in Five Short Chapters By Portia Nelson I saw it framed on the wall at a therapist’s office.

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  ca-chump

I’ve read it!! I know exactly the one you mean 🙂

Maree
Maree
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

“The hole is still there”. I am not sure if the hole ever really closes over but what I think happens is that a fine mesh covering appears over that hole and the anxiety eventually seems to fade or at least not be so present in our minds as it was in the beginning. That is what is happening for me.
TheClip I love your writing and you say everything with such conviction. Believe it or not, you will get through this just like all us Chumps have and are still doing. We all have our own timetable to heal. Take your time and you will get there.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  Maree

No the hole does go away. It did when I realized my son’s father didn’t want or deserve to be part of our family. It didn’t hurt anymore when I realized how damaged he was and how my son and I had each other. I actually felt sorry for my ex. And I didn’t miss having a mate because our family was complete. When he had been there he had only caused problems and unhappiness. Coincidentally, he started campaigning to be let back in at that point. But it was not at all attractive to me. I didn’t even feel the validation I had previously wanted because I just felt sorry for him.

It sucks to be going through it again with a different man, but it’s helpful to know that it was overcome before. I know that eventually I will sober up from my delusion and realize that this man wasn’t capable of being part of a family. He is stuck in the child phase where you don’t understand that being a part of the group means more than being the star.

KarenE
KarenE
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

” It didn’t hurt anymore when I realized how damaged he was and how my son and I had each other. I actually felt sorry for my ex. And I didn’t miss having a mate because our family was complete. When he had been there he had only caused problems and unhappiness. Coincidentally, he started campaigning to be let back in at that point. But it was not at all attractive to me. I didn’t even feel the validation I had previously wanted because I just felt sorry for him.” This is my experience exactly, Jen! What a difference a year or so makes.

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

“He is stuck in the child phase where you don’t understand that being a part of the group means more than being the star.”

VERY well said Jen!! My dilemma exactly!! Mine is mid 40’s and still honestly believes that he is “going to be a star” and yes… seriously!! I found it almost comical, got to the point where it just about made me throw up in my mouth. Sexiest man I’ve ever known and he turned into a narcissistic joke, he was certainly at his BEST ever when he was in between addictions. We were having a texting “tiff” the other day and I sent him a pic the other day of him playing with my son and said “Where the f*ck did THIS guy go?” WHY can’t narc’s go pick on other narc’s?? Why do they have to assault unsuspecting chumps?

kim
kim
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

Why can’t narcs pick on other narks ? Because they sniff out chumps like a blood hound. They would never be able to get that rush they get if they fucked over a person as shitty as themselves.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  kim

True, but I think they should designate some fly-over state for all the fuckwads to live, so they could only marry each other and make each other miserable.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

TheClip–I guess the women could be in Ida-ho; which state for the men?

TheClip
TheClip
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest,
I dont know why yr comment made me think of this…I have this image of all of them living with all these mirrors… Everything is reflective… The coffee pot to the recycling bins… And like giant parakeets they would stand there enamored with their images… Never really having to engage with anyone else…occasionally checking with the other parakeets but always going back to that reflection in mirror. What would the State’s name be?
Hmmmm… Maybe another cartoon for CL?

Maree
Maree
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

Hi Jen. I am working very hard for “the hole to go away”. I still struggle because my 2 adult kids have taken their predatory father’s side and have cut me from their lives. So you see, having devoted all of my adult life to a loser and my children, I still struggle now and again. It has gotten easier but I don’t think I will ever have complete closure. I hope I am wrong but I am 63 years old now and that is old in our society, so whilst I am not giving up and am possibly giving in.

willowchumpx30
willowchumpx30
9 years ago
Reply to  Maree

Jen this is what scares me… That he will alienate my kids from me. Since D day he has been on top of his game being the best dad EVER. I get to be the snarky mom. Plus with all my anxiety over the affairs/whoremongering I am very impatient so always come off as terse, short tempered. He comes off as fun, understanding, supportive. I see through him now but kids don’t see they are being gaslighted by him! And how/why would I explain that to them with out blowing up their emotional stability. Oh, they have an idea something is wrong, but it’s just the tip of a glacier.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  willowchumpx30

