‘He’s Moved On. I Haven’t.’

catfutureBWDear Chump Lady,

Despite two years of separation and impending divorce, I am still angry and upset. I want to smack this asshole upside his head. His stupid sister actually told me deserved to be cheated on because I was weird. (Apparently I’m too chatty and slightly scatterbrained). Last I heard wedding vows did not say unzip your fly because wifey is absentminded and a chatterbox.

But what really bugs me is I am stuck. I cannot move on. I’m angry and want to lash out at him and it won’t matter because he has moved on. (As my youngest son says, Dad moved on at the beginning of your marriage — you have a lot of catching up to do.)

Is there anything you can say to shake me out of my fog?

Thanks,

Just Another Chump

****

Dear JAC,

Gee, someone you’ve considered family for years just said you’re weird and deserved to be cheated on and you wonder why you’re upset? (You sure it’s him you want to smack upside the head and not her? Make it a twofer?)

You’re not yet divorced. It’s going to suck now. You don’t have any finality. The settlement hangs in the balance. You’re still legally and emotionally tied to this person, and if he’s like most cheaters, he’s probably screwing with the settlement. Swanning about town with his Schmoopie. Blithely skipping over his obligations, ignoring the wake of destruction he’s caused.

It’s not a super fun time, JAC. It’s a battle to stay sane. And it’s a battle you have to wage on many fronts. He’s out there with his narrative that your chattiness Drove Him To It. It’s a slog to get through the legal process, divide the assets, figure out custody. It’s a battle to stay physically healthy and not sleep deprived and emotionally exhausted. And add to all that — you’ve got the slings and arrows of an ordinary adult life. Working your job, raising your kids, getting the sixth load of laundry done.

You need to keep your eye on the prize, JAC.

Prize? What prize, you ask? The prize of living alone with half your shit? The prize of Divorce Shame? The prize of sleeping solo?

No, the prize of your new life. The prize of your saner, cheater-free life. The prize of your self-respect and agency. THAT prize.

Oh. Can it be my date to the office Christmas party?  

No.

Oh. Will my self-respect keep me company as I grow old alone with cats?

No. The cats will keep you company. And they’re much friendlier and easier to live with than cheaters. And you can chat to them all you like, they don’t mind.

Oh. Will people think I’m weird?

Who CARES? Fuck ’em! Personally, I’d find you a lot more perplexing living with a serial cheater than I would divorced. But there are people out there who will find your eccentricities endearing, who will love you right, and be true to you. Go invest in THOSE people. Why spend one more minute of your life lamenting marriage to a cheater?

Look, I know you’re grieving, and that is perfectly natural now, but there is going to come a day where you wake up (it’s a Tuesday) and you wonder what the hell you ever saw in this person. Why you ever thought losing them was a bad thing. There will come a day where you trust that he sucks and you know the Other Woman (Women) aren’t getting a prize — they’re getting a cheater. His passive aggressiveness, his dirty underwear, his bitchy sister — she gets all that wonderful and more. (She gets the Ashley Madison dating profiles too!)

There will come a day when your new life eclipses your old life and you accept. We call that “meh” here — when you get to the point where this person no longer has the power to hurt you. You won’t allow it. You’re too invested in your new life to look back.

Until then, JAC, keep marching. Call in the tanks and the artillery if you have to. But keep marching toward Meh.

***

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weedfree
weedfree
1 year ago

I wonder if JAC would be chatty and scatterbrained were it not for most likely being gaslighted by an arse for the duration of their relationship. I feel like I became a chatterbox as some sort of anxiety response, or overcompensating for the miserable ballsack. I dont think by nature I’m a talker but I’m now the resident oversharer at work and wish to God I’d learn to shut up and be mysterious.

And as for the sister blergh ~ hopefully she drew the line with her brother at emotional incest ~ my FWs sister always used that creepy sickly breathy baby voice with her brothers ~ makes my skin crawl

Ladybugchump
Ladybugchump
1 year ago
Reply to  weedfree

Dear Weedfree… I’m an over-sharer too. Learning to just not keep on talking to people who don’t care about me in the least.

sleepyhead
sleepyhead
1 year ago
Reply to  weedfree

My ex-husband’s *MOTHER* would use that breathy baby voice with him. Ugh – I’m sure that contributed to his craziness but I’m heartless and have no sympathy. Now that I’ve remembered that (and contemplated the implications), I need some brain bleach. I’m going to go look at cute kitten videos on YouTube.

Sandstone
Sandstone
1 year ago
Reply to  weedfree

“wish to God I’d learn to shut up and be mysterious.”

😂😂😂
That is so good.

Do not worry. When I was “going through it” I would torture anyone with my frantic, frenetic talking jags about The Human Scabs’s cheating , and then I would burst into tears.

I saw a man the grocery store, who came up to me and said: “Do you remember me? You were crying in the produce aisle and you told me all about you being cheated on. This was about a year ago. You were really sad.”

Mortification. I said: “Yes, I was devastated.” I did not apologize. I WAS broken.

Do you know what he said? I wish someone would love me that much.

So what if you are Chatty Kathy right now? If someone does not like it, they can go f*ck themselves.

bread&roses
bread&roses
1 year ago
Reply to  Sandstone

“wish to God I’d learn to shut up and be mysterious.” Yes! Right there with you both. Funny/not funny. Helps to read other chumps feel the same.

Fortunately, happens less and less, and what I share and how I share it has also become less intense over time. Middle school pales in comparison to these past few mortifying years, and I appreciate the patient and generous souls who gave me grace as I muddled, blurted and cried my way through.

Unicornomore
Unicornomore
1 year ago
Reply to  bread&roses

Me too…oh to be quiet, poised and mysterious… Im in the noisy cluster with you Chatty Ones accidentally emotionally vomiting all over peoples shoes. This week I was working with an editor talking about the final version of an article and I told her how shitty my work was to me….yea , THAT was a great idea. Maybe she was having a bad day and needed to hear that everyone gets shit at work.

Truth though – we reach people that the quiet mysterious ones never do…we make human connections – however flawed – that help the people who we bump into on any given day

DrChump
DrChump
1 year ago
Reply to  Sandstone

” I wish someone would love me that much.”
For the Win!!!! What a perfect response

KB22
KB22
1 year ago
Reply to  weedfree

Most borderline women will engage in baby or little girl talk. Sickening.

KatiePig
KatiePig
1 year ago
Reply to  KB22

This is true. Every borderline woman I’ve ever known has done it and it is creepy as shit.

M
M
1 year ago
Reply to  KatiePig

Or wear 12 rings on their hands

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
1 year ago
Reply to  M

💍 x12 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Ironwood
Ironwood
1 year ago
Reply to  KB22

Apparently used as an affectation to hook men by certain women. The Ow in my case left messages on the phone for FW in a high breathy voice, like a child. Think JFK, and Marilyn Monroe singing happy birthday to him.

Adelante
Adelante
1 year ago
Reply to  KB22

My now ex husband used to do it, and it ramped up to insane proportions when he was “larping” as a woman.

Skunkcabbage
Skunkcabbage
1 year ago
Reply to  Adelante

My X would do this on occasion, trying to wheedle me, thinking it was cute? Totally turned me off. I want a man, not a man-baby.

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
1 year ago
Reply to  weedfree

We are twins. Totally. Thanks for reminding me. I needed to read this just now, so timely.

MrWonderful’sEx
MrWonderful’sEx
1 year ago
Reply to  weedfree

Klootzak and his sister are also weird. Klootzak just vacationed with SIL and they called our child to chat. I overheard SIL asked our child how he was doing in school and he shared something about his day. Klootzak immediately jumped in with “Were you good at it, though?” (I think it was some sport in PE.). And SIL interrupted with “Of course, he is! We breed winners!” And I threw up in my mouth a little.

SIL worships the ground klootzak walks on and klootzak has a fetish about brother/sister incest. You do the math.

Unicornomore
Unicornomore
1 year ago

“Of course, he is! We breed winners!”

That completely creeps me out. What a horrible concept to ingrain into kids that they are only accepted if they are exceptional. By its very definition, few will actually BE exceptional. There is nothing wrong with being average at most things.

