Don’t Call Betrayed People ‘Bitter’ — A Rant

If you’ve been cheated on, you’ve probably been called bitter. You’re probably not taking this life-changing trauma in the right spirit of stuff it down and never speak of it.

Could everyone please stop calling chumps bitter? (And while we’re at it, dump “scorned” from the lexicon too.)

Bitter is a one-size-fits-all pejorative that says: STFU.

Did you call bullshit on that non-apology apology? You must be bitter!

Are you not going to eat this magnificent shit sandwich I have laid before you? You must be bitter!

Do you not want to stay friends for the children? You must be bitter!

Bitter puts the onus on the chump’s behavior.

You don’t want to be a bummer, do you? One of those people who just Can’t Let Go, who drapes themselves over the furniture at social gatherings and wails and rend garments? That person is such a buzz kill. And the trail of snotty tissues and self-help books… it’s just embarrassing.

You seem so… angry.

Is cheating not supposed to make you angry? When confronted with gaslighting, blameshifting, and betrayal — are you supposed to hug the cheater like a warm puppy?

Bitter bucks the narrative that you’re okay with abuse.

Bitter is what happens when you don’t maintain the myth that everyone is at fault (dual accountability.) Mistakes were made. We each have flaws and it is unfortunate that one party sought comfort for the needs that weren’t being met in the marriage, but let’s not cast blame.

Cheaters cheat, but they’re not Bad People, they just did a Bad Thing. It’s nothing to get huffy and puritanical about. Let’s invite them over for our next Superbowl party and sit on the sofa together! You, your OW, me, my boyfriend and let’s impress everyone with our progressive, forgiving nature and five-layer bean dip!

Anger and bitterness are not the same thing.

It’s normal to be angry when you’ve been violated. Grief and bitterness are not the same thing, either. People often mistake avoidance of the cheater as bitterness, when it’s actually a chump trying to maintain their sanity and not react emotionally. As in, not appear “bitter.”

Chumps are aware they cannot slop their grief freely. That’s why there are shrink’s offices and safe places like Chump Nation. But these feelings — of distress, anger, and yes BITTERNESS, are to expected after you’ve been the victim of intimate partner abuse. It’s unfair that chumps have to deal with this dumpster fire of emotion. They aren’t the bad actors here.

Actual bitterness is staying stuck.

Some of the most bitter people you’ll find are those reconciling with cheaters. Playing marriage police. Trying to control the uncontrollable. Staying with the people who hurt them and not doing the hard emotional work of leaving a fucked up relationship.

Bitter people exist. I’m not doubting it. Bitter is being oppositional and defiant about every last thing because you can. It is obsessiveness and stalking. Bitter is choosing the drama, with an actual person or their ghost.

Calling people out on manipulation and bullshit, however, does not make you bitter — it just means you’re not a chump any more.

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Sara8
Sara8
11 years ago

Chump Lady appropriately said: “People often mistake this avoidance of the toxic person as”bitterness.” No — bitterness is wanting to get all up in their business. However, recognizing them as toxic means getting the fuck away from them and going no contact. People also mistake the righteous anger at acts of injustice as bitterness. No — it’s normal to be angry at people who do hurtful things. Calling people out on manipulation and bullshit does not make you bitter — it means you’re not a chump any more.”

Good point. At TAM I was told I was bitter and vindictive because I refused to reconcile even though my STBX wants to, still.

I was told I MUST forgive. WTF.

I mean seriously, I did a LOT of forgiving during the marriage, like when he forgot my birthday or failed to bring home a Valentine’s gift.

I forgave him after we fought because I was angry that he was going out with the boys or {ahem) Late night meetings or whatever, three nights a week. I am homebody. I never felt the need to go out with the girls. I like to stay home and read or watch a good movie. I hate bars. I typically met my girlfriends at Starbucks for chats during the day.

I forgave him when he refused to fix things that desperately needed fixing around the house, but would get angry if I hired a contractor who charged a higher rate than he thought was fair. (well he could have looked online your self and find a contractor that makes him happy)

I forgave him when I accidentally found out about his first hidden bank account ten years ago, and he somehow convinced me that he only used it to rent a motorcycle now and then, ’cause he knew I felt motorcycles were dangerous, and he didn’t want me to worry.

I forgave him when he CLAIMED to have spent four hours at Home Depot, finding things he needed to do work around the house but conveniently they were out of those things.

I forgave him when one day he came home without his wedding ring and told me he took it off to wash his hands and likely left it in a bathroom. Well maybe he did leave it in a bathroom, but I doubt he took it off to wash his hads, when he never did that at home.

I was finally fresh out of forgiveness.

Oh well, flog me with a wet noodle.