Willowchumpx30,
The thing to do is relax. Everytime he tries to play you, just think of him as a really spoiled child that needs a nap. That way, you don’t take it personally. If you don’t take it personally, your reaction is not as much fun for him. And why should you take it personally? It’s not about you. It’s about a disordered person acting out on whatever is nearby for attention.
The kids will see through him if you remain calm. My son has autism, yet he has always pretty much seen through his dad. He has said to me, “dad hates you.” I take this to mean his father doesn’t speak well of me, but he knows I don’t put the same amount of effort into my feelings towards his dad. I never worry, and my son feels stable because I have remained so.
If you have ever waited tables, or been in any type of customer service position where you have to deal with a customer who obviously is only trying to make trouble, this is your ex. It isn’t about the waitress or even trying to get a free meal, it’s about trying to get attention. Waitresses that know this, know how to minimize the scene by not overreacting or taking it personally. Usually the people at surrounding tables ooze empathy towards the waitress, and the narcissist customer is shamed into correcting their behavior.
Does this help?
Jen

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

Jen you are so right! If my Grandmother were alive she would say, ‘He’s acting like a spoilt child that has been ‘wooled’ too much! Put him down for a nap!’ LOL!!!

xmr acts the same way…all for attention!

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  Maree

Maree,
I am only 42, and been through this once prior to now. What helped at that time was that I was a special education teacher at the elementary school level. My son belongs to both of us, and as such, choosing sides was horrible for him. My students had real, raw needs that their parents couldn’t fill between the hours of 8:30 Am and 3:30 pm.

They were my children during those hours and their parents were so grateful that I had their babies backs. That really filled up at least half of my day.

My point is, I think we need to find people who do need us and will be grateful that we are there. Sometimes that is not immediate family because they have their own issues with said narcissist.
Maree, I don’t know how I will do it either because I no longer teach, but I think we just need to find people who do appreciate us.
Jen

Maree
Maree
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

Jen, I have found people who do need my help. I have started volunteer work at one of our major public hospitals here in Melbourne, Australia. You see I am a nurturer and nothing gives me more pleasure than helping people less fortunate than myself. Whilst I am 63 years old, I have been truly blessed with wonderful health and a very healthy warped sense of humour that isn’t always obvious to others. I recommend volunteer work of any kind to anyone who really needs or wants to give back as it is very rewarding. So, all is not completely lost.

Sweetz
Sweetz
9 years ago

Ebay. Yep, I went on a two year shopping spree for our recently purchased house project as well as for 1940’s robes…the floor length ones made from chenille or quilted satin that tie at the waist (very slimming and elegant) and that make you seem to “glide” rather than walk.

For two years, I worked alone (husband is detached) with construction workers during the tear down and reconstruction of the entire house, bringing it (with tons of money) to its potential glory. New everything, from roof to oak/slate flooring to tearing out two entire rooms and making an open floor plan and a new kitchen/bathrooms…not a room was left untouched and is unrecognizable to what it once was. Then I shopped the ENTIRE country and beyond for antique hand carved quartersawn oak furniture to fill it with. I then moved on to changing an old falling down cedar barn into a beautiful one bedroom cottage…the place now looks like the Hurst Castle. It is stunning and like stepping into another world entirely.

I am still with my “husband”…waiting out this years end before I file (ten year marriage mark necessary for potential spousal support and Social Security benefits based on his earning income). So, my new project is to save lots of money and collect “proof of income” towards that day. I go to work with him on Mondays to our store doing his “office work” which he horribly neglects and paying bills…while helping myself to a couple hundred dollars cash each week…during this year I should have around $15k between our two businesses. I figure that HE is the one who should be paying for my Lawyer since HE is the one who has blown up the marriage. It is a lot of fun…he deals with cash mostly, has thousands at any given time…and never counts money or misses anything. Yes, the business is in my name also…but I must be stealth nevertheless.

I run my own store Fri-Sun, take care of the entire house/acre alone, and enjoy it all immensely. Too bad it will all have to be sold/split, but I certainly had my FUN/distraction while doing it!

Over the last two months, we have now started reading the Bible together each evening from cover to cover and having discussions about what we are rediscovering (we do not own a t.v.). Funny how issues like unfaithfulness can even tear down a once strong relationship even with the Lord…nothing goes untouched…but now I am getting focused on the Source of my strength and guidance once again.

I am 60 years old…and looking forward to new adventures into the unknown.

Chumped and well
Chumped and well
9 years ago

Art. Lots of it. Different forms. Sketching, writing, painting, jewelry making, clay working…. I did many pieces and threw them away. The art pieces were my rose bushes.

Over time they became my therapy, my way to channel negative feelings and energy into something …. It gave way to a feeling of accomplishment… So on my way to healing I started my gift store – Excluzvt ( http://www.excluzvt.com). Handmade items – made by me, and some sourced from other parts of the world….

Luziana
Luziana
9 years ago

Let me entertain you! I tried to be full time Mom and Dad everything. If I could have grown myself binary boy parts so I didn’t have to beg the Cold Slab for affection, I would have.