Unicornomore
Unicornomore
1 year ago
Reply to  weedfree

I am sure that I had bizarre anxiety responses from the endless shit I had to face with Cheater and Im sure he used my responses against me. I too overcompensated to a toxic degree and nearly destroyed myself in it.

He also had a sister who thought he was the Crown Prince and she was sjitty to me from our very first meeting. She had a good marriage and seemingly nice kids but shit all over it for some crazy “Eat Pray Love” sort of flight into singleness that didnt turn out well in the end. For the longest time, I internally gloated but her life is now such a hot mess that its pitiable and I stopped out of mercy to the universe.

It took me a long time to get to my good place (like super long) but I got there and I am more Meh about that dark time than I ever thought possible. Keep moving forward.

DrChump
DrChump
1 year ago
Reply to  Unicornomore

Thanks for this

LookingForwardstoTuesday
LookingForwardstoTuesday
1 year ago

JAC,

I know that this is a rerun, so I hope that you’re in a better place now. Fundamentally, it takes time to get to Tuesday …. rest assured that you will find it eventually and that the fog will, over time, dissipate.

In the meantime, I’d advise that you see the truth that your son sees already; his Dad had a head start on you, and so resist the temptation to draw direct comparisons with where your FW is at.

You’ve got this.

LFTT

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
1 year ago

“Dad had a head start on you…”

This issue of cheaters having a head start is galling. Isn’t it?

They start “packing” and preparing for their new lives without us while we’re in the dark. They have their dog-eared post D-Day to-do lists while we aren’t even sure where to find a pad and pen.

And they deceive, of course.

They may say something like:: “Let’s do a financial plan so we know we have enough in retirement.”
What they mean: “I want to do a financial plan so I know I’ll be ok when I leave you.”

They may say: “I’m going to clean the basement.”
What they mean: “I’m going to sort through stuff in the basement in preparation for leaving you.”

They may say: “I want to retire early because I’m tired of work.”
What they mean: “I want to retire early, so I won’t have to pay alimony and so I can travel with schmoopie.”

And, if you’re like me, you’ll thank your partner for being so responsible about finances and for taking the initiative to sort through the crap in the basement. You’ll support their decision to retire and help them with pros and cons lists re that retirement. 🤦🏻‍♀️

DUDDERSGETSCHUMPED
DUDDERSGETSCHUMPED
1 year ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

Your posts so often resonate. Ex sat me down and we had a ‘I am worried about money’ conversation. Apparently he he tried to talk about it before but I he SHUT HIM DOWN . OK I said let’s talk through your worries. We did this at his mum’s house . I had ALWAYS kept detailed excel sheets of what we spent on what with zero input from him. He was on copy. So I said OK what ails? We spend to much blah blah . So the whole time had been together knowing I am a little flighty with spare cash in the bank I had laid All the bills, and said I will ask you for what we need but you save the rest. Believing it was for us both and also acknowledging a more spend thrift nature than him. This is suddenly an issue so I say. We have had a joint account since day dot. You earn double what I do. So from now how about you lay two thirds fo all the hols, I will pay one third and we will both ‘keep’ all the rest. He agrees but looked perturbed. I wonder why, cause that won’t serve him. Two weeks later it’s payday and mortgage day etc. I go to buy a sandwich at lunch and I am seriously overdrawn as he has refused to put money into the joint account. So of course I ring him and say WTAF?? He doesn’t say thing just pays the money.

But yeah I am and with money, I never listened to his concerns and am an awful person. Let us not forget the £10K he took back from a joint account I was trying to close that was part of our settlement agreement not the fact he has reneged on said agreement when he felt like it from the start. Literally what comes out of their mouths is just filth. Ignore it.

Chumpolicious
Chumpolicious
1 year ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

Spinach@35,
Totally right. They are disingenuous. How are we to know? For the newbies, assume everything they say is a lie. They are lying liars who lie. Thats what they do. Wish CL were more known, instead of RIC. All the RIC people are in it for the $$$$.

Anarchyintheukok
Anarchyintheukok
1 year ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

This is so eerily true Spinach it took my breath away. Evil, sly fuckers that they are

This Shit is NOT my Story
This Shit is NOT my Story
1 year ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

They said: “Let’s fix up our house with great curb appeal so we can buy bigger.”
What they mean: “Let’s have you do all the work to get this place ready because I am putting a non-contingent offer on a place with our money and I will blindside you with it all.”

Chumpolicious
Chumpolicious
1 year ago

#This shit is not my story.
Similar thing happened to me. When you are in RIC, you think great, we are fixing up the house, he is recommitted, we will grow old together in the house. Next thing you know you are selling your dream home. At least you get a better price with all the work you did. But the whole reason FW wanted to fix up in the first place is because they are planning on selling all along. Just biding their time.

This Shit is NOT my Story
This Shit is NOT my Story
1 year ago
Reply to  Chumpolicious

I so wish that were true – we got totally hosed because he had already put a non-contingent offer on his new place and we sold under duress. He signed on the first low-ball offer because we could not afford both mortgages. Other houses in awful condition went for about 300K more than ours. Makes me sick to my stomach to think about all he took from me- house, retirement, 1/2 of my kids’ childhood, years of my life, etc. I know people lose way more, but pain is relative and it hurts likea b*tch. I am like the writer above – still not moved on from the anger and massive resentment. Doubt I ever will be.

Little Wing
Little Wing
1 year ago
Reply to  Chumpolicious

“….is because they are planning on selling all along. Just biding their time.”

Such a gigantic Rectal Orifice.

I am so sorry for everything that you – and TSINMS – have had to go through with your FWs.

Ironwood
Ironwood
1 year ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

All so true, Spinach!
In my case he also contacted the lawyer and had us update the wills so that i was cut out of certain assets under the guise of passing them to the children.
He also renewed his passport early for 10 years in preparation for travel with the OW.

LookingForwardstoTuesday
LookingForwardstoTuesday
1 year ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

S@35,

It’s not so much as not knowing where to find a pad and pen, rather that I didn’t even know that I needed a pad and pen until she told me that she was leaving me and the kids ….. conveniently leaving out the bit about this being to be with the AP that she denied having an affair with.

LFTT

Doingme
Doingme
1 year ago

The lopsided relationship where you are the only one talking is typical with cheaters.

They’ll ‘yes’ you to death and all the blame is yours as the complaints start rolling in.

I’d rather talk to myself than waste energy on a dimwit who can only make plans with AP’S.

OHFFS
OHFFS
1 year ago

“But there are people out there who will find your eccentricities endearing, who will love you right, and be true to you. Go invest in THOSE people.”

This is no doubt true and I hope she did just that.

It strikes me that she didn’t spend much time reading the comments, because if she had she’d know how normal it is to have those feelings. She needs to be NC with that sister (and any other cretinous FW relatives) in order to feel better. The last thing we need to deal with is the kind of trash who delight in ripping a scab off so we’ll bleed again. There’s no healing happening if that’s going on. I’d even say we need to be NC with anybody who insists on talking about FW and his/her new life, schmoopie, etc.. We need to inform them that it’s hurtful, and anybody who refuses to stop doing it then is shown to be a sadist and must go.

Unicornomore
Unicornomore
1 year ago
Reply to  OHFFS

When I started dating again, I sought out deep, profound truths to guide me (and CL shares some “good picker” ideas) yet, a really goofy saying I ran across helped me more than a lot of the “deep” stuff…here it is:

“Everyone is crazy, find someone who thinks that your version of crazy is cute”.
I could give dozens of examples in my now (healthy) marriage…we are both really goofy and odd in ways that are kinda cute (I dont wish to overstep, but maybe even in a Mr & Mrs Chumplady sort of way).

Little Wing
Little Wing
1 year ago
Reply to  Unicornomore

“Everyone is crazy, find someone who thinks that your version of crazy is cute”.

Thank you so much, Unicornnomore!

And FWIW, my spouse goes way beyond “accepting me for what I am, in spite of my eccentricities”. He actually GLORIES in my eccentricities.

ISawTheLight
ISawTheLight
1 year ago
Reply to  Unicornomore

What scares me is that I *thought* that was what FW and I were like. He seemed to love all my quirks and craziness, odd hobbies and interests. Until, YEARS later, he turned it all around on me and made it all the reasons he hated me, the fuel for all his insults. A way to tear me down and crush my spirit. Then turned around and liked all of OW’s quirks that were … remarkably similar (for instance, we are both rather clumsy – but he’d yell at me and call me stupid, but he’d tell her she was adorable when she tripped over her own feet). It was all manipulation and lies.