2xchump
2xchump
16 days ago
Reply to  Sara8

He sounds exactly like mine..again I use the term forgiveness grooming or conditioning..The cheater gets the Chump to forgive little lies, like late nights at work rings slipping off shaving their chest and arm hair( what is that?), devaluing and meaness cycles ( bad day at work). Once you buy these interesting and plausible lies, how about little texts from coworkers or extreme flirting or not invited to work events. So as a Chump I let so much pass because I loved quiet evenings and he loved motorcycle groups. Just go and enjoy
..Just got accustomed to forgiving until only the biggest lie could not be hidden. I was done

Selma
Selma
11 years ago
Reply to  Sara8

Your post reminds me of a song i love dearly. Fiona Apple’s “Regret”
Check it out, it’s great. 🙂

Erika
Erika
11 years ago

I have to say, and you know this but I’ll tell you again, your site, CL, the things you’ve written, all the comments and participants, strangers writing kind things, have been like the clouds opening and the angels singing – to have navigated this alone would have been almost impossible for me – how does one navigate pain without someone who’s not in pain mapping out a path? We would hardly expect that from somone with two broken legs….. You must get your share of the “b” word….. that’s the tyranny of denial. The net is a sewer and even tho all sides should get represented, just because they are doesn’t mean they aren’t crazy. What’s wrong with telling people over and over “step away from the crazy”.

I know I’m not a bitter person….. but, I am super super hurt and hurt is hurt until it isn’t. A number of friends say I “should” be angry and I’m sure I’ll get to that and I’ve moved on in the past when bad things happened and I’m sure I’ll move on with this too. But, I’m still not angry yet and I have to say I kinda hate it when people tell me how I should be feeling…… it feels kinda like bullying. I’ll get to it – I’ll get to it.

mark
mark
11 years ago

send them my way CL and ill tell them to go strait to hell.i was the kind of chump they want you to be and i invite all the cheaters, abusers and all their proponents,enablers and defenders to all go take a march of the lemmings.they can all go take a long hike on a short plank.WE would be better off without them.and i dont care if they are generals,pastors,politicians or house maids .i dont give a damn.they can all go fuck themselves and die.
im not bitter.im just not going to be a codependent emotional tampon anymore.and i invite anyone whos gone thru the fog of being cheated on,used and abused to do the same.
Cheaters and abusers arent just toxic.they are TOXIC.capitol everything TOXIC…TOXIC like snake venom!!!!. guaranteed to make you sick if not kill you… thats 1 thing that i had a really had time getting my mind around…TOXIC means TOXIC.having them around is like having sewage splashed around in your living space.we need them around like we need a refrigerator full of rotten food.AND THEY DONT CHANGE.NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY.expecting them to change is like expecting to win the lottery .you have a better chance of being hit by lightning.good luck on that one.
i dont care what anyone says CHEATING IS A FORM OF ABUSE.a dirty, filthy one.to me cheating is like stabbing your best friend in the back.and then stabbing him or her in the gut for good measure.in some cultures its associated with treason.wouldn’t bother me a bit if it were made illegal everywhere like other forms of abuse. for members of the US military it is punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.and let me be clear, man or woman a cheating piece of shit is a cheating piece of shit.i dont give a damn. whats good for the goose is good for the gander.
a lot of people feel that their entitlement is such that they feel entitled to cheat and or abuse ,well i feel entitled to dislike cheaters and abusers.and if anyone dosent like it well they can just go fuck themselves…

debdeb
debdeb
11 years ago
Reply to  mark

Go Mark!
I told my STBX that I hoped he was shooting sunshine rays of happiness out of his ass since me, our two daughters, etc had all paid such a high price for his “happiness”. Anytime somebody thinks they can cheat because they DESERVE to be whatever…I just want to vomit. What did I do to DESERVE to be shit on…what do my kids DESERVE? Oh and the in-laws that say, well we know that he did wrong, but he is our son… Yep he’s an embarrassing ass-hole.

Nord
Nord
11 years ago

CL. love, getting anger is UNHEALTHY and merely shows that you aren’t grown up enough or sophisticated enough to understand that these things happen and if we all just accept that the cheaters were swept away by a love so pure that we shouldn’t do anything but cheer for their happiness. Sheesh! Didn’t you get the memo?

Erika
Erika
11 years ago
Reply to  Nord

Yep, that’s what he said…… soulmate schmoopies all love and hearts and flowers and banging the neighbor down the street.

Sonnet
Sonnet
11 years ago

Lemons are bitter but they can be used to make lemonade! Why shouldn’t we be bitter if we need to be? The X used to say I was so “nice” and “aren’t we lucky?” After toxic shock wears off you see that you’ve been conned big time. How? Why? I’m in a “better” place after two years but what a price. Did he really have to be so corrupt?

nomar
nomar
11 years ago
Reply to  Sonnet

Some people say dark chocolate is bitter. Well, I love dark chocolate. It’s rich, complex, interesting.

So maybe a bitter Chump isn’t such a bad thing to be. I certainly prefer it to being a “sweet” betrayed spouse!

Sanity
Sanity
11 years ago

To anyone who tells me I am being bitteer or vindictive I just ask them one thing…if a terrorist barges into your house under the guise of being a friend, you have been the best host eveer,opened your house and your heart to him and then suddenly he appears with a machine gun in one hand and a grenade in another fires a couple of shots at the naive and innocent you and you throw a bowl or a vase or whatever is available to you in self defense and knock him down what do you tell people who sprout up talking about human right violations you have done???????..you tell them to shut the fuck up and say a silent prayer wishing a terrorist into their lives .Then let’s hear them talk about human rights.

I have understood one thing very very well..people who call my blunt talk bitter are either the betrayed ones who are too scared to face the truth and leave the relationship or they are the betrayers themselves.

Bede
Bede
11 years ago

Hmmm… Could it be that to the cheaters and those that defend them, that we BS/recovering chumps are of more use to them “bitter” than “meh”…? What’s in it for them if we are happier, healthier and demonstrably better off without them?