Full time, midprofile job. Occasional business travel. Planned menus and baked daily from scratch. Packed lunches, Paid for most of the bills, all of the groceries, all of the health insurance. Separate accounts. 90% of the household wardrobes.90% of chores and home maintenance. Ex paid for two bills a month totalling less than 300 dollars (including his car insurance and celphone in my name) and his car payment. He made 42K a year, and contributed exactly 130.00 a month to household needs. Sometimes more. Rarely. I made the mistake of asking stepdaughter’s flaky mom to contribute to school lunches because they both would “forget” to put $ in her account knowing I would. She began to send over exactly five shitty Lunchables and Capri Suns a week. That was fine with MeatSlab. He was on the Gravy Train. He would always ask me why I was low on money. He never would be, because DUH!

The breaking point was the Coupons, though. I would go to three stores a week preplanned with a giant binder. I paid for everything, Our pantry and freezer (ex did buy that for me) looked like a highly organized Tetris Board. I had a tough upbringing and having a lot of food comforted me in the absence of attention from the ex. This happened over three years, you know, I didn’t start seeking solace in double coupon cereal!

Made the grave mistake once of bringing the fam along on a major coupon transaction. I had a procedure. I was maddening. Putting extra stuff in I couldn’t track the total from. Finally at the register I asked the girls to stop diddling by the gum and candy and snapped at hubs to give me the coupons. I knew I was out of control at that point.

Since he’s been gone, I’m still neat but much more relaxed. Cooking for and cleaning up after 3 people is just easier than five. Because we no longer buy the processed foods and snacks ex and SD favored, I use maybe two or three coupons a week rather than thirty. I still make awesome food, but much healthier versions. Lost fifty pounds, and the raise and bonus I got first of year means I make much, much much more than he does.

The best part? I just want to be content and live independent of the need to ‘best’ him. I trust that he sucks, and I AM too good for him.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago

My work got bigger and bigger in my life. It was like that when I was single, formerly, and like that during my marriage to an alcoholic and my chumping experience. But since DDay, work has slipped into a much more appropriate place in my life. I’m looking for balance–in the garden, in the house, at work, in my life.

rockstarwife
rockstarwife
9 years ago

I had a tough time doing much of anything for some months between D-Day #1 and the day Cheater moved out last fall. Since he moved out, I’ve increased the amount of time I spend on anything academic, solving math problems, reading literature, and watching history videos. Free and intellectually satisfying, albeit, unfortunately, not social. (Cheater didn’t appreciate these things–thought I was wasting time.) I am thinking about participating in battle re-enactments a couple of times each year to meet other history buffs.

Buddy
Buddy
9 years ago
Reply to  rockstarwife

I am also in the having a tough time doing much of anything camp. I have continued to be a great Dad, but my work has suffered, my health has suffered, although I walk or jog most days, and my mental health has really suffered. I long to have this over with and get my life back. leave a cheater, gain a life.

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  Buddy

It’s very very sad but I’m feeling better about myself that I’m not alone in this. Everyone is pushing me to do things all the time. Volunteer, dance classes, computer classes. I know why and it makes sense but I don’t feel “up to it” yet. I do what I need to, care for my Dad, my pets, the house, etc. I feel like it’s all I can handle right now. But then I feel like a baby because I’m not doing more. My work and health have suffered as well. I wonder if this nightmare will ever end.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Lina, the most healing thing that happened for me (it wasn’t planned, it just happened) was that 6 weeks after DDay (almost 5 months after the gaslighting and discard started), I went on a planned sabbatical from my job. In the teeth of last year’s polar vortex. I was terrified because I was alone in the house and things kept breaking and it was brutally cold. But I stopped doing a lot of things other people wanted me to do. I was having a terrible time sleeping but because I didn’t have to go to work every day and be “up” I could contend with myself. It was wonderful to be able to focus on myself.

You have so much on your plate. Other people love you and mean well but the best thing you can do for everyone is to mind your own boundaries and take care of YOU. It does get better, especially if you stay mindful of your own needs. The most surprising part of being chomped is that it can turn into such a tremendous learning experience.

Niddrie
Niddrie
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Hi Lina, I’m with you, I totally get what you’re saying about not feeling up to it. My only advice, from a fellow chump, is that it does work. Even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time, doing things like volunteering, getting out of the house, exercising, meeting new people, gradually does help you get to a healthier spot. I diligently went through the motions for 6 months, feeling mostly crappy the whole time, and I’m finally starting to see some progress in my day to day mental health. I tried to focus on a few different areas at a time. My first ones were to keep up with work, and do all the house projects that have been driving me crazy. After the house was in order, I have been focusing on seeing friend and family, and exercising. Exercising is especially good because it’s just for me, not for anyone else. For the first time in a long time, I’m putting my needs first, which is helping me work on my boundaries. I would never work out before d-day, because I was too busy catering to my cheater’s needs. My best wishes to you, what you’re going through sucks, and it’s not going to get easier any time soon. All we can do is keep working on getting healthier, one day at a time.