I don’t trust any of it anymore.

I’m happy single. With friends who enjoy my particular version of weird. Friends don’t have any ulterior motives, like sex, to be disingenuous.

Anarchyintheukok
Anarchyintheukok
1 year ago
Reply to  ISawTheLight

Me too ISawTheLight, mine seemed to adore me and then turned on me in the blink of an eye, after years

Chumpkins
Chumpkins
1 year ago

In the blink of an eye, “idealize” went to “devalue”. How to trust anyone after that? Or even ourselves? How much identity and self-concept was built on a foundation of mistaking his moods for proof that we were worthy of love?

Fortunately, decades later, I realized that there are some reliable indicators between real gold and fool’s gold. Red flags are smugness, contempt, too much envy, hypocrisy, too much self congratulation (they’re so much better than other sinners). Holding themselves above things like weird. Good indicators are humility, authenticity, no guile, consideration/helping without an audience. All of which helped me build trust in my perception, my self, and others.

IcanseeTuesday
IcanseeTuesday
1 year ago

I hope the OP has gained her new life. By definition, cheating is “moving on” behavior, while anger and grief are the appropriate emotional responses to betrayal. And cheaters need to devalue chumps to justify their own lack of character. Staying away from anyone who tries to rewrite our history is imperative. Finding people who are capable of supporting our healthy futures is slightly more in our control. Healing is a largely solitary endeavor, but the resulting human being is magnificent.

Imatmeh
Imatmeh
1 year ago

What is it with the sisters of these cheaters?? My ex cheated on me with a MAN (and admitted to being gay) and I found a text later that the sister texted my ex, A WEEK after I found out and kicked him out , that said “tell her to move on and get a life”.

Regret
Regret
1 year ago
Reply to  Imatmeh

I think the sisters tend to be raging co- dependents. I’m college I had a narcissistic boyfriend & his relationship with his sister was completely wacko. He eventually dumped ( discarded) me out of the blue & I always suspected she might have been behind it. He had an off and on relationship with her and during the times thy were closer our relationship would be markedly worse. It was very strange.

hush
hush
1 year ago
Reply to  Imatmeh

Sisters of male cheaters who are enmeshed with their brothers have major internalized misogyny. We live in a patriarchy where women are blamed for anything their man does – apparently we magically made our men into closed gay cheaters. 😜

LookingForwardstoTuesday
LookingForwardstoTuesday
1 year ago
Reply to  Imatmeh

Imatmeh,

You raise an interesting question. In my case, Ex-Mrs LFTT’s sister takes an exceptionally dim view of what her sister did (and continues to do) and has gone out of her way to support me and our kids ….. much to Ex-Mrs LFTT’s chagrin. Ex-Mrs LFTT’s sister also cannot stand Ex-Mrs LFTT’s partner (ie her AP as was) to the point that she avoids him like the plague.

Overall, I suspect there is an argument that a lot of sisters of male cheaters behave in odd (Freudian?) ways when it comes to their brother’s behaviours.

LFTT

WarrenBuffetOfLies
WarrenBuffetOfLies
1 year ago

I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s a common thread. My mother (who had been dying the entire duration of the affair) died 6 weeks after DDay and FW’s sister messaged me condolences, which were fine, but the text started out with “I’m sorry for what you and MyFWBrother are going through.” What HE’S going through? Are you serious? He’s been basically living with Schmoopie employee for weeks and been on dating sites shopping for other hookups for his newfound ENM lifestyle since basically day 1! The families are equally delusional if not complicit. The funny thing is that FWsister was a lot like me and would probably find Schmoopie’s super-mom-super-Susie-homemaker persona and patronizing demeanor insufferable.

DrChump
DrChump
1 year ago

When you figure out a way to turn off feelings and emotions let me know. That is one of the problems. If we Chumps could turn off our feelings and emotions I suspect moving on wouldn’t be that hard. That being said having that ability would probably make one a sociopath, or worse a FW.
For now I think only time will blunt the pain. Now excuse me while I remind son to wish narc FW a happy birthday before she shamed him.
Have the best day you can everybody

Nolongercrazyafteralltheseyears
Nolongercrazyafteralltheseyears
1 year ago
Reply to  DrChump

100% agree. Emotions are rough, tough and no fun. This is why the FW play with them so much. Most days I’m loving the peace and lack-of-drama life (even with 4 teenagers!!). Some nights, I dream of that time and wake up with my heart racing and tears streaming down my face. My particular FW “promised” no more lies after DD2. Guess what? LOL.

My attorney also recommended to support the kids to buy gifts, make phone calls, etc. as a defense to a parental alienation claim. Thing is, they don’t want to–in their very astute view, he’s the adult and he should be reaching out to them. My youngest (11!!) explained it to me that FW is the adult and putting his shit on them is a sign of immaturity and selfishness. Out of the mouths of babes….

It has been 3 years since DD3. As predicted, settlement has stalled because he wants to “resolve his feelings”. I rather think it is to avoid more child support–as does my lawyer. In a surprise decision, I informed my attorney I will no longer negotiate and set it for trial. Judge is going to flip–and hopefully award my attorneys fees–when he finds out the trial is about personal property (e.g. the couch, dishes, and his guns) and final medical decision-making. Yep. Well, his back child support as well but he doesn’t understand that he actually has to pay for the needs of these trophy-kids. #nogettingoutalive

Can I control my emotions? Sometimes. Turns out, I’m a human being. I’ve taken SSRIs during this ordeal; I didn’t want to but my amazing FNP supported the decision. I feel less crazy and can sometimes sleep. #winning

One breath at a time. I see Meh on the horizon. #winningevenmore

loch
loch
1 year ago

Why haven’t you moved on?

Still in shock?
Still in denial?
No plan forward?
Afraid of the reality?

All understandable. We tell ourselves a narrative and when we come up against the untruth of the narrative, it goes against what we believe; what we are conditioned to accept.
It’s cognitive dissonance.
https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-cognitive-dissonance-2795012

Need to reconcile our beliefs with reality. Hard but doable.

Two more years already spent on the fuckwit is time enough.
You’re a chatterbox? Life is for learning, changing and growing.Maybe you need to dial chatting back.
Absentminded? Easy with fuckwit gaslighting.

List your good qualities. Build on that. You matter.

Fukk the fuckwit and his sister. Get onto better.

CrispyChick
CrispyChick
1 year ago

@ Dr Chump –I was reading through the attorney from yesterday’s blogposts and she advised to help young kids buy a holiday present for our FWs (bdays too, I suppose). I was not sure how I felt about this. Maybe just prompting kiddo wishing a happy bday is good enough.

@ JAC – I hope you have moved on by now. I’m still in the midst of divorce misery and have a lot of anger. But I would say I have am getting brief glimpses of meh-type apathy when I think of FW. Or maybe its just the anhedonia-type symptoms of depression. I’ll take it, I guess. I would like to close this chapter. its the worst. I actually hope his dating profiles yield a new victim soon. I hate to wish that on another person, but I do think it would generally be a good thing for me overall. Let me have this one selfish wish. God knows he has probably cooled it with the married women APs. One of those APs would be the best outcome for me and the universe — to get more enmeshed with one of them. But they would not be available as the wife appliance that he so desperately needs, so he is probably going to search for some unsuspecting chump-like woman ready to dry his salty tears from his horrible STBXW (me).

NotAnymore
NotAnymore
1 year ago
Reply to  CrispyChick

As I see it, I was fired from the job of being his personal gift coordinator – besides, he never once coordinated my kids having a gift for me on mother’s day, birthdays, or holidays.

He can go buy last minute grocery store flowers for himself.

FuckWitFree
FuckWitFree
1 year ago

I still have anger and frustration and sadness. It’s hard not to when you’ve had that kind of damage and trauma. I try my best to channel it towards seeing him exactly for who he really is, cleaning out my house and clutter, getting rid of anything and everything that is connected to him, using garden tools and hammers with aggressive abandon, painting over old walls, making new friends who don’t victim shame, enjoying alone time and pets, listening to entirely different kinds of music, and never never never never having any contact with his friends and family.