Meh is so much easier to say than “go to hell…”

2xchump
2xchump
16 days ago
Reply to  Bede

Yes getting to Meh is more of a weapon against Cheaters than bitterness and rage. I think they get a huge bowl of kibbles if they know the level of anger. Mine used every word of my bitterness and rage against me. What i did was to keep my rage with people who cared for me 100%. I tested out the people who told me to calm down and forgive…letting them go…and used my rage and anger and bitterness to 1. Find an apartment 2. Pack all the stuff i wanted to take.3. Get a restraining order 4.file immediately 5. Moved on from people who could not understand( tired of explaining)6. Found a new church7. Made new friends 8. Found a therapist 9. Started exercising and eating better 10 Found new outlets for rage and bitterness. Meh is where cheaters get nothing at all, zero kibbles, zero reward. I want my 2 cheaters to starve and find kibbles elsewhere.

kb
kb
11 years ago

Anger isn’t bitterness. Anger is part of the healing process. When you’ve been betrayed by the one person you trusted above all others, the one person who swore publicly, in many cases swearing in the name of his/her God, to honor, cherish, uphold, and forsake all others for you–something dies in you. We experience some denial (and some are trapped in denial), but we also experience anger. Sometimes we try to bargain, engaging in the humiliating dance of “pick me.” Our goal, though, is “meh.”

What makes cheating unique from other types of loss is that so often the betrayed spouse should not immediately confront the situation. If you’re financially dependent upon your cheating spouse, you need to get your finances in order. If you have children, you need to spend time gathering what you need in order to negotiate custody effectively. If you suspect financial malfeasance, that your cheating spouse is giving money to the AP, you need to find out how to track that. This means you have to bottle up everything in front of the STBX. There’s an emotional cost to that.

What’s worse is that the cheater doesn’t care that s/he is putting you through emotional hell. That’s something else to be angry about. Unfortunately, you can’t do a damn thing about how your STBX feels. They’re in the land of cake eating and ego kibbles. They get upset when you tell them they can’t eat cake. They don’t get upset when you’re forced to eat a shit sandwich. Normal people, people with a sense of honor, trust, commitment, and above all love and empathy–we can’t wrap our minds around the cheater’s thought process. All we can do is say “yes, this is how they are.” And that’s something that makes you angry because, dammit! We want closure, a reason, something that we can put our fingers on that helps us understand just how it is that this person whom we trusted could betray us so fundamentally.

We won’t get it.

That makes us angry, but it doesn’t make us bitter. What makes us bitter is if we’re not allowed to work through the anger to see that we deserve better, and dumping their cheating ass gives us our lives back so that we get the opportunity for a better future and open ourselves to relationships where there’s real love and trust.

BarristerBelle
BarristerBelle
11 years ago
Reply to  kb

YES. Well put, kb.

Sonnet
Sonnet
11 years ago
Reply to  kb

“What makes us bitter is if we’re not allowed to work through the anger to see that we deserve better, and dumping their cheating ass gives us our lives back so that we get the opportunity for a better future and open ourselves to relationships where there’s real love and trust.”
I think I’m in danger of becoming bitter. I’m scared of being angry and I run the risk of the anger turning inwards. I was so terrified through the separation process whilst I was being manipulated. I’m not interested in being “obsessive and stalking” the X but I do feel a bit like the walking wounded. Friends who haven’t been exposed to this just don’t get it. Opening yourself to “real love and trust” sounds like a fairytale. Bit low today.

Erika
Erika
11 years ago
Reply to  Sonnet

Dear Sonnet – you are SO not alone – its a painful time for sure. I feel like the walking wounded too but certainly less than I did say, a month ago. I wince when people say I will love again – kinda like having two broken legs and having someone tell me I’ll skydive again….. it passes…. slowly but surely.

2xchump
2xchump
16 days ago
Reply to  Erika

There are layers you have to go through. Horrible days but then mighty days.

Sonnet
Sonnet
11 years ago
Reply to  Erika

Thanks. It just seems to take a bonkers long time. Also dealing with the domino affect on my daughters makes me feel helpless. It’s over two years since the divorce and, obviously, many many gaslighting years. I want to feel stronger than I do. It seems to have wiped out anything I thought I could rely on about myself. Where was my bullshit detector?

Bit dated but my anthem before I go to work:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcZ4lnaEgm0

Nord
Nord
11 years ago
Reply to  Sonnet

Your bullshit detector was probably there, you just buried it in the midst of the gaslighting, along with your trust and love. Don’t doubt who you are–know that your spouse is messed up and was lucky to have someone like you.

another Erica
another Erica
11 years ago
Reply to  Erika

yeah, I found it annoying how people would tell me I’ll find someone else, blah blah blah. Some will even tell you they are envious you get to date and do all that. Meanwhile, I’m angry and scared shitless. The thought of going through that dating BS sounds horrible. The first time I was alone with a single guy as a single (well, for all intents and purposes) chick I was completely freaked out and nervous. And that was with a guy I worked with a few years ago and we were just going to study for the GMAT! Actually that eventually did end up turning into a brief “friends with benefits” situation. And I have to say it was incredibly healing and it probably helped me get over the last bit of my anger. Just realizing that yes, in fact I was still desirable, and maybe a future relationship WAS a possibility. Maybe it’s bad that it took a brief fling to help me heal, but it did. It happened at the perfectly right time and with the perfectly right person. Don’t get me wrong, the thought of “dating” and all the awkwardness that seems to entail still doesn’t sound fun. And I do wonder if I will be able to love/trust again. But at least I got one under my belt 🙂

I would say not to worry about it. I believe something will come along when we are ready for it.