Regina
Regina
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Lina; I was just like you, paralyzed with grief and loss. It permeated every area of my life. I did make headway though and am beginning to feel my old self coming back! Like WF said, everyone handles things differently & you don’t need to add guilt to your pile of crap of things to think about!!

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  Regina

Thank you Regina and Jen. My therapist says it is my low self esteem. I did love him and our life together so much. Until the howorker and devaluation started.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Well I think part of it is realizing we focused on the good and turned a blind eye to the bad. The withdrawing, the devaluing, the cheating for goodness sake, etc.
I have a hard time grocery shopping now, because he and I used to do it together. It was fun if we were planning a specific meal, a fire, a day off from work together.
But as I was feeling bad, it occurred to me that it wasn’t enough. A few good memories and lots of being ignored.
I just deserve better damnit. I shouldn’t have to dance for attention, I am actually pretty awesome.
I don’t know you Lina, but you sure sound like a person with a big heart. Tell me honestly, did he deserve it?

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  Regina

Yes Lina, I am underemployed right now and taking it one day at a time. I know all the things I am supposed to do that will “empower” me and help me move on. Truthfully, I don’t feel like doing them yet.
The truth is, I loved him and I miss him. I want to grieve it a little bit, then I will move on. I’m going to move on because I know he can’t meet me where I’m at. At an adult level.
I’ve been through this before. I do not know how I emerged on the other side of it, but I did. I informed my first ex I just didn’t care anymore. That way he could stop wasting both of our time. Things became easier for us as parents when we stoped playing silly games.
So I think it’s okay if it hurts right now. It means you’re human, and that’s a good thing. It wasn’t your fault, so you do not need to review it for errors like football footage. There wasn’t anything you should have done differently. He is just much more immature than you are.
When you are ready, you will find happier things to focus on. Until then, be good to yourself. We can’t make people be decent. If they aren’t, we can walk away and enjoy other things.

Chumpy
Chumpy
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

I needed to read this today. Thank you so much. I have been through this before myself and know I will get through it again. This time it’s been a deeper cut. I had just finished 5 years of dealing with a narc sibling’s abuse. She was supposed to be assisting with care giving for our elderly parents but was abusing all of us instead. I hadn’t had the opportunity to heal from that mess and this guy, first ex who I would have swore on a stack of Bibles was NOT a cheater. Oh Lord, I get tired when I look at how I’ve “spackled” my whole life. My head says be grateful for these experiences. I have “clarity”, now, right? Despite all the crap I’ve taken from all the “disordered” throughout my life I can still see the blessings that came with it. This time life is saying you must go to the CORE for your healing. Nothing outside of me for distraction. It feels like wading through thick mud. I’ve made progress thanks to CL and CN. I’m thankful I’m not where I was when I found this place. Could NOT cope and was so paralyzed for months. Ugh!!

Wishing you all a lovely weekend where ever you are on this journey. Here’s a healing quote…”Acceptance doesn’t mean I have to like it.”

Wiser Finally
Wiser Finally
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Lina, please take comfort in knowing that everybody is different and there is absolutely NOT one right way to move forward. Some people become dynamos and immerse themselves in lots of external activities. Others become more involved with their inner life, reading and reflecting. Some get more athletic, some more social, some want more time alone, some devote themselves to work, etc. I spent about six months lying on the floor and breathing when I had spare time. Six months. Just breathing. It was wonderful! I learned how to meditate. I developed a contemplative prayer practice. For the first time in my life I discovered the joy of doing nothing. It did wonders for quelling my anxiety. So whatever makes you feel comfortable and at peace, go in that direction. You don’t have to do “more” – you just have to honor what your true self feels like it needs.

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  Wiser Finally

Thank you so much. It really helps to hear this.

conniered
conniered
9 years ago

Wow. I was doing so much now that I look back. Reading ferociously all the time. I was heavily involved with professional boards. i was being a mom to my son, homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, decorating, gardening and working full-time at night. I got back into running too. That was my thing. After DDay, I sat. Stunned. Couldn’t read books for a while. No running whatsoever. I started organizing the house after he left. I wanted the attic empty of stuff; the garage empty of stuff. Orderly and organized as much as I could by myself.

I realized after DDay that I was doing so much and I was completely exhausted…so I stopped. Everything. I resigned from the board I was serving on. I put my son in public school. I started working days instead of nights. I stopped cooking. I felt at peace. And I had time. I started getting out more FOR FUN. That’s when I met a fellow Chump. Holy cow. Totallyawesome.