KB22
KB22
1 year ago

The “chatty & scatterbrained” labeling seems like a stretch…like they need to come up with something for treating you like shit. Your stbx and his sister are asswipes, obviously runs in the family. No contact with cheater and his family is imperative.

Ain't It a Shame
Ain't It a Shame
1 year ago

It’s easy for shallow voids to move on; for people with healthy attachments, it takes time. Their family typically sides with them because it’s the path of least resistance and their wiring is usually screwed up as well, so no surprise there.

In hindsight, my happiest memories with fuckwit were centered on our pets, friends and hobbies, things that I value and still have in my life. Fuckwit was just an automaton who was as invested and relevant as the wallpaper.

Understanding that your healing and happiness isn’t predicated on anything a fuckwit, their flying monkeys or fair weather friends do or say is the game changer.

Falling Forward
Falling Forward
1 year ago

CL, I really needed this message today, thank you.

ChumpedForANewerModel
ChumpedForANewerModel
1 year ago

I hope JAC has moved forward from this point. I still feel some anger, frustration and whatever because I invested myself in the marriage and he decided not to. Of course, his decisions were not communicated to me. I guess the real issue is that he took all these actions and I had no agency. The whole process of divorce was long, frustrating and full of havoc. It sucked but as Chump Lady said, it is finite. It does end although not as quickly as we would like.
I have been free for a little over two months now and I have noticed that I dwell on FW and the divorce less with each passing day. I am too busy with the “gain a life” phase right now. I am working on home improvements that I can do myself, finding someone to do the improvements that I can’t do myself and just keeping up with work and life.
I am sure FW and Schmoopie (and the secondary massage parlor hookers) are blissfully happy satisfying all their fantasies. She got the prize and I got a great settlement. I do think I won! I have a nice peaceful life now and don’t have to bend over backwards to try to make a perpetually unhappy person happy.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
1 year ago

Eh, reframe:

Change “chatterbox” to “the gift of gab.”

I was married to an almost pathologically quiet person. I would have welcomed some chatter/gab. It’s not always a bad thing, imo.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
1 year ago

I have four friends who have lost their husbands recently. Two of the husbands died and two were cheating and left.

It’s been very much on my mind that
people whose spouses/partners die get treated very differently, and much better, than people who lose their spouses/partners because of infidelity, and I think this is a travesty.

Recovery from infidelity is a process and a very long one. There is only one way and that is THROUGH. No shortcuts, no getting around it. I am in year five. I am much better. I do not want to be married to him. I do not miss him. Spells of anger and rage still visit. I am still being fucked with and re-traumatized. “Moving On” is riding the waves of Up and Down. I am always moving FORWARD. It is a gradual, very individual process. Grief, loss, betrayal, trauma. I am moving, and I am moving forward. No one knows how slowly this happens until it happens to them. I may reach a place where I feel totally neutral. Like a war wound, it will be with me for life and may flare up and hurt. It’s an extremely serious, deep, astronomically painful injury with catastrophic damage.

When your spouse dies, everyone rallies around with sympathy, cards, flowers, casseroles. They ask how they can help. They organize meal trains. Your spouse is gone. You still have your memories, your family, your friends, your physical world.

When your spouse cheats you lose EVERYTHING in a flash like an atomic bomb went off. You get blamed for their infidelity. What they did get excused and defended. The CHEATERS get support! You lose family, friends, home, assets. Every single good memory is in question with slime all over it. No cards, flowers, sympathy, casseroles, meal trains. As if I could eat.

No one asked me to let them know if they could do anything to help. I was treated as if I was radioactive by everybody. I only talked to friends this had happened too, for a very long time.
Even they treated me very differently than if he had died.

Massive trauma, pain, damage. Your life is a horrific crime scene to clean up and rebuild. Ongoing traumatizing from the still living fraudulent spouse if you have children together.

I have made it a point to be there for my friends who have lost their spouses to cheating as if those spouses had died. Because IMHO what they are going through is far worse than if they had died, and the recovery process is far more lengthy and complicated and painful and far worse than if they had died.

Samsara
Samsara
1 year ago

VH speaks the absolute truth. The nub of the horror is revealed in these wise words.❤️

In my case, it may as well have been the death of the cheater because it certainly felt like the death of me. It absolutely was the death of us and our life together as well as the death of every single assumption I had about my own life, the marriage and partnership I thought we had and were building, my (both sides) family and ultimately my entire personal history.

Nothing was left after the nuking. Nothing was left of my joy, hopes and dreams. Being asked to be “other’ than however I was (to make someone else comfortable), in whatever moment I found myself, from literally all sides of my life — “you need to move on / get over it / stop ruminating” — “why are you so angry” — “so what else is going on in your life” — “so are you seeing anyone?” — “You only feel like this because you haven’t met anyone else yet”… as if a life partner is somehow so easily replaced just because the cheater found the first available hole to use, somehow I’m a loser who simply hasn’t found an available pole to use.

On and on…etc etc deflect / minimise / trail off / avoid / change the subject / blithely surmise how I should be feeling according to them etc etc was all insulting, hurtful, gaslight-y and devastating in equal measure. This went on for a long time and I thought I was losing my mind the entire time. I couldn’t believe people I actually knew and who claimed to love me could be so callous, careless, vicious and so so brutal in their disregard and treatment of me let alone so completely unsupportive in the wake of the revelation of my then husbands secret relationship. It felt like a pile on. I finally concluded it was because they were glad I was suffering (schadenfreud) and it somehow (for who knows what reasoning) evened the score for them in some ways in their head — that my life was imploding. Many hundreds of therapy hours were spent unpacking the torturously painful rejection(s) on all these fronts. It felt and, in some way it still feels, never ending.

The upshot was that little to nothing was left in the aftermath in the way of friends, family and in-laws who I felt had my back and were supportive. Any support I received I had to pay for. Friends faked it for a while but peeled off or burned out or revealed their true nature / character. This was the nightmare. Social isolation and starting again in every single aspect of my life. I’m also 5 and a half years out from D-Day, soon to be 3 years divorced. Nothing could make me want to be with the cheater again and I refused to take him back when my head and heart were at screaming odds with each other. Since then there have been many days I wish he had died and I was widowed. It would have been so very painful but way, way, less painful than this experience.
I hope JAC and all the chumps who relate to the OP feel so much happier today. And I hope we all get peace.

CrispyChick
CrispyChick
1 year ago

OMG, what an insight! This is so true. Even people who really do love me (not switzerland friends, true friends and close family) kind of want me to “move on” and don’t understand why I am still depressed and not jumping for joy because I’m no longer walking on eggshells. Yes, sure, a lot of things are better and I have good hours but a lot of dark days as well. I got a little angry with someone last night who said something like this and thought maybe I was overreacting.

I am definitely going to pay it forward with some of these ideas. You and all of CN are so inspiring. Thinking of CLs aunt too.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
1 year ago

If you know someone who has been cheated on, bring cards and flowers and casseroles. Call and ask how they are doing. Be a good listener. Ask what you can do to help them that day. Share resources that have helped you. Do this not just for a little while but for years to come. The pain and damage and crime scene cleanup and fallout reach far far far into the future. Use your DDay or other painful anniversaries to reach out and help fellow chumps. This has been the number one thing that has helped me “move on” (a phrase which totally rubs me the wrong way, as it does not describe the essence of the healing process.)

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
1 year ago

It is incredibly dismissive and egregiously disrespectful to say one fucking word about “moving on” to someone who has been cheated on.
IMHO.

People do not respect infidelity for the horrific assault, soul rape and soul murder that it is. It becomes very clear when it happens to you.

Please do not criticize yourself for how you feel and where you are in the healing process, dear ones.

Those on the sidelines, who are not in the trenches, can be REALLY uncomfortable seeing the damage and get all up in your face about “moving on”. Don’t be in your own face about “moving on”. Don’t let anyone get in your face with insensitive ignorant opinions about “moving on”.

I realize that critiquing how I feel is one of the things that led me to choose him and stay with him. It does not serve me. One very important way I need to love and care for and support myself is to accept how I feel, and to love and care for myself in response.

It makes as much sense to yell at a
broken leg to heal on my timeline.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
1 year ago

Here! Here!