Nord
Nord
11 years ago
Reply to  another Erica

I went on a date, quite early on: it wasn’t great nor was it bad. At the end he tried to kiss me and I RAN. Literally. Could not deal at all. So that was my post-cheating scandal dating experience and now I’m just dealing with me, with the kids, with life. It will happen when I’m ready. But the fuck buddy? Yes, I can get on board with that. 🙂

Nord
Nord
11 years ago
Reply to  Erika

Yeah, the last thing on my mind is ‘falling in love again’. Maybe one day but right now? No way. Maybe a fuck buddy who is one board with just having some fun but a relationship? Nope. Maybe in a bit.

kb
kb
11 years ago
Reply to  Sonnet

I’m not there yet, myself. I’m trusting that this will happen. Right now, I’m angry and looking for a job so that I can make the break. Until then, I won’t be able to heal since I’ll still be dealing with the cheating.

In my case, we have no children. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to go through this with kids. Even so, I’m looking into therapy. My family practice lawyer gave me referrals.

Erika
Erika
11 years ago
Reply to  kb

kb – I can’t imagine doing this with family pets let alone with children. All of you guys are amazing – just amazing.

mark
mark
11 years ago
Reply to  Sonnet

sonnet
you are not alone

Sonnet
Sonnet
11 years ago
Reply to  mark

M.
Thanks

Stephanie
Stephanie
11 years ago

Oh, well, then, too, if you’re not bitter or hurt and disheveled enough, you’re judged for acting a little too glad about being abandoned by a depressed philanderer with a homewrecker alcoholic girlfriend.

Right?

Bitter? No. Judgemental? Yes.

Well, maybe a little bitter. Mostly disgusted.

I mean, ew. He’s humping some chick who uses mothering to manipulate him (what she would know about being a mother is beyond me, though).

I’m bitter? What’s it to you? I don’t bore people with my angst, I just stay the hell away from my ex. I find that there is nothing I need nor want from him. And the less contact I have with a man who abused me, the happier I am. I’m like a happy bitter. I suppose some are curious about the fact that I have nothing to do with him and have no plans ever to have anything to do with him in my future, but that’s none of their business. Either they’ve been cheated on and are chumps for feeding their ex’s ego kibbles, or they have no effing idea what it’s like. Bitch, please. Spare me the lecture about bitterness, about what I need to do.

Stephanie
Stephanie
11 years ago

I can’t thank you enough for your website, CL. It is awesome.

It is so nice to have a place to share with people what I know is true: cheating and abandonment is abuse, and I don’t have to forgive it.

another Erica
another Erica
11 years ago

I guess I might say I’m a little more jaded… a little less naive. It’s possible I’m less trusting. I don’t think you could have something like this happen to you and not come out the other side changed in some way. But I don’t think that makes you “bitter”. To me, bitter is when all the joy is sucked out of your existence and you can find little if anything that makes you happy. And you infect those around you. That seems much more likely to happen if you stay with the cheater. Only then you have to pretend you’re happy. In fact, the pretending might be what makes you bitter.

But talking honestly about what happened to you and how you feel is not bitter. Holding someone responsible for THEIR actions is not bitter. Refusing to say that what they did is okay is not bitter. It is truthful. It shows that you have specific morals and values and that you expect the person that you share your life with to have the same morals and values and to treat you with respect.

Fuck the haters, CL 🙂

Stephanie
Stephanie
11 years ago

I do like the come-back, with the knit surprised/perplexed brows, “Bitter? What do you mean?” Put it back on them. “Cause you seem awfully presumptuous.”

Shit, my friend JUST texted me that a mother at her school just gave her the “Tch!? You and your ex aren’t cordial? What a shame.”

Bitch, please! I want to drive to where she is and stick my finger in that ignorant woman’s face myself.

“No, I’m NOT CORDIAL WITH AN ABUSIVE, NARCISSISTIC JERK who walked out on his family for some whore (or a few) and who cries poor when it comes time to settle up. You’re right, that IS a shame. Can you even imagine? We might be cordial if he hadn’t exposed me to God knows what, if he didn’t lie to me constantly, if he hadn’t abandoned his kids and me–you know. The good news is that I’m doing really well, thanks for your concern, and I’m a kick-ass mom even though my children’s father is actively sabotaging me at every step. Yeah, not cordial. Yeah, it’s a shame.”

BITTER. And he’s not even my ex.

Nord
Nord
11 years ago
Reply to  Stephanie

I had someone say to me the other day ‘well, more than half of all marriages end in divorce’. I loöked at them and said ‘how many do you know end because one spouse finds out the other spouse has been cheating FOR YEARS, lying to me for years and sleeping with people I know?’ She kind of shrugged and said ‘yes, well, I suppose’. So there’s another person I don’t think I can be around. People really don’t get it.

And I’m not even bitter! I laugh at his shit because it’s such a soap opera that I can’t even take it seriously anymore. My story would make the most amazing plotline on All MyChildren or the like.

