I owe my sanity to you and to Chump Nation. Thank you.
I have been reading your blog for years, but I continued to believe that he did not suck. How could a good, caring, gentle man change so much? So I pick-me danced very hard. I spent too much time in shock and feeling numb. I am finally divorcing him after over 3 years.
Chump Lady, I will not delve into all the details as most narratives follow a similar pattern. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that after 15 years old marriage, I was completely blindsided. Our connection was often praised by those who knew us. I believed he was my soulmate and he never failed to express how happy and fortunate he felt. So, you can imagine my shock and sadness.
I spent a good three years in depression and I had no idea what depression was before. I used to be a happy, cheerful person. I read your blog daily, revisited the comments repeatedly, and even memorized your book. After many years, I began to feel like myself again.
We do not live in the same house. He refuses to divorce and insists on a restart, believing we will repeat our wedding vows. This is absolutely impossible and I know what I want. I occasionally communicate with him via email for divorce details. (I exclusively write in a formal manner). This is cost-effective, considering how expensive lawyers are. I also know him well so I maintain a friendly approach until I get what I want.
He often includes some personal messages in his emails. I never ever respond to them. These are some of the messages he wrote: “I have destroyed a beautiful marriage”, “I desperately want my life back with you”, “you are my only love”, “I cannot live without you” and many more. I learned to ignore these messages because I know that he sucks.
The last one was about a trip he wanted to take. He wrote that he bought a ticket for me to travel with him. He will do everything he can to gain my trust again. We can start over, see our families and he can apologize to my family for everything he has done. He adds that he is depressed because he cannot see me. He will leave her if I say “yes” to him (I swear this is his own words, horrible man). No one means anything to him but me. If I had not read this blog, I would have found these very impressive. Of course, I ignored this email too. I am sure that he went to the trip with the OW, because he cannot stay alone.
I never engaged with the OW. She never engaged with me. Is it because she is too stupid or too confident? I have no idea. I always thought affair partners enjoy making themselves known.
Here is my question: Don’t do it if it feels good, I know. But can you remind me why I should not write to her for the first and last time right after my divorce? Why should I not send her just one email after all these years, and block her afterward? Just a quick email with all these snapshots of his messages: his terrible life with her, his love for me, what horrible mistakes he has made, etc. It would give me great pleasure to destroy her confidence.
I know I should not waste my time on these people. I was quiet all these years like I did not exist. I felt worthless for a long time. I do not care about him anymore. I will never be with him, so I am not pick-me dancing. It would just give me great pleasure to make her feel worthless.
PS. My husband started hanging out with her after I was diagnosed with cancer. We had just moved here, and my family lives 2000 miles away. I knew no one here. I left this detail to the last because I am recovered now and I did not want to sadden the readers. She knew everything. He knew that I was all by myself. Even this alone makes me extremely upset.
Dear Stone Heart,
I’m going to give you the advice you did not ask for: GET A LAWYER.
We’ll get to Schmoopie in a moment, but let’s first tackle some alarming sentences.
I continued to believe that he did not suck.
I think you still suffer from this affliction. For starters, you’re receiving all his “I can’t live without you” bullshit. He can live without you. He is, in fact, living without you. Across town. Probably with Schmoopie. You didn’t go no contact, which is the first rule of healing from fuckwits.
Why didn’t you go no contact?
I occasionally communicate with him via email for divorce details. (I exclusively write in a formal manner). This is cost-effective, considering how expensive lawyers are.
No. This is a waste of your time. Why are you expecting a lying liar who lies to give you a fair divorce settlement? Have you consulted with an attorney? Do you know what you’re entitled to? Do you know what he spends on his affair partner(s)? Or that you could ask for that money back in a divorce as dissipation of marital assets?
Writing in a formal manner does not make you an attorney. Nor does it give you objectivity, which you desperately need.
You are grossly underestimating your own chumpiness AND seem to have a misguided notion that a guy who walked out on you when you had CANCER is someone you can rely on to not screw you over.
Has it occurred to you that he doesn’t mean a word of what he’s saying, and is just trying to avoid the costly consequences of divorce? Or that he could be moving monies, or otherwise feathering his nest while leading you to believe he wants to reconcile?
I think you’re still performing the pick-me dance. Only now you imagine you’re calling the tune, and he’s dancing for you. He isn’t.
I also know him well so I maintain a friendly approach until I get what I want.
You do not know him at all.
Let me introduce you to your earlier sentences.
I was completely blindsided.
I continued to believe that he did not suck.
You were completely fooled by this fraud of a man, and it took you three years to grasp that he’s a liar you cannot trust. LEAN INTO THAT. Follow it to its logical conclusion — he does not have your best interests at heart. He cannot be counted on to keep any promise.
You should NOT be having to finesse this. If he was, in fact, repentant — he’d give you the fair settlement. No cajoling. No diplomacy. It would come from the goodness of his heart, or his shame, or whatever vestiges of a soul we’re supposed to believe in. That hasn’t happened. It’s been THREE YEARS. Unleash the lawyers.
Oh, but that wouldn’t be nice, Tracy. He might get mad.
There are no nice divorces. Cheaters are constantly trying to convince chumps to leave the lawyers out of it to “save money.” It’s the biggest load of crap. No one saves money in a divorce — good legal counsel costs money. And freeing yourself from a FW is worth every dime. I would trust your attorney far more than your FW on what’s considered equitable.
Your “friendly approach” will not get you what you want. I’m sure you were a friendly wife. Didn’t keep him from cheating. Please, please, please hand this over to the professionals and go NO CONTACT with Mr. Sea Cruise.
Now we can discuss that matter of the messages.
These are some of the messages he wrote: “I have destroyed a beautiful marriage”,
Why would you be interested in someone who destroys beautiful things?
“I desperately want my life back with you”,
Which he expressed by fucking someone else during your cancer treatments?
“you are my only love”,
“I cannot live without you”
Then why is he still existing?
He will leave her if I say “yes” to him
You know how incredibly insulting this “offer” is, right? Boy, they really imagine they’re prizes. Wow.
But can you remind me why I should not write to her for the first and last time right after my divorce? Why should I not send her just one email after all these years, and block her afterward? Just a quick email with all these snapshots of his messages: his terrible life with her, his love for me, what horrible mistakes he has made, etc. It would give me great pleasure to destroy her confidence.
Oh why not let her breathe her own fumes a bit longer? Then she can be broadsided later, waste more of her life, and you can be smug in the knowledge that he’s a phony with her AND you. Why give her a heads up? It’s not like she gave you any warning.
Once you have your settlement — God speed, lawyers — I suppose you can send it if you want to. But I wouldn’t. Wanting to hurt her is still caring. And I think it’s best not to care about the emotional state of fuckwits.
Also, in my experience Schmoopies believe what they want to believe and are impervious to evidence. In my early chump days, I once sent the long-term OW links to my then-husband’s active dating profiles with the heading: “Your Boyfriend is on Match.com.” (She believed at the time she had won the pick me dance). Didn’t go over well. I got a cease and desist letter. As far as I know, she’s still an active side-dish fuck in his fourth (fifth? I’ve lost track) marriage.
My point is, Schmoopie is clearly not a woman of discernment — cheating with a married guy whose wife is undergoing cancer treatments? Not a quality individual. He loves you? She can work with that. She already acts worthless. Who cares if she feels worthless.
If you’re looking to destroy someone’s confidence, I’d start with your cake-eating, fraudster husband. Why not send him a ticket for a cruise on a sewage canal? (Right. If it feels good, don’t do it. Drat.)
Just focus on getting OUT. And perfecting the no contact.