Nothing’s more invalidating than being told to move on.

It’s code for:
*It couldn’t have been THAT bad
*I’m tired of hearing about this
*It makes me uncomfortable
*Something is wrong with you that you can’t let it go.
*You seem happier now, so wasn’t it a good thing?
*Life is too short.
*Just forgive already.
*Your x has moved on.
*And the real kicker from the religious types: “God would want you to move on and forgive. That’s true grace.”

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
1 year ago

Agree!

And truly listening to chumps even when they repeat themselves (which is what chumps do as they try to process the entire shit show), is just about the most important thing we can do.

Sobrokenstill
Sobrokenstill
1 year ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

I wish I had someone like that
To just repeat myself too!

Falling Forward
Falling Forward
1 year ago

100%. You are absolutely spot-on here, thank you for putting this in writing.
Even in the first 48 hours after DDay, my FW and I talked about this, how much easier it would’ve been if he had just died. My children and I would’ve been immediately engulfed in support, no shame-filled nights alone grieving, and the financial fallout would be straightforward and immediate.

Sirchumpalot
Sirchumpalot
1 year ago

It really doesn’t matter what is wrong with you (everyone has annoying quirks). The cheaters with find some excuse to cheat on you. My XW told me she hated my ADHD, emotional issues from an extremely abusive father, and on top of those gave me a list of 30 things I needed to change for her to reconcile with me. Yet she never left me but stayed for 24 years. I must not have been that horrible of a husband and father. Eventually you will move on. Work on the things you need to work on (everyone does). Find people who love your chattiness.

Spackle Queen
Spackle Queen
1 year ago

Hey girl, unfortunately you will have to feel all the feels; it’s a process. Your ex skipped this because he went right back into the fire. He’s dragged all his bad qualities (you should list those) with absolutely no enlightenment or growth (maturity) about himself & foisted it upon the OW (no sorries for her!). You, on the other hand, have the opportunity to begin working on being the best you. How I went leaps & bounds & put miles beyond the divorce/betrayal trauma is when I started putting myself out there socially & joined meetup groups for social & outdoor activities. Joining people (not dating them) for hikes & happy hour have been my lifesaver! I’m even going skiing this weekend with a group. I can do all the things (camping, kayaking, vacations, etc) without dating a guy to do them! I’m an Ambivert (balance of introvert /extrovert so I’m not always doing activities just enough to make meaningful connections & get my fill of doing fun things). There are book clubs, volunteer organizations, many things out there that can start you on a path to a new life & fill your soul at the same time. If you can’t find one, start one. I started a local walking group & now many locals organize walks daily & I just join in when I can/want to. We can rise from the fire (unlike our fuckwits who went to a different fire) or we can stay burned & never heal from it. I choose to be a phoenix, I hope you do too!

M
M
1 year ago
Reply to  Spackle Queen

MeetUp groups are awesome and almost every town has them.

Spackle Queen
Spackle Queen
1 year ago
Reply to  M

M: I was shy at first to join meetup but now I’m sure glad I did! I’ve expanded my social circle & met people/done things I never would have with my ex-husband! I very much believe that trauma has to leave the body as well as the mind, so doing physical things has been just as important!

Michael Worthy
Michael Worthy
1 year ago

what is it with sil , ex sil said to ex wife when having her online sneaky affair which ended with her walking out on a 24 year marriage . Its normal and ok to love 2 people at the same time uugh ,

Spackle Queen
Spackle Queen
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Worthy

It’s okay to love multiple people (we love our family & children, for example); however, where the sister went wrong is where it’s not okay to break commitments to those we love. She’s comparing apples to bananas! And obviously no surprise that poor character runs in their family.

SortOfOverIt
SortOfOverIt
1 year ago
Reply to  Spackle Queen

Mine likes to say that it “just happened.” Here’s the thing, if he loves her and doesn’t love me, we have to get divorced. That is just a fact at this time. But he says it like he is blameless, “I wasn’t happy, and I just fell in love with her.” Dude, you met her online and she lives on the other side of the country. It didn’t JUST HAPPEN. You were obviously online behaving as if you were not married with a kid. (She knew he was married with a kid, I don’t mean he was lying, just that he didn’t have the boundaries a married man should have. It takes time to find someone in the Twitterverse and fall in love. He did NOT meet her on a dating site. It took a lot of bad decisions on his part to get there.

M
M
1 year ago

Cheaters (and often their family of origin) are shallow superficial people. So they ‘move on’ quickly. That is actually a sign of poor character.

portia
portia
1 year ago

I remember trying to hold on to what I thought I had. It took time and perspective to realize I was trying to swim holding onto a big stone. Let go of the stone. You will feel better immediately because you are no longer weighted down with a cheating, lying, expensive stone. You will move forward, because you no longer sink. You will reach shore (Meh) because you can. Just believe in the possibility that you can be happy without the stone. If Schmoopie wants to tell herself the stone is a pearl and go diving, Southern observers would say, “Bless her heart, she can try to polish that stone. It will never be a pearl.”

The core belief of chump nation is leave a cheater. Go no contact. Gain a life. Believe your life will be better. Ask chump nation how we know. We’ve been there. Once you accept the first step, the next step will be easier. Have faith in yourself.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
1 year ago
Reply to  portia

“Let go of the stone.”

Love it!!!

tallgrass
tallgrass
1 year ago

Your son’s analysis is golden. I wasted 40 years. So much catching up to do. I do now believe he was a cheater from day one so he never broke his stride.

It’s been 3 years and I can kind of keep my balance, like a toddler now confidently able to get from momma’s arms to a nearby chair. Painfully slow progress, but better than being in fetal position on the floor; screaming.

I really doubt I have enough years of life left to ever get to Meh. But, occasionally I see a glimpse of a real Tuesday; at least for a few hours mid-afternoon on an exceptionally beautiful weather day. I’ve spotted it enough times now that I do believe chumplady is describing a real place.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
1 year ago

Criminals are very good at “moving on”.

Their targets usually take longer.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
1 year ago

It took me a long time to see him as he is and not as who I thought he was. Looking back, I can see how checked out he was. I can’t believe now that I ever thought we were a tight bonded family.

He had been hiding the truth about himself a very long time before I saw it. So I wouldn’t even say “he’s moved on and I haven’t.” I would say “I just found out my marriage was a sham, my husband is a fraud with a secret double life, and I have a lot of reality to catch up with.”

“Moving on” implies that he was there, sincerely partnered with me, and he wasn’t.

The most difficult hurdle in getting divorced was internalizing that he was not who I thought he was, that he was my enemy, that he wasn’t my friend, that he probably was never my friend. Mediation sessions were surreal, with mind movies of our wedding playing in the background.

Based on how he treats people, I’ve concluded the only thing he loves is his dick. That’s very clearly the relationship he values most. How someone looks and having sex with them is typical of adolescent relationships and that’s the level he operates at. That’s who the OW’s get and they’re welcome to it.

Sobrokenstill
Sobrokenstill
1 year ago

My x2b has such a track record with women I have less than zero self esteem and am afraid no man does anything but fantasize about younger perfectly gorgeous bodies and I’ll always only be an orifice for their fantasies but never exist as a woman bc I’m not young and gorgeous

CrispyChick
CrispyChick
1 year ago
Reply to  Sobrokenstill

I’m still struggling with this a bit too, but it helps to just tell myself I *need* to be alone for awhile…a long while. There is no need to be desirable right now. I do want to take care of myself and look nice, but it’s just for me and my friends.

I am not an orifice. I’m actually a decent, hardworking, caring person. He is a shallow manchild with an empty elevator shift where his soul should been.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
1 year ago

Too chatty? That’s right up there with using bagged salad as an excuse to cheat. In my case it was my nervous laugh that drove him crazy. Funny how that nervous laugh left me along with him when he took off. I wonder if Schmoopie has it now?

For the record, also let me just say that I like weird people. They are interesting. To me, “normal” is a dirty word and I would consider it an insult if anybody ever called me “normal”. That being said, “weird” is pretty subjective and you do need to consider the source when someone call you “weird”. If messed up people think you are “weird” by their standards, well, maybe that is not a bad thing because you might not want to be what constitutes “normal” in their world view.