HeadCase
HeadCase
11 years ago
Reply to  Nord

I don’t understand how to love with such a c’est la vie view towards marriage/relationships and divorce/kicked to the curb. What are they saying? How do they love, then? Do they hold huge pars of themselves in reserve? Do they think it’s all good when their partner gives them the gift of an std?

Shallow people! I wish they would hook up with each other.m

Arnold
Arnold
11 years ago

I wil tell you point blank that I hate my XWs, serial cheaters, and, if I ever get the chance to pay them back, legally and without going out of my way, I will. They hurt me and had no remorse. I am not big on turning the other cheek.

Sonnet
Sonnet
11 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

That lack of remorse is stunning. I remember thinking it was like a massive attack: “Shock and Awe.”

Sara8
Sara8
11 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Arnold:

I’m with you. My STBX is making y my life difficult. He cheated, he lied, he stole from me, and now he is holding up our divorce.

I don’t know if bitter is the right word but I am definitely angry.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
17 days ago

I love this rant, and it can be applied in so many other ways, too. So many times I’ve been told that people need to stop being “bitter” over… genuine injustice. When it’s simply anger and hurt! There’s a difference.

I think some people are uncomfortable with acknowledging injustice. I think seeing the hurt and pain and anger at it forces them to look at it – it’s easier to brush it off as “bitterness” and the like.

Ruby Gained A Life
Ruby Gained A Life
17 days ago

I think seeing our pain in the aftermath of our partner’s betrayal scares people. If it could happen to us, it could happen to them. It strikes too close to home. It’s not unlike when you’re diagnosed with cancer . . . it’s too close to home. So they have to come up with a *reason* why it happened to us and cannot happen to them.

“Well Ruby didn’t wear/wore too much/wore the wrong kind of make-up. Of course he wasn’t attracted to her anymore.”
“Well Ruby gained weight. That’s why she got cancer.” Or, “that’s why her husband left her.”

Divorcing your abuser and being diagnosed with cancer both show you who your friends are . . . and aren’t.

Viktoria
Viktoria
17 days ago

Wow. It’s not only your fault that your ex cheated, but it’s also your fault if you feel heartbroken, shocked, dismayed, traumatized, depressed, angry, humiliated, fooled, tricked, stupid, rejected, unloved, undesired, lied to, betrayed, used and played.

Yeah I should just STFU instead of being honest about my feelings of devastation. So I don’t make anyone uncomfortable.

Being honest with myself about my emotions and being honest to others about my story is helping me not get stuck; it is helping me to heal.

Last edited 17 days ago by Viktoria
Elsie_
Elsie_
17 days ago

My attorney had little sayings and quips that I would write down after each appointment. One of my favorites was, “Only a fool would be friends with the person who burned down their house.”

No, I’m not bitter. I’m smart for staying away from a destructive person who wanted me dead. Why would any rational person want to be around that type of person? It’s like going to a really bad neighborhood and handing out twenty-dollar bills to everyone with no discernment. Next thing you know, they knock you down and take everything you have.

susie lee
susie lee
17 days ago
Reply to  Elsie_

Yep. I might change it to only a fool……… with the person who set my house on fire and left me in it.

Bluewren
Bluewren
17 days ago
Reply to  Elsie_

Your attorney sounds like they’re worth their weight in gold.

Elsie_
Elsie_
17 days ago
Reply to  Bluewren

He really was. I really couldn’t afford him, but he was completely a good match for my ex’s attorney and gave me so much more than the law.

Bruno
Bruno
17 days ago
Reply to  Elsie_

My attorney was an elder at my church and a partner of an aggressive family law firm. They were expensive, but when the FW’s attorney found out who was representing me the FW’s attitude became much more reasonable. And when he successfully got a restraining order against her, forced temporary child support and garnished her wages, she was reduced to tears in front of the judge. She was still vindictive, but at least she had to play by the rules. I got a fair settlement because of my attorney.

Elsie_
Elsie_
17 days ago
Reply to  Bruno

I’m glad you had a good one.

I was fortunate in that I had a previous complex legal matter with all kinds of complications, so I knew that hiring a personable senior attorney would make a huge difference. Sure, he charged more, but he knew exactly what buttons to push and was very efficient. And my ex’s attorney greatly respected mine and truly liked him. It made a difference.

Bluewren
Bluewren
17 days ago

Fuck those people who accuse those trying to dig their way out of the ruins of their lives ‘bitter’.
This sort of deep grief and trauma cannot be understood unless you’ve lived through it.
Some never recover and we all become different people as a result of the harm done to us .
It can be perplexing to shallow people when the badly traumatised don’t bounce back like a cartoon character after having an emotional anvil dropped on them.
No it is NOT OK.
No- people do not have to forgive anyone else.
No- people do not have to hold hands and sing Kumbaya.
If someone in your life dares to say such a thing to you, please tell them to fuck right off and take their sparkly bag of bullshit platitudes with them.

susie lee
susie lee
17 days ago
Reply to  Bluewren

“Fuck those people who accuse those trying to dig their way out of the ruins of their lives ‘bitter’.”

This is kind of how I think of it. I know having your home crumble around you is horrifying, and the loss is tremendous in terms of financials, keepsakes, memories, shelter. But the betrayal has a house in rubble feel about it, and the losses are similar.