Nocake4u
Nocake4u
9 years ago

Reading novels. That was my 80 Rosebushes. Since DDay, 1-1/2 years later, I have not read 1 novel but have read hundreds of self help/inspirational/motivational books. I will always love to read but right now I’m not interested in getting lost in a fictional story. They did serve me well though, subconsciously I always gravitated to plots with strong female characters that kicked ass!

Wayfarer
Wayfarer
9 years ago

I don’t know how many people find themselves buried in some form of numbing activity pre-discovery, but, in my experience, most Chumps develop some form of OCD (Obsessive Chump Disorder :D) after discovery.

OCD Chumps tend to register with every infidelity forum known to man – even the ones that are quite obviously nuts (yes, that’s a clinical term), looking for an answer that they can live with. If they were honest, that answer can probably only be found on MagicAwayTheAffair.com, but their quest for The Answer can be an extensive education in Chumpery.

Post-discovery mania, though, can create different forms of manic Chumps. There are those who actually do inhale the excuse smog, get high, and helpfully start to pass around the hopium pipe. And then there are those whose fist whiff of skunked smog makes them so nauseous that they start handing out carbon filtered gas masks. The thing is, both types of Chump are well-meaning but one risks encouraging dysfunction and abuse in the name of that help. 🙁

The mania happened post discovery for me. My Obsessive Chump Disorder turned me into a website n00b (Umm … css? html? … I know “wtf”. Does wtf count?? That’s got to count more than SQL, right? phpmyadmin? Oh crap, I’m screwed). Providing free resources to help others though an affair was a way for me to bulldoze the mess into something meaningful.

So … If you’ve been beating yourself up that collecting a myriad of new hobbies with which to distract yourself hasn’t helped (though that toenail clipping collection you’ve created is an absolute masterpiece), don’t. If you’ve realized that taking yet another online macrame course has been about as useful as a chocolate teapot, take a beat. You probably spend a lot of time on infidelity forums, supporting people, providing practical advice, and challenging codswallop. Maybe that’s not a bad use of your OChumpD? In fact, perhaps it’s pretty damn awesome for now?

Chump nation is an army of Chump Advocates – and helping others through it can help you through it too. And in my book, that’s pretty damn mighty in its own right.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago

Throughout my marriage I recognized the importance of getting an education. I went to school for computer science. I didn’t want to leave my children. Finally, I went back to college and went for seven long years. I knew the abuse my beautiful chump of a mother put up with and I was determined to find something I loved. I graduated with honors and now have a profession I love. When I graduated the fucktard moved to Florida leaving me with a house I couldn’t support and I had to file bankruptcy. He actually said its your turn to support me now. I allowed him to move back in with me and the next 14 years of my life was a living hell. My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and I spent those years helping my father take care of her at home. The Narc found a new way to meet women. He wanted to go to a casino and get drunk. I had to drive him home and it was sickening and I stopped going. Last year when my mother was dying he started going again and little did I know that he was sitting at the bar meeting women. That is where he met his whore. For the last 7 years I have lived with him only on weekends because of my job. I told him I wouldn’t go to the casino anymore and that is when he broke the news about his latest bj. When I checked the phone records he I found out he would call her to meet him there and disappear to a nearby hotel.

Knowing he is with her REDUCED my anxiety because I know this is where he belongs!! I just stopped taking medication and focus on making my home bright. I am painting all the woodwork, the walls, and taking care of the yard. I decided to go forward with the dreams I had with the fuckwit that could NEVER have been fulfilled. I am checking out the best places to live according to my interests, salary, and cost of living. Knowing I wont be able to retire I decided to live in a different location for the next ten years. I love adventure and this will allow me to travel and meet new people. Giving up on hopium and having hope is such a positive change. I will store some of my favorite things and travel light, rent a small place and enjoy!!! Fucktards way of escaping will never bring them joy. Knowing this has helped me forgive myself for tolerating his abuse and to let go of the past and move forward. And I am changing my phone number!

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

That’s a great distinction, between hopium and “having hope” for your own life.

Cletus
Cletus
9 years ago

Work was my 80 Rose Bushes…As a college professor I had to be on when I was in class…It was a wonderful escape as for an hour at a time when I was lecturing I could focus on something other than what my XW had done. My DDay was in September of 2012, and I won Professor of the Year at my institution for the 2012/2013 academic year. During that same time I got a book deal, and the book has now been written and published. In reality the $30,000 in financial infidelity helped me focus on my job as I need it so my kids can go to college for free given that I am that much behind in savings and retirement…Reading the comments here I just want to assure all chumps that your focus will come back and you will enjoy things like reading once again!