Chumpolicious
Chumpolicious
1 year ago

Weird means not keeping up the perfect façade.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
1 year ago

”Bagged salad” still blows my mind, brings on fits of derisive laughter, and IMHO is the ultimate proof that cheaters reside on an inferior rung on the ladder of humanity.

Newcomers, check out the classic blog entry here about bagged salad.

It can be used as a spell, Harry-Potter-like, whenever you get attacked by thought of self blame.

Point your want at yourself in the mirror and say, “Bagged Saladus!”

Zip
Zip
1 year ago

‘Swanning about town with his Schmoopie. ………….. ignoring the wake of destruction he’s caused’
Makes me think of Amy and TJ….ahh cheaters……so ‘special’

Anarchyintheukok
Anarchyintheukok
1 year ago

Cheaters can all fuck off and then when they get there can fuck off some more

Mine had 3.5 years to ‘get over it’ from the comfort of our marriage whilst I was clueless

I thought he was suffering from depression after a family death and I continued to care for him whilst he was shagging frumpy, dumpy, dullard OW

He enjoyed ‘family’ time with us and home cooked meals, clean clothes, child care and sex with two women while he readied himself

I’m no where near meh, I’m so angry at being conned. Not quite two years for me. Still waiting for him to finalise things, still feel he enjoys trying to call the shots

He skips blithely off on countless holidays and adventures, leaving me to do the dull, adulting shit

I had to find a job in record time, in the early days, while all I wanted to do was cry and vomit. I had to sign on for benefits for the first time in my life

May they all crash and burn

Velvet is spot on with her analogy. I wish mine had died before I found out about his cheating and I would have had my memories and faith in human nature intact

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
1 year ago

“I’m so angry at being conned.” Yep. Same.

In retrospect, the actual sex between x and AP doesn’t seem to matter as much as the con.

It’s the con that traumatizes.

It’s the con that won’t let me sleep at night.

It’s the con that makes me angry and reluctant to trust.

It’s the con that makes me shut of the tv when I catch a whiff of an affair brewing between two characters.

It’s the con that makes me question my judgment.

It’s the con that makes me hope that AP-now-wife cheats on him so that he can feel what I feel, which in turn makes me hate myself because I don’t want to be a person who craves revenge.

Because x wasn’t conned, he can “move on” in a way that I can’t. And that pisses me off. He called all the shots. He deceived. He lied every day for years.

Of course, the poor thing now has the sadz. He has no idea. Cheaters can’t imagine the pain they’ve caused.

SortOfOverIt
SortOfOverIt
1 year ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

“In retrospect, the actual sex between x and AP doesn’t seem to matter as much as the con.”

Very similar feelings here. He has always been jealous and controlling to the point of emotional/verbal/mental abuse. I had never done a thing to make him have a reason to feel that way. (I now realize it was all deflection because HE was untrustworthy) So for me, the fact that he had the audacity to cheat after he put me through all that? That probably pisses me off more than the actual cheating.

Queen of Shade
Queen of Shade
1 year ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

Dear Spinach and Anarchy,

Infidelity is the gift that just keeps giving, amiright? I’m so sorry that you continue to suffer. I do think we chumps accomplish amazing things in spite of our chumped experiences.

The con and The betrayal are what kept me stuck for a long time (4 years post divorce now). My brain kept looping on ‘HOW COULD HE do this (fill in blank—serial cheat, discard, try to leave us with nothing, walk out etc) to me and the kids?!’ And also the primal wail of WHY?!?!?!!

I had a good therapist. She had lots of gems. How many times to cheat is too many? Two. Why is he acting like this? Because he doesn’t want the same things as you do. She taught me ‘Detaching with love’ from the alcoholic even before the serial cheating was revealed. ExFW hated my therapist because he could no longer control the narrative and subsequently me. She gave me the courage to see the divorce through.

But the aftermath is just as brutal, no? I had to really adsorb some painful truths that went against everything I had believed for 30 years. CL and new therapist helped. One of them is that the exFWs act so horribly both pre AND post divorce and walk away because they are shallow and don’t develop deep bonds. Not with us, not with their kids. If it hurt them as much as it hurt us, they wouldn’t eff around, betray, lie and leave. And even if their AP or new Schmoopie wife cheated or left them, it still wouldn’t hurt them like we were hurt. They might have a narc injury, a blow to the ego, but the way they process these things is nothing like we do. They just aren’t that deep. They can move on, not just because they did the leaving but because they never cared too much in the first place. They just masked up, mirrored and pretended —to get the kibbles and wife appliance they wanted. They are not capable of those kinds of feelings.

Another truth is that THEY DONT CARE. Really. Except about themselves. I could not believe this. I am wired so differently. I care too much even. I projected this on to him hard. I had to relearn to watch his behavior and draw my conclusions from that. exFWs actions have demonstrated repeatedly that he doesn’t care. About me, the mother of his children. About his own kids. In fact, he continues to try to actively HURT the kids and I in small petty ways as well as larger more harmful ways. With determined grey-rocking, I have limited his scope down to the financials but as we all know, it takes a lot of money to raise children. They have to go without sometimes. I hate that. But we have each other and we are managing even with challenges. And though we may not have reached meh, life is much more authentic and pleasant with a family that cares about one another and all have the common goal of the success of the family and it’s members. We are all stroking in the same general direction. No more ruined holidays or life events even if there are less presents, there is joy and good will and honest love.

I too wished initially that I would rather the FW would have died. But now I would rather know that I lived a lie. I got my realty back, and learned to trust my judgment (which always pinged but I ignored or rationalized for decades). I would never choose to live in ignorance. Not ever again.

As as for as FWs skipping off into the sunset, and skipping out of parenting, I get the rage. I do. But I would not, could not be that person. The person who could have fun while my family suffers. The person who enjoys themselves at the expense of others, the closest people to them. Who uses and abuses and whose interactions are all transactional.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
1 year ago

This post stirs up a bunch of thoughts about individuality, family and cultural concepts of “norms,” etc. Regarding the SIL who calls JAC “weird” and “too chatty”– ugh. Maybe FW and SIL just enjoy having a scapegoat and would target any arbitrary trait in JAC– no matter how normal and neutral the trait is– just to have any excuse to scapegoat. She peels bananas from the wrong end! Off with her head!

It could also sound misogynistic because of old-timey prohibitions against women who “talk too much” or have– gasp– opinions. If the SIL in JAC’s story seems to reserve this kind of criticism for women and has double standards about male and female conduct, then it would seem that the word “weird” is used to identify when anyone has strayed from that family’s concept of gender norms. In any case, being surrounded by people like that can be brain melting. It’s like they destroy your perspective of what’s normal and healthy and recovery involves regaining your own perspective bit by bit.

Sometimes the rigid role assigning and gender norms are particular to certain families and sometimes they’re cultural. When it’s also cultural, the people who subscribe to rigid norms tend to be all the more convinced that their way of being is the “right” way of being and all others are weird and wrong and demented. They’re so convinced of their own rightness that it’s almost mesmerizing. For instance, FW in my situation and his extended family are originally from another country and there’s a noticeable tendency of women from his class in that country to be lurky, spooky, taciturn and passive aggressive. My former sister in law– especially in comparison to my usual expressive, spontaneous self– was exactly like that. It always makes me think of the film French Kiss where Meg Ryan’s character squares off with French stereotypes of lurky, passive aggressive female behavior. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtYrx-XLLKE Never mind that France just had some of the biggest feminist marches in history in recent years and that, when I lived in France, I met a lot of women who laughed at that cliche behavior, the stereotypes exist in some places.

At first I felt sorry for ex-SIL and suspected she’d been repressed all her life because of how my ex-MIL– who wasn’t always so passive about enforcing “her way” of being– would viciously criticize every type of woman imaginable to the point that there was no “safe” model of woman left for SIL to emulate and she instead became a kind of blank cipher. But I quickly figured out that SIL wasn’t just repressed but had a lot of anger and narcissism in her and the demure persona was a mask. I’ve known a lot of quiet, introverted people who don’t make me uncomfortable but what made SIL seem malignant to me and what made the whole thing come off like internalized misogyny was that she seemed to believe there was a competition over proper female conduct. In the end I found her suffocating and couldn’t stand being around her. She was all about unspoken hostility, whispered asides, eye rolls and spooky vibes. It had a crazy-making gaslighting effect because she was generally too indirect to be called out on negativity. But it all came to head some years ago when she blatantly overstepped into something that was none of her business and finally her passive-aggressiveness became shrieking aggressive-aggressiveness and she was exposed as a bully. Gotcha. I was actually relieved since this gave me the grounds I needed to go NC with her and her awful mother. It was like an exorcism. If felt so good that, when FW dropped his own mask, I eventually ditched him too.