Mehitable
Mehitable
17 days ago

There’s nothing WRONG with being bitter. Sometimes it’s the only realistic response to being treated like a yard full of dog shit. Deceived, abused, cheated on, abandoned, stolen from. How can you avoid at least some degree of bitterness? And, of course…anger. Americans in particular seem to have very deep problems with feeling and expressing anger. I don’t understand it frankly but I guess it comes from the national culture of always reinventing yourself and being a nation of salesmen, the first product we learn to sell is ourselves. This is unhealthy. You have to feel the emotions you feel for as long as you need to feel them. When the emotions become a burden that keeps you from having the life you WANT to have, then you have to work on them and decide if and how to change. And get help if you need it. But I can’t tell someone who lost a leg to….GET OVER IT….and I can’t tell someone who lost a spouse….GET OVER IT. It takes as long as it takes. We process and heal at different rates.

susie lee
susie lee
17 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Yep. Losing a spouse to death has to be horrible; but losing your spouse via abandonment for many, if not most of us will indeed leave permanent scars. Doesn’t mean we won’t heal and laugh and love again, but there are scars.

NotMyFault
NotMyFault
16 days ago
Reply to  susie lee

Losing a spouse to death is incomparable to being betrayed. In death, you get sympathy, flowers, cards and ALL the assets. In betrayal, you get none of that. People do not choose to die. In our situations, our spouses made a conscious decision to destroy our lives. And, we get to be called bitter!

Mehitable
Mehitable
17 days ago

I’ve said this before but….it’s a repeater….the worst part of cheating to me is THE THEFT OF TIME. Both time in the past and the future. I spent 7 years with my first cheater, 7 years out of my 20s only to have him disappear one day. We never married, probably thankfully, but I have to wonder how much that one relationship and the aftermath took out of my life. Yes, ultimately I have to have responsibility for my own life, but if someone wounds me grievously, I need time to recover and that takes time out of everything else. It might also be a permanent wound for many people. And what about the future? When you have what you think is a stable relationship, you probably have kids, a house, careers, etc….things that anchor you in place, that stabilize you, that enable you to imagine and build for a future….that your spouse then throws up in the air and it disappears without your knowledge or consent. You lose your spouse’s love and companionship and physical and financial support. Your economic situation changes. You may lose your house/living situation. You may lose much of the time with your kids and they may be forced to be involved with someone you think is Satan’s second cousin. You may lose your retirement and your plans for your old age. That’s not only the loss of a current life – that’s the loss of what you planned, your stable life, YOUR FUTURE. And you had no idea, you made all these plans based on what you knew which was all a lie and deception. How can you not be angry and bitter about that? Heal at YOUR OWN RATE and cut off all those who tell you to GET OVER IT. You don’t need judgment and fake advice and concern on top of the devastation you have already experienced.

LookingForwardsToTuesday
LookingForwardsToTuesday
17 days ago

Call me “bitter” if you want. Personally, I’d rather go with “justifiably and righteously salty,” when the mood takes me. And let’s be clear that me being occasionally salty is a reaction to what Ex-Mrs LFTT did to the kids and I; the issue is what she did and not how it caused me to react, regardless of those that would choose to give her a pass on the former and focus on the latter.

LFTT

Stepbystep
Stepbystep
17 days ago

It occurred to me today that I’m able to forget but not forgive.

Some sort of protective amnesia resulting from trauma and then no contact has allowed me to function without bitterness. It doesn’t mean I’ve lost my mind. I don’t touch the hot stove and I no longer expect the stove to care.

OHFFS
OHFFS
17 days ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

“I don’t touch the hot stove and I no longer expect the stove to care.”

Great line.

OHFFS
OHFFS
17 days ago

I couldn’t agree more that bitterness is what happens if you are stuck with the shit sandwich. That could mean staying with the cheater, or it could mean that due to no fault of your own, you’re stuck with the cheater still peripherally in your life because of your kids. Of course you’ll be bitter if you can’t get rid of something that toxic. That’s how people naturally respond to being forced to live with negative situations that they can’t control.
Only chumps who never have to deal with the FW again have the luxury of avoiding feeling bitter.
People who trot out the; “You’re just bitter!” line have a lot of nerve. How does a chump’s bitterness affect them or anybody else? The bitterness is experienced only by the chump.

I have some bitterness, but it’s not so much towards the cheater, because he doesn’t matter and I no longer expect anything of him. It’s towards my family members who supported the cheater and blamed me. That part is what still I find is hardest to come to terms with.

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
17 days ago

My late father’s third wife referred to me as “bitter” in an email circulated to other family members years ago.

Well this has been a strange week. My father died last week and I just watched the funeral show on YouTube. I was estranged from him (there is indeed something strange about it, treating the mother of one’s only children and the kids like something to be erased) since 2005. It was my choice to go no contact. And I recommend it. I had already watched a video of my small extended family from a New England gathering in 2012. My father appeared as an acquaintance to me. Thanks to Tracy’s blog, which I discovered in 2016, I’ve been able to unpack and process my feelings about how my father annihilated my family and his total disregard for me, his daughter.