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Cletus

Cletus, it’s amazing how we can put aside the shock and pain when we walk in, turn the lights on, and see our students. Cheers to you on your book deal!

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
9 years ago
Reply to  Cletus

Cletus, You Rock!

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  Cletus

Oh yes, I now enjoy reading all the time and have joined a book club. The ability to focus does come back when the trauma heals!

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Agreed, I couldn’t concentrate on a book for about a year and a half. I also realized I read so much because the books were better than my life. I could hide in them.

Dr. I Can't Believe I'm a Chump
Dr. I Can't Believe I'm a Chump
9 years ago

When he walked out, every Saturday, I bought a dress and a blanket. They still line my closets.

Rebecca
Rebecca
9 years ago

I am over a year post-divorce but I want to share what kept me going from the moment I learned about the cheating.

My quest and mania was ME!

I had 2 kids, was deeply depressed and suicidal. I put my faith I the professional I turned to and every ounce of what little (and I mean little) energy I could find into getting ME better. I knew nothing would be right until I was standing on firm ground.

I checked into psychiatric facilities when I couldn’t bear another moment, went through 3 lawyers until I found my bulldog, leaned heavily on my therapist who guided me through 2 psychiatrists and multiple medications, got help for my kids, moved myself twice, got a job after being a full-time mom for 25 years and took DBT classes to learn how to survive.

My sons were over 18 and they were there for me very step of the way. Knowing the other woman helped them help me. I am forever grateful to them.

I worked with my lawyers and taught myself how to find every detail of a carefully hidden 12+ year affair until I knew my case better than anyone. I used my anger to propell me into action. Digging up every detail was for my future financial security and I was determined. The divorce took over 2 years and was horrific.

I felt like a dart board with every trial medication being thrown on me. The side effects were almost impossible but I knew I had to keep trying to find a way out of that hole. When one doctor gave up, I found another. EMDR did not work. Finally, I found a nurse practicioner who gave me a genetic test (cheap cheek swab) and and within a few days, was on the right comination of drugs and had solid ground under my feet. That included medication for sleep and anxiety. Remember, I said this was my journey; this may not be for everyone!

I walked into a non-profit and volunteered my services, threw myself into demonstrating my willingness to do absolutely anything, and was lucky enough to be offered a paying position. I love my job and am so grateful for for this opportunity!!!

I got rid of everyone in my life that didn’t support me and tried my best to still be a friend towards others. I gave to my community and tried to make life better for others that were not as lucky as me. I told myself every day to count my blessings.

Life is amazing these days and my life is full and happy. To those still in the trenches my message is to HOLD ON and focus on YOU and your family.

It WILL get better; Tuesday is right around the corner.

As a postscript, I also am a voluntary spokesperson (no compensation) for the company that makes the genetic test. I just filmed a commercial because I am proud to be a survivor of depression. I may be on medication for the rest of my life and have come to terms with that. I am fighting for everyone that might be embarassed by their depression. My quote it that “Depression and infidelity found me, I didn’t go looking for either”.

Hang in their Chumps!

sara
sara
9 years ago
Reply to  Rebecca

Rebecca can you provide a link or may I contact you on a separate thread about this genetic testing? I googled what I could but don’t find any local resources. I’ve gone through countless, agonizing start up periods for meds that don’t work, had years of therapy both useful and not so useful, paid a king’s ransom for a hyped up voodoo treatment supposed to be the best science has to offer (depressed chumpery) and tried EMDR and I’m still suffering terribly with major depression. Thanks in advance and I’m so happy you found peace.

sara
sara
9 years ago
Reply to  sara

Oh and…pathological shopping and *returning*. Maybe that was genetic; the packages I had to return for my mother after she died! Boxes of unopened 300+ count Egyptian cotton sheets, declined tchotchkes she’d offered me, can openers that proved more vexing to use than your teeth, endless tacky cat shirts, clothing we’d agreed she should return that she secretly put back in her closet. That was her theme but I carried the torch of shop’n’shame in my own right, clearly anxiety based. I also traveled and went most places alone or with a friend, especially in the last two years of marriage. But I did spend more time playing music which the ex conveniently never heard–on purpose. Only room for one in the hall of narcissism!

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  sara

My mother is a hoarder and my best friend’s mother is a compulsive shopper hoarder. They present differently. The shopper is generous, my mother is like a vicious raccoon. Don’t take a pen from her, she will see it as an assault.

I went threw a period where I threw everything away and tried to be minimalist just so I wouldn’t be like my mother. I think all of these things are OCD reactions to anxiety stemming from scenarios we can’t control.