Some might romanticize certain behaviors as a benign reflection of cultural difference. For instance, you’ll often hear men from the US rhapsodize about how women from some cultures are “real women” who “really know how to treat men” because of certain common “chick” behaviors which, to me and even to a lot of people from the same cultures, either look tragically squelched and defeated or like some weaponized Pickme dance of lurky demureness or cartoon femininity. I’m not impressed with it because I’ve lived in elsewhere and have traveled a lot and, the thing is, not all cultural things are necessarily benign. Sometimes they’re not even particular to a culture but are artifacts of historical political repression, rigid class expectations and gender disparity and the same stock behaviors can exist in pockets in any country depending on local circumstances, class and history. For example, the US isn’t “exceptional” in that sense, it just depends on what vein of society you’re in. I got a scholarship at age 13 to a prep school where I spent two years with scions of global industry and it was pretty clear the girls were mostly being raised to be trophy wives/courtesans to the super rich. Lurk, lurk lurk, bleah. Just like the few merry upstarts and outliers at that school, sometimes people from a particular culture will rail against dominant cultural behavior norms because the norms squelch individuality and creativity, especially because creative people tend to have difficulty conforming. So sometimes cultural behavioral norms are a way of preserving and perpetuating historical repression like carrying a latent disease.

Over the years, I’d met other women from FWs family and friends circle from their country of origin and started to noticed a carbon copy uniformity in all of them and, true to form, the tendency to police other women to get in line. It pretty much confirmed that FW’s sister wasn’t just organically “like that,” viva la difference– she was a garden variety conformist. I’m not sure what she gained by it other than a loud pig of a husband and a dead end career but that’s not my circus. What’s interesting is that the FW’s family’s male friends and contacts from country of origin were, in contrast, usually “expansive” and opinionated. Men would pace around holding court on this or that “intellectual” topic and the women would watch mutely with empty eyes and bland expressions. And I didn’t and that was bad!!

Bad for whom? Not for me. I can think of a lot of amazing opportunities I’ve had or great friends I’ve made because of being my “expressive” (“chatty”, “weird”? Who’s to say, right?) self. And it doesn’t depend on culture. I’ve found like minds in every place I’ve traveled to as well as the oxygen-suckers. I always think of the Krishnamurti quote: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” This also applies to adapting to profoundly sick people and social contexts.

weedfree
weedfree
1 year ago

narcs compete to be the best at any old thing, including who can be biggest family doormat and who can spread their legs the widest (i have tight hamstrings so it aint me)

FormerlyKnownAs
FormerlyKnownAs
1 year ago

Timely repost. I’ve been feeling down. We’ve been split for 3.5 years. Divorce done, property separated. I got a bad deal given I couldn’t prove all the $ he pilfered. No child support, no parenting – the typical FW scenario. I can’t help but cast back and wish I’d done it all differently. I kicked him out straight away. Maybe I should’ve got my ducks in a row? But I didn’t have the strength. I was a heaving mess on the floor and I didn’t know what to do. I just knew that having him there was like an evil presence as he stepped over my body and told me to be quieter. I should’ve tried to find more of his fraudulent activity and been nice and manipulated him. I should’ve spent money fixing things and outsmarted him. But all I could do was feel sorry for myself and lie there feeling the full weight of the abuse. He was truly awful after DDay. Swaning around like a peacock and being away all the time telling me he had to do this and that and I know he was just going to her place. He left me there in bed to do all the parenting. I couldn’t even pour a bowl of cereal. I have no idea what my daughter did during that time. So it is hard to move on and I’m left with a giant stack of regrets that I didn’t have my shit together to protect myself better. 😢

Chumpkins
Chumpkins
1 year ago

That level of exhaustion is a trauma response, being stuck in “Freeze” mode. Trauma keeps people stuck in Fight/Flight/Freeze/Fawn, and abuse cultivates that in others. Freeze is also the power-save mode because Fight of Flight burns too much energy to maintain long. Long term walking on eggshells can cause that level of exhaustion (freeze).

Harsh judgement (poisoned by an abuser) delays the body’s natural ways of healing trauma. Judging ourselves kinder is a good way to tell the abuser to stick it. Trauma healing can feel rotten, but something like Polyvagal exercises can really make it easier.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
1 year ago

Formerly, if you were hit by a freight train and had the corresponding critical physical injuries, would you have the same expectations of yourself? I wouldn’t.

Infidelity is being hit by a freight train. An invisible freight train. The injuries are not visible. The pain is off the charts. What properly wired human would excel at caring for and advocating for themselves, let alone the littles who were abandoned too? 😢

I am just over 5 years out. I am much better, but far from great. My house and affairs are an ungodly uncharacteristic mess. I manage severe depression. I can do the bare minimum care for me, daughter, animals, home, and affairs, but I am not soaring and blooming. Yet. I am in the most distress because this is not the life experience, the childhood I wanted my daughter to have. I am angry that I got thrown out of the airplane of my own life without a chute, holding our daughter, while he flew off with a stowaway.

I am the little octopus from My Octopus Teacher, still hiding under the rock, arm bitten off by a shark attack, conserving energy while my arm grows back.

My feelings and environment are normal for someone who was hit by a psychological, mental, emotional, spiritual, sexual freight train. For someone whose arm was figuratively bitten off by a shark. But I do not have visible injuries, which makes it easy to forget there is a really damned good reason for my feelings and the condition my world is in.

Everyone heals differently. You might be the little octopus still under the rock too. I am under there with you.

Gobsmacked
Gobsmacked
1 year ago

This. You described the experience so well. I am six years out, and I am still furious with him. I have been absolute no contact since he moved out. I would not trust myself in his presence.
The boys talk to him, but my oldest still refuses to meet the OW. Sweet consequences.
I was 66 years old at divorce. I am on Match and I’ve had lots of coffee dates, but no chemistry. I was married for over 35 years to the man of my dreams. I am jealous when I hear of others meeting new partners. They are lucky. I think that meeting a new partner is the only way to recover from this
He ruined my life. But I have to look at it as a life lesson learned. I am making my own decisions and taking care of myself. What’s the alternative?

SecondSelf
SecondSelf
1 year ago

And let’s not forget, that the DDay crap is just one part of what is going on. In addition to finding out about the infidelity and the lies and trying to figure out what the heck to do next, you have a daily enemy in your ex. Someone who spends time thinking about how to hurt or deceive you so that they can get what they want. It is a mistake to think that the abuse is over when you uncover the secrets. They use financial levers, the kids, any shared property or friends to continue to actively harm you. I feel like I couldn’t care less about him blowing up our marriage. Full meh on that one. Lying to my kids and putting them in harms way because it was convenient to do so last month? Not over it. Very far from over the rage of him messing with my kids. And I shouldn’t be over it. It’s an ongoing marathon.

2xchump🚫again
2xchump🚫again
1 year ago

Losing the cheater and seeing him with new eyes..No CONTACT eyes. 32 years…what did i see in him!! I’m not divorced yet but this man is flying to see woman, on dating sites( per my Switzerland sister),eating steal dinners to get ANYONE into my bed. A scavenger hunt in my opinion. I DO NOT MISS THIS CREEP. I do miss the man of my Illusions. The solid family guy who bought a Spider motorcycle for US to ride,(,no it was for his gfs),the guy who loved Weekends at a B&B ( now for his Shack ups) The guy who helped me pick out our grave sites in an old country cemetery side by side forever( now he wants a spot by his mommy in another county). Thus creepy guy I DO NOT KNOW And WOULD NOT date him more than one phone call or at the worst, until he turned on Woman wrestling on TV. That was the other guy, not my sweet gentle husband who was taken away one night in an open field by ALIENS. I’m 9 months past D day. I’m giving him 50% of everything. But it is worth it. Alone with my hamster 🐹 my life has gone up several levels and I am not looking back.