He was placed in hospice a couple of weeks ago. I’m only in contact with my uncle’s disordered wife, Aunt Venn aka Aunt Pazza. She alerted me to his impending death. So I put pen to paper and wrote his obituary. The full story of his life without editorializing. He died a few days later and I didn’t post it online because I didn’t want any legal problems with my father’s wife’s son, who is an attorney. I did send off the correct info to his two alma maters (two Ivy League universities) and those will be published in the next issues of alumni magazines. Plus I phoned the alumni office of his prep school and let them know. The woman who answered the phone knew my father and was probably surprised by how matter of fact I was.

I spoke to my disordered aunt on the phone when I received her email that my father had died,and asked her if she wanted to be mentioned in his obit. She exploded with “Oh my God ! You’re crazy ! You’re morbid”. I hung up on her and sent her an email telling her she was being bitchy. A few nasty emails from her, she apologized a few hours later and THEN informed me she gave my unlisted phone number to my father’s wife Hell. I sent Hell a card and will never speak to her. Radio silence since then, the silent treatment which is a tool in a narcissist’s arsenal. The mindfuck channel as Tracy describes it-charm, self-pity and rage. She’s the victim “Very tired” now because I called her out on her vicious comment.

I call my father Harlow (the wire monkey experiment). Harlow’s obit was finally posted online, he is survived by his wife, her son and his wife, son’s daughters, then my older brother, his wife and their daughter. No mention of my father’s younger brother who hasn’t seen Harlow since the bridge dedication over ten years ago. Harlow lived over 200 miles away from his brother for years and then retired with wife Hell two years ago to assisted living, only 20 miles from uncle’s home. I am mentioned as an afterthought at the very end of his obituary. I expected nothing less. I saw him for who he was and decided to protect myself. Whoever wrote the obit erased a good third of Harlow’s life in terms of Harlow’s career. His avocation became his identity;no mention of decades working as a public relations executive aka a word salad tosser.

Marco
Marco
17 days ago

If you listen to the doormatish marriage specialists you must never ever seek consequences or revenge. You most never tell the other betrayed spouse they are getting cheated on. Just let them live in their unsuspecting agony.

Marco
Marco
17 days ago

You must never be bitter. You must use that energy doing the pick me dance and trying to save the all important marriage according to the feckless experts that got their certificates from Walmart.

Bluewren
Bluewren
17 days ago
Reply to  Marco

Also, don’t forget to apologise and remember to make amends for everything that was never your fault.

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
17 days ago

When a spouse, parent, sibling or friend betrays or abuses you, you have every right to get up and leave. And not look back. It’s called self-respect.
I prefer being a “bitter bunny” to being a doormat.

Chumpcat
Chumpcat
17 days ago

Bitter is thrown around like its an insult. I had no problem modeling my favorite beverage-coffee. Strong and bitter, and if you mess around with it you will get burned.

susie lee
susie lee
16 days ago
Reply to  Chumpcat

I am old and watch a lot of old reruns, new stuff is mostly awful. I like the scene in one where one Christy says to her mother Bonnie: “you are crazy”, and Bonnie flips around and says “I am, keep that in mind”.

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
17 days ago

My favorite Valentine’s Day haiku

They are all the same
”Rules for thee and not for me”
Fuck that shit. I’m out.

👏🏻👍🏻

Mighty Warrior
Mighty Warrior
17 days ago

My experience tells me that calling the chumped partner ‘bitter’ is sometimes projection. Every word the ex said, the way he acted, dripped with bitterness. He was bitter about my existence as a perceived obstacle to the happiness that he and exgfOW were entitled to expect. He hated me. I didn’t have the energy for bitterness because I was busy trying to find jobs, get my weight back up, keep the house together, survive. I recall the ex sending me one particularly angry text. I was on a birthday weekend house party with a friend. The ex had been invited with me a year or so before, and had messed everyone about flip flopping over whether to attend. He weaponised his decision. Everyone was disgusted with him. It was me who ended up flying out with an empty seat beside me. He used my absence to raid the marital home once he was certain I was away. The night before I flew out, the boiler at home broke down. It should have been replaced years before but the ex didn’t want to spend the money. It was the coldest spell in England that year! Anyway, he sent me a text while I was away, ranting about the boiler being broken ‘I’m surprised to see carbon monoxide monitors in the house’. ‘I know you think I’m a complete bastard but I do care’. So bitter, so angry. I rarely responded but this time I did. ‘You seem very angry’ I said. His response, cue tiny violin ‘I’m not angry, but saddened’. In fact he was bitter. I was spoiling paradise with exgfOW by being inconveniently alive! I guess he also knew that he would have to share the cost of a new boiler! As he said, he was ‘sick of wasting his precious life’. I look at the actions of cheaters and see the bitterness oozing out of them along with their entitlement.

susie lee
susie lee
16 days ago
Reply to  Mighty Warrior

The only way most fw’s will not be bitter is to walk away with nothing, pay all the debt and let them have all the assets, liquid and real. And even then when their life turns to shit at their own hands, they will likely reach back and blame the chump.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
16 days ago

Chumps should be able to feel whatever the hell they feel without judgment. We shouldn’t be pressured to forgive our abusers or to swallow bitterness in order to “make nice,” to seem “evolved,” or to make others feel more comfortable.

I’m especially angry about religious folks like my ex-MIL (the most judge-y woman I knew, btw) who told me that I “shouldn’t judge” and needed to “forgive” because…God. She gave me this lecture soon after d-day when I was still reeling from the discovery of a nearly 3-year affair after 35 years of marriage. To say she lacked empathy seems like an understatement.