What does Jewel say? Just breathe.

Falcon
Falcon
9 years ago
Reply to  Rebecca

What is the name of this test? Maybe I can ask a Dr for it, however I live in a very small town and health care is about nothing here but I can try.

Rebecca
Rebecca
9 years ago
Reply to  Falcon

Google GeneSightRx and call the company directly. They will find the closest provider for you. Ask them about your insurance also. If you don’t have insurance, they charge on a sliding scale. The maximum cost of the test is $200.
It measures the length of the receptor sites on your cells that the medication has to reach.
NO downside!

Falcon
Falcon
9 years ago
Reply to  Falcon

FYI I was on a 6 month waiting list to see our only metal health professional. I finally got to see her tell her I needed help with severe depression and anxiety (diagnosed long before where I used to live) Her advise was start fucking daily their names or jobs don’t matter and you will get through it. I am almost 49 years old and have 4 daughters. So I’ve never tried to get help again and currently stuck here until i can get a job somewhere else. I was a sahm for 26 years so my future isn’t looking to bright right now.

Much Better Off Now
Much Better Off Now
9 years ago
Reply to  Falcon

Falcon, that MH “professional” sounds like a whack job. SEX as help for depression and anxiety? I’m assuming there isn’t another person you can see for help? If not, I would suggest looking into books on Mindfulness. I have a degree/background in Counseling and recommended this for many of my clients. You might also find it helpful. It’s not going to be a cure, but it may help you find some peace in all of this. Try Jon Kabat-Zinn as an author.

Falcon
Falcon
9 years ago

Thank you for your advice. Ive known for a long time that I need help, but I had to move back here to get my divorce (long story but my xh is military) Ive gone through all the motions got my divorce, live in a apartment (that should probably be condemned) I have my youngest daughter with me and share rent with my second daughter and my grandson. Most of your legal stuff is settled Now I really need to move new location but that requires a job (not going well). Ive been trying to get a job in a new location for months and not even an interview so far. My plan was to get to a better place a nicer home and seek mental health there, but Im wearing down fast now that the worst is over. I will have to seek mental health soon but nothing except-able here.

Chumpette
Chumpette
9 years ago
Reply to  Falcon

Falcon…another counseling option is Skype or FaceTime with a licensed professional. Tele-health is becoming more available now.

Much Better Off Now
Much Better Off Now
9 years ago
Reply to  Chumpette

Yes, awesome idea! Doctor on Demand is one service I keep seeing commercials for.

Falcon
Falcon
9 years ago

I Just called insurance company and tele-health is a no go. 1 Mental health place 60 miles from here (no new patients). Even the insurance company is baffled at no help no where not even a place near by for them to do a individual contract with. So back to fighting the mental health battle alone and pray I can get a job near civilization soon. I so cant wait till I move, it is my biggest obstical right now. I knew this was a small town but geez

Much Better Off Now
Much Better Off Now
9 years ago
Reply to  Falcon

It sounds like you have a lot going on, but know that you can always come here for support. I try a “one foot in front of the other” approach when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Do what you can do, just for the day, and try not to focus on the big picture all at once. You may be able to find some books on Mindfulness at your local library, as a thought.

Falcon
Falcon
9 years ago

Thank you I will try it. I was married over 21 years his job paid over 60k a year and our house was 4200 sq foot. Kids and I left in the middle of the night and didn’t look back. I knew i would have to downgrade lifestyle but this is too much. I knew i would have to return to workforce but needing to return to this dead end town had been my downfall. I thought once all was final i could get a decent job and move to a better place but not finding the new job is keeping me stuck here for now. Once I get that job somewhere else and move my pieces will finally start to come together. I’m just running out of patience.

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
9 years ago

I also recommend typing ‘mindfulness meditation’ into the YouTube search box on the Internet. There are several free, enjoyable, meditation and mindfulness ‘exercises’ on YouTube. Some are narrated;’ others are not.

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
9 years ago
Reply to  Rebecca

Rebecca, I suffered immensely for several unnecessary years because my psychiatrist doesn’t do the cheek swap for every patient, just those who want to change drugs. I thought I was as good as I would ever get, so I didn’t press for a change. When I finally did ask and was given the test, turns out I’d been taking a drug for over 13 years that was on the ineffective side of the spectrum for me. Since changing to an effective one things have been much better, but I’m tortured by the thoughts of what could have been if I’d been given the test sooner. Good on you for being a spokesperson!

Karma Express
Karma Express
9 years ago
Reply to  Rebecca

Rebecca, you are so mighty! Your story brought tears to my eyes. You are in inspiration.