Dontfeellikedancin
Dontfeellikedancin
1 year ago

I didn’t get to read all comments yet but oh my I HATE what SiL said to her.

JAC, I know this is a rerun but if you’re still reading – you were the same lovely chatty and eccentric person when you married him that you are today. He chose you! There’s nothing wrong with you. Never was. I think you should tell that to SiL. Before you slap her though, in case her ears are ringing and she doesn’t hear it.

Hope you’re in a much better place now!

CBN
CBN
1 year ago

I’ll give you my perspective, and it’s not all roses and sunshine. I totally agree with CL that it’s better to be alone than with a cheater. But, I personally am finding that I will never be able to give up the anger entirely. And that’s because the practical ramifications of what FW did will live on forever to some extent, regardless of my new life, and I don’t blame myself for my totally normal reaction to those ramifications, which is anger. It doesn’t mean I can’t move past what FW did, but it also doesn’t mean that I won’t forever be angry about it to some extent. There have been financial ramifications, of course. I lost A LOT in that arena. Even though I still have a lot and am truly blessed compared to many, I still lost so much. I am reminded of it every day in many, many practical ways. A secure retirement is not a trivial concern. Also, I’d like a relationship in my old age, but the chance of that happening is very slim. I lost that, and I can’t help but be a little angry when I see an older couple together when I’m out on my walk alone or riding my bike alone or visiting my coupled friends. Most importantly, though, are the ramifications to my son. I’m angry about those and I always will be. He too lost out financially. And he had a neglectful father who paid no attention to him. And he had a mother who was not herself for years because her emotional bandwidth and mental health were compromised by a FW during his crucial high school years. How can I not forever be at least a little bit angry that FW negatively affected my child’s well-being? My son has been and most likely will continue to be negatively affected by it for the rest of his life, because a kid doesn’t “get over” that. He may move past it, but he’ll never get over it. He’ll always have the relationship with his father to deal with and the ramifications of what his father did, financially and otherwise. And I will always be angry that FW did that to my son.

MightyWarrior
MightyWarrior
1 year ago
Reply to  CBN

Late to this one because working flat out in my 60s due to FW’s actions! CBN, I don’t have children. I empathise with what you say about anger. In spite of twice weekly and now weekly therapy for over 3 years I still feel considerable anger towards the FW, his exgfOW, and his family and most of his friends. I am happy to accept this anger, not least because it has driven me forward. For 26 years I was shamelessly used by the FW, abused by his alcoholism, exploited financially to a degree that most do not believe, and left in a husk-like state while he disappeared into the sunrise with his sneaky, sly, slippery exgf. One look at their rat-like faces showed their calculating, conniving natures. The ex planned his departure meticulously, over several years, calculating how much equity there would be in our home to maximise the amount that he could receive. Love for exgfOW didn’t come into it. It was always all about the money. In these circumstances anger seems like a reasonable response. I lead a happy, single life, with my dog. And that’s ok. For me, ‘meh’ is not a thing. I gained a life when the cheater left. And I will never be indifferent to the way he and others behaved. And that’s their loss. They don’t get me in their lives anymore. They will never again feel the warmth of my kindness, my love, my humour, my spirit and my strength. When they are in trouble, I’m not there to help and support them. There is no situation that any of them could be in that would lead me to do anything other than step on them as I made my way for the exit. That’s what my anger looks like. I’m proud of it.

MightyWarrior
MightyWarrior
1 year ago
Reply to  MightyWarrior

And on the chattiness, I did not stop talking after a few years of being married to the ex. He spent lots of time being completely silent, monosyllabic, sulky, and then unpredictably happy, smiling, chatty. One morning shortly before I was dumped, I said ‘good morning’ on waking and he blatantly ignored me. I said ‘I said good morning’. The response ‘I didn’t hear you’. Priceless! I had no idea what was going on and I talked to reassure myself that I existed and that ‘everything will be alright’. I’m so much more serene now.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
1 year ago
Reply to  CBN

Here’s a lecture by Ana Nogales, author of Parents Who Cheat.

The damage to my daughter I will never forgive. The damage to all children by parents who cheat, any children, I will never forgive.

https://youtu.be/YShIR-zVoAw

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
1 year ago

I just want to highlight this gem: “As my youngest son says, Dad moved on at the beginning of your marriage — you have a lot of catching up to do.” Just Another Chump’s son has figured out something important. One reason JAC is stuck (this was a rerun, so we sure hope she’s at Meh) is that she hadn’t caught up with the actual nature of the man she married. That might be another sign of Meh–that you have sorted out the person you thought you married from the actual person– a liar, a cheater, and a gaslighting blame-shifter. One JAC fully catches up to the reality (in the mind, the heart and the gut), then the anger and the stuckness dissipates.

And another thought: it’s worth thinking about how some people are capable of checking out at the beginning of a marriage (or at the point where the chump makes a commitment like moving in or moving cross country to a place where there is no job or support). Those cheaters are the really special ones, who see the moment of commitment as a signal to begin devaluing and discarding the chump.

Stig
Stig
1 year ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Yep, I can pinpoint the beginning of the discard to the moment I discovered I was pregnant.

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
1 year ago

To go with the “Why aren’t you moving on according to MY timeline ?!” theme, because the person has no empathy.

The soap actress Susan Lucci’s husband of over 50 years died recently. Hoda Kotb, the narcy tv presenter, asked Susan “Are we dating yet ?” with a big grin. Bizarre but not surprising. Hoda was briefly married (three years) to one man then had a ten+ year relationship with another man. They finally got engaged but then broke off. I feel sorry for the two girls Hoda adopted during Hoda’s fifties. Oy vey.

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
1 year ago

The NY Times published an article about children who lose a parent to death, but no mention of divorce. A reader wrote a letter to the editor pointing out that glaring omission. S/he said the parental abandonment shaped their expectations of life, and not in a positive way. I’m glad the staff decided to run the letter. Progress.

You’re right VH about the shunning of divorced people and any children. That’s what usually happens-no casseroles, but lots of judgment and criticism. “Eew, get away from us with your divorce cooties !”. I have a milestone high school reunion this year that I won’t attending in large part due to the way most of the administration and faculty reacted to my depression and resulting plummet in grades. And their treatment of my mother.
Your daughter is lucky to have you as a loving mum, who has her best interests in mind.

Sandstone
Sandstone
1 year ago

I would like to add this cat shout out in honor of CL’s amazing cat cartoon.

There was an older lady that lived alone. Her husband left her and he hated cats. So, she decided- I am getting a cat!

She adopted a huge Maine Coon that she re-named Santiago. Several years passed and they lived in quiet bliss together. She would make him scrambled eggs most mornings, and he would sun himself while she read or watched TV. When she would leave, he would wait patiently, staring out the window, looking for her return.

One night, she went to bed very early because she did not feel well. Santiago always slept on her bed. A man began breaking into her bedroom window. She took a lot of meds and was groggy but she knew someone/thing was coming in the window, but she felt like she had cotton wrapped around her head.

As soon as the man got his arm in – Santiago went into full attack mode and scratched the shit of his arm and face. He ran off cursing and fell back into the yard. Her neighbor was outside smoking a cigarette, heard the commotion and accosted him and called 911.

Santiago saved her from a dreadful fate. The cops did not believe that a cat could attack like a guard dog until the POS burglar admitted that the cat attacked him.

Chumpbasher
Chumpbasher
10 months ago
Reply to  Sandstone

“scratched the shit of his arm and face” — it would’ve been PERFECT if Santiago got that dickhead’s nuts, too :-}

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
1 year ago
Reply to  Sandstone

🤣👏🏻🤣👏🏻🤣👏🏻

RobinBob
RobinBob
1 year ago

Chatty and “scatterbrained” are fantastic traits. Those are descriptions of my favorite people. The people I can’t stand? Those who don’t like “weird.” I find them dull and often a bit dim witted.

Lilybart
Lilybart
1 year ago

JAC, I love chatty people. To hell with cheater’s evil sister. Like they say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit by me.”

Angry
Angry
1 year ago

My ex SIL who was my maid of honour and once said “we’ll always be family” has ghosted me since before dday and wont even tell me why.