I don’t buy into the argument that you have to forgive and forget to move on. Sometimes I think that I cannot forget because unbidden memories won’t let me. And at other times I realize that I don’t want to forget. I want to grab onto what was real from my past, even if it was shitty, because it was real. After discovery, we question what was real. The earth seems to shift and it’s hard to get a good footing. But I’ve figured out some things that were indeed real: ex sucks; he abused me; he lied every day for years. That happened. I figured it out. It keeps me grounded. This was real.

Despite all that, I’ve moved on. 💪 And I think I’ve arrived at a shaky version of meh. I say “shaky” because I know I wouldn’t shrug if I heard that his marriage to the OW was on the rocks, that wifetress was cheating on HIM and that his self-sainted mom called him up and said, “Don’t judge.”

susie lee
susie lee
16 days ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

“his self-sainted mom called him up and said, “Don’t judge.”

I doubt that would happen, that would be different somehow. After my mother in law who was initially supportive of me, turned on me; she looked at me one day and said “I think fw just wants his freedom, you guys married young”. I just stared at her and walked away.

I wish I had said if you daughters husband had lied, cheated, emotionally abused, and squandered marital assets on a whore for years, would “oh you married too young” be an acceptable excuse for you.

Forget the fact that it didn’t make any sense, fw was not getting his freedom; he was already engaged to the whore. I was the only one getting my freedom.

NotMyFault
NotMyFault
16 days ago
Reply to  susie lee

There is a special place in hell for mothers of cheaters that side with the cheater! My former MIL (who has four sons but raised none) has four FORMER daughter-in-laws. No need to say more.

susie lee
susie lee
16 days ago
Reply to  NotMyFault

Honestly in my case, I think my mother in law was just surviving as best she could. I understood she had to go on and deal with fw and whore. I know in my heart she never wanted that, and I am betting in her mind and heart she had to hold in a lot of anger.

But, I was close to my mil, so I think that colors it for me. She pretty much always had my back in all the years her son and I were married.

Livingmybestlifenow
Livingmybestlifenow
16 days ago

My brother of all people tell me don’t be bitter! I am not bitter towards all men, or happily married couples or life in general but you better believe I am bitter towards the person who betrayed me, who future faked me by saying we had a happy home when he was out having sex with who knows who, who left my beloved daughters with FOO issues and who I am still having legal problems with 2 years after our divorce is final!

2xchump
2xchump
16 days ago

An acquaintance asked me how I was doing. I told her I was feeling better. She said good! Because anger does not become you. I told her that I was actually still very angry 6 months Post divorce and that anger was a NORMAL emotion after intimate abuse.She backed down. Anger bitter, swollen with grief, homicidal, depressed..you name it, we chumps go through it sometimes every minute or hour. No one is going to tell me how to feel unless they have left a cheater and looked to start a new life ate age 35 and again st age 70
No one! If I can leave a cheater then I can leave anyone who has no idea what they are talking about.

Overtonl
Overtonl
16 days ago

I feel like our society LOVES to blame the victim in so many situations, this is just one of many. From the moment the affair comes out to everyone else, you’re automatically blamed for the infidelity. You didn’t do enough, sex life wasn’t good- because clearly it only takes one person to have a sex life. I mean your cheating spouse just fell victim to the chump’s awful, boring behavior, it has nothing to do with the fact that they did a complete 180 from who they were for years of marriage or that they went for everything they always said they despised leaving you abandoned, humiliated, flat broke and destroyed because you actually believed everything they told you so many times over the years. Being called bitter is just another insult aimed at a person who has been truly broken down in every aspect. And since this is my life I was already very much broken. It is all the chumps fault, clearly, not the fact that they couldn’t keep their word. I can only speak for myself when I say I’m not bitter but I am shattered. Sad but true. I do not want any part of a relationship or hook ups or anything remotely resembling those things- that’s my choice, my feelings and no one has to understand that but me. Call me whatever you want to call me, I’m not doing it. Being called bitter is just one more thing that adds insult to injury for the person who was already feeling worthless in the first place. I have never and will never get an apology, I basically just no longer exist to my ex, but being the chump that I am was all concerned about his health and well being even after everything I was put through that I guess I was supposed to just be ok with and keep my mouth shut or risk being called bitter or accused of not being able to get past the divorce. I am not going to compromise my health and wellbeing just to prove I’m ok and not just sitting around waiting for him to return. I guess a hell of a lot of people just have a really simplistic way of thinking- I’m not following the crowd, I don’t owe anyone anything and that’s the end of the story for me.

Stephen
Stephen
16 days ago

I was told to quit ruminating over what happened

One last time
One last time
15 days ago

My “bitterness” helped pull me out of the pickme dance and hopium phase. I was on eggshells trying to reconcile, so I didn’t call her out on all the abuse I suffered at her hands. CL/CN helped me realize that this was all on her. Through “Bitter” eyes I now see how much shit I actually put up for the last few years. I would make up excuses for her before. No she wasn’t confused, she was playing me.
I try and tell people how adultery and the pain from it is the worst pain I’ve ever experienced, and they mostly give the standard just get over it bullshit response. Its impossible for non chumps to relate or really understand what it does to you.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
15 days ago

Calling people out on manipulation and bullshit, however, does not make you bitter — it just means you’re not a chump any more.”

Really, nothing more needs to be said.