Chumpette
Chumpette
9 years ago

Today’s post explains a lot. I am much less manic about…everything. It also means that 3rd book would be published already if I was still with cheater XH! Joking.

On related note, after reading another chump’s resource post on the Forum, I now know why my anxiety has gone from 10/10 to 2/10.
I lost a cheater and gained a life.

Lisa
Lisa
9 years ago

I was actually really lucky with the mania thing. My obsession became a Facebook group of mom friends. We all live in my town, we just use Facebook to keep in touch but we also get together regularly. Boy did my ex hate that group! But it was my lifeline. Still is.

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
9 years ago

With HB#2 I had a 2400 SF 1921 craftsman house relocated to our property in three pieces. Something I always wanted to do. Why, I have no idea. My family says I’m crazy.

I dedicated myself to putting it back together with the help of my brother and brother-in-law and HB#2. Roof, electrical, plumbing, foundation, you name it. When it was done and all that was left was the cosmetic work, I had a breakdown. I realized it was my marriage I was trying to put together. I immediately sought individual counseling, there was no way my husband would attend.

I became stronger and started setting boundaries with him. The sex was great but he was very verbally abusive and controlling.

The beginning of the end was when I told him I needed tenderness. I just needed a little tenderness between us. Such a foreign word to him. The sex completely stopped and he went from bad to worse.

If I couldn’t be what he wanted me to be, he would find someone else and sure enough, someone else he found.

When I went to the MC, alone, the counselor told me, “What marriage? I don’t see him here.”

I stopped the dance. I just now realized writing this, I stopped a pick me dance that I was doing since I met him and he left. My greatest fear realized. The source of my anxiety.

Wow. Thanks for the thread, CL.

I still live in the house. Raised the kids.

Unfortunately, I went from a overt narc husband, to a covert narc boyfriend.

I am very happily on my own now. And, I think I am at meh…

Chumpette
Chumpette
9 years ago
Reply to  CalamityJane

CJ, I was also doing a pick me dance with XH long before i knew of his affair. probably for much of the marriage.

though grieving and traumatized after DDay at year 24 of marriage, i became noticeably peaceful, almost immediately, when he left for his crazy schmoopie. the absence of anxiety continues, 3 years later.

it was just this week that i made the connection (my constant anxiety=the danger i was in as his wife).

i also found today’s post to be helpful. and i too am enjoying being single for now!

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  Chumpette

Me too. I realized recently that he had me doing pick me from when I first met him – told me he was “also” dating someone else, showed me stupid letter he wrote to his father bragging about all the women. I stupidly thought he “chose” me when he asked me to move in with him. Major red narc flags, I was so naive. For 16 years I watched him flirt with every cashier and waitress no matter how old fat, thin etc., kept telling myself “boys will be boys, if he flirts he’s getting it out of his system.” So wrong. I’m so old now it doesn’t matter, but if I wasn’t you can be damn sure I would never dance pick-me for anyone. ever.

Teeker
Teeker
9 years ago

When he began to emotionally detach from me and our marriage, (after 30 years together), I all of a sudden became interested … strike that ……. obsessed, with eBay. First I sold some things, but as time wore on, and he became physically detached as well, and denied me, not only sex, but the simplest of human touch, I immersed myself into a constant and steady buying frenzy. The worse my life got with him, the more lonely I felt, the more I bought. It became a steady obsession of little meaningless thrills. Winning an auction, going to the post box or post office. The little trinkets, were like putting silly putty into holes in the dam. A mere diversion, of course. Not a solution to anything. But it kept me going. It gave me a reason to get up every morning. As stupid as it sounds, at the time, it gave me a reason to live.

After 3 years of severe psychological and emotional abuse, the affair I knew in my heart he had been having, was revealed. Oddly enough, the day I discovered the affair, was the day I stopped buying on eBay. Just like that. Just like that. Done. Finished.

I’m sure eBay thought I’d died … when actually, it was a turning point. It was the day, I started to live again.

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago

My compulsion was shopping at charity shops for household goods. I got great deals but my god, eventually I just didn’t need any more, plus I couldn’t afford to be doing it. I did, however, get a lot of enjoyment out of the hunt for treasures at those shops so I began to sell it on eBay. I really don’t make any money at it, but at least I break even and it keeps me busy.

If I get hired in the coming weeks I will probably be just fine with visiting the charity shops on the weekend and adding new and better hobbies, such as having a space in my home to set up my painting supplies.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

I’m starting to paint, too! A friend took me to one of those Paint Nites, which was so much fun and I’m signing up for art classes for the first time since I was about 16!

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

Hi, ML–do you mind reposting your ebay store? I am doing some remodeling & had your site up a month or so ago, and then the computer re-booted.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago